Radiant

July 28, 2019

How often it is for an anime to adapt manfra? That’s French manga. Japan has taken countless of French stories and adapted them into anime like The Count Of Monte Cristo being adapted as Gankutsuou (don’t even get me started over that countless Jeanne d’Arc stories). But I think Radiant is the first that it is based on a manfra. So I suppose that is a big achievement, no? We’ll have to see if this ‘foreigner’ can live up to what Japanese manga expects since some Chinese and Korean manhwa do have got their adaptations but French? That’s really got to be the first. It must really have something.

As narrated, monsters known as Nemesis fall from the sky. When humans touch them, they are permanently cursed. But those who survive obtain magic known as Fantasia and they are the only ones who can fight against Nemesis. Even so, these people face great discrimination among the other normal humans for they fear it is a punishment from God or the wrath of mother nature. This is the story of a young boy who strives to become the greatest sorcerer ever. Why does this sound like Black Clover?

Episode 1
In the peaceful Pompo Hills, Seth tries to show off to Tommy his magic. Since nothing works, he tries his own original magic that of course goes berserk and causes the nearby elephant cows to rampage into town. Thanks to Alma, the damage is put to a stop. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. The townspeople blame Alma for bringing back luck despite it is clearly Seth’s fault. In fact, people don’t really have a favourable view on sorcerers and blame them for bringing bad luck. Seth would have wanted to give them his own piece of mind but Alma doesn’t want to provoke the situation any further and brings him home. Of course he gets reprimanded to clean the place and the usual lecture that if he wants to be treated like an adult, then act like one. Apparently being the rebellious kid he is, Seth doesn’t really learn from his lesson and continue to experiment with his magic. Worst case scenario happens as a Nemesis Egg lands right smack in the middle of town. I guess there’s a first time for everything since this town has never had a Nemesis attack before. Seth gears up to go tackle the Nemesis menace. Nothing really works until the Nemesis hatches out from its egg. You bet it is way stronger than Seth. Seth might be useless against this thing but when it comes to protecting Tommy, he has no qualms doing so. After letting Tommy escape, Seth is in danger of being squashed. How can he still think of showing others sorcerers are good when he lacks the strength to get out of his predicament? But do not fear. At such times, a hero will pop up to save the day, right? Here comes macho old guy Don Bossman, the leader of Bravery Quartet.

Episode 2
Bravery Quartet looks like a bunch of weirdoes with their own poses but they easily bind the Nemesis even if it is temporary. With cool motivational words, Seth wants to join him and fight Nemesis. So Don tells Seth to keep the Nemesis at bay while his gang go warn others to evacuate. And so Seth lets the Nemesis chase him around town while thinking of ways trying to outsmart it. Meanwhile we see Bravery Quartet’s true colours. They are actually bad sorcerers and are taking this chance to rob the bank when everyone has evacuated. Too bad the bank people haven’t yet. After rounding everyone up and stealing all the cash, Seth comes in to report he managed to restrain the Nemesis (how the heck does Seth know they are at the bank?). He is shocked to learn their real identity and is really disappointed because he believed in them. Don tells this naïve kid the harsh truth that sorcerers are blamed for everything. They only ask for help when threatened by Nemesis and once that is done, they hand you over to the Inquisition. Yeah, those people even prove that right now blaming them that Nemesis won’t come here had sorcerers been here in the first place. So are these people still worth saving? Luckily, the justice is still strong in Seth. He doesn’t accept their pathetic ways but when try to fight back, he is put down by their great magic. Bravery Quartet escapes because it’s time for the Nemesis to blow everyone to smithereens. Don’t worry people. Seth is the main character so you bet he is going to get up and protect them all with his awesome magic.

Episode 3
Seth dealt some damage to the Nemesis but not enough. As usual, had not Alma come back in time to finally put an end to this, it would have been over for this series. Seth recuperates back home as Alma explains she apprehended Bravery Quartet and at least Tommy gave his thanks. With Seth still bent on defeating every Nemesis so humans can get along, Alma talks about the legendary Nemesis Nest called Radiant. That is where all Nemesis Eggs come from but of course nobody has ever found it. You bet Seth wants to go find and destroy it. This brings back some old memories for Alma. She has no recollection of her past and the most she could remember was waking up after a fiery fight with a Nemesis. There was a young boy named Seth with her and the doctor mistaken her to be her son but as far as she is concerned, she has none. So as she travels to find her identity, she has Seth tag along. He was always a burden and the only reason she never tossed him away was the belief he is a link to her past. One day Alma went faraway to hunt Nemesis and left Seth alone. Some kids bullied him and unwittingly he unleashed his Fantasia. The townspeople wanted to burn this cursed boy but luckily Alma came back in time to shoo those heartless bastards away. It was then she realized how small and weak he was and took upon herself the role to not let anyone treat him like a villain again. Now Seth decides to set out on his journey and he thought Alma was going to stop him. I guess she knew he wouldn’t listen so she hands him some of her stuffs as parting gifts. One last big emotional hug before Seth gets going.

Episode 4
Doc sees Alma to get parts of the Nemesis. He sent his assistant, Melie in advance to tell her but apparently she never arrived. Seth has the bad luck of crashing into the Inquisition ship of Captain Dart Dragunov. He puts up a fight before being put in a black silver cage that nullifies his Fantasia. Seth regrets not listening to Alma properly. He was told to head to the town of Artemis and find a sorcerer named Yaga who might have an idea about Radiant. Seth meets Melie and her familiar Boobrie who are also captured. Doc then comes by but is also captured since Melie revealed the reason of her capture: She was tasked to retrieve Nemesis part (a crime under existing laws). Seth continues to brag how he is going to find Radiant and defeat all Nemesis while Doc isn’t so optimistic since he is more of a researcher and doesn’t want to die. Thanks to Boobrie stealing the guard’s keys, they are free. However Seth needs to get his stuffs back. He does but gets ambushed by the guards. As they put up a fight, Seth is impressed with Melie’s defensive magic. But when they are cornered again, Melie suddenly changes character into a badass girl. When in extreme stressful situations, her character will completely flip. Dragunov has got Melie in his point blank range but Seth uses his magic to bust them out of here. In no time, they finally reach Artemis.

Episode 5
In Artemis, Doc rushes Seth to be a citizen in hopes of ridding him. The ceremony is initiated by the head of Artemis, Master Lord Majesty. After Seth signs the contract, looks like he has also take on huge debts. Karma backfires because since Doc is Seth’s guardian, he will also share the debts! They go round looking for Yaga but Seth and Melie only incur more debts. Yeah, everything here costs money! A strange wizard approaches them and is willing to tell them were Yaga is if Seth answers a few questions. Seth gives his honest opinions on Artemis. As for why Majesty ‘extorts’ from his citizens, he shall see the answer now as the alert is sounded. The Inquisition’s ship is nearby and would have initiated a full scale attack had not they received orders from HQ to back down and not risk war with these powerful sorcerers. Majesty has used the money to pay off these people. Wouldn’t that make them come back for more? Anyway, this is where the money goes and that is why Artemis is the last sanctuary sorcerers go. No discriminations or persecutions. The wizard suggests Seth live here and protect this paradise. However Seth still wants to find and destroy Radiant. This might be a safe place but the rest of the world. If they want to help others, they must change it. If no one will do it, he will. With that, the wizard reveals himself to be Yaga. Hardly surprising unless you’re as dense as Seth and Melie. Dragunov reports his failure to capture Seth to General Torque. He is ordered to keep a close eye on his movements.

Episode 6
Because Yaga tells Seth to get stronger if he is to teach anything, Seth bugs Melie. Too bad she can’t explain well and thinks Doc can do the job. Hate to break your futile flirting with Kettle Café’s Melba (her herbal tea sucks, by the way – and she has a hand puppet as her father!) but Doc was initially reluctant to teach Seth anything at all. Until Melba notes about all the kindness and that crap that Doc wants to show off. But since Seth fails, Melie gets desperate. She turns into her crazy side and starts attacking! This is sure going to rake up the debts with all the buildings damaged. When a slab threatens to fall on her, Seth could suddenly pull off basic magic to save her. Why do I have a feeling his gloves are the one suppressing his power? So with Seth a bit stronger, as per agreed, Yaga takes him as his disciple. I don’t think strict hell training is going to scare him. On a side note, Seth lives with Melie since he can’t sleep anywhere for free and Doc refuses to take any more debts. Oh sure, conveniently she has an unused room in her home.

Episode 7
Looks like Seth still has a long way to go from Yaga’s training. I’m surprised Melba’s bad coffee isn’t going to be a running joke because Doc tastes her latest brew this one tastes really good! Suddenly Doc is kidnapped by a tentacle monster! Don’t worry. It’s not Nemesis. I guess this Kraken is classified as an animal that lives in Artemis’ sewers. Yeah, it likes coffee… Seth and Melie head down to rescue him but all their plans backfire. Yeah, somehow Doc is the one falling into their traps. This guy still alive after being dragged by Kraken for so long? So before the young ones can give up, time to remember what quitting is not in Seth’s vocabulary. The next time they face Kraken, looks like Doc has become acquainted with it! They’re coffee buddies! Seth’s plan is to dump a cauldron of Melba’s coffee onto himself. This makes him irresistible as Kraken swallows him whole. Despite the mind boggling nice coffee aroma, it tastes like sh*t. Even Kraken spits everything out. Is he going to get some stomach discomfort? Seth and Melie combine their power to take Kraken down but before that, Doc protects Kraken! Don’t hurt my friend! Devi? I guess that’s that. If Kraken is Doc’s friend, it is also Seth’s friend. Doc returns to normal life and he thought he could have more of Melba’s good coffee. Then the truth is revealed. It is actually her dad who makes it. Yeah, from now on, he will be making coffee for this loser. Doc is so the biggest loser.

Episode 8
All the training has wrecked Seth’s gloves. So Yaga makes him wear special black silver gloves that restricts any use of magic. Seth is unhappy but is made to think that there is more to this world than just power. If he takes off the gloves, he will be expelled. Seth and co are called by Majesty. Yeah, they have the highest accumulated debts ever in history. Seth, I don’t think that’s a record to be proud of. They must pay this up now or… Oh well, I guess it’s hard labour for them. Seth and Melie clean Artemis’ top. Then they spot Bravery Quartet trying to break in. Looks like they escaped from their low security imprisonment and why are they only in underwear? Because it gives them magic! Seriously. Don tries to make a deal to help free Seth from the gloves in exchange he lets this slide. But Seth refuses. Don then tries to sweet talk him about his potential strength and that the strongest in this world only gets what they want. The resisting force is still strong with Seth. He sure wants power but not use it like they pathetically did. Time to square off. Seth might have no magic but he uses Melie’s explosive magic as springboard for a dropkick on Don. When Don tries to take Melie hostage, Boobrie pecks him off. Don would have fallen to his death had not Seth swoop down to save him. But not after breaking his gloves. Later he apologizes to Yaga for breaking his promise but Yaga saw the whole thing and let this slide. He also repaired his gloves with some modifications and hints why Alma made him wear it all along. Because sorcerers cannot use magic with such gloves, those doing so bare handed will be considered a heretic. Alma’s foresight saved him from unwanted attention. It is discovered that Majesty setup this so he could capture Bravery Quartet via cheap means instead of deploying the army.

Episode 9
Dragunov’s team has been stationed near Artemis for so long that they are running out of provisions. Not if Dragunov can do some fishing and cook for his men. A newbie is starting to feel disillusioned with him as he thought being an Inquisition would be a more glamorous job. Soon they receive word that another Inquisition team led by Captain Edmund has been damaged after a fight with a Nemesis. They are to assist and repair the ship scheduled for HQ. Edmund boasts about his skills that drove the Nemesis away and also shows Dragunov the evil sorcerer prisoners he captured. Women, children and the old? As they fix the ship, the newbie thinks of requesting a transfer when the Nemesis returns. However it ignores the Inquisitions and head for the nearest town where there are lots of people. Edmund is relieved they don’t have to deal with this and doesn’t care if the people gets killed. But it’s a different story for Dragunov. He and his men’s goal is to take out threats that threaten the lives of powerless people. Hence taking out Nemesis is the same as weeding out evil sorcerers. Dragunov’s team easily defeats the Nemesis and it is only so since somebody else has already fought it and put a deep wound on it. When Dragunov returns, he arrests Edmund. His men has checked the prisoners and they lack any markings that indicate they are evil sorcerers. He knows it is easy to round these harmless people up and then accuse them of being sorcerers. He realizes Edmund has been using his false achievements to get where he is and will report this to Torque who will then judge him. The newbie has seen this side of Dragunov and decides to stay on his team.

Episode 10
Majesty throws a festival so foreigners can spend the cash. But the highlight is the broomstick race. Although the prize money is high, so is the participating fee. Seth contemplates on entering but this arrogant jerk, Nick who is double winners of this race starts badmouthing Alma. Seth won’t let it slide (excuse for this episode to air some recycled footage of Seth’s parting with Alma) and will win this race to prove Alma is the strongest. So as the race begins, Seth is put at the lowest odds. His broom might not be the most high-tech and expensive like Nick but it’s filled with Alma’s love! Majesty plays cheat by entering the race with his giant spaceship! Well, technically you keep the money if you win your own race. So with him blasting other competitors out, Seth puts a stop to this foul move. Thanks to Yaga’s training, he has gotten better and forces that greedy cat on eject mode. With the race entering the final stretch, Nick is in the lead but Seth is catching up. Desperate, he uses his turbo mode and blows his lackeys away. Although he reaches the finish line, Seth is the real ‘winner’ since he went to save those lackeys. Hey, I thought all those who participate wear a parachute? Whatever. It’s just to show that Alma’s teachings are never wrong. And Seth can only later dream he won the race because now Doc is once again exasperated for the increase in debt. He had to pay for his participation, you know. It’s not like taking on another debt would make a difference, right? Oh Seth… I understand money is of no value to him but sometimes…

Episode 11
Doc needs to find a job that makes a quick buck fast. So definitely he won’t take this Nemesis hunting job. Not if Seth and Melie wants to take it up. He tries to give excuses until Melba notes how brave it is for one to take up this job. Yeah. Love makes you do silly things. They make their way to Rumble Town, supposedly a noisy and industrial area but it looks more like a ghost town than densely populated. They stumble into that Nemesis but realizes there are 2 of them. A short bout before some pied piper calls them back. Man, there are hundreds of them now! Seth chases them but is attacked by a weird sorcerer, Grimm. He wants to know Seth’s goal in chasing those Nemesis as those Nemesis are his. They may be a clue to his past. Seth is not obliged to answer him so they fight and Grimm is much powerful than him. Melie helps out but the commotion will certainly draw attention and that is what Grimm dislikes. He retreats and as long as they are connected to that Nemesis, they will meet again. The Inquisition sees this and reports to the captain of the area, Konrad de Marbourg. He is happy he can go sorcerer hunting.

Episode 12
Konrad is shocked to see Dragunov, his former superior here. Konrad tries to assert he is now the boss here and won’t take any of his orders but instead Dragunov plays it cool and it is Konrad who gets impatient and loses his cool. Seth and co see Zeda who requested the hunt. He explains that his son, Taj had come into contact with a Nemesis. Thankfully he survived but he is now sneezing purple snot. Is this the curse? Because they are immigrants and highly discriminated against, nobody will believe their story and if they tell their son is infected, what would others think? Because Seth is determined to see this through, Taj shows him the place where he saw the Nemesis. Inside this building is a large tree with feathers. Melie mentions about Source Nemesis, the original Nemesis that could curse others. It can also create smaller clones called Echo Nemesis but those do not have the ability to curse and serve more like scouts. Then the ground starts shaking. Doc deduces that the constant boring of the land made it unstable. Hence some parts had no people because they were ordered to move. Seth has an idea. After everyone is evacuated, they observe from the sky and wait for the Nemesis to come out. True enough, they do. They use their magic to trap and capture it. The more Nemesis they capture alive, the more those money signs in their eyes begin to flash. Yeah, not only their debts will be gone, they’ll be filthy rich! Until Grimm destroys the trap. Like, WTF?! If he isn’t interested in them then why destroy their catch?! Luckily as he escapes, Melie has put a mark on him.

Episode 13
Doc wonders if Grimm is behind the disappearance of immigrants too. When Seth asks him about the marks on Nemesis, he explains when it glows, it means they are being controlled by sorcerers called Domitors. Dragunov hears rumours of the immigrants being blamed for everything. He knows this is Konrad’s doing and that his target are the immigrants. He will not interfere but warns if he is getting Nemesis get away while being so preoccupied with his goal to protect citizens (apparently immigrants don’t fall under the category of citizens). He shows him a letter that Torque and his Thaumaturges will be coming here since that sorcerer kid they are targeting is believed to be here. Looks like Konrad is definitely hiding something. He knows he can’t hide it any longer and will proceed to his final phase of his plan by using the sorcerers to create a chaos. Seth and Melie visit Taj’s house but it is destroyed. A passer-by says the Inquisitions have taken them away as immigrants and sorcerers are being accused of plotting terrorism. Konrad then rallies his people to cooperate with him to witch hunt immigrants to protect their town or risk repeating that tragedy 15 years ago. Doc hides from the mob and stumbles upon an abandoned home that serves as a nest for Nemesis. An Inquisition catches him now that he has seen the secret. The mob tries to burn Taj but luckily Seth comes to their rescue. The people retreat as they are scared, claiming they are only following orders from Konrad. Learning that Taj’s family are arrested by the Inquisitions for sheltering an infected, Seth vows to take Konrad and his men down. He downplays crazy Melie’s logic to hurt the people as they are only afraid. If they attack them, everything will be blown beyond repair. It won’t take long for Seth to encounter Konrad. Because he orders his men to fire on the district despite the people have not yet been evacuated. Because some sacrifices are needed to protect the peace.

Episode 14
Dragunov helps Konrad to defeat Seth. He has to give up because they see Doc as a prisoner. Oh my, he looks so old. Did they suck out his life force?! With the riots against the immigrants happening, Konrad uses this chance to lie to the public by blaming Seth as the one siding with the immigrants and hiding a horde of Nemesis. So to eradicate this quickly, he will destroy them all. This means trapping normal people in the area and sacrificing them too. Seth uses his Fantasia to beat up Konrad. However he orders his troops to fire. Grimm absorbs the shells. He asks if Seth knows about the Domitor. Since he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, consider Grimm his unexpected ally. Speaking of the Domitor, Hameline makes her move as she unleashes her Echo Nemesis to attack the people. Konrad wants to settle the score with Seth and reveals that Hameline works under him. The Echo Nemesis run rampage. Sorcerers and Inquisitions put aside their differences to save the people. Hameline has summoned a whirlwind and intends to crash the bell into the ground to cause a massive ground collapse.

Episode 15
The bell crashes into the Inquisition’s HQ. You mad, Konrad? Cue for Hameline to tell her sad story 15 years ago. She was part of a group of tainted children gathered to fight Nemesis. However they were thrown into prison and the people hated them for just that. Only the kind Major Oxumare treated them nicely and gave them a flute to play to ignore the mockery. However, Konrad who was a mere soldier at that time, detested all that. So one night he let the children escape prison. However he also told the crowd about their escape and hence began a witch hunt. By the time Oxumare intervened, all but Hameline died. When actual Nemesis dropped into Rumble Town, Konrad used this chance to have Oxumare put Hameline in the frontlines. But it is just a ploy for him to kill him. Scared Hameline fled and at a lost, started playing her flute. The Nemesis became attracted to her. At the same time, the Inquisitions bombed and let an entire district fell from the sky. Konrad continued to blame immigrants for this and he himself admits all that with the excuse of protecting this town. Hameline accuses him of accepting her offer when she said she would help rid of all immigrants. Though, Konrad denies this. But Konrad continues to admit he is willing to sacrifice more people to keep the town safe. Naturally the townspeople turn against him and think Hameline will be their saviour. Sorry to disappoint. She isn’t here to save them. She’s going to kill them. She considers all of them as the same as Konrad. Accomplices in murder. They never changed. Even if they said they weren’t around during that time or try to wash their hands off this, she views this all the same. Because they don’t want to shoulder the responsibility, they picked a leader to decide for them. Hence, she is going to destroy Rumble Town and lived for this day. Her destruction put on hold since Grimm has a question for her. Meanwhile Seth blames it all on Konrad for this mess. Epic power battle with Seth now even stronger without using Fantasia. I guess we’re tired of hearing Konrad blabbing about him being the impregnable wall of Rumble Town so here comes Seth’s Skull Burst to break down this immoral wall. XD.

Episode 16
With Konrad defeated, Seth goes to stop Hameline. Dragunov vows to arrest him after that. When Seth meets up with Melie, she is sad that Doc had died. However Seth shows Doc has turned into a baby! Seth stumbled into Doc’s corpse and bursting out from the stomach was this baby! Cute cuddling put on hold with Grimm telling them he doesn’t intend to sink with Rumble Town unless they have a plan to stop Hameline. Seth believes he can do so without killing her and Grimm would gladly lend his assistance. As they fly up the clock tower, Hameline unleashes Nemesis to attack them. In some strange burst of power, Seth is sucked inside the clock tower whereby he meets this strange guy with horns, Piodon. Melie and Grimm fight Hameline. Melie manages to seal Hameline’s Fantasia in a giant lamp while Grimm goes on a Nemesis killing spree. Piodon wonders about Seth’s strange seal that makes him unable to use Fantasia efficiently. He offers to get rid of it but asks whom Seth is fighting for. Is it the weak? The infected? The Inquisition? Seth can’t stay to chat so he leaves but thanks him for saving him earlier. Piodon believes they will meet soon again because they are family. Because of Hameline’s strong bond with the Nemesis, she could combine her powers with them. This means, Melie’s lamp is unable to absorb anymore of her Fantasia and Grimm’s giant sword has reach its limits. But don’t worry. Seth is here.

Episode 17
As Seth and Hameline fight, the latter accuses him of helping his enemies. Even when Seth says he wants to protect the people, this doesn’t bode well with her. She doesn’t care about the people and will let them die. Seth points out she is only doing the same things Konrad did. She does have a point about the people will never acknowledge him and will only use him for their own purpose. People’s attitude will never change. Despite Seth disagreeing with her, he points out he is the same as her. Although people treated him badly and at times he wanted to destroy everything, he refuses to become the monster they painted him. Seth overwhelms her but refuses to kill her or hand her over to the Inquisition. He wants her to join him in his journey to find and destroy Radiant. Only then everyone can happily live together when there are no more Nemesis. Conversation interrupted with Santori making his divine entrance. So people like them don’t use Fantasia but Miracles? Is there a difference? Must be the power being bestowed from God. Anyway, Santori wants Seth to be handed over as he lists down all his crimes that ranges from killing, stealing, etc. Seth doesn’t know all that but can’t help feel familiar with those murdered names. Hameline then takes Seth hostage in hopes to negotiate. However Santori rejects her demands. She attacks Santori so as to buy time for Seth to run away. She leaves her Nemesis siblings in his care. Bye. Seth would have wanted to stay behind to save her had not Melie and Grimm take him away and not let Hameline’s wish go to waste. Sadly, Torque kills her.

Episode 18
Seth tries to take on Torque but Von Teppes puts him down. Before he can kill Seth, Piodon did something that turns Seth into some monster that oozes out tremendous Fantasia. He easily pulverizes Teppes. Torque strikes him down and in the midst of the chaos, Grimm and Melie whisk him away. Grimm then shows some dimensional coffin where he put all the missing people. Those who were infected or witnessed Konrad’s atrocities are kept here and hence many thought people were missing from the Nemesis. But to get off Rumble Town, looks like Artemis sent a train to save them. Thaumaturges prioritizes saving the injured of Rumble Town and hence ‘allowed’ Artemis’ train to escape amidst the fireworks distraction. Seth is inside his own consciousness, blaming himself he couldn’t save Hameline. He also accuses Piodon of doing something but the latter explains had he not, he and his friends would have died. Seth laments that in his monster form, he couldn’t tell between friend or foe. Everything that Seth did was on his own. All Piodon did was to help him get in touch with the powers and memories he doesn’t know of yet. Then the revelation that we aren’t too surprised: Piodon is Seth’s older brother. After a week, Seth finally wakes up in Melie’s room. Grimm explains of Torque’s ability to nullify Fantasia. Since Seth’s arm was hit by it, it cannot be healed by any magic and he might never use Fantasia again. Seth doesn’t think it’s bad since he realizes all he is capable of is reckless violence. Rumble Town is under construction and since Konrad is gone, it will be better than before. Oh Seth, still blaming yourself that it was the Inquisition who saved the day? A bit of good news, Hameline’s Nemesis brothers are safe, living in Artemis’ facility.

Episode 19
With Seth’s heroics all over the news in Artemis, he is a hero. Too bad that gloom face that says it all. Because the news labels Hameline as an evil sorcerer. Oh, how will Melba ever love Doc now? Oh well, she finds him adorable and he has more skinship than ever he has of her in his life. Too bad her papa changes his diapers… Doc uses his secret stash of cash to buy an expensive potion to grow up. At least, he is now the body of a young boy. Just in time for the party Majesty throws to celebrate Seth’s heroics. But you know, Seth is still gloomy over his failure. Even when everyone sings praises of him, he denies of being a hero. F*cking Seth, still so down over Hameline’s death. Like, WTF?! Like he needs Nick to challenge him to some strength competition. Not in the mood. But Nick crosses the line by badmouthing Hameline so here comes a great sucker punch in his face. Seth snaps about many other sorcerers out there that shares Hameline’s tragic fate. That’s why he must destroy Radiant as soon as possible. He sounds disappointed that with so many sorcerers here, none know anything of Radiant. More sulking until Alma shows up to give him her usual beating. She wouldn’t have known had not Melie contacted her. She gives him a letter from Taj. He thanks him for what he did. Everyone now is helping to rebuild Rumble Town. He hopes to meet again. Seth might not been able to save some but he did change those he touched. Even back in Pompo Hills, everyone treats Alma nicer than before. Also, Melie disregarded her own wounds to nurse Seth back when he was in ‘coma’. With Seth’s blues blown away like that, now he goes around thanking those who helped him. At least better than moping around.

Episode 20
Thaumaturges discuss about Konrad’s actions have led to people’s trust in the Inquisition dipping. Teppes has been removed and punished for letting emotions get the better of him. Then there’s the case of Dragunov too… Speaking of him, his unit is facing food shortage as they had to give theirs to Rumble Town to help it rebuild. So hunting a few wild animals didn’t yield anything. Even calling towns for help, they are turned away. Yeah, nobody likes the Inquisition as much as before. When the newbie asks Dragunov about the things they do because at this rate the world will not get better, Dragunov replies that despite doing the right thing doesn’t guarantee good results. The newbie suggests asking from the town they saved from Edmund and surprisingly they are more than glad to help. So everything isn’t wasted. Kindness goes a long way. We take a detour as Melba’s coffee is getting thinner? Sorry, lack of coffee beans. Thanks to all the coffee and other supplies being rerouted to Rumble Town. At this rate her shop might close down. But what could me more concerning for Doc than her? Devi! Yeah, dried squid is so dried without coffee! Seth tries to help but after a few blunders, he gets it right. Only, he took out a loan from Majesty for the beans. Better enjoy the world’s most expensive coffee. Dragunov has got a personal letter from Torque. His vice knows it is an invitation to join Thaumaturges. At first Dragunov didn’t want to accept because he was worried about his men. But looks like he knows they’ll be alright. Just like Seth, he believes he needs to leave to protect those around him. His men will wait for his return one day.

Episode 21
Alma wants Seth to bring him to Yaga to talk about Radiant. However that guy went into hiding as he doesn’t want to see her but left a note. It says to go to Caislean Merlin, the capital of Cyfandir and meet the knight sorcerers as they are a bunch of people who are also looking for Radiant. But beware. The Inquisition has begun to hunt them down in hopes of regaining their reputation. Of course Doc will not go with Seth this time and doesn’t want to die again. He’s got enough problems on his hands already. Friends you say? Doc tells him straight that he is going to fight even stronger and crazier enemies. Is he willing to put Melie in danger? As he thinks about it, I doubt Majesty is here to give him any solid advice but a reminder to pay his debts. Because if he’s dead, he’ll still has to repay them! Does he have connections with heaven? Just then, many Nemesis Eggs plummet into Artemis. The sorcerers go to battle them but with Seth ‘frozen’, Nick mocks him for being a fake. Oh no. Seth, are you pitying Nemesis now?! Because Hameline said they are not all monsters. But with an egg dropping in to where Melie is, Seth ‘borrows’ Nick’s broom to rescue her before she becomes Nemesis chow. They both take it down but a moment when Melie let her guard down, the Nemesis strikes again. This scene traumatically reminds Seth of Hameline’s fate. He pushes out of harm’s way and takes the brunt. He is being dragged deep into the waters and this is when his berserk mode unleashed. This time the Nemesis is blown to smithereens. When he comes to, he is sad he once again lost control. Now that Seth is determined, the next morning he left a note to Melie saying that he has left since he can’t be bringing her along to his dangerous journey. Take care. He left with Alma and didn’t say goodbye to everyone either in fear he might want to stay. Yeah, blaming himself he caused everyone problems. Especially Doc with his debts, right? Oh, that guy is the most shocked in hearing Seth left.

Monster Hunter World
And as expected, there will be another season. But I am surprised that it only had this odd number of 21 episodes. It fuelled my speculation that it wasn’t expected to do well but I suppose it did and that’s why another season was announced. From the sneak preview that I see at the end of the final episode, it looks like it is going to notch things up a bit and things might get a little grimmer. After all, for light to shine the brightest, there has to be the darkest of the dark, right? And of course, don’t count on Seth going at this alone as Melie and Doc will soon catch up. You know, they’re friends, right?!

Also, despite that speculation of mine, initially I thought this series was going to be the next big long running anime. It was going to be the next Fairy Tail. The next Black Clover. The next Naruto or Boruto. The next Bleach. The next One Piece. So for them to just have 2 cours for the first season, hmm, something doesn’t feel right. Because as far as I can see the way the story and the pacing plays out, it certainly is going to look like one of those very long running animes that is going to lust for multiple cours. There are still other things and developments to flesh out and from what I can see from this season, this is just merely touching the tip of the iceberg.

Hence this season can be both good and bad at this point in time. As the manga, oops I mean, manfra is currently ongoing, there is of course the need to wait for more materials to be published. As you can see, this season has only 2 big main arcs: Artemis and Rumble Town. With the series taking several episodes to flesh out the stories and characters in both these arcs, it is good pacing to see Seth grows as a character but at the same time it hardly moves anywhere. Sure, Seth’s heroics of Rumble Town may skyrocketed his fame and status but if a story is about a boy who goes on an adventure to seek some imaginary place that is not supposed to exist, it is definitely going to be a very long journey and don’t tell me that Seth is going to find Radiant after hitting a few places. I mean, look at how freaking long One Piece has been running and they still can’t find that One Piece! Heh. You get what I mean. But thankfully, Radiant doesn’t take as long as One Piece for its single arc that could span to as long as a half a year to a year! Is that good? Is that disappointing? I know it is wrong to directly compare this series with One Piece but with the vibe Radiant has been giving off initially, I really thought it was going to at least be Black Clover’s rival.

Like I have already said, the story and pacing is building up at a reasonable pace. It does take its time trying to flesh out Seth as the main character as well as the other supporting characters. Sometimes they have time to even put in fillers especially after the big Rumble Town battle, we get this very slow moving and boring couple of episodes as the characters ponder their next move. That is why I thought this series was going to be the next big thing (sorry if I sound like a broken recorder on this). Because when you have long running series, it is without a doubt that sometimes they need to put in filler episodes to fill up the space while they make preparations for the next arc. Even though this Rumble Town arc lasted for about 10 episodes, somehow it felt like a bit draggy to me. Initially I thought it was just going to be 3 or 4 episodes and the final arc would be something else but it eventually lasted till the end of the season. Oh well, goes to show that sometimes my own guts and expectations can be dead wrong. On a trivial note, is Rumble Town’s immigration problem a take on the current USA’s issue of influx of illegal immigrants? Must be just coincidence.

On a trivial note, sometimes I believe Radiant is aimed for younger audiences like teens. Sure, there are some dark themes and well, some character dies but the overall feel of the series can be said as, uhm, how should I put it, bubbly? Like the narration at the beginning as well as the next episode preview is narrated in a way that makes me think that well, maybe this series is targeted for young teens to watch. This is no Shingeki No Kyojin or even Goblin Slayer but if you put Radiant and One Piece side by side and if I had to pick one for my young nephews to watch, I would have gone with Radiant without a doubt. Of course One Piece keeps going forever and that means they’ll be glued to the screen forever… Theoretically!

Character wise, surprisingly there isn’t a lot of characters. At least not yet. We have the main character, Seth. His groupie, Melie and Doc. The master, Alma and Yaga. Animal mascots, Boobrie and Devi. Mystery ally, Grimm. The scheming brains, Majesty. The supposed antagonist, Torque and his Thaumaturges. And the anti-hero or how should I put it, fighting on the wrong side? Yup, that’s Dragunov. Did I miss out anybody? Oh Melba, where should I put her? Anyway, if I look at this series generally about character development, not really good either. I did say that the story and pacing was to help develop the character. Yes, but that is for the long run. For this season, it doesn’t look like it moved anyway. I mean it did. But not very much.

Seth as the main character, we see him grow from a reckless sorcerer into one taking fate and destiny into his own hands. Oh wait. Seth has been the same reckless sorcerer with his staunch ideal of justice from the start. Literally Seth is Seth from the beginning till the end. Lots of anime main protagonist seem to fall into this cliché trap. How much different a character can you make Seth from Luffy, Natsu or Naruto? And hence you’ve got a kid who has lots of power but is a simpleton. I guess that is why they usually always win in the end because it is not complicated unlike complex brainy villains who planned this and that with backup plans here and there. Yeah, how not to fail like that? Also, they rant about their plans to the heroes cliché. Heh. And oh, to top the cherry on the icing for being a cliché main character is that Seth has this hidden latent power, now taking in the form of his berserk mode. How convenient. Wanna bet he is going to learn and control it by the time the climax comes around?

Anyway, I am fine with Seth being that typical stereotype of main character until they made him such an annoying kid when he couldn’t get over the death of Hameline. I mean, that was like the worst. I know they want to portray him as a character who realized he is weak and needs to get a lot stronger (because there is always room for improvement) but they spam it so much that it is just intolerable. Like, WTF?! Oh God. Can we move on already? Instead of looking at the positive side of the numerous lives he changed (Tommy and Taj to name a few), he had to focus on his one miserable failure. And it’s not really his fault either. So he wants to mope around forever like that? Oh yeah, thank goodness for Alma to come smacking some reality back into his mind. I guess that’s the only reason to bring her character back. While it looks like Seth might have gotten over it, but that ghost of a regret is hinted to linger on. That’s fine too. But don’t overdo it, okay? Don’t make it Seth’s weakness that when he is faced with another similar situation, this fear paralyzes him. Please don’t. I know Seth can do better. Don’t even start on him starting to slowly sympathize with Nemesis. It makes his life’s mission and setting of this series redundant for the sake of plot twist.

As for the other characters, not really much is known about them or fleshed out properly. Especially Melie and Doc. Melie feels like your token cute girl because every main character groupie needs to have a kawaii bishoujo, right? Right. Since she has another alter ego, it is never explained how she got this and it would be interesting to see the backstory to this side of hers in the next season. Yeah, I guess Boobrie really loves this sadistic version because you see hearts in his eyes whenever she is in this mode. Doc is like the whiner, complainer and pessimist of the group. He feels like a comic relief character because of his failed one-sided love to Melba and constantly being piled up with debts thanks to Seth. He claims he doesn’t want to help them but from what I can see, he still cares for them despite all he has said because he could just walk off and not entertain them anymore but keeps coming back. Yeah, maybe it’s fate. And those damn debts that tie their fate together.

Speaking of love interest, this series seems to lack every inch of it as it is marketed as some fantasy action adventure oriented. But if our guts and experience tells us, will it be Seth x Melie? Has cutie pie Melie already fallen for Seth from the start? She might be sticking around him because she is so impressed with him whatsoever but what if it is because she likes him? What if her alter ego was just a fake front to hide her love for him? Notice how she usually gets stressed up when Seth is in danger, causing her to be this BDSM queen? No? Must be me then? Since Seth too has another dark alter ego, I guess they’re a match, no?! Because I think Seth x Melie is more probably than Doc x Melba! My conspiracy theory is that Melba also likes Doc but puts a barrier in the form of her hand puppet father. She looks and sounds a bit dumb but I think she isn’t. Especially making poisonous coffee all the time. Think about it. How can her business survive when she makes such bad coffee? Oh sure, her father backs her up but I want to really believe her father is just a hand puppet.

Torque looks like the big bad guy but I doubt that he is so and he only looks mean and his goals might sound a bit tough but I am predicting that his sense of justice doesn’t stray too far as from Seth’s. After all, this guy doesn’t talk much unless when necessary. I’m thinking there will be another hidden bigger baddie to all this and that Seth and Torque will eventually cooperate with each other. Same case for Dragunov. He might be fighting against Seth now but in time I foresee they will be fighting on the same side of justice. We also assume Grimm is on Seth’s side but that is only their goals somewhat aligned. Remember, this guy who talks in third person may be more than meets the eye.

One of the biggest nonsense I find about the setting of this series is how sorcerers are treated badly by others. Yes, it is stated that they are cursed by Nemesis but the only ones with powers to take them down. Are they trying to teach us that the world itself is ungrateful no matter what you do? And that only those with strong sense of justice and goodness can arise from this? That’s so screw up if you asked me. People who have no qualms scorning them but yet cower behind sorcerers during Nemesis’ attack, they are the worst. Damn, it’s not like they are even trying to hide it! If I existed in this world, I would have gladly joined Bravery Quartet! (Why do I feel these characters are like those jiggly butt jokers of Fairy Tail and Rave?). It doesn’t make sense since Inquisition are also out to capture such sorcerers but doesn’t Thaumaturges have one? Piodon, anybody? Oh come on. Do you not see his costume is clearly from the Inquisition? Oddly, if Torque’s main ability is to nullify Fantasia, wouldn’t it be a lot easier if he just went around and do that to other sorcerers? Turning them back into normal human beings? No more sorcerer discrimination, hooray! Sometimes I think that Nemesis randomly rain down on human civilization to attack them is because to wipe them out for being assholes. People are the real dicks (which is somewhat true). Only if those sorcerers didn’t get in the way! Uh huh. Plot twist! Nemesis aren’t the bad guys! Isn’t that why Seth is starting to think that not all Nemesis are bad?

Action bits are rather okay. Not to say they are mediocre nor are they mind blowing but for an action series, I suppose it is suffice. With big explosions and effects, I guess they really exaggerated the effects of using Fantasia. It’s magic! After all, with Seth being just somewhat a beginner in using his Fantasia, we see him pull off a few variants of punches and the recent Skull Burst. Then we have Melie casting her Meteor Drops, barriers and traps. In time maybe they will learn more and add to their repertoire of skillsets. Does Dragunov shoot anything else except with his bow? Oddly, a series about hunting down Nemesis, there aren’t really a lot of them. Sure, you can count them with your fingers. And I don’t mean Hameline’s brothers as individual Nemesis but a collective one.

As for the art and animation, everything looks clean, bright and colourful, also the reason why I said it looked like a series aimed for younger audiences. Some really weird character designs because what’s with the main female characters having weird hairstyles? Like Alma’s big bushy broomstick hairstyle and Melie’s killer croissant drills? Some character designs look familiar like Torque I thought Fairy Tail’s Gajeel was moonlighting as the high commander of Inquisition. Before Doc turned into a baby, I thought he look like that character from Cartoon Network’s Codename Kids Next Door, Numbuh 2. Why does the Nemesis feel like they are rejected designs of Bleach’s Hollow? This series is animated by Lerche who did Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Asobi Asobase, Mahou SHoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Kuzu No Honkai, Danganronpa and the reboot of Kino No Tabi.

Voice acting, they used a lot of popular seiyuus like Aoi Yuuki as Melie, Takehito Koyasu as Grimm, Romi Paku as Alma, Koji Yusa as Dragunov, Kappei Yamaguchi as Majesty, Nao Touyama as Melba and Sho Hayami as the narrator. Saori Hayami and Ayane Sakura also lend their voices as members of Thaumaturges but sorry I didn’t catch their characters’ names here. The other casts are Yumiri Hanamori as Seth (Hayasaka in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Shintarou Oohata as Doc (Morgan in Beast Saga), Kenta Miyake as Torque (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Hiroyoki Yoshino as Yaga (Favaro in Shingeki No Bahamut), Ryohei Kimura as Piodon (Tsubasa in Kyoukai No Rinne), Yumi Uchiyama as Hameline (Maki in Toji No Miko) and Katasuki Murase as Konrad (Three in Hamatora) and Tetsu Inada as Don (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill).

The opening theme is Utopia by 04 Limited Sazabys. I didn’t like this because it is like punk hard rock and the constant bass drubbing feels like you need to be high are on drugs while doing head banging if listening to this song. Really. Hence I prefer much the ending theme which is as the same name of this series and sung by Polkadot Stingray. It has this funky feel to it and the electric guitar accompaniment isn’t too shabby either. Though, the singer’s voice might sound a bit flat but it is still way better than mine!

Overall, even if this doesn’t seem like the next big anime that will stand alongside the other aforementioned big anime titles, Radiant is still Radiant and stands by itself as a decent fantasy action adventure genre. Story, characters and action all feel pretty much cliché and standard like any other stories about a young character setting out on a journey to defeat the main evil and bring ultimate peace to the land and in the midst discovers more about himself and changes for the better. It is still too early to call and judge it and even maybe a second season won’t be enough if it is to strive for higher greatness and garner followers and fans from all around the globe like One Piece. Even with its flaws and shortcomings, this series still did what it takes to shine through. There is still a radiant of hope after all. Because (to borrow a quote from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam) if the series (and Seth) wants to shine like the sun, they must first burn like the sun. Keeping shining forward!

Uhm… Wow… You mean after almost 7 years since the second season aired, they finally make the third season?! Damn. That felt like an eternity in anime years. To Aru Majutsu No Index III was a surprise to me as I wasn’t a big fan of the series and probably the series I blamed for making me dislike very heavily themed sci-fi shows (although that doesn’t mean I don’t watch them from time to time). I didn’t think it would come out after that long but anything is possible. Having said all that, the only reason why I am watching this and allowing myself to be confused even more is because of the upcoming third season of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. Uh huh. I think I need to see this if I want to understand what happens in that series. Wait. Did I say understand? Looks like when science and magic collide, I become a retarded NPC otaku who feels obligated to watch this because, reasons :’(. Such a misfortune…

Document Of Constantine Arc

Episode 1
Fukou da. Bad luck for Touma. Lost his wallet. Can’t buy food for Index. She bites him. At school he gets reprimanded along with Tsuchimikado and Pierce Aogami for entering some heated debate about Playboy bunny girls. Yeah… On the international scale, there are protests everywhere to puts tension between Academy City and Roman Catholic Church. Of course, more trouble for Touma when he sees Misaka doing her kick on the vending machine. He ignores her but she spots him. Then she blames him for never replying her mails and goes to search his handphone. WTF?! Are they dating?! I mean, is Misaka his girlfriend or something?! Then she gets mad seeing a selfie of him and her mom! She would have roasted him had his right hand not nullify it. He manages to escape when she tries to talk about that fight he got into. When Sphinx escapes, Index chases after it and bumps into a nice old lady, Monaka Oyafune. She treats her to some food and learns about Touma probably being a nice guy (because he feeds her). After that, Monaka goes to talk to Touma and needs his input to solve a simple problem. That’s because he has what everybody else doesn’t: Imagine Breaker. As a board member of Academy City, she leaves the rest to Tsuchimikado to explain but he shoots her! Touma is mad but Monaka explains this is her wish. What she is doing is against the board’s will as they want to aggravate the confrontation and eliminate the Roman Catholic Church. She was against it and knew would be taken out. If she ran away, they would target her family. Tsuchimikado takes Touma on a trip to France now. Their target is a Roman Catholic mystic artefact that is the key to resolving this mess: The Document of Constantine AKA C-Document.

Episode 2
Stiyl is interrogating a couple of detainees about God’s Right Seat. However Lidvia wants the release of Oriana so that she can continue to guide the weak. More mumbo jumbo about God’s Right Seat not only to eliminate the original sin of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit but to be just that: be God’s Right Seat and sit next to Him. Fukou da na, Touma. Parachute have difficulties opening. Crashed into a river of a small town in France, Avignon. Luckily saved by Amakusa Church member, Itsuwa. He tells her what Tsuchimikado told him about C-Document. Supposedly some document gives the Pope absolute powers to rule over the land. It also can make what the Pope says become the truth. Hence the Roman Catholics are trying to use that document to make Academy City as evil. Itsuwa explains about the history between the Pope and king of France. What I understand is that Avignon has lots of leylines that would allow the Pope to use the artefacts freely instead of going through all that protocol. Something like a remote. The only drawback is that it takes time to be activated. That is where they come in to stop it. They have to flee when protesters identify Touma as from Academy City. Their goal now is to make way to Palais des Papes. However Tsuchimikado calls and says they don’t necessarily have to go there. They just need to sever the leyline connecting to the Vatican. But he doesn’t want Touma using Imagine Breaker at is still unknown and they are not sure the effects and exceptions. Itsuwa can perform the severing based on her Amakusa skills. In some old building that is housing a leyline, Itsuwa prepares for the ritual (including putting white pantsu?!). But before she could finish, they are attacked by Terra from God’s Right Seat. Did the freak show came to town? If not for Touma’s Imagine Breaker, they would have been goners. Touma could feel the might of Terra’s magic but this guy can pass through solids and spring surprise attacks.

Episode 3
What? What? WHAT?! I don’t understand the explanation of Terra’s precedence magic skill that allows him to change the laws of whatever. Whatever. Forget it. Tsuchimikado drops in to help but with Aleister sending in those powered suits from Academy City to attack, Terra flees. Tsuchimikado fights the powered suits while Touma and Itsuwa find Terra. I don’t know what Tsuchimikado did but he immobilizes all the powered suits because of overflowing data? But Aleister unleashes his next phase. Now those stealth bomber planes fly in. One of them is carrying Accelerator. Touma calls Misaka (surprise!) and asks about the news on Avignon. She mentions about some terrorists creating illegal weapons so Academy City is assisting in some search and destroy operation. Conversation interrupted with Terra attacking. He has C-Document in hand. After knocking out Itsuwa, Terra realizes that Touma has no memories about Imagine Breaker. The prolonged fight allows Touma to deduce his abilities. The reason he cannot kill them is because he couldn’t. He is weak. His magic cannot affect multiple targets at the same time. That’s why when they took full force of his magic, they still live. Touma manages to land a punch in his face and then destroys C-Document. Before Terra could reveal what Imagine Breaker is, he is burnt to a crisp by Accelerator. Lidvia continues explaining that God’s Right Seat isn’t about its members wanting to become angels and stand beside God like Michael or Lucifer. It is to become something above God. Kamijou? Play of words? Terra still lives and returns to Acqua. As the Russian Orthodox Church has sided with them, he thinks of using this incident to invade Academy City. However Acqua asks him about using his skills on tourists and children. Wasn’t he supposed to save humans without discrimination? Terra claims it is to hone his skills so Acqua drops a slab on him to kill him. People like him will never be God’s chosen one. The Pope is here and he hears Acqua’s plan to fight in the upcoming battle himself. Meanwhile Misaka is confused. Yeah, she overheard the entire conversation between Touma and Terra and is not amused about Touma’s lost memories.

Battle Royale Arc

Episode 4
An illegal trader is willing to cooperate with Tsuchimikado but is shot in the gut instead. While being taken away in a police wagon, some weird computer head guy, Banka Yobou slices the van in half! Too bad the trader got killed by him too. Unabara checks the house as Tsuchimikado fills him in on that trader’s job to find people to fill positions of a small and newly formed organization. It is believed they will make their move soon. SWAT people known as BLOCK storm into the house. Later Tsuchimikado and his team check the place. Unabara used his ability to blend in and disguise with BLOCK and has left clues. A small unofficial unit under the name of SCHOOL has hired a sniper, Chimitsu Sunazara to snipe at Monaka who is about to give her speech. Accelerator has Awaki to teleport Monaka and have the sniper miss. A discontented Sunazara wants to snipe Accelerator but is told by his employer to fall back. Hamazura has the misfortune as a manservant for ITEM. Realizing that SCHOOL sent another sniper targeting Monaka after they disposed an earlier one, it is safe to say their warning went unheeded and they’re going to kill them. After the failed Monaka assassination, SCHOOL massacred the scientists at some lab. ITEM drops in as they meet their match in Yobou. Although they emerged victorious, it was a tough fight to defeat him. Mugino realizes the one behind this is Teitoku Kakine, the second ranked Level 5 in Academy City. She has Hamazura chase after some cargo they stole but SCHOOL’s Dress Girl (as she is only known) intercepts. They split up and Hamazura sure does have misfortune with women as Dress Girl goes after him. Lady luck smiling on him as he manages to escape from her hot trail. Tsuchimikado informs him team about a district being under cyber attack. As it houses a lot of viruses including experimental ones, you bet all infrastructure will go haywire and all hell break loose if it gets out. Their job is to intercept it although it pretty looks like a trap to bait them. Unobara calls Accelerator to inform some satellite control centre is the real target so Accelerator hijacks a car and heads there.

Episode 5
Accelerator is ambushed by a member from, uhm, MEMBER. Thanks to his predictable teleportation ability, Accelerator shows no mercy in killing him. At the same time, Kakine is also ambushed by a professor who is a member of, uhm, you guessed it, MEMBER. F*ck his bragging since Kakine easily kills the dude. The last member of, sighs, MEMBER gets trapped in a room that is filling up fast with water. Meanwhile BLOCK has prepared 5,000 mercenaries outside ready to ambush. But Unabara cuts short that plan by making a pre-emptive strike first. This causes Academy City’s deadly helicopter drones to attack and kill many of those mercenaries. Tsuchimikado and co interrogate one of them and from what I understand, they want to use Awaki as a bargaining chip to get into the windowless building where Aleister is. Arriving at a facility, they see lots of BLOCK members dead. They killed themselves? Thanks to the Aztec spell of Xochitl (a member of MEMBER) that made them do so. She has a grudge against Unobara and wants to kill him for his betrayal. To his horror, Xochitl has somewhat merged herself with the original grimoire and is now turning into some horror monster at the expense of her own life just to take him down. Not if Unobara can save her. Tsuchimikado and Awaki confront Tatsuhiko Saku and Megumi Teshio of BLOCK. Megumi isn’t pleased to learn Tatsuhiko plans to use hostage to get to Aleister so she kills him. She faces off with Awaki as she explains her goal to kill Aleister due to some tragedy she experienced and wants to know if Aleister was involved. Awaki defeats her. Meanwhile Kakine beats up Frenda to find out ITEM’s hideout.

Episode 6
Kakine enters ITEM’s hideout and attacks. Kinuhata calls Hamazura about their situation. Their target is Takitsubo. They need to protect her. By the time Hamazura arrives, Mugino has fled and Kakine is about to kill Takitsubo. Even at this point, Takitsubo wants Hamazura to run away and not die. She then uses Body Crystals that makes her abilities go wild. Knowing that she will die if she uses it another time, Kakine doesn’t even bother to kill her and leaves. Hamazura then gets a call from Mugino to counterattack SCHOOL. After Hamazura leaves Takitsubo in the hands of Yomikawa, Mugino confronts him (with Frenda’s corpse in her hand – she got killed by her for her failure). Hamazura has had it with Mugino and will not let her use Body Crystals anymore on Takitsubo. He gets pissed off knowing that she doesn’t care about Takitsubo at all and if she dies, she’ll just find a replacement. Hamazura runs to an unmanned facility to fight Mugino. All I can say is that because Mugino is arrogant, viewing herself as Level 5 as compared to Hamazura’s Level 0, he beat the sh*t out of her, knocking her out with one punch to her face. Accelerator gets a call that Last Order is in danger. She was lost and Uiharu found her. After Last Order went off, Kakine beats up Uiharu for not telling about Last Order’s whereabouts. If he knew she was with her, why didn’t he follow the loli? But thankfully here is Accelerator to settle the score. Yeah, they’re turning this place into a hellish battlefield. Kakine thinks his dark matter is superior to his vectors since it doesn’t exist in this world and hence not subjected to its laws. His plan is to defeat Accelerator to steal his top spot so he gets to see Aleister. However Accelerator shows him why they are different as Accelerator managed to protect the innocent people from their destructive battle. Kakine becomes mad and this allows Accelerator to defeat him. Before he could kill him, Yomikawa tries to reason with him not to be the bad guy but is stabbed by Kakine. This causes Accelerator to go berserk with Kakine adding fuel to the fire by blaming him he can’t protect others. Accelerator turns into his dark mode and beats Kakine to a pulp. Until Last Order shows up. That cute loli smile makes him want to kill her but can’t. When he calms down, Last Order hugs in. Nobody can beat the loli power! Tsuchimikado narrates about Alesiter’s secret plan of spreading millions of surveillance nano-devices called UNDER_LINE around that would give him direct info. SCHOOL, ITEM, MEMBER and BLOCK are names from the dark faction. And there’s one more: DRAGON.

Acqua Of The Back Arc

Episode 7
Itsuwa warns Touma that Acqua has sent a challenge to the Church of England and Academy City that he will hunt Touma down. Touma downplays that although Itsuwa and her Amakusa group are here to protect him. I guess Tatemiya is bored with the job so he executes some sick plan to make Itsuwa’s boobs grow bigger by kicking a football at Touma so his head falls into Itsuwa’s bosoms. Misaka not really liking that… Even Index isn’t fond of him bringing home an Amakusa girl. However with Itsuwa being useful helping around unlike useless Index, Touma even tells off Index to clean the bath! More weirdness with Maika busting in to learn of Itsuwa’s secret recipe. I think it’s time for time out so they take a break by heading to a public bath at an underground district. Misaka is there to blow off some steam too but I guess she’s going to need more than that with Index and Itsuwa there too. As Touma and Itsuwa leave, they realize the place suddenly is void of people. That is when Acqua attacks. He claims he has defeated Tatemiya’s groupie. Acqua wants Touma to give his right hand and since he won’t, he gets beaten up. Itsuwa tries to heal him but with no effect. Touma tries to be a hero and get up to beat this guy but gets beat down again. Acqua will wait and give him 1 more day to cut his right hand and give it to him.

Episode 8
Itsuwa falls into depression for her failure to save Touma. That guy is lying in hospital. Tatemiya had to scold her that by doing so, Touma’s sacrifices were in vain. Acqua will be back and she moping around will not extend the deadline. If she wants to apologize to him and prove she is not useless, then fight. Thanks to that, Itsuwa now turns into a scary yandere, sharpening her blades. Did Tatemiya say too much? Tatemiya gets a call from Orsola who has done some research on Acqua. William Orwell is his real name and was a British mercenary who fought in hellish battles. He was about to be knighted but went missing. When he reappeared, he became Britain’s enemy. I guess this is to show what they’re up against with. Someone who is both strong and smart. When the Amakusa guys surround Acqua, Itsuwa is in no mood for negotiation and attacks first. This time she is better prepared, though Acqua is still way better than her. There’s some rant about Acqua having some ability to use both humans and angelic powers but then the Amakusa guys got a trick up their sleeves as they pull off some move that breaks that balance, allowing them to defeat him. But too bad, that is just short-lived. That trick would have worked had Acqua been an ordinary saint. Yup, he isn’t an ordinary saint. Remember, he is one of God’s Right Seat. Acqua goes on the offensive and the Amakusa guys could have been done for had he not leave. So why are they lucky? Acqua instead goes to square off with Kanzaki.

Episode 9
Kanzaki is no match for Acqua. As expected. But it’s still too early to call, right? Misaki is complaining how she can’t get out when Touma pops up in front of him. Because he still feels the need to go, Misaki scolds him about never asking for help and shocks him that she knows about his memory loss. However Touma replies even if he had them, there are things he still must do. He is moved by the heart, not the head. Misaka just stood there in shock. She probably would have wanted to help him but realizes this is something he needs to fight to get back on his own 2 feet. We return to Kanzaki’s beat down. When she calls the Amakusa gang to assist her, this is because she has realized that her own arrogance and labelling others as weak has brought this upon herself. So there’s some more explanation about Acqua holding tremendous powers of a saint and because of that, he is the most susceptible to anti-saint spells compared to other saints. So when Acqua tries to attack, our hero Touma pops up to stop his tracks, the Amakusa gang hold him down while Itsuwa delivers the finishing blow of Saint Destroyer to purge his powers. Acqua’s flashback shows the moment he decided to leave Britain after turning own being knighted. Knight Leader gave him a few punches as dissatisfaction. Acqua’s plan was to protect Britain from the outside while Knight Leader from the inside so as to allow them to have the widest range of options. Touma is back in hospital and Itsuwa by his side. Because they look so close together, it made Index mad. I think leaving the hospital without her knowledge is just an excuse. And Itsuwa sides with Index… While the Pope is devastated over Acqua’s defeat, Fiamma wants to strike Britain. Forget about Academy City. There is something in Britain they must get. The Pope refuses to allow this madness and attacks him. But you know, Fiamma as the leader and most powerful of God’s Right Seat blows the Pope away. He didn’t die but he took the brunt of it, hence preventing further damage from affecting the Vatican. The news report some sort of infighting among the Roman Catholic Church but everything else is speculation.

British Royal Family Arc

Episode 10
Itsuwa looking up on long distance dating? And how to snatch a man’s heart? Well, good luck. Yeah, even Misaka is feeling really embarrassed over her recent close up with Touma. She didn’t abuse the vending machine this time but her sparks went out of control… More bad luck for Touma. Sleeping gas suddenly gets thrown into his room. Tsuchimikado calls him right in time to tell him he needs to head off to Britain with Index. Yeah, some bombing of the Eurotunnel has strained the relationship between Britain and France. During the flight, Touma goes to the toilet but sees blood stains. He is quickly apprehended by the stewardess who tells him that is the blood of her colleague. Apparently there is a French anti-Britain terrorist on board making some demands otherwise they’ll bring down the plane. Touma wants to help but is told to stay put. Meanwhile the terrorist tries to fix some connector that is near Touma’s seat. With Index returning and wondering what he is doing, he takes her hostage. Touma hears her cries and barges out to beat up that guy but he runs away. Touma is done doing nothing and will go stop the terrorist. He learns the connector is some stabilizer thingy. Without it, the plane will crash. Touma goes on the search and tries to lure out the terrorist by pressing the emergency button. But then the co-pilot sees his instruments of fuel leakage and hence they are going to force to land the plane on the highway. Apparently this is the doing of Laura. Even if this risks the lives of the passengers, as long as she can secure Index, that’s okay. The terrorist contacts the captain and threatens to kill the passengers if he doesn’t bring the plane back up to altitude. Thanks to the jamming interference, Laura’s plan fails so she sends Stiyl to do the job. Touma finds the terrorist and punches him out. He is then suspicious why he waited so long only to act. He then realizes he had a comrade hidden in the cargo during the transit from Paris. So only 1 comrade? Yeah, Touma takes him on and he is crazy enough to take the plane down if everything fails but luckily with the help of Stiyl to cause some air pressure vacuum to pin down that guy and Touma to take the grenade off his hand. The plane safely lands in Edinburgh.

Episode 11
Kanzaki brings the duo to Buckingham Palace as they meet up with Knight Leader who will bring them to meet Queen Elizard of Britain as well as her daughters-cum-princesses, Rimea, Carissa and Villian. Elizard shows a sword, Curtana Second which is only a replica of the first which supposedly gives you powers similar to Archangel Michael. They discuss about the Eurotunnel explosion and because Elizard believes its cause is magic, hence she called Index to determine if it is French type. People might see it as a quarrel with Britain and France when actually it is between Britain and Academy City, and Rome and Russia. Intelligence also showed interference during that plane hijack originating from Scotland. This means they have enemies within. They are identified as New Light, a small unit that has 4 people. Elizard assigns her subordinates each a mission. As Touma is a civilian, he cannot be forcefully participate. However this means he is going to get billed heftily for the services… Yeah, glad he volunteer himself. Touma and Oriana are driving around the streets of London when New Light already blunders because Lessar got confused of a few similar bags with the same design as hers. This allows Touma and Oriana to go after her. Meanwhile, Bayloupe is found by the Amakusa side and although she defeats Itsuwa, she is then caught in by some magic trap. Touma and Oriana continue their chase of Lessar. Touma is told that the bag they are carrying is Skithblathnir. It can teleport contents among each other. When they corner her, Lessar calls this a victory because there is a fifth member. Lessar is prepared to die and could have taken a direct snipe had not Touma saved her. Though, she is still injured. The perpetrator turns out to be Carissa. What New Light was transporting was Curtana Original and now in Carissa’s hands, she rallies all knights of Britain to begin their attack. Claiming herself as the new head of state, she vows to change Britain by destroying the current one.

Episode 12
Knights vs witches and nuns?! Weird. After Index confirms that France was behind the tunnel’s explosion, Carissa orders her side to make preparations for retaliation. Carissa mumbles about the need for Britain to stand up on its own separate power to avoid getting owned in this mix up between science and magic as well as those Christians and Catholics. Now she turns her attention to deal with her royal family. She will kill them all because the less people who can wield Curtana Original, the better. As they have already fled the palace, Carissa is now confronted with Kanzaki. She has no time to deal with her so she lets Knight Leader handle her. Well, that was a quick defeat. Carissa intercepts Villian’s carriage. As Knight Leader is about to behead her, here comes Acqua to the rescue. Man, if he was just a second late… He then lets her ride a horse directly to Necessarius’ hideout and will catch up later after he deals with Knight Leader. Acqua takes in a lot of damage but it’s time both side put an end to this epic power fight. Meanwhile Oriana will stay and handle things and lets Touma sneak away on a train to France. As he tries to hide from inspection, he stumbles into Floris of New Light. Since she is magically cuffed, his Imagine Breaker easily breaks the spell. He takes her to escape by jumping off the train. Don’t worry. There’s a river below, right? Yeah, just 1 metre deep! Oh sh*t! Elizard and Laura manage to break free from their captors. Blame Laura’s careless explosion for that. Laura’s plan to hitchhike using her sex appeal failed. Truck drivers must be very wary these days. I guess it’s riding the horse to London then.

Episode 13
It’s not science. It’s not magic. It’s crap that they survived that fall into the shallow river! Luckily Villian is here to pick them up but Touma leaves Floris in her care. Because Knight Leader is shocked and distracted at Acqua’s goal to fight for United Kingdom without siding with the church or royal family, this caused his defeat? Touma returns just at the end of the fight and sees Acqua trying to rescue Index. They both have to cooperate since Carissa is here to finish them. Some explanation about how Curtana Original can alter dimensions. Whatever. It blew Touma away. Acqua leaves Index in Touma’s care, mentioning that Carissa and the knights’ interest aligned only because of Curtana Original. If they destroy that, the coup will be over. Touma and Index are picked up by the Amakusa guys. With Carissa returning to Buckingham Palace to retune the sword due to its unstable power, they plan to use this chance to strike. With Knight Leader defeated, it is a good time to destroy Curtana. So they make plans to infiltrate via subway underneath the palace. Meanwhile Misaka is eating at a restaurant that she believes will enhance her boobs? WTF?! Then Touma calls. First time. You gonna answer it? As expected, he asks her suggestion how to open electronic locks on a subway’s shutter. You mean there are no electronic locksmiths around? Touma, Index and Villian walk through the subway. Touma accidentally activates a golem that attacks them. The trio combine their efforts to take it down. Thanks to that, they got the train running. But before the big strike, everyone has a big feast. Can’t fight without an empty stomach, eh? Do they even have time to talk about squandering excessively large boobs?! Elizard and Laura finally reach London and they picked up Rimea along the way. Elizard doesn’t think those guys can actually defeat Carissa with just their willpower and without any trump cards. Hence she is going to get some mystic artefact from the museum.

Episode 14
The big chaotic battle is here. Touma and Villian arrive first at Buckingham Palace to face Carissa. She is alone and disposed all the knights by her side. Slowly the rest come by to pitch in to fight Carissa. Everyone vs Carissa. Carissa has got the command of several destroyers to fire devastating bombs at the palace and even if they manage to destroy one, she can order another. Rimea has realized Carissa’s actions, the reason why she hasn’t killed anyone yet. She relays to everyone how Carissa is doing this for the sake of Britain. France and the Roman Catholic Church were using EU as their pawn with pressure from Russia. With their nation’s dignity violated, Carissa wielded Curtana Original to fight against all of them. At the same time, she resolved to seal this weapon for eternity along with herself in a cave she has chosen as her tomb once this is over. She hopes the knights will come to save her. Knight Leader leads his knights to face Carissa. Despite she can threaten to call more bombs, Acqua disables the telecommunication satellite. More of everyone vs Carissa. However she can still hold her ground because with the bloated heroic side, this means more of them to defend and she just have more targets to strike. Finally Elizard steps in. She uses the power of Union Jack to equally distribute power to all the people in the United Kingdom. This gives them the power to fight and be heroes for the day. How can 90 million citizens march to Buckingham Palace and fight against Carissa? Literally now a whole lot more of everybody vs Carissa. The people vs Carissa! United Kingdom vs Carissa! But they don’t have to lift a finger because it is eventually Touma’s Imagine Breaker that breaks Curtana Original and one good punch in Carissa’s face, sending her flying away! Team Rocket?! I don’t know why in the aftermath, nobody picks up Carissa as she lies weakened in some British alley. Because of that, Fiamma is here to thank her that this war he instigated paid off and he was able to get what he wanted. Before he could dispose her, Touma comes to her rescue. Fiamma won’t fight him as he doesn’t want him destroying the mystic artefact he worked so hard to get. That artefact is some safety device for Index. Man, she sounds like a broken computer? Fiamma needs to go to Russia to collect a material he needs to summon an angel. While he is away, he hopes Touma can fix Index and take care of his right hand until he returns. Index is left in the care of Stiyl and as you guessed it, Touma is going to Russia to punch the hell out of Fiamma.

DRAGON Arc

Episode 15
Tsuchimikado gathers his team with orders to eliminate a terrorist group called Spark Signal who has taken some hostages. We take a detour seeing Hamazura and Kinuhata visiting Takitsubo in hospital. She is doing well but has lost her fighting abilities. Kinuhata mentions that ITEM has been dissolved and she is waiting to be assigned to a new group. Then this WTF distraction with Kinuhata trying to tease Hamazura by almost flashing her panties since that guy is more into Takitsubo than her. WTF?! Spark Signal plans on destroying this huge particle accelerator to prevent the board from making any open moves. They are about to kill a hostage but a hero in the form of a villain (read: Accelerator) kills them all. This mission might be simply over except for that one fact bothering Accelerator: The terrorists were demanding the higher ups to release to public info on DRAGON immediately. Stephanie Gorgeouspalace is hired to replace Sunazara to take out Accelerator as well as other targets like Kinuhata. However she kills him because her enemy is everyone in Academy City. Tsuchimikado’s group is then contacted by Shiokishi of the board to dispose the remnants of Spark Signal. Of course they want to get this boring job over with but if they do as they’re told, they might lose their lead to see DRAGON. Perhaps side with the enemy this time? Kinuhata tells Hamazura that she along with the surviving remnants of ITEM, SCHOOL, BLOCK and MEMBER are now drafted into a single new team. Yeah, she’s already disobeying orders by being with him instead. That’s why she needs his help to wipe out all the terrorists before she gets dragged back into this new team. Before they can start doing that, they are being chased by a drone attack helicopter. Dress Girl contacts him and possibly the one who set up this attack. She tells him the terrorists he is after have occupied a salon in District 3.

Episode 16
Hamazura tries to hijack a helicopter to go save Takitsubo. Then he gets a call from her not to come because the terrorists are well armed. She is okay but is in hiding. With Hamazura getting really desperate, the pilot agrees to help. And he jumps onto the roof, the plastic tree breaks his fall? And he manages to shoot straight and kill several terrorists?! WTF???!!! I guess a guy in love can do the impossible. At the same time, Accelerator busts in to kill the terrorists but Sugitani ‘assists’ in killing them. Sugitani hopes they never meet again. Accelerator checks around and sees Takitsubo unconscious. Hamazura got the wrong idea that he did something to her. Accelerator shows no mercy in beating him up but spares him. From what he said, Hamazura realizes Accelerator was only helping her. While lying in his pathetic state, he gets a little reprieve with Takitsubo hugging him, commending he was the only one who came to save her. Aww… So sweet… As Tsuchimikado’s side contemplate about DRAGON (since all those who know about it are dead), Accelerator connects the dots and realizes it must be connected to Last Order. Accelerator knows and escapes an assassination attempt from Shiokishi. He is going to kill him but Tsuchimikado believes in getting Monaka on their side for political preparations. When Accelerator does so, an aide warns him not to because it will drag her back to the double underground life that she has escaped from. But when a kid whom he saved during the hostage incident wants to fight alongside him no matter how dangerous, Monaka agrees to join him to meet Shiokishi. Hamazura and Takitsubo see several simultaneous explosions in the city. They see Kinuhata trying to escape Stephanie’s assassination. Sugitani reports to Shiokishi about Monaka and Tsuchimikado’s group cooperating and will definitely come here. Shiokishi will make preparations to meet them. Inside the building, the gang is separated. Accelerator is confronted by Sugitani. He mentions once Monaka is done for, they will use Academy City’s collective power to get rid of him and then secure Last Order. Monaka talks to Shiokishi that she wants to revoke his powers. She also wants to know about DRAGON. Eventually, negotiations break down and Shiokishi wants to kill her. Too bad it is Unabara in disguise. Shiokishi plans to escape and have his guards keep Unabara at bay but is killed by them. Seems his guards are Unabara’s Aztec buddies in disguise, Tecpatl and Tochtli. They are here to kill him.

Episode 17
Tecpatl possesses the original grimoire and uses it to attack Unabara at the expense of Tochtli. But he didn’t read his grimoire well enough so Unabara is able to cast some spell that blows a hole in his guts. Sugitani thought he jammed Accelerator’s device to immobilize him but Accelerator reconfigured it and turned the tables on him. Kinuhata manages to defeat Stephanie since she is all just firepower compared to Sunazara. She then realizes the target is Hamazura and wants him to run away with Takitsubo. Kinuhata is apprehended by Dress Girl and is explained this is all part of Aleister’s plan. People like Touma and Accelerator are just outliers that could be incorporated easily to his cornerstone plan. However, Level 0 like Hamazura is hard to predict and poses a threat since he is able to take fate into his own hands when he should have died. Hence all of Academy City is now going to kill him. Accelerator interrogates Shiokishi about DRAGON. He mentions that it is all around them. Then this angel thingy pops up before him. This is DRAGON? Some mumbo jumbo explanation about his being but if he is to be specifically called, he is Aiwass. Some of his words are inaudible because our human ears can’t comprehend such beings. He offers to destroy Aleister’s plans since it is already starting to show cracks. When he mentions that Last Order will eventually break down if things continue this way, that’s the taboo word that gets Accelerator all revved up to kill him. Of course he can’t even touch this being and gets trumped. Hamazura is cornered and praying for some hero to save them. Good news: The guards are killed. Bad news: By Mugino. She wants to kill him herself! He runs but Mugino is trying to force Takitsubo to use Body Crystals to save Hamazura or he dies. Hamazura won’t let her do that. If blasting explosions at her won’t do, maybe this jet burning testing chamber will burn her to smithereens. I can’t believe she allowed him to get into the safety area to start the burning! Was she lamenting how the higher ups won’t let people like her die so they can reuse her again and again? Hamazura gets a call by Kinuhata to run some more since more guards are coming their way. So can he fly this jet?! Oh well, it’s on autopilot. Thank goodness to autopilot because Hamazura and Takitsubo can kiss and make out! Best reward for surviving this sh*t! Meanwhile Accelerator has taken Last Order and on a train to Russia as advised by Aiwass. Yeah, this guy looks traumatized. Aiwass calls Aleister about being obsessed with the kids of Academy City because they have what he lacks and will always stand up no matter how many times are defeated. Aleister’s reply is that he will use anything to achieve his goals. Including him.

World War III Arc

Episode 18
Russia declares war on Academy City. They believe they are hogging all the world resources for their science and technology that will leave the world devastated. If they do not comply with the demands to be transparent and drop all their projects within the deadline, it’s all-out war. Hamazura is travelling through the Russian wilderness and Takitsubo is sick from the effects of Body Crystals. This guy is desperate to rob a store to get some goods to save her but thankfully the store is currently being robbed! He beats up the robbers and gets the stuffs for free as gratitude. Meanwhile Carissa leads the nuns and knights to protect from the onslaught of the invading French. I know Touma is on his way to Russia but is he walking the entire way there?! But he isn’t travelling alone but with Lessar. She claims she is here to protect him from death as it would be a pain to Britain if he dies. Also, he needs a translator, right? Not sure if the mission is unimportant or Lessar’s life is so boring that she tries to outright flirt with him. WTF?! Touma and Lessar find Fiamma’s secret base. Hearing that he is looking for Sasha who is hiding in the Elizalina Alliance of Independent Nations (EAIN), they plan to find Elizalina first to ambush Fiamma. They manage to do so and though Elizalina acknowledges Fiamma as an important figure in this war, she doesn’t want her EAIN citizens hurt. Knowing that Fiamma and Touma are looking for Sasha, Touma suggests to send Sasha out of her borders and execute an operation to fight Fiamma there. Before the plan could reach further deliberation, Fiamma attacks. Imagine Breaker saved their skin a few times but can Touma defeat Fiamma if he just defends? This fight has also do away with the need to find Sasha since she drops in to fight Fiamma. Oh, Vento is also here to fight against Fiamma as she can’t tolerate his actions messing with the Roman Catholic Church any longer. After Accelerator dispatches a few attackers, he found some operation plans that could be related to Aiwass. But upon reaching the Russian military unit, it is decimated and he believes Academy City could be behind this. A few sorcerers surround him. Time for some fun.

Episode 19
Though Accelerator disposes of them easily, he notices the different laws in their magic. Could this be what Aiwass was talking about? Then flies down Misaka Worst. Another one of those Sisters whose goal is only to kill Accelerator. Vento thought she could kill Fiamma with her new powers. Sadly, she’s mistaken. He is still a lot superior. He then collects Sasha and will be back for Touma later. He claims they are both the same. Just that he has confidence he is doing this for the greater good. Touma doesn’t share the same sentiments. He doesn’t care if it is right or wrong but making Index suffer is unforgiveable. Fiamma wonders if he can say that to her face since he might look like he is protecting her to satisfy his own consciousness but is this what Index really needs? Takitsubo is being treated but with the village’s insufficient facilities, she might not hold out. The village will soon be attacked by privateers, unofficial mobs under the army. They’re trying to take this village and make this as their foothold for the Russian army since this village is near the border of EAIN. Accelerator runs from Misaka Worst and cannot fight back due to his vow never to hurt them again. Hence she has a blast beating the crap out of him. She even mocks how the Sisters never sympathized with him not because they decided so but rather they were incapable of expressing such feelings. So once the next phase is launched, those hatred will accumulated and it will be revenge time. When she decides to target Last Order, that is when Accelerator screws it all and fights back. Now it’s his turn to beat the crap out of her. His trauma activated when she pleads for help. He goes berserk thinking Sisters’ are meant to be killed by him and then make his mind broken. All those higher ups must be watching and laughing at this spectacle. Well, he is going to show them that his power can also be used to protect. Hence he is going to save her too.

Episode 20
Misaka Worst wakes up. She is mad Accelerator saved her. I don’t think it’s the right time for her to be ungrateful. Because Accelerator is going berserk trying to destroy everything. Does she want to get destroyed? Hamazura is trying to defend against the bloodthirsty privateers. Land mine came in handy to immobilize the tank but how will he fight against the helicopter? Don’t worry. Acqua is here! Touma arrives where Accelerator is. The latter is mad he is here and starts blaming him he couldn’t save Last Order and that this little kid had to go through lots of sh*t. That’s why the only way he could protect is by playing the bad guy. Touma tells him off it doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. You don’t need reason or status. Just protect the person you want and stand proud of it. Man, Touma’s words must be so resonating that he allows to be beat down like that? Yeah, he lost to Touma again. I guess Accelerator has come to terms that the guy who doesn’t think about whether good or evil is the strongest. Carissa faces off with the Maiden of Versailles and tells her about the Kremlin Report. Something about the Russian military able to take measures during an invasion and capture nuclear installations. The nuclear arsenal takes priority over human lives. Versailles accuses her of using French territory as a stepping stone to attack Russia. Once France prospers under the Roman Catholic Church, they cannot disregard their orders then. Carissa speaks the truth that this war is not the will of the Roman Catholic Church but Fiamma. They still have a chance to end this or will they become pawns of Fiamma. When Misaka sees Touma in the background of some TV news, she packs her bags to head to the warzone. Sorry Shirai, a certain guy is more important. Accelerator wakes up with Last Order by his side. A note left by Touma that only states Index’s name. Touma is doing some serious reflection if his doing has benefited Index in any way. He realizes he has been deceiving Index and is the worst but he will not tolerate submitting to Fiamma.

Episode 21
The Pope realizes the cardinals are holding a meeting to elect a new Pope. This means he has lost his authority and whatever he says will not end the war. But he is going to do what he can. Hyouka is talking to Aiwass about the situation in Russia. Though Aiwass doesn’t intend to do anything unless it interests him, Hyouka intends to head to Russia but on a condition her friends will not be hurt. Otherwise she will also make him her enemy. Acqua just finished clearing out the privateers. Those powered suits from Academy City arrive. Hamazura doesn’t want Acqua to destroy them. Instead, let them use this village as their base. Although they will temporarily lose their territory, at least it will be guarded. Accelerator doesn’t understand whatever magic is related to this document who took from the train. He is told that perhaps Elizalina could read it. However she is injured and recuperating at the battlefield. Accelerator shoots all the spies since he is going to leave Last Order here and get Elizalina. Hamazura and Takitsubo are running away from a powered suit. Thankfully Accelerator saves them. Elizalina diagnoses Last Order and Takitsubo’s situation. They have toxins in their bodies. Although Takitsubo’s can be removed and she is safe for sure, the same can’t be said for Last Order as her toxins will ‘replenish’. Accelerator shows the document to Elizalina and wonders if she can read it. Maybe. But he wants her to concentrate on healing the girls.

He goes to see Misaka Worst and wants her to work for him to collect data from the spies. Why would she work for him? Dark May Project. Misaka Worst needs to find an ability that makes her irreplaceable and not easily disposed of while Accelerator is going to find a way to save Last Order. As Academy City has crafted them to be evil, they are going to fight against them. They interrogate the spies but find lots of inconsistencies in their stories. Realizing this document is to be brought to the Russian’s frontlines, Accelerator is going to storm it. Touma is puzzled that the Russians and Academy City are fighting each other but Fiamma hasn’t come out of his base. Is he in some magic ritual? Ponder no more because Fiamma tells him himself that this is all to lure Touma out and make sure his right hand is safe. Stiyl accuses Laura of trying to mess with Index’s body to prevent Fiamma from getting all her grimoire as she has the other remote artefact that controls her. When Stiyl intends to do something about it, Laura uses her remote to activate Index. The time has come for Fiamma to finally materialize his floating island, Star of Bethlehem (SoB… ;p). This is his intention rather than preparing for a large scale mystic artefact. Misaka has hijacked a plane to Russia. Oh my, how could she see Touma right on that floating island?! Is her Touma vision really that strong? An angel cuts down the jet. Misaka lands but stumbles into one of her Sisters.

Episode 22
Fiamma has materialized the archangel Gabriel and uses her to remove all those who aren’t related to this. Takitsubo has recovered. Together with Hamazura, they decide to go back and protect that little Russian village since the Russian military might be planning to use a biological weapon on it. EAIN can’t act because the Russians will think they might be after the nuclear silo info. When Elizalina tells Accelerator about SoB and Gabriel being somewhat incomplete is because of the document in Accelerator’s hands, he believes this might be all connected in saving Last Order. Touma bumps into Sasha. She was used by Fiamma in a ritual to materialize Gabriel, hence the archangel manifested on its own rather than possessing her. Touma thinks she is connected and tries to touch all over her. Did he have a good time feeling her up? Too bad no nullification effect. Just Sasha beating him up. Touma thinks he might be using a remote to control Sasha like he did for Index. The next Pope hopeful thinks he will become the next Pope. But with the ex-Pope rallying the people, they are marching towards the Vatican and the guards can’t stop or harm them. Hence this Pope potential curses his fate what should have been him as the next Pope. But ex-Pope somewhat praises him for his actions pf uniting his followers and will vote for him in the next Papal Conclave and will aid him in his path. All he needs is to head to the library to do some research on how to bring down Fiamma. Fiamma cuts ties with his Russian conspirator seeing he already has what he wants and this dude no longer has any role to play. Carissa and Elizalina take on Gabriel. Can they really take on God’s archangel? Don’t really think they can win but what’s with Carissa’s plan to call in her surface to air missiles to fire at SoB? Gabriel returns to protect it. She turns her attention to Touma and Sasha but Hyouka kicks down Gabriel?! Hyouka > Gabriel?

Episode 23
Stiyl tries to attack Index but she eliminates him. What are the chances of she killing him for good? Hyouka and Gabriel continue to battle but the latter soon departs as she detects the document nearby. She tries to steal it from Accelerator so he too joins in the fight with Hyouka to pound this archangel. Fiamma is confronted by Acqua. I don’t understand this part but since Gabriel is under Acqua’s control, he is going to do some suicide move by absorbing telesma to remove it from the field. Fiamma dares him and believes his actions are futile but when he tries to order Misha to finish him off, she isn’t responding. Touma is randomly trying to use Imagine Breaker to break Fiamma’s power source. He deduces that Misha only appeared after SoB was in place. If Fiamma could control an archangel, he wouldn’t need to start World War III to achieve his goals. Hence SoB is needed to summon and maintain the archangel. With Gabriel weakened, Accelerator manages to beat down Gabriel. All for Last Order! Hamazura sees Acqua dying. The latter is more than happy to sacrifice his life and take Gabriel with him. However Hamazura yells at him about the people waiting and relying on him. Don’t you dare be the tragic hero now! With that, Acqua screams back to life. Wow. The power of words. While Fiamma faces off with Touma, Accelerator is dismayed after finding the jeep driven by Misaka Worst and Last Order has crashed. Is Hamazura really going to take on the entire Russian military? Don’t worry. Academy City bomber plane is here to bomb it all away.

Episode 24
Hyouka tells Accelerator that a song that Index once sung to Last Order is the key to save her. She can also do the same but he needs to find out some parameters for her to adjust to it. Takitsubo is missing from the bombing. As Hamazura searches for her, misfortune finds him in the form of Mugino. Damn, this b*tch is really hard to die. She eats some Body Crystals to power up. Her powers enough to go berserk. Thankfully it didn’t last long as she goes back down to powerless. Even in this pitiful state, Hamazura can’t kill her. Instead he hugs her and wants to save her (is this considered cheating?). I don’t know how he is going to do it but he vows to protect her (despite choosing Takitsubo) and find a way to bring ITEM back. You mean he is confident of reviving Frenda? Lessar finds Misha and strikes a deal with her to put a dent on Fiamma’s plans in exchange she helps England out in their time of need. Fiamma prepares to take Touma’s right hand. If Academy City’s super satellite laser can’t even touch him, is Touma f*cked? We hear Fiamma explaining about his goal to bring salvation to the world. He isn’t going to brainwash everybody but open their eyes with this power of his. Oh yeah. Like that will definitely work. Will it?! Fiamma cuts off Touma’s right arm and absorbs it. The power is his. However something still feels odd. Touma still has power? And then Touma’s right arm just grew back out! Damn, is this science or magic?! Fiamma is looking pretty scared as the most powerful being closest to God. From what I understand, Touma threw away all his power to get Imagine Breaker back. Touma now knows why Fiamma is doing all this. If he was all that powerful, why does he need to create this large SoB? Why does he need to gather all the churches and temples? This means that his power depends on how strong the enemy is. But still why does he need that much power? It’s because he is scared. He is scared that he cannot save the world. After all, he never saved the world before so there is no way to know if he has the power to do it. Touma can say he saved the world. Technically he saved many people so I guess that counts. He saved the world of those people. The final lecture to nail the coffin: A person who tries to be the saviour of the world cannot protect it. The world isn’t so weak to need one lousy bastard to be saved.

Episode 25
Hamazura still desperately trying to find Takitsubo. Happy to find her, however the hugging has to wait since she detects a couple of coneheads sent by Academy City to retrieve the failure that is Mugino. Does he think he can take them on with his machine gun? The power of deception as he deceives them about accidentally breaking some bottle with some virus. Enough for him to fire at point blank to a couple of them. The last one Mugino has the honour of taking out with Takitsubo’s help. Meanwhile from all that explanation that I don’t understand, Accelerator seems to have found the parameters to save Last Order and he need not be the villain anymore. Accelerator singing? Weird. He is bleeding all over, papers falling everywhere, feathers falling everywhere… Is he witnessing God right now? Touma and Fiamma’s fight continues. The former still shocked he can still block and do more than just nullify. Although Fiamma blames human for all the war, poverty, destruction of nature, etc, Touma argues that humans although may contain malice, but that is not what they only have (something that Fiamma only sees in them). Also, people don’t need a reason to fight for those they love. Touma believes he can save the world because unlike Fiamma, he believes people are strong. Strange, huge right arms appear all over the world and explode. Humans put aside their differences to take it down. The Russian side dispose of their greedy pope and rescue the real patriarch pope (a kid). Because Fiamma’s power may not originate from the Russian or Roman Catholic so their only choice is to seek the power from England’s Archbishop. Oh, Stiyl still trying to fend off against Index? He just needs to hold out long enough till Touma fixes everything… Anytime now… SoB is starting to lose its powers. Fiamma acknowledges he might be at a disadvantage now but he isn’t going to sit by and do nothing. The original plan was to gradually transform Earth. But thanks to Touma’s goodness some unnatural distortion has arisen between Heaven and Earth. Accumulated telesma will rain down on Earth, wiping everyone out. So much about doing good. Too late to do good?

Episode 26
Last Order wakes up. Look at the relieved look on Accelerator’s face. Because those lights are still going to rain down on Earth, Accelerator is not happy with this sh*t and is going to stop it. Damn! He becomes an angel complete with halo?! He was drenched in blood a second ago and now he is so clean and pure! Fiamma tries to use Index but his remote isn’t working since the English did something. Hence perfect timing for Souma to land one knuckle sandwich in his face. With SoB crumbling, Lessar leaves a note for Touma to escape. He still wants to save Fiamma? Okay. But only 1 pod left. Touma lets him use it since he has something to do. So Misaka’s trip all the way here was to be shoehorned to rescue him off via a jet she hijacked? Too bad that is wasted since Touma can’t go yet. Touma finds Index’s remote and conveniently talks to her consciousness. He admits about deceiving and doing something horrible to her. And then something inaudible about his memories. Damn those crashing loud sounds. But Index doesn’t mind. As long as the Touma she knows returns. He touches and nullifies the remote. Stiyl talks to Touma about destroying certain numbered artefacts so that SoB could crash into the sea. However Misha (Gabriel) is heading towards SoB. As she is trying to replenish, the power will grow but too forcefully that it will explode and release a massive amount of telesma. I don’t how Touma did it but he made SoB slam right into Misha! You mean she actually stood there and took the hit?! With everything sinking deep, Touma manages to get close and use Imagine Breaker on her.

Hamazura is trying to find something as a bargaining chip against Academy City. They are surrounded by Academy City people. This helmet woman spouting some crap about retrieving Takitsubo as she is top priority. Something about her rare ability to exert her influence as seen when she cooperated with Mugino to take down a conehead. Something about she can be able to provide the functions of Academy City all by herself. However all her men are shot by the villagers. That easy? It’s Hamazura’s turn to interrogate her all about this Parameter List she was talking about. Accelerator is retrieved and restrained. He tells those blokes to never use Last Order or Sisters again and never let him do their dirty work. So what if they don’t want to? Yeah, he just easily breaks out. That’s one lesson they’ll never forget. Fiamma crash lands safely but upon exiting the pod, his right hand is cut off by Alesiter. He claims he has grown too obsessed with it and almost went beyond that and discover some truths. Too late for Fiamma to be motivated by Touma words. He wants to fight back but Aleister promptly kills him. Aiwass is glad his form was transferred to a different domain than eliminated. Hyouka advises him to learn more about humans because betray them and they’ll get you back when you least expect it. Aiwass doesn’t believe it because they would have done so had they had that kind of power. Misaka is looking through the icy waters. Gasp! Not Touma she found. His handphone strap. Oh no! But don’t worry. Touma is seen floating on some board and is picked up by Leivinia Birdway and Mark Space. Russia’s Pope suspends all military action and agrees to talk with Academy City. Fiamma is apparently alive. Picked up by Ollerus and Silvia. WTF Ollerus was supposed to be a Magic God but is now just a normal sorcerer?

Screw Science! Screw Magic! Screw Religion! Screw Humanity! It’s Revelation!
So this is how it ends? Well, if you think this is the end of the Index series, then you’re both right and wrong. True, the Index series ends here. But the story somewhat continues into a new story, Shinyaku To Aru Majutsu No Index. We’ll have to see if that will get adapted in the future. Of course with so many developments and even throwing in a few new faces in the final episode, it is safe to say that something bigger than a world war is going to happen but that would be for the next spinoff. After all, the Index series itself has many spinoff novels where these other characters popped up. So those who have been reading up wouldn’t find them entirely alien.

So yeah, you might be bored and annoyed and predicting that I am going to be a broken tape recorder. Repeating myself and telling the whole wide world how I still don’t understand everything. What to do? I wasn’t born a rocket scientist nor became one along the way. I don’t know if I could say that I wasted 26 x 24 minutes of my life watching this third season because ultimately I still don’t comprehend the finer things of what this series had to offer. All I know is that some people in here wants to play God, wants to become God and in in the name of bringing salvation to humans because you know, we are such malicious creatures with no redeeming points. Oh no. That’s not at least what our heroes in this series believes. So it’s always that conflicting cliché that bad guys are the ones who want to change the world while the good guys want status quo. The reason we don’t often resonate with the baddies is because of their methods and how they go about to reach their goals. Hence it’s that dilemma of rather than wiping out humans or brainwashing them into mindless but good NPCs, it is better to accept the good, the bad, the ugly, everything that defines us and continue this sh*tty life. Because life isn’t fair. Because that’s life. Yeah. Heroes often love to argue this when saving the world from villains.

With the final arc being the longest arc ever in the entire To Aru Majutsu No Index series, however my pet peeve is that this World War III arc doesn’t really feel like a World War III arc. Personally it feels like Fiamma Versus The World arc. Because the scenes are mostly concentrated around SoB and we don’t really see the world fighting each other. Therefore it doesn’t give me the feel that the entire world was actually against each other. Sure, they may be fighting in the background and the series doesn’t want to distract us with ‘meaningless war’ elsewhere that doesn’t contribute to the plot. Therefore World War III might just be mislabelled like World War I because the latter only involved Europe and yet they named it World War. How grand. Furthermore, from what I see and remember, wasn’t it just England vs France, Vatican vs Russia and Academy City vs everybody else? I don’t know. It just feels like that to me. And in the end, World War III somewhat became World Liberation because humans finally found the strength to put aside their differences to save their world. Damn, it’s really wishful thinking that a bunch of mortals on Earth can actually defend themselves from the onslaught of God and Heaven.

I didn’t study the bible so I know nuts about all the biblical terms here. Yeah, a very Christian anime, right? Sometimes it feels all the plot and whatever shenanigans they pull off here, it’s like as though they pull it out from thin air. God have mercy on my soul. I’m sure very fanatic and dedicated Index fans can enlighten me a lot or I do my own extensive research on the internet but you know me, I’m just lazy and not interested ;p. The way they show how Christians are being at odds at each other feels like a big thing because how come no other major religions like Muslim, Buddhism or Hinduism are caught in this conflict? Oh yeah. I’m an atheist so I’m somewhat safe, right? So we have England being Anglican Christians, Roman Catholic Christians representing the Vatican, Orthodox Christianity widely practised in Russia and in Academy City, uhm, scientific Christians?! Haha, don’t worry I made that one up.

Character wise, surprisingly Touma isn’t the only star here. Heck, triple stars here. Touma along with Accelerator and surprise package Hamazura are the main heroes. I believe for the first time that there are a couple of arcs that Touma was completely absent thanks to being him having his overseas mission so often here. Hence this gives Accelerator and Hamazura to shine and time to build up their plot and character. Among the trio, I think I prefer to vouch for Hamazura because he seems so normal and yet he defies all the odds. It might look like he gets into unfortunate incidents but I feel it is the ‘opposite’ of Touma’s misfortune and that he is such a blessed guy anyway. Accelerator is as weird as he is filled with angst and it’s strange just to think that his life’s mission is to save Last Order and the only way he could do that is to play the villain. Not that I understand. Is he being an anti-hero? Does he know how to actually play the villain? Because he sounds crazy doesn’t mean he knows how to be one. But whatever. Even weirder he sprouts hurricane vortex wings when unleashing his ultimate power. Sure, he is still crazy but I find he isn’t as crazy as before in the previous seasons. Did the loli tame him? And then he became an angel. I think that was really pushing it and I lost my WTF mind. Everyone is screwed if there was this type of angel.

Lastly this Touma dude, there might be some secret about his real identity that I might not have understood. Especially about his surname which is more than just coincidence than a play on words. Oh wait. I don’t think it is revealed yet. Just teased. Otherwise, typical cliché main character. Don’t care what is right or wrong. Just do what your heart tells you! And you don’t need a reason for it! You know that won’t really fly in a lot of other situations. After all, nobody could best his right hand. At least, nobody yet. So yeah. He’s got that kind of main character vibe.

Oddly, I started thinking how similar these 3 characters are because they have got a girl they love or some b*tch girl who is after them. For example, Touma probably loves Index and he’s got this tsundere biri-biri Misaka ever so ‘concerned’ over him. Then we have Accelerator who is protecting Last Order while Misaka Worst despite working with him in the end, is ultimately still a b*tch. No prizes to guess that it is Takitsubo for Hamazura while psycho b*tch Mugino always returns from the dead to haunt him. So yeah. Do you see a particular pattern here in this sense? I forgot to add Itsuwa to the mix and even Lessar to a certain extent. I guess Touma being the top main character means he has these extra babes, huh?

With a host of other characters, it is just hard to keep track of them so I’m skipping them because when some made their recurring appearance, I had to dig back deep into my previous blog just to remember this character’s name. Heck, I was lazy so I Google for faster search results. With too many of them to remember, I believe many of their fates are still left hanging as the season ends. But remember, the series itself is technically ongoing and not over. However what I want to say that Index being the titular character here feels so side-lined that sometimes it feels that she doesn’t really matter. Like as though she has been reduced to some plot device and convenience. Because in the early arcs while Touma or the other guys were at the forefront, Index was like at home bumming around and doing nothing really significant. I’m sure Touma is keeping her safe and hidden from those who are after her grimoires but really, Index feels more like an annoying brat who complains about not having her regular feeding time when Touma fails to do that thanks to his ‘busy’ schedule. And then in the later arcs, Index becomes immobilized as she goes into some sort of coma because Fiamma has some weird remote control over her. Whatever. She didn’t get to even reunite with Touma in the end. That spiritual vision in the final episode feels forced. Got to give us some peace of mind before the season ends.

Other trivial things to note, the British royalty seems to have really weird and unusual English names. Like Elizard and Rimea are names of the old English (I guess it beats having the usual Elizabeth, Victoria or Catherine – or Jane or Sarah) but Villian? Did they misspell Vivian or something? Because I keep misspelling her name as Villain. Or at least each time I see her name it looks like that synonymous word for antagonist. Carissa might sound so English but that name is actually of Greek origin. Yeah, the irony. I think I want to get this off my chest because Aiwass calling himself so, I can’t help want to tease it as Ai-what-ass?! Ai (I) was an ass… Haha! I never thought Aleister would leave his windowless building but I guess he got bored hanging out upside down in his tube. Sometimes you need to take a walk outside and throw the trash. Sort of. The creepiest character goes to Gabriel because whenever she ‘speaks’ there is this very eerie frequency that comes with it. Our puny human ears cannot hear words of an angel. But yeah, still creepy.

If there was something that was less confusing for me to understand, perhaps some of the action sequences brought in a little reprieve of my prolonged headache. Sure, they are packed with divine power and punch but ultimately it feels a lot like sci-fi fantasy when they get to do such weird overpowered moves. Becoming angels, summoning the powers of angels because of some certain characteristics and traits, I wonder how science can explain all that. Heck, even some of the technology of Academy City feels so bizarre that it is more fantasy than sci-fi. And don’t get me started of how WTF certain action scenes look. They defy the law of physics just for the sake of action. I don’t know if science or magic is behind this but it’s just mind blowing (like Touma’s jump from the train and Hamazura’s jump from the helicopter). Physics give a pass for those who are trying to save what is important to them!

This season it isn’t Mami Kawada who sings the opening themes. They are replaced by Maon Kurosaki (who sang the ending themes for the previous seasons, by the way). The first opener is Gravitation, a dramatic rock piece with a hint of synthesizer effects. Although the second opener, Roar has the same feel to it, but it sounds a lot darker and heavier on its metal side and in comparison, I’d prefer Gravitation. Because Index was insignificant in this series, I figure that is why Yuka Iguchi sings both the ending themes. However Kakumei Zenya (first ending theme) and Owaranai Uta (second ending theme) are slow ballads and these sound unfitting for this sci-fi action series. Though, it isn’t the first time the series had slow ballads as the first season had them too. Honestly, just weird.

Overall, I couldn’t fully enjoy this season because of all the complicated sci-fi terms and plots. Too many characters to remember and many feel irrelevant as the season crosses into its final stretch. And like I’ve said, I’m only watching this first since To Aru Kagaku No Railgun is getting another season subsequently. Not that I’m pinning my hopes that spinoff will get me to understand things better but it’s the only way Misaka, Shirai, Uiharu and Saten are going to have more screen time of their own compared to this paltry cameos here. Oh wait. You mean there’s more? You mean Accelerator is getting his own f*cking spinoff?! Damn, is this science or magic behind this trickery?! Is it because that guy got elevated into an angel that he now must have his own spinoff?! In that case, why didn’t they make a spinoff for the erotic fallen angel maid Kanzaki?! That would have been the most epic storyline ever! WTF, you guys?! Did you miss this one out?! I definitely would see that one! It’s not science. It’s not magic. It’s not religion or faith. It’s just love. You don’t need a reason to love maids. Ah, the misfortune of not having that godly spinoff…

Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan

July 26, 2019

A sequel to an anime that I have never heard of? Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan is apparently the sequel to Genki!! Ekoda-chan that was aired way back in 2011. It must have been one of those very obscure animes and I would have probably given this anime short the skip too had not the synopsis sounded intriguing. The titular character is a woman who drifts around Tokyo through various jobs and even relationships. This series is a take on cute girls who use their cuteness and affect stupidity in order to try and score against men (against whom the author is constantly fighting). I guess it really is a dog eat dog world out there when the competition is so intensely insane. But this series isn’t going to be a typical continuous series like many others. Each episode is directed by a different director and hence like a standalone, you can see their different interpretations and results on this take.

Episode 1
* Ekoda has been working at a bar and people always make assumptions she is 3 years older than she looks. This makes her worry that she looks older than she is supposed to be.
* Ekoda while changing manages to catch a lizard (after 20 minutes) and makes it as her pet.
* Ekoda works so tirelessly at the bar that the only way she can replenish herself every night is… sumo wrestling with a dog?! Sure it wasn’t sex?
* Once her family wanted her to help out with some family business but she ended up driving all over the crabs on her trip. What did her boyfriend think? What a waste of crab meat…

Episode 2
Ekoda ponders about the structure of a baby’s body that made them able to survive plane crashes. However all these thoughts are just to distract herself from her boyfriend who is brazenly talking to his other girlfriend on his handphone! He even has the cheek that he is not cheating on her! But there is a reason why Ekoda tolerates this. She has been waiting and ‘fighting’ this long battle and if she gives up now, all this would be for naught. She knows he is the problem but if she starts telling herself that, it renders this long hanging on as meaningless. Then she asks if he would like sex. Nah. He has to wake up early tomorrow. The problem now is to whether sleep facing him or away. The former makes her look like begging but the latter makes her look like sulking. Facing upwards looks like some desperate pathetic compromise. In the end, she sleeps facing him.

Episode 3
* Ekoda is now a cat girl! She observes a girl who loves animals. Including eating steak… Maybe it’s just her.
* Ekoda’s big sister thinks she knows everything but she doesn’t know she eats in her sleep because Ekoda herself has tried feeding her so!
* A guy tells Ekoda how all the school girls here would be married or have migrated overseas in the future. And then, some will have died… WTF?!
* Ekoda tries to order a hamburger but the waiter keeps messing up her order.
* A friend talks to Ekoda about her sexuality. As she is unsure about BDSM, she bought some ropes and boiled them to soften it up. However her dad accidentally ate it thinking it was oden. It has been awkward between them ever since.
* Ekoda’s rule of doodling is to draw fish on rice omelettes, put paw prints on condensation and draw happy faces on knees.

Episode 4
Ekoda is always fine being alone when young. But as she grow older and saw on the news how a celebrity died, it made her worry if she’ll die lonely. Well yeah, she knows her boyfriend is brazenly having another girlfriend. So she ponders about relationship issues and feels that her boyfriend doesn’t even acknowledge her existence considering he knows her ‘warm living insides’. Then she finds out from his friend that he already broken up with her girlfriend. You mean to sound that shocked? She confronts him and why didn’t he tell her? It’s none of her business. Oh, there’s this other girl he wants to date… And he finds his new date nothing new. Ekoda blames him for fooling around. Likewise he does the same. Her excuse is that she only changed into so because he didn’t become her boyfriend. And that is why he didn’t want to. That must have really hurt Ekoda. She is devastated that she has now become a ‘ghost’.

Episode 5
Ekoda fears this lizard would crawl inside her (?!) so after painting herself with body paint, she captures it and it now becomes her pet. But now she has the cockroach to deal with! A battle begins and as she tries to throw a knife, she missed and instead her lucky bamboo became unlucky, cut into half. She manages to trap it in a paper bag and then microwave it! Extreme! But now what? Mosquito attack! Yeah, her room is like a pig sty, no wonder so many bug invasions. Will Ekoda smack the blood sucker? Will Mosquito get the better of this giant? Accidentally Ekoda releases the lizard as it violently eats the mosquito. Then the lizard escapes. Alone again. Naturally. Even more so when Ekoda realizes she stepped on her favourite bun. Summer has ended.

Episode 6
Ekoda returns home after a long day at work. She strips all her clothes till she is in her comfortable birthday suit. She cooks and drinks in the privacy of her own room that makes you think that she might be acting like a typical middle aged man. Then she gets a call from a friend to hang out. So she dresses up and puts on makeup and heads back out. She narrates that unlike middle aged men, she acknowledges she is at the prime of her life and is attractive enough to make the flowers around blush. She still has dreams, hopes and other battles to fight through.

Episode 7
Ekoda wakes up from this weird dream with red threads of fate everywhere. She panics and looks at her boyfriend’s hand. No red thread. I guess he’s not the one. Then more weird dreams of red threats connecting everything as she is trying to find her own. Sometimes she gets too tied up in them. Then there’s a time she was drowning in the sea of red threats and some monster was about to eat her but luckily her mom and sister reel her up. Too bad the string broke and it’s down into the monster’s mouth. What a way to wake up from another weird dream. It is then she realizes her familial bonds felt more real than any other fated connections she might have.

Episode 8
Ekoda’s friend, M is attending a drinking party. Everyone is trying to figure out what Ekoda does and they have very different ideas. Albeit they think she’s an amazing person. They ask M about it but it’s not like she’s her babysitter who knows everything about her. When another member comes in and talks about seeing Ekoda somewhere, M cuts short her night and leaves. Returning home, she sees Ekoda eating alone. Looks like she cooked for her boyfriend but that guy stood up on her last minute again. M joins her and thankfully didn’t invite Ekoda to the drinking party that she was supposed to. There wasn’t anybody interesting. I guess that’s why they love their curry meat as it doesn’t cancel on you or badmouths you. But you can’t marry meat and can even get fat. Ekoda is confident she’ll get back to normal again later.

Episode 9
A unique first person view of Ekoda as she works as a customer service call centre for a life insurance company. With so many waiting calls and people calling with the strangest and most bizarre reasons (including disgruntled calls), I guess her only reprieve is the nice view across her window. The colleague sitting next to her is equally noisy and her superior seems to be a pushy one. And then a storm. The lightning is scary enough to cause a blackout. Is this the norm because everyone is like doing an evacuation drill. Although the power comes back, the boss tries to tell everyone to get back to work. Some really losing it and the next door colleague is just going crazy before returning to her duties. It’s utter chaos. Ekoda feels like running away but eventually picks up a call. A mother’s son has STD… Here we go again… Sighs…

Episode 10
Ekoda in weird marionette animation and musical. Basically the song is about what really Ekoda is and that Ekoda exists inside us all. We are Ekoda! The final full body marionette of Ekoda, why does she remind me of The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Sally? Somehow seeing blue characters now give me the chills. Megamind, Avatar, Smurfs, the rebooted Genie from Aladdin, that horrendous Sonic the Hedgehog…

Episode 11
Ekoda is in a bar and some guy who sounds like he is some sort of budding musician is trying to get her to join his gig or something. We can tell from Ekoda’s face that she isn’t really interested but she isn’t that mean to tell him to go f*ck off. On another night, this time this guy can’t stop chatting about himself and how he got into this music genre and its history or something. Boring. You can tell Ekoda once more has picked up a useless guy. But all this didn’t dishearten Ekoda as she continues to do what she’s doing. Maybe she’ll hit the Mr Right one day?

Episode 12
Ekoda realizes she has turned 24. But screw all that because ignorance is how you survive today! Right on! Unknown to her, a peeper is happily watching her via his viewing scope from across. As Ekoda watches TV about knife demonstration and laughs at the impossible cutting, she realizes her boyfriend hasn’t called her recently and could it be that she has been cut off?! Not sure what this weird cat girl idol dance is all about but whatever. Ignorance, right?! Then she realizes the peeping tom is watching and then dares him by baring it all. Can you see the bear in her pubes?! Look at all you want you creepy bastard! Gochisousama?

Naked And (Not) Afraid
So which Ekoda am I? I don’t know. I’m not a woman who loves frolicking around naked so I don’t know which Ekoda I am closest to. Heck, I’m not even a woman! Excuses, excuses… Speaking of excuses, I guess I was expecting the final episode to end with a bang. You know, saving the best for last. But it is just like any other standalone episodes and nothing really that mind blowing. Except maybe Ekoda may have awakened and transited from a closet pervert to a full blown exhibitionist. I suppose there is nothing more turn off for a peeper for a target who knowingly dares you to look. Yeah, where’s the fun in that. Ekoda may not be winning in her life but she’s doing it at her own pace. Ekoda being Ekoda is just Ekoda. Heh. I don’t even know what I’m saying now. Ignorance is to survive!

With only 3 minutes of running time in each episode, a simpleton like me who jumped into watching this series without reading the original manga source would definitely be lost. I mean, they have to cram everything into that duration and have to tell what needs to be told in that same length. Therefore there are many skits that I don’t really understand and I’m just like, “Okay. Whatever”. Essentially I believe that all showcases somewhat the challenges and issues faced by Ekoda in her everyday life. Mostly about her relationship blues. After all, Ekoda like many other women do long for a man to lean on and be supported in her life. Not to say that Ekoda is a weak woman but that is naturally a woman’s instinct. So what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I suppose that is why the series’ title included rinshi which means near death. Well then, fight on, Ekoda-chan!

Not sure if it is clickbait to get people like me to watch since one of Ekoda’s most prominent feature is that she loves to be naked. At least within the confines and comfort of her own home (notwithstanding the final episode somewhat). But don’t worry. This isn’t even hentai or close to ecchi. You can circumvent that by not drawing tits! Yeah, that always works. I don’t think Ekoda is an exhibitionist but by I believe being naked somewhat symbolizes the freedom that she longs for. Because by wearing clothes especially uniforms, you are then chained and bound by the rules of whatever the role or job that uniform or clothes encompasses. Even if it is for a short moment, Ekoda can be by herself, for herself with that freedom she enjoys, oblivious to the world. Then it’s back to dolling herself up and trying to get herself a man. The vicious cycle continues. I guess eventually she has to go back to the system. Or maybe nobody can really escape it.

The irony of having a 3 minute short episode is the special interview segment that comes after it. Uh huh. It lasts way longer! A full 24 minutes to be exact! As each episode has a different director and seiyuu, this interview segment discloses their thoughts on just about everything. Their views on the anime, the character to even their opinions on working with each other and how relatable Ekoda is in their life. It is quite comprehensive if you really want to know more about this stuff but I have to admit, I skimmed through this part and didn’t watch the whole thing. Yeah. Don’t want to fall asleep listening to their outlook on just about everything. No wonder I’m so blur after watching this series. Not that I would understand it any better if I sat through that whole 24 minutes! I mean, when you have this segment longer than the actual series itself, you gotta make it worth by expressing and saying all that you want to say that is on your mind. Sometimes it feels ‘wasted’ because they put so much time and effort in the interviews but the actual anime is just 3 minutes. Ah, I see even producing an anime short has lots of challenges going on in the background. But what do I know? I’m not even in the anime industry.

And isn’t it just weird, pairing an old man director with a young cute, beautiful seiyuu? Feels like an after porn shoot! Haha! Oops, sorry. Crossed the line there. But yes, it does feel a bit odd. Of course some seiyuus are veterans so they’re also showing their age but not as hagged and ugly as the male directors. Old men in Japan don’t really take care of their appearances, huh? On a trivial note, the only seiyuus I recognized participating in this series are Romi Paku and Ami Koshimizu. Damn they didn’t employ Mamiko Noto and she would have been perfect for the role of Ekoda. Oh yeah. I can already imagine her in it.

But this interview segment isn’t all about the boring talking. At the end of this segment, we have a glimpse to see how they make the episode in focus. However the interesting ones are those who didn’t employ the usual traditional 2D hand drawn style. For example like that marionette episode, it is quite interesting to see the equipment and how they do it to make the visuals look so surreal. Quite fascinating. Otherwise those traditional hand drawn ones are just your typical artist sketches and adding colour and final touches before that scene becomes the official and final cut.

With different director producing an episode each, it is hard for me to pinpoint which is the most interesting one. They have their hits and misses. Each has their own quirky weirdness (some call it creativity). From the very sketchy frame-like episode 11 (like as though it isn’t finished and still at the editing board) to the rotoscoping technique in episode 6 and of course that live action marionette in episode 10. In terms of visual, my pick would be episode 9 because of its first person view. I don’t know, I seem to be quite fascinated with this visual style since you don’t often have series that is entirely from a first person perspective. In terms of the ‘storyline’, episode 5 is most amusing and interesting because Ekoda vs the bugs! That was really funny. The most WTF is episode 7 because everything is so abstract, I don’t know what is going on. The most thought provoking would be episode 2 as Ekoda contemplates if should tolerate the tomfoolery of her boyfriend despite him shamelessly having another girlfriend and not even trying to hide it. Episode 4 comes in a close second and her relationship with her boyfriend can be easily checked as Facebook’s ‘complicated’. Episode 12 is the closest I can somewhat relate to. At least in the sense that ignorance is the key to survival! Oh yeah. I wonder myself how I got this far in life… Thanks Ekoda, for that one :-).

Each episode also features a different ending theme. Some of them are quite nice to hear. For instance, the jiving Broadway-like Ukiyo Ni Hana by Shoose (episode 1), the dramatic Yume Ni Yowasarete by Sho Hayami (episode 2), the interesting enka take of Mukudori Bojou by Hiroshi Kitadani (episode 6) and the lively Numa by Masayoshi Ooishi (episode 10). Hard rock ones feel somewhat weird like Naked Echo by Araki (episode 3) and Ganbarima Sengen by Gero (episode 5). Not as weird as the weird Ito No Yume by Noristry (episode 7) that sounds a bit like cacophony. Other okay ones include Sora Omoi: Dattan-jin No Odori (episode 4), the slow ballad of Roudousha No Ballad by Asa (episode 8), Koi Ga Hajimara Night by Yuusuke Kobayashi (episode 9), the soulful lounge-like Tokyo Shinobi Saki by Piko (episode 11) and the generic rock beat of Dear Gemstones by Yuuri Matsuoka (episode 12).

Overall, not really a bad anime but despite being a unique styled anthology it still isn’t enough to make me really want to love it or wish there was more or another season. It’s just, how should I put it, strange and peculiar. You mean, unique? Nah. More like strange and peculiar. Because at the end of the day, it’s not like I understand very well Ekoda’s heart either. Maybe Ekoda just simply wants a man to love and I’m just overthinking if there are lines to read in between. Even if Ekoda doesn’t have the advantage of those ‘birds of prey’ girls, as long as she knows this by heart she’ll do just fine: God made women beautiful so that men could love her. Also, God made women foolish so that they could love him!

RDG: Red Data Girl

July 21, 2019

Every day, we stray further and further away from God and His path of light. With today’s era of modern society, it seems people have become less and less religious. Blame technology? Blame the changing of societal norms? Blame us being typically humans. Well, I’m not here to lecture and preach to everybody on how everyone should go back being religious because yours truly is also as guilty as hell in not doing any hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/yearly prayers. So it’s not like I felt guilty or empty or something that I decided to go watch this somewhat spiritually associated RDG: Red Data Girl. Heck, I thought it was something to do with the internet or IT. You know, some sort of hacker girl thingy. How wrong I was. Instead… Girl with spiritual powers. A vessel for a powerful goddess. People targeting her. Boy-cum-childhood friend tasked to protect her. Will love come in between? And I’m not talking about the love for God kind.

Episode 1
Izumiko Suzuhara wants a change. So she just slightly cuts her bangs and the whole sleepy village notices and is in shock. Yeah. Those nasty boys at school even mock her that the ‘shrine has got a new roof’. During computer lessons, Izumiko decides to try and use one. Previously anything electronic she touches go haywire. Will this time be different? Suddenly she manages to do a video conference with her dad, Daisei? Wow. The internet must be damn good at that time for them to speak so smoothly in real time. It seems Izumiko is against going to Houjou Academy in Tokyo and she doesn’t want him to decide her life if he can’t even attend her PTA today (I guess he got swamped with work in good ol’ America). Then he notices her bangs. Things get weirder and trippy. Izumiko panics to cut off the power. Suddenly the entire school faces a blackout. Hope you saved your work. Izumiko starts crying, blaming herself for this outage. Even more shocking that Yukimasa Sagara, an acquaintance of Daisei flies in with his helicopter to pick Izumiko up. You mean dad made this emergency call???!!! Yukimasa explains that her hair may have spiritual powers and she doesn’t have to worry if everything around her has changed. It hasn’t. Only her. Because she cut her bangs, right? Damn, Izumiko is taken to a hospital for a full scan and check-up. This must be really a big deal.

When she returns, she meets Yukimasa’s son, Miyuki. But he is not too pleased to meet this plain Jane bespectacled braided ‘goddess’. You can say he hates her. He isn’t also happy that he is the backup plan for all this. Yeah, they haven’t seen each other for 10 years. Yukimasa assures he won’t marry them off. Their status will not allow it. The most he would become is he manservant and that he will be by her side until he dies. Originally the plan was for her to meet up with them at Tokyo but since she didn’t want that, they will follow with her plan to go to a local high school. Izumiko’s fate is to be raised protected from the world. Whether or not she knows about it doesn’t matter, this is their matter to handle. Miyuki will not accept all this and leaves. But after Yukimasa brings him back, he is all messed up and bruised from a fall. The damning thing is how Miyuki is a changed guy! He has regretted the err of his ways and will transfer here. Later that night, Izumiko talks to Miyuki and knows he didn’t want to do this. Certainly. Miyuki only agreed since Yukimasa threatened to kill him. That guy is crazy. Telling others won’t do any good as he is the one calling the shots. Miyuki adds how much he hates people like Izumiko since she is unable to think for herself. She tries to deny and some flashback of how Miyuki ‘bullied’ her to make her strong but she remained a weakling cry-baby. Izumiko doesn’t think she is special too and that is the only thing that Miyuki agrees with her. Next day, Miyuki introduces himself as a new transfer student in Izumiko’s class.

Episode 2
The school will be having a field trip to Tokyo and Izumiko is uneasy about it. Because, crowds. The only guy in school whom Izumiko feels comfortable with, Satoru Wamiya shares the same sentiments with her that he doesn’t like Miyuki. He hopes they can go to the local high school together. Izumiko receives a handphone gift from her mom, Yukariko. Hope the reception here is good. Miyuki doesn’t like Izumiko bugging him but with Yukariko’s letter, he thinks this is the only person whom Yukimasa will listen to. It seems mom wants to meet up with her at Tokyo. But she lacks confidence and wants him to do it on her behalf. He snaps back what if Yukariko doesn’t want to speak to him? In that case, she’ll go. But he has to come along. Can he say no? Izumiko has a bad feeling during the flight and upon touchdown at the airport. She looks pale and sick. It is believed the dark shadows are bad people and there could be some targeting her. They can’t chicken out now as they have to meet Yukariko at the designated place. But as they wait, she didn’t show up. A message comes in saying she can’t make it as she has been spotted. Possibly the people who are after her. She suggests that they come to her house since there is a barrier. As they make haste, weird things seem to happen like as though it is trying to stop them. Like the turnstile suddenly stop functioning and the trains too. Oh dear. Japan’s trains are going to be late! Even the taxi brings them to the wrong street. Yeah, it’s raining heavier. With the electricity around them being cut off, Miyuki too can’t help feel paranoid. Izumiko now really feels scared as something ominous is approaching her. She doesn’t want him to chant an exorcism but to hold her hand. But as the ominous shadow approaches… Yukimasa???!!! Miyuki doesn’t believe he is the real deal but Yukimasa points out Izumiko recognized him and her fear of him proves he is the real deal! WTF???!!! No wonder Miyuki is mad. Izumiko insists she felt something bad. That’s not Yukimasa and probably those bad people who are targeting her. He adds they won’t find Yukariko at home but she provided her place for them to rest safely.

In her house as Izumiko rests, Yukimasa explains about Yukariko always away and working hard to draw attention away from Izumiko. Miyuki still accuses Yukimasa of doing something fishy to Izumiko and perhaps he is the reason why Yukariko stayed away thanks to his presence. Yukimasa doesn’t blame her as it is their nature. There are many people who want to use such powers for their own benefit. Even mountain monks like them. Through ancient times, mountain monks have received powers via training but they have always been women. Miyuki felt nothing from Izumiko as her powers aren’t awaken yet. Miyuki doesn’t think he is up to the job. If he wants to protect Izumiko, by all means do it himself. Suddenly Izumiko appears before them in a kimono. However it is not her. It is Himegami possessing her. Immediately Yukimasa bows before her. It seems Izumiko’s body is to be her vessel but it feels too uncomfortable to inhabit her now. She just came down to check things out after feeling some change. Himegami warns that Izumiko will be her last vessel as she could no longer move forward. Himegami withdraws and Izumiko returns to normal, unaware of what just happened. Yukimasa assures her that her memories will return in time. Miyuki realizes Izumiko is part of a lineage of living vessels. Yukimasa agrees that this burden is too big for Miyuki to handle. He gives him the option to get out and even transfer out from school. Miyuki not happy? Isn’t this what he wanted?

Episode 3
Izumiko explains during her time being possessed. It felt strange like as though she is watching herself. Miyuki now realizes why Yukimasa did all this with great importance and that his real goal is Himegami and not Izumiko. Izumiko’s friends must be considerate. Realizing that Wamiya didn’t come on the field trip, they bought souvenirs for him but have Izumiko give it to him. She does so but Wamiya notices she has changed. He regrets she went to a filthy place like Tokyo. He reminds her she can’t leave here and noting that she now doesn’t hate Miyuki as much as before, he will eliminate him. Hence a few guys go pick a fight with him. It seems they are under Wamiya’s control and they’re really about to get dangerous when they pull out a knife. Luckily, Shingo Nonomura, Izumiko’s driver safely knocks them out and has Miyuki come with them. Miyuki tells Izumiko that there is no such classmate as Wamiya. An ominous presence starts chasing them as Izumiko realizes that it could be partly her fault that Wamiya is doing this. The shadow catches up and crashes the car. Thankfully all survive but Nonomura is stuck. Wamiya shows his face and for the first time Miyuki sees him. Just a normal middle school student. He admits so. As long as Izumiko wishes. As Wamiya has existed in the mountains for a long time without a form, she could only see him after cutting her bangs. He is born out of her wishes. A friend who would understand her. And since she created him, he will not allow her to easily abandon him. Nonomura wants Miyuki to use his staff in the trunk but he is unconfident since he lacks experience. Wamiya wants Izumiko to go to the local high school and she doesn’t have a choice. Otherwise he will kill her. Miyuki wants Izumiko to do just that. Better than dying. However she won’t do that. This isn’t like him. So she confronts Wamiya that if he is from he wishes, obey her. Stop being selfish or she’ll hate him and leave the mountains for good. With that, Wamiya disappears.

In hospital, Nonomura explains Wamiya could be a familiar of a goddess. He had enough powers to go berserk once she realized his form but luckily she managed to control him before it was too late. He assures Wamiya isn’t destroyed but is waiting for a chance to meet again. Izumiko decides to go to Houjou. Miyuki promises to hone his powers there since that place gathers people like them. He will transfer there and tell her what it’s like. Wamiya pops up again but this time he seeks to be dissolved. Since Izumiko first summoned him via mountain top dance that she thought it was some exercise, that same ritual will dissolve him. Izumiko dons her miko outfit as she realizes the reason why she summoned him in the first place. She wanted someone to understand the real her. She was afraid of others looking at her and embarrassed at them seeing her as she is since she can’t accept herself. She starts off her dance and this captivates Miyuki. For once she doesn’t think she is that useless. Wamiya is satisfied and disappears into the wind. 6 months down the road, Izumiko arrives at Houjou and is greeted by Miyuki. He advises her to keep her powers a secret since she is one of the few who got accepted without taking any entrance exam. Izumiko meets her roommate, Mayura Souda who instantly takes a liking for this cute girl.

Episode 4
Mayura introduces Izumiko to her twin brother, Manatsu. His passion is horses but thanks to him, Mayura manages to get into Houjou without sitting for an exam. Mayura further explains that they aren’t exactly twins but triplets. There was a third one but died when they were young. Izumiko gets anxious around the top student and student council candidate, Ichijou Takayanagi. It’s because he looks very similar to Wamiya. However he gives off this creepy feeling and sounds like an arrogant jerk. Izumiko is in a separate class from Mayura. She is in the same class with Manatsu, though. Izumiko has that anxious feeling again as she could see those ominous shadows. Today she is on contacts and only know she remembers why her mom gave her glasses? To protect her from seeing things? Anyway, Izumiko is afraid as she points out to Manatsu about that shadow sitting at the back of the class. Since he can’t see, he points that person out as Ricardo, the Brazilian transfer student. A couple of girls give Izumiko a website that is made by Takayanagi. They give her a password to access it and the site supposedly has some fortune telling readings. Izumiko has the misfortune to make eye contact with Ricardo. He approaches her and wants to meet at the AV room. She agrees just to make him go away. It got so bad that Izumiko ran all the way to Miyuki’s class for help. He hears her out and wants her to see through that promise. You know, Japanese people are good in keeping the promise they make, right?

Izumiko enters the AV room. Why the hell was Ricardo sitting there in the dark? The first thing he asks her if she is human. Suddenly Takayanagi performs a few quick exorcisms on Izumiko. He is glad she is human. Miyuki sees this and calls it bullying. Then he fires his spiritual arrow at Ricardo and instantly turns him into dust. With this, Takayanagi knows their identities. A mountain aesthetic and a spirit vessel. He claims he is not even in his league. After he leaves, Mayura pops out from hiding and she has watched the whole thing. She deduces that Takayanagi is a spirit user and Ricardo must be his spirit agent. She claims she has the same mountain monk training as Miyuki but can’t control spirits the way Takayanagi does. She believes there is some sort of importance for Takayanagi to be the school’s top student. Izumiko remembers the website so they go check it out. The moment she keys in the password, a curse explodes in their face! Though, Mayura bore most of the brunt. But thankfully she still lives and just got away with her left eye needing some bandage. Izumiko blames herself for this so Mayura lightens up the mood by teasing her that it could be Takayanagi’s way of saying that Miyuki and Izumiko are a couple because in the past, mountain monks and miko priestesses often marry. Manatsu comes in and scolds Mayura for being reckless. This makes her cry as she was scared. Izumiko thinks for herself that she never did this as she never pushed herself before. With Miyuki also here, it seems the guys want to settle this tonight. The twins do say some prayers before they go meet Masumi.

Episode 5
Masumi is their dead triplet actually. Though, he materializes as a cross-dresser? With him around, this means Takayanagi has to show up. Indeed. He doesn’t think that was a curse and was just some sort of influence that repels malice at him back at her. Takayanagi uses some binding spell on Manatsu but he easily breaks out. He has Ricardo fight him but Manatsu easily frees the souls that bind into Ricardo. Takayanagi becomes scared that the spirits will haunt him but Manatsu doesn’t care. Takayanagi realizes he isn’t human. Turns out to be Masumi in disguise. With Takayanagi scared sh*t, Masumi gives him a few soft slaps as warnings. In the aftermath, Takayanagi took down the website and gave up on the elections to be the student council president. To cover for Ricardo’s disappearance, it is officially stated he went back to Brazil. Izumiko feels glad to have come here and meet many people who are more special than her. Things seem to be going good between Izumiko and Miyuki when Yukimasa has to pop up. It seems he is now a part time teacher at Houjou. Damn, Miyuki in a bad mood again. But all the other girls swooning over this new hot teacher. In order to avoid being associated with him, Miyuki avoids Izumiko too. She feels sad about it although she realizes that this is to be expected. She has always been alone in the first place and didn’t really lose anything. Later Izumiko talks to Yukimasa about his transfer here. It seems he is doing an experiment to see which students gathered here are to be saved for humanity’s future. You see, there is a decline in humans who have spiritual powers and once this endangered species becomes extinct, Earth will no longer tolerate humanity. This experiment is to avoid that.

Miyuki wants to join the student council executive body and Izumiko won’t have any problems with that. Just that he asked Mayura for help and they seemed so friendly with each other. Sad girl feels so sad that she runs away somewhere alone to hang out. As she sings to calm herself down, she attracts the attention of the current student council president, Jean Honoka Kisaragi. She is practising traditional Japanese arts and brings her to see Hodaka Murakami who is supposedly the school’s first student council president. Meanwhile the former student council president, Mikoto Kanzaki asks Miyuki about Izumiko. Because it seems the shadow student council president has taken an interest in her. Because in reality the true student council president has not changed. Hodaka wants Izumiko to show her dancing but she feels shy. He puts makeup on her and says it is some sort of spell to show her true nature. Even so, she is still reluctant. Luckily Miyuki barges in to stop this farce. Izumiko is confused because he was keeping his distance and now he is concerned for her? Yes, but this doesn’t mean she could hang out with just anybody and should’ve just went straight to Yukimasa had she needed help. Yeah, they sound like lovers quarrelling. When Izumiko realizes she wanted to tell Miyuki something, that is when Himegami takes over. She claims to have seen Hodaka before hundreds of years ago. She warns him he cannot be the judge but Izumiko is the one to choose. She then has Miyuki take her hand. She has a task for him: Prevent her from being created and Izumiko must not become a goddess. Otherwise humans will perish at her hands. By the time Izumiko wakes up, Miyuki and Hodaka just finished making a pact in keeping this a secret. Hodaka welcomes her here if she ever needs advice but please come alone. Miyuki tries to play down his worth and not to expect much from him. Sure. She might not know what the future lies for her but is glad he came for her.

Episode 6
The friends are on the way back to Mayura’s house for the holidays. Izumiko learns from Mayura about Masumi’s death anniversary around the corner. Apparently he slept and never woke up. After the funeral, when the family moved from Togakushi to Nagano, his name became taboo. Since their mom is a normal person, she can’t see Masumi. While having BBQ at night, Izumiko got drunk because there is liquor in the fruit punch. Wait a minute. There are kids here and they put liquor in the fruit punch bowl? Wow. Izumiko so happy. Like on drugs. Until she passes out. When she wakes up, everyone is asleep. She thinks this is a dream when she answers Masumi’s call. Izumiko floating down like a ghost?! Man, this might be a dream. He asks if they can date and Izumiko (still feeling the effects of being drunk) wonders he knows what that means. He believes she’ll find out when she gets to Togakushi. It seems that Izumiko is also part of the student council body as an executive. Mayura organizes a trip for the body at Togakushi to discuss things. However Rena Akinokawa accuses Mayura of having ulterior motives. Because near Togakushi, the history club is also having their camp and it is no secret the club is a big fan club of Mayura. She thinks Mayura is trying to get them to join the body. Mayura doesn’t intend this so Kisaragi puts it nicely that they don’t want any power struggles within the body since the student council is supposed to be neutral judges.

Later Izumiko asks Mayura about her reasons for fighting Takayanagi. She explains she dislikes sorcerers and ninjas because her ancestors were temple priests and Togakushi was a ninja village. She knew about her fan club but chose not to do anything. What is important the student council maintaining their neutrality. Since she knew Izumiko met Hodaka, Takayanagi might have also met him. At first she thought Houjou will have 2 factions battling for supremacy at the cultural festival but there will now be a third force, a vacuum zone. There might be people who are testing Takayanagi’s abilities. It seems the winner of this whatever battle gets to be a candidate for World Heritage. It has lots of benefits for the winner and those around. Because Izumiko isn’t in the loop of this, Mayura talks to Miyuki if he intends to surpass Takayanagi in terms of his spiritual powers. Because those who can foil his tricks can only surpass him in grades. He claims he doesn’t want the top spot and joined the body just to be neutral. This is why he invited them to join too. As for the partner programme that seemingly only them who are using, Mayura believes it was created to favour Takayanagi and his spirit agent. That’s why she wants to know if Miyuki will participate in the battle or not. As she would like Izumiko as her ally, she must settle her case with him first before she goes after Takayanagi. She is going to test his powers now as she summons several tengu spirits.

Episode 7
Miyuki must guess which one of them is Masumi and break out from this special layer. The tengu start attacking and since Izumiko can’t bear to see this anymore, she tells him Masumi is the one standing next to him and not Manatsu. Yeah, Miyuki seemed like a wuss fending off the attacks. Then they realize Izumiko is missing. Luckily Masumi finds her and it seems she is scared not because she could see him but couldn’t see herself. She feels bad for not expecting much from Miyuki and yet talk lowly of him before Mayura. She thinks Miyuki would have been completely normal if not for her. Izumiko returns to the group. She learns the tengu are just the history club guys playing along with Mayura’s plans. Though she put them up to this, they are unaware of Masumi. On the way back, Manatsu gets a devastating call that Tabi, an old horse whom he is fond of is dying. He needs to return but Mayura doesn’t share the same sentiments. She can’t let him go back alone as she cannot leave this camp she organized. Manatsu insists he will return alone (Tabi > this tabi (trip) Haha! Oops…) and will have Masumi take his place. Yeah, Masumi looks like a little kid experiencing his first field trip. So fun! Back at the inn and after dinner, Kisaragi and Akinokawa put up a song and dance. It seems Kisaragi sensed an unusual spirit possessing one of them and this dance is to protect them and expel the spirit. A short blackout occurs before the lights come back on. However everyone notices ‘Manatsu’ and Miyuki missing. Oh, they’re just hiding. Gotcha! Did that scare you? Later Izumiko talks to Miyuki and confirms that Masumi was indeed expelled from the room. He went with him so as he would not be alone. However he finds it weird as Masumi is supposed to be stronger here.

With Mayura getting worried about Manatsu and Tabi’s time is drawing closer, Masumi suggests she go there and tell what she disagrees with and get it over with. However Mayura takes this as Masumi siding with Manatsu as he doesn’t care about her feelings. He points out if they come to think of him differently, he won’t be able to stay as he is. Because their wills are as one, Masumi is who he is. Izumiko and Miyuki offer to go bring Manatsu back. Upon reaching the stable, they learn that Tabi has died this morning. They see Manatsu cleaning Tabi’s stable. It seems he didn’t die a natural death and Manatsu put him to sleep via lethal injection. As Tabi couldn’t get up anymore, its own weight will crush its own organs and cause a lot of pain. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t want to call Mayura and worry her. During this time, Manatsu has thought a lot. Especially how humans have the power to end things instead of waiting for nature to take its course. This brings to the issue of Mayura doesn’t understand that she cannot forever live with him and Masumi. Hence he feels the time has come to end it while he has the power to decide. Surprisingly, Mayura pops up. She isn’t happy about his plan to end things. She knows he is sad and when so, it is natural she will go to him. But he disagrees he isn’t sad that Tabi is gone. He is sad that with Tabi not around, he has to face himself. They can’t keep regarding each other as the most important person in their lives. And then Manatsu runs away riding on Tabi’s spirit?! WTF???!!! Later Mayura gets a message from Manatsu that he will become like Masumi. That way he will forever stay with her. Mayura is distraught as she calls dad about Masumi taking Manatsu away.

Episode 8
Mayura’s father talks to Miyuki and Izumiko. However they have no idea of what Masumi did so father mentions that he too can’t see Masumi and because the twins can only summon Masumi, their mom hates it when they call his name as it goes against a mother’s intuition. Later Mayura talks to Izumiko about Manatsu having the same heart defect that caused Masumi’s abrupt death. That’s why mom refuses to remember Masumi. She knew Manatsu is closer to Masumi than her but never thought he would leave her to be with him. She wanted to become the top student so Manatsu can live longer. Izumiko then talks to Miyuki if he could summon Himegami. As she can’t talk to her in that state, only he can do it. There are risks and they’re afraid but if they don’t do anything, Manatsu will disappear for real. So I guess it isn’t as simple as undoing her braids. Nothing happens. Maybe bad reception? So summoning a goddess is like a handphone? As Izumiko moves, suddenly she enters into a different dimension. She sees Masumi who thinks it is better for Mayura to cry now than later. Because the longer they stay together, the more she will grieve when they are gone. He thinks Mayura would choose Manatsu over Masumi and if that’s the case, it’s better to be one. Izumiko has Masumi lead him to where Manatsu is. He is currently trapped behind a celestial rock. She tries to talk to him but unless he wills it, nothing will reach him. Hence Izumiko decides to dance to expel him, getting the idea from Kisaragi’s dance. As she does so and tells how much everyone will be so happy if she comes back, suddenly Manatsu tells her not to do it. Wait. So this Masumi is actually Manatsu? He warns her if she opens the rock, Masumi will come through and will be different. It was his plant to break the celestial rock and escape. Miyuki and Mayura find them. Mayura hugs her brother seeing she is too tired to punch him.

However they have to run seeing the rock is breaking. Couldn’t have Manatsu realized a bit sooner that he and Masumi are different and shouldn’t become one? Too late. This giant fish god is breaking out. Miyuki defends clumsy Izumiko as he sprouts black angelic wings?! However he knows he can’t fight this thing and Himegami agrees. She is not possessing Izumiko and her own entity. She says a few chants to have this fish god go back to slumber. Izumiko asks if Himegami can remain separate from her so they can talk. However Himegami claims she knows nothing and should ask her mother. When they return to reality, Yukariko is before them. It was her that Himegami possessed her. Izumiko understands why they can’t meet often as Himegami is always with her. Yukariko believes they will face a real trial in the future and although Izumiko believes herself as still weak, that is why Yukariko remains strong to protect her. However this cannot last forever. Manatsu returns to his family and the case is solved. Back in their hometown, Miyuki wants Izumiko to summon Wamiya. She couldn’t. It is believed her getting distorted by Masumi made it impossible. During the camp, a talking raven came into his room. It is believed to be Wamiya and hence Kisaragi’s dance expelling him then and also those black wings he sprouted. Miyuki believes if they are going to follow her, they need to join forces. Then he asks why Wamiya look like Takayanagi. Is it because she likes boys who look like that?! WTF???!!! What was he trying to say???!!! That sure escalated quickly!!!

Episode 9
The student council decides the theme for the cultural festival will be a Sengoku one. And something about the need to have a few models dressing up as that. I can guess who… Later Izumiko is being approached by Takayanagi. He wants her and Miyuki to join his side instead of Mayura. During the festival, the school’s barrier will be down and there will be lots of ‘outsiders’ visiting. He gives her time to think but Izumiko passes out when she hears strange voices calling for her. She is safe in the infirmary thanks to Yukimasa being such a qualified nurse too. He mentions about the upcoming experiment so she wonders if he is referring to her or Himegami. She doesn’t think so since they’re both different. Yukimasa replies that she may be the one to be unveiled as Himegami and probably the last goddess. This has Izumiko think that Miyuki probably wanted to accept her as a normal girl but seeing he is dedicated to serving Himegami, that will never happen. Later Miyuki talks to Izumiko about being part of the backstage crew. Although it is some normal dress, it seems she still has to undo her braids. She is confident from Togakushi that Himegami won’t appear just because they are undone. Hence Miyuki teachers her a simple spell for self-protection. Izumiko sees Hodaka in disguise. He is here to see the preparations and believes the scales might be tip to Mayura’s favour seeing how she treats Izumiko. With one of the models having urgent business, this means Izumiko is now roped in to be her replacement. Mayura warns her that Takayanagi’s supporters might be doing this although there is no concrete proof. As she gets dressed, she has to undo her braids and this has her thinking if this is a ploy to make it easier to draw out Himegami. The models take the stage as everyone is fascinated with the Sengoku costume and snaps away. Izumiko feeling a bit queasy but I guess that angry look on Miyuki’s face that he didn’t expect this to happen tells it all.

Later as Miyuki nags to Izumiko about doing something risky, he didn’t realize that Himegami has possessed her! Even with her braids still intact! Himegami is very satisfied she can move in this body freely. When Miyuki warns her not to appear whenever she wants, she warns him back if he doesn’t treat her kindly, there will be divine punishment. That shut him up. Miyuki accompanies her for the rest of the day. He asks about the state of Izumiko but Himegami doesn’t care. She also tells him to drop talking about another woman as she doesn’t like it. Don’t ruin her vibe. How does she like it if she talks about Yukimasa? Well, she has a point. At the mountain shrines, Himegami talks about how there is nothing here but a vengeful spirit that is herself. She had regrets. After all, she singlehandedly exterminated humanity. When she lost her body, she travelled back in time and wanted help. Someone who could understand her. Not for destruction but for the future. When she returned from an experiment over a thousand years ago, she was declared a World Heritage but the future didn’t change. This is the third time she is going through this experiment and each time her body gets frail and she is gradually forgetting who she is. She might not be able to make it to the fourth time. Her power was so great that in the second experiment, she was killed and stored as a specimen. Her powers put her in conflict with humans as her allegiance is to the planet. She is searching for people who can stop her. That is what Yukimasa and Yukariko are working towards. Miyuki wants time to think so Himegami points out he is like Wamiya. Because of that Togakushi incident, Wamiya resides inside him. Himegami summons him out just to prove. Miyuki wants her to leave Izumiko’s body. Can he force her out? After a few chants, he hugs her and pouring his heart into his feelings for her to come back. Is this impromptu?

Episode 10
Izumiko cries in Mayura’s arms. She is lost on what to do after discovering about Himegami being some destructive force and even Miyuki was scared. She fears she may stop being herself. As the festival gets underway, the model who ditched the job on Izumiko, she approaches her again with her friends. Their reason for that was because whoever does so will be cursed. Since nothing happened to Izumiko, they hope she can be their model for the parade again. They would have taken her away had not Miyuki tell them off. Just hold the parade without a model. Then he lectures Izumiko about being pushed around by younger people. She hits back that he too was doing the same to Himegami. Though he claims he was desperate to bring her back. He explains Himegami doesn’t descent to cause disasters and appears because she wants to avoid them. She just needs someone to talk to. Izumiko wonders if he prefers to spend more time with Himegami than her. Because Izumiko also doesn’t like him talking about other women, that one line has Miyuki thinking both of them are the same?! There’s an incident where several people collapsed after the visit to the haunted house. Isn’t that a success? They are resting in the infirmary, though. Oh never mind. Miyuki and Izumiko investigate just in case. As Izumiko wanders around, we can see ghosts following her. Until they really pop up before her and want to take her away. She manages to run to Miyuki. He asks about not using the self-protection charm. Because she pities them?

Then they visit the infirmary. Wow. A long line of women. Is it that bad? Yup. They’re here to get ‘examined’ by Yukimasa. Damn that guy… Yukimasa talks to Izumiko as she explains the ghosts she saw. Yukimasa seems to want to blame Miyuki for being useless but Izumiko tries not to. So he advises her not to have careless sympathy. He puts a better spell on her. Miyuki blows his top at him that he gets away with everything in the name of Himegami. Yukimasa brushes him off for not making use of the chances. They are shocked to hear Izumiko will be put on several layers after the festival and Miyuki can only talk to her directly while in school. That wasn’t the original plan but Himegami can change her mind. Although Miyuki is not entirely mad at this, he knows Yukimasa has an ulterior motive. Yukimasa might not know Izumiko well but he certainly knows his son. Kisaragi knows that fellow student council member, Yoshiki Hayakawa is making bets for the popularity contest. He wants to have fun and make money while he can. Hayakawa then talks to Mayura and Izumiko. Since Takayanagi will be on the offensive team for tomorrow’s big battle, it is only logic that Mayura will be on the defending team. Mayura feels he has an ulterior motive so Hayakawa says he has the ability to predict the future. Mayura then sees the point of all this. She realizes he is an ally to her as he is from Togakushi. All Hayakawa can do now is set the table. He warns Takayanagi has set something up in school so be careful. Izumiko sees Masumi and it seems he can still hang around without his siblings summoning him. They talk about love but Masumi has a different version of it. Like when he sees a lonely ghost, he eats it to be as one with it. That’s love, right? Well… He leaves her hanging as he mentions he felt some magic in school. But nothing that couldn’t be taken care of.

Episode 11
The friends look around to see if Takayanagi had planted anything suspicious. So far nothing. But when the thought that he might use something not human, Izumiko feels there are strange beings hiding so the guys check it out and find a vial. They believe this is Takayanagi’s doing since he is from the chemistry club. On the last day of the festival, Miyuki gives Izumiko her handphone that he has been keeping all this while. Hope she doesn’t break it. They realize Takayanagi has upped them with a floating balloon from the chemistry club. As they head to their respective posts for the battle, Izumiko has the misfortune to run into Takayanagi and his ‘friends’. Yeah, he summoned a few new spirit agents. He tries to accuse Masumi as the crueller one as he was the one who ‘killed’ Ricardo and that Mayura’s views of the world are narrow. He also tells her about the increase in foreigners at Houjou because of the belief in this era that the west and east need to bridge together and build a common ideology. Izumiko feels scared at first but then finds him not as scary as he thought it would be. Meanwhile Miyuki is rushing towards Izumiko. He realizes there is a spell casted because he cannot reach her. He summons Wamiya to take care of this but he claims that this spell is made by Izumiko. She told him not to come, right? Izumiko finds herself watching one of the battles going on. Once it’s over, this foreigner girl brings her to see Takayanagi as she explains how much she loves Japanese culture and hence why she likes Takayanagi. Izumiko is horrified to see lots of ghosts among the crowd although she is assured they will bring no harm.

Mayura finds Miyuki thinking hard. He believes Takayanagi has set something up and if Izumiko switches side, it will be bad for them. Mayura reminds him about their most important people. She proposes he pretends to be her fiancé. Acquaintances of her family are here to see them and they expect her to be married. In reality she can’t. It’s the same for Miyuki and Izumiko. They can’t be a couple. Because Izumiko said they can’t be together as she would be troubling him, that is why he can’t tell his true feelings to her. Hence they both need an official front. For now, they attend to pressing matters. As the defence side is losing, Mayura has Masumi cover for her and thanks to him, he blows away whatever spell that was suppressing their luck. Izumiko is in the company of Takayanagi and co. They talk about layers and phases. Especially Takayanagi who proclaims he is doing this because they need to seal away dangerous things and set up this world as a place humans can control. As he has known her a bit, he hopes he could study her. What if she refuses? He believes she is now their ally. Izumiko felt confused a calm for a while but when Takayanagi mentions Miyuki’s name, that is when Izumiko remembers him. How could she have forgotten him? She does the chant to break the spell. Must be a great spell since a storm is kicking up. With Izumiko being assertive that she won’t be controlled, Takayanagi tries to calm her down (though, he still wants to persuade her to join his side). She accuses him of using non-humans for his own purposes and won’t stand for this. With the spirit agents blown away, Izumiko realizes she has blown her cover and remembers the warning to keep a low profile. She worries she will now be targeted. It’s that fear of others looking at her again. A small earthquake shakes the place.

Episode 12
Mayura could also felt that Masumi disappeared. All electronic devices go dead after the earthquake. Miyuki is surprised to see Nonomura here. He warns him that Himegami as foreshadowed, Izumiko will awaken today. He passes him a staff. Miyuki and Manatsu head to where Izumiko supposedly is. They find the porch looking strange. Saying a few prayers, they enter another layer to see Takayanagi’s lackeys. And Takayanagi himself turned into a dog! Cute? Yeah, divine punishment from Izumiko for using ghosts! However Izumiko has ventured into another layer and as Wamiya says, she might not want to come back. Manatsu also realizes Masumi is over in the other layer. He has changed the most among the triplets. Because now there is someone whom he loves more than his siblings: Izumiko. Meanwhile we see Izumiko alone, contemplating of never returning to the human world again. Masumi talks to her and he is fine that Mayura has Manatsu. With Izumiko claiming she is no longer human, Masumi disagrees otherwise and humans like her are almost extinct. In short, he confesses he likes her. Miyuki will go get Izumiko but wants Manatsu to stay with Mayura in fear that she will fall apart if Manatsu disappears. But Takayanagi must come with Miyuki so as to apologize and bring her back. In the next layer, they must fight through hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer. But as Wamiya points out, there are many more to come. The problem is not the ghosts and the number of layers but if he has the strong will to get through each layer. Otherwise he can be doing this forever and still not each her. But if he gives up, he can easily return to reality. Manatsu returns to Mayura to tell what has happened. She gets worried since she hasn’t settled things with Takayanagi. Manatsu tells her to stop competing. At this rate they’ll drag and hurt others like Izumiko. Miyuki remembers his reply to Mayura. He doesn’t mind being her fiancé but thinks they shouldn’t do it as it would hurt others close to them no matter how successful the plan is.

Masumi hopes Izumiko can give him a chance to make her happy but she is somewhat hesitant and confused. As Miyuki fights the hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer, I guess it’s time to think out of the box. He calls Izumiko via handphone. Yeah, there’s reception here! Izumiko picks up and he tells her to call for him. She does so and what pops out from her handphone is Wamiya. The familiar says Masumi has lost and don’t be too greedy. Now scram. Then he turns into Miyuki. She admits she was afraid because she found out she is Himegami and didn’t want people to see her. Hence she was hiding. But after Miyuki and Wamiya came for her, she felt better. Miyuki wants her to tell him if she needs anything. Being a goddess is too much of a burden to bear and he’ll help her become one who won’t destroy humanity. However she fears doing so would mean the end so Miyuki hugs her. Takayanagi makes a sincere apology and admits that balloon stunt had some hallucinatory spells. Izumiko is unsure if he can turn him back but Wamiya points out the powers she has that she is unaware of. In reality, everyone is shocked to see ghosts streaming by. Masumi returns to Mayura and vows to protect her. Well, he got rejected so I guess that’s that. Izumiko starts her dance to purify the spells. In the aftermath, we see Hodaka reporting that Izumiko has become the top student and hence a candidate for World Heritage. Izumiko can’t give Miyuki an answer yet but will forever remember how he came for her when she was about to lose herself. She is shocked when he touches her but he just passed out from exhaustion.

Red Data Retention: Spiritual Data Overload!
So I guess mankind gets to live a little longer? Was Himegami’s prediction off? Not surprising as she said she was losing herself so it wouldn’t be surprising if Izumiko didn’t awaken as her at the end of the festival. So is this called a successful failure? Not really sure about the future but as far as the end of the anime is concerned, Izumiko returns to herself with Miyuki by her side. Therefore looking on the bright side of things, all is well, ends well. For now.

As I’m not really into the spiritual theme of things, hence I find it a bit hard to follow some of the storyline and subplots which this series seems to try and cram in a few. The bigger picture looks like if humanity deserves another second chance to exist and hence the smaller subplots include seeing Izumiko taking on a journey if she would be awakened as Himegami’s vessel. It’s rather okay about these subplots of subjugating Wamiya as her familiar, that problem with Masumi and that rivalry with Takayanagi but like I said, these feels like distraction to the bigger plot of Himegami’s awakening. Thus at the end, I was a bit confused to it all. Sure, the festival ended without anything disastrous or untoward but from a long shot, everything is still far by over. Especially when there are other greedy people who harbour such intentions to own that kind of power Izumiko has for their own. I thought that would be a storyline somewhere here but it ended in this Houjou festival thingy. But I suppose that is the story for next time. Next season. Not likely. It’s been years since…

I find it interesting that special people with spiritual powers are now considered endangered species in this anime. So they’re treating such humans as animals now? Hence at the start of each episode you’ll be notified about the Red Data Book/List which is the IUCN’s list of endangered species in the world. Hence the oddly named title of this series as I was wondering at the start. Therefore if Jesus Christ was going to come down a second time to save mankind, in this anime at least it will be in the form of this World Heritage thingy. With people getting more and more hooked to their electronic technological devices, we’re losing that spiritual touch with nature and God. So next time you’re fapping to that porn video you’re watching, bear in mind that there might be many angry spirits watching over your unholy activity… ;p.

It’s hard to say that Izumiko is a useless girl since she is caught in something that is far bigger than what she can understand. She is sheltered and protected from a very young age and when thrust into a different light, she takes some time to stand up on her own two feet. So you can’t really fault her for being gullible and being pushed around because if you are in her shoes, what would you have done? And then she finds out that she is a vessel or could be the big goddess herself, for any normal mortal beings, that is scary enough. Thankfully she has Miyuki to help her bring her back to the right path if she goes astray and the same can be said about him. It feels like this guy is born moody and grumpy and that it sounds like an excuse he is living in the shadows of his great father. He looks like an amateur and unconfident with his abilities because when you’re entrusted with a task that has the big goddess involved, do you not panic and fear you might fail?

Having said that, all Izumiko and Miyuki want is just to be normal high school kids but their fate and circumstances don’t allow them to do so. Hence that wall-cum-barrier-cum-excuse-cum-convenience that makes it a big roundabout way for them not to fall in love with each other. We know and hope they really end up as an item but because the notion of Izumiko is a goddess and Miyuki is her manservant, not so straightforward. Hence she is always insecure and afraid while he is always mad and moody. If the spiritual fate thingy didn’t get in between them, this would have been some sort of generic romance drama. But as we see them rely on each other in the final arc, we can safely say that they are a bit closer to each other than they were at the start. A lot more of these situations should really improve their relationship. Hopefully. It would have been interesting to see if the duo would put their love for each other first than saving mankind. Or perhaps they can do both. But for now, we have to put up with their hot and cold relationship which could be annoying to watch sometimes.

Himegami although feels superior and divine, sometimes I wonder if she is just like any other ordinary woman. After all, just like many other women, she doesn’t like her man to talk about other woman. First sign and hint from your girlfriend that you better pay all the attention to her! I would have been nice to see all the experiments and whatever trials and tribulation she went through to bring about this final journey she is on but I suppose there is not enough time and duration to tell it all in a single cour. After all, they need to keep the mystery of Himegami as her charm. Knowing her a little too well might change our perspective of her and that’s not good seeing she is of a goddess status.

Other characters feel like a distraction like Manatsu and Mayura who don’t really have anything to do with Izumiko and Miyuki’s case and as I have pointed out a few paragraphs earlier, having Masumi around seems like a detour and distraction so as to ‘reassure’ that Izumiko and Miyuki belong to each other. Otherwise, this competition with Takayanagi is still something I don’t get because I don’t really see how this experiment makes one the candidate for World Heritage. Speaking of Takayanagi, that guy really feels like a loser. He looks arrogant and might be suave but eventually in the end he is just a wuss. Heck, he lost not once but twice! You thought he had given up after losing to Masumi and got his spirit agent crushed. But then he returned as sneakier than before and what does he get? Turned into a dog! Hope he learnt his lesson but I doubt it. Then Wamiya is like a familiar for both Izumiko and Miyuki but the way he expresses himself, he sounds not too enthusiastic to serve his masters. It’s like, well, he is doing it because he has to and if so, I mean, what else can he do about it? It’s your call.

Not sure what Yukimasa is doing behind the scenes all the time but I figure it is something important. So important that he had to leave his son with the important task of being with Izumiko AKA Himegami. Didn’t he call Miyuki as his backup plan? So I’m wondering if this multi-talented guy who could do no wrong is just doing all this to piss off Miyuki or in a twisted way, give him some sort of motivation to be like him. I don’t think the latter works seeing how Miyuki doesn’t like him. I mean, you tell when he calls his father by his first name! I’m very sure they are blood related and they are actually biologically father and son but you never know. Anime love to spring surprises about families not really being blood related as plot twist or convenience. Some characters like Hodaka feels like a red herring. I thought he would play some sort of important role but after his debut that makes him feel like as though he is an important character, he falls back into the shadows as background character. Maybe he pulls the strings behind the scenes like Yukimasa but we’ll never know.

The other reason why I watched this series is because it is done by P.A. Works. You know, the anime studio that has brought us a lot of good looking characters and visuals. Like Hanasaku Iroha, Glasslip, Tari Tari, True Tears, Sakura Quest and the recent Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara. Oh yeah. Cute kawaii bishoujo galore. You can bet Izumiko is looking damn cute in her braids because I don’t know why many people view girls with braids as plain Janes. This means you can also see the trademark bishoujo and bishonen character designs very similar to their other anime series aforementioned. Like you know, how Miyuki have this main character look but just put him in constant moody mode. Other than the characters, the background and sceneries are also a sight to behold. It is nice to know that P.A. Works have been constant in their anime quality throughout the years as this series came out back in 2013. So continue to keep up the good work and bring me more kawaii bishoujo to gawk at. And to add to my personal top 10 bishoujo yearend list!

Voice acting is fine as I recognized a few seiyuus such as Saori Hayami as Izumiko, Jun Fukuyama as Yukimasa, Akira Ishida as Hodaka, Romi Paku as Yukariko and Mamoru Miyano as Hayakawa. Not surprising but still surprising is Rie Kugimiya as Wamiya because she isn’t nowhere near her tsundere trademark style and is one of those few boyish roles like Al of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hasuta in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and Shunpei from Oh! Edo Rocket. Only, add more monotony to her voice. I guess she can’t forever be Shana, Taiga, Louise, Nagi… It’s been a long time since I have head Rie Tanaka so I didn’t recognize her when she took over as Himegami. The other casts are Kouki Uchiyama as Miyuki (Shigaraki in Boku No Hero Academia), Madoka Yonezawa as Mayura (Ui in K-ON!), Kaito Ishikawa as Manatsu (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Ryohei Kimura as Masumi (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Hiofumi Nakajima as Takayanagi (Akatsuki in Aria The Animation), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Kisaragi (Yuzuru in Date A Live) and Kenji Nomura as Nonomura (Shishigou in Fate/Stay Apocrypha).

The opening theme, Small Worldrop by Annabel feels rather okay as her soft voice feels familiar to Nagi Yanagi. Hence making this song sound a bit like those the latter sings. The ending theme, Yokan has some traditional feel to it. But Masumi Ito singing it feels a bit ‘creepy’ and like as though I have heard her singing somewhere before. Oh right. Just like how she sang in a similar fashions in anime ending themes like Zettai Shonen, Scrapped Princess and Umi Monogatari. The song isn’t that bad but I sometimes get the chills hearing her ‘ghostly’ voice. And sometimes too I think that she is an alternate version of Nano Ripe…

Overall, this isn’t a bad series but it isn’t a good one either. It had some potential with its theme but lost its way. Other than the pretty visuals, the characters and plots may leave you scratching your head and wondering if there is more to it. Certainly there is because from what we’ve seen, they’ve presented with so much but yet we don’t have enough data storage memory to absorb it all! Yeah, it’s hard to think of it this way that Izumiko is just a 64GB USB pendrive but Himegami is a 2TB data to download!!! Not enough storage space that’s for sure! Well, there’s a flash drive to accommodate that today but I wonder having so would make it unstable. With people with special spiritual powers on the decline and on the verge of extinction, corrupted pervy otaku misfits are on the rise. A dime a dozen, spreading like a plague. No wonder there are so many sh*tty shows these days. Is there a religious anime that could bring us salvation? Looking for religious themed animes online… Aha, Bible Black. Or Crimson Climax. Or Sins Of The Flesh. Oh wait, no… Oh sh*t!!!

N/B: Is it ironic that we somehow have a lot of hard drive space when we download porn?

Kakegurui XX

July 20, 2019

It wasn’t me. I had no money to bet there would be another reason and was just silently praying to God for it and boom! Here it was! Kakegurui XX was unexpected and I supposed somebody made a bet and won over the producers for another season. Or maybe God really worked his miracle. Thank you. God or whoever you are anonymous gambler for giving another season for this great psychological gambling game that had too many interesting potentials and developments that would be a shame had it not get another sequel. Now I can enjoy the second season without betting or risking anything XD. Or do I?

Episode 1
Yumeko, Ikishima and Erimi Mushibami are in a high stakes gambling. In this game, each will take turns to cut a string. One of the strings is connected to the guillotine that will definitely chop off their finger. Of course the first to pull out loses in this extreme game of chicken. The game is supervised by Inaho Yamato of the election committee whose duty is to be the neutral judge. Erimi is not afraid of the outcome. She knows there is a safety plate that would stop the blade from going down all the way. She is relishing to see the chance of her opponents squirm and panic in fear. However as the game passes and they cut fake strings, Erimi is puzzled that they are getting more and more excited. They’re basically orgasming and hope that the next string they cut is the real deal! She tries to play psychology to see how long they will last as she explains her family is in the business of torture and that’s why she has this mini guillotine. But when Yumeko checks with Inaho if she had checked and removed it and Inaho confirms it, Erimi starts to panic. Wait a minute. You mean there is no safety plate?! Prior to the game, for fairness, all the participants waited out of the room as Inaho checked the guillotine and shuffled the strings. Oh dear. Now it’s Inaho to get scared. She’s sweating a lot. Must be the heavy gothic dress, huh? NOT! And Ikishima and Yumeko are only getting crazier as the strings reduced. Yeah, the chances of the guillotine dropping could be any time soon… And there are only 3 strings left… Oh sh*t! And then Erimi starts crying inconsolably… WTF… What the f*ck?! WHAT THE F*CK???!!! Yumeko not looking happy. B*tch, did you just kill my vibe?! Flashback to when Kirari announced after a string of defeats the student council suffered at the hands of Yumeko, she is dissolving the student council and hold an election. Some are opposed to this because it will mean Kirari relinquishing her power. Kirari explains Hyakkaou is a garden she created beautifully based on the law of the survival of the fittest. But someone came to disrupt that beauty. If left alone, the distortion will grow. Hence she wants to stir things up even more. Kirari ushers in and introduces a new bunch of weirdoes. Terano and Yumi Totobami, Sumika Warakubami, Miroslava Honebami, Nozomi Komabami, Rin and Ibara Obami, Miri Yobami, Miyo Inbami and Erimi. All these are the relatives and branches of the Momobami clan. They have recently transferred here to represent their families as candidates for the presidential election. There is also Rei Batsubami but she isn’t gambling and serves as their butler.

Episode 2
Thanks to Kirari’s sudden announcement, the adults panic and sent their kids here since the winner will also become the head of the Momobami clan. Terano accuses Kirari of loving to see all the families panic over this. She hates her for easily taken what she wants and then relinquishes it with ease. While some of the existing student council protest this, Kirari notes that if they want to maintain status quo, all they have to do is win. Everyone has a fair chance with this election. This means the other students too. Everyone will be given a chip that represents their vote. You gamble and win votes of others. The person with the most votes after 30 days wins. Yumeko was happy with this but rued since Manyuda transferred all his money to her, looks like she can’t use it as bets in this election. Mary is wary of this election and wants to stay out (no Yumeko-Mary lesbian combo, I guess). She suspects they could be distant relatives of Yumeko since they all have that Bami name. Meanwhile Terano is the unofficial leader of the branches. She has everyone remember their pact to topple Kirari and until then they will not face each other. As for Yumeko, she must be a fringe family of the clan and they are free to fight or ignore her. Hence Erimi gets this idea to take her out. Rei then goes to get Yumeko who is delighted that somebody has issued a challenge to her. She wasn’t thrilled that Ikishima also got the invitation but soon gets excited after Erimi introduces her game. And that is where we all now. Erimi is struck by her own fear and terror but with those crazy b*tches egging her to go all the way, I guess Erimi has also lost it and just picks up the scissors to cut. A miss! Damn, the tension is running high! Ikishima is so f*cking excited that she cuts both strings at once! Here comes the guillotine!!!!!! Eh? The safety plate is still intact? Because Erimi pulled out first, she loses. Because Ikishima cut 2 strings, she is disqualified. Hence Yumeko is the winner. But Yumeko is very mad at Ikishima for killing the tension. Never show your face before me again! As for why the safety plate is still there, actually when Yumeko hinted to Inaho, it was because she noticed the table the guillotine sits on was unstable. Hence she removed the pads from the table’s feet to add stability. Yumeko praises Erimi for her pride and conviction of staying true till the end. Wow. Erimi really got psyched on this one. Meanwhile Kirari and Terano talk about the latter bringing in Rei here. Her house was expelled from the clan and he won’t do good as insurance. Terano insists she is just a joker whose actions will be unpredictable.

Episode 3
Nishinotouin loses to Miyo and Miri. Yumeko is now delighted to play against them. While Miri is cold and distant, Miyo tries to put up a polite and friendly façade for Yumeko. Runa supervises this nim zero game that Suzui wants to enter too. He thinks he can help Yumeko? Okay. This game has cards labelled from 0 to 3. Each will be given 4 cards and the goal is not to exceed the total 9. The one who surpasses that loses. They will play this for 3 rounds. Because Suzui only has 1 chip, he is offered a service chip. Each chip means 24 hours of service to the student council. Is he willing to take that risk? You bet! In the first round, Yumeko ups the ante by raising 30 chips! The rest follow. Yeah, Suzui follows to and that means 700 over hours of service if he loses… The round completes with Miyo busting her hand. Suzui is puzzled because she had a bad hand so why did she risk this? Suddenly Yumeko collapses. Meanwhile Mary is confronted by Ririka and is forced to play a simple gamble with her. Guess which hand has a chip and all these chips will be hers. If Mary wins, she will follow her around. If Ririka wins, Mary will team up with her to fight. However Mary takes off her mask, reducing her self-confidence drastically. Mary will not be cowed into this and refuses to play. Then she gets a call from Suzui. Help! Yumeko is poisoned and he is told to bring someone with lots of chips. Mary understands where this is going so she picks the correct hand of Ririka. Rushing to Yumeko’s side, she hears Suzui accusing Miyo and Miri of poisoning Yumeko. Their families might be in the pharmaceutical business but he has no proof. Even more so, Runa is perfectly sure there was no foul play during the game. This means it could happened before the game starts, outside Runa’s jurisdiction. Yup, the time Miyo hugged Yumeko during their introduction. With Mary replacing Yumeko, Miyo adds the serum as the wager. She also adds one cannot fold or else you have to press your finger against this nail coated with the same poison. Deep down inside Miyo, she relishes seeing these friends crumble in their noble bid to save Yumeko. The next round begins and Mary wants Suzui to show his hand! Well, that’s not against the rules. Suzui remembers Yumeko’s words to do all that Mary says. Hence he is going to believe in her. That is his bet! After seeing the weak cards he has, she is sure she can win this and raises the ante to 100 chips.

Episode 4
Miyo and Miri have developed some sort of telepathic way to communicate with themselves. Actually they ‘speak’ with their eyes. Whatever. Miyo wants Suzui not to listen to Mary. She will give the antidote to Yumeko and they should join forces to take her down as Mary is only trying to sacrifice him. Suzui rejects her deal because this is not what Yumeko would’ve wanted. The round ends with Miri losing. For the last round, the same thing as Mary has Suzui shows his cards. When Miyo raises the ante to 300 chips, Mary raises it to 10,000 chips! Miyo thinks she is trying to make them fold and is bluffing. They call on her and the game begins. Miyo and Miri realizes despite having good hands, they are the ones under threat. Yeah, Mary is smiling and enjoying the game. Miyo then notices that this could be Runa’s fault. It seems Mary has also noticed Runa’s Gilbreath shuffling style. From what I understand, no matter how you shuffle and cut the deck, every 4 cards will contain 1 from each suit (in this case, numbers) despite being random. So with 16 cards among them and each containing precisely 4 suits, that is why Mary had Suzui show his cards. This means she can tell what the cards Miyo and Miri have. With the limited choices they could make, it makes them easier to predict. Miyo accuses Runa of not adhering to neutrality. However Runa fires back that she has always been shuffling this way. It’s her fault not to take notice. Even so, as a dealer she sets the rules. It is her principle to make sure everyone has a fair shot at winning even if you are dead! The poison takes effect on Miri. Miyo then tells Miri to lose for her. She claims herself as superior. Miri does that and collapses. Miyo takes her away and vows to kill Mary next time. Yumeko is recuperating with Rei’s help administering the serum. Suzui thanks Mary and even Rei. He is glad that Rei is a kind person despite coming from a scary clan. But this makes Rei feel sad. As the gambling rages on, Kirari feels bored with her easy wins. Like as though nobody is serious in taking her out. Rin and Sumika join in and Kirari finally thinks she could at least have some fun. Mary whispers a secret only to Yumeko. Not sure if she can hear but Mary says she is going to be the next student council president.

Episode 5
The total votes so far after a week. The top 10 from lowest to highest: Yumeko, Miroslava, Miyo, Sumika, Sumeragi, Rin, Mary, Yumemi, Terano and of course in a runaway lead, Kirari. After Ikishima criticizes Yumemi as a talentless idol, this makes her go into a rage. Yumemi’s goal isn’t to become the student council president but if she has to influence on the next president, she must convince others she was the one putting them in power. As she has taken all the votes from her fans, the only way to get more votes is to get more fans. Rin thinks back about his match with Kirari. Because she bet all in, Rin folded. He realized it was her way to get them to go into some sudden death match and that has nothing to do with poker skills. Hence Rin and Sumika decided not to continue. The disappointment on Kirari’s face was priceless. Yumemi begs Yumeko to team up as an idol and garner more votes. Then everyone is abuzz with the world’s famous Hollywood actress here, Natari Kawaru. Yumeko is a big fan of hers. What is she doing here? To take part in the election. Eh? Natari’s real name is Sumika! She ignores Yumemi and wants to gamble with Yumeko. However Yumeko won’t be ignored and also challenges her. Natari agrees the dream girls team up against her in a singing performance. Of course Yumemi doesn’t care about winning or losing. It is her dream to perform with an actress she admires very much. However it would be much better if she beats that b*tch. Meanwhile Mary chides Ririka for following her around like a stalker. She claims that promise thingy but Mary will not acknowledge her as her partner unless she gambles and proves her worth. We see Yumeko and Yumemi belting out a typical kawaii idol song. When it is Natari’s turn, she stuns the crowd with her amazing voice while singing Amazing Grace! Holy sh*t! So beautiful that it blew everyone away?! Yumemi starting to look scared. And at the same time so awed that she also cried. Yumemi is not worried because she bribed her fans to vote for her. So here is the result of the first round. Natari thumping the duo 92-8 votes!!! Yumemi starting to look REALLY scared now.

Episode 6
Yumemi realizes the only way Natari could have won was that she too bribed others. But this was how she did it. She gave it to Rei to tell people to vote however they want. In the next match, they must eat 3 macarons. One of them is super spicy. The winner is one who can guess which macaron their opponent ate is the spicy one. Yumemi might look like she hit it with the first one but good acting. Because Natari points out it was the second one. She knows because Yumemi broke her finger just to hide the grimace. Yumeko could correctly guess Natari’s by counting the times she chewed! She took longer for the first one because she was delaying it, fascinated by Yumemi’s acting. But it was just pure gambling and guessing with the remaining ones. When Yumemi realizes she can never beat Natari no matter what, Yumeko becomes mad. B*tch, you just killed my vibe. She only helped because she was going to win but now that she has moved the goalpost, she hates her. In this last game, players pick up a card and set it face down. They can declare its actual value or lie. However they cannot exceed the value of 63. One may pass but this makes you out of the game. When 1 player is left, if the actual total value is below 63, she wins. Over, she loses. With Yumeko being lifeless and not cooperating with Yumemi, the idol thinks hard about her predicament. Indeed she wanted to lose but then she hears her fan scream not to give up. She remembers all those times being an idol and wants Yumeko to pass with her. Yumeko is surprised that she was acting all the time. She gets her groove back again but Yumemi dismisses it and that she wanted to lose and be praised by Natari for trying despite being talentless. Yumemi never wanted to be an idol but an actress. But being an idol made her realize this role is fun and she has been to places she could never have imagined. She doesn’t know if there is any meaning in beating her but she will find that meaning if she continues to look for it. With the dream girls pulling out, Runa counts the cards and it goes over. The dream girls win and Natari hopes to battle with Yumemi the next time. In Hollywood.

Episode 7
Yumeko sees Terano and wants to gamble. Finally Manyuda wakes up but he doesn’t care about his own life anymore. Even when Sumeragi tears up his Life Programme, he still doesn’t mind becoming her slave. Reverse psychology backfired. Here comes Yumeko to talk to them for a favour. Ibara and Miroslava are summoned by Terano. It seems she is in agreement with Yumeko’s plan. As Kirari is running away with the votes, soon none will have enough to challenge her and hence this plan is to pool their votes together to the winner. However Terano will not be joining in due to her promise not to fight her brethren. Rumia Uru oversees this game. Each will be given 5 coins to put in either a personal deposit box or a tax box. Coins in the personal box will be counted to their overall total. But coins deposited in the tax box will be doubled and distributed equally to all players including those who didn’t contribute. This will last for 5 rounds and the winner will get the votes which are from Terano’s. However if they fail to get 40 coins, they will give their votes to her. Before each round, they have time to discuss strategy and can eliminate a player if 3 of them agree. As Sumeragi heads to deposit first, Manyuda asks Yumeko about her passion for gambling. But does she feel remorse for those lives she ruined? None. However this makes Rei very mad and only backed down when Terano instructed her. When the first round ends, it seems they are a few coins short and this means there is a traitor among them who didn’t deposit in the tax box. With accusations flying, Yumeko comes up with an idea by having everyone pick randomly a paper with a number to indicate how much they must deposit in the tax box. While the traitor may get away with 1 or 2 coins, at least this avoids a big betrayal. But by the end of the second round, even lesser coins were deposit so much so that there is at least 2 traitors in the midst for this to happen. Ibara gets mad believing Yumeko is the traitor since she expected this outcome too. With Sumeragi accusing Ibara and Miroslava as in cohorts, Manyuda surprisingly gives his evaluation on who the traitor is. Judging from the circumstances, he points to Yumeko.

Episode 8
Manyuda explains about Yumeko and Terano conspiring together to assure they could profit from this. This makes Sumeragi sad that he has gone senile. In the next round, it’s the same as the last. Yumeko then orgasms that they they’re going to lose. WTF she seducing Manyuda and that activates his desire to bring everybody down now?! So both of them declare they won’t pay any taxes and hence making everyone to do the same. However everyone paid them in full. Manyuda now reveals the true traitors are Miroslava and Sumeragi. You see, it isn’t against the rules to leave your coins for others. Hence Sumeragi left hers for Miroslava whose turn is after her. Even if Miroslava had no reason to trust her, what if the note says to bank in her coins into her own deposit box? Not bad seeing there are no risks and all she need to do is get rid of the evidence. Manyuda calculates the coins received from this and Miroslava is in a massive lead. Hence the majority agrees to remove her from the final round. Miroslava realizes she has been played by Sumeragi but doesn’t hold a grudge against her since they were both allies in betrayal. But she does note she likes Manyuda because she set this up in a way for him to win. After the final round, Sumeragi wins the game. Although the votes are redistributed and Sumeragi is to receive 100 votes, however Rei announces a third party betting. Prior to this, Sumeragi and Terano made a bet if Manyuda would win or lost and achieve 40 coins. Sumeragi betted he couldn’t and must now pay her 150 votes. Manyuda is mad she did this but for Sumeragi, either way it is a win for her. Had Manyuda lost, Sumeragi would win a huge amount of votes. Had Manyuda won, she loses her votes but knew he didn’t go senile and still had it in him. She is happy with either way. Hence this game wasn’t about him interested in finding out what other people think but what is in his own heart. Sumeragi doesn’t see this as saving him. He is her accomplice and now her gamble is now left in her hands. With that, Sumeragi is no longer in the running for the student council president. Sayaka is getting worried that Terano is obtaining more votes and will do anything like threats and expulsion just to protect Kirari. However Kirari will not have any of that. She wants Yumeko to stir things up further. Oh Sayaka. You looking so sad. Is she going to get a heart attack?

Episode 9
Update on the rankings of the election. The top 10 from lowest to highest: Suzui (surprise!), Nozomi, Miyo, Ibara, Yumeko, Rin, Mary, Yumemi, Terano and Kirari. When Yumeko declares to challenge Kirari right now, this is when b*tch Sayaka steps in to berate her and even wants Kirari to throw her out right now. Of course no can do. This has Sayaka wondering if Kirari will look at her more favourably if she beats Yumeko at gambling. Well, if she can. This has Sayaka challenging Yumeko to a gamble. But it will be separate from the election and not votes. They will bet their lives. As shocking this may sound, Yumeko declines. Because that would be too boring. In order for Sayaka to really bet everything, she must risk her relationship and memories with Kirari. That is her ultimate bet. If Yumeko loses, she will never gamble again. With Kirari looking forward to this and wants to be their dealer, it’s do or die for Sayaka. In this tower game, the aim is to move from the fifth floor down to the first floor to pick a flower and then back up to the fifth floor again. The fastest to do so wins. However there are doors and hatches that brings you up or down different levels. Only the central staircase brings you directly to the bottom and top floor. Each will have 5 minutes as they take turns to choose a door to open but each door has a puzzle they must solve. However a word of caution, even if they get the answer correct, it may not be the solution. With Sayaka still thinking about her important ties with Kirari, Kirari ups the ante for her. Let the loser jump off the highest floor and die. So if Sayaka losers, she will die an utter stranger to her. The game begins, Yumeko goes first. I don’t really get the puzzles to the doors that keep changing but it has something to do with hexadecimal and decimal values. Although Yumeko got it right, behind the door is a wall. Sayaka’s turn, she chooses her hatch and her answer allows her to go down to another floor. But reaching the 4th floor, she realizes the other hatch goes down a few more floors. She thought of praying to God for Yumeko not to choose that hatch but screw that. She is going to believe in her decisions and Kirari! Yumeko’s turn, she chooses a door. Not sure if she is making out with the door because she considers this tower as her opponent and wants to get to know more about it. Every inch, nook and corner. Because rather than living in ignorance, better to know everything and die!

Episode 10
Flashback shows Sayaka as a meek girl who met Kirari and wanted to be a secretary. She was enthralled with her gambling style and wanted to be close to her to learn more. Sayaka feared she said too much but surprisingly, Kirari took a liking for her rationality and accepted. As she makes her way to the first floor, she is shocked that Yumeko hasn’t arrived. She cannot have left since her flower is still here. She starts to think what might have happened and on her next turn, tries the central staircase. Brick wall. It is then Yumeko shows up. Sayaka starts laughing and is now confident to beat her. She climbs her way back up, certain that she will win but wait… Yumeko has arrived! Sayaka in shock! Face it. She lost. Yumeko explains about her choice. The puzzles displayed are actually angles. When she opened the door, she just wanted to look at the moon. However there was nothing. It then dawned to her that this entire tower itself is rotating. That is why they sometimes hit the brick wall. So using this calculation, Yumeko was able to use the central staircase and head right back up. Sayaka is still in disbelief. Why would Kirari design a tower that doesn’t not fully utilize gambling? That’s the thing. That’s part of the gamble. Dead fish Sayaka realizes she lost because of logic. Saddened by her fate she couldn’t understand the person she loves, she prepares to jump to her death. After doing so, she is shocked to see Sayaka jumping after her! It isn’t the flower fields that broke their fall. Yeah, safety mats. Kirari explains this is her tower so she wanted to also be the first person to jump off. However Sayaka chose the correct door because other doors would have led to her death. Hence despite not thinking, her mind is still seeking logic. After all this time, she still finds her fascinating. Now that they are strangers, she offers her to become her secretary. She might not understand her but that’s okay. Can we say today is the day Sayaka died and reborn again?

Episode 11
A few received an invitation for the 100 vote auction. But not all those who were invited came. Those who turn up are Yumeko, Suzui, Mary, Ririka, Nishinotouin and Ikishima (totally ignored by Yumeko). The auctioneer is Rei and Inaho invigilates this gamble. Rei cannot disclose the sponsor for the 100 votes up for grabs and explains the rules. They will be using their votes to bid and whoever places the highest bid will win the 100 vote lot. The catch is that they will not know who bids. Also, if you don’t win the lot, you lose everything you bid. I’m not very clear about the rest because if they are limited by the number of votes they have, will that limit their play? Anyway, Mary is confident she can win this as she warns the others this is just a ploy to compete among themselves as the one who actually wins is the sponsor. But with others bidding, Mary is forced to bid higher and wins the first round. In the next round, Mary says the same thing but this time Nishinotouin wins the bid. Before the next round, Mary announces she will bid 99 to prevent anyone from bidding hire (because if they bid 100, they will trade it with the 100 votes they win). But she lied and bid 10. Then somebody raises it to 20. This only confirms her suspicions that Rei is also playing this game to deliberately raise the price. This will go on until the sponsor made a profit. Rei admits she is playing but vows not to participate further. Mary thought the next round would be smooth sailing but somebody is still trying to outbid her. This is when Yumeko realizes that there is another participant somewhere and that they can see them. True enough the other Bami members are watching from a different room and the one who just bid was Ibara. With Yumeko turned on, she points out that Rei is the sponsor and organizer of this gamble. She then brings in 3 billion yen (from her win from Manyuda) and wants to use this to win this round’s 100 votes (apparently she talked to Inaho about some rule amending thingy and it was approved with all those present consented). She wants to gamble with the real Rei, bid this 3 billion and win everything that belongs to her. With Rei admitting that, she throws away her ‘mask’ and reveals her true ‘face’.

Episode 12
We delve into Rei’s past as one of those Bami members who was raised as a livestock ever since. Her role was to only serve others until one day Yumeko’s sister told her the mark on her hands doesn’t mean it is engraved in her heart forever. Her heart is hers alone. This made Rei happy. She continued her role but every time Yumeko’s sister visited, she would be happy. But each time she looks even more and more weak. Until one day she too got devoured and lost in a gamble among the clan’s conflict. Ever since, Rei vowed revenge and take back what is hers. Hence Rei announces she will win this election and become the next clan head as revenge. With the auction continuing, the other Bami members realized this wasn’t an act by Terano that they assumed. They’ve been had. As for how Rei amassed her votes, there was a large gamble recently where one would vote whether Rei could win this. All the girls who were swept off their feet gave their votes to her and hence she has enough votes to compete. The Bami members want to quit but they realize they will lose more if they quit as there is the risk of Rei getting all the votes so they are forced to stay in. The auction continues in the same fashion. Like as though Rei is going to win anyhow. Suddenly Yumeko quickly posts a few 101 starting bids. And then a few subsequent delayed ones. The Bami realizes this delay is that she is looking for an answer so when the next bid starts, the Bami side quickly cast their 101 bid.

But after that, Yumeko then bids 1. As Mary notes she can’t just profit them all, Yumeko suggests they should join in. Hence everyone takes turns in bidding 1 and win the 100 lot to finally ruin Rei. Rei accuses them of collusion which is forbidden by the rules. However Yumeko explains it isn’t so. It is that they clearly understand each other! Hence they manage to understand the need to profit by not competing with each other (the 101 useless bids were just trolls for this understanding). With Rei having no votes left, she thinks she is done for but Yumeko points out that she still has something to wager: Her 3 billion yen. This is her everything. Don’t gamble for the sake of revenge or others. Gamble for yourself! It is your own heart! Rei accepts this final big gamble in which Yumeko wagers her own name. If she loses, she will take on Rei’s forsaken surname. It all boils down to a single coin toss… In the aftermath, it seems Rei has been freed by her imaginary chains and is encouraged by Kirari to write her new Bami surname. So this means Yumeko won the coin toss and is now gambling it all away! Oh dear. Easy come, easy go? Sumeragi stops her before she bankrupts herself out of this election. Then a smoking hot never seen before babe passes by. Oh gosh! Rei is so feminine and beautiful! Yumeko is happy because today is the first day of her very own life. Terano thinks that the joker wasn’t Rei all along but Yumeko.

Luck Not Needed, Only Madness…
Oh God… I think I’m addicted to it… I think this needs another season… Another season real bad… I mean, it can’t just end here like this, can it?! I need more! I need more right now! How to go on without any more money???!!! I guess I’m broke. This means all that is left is to complain and b*tch about this unsatisfying ending. So I guess the real character in focus this season is Rei. With her being finally liberated from her imaginary chains, is this considered a happy ending? Perhaps for Rei. Because certainly Yumeko would also be happy because there would be another one of her kind who would gamble for their own sake and reach that kind of level of insanity. The kind of orgasmic thrills that such extreme gambler could feel when they are on the edge. But that’s another story.

This season is still as interesting and tense as its first. Although there are some points like the mechanisms and the workings of the gamble in play that I don’t really understand no matter how many times I go back and listen to the rules. That still didn’t diminish my overall enjoyment of the series although it could have been a lot more enjoyable had I really understood how the gamble works. For instance the final gamble of this season, the 100 votes auction felt like anybody could just bid any number. Because I thought they are limited to the number of votes they have and this puts those with low number of votes at a disadvantage. Maybe I am missing something here but trying to follow through the scheming but not understanding the system of how it works feels somewhat frustrating.

The psychological tensions are still interesting to watch as we get to see how such precarious situations bring out the best and the worst in all of us. Of course those who are already as crazy as Yumeko, there is nothing more to say. But those who stand to lose a lot and fear in losing all that power, money, fame, status, etc, have a higher chance of showing their true colours and make a blunder. Good example as in Erimi’s case. She wanted to show off but underestimated her opponents and in the end found herself in a position that should have been experienced by her enemies.

Many of the games are simple but with just a slight twist to the rules. Some are elaborate like Kirari’s tower that aren’t anything much ado but are for aesthetics. While they are interesting in their own right, I feel that because of the drama, sly manoeuvrings, deceptions, delusions and psychological tensions being played during the games, this somewhat lengthens and stretches out the games by 2 or 3 episodes. The game would have seriously end very quickly had they not do all this stuffs. But then again, where would all the fun be had it been cut out? Viewers won’t get a satisfied explanation on what is going on and like myself as I have said don’t really understand some of the rules to begin with, will get even more confused if the game ended too fast. Like Yumeko always said, one must truly enjoy a good gamble.

With Kirari being unpredictable and forcing this student election gamble, hence the introduction of a few characters from the other Bami families in a bid to overthrow her. It feels unfortunate that with only a single cour in this season, it doesn’t do any much justice to the existing and new characters. While Yumeko is still the central main character and involved in almost every gamble we see here, in some instances she doesn’t feel like the main character. How should I put it? For instance the Yumemi and Natari’s battle, the focus is mainly on them and while Yumeko maintains her presence, she feels more like a sideshow. After all, Yumeko’s ultimate goal is to enjoy high stakes gamble and not be some typical cliché main character.

Characters from Yumeko’s camp also don’t fare any better. Feels like they have their turn and moments but those were short. Like Suzui seems really forgettable here and he is mostly an observer in many of the gambles. Except for that card game with the Chinese duo in which he participated but it feels like he is more of a puppet than anything else. Mary also feels very much like a side character. The card game to substitute Yumeko felt like some sort of ploy to give her some screen time and remind us that she is still sly in her own right. Then after Ririka weirdly becomes some sort of her ally and accomplice, she doesn’t stand out too much. Even that final auction game even though shows like as though she is trying to take control but I just don’t really feel the impact. What it feels like a last chance for Sumeragi to be relevant and go out with style and respect, is that the reason why they also brought back Manyuda? I don’t think it will be the last I see of them but after making amends and realizing the important stuffs, does the student council election matter anymore to them? Some weird romance they played out here…

I thought this season Sayaka was going to be side-lined since many of the other student council members too were somewhat thrown off the limelight. Nishinotouin and Ikishima going out early (poor Ikishima being treated as non-existent by Yumeko and anybody who talks to her before Yumeko’s presence gets chastised of who the f*cks are you talking to?!), Manyuda in coma (until that revival for that tax game) and Ririka turning into Mary’s subordinate, where would that make Kirari’s right hand woman? It’s a good thing we don’t have to see her getting jealous and b*tch about her precious Kirari but I suppose that gamble with Yumeko once and for all settles this. So let’s hope that with their renewed bond, Sayaka would be a more respectable character than before. Not like it matters anymore considering the direction of the plot. Kirari as the big boss seems like she is just biding her time until somebody crazy and worthy enough pops up to challenge her. I bet it would be worth the wait for her. So aside her, the only other successful original student council member is Yumemi. Even if she can’t become the student council president (she might be one of the top running candidates but I’m not betting on her to win it… Unless…), she still has something bigger to aim and strive for.

The Bami family members are equally as quirky and even as cruel due to each of their families specializing in some sort of specialty (like the Chinese duo in poison and Erimi in torturing). It would have been very cliché and linear if the story would be Yumeko going on to defeat all the Bami family one by one until the final boss but that would have been absolutely boring. After all, if Yumeko’s real goal was that, she would have challenged them all to one huge gamble. Small bets aren’t her style. It is unfortunate that the single cour has limited the fleshing out of these extremely interesting characters and while some have their limelight, others do not (like Nozomi – because I want to know how relevant her dog is). It looks like Terano is the unofficial leader leading the other Bami families to overthrow Kirari but considering this backstabbing family where power is absolute, there might be plot twists to more than meets the eye. After all when in a game of high stakes, you don’t really trust anybody. And it might seem this unofficial alliance is only intact because of Terano but who knows, anything can happen when so much is on the line. Heck, all this might just be a show and for all you know, Terano is actually conspiring with Kirari all along. At the end of the day, I suppose the last one standing definitely has the right to be called the biggest snake. Isn’t that what uwabami is?

I suppose the hidden and ‘star’ of this season is the character Rei. Serving as the butler to the entire academy as well as the Bami family, many things that she does gives off this suspicious aura. That kind of submissive and servitude feels like she is putting on some kind of mask to hide her true feelings. Not to mention that she has some sort of charisma and all the girls start swooning whenever she passes by. All that somewhat paid off with all of them willingly giving their votes to let Rei run for presidency, huh? Rei’s gender is never explicitly mentioned although she acts and dresses like a man but I know better… With Rei finally showing her true colours, it certainly looks to rattle the entire Bami clan but it went out with a sputter after that simple but gigantic loss to Yumeko. But then again, Rei didn’t particularly ‘lose’. She just ‘lost’ her past and gained her new freedom. You could say she won the lottery of this sense.

The other reason why I said she is the ‘star’ of this show is because that is why the second season is somewhat named after her, no? You see, ‘X’ in Japan is pronounced as ‘batsu’, which is Rei’s surname. Hence double X, double whammy? Uh huh. Thanks to that, I have a slightly hard time trying to find more legitimate info about this series. Because it leads me to those damn porn sites!!! I think there’s a reason why they didn’t call this season Kakegurui XXX… Yeah… A whole new gamble here…

Art and animation remain constant with last season. The trademark of this show is those devilish eyes. When the characters get serious or fall into their delirium, you will see a zoom in and close up of their eye. Yumeko is the main offender as her eyes will glow red like as though she is the devil reincarnate. Even Terminator would run towards his mummy. Heh. And oddly, I know Yumeko gets her thrills from gambling, but sometimes thinking about where the gamble is going also makes her orgasmic. Hence your weird fanservice of Yumeko doing sexy orgasmic poses that looks more like WTF than anything stimulating. Sorry folks, no Yumeko-Mary yuri fanservice this season. On a trivial note, why do I have this feeling that Natari’s character is modelled after Audrey Hepburn? She is considered by many to be one of the best actresses in Hollywood history.

This season’s opening theme doesn’t have that playful and naughty bubbly madness as it did in last season. Kono Yubi Tomare by Junna feels just pretty generic although a bit dramatic. Even its visuals in the opening credits aren’t as crazy. The same can be said for the ending theme, Alegria by D-selections. Last season we were treated to some crazy psychedelic delusions of Yumeko. This season we have Yumeko hinting some yuri action with Kirari in the forest. WTF?! You mean the natural forest?! Ah, the rules of the jungle and natural selection. The survival of the strongest and fittest. And yeah, it ends with some weird psychedelic lights thingy too, indicating that Yumeko might be high on some sort drugs. Whatever.

For the voice acting segment, recognizable joining the line-up include Romi Paku as Rei, Ayana Taketatsu as Erimi and Akira Ishida as Rin. Of course Mamiko Noto making her cameo as Yumeko’s sister! Hmm… Once I considered them as clones due to the similarity of their voice and now they are sisters here… How strange. The other new casts are Megumi Han as Terano (Akko in Little Witch Academia), Mitsuki Saiga as Miroslava (Phantom in MAR), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Ibara (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Ayahi Takagaki as Natari/Sumika (Chris in Senki Zesshou Symphogear), Yumi Uchiyama as Miyo (Hameline in Radiant), Rumi Okubo as Miri (Hibachi in Mushibugyou), Sayaka Kitahara as Nozomi (Mary in Busou Shoujo Machiavellism), Haruno Inoue as Yumi (Kaoru in Nobunagun) and Nanami Yamashita as Inaho (Nanami in Wake Up Girls).

Overall, absolutely interesting and intriguing second season only to be cut short because it is just a single cour. Not enough time to flesh out properly all the other characters, old and new. Some of the games are a bit hard to comprehend for a simpleton like me but that doesn’t greatly impact and diminish the overall enjoyment I had. So back to praying to God that this gets another season. And soon. Don’t want to wait 5 years or 10 years for it to get another season (like a few third season anime series lately like To Aru No Majutsu Index, Date A Live and Chihayafuru being aired after a long hiatus from their second season) so here is leaving to luck and chance! I’m betting that I have a better chance of getting a third season than winning the lottery :’(.

Ah… I thought I feel so refreshed after having skipped one season of pseudo porn. I thought I was going to be so over this deceiving low quality porn trap after they showed that gay BL porn sh*t last season but apparently it never went away. So you bet when they return back to hetero sex porn, I’ll be there ‘curious’ to check out what Araiya-san! Ore To Aitsu Ga Onnayu De would be. Oh yeah. Now we’re taking sex to another location: The public bathhouse. I guess it’s the only place where girls are allowed to get naked and walk around with their bare tits showing. You know the rest then. Porn logic always rules at the end of the day.

Episode 1
Aoi Yuzuki is a talented volleyball player. Souta Tsukishima… Not so much. But he does like to gawk at her in action. His daydreaming causes a ball to slam in his face and Yuzuki teases this nice block. During the break, Tsukishima’s grandpa’s public bath house is featured in the news. He claims the water has slimming effects. First time Tsukishima hear something like that. However the girls especially Yuzuki are eager to try. Tsukishima calls out to this nonsense because if they want to slim down, stop eating! No prizes to guess that he got beaten up by Yuzuki. Back home, looks like grandpa broke his back so he wants Tsukishima to take his place. Although it is just as a washer (araiya). Tsukishima goes into the women’s section thinking only old ladies will show up. WTF full of cute young chicks and from his volleyball club! WTF they don’t recognize him?! Yeah, the towel on his head makes all the difference. He spots Yuzuki and thinks of getting his payback and goes to wash her back. Wait a minute. Is this actually allowed?! Is this actually happening in real life?! Men allowed to wash a woman’s back in the women’s section?! Is this not just for porn logic?! I’m confused! Anyway, Tsukishima takes advantage of this by rubbing more than just her back. He continues to molest every part of her body, including fingering her pussy. WTF Yuzuki doesn’t scream rape and tries to hold it all in?! Was Tsukishima so good that she climax?! Her friend, Mei Sasakura teases her if the slimming is going well. If so, hurry up and slim down so she can confess to Tsukishima. Tsukishima is left in shock and wondering if Yuzuki likes him. He didn’t see this coming as Sasakura asks it’s her turn for a back scrub.

Episode 2
Tsukishima wonders why the volleyball captain and ace who is popular with all the guys wants his service. So as he gives his normal scrubbing, Sasakura then tells him to just lose the tower. She knows it’s him. That voice, that build and of course this place belongs to his family, right? This means she also know what he just did to Yuzuki and from what she heard, he must have been very good. So if he doesn’t want her to expose this, give her a better service than Yuzuki?! Gee, that’s literally saying, please f*ck me! So Tsukishima wastes no time as he starts groping and fingering her. Yeah, he is going into overdrive mode and why does Sasakura sound like she’s having sex???!!! Can’t it be that Tsukishima is that f*cking good?????!!!!! And then somebody is coming. Better hurry and climax. Sasakura throws herself on the floor and just in the nick of time when Yuzuki came in to look for her. She sees Tsukishima and realizes he was the one who washed her. Dismayed, she runs away. Meanwhile Sasakura is lying on the floor taking a breather. Best sex not sex ever, right? Yeah… This guy is so amazing…

Episode 3
Sasakura tells Yuzuki that she also got the special slimming massage from Tsukishima. You know, just to let you know. Yeah. He was good at it. Bye. This leaves Yuzuki worried. Does Sasakura have a thing for Tsukishima too? Anyhow, she blames Tsukishima for this. So during volleyball practice she lands her serve so hard on Tsukishima that he almost died. But she gets concerned when Sasakura rushes to his aid. After Tsukishima gets treated at the infirmary, he goes to the toilet. WTF Yuzuki is bathing there?! Apparently somebody switched the gender signs outside. WTF?! Instead of being mad at him here, she asks if he really did it to Sasakura. Tsukishima admits he did and prepares for the worse. Worse indeed. Because she wants him to do it to her again! And hence the usual treatment of groping and fingering. But this time more on the latter. Yeah Yuzuki, do you not know this is not part of the massage! In the end, she climaxes and Tsukishima is left to ponder because she didn’t resist, does she actually like him? No time to think because other girls are coming in.

Episode 4
Yuzuki takes Tsukishima to hide in the shower. The girls stream in and don’t suspect a thing although Yuzuki did make her presence known to them. With Tsukishima hiding, the problem is that his face is now close to her naked ass! He then hears the girls tease Yuzuki about liking Tsukishima since she constantly attacked him during the game. Yuzuki keeps denying although the rest know very well this open secret. Because of that, this turned Tsukishima on and now he can’t contain his horniness and starts f*cking her!!! WTF???!!! You mean he is willing to risk getting caught???!!! It’s not like Yuzuki doesn’t want to get f*cked by him, right? I wonder how she is going to get away with making all those weird noises. Strangely, all her friends aren’t even concerned how strange she sounds? Even if they never thought if she was having sex, did it not cross their minds that she might be in pain or discomfort or something?! Isn’t it weird that she hasn’t come out of the shower before them?! They just left like that! My, some friends. I guess it was the best sex (and several French kissing too) for them but clearly in the aftermath, Tsukishima knows he is screwed (despite screwing over Yuzuki). However Yuzuki starts acting like a tsundere. All that has happened was just a fluke and it’s not that she likes him or anything. Kawaii…

Episode 5
Tsukishima learns Yuzuki is sick. Sasakura suggests he goes see her on behalf of the club and right away he does so. That sly smile when Sasakura also tells Hidemoto Takasugi to do the same. Yuzuki’s sister is delighted that Tsukishima is here and quickly brings him to Yuzuki’s room. I guess it’s to catch her in the act of masturbating!!! Tsukishima’s slow reflexes means he got volleyball in his face. Sister leaves them alone as she attends to Takasugi at the door. For some odd reasons, Tsukishima hides under her blanket. With Takasugi sounding like a fake smooth gentleman that he cares for he, Tsukishima gets worried if Yuzuki likes him. Takasugi then takes his leave but because sister made tea for him, I guess he’ll stay longer. I guess Yuzuki isn’t the only one sick because Tsukishima is sicker! He is going to rape her?! Is it because he is jealous thinking she likes Takasugi!? WTF logic is that?! And so he starts f*cking her and since sister heard the ever louder humping noises, she turns up the volume of the TV channel. Max! Did Takasugi hear anything? Damn this guy is enthralled with sister’s beauty. But sorry folks. No second sex act here. So are Yuzuki and Tsukishima done and have satisfyingly cum? Good. Because sister barges in without knocking to announce Takasugi has gone home. I guess Yuzuki is feeling alright now that she can go back to school tomorrow.

Episode 6
Oddly, Yuzuki is avoiding Tsukishima. Is this over? The class has a field trip to the hotsprings and Tsukishima’s perverted friends drag him to go peep on the girls. They are put a stop by Takasugi and despite their lame attempts to get him to join them, Takasugi sounds like he has an ulterior motive of his own. Because he won’t let them see Yuzuki’s naked body and asks if it is alright with Tsukishima to begin with. Speak of the devil, here she comes. The guys ‘sacrifice’ Tsukishima so they could escape. With the girls coming in, Yuzuki has an idea to hide him. Yeah, dress him like the araiya and nobody could recognize him! Uh huh. They also believe this araiya works here! This means giving his special massage to the other girls. Something Yuzuki isn’t too fond. When she goes to the sauna, Sasakura invites Tsukishima to follow her there. She wants him to give Yuzuki his special massage. To motivate him, she start getting yuri on Yuzuki! WTF?! Any normal guy can’t resist this temptation so he starts going down on her pussy. Yeah, it becomes a weird threesome with Tsukishima and Sasakura pleasing overly sensitive Yuzuki. Sasakura admits she also loves Tsukishima and if Yuzuki doesn’t do anything about it, she might steal him. After the threesome, they hear the girls scream. There is a peeping tom around.

Episode 7
Sasakura admits that she also likes Tsukishima. So what she did there with him to Yuzuki was punishment for her. It’s for not being honest with herself. Yeah, you mean trying to force and hasten her feelings about this dude by outraging her modesty?! Okay. Fine with me! Haha! Sasakura will help the clear the area so the duo will have a chance to get out. I guess the wait got too long because Tsukishima now has weird ideas of his own. Uh huh. He is going to f*ck her! Extra special massage! Dick massaging your pussy is the best massage ever!!! Oh Yuzuki, you’re feeling so good, why you wanna have him wait for what?! Just cum already!!! So once they’re done achieving orgasm, I guess their heads and hearts are clearer and open to talk. Sort of. Yuzuki ekes out what Sasakura said was true and that she does like him. Change of mind as she feels embarrassed and ‘downgrades’ it as not hating him. Whatever. Sasakura comes to check on them since they are taking too long and sees them knocked out from the ‘heat’. The body can withstand all sorts of weird sex positions but a mere confession does not? That’s porn logic for you…

Episode 8
Yuzuki is letting Tsukishima rest on her lap back in their room. Sasakura leaves them alone and goes to reprimand those naughty peepers. You mean they really regretted it? Maybe they didn’t get to see any tits. Yuzuki thinks Tsukishima is still out so she narrates why she fell for him. He never gave up on his volleyball training and faced adversity alone. He even trained hard outside school hours by himself. At the same time, Yuzuki was at the crossroads in her volleyball passion. Thanks to Tsukishima’s effort, it helped her regain back her passion. So it’s that simple? She puts her face close to his but since Tsukishima heard all that, he takes her by surprise by kissing her. And hearing her true feelings makes him horny. Uh huh. F*ck time! Better still, they do it on the veranda in a lewd position. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as they both had fun. After all that, Tsukishima is about to confess he likes her but interrupted by the cliché moment of the handphone ringing. Bummer. But this makes them laugh because it’s just so strange that despite all the hentai they did to each other, they are still shy in saying those magic words. That’s “I love you” for those who are thinking more of “I wanna f*ck you”. But not impossible too for this genre.

You Gotta Hand It To Him, He’s Got A Touch Of Class!
Instead of being washed clean and free from the filthy sins of the flesh, I was flooded with more corruption and depravity instead! You know there isn’t anything much when there are only 8 episodes. Even far less than that Joshi Ochi one (which had 9 episodes). Maybe f*cking in the toilet or bathhouse isn’t as exciting as other places… Just saying… So I guess the lesson of it all is that if you are not sure about your feelings of the person you love, just f*ck each other enough and then you will soon realize you love each other! Hey, got to remember porn logic weaving its magic here!

I know porn logic rules here but I am very baffled by the fact that there are male araiya in a female area! My guts tell me this is BS and that it doesn’t exist and it is only here that it does for the sake of porn. Because I did my ‘extensive research’ online and could not even find any article whatsoever that there are legally male araiya for females. Maybe I don’t know how to look properly online but that’s not the case. So for a bathhouse that actually provides araiya is one thing (because for the old and disabled who can’t reach their backs) but for the opposite gender? In this instance, young high school girls who aren’t freaking out to see a young male their age in their section? So Tsukishima isn’t so bad looking himself so what if the araiya looks like a perverted fat otaku slob? Yeah, that changes everything. Therefore it can only be truly porn logic with Tsukishima being allowed to wash the girls’ back like that without any sort of legal repercussion. Otherwise, don’t you think there would be a lot more (loser) guys trying to land this job? Uh huh. It’s like your legal molesting occupation whatever.

Unlike in previous of such pseudo porn series I have watched, although it is true that the more times you f*ck the girl, eventually she would come to love you, this is somewhat not the case here. Because you can’t go with that flow of logic when you already have the girl liking you from the start! That is why Yuzuki allows Tsukishima to have his way with her. Touching her body and other sensitive and personal areas without so much as to scream rape. Because she already secretly likes him. Ah, there’s the catch. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the other female characters in those other porn animes are any different since they didn’t call the cops or report for rape, allowing those main character men to continue doing whatever they want. Just as long as you can make her feel good, everything else doesn’t matter. Everything is acceptable. Viva porn logic!

The Tsukishima guy isn’t anything extraordinary either. Just some normal high school kid after all. The weirdest part is how he shows his love for Yuzuki by sexing her up. Hear a heart-warming and touching story from her? F*ck her! Oh yeah! Don’t think. Just do it! I just love it when girls don’t question this strange invasion and just let the guy do as he pleases. Hey, this guy might not be good in volleyball but at least he is good in making her feel good! If sex is an Olympic sport, this guy would win the gold medal and easily leave all his competitors in the dust! Also, Yuzuki must be an easy girl to please since she orgasms so easy. Can’t lie to us. Look at that ahegao face every time she gets f*cked. So yeah, girls always love a guy who makes them feel good.

But looks like this series has reduced the age of the characters having sex to high school students. In those other series, they were usually young working adults or at least one of them is. Now we have both high school students engaging in unholy activities. Yuzuki is your typical high school girl in love and the only difference is that she took a step further and got herself violated. Good thing she liked him. Now she has another reason to love him further. Wasn’t it a good thing that she was ‘mean’ to him so as to get his attention? And then he ‘got back hat her’ with just desserts? Look where this brought them now? Ah, I just love a good love story. *Sniff, sniff*. I want to note that the synopsis described Tsukishima as a clumsy guy. I guess so. So clumsy that his dick eventually slipped into her vagina!!! HAHAHA!!!

Also like in some of the previous porn titles, the other side supporting characters are a distraction and not totally required. I mean, if every episode is about Tsukishima and Yuzuki getting f*cked, how boing is that? Oh wait. That happens in every episode. What I meant to say is that with the inclusion of third wheels, it only serves to ‘intensify’ their feelings for each other. You get worried the other guy or girl likes you and what better way than to show that you love her/him even more is by f*cking her even more intensely. Hence Sasakura is like the backup pussy if Tsukishima and Yuzuki fail and how kind of Sasakura to really let Yuzuki keep Tsukishima. Doesn’t she want her for himself too? Damn, best friends are such best friends. Maybe Sasakura does love Tsukishima a lot more than she puts in words but with her pushing Yuzuki, it might be some sort of penance for her since her best friend has got the boy she likes, all it’s not lost. Acceptable. I think. So if Yuzuki loses her way, all she needs is to give some yuri fanservice to bring her back to the right path. Damn I really love porn logic at its finest. Then there’s the Takasugi guy who is just so irrelevant and his role is probably to make Tsukishima a bit jealous and realize his feelings for Yuzuki. I mean, she is the only one who lets him f*ck her so hell no some other guy is going to take that place away. Takasugi might look dependable but sometimes I feel his character comes off a bit as a retard. Doesn’t this guy like Yuzuki’s sister? That’s another story to tell.

On a trivial note, the ending theme Renai Sensation by Yuzuki and Sasakura feels weird. I don’t know if this pop song is infused with some kind of weird punk rock music or something because it sounds more like a piece of cacophony. It’s just chaotic. The tune especially the synthesizers felt like somebody just simply mashed the keyboard and they got lucky they come up with this ‘tune’ which is as equally chaotic and frenzied like the entire song. And there is one weird line in the lyrics that goes, “I would like to be impregnated by your smell”. WTF?! I know that verse is talking about bathing and shampoo with your love but this just really WTF.

Overall, nothing really new or exciting. The irony that washing and bathing are symbolized as something clean but this show makes it all so dirtier. Perhaps the mind is the hardest to clean. Haha! I guess I have watched quite a few of these every season in the past for almost 2 years to form some sort of immunity. Not sure whether it is a good or bad thing. Because I fear that it would take a kinkier porn to turn me on! Yikes. I hope that’s not true. But that will be something that only I will find out in the future… Anyhow, I can’t say that this would be the last pseudo anime porn I will watch and that I haven’t really washed my hands off such genres. I mean, it’s not that I love to watch anime porn and only doing so out of curiosity and listed as a ‘legitimate’ anime in the seasonal chart as the synopsis sounded ‘legitimate’ (hey, it didn’t say ‘sex’ anywhere, right?). Honest. I hope I didn’t rub that the wrong way.

Kemurikusa

July 14, 2019

Well, the synopsis didn’t say much. Kemurikusa is about a group of girls needing to fight off bad bugs in a world covered with red fog and mist. Sounds intriguing enough and although my interest of whether to watch it then was on the fence, I further read that this adaptation only came into being after it because it won’t a 3D anime contest back in 2012. So I guess that there is something good about it. I hope.

Episode 1
Rin and Rinako are out to get some fresh water. However Rin detects a red bug and engages in combat. Although Rin defeats it, she didn’t realize there was another one. It attacked careless Rinako drinking the water. By the time Rin returns to defeat it, Rinako is already close to death and soon sadly dies. Rin returns to her base that houses her other sisters, Ritsu and other Rinako clones who are collectively known as Rina. Yup, 4 of those Rina still left. They fill up the water tank and eat up some green leaves called Kemurikusa produced by their tree named Midori. Suddenly a boy is washed into the water tank. Wakaba is unsure how he get here but the sisters think he is some kind of bug and attack him. He tries to run but ends up being captured. They are puzzled this new bug type can talk and although Wakaba says he is human, they don’t believe because the sisters are the only humans left on the island. To prove he isn’t a bug, they shoot a green leaf at him. It is supposedly a bug’s weakness. Rin fires at him. The blast destroys the structure around but only Wakaba is still intact. So he’s not a bug, right? Nope. They think he is a new type that is resistant to Midori’s leaves! Ritsu picks up the appearance of a red fog and hence another red bug. They are surprised because the fog has never come so far up on this island. Rin and Rina take Wakaba there. More ‘confusion’ because Wakaba feels pain when he touches the red fog. Bugs shouldn’t. The bug makes a surprise attack and gobbles up on of the Rina. Wakaba can sense where she is held and not dead yet. Hence he braves the red fog and dives in to go get her. This also lures the bug out and Rin is prepared this time to take it out. The sisters are happy that they didn’t lose one of their own this time. However Rin remains sceptical of Wakaba although she feels something strange welling in her heart…

Episode 2
The sisters decide to let Wakaba live a little longer for now. Ritsu deduces this is the last batch of water on this island. But since they have gathered so much, they can go to other islands and search again. Rin tells Ritsu her strange heart problem. Whenever she is near Wakaba, her heart beats fast, her face feels flushed and her vision sometimes get blurry. Oh! I know what it is! But guess what they think? It must be a poison from the red bug! DOH!!!! WTF???!!! Rin then takes Wakaba to get some kiiro that serves as food and light source. Yeah, this guy is like so fascinated with everything. He spots different coloured leaves and decides to keep them. They also spot some bugs but those that are not red are not hostile. But there is one that attacks Wakaba! Rin blasts it with a green leaf. Wakaba gets caught in it but nothing happens to him. Also, his wounds get healed. As Rin gets some kiiro, she talks about the sisters surviving from letters that tell them locations of the water as well as how to defeat red bugs. She claims she has no ambition and the only thing she cares is protecting her sisters. When they return, Wakaba’s Kemurikusa starts glowing. It is rare for leaves other than Midori’s to glow. Furthermore, it is in another colour. But soon it stops glowing. Rin then makes a decision to leave the island. They pack up and make plans to leave Island One they are in now to Island Four. Wakaba is amazed as Midori’s roots turn their tram base into a mobile one as it sets itself nicely over the tracks. Rin scares Wakaba not to do anything funny or else she’ll kill him. I wonder if she is trolling him about leaving the island. Because whenever they do, somebody dies. So Wakaba is that bait?!

Episode 3
The gang make their slow trail to the next island. Wakaba might be having too much fun being fascinated with everything that he almost fell to his death. Thanks to Rin grabbing him, he did not meet his maker. I guess she owes him for saving Rina. Arriving on Island Two, they use some fish-like thingy to detect water around. They’re not going to find any for a while. Ritsu starts coughing since she is pushing herself. So they all take a break and drink some fresh water from their tank. They drink a lot at one go and it will last them for several days. Because they stopped by some amusement park, one of the Rina went off on her own. Hence Rin and Wakaba go in search for her. Wakaba learns that Rina can eat anything and then produce some weird stuff. So this is how they supposedly duplicate? Though, Rin warns not to just eat anything in fear of getting that poison. Yeah… Wakaba then finds another Kemurikusa but this one has a stem. Because it is also edible, the Rina also want a taste of it. Back at base, Ritsu gives Wakaba a Kemurikusa they used to use a long time ago. Apparently it belonged to their old sisters. Ryoku didn’t particularly like Kemurikusa and was always furious when Riku made them glow. After all, only Riku can make them glow and thanks to Ryoku, they know so much. The ground suddenly shakes and opens up. Wakaba could have fallen into the red fog just to save a precious pot of the sisters but Rin pulls him up just in time. Rin is mad that he saved something that he didn’t know of its importance. He didn’t think of it and just knew it was important to them. He hopes he can help out in anywhere and thanks her for saving him. Rin starts to blush. Must be the poison…

Episode 4
They have reached Island Three as the Rina notice Wakaba continuing to be obsessed with his Kemurikusa collection. They show him a few nifty tricks of their own that they develop from eating many things but since Wakaba is only amazed at those with Kemurikusa, no more tricks for you mister! Along the way, a few red bugs but nothing that Rin could handle herself. As they rest for the night, more Kemurikusa obsession from Wakaba as he swings around his collection and in certain angles they do glow. With the Rina using Kemurikusa for cloning purposes, Wakaba realizes its importance to the sisters. He admires Rin’s Kemurikusa too but she hides from him. Is she being shy? Nope. Just taking precaution to stay away from his poison! To get to Island Four, they need to take the sky bridge. Rin uses her strength to haul the entire tram up. But along the way, they encounter a red bug. This isn’t just an ordinary one. It’s so freaking big and powerful that it’s termed as Nushi. The gang retreats as the Nushi attacks them. Rin is injured by its blast albeit a minor one. At this rate the Nushi is blasting about and putting holes in the bridge, I’m thinking the bridge’s integrity will be compromised. The plan seems to be like this. Rin sacrificing herself to let the sisters pass. Not if Wakaba has an idea. He noticed the Nushi reacts to Kemurikusa thanks to some of them he dropped while retreating. So he has Rina make several little toy clones to carry Kemurikusa as distraction. Rin will use that as a chance to destroy it. The plan works but the dying Nushi gives out one last blast at the sisters. If not for Wakaba reacting fast to protect them with the special Kemurikusa, they would have been goners. Now the Nushi is dead, the sisters are in disbelief they actually defeated one on their own. They are excited as they draw closer to Island Four.

Episode 5
Now on Island Four, they are looking to get to Island Six. They don’t really want to get lost and end up in Island Five although ironically that is where they found this tram. It was also around here that they picked up Midori’s branch. It was small at that time but now it is big and able to protect and move the tram around. When a Kemurikusa glows, Wakaba throws it at a broken pole and suddenly it fixes it back to normal. As they continue their journey, you mean now only they realize a wheel of the tram is missing and possibly during the fight with the Nushi? Did they not notice Ritsu controlling the tram and walking in a weird fashion? Wakaba looks at the nearby junk for some parts and oddly a docile bug helps find a wheel. Because the mechanism is broken and some parts are missing, Wakaba has this idea to use a Kemurikusa to fix it. Well what do you know? It is as good as new! Everyone is happy and surprised that Kemurikusa could be used this way other than fighting red bugs. Ritsu is in tears with Wakaba praising her so much for taking care of Midori. Time for Rin to accuse Wakaba of doing something fishy. Somebody explain to her those are tears of joy? Finally they arrive on Island Six. It is mostly uncharted territory and filled with red bugs. Thanks to Riku finding this tunnel hole, they can travel underground and avoid any hostiles above. But first, they need to rest. I guess Wakaba isn’t as tired as the sisters so he explores around. To his delight, he finds lots of Kemurikusa lying around. So happy picking them that he realized too late that he is lost. Oh sh*t. You scared now? Then he stumbles into a girl. Not a ghost, I hope.

Episode 6
Riku thinks Wakaba is a bug and tries to attack him. Good thing Wakaba is quick at dodging. But after hearing she knows her sisters, now he’s her friend. She talks briefly about her sisters as she hints she is here to do some preliminary investigation. She also teaches him how to use Kemurikusa as a barrier (good thing he learns fast otherwise he would’ve been vaporized). Riku gives him a compass to find his way back and doesn’t want him to tell her sisters about her. She’s supposed to be gone. On the way back, Wakaba discovers a new interface in using the Kemurikusa. Especially one that looks like a diary written by one of the sisters, questioning about the world and the likes. Walls and connecting islands, the first person hiding something, some memory leaf, all too vague for now. Before he knows it, Rina jumps on him for going missing. I guess he’s back. Well, it’s not like they cared, right? So let’s move on. Thanks to Wakaba’s new compass replacing their old one, they manage to make their way through the labyrinth. They stumble into another huge tree like Midori. Ritsu tries to connect with it but it’s too huge to move and most of its branches have wilted. Wakaba consults the diary to find an answer. Something about large Kemurikusa tree dead, its large branches and roots can lead to a pool of water nearby. Following the path, they reach a huge lake.

Episode 7
The giant criss-crossing roots of this tree is supposed to be Island Seven. Because it is overgrown other structures, they wonder if humans once lived here. Then they stumble into a wall. They find it weird because there is no hole. Ryou supposedly broke it the last time. All of them pool their powers and yet it did not make any scratch. Then all the harmless bugs turn black and start attacking them. They are easy to deal with but their numbers is a pain. Wakaba then uses his Kemurikusa to open a hole in a wall to retreat to safety. At the centre of this tree is a huge pool of water that would last a lifetime. Everyone is joyed that they finally found a safe place to live. No red bugs, no red fog. This could be their utopia finally. Wakaba is thrilled to find more Kemurikusa. Rin and Wakaba go explore around and find another wall. Using the same technique to open a hole. To their horror, they see endless red fog and endless red bugs. Does Rin think she is a hero and can take all of them?! There is also a giant red root but when cut, it regenerates. For now they are forced to go back and report to the others. At this rate, the red bugs and red fog will eventually break through and reach the water source. While Rin’s decision is to carry all the water they can and find some place safe to live, she is scared that she would make the wrong decision that would result in someone dying again. Because Wakaba saw something further at the end of the red fog, they decide to follow the red root that would led to its trunk that they must destroy.

Episode 8
The sisters fight their way through and although they defeated many red bugs, they are tired. As they make their next plans, that docile bug pops up. Let’s call it Shirou for ease of reference. So it followed them? Heck, it is showing them a map that could possibly take them to Island Nine. There is also a route that is clear of red fog or bugs. Shirou gets attached to Wakaba like as though it is his pet now. Wakaba reads more of the diary but still too many riddles. Wakaba notices a red Kemurikusa inside Rin and from the diary, it supposedly belonged to the first person. He wants to touch it. Eh? You sure you’re not rubbing it off the wrong way? Of course Rin won’t let him even if it’s for info. Coming out from the tunnel, they arrive at the top of the dam. Red fog below and the valley is covered with red roots. Shirou wonders if a map could help. Then it leads them to a boat where there are other Shirous! It seems they came from Island Nine and are sleeping here since the red fog makes them go crazy. They escaped there since the place is sinking but lost their captain along the way. They want Wakaba to be their captain and will do anything. They hand him to map of Island Nine as requested. The only way there is to cross the red root blocking it. Since they can’t go unnoticed, they’ll have to destroy it. Hence the Shirous combine themselves into some giant cutter machine to cut it. The root tries to fight back but the Shirous manage to snip it to free their path. But since they have absorbed too much red fog, they will stop functioning before turning into a red bug. They thank Wakaba for allowing them to serve him and giving them a purpose. Wakaba feels sad for ordering them to their deaths but Shirou can’t understanding because his comrades were grateful. Rin finds this familiar since sisters died smiling. She wonders if Wakaba will cry if they die. Of course!

Episode 9
Trekking up the mountain, be careful not to fall off into the red fog. They reach a wall and as Wakaba prepares to open it, they are being attacked by a Nushi. However this one seems to be using the wall as defence but at the same time it can’t leave the wall. Instead of opening the wall to lure it out and attack it (and risk the Nushi calling the red root for reinforcement), they rest up and think up of another plan. When the sisters are asleep, Wakaba wanders off to find water and stumbles into Ryou. I guess she is supposed to be dead but is kept alive by a Kemurikusa inside her. One more big fight and she’ll vanish for good. She supports him to fight the red root but first they need a way to get through this wall. Hence she summons Ryoku. So she just shapeshift into her? Are they both occupying the same body? Ryoku doesn’t like Wakaba in particular and even more so he read her diary. But after hearing him out, they exchange ideas. Ryoku believes this world deliberately made this world and could have learnt more if they opened the memory leaf. Then there’s the page with some contents erased. More about this world could be known if they had the memory leaf. Conveniently or not, it is with Rin and you know damn well she isn’t going to give it to Wakaba for such puny reasons. She encourages him to take it by force as she wants to know about the world before she dies instead of defeating the red root that will eventually destroy this world. Ryoku thinks if he can touch Kemurikusa, he might control the red tree. One way is to use Midori’s branch since they are of the same material. Wakaba returns to the sisters to ask permission to use Midori and of course Rin snaps at him because Midori is precious. However Ritsu agrees since Midori has gotten a lot stronger. Wakaba will be the bait to draw it out. After Wakaba opens the wall, the Nushi attacks. How can puny Wakaba grab and hold it down for Rin to throw a part of Midori at it? Yeah, they make it look so easy, defeating this Nushi. Midori must be damn strong. With a hole in the wall, they can now move forward.

Episode 10
The gang are tired after beating lots of tough bugs in this red mist zone of Island Nine. Reaching the end of the island, they believe what lies ahead in the thick red mist is Island Ten. But this is no ordinary island. It’s floating! Wakaba feels the main trunk is nearby and the only way is to climb up. They think on how to deal with it since the bugs and mist react to their Kemurikusa. Wakaba thinks if he can touch it, he might be able to control it. For now they rest and they drink their last portion of water. Ritsu and Rin talk and thank each other for being sisters. They are the world to each other. But of course. What else is there left? When they begin trekking up, it seems Ritsu and Rina can’t go up. It dawned to Rin that they didn’t drink their water portion and instead made a few more Kemurikusa for her. Rin doesn’t want to leave them alone but they have to go now or all their efforts will be in vain. Wakaba leaves Shirou to protect the sisters. After they leave, it seems there is a reason why Ritsu and Rina stayed back. Once the duo attack the trunk, red bugs will swarm to attack them. So they think they can stop the bugs? Wakaba and Rin arrive at the trunk’s centre. It looks like a giant beanstalk reaching the heavens. Wakaba wants Rin to show her memory leaf in hopes there would be clues to defeat this trunk. Hurry up, Wakaba. Don’t want to make a girl feel embarrassed by touching and doing something strange on her back, do you? When activated, Rin suddenly sees a vision. It is a view of the first person. Hmm… A young girl who is eagerly studying and can’t wait to grow up to be an adult.

Episode 11
Riri loves Kemurikusa and bugs. At least those white ones. Yeah, they’re cute and useful. She lives with Wakaba and is glad he has come home from his research work. We see him talk about his Kemurikusa research but Riri is also a genius seeing she mixes a few different Kemurikusa colours to create a new one. We also see Wakaba using Kemurikusa to make buildings and islands in his giant floating crane. Huh? Because there isn’t enough circulating water, the buildings crumble. Then something about Riri died once but Wakaba saved her. Her parents are dead and she would prefer to live with him than by herself. Riri notices Wakaba is working so hard that he might be neglecting himself. Hence she tries to create a new type of Kemurikusa that can stop Kemurikusa to help out with Wakaba’s work. But it is glowing that ominous red colour… We take a break with Rin returning to reality. She tells Wakaba what happened. Yeah, she believes that Wakaba must be him. Still the same dork. However Wakaba can’t remember a thing. She returns to watching the vision in hopes to find more clues. And what’s this? Looks like that red Kemurikusa has grown out of control and growing into a big menacing root. Riri feels sorry but Wakaba understands she was only trying to help out. All the trick Wakaba try to stop it didn’t work. So he sends Riri away and tries to stop this red mist himself. Several walls come up after Riri is far and safe. She waits for him but after 10 days, what broke through the walls isn’t Wakaba but the red fog. Instead of waiting, Riri needs to do something. She intends to become a wall and uses all that she has learnt from Wakaba to configure the Kemurikusa she has. There is a risk she will become a Kemurikusa and not human so just in case, she decides to split her memories. There is also the danger of the red tree making her vanish. She wrote in the diary that her mission is to save Wakaba and despite the risks, she is going to do it.

Episode 12
Wakaba notices the root targeting Rin while she is still having her vision. So he distracts it with more Kemurikusa power. When Rin is back, what she sees? Wakaba got stabbed by the root! Oh no! But don’t worry. Thanks to a Kemurikusa in his pocket, he still lives. So the duo try to fight their way to the trunk. When Wakaba gets pinned under and ‘dies’, this triggers another Riri flashback. When she was separating the Kemurikusa into several bodies, she noticed her memories are clear. She used this to find Wakaba but to her horror he is dead. Saddened, she doesn’t want this to be known and erases some of the records in the diary. Now that Rin has realized, timely messenger by Ritsu and Rina to give her a branch of Midori for her final fight. They hope she has realized to do the thing she loves. So as not to make it sound like a death sentence, they assure her they are doing well holding back the other red bugs. Rin powers up to fight and reach the red root but can she do so as she is losing limbs at this rate? Cue for her ‘dead’ sisters to pop up and show what they’ve got to weaken the big bad monster and allow Rin (who somehow regenerate all her limbs) to nail the final coffin for this red trunk. Falcon Punch!!! With everything red dissipating, last goodbyes from the ‘dead’ sisters. They hope she realizes what she loves and not let go of it. And yeah, Wakaba lives too. Again, thanks to what’s left of Midori protecting him. First thing Rin does? Hug him! I guess after all this time of berating and distrust, it paid off with something different. Wakaba you lucky guy now. Ritsu and Rina report the red bugs and mist disappearing so they must have won, right? With no water and a long way back to the rest, I guess Rin wants to sit and chill with him. Just don’t leave her alone. But soon they notice a draft and it leads them out of the cave. Oh my! The real world?! Mountains, rocks, trees, the sky and more importantly, water! Water! River! Rin is so happy that she starts crying. And the most important of all, she finally says I love you to Wakaba with a big smile.

Bugged Out, Blow Out & Blow Over: Mist-ing The Point…
Is this supposed to be a romance theme either? Like as though the goal wasn’t to defeat the red mist and red trunk and to find the eternal utopia but for Rin to finally remember who she really loves. Thank goodness it’s not poison. Haha. But I’m still confused. If they all are from the same person (because the sisters hinting they should all stop talking differently now that everything is over), aren’t they all supposed to love Wakaba? Unless Rin is the main body or something. Does this mean everybody except Rin knows about the past and Wakaba? Or they can tell from her bad acting that her body and mouth say different things. And with the final scene revelation that they broke out from some ‘ship’ into the real world, are they saying that this entire setting was just some sort of experiment?! Man, it has got to be one giant ‘ship’. A ship that was good enough to contain the red menace because I surely didn’t see it contaminate the natural greens of the real world. Let’s hope the wild animals won’t eat them the moment they step out. That would add a lot to the cheesiness and weirdness after Rin’s final scene confession. Next sequel, Wakaba and the sisters living like Tarzan and Janes in the jungle! Thankfully that will never see the light of it.

Unfortunately, the intrigue and novelty of the plot seems to wear off very early and it became a drag to watch. It became some sort of horror journey survival as the sisters and the only male in the group seek to move from one island to another. Don’t really understand why they needed to do that because it is not like they had any other goal to do so in the first place and my suspicions is that it is better than staying in their (almost) safe zone and go adventuring in this vast unexplored world. I could be wrong since I was too bored to pay any attention. Oh right, the water source. Even so, how did they end up on Island One in the first place? Did they try to escape from the other direction? Because is Island One the last? Is there Island Zero before that? I’m sure the producers wanted to unravel the mysteries bit by bit as it goes along but with every episode almost having this same feel of getting from one point to another, I was quickly confused and bored. Even if they leave it late to reveal some of the secrets of this world, I was already not really that interested. I wanted it to end. Yeah, it would take a shocking miracle if they really wanted to get my interest back. No such luck.

Even with the penultimate revelation of what happened, it still created a lot more questions on the setting of this world. For instance, why is Wakaba creating islands and buildings? For what purpose? And where are the other human beings? If he is going to make such big cities and with no humans to populate them, what does this achieve? If it was all in some ‘ship’, was the project then abandoned because nobody else came to their aid? Damn, it would have been better if they just entered some portal to a whole new world to live in instead of their decimated waterless world. Wait, on second thought, maybe that isn’t any better either. There is also the case of how the sisters come about as they aren’t born and conceived like how normal humans would (is Riri some sort of magician to materialize them like that?). One day they just woke up and realized they came into existence. Hence, what are their purpose? Are they supposed to continue the lifeline of humanity’s existence? Are they even humans in the first place? Riri’s flashback did shed some light on this by it doesn’t really make sense for her to split herself like that. And how did Wakaba first pop up to the sisters? Sure, it’s in the water tank but how did that even happen? I am guessing that it had something to do with Riri saving him and hence his sudden appearance in present time, that is the future. So did Wakaba get thrown into the future? I mean, it’s not like we could see that old Wakaba was actually dead in the first place, right?

Hence there are lots of things I don’t really understand about the Kemurikusa or how their different colours and shapes give it different abilities or something. They just look like lines made out of thin neon lights and sure, they’re nice to look at when everything in this world is so dark and covered with ominous red fog. Perhaps I could have make the connection if I watched the original Kemurikusa indie series but at this point I’m too bored and lazy. There was even a chart I saw somewhere on how Riri was related (or rather created) to the sisters. But yeah, not really interested at this point. Sorry Wakaba. I don’t share your enthusiasm and curiosity on the different Kemurikusa types.

The characters didn’t help in making the story interesting either. I know that with the small group making their advance and the episodes showcasing how they ‘get along’ but I still feel that it wasn’t enough to make me want to really care about them. Even if I did, it was just hoping to answer some of my questions about them. So basically the group consists of tough girl Rin AKA tsundere, nice elder sister Ritsu AKA cat girl and a bunch of Rina AKA loli and not forgetting Wakaba as the Kemurikusa enthusiast that makes him sound like a retard sometimes. Each of them has their own abilities but nothing that feels exciting. I really don’t understand the logic of the other ‘dead’ sisters to not live with them seeing that they would stand a better chance as a group but I suppose this way is going to make them stronger by being apart. Better than living a peaceful sisterly life together for as long as they can. Their appearances before Wakaba didn’t make any sense. Plot twist? It’s like they want to have us think they are really dead but surprise! Not dead. Yet. So I think it is so that when they pop up finally, you won’t surprise or be angry they throw in a few new characters. The last episode feels like one big ex machina for those dead sisters to pop up. Like as though they’ve been waiting their whole existence for this to happen. If they are this powerful to bring down the red trunk, why didn’t they do it in the first place and wait for their other sisters to suffer? Maybe they can’t deliver the finishing blow? So they’re like waiting for the sisters to be strong enough to go on this journey to defeat the red trunk, huh?

I wonder what the goal of the red tree is. Is it to destroy the world by turning everything its poisonous red mist touches into antagonistic beings that attack those who are not affected? Well, literally painting the town red. Haha! Heck, turning the entire world red. And I thought those Nushi would be some sort of level bosses seeing they are powerful enough. Who made them anyway? I’m sure they were good bugs or robots before the red fog engulfed them. Yeah, a group of characters on a journey to destroy the root cause of this redness while defeating bugs and the more difficult Nushi feels more like a video game concept. Well, the red trunk does give off that feel of a final boss because it’s really big. Really, really huge. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

If there was something more bugging than the story and the characters, it would be the visuals. Entirely animated using CGI, the animation can appear jerky and one kind. If you want to say it makes them look unhuman, this is the reason. Uh huh. The sisters aren’t human not because they drink large amounts of water at one go, fight using Kemurikusa (Rin), eat almost anything and everything (Rina) and control branches and roots of Midori to scout for enemies (Ritsu) but rather because of the poorly animated CGI! Just really plain weird. This anime is made by Yaoyorozu who also brought to you a few other CGI anime series like Tesagure! Bukatsumono and Kemono Friends.

Voice acting feels pretty normal with me only recognizing Mikako Komatsu as Rin. She also doubles as Riri and hence my speculation that the reason why Rin had this ‘poison’ (AKA love) feeling towards Wakaba. Oh, and those Shirou robots with their squeaky beeping sounds, yup, Mikako Komatsu too. Beep, beep, beep! No offence to Kenji Nojima (Eiji in Banana Fish) but him voicing Wakaba does make his character sound so gay. Especially with his tagline “I’m so curious!”. All the loli Rina are voiced by Tomomi Jiena Sumi and this is her debut role and her only role so far. The other casts are Arisa Kiyoto as Ritsu (Misato in Gin No Saji), Yuuna Mimura as Ryou (Riko in Hanebado), Kanna Asanuma as Riku (debut role) and Akira Sekine as Ryoku (Princess in Princess Principal).

The opening theme is of the same name as this series and is sung by Nano. Although this rock piece is rather okay, sometimes hearing it sends shivers down my spine or my hairs stand on ends. Not to say that this song is scary or creepy (or even that bad) but somehow I just don’t like the way the singer sings the song. The deal breaker was the last line “Finding my life in the Kemurikusa”. I don’t know. I just find that intolerable the way he sings that. The ending theme, Indeterminate Universe by Yuuya featuring Kemurikusa feels like it is fit to be a video game song. At times, the song also reminds me of the opening theme from Black Rock Shooter. I don’t know, the singer sounds similar enough although they are entire different.

Overall, what started out with an intriguing premise quickly turned into something dull and tedious. Perhaps I was too impatient in wanting answers quickly instead of letting the flow reveal itself in time. Sure, there are some unanswered questions (or unsatisfying answers depending on your point of view) at the end too but if you were like me, the dragging out of the journey of the Wakaba and the sisters would have zapped your zest a long time ago. And the ending was like we need to get over it so let’s just throw in everything for a good happy ending as reward for our characters who came from a long journey and to our viewers who have stayed with us through thick and thicker mist. Yeah… Just to be fair, there are no feelings of ‘red mist’ or ‘seeing red’ from me. Just some boredom and dissatisfaction. Unfortunately for me, this series will soon be lost in the mists of time…

Marchen Madchen (cont)

July 13, 2019

Oh well. Better late than never. After that horrendous production issues, I never thought Marchen Madchen would have their final 2 episodes released. But yeah, call it a miracle and that all stories must come to an end, finally those couple of episodes made its way out instead of being lost forever in the wilderness of abandoned production hell. Uh huh. Better make a few bucks off those DVD and BD sales. Unfortunately I can’t remember anything much although the series only came out less than a year ago. Girls using their fairytale origin powers to fight in some tournament. Remember that? Yeah. We’ll always remember this series for its infamous art and animation quality then.

Episode 11
Lynne has gone crazy. She thinks papa is so good to give a useless girl like her a present. Meanwhile our Japanese side are hanging out together and Sachi is bragging about taking on the Germans since her debut wasn’t enough. It’s not like she did anything right then either. Speaking of Germans, yeah they overheard her. Want to have a go now? Thankfully Agathe doesn’t want to waste time with this since tomorrow’s finals will prove everything. Later Hazuki talks to Agathe who starts talking about the doll she has. Funnily, Hazuki doesn’t laugh like Agathe expects since others always do so. Hence Agathe goes into b*tch mode reminding her she isn’t here to make friends. Huh? When Hazuki is teased by Misa about her ‘boyfriend’ and to introduce that loved one to her family, Hazuki is motivated to win Hexennacht to bring Shizuka to her home. Sugami tries to get Committee 13 to postpone the finals for tomorrow because it looks like James is plotting something but you know, they’re not going to do anything unprecedented. They’re going to regret it because right before the finals start, Lynne unleashes her present from papa. It is a tube containing a Fleck. She gets swallowed and turns into a rampaging Fleck. Everybody evacuates but apparently Agathe tries to be a heroine and got swallowed by it. Uh huh. Some C-grade horror flick with silver liquid coming out from all her orifice before she turns into one. Why the f*ck is everybody standing there watching in shock? Aren’t they going to try and stop her? Because Agathe is now going to destroy the library that houses all the Origins. Yeah, for a place that keeps all the important documents, its defence is pretty much weak. And f*ck, now the English side moves. So is this what they mean about you’ll know when the time comes? Arthur explains with Agathe as the vessel, Shizuka’s new magic and Arthur’s holy sword, the prophecy will be fulfilled to stop this disaster. So Shizuka gets to avenge her mom? Don’t forget, Hazuki is the main character and she’s going to do something about it. She unleashes her magic but this teleports her to another dimension. She meets a person who is the personification of Cinderella. Not sure what crap she’s spouting about miracles. Because of that the backlash of altering reality is so heavy that one would shatter. WTF?! She claims Hazuki doesn’t have to do anything as her friends will stop Agathe. It might not be perfect but it’s still a happy ending. However Hazuki can’t accept it. She’ll make her own ending.

Episode 12
All the girls cooperate to combat Agathe. Thanks to Avengers: Endgame, a group of heroes fighting a giant lone baddy is now the standard everybody vs Thanos. Arthur has Shizuka power up because looks like the only way they’re going to end this madness is to sacrifice Agathe and Lynne inside. Yeah, got to do what the prophecy says. And everybody doesn’t like this. But what else can they do? Don’t worry. There’s always the other option. Because Hazuki returns. She has everyone join powers. Come on everybody! Join your hands together! Before Agathe and Lynne could be swallowed forever in the Fleck, those hands pull them out! With them in safe hands (pun intended), this allows Shizuka to drop her moon on the Fleck! You mean that really killed the Fleck?! And why does Arthur looked so shock? You mean she never saw this coming or even expect this? No wonder she isn’t the main character… In the aftermath, Hazuki invites Shizuka to her place. Saeko and Misa shocked and confused she isn’t a boy… Yeah, how did they jump to that conclusion? In Hazuki’s room, Shizuka sees a picture of Hazuki’s real mom. Hmm… Doesn’t she look like the actual identity of that personified Cinderella? Shizuka reports this year’s Hexennacht ended in a draw. So no victor. Why not cancelled all the results outright if that’s the case? Agathe is recuperating well. She wanted to thank Hazuki because when she was inside the Fleck, she heard a voice and that was the reason that she was able to come back. Meanwhile Lynne is sulking. But eventually becomes a cry-baby after Angelina gives her sisterly hug. Hazuki and Shizuka revisit ground zero of the moon drop. It’s going to take a while to repair the damage. Then Shizuka brings her to the original site where the tragedy occurred 7 years ago. Still nothing growing till this day. She was here on the day she first met Hazuki. She accredits Hazuki for saving her and the reason why she could fight in Hexennacht. Hazuki helps sprinkle her magic all over the world and he friends could tell it’s her brand of magic. Wow. So magical that it sprouts flowers and greens all over???!!! Damn, it’s really a miracle. Sugami is approached what seems to be the ghost of Shizuka and Hazuki’s mom. Take care of our daughters, please. And finally the words we all have been somewhat waiting and expecting to here: Shizuka confesses she likes Hazuki and wants to be her friend. Hey, I thought they were already one? I guess this is official since Hazuki accepts her friend request. Sorry yuri fans. No kiss.

What The Fleck?! The Magic Of Crappy Ending
I wasn’t really that enthusiastic going in watching the couple of final episodes of the series. After all, I was only doing so to get some sort of closure and not really expecting anything much. And the series did stay true to that. It didn’t exceed any of those expectations and hence, uhm, a successful failure? Like I’ve said earlier on, the production issues plaguing the series has been a curse and bane and it is somewhat a miracle that they managed to release them in less than a year instead of taking 10 years later or forever. So even if the ending is pretty much cliché and meh, at least the ‘happy ending’ is that we get somewhat of a closure to this series. We can now file everything and dump it all in the darkest corners of our minds or wherever. This series is done. We can all move on now. Heh. Sad ending, really…

Looking at the art and animation quality this time round, they seem pretty decent and passable. I’m not saying they really put in a lot of effort in those months to make it look good but at least it wasn’t so obviously bad when they aired those horrendous episodes on TV. This was and should have been the quality of the overall series from the start to finish. Just borderline okay with nothing much to shout about and nothing special. Thanks to that no-QC episodes, the series will forever be remembered as such no matter how decent the animation quality improves or even if it really becomes super gorgeous like Shingeki No Kyojin or the Fate series.

Character wise, it’s like they try to make some sort of redemption for the other multi-national girls but it really falls flat. Remember how we couldn’t see those Chinese and Indian schools in action? Well, yeah. We get a glimpse of them here. And that isn’t amount to anything much since everybody is just giving their one shot effort to bring down the Fleck possessing Agathe and Lynne. By the time it all ends, you won’t remember them nor do they actually matter. And they throw in the twist hinting that Hazuki’s mom may be among those Origin users who fought Fleck 7 years ago and perished. So it somewhat makes sense and connects to why her daughter is drawn to this fate. But I’ll say the most interesting-cum-annoying character still goes to Sachi. This girl should be given her own spinoff. She never stops yapping about wanting to be in the spotlight and even right till the end, still shamelessly b*tching about not being credited. Oh Sachi, you’re just a minor character. What more do you want? That’s why I suggested having your own spinoff where you can be as lame and energetic all you want.

Overall, still a mediocre series that ultimately disappoints. They say time heals all wounds and maybe that is partly a minor reason why I don’t really hate this series nor do I feel so dramatically dissatisfied. Because my heart is not there anymore for this series. Haha! What is supposed to be a story about 2 girls who lost their moms from a tragic incident trying to be friends, instead dragged in a myriad of fairytales that aren’t related into a poorly written plot. Will the Fleck be back again? Because it sure looks like some discount Terminator silver liquid metal thingy whose weakness seems to be the moon. Will Hexennacht be the same again next year? Fire those damn Committee 13 spineless old hag b*tches. Will Lynne be forgiven? Always give America a second chance! Will Hazuki and Shizuka end up having yuri sexual relations? Hentai versions if you look harder, definitely. Some stories are not meant to be told. Ever.

I didn’t think this would get an OVA but Wotaku Ni Koi Wa Muzukashii did. The TV series didn’t really make much impact on me since it’s about a group of working adults who continue to divulge in their otaku hobbies. Nothing really spectacular happened and that sort of otaku love was just pretty okay, if not didn’t really go anywhere. Love itself for normal people is already hard and confusing. What more when it comes to otaku nerds. For this OVA, if you’re hoping of any other sort of advancement in the relationship between our main characters, don’t hold your breath. It is more of a flashback on Kabakura and Hanako’s high school love story.

It Appeared Suddenly=Love
Narumi and Hirotaka see Hanako at the café. She tells them she managed to invite Kabakura to some 2.5D show. He was reluctant at first but she managed to line it up with his interest. Since that show is about volleyball, this prompts them to note that they were once captains of their high school volleyball club. Since they are eager to know, Hanako doesn’t mind telling them about their little story. It wasn’t as rosy as you think and it started very shaky and antagonising. Hanako went to confront Kabakura about sharing the gym for practice. However Kabakura asserted his authority that the guys are better and that the girls should concentrate on doing laps. This was when Hanako showed a photo she secretly took of him at an anime store. She used this as blackmail and Kabakura in fear his teammates would find out he is an otaku, gave in. Suddenly the boys are now sharing their place with the girls. One day, Kabakura saw Hanako practising and since she wasn’t very good in it, he showed her how it’s done. Now, Kabakura looked so cool that Hanako was interested to learn more. He didn’t mind teaching her as long as she deleted that photo. Hanako really looked conflicted so he also promised to continue sharing the court with them. As they only started officially dating after graduation, Narumi and Hirotaka make a bet on who confessed first. Hirotaka bets on Hanako while Narumi bets on Kabakura.

Hanako continues with her story. Kabakura continued to coach her and one day she learnt his secret of being successful in his game was that he listened to his favourite anime songs. Hanako would love to follow in his footsteps but the otaku world was just so alien to her. So he simply explained how a song pumped him up and gave him ‘super powers’ to perform. Sadly, Kabakura’s team lost an important match and went out. Everyone looked so disappointed. Hanako went to console him but she was the one with the ‘ugly’ crying face. During graduation ceremony, Hanako talked to Kabakura before he leaves. Because of the note she left him, he is furious thinking she has never deleted that photo. Though, she points out she never mentioned anything about a photo in the note. While they taunt each other that they don’t have to see each other’s face, Hanako eventually said his otaku side might not be his coolest but it isn’t his lamest either. That’s why he should be confident and do his best wherever he goes. And before you know it, they give each other a big strong hug. Narumi and Hirotaka are amazed with this love story and before Hanako manages to show them a photo from her handphone, here comes Kabakura to put a stop to this ‘nonsense’. Kabakura and Hanako end up in their usual argument, accusing the other as the one who turned around first to hug. After they leave, Hirotaka is puzzled that the photo Hanako showed them, wasn’t that the one on Kabakura she was supposed to delete? Narumi understands very well why she couldn’t delete it…

Love Is Served
As you can see, this single OVA doesn’t isn’t really much and it just expands on the high school love story of Kabakura and Hanako. It is probably the point in time where Hanako stated taking some sort of interest in the otaku world. It wasn’t just because she finds them fascinating nor was it to help improve her volleyball skills but rather because she found Kabakura somewhat cool with it. So trying out the stuffs that your loved one loves is only natural. So yeah, it introduced Hanako to a whole new world and possible opened up a whole lot of other awakenings. Like cosplaying and fujoshi. Yeah… You could say that love changed them but also entirely have them stayed the same. Because their frosty relationship from start up till now is how they interact with each other. Arguing is one of the ‘key points’ of why their relationship is alive and kicking. And that my friend is why the also call it love. Confusing, right? They might be volleyball aces and didn’t win the volleyball tournament, but they aced each other’s hearts. Okay, that was pretty lame. Hey, I’m an otaku, not a lover!

Oh dear. Not another magical girl anime again. But wait. This is not going to be all sparkly cute and magical girl girly. No siree. It is one of those dark magical girl series like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. So if our magical girls aren’t fighting cute monsters, what are they fighting against? Well, in Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka, magical girls no doubt have served and saved the world and rid it from monsters. But they are now fighting on another front against a more familiar monster: Men. That’s right. Magical girls being used to fight terrorism and wars! This goes to show that even with magic, you can never eliminate the great evil residing inside us humans.

Episode 1
When monsters called Disas appeared to destroy humanity in 2016, a year later, humanity formed an alliance with the Spirit Realm to fight them. This allowed girls to combine with spirits and become magical girls. In a bloody fight that took many lives of the military and magical girls, the last 5 led by Asuka Ootorii finally destroyed its king. 3 years later, Asuka is now leading a peaceful high school life but suffers from PTSD. Nozomi Makino and Sayako Hata are disgusted when a man accidentally throws his cigarette butt on them. When he refuses to apologize and gets rough, Asuka pins him down. Soon the trio become close friends and Asuka amazingly finding some sort of peace being with them. But one day, Yoshiaki Iizuka from the JGSDF pops up and wants Asuka to come back and join a small special division he is leading, M Squad that specializes in magic combat. However Asuka has put her magical girl fighting days behind her. She believes if she comes back, more around her will get killed. She remembers the time Disas kidnapped her parents and returned them. In parts. Asuka lies to her friends that Iizuka is her dad (technically he is more of her ‘adopted’ father figure) so Nozomi is relieved she isn’t whoring herself. Asuka continues to live her happy school life. Until one day a security escort escorting a dangerous terrorist, Kim Kanth, his underlings break free. To cover their escape, they create chaos by shooting at civilians! Sayako could have been one of them had not Asuka been in the vicinity. She quickly transforms and kills all of them except for Kim (just amputating his feet). Asuka narrates how the battle for magical girls never ended. There was no real peace for them. After defeating Disas, their battlefield changed to fighting international terrorism, civil wars and other conflicts.

Episode 2
Asuka returns home only to see Iizuka sitting in her room. He still isn’t giving up on her joining his team. Although Asuka’s magic distorts her perception and keeps her identity safe, he wished she didn’t make that slaughtering mess in the streets. Yeah, the cleaning up is tough. No sh*t. At school, Asuka wonders if Sayako is immune to her magic because she is acting like as though she remembers her during the chaos. As Sayako is still pretty shaken up (she was also questioned by the police), Nozomi changes the topic and mentions her dad works in the police department. Unknown to her, Akinori Makino is actually in a very secretive and special unit that doesn’t even officially exist. As his department has captured Kim, he is torturing him to extract any info they can get. Kim is officially declared to the public as dead. Some of his terrorist members think of getting revenge but a rogue magical girl, Abigail has a better idea. It is sad that Sayoko looks like she is going to be suffering from PTSD as police sirens give her the jitters. Asuka may sound harsh calling her weak but it is better than trying to pretend to be strong. Asuka gets a call from Iizuka. She thought he is bugging her again but he mentions a terrorist attack nearby using Disas magic weapon. Looks like his unit is still undergoing training and won’t be ready in time. Speaking of which, only Kurumi Mugen is available. She is Asuka’s old magical partner and currently working in the research division. She fights the Disas but fails. Thank heavens Asuka is here in time to save the day. With the help of Sacchu their familiar, Asuka analyses the weakness before cutting it down. The duo rekindle old times and Kurumi thought it was unfair for Asuka who begged her to join her to fight Disas, now only to run away, leaving her alone. Kurumi couldn’t contact Asuka since Iizuka kept all her info confidential. She hopes Asuka could keep her promise of protecting her since she isn’t strong like her. Looks like now that Kurumi knows Asuka’s whereabouts, she becomes a transfer student in her class.

Episode 3
Magical girl, Mia Cyrus barges into a drug cartel base in Mexico and kills them all. There is a tortured guy in a room who only spouts numbers and something about Babel Brigade. Some magic barrier then crushes him into a cube. It looks like Kurumi is jealous that Asuka has other friends. She doesn’t like it that Nozomi and Sayako are now their usual company. She tries to keep a civilized manner, though. Kurumi remembers she was terribly bullied and she was young. She didn’t like how weak she was and changed. That is a reason why she could still fight optimistically after that awful final battle with Disas. As for Asuka, even though she doesn’t fight anymore, she still works out in fear of becoming weak. When Iizuka brings Asuka to a maid café that serves as his unit’s secret base, he also introduces to his trainees, Shima and Kaede. Asuka reminds him for the umpteenth time that she will not join but he mentions even though the war is over, there is increase in illegal magic trade. They cannot be consider remnants of the war because somebody big is backing them that allows them to modify things. Also, illegal magical girls are increasing of lately. As the world needs a new order, Asuka is vital for that to happen. Makino finally gets some info from Kim. Something about Babel Brigade targeting magical girls to remake the world. Hence some new terrible war is about to begin. Nozomi invites her friends to swim. They are shocked that Sayako dives from the highest platform despite being scared. But somebody save her before she drowns after fainting from her success. With Sayako trying to move forward, it gives some food for thought for Asuka. Though, Kurumi finds it wrong that Asuka is not fighting as she has now things she loves. It should be the opposite. After the friends part, Nozomi on her way home is kidnapped by Abigail.

Episode 4
Asuka still has nightmares when Chevalier Francine (ex-magical girl leader) died in battle and handed the leadership to her. Makino has received word that his daughter has been kidnapped. However no ransom is made and only a note saying this is for revenge. He has his subordinates interrogate Kim about the whereabouts while he goes to see his superior, Miura for a rescue operation. However top brass refuses to send reinforcements because of possible Disas magic that will only cause casualties. They can’t ask for military help unless there is a magical battle. So the plan is to sacrifice and let Nozomi die and they can use this as an excuse to calm down hard on the terrorists. Of course there is one other option where the magical girl acts on her own… Asuka learns Nozomi’s fate from Iizuka. There is no need for second thoughts. She is going to rescue her and Kurumi is coming along. The most Iizuka can do is request the police to cordon off the area. Meanwhile Abigail is recording Nozomi being viciously tortured by her Russian subordinates, Povar and Storozh. Her aim is to use Nozomi as bait to lure in the magical girls. Because as her queen commanded, they are vital to develop a Girl of Mass Destruction! Asuka and Kurumi sneak in and disable the low level terrorists. They are shock to see Nozomi’s state once they enter the room. Abigail warns them to throw their weapons down or they’ll hurt her but Asuka will not negotiate with terrorists. In that case, Abigail cuts off Nozomi’s arm! Asuka pretends to drop her weapon, enough for Kurumi to pin Abigail down before they take Nozomi to safety. Asuka will buy Kurumi time to escape with Nozomi. However Abigail leaves the Russian twins to face Asuka while she goes after Kurumi.

Episode 5
The M Squad moves in after the area is evacuated. Makino reveals the interrogation from Kim that the terrorists have magical mercenaries as well as an illegally created magical girl backing them. After Nozomi is rescued by medics, Kurumi faces Abigail. She gets pinned down and cornered by her Disas. Asuka uses up a lot of magical power to kill off the Russian twins. Meanwhile Gobu the enemy fairy reports to the queen on the situation but is intercepted by Sacchu. Kurumi is about to lose when M Squad moves in. Their specially created bullets take down the Disas and although no match for Abigail’s barrier, their intention is to hold her here until Asuka arrives. And when she does, she’s going to get a taste of her own medicine of what cutting limbs feel like. But before that could happen, the queen protects Abigail with her magic barrier before retreating. Asuka has a feeling she has seen her somewhere before. Later Asuka and Kurumi visit Nozomi in coma. Makino is sad that she could be suffering PTSD for the rest of her life. The moment she wakes up, she starts screaming in fear. She hates magical girls so much until she passes out. Asuka feels sad but Kurumi says there is hope. She can remove her memories for the past week with no side effects but she must do the operation now before it sticks into nervous system permanently. Is there any reason to hesitate? With some medical sci-fi mumbo jumbo, Kurumi successfully removes those memories. As Asuka laments she cannot protect anybody, Kurumi disagrees because if not for her, a lot would have died. Kurumi looks up to Asuka and wants to be like her. With the recent events, Asuka decides to join M Squad. When Iizuka reports to his higher up to move Nozomi and give her a new identity as the enemies know her, instead they have another idea to make Nozomi stay put. She will be bait for a trap. After all, 2 magical girls go to her school, right? Nozomi is as chirpy as before but has no memories of the week before, including their pool visit. A small price to pay, right?

Episode 6
Mia and her team talk about Asuka and Kurumi returning to active duty. Maybe she’ll get a chance to see them. Because the next mission conveniently brings them to Japan. Asuka and friends are studying together when Nozomi suggests visiting the Tanabata festival tonight. Kurumi sounds like a desperate girl trying to make special memories with her. I mean, really desperate. Especially when she gets that jealous feeling seeing Asuka getting friendly with Sayoko. The more the merrier as M Squad too is here to celebrate with them. Don’t worry. No shock Disas attack. Asuka meets a foreigner there who claims she is looking for a child she was separated a long time ago. But Asuka’s friends meet up and the foreigner just vanished? Leonid Greenburg was that guy who died as a cube in Mexico. This mathematician has a brother Jerome living in Japan and he is a retired well off IT owner. However a few months ago he has also gone silent and they’re here to check it out since not even the Japanese authorities knows what is happening. As they barge into his penthouse, they see his body crushed like his brother in a cube. Mia finds it strange because it’s like as though they want them to find the body. There’s also strange writings on the mirror, “He who laughs last, laughs best”. The place is then filled with drug mist. They are attacked by the foreigner who is a magical mercenary, Sandino. She gets her powers from the drug. She claims she is doing this out of revenge for the US bombing raid on Disas that killed her family in Columbia. Revenge via terrorism? But why target magical girls? Her daughter died and humans were the ones who killed her in that war. Well placed bombs caught Sandino off guard. Mia will not fall for her deathbed redemption and kills her since she is too wounded for interrogation. They’re all just terrorists after all. Like the ones who killed her parents. As Mia’s teammates theorizes Babel Brigade hiring Sandino, Mia dismisses it because the motto is only known to the magical girls. Meanwhile Asuka prays and hopes she can continue a happy life by protecting and supporting the dreams of others.

Episode 7
Flashback 3 years ago shows Asuka in despair just before the final battle. After Francine passed the baton to her, more magical girls died and she started to feel she can’t do this. Until Tamara Volkov tells her to continue fighting and at least hold out for an hour more. Then they’ll think of something else. M Squad holds a welcoming party for Asuka. They don’t have budget so all the food are military rations! Expired! But still tastes good… Asuka is formally introduced to other M Squad members, Yoshino and Ise. Meanwhile Tamara receives a mission by her boss for an undercover mission in Japan. She must not fail for the sake of her older sister. Iizuka briefs his squad about Topology Bridge. Portals that link to other worlds. However only 2 of them are stable and they’re in Copenhagen and the other in Okinawa (Japan, of course). There are other Random Bridges popping up randomly elsewhere but they are unstable. One was reported to have appeared in Hokkaido and intelligence revealed an illegal trade is about to take place by a Russian mafia. After all, 10 police at the scene were already murdered by a magical girl mercenary on their side. As they arrive, the mafia already finished their deal with some Disas trading a few Japanese hostages for lots of magical items. What a bargain. M Squad begin their operation by taking out the mafia. I suppose with everyone dead, Nazani only acts to fight back and escape. When Shima is injured, Asuka freezes and her trauma of a comrade is going to die flashes through her mind. Kurumi holds out from her onslaught long enough for Asuka to regain herself back before cutting Nazani’s arm and making her squirm and cry like a baby. M Squad leaves after the mission. How convenient that a Random Bridge never appears in the same place again. You mean not even a metre away from it? The mafia leader is the only one who managed to escape thanks to swallowing a Disas pill that allows quick teleportation but at the risk of liquefying his organs. But he is cornered by Tamara and in his desperation, stabs himself a Disas weapon to turn into a monster. However Tamara burns him with her flame thrower. She asks about the items in the bag but he could only mention about some new world order and Babel Brigade before the item explodes, killing him.

Episode 8
Chisato’s father tries to turn her into a whore and make money but the establishment doesn’t want to risk dealing with minors. Plus, she is an amputee. Hence the drunk father takes it all out on his ‘useless’ daughter and possibly going to kill her until Giess barges in and kills this bastard. Giess asks if she wants to be a magical girl. While Asuka and friends are having a nice field trip at Okinawa, Kurumi is torturing Nazani. Is this mild BDSM? Nazani pleads she knows nothing about Babel Brigade but Kurumi isn’t going to make it easy for her by enhancing her senses. Kurumi remembers how her classmates played a cruel prank on her and even made it look like she is dead. Even the teacher pretended not to see. She was so enraged she wanted to kill them until Asuka told her not to waste her time with these fools and join her to be a magical girl. Iizuka briefs his M Squad that a secret conference between the worlds will soon take place at this Topology Bridge at Okinawa. A major figure from the Spirit Realm will attend and they will do all it takes to protect this conference. American and Japanese forces will cooperate to provide security. With Iizuka representing the Japanese side, Captain Larry Ironside and Mia are from the American side. Tamara is here as a UN observer. They have lots to do since they receive word that a terrorist group that uses magic items will be up to something. Hence, hate to break your nice field trip, Asuka and Kurumi. It’s mission time. Giess relates his sad story as a child soldier in Somalia. Left for dead, his rescuers gave him this new robotic body as a new lease of life. Now he presents Chisato with a new mechanical leg. Literally she kicks ass with it as she fights a Disas as test. Chisato feels comfortable enough to explain her past. She had a nice mother but was killed in a car accident. However the culprits were drunk minors and the most they get is juvenile detention. They’ll be out in a couple of years. Giess then shows her those delinquents she kidnapped from the facility. If she is to be a magical girl, she must kill them slowly via her own hands without transforming. Giess further narrates his past that as a farmer, his village was attacked by guerrillas. He pleaded for his life but they only let him live if he killed his parents and raped his sister. He did that and joined them. When he was left for dead in an operation, his rescuer gave him a new breath of life and the first think he did was to slaughter the guerrillas. Without hesitation, Chisato takes her time to kill them. It must have been worth it since she killed them until she is exhausted. As Chisato has passed the test, their plan to attack the conference will proceed as planned.

Episode 9
Asuka is in tears when she reunites with Mia and Tamara. It’s been a while. The next day while final preparations are being made for the conference, Iizuka takes the magical girls somewhere first. It seems this is a personal request from General Tabira who is representing the Spirit Realm for this conference. The magical girls aren’t fond of her because they know she is obsessed with them. Like how she almost ‘killed’ Asuka with her boobs smothering hug. She gives them a present, a newly developed item that will enhance their magical powers. They wouldn’t have been so suspicious had she not trolled them at first with skimpy swimsuits! Giess and Chisato begin their magical artillery attack on the base. With the damage and casualties rising, report comes in that they are only targeting the Japanese army. They’re not even touching any of the US bases. Because technically this means the Americans can’t mobilize their marines. Damn stupid loopholes… Of course with the Japanese Minister of Defence authorizing the use of magical girls, it looks like they have their hands full as Disas are reported attacking civilians in a nearby town too. They know too well this is a distraction and Asuka is worried about her friends there. She offers to go there but Iizuka rejects her as she specializes in close quarter combat and will be their last defence at this base. Instead, Mia offers to go there. Tabira wants to fight too but is also rejected and ordered to return to her world. If anything happens to her, it is a loss for both worlds. However they realize the Topology Bridge has been forcefully sealed off from some dimensional explosion (magic bomb?). It will take 48 hours to be restored. They realize their target isn’t the conference but Tabira. You mean they didn’t think about this possibility?

Episode 10
Large civilian casualties in town. Damn goblin type Disas raping women???!!! Does this look familiar???!!! Amazingly Nozomi and Sayoko manage to stay alive and escape. Even when Nozomi injures her feet, Sayoko won’t abandon her. Although on the military base’s side, they look like they are able to handle the first wave of Disas. However it is the enemy’s plan to give them false hope and send them straight to despair. Because the next wave of Disas is larger and they can all use magical guns!!! Sh*t hits the fan!!! Hence Mia is caught off-guard and wounded in the crossfire. It could have been a lot worse for her had not Nozomi and Sayoko scream and warn her from the back. As they trek on, the girls wonder how Mia can continue to do this despite in pain. Mia explains she isn’t chosen because she was the strongest. It is because she was chosen that she became strong. Everyone is born for a role. Some are lucky and others not so lucky to find it. Asuka is starting to get traumatized by the piling deaths. It could be a repeat of the disaster again. Before she can think that the existence of magical girls make no difference, Kurumi hugs her. Please don’t disrespect the dead. She can forever as long as she is by her side. They get ready as Giess and Chisato burst in. Giess uses some sorcerer type Disas to keep Asuka at bay since old data showed she is weak against this type. Kurumi is kept busy with Chisato. Giess then heads deep into the shelter and kills all of Tabira’s guards that stand in her way to confront her. He wants her to hand over her newly developed item. I don’t know what took Sacchu so long as it finally blasts those sorcerers with some magical fire grenade, allowing Asuka to be freed from those magical wires. When they rush to Tabira’s side, Asuka is seething with anger seeing Tabira down.

Episode 11
Giess’ penguin familiar takes the item and flees, leaving Giess to fight Asuka. Kurumi gets owned by Chisato. However she hears the taboo word of punching bag and this brings back traumatic memories of her bullied past. This makes her go into rage mode until she manages to overcome Chisato and knock her out with her needles. Asuka cannot penetrate through Giess’ heavy armour and in order to free herself from the rubble, she cuts off her left arm! She has Sacchu analyse some special magic tank inside Giess so that she can destroy it. Giess is happy to meet Asuka. He was happy when he watched on TV how magical girls fight and won against Disas. However all that come crashing down because the true monsters are humans. That is why he thought it is better that the world is destroyed. Asuka may agree to some of it but there are still beautiful things in this world she wants to protect. Although she manages to rip off his magical tank, her weapon is embedded inside him and is armless. Literally only 1 arm. Luckily Iizuka drops her a new weapon that allows her to cut Giess like a butter through hot knife and ripping out his true spinal form. He reveals their goal wasn’t Tabira but the item. Meanwhile, Mia and the girls are saved with Tamara backing them up. I guess her site is secured to go rescue them. As Kurumi repairs Asuka’s arms, Giess apologizes to Chisato that her mom’s death was their doing. Because Killgee sensed her powerful magical ability, they wanted to test her under severe stress. At least she got to be a magical girl. When it’s over, forget about them and a new world will open for her. Giess dies and Chisato goes crazy from sadness. She is restrained and taken away. Asuka immediately gives Mia and Tamara a big hug after seeing they are alright. Tabira is now in a form of a cute animal to reserve her power. The magical girls part ways and hope to see each other again. I guess the battlefield is the most likely of places.

Episode 12
Looks like our magical girls too have to complete their paper work. Mentally draining in addition to physically draining. Mia reports to her comrade and in return is told that Greenburg dude, he was forced to calculate something by Babel Brigade. Because magic is like physics in the other world, it might be to calculate summoning of magic for terror attacks. Tamara returns home and sees her sister. But it could all be an illusion since her actual form is a Disas? Now we see a hot chick killing the Chinese mafia in Shanghai. She turns out to be Lau Peipei, the last of the legendary 5 magical girls. She is now working as a freelance mercenary. Since when did she transformed from a plain Chinese girl into a hot sexy ganguro gal?! Iizuka sees Miura and suggests their units team up unofficially. Chisato is being tortured by Kurumi. Is this her style to strip them to their undies and do inject some serum that enhances their pain? She even introduces Nazani has her pet dog! Kurumi talks about the 30 official magical girls designated as weapons by the UN but with so many rogue magical girls, there could be over 300 of them. Nazani tries to assure that turning a new leaf in life and doing good is best but Chisato feels life is no different. And with all the fake hope, she wants to die. Only, Kurumi won’t allow that. Magical girls don’t die easily. Despite giving her some hope that she will find something to live for, Chisato is given a choker. Although she is set free, if she runs away far enough, it will paralyze her and alert the authorities. So much about freedom. When Nozomi receives an invitation to the maid café, it sees Nazani and Chisato are new maids working there. Didn’t Asuka warn them about the food here being horrible? But it’s dirt cheap! Elsewhere, they get our attention with this short suggestive sex clip of Abigail and her queen. Then it’s back to business. It seems they have everything ready for the next war. All they need is a vessel. The queen points out a war needs enemies. And they need the magical girls to get a little stronger. Asuka is once again having this forlorn thinking about their current peaceful life that won’t last as well as reminiscing her dead comrades. Leave it to Kurumi to assure her (again) she’ll always be by her side. Oh look, Iizuka calling. Time to move. Flashback shows the magical girls gather before their big Disas boss fight and they talk on what they want to do after it all ends. Some wanting to join the army and for Kurumi, she wants to fall in love. Asuka? She wasn’t sure as she only knows how to fight. Francine told her to try different things because people can change. Big wefie for posterity!

Call Of Duty: Magical Warfare
This needs another season. With the rise of Babel Brigade, it looks like this season feels like just introducing them and since they have already begun to move forward their plans, it is not yet over by a long shot. Especially the queen whom is hinted to be someone Asuka knows. God, let it not be her twin sister! Or perhaps one of those dead magical girls. With so much potential (and terrorism) waiting to explode from Babel Brigade, the next world war is about to get heated up. After all, Asuka herself did narrate that it is a never ending battle for magical girls. International crime, terrorism, civil war… All manmade conflicts with the poor magical girls being viewed, treated and used as weapons. No wonder you can’t blame some for wanting to rid mankind, the source of all the problems.

This season’s storyline is just suffice. Mainly about Asuka re-evaluating the path in life she should walk. After all, what was the name of this series again? It is sad that young girls were made to fight against horrifying creatures and some losing their life so it is understandable that Asuka was and still is suffering from PTSD. It is reasonable she wants to lead a quiet life away from all that terrorism nonsense. Until fate decides to call her back and play a cruel joke on her friends. That was the clincher for her to readjust her goal in life. Because if she isn’t going to fight, who else is going to fight in her place? Who is going to fight for her? Is she going to let other young girls become magical girls and develop PTSD along the way? So by accepting her fate to continue fighting for the ones she loves, it’s like making peace with herself and being able to move forward.

The other characters provide great support for Asuka. Like Kurumi who is Asuka’s greatest aide in battle but outside the battlefield, she’s like one of those very overly possessive friends. The kind of girl who thinks nobody can own Asuka except her since she could monopolize her if ever the opportunity of some yuri hentai materializes. Is Asuka some sort of commodity? I know friends can be bought (figuratively speaking) but I don’t think it works here in her case. I’m sure she would have taken care of Nozomi and Sayako had she not considered that it will make Asuka sad if they’re gone. So basically Asuka’s wellbeing is her primary goal in life. Nozomi and Sayoko must be the most fortunate and unfortunate friends ever. They have been into many situations where their life could have just ended. From Kim’s random terrorist attack to the Disas attack on their field trip, damn these girls are really unluckily lucky to have survived this long. Just make sure Asuka is your friend.

I thought the legendary 5 magical girls would get back together again and fight terrorism as a unit since they teased it a lot in the opening and ending credits animation. I suppose the mini reunion wasn’t that bad. Still, they really leave it late for the final magical girl to pop up. I was even thinking if she was going to show up at all and perhaps started making up about a conspiracy theory that she was secretly dead all the while. Yeah, Peipei having a total makeover might fuel this conspiracy theory. I’m not sure if it’s the Spirit Realm’s taste that they could only give young girls magical powers, hence their aptly named magical girls. Because you don’t see young boys or men doing all that magic thingy, no? Yeah, so awkward to see men in revealing outfits in battle. Big nope! Better leave it to magical girls. Visually appeasing and assuring (after decades of magical girl genres too). Men only get drafted into the military and die like ants! For some reason, the magical girls here are so UN diversified. It’s like they’ve got a magical girl from a major nationality. Japan has 2 of course because you know, Japan. America, Russia and China make up the balance of the superpowers and France was killed off. Was there a British or German magical girl? Spanish or Italian perhaps?

The series tries to tackle some dark issues like PTSD but it isn’t really that deep. We can see that all of the magical girls suffer from some sort of distress or a past issue that is bugging them. It is both a strength and weakness and made them where they are today. Asuka wants peace. Kurumi as a bullied victim fears being alone or abandoned. Mia has grudge issues to avenge her parents while Tamara is hinted to have some concerns regarding her sister. Mia and Tamara seem to be holding it well but we aren’t sure if they are suppressing their emotions and in time will blow up. Let’s hope they don’t turn into rogue magical girls no matter what. The world already has enough social problems and it doesn’t help if they cross over and become part of the problem.

Sacchu is so weird. Supposedly the series’ mascot but its presence feels so lacking. I suppose with other strange furry fairies (albeit playing lesser roles), it’s hard for this one to stand out. Furthermore, I think Sacchu is like the comic relief at times especially when they go into action mode. Because you can see how this critter makes a crazy I-wanna-go-kill-me-some-Disas face and sounds the part. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be serious but it comes off more as funny and cute if you ask me. And wait, Sacchu is actually a mouse?! I thought it was some black cat???!!! Or a funny bunny.

The action sequences are entertaining to watch. They might not be the best with jaw dropping choreography, but with the fast and furious action pace, at least it provides some adrenaline rush. Because Asuka and the magical girls aren’t just formidable, rogue magical girls and other sorcerers are just as deadly so it is a battle of not only skill but wits, reflexes and sometimes even luck for a fight to turn in your favour. Some fight scenes are pretty gory and gruesome. Lots of blood, casualties and even some losing their limbs. Not for the faint hearted. Many characters have some sort of amputation or experienced one. Iizuka, Nozomi, Giess, Nazani, Chisato, Kim and even Asuka herself. But don’t worry. With Kurumi’s magical medical advances, we can use that sci-fi crap to attach it back like as though it never came off. Limited time period offer only so hurry! ;p.

While the art and animation are pretty standard and nothing that mind blowing, I just want to personally note the strangest visual aspect of this series: The characters’ eyes. Do you not agree with me that they look a bit strange? How should I put it? They’re slightly bigger than your already big sparkly anime eyes. If you have seen Koi To Uso, you would understand what I mean. Not to say those bigger than usual eyes makes them creepy but it sure makes them look a bit strange, especially Asuka. The designs of the magical girl outfits, I don’t know, it made some of them looking like cosplay sluts. Like Chisato who is just practically looking like as though she is just wearing ribbons all over. Then there was one of those dead magical girls looking like an Amazon woman due to her very revealing-like Amazon outfit. And was one of them looking like a gypsy woman too? And Mia’s outfit, is she like going to the beach or something? You’d think magical girls fighting against magical creatures would wear very protective suit like how the M Squad does from head to toe but I am guessing that the magic comes from the outfit. Otherwise why the logic of wearing such exposing costumes into battle? Oh yeah. Must be Tabira’s twisted taste in magical girls.

The Disas’ designs are primarily nightmare fuel. They might look like cute oversized stuffed dolls but I assure you when you are up close with them and moments before your horrifying death, they’re the kind that would give you sleepless nights. Even more so when we consider stuffed dolls to be cute, adorable and all, contributing to our dilemma that these creatures are out there to wreak havoc and take our lives. Yeah, no wonder we’re so confused. Too late to realize once they bare their fangs right in our faces. There are some Disas that have cute animal faces but a body of a macho man! This somewhat reminds me of those antagonistic squirrel henchmen in Mahou Shoujo Ore. Only, these ones are much deadlier and you can’t bludgeon them to a bloody death with a magical wand. This anime is done by Lidenfilms who did Koi To Uso, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet, Hanebado and Killing Bites.

Voice acting is decent. But beware some screaming moments that could be slightly ear piercing, if not heart breaking (like Nozomi’s traumatic moment). The only seiyuus I recognized are Sayaka Ohara as Tabira, Ayana Taketatsu as Chisato and Shizuka Itou as Sandino. Due to limited dialogue and screen time, I wasn’t aware Youko Hikasa was behind Peipei’s voice. Had Sacchu been voiced by Ikue Ohtani, it would have fuelled my speculation that this character was indeed taken after a certain electric yellow mouse. At points I thought it was so but too bad it is Kokoro Kikuchi (Akito/Agito in Air Gear) behind that black fairy mouse. The other casts include Aya Suzaki as Asuka (Mako in Kill La Kill), Akira Sekine as Kurumi (Princess in Princess Principal), Eriko Matsui as Mia (Amou in Busou Shoujo Machiavellism), Mao Ichimichi as Tamara (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Kenji Nomura as Iizuka (Shishigou in Fate/Apocrypha), Rie Takahashi as Makino (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Chinami Hashimoto as Sayoko (Chiyo in Prison School), Ayahi Takagaki as Abigail (Chris in Senki Zesshou Symphogear), Yuka Terasaki as Giess (Basil in Katekyoushi Hitman Reborn) and Shizuka Ishigami as Nazani (Renge in Kyoukai No Rinne).

The opening theme is Kodo by Nonoc. It is hard rock music infused with some techno music. I guess it fits the fast and furious action pace of the series. Basically there are many BGMs across the series that is very techno-laden. Very much suitable for the action scenes. So techno that I think it can also serve as dubstep. Turn on those volumes and let it blast aloud! If you’re high on drugs maybe you’ll go into some trance. Heh. Just joking. But just saying. The ending theme is Rebel Flag by Garnidelia, just normal hard rock music.

Overall, not really one of the best animes this season but I still particularly enjoyed it because of the action sequences and the intriguing dark nature and theme of the magical girls. Though, it could have been better if it the storyline was improved. It is a refreshing and unusual notion to use magical girls as the main trump card by the military to combat terrorism. It is one of those magical girls themed series that doesn’t clearly make our heroes victorious in the end. Heck, even Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica had a good happy ending. Uhm, sort of. Even Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku had a good happy ending. Okay, sort of. And even Mahou Shoujo Site had some sort of hope in its ‘good happy ending’. Well, kinda. But for our special operative magical girls here, it is still a long road ahead and even triumph is not guaranteed. With so much blood on their hands, it is either they live with the trauma from all the bloodshed or the ‘highest honour’ they could get is to die in the battlefield. Just sad…

Date A Live III

July 6, 2019

Wait. What?! Right now?! It has been a long time since so I never thought Date A Live III would actually materialize. It has been 5 years since the second season graced the TV screens and 4 years since that Mayuri Judgment movie came out. You bet that I would have certainly forgotten a lot from the first 2 seasons and even more so I didn’t see the movie so I might have missed out something. Maybe. I guess when they bring back a seemingly popular series after being in absentia for very long, I suppose there must be something great or epic happening, right? I hope so.

Episode 1
We start off so as to remind us the harem Shido has accumulated. Yup, they made him some horrible looking stew. Eat up, Shido. Fortunately, they didn’t turn this into a cliché because despite its looks, it actually tastes good! Even Origami is here on a short notice to contribute. But this will have to continue later as it is mission time. A Spirit is detected at an abandoned park where a spacequake occurred 30 years ago. Shido goes down to the ground to find this Spirit, the witch-like Natsumi who seems to be quite interested in him (which girl wouldn’t?). So a series of choice pops up and oddly the Ratatoskr didn’t choose the ‘fondle your boobs’ option and chose the ‘I am lost’ route. Natsumi asks if she is pretty and of course he says yes. Natsumi is very happy but the AST is here. Natsumi uses her magic to turn them into… Harmless cute animal pyjamas? However she used too much magic and this causes some disturbance. In that short period, Natsumi reverts to her true form and she becomes angry that Shido saw her. She thinks he is playing dumb and vows to turn his life upside down. When Shido attends school, all the girls accuse him of being a pervert! Even his teacher Tamae and that gay friend, Tonomachi! Of course his twisted harem like Touka and Origami would’ve preferred him to give heads up before lashing out his carnal desires. It doesn’t take long for Shido to realize there is a doppelganger going around doing bad deeds to sully his name. Confronting his clone at the rooftop, of course she is Natsumi in perfect disguise. She wants Shido to leave this town forever and she’ll take his place. Because everyone will get confused if there are 2 of them around. Touka and Origami enter. Oh no. The game of who is the real Shido begins. However the duo can sniff out the fake. Touka can smell the difference while Origami has memorized Shido’s habitual patterns (like blinking) right to the dot! Sore loser Natsumi will not accept this defeat. But she’ll be back. A few days later, no movements were detected from her. But Kotori gives him a letter from Natsumi. She wants to play a game. There are photos of 12 people (his harem, including Tonomachi!). Natsumi is impersonating one of them and failure to guess which one will result in one randomly disappearing until there are none.

Episode 2
Westcott is in a meeting in London. The board accuses him about turning Japan into a warzone. They pass a resolution to dismiss him but all those in support have their hands chopped off!!! Shido, Kotori and Reine discuss about Natsumi’s challenge. Shido maintains that Natsumi isn’t the kind who will disappear someone forever. He remains positive if he guesses right, all will return. So the only way to tell who she is impersonating is to date them all. The first is Touka and the moment Shido accuses her as Natsumi, she becomes mad. Who the f*ck is this Natsumi girl???!!! Oh dear. Just stepped on a live wire. He manages to bluff her it is some lovely greeting. But something is still wrong with Touka. There is an all you can eat buffet and she’s not excited? She’s even holding back on her portions. When he learns a TV programme said guys don’t like girls who eat too much, Shido corrects her that he prefers girls who can happily eat lots of food. With that, Touka returns to being a glutton. I guess she’s not Natsumi. Next date is Yoshino and she’s quite happy to eat pancakes with him. Definitely Yoshino alright. I guess we skip his date with Tonomachi since Shido himself doesn’t even want to consider that as one. Night fall and his final date for today is Yuzuru. She asks the question if he prefers her or Kaguya more. Since he cannot decide, Yuzuru replies she would have been happy had he picked either. But his chicken answer disappointed her. She also hopes if Kaguya asks the same question, she wants him to choose her. She might also ask the same things she did. Kaguya might not look like it but she likes Shido as much as she does. It feels like some sort of death flag when Yuzuru hopes he will take care of Kaguya and then runs away. Next morning, Shido answers the door only to find a frantic Kaguya. Yuzuru has been missing since last night. As all the 12 candidates have a video watching over them 24/7 (creepy), they see footage on Yuzuru. At midnight, Natsumi’s broom absorbs her. Shido maintains his trust in Natsumi but will end this game soon.

Episode 3
Shido is now dating Kotori. He knows she is the real deal when he snatches away her ribbons and she turns into a tantrum throwing kid. We see snippets of Shido dating other girls (Tamae even going so far as to seek him to register their marriage!) and the highlight of those dates is with Kaguya. After lying on his lap, she starts crying since she is worried for Yuzuru. She begs for him to save her. I don’t know why previously Natsumi never gave him a chance to guess and just absorbed a few people. Now she is giving him that chance? Shido thinks hard and thinks it is Yoshino. Wrong answer. For the next few days, a few more people have gone missing. Until after Touka goes missing did it really start to hit Shido hard. The only ones left who haven’t been taken by Natsumi are Kotori, Origami, Kaguya and Miku. Shouldn’t they have done this in the first place after Yuzuru went missing? Gather everyone, tell them the truth and find a solution. Instead of waiting for this desperate hour. As they discuss, Origami finds this game weird. With the pool growing smaller, it makes their chances of answering correct increase. Why would Natsumi put herself in such a disadvantage? Time is up and Natsumi is generous to give Shido 3 tries. He picks Yuzuru since she was the first to go. Wrong answer. Origami ‘dies’. Can Kotori answer on his behalf? Because she chooses Tonomachi! Dead wrong. Kaguya gets it. Miku is so scared and leaves her hairpin with him if worst case scenario happens. She hopes he will remember her with this piece. But this hint suddenly has Shido realizing the true answer. He knows that despite Natsumi says she is impersonating someone in the 12 pictures, it doesn’t necessarily one of the 12 people. It must be someone that she is confident he will not ever pick. And that person is Yoshinon. Because this rabbit is just Yoshino’s hand puppet, he now remembers it was acting on its own (it should not be able to see what Yoshino can’t). Natsumi is devastated with his correct answer and all the missing people are spit back out. Since this disrupted her power. Now everyone sees her true form. She’s a loli? Being the sore loser she is, she will not let all of them get away. She turns all the girls into young children.

Episode 4
I guess Shido has got it tough now that he has to babysit little girls! Heck, they even follow him to school and claim they are his daughters! Of course Shido gives an excuse that they are his relative’s but I don’t think they want to believe him. But Natsumi is up to her mischief again. Randomly changing the outfit of the girls and even turning their house into some funfair. This though, enables Reine to pinpoint Natsumi’s whereabouts. Westcott gives Ellen the green light to go Spirit hunting. Her first target is Natsumi. So when Ellen and her AST girls corner her, Natsumi just turns them into lolis. However this doesn’t startle Ellen a bit as she slashes her. Natsumi becomes afraid in seeing her own blood and pleads for her life. Ellen is about to deal the finishing blow but Shido and his mini harem are here to save her. With Miku’s help, they mind control the other AST girls to hold Ellen down to buy time for their escape. Meanwhile Origami receives a call that she will be punished. Thanks for the heads up because this gives her time to escape from the agents. With Natsumi in custody, Shido goes to talk to her. She is conflicted that he came to her aid despite all the bad things she has done to him. It seems she has low self-confidence over her true loli form. She thinks nobody listens to her in this form and Shido the same because he called her pretty in that busty mode. Had she appeared before him in this loli form first, she believes he would have ignored her too. She thinks he is lying when he says even her loli form has some charming points. She won’t be fooled by this. But soon, Shido and his harem give Natsumi a special makeover. They will transform her the best they can. If they succeed, they win. Natsumi becomes the cutest loli under their care. However she is now very conflicted because it is her loss if she is cute! Too much to handle for today. Meanwhile Ellen contacts Origami and wants her to work for her under DEM Industries. She refuses, citing she will not join any organization that harms Shido. But when she offers info that would allow her to avenge her parents’ death, she has no choice but to accept.

Episode 5
Natsumi has stabilized but still thinks everybody is lying. Kotori talks to the girls and tries to get them to think the same like her. That is, badmouthing Natsumi as an ugly brat. However none of them think so and believe it is Kotori who is something wrong. Even Shido is thinking they shouldn’t confine Natsumi and should let her eat with them. This makes Kotori mad and runs away. Of course that was Natsumi in disguise as the real Kotori calls since well, Natsumi has somehow escaped her room. Shido looks around and returns home only to see Ellen waiting. She wants him to hand over Natsumi or else he will ruin his home and family. Nice timing for a call to evacuate. It seems those vengeful board is trying to drop a satellite on this town to get their revenge on Westcott. Everyone is evacuated but Shido continues to look for Natsumi. Fraxinus tries to blow it out of the sky but there is some barrier. Hence, Kotori transforms into Efreet to blast it out of the sky. It works. Oh, there is a second satellite dropping! She is out of power and wants Shido to evacuate but you know, stubborn guy is willing to put his life at risk just for a witch girl. He even uses Sandalphon but no effect and he too is out of strength. Kotori has to beg the other Spirit girls to save her brother. Meanwhile Ellen returns to Westcott and is stumped he still hasn’t evacuated. He is confident the plan will fail. But just in case, he wants to use and put her to the test. The Spirits combine their powers to push the satellite away since exploding it too close to town will be dangerous. However, bogeys are here to stall the Spirits. With their hands tight, who else is going to save them? Natsumi! She easily turns the satellite into some harmless cartoon. Natsumi tries to act tough but Shido is only glad that she is unhurt. I guess this is it for Natsumi. She admits all her wrongdoings and starts crying. Shido hopes she could be his friend and she cries harder! WTF?! The Spirits too can’t leave Natsumi alone and want to be Shido’s friend. Why the heck did they ‘downgrade’ themselves? Do they want to be his lover? Natsumi learns the sealing process. Though embarrassed, she gets it over quickly by kissing him. Can’t rest yet as a bomb is now literally being dropped! Who saves them this time? Origami!

Episode 6
Perhaps Shido should have seen this coming. Sexy Natsumi trying to seduce him in bed. Foreplay folly only stopped thanks to Kotori. Then it descends into some petty argument of sexiness and boobs. On to a serious note, Shido is in shock when he hears Tamae announcing that Origami has suddenly transferred out to a school in England. Shido then connects the dots that she might have joined DEM Industries since she was wearing their power suit. So desperate that during lunch he goes to her place. Empty. Despair? Like as though it was a trap for him as he gets kidnapped. Kotori receives word of Shido’s sudden disappearance and wants him found before the end of the school day. Shido finds himself tied in a room. The perpetrator no other than Origami. Although she admits she joined DEM Industries, these actions are of her own and not Westcott’s orders. She has finally found the resolve to kill the Spirits. Not just the Spirits that killed her parents, but all of them. Hence, she abducted him to keep him out. To her, all Spirits are the same and to prevent future tragedies like her, all Spirits will die. Shido argues that Touka and co have changed and all they want is to lead normal lives. That is the reason Origami couldn’t accept. To accept living together with the likes of Touka. Origami begins her plan by sounding a fake spacequake alert to evacuate the people. Now she can kill the Spirits with no interference. Touka and co are shocked at Origami’s resolve. They don’t want to fight her but are forced to since they can see she is dead serious in killing them. Meanwhile Ratatoskr is about to head and retrieve the Spirits but is intercepted by Goetia, DEM Industries’ ship. Ellen contacts them and gives them a chance to run. She also relays a message for Woodman. They call him a traitor and will make him pay. With nobody on Fraxinus turning away, they prepare to fight back but Goetia easily blasts them. Meanwhile Touka is down for the count.

Episode 7
Did Origami return just to laugh at Shido? Actually it’s Natsumi. Yoshino and Natsumi were wandering around town and spotted Shido and Origami, hence the tailing game. We see Origami owning the Spirits. With Touka hell bent on protecting those important to her, her Spirit power returns and is able to defeat Origami. Origami laments all that she has thrown away have been wasted when a voice asks her if she wants power. Of course. With that, Origami is now a Spirit. Stronger than before, she renews her vow to kill all Spirits before killing herself. Touka can’t fight and protect at the same time so she has the rest get away. The power Spirit fight gets on the way but further damage is prevented when Shido calls out to them. I guess Origami isn’t in the mood anymore and flies away. Shido learns what happened from Touka as they all recuperate in the infirmary. Shido has to seal Touka’s power and you know that means kissing. I guess it is better here in this room than out in the public. If only the other damn Spirits weren’t so eager in being peeping toms. Meanwhile our favourite Spirit, Kurumi is seen frolicking around town. Origami then approaches her.

Episode 8
It seems she wants Kurumi to use one of her powers, Yod Beth to send her back 5 years in time to stop the death of her parents. What is she going to do if Kurumi refuses? Bug her until she agrees! I guess Kurumi is smart enough not to deal with that crap and decides to agree to it. After all, she needs somebody as a guinea pig for her Yod Beth. Origami returns in time just before the spacequake. She confronts the supposed Phantom although we cannot see or hear her properly thanks to ‘interference’. Origami is so hell bent in destroying her without reason to reason, that she realizes too late that she was the one who killed her parents! Well, now that comes full circle. ‘Funny’ to know that Origami hating and vowing to kill the Spirit was actually her future self. Phantom flees after satisfied that she has achieved her goal. Back in current time, the moon goes black and suddenly Origami starts raining down attacks randomly. So she’s no longer a Spirit but an Inverse? Oh sh*t! It took down Fraxinus (for the second time) but this time did it kill Kotori on board?! It’s Shido cue to go save Origami and end this madness and you know it’s his job since the other Spirits fend off the other attacks to make a path to her. They also have to deal with Ellen who wants to harvest her. But Shido loses his chance to kiss and seal her because Origami’s face up close looks like a hagged old woman! Yikes! I can see why any guy would freak out and fall right down to hell!!! Because of that, Kurumi traps him as now it is the right time to set forth her goal. No amount of begging is going to make her let you go, Shido. She fires Yod Beth into him. Shido finds himself back 5 years in time. Sorry Tamae, this boy whom you don’t know is not trying to hit on you. Since Shido is clueless, Kurumi lets him in on what’s happening. The only way to reverse the disaster unfolding in the present is to deal with Origami’s past. He must reverse it. So why is she doing this? Looks like the future is destroyed and Kurumi is holding on to that hope that history can be changed. Wait. This is Kurumi? Our Kurumi?!

Episode 9
Shido almost blunders when he tries to take a shortcut and a neighbour thinks he is a suspicious person. Somehow he manages to use Natsumi’s power to transform himself into a kid to allay the suspicions. With Origami’s battle with Phantom now at hand, Shido is too late as he witnesses and now understands why Origami turned out so. So he hugs loli Origami and tries to convince her that he will shoulder all her burdens. Although she accepts, however this anger is only hers to carry. He will have fun and be sad on her behalf until she kills that Spirit. Oddly, Kurumi feels regret that had she not used Yod Beth in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened. So she didn’t see this coming? However Kurumi believes there is still a way to correct this. Because her old self was nearby the incident, Shido goes to see that Kurumi. She is of course on her guard at this stranger. Shido convinces her to touch him so as to contact Kurumi of the present. She is to fire Yod Beth into Shido to send him back again in time. Just right before that incident again. Shido thinks of a plan. They cannot prevent Origami from seeing her parents’ death because that would be just shifting her grudge to someone else. Hence Shido goes to ‘stalk’ Kotori. As much as he wants to stop her from contacting Phantom, he can’t. So after Phantom turned her into a Spirit and causing the adjacent place to burn, Shido’s plan is to talk to Phantom. However it seems she recognizes him and runs away. But soon she decides to confront him. Even though this is not her true form but it’s better than talking to censors. Who this girl? But Phantom claims she knows him and cannot obey his wishes. She hopes to meet again when the time is right. Phantom goes off to fight with Origami and with history at risk of repeating itself, Shido this time pushes Origami’s parents away and gets vaporized on their behalf. But the next thing he knows, he wakes up in bed in his house. Looks peaceful. But he can’t contact Kurumi anymore. Did he save the day?

Episode 10
Everyone is normal. Kotori tells him today’s date and it is the day after Origami went Inverse. But in school, it seems nobody knows about Origami. This has Shido to believe Origami of this world doesn’t hold a grudge against Spirits and is living happily with her parents. But why he looking so sad? Because of that, some of his Spirit harem thinks he has girlfriend issues. WTF Natsumi’s idea to dress up in a naked apron to cheer him up? Shido then learns of a terrifying Spirit known as Devil. Rather, she is an Inverse. Not surprisingly, she looks like Origami. Back to depression again. But next day, shocking news for him as Origami is a new transfer student in his class! She is shocked to see him. Shido finds out more that Origami did join AST but retired a while ago. So if her parents were saved, why did she join AST? Hence he talks to her directly. Her initial shock was because he looked like the person who saved her 5 years ago. Remember, Shido got vaporized. Shido lies that person is his older brother. It makes her sad but also grateful because her family got to live together. Although unfortunately her parents died in an accident 4 years ago. She joined AST so as not to have more tragic cases like his ‘brother’. However she doesn’t understand when he asks her becoming a Spirit. Later after Shido wakes up from resting, surprise to see Kurumi here? She plans to shoot Yod Beth at Origami to see what happened. Why now? Because she couldn’t get close to the original. When Origami stumbles into Kurumi, she transforms into Devil and attacks. Kurumi lost?! Origami reverts to her normal state and has no recollection of what just happened.

Episode 11
With Origami not sure why she spaces out from time to time, Kurumi admits at this rate it is hard to discover why Origami turned Inverse. Shido tells Kotori and Reine what happened. Reine theorizes her memories split into 2. As soon as she senses a Spirit, she awakens as an Inverse type. The plan is to seal her as a Spirit but looks like Shido already agreed to go on a date with her. With Fraxinus doing that date sim option thingy, Shido wants to try a different route. Like taking her to a love hotel?! Just joking. But it spiked her happiness level. He then takes her to a shop selling weird things and unknowingly she buys those products. Even when shopping for clothes, she unknowingly wears a doggy ears swimsuit? During lunch, she tries to lick his spoon and when accidentally spilling water over his shirt, the moment he shows his abs she starts snapping away! She claims her body is moving on its own? At the end of the day, Origami feels confused. She is still sad about Shido’s ‘brother’ but he claims he would have done the same thing. With Origami’s happiness level at max, time to seal the deal but WTF the wooden barrier breaks and she falls off. Shido saves her but got his hands scratched and bleeding. Because of that she becomes a Spirit? Locking herself inside an armour cocoon, Shido tries to break through but it’s too tough. Yeah, Fraxinus is shot down again. Shido can’t run away and let the town be destroyed so he is going to keep trying even if it seems futile. Not if his other Spirit harem can help path a way to reach her. Meanwhile Origami is inside her consciousness and sees her other Devil self. When she touches her, they receive memories from both their worlds. Devil relates the truth that she can never take back the sin of killing her parents. Before Origami falls into despair, Shido’s voice can be heard. Must have said all the right words. You’re not alone. Always here for you. I’ll always save you no matter how much she is in despair. No matter how many times he has to rewrite history. Works like a charm. Origami reaches out to him. She accepts the fact the sin of killing her parents will never go away and Shido agrees that is her burden to bear. She admits she doesn’t love him but only relied on him. Honoured, it is exactly why he was able to save her. Finally he seals her with a kiss. With Origami back in class, you know it’s the Origami we know because she tries to wipe Shido’s tears with her crotch! Yeah, she claims the swimsuit retains moisture better. Though she did claim she never loved him, that is why she can begin her true love for him now. Oh boy. Let the harem fight begin too.

Episode 12
Woah. Shido suddenly super strong and fast? And then he collapses. The source is because his Spirit harem is hanging around him, their Spirit power is causing his body to overheat. A simple kiss is enough to seal it. No time to be shy because Shido just escaped. Worse, he is now a lady killer flirting with any women he sees! WTF is this short cheesy musical segment?! I guess Ellen got the rudest shock with Shido being such a cool cat, it reduces Ellen to some embarrassed b*tch. Get him back next time, huh? When the other girls come and want to seal his power, he throws them a condition. They must make him fall for them and a reason enough to kiss them. Roles reversed now. So we have the Spirit harem taking turns to swoon him. The twins go first. Eating an ice cream yuri style helps with the cream dropping all over their body. Score! Natsumi tries to seduce him in her busty body but she ran out of power and now the swimsuit is hanging loose over her loli body. Score! Yoshino massages him and shows him her swimsuit underneath? That is also score?! It’s classy and elegant time and with Kotori being such a lady, that is enough to score. Even Miku just saying a few words is enough to score. And she didn’t even do anything. Origami tries to spike his drink but the bartender mixes it up. Damn. Now she’s drunk, she’s so cute falling all over him. Score! Save the best for last because now it’s Touka. She feels uneasy about this but before she could do her usual stuff (eating of course) with him, looks like Shido has prematurely overheated. WTF did he just do a Kamehameha and turn Super Saiyan???!!! The girls chase this raging beast. Kotori is inclined to use some weapon to shoot him down but Origami and Touka stop her. There are better ways to solve this. Yeah, let’s not resort to violence, shall we? With the help of Kurumi restraining him, eventually the girls manage to land some cheap kiss on him (WTF?!) and the last ‘boss’ is Touka. Braving his attacks, she realizes this feeling called love inside her for him and that Shido has been suffering like this to reach out to them. Finally, a decent kiss. Touka won the lottery because she gets to be with Shido recuperating in hospital. She is the only one who didn’t manage to make him swoon in the contest so I guess this is fair. It must be her lucky day because a second great kiss is coming! It’s safe to say Touka won, no?

The Spirit Is Willing But The Boy/Trash Is Weak
Oh dear. The final episode was the lamest, the cheesiest, the most WTF and the worst ever. But it is also the most fun! Because, who really gives a damn at this point? Imagine, this is what this series would have been had it actually followed this route of the most cliché harem trope with Shido being turned into a typical main character harem douchebag. I don’t think it will get past the first season if it ruined the series went along with that kind cheesiness. Even though it somewhat reminds us that it should be Shido x Touka but the ending felt somewhat completed. Uh huh. The sudden abrupt ending with them kissing felt like there was something missing. Why the heck did Kurumi not kiss Shido???!!! Our favourite Spirit and she is the only one left out of the kissing spree?! I suppose she will always remain the rebel until the end.

I read that many hated and criticized this season because of how they trashed and butchered the final arc of this season. If you find that there are things that you don’t really understand (like yours truly), perhaps you can blame this. After all, if you want to watch the third season, it is best you have watched the previous seasons because knowledge of what has happened so far and the settings of this world is very important if you want to enjoy understand this season. To be fair, the series want to advance its plot and can’t be spending an extra episode to refresh our memories or introduce newbies to the series. Yeah, best you go back and watch everything again. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But sad to say, the third season doesn’t fair as well as the disappointing second season and could be the death knell of this series for good.

This season is split into 2 arcs. The first arc being the typical add-another-Spirit-into-Shido’s harem and the second bringing one of the main characters officially into Shido’s harem. Yeah. That’s how I see it. Lucky bastard. Initially I thought the Natsumi arc was going to be the arc that would set the rest of the season. I don’t know how I started coming up with the theory of one episode for Shido to date the possible candidate. Hence an elimination of a character/candidate per episode. I thought this was going to be super boring if they are going to follow through this formula. It isn’t impossible because, what is the name of this series again? Thankfully Natsumi’s cheeky guessing game was cut short and I suppose I also got a bit disappointed because it didn’t really amount to anything much. I thought it would drag on a few more episodes since Yuzuru got the bulk of that focus so I thought some of the other characters might have their chance too. None. Yeah, they literally speed run through this game. It certainly would have been interesting to see Shido on a date with Tamae?

Hence Natsumi becomes a mere side supporting character once she officially becomes part of Shido’s Spirit harem. What is better than having a loli? Why, having 2 lolis! Because Yoshino is the meek kind, we need to have the kind that is bratty. I see no other Spirit having this character so okay, let’s make bratty Natsumi part of the gang. The other Spirits also suffer thanks to Origami’s arc taking the entire second half. Touka, Yoshino, Yuzuru, Kaguya and Miku fall way off into the side-lines as the only non-Spirit girl deals with her issues and becomes a Spirit. I guess it is such a waste for these Spirit characters and they are just around for some comical issues and to remind us that Shido has a harem. Sometimes to ex machina certain situations because Shido as a normal high school kid can’t do everything himself. The last episode didn’t do any justice as it was just rushed. Trying to give his ballooning Spirit harem some flirting time with Shido but it comes off as a big fail and waste of time. So miniscule and ridiculous their screen time, might as well not have this crap in the first place. Oh well, having some sort of crap is better than having no crap at all!

Despite Kurumi only making limited appearances, I suppose she is the reason why we find this series a little bit tolerable. Okay, maybe not for all of us. But yeah, the enigmatic Kurumi is perhaps why many keep having hope for this series and that she should just own every other Spirit and become Shido’s only one. Oh well. Not in this world and timeline. Maybe in some other’s if history and the world was rewrote in another way under different circumstances. Could be possible considering Kurumi’s Spirit powers that there might be a world where she gets Shido all by herself and none of those lame Spirit b*tches in the way.

Remember Mana? No. Not to worry. I don’t even remember her until I was going through my previous blog! Oh dear. Who the f*ck is she?! She is supposed to be Origami’s AST comrade and I don’t see her appearing anywhere in this season. I don’t remember what happened to her the last time but I guess she was so insignificant with no role to play, they might have completely cut her out from this season. Other characters like Westcott and Woodman feel like red herring. It’s like they’ve got a plan for something but so far, nothing to show for. At least nothing important or significant that I can see. Last and not least, got to say that girl who is part of the 3 stooges who only says one single line is still f*cking amusing. Majihiku wa!

Origami’s arc is timely and a focus on her character is much needed. However it doesn’t feel as interesting. Because I predicted and saw it from 100 miles away that she was the Spirit that killed her parents. Cue to drag out the drama after she falls into despair from some emotional brownie points. Who knows, she could actually be Phantom herself from another timeline or future. Might not be confident with this conspiracy theory but it is still a possibility. Though, not a very high one. With Shido rewriting history, we get to see a very different side of Origami. She wasn’t the weird pervert that we always know but a meek and very shy girl. She is so different that she might as well be a very different character. Either way, even if the mind forgets, the body doesn’t. Hence it could be the only explanation why that meek Origami’s body started doing weird perverted things on its own. It’s like between the devil and the deep blue sea. Would we rather have this nice girl Origami or the bold weirdo Origami? Well… I’d rather have Kurumi!!! Damn you people, give us another Kurumi OVA, will ‘ya?!

Art and animation I believe remains constant with its previous seasons but is it me or do I feel that there is a drop in quality? For one, I thought that all the characters look a bit younger than they are. For example like Shido, at certain angles he looks a bit like a kid and at other times just a bit weird. Even some of the scenes showing the Spirits, it’s like they lack details and I thought they just gave up and hope we didn’t notice. Well, I did. Perhaps the different production studios for different seasons were the reason? AIC Plus+ did the first season followed by Production IMS in the second. This time it is animated by J.C. Staff. Seriously, do they not have any animes to animate? Sure, they have their hands full with the To Aru series, then they had High Score Girl and Hangyakusei Million Arthur, One Punch Man S2 and the upcoming DanMachi S2 to deal with. Oh yeah. Big company, many stuffs, more projects, more money. Makes sense.

Sweet Arms have been singing this series’ opener for the last 2 seasons. They’re back again for the third. I Swear isn’t a cover of All-4-One’s 1994 hit single. But I rather hear All-4-One’s piece than this bland generic anime pop. The same can be said for the ending theme, Last Promise by Erii Yamazaki. Sounds pretty generic and nothing special. This season’s seiyuu joining the line-up are Ayumi Mano as Natsumi (Esaka in Ore Ga Suki Nano Wa Imouto Dakedo Imouto Ja Nai) and the recognizable Kana Hanazawa as Phantom. Speaking of which, it is odd and further fuels my suspicions that this Phantom character is not the real Phantom because in the ending credits, Phantom’s seiyuu is marked as “???” whereas Kana Hanazawa’s character is also marked as “???”. Something looks shady here…

Overall, the third season didn’t really do any justice to make amends of the poor showing of the second season and further drove a nail into its coffin. It’s like they want to bury this series for good. Not even Kurumi’s Yod Beth for a different world to rewrite this crap can save this season. Because ultimately even if another parallel world that this third season was good exists, it still doesn’t hide the fact that some bad sh*t has happened and we have to shoulder the burden and accept that the third season was awful. Yeah. Thanks Origami. We learnt something from your past. Accept and move on. Sometimes it feels like Shido is the Date A Live series and Origami coming up with those damn weird pranks represents the production team trying to screw him up. Or Shido being a douchebag and trying to screw with the ladies. Not impressed. Screwed us up alright. Many say that you’d be better off reading the light novels but considering myself who doesn’t like to read, looks like it is dead end for me. Ironically, the most relevant line to sum up this season and our sentiments come from a certain irrelevant minor character. Yup. Majihiku wa.

Raz Dva Tri Chetyre! Wao~ssu! Waiwaiwaiwai shicatte! More lolicon maid for me. At least Uchi No Maid Ga Uzasugiru OVA is just a single episode released for the BDs. But you can expect more or less the same kind of antics from the bunch of characters if you have watched the TV series. A certain maid with killer abs and an extreme unhealthy fetish for little girls freaking out this particular half Russian half Japanese loli whom she is taking care of and the latter is trying to reject her unhealthy love but at the same time find it hard to things without her while trying to carry on her normal life after her mom’s death. Life has never been so fun-cum-annoying…

Part 1
Hotspring episode! More precisely, a resort spa thanks to Midori’s parents’ hospitality. Sure, the TV series had that but it was interrupted with Misha getting lost. Now we can feast our eyes in peace with lolis and maids in swimsuits all day long! Sort of. Misha invites Mimika and Yui here. Of course, Tsubame came uninvited although she claims it is to protect her from the filthy views of lolicon perverts. Is she talking about herself? With Midori looking mature in her swimsuit, Tsubame can’t stop getting nose bleeds from the loli swimsuit fanservice. Hence they tease her to take off the cover of her swimsuit before it gets blood soaked. Well, if you can stomach those abs and muscles. Tsubame acts all violated being seen in public. But it’s just a silly ploy to make Misha take responsibility and sign this marriage agreement. Please don’t ruin the fun. And so we see the lolis having their fun and a few times almost ruined thanks to Tsubame being a lolicon jerk. But thanks to the great security, our lolis’ chastity and fun are protected. As they change and prepare to leave for home, Misha realizes something grave. On the way home, Tsubame could tell from the way she sheepishly walks. Yup, she isn’t wearing any pantsu. She was so excited that she came wearing her swimsuit underneath and forgot to pack an extra pair. This gives Tsubame the excuse to go all out to protect her secret garden. WTF… Excuse for her to get suspicious at everything that threatens her oujo-sama’s secret garden. I wonder if this is an excuse to take advantage and get some herself. But thankfully no untoward incidents. But a few steps from home, suddenly there is a typhoon! Damn, the heavens even want to peek at Misha?! Before Misha is about to give up, Tsubame f*cking Falcon Punches the sky!!! WTF???!!! IT WORKED???!!! Pure coincidence but still WTF. When they finally reach home, Midori asks why she didn’t just buy a pair on the way home. Oh…

Part 2
Misha watches an anime about a very clumsy maid. I guess it’s for fanservice because each time she slips, her pantsu is showing. This prompts Misha to think anyone can be a maid. However Tsubame shockingly slaps some common sense into her about fiction and reality. Then something about how reality doesn’t have people take maids seriously and how this anime’s maid lacks ambition, etc. With Misha getting irk, she carelessly says she can prove by doing all that by being a maid. I guess she fell into Tsubame’s trap. Because now she has to make good her words and this loli maid outfit Tsubame made, I suppose she was waiting for this day to put it on her. Even Yasuhiro can’t help snap a pic of his lovely daughter. One for the road! With Misha bent on getting through this, she’ll do what it takes and doesn’t want Tsubame to help. Otherwise it would be meaningless if she is shown the tropes. So we see Misha doing the chores and getting clumsy but without the fanservice. When she is about to clean her late mom’s workroom, she realizes it is tough being a parent or a maid to do such chores every day. She gets her resolve to continue being a maid for the day and makes a delicious curry dinner for herself and the maids. I wonder if the meal is ruined when Tsubame suddenly says I love you to her. She explains it is because she gets to see how Misha has grown up and showing her different sides. Hence her love just keeps growing. But Misha knows the game she is playing. Because Misha has confiscated her handphone and shows all the secret photos that she has taken while Misha was being as a maid. So engrossed in watching her that she didn’t realize her pets helped stole it from her pocket. Now you know why Tsubame wants her to be a maid? Pressured, Tsubame tries to explain herself but of course being blindly positive that she’s doing this for the future of their children isn’t going to cut it. Misha deletes everything. Best gift ever.

Desperate Housemaids
Still fun, still funny, still cute, still annoying. Nothing really much to expect here. No twists or revelations of any sorts like suddenly incorporating a new maid character into the mix. Just the same ol’ Tsubame using every excuse she has to justify her lolicon tendencies towards Misha and every failure makes her even more determined. Oh well, like they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Misha, her strength and weakness both in one package. Misha is still hanging in there quite well as a kid. With her knowing how to play Tsubame’s game at times, I am confident that she won’t grow up into a psychotic traumatized person. I don’t think she hates maids. Just Tsubame in particular she dislikes. Stress on the word, dislike. If she did hate maids, Midori would be no different but Misha still accepts her a lot more than Tsubame. Speaking of Midori, she is still the same masochist in every perverted way. Even things going her way has her thinking it is just to give her false hope and then make her come crashing down in despair. You gotta love her twisted logic. Yui is still wanting to challenge Misha for whatever reasons and this short part feels unnecessary so as to just solidify her character for the sake of that. Since that whatever challenge she threw down to her didn’t really materialize anyway.

So this OVA didn’t really break the mould or change anything in particular. Anybody who watched the TV series would feel really comfortable at home with all the familiar stuffs and settings. Just add a bit of lolicon swimsuit fanservice and a very idiotic and clumsy in-anime maid fanservice. Thankfully I’m not a lolicon so I didn’t get turn on seeing lolis in swimsuits. Misha looks cute in a maid outfit too but I didn’t drool over her like a certain lolicon pervert did. She should be the star of the next season (if that ever happens) as she takes over being her own maid! Uchi No Maid Ga Watashi Da! It is somewhat true that in reality, people don’t take maids seriously. Because instead of cleaning, cooking and doing the laundry (like what maids are supposed to do!), maids are now there to serve you omelette rice meals with your name or whatever written in ketchup, then chant the magical good luck charm, “Oishiku nare!” to make it become tasty. WTF?! Do maids actually do that kind of stuff???!!! Moe~! Kyun~! Thank you Japan, for helping to rebrand the image of maids worldwide. Banzai meido!!!