Ga-Rei: Zero

May 28, 2017

Somehow my inner sadism kicked in that time so I was searching for anime series that had its entire or most of its main and supporting casts getting killed off. That is where I stumbled upon Ga-Rei: Zero as I read in the first couple of episodes all the main characters got killed off. And that’s how I decided to check it out to see how bad it could be and if everyone would just die in the end despite I am not really into supernatural themed animes. What? You don’t approve of my terrorist mind set? So what are you doing to counter the real life terrorism? Forget it. Fighting humans isn’t as scary as fighting evil supernatural beings like in this series. Oh wait. On second thought, maybe I take that back… This series is a prologue to the manga, Ga-Rei (which never got animated) and tells the events that led up to the setting of the manga (which I didn’t read).

Episode 1
Tooru Kanze and Natsuki Kasuga are at the graves when they receive a call to sortie because those paranormal spirits are up to no good again. The 1st Special Division of the Ministry of Defence’s Supernatural Disaster Prevention Agency arrives first and takes out most of the small Category C fries. Till the Category B dinosaur monster burns them all alive. That is when Tooru, Natsuki and the rest of their unit arrive to kick ass and save the day (or in this case, night) because they have better equipment and arsenal. Meanwhile the higher ups are not pleased that their division is almost massacred and aren’t too happy the 1st Platoon of the 4th Special Division under the leadership of Kiriya Konparu of the Ministry of Environment won the battle because now their unit is like a laughing stock. Just when the 4th is about to pick up the pieces, they receive another distress call of another appearance of Category B appearing in another part of the city. Although there are barriers around it, it won’t hold much longer. Standard protocol means they need to use Reisui (holy water) and then finish it off with Mani bullets but according to Mami Izumi’s calculation, 200 tons of water is needed for that exorcism. As suggested by Konparu, if they cannot carry the water, bring it to the source. So while the unit has done all the necessary setup, Natsuki leads the monster into a giant water shaft. Once she is in position, Tooru is supposed to snipe. However a butterfly distraction has him missed and this puts Natsuki in danger. She is injured and although the monster is taken care off, the shaft is about to burst with water. Luckily the other guys get them out. With the mission complete and the team resting, suddenly they are attached by Category A. Everyone gets massacred! Mami got possessed and shot Konparu in the head before turning the gun on herself. Tooru remembers the tragedy whereby his girlfriend turned into a ghoul and he was forced to shoot her. Looks like he would be meeting her in the afterlife as he got his head sliced by Yomi Isayama!

Episode 2
The Disposal Unit is stuck in a gridlock traffic jam. But screw trying to be secretive so they ram through the traffic to get to the scene where another Category B is running rampage. After luring it into a trap, they let Kagura Tsuchimiya finish it off. The higher ups are discussing the high casualties tonight. It basically means their forces are as good as eliminated. While trying to reel from this embarrassment, Ayame Jinguuji, the Chief Minister of Environment and her secretary, Kiri Nikaidou come to ‘forcefully’ have both sides cooperate with each other. Had they done this from the start, things wouldn’t have turned out so bad. She reveals information and the map of the Kantou area whereby Category A spiritual disturbances are spreading. While the medics are picking up the corpses, they suddenly turn into Category D zombies and start attacking. The Disposal Unit goes into action but then they are shocked to see Yomi and her Ga-Rei, Nue before them. She was once their comrade but went missing. Now she is classified as Category A and must be annihilated. Yomi leaves the zombies to play with them. The boss allows Kagura and Noriyuki Izuna to go after Yomi. They split up to look for her in the underground tunnel. Kagura is attacked by Yomi though the former tries her best not to fight her. When she is forced to do so, Kagura bests her. Because she is her old friend, Kagura is unable to kill her even when dared. For this reason Yomi cannot forgive her and still hates her. Yomi fights back and spurns Kagura to do the same when she badmouths about Noriyuki as a coward (Noriyuki is supposed to be her fiancé). Kagura thought she could kill her via some pipe explosion but Yomi is not Category A for nothing. Kagura is caught by Nue. Yomi is upset when Kagura still calls her onee-chan and then slashes her.

Episode 3
Time to go back 3 years in time when they first meet. Kagura’s parents are very powerful and famous exorcists. But a mission gone wrong has her mother died in duty. Thus her dad has to oversee things like inhering the Ga-Rei Byakuei that she had and leaving the care of the branch family to Naraku Isayama, Yomi’s father. Thus Yomi is assigned to support Kagura from the shadows. Yomi is quite lively and friendly but you can’t blame Kagura for not feeling like doing anything except training, which is what she has been doing always. Kagura lost a mock fight with Yomi and needs to reflect deeply on her loss seriously thanks to her strict father’s upbringing. Yomi won’t have any of that and teaches her how to chill. She wants Kagura to address her as her onee-chan. As much as Yomi wants to be with Kagura, sometimes she receives calls for a job. This leaves Kagura sad because her words eerily echo like her mom. And now she is dead. Feeling bad, Yomi decides to bring her along and let her see what they do. She is introduced to her unit in the Disposal Unit consisting of Noriyuki, Kouji Iwahata, Kazuki Sakuraba and twins Nabuu and Nabuu. Yes, they both share the same name. You can’t tell them apart either. Yomi might regret a little bringing Kagura along since Iwahata gives her a special sword, Michael 12. After the mission, Yomi gets an earful from her father never to do such things again. Kagura felt bad and in view of this, Yomi gives her a bracelet as charm since she can’t follow her on the job. Yomi explains she personally requested to look after Kagura because she always wanted a little sister. They can be sisters from now on. Can they? Because Naraku isn’t Yomi’s biological dad and is adopted. But since he treats her like his own daughter, she wants to return his feelings. Therefore she will inherit her fate as the family’s exorcist, the reason for her existence.

Episode 4
Kagura must be real bored in school. Luckily the Disposal Unit often calls her in the middle of class to go for missions. Though, Kagura hates to lie to the teacher that she has to leave to attend her sick mother. We get our first taste of lesbianism when Yomi kisses Kagura as they are fooling around eating the Pocky stick. Sakuraba gets kicked in the face for watching them but why didn’t Iwahata get the same treatment? Because he is gay! Kagura watches as Yomi exorcises a giant spider demon. But when she cuts it into half, the demon parts threaten to fall on a civilian woman. Had not Kagura been there, it would have been her doom. But it wouldn’t make any difference because Yomi knows this woman was trying to commit suicide. She is advised to not waste her life. Kagura does maintenance on her sword. She is freaked out by this weird naked afro old man. Michael Kohara is a famous blacksmith and the one who made Kagura’s sword. He is impressed with its radiance. Then he takes a look at Yomi’s sword, Shishi-ou and takes it back to further refine it. For the time being, Yomi needs to pick a temporary weapon. Hmm… Michael has created lots of weird weapons labelled with English names and numbers. A chainsaw? A boiler room? Yomi eventually settles for an iron. Douglas 28? After practice, the girls detect supernatural activities nearby. They head into the underground tunnel to fight… Pineapple demons? With tentacles! They are shocked to see that suicide woman. She has turned into Category D zombie (she killed herself jumping in front of a train). Also, she has infected others. Kagura is hesitant to kill them because they were once humans. Luckily, her father is here as he summons out Byakuei to devour all of them. In the aftermath, Kagura gets lectured by her father about doing her responsibilities as an exorcist. All is not gloom as he tells her to become stronger.

Episode 5
Naraku gives Yomi his wife’s dress. She is happy to receive it. He also wants to talk to her about her engagement to Noriyuki. He knows they don’t like each other but if this continues, those involved will be hurt. He wants to hear her feelings. Because he has raised her like his own daughter and for the sake of improving both families, she sees no reason to object and accepts this marriage. Kagura could smell perfume on Yomi and teases she is going out on a date with Noriyuki. But when that guy enters, he mocks about the sh*t smell! Kagura covers for her and says it is her perfume. Noriyuki gives some advice to not put so much or she’ll smell like some old lady so Yomi splashes coffee over him. When he realizes the perfume is from her, he thinks she is pushing it on Kagura. The duo summon their beast ready to fight but Ayame puts a stop to it. Yuu, Naraku’s younger brother is against him handing over to Yomi is the next heir. Though Yuu has no right as he abandoned the family mission long ago, he simply doesn’t want it to go to outsiders. After all, he has his own daughter, Mei. But Mei doesn’t wish for him to stand up for her as Yomi has earned the trust of others. Kagura gathers the Disposal Unit to form a plan to bring Noriyuki and Yomi close. Her plan is to have them act as ruffians and attack her and let Noriyuki save the day. The thought of being devoured by her Nue is a no go. Iwahata doesn’t think it is a bad idea if they break up. Because Noriyuki might consider him! Ayame has a better plan… She sends Kiri to meet with Noriyuki and when Yomi comes by, she starts flirting with him to make her jealous. No reaction. The flirting gets lamer. Yomi then buys a can to throw it at him. Finally reacted? Then it descends into a big quarrel before they start slapping each other. Before it gets worse, Kagura comes pleading in tears to stop. She apologizes this is her fault and just wanted to see them get along. They feel bad but Kagura wants to see them make up with a kiss! Noriyuki is willing to do it but Yomi isn’t and judo throws him. That night, Yomi dresses up and talks to Noriyuki like mature adults. They wonder if they can quarrel like this forever.

Episode 6
Yomi and Kagura are fighting a spirit that could imitate their physical looks, abilities and whatever they say! It’s getting irritating. Sure, they manage to defeat it. But how about they take on a bunch of them now! Thanks to Mei, the task is solved but Mei lectures them about inheritance qualifications. This makes Kagura feeling down. She returns to her father since she got word he is exhausted from the exorcism missions recently. He explains the inheritance of Byakuei and the protection of the seal. Once you are contracted to Byakuei, you cannot be unbound from it till you die. Mei is looking for the culprit unleashing high level spirits in the vicinity. She finds Kazuhiro Mitogawa, a kid with a Sesshouseki and attacks him but nothing happens. She is easily stabbed and rid of after he reads her heart that contains jealousy, anger, hatred, loathe and pride. Kagura’s friends are staying late at school when they witness a murder. They try to hide from the killer (in the locker?) but when they are caught up to, Kagura saves them. At first she is hesitant and in shock to see the school nurse being possessed but had to sum up her courage to kill her. Kagura throws up after that. Her friends are surprised to see her.

Episode 7
The Disposal Unit cleans up the school. Kagura is obviously shaken but her friend seems less merciful as she seeks an explanation of everything. As Kagura’s mental state isn’t stable, it is suggests she goes on leave and Yomi the same as to give her emotional support. Naraku wishes to pass on his position to Yomi since anything can happen to him at this age. During the next family meeting he will certainly announce his successor and he wants Yuu to handle the arrangements. Kagura returns to school and they have a new school nurse. I believe Kagura’s pain is just more than physical as she kept crying. Then when she visits the former school nurse’s grave, her friend continues to be mad at her. She is pissed that Kagura is crying at her grave despite she is the one who killed her. She dares Kagura to kill her next. It gets worse when Kagura doesn’t say anything. And then she tells her to just hit her if she feels like it. And suddenly all of them come to their senses and time to let the tears flow with a big hug. Wow. Thank goodness reconciliation was this fast and easy. She then explains to her friends about her family responsibilities and fate but they find it weird and would have accepted it if she herself wanted to do it. Kagura trains with Yomi and the latter advises her about not listening to others and to do what she wants. Thus she takes this chance to go hang out with her friends. As Kagura’s mood is improving, Yomi talks to Noriyuki that she might not need her anymore. Yomi feels that Kagura has been blessed with all the powers when she is born into the Tsuchimiya family. She is already carrying great talent since birth unlike her who can only envy and dream to have those powers. Noriyuki notes that she worked hard to get where she is now and has the best swordsmanship of any current exorcist. They are surprisingly about to kiss but the damn cliché handphone ring stopped them. Kagura calling her to update her outing with her friends? Huh? I guess it took too long so Noriyuki just kissed her! Thankfully the conversation was already ending. After Yomi hits him, they continue to kiss. Strange… Happy Kagura returns home but finds something odd. As nobody is home, she looks around and to her horror finds Naraku lying in his own pool of blood. Time to fall into shock again. After calling the ambulance, Kagura waits for Yomi to return. Time for Yomi to feel the shock too. At the hospital, Yomi gets scolded by Yuu about her whereabouts since she was difficult to contact. However Mei tells Yomi to say goodbye to her father first. Reality hits Yomi hard when she confirms his body.

Episode 8
Gloom and doom at Naraku’s funeral. At the family meeting, Yuu announces he will be taking over his brother’s post as the head of the family but since he is unable to perform the family’s work, Mei will do it in his stead. Although Yomi protests that this isn’t Naraku’s will, Yuu fires back to her about not being able to protect her father and was flirting with a guy during that time. Yuu as the head is also not approved by some like the Izuna side because this puts their arranged marriage between the families at jeopardy. Adding insult to injury, Mei and her father are moving into Naraku’s home and she wants to use Yomi’s room. Where will Yomi stay? In Kagura’s room. Basically, it’s like kicking her out under the pretence for her to be independent. You think that is worse? Mei wants Yomi to hand over Shishi-ou as Yuu deemed her unqualified to wield it for failing to protect Naraku. Yomi has no choice but to do so. As Mei revels in possessing Shishi-ou, suddenly visions that she was killed flash through her mind. She is suddenly fraught with guilt of what she has done. She starts bleeding as Kazuhiro tells her to accept all those negative emotions. Then the Sesshouseki will answer her. She realizes the stone is embedded in her chest before getting absorbed. Kagura prepares to leave the home. So last final yuri fling with Yomi? Several Category B demons are spotted. The Disposal Unit faces some competition with the Special Tactics Squad under the Ministry of Defence. Yomi also makes her way but she is confronted with Mei. She fights borrowing Kagura’s sword. Yomi is shocked to see Mei’s arm regenerate after cutting it off. The Sesshouseki is healing all her wounds. Mei then goes on an anger rant how she was jealous about Yomi. Because Naraku took a nobody in, the privileges that should have been hers went to Yomi. That is why she hated Naraku for it and admits she killed him. Mei is about to kill Yomi when she starts bleeding everywhere. She fears Sesshouseki is being taken away. In that confusion, Yomi overwhelms her to get the upper hand. Mei then reverts to her original self. She pleads for her life but Yomi is filled with hatred and kills her. Shortly Mei is confronted with Kazuhiro. He explains he didn’t turn Mei so but merely pushed her in that direction where her true feelings were. He wonders if she wants a Sesshouseki. Then he kills her.

Episode 9
Yomi is wheeled into ICU. The doctor diagnoses that despite her vital organs were spared, her tendons were severed as though they were explicitly targeted. Furthermore, her right eye and vocal chords are destroyed. She can never live a normal life again. Noriyuki is visibly upset his dad cancelled their engagement. I mean, is he willing to take care of a handicap for the rest of his life? As Mei’s body is also found, it is concluded Yomi killed her as blood stains on Yomi’s sword are confirmed to be hers. 2 months later, Yomi suddenly wakes up. Ayame asks a serious of questions including the meeting up with Mei (Mei did contact her) and Yomi killing her out of personal emotions. This makes Yuu angry as he draws his sword at her. He backs down when Kagura intervenes. Flashback to Yomi’s talk with Kazuhiro. She noticed his Sesshouseki which is supposed to be a fragment of some demon fox. They are supposed to be sealed by the Tsuchimiya family and used in exorcism. Kazuhiro’s one is a more potent and unsealed. He found it at Vatican City. It is revealed those special supernatural counter measure units created by the ministries are some sort of cover up for their slip-up to search for this missing stone. Kazuhiro is trying to find a person suitable to inherit this stone. Mei wasn’t it. Yomi might be it. She has high spiritual power and intense hatred. As Kagura takes care of Yomi, it seems she avoids the subject whenever Yomi wants to meet with Noriyuki. More bad news when Noriyuki’s father comes to personally tell her their engagement is off. If that wasn’t bad enough, Kagura’s tears and ‘whining’ how all this sh*t had to happen to them and wishing for a normal life didn’t make things better. Unwittingly, Kagura says everyone in the agency suspects Yomi in killing Mei but Kagura solely believes she wouldn’t kill Mei out of hatred. Would she? I think it is a bad pun trying to say how speechless Kagura is… From worse to worst, Kagura leaves crying. With Yomi’s emotions in disarray, Kazuhiro comes in and teases her with Sesshouseki. He rubs the stone all over her body for instant healing. All her senses are coming back. He further teases her about her true suffering that needs to be eliminated. By the time Kagura comes back, Yomi has already absorbed Sesshouseki and fled.

Episode 10
Noriyuki turns into a workaholic as he investigates who killed Yomi. Kagura goes into breakdown mode when she tells HQ about Yomi’s disappearance. Too late to regret about how Yomi supported and took great care of her when her mom died now. Yomi visits Yuu and kills him. Kagura’s father confronts Kazuhiro as the source of all the evil spirits in the vicinity. But Kazuhiro doesn’t intend to fight and flees. The next scenes are exactly what we have seen in episode 2. Not sure if there are any extra scenes. But this time we branch off when Noriyuki and Kagura go to find Yomi in the underground tunnel. Noriyuki faces off with Yomi. She ‘b*tches about him not visiting her once in hospital although he claims he was busy searching for her killer. She wants him to kill her. Because he won’t, she has taken Sakuraba as hostage. If he doesn’t want him dead, kill her. Sakuraba pleads to kill her. Yomi pleads to be killed. Because Noriyuki is still a pussy and hesitates, Yomi kills Sakuraba. End of the road. Coward. Then Yomi goes to fight Kagura, scenes we’ve already seen before. The last time we were left off with a cliff-hanger that Yomi supposedly sliced her. But it is actually to fend off an attack by Kagura’s father. Daddy’s here to save the day again? He thinks she has doubts but Yomi dismisses it as she doesn’t have them anymore.

Episode 11
The Ga-Rei beasts fight each other. Kagura’s father manages to pin Yomi down. All that is left for Kagura to do the necessary but she hesitates. Because of that, Yomi orders Nue to attack her and father has no choice but to use Byakuei to protect Kagura. In turn, he receives the inflicted damage and Yomi cuts him down. She couldn’t finish him since Kiri becomes her opponent. However Yomi’s Sesshouseki starts acting up so she abandons the fight. It’s no use for Kagura to regret over what happened. Her father is now in ICU. Similarly, Noriyuki falls into depression and blaming himself that he is like a vegetable. Yomi seems to be regretting what she has done. She tries to kill herself but her body has some sort of barrier. Kagura’s father gets weaker as Byakuei tries to set free. Knowing he has not much time left, he tells Kagura the truth. All heirs in the Tsuchimiya family have short lives. This means Kagura too will die young. Because he doesn’t know how long he would live, he wanted Kagura to mature fast, hence the harsh training since young. Like how it should have always been, father and daughter have a heart to heart talk for the first time. Meanwhile, Ayame and what’s left of the Disposal Unit confront Yomi. Ayame shows us why she kicks ass as her wheelchair is filled with high-tech weaponry. In the end, this is the damage report: Kiri gets stabbed, one of the Nabuu twins gets eaten by Nue and Iwahata gets blinded. And still no scratch on Yomi. Kagura’s father feels his time is up and passes the seal to Kagura in which she reluctantly must accept. Time to grow up. After Kagura embeds it, Michael sees her to give her the upgraded Michael 13 sword.

Episode 12
Yomi continues to kill everyone who pursues her. When she’s not killing, her Sesshouseki weakens and allowing her to wallow in regret. Kagura is able to trace Yomi because their Sesshouseki is resonating. Iwahata and Nabuu fend off the ghouls and zombies to let Kagura face Yomi. The girls talk about family and Kagura somewhat admitting she was being useless and didn’t at least try to help Yomi. When words fail, violence reigns. Yomi overwhelms Kagura and then brags about those she killed. Then she mocks the death of Kagura’s father because it means Kagura gets to possess the most powerful Ga-Rei. This makes Kagura mad and able to fight back but she is still no match. Yomi flees when Noriyuki helps out. Then he reveals his cowardice and why he couldn’t kill her despite Yomi telling him to. Kagura meets up with Yomi again for another fight. This time their clashing is a convenient tool for reminiscing their good times (read, recycled clips). Yomi narrates her true wish is Kagura. She wants to protect her from everything. Even if it means eliminating herself. At this point Kagura is able to stab Yomi. Yomi praises how strong she has become and apologizes for all that has happened. When Yomi truly dies, the surrounding Category D zombies would be the least of Kagura’s problems. In fact she is filled with rage as she summons Byakuei to devour all of them. Looks like for the first time she is doing her exorcist job seriously. Kazuhiro notes how one emotion was enough to turn everything upside down. He is unsure if Yomi’s emotions were strong enough to overcome Sesshouseki or if Sesshouseki really granted her wish. Either way, he is in no rush and will wait for the right time. 2 years later, Ayame takes care of Kiri who has a child-like state of mind. Iwahata and Nabuu are working their ass off under a new old hag boss. Noriyuki becomes some hippie fortune teller?! Kagura’s friends never knew what happened to her and as she is classified as missing. In reality she is going around doing her exorcism role and she has a moody youngster as her disciple whom she passed her Michael 12 to.

Killing In The Name Of Love? Yandere!
So everybody didn’t die as I had hoped. What a sadistic creature I am. But as you might have read from my opening paragraph that I am here only because for the massacre. It is also a good think that I didn’t have Sesshouseki while watching this show because who knows I might just go crazy under its influence and start a mass genocide in real life. I know, silly of me to think like that, right? Well, nothing is so much as impossible now. Not after Donald Trump won, right? Oops! No outside politics in this anime and blog, please! So other than all that killing, I guess watching mild yuri bonding and how good girl gone bad with some evil spirits in the mix isn’t my cup of tea.

I read this series had some sort of relation to Tokyo ESP. I do remember characters like Tooru and Natsuki making their cameo in the latter and that’s all. Here feels the same too but only difference is that they got killed off here! Also, this series also follows a similar format to Tokyo ESP in the sense that the first episode starts off great with some great action and then the rest of the episodes in the series is just a huge flashback. It is like as though a bait for you to draw you in. And people like me who can’t drop anime series that suck halfway will have to watch it till the end. Well, even though this series isn’t really my cup of tea but at least it wasn’t as disappointing as Tokyo ESP series as a whole.

A big part of the focus is on Yomi and Kagura which makes some room for some mild yuri development (Iwahata being gay feels like a distraction and little comic relief). However with the majority of this series as a flashback on the events that prelude the manga, I don’t really feel both these girls as close enough. They do hang out a lot or at least when shown but personally I just don’t feel that closeness that would have made them like, how should I put it, inseparable sisters. Even at the end when they have this big sisterly hug and all, it felt like it was too late to leave any sort of impact. Like as though Yomi had been trolling Kagura and everyone else the whole time just to kill her.

Because firstly it mostly feels like Kagura is a weak girl. She is just reeling from her mom’s death and she looks like she is still trying to adapt to her new surroundings and lifestyle. Yes, she does somewhat get used to life with Yomi and following her on missions but I just have this feeling that she didn’t really settle in comfortably and fully moved on. Because the main bulk of all that stems from Yomi. It only took her father’s death to get it going and Yomi’s death to complete and come full circle for her to move on and become stronger.

Which brings me to my second point to talk about Yomi. I believe she is quite a strong character and a likeable one in a lot of aspects. She is like the big sister whom you can depend on and that is probably why it makes Kagura look like a weakling. Because in most instances it is Yomi who makes and takes the first assertive strike. Kagura is like someone following in her shadows. Like any other humans, Yomi too has her limits and weakness. So it all goes downhill when her adoptive father is killed and evil reared its ugly head to take advantage of that. It was quite a bit of a sad thing to see such a talented and promising girl like Yomi to suddenly fall into the dark side in a snap of a finger. It’s like it is so easy to become evil. All you need is some object of hatred and voila. Welcome to the dark side.

If you’re saying that Yomi isn’t strong in the first place for succumbing to evil, mind you that Yomi had to battle a lot on her plate before that. She has to put up with some of the family members not accepting her as the next heir as she is an outsider and thus facing jealousy from others as well as her own about Kagura. There is also the pressure of her in repaying Naraku’s debts to train herself to be worthy of that heir. That is why it isn’t so much about Kagura needing a big sister to get her through life but rather as Yomi admitted she wanted a little sister most probably to take some pressure off her heavy responsibilities. The death of Naraku only aggravated things further and the spur of the moment hatred spiralled it out of control.

Because the story continues into the manga, it isn’t accurate to paint the rest of the characters as insufficient. Especially this series is named after the supernatural beasts, they are unjustifiably lacking in the overall story here. This is after all a prologue to the main series. Oh heck, lots of them died too so you don’t have to worry about them in the future. But as far as this prequel series is concerned, I guess they are rather okay. Like Noriyuki who is supposed to be Yomi’s fiancé and we are first given the impression that both of them hate each other to the max but after that failed date setup, it is like they suddenly love each other. So did the setup actually work? It feels ironic for Noriyuki’s case because now that he loves her so much, when she turns to the dark side he is unable to kill her. Does this mean he lacks his love for her? This led to his partner getting killed and indirectly Kagura’s father’s death. Now I know why the tagline for this anime rings, “Will you kill someone you love because of love?”. It’s just complicated thinking about this.

As amusing and eccentric Michael is, I was hoping he would make more appearances but I guess he is just supporting. Because how often do you get to see an old white haired afro guy always clad in nothing but a loincloth. Heck, sometimes I can’t help think he is what Colonel Sanders would be if he hit the gym and turned to crafting swords and making weapons instead of chickens. Really. Ayame and Kiri for most of their part feels like they are always in their office keeping track of spirit appearances. They mobilize their unit to do the exorcism until there aren’t enough manpower so they have to go to the field themselves. Noriyuki becomes one of the most redundant character ever. He let his colleague die and then he couldn’t really finish the job of killing Yomi. So what good is he? So bad he is that it is a good thing he didn’t end up as Iwahata’s gay partner. Holy sh*t! What am I saying?! So is his ending justified? Not that I care anymore.

Action scenes are just average. It is just to supplement whatever drama and plot that is going on. Don’t put your hopes up to it. At least Tokyo ESP’s first episode was an adrenaline rush. This one is milder in comparison. Characters do not have a wide variety of set moves because mostly you see Yomi swing her sword, Iwahata using his drills entrenched as his hands and Sakuraba using his briefcase as a machine gun. Yes, a briefcase that comes with a CD player that plays mantra songs to help in the exorcism. I kid you not. And Ga-Rei beasts just, uhm, devouring?

Art and drawing feel rather okay and since this series came out in 2008 (almost a decade from where we are now), I guess my ‘retro’ opinions make it say that they are fine for that era. The characters like the females have this bishoujo look so that you won’t be totally frightened by the supernatural spirits which are, uhm, okay they are not really scary and some look funny like a bipedal Stegosaurus on fire and one resembling a giant wheel! Even the humans turned zombies aren’t that scary either. My only gripe with the visuals is that many of the scenes are quite dark especially the action scenes because it seems those evil spirits only come out to wreak havoc at night. This series is produced jointly by AIC Spirits (Girls Bravo, Tokko, Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club) and Asread (Shuffle, Mirai Nikki, Yuushibu, Corpse Party).

Voice acting isn’t anything spectacular. I only recognized Minori Chihara as Kagura (barely) and Norio Wakamoto as the Nabuu twins. The other casts (many of which also played roles in Tokyo ESP albeit different characters) are Kaoru Mizuhara as Yomi (Gisen in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls), Shinya Takahashi as Noriyuki (Kogure in Tokyo Ravens), Mai Aizawa as Ayame (Minene as Minene in Mirai Nikki), Maki Tsuchiya as Kiri (Megane in Morita-san Wa Mukuchi), Ryouko Tanaka as Mei (Kurugaya in Little Busters), Minoru Shiraishi as Sakuraba (Sakamoto in Nichijou), Tetsu Inada as Iwahata (Ioryogi in Kobato), Mugihito as Naraku (Wombat in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love), Takkou Ishimori as Yuu (Sengoku in One Piece) and Hirokazu Hiramatsu as Michael (Nakanojou in Nichijou).

To show Minori Chihara’s singing chops, she takes on the opening, Paradise Lost which is filled with lots of techno beats. Sometimes it makes for a good dance song and I wonder if it is suitable for the genre of this series. It is Kaoru Mizuhara’s turn to sing the ending theme with Yume No Ashioto Ga Kikoeru, a slow rock. Don’t be fooled by the ‘bright’ tune of the song because the lyrics are very powerful as she sings about hate, sorrow and destruction. Yeah, there is even one line where she goes “I hate this world”. There are also a couple of insert songs that I noticed. Reincarnation – Last Harmony by Yozuca and Faylan is a slow and sad ballad with the strings playing to full effect. Tamakui by Fairy Empire has this gothic feel to it. Though, it isn’t as naughty as Ali Project’s songs.

Overall, not really one of those animes that would stand out or have anything ground breaking or unique. Although I am not a fan of the supernatural genre, I have a feeling there are better supernatural themed series out there. This anime feels like it is to appeal to Ga-Rei fans and those who are interested to find out more and the continuation of the story in its manga form. Other than that, mild yuri and good girl turning bad and killing off everybody including main characters don’t really quite cut it in my books these days. If I had that kind of girlfriend, I would be screaming down the yandere route before my blood becomes the new paint for the floor and walls. Yeah, yandere. That is what you really call as killing someone you love because of love.

Cheating Craft

May 27, 2017

They say that grades are everything. They are somewhat your ticket to success. Especially in countries in which your future life and success depends on the grades you get in your exam, it is all the more reason parents are pushing and pressuring their children to get the best grades. The competition is only going to get more intense with more and more vying their luck each year. So what if you aren’t smart enough but still want an easy life? You cheat your way! And so this is the basic premise of Cheating Craft. By hook or crook you’re going to score and pass the exams. Therefore the exam is turned into a chaotic battlefield once these cheaters start using their tricks. But don’t get caught! Because examiners trying to fight and stem off these cheaters add further to the utter chaos. Sounds fun, right? Oh please, don’t ever resort to cheating anyhow and anyway!

Episode 1
This entire episode dedicates in explaining the setting of this anime. In a world where both men had grown up in similar environments and studied at the same school, what is it that makes their life as a success or failure so different? Exams! This country has a National Special Level University Exam. A gruelling exam which means passing guarantees a life of success while failing means you fail forever. That is why children have undergone intensive tutoring and education at an early age to pass the exam at the cost of their youths. Frustrations abound when they try to meet their parents’ expectations. Those who are able to pass with their own intellect are called Learning Type or L-Type. Those who don’t but cheat their way are called Cheating Type or C-Type. Thus some parents go as far as to invest and infuse cheating mechanisms into their children to guarantee a pass. Unfortunately if you get caught, you get kicked out. So don’t use half-baked mechanisms if you wish to cheat the system. But for the C-Type to overcome this, L-Type partner is necessary in this symbiotic relationship. Because other C-Types find competition in other rivals and will take out L-Types, the partnering C-Type will do all he can to protect his L-Type partner while eliminating the rest. Wow. I didn’t know taking an exam is like a battlefield. I mean, a real battlefield! Do you have to really destroy the entire building? But this is the law of the land. Only those who pass the most gruelling of them all will go on to lead a successful life. Now, a new young pair prepares to take this exam. Mumei Shokatsu and Koui Ou are doing this to save Mumei’s father who was wrongly imprisoned.

Episode 2
As the exam begins, the moment the old drunk teacher falls asleep, the cheaters begin to play. So we see all sorts of creative contraptions used to outdo each other. Mumei has his own Shokatsu Technique to get things done as he protects Koui as she diligently answers the questions. But Jun will not allow this to go on peacefully and sets his bugs to disrupt. More chaotic power battles and at this point the teacher wakes up and has had enough. He ties them up with his Jagan Keibaku (literally stealing their freedom to move through special insight). Mumei continues to be defiant as he attacks him. Although the old man can dodge every paper attack, it is just a decoy so Jun can plant his poisonous bug into his drink and paralyze him. But with 1 minute left on f the clock, can Mumei copy Koui’s work? Don’t worry. Koui’s paper is double ply so what she wrote is already duplicated. All Mumei needs to do is write his name. The duo are now official students enrolled in the school. They vow to graduate from here with top grades and save Mumei’s dad but he gets distracted after laying eyes on the beautiful Haku Ryuu.

Episode 3
Exams aren’t just hard questions. Why, they have to take them in extreme conditions! This time they are doing it in some frigid blizzard! Mumei totally loves talking to Haku although Koui isn’t too pleased with this b*tch. Each time she tries to give her piece of mind, Mumei shuts her up. She is in no mood to be bugged by Jun and beats him up. But he loves the way she gives him pain and wants to be her boyfriend! This is going to get more troublesome. An announcement for Haku to come to see the teacher. Seems she is accused for cheating in the recent exam. Footage reveals she was looking at her pen suspiciously although Haku argues this is just her charm. Mumei defends her and believes she is the L-Type. The teacher then has Haku retake the test again and if she is unable to get a perfect score, not only she will be expelled by Mumei as well. The teacher thinks Haku is struggling because she is without her pen but upon closer look, the questions are different and tougher. This pisses off Mumei as he fights sensei for the pen. By the time he defeats him, Haku has already finished her test. She got 100%. She reveals inside her pen is a photo of her parents. It gives her motivation. Mumei wants to have a pen like that too but Koui is sceptical if it is for their mission since he is fawning over getting the same matching type as Haku’s.

Episode 4
Taking exams on an airplane?! Oh, the air pressure! Cheating? Ejected! Mumei continues to fawn over Haku who is grateful for his help. This of course doesn’t sit well with Koui who has her own plate full because stupid Jun is trying to flirt with her. Not that she gives a damn anyway. Not that he learns from her threatening warnings anyway. Koui is further displeased that Mumei wants to go out with Haku this weekend to buy a pen instead of their scheduled study session. Mumei shuts her up before she could protest though he insists this is necessary so he could get a pen to take his exam. As expected, Mumei tails in secrecy the duo. At the café where they also sell pen, it seems Shuu Rinu only allows Mumei into his secret room. You can easily guess this guy has taken a liking for Mumei and what follows are lots of gay and yaoi innuendoes. With Koui eavesdropping, you can bet she is mistaking this leading up to be some hot yaoi overtones. Not that she’s against it anyway. So with pen this and pen that, I’m just waiting when they’ll make a dick joke. You know, penis. Geddit?! Shuu then gets to business and suggests high quality pens. However Mumei rejects them all and finds one to his own liking. It is the same matching pen like Haku. Oh well, if he’s happy. Shuu can’t wait to see what kind of chaos will come of their encounter.

Episode 5
The students think the teacher is so kind to bring them to the pool. Turns out their next exam location is in the middle of an ocean. Or rather a big pool. Some thought they can cheat but they didn’t expect sharks to take them out from underneath. With the sharks tearing up the cheating students, the big shark boss even unleashes sharknado! I know this is a swimsuit episode but can Jun stop ogling at Mumei all the time? He got what he deserves. The boss shark eventually reveals its plan for the shark clan to take over humanity and conquer all. Mumei isn’t cowed. As long as he has the matching pen, he can do anything. So he creates a violent whirlpool with it to suck up all the sharks (and the students too). So this is the power of love that triumphs all? Time is up and Koui finishes her test and duplicates it to Mumei. Shuu is now ever certain that Mumei is the one.

Episode 6
I don’t really understand this episode. Amidst the other characters who are seemingly being taken their police mug shot, they are interviewed and asked about things and circumstances whom I believe it is related to Mumei and Shuu. In between that, weird scenes between Mumei and Shuu like a showdown at some lava plant, at the car dumpsite and pool. Then after the strange showdown at the chapel, suddenly it is all bromance that would drive fujoshi fans wild. When Shuu is finally asked if he knows about Mumei, he replies doesn’t. And that was when Mumei ‘died’. Huh?

Episode 7
This time the exam is on an aircraft carrier! Any wrong move and the super computer will eject you! I think there’s something wrong with the computer’s ‘perfection’. Anyway, it seems Mumei is down in the dumps because he experienced his first defeated. We can tell it is Koui in a hood trying to bring him back. But first she takes him to a prison island where his dad is held. The boatman knows about the Shokatsu Technique as it ranges back to the era of Three Kingdoms. And there’s a bit more about how the technique is supposed to bring prosperity but it all depends on the user. Mumei is now faced with the warden and must show his ultimate Shokatsu Technique as proof as the inheritor and rescue his father. Mumei throws everything he’s got but nothing works. The warden tells him his techniques are third rate. Even he might have studied the secret texts like crazy, he followed it blindly. Because Mumei won’t give up, the warden gives him another chance. One day to show him his new power. Otherwise he will also be taking Koui with him.

Episode 8
Mumei takes the elevator up a high tower to begin his training. As he already mastered the wind technique, he must master the fire one. He has to do this or his father and Koui’s lives are at stake. Say, isn’t Koui enjoying herself with a large cup of parfait? And isn’t father just a dummy? So his first training is to enter a hot sauna with other men? With all the sweaty manly skin over him, the ultimate man hug! I don’t know. He passed. Next up is sorting little chicks into combustible or incombustible material. He did it. Next is to conquer his altitude sickness by manipulating oxygen. Once he has done all that, it is time to face the warden to prove himself. Mumei combines his fire and wind technique to beat him. It is revealed behind the warden’s mask that he is his father. He is satisfied Mumei has improved. As for Koui, she is suffering. She ate too much. And is still continuing to eat? Father gives Mumei a pen and paper which symbolizes fire and wind respectively. With this, he can take on any difficulty. Mumei returns to class with renewed determination.

Episode 9
While the students are taking their exam on a jet ski near the waterfall, Mumei begins his fight with Shuu. Apparently Shuu doesn’t recognize him after he lost. Mumei shows his improvement using his newly acquired fire and wind techniques but this even bores Shuu who is a master of manipulating his strings. A Crocodile Dundee examiner wants to blow them out of the sky for violating the exam rules. However Anri hypnotizes him to go away. It seems she is interested to see the guys duke it out so she can see who is most suitable to be the special level university graduate. Koui has finished her exam and she gets so enthralled in watching the guys fight, she didn’t see where she is going. This forces Mumei to abandon his match to go save her before she falls off. Even his efforts are not enough as Shuu’s strings help prevent their free fall. Mumei continues to fantasize a very yaoi and BL version of Mumei and Shuu making out after the intense fight. Meanwhile Jun who was lost in the jungle, stumbled upon an ancient tribe and is made the tribal chief!

Episode 10
Now what? A fashion show?! Mumei, fail. Haku, pass. Jun, instant fail. Koui… Lots of mixed reactions but eventually rejected because of her creepy smile. Thus Ou sensei invites the girls over to her place to talk about improving Koui’s fashion sense. However Ou soon gets drunk and starts ranting about her failed relationships. Anri can’t just start any topic because Haku and Koui are just having fun eating and Ou will just be triggered with whatever supposedly feminine words. Then she’ll go into long rants about failing to live up to her parents’ expectations (getting married and have children, that is). At one point she even assaults Haku for being cute but her mood swings means she starts crying before falling sound asleep. Anri thought they can get to the real topic but nothing changes. When she asks Haku if there is anyone she likes, she flusters greatly. Not Shuu, not Mumei. To Anri’s shock, Haku hints her crush is Koui!!! OMG!!! Didn’t see that coming? In the end, they realize this isn’t Ou’s place but her juniors! She’s still drunk and sound asleep.

Episode 11
This is the final exam of their first semester. Because there are no examiners around, they wonder if this is a trap. Or could they have run out of ideas? Suddenly this old guy, Katsuhira pops up on stage. As he is a famous voice actor over the TV and internet, he has this ability to charm anybody who listens to his voice. So we see everyone succumb to his voice and start becoming their dreams. Yeah, they can’t concentrate on the exam anymore. Anri thought of using her hypnosis to cancel it out but Katsuhira’s voice is stronger. So you wanna be a seiyuu, eh? Mumei fights him and also succumbs. He wants to be a chef? Luckily he is snapped out by Shuu’s strings. But he is soon defeated shortly as Mumei recovers to avenge him by unleashing a few secret Shokatsu Techniques. Katsuhira intends to target Koui to bring him down. But his voice has no effect on her. She has lived a poor deprived life without TV and internet, she doesn’t know who the f*ck he is! And with that, Katsuhira is defeated! Think the exam is over? Not so fast. Because Ou returns in a very dark, badass sexy form. The real exam begins now.

Episode 12
Ou uses a beam to make the moon move closer to Earth. If they fail to pass this final exam, it will crush and destroy Earth. Ou reveals she is from an advanced alien civilization. With far superior technology and culture, she was appointed as a teacher in this school to see if mankind is worthy to be on par with them. Fail and they are deemed unworthy. Mumei still doesn’t believe her so Ou captures Haku as his motivation. Save the world and save the girl. Man, a hero’s job is tough. And since Mumei is chosen to represent mankind, he will only take the exam. Oh, we’re screwed, right? Ou also has some device that negates his Shokatsu Techniques. Yeah, we’re really screwed. Other students try to attack her but she easily knows their techniques and defeat them. Other teachers come to fight her but are easily defeated. After Koui lectures Mumei about being useless without his technique, the students launch another attack against Ou. While it might look futile, it was served as a distraction as Jun’s bug disabled the device to enable Mumei to use his Shokatsu Technique. With the rest lending him their power, Mumei unleashes the greatest Shokatsu Technique ever: Nichirin Shouten. It turns his body into a flaming sun! He defeats Ou, saves Haku and destroys the beam that is pulling the moon. The hero’s reunion with Haku is ruined when Mumei realizes he is buck naked before her. Yeah, the flames must have burnt up his clothes. Next day, school returns to normal. Yes, everything returns to normal like as though all that never happened. Koui tricks Mumei by giving a challenge letter from Shuu to meet at a certain place. She waits with glee but when Mumei goes meet somebody, Koui screams terrified. WTF?! Did they leave it to our imagination on whom Mumei meets?! Is it another hot beautiful babe? Is it an ugly guy?! Is it an alien bug monster?! Or maybe a huge dick???!!! Certainly she didn’t see that coming.

Cheated Crap
If I was one of the students enrolled in this school, I would definitely drop out on purpose. I don’t know how much I could take anymore of this confusing crap. Yes, sad to say that I had a bit of expectations after reading the synopsis. But from where it went and to that ‘cliff-hanger’ incident at the end, it went downhill fast. I can sense myself losing interest quickly but I still retained hope that seeing this series had only a dozen of episodes, I hope that there would be some sort of twist that would make me change my mind in the end. Didn’t happen. And thus it continued its path towards disappointment. Uh huh. Whatever about Ou being an alien didn’t really matter at all. So what if mankind is worthy to share some advanced culture or technology? Because as long as humans are humans, there will still be cheating. Why? Because they can.

Initially the basic premise and first few episodes sound interesting enough. However with the random standalone episodes, the plot goes nowhere in addition of being somewhat confusing. My guess is that they are trying to showcase the various obstacles in taking the exams for some episodes but because they are so random, I just felt lost in wondering what the implications are anyway. The plot for Mumei to save his father becomes a distant memory because I don’t really see how he is progressing with it. Maybe with him passing each test is the progress but I don’t really feel or have any connection to it.

Because of those sentiments, it also affects how I feel about the characters: Annoying. And here I thought maybe the characters would do something and pull the dreary plot somewhere but instead I realized that they too maybe the culprits in bringing down this series. Like Mumei as the typical hot headed lead character and Koui is supposed to be his polar opposite and being more reserved. Then he gets blindsided by his crush on Haku and so we see him getting distracted to try and win her heart or something. And then out of the blue, they pit him against Shuu and lost and I don’t even know what the hell is going on anymore then. Yeah, the romance bits can’t help feel like a distraction because it’s like this show can’t decide to be a comedy, action, drama or romance so they put everything into one and see what comes of it. So screw the romance part because I wanted to believe Koui has a thing for Mumei but because of her poker face, I don’t really know. Her reaction when Mumei ‘dated’ Haku might be an indication but let’s face it, L-Types are the studious types who don’t have time to date or think about love! Books are always their first love!

Jun feels like the joker and comic relief of the series because of his bad luck tendency to have, uhm, bad luck. And this guy can still last to the end. Because he is one of the main supporting characters and you need a joker like him because everybody else isn’t funny material. I mean, you see Mumei and Koui, do you expect to see them as idiots? Mumei maybe but not big time. Hot guy Shuu? This brooding guy? Don’t be kidding me. Haku? Such a pretty girl helming the joker role? No way. Anri? What? Her? So who else is there when you have a loser guy whose girlfriend is a beetle bug and doesn’t learn when Koui outright rejects him all the time. This is one of those moments perseverance isn’t helping.

Oh, I forgot about Ou but she may be the typical cliché character. You know, the kind of single teacher who is already in her 30s complaining about no men would ever want her and being single. Why do women like her always rant and complain about that when they are drunk? Other than that, she feels like a ‘host’ before a test starts because she’ll be ranting away about something (usually about herself). So is she trying to liven up the mood and relief stress? The awkwardness only makes it more stressful. Then turning her into some sort of a final episode antagonist feels like a typical baddie cliché but with all the crap we have seen so far and the ‘reset’ at the end, I don’t think anybody gives a damn anymore.

Shuu and Anri are the mysterious ones. Because I don’t understand what the heck Shuu’s role is for except that he is most likely to be yaoi and BL fodder for fujoshi fans who can’t stop fantasizing about Mumei x Shuu pairing. Sorry Jun. Nobody even wants to pair with you. Maybe that is why Koui didn’t like Mumei to be with Haku. Because she would rather see him with another guy like Shuu! Holy sh*t! This series has really messed up love situations. One-sided crushes to yaoi and even some lesbianism from Haku for Koui! Even studious girls have their own dark secrets. I can’t put my finger if Shuu is on Mumei’s side or not. Predominantly he is but that time they were fighting and Mumei lost screwed with my mind and I am still lost ever since.

But not as bad as Anri because she suddenly makes her appearance. More accurately, I don’t know how she becomes part of the main character circle and by halfway through the series, she is already part of the gang without even us knowing how. Heck, we don’t even know if she is the L-Type or C-Type because it looks like she can swing both ways. But I have a feeling she might be the C-Type because she has some sort of special ability. Because you only see C-Types having such special moves. I mean, if you’re the L-Type, why even have special abilities, right? So I don’t really know what her character is for except to observe which of the guys can become that special graduate. Like I care at this point.

I know it is part of the plot of the series but I can’t help but think if all these cheaters spend their time in perfecting their cheating techniques, shouldn’t they have spent their time in trying to study? Sure, they might know more about themselves and are no good in books but by doing this kind of cheating method is already telling us and setting up themselves that they will be failures. Because otherwise if you think you are smart, you certainly won’t need to rely on this cheating method at all. So it is like they are here in this school just to fool around and try to beat the system without getting caught. Oh yeah. It is not a crime if you don’t get caught.

Making it more ridiculous are the different environment and settings the students have to take under. Sometimes I feel if this academy wants to kill its students because taking tests on an airplane or on a rapid river poses great danger and risk to the students’ lives. The stress of the question is already going to kill some of them mentally and now you want to physically kill them? How the f*ck can those L-Types concentrate without even breaking a sweat?! So good that nothing could distract them? And sometimes I feel these extreme situations are like to weed out who are the C-Types because they are the only ones adept enough to traverse the battlefield. Is this what early cheaters have made examiners along the way to come up with such dangerous ideas just to try and stem cheating? Didn’t work. Just like how trying to ban guns would reduce gun violence, right?!

When you have cheaters with seemingly ‘brilliant’ and ‘unique’ cheats to try and give themselves the advantage, it is all the more reason to add to the action comedy bits. Many of the cheats or fighting methods if you may call some of them are just plain exaggeration and nonsensical. I believe it is silly and meant for you to laugh but nobody takes exams for a joke, right? The battlefield might be some sort of wired kung fu action with everything flying around like that. And of course Mumei’s Shokatsu Technique there are a bunch of variety of them but I can’t even remember them because I think they are only used once and despite their super great exaggerative effect, they feel somewhat the same. They defeat their opponents. If not, it wasn’t the right technique. Try again till you win.

If you are wondering why there are a few Chinese elements inside this series, the show is adapted and based from a Chinese novel. This means the original Chinese names of the characters from the novel are used and closely pronounced as its original Chinese words. Also, this anime is produced by a Shanghai based company, Haoliners Animation League. Recently they have been making waves with a handful of animes such as To Be Hero, Chu Feng, Hitori No Shita: The Outcast and the Reikenzan series. As To Be Hero is the only other series I watched under them, let me say that Cheating Craft’s artwork definitely trumps the aforementioned. We have very nice and beautiful anime looking characters and some infused with Chinese influence as compared to To Be Hero’s crappy animation. Because of this inversion, personally To Be Hero had a better and funnier story (despite it is also crap but at least it is damn funny) compared to Cheating Craft who seems to be trying to make up for it and distract you with its art.

The voice acting uses all Japanese casts. Well, duh. It is rather okay with me only recognizing Rie Kugimiya as Koui. But since she isn’t what I expected to be her stereotypical tsundere role, I guess that is why I think it didn’t help a bit to save this anime. Then there is Yoko Hikasa as Anri but I didn’t really realize it was her till I reached almost the end of the series. And even that was just stumbling upon her name by accident. The rest of the other casts are Tomohiro Yamaguchi as Mumei (Kouki Mimura in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Reina Ueda as Haku (Mira in Dimension W), Junya Ikeda as Jun (Jou Kido in Digimon Adventure Tri), Daisuke Namikawa as Shuu (Rock in Black Lagoon) and Kotono Mitsuishi as Ou (Boa Hancock in One Piece). The opening and ending themes feel like idol rock pop, Kasoku Suru Trial by Kamen Joshi and Welcome Future by Aina Kusuda respectively. Nothing spectacular to me.

Overall, and average story turning mediocre and characters that don’t really impress you makes you want to believe that the school should just fail everybody and expel all. Bring down the damn system of grades determining everything! Yeah, if that happens, nobody is going to work hard anymore. And as in every episode as a reminder, I will again remind you that you do not watch this show to find inspiration to cheat. You only watch this to be entertained and not take everything seriously. Though, you have got to have low standards of meritocracy if you really want to pass this mediocrity. And also another reminder, just like how winners don’t do drugs, if you are still bent on cheating, just remember this: Cheaters do not win. They just end up in first place! That itself is just a number, not an achievement.

Anitore! XX

May 26, 2017

I see for the past year we haven’t been moving our lazy asses very much. All those fats and residuals have settled down as we get comfy sitting on our chairs watching mindless anime series. Because of that, some people think it is a good reminder to give us lazy weeaboos a second season of a short anime exercising series, Anitore! XX. What are those people, silly? Are they insulting us by thinking that we can only move our fat lazy bums whenever there are cute 2D girls telling us to? Well, seems like it. So once again, we otakus need to get our asses off the couch and do some simple exercises and stay a little healthier and a little longer. Because nobody cares about a dead otaku… I mean, really. Nobody cares… :’-(. Who else are going to buy those cheap rip-off workout videos if we don’t stay healthy enough to live long enough?! Think about it!

Episode 1
Asami wakes us up from our sleep because instead of dreaming pervy stuffs, what better way than to look at sexy girls while helping them clean the house, right? Yeah, look at her new sexy sportswear. Don’t blame us for having horny thoughts. When then help Eri clean the floors but can’t help look at her nice butt. After helping Yuu with the bookshelf, we get fanservice reward from Shizuno because her ferret pet starts making itself home in her boobs. We freak out Shion as we see her in her normal form instead of her chuunibyou. After all that, we get to the proper training of lateral side bend to hone those abdominal muscles. I think if you really want those abs, you have got to do it more than a minute… Damn our fanservice reward at the end with a bath scene didn’t materialize…

Episode 2
We follow Eri to school via train. She tells us a couple of simple exercises we can take while we ride to our destination. Like the invisible chair which is supposed to improve our leg muscles. Then there is the calf raises to improve your calf muscles. It’s like stretching up your feet/toes like as though you want to get something from a higher place but your heels mustn’t touch the ground when you repeat this exercise. We get to meet Eri’s friend too as she teases Eri about her relationship with us. And there is Shion in a dilemma showing her chuunibyou and her normal side to Eri and a customer. Can a girl be at 2 places at one time?

Episode 3
Double pleasure because Shizuno is going to help Yuu do mat exercises. Good for balancing and motor skills, we start off with somersault which actually feels like doing a front roll on the ground. Then they do some hands and legs spreading to loosen up further (why does this sentence sound so dirty) before they continue with an extended somersault which has you stretching your limbs at the end of the roll. Shizuno hugs Yuu for her effort, making her fluster. Not lesbian enough after all that hard work…

Episode 4
Pay no heed to Shion’s complicated words. Since we still remember her working at that station, she is going to erase our memories via this ritual exercise. This supine hip lift will help train your spine, butt muscles and hamstrings while this sit-up will improve your abdominal muscles. Nothing about erasing our memories… When her mom comes to pay a visit and thanks us for taking care of her daughter, Shion then ‘dies’.

Episode 5
Asami likes the pool to be made out of pudding. But whatever it is filled with, we must first do our stretching, right? Shizuno is here again to help out because these stretching exercises need a pair. Like this stretching that stretches from your waist to your back with one partner lying on top of the other (did I describe it to sound dirty?). Next stretching involves pulling each other’s hands while in a sitting position. There is also the leg stretching exercise to loosen your butt and hamstring muscles. But I’m sure we’re bored with all that so the ferret excites us all by stealing the girls’ bikini top. Asami chases it down in the pool while swimming like a dog.

Episode 6
Our new character finally makes a proper debut. Sakura Izumi starts off as a princess brat. She makes you massage her shoulders and when you massage too hard, she threatens to call her papa but will forgive you if you become her horse. Sorry, no S&M play here. So she rides you (why does this sound dirty?) and she gets worried when you complain she is heavy. Luckily, she didn’t get insulted and decides to lighten up by doing sit-ups on a balance ball. After that, doing wide squats to show why she is the ruler of her empire. Huh? Actually, otherwise we won’t become her horse. I didn’t know this princess is so cute to bully. Once done, she is too tired to ride you but as a reward, you give her a princess carry. Hence you upgraded from her horse to her retainer.

Episode 7
We follow Asami and Eri do some kind of aerobics jogging. Not that I understand it very well because I was paying more attention to some ‘fanservice’. Anyway there is some sort of posture you need to maintain when you jog. Not that I care. We see them jog across town with Asami almost getting distracted with everything. Finally they reach back their dorm and we are greatly rewarded with a bath scene with all the girls! Yeah, this workout was worth it! Eri fondles Asami’s boobs but to her dismay realizes it has grown bigger than hers. Really? She can tell?

Episode 8
Shion is giving Yuu some massage after her jogging. As usual, don’t pay heed to all that chuunibyou crap she spouts. Just massage her body, will you? However Shion faces competition in the form of Sakura as she considers Yuu her subject. Yeah, in short they are really arguing over her friendship. So Yuu lets them both massage her but the competition gets too intense so Shion and Sakura start doing submission moves on each other while saying how Yuu is important to them. The fighting is just getting crazier so Yuu can’t take it all and also becomes equally crazy. Because it is like something inside her switched on and now she turns into a chuunibyou ruler! Bow before your empress!

Episode 9
We now do rope skipping with Shizuno. Now I understand why this method was chosen. Guess which body part bounces the most when you skip ropes? That’s right! She ups the next exercise with criss-crossing for even more bouncy effect! We don’t care how she is explaining her fun and motivating life with everyone else. Because we are thanking her pet ferret who did us a favour by wrapping Shizuno with the skipping rope and pushing her towards us! So to thank us for saving her from her fall, she feeds us sweets. Hell yeah, everything was so worth it.

Episode 10
Yuu guides us how to do push-ups. Because she is still afraid to put on her new contacts, she thinks of doing more exercise to relax. Hence we have this prawn back extension style. Once done, she puts them on with confidence. She is about to show the other girls but bumps into Shion, causing her contacts to drop off. Worse, Sakura accidentally rolls over it with her 2-wheel electric scooter. While they are panicking over this, Yuu has no qualms going back to glasses. Yeah, she looks cuter this way, right? Megane fetish…

Episode 11
Asami is going to do some dumbbell training. If you don’t have dumbbells, water bottles will also do. Once done, we go help out all the other girls in their chores and it seems all of them wants to make an appointment with us and tell us something. Man, I didn’t know we are that popular. We can’t even get a single girl to talk to us and know these girls want to tell us something?! Banzai 2D girls!

Episode 12
Get your mind out of the gutter! The girls aren’t going to ask us for anything risqué. Instead, all they want is to tell us how grateful they are and their wish to be with us. That’s all. We return to the dorm for a Christmas party. It feels like an irony because after all that training, they really let loose on the food. So to cover it up, everyone does the invisible chair training while eating. The real competition starts when all the girls want us to be the ones sitting next to her. If only we are this famous and in demand in real life. But the ‘end’ also feels like a trolling reminder because it might be just a dream as Asami wakes us up and tells us to wipe that pervy grin out from our face. Or could this be the aftermath of the party?

Round Is A Shape…
And so nothing really much changes… Just like the last time, there is no way that we would really seriously get up and attempt to just emulate in the simplest way the training those girls did, right? So did you right hand do all the exercise then? Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! Sorry. Just kidding. But really. Did you? Therefore this series only exists as an excuse to make us lazy otakus who are too lazy to think about it that this is just some cheap money grabbing move in the guise of cute girls doing some exercise. Because I am very sure that it will take more than just 10 counts of every exercise to even make a little difference. Wow. You really need all that effort to just get in shape? What’s that you say? Something about getting those six-pack abs? Well, remember the lazy rule of can’t reach it, then don’t need it. The six-pack that some of us will only be getting right now is the beer in the fridge. Haha! Lazy joke…

Anyway, as so obviously seen, just like last season this exercise series is some blatant excuse to cover up the fanservice because that is where our eyes and minds will be focusing. And because that is where the cameras will be pointing. And also we are looking through the eyes of the main protagonist so it also shows how pervy we are while those naïve girls think we are so kind in helping them. Yeah, let’s keep it that way. I just want to note that I have seen so many risqué fanservice series that this one is so mild that I would even recommend my toddler nephew to watch it. The fanservice level here is nothing compared to even other mild ecchi animes. Therefore at this point if I want to say this sequel is a fapping material would be a lot inaccurate because nothing here about the girls doing their exercise while the camera focuses on their delicious parts would constitute to anything suggestive and stimulating. You have got to be really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really horny or just extremely desperate and deprived to jerk off to this. I do notice that when I try my best to describe some of the exercises, it makes them sound unintentionally dirty. Well, it’s all in the mind.

By introducing a new character, it hardly makes any difference at all. Just another extra cute girl to look at. And with a princess attitude. That’s all. Even if they add another 100 cute girls to the mix it still wouldn’t make any difference. It is like Sakura’s introduction is the ‘bait’ to make us watch this season. Otherwise why the hell would we want to watch another season of exercise if it only involved the same bunch of girls? Yes, fanservice is a motivation but imagine our curiosity piqued just because of that new girl. We want to know and see how cute she is, right? Dang. We have fallen into that psychological trap.

Even as a new character, I have a feeling that Sakura doesn’t have much screen time compared to the rest too. That is why I said she too hardly made any difference. Because with the extremely short duration of 4 minutes per episode, why the heck do we even need the girls to have some sort of background and back story? You could even say that porn has better back stories for their leading female porn star than this one. Haha! I remember that funniest scene in the final episode of the first season whereby the girls imitate strange animal poses in some sort of weird music video. That didn’t happen here and it seems they turned into some sort of dating simulation. Yeah, we’re so important to the girls that they can’t do any training without us. I wonder if they are willing to go further than these exercises in that case. Get what I mean? Naughty, naughty…

Overall, if you really want to do some real workout, you can’t just rely on this sequel and then brag about it as an achievement that you have exercised. It is a real commitment and perseverance that takes more than jut 2D girls guiding you on what to do on screen. Hmm… I wonder if they do make another season, would they call it Anitore! XXX? See where I am going with this?! Holy crap! Looks like this series has only corrupted my mind instead of turning it healthier. Come to think of it, the porn version might have even more outrageous and rigorous exercise that would really get us to move. That right hand. Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! No, seriously. So until the next exercise video comes up, we otakus are going back to our usual lazy attitude like as though we have learnt nothing. I know it is true that nothing is impossible. But I’ve been doing nothing for many years and I’m still fine! Suddenly the health and fitness theories have all been lazily debunked…

With my ever growing obsession for Japanese maids, it was about time that I finally gave in to my long time thought that I should go watch a series about the true and historical origins of a maid. Yes, those domestic helpers of wealthy households in the western world. The original maid before Japan somewhat ‘corrupted’ the term. Uh huh. Emma: A Victorian Romance isn’t exactly a historical series about maids in England but as the title suggests, a forbidden romance between the different classes during the Victorian era. So no sci-fi elements or exaggerated fantasy adventures of alternate retelling of history. No maid cafes, no nekomimi maids, no mercenary maids or assassin maids. Just your plain period English romance involving a plain English maid.

Episode 1: The Present
William Jones seems to be hesitating to knock on the house of his ex-teacher, Kelly Stowner. Accidentally the maid, Emma opens the door, bumping into his face. Now that William’s family is part of the gentry, he decided to take his teacher’s heed to visit her although he did it on an unscheduled notice. William can’t seem to take his eyes off Emma. Kelly receives a message that she needs to meet someone so the stay is cut short. After he leaves, Emma notices he has forgotten his gloves. Kelly knows he will come back to get it but seeing Emma staring at it, he tells her to go return it to him. Unfortunately he was already long gone by then. Back in his mansion, he can’t help think about Emma and is unenthusiastic when his personal old maid, Theresa tends to him. Emma apparently has lots of admirers like the mailman. He even gives her a letter and is willing to wait for an answer. Thanks to Kelly’s teachings, Emma is able to read and write but unfortunately it is mostly to use to write rejection letters. Next day, William is shopping at his favourite antiquity shop when he spots Emma walking outside. He happily goes to talk to her and walks her home. However he doesn’t want to take back the gloves as it would give him another reason to visit Kelly again. William has noticed that Emma has bad eyesight and her current prescription isn’t helping. He offers to make new glasses for her. That night as Emma contemplates about his offer, she remembers as a child she had a hard time with her visions. There were numerous times she broke the pots and missed spots while cleaning. Eventually Kelly noticed this and got her glasses. It was the first time she saw how beautiful the world was. She never knew the world looked like this. In view of this gift, Emma declines William’s offer. He asks if she would like anything else in exchange. She would like a lace handkerchief as it was a dream of having it. Immediately he goes to a shop and gets her one. It makes her very happy and in turn he too is a happy young man.

Episode 2: Two Worlds
William waits at his favourite antique shop and pretends to window shop just so Emma could pass by and he coincidentally could help her. She wants to return his gloves but he will leave it for another time. Emma thinks it is an excuse to visit Kelly. Theresa admonishes William for giving excuses to skip work and she has to cover for him. At this time, Williams’ siblings, Grace, Vivian, Arthur and Collin just returned from a health resort. William is called by his father, Richard about him rejecting invitations. As they have already ascended into the upper class, they need to ‘improve’ themselves. He wants William to attend tonight’s ball and mix with others. Of course he becomes a wallflower. An old acquaintance of Richard, Lady Campbell introduces her daughter, Eleanor to him. He dances with her. Next day when William is accompanying his sisters to buy parasols, Eleanor comes in. Grace and Eleanor know each other. Vivian thinks the duo are getting along pretty fine and leaves them alone. When William buys a parasol, Vivian thinks it is for Eleanor. It gets awkward when he says it isn’t. Emma sees William leaving the shop with the ladies. She quickly turns around and walks away as fast as she can. Next day, William visits Kelly and this time to retrieve his gloves. Kelly then sends Emma to buy sugar in which William wants to accompany her. All part of Kelly’s plan? William gives the parasol to Emma but she declines it as she cannot accept more luxurious stuffs. He apologizes for his rudeness as he thought he would like to see that smile again. He’ll stop giving her presents but would like to see her again from time to time. So who will he give the parasol to? Theresa. As thanks for all the troubles he caused. When Eleanor sees that parasol being held by happy Theresa in the streets, she couldn’t help giggle a little.

Episode 3: The Confession
One morning William wakes up to find his friend from India, Hakim Atawari is right at his doorstep. He brought along his entourage too. Yeah, how the heck did he bring his elephants into England?! Anyway as an old friend from the Indian royalty, he is here to stay for a week and this visit is supposed to be a secret. But when the newspaper reports about, it is hardly a secret anymore. Thus Hakim wants William to take him around town. Those English blokes are going to be surprised to see this jumbo ruling the cobbled stone streets. Luckily they are passing Kelly’s street so it is an excuse for William to pay another unexpected visit and ‘recover’ from the elephant ride. Almost got motion sickness. I guess this is why somewhere down the line England passed a law banning elephants on the streets. Anyway as Emma treats William, Hakim can’t seem to get his eyes off Emma. It is so obvious he is smitten by her. Next day, he and his servants go out early just to help Emma with her errands and send her home. Jealous white boy can do nothing but spy on them. Nothing suspicious so far. Next day, William is baffled a client wants to show him some work he ordered. Did he? When he sees Emma’s name engraved at the bottom and realizes the one who ordered it was Hakim, he rushes to Emma’s place. Too bad Hakim already beat him because he is all dressed up like an Englishman. Stalk outside is the only thing William can do. As Kelly is not in at that moment, first Hakim tells her he is here just to see her. Then he asks if she is William’s lover. Since she isn’t, he is glad so because as one of William’s few friends, he would like to start this off on a fair note. Then he confesses he likes her and wants to protect and see her again. Uhm, so does she need to give an answer? Naturally William has got a lot on his mind. His worries up a notch when he hears about Indian royalties don’t normally visit England unless they’re looking for a bride. I hope this wasn’t what mail order bride used to be.

Episode 4: Myudie’s
Hakim driving a motorcar inside the mansion? It has been over a week and Hakim is still around? Well, something caught his interest lately… We know what it is. Hakim takes William out for a spin with the motorcar. Then it runs out of petrol. Myudie’s, a library that catches Hakim’s eye as he goes to browse the porn section with William. How do you like your 19th century porn? They are caught red handed by Emma who is also there to borrow a book for Kelly. William tries to explain this awkward situation but Emma runs off. On the way home, William feels Hakim is keeping a secret from him. Yeah, Grace’s tennis invitation. It seems everything is going ‘against’ Arthur. He ignores Collin’s questions of what a prefect means since Arthur just became one. Poor boy cried even when he got his answer. Did he understand all that? Arthur also was too harsh with Vivian playing tennis so Hakim had to take over and make the little girl happy. There is a good mood between William and Eleanor as he teaches her to play tennis so Arthur comments if things get good between them, they will be closer to peerage. That night, Hakim tells William that he confessed to Emma but was rejected. You can tell William feels relieved. However Hakim wonders why William doesn’t tell his true feelings to Emma. Excuses like he doesn’t know her isn’t going to cut it. Because Hakim warns if he continues to dawdle, Hakim might steal her again. Next day William meets Emma and tells her about his friendship with Hakim. Because of the school they went together, it taught them how to express themselves freely and thus why Hakim was so straight upfront with his confession. However William can’t be like Hakim and sometimes he feels envious. When Emma mentions he is fine the way he is now, it boosts his mood.

Episode 5: Dinner Party
All Emma knows about Kelly was that she married her husband, Doug at 18 in an arranged marriage. But she lost him at 20. She worked as a governess for 30 years before retiring and living here alone since. Kelly realizes she forgot she invited the Knoxes to dinner tonight. So as Emma scrambles to prepare the food, Kelly props up the place. Everything is well done until Kelly realizes the rain has seeped into the roof and ruining the wallpaper. With time running out, she has Emma call handyman, Al who is also an old friend of hers. He manages to fix it in time before the guests arrive. As Kelly has Emma treat him to a drink in the kitchen, Al tells her some of the old stories like he and Doug were best friends and Kelly was the governess for the Jones. Fortunately for Al he gets to stay for dinner since the Knoxes got their delivery boy to say they can’t attend tonight’s dinner. So Emma hears more of Al’s ‘sarcasm’ about Doug and Kelly’s blissful marriage. When Al passes out drunk, Kelly remembers Emma moved in here the same time she bought this house. That was 5 years ago. She asks if Emma is going to turn down William the same she did for Hakim. She says he is a strange but good man because he doesn’t mind her status as a maid. When asked if she loves William, Emma doesn’t answer. When Kelly retires to bed, she accidentally slipped and fell from the stairs. Luckily she only sprained her ankle. During the slip, her precious necklace broke into pieces. Emma has collected them but Kelly tells her to leave it as it is. However the next day Emma is able to put everything back together again. How? She noticed the necklace Kelly was wearing in a photo with her husband. She knows it was Doug’s gift to her. Kelly decides to give it to her since it doesn’t suit her anymore. Kelly dreams of her wonderful time with Doug as a newlywed. And making Al as their errand boy.

Episode 6: The Visit
Richard is not happy that his son is idling around too much with Hakim. Even more so he is often out. We all know by this time he is always hanging out with Emma. At the ball, William didn’t turn up but ironically it is Hakim who did and he is showing all the gentlemanliness of the English aristocracy that Richard would love his son to have. While talking with Eleanor’s mother, he learns that Kelly has been injured. Thus he summons his son and chastises him for not saying anything about it despite he knew it for some time. Hence they are going to pay a courtesy call to her soon. William feels awkward in between as Richard talks to Kelly. Her injury has made him realize that although he is healthy right now, you’ll never know in the future. That is why he wants his son to quickly succeed his family business. Hence he has made arrangements for a young lady who is interested in William to be acknowledged into the family as soon as possible. William is shocked to hear this and protests. But he couldn’t answer when Richard asks him if he has someone else in mind. At this point Emma who has heard too much is spacing out and is making a few simple mistakes. Richard would of course take into consideration the feelings of his son but he prefers him to marry a person of the same person. William assures he isn’t marrying a foreigner but what father meant was England despite being a nation has 2 countries within itself: The upper class and lower class. Although sharing the same language, they are still considered as different countries. The Jones take their leave and this leaves the young ones deep in their thoughts.

Episode 7: Crystal Palace
William and Hakim attend a party hosted by Eleanor’s family. It looks obvious on his face that he doesn’t want to be here but at least he still has the courtesy to talk to her and show his face. When Emma gets a letter from William to meet, she looks happy. She requests for a day off but Kelly gives her the entire day. Oh, she lends her red dress too. Emma meets William at Crystal Palace, a giant structure made out of crystal exhibiting worldly items. As William shows her around, I have a feeling he is trying to show off his knowledge about the exhibits. So much so he was too fast for her pace and they got lost in the sea of crowd. Luckily they manage to find each other and continue talking. Then they sit down and talk. And talk and talk and talk… So much so they didn’t hear the staffs yelling it is closing time nor do they notice everyone else streaming out and that it has gotten quieter and darker. Wow. So absorbed in their conversation, eh? And when they realized it, too late. Locked in. Those staffs didn’t do their job to check… William wanted to throw and smash the glass but Emma stops him. We’re civilized, right? I guess the good thing is that they can talk all night for all they want. I don’t know how talking this much can lead to a kiss. Oh wait. It’s the 19th century. By next morning, a staff opens the door and is shocked to see them. Somebody didn’t do his job… They head home like as though it was nothing. William goes home to sleep (he was watching Emma while she slept) so Richard is fuming he is sleeping at this hour because Eleanor and her mom are here because they made an appointment to go riding. Maybe next time. Richard then says William has no escort for the next dinner party. Eleanor would love to be his escort. Everything’s set then. Kelly knows Emma just returned this morning but pretends she was sound asleep and didn’t know she came back last night.

Episode 8: Clock
Kelly now falls ill and her feet hasn’t recovered yet. It is evident as she has lost much of her appetite. Kelly notices her pocket watch needs more winding than it works so she sends Emma to repair it. Emma reads another letter from William. This time it states he is going to try to convince his father and hopes she will wait. When Vivian notices William has been sending lots of letters out lately, she thinks it is to Eleanor. He denies and says it is business correspondence. Not sure if Hakim is trying to stir the hornet’s nest because he says it is to Emma. The siblings wonder if this Emma is some duchess or baroness but William tells the truth. She is a maid. This does not sit well with Arthur and Vivian who clearly oppose this. The argument is cut short when Richard returns home and William is going to speak to him about this. As expected, he says no. Despite Emma is a good woman, it is not the question of character. He explains about the responsibilities of a ‘cultured’ woman. Although a horse can be trained to become a fine race horse, a cat cannot become a horse. If he further pursues this, he will be thrown out of the family. He chastises William if he is going to abandon his ancestors’ hard work for his own selfishness. Emma talks to Kelly about William’s letter. She has thought about it but realized that in reality the gap between their classes is too big. Kelly remains positive it will work out for her. Later Kelly talks to Al and she has a request. She wants him to support and encourage Emma in her love. When Al is seen rushing to get a doctor, Emma fears the worse. She returns the repaired pocket watch but Kelly is just lying there unresponsive. No matter how much Emma prompts her, there is no response. Reality hits Emma hard. It is the saddest day in her life.

Episode 9: Alone
Emma attends a small funeral for Kelly. Al helps shift some of the unwanted things in Kelly’s house to his friends. Emma also packs some of the stuffs but continues to live in the house all alone and sad. Al advises Emma to at least tell William about this. Meanwhile William has decided to do his duties and attend the dinner party to win his father’s approval. He escorts Eleanor and she can tell that something has been bugging William for a while. During dinner, she talks about not disgracing the family’s tradition in which William generally expresses how much he hates it because keeping up tradition for the sake of tradition is like being stubborn. It doesn’t help when Richard comments like as though he has set up William and Eleanor permanently. Eleanor isn’t feeling well (perhaps eating and drinking too much and in that tight corset) so she takes her leave without giving William a chance to say his true feelings. Maybe she doesn’t want to hear it too. On the way home, William talks to his father about what he said. He doesn’t like it and assures he is thinking about their family’s wellbeing as well. He is still adamant about his unchanging feelings despite how much he objects but Richard will not hear any more about it. Emma couldn’t sleep that night. She cries just at the thought of her late master.

Episode 10: Missing One Another
Emma is at the gates of the Jones’ estate. Hakim’s eagle eye vision spots her as he tells the butler to let her in as she is William’s acquaintance. She is having thoughts of staying but is made to stay till William gets back. He on the other hand is at the antique store trying to wait for Emma. But when the staffs tell him Kelly has passed away, William looked shock. He runs out and heads to Kelly’s place. The doors are locked. From the backdoor, he peeks into the window and finds most of the furniture gone. His heart sank. While William’s siblings are spying through the door at Emma, Hakim comes to talk to her. She is here to say goodbye to William and plans on moving back to her hometown by the sea. Care to elaborate on that? After letting him know that Kelly has passed away, Hakim asks if she will come back here. Never again. He finds it strange that they both love each other so why go to a faraway place. Vivian thinks Emma is here to seduce her brother so she barges in to give Emma a piece of mind and to get out. Grace takes her away while Arthur tells her to be careful of her reckless act because if others find out about William’s love for a maid, they’ll be the laughing stock of the gentry. Emma thinks of leaving but Hakim won’t let her. He gave up his love for her just because of William and won’t let her decide this herself. She remains stubborn and leaves. That is when William just came back. The first thing he does is to hug her and apologize for not knowing. Everybody in the mansion sees this scandalous scene. Time for father to step him. He slaps his son for this shameful act. William defies him. Richard tells Emma to leave now and Emma gladly takes up his offer. William gives chase but it seems Emma runs faster than him! In a skirt! Emma returns to Al’s place.

Episode 11: Past
Emma tells him that she will be returning to her village so Al tells what Kelly had requested of him. But it isn’t like he could afford her or refer him to any of his acquaintances on such notice. Rumours of William’s romance with a maid spread throughout the Jones’ household. Some are even joking about this scandal. It isn’t long before this reaches the Campbell’s household. Naturally Eleanor becomes depressed. During a party hosted by Richard, he had to go apologize to Eleanor’s mom for this farce and vows to get strict on him. Of course William continues to defy his father. If he cannot marry Emma, he will marry nobody else. Richard reminds him about responsibility and respectability and how mixing both classes would be disastrous. William will not listen and walks out of the house despite being grounded. He heads to Kelly’s place but he should know nobody is living there. As Al is passing by, he brings Jones back to his place. Welcome to the slums. First time seeing dirty and poor people in masses? As Emma isn’t in, Al tells William what he knows about her as told by Kelly. Born in a small poor town near the sea, her parents died young and she went to live with her uncle. She was subjected to abuse and hard labour by her aunt who disliked her for the ‘extra mouth she had to feed’. One day as she is supposed to sell clams, she got kidnapped by a human trafficker. Inside the carriage are also kidnapped young girls her age. As much as she screams and struggles, the carriage is on her way to London. While the trafficker tries to bargain for the right price, Emma took this chance to escape and loses him. She knocks from door to door in hopes to find work for a piece of bread but the maids will not accept her as they fear their master’s wrath. Eventually a maid took pity on her and let her in. Aside working in the house, she sold flowers on the streets. I guess William has heard enough so he leaves.

Episode 12: Lily Of The Valley
As Emma is really leaving today, Al tells her what he told William and thought they passed by each other on the way back. That didn’t happen. He thought William might have gotten cold feet after hearing her story and should have at least come to see her off. Emma visits Kelly’s grave one last time. Further flashback reveals after Kelly just retired, she was visiting a friend who hired Emma for some garden work. Kelly liked how Emma had that intelligent look and wanted to hire her as a maid. Her friend was sceptical she could do maid chores but Kelly is confident with the power of education. Emma agrees to let Kelly take her in and learn all that Kelly has to teach her. The rest is history. William talks to Hakim hinting he might not deserved Emma. He wasn’t at her side when she needed the most. There is also the risk of scepticism and the likes if William brings her into the Jones’ family. Up till now he has only thought of his own feelings and never about what he should do to make Emma happy. Thus he became scared at the thought to meet her as he wondered if he is important to her. Hakim goes on to call him a pathetic miserable coward (because William told him to). He doesn’t have the courage to lose her and yet he played the tragic hero role. They love each other and yet they are confused about it. When Hakim tells him Emma is leaving today, William makes a rush to her place. However Eleanor is here for a riding appointment. She knows something is wrong but understands and lets him go. He wants to confess something but all she says is that she will wait for him no matter how long it takes. With that, William makes haste. Of course she has already left and their carriages miss each other. William finds a note on the door addressed to him. She writes about her regrets and peace of mind. William now rushes to the train station and Emma is already boarding. He makes it in time to finally face her. But all she can say is thank you. Then off she goes. William who has been running the whole day after her thinks he can run after a train? After the steam locomotive is long gone, William sits around dejected before leaving. Emma only sheds a tear.

Molders-hen

The second season of the series. More maid romance drama after that abrupt and unsatisfying ending, but of course.

Episode 1: New House
It has been a month since Emma left London for Haworth. Currently she is employed on probation as a maid in the Molders’ estate under Madam Dorothea (they were riding on the same train and somewhat hit it off). Meanwhile William is attending another party. Hakim is amusing the English blokes with his elephant tricks. Yeah, probably why William didn’t want to be here. An awkward meeting with Eleanor. It is obvious he doesn’t have feelings for her but that’s not how she sees it. While Emma is outside, she sees the lady’s maid, Nanette talking and flirting with some military guy, Randy. Emma is caught by her for eavesdropping and warned to keep this to herself. Nanette explains she knows she is being used by him but she has to do it for the sake of love. Emma understands how she feels. When Dorothea is going to hold a dinner party tonight, she needs to have that blue fan. Although she dislikes it, it is a gift from the family she is inviting. Word spreads that the fan is missing and all the maids and butlers are called. Emma is suspected as she was the one cleaning Dorothea’s room. Some believe Emma is innocent but others remain suspicious of the new maid. Emma has her room searched and even stripped. Hans the butler is out getting parts for a broken clock. He sees Randy giving the fan to his girlfriend. He enters the pub to punch him! The girlfriend gives the fan back after he asks. Hans discovers Nanette has a part in this and punches Randy for her. Military man lost to a butler? With the case solved, the dinner party proceeds well. Next day, Nanette is fired by the head housekeeper, Mrs Wieck. Sad, she tries to poison herself but Emma stops her. Nanette doesn’t understand why she did this despite she tried to pin the blame on her. She know how she feels. This matter is brought up to Dorothea who finally finds out what happened. Emma goes out of her way to plead for forgiveness for Nanette. Dorothea laughs and agrees but Nanette will be assigned to another job. Nanette breaks down in tears. As she likes Emma’s honesty, she hires her permanently. William continues to be heartbroken and Hakim just loves teasing him about it. Eleanor makes her move as she writes a letter.

Episode 2: Moonlight
The Molders are holding a birthday party for their daughter, Ilse. When Theo, the pet squirrel of their son, Erich runs up a tree, Emma offers to climb and go get it. Although it ran back down, Emma is now stuck. Sort of. Hans offers to help but Emma insists she is alright. If that’s the case, he leaves her hanging. Literally. She falls but luckily falls on her butt and didn’t break any bones. As thanks, Erich pecks a light one on her cheek. Grace receives Eleanor’s letter that she hopes to visit Crystal Palace with them. William didn’t want to join in at first but seeing how his younger siblings are bugging him and Collin’s puppy dog eyes, I guess he is going. There, Grace is kind enough to take care of the siblings to let William show Eleanor the place. However because he is so distant, she gets frustrated and leaves. It took William a while to notice she is gone! He starts looking for her and even has Arthur help look. When William finally finds her, she can tell William is still thinking about that person. They are so close yet so distant. At that time when William left Eleanor stranded to go after Emma, she felt sad that her love had disappeared. She wondered if he would feel the same if she disappeared too. So William goes back home and complains to Hakim that he will have nothing to do with Eleanor ever again. Dorothea throws a party for her servants. But it seems Emma is prone to feeling sad and crying. The alcohol did this to her? I believe she can’t help think about William. And the same goes for William too. Dorothea thinks of taking Emma as her attendant to Mrs Trollope’s house.

Episode 3: Cool Rain
Trollope has an unusual house. It’s like a mini greenhouse. William is called upon by Richard about missing a dinner party of one of their important clients. He also saw William’s carelessness in handling their account. He chastises him about the importance of succeeding him as an heir instead of wallowing in his trivial personal problems. William storms out. Even Arthur knows what he is thinking. He has no interested in becoming the heir to bail him out. Arthur even tells off big brother about this love depression of his. If the person he loved saw him like this, she would be disappointed. And if this is how someone acts after being dumped, he wouldn’t want to fall in love himself. Grace is sick but needs to attend a charity play otherwise the hostess will spread rumours and won’t let it go for 100 years! William agrees to go in her place. He didn’t realize he is sitting next to Eleanor. Apparently Grace and Eleanor were supposed to go out together. Blessing? Not for William. Even more surprising is Hakim and Vivian in this Romeo and Juliet play. Everybody is crying except William. He’s not impressed… Eleanor leaves as he doesn’t want to see her crying. He goes after her. I think he took it the wrong way when she says she wants to stay here a little while. Because he goes off and Eleanor had to chase him in the rain. William ignores her until she catches up. She maintains she will still wait for him. Although William says being with her makes him happy, he realizes it is only easing his loneliness. It’s not love. She hugs him. When the rain stops, he notices she has dropped one of her shoes. He helps put it back. When Dorothea expresses she wants to go back to London again, Trollope remembers London didn’t quite suit her but the only thing she liked was Crystal Palace. Hmm… Is Trollope William’s mother? Emma’s most prolific memory was of course her kiss with William. William accompanies Eleanor home. He asks if her foot hurts. It’s not her foot that hurts. Get it? I think he gets the hint and holds her hand. Change of heart?

Episode 4: Courtship
William is dating Eleanor and taking her seriously. Meanwhile the maids of Molders are talking about Dorothea’s trip to London. Polly in particular is very excited to be chosen. However to her dismay, Emma is called. It seems Wieck has assigned Emma and Hans to go to London. Emma wishes to opt out but Wieck tells her this is an order and not a request. Hans thinks she hates him that much but she assures he has nothing to do with it. William couldn’t come to the beach with his sisters and Eleanor since he is being responsible with his work. Suddenly a lavish carriage arrives. She is Monica and Eleanor’s elder sister who is married to the Mildrake family. When Eleanor tells of the man she loves, Monica seems surprised. The jealous kind of surprise. Emma thinks of getting out of this London job by smashing a vase but is hesitant. However Polly helps her with it! Emma takes the blame she smashed the vase and so Wieck has to reconsider her. Polly takes this opportunity to barge in and promise she’ll work hard for this trip, blah, blah, blah. It seems Polly has an ulterior motive. There is an ad looking for a maid that pays well and she plans to quit here and join them. However Hans sees the address and knows this place is a scam to lure innocent girls in and make them do dirty work with low pay. In worse case, she’ll be sold off in the streets. Polly now is scared as she finds Emma to look for Wieck. She admits breaking the vase and doesn’t want to go to London anymore! Wieck never intended her anyway. But shockingly Emma says to reconsider her going to London. What’s with these fickle minded people?! Meanwhile Monica dashes her way in the rain to the Jones’ estate. She barges in looking for William. She found Hakim’s room first. With William entering, Monica chides William for not being worthy of her sister because of those easing loneliness words. Eleanor managed to catch up and with the Jones sibling watching, the drama just increases. William then admits he said all those but now holds Eleanor dear. He then proposes her to marry him. Richard is very happy at this and welcomes Eleanor into the family and will call her parents to pay his respects.

Episode 5: Embrace
Dorothea goes on a shopping spree and guess who she meets? Trollope doing the same too. Because Trollope will be attending some party, her maid Martha is worried she doesn’t have an attendant. Dorothea suggests Emma to be her attendant. Meanwhile William and Eleanor are getting ready for the engagement party. It’s like Eleanor still has doubts over William’s love because when he comments any dress looks good on her when asked, she gives that sad look thinking he is not interested! Oh God. If this is what his married life will be… Grace has written a letter to mom about the engagement party and she has replied she will turn up. Emma pays a visit to Kelly’s grave. Al knows something is up when he sees flowers on her tombstone. Emma is made to try all the dresses in which the ladies find every piece she wears on very lovely. The corset must be hurting… Even lovelier when Emma takes off her glasses. At the engagement party, Richard meets with Eleanor’s father, a viscount. The latter asks about his wife so the former answers due to circumstances they are living separately and is confident she will arrive. The viscount doesn’t seem too pleased he too has ‘circumstances’. Although they shake hands, later the viscount throws away his glove! If you’re wondering why Hakim isn’t around, he’s already gone back to India! Finally? Trollope arrives at the party with Emma. Mother and son are happy to see each other. At first Emma and William couldn’t recognize each other because Emma is blind as a bat without her glasses and she looks gorgeously different. But upon closer look, they realize who the other is! It gets awkward when Grace brings Eleanor to introduce to mom about William’s fiancée. For added drama, Emma couldn’t take it all and faints! She is put to bed and a carriage will pick her up next morning. So after the party and when everyone has left, William quickly goes to where Emma is sleeping. They finally have their moment together. They hug and cry like they’ve never seen each other for ages. Well, it certainly feels like so because Emma says she missed him a lot. And then the inevitable that would certainly add to the gossip scandal of every elite b*tches: They kissed.

Episode 6: Success And Loss
By the time William wakes up in the morning, Emma is long gone. She walked all the way back to Trollope’s hotel. Trollope can tell from her body reaction about Emma’s romance with William. Mother knows best, right? When William asks Grace where mom is staying, Richard is not pleased because today they’re supposed to make wedding arrangements with the Campbells. Then William drops the bomb: The engagement is cancelled! WTF?! When he arrives at the hotel, Trollope is expecting him but Emma has already gone back to Haworth with Dorothea. Mother and son take a walk together as mom reminisces about the past. Richard didn’t attend public school and rumours were rife he was desperate in getting into the gentry. No ladies would want to dance with him except for Aurelia Hartwick (Trollope). They hit it off and soon got married. By then, many ladies were gossiping about this because no lady would marry an upstart like that. The Jones had to attend many invitations as they were benefactors to their estate. But each time Aurelia was tired or suddenly started crying and this made others think she is being rude. After getting a diagnosis from a doctor, it seems the air in London is bad for her and Richard feels it is best she goes to live in the outskirts until she gets better. They don’t know how long it’ll take. Trollope believes Richard had a reason against William’s decision because they will be up against all of society. Later Richard and Trollope meet as they talk about their son. Richard thinks they are unwilling to see reality but Trollope believes they will whether they want to or not. Polly notices Emma has become more distant since her trip to London. It’s like she is immersing herself in work more than before. Maybe Polly is just being lazy? As the Molders have roots in Germany, they celebrate their own version of Christmas. A giant pudding is baked for the servants. Emma is ‘lucky’ because inside a pudding there is a ring that symbolizes a lover while Hans has a church bell that symbolizes wedding. While this is just a game and not to be taken seriously, Emma can’t help think that God is testing her.

Episode 7: Evening Waves
William talks to his dad that he will see the Campbells to annul the marriage. Even if he is threatened with disownment, William will still go ahead with it. So when William drops the bombshell to the Campbells, you can see the literal shock on Eleanor’s face. Though William will atone for this (how?) and this is entirely his own fault, the viscount reminds him about the laughing stock they’ll become and that this engagement is like a contract. It is still valid as long as both sides to not agree to cancel. He can tell William might have some affair with a maid or a useless girl to come to this decision but William disagrees that nobody in this world is useless. Of course, Eleanor is now in utter depression. Rumours soon spread about the marriage cancelled because of a love affair with a maid. Vivian is very much against this annulment and Arthur is condemning William for using this as an excuse to justify his feelings. Dorothea’s husband doesn’t want to accompany her to some charity party. Dorothea decides to make Emma her company again but since she is so against it, Dorothea just makes Emma her attendant. Also at this party is Eleanor as her mother hopes to have her take her mind off things. But Eleanor doesn’t feel like it so mom has to advise her about standing proud and confident to blow those rumours away. And then the inevitable. Eleanor and Emma’s eyes met. It’s that dreaded feeling again. Luckily Emma quickly goes away before anything untoward happens. So when she gets back, all the servants are talking about the rumours. With Emma suddenly bolting out like that, they deduce that she might be that maid in the rumour. Reluctant Hans is tasked to bring her back. He sits with her and fixes her broken timepiece while telling stories of how he admires watching his father fix watches. To his shock, Emma starts crying before running away. I don’t think his story was that boring or sad. Emma can’t help regret and ponder why she kissed William. She wasn’t being rash. She just couldn’t control her impulses. Simple. You’re in love with him, isn’t it?

Episode 8: Whereabouts
Emma tries to drown herself at sea back in her hometown?! Luckily Hans is there to save her. Though, it wasn’t Emma’s intention to kill herself but she did think about it. They stay in a nearby cabin as Hans explains why he got this job (because it provided boarding) and feels Emma is different than the other maids because of her determination. William is drowning himself in work and seemingly trying to rush to secure contracts and investments. Eleanor continues to be gloomy so her father tells her off for being pathetic for allowing an upstart to go back on his promises. Monica won’t take this and defends Eleanor. Why, she is going to bring Eleanor to William to settle it. Don’t worry. Hakim will send her on his elephant. So he’s back? This explains about the Indian bug Monica is bitten with as she is fascinated wearing Indian clothes. William is surprised to see Eleanor riding with Hakim. As they talk, Eleanor hopes to change for the better and become strong. William apologizes for being selfish and regrets what he did. He shouldn’t have done this to her knowing very well he can’t forget about Emma. This only hurts Eleanor further as this means he never had the same feelings she had for him. What’s a lady got to do but to run away in tears. As Emma and Hans have not returned, Polly thinks they have eloped. Well, some might start to feel they have taken Emma for granted because she is quick and meticulous. Speaking of the devil, they return. Immediately they are summoned to Dorothea’s room for explanation. Dorothea cannot let this slip since Emma left without any notice. She asks Wieck for her opinion. She doesn’t want Emma to be given preferential treatment. So in other words, sack her. However Hans stands up for Emma. As he forced her to return, this means Emma was fully prepared to face the consequences. He hopes Emma could be forgiven. With Emma agreeing, the issue is solved. The maids are relieved. I mean, without Emma they’ll be so much busier. She’s such an important person in the house and worth 3 of you maids put together! Finally Hans tells Emma that she might have said she has no place to return. Well, this is her place now.

Episode 9: Resolution
Trollope pays a visit to Dorothea. She feels guilty even though it wasn’t her fault that her son’s engagement might be annulled. But seeing Emma in high spirits, she is relieved that she has put her past aside and is a strong woman. Eleanor is still reeling and perhaps getting worse in her sobbing. But suddenly she stops all that because if she doesn’t overcome this, she’ll always be at an impasse. So she starts eating lots of sweet stuffs, goes out riding and do sketching of her personal maid, Annie. Her mother is worried this might be taking a toll on her and thinks calling off the engagement would be better. The viscount agrees but they will be the ones who will offer the cancellation. At first he thought the Jones’ fortune would help their financial situation but now they are back in the black, he doesn’t need them anymore. William has been receiving letters from clients who do not wish for him to attend. Many of such clients are close to the Campbells. Even if William attends some of the party that he is not shunned, he hears others badmouthing his family. It is safe to say that they are now social outcasts. Richard receives an official letter from the Campbells to annul the engagement. He tells this to his children. Vivian is most upset this means she cannot make her debut in society and she has worked hard for it. An option is for William to be disowned and the Jones seeks forgiveness from the Campbells. However William has no intention to leave his post and he will still marry Emma. This makes Vivian hate her big brother. Hakim overheard this and even talking with William won’t resolve anything since they’re at a point where they can’t appease everyone. William makes a surprise visit to Trollope to get information on where Emma is now. She tells him the information because it is not for her to decide on William and Emma’s life. She has envisioned her children of how they would grow up to be like every day. William has turned out far better than she had envisioned. Emma opens the door and to her shock it is William. Right away he asks her to marry him and promises to protect her for the rest of her life.

Episode 10: By The Window
Emma tells him to leave and with Dorothea coming into the picture, he takes his leave but promises to be back. At this point, all the servants are pretty sure Emma is that rumoured maid. William continues to drown himself in work but because of his reputation, many clients stay away and thus contracts are hard to come by. Every day William waits outside the house but Emma ignores him. He even wrote letters. A drawer choke full of them and she never reads them. If reading them causes her more pain, then why keep instead of throwing it away? Don’t tell me it’s rude. Hans had to go tell William off that Emma already told him she never wants to see him again. William knows Emma rejected him but he can’t give up because of that. Hans might think he is just being selfish in this case but if he doesn’t let out all his feelings, Emma will never have any closure. Hans apologizes to Emma for overreacting. Then he invites her out this Sunday since Dorothea gave them the day off. During the outing, he asks her to marry him. The reason being since she accepted his invitation, he has his expectations. If she hasn’t forgotten about him, why didn’t she turn Hans down? He wonders if she is running away of guilt. It is a good thing he asked her out because she might never break up with him. William talks to Hakim for advice for he has lost confidence for the people around him who are against this. He never thought Emma’s feelings would change. The next time William visits her, he gets close enough to speak his mind and make her listen (all the servants are all ears listening to the drama too since Dorothea also wants to see this interesting conclusion). He understands her hesitation because the last time he said he would protect her, they were just meaningless words. They will face difficulties in high society but he is confident they can overcome it together. He won’t abandon her halfway. Since this is still bothering her, he throws her a final ultimatum. Next week he will be waiting at the fountain at Crystal Palace. If she fails to show up, he will give up on her.

Episode 11: Time
William learns the bad news that the government has withdrawn the pledge for the railway project in South America they are heading. Furthermore, a baron has been standing in their way and the government. This means their stocks are now worthless piece of papers and their losses go into millions. Their options are limited but William decides not to give up and try to go talk to a government official. He gets a little hope since the government guy will see what he can do. William doesn’t stop there as he seeks to gather investment pledges from his friends. So far he has a few of them but many rejected him. Despite Hakim also lending him a lot, the Jones are still short by a million pounds. The baron sees the viscount and looks like they are doing some pretty shady stuffs. Although the viscount doesn’t really like it and warns the baron to know where he stands. William receives more bad news from Richard that they may need to sell assets from the family to compensate their clients’ losses. This means closing down the company. William thinks if they give up now, all they did until now are for nought. Richard says they have only a day to make a difference or the government will really revoke their pledge. It seems the viscount has heard about their activity of gathering investors and he is putting pressure on them. Furthermore, the viscount is forming a new railroad company. William’s siblings are worried about their future. Although he assures them they will take care of each other, inside he is stressed up. Arthur tries to help up by giving some names he got from his friends to help alleviate the situation. He had to swallow some of his pride to get it so hope this helps. Dorothea’s husband reads about the government’s decision to auction off a railroad company. However she is more interested in Emma’s decision which is today. Seems Emma decides to head out. The servants are abuzz since they think she will accept William’s proposal. Emma visits Kelly’s grave and then visit her old place. It is under renovation since a new tenant will be moving in soon. She remembers talking to Kelly about her worries about William because even though she loves him, she is worried she cannot make him happy. Kelly told her that is already her answer. When Emma leaves, she hears a commotion about a fire. Dorothea’s place is burning down.

Episode 12: Flower
Money before love? William needs to go around to secure the funds first or else many who around him will be bankrupt. Note, this doesn’t mean he is prioritizing business over love. However with so many rejections, the last name on the last, the earl finally agrees but the amount he pledged is just peanuts. Then it’s like a miracle because an old client decides to hand a cheque to him for the balance after seeing how he worked so hard and persevered and changed his mind. William has a feeling Hakim had a hand in this because that client has trading ties with India and he knew exactly the amount needed. Time to head for Crystal Palace. Meanwhile Emma rushes back but the fire is already too wild to be stopped. She wanted to go get something important from her room but Hans stopped her. Firemen eventually put it out and Emma returns to her room, glad the handkerchief is still alright. Hans talked to her and wonders why she is still here when she loves William so much. He admits he was happy when she came back but when he saw the way she tried to save the handkerchief, he finally understood how much she loves William. Realizing it would be useless to wait for her, Hans wants her to be happy. With everyone giving Emma their blessings, she runs off to Crystal Palace. Last time William ran after the train. This time Emma runs after a bus! And she manages to catch it! In a skirt! OMG! I have a feeling Emma’s hidden talent is running! Seriously! But by the time she reaches, the place is at closing hours. William isn’t seemingly there. But wait. There he is. Why must he sit in some hidden spot and not in a place to be easily spotted?! First things first. When they see each other, a big hug. A few tears. Then William pops the question. Emma agrees. Finally. The drama is over. I suppose this means Emma will have to quit being a maid to become William’s wife as she says goodbye to Dorothea and the rest. At a party, Richard and the viscount bump into each other. The latter is not amused he has no shame but Richard asserts he did nothing wrong and is proud of his son. The viscount remains arrogant telling him to watch his mouth if he wants to remain in this society. It is hinted that Eleanor might have found somebody new. Emma writes to Dorothea about her blissful life with William and their 4 children!

Pride & Prejudice
Finally we can put 2 seasons of impasse to end. If you think about it, it looked so simple and all they have to do was be true to their feelings and everything will be done. But remember, living in such a period, such is already highly unacceptable in high society. It is a good thing that William and Emma finally end up marrying each other and have a happy family because it would have been a real tragedy and slap in the face had it ended in somewhat the similar disastrous fashion as the first season. Yeah, happy endings are a must especially when it involves a maid :-). And of course, had it been that simple, there would be no such drama for us to watch in the first place. So, thank you?

I have to admit that this series is one long drawn out romance drama between William and Emma. If I actually think about it, the entirety of both seasons are just boring. However something kept me interested in wanting to know more and perhaps that is to see if William and Emma could really hit it off. Though, I have my reservations it would go anything but well because, you know, drama. Yes, the different classes in society as well. So it had me thinking, if Emma wasn’t a maid, would I have actually classified this series as downright boring? Did my blind love for maids prejudiced this romance drama to be a little fascinating and interesting instead of outright dreary and draggy? Maybe.

And so for the obvious reason to drag out the romance drama between the upstart gentry and the maid is because of these English blokes not being able to show their true feelings to each other. Not to say that it is very much different than today but yeah, partly it is because life in that era is like that. Being too flamboyant is somewhat frowned upon as it is viewed as ‘uncivilized’. Therefore you can’t blame William and Emma and the rest of the other English blokes putting up poker faces in the name of culture, civilized manners and etiquette. Not to say that everybody here are like robots but watching them from my era it feels so unreal. But like I said, life is like that then. Even when you hear William confessing to Emma and her reaction in hearing those shocking words, you can feel that there aren’t enough emotions in their reactions. It is like they are trying to be reserved or something. Uh huh. Poker face. Even when Eleanor was crying the first time after talking to William, it doesn’t feel heart breaking enough. Get what I mean? Emotional outbursts like exaggerated surprises are only for today’s so dramatic emo drama.

Sometimes I feel the final ‘drama’ of that railroad project feels like a distraction. Because with the romance drama already at boring point, they need something else dramatic to divert our attention. And also to show how William has matured into a fine man with his kindness and perseverance. Yes, it has nothing to do with all that has happened so far but I suppose this is also somewhat necessary because in the end you see William and Emma living a cosy life in their big mansion and beautiful garden. This means he must have been successful in his final negotiations push, right? This at least smoothens their livelihood in the gentry. Otherwise all will be for nought if they have to live in poverty and your usual husband-wife argument with accusations, blaming and regret all get thrown in the mix. Something we don’t really want to see happening between them, right?

Although William and Emma are the main focus of the series, because focusing solely on them too much will be such a bore, that is why sometimes we are distracted with other secondary characters. Some are do play a minor important role while some just feels redundant. For instance, Kelly might not feel that she has a lot of presence in the first season but she does have a vision and insights for Emma. Not only teaching and raising her as a proper woman and maid, she quietly gives her support for her till her death. It is such pity that a great character had to pass on and continue to exist in flashbacks and memories of Emma.

Then there is the boggling Hakim. His existence and role in this series is just baffling. I know he is William’s friend but he hangs out in the Jones’ estate all day doing nothing by lazing around, smoking his shisha or something. Sure, he gives William some advice but that is sparsely and does his dealings behind the scenes indirectly. I’m sure he is interested to see how things between William and Emma turn out since he had to ‘forfeit’ his chance. It’s like he needs to see this through and get an ending he wants or all will be wasted. And to think he would be William’s rival for Emma but that died out as soon as it came. Besides, isn’t he part of the Indian royalty who is supposed to be ruler of his country or at least some state? What is he goofing around in England for? Should he not have some sort of responsibility as a royal member? Even more mind boggling are his woman servants flanking his side. They feel like emotionless robots. Real life dolls to be more precise. They just bum around with him.

Another baffling character is Trollope. Even after the reason for her living separately from her family, I don’t understand why she had to change her name. To avoid others from knowing who she is? I’m sure she is so out of the picture for so long that anybody would hardly remember her. Of course maybe they will remember if they remember she is Richard’s wife. She after all skipped a lot of parties which is seen as a rude sign. Also, if she sometimes visit London, why doesn’t she visit her family? Because as far as I understand, she hasn’t seen her children since William was a child. Maybe she doesn’t want to give her children false hopes especially Vivian who was just crying when she went away. So living the non-hectic life alone in the outskirts is better? So much about the quality of life. And since she is still living by herself in the end, I am guessing she’ll live like this till she kicks the bucket.

Seeing the poster for the second season, I was anticipating there was some sort of romance going to bloom between Hans and Emma, thus this could be the ‘drama’ for the sequel as he becomes the third wheel and obstacle to vie for Emma’s affections. Well, they sure trolled me. Hans is unsociable and not the kind of guy that any girl would want. He doesn’t like Emma at first but after he learns more about her, he stands by her side. And because I said about English people having poker face, I can’t tell if he really loves Emma or if he is just trolling her when he proposed to her. In the final episode, he comes clean with his feelings but even so, that feels quite indirect. He must be trying to be considerate knowing Emma’s heart belongs to somebody else forever. So as usual he has to put on his poker face and be a real man to let her go.

Dorothea is a nice lady but I don’t really see her making any much impact on the series except with her being friends with Trollope, it is like a convenient plot to have William and Emma meet again and screw up their feelings for each other. Besides, it got me thinking that naming the second season as Molders’ chapter felt a bit misleading because the household doesn’t really play any big impact in the overall flow of the story. Just a place where Emma is working and residing now. Sure, you can argue something about Hans relating to this but what I meant was the Molders’ household itself. My impression was that something major would come out of it especially Dorothea’s husband who wouldn’t even matter if he never appeared at all. Maybe it is just me thinking too much.

William’s other siblings also don’t do much. Grace is playing the big mother and big sister, Arthur getting by, Vivian the cheeky brat who is really looking forward to her debut in society and Collin… Oh Collin, this is what I remember about him. It seems to be a running joke that when Collin asks a question, everyone ignores him. He keeps asking and they keep ignoring him. Until he cries! Proof that nobody pays attention to kids until they start wailing? This is less obvious in the second season because I don’t see him asking questions anymore. Not really sure if Vivian and Arthur have really accepted Emma but looking at how things turned out, they just have to get over themselves and accept reality. They’ll be too busy with their own stuffs in society to bother about somebody’s life that don’t really matter in theirs.

Sometimes I feel pity for Eleanor. She might be a little naïve but can you blame her for this is her first time coming out to society and in love? She tries so hard to win William’s heart and attention and all this while he was looking away, she never gave up. Even during her short stint with William, it seems she still has some scepticism about his love. Her joy becomes short-lived and it was like a slap in her face when he cancelled it. Then she couldn’t stop crying and feeling hurt. Thank goodness ice cream wasn’t a thing then because she might have tried to nurse her broken heart by turning into a glutton. And it is also a good thing that she didn’t turn into a vengeful yandere that she decided to hunt down Emma and take her out. What did I tell you about the non-existence of sci-fi elements and exaggerative fantasy adventures in this series? It is good to see her try and get back on her feet and get over this. Because it will be a shame for her to see her crying for the rest of her life and die a spinster. Though, it is not sure whether she really got it going with her potential beau but then again, she isn’t the star of this show. In this context, Eleanor is like the third wheel in William and Emma’s romance, right? It is amazing these women never enter a cat fight when they see each other once. Wow. English people are this civilized? At first I thought why Monica didn’t want to give William a beat down. But I suppose she is putting her trust in her beloved little sister she loves so much and let her sort it out. Otherwise for a woman who could even stand up to her own father wouldn’t let this lie down and maybe give William a piece of her mind. And she being bitten by the Indian bug? Yeah, those clothes are airier and easier to move in compared to the stifling and stuffy Victorian dresses.

So back to our main characters, William and Emma. William looks like he has grown into a different in both season. In the first season he was the carefree and not-taking-any-responsibilities eldest son and even if he frolics around till he finds his love in Emma, that even doesn’t feel that he is serious. I mean, it feels like he is taking this love thingy with Emma lightly. Not until Emma left till he had to nurse his broken heart and change. He works hard to become the heir of his family business that every father would be proud of. More drama added to his life with his surprise engagement to Eleanor and surprise cancellation after fate chose to screw him over again. So he works even harder and even the penultimate episode distracted us with the threat of their family going bankrupt or something. That won’t happen to a main character, right?

Emma on the other hand is quite blessed. If you consider that among all the maids, she won the big lottery of marrying into a rich family, no? It is unfortunate she has a tragic and sad life as a child but thanks to Kelly, she is able to live a decent life. So when she falls in love with William, she becomes confused and in a dilemma if she would become his homewrecker or something and that is why all the drama of Emma trying to reject him and shut out her own feelings just so she wouldn’t shake the fabric of society. I don’t know being this way is considered considerate. For the sake of the plot, it isn’t. Either way, they would still face some sort of hardship. Being true to their love means earning the wrath of society as the entire class of nobles and gentries will be against you. Hiding your feelings means hurting yourself and staying untrue to yourself. But I’m sure English people can handle the letter. Because they’re a pro at being, wait for it, poker face. And to think that Emma had lots of admirers then, it shows that even back then people love maids! Viva maids! Emma’s hardworking attitude earns the respect of the other maids in the Molders’ estate. Because I think some of them like Polly is really a funny girl. She thinks highly of herself and dreams bug but can’t match humble Emma in any way.

One thing I really love about the series is the beautiful and catchy opening theme. Silhouette Of A Breeze by Kunihiko Ryo is a very nice and lively instrumental piece. Even if it doesn’t match the romance drama atmosphere of the series, it really does catch your attention. There are a few versions of it like the piano one and the Celtic version which is used for the second season’s opener. Of course this original version is still the best and my favourite. I’m glad they retained this song as the opening theme because I don’t think I would really like it if they changed it like how certain animes do. What I mean is that there are some first opening themes that I really like and is much better than the subsequent opening themes. So for them to remain this piece whether intentionally or not is good. Because there was almost a 2 year gap between both the seasons. Maintaining the instrumental themes, the ending songs are also instrumental. Yeah, it would be weird to hear songs in Japanese in an English setting but hey, it’s already weird to hear English men and women speak fluent Japanese! So for the first season we have Menuet for Emma by Tokyo Recorder Orchestra as the ending theme and Rondo Of Lily Bell by Kunihiko Ryo for the second season. They sound rather okay and lovely in its own right but still it can’t beat the opener.

The art and animation may not really stand out but it is rather because back in the Victorian era, everything is drab and gloomy, right? But if you are talking purely about the art style of this series, it might not seem anything special. However if you really take a closer look at the surroundings, you will notice the details of the English life during the era. As I discover, the manga author of the series is quite fascinated with the English culture and has done her research on the subject. So while the backwater inventions, furniture and buildings may look ordinary and nothing that strikes you, you should be aware that life in that era is, well, like that. So it is with much fascination for me to see the Victorian style British life that is depicted close enough to what it was in this anime. Making my experience watching this series better is the extra historical information at the end of the episode, courtesy of a kind fansub doing extra research on the Victorian culture that gives us an insight to their life. So now you know why those silly Victorians dip in the sea with their fully clothed ‘swimsuits’. Try not to laugh…

Because of both season having almost 2 years of gap in between them, the studios that produced them also changed. The first season had Studio Pierrot who did many famous animes like Bleach, Naruto, Tokyo Ghoul and Yuu Yuu Hakushou. For the second season, it is Ajia-Do who did Zettai Shonen, Nintama Rantarou, Kaiketsu Zorori and recently Shuumatsu No Izetta. Thankfully there is no difference in the art style. At least, nothing that is very obviously different. But I would like to note that the strangest looking character is Eleanor. At first I thought her features like her face and eyes are somewhat, uhm, elongated. She looks a bit strange that way. Like an alien? This isn’t so obvious for the second season or I might have gotten used to it. Of course, I have to comment on the maid designs too. Nothing as flashy and sexy as the modern day Japanese counterparts but they still look stunning despite the boring black and white garb they don all day. Yeah, it proves that the original classic can still look good today. Well, if you’re maid obsessed anyway.

Overall, they don’t make such romance drama animes these days. It would have been boring to death seeing how anime has evolved so much and viewers’ expectations and tastes have changed to a different level. There are a handful of series involving romance with maids but Kaichou Wa Maid-sama, Mahoromatic, Hand Maid May and even Hanaukyou Maid-tai aren’t nowhere near this level. This series is a refreshing watch because it is a period romance drama without all the flashy typical anime stuffs and the accurate details to the historical stuffs are sure to fascinate you (if you pay attention, that is). I don’t think I want to live in that era even if I had a maid serving me. Nothing beats the internet to find and download all those maid pictures, movies, games and more! Oh well, time to go back to my favourite modern Japanese anime maids. Cheerio English maids. Konnichiwa, tadaima nihon meido-tachi.

Tired of all the high school love drama and romance? So I guess it is time to go back further where love is seemingly more innocent and almost straightforward without all that complicating drama. Well, almost. 12-sai Chicchana Mune No Tokimeki S2 continues from where we left off from the first season about 12 year olds facing the dilemmas and problems about love. I suppose adults and teens don’t give a damn or take it seriously when such young kids fall in love together when they haven’t even yet and some just starting hit puberty. That is, if your 12 year old sister is the one with a boyfriend. See if your father or big brother will be up in arms against it.

Episode 1
The girls are at an age where some are developing breasts. Thus a clear division of those who wear bra and those wearing undershirts. The girls are asking about Yui’s bra size when they heard a commotion outside. Hiyama is trying to get rough with some of the boys trying to eavesdrop on the girls changing. Later Yui thought Hiyama noticed her new hairclip. But when it is just to pick up some dirt on it, she gets disheartened. She didn’t like it. WTF. Because of this, fellow cram school classmate, Inaba Mikami seems to be moving in and hitting on her. His charming and assuring words make her easier to talk to him. Shortly, Yui spots a pimple on her chin and freaks out. Time for Marin sensei to tell how to properly take care of it (thanks to what her sister tells her of course). One of them including not stressing up like giving a big hug. This spreads to other girls so instead of a blatant hug, they want to borrow Hiyama’s jacket to squeeze! WTF. Lucky that guy tells them all to bug off. Yui is embarrassed by her zit that she can’t face Hiyama. He thinks she is down because of other girls asking to borrow his jacket but is relieved it was just her zit. Apparently this doesn’t sit well with her. Because when she got a new hairclip he didn’t notice. Now she got a pimple and he noticed. WTF right? She continues to hide her face but he wants her to talk facing him. As they struggle, she trips and their lips almost touch. Want to bet somebody snapped that juicy bit?

Later Yui talks to her friends that she might have kissed Hiyama. All in good timing, Hiyama calls to invite her to his home. Master Marin thinks he is trying to set up a good mood for a real kiss. And here she is at his home all nervous. She disagrees watching movie or listening to music since Marin said those are the right atmosphere for a kiss. So they play video games instead (Yui won). When she notices his photo album and wants to look at it, he is against it. Oh no. Don’t ruin the mood. So why did he call her to his house then? To give a book on how to take care of pimples that she seemed so concerned about. Disappointed? As she leaves, she is still distraught with everything that has happened that she bumps into Inaba. Naturally that guy tries to take advantage by soothing her heart. Luckily Hiyama was following her and stops him. He proclaims himself as her boyfriend (no, not her little brother), takes her by the hand and they walk away. Hiyama reveals he was against letting her go through the photo album because one of an old school trip photo has her sleeping in a funny face. He bought that photo and wanted to give it to her but forgot all about it. Yui realizes he has been worried about her for a long time. Even if that kiss wasn’t a real one, she still loves him. When they return to school, Eikou and co have put up an article with picture proof that Yui and Hiyama kissed. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Yeah, they’re so free that they want to spread the news! Eventually this reaches Inaba’s ears and he definitely can’t leave Yui in his hands.

Episode 2
Eikou has spread the news so far as to cram school. Now Inaba makes his move by inviting her out to the mall. When Mikami (there’s another female student in cram school of this name) and her friends call out Yui, Inaba fears they are going to mess her up. Actually they are impressed with her and want to know more. They look up to her for this sort of romance stuff? As they walk home, Yui notices Inaba talking to another girl and wonders if they’re going out. Mikami and co want to know what Yui and Hiyama talk about often so Yui has to call Hiyama? Halfway through, he hangs up! Huh?! And then he is seen rushing from the horizon! He mistakenly thought Yui was ‘surrounded’ by bullies. This is the thing if you don’t let people finish their sentences. Mikami and co decide to give the lovebirds time of their own and let them walk home together. Of course the next day, they’re begging for the juicy details. Nothing much happened. Hope you’re not disappointed. When Inaba asks Yui about the invitation, she reminds him he can’t invite her so easily because he is going out with someone. However he tells her that girl is just a friend. Then he confesses he likes her! Wait. What?! But the other girls also want his opinion and he too says he likes them. Wait. WTF?! Yeah, Yui is just as confused and embarrassed. So Yui talks about this playboy Inaba to Marin but there’s nothing much you can do about it because such jerks think all they need to say is those 3 magical words.

Inaba spots Yui doing walking back after an errand and helps her carry her stuffs. As usual, he speaks in a charismatic and charming way. But halfway through, he sees a girl waiting for him and goes to hear out her confession! Of course he said no and Yui still doesn’t think it is right. But Inaba tells her he says those words to all the girls who like him because isn’t a happy thing to like him? Narcissist? Yui tells him off he needs to respond properly and if he treats everyone the same, no one would want to be with him in the end. In cram school, Yui hears Mikami is called by the teacher for entering a classroom suspiciously alone with a boy. Yui feels it is her fault because she encouraged Mikami to confess. When she enters the room, she hears Inaba voicing his opinion. He tells the teacher off that he can only lecture them if their grades go down after this flirting. Otherwise do a better job teaching! OMG! He has no words in return. Later Yui is amazed at Inaba for talking back to the teacher and he cheekily mentions he was cool enough that she might fall for him. She finds the part of him where kissing comes easily to him to be remarkable. This makes him fluster and note that one should kiss someone they only really like. Yui finds out he was helping out his friend and notes she likes this part of him than his ‘normal’ self. This makes Inaba fluster further. Then his eyes get serious. He won’t hold back now.

Episode 3
Time to take a detour to Hanabi and Takao. What’s this? Their relationship has progressed to a point where they are going to kiss with a romantic sunset scenery? Too good to be true. It’s just a dream and she kissed her stuffed doll. Hanabi also has an older brother and thanks to the series’ art and his laidback forgetful attitude, I thought he was like the most 3 years her senior but this guy is already in college! When Hanabi hears Takao might be in trouble, she runs into class only to find Eikou and co setting up a ‘trap’ to see who will come to Takao’s aid. Takao is pretty cool about it and is glad she would come to his aid. With the class swooning over this, we are then reminded that Kokoa b*tch is still around to try and get her hands on Takao. She hasn’t given up yet because she thinks Takao is dating Hanabi just to make her jealous! Oh dear… For the Parent’s Day, Hanabi plans to introduce Takao to her big brother. But when she consults her other friends, they’re like in shock. Is it taboo or something? But when she says Takao is looking forward to seeing him, they heave a sigh of relief. However they warn her about the embarrassment if a family member knows she has a boyfriend. Yeah, it’s really that big deal. So as she ponders if she should let big brother meet, she then casts aside her doubts and just wants him to look forward to the day. When she tells him about watching a romantic movie that involves kissing him, his comments that she is just child prompts her to think the meeting might not be a good idea. Because you know, they’ve already kissed.

Hanabi’s brother arrives in class and everyone they can tell they are from the same feather with them acting so similarly. He spots the boyfriend-girlfriend quotes from Eikou on the wall. Hanabi is afraid to reveal who those quotes originate from. Sharp Kokoa realizes what is happening and takes advantage of the situation. She sits next to Takao and threatens to tell big brother about their relationship if she doesn’t give in. When Hanabi reads her essay in class about her dearest mother, stupid Eikou had to interrupt and point out isn’t Takao the one she likes. This makes her not only very embarrassed but fearful her brother will find out. Although Takao is the one who tells him to stop, it is Eikou’s mother wrestling for being noisy! I can’t believe all that happened. Shouldn’t the teacher have disciplined Eikou or something? Anyway, at the end, Hanabi can’t bring herself to introduce the guys so Takao goes home first. This prompts big brother to wonder if he really likes her. Hanabi realizes what she needs to do and rushes out to catch him. Takao understands her fears and didn’t want to force her. Despite he can’t meet his brother today, they’ll do so another day. He won’t hate her for it and is really happy she came after him. They make a pinky promise they’ll love each other forever. And to think Hanabi once used to wax lyrical about her big brother and wanting to marry him?!

Episode 4
Time to go back to Yui. She still receives chat messages from Inaba. Even more confusing her, he says he is serious but he is talking casually to other girls. She doesn’t know if she can reject him the next time and because of her gloomy face, Hiyama has to go talk what’s bugging her. But a worse possible time because Inaba is at the school gates. So he is here to tell her he will have her fall in love with him and then he’ll confess again? He knows she is going out with someone now but will still wait till she falls in love with him. As expected, here comes Hiyama. Time for the guys to showdown. Inaba fires first and boldly says he is more suited for Yui. He is more mature than him and can protect her better. That newspaper rumour about them makes Hiyama the worse because his girlfriend might be hurting. Therefore Inaba is different and won’t make her cry. Last warning shot: If he isn’t serious, step aside. All true points and Hiyama can’t fire anything back. Hiyama is out for a few days because of a cold. Yui gets a call from him and she remembers their promise to make him some chicken rolls. But she might have unintentionally hit his nerve because she says she didn’t expect him to call. He fires back. If it wasn’t him, who the f*ck was she expecting then? Right after he hangs up, Inaba messages her. In no time Yui naturally chats with him. In class, Yui and the girls make wish bracelets. After they’re done, Yui and Hiyama tie one for each other. While Hiyama’s wish is to have his allowance increase, Yui wants to be with Hiyama forever. As Yui attends cram school, she suddenly realizes she lost her bracelet. Panic mode. Inaba becomes serious to help her find it and assures this has nothing to do with the confession. It seems Yui dropped it in school and Hiyama spots it and picks it up to deliver it to her. When Hiyama finds her searching at the park, because she will not say what she is doing (in fear he will get mad that she lost the bracelet), Hiyama isn’t too pleased that she isn’t telling him things. It gets worse when Inaba is around. Hiyama loses his cool and quickly gives her missing bracelet. Yui earnestly didn’t want him to worry, that’s why she didn’t say but Hiyama might have crossed the line telling her to stop playing the good girl and to stop deciding how he feels for himself. Worst case scenario: Yui starts crying. The face all guys dread to see their girl. Inaba takes her away and tells off Hiyama: He’ll be taking her. You lost your chance.

Episode 5
Hiyama has always known he loved Yui. Like last year during the class’ kimodameshi, Yui switched with Hanabi to pair with Eikou but that dumb kid left her alone in the dark so Hiyama had to go find her and found her paralyzed by the darkness. Before Yui realizes it, Inaba has taken her to the amusement park to cheer her up. They sit the Ferris Wheel but he didn’t know she is afraid of heights so he tells her he would prefer her to refuse rather than hold it in. This has Yui wonder if this is how Hiyama felt. Because Yui still cannot get her mind off Hiyama, Inaba takes her bracelet and ties it to a balloon to let it fly it away! Forget about him! Apparently Yui still loves Hiyama and goes out of her way to get back that balloon. Man, that lucky kid who got the free balloon can go places. Yui is forced to enter the haunted house. By that time Hiyama has arrived (because Marin sensei told him where such fighting couples would end up – lucky guess?). A bit of a showdown between the guys before Hiyama steels his determination and illegally enters the haunted house to find her. He hugs her when he does so. When they exit, Inaba clearly understands his position. But he reminds them if this is what Yui wants. She’ll get hurt even more. Hiyama admits they might fight and cry more often but he doesn’t want let Yui to worry this all by herself. If that happens, he’ll be the first to be by her side. Yui cries but this time they are tears of joy. When Yui returns to school, she has to bear teasing from her friends they might have kissed in the dark. Worse, other girls heard rumours the duo had break up and they think of trying to hit on Hiyama! Time to take action and strike first. So Yui heads to Hiyama’s home where they can talk but ends up helping him clean the public bath. Hiyama tells her he is working hard so he could save enough to buy a handphone. Then they can talk with each other all they want and when she needs him, a call is enough for him to come to her side. Aww, how romantic. They could have got their first kiss with this right atmosphere had not Hiyama’s grandma interrupt. Almost got caught there. Yui is glad after their fight, they are more like a couple now.

Episode 6
The class will be doing a Cinderella play. Eikou and co wants Takao and Hanabi to play the main characters so they can have a real kiss. However Kokoa disagrees because Hanabi is too short for the role and thus lacks balance. Tsutsumi is made the director because everybody thinks he knows everything. All the girls unanimously agree with a resounding yes to have Takao as the prince. As for Cinderella, Kokoa self-proclaims she is perfect for the role but Tsutsumi disagrees. Instead he wants Yui to helm that role. What about Kokoa? The evil stepmother! Hanabi will be one of the mice. Remember, he is the director so he gets to decide. And I guess the friends are okay with each other taking on those roles. As long as it’s not evil Kokoa, right? As practice begins, Takao is natural while Yui is a little stiff. Oh, Kokoa excels very well in her part… She’s so naturally evil… Hiyama helps Yui rehearse her lines but he is getting most embarrassed doing it. One day when Takao and Yui are practising alone, Hanabi spots them and from afar they look like so close together. She becomes self-conscious because their height makes it compatible for each other. Not to worry because Yui is thoughtful enough to know this is bugging Hanabi so she goes talk to her. This helps alleviates her worries and gives Hanabi the much needed motivation. Yui practised too hard till her voice is a bit sore. Kokoa thought she can swoop this chance to take her role as she too has remembered all the lines. However Hanabi and Hiyama want to continue supporting Yui as Cinderella. And once again Kokoa’s evil plans are foiled… Practice carries on and thankfully Yui heals on the day of the play. We don’t get to see any single shot from it but we know it went well. In the end, Hanabi gets to play a bit of Cinderella as she tests out the glass slippers in the backstage. It gets better with Takao praising her for doing a lot to support Yui and despite she didn’t become a princess in the play, she will always be his precious princess, his Cinderella. He pledges his love to her forever. Aww! How sweet!

Episode 7
Oh, if you think Tsutsumi is going to try his love for Hanabi again, you’d be disappointed. Especially Marin. So freaking disappointed that she thought he wanted tips for his lingering feelings but instead he wants advice for a friend from his old school of his whom he rejected and she still continues to bug him to go out with her! Let’s just say none of the tips Marin gave (courtesy from her sister anyways) is desirable and it makes you think what kind of things her sister does… And it seems this girl Ami still hasn’t given up because she is waiting outside the school gates and trying to get Tsutsumi to go out with her. She tries to draw motivation from Hanabi and Takao that they’re dating so they must also date. WTF?! Then stupid Eikou and co had to spill the beans about Tsutsumi’s love triangle with Hanabi (from last season). He explains and assures he is no longer interested in her. However thanks to Ami having women’s logic, to prove that he doesn’t have feelings for Hanabi anymore, date her! WTF?! Even more so, a double date! So the date goes on well as Ami notices Tsutsumi interacting well with Hanabi. Yes, this is just normal friends in our eyes but you know Ami’s women logic… The ultimate ‘proof’ came when Tsutsumi accidentally drinks from Hanabi’s straw. Because he flusters about it, this makes Ami sad. Then as the ladies are in the toilet, Ami lies that Tsutsumi is gone so that she can take her to a secluded place to give her a piece of her mind! WTF?! She blames Hanabi that Tsutsumi is still in love with her. And if she is gone, he can totally look at her. Girl, WTF?! Of course the guys realize something is wrong when the girls are taking too long and go find them. They see them in a stand offish position. Surprisingly Hanabi lies to cover for Ami saying that she tried to go off on her own and almost got lost, that’s why Ami is crying. Doesn’t make sense… Next day, Ami apologizes to Hanabi for making her do that. Hanabi is okay with it since she understands how she feels. This in turn makes Ami realize why Tsutsumi fell in love with her. Marin finds it odd that Ami has never confessed to Tsutsumi the entire time. She was too shy about it?! But not shy to bug him to go out with her?! Apparently there was a promise Tsutsumi made to her too. A promise not to fall in love with anyone else when he transferred school because the old pals said they looked like the perfect couple. She can’t give up on him. This has Hanabi reflect on her own circumstances. Remember the first time she said about not liking boys? It’s back to haunt her.

Episode 8
Because of that, Hanabi is down thinking that if promises could be broken, could this mean their forever promise won’t be forever if Takao changes his feelings? WTF?! Not another women logic! As suggested by Marin to ascertain Takao’s feelings, Hanabi tries to act and look mature. Like being taller. It won’t last since her ‘shoes’ are made out of toilet paper rolls. WTF. Trying to give him advice make her sound like a grandma. Trying to write a romantic memo only to have Eikou and co trying to read and the best way to destroy the evidence is to eat it. WTF. Finally she sums up her courage to ask him out on a date in which he coolly agrees. The outing is fun, nothing much happens. I wonder if Hanabi is trying for a Princess Leia hairstyle. Anyway they make an appointment for the next date at the park. However as Hanabi waits, he never turns up. Kokoa who heard about the date purposely pops up to rub salt into her wounds that Takao has stood her up and broke his promise. Oh no. Hanabi feeling sad. WHY YOU LISTEN TO HER, DUMMY!!! When she returns home, her brother informs Takao called and his grandma suddenly collapsed and he sent her to the hospital. Hanabi is relieved but since she feels embarrassed to call Takao in front of him, she drops the idea. Next day in school, Eikou and co has spread news that the duo have broken up, courtesy from an exclusive from a certain b*tch. Takao quickly rushes in to dismiss all that. Since they made up, Eikou now changes his story of their miracle reconciliation. Guess which b*tch is the only unhappy one? However Tsutsumi can still see Hanabi troubled. He talks to her if she is fine the way she is. She tries to be tough saying promises aren’t absolute. Is she sure about that? Try saying that by looking in his eyes. Then she reveals what is bugging her especially about the promise that won’t last forever. Then he goes talk to Takao for not doing anything when Hanabi is suffering. Though Takao’s method is to wait patiently till she wants to talk about it, Tsutsumi disagrees with it because as her boyfriend he should worry and think things through together. Otherwise he will take her away. No way, Jose! Takao finds Hanabi. A little talk of assurance that his feelings won’t change and before you know it, they’re back to like they’ve always been. See, nothing complicated.

Episode 9
The class takes a field trip to Tokyo. At first Hiyama is being a bully trying to pull Yui near the edge of Tokyo Skytree. This prompts a granny to note him to not bully his sister! This disappoints Yui but Hiyama quickly replies that she is his girlfriend. Feeling better? They visit the aquarium and somehow Yui got lost! Luckily she is found but not without getting a little scolding from Hiyama. Then the couples enter a jellyfish veil event in which the girls will sit in a veil that looks like a jellyfish (I thought it was penis heads!!!) and the guys have to try to find them in one go. Because Inaba’s school is also on a trip here, this means the old rivalry for Yui is back? Takao goes first and finds easily Hanabi because she is probably the only one with twintails and her nervous trademark has them twitching like hell. Inaba goes next and he too could easily identify which is Yui because of the wish bracelet on her ankle. But being the considerate guy he is, he picks one of his admirers. Phew. Finally it is Hiyama’s turn and he picks Yui. The pairs then take a commemorative photo but why is Yui looking so sad? She observes Hanabi and Takao acting like a real happy couple but they themselves aren’t. Could the kiss be the key? Why you complicate things lah?! That night when everybody has a pillow fight, they suddenly have to go pretend to sleep since the teacher is coming. Yui is hiding under the blanket next to Hiyama and the close proximity means her heart is beating fast as she prepares to kiss him. However he rejects her by getting out of the cover. Oh dear. This breaks her heart as she runs away! How did this get complicated? He chases after a sobbing Yui but they are discovered by a teacher who makes them clean the toilet for breaking the curfew. So they talk things out, Hiyama believes they should take things at their own pace. He doesn’t want Yui to try and kiss him because he is the one who will be doing that. What do you know? Hiyama kisses Yui! Finally! Surprised? Happy?

Episode 10
The class will be doing a singing event. When the teacher calls to select a composer, Kokoa immediately nominates Takao. And since all those girls want to see him in a suit, no objections! Next, the one who will play the piano… Kokoa immediately volunteers herself. So that’s why… However Yui can play the piano. Time for Kokoa to work her devilish magic because she tells her if she really wants to stand out so bad after the Cinderella stint. Hiyama hates girls who stands out… Gulp. WHY YOU LISTEN TO HER?! Apparently there are also alto and soprano groups. Hanabi is distraught she is not in Marin and Yui’s group. Same case for Yuuna as she isn’t with Anzu and Kanon. Because so, Hanabi can’t ask Marin for some love advice as she is worried if big brother would accept Takao as her boyfriend (students are encouraged to bring their guardians to the singing event). Thus Kanon and Anzu helps her out. Yuuna starts to feel the strain in their friendship when her friends prefer talking to Hanabi. This is where evil Kokoa comes in. She warns her about Hanabi’s habit of stealing other people’s things. They should do something to teach her a lesson. In class, Hanabi is stumped why many of the girls aren’t talking to her. Tsutsumi notices this and warns Kokoa of doing such pointless things. Of course Kokoa and her groupies are further planning how to alienate Hanabi but Yuuna wants out. When she returns to her friends, she sees them so close talking with Hanabi like they have been best friends forever, that is when Yuuna screams she hates them. Obviously Hanabi seeks Takao’s advice. Obviously the best way to find out why she hates her is to talk to her directly. Obviously. When Yuuna is missing, Hanabi wants to go look for them but Anzu and Kanon hesitate. They’re fighting, right? Even so, they’re still friends! They find her resting in the infirmary and her hand injured. Apparently Eikou bumped into her that made her drop her friendship memento. As she tried to retrieve it, she slipped and fell. The friends talk it out and reconcile. There, solved. Easy. Hanabi is further motivated when Takao reminds her about their promise of their second kiss. Though, it still makes her embarrassed just thinking about it. New problems crop up with the teacher ‘pressuring’ Yui to take the entrance exam to a better middle school and Hiyama just found out about it. Why the long face? Hanabi’s brother finds a photo of little sister and her boyfriend together with words “Always Forever”. Does this mean…

Episode 11
Hanabi realizes her brother has seen the photo. He tells her straight he is against it. Wait. What?! No chance to explain? So when Hanabi complains to her friends, you bet master Marin is back to give more advice to continue her love. You bet Kokoa is going to screw things up because she confronts Hanabi that their love is not real and they will definitely break up. Nothing lasts forever. That’s only in fairytales. In any case if that happens, Kokoa will give up on Takao. Let’s hope so… Meanwhile Hiyama is also having his own worries. He believes Yui who is now going to take the exam is going further away from him. He is afraid she will leave him. Takao advises him to treasure every second they have even if their love seems like for kiddies in which they are right now. So Hanabi gets her advice from Tsutsumi and Yui from Inaba to get back on track. On the day of the contest, Kokoa talks to Hanabi that she plans to tell her big brother all the bad things about Takao and make him worry so they’ll have to break up. Evil! When Hanabi disagrees, Kokoa pretends she pushed her and her hand injured. Her evil genius acting means everyone is blaming Hanabi for ruining their hard work. Suddenly a voice tells them to stop this crap. It is the class president! First time speaking out! He tells them this is their last performance together and not to ruin it. But what about the pianist? Takao believes they have trained hard enough to sing without any accompaniment! Oh Kokoa, you’re no longer needed!

After the performance, Hanabi looks for her brother but to her dismay Kokoa has already spread lies to him about Takao. She blames her for that unrealistic forever promise that traps him. Hanabi tells her off she isn’t and even if their feelings change, liking someone is a feeling that can’t be stopped no matter how hard you try. She will do her very best to have Takao like her forever! Wow. Drama in the middle of the hall. Kokoa won’t give up and reveals about the kiss. However big brother tells her to shut it or risk revealing her injured hand was fake. Time to back down. But now big brother wants to have a little family talk with Hanabi. He wants her to wait till she is a little older because no matter what kind of person Takao is, he will still worry. I have a feeling this won’t change even when they’re adults… But anyway despite Hanabi wouldn’t want to worry him, even if she gets hurt she will still be glad she fell in love with Takao. Big brother is glad she has matured a lot and gives his permission. Not sure what a little means but Hanabi also has to tell their parents and whenever she goes out on a date. I hope it’s not for stalking purpose. With Eikou bugging this scoop, big brother and Takao now come face to face for the first time. Big brother gets emotional blaming Takao for making Hanabi do all the work to make him accept her boyfriend? Wouldn’t it be more awkward if Takao intervened? With big brother (somewhat) accepting him, he invites him to come over to his place next time. It dawned to me big brother is much shorter that Takao… However the one thing big brother still can’t believe is that the kiss wasn’t a lie. I hope this doesn’t change everything.

Episode 12
More embarrassment for Hanabi because Eikou and co have put up an article about Takao and Hanabi getting married! Well, it isn’t technically a lie since big brother approved of them. So what does that lead to? Marin suggests for the lovebirds to go out on a special Christmas date. Hanabi needs to muster her courage that won’t be necessary since Takao invites her out. It’s less obvious for Hiyama and Yui because he gives her tickets to the amusement park. We see the stark contrast in their Christmas date because Takao and Hanabi are like the happiest couple, shopping together and exchanging gifts. Hiyama and Yui on the other hand are more reserved. It might look like he is a dick wanting her to go to haunted house and riding high rides with him but he promises he will always be there for her. When Hiyama tells Yui to take the exams, this has her wondering if he really cares for her. Doesn’t he want to be by her side? Eikou and co are put a stop in their snooping by Tsutsumi. He tells them about their pathetic state. No girlfriend and bothering real couples. Don’t be a dick. So what they do? They have a manly party together. Technically, not forever alone, right? Meanwhile Inaba is on an outing with his harem. Surprisingly Kokoa joins them since one of the girls is her piano classmate. I suppose she is not nursing a broken heart? A bit of anxiety in Takao and Hanabi’s date too when the atmosphere is almost right to kiss but he backs off. She wonders he has forgotten the promise. Later he explains he didn’t forget about it. He wants their second kiss to be the ideal because the first one wasn’t really it. Hiyama invites Yui to his home for dinner. As they wait in his room, Hiyama mentions he will be lonely without her in middle school. Even if they are separated, he will be by her side and loves her. Yui jumps to give him a big hug and also says she loves him. Mood only to be ruined when mom calls for dinner is ready. Takao and Hanabi are at the brightly lit up Christmas tree. She thanks him for becoming her boyfriend and in turn she loves herself even more. The moment is ideal enough for them to have their second kiss. Nice Christmas tree and nice fireworks. Nothing tops this. Hanabi thought he called her first name but he was referring to the fireworks. If you saw the first season, you’ll get the joke. Hey, at least that didn’t spoil the mood.

Little Kids, Big Love Drama
Well, well. Just like a fairytale, a pretty good ending to the series. Only this kind of 12 year old love might be more realistic and plausible to happen in real life because kids are simpler, more sincere, more innocent and purer than all you grownups. Whether their love changes in time is yet to be seen and another different story. But I am not sure if this would be the end of this series because technically when the next time comes around, they will be a year older! This means they can’t do a series under this 12 year old name anymore, right? Ah, technicalities.

This season feels more like it has a fair share and split between the 2 couples. Instead of Hanabi and Takao taking a big bulk of the limelight, Yui and Hiyama also have their drama and relationship under scrutiny and developed as well. Despite both couples love each other very much, we can see the very contrasting and stark methods and style their behaviour tells us when it comes to handling their relationships. The more cool and outgoing type will be the Hanabi and Takao pair. So cheerful and happy with each other all the time that those forever alone and without any significant other would definitely be sick with their happy-happy sparkling display. On the other hand if you are the shy and reserved type, Yui and Hiyama show us that love can also be demonstrated in a subtle way. My guess is that Hiyama isn’t all that cool as Takao as he is trying to be a real man. I mean, real macho guys don’t display their love outright, right? They might not show it but it is there. It’s real. You just need to read the atmosphere and understand each other a lot more. Both sides have their insecurities. This is after all their first experience in love.

Because of all that, Tsutsumi is now relegated to an observer and a shadow supporter of Hanabi. Like as though he is waiting for that one moment whereby Takao screws up and he will be taking Hanabi for his. I mean, it is not like that guy has totally given up on Hanabi, right? Because feelings can still change in the future, right? So he is like brooding and watching over Hanabi and gives advice whenever the time calls for him to do so. It’s nice to see him have an episode of an ex-classmate who still has a crush on him but that just feels like a side distraction. The same thing I feel for Inaba too. He is like Hanabi’s Tsutsumi but for Yui. Just that this guy is still a playboy and friendlier. Hey, am I seeing some sort of pattern? Takao and Hanabi are a lively couple and Tsutsumi is the brooding one. Hiyama and Yui are the not so cheery one but Inaba is the lively one. Kinda inversed? So now Takao and Hanabi already had their second ideal kiss. What’s next? Oh, no impure thoughts please. They might be starting love at a younger age but when you compare them with today’s kids, I think they are much better off because I can say they have better quality of love. Don’t you agree?

So I thought Marin would surprise us by getting a boyfriend this season but I guess I was thinking too much because that girl’s role is just to be the sensei in giving relationship advice based on what her sister tells her. Speaking of which, her sister must have gone through lots of different experiences of relationships since Marin has an answer to almost every issue. Hanabi’s big brother looks like a nice guy and at first it confused me when he was against Hanabi having a boyfriend. Because I thought didn’t she tell him that he wanted to let them meet although they couldn’t? Was it big brother had an impression that Takao was just her friend and classmate and nothing more? Or maybe Hanabi just told Takao about her intentions about it but not really her big brother then. Well, I’m glad it worked out in the end because we definitely do not need another ‘evil’ character who has malicious intentions to break them up. Yeah, you know who I’m referring to.

So I thought Kokoa was cast aside when she didn’t make much of an appearance or impact in the beginning and middle of the season. But it seems towards the end she comes back with a huge vengeance to remind us all why we should hate this b*tch by playing the most vile and most evil of all characters for a 12 year old. Imagine what kind of girl she would turn out if she faces the same problem once she hits her teens and adult life. It is a good thing that Kokoa’s plans always backfires and in a way it only serves to deepen the relationship between Hanabi and Takao. You can say that despite her role as an evil harbinger of breakups, she might as well be a blessing in disguise for them in this case. Or perhaps you can say Kokoa’s failure is just a simple way of karma getting back at her.

Just like my views on her from last season, I believe that Kokoa is still out to pick on Hanabi and using Takao as an excuse to do some of the awful stuffs onto her. Because she doesn’t seem to be that heartbroken that Takao continues to date Hanabi. It’s like as though the hate is strong in her… And I always can’t believe that Hanabi has to actually believe in what she says. For the umpteenth time. I know it is for drama effect but after knowing her character so well, you would think Hanabi would be wise enough to at least take it with a pinch of salt and trust Takao instead of starting to worry like the end of the world is looming if they break up. Yeah, no wonder she is still a kid in this sense. Which actually makes sense.

Last and not least, do I have a feeling that Eikou and his goons are having more idiotic moments this season? Sure, they are naughty and pain in the ass but it feels like here they have gone up a notch since they constantly do not stop bugging and teasing the lovebirds. The slightest thing, they scream the biggest scoop. That or they still take quotes and words of wisdom from whatever Takao says into their collection. Yeah, life is so boring that they resort to watching the development of their classmates’ love and making fun while they’re at it. Future paparazzo… If Eikou’s mom realizes what he has done all this while, would she have given him his much deserved punishment? The biggest surprise this season was the class president opening his mouth and we hearing his voice the first time. I thought it would be some falsetto because you know, for funny effect and that he has never talked so long. But he sounds rather decent and okay.

AOP who sang the ending theme in the first season now sings the opening theme, Ano Ne Kimi Dake Ni, a lively anime pop piece. The ending theme is Yuuki No Tsubasa by Machico which sounds like a moderate paced anime pop ballad. Just like in last season, they reuse all the variety of weird BGMs that would raise an eyebrow or two like that male chorus and Christmas-like waltz. Just weird. Still weird. Can’t really get over them each time I hear them. Art and drawing style remains pretty much consistent and the same like last season. Cute kids with big bright sparkly eyes. Even with Kokoa in full evil b*tch mode looks more like a cute evil b*tch. Oops… Only Eikou and his groupie still look like they came out from Chibi Maruko Chan…

Overall, this second season and the series as a whole may not appeal to hardcore anime fans and those series that are in the mainstream. It feels like it is targeted for tweens and this series provides some sort of soft cushion and transition if they ever get into the grittier and darker elements of the anime genre. Some decent character development as well as love insecurities and issues to deal with but it will all sort out because the power of love. I mean, where is the fun and ‘controversy’ of seeing pure 12 year olds dating each other? Maybe 20 years ago it could cause some sort of controversy but these days of modern day society it is considered acceptable. Because nowadays kids are more inclined to stuff their face in their Smartphones (noticed how these kids here have none! Hooray!), stalking others on Facebook, trolling everyone on Twitter, posting unsavoury pictures on Instagram, watching and wasting time watching YouTube videos, getting addicted to online mobile games, reading and getting mad at fake news articles and a whole load of other first world problems. Yeah, so busy and no time for true blue love alright.

After that cliff-hanger ending of the first season, it is only right not to leave it having and thus the sequel Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls Galaxy is needed to save Earth and in turn the universe from the forces of evil by having idols playing crane games. I know it sounds pretty crappy with a plot like that but I guess it beats having a NASA going through the trouble of training a group of ragtag drillers to become astronauts and blow up an asteroid before it hits Earth. Why do I have a feeling this series might save the universe but they can’t save anime…

Episode 1
Our crane game girls are finally hitting big as idols. They’re famous of course for saving Earth. While they’re singing suddenly Dark Gorilla returns! But she is going to fight fire with fire by sending her own idol unit! Folks, meet the Earth invasion idol called Dark Cherry. They are made up of Lumie, Hikaru and Rei. Why are they special? Because they can sing in space. Without spacesuits! But wait. They are not in sync and all over the place. Funny jokers too. Not so threatening, right? That is till they start singing and start shooting powerful beams at our heroines. Tokiko ushers them to play a newly evolved crane game to do idol battle. Wow. So this crane unit has functions of a spaceship too? How convenient. They start singing and blast even more powerful beams back, sending Dark Cherry flying away in defeat. Meanwhile Dark Gorilla and Earth Gorilla talk about the evolution of arcade games from the physical ones to modern day mobile with online functions. For the latter although it may seem there is no physical prize when you win, now there is a hybrid version in Japan in which the company will deliver the prize right to your doorstep! Cool. Easy and convenient!

Episode 2
Dark Cherry is back at their base but looks like they’re goofing around rather than taking their loss seriously. Even when Dark Gorilla summons them, Hikaru shoots at her! Thankfully it’s just the monitor. Worse, Rei locked herself in her room as always. Don’t be surprised to see Saya popping up here. She is hired as their producer and the one who scouted them on Planet Dark Gorilla with the most potential to become an idol. Really? After describing the dog eat dog world of the idol industry, they go get Rei out of her room. However she still refuses and somewhat mocks Lumie about being in a group and going solo. This has Lumie’s bag of patience ripped open as she turns into her devil mode to barge in and give Rei a piece of her mind. Because she has to spend most of her time getting Rei out of her room, she can’t do anything else! Do you see how much she cares for you?! Once the girls are out, Saya begins their training as Lumie and Rei reconcile. On a side note, it might seem Dark Gorilla is scaring Tokiko with a crane machine seemingly moving on its own. A haunting ghost of those who failed to win prizes? Apparently today’s technology allows one to go online and control it remotely! They even have a staff to help you on this but sorry, no late night telephone service to chat.

Episode 3
Dark Cherry is back to challenge the crane game girls. They’re being lame again so our heroines aren’t sure if they’re supposed to take them seriously this time. I mean, they don’t even know if they had really won the last time. Lumie suggests this battle to be an election. There is a counter that will measure their popularity (in billions?) after they make their introduction. The first match pits Asuka against Lumie. Lumie does the exact same introduction in the first episode. No changes. Asuka does hers with some poem and wins lots of applause. First round goes to our heroines. Next round has Mirai versus Hikaru. Hikaru’s introduction is so strange and funny that it makes her popular! While Mirai is doing hers, she accidentally bites her own tongue. Dark Cherry wins by a close margin. Yeah, 2 million votes is small. Finally, Kyouko and Rei. Kyouko goes first with her earnest introduction. When it is Rei’s turn, it seems she is tongue tied and panicking. Even more so the pressure of their group’s fate is rested on her shoulders. When she hits her limit, she starts shooting beams from her eyes! In the end, we don’t know who won but we guess our crane game girls did because Dark Cherry retreats and vows to be back next time. Are you glad they’re idiots? Dark Gorilla shows us examples of scam emails. Then she clicks on one containing a prize she wants but it costs very high. Before she knows it, her PC is infected from all the virus from those emails. Good PSA reminder.

Episode 4
Once Dark Cherry has decided to stop goofing around, it’s another idol battle. This time they’ll be doing rhythm games. And since crane game girls have anticipated another shooting beam, they’ve brought their laser guns. They show us why they’re the best idol gamers because even at high difficulty, they’re still okay. Dark Cherry plays cheat by upping the difficulty to max and our heroines still clear the game with maximum points! Okay, it’s your turn. Gulp. Dark Cherry has no experience in playing rhythm games… During their idiotic rant, they accidentally mention Saya’s name. Naturally our heroines want to know her whereabouts. Saya moves in for damage control dressed in a silly gorilla musketeer outfit and proclaims herself as a mysterious unidentified producer (no, not Pro Douche-cer!), Gorillac Knight! She shares the same name but a different person. Nobody is buying this lameness. She takes her Dark Cherry to retreat. But in the end, the crane game girls are relieved that she is not Saya! Because she wouldn’t be caught dead in such a lame outfit. Yup, another bunch of lovable idiots. But it seems Tokiko has her reservations… Dark Gorilla and a loan shark harass a customer who has been taking loans to feed his online games addiction but can’t pay when it’s due. She tells him about the convenient online crane game with various methods to pay and then force him to do some fishing training that might take up to 2 years! Good luck. You’re going to need it.

Episode 5
Gorillac Knight is holding an emergency press conference. The reporters are grilling her and all she can say is no comment. Why even hold such conference? While Dark Cherry are mocking her behind her back, they realize she is standing out more than them! So what better logic than to go do another idol battle to regain their reputation! Too bad she came with them but this time it is Tokiko whom they are facing. The crane game girls are each having their own jobs. Thus Tokiko chastises Dark Cherry for not working hard! Too harsh! Tokiko knows Saya is behind that mask and won’t be fooled. Time for a flashback. Wow. High quality otome game art style! Anyway it has Saya listing down a long list of things she is going to do to save the world while Tokiko just wants to be a great announcer. They both promise to do their best. By the time the crane game girls arrive, Gorillac Knight continues to dismiss she is the real Saya and retreats this time. Another battle won without having to do anything? Saya should’ve stayed hidden if she didn’t want to be found out. You know how Apple unveils their new products? Yeah, I think they’re paying some sort of tribute here. I mean, Steve Gorilla? He is unveiling a new app that could download a crane game to your handphone. And a whole lot of other crap. Like drones and auto floor cleaner. Lies! And… And… And… And… And…

Episode 6
Dark Cherry is incognito on Earth to infiltrate and find information on crane game girls. But they are tempted by the liveliness of Tokyo. However our heroines are able to instantly recognize them! Plus, with the internet and everything, information is all around so this infiltration is useless. What else to do but not to leave empty handed and go have fun. Crane game girls decide to show them around the game arcade. They demonstrate their high skills in the crane game. When it is Dark Cherry’s turn to try, they of course suck big time. Lumie becomes mad and turns into her devil mode to abuse the machine while Rei zaps the machine with her eye beams! Dangerous! Surprisingly Hikaru won a bunch and gives some prizes to her friends to commemorate their friendship. That’s sweet. Then they continue to have fun at the karaoke. Lumie realizes that they’re rivals and shouldn’t be doing this. But what the heck. They’re already having so much fun so screw all that. Let the fun continue. Earth Gorilla observes Dark Gorilla playing an online crane game. Because of his cautiousness, he levels up everything. Something to do about the girl he has a crush and got no balls to confess to? He is told about the absolutely free to play online crane game so he doesn’t have to worry about spending real money and this in turn gives Dark Gorilla the courage to go confess to his crush he has never ever talked to in his life. Good luck?

Episode 7
Saya is shocked to see a note from Dark Cherry. They have resigned! OMG! Rei is trying her luck on stocks but everything crashes. Then there is some online flaming war that explodes her PC! The internet is indeed dangerous. Lumie is trying for a job interview but the interviewer tells her if it is a good idea to downgrade from an idol. Lumie is fine with it but apparently not the interviewer. Why is she wearing her idol outfit then? Oh, no clothes for suitable clothes. She wants her to go back to become an idol and fails her interview. Lumie goes to take more interviews but also fails them. Meanwhile Hikaru is an idiotic convenience store cashier. She does what she wants and screws around with the customer! She charges everything and free things also include tax?! And what’s this she doesn’t have change? The master of pissing of customers… You think after this experience the customer won’t be back, right? Because she is so damn cute, he thinks he’ll come back. Yeah, I can relate why most of us come back for seconds after a first terrible experience. Eventually the trio fail and have nowhere to go. They see this bright light that gives them hope… Crane game girls are bored now that Dark Cherry has not shown up for quite some time. When they tune in to TV, they are shocked to see them as nuns! Their heads completely shaved! Tokiko answers Dark Gorilla’s anxious questions regarding crane games. No crane game? Make one! Oh, she uses money for that. No confidence or skill to play? Online tutorials are helpful. But if there are online crane games, wouldn’t that make physical ones redundant? Sure. Tokiko shoots and destroys it! Lesson: Don’t waste your time making them. Just play them online.

Episode 8
When the girls meet, you bet crane game girls are really shocked that their rivals have genuinely given up their goal of invading Earth since they were never up to it. They are even going to support them to become the best idols. This does not sit well with Asuka as she flips the table. After all they’ve been put through, you can’t expect them to just let this pass like that. They’re not going to quit for some weird reason. Asuka is going to help them get back on their feet as idols. Don’t worry, their bald head is just wigs. Gathering in the streets, crane game girls are going to gather everyone for a free concert. Wait. So now they love the idea of idol battle? Dark Cherry thinks this is their deep plan to make a fool out of them so bad that they will never recover to come back as idols. Of course crane game girls dismiss that and you can see proof of that in their shiny warm idol aura. Crane game girls call everyone (you mean now only the crowd noticed it is them?) and start singing. The crowd loves them. Then they introduce Dark Cherry. To their surprise, everyone loves them too. It seems they are popular on Earth. Thank internet, right? They perform together to a rousing applause. It looks like a Metal Gear Solid tribute with Dark Gorilla trying to infiltrate steel doors and Earth Gorilla telling its passwords. But it is just a clever attempt to tell you the procedures on how to complete register for a free online crane game. The passwords, details and email that you need to key in for the access.

Episode 9
With their popularity rising, this is all part of Saya’s plan for the next stage. They will now try their hands to win the Cosmic Idol Festival. The girls are now as confused as the reporters in the conference because they are now supposed to join and become a new idol unit, Super Shiny Galaxy! No Lumie, it’s not a darker plot to catch crane game girls off guard and defeat them. Tokiko confronts Saya and knows this is not a plan she put together overnight. Saya reveals that this plan will have them become the greatest idols in the universe. That power will save Planet Dark Gorilla and in turn they will stop invading Earth, thus peace will reign! Hence the idol battles between them were to help them power up for this day. I know Saya is thrilled to train them strictly but what the heck about this part to turn them into gorillas?! And so as Gorillac Knight, she trains the new unit and warns them it is going to be a long tough road. A new unit means they have to start everything from scratch. What a pain. Why does the training menu sound like those survival games from Kaiji? But we can see a difference in their training menu. While crane game girls undergo nice typical idol-like training, Dark Cherry have to fend for their lives! Are they ready for the festival now? Dark Gorilla is some online crane gamer, Gori who is stopped by several challengers. However he ‘defeats’ all of them by not accepting their challenge since he doesn’t fancy their prizes. Till the final ‘boss’ of Earth Gorilla who only has unique and limited prizes. Dark Gorilla gives in and learns the lesson to enjoy crane game battles together.

Episode 10
Crane game girls are nervous before the competition. But seeing their Dark Cherry counterparts not giving a damn and so carefree, they’re even more nervous! Can they make it? Gorillac Knight and Tokiko explain the direct elimination tournament battle style of Cosmic Idol Festival in which the entire universe will be watching and judging. I guess all that survival training are for nought since they’re just going to be singing and dancing like typical idols. They also give analytic details of the opponents they are likely to face like NGC 224 representing Andromeda who are just literally atoms, Lake City Girls representing Saitama prefecture (do they need another Earth representative?) and Jupiter. Yes, there are people living in Jupiter looking like monoliths who can evolve you! Crane game girls are having a headache hearing his but Dark Cherry is pretty fine. They’re used with all the messy intergalactic stuffs. But we don’t have to worry all that because we skip the entire festival and Super Shiny Galaxy wins! However suddenly Dark Gorilla appears and is not pleased. He does not need idols who have forgotten about their goal of invading Earth. He’ll destroy all and start over! Continuing Gori’s adventure as an online crane gamer, he faces off with another gamer but can’t seem to beat him. Till Tokiko comes to his rescue with some laser beams. Apparently some ghost is inhabiting this gamer. So having a second inner spirit is the key to winning? Because of that, Gori tries to summon his own second inner spirit but can’t help spew out names of seiyuus, producers, staffs and anime titles. All rebutted by Tokiko.

Episode 11
Dark Gorilla attacks and destroys the space station but luckily everyone has evacuated. Of course our girls are going to fight back and although crane game girls have no qualms, Dark Cherry ponders by doing so will be considered mutiny. Saya assures them this is just like another idol battle. All they need to do is sing and wake up Dark Gorilla. Thanks to all their training, they have powers equivalent to Dark Gorilla. This boosts their confidence although they aren’t strong enough to defeat her. Dark Gorilla is still bent on taking over Earth to steal its resources because Planet Dark Gorilla is running out of them. When he fires his ultimate beam, Saya intervenes to protect the girls. I guess at this point crane game girls realize Gorillac Knight is the real Saya. A little bit of drama and emotion to rev them up to begin their counterattack. Dark Gorilla fires another shot but the idols’ song this time deflects it. Their harmony is so great that it blasts away the evil force, turning Dark Gorilla into a docile little form. The universe is saved? A scientist is trying to show another fellow scientist inventions relating to crane games but were scoffed off for its impracticality. Finally this idol training unit that utilizes cards to build your very own idol as well as a tie-in campaign with this ‘famous’ anime, seals the deal to have them sell it to arcades everywhere! Damn blatant advertising!

Episode 12
Everyone converges at the stadium for an ultimate concert by Super Shiny Galaxy. Although crane game girls are there and nervous, the thing that makes them even more nervous is the fact that Dark Cherry is nowhere to be seen! Time to go for a witch hunt. Angry Asuka has to pull Lumie attending another idol concert as she has conveniently forgot her own. It isn’t so bad for Rei because she is trying to visit exhibition museums and Kyouko is being very nice to her that she will gladly guide her around after their concert and they both become like super best friends. Meanwhile Hikaru is winning all the prizes at the crane games and Mirai catches herself saying the unthinkable because crane games are unimportant? So they challenge each other but Hikaru also bests her and wins even more prizes. Once Hikaru is bored, she cheekily says there is no more time for this and returns to their concert. Must be a tiring day for Mirai. When they return, Saya and Tokiko usher them to get ready now since it is way past their starting time. Super Shiny Galaxy start singing and thankfully the patient crowd still loves them. Suddenly the girls decide to go on a journey to Planet Dark Gorilla. Despite Dark Gorilla is now in a stuffed toy form, they really want to save the planet with their idol power. Saya and Tokiko give them their blessings to save the universe with their idol power and when they come back, they should become the best idols in the galaxy. And off they go. The final scene sees Tokiko talking to Dark Gorilla the stuffed toy. It seems Dark Gorilla is going to do good and earn points to return to his original form and also promote more online crane games which they didn’t manage to do in the anime. You mean it wasn’t enough? However Dark Gorilla seems to have enough reform points to return to his original evil self. He is going to challenge Super Shiny Galaxy next time and win. Wait. Another season?! Oh please, no!!!

Don’t Make Gorillas Out Of Our Galaxy Idols!
Well, everything turns out as silly as it is supposed to be. I know it might end up in one of the worst anime series of all time but since I was having a little silly fun watching this season, I guess it is not all that bad. Seriously. I still remember my own advice in my previous blog not to be stressed up watching this and thinking too hard of all the illogical stuffs propping up. Yeah, even if this didn’t save anime but at least it saved my sanity. Wowee. What fun this second season is. Right… Please don’t spoil the mood by mentioning that a third season is possible. Because I don’t want to think that there are going to be more idols popping up like Dark Gorilla hiring new ones to fight Super Shiny Galaxy but then they defect and become heroine idols. Yeah, one step closer to expanding as big as AKB48 and beyond. *Shudders*.

However I feel that this sequel has actually done away with a lot of stuffs that we know from the first season that we are familiar with and think we are supposed to expect. For example, the obvious one being the crane games are totally missing! What gives?! Even if that final episode ‘challenge’ between Hikaru and Mirai was to remind us about the ‘origins’, it was a little too late to have any sort of impact. So to have crane game in the title felt a bit misleading since they substitute crane games with idol battles. And also because of that, the idol battles are now in place of crane games as instruments to destroy asteroids aimed at Earth. Yes, it is like a totally different plot now when you look back and compare at these things.

So I figure that to compensate for the no-show of the crane games, that is why this season is blown up to 13 minutes! That is 3 times more than the first season whose duration lasts a paltry 4 minutes! But the actual episode may just be 8 minutes long and taking away the opening and ending themes of 3 minutes, you will be left with 2 minutes of extra, uhm, extras at the end. It is this segment that features a whole load of crane game related references and some even including pop culture references. This might not have any real bearing of the actual plot of the series but at least it has something to do with crane games that the episode proper is missing.

Of course personally this segment also feels like a blatant advertising for crane games and towards the end, for more people to watch this crappy anime. Yeah. I guess that is what being ‘famous’ is all about. But in general, trying to promote crane games here isn’t entirely a bad thing because with people so wired and focused on their Smartphones, nobody actually comes out to the arcade to play these machines anymore. It’s like those pinball machines who are now virtually extinct in many places. What good is having a virtual or online crane game version because I believe being there physically to play the game is much better still. Oh, I have not played a real crane game in my life ever.

Another change that makes it feel this season has deviated from the first is the focus on the new characters from Dark Cherry. I think they are given equal, if not slightly more screen time than the crane game girls. It is both good and bad because crane game girls are supposed to be the main heroines but get side-lined like this. But then again, Dark Cherry aren’t really the antagonists. How can you have cute idol girls as the bad guys! It’s unthinkable!

Though, even with their quirky characters, they still couldn’t really save this anime since their personalities also feel someone cliché. We have the competitive idiot who is also branded a boobs monster. Then we have a socially awkward and ultra shy idiot. Finally the idiotic idiot who is always at her own pace to throw everything off and supposedly make the series funny and make us laugh because she’s such a carefree idiot. You can’t hate cute idiotic girls, can you?! As mentioned, crane game girls get side-lined and since last season we already have a glimpse of their background and family, even if we have forgotten about them, who the hell cares.

Tokiko made a late appearance in the first season and this time around she is sticking a bit longer and becoming part of the main group of characters thanks in becoming crane game girls’ manager. And to answer last season as to why Saya jumped ship to Dark Gorilla’s side, her plans are finally revealed albeit you could have guessed more of the lines her ulterior intentions from the way she planned out those stuffs. She isn’t a bad person, right?

I can’t help think this series is trying to be a very light version of AKB0048 because that show itself is about galactic idols kicking ass and saving the universe. And then you use the power of singing, dancing and music, all idol related stuffs to power up and save the day. Who ever said idols are just out there prancing on stage looking good to please fans. They save the world and you don’t even know it! Yeah, it’s something like magical girls aren’t just little girls transforming into powered heroines to do good and save the world. At least for many magical girl themed series these days… So if crane game powered beams don’t do the trick, your stint as an idol will. Who needs American drillers? So if an asteroid is heading our way, we would prefer the Japanese to take charge and send their idols up there to do the job. Because, they’re just as effective and less destructive so to speak.

The art and drawing still remains the same although the animation is still crappy with using this Flash based tools but at least it is way much better than JK Meshi. Yeah, I can’t believe I still remember that mess. I think from now on every anime that uses Flash with this kind of art style, I have to compare it to JK Meshi because that is the standard of bad. Real bad. This season’s opening theme is Galaxy Party ~Uchuu No Mannaka De Party Shiyou~ by the crane game girls. Although it sounds like a typical idol sound, to me it sounds flat to more I hear it and feels like all over the place once it ends. The ending theme, Zettai Teki Seiten Aozora by Aki Deguchi at least sounds better. Dark Cherry aren’t side-lined as they do sing albeit the insert song, Don’t Call Me Loser (I wished there was some parody called Don’t Call Me Boobs Monster). Speaking of them, they are voiced by Aya Uchida as Lumie (Kotori in Love Live), Mikoi Sasaki as Hikaru (Hercule in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes series) and Akari Kageyama as Rei (Ebina in Himouto! Umaru-chan).

Overall, there are definitely much better idol themed animes out there. Yes, I consider this season to be totally an idol themed one instead of some disaster striking Earth. As usual, don’t get too stressed up watching this series because anger gets you nowhere and you might take it out on the innocent crane game machine. Do you even crane game these days? Logic tells me I’m not going to be a super genius in crane games when I finished watching this show. Because when you already have a talking gorilla in space wanting to destroy Earth, hell, anything goes. I wonder would they have garnered more points had they given Harambe a cameo. Because he would have definitely stolen the limelight from Super Shiny Galaxy without putting in any effort or doing anything. Then maybe we will all really be looking forward to season 3. Dicks out for Harambe!

Wanted for magical girl raising project. Girls who are interested of becoming magical girls and do all the goody-goody stuffs of helping other people are very much encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will be directly contacted by our administrator. Thank you. Woah. If only making a magical girl was that easy to begin with. When was the last time you see a dark magical girl anime? I know there are a handful throughout the years and I still remember how grim Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica was. Well folks, looks like here is going to be another dark and bloody magical girl anime. It may all look nice and sweet about a programme to develop and nurture magical girls. But behind all that glitter and sparkle of Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku lies something much darker. Something more sinister. Something that makes everybody wished they have read the finer prints and between the lines of the contract. How do you feel when I summarize this series in one sentence: Magical girls killing each other in battle royale style! OMG! Indeed. Now do you have the guts to watch how the best magical girl is chosen?

Episode 1
Koyuki Himekawa seems interested as she is told by the game’s mascot, Fav about this Magical Girl Raising Project. Wow. Sounds cool. Use magic and fight the darkness. Oh… I remember Kyuubey… Don’t do it! It’s a trap! Next day, Koyuki is discussing with her friends about rumours that magical girls have been responsible in taking out triads and the mafia. They also talk about the game company of Magical Girl Raising Project and their ridiculous ads and it is obvious Koyuki seems hooked on it. Because it’s free to play. Flashback reveals Koyuki has always loved magical girls. Back home, she gets a message from Fav that he has been observing her and is deemed fit to become a magical girl. Koyuki, no!!! IT’S A TRAP!!!!! Too late… Instantly she transforms into a magical girl nicknamed Snow White. This is real. This makes her very happy as she goes around town helping those in need. Fav also tells her she is the 15th magical girl and her special ability is to hear the thoughts of others in trouble. Fav also believes it is time for her to meet other magical girls via this online forum. Currently online now are Nemurin, Sister Nana, Vess Winterprison, La Pucelle and Cranberry. La Pucelle offers to train up Snow White since her area is next to her. La Pucelle then explains how each magical girl is given their own territory and thus rarely bump into each other. She warns the rogue magical girl, Calamity Mary in the Jounan district and to stay away from her. The combo pair of Top Speed and Ripple are passing by so La Pucelle also explains how some magical form teams. This has La Pucelle offer to team up with her. Snow White is surprised she knows her real name. La Pucelle’s real name is Souta Kishibe, Koyuki’s elementary classmate. Wait a minute. Isn’t she a boy???!!! No wonder Koyuki can’t recognize him. Or her. So you’re completely female if you’re a magical girl. La Pucelle vows to protect Snow White who feels very safe to be by her. When Koyuki comes home, there is an important message from Fav that he plans to cut this region’s magical girls to eight.

Episode 2
Of course everyone else isn’t too happy about this announcement. Making it worse is that Fav has already planned to take in a 16th magical girl since she already made a contract. It seems Fav has miscalculated. As magical girls draw power from the region, having too many of them will drain the power very quickly. But the question now is how they are going to half that number. Wait. What? Collect the most Magical Candies? You mean they’re not going to kill each other? Shucks… We have a flashback of how Top Speed and Ripple met. When the latter was a new magical girl, Top Speed offered to train her. However Calamity Mary appeared and announced that it was supposed to be her turn. Although Top Speed apologized and wasn’t looking for trouble, it didn’t take long before Ripple and Calamity Mary start fighting. The latter backs down when Top Speed pleaded. She also lets Top Speed have Ripple whose ability is her shurikens never miss. Snow White and La Pucelle save an elderly couple from a house on fire. This earn them lots of Magical Candies as the people they rescued are safe otherwise they won’t receive this many. Koyuki can’t sleep and logs online. She sees Nemurin and talks to this nice girl. She learns her ability is to enter people’s dream. Then we see Nemurin fighting monsters and saving the world in dreams. Although this earns her a lot of Magical Candies, what happens in dreams stays in dreams. Fav advises her to get real ones in reality. Ruler is having her groupies announce how many Magical Candies they have got. She chides Tama for not getting any because she won’t let anyone in this group drop out. Soon, Fav announces the top Magical Candies collector is Snow White. At the bottom is Nemurin. This means she will be eliminated. Snow White is sad and after she is done talking to Nemurin, her account is immediately terminated. Because Fav tells Nemu Sanjou (Nemurin) that she has until midnight before she cannot transform into a magical girl, she takes this last chance to enter people’s dreams. When time is up, she is suddenly cut off. Later when her mother comes in to check on her, she is in utter shock that her daughter is dead! OMG!

Episode 3
Top Speed gets a call from Swim Swim for a favour. It seems she forgot about a meeting with Ruler for a leaf viewing event and will be late. She sends her there in time and as expected, Ruler is not pleased with this. After Top Speed leaves, Ruler has her groupies to bury illegally dumped garbage to score Magical Candies. Snow White and La Pucelle are called by Sister Nana and Winterprison. When they were trying to find past logs of Nemurin to remember her by, they stumble upon this conversation between Fav and Cranberry. He told her that when a magical gets terminated, she will also die in the physical world. Meanwhile those idiotic angel twins are jealous Snow White is at the top of the popularity rankings too. They have Tama give them ideas on what to do. A PV? They like the idea and their popularity shoots up to second place although they still hate how much Snow White is in first. When Ruler summons them for a special meeting, it seems that all the magical girls are now being told and confirmed by Fav about real death once you drop out as a magical girl. Panic is starting to sink in. Didn’t read the rules, eh? Oh man, this is like Kyuubey… So what if they want to quit being a magical girl then? They will also die! Sh*t hits the fan when they realize the online article of a girl dying from a heart attack in her room that closely resembles Nemurin. It is her! Snow White is depressed about it so La Pucelle swears her loyalty that she will still protect her no matter what may become of her. When there is a version update notice that allows them to transfer Magical Candies, Ruler knows what the deeper meaning is. No, it is not transferring excess ones to those with smaller amounts or work as a team to earn Magical Candies. Because this can also be done with one’s device is off, they are telling them to steal Magical Candies. And who has the most Magical Candies right now? That’s right. Ruler and her groupies are going to target Snow White and make her die tonight.

Episode 4
Sanae Mokuou (Ruler) was chastised by her boss for coming up with an effective and flexible scheme. She was transferred to another lowly division. Her hate for idiots only grew and when she became a magical girl, she was thrilled at her ability to make anyone obey her commands. Hey. Can a person this ‘old’ be a magical girl?! Well, they had a boy being one… The angel twins distract La Pucelle and fight her. Despite pit traps from Tama, she can still hold her ground as she pounds them. Meanwhile Ruler has Snow White frozen as commanded while Swim needs to transfer her Magical Candies. It is tough on Ruler since she has to maintain this position without moving and Snow White has got lots of Magical Candies! When La Pucelle realizes this is a trap, she rushes back. This only angers Ruler that those idiots aren’t even good enough to stall others. Swim is done when La Pucelle lands an attack that separates Ruler and her groupies. Ruler calls for a tactical retreat. Snow White is depressed and La Pucelle is adamant to go get back her stolen Magical Candies. Snow White doesn’t want her to do that. But when they see her device, they are in shock. Ruler and co try to divide the stolen Magical Candies. As they have stolen 2,088 of them, they can’t divide it equally among the 5 of them. However Ruler dictates she will get the lion share as she planned all this. Swim will get half of that and the remaining miniscule balance to be divided among the idiots. When the announcement is made, Ruler is in last place! Flashback reveals Ruler was attacked by Calamity Mary. Humiliated, she gathered people with weak will to follow her to be meat shields. Now that Ruler is dead, the angel twins are mocking over her dead body. No more mean woman to boss them around. It seems this was a plan hatched by Swim. After she got Snow White’s Magical Candies, she transferred 25,000 to Tama. In actual fact, Snow White’s total is 50,000! Stealing half was enough. Then Swim has Tama order Fav to divide this amount evenly to everyone except Ruler, Snow White and La Pucelle. This would make Ruler in dead last place. The angel twins are also in on this. Apparently Swim got this idea when Nemurin entered her dream and gave her the idea of being a princess. A princess is like a ruler, right? But she can’t be a ruler if there is currently a ruler… See where this is going? Top Speed is upset Ruler got last place but Ripple obviously knows a coup d’etat has happened. They are called by Sister Nana to meet.

Episode 5
Sister Nana is trying to seek their help to end the fighting among the magical girls. But with her crying and all that, Ripple finds it shameful and disagrees. Top Speed prevents them from fighting and will think about it. Ruler’s subordinates might be free but now they are at a lost on what to do. Calamity Mary is seen talking to Magicaloid 44 who gets a call from Sister Nana. It seems Magicaloid was her magical girl tutor. Oddly, Sister Nana always wanted to borrow her ‘devices from the future’ (Magicaloid’s ability) in whatever help she wants to do. And she pays good money for it! Of course Magicaloid plays along as a way to make money but one day she didn’t know one of her device helped Winterprison become a magical girl as Sister Nana wanted. Now Sister Nana wants to stop this fighting so Magicaloid claims she can go negotiate on the admins on her behalf. Of course for a fee. Sister Nana and Winterprison are called by Cranberry. As usual, Sister Nana wants Cranberry to help stop this fighting but is instead told to stop what she is doing. Suddenly Cranberry and Winterprison start fighting. Winterprison is barely holding out with her magical walls but with a little of Sister Nana’s help (her ability is to boost the power of the one she wants), they turn the tables and escape. Fav is not pleased that Cranberry let them go as she was supposed to eliminate Sister Nana. However Cranberry has no interest in the game and only wants to fight strong opponents. Since Sister Nana is Winterprison’s source of strength, she’ll keep them alive for now. Sister Nana decides to take upon herself to teach the new magical girl, Hardgore Alice. As usual, the preaching about stop fighting each other, blah, blah, blah. But when she mentions about Snow White being targeted, Alice becomes interested in her and rushes off to where she is. After La Pucelle sends home Snow White, she is confronted by Cranberry who wants to fight her. She is not after her Magical Candies but wants a powerful opponent.

Episode 6
Makoto Andou (Magicaloid) does whatever she wants. She hangs out with a homeless man and eats with him before bumming in her friend’s place. While grinding some game, that is when she became a magical girl. La Pucelle and Cranberry begin their fight. OMG. First blood! It’s getting bloodier by the second as Cranberry beats up La Pucelle. Cranberry expresses she doesn’t fight strong opponents to gain strength but to kill them. This makes La Pucelle scared although she does make a little comeback and make Cranberry spill some blood of her own. But that is all futile because amidst the flashback of Souta’s reluctance in turning into a magical girl… He got hit by a truck? Before we know it, Souta is dead and everyone attends his funeral! Gloomy days are here for Koyuki. It seems this accident is just a cover up. As conspired by Cranberry and Fav to make it look like an accident when he was actually killed in that fight. Fav then makes an announcement. The good news is that there is an introduction of 5 items. First come first serve. La Pucelle’s death is also ‘good news’ because this means nobody else has to die this week. Cranberry wonders if this item thingy is a good idea because it might make it hard for Fav to reach his goal as this could mean the weaker ones could be left standing in the end. If the strong ones die in the process, it means they were weak in the first place and part of the process to be slain by the true hero. Fav tries to persuade depressed Snow White to buy the items. Based on what he says, she could guess La Pucelle’s death was no accident. The number on the items doesn’t indicate monetary cost. They cost you years of your life! She is hesitant to take at first but when she finally does, all of them are sold out! A little too late. Her luck runs out because Alice has found her. A chunk of them are bought by Swim’s group. The angel twins bought some medicine costing 3 years. Tama bought a weapon that costs 5 years and Swim bought the most expensive invisibility cloak for 25 years! Then she switches with Tama and decides to call the weapon Ruler. Wicked. The other magical pouch that can hold anything is bought by Calamity Mary who spent 10 years. Magicaloid didn’t buy any as she wants to hold on to her life. Knowing that the magical girls will be killing themselves, it’s a reason why she teamed up with Calamity Mary. However Calamity Mary doesn’t trust her and thinks she will backstab her one day. So to win her trust, go kill somebody. Before Alice can do anything, Magicaloid decapitates her! She decides to kill Snow White to please Calamity Mary. Two kills is better than one. However Magicaloid gets stabbed by Alice’s decapitated body!!! Bloody. Horror. No wonder Snow White is freaking out.

Episode 7
Koyuki wakes up in her room all fine. Was it a nightmare? Apparently she has that last item, rabbit’s foot that gives her luck whenever she is in a pinch. But she didn’t buy it. It was Alice who bought it. Sister Nana calls her to meet up. When Calamity Mary cannot reach Magicaloid, she summons Fav to contact her. But when she learns she is ‘not around anymore’, Calamity Mary wants to know who killed her and takes this as a direct challenge at her. At first Fav won’t give out information so easy, claiming fairness, blah, blah, blah. But she knows what he wants and makes a deal for things to go his way if he tells what she wants. Calamity Mary snipes out Alice. That easy? But then Alice rises back from the dead! Time to freak out. No matter how many bullets she pumps into her, Alice keeps regenerating! OMG! An immortal! She experiments with various ways to put her down and when fire seems to be the trick, she puts her remains in a cement block inside a barrel and dumps it into the ocean. Wow. Overkill. Want to bet zombie girl will get out of there? When Fav announces only Magicaloid has been killed by a slasher and thus nobody drops out this week, Calamity Mary laughs like crazy. Zombie girl is still alive. Flashback reveals Kano Sazanami (Ripple) always was picked on by other kids. They teased her for having a mom as a slut and changing so many dads. What does she do? She punches them all to hell! Even when she goes boyfriend hopping, she punches those damn b*tches for trying to warn her! And mom has got a new boyfriend home. Not surprising. As expected, he is a lazy bum and pervert. When he tried to make a move on her, that is when she has had it. She moved out to live on her own. Sister Nana meets Snow White to calm her depress heart. But look. She also has called Alice here! Alice agrees to work with her, delighting Sister Nana who is now off to meet other magical girls to form alliances. Wait. That’s it? You leaving Snow White alone with zombie girl? Man, this is awkward. Snow White tries to leave but no matter how far she goes, Alice is always there! Spooky! She tries to return the rabbit’s foot but Alice says it is hers now and she felt like giving it to her. Top Speed and Ripple are talking about things when the latter gets a call from Calamity Mary to meet. It’s urgent. Ripple isn’t too happy.

Episode 8
Flashback shows Sister Nana tried to warn Calamity Mary about using her magic to commit crimes. She doesn’t give a damn and starts shooting her. Thanks to Winterprison’s walls, they make their escape. Now Sister Nana is happy to go see Swim’s group not knowing they have laid a trap. Before talk can start, Tama in her cloak abducts Sister Nana. When they emerge, there are 2 Sister Nanas! Which is real? When Sister Nana goes up to Winterprison for help, this is the fake one because she stabs her. The disguise is courtesy of the angel twins’ ability. Winterprison realizes this is a trap and flings a very stunned Sister Nana outside to safety. Winterprison then targets the angel twins and smashes the head of Yunael (the younger of the twins)! In this chaos, Swim uses her weapon to cut off Winterprison’s arm and let her bleed to death. Winterprison sees visions of her time spent with Nana Habutae (Sister Nana). Minael (the elder of the twins) is devastated. Tama is reeling from the bloody shock. 2 dead bodies. Swim wonders how Ruler would have handled this. Obviously Sister Nana is also in despair thinking about those times spent with Shizuku Ashuu (Winterprison). Yamamoto Naoko (Calamity Mary) is an abusive alcoholic housewife. After the family left her for good, that is when Fav brought her into this magical girl project with his sweet words she can be strong, beautiful, etc. As Ripple and Top Speed wait for Calamity Mary, suddenly they are sniped at. They know she is out to kill them in the first place and makes a run for it. Calamity Mary knows she cannot best Top Speed’s, uhm, top speed so what does she do to bring her back? She randomly shoots and kills innocent bystanders!!! OMFG!!! She’s staying true to her name by causing a great calamity! Snow White sees this and rushes to the scene. Alice follows her. Flashback shows Alice revealing her ability to regenerate from any injury and she wanted to meet her again. Swim has a better idea. Wait for all the magical girls to head to the calamity area to rescue and then they kill them all off! Minael agrees with that. Everybody should just die… Cranberry isn’t interested of going but knowing that Winterprison is dead, she wants to know who killed her.

Episode 9
Sister Nana is too depressed to give a f*ck. I don’t think all that drinking and pills are going to help… Ripple jumps back down to face off with Calamity Mary. But Ripple steps on her landmine and bombs are thrown at her. Top Speed luckily returns to swiftly save her from death. Ripple wants to go back and fight her. She knows she is being harassed and Calamity will not stop hunting her till she is dead. There’s talk about not being an ideal magical girl so Top Speed acknowledges those feelings and agrees to help out. But getting near Calamity Mary isn’t easy. They are even shot out from the sky! Then they go for broke with their next trick, which is to drop shards of glass all over her. But cleverly hidden among those shards are Ripple’s shurikens. One strikes right in Calamity Mary’s forehead. Game over. She’s dead. Ripple thought Top Speed is fooling around hugging her. But then she realizes she is bleeding! Oh no. Was she injured during the fight? Actually, Swim stabbed her! Ripple becomes mad as she tries to kill Swim. However Swim is able to turn her body into water so any objects that harm her pass right through. Swim cannot match her agility and escapes. Ripple is further devastated when she returns to the body of Tsubame Murota. She is 3 months pregnant! You going crazy now?! Snow White and Alice are helping the people when Minael drops in. She transforms into an axe and throws herself at Snow White. But Alice takes it right in her head! Don’t worry. She still lives. Now Alice is going to kill Minael like swatting a fly? Snow White could hear the voice of Tama in a dilemma to attack her. Despite Tama is wearing the cloak, Snow White can pinpoint her due to her ability. This makes Minael mad as she grabs the cloak from her and disappears. Tama escapes by digging a hole. Snow White and Alice continue helping others. Alice picks up her dropped bunny doll but it seems it is Minael in disguise… Her original doll was hidden by the cloak. Meanwhile, Nana hangs herself. Too sad to give a f*ck anymore. Fav announces more dropouts than usual. Yeah, 5 of them. So what now? There were supposed to be whittled to 8 and now there are only 7. Yeah, f*ck that. Let’s whittle it down to 4. Are you freaking kidding me???!!! Swim is analysing the skills of other magical girls. It won’t be easy for their group to take on the rest. But this leaves Cranberry who rarely shows herself so she doesn’t know her strength. She thinks of having Tama test the medicine when they face her. Minael comes back happy, certain there is one person they can definitely kill.

Episode 10
An emotionless Ako Hatoda (Alice) visits her father in prison who tells her not to come anymore. Worse, the school is giving her that look because news spread that her dad murdered her mom. Snow White and Alice find solace with each other. But when Snow White learns about the whittling to 4, she loses it. She doesn’t want to this sh*t anymore. Alice tries to calm her but she takes out her frustrations on her and leaves. Alice is devastated when she is told not to follow her anymore. Alone again, naturally? When Ako heads to school, she is shocked Swim attacks her. Apparently once your identity is known, you lose your qualities as a magical girl. Swim chases down injured Ako who is looking pretty scared now she can’t transform. She remembers joining this magical girl project with a dark design and wanted to meet Snow White because it would be a good colour contrast between them. Apparently Swim can also teleport out from puddles and that is where she makes the kill. Another strike to make sure. Snow White could hear Ako’s voice calling out to her as she races there. Ako’s last words are as long she is still alive, there is still a magical girl in the city. Ako is also particular of Snow White because Koyuki helped find her lost keys before. Then it’s goodbye forever. Swim didn’t know it was so easy to kill Alice. Minael rues they should have done this from the start as she remembers her times with her twin. Mina and Yuna Amasato (Minael and Yunael) are a bit of a rascal as they grow up, doing almost everything together. Heck, the funny part was a guy confessed to them and doesn’t care which. Just date him! Hell no! Minael remembers masquerading as the doll and being brought to Ako’s home. That’s how she know how she looks like. If they had done this earlier, Yunael would still be alive. Next on the target list is… Cranberry receives a call from Swim to meet. Funny, Cranberry is thinking how strong this girl is seeing she has killed 4 magical girls! Then there’s a talk with Fav about making a false report and hiding the truth from some committee in the magical world about this project. Swim’s group arrives at Cranberry’s cabin in the woods. Swim enters the cabin and takes a medicine. But Cranberry is already outside and she knows Minael and Tama are trying to trap her. While Tama escapes from an attack, Cranberry crushes Minael’s heart as she is disguising as a rock! Tama panics when she sees Minael’s corpse but Swim isn’t as she plans to pincer Cranberry. Cranberry assesses Swim’s calm judgments and the reason why she is the leader in slain magical girls. But she can’t beat her. Can she?

Episode 11
Lots of dead magical girls. It seems a demon summoned for some selection exam has gone berserk. Even the master is dead. Only Cranberry is left standing and somehow she killed it. That was when Fav decided to team up with her to do something more exciting instead of these boring exams. Swim directly attacks Cranberry. Although Cranberry’s attacks go through Swim’s body, something about she can see and hear her, it means light and sound are unable to pass through. Cranberry lets loose a light explosion that blows her away. As she checks her body, she is shocked to see Swim’s real self is of a child. In that distraction, Tama scratched her. It is a fatal scratch as her ability is to make holes in anything she touch. Cranberry’s top explodes! OMG! After Tama picks up Ayana Sakanagi (Swim), she transforms back and slits Tama’s throat! WTF???!!! Flashback of Tama Inubouzaki’s life as a loser. She never did well in exams and sports. Her younger siblings did better and are ashamed to be related to her. Her only solace was her grandma but she died suddenly. That is when Tama became a magical girl and under Ruler, she was even thought how to read and write words! She can only regret what she did wrong. The dead don’t even contemplate. Fav now considers Swim as his new master and she agrees to play along with his game. It seems Swim killed Tama not because she is a ruthless master wannabe. Ruler told her never to let anyone know her true identity. Ayana goes home to do her homework like all those violence never happened. She ponders if Ruler would have become master without letting everyone die. Ripple remembers how Top Speed was enraged when Nemurin was killed. Likewise, Snow White thinks back about La Pucelle, Sister Nana and Alice. Ripple calls Snow White to meet. If she has any information on Swim, let her know now. It’s about revenge. Snow White tries to tell her this only makes her a murderer but Ripple doesn’t care about being a magical girl she once wanted to be. That’s why she admires her. Fav then interjects to hint Swim’s weaknesses are light and sound. Go figure the rest. Seems this killing game is going to whittle down to 2. Oh heck, why not just make it one? Snow White can’t believe what Fav has done although he says he is just giving a little supportive push. Ripple makes her final peace with Top Speed. The latter’s spirit thanking her for bringing her body back at her home? Time for Ripple to have a showdown with Swim.

Episode 12
As Koyuki is crying in depression back in her home, she doesn’t want to become into a magical girl anymore. Fav tells her that is not how it works as he reveals he is from some scouting department in the magical world to recruit and train magical girls (man, this reminds me of that Kyuubey’s explanation…). He was in cohorts with Cranberry who was the master but she got killed. Fav would prefer Snow White to be his master because Swim is a talented killer but is not a good master. Ripple too has personality issues so Fav doesn’t want her. That is why Fav motivated Ripple to fight Swim and have them kill each other. All that is left is Snow White. As master, she gets to decide how the next magical girl get selected. As Cranberry was the previous master, she decided to use this social media game which is popular in the human world which made recruitment easier cover up their true goal under the guise of gathering Magical Candies. Normally failed candidates would just have their memories erased but this time they decided to kill Nemurin so things would be spiced up. Thus, collecting Magical Candies is just red herring to have them kill each other. Fav can’t understand why she looks so surprised. She should have seen this coming?! Koyuki can’t take this anymore and destroys her device as she transforms to go stop the fight. Too late. It’s already in progress. Swim is having a great advantage because it is raining and there are puddles everywhere. Ripple is blinded an eye and an arm cut off before the flash of lightning made her realize this is Swim’s weakness as she is unable to turn her body into water. She uses a flash grenade to stun her and take her down. Just to be safe, she stabs her body many times! Ripple is happy to get revenge and the collapses.

By the time Snow White arrives, she is disheartened to see their corpses. Fav congratulates Snow White for being the sole winner without soiling her hands. But Snow White can hear Fav’s worries that if this master terminal is destroyed, it would be troublesome. She tries to break it but Fav assures this master device is very sturdy. But when Fav is mocking other magical girls, Ripple suddenly gets up! Apparently thanks to Snow White’s rabbit foot. Ripple is mad Fav mocked Top Speed as Snow White could hear Fav’s thoughts that he is scared Swim’s weapon can destroy the terminal. Fav will say anything to get out of his predicament so Snow White tells Ripple not to listen. Ripple lunges the weapon and destroys the terminal. Bye Fav. In the aftermath, the site for this magical girl project is gone. Error 404. There are also a lot of news about terrorist organizations and bad guys being taken out mysteriously. It has also been 6 months since Koyuki had run away from home and her friends have never heard from her since. In actual fact, Snow White and Ripple have been going around doing these deeds. They have received messages from the magical world to stop acting on their own but they ignored and deleted them. Snow White and Ripple have a friendly battle with each other as Snow White narrates her love for magical girls. Even if people say they are for young children, she will never stop dreaming.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara!
Ah well. What a bittersweet ending. At least the surviving duo go around in secret to do some good for the world. Even if their work goes uncredited, I believe this is what being a true unsung hero and a magical girl they believe in. After all, this might be their way of atoning for the unholy game they participated in despite it was no fault of theirs. Maybe in a way they too are to blame. While Ripple clearly had her hands tainted, Snow White didn’t do anything and that itself might be as good if she joined in the killing spree. Well, at least our heroines didn’t sacrifice themselves and be one with the world! So as you can see, this is what happens when Game of Thrones is a magical girl version. Haha! Too bad the small cast of characters would hardly make any deaths epic. But this isn’t the first anime to have its cast of characters kill each other. Old series like Basilisk and Gantz have already been doing this a long time ago.

Call me a sadist but somehow I was getting more and more engrossed in interested in watching the magical girls take out each other. Yes, this is the main reason why I gradually found this series to be interesting. You rarely have magical girls fight each other in battle royale style and in fact this could be the only show to do so as far as I know. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica may have its dark and grim moments but they don’t turn on each other although they too have one alternate timeline of killing each other.

Upping the dark and grimness of the series is of course the blood splattering and some body parts decapitated. Because you don’t normally see those in ‘normal’ magical girl shows that are laced with toxic magical goodness. So if you want to compare this series with other shows that are liberal and generous with the use of blood such as Shingeki No Kyojin and Drifters, this one makes it more brutal in comparison, don’t you think? So while watching the magical girls use their single unique ability in battle that may not amount to anything much, the sight of blood suddenly splattering and dripping might suddenly leave your jaw agape wide open. Yeah, at least it proves that even magical girls bleed. Get the note, Superman?

Despite many of the episode titles sounding like happy and bright game notices such as “Welcome to a world of dreams and magic!”, “Collect magical candies!”, “Add more friends!”, “New character!”, Up your friendship!”, “Get the super rare items!” and “Notice of new rules”, it feels like they are hardly the theme of the episode. Sure, that may only last for a few moments as the rest of the episode would be as grim and dark. Heck, the final 2 episodes’ titles is somewhat of a reminder of how dark this is going turn out to be, “Server down for maintenance” and “File not found”. Hell, they even added some horror-like suspense and interference to mess with our minds and scare our fragile hearts when these couple of titles popped up.

Another reason why this series is interesting is because of how it threw me off in which magical girl would go first. Yes, I was actually trying to predict who would die first and the last ones to stand. Of course with Snow White being the main protagonist, that is a given she will remain till the end. In short, my predictions were mostly wrong! I expected Ruler would be one of those last bosses because of her b*tch attitude but her early death signals the start of my failed predictions to come. I didn’t expect strong ones like La Pucelle and Winterprison to go out early or in the middle of the series. I didn’t expect Tama or Minael to last that long because they are somewhat the weakest and I saw them as numbers to be killed off. Who’d knew that they actually outlasted the stronger ones. This included Calamity Mary, whom I initially thought would be the last boss just like Ruler and because she is so badass but also went out in the middle. With more known about Cranberry and her unusual strength and power, I thought she would be the last boss then but I was proven wrong again when they picked her off!

Alice as the newcomer I thought she would be in the last 4 because her delayed appearance could mean she is hiding some sort of twist, right? Wrong! And here I was thinking how Sister Nana would be killed, she did the unthinkable and beat me to it by killing herself! I didn’t see that coming for sure! So you see how because all my predictions were off (because I’m so confident after watching a handful of shows about everybody killing everybody over the years) that is why I became engrossed instead of feeling frustrated. Oh heck, I should have guessed Snow White and Ripple would be the last ones standing because their bio-data in the mid-intermission are the first ones to appear. Big hint and sign, dude.

Which brings me to the characters of the series. I have mixed feelings about it. Because of a series that kills off its characters, is it necessary to know about their backgrounds? In some ways, yes. It is a good way to tell us about their back story and how they end up in this game, albeit they do not really impact the flow of the story in any way. It is just to give us some sort of understanding that these are girls, each with their own set of problems to deal with rather than something that would really affect the storyline in general. It gives them character and personality at best. But because there are 16 of them, the limited episodes and screen time means their stories are short and what you see is what you’ll know. That’s all. Therefore me wanting more than 16 characters and bloating it up to say, 50 so I can watch the gore fest might just dilute and make this part cheap. Thank goodness only 16, right? Also, the names of their character and magical girl nicknames reflect their behaviour so if you know your Japanese decent enough, you can guess their attribute and power based on their names.

So when you read the bio-data in the mid-intermission, it practically says everything and all you need to know about them. Every episode features 2 magical girls. It explains their unique ability as well as their general character in normal form. They are also shown their magical girl and normal form too although I wonder why a few do not have their normal form even though we don’t even get to see their real faces very much, at least we get to see in short instances. Like when they’re dead. Yeah, not pretty. My scepticism for Cranberry only increased because as the last bio-data, she is the only one without a real self and Fav is featured in this place. If you count your magical girls right, what happens when they run out of bio-data to show? They display ‘important’ quotes as said from the magical girls! Some are thought provoking like “If it’s talent they want, then they need only eliminate the weak and select the strong” while some are just WTF. “What did I do wrong?” and “Huh? I don’t know”. Huh? Why does Tama’s words like these get featured?!

Snow White being featured as the main protagonist doesn’t feel like one. Thanks to the other magical girls and the ‘fairness’ of giving them their due screen time. Because it is funny come to think of it that Snow White who didn’t even kill a single magical girl, she lasted till the end. It is as though she stayed dormant waiting for other rivals to take each other out before making her appearance. Heck, there are no more others left so who else is going to be in focus? Because for most the middle parts of the series, Snow White is relegated to the background while other magical girls duke it out like Calamity Mary and Ripple settling their score. All mostly can be done without Snow White ever coming into the picture. After La Pucelle’s death, I feel that part of Alice’s role is to help shield Snow White from everything else and part of the reason why Snow White is able to stay safe and alive till the end.

Swim is the most terrifying and deadliest of all characters. Even deadly as she shows no emotions. Heck, she may even be the youngest girl among all the participants and she is already so ruthless. Not sure if she is really this wicked or she is just trying to find her place and live out as what Ruler has told her. Sometimes I find Swim and Alice to be overlapping characters because they are both emotionless and they are both lolis. Heck, even their powers seem to overlap in the sense that it makes them immortal. I also want to comment on the angel twins. Despite looking the cutest of the lot, they give off this impression they are cutely dumb and all that because you see them rejoicing like idiots when things go their way. That itself makes them scary too. Especially when the other is gone, the other turned into a crazy killer. For Tama, I just want to say that the moment I laid eyes on her and get to know her character, she kinda reminds me of that Cartoon Network character, Courage the cowardly dog…

So we’ve got almost every other magical girl having some sort of their own problems like Calamity Mary’s alcoholic ways and the need to dominate others weaker than her, Ripple hating her own mom and Ruler wanting to prove that she is a capable leader. In view of this, I think the happiest magical girls are Top Speed and Sister Nana. This is shown in both their magical girl form and normal form. Ironically Top Speed was an ex-gangster but she is living a pretty happy family life and even expecting! It was just a sad ending for her. Likewise, Sister Nana and Winterprison are perhaps to most lovey-dovey couple. At first I was wondering if Winterprison is actually male because of her androgynous looks. She also tends to wear male-like clothes and play the male role for Sister Nana. So it could be her just being a tomboy and their relationship is still much lesbian? Well, if Winterprison is a guy, it would then overlap with La Pucelle’s character in a few ways. The thing that annoys me about Sister Nana is how she tries to preach to everybody. I’m cool with her being honestly goody-goody but I can somehow relate in real life her kind of character praising and glorifying whatever the speaker is trying to preach/sell/advocate. It’s that kind of annoyance.

Speaking of Fav, this little blob reminds me so much of Kyuubey and even though they have this similar vibe, they feel totally different. Despite when they talk using nice and cute tones but you can sense that there is something hidden beneath all that. Even when they tell you the truth, they tell it straight to you without changing their emotions and talk in the same cute manner they have always been talking to you. Having them as your moderator and contractor, you are really screwed big time. But can you blame them? It’s not like the girls did ask for hidden clauses and conditions at first. Everyone is so happy thinking about their own perceptions of the good it will be being a magical girl till sh*t hits the fan then it’ll be too late. One big difference is that Kyuubey exists physically while Fav feels like his is only digital.

What bothers and confuses me is this magical world thingy and the project Fav is supposed to undertake and report. I’m not sure why they are even doing this as it is not clearly explained and I’m confused if they are really that dumb not to see the magical girls killing themselves. It’s like handing them a project and not even giving a damn about it, so when asked about it periodically, they accept whatever answer and continue not to give a damn. Fabulous. It just shows this magical world isn’t as great as they’re supposed to be or they are just powerless. I mean, why the need of a magical project in the first place, right? Another thing that boggled me is how magical girls lose their attributes if they know about their true identity. Fair enough, if they are in normal form, they won’t have any magical girl powers. But seeing how some of them know each other (like Sister Nana and Winterprison), wouldn’t their power be ineffective? I feel like I’m missing something here… Also I find it redundant that the special magical items cost the purchaser’s lives in years. Because not that it mattered anyhow as they’ll be dead anyway! Get what I mean?! Of course it is to reflect the grimness of the game and to see the desperation of some but like I said, it didn’t matter because all of the purchasers ended up dead in the end.

This series is done by Lerche who has brought to you Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Hamatora, Danganronpa, Carnival Phantasm, Gakkou Gurashi, Unbreakable Machine Doll and Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut. Thus you can see why the art and drawing style lean towards the moe side like in some of those aforementioned series. Although nothing that extraordinary, sometimes it feels pretty odd to see cute girls killing each other. I can’t say about the character designs because I think magical girls have come a long way since the days of Sailormoon and Cardcaptor Sakura. They aren’t your typical magical girl outfit anymore. Therefore at first it was weird to see a bunch of cosplaying girls running all over town. I mean when you have a witch, ninja, nun, knights, robot, gothic loli and even a cowgirl in the fray, it doesn’t really look like magical girl fest on this level anymore. But I guess this gives a variety of eye candy because if everybody is going to look like palette swap variants of Sailormoon, it would be just bloody boring and pain to look at. Is it me or does La Pucelle look a bit like Saber in some angles?

There are quiet a handful of recognizable seiyuus lending their voices here as I later find out because the shocking thing was how I couldn’t recognize most of them when I should have! Excuse: I was too engrossed in the story and killings for me to strain my ear and listen. So it was really a surprise for me when I discover that Nao Touyama was behind Snow White, Ayane Sakura as La Pucelle, Kikuko Inoue as Calamity Mary and Youko Hikasa as Ruler. They sound so different than their usual. Those that I had barely recognized and took me a while are Yuu Kobayashi as Winterprison and Megumi Ogata as Cranberry. Of course, those outright recognizable are Saori Hayami as Sister Nana and Satomi Arai as Magicaloid.

For the rest I didn’t recognize, they are Manami Numakura as Ripple (Retoree in Show By Rock), Inori Minase as Swim (Chamille in Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou No Alderamin), Rina Hidaka as Alice (Anko in Tamako Love Story), Yumi Uchiyama as Top Speed (Momiji in Binbougami Ga), Risae Matsuda as Minael (Taki in Denpa Kyoushi), Satsumi Matsuda as Yunael (Nagaru in Denpa Kyoushi – hey, the angel twins are voiced by the same seiyuus who played delinquent twins in Denpa Kyoushi too?), Asuka Nishi as Tama (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic), Yumiri Hanamori as Nemurin (Hanako in Anne Happy), Kurumi Mamiya as Fav (titular character in Hamtaro – is this what evil hamsters sound like?).

I wonder if Sakebe by Manami Numakura as the opening is fitting for such a series. It is a lively rock outfit but personally even if it does fit action sequences, it doesn’t seem to bode well if you have a series about everybody killing everybody and deaths are for real. Personally the ending theme is more fitting despite it is also another rock piece. Dreamcatcher by Nano starts out all echo-y, making it feel close to Enya’s kind of music. Mixing a good amount of English and Japanese words into the song, it gives some sort of hope after all the grim killings we have seen.

Overall, if you are traumatized after watching cute magical girls kill each other, I recommend to you watching Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara for therapy. Yes, that magical girl show about a magical girl doing no magical girl stuffs. Well, if you really get traumatized after watching this, then you’re not ready to face some of the other magical girl series that are dark in their own way. Better off sticking to old school retro Sailormoon and Cardcaptor Sakura, eh? This show is not for the faint hearted and in my books this is an interesting and remarkable series despite what others have to say about it. It shows us the dark side of humans (magical girls in this case) when life and death are at stake. Lots of moral questions are raised but more importantly do you stick with your principles and do what is right. A great reminder never to jump in the bandwagon when things seem too good to be true. Hmm… Better have a second thought and not click on that invitation and application on social media looking for masters to supervise a harem of beautiful obedient and submissive maids in a large luxurious mansion. Can’t… Resist… Clicking…

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2

May 13, 2017

Because the manga has already ended, it is only right that the sequel for Ansatsu Kyoushitsu also ends and gives the series its due closure. This means answering some of the burning questions we have from the previous season like Koro’s origins and the truth behind it all once and for all. With pending doom of mankind at stake, it is a race to see if they can get the monster first or will the monster get humanity first. And if we’re just talking about killing Koro, who will win the race to claim his life? His own students or some other outside party. The past year of doing and overcoming the impossible has all boiled down to this moment. The moment of truth. Year 2016 isn’t such a bad sh*t as everyone thinks it to be when you compare this to the countdown to the end of the world.

Episode 1
Continuing off from last season where class 3-E are on the Okinawa resort for special training but ran into that Takaoka problem (and solved it), Koro wants to push ahead with the test of courage since he hasn’t experienced it yet. He is quite enthusiastic about it (because he wants to play matchmaking) but not his students. Koro plays the ghost but he doesn’t scare them but instead he got scared by some of them! Koro is most disappointed by the end of it. However everyone notices Bitch clinging on to Karasuma. Everyone suddenly has this devilish idea… You bet they’re going to hook Bitch up with Karasuma. But first they need to know Karasuma’s taste before they can proceed. I don’t think anybody knows… Eventually they setup a nice romantic candle lit dinner on the beach. Karasuma can talk nothing except the students’ progression and how at this rate they can kill Koro. It gets sombre really quickly as Bitch asks if he knows what it really means to kill. She kisses her napkin and puts in on Karasuma’s lips. A cool “I love you” before leaving. But in her heart, Bitch must be rueing how pathetic that move was. Karasuma thought she was practising some sort of new killing technique. Koro accompanies his students to the fireworks festival. I’m sure they want to have fun but some have to be cut short because like Chiba and Hayami, they rule the shooting gallery and won everything and had to be banned. In fact, everyone is so good they are making a killing winning all the prizes. They make it look so easy. Koro has no money and has to take up several jobs selling food at the stalls. No problem at that lightning speed. Karasuma attends a government meeting. In addition to the reward 10 billion Yen reward, a successful group assassination will yield 30 billion.

Episode 2
Kaede has this grand idea of using discarded eggs to assassinate Koro. She noticed his weakness that he loves pudding and laments he could eat more. Therefore she has researched a lot in making a giant pudding. Of course inside the pudding there will be those harmful materials in which they will detonate when the time is right. The entire class put in their herculean effort to make this giant pudding. Koro is absolutely please and digs in. Halfway through, suddenly Kaede feels she can’t blow it up. She put in so much effort, it will be a waste to destroy it! Attachment? Of course Koro already picked up and disable the bomb because he smelled plastic explosives. The rest of the pudding isn’t wasted as Koro uses it to make pudding for them. Hey wait. Aren’t those using expired eggs? The students are in a special cops and robbers training. In a limited time, Karasuma has to catch them and put them in ‘prison’ where Koro is the warden. Karasuma is quick and deadly. However thanks to Koro receiving bribes, he turns a blind eye and lets the ‘prisoners’ go. In the end, all of Karasuma’s hard work were for naught. When rumours that a panty thief is striking homes, everyone suspects Koro! I mean, who could steal panties at such speed? Who could have had such perverted fetish? Damn right. It gets even worse when Koro tries to prove his innocence because his entire belongings seem to have lingerie?! Did he really steal them? Yeah, he has even got a record of boob size for all the girls. Kaede is forever flat?! Of course the students wonder if Koro really did this. What would he gain from ruining his reputation? Could it be an imposter? As calculated, they think the panty thief will strike at this big busted idol group renting a place here for their dance practice. Then the real culprit turns up. Obviously not Koro. Just someone in a yellow helmet. Immediately Koro apprehends him. He unmasks him and realizes he is one of the Karasuma’s subordinates. During the confusion, a cage covered with harmful material falls around Koro. This is a trap by Shiro as he has learnt from what his students tried on the island. Swiftly attacking Koro from the top is Itona.

Episode 3
Despite Itona spamming his tentacle attacks, Koro is not fazed by one bit. Instead, he has memorized his attack patterns and knows how he strikes. Koro has also levelled up himself and uses some burst of energy from his tentacles to defeat Itona. Itona’s head hurts because the tentacles are gnawing away his mind from repeated defeats. At this rate he will go crazy and die within a few days. Shiro then abandons Itona seeing he has failed and they need to cut their losses. Itona then runs off and in his madness, attacks handphone shops. When Koro and his students find him, they try to calm him down but Itona is still bent on becoming the strongest and defeat Koro. Suddenly smoke screen is released. Another trap by Shiro. He knows Koro will take responsibility over Itona since he is now his student. Therefore Shiro kidnaps Itona. Then his team tries to target and hurt Itona. It works well since Koro is trying to protect him and bears the brunt of the assault. Luckily the 3-E students get rid of the henchmen. Koro warns Shiro to step down and realize he has lost. Shiro admits he lost this time and will be back after making radical changes to his plans. The problem is now Itona since he is still going crazy. Ritsu has researched about his past. His parents had a factory that supplied smartphones to the world. But 2 years ago, they went bankrupt and missing, leaving Itona behind. It is a reason Itona lusts for power and victory. Noting he is just a delinquent, Terasaka and his groupie take responsibility to solve this. To cheer him up, they let him eat Takuya Muramatsu’s disgusting ramen, ride Taisei Yoshida’s horrible bike on his family’s track and Kirara Hazama trying to convince to read the entire 7 volumes of The Count of Monte Cristo for revenge motivation! Since Itona is still hell bent on revenge, Terasaka shuts him up and relates that he used to think like him. He should get rid of that impossible vision right away. Don’t let a few losses throw you off course. Because it doesn’t have to be now to kill Koro. As long as it is by next March, they can take their time and win by them. With Itona calming down and giving up on that goal, Koro is able to detach the tentacles from his head. Officially Itona is now in Koro’s class and naturally he is under Terasaka’s delinquent group of idiots.

Episode 4
Itona is making an RC tank in his bid to kill Koro. It is silent and deadly. With the guys interested in this idea, it soon dawned to them that they can use this for another sleazy purpose… Watching up girls’ skirt… Yeah… And so most of them chip in to make improvements to the mini tank whenever it runs into trouble and cover its shortfall. Oh, how far did the assassination goal steer away. But Nagisa has noticed Itona has no trouble fitting in nicely with the guys. And then the girls find out and the guys busted. Yeah, everybody just blames Okajima. Even Itona. Poor guy being made the scapegoat… Everyone is surprised to learn Masayoshi Kimura’s first name is supposed to be pronounced as Justice (his parents are cops). This leads to a debate with some of them opining if they like or dislike their given name. It is suggested they give each other code names and call each other that for the day. Despite being written and randomly assigned, it feels more than just coincidence that they get a nickname associating with what they mainly describes them. Wanna guess who is Forever Flat? How about Baseball Brain? Who is Tsundere Sniper? Box Of Moe? Bilingual Blonde? President Poverty? I bet is better than Crassanova. They play a game of tag in which the students have to take down Karasuma. With teamwork, they manage to get him. At the end of the day, only Kimura wonders why he is the only one using his real Justice name. Koro explains about how cool his name will sound when the media needs a tagline to report how a hero saves the world. Names that parents give might not hold any great meaning but it is the meaningful things they do that makes their names great. A cue for Koro to want his class to call him The Eternal Prince Of Tempestuous Desires. Everyone protests and calls him The Pervy Octopus Of Spineless Stupidity.

Episode 5
Nagisa and co visit the café where Isogai works part time and note how cool he is in everything! Is he using his poor status to his advantage? Nevertheless he is cool. However Gakushuu and his friends find out. It is against school rules to work. Isogai pleads to give just a month to get the necessary money but Gakushuu gives him a condition. If they can beat them in a pole toppling match, he’ll disregard this. At first Isogai wants to go this alone since this is his responsibility but we all have to be reminded of Class 3-E’s teamwork. During the game, it seems Class 3-E opts for minimal participants. Only the guys participate. Gakushuu’s side has got even burly American friends? Class 3-E seems like they are going to only defend their pole. The Americans push aside a couple of them and try to topple their pole but their tight defence pays off. When Gakushuu sends his flanking team, Isogai leads a few boys into the middle of the field and gets surrounded. And then they rush off into the spectator stands and it now becomes a chaotic cat and mouse game. Because of their focus on this, Gakushuu didn’t see those couple of them sneaking up from behind and trying to hold him down. Now all Class 3-E boys charge towards Gakushuu’s pole and trying to bring it down. Gakushuu can still fight them off while defending his pole. But the ultimate difference in them is that Gakushuu makes decisions all by himself (so his underlings cannot act without him giving orders) unlike Isogai doesn’t have to make all the decisions himself. He sends in Itona as the secret weapon to tip and topple the pole. Class 3-E wins. With this shocking loss again, it is no surprise they’re going to get their punishment from Asano. First he tells them they already loss the intelligence battle because Class 3-E won the match despite the battle was stacked heavily against them. Then he does a bloody karate lesson on his son and his American friends. Finally, a lesson in life. Asano once lost to a karate master. That frustration led him to master the art for if he failed and humiliate himself again, he would lose himself and die of madness. He then defeated the karate master in a single hit. The question is why Gakushuu’s sense of frustration isn’t eating him alive. Gakushuu keeps his word to not rat on Isogai but he will get him and the entire class next time.

Episode 6
Class 3-E is hopping around from roof to roof. I guess they’ve trained enough to do superhuman abilities. But then they crash into an old man riding his bicycle. He fractured some bones and will be hospitalized for 2 weeks. Because the kids are top secret, Karasuma is negotiating compensation to keep this incident a secret. You can tell Koro is most upset and slaps everyone when they try to give excuses. He tells them off being drunk with their powers makes them no different than the main campus. No answer for that. The old guy is a stubborn goat and won’t accept just any compensation. After Koro sincerely apologizes on their behalf, his students will now have to work without pay at the preschool that he is a principal of. You can tell Sakura is the resident brat and is going to make their life hell. Don’t worry. Nothing untoward happens. She confides with Nagisa and it looks like she is some bully victim too and does badly in her tests. But some little advice from Nagisa to sometimes look back down gives her some hope. Don’t tell me this kid has fallen for him. Two weeks later, the old guy is released. He is not going to expect anything. Wait till he sees his entire preschool building remodelled and expanded in a green way. Even his bicycle is given an eco makeover! Yeah, it’s creepy to think kids their age can do all this perfectly. But what about the relationship with his students? It all means nought if they cannot win their hearts. Well, Sakura has took up Nagisa’s advice and is doing well in her tests. She wants him to continue as her teacher. Hint, hint. Despite their stint is over, Class 3-E has mid-terms tomorrow. Of course they flopped seeing they couldn’t study during that time and are kicked out from top spots. This only gives Gakushuu and his friends ammo to taunt them. However Karma is the only one who studied and took overall 2nd place just behind Gakushuu. He shuts them up that his pals were just giving them space because it would be just bad for them to lose all the time. The class apologizes to Karasuma and also learnt an important lesson to use their powers to help and protect. Then they all demonstrate before Koro the new protective outfits from the government to show him they will use their lessons they learn from him with assassination.

Episode 7
The class realizes Bitch’s birthday was a few days ago. While half of them keep her company (she feels great for being popular), the rest buy a bouquet of roses from a florist. They want Karasuma to hand it to her without revealing where this bouquet came from. He agrees when Karma puts it as winning her over as part of his job. Bitch is totally happy when she receives the flowers. But when he starts talking about the job and end of the world, she realizes that she has been setup by the kids. She was a fool to think Karasuma would do something like this on his own. The class thinks Karasuma is still dense but on the contrary he knows about Bitch’s feelings. If her blade can be dulled by romance, she is not qualified for work and will hire another assassin. For 3 days, Bitch has never come to class. Has she quit? Then the florist waltzes in. He is actually an assassin nicknamed Reaper. He shows Bitch captured and wants them to come to a specific location or he’ll cut up and send her parts to them equally. The kids have no choice but to do this without alerting the other teachers as they realize this is probably another guy who is trying to take advantage of them to draw out Koro. They enter some bunker which turns out to be a big prison. But they’re not going to just sit there and wait. They bust out but the true nightmare starts. Uhm, Reaper is like a shadow? He is on a different level than them and quickly owns them. Not even Nagisa had the time to react. Half of the other class went to look and rescue Bitch. When they cut her free, she immediately tranquilizes them. She is in cohorts with Reaper and sure fooled them. Itona is the last one left standing and he makes the wise decision to surrender because he knows they cannot beat them. After all, he has learnt that today is one of those days they can lose. Reaper puts them in a cell. He is surprised Karasuma has tracked them. Thanks to Koro acting like a dog…

Episode 8
Bitch acts like Reaper’s hostage to let their guard down. This allows Koro to fall into a trap and put in the same cell as his students. Oh, the cell is laced with those dangerous materials. Don’t lick your way out… Also, everyone has got a bomb in their collar that will explode if Reaper activates it. Reaper plans to flood this entire canal but he needs to activate it at the command room above. Karasuma will not allow this and places the safety of his students higher than the world’s destruction. He is going to fight Reaper but he flees. While Karasuma tries to disable the traps he set along the way, Bitch moves in to kill Karasuma. She knows the risk as an assassin and is prepared to die. Oh really? Because she sure hell didn’t know Reaper plans to sacrifice her when he explodes the ceiling. While Karasuma is safe, she is pinned under a rubble. Naturally Karasuma wants to go after Reaper since Bitch has defected but the students plead to safe her. Everybody makes mistakes, right? Well, may I remind you that you have only one chance to save Earth? Anyway, while we see Bitch’s tragic past that made her decide to go into the assassinating world, Reaper detonates the collar bomb but it seems the students have easily taken it off and are hiding behind the camera’s blind spot. When Reaper goes back to Bitch and telling her about the world is about deceive or being deceived, you know karma is a b*tch when he gets what is coming. Bitch plays him out to deceive him so Karasuma could take on him in melee combat. Reaper’s horrifying truth is exposed: He has no face! What a way to improve on his disguising skills? Reaper thought he won when he shoots a mini hole in Karasuma’s veins that will make him bleed to death. He didn’t know Koro elongated his tentacle to block the shot. He is then kicked in the nuts! Ouch! Well, he is human after all. In the aftermath, Bitch expects to be sexually abused by everyone (or does she really want it?) but everyone wants her to just come to class. Karasuma gives a rose he took from Reaper to her. Even if it is just one, I guess she’s happy. But so sorry, nothing racy happens after that. To stop the students being used in future assassinations, Koro wants a safe environment for killings. WTF?! Isn’t that contradicting? Karasuma talks to the ministry about no pay out for the bounty if the students get injured and he agrees seeing they are done hiring freelance assassins. It will be their last assassination project with an international coalition.

Episode 9
Ironically if Koro is going to destroy the world, why would class 3-E need to have a career discussion? Of course Nagisa is still in a dilemma as he ponders if he should use his talents to become an assassin. Koro has him think again and if he truly wants to become one, he’ll support him. But that is the least of his problems. When he returns home, his mom has had enough of his ‘mediocre’ grades and wants him back in the main campus. Of course she is going to do that by giving a ‘generous donation’. But when Nagisa protests, mom goes into a rage. He should have known better to speak out when she is in a gloomy mood. Nothing he will say will convince her. We hear her rant about her failed live and thus living her dreams through Nagisa. Another reason why Nagisa looks so girly is that mom wanted a daughter. Mom has decided to go talk to his homeroom teacher tomorrow. Because Karasuma is officially listed and he is away, Koro will disguise as him. It sucks… After Koro hears her out, he asks if Nagisa wants it but mom tells him as a kid he doesn’t know anything. Koro then takes off his wig. This is to imply there are things Nagisa must decide himself because this is his life. Unless Nagisa wills it, Koro cannot allow his transfer. Mom blows her top (wow, like an earthquake happening) and leaves while vowing to prove them all wrong. That night during dinner, Nagisa is drugged out by mom. He wakes up outside the school grounds. She wants him to burn it down with his own hands so that he would feel ashamed to come back here. Nagisa won’t do it so she goes into that usual rant of the cost and time it took for her to raise her and blames it on this class for making her disobey her. But a whipping assassin is here and this makes mom scared. Nagisa easily uses his talent to knock him out. Nagisa is grateful mom raised him but wishes for her to be happy watching him grow up. Koro assures her son isn’t going to betray her. He is just getting ready to leave the nest like everyone. With all the tension gone, she faints. On the way back, Koro asks if Nagisa still wants to become an assassin. All Nagisa knows is that he wants to use his talents to protect the ones he loved. So that rules out being an assassin. From now on, Nagisa makes breakfast and will do the house chores to lighten his mom’s burden. He hopes she could let him stay in class 3-E. She might not look happy but telling him to do what he wants is a sign of approval.

Episode 10
Class 3-E will be selling acorn noodles for the cultural festival. Of course this is an indirect competition with Gakushuu’s class who is organizing a great party-cum-concert to crush their eternal rivals. Hey, Gakushuu jamming away… Focusing on Class 3-E, we’ve got the bullies from the school trip visiting. They want to say bad about their food but their reactions don’t lie. They’ll spend more when Bitch seduces them to. Remember that kid, Yuuji? The one who had a crush thinking Nagisa was a girl? He’s here too! Nakamura makes Nagisa wear a skirt to serve him. A ploy to milk some money out of this rich kid? Whose idea is it to ask Nagisa to date him for 10 grand?! But their ‘date’ is interrupted when lots of other weird characters like Lovro and Red Eye pop up. They freak the hell out of Yuuji but Nagisa lies they are some sort of comedians. Eventually Yuuji knows he is lying. His date often meets up with famous people and he can tell when a person puts up a fake smile. That is when Nagisa comes clean with everything including revealing himself as a boy (but short of revealing his manhood to prove it!). Sorry Yuuji. That wasn’t a lie. He leaves disappointed and Nagisa feels guilty for deceiving him. The next day, they see a long line to their store. It seems Yuuji is now a famous food blogger and he praises very high their menu. So we’ve got all sorts of normal people and weirdoes coming. Hey. Isn’t that guy from Saiki Kusuo No Psi Nan? Isn’t that guy from Kuroko’s Basket?! And isn’t that afro dude from Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo???!!! Class 3-E could have kept going if not for Koro stopping them for the day. They are blessed to have such bounty and continuing would mean destroying the ecosystem. The last customer is Nagisa’s mom. She apologizes and has accepted him as his own person. She hopes he can stay with her for a little while. After all, she is his only mom. Although Gakushuu’s class comes up tops, Class 3-E takes 3rd place and this is already abuzz among the students in the main campus.

Episode 11
Gakushuu seems to be satisfied with his win over Class 3-E although his father would have preferred him to go further like food poisoning. When Gakushuu mentions about strength in defeat, Asano talks to his friends for 3 minutes alone. When Gakushuu returns, they have all become hating zombies for Class 3-E. Asano doesn’t believe he taught such fragile strength and will handle the final term exams. Asano knows that Koro’s assassination is moving to the next phase so he ‘blackmails’ the authority to send another billion into his account or he won’t guarantee the secrecy of this project. They have to since he is already so ‘kind’ in lending his school for this mission. Asano takes over teaching the top class. Teaching syllabus that is on par with college level? Everyone becomes a study zombie and those who slack a little gets a short talk and return as Class 3-E hating zombies. When Asano tells his son to go home and study since he is expected to take top spot, that’s the last straw. Class 3-E is surprised Gakushuu is requesting them to kill Asano. Not physically but his education policies. He prides in his school’s top students so if Class 3-E surpasses that, it will ruin his stance. They think he wants his father’s attention. Gakushuu explains the chilly relationship the father and son always had since the beginning. But he is worried of his methods turning his friends studying beyond their limit with only hatred for Class 3-E. In the future they will think this is the only way. Gakushuu might look down on his friends but if that happens, they won’t be able to support him. He is grateful for some of the defeats opened his eyes and hopes they can show his father a proper defeat. Class 3-E will take on the challenge like they’ve always do. They’ll try their best to win. Koro talks to Asano before the exams. Asano knows this is Koro’s first time as a teacher and since he never said why, he thought beating him would allow him to know. Koro says there are only 2 reasons why one teaches. Either they want to pass their success or warn of their failures. The exams get on the way. Class 3-E handles each subject like how they always approach. Then the final boss in terms of an unknown syllabus pops up. It seems only Karma is prepared to take this head on.

Episode 12
Gakushuu and Karma are the only ones who manage to reach the final tough ass question. Each has their own metamorphic vision and way to solve it. But it is only Karma who manages to ‘easily’ solve it while Gakushuu ran out of time and was just a line away from completion. In the end when the results come out, Karma takes top spot and Gakushuu second. But if Terasaka who is always dead last in Class 3-E ends up 46th overall, this means the other Class 3-E students made it into the top 50! The rest of the top 10 are occupied by Class 3-E. Time for a celebration. But it isn’t for the main campus. Although they did well in the first half of the questions, as the questions became more difficult, they started losing their composure. Vengeance can only get you so far and cramming everything last minute won’t do. Everyone is depressed and Gakushuu isn’t proud of his marks either. He hopes everyone can work together and they can find a way to win. But Asano interrupts and guarantees he will improve their mind-set. However everyone is clear that this method isn’t working and thinks defeat sometimes can help make them learn better. They are prepared to be dropped to End Class. When Gakushuu points out the class has spoken, Asano slaps him that he flies quite a distance! With that shock on his face, it is proof that his policies are failing. But he isn’t going to give up yet. Although Class 3-E have qualified to return to the main campus, they’re staying put. It’s more fun here, right? Suddenly an excavator tries to demolish their building. Asano will have them transfer to a new campus with facilities akin to a prison as culmination of his educational policies. He views them no longer useful to his policies and this is where he will kill Koro. A dismissal notice?! Of course he is going to give Koro and his class a chance to stay with this little game. There are 5 bombs. 4 of which will kill Koro and 1 will kill a human. He inserts them randomly into a page. Koro is to solve that problem on that page fast enough before it explodes. He will do 4 and Asano will do the final one. Koro wins if he can survive all that. This game might sound like it favours Asano. It is since the world is about injustice and the weak can only kill the strong via assassination. That is why he has trained them to be the strong ones. Koro picks a random book. However he panics in solving it and the bomb goes off. Asano knows his reaction and speed drops when he flusters and will never overcome this trap. 3 more to go. Asano plans to use the money from his assassination and with the backing of the ministries to teach the nation of his education policies and mechanisms.

Episode 13
However Koro is able to finish his remaining tasks in lightning speed. Although he memorized all textbooks in Japan, this one gave him a little problem because he lent it to one of his students for quite a while and couldn’t quite recall it instantly. Now it is Asano’s turn. He stares in disbelief like as though his plan has failed and only death awaits him. Time for flashback. He once started a cram school at this dilapidated building. With only 3 students to boot, he was a decent teacher. They graduated well and with his reputation increasing, other parents soon started sending their kids to him. Many years later, one of his first students gave him a courtesy call to meet up. But when Asano do so, he was shocked to attend his funeral. Apparently he committed suicide from bullying. This made Asano rethink his education policies and that he needs to make strong students. He started learning martial arts and brainwashed techniques and managed to build a big new campus while leaving the old one behind as reminder of his failure. Now Asano opens the book and instantly gets blown away, believing that Koro will still destroy the Earth when the time comes. Because when Earth is gone, the end will come equally to everyone. However Koro used his skin to protect Asano. He knows how he thinks because they are both educators. Had Koro won, there was no doubt Asano would have opted to blow himself up. Koro is lucky because he has Class 3-E. But this only happened because of Asano. Since Asano isn’t the straightforward guy to admit he has lost, he puts it as Koro accepting his policy and this will allow Class 3-E to remain. Gakushuu can tell his father lost but has also grown since he admits he too will improve as an educator and a parent. As reward, Koro tells his students his ultimate weakness. Just hold down his tentacles and he can’t move. Of course they know it is impossible because had they done it, the assassination would be impossible and he told them because it was impossible in the first place. For the drama festival, Class 3-E does a twisted version of Momotarou. It involves a greedy old man, divorce papers, divorce lawyers and the darkness of the heart. Yeah, very deep stuffs there.

Episode 14
While cleaning the shed, Kaede thinks it is the right time. Untying her hair, a couple of tentacles sprout from the back of her neck as she attacks Koro. She has observed him enough to know his tentacles’ attacking pattern. Of all the types of attacks, falling into a pit is the easiest. Koro falls into the pit and at the bottom are those harmful materials. With Kaede falling above him, he is having it hard to escape but eventually manages to blast a hole to get out. Her classmates are shocked to see Kaede’s other personality. Kaede says this isn’t her real name. She calls Koro a murderer and she is Aguri Yukimura’s younger sister. He seems to know who she is. With that, Kaede will get her revenge another time soon. Everyone remembers Yukimura was their previous homeroom teacher of Class 3-E before Koro. Kaede could be the most famous prodigy actress, Haruna Mase. Apparently Shiro also knows about her. Although she is not under his programme, her great acting skills hid well the pain of the tentacles without showing it to everyone. Flashback reveals Akari (Kaede’s real name) went to visit her sister at the facility but an explosion occurred. As she crawled in, she saw her sister dead and some tentacle creature draped in her blood before flying off. She saw a note saying how it was going to be a homeroom teacher at Kunigigaoka for negotiations. She also found a couple of vials containing tentacle weapons for human implantation. Vengeance and hatred fuels her as she injects the tentacles and will play the perfect part so she could get her revenge. She then dyed her hair and enrolled herself at Kunigigaoka and decide to make Nagisa the main character and herself as the side character. Everyone watches an old movie that Kaede acted in and they confirm it is really her. They wonder if she has been putting up an act all the while. They want to know the truth from Koro or else they can’t accept what is happening. Koro agrees but Kaede has left a message for their duel. At the field, Kaede admits she was faking everything. All part of her acting. Everything. Although some were out of her control, she had to hide her emotions so as not to let her identity slip or else Koro will notice. That is why she is always next to Nagisa as his murderous intent hides her actual feelings. Her classmates can’t believe Koro would do anything this cruel as they remember Yukimura’s short stint as a caring teacher. Kaede attacks Koro with her flaming tentacles. She is channelling the pain until she doesn’t feel it anymore. At this rate she will die as the tentacles are taking over her mind. It seems she is going all out but Nagisa wonders if this is her true feelings. Amidst the madness of wanting to kill Koro and see him die, deep inside she is crying for help.

Episode 15
Because of the bloodlust of the tentacles synchronizing with Kaede, Koro cannot just remove them. His plan is to let her attack his weak point located underneath his heart. At that point, somebody needs to talk to her to reduce her bloodlust and then he’ll remove the tentacles to minimize damage. But wouldn’t that kill Koro? Don’t worry. The odds of dying is 50%. Their graduation is more important than his life. So while everyone wonders what to do, Nagisa walks up to Nagisa after Koro straps her. He isn’t going to do a clap of death. Instead he kisses her! OMG! I see some people’s handphone was whipped out faster than the speed of light. This shock reduces Kaede’s bloodlust and Koro is able to extract the tentacles safely. Of course now everyone teases Nagisa but a sniper’s shop almost killed Koro but missed. It is Shiro and his mysterious assassin. Shiro unmasks himself and he is someone Koro knows: Kotarou Yanagisawa, a researcher. He will be his final opponent. Kaede explains at first she was driven by revenge but as she spends more time with Koro, his kindness confused her so she thought of investigating more before acting but by then the tentacles won’t let her back down. Of course with how things turn out now, she doesn’t have to act. Now Koro has to keep his bargain to tell everyone about his past. If you wonder why he is able to teach everyone without a hitch, it is because up until 2 years ago, he was known as the Reaper. The original one. Here is another secret. Whether they successfully assassinate him or not, come March he will still die. Either alone or taking Earth along.

A poor boy born in the slums, he chose to be an assassin as the only truth he believed was that once you’re dead, you don’t come back. After becoming a successful assassin, he was captured and became a subject experiment under Yanagisawa whose purpose is to generate antimatter within life forms. He is subject to torturous experiments every day although his only respite is Yukimura whose job is to check on his vitals after each experiment. Though kind on him, because she is married to Yanagisawa out of pity, he regularly abuses her if she doesn’t get the job done. Like the obedient wife, she doesn’t fight back. One day he can’t stand Yanagisawa’s wife beating and knocks him out with some ultra sound wave. Reaper also found out Yukimura was a teacher though the latter feels he makes a better teacher than her. Ironically he claims that it was one of his students who betrayed him and thus why he ended up here. That student was that faceless Reaper who assumed his identity. Reaper found it baffling because he supervised and developed him almost perfectly and yet this happened. Yukimura thinks his student probably just wanted to be seen by him. As the experiments go on, Reaper was slowly turning into a monster. Of course Yukimura didn’t say anything and continued to obediently observe with a smile despite deep down she knew something was wrong. She as Yanagisawa has intended is supposed to be a living sacrifice.

Episode 16
Reaper’s body becomes more flexible as the experiment goes on. His only respite is talking to Yukimura. He learns Yanagisawa wants her to leave her teaching job to be full time here. She thinks that is the best too because she believes she has failed to give her current students motivation. However she is in a dilemma because she loves her students and being a teacher. It was the first time Reaper consoled her with a genuine smile and encouraged her she could do it. There was a lab rat subjected to the same experiment like Reaper earlier. It was placed on the moon but it starts going berserk and explodes, destroying 70% of the moon. If this the consequences from a lab rat, what are the consequences from a human? That’s right. Full planet annihilation. It will be on 13th March. Yanagisawa wants this experiment stopped and kill Reaper. Yukimura heard this and tells Reaper but this is all part of his plan. He has been waiting to unleash his newfound powers. Despite Yukimura’s plea to not go down the path of evil, he dismisses and threatens to kill her if she doesn’t escape. After all, how can a puny human like her stop him? She’s not even worth holding as hostage. Yanagisawa and his security team go all out to stop Reaper but he has turned into a killing machine slaughtering everything. Luckily those harmful materials as traps are around but not enough to kill him. In the midst of the chaos, Yanagisawa is blinded in his left eye.

Once the facility is destroyed, Reaper thinks of taking this world with him since he is going to die anyway. Yukimura tries to stop him by hugging him but this triggers a trap and it pierces her. This was part of her plan. She thought if her words don’t get through him, this will. It made Reaper think he could have saved her and instead of using his powers for destruction, used it to help others. Yukimura doesn’t mind if she dies for him. She hopes he would use his remaining time to teach her students who are also wandering in the darkness like him. Reaper vowed to use his remaining time to become a teacher. Therefore it is Yukimura he has to thank for in teaching him to be a teacher for she truly looked at people before herself and not judge them on their weaknesses. With everyone hearing Koro’s full story, memories of the last 9 months spent with him flash through their minds. It then dawned upon them if they really have to kill him. After all 13th March is the same day of Kunigigaoka’s graduation day. As winter break arrives, nobody thought up of any assassination plan. Kaede is still recovering in hospital and although she feels at home when her friends visit, she still cannot get over the fact Nagisa kissed her. That ruined her acting abilities. Can’t act again? By the time the third term comes, Koro is the only one chirpy as usual and his students aren’t in the mood. Only 64 days to D-Day. Karasuma wonders if Koro can still carry out his duties as a teacher after that revelation. If Koro can’t be flexible as the situation calls for it, he wouldn’t qualify as a teacher. Bitch motivates the students to think about it instead of giving up. Nagisa calls his classmates together as he wants to think of a way to save Koro.

Episode 17
However Nakamura is against Nagisa’s idea. Koro has worked hard to build this bond over the past year and it is precisely the reason why they have to kill him. Karma adds that by not using their assassination skills would be an insult to weaker ones who tried to kill Koro. With their ideas clashing, Karma eggs Nagisa to fight him and they really did. The guys try to break them up and surprisingly Koro intervenes to mediate. He suggests having a paintball death match. One side will represent to kill him and the other to save him. Whichever side wins will have that wish respected with no grudges. So the students divide themselves as they give their reasons why they want to kill or save Koro. Except for Ritsu due to her programming conflict, she remains neutral. Yeah, how the heck is a computer going to run in the jungle? With both sides having equal numbers, it eventually looks like a fight between team Nagisa (to save) and team Karma (to kill). A team wins when the other side is completely annihilated or capture the enemy’s flag. The game begins with lots of high skill jungle guerrilla tactics. One by one both sides take each other out. Just when Karma thought his side has more people to capture the flag, they are instantly killed off by Nagisa who came into the scene as silent and deadly. Yup, an ultimate showdown between Nagisa and Karma eventually.

Episode 18
Karma realizes Nagisa was hiding behind Karasuma who is the referee to hide his presence. When Karma walks out in the open, daring Nagisa to shoot him, the latter knows he can’t because it would be contradicting to his policy to save Koro with this dirty tactic. The only way is a hand to hand combat. So we see them analyse each other from their past before the action begins. Karma theoretically is better since he is more accustomed to fights. But Nagisa’s resourcefulness has him fight on par with him. Just when it looked Karma knocked out Nagisa, Nagisa was playing possum and used his last ounce of strength to use his clap stun. Karma saw it coming and withstood that. Nagisa quickly draws out his knife at him. However it was a decoy as he tosses it away and then jumps to choke him in his arms so he would give in. Karma manages to reach a knife and could have easily stabbed him but he realizes this win won’t be acceptable because Nagisa was fighting him via martial arts. Karma gives up but Nagisa was so in focus he couldn’t hear till Karasuma called out. With this settled, everyone is back to being friends again. Later, the class learns that there are many other research teams doing their own research in a bid to save Earth. Many are top official secrets but Ritsu has hacked her way in. One of them that caught their eye is an American research team conducting some experiment on ISS. But how are they going up there to steal its data? Koro reveals a craft made by Japan to be launched carrying an experimental dummy to ISS. What if it carries real humans? That’s right. They’re going to ride it up there. If you’re going to do it, go all the way!

Episode 19
Class 3-E research and experiment about going to space. As the rocket can only carry 2 people, at first all the guys are eager to volunteer. But then not so when they find out how unproven its maiden voyage is. It is suggested Nagisa and Karma take the ride. So we see the rest of Class 3-E sneaking into the base and hijacking the remote controls of the command centre. Too easy. Nagisa and Karma then snuck into the capsule as it blasts off to ISS. After docking, the duo take one of the astronauts hostage and threaten with a bomb. However the astronauts are calm and composed. They are also trained soldiers and have been running experiments not knowing when it is going to blow up so a little bomb threat is nothing. After talking about their plan to get their data, the astronauts agree to hand it to them. After helping them do a bit of chores. Nagisa and Karma say their goodbye as the astronauts view them as true heroes. On the orbital re-entry, Ritsu helps with the calculations and of course Koro helping a bit with his pushing. They land safely and back in the classroom, Okuda analyses the data to make medicine that will decrease the risk of Koro exploding down to 1%. Heck, it is easy to make and the components seem to be that poison Okuda made before. However the dilemma now is whether to continue with their assassination of Koro, which was what this class was about. Should they call it off as of today? Wait. I thought they wanted to save him? Nagisa, it’s your call. As long as Koro is around, the government will not call off the assassination programme even if the chances are small. From all those fancy motivational words Nagisa says, I guess we’re still going to keep up with this assassination thingy as their conviction. Because their ‘assassination’ is proof of their bond with Koro.

Episode 20
Koro tries to do Christmas and New Year all in February because they’ve missed it. Besides, it’ll be their last if the world is destroyed. Nevertheless, the students talk about their future plans. Almost all would love to go to high school or college other than Kunigigaoka but not Karma. He wants to stay back because what better way than to tease and get back at those for putting him here. Nagisa is unsure about his occupation. So when Sakura notes he should be a teacher because that is what he is to her (or he could be her boyfriend!), Nagisa contemplates on that. Valentine’s Day is here. Nakamura and Karma know it is all written over on Kaede’s face that she wants to give her chocolates to Nagisa. Yeah, one kiss could screw up her entire acting skills. So in their bid to enjoy teasing her, they show her the other students giving their chocolates in their own way. They’ll take care of Koro who has become some sort of paparazzi. Just hand him a sexy photo of Yukimura in her swimsuit and he will be focused on it for days to come. At first Kaede is nervous but eventually seeing Nagisa for who he is, she gives her chocolates in her cheery and natural way. Too bad only Okajima didn’t get any chocolates. Heck, even Asano gave Koro chocolates because he realized the importance of Koro supporting students from the bottom as he ruled from the top. Bitch is also throwing a lavish Valentine’s dinner for Karasuma but he isn’t impressed. Of course they get to business talking about the assassination in with Bitch feels it isn’t so bad if the world ended because it will spare the students the heartache of failure. Karasuma wants her to quit after this is over as her emotions don’t make her fit to be an assassin. She is upset about this as there is no way she could go back walking in the sun. He offers her to work with his department to save more lives rather than kill. Bitch feels she is all alone if she does so but he vaguely hints she could come stay with him. You mean like, getting married and become part of his family?! She won’t miss this chance even if the world ends.

Episode 21
With everyone qualifying to get into their high school of their choice, Koro decides to celebrate by making a yearbook. However he has scandalous and embarrassing photos of everyone he has took for the past year! Peeping master?! The students rip all of them! I guess there is nothing left but to take new photos then. Nagisa tutors Sakura and hopes with this last test she could go back to school without fear. But she still has trauma of being bullied so Nagisa uses his deadly assassin technique which also serves as a double edged sword to calm her nerves down. This leads him to decide he wants to become a teacher. When Koro is alone at school one night, the government initiates their final plan to kill him. A super space laser cannon fires down on the school. Wow. Did they get inspiration from some video game? It doesn’t destroy anything but Koro. However he manages to dodge it. They expect this and initiate laser cannons that lock him inside the school. It won’t kill him but just a cage to prevent him from escaping. Because the laser cannon was fired at only 20% to avoid him detecting it. It will recharge in a week and will be blasted at 100%. With the military cordoning the area off, they also let the press know about the dangerous monster that destroyed part of the moon. The students didn’t like how the media is making Koro look like the bad guy but even if they plead he is a good guy, they think Koro made them say this and the trauma of being held hostage by him. The students see Karasuma for an explanation. Time’s up. It’s their turn to act. So they’re b*tching about others stealing their prey when they couldn’t kill or save him in time? Nagisa remains stubborn so Karasuma tackles him and says don’t give him any more trouble. But Nagisa knows this is a coded plea for help because he remembers he told them he will need their help whenever in trouble. Koro doesn’t fear death but his wish is to see his students one last time. At least he has ample time to do a supersize yearbook. The students do lots of careful and elaborate planning to sneak back into school. Then they make a move with 3 hours left to the deadline.

Episode 22
We see how the students take out all the soldiers guarding the area with ease. It’s their home ground anyway. It’s to show us how much they have grown. Finally they get to meet Koro. Time for their final lesson on happiness, gratitude and life. It’ll be full of frustrations and pressure anyway so don’t renounce society when that happens. They then proceed to celebrate Koro’s birthday. Since it is already a year since the moon was partly destroyed, Yukimura decided to make it his birthday. But the celebration is interrupted when Yanagisawa and his mysterious assassin attacks. The latter is no other than Reaper. He is literally now a tentacle monster! He is considered a much better version of Koro as all his skills are amplified. Because he volunteered for this experiment, his hatred makes it possible to be compatible with the tentacles. Also, his tentacles are not designed for long term. This means they can draw out more energy at the exchange of shortening his lifespan. Even when he dies, there is no danger of him exploding. Koro remembers taking on Reaper as his student. Despite he taught him well and never saw any avenue for him to betray, he realized he wasn’t properly looking at him. For example, Reaper wanted to show off what he learnt but was cut short or Koro didn’t show interest. Yanagisawa isn’t going to let Reaper do all the work. He injects himself with the serum to attain superhuman powers. At this point he doesn’t care about his own life. As long as he can kill that monster who took everything away from him, it’s a fair trade. Koro isn’t going to stand there and get his ass handed to him. He is going to show for the first time what it means to fight back with every last ounce of strength.

Episode 23
Koro is losing?! Arienai! Koro wants Yanagisawa to stay out since as a teacher he wants to guide his former student back to the right path. Dastardly Yanagisawa reveals why he chose this time to act. Because it makes his other students easy targets! He has Reaper attack them and Koro is forced to protect them and takes a real beating. Just when everybody starts thinking that the students are Koro’s biggest weakness ever, Koro dismisses all because his students risked their limbs to save him. That is why they are not a weak point or hindrance and is proud of them. Anyhow, Yanagisawa plans to slaughter them all once Koro is dead. He is going to run out of energy sooner or later. Kaede then jumps in to fight. As an ex-tentacle user, she could put up a decent fight but it isn’t long before she gets pierced through her body! Her death makes Koro go into full rage. So it’s like powering up like Super Saiyan too? When the monsters clash, it seems Koro is giving out all sorts of colourful lights which they deduce are his emotions. The blast is so powerful that it knocks away Yanagisawa out of the field. Because his cells are made up of those tentacle materials, this means he gets instantly disintegrated once he is outside the barrier. As for Reaper, Koro stabs him in the heart to give him a ‘peaceful’ graduation. Flashbacks of Reaper trying to appeal to Koro. All he wanted was to be acknowledged by him. To be like him. Koro now understands how he feels. Had he acted differently, he might have been able to guide him down a different path. With Koro’s victory, there is no joy because Kaede’s dead, right? Well not quite. When she was stabbed, Koro managed to quickly take her blood and somatic cells and stored them in sterile pressured air. All during battle! Can you believe it?! After all, he has already reserved a few tentacles to protect his students all the while. Then he does surgery on Kaede to bring her back to life! WTF?! KORO IS GOD!!!!!! With Kaede up and back, it’s time for a big group hug. Now they can celebrate. Koro wonders if Yukimura would think he has done a good job as a teacher because the important thing is not to repeat one’s mistakes.

Episode 24
Koro is tired and collapses, though still conscious. He reminds them he is weak enough for them to kill. Yes. That time has come. The class takes a vote on who wants to save him. All raise their hands. Who wants to kill him? After a little hesitant, all also raise their hands. Make up your minds! As they pin him down, the important thing that never crossed their mind: Who is going to kill him? Nagisa will do it. Koro says his goodbye but keeps it short since an entire day won’t be enough if he is to say it personally to everyone. So he takes class 3-E’s final attendance. So for a good 6 over minutes, we hear Koro say every name of his 28 students slowly and his advice and what they have learnt throughout the year. Then it’s time for Nagisa to stab his heart. But he becomes scared, his hands shaking. He goes crazy but Koro touches him and doesn’t want him to kill him in that state. Be calm. Smile. Nagisa did just that and then stabs the knife in. Goodbye. Koro disappears amidst the glowing yellow balls he is disintegrating to. Once he is gone, it is a big crying fest. Everybody cries. Even badass delinquents cry. Even teachers cry. Even the robot cries. Even I cried :’(. While Karasuma handles the military outside, the students return to their classroom only to find Koro has left each on their desk a graduation scroll, a very thick yearbook and an equally thick guidebook on how to live. They read until they fall asleep in the morning. They have graduated.

Episode 25
Karasuma thanks and apologizes to his students. Surprisingly they have moved on and thank him instead for all the support. During the graduation ceremony, Nagisa realizes that Koro has never mentioned about the E-class system being wrong. Because if you have time to whine and complain, might as well use it to change things. Nagisa is shocked to see his dad attending the ceremony with mom. Apparently Koro talked to him before and because he heard how hard his son is trying, he decided to give his family another chance. Wow. Koro even went this far to help him? Another round of tears. After the ceremony is over, unruly reporters try to interview them. Karasuma and his men have their hands full. But Gakushuu and his cronies take command to lead them out to safety. In the after math, the E-class is abolished and the campus is abandoned. As a result for putting those students’ life in danger, Asano resigned from his post. His old students return to help him out. Class 3-E students were paid the reward money as promised but they followed Koro’s advice by donating it to various places and returning the bulk of it to the government for their support. 7 years on, it looks like Karasuma and Bitch are married but things remain the same. Bitch is still trying to flirt with him but he remains a no-nonsense guy. Is it no wonder why they have no children? Hint, hint… Some of the (former) class 3-E students return to their old campus to clean it up since they manage to buy the area. Shouldn’t they have used the reward money to do this? I guess they weren’t thinking about it then. We hear how some of them are doing like Kaede a prominent actress, Sugino a famous baseball player, some with family business go help their parents out and Karma going into politics. All the while thanking and praising Koro for the precious guidance he has imparted. Lastly, Nagisa is now a trainee teacher but it looks like he might have got the short end of the stick because he is in the baddest most delinquent school ever! Hey, is he in the wrong anime? Say, Beelzebub?! The punks think they can bully him but they said the taboo word ‘kill’. Instinctively Nagisa scares them with his killing technique to make those pussies wet their pants. Now how is the real boss? He even dares them to ‘kill’ him before graduation. Koro sensei v2?

To Sir With Love
Although it is quite sad that Koro couldn’t be with his students in the end as some sort of plot twist, I somewhat feel this is a fair ending for everybody and to the series. I know this sounds cliché but Koro might not be physically around but he will always be in their hearts. His demise I feel was somewhat a timely atonement for his earlier sins and despite for that short single year, he is able to make the most out of it and atone his wrongdoings as an assassin. This allows his students to move on and lead fulfilling lives because had Koro continued to live, it would have diluted and cheapened the bond and preparation they worked so hard for the past year. It would be an insult. Even if it was a plot twist, it wouldn’t be a good one. Because bringing back the dead with some sort of lame excuses (to make viewers who can’t handle death happy?) would be the dumbest and insulting thing to us viewers too. So yeah, while it might be sad that Koro is gone but take heart that the world didn’t end and everyone gets to continue living their ordinary lives. Some perhaps more extraordinary than others.

Too bad I thought they would make Nagisa and Kaede and item seeing they did so with Karasuma and Bitch. I guess they are still young and have lots of things to do before they settle down. If not Kaede, maybe Sakura? Oh dear, he’s got a little harem there if I should say. Oh Nagisa, you’re starting to look like a playboy here but thanks to all that assassination and conspiracy drama all around, this romance thingy felt like a distraction than a potential that would blossom. But then again, knowing how Nagisa would think, this kind of romance would be the last on his mind because his current passion now is to be a teacher. I am not sure if Nagisa is going to impart the same assassinating techniques Koro taught him onto the delinquents. But it will be totally awesome if those punks suddenly become the new generation of assassins like Nagisa and his classmates. Or will they bring a new worldly disaster with their newfound powers? Another assassination classroom story for another day.

The pacing of the story towards the finish feels decent as it builds up to what actually became of Koro. So this means that the character development for the other lesser students of class 3-E didn’t get their own screen time as I thought they would. Because right till the end, there are a handful that I didn’t even know their names! So it was somewhat a right move for Koro to take their final attendance because boy I was surprised that a few of them I didn’t even know they existed! Hey. Was this guy in class 3-E before? Of course they are but usually in the background. So while we have a few character developments in focus like on Terasaka and his groupies and Kimura, the rest are basically given none. I guess with all the other important developments to focus on, they can’t be giving each and every of the students their own screen time. Because they have been working as a class, a group and therefore whatever improvements and development they have improved and grown, it applies to class 3-E as a whole. So when Itona finally had his case solved and joined Koro’s class, he somewhat falls into obscurity. Remember Okajima was like the joke character of the series? This season it feels non-existent.

Even Karma feels a bit side-lined in this series. Because of that, he doesn’t feel so badass as in the previous season. His role seems to be to face off with Gakushuu in the term exams and his biggest moment came in facing off with Nagisa over a divided class opinion. And lost. So mostly it is Nagisa overcoming his personal problem with his mom as well as the surprise package Kaede and her painful and horrifying secret being revealed that make the greater impact in this season. All of course reasonably leading up to the inevitable showdown and final. Even Karasuma and Bitch had their little moments but that was mostly in the first half taking on Reaper but after that, not much and they become relegated to observers.

So with less focusing on these students means they have to get other things out of the way first like Gakushuu and Asano. Because with their showdown somewhat ‘early’ and at halfway point, I anticipated that they couldn’t really be the final boss. They couldn’t. Because it is not Kunigigaoka that is supposed to be the real enemy that Koro and his students are supposed to face. This means they aren’t really the true baddies and thus their conclusion to have them ‘accept’ Koro and class 3-E’s method in education policy is somewhat a compromise and a closure to their longstanding rivalry and grudge. I mean, it’s to show that the most ruthless guys in Kunigigaoka aren’t so bad after all and had redeeming qualities. Yeah, it had to be Yanagisawa and his ultimate vengeance and hatred. Thus he is the only character in the series whom I considered really to have been killed.

Just like my confusion from last season, I still find it baffling that Koro has trained up his students with assassination techniques to kill him. Because the more they bond with each other, it becomes obvious that the students don’t really want to kill him. Thus every attempt from outsiders to kill Koro becomes an excuse for our students to go into action to save him. Which makes this entire thing ironic because they’re supposed to kill him but they’re saving him. Also more ironic that it shows they are selfish that they want to kill Koro themselves but I doubt at this point it is the monetary reward they are after at this point. It is too evident that Koro is too nice a guy (even more human than humans, if I should say) that they just want to spend every last second learning with him. Thus I can see why they are hesitant in killing him and giving excuses to postpone his assassination. Yeah, it’s like procrastinating it to the last day. And I’m sure they wouldn’t even want to do it if Koro had not reminded them. But then again, why let a laser cannon do the job and take all the credit.

What makes it more confusing was I thought they were going to save him? What was that space mission to make some medicine for? Was it all for nought? Maybe something else came up and I wasn’t paying attention since I was still under all that confusion. Oh right. The students want to pay tribute to him with his assassination. A culmination of their hard work and bond. So I might be thinking about the irony of training assassins but not for them to kill. Because it is like taking up a course in business and economics but then you go into a music career. But you see, I realized that Koro might seem to be training his students to kill but the important thing that we all might have overlooked is that he is training them to be better people. Assassin doesn’t mean taking lives. It could be ‘kill’ the bad attitude. Or something like that. Hence, that actually sums up what they have been doing the entire year. They can do amazing assassination techniques but they have the brains and rational to use it for the greater good. They don’t have to kill with what they have learnt. And of course all this training to be an assassin isn’t the point why Koro became a teacher. As already revealed, it is to keep good his promise to Yukimura. I’m sure she is very well resting in peace.

Speaking of Koro, he is perhaps the best character and teacher of all time. At least to his students. Funny, witty, serious and skilled (overpowered should be the correct term) at the same time, he dispenses his knowledge and skills like a true teacher. Even despite his tragic past, he still manages to keep his promise and do his job seriously. It is just too bad the rest of the world will never be ready or accept Koro thanks to crazy and selfish governments and higher ups with everyone would be thinking his students have Stockholm Syndrome. If not for the time limit on his life, I believe Koro would have made the world a much better place with his super skills that would put God to shame. Yes, he can do so many impossible stuffs and yet has so many weakness that he seems like a clashing epitome of everything. I mean, when you see him do an amazing surgery that brings back a dead (Kaede wasn’t technically dead yet but very close to it), you would start to believe he is the next coming of Jesus Christ or something even by right Koro can’t create life. But still, if you get to know the real Koro, you can’t help be overwhelmed with respect.

The students of 3-E who sang the opening themes for the first season, reprise their roles for the sequel. Despite Question (first opening theme) and Bye Bye Yesterday (second opening theme) are both rock outfits, at least it didn’t have that strange high 5 rodeo/jumping dance. That painfully awkward dance is still so freaking vivid in my mind. I can never get it out of my head each time I think of this series! Curse you, Koro sensei! Just like last season too, the ending themes are very lovely slow ballads. Both are sung by Shion Miyawaki, Kaketa Tsuki (first ending theme) and Mata Kmi Ni Aeru Hi (second ending theme). Though, I feel the former has a happier tone to it while the latter had a sadder sound.

Overall, this is a very satisfying and fitting end to the series. With it coming to an end, there are lots of mixed and clashing emotions now that I think about all the episodes I have watched in both the seasons. It is as though I was part of Koro’s class and experienced the fun and the laughter, the good times and the bad times, the learning times and trying times. There were funny moments, there were action moments, there were tense moments, there were cringe worthy moments and there were definitely sad moments. It all culminates down to this moment where I too feel like I have graduated with class 3-E. Only difference is that I am still the same useless otaku watching animes on my monitor. Koro would have turned in his grave and exploded the world sooner than expected if he knew the world had no hope in the first place. And a wise creature like him should already know better…

I didn’t know this was getting a sequel. So I am guessing that Okusama Ga Seitokaichou+ got another season is because we have waited long enough for some borderline hentai material but none that quite matches all the ecchi stuffs we want put into an episode that is 1/3 the length of a normal anime duration. It is time to feed our horny need again. Yes folks. Time to get ourselves ready for some more fapping and wanking material even if we have forgotten the reason why a pair of high school student council members are living with each other in the first place. All that matters is that they provide the right amount of tits and seductive panty shots fanservice. That is the real goal of this series! Hell yeah!

Episode 1
Everybody loves Ui. Smart and sexy. And occasional free pantsu shots courtesy to God being naughty with the wind. Because she maintains her dignity instead of beating everybody up like how other embarrassed girls used to, this makes everybody love her even more. Back home, Izumi knows something is wrong when Ui is trying to get more physical with him. It looked like she learnt something from watching porn because she puts her feet on his crotch and starts rubbing!!! Apparently this was suggested by Karen. Izumi thought he could stand this since she is a noob but from his point of view, her panties are visible so he cuts short this fanservice. WTF. You prefer to go study than let your horny wife do this?! GAY!!! After she takes a bath, she tries to distract him with her boobs but it seems he prefers studying more. GAY!!! While lying frustrated on his bed, that is when she gets turned on smelling his blanket. A little masturbation and then it turns into some sort of poorly imitated sex with his blanket. She gets very embarrasses since Izumi has been watching since the start! She blames him for not giving her enough attention and what do you know? He pushes her down and starts sucking her tits! OMFG! You, you monster!!! Can you blame a guy when you’re trying to control yourself and your hungry wife accusing you for not doing a manly job? But porn time is interrupted when Kei knocks on the door drunk. Oops. Wrong home. But Kei whispers to Izumi that she knows he is f*cking Ui and to keep it down. She won’t tell anybody about it but don’t push your luck. Somebody always knows what you’re doing…

Episode 2
The girls are changing and as usual sizing up each other’s boobs. But the thing is, they’re doing it at Izumi’s place! And he can hear every damn thing they say. When he hears somebody scream, he rushes in. Nothing much. Except ladies in undies and Misumi and her bare tits. Looks good. But doesn’t look good for him too. They visit the festivals and Izumi can’t help staring at Misumi’s boobs because despite in her yukata, they’re still humongous! This doesn’t sit well with Ui so she tries to grab some attention by putting water balloons into her own to match. I suppose Izumi said more than he should as he comments on male urges because Misumi has noticed him staring for quite a long time. So she dunks the water balloon on his head and runs off. She notes how disgusting when boys stare at her tits but somehow she doesn’t feel so with Izumi. When Izumi finds her, he tries to apologize but some other guy bumped into him and causes his face to fall into her boobs. Then she brings him to a deserted area. Her bra is unhook so you need him to fix it? Thinking he is really into big boobs, she is willing to put her body on her line. Meaning, she gives him permission to touch her tits and vent his sexual urges. So how is this preventing further sexual conduct in school? Anyway he takes up the offer and he must be so good that she gives off satisfying moans. Embarrassed, she beats him up. Fun time over. When they return, Ui gives him suspicious stares. A woman knows…

Episode 3
When Izumi’s friend shows upskirt pictures and boobs shots of girls from their school, this means the underground photography club is back. They were shut down after that pool incident but looks like they’re back on track. Ui decide to go talk to its president, Haruka Saijou but Misumi is already there warning them. Though, Saijou explains they are doing this to raise funds to buy single lens reflex cameras for each member. Thank capitalism! But Saijou has an ace up her sleeves. She hints she was there at the festivals and took some risqué shots of Izumi fondling Misumi. Therefore they can’t take any drastic actions against the club so long they have this little HD card gem. So they stay and observe the club meeting. It seems the club is able to get all those sexy shots is because every member is female. Therefore they have free reins in many places like locker rooms and toilets. But Misumi points out a photo is fake because this isn’t really her. It is her but it isn’t because she doesn’t own a black bra. Saijou then proceeds to demonstrate how all the members strip and take sexy poses of themselves and then Photoshop it with faces of other students (Izumi is blindfolded during this). But during this explanation, Ui has swapped her HD card and destroys it. So much about putting all your eggs in one basket. Now that they have nothing to blackmail them, Ui is willing to overlook this provided if they all work as the student council’s photographers. Izumi disagrees and accidentally takes off his blindfold. Why does he always get to see the juicy parts? With the chaos, Misumi thinks she’ll buy some black lingerie because Izumi quoted saying she looked mature in it.

Episode 4
Misumi is proudly doing her jobs as public morals committee. She notices Izumi still staring at her boobs so this time she coolly says she’ll gladly help divert his lust again. Yeah, Izumi is starting to sound like a sexual deviant. Of course Ui’s appearance means he will still be keeping his lust. She fires back the student council’s works have begun taking root if Misumi is acting like that. Of course she denies and claims she has helped assist in Izumi’s sexual urges on her instead on someone else again. Again. I think Ui needs an explanation. Misumi is proud of her work but she realizes she is seeing many more couples recently. Has Ui’s work really taken off? So when Misumi wants Ui to accompany her to learn their sublime ideals, she makes Izumi accompany her instead. Shouldn’t she be worried? Ui is confident Misumi is still inexperienced in these matters. Misumi and Izumi are supposed to head to the meeting room but they spotted a couple starting to make love at a lab. As their actions get more risqué, Misumi is watching with full focus! Uhm, shouldn’t she be stopping them? Their indecency reminds her about that festival incident. Feeling good? No? Then what’s with that face? When the couple’s indecency is moving into hentai area, that is when Misumi snaps out of it and stops them. Later Izumi asks what that was all about. Misumi can’t bring herself to break apart people who are looking so happy together. Really? She wonders if they were doing that, would they look like a happy couple? Wait. What? Of course not. She just trolled him.

Episode 5
Ui is so freaking hot and sexy. So hot because she is sick!!! Izumi nurses her and he wonders how feeding porridge can make it look like a porn scene!!! You know, white rice dripping all over her body and the spoon can’t fit into her mouth… Oh Ui, you’re the master of ambiguity. I guess somebody is going to get sick if he doesn’t control himself. Hurry or Ui will be broken forever. Luckily (or not) Kei is here so he gets her to help. Unfortunately she is the wrong person to ask because she fondles Ui’s boobs to check her temperature. In the end, Kei gives him a suppository and condom. One to stick it in the butthole and the other in the other hole!!! OMFG!!! As expected, Ui can’t shove the suppository on her own and wants Izumi to do it. Oh God. He is really going to do it?! Look at his shaking hands! Because he puts a cloth over her butt, he can’t see where he is going so his hands start to fondle around. Let your imagination run wild. I hope he inserted it into the right hole. Maybe. Because now Ui is acting like a deprived slut. Her sexiness has increased many times fold and you can’t blame Izumi for having a boner right now. She smothers his face in her boobs and sits her leg is rubbing against his crotch, he can’t hold it any longer and… Uhm… Erm… Oh dear. Did he soil his pants? I mean, the other kind of ‘soiling’. Shouldn’t he feel good? Because he locks himself in his room trying to repent his actions.

Episode 6
With Ui’s love liberation making good ground, Niikura seems to want a piece of that action. So she pleads to Ui for permission to borrow Izumi as her boyfriend for a day. Ui might agree but do you think she can leave them alone? So here they are with Izumi helping Niikura try some new clothes. Because the changing room is big enough, the clerk pushes them in together. Izumi tries to not look but with mirrors on all sides… He blows his top when Niikura changes her clothes like as though he isn’t there. Because she is exposing her lower regions! She didn’t even realize her panties are missing?! So while he doesn’t look and she puts it back on, she trips. And as expected, she falls over Izumi and somehow he got his face in her crotch. They’re making so much ambiguous noise during the struggle at this rate that you might want to suggest they get a room. At the park, Niikura sits on his lap. The thought of her possible naked ass is constantly filling his mind. Then, she wants to go to a love hotel and has a condom ready in hand! She wants him to teach him love etiquette and is ready to kiss him but Ui who has been watching since the start now interrupts to break them up. Niikura understands this gesture and pushes Ui close to Izumi. With both girls flanking him, Niikura approves this threesome at the love hotel! WTF???!!!

Episode 7
Kei accidentally mentions to Misumi that Izumi and Ui are living together. Wow. She’s saying it like there is no repercussions for her. Yeah, there isn’t. Misumi blows her top and marches next door right away. She lectures Izumi like as though she is his mother. He doesn’t say anything back as he thinks it is about time this cohabitation term needs to be settled. Misumi turns her anger on Ui as she is very casual about this still. Why so mad? Are you jealous of being left out of the fun? Just saying… She sounds so sad thinking they must be laughing behind her back for not knowing. Anyway to see if they have been indulging in immoral activities, Misumi goes to check his room. So what is this condom in his drawer?! That’s from Kei but Ui put it there for him to have easier access! Then she is going to check under his bed for porn magazines but Ui shows it to him his folders where he keeps all his porn! A wife must know her husband’s taste?! Noticing they are all women with big boobs, Misumi takes pride that Izumi requested her to release his pent up lust for those jugs. Ui won’t lose out and puts his hand on her breast. Misumi won’t lose out too and does the same. Then she says it is fine if he likes big breasts. But girls are more than just their parts! So true. They realize Kei has been watching them. If she didn’t make any noise, she could have continued watching this interesting scene. When Izumi tries to get his hands off, he accidentally lifts up Misumi’s shirt and unveiling her tits. She knocks the daylights out of him.

Episode 8
Ui decides to wake Izumi up via sexy wife call. No response. But this makes her fluster in glee. That woke him up. Izumi dreads tasting the toast she made since it looked like some poison. But it actually tastes good. This makes him think she is really putting some thought into this instead of just slacking around. While studying, Izumi drops his eraser underneath the kotatsu. As he goes pick up, he sees Ui’s pantsu! Good thing or not, she is sleepy so she didn’t notice as she toss and turn, giving him the ultimate fanservice. This has him quote how ‘loose her vagina’ is! When he hands some salad snack, she thought he made it but it is actually from Misumi who came over last night. Ui can’t stop pouting. Izumi notices Misumi has been staying over at Kei’s place more often to spy on them but Ui knows another reason well. Like any typical women, she won’t say what it is and further pouts. Then she sleeps on his lap and has him feed her tangerines. His fingers are dripping with the juice so she sucks on them. He immediately envisions her in a sexy swimsuit! He is so turned on that he is about to get steamy with her when Misumi comes over and knocks lunch over his head! Yeah, the door was unlock. How careless. So what is the meaning of this lunch? Misumi has officially moved in to stay with her sister forever and will be their neighbour! Let the spy games begin?

Episode 9
Misumi is now like Big Brother America! Always constantly watching them! Even walking to school with them. The moment they try to hold hands, she breaks them apart and revels in it! If under constant surveillance from Misumi wasn’t enough, he noticed Saijou has been spying on him too. As he takes her to the student council room to be rebuked, Saijou takes advantage of him by clinging on to his arm. She continues to flirt with him and despite Ui is mad, she keeps a calm façade. Saijou gets bolder and puts his hands on her boobs because she wants to know what intimate romance is about. Is she serious? Thankfully (or not), Misumi barges in and misinterprets the situation as Saijou wanting him to take naughty pictures of her. Why is only Izumi painted like a sex beast? Before you know it, suddenly Izumi and Misumi are in a kissing position?! Actually Saijou needs to snap a romantic picture for a photography contest. Ui lost the draw. Of course they can’t do it. But this is where the ‘problem’ starts. Izumi wants to opt out and Misumi won’t let him because she wants to opt out first. And when Ui wants to trade place, Misumi won’t allow since she won the draw and continues to prepare to kiss Izumi. WTF???!!! Their face gets close enough before Misumi pushing him away. As expected. Ui takes over and assures she will not run away like Misumi. Too bad he can’t take the heat and excuses himself to the toilet when he is just sitting on the stairways to clear his mind. Saijou comes to talk to him and thought she could show off her pantsu fanservice when she realizes too late she is wearing none! He just got a free view of your butt. But it looks serious when she gets up close to him and says if she really fell in love with him, would it make her pictures look better? Don’t hold your breath. She was just trolling. As expected.

Episode 10
Kei is trying to tell her sister that romance isn’t a bad thing and of course Misumi is denying it is happening to her whatsoever. Kei even tells her own sexual fantasy experience with a ‘slave’. Unfortunately Misumi can’t take it anymore and runs out. But it is her comments that Kei sounds like a perverted old man that leaves big sister all heartbroken. As Misumi ponders over things, Ui passes by and is happen to be in high spirits. This makes Misumi wonder if she’ll understand her ways if she fell in love. The way she says of not dating any guys before and just waiting for Mr Right to come gives Ui all the ammo she needs to fire back at her for being blind to love. Even Sawatari is on Ui’s side to point out that Misumi is already in love! As Izumi’s birthday is in a week, Ui has Misumi tag along to help pick out a present. But why is she making her wear a sexy negligee? Misumi ponders if this is what Izumi likes and starts to feel good. Ui won’t lose out and also tries one out. Sawatari appreciates Ui’s doing in helping Misumi realize her feelings although this isn’t what Ui had in mind. Because of that, Ui declares Misumi as her rival. The girls give Izumi a man’s shirt for his birthday (I guess the negligee was too indecent for Misumi to eventually pick it up). He thanks them and Misumi turns into a tsundere before leaving.

Episode 11
One morning on his way to school, Izumi bumps into Karen and the wind blows up her skirt. She isn’t wearing anything underneath. So oversleeping makes her forget to wear panties? Karen is acting all tough before she is starting to show cracks of being embarrassed. Then she beats him up to warn him not to tell anybody about this. Or else. In class, Izumi can’t get that indecency out of his head and it is obvious. It makes him look like fantasizing naked Karen?! He can’t take this anymore and runs over to Karen’s class just to tell her to put her PE shorts. Unfortunately she didn’t bring them. Desperate, he tries to give her his! WTF?! Don’t you know how misleading taking off your pants looks in front of everybody?! She shoves him out before anything untoward could happen. As they carry some paperwork, Izumi feels Karen is trying to purposely make him peek. The worse possible person to come by, Saijou (sorry, not Misumi) as she wants to take pictures. While Izumi argues with her, true enough the wind from the window blows up her skirt. Saijou starts snapping although Izumi tries to block every shot. Saijou goes away as he warns her about misusing those pictures. One of them has Karen in the edge with the skirt flipped… Karen then beats up Izumi for not thinking ahead. He could have like walked in front of her to close the window or something. Though it is Karen’s fault for acting this risqué, Karen gets hard on herself claiming nobody is interested in her. Izumi realizes she is sulking all this time and remembers what Ui told him about her being a sensitive person. He eases her worries saying that they are both from the student council and he doesn’t want to see her shamed. Her further actions has him realize she is just shy and it is no wonder Ui finds her cute.

Episode 12
Ui is down. Her first Christmas as Izumi’s wife and she can’t think of how to make it a burning hot sexy night! WTF?! Even Izumi is shocked to hear it. So why Karen had to beat him up? Eventually on Christmas Eve, the student council and public morals committee gather at Izumi’s place for a party. Ui is down for real because this means no privacy for her and Izumi. He thought of leaving and make it an all-girls’ party but Sawatari brings him back because he is qualified to join them. How? Remember his cross-dressing last season? Holy sh*t! Ui sees it for the first time and she can recognize it is him. However she gets disappointed she didn’t tell him this kind of things thinking she would make fun of him. Misumi adds fuel to the fire saying Izumi confided in her a long time ago. Izumi has a bad feeling when he notices Ui starting to get mad. But then it was a challenge that she wants to put makeup on him to satisfy his cross-dressing desires. Yup, definitely bad. And Kei gets involved too since Ui had to borrow her makeup kit. Izumi looks decently beautiful as a woman but Sawatari notes all that is missing are boobs! She suggests Misumi to lend her bra and she would gladly do it since Ui is unable (because she is braless at home). Before Misumi can fully unhook, Saijou is at the door. She got a call from Ui about the cross-dressing and wants to take pictures! Fortunately Izumi returns to his normal self and Saijou suggests a group photo. It gets chaotic when Saijou gets playful by sitting on his lap and the picture ends up with everyone frenzied.

Okusama Ga Porn Star Potential!
Seriously, nothing much changes. Almost everything stays the same way and every episode of fanservice is like something similar just wrapped and coated in a different way. Because if you don’t have bare tits naked girls in sexy seductive poses, you have, uhm, bare tits naked girls in other sexy seductive poses. And to think I thought maybe this season would have some sort of serious flashback and plot that tells us a bit more about the characters because I was fooled by the opening credits animation to see the girls in their cute chibi form when they were kids. I should have known better myself what this show is supposed to be from start to finish. At least they stuck to it all the way. No plot okay. Have fanservice, all is okay.

That is why this season feels like it has up the steaminess in its fanservice with almost every possible fanservice scene as fapping and wanking material that makes it hard for any straight guy to resist. The only reasons this isn’t classified as hentai is because there are no real penetrations and clear shots of the female’s lower anatomy. But still, super great fanservice and even more so when you have the girls’ giant boobs bounce so freely and easily like jelly or sponge. The fanservice level gives you all sorts of imaginations and makes you crave if you could ever do this to your girlfriend, vice versa. It makes us loser otaku guys wish we had such sexy and highly sexually active girlfriend. Will we ever get one? Hint: No, real life would never allow that! So shut up and keep watching these kinds of anime!

With these seductive fanservice teasing, sometimes I find it hard and can’t blame Izumi for getting mad or he just turns into a demon and ‘attacks’ Ui. He is like in a catch-22 situation. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. So he is trying to maintain his sanity as a decent high school boy but with a sexually charged self-proclaimed future wife, it is going to be hard to keep his libido in check sometimes. And if he doesn’t, he is gay (although, none points this accusation yet). How nice almost everybody (especially you Misumi) wants to blame and paint him as a sexual assault monster. I have a feeling that at this rate with so many fanservice spamming in his face, Izumi might have difficulties sleeping because each time he closes his eyes all he can see are sexy naked versions of the girls! Talk about extreme conditioning. Well, at least this proves he isn’t gay.

As for Ui, I wonder if this kind of sexy seducing is her way of deepening their relationship because every guy would love to have a chick like that. Because sometimes I’m a bit confused that although she doesn’t get that all mad when Izumi gets into misunderstandings with other girls. It’s good she keeps a calm head and stays true to her love liberation policies. That maybe on the outside, but what about her personal level? Don’t tell me she is indirectly training Izumi to make love to her. Fighting fire with fire? With enough push, he might just be that monster… Anyway, Ui’s sexiness makes her a potential to be a natural porn star. Just saying… Imagine if this saved their relationship… It’s unthinkable.

The only thing that ‘develops’ is that now Misumi knows about the duo living together (the other being Ui discovering the cross-dressing but that is not as impactful as this big secret). Sorry, when I said ‘develop’ I was not talking about boobs although Izumi did once mention about Misumi’s boobs growing again. Wait. He can tell? They’re already so freaking humongous and he can tell they have grown? Wow. How many times has he groped boobs to become an expert? Blame/Thank Ui for that. Anyway despite Misumi knowing about this big secret, it is not like anything has really changed. Because Misumi is still the same hypocritical tsundere that we all know. She claims to do it to stop immoral and indecency among youngsters but in many instances you can see her dreaming and fantasizing about that same immoral thing. I understand that at this point with her being the public morals committee member, if she suddenly lets loose her ideals and gone wild, imagine the effect it will have on her reputation on a school level. Nobody would trust her anymore and she would be labelled as slut, whore, nympho, etc. Then she would fall into depression and contemplate suicide. WOAH! I didn’t realize I was going down a dark path here. But thankfully since this show is about satiating our horniness, let us not think that far of this what-if. Now that she has moved in, is she going to constantly survey them until graduation? College? Married? This is worse than living in a police state.

Hence with Misumi knowing Izumi and Ui are living together, it only serves to increase her own hypocriticalness and bug them even more. I mean, allowing to sacrifice herself so he could vent his sexual frustrations on her? How noble. It’s just a roundabout way of saying, “Please f*ck me because I’m a horny b*tch”. Yeah, that would be such a porn material. Another reason Misumi jumps into doing such indecent things without a second thought (okay, maybe after a slight hesitation) is a weak excuse to one up Ui. Yeah, this should cover up her hypocrisy. In view of this, we could look at all this in a positive light this means Izumi has his own harem. Speaking of that, I believe at this point now almost all the main and supporting female characters have hint to us that they have a thing for Izumi. Even if they don’t but at least the way they show it to us makes us feel we can’t discard the possibility of a 2 horse race between Ui and Misumi. Like Saijou as the only new character in this season, she makes a handful of appearances and why else would you introduce a new girl if she isn’t going to play the role of a competitor? After all, Saijou’s face is as prominent as Ui and Misumi in the opening and ending credits. So this might be a big hint another girls is jumping into the fray.

We have an episode each on Niikura and Karen to at least not make them feel they are just the other student council members with names. Their episode show a different side to them like Karen who is always never fond of that ground beetle (Izumi) and could be a way to just hide her tsundere. Sawatari is one of the two whom I believe doesn’t harbour any real feelings for Izumi as her role seems to be more of trying to support Misumi and make her realize her feelings. That itself is minimal. I might be mistaken but I feel Sawatari AKA the scheming little monotonous sounding doll’s presence is very much lacking this season. It feels like her running joke is to stay under and support the girls with big heavy boobs. Like a symbiotic relationship they can rest their heavy jugs on her head and she has a nice cushion for it. In the final episode it feels like she is making a bolt in trying to support and push Misumi for Izumi but it seems too late for that. Last not least is Kei, the other I believe who isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with Izumi but she prefers to be entertained watching the young ones from the side-lines. After all, she might be the biggest master of perversion. I was going to mention that Ui’s kid-like parents who didn’t make any cameo but now I can’t because for that paltry 5 seconds in the final episode, that is where they popped up. Excuse: They missed their chance to enter.

The series is already so short and it bugs me they have opening and ending themes that are even shorter. Well, that doesn’t really have anything to do with it. What I’m trying to say is that because Ayana Taketatsu who voices Ui is also a great songstress, it would be a waste to not showcase her singing talents and that is why I think no matter how short the ending theme of Koi Ni Matsuwara Etcetera is (20 short seconds only!!!!!), we need to hear her voice somehow. Oh, that is just one version. There is a version for Misumi and Saijou too but it doesn’t make any difference. At least the opening theme, Kira Kira Exploer lasts a little longer. 30 seconds to be exact. At first I thought Ayana Taketatsu sang the opener but it is Rekka Katakiri who also sang the opening theme for the first season.

Overall, this sequel feels like it is made for lonely horny guys who don’t want to be fully corrupted by the viciousness of real hentai. Yeah, what the heck am I saying? If you want big boobs, bare tits, pantsu shots, sexual innuendoes and sexy seductive poses, this season has got it all covered (or uncovered in this case) for you. Because this never happens in real life is the reason why this kind of shows exist. Even if it does, I think such series will still exist anyhow. Men’s horniness knows no bound. Now if they only made a series where the student council president is a maid-sama. Oh wait. They did that anime many years ago!

Orange

May 7, 2017

Imagine if you received a letter from yourself from the future telling you to do certain tasks that will change the future you have yet to experience. I guess this means your future must be real screwed if there is a need for your future self to do this. Of course at this age and era, one might easily brush this off as a prank. I mean, do you still believe in chain letter curses? Oh, right. Many gullible people still do. Anyway, Orange has this premise as a high school girl one day receives such letters instructing her to take action that will avert events that would lead to a friend’s depression and ultimate his death.

Episode 1
Naho Takamiya narrates she just turned 26 years old. But her life is full of regrets. We go back 10 years in time when she was still in high school. She mysteriously receives a letter from herself supposedly from 10 years in the future! At first she was sceptical but soon as she reads the letter, every content it stated started turning true. Like how today there will be a new transfer student into her class, Kakeru Naruse. The letter is trying to help her avoid the mistakes she will make and thus will chronicle events that are about to happen and the choices her future self wants her to make. Kakeru easily fits in with Naho’s group that includes Hiroto Suwa, Saku Hagita, Azusa Murasaka and Takako Chino. They chat, laugh and eat together like as though they’ve been friends for many years. There are a few days Kakeru didn’t turn up for school and the letter didn’t state it. Naho’s first letter request is when the class will play a softball tournament and she wants her to be the pinch hitter request. She regretted greatly when she refused. It is the same day she fell in love with him. That day comes and surprisingly Kakeru comes back since the guys in her class are also in their own football tournament. Naho now has to decide when her classmates comes requesting her to be the pinch hitter since the opponent changed theirs the last minute. Naho remains unconfident. However they back down when Kakeru tells them her foot is hurt. Azusa takes the job and this makes Naho think seriously. The pain in her foot will go away but the regret won’t. She then steps up to take the batter. Miraculously she hits home run. They win. Adding to the good news, the guys too win their football game. Naho hopes her future self will have 1 less regret. Kakeru treats Naho’s foot later and he praises how cool she is. He hopes to play football next year to be cool like Suwa. Back to the future, Naho is married to Suwa and has a beautiful baby. She narrates to her past self that she has got lots of happiness and joy before her. She doesn’t want her to carry that burden of regret for the rest of her life. The letter indicates that Kakeru is no longer with them 10 years in the future.

Episode 2
Suwa tries to bug Kakeru to come to football practice because he heard from Naho he claims he is better than him at the game. Suwa’s loose shirt button comes off and luckily Naho has brought her sewing kit to sew it back. The girls watch the guys practice football. Naho sees how cool Kakeru is. At the end of the match, Suwa begs Kakeru to join the club. It took him 10 minutes to give an answer. He’ll join but on a provisional basis. The letter states on a certain day, she wants her to give Kakeru her homemade lunch. Naho makes the necessary preparations and of course her parents are suspicious. Found someone, eh? Finally? However at school she has the jitters and couldn’t give it to him. Even when he nudges her, she gets a bit jumpy. He understood and said no more and immediately leaves. Naho blames the letter for making her conscious about it and wished she never read about it. Another chance meeting with him subsequently, she decided to run but Kakeru calls out to her and wants to walk home with her. She agrees but is stumped on what to do next as this wasn’t stated in the letter. They talk about a few things and when Naho asks why he is reluctant to join the football club because he is good in it, that is when Kakeru replies his mom died. She committed suicide on the day of the opening ceremony, that’s why he was absent for a stretch for the funeral and the move. He promised his mom he wouldn’t join a club. Naho realizes the implication because the letter stated she shouldn’t invite him on the opening ceremony but she did anyway. She realizes the importance of the letter was to erase her regrets. She needs to be there for Kakeru when he is down. Naho then gives Kakeru her homemade lunch. It makes him happy and Naho promises to make him lunch every day. He jokes she is like his mom. At least he is smiling. In the future, Naho meets up with her friends to go somewhere that has to do with Kakeru. The letter adds Kakeru died in an accident and everyone regretted the fact knowing he could be saved.

Episode 3
The letter states she wants Naho to make Kakeru join the football club even if she has to force him. Because a week later he quit. But it looks like she doesn’t need to lift a finger because Suwa has bugged him so many times that Kakeru finally relents. As Kakeru has joined the football club, he enlists Naho’s help for a wakeup call for certain mornings. At 5am. Everyone notices that their senior, Rio Ueda has been trying to talk with Kakeru numerous times. The letter stated Ueda will confess to Kakeru. One day Kakeru asks Naho if there is someone she likes. She had to say no. Then she asks him back. None either. What about Ueda? Well, he likes her looks. Is that an answer you’re looking for? When Kakeru lost a bet and has to go buy drinks for his friends, they see Ueda coming up to him to talk. They can tell she is trying to ask him out so when he comes back they pester him for the details. All Kakeru says is that he’ll give his answer after the break. As Naho continues to ponder about this, she remembers the letter saying Kakeru slipped a secret message inside the eraser’s cover she lent to him. Had she noticed it, the future might have turned out differently. Naho is about to take off the cover but she got distracted by cleaning duties. After she is done, she remembers it and resumes. She sees the message of Kakeru asking if he should go out with Ueda. Noticing there is still time, she quickly writes a response and rushes down to put the message in his shoe locker. Safe, right? Unfortunately when she returns to class, her friends are witnessing Ueda talking to Kakeru. He must have gave some sort of answer that made her feel very happy. Naho leaves dejected and Suwa can tell she is in love with Kakeru. When Kakeru returns to his shoe locker, he sees Naho’s reply. “No!”. Oh dear… Naho returns home reeling with regret. In the future, the friends are at the site where they buried their posterior letters of what they want to be when they grow up. Let’s say they aimed too high and didn’t come close. Suwa reads Kakeru’s letter on his behalf but all it states are messages for his friends. None about himself. Everyone feels sad thinking Kakeru perhaps have known he himself had no future. They regret had they watched him more closely, they could have saved him. If Naho could redo the past, she’d definitely run straight to him.

Episode 4
The friends are visiting Kakeru’s grandma whom he lives with. She knows them all despite this is only their second meeting (the first was at his funeral). That’s because Kakeru always talked about them especially Naho. With Kakeru dating Ueda, the friends hang out by themselves. On the next school day, Kakeru wonders why Naho didn’t wake him up. She thought he already has a girlfriend and it won’t be right for her to do that. Also, she didn’t make him lunch. He thanks her for all that she has done. Ueda seems to love clinging to Kakeru whenever she gets the chance. Like as though she is trying to tell the whole world they’re an item. Naho is in a dilemma as she reads the future letter. It tells her to answer to Kakeru when he calls her and to talk to him instead of waiting around. Of course Naho feels she can’t do that. Then when Kakeru calls her, Naho feels the need to respond but seeing Ueda in the picture, she runs away. Like the letter, Naho continues to avoid Kakeru. And another one comes true when Kakeru after saying goodbye to her, he gets into a fight with Ueda. When Naho responded to his goodbye, Ueda accidentally bumps into her. As she was unapologetic, Kakeru helped Naho up. This made Ueda mad. She screams at the top of the voice like as though she wants the whole world to know that she doesn’t want him to speak to other girls. He ignores her and Ueda runs away crying. It’s the same for Naho too. She runs away crying. But she soon bumps into Suwa. This isn’t in the letter so is the future changing? He tells her to stop running away. She blames herself about them fighting and maybe she shouldn’t talk to him like they used to. Suwa replies they are friends so what is wrong with that. Kakeru wants to talk to her too but if she is running away, how can he? It made Naho realizes so she rushes to catch up with him to talk. Kakeru thinks of breaking up with Ueda. After dating her, he realizes there is someone else he likes more. Although he says it is a secret, I think we can guess who that person is.

Episode 5
Naho realizes the future might be changing as some contents in the letter doesn’t happen. Like when all of them supposed to walk home, this time only Kakeru walks home with her. They hang out more often like studying at the library. Although Kakeru has broken up with Ueda, he is still on friend terms with Naho. After the teacher hands back their test results and since some of them barely made the average, he explains about time travelling because his advice (or was it joke) for them was to go back in time to study more. I wonder if those students can understand his rocket scientist theories he put forth. When Hagita counters it with his own, the teacher explains another conclusion that will somewhat satisfy it: Parallel worlds. This has Naho thinking because if so far if the letters have been predicting what is happening despite she took corrective steps, does it mean her future won’t change? Naho’s last text to Kakeru before he passed away was to thank him. She wonders if he read it. There is that cultural festival promise they made that never happened although the letter did state that there are some memories she wants to retain like watching the fireworks. So Naho sums up her courage to invite him and he agrees. Azusa and Takako make it clear to Suwa that they are supporting Naho to be with Kakeru. He agrees but didn’t say he would also help them out. During the cultural festival as Naho and co clean the pool, Naho takes a break but Ueda wants to speak with her. She confirms Naho isn’t dating Kakeru. Noticing the nice hairpin she has (Kakeru gave it to her), she wants to have a look but Naho won’t allow. Ueda’s groupies then corner her. Luckily Suwa as around so he quickly takes Naho away. He brings her back to Kakeru who then puts some band aids on her hand (those bullies tried to get rough with her). He knew because Suwa told him. Naho remembers the letter stating to thank Suwa whenever she had the chance because he is a dear person who saved her heart. She couldn’t be happier doing so when the chance calls for it.

Episode 6
Kakeru asks Naho among them, whom she would date. She couldn’t answer. But when Azusa asks back the same question, he can’t tell. While Ueda won the popularity contest, I am not sure how the boys’ one works because Hagita won with just 1 vote courtesy of Azusa. Naho is supposed to meet up with Kakeru for the fireworks but Ueda and her groupies force her to do some work or else show her the hairpin. What’s a poor girl got to do but some menial labour. Luckily Azusa and Takako were nearby and take over. Ueda thought she could take advantage of this and meet Kakeru but Hagita leads her astray by telling her Kakeru is waiting at the clubroom for her. Naho manages to join Kakeru although the fireworks just ended. Naho answers his earlier question of all the guys she would go out with him. Kakeru also answers it would be her. Naho decides to read the future letters to find the date of Kakeru’s accident as she was too scared to do so. However she finds out saving Kakeru from the accident wasn’t enough because he committed suicide. In the future, it was his grandma who gave them a letter left behind by Kakeru. He wanted to go see his mom in heaven and apologized and made his suicide look like an accident. Thus Naho is determined to save Kakeru from his regret of not being able to save his mom. She accompanies him during the Bon festival and as per the letter, she tries to ask him about his mom. At first he was reluctant but eventually opens up. As his mom had mental health problems, it was a day she was to be admitted to a new hospital. It was that day he was supposed to go see her but his friends asked him to walk home together. Due to her mental instability, she felt useless and insecure. That single event led her to commit suicide. It was also why the letter told Naho not to invite Kakeru to walk home on that day. Naho realizes it is her fault. Kakeru continues he prayed to God to seek forgiveness from his mom but he still regrets it. Kakeru went home early and Naho felt she couldn’t do anything to save him. She feels the burden is too much for a single person like her so she thought of asking Suwa’s help. But he already knows what her dilemma is. Because he also got those letters.

Episode 7
Showing her his contents, it is almost similar. But unlike her, he didn’t read it immediately and only after he joined the football club. The next important event is his upcoming birthday. Suwa pretends to ask his birthday and when he reveals it, the friends want to throw him a party. So they bug him for what he wants. Not necessarily a present but what he wants. I don’t know. It feels like Kakeru’s want is like a joke. Ueda confronts Naho again. She tells him she will give him the sports bag as present. Luckily Azusa and Takako are here to keep her from being a bully. Takako tells her straight that Kakeru enjoys being with Naho more than her. After being threatened she will expose her bullying ways, she gives up. The girls talk to Naho and hope she can just be honest with her feelings and tell Kakeru. In the future, Naho finally knows when her friends tell her that Kakeru was always in love with her all the time. The friends celebrate Kakeru’s birthday. Suwa’s present is flowers?! Yeah, Kakeru asked for that but that was a joke. He then gives it to Naho. This is as stated in the letter and also as per instructed, Naho asks why. To cut that long flustering drama short, he confesses he likes her. Naho didn’t give her answer though her friends are bugging her to at least make sure to answer him. Suwa later talks to Naho because the day Kakeru attempted suicide is closing in. It was the day after Valentine’s Day where he met up with his Tokyo friends and he told them about his mom. While cleaning the class, Suwa tells Kakeru straight to not hang out with his Tokyo friends but them. He then discloses he knows about his mom. As best friends they should talk to each other. Kakeru can’t because he wants to laugh with them. But can they laugh together without knowing what he is going through? Asking if he has thought of dying, Kakeru answers yes. Every day. He feels it was his fault mom died. It’s painful. Suwa then tells him about his own nagging mom. It’s painful too. And that’s natural. He hugs him and wants him to stop regretting it because it’s not his fault. Naho then answers him that she loves him. Please don’t die. She doesn’t want to lose him. Despite the tears and smiles, there was still a hidden sadness they don’t know.

Episode 8
Kakeru decides to cancel hanging out with his Tokyo friends and hang out with Suwa. While playing football, Kakeru collapses. It isn’t life threatening but it’s still worrisome. When the friends tease him for making his girlfriend worry, Kakeru denies Naho is his girlfriend as they haven’t gone out yet. He is worried he might hurt her or won’t be happy while dating. He’s already considerate about her feelings already, right? Naho and Suwa talk about Kakeru collapsing and it is not in the letter (it’s still coming despite Kakeru has lived?). But the letter still states about him spraining his ankle during the relay race and for his sake they need to do something so he won’t be part of it. So when Kakeru gets selected as the anchor, Suwa hopes he could swap places. But since Kakeru wants to do this, they relent. However seeing how worried they are, he changes his mind. He is about to bring this up to the teacher when all his friends volunteer to take part in the relay. Yeah, Hagita was forced even he is the slowest poke in the entire school! It’s not about winning. It’s about having fun together with Kakeru! So Hagita calls Azusa for a special training. Yeah, it seems amazing he gets slower and slower! But there’s something Hagita needs to tell her. Hmm… We have a few scenes of Kakeru and Naho together but nothing really materializing. It’s like they’re too shy to take it to the next level. Azusa and Takako confront Suwa and wonder if he is hiding something from them. When Naho is worried about Kakeru, Suwa tells her not to rely on the letter but on her friends too. So she confides in them about Kakeru’s strange behaviour of holding his hand out to her with a sad face. They laugh since they know it’s him asking her to hold his hand. After Naho reveals she got future letters from herself and needs their help, this is when the rest too reveal they have also got those future letters. Even Hagita (so it wasn’t a confession? Dang…). Naho realizes her friends never changed in the future and that they all have the same goal to save Kakeru.

Episode 9
Azusa thought the letter was a prank and didn’t believe it at first till some of it came true. From now on, they pledge to help Kakeru be happy. So by supporting Naho means bugging them to hold hands? Doesn’t it feel awkward? But it’s worth a few laughs because Naho stumbles in her thoughts. Based on Azusa’s letter, during her birthday she got an umbrella as present from Hagita. Because it rained that day, she lent it to Kakeru thinking he would share with Naho but instead the boys share on umbrella and the girls with another. She wondered what would’ve happened had she not lent her umbrella. So this time after getting her umbrella, she finds an excuse not to use it as it looks cute. Nobody is willing to share their umbrella with Kakeru until Naho offers hers. Kakeru and Naho walk home together but they accidentally drop the umbrella and got soaked. They take refuge in a shelter as Kakeru says he would like to go out with her if she says yes. During the sports meet, the friends had their parents over as support except Kakeru. The letter wants them to bring a relative of Kakeru so he won’t feel down. Imagine to Kakeru’s surprise when his grandma is here. However as the event progresses, Naho notices Kakeru is still gloomy. She might have done something had not mom bug her to show which guy she has a crush on. Kakeru’s gloom is so obvious that the friends know he is still hiding something from them. They don’t know what else to do if he doesn’t talk to them. During the boys’ pole toppling event, all the girls (including from the opposing team) swoon over Suwa’s abs. Hagita won’t lose out and uses permanent marker to draw his own! Funny enough to make Kakeru laugh. Suwa then talks to Kakeru if he is worried other guys would date Naho. He isn’t because he isn’t sure if he can be around for her. What if Suwa dates Naho? He doesn’t mind it either and supports it. Because of that, after the event when Naho tries to treat some of his bruises, he gets edgy and won’t let her touch him. Kakeru is bothered by this but Suwa knows this is heading in the right track.

Episode 10
As the sports meet continues, Kakeru continues to be gloomy. So the friends gather to discuss again and it seems in Hagita’s letter it was stated that Kakeru sprained his ankle and during the race he fell. He insisted he was fine and went on. They go to help Kakeru lifting some sports equipment and his ankle sprain is starting to show. When they show concern about his gloominess, that’s when he reveals his mother had died. He thinks she is sad right now and shouldn’t be laughing like he doesn’t give a care in the world. The friends say they are also sad to see him like that. Azusa cheekily gives him hope when she points out Naho was watching him instead of the games. Kakeru gets his ankle treated but he still insists he can run despite the doctor told him to rest. He wants to run with them. Before the race starts, they thought of giving Kakeru motivation to win the race with Naho giving him a kiss. Otherwise Suwa will get the kiss! Okay. Kakeru will win it then. The relay begins with Suwa giving them a big lead. Of course Hagita blew it. The baton passing to them symbolizes a message they want to pass to Kakeru that they’ll all still be together 10 years from now. This gives Kakeru a big boost as he comes from behind to win it! In turn, their team wins the overall event (as opposed to the letter which stated the opposing team won). Grandma congratulates Kakeru and his friends. It reminded her of his kindergarten years. No matter how many pictures mom took, he never smiled until he won the final race. She was so worried until he smiled, she was overjoyed. Kakeru gets his reward by making a quick kiss on Naho’s cheek.

Episode 11
The friends are wondering if the kiss reward has been given. Seeing their shy reaction, I guess it’s done. In the future, the friends are talking about the possibility of another future where Kakeru and Naho are married. However Naho disagrees because even if Kakeru was alive, she would still marry Suwa. Back to the past, the friends are making arrangements to visit the shrine on New Year’s Eve. However Suwa opts out seeing he has something to do. After Kakeru and Naho leave, Takako smacks Suwa for lying. She thinks he is trying to change the future since in the letter he came. Kakeru and Naho got into a fight and Suwa comforted her. It was also when he confessed to her. Suwa rubbishes all that with that parallel world thingy. Kakeru died so Suwa married Naho in another world, not this. Thus he has vowed never to tell Naho how he feels about her. Naho is also worried that she will fight on him on that day. She said something insensitive about his grandma who is sick. So the friends minus Suwa hang out together. Kakeru and Naho leave early and he tells her about his worries about grandma getting sick. When Naho tries to assure him grandma will still be around in 10 years, this made Kakeru snapped. How could she be so sure? He is still reeling from the fact he didn’t know how much mom was in pain and still blames himself for killing her. That’s it. It’s over. He doesn’t want to talk to her anymore and goes home. Meanwhile Takako calls Suwa to get his ass over here to confess to Naho. Apparently the friends have now changed their stance to support Suwa for Naho. They don’t want to change the future to affect others! WTF?! I know they’re trying to be considerate but how sure are they? Suwa goes to talk to crying Naho as he assures her to keep moving forward. He promises to bring them both together if it means hauling Kakeru’s ass back to her. But for now Naho needs to call him back. However Kakeru doesn’t pick up her call and smashes his handphone! Naho thinks she is responsible for Kakeru’s death.

Episode 12
A flashback from Kakeru’s perspective. He disliked how much his mom made decisions without consulting him. He hated her for it. He is like a rebelling teen. So when he became friends with Naho and co, he was curious about Naho because she reminded him of himself. Perhaps this is a timeline where the future never arrived. Because Kakeru was blamed in the football club so he quit. He met up with his Tokyo friends and told them about his mom’s suicide but they laughed it off. During the relay he fell and his team got last place. He wonders if the world would be the same if he died. After all, the group of friends were originally 5 of them. Kakeru contemplates of his confused and mixed feelings for Naho. When he is clearing his old stuffs, he sees his mom’s old phone. He reads a message that she replied to him (I think she just didn’t send). It addresses her concerns for him. She knew how much he loved his father but had to divorce him because he was a violent man. She noticed he was being bullied in school that is why transferred to another place. Because she didn’t want him to get hurt, the reason she didn’t want him to join clubs. She apologizes for never considering his feelings and is always the one hurting him. Sorry for getting in the way. Once Kakeru realizes all this, he cycles out. Now he believes it is all his fault and ponders about death. Will it clear your sins? Probably he is looking at the sky instead of the road and got hit by a vehicle. So that’s the light he saw? Sorry for the bad joke. Now in current time we hear from Naho’s side. Nothing really much except she is worried about him. They did apologize for that New Year’s Eve argument. But she is still so affected by it that she couldn’t pay attention in class and starts crying. In the future, the friends meet and talk. Still trying to blame that had they done something Kakeru would still be alive? They talk about going back to redo the past about parallel worlds and black holes. Despite Hagita dismissing all that, the rest continue. They are interested to write letters and deliver it to that Bermuda black hole. Although they won’t know where in time it will end, they have no choice but to make a miracle. Naho talks to Kakeru to wait till Valentine’s Day. She doesn’t care if he hates her. She doesn’t want to lose him.

Episode 13
Naho has made chocolates to give to Kakeru on Valentine’s Day. As per letter, she has numerous times to give to him but couldn’t find the courage. So when she finally does, she makes a dash but has the bad luck to bump into Ueda. Her chocolates are damaged. Ueda tries to intimidate her but Naho won’t be cowed and continues to go meet Kakeru. At first he didn’t want to accept but gives in. He explains he has been avoiding her since that incident as he is afraid to hurt her. Realizing she has been running away all this time, she confesses she would like to go out with him. He is afraid he will hurt her and cannot make her happy but she doesn’t care. But once they talk things out and she hugs him, most of the fear dispels. The friends are happy especially Suwa who believes this world exists to make Kakeru happy. The next few scenes show Kakeru and Naho hanging out with each other and being close. Kakeru finally admits he loves her. Later the friends still convene because they need to make sure Kakeru doesn’t die. They think about destroying his bicycle when Kakeru comes by and they quickly hide their letters. Hagita gives him a gay hug that sends everyone laughing! Well, at least he diverted his attention. In the future, Suwa talks about if there were no parallel worlds. This means if the letters they sent back and they manage to save Kakeru, the letters would never have been written in the first place. Paradox thingy. Hagita adds even if there are parallel worlds and they managed to change their past, it will branch off to a different future. Either way, this future they are in now, they will never see Kakeru again and nothing will change for them. Thus they decide to write letters to save Kakeru in a parallel world.

The friends are waiting at the intersection supposedly where Kakeru met with an accident. So far he has not shown up. In fact, Kakeru has already read the contents of his late mom’s handphone. So when Kakeru didn’t show up, the friends head to his place only for Kakeru’s grandma to tell them Kakeru just dashed out. Oh dear. It seems he didn’t ride his bicycle and went by foot. The friends frantically try to find him and when they do, this time they witness him being hit by a truck! Oh no! But thank heavens he is still alive. You know how I know he is still alive? Because there is no blood! They scold him for this suicide move so Kakeru says he wanted to die so he could go apologize to mom. Of course he couldn’t do it. He asks how they know about this so they show him their future letters. It seems not only letters from themselves but from them to Kakeru too. He reads their future thoughts on him. They still regret losing him after 10 years. Everybody makes peace and time for a big group hug. Walking Kakeru home, they wonder why he didn’t take his bicycle as stated in the letter. Because somebody trashed it. Oh, who’s the culprit… Don’t play dumb. The friends write letters and bury them as time capsule. When they wonder if there is a future of Suwa and Naho married, Suwa vehemently objects. But he notes it would be nice if such a future exists. Kakeru thanks them for saving him and Naho says if he ever feels living is painful, they’ll come save him again and again. Well, I hope they can without those future letters.

Orange You Glad How Things Turned Out?
Well… A happy ending? Or should I say a happy alternate branching future? It seems to prevent any sort of tragedy from either side of time, I guess we have the current time line and the future one to be deemed as good ending. In addition to Kakeru being able to continue living, the future whereby he remains dead is what I still considered a good ending. Because had the past changed as an effect from the future to affect the future (bear with me, I’m getting confused of what I’m saying too), this means it would be like an insult to erase the deeds of the friends in the future who took the trouble to write letters to be sent to another parallel past to save Kakeru. Their future no more. And Suwa and Naho’s baby who has got nothing to do with this time mess suddenly ceases to exist. Not good, right? Before I confuse myself further, let me just sum up that I find this series boring. Yeah. Got to get that out of my chest now or else I might regret it like 10 seconds in the future for not saying my mind. You can never be too sure about the future…

Honestly, this is actually one drawn out love drama series. It could have been just an ordinary one had not the premise that involves letters from the future. I suppose it was the only thing that held my interest because despite the drama, it was burning at the back of my mind of how these letters actually reached our characters in the first place. It made me think if this was just another parallel world because of that time travel paradox thingy. You know, if you change the future by altering the past, if that future no longer happens, how can they send it back to the past to change it? Exactly like what Suwa had theorized. So while this entire series’ goal might be to save Kakeru, but it feels more like a long romance drama between Naho and Kakeru as they sort out their feelings and ponder the action that they are supposed to take. And on occasion, Suwa gets in between. That’s all. The so called sci-fi elements are just a distraction and something minor compared to the big romance drama you are going to see for the rest of the series. I mean, if you want to think how they got the letters to the past (don’t tell me they really went to Bermuda), there would be endless and mindless conspiracy theories to come up with. Maybe they just hand it to Doraemon. Yeah, that’s much believable.

Despite the very small casts of characters and centering on this little group of friends, I am not impressed with the character development at all. It is one big reason why I find this series to be boring. Now, a big chunk of the focus is on Naho and Kakeru and as I have already said, actually there isn’t really much that is going on between them or around them and that is why the drama is drawn out longer than needed. Because Kakeru has his own insecurities, he is trying to overcome the blaming of himself over his mother’s death. It makes him hesitant to want to enter a relationship with Naho for fear of repeating his mistakes. Naho on the other hand is also as hesitant as Kakeru because she is trying hard to deal with the letters. Yes, Kakeru isn’t the main problem for her but rather those letters. It makes her more conscious than ever. She thinks too much about everything. This in a way affects what actions she needed to do. You can’t blame her since it’s like reading your own prediction and naturally anyone would be scared to death. You’d be cautious even if the letter is proven to be from your future self. Especially when future Naho often uses the word ‘regret’, all the more reason why high school Naho gets cold feet every time. In the end, both of them are just running away from their problems till they can face and overcome it. Yeah. It’s that simple. But it’s not if you’re in their shoes.

I believe Suwa isn’t the third wheel but he like the other friends in the group just don’t feel that impactful. Yes, you could see their beautiful friendship and bond. But as far as the story and the plot of this series is concerned, it isn’t really much. I’m thinking it is to hide the fact and to serve as a twist because I didn’t see this coming as all of them has got letters too. So had they try to take proactive action like we see for Naho, it would have made us very suspicious from the start. But I think it will still catch me off guard seeing that I am already finding the series boring halfway. So for Suwa as Kakeru’s best football buddy whatever, so as to be fair to this guy, the reason a movie called Orange: Mirai was released subsequently to tell the story from his perspective. It takes place after the TV series as he supports Kakeru and Naho’s relationship (as I read from the synopsis). Given that I’m already bored with the series, I don’t think I want to waste over an hour on this one. Not sure if this would affect my own future if I find it boring or exciting but I guess I’ll have to contend with this choice and the present I have made. Oh, did I mention that was a live adaptation of the series nearly a year prior to the anime? Definitely not keen on that one.

I want to say Hagita is the most amusing character because he sounds somewhat creepy. Because the focus is mostly on Kakeru, Naho and Suwa, poor chap doesn’t get a lot of decent screen time. It is like he is mostly ignored until he really needs to speak up or say something. What I find amusing about him is how the friends usually love to tease him and he has all this weird comebacks at them. Sometimes I want to say he is this series version of Gintama’s Shinpachi, the voice of reasoning that nobody listens to. Yeah, he is the most underrated character of the series. There are a few scenes that may hint he and Azusa have a thing for each other but it could be that because they are so close friends, they take jabs at each other like it is their nature. Maybe they do get married in an alternate future.

The thing that confuses me most is the letters. Now think about this. If let say that Naho or somebody else did something as the letters suggested and successfully change the outcome, this would mean that at least some part of the future is changed. But how come the future letters that keep coming after that still talk about many events that has happened in the supposed original timeline? Maybe one or two won’t change the entirety of the future but doing a bunch of them I believe would have at least branched out the future to another possibility. Does this mean that no matter how many of these events they changed, the future that leads to Kakeru’s inevitable will remain unchanged? It’s like nature will find a way to return back to its ordinary course. Unless you’re telling me that in another parallel future, these letters are sent from there. Then isn’t it that still the future hasn’t changed? Perhaps the things they do are not great enough to turn the future enough. For example, if you can’t have coffee, then have tea. Either way, your thirst will be quenched. See my point?

And to think that the friends remember vividly the date of those events! I know you can still roughly remember what happened but the date of when it happened either? 10 years in the future?! Man, I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast. Their regret must be really strong to really remember those dates better than history dates. Maybe a reason for this confusion of mine is that the series goes back and forth between the current and future timelines. It might be easy to spot this difference but as for the current timeline, they might jump months ahead before jumping back. It’s hard to tell since they are still in high school during that period.

The art and animation I want to say they are quite impressive but this can only be said for the backgrounds and sceneries. As the location is away from the bustling Tokyo city, the lush greeneries and the summer skies are quite a nice view to look at. However the animation for the characters are sometimes inconsistent in quality. I noticed that sometimes they are decently drawn and at other times they are just having lower quality. It isn’t that obvious but if you focus just enough, you can see the difference. This series is produced by Telecom Animation Film who did Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation, Moyashimon, All Out and the Chain Chronicle series.

Voice acting feels okay, nothing too extraordinary seeing this is mostly drama. Kana Hanazawa is instantly recognizable as Naho. There is this insecure and vulnerable feel in her voice that suits her character well. Also recognizable is Ayane Sakura as Ueda. Normally she voices bratty sounding girls but this time she really makes her character sound like a total diva b*tch. I also hate to do this again but upon knowing Mamiko Noto played Kakeru’s mother… Oh God. Why do I have to relive this trauma of her character being killed off?! This time it’s suicide?! I’m fine she’s playing motherly roles in recent animes I have watched like Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso and Comet Lucifer. But to keep continue killing her?! How many times must she die over and over???!!!! PLEASE STOP!!!!! Oh, screw that. Nobody’s going to listen to me anyway.

The rest of the cast of characters are Seiichirou Yamashita as Kakeru (Bunta in Shoujo-tachi Wa Kouya Wo Mezasu), Makoto Furukawa as Suwa (Banri in Golden Time), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Hagita (Nagare in K), Natsumi Takamori as Azusa (Miyano in Tanaka-kun Wa Itsumo Kedaruge) and Riku Kinugawa as Takako (Liddy in Hundred). The opening theme sounds rather okay, Hikari No Hahen by Yuu Takahashi. Mirai by Kobukuro as the ending theme is a slow pop ballad and the song feels powerful and impactful on the series. It’s sad yet heart-warming to hear. There are a variety of BGM from nice acoustic guitar pieces to lovely string ones and some piano renditions.

Overall, unless you really like romance dramas, watch this then. Otherwise the time travelling or tiny sci-fi elements feel like a ploy to pull you in and watch it. It also tries to tell you how the power of love and friendship can save a life and future, which isn’t a laughing matter because even in real life we hear this sort of stories from all over. It is just too bad that we only have this single life and timeline to go through so we will never know how the alternate might turn out. Moral of the story: Live the moment! Thanks to this anime, I am for the time being constantly thinking about my alternate future. The kind of regrets I will have since I chose to pass on watching that anime. Would I have been better off or would I be even more disappointed. Yeah… My future is doomed either way. No wonder my future self never sends me those letters. But then again, it might be a sign for me to live the moment!

Girlish Number

May 6, 2017

Oh wait. Didn’t we have a seiyuu themed anime a few seasons ago? That wasn’t too long a time I believe. And now we have another anime series about the seiyuu industry? Just like that series about a group of young girls making video games. Similar theme but different in anything else. But there is something that makes Girlish Number a whole lot different than Sore Ga Seiyuu or Love Get Chu. Instead of all the happy-happy and bright moments in the voice acting industry, this one has darker elements. Don’t worry. It won’t go so far as about abuse of workers with long working hours with no overtime pay or sexual favours if you want to advance your career. It is about a young and new seiyuu who thinks she can take the voice acting industry by storm and be bloody famous. Reality is not so straight forward like her delusional dreams. And slowly it starts to sink in and hit her when it does.

Episode 1
There is an event for fans of some anime or game. It is ending so the seiyuus have their final say on stage. Among them is Chitose Karasuma who is a newbie in the industry. She only holds a minor role. The event ends with the 2 main seiyuus who play the main heroines singing, Momoka Sonou and Kazuha Shibasaki. At the backstage, Chitose can see all the drama and different world these people put up. From b*tching about to gossiping, this is really a rotten dark side to the industry. Even Chitose has her own sarcastic comments about everything. There is a party after the event but many big names can’t make it. Chitose wants to go although her manager who is also her brother, Gojou wants her to hold back. But they attend anyway to make up for the numbers. Then there is this music producer guy, Kuzu who waltzes in like he owns the place. He didn’t even attend the event and is already late but I guess his charisma covers everything. Back home, Gojou gives Chitose a check video for tomorrow. Chitose blames she has no major roles on Gojou for not doing his job properly to get better roles for her. It’s a reason why she isn’t famous. Yeah, she also blames the studio for making anime that they know won’t sell. So being a seiyuu sucks? That’s great hearing from someone like you who hasn’t passed a single audition. Gojou relays the good news that he has got a slightly bigger role for her albeit still a small one. However it is not based on manga but a light novel, something she isn’t quite pleased.

She goes to do her job despite there is only one line. Accidentally she crosses Kazuha’s path during the job. Kazuha calls out to her after that but lets her go since Chitose is acting all dense and innocent. Chitose talks to Momoka and finds her snooty too. When the typical otaku looking author talks to them and invites them to dinner, Momoka quickly gives lots of excuses why they can’t and promptly takes Chitose to leave. Momoka advises her to decline such things flat out. Otherwise they will never take her seriously. Despite a bit of sarcasm between them, the duo become friends. Not sure if they’re just acting either. Kuzu is talking to Gojou and the agency president, Nanba for a new project. He seems to want Chitose as a new idol despite she doesn’t sing. Why? Because his music guts tell him she is perfect. And Nanba just agree with everything he says because he is some big shot music guy. When Chitose gets called by Nanba, she thinks she has done something wrong. She learns she will be helming the role of a main heroine of an anime based on a light novel, Kusure. Although she doesn’t read light novels, Kuzu doesn’t mind as long as she has talent and is cute. Ah, those words seal it. Now she is laughing with them. Only Gojou isn’t…

Episode 2
Chitose thinks she is now a main star and acts high and mighty. Meanwhile Kuzu and his team are in a discussion with the author. It seems there is a disagreement in which the anime will design the characters. Due to lack of time, it is suggested to do a PV to hype up the audience. At the staff meeting, Chitose meets a fellow friend and newbie from the training school, Yae Kugayama and fellow seiyuu Koto Katakura. Chitose seems shocked she isn’t the only cast to be playing the heroine. If she had read the light novel, she would have known it is a harem genre and there will be 5 heroines. The other 2 are helmed by Momoka and Kazuha. Kuzu tells the trio they will be forming a unit to sing Kusure’s song and make their CD debut. While Yae and Koto are being modest, Chitose thinks she has hit it big although she is probably the biggest one who can’t sing. While waiting for taxis to head to the launch party, the newbies talk with each other. Chitose doesn’t know who Momoka’s mom and is supposedly a very famous seiyuu and her dad is a famous director. Need to Google it, huh? Chitose thinks she has won big time after learning that many other famous seiyuus will also be appearing here (although they are just cameos for one or two episodes). When all the 5 main girls are here, the staff meeting begins with Towada telling them the schedule of the PV event. Yae being her first time panics and doesn’t quite understand so she goes over everything again. But it’s just another day and another job for veterans Momoka and Kazuha. Kazuha seems to dislike talking about projects that she hasn’t record yet so Momoka tells her to get over it. They still get paid. Kazuha replies that for Momoka’s case, she never has to worry about anything. The girls go on the stage to give the fans a preview of Kusure. Although everyone loves it, is it just me that I find the animation quality to be obviously HORRIBLE!!! The event went smoothly and panicky Yae is so relieved that she confides in the arms of Chitose that it’s all over. Good job, right? Kuzu wants to go out to celebrate but gets an emergency call. Looks like somebody is mad with the PV… So while the veterans quickly take their leave, the newbies celebrate by themselves. Koto makes a toast that despite they debuted at different times, here’s to a future where they’ll disappear at the same time. Wait. You want to disappear? Oh right. Nothing lasts forever. Kuzu and his team find themselves in an emergency meeting with the author regarding the character designs. What did I tell you?

Episode 3
It seems there were no changes to the design as promised. So how is Kuzu going to fix this? This is all just promotional material! The real stuff will differ! All the seiyuus are at the recording studio. They are introduced to the author who is so soft that you can’t hear a single damn word he says. Chitose takes her lines. Despite she is confident in her work, it is obvious that she is stiff and sucks! Meanwhile Gojou hears from a colleague that the production of this anime is on shaky ground. There has been some disputes and some of the production people aren’t interested in making this series in the first place. At the end of the recording session, Chitose thought she could go out drinking with her friends. However Gojou holds her horses. They’re staying back to do retakes. Chitose has to do several retakes and personally she barely differs from one to the other. Because the veterans have other plans, they record first and Chitose usually is the last to do the retakes. You’d think she would have reflected on herself. But guess what? She thinks nobody realizes how valuable she is! She even blames society for this problem and not herself! Till Gojou tells her part of the true picture behind the scenes that Kuzu didn’t pick her for her talent but for a certain song in mind. It starts to get to her when she remembers seeing all the production people’s less than amused reactions on her work. Chitose continues to record and do retakes. The author is not pleased but the sound team knows this is Chitose’s limit. She can’t do any more than this. Just accept it? Oh well. At this time reality hits Chitose hard. She is depressed as she figures out she is the one who doesn’t get it. May Gojou add more to that? She’s talentless and she sucks. No experience, not very smart and her personality is trash. What he admires is her never give up personality. She would like to improve herself so he suggests talking to the sound director. Then she talks to Momoka for advice like drawing out similar past character roles and adjusting. Or she can just imagine a character because if she has a better idea of it, she’ll start sounding like it. Chitose does more homework by watching videos. So when the next recording is in session, she vastly improves that everyone is in shock! Like a totally different person. So much so that they’ve got free time at the end! Yeah, no retakes. However veterans like Kazuha and Gojou know that Chitose is just following things and this is making her acting dull. But Momoka doesn’t see an issue with it. If this is what they want, what’s the problem?

Episode 4
Chitose is a famous seiyuu with many fans! Ah, such angelic personality too. If it sounds too good to be true, then it is because she is just dreaming. Even more embarrassing she is sleep talking in front of everyone. There is an event that will have the girls sing the TV version of the song which will be also live streamed. Of course Gojou hears the ‘good news’ that Kuzu plans to make them sing the full length of the song with the excuse that this will increase their appeal. The reason for this is because of this bad news: The first episode wasn’t being able to be finished on time. He plans to show the PV and bits of the first episode. When Gojou relays this to the girls, the first one to baulk at this sudden change is Yae. Can’t do it? You have to. Yeah, just when you thought Chitose has learnt something from being humble, she’s back to her usual confident personality. And I mean that from an obnoxious point of view. On stage, the girls strut their stuff. After the PV is shown, the fans are shocked because it is exactly the PV they saw previously instead of the first episode they had expected. Chitose thought she could step in and hype them up but no reaction. Momoka and Kazuha help her out and soon the crowd is revved up when the girls start singing. Seeing how hyped everyone is, Kuzu and Nanba thinks this promotion method really works and should do it more often. Kuzu praises Chitose for a good job and is on her way to being famous (checking her social media right now). Gojou has a bad feeling when Kuzu comes up with an idea to do live streaming events every month. While the newbies relish in their possible future being famous, it is gloomier and heavier discussion between Kazuha and Momoka. Kazuha feels all this is stupid and is disappointed in herself. Although Momoka accepts it because this is what the crowd wants, Kazuha is glad the author didn’t show up. He would never have accepted this. Or maybe he knew and didn’t want to turn up. Chitose and Yae meet and hang out with Koto before going to her place to celebrate and watch the first episode airs. When it starts, it leaves the girls in shock. Koto is unhappy how much it sucks. Chitose is obsessed in getting more followers on her social media. Despite the fans criticizing the awful anime, they praise Chitose’s character as their saving grace. Now she thinks she is hell of a popular. Kuzu and Nanba are already talking about their next big project involving a large scale next generation audition.

Episode 5
The opening song sells for 10,000 copies. Chitose is so happy that she lets it get to her head and back to her lazy ways. Famous now, is she? She’s even calculating the royalties she’ll get. Gojou thinks it is more of the writer of the song than the one who sung it. So while Chitose brags about this achievement to Yae and Koto, the latter wonders about the most important thing: The anime. Because they hear how people are now saying the anime is crap and the opening song was the only thing good. Plus, some of them are pitying the seiyuus and those who aren’t so forgiving are calling them crap as well. When the girls record for the last episode, Chitose tries to brag to the veterans about the sales. Of course Momoka has done so many that she practically forgot about it. The author gives them a bouquet of flowers as thanks but he doesn’t seem to be quite happy. Chitose overhears the production team arguing about some problems regarding the last episode. But it’s not her problem! Kuzu and Towada have to answer to the executives as Kusure is making a loss. Kuzu shifts the responsibility to Towada to report it since this is under his jurisdiction. All eyes on him now… Chitose isn’t fond of attending an event that has them hand out DVD copies of Kusure with an autograph and handshake of the seiyuus. I mean, who is going to buy an expensive DVD with this cheap novelty, right? Surprisingly there are a decent amount of fans and they manage to sell out their portion. However Chitose isn’t too thrilled because Momoka and Kazuha has got a lot more fans waiting in line than theirs. It seems the anime production team is losing interest and can’t even finish the last episode. Worse, there is an announcement that a second season is happening! OMFG! The author has been ‘damaged’ so much that when he hears about it, he becomes happy thinking this is the first time his work is going to get an anime treatment! Yeah, that disaster was totally erased from his mind. Never happened. When Gojou returns, he sees Chitose crying. It’s real. Seems she has seen nasty comments on the internet bashing how bad she is. Can’t take the heat? Gojou has surveys from the past events in which she can go through and improve herself. But she doesn’t want to do that! She only wants to see the ones that are praising her! She even questions why she is the only one getting bashed when she did nothing. Yup, I think she answered her own question. Kuzu and Towada are drinking out their problems. Kuzu realizes with all the condemning, at this rate he can’t use up all the budget if they end up in the red. But don’t fear. He has a secret plan…

Episode 6
How does Kuzu avoid the wrath of his management? He takes the girls and his team to Okinawa to film bonus materials! Chitose fears the cameras but after learning this isn’t live stream and that means people who only pay will see the release (you’re a horrible person), she’s back in the game. So we see the girls in their swimsuits prancing around for the footage. Nothing too fancy or scandalous. That night the girls go drinking. Koto talks to Kazuha that she is already 26 and this is her last chance. If she doesn’t make it big now, she thinks of going home and getting married. Kazuha is drunk and for the first time we get to see her with emotions. She gets into a pillow fight with Momoka but Chitose joins in via underhanded tactic of throwing the sheets over Momoka and then slamming her with the pillow. When Kuzu returns, all he can get is a lousy box souvenir? This isn’t going to cut it… Momoka returns home to see her parents talking to a couple of production guys. They are planning to do a mother-daughter theatrical all-stars version, Pure Para. While her parents seem to be supportive of Momoka, she isn’t quite happy herself about this. The newbies are doing an audition. Koto has spent quite some time in the recording as the staffs want her to try out other roles. She can’t stay for dinner with Chitose as she has other jobs. Wow. She’s moving forward. Time for Chitose to do her best. However she came out of the recording room as fast as she went in! Holy cow. Obviously she lost the role and she blames political casting and death to record companies! Chitose attends a wrap up party for an anime she had a minor role in. She wasn’t too thrilled despite the lavish setting and food. Till she won the TV lucky prize draw. Then she goes to the wrap up party for Kusure. She is already having high expectations but what the heck is this small and dark hall? The food is paltry and not many people come. Do they even give their attention to Kuzu speaking on stage? Yeah, no lucky draw prize either. Kazuha gets drunk again. Kuzu and his side later have their own after party. He and Nanba are already looking at the list of seiyuus for their next generation audition. When Towada mentions what about the second season of Kusure, they leave it in his hands! You’re on your own. Literally.

Episode 7
Chitose and Momoka send a drunk and emotional Kazuha home. She doesn’t seem to have her key but luckily mom is home. Mom hopes she would treat her friends with hospitality instead of just going straight to bed but thankfully they’re leaving. Chitose notes Kazuha doesn’t have any friends. Look who’s talking. The point is, Kazuha has been like that since coming here and it proves how tough the industry is. Chitose mentions her parents were also against her going into this industry. Gojou did it but didn’t make it and they tried to use this to dissuade her. Kazuha’s mom pays a surprise visit to watch her daughter and the rest do their radio programme. Despite her being the best mom, Kazuha is very embarrassed and not appreciative of her presence. It gets worse with Kuzu trying to act like the charming gentleman. Fail. After the job, though mother doesn’t have any problems about Kazuha doing this, Kazuha still keeps reminding her that this is all part of her job. Everything was just promotion. What is worse to have your friends eavesdrop on you? Father calling at the same time. Mom wants her to speak to him but she won’t. Wait. I take that worse thing back. Nothing is worse than Kuzu snatching the phone and talking to dad on her behalf! Oh no! He thought praising every part of Kazuha would be okay (including her boobs). Too bad dad didn’t like and blows his top. Naturally. Guess what? Kuzu passes the phone to Towada to clean up his mess! Towada even has to kneel and apologize before the handphone! As Kazuha’s mom leaves, Kazuha wonders why she would go out of her busy schedule just to see her. Couldn’t she just drop a message? There are lots of things she can tell just by looking at her face. With this issue, they worry he might show up on site at Yamagata, a trip they’re supposed to take as part of the work. Who else but Koto to talk to Kazuha about her problems. Meanwhile Chitose is upset that Gojou won’t give her permission to go on this trip despite claiming she is the leader of the unit and for work. She even goes as far to say she is a crappy small fry newbie with no work and has all the free time in the world! Care to review your script if you’re so free? Yae and Momoka attend the same audition. Yae feels they have become great friends when she could call her by her first name. As Kazuha meets up with Kuzu and Towada for the train to Yamagata, she is surprised to see Momoka.

Episode 8
Apparently Chitose can’t come due to some reasons and she is blaming it on Gojou. Oh thank God. No Chitose for this episode! Arriving at the inn where Kazuha’s parents work, the moment her father steps in and before Kuzu can complete his sentence, they throw him out! Yeah, we know how he ruins things. Towada and Kazuha’s manager quickly apologize although father is still displeased but maintains his hospitality. They give him see the recently bombed Kusure that Kazuha worked in but Kazuha lashes out they should have at least got a better one. Father shoots back as an actress she shouldn’t badmouth her own work but her reply is that she has been working in this industry long enough to know their worth. In that case does she mean she is worthless? Maybe that’s why she had to resort to that swimsuit fanservice to sell it. Father tells her to go back to Tokyo since she has already assimilated there. You know what? Yeah, she’ll go back there. Bye. Not so fast says Momoka. They’ve already prepared to stay. With dad telling to leave her foolish daughter to do whatever he wants, this time mom puts her foot down. Since they are paying customers, they can’t shoo them away, can they? So the rest of the episode sees Kazuha and Momoka walking around the small town as they talk things out. Despite Kazuha’s family problems, Momoka still envies her. Yeah, she has her own problems as she is not picking up a call her manager, Mutsumi Kawahara who has been trying to contact her since. Even Kazuha had to lie when they texted her if she knows anything on Momoka. Momoka goes on to explain how her parents were decent to her but after she debuted as a seiyuu, they stopped telling her things. So what’s the problem? It makes Kazuha envious of her. Momoka finally decides to return the call but since mom is there, she talks to her. Momoka has decided to decline the role in Pure Para unless they personally offer it to her. Mom respects her wish as they are both professionals. In that case, she’ll just take Momoka’s role. When they return to the inn, Kazuha’s mom reveals father was being harsh to her because he was concerned. When Kazuha became a seiyuu, father did a lot of research on it. As parents they will always worry for their child and it is also their job to believe in them and wait. Next morning when they leave, Kazuha makes peace with her father. They realize they forgot to buy a souvenir for Chitose but that doesn’t really matter. Meanwhile Chitose’s only short appearance and she is fuming the girls didn’t reply. Maybe it is because of the time difference?

Episode 9
The recording of Kusure’s second season starts. Even Chitose has lost motivation but unlike Kuzu she can’t run away and still has to do her job. Kuzu thought he could give excuse of coming in late (or not coming at all) but Towada replies they have already wrapped up recording and are now in a party. Yeah, you’re not needed. Nobody even cares about him. At the party, Nanba brings in a new seiyuu, Nanami Sakuragaoka. She has been observing the girls at work today. Like a newbie, she treats everyone politely and with respect that it makes Chitose brag about her own ‘achievements’. Please don’t give false hope. Best of all, she sincerely talks how she loves Kusure and everything behind it. This motivates everyone to make the series great again. This should be the way. Everyone chats and gives ideas like how it should have been. As the girls continue their job, Chitose doesn’t seem happy because it looks like he online popularity has declined. The staff members wonder if they can go ahead with work without Kuzu because as long as Towada is here, everything should be okay. Towada hopes Kuzu can make it in time. He wasn’t like this. Before he joined this agency he worked very hard. He still believes Kuzu will come back to help them. Don’t bet on it because he is enjoying the company of a hostess. However he sees his former colleague, Shakujii who mocks Kuzu for becoming and failure and loser after leaving the company. The difference is obvious. Shakujii as you can see is successful. What else can a makeinu do but run away with his tail between his legs? So when Towada gives him a timely reminder call, first thing Kuzu screams out is to save him! Yeah, this guy has no backbone anymore. Chitose is certain she will pass this limited audition because her birthday is coming up and it will be the perfect gift. WTF. Sorry to rain on your parade but Nanba says that won’t be happening. He is going to give the audition role to Nanami. Remember how Chitose started out with this kind of favour? It’s time for Nanami to get hers and Chitose to fly the nest. Gulp. Gojou disagrees as Chitose isn’t even secure in anime what more do narrations and dubbing. Nanba reminds Gojou that he got a lead role at this age. Every youth has the right to dream. It is his job to sell that dream. Oh, he will assign Gojou to be Nanami’s manager and Chitose will be assigned another one. Of course despite looking very worried, what’s a self-centred b*tch to do but to complain about this ‘scandal’. Whine, whine, whine. Yeah, it’s everybody’s fault except her own. Uh huh. She thinks Gojou’s job is easy. Depressed… Too bad she won’t get her birthday present from Gojou tonight.

Episode 10
Chitose, meet Juuzou Matsuoka your new manager. He is so passionate about work and just look at her disgusted face. It feels as though he parachuted into the wrong anime. If it was a sports shonen genre it would’ve been okay… But Gojou isn’t totally going to hand over Chitose yet and Matsuoka will for now be his aide. Even so, Matsuoka loves to pound in the idea of hard work and starting from the bottom, something that doesn’t sit well with lazy Chitose. For example, if you miss the train, what next? No, you don’t call a taxi. You run! Get your ass moving! Gojou sees Nanba and they talk about the progress of the other girls. But when it comes to Chitose, you know it is real sh*t when Nanba starts talking in a serious voice and manner. Because Nanba quotes Gojou who once said it himself that Chitose has no talent and that many could replace her. He has waited long enough for her to improve and since there is none, his job is to cut out those who don’t. Get the picture? Gojou has no words for that and could only cling to the faint hope that Nanba gives that he’ll wait a little more and see. Wow. Time for somebody to wake up. Chitose and the girls are practising for an event. As usual, her nonchalant behaviour irks Gojou. You can see his very disappointed face. Chitose overheard there would be a surprise after the event and she thinks it is for her birthday. However it turns out to be Nanami’s debut CD. That is when Chitose starts to feel down. It’s starting to get to her. When she returns to the backstage room, she is taken by surprise when they give her a birthday surprise. Even so, she is still reeling from the depression and her happiness is ‘fake’. You still not happy? When they leave, fans are giving Nanami their support. They also give Chitose their cheers but because she unenthusiastically reply them, they note she has turned cold and might be better off retired. As Gojou sends lively peachy genki Nanami home, Chitose walks home with gloom doom written all over her face. Meanwhile Kuzu is doing silly things like trying to win some fish measuring competition to best Shakujii. He couldn’t. Another depressed guy. He gets a much needed call from Towada to come in to work for help. They still need him? Of course. Because now he takes this as a sign that he is NEEDED! Back to his illogical reasoning again. I don’t know what he’s saying here. Whatever. At least he is motivated to come back. Still depressed over at Chitose as she listens to Gojou’s past voice acting in the dark. She can still comments he sucks. Like herself. It makes her think why he quit voice acting despite all his bright words of hope.

Episode 11
Gojou reads a letter supporting him and Chitose. He narrates about the different excuses people have when they quit. Meanwhile Chitose continues to be depressed. During the recording session with everyone paying their attention on Nanami, this even makes her more so. It is so obvious that she doesn’t want to join the girls for dinner. Yae can tell and talks to her that she is also working hard. But I guess that’s not enough to pull her out of depression. So much so Yae goes talk to Gojou and hopes he could tell Chitose she is doing her best. It would be better if she told Chitose herself but she thinks her words are cheap and as her brother he would have better impact. Even Koto talks to Gojou about her own past with changing managers and agency structures that she made her thought she might quit. But thanks to a great manager, she is able to still be here. The girls feel awkward at dinner without Chitose. Obviously they have to discuss about her because they know something is bugging her. They fear she might quit but keep their hopes up that Chitose is erratic. After Yae speaks up her support for Chitose that she might be just dense in a professional sense, Nanami also reveals she admires and like Chitose. Despite her earlier works are crappy, it still made Nanami fell in love with the character she played. Meanwhile Nanba, Kuzu and Towada have a drinking discussion about promoting Nanami further. However they also feel like taking a big risk to bet on Chitose. After Gojou leaves Chitose presents from others, she speaks up about how reality is hitting her. She really thought how long people will support her. Her next role is just minor and fears people will soon forget about her. She thinks people are looking at her now because she is new. What happens when she is no longer new? She knows about her own rotten personality but can’t help it. She wants to like herself. She wants others to keep liking her. I guess with those real tears, time for Gojou to play the nice big brother. After listing down her negative traits, what makes Chitose and him different is that she has people supporting her. He doesn’t when he quitted. Because he calls her amazing, she wants him to spam that line! Say it again! Now go into specifics! Can’t… We know she is back when she says this awfully familiar tone, “There is something wrong with the industry if someone like me doesn’t become popular”. Yeah… Let’s hope her vow to work hard and be popular is real this time.

Episode 12
The snow has grind all public transports to a stop. This means Chitose will be late. She is meekly trying to explain herself but all Matsuoka can say screaming at the top of his passionate voice: DO YOUR BEST!!! So Chitose screws all that crap and makes a run towards the recording studio. Everybody waiting there is anxious because if they don’t get the dubbing session started, the broadcast will be cancelled! Kuzu will have it even worse because he’ll be fired! So Kuzu tries his charming talk to arrange another date but after being reminded how this amounts to breach of contract and that sum of yen is looking to be pretty large, Kuzu assures he’ll definitely get this done! Finally Chitose arrives! Hooray! It is awkward at first facing her fellow friends. But then she starts off her apology with stating the obvious and self-realization like she isn’t anybody special and can be replaced. But she hopes that it will be a win-win for everybody. I guess to show that she is still cool, she tells Nanami not to do her best and watch her being awesome! At least Chitose’s words have given the author some hope to continue writing his material. The recording goes well as well as other production stuffs. You think Chitose would have learnt her lesson but on the day of an important event, she is running late again. This time it is purely her fault because she overslept. But she’s blaming stocks, politics and society for it! Run out of excuses, huh? Gojou has seen this coming and has sent Matsuoka to go get her. Wait a minute. I thought they’re going to run together so why the hell are they taking a taxi? Because it’s jam like hell! Same thing for Kuzu. He is running late after oversleeping but Towada expected this. He is so used to it by now. Chitose finally makes it to the event hall on time by foot and the even goes on perfect. In the end, everyone enjoys drinking at the bath, talking about the anime and the likes. Good points and criticism, all their honest opinions are in. Then the worst possible combo that could happen is that Kuzu and the author have come up with a new project. Yeah. We can do this! What crazy sh*t will they come up next? Don’t laugh. This was somewhat how Panty And Stocking With Gaterbelt was conceived!

B*tch Number Calling
I am in a dilemma to call this series boring or insightful. Maybe it is somewhat of both. Because this series doesn’t tell you the workings of the seiyuu industry which I hope I would see some but there wasn’t anything close to it. Furthermore, this series might resemble more of a ‘fairytale’ than in real life because when you have a newbie and a producer with f*cked up attitudes, causing such problems and are still around, it feels more like an insult when everything always turns out fine. I mean, no big screw ups that would have ended their careers are closed down the production house or the series being cancelled. It always works out and everyone is still happy in the end. That’s not realistic, right?

Unlike Shirobako that gives us a glimpse on how an anime is produced from start till end, this series doesn’t give us any insights on how to be a seiyuu. This is of course isn’t the plot of the series itself. But I believe that what they are trying to tell us is that this industry can also be a cutthroat competition. With so many up and coming seiyuus these days, staying relevant is very hard. Not just in this industry but the entertainment industry as a whole. I believe even in real life if a singer was famous last month and didn’t do anything to make ripples with his/her presence, he/she will be fast forgotten. That’s why with Chitose whose goal is to become famous (can’t say it is an admirable ambition but it’s natural we all want to be popular), she gets worried when she doesn’t land big roles. I believe by today’s standards, Chitose who is already sucking big time will be cut off immediately instead of being retained and waiting for her to turn over a new leaf and shine again. Only established celebrities have the luxury to do that but even so not very guaranteed. Once word goes around and the fans leave you, you’re finished.

Chitose is a character whom you’ll love to hate. However she isn’t despicable enough to make you really want to hate her. Maybe slap her a little sometimes. What makes her refreshing from many other cliché protagonists is that she is really so full of herself. Because of this less than desirable arrogant and cocky delusional behaviour, this is what makes her amusing and interesting. I can’t say that I really like her attitude but she is the main reason why this series is somewhat ‘interesting’. Had she been a typical goody-two-shoes like any other main characters, this series would have been as boring as hell. Because when you have every episode title named after her state of mood or circumstances, it tells you a lot about her. I mean what is your impression when you read titles like “Chitose the Braggart and the Voiceless Scream”, “Blasphemous Chitose and the Usual Story”, “Cocky Chitose and Shattered Popularity”, “Chitose Falls into Darkness and Disappointed Kuzu” and “Wavering Chitose and Determined Gojou”. Not very remarkable for a main character who has more than half the titles in such negative state.

Okay, so it was kinda mixed feelings when Chitose fell into depression because on one hand I was really shouting inside my heart how much she deserved it and hoped this would make her open her eyes but on the other hand I was really pitying her. I really felt bad when she actually went down in the dumps. I mean, despite her arrogance, she is still human. It is naturally for a person like her to dream of being big and famous but she doesn’t put in the hard work to justify it and often blames everything else but herself. She really thinks she is God or something. I am sure this attitude of hers we can connect in real life from the many experiences we have with such people. In the end, it took quite some time for her to realize or at least get the gist that being popular and number one is mostly hard work and perseverance. Just like respect, it is earned and not something given.

I can’t say much about the rest of Chitose’s fellow seiyuu colleagues, though. It doesn’t feel like they have a very deep storyline and it is only as though to give some sort of variety and distraction from Chitose. I mean, we have got to take a break from her whining, right? However back stories like Kazuha’s family problems as well as Momoka’s background from a family famous in the industry are just scratching the surface and provide nothing too deep. I mean, who doesn’t have their own problems to deal with? Because other than Kazuha’s inability to hold her liquor and Momoka who is cunning buy constantly worrying trying to step out of her parents’ shadows or the fact positive Koto has been in the industry for quite a while but never making a real impact, there is nothing more we know about them.

Most amusing one is of course Yae because of her very nervous and timid nature. At first she loves cowering behind Chitose for just about anything that scares her. It makes you wonder why she is in this industry in the first place. Because of that, Chitose loves teasing her sometimes with really mean sarcastic words leaving Yae to be even more ruffled than before. It feels like Yae is being masochistic for Chitose’s mockery? Though Yae does improve and doesn’t get anxious too often, she still maintains her trust and believe in Chitose. A true friend indeed. That is why Chitose should be thanking her lucky stars for having such support. Even if Kazuha and Momoka are bratty like her (but to a lesser degree because at least they are responsible), they still value her as a seiyuu colleague.

Ah, there’s always the new girl in town like Nanami because with all the hot attention on her but it’s like a new toilet seat. Not to be insulting but you understand the hype when someone new, fresh and promising breaks into the scene. I believe Nanami is very genuine in wanting to work hard and all that but sometimes I have this sceptical feeling if all that passion will fizzle out through the years. I mean, most of us started out like this positive outlook, lots of hopes and dreams only for reality and life to f*ck us all and bog us down to be cynics. Because of her super positive tones, it really makes me wonder the magnitude of her becoming like Chitose once she realizes she has fallen out of favour. I know all this won’t be happening and I hope it won’t but I’m just curious to know since she is so innocent even way past Yae.

Because take a look at Gojou. He was once famous and now what happened to him? I don’t think it was that bad to leave him in some sort of trauma because otherwise he wouldn’t let his sister be in this industry then. He must have realizes something and perhaps cut his losses before it got worse. Who knows? He might have been worse off had he continued being a seiyuu. Therefore Chitose as I have said is blessed to have such people around. Without Nanami entering the scene, she might have continued being a b*tch whom she plays to perfection in real life. Nanami literally and indirectly hit her where it hurts most: Her popularity.

Even more despicable than Chitose is of course Kuzu. Ah yes. Ironically his name already means crap and his attitude even reflects it. This is the guy whom all of us have met at least once in our life. The kind of guy who uses smooth words to make it sound like everything is alright. Nice words to paint a very bright picture and future. But when the real work comes around, he shoves that responsibility upon others and goes to be merry all by himself. The worst kind of person to work with. Thankfully Towada is competent and responsible to clean up his mess. Things would have fallen apart real quick if this guy isn’t around. At least with this experience I believe Towada has levelled up in dealing with this kind of sh*t.

Kuzu is like Chitose in not putting in effort into his work. Unlike Chitose who falls off the popularity radar, Kuzu falls out of favour from his colleagues as they can work and go ahead without him. Fall into depression, need some encouragement to get back up his feet and although changed but still largely the same person he is as we know. Don’t you see a pattern with Chitose and Kuzu here? Nanba I thought he was just some sleazy higher up who knows how to only laugh and agree with everything but as we see that he is also a serious guy and closely watching his talents in his agency. He lets the young ones take control of their destiny and when they sometimes go out of orbit, he has a little advice that guides them back to Earth. He is not the big guy in his agency for nothing.

While the art and drawing may not be that outstanding and your typical Japanese anime standards, if you want to compare it to other similar seiyuu themed animes, this one is of course the better looking one. The girls here have this bishoujo look unlike Sore Ga Seiyuu or Love Get Chu whereby they lean more towards the moe and kawaii look. Therefore I want to say that beneath all their cute pretty girly faces lies scheming b*tches that could be worse than the modelling industry. Animated by Diomedea who did anime series like Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Mayoiga, Akuma No Riddle, Kantai Collection, Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu, Handa-kun and Kodomo No Jikan.

Many of the main voice acting casts aren’t household powerhouse names. At least not in my books. We have Sayaka Senbongi as Chitose (Mumei in Koutetsujou No Kabaneri), Eri Suzuki as Momoka (Milinda in Heavy Object), Saori Oonishi as Kazuha (Aiz in DanMachi), Kaede Hondo as Yae (Miyoko in Handa-kun), Yui Ishikawa as Koto (Mikasa in Shingeki no Kyojin) and Amina Satou as Nanami (Yuuka in AKB0048). Kazuya Nakai is recognizable as Kuzu. Hearing him as this slick lazy producer is refreshing as it is odd. Because hearing him in roles like One Piece’s Zoro and Gintama’s Hijikata, serious and no nonsense (almost) characters, hearing him as Kuzu just makes him sound so gay. Really. I’m not sure if it is intentional because it sounds like Yotshitsugu Matsuoka is playing a character with the same name like as though he is playing himself (no, not masturbation lah!!!!) but I haven’t hear him go into such passionate mode for a long time. The other recognizable one is Sho Hayami as Shakujii whose low voice still gives off that assertive and dominant impression. The rest of the other casts are Yuichiro Umehara as Gojou (En in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love), Takuya Eguchi as Towada (Koikawa in Mushibugyou) and Kenyuu Horiuchi as Nanba (Kinemon in One Piece). Too bad no famous seiyuu cameos like in Sore Ga Seiyuu.

The opening theme, Bloom is sung by the main female quintet of the series. This makeshift band is also named after the series too. Sounds like a typical all-girl anime pop music and nothing too special. The same quintet also sing the ending theme, Ima Wa Mijikashi Yume Miyo Otome. I find this song to be quite weird. Especially some parts of the song I am not sure if they are making some sort of sound effect with their voices despite the rest of the song is more of rock. Then there is this strange dance that the girls do in the ending credits animation. Well, they’re not so much dancing since it is still pictures of them in weird poses. It feels like they are in some cheerleading squad or some sentai victory group pose or something. At least the song for the final episode, Ashita E No Tochuu De doesn’t sound weird. Just a typical all-girl group anime pop song.

Overall, this anime might look like some sort of warning to budding seiyuu wannabes. You might have a great voice but if you aren’t so great if your personality stinks. You can go out of the industry as fast as you come in if you do not stay relevant or even push the wrong buttons. Casual viewers might not really find this to their liking since the main character is already so b*tchy and by the time she turns over it is already too late. The damage is done. And in the end, she is still basically the same person. That is why Chitose can only be Chitose and excels at being herself. Because if you really want to see real b*tch drama, look no further than today’s reality TV. All is not nice and glitter as it seems.

Ghosts and spirits aren’t my forte. They aren’t my thing since a long time ago. That’s why I would never have watched Kiitarou Shounen No Youkai Enikki knowing that it is all about Japanese youkai from their folklore. For some reason, probably my mind wasn’t myself at that point because I decided to try it out thinking that maybe I would get to understand that Japanese culture by learning its local spirits. WTF???!!! HOW THE HECK DID I EVER COME TO THIS THINKING???!!! Because each episode is only 4 minutes long and it is more comedy based than scary, it adds ‘motivation’ for me to check it out. I know. WTF, right?

Episode 1
There is a big war among the youkais looming. On one side we have this army led by a human boy, Kiitarou and on the other side a zashiki warashi, Suzu. Then it happens. The big epic clash from both sides trying to kill each other. When the big boss of both sides finally clash, we learn that this great war stems from Suzu accusing Kiitarou for eating her snack. Also, he blames her for not cleaning the house. When they realize it, everyone else has been defeated. They didn’t know they would take this so seriously. Should we? After hearing the cause of it? So now they start blaming each other when a giant youkai falls over them. In the aftermath, both sides reconcile and party like as though there was no issue in the first place. Kiitarou and Suzu realize their childish warring ways that didn’t benefit anyone because nothing beats peace.

Episode 2
Kiitarou was kicked out of his house by uncle for entering some forbidden room so he has to live in a separate building by himself. As he has supernatural powers, this means he has the ability to see the supernatural. He thought he had ultimate freedom till he met Suzu occupying this house. Kiitarou thought there is a pervert in the house because he is licking the bathroom and wants to lick Suzu! Turns out to be Akaname, a youkai that eats grime from household baths. Kiitarou also mistakes this next youkai to be a pervert because Tenjoname is licking the ceiling. You can’t blame them for licking since it is their youkai instinct. But when they start proclaiming they are Suzu’s licking brothers, she gives Kiitarou permission to kill them. They plead for a second chance and it seems Kiitarou wants them to lick something unsanitary! Because Kiitarou spams about licking Suzu, he gets ‘killed’ by her. Suzu then has them clean the entire house properly. Kiitarou learns they will leave once the house is cleaned. So does this mean they are here because Suzu is neglecting her cleaning? Suddenly Suzu is nowhere to be seen…

Episode 3
While taking a walk, Kiitarou spots a Nobiagari. He gets into a staring challenge as it rises up into the sky till Kiitarou bends his back and falls over, accidentally seeing Suzu’s panties. She steps on his face and calls it reflex action. At night, they come into a wall blocking their path. Suzu says this is a Nurikabe. It is no use climbing over or the sides as the wall is endless. The only way is to take its feet out from under it. Instead of using a stick, Kiitarou kicks it! The Nurikabe disappears but crashes down. The impact causes Kiitarou to fall down and sees Suzu’s panties again. Another stepping reflex action. Don’t worry as he assures. It was too dark to see anything like the last time. The last time?!

Episode 4
While picking nuts fruits in the forest, Kiitarou and Suzu witness hamsters doing kendo?! Suzu explains they are futtachi, animals who lived unnaturally long and started acting like humans. A snake is about to eat them so the elder hamster tries to protect his younger siblings. Unfortunately he got eaten whole. Luckily this youkai fox lady, Kitsunemen No Onna saves the day. She smothers Kiitarou in her boobs but he bites her! You no like big boobs, Kiitarou???!!! It seems the Kitsunemen’s job is to supervise other youkai so they do not bother the humans but she is clearly slacking in her job. Kiitarou thinks she could fool him by disguising as Suzu because of the tail as dead giveaway. But after he punishes her, it looks like Kiitarou actually punished Suzu as Kitsunemen was only impersonating as a tail.

Episode 5
Kiitarou knows he is in trouble when he meets a couple of cows with human heads called Kudan. They insist in reading his fortune. He’s going to have bad luck. So they suggest a way to avoid it is to give him a crappy publicity photo of them? This feels more like a curse than a charm. Kitsunemen bumps into Kiitarou and is trying to seduce him but it doesn’t work. Apparently she is running from Suzu because she ate her snack. She forces Kiitarou to help hide her. She becomes a rock as he sits on her. Suzu questions Kiitarou and is suspicious like he is hiding something from her. Kiitarou touches the wrong part (her boobs) and this busts Kitsunemen out of her disguise. Now Suzu is going to get mad at him so to distract her, he throws her that photo as charm. The girls think he is into older women.

Episode 6
When Kiitarou sees Yukionna paint, she doesn’t like how he is peeping at her work and insults him. Wow. Such strong language of telling him to go to hell. She spits too! Later, a youkai named Yukiko visits Suzu to hang out with her. But she gets sick from the heat (she’s a snow woman after all) as Kiitarou swiftly nurses her back to health. He treats her with nice food and this makes Suzu jealous that he is treating her so nice and warmly. Ironic, right? When Yukiko leaves, her mom comes to pick her up. She is no other than Yukionna. She still despises Kiitarou. But despite that, she is a lovely mother towards Yukiko.

Episode 7
Kiitarou plays poker with Yukiko when this bald guy, Tenome comes up to him and wants to play a wager game with him. Kiitarou feeling pretty good about his win takes on his challenge. However Kiitarou lost all of his hand and slowly everything in the house gets confiscated. In the final hand he waged his clothes and needs to find out how Tenome is cheating. In this Kaiji inspired episode, Kiitarou then catches Tenome’s trick. He is a youkai with an eye on his palm. Kiitarou wants to play one last game but what has he has left to wager? Suzu’s panties! Not so fast buster! Kiitarou is punished but instead of letting the rest punish Tenome, he wants him to be freed. Power of friendship? In exchange for learning his tricks. Good trade.

Episode 8
Because Suzu’s face cannot be reflected in normal mirrors as she is a youkai, she is trying to find the special Shomakyo mirror. Kiitarou doesn’t understand why she wants to see her face now because she has always looked cute. Suzu greatly flusters and beats him up to hide her embarrassment. Kiitarou remembers the mirror in the storeroom and goes gets it. When Suzu sees it, she sees how ugly her face is! She then locks herself up in a room, convinced such ugly face will cause Armageddon! Kitsunemen explains this is Ungaikyo. Anyone looking in this mirror is sure to look this ugly. It is often confused with Shomakyo because they look similar. Kiitarou then has Yukionna paint Suzu’s portrait. She is relieved as this is how she looks in Kiitarou’s eyes.

Episode 9
While playing outside, Yukiko finds a Kodama Nezumi. Suzu is scared because she is still reeling from the trauma of an experience of it being blown up when upset. But first they have to swell to a big size. It seems when they try to run away, it only serves to accidentally bump into the rat and make it grow bigger. But Suzu must be the jinxed one since a mere touch as the rat blow up bigger many times fold. Yukiko thought she could calm down by impersonating her mom. Wait. Doesn’t her mom insults others? But wait. Kodama Nezumi likes it! But when Suzu scolds it, it grows bigger. The misery ends when Kitsunemen drops by, accidentally hitting Kodama Nezumi. The explosion is real. So is the trauma.

Episode 10
Suzu is down so Kiitarou suggests cheering her up and Yukiko recommends giving surprise presents. Suzu opens the first box which contains mittens from Yukiko. She seems happy but Yukionna doesn’t like it? Next box is a pair of silk panties from Kitsunemen! As feared, Suzu thinks it’s from Kiitarou. Next box is a realistic figurine of Suzu from Yukionna. So realistic in every part… This means Suzu thinks this too is from Kiitarou! As she gets mad from getting weird presents, Kiitarou shows himself and gives her a pair of slippers. She is happy of his consideration about having cold feet though Kiitarou notes she is acting like a tsundere.

Episode 11
Kitsunemen is attacked by a giant centipede, Oomukade. She is okay but realizes Kiitarou is in danger. Too late. It has got him. Kiitarou remembers he broke a sealed pot when he entered the storeroom to get the mirror. The rest try to remember its weakness. It is some human part. Was it human hair? Fingernails? Snot? Tail? Wings? Now they’re pushing it… Annoyed Suzu awakened from her slumber remembers it is human spit. Kiitarou then spits like a machine gun and sends Oomukade scurrying in defeat. But suddenly Kiitarou collapses!

Episode 12
Kiitarou has been out for 3 days! Everybody including the youkai are worried. Especially Suzu. She remembers the first time she met him when he came to the house. She learnt of his ability to sense the supernatural and laughed when he was disappointed she wasn’t some alien. To decide who is to be the master of this house, she challenged him to hide and seek and if he finds her before sundown, he’ll be master. Kiitarou realizes too late he didn’t set the boundaries for the game. He finds a doll looking like Suzu and decides to sink it in the pond. Suzu pops up and doesn’t want him to soak her real body. Oops. She lost. With him as master, she is forced to clean the house. With more flashbacks of Kiitarou’s adventures here, suddenly he wakes up. Everybody rejoices. He attributes Suzu’s nice voice that woke him up. While embarrassed, the others too would like their praise in waking him up. Did they? Well, they stayed by his side. Kiitarou continues to live a happy life alongside the youkai. One day he will look back and reminisce these precious memories in his picture diary.

Don’t Worry, They Won’t Bite
Well, it doesn’t seem to be all that bad. Because I wasn’t really spooked out so I suppose everything is fine. When you have a human kid being all friendly and living with Japanese ghosts, either the world is such a peaceful place or the ghosts fail to live up to their roles in scaring people. Just like how Casper is a failure of being a ghost, right? But I wonder in the future if everybody else would find Kiitarou creepy because in the final narration he tells us he kept all his fond memories in his picture diary in which for normal kids is supposed to keep track of ‘normal’ and ‘boring’ activities they do. Imagine if people read how he has fun with ghosts, I think they will call him crazy or freak out at everything. I mean, do you really find it weird for kids who make friends with spirits? It’s like he has no other human friends! Yeah, in the future it may look like some creepy cryptic grimoire. Seriously.

I feel that this series is targeted for younger audiences. Because of the non-spooky features of everything and how the youkai are mostly drawn to a cute degree, it feels like this series’ aim is to introduce Japanese youkai. Otherwise, this show literally does not have any plot to begin with since it is just mainly about Kiitarou and his encounters with the youkai. Nothing much ado. What makes this series a little more interesting is at the end of every episode, Kiitarou and Suzu usually explain a little more in detail about the featured youkai in the episode. So if you’re interested in learning more, I suppose you can do your own research. Of course I’m not going to. So once again this section because how it cutely explains the youkai, the reason why I feel this series is targeted for children.

The characters aren’t really much if you ask me because like Kiitarou as the main guy who is forced to live in a house and area filled with youkai, he is sometimes a pervert but is generally a good kid. I want to make a joke about Kiitarou quoting a line from The Sixth Sense (“I see dead people”) but somehow I just can’t fit it anywhere. Maybe somebody can… Suzu is the cheeky zashiki warashi and from the looks of it might end up being Kiitarou’s love interest but I doubt it since she is sometimes tsundere and likes to accuse Kiitarou of his pranks and being a pervert that sometimes aren’t his fault to begin with. I suppose those kind of situations he gets into form the funny moments of the series. Well, who would want to move out of this house if Suzu is such a cute zashiki warashi?

Kitsunemen is quite playful and also a pervert sometimes. She is like the fanservice of the series because who else has got bigger boobs than hers. Yukionna seems to have problems with everything because it’s like she is never pleased with anything. But despite her grumpy mood, she is still a good snow woman. I think. I hope. The better character of them all is Yukiko. She isn’t as extreme when come to taking action like the rest most probably because of her gentle behaviour. We should have more of her character around? Come to think of it, doesn’t Kiitarou have a really hot and cute harem of youkai girls? No wonder he has no qualms of staying here indefinitely.

The anime is animated by Creators In Pack. They specialize in creating many cute short anime series such as Danchigai, Military, Ojisan To Marshmallow, Hacka Doll The Animation Ozmafia and Bernard-jou Iwaku. All of these series have this cute and kawaii look to them and therefore this series is no different. With all the different vibrant colours of the characters, that is why I and most people won’t even be spooked out of our daylights watching this series. Not even Oomukade. Cute enough to not be scary.

For a very short anime series, it seems they have a different ending theme for every episode. However I didn’t notice this at first and only realized this later because I realized it sounded somewhat a little different than I remember. Why it never occurred to me they were different was because that all of the ending themes are hard rock music! They sound almost alike! Of all the hard rock ending themes, I think there was only one which was just normal rock piece. Speaking of this music genre, personally it feels odd to have such hard rock music for this kind of supernatural comedy. I don’t know. It just doesn’t fit. But it won’t even be any much fitting if they play a spooky piece. Or the theme of Ghostbusters.

Overall, this series is light hearted and funny. It won’t give you nightmares in anyway unless you are the extreme type to get freaked out just by the mere mention of the word ghost/spirit/youkai. If you are interested in learning about Japanese youkai, this series isn’t exactly a good place to start but it is just like a light appetizer to gauge whether you are interested in continuing with the full course meal. And then upgrade yourself to really scary Japanese horror movie flicks. Then you’d wish every ghost/spirit/youkai would be as docile and friendly as Kiitarou’s buddies. Okay, maybe those licker types are a bit creepy…