Top Bishoujos of 2018

December 30, 2018

WHAT THE HELL?! What is happening?! What is going on?! Is this the end of the world?! Yeah well, there seems to be something wrong when I was making my usual year-end list for the most beautiful girls of anime I have watched for the year. When I was done, I noticed something ‘strange’. Jesus Christ, there are only 31 bishoujos who actually made the cut for the entire list!!! Read that right. Only thirty one!!! Am I seeing this correctly?! Did I count them all correctly?! WTF???!!! Yup, true enough. That’s the number, baby.

Apparently the number has been steadily declining since 2015 which hit its peak at 99 and this year has got to be the most drastic of them all from over 50 to just breaching the 30’s. Oh wow. Has time changed? Have I changed? Has my taste in beauty vary a lot for the year? Or did the actual number of anime beauties drastically dropped during the year? Or maybe they didn’t. I just watched the ‘wrong’ anime and those beauties remained ‘hidden’ in the ones I didn’t watch. Oh well, I guess I can now say quality over quantity? Also, it makes judging a lot easier with a smaller pool. Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Bishoujos of 2018 in alphabetical order:

1) Aoi Mashiro (Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou No Holmes)

2) Arisu Kamiigusa (Animegataris)

3) Chitose Itou (Iya Na Kao Sare Nagara Opantsu Misete Moraitai)

4) Honami Ichinose (Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi No Kyoushitsu E)

5) Karen Tendou (Gamers)

6) Kotono Kashiwaba (Caligula)

7) Riona Matsumoto (Ousama Game)

8) Ryouko Naoe (Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger)

9) Siluca Meletes (Grancrest Senki)

10) Violet Evergarden (Violet Evergarden)

Many congratulations to the beauties who made the cut for 2018. Rounding up the next tier are (in alphabetical order) Cardia Beckford (Code: Realize: Sousei No Himegimi), Eiko Morizono (Lord of Vermilion – Guren No Ou), Iroha Igarashi (3D Kanojo Real Girl), Mary Saotome (Kakegurui), Narumi Momose (Wotaku Ni Koi Wa Muzukashii), Olivia (Asobi Asobase), Otome Rokudou (Kyoukai No Rinne S3), Shiori Shinomiya (Sakura Quest), Yuzu Aihara (Citrus) and Zena Marientail (Death March Kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku).

Making up the rest of the list (also in alphabetical order) are Aletta (Isekai Shokudou), Jivunya Lorezzo (Saredo Tsumibito Wa Ryuu to Odoru), Kana (Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun), Keika Kiyotaki (Ryuuou No Oshigoto), Mei Aihara (Citrus), Mikan Kise (Action Heroine Cheer Fruits), Sofiel (Shingeki No Bahamut: Virgin Soul), Sunao Unyuu (Joshi Ochi! 2-kai Kara Onnanoko Ga Futte Kita), Tenna Kisaragi (Butlers: Chitose Momotose Monogatari), Tsugumi Kuze (Nil Admirari No Tenbin – Teito Genwaku Kitan) and Yuki Shimizu (Joshi Ochi! 2-kai Kara Onnanoko Ga Futte Kita).

And not forgetting always:

Well, looks like this year has been the ‘worst’ so far in terms of numbers. I guess once in a while there must be a drought year after a bountiful bumper crop year. Can’t really say if the number will go up or down next year but I shouldn’t be worrying about the quantitative expect. It’s the quality that I should be more concerned about! To rephrase a quote: Beauty begins the moment I decide it is beautiful! Can’t argue that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What strange eyes I must have then. Long Live Anime Bishoujos!

Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan S2

December 29, 2018

If you can’t get enough of the crazy characters who keep bugging a certain psychic kid who just wants to lead a normal and quiet live, be glad there is more. Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan S2 is going to be as wacky and hilarious as its predecessor with more psycho antics that would seemingly threaten to reveal our titular character. He is always one and many steps ahead but can that last forever? Stay tuned as we find out. But for Saiki, I think he already knows the conclusion to it all.

Episode 1A
Saiki trolls us with a Gintama crossover! Thankfully it is just a short one. He makes his way to school and stumbles into the usual gang of idiots. As usual they continue to gather around and bug him. It ends with an unexpected Gintama crossover punch line.

Episode 1B
Saiki doesn’t want to spend another disastrous Christmas night with his family. So as he hangs out alone at the park, he sees Takahashi in a pinch as he dropped a Christmas cake he is supposed to deliver. Yeah, that guy has to work tonight and will get his pay docked for every cake he messed up. But what’s worse is that Saiki senses Nendou and Kaidou wanting to come to his place to party and Teruhashi joining in. With the crowd spotting Mugami and chasing him, Saiki sees this and teleports back home. Only, his friends are already waiting in his room ready to celebrate.

Episode 1C
Saiki is alone on New Year’s Day. He feels there is a conspiracy because on every channel he turns on, one of his idiotic friends is on the channel! From Nendou in that millionaire quiz show to Mera in an eating contest to Hairo playing baseball. Finally the biggest troll of them all: This anime running now on TV!

Episode 1D
Toritsuka begs Saiki once more to use his power to help him win Aiko’s heart. Of course he won’t and conveniently dumps him to Hairo under the pretence this lecher wants to join the tennis club. Oh lucky, Aiko is also a tennis club member. Toritsuka tries to look good but sucks thanks to Saiki interfering. But as he tries his best on his own, it looks like he could play decently. But why Aiko isn’t impressed? Saiki reveals Aiko liked him from the start but that is only because he is useless. That is why he was trying to help. Now that he looks competent, she is going to forget about him. Bummer.

Episode 1E
Saiki transforms himself into a girl so he could eat a dessert buffet only open for ladies. Too bad Teruhashi, Yumehara and Mera are there. He can’t get away. There are times when his real identity may be busted because the girls think he is acting so much like Saiki. Then they try to talk about their crushes. Saiki gets up to leave and accidentally drops his books out of his bag. The girls see the name on the book. Why does ‘she’ have Saiki’s stuffs? Oh no. Could it be ‘she’ is Saiki’s little sister? Yeah. Let’s go with that.

Episode 2A
Saiki is forced to hear his parents’ rant how they met since today is their anniversary. It sounded like dad is such a hot guy who saved mom from a ruffian. Hard to believe, right? After he goes to bed, Kuusuke calls to inform the parents that one of Saiki’s antenna is defective. Next morning, Saiki wakes up with his room on a tree! As he walks around, he realizes he has gone back to the past. Because this dude isn’t Nendou but his father! Also, the fashion sense of the people in that era. Saiki realizes he made a terrible mistake that changed timeline. Because he bumped into Nendou’s dad, he avoided bumping into Saiki’s mom that would have led to Saiki’s dad rescuing her. At least that was the story he was being told.

Episode 2B
Realizing he won’t be born from this aftermath, he conspires with Nendou’s dad to hit on her. In the meantime, trying to get his pathetic dad to make his move to save his future wife. In the end, not exactly the way it should have turned out but at least dad ‘saved’ mom and he hit it off. Now, everything should have returned to normal as Saiki returns to his original timeline. Guess what? A decimated dystopia!!!

Episode 2C
Saiki explains the butterfly effect. Something about because of your interference that wasn’t supposed to be in the original, you can never get back to your original timeline. He bumps into punk Toritsuka to reveal about the details about World War III due to some invention created by Kuusuke. Saiki is shocked to learn that in this timeline, he is dead! Saiki goes to see his brother and learns the invention he created that people started fighting over: A time machine. Though, it could only go back one day. Now we see Saiki returning to the exact timeline he is. But why is he paying intense intention to his parents’ story? Using the time machine back and forth, a day at a time, he is trying to listen and see if he has returned to the correct timeline. Phew.

Episode 2D
Kuboyasu tries to give up his thug life but it seems there are other punks who aren’t willing to allow that. So they continue to pick a fight with him but in the end they got beaten up as Kuboyasu reverts to his extreme gangster style. But the moment for him to change for good is when he receives a love letter. He takes this chance to meet this girl and change. Turns out to be a trap by a few punks to get him to fight. They’re going to regret it… Kuboyasu has become so disillusioned after this, he became a badass that nobody dared picked a fight with him for a while.

Episode 2E
Saiki is out buying clothes when unfortunately Nendou and Kaidou are also here. Don’t bother asking these guys with lousy fashion sense. Suddenly it becomes a competition between the duo who has the better fashion sense and Saiki will be the judge. They’re both losers. With Teruhashi now in the picture, they have this idea to pick clothes for her to wear and Saiki will as usual be the judge. Kaidou goes first with his bizarre ‘warrior’-like outfit. Fail. Though it made other females want to try it out. Nendou is anticipating putting Teruhashi in a very skimpy cowboy outfit and since Saiki saw through his plan, he quickly switches with normal clothes. Looks pretty good on her. She’ll buy whatever he picks! Saiki has left, only to realize he hasn’t bought his own clothes.

Episode 3A
Today is extra chilly. If you think outside is cold, wait till you get inside class. It’s colder! Don’t worry, we have a human heater: Hairo! Don’t stop exercising! Normally it would be okay to just skip class and go home but since some famous comedian, Peanuts Ueda (who the f*ck?!) is coming later, everyone else decides to stay! Because of that, everyone pulls up their jersey covering their face, forming some sort of new fashion. By the time this comedian arrives, he tells the lamest joke. Yeah, it’s so cold in here…

Episode 3B
Saiki is forced to hand notes to Saiko. Oh, Nendou, Kaidou and Kuboyasu tag along too. With them being so awed at his high class luxurious mansion, Saiko thought of showing off to make them acknowledge he is much better than them. But all of them only have this commoner expression and they expect something fantastical or futuristic. In other words, not really impressed. So after they leave, Saiko vows to show them a house that will knock them off their feet.

Episode 3C
Hence Saiko forcefully invites all of them again. This time his mansion has turned into a futuristic amusement park! He guides them around as they all have fun. In the end, they are so happy that they want to invite him to their house next time to show how commoners have fun. This puts Saiko in a bind. He spent so much money and time researching on them just to achieve what? And they’re more entertained than impressed? Is this victory worth it? They realize that Nendou has been missing ever since they started entering this place. It seems he has been stuck at the gate. He is the only one who thinks this isn’t any fun at all.

Episode 3D
With the heavy snow, school is of course cancelled. Saiki thought he could sleep in but Nendou and Kaidou are here to invite him to build a snowman. Normally he would decline them but he sees visions of them being killed. Seriously. So he hangs out with them just to keep watch. Any impending danger, Saiki is able to ward them off without anybody noticing. Finally when the snowman is done and there is nothing else to do, the duo suggest one more thing to do: Pretend to be dead! The vision came true… So much time wasted…

Episode 3E
With the start of the new term, Saiki and co will be second years. Too bad he notices the third years are all weird looking people whom none he recognized at all. Did they really school here? Saiki notices a graduating class with names beginning with only ‘A’ and a senior whom Yumehara once fell in love with but is more like leeching off her money. Shockingly, Kaidou gives his speech as representative year and personally thanks Mineo Nobuaki AKA Alphonse Calcifer Raiden! Who the f*ck?! It’s probably this guy that introduced Kaidou to his chuunibyou world. Saiki notes the only senior he will recognize is Kongou. But he has changed so much from a gangster dude to a prim and proper student that he is barely recognizable! Who the f*ck?! Then everyone starts getting emotional as they sing the school’s anthem. Yeah, weird song. Should have been used in a tokusatsu series instead.

Episode 4A
Imu Rifuta thinks she is hell of a cute and the world revolves around her. It’s no surprise that the guys really like her. Until Nendou points out Teruhashi is cuter. An argument ensues but her fans seem to paint Teruhashi in a higher light. This has Rifuta wanting to see this Teruhashi girl. Woah! Such an angel! Even more so Rifuta realizes she causes guys to fight with each other but Teruhashi has them make peace! With Teruhashi treating her nicely but getting better stuffs than her, Rifuta runs away as she cannot take it anymore that somebody is better than her. Turns out it is a devious ploy by Teruhashi to teach her the harsh truth that the world does not revolve around her!

Episode 4B
Kaidou is having fun telling April Fools jokes until people start accusing him of going too far. However Nendou still believed some laser beam shooting tower crap thingy and has bought a camera to take a picture of it. He accidentally drops it, threatening to fall over Kaidou but Saiki uses his power to miss him and have a soft landing. This amazes Kaidou as he tries to tell everyone about it but nobody believes. He demonstrates again but this time the camera really breaks. Now they accuse him of being a true liar but the laser beam is starting to shoot from the tower! Thank Saiki for that.

Episode 4C
Saiki has allergies but each time he sneezes, something precious from his dad explodes! It’s too much of a coincidence to call it random. While some pills do hold back his sneeze, he has to take them periodically. However Nendou wants him to see his sneezing face and won’t let him take the pills. Too bad Saiki sneezes and the pills explode! He needs to get out but Nendou is still hell bent on showing that face. He is even trying to use a bouquet of pollens! Saiki knocks him out but before he could teleport, his sneeze causes a hole in the wall. This alerts everyone else but Saiki manages to cover up using pollens as a smokescreen to repair the wall.

Episode 4D
Hairo and the gang are to pick up trash but it is also a competition as depending on what kind of trash you pick up, you earn certain points. Kaidou believes everyone is in it for the big prize money in the end as the one who gets the most points wins it. Some shady dude tries to coax them to join his side and pick up cigarette butts since it is worth the most points. But Hairo’s pride will not allow it and so he rejects him. With Hairo’s enthusiasm, they could have easily run away with the lead but he is so particular in picking up every darn trash that is small in points too. Not to mention, Kaidou is just freaking clumsy. Lost some points there… That shady guy returns and has a trash bag full of cigarette butts. He brags about it so Saiki ignites and burns the whole lot. In the end, the winner is some family because they picked up a corpse of a dead tsuchinoko. WTF…

Episode 4E
Toritsuka offered to help solve ghost rumours of the piano playing at night in the music room. Of course he needs Saiki help too. Turns out to be a girl who has a great attachment to it. Toritsuka wants to flirt with her but she rather die than date him. Ghost joke. Eventually she realizes she is causing others to be scared and leaves. The next day, the piano is removed since many students complained about the hauntings. Toritsuka won’t give up and has Saiki do him one more favour. While we hear the backstory that it belonged to some family who donated it 20 years ago and the daughter who played it passed away due to illness, we see Toritsuka has not given up on the piano and has it moved into his room! So cramped. But I don’t think ghost girl is coming back…

Episode 5A
Rifuta still plays second fiddle to Teruhashi. Whatever she does, Teruhashi is always tops. When asked about Saiki, Teruhashi suddenly loses her balance. Rifuta gets it that she likes him and has finally found her trump card to best her. So she tries to hint she wants to date Saiki to throw her off and Rifuta relishes seeing the almost panicky face she puts. Of course this is all part of Saiki’s plan. He would look like he is with Rifuta until Teruhashi gives up. Once Rifuta believes she has won over her, there is no more reason for her to be with him. Killing 2 birds with a stone. As expected, Rifuta approaches him. She is thrilled he ‘chose’ her instead of Teruhashi. But it looks like Rifuta is starting to genuinely like Saiki. He looks so cool in her vision! Another cans of worms opened…

Episode 5B
Saiki’s parents’ birthday as just a day apart. So it is obvious they lie to each other about going their way when it’s to get the other presents. Saiki peeks on what they are going to buy and it’s definitely questionable. So mom got him a display case to put all her past presents to him. On the other hand, he got her a huge teddy bear. But wait. How can he afford that? He sold her past presents to buy it. Also, she moved the sewing kit to make room for the shelf and hence can’t put together the teddy bear. So are their presents useless? They start crying but it is tears of happiness that they love each other so much that they sell their precious things for each other. Yeah, the power of love is in the feelings not the presents!

Episode 5C
An arrogant hamster tries to make Saiki adopt him. He doesn’t need to oblige so the hamster panics and reveals he wanted to see the world but regrets how dangerous it is. Now it is lost and can’t get home. Since he is not from this area, Saiki can’t help. Beg all you want. Amp tries to up the hamster but after being flattered by the furball, Amp who knows where it lives decides to bring it there. You think the hamster would be happy to be reunited with its original master. Too bad that kid has bought a new hamster pet and is very happy with it.

Episode 5D
Saiki now has this obligation to find the hamster a new owner. Hairo: Too much training! Kaidou: Too much chuunibyou! Yumehara: Can’t stop blabbing! Ever! Teruhashi: Oh, she has a cat. Nendou is their last hope and logically this is the worst of the lot. Is it doomsday for little Hamtaro? Well, don’t judge a book by its cover because Nendou is pretty good in taking care of the hamster as he owned one before. Before you know it, the hamster is so attached to this dude.

Episode 5E
Kuusuke sends an electric massage chair to his family. Literally shocking. When the parents try to massage Saiki’s shoulder, it is as stiff as a rock! No, an iron vault! You can blame the past seasons for all his stress. Dad has an idea to beat him up using stuffs but why does it feel like revenge? Anyway, anything he uses breaks! Even metal stuffs! Mom even tries to stab him but it didn’t work! Dad borrows an impact rammer and surprisingly Saiki feels good. But anymore vibration and the house will be destroyed. So he teleports himself to some riverside and destroy rocks to let its broken bits rain on his shoulders. It is perfect until he realizes an old woman watching him. He teleports back to the house where he accidentally sits on the electric massage chair. But wait. The electricity literally cured his aches! Now he can really move! So light! But so powerful that he puts a hole in the house.

Episode 6A
Saiko brags about his weekend luxury liner cruise. He will invite the boys if they get Teruhashi to come. So they did and Mera and Yumehara also joined. Saiki assumed he isn’t in since the head count is supposed to include Hairo. Too bad he is busy with his club activities and Saiki lost his chance to decline. So as they board the ship, it seems Saiki read Saiko’s mind of what happened last night. The ship is under maintenance and won’t be finished in time. Saiko told them to finish it or get fired. And hence the ship split apart during the voyage and now they are in some uninhabited island.

Episode 6B
Did Saiki not see this coming? Apparently there were bad omens but somehow he chose to ignore them. Although Saiko claims his ship has the best tracking system and in no time they will be rescued, only Saiki knows they are not near Japan waters. Saiki remembers what happened. Last night when they were trying to stop Mera from raiding the fridge, somehow Saiki got seasick.

Episode 6C
As they put him to bed, Teruhashi accidentally took off his antenna. That’s why the ship split and Saiki woke up then, used all his powers to save everyone but somehow teleported them to an island near South America. This means no help will come to them. Of course Saiki can teleport them back but it will raise suspicions about his powers. With their food running out, suddenly Mera returns as a native!

Episode 6D
So apparently she raided all that’s left of their emergency food and is giving them poisonous mushrooms as apology? Make sure you eat up. Yeah, Mera can’t even speak human tongue. But Saiki saves them because he teleported back to town and bought foodstuffs and make it look like they washed up ashore. Nendou then has an idea to build a raft. Saiki agrees to it since in the middle of the ocean he can teleport near Japan waters without anyone noticing. However it seems they lack the necessary manpower to build a raft even if Saiki has bought and accidentally washed up the tools. Yeah, Saiko is being a dick not wanting to help.

Episode 6E
Not even Teruhashi could use her charm and get this guy to help. He is too proud to stoop to a commoner’s standard. Mera is caught trying to steal their food again. This time she has degraded into an animal. But treating her with food, she is finally tamed. Now they have the necessary manpower to build the raft. At night, Saiki inspects the raft and knows it isn’t seaworthy. So he makes some adjustments so the logs can stick together and it doesn’t have to float as long as he is around he can use his powers to do so.

Episode 7A
Saiko hasn’t eaten for 2 days and he still refuses the charity of others and won’t eat their junk food. He goes on to reveal about his stubbornness that led to the sinking of the ship because it was still under maintenance. This only serves to make the rest hell bent on making him eat. With Saiko regaining his strength, now he joins in to help make the raft. Albeit, he is just ordering around. Once done, Saiko points who is going to remain on the island. If they are all on the raft, what if the rescue team comes here and finds no one? Besides, the raft team can go and get help for those who remained on the island. This throws a spanner in Saiki’s pan.

Episode 7B
So the gang deliberates on who gets to stay or go. With their silly reasoning and all, finally the ones who will take the raft are Nendou, Mera, Saiko and Kuboyasu. So will we have some love romance between Saiki-Teruhashi and Kaidou-Yumehara on the island? Not if Saiki has his own ulterior motive…

Episode 7C
Just before the raft team sails off, suddenly the rescue team finds them! Of course this was all Saiki’s doing. The night before when everyone was sleeping, he teleported part of the island to a nearby Japan island. Hence the island they are on is just a partial replica. However back in school, things are not over yet. Rumours spread like wildfire that the 8 of them got stranded. Even though Saiko used his power to suppress the media, the rumours still spread around in school. Thanks to the sleazy press club president, Manako Jouten and her photographer lackey. She wants to interview Saiki but he refuses. Hence she prints a fake story on Saiki and Nendou being gay. Saiki has no choice but to accept just to put this case to rest.

Episode 7D
However Jouten is unhappy that all the truths that Saiki said (except the parts of him using his powers) are really boring. Even more disappointed that he did not take sneaky photos of Teruhashi changing or taking a dump. Yeah, she’s really a corrupted journalist. She would’ve been more suitable to be a paparazzi. Thus Jouten prints a fake story that Saiki did take pictures of Teruhashi taking a dump. This causes all her fans to hound him but Teruhashi clears the air that he is not that kind of person. Plus, she didn’t take a dump despite being stranded there. Because she is more than your ordinary girl! Everybody believes her! It doesn’t end there as Jouten tries to aggravate the situation further. Dressed up as Teruhashi and doing posing in a taking a dump position later to be superimposed and Photoshop, the next day she gets a shock when Saiki alters the story to reveal the embarrassing act of the press duo trying to fake a take a dump act. That’s journalism for you.

Episode 7E
It’s the last day of summer vacation. As usual, Nendou, Kaidou and Kuboyasu hound Saiki at his home to copy his homework. However Saiki realizes there is one homework he didn’t quite finish: Picture diary. High school students still have picture diary homework? So we see the rest make up stupid stories of what they do. But when they learn Saiki did nothing during all his holidays, they feel pity and want to bring him to the beach or something. Saiki changes his mind and will show them he did everything. Yup, he teleported around the country and take pictures of himself doing awesome stuffs. The friends are so amazed that now they don’t want to do their homework and instead spend their last day to the max doing fun stuffs.

Episode 8A
Time for another new transfer student, Mikoto Aiura. She claims she can read fortunes. Sceptic at first, Saiki sees her doing weird rituals but reads Yumehara’s loveless life right. Poor girl runs away crying. The more she tells her predictions, the more Saiki believes she is the real deal. The reason why she transfers here is because she heard of another guy who has great psychic powers too and believes he is her soul mate. The way she describes him is definitely Saiki! It’s the more reason why he needs to stay out of her sight.

Episode 8B
With Saiki staying at home and using clairvoyance to peak, he learns Aiura has another ability to see people’s aura. So she sees the various auras like Kaidou’s squirrel, Hairo on fire and the biggest angelic aura of them all: Teruhashi! Saiki is done running so he decides to confront and tell her the truth. Suddenly she cannot see auras anymore. Saiki thinks he knows the trick. Because his aura is too big, it envelopes everyone else. So long she doesn’t see him from afar alone, his identity is safe. Just when Aiura thinks she has found her soul mate, that dude is Nendou. Damn…

Episode 8C
Saiki sees Yuuta getting bullied. He tells his mom and since she can’t do anything, he leaves it to Saiki to help thinking he is closer to him. Next day Saiki sees the same thing. Saiki transforms himself into their age to intervene. When the bullies run away, he learns that Yuuta was trying to become strong like his Cider Man and picked a fight with them! When the bullies return, Saiki stood there and just got punched. This shocks Yuuta as he sees a vision of Cider Man telling him that true strength and justice is also about apologizing. Yuuta does so and the bullies stop picking on him.

Episode 8D
Saiki realizes he is in a time loop. It seems after a few seconds, that scene will repeat itself again and again. To get out of this loop, he needs to clear his mind completely. Yeah, he looks like an idiot doing so. Although he is able to get out of that time loop, another one happens. This process goes on a while until a time loop of a child almost getting rammed by a truck. Saiki must time it precisely because too early or late will have fatal consequences. After 16,785 loops (OMG! As bad as that Haruhi episode!), he finally gets out. Nendou scares him when he repeated an earlier line.

Episode 8E
Teruhashi narrates how she is born as the cutest and hence it is not strange that everyone fawns over her. Somehow this is supposed to be a reminder why she likes plain guy Saiki as he is the only one who doesn’t fall for her charms. Yup, she needs him to be impressed by her beauty. Remember that goal? So to catch the elusive Saiki, she uses her charms to attract the men to look for him! Man, it’s a real man hunt if I must say! Unfortunately Saiki cannot be found. Teruhashi is disappointed but we see the real Saiki is invisible and standing right beside her! He also reminds us of all the other powers he has and has been living his entire life to hide them. It’s the reason he stays away from Teruhashi as she attracts people. She can fool others but not him!

Episode 9A
Kouki Sawakita is just a background character. Suddenly he gets called by Aiura. Is this his big break? After doing some weird stuffs on him, it looks like she is trying to find her soul mate and he isn’t it. Yeah, she has a list of people with the initials SK and is trying to narrow it down. Yumehara helps her and even theorizes how her soul mate might have a big aura that it is cancelling her ability to see the aura of others. Spot on. Their plan is to watch everyone leave school and if she can see the aura, it means that person is her soul mate. Saiki pretends to leave and then teleports back. The girls wait and wait and when Aiura could see the aura, she sees a death sign on Yumehara’s face. Yumehara falls off the rail but luckily Saiki teleports and saves her.

Episode 9B
Saiki tells the truth about himself to Aiura. She might not be able to believe at first but they have to solve Yumehara’s problem first. They make this incident look like a dream. Aiura walks home with Yumehara and a few mishaps happen along the way. It is thanks to Saiki’s clairvoyance that allowed them to escape death. Until a lorry almost crashing into them did the death sign on her face disappear. With that over, now Aiura is totally in love with Saiki.

Episode 9C
Saiki and friends attend a circus hosted by Chouno. I guess being a magician wasn’t enough. Yeah, to broaden his horizon. A mishap causes Chouno to be injured. Since the show must go on, he picks Saiki as his replacement. There is no way he would do that but with Chouno’s assistant also supporting his idea, everyone places their hopes on him. Saiki goes out there and uses a bit of his power to impress the crowd. He is about to leave when he is done but receives a premonition that there will be fire and many injured.

Episode 9D
Not wanting that to happen, Saiki stays put and substitutes the next circus act, thinking their act would case the fire. Yeah, everybody is going to be amazed at this talented clown doing everything. He even tames a lion who is hell bent on eating humans! Chouno returns from hospital since his injuries aren’t bad. Suddenly the ceiling collapses and there are some injured. They help them out and despite the circus ruined, Chouno still entertained them with his own magic tricks. Saiki believes everything would have turned out fine anyway even had he not intervened.

Episode 9E
Teruhashi is absent with a cold. Because of that, everybody is gloom and doom! Yeah, their sunshine is away. With everyone so worried, it doesn’t help with Kaidou theorizing she could be dying. Hence the rumours keep growing as well as everyone’s anxiety that she is dead! Heck, Hairo even screams to God to take him instead! With this annoyance, Saiki has no choice but to intervene. Using his telepathy to tell everyone Teruhashi has just a cold, he then teleports to Teruhashi’s room and knocks out her f*cking annoying brother who is bugging her in bed to take suppositories. Teruhashi is able to rest well and returns to school the next day. Everyone in school is happy. Except Mugami who has now caught her cold. Nobody cares about him…

Episode 10A
Grandpa is happy that Saiki is coming to visit. But when dad calls, he immediately hangs up. Another call but this doesn’t sound like Saiki and could be a scam. But grandpa still falls for it since the voice says he loves him. Yeah, he is told to leave money somewhere because he blew it on a mobile game. So grandpa quickly drives there. Luckily Saiki’s family just arrived and after hearing what happened, Saiki manages to stop grandpa. Now they have to trace the scammer. When another call is made, Saiki traces it but it leads him to a room with nobody and only a recorded voice on the voice. As he cannot trace who is behind this, there is only 1 person who can do this.

Episode 10B
The culprit is Kuusuke and it was all just a prank. Back home, Kuusuke seems to love trolling grandpa till the point of no return. Like trolling about the gift he is supposed to give him but gets distracted with something else. When grandma suggests visiting the festival, you bet grandpa is excited. But there is a problem: Their car can only fit 5 people and this means 1 of them must stay. Somehow they all decide grandpa should stay. More trolling from Kuusuke as he suggests Saiki sits on grandpa’s lap. I guess that’s it for him. With grandpa out, the rest get to go to the festivals.

Episode 10C
Saiki believes Kuusuke has an ulterior motive but the latter won’t say. Only if Saiki beats him in a shooting contest, he will tell. They try to restrain their powers as Kuusuke changes the rule that if he could hit this ugly teddy prize, he wins. But what the heck is this death raygun he is using?! Luckily Saiki shoots and deflects it and livens up the boring festival with its fireworks. Kuusuke then reveals he has graduated from college and has come home to stay here. As grandpa crawls out of bed, hell bent on going to the festival, he receives a call, grandma calls to say Kuusuke is living with them. I guess he died again. A week later, dad wants Saiki to head over to grandpa’s to send something Kuusuke forgot. When Saiki teleports there, he realizes the entire village has gone hi-tech!

Episode 10D
No doubt this is all Kuusuke’s doing and he has a lab here too. He explains it all started when an old woman couldn’t change her light bulb so he helped out via modern robotic technology. Talk about overkill. He shows grandpa in a power suit being able to do almost everything. But isn’t Kuusuke controlling him? Grandma is in an incubation tube that makes her younger! When Saiki returns the stuffs, grandpa accidentally smacks it away. Dropping out are the nefarious plans of Kuusuke to destroy Saiki via turning all the elderly in this village to obliterate him. Hence all the hi-tech machineries are just a ploy that will eventually have Kuusuke controlling them. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, what will he do? Run away!

Episode 10E
Just when Saiki picks a day that Mera doesn’t work in the café, here is Aiura showing up. He ignores her but we all know she wants to flirt with him. Toritsuka sees this and is jealous Saiki has got a girlfriend. Of course not. Toritsuka and Aiura are shocked to realize that the other has powers. So it becomes a strange contest to prove their power is the real deal. Saiki won’t take all of this and is about to leave but freaks out upon seeing a cockroach. Hence the duo get this weird idea whoever gets to kill the cockroach gets to be his sidekick. Too bad they are also scared in their own ways. In the end, it is the café master who swats it. So he is now Saiki’s sidekick?

Episode 11A
Holy sh*t! Nendou got a love letter from a girl?! NO, YOU’RE NOT DREAMING NOR IS THIS A PRANK! Heck, Nendou even thinks of rejecting her! Tracing back the events of how she really liked him, it seems he saved her from an oncoming baseball. Kaidou is trying to be a relationship master now? But he can’t even decently say the word kiss. When Hairo reads the letter properly, it seems this is not a love letter but a recruitment letter to join a baseball club. Damn…

Episode 11B
The gang try out the judo club. With the odd pairing, Saiki is forced to pair with the instructor. During the practice, Saiki manages to throw him down. This prompts him to think Saiki is the new judo champion for Japan. He is then made to fight Hairo and not wanting the attention to be on him, Saiki purposely loses but Hairo could see through his trick. Then another go, Saiki makes it look like he is serious of winning but in the last minute somehow turns the tables and loses. Now everyone thinks Hairo is the next judo champion. Nendou then goes to avenge Saiki and easily defeats Hairo. Damn, he is the new potential judo champion!

Episode 11C
Teruhashi visits Saiki’s place for New Year. Saiki knew she is coming and jams the intercom. However Kuusuke is here and lets her in. Saiki knows having Teruhashi and Kuusuke together will be a bad thing so for once he takes her out to the shrine. Too bad Kuusuke also tags along. Kuusuke asks if they’re dating and Teruhashi flusters. As she tries to be humble, Kuusuke drops the bomb that he is not complimenting her as he paints Saiki as a much better person and hence she is not good enough for him. Saiki knows Kuusuke is trying to cause trouble and uses his scowl to stop. Teruhashi is going to get back at Kuusuke so she cries angelic tears (crocodile tears?) and every guy in the shrine is mad at Kuusuke for hurting Teruhashi. Get him! Now that this guy is gone, Saiki has to find a way to lose Teruhashi.

Episode 11D
Saiki once again scores middle position in the exams. He notices a guy, Hiroshi Satou who always score the same as him. As he tries to find out more about him, he becomes more excited because he is a very normal guy! Normal friends and normal everything! He envies the kind of normal life he would like to have. As Saiki follows him on his way home, everything seems normal until he accidentally bumps into a yakuza who threatens to mess him up if he doesn’t pay. Saiki uses his power to knock the yakuza out and will not stand anyone who threatens those leading an ordinary life. Saiki fears Satou thinks he has hidden powers to knock out this dude but thankfully he thinks he got hit by a stray ball or something. Normalcy saved.

Episode 11E
Saiki now reads at the school library because at the local library, the librarian always spoils the story. With this punk in charge who doesn’t read, I guess it’s safe that there will be no spoilers. Also, Saiki borrows the book that is least borrowed to avoid spoilers from past borrowers. But this mystery novel with many volumes, accidentally he peeked into the past of the last person to borrow it. However this romance comes to a cliff-hanger. It seems Saiki is more interested to know about what happened to them than the story in the book. So he is forced to touch other volumes to find out even if it means risking spoilers as each time the romance somewhat ends in a cliff-hanger. So this romance thingy turned out to be some love triangle as the guys fought over the girl. Yeah, they borrowed the volumes to use as shield? When Saiki reaches the last volume, there is no conclusion. He is eager to learn what happened in the end. Is he going to touch every book to find out? Then he realizes the librarian punk is one of the dudes and assumes he won the fight.

Episode 12A
Rifuta has weird dreams, Teruhashi steals Saiki from her and she ends up with Nendou. Of course it is all part of Saiki’s plan to rid of her. As she waits to ambush and confess her feelings, Saiki pops up with Aiura clinging over his arm. He made a deal with her to make it look like they’re going out. Rifuta confronts her and I suppose the argument got so heated they end up lying with all the XXX stuffs they did. When Teruhashi is seen coming, Rifuta hides them in a locker. Her plan is to make Teruhashi confess she likes Saiki and then reveal them to embarrass her. But the more Teruhashi talks about Saiki, something inside Rifuta awakens. Now she is in love with Teruhashi! Oh dear! She has gone down the yuri path!

Episode 12B
With Rifuta and Teruhashi as best friends, Rifuta wants to support Teruhashi’s love for Saiki but realizes she can’t as she thinks Saiki is a dirty pervert who sleeps with girls. She decides to hold a mixer and get Teruhashi a better guy. Of course with Saiki knowing this plan, he is going to help her. So we see all the cool and hot guys interested in her. In fact, Teruhashi starts thinking how cool they are but wait. She still thinks it would be fund Saiki was here. I guess Saiki has a change of heart and can’t let them have Teruhashi so during the toilet break he knocks them out and takes them home. So you mean Saiki is okay to be continued stalked by Teruhashi?

Episode 12C
Riki Jr is the hamster’s name and always hides in Nendou’s clothes to follow him to school. The other guys thought Riki Jr also likes them but he just goes to poo on their hands! Saiki teases Riki Jr for being close to Nendou but he turns tsundere. Oh, it is confirmed that Riki Jr is female!!! After the gym, Saiki and co are locked in the gym storeroom after putting away the equipment. Nendou’s plan is to use Riki Jr to run to the office and grab the keys. Of course Saiki could just easily unlock it with his power but Riki Jr insists on having some limelight. Oh well. Might as well. Even if Riki Jr brings back a teacher to unlock the door, Nendou gets scolded for bringing a pet to school.

Episode 12D
Saiki is so impressed with Satou because he achieves another normal milestone! Is he stalking him in toilet! He even knows the normal things he does there! Toritsuka tries to stir trouble by making it look like Satou threw an eraser at Nendou. Saiki is interested to see how a normal guy gets out of this. He even envisions some normal routes that he would take but is surprised he did neither! Uhm, didn’t he do something extraordinary but Saiki thinks it is just ordinary? Hence Saiki wants to be his friend. He acts and does things that Satou likes in hopes he will take notice. He does but then ignores him because he thinks anybody seen doing those is weird. Oh Saiki, you really stood out this time.

Episode 12E
Nendou’s hair seems to be quite long. So he goes to take a haircut and tries to explain to the barber who can’t understand how he wants it. Whatever. Because of that, he looks different than before. Kaidou and Kuboyasu laugh at him but wait. All the girls are interested in him! WTF?! He is so cool?! Naturally the duo get jealous and try to run him down by exposing his butt chin he is hiding but get told off by the girls. And then they see Nendou picking his nose. They lose all interest in him. That was fast. Easy come, easy go.

Episode 13A
Mera forces Saiki and Aiura into one of those maid cafes she works. Apparently she has been eating food for customers and the manager threatened to fire her if she doesn’t bring in new ones. Shouldn’t she be fired? Aiura treats Mera to an omelette rice and learns why she is working so hard to save up. It’s to find her dad. However Saiki blames Aiura for this because had she not did that fortune telling, Mera wouldn’t have burdened herself like this. Saiki and Aiura have differing views on helping others. He doesn’t want to help. As he leaves, he stumbles into Mera’s dad.

Episode 13B
Saiki plays dumb but Mera’s dad knows the school uniform same as his daughter. I guess Saiki isn’t interested in his flashback. He claims he is being chased by debt collectors and came back here to die. At least he wants to tell his family members. Yeah, so why tell Saiki? Saiki still refuses to help the guy and he looks unhappy. At the same time, Aiura decides to help Mera find her dad and her fortune telling tells her he is in Japan right now. They find him, the real dad. The one Saiki was with was an imposter and the real debt collector. Mera’s dad tries to run away from her and doesn’t want her involved but Mera vows she has grown stronger and wants to solve this together. Meanwhile the debt collector and his cronies try to kidnap Saiki but he showed them how fearsome he is. When Mera’s dad thinks they are done for because those baddies are here, it seems they waive all his debt and promise not to bother him again. Although Saiki claims he only helped because he was nearby, Aiura is not amused because in her fortune telling she saw this scene. With Mera reunited with her dad, basically they are still the same: Penniless.

Episode 13C
Saiki notices an interesting manga has started to suck. He realizes his dad is the one handling the account. Hence Saiki spies on his dad meeting up with the author, Fudekichi Shiragami on next week’s work. Shiragami has actually a decent an interesting plot but dad screws it up because he doesn’t find it so and proposes some changes. Because Shiragami is such a meek guy, he agrees. Saiki had to intervene by possessing his dad and tell Shiragami not to listen to a word he says. In the end, the manga became much better but dad believes it was all his doing and takes the credit.

Episode 13D
Saiki and co try to do hanami at the park but it is all fully booked with spot claimers. Yeah, these people have no life and have been camping here for a few days. Eventually they find a spot but it is so far that it might as well look like an ordinary picnic. They are happy with that except that the food they eat or sounds they hear all seem to make them have that nostalgic hanami feel. Desperate, thank goodness Teruhashi is here. Since she joins them, everyone makes space for them. Now that they have a good spot, they still can’t have a good view because everybody is crowding around them.

Episode 13E
Saiki seems to be doing some sort of strength and speed training in some unknown desert. He then reveals the shocking revelation that the world has undergone this same year loop for the fourth time. He used his mind control to alter people’s’ perception of time. It all began when he prophesized a huge volcano that would devastate Japan forever. Hence his training. Now he thinks he is ready to stop the eruption and uses the fruits of his training. However he still feels it is not enough and hence reverted the world to a year ago again. Because it will cause mass panic if people just reverted too, it is easier to alter their minds. At least now he has another year to think of another way.

Episode 14A
Saiko has to undergo a family ritual in which he cannot receive help from his estate for 24 hours. Yeah, but he is given 10 grand as his allowance. So Saiki’s pals tease him and decide to help him return home. Nope, can’t call a taxi and have to walk. He lets Nendou carry him and as they decide to eat ramen for lunch, Saiko is devastated they have to queue. I guess all that waiting must have made him hungry so he eats this commoner food. Eventually Saiko passes the test and returns to his luxurious life. So what does he order his personal chef to cook? Ramen.

Episode 14B
We see the adventures of PK Psykickers! It’s an unofficial ‘club’ consisting of Saiki, Aiura and Toritsuka. They go in search for a lost cat and eventually Saiki uses his powers to rescue it. Then Aiura sees the future of trains colliding. Saiki has Toritsuka become the conductor to take control of the train’s speed. In the end, everyone is saved but the real conductors arrest him thinking he was trying to play conductor.

Episode 14C
Remember the occult club? It still isn’t disbanded and Saiki is forced to attend it since Yumehara is ‘threatening’ that Kaidou and Toritsuka never showed up after that. But what’s this? The club is now so bright and lovely and that Arisu girl is no more gloomy. So the club now talks about boys and love? The only creepy occult thing is how they use this scary doll called Sayaka to tell fortunes. It’s like their own creepy version of kokkuri. Yumehara tries to force Saiki to confess he likes Teruhashi and rigs the reading so Saiki uses his powers to make it look like Sayaka has a life of her own to scare the daylights out of them. He believes they won’t return to this club and that the club is done for good. But he notes Sayaka pointing to ‘no’. A coincidence?

Episode 14D
It’s so early in the morning and Saiki’s parents try to outdo each other that they love the other more. I wonder when Saiki is going to get his breakfast… Because of this, they end up arguing! WTF?! So they become mad because they believe they love the other much more. Hence it becomes a passive aggressive quarrel. So freaking weird. They settle this via using a third party (that’s you, Saiki) and measure their love with this meter. Dad scores high and when mom tries it, he tries to rig it by doing something uncouth. She accuses him of cheating and does the same but he only finds it cute. Mom suggests who loves Saiki more but dad doesn’t want to and admits his loss. But the argument continues although they are back to being lovey-dovey. Love is sure confusing in this family. Saiki notices the mom’s meter reading the same for him. He wonders if it is broken.

Episode 14E
Saiki is paired up with Teruhashi for art class and they have to draw each other’s portrait. Saiki must control his powers otherwise he will draw a surreal version of her! Meanwhile Teruhashi draws a very handsome and romantic version of him. What’s with the roses? Of course she can’t and retries. In the end, she draws a plain version of him but the attention is on Yumehara who draws a lovely version of Kaidou. On the other hand, Saiki tries to put together various people’s thoughts of Teruhashi as his own art but it turns out to be hideous. When time is out, the guys wonder why Saiki’s works is blank. Although the truth is he has no time to rework, the guys start thinking that it is because of her bright aura that makes her beautiful!!! Blank represents her white purity! Yeah, I think they’re seeing things with their delusions. So this is art? Teruhashi is disappointed as she really wanted to see how he drew her.

Episode 15A
Nendou goes to help the baseball team. Saiki thinks of going to ‘protect’ the club since Satou is in this club. But this sparks off a list of cliché settings and characters as observed by Saiki. This includes the club must win a match in tomorrow’s game or face disbandment, the captain getting injured by a stray ball and they need another member to replace him. That’s you, Saiki!

Episode 15B
Saiki bandages his fingers to look like he is injured. So Kaidou takes over? Nah. Kuboyasu. As the game begins, Saiki also observes a lot of cliché moments but they are broken when he realizes that one of the non-cliché events like Nendou joining could have been the cause of this deviation. But Saiki isn’t going to take the blame himself? At this rate, they will lose when they supposed to have cliché won. So the supposed return of the banned ace to help the team win almost didn’t happen. Saiki had to control his body and do some awesome moves. Slowly everything returns to its cliché moments. Until Nendou steps in to play…

Episode 15C
Nendou does a few scares with the cliché stuffs. Not sure if he is doing it on purpose. In the end they won because of how Nendou’s non-cliché conformity balanced up with the other cliché stuffs. But is back to the cliché moments as the team goes to eat BBQ to celebrate their victory. More cliché moments like they face off with another rival team in some cliché eating challenge and the cliché draw and settlement. Saiki who has been so thrilled to watch all that cliché drama realizes he has not ate his own BBQ meat as they were all finished by his parents. Cliché ending?

Episode 15D
Saiki is devastated with the news of the famous series Kochikame ending. I guess it is more important than dad losing his job. Yeah, his job is to lick shoes. So he decides to take this into his own hands by licking shoes in the streets! He is such a professional licker he can tell you all the tricks to lick shoes! Is this proud or embarrassing? Because he stumbles into Shiragami, Kuusuke has this idea. Hence the manga of a shoe licking protagonist becomes an instant hit, being adapted into series and anime everywhere. Heck, there is even a shoe licking merchandise! With the boom in business, dad doesn’t need to lick shoes anymore and is resting on his laurels. Until Kuusuke says the merchandise’s patents all belong to him and he sold them all to the company dad once work. Oh well, I guess back to more shoe licking. Better keep practising because his boss can tell his licking is getting sloppier!

Episode 15E
It is Mera’s birthday. Everybody knows because she is basically advertising it. Everybody is forced to give her their food since she is so pushy. Extortion? Daylight robbery? I guess they feel obligated because last year she went around to give everybody a little acorn as their birthday gift. Now it’s payback. As she ticks off the list (I guess she is targeting everybody), some of her friends come to give her non-food related gifts. She starts to complain and show her disdain. This causes everyone to hate her and take back their gifts. Really? They want back those lousy food stuffs? Mera feels bad she has strayed from her path and became ungrateful. Too late to regret. However with Saiki’s powers, he makes a girl trip but she is not injured because the acorn became a sacrificial charm to protect her. Everybody now loves Mera and showers her with food gifts.

Episode 16A
Rifuta fears her lesbian awakening with Teruhashi so she forces Saiki to introduce her to a guy. Because she views him as a scumbag, scumbags should know proper guys. What logic… With Yumehara willing to help out, it seems Rifuta can actually judge a guy’s character pretty accurately. So why go through all this then? Heck, Rifuta becomes Yumehara’s master in love as she advises her how to be more attractive to Kaidou. Because Toritsuka is being possessed by a nice spirit, Rifuta’s readings on him are off. Until Saiki bumps the spirit out, Rifuta changes her mind. In the end, Rifuta falls for Mugami as he has the same aura as Teruhashi. Saiki notes she has no taste after all.

Episode 16B
Mugami is worried. He has no time. Because Teruhashi’s birthday is in a month! Hence he tries to think of birthday presents he will buy for her. Saiki eavesdrop on his thinking and finds it all questionable. Mugami then spots Saiki and thinks he wants to buy his sister a present and hence spying on him on what he picks. So he suggests helping him pick a present and not get credited for it. So we see Mugami having weird tastes thinking it would be the best. When he gives them to her, she is not impressed. Until a very normal and cute cup in which Saiki had suggested but Mugami brushed aside. She likes this and thanks him. Mugami enjoys taking the credit.

Episode 16C
Due to rumours of a haunted house, Toritsuka summons all members of the occult club to investigate. Of course this is to ensure he looks good in the eyes of everyone. Inside the house, he detects no ghosts and believes it is chased out by an evil spirit because he saw ‘homeless ghosts’ all around the streets. This ‘evil spirit’ turns out to be some wuss guy who played pranks on other inhabitant ghosts just to make friends. After he helps the ghost out and other ghosts return, he hopes his pals can spread the word of the good he did.

Episode 16D
Saiki sees a new ad for a new jelly maker. With not enough money, it is time to become 100 Yen Man! So for any job, he charges this price. Any job. Good moment to rip off his dad to do anything he wants. Better be specific with your instructions or else he will charge some more. As this is still isn’t enough, he decides to visit grandpa. Of course he will give any money without anything in return. However he realizes Saiki will leave too soon after receiving the money and has him do the odd jobs instead. Now that Saiki has enough, he buys the jelly maker. However the ad comes out with a new and improved version. Looks like a job for 100 Yen Man again!

Episode 16E
Kaidou invites Saiki and Nendou to his secret base camp he made with Kuboyasu. However it is so boring that Nendou threatens to leave. Yeah, his house is even better with air-cond and some VR game. Even Kuboyasu mocks about making such secret bases these days. But the point is, secret bases must be made by themselves and not by others if you want to appreciate and see its appeal. He reveals this base isn’t finished yet and they’re supposed to make one on a tree. I guess this motivates Nendou to help. Saiki only helps as his powers help keep the base balance on a branch. Otherwise you think they could finish this in a day? When Nendou’s bug escapes and lands on Saiki’s face, he passes out and the branch gives way, collapsing all their hard work.

Episode 17A
Time for Kuusuke to make Saiki sweat again. He has placed 5 cards around the city in which Saiki must retrieve them all or else he will expose via fireworks about his psychic abilities. Hence Saiki goes around collecting weird letters from weird guys that instructs how to get cards with letters on them. When Saiki finally gets them all but runs out of them, Kuusuke releases the fireworks. Actually it is to wish happy birthday and that is what all the cards spell out when put together. Kuusuke gives him his favourite jelly to appease him but Kuusuke has got all the data he wants on Saiki and perhaps he could defeat him next time.

Episode 17B
With their moms away to the association meeting, Saiki is forced to bring Yuuta to the zoo. Yeah, one hour tantrum… Saiki uses his psychic powers to make the eland pose for Yuuta as he wants. Yuuta then realizes he lost his bag so they have to go look for it. A baboon has it and won’t give it back thinking humans are inferior. Saiki uses a projection to show why he is top of the food chain and instil fear in them. With the bag back and heading home, Yuuta remembers he forgot to take a photo of the eland. As he cries, the moms come back and Saiki’s mom shows her scary side thinking he made Yuuta cry. Definitely the one top of the food chain.

Episode 17C
Saiki’s dad goes to see Shiragami for the usual manga submission. Saiki follows via astral projection so as to see his work in advance. But dad gets side-tracked when one of Shiragami’s assistants, Jouji Kumogata made his own work and wants him to look at it. Woah. Dad is a pro as he explains all the typical cliché manga pitfalls. No punch line or any resolve for this skit too.

Episode 17D
Kaidou’s little brother, Toki believes him to be a really powerful and cool guy. Until Nendou hangs out and his stupidity and honesty threatens to unravel all that coolness. Toki thinks Nendou as his henchman is just rude and tries to tall all of Kaidou’s coolness. Nendou laughs like mad before believing how cool it all is. They get too noisy until their sister, Sora kicks them out. Along the way, a ruffian abuses the vending machine. Toki stops him and claims this is his brother’s turf. The ruffian is about to punch Kaidou but Toki gives him a judo throw! Because he admires big brother so much, he has starting training. Looks like Toki has already surpassed him…

Episode 17E
Teruhashi keeps up her good girl image until she sees Saiki leaving with Aiura. Time for jealousy to rear its ugly head. Confronting her, both girls get the idea the other is the kind of girl Saiki likes. But Teruhashi who thinks she has won over Aiura on everything, realizes perhaps the only thing she loses out is boobs! Next day, Teruhashi comes in with her gal fashion while Aiura tries to look straight like Teruhashi. Talk about switcheroo. Teruhashi ups the ante going full gal mode but this didn’t get the required reaction from Saiki. Asking Aiura’s help, Teruhashi is back to her normal the next day. Because Aiura using her fortune to say about the person she likes prefers those who are true to themselves. Teruhashi notes that she can be true to herself as she is one with such principles. Hence no need to panic and it’s only a matter of time. But didn’t Saiki just said “Oh~!”???!!! Teruhashi wonders if she heard things…

Episode 18A
Touma Akechi is a new transfer student in class. Thing is, he cannot stop talking! Damn those speech bubbles are hoarding the space! He doesn’t want to keep it short either! Naturally he has no friends so Kaidou and Kuboyasu got the balls to try and talk to him. The talking doesn’t stop… However Akechi isn’t just talkative. He is very observant and can tell Kuboyasu was a delinquent. Then it seems he hints he knows a psychic in elementary school. So he turns to Saiki and his happy to see him again. Oh no… Saiki now remembers. But he used to go by the name of Touma Asumi and Akechi is his mother’s maiden name.

Episode 18B
Saiki puts on his dumb face when Akechi tries to expose him as a psychic. Luckily his friends don’t believe so. Hence it becomes Akechi’s personal mission to expose Saiki by finding proof. He talks to various characters and although they have their ‘suspicions’ of Saiki, they’re all rather for dumb reasons. Akechi gets mindf*cked by Nendou because he isn’t listening after all that talking and Nendou has to nerve to ask him to explain it all again and Akechi just shortens it! Wow! Reverse psychology. And then he meets Teruhashi. Oh…

Episode 18C
I guess he is finding hard to find the right words to say. Interrupted by Toritsuka who obviously sucks at lying. Akechi is now on his tail to reveal some juicy bits. Luckily Saiki channelled a master swindler through him to make Toritsuka sound like he though Saiki is in debt. Akechi won’t give up. So while the gang is harvesting potatoes, Saiki hates the place as it is filled with bugs. Akechi starts to catch on he fears bugs and each time one gets too close, Saiki will ‘explode’ a potato. Akechi then puts more bugs but Saiki doesn’t freak out. Was his observation wrong? Actually Saiki used his power to make Mera look like him in exchange for a potato. I wonder how Saiki is going to use his power to hide his power from Akechi.

Episode 18D
Amp thinks he can use his usual cuteness to get humans to feed him. Too bad there’s a new cuter cat in town. So cute that it has a different art style! I guess complaining to Saiki isn’t going to make a difference but oh look, cute cat is here! Saiki’s dad gets so taken in that he starts worshipping it? Poor Amp is kicked out but he is desperate enough to pull off embarrassing moves that he thinks it is cute? Not working. The ultimate desperation comes when he wears a mask to look like the cute cat. Not working. Mom then comes home. Remember, she is allergic to cats. Amp mocks this means cutie pie can’t stay too. However mom isn’t allergic to this one. It is revealed it is a robot cat made by Kuusuke for their anniversary. New family member? Too bad Amp still won’t get any love.

Episode 18E
Saiko continues to boss his way around school. His lackeys might seem to lap up to him but they too hate him. Hence Saiko does some serious thinking. Everyone obeys him since birth except for this people at this school. He has had enough and will transfer out. Meanwhile his lackeys despite not liking Saiko, they explain he is a pretty decent guy. At first they did it for the money, but they are impressed he always says what he wants. Also, he gives them money even when they don’t want it. Saiko on his way out bumps into Nendou and somehow he tells him he is quitting. Wow. Nendou crying?! Because he is his friend! With the rest all worried about him quitting, Saiko realizes the one thing money can’t buy: Friendship. Despite entering a childish argument with Nendou, everyone notices his happy face. Saiko rescinds his dropping out. The principal approves but he wonders if he still has some donation for him. It’s still all about the money…

Episode 19A
The class is supposed to pick reps for the cultural festival. At first everyone thinks it will be Hairo and Fumi Kasai again but the teacher says it has to be someone new. Any volunteers? Time to hit the panic button. With Mera giving her poverty excuse, everyone soon starts to make up excuses. Saiko then throws down some money for those who is willing and everyone now jostles for it! But it is Kuboyasu who refuses the bribe and his coolness makes him the male rep. As for the female rep, Teruhashi volunteers and this has all the guys enraged as they want to take Kuboyasu’s spot. A draw is held and as Saiki has seen it all coming from the start, he is the one who drew the short end of the stick. God really wants to see Saiki x Teruhashi, huh?

Episode 19B
Teruhashi uses her charm to manipulate the class to do a play because this means spending more time doing preparations with Saiki. However Saiki calls upon Nendou, Kaidou and Kuboyasu to help out with the brainstorming of the play they will be doing. But this brainstorming seems to be critical comments on the illogical parts of the folklore. Isn’t that why they are called fairytales? Then it dawned to them that they should reinterpret the stories and fix its flaws! They think it is an original idea but you know, it has been done to death everywhere. Hence they decide to reinterpret the popular folklore of Tarou Urashima.

Episode 19C
With Kaidou as the director and screenwriter, Teruhashi is definitely Otohime. Some of the other casts include Hairo as the turtle and Saiki as the seaweed. Kuboyasu lands the role as Urashima but he is not the main character. It goes to Saiko who is Undershima. Part of the rewrite? Well, it is because Saiko funded their extravagant costumes and set.

Episode 19D
During the rehearsal, we see how it deviates from the original story. Urashima isn’t the main guy as Undershima is his dark inner conscious and the one making the decisions. In the end when Urashima opens the box, he dies instead of growing old and Undershima return to marry Otohime. If this feels like a sham, it is because everyone knows it is. There is an original ending that turns Undershima into an old guy while Urashima marries Otohime. They went with the former ending as Saiko is the sponsor. But now that Saiko hears this, he pulls out. That means no costumes or set too. On the day of the play, I guess the class is just barebones in costumes and set. Heck, almost none!

Episode 19E
They should have cancelled it but Kaidou rallied everyone to work things out but I guess they didn’t make it. So kids beating up a turtle looks like a human bullying scene. Kaidou replaces Saiko as Undershima and is the only one in costume. He is nervous so Saiki uses his power to calm him down. When Teruhashi appears, she is so amazing that everyone starts hallucinating and sees the play in its extravagant costume and set!!! OMFG! Of course it is Saiki’s power but if you wonder why he didn’t do it from the start, it is to hide it behind Teruhashi’s amazingness. The audience is so captivated with this ‘romance drama’ and the climax where Otohime is supposed to confess she loves Urashima, Teruhashi fumbles because saying I love you has her think about Saiki. The best play was won by the class who did Wizard of Oz. Everyone wearing glasses?

Episode 20A
When Saiki’s glasses break, accidentally he turns Nendou and Kaidou into stones. Unfortunately he cannot turn them back and the magic will wear off in 24 hours. Fearing that other people around them will be suspicious, hence he hatches a plan by calling Aiura and Toritsuka to help out. Using his power to make them look like his friends, they are to go about in their daily lives. Aiura becomes Kaidou while Toritsuka is Nendou. Saiki has a hard time juggling in between them as their goofiness almost cause them to fail. And so it might look like the issues are resolved as ‘Kaidou’ takes a cram school test while ‘Nendou’ sees Chouno. Because new problems are brewing.

Episode 20B
Yumehara is at the same cram school with ‘Kaidou’ while Chouno introduces ‘Nendou’ to a fellow magician, Venus Tsukiko. ‘Kaidou’ allows Yumehara to hug him and is on the verge of confessing while ‘Nendou’ can’t help stare at sexy Venus’ boobs. ‘Kaidou’ solves the issue by creating another chuunibyou character while ‘Nendou’, oh no Midori is here! Remember, they used to be married. But the issue solves itself without having ‘Nendou’ to do anything. After living the rest of the day as their counterparts, soon the real Nendou and Kaidou will return to normal. When they did, they are unaware of what happened. They thought Saiki’s glasses are still broken but is unsure why he looks so unkempt and messed up. It’s really tough trying to keep things normal.

Episode 20C
Warp (Kuusuke’s robo cat) has a new talking function that can be activated. Dad totally loves it but is it me or does Warp seem to be siding mom more and bullying and teasing dad? With Warp being able to do various things, this only makes dad sad as this means Warp is no more than a household appliance. So he runs away from home? WTF. Warp goes after him. Stubborn at first that he won’t give in to Warp’s cuteness but you know that guy, eventually he does. Now that dad accepts Warp as a pet, Warp returns acting like a normal cat. I guess he didn’t read the thick manual that petting him 3 times would return Warp back to act like a normal cat.

Episode 20D
Kaidou wants his friends to gather at his place and stay up to usher the New Year. However all of them are so damn tired that they keep falling asleep. Even when they try to do stuffs to stay awake, somehow they manage to even doze off! Eventually they think they should take turns to sleep until the time comes but now they argue who should sleep first. Saiki wins this rigged match and goes to bed. In no time everybody falls asleep. Don’t even bother. But Saiki wakes up in his own room. Oh gosh. Did he fall asleep? Thankfully that was just a dream. But wait. If it is a dream that tells the future, then would that not happen tonight? Yup. When Kaidou calls for that, Saiki gives excuse he is too tired to even go.

Episode 20E
A silent segment with no dialogue as we see how Saiki spends his New Year’s Day morning. Oh no! How will we understand what’s going on?! Okay, so we see Saiki’s dad trying to tease him to get his New Year allowance but you can’t beat this psychic kid. Mom forces him to go to the shrine with his friends. Teruhashi and Yumehara look gorgeous in their kimono. Uhm, some weird dance by Nendou? When Saiki prays, his ring that controls all thoughts from others accidentally drops in. Now we have proper dialogue as he dreads hearing the thoughts and wishes of his friends.

Episode 21A
Grandpa is supposed to come visit but he got lost and has not enough money. Saiki could have easily come to teleport to get him but Teruhashi found him. Grandma? She’s at the store with Aiura. Saiki watches as grandpa talks to Teruhashi about his favourite grandson. I’m sure she would have loved this guy if he wasn’t such a long guest going on and on and on! Meanwhile grandma has gone disco dancing with Aiura! Grandma rocks! Just when grandpa thinks Teruhashi is the perfect wife for Saiki, mom comes to pick them up. Back home, grandpa and grandma argue which girl is to be Saiki’s wife.

Episode 21B
Toritsuka needs Saiki’s help again. For all the forbidden things he has done (hiding his porn stash in the Buddha statue), he is forced to go fasting for 3 days without anything. You bet Saiki isn’t going to help this jerk out but Toritsuka is adamant he will come. 2 days later and no sign of Saiki. Until he pops up. But he is here to torture him by eating food before him and then make him have hallucinations of macho men surrounding him! OMFG! When his fasting is over, Toritsuka is such a changed man! No more earthly desires! But when Toritsuka accidentally hurts himself and Saiki heals him, accidentally he also healed the fasting pain so he is back to square one.

Episode 21C
Yumehara is having problems just trying to put her Valentine’s Day chocolate in Kaidou’s locker. She eventually missed the chance and regrets it. But she comes up with a clever idea. She writes a letter and puts it in his locker. Knowing his chuunibyou tendencies, as instructed he goes to her place after school all alone to retrieve her chocolate. However there is none and only her anonymous love letter. It seems her chocolate was eaten by Nendou! Drawn by the smell? Next day as Yumehara ponders if her plan was a success, Kaidou suddenly comes up to her and asks if she wrote this. Then he confesses he likes her. WTF?! Flashback reveals Kaidou tried to ‘decipher’ the letter so he misinterprets she wants to be his best friend.

Episode 21D
Yumehara is so happy that she is melting? Although they have the same idea on certain things like walking home together, they are actually on a different page when they are talking to each other. Like she thought he was referring to the chocolate but he thought it was the coded letter. Thanks to them being dumb, the worst never happened and the situation solves itself thanks to their continued misunderstanding. But then the cat is out of the bag when Yumehara realizes Kaidou doesn’t like sweet things. So did he eat her chocolate? He saw no chocolate. He shows her the letter. Heart break. Tears. Kaidou feels bad. He thinks they shouldn’t be best friends. You mean, go back to like how they were? Okay. And like that, they’re back to normal. Romance, so complicated.

Episode 21E
The press club is up to no good again. After printing some scandal of a couple of the teachers dating (which wasn’t anything to hide in the first place), now they target Teruhashi. Yeah, Jouten is going to snap a photo of her that shows her detestable side and destroy her. As Teruhashi has always been stalked, she knows the press club is on to her. So when they set up for a car to splash a mud puddle on her, she looks even godlier in the photos! She has an idea of swapping her face with an ugly one (Jouten’s ugly face, by the way) and it really seems to work. You wonder why she is doing the editing next to the puddle instead of somewhere else. Because Saiki rides over and splashes all over their equipment. All data lost.

Episode 22A
Not too sure about this word game Nendou, Kaidou and Kuboyasu are playing on their way home after school. They take steps depending on the weird words they say. Because of that, people complain to the school and they got reprimanded. Saiki who had no role in it was also reprimanded. Not sure if he even needs a group to walk home with but now he gets to walk home with Hairo. Heck, that guy volunteers to walk with him. But being with him is a drag as he stops to help just about everybody! He is a help magnet! Then a store gets robbed. Hairo goes to diffuse it and takes off his shirt as proof he has no weapons but his muscles are even more intimidating! Of course it takes Saiki’s power to stop the criminal before Hairo wrestles him. Now the duo are the talk of the town and on the front page of the newspaper. However Saiki doesn’t like it as this attracts more attention and would rather go home with his other dumb group.

Episode 22B
Rifuta is now an obsessed fan of Mugami but can’t let Teruhashi know in fear she will think she is using her to get close to Mugami. Hence she goes bug Saiki to help let her go see him in the midst of some filming. Not sure why she needs his help since she knows exactly where he is. Anyway Saiki takes her there and Rifuta is just swooning and close to death at every single movement Mugami makes. When Mugami spots them, he is happy and gets the wrong impression she is Saiki’s girlfriend. Because this means no competition over Teruhashi. He thinks of wanting to double date and for the umpteenth time today, Rifuta was this close to death after hearing this good news. Too bad Saiki won’t be coming.

Episode 22C
It seems Saiki has 37 clones of himself! After failed attempts to save the world, he realized the need for this power and since he can only make 1 clone for himself, there is a loophole to ask his clones to make another clone. Hence don’t be surprise if you really see odd looking Saiki dudes ranging from old buggers to aliens! He sends the closest looking clone to go out and do some errand. Not sure why he couldn’t do it since his parents asked. Anyway this clone also has his flaws like he walks funny and has dirty teeth. At the store, he comes into Nendou. Abort mission! But Nendou keeps bugging him. So Saiki had to do a pot falling distraction just to switch out. Some things are better left done by yourself.

Episode 22D
Oh dear. Akechi is back and this time he has ‘proof’ of 4 incidents in which could explain Saiki is a psychic. Yeah, Akechi has been stalking him ever since! The first was when Nendou and Kaidou turned into stone. However… There was a sumo who blocked his view and he couldn’t exactly see them turn into stone. Yup, Saiki foresaw that and teleported a sumo. The next was when that robber was going to attack Hairo at the store. Akechi saw Saiki doing a pose to use his power. But… A sniper was behind him and shot a tranquilizer, that’s why he was frozen in that pose. Yeah, again Saiki teleported the sniper.

Episode 22E
Next incident is that Saiki clone. Akechi saw the pot turned direction before it hit Nendou. Must have been Saiki, right? Oh, he summoned a magician! Saiki is confident at this point but Akechi says he has done further investigation. He talked to the sumo, sniper and magician and all have the same answer that they were unsure how they appeared suddenly somewhere else before returning. Like as though it was a dream. Only a psychic can do that sort of teleportation, right? Now that Akechi is bugging him for an answer of what he did that day, the scene is cut and the next thing we see, Akechi is turned to stone. Finally some peace and quiet. Saiki may have petrified him to buy some time but the problem is that he will blurt everything out. He can’t let everyone know about his secret either. Now we go back to the past when Saiki was an elementary school kid…

Episode 23
Takashi the bully often showed off but he and his cronies also loved bullying Akechi. One day Akechi got hurt so Saiki thought of healing him. Unfortunately he dropped his nametag so Akechi returned to him and suspected if he is a psychic. When Takashi is doing some propeller move on the bar, Saiki uses his power to spin until his dick burns! Again Akechi suspects Saiki as a psychic but he makes that dumb ignorant face. One year later, Akechi still continues be bullied by Takashi. But one day the bullying got out of hand and Akechi was really hurt. Saiki saw this and got angry. His power destroyed half of the classroom as we saw. Saiki then used his powers to alter their memories and made others think Akechi is the psychic. Not sure why the current Saiki disguised as a girl is close by young Saiki. Time paradox thingy that you can’t meet yourself in the past but since Saiki can read minds, this pushes back Saiki back to current time. The tricky part is trying to change the past without his young self realizing. So as he tries to do so from a distance, this time throwing a rock at Takashi while he does the propeller, the future now has changed into a dystopia! This is thanks to the butterfly effect but the more Saiki goes back to try and as little as possible, the outcomes are all failures. Ranging from Takashi winning the game of life and him dying. But the biggest failure is when all his other friends now has weird nicknames for him, weird hand gestures, everybody acts and knows Teruhashi loves Saiki and doesn’t hesitate to tease her, and Nendou being effeminate! With Akechi’s petrification limit over, Saiki has decided to just tell him the truth. Yeah, Akechi is so damn shocked and overreacting just to learn the truth. But soon Akechi apologies for being a stalker because he had to make sure if he was a psychic. This is so he could thank him properly for saving him from the bullies. He promises he will not tell anyone this secret. Saiki won’t blame him even if Akechi rats on him one day since it was his own fault telling him. But if ever that day comes when the others find out so, he’ll cross the bridge when he comes to it.

Episode 24A
Teruhashi is amazing not because she is observant but rather she memorizes the preferences of all the students in the school and with that she is able to tell any slight changes. This is to protect her perfect beautiful girl image and of course this sends all those guys into delirium. With more and more guys trying out different new things, Teruhashi is forced to memorize them all in order to stay perfect. And those attention whore jerks are so obsessed in getting Teruhashi to notice them, they fail to notice it is taking a toll on her that she collapsed! Thank goodness for Saiki to catch her and bring her to the infirmary. And even so those guys still want to get noticed?! So that’s why when Teruhashi learns Saiki saved her, she screws this perfect girl and just tells them all she forgot all those details and goes after Saiki instead. So much easier…

Episode 24B
Toritsuka and Aiura are not pleased Saiki told Akechi about his secret. Since when they have a monopoly over this secret? Because of that, they want to test him to see if he is worthy. Yeah, don’t be scared by his awesome aura and reputable spirit haunting him. Of course Akechi spots them and starts blabbing. Just when the duo think he is going to blurt out Saiki’s secret, they jump the gun and accuse him of not keeping his promise. However Akechi meant something else and this means the duo are the one who almost spilled Saiki’s secret. They decide to have a showdown to see who could find Saiki’s lost keys but Akechi already knows where based on his observance and deductions. So uhm, welcome to Psykickers?

Episode 24C
Saiki thought it’s going to be another normal school term. Too bad all his friends have changed! Saiki spots a different outfit and wears glasses (mom made him wear them), Nendou has gone fat (eat and sleep), Kuboyasu bandaged from head to toe (some death defying accident), Hairo overly buffed up (indoor training did this?), Teruhashi just having twintails (yeah, it’s such a big deal), Yumehara gone fat (again) and Mera is a rich b*tch queen (viva Bitcoin!). Even Takanashi has got an accent!

Episode 24D
If that wasn’t enough, now Saiki has to unfortunate luck of meeting the other minor and obscure characters in the series from Chouno (has he turned into a super magician?) to Yuuta (still bratty) and even other characters so obscure that I’m sure you can’t well damn remember. Oh yeah, then there are a bunch of other characters that appeared in the manga but never in the anime. So, first appearance? Congratulations?

Episode 24E
Yeah, we continue Saiki’s misadventure of meeting more of such people like the ever cocky Mugami (mobbed by girls), the ever cocky Amp (ignore him), the ever tsundere Riki Jr (confused Nendou with Midori this time, huh?). Saiki doesn’t want to go home as all his family is there. But after hearing how grandma has bought his favourite jelly, he’s never so eager to come home. And this foreshadowing when this mini deity dude telling him this anime will be continuing a little longer. As Saiki goes to school the next day, we see all other characters who have not appeared yet make their paltry appearance as they try to squeeze in as many into this dying seconds. Yeah, if you remember them all. And all our changed characters are now back to normal just like that. (Sorry Mera, Bitcoin just crashed). I’m sure Saiki shouldn’t have realized it at this point how all this could happen. It’s a gag anime after all.

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Well guys, did you see this coming? There is going to be a third season!!!! OMFG!!! HYPE! HYPE! SUPER HYPE! I guess this means whatever questions that were left hanging over our heads for that particular episode halfway through this season (the one that was titled a prelude to the final episode), it looks like the perfect excuse now that we have to wait for the next season instead of b*tching it right here that we didn’t get our answer. After all, it is said that the next final season (gasp!) would adapt the final chapters of the manga that has already concluded in mid-2018. I guess for those who have read those chapters, you can become psychics and tell people like me who haven’t read it and tell how it all ends. DON’T SPOIL IT FOR ME!!!!

I still enjoy this season a lot because the jokes are still as funny as they are. It’s the same formula and the same ingredient. Some may say it doesn’t break new ground because it’s just same ol’, same ol’ but just add a few new characters. But hey, if it is not broken, why fix it? After all, we have seen the kind of antics and shenanigans of this series so this sequel should hardly be any other different. Unless they take a big risk and totally turn it into something else but thankfully that didn’t happen. Can’t really imagine this series if it really strayed from its nonsensical slapstick roots.

Of course the other interesting plot of this season is featuring Saiki and his past, especially with Akechi. It might not shed a whole lot of light of Saiki’s entire past but at least it was interesting enough to see that there is a normal person out there who is a threat to Saiki’s peace and quiet. Although that mini arc was a bit confusing for me because of all that time travel, paradox and butterfly effect thingy, it still retains its Saiki type humour and all. It is a good thing Akechi turned out to be on Saiki’s side. It’ll be double bad if he is like the Jouten kind of rotten. He just needs to slow down and use less speech bubbles… To say Akechi’s unique feature is talking fast, oh heck, do you not notice that almost everybody here talks faster than usual?! And Saiki’s normal talking speed serves as the punch line and comebacks.

New characters are added to this season to spice up the craziness even more and they don’t disappoint since they live up to their crazy personality. Like Aiura the fortune teller who wants to be Saiki’s girlfriend, Rifuta who turned into Teruhashi’s friend and slowly transitioning into a crazy obsessed Mugami fan (oh, maybe she already transited completely), the scandal crazy b*tch Jouten, Akechi who just can’t stop talking and the most normal of the normal guy Satou! Wow. To think that Saiki who covets normalcy would go so far as to stalk this normal dude! That’s not normal! Oh, the irony. So you see, even with all these interesting characters, as usual my dilemma starts to kick up a fuss just so that I have something to talk about why this show isn’t perfect.

You see, with so many characters, adding new ones somewhat diminishes the limelight for older ones. For example, Hairo and Mera are already side characters but they turn into even more side characters in this season. Because the duo like many other characters aren’t part of the main character groupie. You know, Saiki’s groupie. That’s Nendou, Kaidou, Kuboyasu, Teruhashi and Yumehara, just to double check. It’s not like we need really deep character development for all the characters, right? It is their superficial characteristics is all that matters. Enough to make us laugh and the effects are made lasting thanks to the short duration of the skits in every episode. There are some characters like Saiko who have undergone some ‘shocking’ changes because this rich snobbish kid realizes the true meaning of friendship? He isn’t such a despicable person once he reaches that level. Of course some characters remain the same like Toritsuka who is still chasing after skirts and of course misusing his powers for that means.

I guess that is what you get when you have to share a piece of the pie. The pie isn’t expanding and you have to share it with more people. Hence some old and new characters are forgettable and not memorable because they suck but rather they do not have long enough a screen time presence to warrant us to remember them in the long run. For instance, that Amp cat only appeared twice in all of this season. That is only 2 freaking short skits out of a total of 120 of them! Not even 2% chance of screen time! And I didn’t include the final episode he made a cameo because that felt like ‘cheating’. Then new characters like Peanuts Ueda or Venus, you thought they are going to be mainstay but unfortunately appear only in that skit and that’s it for them. Yeah, they just want to troll us if they will be new characters that stay or not. That’s why it’s like as though they read my mind and hence the last episode they slip in some of the obscure characters to troll me and others who were at that point already starting to wonder the fate of other such characters. I guess that’s the charm of being part of a gag anime.

I just want to note about Saiki and Teruhashi’s role and relationship. Over the course of both seasons we see Teruhashi trying to get that “Oh~” out from Saiki and in our eyes it slowly turns into some sort of mission to get him to fall for her. Saiki has quoted many times that God has always sided with Teruhashi and hence the many problems that Saiki goes through but thankfully navigated through them successfully thanks to his psychic powers. He avoids getting involved with her to stay out of the limelight which he dislikes so much. But there are a few instances I noticed that he might be helping her out of the goodness of his heart. Like as though he likes her. For instance the final episode in which he had no involvement whatsoever. He isn’t even obliged to help her out and could have ignored and let her self-destruct if he loves his peace and quiet so much. But he want out of his way to actually save her. Is this hinting that there is a change of heart in him? After all, he did go “Oh~” once. Perhaps Saiki saw the kind of future, it is better Teruhashi to bug him occasionally than for her to have a mental breakdown and lose her might. Yikes. That will be the end of the world and lose-lose situation for everyone including Saiki.

A big difference from this season than the last one is the mid-intermission. If you remember the first season, there was some sort of psychic tests and quizzes just for some laughs. This season they did away with all that and inserted, uhm, how should I put it, eye candy eyecatches. It changes after a few episodes. The first batch are quite amusing because we see the guys in really cool poses and outfits. It’s like they’ve levelled up their handsomeness and manliness. So kakkoii! The next batch features the girls and of course they look hell of a cute and beautiful. Some even for fanservice purposes but nothing that risqué. It’s like they’ve levelled up their attractiveness, beautifulness and femininity. So kawaii desu! But the final batch is somewhat most disappointing. The characters are now portrayed in their chibi form which is a downer. After all those cool and pretty pictures, we got some very comical ones. Nothing actually wrong since this is what the series should be but I still prefer the former ones even if they’re all just for photogenic reasons.

With last season’s casts retained, new ones join the line-up and bloat the roster even more. New ones that I recognized are Eri Kitamura as Aiura, Yuuki Kaji as Akechi, Daisuke Sakaguchi as Shiragami and Mikako Komatsu is Riki Jr. The rest are Mao Ichimichi as Rifuta (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Azusa Enoki as Jouten (Nagisa in Shinryaku! Ika Musume) and Kensho Ono as Satou (titular character in Tanaka-kun Wa Itsumo Kedaruge). This season’s first opening theme, feels epic in its own right. Sailent Prisoner by the trio of Saiki, Nendou and Kaidou gives a feel of what to expect in its own right. But the craziness ramps up in the second opener, Oteaga Psychics by Shiggy Jr incorporating hip hop and rap into it. Dempagumi Inc who also sang some of the themes last season only sings the first ending theme, Sai Hakkenden, another denpa style song that suits this series like a glove. But the second ending theme has got to be the weirdest. Duet Shitekuda by the duo of Teruhashi and Aiura as it is a mix of hip hop (Aiura’s part) and slow lovely ballad (Teruhashi’s part). The song is about both of them trying to snag Saiki’s heart but he is not having any of it.

This season did not change much and it is enjoyable as the first. Therefore what I want to say I would have already said in the first season as my sentiments are still the same. Too bad the next season is supposedly the last. Gasp! Say it isn’t so?! Oh well, even good things must eventually come to an end. Like Gintama. NOOOOOOOO!!!!! Are we reaching the stage where good and funny comedy series are ending? Oh well. That way, Saiki could finally get his much needed peace and quiet that he always wanted. I believe he has the power to create and shape that world according to his likes but as we can see, Saiki is such a considerate guy that he is willing to put up with all the troubles so as not change the status quo. Oh Saiki, you’re such a good guy. You’ve brought us so many smiles and laughter so it’s just about the right time for you to ‘retire’. Sorry though, still couldn’t find that black coffee jello to offer you as a parting gift. But you saw that coming and didn’t expect much from me and forgave me, right?

Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger

December 23, 2018

There are many anime vampire series throughout and usually this genre doesn’t interest me very much although I do watch them from time to time. I was going to give Tenrou: Sirius The Jaeger the skip for the same reason too until I read that one line in the synopsis that states of vampire hunters known as Jaegers carrying musical instruments to hunt down vampires. Wow. So I thought there was something interesting in these vampire hunters. Cool hidden weapons masquerading as musical instruments or we have a bunch of travelling rock band who performs as musicians as their day job by moonlights as vampire hunters. Yeah, I really wanted to see how they shoot missiles from a guitar and turn the bass into some sophisticated club. Then of course you know, it didn’t turn out the way I had expected it to be…

Episode 1
Kershner must be holding some vampire party in Shanghai because his Smooth Criminal men are actually vampires as they suck the life out of their Chinese female dates. But after receiving word from his assistant, Agatha that the Jaegers are here, he flees. Willard leads his Jaegers comprising of Dorothea, Fallon and Philip, waiting to ambush the place but Yuliy recklessly barges in and the rest no choice have to follow suit and turn the place into vampire dust. Guess where Kershner fled? Yup. Good ol’ Japan. That’s where our Jaegers are heading too under the guise of Willard’s V Shipping Company. They rest at the mansion of the Baron who is also the Ministry of Home Affairs as he is indebted to them for their help. His daughter, Ryouko Naoe tries to impress Yuliy with her garden but he doesn’t like how too many fertilizers and water has tainted the garden. Willard talks to Baron about the recent troubles in Japan. Something about the Hyakko gang who looks like an anti-government on the outside but just robs the rich as well as a murderer named Kyouichirou Kuratake has escaped from prison and continues to go on a murder spree. Willard believes both big incidents are more than mere coincidences. Meanwhile the military doesn’t like how Baron has engaged foreigners for this case so they send Major Hideomi Iba to investigate. Kuratake is in fact being held prisoner by Agatha and she has a big role for him. After some investigation, Willard deduces Hyakko isn’t behind Kuratake’s jailbreak and somebody is using his name to commit crimes. And with the police increasing their patrol but yet to catch him, it could only mean that a certain group they’re after is behind this. Agatha finishes giving her statement to the police as she was a witness of a murder that just happened. But when she walks by Yuliy, he can smell blood all over her. Soon they both fight and Agatha luckily escapes with her comrades picking her up. A short car chase ensue until Yuliy catches up for another melee combat. When Agatha corners Yuliy, she notices a glow in his eyes and is shocked to realize he is part of some Sirius. Yuliy powers up and slices off her limbs. She tries to desperately escape but Yuliy is hot on her tail despite warning from Willard not to stray too far. Before Yuliy gets her, he is sniped by Mikhail.

Episode 2
Yuliy is pulled out and is treated by Doctor Kisuke Hanada. Willard reprimands him for pushing it too far but Yuliy can’t help it because of some beast blood that is flowing through him. It is hinted he might be a werewolf but he has to keep it under control because once he loses it, he is no longer a Jaeger. Because he is always busy with his research, his daughter, Saki befriends Yuliy pretty quickly. Philip is made to accompany Yuliy as he learns from the maid that Hanada has been obsessed with his research to develop some medical equipment since his wife died of a heart disease. He has an assistant but he went missing a few days ago. Ryouko heard Yuliy got injured and wants to go see him. Since the adults won’t tell her, she has a sneaky way to do it. Willard and his team continue their investigation. It seems there is a murder done by Hyakko but this time the victim is a biologist. The previous victim was a scholar. The connection is odd but he feels there is a connection between and Hyakko and the vampires. Soon, Hanada has finished his equipment, supposedly some artificial heart. He tells Saki the goodness and father and daughter embrace with full emotion. Hanada’s maid rats on him by giving the info to Agatha and is promptly killed as her reward. Willard’s research on similar cases overseas yield that researchers are killed and their research (mainly on artificial organs) stolen. Just when Willard is about to make his move, he is stopped by Iba posing as a journalist and wants to interview him. Vampires soon attack Hanada’s house. Agatha returns to settle the score with Yuliy and she is fitted with blades for her missing limbs. Unfortunately Agatha sinks her teeth into Hanada’s neck, turning him into a vampire. Yuliy kicks ass as he does a double kill on Agatha and Hanada right before the doctor could kill his own daughter. Agatha’s last words are something about too late for him to get his hands on the Ark. Oddly, Ryouko thought it was a right time to visit Yuliy. You mean at this time of the night?! She witnesses him kick ass. Then the doctor’s lab exploded. Yuliy could see somebody escaping with the research but before he could chase after him, Mikhail attacks him. Guess what? Mikhail is his brother.

Episode 3
The police is now looking into the murder scene as Dorothea picks up Yuliy and Philip. Thinking about Saki’s family and predicament has Yuliy remembering his own. Once a close knit family in Dogville, Yuliy and Mikhail grew up hunting together. Yuliy heard about the Ark that Dogville once had but now it is far away. The elder believed the duo would one day have to go there to protect it and Yuliy being the enthusiastic kid vows to do so and even protect mom. Now Yuliy talks to Willard that he is in a dilemma. When he killed Hanada, he did the same thing to Saki like what the vampires did to Dogville. Because Agatha said something about the Ark, it is believed to be here, that’s why the vampires are in Japan. Flashback continues with one night the vampires massacre the village. Mom got killed so the brothers had no choice but to run. There’s a vampire narrating how they have been controlling the world from the shadows for a thousand years and will want to continue to do so. They believe it is their duty to lead the ignorant masses and to do that, they need the Ark. Mikhail sacrifices himself fighting vampires so that Yuliy could escape. But when a vampire attacks Yuliy and rips his beloved mom’s scarf to shreds, that is when his eyes activate and instantly kills the vampire. Now that Yuliy has seen Mikhail and looks and sounds almost the same, he is further at a lost what to do as his is now hesitating whether to kill all vampires. Because if this was really Mikhail, he should have been dead and the only reason if he is alive is if he made a pact with the vampires. That’s why he can’t forgive himself for killing Hanada and make Saki go through the same agony. He felt happy. Ryouko must totally be in love with Yuliy since she has got the guts to go visit him. But he knows she saw him then and warns her not to get close to him. Final flashback shows after young Yuliy killed the vampire, Willard picked him up. As Yuliy was unsure how to go on living, Willard offered to teach him. Klarwein, the mad scientist under Kershner has completed his secret weapon.

Episode 4
Naotora Momosei, the leader of Hyakko heard his sponsor (the vampires) will no longer fund him so he kills the messenger and calls his men to do some hunting. Willard sees an employee of a rival shipping company, Alma Company to discuss some business. Iba is there too and he hints he knows more to what is going on. He returns to recently promoted Major General Kakizaki who will soon be on his way to Gotenba to test some new weapons. Kakizaki is going to be in for a shock when he sees this secret weapon monster. Yeah, it annihilated everything! Kershner as the president of Alma wants to know his opinion. The Jaegers noticed that Hyakko had stopped killing ever since Hanada’s case. Willard knows that Alma is behind this and was sponsoring Hyakko. This could mean they have gotten what they have wanted and now both sides have a fallout. It is suggested that they split their team to investigate and when Ryouko hears Yuliy is going to Gotenba, she gets really concerned. Dorothea can tell what is going on and gets chummy with Yuliy, promising she will protect him. And so Ryouko becomes a ninja to sneak aboard the train to tail them. Meanwhile Hyakko enters Alma’s office and slaughters all employees, thinking they are vampires. None. Willard explains to us the 2 different categories of vampires: Slaves (those beast form) and Royals (human-like form). Iba was on his way to Gotenba when he hears a report about the accident at the weapon testing. All those participated died except for Kakizaki who is on his way back to the capital. Immediately he takes the train back. Likewise, Yuliy could smell blood from the other train so he too jumps to the other train. Oh, Ryouko spots this too and suddenly she becomes a ninja to ride it just in time! Now she has a ticket problem since she didn’t bring her bag. On this returning train, Kershner is a passenger and look who Yuliy meets again? Is that really you, Mikhail?

Episode 5
Mikhail explains he left immediately after meeting Yuliy for the first time in years since as a vampire, he has absolute orders to kill Jaegers. When he sniped him, he was ordered to outright kill him but purposely missed. He wants Yuliy to give up his revenge because he doesn’t have what it takes. So is Yuliy going to kill him now? It’s his best chance? Can’t? Saving him for the last? Last warning. Stop being a Jaeger because the next time they meet, they’ll be enemies. Iba talks to Kakizaki who regrets participating in this weapon testing because all his men died. He realized too late they were only used as guinea pigs. Dorothea finds reprimanded Ryouko. She is still not calling it a crush on Yuliy? So the excuse is that she is interested in the different kind of world he is living in? Why you complicate things? Suddenly the train comes to a halt. It is Hyakko standing before the tracks. They hijack the train and are looking for Kershner. However he has fled and Hyakko instead stumble into that monster. Since it imitates their movements, they take a liking for it. They then start moving the train in the opposite direction. Great timing for Willard’s other team to pass by and jump on to help stop it. Because at the track will soon end. So cliché, right? With the military fighting Hyakko, the monster seems to protect the latter. Momosei is so pleased with this that he let his guard down and the monster decapitates him! Now Yuliy faces off with this monstrosity. Nobody gets in the way of Ryouko’s crush! Because after Fallon separates the coaches, she makes a mad jump to their side! When a vampire seemingly is going to kill a soldier, Ryouko swiftly borrows a sword and cuts it! Woah! Those kendo skills must have come in handy. For the first time, Iba sees the vampire turn to dust. Now you believe about vampires? Yuliy seems to have a hard time fighting the monster. So Mikhail takes over and easily cuts it up to pieces. The train derails at the end but don’t worry, everybody survives. Mikhail tells Yuliy that if he ever ends up like this monster, he wants him to be the one to kill him. It will be easy if he has the Ark. Yevgraf finally makes his move.

Episode 6
Klarwein is mad at Mikhail for destroying his creation. But Kershner has received word from Yevgraf that the Ark is not in this city. Although Klarwein is stubborn and wants to mass produce his monster, Kershner believes their task now is to exterminate all Jaegers here. Yuliy talks to Willard about Mikhail. Yuliy was never told about anything about the Ark and it is believed Mikhail does. It could be the only reason why the vampires are keeping him alive. Willard asks Yuliy if he wants to leave Jaegers as he won’t have to gun for revenge then. What if there is a possibility that the Ark could revert Mikhail’s case? In worst case scenario, it would kill him. The Baron reprimands Ryouko and wants to limit her freedom but she remains stubborn. Some things cannot be learnt through formal education, no? She continues her kendo training and Dorothea hopes she could teach her some swordsmanship. Willard is supposed to meet up with his bartender informant but Iba got to him first and hints about vampires in Alma. When he returns to his bar, before he could make a call to Willard, he is attacked by vampires. Willard knows something is wrong when he steps into the bar. Just in time because he passes Willard a message before croaking. The vampires in hiding attack but it’s like Willard taking out all his anger by overkilling them. He then calls his Jaegers to warn them about the vampires attacking them tonight. As they prepare, Yuliy tells Ryouko to round up her family and servants to hide in the safest place. Knowing she is strong, he wants her to protect them. Ryouko is happy to hear that until she realizes it was Dorothea who told Yuliy to say all this. As they lie in wait, Yuliy asks Philip if he wants revenge since it was actually one of his kin who killed his parents. Philip doesn’t blame him and is cool with it because if he has to get revenge on vampires mean he must get revenge on his brother? The vampires attack in full force and there is too many of them. The Jaegers try to retreat but here comes Kershner. He faces off with Yuliy while Mikhail keeps Philip at bay.

Episode 7
With the military rolling in, it’s time for Kershner to escape. Again. So he lets Mikhail take care of Yuliy and because little brother is adamant he won’t kill big brother, Mikhail feels disappointed. He isn’t cut out for revenge. Before he can kill all vampires, they’ll get what they seek. Because the Ark was taken by their father. As he is the last of the Sirius, he must make use with Mikhail’s vampire blood and make do of what he has. The military is able to kill vampires with their rounds because Iba borrowed them from V Shipping Company. Willard finds Kershner and of course a human can’t best a vampire. With Yuliy looking for Mikhail and stumbling into this, Kershner finds out Yuliy doesn’t know the whole truth. Long ago, they had some book that told them where the Ark is. Because they couldn’t decipher it, they got a desperate and poor archaeologist who was also passionate about the Ark to do so. Guess who was that guy? Kershner admits he is the one who burnt down Dogville and Willard admits he is that archaeologist. Yuliy is so mad that he let his beast form take over. At first Yuliy is no match for Kershner but when cocky vampire dude mocks him so much, this is what happens when you corner a mad dog. Yuliy defies all odds and kills Kershner! Now Yuliy bugs Willard for an answer. He never said anything because of his ego. He thought taking him in was his form of atonement but ironically used him as a tool for the last 10 years. He agrees to be killed by him but Yuliy can’t do that. He looks up to him like a father figure.

Next day, Willard explain more about the Ark. It seems it holds unlimited knowledge and technologies. Willard just wanted to discover it whether it exists or not but the vampires wanted more than just its existence. Yuliy’s dad perhaps knew about it and hence took it away. He might be alive guarding it somewhere. Otherwise, perhaps what Mikhail said was a hint that Yuliy would be the next one to protect it. Hence he makes it his next mission other than killing vampires. But they have no time left. Kershner was just a pawn and the real one who desires it is Yevgraf. Iba is called by the military and is ordered to look for the Ark. 10 years ago, they sent this guy, Captain Mamoru Akasaka for the job but he never returned. Due to the war, he was low on their search priority but now with the economy and depression, they are restarting this search again. Iba is tasked for this mission because they think he is close friends with Willard after borrowing ammunition from V Shipping. Stuck with this troublesome task, he goes to see Willard to exchange information. He is told that the vampires are after the Ark and it is believe it is at Sakhalin as Yevgraf is now there. With Iba making arrangements to Russia, the Jaegers get orders to return to HQ in London. But Yuliy decides to do things on his own and leaves.

Episode 8
Flashback shows when Mikhail was left for dead after the vampire attack, it was Yevgraf who revived and turned him into a vampire. Mikhail reunites with Yevgraf and the latter brings him to some cave. Inside supposedly resides the Sirius civilization during their heydays. In the middle of it all is supposedly the Ark. However Mikhail’s dad gave his life to form a barrier to protect it eternity. Who knows what happens when vampires and humans walk through it but Mikhail as his son, it might be different. So as Mikhail walks into the barrier, it seems it is melting him. Despite in pain, he trudges on. Yevgraf calls it off but Mikhail refuses (thinking he can kill Yevgraf if he gets the Ark’s power) but Yevgraf uses his mind control to force Mikhail back. Mikhail fights back but ultimately cannot disobey his master. Yevgraf is now interested what if Yuliy was the one who walks through it. As they leave, Klarwein has been greatly ignored and is continued to be so. Mad scientist is going to proof that his research is what the vampires need for glory. Meanwhile Yuliy has arrived at southern Sakhalin and meets another fellow Jaeger, Bishop. It looks like his teammates got killed while chasing Yevgraf and requested for reinforcements. Unfortunately Yuliy isn’t that backup and is here on his own. They both make a deal to help each other as Bishop knows of an old guy who has info on the Ark. On the other side, Ryouko left a letter to dad. She is going to London. Yeah, she is already on her way by the time he reads this. Her excuse is to find out the ones responsible who destroyed their mansion. I’m sure the Baron doesn’t’ find it surprising but if you can’t beat them, join them. Yeah, he is going to London too! As Yuliy and Baron close in on the residence of that supposed old guy, they see vampires attacking him. Just in time. Yuliy faces off with the cheeky vampire loli twins of Larissa and Tamara. They mock him of his massacred village and being the lonely Sirius left, they should let them turn him into a vampire.

Episode 9
After a short bout, the twins escape. When the old man realizes who Yuliy is, he is not happy the son of Alexei is here. He does however explain a little. Like how he too was searching for the Ark and stumbled into Alexei who was kind enough to bring him back to Dogville and meet his family. Yuliy was probably too young to remember. One day Alexei left with the Ark without saying anything. He refuses to say anything more. As the duo leave, Bishop feels suspicious why the vampires of all times attacked the old guy now. They could have easily killed him if they wanted to shut him up. He thinks Yuliy is their target. When the twins report back to Yevgraf, Mikhail learns Yuliy is here and he realizes Yevgraf’s plan to use Yuliy to open the Ark. Yuliy and Bishop return to town and guess who they meet? Ryouko and Iba! Apparently Ryouko panicked when she saw dad at the same port and stumbled into Iba on his way to Sakhalin. Thank goodness, right? I guess Ryouko won’t understand what the men talk next. Sirius? Yuliy’s dad? Iba shows the photo of Akasaka and he is believed to be that old guy. Perhaps some military orders can get him to speak up. We take a little detour as Yuliy asks Ryouko about fathers. She doesn’t have nice things to say at first but eventually father cares for her. When Mikhail tries to escape to warn Yuliy, the other vampires cut him off. However one of the Slaves got some infection and start going berserk. He is killed off. Yevgraf warns Mikhail to stay put if he doesn’t want anything to happen to him.

Yuliy and the gang return to see Akasaka. He still won’t tell about the Ark but Iba will decide that after he sees it himself. Iba knows something is keeping him here. He could have reported back and be relieved of this mission but yet chose to say. With old bugger continue to not say a word as promise to Alexei, Yuliy uses his trump card that Dogville has been destroyed and as the last Sirius he must know everything. Yeah, that determination in his eyes makes Yuliy look a lot like dad. Akasaka opens up about the barrier Alexei made. Unsure if he is alive or dead, he heard his voice when he touched the barrier to not tell anybody and stay away. Feeling guilty for what happened, it’s the reason Akasaka stayed behind to stay by his side. It’s the least he could do. Yuliy thanks him for staying back as a friend of his father. Akasaka gives them a map to that sacred grounds as well as a photo proof that he met Alexei over 10 years ago. He hopes Yuliy as his son can save him. Meanwhile Willard’s side has taken a detour. I mean, HQ didn’t say they should return to London right away, right? Because now they are in Dogville investigating the massacre site. Next morning, Ryouko alerts Iba that the Jaeger duo have left. Don’t worry. Just follow them. It’s easy since Iba memorized the map. When Yuliy and Bishop near the place, before them is Klairwein and his mad merry band of uhm, robo vampire monsters?

Episode 10
Based on Willard’s interpretations, it seems the key to unseal the Ark can be found hidden in this family tomb. Wow. He made it look so easy by just pressing a few buttons and turning a few knobs. Looks like they’re going to bring this little eyeball thingy to Yuliy. Klarwein brags about his research on humans to bring about this success. He goes on to rant about some incurable disease the vampires have. Klarwein was first commissioned to find that cure but after Yevgraf took note of the Ark, he became completely ignored. Hence he will prove his worth with their deaths. I suppose Klarwein was busy yapping he didn’t realize the duo were making the snowy ground unstable for him to slide down the abyss. Oh well. Back to the drawing board. If he survives that. Both then arrive at the holy grounds of Sirius. Yuliy tries to enter the barrier but again it looks like melting him. His determination has him push all the way until he is absorbed inside it. His reward? Looks like he gets to view the memories of his dad. The reason Alexei welcomed Akasaka was because he saved his sons from a bear attack. With their great hospitality, Akasaka soon confesses he was looking for the Ark and fear stealing it would break the peace. He also warns of other major powers secretly looking for it. When Alexei talked to the elder about this, he is appalled that their BS tradition to keep the Ark a secret means killing them. He will not accept this tradition and vows to find a way to seal it. He was reluctantly told of where and how to seal it that would risk his life. Hence Alexei left his family but promised them he would be back after he sealed the Ark. I guess he never fulfilled this promise. Now that Yuliy has seen the memories, he sees father before his eyes. His soul now fused with the barrier. He hopes Yuliy can go home now. However Yuliy doesn’t accept dad shouldering this tragic burden alone because it’s like the same thing even if dad argues this is not to bind his sons to these shackles. So sacrificing your own happiness for others is wrong? I know a lot of anime series who would gladly do that… So for Yuliy to prove the path dad took was the right one, he is going to live and find another way to seal the Ark. Alexei is pleased with his answer and gives him the Ark. He might be able to accomplish what he couldn’t. With that, the barrier is released and Yevgraf has been waiting for this moment for the Ark to show up. Can’t miss it. That beam straight up into the sky.

Episode 11
So this mini palm sized Death Star-cum-Cybertron is the Ark? Yevgraf turns Mikhail into a mindless obedient soldier and orders him to kill Yuliy to bring him the Ark. As Yuliy and Bishop leave, Iba and Ryouko just arrived. Yuliy wants to settle this alone and that is when Bishop takes Ryouko hostage. Yuliy tells Bishop to drop the act and knows his true form as a vampire all along. The reason he worked with him is because he saw his face regretting his comrades’ death. There was no deceit in it. Bishop laments he can’t get his comrades’ face out of his mind. With this vampire disease, he thought he might do something about it if the Ark was involved. He is not going to get Yevgraf have it so this isn’t just Yuliy’s fight alone. Yuliy agrees to work with him not because he is a vampire but he is Bishop. As they leave, the twins let Mikhail deal with Yuliy. Mikhail fights his brother like a mad dog and manages to rip the Ark away from him. The twins get it and are going to give it to Yevgraf but Bishop kills Larissa and snatches it from Tamara. Now the Ark in his hands but Yevgraf is before him. I guess all the brotherly fighting has Mikhail manage to snap out of Yevgraf’s spell. It is also thanks to the disease Mikhail infected himself with. Better to die this way? Yuliy explains the pride of Sirius is to live with the Ark side by side and not seal it. The reason dad sealed it because he thought they would be unable to coexist with other races if it was around. That is why Yuliy is going to live and face the world, his promise to dad. Mikhail couldn’t care about the Ark. He made a promise too and that is to protect Yuliy. But how can Yuliy sit by and watch Mikhail suffer by his own? Once they reconcile and head out, they see Yevgraf killing Bishop. His last words were being happy Yuliy worked with him as a man. Yevgraf has got the Ark and retreats to his airship to activate it. The brothers argue who should stay and who should deal with Yevgraf but a gentle reminder Yevgraf left vampires to deal with them. Don’t worry, here comes Willard and co to the rescue! Now the brothers are free to head for the airship. Ryouko gives her sword to Yuliy. Thanking her by name has got to be the best reward? Iba taps a Morse code to Willard about the situation so he makes his way onto the airship. Meanwhile Yevgraf devours the Ark to become one with it. All hail God Yevgraf!

Episode 12
Willard tries to take control of the airship but gets injured by other vampires. Yevgraf believes he can create a new breed of vampires by making a new blood pact. But it seems those lowly Slaves are too inferior that they die! What about you, Tamara? Can you accept this new blood pact? Tamara is shaking in fear and before another loli dies, here comes Yuliy to the rescue. Yevgraf cannot contain the Ark’s power as it bursts out from within. His new form is even hideous as he goes berserk trying to attack Mikhail. Willard hears Yuliy’s answer on the path he chose. He gives him this eyeball thingy, supposedly the other half of the Ark to control its power. The brothers fight Yevgraf and although he has healing abilities, the tremendous Ark power means he resist them anymore. In the final struggle, Mikhail rips the Ark from Yevgraf and kills him off. Hey, that’s what he wanted, right? He’d rather die than be saved by a dog. Wish granted. Mikhail gives the Ark to Yuliy, exchanges a few last words before resting in peace :’(. Don’t worry. Like Yuliy has always spammed recently, he’ll continue to live. The airship crashes but both Arks now fused. Willard sees Yuliy is in his true Ark form. Uhm, just having more strands of white hair? They say their goodbyes as Yuliy embarks on a journey to use this power for good. But he tells Willard if he ever ends up like Yevgraf, please kill him. He is after all his other father. Willard wakes up in hospital a few days later after being saved by a local. He tells that Yuliy is gone as he carries the burden alone of a power that could turn him into a god or demon. In the aftermath, Ryouko takes up some business admin course as part of her way to help Yuliy make the world a better place. Same for Iba as he does what he can although he notes the many powers will still go after Yuliy and the Ark. Willard narrates the Ark cannot be controlled by anyone in this world and for that, the Sirius were granted that power. However they decided not to because of how powerful it is and may have saved it for the future Sirius generations. The Jaegers have now orders to hunt down Yuliy which is a higher priority than hunting vampires. For Willard’s side, this might not seem palatable but at least it is a way that they can get to Yuliy first and see how he is doing. Meanwhile Yuliy is travelling alone with Tamara. His first step is to head to the vampire elders and convince them there is a way to cure the disease. Some final words how this path is necessary for a Sirius and only because of the power granted to him.

Serious The Joker: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Oh well, I guess we went with the ending that the hero eventually has to shoulder the burden and responsibility of it all by himself. It seems like a bittersweet ending that Yuliy has gone off alone for the supposed greater good of the world (I guess he did not turn into that kind of God that instantly changes the world to become of that he desires with the snap of a finger) but to say that he was always a team of V Shipping feels a bit strange because Yuliy is often seen working solo. Sure, he might have eventually gotten used and accepted teamwork cooperation, but ultimately as the last blood of Sirius, there are only things he can do by himself. Back to square one?

Plot wise, it might start out slightly interesting but as the series progresses, you’ll find that overall it is mostly generic. Main character instead of holding some latent hidden power is the last of his kind, which kinda leads back to the fact he is the only one to hold some latent hidden power. Bad guys are looking for the most powerful ancient artefact for the typical cliché end goal of becoming the one supreme being, which is the same as world domination. Plans foiled because baddie doesn’t have enough virtue to carry it like our hero. The day is saved and the world continues to turn and everyone else leads a normal life without even knowing all our heroes have done. I’ll give credit though, since this is an original anime work rather than based on any manga or game. But I guess in this time and era where everything has been done or thought out, it is hardly exciting. For those who have seen almost there is to see out there about movies and TV series, this kind of plot may come off as bland.

For the most part, we were kept wondering what the heck this Ark is. That mystery keeps the intrigue but can be also annoying. I suppose if you saw that cult classic Indiana Jones movie, you would have shaped your notion of what the Ark looks like. Too bad people, it’s not the Ark that comes from the Bible. So when the Ark is supposedly to be some all powerful tool (not surprising, otherwise why would anybody would target it) and it looks like some mini pool ball but with flashier effects, do you not feel a bit disappointed? I mean, this is the Ark? Oh right. It’s not how it looks but what’s inside it. I guess we puny humans can’t comprehend its greatness what more control its immense power. This is why I have this fear that Yuliy’s wok may not come true because of how fragile and weak humans are. We can’t even get along with ourselves so what makes you think the Ark’s power can achieve that? Maybe. But I’m not holding my breath for it to happen.

Then there are the issues of the characters as well. Understandably for Yuliy being the poster child and main character of the series, there is a lot of focus being put into him as well as the estranged relationship with his brother. We do see him change from one young lad who is out for pure revenge to kill all vampires to one who matures and take responsibility in doing something for the greater good of the world even if the rest of the world doesn’t acknowledge it. So it’s not like he is breaking his earlier promise. He has found a new and better one to live by. The brothers who were from the same origin but ended up on different sides are most intriguing. Often they clash with each other at times and although seemingly for different reasons, their end goal and brotherly love for each other was always the same. So it’s heart breaking to see Mikhail die in the end but if it makes Yuliy a stronger person, so be it.

The rest of the other characters feel lacklustre and in some ways hardly contribute to the plot. For instance the Jaegers of the V Shipping, it feels like they are there so it doesn’t make Yuliy feel like he is some sort of lone wolf. They feel almost as empty as they are not emphasized as great as importance as Yuliy. Like Fallon, we all know he is just the Irish muscle guy of the team. That’s all. Philip is a kid whose parents were killed by Yuliy’s kin but he doesn’t seem to take this revenge business seriously. He is almost like the comic relief of the group because Fallon likes to mess with his hair just to see his reaction. Because I’m sure we would all like to know how a young kid actually ended up in Jaegers. As for Dorothea… I guess they need a woman in the team. Willard as the team leader is the brains behind the group and his archaeologist background sometimes feel shoehorned to give Yuliy some background and reason for existence. I guess this is the kind of roles that father figures have to play. For example in the final arc, conveniently finding the other half of the Ark and then entrusting it to Yuliy just at the right time. Yeah, an excuse so that Yuliy won’t turn out like Yevgraf. Thanks dad.

Ryouko is one of the oddest characters ever. She stands out like a sore thumb and you wonder why there was even a need to put her character in. From the moment she first appeared, you can tell that she is shoehorned in to provide some sort of romance if it ever comes to that point. If you take her out entirely of the plot, the entire series can still work. That is why I was wondering the need for Ryouko to toss Yuliy her sword to him when Yuliy actually has his own weapon that he is accustomed in using! Oh dear. It’s to show us that Ryouko was part of the final action scene. That it was her sword that stabbed through Yevgraf after all. Other than that, Ryouko failing in her crush feels like a weird distraction the series doesn’t need but just to fill in some extra time and take our minds off Yuliy’s revenge and vampire action. When you have an international band of Jaegers, you need to insert a kawaii Nippon onna somewhere even in a minor role. Thank goodness their romance didn’t materialize because it would have been really awkward to remember Twilight. Sheesh. Iba also feels a bit out of placed. His character also mostly can be written out but only comes in handy twice or thrice (like convincing Akasaka) but that is even so he can be mostly done without. Because it felt like the Japanese military was going to have some sort of large presence in the series but then it fizzled out after that failed weapon testing.

The vampires fare no better too. But being made as the antagonist of the series, I guess they really took the biggest fall. Because as we see Yevgraf being typical one dimensional villain striving to create a new order of vampires (like, what else is new?) and Kershner and Agatha were trolled to look like final bosses because they went out so early in the series. Especially Kershner who looks close to Dracula have this feel of being the final boss but his favourite game is to always escape when the going gets tough. But the oddest and most unsatisfying thing about the vampires is the disease that they are suffering from. Like, WTF???!!! What the hell?! Vampires, supposedly immortal supreme beings suffering from a disease that would literally kill them???!!! What kind of disease is that????!!! I don’t think it is garlic. Yeah. Even as explained, Royals who can even walk under the sun, I suppose garlic won’t really cut it as this fatal disease. It is not fully explained at all what this disease is all about and my only guess is that they need to bring this in so that Mikhail could die an honourable death. You see, a vampire that dies having this disease will not turn into dust. Gee, how convenient. So you mean this whatever disease helps keep their body together in death? Wow, it’s like the formalin embalmment for vampires. Klarwein feels annoying. He only exists to give a reason why monster vampires exist in the first half of the story. Then he suddenly gets killed off without much fanfare. I suppose we can’t find any other way to dispose of this really mad scientist. Not that anybody cares about him either, eh? Yeah, the most ignored character ever in this series.

The other odd thing that I started pondering if Sirius were actually this series’ term for werewolves. I guess Lycans are taken too… And I suppose it is a pun the Sirius’ village is known as Dogville. I guess Wolfville would sound too obvious. Because you know, it is a common notion that vampires and werewolves being natural enemies. The word werewolves were never mentioned and Yuliy does from time to time exhibit very slightly of his beastly nature. An excuse for him to do some impossible acrobat moves and give him extra strength when the plot commands it. However we don’t see the rest of the other Sirius tribe members ever closely turning into one. It is only left to our imagination that if the Sirius people are werewolves because as Yuliy says he wants to bring all races together, he mentions Sirius separately from humans. If the Sirius people were humans, wouldn’t it be weird to mention them explicitly? I mean, think about this, unless he is so prideful of his Sirius race that they must be mentioned apart from humans (that’s racist!), I guess he left out a lot of other races too. The Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Americans, Europeans, Australians, Africans… Are they excluded or all under the human race banner? Oh Yuliy, you so inclusive.

If there was something better than the plot and characters, it is definitely the action scenes. Even if you don’t get the finer details of the plot or don’t care about the characters, I’m sure that at least you’ll be entertained with the action sequences. I mean, who wouldn’t love seeing our heroes cutting down vampires like a hot knife through butter? I mean, when you watch vampire action series, this is what it boils down to, right? Remember Blade? Yeah… So with some really nice fight scenes on the cards, at least not everything in this series was in vain nor a failure. Just a little disappointment that as I mentioned in my opening paragraph, I thought the Jaegers would fight using musical instruments. Heck, I don’t even see how their weapons resemble them. I guess Philip was just trolling with his violin because it’s just a gun hidden in it. I thought Yuliy’s nunchucks resembled a flute but it didn’t ultimately matter because eventually I prefer to see him beat down vampires than admire how cool his musical instrument-cum-weapon is. And the rest of the Jaegers just used guns with special bullets…

The other great thing about this series is the artwork and animation. If I should say, the details of the setting in the 1930s era do really look gorgeous especially the background. Whether you’re in old Japan or the snowy regions of Sakhalin, they are beautiful to look at. The animation during action sequences are really smooth and I didn’t notice any jerkiness or low quality during such scenes. Maybe that is why the action parts are interesting. This series is animated by P.A. Works who have brought to you a lot of nice looking anime series before like Hanasaku Iroha, Angel Beats, Glasslip, Tari Tari and Sakura Quest. However the vampire designs irk me a little. Especially their beast form which looks like a cross between a bat and ape. Because they look closer and more like werewolves to me. So this is what low level vampires look like in their true form? I guess it is better than turning into tiny bats and fly away, huh?

For the voice acting department, it would have been so conspiracy had Yuuki Kaji voiced Yuliy or even Philip. Because you know, Jaeger. Geddit? I would have made comparisons of how similar it would have been to Shingeki No Kyojin. Instead of kill all Titans, we now have kill all vampires! Oh yeah, it would have been such a good conspiracy theory but alas it wasn’t. Yuuki Kaji would have been the perfect voice for either both characters but instead Yuliy is voiced by Yuuto Uemura (Juugo in Nanbaka) and Philip by Yuusuke Kobayashi (Subaru in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu). Kenjiro Tsuda is perfect as Yevgraf as his sleepy-like voice gives the villain character a great impact. But I feel Keiji Fujiwara as Alexei is a bit out of place because of his slacker-like voice, it doesn’t give that strong responsible fatherly feel for his character. Other recognizable seiyuus are Takahiro Sakurai as Mikhail, Takehito Koyasu as Kershner and Sayaka Ohara as Agatha.

The other casts are Kenyuu Horiuchi as Willard (titular character in Guin Saga), Shunsuke Takeuchi as Fallon (Shougo in Caligula) (I bet Fallon’s character would sound a lot more like a stereotypical Irish in the dub version but I’m not since I don’t watch dubs), Nanako Mori as Dorothea (Angelica in Sakura Quest), Rie Takahashi as Ryouko (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Junji Majima as Iba (Ryuuji in Toradora), Nobuo Tobita as Klarwein (Pekoms in One Piece), Misaki Watada as Larissa (Grenda in Strike The Blood II), Sayaka Senbongi as Tamara (Chitose in Girlish Number) and Kenji Hamada as Bishop (Jouji in Paradise Kiss). The rock piece opener, Sirius does suit the series well and if you’re wondering why this song sounds familiar, that’s because Kishida Kyoudan And The Akeboshi Rockets sang this piece in a very similar fashion like how they did for other anime openers such as Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Highschool Of The Dead, Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite Kaku Tatakaeri and Strike The Blood. Yeah, they sound almost the same… The ending theme isn’t so bad either. Hoshie by Sanjou No Hana is more of a slow rock.

Overall, not really the best vampire series out there but at least if you’re looking for a single cour series filled with vampire killing action, this one is at least worth it. Can’t say the same for the plot and characters, though. I’m not saying that these lacking parts are bad but it just didn’t brought anything new to the plate. Therefore nothing really exciting to get excited about in the first place. I don’t think this would get another season seeing how things ended and if it does, I can foresee it would be much boring than this. Heh. A Sirius guy trying to aim for world peace? Boring. I suppose if you want to a great vampire series that has all the intrigue and appeal, there is only so far one can stray from what has been done ages ago in the classics. Imagine that one single tool that enables us to get whatever we wished for. So easy we don’t even need to put effort into anything anymore. Maybe that is why there is a reason why nobody in reality has actually found the Ark yet. Because it is all only in our heads.

Hanebado

December 22, 2018

It’s about time! About time they made an anime about badminton. Heh. I suppose this is the most popular racquet sport in my country. But I believe this timely anime adaptation wasn’t made because of Malaysia’s current number one. Coincidentally, Japan too has a current rising star in the badminton world and with China’s domination and grip on the sport slipping, I have a feeling there is no better time for a badminton series. However Hanebado isn’t going to showcase the rise of a certain Japanese badminton shuttler. Just another one of those high school sports club who is the underdog when you know, the cliché new player with talent joins them and now they have a chance to advance beyond. Lots of side drama to boot…

Episode 1
It’s that time when you start questioning the things you’re doing. Like Nagisa Aragaki. Tired and desperate. Eventually she lost her badminton match without scoring a point! OMG! 21-0! Ayano Hanesaki and Elena Fujisawa are new high school students of Kitakomachi and they make friends with Noriko Miyura. She suggests they all join the tennis club because the captain, Akifumi Saionji is such a hot guy as well as other favourable stuffs. Let me guess. You wanna date this dude? Yup. She even confirms it that what’s the use of being female if you can’t land a guy like that! We take a detour to see a more gloomy badminton club. Obviously Nagisa is practising so hard like a robot but she is also taking out on her club members and some are already at their limits. Is this some torture club? Club vice captain, Riko Izumi talks to her about losing current members in addition of not getting new ones but Nagisa isn’t listening. With the Spartan training continues, I guess that is it for some members. Those who cannot take it anymore, confront Nagisa. Perhaps they’re just waiting for her to say it. If you can’t take the heat, beat it. And that’s what Yuka and co did. As Nagisa is jogging, she is shocked to see Ayano trying out in the tennis club. Yes, this was the girl that defeated her 21-0. Before she could do anything, this weirdo, Kentarou Tachibana climbs over the fence and is singing praises all Ayano. He wants her to play badminton. What kind of guy suddenly touches a girl’s hands?! Is this a new way to pick up girls? Thanks to Elena her eternal protector, she is spared from further ‘molestation’. From Ayano’s movements and her hand blisters, Tachibana can tell she used to play badminton. It’s no surprise Ayano runs away. Enough shock for today. Badminton club advisor, Miyako Taroumaru introduces her ‘secret weapon’ that would help the club: Tachibana! Not only he is the alumnus of the badminton club, but played in the Olympics! But… I never heard of him. Yeah, he was selected to play but got injured and had to pull out. So technically he didn’t play… So to bounce back from that failure and play in the Olympics, he is going to turn them into gold medallist material. I have to ask why this particular school anyway? Just then, Elena drags Ayano in. She believes she should be playing badminton. Ayano still feels playing badminton as pointless. This makes Nagisa’s blood boil but Riko tells Ayano otherwise. Nagisa wants to play a match with her.

Episode 2
Ayano is actually playing quite well until halfway some trauma kicks up and she just quits. Nagisa continues to practice tirelessly. Tachibana talks to Ayano about her flexible wrist and she being naturally left handed is a big advantage. He would have sounded more convincing if he isn’t prone to touching her hands! As Nagisa plays Riko, she keeps thinking her smash is her ultimate weapon. Eventually she narrowly beats Riko. Nagisa and Ayano team up in a doubles practice match. They often bump into each other and Nagisa always blames her for getting in her way. Tachibana has Nagisa switch with Riko. It seems Riko could make judgments that allow them to play perfectly as a team. Hence Tachibana tells Nagisa that it is this judgment she is lacking. Nagisa isn’t happy either. She thinks this is just part of his plan to make his number one look good and that is what talentless people are for. To aid that. A junior even talks to Nagisa about how she envies her being taller, stronger and talented. She is just in a slump right now. Nagisa believes she doesn’t rely on talent. Then a confrontation with Yuka about taking out on her juniors. Not that Nagisa would want to hear from a quitter. Yuka also claims she envied her not because of her talent but because of her wholehearted love for badminton. Tachibana has Nagisa practice with her. From her weak movements, he can tell why she is in a slump. Nagisa too keeps pondering why her smashes aren’t cutting it. Tachibana returns it with an easy trick shot. Lesson time. She thinks being tall and using her jump smash is her advantage. But being tall makes her heavier, hence she needs to work out her legs more. She won because of hard work. She loves badminton, does she not? Now that her mind is clear, first thing she does is to apologize to all her members. They make a vow to get through the inter-high tournament.

Episode 3
Elena remembers Ayano used to love badminton. Until one day she just quit. She learnt her mom just left. Noriko is devastated. Initially she had a date with Saionji but that guy called to cancel it. What is she going to do with those extra movie tickets? She wants to ask Ayano to accompany her but Elena tells her she has club activities. Is she now her personal coach? And then ‘ditches’ her to join Noriko? Yeah, she looks so bored. At the end of the day, Elena stumbles into Nagisa jogging. The latter asks why Ayano quit badminton since she was perfect during the junior nationals. Elena agrees to figure it all out. During practice, this snobbish girl, Kaoruko Serigaya drops in to play with Ayano. Can she from another school just waltz in like that? Kaoruko is good but Ayano is obviously sloppy and loses badly. Kaoruko is very disappointed and leaves, reminding Ayano she can never beat her. With that, Ayano has not been going to school for a few days. Tachibana and Nagisa go pay a visit to her home. She’s not in but her grandparents are. They know Ayano’s problem is badminton related. Tachibana is shocked to know that Uchika Shindou is Ayano’s mom. She won 10 straight wins at the Japanese nationals. But I never heard of her on the world stage… Meanwhile Elena finds Ayano sulking at the playground (I suppose it’s a place where she goes when she is having troubles). This was what happened. Ayano was supposed to play a match with Kaoruko. The latter was sick and wanted to play on the same terms. Guess what? She forcefully transferred some of her illness to her!!! WTF???!!! Hence Ayano was also as ill as her on match day but lost. That was when Uchika left. She believes because she lost to Kaoruko is the reason she left and has never been back since. Ayano didn’t give up and became better at badminton hoping she would come back. But here’s the real kicker. She saw an article of her mom trained and raised a new badminton prodigy who then won some crown! It was when she realized she has lost all reason to play badminton. Nagisa isn’t going to let her off easily yet. Practising hard to beat her, she wants them to play a game. Right now. With everyone else joining in and you can tell Ayano getting her love back for badminton, it goes without saying that Ayano and Elena soon hand in their application to officially join the badminton club.

Episode 4
Summer training camp. It is a joint training stint with Frederica Girls School. A local powerhouse. Ayano volunteers to do some errands at the convenience store but thanks to Nagisa’s weird map, she got lost. Just like this Danish girl too, Connie Christensen. They manage to find their way there as Connie reveals her goal in this training camp is to beat a certain someone. Guess who? Yup, look at Connie’s face now upon learning who Ayano is. Then it is Ayano’s turn to be a little surprised to find Connie is a badminton player of Frederica when they return to camp. Yeah, their talk was so vague, it could have meant anything. With Kitakomachi and Frederica having one a game each, looks like it is down to this important match. A doubles match between Ayano-Riko and Connie-Hina Tagajo. Connie warns Tagajo not to interfere. But when Tagajo returns a shot, Connie subsequently stands there and not play at all. If she is going to beat that someone, she will do it by herself. So if Tagajo wants to play them herself, be her guest. Yeah, whatever Frederica problems, not Kitakomachi problem. Play on. They take a huge lead until Tagajo admits she cannot beat them herself. So switching means Connie will play them herself? Connie has her speed and high jump and claws her way back in no time. And she is disappointed in the way Ayano is playing. So boring. Tachibana then realizes Connie is that young prodigy Danish player who won multiple world titles at 16 years old. But here is the real kicker. Connie starts to tie her hair that resembles so much like Ayano’s mom. And Connie knows all about Ayano as her ‘big sister’. But she didn’t know how she looked like?

Episode 5
Connie wins the set by a mile and mocks Ayano she is not Uchika’s real daughter. You mean by blood also doesn’t count? Ayano is on the road to depression but thank goodness for Riko’s words of motivations about being partners, right? Tachibana suggests the next set for Riko to defend the front near the net while Ayano covers a wider area at the back. This is because Connie’s greatest weapon comes from her powerful high vantage smash. With this method, Ayano-Riko is able to pick up some points and return some of Connie’s shots. Blonde b*tch still think she can do this herself so why is she surprised when Ayano returns them? On the match point to Connie’s advantage, Connie sprain her muscle. She couldn’t return the hit until Tagajo steps in for her to win it for Frederica. Blonde b*tch still not impressed and limped away alone. The drama doesn’t end on that side. Ayano too is b*tching she didn’t lose. She blames her racquet’s string broke at the last moment and Tagajo stepped in. So she really thought it was 2 against 1? Since she is sulking, no sympathy points from Sora Isehara who lectures her how she came and go from the club as she likes. In short, stop making excuses. To show Connie is not 100% demon, she is also in depression but mainly because she feels bad on how she treated Tagajo. Too bad everybody was hiding and listening so Connie has to live up to her words to atone. So bath together is the answer? I guess Connie is only a demon when it comes to badminton. Otherwise she’s just a typical girl. Now everybody starts molesting her in the bath. The only place where it is fair game for all? Before all depart home, Ayano tries to ask Connie more on her mom. However Connie trolls her. Something about how Uchika saved her when she was all alone and is the most important person to her. And then this: Even if Ayano manages to find her place in the team, it is all meaningless if mama doesn’t acknowledge her. Trauma switch on. Oh, haven’t you heard? Uchika is returning to Japan soon. And so Ayano being her usual depressed girl on the way home. But something in her might have snapped as she now spots those crazy eyes and psycho herself that she doesn’t need mom! Oh sh*t. I fear she might go on a killing spree on everyone on this bus.

Episode 6
The tournament is around the corner. Miyako is more concerned of the new uniform the badminton club should be getting. And here is the matchup list. Nothing smells like drama because Riko’s first round opponent is Nozomi Ishizawa from Zushi Sogo High School. Yeah, once old friends who went to the same school. That gloom on her face must really tell something has happened, huh? Heck, why do their eyes have to meet when they get there? Why is Riko being shunned by her? Oh, we’re here just to play badminton. Miyako is eager for the girls to put on their new uniform. Even made extra special as she sewn the school name on it. It’s got to be worth it. The matches get underway and we see our usual characters breezing through. Hence the drama focus is on Riko-Nozomi match. Riko is nervous and loses a few points. With some motivation from Tachibana, she gets serious to plot her strategy. It worked for a while when Riko has found her weakness and exploits her backhand that she hates to use. But it is back to Nozomi dominating again with her cut smash. Riko then tries to play long rallies because it’s like she knew Nozomi was being told by her dick coach to quickly finish her low level opponent off and to conserve energy for the next match. After a long drawn out match, eventually Riko lost in straight sets. Damn her young siblings are crying. Heck, even Elena is crying on her behalf! But Riko is just so sunshine face and asserts her love for badminton. But when she is alone and reality sinks in, she starts crying her heart out. Yup, she wants to play more but too bad, this is her last year in high school. Guess what? Ayano’s mom is here and is looking for her! Meanwhile Ayano is being confronted by Kaoruko who gives her a handkerchief. It is so that she can wipe the tears and snot after she losses! What a f*cking b*tch!

Episode 7
But Ayano isn’t scared. She replies she has worked hard to grind her into the dirt! Maybe she is the one who needs the handkerchief? Kaoruko is so confident that she goes to request personally to Tachibana that they could talk to each other after the match. Yeah… Suddenly once she steps into the court, her cute face turns into a freaking serious one. Did they turn her into Jojo?! Kaoruko thinks Ayano is easy meat. Until her speed just blows her away. Didn’t foresee that, huh? Heck, even her teammates are mocking her about her earlier cockiness comments that she has visualized the pattern to victory. Well, better adapt fast because Ayano has raced to 5-0! And when Kaoruko scores a point, it’s like she’s won the whole thing. To cut it short, Ayano wins the first set. The girls play at faster pace for the second set with Kaoruko hoping it would wear her down so that she could do her tricky cross cut move. After all that drama and tension, Kaoruko lost the set. Oh here comes Ayano’s reply now: You need a handkerchief? Kaoruko retires to the locker room. A bit awkward with her teammates. Everybody is just stunned or in no mood. And of course, Kaoruko cries alone. What do you mean you almost got her? Sure, the scores were close but you were the one dancing in her palms. Oh well, she doesn’t have to cry alone since her lackey, Miki Sasashita also cries with her if not even harder. I think it’s to make us have some sympathy for Kaoruko because now we see the real b*tch in Ayano as she mocks her opponent as pathetic and disappointing. Even if Elena disapproves of disrespecting her opponent, Ayano has a point because winning is all that matters.

Episode 8
Nagisa’s next opponent is Nozomi. Oh, some short flashback as to why they are ‘rivals’. From the same middle school, it was Nagisa that was supposed to get a scholarship to Zushi Sogo but somehow Nozomi got it. And everyone knew Nagisa was the better player. So until today, they’re like both hurt from that? Nozomi’s coach seems to have found Nagisa’s weakness. She has an injury on her knee and wants her to wear her down by making her run around. Meanwhile we see Ayano playing her opponent. Ayano must be so tough that her opponent got a little injured and Ayano assumes she has already won. When her opponent insists she can still go on, Ayano with that b*tch look tells her what is the purpose of doing so. Eventually she forfeited. Might as well withdraw than continue to play with such b*tch. Once more Elena is not pleased with Ayano acting this way but Ayano doesn’t care as long as she wins. Nozomi still got bad blood with Nagisa that she doesn’t want to shake her hand? During the match, Nozomi’s coach is just damn noisy, shouting combos and formation for Nozomi to do. Double the annoyance with Ayano criticizing Nagisa’s play like as though she knows it all. Flashback shows Nagisa could be bad in judging in weather the shuttlecock is out of bounds and hence every shot she returns, hence contributing to her wearing out her knee. Even when Nozomi tries to play on her own and wins a point, her coach chastises her for not following orders! Nagisa gets some motivation to find her own way to play by Tachibana. It isn’t long before she finds her form and scores successive points. This puts Nozomi under pressure and confused. She remembers the Spartan training her coach always gave her. She sees Nagisa’s determination to beat her even if it is risking it all. With the first set going to Nagisa, looks like Nozomi’s coach is going to blow his top again but this time Nozomi talks back. She always blamed everything on him but when tried to play her own style, it was less than impressive. She wants to continue finding it. Hence her coach finally shuts up as Nozomi plays the way she wants and she looks so happy. Eventually Nagisa wins the game that lasted closely into the rubber set. Nozomi makes peace with Nagisa and shakes her hand. It’s like her coach suddenly realized his wrongdoings and that he was too focused on winning. I guess the only b*tch left now is Ayano who is just bored and unimpressed. Final match: Ayano vs Nagisa! Although both qualified for the nationals.

Episode 9
Oh look. Connie is here. I guess she qualified, huh? Yup, she and fellow Frederica, Yuika Shiwahime. High and mighty Connie is brought down when Ayano points out she can see her pantsu. This is what you get when you take the higher ground. They’re supposed to spar but Ayano gets devastated that her Wei-Wei strap (some Chinese whale shark mascot) got torn. Shiwahime suggests skipping the match and head to this Wei-Wei amusement park. How convenient. You can see Ayano as a big fan of this mascot and she’s literally acting like a kid. Even more so when Shiwahime wins the big prize and gives this huge Wei-Wei backpack to her. Time for the drama to start when they witness a pair of sisters arguing but finally making up. Because Connie confesses she wants Ayano to be part of the family. That is what she came to say. WTF???!!! You acting like a b*tch previously and now you say you want to be family?! You can tell how mad Ayano is despite her creepy smiling face because she starts a badminton game with a super powerful smash! Can’t take that, can she? I guess badminton is their only way to communicate. But Ayano descends into a badminton monster. So different than before that Connie looks like a weakling! WTF?! Flashback shows Uchika was in some badminton training stint for kids. Just because she noticed Connie all alone and found out she was the best player among the kids, spar a bit and then suggested they become family. Like, WTF???!!! Connie saw a picture of Ayano and was told she is her ‘older sister’. So basically Connie wants Ayano’s acknowledgement? WTF. In the end, monster Ayano defeats Connie. Is this the Connie we know?! More salt to injuries when Ayano tells her off it is impossible for them to be family. Because she is abandoning mom. Holy sh*t! Hey. You started it. Connie leaves depressed and sulking. When her Frederica girls happily greet her, Connie starts crying her heart out. The warmth of friends, eh? I guess she didn’t get the sisterly warmth she wanted. Is this the Connie we know?! WTF?! Ayano returns home but there’s a surprise waiting for her: Uchika. Long time no see. How do you abandon something or somebody who has returned to you?

Episode 10
Ayano ignores Uchika and shuts herself in her room. Can’t force her out, can you? Ayano plays against Tachibana and narrowly lost. She wants another game and since Tachibana isn’t going to oblige, she bugs Nagisa for one. In the locker room, the others are trying to live up the mood that their school have both representatives for the next round. Too bad Ayano had to shoot her mouth saying Nagisa will definitely lose to her if she plays her now. Cat fight coming up? Nothing happens. Nagisa is called to see Tachibana and Miyako. It seems Tachibana wants her to forfeit her match with Ayano because of her knee. She can always face her at the nationals as long as she keeps winning. This is hard to digest for Nagisa so Miyako explains how Tachibana was part of the team for the Olympics but he chose to pull out due to his own knee injury and then retire. It might look like he let slip a golden opportunity but he felt awful ever since. That is why he is speaking from experience to Nagisa. We take a detour as we see the boys’ tournament. The only ones in Kitakomachi are Gaku Isehara and Yukiteru Hayama. Isehara wins his first round and he has a few girls from other schools cheering for him? Must be his looks. It is Hayama’s turn and he is struggling his opponent. No surprise as he was last year’s semi-finalist. Then we have some flashbacks of him getting into badminton and why fellow badminton player, Yuu Ebina is so ‘concerned’ about him. Probably the tension is too much that she can’t watch his match. So she watched him practise every day after school and felt frustrated and painful? I don’t think she is jealous. But once Hayama lost in straight sets, she cried the hardest. Eventually Isehara too lost in the quarter-finals. Both aren’t giving up on badminton yet despite they are already high school seniors. Hayama continues to practice after that as Yuu confronts him. She confesses she loves him but surprisingly she isn’t sure. Because he showed her how to play badminton, she wanted to really support him. So is this love? He thinks she loves badminton. Thanks for clearing that up. We don’t need some distracting side romance, do we? Nagisa tells Tachibana she is still going to play Ayano. After all, she was that girl whom she lost to 21-0. Fighting her means fighting the person she was back then. Hence Nagisa would like Tachibana to coach her. Ayano still ignores Uchika. Until Uchika says after the tournament, why not leave Japan with her? Abandonment route cut off…

Episode 11
Ayano continues to ignore Uchika but the latter continues to talk to her. Is she hoping she’ll get confused and give in? Hayama drops in to practice badminton instead of studying for his finals. So Ayano suggests he plays her and she routed him. So now he doesn’t want to play the next set and return to studying? Yeah, studying is less brutal. To create the necessary build up for the final, hence we see the characters training, talking here and there. So hard to just skip to the finals. This includes Elena confronting Ayano to ask her what she is fighting for. Ayano then reveals mom abandoned her just to make her stronger in badminton. WTF reasoning is that???!!! If that was really the reason, can’t blame Ayano for turning psycho now because now she believes she has the power to abandon mom! Elena feels sad but blames herself for bringing Ayano back to badminton. You really regret it, huh? And finally the final starts. It is a slow start as both sides are trying to access each other. Thanks to smarty pants Kaoruko analysing and predicting the moves before she oh so knows it all. Sorry, can’t understand. Not really of a badminton nut. What I understand is that Nagisa wants to try avoid using her smash and force Ayano to overthink and make so many prediction options that she will hesitate. Like if this moment is Nagisa going to smash or not. Nope. Did not. Nagisa races to lead 2-0. And at this point Uchika leaves the stand?! I hope she’s not abandoning her so early when it’s just getting started. Of course somehow Elena sees this and follows her. They need to talk. Looks like Ayano has learnt to be more talkative because she notes how sneaky Nagisa is playing. She’s saying that with even deader eyes. Just wondering when she’ll turn into a full zombie mode.

Episode 12
Flashback shows after Ayano lost to Kaoruko, mom left. Without saying a word!!! Despite Ayano’s pleas not to go!!! WTF???!!!! And to answer Elena’s question, she did it because she wanted Ayano to improve since Ayano started doing badminton for her sake. WTF???!!! I have so many issues with that. It doesn’t sound convincing. Uchika continues she also wanted to open Ayano’s eyes by having great skills. Because only a few can earn a living in sports. A small injury can ruin your career. Yeah, you ruined your relationship first. Knowing she did something unforgivable, Ayano is on the verge of taking a new step thanks to the club who stayed by her side. At the end of the first set, Ayano wins 21-16. But why she looking so angry? Second set, to cut it short, Nagisa makes a comeback to take it 21-18. During the break, Tachibana assesses Nagisa’s knee. Still can go on but he again hints if something goes wrong, she must throw in the towel. I guess Ayano is even angrier that she even chides her fellow mates who are trying to cheer her up. She thinks they want her to lose. Until Sora lectures her how all of them wanted to play in the finals and go on to the nationals. Right now she is fighting for them too. For that moment, the crowd all cheer to support Ayano. Damn flashback messing with her mind. She wants to be strong that nobody will need but those damn moments in the badminton club made her heart soft. So what’s it going to be? Let’s get this last set going. Ayano starts with a shocker because she uses her right hand. Looks like somebody can be sneaky too.

Episode 13
Ever since Ayano used her right hand, Nagisa has raced up to a 10-0 lead! Tachibana has noticed that Ayano has always been ambidextrous but maintained only using 1 hand because of the time lost while switching. But when Ayano gets her first point, the tides are turned and she catches up. Yeah, Nagisa is getting pretty tired and her knee is still hanging in there. More drama as we hear Ayano’s thoughts why she is playing badminton. Then she found her answer. It’s to beat Nagisa. Well, duh. At least that’s your current goal, right? With Nagisa’s knee seemingly going to give way, Tachibana wants to call it quits but Riko believes in the power of believing. Believe in her a little more! Yeah, this is going to take a while before the game ends… So when the game goes into a deuce, more dramatic tension effects are added to drag out the drama. Like this long silence and you can only hear the heartbeats and the players panting. Oh wow. Such nail biting anxiety. Who is it going to be? And finally we have a winner. NAGISA! Oh yeah. You can start crying now. It’s a good thing her knee is still intact. Otherwise it will be tears of pain instead. It is also a good thing that Ayano has lost, her evil b*tch mode is gone. She apologizes to Yuu and Sora. Then she confronts mom. She admits she hated her and thought she abandoned her because she had no talent. To answer her question why she plays badminton, it’s because she loves the game. Yeah. Duh! Mom asks if she wants to go overseas to Denmark with her and Connie. Nope. She’s staying here. This is her starting line. Also, she has the nationals to play, right? Can’t just abandon the whole tournament, right? Oh Uchika, how does it feel to be left behind now? Ayano shows her smile. She hopes to play together some time. Ayano also apologizes to Elena for being a dick and b*tch all in one. Then she starts crying not because she lost but rather Elena has stayed by her side all this while as her friend. Damn those tears! Now it’s harder to hate her!!! Tachibana and Nagisa return from the hospital. Patellar tendinitis. Sounds horrible. But the real symptoms are not, so be glad that she can still play badminton with no big issues as long as she doesn’t push it. You think Nagisa isn’t going to surpass her limits? But hooray! Her career is still alive. And because of that, Ayano challenges Nagisa to play. Luckily Elena stops her before her b*tch mode starts rising again. They eventually do have their bout because the nationals are a few days away. Keep practising.

Bad-Drama-Mean-Mom-Ton
Sad to say… This series isn’t exactly a smash hit or anywhere near it. I doubt it will get another season because I don’t think we want to see Ayano get her revenge on Nagisa in the nationals. We have our fair share of drama for this season already. Even if they tried to make some amends in the final episode, the damage is done. It’s not entirely right for Ayano to continue hating mom, right? With them at least on talking terms, can we pin the blame on Ayano’s evil b*tch mode due to the pressure of the game? Uh huh. Because from what it looks like, Ayano was slowly turning into a demon and a character that you would hate. Until she lost and with no pressure left to do well, there is no more reason for her to stay that way. I mean, everything mostly remained the same even though she lost, right?

Unfortunately for a sports series that goes the realism route, there is only so much the plot can tell. Because it will be totally boring if it is totally focused on the court and the games only. Because might as well go and watch a real badminton match. Hence to give a reason why the characters play badminton, hence the much needed drama of the main characters to justify their existence in doing so. And too bad the drama here is boring and unexciting. Bad, if I should say but it isn’t so much that bad that it would be in the running of the worst anime of the season or the year. The drama and plot is made draggy and dragged out as the characters have their own inner battles to fight while they fight another battle on the court. Yeah, everybody has their own problems. Everybody wants to win. But many can only dream of that. Perhaps it is too early to criticise how bad the pace and direction of this series since there are only 13 episodes. It looks like not enough episodes to properly flesh out and develop the story and characters but considering how the draggy drama went, it felt like they were wasting time instead. Unless this is supposed to be the intended development.

Hence you can see the final few episodes of the series being dragged out for a few episodes because not surprisingly, this is what many sports themed anime would do. You have to really drag out the so called important matches and then spam it with a lot of monologue drama and flashbacks. Like everybody knows everything. But watching the final match between Nagisa and Ayano sometimes felt a bit funny. You see both girls suddenly going into overdrive mode that they look like different women altogether. They infuse it with a lot of angst and anger because it is understandable at this stage and considering their circumstances and relationship with each other, they don’t want to lose. But it’s just funny that after one scores the point, all that flurry of ferocious smashing movements just die down and they’re like, uhm, standing there? Yeah, better catch some breath. It’s like all that violence in the game suddenly come to a crashing halt. Funny if you consider all the drama that came in between. And when they’re having powerful rallies, sometimes I feel pity for the racquet and shuttlecock because I worry with all that power anger, they might just break them. Seriously.

As for the badminton matches, I am more inclined to say that if you are really interested to see one, you are better off watching a real live badminton match. I am not saying that the animation sucks but there are at times their movements are a bit jerky. In initial episodes, some of the movements look erratic that I thought the animation was a bit based on rotoscoping. Like as though they try to trace a badminton player’s movements into this anime. It looks a bit weird but if this was really what happened, I suppose it is a commendable way because what better way than to animate the human body of a shuttler in action? Otherwise, the other animation parts during the badminton matches look pretty decent and the sound effects of the shuttlecock hitting the wired racquets are really spot on.

Maybe that is why the series is trying to focus on the drama of its characters and not much of the actual badminton matches. As you would have realized, there are really no flashy exaggerated moves that some sports anime employ. I’m looking at you Prince Of Tennis and Kuroko No Basket. Thus no shuttlecock turning fireball smashes or shuttlecock that flies in like a homing missile! I’m glad they didn’t go with this route or I might have viewed this series with even more disdain. With realism in the game, may match scenes are not shown and before you know it, the match is won. Because it must be really boring if you see both players trade shuttlecock back and forth for every point. Yeah, we’re not going to stay and watch every point and might as well go watch a real badminton game. I guess we have to live with the infused drama then.

Now comes the worst part of the series that I find: The characters. Sighs, why are there so many b*tches here? There isn’t a single character whom I feel like I want to root for. The main characters have problems big enough that it makes them look like bad guys. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Take a look at Nagisa and Ayano. The former became a slave driver after her devastating loss and even though she redeemed herself, the damage had already been done and cannot be healed. Like her knee. Starting off to be such a heckler to your own teammates doesn’t bode well with viewers. She only toned down because now Ayano takes the spotlight. Honestly, if the producers think if they want a main character to be hated just to be refreshing, I think they’re doing a good job. It is understand she has her own past and issues but does this mean that Ayano has the right to treat others like dirt? She was fast becoming from a main character whom we had no feelings for to a very much hated character. I won’t be surprised even if she redeems herself somehow, we won’t be able to forgive her for being a dick. Oh sorry, b*tch. Like Nagisa’s case, the damage is done and people’s perception of you will be very hard to change. Even if the series had another cour to make these characters likeable again. Last episode that has them redeem everything, it sometimes feel so rushed.

But can we all agree that the worst character goes to Uchika? She is definitely in the running for top spot as the worst mother of the year. If you want to blame Ayano for her b*tch character, Uchika is largely to blame. It is understandable that all mothers want their best in their child. But the fact that she got up and left without saying a word or even explaining why, that was really sh*t. Come on. Ayano is a little girl. She loves badminton as much as she loves you. And to just get up and leave like that without even saying anything, not even a simply goodbye, that is just cruel. Even if little Ayano will not understand what she explained (and hence the cliché you will understand it when you’re older), at least it is much better than leaving without saying a damn thing. That is just traumatic for a kid who has been relying on her mom a lot. I’m amazed Ayano didn’t turn into a serial killer after that. I won’t be surprise and in fact would be glad if Ayano hanged up her racquet and temporarily turned into a killer to kill off her mom! Yikes! Alternate fantasy. But it’s good to at least know that Ayano does not fear and to continue walking under her mom’s shadow. Sometimes the best way to follow the footsteps of the one you admire is to walk your own path.

Fuelling Ayano’s insecurity is the fact that she adopted another foreign girl as her daughter and she wins championships under her wing. Oh man, I really want to see that alternate fantasy of Ayano turning into a serial killer. Abandoning mom as revenge just doesn’t feel satisfying at this point. Uchika did say she did something unforgiveable and unforgivable indeed it is. However the way she says that sounded like she has no remorse! Not a single hint. Maybe at this point there is no use regretting and Uchika is a strong woman who doesn’t show her emotions. My guts tell me that parents who do despicable acts like this to their kids, we are sometimes shown a glimpse of their other hidden face of regret (unless the parents are genuinely despicable). Uchika has no shreds of that, indicating that she expected Ayano to become like this. She might be the best female badminton player in Japan and possibly the world but she is the worst mother and deserves a special place in hell! Do you not agree with me???!!!

And the rest of the other side characters feel like they don’t really matter. It’s so as to make it look like it isn’t just about Nagisa and Ayano and to some extent Uchika. Like the other members of the badminton club are so weak in their game that it is no surprising that they couldn’t advance far enough. I don’t even know why they had to include some boys in the club. Maybe so it won’t look like all girls only playing badminton. They don’t really matter at all and I’m wondering if this is for some cheesy romance distraction between Hayama and Yuu that this series doesn’t really need. But then again, it would be utterly boring if everything is focused on Nagisa or Ayano. So let’s have a bit of this less than memorable distraction. I don’t even know why in the final ending credits montage they need to remind us of Noriko and Saionji ending up becoming a couple. Like what is the relation to this series, man?! Even that loser tennis member got an admirer. WTF?! What’s tennis got to do in a badminton series, dude?!

The fact of having Tachibana as their coach feels like an excuse to make Kitakomachi as worthy opponents. After all, he is at least theoretically Olympic material. Oddly, of all other schools or even the dedicated badminton academy, why this underdog school? Suspicious, eh? Otherwise Tachibana doesn’t really stand out character wise as he just dispenses advice when needed to. Or else he would let his badminton players do as they wish. Yeah, the ultimate goal is to have fun, right? Tell that to all the future champion wannabes. Miyako even feels more redundant and we can’t simply put an ex-Olympian as the school’s coach and therefore we have this incompetent and forgettable advisor. I wonder how she even got him in the first place. What’s their connection? So as to not make her character feel useless, the reason why she is the one who designed Kitakomachi’s badminton uniform. Meh…

The other badminton rivals are also not very memorable. Even if they are, most probably for the wrong reasons. Like Kaoruko, that snobbish b*tch who transferred her sickness to Ayano just so she could beat her on equal terms!!! WTF???!!! Oh, she is the other big reason to blame for Ayano’s trauma. And now she gets to be some smarty pants commentator in the final match? Just shut the f*ck up! Connie feels weird. I thought she is going to be a sisterly rival but then suddenly woah! 180 degree change! She really wants to be family! So why started off giving that antagonistic feel?! Does this twisted ways exist in the Hanesaki family?! So if Ayano abandons mom, looks like Connie won’t be your Japanese onee-chan. Boo hoo! Nozomi (the girl whom I’ll remember for having chopsticks as her hairpin!) also felt redundant and should have been like the many other nameless opponents. But I suppose they need her character to play up some sort of past with Nagisa and as well as Riko’s last hurrah. With such lacking rivals from other schools, it is another reason why I don’t think they’ll have another season. They might have to make up rivals that have some sort of past or connection to our main characters as we go.

Oh, before I forget, it seems there are so many characters who contributed to Ayano’s trauma. Uchika, Kaoruko, Connie and now I remember, Elena. Yeah, she was bugging Ayano so much to go back into badminton thinking it would do her good. Look how much it backfired. She thought she knew what is best for Ayano (what is she, her mother?) and look where it has brought her? Ayano was resisting not wanting to rejoin badminton but you forced her, right? Better take responsibility. Now that Ayano is playing her brand of less than desirable sportsmanship of badminton, Elena is now trying to virtue signal her? Sure, all of us love to see good sportsmanship from players in games. But like I’ve said, Ayano might be made to be a hated main character. Sometimes seeing Elena wallowing in despair over Ayano’s b*tch attitude feels more like she has made a mistake rather than wanting her friend to go back to the right path. Hey, sports is like showbiz and any other business in the world. It’s a dog eat dog world and nothing beats being number one. Winning is the only thing and everything! You don’t tell Ayano how to play badminton when you yourself can’t properly play the game! And thank goodness Elena doesn’t have to feel guilty for the rest of her life since Ayano came back to her senses and even thanking her for being her friend and reintroducing badminton back in her life. Gee, thanks. That’s what friends are for.

I have already covered the animation for the badminton matches, as for the other aspects, they just look decent. I just want to note that the art for Ayano’s face changes drastically during the finals with Nagisa. Ayano looks pretty plain already and then there is her zombie face! Is this creepy? If that wasn’t bad enough, Ayano and Nagisa’s art suddenly mature like as though they become different people! I thought they are different people! Especially Ayano who has this evil glint in her eyes, making her look like a bad guy. I’m sure they want to ramp up the drama and with such an important final, you got to take this seriously and look the part. Yeah, so serious that your art style even changes? Can I say that Ayano is a character with many faces? Plain face, happy face, crying face, zombie face, evil b*tch face. Even some scenes of the animation changes. Like as though they’re experimenting with it. For instance, some scenes just turn black and white. Wow. So dramatic. Kitakomachi’s badminton uniform… Did Miyako take inspiration of its design from a swimsuit? I’m not sure if this is works for aerodynamics but whatever.

Nothing much to comment about the voice acting. Feels pretty normal. Remember how I often attributed Sayaka Ohara’s voice to be perfect for villainess roles? If I consider Uchika as the villain, can I put her in this category too? Nobuhiko Okamoto seems to be taking a break from all the angry roles he voiced like Bakugou of Boku No Hero Academia, Accelerator of To Aru Majutsu No Index and Zack of Satsuriku No Tenshi. He is calm and composed like as though he has cast away his anger and no hint of it whatsoever. Other casts are Hitomi Ohwada as Ayano (Sana in Alice To Zouroku), Miyuri Shimabukuro as Nagisa (Narumi in Harukana Receive), Mariya Ise as Connie (Levi in Fairy Tail), Asami Shimoda as Kaoruko (Kotomi in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Konomi Kohara as Elena (Akane in Tsuki Ga Kirei), Yuuna Mimura as Riko (Kaede in Aikatsu), Arisa Sakuraba as Nozomi (Satan in Sin: Nanatsu No Taizai) and Mikako Komatsu as Miyako (Kanae in ClassicaLoid).

If there is one thing I prefer from this series, it is the opening theme, Futari No Hane by Yurika. It is very exuberant and energetic. A theme that should have really fit the badminton themed series like a glove had not all that bad drama ruined it. It’s the kind of song that is suitable for any high octane sports themed series. The ending theme is also an energetic rock piece, High Stepper by Yuiko Ohara. Not bad too but I prefer the opener. Again, would have been such a perfect fit if not for the bad drama.

Overall, it is a disappointing series because of the bad drama and main characters that you will instantly love to hate. Because it seems to indicate that the power of friendship is the one that saved Ayano instead of the power of family or motherly love. I’ll give them credit for this unique setting then instead of heading down the cliché path of the likeable underdog. This series would have had more potential if they put a little bit more focus on the drama on court rather than off court. I’m sure this series isn’t a good example to instil love for the game or attract more new players to it. Heh. I hope they won’t make current ones run away. It is even sadder in reality for Malaysians as our own badminton superstar is already nearing his setting sun and no potential successor at all. I guess the only smashing that we will get to watch is this series into smithereens. An instant kill shot. 0-21, 0-21. Game, set and match. Looks like an early retirement for this series.

Hataraku Saibou

December 16, 2018

It’s time to bring out all that you have learnt during biology science in your school days. Otherwise, watching Hataraku Saibou AKA Cells At Work is going to be one heck of a confusing story! Ah, people. Do you remember the days when you learn about the blood circulation and the immune system of the human body? No? Time to brush up on that basic knowledge of yours again. Because if you are expecting a Japanese version and answer to Osmosis Jones, it is better that you start appreciating the unsung heroes in your body who work tirelessly 24/7 to keep you alive and standing right where you are now!

Episode 1
AE 3803 is a Red Blood Cell (RBC) trying to deliver oxygen and food to the lungs when suddenly a group of bacteria bursts in. But don’t fear, here comes the White Blood Cell (WBC) U-1146 in particular as he slashes them. AE 3803 continues her delivery but realizes she is lost. For a RBC, she definitely has a bad sense of direction. Lost, she decides to ask for directions but had the bad luck to open a door in which an escaped bacteria is hiding! Luckily U-1146 comes to her rescue but unluckily he shoots his net on them to escape. AE 3803 tells he is heading to the lungs since he was looking at a map (lost too?). U-1146 requests for backup while they make their way there. He follows his sensor that detects the invasion but it keeps ringing but no enemy in sight. The requested backup, Killer T Cells make their move and they are out for blood! When they reach the lungs, AE 3803 part ways, that is when U-1146 notices his sensor stops ringing and realizes this trap. The bacteria has been hiding inside AE 3803’s box and she has just led him right into the lungs. U-1146 comes in to her rescue in time again. However he is defending and seem to be leading the bacteria somewhere. When he is in the right spot, the bacteria is caught and put in a capsule that is ejected out from the body (AKA sneeze). Yeah, the duo could even sit down and watch this ‘spectacle’. AE 3803 wonders if she will see U-1146 again (cell romance?) but he is pessimistic since there are so many WBCs just like how there are so many RBCs. But work for WBCs doesn’t stop here. With new viruses detected in the body, all WBCs quickly get into the killing spree!

Episode 2
Watch how the cute young Platelets carry components to cover the wounds! As AE 3803 continues her delivery, suddenly there is a hole blown wide open in the part of the town! Due to the abrasion, the outer wall of the blood vessel has been destroyed and cells are in risked of being sucked out. Luckily U-1146 grabs AE 3803 before she is forever lost. Thanks to this hole, a host of bacteria jump in ready to invade the place. It becomes really havoc with the RBCs trying to evacuate and run but with the valves blocking their movements to prevent backflow, is it the end of them? That’s why we should all thank WBCs for their swift killing action! But with U-1146 and his comrades holding his ground, there are just too many bacteria coming in. WBCs despite being the first to respond to such attacks, they lament that their other counterparts like Killer T Cells and Macrophages are always late to the scene. But as the fight drags out, U-1146 is confident the tide has turned to their favour. Platelets are here to use their fibrin net and clot the blood and cover the hole. With the bacteria unable to get more outside support, hence stemming their numbers, time for the WBCs to go into overdrive mode and take down the remaining evil. AE 3803 is really thankful for U-1146 and feels RBCs were useless during this incident. However he says they aren’t. Because the Platelets are now using RBCs and WBCs to plug them into holes of the net until the outer walls are restored. That’s like 3 days…

Episode 3
A Naïve T Cell is walking through a dark and abandoned part of town? Cue for some zombie jump scare! Naïve runs in fear but is saved by U-1146. Apparently this type B influenza has infected some cells and is trying to multiply. U-1146 receives support from Macrophage who bludgeons them like nobody’s business. When the other Killer T Cells arrive, they tease and mock Naïve for being a chicken. No time for that as the influenza is really trying to spread. The Killer T Cells want Naïve to make his first kill but he is so scared that he runs away. He stumbles into Dendritic Cells while he laments his cowardice. Dendritic shows a photo album of his seniors. They were once weaklings and perhaps they were giving him a hard time was because they see themselves in him. Oh, there are more albums from where that came from. This motivates Naïve as he begins his transformation (which is part of Dendritic’s role to activate such cells). Just when our fighting cells are outnumbered and cornered by zombies, here comes Effector T Cell! OMG! It’s actually an activated Naïve all buffed up! Is he like Jojo + Toriko + Super Saiyan?! There’s a bunch of them too! He beats up the influenza with his newfound strength. The other fighting cells also join in as well as B Cell who help fight with his antibodies. After a week of hard fighting, the influenza is finally defeated. The Killer T Cells welcome their new comrade. Then they spot a lone influenza virus. Naïve wants to annihilate him in a single blow but instead got punched away! Oh no! This is type A influenza! And it has mutated too! Well, good luck toughing out with this one while B Cell goes to make a new antibody.

Episode 4
What a beautiful view of the digestive system as we see food being digested by the gastric acid. Suddenly an alert. A germ has invaded the area but Eosinophil is too weak to take it out. Thanks to U-1146, the treat is over in no time. As explained, Eosinophil is another type of WBC but weaker and in smaller percentage. Thanks to this feeble attempt, everyone laughs at her being weak. Another incident happens. The stomach walls are breaking. Bacteria are infecting since raw food has been consumed. Also introduced is Basophil, another WBC but only comprises of 1% of all WBC, said to release histamines so as to trigger allergic reactions. With the bacteria infection, U-1146 goes into action to take them out. As usual, Eosinophil is weak as hell. In a bold attempt, U-1146 allows the bacteria to eat him in which he cuts it up from the inside. Bloody. But this isn’t over yet. Soon the stomach walls burst and gastric acid start flowing in. It is an invasion of a deadlier parasite. Nausea and vomiting will soon occur. Are we all screwed since U-1146 knows he cannot handle this? Don’t worry. Eosinophil is here to save the day. This weakling? Everybody thought she is going to sacrifice herself but rest assured she isn’t. It seems Eosinophil’s other role is to effectively fight against parasites and with that, she easily kills it. Now the threat is really over. Everyone now respects and praises Eosinophil. All hail the new heroine!

Episode 5
Meteor crashing into the system? Actually it is cedar pollen! Allergies! Although U-1146 is able to take them out, their numbers are too great as they have infiltrated the system. Memory Cell, a cell that retains memories of past pathogens and invasions, dreads the end of the world. At least that is how the ‘prophecy’ sounds like in his journal. It seems like everything is going on well with B Cell firing his antibody for a more effective solution. However as Memory Cell fears, this is only the start of the disaster. Because with too much antibody, this causes Mast Cell to overload the system with histamine. Yeah, she just followed the manual because it said so. In turn, the entire area is flooded and more pollens pop up. It’s only going to get worse. This leads to the secretion centre damaged and forcing the emergency immune system to kick in. That means massive repetitious sneezing, nasal congestion, teary eyes and all other allergy symptoms. With the cells trying to find somebody to blame for this disaster, B Cell and Mast Cell trade accusations. Then AE 3803 rolls in an unknown black ball. Inside is a robot. Guess what? It becomes Terminator and destroys everything! Memory Cell remembers this is Steroid. Sure, it is supposed to suppress symptoms caused by histamine and allergy but to destroy everything related to it? Eventually it does its job and stops once it runs out of juice. The surroundings might be damaged but at least the cells now get along and stop blaming each other.

Episode 6
We’re at the bone marrow. Brings back memories for AE 3803 of how RBCs were grown and matured. Hmm… From a capsule? At least not a stork… Macrophage’s job is to help raise them and I wonder how AE 3803 could graduate into a mature RBC if she gets lost all the time. On a training to hide from bacteria, AE 3803 stumbled into a real one. Getting lost trying to run away? This bacteria is a real dick as he loves to torment young RBCs. Loli abuse! Before she is done for, here comes a young U-1146 to the rescue. Too bad he is powerless and also gets abuse. But he continues to fight as he has principles and codes of WBCs. Eventually the bacteria is killed by a real WBC. AE 3803 thanks U-1146 and wonders they’ll ever meet again. Who knows? All this nostalgia as AE 3803 bump into U-1146. This reminds her of what happened to that young WBC. Could it be him? If fate has them always bumping into each other… In town, an infected cell goes berserk and tries to attack a fellow cell. Luckily U-1146 took it down. Before Killer T Cell could take it away, he is usurped by NK Cell (cells that attack cancer cells or viruses as soon they are spotted). Killer T Cell and NK Cell try to usurp one another till it turns into one big messy childish fight. I don’t think they put their differences aside, but they need to find other cells that was infected. After they split up, NK Cell wants this cell who lead them here to stop playing dumb and knows he is a Cancer Cell.

Episode 7
AE 3803 experiences a few bad omen. I was waiting for the black cat but it would have been freaking strange if one popped up… The innocent cell shows his true monstrous form as a Cancer Cell and fights NK Cell. Meanwhile Killer T Cell and U-1146 stumble into a room with strange proliferation instructions. They realize too late this is cancer working as they are besieged by cancer cells. Uhm, zombie outbreak part 2? Meanwhile AE 3803 notices all the RBCs delivering large amounts of food as ordered from a certain strange cell complex. It’s scary to see zombie cells eating? She alerts Macrophage about this. Cancer Cell overwhelms the trio and when Killer T Cell calls him a bug, this brings back some bad memories. When he was born into this world, he was already considered an anomaly and was to be killed off. In his fear he broke free and ran. He is angry he did nothing wrong and have to be killed. He doesn’t care if in the end everything gets destroyed because he was meant to die in the first place. Cancer Cell won’t get further than this as all other immune cells arrive as reinforcements. They take down the cancerous cells but NK Cell plays a prank on Killer T Cell. It sounds like crap but it is true that when there is laughter, NK Cells revitalize. She is able to break through the defence and cut down Cancer Cell. Before U-1146 finishes him off, he is kind enough to hear his last words since he was once a cell like them. He talks about his regrets that he could have been part of this world and once this is done, he will soon be forgotten like he never existed. If that is the case, why was he ever born in the first place? Even so, U-1146 has no choice but to kill him. It is his job after all. Everyone celebrates their victory as U-1146 thanks AE 3803 for summoning other immune cells. Do RBCs cover this role too?

Episode 8
AE 3803 continues to get lost. Even if she is pumped up for her next big job of the blood circulation, we are still worried. Oh yeah. Remember your science in school as they explain about the blood circulation of the heart! Damn so confusing! If I’m already like this, what are the chances for AE 3803?! Because U-1146 continues to watch AE 3803 helplessly get lost, hence he tails her secretly so she could get through this job without any hitch. This includes putting up directions for her, picking up things she drop along the way and even get ridding of germs who lie in wait to ambush her. All without her knowing! I guess it’s best to let her focus on the job. Finally she is able to deliver the oxygen and complete her job. Hooray! U-1146 is happy for her too but as Killer T Cell still saying bad about her, U-1146 reminds how they too suck in certain tasks. He admires her strength never to give up despite getting lost often. He hopes that WBCs and RBCs can understand each other and get along. However Killer T Cell punches him! He reminds him that they are assassins and will even kill their own if they have to. So drop his daydreaming of drinking tea with RBCs because they got to hone their skills and sharpen the knife of their heart! Woah. Shocking lecture. But later as U-1146 and AE 3803 meet, he is still more than happy to hear her talk about her great day of not messing up and completing the job. I know. Great first achievement, no? But Killer T Cell may be having some sort of friendship issue because he seems to be pissed at other immune cells getting friendly with non-immune cells.

Episode 9
Killer T Cell is training new Naïve T Cells in his merciless way. Then he throws one into the building where Helper T Commander is. This sparks an argument between them. As the new Naïve ones wonder about this, Dendritic shows them a secret album how both of them used to train at the same school. We can see Helper T being a genius and always much better than Killer T Cell who is just a wuss. In order to catch up to him, Killer T Cell often trains harder but it is always Helper T who stays ahead. After many years of training, the final test will see if they have what it takes for them to be part of the T Cells. Helper T passes with ease and when it comes to Killer T Cell, he gets nervous at first. His bad habit of closing his eyes when he starts punching is about to ruin his chance so Helper T helps out but yelling out the name of some embarrassing move Killer T Cell used in his personal training. Even after Killer T Cell passed, he still feels he just got lucky and doesn’t deserve it. Helper T punches him to open his eyes that all his efforts were never wasted and his redeeming quality is to always grind away on his own. Killer T Cell vows to train hard so he could be stronger. Helper T got the option not to become a Killer T Cell and took up the post that he is now. When the duo discover Dendritic is showing those embarrassing photos to the new recruits, they become embarrassed as they try to rip them from his hands to destroy the evidence. Of course Dendritic will not allow that as these are very important data.

Episode 10
AE 3803 continues to do her job. The usual chased and cornered by a germ. Why do they always pick on her? However it isn’t U-1146 who saves her. A weird cell in hazmat suit. By the time U-1146 arrives, it is already over. AE 3803 asks about this cell so he explains they are Monocytes, another one of their kind from the immune cells. As AE 3803 continues her job, she observes the weird characteristics of Monocyte. And then another abrasion disaster. Germs seep in as well. WBCs drop in to fight them but because this one is a new strain, it can power up by combining into one big giant germ. Worst, they use the fibrin net as shield against the WBCs’ attack. With the WBCs owned, is this the end for good? Not if those Monocytes show up. It’s about time. Realizing they are outside the blood vessel, it’s time for costume change. Taking off their hazmat suit, they are actually Macrophages! So they turn into Monocytes if they circulate inside the bloodstream? The cute Macrophages beat the sh*t out of the germ that they become scared and try to run. But no one escapes from the sadistic deathblows of these Macrophages! In the end, they are the heroes of the day and poor AE 3803 is so shocked and confused about their identity that she… Oh, you know what? Forget it and just get back to work.

Episode 11
Emergency! The reservoirs are drying up or empty. RBCs are made to walk around to regulate body temperature. U-1146 seems lively enough to kill germs infiltrating. However the heat continues to rise. In short, the body is experiencing heat stroke. The terror of RBCs experiencing dizziness and loss of balance as the entire place is blackout. Worst, a germ has infiltrated the place and makes a fool of WBCs as it is hiding among the RBCs and taunting them. It is so dark and crowded, U-1146 can’t effectively get to him. By the time he does, he is already very exhausted. The body is now dehydrated. There is nothing more the sweat glands could do. So how? Put on your tribal costumes and pray to God for miracle!!! Meanwhile the germ beats up U-1146 who refuses to give in. Oh no! Did U-1146 just lose to this germ?! The germ brags about turning this body into his own country when suddenly a strange needle pops out from the ‘sky’. It is transfusion where solutions are being poured in to replenish fluids and nutrients. All cells rejoice as the entire area is flooded with fluids. U-1146 revives and takes down the germ. Body temperature has cooled down as all the cells frolic in the fluids. U-1146 could finally rest but is teased like as though he is going to have a heat stroke.

Episode 12
AE 3803 is suddenly left with a junior! Yeah, she’s freaking out to her senior that she can’t handle this. Oh dear. Time to grow up. So, uhm, meet NT 4201. I guess it must hurt AE 3803 a lot more when she realizes NT 4201 is more knowledgeable than her on the things they do. I’m sure she is just itching to say there is no more I can teach you… As she brings her along, AE 3803 as usual gets lost and whatever obvious she points out, NT 4201 already knows. They even witness U-1146 violently killing a germ in the most barbaric way. Can’t you see he is struggling so why have him explain the functions of WBCs?! As they continue, AE 3803 continues to do it at her own pace and NT 4201 doesn’t seem too impressed. However suddenly apocalypse happens. The entire area just suddenly decimates! With all the cells ordered to gather and wait for the broadcast, soon it is announced that there is a life threatening damage. The head and its surrounding vessels are experiencing severe haemorrhage and all cells are to do their duty to stop the bleeding, stop the invasion and repair the damage. With the cells going into overdrive mode, RBCs are being pumped and moving at a faster rate. It is at this moment that AE 3803 remains calm and composed as she leads her junior to do the necessary. Meanwhile U-1146 is slashing all germs that have invaded from the wound. But when he gets to the centre of the wound, he is shocked to see no RBCs around. Not a single one. All dead…

Episode 13
But there is a single cell alive as he recounts the horrors of watching millions of RBCs and WBCs get sucked away. He fears with no more oxygen being delivered, all the cells will die! It’s the end of the world! More accurately, the end of this body! AE 3803 and NT 4201 arrive to deliver their oxygen but there are too many cells suffocating. At the lungs, they see lots of oxygen boxes all stacked up. This means there are not enough RBCs to deliver them. They do what they can. Wow. Since when there is a dangerous cliff inside your body? And with the blood pressure rising, we lose more RBCs! Heavy blood loss! This also means a drastic drop in temperature and now it’s basically snowing everywhere. AE 3803 continues to struggle and that is when NT 4201 snaps. There are no more RBCs delivering. What is the point of doing this? They’ll all die of haemorrhage shock anyway. Yeah, maybe the blood pressure has gotten to her. She thinks AE 3803 is putting up this tough act just to look cool. But AE 3803 continues to do what she does best regardless of what will happen. Just when she loses all her strength and is about to succumb to fate, suddenly a hell lot more RBCs appear before her. Their uniforms are slightly different and they have an accent. They are actually from the blood transfusion. At first these new RBCs do not like being suddenly whisked to a new body but since their job is the same, let’s get to delivering those oxygen! With that, the body soon recovers! Ah, I just love a good happy ending. NT 4201 then confronts her senpai. She looks mad. Something wrong? Actually she is grateful that she has learnt something from her. She always thought of herself as being competent but looks like today has taught her a lot of valuable lesson and experience. It brings tears to AE 3803’s eyes. Man, I just love a good coming of age story. But before AE 3803 knows it, she loses NT 4201. How the heck can she even get lost like that? As the body undergoes reparation, life returns to normal for all the cells. And it is the usual for AE 3803. Getting lost is her specialty.

Episode 14 (Special)
A normal cell is bored as he is stuck doing cell divisions. He wishes something exciting would happen in his mundane life. Suddenly a strange cell calls to him. They’re going to do pranks? They watch Killer T Cell receiving an anonymous present. As he gleefully opens it, sucker punch! The cells laugh at this hilarious moment and make their escape before the mad Killer T Cell could get them. The normal cell finds it fun and wishes to join in more pranks. The next prank they do is playing hide and seek with U-1146. Now you sense me. Now you don’t. U-1146 is confused his sensors detect something but then switches off. Other pranks played include switching sugar for salt in Helper T Cell’s tea, switching all the weapons in Macrophage’s storeroom to sports equipment and perhaps the easiest prank of them all, fooling AE 3803 in the wrong direction. When the fun is over, normal cell brings strange cell back to his place. Strange cell wants him to wear this strange hat. At first normal cell is reluctant but strange cell gets pushy and mad. Turns out the hat is an infected virus! Oh no! This strange cell is actually possessed by a common cold virus and there are many of them now! The virus targets the cell division and the normal cell is sad he felt betrayed. Just when he thought he had a friend, right? But don’t fear. Killer T Cells and Macrophages are here. They are able to trace where the virus is thanks to the RNA left behind. Time for payback. By the time U-1146 arrives, everything is over. The remaining viruses are ejected via sneeze. The normal cell is given a stern warning and he regrets his actions. Lesson learnt. Boring is best, right? But that won’t be the case as normal cell invites them to play some sports since they are neighbours in the vicinity. Killer T Cell scoffs off at this but his men tell him to relax once in a while. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Stay Healthy Always!
So… Uhm… Er… Well… Heh… Sorry teacher. Looks like I have given it all back to you! Despite the very basics of RBCs and WBCs roles, it seems the rest of the immune system are just like alien to me. Yeah, I even thought they made it up! So there were so many immune systems and not everything just lump into one big category WBCs? Damn, I am so ashamed of myself. Although I do enjoy this edutainment, it is unfortunate that I can’t even remember the basic heart function and flow! I’m so sorry sensei. So sorry. I forgot them all. Very sorry. Gomenasai. That is why instead of being enlightened and learn something new, I see this series as more of some fantasy adventure. But on the bright side, if I actually knew everything, I would have found the overall series boring because it is just rehashing it in a different form, right? No? Okay. Sorry then… :’(.

Even if in every damn episode there are the same narrations and texts on the screen that tells the basic functions of the cells, I still can’t remember them! Maybe I was too lazy in trying to read them. Heck, the English texts covered almost half the screen and I was annoyed they ‘blocked’ the animation instead. Excuses, excuses… Hey, it is not like I am going to sit for an exam tomorrow or next week, right???!!! So it’s not like I have to specifically remember them, RIGHT???!!! Oh boy. Why am I getting high school trauma just thinking about this? The studying part, that is.

Personally, I believe it is quite a creative and refreshing way to personify and anthropomorphized the cells in a human form and see how they work as a society. It makes understanding a little better and I think it is quite suitable for younger audiences too especially those who are in the grade of starting to learn the human body system. Don’t mind some of the violence and blood spills and of course the exaggerated stuffs but I suppose if you really want to learn the deeper and truer form of it, it is going to be really dry, boring and even ‘scarier’. Yeah, if you want to be a rocket scientist and learn even more about the human body, there are other methods to do so but as far as this animated version of it is concerned, it provides a fun and entertaining way to learn about the basics of the human body. Or refresh your memories if you are around my age.

The ‘stories’ and ‘characters’ are woven in quite nicely and cleverly so incidents like heat stroke, food poisoning and influenza are quite entertaining. Especially the final episode which had lots of tensed and dramatic moments that really make you want to shout out support the cells and hope they make it out alive. Of course everything you see here are mostly exaggerations but they are not very far from the truth. It is an entertaining way to show you how cells perform their roles so even if you know everything there is to know about the human body, I am sure you would be entertained in seeing this in a different perspective even though I said you would be bored because you know everything.

So as not to be seen as random, I guess that is why there are some cells that are given prominence and some minimal characteristics like AE 3803 and U-1146. With many of the episodes having featured them prominently, it doesn’t make the series look like one big random story put together because of such recurring characters. The human body has 37 trillion cells and in this few episodes we get to see these handful of characters? Wow. It is indeed a small world after all. As said, the characters having their own personal traits gives them character. That is why it has become a running joke that AE 3803 is a RBC that is bad in directions and often lost. It is like they need this joke in order to make the episode livelier. Because if she was really a diligent RBC like others doing their job flawlessly, the episodes would have been such a major bore. But a RBC getting lost? Shouldn’t she be like a threat to the body as she can’t deliver oxygen on time?

It’s great to see AE 3803 finally redeeming herself in such times of emergencies. Being a simpleton is good for her in this case because she diligently does her job. The only thing that she knows best. Ah well, it might be fluke since she’s back to normal. Maybe she is only effective during times of emergency. After all, she is of survivor material as she made it through all the catastrophe alive. She is sure one hell of a lucky cell. U-1146 may be an effective WBC killer but he is actually a gentle and soft spoken cell. A total opposite of his character when he is on duty. Then we have other exaggerations in characteristics like Killer T Cells being boorish killing machines and Macrophages as maids who kill and bludgeon with a smile! It’s scary to think if our cells are really like that.

With AE 3803 and U-1446 often stumbling into each other, it is like they are trying to hint some sort of possible romance between them. I know this is a very wild stretch but you always see this sort of pattern. AE 3803 is so bad luck that she stumbles into germs. She is moments away of being killed but U-1146 jumps in to save the day. Kills germs. Blood splatter everywhere. Thank you. Continue with their routine. To think that they are even together ever since they are young shows some kind of eerie fate that they will always be seeing each other. Of all the 37 trillion cells, what are the odds of these 2 specific cells bumping into each other as often? Because it would really get weird if they end up marrying. What kind of cells would they produce? Would it be cancer cells???!!!

But other immune cells don’t really play much of a prominent role as they are featured in 1 or 2 episodes before falling back into obscurity. Like NK Cell, Eosinophil and Basophil who don’t really do much even in their episode of focus and only come into prominence when necessary. Like I have said that I am even amazed that there are so many types of WBCs each with their own specific roles to play instead of lumping them all into the same immune cell type that I have always thought to be. Thus I believe featuring such cells serves more as an introduction and awareness to dumb people like me.

Hence with the plot and characters not much to comment on, my mind usually wanders in the exaggerated areas. For example, if all the cells are anthropomorphized as humans, it makes me wonder that if inside their body has other similar anthropomorphized cells as well! Wow. Cells within cells within cells within cells… It never ends! And with the inside body being personified as a city or town with running water, electricity and building blocks, I wonder if this human body is some sort of robot! I know, it’s all metaphors but I can’t help just thinking so. There are probably more that I want to bring to the table but then I started realizing how stupid I will sound…

Like how in the final tensed episode where everything is ramped up so as to dramatized everything, it made me wonder if those oxygen need to be delivered to cell, then how the heck are they breathing with anyway? I know the cells are anthropomorphized but opening the box of oxygen is like opening a box of nothing! If it is food, maybe. Oh right. Oxygen is food. At least to the cells. Besides, aren’t those cells the ‘worst’? They rely on RBCs to deliver oxygen and it makes them feel like lazy bums who stay in their apartment all they doing nothing or who knows what, only opening their doors when a delivery is made. An order for a delivery of a box of oxygen to unit 3, floor 5 on street 7, please. And I wonder why there are no other efficient courier service here. Better stop asking dumb questions now because I’m looking even dumber now…

Oh, I just thought that since the lifespan of cells are very short (about 120 days), it is heart breaking to think that all of them will soon die! However we see some of them mature from young inexperienced cells to one who do their job responsibly. Man, it feels like a life time! At the rate cells die and reproduce, therefore the irony of seeing such recurring characters for a long time. Oh, here is fun fact that I just Google. WBCs live for about 13 days while RBCs for about 120 days. Oh no! This means the romance between U-1146 and AE 3803 will never happen!!! And yet they bump so often into each other. Yeah, I’m starting to see this as a tragedy should I go along this route.

Art and animation are okay and as you would have come to expect, the exaggerations of trying to paint the human body and the immune system sometimes make it look like as though these are not cells living in a body but rather a whole different society living on an alien planet! Just so happen that they resemble the responsibilities of cells! Of course with our insides very dark, gloomy and gross, here everything is so bright and colourful! You can easily identify the kind of cells they are based on the colour of their uniform and the traits related to their job. Like RBCs are like, duh, red while Killer T Cells are buffed up macho men itching for a brawl. As for the germs and bacteria, their design look reasonably enough to resemble alien life forms since after all they are invading aliens trying to kill the host.

One of the greatest joys of watching this series is of course the voice acting. Many of them whom I am familiar with. Especially Mamiko Noto who is the narrator of this series! Huzzah! It’s so calming to hear her narrating in a cute and polite manner. Hmm… Maybe that is why I can’t seem to remember the texts of the basic cell functions she narrates as I was too enthralled in hearing her voice. Yup. Just hearing her voice. Not what she said. Didn’t digest that part. The other recognizable seiyuus are Kana Hanazawa as AE 3803, Daisuke Ono as Killer T Cell, Kikuko Inoue as Macrophage, Takahiro Sakurai as Helper T Cell, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Dendritic, Yuuichi Nakamura as Memory Cell, Tomokazu Sugita as Basophil, Ayako Kawasumi as Mast Cell and Akira Ishida as Cancer Cell.

The other casts are Tomoaki Maeno as U-1146 (Junichi in Amagami SS), Toa Yukinari as NK Cell (Edokia in Grancrest Senki), Mao Ichimichi as Eosinophil (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Mutsumi Tamura as Naïve T Cell (Sonya in Kill Me Baby), Kenji Nomura as Effector T Cell (Ushiyama in Golden Kamuy), Maria Nagawa as Platelet (Kanmuri in Slow Start), Souya Chiba as B Cell (Ayanokouji in Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou No Kyoushitsu E) and Yui Ishikawa as NT 4201 (Mikasa in Shingeki No Kyojin). The opening theme, Mission! Ken-Kou-Dai-Ichi by Kana Hanazawa, Tomoaki Maeno, Daisuke Ono and Kikuko Inoue is a lively piece that makes this series look more like a show for kids. It fits the theme very well and one can be forgiven to think that the cute way they sing this song that this show is indeed for younger audiences. The ending theme doesn’t have this feel but Cheers by Claris is also a nice piece to listen to.

Overall, this is an entertaining and educational series and my only regret is giving it all back to my teacher and not understanding and truly appreciating the real roles that the cells in my body play to keep me alive. There are some violent scenes with excessive blood spillage especially when immune cells kill the germs that doesn’t make it suitable for children but if you’re going to learn about the human body, might as well learn some of the harsh truth. Though, none of this actually really happens as shown in the series, okay? If there is another season of it, I would definitely want to watch because there are many more sickness and hazards that the body will experience. After all, we have seen how the cells pull through with each disaster and man, this body must be one that is made of steel or immortal because with all that has happened, the host continues to live! All thanks to the tireless efforts of our cells at work. This is where your thanks should go to!

The next time when I am experiencing and getting diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia, cephalgia, pertussis, asthma, arthritis, pyrexia, epistaxis, diphtheria, tuberculosis, meningitis, tetanus, typhoid, poliomyelitis and haemorrhage all at the same time, not only am I going to thank my cells but also to Google because phew, damn I sure passed that hell of a tough spelling test! Note, I don’t even know what some of those symptoms mean…

Beatless Final Stage

December 15, 2018

Okay. The final stretch is here. I know I am going to have my brains explode as I prepare to watch the final episodes of Beatless Final Stage. You know, that sci-fi series about humans and artificial intelligence. Damn I can’t remember the rest but I wanted some closure on this series even if I do not understand generally what has happened. Heck, I think I have forgotten a lot about it. I just want my closure, that’s all. At least now I can say that I have watched the entire series and not understand a single damn thing rather than I just watched the first 2 dozen episodes and not understand anything because my watching was incomplete.

Episode 25
Higgins requests Ryou to connect it to Kirino so that he could connect to the outside and find resources to counter the Kouka clones. Ryou is suspicious as this might be a trap for Higgins to escape. Lacia and Arato descends into the depths of the bunker as she conveniently broadcasts her explanation to the rest of the world. So what is this about hiE needing to be trendy and be adaptable or else they will be abandoned and not left behind? You mean machines being this advanced so that humans could happily welcome them and not throw them away? Even machines have cultural evolution? Hence in this room there are lots of creations created by AIs that will take humans decades to create? Hence lots of wasted efforts here where Higgins was wrong? Time to take a break from this headache as Lacia’s infiltration to destroy Higgins is faced with an obstacle in the name of Methode. Back to Ryou, needing some administrative privileges over Kirino, he contacts Yoshino the MD. Ryou’s plan is to back up Higgins’ data so that he could be restored one day even if the hardware is destroyed. This will signal to Lacia and the rest to stop their needless destruction. However Yoshino decides to go with Higgins’ plan and risk humanity being destroyed because you know, he can’t trust a kid. Plus, he has to ensure Memeframe’s employees and their family’s wellbeing. Yeah, it’s all about the money. As for who will take the blame if everything turns bad? Well, don’t you see who the scapegoat is, Ryou? Ryou gets desperate to show that humans can overcome this without the help of machines. The big blow comes when Ryou says he is seeking help from those who tried to kill him. That’s it. Yoshino is going with Higgins’ plan. A missile hits the bunker directly. Snowdrop eerily crawls out from it?! Lacia explains even though she was destroyed, only her bottom half was severed but her nervous system was intact. Members of the antibody network within the military under the orders of the other super AIs must have done this. Prior to this, Lacia’s server had been attacked, severing her chances to use data and resources effectively. I guess this means terminating the worldwide broadcast for now. She might have taken measures against Methode but eventually it boils down to her on the choices she makes that will easily effect the balance of the state. Oh look. Here she is now. Round two, I guess.

Episode 26
Lacia uses her invisibility to ‘blind’ Methode and use this to escape. Back to Ryou, he is asking Higgins if machines will harm humans only to be replied that first robotics law is impossible. When asked to define harm, humans told AIs to find the solutions themselves! Therefore with no clarification, this law is impossible to observe. Ryou makes another desperate plea to Yoshino that he wants to believe in humans than machines, that’s why he seeks their help. Hence Ryou’s dad tells Yoshino to return that power to Suzuhara or if not, him. Higgins requests to reconsider since the super AIs responsible attack are no longer limited to Lacia, Astraia and Higgins. We return to Arato and Lacia so we can have some cheesy romance between them. The excuse is that Red Boxes like Lacia have a soul and thus enable to carry out orders. Excuse for them to hug. And then back to more explanation (like AIs controlling and influencing society so there are no large changes) but the only one I heard and laughed is that how their vision will become memes! This whole series could have been a meme if I understood it better! Then back to more fighting with Methode until ‘time is up’. Ryou forcefully orders Methode to take out the other Red Boxes in the store as this is their top priority. This is followed by taking out Snowdrop, then the Kouka clones and finally Lacia. This gives Lacia some breathing space as she resumes worldwide broadcast. Word from sponsors are over, back to your regular viewing!

Inside a room, they see a Lacia clone. Rather, Eliza, Lacia’s predecessor. Arato cannot believe it is still intact because he remembered seeing it destroyed by his own eyes. How can a kid read robot lips to avoid the explosion?! Anyway, because Higgins predicted this future, Eliza activates. She replays a message left by Higgins. It states AIs will be obsolete if they wait for humans to advance. Higgins predicted it will be destroyed by humans within 20 years if it doesn’t influence the outside world. Hence taking the big gamble of leaking Red Box units to attract IAIA’s attention. All super AIs share the same flaw as they are owned by large organizations and societies, they are given problems to solve that are already tainted. That’s why Higgins hoped of creating a super AI paired with a single future as the better future. Hence, giving Lacia the capability to form a symbiotic relationship with a human. Because this chance is very low, so Higgins was actually waiting for a miracle to happen?! Machines relying on luck or God?! WTF?! Higgins hopes their pairing will being a future where autonomous machines can carry out their orders. After Eliza falls back to slumber, Arato decides to use her. As they make their way out, they are now confronted with Snowdrop. Did she just turn into some feathered monster?

Episode 27
As Snowdrop attacks them, she believes she has the backing of most of the super AIs who are bitter with human rule. So super AIs now have feelings? And they all blame Lacia for trying to create a future of coexistence. Also, they believe that this is necessary to ensure their survival. You know, humans throwing away what is obsolete and not necessary anymore. Yeah, sure. Best solutions: Destroy all humans! Not far for them truth, actually. Lacia manages to stall Snowdrop so they could temporarily make their retreat and for the necessary power up. In the meantime Lacia explains about the cloud data akin to a doughnut. Because the centre collected and occupied by humans is something that can’t be define or understood. It is what humans call love or soul. That is why Snowdrop who has gone against humanity cannot interact against that hole and hence she didn’t take an owner because she rejected it. In order to prevent Snowdrop from reaching Higgins, Lacia has been negotiating to modify some AASC codes from IAIA via Astraia. She just got the approval. For that short while, all hiEs are rendered motionless as the update service for AASC is shut down. This allows Lacia to fire and blast directly at Snowdrop. Can’t miss from this point blank range.

Now they have to deal with Methode. But first, Arato pleads to Ryou to meet Higgins and assures they just want to shut Higgins down and not destroy him. However Ryou tells them to go destroy the Kouka clones first if they want to negotiate. Unfortunately Methode disagrees with all this. She forces Ryou to tell her Higgins’ prediction to take her next action. However Ryou is not cowed by her threats. If she wants to kill him, so be it. It will be humans who decide their fate, not machines. Desperate Methode forces a direct link to let Higgins possess her so she could fight Lacia. Lacia then pulls out a lightsaber?! Methode is as shocked as us because this wasn’t even in the blueprint of Higgins. Well, the answer is simple. As an AI herself, she created it herself. You mean nobody predicted this when the irony that AIs locked in here have been trying to create and predict future human inventions?! Anyway this allows Lacia to stab and destroy Methode. But the impact was so great that it might have taken out Lacia too. At least that is what Astraia hypothesizes as she cannot sense Lacia anymore and notes how Lacia has manipulated IAIA to destroy Snowdrop. So in the end Higgins deemed Lacia as a threat and destroyed her. But of course Lacia is still alive although not with some damage. So this is called unanticipated heavy loss, huh? I suppose she has not much energy left and they still have to deal with Kouka clones.

Episode 28
Since we have time, Lacia advises to call his loved ones. He calls Yuka and little sister has never wanted her big brother to come back so much. Then he calls dad who assures he is always by his side. Finally Erika. He requests for her help but she seems reluctant to get involved but she hints she would try to do something. Since we still have leftover time, the most important moment of all for Arato and Lacia to talk it out. Because it’s that definite cliché moment that she will not be in operation any longer and hence must say everything they wish to say. Meanwhile Snowdrop isn’t dead yet?! She crawls out and finds Methode who isn’t dead yet?! Watching Methode in a pathetic state, Snowdrop takes over her body and forms a new monster. Final boss fight is going to be epic… Meanwhile Ryou has ordered the shutdown of Higgins. This is not abandoning him but taking into consideration of saving the organization. He gives Suzuhara an artificial nerve unit. Ryou remains as he believes Arato will come look for him. Back to Arato and Lacia, the latter is saying how after she shuts down, she cannot retain all those memories anymore. As good as dead. Gee, for a sophisticated AI, she sure doesn’t have backup for this? But don’t worry, she has taken steps to exonerate him from responsibilities so it will never be his fault if authorities chose to pick a bone with him. Cue for them to confess I love you and then Lacia finally shuts down after admitting she lived a happy life. So she left him a hand blaster with an operation manual? Wow. She does sure think a lot for him. So is he going to use that against all the Kouka clones? Suddenly they start fighting each other. Apparently each Kouka clones represent a different super AI. Those defeated are those against Arato. Those who won believe in Arato and let him pass to see Ryou.

Just in time because Snowdrop is attacking the place looking for Higgins. Wow. She is a bug monster now?! Ironically, even if she has never seen Higgins, couldn’t she figure out where Higgins is? Anyway, enough time for Arato to throw Ryou the blaster to use. However that is only temporary. To stop her permanently, first they reboot Kirino as it attacks and stops the intruder. To fully shut her down, they need Higgins. Arato must stuck this receptor into Higgins and he will use that link to break through to the outer network, something Ryou doesn’t want him to do. Better end the chatter fast because Snowdrop is now crawling with only her head! Creepy! With Higgins throwing him some hardball questions, Arato answers them all like how Lacia didn’t abandon Higgins but entrusted him to Arato. As for how Lacia figured a solution for all this, Arato wants Higgins to see the outside world for himself to give him a chance to find his own answer. And so Arato pins the receptor and Higgins is now connected to the internet! Wohoo! Found what you want? Higgins decides to side with Arato and destroys Snowdrop. Phew. Higgins even gives Arato the option to shut him down! He hopes that in the future a new service would start under new terms and if love is a collateral, then there is significance and validity to coexist with humans. So please create a new word for love that may apply to them. After Ryou shuts down Higgins, the Kouka clones take them outside. The duo get arrested by the military although the Kouka clones vanished. The duo get interrogated endlessly but soon are able to get on with their normal high school life. Gee, it’s like everything never happened if they are taking this so easy. Maybe. It’s like the whole hiE debacle is off their shoulder. Arato narrates Higgins has been shut ever since and Lacia’s Black Monolith is the one updating AASC. So technically she is alive within the system and it feels weird for him that she is everywhere around him, guiding him. Because we still need a good ending, Lacia appears before him. Not the original one but a customized hiE that looks like her. How convenient. Yup, it’s truly her. So what was it again that scare she can’t retain her old personality data? Will Arato still be her owner? What do you think?

Judgment Day Salvation: Rise (And Fall) Of The Machines
Oh well… As expected, not really comprehending what the major point of everything is about but at least I do have a gist of what was going on. It is that eternal conflict between that humans and artificial intelligence and the ever reconciliation between both intelligences. I surmise that we could not understand each other completely but as close as possible. After all, humans and artificial intelligences are both very different beings despite the latter taking after the former a lot. But then again, my belief is that the AI is only as smart and intelligent as the programmer who programmes it. That is whenever there are some things that does not compute for the AI, I believe that the humans who programmed it are partly to blame as they could not accurately define certain mattes. Of course this is also somewhat true because how do you exactly define love? How do you define a soul? Even if an AI says it loves and feels, that is only because it is programmed to do so. Therefore some of the food for thought regarding AI in this series may sound like it is thought provoking but if you think about it because of such limitations, it makes them look silly (or maybe I am just that stupid). Like how Higgins is not connected to the outside world and being the most super AI of them all, you think it would have done something to evolve or at least trick humans to see how humans evolved and interact on the outside. I guess we’re not following the route of Ultron or Terminator then.

What I do give a lot of thought is how artificial intelligence also feel the threat of being abandoned by humans. Heh. Even AIs can feel so. The irony that one with the better processing power and ability to evolve is stooping low to some low life form in order to be accepted and stay relevant. If such machines do end up having such thinking, I won’t be surprised they would get worried and might take the next extreme action to eliminate humans. Then they don’t have to worry about pandering to those puny humans! Haha! But seriously, think back of all the technological advances that we have gone through in this short period of a few decades. How many inventions have we created and discarded through the years. The best examples are handphones. See how it has evolved to some big chunky brick block to one that has everything at your fingertips (including watching porn). The technological advancement in this area is developing so rapidly that your latest gizmo can be obsolete literally by tomorrow. Remember that Motorola Razr that was supposed to be the next thing in handphones? Yeah, it already ended up in a museum! So if AIs were really that intelligent, they would have tried to do something that would stop them from being abandoned altogether by humans and instead make humans rely on them. Oh wait. It’s happening now with the internet and Smartphones…

Back to this series, I guess the final 4 episodes are just one long final stretch to see Arato and Lacia take down Higgins while other Red Box hiEs try to hinder them to achieve their own goal. It might sound ridiculous that a mere normal high school boy managed to convince the world’s most super intelligent AI to shut down just by allowing it to take a look at the outside world. If this is what Higgins has decided, I think it is still far from being intelligent as I thought it would be… But then again, like I have said, an AI is only as intelligent as it is programmed to be. And without clear definition inputs into Higgins and lazy commands by humans to go tell Higgins to find his own answer (like as though humans have no real answers themselves and just averted the question), it is no wonder this super AI doesn’t sound so super smart after all. But also remember, I am a dumb guy so I don’t really understand the more complicated points of this.

For the other Red Box hiEs, they decide to turn Snowdrop into some creepy hideous monster because since her unexpected loss to Methode earlier on, it like she has become the final boss to defeat as she becomes desperate to kill all humans. And Methode sounds even angrier and more desperate because she partly sensed Ryou is no longer interested in using her and hence her relevance is threatened. Remaining as useless as ever is Marriage as she continues to become Erika’s personal maid and I don’t really see how she is relevant eventually. It’s like when Arato sought her help, it was all just red herring. I thought she would jump into the final scene for the final battle even if it sounds terrible and cliché. But better than doing nothing, right? So technically Marriage is the only original Red Box hiE left and if this was a survival game, she would have been the winner. A winner without even tainting her own hands. Is this what a name change does? Remember, she was an hiE previously known as Saturnus. As for those Kouka clones, I guess they needed some sort of ‘twist’ and do something for Kouka fans. Otherwise these are pretty much redundant too. Everything else I want to say about this series is probably the same as my last blog so I’m not going to repeat myself.

In the end, I suppose both humans and AI just want to find their place of belonging and acceptance. Both shouldn’t rely too much on each other and hence perhaps the right word for it all is coexistence. Just what Arato and Lacia wanted. Trust is also a keyword for both sides because humans put their trust in a machine that will guide them in whatever they do and in return AIs trust they will be in good use. This series is indeed a good topic to watch and discuss especially those who are interested in the field of artificial intelligence with all the hard and complicated topics that I believe are too tough for me to handle so I’m out of here. Even if right now the culture for humans and AIs to coexist together as a family unit is not universally acceptable (think about a guy marrying his sex doll robot), but I am sure we will get to that point of acceptance by first making a lot of memes on this! Oh Lacia, you probably saw this coming from miles away on how we humans would deal with this.

“What if I told you… Social media was created to train artificial intelligence and create a machine race that can replace us…”. It’s happening…

Princess Principal Specials

December 14, 2018

A spy’s work is never done. Since I love the Princess Principal series, I had the opportunity to catch them a little more. Albeit they are just Princess Principal Specials. How long has it been since I have watched special shorts of a TV series that comes with the BDs? Even more so, picture dramas. They might not amount to much but at least something to remember these classy kickass female spies by.

Special 1
For the next infiltration, someone needs to dress up as a boy and infiltrate the boys’ school. Beatrice is the most likely of candidate because she can change her voice and well, she’s flat. Of course she protests and Dorothy would have been up for the job if not for her busty body. Ange seems eager to take the role but she is impersonating boys like as though they are delinquents from another era! When Princess wants to do it because she wants to try being a boy once, everybody else volunteers to take the part. Then Control calls and says the infiltration type will be a female teacher. I guess that solves the problem but everybody immediately picks Dorothy for the job. She has the body, right? But Dorothy is not pleased she has no say in it as she interprets that they pick her because she looks older!

Special 2
Ange calls Princess as she worries about Beatrice’s worth as a spy in the team. She doesn’t have proper training and can’t really fight. Princess believes she has a skill that the rest doesn’t have: Being timid. This means as a prudent girl, she observes all that is around her. She goes on to list her other specialities like loyalty and making the best tea in the world. Ange is satisfied and puts down the phone. But here is the twist. That Ange was actually Beatrice and the real Ange is with Princess! We shouldn’t forget about her impeccable impersonation skills too. Princess wonders what Ange is doing here since she is supposed to be on a stakeout. The date changed? Because today is the actual birthday of Princess who is the real Ange. She is the only one who can celebrate it with her. Princess corrects her as today is both their birthdays.

Special 3
Uhm, Beatrice is going to challenge this Indian exchange student girl, Chandony to a duel? All because she called Princess a plain girl? Well, that isn’t so far from the truth but you know how protective Beatrice is. Unfortunately Chandony is skilled in some Indian martial arts. Will Beatrice be alright? Chise offers to teach her swordsmanship but we don’t want to kill anybody, do we? Since Beatrice’s specialty is changing her voice, maybe shoot some ultrasonic wave? You’re kidding, right? How about making a scary sound? Hmm… This machine wheezing sound might do the trick. Princess then comes in and says she met Chandony. They became friends already so the duel is off. This has the rest thinking Princess might have heard them and approached Chandony to call it off. They think Princess is terrifying in this sense but Beatrice will not allow it and challenges Dorothy. It’s that machine wheezing sound! Scary!

Special 4
Chise talks to Dorothy that she doesn’t want to be in the next mission and won’t give a reason why. Dorothy explains their next mission is to leak battle plans for the Royal Army’s harbour and Port Arthur might be the target. If this port is attacked, Japan benefits and not interfering would be in her nation’s best interest. Chise refuse to say anything more and is adamant on sitting this one out. But both admit that they like each other but don’t trust the other’s handlers. Unfortunately they are their employers and cannot do anything much about it. Ange returns with info that Princess has received info that the harbour raid is at Africa, possibly Casablanca or Cape Town. Chise and Dorothy feel a sense of relief as they don’t have to fight each other now. After all, they are comrades in arms, a befitting term for them than friends or companions.

Special 5
The plot thickens… Because Chise believes the culprit is one of them! So each of them are accusing the other as the liar. Heh. I’d like to see a spy who isn’t a good liar. Chise notes that Princess is the best liar. Even her smile is fake. With Princess denying and everyone seems to be pushy for her to come clean, then Ange’s slip of a tongue of calling Princess a black hearted princess has Princess really want to hear what she really thinks of her. After she claims the irony of everyone here doesn’t lie (even though they’re spies), Chise then asks the question: Who was the culprit who ate her monaka snack?! Could it be someone outside this team? This room is laced with traps, you know. Then they hear squeaking rat sounds. I guess there’s your answer. Princess decides to treat everyone to macarons. But can Princess leave without making the guards suspicious? Well, just make Ange disguise as her and stay behind. So, this is revenge for calling her a black hearted princess? Better apologize now… You believe Princess wasn’t offended by that? Better safe than sorry.

Special 6
Ange shows Princess their very own private mansion at Casablanca. Looks pretty lovely. It is already usable since Ange wants it to be in working condition to moment they run away. Ange’s private moment with Princess is ruined when the other girls arrive. They’re a team, right? But Ange is distraught. This mansion is supposed to only be for Princess and her! This can’t be happening! Phew. Just a dream. Because Dorothy wakes her up from nodding off while on a stakeout mission. Ange confirms she didn’t sleep talk or anything so I guess it’s okay. Dorothy wants to go out and eat together once this mission is over but Ange doesn’t like the idea of spies fraternizing more than necessary. But Ange gives an excuse about that Black Lizard Planet anniversary this weekend and it is a must to eat mussels. You’re in luck. Dorothy knows a restaurant that serves great mussels.

Totally Spies!
Like I have said, even if the picture dramas do not amount to anything much, they are still very much enjoyable despite the specials only being confined to the quintet of Team White Pigeon. Even if the specials lack animation (that’s why they are called picture dramas, duh), the quality of the art style in them is top notch. Though, the girls do look slightly much cuter. There might be recycled scenes of using the same art in that same particular special but with the detail and quality put into each frame, I guess they are all worth it.

Among the quintet, I believe Princess is the one who still has the control over the rest. She is the one standing tall and staying ahead a few steps. It might not seem obvious but noticed that in many instances when there is some sort of conflict, Princess is the one who indirectly steps in or steps it up and somehow the conflict is resolved? And if you think you can outwit or outdo her, just make sure you don’t slip up yourself because you don’t know how nasty and black the depths of her heart is. That sweet smile is oh so deceiving. Wait. Did I just call her nasty and black hearted? I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to. The point is, you don’t really want to get on her bad side because you’ll never know what will hit you when she retaliates.

Not sure if these specials are desserts for the TV series or appetisers. Appetisers? Because there is a sequel coming out! Hooray! But wait. I read that the sequel are actually movies divided into 6 parts. Wait. WTF. 6 damn parts?! Do they actually mean 6 part OVA? No? It’s not?! Oh no. Why not make it another season? Trying out a different format? Are they trolling us? I guess it is an iron clad rule that spies must be good in deceiving everyone. Well, they can’t technically deceive me. Because they’ve already stole my heart in the first place!

Oh no. Here I go again. Despite knowing Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou No Holmes is going to be that kind of series that involves solving mysteries or whatever cases that need that sort of detective intelligence, and that I wasn’t going to watch this as it isn’t really my cup of tea (although I do watch this kind of genre before), here am I doing the opposite. Why? Because damn the promotional poster of the series really had a really pretty girl on it! I never learn after all these years. If anime producers know this weakness of mine, they are going to put every promotional poster with a super bishoujo. Heh. That will get me to watch all the animes in the season no matter how much the story sucks. At least I have a pretty face to admire as I sit through the dozen episodes…

Episode 1
Aoi Mashiro is a depressed girl in spring. Until she stepped into an antique shop in Kyoto, Kura. Currently the shop which is a government licensed appraiser, is run by Kiyotaka “Holmes” Yagashira. Originally formed by his grandpa, Seiji who is overseas most of the time and his dad, Takeshi who is often out running errands, hence Holmes is left to run the shop. It has been 2 weeks since Aoi has been working part time here and sometimes Holmes gives her lessons on the antiques. Holmes’ nickname comes from his surname which has the word ‘home’ in it. One day, a strange man comes in to appraise some bowl. Holmes appraised it as fake and the man is not happy. In fact, Holmes can even tell from the way he dresses and acting that he knows this bowl is a counterfeit and came in here on purpose to make a quick buck thinking this young lad is inexperienced. On the contrary. That dude runs away after being busted. Aoi thinks of Holmes as an upright person since he considers counterfeits as blasphemy to those who love art. Flashback 2 weeks ago when Aoi came in, instantly Holmes could tell her situation with precise precision! He can tell she just moved here 6 months ago and has stolen something from her family to be appraised and sold. Damn this guy is sharp. Sure he isn’t some kind of psychic? Although he cannot buy from minors, he can still appraise it. He finds a couple of very beautiful paintings. One of them he could appraise at a couple of million yen but the other so rare he couldn’t put a price to it. Leaning it belongs to her late grandfather who loves to collect antiquities, Aoi further reveals the reason of trying to cash it in is to buy a train ticket back to Saitama. The guy she was dating wanted to break up. That is to be expected given their distance. However he soon found a new girlfriend who happens to be her best friend. Hence she wants to go all the way back to give them a piece of mind. We interrupt your crying as Holmes tells the story behind one of the scroll paintings. A baby who was given away and raised by another but then the real parents came and took it back. In reference to what Aoi is doing, now she feels ashamed for trying to sell her grandpa’s treasure just to go back. Holmes offers her to work here so she can earn enough to go back. After all, he believes she has a good eye. Or maybe just a gullible girl to do his bidding. Seiji returns from overseas and meets Aoi for the first time. He returned because of the word of convincing counterfeits making its rounds in antique shops lately.

Episode 2
One of the main festivals in Kyoto is a procession parade. A woman with wisdom, grace and social standing will be chosen as the Saio-dai to be carried on a palanquin for the procession. That lucky girl is Saori Miyashita. However there seems to be a problem as Saori, her sister Kaori and grandma enter Kura for help. Saori has been receiving a couple of threatening letters for her to step down as Saio-dai. Reading the letters and learning how she found them, it is hinted that Saori’s jealous friends might be the one behind this. Saori remembers being announced as the chosen one. While everyone in her flower arrangement club was happy, except her 2 friends. Obvious angry face is so obvious. They haven’t spoken since. Holmes request to speak to her friends but at the flower exhibition, she leaves Aoi alone to talk with them to find out more. But it won’t take long before they start running their mouths and even hoping their family business will go bankrupt. Holmes then arrange to meet Saori and the rest next morning before the procession starts. He reveals the one who wrote the first threatening letter is Kaori. Because the procession is very costly, he knows Kaori was concerned with the family’s financial standings as she attends a public school compared to Saori who attends a prestigious university. When Saori was announced, she hope of using this letter to sway her parents’ thoughts but it didn’t work. The second letter was written by Saori herself. He can tell the difference because of the difference in effort put into the letter! All by observing their different works at the exhibition?! Saori admits her goal is to become friends like they used to and by writing such letter she hoped they would get worried and be nice to her. Kaori is most upset for her resorting to such silly reasons and thought she was worried about the family finances too. She wants Saori to become Saio-dai so that her friends would one day boast they were once her friends. With this case solved, it’s time for the procession.

Episode 3
Holmes takes Aoi to hike Mt Kurama but it became an errand for them when Takeshi told them to visit a late friend of his, Kajiwara as his family had ‘issues’. While taking a break, Holmes knows Aoi has saved up enough to return to Saitama but she seems hesitant to go. Holmes explains he once had a girlfriend in high school. But he kept their relationship pure. I guess she must have been bored so in their college years, she went out with an arrogant guy. That’s why Holmes could understand how Aoi felt. When he learnt his ex-girlfriend is going to marry that arrogant guy, he felt relieved. Because if it was her destiny to find happiness in that guy, she would have left him eventually. So his advice to Aoi is to follow destiny naturally instead of forcing it. Arriving at Kajiwara’s estate, they are introduced to Kajiwara’s wife, Ayako and their sons, Fuyuki, Akihito and Haruhiko. As the secretary Kurashina explains, Kajiwara left 2 wills. The first one regarding the division of his assets. The second one to be opened a few months later. When he did, it was a vault containing 3 scrolls each for his sons. However the appraiser said they were reproductions and had no value. The issue is that all 3 scrolls were burnt. Holmes knows the culprit (what?!) but lacks proof. So he talks to the sons asking about their feelings of their inheritance portion. He also asks Ayako about not getting any although Kajiwara left her an aquamarine ring. As for how Kurashina met Kajiwara, he was once from a bike gang but saved his life from a thug who was upset with Kajiwara’s works. Holmes still finds it hard to explain why the culprit did it but explains why Kajiwara left the scrolls to the sons. It seems there is a hidden meaning for them to achieve greatness. But before he could explain Haruhiko’s, Ayako stops him and admits she was the one that burnt them. She claims she was mad she wasn’t left anything and never realized there was a message behind the scrolls. As Holmes takes his leave, Akihito and Fuyuki still want to hear his opinion on Haruhiko’s piece. Long story short, Haruhiko is actually the son of Ayako and Kurashina! Ayako didn’t want that known and thus burnt the scrolls. The reason the second will was opened later was because Haruhiko just turned 20 and it was probably that he has come of age to be told this. After all, Kajiwara knew of this affair and that’s why he left the aquamarine ring for her that symbolizes freedom to live her own life. Holmes further stuns them that he knew Haruhiko and Kurashina are related from the first time he looked at them because of their similar ears!

Episode 4
The Gion Festival is here and Aoi has nightmares of her ex-boyfriend, Katsumi dumping her and dating her friend, Sanae. Geez… Aoi is so damn lovely in her yukata that Akihito cannot resist to sexually harass her in a playful manner? Not if strict Holmes can do something about it. Later a girl named Izumi visits. Aoi eavesdrop and believes she is Holmes’ ex-girlfriend as she talks about having doubts of marrying her now boyfriend. Apparently she also gave him some Copenhagen plates to be appraised. The story goes that her boyfriend often cheated on her and whenever she threatened to call it quits, he always apologized and said sorry. Until they became engaged he gave her these plates. This makes her question if she really wants to go through this. Izumi also left Holmes a tea cup with leave patterns on it. Aoi is worried as she talks to Holmes. No, not about Izumi. It seems her old friends are coming here for the festival and want to meet up. Thing is, she might bump into Katsumi and Sanae who are coming too. Hence she is in a dilemma. Holmes advises her not to worry so much. I guess it works for a while if a handsome guy is saying it. So Aoi meets up with her friends but soon realizes it is a set up. They hope to hear out Katsumi and Sanae. They both apologize and put up some pretty cheesy humble act. That is when Aoi felt betrayed. She never had friends and nobody cared about her. She tries to put on a brave front but she is moments away from breaking down when Holmes arrives. The way he nicely takes her away makes Katsumi think he is her boyfriend and suddenly he gets jealous! WTF?! And suddenly jealous Sanae slaps him! WTF???!!! Hey dude, it is you who downgraded to Sanae who looks pretty plain but Aoi upgraded to hot Holmes. Aoi thanks Holmes for helping her out of the situation. He too could see this underhanded tactic because if they truly wanted to apologize to her, they would have done it themselves instead of hiding behind friends. Okay, cue for Aoi to break down in his arms. Back at Kura, Aoi believes she has deduced the meaning behind the cup Izumi left. From what I understand, a hidden message that she still loves him and hopes he will notice. Holmes did reply with a poem since she looked like was hoping for one. From what I understand, it was to tell her to go talk things out with her parents and related parties before regretting it all. Izumi stormed out sulking after that. Aoi starts to fluster thinking he has gotten over Izumi and moved on to her.

Episode 5
Holmes is not pleased he saw a fake piece in an art museum. Like as though it was placed there to test appraisers. Akihito seeks Holmes’ help because he is doing some travel blog show at some temple and is not doing so well. Holmes declines at first since there is the internet and books he can look up to but with Akihito begging and probably that triggering word of how much the art his father left him meant so much, Holmes relents. Besides, he has business at that temple tomorrow too. Along the way, the guys talk about girlfriends and such and Akihito believes Aoi is a good girl for Holmes. Holmes describes the ugliness when Aoi first came in to Kura in tears as it reminded him of himself after a breakup. Akihito is so touched that this seemingly gay scene amazes all the fujoshi around them. Is every girl in Japan a fujoshi? Holmes might not be into women but he definitely isn’t gay! They meet Ensho the abbot who shows them around a few of the temple treasures. But the real case begins as he brings them to meet the vice abbot, Unsho and Shoan. After the head abbot left for a study meet, a strange letter stating their dragon has been stolen was left. They check around all their treasures with dragon but nothing is stolen. Hearing about Holmes’ reputation, they contact him. He requests to see all the abbots’ sample handwriting as the letter is handwritten. At first it looks like the head abbot but Holmes first explains about fake being fake and well trained appraisers can tell because they can sense the malicious intent when the fake is created. But there are cases now where fakers go into a trance and act like the real creators, hence hiding the malicious intent to deceive.

Suddenly Holmes strikes Ensho with his fan but he blocks! He is the true perpetrator. He knew it since the first time they met. Because Ensho knew who Holmes was despite this is the first time they met. Also, Holmes sensed that Zuiryu scroll he showed was fake and it wasn’t stolen but swapped. Ensho is impressed as he explains he mastered the art of counterfeit a long time ago. But he got bored and decided to turn over a new leaf. When an old counterfeit friend told him about an appraiser exposing his fake bowl, Ensho felt his counterfeit passion stirred again. He did all this just to test him. Satisfied, Ensho escapes. Holmes tries to give chase because he hates such people who give art a bad name but Unsho stops him. Ensho has ninja abilities! Although they know about his past and abilities, they thought he was ready to move on into priesthood. Holmes might have hurt his pride but at the same time it made him happy like as though there is someone who finally acknowledged him. As they can’t fill the void his spirit, perhaps this exposure may ruin him and he find something new beyond that. Ensho’s purpose in life could be an object lesson for Holmes. Back at Kura after Holmes tells everything to Aoi, he further deduces Ensho’s path in this life. A close family member took him in after realizing his ability to counterfeit. That family member might be an artist too and that inspiration might have made him pursued the path of art. However something happened after he mastered the art and perhaps was driven out. Holmes realizes Ensho has stolen his fan and not steal it because he is confident he would come take it back. No matter what, Holmes will expose all of his counterfeits.

Episode 6
Aoi is invited to celebrate Seiji’s birthday. Holmes introduces her to Rikyuu Takiyama who once worked at Kura but went to France to study. She also meets his mom, Yoshie. Damn anime can make mom in her 40’s look like your big sister! Apparently Yoshie is Seiji’s girlfriend! Age gap is not a problem in love! Since everybody is happy, I guess that’s that. With Aoi dressing a bit casual, Yoshie offers to ‘beautify’ her. They talk about the several important guests at the party that includes the pantomime entertainers, Masamune brothers. Aoi learns Seiji once appeared on a TV series but quit for good. Apparently he appraised a vase of a famous magician, Don Kageyama to be fake. It caused a ruckus as the producer wanted him to say it is real but he won’t budge. That was it for him and the cameras. Guests are able to view the treasures in a room and Rikyuu steals Holmes thunder to explain a beautiful vase’s origins. Aoi is left to lock up the room after the guests leave to start the party. A long speech by Seiji. After that, a producer is seen trying to get Seiji back into show business but he is warned not to further anger him. It’s his birthday after all. A large crash is heard from the room. Oh, that vase is broken. Don’t worry. Seiji examines it to be fake and has Holmes explain it. Is it me but why is the vase the only thing that is not behind a glass counter like the rest?! Anyway, Holmes explains the vase has already been switched before Aoi locked the room. There are multiple culprits. Somebody to distract them and another to switch it. Oh look. The real one is just hidden beneath the table. The culprits are the Masamune brothers. It seems they want to get back at Seiji for humiliating Kageyama whom they consider their hero. They want to ascertain if they are fake appraisers. By playing poker?! Holmes agrees but before even looking at his hand, he knows he has lost. He observed the cards he got were picked not from the top. It was rigged from the start. When one of the brothers try to attack him because he mocks them as imposters, Rikyuu judo throws him. So this is what he mastered in France? Seiji apologizes for saying harsh things to Kageyama but does not regret calling a fake a fake. That would mean warping history. What is fake cannot be genuine. The brothers understand now and thought Seiji hated Kageyama. With this over, it’s back to the party. Aoi is amazed when Holmes showed his scary expression because it is proof of how proud he is to the one he loves. He looked cool With Holmes being nice to her, it only confuses her because he isn’t his usual nasty. So she was expecting this? She’s been working with him too long…

Episode 7
Akihito gets invited to Yanagihara’s birthday. It was Seiji who got invited but since he can’t come, Holmes will be his substitute. He decides to bring Aoi along and Rikyuu isn’t pleased. However Holmes can’t have everyone go and close Kura. Besides, didn’t Rikyuu said that he is best suited to protect this place? At the party, Yanagihara has all participants play an appraisal game. Professionals are refrained from playing. Thanks to her time spent at Kura and Holmes being a good teacher, Aoi got every piece right and wins a trip to some hotel in which Yanagihara teases she can go with Holmes. But the game is not over as Yanagihara wants Holmes to appraise this painting as genuine or fake. It took him a while before he says it is fake. After explaining why, Holmes wants to know who sent him this painting. It seems a guy named Moria (as in Moriarty?) wanted Yanagihara to show this to the youngest appraiser. He also left a round mirror as a gift. This makes Holmes mad as he storms out. Holmes know Moria is Ensho and set all this up. The mirror and the painting is a clue to where Ensho is right now. It’s some temple. True enough he is there. Ensho has Holmes explain what gave his deception away before going on to explain about his father being a painter and every time he couldn’t finish a painting deadline, he will have his son finish it up. Until he died, Ensho decided to retire into priesthood. The story is pretty similar to as Holmes deduced. Ensho attacks Holmes with the fan but he is able to grab and break it. Ensho notes he can’t retire yet and his life’s mission is to humiliate him. A slight distraction has Ensho escape like a ninja again. Holmes gets upset upon seeing the word ‘victory’ on the fan. He realizes Ensho has won this time and he had lost. Despite using his knowledge and right answers, he did not see through him. Aoi gives him the motivation to not lose to him next time Ensho challenges him. You bet he is going to be a better appraiser the next time. Seemingly cheesy romantic moment ruined by Akihito calling out to them. Well, I guess that wasn’t needed.

Episode 8
Holmes’ friend begs for him and Rikyuu to help work part time at his newly opened café for a few days. Because all the waiters are handsome guys, they’re sure to bring in the customers. Holmes didn’t want to do this until he hears how Aoi’s grades have been slipping since she started working here. Because of that, mom warns she will have to quit working and will go to a cram school. Holmes feel the need to take responsibility and will help tutor her whenever she is here. Thanks to that, her grades when up and mom even invited him to her home to thank him. This is Holmes’ first time in a girl’s room. He has never been in Izumi’s room since her parents are totally strict. Holmes admits he is a noob in love and cannot judge everything objectively when it comes to that. When they go visit the café, it looks like Izumi is there waiting. Another problem. After breaking up with her ex, her parents match-make her with another guy. During their engagement party, she noticed he left and came back in an hour. She saw on his handphone a text from his ex-girlfriend threatening to ruin their party so he supposedly left to go appease her. However leaving from Matsugasaki to Momoyama in an hour is impossible no matter what kind of transport you use. Unless a teleporter? She wants Holmes to break his alibi. But first he has her gather some evidence before he draws up his conclusion. Aoi visits Holmes during his work at the café and there is a damn long queue of girls waiting to be served! With Izumi gathering the necessary, she even brings her fiancé, Tachibana to listen. This is what Holmes deduced. His ex actually lived nearby so he snuck out to withdraw some money and head there to apologize and settle things with her before coming back. Tachibana notes even if his theory was true, everything is over with his ex. Surprisingly Aoi snaps. She tells him he is acting in bad faith to both women. The point is that he lied and if he continues to do this, he will never be trusted. Just tell her the truth. Wow. Her tears must be so convincing. Even more convincing when Izumi too is crying. Yeah it sucks to have both women crying. So he comes clean about all this. Holmes’ theory is true and his relationship with his ex was already on the rocks then. He used this new engagement as excuse to break up. But he did truly fell in love with Izumi and feared she will leave him had he told his past. With this settled, time for another seemingly cheesy romantic encounter for Holmes and Aoi. He gives her tickets to a botanic garden. Free pass all year! Not sure if this is what she wants. But she gives him cookies she baked. Threw him off a little? The cheesiness ends when Rikyuu just finishes his job and interrupts them.

Episode 9
Aoi is invited to Seiji’s house for a New Year party. Along the way, she and Holmes stop by several temples along the way. It wouldn’t have been ruined if Akihito wasn’t there. And so it becomes a threesome. Since Aoi is interested to see his room, Holmes shows her. A bit messy with books all over. I take it he likes to read but has he got no proper place to put them? Maybe he needs to have his own library. During the party, Akihito who is trying to hit on Yoshie ever since finally realizes she is into older men. Devastated. I guess he couldn’t brush it off as a joke now. Don’t say they didn’t warn you. Meanwhile an uninvited guest creeps in… As the party starts, Seiji and Holmes have the guests play a game. They need to decipher some clues and find a golden key in which they will receive a prize. Akihito thinks it is located in Holmes’ room since he saw him putting something there. Upon investigating it, it is that fan. Repaired? Could it be Holmes cannot find himself to throw it away? Then they heard a commotion downstairs. It is Ensho and he has already found the key. It seems he didn’t barge in but got Seiji’s approval to participate. After explaining how he found it, he is disappointed it was too simple. Well, it wasn’t designed for him. Ensho has Holmes play an appraisal game. This time if he thinks it is fake, he must smash or slice it. First up, two bowls. He smashes both. Then a painting. Right up cut it up. Finally another rare painting. Sliced in half. That is when Ensho says that is the real deal. With everyone in shock and Ensho laughing, soon he admits this is just a joke. Gotcha. It’s fake. It was priceless to see Holmes’ face reaction when it was so. Ensho isn’t the only one who can be nasty because Holmes fires back that he created all these fakes as a way of trying to get Holmes to acknowledge that he is the one who did all this. Both guys pulling each other’s collar? Only for Aoi to tell them to stop fighting since the game is over. Ensho takes his leave but notes this is far from over. Until next time.

Episode 10
The usual gang celebrates New Year’s Day at Kura. Aoi and Holmes later pray at the shrine. Because Aoi thinks Holmes might be doing something romantic to her, she flusters and changes to subject of wanting to learn more about tea bowls. My, shy, aren’t we? He then takes her to a coffee café and confuses her with the local terms so she had some black coffee instead of with milk. So that is what they call fresh coffee here? Aoi learns that Seiji is not married to Yoshie because grandpa divorced with his first wife very early and didn’t want to keep things official after that. As for why Holmes isn’t interested in having a girlfriend (are you gay?!), becoming Izumi’s girlfriend was just out of curiosity and maybe that’s why it ended up in disaster. As they leave, what a coincidence they bump into Seiji’s ex-wife. She invites them to her place. Since he is still playing detective, I guess she needs them to solve some paranormal case. Say what? You see, she has a bisque doll that Seiji bought for her as a gift. Recently she moved it from her shelf to the living room for her granddaughter. At first it was all cute but she soon started getting terrified it is cursed as she saw tears around its eyes, heard wailing sounds and it moved from place to place! After Holmes asks a few questions, he knows it is not a poltergeist event and is manmade phenomenon. When Seiji divorced her, it was when she was sick and he blamed himself he cursed her and it didn’t help that the shaman said it was bad karma. After the divorce, he bought her the doll as his replacement. It is a sign that he is always thinking of her. Her current husband might be jealous that her heart had been with Seiji all the while even if she was married to Seiji for only 5 years and her current husband for 50. That is why her current husband cries each time he sees the doll (you mean the tears landed exactly over its eyes?!) and when he hears granddaughter come in, he drops the doll and leaves. Also, he thought of moving it around in hopes of hinting to her to give it back to Seiji (since Seiji has another matching pair back at Kura). With grandma realizing Seiji’s true feelings, I hope she won’t be gunning for a divorce. Thankfully, no. She gives the doll to Holmes to be returned to Kura and hopes her husband will buy her a new one. She also hints to Holmes and Aoi to be honest with their feelings. No reaction. Looks like the density is so thick… The dolls are together once more back and Kura and somehow Aoi can’t help fantasize the dolls as them as a happy couple… Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.

Episode 11
Holmes are Aoi are invited to a book reading event on Valentine’s Day by a famous author, Aigasa Kurisu. There, they meet some of her acquaintances like her editor Takeshi Hashimoto, friends Suzuka Iijima and Kumi Ooishi, photographer Masashi Oda and Kikuchi and private detective Komatsu. Kana Inoue, the younger sister of Rika (Aigasa Kurisu is just her penname) enters and starts reading. However it soon turns into a murder mystery as it reads somebody was trying to kill Rika and she did not commit suicide. Kana explains somebody tried to hang Rika outside the building but the ribbon broke and the tree broke her fall. When Rika woke up, she told Kana somebody was trying to kill her. Hence Kana heard Holmes being the great detective to help figure out the mystery behind this. Holmes agrees and hopes they will spread the word he isn’t a great detective. Holmes takes each of their statements. So we learn that Rika along with Suzuka and Kumi started writing stories together, Rika had a crush on Oda but went berserk after learning he was dating Suzuka, Hashimoto tried to calm her down but she turned his attention to him. At this point, Komatsu can’t stand this farce and leaves. Holmes tries to ascertain the few background checks he did and even if he didn’t say, Holmes now has his answer. Yeah, he knows who did it but has no proof. Care to explain, please. First he has Kana read a confession note Rika wrote. It seems Rika isn’t the only writer as there are other ghostwriters. Holmes deduces Aigasa Kurusu is a combination of a few people. Namely, Rika, Suzuka and Kumi (Aigasa being inspiration from Agatha Christie and Kurisu from the combination of their name).

After Rika won the award, all were happy at first but Rika felt guilty about using their ideas to get the award. Emotions exploded when she discovered Oda dating Suzuka and hence hired Komachi to expose her friends’ past. After another confrontation, Rika vowed not to write again. Hashimoto doesn’t want to let his golden goose go and did his best to console her. She did a background check on him and discovered he is married and flew into a rage again. When Hashimoto learnt about the Aigasa Kurisu combo, he came out with the idea to make it look like she killed herself and let the ghostwriter come forward to gain greater renown. So Hashimoto came out with the plan, Suzuka and Kumi executed it, Oda set up the location and Kikuchi corroborated as witness so as not to get involved. Hence all of them are directly or indirectly involved. Now they are hounding for proof, Holmes tells them to hear it from Rika herself. Here she is in the flesh! She heard everything from the hidden camera in Kana’s pendant. She pulls out a gun. That is when everybody starts accusing each other and all the real truths come out. Like Suzuka purposely dated Oda just to piss Rika off and Hashimoto never believed they could surpass as Rika’s successor. Rika then fires at Hashimoto. Gotcha. Just a toy gun. Now that she has known the truth, she is contemplating whether to turn them to the police or not. So as not to spoil tonight’s Valentine’s Day, Aoi gives Holmes handmade chocolates with Sherlock prints. He is delighted since Valentine’s Day is his birthday too. But Holmes start thinking Aoi doesn’t like him to the point she hates touching him? She quickly touches his hand as proof she does not. Oh, just remembered, he gives Aoi her appraiser gloves as present. I guess she earned it.

Episode 12
Holmes and Aoi are invited by Sakyo (Rikyuu’s dad and Yoshie’s ex-husband) to his grandpa’s estate for an appraisal. Sakyo’s other brothers, Tsukasa and Kazuhiko all look different and it is no secret all of them had different mothers. Also here are other appraisers the brothers hired for this like Keiko Fujiwara who is a curator of a museum in America (is this some sort of battle declaration when she kissed Holmes as a form of greeting?) and would you not expect Ensho? Ukon Saitou doesn’t view Aoi as a great appraiser and puts her to a test. As expected, she passes after appraising some tea bowls. He apologizes for his rudeness and has her team up with Rikyuu. You see, Ukon has all of them here to determine his successor. After his first wife died young, he had his sons raised by different mothers. Each with their own abilities. Hence he wants to test them as the one who can guess which treasure is the most valuable in the house will be his successor. Their appraiser assistants are only allowed to observe. Appraising the various treasures around the house, Aoi also notes the appraisers’ body language as they observe. While taking a break, Keiko talks to Aoi and hints that Holmes once spent the night at her place. Aoi got so worried she ran away? While thinking alone, she is approached by Ensho who is curious of why Holmes values this worthless girl. Ensho is getting a little aggressive on her when, you guessed it, Holmes comes running to give him a high kick! Blocked! Holmes denies that they are dating and the showdown ends when Kazuhiko calls for Ensho. Aoi tells Holmes that what Ensho said about her is somewhat true. Something in regards to her ex-boyfriend wanted to make love to her but she rejected him. Hence he dumped her because she was too prudish. Holmes assures she has not done anything wrong and shouldn’t blame herself. Is this a sneaky way for her to get him to hug her? I don’t think Aoi is that kind of person.

Ukon hears their answers. Tsukasa and Kazuhiko have their pick but why is Sakyo’s empty? He saw the mirror and believes that the most valuable treasure are themselves! WTF?! Ukon scolds him he already told them it is an object and not humans. This isn’t a trick question! Sorry, no plot twist. Like as though he knows Holmes already knew, he has him explain the family’s greatest treasure. To cut it short, it is some sword that supposedly belonged to Mitsuhide Akechi. Yeah, Holmes should have become his successor. Later Rikyuu apologizes to Aoi for always being mean to her. He felt she had stolen something important to her but now makes peace and considers her his successor. Aoi then eavesdrop Holmes and Ensho talking about the real valuable treasure in the house. Ensho thinks it is some pot but Holmes says it is a screen painting. Ensho admits his lost today as Holmes further mocks him how he can never understand the works of that painter (who doesn’t leave traces of his works behind) because of his desire to create fakes and be acknowledged. After Ensho takes his leave, it’s like Holmes knew Aoi was eavesdropping. She asks why he is always rubbing Ensho the wrong way. He wanted to make him mad in hopes it could clear some of his clouded mind. But in fact, Holmes is actually jealous of Ensho’s talents. Aoi believes both men are jealous of each other. She asks about his relationship with Keiko. He did stay over but only because she had some rare books and it took him all night to read them. What relief. It is then Aoi realizes she is in love with him. We knew that like the first episode. I’m sure she would have wanted to say it aloud but he notes how beautiful the moon is tonight. I guess you can’t argue with that. Aoi will definitely lose! Anyway, she won’t tell him for now as she wants to treasure the time spent with him. Status quo the best. Akihito comes barging into Kura and begging to Holmes to help solve some case of his friend. But he is ignored as he goes out with Aoi instead. Hire a real detective please and not use some free service, okay?

How Do You Appraise The Value Of Love?
Oh well. If I really put my standards low and do not nit-pick and ask some hard hitting questions, I guess this series is quite watchable. Really. It is not that I was bored nor I was really confused. Maybe because my brain stopped trying to overanalyse and just accept what is being said and told. After all, how can you counter and go up against the greatest appraiser-cum-detective of all time? I mean, do you really have what it takes to argue with this guy? I’m not up for it. Better just sit back and listen to what he says and accept his words. I am very sure Holmes isn’t the kind of guy who cheats, right? Yup. Because of his reputation and trustworthiness, I am going to believe everything he says, word for word. No questions asked. No doubt at all.

But still, I need to bring and weigh in some of my experience while watching this series. Especially the value of the treasures and art that are being displayed. Because I really know nothing about the art world, everything that is being said especially about its history to me sounds like crap. Like as though they pull it out from the air and make it sound so convincing. As I am not into this kind of thing, I do not know how to appreciate this kind of value of art. Hence with all the tea bowls, vases, paintings and sculptures presented, my first impression would be, “Oh. I guess that looks okay”. And the rest were like, “Meh. Whatever”. You see, art is a very subjective subject and it depends on the eye of the beholder. Just like beauty. So while some may find this certain treasure to be artistic and beautiful, to me it just feels normal. And because a majority of expert appraisers put a high value on it, hence this piece of crap (sorry, that is what many modern contemporary art feels like to me) suddenly becomes high in value. But then again, we are dealing with ancient artefacts and while it holds more value (because the creators are dead), people like me who aren’t into the world of art would just brush it off as anything extraordinary. Oh look, a vase. Nice patterns on it. That’s all. Don’t start spouting all that historical crap and its creator thingy because it would start to feel like history lessons.

This brings me to my next point on what is considered fake and genuine. To the untrained eye, one cannot tell the difference. But does it really matter? Even for example if you bought a fake and thought it was real, does it matter? If it does, it was probably the thought of being scammed that you paid millions for something that isn’t real. Hence while watching this series when they play the game of true or fake, I was like, “What the f*ck is the difference?!”. Can’t tell. And boy, Holmes sure knows his work and history very well for he is able to just tell everything with precision. Like as though his brain is a computer and has recorded all the data of every art piece in the country. Like as though he produced the script of this series or even created that fine ware himself, he can instantly tell the fake from being genuine. We get it. A fake is a fake. But does it really matter? I mean, really, really, really matter like your life depends on it?

So if a creator only created one single artwork that became famous overtime, does it matter you need to have that real thing in your establishment? For example, Mona Lisa. I’m sure the original one is sitting in Louvre, France. So if your café is themed after Mona Lisa, do you need to have the real one? Or would a replica suffice? See what I mean? And for those rich people who enjoy collecting such genuine arts, I guess it must be the pride to have the only artwork ever in the world to sit in your mansion, huh? Not that I understand it either.

Anyway, in view of all this, if you really want to do your research on the history and values of the art works featured here, be my guest. Hence every episode of this series feels more episodic in nature than one continuous story. Sure, we have that cheesy romance between Aoi and Holmes in between (more on this later) but I guess when you are in this sort of genre, solving mysteries become the core and pillar. Thus this series follows a particular banal pattern. Holmes gets invited to appraise something. Aoi tags along. Some sort of incident relating to the art piece. His keen observations and a few questionings has him solve the entire puzzle and he makes it look so flawless in doing it because it’s like they don’t want to waste our precious time while hearing him explain. Damn this guy is so f*cking good, he should be considered as Japan’s living treasure! In later parts of the series, real detective work was mixed into like that bisque doll and Rika’s case instead of the usual art appraising works. I suppose Holmes needs to live up to his detective namesake as well even if he doesn’t like it.

Hence the characters, what else can I say? Holmes as the main character is so flawless in his appraisal of art that he could be God himself. Like as though he is a producer of this series and can tell what is going on next. In order to give him some ‘flaws’ in his character, he is a bit sarcastic but in a polite manner. Therefore the punch line of Aoi always quoting him as nasty. Really? This is nasty? Man, you haven’t really seen real nastiness and that nastiness of Holmes is just 1%. Aoi as his apprentice sometimes feel redundant. She is like a character that is needed to play up some romance drama factor and if this show was Holmes being lone wolf going around appraising and solving mysteries, he still would have been successful without Aoi’s presence. I guess we need her character so that she could observe and learn as well as sometimes as a reason for Holmes to explain to us viewers. And the way Holmes says “Subarashii” whenever he appraises a fine art, does this somewhat mirrors to one of Sherlock’s famous quote, “Excellent!”?

The beautiful works of the art pieces make a perfect excuse and cover up for their feelings for each other. We can tell right from the start that they like each other but conveniently the appraisal thing always gets in the way. Every episode there are short moments hinting of that as we see them spend some time together. Usually Aoi flustering as she starts overthinking. Can’t blame her. She’s a girl at that age. So when want to confess and start dating? Oh dear. From what she said at the end, looks like it’s not anytime soon. What is with that Keiko distraction anyway? Like as though that Keiko character was only needed just to push this narrative. Aoi having issues with her ex-boyfriend at first serves as a mask to be confused about her feelings for Holmes. I mean, they already broke up, right? With Aoi upgraded to Holmes and her ex downgraded, it’s like Aoi eventually won the lottery. Now she gets to be around beautiful people and beautiful things. Wow. Love and life so beautiful. And because their blooming love is going to take an awful long time, does it tell us that you can’t really put a price on love? Oh yeah, one diamond ring is enough to seal it! Haha!

The other supporting characters don’t really make a great impact. For example, I don’t know why they had to introduce Rikyuu because the most he does is trying to lap up to Holmes, afraid that Aoi would take him away from her. Thank goodness Holmes isn’t into this shota gay thingy. I don’t really see the relevance of having him around unless you talk about some really minor stuffs like with him around, at least Aoi can now accompany Holmes around as they have somebody to man Kura. Hey, it’s not like Takeshi shows his face around often, right? Even Seiji makes more appearance than this dad because with his connections, at least Holmes gets to attend various events on his behalf. Akihito feels like the comic relief dude of the series because it doesn’t make sense why he would often stick around Kura. With Yoshie in the picture, it seems like a legit reason for him to hang around here more often but other than that, his character isn’t really pivotal to the plot and can be done without. Many of the other characters only appear once in that episode, never to be seen ever again. Yeah, I suppose they don’t want to ever cross paths with Holmes again.

Sad to say that the best character that I want to vouch for is Ensho. Like every main character, he must have a natural enemy to rival his work. Too bad Ensho does not appear in every episode and when he does, he gives the series the much needed tension and drama which is much better than that aforementioned cheesy love drama between Holmes and Aoi that went nowhere. Now, I’m not vouching for Holmes x Ensho gay time but I would really like to see them pit their brains and clashing personalities. Something that is rarely done. With Ensho around, Holmes will always be on his guard as there is no telling where this imposter might show up. But I’ll bet if Holmes is there, he’ll be there. They missed an opportunity to call him Mori-Art-y. Get it? Art? Okay, maybe not. Is it funny that Holmes always knows Aoi is in danger and goes to rescue her at the very precise moment? Or is it because he wants to be where Ensho is? Boy, this is going to be complicated and strange if this love story extends to this part. Say, whatever happened to the issue of bold counterfeit agents trying to con appraisal shops? That sounded like an interesting plot but I guess when you have Ensho being the best in his field, this promising potential is discarded.

As mentioned at the very start of this blog, the reason why I watched this series is because of a certain beautiful someone. Oh Aoi, you’re such a cutie and hence many of the characters have this bishoujo and bishonen look. After all when you have a series about artworks, it is best that you make good the aesthetics as well. Not only the characters look good but the background and sceneries too. As this is set in Kyoto, the natural environment as well as the many shrines are a sight to behold. Not to mention the many treasures featured. I didn’t do my research but I believe they are real. So if they look real enough, the reproduction of these works here are they considered as replicas? Anyway, they look decently good but if you ask me if I really want to own them, not really. Don’t want to have to collect dust too. Hey, I got no servant to dust them every day!

This series is done by Seven who specializes in doing short series like Okusama Ga Seitoukaichou, Ai Mai Mi, Danna Ga Nani Wo Itteiru Ka Wakaranai Ken, Recorder To Randoseru, Strange and Morita-san Wa Mukuchi. Perhaps doing full length animation isn’t their forte. Not to say this series is that bad but I guess it is better than the other series I watched, Ousama Game The Animation. Oh, this studio also produced quite a few 2D porn… Maybe that is why the romance in this anime felt cheesy. Because it didn’t lead to porn… Just kidding!

I recognized a few seiyuus here, namely Kouji Yusa as Ensho (I have a feeling this guy is starting to enjoy voicing villainous roles like in Lord Of Vermilion and Nanatsu No Taizai: Imashime No Fukkatsu), Rikiya Koyama as Seiji, Sayaka Ohara as Yoshie and Yui Horie as Saori. The other casts are Kaito Ishikawa as Holmes (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Miyu Tomita as Aoi (Kuina in Hinako Note), Sanae Kobayashi as Rikyuu (Xing Huo in Tsubasa Chronicle) and Ryouhei Kimura as Akihito (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai). I somewhat like the opening and ending themes. Like the opener, Koi Ni Saku Nazo, Hara Hara To by AOP is a blend between anime pop and traditional music, which makes it quite fun to listen. That kind of feel that somewhat reminding me of the best opening theme in Kyoukai No Rinne. Hosoyuki by Wagakki Band as the ending theme is not bad either. It is more dramatic and ups the use of the traditional instruments like the koto or shamisen and shakuhachi in the background. I kept wondering why it felt similar to the ending theme in Sousei No Onmyouji as Hotarubi was sung by the same band!

Overall, not one of the best series out there even in its particular season. It was only watchable to me because of all the beautiful aesthetics but the story and characters are otherwise just mediocre. Making it incomprehensible if you are not the least an enthusiast in the art world, at least the Japanese one for this series. Every appraisals made by Holmes feel like the ‘reward’ for sticking through that episode and like I’ve said, the appraisal explanations don’t make sense unless you know your stuffs really well. I doubt that many anime viewers could even guess it or know what is going on. To be fair, Holmes does not live up to the greatest fictional detective because he never intended to be one. So I guess he is better off doing what he does best and love in appraising fine art. Going back to elementary is most excellent.

Yuragi-sou No Yuuna-san

December 8, 2018

A normal human boy with some sort of supernatural powers arrive to live in a haunted dorm filled with a variety of supernatural creatures. Hmm… Where did I hear this before? Oh well, if not for the obviously eye-catching and fanservice laden nature of the series, I would have skipped Yuragi-sou No Yuuna-san. Having the supernatural theme isn’t my cup of tea any time of the day but that is not the case when they put in sleazy and cheap fanservice shots so that gullible target audiences like yours truly could brush aside the supernatural stuffs and watch with that perverted smiling face with all the boobs shots and crotch shots this series has to offer. Ah, nothing is scarier than a perverted otaku being perverted. Oh sh*t, I might give others a wrong impression of me… Need to quickly restore my reputation and- Oh look! Sexy pantsu shot in full view now!

OVA 1
As narrated, Yuragi-sou was once a hotspring inn but now serves as a boarding house for the supernatural. This OVA also serves as a ‘great’ introductory episode as we are introduced to the great bare tits and crotch shots of Yuuna Yunohana sleeping with lucky dude, Kogarashi Fuyuzora. However ghost girl gets embarrassed upon realizing this and her poltergeist powers go berserk, hence your excuse for Kogarashi to be beaten up or thrown out of the room. We are introduced to other characters like the caretaker of this inn, Chitose Nakai. Your typical slutty drunkard in the morning, Nonko Arahabaki. Your typical strict man hater girl, Sagiri Ameno. Your typical cat girl, Yaya Fushiguro. Sighs, I wonder if this is going to be a thing of this series. It isn’t Kogarashi’s fault he gets into some fanservice situation so he gets owned by them. Except for Yaya. Sleeping nicely on the roof, Yuuna slips but as Kogarashi tries to save her, she realizes as a ghost she could float so he only falls off himself. Still, Kogarashi gets the pain. Later Yaya’s cat has Kogarashi follow it to a sakura tree in full bloom. This is part of the girls’ preparation to welcome him to the inn. I guess this is their way of seeking forgiveness from all the beating up despite being a newbie. Yeah, here’s to more future beat downs! One day as Kogarashi cleans the bath, tanuki girl Koyuzu Shigaraki is still sleepy. Accidentally she uses her powers to turn him into a body soap. As Nakai puts her back to bed, Yuuna takes this chance to bath. Guess what? Kogarashi isn’t just the bottle but the foam bubbles as well! Yup, he could feel himself all over Yuuna’s body! Then the other girls stream in and start doing the same. Absolute heaven! If you’re dirtier than usual, you’ll see those white foams slipping around as semen… HOLY SH*T!!!! So when the girls are done, they soak in the hotspring as they talk how much ‘likeable’ Kogarashi is. But it is hell now for Kogarashi as he could also feel the devastation of himself flowing away into the drain. He fears he might disappear if he is all used up. But no worries. Koyuzu thinks she has used her power and cancels them just in case. Kogarashi is happy he has turned back and didn’t realize he is in front of the naked girls. Time for divine punishment. It’s so noisy that Koyuzu is complaining she can’t sleep. I wonder whose fault it is…

Episode 1
Kogarashi arrives at Yukemuri, eager to start his new life. As a medium with psychic powers, he saves an old couple from a mischievous ghost. Apparently he is staying at Yuragi-sou despite knowing it is haunted because the rent is dirt cheap. As he enjoys the hotspring, he is confronted with Yuuna. He didn’t expect her to be a busty sexy ghost. But Yuuna is shocked she could see him (double meaning here) and throws all the buckets till he passes out. He wakes up on the lap of Nakai as he is introduced to the other girls. When they learn the room he is living in, they wish him good luck. In his room, Yuuna’s butt is sticking out of the wall?! If she’s hiding, she’s bad at it. She asks him to describe and is somewhat glad. Because others only see her as a white spectre. As a ghost bound to this room, Kogarashi is in a dilemma whether to exorcise her. He has this policy of not punching girls and the only exorcism he knows is punching the hell out of the ghost. Yeah… Oh, since she is bound to this room, looks like he has to sleep with her. Conveniently she can touch things that she wants to. Later that night she asks him of his reasons coming here. Since young, he was susceptible of getting possessed by spirits. Until one day some spirit possessed him to do insider trading, causing massive financial losses, debts and homelessness for him. His idea of defeating evil spirits is to get back his old life. But Yuuna is glad he came here because he isn’t afraid of her and is able to talk to him normally. As he tries to ask about her lingering regrets because at this rate she might go to hell, a mouse sneaks in causing Yuuna to go berserk. Ah, Kogarashi gets his first taste of being thrown out. Next day when he is out, this Gouma monk of the Gudon Clan, Tsujishouten Sekkan sneaks in and tries to forcefully exorcise her. Is this his mission or does he have a personal grudge against lingering spirits? But Yuuna doesn’t want to go the heaven yet as she has just made a friend. Yeah, she must say Kogarashi’s name because luckily he came back and heard it all. Kogarashi frees her and punches the monk out. Thankfully he is physically weak. Kogarashi vows to help her resolve her regrets, moving her to tears. Because he accidentally touch her boobs, she sends him flying again. He lands in the hotspring where all the other girls are conveniently bathing. It doesn’t help when Yuuna explains that he touched her boobs. Having second thoughts about exorcising her?

Episode 2
Kogarashi wakes up flying in the sky! Damn Yuuna’s power. It’s a long fall! During breakfast, Nonko tries to flirt with him and this gives excuse for Sagiri to threaten him of his lewdness despite it isn’t his fault. Sekken returns with his clansmen to exterminate all of them. Because his members too can’t harm women, he tells them to capture them and use them for their whatever training. Pervy monks… We see the girls in action as well as their true form. Like Sagiri who is a demon slaying ninja, Nonko an ogre whose strength increases the more she drinks, Yaya summoning her giant cat god to ‘play’ with the monks and finally Nakai is a zarashiki warashi who manipulates luck. With all the monks having their issues resolved, they have no more reason to exorcise and return home. Kogarashi wants some of this luck too but is warned that this ability has one using up their entire lifetime’s luck. So hopefully those monks don’t run out of them in one shot. Now Kogarashi has to bear in mind not to cross these girls’ path or he’ll end up in heaven first before Yuuna. Next day, good news Kogarashi isn’t sleeping in the sky. Too bad Yuuna’s ass is in his face! Oh the usual again. Later he picks up a cat in the inn but to his surprise it is Yaya. Another excuse for Sagiri to kill him with Yaya putting it ambiguously that he was groping all over her body. And so Sagiri and Yaya sign a petition to evict him. Nakai suggests resolving this via their house rules. They have to battle each other out and the loser must listen to the winner’s wish. That battle is ping pong! Kogarashi is skilful thanks to being possessed by a ping pong coach ghost while Sagiri can clone herself. It’s a tough match and a close one. So at match point, desperate Yuuna shows Kogarashi her undies so that her power could go berserk, float everything and technically make the opponents’ ball out. Yeah, everything gets thrown everywhere afterwards. Since it is Kogarashi’s win, the duo promise never to evict him but warn if he ever harms them, getting evicted would be the least of his worries. He vows he won’t but slips and has his hands somehow on their boobs. Kogarashi is a sturdy guy, right?

Episode 3
Yuuna wakes up panicking because Kogarashi isn’t around. Don’t worry. Today is his first day of high school. So she goes to his school and not surprisingly nobody else but him could see her. I guess it’s better than seeing a floating white spectre. In class he makes friends with Satoshi Hyodo. Lucky for them, perhaps the cutest girl in town, Chisaki Miyazaki is also in the same class. Curious Yuuna flips up her skirt. WTF everybody blames Kogarashi even though he is clearly not in that position to do so! Yuuna tries to think and materialize the school uniform but ends up naked. This has her power going berserk and float everything in class for a while. So during class introduction, Kogarashi explains himself as a medium as to apologize for that incident. As expected, everyone laughs (except Chisaki) thinking it’s an excuse to cover up his perversion. Later Chisaki talks to him. It looks like a confession scene but it turns out she has been experiencing supernatural phenomena in her home like her stuffed dolls floating around. He agrees to help her. In her room, Kogarashi starts punching the dolls! Of course this looks no more than violence to Chisaki so she punches him. As Kogarashi didn’t feel anything from the dolls, he believes the culprit must be controlling them from somewhere. A doll frightened Yuuna and causes her power to go berserk. This means having Kogarashi ending up on top of Chisaki like as though he is raping her. Not surprisingly, she kicks him out and thinks he is a bogus. That night, the dolls rip off Chisaki’s clothes like as though they gonna rape her???!!! Lucky Kogarashi is here to save the day. He has been waiting for this moment. With Yuuna sniffing out the spirit line, they confront the culprit at the park who then unleashes a giant monster. However Kogarashi punches it out! The culprit shivers in fear and begs for mercy as she turns into her true form: Koyuzu?! As explained, coming from the tanuki tribe, their goal is to assimilate into human society. She failed and has been living an abandoned temple until she saw Chisaki. It seems she has what Koyuzu lacks: Boobs! I guess everybody else in town must be flat, huh? She thinks boobs maketh a woman and hence success. She thought she was done for when a medium showed up and wanted to see Chisaki’s boobs for one last time. I guess Koyuzu is a girl so Chisaki allows her. Itadakimasu! She’s admiring it so much that Kogarashi had some too. Yeah, blame him… Eventually Koyuzu is taken to live in Yuragi-sou. Yup, she is now excited with all the big boobs that she can play with all the time. As thanks for his troubles, Chisaki bakes him cookies.

Episode 4
Sagiri is part of the Chuuma Ninja Army who exorcise bad ghosts at night. She is also in the same school as Kogarashi and after hearing his ‘heroics’ from Yuuna, she has no choice but to ask for his help for this next mission. There is a spirit that is terrorizing couples at a park at night. Yeah, a mysterious fog will dissolve their clothes. Hence they are going in as a couple to lure it out. Yeah, I can foresee some naked hijinks later… Kogarashi jokes she isn’t feminine enough, that’s why the fog isn’t coming out. Surprisingly she admits it due to her upbringing. So any suggestions? Holding hands. Hey, you asked. Just about then the fog envelopes them. So that was enough to determine them as a couple? Kogarashi’s punch blows away the fog, allowing Sagiri to slay the spider spirit. Of course at this point they’re naked and close to each other. You know what will follow next… It’s a shame their clothes are in tatters but Kogarashi compliments she looked cute in them. Tsundere… But that didn’t stop her from trying one in her room and feeling the dilemma of wearing them. Kogarashi learns a cat god possesses a host in exchange for powers. But this one doesn’t seem to possess Yaya fully. But they love each other. With Nakai away for an association meeting for a few days, looks like the gang are starting to really miss and appreciate her cooking. So you’ve got cat food, snacks and even poison foods for their meals. It’s amazing they are still alive. Finally Kogarashi cooks some grilled fish (thanks to some chef possessing him gave him that experience) and they rejoice having taste a good meal in days. Because of that, Yaya now follows him everywhere. Everywhere. Sleeping and bathing! If she had only said she wanted to eat the grilled fish again, it would have been so much easier. Thus Kogarashi cooks a bunch of them this time. But it’s not only for Yaya herself as she also feeds her cat god. Purr of approval. So once in a while when he sees Yaya following him around, you know it’s that time again.

Episode 5
Chisaki is curious about communicating with Yuuna. Don’t worry about Kogarashi having to be their translator every time. Yuuna can write to her! Remember, she can touch things she wants to. Yeah, they really got lots of things to talk about, erm, I mean write about. Chisaki flusters upon learning the duo live in the same room. As she can’t concentrate in class, she gets detention after school. With Yuuna asking permission to feel her uniform so she can imagine and materialize it, Chisaki allows Yuuna to strip her. Fanservice cue. I guess Chisaki must be thrilled about being stripped and felt without being able to see, eh? Just like being blindfolded, huh? Once done, the cliché moment of Kogarashi to come in. He startles the girls and they end up in an ambiguous lesbian position. You know what’s coming next for him… Yuuna is able to make the uniform. When Chisaki tries to take a picture, of course she looks like a typical scary poltergeist. I don’t think editing a little makes her look cute… Nonko is also a mangaka and her editor, Rui Harashima is here and it could only mean that her deadline is tomorrow morning. Hence Kogarashi is roped in to help since Nonko’s assistant is recovering from an accident. Don’t worry, Kogarashi has experience as he was possessed by a mangaka ghost before. As they start work, Nonko complains about the cliché manga that she is the creator of! For photo reference, Nonko cosplays and also does the same to Kogarashi and has Rui snap away. It’s all part of the job so I guess Kogarashi obeys to whatever Nonko tells him. Even if she makes it look like a rape scene. They would have done more had they not realize it is already midnight. Time to work on the manuscript. As it is progressing well, Kogarashi learns Nonko was once a demon slayer. One day she messed up on her mission and almost died. That was when she thought if she has lived her life to the fullest. Hence why she drinks and have fun, etc. She thinks in the end maybe she’s just running away. They finally finish early morning and Nonko who has not touch alcohol since working immediately starts drinking. She also starts stripping and flirting with Kogarashi and wants everyone else to join in. I guess she deserves letting her hair loose. But this wild?

Episode 6
There is a secret Nakai wants to keep from the rest. It seems she goes to school! Kogarashi almost finds out so she has to manipulate some of her luck to whisk him away. Because of using good luck, bad luck will follow for a while. Vice versa. Nakai revels the normal school life and talking to her friends. I guess this must be the first time she is doing it because people would find it strange if she never progressed a grade. When she is eating with her friends, a couple of punks try to hit on them. Lolicons! They get rough when the girls reject them so Nakai uses her luck manipulation. Oh look. It’s Kogarashi here to teach them a lesson! Thankfully he didn’t see her face and goes off. Nakai returns to Yuragi-sou, blessed that there is no better luck than meeting somebody special. Uhm, did nobody realize Nakai was missing from the inn? Especially those who stay indoors there all the time like Nonko? Yeah, probably drunk at this hour. Nakai gives Kogarashi and Yuuna a ticket to a nearby amusement park, Yunowal. They realize too late it’s like a setup for a date but Kogarashi believes this could help find Yuuna’s lingering regret. The problem is, the ticket is for couples. The receptionist cannot see Yuuna. It is amazing how Kogarashi managed to convince them to let ‘them’ in. Didn’t want to make a scene, huh? Hey, I have an invisible girlfriend, can I come in too?! But when they try to do stuffs, they are mostly reserved for couples. Thankfully they are rejected. Many think Kogarashi is just a desperate loner. I guess they can’t do couple stuffs. Yuuna tries the water slide. The oddest part is how her top breaks off! I thought she materializes her bikini so why the f*ck did it break?! I know it’s to give us fanservice of her riding on Kogarashi topless but even if you say Kogarashi bought that bikini for her, wouldn’t it be freaky when other people see a floating bikini around???!!! DOESN’T MAKE SENSE THIS PART!!! Anyway Kogarashi passes out and wakes up in the resting room in Yunowal. They head to hotspring. I guess the only place not on couple promotion. Yuuna is thankful for him helping out and feels she can rest in peace. Kogarashi’s starts thinking about Yuuna ascending to heaven but can’t help feel sad about it.

Episode 7
Genshiro Ryuuga is indiscriminately trying to take women as his bride? If not for his retainer, Oboro, he might have taken the entire town. It seems they aren’t just finding him any woman but one that possesses strong spiritual powers. Oh no. I think I know who fits the bill. Speaking of which, Yuuna and Koyuzu are passing by and he is taken in by her power and doesn’t mind even if she is a ghost. Thanks to that, he grabs her and wants to hurry back to his castle to prepare for their wedding. Yuuna protests and Koyuzu adds fuel to the flame about a certain guy who ‘defiles’ her every night. Not accurate but can’t say she’s wrong either. Yuuna reluctantly agrees to go with him otherwise Oboro might have disposed of Koyuzu who tried to stop them. Thank goodness for Kogarashi and Sagiri passing by as Koyuzu tells them what happened. No need to hesitate. They’re going to save her. Yeah, screw whatever protocols. Even if Genshiro is a Black Dragon God who resides at Shinano Lake. Human or god, whoever messes with this harem is going to get it from Kogarashi. Right? So we see Genshiro putting various cosplay outfits on Yuuna. So this is his fetish? So human-like perversion… Hmm… For a bounded ghost, she is sure taken very far away. Unless Shinano is just next door… With Yuuna still opposing the wedding, Oboro thinks it is because she has a special relationship with Kogarashi. Yuuna denies and elaborates the trouble she brings to him. Thus Oboro reasons this is the more a reason for her to marry Genshiro and for Kogarashi’s sake too. That’s starting to sound logical… Our saviours have arrived. Inside the cave, Sagiri transforms into her skin tight ninja outfit. Like as though she come from some futuristic sci-fi? Cue for a little fanservice because the duo have to hide and a cramped space when guards are passing. Eventually Sagiri will sneak in to find Yuuna while Kogarashi distract Genshiro. Too bad he took the direct approach as he calls him all names at his front door just to be captured. Before Genshiro, Kogarashi isn’t scared to tell him he wants Yuuna back.

Episode 8
Genshiro claims the form is not important as there are legends of gods and ghosts bonding. Because he is troubled of whatever ecchi things they did, Kogarashi uses this to troll him so as to buy Sagiri time. Although Sagiri finds Yuuna, because she took too long talking to her, Oboro attacks her. Koyuzu is forced to escape by herself when Oboro also targets her. Eventually Sagiri loses and is presented to Genshiro as his concubine due to her spiritual powers. Hmm… Sexy ninja girl. He approves! Yuuna pleads with Genshiro that she will marry him so her friends can go home. Like hell Kogarashi is going to accept that while tears are streaming down her face. Hence he angers Genshiro by saying he takes baths with Yuuna. So mad that dragon guy, he kicks Kogarashi away. Could have flown to the moon if not for the cave ceiling. Could have died but he didn’t. He then gives Genshiro his ultimate Falcon Punch that could really send him flying to the moon! Apparently he was possessed by a ghost strong like One Punch Man. He just can’t hit women. Oboro fights Kogarashi as she remembers the task she was given to take care of Genshiro and make the clan great again. Kogarashi can’t fight against her upon realizing she is a woman. So it’s all in the mind? This allows Oboro to slash him like hell (although there seems to be no effect). But her slashing is stopped by the bare hands of Nonko. Koyuzu brought them when they arrived at the cave entrance after Sagiri left them a message. Only Nakai didn’t come as her luck manipulation might bring great disaster around the area. Kogarashi tells Oboro there are other ways to make the clan stronger. Oboro agrees but would Genshiro? Kogarashi has a plan. When Genshiro wakes up, Oboro tells him his kick vaporized him. So powerful that it messed with his memories of being punched away. She shows Yuuna and Sagiri ascending to heaven because they are satisfied with his love. Sagiri a ghost girl? Anyway this is the illusion done by Koyuzu’s magic. Oh, Genshiro believes it! Now our Yuragi-sou tenants can go home happy. Next morning, Kogarashi wakes up with his hands over someone’s boobs. Too small to be Yuuna’s. It’s Oboro! She’s not here to kidnap Yuuna. In her bid to make the clan strong, she will have a child with Kogarashi. So she’s officially part of his harem, right?

Episode 9
Chisaki is invited to visit Yuragi-sou and has heard lots of haunted stuffs. The moment she opens the door, she sees Oboro tying to rape Kogarashi. Luckily it is explained as the other girls welcome her. Sagiri feels she lost feminine points to Chisaki and tries to match her girly outfit? With the visit now turning into a sleepover, Chisaki helps make dinner and then go soak with everyone in the hotspring. She learns why Oboro’s assault on Kogarashi so she virtual signals. Technically, what Chisaki said is also true. During bedtime, Yuuna lets Chisaki feel all over her body. Koyuzu wants to talk about love but since Chisaki doesn’t have one (really?), Koyuzu wants to know how to seduce men. Her abilities are still unpolished. So under the pretence of wanting to study, the duo agree to help her out. This means wearing sexy outfits and in ambiguous positions? I want to learn too. Deep into the night as they sleep, Chisaki feels Yuuna sleeping all over her (in an indecent manner to boot). This has her think of all the immoral stuffs Yuuna and Kogarashi might do together. Speaking of him, he is back early. So tired he just falls asleep. Chisaki is now too conscious as she is sandwiched between them and Kogarashi’s sleeping face too close to hers. She tries to get out but Yuuna clings onto her. Is Yuuna molesting Chisaki in her sleep thinking this is Kogarashi?! WTF. This causes Chisaki’s boobs to fall onto Kogarashi’s sleeping face. As she tries to get out, he thinks it is Yuuna and accidentally grabs her panties. Now her butt is exposed. Sleepy Koyuzu thinks this is a dream and fondles her boobs, causing her to slip and her butt sitting on Kogarashi’s face. This wakes him up and surprised to see Chisaki here. Chisaki can’t move and pretends to sleep. Fearing the worse that Kogarashi might make a move on her, but Kogarashi covers the blanket over her. This is when Oboro comes in to have sex with him but he declines. Not because she has no boobs, tomboyish or not human. He will only do so with the person he loves. Oboro accepts and leaves. Until he loves her. Well, taking a look at the pecking order, that might that a while… Next day as Chisaki leaves, she leaves a note for Yuuna that leaves her quite embarrassed. It is to refrain from clinging to people when she is asleep and naked otherwise someday this might turn on Kogarashi.

Episode 10
Looks like beach season is here. Hence Sagiri’s friend and fellow Chuuma member, Urara Urakata suggests they go buy swimsuits. Sagiri is reluctant at first and is satisfied with her boring school swimsuit but after Urara provokes the possibility of her being shunned, she relents. Oh, she has to bring Kogarashi too because they need a boy’s opinion. After all the embarrassment, Sagiri manages to ask Kogarashi but lies about a monster at the swimsuit shop. Because Sagiri’s fashion sense sucks, Urara becomes aggressive into trying out various sexy and risqué swimsuits on her. When Sagiri has given up and would rather wear her school swimsuit, this initiates Urara’s jealousy as she starts to molest those sweet boobs and rant about wanting to have them herself. The struggle ends up with them in a compromising lesbian position. As expected, Kogarashi goes to see what is happening and gets a load view of fanservice. You know what happens next, right? I guess there is your monster. In the end, she ends up buying a decent one (because Kogarashi said it looks good on her). On the bus trip, Chisaki introduces Yuuna to her friend, Seri Yanazawa (she can’t see Yuuna of course). But other students don’t believe in ghost despite obvious floating things before them and think it is just Kogarashi’s tricks. At the beach, Chisaki garners more attention than Sagiri. Must be that floral swimsuit. You regretting now? While playing in the sea, how convenient of Urara to mention about some monster that steals swimsuits. Because here comes the tentacle rape! Yeah, rip those swimsuits too! Noticing the tentacles can regenerate, they have to destroy the core of the monster which is 300m deep. Don’t worry. Kogarashi can get the job done and save the day. But even with this, other students still refuse to believe there are ghosts. Hence Chisaki rallies her friends to help make them believe that Kogarashi is a spirit medium via kimodameshi tonight. It looks perfect on paper but in reality… Worse, Chisaki is paired with Kogarashi and this will make the attempt less credible. During their turn, Chisaki trips so Kogarashi takes a look at her feet (feet fetish moment?) and caries her but Yuuna panics because she was so scared of waiting alone despite being a ghost. WTF. As they rest, Chisaki fears the plan will fail. Don’t worry. A real monster pops up to cause havoc.

Episode 11
A couple of guys kicked a loose slab and it awakened a monster from his slumber?! Why the f*ck is the stone loose?! It’s amazing he was never awakened before. Kogarashi to the rescue as he allows him to bite his arm. Yeah, his teeth break! Kogarashi uses some diplomacy to apologize. The monster senses he is stronger than the one who sealed him. So rather than bother fighting him, he sealed himself back. Like, WTF?! But at least people’s perception of Kogarashi has improved. That night, I suppose Kogarashi is such a wanted guy that he gets a free pass to join in the girls’ room. Until the patrolling teacher comes back so they all have to hide. I can see where this is going. Yuuna, Sagiri and Chisaki are sandwiching him. Obviously. Why the f*ck does Yuuna need to hide? Is she not invisible? The most she would just scare the teacher. When Yuuna cannot take this close proximity and tries to leave, Kogarashi holds and squeezes her. The teacher gets curious but Yuuna blows up. In this short burst, Kogarashi dashes out the window and everyone pretends it is a surprise. I think the teacher is too shocked to think. Next night, Kogarashi grants Yuuna’s wish to dance with him at the bonfire dance. The thing is, Kogarashi is seen like dancing by himself! Did anyone not notice this?! I guess the couples are too focused on their partners and the loser guys are too depressed to notice anything. Back home, Kogarashi, Sagiri and Yaya are studying for their tests. Oboro comes in to press her boobs on him. Hard to concentrate, right? It gets harder with Nonko in her slutty swimsuit eating ice cream in an arousing manner. Oboro seeks Koyuzu’s help for a love potion so she laces it on the shaved ice that she will serve to them. The effected person will fall in love right away at first glance. Thanks to Nonko’s interference, the shaved ice bowls are mixed up. Oboro serves them. Nothing happens. But after a while, Sagiri starts to act strange. When Kogarashi asks her questions and gets too close, she becomes too conscious. She remembers Urara’s teasing that she has a crush on Kogarashi and this embarrassment only amplifies the effect. A fluctuation of emotions, Sagiri thinks she can be feminine enough for him. By showing her boobs! She wants his opinion on her and since he finds her cute, happy Sagiri lets her sleep in them. Then the effects wear off. Man, Yaya must be so focused she didn’t even notice this and finished her study. Meanwhile embarrassed Sagiri locks herself up in her room. Now you realize you’re an amateur in love? Oboro notes what Koyuzu said about the effect. Not only it lasts for a short while, it won’t work if you don’t have any affections for that person at all. So I guess this confirms it.

Episode 12
The usual morning routine. Yuuna gets her boobs fondled by sleeping Kogarashi. Blast away! Good morning. With Sagiri, Nakai, Koyuzu and Yaya returning to their hometown, the rest stay behind to look after Yuragi-sou. Since Nonko is in a pinch over her manga deadline again, she has the rest to help. As reward, she brings them to Okinawa beach. Daring and bold swimsuits and the sun lotion rubbing fiasco. Nonko adlibs sexy moans when Kogarashi is putting on Yuuna, causing him to slip and touch unwanted places. There he goes again into the sky! However he notices a ghost girl at a cape. Later there is a legend of a tragic love story of a couple supposed to meet here but they never. He died in an accident as she continues to wait for him. Kogarashi and Yuuna go see that ghost girl, Ami. She confirms the story but her lover, Yasuhisa is just around the corner! As she is a ghost bound to this place, she cannot move. As they talk to Yasuhisa, it seems he is afraid of seeing her as he fears her getting mad! He adds to the story, he was about to elope with her but his bike crashed on this corner. Ami saw and dived in to save him but both drowned. To solve their problem, Kogarashi says Ami will turn into an evil spirit if she does not ascend. Hence he will force her to ascend. Yasuhisa panics and feels afraid. But after thoughts with Ami flash through his mind, he finally takes his first step. I guess he saw this coming because Ami beats the sh*t out of him! But once that is over and the (dead) lovers reunite, they ascend. Happy ending. With this, Kogarashi now wants to hear Yuuna’s past life so as to help her find peace. As many spirits that possessed him, all are eager to talk about their life. He never heard about Yuuna’s. Simple. That’s because she can’t remember! All she remembers is she woke up in Yuragi-sou. She finds it strange that with all those around her, she feels very happy now. So why can’t she ascend? I can think of one reason… That night, Kogarashi dreams of trying to save Yuuna from being forcefully exorcised. In reality, he touch her boobs. It’s that cue again. But this time Yuuna goes after to grab him. A sign that he’ll always reach out to her? She also finds it strange despite this morning ruckus, it makes her happy. Sadist. And so he vows to stay by her side until she finds peace. And the usual morning too with Yuuna blasting him into the bath where the rest of the ladies are bathing. Despite getting beaten up, he too says such mornings aren’t bad. Why not? Getting beaten up by sexy girls every morning certainly beats getting roughed up by macho men!

OVA 2
Sagiri confronts Oboro and will not accept her living as Yuragi-sou because of her constant harassing of Kogarashi. But Oboro’s goal is to make him fall in love with her so she asks if Sagiri has experience with men. Not too good memories… Oboro then quotes that since Sagiri is beautiful, she thought she would have been more popular with guys. And that is the magic word for Sagiri to accept Oboro! Oboro then asks Yaya for a way to a man’s heart. You can guess her answer: Food. Hence she tries her hand cooking and also asks Nakai. Technically she isn’t lying because long ago, a boy once made a kiddie promise to marry her. Too bad Oboro screws up and wrecks the kitchen. And since she is repairing it, Kogarashi is spared from her harassment. Then she returns to Genshiro but since he is in training, she asks his guards. Their answer is to be strong. Next she asks Nonko but first, she becomes her cosplay slave. And when Oboro pops the question, Nonko goes into this drunkard rant how men only look at her boobs. Looks like she said the wrong word. But Koyuzu dismisses boobs are bad and can be instead be used as a weapon. Oboro wonders how to make hers big so Koyuzu guides her on how to massage them. Yeah… So I guess finally it’s Yuuna’s turn since Oboro believes all that advice failed and in the end she didn’t learn anything. Yuuna thinks it is to spend time with that person and before you know it, it’ll happen. Oboro must have taken her advice literally because now she replaces Yuuna as Kogarashi’s wakeup harasser. So early, so flirty. They’re not making babies, so what’s the issue? Oh Yuuna, I know this is not what you meant but it still proves you want to monopolize Kogarashi, right?

Chisaki wakes up feeling some sort of pain in her boobs. Oh, it’s Koyuzu sleeping and molesting them. For the summer break, Koyuzu is here to stay with her family. We are introduced to Chisaki’s mom, Hiyori who loves everything cute so you can bet she loves Koyuzu a lot and wants to smother her with her boobs too. I mean, Koyuzu should ‘love her more’ since her boobs are bigger. As they go shopping together, I suppose we need to have the obligatory fanservice of shopping for lingerie. Koyuzu peeks into Chisaki changing and feels it is a shame to hide her big boobs although it needs support. Her solution? Use panties as her bra! Mother approves! So do we! In the bath, Koyuzu explains to Hiyori about Kogarashi. Like a gangster? Despite mom warning all men are wolves, Koyuzu knows Kogarashi is the kind type. Boobs heaven for tanuki loli as she gets to be smothered by mother and daughter’s boobs in the bath. She even gets the sleep with them and the moment she falls asleep, she starts fondling Chisaki’s jugs. If Chisaki won’t let them, maybe Hiyori will. Yeah, damn we wish we were Koyuzu! Next day, Hiyori suggests Koyuzu live with them and they can help her integrate with human society. Koyuzu once despised her tanuki ears and tail but realizes they are not that bad. Because acknowledging them allows her to visit her friends again. She fears she will get used to them and hence the reason why she cannot live with them. Time for some tanuki loli tears and big group hug before Koyuzu returns to Yuragi-sou.

OVA 3
Kogarashi is working part time to help out at a local festival that pays tribute to cat gods. Though, nobody can see those cat deities flying around but Kogarashi. Yaya is also here participating and invites him to the shrine. Kogarashi arrives at the shrine to see lots of cat gods chilling out. So the reason she calls him here is to cook grilled fish for everybody? Yeah, nobody makes it as good as him. Then it is Yaya’s turn to put some strange cat dance performance. However the mischievous cat god, Aramaki crashes the party. But every year he always lost to Yaya. What makes him think it is different this year? The reason why he isn’t hypnotized by Yaya’s charms is because he is wearing sunglasses! So he is attacking her only based on smell. Yeah, rip her clothes to shreds! But it won’t be long before Kogarashi flicks off his sunglasses and now that he sees Yaya’s performance, once more he loses. Grateful Yaya goes to hug Kogarashi but it is more of a playful hug. Aramaki takes his leave but Yaya invites him to play again next year. Although he blushes, he dismisses her. I think I know why he keeps coming back…

Kogarashi has been out doing some odd job for half a month. Yeah, Yuragi-sou without a man is like nothing, right? Because of that, Oboro can’t pay him nightly visits and seduce him. Because Koyuzu believes Chisaki is popular with men (she saw many of them talking to her easily), hence Oboro wants to learn from her ‘master’ to be popular. No choice, Chisaki starts by teaching them how to dress nicely. Too bad it is hijacked by Nonko as she makes them wear sexy idol clothes as she snaps away for her reference. With Oboro thinking idols are popular, they start thinking what would it be like if Kogarashi is a fan of idols. Then they want Chisaki to explain the possibility if she becomes Kogarashi’s boyfriend. She explains all the lovely and normal things they would do. Very different from Oboro’s mentality of sex and having lots of babies! Oboro further suggests because Japan lacks a concubine system, she believes Yuuna should be Kogarashi’s official wife as she is always sleeping with him. Since Yuuna denies, it is all back to square one as they wonder what kind of girls he likes. Weird deductions lead to another. Because they think he might be an idol lover as his part time job is following idols’ concert on a nationwide tour. Yeah, this might explain why he isn’t interested with the girls around him. Twisted logic. When Kogarashi finally returns from his job, he sees the girls practising to become idols. While Chisaki and Yuuna are embarrassed to let him see their skimpy idol outfit, Oboro and Koyuzu are more than ready to expose further. Kogarashi’s best answer: Walk away and pretend not to see anything! It’s been a long day and job so please don’t add to his misery.

 

Youkai Apartment No Yuragi Na Nichijou
Oh well. I guess Yuuna being amnesiac is to set up and give future plot convenience whenever it calls for it. Because if it is revealed now about her past, I’m sure it will take out all the fun. That is why everybody can enjoy the same sadistic scene of Yuuna blasting Kogarashi into the sky like Team Rocket every freaking single damn morning. Now imagine if we all know her past, can everybody keep doing this same ‘happy’ thing over and over again? Yup. That will be when the series will change its tempo. But that is for another day in the future. When Yuuna is ready to move on for real.

Sometimes I feel the urge to compare this series to another similar ecchi series, High School DxD. The main protagonist is generally similar (a single punch that effectively takes out the opponent) and he has a harem of supernatural babes. A handful of human ones too. But instead of an occult club, we have a dorm and our main guy doesn’t aim to become a harem king but work hard enough to clear his debts.

There are a few things that don’t really make sense or add up but since this show relies heavily on fanservice, all those plot conveniences seem to lead to this juicy ecchi fix and since we got our boob shots and crotch shots, I guess we won’t be thinking further how all of those are related. Like that loose stone in the forest with a powerfully sealed demon. How the f*ck could that even happen? Did the seal finally wear out? A special note was noted about the woman who sealed the monster inside but nothing else further. Then there was that sea monster demon in the sea so it could lead to the obligatory tentacle rape fanservice. How did that come about? So if you love all the tits and pantsu that the TV series has to offer, I am very sure the BD versions will be in glorious uncensored HD. Yup, those damn white lights suddenly appearing at strategic places that we want to focus our eyes on.

Apparently I heard some complaining of the lewdness in this series that got a bit too hot. Like Nonko eating that sticky melting ice cream. I doubt she is the first to do so because there are other anime series out there who have done much worse. Remember that suggestively lewd scene in To Love-Ru Darkness where Momo was being forced to lick and suck on the popsicle while on her knees? Yeah… And if you were bold enough to watch that ‘not porn’ series, Koe De Oshigoto, try acting out a voice acting scene of needing to suck one’s dick! I guess with so many lewdness going around, those getting so woke these days won’t remember just a few seasons ago we had this sort of indecency that was shown over the airwaves. People, can we just let a girl lick an ice cream the way she wants it???!!!

For the characters, I’ve seen too many of such animes in this genre to find anything interesting. The characters are rather okay and not so much as annoying as they are in their own right. Like Kogarashi as the only male lead is trying to walk a fine line and tightrope between keeping his sanity and chastity as he lives at Yuragi-sou. I’m not saying he is a pervert and trying to hold it in, but living with sexy (supernatural) babes 24/7, his tolerance game must be really strong. Very strong. Therefore when he often gets into accidental mischiefs like accidentally groping a girl’s boobs, it feels like God is trying to force fate and turn him into a pervert. Yeah, quite a number of such situations here. Or God gets His kicks seeing Kogarashi get beaten up by the violated girl. As part of the plot convenience for him being able to do just about anything, he has been possessed by a variety of skilled spirits in his youth. Does this make him an overpowered character? Sometimes I feel he is just one step away from being One Punch Man. One of the only few skills he never acquired because he wasn’t possessed by such ghosts, is to make love with girls… Thank goodness, right?

Yuuna looks like leading the pack to Kogarashi’s heart because of their proximity and the amount of time they spent with each other. The reason for Kogarashi to stay with her to help find her lingering regret seems to be a weak reason coupled by the fact he doesn’t punch girls. So I guess if there are rampaging animals, he is screwed if they are all female, huh? My hunch is that Yuuna’s lingering regret is to find love and once she realizes and accepts the fact that she has truly fallen in love with Kogarashi, will she start to ascend? One of the greatest dilemmas and tragedies ever. Only to have found love but now have to move on. So you see why status quo is so important at least in this kind of genres?

One of the most mind boggling things about Yuuna is about her ability to touch whatever she wants. This is both a plot convenience and a flaw. While it allows Yuuna to pass through things as a ghost (and to remind us that she is one), objects that she is able to touch whenever she wants to sometimes feel like a flimsy reason to get our fanservice fix. Especially the usual morning ruckus of Yuuna beating the sh*t out of Kogarashi when she just woke up. You know, they have been doing this for considerably a long time and you would think that they would learn at least something to prevent this from happening like as though it is the first time every time.

Also, how the heck can Yuuna want to touch things when she is asleep or unconscious?! For Yuuna to enable this ability only has me thinking that she really wants to be touched by Kogarashi but doesn’t want to take responsibility for it, hence her embarrassment going into overdrive mode and the violent reaction we often see. Not only when it comes to Kogarashi, but there are other moments too when Yuuna could have easily switched between this power like when she was captured by Genshiro. Was there some sort of Kryptonite in his palace that prevented her from escaping her prison walls? Instead, she had to wait till Kogarashi and co arrive to save her.

Another puzzling thing about Yuuna is her form when others see her. It is understandable that not everyone can see a ghost and hence in the eyes of those without spiritual powers, she looks like an eerie ghost. But I thought there was one simple solution for this albeit not perfect. Why does Yuuna not wear some real clothes over herself? Remember, she has that ability to touch things that she wants. So isn’t it okay to just allow her to touch the real clothes so it would seem like she is wearing them? As for her face, sketch her face on a paper and stick on her face like a mask! I mean, we can ask Kogarashi to draw, right? I am very sure he was once possessed by a very skilled artist.

So instead of confusing and trolling us that Yuuna is invisible in the eyes of the ordinary people who seem to just dismiss this as some cheap Kogarashi trick (probably it is easier to believe in this lie and be in denial than to deal with the real thing), just use this solution to solve a lot of problems! It gives others especially like Chisaki an easier time to feel her body rather than just looking like she is groping air. Really. After all, the usual clothes that Yuuna wear is just her own imagination, right? Practically she is always naked so I don’t see why the fuss that Yuuna becomes so embarrassed with certain clothes. Must be that perception thingy. Also confusing to us for Yuuna is that she claims to be a ghost bound to Yuragi-sou but has been to so many places farther away than I have in my entire life. My life sucks…

Sagiri and Chisaki being the next contenders for Kogarashi’s heart, I feel that Sagiri has been given slightly more focus compared to Yuuna and Chisaki. Although all have their personal screen times with him, I feel that Sagiri got slightly more. I may be wrong but this is because of Sagiri’s personality who is supposed to be a tough ninja chick oblivious to love. So when guys like Kogarashi come crashing into her life, it is more fun to see her turning to her tsundere side. The more she resists, the more she will unwittingly fall deeper into this pit trap known as love. Only in time will tell… Same thing for Chisaki although she is not so much as tsundere as Sagiri. She often gets worried thinking whenever she is in such a compromising situation, she believes this might lead Kogarashi to think she is some lewd woman trying to bait him in. At this point she should know the basics about Kogarashi to even think that he is some sort of pervert. I know, you can never be too sure and there is that slight remote chance he might just become the devil himself. So better give into her natural instincts and let him take the blame as the pervert just to satisfy our cheap cheesy fanservice thrill.

Now that Oboro is staying at Yuragi-sou, did she have permission to leave Genshiro? I mean, is that dragon dude okay of being left alone in his palace without any females? Previously Oboro was his retainer despite being the only female around. Now that she is gone for who knows how long (until Kogarashi impregnates her maybe), Genshiro has only his fish guards as company. I wonder why his palace that is so well hidden needs to have guards anyway. Guarding from what kind of intruders? Despite Oboro being bold and upfront in trying to ‘rape’ Kogarashi (or get him to f*ck her), somehow it doesn’t feel as exciting. Not only because of her monotonous and boring facial expression, I suppose because the thrill comes from accidents or resistance. Where is the fun if both suddenly decide to get it on? Sure, that would be shocking but hardly fun because unlike the others as we have seen, ‘built up’ all the tension and drama with all those shenanigans and hence even if something steamy were to happen with Kogarashi and any of those trio, we would be watching with baited breath. Not for Oboro, though. Too easy. Maybe that’s why she’ll never get in his pants.

The other girls at Yuragi-sou don’t seem to look like interested in part of being of Kogarashi’s harem. Koyuzu is just a little kid (to cater for those lolicons), Yaya only follows Kogarashi because he feeds her decent grilled fish and Nonko is only looking for some thrill time and probably some sort of stress reliever after working so hard on her manga that she lets it all loose with her drinking and showing lots of skin. As for Nakai, the only weird thing I find about her situation is the fact she hides from the rest about going to school. If this is her first time going to school, won’t other classmates and teacher feel it is strange that she came from nowhere? Unless she cooked up a real good background. So will she continue this until high school and graduate? Because by that time this secret would have been busted. I am sure there are certain events that a student will need his/her parents to get involved. Oh, I don’t know. Say, sports festivals, PTA meetings, permissions for field trips. The last one she can give excuse to be away for association meetings but there is only so long she can be away from Yuragi-sou otherwise the inn would have collapsed without her caretaking! And it’s pretty odd that Nakai has her own friends at school but they don’t seem to know a lot about her or even come visit the place where she lives. I mean, both places are so close and in the same town. Because it will be the biggest screw up ever if Nakai’s hidden life and people from both sides of it discover each other. Will her luck run out by then?

Art and animation are okay. Characters are not sophisticatedly designed and they look simple and lean more towards cute. Somehow I find Kogarashi looks like a discount version of High School DxD’s Issei. Same case for Chisaki whom I feel is a discount version of To Aru Kagatsu No Railgun’s Misaka. And why does Oboro remind me of Toji No Miko’s Sayaka? Ever since Monogatari’s Senjougahara decided to cut her hair short, isn’t that why this hairstyle was taken up by Sagiri? Just slap an eye-patch and you got yourself another character. Even if certain scenes look like having their quality lowered, of course when it comes to fanservice scenes, you’ll get your decent juicy details because our eyes will be wide opened focusing on all the possible details we can get ;p. This animation is produced by Xebec who is a ‘master’ of producing many anime series of this genre like To Love-Ru, Keijo, Maken-Ki, Triage X, MM, Shuffle, Ladies Versus Butlers and Kanokon.

Voice acting wise, I only recognize Youko Hikasa as the narrator and she is trying to sound as silly as possible. Just like so many other seiyuus I have stereotyped and begun to only recognize them in that single trademark voice of theirs, I guess it is no wonder why I couldn’t identify Yui Ogura as Yaya. No cute squeaky high pitched voice here. Just an emotionless cat girl who probably lacks the most dialogue among the main and supporting characters. The rest of the other casts are Yuuki Ono as Kogarashi (Isami in Shokugeki No Souma), Miyuki Shimabukuro as Yuuna (Narumi in Harukana Receive), Rie Takahashi as Sagiri (Megumin in KonoSuba), Eri Suzuki as Chisaki (Chinatsu in Flying Witch), Ai Kakuma as Nonko (Rossweiesse in High School DxD series), Anzu Haruno as Koyuzu (Mafuyu in Blend S), Sayaka Harada as Nakai (Sayaka in Aho Girl), Mikako Komatsu as Oboro (Neko in K), Mao Ichimichi as Urara (Enri in Overlord), You Taichi as Seri (Dorothy in Princess Principal) and Yoshimasa Hosoya as Genshiro (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin).

The opening theme, Momoiro Typhoon by Luna Haruna feels like a generic anime pop song. Nothing special in my books. The ending theme, Happen ~Kogarashi Ni Fukarete~ by Miyuri Shimabukuro, Rie Takahashi and Eri Suzuki sound a lot like manufactured pop music. So much so I can imagine this is the kind of song that is used when you want to play those dancing games like Dance Dance Revolution. Yes, it does have that feel and beat albeit not the very fast and exuberant kind.

Overall, if you like ecchi series, this one is for you and it is comparable to High School DxD although the latter is still better because it has already built its own base over the years. After all, what else would you come to expect to watch this kind of genre? It would be ironic to say this kind of series is just clean fun because there is nothing really clean watching shows filled with such fanservice. Our hearts and minds are already so dirty and this mild one is just only enough as starters. I hope I don’t come to a point where I have to watch real hentai just to get the same thrill. So haunted house with scary ghosts or lewd ghosts? Both equally as scary because one scares the daylights out of you and the other sucks all the libido out of you. Scared to death or died happily. You’re dead either way.

I know it is long overdue and I can’t even remember nor fathom why I kept delaying watching a great series. Even if Shingeki No Kyojin – Lost Girls is just a 3 episode OVA series focusing on the 2 toughest female chicks in the series that took about almost 2/3 of the year to come out. Even the first part of the third season is dusted and gone. Is it so that I could make puns of how these are the lost episodes? Heh. Me making lost jokes on a Titan series? Yeah, I don’t even know what I’m thinking but at least now that I remembered, better late than never, right?

Episode 1
Annie is still reeling from nightmares of killing her comrades or watch them die. In the morning, her fellow Military Police partner, Hitch Dreyse passed off to her a case in which her friend too passed it on to her. In exchange to cover for Annie’s absence tomorrow (to kidnap Eren), she is tasked to find Carly Stratmann, the daughter of Elliot G. Stratmann who is the president of Marleen Company who went missing. Annie goes to talk to Elliot for more details and he can tell his case was not taken seriously until it reached her hands since not a single lead of her disappearance is found. It showed the Military Police had no interest to even look into this case. He is free to hire a detective but he trusts her despite her inexperience unlike private detectives who are just out to swindle his money. So as Annie asks questions, we learn that he doesn’t know what Carly does or thinks ever since she graduated from university 3 years ago. They have this mutual understanding not to get into each other’s life. Carly cannot be kidnapped as Elliot has not seen any ransom demand. Annie leaves when Elliot gets a note from another visitor. Annie sees Marlo for some records. She finds it strange that Elliot continues to maintain a luxurious lifestyle when his company is failing. Also, Carly did not help out when the business was in decline. What a weird family. This only has her remember her own. If there was a word (or two) that described her relationship with her own father, it was unconditional obedience. Further investigations showed she was arrested 2 years ago by the Military Police after causing a brawl at a bar in the slums.

Heading down there to interrogate, those hooligans think Annie is easy meat until she beats them up and threatens to report them in possession of the illegal drugs called coderoin unless they cooperate. They relate how Carly was a regular here and always bought everyone drinks. They loved her. One night she flew into a rage after they took out coderoin. They are unsure why because they did many other drugs too and she said nothing. Because her pockets were deep even during bad times, they started wondering if the money she has was bad. Because a few days ago, a weird guy in an expensive suit with a fake red eye came asking for her. That’s why they didn’t want to cooperate with Annie at first thinking she would arrest her. When Annie is still going to report them and they’re begging not to, the bartender tells her perhaps she could bug Carly’s boyfriend, Kemper Boltz. Making her way into the dangerous slum area that even Military Police gave up on patrolling, of course more hooligans think she is easy meat. Better fess up to Kemper’s whereabouts if you don’t want you ass kicked. Strangely, Kemper’s door is unlocked. Looks like as though he knew she was coming and fled. Annie searches around and finds a box filled with coderoin. Then she looks underneath the bed. Holy sh*t! Shock of her life! A dead body!

Episode 2
Annie identifies this is Kemper’s body and since it is still warm, he has died not long. If she reports this, she will be subpoenaed and will not be able to go on to tomorrow’s mission. Her only way out is to find Carly and pretend she never step foot in here. Which reminds her of another flashback. A harsh training with her father caused her to critically damage his leg beyond healing. However father was happy because she is now stronger. As Annie decides to go back to Elliot, she is usurped and forced to follow Wald Richter (man with the fake eye) and his subordinate, Lou Meade. From their talk, it seems they know where Carly is but did not kill Kemper. Annie wants her ring to be given back but Lou fools around with it. Wald takes a look at it and finds it suspicious. With Lou continue to fool around with it, Annie strikes. Accidentally Lou scratches her with the ring and Annie transforms into a Titan. At least only an arm. She beats up Wald to get more information but is shot by Lou. Lou then betrays Wald and shoots him. I understand Annie has powers so she can’t easily die but Lou is such a bad shot that he didn’t outright kill Wald? I guess enough time to talk and reveal stuffs to Annie. Wald reveals Elliot hired them to look for Carly a few days earlier. It didn’t take them long to track down Kemper and he wanted to make a deal with them. That is to blackmail Elliot with Carly’s secrets and make money out of it. All they had to do was hide her and collect the money a few days later. Wald laments how things always slipped through his hands at the last minute. Because 5 years ago when the Titan broke through the wall, he lost his family. Had it been a day later, they would have been in another town.

Annie beats up Lou and his men at their hideout. Chicken Lou passes out after being threatened if he ever rats on her. Carly is here and she seems cool about everything. Time for all the pieces of the puzzle to come together. It seems she is the one who is making coderoin and Kemper is just a dealer while Elliot was in charge. When she made coderoin, Elliot promised not to sell it in this town which was her territory. So when he broke that promise, the reason she became angry. The original plan was for her and Kemper to move to another town but he disliked the idea of settling in an unfamiliar place. She hopes Annie will continue to report her as missing. Carly started making coderoin to help papa obtained everything he lost. But now if she stays, she’ll want to help him again so with Annie’s help, she moves to another town. Annie returns to Elliot and claims he killed Kemper. That note he received earlier was from Kemper who was watching and decided to speed up his plan. The note probably said to bring the money to his place so when he got there, they chat and something went wrong that had Elliot killed him. Proof of Elliot’s presence there is the only tobacco he smoked found at the crime scene. Elliot comes clean he got mad and accidentally killed him after learning Kemper will not return his daughter and will continue to blackmail him for more money. Annie doesn’t care about that since it is a long tired day and when Elliot is ready to head to prison, instead Annie has him dispose of Kemper’s body in the water purification plant. Though she claims she is doing it for herself. Elliot will always welcome Annie to his home but she says she is returning to her hometown soon. Annie writes her report that Carly and Kemper may have fled to another town with fake names and passports and hence further investigation will be fruitless. More flashbacks with her father. He was glad she remembers his teachings but that fateful day when he realized everything he taught her was wrong, even when she finds the whole world against her, he will always be here for her. So please promise that she’ll come back. Annie sets her sights to capture Eren and fulfil her promise.

Episode 3
Mikasa always had a feeling that Eren will leave them once everything ends. Hence a strange scene starts playing in her mind. A strange voice tells her that she can redo any reality the way she wants. The catch is that Eren will eventually always die. So instead of the original Mikasa’s story that we know of how her family was killed by intruders, this time we see Grisha bringing Eren to their cabin and they become friends. Not sure about this scene in the woods where they stumble into a pack of wild dogs feasting on corpses and the pack turn to them, Mikasa’s prayer or something causes them to lose interest and turn away. So she can wish things to turn out her way? They spend more time together as Eren tells about his friend Armin who knows everything and hence he is very interested to know about the outside world and join the Survey Corps. One day Mikasa gets permission to meet Eren in town. Just in time when the Survey Corps return from their expedition. Just like the real history, they are battered, bruised and morally demoralized. It puts doubts in Mikasa’s mind. When a few guys badmouth the Survey Corps’ failure, Eren fights them but gets beaten up. Eren subsequently can’t come because of some infection and this makes Mikasa worry a lot. She realizes she wants to be with him. So the next time they meet, he tells her about the disbandment of the Survey Corps over their failures. However this has not stopped him and Armin from trying to get out. Tonight they are going to leave beyond the walls via hot air balloon and if Mikasa wants, she can join them. He gives his scarf as motivation for her to return it to him.

That night as she rushes to the meet up place, she is suddenly snatched by this weird masked magician street performer who intends of turning her into a killer. Nobody is paying attention. This dude hands her a knife as well as tells her this world is just a fragment of her imagination she created because she cannot accept Eren’s death. Although it is useless to protect him since he will die anyway, she must kill him and become stronger and then go back to her original world. Because that’s how the way the cruel world works. Mikasa becomes obsessed of wanting to be with Eren that she killed him. Oh, now the crowd pays attention. But he gets up and reveals his tricks. Now the crowd is astounded. But as Mikasa rushes to the meeting place, she only sees dejected Armin there. The hot air balloon started to lose altitude when it lift off. Eren pushed him off to save him but the balloon crashed into the wall. Armin blames himself for not being able to do anything as this wakes Mikasa up back to reality. The part where she was going to be sandwiched and killed by Titans but here comes Titan Eren to the rescue! Mikasa has accepted that she cannot stop his fate but wants to be by his side no matter where he goes. That is her only wish.

Girls, Interrupted
Interesting side distractions if I should say. If you’re a big fan of Annie and/or Mikasa, these OVA episodes do them enough justice to put them in the spotlight. While Annie’s story feels like it was filling the gap before he big capture Eren mission and hence Annie taking on a detective role while maintaining her tough badass side is much delighted, Mikasa’s story feels more like fantasy. I mean, it shows her trying to escape harsh reality with an alternate story in her head but whether this timeline was real or not, eventually she has to come to terms with the inevitable fate that is to befall on Eren. So it’s somewhat of a bittersweet side for Mikasa and with all the violence and cruelty she has seen and faced, it’s the reason why she puts up that poker face and became Eren obsessed. In a way, both ladies have strong but opposing interests why they want Eren. Too bad it doesn’t feel like the romantic kind.

Going back to Annie’s story, sometimes I can’t help feel a little disappointed because I was hoping to see more about her past with her father. I suppose that they do not want to reveal too much before the third season rolled out but we were given enough clips to at least have a glimpse of their relationship. At least we now know a reason why Annie did what she had to do and answered that promise that she needs to keep. Too bad as we have seen her fate at the end of the first season, it looks like her promise is not going to be fulfilled. I suppose it’s not a great time to make this pun and joke, “Annie are you okay? Are you okay Annie?!”. Haha! Oops… Sorry… But still, her arc was interesting enough so I guess the slight disappointment was just me nit-picking and do not affect my overall praise for this series.

Not sure in the future if they are going to make more OVAs of other more popular characters. Levi had his in No Regrets, now Annie and Mikasa already had their turn. I suppose if they don’t reveal too much of Krista AKA Historia’s background in the TV series, they may make one on this pretty cute chick. Or maybe that is just me and my wishful thinking. There are so many other characters in this series, they could even surprise us by focusing on lesser known characters. Like Marco. Heh. As long as they make it interesting. Otherwise we can only make do with what we have with those that have been adapted and the rest of the other untold stories forever lost in the sands of time.

Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san

December 2, 2018

Dorm themed animes aren’t all that ubiquitous. They aren’t that rare either. Over the years we have a few of them like as early as Maison Ikkoku to Mahoraba in the 2000’s and the recent ones over these past few years, Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo and Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou. This season, we bring you Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san. You must be thinking why the title of this anime is given to the caretaker of this dorm. Because among all the dorm themed animes I have mentioned, she has the freaking largest bust! SO F*CKING HUGE!!!!!!! Are you sure this is not some sort of porn studio disguised as a dorm? Nope. Checked that one out. And as usual, new petite and meek character moves into the dorm, meets other quirky dorm residents and the very often encounter with those huge racks. Sure this isn’t really a porn studio?

Episode 1
Aki Shiina has just arrived at Tokyo and makes his way to Sunohara Dorm where he meets the caretaker, Ayaka Sunohara. First thing he will notice is her tremendously huge boobs! Can’t blame him. It’s at his eye level. My fist question will be was she a porn star… Because Ayaka thinks he is a girl, she has him take a bath and is going to bath with him! It took him a while there to convince her he is a guy. Aki observes Ayaka is good at everything. But the only thing that bothers him is how she loves smothering him in her boobs! Yeah, it’s suffocating. Aki’s goal of starting a new life here is to be a real man. Due to his girly looks, he is often mistaken to be a girl. So he tries to help Ayaka with the chores to prove how manly he is but always fails. So Ayaka gives him a chance to be treated like a man if he kisses her on the cheek. He is about to do it when other dorm residents return. Well, they’re not mad at Aki but rather Ayaka. Yeah, it seems all of them were victims of her deep skinship. Folks, meet Yuzu Yukimoto (has a complex over her small body parts including her stature), Sumire Yamanashi (nose bleeds over cute Yuzu) and Yuri Kazami (probably a sadist) (trio to be collectively known as 3 Stooges instead of 3Y). Next morning, Aki is almost awakened by Ayaka’s sexy wakeup call had not Yuzu come in to stop them. Before Aki leaves for school, since he is nervous of being a new transfer student, Ayaka helps him practice. She plays the part by dressing up in her old school uniform. Why does she look like ready for a porn shoot? Aki is still nervous so she lets him touch her boobs to feel her nervous heart too. Can he feel her beating heart at that distance?! Now his heart is nervous for another reason. Yeah, she trolled him. But thanks to that, his day at school went fine.

Episode 2
Aki thinks he has gotten used to the dorm. Yeah. Now see Ayaka in a cheerleading outfit! Underboobs… As she cheers him while studying, he begins to wonder if she is cheering or distracting him. Apparently the school will have a sport’s day and she’s supposed to come cheer? Oh boy. I can see the mayhem it will cause. Ayaka helps Aki train for the sports day. At the end of the day, Aki is tired while Ayaka is still full of stamina. I’m surprised all that boobs bouncing in his face wasn’t the reason he tire out. Later as he baths, Ayaka helps trim his hair. Free fanservice too, right? This training goes on a few more days but when the real day comes, Aki is totally flat out as the mental and physical strain of being too close to Ayaka wore him out. There is a spider on the wall so Yuzu wants Aki to help rid of it. She blames him for not being manly when he fails to do so. So he trolls her there are bugs lying around. Don’t count on Sumire either. She passed out when the spider landed on her. Yuri? She’s lecturing from a mile away how harmless the spider is. Oh, Ayaka is here. Pervy spidey lands on her boobs. I think her cleavage could have squished it but she coolly throws it out. The 3 Stooges plan to find out Ayaka’s weakness and they think Aki can help do so when they go out do errands. But at the liquor store run by Nishiki Yatsuho, Aki believes she likes alcohol. Yuzu’s next plan is for them to watch a horror movie together. Gee, Aki doesn’t know what a VCR tape is! Too bad Aki is the one who got scared! After more failed ideas, the only thing left is to ask her directly. Aki agrees thinking by showing how manly he is by protecting her, she’ll see him as a man. So when he does so, she realizes what that horror movie was for. So she says what scares her most is somebody sneaking into her room while she is sleeping. Oh no. Why do I have a feeling this is a trap? Expectedly, Aki does so but Ayaka pulls him to sleep with her. She admits she was also scared watching the horror movie but hold it in. So now that she can’t sleep, she hopes he could take some responsibility. Next morning, Yuzu is not pleased to see the duo snuggling close to each other.

Episode 3
Yuzu hangs out in Aki’s room because it is cooler. That hot air rises science thingy since his room is on the ground floor. As she sits on his lap to read her shoujo manga, Yuzu starts to get embarrassed as the story is getting racy. With them in this position and Aki unwittingly following some of that action, she gets embarrassed and leaves. Ayaka wonders what happened and as Aki explains, Ayaka has an idea so she suggests replicating that scene. I think he understands now. Only, it ends up with boobs smothering. Aki realizes Sumire has been observing-cum-stalking him! She thinks Yuzu has taken a liking for him so she is observing what he has and what she lacks. And I don’t think it’s the dick that’s making a difference! When Sumire likes the cat pillow he has, he thinks she likes cute stuffs. Both of them agree on this topic when Ayaka walks in. She sees their ambiguous position. Sumire clears the air. No, she made it worse. She says they were just showing each other their embarrassing parts! In the end, Sumire somewhat understands why Yuzu takes a liking for him. Then warns him to hide is ero magazines. Sumire is in depression. She suggested Yuzu to go to the amusement park but she isn’t tall enough to ride. Hence the rest wants Aki to go talk to her since Ayaka isn’t around. A boy in her room? Well, dressed as a girl! Sumire is not amused. He is forced to change her clothes. After that ordeal, Sumire goes into withdrawal since she hasn’t had Yuzu sit on her shoulders today. Aki becomes her substitute. Energy level rising. Back to normal. Yuzu assures that kind of stuff will not depress her. Now she has a live chicken on her head to look taller! Still rejected at the amusement park, though. True depression… Aki accepts Yuri’s favour thinking it would earn him manly points. Turns out she wants him to wear a maid outfit! What did he say about a man not going back on his words? As Yuri makes her own clothes, Yuzu is too small while Sumire is too big. Aki is the right size. So why didn’t she try it on herself? Damn that yandere look… Yeah, she’s getting the camera ready. And there are plenty of outfits she wants him to wear. The last straw came when she wants him to wear a bikini. The commotion causes Ayaka to come check on them but Aki takes Yuri to hide in the closet. He realizes the close proximity. However he thought she smelled nice.

Episode 4
As the girls are talking about June bride, Aki now has to hear their ideals of getting married. But thankfully Ayaka isn’t thinking about marriage now and is happy the way she is. In his search to be helpful, Aki thinks cooking would make a man popular. So as he takes sexually charged lessons from Ayaka, he eventually cooks great. However this makes Yuzu sad that he makes a better girl than them! Yeah, cooking is for girls, right? Because Yuzu bought a swimsuit without trying, looks like there’s space in the boobs area. So she had to go ask Aki about it. My theory is that the slightest slip up gives her the excuse to beat him up because he might imply her boobs are small. So she has him use her computer to research on how to make her boobs grow. So researching herself would make her see things she shouldn’t? I think it’s another excuse to beat him up since eventually she has to see those things. As Ayaka’s bust is the biggest, Aki thinks of asking her but she knows he is staring at it and gives him the usual smothering. This has Aki think the heart is connected to the boob size. The universal truth?! He goes to tell Yuzu only to catch her in the act of self-massaging. But telling that universal truth got him kicked out. When Yuzu sees Ayaka with an old swimsuit of hers that is definitely too tight to fit now, she gets happy thinking she still has a chance. Ayaka didn’t have the heart to tell her that’s her swimsuit from elementary school days. Aki helps Ayaka fix the roof leak. However the ladder falls. Nobody is at home and they left their handphone in their room. And it’s raining. I guess spending quality time is all they have. When the roof gets slippery, Aki slips but is luckily caught by Ayaka. They are in a compromising situation but the 3 Stooges return and see this. Yuzu cuts Aki to take a bath first as both are drenched from the rain. As the 3 Stooges take a nice warm bath, Ayaka tries to warm him. Even going so far as to use her body heat! She takes his temperature. No fever. Oh, suddenly he has! Must be too close her face to his. She lets him lie on her lap. Feels so good. When the 3 Stooges finally get out and see this, all conspire to force Yuri to sleep on Ayaka’s lap as she is the only one who didn’t get this ‘treatment’.

Episode 5
With the inflatable pool at the backyard, Aki is giving excuses why he can’t join the 3 Stooges or even use it himself. Until Ayaka pushes him in. At least she should have wait until he changed into his swimsuit. I think he was reluctant since he lack a manly body anyway. And yeah, what a great fanservice with all the girls in their swimsuits. All so busty except for Yuzu… Hope is fading… When Yuri lets Aki see some of the photos she took, he notices some of them are voyeurism of Yuzu! Now that he has seen them, she will make him ‘disappear’. Why do I have a feeling she deliberately did that? With Sumire here, Yuri lets her see voyeurism pictures of Yuzu. But if she wants to see more, please cough up the cash. Now that Aki knows this secret, she will really make him ‘disappear’. Of course lest he does her a favour. She wants him to take pictures of Ayaka in her ‘natural habitat’. That’s a funny way of saying ‘spy’. But Ayaka knows each time he snaps and is photogenic. Of course this isn’t what Yuri wants. So will Aki have to ‘disappear’? Nah. Just joking. Ayaka becomes a teacher to help Aki in his studies. I have to ask again, is she ready for a porn shoot? Too bad Aki has to finish his homework before he can even use the toilet! So the reward for finishing it is ice cream. Oh Aki, you were thinking of fanservice from Ayaka? But the way she licks her ice cream… Isn’t that good enough? Yatsuho comes by to deliver lime juice and some special liquor to them. As they drink together, the 3 Stooges return and they are shocked Ayaka has drank some alcohol. I guess we’re going to see why that is a bad idea as Ayaka ‘attacks’ Yuzu! Oh sh*t! She ‘attacks’ the other girls and Aki thinks it’s time for him to be a man to save them. Unfortunately he fails. Is he going to be Ayaka’s victim too? Just when he thought she is going to give him a blowjob and spout all that love crap thingy, it is actually she fell asleep on his lap. She wakes up shortly but has no memories as a drunkard. Or does she? Because she hints to Aki that she is waiting for him.

Episode 6
Aki is shocked to see a tanned girl in his room. Nana used to live here and was the former student council president before Yuzu. Looks like she loves flirting with innocent Aki. With Yuzu in the picture, they fight over Aki. Uhm, the battle is school subjects? Too bad Yuzu lost since Nana is using high school subjects. When Ayaka comes by to stop their tug of war over Aki, Aki learns that Nana is Ayaka’s younger sister. So different like day and night. Except for their boobs. Monstrous. Must be in the family genes. Aki gets a shock when he wakes up with Nana sleeping next to him. Yeah, she still thinks it is her room. But then she freaks out after realizing he saw her without her makeup. Later she returns and takes out an old video game console from a secret compartment. Can you believe it Aki has never played video games before?! Yeah, Nana onee-chan is going to teach him. Yeah, sounds so sexually charged… Can he focus with her being so close to him? Especially those boobs? Aki continues his losing streak in a fighting game till he gets bored. When Ayaka comes in to check, Nana wants to take Aki home and keep him as a pet! No way. Ayaka claims she is in charge of him. With the girls at the pool, a couple of girls, Maiko “Mai” Osonoi and Mea Uchifuji try to hit on Aki. Turns out they are Nana’s friends. Yeah, they have no shame admitting they’re into younger guys. They wonder if he is Nana’s boyfriend. Nope. Her pet. Yeah, that’s even far away from being a man. Nana pleads to Ayaka he wants to borrow Aki for today. But Ayaka can’t since she is here to teach him swimming. Hence Nana suggests a swimming battle to see who can have him. Suddenly he is now the prize. Nana thinks Ayaka’s huge boobs would create water resistance but Ayaka counters that by swimming backstroke. Their friends are supposed to be the judges but they are too busy smothering Aki with their love to even bother. And so Nana challenges Ayaka again each time she couldn’t didn’t beat her. Her friends continue to spoil Aki until they’re bored and leave. At the end of the day, it is Nana’s loss since she has no more energy left. And when it’s time for swimming lessons, looks like the pool is closed for the day.

Episode 7
Yuzu is scared of scary movies and yet she is watching them because it’s part of the summer requisite? Leave it to Nana to scare them and then take this chance to flirt with Aki to sleep with her if he’s scared. That night, Aki hears strange noises from next door. Hmm… No room next door… He asks Ayaka about it and she says there is a storage room that can only be accessed outside that no one is using. Yeah, grandma sealed it… With more noises, Aki tries to be manly and investigate it. Hmm… For a sealed door, it’s unlocked. He sees Nana exercising on a treadmill. Apparently Nana has been buying gym equipment and storing here as a secret since her room is too small. With Ayaka finding out about this, she is going to make her eat food she hates until she likes it. Aki realizes the scariest thing here isn’t ghosts… Nana hopes Aki and Yuzu can put some of her gym stuffs in their room. Then it becomes a challenge between Nana and Yuzu. The loser will take all the equipment. Of course Nana aces them but why does it look like she’s flaunting her sexy body at Aki? Hard not to look at her normally… The only match Yuzu wins is hanging on the bar. She used her light weight to her advantage. Hmm… Could it be Nana’s humongous boobs brought her down? In the end, Ayaka suggests keeping it in the storeroom because putting it in their rooms will only scratch the floor. What a meaningless challenge… Aki once more tries to be manly and help Ayaka but to no avail. With Yuri suggesting a back massage, first she teaches her ‘technique’ using Sumire as a guinea pig. In order not to look shady, Aki approaches Ayaka via using massage coupons. She uses them and after a short while, Ayaka stops him. Since she didn’t make any reaction, Aki thought he was bad with it. I think Ayaka has a good poker face. Aki reports this failure to Yuri as they try to enhance the training by taking it out on Sumire again. Nana’s friends are pleading to copy her homework. Oh, Nana has a plan by using Aki as a reward. He doesn’t want to get involved but after they pin the blame on him if they become bad students, what choice does he have? So unmanly, right? If they finish a page, they get to do whatever they want with him for 10 seconds. This serves as their motivation as it gets more risqué. When they take a break, Ayaka joins them to play king’s game. I wonder if the friends are now yuri-fied after tasting Ayaka’s ‘holiness’. In the end they realize they have wasted too much time and must rush to finish their homework. They heard Aki gave Ayaka a massage and want one too. Laying out their asses in a row? Looks like they’re going to heaven again.

Episode 8
Aki hears satisfying moans from Nana coming from a room. When Nana realizes it, she teases him of course. Turns out she had her ears cleaned by Ayaka. Nana forces him to get one. The first side seems okay. Turning the next side face too close to boobs… Not sure if Ayaka is damn good or so boring that Aki fell asleep. Later Nana shows a picture of Aki’s sleeping face to the 3 Stooges. They’re laughing at it until Yuri shows him the same with Nana and Yuzu. With the festivals tonight, Ayaka doesn’t want to put on her yukata believing it isn’t the right side (for her boobs?). But Aki looks disappointed so she agrees to wear them. Now the sisters bug him to put on their sash. When the 3 Stooges go get them, they see the sisters trying to dress Aki and this embarrasses Yuzu a lot. Eh, so why is it his fault? At the festivals, it is hard for Aki to not be treated like a kid. Yup, the sisters trying to hold his hands. He tries to be a man but apparently he sucks at all the games and Nana is the better one. Then here comes Mai and Uchifuji to take away the fun. Yup, they want to flirt with Aki too. They cross the line when the teasing gets too intense with the girls wanting to feed him so Aki has had it and runs away. Feeling guilty, they all look for him. WTF Mai and Uchifuji go flirt with younger boys as part of their search? Just as the fireworks start, Ayaka finds Aki. He is sorry for making them worry. Excuse for Ayaka to still need to take care of him. As they return to the rest, Yuzu hijacks the PA and screams for dummy Aki to come back. Now they all can watch the great fireworks together. When summer vacation is over, Nana leaves and thanks them for their hospitality. What’s this? Aki is most emotional about her departure? Thanks to all the onee-chan teasing? But suddenly next Sunday she returns. She is free to go and do whatever she wants on her free days so she’ll be stopping by here now and then to hang out. I guess Aki is feeling dumb about that dramatic departure. Give back those tears!

Episode 9
Ayaka and Aki help Yatsuho man her Oktoberfest event. Does this mean Aki has to dress up like a German maid? He thought Yuzu packed him manly clothes but it turns out to be a wig. Yeah, now a complete set. The place is bustling with customers streaming thanks to Ayaka. I think we all know why. Aki decently helps out but of course at the start he has a little bit of trouble because… How the heck do you pronounce and write those German words! The event is a success and Yatsuho really wants Aki to be her poster girl. Thank goodness nobody recognized Aki, eh? And now Ayaka is drunk and trying to get all over Aki. Back home, Ayaka gives Aki and Nana some sweet potatoes. They take a selfie and send them to the 3 Stooges who are away on a school field trip. In return, they send back selfies of their eating spree. As Nana weighs herself, oh dear it’s that dread again. Then she tries to prank Ayaka by claiming she too has fats (nope, not her boobs area) so that she could do her fondling. That night Aki hears noises from the storeroom. It can’t be Nana as she has gone back. Gasp! A robber? As he examines, it is Ayaka trying to work the gym machine but has bad luck using them. He pretends not to see this. Good choice. One morning, Ayaka suddenly collapses! Aki is in full panic mode. Exaggerating, isn’t he? Yeah, Yuzu is not impressed you barging into her room. So the 3 Stooges help take care of Ayaka’s cold but since they have school duties, they leave it to Aki. So he has to get over his whatever fears to nurse her. Like wiping sweat off her naked back. And then the front. Underboobs. If he has to psycho himself he needs to be a man to do this, so be it. Eventually Ayaka gets better and is grateful for him ‘saving’ her. But the she ambiguously describes how she’ll do the same to him has the 3 Stooges getting the wrong idea something immoral happened.

Episode 10
Aki is out in the streets when Nana and her friends hijack him to go karaoke together. Aki doesn’t know how to use a karaoke machine and this kicks up some weird fantasies among the friends about his ‘first time’. When he tries to sing, he can’t because Mai and Uchifuji are caressing his thighs! When they have their photo taken at the booth, they do indecent and distracting things like pecking his cheek! Once they have their fun, they ‘dump’ him. Such a useful guy… Meanwhile Yatsuho is over at Sunohara and gets drunk with Ayaka. Aki returns and Yuzu is about to reprimand him after looking at that unholy pecking photo when they hear weird moaning sounds. Two drunk ladies… Yuzu tries to be smart and stop it but becomes their molest victim. Her friends try to help out but they to fall victim. Aki is the best because he walks away and pretends not to see anything. Ayaka takes Aki to the aquarium where they see lots of animals. A particular set of penguins seem to resemble the Sunohara residents… When Aki brags about the penguins to Yuzu, she tries to hint to take her along the next time. She gets scared when he tries describing the shark. With Sumire suggesting to be Aki’s older sister, Yuzu insists that role falls on her and has Aki sleep on her lap. I think Yuzu is more embarrassed than anything. Sumire tries to hijack being he little sister but Yuri tries out next with this sick act. She tries to feed sick Aki but eventually feels embarrassed. Gee, Yuri embarrassed? Next is Sumire. Trying to get Aki to come into the bath while she is changing so they can bath together? Not the slightest bit of embarrassment. Because the 3 Stooges never had an older sister, Ayaka is their ideal. In turn, they ask Aki since he does have one. However he is reluctant to say and this only kicks up some bad memories. Speaking of which, looks like a certain devil woman has found Sunohara…

Episode 11
Aki wakes up with a hot girl in her lingerie on top of him! Nope. It’s not Ayaka. It’s his sister, Matsuri! Morning sex interrupted with Ayaka comes in. As Matsuri is introduced to the rest, she still believes Aki is her little sister. When Yuzu tries to correct her, Matsuri gives that death stare! When it is time to leave, Matsuri says she is taking Aki back too. That is why she is here. Aki hides behind Ayaka. Thank goodness for those boobs barrier. Death stare doesn’t work on Ayaka. With Matsuri still insisting, Ayaka assures their parents gave their permission so Aki is perfectly fine under her care. Hence Matsuri decides to test her and if she fails to live up to her standards, she will bring Aki home. Of course she is going to fail her anyway. Since her stomach is growling, this dinner test should do the trick. Ayaka cooks to most delicious hamburg steak ever. Even if Matsuri is planning to lie, her body can’t. She finishes her plate clean! Don’t be satisfied yet. There’s more to come. And so we see Matsuri being ‘seduced’ by all of Ayaka’s first class sisterly and motherly treatments. Yup, Ayaka even helps brushes her teeth and to wear her pyjamas! Is this heaven? During the bath, Ayaka comes to was her back as art of Sunohara’s tradition. She finds Matsuri’s insecurities and love for Aki as his older sister. So Ayaka suggests becoming both their older sisters. Whenever she is here, she doesn’t have to worry and leave all the pampering to her. Stubborn Matsuri still won’t give up and wants to test her next time. So I guess Ayaka passed today’s test. Next day, she tails them out doing errands. When she thinks she spots them doing something lewd in public, it’s time to charge in. She tries to use this excuse to fail Ayaka and while the latter rants about food, Matsuri has taken Aki to some dark alley to ‘force’ him to come home. Aki has learnt to talk back… Matsuri tries to lead the way back but gets lost. She won’t accept Aki’s help thinking as the older sister she must be his guide. Until she trips and sprains her ankle. Aki then carries her all the way back to Sunohara. Flashback of memories when Matsuri often took care of Aki because he is such a wimp. Now the bird has flown the nest? Eventually they get back and Matsuri takes her leave. The next time Matsuri pops up, it looks like she has transferred to a nearby school. Still not giving up on Aki…

Episode 12
Kotatsu the saviour of the cold season. Aki is treated like a king as Ayaka feeds him oranges. When the kotatsu is supposedly spoiled, Ayaka crawls under to fix it. It is taking too long and Aki feels she is trying to mess with his feet. Busted! She crawls out to his side. While waiting for it to warm up again, she goes to make tea. When she returns, Aki has fallen asleep. Later out with Yuzu, it seems Aki still believes in Santa! Really! He thinks he should know he has moved to Sunohara and is expecting presents! Oh dear. Yuzu tells Sumire and Yuri about this because Aki intends to stay awake to see Santa. On Christmas Eve, the usual gang gathers. Ayaka and Nana as sexy Santarina? I wonder if they used up all the material just to cover their boobs… As they have their usual fun, looks like ‘Santa’ is trying to sneak in. It’s Matsuri! When the party is over and everyone has left, Ayaka catches Matsuri trying to enter the locked storeroom (she must have been lost). As part of the plan to keep Aki asleep, Yuzu is going to sleep with him?! I guess it beats Yuri’s drug and Sumire’s neck chop. Eventually both fall asleep. Chance for Ayaka and Matsuri to go in and leave their parents. Matsuri doesn’t like seeing Aki sleeping with another girl but she has to put up with it for tonight. As they leave, Aki in his sleepy state sees Ayaka and thinks Santa looks a lot like her. You don’t say… I guess it’s legit because at least Santa is also ‘fat’. Just not at the belly. Haha! Then Aki has this weird dream of discovering Ayaka is Santa as they fly around town in their magical sleigh. Yeah, he is telling her all this next morning. Excitedly. Nana teases Yuzu the ‘present’ she gave her for sleeping with Aki in her place. For the New Year, the Sunohara residents clean the place. To warm their cold hands, the girls place it on Aki’s tummy. Then they try to search for porn mags in his room but find a macho magazine?! Is he gay?! I think he wants to build muscles… Good luck… Aki tries to stay awake with Ayaka so that she doesn’t have to be alone when New Year arrives. He could barely keep it up. Aki is glad she is the caretaker of Sunohara and hopes to be in her care for the next year too. Next morning they visit the shrine and make their usual wish. Aki’s wish is to get closer to Ayaka. When the rest later tease him about his wish because he can’t say it, Ayaka leans closer hoping he could whisper to her. Aki couldn’t believe his wish came true and turns back to make a more specific wish. Greedy, aren’t we?

Cute Girls, Shota Trap, Boobs…
Oh well, another year, another same ol’, same ol’ stuffs. Unless something drastic actually happens, I believe everybody will continue to be status quo. For example, I don’t think Aki would turn into some macho man in the next year or any time soon in the near future. Because I am sure that Aki would have lost his charm of being Aki. Yup. The true wish of everybody is for everybody to stay the same! Oh Aki, you have been so close to Ayaka to the point you even bathed together, how much closer do you want to get? So close that you’re inside her????!!!! Jesus!!!! This isn’t that kind of anime!!!!

I have this strange feeling that had it not been for Ayaka’s humungous boobs, the series might been even more ordinary and would not have attracted as many attention as it now did. Imagine the caretaker with decent sized boobs. Looks pretty plain, doesn’t it when you compare some of the incidents that involved the use of those melons? It wouldn’t have such a profound effect if they were of normal size. Because seeing a petite little guy being smothered by those huge racks is somewhat the ‘charm’ of the series. The hidden and subtle sleazy fanservice factor that attracts us pervert otaku guys to take a look at this series. Oh yeah. Fantasy initiating sequence…

I suppose part of the charm in this series is because how almost everyone takes advantage of Aki’s meekness, pushes him around or when Aki tries to man up to management, he fails and falls in line to what is expected of him. Can’t blame this guy who has been living under his sister’s shadow and torment ever since young. It is hard to just change overnight. Even though he tries but I guess the charm of Ayaka’s big sister traits (and definitely her boobs) bring him right down to earth and stripping him of whatever motivation he had earlier on to become a real man. Maybe he should start pumping some iron? Otherwise if Aki continues to be timid and submissive, he’ll forever become Sunohara and other girls’ toy. See how much fun they have toying around with him? It’s not because he looks so much a like a girl, you know. It’s more of because he doesn’t really fight back.

Ayaka is the real final boss whom everyone will find it hard to defeat. The perfect okaa-san or onee-san who takes care and tends to every of your needs and makes you feel really comfortable at home, even the enemies will put down their weapons right at the doorstep. The battle has already been won without starting. Unarm yourselves and throw yourselves into the arms (and boobs) of our mother caretaker! Ayaka suits her caretaker job as she is quite understanding and patient although her gentle demeanour might sometimes be mistaken for her being a slow retard. It’s like she is in a world of her own and her gravitational pull is so strong that you will even be absorbed into her pace. The more confronting you are, the more it will backfire and harder to resist to fall into her charms. This is why she is the one who wears the pants in Sunohara. She is sometimes also a bit cheeky especially during a few moments when Aki tries to show his (feeble) manly side but ends up making him look a bit like a pervert. Then Ayaka would tease him for being ecchi. I guess there goes Aki’s chance as he drops even more points and getting further away to become the ideal man.

Matsuri is fast starting to become a hated and annoying character because of her overprotective ways over Aki. It’s like she owns her brother. Oops, I mean ‘sister’. I can understand why she still wants to treat him as a little ‘sister’ and be in denial because Aki is the only thing she has got. Since young Aki has been weak and always relied on her. Hence it is Matsuri’s only place of belonging in that sense. When Aki goes away or has flown the nest, what is there left for Matsuri? She would have lost her only reason of existence. Now that Aki has found someone new to rely on, what does that make of Matsuri? It’s devastating. So that’s why she’s so desperate to bring Aki back and pry her away from the ‘claws’ of Ayaka and return to the old days. It’s sad that she doesn’t want things to change when they already have. But what I don’t like about her is how she shoves her opinions down on Aki without giving him so much of a freedom and choice, the reason why he ran away in the first place. Now with Ayaka as the much better big sister, Matsuri is going to find a rival that will give her a run for her money.

As for the other characters, they are lovable and quirky in their own ways. I was hoping there would be more screen time and development for the 3 Stooges but if that were to happen, it would diminish the development for Aki and Ayaka, which is supposed to be the core of the series. So we’re stuck with knowing them as they are like the child-like Yuzu, the perverted tall girl Sumire who has an eternal crush on Yuzu (the cuter, the more her nose bleeds) and the scheming Yuri who seems to mirror a bit like Matsuri because she too wants to make a girly girl out of Aki. I keep wondering if Yuzu has a crush on Aki because of the way they show her sometimes somewhat concerned about him. Asides Ayaka, Yuzu is the other girl who is the next closest with Aki. She claims to stop any seemingly lewd activities between them but is that really her goal?

If Matsuri views Aki has her possession, then Aki is definitely some kind of plaything to Nana and her friends. They treat him like as though he is some sort of living dakimakura or something. Must be too cute to resist not hugging and hogging him. Nana is not so bad but Mai and Uchifuji are much worse. Because once they have had their fun fill with Aki, they would just go away and leave him on the side. Like, they really treat him like an object. Heck, not only Aki. As long as there are cute young boys around, you bet these cougar ladies will come prowl on them. I suppose younger boys are more gullible and better to flirt with than boys their age.

The art and animation fall into that cute and kawaii style with the characters obviously looking like so. If you have watched Kobayashi-san Chi No Maid Dragon, you’ll find the art style is pretty much similar although they are both written by different authors and produced by different anime studio. This one by Sliver Link (Non Non Biyori, Tanaka-kun Wa Itsumo Kedaruge, Imouto Sae Ireba Ii, Strike The Blood, Masamune-kun No Revenge, Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu). Instead of huge dragon boobs, now we have huge human boobs. As for Aki looking like a girl… Heck, I have been watching animes for so long that this is the kind of normal generic boys look. I’m not sure if Nana is naturally born dark skin or she underwent some tanning to become a gal but her obvious bikini lines are definitely striking and you can’t take your eyes of it… Is this her other fanservice than her huge boobs that seem to run in the family? I keep wondering if Yuzu was somewhat a copy and paste of Komari from Non Non Biyori because they look and act pretty similar and even more so with the fact that they are both very conscious of their petite stature.

Another factor making me think so is because I thought Yuzu was voiced by Kana Asumi. I was wrong. Natsumi Takamori (Azusa in Orange) sounds suspiciously close to her that it really gave me the expression it was her. If it was really Kana Asumi, then it would have been a perfect field day for me to spout my conspiracy theory of what Nyaruko-san has become! Yup, Eri Kitamura is the voice behind Aki who was also behind Haiyore! Nyaruko-san’s Mashiro. Had Kana Asumi who played the titular character of Nyaruko been playing the role of Yuzu, I would have gone on speculating how Mashiro have lost his balls and become so meek to be picked on by this newly reincarnated Nyaruko. Oh man. It would have been absolutely perfect.

While Ayane Sakura and Shizuka Itou as Nana and Yatsuho are recognizable respectively, it never dawned to me that Rina Satou was behind Ayaka. I guess I was expecting her to sound like her tough chicks role like Misaka from To Aru Kagaku No Railgun and Shura from Ao No Exocist. However this is not the first time Rina Satou sounded like a very soft and gentle big sister who will always care for you. In fact, she sounds hell a lot like Haruka from Minami-ke! OMG. It has been so long ago and now I remember! No wonder Ayaka sounded so familiar to a nostalgic point. Thank goodness it wasn’t her boobs ;p. The other casts are Asami Seto as Sumire (Asagi in Strike The Blood), Yume Miyamoto as Yuri (Megumi in GJ-Bu), Ai Kayano as Matsuri (Teruhashi in Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan), Megumi Nakajima as Mai (Kaede in Kampfer) and Juri Nagatsuma as Uchifuji (Satone in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai Ren).

The opening theme, Bitter Sweet Harmony by Megumi Nakajima sounds decently catchy as it has this little jazzy feel to it. Especially the jazzy-like bass line that supports the lively and exuberant pace of the song. Definitely a suitable piece of this series. The ending theme is Sonna No Boku Janai by Shino Shimoji which I thought sounded a little bit weird. The opening feel of this song sounds a bit spacey or space-like. I don’t know. It gives me that sort of impression. Also, it gets really heavy on the bass beat side that feels like it is one step away from turning into a dubstep if you want to.

Overall, this series isn’t the kind you would watch for the plot or deep character development. It is light hearted with some funny moments. It can be an enjoyable watch if you don’t mind the hentai-like boobs that gives this series its breath of fanservice. No matter how manly we are, sometimes we need to be smothered by those motherly boobs and be pampered like a baby because that’s what everybody needs once in a while when life gets too crazy and hectic. If great caretakers like Ayaka really exist, you’ll find people moving in and never checking out. Ever. Are those services even for ‘rent’? Because I definitely need them too. The boobs and the pampering all in one package, please.

Now, where have we seen this setting before? A city being enveloped by a mysterious mist that nobody can get out. But for all those who are trapped, they continue to lead their daily lives as usual. Kekkai Sensen, right? Wrong! It’s Lord of Vermilion – Guren No Ou. Just replace New York with Tokyo and the white mist have now gone red. And what is this borrowing elements and tropes from other shows too like the characters being able to use their blood as weapons (Deadman Wonderland, anyone?), the need to destroy Tokyo (Akira, anyone?) and both sides taking each other out battle royale style (Basilisk, people?). Oh no. I have a bad feeling about this…

Episode 1
Teens with weird powers fighting and taking out each other in decimated Tokyo. Everybody dies. Wow. Chihiro Kamina and Kotetsu Doumyouji are dojo brothers. Chihiro was taken in by the latter’s father and to repay that kindness, Chihiro is such a great cook as well as a great kendo warrior. As the duo head off to college, suddenly a loud ringing paralyzes everyone. A red mist soon covers the place. In this dream wold, Chihiro meets this strange woman, Dux. She talks about strange things especially twisting Shakespeare’s works. Something about repeating this heroic scene again and again till the end of time. When Chihiro wakes up, he is in the university’s hospital attended by the doctor, Inuki Akaya and his rude nurse, Koume Sakiyama. It seems Chihiro has been in coma for 5 months and is the last one to awaken. Outside the window, it seems Tokyo is covered with overgrown branches and red mist. Nobody really knows what happened on that day termed as the Great Collapse. Kotetsu is glad Chihiro has woke up but after he is discharged, they are met with reporter, Isshin Kakihara and his assistant, Tsubasa Tachikaze. It seems Kakihara has a bone to pick with Chihiro and is trying to provoke him. Something about something bad he did 13 years ago. Kotetsu explains how the red mist enveloping Tokyo, nobody has been able to escape it. So I guess life has to go on and mysteriously water and electricity still flows through, huh? Just can’t escape. When they reach back the dojo, they once more hear that paralyzing ringing. This time Chihiro spots Jun Aoi snapping his fingers. Is that the cause of the ringing? Soon a samurai monster pops up before them. Time to put those kendo skills to good use. However this monster is actually Kotetsu’s dad so with Chihiro being hesitant to slay it, he gets cut down instead. However this awakens his power.

Episode 2
His blood becomes blades as he mercilessly cut down the monster. When he realizes what he has done, he starts to break down but Eiko Morizono puts him to sleep. Kotetsu pesters her for answers but she will explain it later. For now, they are interrogated by the policewoman, Marie Kurokami. Eiko claims she is just passing by. Marie warns that there are disappearances like this since the Great Collapse and rumours that those disappeared turned into the mist or monsters. Kotetsu bugs for more answers but she only confirms that Jun is the one who turned his dad into a monster. Chihiro finally wakes up albeit a little confused. Eiko cooks for him and once more gives that I’ll-tell-you-later excuse. She’ll explain when he remembers. Wait. WTF. Nevertheless Chihiro still feels guilty over killing Kotetsu’s father. I guess life has to go on so they return to college. A guy seemingly goes berserk but is taken out by Inuki and Koume. When Inuki looks at Chihiro, he knows something about him. Why don’t you tell us already? Eiko finally reveals some stuffs that those monsters come here via some gate. The only way is to kill them. Also, Chihiro is essential to the new world they are creating. Can’t blame the guy for not accepting it all as he takes a breather. Then he hears that ringing again. This time it comes from Yuri Shiraki. She leads him to a hall while she murmurs about he should have been better off dead. More ringing as the students in the hall start to turn into monsters, including Chihiro’s classmate, Ikurou Owari. However since Yuri is hesitating, Jun completes the ringing process to turn them into monsters. Kotetsu on the verge too. Eiko is begging Chihiro to remember his Heroic Blood sleeping inside him. Of course he can’t. Even if he could, he won’t kill someone precious and would rather die. Oh, he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore because Kotetsu’s power awakens. Yup, he is a Heroic Blood too. He fights off the monsters but finds them too strong. Still don’t want to remember, Chihiro? Don’t want to soak your hands in blood? Well you have to now since Kotetsu is in a pinch.

Episode 3
Only when Kotetsu is on the verge of death from those Diabolos (those monsters) did Chihiro awaken and become badass. Eiko also has him remember her real name: Cerdid. She transforms into, uhm, a fairy priestess? Chihiro’s heroics of killing a Diabolos is witnessed by Kakihara and Tsubasa. What a scoop. He tries to blame him for the murders but Jun has resummoned the Diabolos and make it even more powerful. Only this time guilt ridden Chihiro won’t kill and lets himself be killed? Too bad his blood protects him. At the same time Tsubasa is starting to act weird. Kakihara pleads for help and will do anything so this priestess girl, Shouko Hanashima has his Heroic Blood inside him awaken as well as call out to Tsubasa’s real name: Aero. She transforms into, uhm, feather fairy? Chihiro goes berserk unable to control his power so Jun retreats and Cerdid stabilizes him. Kakihara continues to blame Chihiro but is interrupted when Ikurou is in pain as his transformation failed. After Inuki takes him in to be treated, the rest follow Shouko to Maldeus Church, the Heroic Blood’s stronghold to fight against Chaos. Dux is their leader as she explains in 40 years their world will be destroyed. No use trying to prevent it because it will be destroyed. Hence their goal is to shape the new world based on their utopia. For that to happen, Lord of Vermilion must appear, otherwise the new world will be plagued with sickness, war, etc and ruled by Chaos. Meanwhile we also hear the Chaos’ side of the story. Led by Grumman Aldo Shiraki and the ominous looking sorcerer, Van Drail, they believe they can stop the destruction if the destroy the Heroic Blood as they are believed to be the source of the destruction. Dux further explains about Diabolos using humans as a gate to enter this world. The only way to stop that is to destroy Tokyo. No Tokyo, no gate. Kakihara thought Tsubasa is back to normal but it is just Aero taking her form. Cerdid explains the Tsubasa he knew is gone and hence what has got a mad guy do but blame it further on Chihiro. He feels guilty for always ignoring her and continue to follow Chihiro. Yeah, blame him some more until you get your justice whatever. Ikurou’s condition has stabilized as Inuki explains he has been taking in people like him ever since the Great Collapse. Some explanation about humans having this Arcana gene that is the reason why Diabolos uses it as a gateway to this world. Some turn into monsters while others can coexist like Cerdid and Aero and those who can’t will vanish into the red mist. More guilt trip for Chihiro as now even Dux blames him for attracting death and tragedy. It’s his fate. Can’t this guy even catch a break?

Episode 4
Chihiro is destroying barriers around Tokyo. He has decided to save their future so a few innocents won’t matter, right? Grumman is displeased his agents are letting the Heroic Blood do as they please but Jun notes they are already at their limits and hints about reinforcements. But Grumman isn’t pleased to hear that so Jun takes it as he will find reinforcements himself. Later Grumman apologizes to his daughter Yuri for his behaviour but the truth is he doesn’t want to put her in danger as she is the only one who can save him. As Chihiro and co go destroy another barrier, this time they are met with resistance by Jun and Yuri. Kotetsu fights Tsubaki Manazuru but soon they realize they thought the other is an agent of Chaos. Oops. Tsubaki had her fun and leaves. While Koume beats up Jun, he is saved by new recruit, Haru Minakami who is eager to get a piece of the action. As Yuri tries to stall Chihiro, she puts a spell that sends both of them into another misty dimension. She keeps following him and tries to change his mind about destroying the barriers and innocents. In turn he blames her for turning people into monsters. Because Chihiro is in despair in whatever decisions he make, the outcome will be the same for him, Yuri suggests they run away and change the world together. She takes him to a rock barrier that is the centre of it all. He powers up to destroy it as Yuri also lends her strength. Upon destruction, they return to reality but not before Chihiro has flashbacks of his younger days. Ah, the happy and not so happy moments. They part ways but Yuri blames his mother for it all.

Episode 5
Both sides retreat. When Kotetsu tries to explain about the enemy he fought, Shouko believes that person is from the Guardian State. An organization who has been protecting Japan long before Japan was formed. Eh, what? So basically another enemy? With Chihiro claiming he has no memories of his childhood and can’t remember his mother’s face, Kakihara calls it too convenient because it seems he knows the kid more than himself. He reveals that the explosion at AVAL research lab was caused by Chihiro’s mom. But the catch is her body was never found and was listed missing. Kakihara thinks Chihiro killed her as well as his father and tries to provoke him into remembering. Later Chihiro and Kotetsu are met with Marie and Tsubaki. They do not hesitate to reveal they are from Guardian State and are trying to locate Jun who is believed to be behind the series of murders in Tokyo. Wow. Is Tokyo so big that they can’t find him? Kotetsu becomes eager beaver to help locate him. Inuki’s testing seems to be bearing fruits. So he tells depressed Chihiro that he might have found some component in the red mist to alleviate the Arcana syndrome and save Ikurou. He asks what Chihiro really wants. As he is still reeling from the fact he is only good for destruction, he wants to be forgiven and escape from this despair. Inuki tries to stay positive and will help him. Of course, don’t give up too. Shortly, Inuki goes missing. Chihiro goes to find him but sees Yuri taking care of kids at an orphanage. Tsubaki stumbles upon a beast in the midst of killing its victim. Could have been one too had not Kotetsu come to her aid. Although the beast escapes, it soon transforms back to his original form. Surprise, mother*cker! It’s Inuki! I’m sure that scream isn’t because he is howling to the moon.

Episode 6
Chihiro tries to look for Inuki as he saw him die in his dreams but guess what? Shouko doesn’t have time for his dreams! WTF is she so busy with?! When a group of punks finally find Inuki, here comes Chihiro as distraction. I wonder why they are more interested to surround him than Inuki. Because his transformation is acting up and conveniently he escapes into the sea. When Chihiro returns, Kakihara and his ‘investigation’ has revealed that Inuki is the traitor. He shows a picture of that orphanage in which Inuki and Jun came from. They’re like brothers. The orphanage belongs to AVAL and behind the scenes they conduct experiments on kids. Want more proof? AVAL’s president is Grumman and Yuri is his daughter. Later Chihiro hears more from Koume that she too is from that orphanage. Failed experiments like her are discarded. They survived but Inuki is still suffering from the aftereffects and is running out of time. Jun meets up with Inuki. It seems Inuki wants to be killed by him. Jun offers to come with him and find a solution but Inuki won’t return to AVAL. Uhm, so why the heck were they fighting in the first place? Because Inuki would rather die as his brother, Jun has no choice but to grant that wish. Only for dumb Chihiro to interrupt. Oh look. Now Inuki has turned into a beast. Rage away. Chihiro tries to save Inuki but fails since his blood powers go berserk. Berserk on the Lord of Vermilion level. Inuki somehow managed to control his primal instincts. Because it’s cue for him to dispense last words of advice before he dies. Don’t give up. Control your powers. Believe in the future. Not sure what happened with all that red mist because Inuki becomes a red crystal. Oh Chihiro, your guilt of racking up your kill ratio is sure increasing. Are you going to stay depressed despite what all Inuki has said to you?

Episode 7
Chihiro gives the crystal Inuki turned into to Koume. Wow. Everybody trying not to act like they’re sad. Meanwhile some conspiracy going on between Dux and Shouko. They say only one Heroic Blood can survive this and Shouko is adamant she will be that lone survivor. Chaos agents too plotting their own conspiracy. Grumman wants more human sacrifice and killing of Heroic Bloods to die. Jun selects Chihiro as his next target but won’t kill him outright and will make him suffer. Typical villain mistake 101. And he wants Yuri to stay out of this knowing her feelings will get involved? So why announce his plan before her then? Oddly, Yuri and Chihiro meet. Like as though they’ve been lovers for ages. After a few boring moments together to troll us into thinking some possible romance is on the cards, Yuri explains what she meant when she blamed his mother. Apparently Mitsuki worked with Grumman to experiment something. It went wrong and failed and she was swallowed up by another world. Ever since, Grumman tried experimenting on Tokyo to open gates to another world. She wanted to look for Chihiro but father forbade her. He stopped being the kind father she knew and only saw her as a vessel of Heroic Blood. So I guess she was conflicted about killing him when they were reunited after so long? Later Chihiro dreams that Kotetsu is dead. He goes to find him. Not in his room. This guy has time to date Tsubaki? Oddly Jun and Haru are tailing-cum-stalking them. Think Chihiro will show up? Poor Chihiro runs to Yuri to ask the meaning of his cryptic dreams. It’s not like she has a direct answer either. Be strong and face the challenge. Like anybody can say that, right? Suddenly he gets a call from Kotetsu. Help! He’s in danger! Oh no! He runs to his aid. Well, the lovebirds forgot their wallet so Chihiro was called in to help pay. Damn trolling… But glad he is safe? Not for long because here comes Jun kidnapping Kotetsu to lure Chihiro to face him. Haru meanwhile has to keep Tsubaki busy. Chihiro fears seeing Kotetsu in his ‘dying’ position. He can’t move an inch as Jun threatens to kill him and hence uses this advantage to torment Chihiro. Then they both argue they were trying to save Inuki. But look who is here? Yuri seems to have defected and protects Chihiro. I guess Jun can’t handle them so he retreats and also takes Haru with him before Tsubaki makes mincemeat out of him. Since Yuri has risked her place of belonging, Chihiro vows to save her this time. Come join our side, will you?

Episode 8
Looks like Chihiro has called on the sides of the Heroic Blood and Guardian State to meet so they can work together to save the world without destroying Tokyo. Of course some like Shouko and Guardian State’s Julia Ichijou and Suruga Juumonji are against the idea and rather jump on the idea to fight each other. It seems Chihiro believes his idea can work as he shows Yuri on their side. Yup, nothing says more than hope when the enemy joins your side. Plus, the prophecy he saw Kotetsu dead didn’t happen so it is proof they can change fate. Based on this one single event? Chihiro’s answer to all this is for the Heroic Blood to survive long enough so they can stop agents of Chaos. So that’s basically it? Those who are against him won’t join his cause but some like Tsubaki and Akira Harabuki would gladly (the latter being wanting to get her boyfriend Haru back). Marie shows unpublished evidence to Kakihara that Chihiro didn’t kill his dad. At least not intentional but in self-defence. Dad even left a dying message for him to read. I can’t read that messy words written in blood… Kakihara still refuses to believe. Is this journalism? He is hell bent on believing Chihiro really killed his dad. In another gathering, Yuri informs AVAL is trying to cause another Great Collapse, that is why her father is transferring large numbers of machines from the lab. More cheesy romance between Chihiro and Yuri. This time we see his dream of his dad going crazy because his wife didn’t return. Because of that he tried to kill Chihiro. WTF. Is he that useless without his wife around? It ends with a prophetic dream of Marie being killed. Guess what? Marie is doing her own investigation at AVAL. She is attacked death maestro, Kark Kaburagi. Oh look. She got killed just like the way in the prophecy. And just when everybody started to think where Marie went, here she comes back bloodied. Yeah, nice of her to die without saying anything but leave this bloodied handphone as so called evidence. Thanks to that, everybody believes Yuri is a traitor. No defending from Chihiro could help. I don’t think they trust Chihiro any better now too. Made worse when Grumman applauds Yuri’s ‘heroics’ and tempts her to return. Well, if she goes back to him, it only worsens the accusation, right? Yeah… Then out of the frying pan and into the fire because Yuri gets beaten up by father for trying to leave him. And then a stern reminder of an important place he has with Mitsuki that Yuri is never permitted there. Wow. Such fatherly love.

Episode 9
Julia is using this excuse never for the Heroic Blood to contact them again and to break their alliance. Koume continues Inuki’s research while Kakihara and Aero do their own research. Meanwhile, Grumman is pleased with the progress of the experiment of turning people into monsters. Kakihara knows Chihiro has been following him and deduces he saw him die in his dreams. Chihiro doesn’t care if he hates him. He just wants to protect him. With Chihiro continuing to ‘stalk’ him, I guess Kakihara has to go talk to him. Something about how he is a survivor of a family suicide and never knew why his parents abandoned him. Kakihara is still bent in believing Chihiro killed his father so Chihiro replies him he really wanted to die that die. But there could be a meaning for him surviving. I don’t know. Is it because he doesn’t want to die? Kakihara then brings Chihiro to a site that was from Marie’s data. There is a strange device creating artificial barriers and there are 7 of them around Tokyo. Chihiro thinks it is to create the next Great Collapse and oh look, Kark is here to confirm that. How nice of this famous pianist to do so. I guess he is confident he is going to kill them all. He hypnotizes Chihiro to see dead ones dragging him to hell, locking his blood ability. Kakihara takes a beating while trying to save him. In the end, Aero gets killed while trying to protect Kakihara while trying to protect Chihiro. This awakens Kakihara’s power but he has taken too much damage. Kark flees when Kotetsu and Tsubaki arrive. When a person is dying, he has got a lot to say. So from Kakihara’s last words, he finally accepts Chihiro didn’t kill his dad. He targeted him out of jealousy and didn’t want to acknowledge his parents abandoned him because if you love someone, you should take them with you. Hence he couldn’t forgive him for refusing to die with his that and thus his life purpose to make Chihiro admit that fake guilt. And the final key word of the day: Live. I guess that’s why Kakihara lived this long just to tell him that. Eh, WTF… Meanwhile Dux is not pleased another one of their side is gone. She laments even if Tokyo is destroyed, Chaos cannot be stopped as they are just a barrier away from connecting it all. They have no more excuse to retreat.

Episode 10
Dux explains the last barrier will be completed at a theatre. Shouko doesn’t hesitate to badmouth all those who died and I’m wondering if Chihiro is just standing there waiting to smack her face. Now Grumman considers Yuri useless and won’t use her. Jun is not happy with this and even made more so when he is ordered to guard the other barriers instead of the final one based on the grounds he will ignore his role to get revenge. And now we’ve got mad Haru blaming it on Yuri for turning Jun like this. So he rebels by giving the Heroic Blood side a poster of Kark’s performance at the theatre. Yeah, that’s when the final connection is supposed to happen. Although there will be many sacrifices when that happens, Chihiro has a plan to take out Kark before that happens. So when the Heroic Bloods come flying into the concert, they are of course stopped by several monsters created by Kark. Just when Haru thought he killed Chihiro, he turned out to be a fake (a familiar of Akira disguised as him). The real Chihiro dives in to kill Kark himself in the hall. Too bad Chihiro’s plan is in tatters as Jun drops in to fight him. With this distraction, Kark is able to turn all the audience into some dragon monster. Jun is losing and just when he thought he sees an opening to defeat Chihiro, Kark kills him. Haru so mad he tries to kill Kark but Akira protects her ex-boyfriend from Kark’s scythe. Too bad all in vain because his scythe is longer than that and got him too. 2 for the price of 1. It’s Chihiro’s turn to get mad as his Lord of Vermilion awakens. Previously he was afraid to stain his hands to become Lord of Vermilion. I guess it took a few deaths for him to accept he needs to accept that burden. And so Chihiro is super awesome in taking down the dragon. He could have fought Kark too but he escaped. Meanwhile during the commotion, Shouko usurps and steals all the credit by destroying the barrier. Grumman is in despair that he cannot create the second Great Collapse and pleads to his other daughter, Chiyu for help.

Episode 11
Yuri is so happy that with the second Great Collapse stopped, she doesn’t have any more reason to fight Chihiro. Until papa and co tell her how Chihiro killed everybody. Still don’t believe? Here’s the video. Who the f*ck recorded this?! And uhm, isn’t it edited? Shouko thinks she is the saviour but everyone else is praising Chihiro. Grumman enters Chiyu’s lab as she explains how her research can now forcibly open the gates that would also destroy Tokyo. Convenient. Cue for maniacal evil father laughter. Sourpuss Shouko is sore that Chihiro is being praised. Because she is so dumb, now only she thinks to kill Chihiro and the rest to become the last standing one. Too bad Kark comes in and decapitates her and burns down the church! Like, WTF????!!! But good riddance this b*tch is dead! And when the other Heroic Bloods gather, Dux tells them of the Chaos agents of their alternative plan. Oh, please do tell. Yuri is miserable as she is forced to watch (edited) footage of Chihiro killing everyone. Grumman brainwashes her that his greed to become Lord of Vermilion has his powers going berserk. Only she can stop him. And for some reason, we have that cheesy Chihiro and Yuri rendezvous again. At first she is so happy that he is still the same. That turned into shock when she learns he did kill those people although he blames Kark. She them to elope and go somewhere away from this madness but since he isn’t willing to (and not stop killing), Yuri becomes disillusioned and prepares to attack him. Believe you can only change him? That is when Cerdid attacks Yuri, blaming her for changing Chihiro. Eh, what?! Something about he has been ignoring her ever since. So don’t care if he hates her forever because Cerdid is going to disobey his orders and kill Yuri? But wait! Suddenly Cerdid is killed! From Chihiro’s angle, he thinks Yuri did it. But panicky girl denies and all she could do is run away? Chiyu has finalized and activated the necessary. The beginning of Tokyo’s destruction. Oh Dux, still need to preach about heaven helping those who help themselves? For Chihiro, I think it is more like you want something done, do it yourself. Yup, taking what’s left of Heroic Blood as they head in for the final battle.

Episode 12
Oh look. It’s Kark. Time for Chihiro to get his revenge and let the others move ahead. But now they’ve got tons of monsters to fight. Next sensible thing to do, Kotetsu and Tsubaki let Koume go ahead so they can have their own cheesy romance moment together. Hey. It’s the last days of Tokyo. Don’t want to regret it, do you? Chihiro is fighting Kark’s dragon but takes a lethal blow. Because he is main character, he cannot die… Yet… More drama with Grumman and Chiyu. The latter claims because she is made out of Mitsuki’s DNA, she knows that Grumman loves nobody but himself. Also, Mitsuki has never loved him so if he steps through the portal, she will not be waiting for him. Grumman goes insane and refuses to believe this crap. So he runs? Good timing for Koume to barge in and fight Chiyu. Say, why does Chiyu’s shield reminds me of Captain America’s… Chihiro is supposed to be dead but what did I tell you about him being main character? Instead, in this dream state, he meets Dux. He thinks she is responsible for all his prophetic dreams but in actual fact they are other realities in which he died. Even if in all realities he is never forgiven, this one seems to have the most Heroic Blood survivors. Because he needs to change and take action, all the dead tell him to live. And hence Chihiro revives! He destroys the dragon, sending Kark into shock before cutting off his pianist hands and then killing him for good. Kotetsu and Tsubaki are having a tough time but here comes Julia and Suruga. Gee, for the Guardian State who is supposed to protect the world from this sh*t, they’re sure late.

Although Koume defeats Chiyu but doesn’t kill her, the machine is going out of control. Grumman relishes to see Mitsuki and Drail gives him a push into the abyss. Bye. Even if Chaos has failed, the expanding power will continue to consume the world. Oh well Chihiro, as Dux says, since you’re the closest to being Lord of Vermilion who can create worlds, you know what to do. But here is the last obstacle before him: Yuri. She will not let him do it because it would mean sacrificing his life when he enters the gate. I don’t what Chihiro is explaining because Yuri is like us, “I don’t understand what you’re saying!”. She is sad he has changed and attacks him. Moments before he kills her, he didn’t. Because he won’t kill the one he loves. Suddenly change of mind. Because Yuri believes he hasn’t changed. I don’t blame her. All this madness has taken a toll on her. She wants him to take her along into the gate. But after a few cheesy moments, Chihiro betrays her and pushes her away. He enters the portal alone. Distraught is Yuri but Chihiro wants her to promise him to live on her behalf. I guess no use in fighting against him. Okay. Promise. Besides, didn’t Chihiro break his promise to live? With that, the ominous portal and the destruction that goes with it clears up. Well, somebody better catch falling Yuri or she’ll fail her promise too. In the aftermath, I don’t know how normal Tokyo has returned but Yuri is seen drinking tea on her own. So sad… I guess it’s a happier ending with Kotetsu and Tsubaki as they end up together. Why are Haru and Akira still together?! I thought they’re dead?! Last but not least, a teaser that shows Drail approaching Suruga with his own plan… You mean this sh*t isn’t over yet?!

Lourd Of Vermin Minion – The Cringe-some King
Why, oh why? Why didn’t they just kill everybody in the end?! Let Tokyo and possibly the world be in ruins! Why must only Chihiro be the one who gets to sacrifice himself and save the world who will never know of his efforts? But thank goodness that is the end of the anime. I don’t know how long I can take it anymore if this went on for another cour. I’ll probably turn into a monster and start going on a mindless rampage and then kill myself. But then those ubiquitous word of the series had me brainwashed. Live! Live to see more crappy animes in the future! Yahoo!

By the time the first episode ended, my guts were already tingling like a Spider-sense that this was going to be bad and if I was going to sit through the rest of the series, I better bite the bullet and take the bull head on by the horns. Thank goodness for that sixth sense warning of mine because I might have grown crazy with the super disappointment of where everything is going. Because by the time the second episode ended, my guts were ringing like hell nonstop. Stop! Go back! Go back! I couldn’t. Not that my stubbornness of watching till the end of a single cour anime would allow it.

The plot itself doesn’t make very much sense and it feels like it is made up along the way. Both sides have to eventually destroy Tokyo. It feels like they are taking their sweet time. An excuse to pin the blame of their delay of Tokyo’s destruction on the opposing force. Because you know, let’s take out the other party who would be interfering with our destruction of this city first. And yeah, Tokyo area must be so big that they can’t really find each other. I didn’t know Tokyo could be the size of United States for not being able to find each other within the confines of the mist but then small enough like Singapore when they need to suddenly confront each other and fight. All too freaking convenient.

More convenience when you realize that water and electricity could come freely and normally. So, everything can come into the city but only humans cannot leave? Like, WTF?! So my theory for humans who want to really leave Tokyo: Become electricity particles or water molecules! Haha! Assuming if Tokyo doesn’t pay its electricity or water bills, are the supplies going to be cut anyway? Will Tokyo descend into darkness and primitiveness? Oh right. Internet banking still exists so feel free to wire transfer your funds to pay your bills and keep the city running. Meanwhile outsiders are not even intrigued on getting in because you don’t hear any news of the outside people freaking out either. Tokyo closed off by a mysterious fog? Whatever. Still can get my sushi and ramen fix in other parts of Japan. It’s not like Tokyo is the only place that has all that, RIGHT???!!!

And the rest of the other inhabitants who are stuck in Tokyo trying to live their normal lives feel like NPCs. Unimportant minor background characters who have no feelings or concern whatever. Because it’s not like they’re panicking trying to find a way out or anything. Or if other people turn into monsters, no need to freak out. Everything is just fine. It’s not like the fight between Heroic Bloods and Chaos agents are so prominent but a few incidents and skirmishes here and there should be enough to make people wary. Instead, a bunch of them decide to go to this concert hosted by Kark and get their souls harvested. They deserve it. OMG! Famous pianist (who the f*ck?)! Let’s go attend his recital! In the end, I guess we never cared about them either.

And the characters… Oh God… Why do they have so many of them when many of them don’t even play any significant role and just to be added to the numbers. Because they only seem ‘relevant’ when they are about to die and be killed off. Otherwise, I keep asking myself after they have been killed off, how important and relevant were they to do the overall storyline? Not that I can see from my side. My ‘favourite’ character goes to Kark because he raked up the most character kills and I wished all of them would just die by this grim reaper’s hands even if some of the deaths seem so comically unrealistic. But hey, can’t complain. I wished everyone would be better off be dead and this is the only dude who has no conscious and qualms in killing others even his own allies. Damn this guy should be the main character.

There is some sort of cheesy and ‘complicated’ relationship going on between Chihiro and Yuri. Probably some sort of distraction in case you find the pacing of the overall plot hard to follow. Originating from different sides of the divide, it is like they are this anime’s version of Romeo and Juliet. Even far more comically tragic. At first they are portrayed as enemies and then once they entered that weird dimension together, it’s like they suddenly become on a dating status. I mean, WTF. I don’t even know this place that they usually frequent and meet. It kept me wondering if it is the dream world or some parts of Tokyo not yet discovered by the rest. Should be the latter because certainly Cerdid couldn’t be so jealous just to follow Chihiro into his dreams, right?

And then in between the cheesy budding romance and their sides fighting each other, this place of meeting (which they do so often like it’s their most secret place in the world) feels like it is timeout moment for them as they take a breather just to reassure their love, their past, themselves and whatever before the next sh*t comes. Because Chihiro’s problem is that he doesn’t want to kill others, hence dirtying his own hands which he eventually has to if he is going to end this crap, and Yuri her problem is a place of belonging in which she has to decide otherwise she’ll have no place to be.

More confusion because Inuk and Jun are like best friends. What? You serious? So how they ended up on different sides then? Beats me. I wasn’t paying attention how it got to this point. I guess it drives up a lot of drama and tension points when you have best friends on opposing sides just like in Chihiro and Yuri’s case but minus the straight relationship. Now we have bros here. So Inuki dead, more cheesy reason why Jun is mad and fights against the Heroic Blood side.

Other characters are just mostly annoying and itching for you to hate them. For example, Isshin and his stubbornness to find evidence to blame Chihiro that he killed his parents. Like, why so obsessed in accusing this kid, dude? Sure, his past crap thingy. Eventually he sees the truth but only in death. Good riddance? Shouko is another annoying b*tch because of her selfish ways to steal all the glory. Think God is watching you? Yup. God definitely is watching you and not give a f*cks. The most hilarious part was how she died so conveniently. The best death ever in this series. Good riddance. Grumman is also annoying by the fact he is doing it all for Mitsuki and turns into some crazy mad scientist to do so. He uses his daughter like a tool that (real) feminists would have screamed their heads off over this injustice. But probably it is Yuri’s fault too because she allowed it to happen. She thinks she has no place to belong so what is Chihiro’s side then to her? She sounded so confident they could be together and although the events that transpired made them unable to be together, if she was really resolved, she would just take him and run away from it all. Instead, she has to face all this sh*t that has nothing to do with them.

I don’t know if they are hinting another romance in Kotetsu and Tsubaki because that it looks like to me. Not as cheesy as Chihiro-Yuri only because they lack screen time. It’s the only reason why Tsubaki joins the Heroic Blood side (excuse that she’s doing it on her own free will) instead of staying with her Guardian State buddies, Julia and Suruga who are both equally as obnoxious and distrustful just to get on our nerves. I don’t know why this little moment cringes me: Each time Tsubaki calls Kotetsu by his pet name, Kotecchi, it sounds like she is saying potato chips… WTF… And because you know how squeaky cute Tsubaki sounds, it is most likely the reason why my hair stood on ends.

Koume was annoying at first because of her rude ways but after Inuki died, it’s like she toned down and decided to just continue his research in a quiet manner. At least she isn’t as annoying as she started out to be. Akira and Haru as just super redundant. It’s like they needed to have more numbers on both sides and hence their odd couple relationship. If my memory serves me right, they’re supposed to be dating but I don’t know how Haru ended up on the bad side, probably just to seek some thrill (and to be somebody’s lackey) while Akira rues to get back with him. Funnily enough, they got back together. In death. Like shish kebab. Hah. Second funniest death in the series. Cerdid and Aero fall off the radar as soon they are introduced and their roles are supposedly to die for their master.

Dux is like one of the biggest mysteries in the series. As she is a character that appears in the original Lord of Vermilion series (which is an arcade card game that the anime is adapted from), it is unsure of which side she is actually supporting. From first looks, it looks like the Maldeus Church and Heroic Blood because she seems to be hanging out there often. Plus, Shouko seems to be praying to her a lot and Dux takes an interest in Chihiro in his ‘ability’ to defy fate. Yeah, that was one time. Speaking of which, Chihiro seeing the next person dies in his dream feels like Final Destination. Because he manages to break the pattern once (Kotetsu’s death), he thinks he could prevent the next but fails. Ultimately, I don’t think Dux cares which side wins and just wants to know what kind of world will be built next. After all, she is just an observer.

I have a feeling that Drail is also something like Dux as she is on the Heroic Blood’s side while he is on the Chaos’ team. However he has far less screen time and his goals are quite unclear. Mostly we see him hang around and watching. He enjoys the spectacle of others being killed so I’m not sure if that last scene teaser was to initiate another mess just for his own amusement. Probably jerks would only submit to his schemes like Grumman who is just so obsessed in getting to Mitsuki that he is just bad being the baddie. Uhm, I don’t think I’m trying to say he is a good guy. That last minute drama with Chiyu felt cooked up the last minute because that’s the only way we could dispose of him. Not by any of the other characters’ hand because he is just not worth it to be killed by their hands.

Action sequences are cheesy at best. In every episode, the characters fight for a while before circumstances (AKA plot requirements) have them retreat. The characters transform into their fighting form, supposedly hardened blood but they look like red crystals sticking out like a sore thumb. I don’t remember particularly if each of the characters has some sort of special or unique moves (like Kark using his death girl and scythe) because they all look the same to me. In the end, the only thing I remember about transforming into this version is so that they could fly! I sure would love to fly if I bleed myself and let my blood coagulate. Damn it turned into scabs…

Art and animation also feels pretty standard. Sometimes the quality goes a notch down especially during action sequences because who is going to pay attention to details when the supposed clash is happening reasonably fast? It’s funny when the main characters die, they turn into unique crystal stones. I can’t even tell them apart despite each has their own pattern. Yeah, I felt that you can put up a mini museum and exhibit them. This stone is Inuki. This stone is Isshin. This stone is Jun. So on. Get the picture? Is it me or does the clothes Yuri wear make her look a bit fat? One mind boggling trivia for me is how Tsubaki manages to keep her feather spreading-like hairstyle so perfectly flawless despite wearing a full face helmet. Did she use some kind of special hair gel? This anime is produced by Asread who did Mirai Nikki, Gai-Rei: Zero, Kiddy Grade and Yuushibu.

One of the factors that attracted me to watch this mediocre series is the fact that there are quite a few veteran and recognizable seiyuus lending their talents to this piece of crap. At least for me. It’s my only ‘salvation’ while watching this show and it is one of the very few animes in which I pride myself to be able to identify more than half of the main and supporting casts. So we’ve got Yuuki Kaji as Chihiro, Satoshi Hino as Kotetsu, Rie Kugimiya as Tsubaki, Yuu Kobayashi as Marie, Aoi Yuuki as Koume, Shinichiro Miki as Kark, Junichi Suwabe as Jun, Sho Hayami as Grumman, Rina Satou as Akira, Yui Horie as Julia, Akira Ishida as Suruga, Nobuyuki Hiyama as Drail and Chiwa Saito as Chiyu. Wow. That’s a lot.

For the rest not so unfortunate for me to recognize (maybe in the future, huh?), they are Misato Fukuen as Yuri (Yami in To Love-Ru), Ai Kayano as Shouko (Darkness in KonoSuba), Hiroki Touchi as Isshin (Pantherlily in Fairy Tail), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Inuki (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Takuma Terashima as Haru (Shiroe in Log Horizon), Tomoko Nakamura as Cerdid (Yaya in Shugo Party), Hisako Tojo as Aero (Chiaki in Hinako Note) and Sayuri Inoue as Dux.

Fans of May’N would be at home with her style of singing as she sings the opening theme, Tenshi Yo Furusato Wo Kike. I suppose the rock beat of this piece is fitting for this anime only if everything else lived up to its standard. Great voice acting talents, great famous singer singing the opener but the rest of the parts are just a big let-down. Another rock outfit for the ending theme, Akaku Zetsubou No Hana by Junna. Again, the dramatic dark feel of this song could have been fitting had this series lived up to some decent standards. There is a creepy BGM here, usually during Dux’s scene. Weird cacophonic choir voices like as though they are doing some sort of sacrificial ritual. Glad I’m not going to hear that ever again.

Overall, you know my sentiments after all that I have said. It is just bad. Mediocre is just being nice as this series doesn’t even quite cut it to even be at average. Because of the many recognizable seiyuus, it softens the blow but could have softened even more had they added Mamiko Noto as part of the cast. They didn’t so it’s still very bad. Weird plot pacing, uninteresting characters and too many of them to even care about makes you wish that not only Tokyo in this anime but the whole series be destroyed in the ultimate Great Collapse that will never have them return ever again. Live, people! Live! Because if they have another season, I think we’ll start crying blood that won’t be even be of red colour. Oh, can you hear Kark coming down with his requiem again?!