I see we didn’t get enough of that working adults being avid otaku people in Net-juu No Susume. Hence I sensed something familiar in Wotaku Ni Koi Wa Muzukashii. Apparently a group of adults working in the same company have similar interests in the otaku side since they are one. And since they are also adults, the prospects of falling in love and dating one another are also on the cards. Therefore this series takes a peek into the romantic lives of otaku nerds who try to be as normal falling in love but also keep up with their otaku habits. Why do I have a feeling that this is going to be hard? Because you know, otaku > love. It’s that simple of a logic.

Episode 1
Narumi Momose starts her first day in her new job. She passes by another newbie whom she finds familiar. She calls out to Hirotaka Nifuji and he responds. The last she has seen her childhood friend was during middle school. She tries to end the conversation by inviting to dinner. Then he asks her if she is participating in this summer Comiket. Later when they meet up, she thought of killing him because being an otaku is the last thing she wants others to find out. Hirotaka is also a game otaku himself but he doesn’t care if others know. Narumi reveals she quit her old company because the boyfriend she was dating then found out she was an otaku and dumped her! Well, he didn’t want to date a fujoshi. Is this feminism in the works because Narumi says she wants her next boyfriend to accept her as she is but she herself doesn’t want her boyfriend to be an otaku?! That is why she will not make Hirotaka her boyfriend. Narumi wonders if her senior, Hanako Koyanagi is an otaku too. Because her reaction when Hirotaka said about the Comiket, she is sure she is one. She notices the fujoshi cosplayers in her handphone and confirms she is a nerd. Hanako then recognizes Narumi by her old doujinshi penname. She is a big fan of hers. Narumi then realizes Hanako is a famous cross-dressing cosplayer whom she is a big fan of. Now they’re like best friends. Tarou Kabakura is Hirotaka’s senior. He observes him using his lunch time to play games and though he gets his work done, is mostly unsociable. Narumi invites Hirotaka to drink. However she fell behind in work so he waits for her to finish. You never know when you’ll need that trusty handheld. Oh, he has it all the time. Once done, they hit the bar as Narumi ‘complains’ about always making the wrong decisions in love. Well, this isn’t a dating sim where there is NEVER a wrong route! In the end, Hirotaka suggests they date each other. As they are both otakus, he is willing to help her level up in games, wait for her if she works overtime, will never say she made the wrong choice, will never disappoint her or make her cry (I thought he would be going ~Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down… too) and can got to conventions as her sales assistant. Agreed! She’ll never get the best otaku deal like this.

Episode 2
Narumi is avoiding Hirotaka like a plague. Her reason is that it would seem awkward for them to be seen dating so Hanako thinks she might be hurting his feelings. A little peek shows he looks mad instead. Hanako is envious of her because he is a guy that most otaku girl would love to date and he isn’t that bad looking. Narumi admits Kabakura is her type. What are the chances the guys heard that? Yup. Before you know it, a full blown argument ensues between Hanako and Kabakura regarding putting their noses in other people’s business. It’s intense since they know each other since high school and their rivalry in the sports club was equally if not more intense. During this distraction, Narumi runs away but Hirotaka catches up. When he says he shouldn’t have suggested they date, she hugs him and doesn’t want him to say that. She knows he tried his best and will try not to be embarrassed when she sees him. Hirotaka is gets embarrassed that he hides his face and speaks some weird language. Meanwhile Hanako and Kabakura continue to argue… Hirotaka reveals he can’t wink and when he tries, he looks like a creepy killer. Before the quartet hit the bar, the girls want to stop by the bookstore. To Kabakura’s ‘disappointment’, it is a manga bookstore. So the girls go their own way as Narumi the fujoshi master recommends the stuffs. Might as well recommend the whole shelf. Hanako’s fujoshi worries are over. It seems Kabakura also loves manga but he doesn’t like coming here in his work clothes to buy them as it makes him look desperate. As for Hirotaka, he buys his manga online. Hanako recommends some cosplay magazine to Narumi. She is forced to participate in whatever suggestions she has. When it’s over, nobody wants to go to the bar anymore as they want to go home and read. Next day, we know they have been reading all night as they’re drinking energy drinks to stay alert. Hirotaka tries his best to wink. Making a little progress but everything is still off.

Episode 3
Narumi hasn’t finished her manuscript and with the deadline looming, thanks to Hirotaka’s help she manages to finish it. She sells her doujinshi there and with Hanako turning up as a cross-dressing cosplayer, there are lots of fan girls abound. Narumi realizes she forgot to visit one of the booths so Hirotaka offers to man her booth while she is away. As she returns, she hears rumours of girls being excited about a guy selling yaoi stuffs. She feels sorry for him being sexually harassed after hearing him out about a guy molesting his hands… Creepy. With Narumi having no plans tomorrow and will go wherever he wants, he suggests his place. It brings back some nostalgic memories of them hanging out together. Narumi panics when his face lines up close seemingly to kiss her. But he just grabs the video game controllers. Hanako and Kabakura arrive later for a sleepover. This really disappoints Narumi since she thought it would be just them. What a way to ruin the mood. As Hirotaka goes take a bath, Hanako gets permission from him to raid his room to find his hidden stash! Nothing at all. It’s weird, right? Because all Japanese nerds are supposed to own some sort of porn! Narumi eventually finds something but they are old trading cards and toys. Narumi realizes that some of the toys he had were traded with hers and had forgotten about it. This makes her rant about wanting them to be fair and not hold back their love whenever they are together. It makes her sad to hear him not blame her for things when it is clearly her fault. To shut her up, he kisses her. Is that fair now? She head butts him. Now they both have sore foreheads. She accuses him of liking girls with big boobs in which he doesn’t hesitate to admit. Then he realizes his figurines (females with big boobs) are turned facing away. They spot outside Hanako falling asleep on Kabakura’s shoulder. Thumbs up? In the aftermath, it seems Hirotaka’s hidden porn stash is tucked away in Kabakura’s work desk’s drawer! Give thanks for the unknown treasure!

Episode 4
Hirotaka thought it was silly of Narumi to watch Sailormoon and cry over it. She lets him try and he too cannot hold back his tears. There is a picture of Narumi and another hot girl in cosplay. Kabakura is interested to know the latter but it turns out to be Hirotaka. Damn. Hanako then shows a picture she likes: Kabakura kissing her in his sleep as she takes a selfie! Scandalous! Later the seniors are in another argument and need their juniors to help out. It seems Hanako wants Kabakura to cosplay but he won’t. It doesn’t help his case when Hirotaka doesn’t really care. All seems fine when Narumi says despite their different otaku tastes, as nerds they respect each other. Then Hirotaka had to ruin it by saying she is beyond saving. No wonder she wants to kill him. Eventually Kabakura ends up as Hanako’s cosplay model. With all the editing and right stuffs, the picture turns out good. It seems he was being bribed by some high quality figurine for it. The quartet hit the bar as Narumi asks her seniors when they started dating. It was after Kabakura’s graduation. But when asked who confessed first, that’s when things started to get heat up as they accuse the other. More weird lesbian rubbing thingy with Hanako being drunk. It ends up with the seniors arguing again. Narumi suggests they say one thing about each other they like to make up. Kabakura mentions her boobs and Hanako wants to kill him. Suddenly she becomes sad and cries that she will never be as good as his Ranka. Narumi tries to quell her as Hanako becomes an emotional wreck ranting about how he might come to hate her. Narumi can’t help notice how her huge boobs are rubbing against her. Yeah, it’s hard to concentrate. Hanako laments about dating normal people and this has Narumi think of her own circumstances. Kabakura takes over and after a few of their usual snapping at each other, they somewhat made up and hug. Now Narumi is crying over this resolved drama. Later Narumi admits to Hirotaka that dating him is easy since she doesn’t have to hide being a nerd. They might not be each other’s ideal but as otakus they make some compromise. She thinks he would prefer dating a normal girl so he clarifies he isn’t dating her because she is an otaku or easy, he loves seeing the things she likes. She teases him he does like her. He gets mad. They both laugh it off and then hit the arcades.

Episode 5
Narumi notices ear piercing marks on Hirotaka’s ear. He says he got it during high school. He thought he would be an adult if he acted like one. Of course it didn’t. It made him realize he wants to be a kid forever. Don’t we all? Narumi orders a drink at Starbucks and the barista seems to know her. Upon realizing he is Naoya, they quickly start chatting away. Kabakura and Hanako are there too and they see this. They fear it must be her ex-boyfriend. All the worries and rumours naturally come. Then here comes Hirotaka. He approaches the dude. Is a war going to star? Actually, Naoya is Hirotaka’s younger brother. Are we relieved? He is new on the job since it is close to his college. When Naoya hangs out with them at Hirotaka’s place, everyone can tell he is not a nerd because he doesn’t understand the nerd language they are talking. So what the heck was Narumi talking with him for so long then? So they thought they could ‘communicate’ playing a video game. Too bad Naoya sucks like hell! To a point where everyone pities him but Hirotaka doesn’t give a damn and wins the game by himself. I believe Hirotaka is the first person I know to fall asleep at a video game! Is he that good that he is just bored? Or maybe he is that tired. This means it is time for the rest to go. With Naoya offering to walk Narumi home, Kabakura hints for him to back off but he just doesn’t get it. He misinterprets that Narumi and Kabakura are dating. To settle this, Hanako quickly kisses Kabakura. They are an item and this makes Narumi and Hirotaka another pair. This is news to Naoya’s ears so much so he starts crying? The rest thought this means he has feelings for Narumi but Naoya is relieved that his brother has a girlfriend as he was always worried he would forever be alone. The trio used to hang out together when they were younger but Naoya had always hoped she would stay by his side. With this reconciliation done, now Kabakura is crying? Is he the father? Next day at work, Hirotaka is confused why his colleagues are asking him to take better care of Naoya.

Episode 6
Hirotaka and Narumi forget their umbrella on a rainy day so Kabakura chides them about being adults and lends his. He runs off in the rain since he needs to go buy some special anime raffles. Then he bumps into Hanako and says he forgot his umbrella. She chides him about being an adult and shares it with him. She changes her mind about hating rainy days and now loves it. He too postpones buying the raffle since she is going to hang out at his place. At work, the rest couldn’t believe Narumi is being productive and didn’t make any slipups. She doesn’t even rely on Hirotaka and this doesn’t sit well with him. So after they talk, it is discovered that her favourite manga character was suddenly killed off. So I guess now is the time to fully let go her emotions. On Christmas Eve, Narumi and Hirotaka talk about their less than stellar Christmas as kids. Then they see Naoya doing his Santa promo job outside Starbucks. Narumi feels sorry for him as he has to stand in the cold while watching happy couples pass by. Plus, shockingly he has no girlfriend. She tells him lines to curse normal people. But Naoya doesn’t hate his job because he gets to see the happy faces of kids and believes the real Santa isn’t one wearing red clothes and hence everyone is connected with someone somewhere. Meanwhile Kabakura and Hanako are having a romantic dinner. She thinks he is trying to make up for last year in which he was so busy that he did nothing on that day. She surprises with a present of a limited edition event item. Maybe he’ll look forward to Christmas more often next time. As for Hirotaka and Narumi, they’re having takeouts at his place while spending the night grinding their game for special items. Merry Christmas for you nerds.

Episode 7
The friends minus Hirotaka play an online RPG game. Apparently despite Hirotaka loves playing games, online is his least favourite since he doesn’t like interaction with others. When a dragon attacks, Narumi decides to take on it despite not having the necessary requisites. Kabakura and Hanako start arguing and fighting each other because they don’t like giving the other orders. A hero then pops up. Is it Hirotaka? Nope. Naoya. Because he sucks at gaming, he gets owned by the dragon. Just when all seems hopeless, Hirotaka takes over Naoya and unleashes his flurry and kills the dragon singlehandedly. Maybe he doesn’t need a party and could just play solo. Hanako and Narumi are having dinner together. They are clicking so well together with their thoughts on anime until one slight difference in taste. Now they hate each other! Damn. So as they talk especially on BL pairings, despite having fantasies of their respective boyfriends get gay with each other, the difference on who is uke and who is seme reignites their loathing. And then they start arguing why their preference is so and so. Meanwhile Kabakura and Hirotaka are treating their younger juniors to dinner. The latter talk about how cute Narumi is and how sexy Hanako is and would love to be their boyfriends despite knowing they already have one. Until it comes to a point where Kabakura had to put his foot down and tell them that if they want to have girlfriends, talk about girls who are still single. Both sides coincidentally finish dinner at the same time and bump into each other. The juniors think the ladies are so close to each other but Hirotaka knows them better that they are totally different.

Episode 8
A storm is brewing through the city. All employees are advised to save their work and take precaution. But is Hirotaka ignoring the message since he is carrying on while wearing his headphone? We learn he has a fear of lightning. Don’t laugh. He has a traumatic experience with it. A blackout occurred before he could save his game. Yeah, his otaku colleagues feel for him. Flashback shows a similar storm when they were young. Narumi was worried about him since he was sick and rushed all the way over to his house. She constantly rang the bell and when he opened, she got the cheek to tell him not to open his doors when he is alone. The lightning flash was a big one and it spooked them. However they noticed that they are not scared when they are around each other. Another flashback shows Hirotaka trying to pierce his ears just to try out what adulthood is like. A few minutes later, he starts regretting and thinking about the scar it will have for the rest of his life. Because Hanako flirts boldly with Narumi and Hirotaka allows it, this prompts Kabakura to say that if Hanako was a guy she would definitely steal her away from him. She loves that idea and hints she would do lots of yaoi stuffs. This has Kabakura regret what he said but Hanako is all drunk at this moment and he has it hard getting her hands off him. Back in office, Kabakura and Hanako are in their usual argument. This prompts Hirotaka to ask what they are like when they are alone. This only escalates their bickering so when Kabakura tries to make it up to her with a weekend date, she slaps him. So is it on or not? This has Hirotaka note they are not the same. Meanwhile Narumi notes that with Naoya wearing glasses, he is a totally different person than Hirotaka despite being made from the same ‘material’. Because his eyes swelled from crying, he is wearing them instead of glasses. She gets mad thinking somebody bullied Naoya but it was just a movie he saw with his college friends. When he asks about their date, Narumi can only think their ‘dates’ consists of doing otaku stuffs separately. She’s confused as if to call those a date. What a bummer. The next time when Hirotaka invites her to a date, she expects more of the same thing. But she is in for a shock when he suggests doing a real date. No, she’s not dreaming.

Episode 9
Hirotaka and Narumi are really out on a date at the amusement park. However they have this rule that they must not talk any otaku related stuffs or else they must pay a 500 Yen fine. Boy, looks like they’re going to carry lots of coins and is the piggy bank big enough? This is going to be a tough non-otaku date by otakus. After trying various rides, they arrive at a haunted ride. Narumi is being panicky and in haste that when she gets into the ride, she realizes it is not Hirotaka sitting next to her but Kabakura! This means Hirotaka rides with Hanako. While ghosts doing even scare the latter duo, the former duo are just screaming at everything. Hanako admits they saw them entering and got curious but never meant to disrupt their date. When asked about his progress with Narumi, he notes nothing has changed. This prompts her to say that perhaps going it slow is a pace best suited for them. She advises him to try and kiss Narumi at the end of the dad or else she’ll try to steal that kiss! At the end of the day, they return to their respective partners. Hirotaka has this thought of holding Narumi’s hand but the moment she turns around, he backs out. He notes her consideration in observing everything. That’s because his feet is killing him from all the walking. They rest and as he contemplates if she is good enough for him, she drops the bombshell that this is going to work out and to stop. She is referring to the otaku ban. Phew! Once Hirotaka lifts the ban, she can’t stop talking about her otaku stuffs! What a relief! He may feel disappointed but also at the same time is relieved since she is having so much fun. She gives him ear piercings as a gift. Narumi is shocked when he touches her ear. It might look like some romantic signal but he notices she got her ears pierced. While she is throwing a fit, suddenly Hirotaka holds her and looks as though he is about to kiss her. But that turns into a big hug instead. He thought they never changed but they are at a slow pace. He is fine with that.

Episode 10
Naoya notices a diligent student studying at the place he works. He then realizes this dude, Kou Sakuragi is playing video games. It’s that game he recently played and sucked. But when Naoya talks to him, he gets flustered, packs his bags and leaves. In his haste he dropped a document. Naoya could easily return to him because he is in the same college with him. They get to know each other but if you’re wondering why Kou is always panicking and looking over his shoulders, it is because Kou is actually a girl! It seems only Naoya is unaware of this. The usual gang log in to play their online RPG. Too bad Hirotaka won’t be joining in as he is interested to play another game. By himself. They are joined by Naoya instead. When the going is tough for them, did Hirotaka pop up to save the day? It’s actually Kou. Not bad. Hirotaka must have broken his glasses so he isn’t wearing them at work today. Because he is blind as a bat, he needs to put his face close to things. This means when Kabakura talks to him, their face is so close almost making them kiss! OMG. They just give the girls free accidental BL fanservice. Yeah, even the other women are talking how hot Kabakura is. Since Hirotaka continues to put his face so close even when the ladies talk to him, this irks Kabakura and tells him to go get glasses and will have Narumi accompany him. Not so much out of consideration but rather she has been spacing out watching Hirotaka and didn’t get any work done either. So when he has got his glasses and tries to show it off to Naoya, that dense brother thinks he got a haircut. Look who is the blind one! Naoya and Kou meet up for an online game. However, Naoya must level up by himself first. Unfortunately he sucks and fails. He is so into the game that he couldn’t hear his handphone ring that Hirotaka has to notify him. So while he is on the phone, Hirotaka is interested to see the game he is playing. He gets tempted to play in his shoes. Thus Kou is shocked when she sees ‘Naoya’ pulling off some awesome moves! Luckily Naoya wrests back control and explains what happened. He thought of quitting the mission as apology but shy Kou wants him to stay and play. Unfortunately they both quit the mission 10 minutes later.

Episode 11
Narumi visits Hirotaka’s place only to see him ‘dead’. Ready to panic… Then she assesses the situation. He might have not eaten for a few days and been playing video games straight. So she cooks for him while calling Hanako to complain about it. Hanako must be having fun hearing their conversation. Even the part Hirotaka walks out naked from his bath. Hanako thinks Narumi is acting like his girlfriend but Kabakura thinks she is more like his mother. Hanako and Kabakura get into their usual argument about yaoi vs yuri. She tries to coax him into reading yaoi until he finally relents. Even though this is a mild one, he gets emotional liking the story. I hope he didn’t convert. Narumi learns that Naoya cooks and cleans his place. That’s like acting like his girlfriend, no? Because of that, she wants him to go on a date now! So this walking to the park doesn’t feel romantic at all. Hirotaka explains how he likes to use his vacation time to catch up on playing games. Narumi understands his feelings and comes to a conclusion that they are still doing the same things they love now. That is what might mean to be an otaku. Suddenly Narumi feels the urge to rush home since her favourite voice actor is live on today’s show (despite she has setup recording it). Hirotaka is out of breath trying to catch up and wants her to go ahead. But since she insists of wanting to watch with him, he has her promise to cook him something. He musters up all his energy to run home. Still out of breath, though. Later Narumi asks everyone about their first love. All of them name their 2D characters! When she asks Naoya, he replies it is his kindergarten teacher. Naoya then notes Hirotaka managed to date his first love and this has the latter putting up the angriest warning face and has Naoya change his thoughts that it might be a 2D character instead.

It’s Easier To Be An Otaku Than Fall In Love
Yawn… Oh, it’s over. Ah well, I guess some things never change. Some grow up and become entirely different from their childhood while those who never and remained the same, in the eyes of society it’s like they never grow up at all. But they are grown adults who make their own decisions, who are we to tell them what they do is wrong as long as it is not against the law, right? So is it okay for me to continue watching animes until kingdom come?

Honestly, there isn’t so much about that this series that would make it stand out and exciting. Just because they are otaku nerds and have a somewhat different approach to love (perhaps even calling them amateurs in love isn’t so far off either), doesn’t make it any different from other typical and cliché romantic comedy drama series. The fact that nothing much goes on between them and how life continues like normal makes it even more boring. It might be a bit coincidental (or not) that they try and copy that online RPG play element like Net-juu No Susume even if it was brief.

The characters aren’t exciting and putting polar opposites like the laidback Hirotaka with the energetic Narumi don’t make a difference. Despite being the same otaku that everyone would classify them, they have different approaches, outlooks and preferences like Hirotaka being an avid gamer while Narumi is more into fujoshi. Watching them date each other is like either frustrating or have no effect on us. Because they are like the same before and after. I know it isn’t really a must that for a couple dating to change their habits. They can still remain the same especially if they share the same interests. But for them, it is like even if they don’t officially date each other and just hang out casually, that would be fine too. But then again, it would have defeated the purpose of what this anime is supposed to be. So seeing them ‘date’ is like doing nerdy things together as they don’t take it so seriously like a romantic candlelit dinner and watching a romantic movie. It’s like when they say “Let’s date” is the equivalent of saying “Let’s hang out together”. That kind of feeling.

Slightly more interesting than the duo are Kabakura and Hanako since they often bicker with each other about almost everything. Their relationship is always like on and off, hot and cold. You don’t know whether they are really an actual couple because of the way they ‘fight’. But Hanako’s dominating personality makes her a bit interesting to watch. Last but not least, Naoya’s running joke is that he is a noob when it comes to otaku stuffs, especially gaming. I guess some people have no talent whatsoever. But this guy has an ever smiling face and very friendly personality that makes him suitable for service industries. So I’m not sure if such is a waste for him to work at Starbocks (yes, you read that right) when he could be, say, a diplomat. So as to not make Naoya feel ‘lonely’ they introduce a new character very late and in line with the otaku theme, I guess Kou herself is an oddball in this sense.

They mostly rely on the interaction between the main characters and while it is amusing at first, it then gets pretty boring. Once in a while, they throw in some yaoi BL baiting by setting up Hirotaka x Kabakura (or is it Kabakura x Hirotaka) for our fujoshi females to get their kicks. As long as there are hot guys around, don’t care whether boyfriend of yours or somebody’s, unholy pairing fantasies are a must first. Once in a while you hear Hirotaka or Narumi monologue about their views on change and love but in the end it doesn’t amount to anything much. As though it just provides the much needed drama for this series. After all, Hirotaka has that lazy sounding voice, which makes him almost perfect to narrate and add some dramatic feel to the narration.

Oddly, I suppose they want to differentiate and stand out a bit and hence they named the title as wotaku instead of otaku. As the ‘wo’ hiragana/katakana is rarely used, perhaps that is why they used it and make the word itself now seem weird. I mean, doesn’t wotaku now look a bit like wookiee? Whoopsie. The only other anime I can think off that did this was Sora No Woto that came out way back in 2010.

On a trivial note, the mid-intermission eye-catch displays long-winded details about the character. In addition to some of the personal data, it also generally tells their characteristics and traits. You need to pause if you want to read everything. Heh. Not that I want to particular get up close and personal with them. But it is amusing to note that they specifically put an item about their level of handling for alcohol and cigarettes! I mean, like, what?! Oh yeah, sure, they’re already adults and I suppose it’s a symbolism for being one and part of the working society in Japan. Also, what the heck do they need to put in information about their Sunday mornings too?! Yeah, I figure as an adult you would do something productive on that Sabbath Day or just sleep in.

Being a series about otaku, there are a few otaku pop culture references in the series. But I don’t see a lot of them and just scattered throughout the series. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention. The only one that caught my attention that I recognized is the art style changing into Kaiji and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure at one point when Narumi was trying to make a certain point.

While the art and animation is nothing to shout about and is pretty standard, however I find that Hirotaka and Kou look similar to each other. Because of that sleepy look and that soft speaking voice, I got confused wondering if this is some sort of doppelganger for Hirotaka. Besides, Kou’s first appearance as a male was ringing lots of alarm bells in my guts. Sounds too girly to be a male. Such a mismatch that I would have to complain about it later in my blog. Nevertheless, Kou turned out to be female but even if this is her choice of looking so like a guy, it still doesn’t suit her in my personal opinion. It’s just so clashing. As for Naoya, he looked like he could almost fit nicely into one of those all-male idol pop groups. Seriously. While Kabakura looked like he was from a yakuza faction and is trying to do something less dangerous. Seriously. This anime is brought to you by A-1 Pictures, famous for lots of famously famous series like Fairy Tail, Sword Art Online, Nanatsu No Taizai, Ao No Exorcist, Kuroshitsuji, Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso, OreImo and Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata.

With the small casts of characters, half of them are recognizable such as Tomokazu Sugita as Kabakura, Miyuki Sawashiro as Hanako and Yuuki Kaji as Naoya. The rest are Kent Itou as Hirotaka (Michio Hazama in The Idolmaster SideM) and Arisa Date as Narumi (Suzu in Saki). But the most surprising one goes to Aoi Yuuki as Kou. I think it is going to be hard for me to identify her voice in this manner. Slowly, she is moving away from the traditional trademark voice I often used to identify her as. I want to blame voicing Aho Girl for this because many subsequent roles she played after that, her characters are mostly toned down and using a lower voice. Oh yeah, another reason why I think this series suck is because there is no Mamiko Noto who was the lead character in Net-juu No Susume. Yeah… Nothing special for me for the opening theme, Fiction by Sumika. At least I slightly prefer the rock pop ending theme, Kimi No Tonari by Halca. She also sings the special ending theme for episode9, Ashita No Mata, a slow ballad.

Overall, this series might be simple but the lack of anything exciting makes it just average. If you are tired of high school romances that involve otakus, then perhaps the working adult life involving otakus should be a good breather and variety. It shows that you can still keep your day job and do the things you love. All you need is some proper time management. You can be a proper working adult and at the same time stick to your ‘childish’ interests. At the end of the day, the characters will still be themselves and won’t change much. Especially still sticking and not straying far from their otaku path. Love is not hard for nerds. Trying to fall in love and be in love that is the hard part.

Dies Irae (cont.)

August 25, 2018

It’s finally here. The final 6 episodes of Dies Irae that was unable to be aired normally on TV is now broadcasted as ONA simultaneously. Now you’ll get your closure about evil Nazis wanting to change the world or something. I already didn’t understand a lot back then but I’m hoping that I would somehow although the chances are very remote.

Episode 12
We hear Mercurius and Heydrich talk about the process of becoming God or close to being one. It is revealed that this world or existence has been repeating itself billions of times hence the déjà vu they have always felt. In order to rid that, they must remove the current God from its throne. That was how the previous God was replaced too. Gee, God’s position is like dispose and snatch? Hence Mercurius wants Heydrich to reach the highest Emanation level to do so. Trifas talks to Ren about Riza who once tried to ‘farm’ children to bring humanity to the next level but failed as their bodies couldn’t handle the power. Technically she killed them. She became crazy to bring them back to life, hence Isaak is the result of Riza’s child and Rea’s grandpa. Riza offered her own son as sacrifice to safe those children and the only part of Isaak that merged with Heydrich was his soul. As the Berlin swastika wasn’t enough, a second Isaak sacrifice is needed, hence the process must be repeated again. As the only way to seal Heydrich is to kill Rea, Ren knows what he must do and Trifas’ answer is the same as his. Ren asks about choosing between saving Rea and his wish so Trifas explains the critical parts of this Golden Alchemy ritual. Other parts can be destroyed. Rea doesn’t have to die and his wish can come true because the miracle is incomplete. He doesn’t think Heydrich will give his people a world they really want. In their haste and greed, they signed a contract with the devil. For the Golden Alchemy to succeed, 5 parts are necessary. Rea being the core and the second is Heydrich’s relics. As both are essential, the other parts are deemed destroyable but they are the leaders of the Longinus Dreizehn Orden. Simply defeating 1 of them is tough.

The duo meet up with Leonhart and Shirou (truly reborn from Rusalka’s tummy if you remember that ‘horror’ move). Leonhart’s Berserker monster attacks Trifas. Because the priest doesn’t sustain any damage, it is getting pretty annoying so he needs Ren’s help to stop it. But since Ren is in shock, Leonhart calls out to it and it responds and stops. Because it is her brother. Trifas knows it will be hard to officially ask Ren to cooperate but this doesn’t change their task. They’ll defeat the leaders and save Rea. Mercurius narrates he created this universe based on his laws. It has repeated billions of times and he sounds tired of it. He wants someone to take over his place. The only joy he had for this unending recurrence is meeting and falling in love with Marie. He hopes for her to make the world of the goddess flow outward before he commits suicide. Marie cries as he leaves. But there is Ren she can confide with. She finds it hard to believe to repeat the same life over and over again so Ren tells her his secrets. Something about his past life in the Nazi he can’t remember clearly and also witnessing first hand of somebody getting killed. He can’t tell the truth to Kasumi or she’ll be hurt but at the same time he feels like a coward. Thus he is happy Marie is not normal. Huh? He thanks her that he is able to understand how he could atone his sins and the answer is her. It’s not for the dead to come back alive or repeating things forever. There is a way that’s only possible because of her and he was born to save and protect it.

Episode 13
Rea wakes up and finds Eleonore beside her. She confirms Riza is Rea’s grandma and killed her out of friendship. Huh? If Rea wants to do something for Riza, do her job. She won’t get in her way. Flashback shows Trifas and his church orphans. Then Heydrich and his leaders pop up to accuse him for trying to be a fugitive during the wartime. He is forced to pick 10 children to be killed or all will die. Trifas reluctantly does so but the oddest part is how he picks them slowly one by one and as they get shot, the rest didn’t scream or run. Just waiting their turn to be shot, huh? But didn’t it look like all the kids died? Anyway it left him in despair and after that Heydrich tells him to return as his services are needed. Now, Leonhart questions Trifas why her brother Kai was mad at him. Trifas says he wanted him dead. It is only right as a warrior since he killed him as he and Beatrice rebelled against Heydrich. Perhaps he hates him for turning Leonhart into another warrior. Trifas knows all about hate as he transforms into his super armour form. His wish is to become strong and save others forever and at the same time offer himself eternal atonement. Things he love will never be destroyed again. Leonhart attacks him but nothing happens. Trifas adds about not allowing Emanation of Valhalla and will only take the gold that revives the dead. With Rea here, that is when Trifas tries to target her womb so that when her connection to Isaak is destroyed, the swastika will chose the next body in line for its womb. Luckily the attack is foiled by Eleonore. Now that he has revealed his true colours, he will die. Goetz fights him with his incessant punches. Though Trifas might seem he is not taking on any damages by just blocking, the cracks are slow but surely.

Eleonore explains to Rea so as to explain to us what the f*ck is going on. It is part of Trifas’ plan to seal Heydrich while attaining the resurrection of the dead by using one of the incomplete twins (Kasumi) from the Johann’s bloodline so it will cause the swastika to be confused and an error in the Golden Alchemy. As Trifas longed to be strong, he viewed Heydrich as the strongest and became him. Thus the body he is using now belongs to Heydrich. Normally that’s where the resistance to damage comes from. But with Goetz’s constant shattering, it will soon break and with it, the armies of Valhalla will swarm out into this world. That is where Rea’s job begins. Leonhart asks about the revival of the dead Heydrich offers and is shocked to hear monsters like them are to be reborn and fight for eternity. In short, a paradise of eternal wars. She is sad that nothing has changed and this isn’t the battle she is fighting for. Her Berserker brother attacks Eleonore but is burnt to a crisp. Angered, Leonhart attacks her but all efforts are in vain. Impressed, Eleonore gives her some sword and will let her live so that she could be the last to be offered to the swastika. Trifas thought his plan to buy time for Ren to arrive is successful but Goetz claims he is wrong. Firstly, Ren will not come as he is now being under attacked by Wolfgang. Trifas gets really mad when Goetz mocks him about being good at only killing children. He powers up but Goetz finishes him off. With that, Trifas now becomes the Grail who lives forever inside Heydrich as his golden fortress descends on the world.

Episode 14
Trifas confessing his finally love for Rea before getting devoured? Rea worried about him for once? Too late for anything as Heydrich is now closer to being God. With his other leaders returning to base, all the souls on Earth are being devoured too. Leonhart wakes up in the classroom with Ren and Shirou. Apparently they are the only survivors left. Leonhart is pessimistic about the outcome and her best solution is for them to commit suicide. Ren disagrees but lets her do what she wants to do. For some odd reason, we need to have some weird drama between them so that we could see Leonhart getting emotional and then they talk about their so called happy future together as friends, happily bickering like always. WTF?! With Leonhart hugging Ren, this sets up more WTF moments because Shirou and Marie now accuses him of adultery and cheating. WTF?! Do we have time for this?! Cue to blame Ren for everything. Whatever. Then they all laugh it off, everything is forgiven and have lunch before going off for the final battle. Last supper? Man, do we really have time for this? Meanwhile Heydrich asks his generals about their meaning of victory. Rea then asks him if he is Isaak’s father and the reason why Riza was afraid. Heydrich denies he is and doesn’t care who that person is. Rea continues that she pities him because he is so strong, loves everything and interested in no one, that kind of person will not achieve victory. He admits he and Mercurius are boring people. Rea says her victory is to see her friends again. Even if it sounds dumb, it is important to her. Heydrich and his men begin their final fight with Ren’s side. At the same time, Rea is going through some weird dimensions to find Isaak. So this giant ugly skeletal monster is him? Back to the fight, oh sh*t! Ren and Shirou got owned! This is when Leonhart steps up to Heydrich and introduces her for the first time. But she quickly dismisses her loyalty to him and blames him for the deaths of her family. If not for him, they would have led and died ordinary lives. She was blind in following her cause to bring them back and wants to atone it by slaying him. Heydrich offers his salvation but Ren sees this as an insult because in exchange for giving her soul to him, she will forever be his slave in hell. I guess that’s the motivation he needs to get back up on his feet and resume his fight. Mercurius begins to crack and notes the Emanation has begun.

Episode 15
Leonhart is killed off, hence opening the final swastika. Ren feels sad when he senses Rea being absorbed by Isaak. Heydrich says she’ll never come back. Ren’s crying. It means it must be true? But I guess he isn’t going to give up yet so he powers up (by thinking about his friends) and fights back. Too bad being faster isn’t going to even scratch Heydrich. Because Ren is not up to full power yet, Heydrich has Goetz deal with him and will reward him in the aftermath. Meanwhile Leonhart still lives as she faces off with Eleonore. She survived because before she was shattered when the swastika was about to open, she made a contract with a new relic. This sword that Eleonore gave her. Eleonore reveals she made her grandpa join their ranks and that’s why her family was able to attain the seat of honour and was passed down so as to bind them to this round table. Leonhart’s goal is to fight her and to do that, she must be an immortal. She doesn’t care if she becomes a zombie or loses body parts. She views she has no right to be in Ren’s groupie and in exchange, she’ll bring Eleonore to hell with her. With Kai and Beatrice’s ghost talking with Leonhart, they claims Eleonore has been blinded by her love for Heydrich, the reason she was driven to madness. Though, Eleonore isn’t admitting this.

Meanwhile Shirou is having a tough time fighting Wolfgang. He replies that his wish is for nobody to touch him and hence all his attacks are dodged. He further explains about his past that although he was born male, mom didn’t like it and cut his dick off! This is so that they could put food on the table by whoring themselves. However the more successful he was, the angrier mom became and she abused him. So now he is confused about his gender, eh? This spurs him to power up and beat the crap out of Shirou as he further ‘analyses’ he is neither man nor woman. He keeps killing others and has no ability to bear children. Hence he is an immortal creature! Some logic. In the heat of it all, Shirou manages to steal his guns and causes him to freak out because now he has to ‘touch’ him to beat him. Shirou then summons Eri (was she a ghost or inside him all along?) and his logic is that since they are both man and woman, they’ll beat him! Whatever. Did mad Wolfgang make a sexual subtext about killing them all and stuffing it in his hole?! Shirou and Eri hang onto their lives as Wolfgang zooms his bike around. Meanwhile Ren continues to evade Goetz’s pounding. It seems in their past life, they were comrades. They were revived in Heydrich’s castle, something Goetz didn’t wish for. Hence his wish is to take back the death that was once stolen from him. He wonders what Ren wished for in this life. Ren remembers bits of it and because of this shock, Goetz punches through him. So is Ren dying? Not if Marie ex machina is here to save him by embracing everything!

Episode 16
I guess Rea isn’t technically dead yet. She pities Isaak for being trapped alone. He calls out to father (Heydrich) and hopes he needs him. We focus on Leonhart’s battle with Eleonore. Not sure what they’re talking about hygiene. I thought war has always been one big dirty thing. One is drunk on tragedy and the other drunk on war. Eventually Leonhart withstands all the attack to stab her sword into her face. You mad now, Eleonore? Doesn’t mean you have to overkill Leonhart with a giant tank! But Leonhart summons the power of Kai and Beatrice for her final strength because of the logic she doesn’t want her ‘friends’ to suffer the same fate as she did. So the sword pierces through Eleonore this time. She admits her defeat but believes Heydrich will not lose before decapitating herself. With Leonhart victorious, she gets to die and join her family in heaven? Maybe it’s all just an illusion. Meanwhile did time somehow stop for Shirou? Because he uses this chance to shoot through Wolfgang, exploding his bike. Now Wolfgang is going through a crazy phase, playing out all by himself his own family scene, fearing his mom, wanting his love to be acknowledged, will be the good ‘daughter’ she expects to, etc. So when he is finally over that sh*t, he charges over to Ren and Eri and they were just like waiting for him to do that and shoot him. Souls bursts out. The end of him. Cue for Ren and Eri for one last moment together before they kick the bucket too. Finally the overpowered fight between Ren and Goetz. Flashback shows dead Nazis appeared in Valhalla and were forced to fight to the death with each other and the winner will be granted anything by Mercurius. Goetz and Ren were left and the former won. However Mercurius viewed him had not killed enough and steals a foetus in his body?! WTF?! Is that supposed to represent his soul? He must fight and win the next battle, then he will be allowed to die. Ren has the power because of Marie and his dead friends supporting him. Because he is so confident he will defeat Heydrich, Goetz ultimately wants to believe him. Yeah, you better believe it! Oh sh*t! Ren punches off his head! So Goetz finally gets his death wish? And now for the final boss fight that we’ve all been waiting for. Ren vs Heydrich!

Episode 17
But first, Ren has to fight all the skeletal zombies before the ultimate power fight with Heydrich. Heydrich summons the abilities of his dead officers like Spinne and Rusalka while Ren has the abilities of his dead friends. At least that’s what it looks like. Because Ren is able to counter his attacks, Heydrich is amazed and thrilled at this unknown. Not a precedent. No déjà vu. Meanwhile Isaak is so sad that Heydrich doesn’t need him and shatters. The epic fight is now stopped by Mercurius. He points out their fighting has caused them to fight in this new place, the centre of the new world. Because Mercurius doesn’t want to be killed yet and witness the ending, he tells them he has already chosen a successor: Marie. Heydrich is satisfied Mercurius lived his end of his promise and will allow him to die the way he wants. Ren asks about Rea so Mercurius says she is still alive but floating between the boundaries. She will be alright if she doesn’t do anything. Ren goes off with his final battle with Heydrich and although Marie wants to go with him, he tells her to stay here. In this place, the quartet has reached Emanation level but only 1 is allowed to live. Ren cannot let Heydrich win to become God but at the same time views himself as unworthy for the role. Mercurius notes Heydrich’s wish for eternal war while Ren’s wish for time to stop forever is problematic, hence the reason why he chose her. Those are paradises for the dead. Marie is sad that he won’t allow things to remain as they are because if Marie chose that, Heydrich will kill her and erase everything.

We return to the epic fight only to see them stab each other. But Heydrich claims victory since he has better faith than Ren. But don’t you underestimate the power of friendship because that is what Ren pulls off to achieve the impossible. Also, Rea returns to help attribute to Heydrich’s defeat. She blames him for disregarding Isaak’s feelings. Had he responded to it, Rea would not have been able to take action. With that, all the souls are returned and Heydrich meets his defeat. At the same time, Marie dumps Mercurius for Ren. Adultery is wrong? Who cares? The main character won. Mercurius must be in shock that he laughs in madness before shattering away. Ren wanted to attribute his victory to the cliché power of friendship but the ghost of Heydrich tells him not to or their defeat will not be worth it. Yeah, somewhat I agree. Now it is an emotional reunion with Ren and Marie. Hug and kisses please. Is this their last time together as lovers before she becomes God? In the aftermath, we see a very old Kasumi on her deathbed at a hospital. Not sure if time has passed or Ren’s time stopped because he is the same. He visits her as she is still bothered he doesn’t tell her anything. She is now starting to believe in reincarnation and Ren believes it is real. Marie, a little girl now comes in and I guess this is the first time Ren and Marie see each other in this world so they’re so f*cking happy. Damn, don’t tell me lolicon… Oh, Marie is sitting on her throne as God very nicely.

Infinity War, Infinite Crisis
As usual… I didn’t understand a single damn thing! Even generally speaking if it is a fight to see whose world or wish comes true, I don’t understand any other points of it. So with Marie becoming the new God and taking over Mercurius’ throne, is it safe to say that the vicious cycle repeats itself? Because Mercurius did say about this God post that must be snatched in a violent way thingy. Everything looks fine for now. Until Marie starts to get bored with eternity and ends up being the next Mercurius. But for now, Marie is perhaps the safest bet to be God and also provide the plot twist shock factor so that it goes in line with the unknown and unpredictability element thingy. Too bad those supporting camp Ren or camp Heydrich. Guys who fight too much or do nothing don’t deserve to be the next God.

Because being God himself isn’t really all that mighty. I suppose Mercurius could have just gave away his God-like position to anybody but my guess is that he wants to be entertained after sitting on that godly throne for aeons and watching time repeat over billions of times that his butt must be so sore from sitting there. Maybe he couldn’t just give it away and hence this confusing and elaborated setup that spends 17 episodes for a series. Yeah, it makes you question is there a God over God for it all because right now I am thinking what if there are other Gods too in many other alternate parallel worlds. Oh sh*t. Don’t want to open a can of worms + Pandora’s box with that question.

As this series makes its way to the finish line, I really don’t understand the importance of some of the characters like Rea and Kasumi. It has come to my understanding that they only exist in the end as convenient plot devices. In Rea’s case, all the talk about Isaak and Johann crap thingy that I never understood, all it takes was just a neglected kid whom I believe I have never seen before to change the tide against Heydrich’s favour. And Rea’s short role was just to bring him there. Like WTF. Even without Rea, Isaak could have just haunt Heydrich in his ghost form and curse daddy for not looking at him. Kasumi who has been knocked out for entirely almost this season, suddenly wakes up and not knowing what is going on (she read my sentiments really well) and kept believing that crap of being together like always and will be waiting. The next thing you know, she became an old grandma! Not sure if this is what Marie makes of Kasumi in this new world. Not sure if Kasumi actually really waited for Ren. Either way, her role seems redundant. Just to remind us that she wasn’t killed off and is still around. And with that hint of reincarnation thingy, yeah it might get messier because there’s a chance she might become Ren’s child or something. Heck, this show is so confusing that my mind is starting to think up such unknown crazy possibilities.

Then there is Kai and Beatrice whom I thought in the end were just characters so as to give Leonhart a reason why she is fighting and to continue fighting after learning this is not what she signed up for. Ren’s past with Goetz also sounds interesting but I wonder if what happened during the war and before all this God-like crappy thingy happened, would it be a lot more interesting if they dedicated another season to show us really what happened. Maybe I would understand better. Maybe I would be even more confused. The sickest story of them all belongs to Wolfgang so I can really sympathize why he sounds so mad and crazy. Imagine if you whore yourself for your entire life, mommy took away your manhood and still got jealous of you, man, that’s got to be really twisted. Even more so, this was the guy who ‘birth’ out of Rusalka’s tummy in that cheap horror jump scare last time.

Even if I didn’t understand what was going on, at least I can take a sigh of relief and enjoy the so called exaggerated and overpowered action. Nothing like all those flashy special effects to cover up whatever is lacking and call it action. So yeah, the power fights do feel like they pack a punch like as though they are on par with anime series like Bleach and Dragonball Z but only because I am too dumb to understand the real story so I am more impressed with all that power punches, magical shots and whatever superhuman moves the characters pull off. This world is going to be destroyed anyway, so why not go all out and just wreck the damn place like as though there is no tomorrow. Everybody is dead too, no? Hence this final stretch feels like one big battle royale with the ’good guys’ versus ‘the final bosses’.

The same opening and ending themes are used and I still love the epic Opera by Phero Men. Kassai! Kassai! But unlike the TV series in which a blank screen was shown instead of some ‘stylish’ works of art animation, this time we at least have a one. Even if they are just still pictures but it isn’t all that bad and it is better than nothing. I guess now I can’t say that they were being lazy. Perhaps they had enough time after the TV series ended to produce something visually decent at the end. Also to note, the crazy background music permeating throughout the entire series also sounds as epic. With the crazy and frenzy electric guitars and organs mixed with choir voices, it really feels suitable for such frantic pieces to be played. Like as though the band was high on drugs when they played the music. But it was really fitting the overpowered and messy scenes. However I can’t help feel that those background music pieces feel like corrupted and tainted versions of classical music and being given the hard rock treatment.

On a trivial note, I thought this series was going to be a bit extra long in its duration per episode. Because it is like running almost 28 minutes per episode instead of the usual 23 minutes. Hence I thought there would be extra 5 minutes per episode to spam more action or more confusing conversations. Surprisingly it is not the case. The actual run time of this season is the same (including the opening and ending themes) and the final 5 minutes of each episode is dedicated to listing down all the names, nicknames and monikers (I believe it is to be so) for all the people who have supported in the production of this series! Man, that is a hell lot of names! I don’t know what kind of support they give as it is never stated but the more the credits roll, the more names (and hence the smaller font) appears. Maybe some names are those who bought the DVDs to support the making of this ONA? Well, some names are just numbers, some alphanumeric, some like abbreviations, there are plenty of it so much so you would think that they might have just made up a few or pull it out from the air. Because, who else is going to stay and watch this segment, right? Unless you are one of the contributors who really want to go search for your name to pop up somewhere (good luck in that sea of names) or you just really want to hear that really crazy awesome rock music.

Overall, this is still one heck of a confusing series. It is more than an alternative setting of Nazis wanting to change the world to get their wish fulfilled. Even if the story is complicated, the action scenes do help alleviate some of that ‘pain in your brain’ trying to think so much. But even so, those fight scenes aren’t so epic. Just satisfyingly average. Thankfully I can put this series to rest and behind me. Now I can be satisfied that I’ve been through one of the most incomprehensible series in my life. It has been truly Dies Irae, the day of wrath for me. I don’t want to be God. I just want to be a normal otaku.

Hmm… What’s this? If Nanbaka had a porn version, it would be Amai Choubatsu: Watashi Wa Kanshu Senyou Pet. Initially I was going to give up after the last couple of seasons having very ‘disappointing’ ‘legal anime porn’. Yeah, who could be disappointed with porn, right? And then this prison ‘porn’ theme somewhat attracted my attention. Maybe something will be different after all. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m here to see how ‘creative’ and absurd the prison porn theme could be. Because I bet prison sex won’t be as ‘sweet’ as this one would be.

Episode 1
Hina Saotome is found guilty of embezzling a multi-national company’s fund. So for stealing a million bucks, she is sentenced to only a year in prison? Hmm… They must be lenient on women… Of course Hina claims she is innocent but nobody cares, right? The judicial is f*cked up. You’re going to get f*cked up. Haha! Oops. Hina (prison number 3077) is brought before the handsome prison warden head, Aki Myoujin. She is told to obey his every word until he release. I can see where this is going. Even more mind boggling that she is the only female in this prison! OMFG. I can really see where this is going. So there are no special prisons for females?! They let a poor woman who isn’t hardcore criminal to mix with the guys?! And as usual, we get our first hentai scene with her stripping down in the name of body inspection. And really, he really gets physical and fingers her! I wonder what he was hoping to find. So good his fingering that she passes out only to wake up in her cell. During roll call, she realizes she is the only female and all the criminal guys except that hot looking one staring at her, Yamato Higa. Then a fight breaks out. Even when the warden is there. I guess he don’t care. It took Higa to stop them. Wow. She is impressed with him?

Episode 2
Hina has a visitor. It is Kiyonori Yakumo, her lover and colleague who believes she is innocent. He is still trying to find a way to get her out but assures everything will be better soon. Suddenly Hina feels somebody licking her vagina! OMFG! Aki is licking and fingering her!!! This scene is more hilarious than it is horny!!!! She is trying to hold in her orgasm face and not let Yakumo know. He must be one dense guy not to see something is wrong with her expression and was he so fixated in her that he didn’t see the warden bending down over to underneath Hina’s legs? Whatever it is, this is the funniest hentai scene ever! God help you, Hina. Aki then takes her to some solitary confinement for prisoners who do not repent. Like those troublemakers this morning. God, putting her with other men who want to rape her? Thankfully Higa is there and he beats the crap out of them. Surprised he protected her, she tends to his wounds and notices his entire body with tattoos. She tells him her circumstances before she realizes she mustn’t trust any horny guys and cowers at a corner. She falls asleep and when she wakes up, she realizes he has been sitting in front and protecting her from whatever harm. She is confused if he is on her side.

Episode 3
Aki puts a vibrator inside her every morning she does exercise. Of course she cannot keep up with the movements. I guess this is the perfect excuse so when she passes out, Aki takes her to a private room to punish her for failing to do as she is told. And hence our hentai scene for this episode as Aki fingers her as she is pushed against the tinted glass while prisoners are working below. Can they see her? Well, if they look up. Oh, Higa saw her orgasmic face. Later when she does some job like all other prisoners do, Hina manages to talk to Higa. She learns he is doing time for getting caught in a mob auction and has got a year to go. But unlike her, he claims he is here for a reason. During the next roll call, Hina is relieved Aki isn’t among the wardens. He is in fact visiting his vegetable mother in hospital. When Yakumo visits Hina again, he tells her not to wait for a year for her release and then prove her innocence. He wants her to break out and he will help her.

Episode 4
It seems Yakumo has a plan to escape so that they could run away and live peacefully. Uhm, wouldn’t the law go after you for escaping prison? And why is he discussing this plan so openly when there is warden in the room? Is the warden deaf?! The first part of the plan works out in which Hina gets permission to use the shower area every day. The tough part is acting and not giving away to Aki who is constantly watching over her. Out of the blue he deems her unfit for the kitchen job. So he is going to punish her (but of course). He wants her to masturbate before him. In order not to arouse his suspicions, she does so. Not satisfied, he does it for her and before a mirror so that she could look at her own orgasmic face. Then he lets her masturbate with a vibrator. Is she good in playing with herself because I thought she could have faked her own orgasm instead of really cumming for real. Yeah, he gives her permission to cum. WTF. She calls him crazy but he blames her for making him so. I guess there’s some porn logic in there for that.

Episode 5
Aki visits his mom. Her condition is getting worse. He might look calm but he is getting angrier by the moment. The day for Hina to make her escape is here. As she showers, she uses the ventilation to escape. Amazingly in the dark she could remember Yakumo’s words of where to turn in the vent. And this is her first time! Aki returns early and notices some anomaly in the showers. What kind of high level detection is there in the control room? Seeing Hina not in the showers, he knows what she is doing. This scene… Hina is metres before freedom when she hears someone crawling behind her. It’s Aki!!! OMFG! How the f*ck did he crawl so fast?! And the way he crawls and catches her is so f*cking creepy-cum-hilarious!!! Am I watching a horny horror show???!!! And hearing Hina’s scream means Yakumo cries and knows she failed. How the f*ck did he tie a rope up the prison wall without any guards noticing?! F*ck this. It’s porn related logic. Hina is brought back to the showers where as expected, Aki this time penetrates and f*cks her with his dick. Yeah, she feels good but notices his sad face. Damn this guy is good because she cums when he gives her permission to. As he carries her on the way out, Higa is shocked to see this. Wait. What? Did he realize Aki beat him to f*ck her?

Episode 6
Flashback shows when Aki interrogated Higa, he was charged for protecting his yakuza superiors. It seems Aki would support him to be reinstated into society if he is released and leaves the yakuza. Now Higa accuses Aki of not protecting them anymore and is more obsessed with this woman. Of course he is not obliged to tell him anything. When Hina wakes up in her cell, she thought she saw a black angel before her. Nope, it’s the devil himself, Aki! Haha! What a joke. He tells her a few things like she will from now on only work in the laundry, cannot do showers (there goes her escape bid, they’re not stupid to let her attempt something like that again) and because of that escape attempt, her sentence is extended for another year. Shocking! Just like that? Do wardens have the power to increase prison terms? Of course it is rape time and surprisingly but not surprisingly, Hina can still manage to cum in this situation while thinking the bad circumstance she is in. Is she a masochist? As she continues working and it is getting tough on her, she breaks down. Luckily Higa is here and she feels assured. Even more so by his hug. She then tells him everything from her sentencing to Aki’s rape. She knows he cannot do anything but just needs somebody to talk to. This makes him want to protect her.

Episode 7
Hina is about to be gang raped by inmates when Aki whips them up and has them arrested. Knowing that this area isn’t suitable for her, he sends her back to the laundry section. Higa who has been watching all this feels angry. But this looks like a bigger part of Aki plan. So when Higa confronts Hina, he instantly kisses her and confesses he loves her! WTF?! I expected something like this but not so fast or in this fashion. He vows to protect her. And what do you know? Aki sees this and says romance between prisoners isn’t allowed. He will punish them both. First he locks up Higa in a cell. Then he rapes Hina in front of him! This guy is getting so good that Hina is climaxing and showing her orgasmic face. I can’t believe Higa managed to control his anger while watching all that as Aki blames him as the reason why Hina had more fun than usual. That’s the end of this punishment. Back in his cell. He thinks of a way to save Hina. Yeah, he calls the guard his tummy hurts and when he opens the door, Higa knocks him out!!! Holy sh*t!!! That was f*cking easy!!! I’m sure he could have done this a long time ago since the guards here are this useless but I’m figuring he was trying to be a good boy for Aki because of that trust thingy. No more good boy now.

Episode 8
Higa snoops around in Aki’s office and gets caught. Dumb. Thanks to that, he gets whipped as punishment. Uhm, not the sexiest scene unless you’re into yaoi, which you shouldn’t be watching this anyway. Then he calls Hina just to see the whip scars on his back and blames her for it! WTF?! Then something comes up. Is something so urgent that he left the duo together? With the door unlocked? And no guards?! Hina feels guilty as she tries to find out what he did. Not that he minds because now he has his sentence extended for another year, he can at least be with her. Oh dear. Then he starts to kiss her. At first she resists but I guess she relents when he says his feelings for her are real. Oh sure. Like every sex in porn is real. Besides, Higa is a criminal so this is somewhat okay? He masturbates her until she cums. Wow. She must really like it since she has almost forgotten this passionate feeling… Yeah, when you’re rotting in prison… Meanwhile that important thing Aki needs to attend is that his mom’s condition has worsened. At the hospital, he feels useless there is nothing he could do for her and if she dies, he will be alone. Well, you were screwing around with a female inmate, right?

Episode 9
I guess with sex, Higa now lets Hina know some info. Yuzuru Akatsuki who is the boss of the company Hina works in, is missing. There seems to be a link between them but there is nothing more he knows. She doesn’t know about this and there is a report of this in Aki’s office. It clearly shows he is keeping information from her. Even so, is he obliged to tell her? When she asks him about his past, he tells her about his yakuza life. Mamoru Kensaki picked him up to join his yakuza branch. He thought he was a good yakuza leader and supported him until he was set up and caught in an illegal weapons transaction. Aki’s mom has stabilized but he is on the verge of breaking and knowing this fact he have to live this feeling for the rest of his life. Hina senses something wrong when Aki hasn’t been seen for 3 days. Speaking of the devil, here he is! Right on the dot. Immediately he kisses her! However she can feel his kiss is passionate. Then he spots a hickey on her given by Higa. He doesn’t like her being f*cked by other man and will punish her. By f*cking her? Yeah, porn logic. Yeah, literally screwed anyhow. She is so scared that she obeys his command to strip. He gets mad when she tries to ask for his relationship with Akatsuki. Then he starts f*cking her. First time we see a 69! During that hot sex, Hina admits she enjoys having sex with Aki. Yeah, this guy is good. Sorry Higa. She isn’t your b*tch but Aki’s. Meanwhile Higa has a visitor.

Episode 10
Tsuyoshi Samejima is the guy who betrayed Higa and landed him here. Higa is not pleased hearing that some group is going to expand. When Hina tries to approach Higa, he pushes her away. Now trying to be a tough guy? Or he realized she enjoys sex with somebody other than him? Aki asks Hina if she now knows how it feels to lose everything. Oddly, Hina finds this sad expression beautiful?! Prison sex must have screwed with her head too. Then he accuses her for stealing everything for him. Cue for rape scene. Oh Hina, what’s the use of realizing you betrayed Yakumo and Higa since you’re having fun being f*cked by this guy? Samejima returns to report to his boss about Higa. And since boss is sick, Samejima kills him! The next time Hina approaches Higa, he continues to push her away. It seems Aki warned him about approaching her again because if he does, he’ll send him to some special section. I’m thinking this section is so terrifying that that this tough yakuza dude even chickens out. Anal probing? A funeral is held for the yakuza boss. While many of his men accept his death and new leader, Igarashi won’t.

Episode 11
Hina and Higa are tied and blindfolded. They are to be transported. Since they will split up once they arrive at the hospital, Aki is going to give her a farewell gift: He is going to f*ck her! Oh sh*t! This is some sick twisted BDSM. Yeah, I wonder if he is also doing it on purpose to piss off Higa. Too bad for Hina, she finds it good and tries real hard not to make a sound. Like that would ever happen in porn! Oh Hina you bad girl! She came!!! Luckily they finish their f*cking since the truck met with an accident. I know these might not be the most notorious criminals, but seriously not even a decent security for them?! It seems Igarashi has caused the accident. See what did I tell you about having no security?! Higa is freed and is told their boss got killed by Samejima. Higa sees unconscious Aki protected Hina’s body during the crash. Higa frees Hina and gives her a chance to escape to freedom. Well, duh?! The reason she agreed is because he called her by her real name instead of her prison number. WTF?! Aki is also taken and kept tied in some room. Snippets of flashback shows when his mom was still around, she was having an affair with Akatsuki. Aki was a rebellious kid then, but there was nothing much he could do. Now he wakes up and finds the tables have turned on him. Higa is going to interrogate him.

Episode 12
Higa explains the documents he found in Aki’s room contains Akatsuki’s private life. It is very clear he framed Hina who is no doubt innocent. He definitely has something to do with him hence the reason why Aki is using Hina as an excuse. Otherwise, why would Aki have protected Hina during the crash? The news reports the crash and Aki held as hostage. Now Higa and Hina have wanted posters. I guess living life as a fugitive is better? Higa gets a call by Samejima. He rejects his offer to join forces and knows this sneaky dude killed the boss like how he set him up in the first place. Looks like they’re going to war. Meanwhile Hina gets ‘attracted’ to the dark basement. Oh sure. Any girl would just head straight down there without suspicions. Of course there is Aki tied up. She sees him as a beautiful doll. Flashback reveals Akatsuki receives death threats after being involved in some shady business. Aki returned to find his parents hung themselves. Mom was rushed to hospital and is in coma since. I am deducing that Aki is forced to sexually abuse Hina because Akatsuki has a leash on his mom’s life. But f*ck all that because it’s now time for porn logic. Aki tells her to strip and sexually arouse him! OMFG! She does so without any hesitation! I guess he likes bondage so instead of freeing him and have sex, she f*cks him while still tied up. OMG. I guess it was the best sex ever. All the yakuza dudes must be so busy preparing for war that they didn’t hear weird screams of pleasure downstairs. And of course now that Hina is so thrilled to get f*cked by him, she reasons she was never a prisoner in that prison but a prisoner of Aki’s heart. I guess now it lives up to the series’ name of her being his pet, eh?

Episode 13
WTF?! Why the heck did they repeat episode 5 here???!!! Apparently I read in the comments that this episode was produced as a contest for viewers. WTF. Because the only difference is that there are some scenes that suddenly pop up those white gloves. WTF. Yeah. You’re supposed to count them. Not sure if you get to f*ck Hina for free if you count all of them that pops up in the weirdest place, some even acting as censors for Hina’s private parts. But I do wonder this: Do Aki’s real gloves count? Oh damn… Everyone who wants to participate must be confused if they are supposed to be counted. But there is 1 short additional never seen before scene here: Yakumo running away from the guards outside in comical fashion! Ayashikunai yo! Well, I guess this episode wasn’t so bad. Oh wait. It is. Because no sex scenes at all! Even if it is a repeat!

Jailhouse Cock, F*ck (By) Tha Police!
HOLY SH*T!!!! WTF?????!!!!! THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE WORSE ENDING OF IN THIS SLUTTY GENRE EVER!!!!!!! Everything is left f*cking hanging! They even dare put up a sign in the end that says how everything is now the beginning! What does this mean? A second season?! Holy cow. If it is true, I can’t believe it. Because with things still left unresolved, from Higa’s war with his own yakuza clan to Akatsuki’s mom and the real reason why he takes it all out on Hina, I can’t say that these are pretty decent plots but with the f*cking taking up most of the screen time, I guess for porn series like this, such potential story development is thrown on the wayside. As long as Hina realizes she loves to get f*cked by Aki, that’s the goal of this story, that’s the endpoint of this story. Period.

Despite saying how sh*tty the ending is, it is with utmost irony for me to say that after every season of such anime smut, this one is considered the ‘best’ of the lot! Holy sh*t! You mean to say I enjoyed it?! Am I being hypocritical? What I actually meant was how some of the illogical moments were so damn funny that it really made me laugh! For example when Aki crawled through the ventilation and caught up with Hina, that was one of the ‘best’ hilarious moments in the serious! It was just so f*cking comical! That is really comedy gold! The fact that Hina could even try and plan an escape with a third party outside shows how much there is a big security flaw in the system. But nobody cares. Because essentially everybody is just useless. Who cares, right? Not in porn logic. That is why of all the short hentai series I have watched, this series easily trumps the rest thanks to this bizarre moments. Good job guys. You really made me laugh with this one instead of being horny.

As usual, the so called f*cking of the woman is used as the recurring theme for such genres. It is already mind boggling how Hina could be the only female here in this prison. Assuming there are no prisons for women or Hina is the only female with a ‘criminal record’. Hence your porn logic setting here. The only reason why Hina doesn’t seek some way to put a stop to Aki’s rape is because of the porn logic of how much she enjoys him f*cking her or him doing an oral over her nether regions (literally Aki giving Hina a female blowjob is like, it sucks! Haha!). Like I have always said in my previous blogs, as long as you screw a woman long enough, she will eventually come to like it no matter how desolated and grim her situation is.

You think Hina who has been put to prison after being falsely accused would be having her heart and morale broken by sitting behind bars. But noooooo. She gets to ‘forget’ her troubles by being f*cked by the warden! Instead of hell, this prison is paradise! No wonder she is so confused on leaving. While the sex scenes are just pretty meh to me (believe me, you see them once, you probably seen them all), I believe this is the first time that for this type of series that the female got f*cked by 2 different guys. Usually it is just the main male protagonist but here we have 2 of them. Who knows if Hina had made love to Yakumo before but behind his back in prison, she has been f*cked by 2 bad boys. But now that she is living in Higa’s hideout, the chances of f*cking him is also as high as she is going to f*ck Aki willingly. Hey, variety is the spice of life. Hina, you lucky sleazy horny b*tch!!! Who knows if the rest of Higa’s guys will get a turn to ride her. She’s everyone b*tch is what I can eventually think of. And then, heh, everyone fighting over the right to f*ck Hina. Oh yeah, Hina, your vagina is a prison for everyone’s dick! Damn, I’m overthinking this…

I never really cared about the plot of such sleazy genres but this one in particularly had me intrigued. Because ever since Aki’s mom is shown to be in coma in hospital, I can’t help wondering why Aki kept blaming Hina for this and hence her incessant modesty outrage in prison. What is Hina’s connection to all this? Hmm… It really got me intrigued. It was never clearly explained even in the final episode. We are shown flashback snippets and you are supposed to guess from it. I suppose everyone here is for the horny part and not think of the mystery of why Hina is framed. Don’t want to hurt you brains, eh? Better hurt your penis by fapping too much!

I also want to point out that the guards in this prison feel like dumb automated robots. Not only that many of them look the same, they don’t seem like they are doing their supervising job well. If you take into account the lax of security in this place (this isn’t maximum security prison if I should say the least) but it feels like the guards are doing just a daycare job rather than actually watch over the prisoners. And why the f*ck do they have censors in the ventilation???!!!! Oh sure, in case prisoners use it to escape. Doesn’t that mean they are already giving an avenue to prisoners to escape?! Even more so that it is easily accessible through the showers! It’s like as though they want to let them escape and then catch them.

And the prisoners feel more like delinquents than anything badass. I’ve heard a lot about prison rape stories but I don’t hear anything here. Maybe we are not told and it is not relevant to the story. So I’m going to assume that there are none that took place and thus considering these criminals as non-criminally criminals. WTF did I just say… You see, these kind of prison rape sex is to also assert authority. With no males ever getting their anal wrecked and they aren’t even the least interested in the only female around (perhaps Aki is keeping a good stranglehold on Hina), this prison is literally sexless! Everybody is so straight and a good boy! Probably to enhance Aki as the biggest jerk around.

Also, the prisoners’ jumpsuit doesn’t make them look like prisoners. More like construction contractors or delivery job workers? And don’t they allow them to wear underwear in prison? Because Aki could just zip down Hina’s jumpsuit and start licking her naked pussy. It’s just f*cking weird… And they have a uniform for Hina’s size? Lucky her. There must be criminals who have such small feminine frame too.

Surprisingly, I didn’t expect myself to like the ending theme, Sweet Punishment by Rosukey. This rock piece sounds seemingly fitting into the overall theme of the series, which makes it not bad. Sometimes I find myself rocking to this badass beat after having a good laugh at the end of the episode.

It is with utmost irony for me to consider this erotica to be so far the ‘best’ that I have watched as well as the ‘worst’ in terms of its ‘ending’. It wasn’t so much the sex scenes but rather the absolute ridiculous hilarity of the situation as well as the porn logic that goes with it. Also, this series has a ‘deeper’ plot compared to the rest despite being cheesy overall. I thought this is going to be my last foray into this ‘legal anime smut’ but I guess bad habits die hard. That is why there is a high percentage of criminals relapsing. I might be physically free but my heart and mind are already imprisoned from watching such sinful guilty pleasures. Damn, I don’t know if I have been continually being mind raped and mind f*cked ever since.

Another reverse harem based on an otome game? Setting in the Taisho era too? Not really interested. Books are the theme of this series? Double nah. But then as I read deeper into the synopsis of Nil Admirari No Tenbin – Teito Genwaku Kitan, I found its mystery of people being burnt alive by books just by reading it to be quite fascinating. Ironically, I was never an avid reader and it became a bad habit that I never liked to read. Not even manga. Therefore it is strange that I suddenly found myself to be interested in checking this out, like as though I have been hypnotized and mesmerized by the magic of books. Or at least its book theme. It must be the way they worded the synopsis… Those damn words stole my attention ;p. So here I am watching this spectacular story. Just this story, though. Still not reading anything else.

Episode 1
Hitaki isn’t happy his sister, Tsugumi Kuze did not tell him she is getting married. He believes he is forced into it for the money. When she tells him off, he starts sulking and hating her. Feared words of an older sister. She narrates that her family was doing well before the earthquake struck and couldn’t recover. If she marries into the Yashiro family, her dad will receive a loan and help revive the family. Later Tsugumi tries to talk to Hitaki but there is no answer from his room. When she opens the door, she is shocked to see him burning himself! Luckily he was rushed to hospital. Although he is alive, his burns are bad. Tsugumi blames herself when she is approached by 2 hot guys from the Imperial Library Intelligence Asset Management Bureau AKA Fukurou, Hayato Ozaki and Akira Kougami. They have a few questions for her. First, they explain that Hitaki’s actions of suicide might be due to cursed tomes. Strong emotions of an author stored in a book and can have an effect on who reads them. Although this has been happening for a long time, recently it is getting more frequent. Just today, the son of the current Prime Minister, Shougo Ukai attempted suicide after reading a cursed tome. They are here to find out if there is some connection. Tsugumi remembers seeing Hitaki holding one and has her butler bring it. To her horror, she sees it burning. However nobody else could see its flames. They believe she is one of those gifted who can see the aura of the cursed tome. They hope she could join them for their cause. Tsugumi takes her time thinking but continues to blame herself. She is visited by a hot chick from Fukurou, Shiori Tokimiya who apologizes for her colleagues’ rudeness yesterday. But she is also here to request her help with her ability? I guess asking politely does make a difference. With the marriage on hold, Tsugumi has decided to join them as she believes she needs to change and for Hitaki’s sake. Off she goes to Fukurou’s HQ.

Episode 2
Hayato takes Tsugumi around the HQ and shows her the room where cursed tomes are stored. Wow. All burning books! She is surprised to see an old family friend, Yutaka Nabari. He is working here because he too has the ability to see auras. Shiori takes over and brings her underground to the research division. Meet Motofumi Mashiko who is the division’s head and flamboyant guy since his interest is in folklore and ornithology. Tsugumi is impressed with the huge national library where it houses books from all over. Later she meets a weird hottie who sells goldfish as well as a young boy captain with 2 different iris colours, Hisui Hoshikawa. During her welcoming party, she discovers that goldfish guy is Shizuru Migiwa, an author who lives here. He is Hitaki’s favourite author. Next day, Tsugumi goes on patrol with the guys and feels a bit shy since she is the only girl (probably her skirt is a little bit too short). They stop by bookstores to check for cursed tomes. One of the owners being Kuina who also sells other mystical stuffs. No cursed tomes here. Also, time for the series’ pet mascot to appear. Folks, meet Perry! Kawaii! Kuina jokes if he could be Tsugumi’s lover so she quickly brushes it off and says she has no interest in boys or marriage. As they go around several bookstores, Tsugumi soon feels disheartened she couldn’t find a cursed tome. Then at Touichirou Sasagoi, he doesn’t particularly like them since he attributes their suspicious presence driving his customers away. Tsugumi feels guilty when Sasagoi hints that she is a useless person hired by Fukurou. She spaces out and almost gets lost in the sea of crowd before the guys find her again. In the last bookstore they patrol for the day, the owner is very scared upon received a book he thinks it is a cursed tome (he has the wrong impression possessing one and not reading it will curse you). Tsugumi observes and then assures this is just a normal book. This guy is so happy he just couldn’t stop thanking everyone. Hayato points out to her that even if she hasn’t discovered any cursed tomes, verifying and confirming those that aren’t is also good enough.

Episode 3
Tsugumi cooks them breakfast. They are so impressed with her miso soup because apparently the restaurant they frequent to always rips them off. True cooking! That night as they dine outside after another hard day of patrolling, they hear a commotion of a guy being chased. While the guys go after the mob, Tsugumi tends to the victim, Rui Sagisawa. She sees his burning book but it isn’t a cursed tome but burning for real. Later as the Fukurou team gather and discuss, they believe this is the work of Kagutsuchi, a shady organization believed to steal books from others and burn them on the spot. With the people widely believing cursed tomes can kill you, Kagutsuchi becomes a self-proclaimed vigilante to burn such books. With such recent cases, the Tokyo police has assigned rookie Tarou Tsubameno to liaise closely with them. Tsugumi bumps into Rui again and he is very much interested in getting to know more about the cursed tomes as well as her. On another patrol, if this guy’s weird acting doesn’t alert you, perhaps the cursed tome aura would. They chase the crazy guy but he runs into the train tunnel where conveniently the train is coming head on. Splat. Taking back his book, Tsugumi could see the intense dark aura on this one. Nabari shows another cursed tome with a similar aura. They discuss about some who purposely create cursed tomes. Because a black feather is always found beside such cursed tomes, they nickname whoever the culprit is as Karasu, though they have no solid proof whatsoever. Good news for Tsugumi has Hitaki has regained consciousness and she meets her old high school senior, Koruri Masaki who is now a rookie newspaper reporter. Rui sees Tsugumi to give her a kaleidoscope she likes. They talk more about the cursed tomes but their ideas clash on whether one should burn a boko even if it has a potential to be dangerous. When Kagutsuchi is reported to be holding some activity in some building, Fukurou moves in. It looks like a silly setup wild goose chase just to lead Tsugumi into a room with a cursed tome. Obviously we can tell the ringleader behind this is Rui (same voice) as he believes such books should be burnt. Tsugumi disagrees because it is not the contents that are evil. He argues back her ideals might be right but what about reality? The contents aren’t the problem for sure but those exploiting it. That is why Kagutsuchi will eliminate them. He wants her to join them because of her power but she declines. Disappointing for Rui as he makes his extravagant and convenient escape. He is sure they will meet again soon.

Episode 4
Tsugumi had the misfortune of bumping into a rude guy doesn’t like a woman in Fukurou. As Shiori explains, he is Shougo. After his attempted suicide, it would be troublesome for him to stay at the Prime Minister’s residence where many people come and go and hence a rash decision was made to have him stay here for now. Shougo is being a dick, blasting his gramophone loud and not even his servant, Arata Kijitani could handle him. Tsugumi believes everyone should be patient with him since he is in an unfamiliar environment but I guess there is only so much one can take after he continues to snap at her so she snaps back at him. Kuina reports a politician killed himself by jumping off a building. As the police is keeping a tight lid on this case, it is believed he was having a cursed tome. Even more suspicious, he was coming back from Nachtigal. Back at HQ, Shiori introduces Tsugumi to Takuma Yoshikiri who works at the newspaper, Hayato’s college senior and Koruri’s boss. He often exchanges information about such cases. But this isn’t the first case of a dead politician. A month ago, a politician believed to have died from heart attack whose wife was a regular at Nachtigal. It is believed Takashi Shiginuma who is the founder of Nachtigal might be the mastermind behind Karasu but because of his high level connections, the law cannot reach him. That is why Fukurou is investigating every day and exchanging info. Since Tsugumi knows how to dance and Shougo has got an invitation, a perfect chance to infiltrate. Too bad Shougo will not go with her and badmouths everything he can think of her. Tsugumi is such a strong girl not to cry after hearing all that. With more hijinks like him accidentally entering the wrong bath and almost seeing her naked. Later he apologizes and reluctantly invites her to Nachtigal. There, Shougo introduces her to Shiginuma and his wife, Shouko. Then there is also this military dude, Owase mocking about his pacifism that could almost turn his father into a traitor. When Tsugumi returns, she reports to Shiori she saw Sasagoi with an unidentified man. Based on her description, Shiori thinks he is Shirou Mozuyama, a professor from the university with shady rumours. Later Shougo sees Tsugumi and has found out about her brother’s case from the other guys. He sincerely apologizes for saying those things without knowing the circumstances. So they’re like best friends now?

Episode 5
A woman is found dead near a park. Furthermore, a lilac flower is discovered inside her mouth as well as a book of Shizuru next to her. Hitaki is excited his sister gets to see Shizuru and hopes she could get a book autograph from him. She tries but unfortunately he doesn’t do such things. He also explains his goldfish selling was to help an old guy who couldn’t sell them. No prizes to guess why women instantly buy it from him. Looks like a serial murder is occurring in a similar fashion. While it may be premature to think Shizuru is the culprit because if he murders people, he won’t be so dumb to leave clues of himself, right? Perhaps the culprit wants to ruin his reputation. But then again, it might be for self-advertising as his book sales soon soar. Later Shiori talks to Shizuru if he still has that manuscript from his late teacher, Saichou Moritsune who committed suicide. He assures he has burnt it because he knows that is a cursed tome for he couldn’t stand hearing voices of wanting to kill others. Tsugumi learns from Hitaki about Moritsune. Apparently he believes the recent serial murders are trying to imitate a story he once wrote. When Tsugumi tries to read that book, she is approached by Sasagoi who claims he was also a student under Moritsune. Although Moritsune killed himself, Shizuru found his body first. He believes he has a motive for killing him because he criticized his first book and ripped it apart in front of others. Also, Moritsune’s manuscript may be a cursed tome since reading it might make Shizuru want to kill others. Tsugumi refuses to believe this crap.

Unfortunately the police now takes Shizuru in for questioning as another body is found. The police blame such books for the killings but Tsugumi protests the book is not to blame. The police interrogates him as they believe all victims have casual relationships with him. As Fukurou patrols, Tsugumi tells Hayato about Moritsune’s book. People claimed it to be the ultimate love story when it is a twisted love story. It is about the culprit killing all those the protagonist loves until the latter cannot take it anymore and kills the culprit. Hence the ultimate twisted love of wanting to be killed by the one you love. When a suspicious person is found with a cursed them, Fukurou moves in on him. However he is just a distraction as the real culprit targets Tsugumi. If not for Hayato staying back, she would’ve been a goner. Shizuru (with Tsubameno’s help to escape during toilet break), stops the serial killer in his tracks. He turns out to be a crazed fan of his and wants to be killed for him. Too bad he won’t. Because he knows how to differentiate reality from fiction. It’s prison time for you. Hitaki is delighted with Shizuru making an exception signing his book. Tsugumi has a better opinion of Shizuru but it looks like Shizuru still holds Moritsune’s manuscript and believes he is no different than the killer.

Episode 6
Kuina tells Tsugumi and Hisui that a man came here last night to sell a book but since he wasn’t in, he went to sell it somewhere else. Strange, how did he know if he wasn’t in? Don’t tell me Perry was manning the counter and since he couldn’t speak human tongue, he went away? Hisui is visibly concern when the book is believed to be written by a prostitute. They head over to Sasagoi who claims he has already sold the book to someone else and will not simply let out information. Client confidentiality. Later they bump into Mozuyama who warns him about carelessly burning his friends and finding his replacement. When he invites Tsugumi to his lab, Hisui warns him not to get her involved. Tsugumi notices the obviousness of Hisui not joining the party with the rest. So she goes talk to Kuina who reveals Hisui’s mom is a prostitute and because it was during the time where foreign sailors come and go, the reason why he has beautiful hair and eyes. Conveniently Shouko passes by and tells her she heard she was looking for a book. She bought it and if she is so interested, please visit her. In her room, Shouko has only read halfway and it feels like a heart-warming diary. Tsugumi hopes to give it to her or borrow it. She will consider the latter if she visits her again and be her friend. As long as she doesn’t betray her, she won’t do the same. What a strange way to become friends. Tsugumi talks to Hisui who further reveals that his mom used to dressed him as a girl. One night, a customer forced himself on him and his powers of burning others awakened. From then, he felt ugly for trying to kill others. He believes this is the reason why his mom left him shortly after. Mozuyama took an interest in his abilities and experimented on him before.

Before Tsugumi could tell him about the diary, here comes Shiori wanting to speak with her. She was seen with Shouko and this is serious. Tsugumi won’t give reasons and this only puts more suspicions on her. Conveniently Hisui heard this and barges in. He heard from Kuina (conveniently) and doesn’t want the book anymore. Of course Tsugumi won’t let this go and plans to visit Shouko. This time Hisui accompanies her with the excuse to protect her. Shouko sees Hisui as a mirror image of Hiwako. She was her best friend in school. Hiwako was from a noble family before economic ruin befell on the family. Shouko had other siblings to take care off and thus sold her body. Hisui doesn’t know this and is now more certain this is why his mom changed and hates him. Before you go berserk, here, read the book. A strange aura pops out and what do you know? Is this the spirit of Hiwako embracing her son? Whatever it is, mother and son reconcile. As the circumstances have changed, Shouko can’t be friends with Tsugumi anymore and hence can’t let her visit anymore. Conveniently right after Hisui’s personal issue has been solved, right? Hisui knows she will be nosy and meddle in others again that will put herself in danger. He won’t stop her but promises to protect her.

Episode 7
The fourth body of a minister is found. Although it looks like a suicide, all of them have a cursed tome with them. Also, all of them are members who agree with the Prime Minister’s disarmament proposal. It is believed Shiginuma is behind this since he is deeply involved in the munitions business. The ultimate goal could be the Prime Minister himself. As Koruri suggests, Tsugumi goes to watch a movie but bumps into Akira doing the same. Since separate seats are full, looks like they have to go in as a couple. Nothing much happens between them. Tsugumi and Shiori go to warn the Prime Minister of this. When Tsugumi returns, she is confronted by Shiginuma who wants her to join him in Karasu for her ability. His ability is to see the future and can tell the precautions that Fukurou takes. He warns her loved ones might suffer and that there is a spy in Fukurou. He can take her now but will respect her free will. Is this part of the future he sees? Because of that, we can see Tsugumi visibly a bit shaken but trying to act like normal and the only one who notices this is Akira. Over the next few scenes, Tsugumi becomes distraught as wherever she goes, a crow’s feather is there. Then Koruri almost gets killed in an accident, yup, a feather there too! Yeah, she’s getting paranoid that someone is watching her. She even calls home to check if Hitaki is okay. Thank goodness he is. Breaking point comes when she finds another feather in her room. She becomes panicky trying to rid of it but Akira discovers her. No use trying to hide it and it’s like she has to start spilling the beans when he says Shiginuma is behind this. Gee, did he guess? So after letting the cat out of the bag, Tsugumi becomes even more panic because she cannot believe anyone at Fukurou would be a spy because they are so kind. You think? And then what’s this?! Akira throws her down onto her bed and trying to rape her?! Is she showing off his abs?! Oh… There is a mark of a feather there. He admits he is from Fukurou. No wonder. I guess seeing a cute girl in distress has made him changed his mind. Because he is going to protect her now. By going to confront Shiginuma? He went all the way there with his abs exposed?

Episode 8
Akira confronts Shiginuma but gets beaten up. Since he has a fear of blood due to a past trauma, looks like he has become a pawn for Shiginuma’s plans. Shiori gathers her team and reveals about the rumours of Karasu planting a spy in Fukurou. Yeah, never thought it would be her own men, eh? When Tsugumi visits Hitaki, he is not thrilled that Hayato is with her. I guess little bro doesn’t like hot guys to accompany his sister. As Tsugumi researches more on cursed tomes, Nabari explains that it doesn’t necessarily be a book. As long as one puts strong emotions into his writing, even a letter can turn into one. Next morning, a body is found murdered in the dumpster. The media reports the corpse as unidentified but the police is not letting any of its information out because that corpse is a police officer. It is believed Karasu is behind this but Shiginuma hasn’t made any obvious moves yet. Koruri sees Shizuru for love advice. From the way she describes, we can tell she likes Yoshikiri. He advises to confess her feelings and a letter is a way to do that. She will do so once the case is over. Tsugumi is then teased of the man she loves but insists she is too preoccupied with work for love. I thought she was spoilt for choice. Yoshikiri steals a book from Shiginuma’s lab just to check if it is a cursed tome. Nope. Hence Tsugumi warns him not to do reckless stuffs. He won’t be slowing down because he doesn’t want to regret it. Perfect time for detour because he talks about Hayato’s first love, a girl who is always reading at the university park. Many confessed but all were rejected. In the end he didn’t confess because he didn’t want to be the only one happy. You see, he has a sister who loves books. She read a cursed one and burnt herself. Though she survived, the scars were too horrific and she took her own life. Tsugumi feels sorry for asking. She also discovers Shiori’s husband was also burnt to death in the same way. When Koruri visits, Yoshikiri has left. Tsugumi asks if the unidentified letter to Yoshikiri was from her but she isn’t sure what she is talking about. Tsugumi’s fears the worst as she runs around looking for Yoshikiri. It won’t be hard to spot him. Because that letter he is about to read is a cursed tome. Before you know it, he sets himself on fire. Oh Koruri, what a tragic start and end to your love story…

Episode 9
Thanks to Hayato’s quick action, Yoshikiri is saved although in coma in hospital. As Fukurou discuss about the recent case, Tsugumi notes the cursed tome that Yoshikiri had didn’t display aura like others. It had this burning flame like the one Hitaki had. They wonder if it this was not Karasu’s doing. With Yoshikiri waking up just in time to give his notebook on his investigation and reveal some juicy revelations, the artificial cursed tomes are made by several authors via drugs manufactured by Mozuyama in a lab underneath Nachtigal. The centre of these authors is Sasagoi. When the Prime Minister gives his speech, a soldier almost assassinates him. What is mind boggling is that he came up to stage to shoot him in the eye of the public! I believe that gun can still reach had he hid behind the curtains or stage. Thanks to that, the Prime Minister lives but before the soldier could be turned in, he killed himself. He is a subordinate of Owase. When Tsugumi is about to eat out with Hayato and Hisui, she spots a cursed tome. The guys leave her just to go chase the dude. It could be planned because Rui returns to talk to her. Although he assures he is on her side, she still won’t join him and tells Kagutsuchi’s plan of invading Nachtigal and hand Mozuyama over to the police. Tsubameno accompanies Tsugumi home. But they are surrounded by strange masked dudes from Karasu. Tsubameno’s karate can only do so much before he is knocked out. When he comes to, he knows Tsugumi is kidnapped by Karasu. Because they so kindly left her ribbon and a feather next to him. WTF. So when he reports back, the rest really want to take action now to save her. So they’re breaking protocol? Yup. Don’t worry. Shiori will take responsibility. Yeah, that explains why Hayato rides his bike into the building. Kagutsuchi barges in and causes commotion by throwing Molotov bombs? Akira sitting nicely in prison hears the commotion and decides to break out. Gee, he could break out any time but only now? I guess he didn’t want anybody to know. Tsugumi wakes up in Shiginuma’s auction house. So much about waiting for her to come here on her own will. It seems Shiginuma has the ability to see cursed tomes although not as consistent. He traded his right eye for that. Like a typical baddie, he reveals his plan of plunging Japan into war so that it could be rebuilt the way they want it again. WTF. But this is his plan now: He will take Tsugumi to Europe and have her bear his child. WTF?! Wait, he is going to rape her now???!!!

Episode 10
The logic of raping her is so that her child could bear her powers. What birth of the chosen one is he talking about?! We interrupt this rape session with Akira barging in. He lets Tsugumi flee and oddly Shiginuma has his henchmen fight Akira and look for Tsugumi. So what the f*ck is he doing then?! Tsugumi can’t escape with the commotion so Shouko hides her in her room. Still have time for tea? After a while, Shouko realizes she must go to her husband and tells her of a way to escape. See, what did I tell you? What the heck was Shiginuma doing as he asks his henchman if Tsugumi is found. Why the f*ck didn’t he get her himself? Anyway, usual bad guy ranting as he reveals his sick rape plan to Hayato. Confident his Hulk bodyguard can finish him off, eh? Not unless he has help from Akira. Meanwhile Sasagoi is escaping but he is dragging himself down with the books he is trying to pack. He is confronted by Shizuru and Shougo. Sasagoi starts accusing Shizuru for having it all. He thinks books are supposed to be dark and messy? He is the one behind the lilac incident just to bring down his name. When he realizes his books are only sought for murder purpose, Shougo says he is a fan of his and read them. Despite almost killing himself, he felt kindness and love in it. He wants to read a book from Sasagoi, not a cursed tome. So game over for him? Mozuyama is confronted by Hisui. When he badmouths Sasagoi as a third rate author, Hisui starts displaying some of his fire ability. Mozuyama wants to see more of that so he fuels his hatred by revealing the truth about his mom. She came to his lab and in exchange to leave her son alone, she is willing to be experimented on. Since her body was frail, she broke too soon. This enrages Hisui as he tries to kill him but stopped because the touch of the warmth of his (ghost) mom. He won’t kill him and let the law deal with him because mom would be sad if he turned into a killer. Too bad justice don’t play fair as Mozuyama shoots him. Don’t worry, it’s not fatal. Bad luck for Tsugumi has she bumps into Shiginuma. Luckily Akira and Hayato find them. Isn’t it a no brainer if Shiginuma threatens to kill her if they come close? Shiginuma tries to play on Akira’s guilt to do his bidding but Akira refuses. It is revealed they are both half-brothers from the same dad. He badmouths his mom dying in a pathetic way and with Tsugumi biting his hand to free herself, it’s time for the brothers to fight and settle this once and for all. Mozuyama now stumbles into Rui.

Episode 11
With Shiginuma defeated in boring fashion, we now turn to Mozuyama and Rui’s standoff. What is the point of talking about Rui’s dead parents? Mozuyama thinks his mind would change if he reveals who his real parents are. Who? Mozuyama is his father! NO!!!! Shouko is his mom and it seemed he raped her. Because she came from a noble and her family will not accept a child out of wedlock, the baby was given to a pair of scientist (Shouko’s friends I suppose) who promised to take care of him like their own. Soon she is forced into a loveless marriage with Mozuyama just to maintain their noble status. Rui is in disbelief but Mozuyama further reveals he killed his parents and make it look like an accident since they were threatening to destroy his research. Mozuyama wants Rui to join him but of course he won’t. Mozuyama’s escape is halted with Shouko showing up. She is going to kill him. Mozuyama begs for his life and is counting on her kindness to spare him. She can never forget that rape scene and calls him a selfish guy who only cared for himself. He tries to attack her but Rui pushes her out of the way. In that commotion, the injection he is supposed to inject into her, got injected into his own butt! More bad luck because his hot balloon escape is now on fire and his feet is tied to its rope! Shouko and Rui talk one last time before saying goodbye to each other. Rui crosses path with Tsugumi and assures he will no longer burn books. Goal achieved?

Akira thinks of repenting but the rest won’t let him go so easily so he and Hayato trade punches. It’s their way of saying he is forgiven and welcomed back because he is such a hot hunk. More bad luck for Mozuyama. Despite surviving the fiery crash, he read a cursed tome before him and walks into the flames to burn himself! I think that’s it for this guy. In the aftermath, the gang celebrates. But shortly after, Shiori and Mashiko call Hayato to inform him that the deaths of Hayato’s sister, Shiori’s husband and Hitaki’s near death are all from the cursed tome with the same type of flame aura. Further research shows they are written by the same person and that handwriting is deduced to be Nabari! Despite all books have different author names, they have the same initials as Nabari. They know he has some past trauma relating to fires and are going to investigate his home. Oh well, he along with Tsugumi has gone back to see Hitaki back home as he just got discharged. He talks about the book Hitaki was reading before it was burnt. He notes it came from their home’s library and back then he saw some flame auras around some of the books. Of course this has them investigate the library immediately but as they soon gather there, Nabari locks the door and relishes the 3 of them that now he can go back to his home in the flames. Look at his evil eyes. No wonder his eyes are always closed.

Episode 12
When he was working here, he who had no family, Tsugumi’s family welcomed a stranger with opened arms. Before this he had a happy life with his parents until his father was killed as a soldier and her mom fell into grieve and burnt herself. The pain of losing everything made him want to write it all down to soothe the agony. He felt better and noticed a flaming aura. At this point, he shows Tsugumi a cursed tome and poor girl goes into a trance. In this weird trance, she sees Nabari being curious about the effects of the cursed tome as he experimented on letting others read. Many died including Shiori’s husband. So now Nabari is going to burn everything down and return to his family. Geez, must he kill somebody to do that? Anyway, luckily Hayato and Shiori are here. They barge down the door as Hayato beats Nabari up before he completes his whatever insane ritual. How do you snap Tsugumi out? You keep calling her name! Damn, if it only was this easy for the rest. Shiori is mad at Nabari and has thought of killing him (Nabari even daring her) but of course at good guys, the best way is to let one live and atone his sins. Nabari breaks down after Tsugumi tells him his place to return is not within the flames and he must find his place here in this real world. Geez, if only people could easily turn over a new leaf this way.

Now that the case is wrapped up, Tsugumi has the option to leave. However she decides to stay on and our eavesdropping guys are thrilled. But there is something she needs to take care first before she continues. She goes to settle her marriage meeting with the Yashiro family. She is shocked to see Hayato. Wait a minute. This is not a joke. He is the guy she is supposed to be engaged?! Apparently Ozaki is his pseudonym as he doesn’t want his family name to influence his work. He reveals that the woman who always reads at the park is Tsugumi and will always be his first love. Geez, I guess Tsugumi never thought she fitted that profile. As Tsugumi prioritizes her work, he will respect it by putting aside this marriage arrangement for now but won’t give up yet and hopes she will come to feel the same as him. In the aftermath, we see snippets of all the characters. Some of the highlights include Yoshikiri recovering well in hospital and Koruri already playing his dear wife, Sasagoi continues to write in prison but this time with happy feelings. Shougo is learning to be the new iron chef (?), Shizuru burning for real his manuscript from Moritsune, Rui learning medicine in hopes of following his father’s footsteps as a doctor (and hoping Tsugumi would choose him), Nabari sitting quietly in prison and the curious scene of Shiginuma and Shouko overseas with a seemingly strange lady with strange eyes that screams some sort of ominous powers.

Judging A (Cursed) Book By Its Cover
I don’t really understand how Shiginuma managed to get away. I thought he was arrested? It is true that we didn’t see him get arrested by the authorities but didn’t Akira won over him? Didn’t he take him in after their fight? Because it felt like they realize Mozuyama is left and we must go to find him! Unfortunately the event didn’t even need them for Mozuyama to lose and then ultimately lose his life. So really, how the heck did such an infamous guy like Shiginuma manage to get out of the country without suspicions? Maybe some corrupted politicians covered it up. Yeah, no wonder it is a long way to go and that’s why Tsugumi and her Fukurou dudes continue to chase down unlucky people with cursed tomes. Uh huh. I guess somewhere out there, there must be some angry and sad people who remain writing such hateful works. They really want to see the world, or rather the people who read, get burnt down.

Like simulation games being adapted to anime, one of its many pitfalls includes trying to squeeze in everything, if not what is considered most important to be shown. This takes away the many possibilities and potentials that would have made the entire series in general to be satisfying. At least for those who played the game and are fans of it. By squeezing almost everything into a dozen episodes, it does come with some sacrifice especially the story and characters.

Now, I have not played the game but considering this is adapted from an otome game, there would be multiple branches of stories depending on the path you take or the characters you choose to interact more with. I am assuming (though I may be wrong and have no evidence to back it up because I’m just lazy) that this just follows one of the routes. The setting of Fukurou being set up to find cursed tomes is a bit boggling. Before Tsugumi, they had nobody to easily spot cursed tomes for them. So did they just wait for incidents to happen until they could nip it? Even if they had Nabari, that guy confined himself in the undergrounds of the HQ studying cursed tomes all by himself. And now that they have Tsugumi, patrolling the streets to identify cursed tomes should be easier. I mean, twice or thrice she might visit the same bookstore. By then she would have known which are cursed tomes and which aren’t. So isn’t it more efficient then to just focus at the point where the books come in or being imported from? It’s not like a normal book can become a cursed tome, right? So it feels like wasting time or waiting for a convenient plot device to happen by continue to patrol the same streets and bookstores.

Not so much about the predictable plot of the good guys defeating the predictable villains and saving the day, the characters fail to be interesting either. Tsugumi as the face of the series as well as the main heroine doesn’t contribute much except for the fact of her ability to identify cursed tomes. To troll us, they have 6 main gorgeous guys flanking her and to show that she does not give into the power of boner seductive hot hunks, she gives this lame excuse that she isn’t interested in love. Well surprisingly, she does look the part! The way Tsugumi shows her concern and worries, it looks almost like as though she is genuinely worried about that person’s problems. Not so much about whether or not she will fall in love. Yeah, blame that failed arranged marriage as an excuse. But she doesn’t have to feel guilty too since Hayato personally gives his permission to postpone that.

There are 6 handsome guys who share the potential to be Tsugumi’s love interest. Each has their own episode to give some limelight between them but apparently it isn’t enough and it feels rushed. Because it also feels like basically Tsugumi trying to help solve whatever issues or self-confidence problem they are facing such as Hisui’s mom and Shizuru’s master. My guts from the start told me that it is likely to be Hayato she’ll mostly end up with. True enough in that shocking twist that I didn’t see coming, Hayato is supposed the guy she is supposedly engaged to. And I guess he never told her because he wanted to respect her wish to focus on her job. Man, Japan is really a good place to be workaholics. But I suppose they are still young so they still have time to weigh in and for Tsugumi still has lots of options to choose from. But like I said, Hayato is the leading candidate by a mile.

Then there is this other problem of having too many other side characters that sometimes you wonder if they really do matter. Maybe some do like Shiori who acts as Fukurou’s leader and she is like the only other female around so it won’t feel that the toxic masculinity surrounding Tsugumi would look like a potential gang rape. The other is Koruri to show that Tsugumi does have her female friends. Other than that, I don’t see them playing any other significant role. But I guess they are better than those like Kuina who is just, uhm, I don’t even know why his character exists. Worse, Perry is like a forced mascot needed because this series can actually do without the cutie doggy. Sometimes you see it frolic around just to score some cutie points and perhaps hope it will sway your feelings that this series isn’t so bad because it’s got a cute canine. Even when it is cheating at that pool game to help Kuina win over Hayato, you’ll forgive little doggie because he is oh so cute. Then there is Mashiko who never takes off his exotic tribal headgear and Kijitani who constantly calls Shougo his bocchama in which the latter will always remind and rebuke him to not do so again. Is that the running joke of the series?

The villains are predictable and one dimensional. You can spot them from a mile away by the way they look and the way they act. I guess we need to make them despicable because like Shiginuma he tried to rape Tsugumi so that he could bear a child with her abilities. Does this have any relation to why Mozuyama raped Shouko? They try to shock us with this family thingy plot twist like Shiginuma being Akira’s half-brother (blaming him for whatever injury he had, hence Akira being subservient to him) and Mozuyama pulling a Darth Vader “Luke, I am your FATHER!” on Rui. On both occasions, somehow I found them funny and was laughing. Really. Not sure if the villains’ ties are matched and set up to correspond with the main characters. Because it’s like Hayato-Akira vs Shiginuma, Rui-Hisui vs Mozuyama and Shizuru-Shougo vs Sasagoi.

Something felt wrong because with an episode to spare, all the baddies were taken down. So does this mean we have an extra episode for fanservice or cheesy romance of the guys finally getting their break to compete over Tsugumi. True enough, another hidden villain! Nabari is like the final boss, eh? I figure there was something wrong with Nabari being Tsugumi’s childhood friend (the biggest factor for one to proclaim your love) and yet he is not part of her harem. Something is clearly wrong. Yeah, it turns out he too is a misguided villain with a sick twisted mind of his own. I can’t believe nobody sniffed him out while he is at Fukurou. Did he hide his sadness very well? Did defeating Shiginuma’s aides only then made them have time to really think who the authors of those cursed tomes are? Sounds like plot convenience to me.

On a trivial note, the opening narration of every episode sounds a little annoying. More or less the same thing is repeated about Tsugumi’s life and how her fate continues to hang in the balance. Cue for scales tipping to a side that I can’t seem to determine whether it is good or bad. Anyway, the way it is narrated sounds boring like as though the narrator doesn’t want to be here. If they think this is its way of putting in some drama, well it sure didn’t make me think so.

The idea of being killed by books sounds scary. Although the setting is that the authors put their strong negative feelings into it, I can’t help think the other reason why people get burnt after reading such books because they felt so passionate about it. So fiery and moved by their passion that they too literally are on fire! Moeta!!! Haha! Just joking. I wonder if this is set in modern times, when authors upload all their negative emotions online, will it be as effective? Considering the vast reaches of the internet, there’s going to be a lot more spontaneous combustions around. Yeah, there are going be to be lots of memes before and after that too! Haha! Oops. Just joking.

There is something a bit unique of this series’ art. Mainly it has this sepia shade and hue to it. In a way, it looks cool as it gives this Taisho era that olden day feeling. It goes without saying that all the characters are designed with this bishonen and bishoujo looks. I find Shizuru’s clothes the oddest since it makes him look more like a monk than an author. And Hisui, is he a naval captain wannabe? This series is animated by Zero-G who did Tsugumomo, Battery and Dive.

A few recognizable seiyuus including Yuuki Kaji as Hayato, Takahiro Sakurai as Rui, Kenichi Suzumura as Shizuru and Nobuhiko Okamoto as Akira (though he is more toned down here). The other casts include Juri Kimura as Tsugumi (Kyouko in Seiren), Ryota Ohsaka as Hisui (Vali in High School DxD), Ryouhei Kimura as Shougo (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Rio Natsuki as Shiori (Nanami in El Hazard), Daichi Endou as Shiginuma (Herman Cross in Macross Delta), Seirou Ogino as Mozuyama (Tatsuya in Beelzebub), Akane Sanada as Shouko (Chiyoko Imura in Hayanaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku), Makoto Ishii as Sasagoi (Astreas in Guin Saga), Hikaru Midorikawa as Nabari (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Mashiko (Hisui in K), Junya Enoki is Tsubameno (Horikawa Kunihiro in Touken Ranbu), Eiji Miyashita as Kuina (Sugaya in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Kentarou Tone as Yoshikiri (Hattori in Bakuman), Minami Takahashi as Koruri (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma) and Ayumu Murase as Hitaki (Joseph/Cartaphilus in Mahou Tsukai No Yome).

This has got to be the oddest and most irrelevant opening theme and animation ever. It is bad enough that Tandeki Miragism by Kradness sounds like some sort of pop disco dance music (those glaring synthesizers blasting away…), the animation feels out of place. What do I mean? You see all the characters wearing very nice and fancy clothes as they dance to the disco beat of this tune. May I remind you, what era is this anime set in again? So watching and hearing this segment really made me feel weird. I was questioning myself if I was watching the correct anime. Sure, those are the characters in different modern getup. But is this the anime that they are supposed to be in? Totally out of place. It also serves as a ‘hint’ to see which guys are part of Tsugumi’s harem because those who are get to dance with her. And that weirdly weird pose in the end… WTF… Although not as bad, the ending theme and animation credits are still bad enough. Cringe might be it. Black Thunder by Hiro Shimono is like a modern rock outfit. Okay, maybe fair enough. But still a bit out of place. But it is the animation of our hot guys being shirtless! Even if they are just sketches.

Overall, if I wanted to watch a reverse harem, I would still stick with Uta No Prince-sama series. Of course that series has so many seasons, they have the characters properly fleshed out. This one, my guts say you are better off playing the game if you want much more satisfying conclusions. Perhaps there is this subtlety they are trying to tell us here. Go read a book and let your imaginations run wild instead of watching TV or play video games that curtail your imagination. Movies and series get remakes and reboots while video games get remastered. Nobody does this to books. Ironically they blame TV and video game influence for violence but not so much on books. Until this anime came along! Now I can use this as an excuse not to read! I know the chances of being burnt alive from reading are near impossible. But why risk it? Like they say, ignorance is bliss…

Wait a minute! WAIT A MINUTE!!! I thought love is over???!!!! I thought the series had ended for good. Then what the heck is with this third season?! I really didn’t see this one coming. Because Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Happy Kiss is a sequel spinoff and the third season of the original, set in the near future of the original series with a new set of characters to boot. Oh boy. More magical boy gayness. Back to more love making. See that promotional poster of the boys being topless and drinking milk like a boss after a nice hot bath? Bring it on! I’m ready for it all!

Episode 1
Folks, meet our new members of the Earth Defence Club: Kyoutarou Shuzenji, Ryouma Kirishima, Nanao Wakura, Taishi Manza and Ichirou Dougo. They discuss about the original Earth Defence Club on whether they really exist or not. Meanwhile, we are also introduced to a new bunch of student council members: Ata Ibusuki, Taiju Unazuki and Maasa Shirohane. While the Earth Defence Club quintet are soaking in the public bath, suddenly Kyoutarou pulls out this weird princely dude hiding in the water. He then shows them a few magic stuffs to impress them before turning into his true yellow otter form. He is Karls from Honyala Land and wants them to be his knights to make the world happy. The rest know it is a raw deal and try to walk away from it but Karls keep begging them. Then he detects someone being sad. Yeah, this kid is sad of growing up and wants to be young. Apparently the student council trio heard his cries and make their move on him. With the quintet still refusing to work, Karls forcefully transports them to outside school where they see students running away from some monster-trumpet bird. Yup, that’s the sad guy whom they must make happy. Time for our transformation scene. The quintet kiss his ring and voila! Magical boy form! They are now known as Karls Knights Happy Kiss! They fight off the monster and even hear his unhappy pleas. But he becomes stumped with Kyoutarou’s blunt take on happiness. The rest argue for a while to make Kyoutarou as their leader since he wears red. Hence they combine their powers to make the ultimate wand that would Happy and Turn this monster back into a happy kid. Happy End. It is discovered he fears growing up as his voice would change into a low manly bass. Kyoutarou tells him not to fear because everyone will grow old as well. Too bad he runs away crying. Is that supposed to be happy? Happy isn’t something you search for but something you feel! Whatever. Karls is impressed with their first job and hopes they would continue until their Happybraces disappear (contract fulfilled) or either one of the prince brothers becomes king. Speaking of which, Furanui the fox shows up and proclaims himself as the true heir to the throne. He has the student council trio in their knight form by his side known as Edelstein and will defeat them all.

Episode 2
Our heroes recognize the trio from the student council. Seeing how dumb are heroes are, this only steels Furanui’s vow to conquer the world. And those guys don’t even care. Flashback time. It all began when King Kamo realizes he is too old to rule and set out his sons to prove they are worthy of the throne. He had Minister Wao the lemur assist them. Furanui is thrown near Binan as he witnessed how loathing and dumb everyone was, hence the need to guide these fools. He then sees Kyoutarou sleeping. Approaching him makes him want to sleep too. Ata approached him and admonished him for being lazy, all of which Kyoutarou doesn’t deny. Not even sarcasm. This makes Ata mad and frustrated. Furanui believes he is a sensible guy so after displaying his magic and ordering him to be his knight, Ata agrees to do so but wants to be compensated with magic. He brings Furanui back to the rest and they agree to join his cause. Because it would look weird for the student council to serve a mini creature, Furanui takes on a princely human form and gives them rings that will allow them to transform into knights. Too bad this story is so boring and nothing to do with our heroes that they are doing their own things! A judo guy is sad his mom makes cute bento food instead of real solid meat. Because of that, Furanui and Edelstein turn him into a bento monster that turns others into bento. Time for Happy Kiss to go into action. Taiju reveals that judo guy’s mom posts the bento she made for him online every day, causing him to enrage and turn into a monster. He always thought she did it out of the goodness of her heart but with this self-satisfaction motive, everybody is going to be turned into bento! In the end, Kyoutarou tells him to just make his own bento. Cue for Happy and Turn to turn this dissatisfied monster back to a happy guy. Furanui is not panicking with this loss since he was only testing their powers. Next time, I guess. Karls let loose some golden powders as the series’ convenient tool to erase memories of everyone. They then hit the hot baths and Kyoutarou getting his much needed sleep. In the bath?

Episode 3
The quintet talk about everyday things with proper names that nobody can’t seem to remember and hence often called ‘those things’. Speaking of which, a guy feels sad nobody remembers his name no matter how obvious it is. As he works at the ice cream shop, the student council trio sense his unhappiness and teleports him away. The store manager is not amused and wants a replacement so Taiju offers to help out. With the quintet also here, Nanao helps him out. It becomes an odd scene where enemies are eating ice cream together. They talk about the legendary ice cream server pair of Taiju and Nanao whereby they were chosen to do so during the school’s cultural festival. It was a sell-out. Speaking of which, other students also start buying ice cream that they run out of ingredients to sell. Then here pops up this strange monster quizzing them about everyday items that nobody knows their name and always refer to them as their function. I guess I’m guilty of not knowing what they are too. When they realize the monster resembles the thing that holds the bread bag together, do they even know what it is really called? It’s called a bag closure. Oh really? I thought it was a bag clip. Okay, now he is really mad so it’s time for Happy Kiss to make things happy again. Since he is so obsessed and mad about people who forget names, Kyoutarou asks if names are so important to him. Isn’t it better for people to think of him as great rather than to remember his name? Now that he is happy again, Kyoutarou vows to remember his name but couldn’t right after he said his name! WTF?! Oh… What was his name again? Thankfully he doesn’t mind. Furanui and his knights aren’t pleased of yet another successful Happy Kiss purification. At the bath, Karls try to make a silly pun of being happy with his happi coat. Nobody’s buying it…

Episode 4
Taishi and Ichirou are arguing about whether or not there is buried treasure. Then comes in this transfer student, Kingo Yonekura to settle it that there are none. You might think he often gets teased for his name to be mispronounced as buried treasure (maizokin~go) but it is rather his father is a treasure hunter and often moved from city to city. Mom left him because he was always away digging treasure and missing Kingo’s important firsts. What broke her and made her leave the family was his first words about digging up buried treasure. With his father and production team here to film the possibility of a buried treasure, Kingo is feeling the pressure. So when he tells off the rest for watching such shows, you bet Furanui and Edelstein are going to take advantage of his resentment. The quintet decide to go check out the show. Because Kyoutarou for once feel like digging, the rest also start digging. Free labour? Ichirou seems pretty desperate because he hid an embarrassing time capsule. Oops, Kyoutarou found it. Inside is a message that reads Ichirou’s admiration for Nanao because of his beautiful gaze. Please look at me always! I can see why he wants to destroy that. There is also Nanao’s time capsule. Letters of everyone’s bad habits. Was he going to use this to blackmail? Kingo has turned into a treasure chest monster and blames everything. Time for Happy Kiss to make things happy. Kyoutarou knows he doesn’t hate his father. Kingo confesses he doesn’t. What ticked him off was seeing him work so hard and yet he got nothing in the end. It might look like the case resolves itself but Furanui won’t allow it and turns Kingo berserk, shooting gold! Of course Happy Kiss quickly turn it to a Happy End. Although Kingo’s dad didn’t hit goal, he hit a hotspring source. Father and son reconcile as the former will give up digging for treasure and live life with his feet firmly planted here. It is a new dream he has given him. Later Nanao noticed Kyoutarou took something from his own time capsule. It is a photo of him and Ata being happy childhood friends in their younger days. As suggested, he sends this picture to him and Ata is not amused. Very mad.

Episode 5
There is a long line at Binan. Everyone is waiting in line for Maasa’s delicious cookies. However Maasa seems extra nice and gives more of his special sweets to a particularly frail looking guy, Honeo Sujikawa. This has everyone else resenting him. Sujikawa tells us he cannot put on weight and has a weak stomach. Hence anything he eats, he will throw up and end up getting sick, losing even more weight. We see Maasa revealing his evil plan. The reason he serves those cookies is to fatten everyone up. Of course his pals heard about this and it gets a bit awkward. It seems Ichirou and Maasa also know each other but the latter is disgusted with the former and pretends not to know him. They are actually cousins but Maasa went to study abroad and returned home looking like a different person with a different name, Magozaemon Shirahone. Yeah, he was a very fat boy. Even Humpty Dumpty wasn’t this round. When Maasa finds out about Sujikawa’s case, he is not amused and threatens he might as well turn into a monster. His pals believe so and Edelstein work their magic on him. There is a skinny chicken in ramen bowl squawking outside the ramen store the quintet are enjoying their meal. They want to ignore the ruckus but Karls has them make happy the situation. Of course the monster is so weak to do any damage and whatever source he splashes at them tastes good. Kyoutarou then tells him about some people who stress over gaining weight and some over losing weight. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re healthy and can enjoy a nice nap. After a Happy End, Sujikawa reveals he is actually healthy and strong. He can pick up a boulder with no sweat! Maasa is frustrated at this failure so his pals hope to try his cookies. The important thing is, Maasa will always be Maasa. Ichirou shows his friends Maasa’s old photo. They are surprised at how fat he is. Maasa is able to say goodbye to his old self and not mind his fat ol’ days.

Episode 6
Karls love the rainy days. But Ata admonishes Kyoutarou for not bringing his own umbrella and relying on others. So while the quintet talk about vinyl umbrellas in the bath, a creepy guy eavesdropping outside is dismayed outside he can’t make friends due to his lack of assertiveness. Since he is thinking aloud, this creeps out the friends who think he is some sort of peeper. He gets a chance when Kyoutarou comes out but since he fails to be assertive, he is forgotten. He tries to be assertive by talking about umbrellas with them but this only look creepy in their eyes. This causes him to see himself as the same fate of those vinyl umbrellas. Nobody cares eventually even when stolen or forgotten. Ah, another victim for Edelstein to work their magic on. Now an umbrella monster is wreaking havoc shooting water and umbrellas. Kyoutarou is so tired that he slept standing up?! Heck, the monster even waited for Ryouma to bring Kyoutarou back. Kyoutarou sleep talks about the usefulness of vinyl umbrellas. So as the monster lament about not being assertive enough, chance for Happy Kiss to flush bliss on him. He now takes up Kyoutarou’s advice to join the debate club. In the aftermath, Ichirou is not happy his umbrella is doodled. At least he can identify that it is his since it makes the ubiquitous product unique. But looks like they won’t be needing umbrellas anymore because rainy season is over and prove of that is a beautiful rainbow.

Episode 7
Binan will be holding a swimming event which also doubles as a popularity contest. Of course Kyoutarou isn’t interested in either and only wants to sleep while Furanui and the student council are going to use this event to show their power. If you like hot boys in hot bods, feast your eyes on them. We see various (and weird) water sport activities but the one that personally takes the cake is the kibasen event in which sleepy Kyoutarou wins just by dodging. I heard of drunken fist but WTF is this sleepy head technique???!!! Of course there is this one guy who hates swimming because he can’t swim and is often teased about it. Edelstein, your cue. So this kickboard monster shows up to wreak havoc. As usual Happy Kiss kicks in. After dodging his kickboard projectiles, time for Kyoutarou to give his advice about everyone having their own strengths and weaknesses. He might end up getting the short stick of swimming but there are plenty of other things he can do besides swimming. After he is purified, the crowd chants his name and loves that whatever hero show he just did before them. To put icing on the cake, he also won the popularity contest. While the quintet happily soak in their bath as usual, the only one not happy as usual is Ata who is frustrated his plan to humiliate Kyoutarou with this loincloth he got as penalty didn’t manage to materialize.

Episode 8
Summer vacation is ending soon and our quintet has spent most of their days in the public bath? Karls has the wrong idea of what a true Japanese summer is (being a delinquent?) so the rest correct him. Now they brainstorm on what to do for summer vacation but despite all the ideas, they are all scrapped after thinking of its hassle. Later they spot a guy camping outside. It seems this senior doesn’t want to miss his morning exercise. For the past few years he has never missed a single day during summer vacation except for the last day. Like as though there is a curse to prevent him from perfect attendance. Therefore he is going to camp here and not miss it or his summer will not end! Of course the student council who just returned from their overseas vacation sense this unpleasantness and turn him into a superhero exercising monster. Yeah, today is the last day and the exercise is called off because it is raining. Hence the monster is forcing people to exercise in the rain. Normally Happy Kiss would need to deal with this but it seems they’re going along with Karls to fulfil their summer vacation bucket list from the beach and camping in the mountains. Damn, it’s such a cold experience. Because the monster is persistent in following them and trying to mess up their activity, I guess they need to transform and take care of him first. It feels like the shortest ‘fight’ ever because right after they transform, they just tell him such exercises aren’t necessarily be done in high school or summer. It can be done any other time. Then it’s Happy and Turn. Happy End. It’s the dawn of a new morning as they happily do morning exercise with him. When asked about Kyoutarou’s deal with Karls (the reason why he was eager to tag along with this), it seems Karls promised he would grant him any wish. That wish is to repeat the last day again so he could literally do nothing. But now everyone is having this philosophical dilemma if today is repeated, is it August 32nd or 1st of September? Now the brains get some exercise…

Episode 9
The quintet need to find something to do for the school cultural festival. Searching their clubroom, they find a few party dice. They test it out and of course those who have to perform embarrassing acts as ‘instructed’ by the dice will not like it. Like Ichirou becoming an invisible chair for Nanao. And you know how sadistic Nanao can be, right? Then there is the closest and gayest moment ever with Taishi having to say romantic lines to Ichirou. Meanwhile there is a guy who also hates the festival but lets his life being ruled by the roll of his dice. Yup, time for Edelstein to turn him into a die monster. During the festival, no one visits their booth. Perhaps it’s the unfriendly poster that has everyone staying away. In order to lure people, they have to demonstrate to show them it is fun. This means based on the dice roll, Ryouma has to be carried by Kyoutarou while feeding him. Everyone is awed that they go through with this crazy stuff. As the crowd wants an encore, Ata commands the monster to attack. But as we all know, he has been part of the spectators watching. Yeah, nobody thought he was the real monster due to many people dressing weirdly. The monster felt unity from anyone while playing this game and doesn’t want to fight. Kyoutarou knows he wants to have fun and join in but this only infuriates Ata. Hence Karls has his knights transform to end this farce and make him happy. Back to his normal state, he joins them playing this game as angry Ata refuses to believe there are no such things as happy ending. Man, this guy needs to take some anger management classes or something.

Episode 10
Kyoutarou almost drowns in the bath after sleeping. So comfy that he dozed off? Then they talk about the dangers of the first one getting in because of body temperature and heart rate spiking thingy. When they head to school, they realized they have aged. It is the work of a turtle monster releasing smoke. Ata relishes seeing the quintet acting like old men but it looks like Kyoutarou has the last laugh since he is okay with it as he has always been acting like that! So we have the rest of the scenes watching the quintet doing old men stuffs and showing us senile old men syndrome. Eventually the monster got pissed that they didn’t even recognize him. It is revealed he is mad that since he has an old face, everyone kept calling him an old man so he wants revenge by turning everyone older than him. Yeah, this is going to be a drag so might as well cleanse this dude now. What is cringier than magical boys? Why, magical old guys!!! F*cking hilarious! More old men shenanigans that it’s really funnily annoying. Yeah, you can’t turn them older than they are. With Kyoutarou’s advice on how things don’t look right until you reach a certain age, the monster is in shock and this gives them enough time to do their slo-mo healing. With everyone turned back, the victim is happy to look old since this means he is ‘ahead’ of others. All looks like going for a good ending until Kyoutarou invites Ata to join them in the bath. That is when he has had it. He is mad Kyoutarou is always inconsiderate and doing things without thinking of others. Oh my. Ata is seriously mad this time. No joke. Furanui recognizes his anger and turns him into a monster! The ultimate final boss? Masked demon! This is some serious sh*t going on now.

Episode 11
Wow. Ata is really mad. He goes all out attacking Kyoutarou. Furanui and Karls argue about fear and happiness that should be the main quality a ruler has. Taiju and Maasa drop in to fight the other Happy Kiss dudes. Kyoutarou is even tired and doesn’t want to fight?! Is he serious?! At a time like this? When Happy Kiss try to Happy and Turn Ata back, he easily negates it. Flashback shows Kyoutarou is always good at everything he does despite putting in very little effort. Ata tries to copy but always takes a long time. When he finally does, Kyoutarou would have gone on to achieve much greater things. Even with the build-up in anger over the years, the stem of it all came from this one incident. After playing in the mud, they were invited to take a bath (aren’t those the original Earth Defence Club quintet?!). As Ata has never done this before, he didn’t know what to do. But Kyoutarou went straight in with Ryouma, leaving him all alone outside. So this was it? Kyoutarou then receives all of Ata’s attack just to understand his feelings. Oh boy. That even pisses Ata even more. Kyoutarou then says he tried to look for him afterwards but to no avail. By that time, Ata had already begun to truly hate him. Instead of being in the bath with him, Ata spent the whole time crying alone at the park. All he wanted was for him to invite him to the bath with him. And at the worst possible time, he said so just recently. Ata’s hatred intensifies but Kyoutarou withstands it all and hugs him. Then he invites him to the bath again. With that, all the hatred just died down. Before a handshake could solve everything, an emergency message from Kamo. He warns of an impending danger on the kingdom before being kidnapped. Karls is so sad he starts crying. The rest find it weird since he is always happy. Kyoutarou talks to him how he has brought happiness to so many and has always vowed to stay happy no matter what. I guess this means they’re all going to save Honyala Land and make it happy again. But Ata is still standing there in that handshake position… Left behind again? Damn, I hope he doesn’t take offense to this.

Episode 12
Edelstein joins Happy Kiss in Honyala Land after both sides agree to a ceasefire. They are being attacked by tin soldiers and wonder about the missing citizens. They stumble into a small group of citizens who say that Wao has staged a coup de tat. As for everyone else, they’ll know the answer soon because this strange lemur toy machine is the one turning the citizens into tin soldiers. After briefly fighting it, the princes call out to Wao inside it. Wao claims he has overthrown Kamo and took the throne as his own, blaming Kamo’s incompetence and being happy as reasons. Wao tries to coax Furanui to join his side. It is not wrong to say that Kamo favours Karls as they are always happy together. It is Ata this time who has some words from the heart. Even if Furanui has no place between them, does he really hate them? Even so, have they ever mistreated him? He might think he is alone but he isn’t. Yeah, Ata saying all those from experience… Anyway, they want to save the day and be happy in the bath. Furanui agrees and decides to join the guys. Wao is not amused he decided to become an airhead like them. Furanui accuses Wao for staging this succession competition to stage this coup. As our heroes lie temporarily defeated, time for Kamo to say a few words to pull the heartstrings like he never hated Wao but never knew he was this upset. They talked about the times they were happy together so the rest add their happy moments. Being happy is not an action to be sought out but to be felt! It’s impossible to ‘defeat’ happiness! With all the happy aura around them, it’s time for the biggest happy musical ever! Everybody sing and dance happily as our heroes transform into their super happy form. Uhm, isn’t all their coloured parts just turn white? Their super Happy and Turn cleanses Wao and returns the citizens back to their normal form. Super Happy Ending. Everyone lets Wao sleep because he is tired from his job despite all the recent tyranny he had done. If he is not happy, they’re not happy! In the aftermath, Furanui admits his loss to Karls although the latter doesn’t think it is about winning or losing. Kyoutarou suggests both of them becoming king and Kamo agrees. Wait. How the heck is this going to work? Oh well, as long everyone is happy. Ata finally joins Kyoutarou in the bath and they finish their handshake.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy
And everybody lived happily ever after. So happy that we don’t need another sequel, right?! Oh well, I guess the power of friendship guised underneath the power of happiness is always one of the most cliché things to happen for such happy turn of events and ending. Speaking of which, I’m just wondering if Wao doesn’t get punished because of his treason, would this mean encouraging the rest to do the same because you know, they know they’ll be forgiven for the sake of ultimate happiness in the end. After all, I can imagine Kamo and Karls are the kind who would easily forgive because they are so happy go lucky. But then again, who would be so unhappy in Honyala Land just to stage another coup? Everybody let’s join up to have another happy bath! Hooray!

Although a lot feels like the same and recycled stuffs from last season, I have to admit it doesn’t feel boring. I mean, essentially the plot sees a group of all-male high school boys being transformed into some super powered heroes by a furry being who will save a hapless victim of their own feelings from some sort of misery (this time with a clean flood of bath water – which Japanese doesn’t like a good bath?). Then you have the misguided student council members as the antagonist, the main characters from both sides being childhood friends and having some sort of unresolved issue, hence the antagonism. Both sides eventually come to terms because of a larger threat looming and in no time just like that, our once feuding enemies are friends again. And the whole world is happy as well as loving. Basically, copy and paste but with some modifications to the outlook so that it doesn’t feel like it is 100% copy and paste.

Surprisingly, the funniest moment in this season (and I can also consider this as the funniest for the entire series) is when the Earth Defence Club quintet turned into old men. I can’t help laugh through almost the entire moment they became senile grandpas because it was just too damn funny! Even the transformation scene was slow and its music played was as slow! Wow. You really become slow when you’re old. Yeah, even the turtle and snail are faster. Haha! Truly, I enjoyed that episode when I really did not expect to.

One of that biggest difference is the theme of happy instead of love. Maybe perhaps this is why this season looks a bit less gay. Certainly no wombat molesting kid this time. So take out all the funny gay love making puns in the first series and replace them with happy puns. Instead of love overcoming hate, we have happiness overcoming dissatisfaction or sadness. And there you have it. A new set of theme for this season. So are you happy? Yes. Are you HAPPY? YES!!! Are you REALLY happy?! YEEEEEESSSSS!!!!!!! And the final episode feels a bit like having this love theme but I guess when you are happy, you also love.

The characters this season also feel like a shuffle and rearrangement from the original ones. In place of a spunky energetic overly positive petite Yumoto, we now have a polar opposite in the tall Kyoutarou. Listless, tired and always wanting to sleep. Somehow I find Kyoutarou to be less annoying than Yumoto since he prefers not to do anything unless he is forced too. Also, no wombat rape means no such annoying gay scenes but also no funny gay beastiality scenes. But Kyoutarou being a sleepyhead isn’t an entirely new personality. This mirrors En in the original series. Then there is Taishi and Ichirou that feels like a mirror to the original’s Io and Ryuu. Ryouma being the normal guy and childhood friend with Kyoutarou also feels like a mirror to Atsushi being the normal guy and childhood friend to En. Like Kyoutarou and Yumoto’s case, the same can be said for Maasa as he is like a mirror to Akoya in terms of beauty but with some polar differences like in stature. Last season we had Arima being a loyal ‘servant’ to Kusatsu. It’s somewhat the same this time for Taiju towards Ata. Last season’s sadist was Arima, now it’s Nanao. So you see, it’s all nothing really new and just jumbling things up and giving them a slightly different look. I just want to comment on Kyoutarou, for a guy who awfully sleeps a lot, he says the most mind blowing and eye opening things. It makes me wonder if that is really him or just him sleep talking. But you got to give him credit about those life lessons.

Karls as the furry mascot this time feels livelier than Wombat because of his penchant to be happy. Because of that, it makes him feel a bit more of a my-pace retard than anything gay. Yes, still a bit gay if you read too much but essentially more of the former. Not that it is such a bad thing. Furanui on the other hand feels angrier and infuriated compared to Zundar or even Dadacha. Maybe it’s his menacing fox look that made him look the part. Compared to their predecessors, both princes of Honyala Land have the ability to transform into a smoking hot hunk although they mostly remain in their furry form and the human form is mostly used during transformation scenes of their contracted knights. It is no surprising that Wao became the ‘final antagonist’ and he was setup in a way to be introduced and conveniently forgotten by the viewers until the end. Mainly because a certain seiyuu voicing him has all the trademarks of what is needed to sound like a villain… Yeah that deep low voice…

Sometimes I can’t help feel that Ata’s anger is misplaced. It gets annoying after a while to realize that whatever he does to get back at Kyoutarou, it backfires and it only makes him mad. Like as though he is offended by everything! You want to scream to this guy to take some anger management class. The entire series keeps us guessing what the heck did Kyoutarou do wrong to earn his wrath. I suppose he wasn’t that mad since Kyoutarou didn’t really realize it until the end. Is this what it means by ignorance is bliss? Yeah, he might think that is how Ata works. Even with that old bath invitation thing as the bud of it might seem laughable and pathetic, but remember as a kid, it could be a big trauma. But still, many times when I think back that is the source of the antagonism and madness in Ata, I can’t help go, “So that was it? Like WTF, dude”.

Just like in its previous seasons, the ‘trademark’ of this series is to have the guys spend their time soaking in the hot bath that is certainly Kurotama. In some episodes they can spend a lengthy time of amount there talking about things that might or might not matter. Hence your series ‘fanservice’. Considering that this is Kurotama, I wonder who is running this establishment since in the original it was Yumoto’s big brother, Goura. I’m assuming he is still around but not important enough to show his face because not relevant to the current plot.

Studio Comet who did the previous Binan instalments also does this season. But I just want to point out that the outfit for Happy Kiss somewhat feels a big baggy and loose. Like as though it is a bit oversized for them. This in turn makes them look a bit like some sort of butterfly fairy? I don’t know, they just look weird to me. Also, Edelstein’s outfit is as baggy as their Happy Kiss counterpart. A bit weirder is their ‘huge loincloth’. While the male characters have this bishonen looks, I want to point out that Ata looks so girly I thought he was a girl who transgendered into a man. This is evident as his young child self looks more like a girl than a boy. I know there are some boys in this series that look very close with traits of a girl (like Maasa) but you can still tell he is a guy. But for Ata it wasn’t so straightforward. Because of his angry looks and his male voice, it overrides his girlish-like appearance. Otherwise you might be mistaken of his gender. I wonder if he would be mad if we assumed his gender.

With a new setting (despite generally the same) of course definitely calls for an entire set of new casts. If you noticed like last time, they are all males. A rare feat because in a big majority of anime series, female casts are really essential. Hence this is one of the very few series (the only one in my books that I can think of) that uses only guys in the voice acting department. Ultimate gay bros! Anyway, the Happy Kiss quintet are mostly newbies making their debut roles, Naoyuki Shimotsuru as Kyoutarou, Ryouga Komata as Ryouma, Takahide Ishii as Nanao, Rikuya Yasuda as Taishi and Shouta Hayama as Ichirou. Then you have the veterans voicing like Hikaru Midorikawa as Ata (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Kousuke Toriumi as Taiju (Gennosuke in Basilisk), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Maasa (Kirito in Sword Art Online), Takuya Eguchi as Karls (Hikigaya in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru) and Sho Hayami as Wao (Azami in Shokugeki No Souma and Asano in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu are just among the many villains this guy perfectly portrayed).

If you have watched last season, you would have noticed that there is one seiyuu who was retained but voiced a different character. This season is no different and I am starting to believe that the so called furry antagonists are of the same being! Hiroki Yasumoto this time voices Furanui and his dead low evil voice makes him suitable for such roles. A hedgehog, a squirrel, then a bear in Kuma Miko and now a fox. This guy is going to have a lot of animal spirits by his side!

Just like last season, the opening theme is sung by Happy Kiss while the ending theme is sung by Edelstein. Zettai Saikou Happy Kiss as the opener sounds like its predecessors, lively and upbeat while Warera Kedakaki Edelstein has a more dramatic feel to it and doesn’t sound as melancholic or dark as its predecessors. I want to point out that I somewhat like the insert song of Happy Kiss, the one whereby they prepare to Happy and Turn. I have got to admit, it is quite catchy to listen.

Overall, it is yet to be seen if this gets another season. Otherwise, it is really happily ever after for these people. But I didn’t really expect to enjoy this season even more than its predecessors! Am I now considered gay despite no animal raping molesting scenes or gay love terms?! In that sense, perhaps this season has ‘cleansed’ me and made me happy! Even if love doesn’t make the world go round, at least you can do is be happy with yourself. If you can’t make others happy, be happy with yourself and let that ‘infection’ spread around. After all like someone once said, being happy never goes out of style!

Fumikiri Jikan

August 17, 2018

We are always constantly moving along our journey and trying to reach our destination. In what circumstances do we only actually stop? Well, one of them is at the railroad crossings. Hence, Fumikiri Jikan is a compilation of short stories and happenings as people wait at the railroad crossings. So put down your Smartphone and feel the excitement as you wait for the train to pass! You might be surprised at the weirdest things happening around especially at railroad crossings. Of course, no suicide cases please.

Episode 1
Ai dislikes the idea of wasting youth and right now they have to wait for the train to pass. Tomo dismisses that idea like falling in love since there isn’t anyone else but them here. Ai agrees since there are no guys but Tomo disagrees with a passion that women can fall in love with each other too. Ai tricks Tomo into screaming the name of the person they love when the train passes. Hey, it’s not like anybody can hear, right? Too bad Tomo screamed hers but Ai didn’t. Ai double checks with Tomo if she misheard her screamed her name. That’s when Tomo admits she likes her in a romantic way. Every day she waits here anxiously with her thinking about this unrequited her. She asks if she would like to share her youth with her. I guess this youth thing has come back to bite her since she isn’t sure. Tomo doesn’t need an answer right now and until she does, she hopes to come to school with her like usual. Ai fears she will be too conscious and awkward from now but Tomo notes this is just another form of youth. Welcome to youth? Not so keen on this youth thing right now, eh?

Episode 2
Tanishi sees Eriko Majima waiting at the railroad crossing. Just like how all the guys in the school says, everything about her is just so sexy. Hence he purposely comes to wait with her at this crossing just to admire how beautiful and sexy she is. Especially those rumours that she wears a skirt so short but you can never see what’s underneath. Then when the train passes and the wind threaten to lift up her skirt, he realizes he got unconsciously toyed with this idea. He thinks she has done a lot of adult stuffs and a virgin like him won’t stand a chance. She then notices him and talks to him, sending him into some paralyzing ecstasy. Even more so when she fixes his crooked necktie. He continues to be paralyzed with the sexy effect and will definitely come here to wait again tomorrow.

Episode 3
As the teacher waits at the crossing, it is not rare he sometimes bump into one of his students. This time, Kurobe from the disciplinary committee. He is in a dilemma to say hi because he doesn’t want to be known as a teacher who ignores his students. On the other hand, Kurobe is praying hard to be ignored. Worse, he is saying his inner thoughts out loud. When he ekes out a high pitched yahoo, Kurobe tries to hold back her laughter. He thinks she is disgusted because his own daughter views him as a creepy old man. This only makes it funnier for Kurobe but she is worried if she continues to ignore him, her report card will be affected. She tries to say something but she fumbles because she is still trying to control her laughter. Teacher misinterprets that she is booing him. At this point she bursts out in laughter. She notes him as a spacey technician but he doesn’t get it.

Episode 4
Takashi and Misaki Komaba are siblings and despite being next to each other waiting at the crossings, they communicate using their social media instead of speaking! Is this the future of relationships? He thought they should be talking normally since they are close but she denies anything about it. To show they are strangers, she starts using his first name but it backfires because only lovers would do that, right? The more they ‘talk’, the more she feels ‘harassed’ and starts calling him names. Takashi remembers a time when she used to love him and want to marry him and the likes. Of course she denies. She crosses the line when she tells him to go die. Takashi remains silent and doesn’t reply. She gets worried that he is actually mad. With no further reply, Takashi sees her cute nearly crying face and finally replies he was in the toilet. It brings so much relieved to her face. Oh, he didn’t go to the toilet anyway.

Episode 5
Goth girl, Fukutome is screaming at the crows?! They somehow bump off her hat. She goes on complaining about this neighbourhood and bugging parents and as she bends down to pick up her hat, she feels a sharp pain from her back. Could it be the sprain from bending over? Stuck in this position, her worst fears come true when an old classmate, Saito recognizes her. She tries to dismiss him that he has got the wrong person but this guy knows all her habits! Is he a stalker?! He claims he is a big fan of hers and follows her on social media in which she is quite active. Such a big fan that he has some picture of hers as his wallpaper! He also poses with her thinking this pose is using the solar energy to recharge! He then admits he used to like her. He goes off and will message her sometime. Fukutome is still left there in shock.

Episode 6
While waiting at the crossing, Akemi notices a weird guy staring at her from behind the bridge rails! It seems he was drunk last night and fell asleep on the streets. When he woke up, he found himself without pants. So please help and give him anything to wear. Will this paper bag do? Too small. Still exposed. How about these stockings? Tight fittings. See through skin tone colour. Don’t think so. But better than nothing. To repay his gratitude, he gives her a hassaku orange that was in his hand when he woke up. She doesn’t want it but he insists and tosses it to her (while making hassaku puns). Then she too inadvertently makes a hassaku pun.

Episode 7
Utako thinks she has some poetic awakening and thinks she is good at haiku. So as she waits at the crossing, she thinks of penning her thoughts down about the railroad crossing. Sounds decent but she realizes it doesn’t follow the 5-7-5 format. With a few extra syllables and rounding it up, it becomes 10-10-10 and the kanji for 10 looks like a cross, so triple cross haiku? Sounds cool until she realizes it sounds unintelligent and chuunibyou-like. Returning to the original format, she thinks of adding snow with railroad crossings. Sounds decent until she realizes both don’t match each other (because snow causes train services to stop). She adds love into in and realizes the pun of that word. Sounds great? Nah. Sounds bad too. Maybe she should give up being a poet.

Episode 8
More texting hilarity from the Komaba siblings. Yeah, they’re talking about crapping in the pants and Misaki having weird stamps just for him. He thinks she loves him so much since she only uses the stamps that way. He asks if she has friends since she is always alone waiting with him. She says she has and is only doing this to keep him company. She asks the same thing about him but more specifically if he has any girlfriend. None. She looks happy and is going to reply an excuse to accompany him when a couple of girls from his class invite him to karaoke. He would gladly go with them had not Misaki stopped him. I guess he can’t go then. He gives an excuse that he has things to do. What things? You mean accompany his sister? Nope. Going to crap in his pants.

Episode 9
An elderly guy, Saiki waits at the railroad crossing. He remembers this place that he hasn’t been since he was a student. He used to wait here while going to school. Remembering the nostalgic memories, there was this girl who waited across always reading a book. He fell in love with her at first sight and when the gate arm goes back up, they pass each other and go their own way. It’s a one-sided love. He even took the liberty to name her Yoriko and doesn’t even know her real name. After watching her in this manner through the seasons, he finally wrote a letter about his feelings for her. He gave it to her and told her he didn’t need a reply. Just letting her know was good enough. That was the end of it. He wonders what happened of her through the years and what she had thought of him. Suddenly he sees Yoriko standing there. She has not aged! Exactly the same! OMG!

Episode 10
We hear from Yukiko’s side that she loves reading books while waiting at the crossing. Suddenly a guy popped up to her and gave her a letter. Although he didn’t mind getting an answer, she never had a chance to reply whatsoever. Saiki instinctively calls out to her and she responds! Asking why she has the letter he wrote, she found it while organizing her mom’s belongings. So she is a splitting image of her daughter. Phew. That puts to rest she is a ghost or something. Silly me. Yukiko further adds her mom is a writer and left memories from when she was a student in essays. Since she likes them, she brought her book and letter to reminisce about her. Then this coincidence. She wonders if mom led to this meeting. She lets him read the book of what supposedly happened here. It does brings back some memories as cheeky Yukiko asks if it makes his heart skip to see the image of her mom in her. It makes him awkward thinking about a relationship between an old guy and a high school girl. Even if his relationship didn’t blossom back then, he doesn’t think there will a chance of a love story happening with this age gap. Could it?

Episode 11
Tanishi is once again enjoying the ass view of Majima. Too sexy! He starts fantasizing the other person she is communication on her handphone is her boyfriend and all the erotic things they did together. Yeah, he got jealous thinking of that. Despite realizing he is no match for her, he thinks that being short has an advantage as he gets to view her nice ass unlike tall people. Majima seems angry after her handphone reply. Her angry looks is also sexy. Thinking something bad must have happened with her boyfriend, he realizes it is wrong to think badly of others. His only way is to apologize silently behind her. But as he bows, he sees more of her delicious ass. So sinfully good! So sexy! He thinks of the need to apologize more but this time prostrating himself. What do you think he will see at this angle? Sexy level is over 9000! Majima then spots him and he gets flustered. Sexy time over.

Episode 12
Ai is now panic thinking about Tomo’s confession. The problem is not her confession but the kind of person Tomo is because she gives people weird nicknames and equally reads books with weird titles. Ai blames partly herself for suggesting that lover shouting game so when she finally asks Tomo about this awkwardness, Tomo admits it is. Ever since that confession, Ai has been distancing herself form her so Tomo thinks she disliked her. It made her feel she lost everything and regretted how easily she confessed to her. Wow. It’s getting dark and it’s like blaming Ai, no? When Tomo wants her to forget everything, Ai hits back she mustn’t turn her back on youth. She explains she was avoiding her because she felt embarrassed rather than creepy. She admits she has zero relationship experience, not even guys. So does this mean Tomo has a shot at her? Well, no competition, right? Ai hopes to give her some time while she sorts out her confused feelings. But then Tomo says something we can’t hear because the cliché train passes by. It leaves Ai very embarrassed because Tomo confessed to her again! Uhm… Surprise!

Stop, Wait, Ponder, Then Go
That’s so much about it. Although it wasn’t anything spectacular, it could even be ranging at just average and normal. This is just one of the few stories that happened at a certain railroad crossings. There are many of such crossings in Japan and throughout the world. Boy, how many more other funny and weird stories have we missed out? Oh, it’s like saying railroad crossings are the next happening place and sometimes a place for shower thoughts. Oh well, every place has its charm. But I still agree that it is an awkward place for romantic confessions. Even if you’re yuri. And also because cliché loud train passing to drown out the words so you can’t properly hear. Such great timing…

Well, the stories themselves aren’t much but for that short duration, they are interesting to watch. No overly complicated plots or twist, just bite size amount for us to enjoy. Therefore for those who argue that there is nothing much because of how random many of the skits are and how short each episode is, well, you have been warned when you read the series’ info and synopsis. It all boils down to how well the episodes are played out. Because there are some anime shorts that are just horrendous. Looking at you, Alice Or Alice (that aired in the same season as this one). For Fumikiri Jikan, I personally feel they are sufficient and satisfying. No questions asked. After all, it is already said they are random stories. You can’t piece a bigger plot from it all, can you? I don’t really want to turn this into some conspiracy theory.

My personal favourite story is the one involving the Komaba siblings. They are so close to each other in proximity but yet choose to communicate with their Smartphones. It’s like it is part of their body and can’t do without. The interesting and amusing parts are watching them interact with each other via messaging. Little sister is being tsundere but actually has brother complex while big brother trying to be cool and possible enjoy baiting and seeing little sister react this way. They probably have the best punch lines and jokes in the series too. Maybe they should have a mini spinoff of their own.

For the rest of the other characters and story, you could say they are a blessing or curse because they had to stop at the railroad crossing. Like Tanishi who got to enjoy some ass fanservice from one of the sexiest girl in class. A curse for Fukutome because she had someone see her in an unfortunate position. Broken body. Broken ego. Broken reputation. Some like Saiki managed to rekindle the flame of his past and put a rest to the mystery about the love of his life. Some like Utako trying to find inspiration but failing on an epic scale. These myriad of stories definitely makes waiting at the crossroad less boring. For viewers, that is. But I’m not going to wait at one just to see interesting happenings. Might get arrested for acting suspicious.

Art and animation are pretty okay since it is produced by Ekachi Epilka (say that name again?) in which this series is their first and only production so far. Voice acting is rather okay too for a short series. Norio Wakamoto makes his came as that hassaku uncle and it is nice to hear his voice after a long time. Same for Yukari Tamura as Yukiko. The other casts are Sayaka Senbongi as Ai (Chitose in Girlish Number), Yui Ogura as Tomo (Tomarin in Teekyuu), Kazuki Matsunaga as Tanishi, Yuri Komagata as Majima (Shirayuki in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei), Mariko Honda as Kurobe (Yuuko in Nichijou), Mitsuhiro Ichiki as Takashi (Kazuya in Freezing), Suzuna Kinoshita as Misaki (Mitsuki in Ousama Game), Nazuna Haruki as Fukutome, Kazusa Aranami as Akemi (Tomoe in Da Capo III), Yuu Ayase as Utako (Quetzalcoatl in Centaur No Nayami) and Ken Narita as Saiki (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha). The opening theme is the same name as this series and is sung by Yuri Komagata.

Overall, the series isn’t a masterpiece but it certainly doesn’t suck. Short and non-continuous is what makes it fun and enjoyable. It feels like it could have added more episode and cours but then again, the question of whether it will lose its charm because of all the randomness despite each story being unique. But I shouldn’t be asking for too much. After all, you’re not supposed to stay long at a railroad crossing. You move on once the boom gates lift. It is true that life isn’t about the destination and the journey. But one shouldn’t stop too long at a single place. Just like life, you have to move on, move forward ahead. Somehow I have the urge to sing the Bee Gees’ Railroad song… Yes I’ll walk by the railroad anytime, anytime/ Walk by the railroad anytime/ Tell my women that I miss her/ That I can’t wait to kiss her/ ‘Cause I’m walking by that railroad till I’m home…

Mahou Shoujo Site

August 12, 2018

What’s this?! Another dark battle royale magical girl series? So, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica + Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku + a little punch of Jigoku Shoujo = Mahou Shoujo Site! Fukou da ne… Well, if the plot of magical girls fighting each other doesn’t sound too original, please bear in mind that this series was written during the height of the popularity of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. I guess now it has only been given its anime treatment. Better late than never? Bored of all the sparkling goodness and clichés in typical magical girl series? I guess we can’t get enough of magical girls killing each other. Hontou ni fukou da ne…

Episode 1
Aya Asagiri tries to kill herself at the railroad crossing. She couldn’t. Every day she thinks of dying. But I don’t think everyone else cares either. At school, she is bullied by a group of girls led by Sarina Shizukume. Heck, even the teacher and other classmates don’t care and turn a blind eye. Toilet break isn’t exactly fun for Asagiri too. Yup, more torture. Her only reprieve is a stray kitten by the bridge. Heck, kitty gets better treatment from Asagiri. Wanna bet the bullies find out about this? It is no different back home. The focus is on her brother, Kaname. Her parents praise him for his grades and intellect. But behind his gentle demeanour, Kaname abuses Asagiri! He ties her up and punches her guts! This is to let off steam for living up to their parents’ expectations. He blames her for that and at least be useful as a stress reliever. That night, a strange Magical Girl Site pops up. It offers magic to her but she shuts it down seeing how creepy everything is. Next morning on her way to school, more misery is added when she sees a certain kitten killed at the tracks. Asagiri is surprised to see a weird gun in her locker. Then more abuse by Shizukume and her groupies. Yeah, they’re so bored of it that Erika Kajima calls her senpai, Shouta Arai to rape her. Asagiri runs away but is caught. Moments before being raped, Erika reveals she killed the kitten. This makes Asagiri mad as she whips out the gun and fires. They disappear. But later it is discovered their bodies have been found near the tracks. Asagiri is fearful that she might have killed them and will be arrested. She tries to find the site again but error 404. With Asagiri ignoring Kaname, looks like his stress is pent up and can’t concentrate on his studies?! Shizukume confronts Asagiri and demands what she did. Asagiri maintains her innocence but she doesn’t believe it. She is going to scar her face when suddenly time stops. Fellow classmate, Tsuyuno Yatsumura comes to her rescue. She claims she is a magical girl and so is Asagiri after receiving a ‘magical stick’. Yatsumura positions Shizukume to slice her own neck. She will tell Asagiri all about Magical Girl Site as she needs her.

Episode 2
Yatsumura further explains her magical stick stops time and Asagiri is able to move because she added her name to a list of exceptions. Asagiri’s power is instant teleportation and she witnessed that ‘murder’ thingy. Yatsumura believes it is their destiny as magical girls to weed out bad people so she shouldn’t feel bad about it. Of course Yatsumura didn’t make Shizukume kill herself but enough to put her in critical condition. Back at her room, Yatsumura explains more about the mysteries. The site owner is unknown but it seems if you accept the magical stick, you are bound to the site rules. Also a note of caution not to use the power so much because it drains your life. There’s an indicator on the arm. Once it runs out, you die. Yatsumura is also here to warn her that there are other magical girls out there. She once worked with a fellow magical girl, Rina Shioi who would gather information on other magical girls. Suddenly someone is killing magical girls and taking their magical stick. They started investigating her and dub her Magical Hunter. Suddenly Shioi disappeared. Her body was never found but before she disappeared, she sent her a picture of what Hunter looked like. Creepy mad as hell. Yatsumura hopes they can cooperate and catch Hunter. As proof, she will protect her tonight. This means no S&M torture from Kaname. Safe. One day after school, Asagiri is stopped by a busty girl. Before she knows it, she is trapped in a magical barrier. Too late for Yatsumura to activate her time stopping magic. This girl is of course Hunter but she looks different. She used another magical stick to alter her appearance. Hunter wants to kill her and all Asagiri could think of not using her stick to get back at her is because she doesn’t want to kill her? With assurance from Yatsumura she won’t, Asagiri fires. It is believed wherever the victim is teleported is based on Asagiri’s will. They catch Hunter and interrogate her. Yatsumura knows she is Shioi as she is reacted to the Hunter moniker when nobody else uses it. Shioi reveals she went around killing others to get her stick as well. The more the better to survive when Tempest arrives. Before she faked her disappearance, she met the site’s admin. She was told the arrival of Tempest on a certain date would bring an end to this world and create a new one. Before she could reveal the important juicy parts, she starts coughing blood. Is this the doing of some magical girl too?

Episode 3
Keisuke Naoto is an obsessed fan of Nijimi Anazawa who is part of a famous idol doggy group. Shioi is in comatose state and the doctor is unsure if she will wake up. Yatsumura believes using too many powers at once caused her to fall into this state. This has them think about why they were chose to be magical girls and Asagiri to ask about Yatsumura’s past. She won’t say but snippets show she found her parents dead. Asagiri has this idea that one of the magical stick may be able to fix Shioi’s condition. As they go through the list. They see a familiar face. Isn’t that Nijimi? Asagiri has this idea to attend her handshake event. When it is their turn, Yatsumura will stop time and then Asagiri will teleport them to a different area. Not sure why they even need to meet her. Couldn’t they just freeze time and teleport? Nijimi is very excited to see other magical girls. After explaining their purpose, before they could ask her magical stick’s ability, she is whisked away by her managers to be brought back to her fans. She gives them an appointed time and place to meet. In her apartment, they see her zombie fans as slaves. She reveals her power to mind control others. Her magical stick? Magical pantsu???!!! Yatsumura knows her power is dangerous and useful, hence the need to get her on their side. When asks if she knows other magical girls, Nijimi becomes upset. Mikado was a magical and best friend until she got killed by Shioi. That’s why if she sees that b*tch, she’ll kill her!!! Scary. Nijimi also reveals she hides the indicators with concealers and she bleeds ‘somewhere else’. The duo leave but not after Nijimi uses her power to exchange contacts. Shizukume is vengeful to make Asagiri pay. Conveniently she is a few doors away from Shioi’s room and she sees Asagiri coming out from there. Possible heard a few important lines in their conversation for future plot purposes. She enters the room and is shocked to see the site admin who is sad that Shioi is disqualified. Aha. A replacement… Kaname must have had it for straight nights without abusing his sister. So he secretly checks her computer and finds frequent visits to the Magical Girl Site. Still error 404, though.

Episode 4
Nana, the site admin invites Shizukume to become a magical girl for revenge. She reveals it was the duo who caused the death of her friend as well as the hideous scar on her neck. She wants Shizukume to succeed Shioi as Hunter and collect magical sticks. She gives her a yoyo as her magical stick. With that, Shizukume can access the site and see the countdown to Tempest. Oh, her yoyo slices things like hot knife through butter. Asagiri reveals her bullied past to Yatsumura. As a transfer student, she is often weak and shy. Shizukume did help her out in several moments but Asagiri continued to remain so. Hence the whole bullying started just because she didn’t say a simple thank you? Sick. Yatsumura tells her to stop blaming herself and be strong. She is not as weak or worthless as she thinks. When Yatsumura returns home, she coughs blood and collapses. Meanwhile Kaname’s grades are slipping to a point dad becomes mad and beats him up! In the streets while other girls swoon over him, in his mind they are nothing but scums. At the convenience store, he buys a drink but Naoto the cashier suddenly goes into shock. News of Nijimi’s sudden retirement. This makes Kaname mad as this is the epitome of the worst kind of scum, validating their lives through others. Asagiri feels good today. The bullying stopped ever since she came into her life. Jumping the gun too fast. Because Shizukume is back! Oh no. Yatsumura is absent and what’s this? Nijimi is a new transfer student in her class?! Oh sh*t. She’s waving at Asagiri. Later as they talk, Nijimi says she retired from showbiz to concentrate on finding Mikado’s killer. That is more important than disappointing her fans. Yup, she still wants to kill her badly. Oh sh*t. Shizukume conveniently eavesdrops this and later confronts Nijimi to mock about her revenge plan. Then she shows a picture of Shioi. You looking for this girl? Asagiri visits Yatsumura’s place. No answer. Door unlock. She is shocked to see Yatsumura collapsed. She is still conscious and attributes this to overusing her power. She forbids her from calling the ambulance in fear of anybody finding out this strange guy chained in her room. He is the reason she became a magical girl. Flashback shows this guy snuck into her home and killed her family but left her alive so he would return to see a prettier grown up Yatsumura. She has been living in fear of him since and one day she discovered the Magical Girl Site and obtained the power. Revenge was all she had to live for.

Episode 5
Asagiri cries for her and promises she won’t be alone. Heart breaking moment with Shizukume coming in to mock them. She also tells them about letting Nijimi know about Shioi. Shizukume begins to cut them up but luckily they’re not stupid to stay where they are. Too bad Yatsumura’s killer got split in half. There goes her revenge. Yatsumura still has a trump card. Nijimi calls Shizukume to complain she can’t kill Shioi because there is a magical barrier protecting her. Yatsumura used several magical sticks to activate multiple powers at once. But this causes to Yatsumura to pass out from exhaustion. Shizukume tries to kill Asagiri but it looks like she wrecked the entire room instead. Asagiri takes over using the magical stick to erect a protection barrier. With her bent on protecting Yatsumura as her only friend, Shizukume calls her a hypocrite for killing Erika and Shouta. This time Asagiri won’t be cowed by her words. She blames Shizukume for all the bullying and never knew the hell she has been through. The feeling of wanting to die every day but couldn’t because was too scared. The place starts crumbling and before the ceiling could crush Shizukume, Asagiri fires her gun to teleport her back to school. Shizukume may be conflicted about her enemy saving her but she still won’t back down because of this and has something important to do to survive Tempest. Casualties are high as rescue teams work all night to pull out survivors. They are shocked to see a barrier protecting Asagiri and Yatsumura. Not sure how they got them out of it as they are wheeled into ICU. Asagiri’s parents are there. They are assured she is in stable condition but looks like Yatsumura is going into cardiac arrest. Nijimi is left frustrated why she couldn’t kill Shioi. If Shizukume kept her word but as though somebody else knows about her wanting to kill her and is trying to protect her. Then she connects the dots. It’s those ‘friends’. Anger level just went up another notch. Kaname is ‘worried’ about Asagiri. I mean, if she dies who else is going to be his punching bag, right? Nijimi is at the door and wonders if Asagiri is in. Damn those killer eyes… Meanwhile eye-patch girl walks into Shioi’s room and prepares to kill her.

Episode 6
Naoto follows Nijimi to Asagiri’s place and is devastated to see her coming into contact with Kaname. But what’s this? Nijimi suddenly falling in love with him?! Is this real or deception? Although on the outside we see them nice and good to each other, deep down in their heart they show us their true colour. Well, both have a bone to pick with Asagiri. Kaname decides to use her in his plan because with this ‘blessing’, he now has a reason to see Nijimi again. Kosame Amagai slits her own wrist and lets Shioi drink her blood. Shioi instantly wakes up. Being a bit pushy for answers, Kosame starts cowering in fear but after taking her medications, she calms down. Kosame reveals she is also a magical girl and her power is healing to those who drink her blood. Since she loves to inflict self-harm, cutting herself is no problem. Yatsumura and Asagiri wake up fine. Friendship time is interrupted when Shioi shows herself and introduces Kosame. Thanks to emo girl, this is the reason why their injuries are totally healed. Kosame continues explaining the juicy stuffs. There are many other Magical Girl Sites each with its own admin. But every site leads to the same revelation of Tempest. She further shows them more info on it. Tempest indeed is going to destroy the world. However there is a way one can survive. Offer the negative energy of humans to the King. They can be collected and stored via magical sticks and during the day of Tempest when one offers it, the one with the most negative energy will survive. But this means magical girls being given their own stick will start killing each other to fill up the meter. Also, if they used the magical stick too much, they’ll die. This means, the sites never intended for them to live. Kosame needs their help to join them. Their plan is to catch a site admin and make them spill more about Tempest. But first, Asagiri and Yatsumura need to find their magical sticks lost in the rubble. Since Shioi blames them for losing all her hard work, she lets them search for themselves. I think it’s going to take a while. We take a break with Yatsumura thanking Asagiri for defending her. Now her reason to live isn’t for revenge anymore. Asagiri surprises her parents by returning home and also plead for Yatsumura to stay with them for the time being since she lost her home. Kaname is suspicious about the ‘magic’ of them being healed and does his own research on the sites. Nana and the other site admins convene and are not amused nosy girls are poking too deep into the site’s secrets. What’s the solution? Kill them off! Damn, lots of dead magical girls…

Episode 7
Kosame reminds them that despite she is able to heal their wounds, it doesn’t mean their life is prolonged. They will still die during their teens from the use of magical sticks. We see Asagiri and Yatsumura sleeping together and talking about the future they want but sorry, not hot lesbian sex. We are introduced to some of Kosame’s magical girl groupies. The yakuza, the rich girl and the bully victim because he is a cross-dresser. Nijimi confronts Asagiri and Yatsumura. But first they tell her the truth and circumstances. She agrees to help find the site admin only if they let her kill Shioi with her own hands. To make matters worse, Shioi becomes a transfer student in their class. Instantly Nijimi is going to jump and kill her but luckily Yatsumura holds her down and has Asagiri take off her magical pantsu! The guys must be revelling in joy in this confusion. Yatsumura takes the magical pantsu and hides it. After they get yelled by the teacher, they converge at the park to meet Kosame’s groupies. They introduce themselves as well as their magical sticks’ ability: Sayuki Ringa (katana hardens anything she wants to cut), Mikari Izumigamine (broomstick allows her to fly fast and far), Asahi Takiguchi (necklace boosts physical abilities like speed) and Kiyoharu Suirenji (ring enables telepathy). Not surprising, some have bad blood with each other. They discuss the strategy to kidnap a site admin. Shizukume meets up with Nana who wants the magical sticks she gathered. But she won’t give them back and will use them to kill those girls. Nana fires a warning shot not to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong or she’ll die too. Asagiri is so kind to bring Shioi to stay with her. I guess Yatsumura won’t have any lesbian monopoly on her tonight. Definitely for Kaname too. During the bath, Asagiri gets a call from Kosame. Sounds like bad news so much so Asagiri starts crying. She has a favour to ask of her.

Episode 8
Naoto blames Kaname for stealing his Nijimi and vows to kill him. But what’s this? Our magical girls get to enjoy time at the beach? Does this series badly wants fanservice? I guess with the end of the world coming and the final battle with Tempest looming, why not enjoy ourselves first, right? So we see the girls having fun, more of Asagiri and Yatsumura thanking each other and this outing was planned by Asagiri because that call from Kosame told her that Yatsumura has not much longer to live after using too much of her magical stick. Later they realize somebody has broken into their locker and only stole Nijimi’s magical stick. Kiyoharu reads everyone’s minds but finds none of them as the culprit. But we’ll soon know as Naoto confronts Kaname and is going to kill him. Flashback shows Kaname using his suave skills to persuade Nijimi to disclose some magical girl stuffs. Kaname orders him on his knees and without skipping a beat, Naoto grovels before him. Wait a minute. If he has no vagina, where does he bleed from?! Does his balls bleed/! Kaname revels in his power as he shows off wearing Nijimi’s pantsu just to piss him off. My, what big dick he has! Plus, no bleeding? Kaname then orders him to walk into the ocean and stab himself in the heart. What do you know? Asagiri is watching this and very terrified. As she returns with her friends, she sees Kaname staring at her. On no. That sick look and smile… On the way home, Asagiri is terrified if her friends find out because they will kill him. After all he has done to you and you still care about that bastard? Wow. Such a nice girl. She is in a dilemma on what to do buy Kiyoharu has read her mind and knows what is going on and would like to resolve this as peacefully as possible. Detective Kiichirou Misumi and his police pick up Naoto’s body. As they investigate, he finds everything about his suicide off. He then sees a picture of Nijimi written all over with death threats addressing to Kaname. Nijimi is glad to meet Kaname but there is something he needs to tell her as he whispers into her ear…

Episode 9
Sayuki takes some of the girls to stay at her place. It’s her yakuza mansion. Definitely safe with all those thugs around… Meanwhile Kaname is at Nijimi’s place and the latter is fawning all over him until he uses the magical stick against her. She is begging for her life but Kaname views her as useless. As he orders her to hang herself, Asahi under Kiyoharu’s mind control barges in and beats him up. But with Nijimi still obedient to him, he turns the tables on her and tells her to kill Kiyoharu. Mikari rushes to Sayuki’s place to tell the bad news. Kosame cuts herself to heal Kiyoharu but there’s not enough blood. She would love to cut herself but Asagiri takes responsibility for this and uses her blood to save Kiyoharu. She reveals the truth about what she saw. But they’re not out of the woods yet as Kaname strolls in. Hello ladies. All of them are under his command as he takes it all out on his sister. Sick guy licks his sister’s hand with the cutter to heal himself. As he orders Nijimi to collect the magical sticks, Kiyoharu manages to telepathically talk to Nijimi and snap her out of Kaname’s control. She tells her to pretend and find a way to catch him off-guard. However realizing she has been duped by him, she cannot contain her again and charges at him only to be slashed. When you die, you always reflect on your life. In the case of Nijimi, she loves performing in front of others because she loves to see everyone happy. Reality hits hard when her debt ridden dad kills himself and the debt collector threatens the family. Hence Nijimi turned to the Magical Girl Site in hopes of reversing this disaster. Looks like she won’t get her chance. In her final attempt, she breaks a bottle and stabs into Kaname’s throat. Panicky Kaname tries to get the cutter but some invisible figure prevents him. Then the place is shrouded with smokescreen. When Asagiri wakes up, she sees all the other girls around Nijimi. She’s dead. Healing won’t work anymore.

Episode 10
Nijimi is such a big shot that a public memorial service is held for her. Misumi is talking to asking Asagiri’s parents who are worried about Kaname’s disappearance. Meanwhile Asagiri is as usual wallowing in depression and regret. Only thoughts of Nijimi until she realizes she needs to become stronger. About time. As she tries to find her lost magical stick and vows to protect everyone with her life, Shizukume confronts her. During Nijimi’s funeral, Asagiri surprises everyone by turning up. Later she turns her gun towards them and fire. Shortly, the building they are in collapses. It seems Nana is in cohorts with Misumi to kill them. He is the guy who stopped Kaname as he was tasked to retrieve his magical stick. He assures her Kaname is dead but it looks like he is kept alive, tied up somewhere. Now his job is to retrieve those dead magical girls’ stick. Luckily they are still alive as Asagiri teleported them somewhere. She tells them the site administrators are trying to kill them and knows about it because of Shizukume. The rest are shocked to see Shizukume joining their side. However Asagiri wants them to hand over their magical sticks. She wants them to drop out of this fight and return to their normal lives. It is her fault this mess started and she will atone it herself. But even if they give their magical sticks, that doesn’t delete the fact that they are still magical girls and will still be targeted. When Asagiri sounds too desperately desperate, Yatsumura slaps her and has her remember her initial promise about not doing this alone. With a little pep talk that they all share the burden and the pain, Shizukume gives them back their missing magical sticks. As for why she is siding with them. At first she was engaged by Nana to kill them all had they survived the explosion. Those site administrators don’t see them as people and discard them when they are useless. She is done being their pawn. They gear up to prepare taking down the Magical Girl Site.

Episode 11
The girls lay in wait to ambush a site administrator. They have the details because Yuka Sumikura who runs a blog site, uploaded details of how she is going to get a magical stick (too bad she’ll be waiting forever). But soon as her post gets uploaded, it is deleted. Possibly what she written down is true. At the school building, they wait until Ni shows up in which Shioi pounds her with her hammer. Uhm, she only lost a leg? Shioi rants how based on all the data they’ve collected, they could tell site admins have certain protocols to follow and areas assigned. That’s how they lay this bait. Yeah, it won’t do you any good spilling out those details as Ni attacks. To show how powerful she is, she kills a dumb guard passing by. Instead of being afraid and calling for backup, he called out to the monster and paid with his life. Ni turns her attention to Asagiri but she teleports her to the rooftop where Shizukume is waiting as she cuts her to pieces before Shioi finishes her off. This decoy is part of their plan. They are shocked when the corpse turns into a human one. Could it be that site admins are humans? I don’t know, but doesn’t the corpse look a little like a robot? Meanwhile, the other magical girls are being hindered by another side admin, Hachi. She is able to clone herself and keep them at bay. How long can Sayuki keep fending off her sword attacks? Back to the rest, they are confronted by Nana who claims she has been watching them. She made Ni a decoy to lure them out. Now she is going to kill them. At first Yatsumura seems dumb enough to let her destroy her magical stick. But when the timing is right, she initiates a barrier to protect her friends while attempting to cut her with Shizukume’s yoyo. Uhm, in exchange for taking in all those shots, she only cut off an arm? Yeah. Failed. Hence cue for Yatsumura’s last words. Thank you this, thank you that. She knows she hasn’t got long to live either. Goodbye. Dead. Cue for Asagiri to go berserk and scream over the death of her best friend. In another plot twist, in the base of the site administrators, Ichi welcomes the latest member to their circle: Yatsumura!

Episode 12
Nana tells Yatsumura about all the misfortune and hate building up in this world. Because of that, Yatsumura’s accumulated negative energy is deemed sufficient to be fed to the King who will then release Tempest onto the world. The King is the world’s most unfortunate girl and the plan is to wipe Earth of malice by evolving humans into something malice-free. Those who cannot adapt will die. Asagiri teleports her other friends away. She intends to be with Yatsumura but suddenly she comes back alive! Nana explains she is now an administrator but since she is not full-fledged, she needs more negative energy to become one. And that person to feed her that is Asagiri! So it becomes a strange hide and seek game. You think friendship talk is going to save the day? Can Yatsumura even hear her? Oh well, cliché time. Asagiri then shoots her own heart while Yatsumura strangles her. Did she go back in time to a young Yatsumura? Not sure, there’s the magical girl mark on her wrist. With assurance to always be with her, it dispels whatever fear she has as Yatsumura regains her consciousness. She is sad to see Asagiri’s lifeless body before her. But then, plot twist! She still lives as they both shoot at Nana. Nana claims unfairness as they used their magical sticks to free other magical girls. She asks if they are unfortunate souls. They reply they became magical girls out of misfortune but their misfortune is for nobody to decide. Therefore they are not unfortunate. Yatsumura resumes time and lets Nana get hit by a train? That killed her? Fatality! In the aftermath, more good news because Sayuki-Mikari combo somehow manage to cut down Hachi while Shizukume lives thanks to Kosame and Shioi donating blood to her. Meanwhile the administrators are talking about this mess but Ichi says they can be replaced. Meanwhile in Misumi’s lair, there are lots of magical sticks hanging up his wall. But here is the worst part. At least for Kaname. Because his butt is going to get raped by him!!! OMFG!!!!!!!!! And meanwhile too, Asagiri and Yatsumura live a happy lesbian life? Not if Ichi narrates how he hopes misfortune will befall on them because they have taken on the malice inside people’s hearts, boasting the misfortunes of the past have given rise to happiness in the present. This is an unforgivable sin as it dents the King’s plan.

Warning: Visiting This Site May Harm Your Life
Oh, you poor unfortunate soul. Fukou da ne, fukou da ne… I am not sure if this is the end at all. Asagiri and Yatsumura successfully killing the site admin who has been a thorn on their side doesn’t mean Tempest will go away. Sure, it looked like a bright sunny day after their victory with the other magical girls coming out alive and a bit scathed, that’s all. They sound like everything is over. But this only delays slightly the coming of Tempest so by a long shot, everything is far from over. Hence with this ‘happy ending’ this season has closed, it just doesn’t feel right. To a point that I think the main goal was just to defeat Nana and our main duo can happily frolic with each other. Wow. So fortunate finally, you girls. Oh right. Who are we to determine the misfortune of others, eh?

Although it started out pretty slowly and interesting, I can’t help feel that halfway through it was like dragging things out. Perhaps I was having the mentality of magical girls killing each other and when I wasn’t seeing at least a magical girl dying per episode, that was probably what got my goat. Yeah, I’m such a sadist… Can’t be help. I expected to see more than just spilled blood in this kind of series! Sure, there are dead magical girls in almost every episode. But those are just minor characters with no name whom we will never care. Those kind of magical girls are the ones racking up the body count. Then trying to find more allies to fight against the inevitable Tempest, hence the detour of trying to capture or even kill a site administrator feels lacklustre. It feels more dragged out than something that would maintain and pique your interest. I wonder if this series would have done better had an extra cour being given. Because a dozen episodes feels too short considering the pacing and direction of this series.

Even the big antagonist’s plot of trying to bring a disaster to the world in hopes of saving humanity by destroying a big chunk of it doesn’t sound original. Hmm… Where have I heard this kind of plot before? Oh, right. From Code Geass to even Sousei No Onmyouji. Heck, even Thanos from the Marvel universe has this same intention. Higher powers claim they have the moral right to obliterate weaklings and create a world without all the negative emotions for the ultimate world. A world lacking that negative emotion. It should be perfect but our heroes and heroines place more important on status quo than anything. That’s why the world continues to suck and soak up all the hatred.

The series also tries to deal with some dark themes. A lot of them. From incessant bullying to even to domestic abuse and even depression (woah, that man rape at the end wasn’t entirely expected), however they aren’t addressed in a serious manner. Did the magical power of the magical girls somehow interfered and made it less relevant? Because you see, even as Asagiri became some sort of a punching bag for Shizukume’s groupies to bully, this is supposed to score some sympathy points but the way she takes every beating like as though she extends her life force from every hit makes it feel unrealistic. If that wasn’t enough, we have her older brother who often lets off steam with his nightly visits. Yeah, he is just short of raping his sister. Maybe in time he would. Hence with Asagiri being casted as powerless (before she was a magical girl), it makes it look like one S&M fest with her bullies enjoying tormenting her while Asagiri ‘enjoying’ every moment of blows she has taken in. And the bullying stops because she became a magical girl. Felt more like plot convenience to me.

The characters are boring and uninspiring. You don’t feel like you want to root for them and only had to because they’re the good characters and out of sympathy. Like I have said with Asagiri as a veteran bully victim, she doesn’t feel like the main character and only felt so because more screen time is given to her. She has hardly changed and is mostly the same guilt ridden girl from the start. Only this time she has Yatsumura to care about. Therefore her noble attitude trying to protect and save her because the power of friendship reeks cringe. Maybe it is natural for Asagiri since Yatsumura is the first person who ever treated her closely to a human being. So it’s understandable Asagiri puts her on a pedestal and trying to show her worth as a friend instead of being some useless victim.

Copying Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s fashion, the biggest twist is revealed to be the site administrators were once humans. That’s like how the witches in that anime were once magical girls, no? I have always kept it in the back of my mind that Yatsumura might not be the good person that she seems to be before Asagiri. Because I was thinking that at one point she might betray her. All this playing friendship and being nice with her is just part of her bigger plan. After all, all magical girls have their own goals so it is not surprising Yatsumura has hers. Now, my theory is that the criminal that Yatsumura has been slowly torturing as revenge is dead, even though it is not Asagiri’s fault but she had an indirect hand in ending that reason to live. Words are easy and would you believe if a human could get over a long outstanding grudge just after a mere realization of friendship? Especially in this dark series? I’m not putting my faith in it yet. So even if Yatsumura is true blue in her friendship towards Asagiri, perhaps the ultimate betrayal to Asagiri will come in the form of her being the next site administrator. Well, she did became temporarily one but that BS friendship crap ruined it all. Instead, Asagiri did apologize and say something about ‘betraying’ her but I didn’t get it. So is it true that they have no malice in their hearts now? Damn, I didn’t think it was this easy.

The problem with the other magical girls is that they don’t feel too relevant. The new ones they teamed up with halfway through still feel like a ragtag bunch only put together because of a common cause. They do play minor roles like Kiyoharu’s telepathy thingy but any more than that, it usually boils down to Asagiri and Yatsumura. The rest I can’t even remember their names properly. Like that one who runs fast, the one who rides the broomstick and the emo girl who is tempting who cut herself. Seeing that they don’t have any backgrounds or given such prominence as Asagiri or Yatsumura, I was thinking they could be sacrificial goats. However, even if the plot did not turn into a big battle royale and became a big cooperating team to take down the menace, well, it certainly didn’t go the way I expected as seen in Avengers: Infinity War. Oh heck, why not just kill off everybody and be done with it.

You thought Shizukume would be a thorn in the main group’s side. Unfortunately she decides to put aside their differences and join them against the site administrators. I don’t know about you, it feels disappointing. I thought it would add another layer of hostility for the group seeing they have another threat to deal with. Even if she wasn’t around to join in the final battle, it didn’t matter. Perhaps to show some solidarity among the magical girls to fight for the greater good? Thank goodness it tuned out alright, didn’t it?

Kaname is more interesting than these girls because of his sick and twisted mind. This guy is a narcissist who thinks he is better than everyone. There is a saying that goes if meeting one or two people, they might be an asshole. But if everyone you meet is an asshole, you are probably the asshole. Could not be so true in Kaname’s case. But he isn’t different than everyone and is as low as a scum like those he thinks they are. Otherwise, why would he need to abuse his sister just to keep his sanity and grades? This already shows he has a flaw and ever since Asagiri turned into a magical girl, the stress keeps building up that it finally explodes. This guy could be a serial killer had he not have school obligations. Kaname is such an interesting guy that the next episode preview is about him talking in his thoughts. It usually starts out very nice and polite until the punchline in the end that reveals his darker side. But too bad he became Misumi’s sex toy so not sure what will turn out of him. Just desserts? Yeah, this was what you have been doing to Asagiri all the time. Just short of penetrating her but now you got a hot guy sticking it deep into your ass. Yeah, his hole so big, bigger than the plot hole of this series! HAHAHA!!! I don’t even know why Misumi’s character exists except for this final disturbing part that doesn’t bring us anywhere. Maybe it is to subtly tell us now Asagiri can sleep soundly now that her brother is tormenting?

One of the biggest mind boggling issues comes in the part where Kaname was trying to kill the magical girls or at least get revenge on them. At least his sister. You remember the part where he had them all under his control. And he is just a command away from silencing them. Even if Nijimi had stuck a broken bottle in his throat, a little more struggle is more than enough to finish them off. But no. Instead, Nana sent that detective to stop him. Then she wanted them dead and thought of killing them herself. So instead of letting this mad brother do the job for her, she let them lived and then wanted them dead soon after? Does this make sense? Are there rules she has to follow through? Heck, she even failed to kill all of them. Yeah, I suppose it is to provide some tension, drama and drag out the plot.

I have a feeling they want to keep some sort of mystery about the site administrators, hence we don’t know nothing about them aside that they wear weird creepy masks and are named after numbers. Also, they might be human. Yatsumura being incepted doesn’t mean all of them could be considered as once humans. Even if the site administrators are scary and powerful, it isn’t like they are so powerful or omniscient like God. Because if they were, our main magical girls wouldn’t have given them such a hard time. Like when they baited and lured out Ni who suspected nothing. I don’t believe she was playing along. And Nana who should have killed them off during Nijimi’s funeral, does she not know that they are not dead? Always check the bodies… Even some of them do not get along among themselves and just like the ragtag bunch of magical girls, they’re just there for a common goal and share the same common powers.

The fight scenes as well as the magical sticks feel pretty meh. It’s a good thing that they are not confined to its user and anybody can own and use them. Otherwise it will be a pain and boring to see the same girls using the same magic sticks, something that most of them often do. So once in a while, we see them use a different stick other than theirs but fights don’t often last that long. Maybe except that Shizukume vs Asagiri-Yatsumura at the apartment one. But I’ll give points for the pantsu being a magical stick item. Never really saw that coming. The other mind boggling thing is that when Kaname was wearing them, he did not bleed like other magical girls. Is it because he is not a magical girl? But it doesn’t make sense because you can use the item because you’re a magical girl and not an ordinary person. Otherwise, I’m sure the girls aren’t dumb enough to be bound by the rules of being a magical girl and can still use them while remaining ordinary. Also be warned that there are lots of blood spilling in this anime. But I am assuming those who are watching this have no aversion to blood and want to see more.

I have mixed feelings for the art and animation. The characters have this cute or strange feel to them. Like Asagiri who looks like plain Jane but with those bags under her eyes, it looks like she does not have enough sleep. Maybe. Being kept awake by Kaname’s abuse certainly has a toll on her health. Oddly, Asagiri somewhat reminds me of Alice from Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku. Others like Yatsumura and Nijimi look a bit cartoonish so it is a bit contrasting to the dark theme of the series. It is the site administrators that look scary and could easily give one nightmares. Thankfully I didn’t get any. Their monochrome appearance and the lack of animation enhance the surreal look like as though are paper cut-outs inserted into the animation. This is Production doA’s first anime series (the other being the Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka Dear My Sister movie) so cut them some slack?

Voice acting also doesn’t feel anything special. Yuko Oono as Asagiri (Shiori in Toji No Miko) certainly makes her character feel she is at her limits. Nobuhiko Okamoto feels at home playing the psychotic Kaname since this feels like his other similar characters, namely Accelerator in To Aru Majutsu Index. Aoi Yuuki also has a role here as Hachi but it was tough to spot her not in the voice I could identify with. Other casts are Himika Akaneya as Yatsumura (Tamarai in ReLIFE), Haruka Yamazaki as Shizukume (Ruka in Hayate No Gotoku), Aina Suzuki as Shioi (Mari in Love Live! Sunshine), Yuu Serizawa as Nijimi (Yumemi in Kakegurui), Ryusei Nakao as Nana (Mayuri in Bleach), Yumi Hara as Kosame (Albedo in Overlord), Eriko Matsui as Kiyoharu (Isuzu in Log Horizon), Mao Ichimichi as Sayuki (titular character in Space Patrol Luluco), Kaede Hondo as Mikari (Koyume in Comic Girls), Lynn as Asahi (Maya in Sabagebu) and Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Misumi (Eishirou in Sora No Otoshimono). And last but not least… Mamiko Noto as the King!!!!!! OMFG!!! Only one short line in the end!!! Maybe this show is really taking after Jigoku Shoujo in some ways. Imagine if the King turns out to be Enma Ai… Oh boy, scary or insulting?

I have this feeling that the opening theme, Changing Point by iRis wants to sound as epic as Connect, which is the opening theme for Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Heck, the name sounds familiar to Claris who sang that song. Note that Himika Akaneya and Yuu Serizawa are part of this 6 member idol group. Well, it certainly tries to copy and have that feel as Connect but doesn’t live up to the hype. Or at least my standards. In other words, didn’t find it attractive enough to like it. The ending theme, Zenzen Tomodachi by Haruka Yamazaki isn’t anything special either. Maybe that is why they try to distract you with that live animation of a pair of girls (Asagiri and Yatsumura, I suppose) doing this weird dance on the rooftop. Open classroom? Are they doing some sort of demonic summon ritual or are they being possessed? But that weirdness cannot beat the animation of sperms flying in the air!!! WTF??????!!!!!!!! SPERMS!!!!! YOU SAW THAT RIGHT!!!!! What does a male reproductive cell has got to do in this predominantly female series???!!! I guess normal people don’t know how ovaries look like. But then again, why sperm? Why Japan? Why?!

Overall, I wanted to like this series not because I want to see dead magical girls who end up killing each other. Okay, maybe part of me wants that. Uninteresting characters, draggy plot that didn’t go anywhere far and unexciting twist ended up being its greatest demise. However with the thought that it is trying to compare itself to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and it came out 6 years later partly diminishes its potential to be greater. Heck, I still prefer Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku by a mile. Let’s hope in the future they can come up with better magical girl stories otherwise magical girls would only be reduced to nostalgia and taken over by nonsensical ones involving guys (looking at you, Mahou Shoujo Ore and the Binan series). When that really happens, it would be most unfortunate. Yup, we definitely decide our own misfortunes and misery. Fukou da ne, fukou da ne…

Comic Girls

August 11, 2018

It’s time to take a look into the lives of manga artists once more. What’s that you say? Need something light hearted and not so serious like Bakuman? Because that was giving lots of tension and pressure on how stressful the lives of manga artists are? Also, Mangaka-san To Assistant-san To feels more pervy than anything. We also need a bunch of girls doing it instead of guys. More power to girls! And that is how Comic Girls came to be. A group of girls living in a dorm specifically for manga artists as they help each other draw and grow closer and bond. Oh wait. Doesn’t this sound like another one of those generic cute girls doing cute things but manga artist version?

Episode 1
Kaoruko Moeta AKA Kaos has been told by her editor, Mayu Amisawa that her manga sucks! Oh my. More accurately all the feedback says it is crappy and unrealistic! Please don’t kill yourself… Amisawa has an idea to improve her predicament. As the manga dorm for girls is looking for tenants, Kaos applies to be a resident. Along the way, she gets spooked by the landlady, Ririka Hanazono who thinks she is a lost girl. More spooking for her when she discovers her roommate who also recently moved in today, Koyume Koizuka is such a lively personality. Once everything calms down, they both tell each other their shortfalls and hence their reason here. Kaos’ weakness is she is unable to draw proper body proportion because of her petite status while Koyume despite being able to draw cute and lovely girls, she sucks at drawing boys. They start crying over their future when their next door neighbour and manga senpai, Ruki Irokawa and Tsubasa Katsuki walk in. They think they are their saviour and embrace them! Tsubasa advises them to keep drawing until they get close to their ideal and not be too focused in just getting popular. Later the newbies would like to check out the rooms of their senpai and are ushered in. First thing they look for is for dirty porn materials from Ruki since they heard she specializes in drawing porn! Heck, Koyume even gropes her boobs to check if she has the biggest bust but she is only A-Cup???!!! The cat is out of the bag that despite being a ‘washboard’, she is good in drawing big boobs. It all started when she intentionally drew for younger audiences but Amisawa find it mature and sent her to another department in which that editor loves those erotic style and now she is known under her penname as Big Boobs Himeko. With Tsubasa meeting her deadline, the rest help her out. Koyume could figure out Tsubasa’s coded language and know what needs to be done! Kaos worst fear comes true as she makes several mistakes blotching the panels. Is she preparing to die? Don’t worry, nothing like Tsubasa in her character mode could do to fix it. They work round the clock to finish it, though it feels like Tsubasa has been the one doing the most work as she also fixes their mistake. Kaos notes she is strong and kind like her shonen manga’s protagonist, that’s why she is able to draw such fun manga. Kaos still feels sad she won’t make friends at any rate but you know, the dorm girls already consider her as friends. So happy she wants to tell her mom about it. Man, she really had no friends. Although her manga continues to receive stinging comments, Kaos doesn’t lose motivation and is spurred to draw more.

Episode 2
The girls go out shopping together. Kaos and Koyume experience the terrifying crowded train network. Why don’t Tokyo businessmen give a sh*t about cute girls? After surviving, they head to the manga store to buy manga and then the stationery building to get supplies. Tsubasa spots a couple of young and new mangaka wannabe. She advises them the kind of pen they should buy. They think Kaos is also the same amateur as them and give her the same encouragement. Not sure if Kaos is offended or not. Koyume doesn’t have enough to cover the items she bought so Tsubasa pays some for her as repayment for helping with her manga. It’s back to school and Koyume and Kaos are new transfer students. While Tsubasa is very popular among the girls, Ruki prefers to keep her mangaka job a secret for fear of others knowing what she draws. But because of that, rumours spread that she does shady jobs as she usually distance herself. Maybe her cover is already blown? Too bad Koyume will be in a different class from the rest. The homeroom teacher is Miharu Nijino. She might look cute but she is strict as hell. Kaos wants to be scolded by her? During her introduction, Kaos panics. Heck, she hasn’t used her real name for so long she is unsure on how to pronounce it!!! You kidding me?! More panicking ensues when she sees the class staring at her. But with support from Ruki and Tsubasa, it goes smoothly. Later when other girls talk to her, they ask her simple questions but it gets too much for her to handle. Favourite celebrities? Do seiyuus count? Favourite fashion? Is cosplay fashion? Favourite hobbies? Are collecting figurines valid? So much so she couldn’t answer and passes out. After recovering, Kaos still feels uneasy to be surrounded by so many strangers. Tsubasa advises she should use this opportunity to observe people and create manga. Kaos might feel left behind in terms of friends because Koyume has already made a couple of them at the end of the day. But Kaos wants to make lots of memories here and is glad she came to this dorm. The rest see her ability to make friends with animals. But there is a stray kitten afraid of her. They notice the similarity between them. So afraid, so cute.

Episode 3
Kaos incorporates her high school life in her manga and lets Amisawa look at it. All seems fine until she notices there are lots of eating and weird eating sound effects. Please reconsider everything! Kaos has her friends analyse and it seems they too can find all sorts of shortcomings. One of them being her bad fashion sense. But it becomes a sob story after she tells them she can’t throw away the clothes she has because they’re all from grandma. They give her a makeover and after doing her hair, I think they purposely put her in a kindergarten uniform for laughs and something to fawn over. The stray kitten is now a resident of the dorm. Folks, meet Nyaos. Anyway Kaos misinterprets thinking Ruki is trying to make Koyume have sex with her. Turns out she is just her model for her manga. Ruki then has Kaos pose as Koyume’s lover but doesn’t quite fit it. When she thinks of getting Tsubasa, Koyume starts flustering. That’s the look she wants for her inspiration. Kaos finds it troubling her art sucks so Ruki notices she draws more straight lines. She has her observe Koyume and her curves everywhere. Is she trying to imply she is fat? Breast size becomes the argument but Kaos disagrees with Ruki’s idea that all love big boobs. It is rather about the girl looking embarrassed about her chest size. Kaos doesn’t consider herself in the same boat as Ruki because she has given up on her tiny boobs growing anymore! How about Tsubasa? They notice her slightly toned body. Looks like her ideal body is to have lots of muscles! Like a body builder? Not sure if I should be impressed or freak out. Because Kaos continues to work on her manga, she forgets to eat and passes out. Even with Ririka cooking for her, she doesn’t like all the food she cooks. I don’t think just putting it all in her mouth proves she has eaten them. Because of that, Kaos falls ill. But Ririka manages to call home and finds out what food she likes and cooks it for her. With her better now, Kaos resubmits her manga to Amisawa. Everything looks fine and dandy until a panel that shows a crepe eating her! Is this what she was thinking about a crepe melting in your mouth? Rejected!

Episode 4
Ruki is trying to finish her manga deadline that she has not slept for 2 days! As she doesn’t want to skip school, her weariness is obvious. But she looks and sounds so erotic when tired?! Also, Tsubasa reveals she can’t sleep without her favourite pillow so she tosses Kaos as a substitute. Sleeping like a baby. The girls offer to help her but with Kaos and Koyume even freaking out at kissing scenes, I wonder what will their reaction will be when they get to the real pervy scenes. Yeah… And Tsubasa is not one bit the least ashamed. Because the female protagonist is modelled after Koyume, this makes her embarrassed and she won’t let others do those parts. Can you handle them all? If you’re wondering why Ruki doesn’t use a computer as help, that’s because she sucks at using electronics. Heck, she doesn’t even know what a PC unit is! Even after Kaos helps fix it up and being a pro at showing her how to use the software, old fashion habits from Ruki die hard. Ruki manages to finish and her manga is an instant hit. If being in a dilemma her perversion is being spread throughout the world, her editor has set her up for a book signing event. It’s not that her family will find out that scares her. It’s that she will not live up to her penname! What does her penname describe again? She thinks of using Koyume as her substitute but her outlandish character would make it even worse. On the day of her book signing, Ririka helps put makeup on her. She looks stunningly mature! A long queue at the event but thank goodness all her fans are females, right? At first she is nervous but after seeing how everyone praises and loves her, Ruki is full of confidence. Heck, she is now like a counsellor giving advice to women who have troubles in their relationship?! Arigatou sensei! At the end of the event, Ruki is in tears over how happy she is today. She remembers the harsh days she slogged through even when she is sick or tragedy back home struck, she thought she was walking down the wrong path. But it all pays off now and she will never feel embarrassed about what she does again. But maybe she still will for her penname because there’s the afternoon session, Big Boobs Himeko sensei.

Episode 5
It is summer and the girls head to the beach. Only Koyume is prepared to have fun in a swimsuit since the rest never really expected it. That means they don’t have much confidence in flaunting their body like Koyume. She takes them to rent swimsuits so they could have some fun in the sand. Ruki might have some confidence issues with her body. Is it more insulting to note the growth in her height than her boobs? Kaos and Tsubasa bum around in the dorm while the duo go out shopping for clothes. Ruki could read Koyume’s mind that she wants to date Tsubasa although the latter gives excuse she is a girl. She assures that she isn’t the first since there are many girls who have done so asking Tsubasa on a date. Koyume flusters even more when Ruki suggests they both go on a date. Back at the dorm, Koyume has cold feet doing so but since Ririka has tickets to the amusement park, that broke the ice. Koyume and Tsubasa begin their date there as the other busybodies spy them from afar. They then stumble into a cosplay area whereby some cosplayers are Kaos’ old friends. They run away in embarrassment after seeing her. They continue tailing the lovebirds and there were a few times the atmosphere was so close in giving off some romantic spark. In the Ferris Wheel, Koyume relays her fears about not making any improvements in her manga unlike the rest. Tsubasa assures her to continue as she is because being able to have fun while she is drawing is what’s best about her. In the end when the rest are eager to know if there is any ‘development’ between them, well, it isn’t wrong for Koyume to say that they made some development and progress in manga.

Episode 6
Kaos thinks there is a ghost watching her! Koyume checks around but doesn’t find any. After that we see a creepy female figure in the background!!! HOLY SH*T!!! Is this turning into a horror genre?! When the figure pops up again, Kaos loses her head. Screaming, that is. Ghost girl turns out to be Suzu Fuura, a former resident of the dorm. Oh, she specializes in horror manga. Over the next few scenes, Fuura continues to haunt Kaos! She loves her scream because she is able to draw!!! OMFG! Kaos is going to die young!!! At this rate, Kaos will not be able to draw so the rest protect her one night from Fuura. Why does it have to be stormy too? Scream fest begins with Fuura trying to get in because she is scared of lightning but Kaos is more afraid of her! But when Fuura says how lonely she is, this strikes a chord with Kaos as she lets her in. Upon closer look, Kaos realizes Fuura is quite a pretty girl. Then it’s back to more screaming. Man, there has never been an episode with so much screaming!!! I believe they’re normal friends now but is Fuura going back to haunt Ruki? It seems that Nijino was one of the cosplayers that the quartet stumbled into then. She is worried if they found out about her secret passion. This keeps bugging her so her first chance to find out is to call out Tsubasa for napping in her class (she was tired from working on her manga all night). She tries to ask subtle questions while Tsubasa tries not to get herself exposed. ‘Interrogation’ ends when Koyume pities her and comes to her defence. On another occasion, Tsubasa once again gets caught by her doodling during her class. Tsubasa thought this is it for her when Nijino asks if she is a fan of this series. It seems she is a big fan of it. Then when it is revealed that Tsubasa is that author of the said series, Nijino cannot believe it. A student of hers as a successful author she worships? No way. As proof, Tsubasa shows the manuscript she was working on and to be submitted. Nijino bows down to the almighty sensei. Tsubasa says many of her fans think she is male and hence she doesn’t appear in public. She hopes Nijino could keep this a secret too. After Nijino learns the quartet do the same thing and live in the same dorm, she realizes it is run by her friend Ririka. She is not pleased she is not told about this. Kaos submits to Amisawa about the perfect characters she created based on Fuura and Nijino. Cool. But, where’s the story? Rejected!

Episode 7
Kaos hears Koyume’s manga will be serialized. She begs not to be forgotten as a background character. WTF. Kaos gets another scare from Fuura. But she learns she has a deadline approaching and can’t get any assistants due to her unpopularity. Don’t worry. Kaos will help. Until she sees her room in the attic with lots of skeletons and creepy dolls. Oh boy. Scream fest part 2. But Kaos either has no experience in the jobs Fuura gives her or it’s just too scary. She learns they are from the same region and while it might seem like they might become best friends, Fuura’s unintentional creepy hug has her screaming again. Loud enough for Ruki to come to her rescue. At first she didn’t believe Kaos helped in some of the art because she thinks Kaos cannot draw that well! Once the confusion is over, Kaos feels Fuura isn’t such a bad person and her hug in some ways did calm her down. With Kaos pondering about the appeal of mature women, Ruki suggests she wears glasses. The thought of wearing one seems to freak her out because of the burden of becoming a mature woman. Huh? One morning, Koyume is frantically looking for something she lost. Guess what? Kaos! WTF?! She left a note saying she has gone out alone to do errands for the first time. Yeah, she got ‘molested’ by old grannies thinking how cute this grandkid is. I think she got pampered too. Kaos is able to shop and buy things at the anime store. However a policewoman thinks she is a lost child so panic Kaos runs away. Hiding inside a box did the trick? Miraculously her friends manage to find her. Like an abandoned kitten? Apparently they know where to find her because of the panicky posts she posted online. Glad to be back in the company of her friends, now they visit the glasses shop. Trying out all sorts of glasses, Kaos thinks she looks weird in all of them. Nijino and her friend are also here to try out some glasses. Kaos gets her advice since she is in a dilemma over wearing glasses just for the sake of wearing them. Kaos eventually decides to get one when it is suggested she can watch anime in HD. Yeah, now Kaos sees reality in HD! Everything so clear and beautiful! And then when she tries to draw, she sees how clear the lines and hence how much she sucks! Time to put away the glasses. And that was the most short-lived glasses girl story ever.

Episode 8
Another day, another rejected manga. Man, this one really hit Kaos hard. You can tell and feel for her when she starts saying how useless she is in the manga industry. Everyone gives their best advice but eventually there is another problem cropping up: The exams. Kaos and Koyume suck in studying on their own so they get their senpai to help on their history. I can understand why this subject is so hard to understand… In class when Tsubasa asks Nijino for help, ever since she knows her identity, she always thinks it is help for manga instead of actual school work. During the exam, Nijino observes the quartet. Ruki seems fine. Kaos’ face shows she is obviously going to explode from the stress. Tsubasa outright sleeping! WTF is Koyume posing?! I suppose she forgot whatever that is supposed to mean. The adults go drinking and I guess this is where Amisawa gets to rant how bad she feels putting down Kaos every time. They also think back about their times together in high school as they were from the same manga club. Nijino and Amisawa get further drunk when Ririka brings them back to her place for drinking. They love her hospitality so much so they don’t mind if they never get married and will just have her take care of them for the rest of their life. Nijino is excited as she ponders if she can go bug Tsubasa for some artwork. Speaking of the devil (angel, rather), here she comes in looking for some screen tones. She is restrained so that our manga sensei could get the supplies she needs before this rabid fan girl gets her. And then Fuura comes in to ask for horror advice. Time for scream fest. Amisawa peeks at Kaos working in her room. It breaks her heart to see her breaking down that her work will never be accepted and how low her self-confidence has plunged. Hence Amisawa sends her a very strong and nice message of advice to lift her spirits. She does not want Kaos to stop drawing. When Kaos texts back about doing her best, Amisawa calls her and gets tough on her. Back to square one? Is she tsundere? In the end when Kaos submits her next work, despite changing her style to grading like a school test, unfortunately this means Kaos still fails big time. She’ll need a lot more than motivation now…

Episode 9
Everyone celebrates Koyume’s manga getting colour pages. Of course this has Kaos trying to use her as a model for motivation but she ends up making herself anxious when Koyume’s style doesn’t fit hers. Does this mean she is doomed to never done a storyboard? The girls go out shopping together and Koyume takes the lead in helping Tsubasa find her fashion sense. Roles reversal for once. Koyume has been so happy with her serialization that the rest finally noticed and pointed out to her: Is she getting fat? Horror! True enough, she gains weight. Every girl’s nightmare. So worried she can’t even draw. She seeks ways to lose weight but it often backfires. Like asking Ruki for advice, she instead became Ruki’s model for her porn work thanks to her nice boobs. Jogging with Tsubasa has her tired so Tsubasa appreciates the extra workout load of carrying her back. Therefore Koyume decides to just be herself. Screw it all because she is going to order her favourite sweets otherwise she will regret it for the rest of her life. During school’s recess, Tsubasa is looking panicky. It seems the manuscript she was drawing this morning in class (not paying attention, huh?) is missing. It would be bad if it is leaked before publication and thus putting her identity at risk. The quartet go search and retrace their steps but nothing. They talk to Nijino about it and she like an adult make mature decisions like splitting the group to find the manuscript faster. Of course her ulterior motive is to read it before others. When Kaos finds an old briefcase stuck behind the library shelves, this isn’t Tsubasa’s briefcase. Yeah, it wouldn’t make sense for her to put it there. But Nijino starts to panic. This is actually her manuscript from her days in the manga club. She quickly snatches it back while giving some excuses. Tsubasa is depressed at the end of the day because they put in so much effort to find it but no results. As the friends give their support, a girl then hands it back to her. It was found in the science lab but when she tried to give it back to her, she wasn’t there. Everyone is grateful to her but who is this chick? You mean you don’t recognize her? Not her voice? Okay. So as she lets her hair loose, everyone recognizes this beautiful chick turned horror girl Fuura! Let the scream fest begin! Yeah, Fuura loves hearing those screams too. Music to her ears.

Episode 10
Christmas is around the corner and Ruki hates it! Why?! It’s that time of the year where she gets jealous watching others as a couple but she is still single and alone. To take her mind off, she works on her manga. However she gets jealous her character gets more love than her! Maybe help with Tsubasa’s work? Too bad she is doing a love story for a change! She seeks solace in Fuura despite her creepiness. Despite Fuura wanting to curse couples, thankfully Ruki doesn’t intend to go that far. When she returns to her room, the rest surprise her with a birthday surprise. Christmas Eve is her birthday. Yeah, she totally forgot about it. They celebrate and praise her a lot. Keep those praises coming. The girls are going back to their hometown for the New Year holiday stretch but when Kaos calls home, mom has gone on a holiday with dad! Aloha! Not wanted? Poor Kaos… Hence Tsubasa brings her along to her home. At first Kaos is puzzled to Tsubasa suddenly becoming feminine. She’ll know why soon… Her family lives in a huge mansion with maids! And they’re so elegant! They welcome back Tsubasa like as though she’s the world’s most precious thing! It seems when Tsubasa cannot keep up with the elegance anymore, Ruki comes by in time to help her out. She also has (poor) Photoshop of Tsubasa ‘studying’. Kaos is so lost in the refinement culture… It is revealed that there are lots of conditions for Tsubasa staying at the dorm. Ruki has managed to convince them that Tsubasa is studying and doing her best otherwise they’ll drag her back here thinking she is neglecting everything to draw manga! The more Tsubasa spends time here, the more she becomes refined until she doesn’t even know what manga is and lost motivation to do it! Until Kaos threatens to show this elegant side of Tsubasa to Koyume… Welcome back. The friends visit the shrine on New Year. It’s that usual Kaos panic again as she draws bad luck. Ririka has the girls help bake sweet potatoes. But they use Tsubasa’s old manuscripts for the fire. This is also to help clear out her stockpile that is clogging her room. She feels sad for parting with them but has to come to terms with it. Ruki has no regrets parting with hers. Only if people could forget it from their minds. Koyume? She easily would forgo hers just for the food! Fuura trolls everyone by screaming, making everyone think the papers are burning in pain! So real. Because Kaos feels it is a waste to further burn Tsubasa’s old works, she decides to use her old rejected ones. Man, there are bags of them… And thanks to them, now they can enjoy their hot sweet potato meal. Thank the failures…

Episode 11
The girls have to fill in a career survey form. Manga artist seems their first choice but surprisingly Ruki puts nursery school teacher. She loves kids and the thought of drawing manga as a living might not be enough to put food on the table. But the rest disagree if she should draw together with the kids… Tsubasa seems to have nightmares just thinking her career choice would be what her mom says. That horrible, huh? Fuura joins in the discussion and wants to be something that scares people? I think she is just doing it for kicks. Kaos believes she is more useless than Tsubasa as she hasn’t done anything right. Time for Ririka to help out with her advice. She lets them know she also drew manga like them during her student days. She had her fans but were unable to meet their expectations. Unlike them, they are all manga professionals. As a year has passed, it will soon be time for the girls to move out. So Ririka has them head down to the basement storage and clean out some of the treasures. It’s tempting to read what they can find. But Kaos sees lots of motivational messages and is pumped up to do her best. Hence the next time she sees Amisawa, she hands her 4 manuscripts! Wow. She is really going for broke. The first one is a romantic comedy. However, Kaos ideal male seems to be weird. Uhm, chopping wood? Is that what being manly is all about? Sorry, it’s based on her father. Oops. The next one is about porn! How did Kaos draw this if she is so embarrassed herself? Guess what? The male too has that same weird characteristics from the first one like wood chopping. It’s like she copy and paste? The third one is some adventure RPG. I’ll cut it short: It has wood chopping too. Oh boy. The last one is a slice of life story of a girl. Hmm… Hey, this looks pretty decent. This might actually work! The irony is that she didn’t have any story in mind and just drew what came to mind. Later back home, Kaos receives a call from Amisawa asking if she could do a few consecutive guest spots. If this is well received, it might lead to a comic serial! OMG! Kaos finally makes it! Yeah, she couldn’t even believe it either. Her friends rejoice upon hearing this great news. Tsubasa and Kaos are in great spirits, putting mangaka as their first career choice. The former writing nothing in the second and the latter writing some long winded message why there is nothing else that beats being a mangaka.

Episode 12
Kaos receives the good news that her first part was well received. However, now that she thinks about it, it is because all her friends helped out. So it passed because of their part? This means she has nightmares about completing the second part. Amisawa as a fire breathing smoker as threat?! Worst, Kaos’ friends have to leave the dorm earlier due to family commitments, leaving Kaos alone. Oh boy. You’re on your own. When Amisawa calls to check on her, you can tell Kaos is breaking down and talking about loneliness and crying. Yeah, at least she has an experience of what being a real mangaka is: Trying to beat the deadline! More tears when Ririka plays both the dorm lady and mother. Maybe Kaos’ just confused with all the kindness. Kaos gets a surprise visit from her real mom. Looks like she messed up the date to pick her up. Mom brought the entire collection of embarrassing Kaos photos. Always crying… Except when it comes to drawing. Mom really puts her drawing on a high pedestal! More embarrassment when she bought lots of manga magazine Kaos’ work is featured in and gave it for free for those who bought stuffs from her! Kaos might sound lost but she knows she has to be strong and finish her manuscript. Hence she can’t come home with mom now. Still having writer’s block, she looks at her first part for inspiration but only serves to bring more tears. Would this girl stop crying already? When her friends text motivational messages, that’s when she got her pen moving. The day comes for Kaos to eventually move out. And she also submitted her manuscript right on the deadline! Amisawa then calls to praise how her second part is so good it is her best work yet. I think those tears are justified. That’s not the end of it. More free flowing tears seeing messages from her friends and believing how a lucky girl she is. Next spring, all the friends reunite again at the dorm. You know things are back to normal when Kaos says her works continue to be rejected. Nothing fixes that by drawing some more?

Mangirl: Comical Party
Wait a minute. So all of them get to continue to live back at the dorm? Although there are no rules to say how long one can stay, but if all of them are coming back to live here again for the next year, why the drama and sadness of leaving the dorm? I mean, it’s going to be just a few weeks, right? They make it sound like they’re never coming back again but here they are. Not because their manga work sucks (maybe for Kaos) and hence the irony all of them get sent back to live here again. Because I thought those who don’t leave end up like Fuura as the ‘ghost’ who ‘haunts’ the dorm. She’s a former dorm resident, right? And she has a whole ‘base’ in the attic and Ririka allows it? I’m also not sure how big the dorm is but if the quartet are going to continue staying here, would there be more space for new mangaka wannabe tenants? Oh right. Not taking any for the moment. It would be utter chaos (pun not intended) if more girls are added to the fray.

Is it me or does this series have some sort of uncanny resemblance to Hidamari Sketch? In that series, a group of art students live together in a dorm doing fun stuffs together. Here, we have a group of mangaka wannabe girls dwelling in a dorm especially for them while doing fun stuffs together till the end.

Like shows in this genre without any real serious plot, the onus falls heavily on the cast of characters. Therefore characters in a series can really make or break a series depending on how likeable or relatable they are to the viewers. For me, after watching countless of such cute girls doing cute things genre, I have established this neutral stance in recent shows of this category. While the characters here are certainly not copy and paste from other characters in other similar genres, they are nothing extraordinary and if you look at them from a general point of view, they have some of that general similarity. Like the insecure and low self-confidence girl, the shy girl, the social outcast, the my-own-pace girl and the tomboy. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all glove but it is still a glove nevertheless.

Thus the characters are almost likeable thanks to their flaws and the struggles they face. Like Kaos who has self-confidence perhaps smaller than her stature and her running joke is that she is unable to write a decent manga. She is the master of being rejected if I should say. So once she manages to do and accomplish something that simple, it becomes a big celebratory event. I know not every idea can be accepted but coming up with a decent plot and artwork should be the norm for every manga artists from all walks of life and level. So for Kaos to not be able to do something simple like that makes you wonder if she is fit to be a manga artist in the first place. Passion is one thing but can she survive on that alone in this cutthroat industry? Since she is cute and lovable, I guess she’ll pass. Somehow. Keep on persevering, Kaos. Besides, she is the only character I know who can’t even remember her own name despite not being amnesiac of nature! That’s really bringing your uselessness level to something.

The other part that Kaos is good at is being a master of weeping. With such low self-confidence I can see why. Maybe she should have made this her second career. Don’t laugh. There is a profession of professional criers. At least in China. Time and time again as we see from Kaos struggling to be a decent manga artist, it makes me wonder if this is a sign from God to tell her she should switch to another career. I mean, with Kaos continuing to draw, it tells us she is persevering and continuing to believe in her dream. But if she is going to keep on sucking and being terrible, this is something she has to put some serious thought in. Even if it is going to cost her more buckets of tears. So for her being successful that one time makes it look like a big fluke instead of her talent finally blooming. Sure, you can say it will take a few more years but with all the up and coming talented ones, she’ll be in the dust by the time she settles in. Then she can continue crying all she wants… The greatest potential manga artist that has never been… If Kaos is struggling this much already, imagine what she will be if she was in the world of Bakuman… Can’t even imagine.

Of all the members in the dorm, Koyume seems the least stressed up as she is mostly doing things at her own pace. Perhaps the weight gain experience was the most stressful event in her life ever since she came to the dorm. Ruki sometimes mirrors life’s irony. The thing you are very good at in life could be the thing that you hate doing most in life. You keep doing it simply because it brings food to the table. It is not uncommon for female to do porn that resembles male fantasy but many would never think that a female would be the one behind such erotic works. Tsubasa might be cool thanks to her chuunibyou-like behaviour sometimes but it is interesting when her background comes to the limelight. It would be more interesting to see more of her past and how she ended up in this situation. A rich girl fooling her parents to live out her dream manga artist life. This has got to be some real deception since we see hints how mom could be the scary type if made mad or disappointed. You don’t want to disappoint her, do you? No wonder she sees mom as a demon. Is this where her chuunibyou stems from? At least it gives her inspiration.

Completing this dorm is the ‘scary’ resident Fuura whom I believe has a better luck in making horror movies that she herself should star in rather than drawing horror manga. Heck, even if she becomes one of those living attractions in haunted houses at amusement parks, she would definitely pull off a good job. Besides, doesn’t she love to hear people scream? Isn’t that why she keeps on scaring the dorm residents especially Kaos whose shrieking brings so much pleasure and joy? Life is a series of connections as the adults who were once friends and doing manga in their high school days are now some playing some sort of guidance to our young ones. They might have not been successful in their time so it feels like they are living their legacy through them if they make it big.

Although the art and animation leans more towards the cute and kawaii style, there was something bugging me at first when I looked at the characters. They look kinda familiar… Then it hit me. Oh my! Why do our main quartet have this uncanny resemblance to the characters in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica???!!! Kaos looks like a petite version of Madoka while Ruki takes on Akemi’s resemblance. But the ‘scarier’ ones are Tsubasa and Koyume because they look like almost exact replicas of Sayaka and Mami respectively! Is this what those magical girls do when their series’ run is over? Instead of becoming witches, they become manga artists instead. Haha! Oops. Having said that their resemblance is uncannily similar to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, this means that I also see shades of Hidamari Sketch character designs in them. But this is mainly only in Kaos and Koyume who generally look more like Yuno and Miyako respectively. Animated by Nexus, this is their first solo animation production having only done shorts like Wakaba Girl or movies like Santa Company. They also did Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry but that was joint with Silver Link.

Voice acting sounds pretty decent with main casts including Hikaru Akao as Kaos (also doubling as Nyaos), Kaede Hondo as Koyume (Hitomi in Hinamatsuri), Rie Takahashi as Tsubasa (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu) and Saori Oonishi as Ruki (Ais in DanMachi). I believe it is one of the few animes where hearing them scream is so much fun. Really. Thanks to Fuura becoming the scare staple of the series, you can bet this series can be technically classified as a scream fest despite not even remotely close to a horror genre. It was a delighted for me to have spot Mamiko Noto as Kaos’ mom even if it was just cameo. Aloha! I really feel the industry is using less and less of my numero uno these days… Sighs… Also making her cameo is Ayako Kawasumi is Tsubasa’s mom. Other casts are Reina Ueda as Fuura (Aishela in Grancrest Senki), Aya Endo as Ririka (Tchaikovsky in ClassicaLoid), Ayaka Nanase as Nijino (Yoshino in Sakura Quest) and Minami Tsuda as Amisawa (Yui in YuruYuri).

The opening and ending themes are sung by the main quartet (aptly named after the series’ name as well). Memories as the opener sound like your typical lively upbeat anime pop while Namida Wa Misenai as the ending theme goes to a slower beat. Surprisingly I didn’t expect myself to like the ending theme. Not to say it is a masterpiece or best in the world but I somehow enjoy listening to it. It could be the nice beat or tempo that makes it enjoyable to hear.

Overall, not really a bad series and one of the genre of cute girls doing cute things. However nothing really that extraordinary in my books either. It is fun and enjoyable for the season it premiered but anything more than that, nothing really memorable. Maybe the scream fest… If you are expecting this series to be one where it tells you the ins and outs of the industry, you would be disappointed since Bakuman and Shirobako already set that standard high. Sorry if the title and synopsis sounds a bit misleading but we could have guessed when we saw a poster of a group of cute girls together. These girls should at least decently make it big as they have the support and the right surroundings to help improve their manga unlike others who are not so fortunate. Otherwise… It’ll be just sad if they don’t. Too revise and modify a famous quote, it’s not the part of rejecting manga that makes you a failure. It’s the part of no trying again and giving up. 100 rejected ideas don’t mean they are bad. Maybe it just means other people just have bad taste in your stuffs ;p.

So you weeaboos think you know it all about Japan, do you? Think you can name a few anime, manga and video games, you’re a master of knowing all that is Japan, do you? Oh yeah? Think by saying the general knowledge history of Oda Nobunaga makes you the same as local Japanese, do you? Well, I’ve got some news for you buddy. You don’t know anything yet. Especially the Gunma prefecture of Japan. Gun-what? Not Gundam. Gunma. Strap onto your seatbelts because we’re going to tell you all you need to know about Gunma first. Now do you think you know everything about Japan? Heck, Omae Wa Mada Gunma Wo Shiranai!

Episode 1
Nori Kamitsuki is taking a train as he is moving to Gunma. He remembers his friend, Otoya Todoroki lives there as he texts him about it and is looking forward to be in the same school as him again. However he texts back to not come here as no one who comes to Gunma returns alive. Poor Kamitsuki got so scared that he starts seeing everything in a different light. The train is now creepily empty and the ‘devilish’ conductor forces him to the front coach where everyone is. Then he sees how everyone here talks and acts like gangsters and he fears this is the evil miasma from Gunma! He thinks of getting off and turning back on the next stop. However the doors doesn’t open despite the train stopping as it continues its journey! Hold on to your seatbelts for this one way ride to hell! As stated in the fact of this episode, the doors do not automatically open after a certain station and must be done so manually. Huh? Why the trouble?

Episode 2
As Kamitsuki introduces himself in class, suddenly the class gives him that evil stare when he says he is from Chiba. Kamitsuki tries not to be bothered with it until when it is time to start the class, he rises and bows. Immediately his classmates turn against him! WTF just happened?! It seems in Gunma you do not stand and bow. You stand, attention and then bow before sitting! Because of that they think he is a spy and tie him up with their stretchable udon. He is taken to the detention room as fearful Kamitsuki desperately tries to call out to Todoroki.

Episode 3
The students are discussing this spy issue like as though it’s a really serious matter. More serious than North Korea wanting to nuke US, I tell you! Kyou Shinooka reminds them their best way to flush out outsiders is their Jomo karuta. If you are a Gunma native, you will be able to recite all 44 cards without mistake! And this crane stance thingy too. Kamitsuki tries to eat his way out from his udon bind. Before him is Todoroki. However he is the class rep and he tells them to give him eat yaki manjuu.

Episode 4
As explained, yaki manjuu are buns with no fillings but covered with thick and very sweet coating. It is sold almost everywhere in Gunma and basically the prefecture’s soul food. Therefore those who are not from Gunma who taste it will reject this sweetness and sometimes it will result in death because their brain cannot handle it! OMG! Is this a true fact?! After the yaki manjuu is stuck into Kamitsuki’s mouth, this is the first time he is tasting it and he loves it!!! Typical anime food theme exaggeration animation scene with him breaking out of his binds and feeling the yaki manjuu merging with his body cells to be one! Everybody is relieved and now treats Kamitsuki as a friend as they think he is a local. Kamitsuki is grateful to Todoroki and thinks he gave him this fake yaki manjuu to fool them. However Todoroki isn’t aware of that. Both give each other that dumbfounded stare… You mean it wasn’t? Oh…

Episode 5
After a day, it seems Kamitsuki has gotten used to the local customs. Yeah, he blends in well. Shinooka then talks to him as she finds out he moved around the country often. As she has him talk more about himself, it is as though she is trying to catch him when saying certain words. Finally when she offers to be his special girl and he accepts, she then shows her true colours. She knows he doesn’t know a single one of Jomo karuta and used a honey trap to confirm he is an outsider. She is part of this JKJ group and will never accept him as a Gunmateer.

Episode 6
First, Todoroki explains the history of Jomo karuta. After the occupation of America after World War II, Jomo karuta was made to lift the people’s spirits. Many lives were sacrificed to compile this treasure as those Americans viewed it as violation and promotes dangerous ideas. As time goes by, locals learn to love it that this is literally drilled into children’s head (fact states they are forced to learn them). So we have lots of local championships of Jomo karuta and there is one interview with young Shinooka giving a passionately heavy and deep statement about the trophy she won has the weight of the blood and tears of Gunma’s history and those who don’t understand it are not fit to be human! So JKJ is Jomo Karte Jugend, an organization consisting of members who are champions of the prefectural tournament. This elite Jomo karuta group (basically just a bunch of people good at karuta to Kamitsuki) does not consider many who do not achieve this as true Gunmateers. Todoroki vows to protect him at all costs. As long it doesn’t bring danger to him. Kamitsuki knows better than to rely on him so he starts by learning more about Jomo karuta.

Episode 7
Gunma is also famed for its strong winds. Kamitsuki enjoys riding his bicycle as the wind pushes him. But be careful not to be pushed off into the fields. He passes by a kid heading in the opposite direction. He has had it in going anywhere because of the strong winds and is going to stay where he is. When he laments about the harsh life in Gunma, Kamitsuki agrees and flashbacks to all the ‘hardships’ he has been through. Yeah, he hates Gunma too. But when he gets back, mom treats him to tasty potatoes dried from the wind and Todoroki inviting him to a group hanami. Kamitsuki has forgotten all the hardships and now loves Gunma. Gunma banzai!

Episode 8
Mom has Kamitsuki go borrow some videos from his old friend, Minoru. He tries to remember the kind of friend he is. Because Gunma has no coastline, the prefecture doesn’t have any beaches. Hence when Kamitsuki once brought him to a beach, he becomes overly excited. Then he couldn’t stop ranting about how unfair it is for Gunma who loves the sea but ironically the sea hates Gunma as he further quotes statistics that there are more swimming related accidents from Gunma than any other prefecture and how the locals appreciate sashimi and tuna more than others with its massive annual consumption. Wow. This guy is really from Gunma.

Episode 9
Kamitsuki visits Minoru at his school’s sports festival. He learns that the teams are not named by their colour but their surrounding mountains. Yeah, it feels like teams are out to kill each other for blood! Also there is Ieti from JKJ but she is harmless as he explains that Shinooka isn’t all that bad as she seems. When Minoru has Kamitsuki join in a scavenger hunt, it seems Shinooka is also in this game but on the opposing team. She quickly declares a mock battle between Gunma and outsiders and will bring him down to his knees by JKJ to make him an example to others.

Episode 10
In this scavenger hunt, Shinooka has to get some jelly. It isn’t Gunma native but its biggest factory is based here. As for Kamitsuki, getting some local sweet snack is hard so as he tries to change his item, some guy passes him some shimonita green onion. This freaks out Kamitsuki at first because it sounds like some perverted vegetable (shimoneta) and how often does one associate leeks and buttholes, right? He needs to take it to the finish line but Shinooka stands in his way. In his bid to make Gunma accept him, he charges straight at her and then slides through between her legs. The onion’s leaf tickles her, uhm, let’s say sensitive area. It is no surprise Kamitsuki gets slapped. You were expecting some sort of romantic twist?

Episode 11
Kamitsuki is in a shop that has lots of vending machines. Before he knows it, this guy forces him to watch a video of its history. Apparently Gunma has the highest concentration of vending machines and inside shops nevertheless. It all goes back to the Cold War. Fearing Agent Orange might spread to Japan, precautions were taken to have buildings constructed with minimal walls to be converted for military use if necessary. Vending machines were installed as convenient entertainment as they are harder to steal. Hence such buildings were built based on military strategies and national security! It is said that if Gunma falls, Japan will fall! Defend Gunma at all costs! Since when is Kamitsuki drafted into the Gunma military?

Episode 12
As the gang is driving up Mt Myogi to visit its shrine, suddenly they are met with an accident. They find themselves in heaven and overheard angels talking about their death was premature. Knowing God will never promote them if their deaths are a mistake, they agree to send them back and ask where they come from. They proudly say they are from Gunma and were currently at the Myogi Shrine. But they find themselves in this strange creepy land. We are told birch trees might resemble bones but how come there are demons in the sky?! WTF?! This is the punch line: The angels are baffled why the gang wanted to go to Planet Myogi Shrine! Yes people, there is a planet discovered and named after this in 1988! Todoroki believes they don’t know Gunma yet but Kamitsuki knows better. They’re not in Gunma at all!!! Yeah, maybe true Gunmateers can only see 2 suns in the sky…

You Don’t Know Japan At All!
Oh well. I’ve got to admit it. After watching this series, I still don’t know anything about Gunma! Haha! Because more like in one ear, out the other! But I do know that the last episode features a lot more BS and crap even though it is trying to nail a point that those seemingly sci-fi stuffs are true. And yes, I believe it is also crap that if you die in Gunma, you would go to heaven and meet bungling angels who are more concerned of being promoted rather than sending back the souls to the correct place. Sure, the universe is such a big place but did they not check where their souls are harvested from? Oh well, if they say Myogi, then it must be Myogi because there is only one Myogi place in the entire universe the angels know. Damn you angels, you don’t even know Gunma!!! I’m sure the locals will even kick angels’ ass for this. Yeah, no wonder the misconception of Gunmateers being scary…

I have to say that even if this series is interesting in its own mini way, this is still one big blatant advertising for the prefecture. Although I am not sure how effective it is, I can say that this series has a better chance in promoting Gunma than, say, Urawa No Usagi-san (which is supposed to promote the city of Urawa in Saitama prefecture). You can tell some of the promotions they do at the end of each episode, a segment called Straight From The Farm! Gunma Love. From their food and strange culture that is featured in the anime, it shows and further proves that they didn’t really make up those stuffs. Nothing says like seeing is believing. They even had the mayor and governor in person say a few words. So I guess they are really trying to promote the place. Or maybe desperate because the mayor and governor’s textbook answer of inviting people to come visit Gunma.

If Gunma is considered weird, you haven’t seen the rest of Japan yet. It will get even weirder the deeper you discover. You will find that even among Japanese themselves, there are some cultures that are so alien, you will even wonder if they are Japanese to begin with. Hence Gunma being uniquely weird and at the same time being as Japanese they can get is the same with everywhere else in the world. It is a big world out there after all. Hence if you want to know even more and deeper about a country’s culture, you can’t rely on the generalized tourism brochure to get your details. What makes a better tourist guide than a local who has lived his/her entire life in that area.

Back to the series itself, well uhm, nothing really much else I could talk about. The plot is basically a tool to advertise Gunma. The characters… Kamitsuki feels like a personification of an outsider making his stay at Gunma. Hence all the culture shock that this poor dude will feel just because he isn’t from Gunma. I don’t know if that constitutes to racism since Gunma people as seen by JKJ do not welcome outsiders well. Safeguarding culture is one thing but how can others appreciate your culture if you keep it so locked up? Might as well close off Gunma to the rest of the world and form your own country! Hope this won’t happen.

Todoroki is forgettable. I thought he would play somewhat of a role to help Kamitsuki or at least something that would justify his existence. It feels like he could be a nameless friend for Kamitsuki and the series would still carry on as usual. Perhaps Todoroki doesn’t want to stand out as much as he is not a true Gunmateer and by being flashy, there is a chance that you might ‘offend’ locals by not portraying their expected expectations. So better to keep a low profile. As for Shinooka, if she is what normal Gunma people are like, she’s doing a good job scaring others from her prefecture. I thought JKJ was going to be somewhat of the antagonist because they sure seemed so with their pure Gunma only ways. But I guess they don’t want to distract us from such ‘extremists’ and focus more on the wonders of Gunma.

Something tells me they want to set up some short romance between Kamitsuki and Shinooka. The episode in which she baited him wasn’t it. It is that challenge during Minoru’s school sports festival that I started having this feeling. She may be giving an excuse to show what a true Gunmateer is but it could just be a distraction and way to get his attention. No matter where you come from or what culture you are brought up in, love is love! No barriers. Not even prefectures. Ieti also feels redundant because clearly the series could have been done without her as she played no important role.

Art and animation are pretty standard. They don’t put much effort into the details because it’s just promotion, right? If you want to see the real deal, come down to Gunma yourself! But Kamitsuki looks like a tired guy. Could it be he tried to fit into the Gunma culture and the result of burning the midnight oil made him look like that? Hopefully trying to become a Gunmateer won’t kill him first. I don’t know, for some reason, Shinooka reminds me of Nel from Bleach. Even more so when her JKJ group dons plan white mask.

Voice acting we have the bare minimum. Gakuto Kajiwara as Kamitsuki (Asta in Black Clover), Jun Kasama as Todoroki (Heracles in High School DxD Hero), Aya Uchida as Shinooka (Kotori in Love Live) and Yui Ogura doubling as Minoru and Ieti (Tomarin in Teekyuu). One thing I like is the ending theme of this series, So Happy by Aya Uchida. It is cute and catchy. Could be Gunma’s theme song if you ask me! The ending credits animation showcases more of the popular tourist attractions and landmarks in Gunma.

Overall, this isn’t the best series to promote Gunma at all. I did say it is better than a certain Urawa series but that doesn’t make it good. This series is still some sort of advertising and perhaps its anime format is to try and pique the interests of otaku viewers. Though, if you are really interested and serious in touring Gunma, you would have done other and better research before getting down to it. Otherwise this series if you think too much about it, it feels like trying to make a mockery of Gunma and outsiders because of the clash in culture and lack of understanding. In other words… Culture appropriation!!! Damn, you really don’t know Gunma yet for sure! Say the people who don’t even live in Gunma or Japan. :/

Hinamatsuri

August 5, 2018

Sorry folks. Hinamatsuri isn’t going to be an anime about the special day that Japanese girls celebrate. It is not going to talk about its origins and why it has become one of the important celebration in Japan. Yeah, that would be so boring that I wouldn’t’ even want to watch it. Heh. Instead, it is about… Hmm… Let me see… What we have here in the synopsis… Strange object, blah, blah, blah, member of yakuza, blah, blah, blah, strange girl inside strange object blah, blah, blah, strange powers she has, blah, blah, blah, they stay together and must use her power wisely or risk destruction all around. Oh. I see. Not really getting it either.

Episode 1
A girl is kicking a group of Chinese gang’s ass in her bid to save Hina. Flashback 3 years ago, yakuza dude, Yoshifumi Nitta one day has a strange capsule with a strange face drop in his apartment. He ignores it but it is still there the next day. Hina wants him to press the red button to free her. He does so. Naked girl. Clothes please. He won’t give it to her so she uses her powers to break some of his previous vase collection! Now Nitta becomes her caretaker and has to buy whatever she wants. Yeah, they’re all expensive stuffs and foods. And she won’t even tell about anything on herself. Uh huh. His vase collection is at ransom. Hina even has him enrolled at a local school just because she saw it on the news and wanted so. Of course Hina passes off as a weirdo as she even sleeps throughout the entire class. Because Hina must use her power from time to time, not doing so means going berserk. Yeah, there goes his entire vase collection. Nitta has an idea where she can use it at full potential. His boss wants him to find the cheapest company to clear a land for some property development. Nitta has Hina uproot trees and turn them into timber. So easy! He praises her awesome powers but Hina knows that look of adults taking kids with powers as advantage. Nitta then gets a call from his chief. Their boss got shot by a rival gang and he is forced to do the revenge job. Outside their base, Nitta is contemplating his future when Hina asks if he is going to order her to kill them. He scolds her for thinking so as this is not her problem. She smiles and says she will do it. She reveals the world she came from, her reason for existence is to carry out orders. She likes being with him and is nothing like the adults she knew. Hina uses her power to throw everyone and everything out of the building and even capturing the boss! Now Nitta is famous and everyone in his gang looks up to him for pulling off the impossible. Nitta rewards Hina with a huge bowl of her favourite fish roe. They say curiosity kills the cat because Nitta got curious in touching a small red ball and now he is stuck in the capsule! So that’s how she got here. Hina won’t let him out as he struggles. Until he promises to make her breakfast she does so. I think he already did his business there so it’s going to stink…

Episode 2
Another capsule drops in. This time Anzu is looking for Hina. Not sure if the biker gang is dumb enough not to suspect something strange when a naked loli is in front of them and challenge her. They got their ass handed to them. Sabu tells Nitta about the wipe out of a biker gang. He thinks it is Hina’s doing but it couldn’t be as he was with her last night. Worst fear comes true when he sees Anzu in the biker gang’s outfit. She could have caused a ruckus as she did not pay for her food. He pays for her and then tails her. Other biker gang members try to get even with her but get beaten up. She asks if they know Hina. This definitely confirms it for Nitta not to get involved with her. Now that Anzu has resorted to shoplifting for food, Nitta believes he might have saved the country when Hina dropped into his place. You can’t imagine how she’ll rummage for food everywhere causing a nationwide panic! Eventually he needs to settle this so he brings Hina to see her. Now Anzu doesn’t need to go find her. Anzu reveals she has orders from her boss to kill her, that’s why she is here. Hina isn’t interested so constant bribing of fish roe is needed to make her play along. Nitta sets the rules to play some power rock-scissors-paper game. Anzu wins a few times but is unable to use her power to make Hina turn the other way. Maybe except the funny face from the force of withstanding her power. When Hina wins, she does so to Anzu with ease! Anzu knows she is no match and rips her hair to show it as proof to her boss she killed her. But Hina would want her to stay before she leaves. So they have fun together and Nitta is used to taking care of kids. When Anzu leaves, she realizes her red ball cannot work (I guess it isn’t waterproof after being mixed up in the washing machine). She is stuck here and homeless again.

Because the cabaret girls think Nitta has become a loving father and spent more time with his ‘daughter’, Nitta blames Hina for this and is going to do things his way. He only leaves her with canned fish while he parties every night with girls. Hina tries to follow but he manages to lose her. Her classmate, Hitomi Mishima might regret what her problem is because now she is forced to follow her tail him. They enter the bar Nitta frequents but since Utako is not in, Hina leaves Hitomi alone. A drunk guy thinks she is a new girl and teaches her how to mix cocktail. Hina spots Utako outside. She tells her the problem so Utako says to tell Nitta or else he won’t understand. When Nitta enters the bar, Hitomi looks like an expert cocktail maker! Now Hina enters. She tells him that she also wants to go to cabaret clubs! With everyone drunk, they make their way there and even order a champagne tower. Hina uses her power since Nitta covers it up as illusion. Party on, people! What the f*ck is Hitomi still doing here? Next morning, Nitta has a hangover. Hina has so much fun she wants to go again. But after seeing the bill, looks like they have to live frugal for a while.

Episode 3
Anzu continues stealing and this time the shopping district led by Utako are chasing her down. If not for this homeless guy, Yassan helping her, who knows what they would have done to her. Utako is bitter for losing her but her pride will not allow to call the cops. Back at the hobo base, Yassan hears about Anzu’s plight. He teaches her how to make money like looking for tin cans and recycling them. Not much, she says? Yeah, money is hard to make. That’s why those guys were chasing you down. She is advised to buy some liquor for the other hobo guys since they need to stick together and they will teach her a lot more. But some like Shige don’t really accept a young girl joining their ranks. Anzu feels left out despite all that and when she voices out, she is made known the liquor she bought is more expensive and Yassan must have covered the rest. Following Yassan’s advice to sing for them, she sings the only song she knows: Wolf eating deer, munching-munching song? WTF. But everybody is crying!!! Yeah, Anzu reminds them of their grandchild. With that, she is now part of the gang. One day, Nitta spots Anzu looking for cans. Obviously she lies about liking this lifestyle. He gives her some cash. 40 grand. Oh sh*t! That’s thousands times much more than she makes! However she rejects him thinking he is insulting her. But after remembering others talking about tanking prices of cans, she goes back and apologizes. Money please? Nitta gives it to her as it was meant so. But shortly after, Utako and the shop owners confront her. They take the money and it covers their costs. They even give Anzu a small change! Anzu laments this to the hobo men but they are fine with it. Now she has a clean and fresh hobo life.

Hitomi is a studious student by day and a bartender by night. It all happened when Utako had her wear the bartender outfit and finds her cute. She will pay her handsomely for it. When Hitomi rejected, she threatened to upload of her in this outfit online. Yeah, her cocktail making skills are surpassing Utako. One night, she is shocked to see her homeroom teacher, Matsutani entering with the already drunk vice principal. It doesn’t help when Utako and the other guys are interested to see what happens next. She makes a different face but obviously Matsutani knows it is her. Even more so when the rest give hints she is Hitomi. But the reason he doesn’t bust her cover and plays along is that the vice principal is vouching to make him the head teacher but if he discovers he has a student in a shady job, that gets thrown out the window. He tests her shaking and stirring skills in which Hitomi proves she is an absolute master. Impressive. With that, her secret bank account is quickly filling up. Because Hina is being petty like Nitta has a meatball more than her, Nitta wonders if she should be homeless and swap place with Anzu. Thoughts of them in swapped places really freaked her out. Hina tries to be more considerate now and even tries to clean the place while he is away. Of course, lots of clumsiness causing her to make a mess of everything. There goes a vase… And just when Nitta thinks he should reward her once in a while, wait till he gets back and sees the chaos…

Episode 4
Nitta is mad alright. Not even apologies would do. That’s right. He has had it with her and disowns her. Get out. Now that she is homeless, she spends all whatever money she has on food. Homeless and penniless. Anzu spots her and is kind enough to take her back to her place to let her sort out things. Too bad Hina is just bad. You can tell she is going to be a freeloader… Hitomi comes by the apartment to give some notes and Nitta lies saying that she is away with his family. Which is weird because it’s not even the holidays. Utako is giving free soup to the homeless and is shocked to see Anzu and Hina coming to get some. When she tells Nitta about this, he comes clean about disowning her. Apparently everyone dislikes this idea and kicks him out of the bar! Don’t come back until he makes up with her! I guess Hina’s freeloading has reached its limit. Anzu kicks her out! Oh my. A homeless being homeless. The irony. Heck, when Anzu spots Nitta, she now understands how much crap he put up with her! So how does Hina live now? Apparently she saw a band doing street performance and the people donated whatever they want. So when Nitta heard from Sabu about Hina’s whereabouts, what did he see? The street band singing and Hina doing special effects! Oh man, he is flying!!! The crowd loves it! Too bad the police have to break them up since they have no permit for this. Though they make a killing from this and dream big, Hina isn’t happy. She drops the bomb that she wants to leave the band. While they are in shock, they have to accept and wish her all the best. Hina is seen sitting outside Nitta’s apartment. That guy still acts tough. She apologizes and bought a cheap looking vase as replacement. Oh well. Can’t stay mad forever. Get in. Finally a happy Hina face. Hitomi is doing well as a bartender but it seems her lie of sleeping over with friends is wearing thin as her bartending days are extending over the weekend. One day she sees Anzu picking cans and pitying her plight, she makes friends with her and tells her where she can get more. She introduces him to a colleague who after a little blackmail, gives his permission for her to take his loads of empty cans. Happy Anzu can’t thank her enough and invites Hitomi to her place. Her hobo place. Imagine to Hitomi’s shock seeing her homeless state. Wow. Anzu so happy she made a friend, eh? Hitomi is forced to hang out with her and even play tag! Yeah, she is so tired from work that she just sleeps standing! OMFG!

Episode 5
Anzu tries to teach cat’s cradle to Hina but she’s only interested in video games. Curses! That’s what you get when you have no money. So in order to get more money, she drags Hina along to find old used TVs to sell to this guy named Yoshida. Miraculously Anzu found tons of CRT TVs and treats them like treasure. Unfortunately they don’t worth much as Yoshida meant he wanted LCD types. The duo continue to search but end up with nothing. Anzu even calls Hitomi for help. Hitomi seeing how pitiful Anzu is has an idea. She remembers mom just bought a new TV and decides to use the old one as bait as she sets it up in the alley. Unfortunately the police catches her in the act and thinks she is dumping bulk waste. I wonder how she’ll get out of this sticky situation. Meanwhile Hina bugs Nitta for money to buy a new TV. She then takes a cab to bring it all the way to Yoshida who could tell this is a new TV. Since Hina has no money for the cab, Yoshida uses the new TV to offset the cab fare. Now Hitomi arrives with hers. Yoshida can also tell it is quite new. He just wished these kids would just send them to the recycling centre straight. When Hina gets home, Nitta is shocked and dumbfounded she sold the new TV and covered the taxi fare with it. WTF just happened?!

Kengo and Takashi see Hitomi enter the bar followed by Matsutani. They fear they have an illicit relationship. So they engage Sayo Aizawa to help out as she drags Hina into this ‘investigating task force’. Sayo tests Hitomi and it is obvious her body reaction tells us she is trying to hide a lie. Sayo finds this cute and teases her with a few lies just to make her panic. When Kengo and Takashi think Matsutani calling Hitomi to the teacher’s room to start something illicit, they bust in only to mess up the printouts. They are punished to help her out. They ask her about it and obviously that panic reaction. Because her vague words make it sound even more ambiguous, the guys are adamant to bring down the lolicon teacher. Now our little detectives wait outside the bar. After Hitomi enters, Nitta follows. They fear if she might be prostituting herself. To settle this once and for all, they barge into the bar. Now see Hitomi’s incredulous shock face! Priceless! She tries to play dumb that she is a different person but after Sayo’s smooth talking, Hitomi accidentally reveals herself. As punishment, she is made to confess out loud repeatedly she is a middle schooler bartender. So WTF. By this time Matsutani arrives. He sees the scene and thinks everyone mistook her for their classmate. The kids obviously know he is lying and the biggest idiot around. And Hina who has been dragged all along doesn’t even know what’s going on and everyone ignoring her…

Episode 6
Nitta’s mom calls. And Hina picks it up. Boy, he has some explaining to do. And so Nitta brings Hina to meet his family. Hina, meet mom and sister, Mika. Since Hina is just being awful in reiterating the rehearsed lines she is supposed to say (she sounds like a broken tape recorder, which makes it so much suspicious), Nitta uses his smooth operator talk to cover it all up. Something about Hina’s mom was killed and dad avenged her and was sentenced to prison. As his best friend, Nitta took her in. Wow. Such a great sob story that mom and Mika are crying! With Hina almost giving it away at times, Nitta’s smooth talk manages to get by. This guy should be given an Oscar. However he almost lets it slip when he mentions that one time he kicked her out of the house. Because it seems to imply that Hina is his daughter. So I guess it all comes down to this. Nitta admits she is his daughter and doesn’t know it until recently. They believe him because of his serious eyes. Yeah, so Oscar worthy serious eyes. They accept her and as part of the weird family ritual, they have to pray and say some words to Nitta’s late father. Yeah, it’s all too weird. Are they a bunch of psychos? For once when Hina is asked to say something, she says she has nothing to say! She’s learning to keep her mouth shut for unwanted trouble.

Anzu learns from Yassan that the homeless guys will be evicted. He has talked to Utako and arranged for somebody to take her in. However Anzu will not let this slip so she suggests joining the group protesting the removal of the homeless people. But the guys disagree because this will get them caught. Anzu suggests living somewhere else together but they give excuses there are no other places big enough for them and some even blowing their top they are barely taking care of themselves. It might sound harsh but the reality is that they want a better future for Anzu. Heartbroken, Anzu packs he bags and leaves with Utako. She is brought to stay in the care of the Hayashi family who runs a Chinese diner. They treat her good but naturally all this is still too shocking for Anzu. It really breaks your heart to hear her worried for the rest and feels she doesn’t deserve all this goodness alone! Even next morning when she comes down and offers her help, it is because she has learnt to work her keep. Wow. I’m respecting her even more! She starts talking how she learnt many things from the rest so her foster parents tell her that she will not be alone. There will be new people who will teach her stuffs and those who taught her will now have memories of the time spent with her. Anzu is so relieved that they will not be alone that she starts crying. So infectious that her foster parents too can’t hold it in. Me too… Sob, sob! Anzu, you’re such a great girl!

Episode 7
Anzu learns the tropes of her job. Nitta is her first customer and since he orders a decent dish, she thinks he has lots of money! Is that an insult? The sight of seeing lots of money at the register is sure tempting. Thankfully she is a good girl and didn’t succumb to the dark side. Her foster parents really feel for her when she washes chopsticks to be reused again when they just throw it away and she has gotten used in taking cold showers! At least Anzu gets to sleep easy in her own room now. Hina gets scolded by the teacher (again) for sleeping in class. Yeah, she’s really had it up till here. Oh, Hina failed every damn test???!!! Even Nitta tells her off to make school interesting since it was her idea to attend one in the first place. So when she learns that being a student council president is like becoming a boss, she wants to run for it! Matsutani is taking candidates for the student council and only Hina puts up her hand! Why isn’t anybody else interested???!!! Even Nitta thinks he is dreaming that she is running for that important post. Well, you’re not. So when he talks to his boss about it, he wants Nitta to take this matter seriously. Heck, he calls the company lawyer to draft the speech she is supposed to make! So here is how it goes. Sounds really fine and dandy like with all the proposals and promises. Like as though it is for a political election but on a school level. Too bad Hina literally reads everything. Everything! This includes lines where she is supposed to do a certain action but she reads them aloud and this confuses the crowd. In the end, she becomes the secretary since it is the school’s rule that first years cannot helm that job. Is she disappointed? Because of that, Hina has never appeared once to any student council meeting. Somehow Hitomi becomes her substitute and because she wants to end quickly and go to her bartending job, the student council thinks she is super efficient and wants her to replace Hina!

Nitta wants to date Utako but she isn’t budging. Oddly, Hina is willing to listen to him! No, you’re not dreaming. As Hina talks about this to Hitomi, the latter stepped on a landmine when she accidentally says she’ll have a new mom if they hit it off. Because to Hitomi, she thinks Hina’s mom is dead. But with Hina wanting so much for a mom, Hitomi has no choice but to root for her. Hitomi’s communication didn’t get through her since Hina asks straight to Utako to date Nitta. This only worsens her view on him. Hitomi does some control damage so Utako relents. Nitta returns and wonder why Hina is doing research on moms. Because Utako is going to be her mom. Plot twist! Nitta feels grateful for once. He has always thought kids are a nuisance but maybe they are hidden weapons. In his joy, he swings her around but she bangs her feet on the wall. Ouch. So bad that she has to be hospitalized in a cast! It’s time for his date and he feels guilty not wanting to leave her. But with Hina insists she wants a mom, Nitta will take her hopes and promises to be back with one. Nitta dates Utako but at the end of the day she rejects him. Poor guy. Because he has been talking about Hina always, she realizes they are so close that it would be hard to get in between them. Hence she told him she couldn’t date divorced single dads. Hina’s face lights up when she thinks Nitta has returned with a new mom. But it all goes down the drain after we see ‘mom’ as a fake hand puppet courtesy of Nitta’s falsetto. Such disappointment…

Episode 8
Kei Ikaruga arrives in town. When she eats at Anzu’s place, Anzu is shocked to recognize the chief security of her organization. What is she doing here?! Believing she is here to kill her, she is willing to accept death! However Kei says because Anzu never came home, she is listed as killed in action. Kei is here to observe Hina and deem if she is worthy to be brought home. Kei is actually very afraid of Hina! Something hints that he powers went out of control and destroyed a city. Yeah, Kei treasures her life! However Anzu tell her not to abandon her duty. Looking at the very simple list of behavioural observations she needs to make, Kei is shocked by the moment as she observes how civilized Hina is! She is following the rules of society! Like as though she is a different person! Learning about this Nitta guy who took her in, Kei has this misconception that he is God or something. With Hina passing the observation test, Kei notes an addendum at the end that says Hina is to be brought home as this means her psychological condition has improved. Mami Shinjou spots Hina using her powers and thinks she has made a discovery. Then she overthinks when she read a magazine about shady organizations who deals with such. As Mami is ‘untrained’, her attempts to observe Hina’s secret backfires and only embarrasses herself. So she confronts Hina straight. It might sound like Hina wants to kill her after her power is discovered by Mami pleads like hell for her life. Before you know it, they’re like best friends! As she wants to be like her, Mami trains before her. But we all can see that Hina is not amused and lends her powers for Mami to lift the rock so that she could go home early. I suppose Mami couldn’t see the connection of being unable to do telekinesis without Hina around.

Hina tells Mami the powers are meant to be kept a secret and not used freely. However this only makes Mami even more eager to brag about it. So in class she calls everyone’s attention as she is going to blow away their minds. Can she lift the eraser with her telekinesis powers? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nothing happens. Only making embarrassing sounds. Because of that, Mami never came to school for 2 days. Hiding in embarrassment, huh? Kei confronts Hina and though she might sound tough, when Hina just opens her mouth (didn’t say anything threatening), she cowers in fear! She tells her that they will return in 3 days. Back home, Hina finds it hard to tell Nitta and hence her very strange act. Floating around in circles? Nitta is worried and even takes her for some tests. The doctor clears her. She is perfectly fine. Does she need a vacation? Don’t think so. So is that strange act of hers some sort of evolving? When she finally tells him about leaving, shockingly Nitta isn’t surprised and just tells her to follow him. They head out for her last meal as he allows her to order her favourite fish roe. Then he drops her off at the supposed spot. He tells her she has always been giving him problems but the time she was here, he had fun. Hina is able to go off without a smile. Wow. So much for that. No goodbye fanfare even. When she meets Kei, she realizes that she needs that red ball to return home. Too bad she lost it after Nitta’s bad experience with it. Now that she cannot go home, Hina runs back to Nitta’s place. She is happy to think she can now stay with him. The moment she opens the door, she sees Nitta celebrating alone that his future is now free of Hina! Oh sh*t! Not cool… Wow, he really is waiting for this day, huh?

Episode 9
As Hina lost her red ball, Kei thinks of requesting for Mao to deliver another. However she arrives in an uninhabited island and both the red balls got washed away into the sea! So she has been alone on the island for 10 days and I know she uses her power to survive but how the f*ck can she still keep her skin so silky smooth?! Plus, she has been totally naked for 10 days?! I know there isn’t anybody around but shouldn’t she cover up as protection against the elements?! I suppose this rips off Cast Away because feeling so lonely, Mao turns coconuts into Hina and Anzu. Yeah, they’re having a fun island survival life ‘together’. Only then Mao decides to cover up? This island survival life goes on for what it looks like months until Mao realizes she cannot take it anymore and snaps! She throws away the coconuts and builds the most useless craft (if you ask me, this will get her nowhere and she would be better off flying) and leaves the island. It is hinted she is lost in South China Sea and headed for Thailand. Nitta and Sabu pick up Naito who is just released from prison. Be extra nice to this violent dude. It all stemmed from their boss falling into coma (because Hina made some body odour comment) before he could name an heir. His chief believes he is next in line and hopes Nitta would support him. Nitta promises to get others in the organization to support him and one of them being Naito. However Naito now wants him to support him to be the next head. However Nitta has his honour as he grovels himself to seek his support for the chief. Naito admires his courage and agrees.

When the boss is out of coma, Hina is unsure what successor means as the boss tries to explain it simply. Because of that, she suggests Nitta as the next head and the boss agrees! Sabu texts everyone about this shocking development when Nitta tells the boss not to make decisions because Hina told him. He rescinds that order. Sabu panics and fears being blamed for this premature news so he makes an excuse to cover his own ass. The next thing Nitta knows, he is cemented inside a barrel! Damn they’re going to make him sleep with the fish! He explains the truth but they don’t believe him and think he has betrayed their trust. But when the boss arrives and explains the truth, they feel guilty about jumping the gun. Sabu? This guy is good at vomiting… In this awkward moment, they try to appease Nitta and make him the next lieutenant. Yeah, everybody is singing about it but Nitta just wants to get out of this cement graveyard! As Nitta is promoted, Hina talks to Hitomi about this and she suggests holding a promotion party. Unsure what to do, she goes around asking for suggestions. Still unsure, she’ll do them all! But with a limited budget, she spent it all on flowers. I guess the rest on the list like cake and favourite food she has to improvise. Yeah, she thinks that will cut it… Of course Nitta knows she will surprise him so when he returns and pretends to play along, he is shocked when he first enters the room. IS HINA HOLDING A FUNERAL FOR NITTA???!!! OMG!!! And what the f*ck is this lame Hina popping slowly out of the ‘coffin’ as surprise???!!! Whatever. Happy promotion. At least Nitta is happy that it is the thought that counts.

Episode 10
Hitomi returns home only to be caught by her mom (she’s so small I thought she was her sister!) about sneaking out late at night! As she gets lectured, Hitomi tells the truth about her bartender job but of course mom doesn’t believe it (she thinks she is whoring herself since she showed money in her bank account as proof). As she pours her woes out to Utako, the latter suggests she leaves home! Wait. What?! Because she’ll never make great revenue without Hitomi! With Nitta’s help, Utako manages to secure a fully furnished apartment for her albeit still a bit pricey. Utako strong arms her way to make Hitomi sign the contract. Now that she is living alone, a bar client suggests she help out with his job. Window washing. Because she is quite hard working, she racks up a reputation as other bar clients also beg for her to help. And so begins Hitomi’s odd jobs. She even dozes off in school like Hina. Heck, she even gets an office job but the usual office b*tches badmouth and mistreat her. Still, Hitomi works hard and even surprises them with some kindness. It is sad to see that her schedule is so packed that she returns home and collapses. By the time she wakes up, it’s already her next shift. Things start to get worse when Utako suggests a housewarming party and all the bar clients agree as to show their appreciation. Hitomi wants her normal girl life back and thinks of calling mom to the party to mess everything up. Mom is of course shocked to see all the corporate guys at the party. But when they show their card (from very well reputable companies) and praise Hitomi’s diligence, mom hopes they will all take care of her daughter, shocking Hitomi. Asked why mom didn’t reject them, mom reasons she has a reason for doing all this and building rapport with these executives isn’t easy. Everybody drinks a toast to her as Hitomi ponders what she was trying to accomplish in the end. Poor girl can’t catch a break…

Anzu’s foster parents give her 5,000 Yen as allowance. Yeah, that’s big money for her! She thought of surprising Hitomi with it but of course she had to pretend to be shocked at that amount. You wouldn’t want to know how much Hitomi makes… As Anzu wants to buy a present to show thanks to her parents, Hitomi takes her around but nothing really suitable for Anzu to spend her money. Then she spots this shoulder massager she wants to get since they always complained about their shoulders. But it is quite pricey. Here comes Sabu to suggest how to make quick money: Horse racing! I’m sure Hitomi wanted to warn Anzu about the dangers of gambling but she’s too shocked and having stomach cramps thinking about it. Yeah, Anzu will do it! She bets on the worst favoured horse since if it wins, she’ll earn tons. By the stroke of luck, the top favoured horse had an accident, allowing the worst favoured horse to win! OMG! Anzu wins big! But now she gets greedy thinking she could win more… However she kept losing and this is the last race and she is close to broke. She regrets learning her lesson too late and thinks of causing an accident with her power so her horse could win. But she couldn’t bear retiring the horse forever and loses. No use crying and regretting now. Not even Sabu can help you. But thanks to Hitomi reminding her the importance of a present is to show appreciation for the person, Anzu gives her parents free shoulder massage coupons. It’s the best present ever, needless to say.

Episode 11
Daisuke Seta is a journalist and is tasked to film a documentary on the tough life of a yakuza. Since Nitta has this ‘legendary’ reputation, he seeks his permission to be filmed. At first Nitta declines but after hearing his super legendary status, he agrees. But as Seta follows him around, Nitta just feels like a normal nice guy. So he interviews his mom and sister who laugh it off about Nitta’s badass status. Even members of his yakuza gang didn’t yield any juicy stuffs. Seta has Nitta stage a brutal tough act on Sabu just for the cameras. But after that, it is back to normalcy. So much so Seta is begging him to do something ‘evil’. He even offers himself to be assaulted! Desperate, Seta even starts faking things that it is so obvious his crew pointed it out but Seta says he has a family to feed. On the day the documentary is aired, with the blurred out faces and distorted voices, I thought it would be easy for Seta to just do fake voice overs and plant in fake actors. Although all are the real deal, the fakery all stems from the dialogues and scenes mixed up and put out of context from the narration. For example when Nitta tries to say something unkind, it is not for the situation that you are seeing now but for something else in other circumstances. Seta makes it sound like as though his crew were blackmailed and extorted to pay his drinks in the end. When the documentary ends, Hina has this smirk on her face asking, who the hell was that! But that’s not the end of it. Since Nitta ‘badmouthed’ his bosses, they aren’t going to let him get away with it. Of course Nitta didn’t do it and runs away. But here is another twist. They (including Hina) were perhaps being told by Seta to say those lines! Everyone was in cohorts against Nitta!

As Hina is away on a school skiing trip, Anzu comes to stay with Nitta as he foster parents are away on a trip. She didn’t want to come in between them. Such a nice girl. Nitta thought he can’t catch a break now that he has to babysit her. However he soon finds that she is very helpful and kind that he need not worry. Man, he is asking if he could pay to swap girls! With Anzu continuing to be cheerful and helpful, Nitta finally breaks down. Jealous those couple got a good girl, he reasons there is no such thing as a good child. It must be the environment that changed Anzu since at the start she was no different than Hina. He is going to spoil her and return her to her old ways. As Nitta takes her to the aquarium, she continues to be the respectful and good kid. Each time he tries to push her away, he finds himself drawn to her kindness. He finally gives in and has lots of fun with her. Oh my. Anzu the angel is here to take him away from Hina hell! At the end of the stay, Anzu leaves. This is when Nitta realizes he forgot his mission. Now he must face the reality of Hina coming home! As he waits the dreaded moment, he gets a call from Matsutani who is finding it hard to explain what happened to Hina. In short, she has gone missing in the mountains. Man, Nitta is like so cool about it! Can he celebrate Hina’s absence for real this time?!

Episode 12
It seems Hina is lost in the snowy mountains with Hitomi, Kengo and Takashi. All because Kengo thought it was a good idea to take a shortcut. Hina is made known the danger if they are not rescued: There is no food! Hitomi must be a realist as she adds if nobody saves them, they’ll die! Hina then tells them her secret that she has special powers but they think she is starting to get delusional. And when she demonstrates via floating, they think they have become delusional! However Hina soon collapses due to exhaustion. No food. Damn. They lost their ticket to get out. Hence the next day, the trio plot something. They have Hina close her eyes and imagine what they say. Yeah, they are ‘opening a sushi shop’ for her. Then they give her eat fish roe made out of snow. Tastes like snow… I think the rest try to make many and even eating some (brain freeze!) just to prove it is the real thing? Eventually a helicopter rescue arrives and see them but the rescuers are confused to see a huge fish roe made of snow. Hina is in hospital and Nitta is next to her. Glad she’s safe. Life goes on pretty well for them and the rest of the characters.

For those who have forgotten the opening scene of this series, we go forward 3 years to see Mao being the star attraction of some superhuman kung fu guild in China. Atsushi, the lead singer of the street band is here and sees Mao’s performance and is thrilled she is the one. As he tries to approach her, he is taken away. We see Mao’s flashback of arriving on the main continent of Asia but lost her way and never got to Japan. She is found by this guild who views her power as too valuable and will keep her at all cost. Atsushi later talks to Mao about his band trying to create a new genre, Rockusion (rock + magic) and saw Mao online doing magic stuffs. He thought of coming here to learn from her. Mao is suspicious of this weirdo. This coming from a girl who talks to Hina and Anzu wooden dolls… But Mao is interested when Atsushi mentions Hina’s name. When guild members try to take her back, she runs. Then that awesome kung fu action scene in which she takes down all those guys as she tries not to be too flashy to reveal her true powers. Then here comes the master. He acknowledges she has made their guild famous across the land. If she wants to leave, she must pass this test: To defeat a (lame) robot. Despite its menacing display of powers, Mao easily destroys it! You in shock? Thus, master allows Mao to leave for Japan and spread their guild’s name. Atsushi is hopeful Rockusion is going to be a reality while Mao can finally tell Kei she lost her balls. Wait. What she said?!

Mondaijitachi Wa Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo
Holy sh*t! It is as though this entire series is one big flashback! It was quite fun and interesting in a way that you have forgotten that first opening scene at the beginning. And now it ends and connects with this final scene in the last episode, like as though it has set up in a way for a sequel! I know it is too soon to say if whether a sequel is in the works but I’m speculating that none is confirmed yet because Mao lost her balls?! I think there’s some sort of connection there… Or not.

Although I enjoyed this series, one of the biggest dilemmas that I found asking myself is if this series could have been better had it follow some sort of plot. Would it be greater had there been a storyline to follow instead of being random standalone skits. For now, it seems to work pretty well with the latter format but then it got me asking what was the whole purpose of those randomness then again? This isn’t the kind of series that is based off some yonkoma comic or those cute girls doing cute things genre that doesn’t need to have a strong plot at all. I can only imagine for better or worse had there been a real storyline to follow but if this current format works, why fix it when it is not broken?

Having said that, this brings me to another dilemma about the characters. Some of the main characters get some decent screen time and despite some of the random events that feel like non-related to other parts of the episode, there are character development for them. But that is only for the main characters. Those side characters don’t get much attention and they have like one or two episode putting them in the limelight before being chucked away into the unnecessary side character corner. For example, Mao. I think it is safe to say that nobody would remember who this chick is unless they purposely gone back to watch the first episode after her proper appearance. Until the final episode, you would wonder why the heck do they need to introduce a new character after more than halfway of the series. Because this island survival girl seems redundant to everything and the only thing I can think up off is they needed some variety because showing the same main characters doing other random stuffs might get boring after a while. So it’s like a distraction anyway. But it’s my fault to begin with to think that Mao would be a main character like Hina and Anzu as I assumed she is from the same timeline with them and hence, should be given some sort of same treatment. Even though she gets her just appearance in the final episode, her pat feels too disjointed to be connected to the main story. The other is Mami. Normal girl wants to have powers so bad that she embarrassingly failed in an epic way and was never seen again. Not at least in the main spotlight. So what was that all about? Except to give us some random laughs. And that nice hobo Yassan and his band of merry hobo, what happened to them after they got evicted? They’re still around during the final montage but it’s like as though they don’t matter anymore after Anzu has found a new family and better life. I guess that’s the best they could wish for her.

On to the main characters. I believe many of you would agree with me that Anzu is a much better character than Hina. They might have started off on the same footing as lovable idiots but slowly you can see there is a much better change for Anzu. Sorry Nitta. Don’t blame the upbringing and the surroundings as excuses why both girls become so different from each other. Because this only shows that you lack that oomph to turn Hina into a really good girl and instead she stayed the same hellish nightmare when you first encountered her. Because of that, I love and prefer to see Anzu’s stories as they are heart-warming and charming to say the least. This girl at least learnt something from her trial and tribulations. Every time I see Anzu, I feel like I want to support her compared to Hina. I hate to break it to you that I’d rather put my money and investment in Anzu than even considering Hina for a second.

Hina on the other hand has turned from a lovable idiot to an annoying one. Maybe her character is written that way. But that doesn’t mean I would readily accept her. She’s like Mob from Mob Psycho 100 but from another world and a lot more annoying. Hina might be all powerful with her powers but in exchange for that, she is a lazy and selfish character. Because she lacks emotions, the reason why her obnoxious personality doesn’t seem so obvious. This also makes her look like a slow retard and in some ways increasing my infuriating impatience on her. I don’t think I can be as patient as Nitta. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t live with me so I don’t get to understand the finer and good quality points of her. Hina does try to change in the end and although she does, it is nothing compared to Anzu who is already miles ahead in terms of racking up character brownie points.

The other is Hitomi. I somewhat view her as the most pitiful character of the series. She is the perfect example of what will happen if one cannot say no. I suppose it is Japanese etiquette and politeness that one cannot refuse after one is begging and bowing so much. I mean, it isn’t like she is being offered an offer that she can’t refuse. Just saying. In her case, it looked like a blessing in disguise for Hitomi because she wears so many different hats and has been building rapport with very important VIPs. But is that what she really wants in her life? At least this point in life when she is still in school? So in order not to offend everyone, she agrees to work almost everywhere without complaining at the expense of her own happiness. Thank goodness she has youth by her side or else she wouldn’t be able to hold out long enough. Heck, I don’t think a day has not enough hours for her! Well Hitomi, if this is what you intend to do, to keep living a lie so that everyone else can be satisfied, it’s your call. It’s your life. But still much better than Hina nevertheless. Heh.

Talking about Nitta, this guy seems so out of place being a yakuza as he is a nice and decent guy. Might not be the best guy in the world but still respectable in his own right. We might not see it but his yakuza group looks quite docile instead of badass. They might be doing killings and heinous acts behind the cameras but we’ll never know. As this is a comedy series, we see them being portrayed as comical characters like Sabu who is just practically useless, a typical useless henchman. So for Nitta to be working for the yakuza, I’m thinking this is the only way he could make fast money without having to slog for years in a dead end office job. Otherwise, how the hell could he afford all those vases and even replace them after Hina destroys them? Don’t give me that time reversing crap. Even though Nitta has a special place in his heart for Hina, I don’t think he would overly love her like his own. There are a couple of occasions we see that he is okay for Hina not to be around. This already shows that he could have been keeping pent up his feelings for freedom. Hina is the jailor and holds the key to his freedom? The irony he couldn’t score with Utako (who is busy turning Hitomi into a bartender slave to make money on her behalf) and already has a young rebellious ‘daughter’ to deal with. Can life get any worse? Yeah, life isn’t fair. Him being part of the yakuza should know that.

I am not sure but am also curious to know about Hina and the other characters who come from the other world. What is life in that part of the world? Even if they are technologically advanced, the characters that seemingly got sent back are seemingly dimwits or incompetent at first. It could be mostly the latter because otherwise why would they send Hina back to this time and era if they could have found a solution to contain her power?

Art and animation feel decent. I’m not sure how to put it but the character designs have this one kind look. Because of that, I sometimes confused Hitomi with Mami because they look similarly close to each other. I think it is also some of the female characters’ cheeks. They looks a bit roundish… Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. Animated by Feel who did Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru, Locodol, Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai, Tsuki Ga Kirei, Outbreak Company and KissxSis.

On a trivial note, I think one of the trademarks of this series is when a so called punch line is done or when some sort of unbelievable thing happens, the characters would be in incredulous mode. Their mouths agape while their tongue not entirely sticking out but rather sticking up in the middle of the mouth. Like as though it looked like some worm… Yeah… It’s funny and hilarious but with every character in such situation doing this, I believe this is this series’ uniqueness.

Voice acting sounds okay with Takako Tanaka making her main character role debut as Hina. Her voice suits her character well and if she voices more characters in the future like this, I think I’ll start to stereotype her for being casted for such roles. The other casts are Yoshiki Nakajima as Nitta (Masakage Yamagata in Sengoku Night Blood), Rie Murakawa as Anzu (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori), Kaede Hondo as Hitomi (Minoa in Animegataris), Youko Hikasa as Utako (Mio in K-ON!), Mikako Komatsu as Sayo (Kanae in ClassicaLoid), Yumi Uchiyama as Kei (Ruri in Nisekoi), Eri Suzuki as Mami (Milinda in Heavy Object), Ari Ozawa as Mao (Kirin in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk),Kenji Nojima as Matsutani (Yuuto in High School DxD), Tetsu Inada as Naito (Shakespeare in Fate/Apocrypha), Kengo Kawanishi as Sabu (Rei in 3-gatsu No Lion) and Shinapachi Tsuji as Yassan (Makarov in Fairy Tail).

The opening theme is Distance by Rie Murakawa. Anime rock pop. Nothing special to my liking. Maybe that is because the ending theme, Sake To Ikura To 893 To Musumi by Yoshiki Nakajima nailed it. This slow rock is quite enjoyable to hear and it gives that impression it is the kind of song you sing when you achieve victory! Proof of that is we see the final montage in the ending credits animation with everyone celebrating to a toast at the bar! Let the good times roll! A special ending for episode 6 is more meaningful since it is on Anzu. Shashinchou by Yoko Ishida is a slow ballad that would pull some heartstrings and hit the feels. The final episode has 2 ending themes. Yes, two. The first one being in the middle of the episode, the slow ballad of Taisetsu Na Hito and the one at the end is the upbeat pop fanfare of Hajimete No Kimochi. Both are sung by Ari Ozawa.

Overall, this is a funny and entertaining series. There are characters you will love, there are characters that you will hate. You will learn a thing or two about what it means about family as well as the comical side of the irony of life. Imagine a yakuza dad raising a daughter who is not of his own in any way. You might laugh here but there could be even stranger tales in real life that mirrors and mimics this to perfection… Sometimes in life it is not what you have that matters but how you make do with what you have that counts. Of course there are some things that life is much better without. Looking at you, Hina. Seriously, still no love lost for that girl. And perhaps in this context of this anime, Hinamatsuri is when we celebrate a day without Hina! Okay, okay. A day to celebrate Hina’s return. Oh yeah. What would life be without Hina keeping us in check of reality.

Amanchu Advance

August 4, 2018

Man. I’ve never expected Amanchu to have another season. But here it is, Amanchu Advance as its second season. Another dozen episodes of calm scuba diving and underwater submerging tranquillity. Could they really be going the way of Aria and have more sequels? Whatever the future for this series, they’re taking it slowly and at their own pace. Enjoy the moment. Always look to the future with hope. Imagine a series about diving teaching you all these stuffs.

Episode 1
Teko and Pikari are supposed to meet at grandma’s place. When Teko (riding on a scooter) arrives at the intersection, Pikari starts running! Probably Teko is a safe rider so Pikari beats her to the ‘goal’. Next time she’ll start running when she reaches the bus stop. After hearing Teko’s narration on her gratefulness of meeting Pikari that changed her life, the girls have to help out with grandma since the beach house is packed with people. Later after another round of diving with customers, Pikari suggests the siblings to join her in a hot bath boat provided by the facility. A hot bath? In this summer heat? No thanks. As Pikari soaks alone, she notices the customers (a group of old guys) getting into the next tub. She realizes she forgot to wear her bra and hence a possible nip slip. Thank goodness for her handphone as she calls her friends. Due to them being busy at the moment, nobody picks up. She ultimately texts for help. Ai finally sees the message and tries to help her. She didn’t realize she is topless as she tries to pull semi-conscious Pikari out. Will the old men have the best view of the day? Thankfully here comes Teko distracting them with free pork soup before putting back Pikari’s top. Safe. Too bad Makoto got kicked by Ai for nothing. To thank Teko for this, Pikari suggests a BBQ tonight. They go shopping and some like Mato help contribute to the seafood BBQ. During the party, Chizuru sends Teko a picture of a steak in hopes of making her jealous since coincidentally her side is having a BBQ party too. What a downer. Later Pikari and Teko talk alone about their worries that one day they will soon have to part and the fun will end. I know it’s good to prepare but they’re taking this so seriously. Pikari in denial refuses to let that happen! Can’t envision a future without them together, eh? But since there are lots of things they want to do, they can’t imagine that yet. Even if that day comes, they’ll be sad. But they’ll think of all the fun times because fun is infinite. Yeah, whatever logic fits the bill to beat the blues. Cue for awkward confession they like each other.

Episode 2
Pikari sees a local boy near her place. She goes diving with him and shows him an octopus nest. Although impressed, he won’t tell his name. Back at grandma’s, Pikari sees the fireworks festival poster and invites her friends to come. She’ll make it real special for them. Next time Pikari sees that boy again and knows he is trying to find the octopus nest but couldn’t find it due to the change in tide. She will lead her there in exchange he tells his name. Kokoro Misaki. Pikari fawns over his cute name. That’s why Kokoro didn’t want to tell her. Kokoro sees an eel trying to hunt at the octopus’ nest. The eel ‘warns’ him. Now we see a short epic battle of the octopus fighting the eel! Kokoro feels sad he can’t help the octopus but is relieved when the octopus mom returns to her nest safely (but with some bruises). After they part, Pikari realizes too late she should have invited Kokoro to the festival. On that night, With the exception of Teko, the rest didn’t come in a yukata, disappointing Pikari. Pikari doesn’t see Kokoro around and Teko starts worried and overthinking about her new friend but comes to terms that Pikari is the type who can easily make friends. Thanks to Pikari’s hard work, the friends get front row VIP seats to watch the fireworks. It’s such a good view that they shower her with praises. Pikari loves it. Keep it coming… This fireworks display has Mato remember her own when she was young. She was too short to see so an old woman lifted her up to watch the magnificence. She gets to see this similar scene again thanks to Pikari. Next day, Pikari finds Kokoro at the usual spot. However he is depressed. The octopus mom is gone. Kokoro investigates but tries to stop desperate Kokoro trying to swim further to find it. She tells him the harsh cycle life of an octopus. Its mom will fast until its offspring hatches. In the end, it will always die. If the nest is unlucky, predators will find and eat it. But all is not lost as the nest hatches and they get to see the wonderful phenomenon of small translucent octopus babies scattering around. It’s like their own underwater fireworks.

Episode 3
Mato teaches Teko how to use an underwater compass on land. She seems to handle it well. Until the real test. Because she has to do it underwater alone and without Pikari. Gulp. Visibility is very limited as Teko sums up her courage to make her first step. All goes well until she realizes she is alone. Can’t see anyone. Is she lost? She starts overthinking and close to panicking that she has messed up. She thinks of quitting by rising up to the surface but after thinking Pikari might be disappointed with her, she continues. She remembers other lessons like observing her surroundings and the ripple marks on the sand. It leads her back to her pals. Success. When they are cleaning up on land, Teko notices Ai and Makoto not packing up yet. That’s because they are going for night diving. Of course this spooks Teko and she declines joining them. At night, Teko and Pikari see off the siblings as they show off their bright lightings to be used. They are awed to see so many divers and their lights as it reflects off the surface of the sea. Despite Teko having a better view on night diving, she is still scared of diving in darkness but hopes to overcome that. Mato finds Teko up early next morning. She massages her feet to help relax her body. Since Teko still has low self-confidence on the things she does and always keep dreaming things, Mato tells her all the good stuffs she did was reality. Writing them off as dreams would be a shame. She can’t change the past but can change herself and the future. Teko is now further motivated to overcome her weaknesses and relishes all her special memories are real. Well duh. Can’t be dreaming this entire time, right? Her next goal is to get her advanced licence.

Episode 4
Summer just went by in a flash. Don’t worry, autumn is here. This means sweet potatoes! Yay! At the shopping district, Kokoro spots Pikari but doesn’t want to call out to her. Too bad she spots him and now hangs out with him. Meanwhile, can Teko suddenly tell the future? Because she can tell the things that are going to happen around her! Then she realizes this is a dream. She is cool about it. Because she takes a broom and flies! OMG! Has this series become so boring that they resort to this? Heck, even the girl next to her is shocked at what she saw. As Teko confirms to her that this is a dream, she even teaches her how to fly! Uhm, Flying Witch? They fly all over town and to the park where they see the autumn sakura. On the other hand, Pikari hears out why Kokoro has been depressed all day. Somebody teased her and scribbled her about having octopus lips. Pikari trying hard not to laugh… When Kokoro says he is going to find the culprit and smack him, Pikari thinks he will regret it. So she takes him to see the autumn sakura. Well, it’s not really in full bloom but just small patches. But better than nothing. Before Teko and the girl could tell each other their names, the latter disappears. Teko takes this as she has awakened from her dream first. Shortly after, Teko too. She realizes this place has gotten so boring relaxing that she fell asleep. Then she calls Pikari and tells of her experience. Both are awed about the coincidental autumn sakura they saw. Teko notes that autumn has many wonders of its own but the best is that you have someone you can share the joy with. So let’s go find more wonders!

Episode 5
Mato tells about the legendary mermaid who helps those in a pinch. If you are friendly enough, she will take you to Ryuugu Palace. So our diving enthusiasts take a dive in the ocean. Teko is awed by the air rings the friends made to her. As they continue diving, suddenly Teko feels she is rising. She panics and the more she struggles, the more she rises. Thankfully Pikari and Mato bring her down. Back on land, Teko feels ashamed for failing. Due to the different level of the seabed, she had to get rid of excess air to maintain her buoyancy. She panicked and had she rose too fast, the nitrogen in the air of her suit will build up. This could be fatal and worse, when Teko was trying to swim downwards, she raised her feet and that’s where the air built up. She learnt a valuable lesson today but it’s a bit hard for her to get over the depression. Pikari’s little sister, Kodama visits. Teko learns she too has a diving licence and technically her senior. But she hasn’t dived with Pikari for quite a while since big sister often brings trouble so she maintained her distance. Pikari is embarrassed when Kodama and Teko prostrate to each other to take care of Pikari. Awkward… The gang goes diving in the sea again. After Ai and Makoto dive to deeper depths, Pikari and Teko spot a turtle and follow it. Mato then sees something swimming fast zooming past her. She thinks it is the legendary mermaid. However… It’s just a big fat grandpa?! But Mato decides to take a gamble and has him take them to Ryuugu Palace. He agrees! This dude really swims fast! Is he really human?! The ladies are awed to the colourful seabed teeming with ocean life before bringing them back. Back on the boat, Ai feels jealous she couldn’t meet that legendary mermaid. Mato has this fuzzy and warm feeling she has met that ‘mermaid’ before. We see that ‘mermaid’ turns out to be Pikari’s grandpa. This weird looking guy has become a legend now…

Episode 6
It’s the Halloween! Teko is dressed like a cute princess than anything scary. And Kokoro is a cat girl? Too bad he had to stumble into Pikari. So cute! Teko and Kokoro meet for the first time. Pikari leaves them together to get drinks. An awkward silence. Teko starts overthinking about taking the lead and when Pikari returns, both of them are so relieved. Ai and Makoto are doing an event. However nobody is participating despite the prize of a large octopus plushie. Maybe that’s why. But Kokoro seems interested… They make up some suggestions of adding extra prizes but the one that suddenly catches everyone’s attention to participate is a kiss from Pikari! Woah! See the long queue! Suddenly Teko steps in. She is going to protect Pikari’s lips! So mature? In this scavenger hunt, they have to get the item listed in the random piece of paper without letting the people know they are part of a game. It looks like an intense showdown between Pikari and Kokoro. Both have it tough. People rather be tricked by Kokoro than give him what he wants and Pikari is too scared to approach a guy, turning into a stalker and making that guy nervous! Somebody is stalking you! So when both eventually get what they need to, they are neck to neck racing towards the finish line. In the end, both cross together. Kokoro gets her plushie and Teko gets her peck from Pikari. Pikari also gives one to Kokoro. They’re joint winners, right? But did Teko and Pikari suddenly fall asleep because they realize that they are in dreamland when they could start using magic. The duo then have a Halloween dance with Teko being the prince and Pikari the princess. They snap out of their dream and realize they are in a hot Jacuzzi tub reserved by Mato as reward for their hard work. Don’t you think floating off into dreamland and then only snapping back out in a different place is a bit dangerous?

Episode 7
The students are working hard into the night as they prepare for the school’s cultural festival. But Mato knows something many don’t and she hopes Peter will not mess with her students. Teko and Pikari head to Ai’s class to sell drinks. They only have mostly gourd juice. Ugh… Their homeroom teacher, Mamoru Towano is kind enough to buy them all for his students! Damn… Ai goes to buy another drink to wash off that gourd taste (since Pikari ‘forced’ one upon her). Sitting alone on the stairs, she notes how different and quiet it is at night. Then this Peter guy pops up and wants Ai to slack off with him. She refuses and trips. I don’t know how she could do a somersault like that but Peter saves her and they both land on their feet. Ai felt as though they were both flying for a while. She thinks she owes him one and follows him as he brings her through the corridors of the school. It brings back some nostalgic memories like as though she is reliving her school days. This has her thinking if she could stay like this forever. At this point, Mato learns that Ai is missing. The girls heard she went to buy a drink but never returned. Peter asks Ai if that is how she feels. Sort of. Ai knows that despite all the fun times, it will eventually end. When Peter decides to bring Ai, this is when Mato has found her. She warns Peter not to do anything to her but he says he is only trying to fulfil her wish. But with Ai letting go of his hand, he assures he only takes those who really wants to go. He walks away. Mato brings back Ai to the crowd as confused Ai tries to find out more about Peter. He is a nasty ghost of the school and takes away those who doesn’t want to grow up. So… You mean Peter as in Peter Pan? Ai feels the shivers but tries to brush it off as untrue. Mato adds that the place where she bought the drink is the top floor. You cannot go anywhere further. That is where Peter went. Mato carries on that Peter tried to take her away once when she was a student in this school. He hasn’t aged since and looked exactly as he was.

Episode 8
Ai says Peter’s name and Makoto wonders who. Poor guy gets beaten up for nothing. She falls asleep and dreams of Peter. She wakes up and makes a dash. She trips on a can but luckily Towano breaks her fall. She gets up and continues her dash towards the vending machine. She falls asleep and enters the dream world. It is day time and everywhere is flooded ankle deep. There is nobody around either. She wonders if she has gone back in time since a candy store that closed when she was young is still open. She then spots Mato. Or at least during her days at a student. She thinks Ai is a stray and wants her to leave. But since Ai knows her, Mato explains the truth. This is the dream of a baby left at a shrine. Powerless, all he could do was dream an endless dream called Neverland and live forever. That’s how this world came to be. People who dream started straying into this world. As many people come from all walks of life, the baby takes all their info and memories and ‘grows’. He is Peter and formerly the shrine was only his world but now he started to expand it by his will. Mato knows this because she asked Peter herself. There is a flying ship in the sky and he believes that is where Peter is. So how do they get up there? They fly up there! Can you transfer experience of flying? Sure Pikari heard from Teko the expert dreamer but that doesn’t mean she can do it? Oh heck, it’s a dream so they can. Mato first met Peter during her graduation and she didn’t want that day to end. He showed her his world and she visited many times. The ship is spilling water and if this keeps up, the world will be closed off eventually. Nobody will come here again. Peter thought to expand this world by bringing outsiders but Mato was against this idea. This made him sad as he told her never to come back here again. She never saw him again and wished to do so to tell him what she couldn’t then. On the ship they see Peter. He shows them a room that leads them to a shrine where the baby continues to cry. This is the source of the flooding. The more he expands the world, the more it leaks. So he is going to stop bringing outsiders and close it forever. Mato agrees but will stay with him here. That is what she wanted to say. After they hug, Ai is forced out of the dream. Her other friends are puzzled she is sleeping here. Ai starts crying and asks Teko how to continue a dream. There is something she must do.

Episode 9
Ai is stumped that despite Mato spilling out her feelings, Peter pushed her away and holed himself inside Neverland. With Teko and Pikari agreeing to help out, they give instructions on how to dream again. Man, it’s that easy. Ai is now back in Neverland but Teko and Pikari are there too. Well, they did say they will help her. Don’t worry, Makoto is guarding them for those curious enough to get close. Flying back up to the ship, Peter’s cat is trying to close the door on them but Teko and Pikari hold it long enough for Ai to go through. At the shrine, Peter is shocked to see Ai. She knows he loves Mato and hence pushing her away so as not to drag her into this world. It is that same love why she kept returning. Since Peter is dense about love, Ai confesses she likes him! Is that just an example? If Peter wakes up, he will go back to that baby and harsh reality. Neverland materialized thanks to this cat snuggling up to the baby. Ai will not stay by his side. She wants him to wake up and cry with all his might so someone might hear and find him. Peter is okay being alone as that is how it all started. Ai disagrees and knows he is still crying out of loneliness. Since he created Neverland, he can end it. As this is the town they are in, she is sure they will someday meet. Peter has come to terms with this and agrees but notes she like everyone else will forget this dream. She promises she won’t. Ai regains consciousness as Makoto is by her side (the duo returned to class). As Ai leaves, she feels she is forgetting something until she sees Mato, she remembers. She talks to her and assures Peter will never show up again because he has awakened. Mato starts to remember too. Growing old means her memories were getting hazy, huh? They then see Peter’s cat and it is trying to lead them somewhere. The shrine. They are disappointed to see Towano there. However he knows about Peter’s story. The mother of the abandoned baby returned shortly to take him back after changing her mind. He grew up to lead a normal life. He always thought Neverland was just a hazy dream. But what convinced him to be real? When Ai tripped and accidentally showed Peter her pantsu as well as her tripping before Towano. Pantsu activated those memories! Ai leaves the adults to be alone. Awkward at first, Mato then pinches him for not saying anything. Would you believe it if he did? Ai is left in tears and heartbroken. So she really loved Peter? Who else but her brother could lend a shoulder to cry on? They return to school and the mural theme of Peter Pan is finished.

Episode 10
Teko is going to stay at Pikari’s grandma’s place overnight for the New Year countdown. It’s not just her but the rest of the friends. Mato, Ai, Makoto, the cats and even Kokoro. Oh, Kodama too because of her pyjama party with friends failed to materialize. Great food, great games. Such a great time. When the rest hear Kodama is still hesitant to join the diving club, she gives excuse she doesn’t want to follow her wandering sister around. Since they have time to midnight, grandma decides to tell stories from her youthful days. She was diving for pearls but got hooked on scuba diving. Those days, scuba diving wasn’t sophisticated. She was scorned and laughed at by other fishermen. Nevertheless she continued to dive and explored the seabed to her heart’s content. One day she was at the edge of her exploration area. But she saw something that piqued her interest. She decided to go further. It was then she discovered a beautiful spot that eventually became one of the most famous diving spots in the area. It was also thanks to all the conditions that were right that enabled her to find this gem. The kids are awed but the point of all this is to do what your heart wants to do. So diving is still an option, right? Too bad everyone fell asleep before midnight and missed the countdown. Teko gets up early and has a chat with grandma about the many things she wants to do as a person despite her flaws. Everyone wakes up in time to see the first sunrise of the year. Teko gets a call from Chizuru and Akane who are doing the same. Great timing. Mato decides they should all visit the shrine now.

Episode 11
Pikari is sick. And today is her birthday. Teko has this idea to visit her at home but outside the school gates, she sees Kokoro sneaking around. Of course he is here to give Pikari a present but she is absent. Kokoro remains distant to Teko despite after showing each other their present for Pikari. Teko suggests a ceasefire since it is Pikari’s birthday. They have the same idea of getting her a star shaped birthday cake. Upon arrival at her doorstep, it seems grandma points out a ‘problem’. Grandpa, mother, father, brother and sister all brought cakes! So with theirs, there are literally 4 cakes! But Pikari is so happy she cried tears of joy. Can she celebrate while sick? Oh screw it. Just do it! Kokoro was reluctant to say but eventually tells his birthday which falls on Hinamatsuri, a day for girls. Later Teko knows Kokoro wanted to ask Pikari for a request. Hesitant at first, he finally reveals a burn-off event he wanted her to attend. It is an event where they burn dead grass over the hill before planting new ones. So Teko organizes her diving club members to come on that day as surprise. Kodama is also here and brought her friend, Kotori whose father is a staff for this event. If Kotori looks familiar, it is because she is that girl sharing the weird dream with Teko. As the gang tour the hills, the smoke may be thick but how the heck did Teko get lost from the rest since there is only a path to follow?! Because of that, she bumps into Kokoro in the midst of his job. It is then Teko realizes he is a boy. She always thought he was a girl trying to be a macho man! Insult? When Teko realizes that his love for Pikari is of the man type, Teko wants to support him! Is this embarrassing? Even getting help from the ‘enemy’? At the bottom of the hill, all participants get ready to burn a fire barrier. Being noobs, Teko and Pikari almost falter only for manly Kokoro to save the day. This is when the rest realize Kokoro is a boy. Ai still in shock denial… Here is another shock: Kotori is Kokoro’s older sister. It’s such a small world…

Episode 12
All Teko needs is to select one more diving elective and she will get her advanced diving licence. As the gang take their usual dive, Teko snaps some photos of the sea life. But back on shore, the photos of course turn out to be less than satisfactory. Mato suggests underwater photography as her last elective but surprisingly Teko wants to do night diving. Kodama and Kotori will soon be first years in high school. Pikari assumes Kodama will join the diving club but little sister reminds her that isn’t a given yet. Although Kotori expressed her interest to see Teko, Kodama might only do so to accompany her. Then there is more talk about their worries that the fun will someday end but you know what? Why think so much? Just go all out and have fun like they always have! Teko prepares herself for her night diving. To her surprise, Pikari has brought Kodama, Kotori and Kokoro as her cheer and watch squad. Teko takes a dive with the rest. She is awed at the different view of the seabed. The gang then gather, switch off their lights and wait a while. Once they get accustomed to the darkness, they start to move. Doing so causes the planktons to react and hence lighting up like as though they are fireflies. Back on land, our divers are treated with grandma’s great pork soup. When Kotori asks if Teko was afraid, she replies of how cool everything was. She might be a bit exaggerating to say how everything is so magical and fantasy-like. Maybe. From her perspective. But it’s reality. With grandma assuring how everything will be fine, this has Kotori excited to join the diving club. In that case, Kodama too. Yay. All the gang’s here now. At the start of the new term, Teko and Pikari are fortunately in the same class. They read each other’s letter to the other. As expected, lots of thanking and the things they look forward to do together.

Subnautica: Diving Deeper Into The Abyss Of Friendship
Just like last season, I wasn’t expecting anything much for this sequel. Hence the same eternal dilemma of whether to classify this series as absolutely boring or just calming healing anime. Or both. The usual ‘shenanigans’ involving our usual suspects especially Teko, of experiencing new firsts and realizing things (meetings, partings, etc) as she identifies and overcomes her weakness at the same time. From the looks of it, it looks like she still has a long way to go. That might sound forever if you compared in today’s fast moving world and standards but in this sleepy coastal town, doing it by her own pace is justified. At least we can all agree that Teko is somewhat closer to her goal now than where she was when she first started, right?

I might have said this anime is the same boring and/or calming effect like last season. However, there is one ‘shock’ factor that I did not anticipate. It is the supernatural part. Yes, Peter’s arc was to a point nostalgic and even spooky for me even if it is not meant to scare any daylights out of you. This small supernatural arc reminds me of Aria The Animation’s second season, Aria The Natural in which that season was filled with supernatural stuffs. It was a little scary now that I think back of it. Thus there was this fear that there might be some spooky supernatural stuff just to spring in some surprise but alas, nothing of that sort. Heck, even that Cait Sith makes its cameo appearance. It made me wonder if both these series are relate din the same universe! Both series are written by the same author so there is that possibility. Making it even more possible is that there is no timeline in dream worlds. Anybody from anywhere could pop up in the same dream of someone simultaneously. It’s a mystery nobody can really explain.

Thinking further about how Peter is Towano gives me headaches because it is like that time paradox thingy. Towano only managed to survive and live on because of Ai from the future being persistent in saving him from staying forever in a closing dream world. So if the future Ai have never done that, Towano wouldn’t have existed today. Ai and Towano might not be directly related or effecting each other in their lives but imagine the things in life that Towano had done, those small little ripple effects and consequences that might have not led to Ai or any of the other characters’ birth or coming into existence. Great. I’m getting a small headache trying to reason this. But not sure if it is plot convenience that Towano and Mato don’t remember this until the final moments. Especially Mato who knows about Peter, she should have at least remembered Ai since she has been in her class for a few years! I mean, when she thinks of Peter, she should know who Ai is, right? She was an integral part of Neverland, at least in its dying moments, which is one of the crucial moments of the dream, right? Therefore brushing it off as a dream before coming to terms it was real, yeah it feels kinda convenient.

Another surprising element for this particular arc is how Ai was thrust into the limelight for once. It was always Teko and/or Pikari who has been hogging episode after episode. Therefore this mini arc saw a nice little change with Ai becoming the main character for a while. It was surprising as well as lovely to see another side of Ai that we don’t often see. Because we all remember her as the one who always kicks her brother for every and no reason at all! So perhaps we see the power of love changing Ai for the better? Yeah, it was heart-breaking too at first when Ai’s love couldn’t be materialized. But I suppose in the end we all would prefer the spunky Ai we all know. Thus I could also say that this arc has the most ‘interesting’ episodes for this season, if not the entire series itself.

Many of the characters remain the same from last season. I would mainly be repeating myself again. Despite having said Teko still has got some ways to go and things to learn, I surmise that in this season I believe she has achieved becoming an expert dreamer. Yeah, that ’nonsensical’ flying dreaming episode sealed it. It’s like telling me, if she can’t get her open diving licence, at least she can be a dreaming expert. You don’t need any sort of licence for that! Just your imagination! But don’t laugh. Because remember what John Lennon sang in Imagine? You may say I’m a dreamer/ But I’m not the only one… Yes people, the world needs not more professionals, pros, specialists, masters or experts, but dreamers! Now that she has gotten her advanced licence, she can go on to dream further. So don’t worry about fun times going to end. If it comes, it comes. You will cross the bridge when you get there.

Come to think of it, the cats aren’t very prominent here either. As though they don’t want to get in the way of our main characters. They’re just hanging around and in case you need to be distracted for a while, you can watch them do whatever cute things they are doing. Hence no proper episode that focuses on them this season. Not that it matters anyway.

Kokoro as the new character adds a little more variety. Because of all the girliness we have seen in our main characters, Kokoro is more of the stubborn and manly pride type (like as though he was supposed to turn out female but God screwed up in the end and made him male last minute). Only made ambiguous by his gender. My guts told me he is a male and there were some ambiguous elements to try and confuse us and make us think he is otherwise. Well, I suppose Kokoro eventually being officially male is supposed to be the surprise factor that shocks our main characters? You know what they say on how strange the truth is. But let me get this straight. Teko when she thought Kokoro as a girl, viewed her as a love rival for Pikari? But now that she knows Kokoro is a boy, she supports him to be Pikari’s future lover? Okay. Perhaps that is no rivalry in that way. It’s a win-win situation for everybody because Teko can have her lesbianism friendship with her while Kokoro will be able to get a straight and healthy relationship with Pikari. Once he reaches the legal age, that is.

Kodama and Kotori feel somewhat irrelevant here since they don’t have many episodes for themselves and only limited screen time. Like as though they are just introduced in case there is another season, then they can appear more. Hence having setup Kodama having some sisterly issues feels like this is going to be her ‘challenge to overcome’, which I predict it won’t be overly complicated (sisters get into some small quarrel, reconcile, best sisters ever in the world again) before she would becoming a diving member once more. But now that they are part of the diving club, we should hear from them often. I doubt that they will be replacing Ai and Makoto because even if they have graduated, they’ll still be around as alumnus and alumna.

It goes without saying that the main draw for me to return watching this series is the BGM music. Yes, those lovely and calming acoustic guitar pickings that could rival those in Aria The Animation. Although this season has its own brand new album, many that I hear sound like taken from the original series. But that’s just because maybe I wasn’t paying attention enough. But I do notice that there are much more variations to the Umi To Sora piece. It is like this has become the main theme of the series. Nevertheless, most of the BGM pieces are still calming and fun to listen.

Last season, Maaya Sakamoto who did the opening theme now sings the ending theme, Hello, Hello. It’s a cute and calming song and if the series itself doesn’t have more Aria x Ohime love, this is where you’ll get your cat love spam. I guess it is better than last season where Aria spends most of his time in this part of the animation chasing after Ohime. Now they’re like a couple. Minori Suzuki sings the opener, Crosswalk. It tries to have that same feel as the previous season’s opening theme, Million Clouds. It is also nice in its own right but I still prefer Million Clouds. With last season’s seiyuus maintained, new ones joining are Ai Yamato as Kokoro, Aya Suzaki as Kodama (Kaede in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Ai Kakuma as Kotori (Miyako in Imouto Sae Ireba Ii), Miyu Irino as Peter (Ritsu in Mob Psycho 100) and Hiroki Takahashi as Towano (Hisoka in Hunter x Hunter series).

The art and animation still remain consistent as last season. The background and sceneries are gorgeous to look at if you find the story and plot too boring to follow. Also, the characters still have that trademark Pac-man face for comical purposes. But I find Kodama’s Pac-man look to be a bit strange because it makes her look sleepy. Those half covered eyelids must be it. But the oddest looking character is Pikari’s grandpa who looks so cartoonish that as though he popped out from some cartoon. I thought he might be some sort of spirit and it boggles my mind how someone this big can move so much agile and quick in the water (possibly faster than dolphins too). Maybe he is big because of all the air and buoyancy inside his body? Nah! Also, we see Pikari’s grandma in her young hot youthful days. It makes you wonder how she became so hagged like as though she is another person now. Maybe all that scuba diving and being in the sun through the years caused her skin to be like that?! Remember people, take extra precautions when being exposed to the elements.

Overall, this sequel is pretty enjoyable if you love the first season despite the same recurring themes that some would find boring. Not really sure if this series would go on to have more sequels and spinoffs like Aria The Animation but you can count on me putting it on my watch list if they ever get produced. Especially those irresistible acoustic guitar picking BGMs. Time to add more of those pieces to my personal library. Still not into scuba diving for laidback leisure (if this what this anime subtly intends us to explore) but with those great pieces of music, it’s more than enough laidback time I need. More than enough toxic cleansing and healing I need before I head back into the pitch black and corrupted wild seas of anime. Hope this is enough ‘air’ to get me through till the next season arrives.

Mahou Shoujo Ore

August 3, 2018

Holy crap! I thought I have seen it all with Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu. In the sense that guys become magical girls or at least look like them and save people in distress from the clutches of evil. And now they pull off another one that is almost similar to that. In Mahou Shoujo Ore, we have girls turning into macho magical guys as their magical girl form!!! OMFG!!! Seriously what kind of sick twisted logic is that?! But this is just to f*cking hilarious to pass up even though I think it is going to be more (comical) crap and have some gay baiting stuffs. Who says magical girls need to be cute little feminine girls? Guys can become one too! Like as though guys who couldn’t live their magical dream now finally get to be one with those bulging muscles and low voices while their tight magical girl outfit threatens to burst and become wardrobe malfunction…

Episode 1
Saki Uno is a magical girl who defeats a monster that turns everything black and white while in love with a mysterious and handsome Peach Prince. But it’s time to wake up. Damn dream. Saki is part of the idol duo, Magical Twins along with Sakuyo Mikage. However no one listens to their street performance not because the town is in curfew but they are that unpopular! Hey, their manager, Konami Yamo is the one who says it. However in contrast, Star Prince is by far a very popular idol and Mohiro who is Sakuyo’s older brother is part of that half and Saki’s crush. He is the reason why she is into this idol thingy. When Saki returns home, she is shocked to see this yakuza dude, Kokoro waiting. He wants to see her mom, Sayori. Turns out they know each other. Sayori lets Saki know the truth. She was once a magical girl! Serious! Kokoro is her fairy animal mascot???!!! In fact, Sayori was still doing this magical girl job until last month when her back gave way. Curse old age. Kokoro thinks of making Saki her replacement. Oh, this just in. There is a demon terrorizing nearby. Don’t let the cute squirrel looks fool you. They can transform into their (cute) macho form and nothing can stop them except magical girl powers. Oh look. Mohiro who loves animals is seen coming into contact into one. What’s this about the demons taking their prey to the underworld and that’s the last you’ll ever hear from them? Instantly Saki goes to rescue him. Her will to save him initiates her Love Power index. But apparently that isn’t enough as she must shout aloud the person she loves to activate it. Risk embarrassment or her crush forever being gone. She screams out she loves Mohiro and now transforms into… A muscular magical guy!!! WTF????!!!!

Episode 2
The logic is that a man’s body is suitable for fighting. But in line with the magical theme, hence the girly outfit. Contradictory! Saki tries to keep her identity while fighting the machos. Since all magical items are too overpowered, Kokoro hands her a magical wand. It has no magic. You beat them to death! Damn. Wow. What a bloody aftermath. No magic. Just brute raw violence. Is Mohiro in love with this magical dude?! See how many times he gives his thanks. Apparently this whole thing is watched by Sakuyo and Konami. They know the truth and because Konami is an even bigger fan of magical girls, he wants to become her magical manager! No turning back now. Next morning after Saki returns back to normal and recover from her macho nightmare, she goes to see Mohiro from his house but too bad he is being hijacked by his idol partner, Hyoue. Unfortunately Saki and Hyoue hate each other and you can see the animosity. Sakuyo asks her how she end up liking her brother (for us viewers to know, I guess) so she narrates his kindness and a man of a few words. However Sakuyo doesn’t seem a bit happy and runs away. Kokoro is so creepy in his chibi form. He is here to warn Saki of another demon. The target is… Mohiro! Again?! Time to rescue the one she loves. However the demon this time isn’t just a macho squirrel. But with tentacles! OMFG! My eyes are going to get raped… While manly Saki gets her modesty outraged, surprisingly Sakuyo is here to help. If Saki is going to protect her brother, then she will protect her. Saki thanks her concern but doesn’t want her to be in danger. That smile really sets it off. Kokoro detects Sakuyo’s Love Power and has her shout out the name of her love one. Sakuyo screams she loves Saki and is now a muscular magical guy! Double WTF!

Episode 3
Sakuyo’s love for Saki isn’t out of friendship but a sexual one! Flashback time. Because Saki always admired Mohiro’s singing, Sakuyo always felt jealous. It was one reason why she became an idol too. One day the duo got lost and injured in the forest. When all seems hopeless, Mohiro pops up to bring them back. Although Mohiro treated Saki better, Sakuyo also admired her brother for saving them. Mohiro collapsed after bringing them home. It is found out he was searching for them all the while and it aggravated his cold. The girls vow to work hard so he wouldn’t have to suffer like this again. Now, Sakuyo claims she was happy to take those feelings of hers to the grave so Saki and Mohiro could be happy but with this transformation, she feels she could steal her away from him! The tentacle attacks but Sakuyo punches it to a bloody pulp! So if Sakuyo is such a great magical girl, is Saki needed? Yes. Apparently her powers come from Saki being in danger. So as Saki ponders why the demons are targeting Mohiro, looks like she has to worry about herself being a target from Sakuyo. Damn, feeling so BL gay seeing them macho tussle. Sakuyo says she doesn’t care what form Saki is. Human, dog or amoeba, as long as she is Saki, she will love her! They are interrupted by Konami who is now ecstatic of 2 magical girls. He has recorded everything and uploaded them. He is really hoping they will become a worldwide sensation and their popularity as magical girl idols will spread. Later we hear Sakuyo’s thoughts of how the mass of a female could transform into of a male. So where does her massive boobs go? Yeah, she thinks it goes down there! So you think Mohiro’s got a ‘big brother’? After all, Sakuyo looks a bit like Mohiro in her male form but buffed up so I suppose that’s the motivation for her to stay on. You didn’t think the (male) magical girl duo would become an international sensation so quickly, would you? Yeah, they’re going to make their TV debut…

Episode 4
When those cute squirrels decided to cut the power lines, a cyborg dude, Ichigo Fujimoto beats the crap out of them. When he sees the magical girl idol debuting on paper, he gets mad. Saki and Sakuyo are walking through the studio’s corridor. Weird feeling with everyone staring at the ‘men’. Even worse and gayer when Sakuyo is clinging on to her. But a reprieve when Mohiro is here. But attached to him is Ichigo the art director? Ichigo cuts the fun conversation between them and warns her to come to see him after their shoot. After all, he knows her identity. Saki is shocked as she wonders if this guy is Hyoue. But it couldn’t be since he is so much shorter. When the duo meet with Ichigo, it seems he is jealous that the duo has stolen the superhero spotlight from him. He has been defending town for a long time. Whatever. He hates them and doesn’t view them as true superheroes. He is not here to be their friend or ally but declare war. When the studio is under attack by the demons, both race to show each other their worth. Hurry, they’ve taken the entire studio hostage. The crowd watches in disbelief as the magical girl guys beat the bloody crap out of the cuties. Kokoro tells Saki a secret about her wand and it sucks demons’ blood that she defeats. Saki saves Ichigo from a falling pillar. Though shocked she saved him, he still doesn’t accept her as his ally and makes his exit. Ichigo hints Saki looks like her predecessor, prompting her to think he might be a really old person. When impressed Mohiro thanks Saki profusely, the crowd takes this as him acknowledging Saki. They flood her with questions. Sakuyo doesn’t look too happy with all the attention on her. We take a detour as we see the daily life of superhero Ichigo. The usual tour and stopping baddies from mugging grannies. Well, he’s a cyborg so he can’t really get hurt, right? He returns home to his lab whereby he has 5 other cyborg clone brothers.

Episode 5
Some artist’s work has been rejected. He calls the Fujimoto brothers that the storyboards for this episode has been thrown out. Now they have to think of another way before this giant monster, Chizilla reawakens. Many hours ago, a high level government meeting was held as Chizilla levelled a city. DNA report shows a matching one with an anime production controller named Shinzo Chiba. Coincidentally, he went missing 3 days ago and authorities found his parked car. He was supposed to deliver final keyframes for a show that is to be airing soon. CCTV showed him fiddling with his phone before dropping into the lake. Chizilla seems to be heading to Suginami and not some big city with big buildings most probably the monster inherited Chiba’s will to deliver the keyframes. However there is the risk of destroying the city and that would mean the end of the anime industry as most outsourced work is from here! Horror! Save anime! That is when the Fujimoto brothers walk in to offer their emergency services. It is believed Chizilla destroyed the previous city was because of his will not to miss a doujinshi event. They assure they can finish the storyboard and air the anime in time right before Chizilla moves. They also make lavish demands to get the job done when some foreigner chick halts them. Congress has approved to destroy Chizilla. Hence the brothers start calling desperately all those related in the industry to help. However the poor and problematic ones refuse. But those super rich and talentedly weird accept. With 150 animation directors, there is going to be a hell lot of inconsistencies. When all seems lost, they get help from the internet. It is done but right before they could air, Chizilla starts to move. Apparently the twist in the plot calls for them needing to put the final footage into its mouth. They race against time but can they make it? That is when the magical girl duo (fresh from their Okinawan holiday, that’s why they’re so missing this episode) drop in and kick through Chizilla. The day is saved. Everybody is stunned and like what the hell but can’t complain. This episode is almost over.

Episode 6
The girls travel to a hotspring inn as part of their work. Finally they get to sing. Also there are Mohiro and Hyoue who are shooting a video. Saki finally gets to talk with Mohiro but of course Hyoue interrupts and the two clash as usual. Because Konami forgot their karaoke CD, the girls become emcee and let the president sing instead. Yeah, he’s pretty popular… The girls get to enjoy the hotspring but Saki fears Sakuyo would rape her. Sakuyo assures that she will not do anything she doesn’t like. A relief but it somewhat makes Saki feel like she didn’t trust her. As Saki soaks in the hotspring, she is actually soaking in the men’s section as the sign dropped off earlier before the hostess put it back up. She can’t help think of Mohiro and hence she transforms into her male alter ego. Speaking of the devil, here comes Mohiro! Can’t let him find out. So in order to maintain his form, he has to look at Mohiro’s juicy body. And yes, his dick… Curious to know how big it is… Saki sees the scar on the back of his neck and remembers he got it when he saved her. She still regrets that day. Soaking for too long has Saki lapsing in concentration. So she has to take a look at his dick multiple times in order to retain her form! So gay? Just when she thinks it is over, they enter the sauna. Why couldn’t she just leave? I mean, Mohiro now thinks this is a sauna endurance competition. How many times must she look at his nice body to retain her form? There is a limit to this… Meanwhile Sakuyo realizes Saki has not been seen. She runs around looking for her and her strong love has her transform into her male form. She stumbles into a room of demons! Did they reserve the party? Sorry to crash in but she has to beat them all up. Saki is close to passing out so considerate Mohiro goes out for a while. Saki passes out and as Mohiro returns, she hears Sakuyo calling him to answer a call. Sakuyo rescues Saki from the death heat. She wakes up in her room but don’t worry, Sakuyo has not done anything to her. She hopes they can bath together. Later as they eat, Saki and Mohiro get a chance to sing together on stage. Not sure if she is nervous or too hyped because Saki sounds horrible!!!

Episode 7
Sayori collapses after Saki goes to school. Had not Kokoro pass by, she might have been done for. Still, Sayori doesn’t want him to let Saki know about this ‘problem’. Saki and Sakuyo dread that they have more work ever since becoming famous. There are lots of merchandise of them like this gay doujin… But the best one is that they are finally getting a recording label and debut. Oddly, Konami picks this time to mention how bad Saki’s singing and dancing are. Then he rants about his flashback about his dream of becoming a manager for magical girls but end up being a manager for a certain pair of idols. Watching them through up and downs (mostly downs) made them his number one fan. He is glad he has stuck with them. Now they go to karaoke to practice. You want to know how horrible their singing is? The other karaoke customers ‘died’!!! The police won’t discover how this mass murder was done. Sakuyo also wrote a song. It’s all about Saki. Sa-kiss? IT SUCKS!!!! Konami points out there is no emotion in it so he demonstrates by singing himself. OMG. This guy is decent! Not perfect but better than the girls! He can also work so fast like as though he cloned himself with backup dancers! Saki goes crazy when nobody quips that Fujimoto (probably working part time here) serves drinks to them. We take a detour to let our minds wander into depravity as this hot ambiguous steamy sexy scene of Kokoro and Sayori getting it on! Of course he is just massaging he back. As her body is a wreck, he wants her to pass the torch to Saki. She requests to have 1 more week as a magical girl. Saki goes to the toilet and sees a demon taking a dump! No mood anymore? She returns only to realize Mohiro and Hyoue are singing right next door! She probably wants to stay there forever but Hyoue won’t let that happen. Next room, the demons are singing. Time for the girls to let out their frustration and beat them to a pulp! Don’t worry. It’s not violent. Not if you play the Yankee Doodle medley while smashing their brains out! In the end, the bloodied room is worse than a murder scene. Saki’s wand breaks and Kokoro is not amused she handled it very rough. He notes it is tough to get a replacement as each magical item has different magical power flowing through. Sakuyo starts thinking about the mere coincidence of the demons always knows where Mohiro is. Even at this private karaoke function. Can you guess it?

Episode 8
Sayori is weakening but there is something she insists she needs to do. Today is the magical girl duo’s greet and meet event. It’s crowded and the queue stretches as long to the next city! Thanks to Konami doing some shady promotion too. Of course the draw is because there is a similar event for Star Prince and Prisma (another idol group consisting of Michiru Okawa and Ruka Kiryuu). Saki meets all sorts of fans from the fanatically obsessed to the pure and innocent. Did they make a dirty joke there when her hand is covered in ‘yoghurt’ or ‘condensed milk’?! To Saki’s dismay, Sayori is also here. Other than to enjoy her daughter’s fame, she also warns her that the demon boss is here. Shortly after, she collapses and Hyoue brings her to the infirmary. Suddenly a demon is seen shaking hands with Mohiro. Heck, suddenly demons appear among the crowd! How the f*ck did they appear without anybody noticing! Time for Saki and Sakuyo to beat up those cuties before they send Mohiro into the other world. And the crowd things this must be part of the show. After Saki is being overwhelmed, it took a little girl to rally the other crowd to support her. This gives her to power to beat the bloody pulp out of the demons as well as saved Mohiro from certain doom. I guess the rest of today’s event is cancelled. Saki and Mohiro’s moments is ruined when a demon is about to strike her from the back. Luckily another magical dude saves her. Hey… Isn’t that Sayori!!! In male form!!! Like mother and daughter. Or is it father and son? Damn, I’m so confused. After a short talk, Sayori weakens like as though she is going to die. To fulfil her last rites, she passes her own magical wand to Saki. It’s hers now. Some emotional ‘farewell’ seen as Kokoro takes a ‘dead’ Sayori to ‘ascend to heaven’. At this point Hyoue returns from toilet. Saki believes he could be the demon boss. In the aftermath, we see Sayori just fine. Taking a train back with Saki, she laments she just wanted to hurry to the pharmacy to buy heating pads.

Episode 9
Looks like the fan base of Prisma is dwindling and the duo will be retiring if they don’t do something about it. Meanwhile as Saki suspects Hyoue to be the culprit as he is always hanging out with Mohiro and disappearing at crucial times, she and Sakuyo spy on them. However they have to cut short when Konami calls them. It seems he has arranged for a joint concert for them with Star Prince and Prisma. Saki is a fan of Prisma and feels bad to hear that they might be cancelling their part because they can’t fill up the numbers on their side. A shady guy named Happy approaches Prisma. They are not interested in whatever he is scouting them for until he says it is for magical girl. Michiru then lights up like an eager beaver. Ruka knows this sounds like a scam but plays along as she can’t help how cute Michiru is. Happy lets them sign a contract. So folks, watch for a brand new magical girl (guys) in town. They beat up baddies and provide decent help. However their popularity isn’t going up. Worse, Michiru is not pleased that her magical guy look is an old one. Based on the contract, because she doesn’t have enough Love Power, not sure what rules were made in order for her to transform into one with half the usual Love Power but in exchange she has a shorter magical guy lifespan. Yeah, you can’t opt out of it now. Next time read the super fine print properly. During the event as Star Prince give their handshake, demons pop up. Time for our new magical girl guy duo to go into action. However people aren’t impressed and think they are copycats. Eventually they fail because of lack of Love Power. Now there is a huge demon threatening to destroy everything. Oh, it’s got Mohiro too. Saki and Sakuyo enter the scene. They learn their counterparts are Prisma. Saki tells them to believe in themselves and reveal their true feelings. With Saki and Sakuyo revealing their love, this has Michiru reveal hers as Saki (the guy version) and Ruka for Michiru. Michiru is in shock to hear it. She was too dense never to realize it. The quartet combine their power to destroy the demon and save Mohiro. In the aftermath, Kokoro punishes Happy for overstepping his bounds into this business as what he is doing is shady and borderline illegal. No forgiveness as Kokoro beats him up and Michiru turns into an even older guy! And tanned!

Episode 10
We see Sayori’s flashback. She has a crush on this boy in class, Uno. She sees him talking to his friends but she doesn’t know he is being harassed by them. Praying for an angel to give her the strength to confess to him, Kokoro pops up. You’re screwed. As they further watch him being bullied, she prays to have magic and be strong. Kokoro turns her into a magical girl guy and she beats the crap out of them. And that’s how Saki’s parents met. As Saki continues to suspect Hyoue, I guess it is back to that stalking. Tailing him and Mohiro around is sure a hard job. Now you understand detectives’ plight and patience, eh? When she sees them heading into a hotel and her wild imagination that Hyoue might be selling Mohiro to demons for some porn shoot. She wants to jump to killing Hyoue now! Luckily they didn’t enter the hotel and help a lost boy. While waiting to get his mom, Mohiro starts singing and as usual attracts all the cute animals. Saki is shocked when Hyoue greets her. Yeah, he knows she has been following him. He wonders if Mohiro is human because he is always spacing out and his singing draws animals’ attention. It’s a reason why he got him into the idol business as he wants the world to hear his singing. But this allows Saki to turn the questions on him. Is Hyoue himself human? Now we take a detour to see Konami’s life because the producers purposely wants to screw with us. We see him slapping cash at the store clerk because he didn’t think he could afford this magical girl figurine. He works and lives for this, damn it! Then Fujimoto is also there but he couldn’t remember him and takes his leave before anything happens. Also, he is running late to watch his magical girl show. But he spots a couple of new street idols wannabe. He buys their CD (thank goodness their first sales) and remembers about Magical Twins’ humble beginnings. Now they are big idol starts (although it’s their magical girl guy persona) and is glad to have stuck with them. We are trolled to think a car crashed into him but actually a delivery guy crash his bicycle after being distracted by the wind blowing up a girl’s skirt. Konami returns to his office. He stops the demons in his room from fighting! Damn, this guy is the demons’ boss!!! No wonder this detour… He is whispered some juicy details… Yup, the series is almost over… Meanwhile Saki is shocked to hear her manager is the baddie. To answer her earlier question, he has her call Kokoro. The moment this dude appears, he shivers in fear and grovels himself to Hyoue. This is the next fairy king! Damn the revelations are coming out slowly.

Episode 11
Hyoue adds he was on vacation but extended it to do some investigation. As a fairy, he has the ability to hide his presence. He shows proof that Konami is a demon. Hyoue is also friends with Fujimoto since they have the same goal. As fairies are physically weak, he needs somebody to protect him. Speaking of the devil (cyborg actually), Fujimoto calls to inform that demon gates are opening everywhere and turning everyone into… Low quality animation!!! Then there is an evil broadcast made by Konami behind a mask. He has kidnapped Mohiro and wants the magical girls to rescue him. Obviously a trap but what choice do they have? As they head into the demon world, Sakuyo stays behind to fight all the demons and let Saki go ahead. Some ‘heartfelt’ friendship moments why Sakuyo has to do this. It’s her love for Saki of course. So Saki has to remember why she became a magical girl in the first place. It’s for Mohiro. Don’t worry. Sakuyo will not fail until she has a happy ending with her. Sakuyo powers up to beat the crap out of all the demons as she show us her secret stash of thousands of secret Saki photos! Saki confronts Konami who dramatically reveals himself as the final boss. Then they cut to commercials and it was all just a show? Konami explains to a confused Saki about him using everything and everybody just for her sake. He originally is the director of the invasion department and has to organize invasions of demons to the worlds of other species. When word that one of their side is defeated by a wimpy human, Konami decides to go there personally to settle it. Of course this is a lie as he plans to meet his favourite magical girl. His world came crashing down after seeing it is Kokoro and Sayori. He fell into depression and without any results, funding were cut. He is forced to find a job and coincidentally as an idol manager he met Saki and Sakuyo, gradually becoming their fans. But his bosses still wanted results and at his wits end after hearing Kokoro offering Saki to become a magical girl, he hit an idea. Therefore all the demons they have been bashing is because he sent signal to them over to their location. Yup, he staged every single one of them. Slowly they become famous and as for Mohiro’s kidnapping, it was all part of the marketing strategy. As people’s attention span is short and they get bored easily, that’s why Saki must do it now that her popularity is at its peak. She must defeat him as the evil final boss and her legacy as an idol will be cemented for ages.

Episode 12
As Konami explains it has been his job to make them successful and all she needs is to beat him down, Saki is still hesitant. To give her motivation for that, Konami hurts Mohiro. But now Saki destroys the props and only slaps Konami. Oh, hurting his toes too? Saki cries because this is not the kind of hero she wants to be despite all the things they have done. Konami is going to use his final trump card. That is to kill himself but the ceiling slab misses him since Mohiro helped shove him away. Mohiro thanks Saki for always protecting him but Saki feels it is mostly the other way round. Just when we are going to be baited by a yaoi kiss (OMG!), they are broken up by Hyoue who doesn’t want any sort of that real BL crap. Also, he and Kokoro brought their yakuza fairy army to help but it looks like they’re not needed. Hyoue arrests Konami but as they leave, they find they are locked in. he asks Konami for explanation about the demons. Though he ordered them to attack the magical girls without killing them, the rate they are being killed and respawned became too great so it’s like they develop some sort of instinct for self-preservation. Now that they are fresh from defeating Sakuyo, they are all heading here to defeat Saki. Hence, a showdown between cute squirrel demons against ugly old yakuza fairies + a few hot handsome hunks. However they regenerate quicker and their numbers increased. Don’t worry. Here comes Michiru and Ruka to handle them so that Sakuyo could rejoin Saki as they do their long ass named power move to return everything to normal. In the aftermath, Konami is to be taken into custody of the fairy world and will never set foot in the human world again. The girls are grateful to him and promise they will become a real idol one day. At least he got his last handshake from them. Magical Twins sing yet to another empty audience. Kokoro is their manager too. The magical girl idol crazed died down ever since they announce their shocking sudden retirement. But to show there is hope, somebody bought their CD. First sales! Kokoro detects Mohiro being confronted by hooligans. Time for the magical girl guys to go into action.

Ore No Bizarre Adventure
Well, not too sure if demons will be continuing to invade Earth. Because if they aren’t, our magical girl guys will still have their hands full in protecting Mohiro. It’s their only other excuse to transform and fight, flex your manly muscles. Well, keep on fighting, girls. Or guys. It is too early to retire from being a real magical girl until age catches up with you.

Owing to the slapstick comedy nature of this series, the plot is nothing extraordinary and can be said as generic or even uninspiring. Girls become magical girls (or guys in this case) due to the power of love and fight waves of ‘evil’ enemies to protect the world, or at least in this case, protect the ones they loved. Basically this goal of Saki and Sakuyo is what the main plot mostly follows on. When they try to paint Hyoue as the villain because of how suspicious he acts and looks, my guts were ringing and wondering if this could be true. Because as we all know, the series doesn’t take itself too seriously and sometimes even break the fourth wall. Thus I was wondering if Hyoue being suspected as the villain so early on would be just trolling, a red herring or heck, he could have been really the baddie all along. In its own quirky plot twist, this turned out not to be true. To be fair, if you observed from past episodes, Hyoue and Kokoro have never met or seen each other until then.

Instead the next big suspect potential, Konami. The biggest culprit and least suspected perpetrator is always under your nose, right? With him being casted as a goofy magical girl maniac, this would have sent some alarm bells but somehow that alarm failed in me as I never came to the least of suspecting this guy. And then, plot twist again! Because with demons looking cute and their kind invading worlds look more like pulling off annoying pranks on other species for TV ratings (say, doesn’t this mirror a bit like the original Binan series?), you wonder if demons are really the true bad guys again.

Hence sometimes there is this plethora of mixed feelings while watching all the nonsense that goes through this anime. For example, the so called fanservice when Saki in her male form starts flashing her white undies before us! Are we straight otaku guys supposed to be happy?! Despite knowing Saki is a girl but in this manly form we get this kind of super weird fanservice and in an instant you can’t help suddenly feel the cringe shivering down your spine! Does it make us gay? Which brings us to another confusing question, if watching Saki and Sakuyo getting hot with each other is actually lesbian or gay. But still homo nevertheless. Yes, they are girls deep down in their hearts but on the outside they are macho guys. If love are all matters from the heart, then why visuals are equally as important too?! Thus this is another one of those moments of spine shivering cringe as we watch Sakuyo trying to take out her unfulfilled fantasies on Saki in this form. Maybe in her female form she doesn’t have the strength to overpower Saki as she does in her male form.

Going along with this nonsensical shock factor are the designs of the demons themselves. This is one of the few series where the ‘villains’ are designed to be so overly cute and at the same time overly gross that you are just left speechless. Uh huh. Like as though the creators got some sort of inspiration from Care Bears, took some of their colourful cute looks and infuse them in macho bodies! Voila! Here are your demon antagonists for this series. While some demons are not macho and have that fat slob body, seeing them in such design, macho bodies and cute animal face while making that cute squeaky sound are both cringe worthy and funny. Also, the demons in this form reminds me of the Titans in Shingeki No Kyojin. Full naked body but without the sexual anatomy.

While at that, they’re not stopping at just making those humanoid squirrel clones as just low level henchman so our heroines (or heroes) to take on. It has become a staple in almost episode for the magical girl guys to fight them but also to beat them to a bloody pulp that they have to purposely mosaic it out! Either Saki is too strong or the demons are just too weak. Or both. Either way if you are weak against blood, oh boy I have bad news for you. There is a very high chance when our macho men beats up the macho demons, there will be blood spilled everywhere! Yes it’s funny, yes it’s violent. Even if the demons are supposedly baddies, you wonder if it is right to beat the crap out of cute things until they turn into mashed potato pile of demons. Nothing that solves problems with your bloodied fists and violence!

Character wise, the main ones aren’t anything too special. Saki your typical high school girl trying to live out her dream and though she and Sakuyo become famous, it wasn’t as per their girly idol dream. But heck, the world loves them as macho males so let’s go with it. Like any other normal girl, she is in love with her childhood friend-cum-neighbour. Mohiro is casted as a dim-witted retard because he rarely speaks in full complete sentences as they are mostly just short and few soft-spoken words. Like as though this is the side effect of having something more powerful. Like his singing attracting Treetop Friends animals to his side. But he could be just a trouble magnet because if it’s not demons he is attracting, it would be human ruffians. Man, this guy needs constant protection. Completing this love triangle is Sakuyo who feels like the backup lover if Saki fails to land Mohiro. Made to be opposite of lively Saki, I suppose she being emotionless for the most part is due to holding in her feelings for Saki. As though her male form is her way of expressing her pent up love for Saki. Because it’s more of comedy factor than anything else.

I keep wondering why Michiru and Ruka are even relevant in the first place. The series could have been largely done without them. Is this to show that there are lesser known characters than Saki and Sakuyo? Even had they not showed up in the final episode for a brief moment, I’m sure the producers would have come up with some excuse to save the day. Because last episode. So that appearance of theirs only makes it look forced. They feel mostly redundant except to add some variety to the series because I suppose if the entire series spams the magical girl guys, no matter how famous you are, people are still going to get bored. Like Konami said, people’s attention span is so short these days. Perhaps Prisma are characters who are also part of the creator’s plan to troll people like that Fujimoto character and his brother clones in that so out-of-place monster attack episode. If it is their way of showing our magical girls duo are away on a holiday, I guess in that sense it is ‘creative’? Otherwise, his character is pretty much redundant, reduced to cameos of doing odd jobs that really don’t bring anything significant to the plot. I guess cyborg being a hero is done.

It doesn’t come as any surprise that Sayori is an old magical girl. She isn’t the first old magical girl as I still remember the old series, Okusama Wa Mahou Shoujo, a retired magical girl who has become a middle aged woman, retired because of her age. I guess Sayori must really love her job not to hang up her wand and let her daughter take over. When you’re old, you’re old. In contrast to the cute demons, Kokoro as the magical girl’s ‘animal mascot’ is ‘ugly’. Who would ever thought that some uncouth elderly yakuza dude is going to be like your fairy godmother. More like fairy Godfather perhaps. I suppose that had they gone with the convention of a cute critter, this series would have been overflown and spammed with cute looking creatures. So with Kokoro as the ‘ugly’ one, it somehow balances the cute factor. Because won’t you just squirm with everything looking so cute? Yeah, still cringe either way especially with Kokoro in his chibi fairy form. Is he just cute or cringe? It’s definitely a topsy-turvy world with demons looking cute and fairies looking like old yakuza dudes.

Art and animation feel bright and colourful. Although this series is for mature audiences, the bright colours and the cute designs of the characters feel like as though it is baiting younger audiences. The magical girl guys’ outfit couldn’t be more apt because I keep thinking in the world of cosplay where females could actually cosplay and look hot and gorgeous for male characters, the opposite isn’t the same. Because this is what you get when you have males wear scantily clad outfit! So cringe. So bizarre. Even the hottest males with the best abs would still look weird in clothes specifically designed for females. Also I want to note that when the characters make that incredulous look, the expression on their faces becomes simple that it reminds of me of a retro anime style. This series is animated by Pierrot Plus who did Beelzebub, Konbini Kareshi and Sabagebu.

On a trivial note, one of the most disturbing artworks of the series is the end card illustrations at the end of every episode. All drawn by Monokubo, it is a mix of dark, creepy and cute humour as the main subjects of those illustrations are those cute squirrel demons! You can’t help be awed at the cuteness of those demons but also fear the horror-like visuals as they are portrayed in that would certainly haunt you if you are prone to nightmares. Just like how some come to fear clowns, damn these demons could be the new cute and funny nightmare that would scare the daylights out of you! Why am I starting to see Kyuubey in them…?

Voice acting feels decent with recognizable voices including Koji Yusa as Hyoue (scheming characters best suit him like Bleach’s Ichimaru Gin), Showtaro Morikubo as Konami, Megumi Ogata as Fujimoto, Kenjiro Tsuda as male Sayori and Yukari Tamura as Michiru. The other casts are Ayaka Ohashi as Saki (Momoka in Sabagebu), Kaito Ishikawa as male Saki (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Sachika Misawa as Sakuyo (Black Snow in Accel World), Wataru Hatano as male Sakuyo (Gajeel in Fairy Tail), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Mohiro (Tsukumo in Nanbaka), Kazuya Ichijou as Kokoro (Zafira in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha), Aya Hisakawa as Sayori (Skuld in Aa! Megami-sama – heck, she isn’t Kikuko Inoue or else I would have tried to made some sort of joke on aging women who continues to look young) and Yumi Uchiyama as Ruka (Ruri in Nisekoi).

The opening theme is Noisy Love Power by Ayaka Ohashi. Lively energetic anime pop. Somehow I much prefer the ending theme, Garasu No Ginga by Star Prince despite sounding like a generic male group pop music like in Uta No Prince-sama. Maybe it is the harmony of both guys singing that makes the song sound better? I suppose this is why Magical Twins aren’t doing so well since the opener is only sung by Saki’s seiyuu. Shouldn’t it be sung with Sakuyo too? Because even though if Saki is the main star and given more prominence than Sakuyo, she is still one half of a unit that makes up Magical Twins. It’s not like their unit has like 48 members, no?

Overall, this is really one bizarre anime series trying to shock, cringe and make you laugh with its nonsensical everything. From its bloody and cute violence to its cutely designed demons as well as the eyebrow raising magical girl guys factor, I guess this series aims to just want to blow you away in every way they can. If you’re going to do all that, might as well go all the way. Therefore in that sense, despite all the shock, cringe and funniness this series has blasted in our face for the past dozen episodes, this series is still an entertaining one if you try not to let your high expectations get to your head. This series is most likely remembered by for all its strange bizarre reasons. In a world where the strange is the new normal, where peculiar stuffs gain more attention and views compared to traditional events, better hit it while the iron is hot. Boys becoming magical girls, girls turning into male magical girls and magical girls killing each other, what’s next? Magical girls running for presidency!!! Truly bizarre indeed.