Is your crotch itching right now? Studies show that men often think a lot more of sex per day on average. Even it shows so, that doesn’t mean that women do not think of the same. Thinking less about sex doesn’t mean that they don’t think at all. After all, we’re just humans and it is just plain human nature to think about sex, right? Yeah, we’re all just walking horny beasts. Anyway, when you’re that age hitting puberty, thoughts of sex especially about the opposite gender would most probably skyrocket. Hence Araburu Kisetsu No Otome-domo Yo is a story about a group of young high school girls curious on the topic of love and sex. Not to say they are horny and wet as f*ck, but there are some things that you just can’t (ironically) decently learn in school and textbooks. Navigating and fumbling their way through love and lust would probably lead to a lot of weird and bizarre situations and moments but nothing beats hands on experience learning, right? Sort of.

Episode 1
The literature club girls are reading passages from an erotic novel. Sure this is not a sex club disguised as a pseudo literature club? The only popular girl in club among the boys is Niina Sugawara. President Rika Sonezaki seems like a stuck up b*tch, Hitoha Kongou gives off this mysterious aura while Kazusa Onodera and Momoko Sudou are just plain. Really plain. Kazusa has a neighbour and childhood friend, Izumi Norimoto whom is very popular among girls. Because of this relatively closeness, other jealous girls badmouth behind Kazusa’s back that she hogs Izumi. Kazusa continues to have trouble as she discovers new erotic meanings and terms used in sex. I guess now she knows what deflowering means… As the literature club girls discuss another new released book of an author, suddenly Niina announces she wants to have sex. I mean, she really wants sex. The D. True penetration! What’s the rush? You still have a long life ahead, no? What do you mean you don’t have much time left???!!! Kazusa seeks some explanation but she’s even pretty enigmatic about that. This greatly affects Rika a lot so when she overhears some girls talking about doing it with some boys, she blows her top. Naturally the bad girls dare fight her but the boys put an end to this. No use fighting over someone who isn’t pretty. This leaves Rika red faced. Until Shun Amagi says otherwise. He thinks she is pretty but everyone else thinks he is joking. This makes Rika wondering if he is making fun of her. Back to Kazusa, now she hears girls wanting to steal Izumi’s virginity. That evening, mom send her over to deliver some food to him. Nobody’s home? But the door is unlock. Ojama shimasu. Some light and weird noises coming out from Izumi’s room. The moment she opens the door… OMFG!!! Izumi watching porn!!! WITH HIS PANTS DOWN!!! Don’t panic. Coolly put your pants back on. Coolly turn off the video. Coolly say please keep this a secret… Unfortunately Kazusa goes berserk as she darts out of his home. I guess there is only so much she could take. She runs through town and sees every damn signboard as some sort of sexual innuendo! So what is it that she is so afraid? She thinks it won’t fit?! But she starts crying over this. She cannot bear the thought of sex taking over her life. Welcome to a man’s mind…

Episode 2
Kazusa spots a guy trying to hit on Niina. Niina then sends a message to her seeking her help. So this creep of course is trying to get in her pants when Niina introduces Kazusa as the biggest slut in the group. She acts according to script and yells out loud about her itching crotch! Sure scared the hell out of that guy. Later Niina explains that because she is naturally pretty, guys often look at her in a sexual way. Hence a friend in an acting troupe taught her ways on how to go about this. She still sounds enigmatic about why she would die young. Is she referring to her youthful looks? Back home, Kazusa wants to talk to dad about boys. Too bad dad is more interested in trying to order pizza! WTF?! Oh yeah. He’s a real man for sure… But Izumi is here and he wants to talk. No progress. He hopes she would forget what she saw. Meanwhile Hitoha is being told by her editor to write something erotica. Not porn. Something erotic. Otherwise he would look for other girls who would be dying to get in her shoes. This leaves Hitoha in a bitter taste. Rika has a mishap during gym as she knocks her crotch on the horse. Vault. This has everyone laughing at her she broke her hymen. She runs away embarrassed and while washing up herself, Amagi comes to talk to her. But she still finds it embarrassing when he finds her beautiful and all. Later Rika comes up with banned words that has sexual connotations. It looks more like some bad sex puns…And then the title of Suffering of Erotica Experience somehow shortened to… SEX! Damn, they’re naturally good? Kazusa sees a girl trying to confess to Izumi. Eavesdropping, it’s a good thing he turned her down but unfortunately he didn’t finish it off since he says he doesn’t have someone he likes so that girl uses this opportunity to have him think and change his mind whenever. So when Kazusa confronts him about this, a big argument ensues. She can’t say that sex word so he is unsure of what she’s accusing him of. More woes for the literature club as the principal and his vice march in to threaten to shut down the club. They received complaints about them reading vulgar material out loud. Hey, literature is art! But the worst offence is that they have no advisor. You mean not a decent teacher wants to be the advisor of the literature club? Kazusa is most affected as this club means everything to her. But Niina also knows another reason she is crying. She asks her if she wants to do it with Izumi. Not sure? She rephrases it if there was a person whom she must have sex with to save the world, who would it be? Without hesitation, she answers Izumi. That only means she is in love with him. Problem solved. Can I assume those are tears of joy?

Episode 3
When Hitoha sees a book released at the store, she storms out furious. She calls her editor about not telling her on going with another author. He claims her works are like total fantasy and unrealistic. Because of that, Hitoha is frustrated and feeling the need for experience, the person whom she has always been chatting online with, she wants to have sex with him. In real life! Izumi talks to Niina as she was the one who recorded his confession to that girl and wants her to delete that video. However she deflects the question and ask him about the person whom he would love to have sex with. He doesn’t give a definite answer so she tells him that girls also think about sex. Even Kazusa. Meanwhile the rest are going around asking teachers to be their advisor. You mean it is that bad that nobody really wants to be it? One day, Kazusa is tasked to bring something to Izumi’s house again. In his room, she notices an old kiddie video they used to watch together. Only… This time this is where he hides is porn Blu-ray disc!!! Hitoha goes to meet the supposed person. Hmm… Looks a bit familiar. Isn’t he that nerdy pathetic teacher in their school, Tomoaki Yamagishi? He runs away the moment he spots her and manages to give her the slip. Izumi realizes his favourite porn disc is missing. Oh no. Couldn’t it be… As the literature club is moments away from being disbandment, Hitoha then brings Yamagishi who agrees to be their advisor. Saved. Who’d knew blackmail would be such a great tactic. Yamagishi reluctantly attends the literature club’s activities but he also gives off decent analysis about the texts they read. He is after all a teacher of language arts. That night, Kazusa tries to sneak back the disc when nobody is home. Then she realizes the porn scene is on the bus than on a train. She remembers Izumi loves trains so much that he cares not to taint it. I’m not sure about this logic but yeah, whatever. Just when Kazusa is glad that he hasn’t changed, here comes Izumi. He tries to make it clear and admits despite he thinks about those stuffs, he never once thought of doing it with anybody. Anybody. Oh dear. Wrong word too. Because now Kazusa is sad thinking he never really wanted to have sex with her. Those aren’t tears of joy definitely. She runs away. He tries to catch her. They fall. Ambiguous position. Then it’s like she lost all vibe and just walks out like a zombie. Enough damage for today?

Episode 4
With Rika having a change in style and losing those glasses, damn the whole class takes note of how pretty she is! She’s like a twin of that famous model, Erika! Because Amagi was the one who proposed this, they think he likes her. This has Rika embarrassed enough to tell off everyone she won’t be falling for that fool. Later Amagi approaches her and confirms that he might be starting to fall for her. However she tells him to write a 50 page report why he likes her! With Kazusa still in a dilemma over Izumi, Momoko talks to Niina about love. Niina is fine with people borrowing feelings because this would lead to discovery of your own true feelings. Hitoha approaches Yamagishi being a young man with sexual fantasies and that’s a problem since he is a teacher. He assures he has no interest in high school girls and explains how crude and unrefined they are. As for the online thingy, he had the impression Hitoha was a middle aged man. This makes Hitoha mad. So she tries to get back at him by going on top of him? I’m sure it awakened some strange lust inside her. Momoko is invited by her classmates to go karaoke. She is not used to this and even more so when the guys start singing songs about f*cking!!! Hence Satoshi Sugimoto talks to her outside. It seems he is her childhood friend and moved away but never forgot about her. They exchange contacts for a start. Momoko relays this good news to Kazusa and the former is ecstatic like as though this is straight out from a shoujo manga. This has Momoko thinking that she want to try falling for him and maybe have sex with him too. Ganguro girl, Sonoe Juujou tries to befriend Rika but the latter is not amused. Later Amagi hands over his 50 page report to Rika! Yeah, he did it. Being a critic is easy… I wonder how she can go on further if she is already startled by a few lines of him describing her cuteness. How does he fill in the rest of the pages? Spam “Cute!”. The last page should be the clincher. It asks her to date him. That lust thingy may have screwed Hitoha’s brain because now she wants Yamagishi to teach her about real sex! Izumi needs to talk to Niina about something. Hence when Kazusa sees them together on the train, you bet her mind is going to explode. Remember what Niina said about sex before dying, right?

Episode 5
Izumi accidentally talks about trains so Niina to notes she is somewhat interested in them because it is like a box carrying lives. When she spots an old man walking out, she takes Izumi by the hand to come with her. Then she calls out to Hisahi Saegusa and says Izumi is her boyfriend. Saegusa looks like he doesn’t give a damn and walks off. Hitoha is being chauffeured by Yamagishi. She hides the moments she sees Kazusa and Momoko on the streets. Yamagishi notes her aspiration to become an erotic novelist but he doesn’t want to be shunned by society by engaging in this. But he has an idea. Niina tells Izumi about Saegusa. He is a famous playwright director of Soyokaze Troupe. She was one of the many young children taking lessons under him. Niina wasn’t particularly interested and even more shocking he made her his lead actress. When she tried ditching practice, he rubbed his face on her feet! If she doesn’t want a part in this then kick him! Is this guy some sort of lolicon masochist? Saegusa treated Niina well and this went on for many years until puberty hit her. She hinted about sex but Saegusa the moment he did that with her, she will cease to be a girl. He admits she has all the womanly charms that others would find attractive of. One day when she decides to fly the nest, he will venture out and find a new vestige of her. That will be their happy ending. Izumi is shocked when Niina says Kazusa has a crush on him because that never really occurred to him. When Kazusa and Izumi’s family go bowling together, the duo feel awkward but eventually childhood memories made it easier to break the ice. Izumi then mentions about Niina. She is more weird than cute. Momoko feels weird after her date with Sugimoto. It’s like he insist in paying his part for her meal. Later she realizes from his text that he was trying to be her father since she doesn’t have one. He assures her because he also has friends in the same situation. Weird. In school, Hitoha hides in a corner trying to flash her panties to Yamagishi. However she chickened out. Apparently this was his idea as an experiment and despite she is embarrassed, she also felt excited. Rika hands back Amagi’s report. Yeah, lots of grammatical mistakes. But don’t read it now? Stubborn Amagi does so and when she tries to stop him, the papers scatter everywhere. In their bid to recollect them, Amagi spots the last page. Rika somewhat answered his question that she would also like to date him. I guess he passed. Nothing makes a guy happier when a girl says yes. Rika despite being embarrassed, I take it that she is also quite happy.

Episode 6
A group of students hope the literature club can come up with some amazing love legend for the cultural festival. Apparently they are ‘amazed’ at last year’s Hitoha’s literature reading. Actually it was so boring that they found peace and fell asleep! Grrr!!! Surprisingly Rika agrees to do it in hopes of taking the club to a higher level. Later Hitoha tries to show Yamagishi her thong. She fails again since he doesn’t look like he is looking forward to it. Kazusa and Niina’s friendship is starting to get tense. The former worried about Niina and Izumi being ‘close’ and Kazusa is comparing her plain looks to Niina’s beautiful complexion. Kazusa is upset Niina and Izumi think each other as weird. She too wants to be thought of as weird? Meanwhile Rika doesn’t approve of Amagi telling everyone they are dating because others will start misunderstanding she might be obsessed in love than academics. So Amagi asks her a simple question if she wants to date him. Because she sounds sheepishly agreeing to that, he doesn’t seemed convinced. The literature club discuss ideas for that legendary legend. However no matter how many ideas they come up, Yamagishi shoots it down because there have already been complaints and cases and hence the committee already took steps to ban it. This leads to them going on a field trip to brainstorm. Where will they be staying? You can thank Yamagishi for that. Courtesy of Hitoha’s blackmailing again of course. During the train trip, the Kazusa-Niina tension rises further with Kazusa now disheartened Niina knows Izumi’s love for trains. And they had tea together?! Flashback when Momoko tried to warn Niina about this, Niina explained how girls often hated her for accusing her of stealing guys whom she was never interested to begin with. Kazusa sounded like she is no different. In order to help her, Niina intends to make things even worse! Reverse psychology? At the villa as they continue to brainstorm, no good ideas still. Kazusa who hasn’t said anything, snaps and gives the wildest idea before calming herself down. The rest are worried over her. During bath, her inferior complex of Niina rises some more when she notices her beautiful body. And boobs. Too much for her to take that she passes out. I think it’s from the heat rather.

Episode 7
Hitoha once more approaches Yamagishi. Claiming she is wearing the thinnest sumo loincloth, she wants him to sumo toss her onto bed? Yamagishi trolls her by trying to give her a kiss but pulls back. If she is already this scared for a kiss, what more that sumo toss. Rika is probably enjoying the texts Amagi sent her but as soon as Momoko walks back in, she quickly pretends to get to work! Momoko weirdly talks about the different of simplicity between boys and girls so Rika hands her a lotion? After Niina pulled Kazusa out of the bath, Kazusa starts thinking about how pretty Kazusa’s boobs are and thinks her own boobs are stupid. WTF. She starts crying and got more than she bargained for because she asks Niina a hypothetical question what if she likes Izumi. She regrets asking that because Niina really wants her to answer. This is put a stop by Rika because as part of the literature club, words will hurt. Too bad, Niina. She really intended to start a fight with Kazusa! How to resolve this? Have a pillow fight! Don’t worry. They wrote a letter for permission and even compensate for any broken pillows. And this moment where you can’t unsee or unhear Kazusa’s words about 10 boobs jiggling during the pillow fight… Yeah… This blows away the blues. This inspires Rika to come up with the love legend. During the bonfire, stand in your crush’s shadow and whisper “I love you” and they’ll be yours. Izumi and Kazusa ponder their own feelings for each other. Kazusa manages to get back on normal talking terms with him so she realizes she wants to confess to him. Hence for this love legend, she volunteers to play out her part with Niina. While things are now going fine with Kazusa, it is Niina who has doubts now. Hence she seeks Saegusa for advice. As she doesn’t understand her own heart, she wants him to kiss her. Hmm… Felt nothing. She continues to elaborate about a potential love triangle and this gets Saegusa interested. He wants to see that romance of hers. He tries to convince her about free love and no one human should be bound to another. He wants her not to become a boring woman!

Episode 8
Kazusa wonders when Izumi will come for her recital since she needs time to prepare (her heart). Momoko has been avoiding Sugimoto and she’s surprised he turned up with his friends. She gives an excuse that she is busy so you boys go have fun yourself. Izumi talks to Niina when she doesn’t refute after a few girls badmouth about her. She doesn’t mind as long as she doesn’t make it hard for herself. Ironically she puts her hand on his face. Isn’t she making it hard for them? Rika gets depressed because she saw Amagi talk to another girl. Oddly, she seeks Sonoe’s advice since she does have a boyfriend although from a different school. So they’ve done it? Before the recital begins, Momoko is dismayed Sugimoto and his friends are here to watch. She starts pouting and Sugimoto seems to take the hint and leaves. Kazusa sees Izumi sitting in front. Calm your heart. Niina sees Saegusa sitting next to Izumi. Calm your heart. The play goes on smoothly until Niina goes off track. She then goes up to Saegusa but surprisingly puts her hand on Izumi’s chest. With everyone in shock, Izumi takes Niina out to talk. Everyone else thinks the legend is true. Izumi thinks Niina wanted to make Saegusa jealous. Even though he still thinks that guy is a pedo, if she likes him that much, he can help set them up together. This surprises Niina because she thought he would be mad at her. Momoko hears out Kazusa’s lament. She is mad at herself because after all the encouragement that Niina has done for her, she kept acting like this was some sort of tragedy of her own. Though she was shock Izumi took her hand, come to think of it, if Izumi had to go out with another girl, she would have preferred Niina. Even so, she still wants to take this chance to confess to Izumi. During the bonfire dance, surprisingly it is Rika who gets the ball rolling as she confronts Amagi. After apologizing for everything, she confesses she likes him. What this guy do? He hugs her! Now everyone thinks the legend is really true and tries it out. At the same time, Izumi confronts Kazusa. Childhood memories talk. Then came the confession. Oh yeah. Finally. Kazusa in tears of joy. Niina is seen talking to Saegusa that she now realizes the feelings she had for him isn’t love. She thought he never understood others but realized she is the same. She just had he first love and first heartbreak. That’s why she is going to have another first and hopes she can hold on to it.

Episode 9
When you’re in love, everything looks so lovely! Good for you, Kazusa. But now the other girls are calling Rika a ‘traitor’ since she now has a boyfriend. Wasn’t she the one who was being the feminist kind? Rika explains how boys are like them, humans. Now they must rethink of their perceptions on boys! It looks like only Kazusa is on her side. Hitoha talks to Yamagishi and knows he likes a fellow teacher, Emi Tomita. But he views himself out of her league. I’m wondering if this guy likes fat women since I’m starting to think he often complains about high school girls being skinny and all bones. The way Yamagishi blushes makes Hitoha think he looks like a high school boy after a confession. Momoko talks to Niina and it seems the latter is planning to steal Izumi from Kazusa. Momoko doesn’t like that idea and warns if she is willing to lose friends over a guy. She is trying to convince Niina to stay at friends but Niina replies, you can’t have sex with friends! I guess she’s not into yuri then. Izumi invites Kazusa over. Now that they are dating, sitting close together makes them really conscious. They try holding hands but their minds start overthinking about making the next move. Will this lead to sex? Thankfully (or not) Izumi’s mom returns. Nothing to see here. Hitoha schemes by cancelling club activities. This is so she can be alone with Yamagishi and has wrote a book of confession. Because she views he has not touched her as the problem, she wants him to sleep with her once and she’ll give him up forever. Yamagishi tells her to meet him after school. Niina and Izumi ride the train together. She talks about the book Saegusa recommended her. About some prince and his rose. A fox came along and helped patched their relationship up. Izumi thinks Niina is like the fox. This shocks her because that was what Saegusa also told her. The fox secretly wanted to be with the prince forever but its advice eventually made the prince realize he loves the rose more. What happens to the fox is anybody’s guess because nothing was written more on it after that. That is how the story goes for those who aren’t chosen. When the train suddenly gets crowded, Niina claims somebody is molesting her butt. But it could be a ploy as she forces Izumi’s hand to grope hers under the guise of protecting her.

Episode 10
Kazusa looking at sexy underwear to buy… Hmm… Rika and Amagi spot Hitoha getting into Yamagishi’s car. Rika gets shocked seeing what Hitoha dumped in the garbage: Her panties. Izumi rejects Niina. This devastates her. Is she not attractive enough for him? It’s like she sounds desperate because she thinks he and Kazusa are inexperienced so she offers to practice with him. The resistance is strong so he rejects her again. Poor Niina leaves dejected. Hitoha can see what is going to happen. Yamagishi will not fall in love anyhow. So when he stops at the next traffic light, she will force his hand on her pussy and end it there. At least she will leave something unforgettable for him. However there are no traffic lights to stop! Straight into the love hotel! The cheapest one! Desperate situation calls for desperate measures. I don’t think the internet can tell what to do in this situation. Going all for broke now. She pushes him down and starts to unzip his pants. Then she gets disappointed? Because he didn’t get hard on her? This signals to Hitoha that he was never ever interested in her in the first place and starts comparing herself to Emi. I know they’re both women but there’s a whole lot of difference, right? Yamagishi reasons he is a coward, ending Hitoha bawling like a baby. Momoko is texted by Sugimoto to meet. He wants to talk about her strange attitude during the cultural festival. He somewhat threatens this act embarrassed him in front of his friends but if she apologizes now, he can pacify those angry friends of his. Momoko screws all this and doesn’t even want to see him again. When he grabs her hand, she screams. With everyone’s attention, Sugimoto backs off but calls her weird. Depressed Niina then gets a call by Momoko to meet. She claims the person she hates has touched a part of hers and needs her to cleanse it. In short, Momoko confesses she loves Niina. From depression to shock, Niina doesn’t know what to say. In lieu of that, Momoko now feels guilty she has ruined their friendship. Kazusa might be inclined to buy that sexy panties when suddenly Izumi calls! I just called to say I love you… Whatever. It makes Kazusa the happiest woman on the planet. Only, she can’t undo the online purchase she just made! Next day when they go to school together, Izumi doesn’t want to be too close to her in fear others might think badly of them. Uhm, okay? This only confuses Kazusa. Why the sudden change? Rika is puzzled to get a present from Sonoe. Then the teacher comes in with a serious announcement. Sonoe will be dropping out of school because she is pregnant!

Episode 11
With the entire school knowing about this, Rika seems to be very against people’s prejudice about Sonoe being knocked up because it was her choice. However this leads to a friction with Hitoha as she believes Sonoe was also a problematic child. Furthermore, Rika hints she saw Hitoha and Yamagishi entering a love hotel together. Momoko talks to Kazusa about that question, sex with who before the world ends. Because Kazusa says she’d rather do it with a man than a female, this disappoints Momoko. Then she warns her about Niina. Hitoha reflects on everything so far. She concludes she doesn’t want to give up yet because despite how pathetic she felt, she also felt good. Niina sees Saegusa and wants him to end her girlhood. He starts feeling her up and probably his ugly scary face freaked her out. Yeah, she slaps him and runs away. No you understand why girls close their eyes in porn?! Then Niina talks to Kazusa and confesses she likes Izumi. Kazusa’s worst fears come true but after a few deep breaths, she thanks Niina because without her, she wouldn’t have confessed to Izumi. In turn, Niina realizes her own immaturity and both girls give each other a big hug. Best friends forever! But ultimately Kazusa rues this because this wasn’t what she wanted to do. So she runs all the way to Izumi’s place just to ask for sex? Can’t let Niina beat her to it? He won’t and she suspects something happened with him and Niina. Though he reasons he treasures her and wants to take things slowly, I guess that isn’t the answer she is looking for. Sad girl leaves still a virgin. While Rika is talking to Amagi on the phone, suddenly her mom barges in very angry. In school, an emergency assembly is called. Everyone is shocked when it is now forbidden for both sexes to interact with each other. Worse, rumours of Rika and Amagi were seen outside the love hotel so they might be expelled. Hitoha realizes this is her fault and when she is going to confront the principal to tell the truth, Yamagishi is already there. He explains what happened but didn’t reveal Hitoha’s identity but as some woman whom he sees a potential to share a future. Even so, they aren’t going to rescind this and use this as an example. Drastic situations need drastic measures so Hitoha and the other literature girls hatch a plan… First, they kidnap Yamagishi!!! Holy cow! This guy must be really a wuss to get tackled by 4 girls. Izumi gets a call from Kazusa. Something feels wrong when he hears her talking about crossing to the other side. Late that night, the school staffs rush to school. Hitoha leads the other literature girls to demand 1) Overturn the interaction ban; 2) Rescind Rika’s expulsion; 3) Apologize to them. They’ll not leave till their demands are met because they have Yamagishi as hostage!

Episode 12
The girls threaten to drop him! But guess what? The staffs think that since tomorrow is Saturday and have no classes, yeah they’ll come back tomorrow and discuss this! WTF?! And with that, they leave. WTF?! Rika wants to talk to the girls but they refuse to let her in. As Izumi is heard coming over, this causes friction between Momoko and Niina since the latter wants to confess to him. After all, she got Kazusa’s ‘permission’. Ultimately their argument is overheard by Izumi. Momoko forces him to make his feelings clear. He admits he is in love with Kazusa but is sexually attracted to Niina. Ouch. Truth hurts. And now that everyone else has heard this, Izumi is chastised. Even more so Amagi since he has ‘experience’ with girls. Things are heating up on how to solve this. Are they going to (pillow) fight or talk things out. This is when Yamagishi suggests playing a colour tag game. The person who is it will mention a colour and the rest have to find that colour. For example, red and crimson are the same but not. The logic behind this is that they are trying to find new words for new feelings. So by adding descriptive modifiers to the colours, this will also reveal the colours of their heart. The game begins and it seems like everybody is just target a specific person. During the game, Izumi confronts Kazusa and explains what he meant. He might be sexually attractive to Niina but it’s not like he wants to have sex with her. Izumi really loves Kazusa and wants to be her but because he fears of the sudden changes, he wants to take things slowly. Kazusa also understands this feeling. They’re both so happy that they forgot they got too close to each other. And with Niina overhearing this, I guess she knows the answer… Rika still can’t believe about Amagi’s ‘experience’ so he shuts her up by kissing on her forehead. This already makes him excited so imagine one on the lips. Oh, one is coming up until the other girls smoke them out. Since boys aren’t helping, they kick them out. The girls then sit down, reconcile and think on their next action. Come morning, the staffs arrive. Yamagishi is released but to their surprise, the entire school is covered with huge canvases written in various colours on Rika’s innocence. Savage. In the aftermath, we see Rika going to college with Amagi. She receives a picture of Sonoe doing well with her baby. Hitoha is holding a secret folder of a secret performance for her wedding with Yamagishi?! Momoko and Niina together. And of course, Izumi and Kazusa a couple.

Sex And The High School Girls
Even if it looked like the girls have pretty much found the colour that they are looking for, well, don’t stop looking as there will be other colours they will come into as they go on in life. Imagine, the curiosity on the topic of sex had them go through all this. And it was a good experience for them. They are a bit wiser now in this department, having sorted out their love and friendship. And the best part is how they didn’t have to lose their virginity to learn it. But wait! Final episode scene, Kazusa mentioning an obscure metaphor of a train entering the tunnel… It fits! So they’ve done it?!

If you look at the overall story, it isn’t anything much and might even be considered as cliché and typical. Therefore what makes it interesting is how they execute the pacing and tell the stories of each of the girls. Although at first they might seem separate by they are all intertwined in the bigger picture. So unlike in some animes whereby they give an episode to focus on a particular character before moving on to the next, this one shows the progress and development of all the girls at one go and simultaneously. Those not used to this format might get a bit distracted and confused as the scene shifts to one literature girl to another and with all their stories happening at the same time, it might get a little confusing and some getting used to.

Because sex sells, I guess personally the story plays out interestingly as we see the girls trying to experience whatever love and sex are. The different approaches and types of love all at the same time seem to bond the girls but at the same time threaten their very friendship. Is this kind of love worth it? Only the girls can answer that. Hence we see Kazusa x Izumi as the typical childhood friend turned lovers kind of trope. Rika changing the most due to the effects of being in love as we see her from some strict plain b*tch to a smoking hot troubled girl in love. Unfortunately it isn’t going too well for the rest because Niina looks like she is into netorare and this gives the series the much needed love triangle and drama. The girl who is so hard to get for other guys now ironically finds herself hard to get the heart of the one boy she likes. Hitoha initially wanted to write a good erotic story finds herself attracted to an older man, especially one who is her teacher. And poor Momoko looks like she didn’t get off the ground. The guy whom she thinks had potential turned to be a control freak and with that romance quickly turning sour, she started resorting to lesbianism. Too bad for her, the rest of her friends are all straight. Sorry yuri fans. No yuri romance here. But that last scene makes me wonder if Momoko and Niina are now one because it looks like the losers in love without the guys only get each other. Damn. I hope this doesn’t send the wrong message.

Of all the guy characters, Amagi looks like he is the coolest. Not to say he is perfect as he too has his imperfections but compared to the rest, he doesn’t look like he is trouble. What I mean is that, as seen in Sugimoto’s case, he sounds like he wants to dominate over Momoko. Izumi is a typical guy and probably confused about his feelings because it is also hinted that he likes Niina for she scores a lot better in almost every department compared to Kazusa. Probably the childhood friend relationship is the only thing that is holding him back from jumping ship to Niina. Saegusa looks like a pedo but only because from the way we are shown his character. He looks like some avant-garde screenwriter and we let it pass because it’s all in the name of arts? He sounds like he is giving Niina a choice but what if he is seemingly doing so just to confuse her? During Niina’s time of need and confusion, it seemed like it is the moment he has been waiting for to finally take her virginity. Good thing that didn’t happen. And lastly, Yamagishi. Looks like one who can be pushed around and doing things just to accommodate Hitoha. Then again, he might be the coolest because he is willing to take responsibility for everything and protect the literature club girls. But then he became their hostage and his cool factor just like drastically drop to zero! Instantly! But that colour tag game helped redeemed some of his pride.

Japan still being a largely conservative country, sex isn’t really openly discussed (though ironically they have one the most creative porn out there!). Hence when the school banned interactions between the sexes, it doesn’t even feel like a short term solution. It is just one or two steps backwards. Might as well turn the school into single gender if they’re so concerned about the immorality. Therefore the literature girls going against this ban isn’t because they are horny or hard up in seeking romance. After all, they started that weird bonfire legend so I guess this is their way of taking responsibility and seeing this till the end. Just because one girl got pregnant and one girl was spotted outside a love hotel doesn’t mean a blanket ban is justified on everyone. The intentions of the ban might be good but it’s not practical. You’re not going to live the rest of your life just interacting with one gender only, right? Society doesn’t work like that. At least not in Japan. What the literature girls did by taking their teacher hostage isn’t particularly right either but how else do you get stubborn old authoritative men to listen to you? Hey, at least no lives and virginities were lost during this tense hostage situation!!!

At and animation feel pretty bland and light. In the sense somehow it reminds me of Asobi Asobase. I thought their school uniforms were similar but double checking it, I guess I’m having a case of Mandela effect on myself. Close and almost similar but not exactly the same. Despite the character designs look simple, some of them look weird especially Hitoha who looks like as though she is some alien bug race disguised as a human. Seriously. That’s the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw her character. Must be those very weird eyes… Same case for Niina. I thought she was some snow woman tribe disguised as a human being. Must be those very fair complexion and those mysterious eyes… Kazusa is supposed to be a plain girl but I can’t help stare at those thick eyebrows. Not many female anime characters have such thick eyebrows, you know. Oh, doesn’t Kazusa has this striking resemblance to Kimari of Sora Yori Mo Tooi Basho? This anime is produced by Lay-duce who animated Magi: Sinbad No Bouken, Release The Spyce and Classroom Crisis.

In the voice acting department, I only recognized Jun Fukuyama as Yamagishi, Haruka Tomatsu as Sonoe and Natsuki Hanae as Sugimoto. The rest feel pretty okay, sometimes trying to flex their voice acting talents with certain conversations that has them talk in dramatic and loud fashion. Sometimes it’s funny to hear them in a loud voice when they usually aren’t. They are after all in the literature club and reading in the boring monotonous voice all the time could be, well, boring. The other casts are Hiyori Kono as Kazusa (Asuka in Sounan Desu Ka), Chika Anzai as Niina (Reina in Hibike! Euphonium), Sumire Uesaka as Rika (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Tomoyo Kurosawa as Hitoha (Kumiko in Hibike! Euphonium), Momo Asakura as Momoko (Rona in Endro), Shinba Tsuchiya as Izumi (Tatara Fujita in Ballroom E Youkoso), Yuuya Hirose as Amagi (Yuuta in SSSS.Gridman) and Shunsuke Sakuya as Saegusa (Nambuuko in Seisen Cerberus – Initially I thought Saegusa was voiced by Miki Shinichiro but I guess I was wrong). Something about the opening theme, Otome Domo Yo by Chico with Honeyworks invoking some sort of nostalgia in me. Not really sure if I heard the some somewhere but I guess it’s not bad. Yume Cinderella by Momo Asakura as the ending theme sounds okay as a generic anime pop.

Overall, this is quite an interesting series largely because the taboo topic of sex is shown in the way on the characters’ psychology rather than resorting to cheap sleazy visual ecchi fanservice. Surprise but not surprise, no sexualisation of the young girls here. The characters especially the literature girls have some emotional depth whom you would like to put your support behind with instead of writing them off as horny teens trying to lose their virginity. But don’t worry if you get screwed early or later on in life, because from the moment you were born, life has got us all f*cked up!!! Haha… Uhm… Oh… I mean, as Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. I don’t think applies well to virginity but whatever. It’s the savage season for yo’ maidens!

Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru

October 26, 2019

I guess Hinako and the girls of Anitore didn’t quite manage to do the job. It has been many years since and we otakus and weeabos are still as fat as f*ck. Lazy and a big slob. Nothing has changed to get us to change. Hence it is back to the drawing board and maybe instead of providing some obvious fanservice just to get us motivated to workout, maybe provide us with something more meaningful. Something that would really make us feel the need to do exercise no matter how simple it is. So we hope that all you fat dweebs out there, Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru might be that answer that would finally make us all get off our lazy chairs and start moving about. Well, are you starting to get worried about that expanding waistline of yours? Don’t worry. Don’t even be sad. Just do it! Because this series gives you the chance to shape up for a great body. All you need to do is put in the effort because effort in the end never betrays. So what are you waiting for? Get up and start moving! Oh my macho…

Episode 1
Hibiki Sakura loves her food. Until her friend, Ayaka Uehara points out she is getting fat! Every girl’s nightmare. Hence Hibiki promises to work out and get slim. Starting tomorrow. Self-training failed so she has a try-out at a nearby gym, Silverman Gym. She sees Akemi Souryuuin who is from the same school also there to check things out. But this gym isn’t what Hibiki expects. It’s filled with muscle monsters! Akemi has muscle fetish so she’s already orgasmic at the sight of those bulky bulges. She’s definitely in. Hibiki opts out until she sees Naruzou Machio. Damn, this hot prince is her type of guy. Sign me up! So with Machio as their trainer, we get a glimpse on how to do basic bench presses. We can see how unfit Hibiki is despite trying out the first time with no weights and she is already breathless. Akemi is steady, doing twice her weight. Hibiki is depressed but with Machio encouraging her, you bet she is going to come back for more. And then the ‘truth’… Because Machio takes off his jersey and we see him as a muscle monster under that pretty face! Flex those biceps, baby! Akemi is so in love. With your muscles! Next day in school, Hibiki’s body is aching all over. Don’t go overboard, newbies. With Hibiki continuing to eat, this means she continues to put on weight. This means Ayaka points it out to her again. You’ll be fat by the time summer rolls in! Yeah, gotta go shape up again. Now we’re doing squats. As usual, Hibiki is unfit but manages to finish her sets. But with the thought of getting a killer body, you bet that’s the motivation she needs to keep on going. Later, Akemi finds out that Hibiki eats 6 meals a day! Hey, that doesn’t mean she’s a glutton, okay? Or is she? However she is amazed because of this blessed appetite, it means she can eat and build muscle mass! Akemi insists she be her training partner and one day they’ll be the most macho of the macho-est! Hibiki in despair. She joined the wrong gym…

Episode 2
Wow. Hibiki must think she has lost some weight after all that training. Guess what? Her weight increases! Time to press the panic button. Don’t worry. As Machio explains, because of her muscle growth that is denser than fats, it is only logical that her weight increases. He adds about avoiding extreme dieting because the rebound would lead to lower metabolism if not properly maintained. So always exercise regularly! Today’s training has Hibiki trying out lat pulldowns for the back muscles. After that, they head to the gym’s bar where Machio serves them some protein drink. Also explained about the golden time effect whereby if you consume protein within 30 minutes, it will have dramatic effect on your muscle growth. I think Hibiki didn’t understand that concept so she went to eat plates after plates of sirloin steak. Maybe that’s the real reason her weight increased… Because Hibiki’s muscles are still sore, Akemi takes her swimming. It’s a great way to train muscles in every part of your body too. Akemi makes intelligent guesses the kind of sports others do based on the muscles she observes of other people. Like cyclists they have stronger and bigger calf muscles. When Hibiki wants to do stretching as warm up, Akemi prohibits her. She explains about the myth about warm ups and studies shown it decreases effectiveness and might lead to injury. Hence a better way is to do light dynamic stretching. And then they hear a rip. Good news it isn’t Hibiki pulling a muscle. She ripped her swimsuit… Hibiki is at Ayaka’s place and she knows her friend as a movie buff. Arnold action movie spoof? Unfortunately, Ayaka’s sister, Nana needs her to help out with the family business for now. What do they do? Not your typical eatery. Why, father is a retired pro boxer and now runs a boxing gym! Oh Hibiki, Ayaka is your best friend and you didn’t know about this? So we see some hardcore and Spartan training. Damn, Ayaka, those abs! If dragon flags are too hard for normal people like Hibiki, then planking should be a good start. Then they let her try the punching bag. OMG she punches it off in one blow! A new world champion? Hope she didn’t break it…

Episode 3
Teacher Satomi Tachibana thinks she has put on weight so her colleague recommends Silverman Gym that just opened nearby. She is sceptical for fear of running into her students but is told young girls won’t even go there. Yeah… Imagine her surprise when she sees Hibiki and Akemi there. Satomi thinks she’ll quit after her free trial but the moment she sees Machio, she signs up! Another victim, oops, I mean member for life. Due to some mini exercises she does at home that made her muscle sore, Machio explains about the proper way of light training using your biceps and triceps. As Satomi gets into the groove, the students wonder a strange tan on her belly. They think she is wearing some sort of kinky swimsuit to attract her boyfriend. Despite this is not the case, she agrees to keep her secret safe. It is revealed her true secret is her love for cosplaying. She intends to slim down before Summer Comiket. Hibiki stops for lunch. Uhm, isn’t that a huge serving of bento she’s got? This has Akemi point out this method of skipping breakfast and then suddenly eating a lot is a diet programme for sumo wrestlers due to the slowing down of metabolism. She suggests a more balanced diet via bodybuilding diet. While Hibiki’s food is all fried, Akemi is mostly steamed and grilled. But don’t despair if it sounds too hard. Because there is a day where you can ‘cheat’ and eat all you want to trick your body into thinking it has enough calories. And so Hibiki starts off with this. It’s not even cheating day and she’s already chowing it all down… Yeah, she’s missing the point… Satomi manages to slim down for Summer Comiket. Her worst fear comes true when Hibiki and Akemi are here. Is she busted? Oh wait. It’s Machio cosplaying here too. Damn, is this Kenshi-Machio? Really, “Omae… Mou shinde iru!”. WTF?! What do you mean this character is from some muscle manga, Lifts With The Straight Bar?! Muscle King?! Who the f*ck?! Anyway, the crowd loves him and starts taking pics and Machio even doing brutal poses from the manga. Flex those biceps away! Yeah, all the men are so macho gay here… And somehow we get some basic front press posture lesson from Machio. At the end of the day, Satomi must be tired from all the tsukkomi moments. Just when she thought her students spot her and her secret is out, they think she is here to buy doujin and a BL fan. Well, the price to pay to keep her secret a secret.

Episode 4
With summer here, Silverman Gym is packed with people. People with different motivations and never really got the time to go to gyms are now gathering to do so. Such peak periods are called prime times. But with the bench presses crowded and a queue forming, Machio suggests the girls to use the chest press machine. This is unpopular with many as they have this opinion it is not as dignified as free weights. Of course the machines do act as support if you are seeking to build those chest muscles. Ayaka is also here since her boxing gym has increased enrolment so she will be using Silverman Gym to offer additional boxing classes. Hence she will be joining Hibiki and Akemi too. One day, coincidentally all the gyms and pools are closed. Akemi invites the duo back to her place. You mean this huge mansion is where she freaking lives?! She shows them a video by Toshio Ozu. An exercise video that tells you how to do exercises in your home. There are the basic push ups and sit ups. But the highlights are the dip (suspend yourself in air by using 2 chairs as support for your arms) and reverse push up. Once the video is over, they try it out. When Hibiki tries the dip, the chair breaks! Holy sh*t! Make sure the chair is strong enough. Although Akemi won’t make her pay for it, later Hibiki sees an ad on TV that a similar antique chair costs millions… Oh sh*t… Our girls head over to the next prefecture for the beach. Coincidentally Satomi too. Yeah, she keeps running into them, huh? If you’re wondering there is nobody else on the bus or beach, they find out too late that the beach is closed thanks to sharks. There goes their plan to snag a man. Except for Akemi. She’s only here for the training. This has her come up with an idea so as not to waste their beach trip with an explanation on how to do a burpee. Once summer is over and the next term begins, Satomi is tanned and feeling tired. She hopes the girls are alright. Yup, the power of youth has them bursting with life more than ever.

Episode 5
Hibiki dreads the sports day. Even more so when this year’s events, the participants are chosen via lottery. It’s just not her day as she is now in the 400m relay race. Hence going to Machio for advice, he explains about hamstring muscles before introducing us to the leg curl exercise that should help build those muscles. Hibiki is pumped up to do so because it is going to give her a firm butt. But then she rips her shorts. At the end of the day, her hamstring muscles are aching so much that she could barely walk. During sports day, Hibiki’s class is dead last. The final 400m relay event has Hibiki as her class’ anchor. Her main rival is Akemi who was last year’s champion of this same event and she too will be the anchor of her class. Hibiki won’t lose as she has trained for this day. Flashback shows that Machio also taught her to do bicycle crunch exercises to develop her iliopsoas muscles. The race gets underway but Hibiki falters and misses in retrieving the baton although she manages to pick it up and continue running. Akemi wins and amazingly Hibiki gets second place. However the judges disqualify her because it is against the rules to pick up a dropped baton. All for nothing… Machio gives his regulars raffle tickets to celebrate their first year anniversary. Hence the girls decide to enter a sauna competition and the winner gets all their raffle tickets. Yeah, first place could be a trip to USA! And they remind us not to do this dangerous challenge alone and bust the myth of sauna helps reduce fats but only helps in blood circulation. The challenge goes on until Hibiki and Satomi are left. Hibiki is literally really starting to feel the heat. How can Satomi still be so cool? Actually she already passed out! With Hibiki as the winner, unfortunately with all the raffle tickets, she won only the Silverman t-shirt. All. Of. Them. Yeah, might as well give it all to Akemi who seems really fanatic about it.

Episode 6
Hibiki dreams to have a home theatre. But she can’t afford it thanks to her money always going to food or the gym. That wish might come true since Silverman Gym will be holding an arm wrestling competition. 100,000 yen prize! Sign me up! Don’t know the rules? Don’t worry. Machio will explain it all. Even explaining the various muscles if not, the muscles of your entire body being used. As practice, Hibiki faces off with Ayaka. Instantly Ayaka lost! Woah! Is she some She-Hulk?! Next is Machio and of course Hibiki losses but she saw this dramatic vision that she was arm wrestling with a rock! Come competition day, unfortunately Ayaka and Satomi chicken out while Akemi is sick. Because the female’s competition has already so few people, guess what? Total participants are only 2!!! Including Hibiki! So the first round is already the finals!!! Her opponent comes all the way from Russia and Silverman Gym’s Moscow branch, Gina Void. She is eager to win this badly because she needs to cover her air ticket home! We see an interview of Gina telling us the different methods to use in arm wrestling combat. Then the finals begin. Instantly Hibiki owns her!!!! OMFG!!! She might be on her way to become like Machio since she also rips part of her clothes dramatically on her way to winning. But the ‘nightmare’ isn’t over because Gina is now interested in Hibiki and becomes an exchange student in her school! Is she going to become her stalker and gunning for revenge? Luckily she is in a different class. But Gina blames Hibiki for this conspiracy?! We further learn that she doesn’t do strength training back in Moscow. She trains more on sambo and such strength training is only used using equipment as an auxiliary. Because her training focuses on utilizing the muscles in an efficient way and to master the goal kipping. Eventually this develops your nerves more than you muscles. Gina wants Hibiki to use the horizontal bars to try kipping. Her ulterior motive is to pinpoint the strength that she defeated her with. Hibiki fails spectacularly and Gina thinks she won’t show her strength easily. Way off mark… After school, Gina can’t go with them to the gym because she has to say hello to her host family. When Hibiki returns home, she has this sinking feeling. Her worst fear comes true because Gina is having her homestay at her place. The ‘nightmare’ continues…

Episode 7
Today is the gym’s off day so too bad Gina can’t have her revenge on Hibiki. Thus Hibiki takes them to enjoy some grilled meat at a yakiniku restaurant run by her brother. So while we feast on the delicious beef, hear some explanations on the benefits of meat. Vegans may not like it, though… Gina thinks this source of protein is Hibiki’s secret. Then she watches her eat. Isn’t her servings double? She thinks she is following the diet of some famous pro wrestler when in reality Hibiki is just a glutton. But Hibiki complains about her money woes so Akemi says outside gym memberships are covered by the school since her mom is the chairman and she is so rich she can help others fund her hobby! Is this power and money abuse? But whatever since this helps solves Hibiki’s financial problems. Gina realizes Satomi looks familiar. Because of that mole underneath her left eye, she realizes she is that famous cosplayer. Damn, Satomi must be the only person she know who has that very specific mole. Hence the duo skip training as we see Satomi accompanying Gina on a day out. When Gina confronted her over her identity, Satomi was devastated. In fear that she will lose her job as some of her cosplay outfits borderlines porn, she is willing to do anything to keep it a secret. Gina didn’t intend to rat on her but since Satomi went as far as becoming her life slave, oh well… Gina learns of Satomi’s exhaustion and rest periods in between exercises. Hence the explanation of blood circulation as well as active and passive resting. As we know Gina is one of those foreigners who come to Japan for the otaku culture, currently her obsession is idols. Hence she wants Satomi to help he achieve that dream! Oh dear. Kutarou Deire is one of those judges at a public audition. He is bored at how normal all the idol wannabes are. Idols must be more than normal! He might get what he wished for because our muscle girls come riding in on macho guys! WTF?! Could this be the talent he is looking for? So our girls do sparring and weight lifting as part of their talent. Satomi keeps her identity hidden by wearing a kendo mask and under the alias F*ck The Budo! Really! She then demonstrates deadlift as our semi-naked Machio explains to the audience this dangerous weightlifting. The crowd applauses to this spectacle and at the end, Deire now believes idols should be normal… Yeah, please be normal. Also, our muscle girls didn’t quite make the cut… Obviously…

Episode 8
Satomi declines invitation from fellow teachers, Rumika Aina and Yakusha Kure to hang out. Then they discover that she has been hitting the gym so the duo too decide to try out. As beginners, Aina is worried about her sides so Machio tells us about abs muscles and the training to strengthen those regions. Everyone is in shock when Kure is able to easily lift heavy weights. She didn’t say but an intelligence guess would tell us that her ‘sport’ is taking care of her family as she is the only one among the ladies who is married. In the end the duo did sign up for Silverman Gym but a branch closer to their homes. The school has a hiking trip up the mountains. Hibiki, Satomi and Aina are in shock. They didn’t know they are this unfit and are already out of breath climbing up! Hibiki trying to keep her sanity by eating? Anyway, we have some walking lessons by Kure as she tells us the right walking method so you won’t tire easily. The weak trio decide to employ this method. So excited that they missed the correct path and went an opposite route. Safe to say they realize they are lost while the others have already reached the top. They are worried when the trio have not arrived and it’s almost lunch time… You think Satomi is bad as she panics? Aina and Hibiki are worse! Writing their death poems and leaving some ID for their bodies!!! Satomi stays sane as she realizes she can get help by climbing this tallest tree. Hence some rope climbing lessons to train some muscle parts. The trio start climbing but realize they keep slipping down. Thinking their clothes are the culprit, they strip down to climb better. After all, nobody is watching, right? Unknown to them. Our climbers at the top are having lunch while peeking at the lost trio via binoculars. Looks like they’re having much fun climbing a tree naked. It is revealed that the part they are lost at is just the athletic corner of the mountain. Worse still, the moment they realize what happened, lunch’s over… Sad ending…

Episode 9
Holy sh*t! Is that Arnold arriving in Japan?! After Machio explains to us the workouts for back muscles, suddenly his pecs start trembling. OMG! Arnold is here! Oh, sorry. Barnold Shortsinator!!! You know, that American action movie star who stared in Seven Commandos, Last Action Predator, Conan The Red Bull and Twin Cops?! But not the one whereby he is a robot from the future sent back to present day to kill a future resistance leader. Yup, that’s another actor! So no “I’ll be back” catchphrase for this guy!!! This guy is so buffed that he makes all the other macho men trembling in muscle fear! Barnold is here to see Machio. They both have a history. After Machio finished his sports studies in America, he took up bodybuilding in which Barnold was his master. But after Machio graduated, Barnold never contacted him once. Why? Barnold dropped his phone in the water! Why Machio hadn’t do the same? He accidentally crushed his phone while flexing! Oh course Barnold being here means he is going to challenge him. This world’s toughest handgrip only 100 people in the world can close it with 1 hand. Is Machio up to the task? Why, in fact he crushes it with no sweat!!! With Machio passing this test, Barnold announces he will be holding a bodybuilding competition right here where all the international body builders will be attending and he wants him to compete. The girls are invited as Barnold explains to them the competition categories that include physique and bodybuilding as well as the criteria that the participants are being judged on. When it is Machio’s turn to go on stage, his muscles are so godly that it blows everyone’s clothes away!!! OMG WTF???!!! So godly his muscle light that all the competitors kneels before him!!! OMF WTF?! Too much godly macho???!!! Safe to say he won the competition with ease. As Barnold praises his victory, Machio knows this is only another test because the world’s best body builders aren’t here. True enough, Machio has yet again meet Barnold’s standards. As he views him now on equal footing to compete with him, the final showdown will be in Las Vegas. Be there or be square. Unfortunately Machio’s job takes priority so he can’t come. The end. What an anti-climactic ending. Hasta la vista, baby? Although Barnold returns to America, he leaves his private secretary, Jason Sgatham to support Machio’s training. No wonder this guy looks f*cking familiar… And so Silverman Gym gains another macho weirdo…

Episode 10
What’s the use of having a hot body and slim figure when you have no one to date with for Christmas! Holy sh*t! Sounds like the girls have wasted their time?! Yeah, they look so down. But don’t worry. Machio announces a gym party whereby they can mingle with other guys. Game on! All is not lost! However, with Ayaka pointing out that Hibiki has rebounded due to her excessive eating habits, Hibiki wishes to trim some of her arm’s flabs. Hence Machio explains about triceps as well as the lying triceps extension AKA skull crusher exercise for the occasion. Hibiki underestimated the EZ bar she is about to use and knocks her own head. Ouch! Wow. This move does live up to its terror name. The party is here and WTF Satomi dresses up as some S&M queen to snag hotties? Let’s hope her mask and wig can hide her identity. As the girls mingle, in the end they’re too shy to even ask anything so I guess there’s no progress. But there is still hope when Machio announces the raffles and the grand prize is tickets to Tochigi Disney Land (TDL). The girls think of using this as an excuse to ask the guy out. The raffles is conducted with Machio flexing his muscles and the numbers printed on them. This might look like he is showing off his usual but as explained, doing posing can also help build muscles because of the resistance via flexing. In the end, Satomi wins the grand prize. She’s the only winner among all the macho men! I guess all the girls lose hope in choosing a decent pretty guy. As the tickets expire by the year end, Satomi can’t use them and gives it to the rest. Surprisingly Akemi wants it. She can use it as a chance to go out with Machio. SAY WHAT?! And so Hibiki, Gina and surprisingly Satomi go to spy on Akemi’s date with Machio at TDL. Don’t mind the horror-looking spoof mascot, Mockey! What a mockery… It is soon discovered there is a cosplay event here and the duo are participating. Because Machio is dressed up like a shirtless Hercules, hence Akemi’s true goal revealed: To glare at his muscles. But we’ve all seen this coming, right? And Machio is more buffed than ever especially in his pecs as he explains his usage of the incline bench press. Meanwhile Satomi got separated from the pack and decides to go have fun. Suddenly it all comes crashing down when she sees Aina who is also here for the same reason. Dead awkward… Let’s pretend this never happened…

Episode 11
It is New Year’s Eve and the girls pay a visit to the shrine. Wow. This shrine has hundreds and possibly thousands of steps! So is this where their training comes in? Apparently they’re going to try climbing it because legend says the deity at the top can grant your wish in romance. Oh yeah. And of course, some lessons on stairs exercise to help those burn some calories for those who aren’t into jogging. You know you’re in trouble when Gina and even Akemi is having trouble catching their breath! Only Ayaka seems to breeze through. Luckily they manage to reach the top but what awaits them is a long line of macho men! Oh my macho!!! And who is the head priest of this shrine? Machio!!! He claims this shrine belongs to his family and his helping out. But I think he was just recently promoted to godly status after that bodybuilding win so this is somewhat fitting… So let’s hope God would grant their kind of guys instead of macho men… With the New Year holidays, the gyms are closed so Gina suggests doing street workout that is all the rage in the western side. Too her dismay, Japanese parks are paltry! But don’t worry, Akemi brought some guidebook from Toshio that teaches us simple exercises that can be done without the use of any equipment. Although the girls try it out, they have to quickly abandon it because housewives from the area are giving them strange stares… Remember Gina’s dream to form an idol group with them? Yeah, she hasn’t given up on them and has registered them to enter an amateur talent show for New Year. And Deire is the producer! Oh damn. He thinks his show is going to tank in ratings when he sees those girls. His career is over! Although he manages to put a stop to their intention to do some air chair (Gina is planning to break the 11 hours record live on TV?!), they improvise and let Satomi do wrestler’s bridge instead. Everyone is impressed and even more so when Ayaka sits on her while she is at it. In the end, Deire thought he is a goner but his manager is pleased the programme got the second highest rating! WTF?! And the demographics who watch them are 20-34 year old women?! Mind boggling! He wants Deire to grab them and make it big. Can he do it? Not if Jason can help! He shows Deire a poster of the Nikunoshima Tour. Care to collaborate, sir?

Episode 12
Wherever this fictional tropical island is, our usual suspects will be joining on this tour. Except for Akemi and Hibiki. They cite being busy with stuffs. But when they hear a Mr Nikunoshima contest, that means muscle men and hot guys, they immediately sign up. Not so busy now, eh? While the older ladies drink, the younger ones take to the beach. The watermelon smashing game feels like it is so that Machio can teach us the importance of shoulder trap muscles… On to the contest, because there are no contestants, another contest will be held in its place, Ms Nikunoshima! So disappointed? The winner gets some protein set and some DVD collection of the past contests that totals in about 40 hours! You bet Akemi wants it! We see the girls strut their stuffs. The highlight is Akemi doing a perfect push up while doing a handstand! Hence a lesson on how to do proper push ups. Damn, I’ve been doing it wrong all the while?! The final contestant is Hibiki and she literally blows the crowd away because her single punch destroys the punching bag!!! Oh my macho!!! Beat that, Falcon Punch! Because Akemi and Hibiki’s results are draw, a final showdown is set between them. They will have to do bench presses and after each set, additional weights will be added. The one who can’t continue loses. The moment they start, WTF this Super Saiyan dragon aura???!!! We hear Akemi narrate how this challenge will settle it all since the start. Once she finishes the first set, to everyone’s shock, Hibiki didn’t start at all because she is too hungry to move!!! Therefore Akemi wins it. Meanwhile Jason and Deire are drifted at sea. Dying?! Their aim was to make the tour a candid camera show but it was ruined when their boat went adrift. WTF this gay moment of them hugging each other?! Hibiki talks to Akemi and feels how her life has changed ever since she enrolled in this gym. Then they spot something coming from the ocean fast. Barnold! So he is back! He is pulling the drifted boat! Yeah, he received an SOS from Jason a week ago and came to rescue. Don’t ask about the gay hugging… And definitely this is BS because there is no constellation that looks like those pecs!!!

Got, Macho?!
Oh my macho… Have you developed a fear of muscles and macho men?! Heh. Thankfully I didn’t. Not that I want to become so overly buffed like them either. And with the end of the series, hopefully that doesn’t mean the end of your healthy and active lifestyle because it goes without saying that to remain in shape, persistence is key. I know lazy ones will argue that round is a shape but don’t start complaining or point the finger when hot guys or girls give you the pass. So I guess that is it for this series and that it is not going to be, “I’ll be back… For another season”!

One can say that half of this series looks more like a workout video. While I am not an exercise buff, I believe that in every episode, the featured exercise is explained comprehensively. You get to learn what kind of muscles you are building up from the exercises that you do and this is good if you want to work on certain muscles and body parts instead of going for the full course of buffing up every muscle in your body. It is quite entertaining and educational as you get to learn the names of those muscles affected while doing that training. Yup, muscle parts apart from biceps and triceps that I have never even heard of in my life and probably have forgotten right now as I type this sentence. Holy crap. And you thought every human bone each having their own specific name was bad enough, wait till you get to the muscle section.

And of course the ‘charm’ as well as I could go as far as to say as ‘motivation’ for us to watch this series and do get us to do those workouts is the so called ‘fanservice’. I guess we still can’t do away with that. Every time we see Machio or the girls in their special lesson segment, we see the girls demonstrating the workout. But they show it in ways and angles that make them look sexy and if you have a dirty mind, I’m sure you can go further than that and imagine the ambiguous. If you want to call this part sleazy and it’s just an excuse to get one to train, well then, it is not surprising because doesn’t all old workout videos feel pretty much the same thing? Isn’t that why you have a hot model as the face of the workout video? And of course it is a no brainer to want a workout video without any sort of workout demonstrations because a lot of people would do better watching others better than being told or given verbal instructions. You know, some people’s vocab might not be so good so even they can misinterpret or do not understand what to do. Hence the best is to demonstrate such workouts. And of course it’s going to look hot and sexy because you’re not going to do exercises in a casual suit, aren’t you?!

If all those workouts and exercises within the episodes aren’t enough for you, be glad to know that at the end of each episode, there will be a short segment where by Machio and the girls will once more have us viewers do a short exercise that was featured in the episode (sometimes amidst the picturesque background like the airport runway or Grand Canyon). This time without the distracting of whatever plot (is there?!), we can now solely focus on doing the workout that now truly resembles a workout video. Alright people, don’t give up until the countdown is finished! There you go. Nice bulk, everybody! Unless you’re trying for competitive sports, it goes to show that simple workouts are sufficient so long you put in the effort. Don’t need elaborate equipment or exclusive gym memberships. The simplest thing can also be your workout routine. So are you ever so ready to cancel that gym subscription?

And oh, before I forget, even if you do some decent workouts, please also eat well. I’m sure it is not this series’ intention to shame you on all those fatty food you eat because when you see Hibiki chowing down all those tasty high cholesterol yummies, you can see the amount of calories she consumed printed on the screen. Yeah, a warning to be careful because you are also literally what you eat… As this show isn’t your worst nightmare Spartan demon instructor, go ahead and eat what you love but just remember to burn out equally what you put in. I wonder how many calories I have burnt while typing this ‘long’ blog. I’m not going to be optimistic, though…

Character wise, they aren’t anything much since the exercises and workouts that the spotlight. Each of them has their own personality but it isn’t deep because as we don’t want you to be distracted with character development. And of course the character whom will draw a lot of attention is Machio. This guy whose name itself is suspiciously a pun of to become macho, you got to love him when he starts to do Hulk’s specialty of ripping his clothes when he flexes just to show off all his muscles. He guides the girls and views them having potential in staying in shape. We all just want to know where he gets those special gym clothes because the moment he puts it on, he shrinks into normal size! So technically if I wear them, it would make my flabby belly and fat stomach disappear!!! Oh yeah! Where can I get those clothes?! Sometimes I think Machio just wants to flex his muscles as he never misses a chance to show them off. Just the slightest pun of the buzzword will send him shredding his gym clothes and posing like Mr Universe. Once you get used to this like the other girls, you’ll ignore him and let him do his flexing in the background. Now that Machio is now elevated to some godly status after that bodybuilding win, will macho-ness descend onto everyone in the world?! Because in terms of muscle strength, I’m sure he can put Kratos (God of War fame) to shame! “Oh my macho” to “Oh my Machio <3”! With Machio and the rest of those regular buffed guys in the gym, there is this unfounded fear that spending too much time would turn you into one of them and become gay… I don’t know, I just feel that way. From

It was no surprise that Arnold’s spoof would somewhat appear as I predicted it should happen somewhere early in the series. I guess Arnold has been the epitome of a great bodybuilder. Those who are old enough will remember this guy showing off those abs and body in that Conan movie. While I have no qualms about this Last Action Hero Predator dude making his cameo, my only ‘complain’ is why the English subbed version changed his name to Barnold Shortsinator. Originally if the spoken Japanese and even in the credits is Harnold Dogegenchonegger. I don’t know what pun Dogegenchonegger is supposed to be taken from but I guess ‘dogeza’ which means to prostrate could be it because you look short when you are on your knees. Yeah… But maybe Shortsinator sounds close to Schwarzenegger… And Sgatham is pronounced as ‘sugoi-tham’. Yeah… Too bad buffed action heroes didn’t make their appearance like Sylvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and uhm, Chuck Norris? Heh, don’t want to turn this into some The Expendables knockoff!

To be fair to the other characters, it’s not like they have no personality at all. Sometimes simplicity is best because they help pull off a few funny jokes instead of turning this into one boring serious workout video. I mean, how the heck can you run a workout episode for a normal 24 minutes runtime? Don’t want to repeat that mistake in Hinako, do we now? And so we have Hibiki who is probably the weakest link in the group (literally in terms of fitness) but she is commendable as she won’t give up and keeps trying. Just try to watch what you eat, okay? Don’t cut off totally but plan what you eat. Literally her motivation mostly runs on food and hot guys. Yeah… Then there is Akemi who is a muscle buff. Macho men are her type and I’m sure she’ll totally fall in love head over heels had she played that weird retro game, Cho Aniki. Yeah, it will freak many of us out. But not Akemi. Ayaka is probably the strongest of the group since her family runs a boxing gym so it is no surprise she has the stamina and damn those abs on par with Shingeki No Kyojin’s Mikasa. Gina feels like the stereotype foreigner. There’s this running joke cliché about her being a foreigner who loves Japan but misunderstands its culture. And sometimes the things she says, you wonder if she is also a Russian because she doesn’t do, uhm, Russian-like stuffs. But you can learn a few simple Russian words from her.

All in all, despite all their effort they put in, the one thing that continues to elude them… They still have no boyfriend! Yeah, it’s the elusive prize and rare Pokemon they’ll ever catch! Heh. If they don’t snag one soon, soon they will join the singles club like Satomi and Aina. Every new year just drinking and getting drunk all by themselves. So sad… Good thing these girls are straight despite they go to an all-girls’ school. So f*ck the PC culture of gays and lesbians, these girls want a handsome guy as their man! Can’t you be happy for them for that? Oddly, after all the training we see them do, they don’t become buffed like Machio. Or at least we see them gain some muscles. Still the thin and svelte figure. Maybe they did enough power training to maintain that feminine size. Heck, even Hibiki looks rather okay before she started her Silverman Gym workout. After all, they don’t want to freak out hot pretty boys by looking so buffed, right? Don’t want to turn into Amazon women, right? On a trivial and unnecessary note, I wonder how many calories sex burns… Oh sh*t! A question that I’ve been dying to ask this series!!! It would be straight up weird to see a porn version of this series! Then a different ‘workout’ for us viewers, if you know what I mean!

Art and animation for this series feels simple and because of that, it has this cartoonish feel. To a point that sometimes when I look at it, the slightly cartoonish tone of the series, is this anime targeted for younger audiences? I don’t know. The girls look cutely cute, though? As we all know with Machio being so buffed, he looks funny and cartoonish so there you have it. And with the girls’ design being simple, I have a feeling I have seen them from other animes. Like I thought Hibiki looked like Nana from Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san. Doesn’t Ayaka look like Danganronpa’s Asahina? Akemi shares a resemblance to Ojou from Oshiete! Galko-chan and Gina is a simpler version of Anna from Shimoneta. Satomi? Those droopy eyes sure remind me of Sanae from Karakai Jouzu No Takagi-san. No points to guess whom Barnold and Jason take after. Hasta la vista, baby! This anime is done by Dogo Kobo who did YuruYuri, New Game, Himouto! Umaru-chan, Gabriel Dropout, Love Lab and GJ-Bu. Therefore you might see some similarities on the trademark of the girls’ cuteness here.

For the voice acting department, it is great to hear Yui Horie helming at least a supporting role instead of some minor extra role. After making taking a hiatus and thought she had made a comeback after that disastrous Ousama Game, she would be back for good but ever since she has been taking just cameo roles. So I hope to hear more of her but I have to also be realistic because I have to come to realize that many of my favourite seiyuus at this point are starting to go into semi-retire state. Oh well. I guess I should be appreciative of what I can get. The other seiyuus whom I recognized are Nao Touyama as Gina, Haruka Tomatsu as Aina, Rina Satou as Nana, Sayaka Ohara as Kure and Hiroyuki Yoshino as Deire. Shockingly I didn’t realize it was Yuuichi Nakamura’s voice behind Jason. Maybe he wasn’t in his usual angst mode that I often recognize him in like Fairy Tail’s Gray and Clannad’s Tomoya.

Another amazing note is how Hibiki is played by Ai Fairouz who is an Egyptian-Japanese. Not bad for her in landing a major voice acting role in her debut. I never actually thought she would be a foreigner because she sounds so, uhm, Japanese! Kudos on her first role and hope to hear her more in the future. The rest of the other casts are Sora Amamiya as Akemi (titular character in Akame Ga Kill), Shizuka Ishigami as Ayaka (Mito in Shokugeki No Souma), Kaito Ishikawa as Machio (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Tessyo Genda as Barnold (Kaidou in One Piece) and Nobuo Tobita as Toshio (Souun in Uchouten Kazoku).

Personally, the most amazing part which catches your attention is the opening theme. Onegai Muscle by the duet of Hibiki and Machio is an absolutely fantastic catchy song. Why, this song could be in the running for the best anime song of the year! This song has such vibrancy and vitality that not it makes a good song for any workout video. The hip hop and rap nature enhances its awesomeness and you can learn some of the workout terms from the lyrics too. Even if I can’t bring myself to do all those exercises, I sure can hear this song over and over and over and over again to get hype! I never really got bored of it! Let me hear this song one more time! “Onegai muscle, meccha motetai! Onegai muscle, meccha yasetai, yes!”… As for the ending theme, Macho A Name by Machio is also epic in its own right but personally it still can’t match up to Onegai Muscle. In this song, it sounds weird because you have all the macho guys singing in the background and it just makes you feel gay hearing it! I mean, with the lyrics like, “Muscle, muscle! Kinniku wa muscle, Oideyo macho a name”. Ugh! So gay… And honestly, it’s still nice to listen! But not sing along because I feel gay while trying to do so… The final episode’s ending theme, Snow Globe by Tea feels like some epic Hollywood slow ballad. It is fitting for that final episode but how come it reminds me of Titanic’s My Heart Will Go On? Probably as it is sung in English and has that suspiciously familiar flute accompaniment. My Muscles Will Go On should’ve been it!

Honestly, to let you in on a little secret, I have been doing a bit of a personal workout myself even before this series aired. Yup, I do some short exercises while I watch my daily anime but they only often lasts as long as 10 minutes. So I’m not going to get that desired body any time soon. Gotta be patient and persevere… But thanks to this anime which could not have been even timely, now I have a few more ideas to add to my repertoire and now my workout session can last up till about 15 minutes before I’m out breath! Hey, at least there is some sort of improvement, no?! I hope. But still not cutting down on that tasty and yummy chocolate and fried chicken, though… Some pleasures you just can’t do away with completely.

Overall, this anime has been quite entertaining, educational and enlightening. This series is refreshing and unique because it is quite down to earth, simple and realistic. Something different than all the isekai fantasy genre that we’ve been spammed lately in recent seasons. Who’d knew there would be so much fun in seeing the characters wade through their way through various simple exercises. A double bonus for me because it makes me feel good inside after watching while doing my mini exercises. I know they make it look easy but you still have to put in the effort and be consistent and persistent. No pain, no gain. Though, having no pain is still my preferred motto. Even if they don’t get a boyfriend in the end, at least they stayed fit. Fit and single sounds a lot better than fat and single (loser)! F*ck PC culture on fat acceptance! It’s the survival of the fittest not the fattest. It’s either you shape up or you ship out. Until then, always nice bulk everybody! Oh my macho…

I never liked or got into the game of baseball. Even with my stints with Princess Nine and Taishou Yakyuu Musume many years ago, here I am watching Hachigatsu No Cinderella Nine. Was it a slow anime season for me? Need to feel up my seasonal quota of animes to watch that I had to pick this? And yeah, I guess it’s because they got a team of cute girls as the main characters, huh? Must be it. Definitely. Oddly in that same season this anime premiered, we have another 2 established and popular baseball themed animes airing in the same season, Diamond No Ace: Act II and Mix: Meisei Story. Is it baseball season? But I guess you can tell what kind of people we are depending on which of these 3 baseball themed animes we watch. By saying all that, I already can tell before I start watching this one, the outcome and sentiments of this all-female baseball anime is going to be. Let’s play ball!

Episode 1
A new school term has started at Satogahama High School. Clubs are putting up demonstrations for potential newbies to join. Until Tsubasa Arihara does the unthinkable by going on stage and boldly seeks for new recruits for a baseball club. What’s wrong with that? The school doesn’t officially have one. Later, she apologizes the student council president, Shiho Noumi over this. Although her friend, Tomoe Kawakita also does the same since it was her idea that put her up to this. But don’t fret. There’s still hope. Teacher Momoko Kakehashi allows them to start off as an association till they have enough members. With the duo off to recruit members, in no time we can tell that Yuuki Nozaki and Akane Ukita who are somewhat interested but shy in wanting to join eventually tries it out. The quartet practise by the river bank. Don’t worry if Yuuki and Akane don’t have any baseball experience. Tsubasa and Tomoe have plenty. After a few catching practises, time for a little character drama as Akane mentions she is interested in playing baseball because of an old friend but she is no good in sports. However there were no girl baseball clubs she could try out. Likewise, Yuuki was from the basketball club and had this trauma of holding her teammates back. Hence she is somewhat afraid to try another club. Tsubasa manages to find a few other kids to join in and play some decent mini baseball game. Safe to say, it sparked their interest and more importantly self-confidence in the game. When they try to find the duo to officially join, they hear an argument coming from the student council room. It seems they are prohibited to practice in school.

Episode 2
The logic is that the school has no proper baseball facilities and letting them practice means they might break other stuffs and be a danger to others. They get stubborn and almost got into trouble. Thankfully nothing was broken. Before finding a place to play, they are at the baseball store to get some proper gear. Yeah, those gloves are really costly. Fellow classmate, Waka Suzuki is also here. The rest jump the gun thinking she is interested to join them! Desperate, huh? She’s just here to accompany her brother who plays baseball for his university. Wow. Real life celebrity! Thanks to that, Waka has a lot of knowledge on baseball despite not playing the game. This doesn’t stop the quartet to bug her for tips. Kakehashi has found a field for them to practice. Some kind owner decides to lend them instead of seeing it go to waste. Oh well, time to clean up this abandoned field first. You can tell their passion is as equal as baseball so cleaning up is such fun! Waka watches the girls play and seeing Akane play reminds of herself so much. Tsubasa invites her to play but she gives excuses she can’t. Flashback shows Waka’s talent was that she was able to pick out and spot oddities and this made her a valuable asset. As other people praised her, she began picking up baseball tactics and data. Thus she thinks she is better at this rather than playing. But you know what? Her brother knows she wants to play and lends her his glove. And so Waka joins in the play and realizes, hey, this is fun too! Yeah, her face might not show it but I believe her heart is saying something like that. And with Akane giving all she’s got and the rest having fun, safe to say that she’s going to join the club. And what luck, Kakehashi also decides to become their advisor as she doesn’t mind advising 2 clubs at once.

Episode 3
Things are getting better as they even have their own clubroom. Now to apply for funding… As they continue practising, this weird cheerleading girl, Yoshimi Iwaki starts cheering on them. She heard about their efforts and decides to cheer for them all the way. Heck, she even got their upcoming games? What games? They don’t even have enough members! Hence they would like her to help out with the recruitment. And quickly enough, she pulls in Aoi Asada. She is considered the best gambler in school and never lost. Uhm, is that legal? Well, as long as she sticks to rock-scissors-paper gambling! Yeah, Yoshimi has never won against her! And Aoi might feel Tsubasa is something special because she got a draw! With Aoi joining in, she also drags Yoshimi to join. Yay! More members. Later, Waka notices Ayaka Nakano has been stalking them. The only newspaper club member is trying to make her big scoop and thinks their club will be it since there aren’t many high school girls baseball clubs throughout the nation. Tsubasa believes this can also help in their recruitment. Then they hit the batting centre. Some are natural and some might need a little more practice. Maybe much more. Then they notice this sleek beauty coming in to bat. Ryou Shinonome looks like she is a pro! Well, I thought Tsubasa would go over to recruit her but she goes to bat alongside her. Both are amazing. However both know each other but Ryou isn’t impressed with Tsubasa and thinks she is just play pretending. Later the rest discover that the duo faced off in last year’s All Japan Senior Little League Championship’s semi-finals on opposing teams. Tsubasa’s side went on to win the title. Tsubasa is surprised she came to this school and before she could recruit her, Ryou declines her. She doesn’t want to waste time with a school club and intends to join a real club team. Because Tsubasa is having fun, Ryou thinks she is not taking the game seriously.

Episode 4
Flashback to that semi-final, Tsubasa’s team was losing at first. Nothing says motivation like Tsubasa telling her teammates to just enjoy the game. And the irony is that when they do that, they started winning and now Ryou’s team was the one feeling the pressure. Is it me or is Tsubasa and Ryou the only girls in their team? In the end, Tsubasa’s team came back for a win and the rest is history. However after that historic win, Tsubasa wasn’t too happy. For the next 6 months she didn’t play baseball as she quit the team. Not sure what their different goal was. Was Tsubasa just wanting to have fun while the guys were like we need to aim higher and win the world cup? She could have quit baseball for good had not Tomoe talked her out of it and rekindled her love for the game. And so here we are now. She’s trying to create a team so they can have fun playing baseball together. After hearing this nice story, Ayaka decides to join. Gee, that was easy. Is this the dream and drama she is looking for? Of course you’d think she would be going to recruit Ryou but nope. She’s just asking when her try out for the club team is. Because on that day, Tsubasa and the girls come to watch and cheer on Ryou. So we see the hopefuls against the regulars. Again, is Ryou the only girl in this try out? Because the newbies are like taking it easy, this pisses off Ryou as she snaps for them to get serious. Hey girl. Why so serious? If that wasn’t awkward enough, Tsubasa starts cheering Ryou’s name. She won’t stop because she doesn’t want her to give up baseball like she did. Seeing her try her best amazes her so that’s why she wants to see her keep playing her style of baseball. That’s the clincher for everybody to join in the chant. And now we can see everyone giving it all and playing better. In the aftermath as our baseball girls practice, Ryou marches in and lectures them on how to properly swing, bat, posture and everything. Who made her coach? Then they bug her for the try out result. She failed. Why everyone so surprised? But Ryou has no regrets because she gave her all. So I guess change of heart for Ryou? Yup. Now we have a complete all-girl baseball club! Even if you have dreams, you need to start from somewhere even if it is the most unlikely and unwanted of places.

Episode 5
Finally! They pull out the last weed from their field! Hooray! Accomplishment! Now they can practice for real. Better still. They want to play their first game. After setting up positions for each of them, they suddenly realize the vital thing they’ve been missing: Uniform! Unfortunately they cost a bomb and they have used up their funds on practice balls. Also, Kakehashi has managed to secure a team who will play them. It’s just a school in the next area, Seijo High School. And in 2 weeks, our Satogahama has their uniform design and even their uniforms ready! Power of parent sponsor… The match day is here. Sayaka Jinguji is the captain of Seijo’s baseball team. We see both side being noobs, clumsily handling the ball and striking out many times. So when Satogahama gets their first run and points, they think they could really win this. Might as well stay positive. And then the pace starts to change when Sayaka starts using some slider throw thingy. When Seijo starts scoring and leading, don’t tell me you girls are starting to get demoralized. And then this truth from Ryou. She realizes that Seijo has been fielding their players in positions they aren’t used to and now that they are switching them to their original roles, they’re going to have a hard time. Because they have a goal and different mind set, Satogahama have already lost before the game started. Well, you didn’t have to make it sound that bad, right? In the end Seijo thumped Satogahama. 12-1. Our girls so demoralized that they didn’t show up for practice? Self blame game begins. Like Akane blaming herself for making too many mistakes and especially Tsubasa blaming herself for trying to hype up everyone for their first game. Eventually everybody shows up. Then they start screaming out their mistakes (hope this isn’t going to be some sort of tradition) and you know they will move forward and get better. That’s how you grow, right? A group cheer to top it off.

Episode 6
Exam season is here so naturally Tsubasa wants to hold off practice until it’s over. But Tomoe can’t wait that long. She feels the need to get better now and hence when she stumbles upon Sayaka’s secret practice place behind the shrine, Tomoe pleads to be trained by her. She can’t ask Tsubasa since she can’t be strict with her. With Tomoe taking secret practices, you bet the rest is going to smell something fishy as Tomoe herself is starting to act a little strange. And then Yoshimi and Aoi spot this ‘unholy alliance’ and report to Tsubasa. Faster than the speed of light, Tsubasa comes down to the ground and is shocked to see this ‘unholy alliance’. The drama ramps up with Tsubasa confronting Tomoe and yelling she told her she would have practised with her once the exams are over. Tomoe yells back about Tsubasa unable to be strict with her. Is it because they’re best friends? In that case, she quits being her friend! Oh my. Oh dear. Hey, at least she didn’t quit the club! Haha! Oops, sorry… And so it gets awkward between everyone. Yup, even the other members are affected. Even Tsubasa has a talk with Sayaka but nothing conclusive since the latter doesn’t want to butt in to the affairs of others. As this awkwardness cannot go on, the rest setup for Tsubasa and Tomoe to meet. A little chat here and there. To cut cliché friendship drama short, they’re back again as friends. Especially when Tsubasa became so emotional about the thought that they aren’t best friends! Gimme a big hug with loads of tears! With everything back to normal, there is nothing left but for them to get better at their game.

Episode 7
Broken bat. Hole in the net. No money. Baseball maintenance is sure expensive and taking part time jobs is only a short term solution. The only way is to upgrade their association status to a club. Talking to Shiho about it, she sends Kana Tsukumo to evaluate. Meanwhile Yuuki stumbles into old elementary schoolmate who is also in Satogahama, Maiko Kurashiki and finds that she isn’t in any club yet. Care to join the baseball club? After all, Maiko has this penchant to help others in need even if she doesn’t admit it. Maiko tries out playing baseball as Kana who could have been their greatest asset since she is quite athletic but she is only here to observe. But Kana knows that Maiko is a troubled child and often has run-ins with the police. It gets a bit awkward when Kana and Maiko have some sort feud since Kana is brutally honest and saying it with a deadpan face. We see Maiko is having household problems. More like her parents are fighting and she is caught in the middle. She can’t stand this and runs away. Because of that, she ends up in a fight with drunkards in town and although the drunkards were the one who started the fight, Maiko is also taken in by the police?! WTF is wrong?! So when the baseball girls hear about this, you bet they get worried and start looking for her. Maiko and her mom are talking to teachers about this problem at school. Maiko then snaps because she cannot stand people talk about what’s best for her when it is only in their own best interest. She is mad they are going to take away her place. Of course Kana heard all that and goes to talk to Maiko. Ironically from a girl who has ‘facial muscle problem’, she wants Maiko to smile more often. She can tell Maiko is having fun with the baseball girls and Maiko is surprised because she thought nobody ever looked at her. In the end, Maiko only has to send in a written apology (no suspension or expulsion. Phew) and because Kana giving her heartfelt speech to the teachers how the baseball club gives Maiko a place to be, the association is now officially a club and yes, Maiko officially joins as a full-fledge member.

Episode 8
Hey. Kana has joined the baseball club? I guess sooner or later this is the question that all clubs need to answer: Do you want to participate in the Nationals? Oh yeah. Looking up at some of the online clips, we can see some really professional play from established high schools. Especially Kogetsu High School whose star player is Tsubaki Kousaka. Then they look at the tournament bracket. You mean they don’t have to go into preliminaries and can go straight into the Nationals? Hooray! The perks of not having many female baseball clubs at high school level. Then a short history on the on and off popularity of female in baseball. But here is their biggest problem yet: Money. If they win games, they have to cover transport and lodging costs on their own. Don’t worry, despite the student council has approved the club, all they need now is the school’s approval and Kakehashi will get it done. Unfortunately the senior teacher rejects her because of the unrealistic budget. Heck, this school doesn’t even have a boy’s baseball club and you know how expensive it is to run a baseball team? Besides, how is Kakehashi going to handle 2 clubs at the same time? Despite Kakehashi promising this and that, this is still not enough to convince her. So Kakehashi ‘lies’ to the girls that everything is going on fine. We know she doesn’t want to worry them but the girls are smart enough to know from her reaction that things are going smoothly. Just when Kakehashi is about to give up, she sees the girls help nurturing sunflower next to their practice field. I guess some water spray fun made her go kookie. Or it helped refreshed her outlook. Because now she is determined to see this through. With Ayaka writing supportive articles on the baseball club, the girls also get signatures from everyone to support them. I’m thinking with those thick sets of paper, heck they might even got the entire town! Once more Kakehashi sees the senior teacher. I guess after all the persistence, she relents. Even though this would still be a problem for her to handle both clubs, she hints Kakehashi can handle the baseball club while she takes over her kendo club. Oh wow. Super good news. We did it, girls! We’re going to play ball at the Nationals this year!

Episode 9
What to do when the tournament is around the corner? Training camp! My theory for them staying at the temple is not only because it’s cheap, maybe they’ll get divine intervention to help them win games!!! Haha! We see them practice and Ryou and Tsubasa are asking if Yuuki can be their pitcher since she is left-handed. She turns them down as she doesn’t have confident in herself and thinks she might hurt others with her throw. With some of the girls having a hard time finding their rhythm, it seems the tempo of the priest’s wooden block did the trick to synchronize their timing. More boring training scenes in between. Until the last day of their stay, Ryou then dismisses claims from the other girls that there was a head priest. That short guy who is always smiling? Never seen him. Oh sh*t… As proof, they review the videos that Ayaka has been recording. Nobody there! No such person at all! OH SH*T!!! Then a blackout happens. Meanwhile, only Yuuki is away washing the dishes so she probably didn’t hear about the ghost thingy since the head priest talks to her about her low self-confidence. He has her practice her pitching. What if her pitch hurts him? Just pretend that he is a ghost! He hopes she can keep smiling and relax because baseball is supposed to be fun. With that, Yuuki makes a successful pitch. Hey, where did the head priest go? Meanwhile it gets scarier for the other girls because they see a spirit ball coming towards them! HOLY SH*T!!! Turns out to be Kakehashi checking on them. What nice timing the lights come back on. Kakehashi even notes there is no old guy around and the current head priest who lives here is only 30 years old. But they think that old guy isn’t evil because he is always smiling. Later it is revealed that ex-head priest is the current one’s father and he was a baseball player. As the girls continue practising back home, they realize Tsubaki watching them. Scouting the enemy?

Episode 10
Tsubaki asks a few questions and then leaves. You mean nobody recognizes her? Only when they’re back in the room did they realize who she is. What’s that again she’s the number one pitcher in Japan? Here’s news from Kakehashi: Kogetsu wants to play a practice match with them. Why do only strong teams want to play with Satogahama? Is it morally boosting to bash a lowly opponent? You bet they’re going to accept this. Tsubasa allots the roles to her team. If it looks like Tomoe and Akane are left out, she lets them be the all important base coaches. Match day is here. It’s like the producers want to paint a bad picture of Tsubaki being a b*tch because she’s arrogant, refuses to shake hands with Tsubasa and claims this practice is for her third stringers. She’s just here to watch. Satogahama manages to take an early lead thanks to Ayaka’s data on these players. It’s like the producers want us to hate Tsubaki even further because she cracks the whip and lets the whole world know that if they don’t buck up, she’ll cut them off from the team! And there she was watching at the match as bored as f*ck. With this, Kogetsu is able to put up some fight. But there is some drama brewing on Satogahama side. It seems Akane has been running low on self-confidence. Any wrong calls, she takes it upon herself as fault of why they lost that run. It’s got to a point so low that it’s so freaking obvious that it’s time for Tsubasa to come weave her magic motivational talk. You know, how her motivation kept her going. Blah, blah, blah. And with a great pat on the back, you bet Akane is up and running. Now it is Satogahama’s turn to turn on the heat. When you want something done, do it yourself. Because now Tsubaki decides to get into the play. But alas a little too late as Satogahama wins this match by a narrow margin. Yeah, so happy that they’re crying. Never saw this coming, huh? Eat that, Tsubaki b*tch!

Episode 11
The Nationals are finally here! So guess who Satogahama will face in the first round? Seijo! The power of coincidence has them stay at the same place and even having BBQ together! Is this power bonding? Awkward but whatever. Let’s have a good game, right? And as always, Tsubasa thanking her girls for always sticking with her. With Satogahama and Seijo being the first match the kick off the Nationals, Satogahama has extra support in the form of their schoolmates as well as family members coming over to watch. Otherwise this is a very much empty stadium. To cut short this first match, we see Satogahama drawing first blood by scoring the first point. Gee, Seijo getting depressed and despite claiming they have improved a lot ever since, does this mean they were underestimating them in the first place? And then with Sayaka getting serious as the pitcher and batter, Seijo manages to earn a point and now draw with Satogahama. Gee, it’s still early in the game and the opponents just caught up, why Satogahama is looking depressed right now? I guess tensions are running high. Nobody wants to be the laughing stock to go out early in this game.

Episode 12
The game continues and as we see the running joke of Yoshimi who has never been able to bat a pitch, when she finally hits her first ball, she strikes homerun!!! Now who’s laughing?! This has Seijo call a timeout. Sayaka promises she’ll take it from here but one of the members tell her to stop. Some short snippets of how Sayaka singlehandedly revived Seijo’s baseball club after it was disbanded by the previous coach’s scandal. Amidst the praising it was her who built up this club and got them this far, she also says the problem of everyone relying on her. Therefore she doesn’t want Sayaka to carry the rest of the team by herself. Because, did she have fun? Did Tsubasa influence her? I guess so. Because she’ll let today be an exception. The game continues. Seijo looks like they’re playing better now. Yawn… Until Aoi sprains her ankle! Time to switch to Tomoe. Also, Maiko’s hand is going to break from all that pitching so she switches with Yuuki. Time to strut her stuff. More snippets until the game… Oh what’s this?! An article written how Satogahama lost in the second round???!!! Wait a minute!!! They fast forwarded too much!!! But thanks to their heroic efforts, there are more girls now interested to join their baseball club. Yeah, you can find them practising down at their sunflower field. Don’t be shy. Just play ball!

Life’s A Pitch!
Man… That kind of ending that felt so rushed that it felt just downright insulting! Not only did we not see how Seijo lost to Satogahama, however we didn’t even see how Satogahama lost in the next round! Heck, we don’t even know who they lost too! WTF?! It puts all the final episode drama on Seijo to waste. Uh huh. Oddly Seijo feels like they were the one in focus for the final episode. Sayaka was so adamant to not let Seijo’s story end here but from what we’ve seen, she must be crying all alone in her room. Poor Sayaka. She was already burdened with this responsibility and then this. Just only 2 months ago they beat Satogahama in a practice game but looks like they’ve improved a lot. Furthermore, she personally coached Tomoe and it’s like the student got better than the master. How cruel fate is. Nobody knows what happened to Sayaka and Seijo after that match but who cares because it is all smiles for Satogahama. Yup. We’re all still having fun playing baseball. Care to join us? Me? Nah. I’m good.

Sad to say that the story and plot itself is predictable, clichéd and not interesting at all to say the least. However this is because of the injustice of just having a dozen episodes and that itself is not enough to flesh out everything properly. We only have 12 episodes to flesh out everything and therefore everything feels so much pretty rushed although at some points it got a little draggy because you know, they need to put in some drama. Hence this series was somewhat doomed from the start when it was announced it will only have 12 episodes. I am not sure there will be future season but seeing the direction and the response to this series, it is mostly unlikely. Unlike its Diamond No Ace and Mix counterparts, this one never had a chance to shine at all. Those 2 animes already had an established fan base and have a lot of episodes prior to this. That is why even though I did not watch them, I can tell that they are doing much better than this one. Yeah, I read the internet comments on them too.

Worse still, the baseball game here isn’t exciting and I believe is not the main highlight. Especially the final episode which just felt like one long snippet that went on and on and on. I was thinking when the heck this is going to be over and move on to the next game. I am deducing that they want to bring in some character development and put the focus on the group of girls but personally I feel that fails too. You see, when you have a season that spends most of its time trying to recruit members and then trying to tackle the drama and issues that some of the characters are facing, where does the baseball game go? Heck, the Nationals don’t even start after 5/6 of the season is gone! The Nationals officially starts on the penultimate episode of the season!!! At this point, I am predicting the dark horse of Satogahama will lose early or they will leave a cliff-hanger if they manage to go on and surprise everyone and win their matches. It doesn’t help that baseball is not my favourite sport or the kind of sport that I would consider in my top 10, 20 or 50! Hence when I look at the girls play their practice and official match, they’re just boring and I’m so lost at what they’re doing. Just like how people who don’t like football see 22 grown men chasing a ball around the field, I view baseball as 18 people hitting and throwing a ball while running around the field.

If the story sucks and the baseball game itself sucks, what about the characters then? Oh, you already know the answer. They suck too. Like I have said, a dozen episodes is not enough to do justice and flesh out all the characters even in the same team. Due to this limit, we see them breezing through and it felt a bit rushed. That’s why with the initial team recruiting episodes, it felt like they need to quickly make up the numbers and hence pulled in other girls who are ‘interested’. Gee, that was fast. What a coincidence, we got enough members just in time for the Nationals. So what Tsubasa had some baseball experience and only wants to play baseball because of fun? So what Ryou wants to make it big but looks like her dreams are too big and ever since she officially began joining the team, she became a minor character. I thought she was the ace of the team but it felt like she didn’t even make any impact at all. I thought she would be Satogahama’s first pitcher or batter seeing that she is good but I don’t know what Tsubasa was thinking as she let others do the pitching and batting and Ryou is just playing in some other field. Is she okay with that? Well, if everyone is okay with it, fine by me. They seem to make a big deal out of Tsubasa’s goal to have fun playing baseball. You mean when one is aiming to be competitive, you can’t have fun? Why not have both? Has baseball become so competitive that if you want to be the best of the best, the top of your game, you can’t enjoy the game? Maybe when you’re an internationally famous big star raking in the big bucks, maybe. Who these girls, man???!!!

When you have a bunch of misfits in your group, that sort of variety in characterization and personality should be interesting to watch but unfortunately the same cannot be said here. It feels that the other girls in Satogahama have personality that is just superficial, enough just to distinguish everyone from each other. Is Yoshimi some sort of delinquent and banchou wannabe? Because that’s all I see in her aside that serial missed batting running joke. Not as troubled as Maiko but thank goodness her family troubles didn’t spill over and affect the baseball team, right? Should Ayaka be in journalism instead of playing baseball? I don’t know, her journalism seems to be her better skill but I guess they’re short of members and we need someone who can get outside data. Because Waka is only on technicalities of the game so Ayaka is still needed as the ‘spy’.

Kana the robo because of her poker face and no emotions and Aoi the, uhm, perm? She should have been giving Kaiji a run for his money as a gambler but I guess we all forgot that she is one. High school girl as a gambler?! Gasp! That would have been interesting to watch! Then we have Yuuki and Akane having low self-confidence so whenever plot conveniences is needed to drive up the drama, you bet they have something on this. Same thing for Tomoe. Best friends sometimes do fight, right? All in all, the Satogahama girls fail to make us want to support them as I don’t even feel that their bonds with each other is that close. The training camp, the practices and even Tsubasa’s heartfelt grateful speech for her comrades sticking through thick and thin with her feel shallow. Kakehashi feels irrelevant and showing her putting in the ‘hard work’ to get the school to approve the club to play in the Nationals felt like the greatest achievement for her. Just in time, baby. Really. Otherwise, getting them scheduled practice matches seem to be easy pie. I wonder if her kendo club she is also supervising felt neglected. Oh don’t you worry. Kakehashi is young and single so you bet she has the energy to do both!

I know this is just a story and fantasy, but it still feels unrealistic that a group of girls who aren’t really that good in baseball (with the exception of Tsubasa and Ryou of course) they manage to put up a decent game. Sure, they made improvements. But in that short amount of time? Wow. They must be so talented and do nothing but practice, practice and more practice. Like Tomoe getting her coaching from a rival school, yeah that seems legit to show why she can play good baseball with her teammates. Akane overcoming her low self-confidence, it’s like once that has been conquered, she’s going full speed ahead and her playing has soared! What about their practice field that is next to a sunflower patch? I guess they cleaned it up good so they are rewarded with exceptional practice sessions. I don’t know. Might be the spirit of the field’s way of thanking them for taking care of the place. Better than all those expensive baseball dedicated facilities, eh? Wow. Super realistic, girls. It’s a wonder why no talent agency has scouted them already. Oh right. They lost so I guess that’s that. Hey, at least we don’t have to put up with that Tsubaki b*tch whose appearance now felt even more redundant since the series ended.

Heck, come to think of it, I believe they even misnamed the title. Although 9 people are to play on a baseball field, because Satogahama has 11 members, shouldn’t it be Hachigatsu No Cinderella Eleven? I’m sure nobody is going to confuse that with Ocean’s Eleven or something. And I don’t think Cinderella is such a fitting term to use in baseball because nobody wears glass slippers to play baseball, right?! Do you see the Satogahama girls wearing glass slippers?! There was no magic in the first place so when it struck midnight, there was no magic that disappeared on them at the crucial time (I’m referring to their second round lost, just to be sure we’re on the same page).

Art and animation feel mediocre. There are many scenes in which the movement of the girls feel jerky and their facial expressions feel stiff. And it’s just weird that all the girls have this cute trademark on them that I believe is their glossy lips and big pretty anime eyes. Hmm… Kawaii… Me like. No wonder I was ‘attracted’ to watch this series. You can tell how ‘relevant’ the other baseball teams are by their baseball outfit. While Satogahama’s are pretty okay, those unimportant teams in the Nationals whom we will never know nor care are so f*cking plain and generic! Yeah… And they also try to differentiate the girls with different hairstyles and colours of the eyes and hair but the most outrageous designs are those who aren’t from the baseball club but other schoolmates. Do you not notice there is a girl with this outrageous pompadour hairstyle?! Then there is a tanned petite girl who somewhat reminds me of Love Hina’s Kaolla Su. Seriously. And she has a chibi as a pet squirrel? Oh, is that shy low self-confidence girl Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu? Is this another one of those animes she disappeared down the line? Damn, these girls would make it more interesting if they join the baseball club.

I guess differentiations in character designs are important because sometimes I might get confused with other characters. Because I thought Tsubasa + Ryou = Sayaka! Remember what I said about the girls’ expressions being rigid? Because for those who don’t really smile and have this serious look, I can foresee that if you just switch their hairstyles and hair and eye colour, they become that character! So if you switch Ryou with Kana, I guess they’re the same person! Same case for Tomoe and Ayaka. Same case for Waka and Shiho (by the way, doesn’t Shiho look like that stalker girl from Momokuri?). Damn, this is weird. Oddly, I thought Akane would forever where those cat ears and never take them off. Heck, she’s even got a baseball cap with that design. And that practice match with Kogetsu she wore a standard cap, I was like, who the heck is this character???!!! Yeah, those cat ears are so important to differentiate her now… But for some characters I suppose I can always 100% tell with certainty like Aoi because nobody has got a perm like hers. And why the heck does Tsubaki look like a meaner version of Da Capo’s Sakura?! This anime is done by TMS Entertainment who have done better sport anime titles like Megalo Box, Yowamushi Pedal, All Out and even, uhm, Baki? Unfortunately I didn’t see all of them.

Overall, this is a mediocre anime and serve to only ‘trick’ simpletons like yours truly into watching and thinking it is because it is cute girls doing cute things, baseball edition. And f*ck, no yuri at all! There are a hell lot of dedicated and better baseball series out there other than the aforementioned duo such as H2, Ookiku Furikabutte, One Outs and Major to name a few. Sad to say, although I cannot remember Princess Nine and Taishou Yakyuu Musume, my guts tell me they are still much better than this one. Stories of an underdog sports team are always welcomed and doesn’t grow old. However it is how the story and characters are executed and paced that becomes the challenge into whether making the series a hit or bomb. This series felt like it only had its 15 minutes of fame and then head back into the sleepy wilderness forever. Women in baseball itself is a novelty and not even as popular as their male counterparts not only in Japan but around the world and with this mediocrity, it is no wonder why not many females are going to pick up the sport and turn it into something more popular than what their male counterparts can do. I’m not saying that all sports, men dominate and play better. There are a few sports that we all still love to watch women play. Beach volleyball anyone?!

Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari

October 20, 2019

Naturally when one is to select a weapon, many would have opted to go for offensive melee weapons like swords, spears, lances, axes or ranged weapons like guns or bow and arrows. Not many would have picked shield as their primary weapon and would have only viewed it as some defence mechanism. Hence shields are not given as much prominence and does not receive its fair share of reputation, the most being relegated to fancy designs for coat of arms. But now we have an anime series to tell that shields can be as badass like any other weapons too. Herald, Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari. You know what they say that a good offence is a good defence. And our shield hero is going to show you why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of shields. Oh, is this another isekai genre too?!

Episode 1
Naofumi Iwatani is your typical otaku. He has enjoying this lifestyle but all that comes crashing when he reads a strange fantasy novel at the library. You know, world in danger. Four heroes each holding a different weapon (sword, spear, bow and shield) are summoned to help save the world. The moment he turns to this strangely blank page he is suddenly summoned to another world. There are 3 other guys who were also summoned, Ren Amaki (why do I have a feeling he is taken after Kirito?), Motoyasu Kitamura and Itsuki Kawasumi. The summoners beg them to save their world after using some ancient ritual. However the other guys want to talk business and rewards before accepting any mission. They are brought to King Aultcray Melromarc XXII who explains destruction is about to beset this world in Waves. They already experienced the first one and underestimated it. They survived but at a great cost of casualty and damages. Unfortunately the heroes don’t start out strong. They must train and power up their weapons before the next Wave hits. The heroes retire to their rooms. To their surprise, they learn each come from a different alternate version of Japan. Naofumi feels he got the raw end of the stick because shield heroes are regarded as losers. Can only defend and not attack? Next day, the king has gathered brave warriors to join the heroes. So the warriors are the ones who get to choose which hero to join? Too bad for Naofumi, none joins him! Why do all the hot babes join Motoyasu? Sure he is hot guy but he’s such a cocky jerk… Because Naofumi keeps complaining, Myne Suphia from Motoyasu’s side decides to join him. She shows him around and brings him to Elhart who is a blacksmith to buy some gear. Too bad for Naofumi, he cannot wield any other weapon besides his shield bummer. He practises but the most he could do is destroy those weak orange ball monsters. Naofumi works hard to kill and sell monsters, enough to buy him a decent armour.

One night Myne wants to drink and flirt with him but Naofumi decides to be a gentleman and turn her down. But when he wakes up the next morning, he realizes he has been robbed. Worse, the royal guards arrest him. Before the king, he realizes he has been set up as Myne accuses him of raping her. More salt to his wounds as his armour is now worn by Motoyasu whom he claims Myne gave it to him as present for rescuing her. With nobody believing in Naofumi, he screws everything and wants to return home. However it cannot be done until the Waves are over. So you’re all in for the ride. As he is one of the heroes, Naofumi cannot be executed but banished. With rumours of his crime spread, Naofumi leaves and has turned into a bitter and resentful man. At least he is no longer naïve and has wise up. Elhart almost believed the rumours but choose to show some sympathy and give him a meagre gear as parting gift. Naofumi channels his anger to kill those orange balls and sells them for money. Those who threaten to pull a fast one on him will get their just desserts. He tinkers with his shield’s branching abilities and also try his hand at making medicine. When ‘adventurers’ claim they want to join him but Naofumi sets harsh terms for them, turns out they are robbers but nothing could beat a man who has been bitten once. Even more bitter as Naofumi realizes he cannot farm his offensive ability as cannot attack. A slave dealer, Berocas sees potential in him and decides to show him some slaves. They cannot disobey their master and demi-humans are usually used due to discrimination. Hello there. What have we got here? A cute raccoon girl?

Episode 2
Raphtalia is the cheapest slave he can afford and he will use her to upgrade his shield. Berocas then conducts a ritual to make a mark on her that makes it hard for her to defy him. He goes back to Elhart to get her some gear and forces this scared and meek girl to kill. He tells her straight she will fight monsters for him and to recoup the cost of acquiring her. He did say he doesn’t see slaves as people but he still treats her decently to food and trains her. Raphtalia learns he is the shield hero and remembers her parents told her that the shield hero treated them good. She still reels from the nightmare when a monster killed her parents who bought time to save her. All Naofumi can do is hug and console her. These nightly screams are going to be routine? Better get used to it. One day during training, Naofumi is attacked by a vicious monster. He tells Raphtalia to kill it but she is scared of blood. More truths lectured into her about the Wave and the likes. If he dies, he cannot protect her. He needs someone to fight for her as he cannot attack. With that, Raphtalia makes her first bloody kill and vows to fight for him. In order to make fast money, they head to the mines to collect gems. Nobody goes there as monsters inhabit it after the first Wave. However a dog monster similar to the one who killed Raphtalia’s parents pop up. She is paralysed in fear. Naofumi tells her the truth her parents cannot come back but she can prevent other kids from sharing her same fate. If he dies, so will her. As she is still is still afraid, Naofumi changes his mind. He will buy time for her to run away. This has Raphtalia realizes it will be the same as then. She picks up her sword and stabs the monster to death. She hugs him and cries not to die or leave her alone. So that’s the deal between them. She attacks, he defends. Simple.

Episode 3
I don’t know how long it has been but Raphtalia has now matured into a hot raccoon babe! She even has guts to talk back to Naofumi especially when he doesn’t put his own health as priority. With the Wave drawing closer, oddly this must be some huge coincidence as all 4 heroes converge at the cathedral to see how much time left before the next Wave hits. This gathering only brings bitter memories for Naofumi. They’re all still cocky and Naofumi bites his tongue to stay quiet and tries to leave. Jerk ass Motoyasu trying to flirt with Raphtalia? Thankfully that raccoon girl stays loyal to Naofumi. Who feeds her, right? She is still grateful to him for giving her a second chance in life. The day of the Wave is here. Sky changes colour. Weird portals throwing down monsters. Naofumi tries to defend the abandoned Lute village. Not sure if he can do much by being the bait and lure all the zombie monsters to a burning tower and let it crash. His brave act has the villagers returning to help him but he doesn’t want them to waste their lives and die for nothing. It gets worse when the royal guards simply fire their artillery to take everything out in the village. Naofumi is not pleased they aren’t defending the people they are supposed to but that’s none of his business. He would have let them become monster feed but he can’t sink to their level and still defends them. While some cocky guards leave to assist other heroes, those who see Naofumi’s true character stay behind to help him defend the village. With all the monsters defeated, the sky reverts back to normal and the portals disappear. Woah. You mean it was that easy?! Maybe that was just the warm up. Next Wave should be harder… The villagers thank Naofumi from the bottom of their heart although he remains sceptical and brushes it off as nothing. At least he commends Raphtalia for doing a good job.

Episode 4
A lavish party is thrown. Naofumi attends only because of the reward. Otherwise he is like the wallflower. However Motoyasu still isn’t pleased. He challenges him to a duel thinking he is mistreating Raphtalia as a slave (despite slavery is legal here). Naofumi sees no reason to accept this until the king orders him to do so. Even if Raphtalia stands by Naofumi, they think she is brainwashed. Yeah, everyone continues to think badly of this shield hero. In this one on one duel, Naofumi relies on his tricks. Not to say they are underhanded but everyone else thinks otherwise. He supposedly had the upper hand until Myne interrupts and deals a serious blow, allowing Motoyasu to win. When Naofumi calls her out, no one in the crowd saw what happened. With everyone continuing to badmouth him, Naofumi realizes everything has been a setup since Myne is the king’s daughter. With Raphtalia freed from her curse, Naofumi thinks she has turned against him. He blames his shield and starts hating this world. So much hatred that he activated some curse series?! Raphtalia slaps Motoyasu for doing something she never asked. She explains how Naofumi took care of her and never abused her. Can Motoyasu do all that? Ren and Itsuki call out to Motoyasu that he actually lost that duel since they saw some wind magic interfering. Raphtalia goes talk to Naofumi. At this point, he is already at the peak of his depression and burning with hatred. Raphtalia reasons that his shield save others many times over and that she believes he did not rape. Even if the whole world is against him, she will always be by his side. After all, he gave her a purpose in life. That warm hug must have did the trick to make him open his eyes and ears to her again. Raphtalia evolves to an even hotter raccoon chick. I don’t see any difference but Motoyasu can’t recognize her? He sleeps on her lap till morning comes.

Episode 5
All the heroes are given their rewards. Naofumi gets his minimum but Aultcray deducts the expense for freeing Raphtalia so he gets nothing. However Itsuki and Ren vouch Naofumi should get something as he defended Lute and also fought an unfair duel. Naofumi takes his minimum and leaves. Raphtalia returns to Berocas so she can get the slave mark back on her chest. She regards this as a symbol of his faith in her. Berocas introduces Naofumi to some monster egg lottery. If you take care of the hatched monster, it can fetch a handsome price when it grows up. If you win the jackpot, you might get a dragon. Naofumi buys one. Thanks to his heroics, store owners give him freebies for saving their relatives at Lute. The egg hatches into a small bird known as filolial. Amazingly Filo grows up into some Chocobo spinoff in 2 days! Trouble comes when Myne declares Lute under Motoyasu’s domain as one of his rewards. They are going to impose some levy to help rebuild it. Of course the villagers oppose it and so does Naofumi. Myne would have resorted to blackmail had not messengers drop in with a message. Whatever it is, she challenges Naofumi to a race over Lute. Initially Naofumi refuses but the villagers vow to reward him. The winner gets Lute after a 3 lap race around the village. Naofumi teases Filo and gets kicked in the crotch! Ouch! During the course of the race, of course Myne has her subordinates use magic to cheat but whatever attempts they do, Naofumi manages to get back. In the end, Filo’s beak seals the win. Sore loser Myne calls Naofumi a cheat and all but with the messengers detecting magic properties that do not belong to Naofumi or Raphtalia, Myne and Motoyasu back off for now. Since Naofumi doesn’t want to take money, the villagers give him a carriage. Good timing since Filo evolves into a bigger bird! Naofumi is also give a traveller’s pass that exempts him from tolls and can traverse many other roads. They take a rest since Raphtalia has motion sickness. Next morning, who the heck is this naked loli sleeping next to Naofumi???!!!

Episode 6
So let me guess, this loli is Filo levelling up? Sounds pretty fishy but there’s an explanation about how filolial can disguise itself as human… Anyway, with Elhart convinced Naofumi is some lolicon, because Filo has this penchant to change between forms, she rips her clothes. Need to find clothes that don’t rip between transformations. Where is Bruce Banner when you need him? It is possible to make such magic clothes but special materials are required. So as they travel to the next village, it seems a peasant request an emergency delivery. Naofumi does so and realizes in addition to become merchants, providing transport can also fetch a handsome profit. He continues with this trade and one day as he transports a wealthy trader, bandits ambush. Of course Naofumi’s team easily defeats them. When they think of throwing lies of him if handed to authorities (because he is the shield hero), Naofumi decides to kill them. How does it feel to become filolial feed? Now they are begging for their lives? Okay. He spares them but in exchange loots them? Sorry, donate all their tributes! The grateful trader pays back by teaching him how to craft gems and also introduce some connections. Naofumi heard the exploits of other heroes. They are doing well on their own but he finds Itsuki’s story all over the place and less credible. Naofumi’s party enter some mine to get the special ingredient. They overcome aural illusions and fight off some badass monster (did Filo and Raphtalia did some Mortal Kombat X-ray move there?!) before getting the desired gem that is crucial in making Filo’s magic clothes. And when it’s done, damn she looks like an angel! So cute that Raphtalia is jealous Naofumi is staring a lot at her.

Episode 7
Arriving at a village ravaged by vines, as expected the desperate villagers plead for Naofumi to help them. Long story short, the village was facing famine when Motoyasu brought a sealed seed here. Without a doubt it solved their food problem for a while but the tree mutated and started growing vines and plant monsters that destroyed everything. Even some of the villagers are being infected by the parasitic plant. Since they will pay and perhaps some sort of score to settle with that spear jerk, Naofumi heals the infected and then goes off to destroy the core. Not sure what ability he has because it seems the vines have no effect on him as he could easily approach and poison it with his medicine. Because he learnt a new skill upgrade, he even did some genetic mutation to create a better plant that will only produce greater food yield. Wow. This guy is soaring to greater heights. After leaving the village, they stop by and rest at a hotspring area. This part feels like filler as Raphtalia feels insecure since Filo is clinging too much to Naofumi. Thoughts of trying to snag Naofumi for herself fail since Filo is always with him. That night, both have this same idea to get some rare egg. It started out as a race but they realize it is better to cooperate since a giant wild boar stands in their way. Unfortunately the rampaging boar destroys the egg. I guess the boar can even sense how mad these girls are. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… Bringing back the dead meat boar to town, villagers want to pay them handsomely for it because it is used as offerings in their ritual. With the money, they buy an expensive metal crafting tool for Naofumi.

Episode 8
Entering a village where the people are dying of a disease, Naofumi treats their symptoms but didn’t cure them. As long as the root cause is around, the problem will go back to square one. It seems recently Ren slain a dragon on the mountain. This attracted visitors but they soon started dying because of the poison its rotting corpse emitted. Of course Naofumi will fix this for a fee. As they approach the dragon, it revives?! Zombie dragon?! Filo has a grudge against dragons and starts attacking it. Uhm, how do you kill a zombie anyway? Unfortunately, Filo gets eaten! Oh sh*t! Naofumi becomes so enraged that he unlocks his curse. Damn, he is so overpowered but evil! His trauma of betrayal fuelling that hatred. As he is about to dangerously go berserk, the voice of Raphtalia brings him to his senses. He realizes Raphtalia has been infected. He desperately tries to heal her but he needs that curse power to defeat the dragon. Don’t worry. Suddenly it dies. Filo bursts out from its stomach! She claims while eating through its stomach, she found a crystal that is supposedly its core. Yeah, she ate it too. Naofumi tries to use his reward money to get Raphtalia healed by the doctor doesn’t have enough materials nor power to stave off the curse. He lets him keep the money and perhaps the churches in bigger towns might help. Naofumi reflects on his actions. He realizes the difference between bravery and recklessness, caution and cowardice. As that cursed shield isn’t in his upgrade tree, had he continued to use it, he would have killed both of them. He realizes the need to protect them. The duo also share some of the blame for being reckless. Naofumi promises they’ll get stronger so he could protect those who believe in him. Raphtalia wants to him to accompany her tonight but he has Filo do it instead. Bummer.

Episode 9
Naofumi finds a girl frolicking with other filolial. She is Melty and because Filo can talk, they become friends! Wow. Naofumi now playing doctor? Because he is going to the capital tomorrow, Melty wants to hitch a ride. Isn’t it odd if she is part of the nobility, she got distracted playing with filolial and the guards left her behind???!!! Were they doing their job???!!! Along the way, one night they thought Filo ate her because her clothes are only left behind. Naofumi thinking of destroying evidence? Luckily, she was just sleeping in Filo’s feathers. So warm and fluffy… After Naofumi buys an expensive holy water from the church, a young soldier calls for him. Guts tell him to run but this has him bump into Motoyasu who immediately attacks him. What now? He claims he made a slave out of some blonde angelic loli and wants her freed! Damn, this guy a lolicon now?! Uh huh. His fetish is blonde angels. I don’t even… Motoyasu continues to attack, causing destruction around. The young soldier stops them because this is a public area but Myne uses her authority to turn this into an official duel. Only to be stopped by Melty! With all the guards bowing down, this girl must have some authority. You mean Melty is Myne’s younger sister???!!! Stop this or she’ll report to mom. Motoyasu tries to be nice to Filo but when he badmouths that fat chicken, I guess Filo has to show him again. Motoyasu realizes they’re both the same as Filo kicks him in the crotch again! No padded armour can save his crown jewels now… Later Melty explains to Naofumi that despite being the second daughter, she is the next in line to the throne since Myne has always been a problematic child. Before she could explain further, Naofumi will not listen anymore. He cannot trust her. Go away.

Episode 10
Melty is ushered away by her guards before she could tell the truth. Her mom the queen knew about the king’s mistreatment on Naofumi. She wanted to admonish him but from what I can see, she is on house arrest and sent Melty on her behalf. That young soldier brings back more of his friends. Inspired by him, they want to join Naofumi and fight alongside him when the next Wave hits. He wants them to bring 150 silver. That’s to build trust, right? With Raphtalia eligible for class upgrade, he tells her to pick a path instead of relying on him. Because once this mission is over, he will return to his world. This makes her worry. As they can only do upgrades near the hourglass, the nun charges a high price. When Naofumi is able to afford, they shift the goalpost that Aultcray has a decree to refuse any upgrades for the shield hero. Hence he goes to see Berocas for this service. He doesn’t offer such service but mentions a few nations that have that hourglass. Shieldfreeden or Siltvelt are most suitable as demi-humans there welcome humans but the journey is long and they won’t have time before the next Wave. Berocas suggests buying weapons for Filo. She gets talons and she tests it out on sewer monsters. Raphtalia talks to Naofumi about wanting to follow him back to his world once this is over. But is interrupted with Filo accuses her of trying to kiss him. End of conversation. Naofumi visits a dilapidated town in the north and the few people are starving. It seems it has gotten worse after Itsuki gathered revolution warriors to overthrow the despot king. Back in the capital, Naofumi sees Itsuki and Ren together. Both seem to think that somebody is impersonating them to get rewards because after they did the job, they couldn’t get it as the rewards is already paid. They accuse Naofumi as the impersonator but he tells them off their actions have caused the rescued towns to be worse off. Like that town Itsuki saved, the revolutionists increased their tax with the excuse to rebuild the country while that rotting dragon corpse Ren did, no reward was paid because the job was cancelled and he had to clean up the mess. If they don’t believe him, go see for themselves. Ren and Itsuki see no reason why Naofumi would lie. The young soldier and his friends have returned with the money. But Naofumi tells them to buy better gear with it so they can fight the next Wave. I guess they’re in.

Episode 11
With the next Wave here, Naofumi and his merry band defend the village from invaders. Who the heck is this granny giving kung fu kicks on the monsters?! She is one of those patients he saved so it makes me wonder if his drug is really that potent. Naofumi goes off to handle the big boss on this flying ghost ship. The other heroes are also there. However they are not cooperating and doing things their own way. Hence the deadlock in trying to spawn the Soul Eater since the enemies keep reviving. Eventually Naofumi spots an oddity in their shadows and strikes it to lure out the Soul Eater. With everyone pitching in to fight it, their attacks seemingly don’t have any effect. Hence Naofumi is going to unleash his cursed shield. He gets engulf in the flames of hatred and hears the voice of the zombie dragon vying for revenge. Naofumi turns into a wild beast to attack the Soul Eater. Filo also gets affected and follows suit. With the rest standing around and in shock at this transformation, Raphtalia chastises them for having so much power but yet they don’t use it to fight and help him. Though, she blames herself for being weak if not otherwise Naofumi won’t be in this situation. Luckily her voice still resonates within him as he returns to normal. Naofumi does an overkill on the Soul Eater with his Iron Maiden piercing ability. Just when the heroes thought everything is over, pops out another Soul Eater. However this one is easily destroyed by the heavenly zaps of Glass. This dark Japanese chick mocks the heroes as weaklings because they’re already having a hard time handling the small fries. She only calls Naofumi as the true hero and begins what is now the true battle of this Wave. So this is like the true hidden boss fight?

Episode 12
Nothing works up the other heroes more when Glass calls them Naofumi’s servants. No matter how much they power up, they couldn’t scratch her. Now it’s Naofumi’s turn to dance with her. He also throws everything he’s got and nothing affects her. So much so she teases him to use his trump card in which he unleashes his Iron Maiden. Still no effect! Is this dark babe on God mode?! Thankfully Naofumi lives up to his name as the shield hero and also withstands her attacks. Glass could have actually won had not she murmured something about the time limit. Yup, the Wave is ending soon. Hence Naofumi uses this last moment to escape. Glass uses her range attack but it is less effective. Time’s up. Glass returns and hopes he would be stronger next time. Otherwise he won’t survive. This signals the end of this round’s Wave. But soon, Naofumi against his will is brought to meet Aultcray who wants to know how he did it. But Naofumi plays hardball. You want to know? Bow and beg before me! This makes Aultcray mad as he threatens Naofumi who threatens back he can kill all of them right now. So leave him alone. If he dares threaten his party members, he will hunt them down and kill them all! After he leaves, Melty confronts her father and notes how things ended on a sour note. It seems he hints his grudge against the shield hero is because letting him and the demi-humans do as they please, he believes he will lose his family again. Myne as usual tries to be a b*tch and convince Melty to stand down. Melty replies back that this is none of her business. Myne trying hard not to let her angry b*tch face show… Naofumi thinks of visiting Shieldfreeden for his servants’ upgrade before the next Wave. So Elhart gives them a few weapons and accessories goodies for their journey. As they rest, Melty confronts them and hopes Naofumi can return to the capital to make amends with her father. Of course he rejects. Then the loli starts throwing a tantrum how stubborn the guys are. Does this run in the family? Like father like daughter? Naofumi suddenly has a bad feeling like as though all this was a setup. Then he spots a guard trying to stab Melty from the back. Luckily Naofumi is quick enough to shield her. Damn, is the guard that stupid to attack so obviously?

Episode 13
Other guards start attacking, claiming Naofumi has taken Melty hostage. But after a while, they retreat. Indeed, the footage that has been recorded and re-edited so as to make them look like bloodthirsty killers. No wonder the guards were acting so lame. This fake footage is then spread to other villages. Hence Naofumi’s party have to camp outside and cannot easily enter villages as they are also heavily guarded. Melty believes Myne is behind the attacks since her elimination would mean she would be the next in line to the throne. That’s why Naofumi suggests she come with them. If she goes back, she’ll get killed. Following him means the least he could do is protect her. Melty tells about her mom the queen and she has a higher authority since the country is matriarchal. They have to start running when guards are on their tail. This time the other heroes have also joined in. When cornered, Myne accuses Naofumi of brainwashing everybody, the reason why Melty and others so willingly follow him. He is ordered to hand over Melty but Naofumi hatches an escape plan. It falls apart but it gets more appalling as Myne tries to kill Melty giving an excuse she attacked first and if her brainwashing is this bad, she’ll have to die. Meanwhile Motoyasu is trying to rape Filo?! WTF?! Ren and Itsuki are in shock that Myne is trying to kill Melty but Myne was so engrossed in focusing on trying to kill Naofumi, she didn’t sense Raphtalia sneaking up and owning her. This allows Naofumi’s party to escape. Later they are approached by this ninja woman who is one of the espionage members called Shadow directly under the queen. She wants Naofumi to see the queen and he’ll get his answers. We slightly distracted with Melty throwing a tantrum at Naofumi until he calls her by her name. Weird. So weird that even Raphtalia feels weird out. Can we move on? Speaking of which, crazy Myne b*tch is now setting the forest on fire…

Episode 14
Has the word spread that Naofumi was the one who started the forest fire. We didn’t start the fire! They arrive in an area whom Melty knows the noble. Seyaette was a kind noble who treated his demi-humans well but he died in the first Wave and all those loyal to him were spread out across the kingdom. This place also brings back bad memories for Raphtalia as she was from this jurisdiction and after the first Wave, soldiers stormed the place and attacked them. Van Reichnott welcomes them and allows them to stay at his place. Though, Naofumi remains sceptical. Next day, they see Reichnott being taken away by guards. The lord of the neighbouring domain, Idol Rabier accused him of hiding them and marched his way in. As a maid hides them, Melty confronts Idol and claims Naofumi abandoned her here and escaped. She wants to return to the capital to talk to her father. After being taken away, Naofumi and co hatch a plan to go rescue her. That night when demi-humans are protesting outside Idol’s mansion, Naofumi uses this chance to sneak in. Meanwhile Idol is trying to force Melty to reveal where Naofumi is. Despite she maintains she doesn’t know, he then beats up Reichnott in hopes this will get psychological on her. When all fails, why the heck does he look like having that rape face and wanting to rape her?! Thankfully our shield hero crashes in to save the day. After Melty is secured, Raphtalia confronts him and even turns the table on him. With Idol begging for his life, Raphtalia is not amused because lots of demi-humans also begged for their lives like this. After all, she was part of the demi-humans whom he rounded up and sold as slaves.

Episode 15
Idol still begs for his life and Raphtalia ponders about killing him until Naofumi asks if doing so will have her closure. Has she not grown stronger only in terms of her sword? Raphtalia recollects herself and despite how much she hates him, will not kill him. Otherwise she is the same as him. Obviously being the typical baddie, he tries to kill her when she lets his guard down but she is fast to defend. Ah, the best way for scumbags to die is to trip and fall out the window. Good riddance. But Raphtalia still needs to confront her past. In the basement where the slaves were kept and tortured, she remembers being forcefully brought here with her other friend, Rafina. Together they suffered but kept each other alive until one day Raphtalia was sold to a slave merchant. Rescuing other demi-human slaves, Raphtalia recognizes another fellow friends, Keel. He doesn’t recognize her at first but after recounting a few incidents together, he remembers. But it is all tears for Raphtalia when she discovers Rafina is reduced to bones. She’s a corpse. Crying over her death, it’s that moment when Raphtalia begins to feel she is useless and weak. And it’s that moment where Naofumi reminds her how she was the one who gave him hope and trust. So in order to avoid others from going through the horrible things like them, they have to protect those who survived. And I guess this weird vision of Raphtalia and Rafina so they could find their closure and move on. When they resurface, it seems that fatty bastard is still alive. He has gone crazy and undone a seal that sealed a monster. So this T-rex is the monster? Fatty thinks he will be blessed by God if he destroys everything but looks like he’s got the devil’s curse. Because T-rex stomps on him. I’m pretty sure no one can survive that. Good riddance for real.

Episode 16
Chicken vs T-rex? The reason the monster is targeting Filo is because both have crystals inside that are resonating. Are they hinting something about T-rex are related to modern day chickens? Naofumi takes his team to lure the monster away from the city. They end up at a lake where they fight it but they’re not making any headway. Naofumi tries to use his cursed mode but a voice tells him not to rely on it. Then the place is surrounded by filolial and the one taking on the monster is the giant filolial queen. She makes it look so easy when she kills it! She transforms into her loli version since we all approve of this cute form that is better for conversations. Introducing herself as Fitoria, she takes them back to her base to talk. But first, Naofumi cooks for everyone. Can’t talk on an empty stomach. Yeah, he has to feed the entire filolial herd too! Damn, this looks like a KFC farm… Finally Naofumi and Fitoria can talk. She is against him relying on his cursed shield despite he views it as his only way to survive. It might give him power now but the consequences will be immense too. Fitoria came to Naofumi’s aid because she heard news of a potential filolial queen candidate. Fitoria might be powerful now but that won’t last forever. She is appalled that the heroes are bickering among each other and not fighting Waves in other countries. So you mean the heroes aren’t aware of this? She thinks the heroes should be talking their differences out as much as they don’t like it. Fitoria views her mission is to protect and save the world from Waves. Despite not liking humans and not caring for them, she is only doing so because the previous hero raised her. It is also the reason why Filo is growing differently from other filolial because of being raised by a hero. Because Naofumi is still stubborn not wanting to patch things up with other heroes, Fitoria has no choice but to kill them.

Episode 17
Fitoria takes Melty hostage in hopes Naofumi would change his mind to reconcile with other heroes. Nope. If she wants to kill him, feel free to do so but he won’t go down without a fight. Let’s see if he can do so when she locks his shield’s properties! Hence Fitoria challenges Filo to a fight. She will disregard all this if she defeats her. As expected, we see Filo getting owned left and right. Fitoria is so powerful that she can even take care of Naofumi trying to sneakily rescue Melty. She uses this to blame Filo as weak. Otherwise why resort to this? She continues to taunt her weak will to protect Naofumi. That’s the cue for Filo to turn stronger as she absorbs mana from the air until she breaks through Fitoria’s shield and just scratch her. Well, I guess she passed. So it is no surprise this was just a scheme to see if Filo is worthy to become her successor. And since she has proven that, here is a crown. And also being the next filolial queen means you grow an ahoge? Don’t mind that since she also gets a considerable stats increase. Fitoria also helps boost Naofumi’s shield attributes by unlocking more branches. Then they have a party to celebrate Filo becoming queen. So Naofumi has to cook more KFC? Damn did he get filolial raped? Later Fitoria talks to Naofumi seriously that she still would have killed him and the other heroes if they won’t continue to cooperate. Since they’re going to die at this rate, might as well kill them off and summon new heroes. She doesn’t know how many Waves will come but there will be a time when the world demands sacrifice from all life. The heroes then must choose what they fight for. Saving the world isn’t the same as saving its people. She casts a spell to help slow his shield’s corruption. You might have guessed Fitoria’s previous hero who raised her was also a shield hero and Naofumi is now sounding a lot like him. Sometimes a queen also needs a gentle pat on her head. Ren and Itsuki are in a cave supposedly housing the legendary weapons of the heroes. However it is empty and they realize too late it’s a trap. Boom!

Episode 18
Naofumi’s party nears the border. Fitoria previously sensed another hero nearby so Naofumi hopes he could talk to Ren or Itsuki to let them pass. Unfortunately it is Motoyasu. He looks mad, attacks Naofumi mercilessly and blames him for the killing Ren and Itsuki! Of course when Naofumi tries to explain, he won’t listen and even thinks his party members are still under his brainwashing. Myne forces both their sides to fight in an enclosed ring. No surprises that Naofumi’s side wins. Filo using all that she has learnt from Fitoria and Raphtalia doing some sneaky combo with Naofumi to get the better of them. Before Naofumi can further talk, Raphtalia senses something strange. All the soldiers that were surrounding them are now gone. Filo also senses something dangerous so she has Naofumi put up layers after layers of shield. And then some gigantic beam hits them. Everyone is okay. Just one big huge crater left behind except for the ground they stood. This kind of devastating power can only be from the pope, Bisca T. Balmus. He views them as sinners and will be purify them in God’s name. But he almost killed Myne who is of the royalty, right? He believes the script goes as they are killed by Naofumi’s side. And now they are just walking corpses. WTF?! Which sci-fi did he pluck that out from?! You know he is starting to be the bad guy when he claims the royalty is nothing but nuisance as the soldiers have already taken over the castle. They have already planned a system of government to take over the royalty. No one can rule the country but them! Is this all God’s will? He further explains the damage done by the heroes despite these weren’t intentional. They thought they were doing the world some good but they are just naïve. Balmus further hints he killed Ren and Itsuki for doing some unnecessary investigation. Oh Motoyasu, you sure look very shocked for a hero. Didn’t see this coming, eh? How could he after being blinded for so long? And now Balmus takes up his sword. Time to receive God’s punishment.

Episode 19
Naofumi manages to block the attack. And that was just a trial run? The sword then changes into a spear. Melty realizes this was a replica that was created and can transform into the 4 weapons. It was rumoured to be lost centuries ago but apparently the church created that lie. If it’s so powerful, why need to summon the heroes then? Because it really sucks up mana from believers. See that long line of believers stretching for miles? It’s draining and also takes time to gather. Motoyasu’s feeble attacks didn’t work but before Balmus could finish them off, Ren and Itsuki return to fight back. The duo were investigating this replica in secret but the church knew they were snooping around and sent them to a fake location to assassinate them. The assassination could have succeeded had Shadow not saved them and they barely escaped it from the skin of their teeth. Now that the church is the one to blame for taking their rewards, credit and framing of Naofumi, Naofumi sure isn’t looking impressed because he had that I-told-you-so look. The heroes want to unite to fight but Naofumi refuses to play along. He is confident his party can survive without their help like they’ve always been. Now the heroes start arguing and pointing fingers but ultimately it is Naofumi who has the last say as he reminds them of the mess they did and the cleaning he did after that. In short, they let their hero status get to their heads and didn’t spare a thought for anybody else, thinking their justice version is right. It won’t be surprising if the people got sick of heroes like them. So in his eyes, they are no different than the pope because they use and abuse people for their own gain. Worst of all, they tried to take things precious to him. Naofumi won’t forgive them but will only cooperate to take Balmus down and also to make good Fitoria’s promise. Are we ready to continue now? Because too much talking and infighting has Balmus licking his lips as he has gathered enough mana to summon the greatest magic power to finish them off.

Episode 20
Mirelia the queen dons her armour and decides to make her move. It’s about time. So decided to wait till the world is on the verge of destruction only to act, huh? Nothing our heroes do could put a scratch on Balmus. Balmus has his followers put in more mana because there is nothing greater than dying as a martyr. With the heroes at their wit’s end, Naofumi’s curse then unlocks. A voice telling him to unleash all his anger and in return he will be given the power to strike back. Naofumi tries to resist but ultimately with the spamming of all the humiliation and disrespect he has been through, he gives in. Only, now his party members manage to talk and calm his heart. Yeah, the journey we had together, blah, blah, blah. Thank you for taking care of me, yada, yada, yada. Because he keeps to himself and doesn’t open up, they have a hard time understanding him. This helps suppress Naofumi’s curse at the expense of them being blighted. With this, Naofumi is like a changed person. He apologizes to the other heroes and seeks their cooperation. Shocking but yeah, people can change. We see all of them pulling off their coordinated combos on Balmus. If you think that will be the end, too bad it isn’t. Because Balmus’ weapon is able to mimic their high level attacks and at this point he uses his high level power to cast a scary illusion on them all. A kaleidoscope of Balmus? That’s scary indeed! Is that all our heroes have to offer? Okay. Queenie, your cue to move in. She freezes Balmus to give the heroes the much needed chance to take this traitorous pope for good. As Naofumi chants his spell, shockingly it backfires as he starts bleeding all over. Balmus won’t have the last laugh because some monster pops up and devours him and breaks his prototype weapon. I guess that’s the end. Devil beats God. With Naofumi looking like he will bleed to death, Mirelia vows to save him. Yeah, couldn’t you have arrive a bit earlier?

Episode 21
With the best treatment from the royal clinic, it took a month for Naofumi to heal. Mirelia explains what has happened. She was on a journey to meet with other nations to discuss about each nation summoning a hero for the Wave. Unfortunately Aultcray went ahead to summon all of them and this angered the other nations. Mirelia has to do damage control, that’s why there was inaction from her for so long. For some reason, Aultcray hated the previous shield hero and the church knew about it and took advantage to manipulate him. In addition to reward him for his heroics, she will also help clear his name and thus tomorrow everyone will be gathered at the royal palace. That night, Naofumi dreams of Aultcray and Myne being executed via guillotine. He doesn’t care for those jerks who deserve what they got but something just doesn’t feel right. In the throne room, all the heroes are summoned before Mirelia. Aultcray and Myne are now criminals and therefore a public trial will be held. In order to make them tell the truth, a temporary slave mark is put on their chest. Not sure if Myne is stupid or just desperate because she continues to lie and deny even though the mark zaps her for lying. Even till the end Aultcray still hates Naofumi and believes he did the right thing trying to rid of him before he ruins the family. At the end of the trial, Mirelia sends them to death and will be executed now. The people are baying for their blood for deception as Naofumi’s weird dream comes true. Myne pleads for Motoyasu to save her but when he abandons her, now she turns to Naofumi. So Naofumi steps in. Killing them would be too easy. After mocking them for who they are, he hereby wants to change their name to Trash and Bitch/Slut and live with it for the rest of their lives. If they refuse, they can die now. And with their lives spared, the queen also abolished the church. Once this charade is over, Naofumi intends to head to Siltvelt instead of staying here. However he will still work with all the nations to fight the Wave. Naofumi’s party is given an honour guard as he leaves. Melty won’t be joining but she learns from mother that she had intended to take her own life to beg Naofumi to spare the executed had Naofumi didn’t stop the execution. Perhaps he saw through her and stopped it. One last big thank you from Melty to Naofumi for bringing her home and saving her family.

Episode 22
With the corrupted church gone, Naofumi is free to upgrade Raphtalia and Filo. However something is preventing them to choose their class. Talking to Mirelia about this, she thinks certain accessories may hinder the upgrade like in Filo’s case, it could be what Fitoria gave her. There is also a party held for the heroes. Actually this is for the heroes to sit down and discuss. Meanwhile Myne, oops I mean Bitch/Slut tries to poison the food but gets busted by Melty. She doesn’t give up, does she? Then a drunkard tries to piss off Raphtalia for her kind as well as badmouth the shield hero so it descends into a free for all. Mirelia tells the heroes of the activation of Cal Mira Archipelago. It only comes once a decade and on this island they can level up greatly before the next Wave. Hence this ‘conference’ is to exchange info. The heroes are reluctant to work together but after Mirelia points out that only Naofumi has a real chance of surviving the next Wave, they relent. Naofumi shockingly learns from them how they could easily power up and copy powerful weapons. Just touch and copy?! That easy? There are loads of other easy skills and this shocks Naofumi since he did it all the hard way. Well, at least you can say Naofumi levelled up because of his own hard effort. Eventually the heroes disagree on the important factor that makes a weapon great. Proficiency? Rarity? Refinement and stats? This farce has Naofumi abruptly leaving the room. Can’t deal with these idiots. Naofumi then tries out this new knowledge at Elhart’s store. Wow. It really works. Copy everything for free! Damn this guy is going out of business!!! I’m sure it’s reassuring he’ll pay him back one day. Before leaving for the archipelago, Raphtalia requests to stop by her village to pay her respects to her parents and fallen brethren. Of course, her insecurities of Naofumi leaving has her bringing up this loneliness issue. Naofumi assures he won’t leave. He can’t leave the world in the fate of those idiotic heroes. How reassuring. I’m sure Naofumi didn’t say to them that he won’t leave until they find their own happiness. Otherwise they won’t find other happiness other than being with him. As they leave on the ship, because it is crowded, they have to share rooms. Naofumi’s party ends up sharing a room with L’Arc Berg and Therese Alexanderite whom they’ve briefly met recently at Raphtalia’s village.

Episode 23
L’Arc doesn’t believe Naofumi is the shield hero because he believes that dude is a demon in human’s clothing. But looking at Naofumi, he isn’t that of a bad guy so he can’t be the shield demon, right? Don’t waste your energy refuting this guy… On the deck, Naofumi sees the other heroes… They’re all seasick?! At Cal Mira, the heroes start farming for XPs but since an island isn’t big enough for all of them to share and hunt, I guess Naofumi can’t be bothered to join in the argument and leaves for another island. Farming XPs must be so good that Naofumi decides to hunt more into the night and camp on the island. However L’Arc and Therese come looking for them and they were worried. Because the boatman didn’t see them return, they thought they were killed. Understanding Naofumi’s desire to level up, even so a good rest is needed. So they head back to the main island where they party with the other heroes. Next day, Naofumi agrees to join L’Arc to hunt together. Raphtalia has finished crafting some jewel item as per requested by Therese and she’s so happy with it. On this island, they start killing… Killer penguins! Therese uses her new jewel spell on Naofumi. It burns away the killer penguins but Naofumi is not even effected and he felt the burden of his curse even lifted from this spell. After defeating the penguin boss and splitting their shares, Naofumi thinks of asking them to join his group when this is over. As they take a break by the beach the next day, Filo discover an underwater ruins. Inside it is an hourglass. This means this place can be attacked by the Wave. Speaking of which, it is in the next 48 hours.

Episode 24
Naofumi returns to report to Mirelia and she wastes no time in gathering a huge army for this Wave. Uhm, wouldn’t the humans be at a disadvantage because you know, monster fish can sink the ships? Apparently there is only a huge swordfish shark monster that can do damage and the rest are, uhm, fish people? Yeah, one of them must be a lolicon and tries to kidnap Melty! She is however saved by L’Arc. Noticing how strong L’Arc is, Naofumi needs his help to defeat the big mother. After luring it out from the waters, L’Arc deals the finishing blow. The heroes are going to get the drop items but L’Arc attacks the other heroes whom he views as weak. His target is Naofumi. So what’s going on? It seems L’Arc and Therese are also heroes like them but of another world. Their world is also on the brink of destruction and that’s why they are fighting towards a goal. L’Arc and Naofumi begin their fight with each other but L’Arc has an ace up his sleeve because he has some attack that deals damage to Naofumi the higher his defence points are. Naofumi also has some tricks up his sleeves. Mind tricks and his team combo. With this fight taking too long (and didn’t you notice the Wave is still ongoing?), Glass then shows up. She is on L’Arc and Therese’s side. She notes Naofumi has gone stronger as he manages to deflect her powerful attack and deal a lot of damage to L’Arc without even resorting to that cursed shield. That’s why she is going to take him down with her own hands.

Episode 25
Noticing that Glass anxiety towards his Soul Eater shield, Naofumi decides to fight her alone while letting the rest of his party take on L’Arc and Therese. Naofumi learns that she is also a hero from her world. A fan hero. She claims she must kill Naofumi and destroy this world or risk hers destroyed. When Naofumi sees a short glimpse of her world fending off the Wave, this makes him question his own motives. Because Glass is fighting so hard to protect her own world, why is he fighting hard to protect a world that isn’t his? Does he care enough for this world to crush Glass’ hopes? In the dying minutes of the Wave, Glass powers up so Naofumi also uses his cursed shield. He views himself as an outsider but this world is all Raphtalia, Filo and Melty got so it is worth to protect. But before he can use his cursed shield, Mirelia has Lecia (from Itsuki’s party) to use her wind magic and splash rum all over? So apparently Glass is weak against this alcohol? Literally can’t hold her glass! Haha! Time is up so L’Arc admits their defeat and takes Glass to retreat. See you again next time. In the aftermath, it seems Lecia is trying to drown herself. She was kicked out by Itsuki’s party after being accused of breaking something she didn’t. Naofumi doesn’t think she is as useless as she claims to be because she helped him a lot during the Wave. Also, is she going to accept this accusation? He can help her grow stronger. So is this his way of letting her join his party? Returning to Melromarc, Mirelia still feels the need to reward Naofumi. Speaking of which… Naofumi soon takes Raphtalia back to her hometown. I guess she is the only one left in the dark because surprise! It’s being rebuilt. Under Mirelia’s orders, Naofumi shall become lord of this domain. Naofumi explains of making this place as his base and a symbol of resistance, recruit more people and build an army. However Raphtalia doesn’t want him to say anything more. She thinks he is doing all this because he is going to leave them. She doesn’t want to live in a world without him. Please don’t go. Please stay. Naofumi makes it clear that he once thought of going home. But thanks to meeting them, he wants to protect this world as a shield hero. Hence this will be their origin. Their starting point. Their home. He hopes she will keep fighting as his sword. Of course. Probably steamy kiss interrupted when they realize everyone is spying on them! Is this how their new story starts?

Do Not Fear But F.E.A.R.: Face Everything And Rise!

So uhm, Naofumi finally has a change of heart and decides to stay? I suppose it is more fun playing the shield hero than being some boring useless otaku back in his world. After all, in the most remote of chances if he ever returns, where would he put to use all the skills he has attained? What a waste. Might as well stay here and write a new story of his legendary heroic feats! All hail Naofumi the greatest shield hero ever! Yeah, at least this puts to rest Raphtalia’s insecurity of him leaving her forever. Happy ending for everybody. Hope he doesn’t bump into Myn- I mean Bitch/Slut. Uh huh. No more episodes for this series means no more having to put up with Bitch/Slut’s antics. It’s a trade-off we have to live with. So yeah, the ending is reasonable. A good happy ending that we probably need after a very rough and dark start for a main character, even if it’s a weak one. There are a few slow parts in the series and it somewhat got a bit draggy with Naofumi still being viewed as a baddie and the final arc of the season on Cal Mira felt a bit rushed but overall it has been a great story.

This series was in danger in falling into that much loathed isekai cliché and tropes when you have your main character being summoned from our world to another world. It was a good thing that they didn’t make Naofumi an overpowered character from the start and because they ostracized his character, this somewhat plays on our emotions that would eventually lead us to support him because he has been mistreated so badly by the people in power and betrayed by those whom he trusted. Therefore when Naofumi somewhat becomes powerful, it is only because through the sheer hard work and effort he put in to become where he is today.

To justify how skilful and powerful he has become today, that is why his character is made to become bitter and distrustful. Look at it this way, if he was still the nice and naïve guy even if the shield hero wasn’t prejudiced against, he wouldn’t have actually put in a lot of serious effort to level up. Only when a man has his back pushed to a corner, he will bite back and challenge his limits. That’s why Naofumi being a truly powerful shield hero is very much justified. And I think that is what makes this isekai series so different from the rest of those ubiquitous and similar titles in the genre. Even though Naofumi looks overpowered towards the end, I wouldn’t consider him as overpowered. Sure, his shield skill tree has so many branches and it looks like he has unlocked a lot of them but there are still certain fights that he struggles with especially during the Waves. So I figure with Glass being so much more powerful than him, it shows that there is still room for him to improve and to remind us that Naofumi isn’t overpowered as we would like to think he is.

Speaking about the Waves, there are still a lot of things about this phenomenon that I don’t really understand. Like as though it is some sort of excuse to setup the plot and the likes. Because if the Waves hit countries that have the hourglass, how many countries are there in this world? And can they actually summon more than just 4 heroes at the same time? Can they summon other classes too other than the usual four? How long has the Waves been going on because it’s not like it just happened two or three editions ago. Did it? And the recent Wave we saw happened over the seas. If the heroes didn’t come to fight it, I mean would it danger any country? Are they just going to kill the marine life if the heroes didn’t show up? Unless the monster fish and fish people start swimming to the nearest island. And how nice of the Waves to let people know the countdown of their next attack so they can prepare and take appropriate action. So everything feels like some sort of game.

With the recent hints of the guardians from the other world, I am theorizing that there is some overseer higher entity who is so bored with its existence that it is sending worlds to fight to the death in mortal combat called Waves. And the world who wins the Waves will eventually get spared. I guess you have more than one try because we see this fantasy world being attacked a few times and even though each time gets stronger, it isn’t over yet. Hence the world Glass and co are from as they mentioned it is on the brink of destruction, the more they fail, the more their world will be destroyed so it’s like they are running out of time to win this Wave and save their world. Yeah, maybe they need to win it once or 10 straight defeats would mean the end of them. Yeah, they could have just tweaked the storyline from Mortal Kombat anyway…

Also, it was never fully explained about the previous shield hero nor what happened to him. Maybe this is saved for later instalments or seasons but it just leaves a confusing taste in my mouth. Because I am ever so eager to know why in the world Aultcray, oops I mean Trash, hates the shield heron the first place? Was it something to do with the previous shield hero whom he blames for ruining his family? Which family? The royal one or before he got married into the royalty, assuming he has that because Melromarc is said to be matriarchal. Even during his trial, he never did fully expand on this grudge of his. But I guess they didn’t want us to sympathise with an old fart who has done our main character wrong. So they leave this part in the dark and let us speculate. After all, trying to take out his grudge on an innocent man who only holds the title he hated is still wrong.

I guess this series has some character development especially for Naofumi and his team but mostly on Naofumi. After all, there is the pitfall of making him a really overpowered character or a very weak ass character and both types do not sit well with viewers. There needs to be some sort of balance so that Naofumi is the kind of character we would support instead of loathed since he is the main character and star of this series. So like I’ve said, having him turned from a naïve otaku into one who has to suddenly grow up and face reality overnight, it might sound harsh but I guess most of us would love to see that kind of character because it gives room to grow and develop. After all, many main characters have some sort of tragic past or need to face some biggest trials in their life in order to get where they are. Eat or be eaten. It’s a dog eat dog world even in this new world. Thankfully even though Naofumi can be considered as aloof, he isn’t as bad as when he started. He could have turned into a villain during those dark days for all we know. We see him trusting his comrades a lot more and opening up when needed. But still he maintains his distance because it would be just a shocker if he suddenly ditches his badass attitude and becomes all nice and glossy. That would make him so wimpy and I think his badass is what attracts his harem. Is this really Naofumi then? But there is still a possibility that Naofumi might become a villain. The final episode scene with Berocas hinting Naofumi is his golden goose to bring him more patrons, I figure Naofumi might turn into a dictator and cause others to rise against him, hence those seeking slaves or selling them for revenge or profit, keeping Berocas’ livelihood pretty much going.

Then there is the case of his cursed shield that is still as mysterious as the Waves I just mentioned. All we know is that it is able to give Naofumi all the power he needs in exchange for his rage and anger, thus losing his mind and turning him into a mindless berserker. But alas, to show that he doesn’t need to be tempted to use this method, that is why the all-important bonds he made with his party members so as to tell us that he isn’t all that lost nor desperate. Like I said, he could have screwed everything and become a villain and destroyed everything but despite how bitter and resentful he has become, thankfully he still has not his humanity so I think that’s why he might not be the nicest or the most pleasant of sugar coated main characters but this also makes him likeable. So the cursed shield ability thingy feels for now it is just lying dormant, waiting for the moment they need to move the plot forward in the future.

Because of Naofumi’s attributes as the shield hero, hence the excuse and reason why he needs to form a party to let others do the offensive and attacking role. Why do they all have to be lolis? Some sort. Well, at least Raphtalia was a loli racoon at one point before they decide not to somewhat turn her mature so it won’t be so obvious the shield hero’s party is a loli party too. Of course Raphtalia has some moments focused on her too since it won’t be right for Naofumi to be hogging all the spotlight by himself. So yeah, Raphtalia coming from a long way as a demi-human, her suffering and fears. Naofumi giving her that second chance was all she needed to turn it around albeit she might take a little time. He could have picked another slave but it was her. Lucky racoon. Raphtalia becoming Naofumi’s sword makes her an indispensable asset to Naofumi. This also tries to set up some sort of romance but it’s just one-sided. Because you know, Naofumi the kind master who teaches her, protects her, how else to get closer and bring their current relationship to the next level but to become a couple? I don’t know when the Waves will end but Raphtalia’s current insecurity being left alone if Naofumi returns to his own world, you bet she is going to try to get closer and snag him to prevent that. And now she can do that without worrying him going home because he has already decided to stay.

Then there is Filo who naturally doesn’t have any back story since she was born while the series is running. That’s why the need for that meeting with the Fitoria so as Filo would have something going for her instead of just being a combat assistance and carriage puller. Now that she is the filolial queen successor, you better show some respect for this loli chicken. She and Raphtalia might be gunning for Naofumi’s love but I say their kind of love for their master are different as Filo feels more like the master-pet relationship. But still, love rivalries nonetheless. And of course so as not to make her as one of Naofumi’s loli party members, hence she is sometimes in her giant fowl form. Last but not least is Melty who feels like a fringe party of the group. Because she is great friends with Filo, it is somewhat an excuse that she considers herself to be part of Naofumi’s party. Although mostly the first part was to escort her back home. Melty completes the party as she has magic attacks albeit not very strong ones but it is better than nothing. With Lecia joining Naofumi’s party in the final episode, I guess I can’t completely say he only recruits lolis into his team. Maybe now he is into retard-cum-joker? Because that is the kind of feel Lecia gives off in the final couple of episodes. Is she supposed to be cute being like that? Kawaii!

The other heroes aren’t anything much. There isn’t much back story on them so as not to take away the focus on the shield hero. Therefore we don’t really put our support fully behind Ren, Itsuki or even Motoyasu for any kind of reason unless you are an obsessed fan of the weapon they are holding. Though their intentions are good, the mess they created that Naofumi had to fix only helps makes us feel the need to vouch for the shield hero. It’s not like they’re the bad guys but we prefer a lot characters who can keep their sh*t together as well as solving problems, right? I keep thinking if Ren was a rip-off from Kirito since they even employ the same seiyuu to be this sword hero. But he isn’t as friendly as you hope he would be like Kirito. Motoyasu is the obnoxious guy whom you would love to hate. Just because this guy thinks he is hot and popular, he thinks what he does is correct. Unfortunately to set him up as Naofumi’s initial main enemy and a character whom we wouldn’t like, I feel Motoyasu has more screen time than Ren and Itsuki. Ren and Itsuki are calmer and more rational unlike Motoyasu who jumps the gun without thinking since he was so bent that Naofumi is the bad guy and trying to add more hot chicks to his party by trying to steal raccoon girl and chicken loli. I guess other people’s girl are hotter than yours, huh? When the rivalry between Naofumi and Motoyasu is gone, Motoyasu is then relegated to the same unimportant focus like Ren and Itsuki.

But I think many would agree with me that the most spiteful character whom you would love to hate is Myne, oops I mean Bitch/Slut. I had my guts ringing like mad like Spider-sense when she first joined Naofumi’s side. There were tell-tale signs here and there that throws suspicions on her character. And true enough, the ultimate betrayal that has viewers alike loathing this b*tch. If that wasn’t enough, it felt like she was really trying to make herself as the number one most hated character in our personal top 10 list by trying to muscle her way around, pick a fight with Naofumi using dumb Motoyasu for her ends but usually end up paying the price for her backfired schemes. If she was really beheaded then, I think most of us wouldn’t have shed a tear and would have cheered instead. But of course to show that Naofumi is merciful (they gave an excuse that death is too easy a way out), that is why she continues to breathe. Too bad she doesn’t learn from her lessons and still tries to get back whenever she can. Like as though the pain from the slave mark gives her pleasure and is some sort of masochist. I mean, does she really think she can actually get away with it! Oh well, you at least have to praise her persistency.

Action wise, I think it is great although not as exhilarating as say, the recent third season of Shingeki No Kyojin. They have a variety of moves and combos in taking down the enemy but I guess it is better than using once and then never used at all. Yeah, I would have complained about that had they do it and now that they have a few varieties, I even complained that I can’t remember those moves or that they aren’t memorable to begin with. Naofumi’s shield skill tree has branched out so much that it feels like those we see him used in battle are just a fraction of it. I assume he has practised in using them all otherwise it feels like he is a pro when he could instantly bring out that specific shield properties. Filo who provides fighting support to Naofumi, it feels like this giant fowl can do almost everything. From flying to kung fu kicks and even recently, she can swim?! Man, she is like the all-purpose vehicle and weapon that everyone dreams of. Naofumi really won big time with that lottery, huh?

Art and animation are decent. Some drop in quality sometimes but nothing that would be of real concern. For a world that is facing gloom and doom, there are quite some livid colours especially the characters like the heroes who sometimes feel like colour coded heroes. Red = Motoyasu. Blue = Ren. Green = Itsuki. And uhm, darker green = Naofumi? Naofumi’s shield has a lot of weird designs seeing that he has levelled up and branched out his shield tremendously. Sometimes I feel it is like there was a design contest to see which of his shield’s design would make the cut. I mean, like how is that Iron Maiden even a type of shield???!!! On a trivial note, does Raphtalia’s design take after Horo from Spice And Wolf? Does this allow Naofumi to circumvent the rules and attack personally? This anime was done by Kinema Citrus who gave us Yuyushiki, Code: Breaker, Barakamon and Made In Abyss.

Voice acting, a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Ren, Jun Fukuyama as L’Arc, Saori Hayami as Therese, Hiroki Yasumoto as Elhart and Kikuko Inoue as Mirelia. The other casts include Kaito Ishikawa as Naofumi (Genos in One Punch Man), Asami Seto as Raphtalia (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Rina Hidaka as Filo (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Maaya Uchida as Melty (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Myne, uhm, I mean Bitch/Slut (Yuzuru in Date A Live), Makoto Takahashi as Motoyasu (Kouta in Majimoji Rurumo), Yoshitaka Yamaya as Itsuki (Sugino in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Megumi Han as Glass (Akko in Little Witch Academia), Natsuko Hara as Lecia (Mei in Jashin-chan Dropkick), Sakura Tange as Fitoria (titular character in Card Captor Sakura), Takayuki Sugo as Balmus (Wanyuudou in Jigoku Shoujo), Yutaka Nakano as Aultcray (Ishikawa in Ghost In The Shell) and Kenichi Ogata as Berocas (Genma in Ranma 1/2).

The rock paced first opening theme, Rise by Madkid fits the series like a glove and should have maintained as the only opener. Not to say that the second one, Faith by Madkid sounds bad but adding some hip hop elements to the rock music somehow just doesn’t appeal to me. Both the ending themes are slow rock ballads and sung by Chiai Fujikawa, Kimi No Namae and Atashi Ga Tonari Ni Iru Uchi Ni respectively. Personally I prefer the latter. I didn’t notice the BGMs but when I tried to sample some of its soundtrack, it has over 2.5 hours of music! Of course I couldn’t wait that long to hear them all but from the random samplings I heard, they’re rather okay with a wide variety of styles from the usual medieval style music and orchestra strings to hard rock punk metal ones and creepy eerie/dramatic Gregorian style chanting voices.

Overall, not a bad series and one of the better isekai genres out there despite its dark theme. It’s not that we hate characters who are overpowered and can do everything right from the start, it’s just that we need a reason to justify why we want to support that main character. It’s not like we are sadists wanting to see him struggle and improve through all the sufferings but we can see it brings out the best and worst in a character during those trying times. Naofumi does it not because he is the one who has to wield the shield bur rather he has to. So it doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from or what you have, it is how you make the best and adapt with what you’ve got and this series shows us how to tackle internet trolls without stooping down to their low level and engage them directly! Just ignore them and do your own stuff! Is that not how it seems?! Don’t let them dominate and step over you. Otherwise you would just F.E.A.R. Forget Everything And Run! Or F.E.A.R. F*ck Everything And Regret!

Tejina-senpai

October 19, 2019

Hocus pocus! Abracadabra! Ladies and gentlemen. Get ready for the greatest magician to ever walk the face of the planet in recent history! Let her awe and mesmerize you with her magical tricks. So real that you wouldn’t even believe it after seeing it with your own eyes. People, I present to you Tejina-senpai! Oh… Oh… She blunders and screws up every of her trick! Uhm… So that wasn’t in the script? You mean those bloopers are real and uncalled for? Oh… Oh… But wait! Uhm. Yeah. They look so funny so you might actually not be watching a magic show but a comedy show instead! Aha. Yeah. That must be it! Oh my. She’s flashing her undies unintentionally too? Wait a minute. Is this a strip show too?! Uhm. Erm. Ah… Oh well… Everybody give a big round of applause to Tejina-senpai, the brilliant magician-cum-comedian-cum-flasher all rolled into one! Best show ever definitely.

Episode 1A
In Tanenashi High School, all students are required to join a club. A boy is looking for an easy club when he stumbles into the magic club. He sees Tejina trying to do magic tricks but because she suffers from stage fright (despite just performing alone), she keeps vomiting. She tries to impress him with tricks but he can already see her slip up as she makes excuses for her lameness. Then the ultimate trick of cutting his money in half! Will his money be alright? Snip. Oh sh*t… Oh look, his money somehow transferred into her wallet… I wonder why she’s crying… He is about to leave but she manages to get his attention the next magic trick is bondage. So how will she free herself from this? She can’t. She screws up even further and this sexy BDSM position has him applauding. Best magic trick ever!

Episode 1B
Tejina is doing her magic trick in the school compound. The crowd isn’t impressed. Because he is passing by, she drags him into her show. Yeah, he is now conveniently her Assistant. While she gets ready, Assistant does a few tricks to appease the crowd. They’re a bit impressed and Tejina is more jealous than anything. So Tejina has done her preparations. How will she get out of the box? 10 minutes passed. It is clear to say she has given up. Show’s over. Assistant opens the box to see her in a compromising position.

Episode 1C
It’s already bad enough Tejina hijacks the PA and is calling for Assistant to come to the clubroom right now! Embarrassing. So she wants him to eat her melon bread? Suspicious, he has her eat first. Looks okay. The moment he bites, he feels something hard. There’s a key in it. Surprise! Hence he locks her in the box. Because he is choking, she thinks of using milk. But WTF she wants to do a trick? This is matter of life and death! Hand it over! A struggle ensues causing the milk to spill all over her body. Her clothes are soaked. Best fanservice has him swallow whatever was stuck in his throat. All clear now.

Episode 1D
Tejina brings a pigeon to the clubroom. After explaining why white doves are used, she proceeds to let it out. Don’t worry. She has bonded with it so well that it listens to her. Only, it bites her hand! Then it flies about until Tejina uses bird seeds to calm it down. But instead, it dives straight into her cleavage (I guess the main dish is better) and flies around, tickling her body. Then it pops out from beneath like as though she has given birth. So this is her giving birth magic? Then the pigeon flies out the open window. Come back, Bahamut! Yeah, lost posters of a pigeon. Please help find…

Episode 2A
What a sorry sight to see Tejina eating alone. But must he join her? Yeah, now she is trying to bend spoons. Pretty easy if you know physics. While he excels, she is struggling. Of course the spoon is flung out of her hands. As he goes to get a new one, she realizes some spicy sauce spilled onto his meal. To cover it up, she casts a hypnotizing spell that he will find it spicy. See? It worked, right? Yeah, if it is hypnotism, she shouldn’t find it spicy. Now she is forced to eat the rest of his food.

Episode 2B
Tejina tries to impress with her coin trick but it always slips out and land in some unreachable place. So as she tries to reach for it, she unknowingly shows her ass to him. Because of that, he tries to subtly warn her. Hence they are both talking on different pages. She thinks he means magic trick while he thinks it is about sex. So is she really going to give it to him? Another messed up coin trick as the coin got flicked on his forehead. Ouch.

Episode 2C
Meet Behemoth. Tejina’s critter hand puppet. Sad state of friends, huh? Not sure what this magic trick of Behemoth running through her body is supposed to do but as usual, it’s not impressive. One magic trick has her accidentally dropping Behemoth on the floor and she accidentally stepping over it. It’s ‘dead’. Such a sad day… And she just left it in the classroom instead of taking it back with her.

Episode 2D
It’s such a hot summer. And even hotter when Tejina is already in bondage position. Yup, she screwed up trying to show some magic trick to kids. Luckily they don’t look like they’re corrupted and instead disappointed with this failure. And when Assistant takes over, the kids look to him with more hope! Jealous Tejina takes over again, this time with some clothes changing trick. Since she is taking too long, the kids has Assistant help them with their video game. Oh, Tejina you done? How does she fail this time? She realizes she forgot to bring extra clothes and is completely nude underneath this mantle. Nothing for you kids to see here… And the legend of some cape clad flasher was born…

Episode 2E
Assistant realizes today is the last day to submit his application on which club he is to join. Oh my. Tejina locking the place up! Then tying him up! She even takes the liberty to fill in this magic club on his application form. So this setup is part of her magic trick? Yeah, whatever this lame rubber rabbit trick is. At the end of the day, she hopes they can make a real club with real members and an advisor. You mean, this isn’t even an official club to begin with???!!! Assistant is shocked he has been tricked. This is fraud! Nope, says Tejina. This is magic! WTF?!

Episode 3A
Why is Tejina scared to see the teacher? Because she is her older sister! Quirkiness runs in the family as Onee-chan loves teasing Tejina, much to her dismay. She wants her to show her usual magic tricks and despite so, Onee-chan does her usual teasing. With that, she excitedly wants to be the advisor of her magic club. Tejina disagrees but another teacher reprimands Onee-chan for being noisy and not acting like a teacher.

Episode 3B
Assistant tries some normal tricks with Behemoth but Tejina becomes a harsh armchair critic. Now it’s Tejina’s turn so Assistant notices her zipper is undone. How can he subtly tell her? He says he can see everything but of course she thinks he is referring to her magic tricks and denies he hasn’t yet. As he can’t take his eyes off her flower prints panties, in the end he mentions flowers as the deck suit. Only later in the toilet that Tejina realizes what he meant…

Episode 3C
To help Tejina overcome her stage fright, Assistant reads a few tips from the internet. Drink lots of water. She drank the whole bottle! Now her tummy is aching… How about taking deep breaths? She sounds like giving birth! How about repeating calm phrases to yourself? She fell asleep… Finally, can tickling work? Assistant is conscious about her slim waist and huge boobs. But when she chastises him for being unable to do simple tickling, he tickles her until she cannot even stand! This guy is good with his hands…?

Episode 3D
Tejina is in a kimono as she is going to perform some basic Japanese tricks. The first is making paper butterflies flutter. Of course she fails and Assistant does it better. Next is turning paper into udon. But then she carelessly lights the lighter and the sprinkler activates. Ah, here’s your water magic?

Episode 3E
The duo are in the park. What kind of magic trick is she going to do that doesn’t need her to bring her tools? Yeah, she’s going to use the park’s pigeons! Obviously they attack her. The next trick is to climb up the tree and steal pigeon eggs? Obviously they attack her. Worse, she can’t get down. Assistant leaves her handing. Don’t want anything to do with this egg thief. Bye. To add salt to injury, the pigeons poo all over her. Tejina starts crying but no love lost for this idiot!

Episode 4A
To celebrate a month since Assistant’s joining the club, Tejina does some magic tricks for him. Rope cutting messed up. Even the card message trick is messed up. Then when she forcefully tries to put some ring on him to swear his fealty to the magic club, Onee-chan pops up. Sorry to bring the bad news but the magic club is disapproved due to lack of members. Feel free to join other clubs.

Episode 4B
I guess Assistant will be scouting for new clubs. But for every club he went, Tejina is always there trying to do some failed magic tricks! Is this some sort of conspiracy? Don’t tell me it’s magic! He tries to run from her but unfortunately she runs faster than him! Because of that, the track club wants to recruit her. She does join and even runs in record time. However it’s her ploy to recruit them to join her magic club so Assistant takes her away. Let the girls run…

Episode 4C
To fill the void of Assistant leaving, Tejina has brought not 1 but 2 pigeons! She shows how she can take care of them like misting (also accidentally spraying water all over her boobs) as well as letting them out of their cage to let them fly freely (good luck getting them back in). Because one is male and the other female, Assistant wonders if their cooing will be noisy at night. Tejina is confident since pigeons are diurnal, they won’t. Unfortunately the cooing at night never stopped…

Episode 4D
So sad… It’s Assistant’s last day. And what a way to end this with this sword in the box trick. Of course he isn’t getting in the box. With Tejina playing the role of the assistant, Assistant thrusts the swords into the box. The swords miss her but not with a lot of poking and ambiguous lewd words. My butt hurts! Pull it out! Pull it out!!! Once the show is over, it seems the swords have ripped her clothes. Is this fanservice magical or what?

Episode 4E
OMG. Tejina flawlessly doing all her magic tricks?! No, it’s not a dream! It’s real! The catch? She’s doing them alone. Ah… As she ties herself up for this trick and reminiscing about Assistant, suddenly he pops up. Oh dear. Clumsiness back in order. Assistant joined the chemistry club next door but only in name. Since their room is connected, Assistant can come visit her until she retires. Yay! Don’t have to be lonely now, huh? Chemistry club president, Madara allows this as long as they don’t do shameless things. Tejina is touched and what a way to welcome him back with this unfortunate fanservice because she somehow screws up as her rope trick becomes BDSM.

Episode 5A
Because Assistant heard there will be a few observers coming to see the magic club, he doesn’t want her to do any tricks but to stay hidden! Of course Tejina will not allow that and as he deliberates how his cool image in class will be ruined by being associated with this, Tejina is already practising her head falling off trick. As he tries to stop her, those observers come in and see this horror scene! Run for your life! Bet they’ll never come back.

Episode 5B
Onee-chan and Tejina has come up with an improvised clothes changing magic trick. The clothes she changes into get skimpier but Onee-chan convinces her it is just the fabric that has skin tone. But this is just for the first clothes. Subsequent clothes, we get more Tejina fanservice until she is close to being naked! Assistant can’t be thankful enough for this magic trick!

Episode 5C
When Assistant is with Madara, the silence between them is awkward. Hence Madara decides to show her own magic tricks but using the power of science. I’m sure many of us know the difference in pressure and temperature in a bottle causes the bottle to bend out of shape without any physical contact. Assistant is impressed as he tries his hands at some air current scientific experiment. However he starts off too early and it blows up Madara’s skirt. This only reinforces her idea that the magic club is a perverted club.

Episode 5D
Tejina is hiding in a box and plans to surprise Assistant when he comes in. However when he does, he sits on the box. Noticing how quiet and nice it is without her, he starts to complain all about her bad habits and failure as a magician. Ouch. However he starts confessing the only positive thing about her: While it might seem like a confession to Tejina, it is actually a praise for Behemoth. With Tejina in a dilemma whether or not to pretend she heard this, eventually she pops up and gives a long winded rant on her thoughts. Too bad nobody is here. Wasted breath…

Episode 5E
Assistant is invited to Tejina’s house. He thinks her room would be very girly but nope. What a pig sty. Of course Tejina’s goal of inviting him here is to ascertain that confession of his and to give a proper reply. However each time she tries to say that magic word, she falters and ends up doing some lame magic trick instead. Yeah, confession is a trick that is the hardest to do! She even slips up by showing him all her panties collection instead of her handkerchiefs. That is when she comes clean and admits about that confession. However this annoys him as he tells what really happened. Red faced, poor Tejina is now crying over this embarrassing blunder.

Episode 6A
Assistant is troubled that misunderstanding that Tejina thinks he likes her. Though the only thing she admires about her is her boobs. But an equally busty gal comes in, Saki. She plans to hijack the magic club. Of course Tejina won’t allow it but Saki shows a bit of her street performance to leave her in awe. Saki is a transfer student and she has been looking for a club to join. She heard about the magic club closing down and that’s why she’s here. However she wants to make her little brother, Ma-kun the president of this club. From the way she describes this guy, definitely she’s got brother complex. Don’t get your hopes high on this guy. Because we’ve already known, Ma-kun is a really fat dude…

Episode 6B
While having more members means the club is able to carry on, Tejina feels conflicted because this isn’t the kind of magic club she wanted it to be. Then she just decides to upgrade it by splitting the difference and be the street magic club. Ma-kun tries to do some balloon trick but it popped. Yeah, Saki is so awed and excited over this. Like as though she’s having orgasm at everything he does. Saki then tries this balloon outfit trick. She realizes her skirt slipped out but so as not to let this performance fail, she carries on and lets everyone sees her in her undies. Even Ma-kun apologizes on her behalf.

Episode 6C
Tejina won’t have the street performers beat them and has Assistant do some magic tricks with her. Maybe she just wants to show off… Of course we see her fail at every attempt. Some giving us fanservice, some putting Assistant in a troubling spot. With the women arguing what this club is supposed to be, here comes Onee-chan to solve this dispute. She measures their boobs and Tejina wins because hers is heavier. Though, Saki argues she has the better shape…

Episode 6D
Tejina fails at hypnotism. As expected. She tries to do it in the correct order and even tries to look arrogant doing so but also fails. She is so confident that she lets Assistant do hypnotism on her. You can tell he succeeds when he ‘transfers’ her essence to the bottle. So wherever he tickles the bottle, Tejina feels the ticklish effects on her body. Realizing that she is fully hypnotized, Assistant decides to get back at her for all those tormenting times. Heh… Evil scheming face popping up… Remember to lock the door… He creates a scenario that she is going to take a bath in the hotspring. Hence Tejina starts undressing. But soon, Assistant soon feels guilty about taking advantage of her. By the time he tries to stop her, she is already half undressed. He tries to reason she is a cat and she turns into one and scratches his face. This girl is so easily influenced… He gets this idea to cure her stage fright. You are no longer scared on stage… Although he is successful, however she still flops. Still failing at her magic tricks. Should have cured her failure too…

Episode 7A
Saki burnt her cookies so she thinks of seeking Tejina’s help to remake them. So as they wait, she asks why she is so obsessed with the magic club. Anyway, Saki sounds bored hearing her struggling story to keep the club afloat. Saki wants to test some of her cookies but apparently Tejina has laced with something them for Assistant. So the girls give their respective guys to eat their cookies. As Assistant fears, Tejina is surprised when nothing happens after he eats it. It is Ma-kun who gets it. Yeah, now he is pulling flags out from his mouth.

Episode 7B
Tejina is happy to receive funds for the club. Until she sees its meagre amount… Hence they decide to do some fundraising by doing street performance at the park. Tejina tries to copy some guy doing a human statue. It is hard at first but she likes it when a few kids praises how she doesn’t move. Until she realizes they are actually peeking at her panties! Why you little! Meanwhile Saki and Ma-kun do their balloon art and get quite the crowd. Some give money, some give food. Assistant is impressed with them until he sees Saki throwing away rewards that are useless. Checking back on Tejina, they see an old shady guy trying to give her 50 grand! DON’T ACCEPT THAT MONEY!!!

Episode 7C
Tejina wants to show her underwater magic whereby she will escape her chains underwater. Of course Assistant is very worried for her despite her assurance that she has practised many times with success in her bathtub. Stubborn, she goes ahead but he stops her. While she pouts, Saki fakes a drowning so she can be pulled out and Ma-kun do CPR on her. But he just puts some plastic sheet over her face and let her be. Since Tejina is still sulking, Assistant lets her do it but restricts to just her hands being tied. After a few seconds she is not surfacing. Fearing she might be really drowning, he jumps in to save her. She is upset she would have been done in a few more seconds and Assistant realizes he got his hand over her boobs. Who made the most blunder here?

Episode 7D
Assistant thinks of helping her overcome her stage fright since there are moments where she can pull off her performance with ease. As he records her, she starts getting nervous. Hence he starts from the beginning. Here, perform to this cicada shell… As he ‘upgrades’ her ‘audience’, she finally baulks while performing in front of him despite he is blindfolded. No use crying about this. So Assistant lets he practice before a life sized cardboard cut-out of, uhm, himself? Unknown to Tejina, he is hiding behind it. She performs her magic without screwing up. Assistant is so happy for her that he bursts out from his hiding. Realizing she was being watched, she starts getting anxiety attacks. It is déjà vu all over again because her stress level has peaked until she vomits all over him.

Episode 8A
Assistant thought Tejina is going to show him some sexy Chinese magic. Turns out it is some mask changing technique. Each have their theory on how his trick is done. Especially a guy hidden behind the performer to swap mask. They also experiment with this and one time Tejina was hiding behind Saki but because Saki’s hair is long and thick, this makes it unbreathable for her. Simply she tries to grab and rip her mask but accidentally she rips open her shirt! Oops…

Episode 8B
Tejina tries to impress Assistant with her mentalist magic trick. You know, deciphering what one is thinking based on their facial expressions. After a few lucky guesses, she is full of herself so it is Assistant to return the favour and he easily reads her like a book. Because her actions are so obvious. Please stop! This is embarrassing! And then her stomach growls. No prizes to guess she’s hungry…

Episode 8C
Some farmer gave Tejina lots of mikan. So she’s going to try and do some magic trick with them. Not really some magic trick but more of like some picture pun. Later when she tries to peel them, she gets juice squirted in her eyes.

Episode 8D
Tejina shows off the club’s website. It is so hideous and low quality that sometimes it looks scary! But Saki to the rescue. She gives it a digital makeover but how come it now looks like a shady website?! Assistant blows his top for it to be redone because he fears some pervy old man might mistake this and will hire Tejina to make shady videos! After redoing it and Tejina adding its final touches, it looks even worse and shadier! Assistant just redoes it all again himself. If you want something done, do it yourself.

Episode 8E
Tejina is tasked to perform before kindergarten children. Having stage fright? While she accidentally broke her wand, the kids think it is real and are impressed. This boosts Tejina’s baseless confidence as she proceeds to do more of her simple tricks like some reverse picture (WTF is that drawing anyway?) and the simple disappearing magic of quickly hiding them while the kids are distracted. The impressed kids think she is hiding them in her body and proceed to molest all over her body. Is this considered her greatest success?

Episode 9A
Tejina’s magic trick this time involves everyone writing their wishes in an envelope and she can magically tell whom it belongs too. Of course she rigged it with a mark on the envelope’s corner. The problem: She forgot which corner belongs to whom! Guesswork time. All wrong! Assistant takes over and has everyone writes something they won’t admit. He can easily guess who is who and when it is Tejina’s one, how come it’s blank? She thinks she is a smartass claiming she has nothing to write but this has everyone fed up and leave the room.

Episode 9B
Tejina and Saki are taking a remedial exam. While waiting for the teacher, Tejina thinks of showing Saki some magic trick with this number game and trapping her with it. Unfortunately Tejina loses and begs for another chance. Saki knows how to circumvent this trick just by looking at Tejina’s reaction. Just when Tejina thinks she has won, she does an air punch but holy cow, she punched the teacher!!! I guess she’s not coming into the club today.

Episode 9C
Tejina trolls everyone by bringing an ice cream box. It sounds like it has something but it’s empty instead. Everyone so annoyed with the heat already that they force her to buy them real ice cream. She tries to make her ice cream spoon disappear but she drops it instead. Now must she eat ice cream with her hand? With Saki complaining about doing summer-like things like going to the beach, Assistant watches Tejina’s obvious eager body reaction despite her words sound like she’s doing them all a favour. Yup, to the beach then.

Episode 9D
But first everyone goes to buy a swimsuit. Yeah, I guess there is only a reason why the guys accompany the girls to do so. With Tejina asking Assistant for his opinion, this guy is in a dilemma. He really wants to see her in some naughty swimsuit but fears he sound hard up for it. Hence Ma-kun teaches him some psychological tricks albeit they sound like fraud. With Assistant still whining about it, Ma-kun just takes the sexy swimsuit and gives it to Tejina. Actually it is Saki who wears it and while it may be good news for Assistant, I guess Ma-kun didn’t appreciate seeing his sister like that. Because Saki now thinks little bro wants her in this. And somehow Tejina messed up and wore her swimsuit backwards… Later Tejina thinks the changing room is like a magic set. She thinks of tricking Assistant by shifting her shoes to the next cubicle. When she calls him, he will be shocked to find her cubicle is empty and thinks she has disappeared. Unfortunately the store clerk returns the shoes to Tejina’s cubicle seeing she noticed nobody is in that cubicle. So when Tejina calls for Assistant, he opens the curtains only to see a sexy Tejina in her undies. Tejina, you looking shock for a person setting up this magic trick. Personally if you ask me, I think this magic trick works! Thanks, senpai!

Episode 10A
Beach episode! Since the girls are full of energy, they swim out to sea while the lacklustre guys stay on the beach and play their handheld. The current is too strong and washes away their top. Tejina has magic sand that will serve as temporary bra when mixed with water. However it dissolves the moment it is out of water. Don’t fear. Saki has some balloons. So they wear them as a body suit until they get to land. But as they approach the boys, they step on something sharp. Pop! Free fanservice today?

Episode 10B
Assistant sees Madara observing a crab. She gets embarrassed after she notices him. Apparently her grandma lives nearby. Then she has him lie down on his stomach. No, nothing naughty is going to happen. This is to watch the sunset. When the sun has sunk over the horizon, then she has him stand up. There is still sunset. Yeah, the magic of science that explains why the Earth is round that would piss off many flat Earth believers. When he points out to her swimsuit that would probably feel cold once night falls, she gets embarrassed and runs away.

Episode 10C
Assistant invites Madara to split the watermelon with the rest. Ma-kun goes first but Saki leads him to a different ‘watermelon’. Yeah, sleep in her boobs! Ma-kun then buries her in the sand and lets another takeover. It’s Madara’s turn so she explains some secret trick to smash it. Unfortunately she has poor sense of direction so she fails. Finally it is Tejina’s turn. Too bad this girl is so panicky that she accidentally smacks everyone with the stick. You can imagine how frightened Saki is when it’s her turn… Oh sh*t… In the end, it’s total annihilation. Except the watermelon still intact.

Episode 10D
Time to play the fireworks and Assistant won’t let Tejina do any tricks, knowing better that Tejina and fire don’t go together. She burnt down the club once, you know. Then she tries to do some money switching burning trick. She uses the flames as distraction and the darkness to conceal her trick. Too bad she screws up and burns the real money instead… She tries to do the same trick with the flash paper. But the fire got bigger instead and she accidentally throws it to their pile of fireworks. Wow. Now the fireworks are all lit! After managing to put it all out, I guess it’s time to console this poor loser girl. Everything isn’t lost as Madara has some leftover sparklers from grandma. The magic moment of Tejina commenting how times like these make them closer, sputter out because her sparkler burns out and drops on her feet. Ouch!

Episode 11A
Tejina is trying some disappearing balls trick that won’t work. I guess Assistant has to hear her out. Typically, her sweaty palms is part of the problem. She then thinks it is because her hands are small. Shouldn’t she get smaller balls then? She puts her hand on Assistant’s to compare. He compliments them and thinks they don’t need to be the same size. However he realizes her palm is sweaty and retracts everything. Quick wash those stickiness off!

Episode 11B
Assistant walks into the clubroom to see Saki ‘dead’. Apparently she sniffed on Ma-kun’s garbage and he caught her red-handed. Now he won’t talk to her. Yeah, a death sentence. To alleviate some of the gloom, Saki has a hand puppet of Ma-kun and explains how ventriloquism works. She has Assistant do ventriloquism on her Ma-kun hand puppet but gets annoyed when he says the wrong thing. But to thank him, she trolls him by preparing to give him a kiss. It’s just a hand puppet of Tejina! He can have it. After she leaves, Assistant peaks underneath the hand puppet’s skirt. White…

Episode 11C
Assistant is shocked when Ma-kun asks if Tejina has a boyfriend. You mean he is interested?! Actually, he saw her with another man another day. Although Assistant brushes it off, they all go tail her. At the family restaurant, they see her practising her failed magic trick and eat cakes by herself before rushing to the toilet in the convenience store. Nothing happens for half a day until this man, Mimura shows up. Assistant looking pretty worried. Real tailing begins. Ma-kun tries to analyse this dude. So he is some sort of porn director? They head to the mall and because they talk in ambiguous language like as though they are preparing for a porn shoot, Assistant is trying real hard to keep himself from going berserk. Especially when they hit the lingerie store! In the end, Assistant can’t take any more of this and tries to rescue her. It is revealed Mimura is Onee-chan’s husband and Tejina was helping him to shop for a birthday gift. Wow. What a big relief. Right, Assistant? Yeah, Mimura is actually a pretty nice guy. When Tejina hears what happened, she laughs it off. Assistant feels this is somehow scary.

Episode 12A
Assistant hears ambiguous sex porn coming from the clubroom. Of course as you would expect, it is just Saki teaching how to make balloon art. Since it is quite hard, Tejina is having fears twisting it. She somewhat gives up and her balloon turns out to look like a dick?! Eventually when she manages to do so, it pops and all that is left of her doggie balloon is now a cod roe. So sad…

Episode 12B
Tejina thinks of showing Assistant this shackle escaping trick. But after hiding behind the curtains and having not come out, Assistant takes a peep and behold! She’s not there? Is this a disappearing trick too? Actually she is hiding inside the closet and this is part of her plan to surprise him. However the locker is stuck and he already left. So you mean she is stuck in there for the entire day because come night fall as the guard comes in to inspect, the locker somehow opens and gives him a fright of his life! Woah! Who this sleeping babe?!

Episode 12C
Madara shows Assistant the power of science of freezing cola. Tejina feels a bit jealous he is having fun talking with her. This makes her wonder if he has been attending secret science meetings or something. Assistant tries to save Madara from something drop on her. As he falls on top of her, this gives Tejina the wrong idea. So now Tejina wants to impress by showing her magic? You could have guessed her cloth pulling trick fails. Now she’s all wet. Madara has them dry up using the fan. So cooling. Power of science rules. She is proud that they are praising science but soon Saki and Ma-kun shows up and Madara feels they have overstayed their welcome. Can you guys leave now?

Episode 12D
As Assistant is sleeping, Tejina thinks of doing some quiet magic trick. Can she? Because she almost flops doing her pigeon trick. Are the pigeons being horny today as they try to put her in ecchi situations? Luckily Assistant is still asleep so Tejina continues stacking cards on him. It is revealed he is pretending to be asleep and now he is in a lurch.

Episode 12E
Tejina’s to fight her stage fright, she wears a revealing bunny suit to be more embarrassed! But yeah, thanks. Because of her cleavage showing, Assistant can’t take his eyes of her boobs and didn’t see her magic tricks well. I guess you can say this is the basic of how magic tricks work, eh? Because of that, Tejina looks successful. See that great cup trick? Yup. Those are great cups alright! Truly amazing! Bravo!

Fanservice Senpai: The Magic Of Fanservice!
There you have it people. That’s all folks. That’s all the magic fanservice tricks we have for you today. Be sure to come back again next season for more amazing boobs magic tricks. Uhm… What’s that you say? You mean this series is cancelled and won’t be getting another season???!!! At least not in the foreseeable future?! Like WTF?! You mean those boobs didn’t do the trick?! Damn. It felt a bit weird that there is no ‘wrapping up’ episode and the last episode just felt like any other normal episode so I thought there’s going to be more. Yeah, I was wrong. I don’t know where I get that idea but I can understand and feel it is more or less the same how Tejina gets her baseless confidence from.

Basically with no real storyline to begin with and even each short episode is furthermore divided into short skits, this series’ comedic moments mostly deals with around the flaws of the characters. So you either love it or hate it that there is all to this series. Surely you’re not going to expect some sort of complicated story and back story, aren’t you? Just like a magician’s desire to entertain us, that is what this series is precisely set to do. No convoluted and twisted plots whatsoever. What you see is what you get. When show is over, you leave with a satisfied feeling of being entertained. So for me, they did that part well and with some skits only lasting a few minutes long, it does enough to deliver the punch line and the joke. Usually with Tejina flopping.

Tejina is probably one of those people who could have been good in doing something they love had not been that one little thing that prevents them from achieving such greatness. It might look funny that she suffers from stage fright seeing that she wants to be a magician, but remember, public speaking is the top phobia in the world. It’s like saying you want to be a doctor but scared of seeing blood. Nothing new or surprising but rather ironic. But the most important aspect is how Tejina doesn’t give up and I guess you have to give her credit for that. Again, there is only so much credit you can give her until she starts becoming annoying. An ‘A’ for effort and trying but don’t go overboard. Given an inch, take a mile…

Because Tejina is also a bit naïve, this also plays a part in why she gives us a lot of fanservice. Yes, people. It is like as though all her backfired magic tricks are supposed to lead to some fanservice. Or maybe they’re not planned and it serves as a backup. What I mean is that if you’re not impressed with Tejina flopping on the simplest magic tricks, at least we have some sort of consolation of her getting entangled in a fanservice situation. She’s probably hard up and would do anything to wow some audience that if Assistant wasn’t there to look out for her, she would have ended up in some shady porn shoot! I wonder if there is a secret DVD title, Porn-senpai… This one would definitely be magical!!! After all, she wants people to watch her, right? Sex sells, right? Voila!

We’d love to see the love prospects between Tejina and Assistant but if they do become a couple it will still be weird and more or less the same thing. There are lots of hints to see why the duo like each other like why Tejina keeps performing and flopping before Assistant is not because she thinks he is interested in her tricks but rather he is the only one around who would pay attention to them no matter how much they stinks. Assistant might give this lame excuse to accompany her lonely club till she graduates but we can see through the reasons why he sticks around. No, not waiting for the moment where he gets to touch her boobs or see her pantsu. Those are bonus points in which I believe he enjoys a lot too but I’m assuming nobody in class gives him much attention like Tejina does. She might be annoying bugging him to show him her tricks but at least she is HIS annoyance! So there you have it. A magician and her assistant with no audience to entertain have at least themselves to entertain. Hence Assistant’s role here is to play more of the straight man to Tejina’s foul ups. Definitely living up to his (nick)namesake. They could be a manzai comedy duo if they get bored of this magician thingy.

The rest of the other characters, I guess they are okay. It gives a little variety because we’ll be bored in seeing just Tejina and Assistant all the time. Hence the odd sibling pair of Saki and Ma-kun with the former with brother complex and the latter trying to look smart by being a mentalist but more often fails too. Technically the duo have better skills in their street balloon art than Tejina. But it’s the only trick I see them do although they excel at it. So is a one trick pony better than jack of all trades who flops hard? Last but not least is Madara who feels like a fringe character. She makes very limited appearance (only to be outdone by Onee-chan) and I thought she would at least be a regular like Saki and Ma-kun. But I guess magic and science don’t mix so can’t have science girl stealing away Assistant’s heart with science because dumb magic bloopers are better, no? And WTF is her fashion sense of wearing black tights under a lab coat? Is this her fanservice to us?

At and animation are okay. Nothing to really shout about and sometimes with all the bright visuals and hues as well as the character designs, it might look a bit cartoonish. Like Assistant with his droopy eyes somehow keep reminding me of that Droopy the dog cartoon character. And Ma-kun being so plum and chubby that he looks like he came out from a cartoon rather than anime. And does Tejina have fangs? For some reason, Tejina reminds me of Dagashi Kashi’s Hotaru. Just a lot dumber. Tejina and Saki’s boobs are so big that it looks like as though they stuck compressed balloons there. This series is produced by Lidenfilms who did Koi To Uso, Yamada And The Seven Witches, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet and Hanebado.

For the voice acting, I only recognized Eri Kitamura as Saki. Her character might not be a totally b*tch character but I guess my stereotypic views of Eri Kitamura playing b*tch girls and ganguro type gals suit her voice perfectly. Kaede Hondo is the voice of Tejina (Sakura in Zombie Land Saga). While she does sound good as her character but I thought it would be ultimately perfect if Kana Hanazawa had been the one who helmed this role. At some points I think my head started envisioning and hearing Kana Hanazawa behind this character. Yeah, it would have been so epic for her to be in this role. The other casts are Aoi Ichikawa as Assistant (Eita in Just Because), Daisuke Namikawa as Ma-kun (Rock in Black Lagoon), Rie Takahashi as Madara (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu) and Himika Akaneya as Onee-chan (Yatsumura in Mahou Shoujo Site). The opening theme, Fantastic Illusion by Iris sounds weird. At least it starts off weird. Like Tejina. Before it becomes a generic idol pop piece. I somewhat prefer the ending theme, Dame Wa Dame by Minori Suzuki. It has this sultry and fanatic pace to it. Somewhat reflecting Tejina’s life, huh?

Overall, not the greatest magician in the world no mind blowing magic tricks were shown or explained, not the greatest comedy of the season because the jokes may look cheap and certainly not the greatest ecchi of the year because they feel forced and cliché for the jokes to be told. Not great fapping material but still good if you have nothing else. Just like Tejina’s magic, this series might miss the mark in a lot of areas but if you are not picky and a simpleton (like yours truly), you are sure to be entertained. And then a better show comes next season and you’ll forget all about this one. It would be magic and a miracle if this series gets another season. It’s the only way to keep the ‘magic’ alive, right? But I have seen all the tricks in her hand and up her sleeves as well as the way she thinks, I won’t be surprised any more. Time to drop in yet another magical fanservice. Yeah, it’s one trick that many of us won’t ever get tired of.

Sounan Desu Ka

October 18, 2019

How good are your basic survival skills? Zero? Well. Same here. I suppose we have been so reliant and dependant on technology that now we take the basics of survival for granted. Sure, we think those YouTube videos and the internet can help when we’re stranded but let’s just hope the uninhabited island has some strong internet connection to begin with! But don’t worry. Not all is lost. In the very most remote of chances you think you might find yourself stranded on an island, perhaps watching Sounan Desu Ka beforehand might do the trick. I hope. A group of girls has been shipwrecked on a deserted island and are forced to do whatever they can to survive. From collecting water and catching food, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Not the paradise kind of private beach island life they’re hoping for.

Episode 1
A plane crashes. It seems only Asuka Suzumori, Mutsu Amatani, Shion Kujou and Homare Onishima survive and are stranded on a rock. Only Homare has survival skills since her dad taught her before and they often got stranded on trips around the world. So this is no stranger to her. As we can see, Homare puts her survival skills to good use. Like catching a flying fish, beating it up while wrapping it in her shirt and then squeezing it to drink its blood as liquid! I think the rest will pass. Still thirsty? Homare offers a ‘fresher’ alternative of peeing in your mouth! They continue waiting and still no sign of rescue. Next morning, an island across is visible. They start swimming. Getting exhausted? Nothing moves you faster when you see shark coming! Luckily Homare throws an old handphone battery that has the shark turn around due to its sensitive nose. With Mutsu feeling a bit dizzy, Homare believes their best action now is to find water. She explains several methods but it either takes too long or they don’t have the equipment. It’s not going to rain either. Hence their only option is to find a water source. With Mutsu’s mouth feeling dry and she can’t produce saliva either, Mutsu kisses her to transfer some of hers! Eww! Worse, Homare just ate a flying locust and its leg got stuck in that kiss. Mutsu’s first kiss… A taste of locust…

Episode 2
Homare and Asuka head into the jungles to find the water source. Ironically, Asuka being the athletic one, she tires out and is complaining? I guess she wasn’t really trained for this kind of environment, huh? But soon, Asuka starts to get dizzy. Homare hurriedly digs for water on a soil that is damp and lets her drink. Best water ever! Until she realizes she is drinking this ‘filtered water’ from Homare’s sock! Meanwhile Shion tries to find something for Mutsu to rest. She stumbles into this coconut. Mutsu gets the hint she wants to be praised for her efforts. It took some effort to break it open and from what I can see, Shion drank it all. So to make it up for her, if she pees, she wants Mutsu to drink it? Not outrageous but I don’t think the girls have gone crazy being stranded… They are given a respite when it rains. With their water source secured, the next step is to build a shelter. But since the rest are complaining about being tired and hungry, Homare goes hunting. She caught some cicadas, sea urchin, seaweed and some mysterious jar. Rock-scissors-paper to see who gets what. Shion gets the sea urchin and Mutsu gets the seaweed. Asuka thought it is some jam in this jar but whatever it is, it’s expired. Tastes bad… Homare is willing to share the cicadas. Did you lose your appetite after seeing he decapitate it? Tastes like shrimp? But Asuka passes since Mutsu shares her seaweed. With night fall, they have to sleep in the open. That’s why Homare told them the importance of making a shelter. But I guess sleeping underneath the open sky isn’t too bad either. The girls are surprised that Homare can instantly fall asleep. Well, she’s done a lot for you girls today.

Episode 3
It’s one thing being tired. It’s also one thing to be useless. But it’s totally another thing to throw a tantrum just because you are hungry and wanting Homare to get some food. Oh Asuka, you looking like a spoilt brat. Luckily for her, Homare intends to head into the jungles to find more vines so Asuka tags along under the pretence to help but also to look for food. When Asuka pulls out some sort of potato from the ground, Homare doesn’t think it is a good idea to eat it. Bugs are okay and not potatoes? Hence Homare employs a patch test to see if it’s edible. By rubbing the thing on your body to see if it has any sort of reaction. She rubs it on Asuka’s ass. Suddenly she feels numb. Definitely poison… She is still scared of eating cicadas but once she gets the hang of it, yeah it tastes like shrimp. Shion hopes they could build a shower next since hygiene is important. Don’t want to have those rescue workers think they stink? Homare builds one but it is out on the open. Hey, at least nobody else is watching on this uninhabited island. Works fine until they broke the mechanism. Homare takes Mutsu to hunt for shellfish. Mutsu thought hermit crabs are inedible but on the contrary, Homare demonstrates by ripping off its shell and devouring this ‘delicacy’! They have caught a few shellfishes so Homare demonstrates how to start a fire and use the sun and rock to make it like an iron plate. Shellfish tastes so good that they can’t stop this ‘buffet’. Don’t worry, if you still have stomach for more, here are hermit crabs. Bon appetite!

Episode 4
Once you try it, you’re sure to love it! See? Hermit crabs tastes good to. Uh huh. Tastes like shrimp… But will this be enough? Don’t worry, Homare believes it is time for them to catch a real animal for its meat. Uh oh. Real survival begins… Based on the footprints, she believes there are squirrels nearby. Hence she explains some of the traps they will be making to catch one. When a toad pops up, Asuka uses her skirt to catch it. Careful not to touch some of its skin as it contains poison. Because Homare says they can only eat its legs and to leave the rest behind, Asuka gets worried. You mean she has to kill this little guy? Like, how? Oh sh*t… Thus she pretends to slip up and let it escape. No frog meat tonight… Homare so disappointed… Homare then spots a burrow. It is believed to be European rabbits and hence they will be changing their target to them. She creates a snare trap and to see whether it works, Asuka volunteers to be bait. Works like a charm. Why does it look like she wants to flash her (rabbit print) panties? As Mutsu and Asuka set up similar traps near other burrows, Mutsu notices a branch too high to be placed for their trap. Therefore she improves and uses a log as a counterweight. They fear it might not be as speedy as the original so Asuka tests it and it works perfectly.

Episode 5
So Shion is b*tching that the catch will have to wait for a few days, they have to eat the same shells and hermit crabs again? Homare thinks up fast that she’ll go collect some turban shells and this delights Shion since she loves eating them. Homare and Asuka dive in to catch some but they didn’t find any. So what did Homare bring back? Starfish! Oh Shion, you still not happy? Until she realizes some bruises on Homare’s hands that Asuka explains she tried to get some oyster but its shell was hard and she accidentally scraped it. Shion realizes her selfishness and eats the starfish. Better than any turban shell! Yeah, be prepared because that’s the menu for tomorrow too as Homare catches more! When the gang goes to check on the trap, looks like everything is still in place. Then they see smoke from the beach. Alerted, they think it’s some rescuer. But when they return, they see Shion in a daze. She thought she saw a ship. She starts crying and apologizing. Keep it strong, girls. Can’t have a domino effect of everyone breaking down. Next morning when Homare asks Shion to come with her, the latter thought she is going to be punished. But Homare takes her to a place where there is low tide now. They dig up wrasse fish that buried themselves in the sand while they sleep. That night they have a mini celebration. Got to have some fun sometimes, right? Here’s to their safety and health. Next day, Asuka and Mutsu check on the trap. Looks like something is caught in it… It’s still moving so the thought of killing it swiftly lingers…

Episode 6
Indeed there is a rabbit caught in the trap. Can’t call for Homare or it might run away. Mutsu offers to kill it. WTF?! How could she miss hitting its head at this distance?! I know she isn’t athletic but the way this plays out, like as though the rabbit is making a fool out of her! WTF Mutsu giving up and crying?! Truly the rabbit has taken her for a ride. So Asuka sums up her courage and does the honours. Relaying the good news, Homare now explains how to remove their organs but first they need to create a knife using a stone. Mutsu wants to try skinning it to make up for her failure. Hang in there. Let’s hope this bloody mess doesn’t traumatize her even when Homare is guiding her. Yeah, biology class wasn’t like this… On how to cook the meat, Shion has an idea of some French dish she once experienced, lievre. Well, with some improvisations, they can make something close to it. After deboning it, they wrap it in some plant leaf, cover them with rocks and twigs to grill them. And of course when it’s done, it is the best meat they’ve eaten ever since. How does it taste like? WTF tastes like chicken?! Shouldn’t rabbits taste like rabbits?

Episode 7
Homare thinks of exploring the island but only needs one of them to accompany her. Hence it becomes a ‘battle’ to be picked. Choose me! In the end, Mutsu is chosen and this leaves the rest devastated. After exploring for a while, they stumble into a dock. Excited at first, Homare examines it and realizes it has been abandoned a long time. For now, they make camp. Mutsu asks why she was chosen and to her surprise, Homare views her as most suited for survival as she has a deliberate nature and adapts quickly. So to say the others aren’t so fit for survival and are going to die? Then they hear rustling in the leaves. Turns out Asuka and Shion followed them. Can’t leave mommy behind, can they? They make a bed using a net. A bit cramp but it’s all they’ve got. They think of naming this island but definitely reject Mutsu’s idea of using their initials because it sounds like ahomushi (idiot). Next day, they continue exploring the island and while Asuka finds pears, Shion claims she has found a house! Well… A dilapidated house. Homare explores it and is excited to find a broken pair of shears. The rest cannot understand why she is so happy so she spells out how its metal parts can be modified into a knife. Makes survival a whole lot easier. Then they climb to the highest point to get a feel of the island. Well bad news, water, water everywhere. But something catches Homare’s eyes. There’s smoke nearby…

Episode 8
Calling out if anybody is there… No response. When they head down to the spot, the smoke is actually vapour from the hotspring! Quit wasting time analysing about somebody was here building these unnatural formation of the rocks so as to make the hotspring because it’s time to soak in and have fun! Not sure if the rocks or water is illuminating because we can sure see the naked girls clearly! Of course, important parts strategically blocked off… When the water temperature gets warmer, they realize something is wrong. Too late as the waves engulf them. Luckily they are washed ashore as Homare theorizes this area is only visible during low tides. Later Homare wants to go down a narrow chasm because there are thick ropes there. This spot was once used to anchor boats. Testing the water depths and all, she finally jumps in to grab the rope. Then she uses the chimney style movement to climb her way out. When it starts raining, the girls quickly rush back to camp. Because of the heavy downpour, their tent couldn’t do anything and the fire is put out. Asuka tries to maintain optimism by heading to sea to find something since she is already wet. Suddenly lightning strikes the far end of the ocean and she got electric shock! Thank goodness she is still alive. With the heavy thunder and lightning, the girls wonder if they should move into the forest but Homare points out it is more dangerous as the lightning could strike a tree. The solution is to build a 4m lightning rod and take shelter at precisely 45 degrees away. While Homare builds it, the girls are on the verge of breakdown from the incessant flashes. But thankfully the storm is gone. Asuka thinks of dipping into the sea again but why did she get electric shock again? Jellyfish. Ah… Homare applies sea water to relief some of the pain. Shion and Mutsu realizes how everyone has got it hard and promise to use this as a lesson to be mindful and not to make life already harder than it is.

Episode 9
Homare is excited as she manages to finish creating a couple of knives. Because of the UV, Asuka’s skin is peeling so they ask Homare if there is any natural sunblock lotion. As she was just finishing hunting squid, squid ink provides excellent sunblock. Unfortunately it is only enough for 1 person so Mutsu won the bet and got it. But don’t despair, Homare grinds the seaweed for its mucus and it might not be as effective as squid ink, it’s still better than nothing. Shion accidentally drops and splashes it all over Homare. Asuka doesn’t want it to go to waste and starts rubbing her body against hers. Our yuri fanservice for this episode. With Shion pouting that she is left out, Homare hands her dried squid liver. Not as effective either but still, better than nothing. Too bad it stinks like hell! When Mutsu got bitten by a horsefly, Homare treats it with sap from dandelion. Shion and Asuka argue to make a hammock or a drying rack. In the end, because embarrassment is next to nothing in nature, they made a hammock instead. At least they can sleep easy. With all the stinking business, Shion wonders if making perfume is possible. I think Homare didn’t mean anything bad because she says at this point all of them stinks! It just means their smell got used to the bad odour over time. When the girls praise Homare for her great survival skills, it Homare attributes them all to her father so the girls think she has daddy complex.

Episode 10
Homare makes a raft with bamboos to help transport heavy stuffs. When Shion is lazing around, a bee ‘visits’ her. This scares the hell out of her but Homare realizes this means there must be a hive nearby. She tracks the hive to a dilapidating log. I don’t think she is trying to scare the girls about people dying from bee stings but hey, no pain no gain, right?! First, Homare uses a makeshift torch to smoke out the bees. Then they lie low so as not to provoke it. You think the bees aren’t mad after their hive has been set on fire? Once the timing is right (don’t want the honey to melt), Homare goes in to cut them. With the bees still buzzing around, the other girls get scared but Shion sums up her courage after seeing some mild bee stings on Homare and helps to take the honey. In the end, you can say it is sweet victory. Next day, Homare and Asuka return from fishing. Shion insists she wants to go fishing too. As she cannot dive, Homare lets her fish from atop a raft. After a while, Homare realizes the current has been gaining speed. To her dismay, Shion is nowhere to be seen. Even getting on top a high rock, screaming her name, there is no sign of Shion anywhere. Oh no. Truly lost? Shion has been so engrossed in fishing that she didn’t know she has been drifted far out to sea.

Episode 11
When the rest finds out that Shion has been drifted, Asuka becomes upset. How can Homare lose her when she was supposed to be with her? Hey, even monkeys something fall off trees. But Homare isn’t giving up yet so she has them help her build a raft. She can still catch up and find Shion before sunset. Homare remembers papa’s words to always think about her own safety despite having others around. Because this might put others at risk too. But Homare isn’t going to let that lesson lose a life of a friend. At this point Shion realizes she is lost. She can’t panic and cry. Got to save those moistures. She spots an island ahead but when she lands, it is just some big rock with no life. She tries to stay calm but at this point she is feeling dehydrated and negativism is setting in. Meanwhile Homare fears she might have passed Shion. Due to her limited vision of the horizon, she remembers daddy’s method on how to measure height without any tools. So this high jump acrobat move has her spot that rock island. And in good time she finds Shion cowering underneath the shade of a rock. Shion starts crying. Uhm, is it a good time to waste moistures? And she’s complaining Homare took so long?! Jokes aside, it’s time to go ‘home’.

Episode 12
In her haste to go rescue Shion, Homare forgot to bring any water. At this rate they will dehydrate before they get back. Shion mentions about a cave she found. However as Homare examines, despite having fresh rainwater, it is contaminated with bat dung. Drink it and you’ll get sick! However she has an idea as they prepare their raft back. As they paddle back, it seems the water with bat dung is left out to dry in hopes the UV will somewhat sterilize it a little. As they are really dehydrating, they still can use this contaminated water. As the colon absorbs water and they can drink it without going through their mouths. Have you guessed it? Through your anus!!! Not joking!!! It’s either you lose your dignity or your life! She’ll put some of the water in her mouth and blow it through her anus!!! OMFG!!! Worse than a horror rape scene, Homare does the unthinkable on Shion! That’s only half of it because now Homare wants her to do it to her! This is the worst day of Shion’s life. But she survived… That’s even weird sh*t porn for today. At sunset, they finally reach back thanks to Mutsu and Asuka’s smoke from cooking. Shion couldn’t wait to reunite with her friends and swim ashore to hug them. That night they have a great feast. Next day, Homare teaches them how to ensnare a wild boar. Come on, girls. Cover your hands with wild boar dung!!! The trauma for Shion doesn’t stop… And then they let Shion be the one who trips over it to see if it works. Works like a charm. Lastly we see Homare’s papa on his boat on his way to rescue her…

Cast Away: Girls Versus Wild
Well, this just in. Looks like I know nothing at all and I better have somebody like Homare to hold my hand if I ever find myself in a similar situation. I don’t know if I can really ever do that anus hydration thingy if I were in the same situation. Really, that scene was really the most disturbing and so full of cringe for those who are not used to it. I really hope I don’t have to go through that… And with the girls looking like they’re making the island their home and learning better skills as each day pass, the cliff-hanger of Homare’s papa coming to rescue her, if he does so will they really want to leave their ‘second home’? That will be a survival story for another time. If they manage to put out another season, that is.

While the survival skills and techniques are interesting to watch, I have a feeling that they are just very basic. After all, even though there is this intention from this anime to enlighten and teach others about survival techniques, you can’t go in too deep and technical otherwise it will bore and confuse the hell out of many viewers. Especially like yours truly who know nuts about surviving and this might turn this series into one ‘scary’ experience. Oh damn, you need to know and do so many things just for that little thing? I’m going to pass this island survival thingy. Yeah… Also, this series is only 12 minutes or so and I can see why they want to keep it short and at the same time cram as many interesting survival situations and techniques into the dozen of episodes. This is after all still anime and the main point is to entertain. Otherwise it makes zero sense to have 4 cute girls as our protagonists here, right? In spite of everything we have seen the girls go through, it feels that nature has still been kind on them rather than unleashing some sort of fury that would have threatened their lives at every moment. Like as though this island is made for beginner and amateur survivalists…

While the plot of this series is to see the girls survive the island and to improve their daily survival, a lot of other things when you think about it doesn’t make sense. Like as though it was just all for plot convenience to set up this setting. For instance when the girls shipwrecked, where are the bodies of their other classmates? Unless you tell me that they are the only ones who were on a trip. Even so, where’s the pilot’s body? Oddly in the first episode I have already been wondering about stuffs like this because I figure if you want to be realistic, might as well think of this gruesome reality too. I know they don’t want to stay depressed or even think of their dead, but it’s like those dead classmates never existed at all. It’s like, oh there are only 4 of us who survived this. Okay. Let’s start surviving this island together. See what I mean? Plus, this is sea water so the bodies should float? Amazingly no corpses have been drifted on the island they have been. Assuming that the girls have been stranded on this island for days and weeks, why has there been no search and rescue operation to look for them? Unless the pilot went off its course so the rescue team is searching in the wrong place. Hmmm… Now where have I heard this plot before? With no rescue team means it beats the girls having to bum around and wait to be rescued and hence why we see them doing things to survive.

And then here is another mind boggling part: How come the girls still look fresh and especially their clothes still looking good and new? Remember what I said about this series trying to entertain us and probably targeting a certain demographic segment? Uh huh. It just feels unrealistic that even though there might be some natural solutions to help keep the moisture and some skin care, it won’t be as good as those manufactured ‘poison’ that those international brands produce. In short, the girls here look amazingly cute and clean despite being stranded on the island for days and even weeks. Their school uniforms look amazingly neat and spotless despite being exposed to the elements. No torn or ripped parts of their shirt or skirt. Even more mind boggling how Homare has used her shirt to drain blood and I can’t believe it is still as white as snow after she somehow cleans it. If this was true in the real world, serial killers and murderers would have gotten away with it so easily. Therefore sometimes looking at the girls who are clean and fresh makes me feel like they’re doing one big advertising for the island… Get what I’m saying?

Character wise, I guess there is nothing much to say about them. You can easily pigeonhole them as the athletic tomboy (Asuka), the studious megane (Mutsu) and the prideful oujosama (Shion). Thankfully with one of them being a master survivalist, the rest get to extend their lives longer instead of game over the moment they crashed. It is that ironic feeling that everything you learnt in school is not really applicable here. But let’s face it, how often are we going to live in the jungles or somewhere without human civilization? So it is pretty expected that Asuka, Mutsu and Shion know nothing about survival. Occasional b*tching and whining I guess it is acceptable seeing that they are unfamiliar with their new surroundings and it is a good thing they learn and help out since trying to forever be a spoilt brat will only get you dead (by nature) and not sit well with us viewers who might be trying to find somebody to hate. I dunno. It’s just human nature, I guess?

But I suppose this means with their undies in good condition too, it gives a great excuse to see them in it while they get wet and do water activities. Damn, that sure sounded ambiguous but whatever. Viva our little fanservice here! And because the trio are noobs in surviving, some of their slip-ups are made to look like jokes and punch lines. Ah well, gotta have some fun too, right? It’s a good thing they have Homare as company rather than, say, Wilson! Cute blonde twintail beats bloody hand printed ball any time!

Homare being the ultimate survivalist and somewhat saviour of the pack, it feels like God is trying to play a cruel trick on her by testing what she has learnt from her father all these years. Many of the techniques she employs here are thanks to the lessons and flashbacks while travelling with her dad that are scattered throughout the series. Hence it also becomes one of the mind boggling points of the series: Why the heck was papa bringing a young girl along with him through his travels around the world? I don’t know what job papa does that has him travelling to all the dangerous parts of the world, but why bring a young Homare who could have been in elementary school then with him? I am making a big assumption that mom is dead and it’s the only reason why a child is not stopped to go on such journeys. And of course thanks to the travels, she has gained a lot of valuable knowledge on surviving. For some reason she stopped travelling and entered high school. I am also assuming this happened because dad is dead and she thought of experiencing the high school life before she gets too old to be a high school girl. And then this happened. Perhaps the ultimate test to see if she was really paying attention to daddy. From what we’ve seen, it is sure paying off.

On a side note, thanks to my limited Japanese vocabulary, initially I wondered why this series was named so. Only after a simple Google search did I realize it was appropriately named and it can be used as pun too. Hence the official English title of “Are You Lost?” is appropriate (sounan means lost). This also offers a play on word and pun because “Sou nan desu ka” technically means “I see…”. Therefore when Homare shows and wows us with her techniques cue this line which could actually mean both. Pretty neat, huh?

Art and animation feel pretty okay as we have cute looking girls and for thankfully the island life isn’t harsh enough that the girls suffer some kind of horrible injury or tragic fate. Yeah, nobody gets paralyzed or suffer from some sort of illness! And with cute girls making look like it is so easy and fun living the island life, better think twice and do your research after research if you really want to try this out. This anime is animated by Ezola whose only other anime at this point was Happy Sugar Life.

I didn’t want to make any issues with the voice acting part but I want to point out that Homare’s character at first I didn’t think she was suitably voiced. Not that Mao Ichimichi (Shion in Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken) did a bad job but rather my perception (and most of us) of blonde twintail girls. I was expecting her to have this high pitch squeaky voice like what many blonde twintail girls do. Yeah, bonus points if she is a tsundere. Therefore having Homare’s voice as the calm and lower pitched, it just feels, uhm, not right. Had Homare looked like any one of the other girls, I would have agreed to the casting but I guess the producers want us to cast away that stereotypical views of blonde twintail girls. Yeah, it all doesn’t matter when it comes down to survival, huh?

The other casts in this small line-up include Azumi Waki as Shion (titular character in Oshiete! Galko-chan), Hiyori Kouno as Asuka (Kazusa in Araburu Kisetsu No Otomoe-domo Yo), Kiyono Yasuno as Mutsu (Megumi in Saenai Hoeroine No Sodatekata) and Akio Ootsuka as Homare’s papa (Kyouraku in Bleach). Seriously, the more I hear the voice of this guy, the more I keep thinking he is the late Unshou Ishizuka! Remember Ahomushi? If the island didn’t get named by them, then they could have formed a band in an alternate reality and sung the opening theme of this song, Koko Wa Doko! Another one of the weird aspects of this series is how lively this song is. I don’t expect it to be dark, dramatic and edgy but for a show about survival, seeing the girls having fun doing survival stuffs in the opening credits, it just feels really weird. Yes. Really, really, really weird. But I think we need all the positivism and motivation we can get by staying on this deserted island. The ending theme by Kiyono Yasuno goes to a slower beat. Ikiru has this slight feel that it is a marching band song but it’s not that bad either.

Overall, this series can swing both ways. It is entertaining because you get to see the girls doing basic survival tasks and if you like a bit of ecchi, having them doing certain stuffs in their underwear gives a natural excuse for this. However the series can be a drag because it is basically the girls doing basic survival tasks. Rinse and repeat but shown in a different way. And the saddest part is that I would forget all the lessons that Homare has thought us once the next season rolls in. Heck, even by the next episode I would have forgotten the important survival lessons of the previous! Looks like I’m not cut out for surviving in the wild. Anime had better not die out and force me to go outside and live a normal social life! Oh the horror! I don’t need that kind of survival skills, please!!!

Tesagure! Bukatsumono

October 13, 2019

Atarashii! Something new! NOT! For some reasons, Tesagure! Bukatsumono is supposed to be the kind of anime that I would definitely have put it on my watch list but never managed to do so. I don’t know how I missed this series that aired way back in 2013 but I guess many years later my random search on the internet over what potential ‘past’ animes to watch led me to stumble upon this. The plot is just about a group of girls talking about the common and generic tropes of clubs and giving their new ideas about it. Yeah… Sounds boring… Maybe that’s why I skipped it… But since here I am now, perhaps those new ideas might sound interesting and funny.

Episode 1
Yua Suzuki, Hina Satou and Aoi Takahashi are trying to recruit members for their club. They contemplate of letting a normal boy join to turn into some harem but by doing so means they can’t do girly things anymore and it will be awkward. Hence they snag Koharu Tanaka to join. She didn’t even know how the heck she ended up joining either. She is still unsure to join this one as it was her goal to join her club but after seeing so many presentations, all of them were boring so she isn’t sure anymore. The rest explain this club is for her and is different than the rest. They don’t have anything in particular to do so they think of the things they want to do via trial and error. Hence they are like groping to do things and testing to see if they are interesting. Thus tesagure bukatsubu literally meaning a groping club. Now that Koharu is convinced to stay, they brainstorm their first activity. They think up the first things that come to mind about baseball. All the cliché stuffs like how the main characters act and look as well as how such typical baseball tournament stories go. Then they come up with new rules for a new baseball club. That rule is flexibility. So it’s like anything goes? From what they should do after winning and their dress to the cheerleaders, speak your mind, girls. Then they experiment with blind baseball by calling clones of Mobuko Sonota to join in as the opposing team. The players are blindfolded but are guided by directions by their teammates who aren’t playing. Just like that traditional blindfolded watermelon splitting. Safe to say, they fail badly. Oops, did they break a window? Blaming bad instructions, huh?

Episode 2
The girls visit Koharu’s class to find out where she sits. Since she sits in front and in the middle, they thought she was supposed to be the main character because main characters always sits next to the window! Koharu worries when they mention they can read her thoughts. In the clubroom, Koharu discovers the club isn’t official. They submit every year but it gets rejected. But of course. So they’re operating illegally? Anyway, just like last episode, they brainstorm about football. All the clichés and stereotypes of football in anime and manga. Then they come up with new rules for the sport that includes carrying the goalpost to the ball and digging holes?! It’s time to experiment with it so they call Mobuko to help out. It is revealed that they are all sisters! Must be one horny dad to f*ck his mom and give birth to sextuplets for 3 consecutive years!!! Anyway, today’s football rule is that when you receive the ball, you must recite a haiku. Not sure if the poem isn’t any good you can get a yellow card by the referee?! And even if the goalkeeper catches the ball but a bad haiku means it is considered a goal?! Weird. Thankfully real football doesn’t follow this.

Episode 3
Koharu tries to pinpoint the typical and cliché anime girls in their school like twins with opposite personalities and the rich girl. However the rest point out they are totally not and just normal people. But I guess Mobuko’s the exception… This time the club in discussion is shogi. They dispense their views on the game before imposing the usual new rules. They include the pieces acting as a wish plate, moving a piece with a non-dominant hand and the pieces themselves having some sort of drama like the generals on both sides are actually going out with each other! As they prepare for the experiment, Koharu learns that despite not being an official club, thanks to Yua being in many other clubs, she has influence and thus their club has a clubroom. This means Yua has also got some clubs to create a giant shogi board and pieces. The twist of this game is that Twister rules are incorporated. Yeah, it’s damn hard to play with your ass blocking that space! Weird positions! You lose if you can’t maintain your position. Truly, this game isn’t for the weak!

Episode 4
When Koharu learns that Yua is also the student council vice president, she starts worried about her school life since her perception on them as well as the disciplinary committee is strict people. Her friends dispel that misconception and that they are actually nice people. Koharu feels relieved and is amazed to see them having colourful hairstyles like main characters. Later Koharu worries that because their club is only all girls, people might get the wrong impression. The rest then start to tease her that they may just be yuri and start getting yuri on her! Don’t get your hopes up on a foursome… Next they discuss about the tea club. Like before, their views on what they think the club is like before making their own rules such as putting in milk and bowls that look like pantsu! Then the rest seem to pester Yua to do something about the tea club but she jokingly denies and doesn’t want to do it. Eventually she does a weird cha-cha dance?

Episode 5
This is inevitable. The topic about boobs! Or at least their uniforms make it so their boobs are protruding. This is more obvious to those with big busts like Hina so for those washboards like Aoi, better keep praying harder. So which club will be today’s victim? The cycling club. Their usual views on it like their uniform and the typical and cliché cycling tournament. And the new rules they come up with include having to bang their thighs with each other like butt sumo (WTF is this gay piece of sh*t?!) and cycling with heavy weights attached to their bikes. Aoi somewhat ‘wins’ as the best rule since she makes a pun of coins dropping and bicycle (both pronounced as ‘chari’).

Episode 6
We jump straight into the girls talking about the wind instrument club. Lots of clichés about characters in this club like siblings, harems, ex-girlfriends, indirect kissing, superhero suits and rich loli magical girls?! Are they serious?! And those are all their ideas and not new rules yet? So the new rules they come up include blowing while having hay fever, only waving sticks, playing inside a pool (a pun for suisou as both wind instruments and water tank sound the same) and spooning while playing the instrument. Everyone later tries blowing a wind instrument and as expected, they all suck. If it was a real weapon, it could really kill…

Episode 7
The cafeteria is crowded and the queue is long because shortage of workers and the new cafeteria lady is unsure of the pricing. Wow. Aoi telling her off what the real prices are? In the clubroom, the girls discuss about the newspaper club. All its cliché perceptions of its characters to the girl who has a crush on the protagonist and the guy who always has the latest scoop. Of course the moral dilemma of exposing the truth. Eventually it is all just a dream of the protagonist’s father? New rules for the club include reporters need to get special training to post comments, using more emoji and having adult content. Later the girls experiment with karuta. The twist is that they must quickly pick out an embarrassing picture of them taken secretly. Is it me or are there a lot of secret embarrassing Koharu pictures? Because of that, she couldn’t snatch a single photo and Aoi is the winner with the most.

Episode 8
Maid cafes are a staple in school cultural festival. With so many around, they realize they all come from the same chain. Is this a franchise? The girls talk about the tennis club. The weird scoring system and the strange ways they use the racquet. They also talk about the clichés of tennis clubs in anime like how everyone looks like an adult and that’s why the protagonist looks like a kid with hidden talents and all. As for the new rules, they include having a sudden death match with only a single point scored, wearing embarrassing and used panties while playing and putting vinegar on their hands as sterilization (a word pun based on tennis) while those on the bench make sushi.

Episode 9
The theatre club isn’t spared. Their perceptions on it include the club having national tournaments like sports clubs and extra actors for minor parts get weird credited nicknames. Clichés in anime include the protagonist memorizing all her lines after reading the script once and there is a direct correlation in her improving acting skill as well as her real life romance. New rules for the club include everyone having to repeat their lines twice hence making the play twice as long, the audience never sympathizing with the heroine and all actors continue to put up and act to hide their real personalities even during rehearsals. Yua has lots more on her list but it’s too dangerous and the rest just vetoed her ideas. Later they try acting out on stage. Wow. So dramatic. So funny. So lame… No wonder Koharu feels embarrassed at the end of the play.

Episode 10
The cliché moment of a couple always getting stuck in the gym storeroom after the last person locks it. Hence that is why when Yua and co pass by, it is a rule that the next person who passes by must unlock it. True enough, a couple comes out thanking them. In the clubroom, the girls discuss about idioms that contain eyes and mouth. Aoi seems to be particularly unimpressed that eye idioms have more positive connotation that the mouth idioms. So they substitute both parts to make new idioms and then make a hero story that is based on mouth idioms. With everyone getting really creative with the mouth idioms, it leaves poor Koharu so confused because the hero sounds and acts like a typical villain! And Aoi doesn’t even care anymore. Before we forget today’s episode we haven’t talk about a club yet, this time they talk about themselves which is basically the slice of life club. No need further introductions so let’s get down to the new rules. When Yua suggests she is God, Koharu misinterprets that she has died! Certainly not the punchline or answer everyone was expecting! I guess that’s enough for today. Later they experiment with scavenger hunt shiritori. They are to bring items to the hall. Yeah, they really bring in weird items including strangers. Koharu so confused…

Episode 11
The girls tease Koharu aloud that she might wear panties with holes. Oh my. Did that guy hear it? Yua even goes over to tell him all about it but it seems he didn’t catch all that. That’s because the cliché of main character guys will never know girls’ secret! To further prove it, they tell him more of Koharu’s embarrassing stuffs and he still doesn’t get it. But Koharu still embarrassed… For this special edition, Mobuko joins the club as a guest. This time they talk about the astronomy club. So mysterious that they don’t even know where it is located. New rules include lovers must address each other as Hikoboshi and Orihime and everyone must make their appearance with a comet trail. I guess the club is so mysterious and nothing to talk about that they have time to talk about another club: Cheerleading club. Tight shoelaces, hairstyles and leaving pom pom strands all over. New rules include doing cheerleading in the most unlikely of places like funerals and courtrooms, using pom poms as powder for armpits and wearing loose panties that might fly all over during their cheerleading. I’m sure that will earn them lots of points! The audience will definitely cheer harder!

Episode 12
With Yua and Hina graduating, Koharu notes it will be just the 2 of them. But Aoi notes this club will always have 4 people. When the seniors return, they pack their stuffs and Koharu stumbles into an album containing application forms with weird names. It seems those are failed applications for their club and were always rejected because they couldn’t decide what the club is supposed to be. Then they ask if Koharu has found a club she wanted to join. Well, despite finding it hard to keep up with them, she somewhat finds it fun. Koharu learns that the club’s only rule is to go through trial and member to figure out what the new members want to do. Hence that is why they talk about creating new rules for clubs. Yua hands over the presidency to Aoi while Hina hands over her vice presidency to Koharu. However Koharu cannot accept all this. After hearing all that, there is no way she can be the vice president of this crazy club. This club will not do without Yua and Hina. She begs them not to graduate. This heart breaking scene only reminds them about themselves as they too did this to their graduating seniors. Damn, I thought this would be comedy but now it’s turned into a tearjerker after this big emotional group hug. Hence Yua suggests creating new rules for this tesagure club that includes everyone must laugh at the president’s proposal and everyone acting like Koharu. They note that even though it is sad not to have Koharu around, they prefer to have the one and only Koharu instead of multiple clones. And so Yua and Hina graduate. Aoi and Koharu’s first role is to fill up the application form for the club. Why not call it tesagure club? That’s something new that nobody has thought about.

Encore

Not enough tesagure for you? Don’t despair. Here’s the second season with more ideas coming your way!

Episode 1
We hear Koharu narrate the meaning of her name and the reason why she wanted to join a club. It’s basically a summary of the first season as she also introduces her other club members and their personalities as well as highlighting some of the things they talk then. Now it is time for Yua and Hina to hand over their presidency and vice presidency respectively to Aoi and Koharu. Some last words and also the logic behind the creation of this club was always to find something and to focus on who the members spent time with rather than how they spent their time. Just like history repeating itself, Koharu doesn’t want to graduate and everybody starts crying in a big group hug. OMG. I thought this was supposed to be a comedy and not a tearjerker!!! Again! During recruitment day, Aoi is slacking as Koharu tries to wake her up and warn her other clubs might steal their potential members. And then Aoi starts ranting about the clichés in manga that characters don’t age and that they should follow this trope. What does this mean? It means they’re bringing back Yua and Hina to the club! I guess that’s why they also called this season ‘Encore’.

Episode 2
Since they’re really going down with this repeat route, they talk about the discrepancies and inconsistencies from various sources and media. Hence the most common ‘acceptable’ excuse is of course parallel world! Also, because there were requests for less animation for this episode, hence our girls will be less animated and having less movements. Enjoy your lame slideshow. The girls talk about the stereotypes of the basketball club before moving on to their new rules that include the referee blowing his whistle randomly and for weird reasons as well as everyone wearing loose trousers and the game turns into dodgeball when some music is played.

Episode 3
They’re going to do less animation for this episode too! Yeah, it’s alright as long as they can make it through. All though there will be slightly more animation this time, you will notice how they used recycled scenes from past episodes and sometimes the art gets very sketchy and no colour. Anyway, they talk about the judo club. Yeah, the club with smelly men. Not sure how they go about making puns of names before going on to make new rules like they have to put their full name on the uniform, giving cute names to all the painful moves and wearing nipple stickers the same colour as the belt. Later they experiment by making judo clothes that are hard to grab. One is too slippery because it is made of eel! And shocking too! Another is made of tissue paper! It’s breaking up! Too bad we can’t see any of this because remember, less animation. We’re stuck outside the gym and relying on our power of imagination!

Episode 4
Arts club. Yeah. Those talented nerds. They discuss the different types of people in arts club which we might find cliché and typical in anime and manga. As they move on to the new rules, because Hina makes some incomprehensible pun, the rest find it really hard to understand. WTF, butt drawing? It took a while for her to explain and this only worsens the pun, making Hina ‘mad’. I guess it took up too much time so let’s go over to the experiment. They will be playing shiritori but using art. Uh huh. They must guess what that drawing is and draw their answer. Unfortunately their drawings are so freaking abstract that you will never be able to guess! Yeah, maybe they are just bad artists. Koharu is the only art whom they are able to guess because she is simple. After double checking the real answers, it seems by coincidence that all their artworks are coincidentally shiritori related! So this is real art? So when it is Koharu’s turn, her simple art is guessable but unfortunately she lost. Shinkansen…

Episode 5
Volleyball club. A bunch of masochists, right? After mentioning the few types of typical volleyball characters, they move on to the new rules such as the players wearing ballet dancers’ uniform, allowing players to pick up the ball that has touched the ground for 3 seconds and using human heads as the ball. WTF?! For the experiment, the volleyball game they play has a twist. There are building blocks of cities on each side of the court. They must return the ball while defending their city! If the buildings get destroyed, they lose points! Safe to say, Koharu’s side decimated their own city with all the reckless moves. And if they’re too careful, they’re too slow to return the ball. And Mobuko’s side is like having extreme dexterity and flexibility. None of their buildings were demolished! I know who to call to protect my city when a kaiju appears.

Episode 6
Broadcasting club. Stereotypes about the people in the club. They even take the chance to blatantly promote their soundtrack. When they talk about the different types of main characters in such club and the stammering they usually have, Hina acts them all out. For the new rules, looks like they only have time to hear Koharu’s idea of everyone speaking with squeaky voice after inhaling helium gas. That’s because everyone is so amused with Koharu’s ‘ability’ to imitate her helium gas voice that they want her to continue imitating it. Is this going to be her regular character from now on? Don’t think so.

Episode 7
Koharu thinks that this school is safe because of the surveillance cameras around. Until the rest points out its special features of shooting white beams. They demonstrate by flipping Koharu’s skirt, here’s your white beam censor! Damn, the girls must really feel so safe! Except Koharu. She gets violated as the rest keeps flipping her skirt. Hey, at least security is working. What do you think about the rugby club? Burly idiots! They discuss the absurd rules since they are unfamiliar with it. Also a gender bender rugby club filled with stereotypic cliché girls. New rules for the club include when a tackle is made, a hug must be given. Hence name change to hugby!!! Then they go on talking about balls and the players being gay…

Episode 8
Not a club this time. They talk about the cultural festival and its clichés. So when they talk about its new rules, the only idea came about is locusts descending on the festival. Because the rest of the time they are talking what locusts and other types of bugs are. Just keep the place clean! During the festival, because coincidentally all the members of the light music club is out, our girls have to substitute them. Do they even know how to play instruments? Well, they start talking jokes and puns, turning this concert into a stand-up comedy show. Hey, as long everyone is laughing. They end this with a song. But because they can’t play the instruments, they play the CD while pretending to mash their instruments. I guess the fun part is just singing the lyrics. So it’s like an idol concert? But holding instruments? And Aoi is like when she lost her drumsticks, she just starts banging the cymbals around like a monkey. Having fun, aren’t we?

Episode 9
Koharu wants to buy a birthday gift for a friend but doesn’t know much about her. Hence the rest suggests asking the best friend of the main character. Because he knows everything! The girls talk about the quiz club. Yeah, why to smart people always wear glasses? The interesting part comes from them creating a romantic comedy story in which all questions are given several multiple choice answers. So how will the story end? A) Good ending; B) Bad ending; C) All this is just a dream; D) Series cancelled! As for the new rules, Yua suggests everyone has to answer in a very shy and embarrassed way. Then she tries to bait Hina into saying some embarrassing words but that girl has some wisecrack answers and a tough nut to crack.

Episode 10
Starting on a different note, the girls try to answer Yua’s riddles but most of them end up as puns. This leads to the origin of the riddles especially that famous sphinx one. You know, the creature that changes the number of legs throughout the day and the answer is man. Because of the ambiguous choice of words, the reason why many don’t get the right answer. Hence they reword it in a simpler and more understandable way that makes the answer way easier to guess. However the question and task itself becomes boring. I guess they chatted too much on this and realize they haven’t talk about any clubs yet. Not really a club this time as they talk about the sports festival and immediately comes up with new rules. One of them being items must be very hard to obtain. Because Koharu gave degenerate answers, the rest believes she has been broken since joining this club and this means she’ll do fine when a new person joins the club! For the experiment, Yua combines riddles with sports day. When she asks a riddle, they’re supposed to pick an answer from several sketches. All wrong! I guess it is harder than it seems.

Episode 11
Are school teachers always this young? Only in anime! And why are they always single and love getting drunk? They go directly ask one and although she confirms all that, she lets in another secret: She is a lesbian! Oh Koharu, you mean to look so shock? With Mobuko and her sisters joining in this session, they talk about the kendo club. It leads to them giving them different nicknames and the only new rule is to fight with bamboo swords soaked in boiling water. Then they discuss about the rakugo club in which instead of having a storyteller play all characters, each character is played by a different person. Also, instead of the story finishing in one telling, spread it out into 12 different stories!

Episode 12
We go back to a year before when the club was headed by Mio. With Yua and Hina, they were recruiting members. Mio spotted Aoi sitting alone and invited her to join but Aoi will not join any clubs whatsoever as she views them as stupid. She thinks all those relationships between club members are fake. Just people pretending to be friends. But of course, Mio dragged her to join the club. So Mio cut her a deal that they will find something to do in the club that isn’t stupid and in turn Aoi agreed to join and try out for a year. Man, that’s a long time. But it got off on a bad start as Aoi realizes the club’s name sounds really stupid… But as we can see, Aoi slowly joins the ‘stupid’ conversation like girls in her class being cliché and stereotypical (for instance, girls being fat) and making new rules for the amusement park. Eventually Mio graduates and she hands over the leadership to Yua. As for Aoi, she didn’t care if the club was stupid or not. Thinking if something is stupid or not seemed stupid now. Is she saying she has also become stupid? Just kidding. But Mio’s parting philosophical ways about freedom and acceptance has everyone crying hard. Especially Aoi. She realizes this is the first place who accepted her for who she is. Because if you accept everyone as they are, they will learn to accept you for who you are! So deep! OMG. I thought this was supposed to be a comedy and not a tearjerker!!! Yet again!!! Aoi doesn’t want Mio to graduate but alas she leaves her in the capable hands of Yua and Hina. It will be their turn to create a place for someone else. In present time, our girls are now doing another recruitment drive. Koharu is still nervous and panicky but Aoi, she’s a cool cat. Just do whatever you want!

Purupurun Sharumu To Asobu

Well, technically they didn’t do a third season but this is still a third season if you consider this spinoff as one. And what better way than to add more characters and to double the running time equivalent to your standard anime.

Episode 1
Aoi and Koharu are trying to recruit new members. Because Aoi’s dream is to do a collaboration anime, hence they pull back Yua and Hina for another season! Thanks to the publisher having bigger budget and their airtime has increased, they think they can get away by calling this a spinoff. After all, in the end everything will be just a dream, right?! So folks, meet our Apprentice Goddesses of Purupurun Charm. Their anime hasn’t been adapted yet but their casts have already been chosen. So this is also part of a collaboration to make Charm achieve their goal to become an anime? So they start things off by trying to plan what to do for each episode. It is going to be tough since the Charm side have different schedules, considering their seiyuus are popular. After briefly introducing themselves, they then discuss about how to talk to each other. Hence it turns out with everyone suggesting Koharu talk politely to everybody from now on. Must she change her character? They also discuss what kind of show Charm should do. So it’s like going to copy tesagure style? After all, remember they can just brush it off as a dream. So to start off the next segment by falling asleep so they can start Charm’s segment. This is a dream, right? And here it is, Purupurun Charm, 5 girls with elemental powers who bring harmony to the universe that includes parallel worlds existing within the same dimension. But we see Rin Arisugawa narrating her normal high school life with friends, Hiina Usami and Kanon Izayoi. Yui Enjouji is their senior and she loves to tease Kanon because of her short stature. Joining in their discussion is Tomomi Okonogi, a half Russian who arrives in a tank. So what they discuss about? Female type battle robots! Even having new rules for them like being flirted via wall slam and taking custody of their kids. Hiina loves walls slam and has Rin act it out with her? Then it is back to the original tesagure quartet as they think what else to do with this collaboration. So they think of a new one frame slice of life manga. With an empty speech bubble, they make adlib speeches for it but mostly talk about boobs.

Episode 2
Our tesagure girls talk with their Charm counterparts about their debut. They give their mix comments about this unique yet lazy adlib system. In order to give everyone a proper introduction and since a normal highlight episode would be just boring, they suggest doing it via musical style. But first with start off with our Charm girls discussing various topics like the kind of goddess they would like to become and the things they would like to do now. Then they get a cue to talk about the gymnastics club. A few awkward moments as they try to discuss new rules for it. Yeah, probably they’re beginners so we let them off the hook. But it gets awkward as Rin keeps mistaking Hiina for Tomomi so much so she has to be reminded before she does it again. Now we return to the tesagure girls. New viewers, don’t worry if you don’t know what the show is all about as it is done in a musical fashion! However the scenes and dialogues aren’t new. What they do is take an excerpt from a previous episode, the girls read their lines by singing it in a strange musical fashion. From tennis club to newspaper club to rugby club and arts club, now do you understand what this anime is all about? And if you want to sing along with them, just in case the songs are all sung in E Major. So just to let you know, okay?

Episode 3
The girls talk how this third collaboration is most important as the Charm side relay their thoughts on the first 2. It is also a blatant chance by the tesagure girls to promote and sell this anime’s DVDs. The Charm girls discuss about each other’s strong points before discussing new ideas for a job interview. This leads to them acting out a reverse pressure job interview in which the interviewee puts back the pressure by counter questioning the interviewer. They even try it out with Kanon and Hiina being quite the pro. Back to our tesagure girls, this time they talk about the table tennis club. Since a lot of rules overlap with the tennis club, hence it is perfect for this spinoff. Today’s discussion is slightly different as they borrow the table tennis’ table and they discuss things while they play. But they end up laughing most of the time and can’t play well. Then they just sit down and talk about the new rules for the club that includes using ping pong balls as bubbles in a public bath and the net caught a boar or tuna. Even more interesting, Playboy bunny girls use their stockings as net and keep the ball warm in their cleavage! Is this some sort of special themed brothel?

Episode 4
The girls are now thinking of doing a song collaboration and their own character songs. The Charm girls talk about Hina’s new Smartphone followed by new things in their life. This irks Kanon since Yui and Tomomi are bragging about their new growth in boobs and height respectively. Later when Yui can’t attend the meeting, Yua sits in for her as they talk about new things for a villa. Ideas include having 30 toilets, the walls and roof are see-through and everybody who lives there are naked. Back to the tesagure girls, because the school is going to have a new school song and hence encouraging students to submit lyrics, first they talk about ideas for a new school song like deer gathering when you start singing and the teacher got so into playing the music that he would end up smashing the instrument. We then hear how the school song plays out before the quartet list down words they want to say and fit into it as lyrics. It’s like they want to incorporate everything so yeah, the song’s lyrics turn out to weird. Very weird. From hot guys running around in this paradise to survival of the fittest and a strange confession scene. Sure you girls aren’t writing lyrics for some dramatic pop music? Yeah, nobody wants to be caught dead singing this during the opening ceremony!

Episode 5
With last week’s Yui sitting in, they girls now think of shuffling themselves for this adlib collaboration. But we start off with the Charm girls first. Rin is having problems studying so the rest chip in to try and help her to study. But as expected, Rin can’t focus as she wants something sweet and eventually falls asleep. I don’t think dreaming is going to help her do her homework. Later, Mio and Hina replace Yui and Tomomi as they discuss about new field trips. Mio has trouble reading kanji so not so sure about the hypnotic field trip she is talking about. Then there’s also stores that sell souvenirs run by teachers so they can pocket the extra income and students are divided into some kind of order for the field trip. Next, the tesagure girls visit the haunted house. Surprisingly, it is Aoi who is very scared and clinging on to Hina for dear life while the rest are like laughing their asses off over the great props and actors. Yeah, really weird and funny. Back at the clubroom, they are joined by Yua and Mobuko as they discuss new ideas for a haunted house that includes a haunted house like a giant maze, ghosts announcing beforehand that they’ll pop up to scare you and a hot male ghost who escorts you all the way. Sorry, no hot girl ghost if you’re a guy. You still get a hot male ghost escort.

Episode 6
With the success of last week’s shuffling, Yua wants the shuffling to continue in this episode. To add to the fun, they’re going to add collaborative character songs. But first, we see Rin having a toothache. With Hiina giving advice on how to deal with it, I guess Yui eating her sweets on behalf isn’t going to do any good. They talk about other oral hygiene care before Yua and Aoi replace Tomomi and Kanon to discuss new dentist rules that include the dentist grinding away your budget, the dentist says “Tooth” in every sentence, the drill used is of the multiplication kind and a female dentist having large boobs in your face and hence den-tits. The tesagure girls ride the Ferris Wheel at the amusement park. Hina has fear of heights and thinks this is unsafe. You mean the roller coaster is safer because it has seatbelts? As their carriage reach the top, it is clear that Hina is not feeling too well. The wind is blowing hard and the other girls take this chance to tease her like hell like rubbing her thighs since she is being a quiet girl. Then Yua tries to pretend to be her boyfriend and calm her but it just made it worse. Kanon and Tomomi join the tesagure girls to discuss about new Ferris Wheel ideas. This includes each carriage is equipped with amazing equipment like a shelter, saying gondola many times fast turns it into a dragon (it’s a pun, try it), you can’t ride it without being introduced or referred by someone and riding to the highest point allows one to see all hidden things going on that one is not able to see normally like the staff rooms.

Episode 7
For the first time, all of the girls are here at the same time to record a collaboration. Since they can’t do a swimsuit fanservice, Hina suggests some werewolf kind of fanservice. You know, some yuri girl turns into a werewolf AKA Yuriwolf to terrorize the other girls in the dorm? Not one but 2 Yuriwolves! In this Danganronpa style trial, we see all the girls (minus Tomomi) having a trial and discussion to pick out the Yuriwolf. Based on initial votes, the suspicions fall on Kanon. As they deliberate, we hear them all saying they love men or something like that. It sounds like everyone is picking on Mobuko as she emotionally tries to rebuke all their accusations. Once the trial is over, the one with the highest vote is ejected from the trial. That person is Kanon! One night passes and it seems the Yuriwolf’s victim is Mobuko. Hence the next day’s trial resumes with Koharu now being a suspect. More deliberation and accusations. Yeah, keep asserting you like men… Because of that, everybody gangs up and even voices out to vote out Koharu! So it is no surprising she gets ejected from the trial. Now, if both Kanon and Koharu were the Yuriwolves, there would be no more victims and the game won. However when night falls, Yui has become a victim. Hence the trial resumes and now the suspicions fall on Yua.

Episode 8
The trial continues with more deliberation. This time, there seems to be an argument over Aoi and Hiina being the fortune teller. And both are trying to make their case that they are the genuine fortune teller since they did some readings on the fortunes of other girls. When the votes are in, Aoi and Hiina have the same number so both are given a little more time to speak and make their case. In the end, it is Hiina is voted out. If Hiina was the Yuriwolf, the game would end and the girls win. But that night it is Hina who gets taken out by the Yuriwolf. Therefore the trial continues with Rin now being suspected. Obviously we see Yua and Aoi ganging up on her and even voicing out they’ll vote her out. And yes, Rin is booted out. With Yua and Aoi left, it is announced that the Yuriwolf team wins! The truth is revealed: The Yuriwolves are Aoi and Koharu! The fortune teller is Hiina. The girls discuss and go over things and we see that Aoi is a pretty smart and scheming girl, befitting her Yuriwolf role. From what I understand, she eliminates all the smart ones first and leaves the dumb ones in the end! Is that insulting to Yua and Rin?! It’s one reason why she took out Hina so that Yua can somewhat side with her. Yeah, some club. As for when Koharu was eliminated (it is said she was unanimously voted out), why did Aoi not cover for her? Nah, she was useless and never needed her at all! Damn she’s scary and badass! With some time left in this episode, it is revealed this Yuriwolf version we just saw is the second one. There was an earlier and first version hence we are shown a digest version of it. It’s a bit crude and less refined than the second one we see. Not sure who the Yuriwolves are since they teased the extra materials might be shown on BDs. But I theorize since Aoi was taken out early in the game, maybe that’s why she sounded so scheming in the latter.

Episode 9
Due to the success of the Yuriwolf episode, this time they’re going to take it easy. So, back to normal chatting? They talk about the movie they saw last night and this leads to Kanon revealing she has never been to the cinema as she doesn’t want others interrupting her show and Tomomi aiming to go watch movies alone and pick a time where nobody is around. So the Charm girls decide to go watch a movie together. Hiina is trying to hold back her tears but to her surprise it is Tomomi who started crying. The rest? They fell asleep! Yua and Koharu replace Tomomi and Rin as they give new ideas for movies like screening 2 movies side by side, soaked chairs and chairs that become toilet seats if you need to answer the call of nature. The tesagure girls are at the zoo. They are amused at a pair of meerkats interacting one another. Are they making out?! Keep snapping those cute little critters till your folder is full of meerkat photos! Only Aoi and Tomomi are present at today’s discussion as they talk about ideas for a new zoo like animals having boring names and the zookeeper keeps throwing dung. Aoi being Aoi seems to make Tomomi laugh a lot as well as confusing her so Aoi admits she is somewhat shallow and superficial and her words don’t really have deep meaning. Are we supposed to be amazed?

Episode 10
The beauty salon cut Kanon’s bangs too short and so she’s mad and will do what it takes to shut it down! Calm down. The rest try to give words of encouragement but they said too much and eventually it just depresses her. Yua and Hina sit in for Kanon and Hiina to discuss new rules for a beauty salon that include a slot machine that determines your hairstyle, the hairdresser has a short temper, the hair iron is a sandwich making machine and everyone is naked while giving shampoo. The tesagure girls visit a farm. Everyone is so admiring the cute chicks until it starts pooping on their hands. Still cute, though. Then they visit the horse who coincidentally has the same name as Aoi. Yeah, some teasing on which Aoi they’re calling. And Hina ‘bullying’ the horse by trolling it and not giving its food. Kanon and Hiina join the tesagure girls to discuss new rules for a zoo. But this format will be different and will be played out via cards and haiku. The first 2 lines are determined by picking out a card. Then each of them will finish off the 3rd line with their card in hand. Hilarity ensues. So we have horse riding, some Indian elephant, a zookeeper and some dirty joke summary? Probably sometimes the meaning is so random that they find it funny.

Episode 11
With nobody’s schedule lining up this week, Yua notes that everyone’s lines were recorded separately buy edited together. Hence they think of a new dubbing collaboration. One whereby they show old footage but add new voice recordings. But it won’t just be any normal voice recordings. They will be given a theme or separated into categories and those who fall into that will do the voice over in that particular way. For example, those with light coloured hair will talk like a heavy metal shouting while those with dark hair talk like an old woman without dentures. Hence the entire episode despite having recycled footages, the way the tesagure and Charm girls narrate their lines in different modes is refreshing and of course funny to hear. In the end, the last recording has them do the style they like the most that they have done.

Episode 12
Mio hosts this first (and last) Tesagure Grand Prix, the girls will be divided into groups and face off in an individual comic dialogue contest. The winner of each block will advance to the finals and Mio will also pick 2 other losers to join in the finals in which the ultimate winner will receive money as well as something to commemorate her as the main character of the series. In the first block we have Rin, Yua, Yui and Koharu. Tomomi is absent. The topic is to mention the 8th mystery of the school that barely missed the cut to become part of the 7 legendary mysteries of the school. After a few weird ideas, the winner is Koharu. Surprise?! In the second block, we have Aoi, Hiina, Mobuko and Kanon. Surprisingly, Hina is unable to attend because she is sick. Yeah, Aoi already calling her out for faking her illness (note, she isn’t). The theme is the cafeteria lady looking down on you because of some situation. But this theme is so boring that even Aoi calls for the 8th mystery one. I suppose she wants to get the poop jokes off her chest… The winner of this block goes to Hiina. Surprise?! Aoi calls it rigged until Mio chooses her as one of the losers to advance. Not rigged now, huh? Also somehow Tomomi is also picked. In this final face off, they hear a song sample in which they must fill in the remaining lyrics. In the end, the winner goes to… Koharu! Surprise! My opinion is that she could have sealed the win by breaking the fourth wall with a song that this series is about to end. A fitting ending theme for an ending theme? So the final scene shows Koharu waking up in a classroom and noting she is still the new girl after all this time. Is that how she becomes the main character?

Trash Talking At Its Finest
So… Uhm… Did they miss out discussing about the archery club? What about the hockey club? Not even the chess club, huh? Well then… So… Uhm… That’s it? No more new ideas outside the school clubs too, huh? I guess there is a limit to everything then. That’s why they didn’t talk about politics and give new ideas for it. Heh. Don’t want to earn the bad side of those people in power, huh? Yeah, also we don’t want current culture politics permeating and seeping into our animes!

It is with mixed feelings if I should say I enjoyed the series. First of all, there is obviously no plot so everything hinges on the dialogue on the characters. And you know me, after years and years of watching Japanese anime, I’m still having trouble with my Japanese vocabulary. Yeah, this is even watching it with subtitles. I doubt there would be a dub version of this because it would really be a pain in the ass as many of the conversations would be lost in translation. Not that I would even think of watching a dub. But anyway, what I am trying to say is that even with subtitles, I am still struggling to understand what the girls are trying to say. Meaning, I don’t really get what they mean. Sure, some are funny and made me laugh but at other times I am just left scratching my head to just comprehend what it means.

As you would have known, this series is totally adlib. There is no particular script to follow as we hear the seiyuus talk to their heart’s content on whatever the theme and topic of the episode was. But sometimes there are some parts which I do feel like it sounded like as though it is scripted. I could be entirely wrong and even so, this proves that the seiyuus are just as talented in making it sound natural and so while my puny ears and brain can’t seem to pick up and tell the difference between natural adlibbing and scripted. Not sure if the adlibbing talent is perfected but the same anime studio went on to produce Himote House back in 2018. That was also another anime that was based on adlibbing rather than from a script.

As for the ideas that they discuss in each episode, sometimes I feel that they aren’t really ideas. How should I put this? The new ideas are just supplementary to what is already existing. For instance an example of my own, waiters serving customers should now all tell jokes. Sure, that itself is an idea but it is not like it is to improve customer service or the waiting profession. So how is this an idea for a new waiter/waitress of a restaurant? See what I mean? Of course in the end, these are all just jokes and not meant to be taken seriously. But what I am trying to say is that they are more trash talking than brainstorming. Whatever pops up in their mind, they just say it. Anything goes. While some are funny, like I have said, some are mind boggling and this is even true because sometimes this new idea leaves the other girls stumped and the one who present the idea has to somewhat explain it further so the rest could understand. So it’s not like the ideas is new, it is just that they are ridiculous and absurd, hence no sane person would really think about it unless they want to come up with some twisted joke.

Aside from talking about culture clubs and sports, the spinoff tries to bring something new and discuss other things outside of school (I wonder if the visit to the haunted house, amusement park and zoo are also adlib). While this is refreshing, I still find the Yuriwolf game to be the most interesting and exciting of all the other ‘boring’ discussions. The only problem was yet again, my inability to understand some of the things that they discussed. I was trying to piece together what they’re saying and never really got a chance to even make a guess who the Yuriwolves were. I know I could have paused and think but nah, that might ruin the experience. WTF did I just say… Even though they tried their best to expand and prolong it to 2 episodes, the game mechanics I felt could have been better explained but I guess things have to move along quick because if given time, thinking and planning would have made the outcome very different and may not be exciting anymore.

Can’t say anything much about the characters. Since it’s the ideas that we’re talking about, the characters aren’t really given much of a prominence. Sure, some of them have their personalities but it is nothing major nor would it influence anything. Maybe except the ideas that they throw out. For example, Yua is the perverted one while Hina is the calm and intellectual one. Then you have Aoi who started off as one who has the penchant of making puns in every ideas she said but then she started turning into some kooky member. Like as though she is a few steps away from being an official mental asylum patient. Then there is Koharu who is the naïve and gullible one but she could be even more perverted than Yua especially it is no secret that she likes hot good looking men and doesn’t even hide this perversion of hers. Looks like she is already at home and blended in well with the club.

Sad to say for the Charm girls, I guess this series didn’t help increase their popularity so their own anime never really took off. Hah. What a big joke then. Their debut ended before they could even start. They might be new characters making their first appearance in the spinoff but sadly I don’t know much about their personality at all compared to the tesagure girls. Is Rin supposed to be the dumb one? The one who also eats a lot? Kanon definitely looks like the oujo-sama type while Hiina the intellectual type. Because you know, glasses. Can’t put my finger on Tomomi except that she is half Russian and Yui as the bisexual personality is what gets stuck in my mind. Oddly, during the Charm girls’ discussion, the tesagure members can be seen as eavesdropping and commenting on their talk outside the building. A reminder that this is still a tesagure show? One thing to note on Tomomi, I’m not sure what is the deal with her character or her seiyuu as she is often missing in some, if not the important segments like the Yuriwolf and Tesagure Grand Prix. Not sure if there is any scheduling conflict but it feels like we’ve been cheated without her character around and the fun lessened. That’s why there’s always an apology recording after that. Oh well, show is over. Now you’re free to do anything else you want. Plus, the tesagure girls being the veterans in this adlib area, have more experience so they own the Charm girls any time.

Last but not least there is Mobuko and her clones, oops, I mean her sisters and sextuplets. It would have been much easier to say they are all clones because saying they are sisters and sextuplets sound so far-fetched. Not even fantasy sci-fi writers could come up with this absurdity. Anyway, Mobuko seems to be like the fringe member of the tesagure club and only pops up whenever she is needed to. Hence, the only place where she has a decent limelight is the next episode preview (which isn’t so much of a next episode preview by the way) of the spinoff. In this segment, we see various and all her various incarnations from grandma to professor to her versions of herself from the future and even a demon king all come together for who knows what. Definitely a mob of Mobukos. Yeah, maybe that’s all the screen time she can actually get so they squeeze it all into this nonsensical section here. No matter how many of you there are and from what time period, stay united, Mobuko.

Art and animation are entirely used using CGI. I won’t say it is hideous but because this isn’t some highly intense action packed series, you won’t really feel the difference here. Although Yaoyorozu produces this series, I believe it is the same Bouncy studio who later did Himote House. Yeah, the CGI quality didn’t really improve. And by making it a joke and also breaking the fourth wall, hence we somewhat accepted that the low quality animation is okay. So low that the girls are the only things that are animated. Everything else is pretty much not animated. Heck, other unimportant extra characters are just some coloured shades and even if there are those drawn properly, they aren’t animated and are just like paper cut-outs. Yeah, this is definitely new. Not sure if there is rotoscoping because like in the spinoff when the girls visit the zoo, the animals are animated in somewhat a surreal way.

Voice acting department, I guess they’re all really talented despite I don’t really recognize them all. For them to pull off the adlib parts flawlessly, I wonder if they have done a few takes before because it all sounds perfect. But I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and believe they are really talented seiyuus. The casts are Asuka Nishi as Yua (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic), Satomi Akesaka as Hina (Esdeath in Akame Ga Kill), Karin Ogino as Aoi (Nyarin in Himote House is her only other voice acting role), Koharu Tanaka as Koharu (Momoka in Sabagebu), Kaoru Mizuhara as Mio (Misao in Lucky Star), Shiori Mikami as Rin (Krista in Shingeki No Kyojin), Mikako Komatsu as Hiina (Neko in K), Rumi Okubo as Kanon (Chinatsu in YuruYuri), Natsumi Takamori as Yui (Yuzu in Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san) and Sumire Uesaka as Tomomi (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai). I wonder if Reina Ueda as Mobuko (Ayado in 3D Kanojo Real Girl) got the raw end of the stick. Sure, all her Mobuko sisters and other incarnations are voiced by her. Even the credits page ‘spammed’ her name next to all voiced characters. But then again, being the character with the least proper screen time, I guess this makes it up to show her versatile voice acting. Especially that spinoff next episode preview.

For a series that spans 3 different seasons, they sure used the same opening theme, Stand Up might be the original for the first 2 seasons sung by the quartet of the tesagure club but in the spinoff, Yappari Stand Up is pretty much the same song but just add the quintet of the Charm girls. This song is kept ‘fresh’ because each opening line is different and is just a short line of something random and nonsensical. First season’s ending theme, 12 Kagetsu by the tesagure quartet feels a bit out of place. Not saying that this slow and lovely ballad is bad because it’s not bad enough but after hearing all the nonsensical ideas, hearing them sing this song just feels a bit weird. But not as weird as the bad CGI of seeing them doing some dance in the snow!!! Second season’s ending theme is also basically the same but some change in the lyrics, Sorezore No 12 Kagetsu.

The main ending theme for the spinoff is Shikisai Crossroad by the tesagure and Charm girls. Another slow and lovely ballad that doesn’t sound too shabby. If you’re tired of the CGI animation, at least you can see the girls in overly cute chibi fashion in this ending credits animation. There are lots of special ending themes for the second and spinoff season but they only last a single episode. These character and collaboration songs reflect their characters so the song is somewhat tuned to them. I think my favourite one was the rock piece Aoi sang. The entire lyrics just went, “Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Call Me Lazy”!!!! It’s so lazy that it’s new!!! The rest felt like generic slow ballads and anime pop idol style and anime rock outfits and didn’t really attract me.

Overall, a rather okay anime for me. The crazy ideas are supposed to be the jokes and punch line that are to make you go laughing till your stomach hurts. Well, some of them. Because in some jokes you can hear the girls really laugh out loud. Unfortunately with my limited vocabulary, it really does limited my ability to understand and appreciate all that they have contributed. Yeah, sad that I don’t even understand some of the dirty sex jokes and puns they made. Maybe I should join the club and the members can brainstorm and find ways for me to improve my Japanese. Aha. I got a new idea on how to improve my vocab. Watch French or American animated cartoons dubbed in Japanese! And then my interest suddenly shifts to western animation… No way! But that is so new and atarashii, right?!

OMG! OMG! OMG!!! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE SUPER HYPE!!! DOUBLE SUPER HYPE!!! IT’S FINALLY HERE! AGAIN! We’ve been waiting for this like forever! I don’t know why they did this by breaking up the third season into 2 parts and taking a cour’s break. Did they think we can’t handle the shocking truth and sheer awesomeness and we will die before the series reaches its conclusion? Don’t underestimate us! Because of that, just to be clear, Shingeki No Kyojin S3 part 2 is actually the second part of the third season and hence making it the fourth instalment of the TV series overall. Confusing? Nah. They did that with Shokugeki No Souma’s third season so I’m not surprised. But we’re not talking about cooking food here. We’re talking about Titans eating humans as food! GAWR!!!

Episode 50
Our usual gang is taking Eren to Shiganshina. They stumble into a Titan but thank goodness it is motionless thanks to the moonless night. Eren realizes his hands are shaking. You scared? You might not want to admit but everyone is too. Will this mission be a success or failure? Once they reach Shiganshina, everyone takes off to their positions. As Erwin narrates, everyone is wearing hoods because they do not know if there is an enemy in the midst so this is to also help conceal the real Eren and avoid him being directly targeted. Once everything is ready, Eren transforms into a Titan to plug the outer Wall Maria. Success. The world is completely sealed up. If something feels off because it’s too easy, damn right it is because Armin has done some investigating and realizes someone has been camping nearby. There could be at least 3 enemies and they might have seen them coming while camping on the wall. Erwin is impressed with his thinking and makes him in charge. Armin is awkward with this new chain of command but issues his first order to sniff out enemies. As he thinks and thinks and the soldiers could not locate them, he realizes the enemies could be hiding inside the wall and has the soldiers look for cavities near the wall. When one of them finally found a hole, Reiner pops out and kills this dude! Although Levi swiftly stabs his sword through his neck, Reiner didn’t die. He was a second quicker to activate his Titan power as he soon transforms into the Armoured Titan. This signals to all his other comrades outside. The Yeti Titan and all other Titans now surround the inner entrance of Shiganshina. Yeti Titan then throws a rock and seals off that inner entrance. Erwin realizes they want to prevent them from escaping via their horses.

Episode 51
Smaller Titans rush in to attack. But Erwin is puzzled. The enemies could have just killed the horses and wait until Survey Corps tire out and unable to fight back to capture Eren. Whatever their plans, Erwin’s goal now is to prevent their horses from being slaughtered. He orders Hange’s squad to take down the Armoured Titan and approves the use of Thunder Spears. Indeed Reiner’s goal is to kill the horses but seeing Eren running in the opposite direction, he knows this is a bait. However he is forced to take this bait because Eren might circle around and escape, thwarting their plans to capture him. Once that happens, they have no reason to stay back and fight. Eren and Reiner clash and the former has gotten and improved in his close quarter combat. So while Eren keeps Reiner busy, Hange has her team get ready the Thunder Spears. Flashback shows she used this powerful technology that was kept secret by the Military Police that gives them a fighting chance against the Armoured Titan. Once Eren has got Reiner in position, Hange and co drop in their first Thunder Spears. Their environment makes it advantageous for this to be used because the buildings can be used as anchor while using Thunder Spears that literally explodes upon contact. With Reiner in pain, the rest use their remaining Thunder Spears to finish him off.

Episode 52
Flashback shows when Eren first transformed into a Titan and plugged up the breach, Marco overheard Reiner and Bertolt’s plans. Though, he thought it was a joke. But then Reiner pinned him down and knew he was too clever to brush that off as a joke. He then forces reluctant Annie to remove his 3DMD to prove her warrior status. They then left devastated Marco to be eaten by a Titan. Oddly, Reiner’s split personality then made him go in shock upon seeing Marco getting devoured. Fast forward to moments before Erwin’s squad arrive at the wall. Reiner and Bertolt are talking to their boss, Zeke (the Yeti Titan) about recovering the Coordinate and ending this cursed history once and for all. Connie and Sasha crying over Reiner’s death? Wow. Must be real bros. But Reiner isn’t exactly dead. He manages to give a loud roar in which Yeti Titan throws a barrel over Shiganshina. This is where Bertolt is hidden. The plan is for him to transform into the Colossal Titan in mid-air. The explosion will cause all those around to perish. But the moment he sees Reiner, he goes down to him. His head might be blown off by Bertolt can tell he is still alive because using the Titan power, Reiner managed to transfer his consciousness to his nerves. Bertolt has made his resolve. He needs Reiner to just move a little. Armin wants to negotiate with Bertolt and even throws Annie’s name into it. But Bertolt knows this is just to buy time so the rest could kill Reiner for good (at this point, Reiner turned on his back, making it hard for the soldiers to kill him off). Bertolt mentions about their mission of capturing Eren and annihilation of all humans inside the walls. He doesn’t view his friends as evil but they will still have to die. Conversation ended with Mikasa trying to do a sneak attack on him but he got away. Then Bertolt goes into mid-air and transforms. The blast seems to have killed almost everyone in the squad except for our usual heroes. As the Colossal Titan, he is using debris of the buildings and raining them like projectiles. Armin’s plan is to retreat for now but when Jean points out Bertolt might set fire to the wall and make everyone stuck in between the fire and the Yeti Titan, Armin dreads the idea of defeating Bertolt right now.

Episode 53
Armin is so panic that he passes the leadership to Jean, believing he can make better judgment. Though quickly makes a decision to get near the river, he will still be counting on Armin to come up with the ultimate plan. Yeti Titan is now smashing rocks into smaller ones and throwing them. This takes out many of the soldiers. Almost everyone is wiped out except for Erwin, Levi and the new recruits. They are forced to take refuge at houses near the wall but at this rate, Yeti Titan will flatten all the houses and there will be no place left to hide. Bertolt is moving closer to the wall. Jean has Eren to distract him but Bertolt ignores him. In a desperate move, Eren tries to stop his feet but is easily kicked away like a football! The rest try to use Thunder Spears but it backfires as Bertolt releases his hot steam to deflect everything. Armin, how is that plan coming up? Nope? Ah sh*t. Reiner has fully been recovered too! Levi’s plan is for Erwin to wake up Eren, have him take as many people to escape. A demoralised soldier, Floch Forster then rants about the dream of becoming a hero but he realized too late when reality sinks in. They’re all going to die. Everything is for nothing. But Erwin has a plan that could have Levi take down Yeti Titan. He didn’t say it because it involves everyone else sacrificing their lives just to give him this chance. He will lead them to a suicide charge and so as to ‘convince’ the new recruits to die to him, he will lead the charge and die first. His only regret is not seeing what’s in the basement. So close yet so far. When Erwin is breaking down, you know sh*t has already hit the fan. Hence Levi has decided. Give up on your dreams and lead your men to death. In exchange he will slay the Yeti Titan. So we see Erwin giving one last ‘motivation’ speech for his soldiers to go out there and die. Sacrifice and meaning of lives, blah, blah, blah. You ready? Here we come! CHARGE!!! They fire their flares simultaneously so as to affect Yeti Titan’s aim. Meanwhile Levi goes around taking down the other giant Titans while what’s left of the Survey Corps acts as decoy.

Episode 54
Oh well. Erwin went down first. Now it’s a crazy charge to their deaths. Yeti Titan gets more and more angry each time he sees what’s left of the Survey Corps inch closer to their mindless death. Till there is none. By the time it’s over, he realizes the other Titans have fallen. Too late as Levi cuts everything up and pulls Zeke out. Levi hesitates to kill him because he is hoping for a single survivor to use that Titan transforming serum and eat this Yeti Titan to take his abilities. This causes a Titan to snatch Zeke away as Zeke orders the other Titans to kill Levi. Levi is only left with fury. His promise to Erwin… You Titans will pay! Ironically, Floch is the only survivor and unscathed… Armin has observed the Colossal Titan is getting thinner thanks to expending a lot of power. He now has a plan. He will wake up Eren. They will be enough take Bertolt down. The rest are to distract Reiner and keep him at bay. Reiner’s memories are still hazy. Mikasa and the rest have to cautiously use their limited Thunder Spears to take him out. The first part almost fails. Connie while nailing his Thunder Spear, Sasha misses and this also causes her to be wounded. Mikasa is carrying the last Thunder Spear. The goal to open Armoured Titan’s jaw has not succeeded. Time from Hange to return from being dead to plant her Thunder Spear and force open that jaw. Enough for Mikasa to blast her last one inside and send Reiner blowing out. Bertolt uses his steam to blow away Armin but he seems to be hanging on. His observations were right. Using his 3DMD to cling onto the Colossal Titan’s teeth that is the only part that isn’t affected by the thinning of the steam. Bertolt cannot understand why he is doing this. Eren is down and not moving and the rest are busy with Reiner. Armin hangs on until he is totally burnt and blown away. Bertolt then realizes that Eren Titan was just his hardening skin. Armin has bought enough time for Eren to get out as he slices Bertolt out of his Titan body. Sadly, Eren sees Armin’s charcoal corpse… Armin… NOOO!!!!!

Episode 55
No time for tears. Zeke arrives so Eren becomes defensive and threatens to kill Bertolt. Zeke claims Grisha has brainwashed him but will be back to save him another day since Levi is hot on his trail. Levi is out of gas and wants Eren to give his 3DMD. Then he hears Armin’s cough… Meanwhile Hange takes something from Reiner. A letter supposedly from Ymir to Historia. Because he won’t let them know what they want, Hange will kill him. Ironically Jean stops her. Why not use the serum and take his abilities? Hange cannot risk it so Jean argues how are they going to kill the enemy if they don’t know anything about them? Flashback shows Erwin explained to everyone about the serum. As it is the only one left, he left it in Levi’s care. Hange wants Mikasa to seek Levi and if for some reason she cannot get it, fire her flare. It will be her signal to kill Reiner. For the longest time we haven’t seen Mikasa this emotional as she sees Armin’s charred body. Eren arguing the need to use the serum on Armin to take Bertolt’s power. Mikasa fires the flare. Just then Zeke retrieves Reiner. Jean feels guilty it is his fault that led to this but Hange asserts the decision was hers. As Levi is about to give the serum to Eren, here comes Floch carrying Erwin on his back! Barely alive, he wants Levi to use the serum on their commander. Because Levi views Erwin as the one who has the highest chance to save humanity, it becomes a showdown between Erwin and Armin camp. Mikasa pins a weakened Levi down while Eren paints a picture of Armin being the brains and the one who got them out of all situations. Then Floch blows his top. They’re not the only victims. He relates how everyone else from the Survey Corps is dead from Yeti Titan’s baseball practice. When he returned, he noticed Erwin still breathing and wanted to kill him. Then he realized he shouldn’t let him go so easily and should suffer like them. That’s why he brought him to Levi. With Hange somehow managing to convince Mikasa to calm down because in that case there are hundreds of more comrades whom she wants to bring back alive, Levi has everyone clear the area as he will inject the serum into Erwin. Last ditch effort by Eren to talk about Armin’s dreams of the sea compared to his blinded hatred to kill all Titans just for revenge. No change of heart. As Levi prepares to do it, Erwin smacks his hand away. Levi thinks hard. In the end, we see a Titan Armin devouring a very scared Bertolt in his final moments. Levi’s reason to give the serum to Armin was his realization that it was everyone else who forced Erwin into a demon. He was finally freed but they almost brought him back for another round of hell. As Erwin kicks the bucket, the other friends pull a revived Armin out from his Titan shell.

Episode 56
Armin wakes and since his memories are still hazy, Levi has Eren explained all that has happened. Shocked at Erwin’s death and other developments, he too has the same thinking that Erwin should have been administered the serum. While it looks like Armin would be replacing Erwin as commander, it doesn’t mean he is Erwin’s substitute. Levi doesn’t want anybody regretting this decision and that’s an order. Now Levi, Hange, Eren and Mikasa head to Eren’s house. Walking through the abandoned streets, time to hit up the nostalgia. The moment of truth we’ve all been waiting for. What’s in the basement. The key… Doesn’t fit!!! Levi just kicks down the door! That was easy. You’d think Grisha would have given Eren the key to the lock of something flimsy, huh? So they search the basement but mostly are Grisha’s notes and medicines. Then Mikasa spots a keyhole in the drawer. This time the key fits. There are 3 journals that are very well preserved. Opening the first one, there is a photo of a family (note, photography is not known in this world, at least not to those living behind the walls). Behind the photo is a note claiming he is from a civilization outside the walls. Meanwhile news break that the Survey Corps have successfully retaken Wall Maria and the people erupt with joy as they prepare for the heroes’ return. We have a short glimpse of Grisha as a young boy living with his younger sister, Faye. They were curious about the airship so one day Grisha took her past the restricted zone to its landing strip.

Episode 57
The duo are caught by officers, Kruger and Gross. Because they don’t have exit permits from the Liberio Internment Zone, he gives them a choice of manual labour or punishment. Grisha chooses the latter and will also take it for Faye’s part. As Gross leads Faye away, Kruger beats him up and then lets him watch the airship. He came here for that, right? Next day, Faye’s body was found by the river. Gross and Kruger talked to Grisha’s parents and lecture them about raising their child right. Grisha is in shock because he knew the officers were lying as they were slacking off then. At that moment he started hating Gross and especially his father because he obeyed the authority’s words like a dog. Grisha’s dad then starts to indoctrinate him about the sins of their ancestors. 1820 years ago, Ymir Fritz made a pact with the devil and obtained the power of Titans. After her death, her soul split into 9 Titans who built the Eldia Empire. They then destroyed the Marley Empire just to rule over them and persecuted other races inferior to them. This went on until some Eldians conspire with the Marleyans to bring down Eldia from within. They managed to do so by stealing 7 of those Titans. The Eldian king retreated to an island known as Paradise Island and hid behind 3 walls he constructed with his people. The rest of the ancestors were abandoned on this mainland. But the generous Marleyans did not kill them. At this point, Grisha didn’t care all that BS because it’s a sin neither he and Faye committed. Father tells him it doesn’t matter. All they can do is live humbly in this zone and please don’t send them to Paradise Island. Grisha backs down and continued this mundane life, taking over his father’s medical practice. Until one day a guy comes to see him and has info about how Faye was killed (Gross let loose the dogs to devour her). These people are a small group of Eldian revolutionists and are planning to restore the old Eldia Empire. Grisha soon became the leader, even go so far as to decipher the real history how Ymir actually brought prosperity to all nations. The revolutionists also receive a boost with the joining of Dina Fritz, the last surviving member of the royal family. Grisha fell in love with her and they get married. Soon they have a son named Zeke.

The revolutionist has an informant working inside Marley only known as Owl and they discover that the Marley side also has plans to infiltrate Paradise Island as it is rich in minerals. However the then Eldian king warned if they do so, millions of Titans will be unleashed upon them. That is why the Marleyan government is selecting children in an experiment to become Titans to storm the island. Grisha realize they have only an option left. He is going to use Zeke and make him a double agent in Marley. Like father, like son. History repeats itself as Grisha indoctrinates Zeke. However this backfired as Zeke rats them out. The revolutionists are brought to Paradise Island. One of the guys is dropped and left running for his life while his other partners turned into Titans to chase after him. Grisha becomes dismayed when Dina is also turned into one. He is shocked that the deal was to let her free after he told everything he knows but I guess that didn’t happen. Making it worse, Kruger and Gross are here. More disgusting is how Gross mentions he is doing this because it is fun and shows no remorse in killing others. Especially Faye. Ah, nobody forgets that day. We take a short detour to see Eren and Mikasa dreaming this same dream in their insubordination cell. Back to the story, with Gross hoping for the complete annihilation of Eldia, Grisha thought this is the end for him but Kruger pushes Gross down and lets him get devoured by the Titan. Not so fun now, eh? Kruger then reveals himself as Owl. Why am I not surprised? Then he shows Grisha how to use the Titan power as he himself transforms into one and goes on a rampage.

Episode 58
Kruger explains more about himself. His full name is Eren Kruger and the bearer of one of the 9 Titans. In other words, a subject of Ymir. Kruger managed to infiltrate into Marley because of the help of a doctor fabricating his blood result. Grisha blames him for letting everyone else die but Kruger gives Grisha his final mission. He wants him eat him and take his Titan power to storm into the walls and steal the Founding Titan’s power. Kruger can’t do it himself because those who bear the Titan’s power only have 13 years to live. This is called Ymir’s Curse. Guess this is his final year. Kruger goes on further to explain his father was also part of the resistance but died without achieving anything since the Marleyans burnt him alive. Since then he vowed to get revenge on Marley and restore Eldia. However by doing so he has only sent many of his brethren to death just to keep his identity safe. More explanations on Ymir’s Curse that if a bearer dies without passing on the power, that power awakens within a baby among the Ymir subjects. In some way, all of Ymir’s subjects are connected. Eventually all those paths converge at a single coordinate: The Founding Titan. Thus all Ymir subjects are connected by the Coordinate. Grisha wonders why Kruger didn’t help Dina even though she is of royal blood. He couldn’t afford to let her fall into enemy hands. Because it would be messed up if she bears the child of the enemy nation. Grisha is now depressed and feeling all the guilt that he tries to give excuses he can’t do this final mission. Kruger tells him the reason why he chose Grisha is because he was the only one who went past the walls. Had he not taken Faye past the walls, he would have inherited his father’s medical practice and Faye might have grown up and bore children. However this is reality and the story he started ever since he went past that wall. The Titan power he is about to take has a name like with all the 9 Titans. This Titan moves forward and fights for freedom and is hence called, wait for it, Attack Titan AKA Shingeki No Kyojin! Roll credits!

Eren and Mikasa’s imprisonment has ended. They are taken to see Historia who will have an audience with the surviving members of Survey Corps. We see her reading a letter from Ymir. Nothing really important except her regrets of picking the other side instead of her and not being able to marry her. I don’t think it was meant to be a joke. Historia seems to receive Ymir’s memories when she touches part of the letter. With the journals, the truth about the Titans and human civilization is now known. Hange addresses the audience in the hall about the true enemies not being Titans but humans of the entire world. As they are able to transform into Titans, it is a reason why the world wants them eradicated. If Marley get their hands on the Founding Titan, it is all over for Eldia. Grisha thought the king will not let that happen but unfortunately as Kruger states, the king has renounced fighting. Hence the million Titans threat was just a ruse to keep other nations from attacking while he hypnotizes his own people that the outside world is decimated so they could live in this fake peace. Kruger views a king who doesn’t protect his people is now king and that’s why he wants Grisha to seize the Founding Titan from within the walls. Grisha completed that mission and passed it to Eren. Any royal descendants who inherit the Founding Titan’s power becomes subordinated to the king. Eren is not of royal blood and he may have potential to use this power. That is when Eren realizes something very important. He has not told anybody about this. The Titan who killed his mom and Hannes was Dina. Eren realizes by touching a Titan that carries the blood of the royal family, it is possible to use the Founding Titan’s power. If he tells anybody about it, what would they do to Historia? Lastly we see Kruger telling Grisha to start a family once he gets inside the walls. He believes someone down the line will be watching this. If he can’t do that, history will only repeat itself.

Episode 59
With this newfound information, the hall is divided whether to tell the public as it will create chaos. However if they withhold this, would they be no better than the previous king who lied to his subjects? Hence Historia announces to release all the details to public. There are various reactions from shock to laughing it off and it is all just hogwash conspiracy theory. Well, you do what you want with the info. There will be an award ceremony for the Survey Corps and to honour the fallen. Surprisingly Hitch attends but I figure this is so that Floch could tell how Marlo died a hero. However he might have said too much that Marlo could have regretted his last moments there. But it’s the truth. I think Hitch can’t take any more of that. But this has Floch now questioning that everyone would have come to the same conclusion after reading all this: Why wasn’t Erwin the one alive. Despite Eren trying to speak up for Armin, Floch gets honest. Sure, Armin is not his friend and he knows nothing about his achievements. He blames them for making Levi make an irrational decision because they let their emotions take over. Eren might think he did the right thing and is dead set on it, that’s why he isn’t remorseful. Medals and awards don’t matter. What matters next if they tell the truth to the next set of Survey Corps recruits. Don’t you dare let cowards like him sign up. But no matter how useless a coward is, he is still entitled to his own opinions. As Historia gives out the medals, Eren is still indecisive. He isn’t willing to sacrifice Historia yet. Touching her hand, we see glimpse of Grisha’s flashback when he managed to find Frieda and her family. He explained about being the same as them as Eldians and subjects of Ymir. He warned her to kill all Titans that breach the will or their people will die. A year after the attack on Trost, all the refugees are returned there and life in the district blooms again. The Survey Corps are able to exterminate every Titan and then venture outside Wall Maria. They spot a crawling Titan and Eren can tell its origin by touching it. Another Eldian sent here as punishment. They just leave it there since it can’t do anything. The long journey finally leads them to the ocean. The first time everyone is amazed and stunned by this endless huge body water. Everyone except for Eren. Maybe he seen it too many times in his father’s memories? But despite everyone frolicking like kids in the water, Eren puts on his gloom cap. Because he once thought freedom awaits them across the ocean. But he is wrong. There lies only enemies. Would they be truly free if they kill every last one of their enemies? So it is no longer kill all Titans but kill all non-Eldian humans???!!!

Clash Of The Titans
OMG! WTF?! Only 10 episodes for this second part. Oh man, I’m so ‘disappointed’… But nothing says hype and much more hype when the final season of the series is announced. Uh huh. You can’t get more hype than that when you add ‘final season’ into your title. Oh boy. That is sure going to drive up the hype and excitement. Don’t forget all the anxiety and worrying too along the way. Now I am ever so eager to watch the final season… There had better be some good animes to keep my company while I wait for that very anticipated final season to arrive… Or a whole load of crappy ones which will just make me fully appreciate this truly awesome and superb masterpiece when the time comes and thus making the painstaking wait worthwhile.

This season is still so amazing and awesome that I might sound like a broken recorder if I continue to praise everything about it all over again. But I’m so lazy so please read my previous blog ;p. This series is one of the very few and rare anime series that I have watched throughout my entire life in which the next season gets better and better. So many other series have fallen to the wayside to even live up to their second season but this one is still going strong. And my only ‘fear’ of all this is because of the hype and excitement that has been building up over the years, the final season would come out sputtering. I know it’s wrong for me to be so negative even when I haven’t even started to watch the final season yet but this anxiety originates from that Game of Thrones final season… Yeah… Remember that fiasco? I didn’t see that HBO series but because of the disappointment of the final season, it left a negative impact (comments and criticisms alike) so great on the impact that even I had taken notice. So can you blame me for being so negative when there is already a precedent that something so great can even stumble so hard? Yeah, I guess better than never getting a conclusion at all.

Besides the awesome Titan action in retaking Wall Maria, this season we have some few shocking developments like the death of Erwin (as well as Bertolt) as well as finally the damn truth. Finally we get to see what is in the basement that has been a nagging thorn to us viewers. The truth of course but I was expecting to be some sort of hologram device with audio to narrate the entire true history! Haha. Just kidding. The history of the real world is indeed interesting and sometimes it feels like a big fairytale. But then again, remember the characters who have been living within the walls are as good as the frog who lived in a well. It was also shocking that Erwin had really died. Honestly, I thought that guy would never die. At least because he is such an important figure and reeking that charismatic aura that is on par with the main character, they can’t kill him off, right? I was wrong. His guilt and reflection of standing atop the corpses of his fellow Survey Corps to get where he is seemed like a death flag now… Oh well, rest in peace, Erwin. Because of his sacrifice, we’ve come to where we are right now. So it’s not just Erwin who won’t know the truth but all those dead Survey Corps who died previously too. Maybe they’ll learn the truth as they watch in heaven… Hey, we got a history here talking about gods and demons and Titan powers so why not our departed souls watching from heaven?! Also, RIP Marlo… So with the big revelation about the people of the world, come to think of it, isn’t this entire series just one big civil war among the Eldians? Yeah, they have to be united before they can face the entire world who wants them dead!

Possibly the ‘funniest’ realization is when they gave this Titan that Kruger gave Grisha, a name. Not so much funny if you’re Japanese but if you know the official English title is called Attack On Titan. And now we have this roll call that this Titan’s name is Attack Titan. Both carry entirely different meaning literally. Japanese won’t have any problems but we English speakers might be left confused. Truthfully, even when this official English title came out when this series first aired, I was even sceptical of how this naming sense even made sense. Attacking Titan would have been such a better and accurate translation but I guess it doesn’t sound as cool as Attack On Titan. After all, Attack On Titan shows us from the viewpoints of the heroes doing just that whereas Attack Titan would also still be correct but sounds a lot lamer. And now with this revelation on why the series is named so, it would be weird for the English side to officially change it so. If this was some subtle way for us not to figure this out, then in some ways it worked. We didn’t see this coming, right? Did we?!

This season Eren doesn’t feel like a wuss because I guess when you’ve been such a big wimp last season, he has somewhat hardened his heart and resolve to end all this crap. So thankfully he does his mission well that ultimately helped the Survey Corps regain Wall Maria and obtain the Colossal Titan’s power. It was a scary moment for us when Eren and Levi almost go head to head over who to save with this last serum. After all that they have been through, this one little decision on who decides who to live could have become the biggest deal breaker and it would have been really heart wrenching for us all if that fallout and bloodshed actually happened. We don’t need another ‘civil war’. We have already seen that when Reiner, Bertolt and Annie have defected and what is left of the Survey Corps is threatened to split apart even more? Wow. It was sure scary. Mikasa still kicks ass and like in previous seasons, isn’t so overprotective over Eren.

Armin and Jean try to showcase their leadership and thinking skills and I think they’re cool but somehow I feel it is to give them some screen time. Same case with Connie and Sasha. Can’t be jokers in this time of distress. Though, (thankfully) Sasha is still Sasha despite being gravely injured. Historia so lacking this season because she is already queen (she still think it’s unofficial?) since last season she already had her run so I guess she now has to play her real duty instead of going on a dangerous adventure. One last note on Armin, I know he feels guilty about being alive in Erwin’s place but he better not turn into an annoying one because it will also start to influence and make me think that yeah, perhaps Erwin SHOULD have been the one to live! It’s like as though he doesn’t value the second chance he has been given. He might not be able to be as charismatic as Erwin or come up plans that will assure victory but I’m sure in time something will change and happen. Like how we see a year later Eren has grown his hair a bit longer and he looks slightly mature and giving off this gloom face. Haha! Yeah… So Armin, don’t make us all believe including yourself regret that decision to be alive! Please, just don’t. We want to face this reality and move on already.

Remember how last season I complained that the opening song sounded like a wuss? Sounded so gay that it took away all the epic feeling that defined the series? Well, probably they heard my complaints (and from others as well) so they decide to go back to that trademark epic theme. Yes, Shoukei To Shikabane No Michi (once more sung by Linked Horizon) might sound like a copy and paste of its predecessors, Guren No Yumiya and Shinzou Wo Sasageyou (just change the lyrics!) but I guess I must live up to my promise not to complain about it. Better to have this than some gay sounding sh*t! This season’s ending theme, Name Of Love by Cinema Staff is a slow ballad. It might sound unsuitable for the series at first but after watching the events unfold and all the madness that had happened, I think this homecoming-like song is definitely fitting to wind down.

Oh well. I suppose it is that time again where we have to wait for the final season to arrive and it is that agonizing moment of waiting again. But it is good to know that good things come to those who wait. So just a little while more, okay… But for now, I’ll have to be contended with this amazing second part of the third season that left me breathless and yearning for more. Amazing Titan action as well as intriguing story have certainly defined this season. At this point, I can safely and definitely say that Shingeki No Kyojin is definitely the top and best anime series that I have watched in recent years. Even ousting One Punch Man and Boku No Hero Academia per se. Even Gintama too. Once this series truly ends, it will be difficult to find another series to top and replace this masterpiece, let alone get even close to it. As Erwin said about everyone dying one day and this doesn’t mean life is meaningless, I’d like to modify that: Even if no other series outshines or surpasses this one, it doesn’t mean all animes are crap or inferior! (Although, some definitely are!).

Oh my. Looks like it is the fireman’s turn. A fireman’s turn to f*ck his woman in this mini hentai! This isn’t the first uniformed personnel to get its porn treatment since we had that prison guard one a few seasons ago. But nevertheless, Yubisaki Kara Honki No Netsujou Osananajimi Wa Shouboushi feels like a trap than mere coincidence because in that same season we had another fireman themed series, Enen No Shouboutai. Is fireman the in-thing this season? Those who were currently watching that supernatural sci-fi may be confused stumbling into this one and then, gotcha! WTF is this f*cking sex porn???!!! Then you start jerking off so fast that your dick is on fire and you have to call the fire force to put out this blazing passion! HAHAHA!!! Sighs… Oh boy…

Episode 1
Ryou Fujihashi isn’t enjoying her gathering with her old friends. Especially Souma Mizuno who is teasing her and that he is some sort of a womanizer. That night she wakes up as she hears sirens. Her place is on fire! Trapped, she calls for help but soon laments succumbing to her fate. That is when Souma as a fireman breaks him to rescue her. Even protecting her from a falling cupboard! When it’s over, he scolds him for not continuing to make noise because he thought she was dead. With no place to stay, he invites her to stay at his place. And in no time she makes it like her own home and even marks her territory? When she sees his back injury, she feels bad but crosses the line. Literally. Because now that she enters his ‘territory’, he rapes her! WTF?! So this is how it starts? Literally fingering her and she feels so good. Since she cannot be the only one to have fun, I guess he starts unzipping his pants. Don’t worry. He won’t penetrate her. Just using her thighs. Even so, Ryou feels so good?! Damn porn logic. Oh sh*t. Now you cum all over your bed. You sleeping there tonight?

Episode 2
Since Souma is having his day off, he accompanies Ryou to get her paper work done among other things. On their way home, it suddenly rains. Time to prepare for bath. Oh dear. I can see where this is going. Because while Ryou is taking a shower, suddenly Souma comes in! I know it’s his home but has he got no respect for women in the bath?! Damn, porn logic… Obviously his switch is turned on so he starts fondling her. Especially using the shower head to gush the water into her sensitive areas. Oh yeah. B*tches like her always feel good no matter what, no? Even if she says no, her body seems to indicate otherwise. That is all Souma needs to continue making out with her. Sex interrupted when the power goes out. Saved by the outage. Uh huh. Ryou starting to think had this not happened, she would have gone all the way. And I’m not so surprised even if it did. Ryou returns to work as her colleagues are glad she is back. Oh, what’s this? They’re having a fire evacuation drill today? Oh man…

Episode 3
Yup, that fireman over there… That’s Souma. During the drill, a colleague, Megumi Sasahara clumsily sprays the fire extinguisher over Ryou. Don’t worry. Souma has got spare clothes. Damn, I can see where this is going. As she changes, Souma has noticed Ryou has been avoiding him ever since so he forces himself on her to spill the beans. Or else? She gets raped! So of course, porn logic dictates that it is better to get your modesty outraged than telling the truth. The truth of either his dick feels good inside her or that she loves him. Or both. The extreme molestation even continues when Megumi comes in to check on her. Uh huh. Souma continues to rape her and unfortunately Megumi can’t even tell with that shaky voice there is something wrong. Just a mild assurance is enough to send her away. Oddly, after Ryou cums, she has enough strength to just kick him out? The firemen discuss about the upcoming fireworks and want to invite some girls over. Yuuki Izumi and Jun Hase know Souma is having a fight with Ryou and tease him about it. Since Souma continues to deny, Hase then hints some yaoi gay moments with him if he keeps acting like an idiot. Souma sees Ryou and you know how women like her don’t learn her lesson because it sounds like all is forgiven if he sounds a bit apologetic and then invites her to the fireworks festival. Next rape set in motion…

Episode 4
I guess everything is okay when he agrees to do whatever she wants so as to make it up to her. Don’t believe those lies!!! At the festival, they spot Hase. Seems he is troubled that a restaurant he is looking for is now closed. Ryou remembers they just shifted to a new place nearby and offers to take him there. After guiding him there, Hase asks if she is dating Souma. Nope. Just a childhood friend. In that case, can he date her? Nice joke, buddy. Ryou returns to Souma in one piece and this guy bought a beautiful hairpin for her. Yeah, is this part of the ticket to her heart pussy? They find a secret spot to watch the fireworks alone. Souma pretty much praising everything he admires about Ryou. Is this to get her defence down? Because when the fireworks start, pretty much the cue for him to start molesting her. Ryou is shocked. This isn’t what she had in mind when he said he’ll make it up to her. Blame yourself for not foreseeing this. Ryou getting her orgasm by a handsome macho guy underneath the beautiful fireworks display… Wow. Everything so perfect. No wonder she can’t complain…

Episode 5
Now we have penetrative sex. This is one of those rare times where the sound effects (the fireworks in this case) does a bad job in covering up the important words the characters want to say (Ryou’s moaning in this case). And then they cum together. What does Souma have to say after all that? That’s a nice yukata on her. A little late… And with Ryou thinking she might be falling for him, hence inviting him to the beach? Uh huh. Nothing says that more than to further test whether you’re in love with this guy. Or maybe she just really wants his dick. Of course it won’t be just them as it will be with their friends. They play beach volleyball and prior to that, Hase makes a bet with the other guys that the winner will get the right to approach the girls. Though it is ‘publically announced’ that the loser will clean the BBQ pit. Souma is sad since he isn’t paired with Ryou. Yeah, she’s paired with Hase and she is going all out to win! Oh, and she mentions she did play volleyball during her high school. Can’t have her winning, right? Does femdom sound right for this series? Will Souma finally get his just desserts?

Episode 6
Hase is getting along with Ryou pretty well. Yeah, it’s like the end of the world for Souma. Even during BBQ and preparing the fireworks, it’s like they’ve been friends for a long time. But you know this has to stop. Because Hase asks Ryou to date him. Souma is just her childhood friend, right? I guess this has her thinking. Later as Ryou and Souma are putting away the stuffs, Ryou thinks nobody will be using the pool and jumps in. Just like that? Is she trying to get wet in all sense?! Then Souma jumps in and starts f*cking her! I guess he is pretty wet too! Fireworks starting. Déjà vu cue to make out. Yeah, sex in the swimming pool. Nothing says reigniting your pseudo love with a hot pool sex. Then she notes how big Souma’s hands when he fingers her. Because it makes me think which is bigger: Souma’s finger or his dick???!!! Haha!

Episode 7
Ryou thinks something is wrong with herself to let Souma f*ck her like that. Yeah, it’s called you’re a horny thirsty wet b*tch! Haha! Oops… Anyway, with Ryou giving him ‘permission’ to go all in, I hope Souma’s cum don’t flow back out and contaminate the pool. Ryou asks how he feels for her. If he is just her childhood friend. Before he can answer, they have to split since people are coming back. But Ryou can look forward to an answer when he invites her out on her day off. As Ryou walks by the community centre, she notices an arsonist. Right away she calls Souma (shouldn’t she call the police?!) but the arsonist spots her and chases her. She looks like she has hid well from him but the script says she must screw up and be caught. Dumb arsonist tries to strangle her but luckily Souma is able to tackle him. Wow. Is the fire station close by for Souma to arrive this fast? Even if there is a fire reported at a nearby factory, can Souma actually know where the f*ck Ryou was? I mean, she was being strangled in the alley! Of course duty over love as Souma goes to put out the fire and search for survivors. As his team caries them out, suddenly the fire spreads and locks them in. Oh no!

Episode 8
Last episode’s cliff-hanger… Nothing happens! Everybody gets out fine. Somehow. Hey, this is not a fire rescue drama. When Souma returns home, Ryou is so happy he is fine. He spots a bruise on her feet and starts to lick it. Are you sure about starting on this feet fetish? Then he tries to get it on with her but of course everything that has happened so far has confused the hell out of her. To put it shortly, she thinks he wants an easy girl to have sex with and ironically despite her claims she is otherwise, why does she let him do her in? Doesn’t that make her easy? And of course, cue for Souma to reassure her that he only wants to have sex with her. Still not convince? Spam I love you until she gives in. Oh yeah. I guess that’s enough confusion for today. Now is the cue to have sex! Feel it, baby! Let it go deep inside you! Oh yeah. Is this love she is feeling?! In the aftermath, they continue dating. Happy ever after. The end.

You Can Never Ever Extinguish The Flames Of Horniness!
Heh. That was it. Everything felt so rush and cheap. And once again porn logic telling us that once you’ve f*cked a woman enough times, she will eventually fall for you. Oh Ryou, now you can be part of that statistic. I’m sure their sex is going to get more intense after this and that now they are dating. Because going by that same logic, sex = love, right? Oh well, as long as they’re happy f*cking each other and we enjoy seeing them having intercourse, all’s well ends well.

I suppose there is nothing to tell and no storyline whatsoever. Heh. A plot in hentai flicks? But what I’m trying to say is that, last season’s washer hentai had only 8 episodes. This season seems to follow that pattern of having again only 8 episodes. Because when you have been watching this kind of series ever since this weird trend started about 2 years ago, you somewhat expect more or less the same thing. The girl gets f*cked in every episode and even had this series had the basic 12 episodes, we are going to expect the girl getting f*cked in those episodes too. After all, what else were you expecting when you watch this series? It would be more shocking had an episode not feature that kind of sex at all. And so it is not the number of episodes, but the f*cking quality! Oh yeah. Was the f*cking scenes exciting? Well, if you ask me, pretty meh. I’m so immune at this point that I’m starting to worry that such normal vanilla sex may no longer be appealing to me! Gasp! A sign I should stop watching such genres? Well you know me…

And so as you can expect, this season’s porn series didn’t make any impact on me at all. I’m now feeling like an old broken tape recorder saying the same things over and over again. It’s that timely reminder like you would expect me to say at this point. Uh huh. You know, how the woman lets the man f*ck her and do as his wish with her body and pussy just because he makes her feel good. Added bonus that they are childhood friends so you bet that relationship brings in some confusion to her. Yeah, I know this dude and he isn’t exactly a total stranger. Should I let him f*ck or not? Oops. Too late. His dick is already in my pussy. And it feels so damn good!!!! Hahaha!!! Yeah. That’s how I felt watching each time Ryou lets Souma f*ck her. You can never beat porn logic. I wonder if they were making a pun when they decided to use this fireman theme this time. Because putting out fire leads to rekindling of the old flame… Then sex ensues… Damn porn logic!

They try to put in a little bit of drama because Ryou’s colleague-cum-buddy has been hinting he is interested in Ryou. But this as expected amounts to nothing. So I have 2 theories for why this is so. Firstly, with somebody interested in the girl you have been f*cking with, it speeds up the need that you need to ‘claim’ this ‘sex object’. Instead of the status quo of Souma and Ryou having a loveless sexual relationship, at least when they become official, it is like the stamp that allows others to take notice not to touch your girl (unless you’re into cheating but that’s a whole different matter). The faster the better. My other theory is that Hase isn’t really interested in Ryou but noticing that Souma is dragging his feet on this, he makes his move so that Souma is forced to move. Either way, you bet Souma and Ryou get closer one f*ck at a time. Hahaha!

Even if this is basic straight hetero porn, some scenes here suggest there may be yaoi BL. Especially that one scene of Hase cornering Souma suggestively. Thankfully no yaoi gay sex here because it would have been really weird and sick if Hase is revealed to actually have a crush on Souma!!! WTF???!!! DON’T WANT TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!! Phew. Sorry for you BL fans if you got your hopes up. Because of the firemen are very muscular and buffed, it does give off that vibe that there may be BL. After all, you see the promotional poster having our 3 fireman guys posing sexily and shirtless, showing off their godly abs. I would have thought so and gave this series a pass did I not read the synopsis carefully. And a few times. Also, looking at how big and buff Souma and his fire fighting buddies, I thought they were those muscular guys from Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru, another anime that aired in the same season. Heh. So… Enen No Shouboutai x Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru + hentai = Yubisaki Kara Honki No Netsujou Osananajimi Wa Shouboushi! Unfortunately I didn’t get to measure with Souma’s buffed size, his dick would equally be in correlation and super huge! Haha! Yeah, those censors ‘ruined’ my perspective. But nah. It would have hurt Ryou so much, know what I’m saying?

The art and animation looks pretty standard. That itself is pretty good for a hentai genre. Yeah, perhaps I wasn’t really paying close attention since my eyes were more often rolling at the porn logic and when the main characters start making out. Really! I guess Studio Houkiboshi who is producing their first ever anime, they might want to get things off at the right footing. But I want to note that if there was an eyebrow raising factor other than the porn logic, it would be the ending theme, Blazing Luv. It sounds weird. So weird that it is close to being bad. Because it sounds like a mess with the dubstep in the background and then our fireman trio who sing this piece sound as flat as ever. Yeah, some weird synthesizer effects in some parts too. Had this piece being sung by better professional (AKA better sounding) voices and to a different beat and pace, it might have sounded a lot better. Though, the tune itself is generic but passable by my standards.

Overall, this is another usual mediocre anime hentai for the season. Despite me b*tching about how bad this sort of genre is, I guess it only shows my hypocrisy because I’m still watching these shows. Hey, if I don’t watch it, I’ll never come to this conclusion of how bad this pseudo hentai animes would be like. And now I can truly say they are because I’ve watched most of them. Heh. That doesn’t make me happy at all nor do should I feel proud about it. And now that we have the firemen being tainted, time will only tell when other professions like police officers, doctors, soldiers and even lawyers will get their turn in this. I am sure this anime won’t give people the wrong impressions about fireman. Maybe a small number will but for the big normal majority, we won’t be calling the emergency hotline for them to come rushing and put out our blazing flame of luv…!!! Remember, people. Please be responsible when calling for emergencies and also when having sex.

Circlet Princess

October 6, 2019

Time for another made up futuristic sci-fi team sport. The last time I watched Ao No Kanata No Four Rhythm, I wasn’t really impressed. It was weird despite they tried to create something creative. But that series didn’t get any sort of follow up or sequel since its run back in 2016. And now we have yet another futuristic sci-fi team sport, Circlet Princess. In this world, we assume that VR technology has advanced so much that we are able to create this bizarre sport that only females seem to participate. And yeah, the typical story of a fallen powerhouse in the sport making a comeback because of a talented ace joining in. Yeah, the story is as cliché as you can get and not made up.

Episode 1
Oh yeah. Circlet Bout (CB) is all the rage now, right? Chikage Fujimura from Kurojishi Academy is the top dog with a 50 match winning streak. However as revealed in the backstage, everything has been a setup. You mean like WWE? Understandably Chikage is bored but as her manager puts it, she is free to go all out with the next rookie opponent she faces. It’s all part of the show anyway. Since there is still some time before the match, she goes out for a walk. Meanwhile, country bumpkin retard, Yuka Sasaki just arrived in the big city. Wow. Everything so futuristic! Plot cliché commands her to be awed by the awesome poster girl of CB who is no other than Chikage. She is supposed to meet up with someone but gets enthralled and followed signs that leads her to the CB stadium. Along the way, she meets Chikage in disguise. Blah, blah, blah. Outside the stadium, some stupid girl mistakes her to be the Candita (player) from St Union Academy and rushes to get her ready. Yeah, without checking anything, right? Because Yuka is a dumb retard, she accepts. Yeah, everything will work out somehow, no? In the ring, Chikage and Yuka see each other. Is this fate? You can tell Yuka has all the beginner’s luck as she blocks Chikage’s offence and dodges. Wow. This is getting exciting for you huh, Yuka? Chikage must be really frustrated thinking she isn’t as strong as a champion she thought she is, huh? The match end is cut off and we fast forward 2 years later. She is ecstatic to enrol at St Union, the school of her dreams. Meanwhile Miyuki Kasahara and Ayumu Aizawa are at their wits end to revive their club. I don’t think making a cheap video will somehow generate views. Will it?! Coincidentally they stumble upon a clip about that legendary CB match 2 years ago that put Chikage in a pinch. Then they see Yuka in the flesh having problems with the robot security. Why do they look like they’re trying to rape her if they’re just asking for her student ID she is unable to produce? Luckily the duo manage to help her out and hence their chance to ask her to join their club. But first, Yuka sees Reina Kuroda who is the student council president. She instantly gets shot down because there is no CB club at St Union. Oh sh*t! Say what?! Her dreams come crushing down but Yuka refuses to budge and continues bugging Reina?! WTF?! Yuka returns to her dorm and coincidentally this is also where Ayumu stays. Ayumu realizes she is that Yuka 2 years ago and believes this could be something big. Flashback 2 years ago again. The match ended abruptly because the power was cut. Due to system error, Chikage postponed their match. So next time, huh? What a way to set fate rolling.

Episode 2
Continuing from that episode, as Yuka leaves to the backstage, the strange announcer confronts her and claims she has potential, blah, blah, blah. So she gives her a bracelet that will certainly have her reunite with Chikage one day. Yeah, that’s good enough a promise and motivation for Yuka to totally get interested in this. Because if you think you can’t achieve something, try until you can! Yeah, I really love that quote… Now, Yuka continues to bug Reina. She’ll make a new club then. Rejected! Please don’t rape her if she rejects, Yuka! Later Yuka meets up with Miyuki and Ayumu and realize they are part of CB club. Unofficial club, that is. Oh yeah. Now she can play. But first, it’s Miyuki’s turn to go bug Reina to approve their club and they just need a couple of members. She hopes Reina can join since she used to play CB but of course, the b*tch declines. Ayumu shows Yuka that legendary clip. You mean she didn’t know it is online? Oh yeah, the rural areas don’t have internet. She plays dumb since she doesn’t want to be busted as that accidental player who was there. The trio practice CB. Ayumu the computer whiz cannot analyse Yuka’s strange circlet weapon. The practice is interrupted with Reina once again using her authority to stop all unauthorized activities. They just got a slap on the wrist with house arrest? The moment they are back, Yuka is seen trying to recruit new members via old fashion way: Handling out pamphlets. And she gets into Reina trouble again… I don’t think Yuka is going to stop bugging her to approve the CB club and even with Reina spewing all that procedure and formalities, suddenly her aide informs her of something important. So apparently Reina has to suspend her actions to stop the formation of the CB club because St Union got a request for a practice match with Takamori Academy. You mean that legendary video just went viral? Like, now?! Miyuki teases Reina that she is dying to play this game and hints about her older sister who was a CB champ. So why is Takamori really trying to achieve with this practice match? According to their captain, Hiyori Sugiura, it’s to motivate their players. Because Ayana Kuroda has a younger sister there and this should give great incentive for their regulars. While Yuka is eating with her friends, suddenly her bracelet talks! WTF????!!!

Episode 3
The bracelet is being some naggy coach, eh? Some top class battle AI, eh? And Yuka being a retard means this is going to take a while… Yuka wants to get stronger in all aspects but the bracelet rejects. No can do. I guess he isn’t some wonder drug. But he’ll do what he can. Phew. Safe. Yuka can continue with her fate to meet Chikage then. Don’t worry about wasting an episode to find a new member because Nina Avelin decides to test it out. Yes, she is half Russian. Uhm, since when did Reina join? Is she unofficially officially in? Whatever, now they have an official CB club! Yay! They practice and Miyuki owns Yuka big time. Bet she’ll improve during the real match? So the first match pits Miyuki and some unknown Takamori Candita. Damn, Miyuki lost? Next is Reina against another unknown. While Reina shows her experience, unfortunately because she has this losing mentality and does not expect to win, she loses. WTF?! More misfortune because this is best of 3, oh damn you mean Takamori wins it?! Thank goodness it’s practice match so nothing officially recorded. Just hurt pride. Because they can’t just go home with this easy win, I guess Takamori is eager to continue with the practice. Hence eager beaver Yuka gets to go next. She is facing Kasumi Iida who is one of the top players. This won’t look good… If she wasn’t the main character to begin with! Thus you can see Yuka putting up a decent fight against Iida that shocks everybody. Yeah, didn’t expect this retard to last that long, huh? Her bracelet has analysed her moves and gives some hints. In the end, a swift move from Yuka has her defeat Iida. Wow. This upset victory has got to be the most exciting match, huh? Yuka decides to call her bracelet, Siegfried or Sieg for short. I guess it’s better than G-kun. WTF… Sugiura isn’t sad but glad they might be witnessing the birth of a new legend. You don’t say, huh? Coincidentally Chikage is also watching this and is glad Yuka is back in the game.

Episode 4
Flashback shows Ayana totalling owning her opponent in a CB game. Wow. Young Reina so impressed and vowed to be like her. Wow. So young. So motivated. Too bad we won’t get to see the rest of the practice match but from what I understand, it looked like a 100 men sparring match and only Yuka won. Thanks to that, she has some fans back at school cheering for her. Yuka is briefed on the Princess Cup. Yeah, you know the most prestigious tournament that every sports genre must have. But currently, Kurojishi Sougou Academy has been holding on to that throne for a long time. That school is where Chikage goes. When the girls are being called by the director, they think it’s because Yuka won her practice match. Because Takamori is their sister school and they’re supposed to lose? Hence it’s all Yuka’s fault?! Good thing it’s not that. Sugiura thanks them for a wonderful match and welcomes St Union’s CB’s return. However b*tch Reina insists the club’s closure. I guess only now Yuka hears of Ayana and her exploits. Ever since she left for America, St Union lost its ace and started dwindling. This makes Yuka feel uneasy. No, it’s not your stomach growling! Sieg’s best reply: You overeat! Sugiura talks to Yuka and is scouting her to join Takamori since they have all the facilities to help her get into her game. She can then challenge Kurojishi. But what’s eating Yuka? She still not happy? After Ayumu lets her see clips of Ayana in action (in which Reina’s moves mirrors Ayana’s move although it lacks something), she’s all fired up to go bug Reina. Yeah, Reina just dissed another attempt by Miyuki. So Reina is out of the club just so she can close it down? Yuka confronts Reina in the toilet and talks about Ayana’s greatness. Reina explains St Union didn’t want to hold her back, that’s why they let her go to America as it has the latest technology. But look what it did to St Union? By the time Reina enrolled, the CB club is as good as dead. She rejects Yuka’s invitation to join. So desperate that Yuka decides to go see Chikage at Kurojishi? No wonder she gets kicked out. Then she challenges Reina. She accepts because if Reina wins, Yuka will join Takamori. Is that her way of getting rid of her? Yuka seems to be imitating Ayana’s move. And Reina seems to be having those flashbacks about her sister departing. Yeah, so devastated. In the end, we can tell Reina lost because she has to join the club now. Yay! They’re official now.

Episode 5
Miyuki is voted as the captain of their CB club. Yeah, she’s the only one who volunteered. So starts off with their plan for Princess Cup. The usual line-up: Miyuki, Reina and then Yuka. Nina and Ayumu serve as backup. They attend the draw and it seems for the first round, St Union will be up against Hoshinoumi Academy. Yup, another good CB school. Typically, Hoshinoumi has this rich b*tch girl, Christie Yamauchi who has some sort of rivalry with Miyuki. As expected, she badmouths her about running away from her track club and as well as her current CB. You gonna let that fly, Miyuki. Oh damn. Looks like Christie’s words got to her. Because of that, she can’t concentrate in practice and her friends know something is wrong. With Yuka in her typical retard to assure her, Reina knows it is something that Christie said. Time to get it off her chest by telling her past. As her family makes shoes, naturally she loves running and was a good athlete, putting in all the effort. However many think she is successful because she had money and access to facilities. This made her depressed and at the crossroads. That was when she saw Ayana in a CB bout and decided to quit track and join this weird sport. Had she not quit her track, she would have ended up at Hoshinoumi since they also produce good athletes. Princess Cup starts. Because Miyuki is still having low self-confidence, she switches place with Yuka. Yuka easily wins her match and you thought Reina would be enough to seal the deal. But she lost! Turns out it was an ‘elaborate’ setup so as to get Miyuki to face Christie in the decisive match and put this thorny issue to rest. Of course Miyuki still has doubts and is weak. We hear a bit of Christie’s grudge against her because she looked up to Miyuki but before she could face her in a competition, she quit. Yeah… Since Miyuki continues to be pathetic, Reina scolds to remind her that her true ability is running. Is it allowed to have time to talk like that in the middle of the match? Anyway, this gives Miyuki the much needed confidence to turn the tables and defeat Christie. Wow. So easy. Just run around and make Christie tired. Yeah… She better train her body more before running her mouth… Miyuki admits she may have run away but now she won’t look back and will continue to run forward.

Episode 6
Because Reina has some student council duties, Nina replaces her in the first CB match but she basically got easily owned. But thanks to Miyuki and Yuka, St Union won this round. We see her let loose some steam on her online shooter game and it tells us a lot that she is a good sniper. Musashino Kyuoh Academy is their next opponent and they are the top 4 favourites for the Princess Cup. But of course. In order to help Nina become a strong attacker, they go shopping for her weapon. Just when she picked out this rifle one she likes, so sorry, we’re on a budget. WTF?! And also, no money means limited amount of bullets they can buy. You mean ammo isn’t infinite in this digital technology game?! So I guess she goes with a spear. During a practice match with Yuka, she lost badly. No prizes to guess why she suddenly becomes so dejected. So much so Yuka stalks her?! So to find out what is bugging her, she goes to bug her?! WTF?! Since Nina is not the kind to talk, I guess the next plan is have all of them clean the pool. However some blooper has Nina spraying water hard on Yuka. This means she is down with a cold and will not recover in time for the next match. Damn, this girl is weak! I guess this means Nina has to cover for her. Later Ayumu talks to Nina. Ayumu reveals she is the online shooter game partner whom she interacts often with. Surprise! She also explains the cleaning job was to get some funds to buy Nina her desired weapon. Wow. The pool cleaning job must really pay, huh? More pleasant surprise in store for Nina as they got the rifle weapon for her. With their match with Musashino on the way, Miyuki goes first and lost since she couldn’t see the enemy’s weapon coming. Next is Nina. Can she survive with only 2 bullets? She has Ayumu be her eyes on the field as the stage is littered with ruins. Her first shot misses and when the opponent charges close up, WTF she hears Yuka’s voice to duck and doing so, she is now point blank with the opponent and makes her final shot count. I guess Yuka couldn’t stay in bed and dragged herself out to cheer on Nina. Needless to say, Reina wins it for St Union. Nina thanks her friends for doing all this for her. Correction. We did this together for our CB club.

Episode 7
St Union is pretty much a rising star now, so much so Yuka is nicknamed the Overclock Princess. Sorry, it’s not Order Croquette Princess, Yuka! Don’t think with your stomach! As Yuka practises with Reina, the rest note they don’t know much about Yuka to begin with. Especially who gave her Sieg. To help boost their morale for the semi-final match with Kurojishi, they hang out together. In the streets, they are famous enough that everyone gives them freebies! Are they all passing off with that Overclock brand name? Then they go karaoke in which Yuka and Miyuki fight over the right to sing. I guess better than tone deaf Reina… And is Nina just on an eating spree? Ayumu then talks about MR being a by-product of the CB system. That’s why they are very influential in so many technologies and facilities today. They are also the reason why Ayumu became interested in CB because of its concept. With Ayumu getting technical, I guess the rest can’t follow (especially Yuka of course) and they even joke she could be a spy! Flashback shows Ayumu’s dad was a researcher and she was fascinated with some 3D princess knight model he rendered. And of course, Ayumu watching Yuka practice alone, suddenly she sees all her moves so similar to that princess knight. Talking to her, because Yuka is willing to do anything to improve herself and face Chikage again, Ayumu wants Yuka to battle her. Why do Miyuki and Reina feel so shocked? Sure, she is the support but this is just to collect data, right? Her research about CB didn’t yield the data she wanted so could Yuka be the missing link to her father as well? Since Ayumu hacked her weapon’s script, it is obviously overpowered. Yuka is made to run like hell but all her movements are again similar to that princess knight. Even the way she countered and charged through her eventual victory. Yeah, Ayumu’s weapon broke! Sure, Yuka is fast but is she that powerful? Then we see Ayumu using her connections to get into the backstage of Kurojishi just to see Chikage. She wants to know more about Yuka, especially what happened on that fateful day. Something about the overheating factor too.

Episode 8
Officially, the reports said Chikage’s attack caused the overheating factor. However, Ayumu believes Yuka is the key. From what I understand, Yuka seems fast only because the system cannot process her moves fast enough. Hence some sort of ‘shortcut’. This is an ability she has although she herself is unaware she could use it. Chikage too has this ability. When both used this, that is why the system crashed and blackout for a while. That is the real overheating factor. Ayumu hopes this answer would lead her to her father’s whereabouts. The semi-finals are here and St Union is up against Takamori. Revenge match, right? Reina goes first and wins. Miyuki faces Sugiura next but we all know that to prolong the drama, she has to lose. After all, Takamori has studied St Union’s matches like a bible. And now for the expected grudge match between Yuka and Iida. We know Yuka is having some worries because of the b*tch talk Iida had with her in the toilet as well the night before, Sieg told her not to rely on him and think for herself. Uh oh. Sounds like some death flag trouble. You can say that Takamori’s studying pays off since Iida is now able to predict Yuka’s moves. Uh huh. Don’t really on your sight. Use foresight. And you know what they say about the best offence is the best defence? Yup. Iida was just blocking most of the time. WTF weapon fatigue that Yuka’s weapon broke?! I guess that’s it. St Union lost. Yuka is already depressed and made even more so when Sieg doesn’t respond to her. Damn, like as though he is dead. Is this thing out of battery? Oops, sorry. The rest try to leave her alone but when Yuka doesn’t come out of her room for too long, they go in and check on her only to see her room empty. A note. I’m sorry. Yeah, that sure really says a lot. For somewhat who talks a lot, she sure kept it brief. Heh. Looks like they’ve got to go after her back at her home. Yes, her home back in the mountains.

Episode 9
Buckle up. It’s going to be a long train trip to Wakayama. I don’t think the shinkansen goes there either. Yuka practises in her old shed. Her old CB practice programme still working? Yeah, she’s so powerful, her stats are off the charts! As he bums around and feeling sorry for running away, surprise! Her friends pop up and tell her she should say that in person. However, Yuka being Yuka, she thinks they are ghosts and are back to haunt her for that loss!!! WTF?! Damn, Yuka is a fast runner! When cornered, they explain about this double elimination rule. There is still a chance to come back if you lose once. WTF?! Does this rule only apply to them or the rest? But Yuka still feels uneasy because Sieg is ‘dead’. They talk more over the hotspring, giving more assurance to Yuka that she’s not useless as she thinks she is, blah, blah, blah. Then over dinner, they hear how Yuka got into St Union via scholarship. This has Ayumu asking Yuka where she got Sieg. A pervert gave it to her. Ayumu realizes that person is her father, Makoto. She analyses the bracelet. It looks completely dead and all files missing. Funny, Yuka was able to summon her weapon in yesterday’s practice. Demonstrating her moves in the shed, Ayumu concludes that the file must be hidden. She believes all this is CB DKX, a battle development kit. It is only something her father possessed. As an engineer of MR system, the idea of VR led him to develop this CB game. During that point where CB wasn’t sure of taking off, Chikage was cultivated as an unrivalled player. Despite the success, the project was shelved. Makoto parted ways with his team and disappeared. Makoto only left behind this terminal in which Ayumu thought where all the answers like but it seems it could be in the bracelet. So why did he entrusted it to Yuka? Despite Yuka becoming stronger, she has been shackled with that playstyle. Hence the reason Sieg ‘died’. She cannot win if she continues to play like this. Hence a challenge by Makoto. With renewed confidence and motivation, the girls head for home. Meanwhile Takamori loses to Kurojishi. Thanks to that double elimination rule, I guess the losers are going to battle each other to face Kurojishi. Damn, this is confusing.

Episode 10
Nina defeats her Musashino opponent because she’s cocky, talkative and underestimating. That’s what you deserve. So apparently the loser’s match only has 1 match, huh? And of course this means they will fight Takamori for the right to face you-know-who. Ayumu thinks Yuka needs a new weapon but first she needs to analyse her data and Sieg. Meanwhile Reina uses her influence to seek resource donation from others. Well, if she’s bowing down like that, can’t say no, eh? Even Miyuki goes to town to ask for donation. After passing off that Overclock brand, you better pay back something. And in no time all the resources come flowing in! As Ayumu has trouble figuring out Sieg, not sure what happened when she touched that princess knight render and suddenly everything becomes unlocked! WTF?! On the other side, Takamori has their own issues. It seems Sugiura won’t participate in this loser’s match against St Union and this causes some friction among the members. She knows Yuka will be chosen and hence she wants Iida to take on her. Some psychological strategy too, I guess. But after some deliberation and talking, let’s move Takamori’s CB forward, okay? Chikage will also be watching this important match and it is confirmed the announcer is Makoto. The best way to dispel suspicions of your missing whereabouts is to turn into a drag queen? Makoto has Chikage analyse the odds of the match. Sugiura dominates in every aspect but Yuka is not one who is not confined to regular analysis. The loser’s match between Yuka and Sugiura begins. Yuka starts off aggressive but eventually Sugiura makes a comeback. So much so she breaks Yuka’s weapon! But don’t fear. Because it’s evolution time! The fragments now form into new weapons. Holy sh*t! Yuka just got herself 2 new swords? And this is supposed to be Sieg’s gift? With that, Yuka uses this and goes in for the kill- I mean, victory. On to the finals. Makoto is pleased with the outcome because this is essential for his greatest masterpiece to advance to the next stage.

Episode 11
Don’t feel bad Takamori. There’s always next year. So continue to work hard! Yeah! Ganbatte! Before the finals, Yuka and Chikage meet. Because Yuka already knows the bracelet was given by Makoto, Chikage wonders if she will continue to be manipulated by him. Yuka being Yuka who isn’t too smart on the technical stuffs is only playing because CB is fun. That’s your answer. So the finals begin with Reina going first. It’s a close match but she eventually loses. So as to show respect, her opponent even calls her worthy and asks her name. You mean she wasn’t paying attention to the announcer or the screen? Next up is Miyuki. Cut things short, a tricky move allows Miyuki to defeat her opponent. No surprise because we need the rubber match of Yuka versus Chikage. How many years has it been for their grudge match to resume? But as we can see, Chikage has more experience than Yuka so it’s natural that she dominates. So much so her double swords break! Oh no. Yuka don’t you go into depression again. But before Chikage could checkmate her, something strange happens. Oh, it’s Sieg going through another evolution! This time Yuka gets a pair of gloves! One punch in the gut! Now that Yuka is fighting back and stronger, Chikage getting scared she’ll lose? At the same time she is happy that she has finally found a strong opponent. Now Yuka destroys Chikage’s weapon. Game over, right? Not yet! Because Chikage too goes through some evolution! Oh my. I hope her darker uniform isn’t just for aesthetics.

Episode 12
Yuka takes a beating while Chikage sounds like she has turned to the dark side since she is enjoying every moment of this sadistic beat down. Guess what? Apparently Yuka’s uniform also transforms! Is this her final form? Yeah, thanks to all the people in her life that make her feel she’s not fighting alone. Yuka now has a fighting chance as we hear Makoto narrate more crap about emotions and evolving based on intuition and adapting rather than just blindly following orders. Woah! People start to give their resources in mid-match?! Is this even legal?! Things are going great and then uh oh. Yuka is at her limit. Is she going to lose for real? Time out. Weird conversation with Siegfried as he comes back ‘alive’ to scold Yuka and make her remember her original reason why she wants to fight against Chikage. And this allows Yuka’s uniform to evolve to another final form. A more princess-like form. And if Siegfried says she is the Princess, I guess she is the princess. Uh huh. No prize to guess who wins the Princess Cup. In the aftermath, we see St Union CB members bumming around with nothing to do. Shouldn’t they be practising? Because from what Reina said, due to the overheating factor again, this causes CB to undergo major overhaul in its rules and format. Because of that, St Union failed to adapt well like their other rivals and are on a losing streak. Yup. Rock bottom again. It is also rumoured they hired a hot overseas coach to help them. Ayumu didn’t see her dad once in the flesh. That wasn’t her real goal apparently. Knowing that he is still around and Makoto giving her all the data on MR system secrets, I guess she’s fine. If you’re wondering why Yuka isn’t with them, it’s because she is seeing off Chikage who is going overseas to hone her skills. You know the drill. They both hope they’ll get stronger by that time and fight again. Yuka’s pals come by to pick her up and continue to tease her because it’s nice once in a while to tease a retard.

Sure Crap Princess
Yawn… Oh… Thank goodness is over. I don’t know how the NPCs in this anime can get overly excited and hyped over this boring virtual made up sport. No wonder they are NPCs… Heh… Thank goodness it ended and there are no other major trophies for them to compete because the season could have ended in such a way that hints there might be another tournament for them to try again to be the best but I guess for this kind of sports, Princess Cup is the only major CB tournament. So major that we didn’t even get to see Yuka landing the finishing blow on Chikage. I suppose they want to leave it to our imaginations that there might be another overheating factor and Yuka winning on some technicalities. Imagine having this sort of error at a major event finals. Everything so great, everything so evolutionary but your system can’t handle it?! Fail! Back to the drawing board to redesign the system again!

I believe that the CB game itself is not given any sort of prominence. I feel that it is an unimportant factor here. While it looks like this CB game has its sets of rules and the likes, do you not feel that it is not really given any more depth than what we have seen? It feels like everything is just so made up on a whim so that they could have some sort of fighting sequence whatsoever. Hence the CB sport is probably one of the worst and ill-conceived futuristic sports that I have known to date. The basic premise of the sport is that you enter some VR, conjure up whatever weapon you think you are good at, beat the sh*t out of your opponent until she can no longer move. Yup. That’s as original as they can get for this CB game. It’s just sounds so boring. Even that weird water sport Keijo is way much better than this crap. I know, fanservice but still, it beats CB flat. I’d spend my money to go watch that ass game than this asinine one.

Making CB even worse is its format. Now, I understand that it is a team game and even if they want to make it a one on one match, don’t you think having just 3 matches total per game is a little too short? I mean, why the heck do you always have 5 members entering their standby platform then? Backup? I don’t see any substitutions during the game here. That’s why I earlier said they didn’t really thought out about this sport well. I think my suggestion if the format was a team deathmatch type, it would have been more exciting and better. Even if they don’t have all 5 on 5, at least 3 on 3 in this team battle royale format would at least give us some thrills. Though, this was largely hinted in the new shake up of the format but it comes rather too late. St Union won’t be there at the major stages any time soon even if they have their ace Yuka. Yeah, it goes to show that they aren’t really good CB team players to begin with… Therefore for this individual format, no real strategy except hit your opponent until she can go no more and maybe a few tricks to lead up to that. Stages are for aesthetics, uniforms are for aesthetics, weapons are mostly for aesthetics. Now we are reduced to just predicting who wins or loses instead of a real team battle to guess which one gets taken out first. And if the weapons break, does it mean your programming of its toughness is not enough?! It’s all digital, right?! To put the overall CB battles in short, just boring and uninspiring. No wonder there is ‘time’ for players to chat or mock each other during the game. Hey, we pay to see you fight, not to chitchat!

If they didn’t put much emphasis on the CB game, you’d think the characters make up for it, right? Wrong! Not at all. The characters also feel as boring and as cliché as you would expect a team sports anime to be. Each has their own quirky personalities but nothing that interesting that would make you really want to like them and you only do so because they are the main characters. I guess the formula of dark horses, no hopers or former powerhouses regain their glory again and rising up through the ashes is what a lot of people prefer. This way, it gives more drama, story and characters to build on rather than starting off with the featured characters as overpowered powerhouse. And now with the new rules, St Union is back to being no hopers and dark horses again. So it gives a chance for them to rise up like a phoenix once more. If they ever get that far, that is. Like I said, this formula isn’t bad despite being done to death and so cliché. But this series didn’t do it well so here I am b*tching about it as an excuse.

So like Yuka being the ace and the poster girl of the group. As usual she is of the my pace and retarded kind. I guess this is to show that she isn’t really a perfect character. Because if she was really smart and elegant like we wanted her, she would now seem like a perfect and overpowered character. Something that we viewers don’t really like. Ah, I see we are such hard audiences to please. Therefore with Yuka being a retard (whose stomach probably thinks more than her head), this gives her more room to do as she pleases and not give a damn about the technical parts. It’s the reason why she excels in CB so well. She doesn’t give a hoot about all the technicalities and what it takes to be an ultimate player in the game. All she wants is to have fun and her goal is to fight Chikage again. How simple can you get than that? And also to show you she has some more imperfections, hence that depression period when she lost. You thought people like her don’t care about wins or losses but it seems it really got to her then. Yeah, even retards have got emotions too, you know? Hence, your excuse for an additional episode for her friends to bring her back because we need the much needed friendship bonding this series lacks. It’s a team sport, so go figure. I suppose they want to show something that binds the group together, hence this running joke of Yuka letting her teammates eat her sour umeboshi. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it…

And the rest of the other CB players in St Union, well, I’m not really impressed either. Reina starts off as the b*tch who opposed everything just because of her past and then once she somewhat got over it (I guess that is why sometimes it is good to have stubborn retards like Yuka who doesn’t know the meaning of giving up), suddenly she joins the team. However I do not feel like she is really into it like the rest of them. Probably because of her poker face. I have got this feeling that Reina is just in it to make up for the numbers although her enthusiasm for the game improves as they advance further. I mean, when your team has gotten to the semi-finals and then the finals, it would be just really bad sportsmanship to not give a f*ck and not give it all. Having a sister who is a good CB player feels like just to give her character some sort of depth and hence the possibility that she will be more inclined to return to her CB roots than continuing to be a bitter student council president b*tch. If there is anybody who tops being the most stubborn and persistent, it’ll be Yuka. Yeah, that retard again… Bugging people until they literally change or give in. See, people? Consistency is key!

Nina serves as the backup of the team and sometimes when you need some sort of variation (because seeing Reina, Miyuki and Yuka order gets boring sometimes), Nina is slotted in to provide that alternative. It felt like some sort of excuse for her to suddenly join the CB club so that we don’t have to waste on an additional episode for the girls to go search for that elusive final member. Uh huh. I guess Reina already did that so don’t wanna waste more time on that. Then you have Miyuki as the club captain as well as Ayumu providing the technical support. Somehow I feel with Ayumu being the tech wizard feels wasted. At least in terms of the CB game. Like I’ve said, CB could have been better if it was a team match of 5. Because Ayumu doesn’t participate in real CB matches, it just feels wasted. So as to remind her she is of the brains kind and not of the fighting kind, that’s why she wears that oversized lab coat. All these girls have their own past and problems to deal with but nothing that an episode in focus could solve it and have them get over it and move on. If only really life is that simple. And as for the other girls from other teams, I guess they’re so forgettable that I don’t even know their names.

Even Chikage falls under this pitfall since we only see her as the most powerful in the game thanks to the media’s exposure. In this case, because the anime told us so. Otherwise being the most powerful player feels like an understatement because if this was only in Japan, what about overseas like America whose technology is said to be even better? So is Chikage just a local village camp in this sense? And why is Makoto doing all this thing in a roundabout way? He had to disappear and leave his daughter worried about his whereabouts just to evolve the game to the next level? Is this some sort of placebo effect? I mean if he announces he is going to do this and that, either everyone won’t take him seriously or people will start getting unrealistic expectations. Hence he only observes from the shadows as it is best to see people in their natural form. That’s why Yuka is his best bet. So what’s the next step in his evolution? So like Ayana, will he take his research to the next level by going overseas? I heard CB is pretty popular overseas too in this anime but if you can’t conquer Japan, you aren’t ready for the world yet! Haha!

The art and animation are pretty okay. Just average if you ask me. The futuristic designs don’t really feel futuristic at all because nothing says about the era being futuristic when you spam live holograms everywhere! Yeah. So futuristic. And even if this is a VR game, why do the Candita have to wear sexy leotards during the CB game? Sex appeal still a thing here? The weapon designs also don’t feel exciting. It’s like the staffs wanted to design something quick and hence you see each players wielding different weapons for variety. After all, it’s not like they’re going to really have the weapon and perform some really jaw dropping moves, right? On a trivial note, I noticed that Takamori’s school uniform is designed like a male! Girl schools have all the pretty different designs so much so you can tell them apart from one anime from another. Guys don’t really have that much variety. So seeing Takamori girls in that kind of outfit, just weird!

For the voice acting, Juri Nagatsuma (Satone in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) did a really perfect job in making Yuka sound like a retard. Ryo Horikawa as Sieg and Makoto sounds like your weird pervy uncle and if he sounds like one only because he was the voice of Dragonball’s Vegeta. Yup, that’s the guy. The rest of the casts feel pretty average. They are Hitomi Nabatame as Reina (Yukiji in Hayate No Gotoku), Saki Nakajima as Miyuki (Dorothy in MAR), Kaori Mizuhashi as Ayumu (Ai in Aria The Animation), Mai Goto as Nina (Mika in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu), Atsumi Tanezaki as Chikage (Miu in Blend S), Yuna Taniguchi as Sugiura and Megumi Tateishi as Iida. The rock paced opening theme isn’t that bad, Heat: Moment by Miyuki Hashimoto fits the pacing and genre of the series well. Only had the series lived up to this, this song that is also a bit techno would have been so much better. The ending theme flows to a more light hearted pace despite a generic anime pop music. Circle-Lets Friends is actually a collaboration among veteran singers like Miyuki Hashimoto, CooRie, Yozuca, Sayaka Sasaki, Aki Misato and Minami. With so many of them, at least this song sounds a bit better. I suppose it’s better than having the St Union CB quintet handling it. Just concentrate on your game, girls.

Overall, this is largely a disappointing series. Lacking any sort of real story, unappealing characters and a sport that doesn’t even have much depth to it, it already says a lot on why this won’t likely be getting any sort of continuation. Maybe that is why there is not even any OVA for some quick cash grab even if they put in 100% fanservice that has nothing to do with CB. So if in reality our VR reality reach that advanced stage, I hope CB will not be one of those futuristic games that they will try and adapt in real life. Hence with the disappointment of the anime, I’m sure anybody can see why this sport will not even take off, let alone be famous any time soon. You want a futuristic fantasy fight? Lots of fighting games can satiate that fixation. I’ll still bet my money that Keijo would be a more probable sport to watch and enjoy. No VR technology needed. Just boobs and butts! Sometimes going back to basics is the best ;p.

After that rather tepid and lukewarm alternative spinoff story that was Gun Gale Online, I guess Sword Art Online (SAO) fans can now be happy that the next season of SAO would be continuing and adapting one of the more popular and important arcs of the series, Sword Art Online: Alicization. Yes, having an SAO series without the main character Kirito seems so off and weird. Even weirder for me was that I was having a hard time trying to pronounce or remember Alicization. I don’t know how, but I keep initially remembering and pronouncing it as alkalization. Heh. I thought with all the toxic acidity of online players in VR, maybe some sort of neutralization and alkalization is needed to bring things back to order. Damn, I’m getting side-tracked here…

Episode 1
In this 1 hour special, we start off seeing a young Kirito and Eugeo taking turns trying to chop down a tough cedar tree with their axe. Not making much progress. And this is all the mark that Eugeo’s 6 generations of chopping have left! They take a break when Alice comes by to give them her lunch. Because Kirito suggests getting some ice so their food can last longer, they believe the End Mountains hosts the coolest ice. However there is talk about breaking the Taboo Index in which the Integrity Knight of Axiom Church will whisk you away. Then there’s this legend of this hero, Bercouli who entered the End Mountains and faced off with a huge white dragon guarding treasures in the cave. He defeated it with a sword. Next day, the trio make their way into End Mountains. They stumble into a cave and find that the legend was indeed true. Dragon bones, treasures and a sword too heavy for the kids to lift. They aren’t here to steal loots and got the ice they want but realize they forgot which exit they came from. I guess it’s not down to guts, huh? Too bad it’s wrong as it leads them to Dark Territory. They see an Integrity Knight defeating a Dark Knight. The latter somewhat hypnotizes Alice to cross over to the Dark Territory. Although her fingers only touched the Dark Territory, this violation is detected. The trio return home without realizing the consequences they will be facing. Because tomorrow, an Integrity Knight flies into town and arrests Alice. She will be questioned before being executed. Kirito wants to save her but is of course no match. Eugeo is paralyzed in fear while the villagers hold down Kirito and they can only helplessly see Alice being whisked away. Kirito wakes up from this simulation world but doesn’t know why he is crying.

We now see Kirito and his harem trying to take down a group of formidable PK players in GGO. They manage to give our heroes the slip and escape with minimal casualties. Later Asada talks to Kirito about entering the next BoB tournament so they can face off with the legendary Subtilizer. With Asuna joining them, the topic changes to Kirito’s part time job as a tester of some virtual game. Asuna is worried because it is taking a toll on his health. This job that Kirito is doing is a new next generation full dive system developed by Rath. The thing is, to keep the secrecy and anonymity, any memories created in the VR world will be erased. Though he is certain it doesn’t put the stress on the brain like previous models. Then they talk about where the soul of a human’s body resides. Not really getting into all these terms now but that’s what Fluctlight sounds like. Hence the Soul Translator (STL) from Rath supposedly reads that Fluctlight. Yeah, it’s getting heavy so I’ll skip this. Anyway, Kirito’s experience was that he couldn’t tell he was in the VR world. Like as though it is a realistic dream. The only thing Kirito was told that the project is called Underworld. Like the one from Alice In Wonderland? As they part, Kirito tells Asuna he plans to go to America where the technology for full dive is more advanced. He wants her to come with him. But of course. And yes she will. Oddly, they kiss in the streets. Nobody watching? Soon they are confronted with a guy who is the last surviving member of Laughing Coffin. The guys go at each other and both are struck down. However Kirito was injected with a strange serum.

Episode 2
Kirito wakes up in this familiar VR world. Strange. Can’t log out. He also retains his memories of the real world. He then sees Eugeo trying to chop down the tree. Kirito makes up a story that he has amnesia so Eugeo thinks he is a Vecta, those who got abducted as a prank by demons and then released. Whatever. Kirito tries to test if Eugeo is an NPC but nothing conclusive as he might be a test player with restricted memories. Eugeo will accompany him to town but he needs to finish his job of chopping this tree. Kirito hangs out with him and learns he has a childhood friend named Alice taken away for stepping into the Dark Territory. He believes she is still alive in the central city. With the other terms like Taboo Index, Kirito can’t help feel they sound familiar. After learning how to draw out the interface, he also learns Eugeo’s Calling (fate) to chop down this demonic tree because as long as it stands, they can never expand their wheat fields. And they’ve been doing it for 300 years and 7 generations! Chipping it bit by bit every day! Kirito tries to help out with his sword skill but as expected, no significant impact. At the end of the day, Eugeo brings him back but is confronted by this arrogant Zink who thinks he is going to be the best swordsman as per his Calling. Because he badmouths Eugeo’s pathetic Calling, Kirito shows his swordsman skills to shut him up. Kirito temporarily lives in a church run by Sister Azalia and he gets acquainted with one of the young nuns, Selka. Kirito ponders about the people of this world. Like as though they were born and raised here from the start. Are they copies of souls of newborns who were raised in virtual worlds? The only explanation is that they could be artificial Fluctlights.

Episode 3
Kirito’s goal is to go to central city but with no money, he believes he needs Eugeo’s help. So he hangs out with him and learns Selka is Alice’s younger sister and some high level sacred art that could stop life from decreasing. Of course this means you have to be a lot powerful like those high priests in Axiom Church. Eugeo then drags this heavy Blue Rose Sword from the legend to show it to Kirito. That Bercouli legend again. It is believed this sword is made from divine intervention. With Eugeo still regretting he couldn’t save Alice, Kirito tries to help using this sword to strike the tree. Will it make a difference? Just lost 1 HP… Maybe he strike at the wrong place so Eugeo believes if he masters this sword, he can cut down this tree faster. But for now, back to the old fashion axe chopping. Later Kirito talks to Selka since she is now learning the sacred arts in place of her sister. He thinks she likes Eugeo as she is sad he hardly smiles ever since Alice was taken away. Selka was never told the reason Alice was taken away so Kirito tells her. Next day, Azalia wonders if Kirito has seen Selka since it is unusual for her not to be around. Then when talking to Eugeo about this, it dawned to him she might have gone to End Mountains since Kirito said too much. They have to bring her back before Integrity Knight does. Kirito will take responsibility and take Selka to run away from the town since Integrity Knight will only fly in the next day. Then they hear Selka’s scream. In that cave, they see unconscious Selka being kidnapped by goblins. Sure they’re not going to rape her?! Eugeo was so worried he gave away their position. Now the goblins notice them, their big boss tell them to kill those white boys because they cannot be sold. So do they rape young girls first before selling them? Eugeo is paralyzed with fear.

Episode 4
Kirito quickly devices a plan to fight the goblins. He gets the big boss while Eugeo gets the small fries. Thank goodness for his grass light that keeps them at bay. Kirito heavily damages the boss but takes some serious damage too. This makes Eugeo feel the need to save him or it will be just like Alice’s case. So he recklessly swings his sword and gets a fatal strike in his guts. Ouch. Oddly, Eugeo somewhat remembers the promise made with Alice and Kirito during their younger days about dying together. Mad Kirito now turns into Goblin Slayer to decapitate the boss. The other goblins flee. Kirito frees Selka and wants her to heal Eugeo. She is unconfident and comparing herself she isn’t Alice. Can we just try? Selka and Kirito transfer some of their life force to save him. Kirito then hears Alice voice telling him she will be waiting for them at the central cathedral. In the aftermath, Eugeo felt strange about that promise since Kirito only just came, right? But it felt like he was there before with them. Kirito uses Blue Rose Sword on the tree since his skill levelled up after defeating the goblin boss. Damn, the tree takes a massive damage!!! Eugeo pleads to Kirito to teach him swordsmanship as he wants to go to central city to save Alice. He has been regretting that for every day that he didn’t do anything. He wants to be strong so as not to repeat those mistakes again. Under Kirito’s guidance, Eugeo finally cuts down the tree! The village holds a party and because Eugeo completed his task, he has the right to choose a new Calling. Without a doubt, he wants to become a swordsman. Later he talks to Selka about his goal to bring back Alice with Kirito. She wishes him well but promises all of them must come back alive. Kirito and Eugeo soon leave the village. It’s going to be a long walk…

Episode 5
Before we forget this simulation is real, we return to reality. After Kirito was attacked, Asuna sent him to hospital and he has been in comatose state ever since. Although his condition stabilized, he might have suffered brain damage when his heart stopped for a few minutes. He needs to be transferred to a facility with better equipment. That was also when Kikuoka popped up to suggest this facility where Kirito could get the proper treatment. However when Asuna visited, they were told Kirito was to have no visitors and the supposed ambulance that brought him here never actually arrived. Asuna and the girls discuss about Rath and STL and Asuna with Yui’s help detect the last known location of Kirito’s heart monitor. The trace stopped at a port warehouse. Heading there, Yui even checked the security cameras that a helicopter took off on that day. There is a possibility that Kirito was taken overseas. Remember how Kirito went all out to save her? Now it’s her turn to save him. Trying to remember what Kirito said that may have been related to his job. Hmm… Medicuboid… Rinko… Shigemura Lab… University in California… Speaking of Rinko, she receives an email from Kikuoka that needs her participation in a project. She also receives email from Asuna. Rinko and her assistant, Mayumi Reynolds arrive on a pyramid-cum-oil-rig platform dubbed Ocean Turtle. Heading inside the command centre, here is Kikuoka. He welcomes them to Rath and is happy the last of the 3 indispensable people for this project has arrived. The other being Takeru Higa of Shigemura Lab who is devoted to continue Kayaba’s work. When Kikuoka refuses to disclose the other indispensable person, that is when Reynolds reveals herself to be Asuka! Surprise! Did Kikuoka not feel suspicious why Rinko accepted his invitation so easily? Asuna found her email on Kirito’s PC and sought her help. She has a friend who could hack things and that’s why she easily passed all the background checks. Asuna demands to know where Kirito is now.

Episode 6
Kikuoka claims Rath is the only place with the technology to heal Kirito. Something about using STL and Fluctlight and generate new neural network. The purpose of this experiment is to create a bottom-up multi-purpose AI. All AI are created via top-down approach. You programme it and it learns from there. However its drawback is that they are unable to handle situations that they have not learnt. So by using bottom-up approach, they try to copy a human soul and store into this Lightcube as medium for a human brain. Despite successfully copying a human soul, it seems they missed something. He has Higa show them a clone of himself. The clone is panicking and thinking he is the real Higa and wants out of this dark space. In the end, the programme crashes. They have tried copying 10 souls but none of them could bear the thought they are just a copy. Hence the next answer is to raise them from the start. Thanks to virtual worlds and the Seed, they managed to create a small world and start out a small civilization using Rath staffs. Using acceleration, in 3 weeks, 300 years passed in the virtual world and its inhabitants grew to a massive 80,000 population. A governing body called Axiom Church created laws known as Taboo Index. All inhabitants obey the laws without question. This is when Asuna realizes the project is to create AI designed to kill. Asuna knows Kikuoka didn’t say this to Kirito because he wouldn’t have participated in this project. Even AI have rights? Sure, they lack physical bodies but they are the same as living things. Kikuoka understands her concerns but to him, 100,000 AI lives are worth far less than an actual soldier’s.

As for why he needed Kirito, he needed someone who has years of experience in moving in virtual worlds. There was a girl influenced by Kirito who broke the Taboo Index. Ironically she is named Alice, the same name as this project. She is a highly adaptive AI known as Artificial Labile Intelligence Cybernated Existence AKA ALICE. Their goal is to convert a Fluctlight into Alice. Welcome to Project Alicization. Asuna manages to see Kirito lying in the machine. She is surprised he has a personal nurse: Natsuki. Unlike Kikuoka who ‘deceives’, Natsuki is a real nurse. Just that she graduated from the SDF nursing school. Later Rinko confesses to Asuna about the atrocities she did to all former SAO players. Although Kayaba planted a bomb in her chest to force her to collaborate with that project, it was fake. If Rinko was ever caught, she would not be implicated. Flashback shows Rinko started liking this nerdy and scrawny Kayaba. Oddly they dated and it’s not like he was ever interested in her but never pushed her away either. When Kayaba became a murder suspect for that SAO incident, she went to his lodge to kill him but couldn’t. Asuna doesn’t bear any grudges towards Kayaba or her. She is grateful that she managed to spend time living with Kirito in that world. It’s one of her best days of her life. Even though Kayaba’s crimes are unforgiveable nor if amends could be made, they have to continue to face what they’ve done.

Episode 7
Back to the virtual world. 2 years have passed since Kirito and Eugeo entered the city of Zakkaria. They honed their sword skills, entered a sword tournament, won and are now part of the garrison. Under the tutelage of Sortiliena “Liena” Serlut, their skills are further honed. Kirito narrates he has learnt the mechanisms of this world. In short, if you are filled with confidence, this could be enough to give you some power boost enough to rewrite the laws of the world. Kirito spars with Liena and loses. He has never won against her. Even if she is this good, she has never won against the top student, Volo Levantein. She also believes Kirito couldn’t beat her is because he is hiding some sword techniques. As she will be graduating soon, Kirito promises to show her his greatest skill as her graduation gift. Later Eugeo feels worried because if Kirito’s memories returns, he might return to his world. Kirito assures him he will not go home even if that happens because they made a vow to become an Integrity Knight. They are only here now because of each other. Kirito sees a blacksmith, Sadore to get some special sword done. It is going to be costly but will give it to free if he could swing it. Of course he flawlessly wields it and gets it FOC. While he is practising with it, he falters and attracts the attention of Volo. Normally it is forbidden to train on rest days but he will overlook this because he too is guilty of doing that. But he won’t let him go because somehow he got a puny dirt on his shirt. So they’re going to settle this via duel with real swords. Stop-short matches aren’t Volo’s style but he gives Kirito the choice. In turn, he throws that decision back to him because he is the one being punished.

Episode 8
Liena warns Kirito that Volo’s family tradition means his sword absorbs the blood of his enemies. He plans to convert Kirito’s sword strength into his and feed on it. Kirito believes Volo also has the power of imagination. As they fight, Kirito sees his entire family giving him strength. Sure, Kirito has his too. His friends and harem. But the killer support is the cedar tree! Yeah, his imagination must be so strong that his sword grows bigger! Enough to withstand Volo’s strike. Kirito could have faltered had not Azurika (the dorm supervisor) stopped the match. Liena holds a mini celebration for Kirito in her room. She reveals that Volo’s family sword skills originally belonged to her family. But a distant family displeased the emperor and they were forbidden to pass it down. So they develop other weird sword styles but Liena is nonetheless proud to master them. She believes Kirito’s style is different because he doesn’t feel inferior compared to those trained in traditional styles. That night, a couple of noble bullies who aren’t fond with Kirito’s win, Raios Antinous and Humbert Zizek destroyed his little garden. Kirito is sad because those flowers don’t bloom here and he is trying hard to bloom them in foreign soil via his imagination. The flowers are also a great significance to him as it symbolizes Kirito trying hard in a foreign land, not knowing if he could ever return. Then a mysterious voice gives him hope to ‘feel’ the meaning of magic. What do you know? They revive! Wow. Truly the power of imagination. On the final exam day, Liena faces off with Volo in the finals and beats him. Did the power of imagination do its tricks again? She graduates as the officially top ranked student of the academy. Kirito and Eugeo became ranked 5 and 6 respectively after their advancement exam and are promoted to elite disciples. Yeah, they’ve got a couple of cute trainees of their own, Tiese Shtolienen and Ronie Arabel.

Episode 9
As Kirito mentions, you can infuse your sword with some sort of pride of feelings to make it stronger. So what goes for Eugeo? Alice. But of course. Eugeo continues his training and his mocked by Raios and Humbert. They offer him to teach him and Eugeo shocks them by accepting a lesson from Humbert. Eugeo uses his unconventional skills to dodge his attacks and Raios is forced to end the match with a draw. Raios offers his lesson next time but gets irked when Eugeo replies he doesn’t mind it now. Eugeo tells this to Kirito who thinks that they may be acting arrogantly because they are reluctantly obeying the laws of Axiom Church. As long as the Taboo Index is not violated, you can do anything you want. When Tiese and Ronie complain to their mentors about their friend, Frenica Cesky being made to do inappropriate chores by her mentor, damn it’s that Humbert name again. Then they talk about noble’s pride in which nobles must use the power and privilege they have to protect the weak. That pride is more important than any law or regulation. So the guys confront Raios and Humbert. Of course they play dumb over Eugeo’s accusations. So it seems Humbert who was reeling from the draw tried to train more. This means having his muscles sore and hence having Frenica to massage him during bath. Eugeo is so mad he wanted to strike them but thankfully he didn’t bring his sword. He manages to keep his cool but warns them if there is no improvement, they’ll consider asking the instructors to investigate. Raios dares him to do as he please. Later Kirito warns Eugeo that they may be targeting him. Because had he lost his cool and done something wrong, they may use it as an excuse as impropriety and punish him with maximum penalty. So stay cool always. Then Eugeo tells Tiese the actions he has taken. He also wants to apologize to Frenica since this incident stems from that duel. However Tiese isn’t in favour in setting them up to meet. Instead, she tells how she will take over as head of her family after she graduates. Then she will marry to a guy with similar rank or a rank above her. She fears her future husband will be cruel. Can we see where this is going when she asks Eugeo for a favour while being THIS close to him? She is confident he will represent their academy at the Swordsmanship Tournament and compete in the Four Empires Unification Tournament and get a high ranking. She didn’t say it but I’m guessing she wants him to marry her when he achieves that tall order. I hope he didn’t get the wrong idea by accepting this.

Episode 10
Kirito realizes their disciples are late for cleaning. Suspecting something amiss, he goes to check on them. As Eugeo waits, Frenica comes in to tell that she confided in Tiese and Ronie about yet another inappropriate order. They went to talk to him on her behalf and have never returned. Eugeo realizes they were the target and not him. He rushes to their room and demands their whereabouts. They lead him to their room in which they are tied up on their bed. Raios claims because they have acted inappropriately, something they can use the higher Taboo Index judiciary to punish them as their family noble rank ranks higher than theirs. Hence they are going to rape them before Eugeo’s eyes! Eugeo is paralysed due to the Taboo Index he is bound to. But seeing the poor girls scream and pleading for help, I guess something activated in his eye that ultimately explodes? This allows Eugeo to move enough to cut off Humbert’s arm. Raios now uses this excuse to execute Eugeo. Before he can decapitate him, here comes our Kirito to clash swords with him. So great their clash that the windows shatter! Eventually Kirito cuts off both Raios’ arms. The scumbag panics as he loses blood. Strangely, he experiences some weird digital glitch before dying. Our heroes rescue their disciples but some strange system admin detects, traces and reports this incident. Next day, Azurica heals Eugeo’s eye (you mean he didn’t get treatment after that?). However she is here to hand them over to the Integrity Knight. In a way, she gives them encouragement because Eugeo was able to break a seal that she was never able to break. Now he is able to go where she was unable to go. The duo are shocked to see the Integrity Knight picking them up. Alice?! Alice Synthesis Thirty to be precise.

Episode 11
When Eugeo tries to touch her, she beats him up! Do that again and you’ll die! With Eugeo very certain she is Alice, Kirito suggests playing along so they can get into the central cathedral. Before they depart, Tiese and Ronie are kind enough to give them their swords? Of course confiscated by Alice. She is kind enough to let them speak for a minute? At least they say their final goodbyes. We take a break and return to Ocean Turtle. Asuna is surprised a robot is moving around on its own. Ichiemon is created by Higa and fine-tuned by Rinko. From what I understand, they are trying to make an AI robot auto-balance like a human’s body to create a near perfect humanoid body. We return to the central cathedral. Kirito and Eugeo are imprisoned in an underground cell. Kirito wonders if this Alice was the real one, what was that cave incident Alice spirit whisper thingy all about? Could there be a spell that manipulates memories? They use the chains to destroy each other because they’re both the same high level, using them against each other is like wearing down the other’s life! It works! Video game logic! I guess they can escape easily because nobody escapes here before so no guards or even if there are, they’re sleeping. Making their way through the labyrinth garden, Eugeo who is still bent and determined on bringing Alice back hopes that bringing her back to their hometown would blow away the fake memories. This gives Kirito an idea on how he could retrieve his lost memories. They are confronted by an Integrity Knight, Eldrie Synthesis Thirty One who claims Alice is her mentor. She had foresight that they would escape and had him stationed here for the night. He will send them back to their prison but first he is going to exact punishment.

Episode 12
Eldrie is formidable with his whip as Kirito and Eugeo cooperate to fight on the same footing. When Eugeo finally recognizes him as Eldrie Woolsburg, the winner of the Four Empires Unification Tournament, Eldrie panics and denies it all. He believes he was summoned by Administrator from the heavens as an Integrity Knight. As Eugeo discloses more info about him to revive his memories, Eldrie then ‘stops working’. This funny prism in his forehead must be impeding his memories. Before they can do anything further, an archer Integrity Knight starts sniping at them. The duo make a run for it. A voice in Kirito guides them safely into a portal. She is Cardinal and the sole librarian of this great library. There are records of everything here from the start of this world’s creation. But the records here are all fabricated by the pontifex of Axiom Church. All to preserve their rule over the people. This makes Kirito realize that Cardinal is a system supervisor and that she is actually the Cardinal System. She might be the system supervisor but the one who holds all the admin privileges is no other than Administrator who is also her elder twin sister. Otherwise she would not be stuck in here. Time for some history. When this world was created 450 years ago when humans descended on this world (employees of Rath), these Gods taught their children how to live before logging out. But one of them was filled with malice and selfishness that gave rise to nobles and Axiom Church. When the first political marriage was done centuries ago, Quinella was born. She tinkered with the sacred arts that include killing cute forest critters and healing the people’s wounds. With the people awed by her godly powers, Quinella started to rule over them and as time as the city grow, so did the tower they built to worship her that she resided. To continue her rule so that no one would be above her, she wrote laws that became the Taboo Index. However she grew older and fragile but just before her death, she somehow managed to open a list that contains every command (it is rumoured she may have help from outside admins). This allowed her to restore her youth and be ageless. Quinella went a step further as she doesn’t want the Cardinal System to have equal authority with her. However she ended up fusing her soul with it. That is the reason for the existence of this system as if there is any slight irregularities that skews the balance, it will be soon detected. Hence the constant observation of ‘players’. Now that Quinella is no longer human, she seeks to continue ruling and preserving this real forever as both supervisor and rule, the pontifex of Axiom Church.

Episode 13
After 70 years of rule, Quinella realizes her soul’s capacity to preserve her memories had reached its limit. She thought of copying hers onto by overwriting a child’s Fluctlight. That child is Cardinal. But doing so means Quinella had made a mistake. Now there are 2 Gods wielding same level of authority. Both started fighting (more like redefining object structures). But with Quinella holding the upper hand, Cardinal fled. Only 2 places were beyond the reach of the Administrator: Dark Territory and this great library. She isolated herself and has been waiting for a chance to strike back. Quinella anticipated her ambush and assembled loyal and powerful followers known as Integrity Knights. The first one being Bercouli. Cardinal continued to observe the world but couldn’t figure things out and that’s why she wanted a human collaborator. She has pondered why would the real Gods (Rath) let this fake God (Administrator) rule? Her conclusion is that Rath doesn’t wish for people of this world to lead happy lives. They are observing how people will resist them and slowly tightening their load. Eventually the greatest trial will arrive. In short, the monsters in Dark Territory will come slaughter all humans and that day isn’t too far off. Quinella has underestimated them and thinks she and her Integrity Knights would be enough to stop them. Cardinal has resigned to the fact that Dark Territory will besiege this world. Hence her conclusion is that since she doesn’t accept Rath, her only way is to turn everything in this world into nothingness. She needs Kirito’s help to eliminate Administrator and regain all her authority. In exchange, he gets to name a few Fluctlights he wants to save and she will archive them before he returns to his own world.

Kirito wonders if she is a copy of Quinella, shouldn’t she have that selfish and greedy trait? In her senses, eliminating Administrator and normalizing the world is her desire. But there is something she has wanted to know for the last 200 years. So she just wants a hug? Oh yeah. She feels so satisfied that she’s crying. Weird. Kirito accepts to cooperate but will still find a way to save this world. Cardinal doesn’t know if this Integrity Knight Alice is the same as Eugeo’s childhood friend but she knows a way to stop this Synthesis Ritual. Just take out that prism, Piety Module. As you have guessed, it seals their original memories and makes you obedient to Administrator. Of course this means you need to get the original memories back to fill that void. It won’t be easy as it is locked in the highest tower of central cathedral. Eugeo worries to fight Alice because killing her would defeat the purpose of his goal. Hence Cardinal gives them a mini dagger. When stabbed, it links an irremovable connection to her and she will use her sacred arts to put her into sleep mode to buy them time to remove the Synthesis Ritual. She can also help get their swords back in the armoury but that won’t be enough to stop the Integrity Knights’ terrifying amplifying technique. She has them think of their sword and then comes up with a list of commands to remember? Whatever. Now she has told and given them everything she could, it’s time to step back into the real virtual world.

Episode 14
After getting their weapons, Kirito realizes Administrator doesn’t intend to create an army but kept all their weapons here. It could be the pontifex is the one with the least faith in the church’s authority. They are attacked by that archer Integrity Knight. Kirito uses all the defence he’s got to defend against his flames. Once Kirito is out, Eugeo strikes a couple of lethal blows to defeat him. After archer dude learns about their excellent skills, he tells them there are other Integrity Knights waiting for them with orders to kill him. He knows he will be stripped of his knighthood and frozen for failing his mission. To avoid that humiliation, he wants them to kill him. However when Eugeo learns his name as Deusolbert Synthesis Seven, the Integrity Knight who took Alice away, he becomes engulfed in rage. He would’ve killed him had Kirito not stopped him. Let’s not be ugly in killing a man who doesn’t resist. Kirito believes Deusolbert doesn’t even have memories of taking Alice away. He theorizes he got promoted for bringing Alice. But to maintain his fealty as an Integrity Knight, those memories are also sealed because it would be weird if the sinner he brought in showed up as an Integrity Knight. Kirito has him remember if there is a memory that no sacred arts could manipulate. There is one but he can’t really remember much. They let him be as they make their way up and plan how to counter the other Integrity Knights. Then they spot a couple of cute loli chicks watching at them. Hello girls. Want to come out and say hi?

Episode 15
Fizel and Linel are sisters in training. Since Kirito isn’t good with kids, he lets Eugeo handle this. They’re quite nice and cute until they get up close and stab them with their poison daggers! Damn, they’re Integrity Knights?! As they drag them up the stairs, they explain that they are born inside here and their mission was to help Administrator in an experiment with resurrection sacred art. Hence they kill each other. However many other experiment candidates either explode or become monsters after being resurrected. After many failed attempts, the experiment is called off and since the duo are the only survivors, they were promoted to Integrity Knights. But they are confined to only studying sacred arts so they got bored and wanted their own dragons and Divine Objects. They heard about the escapees and thought it would be a good idea to prove themselves. In the top floor consists of top Integrity Knights and their vice commander, Fanatio Synthesis Two. They plan to decapitate the boys so the witnesses can report to Administrator of their great feat. Suddenly Kirito stands up and stabs them with their own dagger. He was suspicious the moment they popped up and knew they couldn’t be just sisters in training due to their dagger gear. Hence he recited some poison dissolving art while Eugeo was attending to them. He won’t kill them but will let them see how strong real Integrity Knights are. Kirito faces off with Fanatio and while the latter brags about her sword made from sunlight, Kirito strikes off her helmet, revealing her female face. She gets agitated thinking Kirito is shocked to discover that she is a woman and won’t fight at his full strength. Just like many others. However Kirito mocks her that she is the one being conscious of being a woman. He had his fair share of losing to female fighters and won’t hold back. Fanatio gets desperate as she summons some dangerous sacrificing move. Cue for Eugeo freed from his poison to summon his sacred art to frozenly bind her. But will it be enough? As he gets pessimistic about his chances, Kirito reminds him that hate will not defeat her. It is love! His love for Alice and those feelings aren’t in any way inferior to her justice.

Episode 16
In short, Kirito defeats Fanatio. After Eugeo uses some of his life force to heal him, Kirito still wants to save Fanatio. If she is erased, everything is for naught. Kirito gets desperate to scream for help. When no one replies, he uses the dagger on her. Cardinal takes Fanatio into her care. Now that they are free to make their way up, damn this cathedral even has a lift operator? She has been operating it for 107 years?! Oh Eugeo, it puts your previous Calling to shame. At the highest floor the operator could go, in this garden, Alice is seen resting. WTF she wants them to give her some time to bask in the sunlight? Probably an excuse so the boys could plot how to take her down. So when she is ready to fight, they have to improvise quick because her sword seems to be in perfect condition. They get blown away and even this is just a warning strike from her. Kirito challenges her to a duel as he asks her about her immense power that originates from a small tree. Something about how her sword was grown from a single Osmanthus tree when the Gods were building this nation. Hence as the oldest creation, its attribute is everlasting eternity. Kirito plays a little cheat as he restrains her so that Eugeo can freeze her. Unfortunately that is not enough as she manages to break out from it. Kirito tries to give another chance to Eugeo and strikes back. However the force is too great that the wall is blown open. The vacuum sucks out Kirito and Alice. Before Eugeo can go after them, the wall builds itself back.

Episode 17
Don’t worry. Kirito and Alice are hanging by their swords. Alice wants him to let go so he lectures her about Eugeo is going to go up and kill Administrator. Isn’t it her job to protect the pontifex? That’s why she must survive. In that case, why don’t Kirito let go? He mentions his mission is not to destroy Axiom Church but protect human territory from Dark Territory’s invasion. They talk about the arbitrary rules and laws set. For now they call a truce but once they enter the tower, she will slay him. As the walls are created with infinite regenerative abilities, looks like they’re going up. Using a chain to chain themselves together, Kirito then uses his skill to create wedges to climb up. Damn, this guy must be real strong and have a really good balance. Because Alice feels ashamed to do the same, WTF she has Kirito pull her from underneath. Is this her pride as an Integrity Knight?! Their goal is to make it to the 95th floor since there will be an open garden. Looks like this is going to take a while. We take a brief detour to Ocean Turtle. Asuna and Rinko notice a destroyer moving further. An agent is perplexed because it’s supposed to escort them. He calls Kikuoka about it. Back to the VR world, looks like they’re still a long way to go and it is going to be night fall. Noticing a ledge a few metres above, they can rest there. However, statues turn into monsters and start attacking them. Can they fight with their balance on the edge? Worse, Alice is scared?! WTF?! Mind boggling moment when Kirito uses all his strength to swing Alice up to the ledge. She then does the same to him. Now they can fight the monsters and easily slay them. Alice is baffled because these monsters are from Dark Territory and created by evil dark art users as soulless familiars called minions. How are these lined up on the most sacred walls of the human empire and how did they get past the detection of Integrity Knights? Could it be someone of high authority within the church placed them here? Because minion blood brings you sickness, Alice lends her handkerchief to wipe it off Kirito’s face. Have it clean and return to her before she slays him. Gee, how kind. Another excuse to delay slaying him immediately? Meanwhile Eugeo has reached the hot bath level. Don’t worry. Not sexy hot naked chicks. But a burly muscular guy with scars. Have fun…

Episode 18
It is no surprise he is the leader of the Integrity Knights and that legendary hero, Bercouli. Eugeo tries to take him on is blown away by his mysterious slash. Don’t worry. Bercouli won’t kill him since he didn’t kill Fanatio or any of the other Integrity Knights. He reveals his sword didn’t slash air but slashed the future! WTF?! Okay, more explanation how it was made by the Divine Object of a clock that existed since the start of this world. Eugeo prepares for his next attack as Bercouli guesses he is going for long distance attacks now. That’s what all his opponents think after seeing that move. Of course Eugeo thinks out of the box. He freezes everything and throws away his sword. This shock stuns Bercouli as Eugeo physically tackles him before getting his sword back to checkmate him. With everything slowly freezing, Eugeo’s plan is also to take themselves out because his blooming ice roses are sucking their life force. Eugeo then gets upset because Integrity Knights like him don’t remember their past and serve blindly to Axiom Church. Hey, you want to blame an amnesiac person for not remembering? Well, before Bercouli starts having a feeling those stories about him, then comes in this clown. Chudelkin the prime senator accuses Bercouli for treason because he did not use his other time ability that would have instantly killed Eugeo. Bercouli denies this and claims he has given everything he’s got while accusing the jester back he has deceived him. Chudelkin deep freezes him so that he would be reprocessed. However he feels Bercouli will not be needed anymore as Eugeo will be a better pawn. We take a detour to the awkward moment of Kirito and Alice spending the night together on the ledge. Kirito tells her about her sister. Starting to remember something? Yeah, keep denying. Despite he assures her everything he said is true, of course she doubles down and will slay him if there is a hint of deceit. She’s a really good tsundere, isn’t she?

Episode 18.5
Recap episode! What a better way to spend the night on the ledge and let time pass as Kirito tells Alice everything from start to finish. Although the visuals are 100% copy and paste (no new scenes, sadly) but at least there are some parts that Kirito narrates like a more summarized version of what has happened so far in their quest to bring back Alice. So now you believe? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Episode 19
Wait. Kirito narrating a quick recap on what happened to Alice? Yeah, I guess it’s for those who skipped that recap episode. Alice wonders why he is doing this and of course as we know, it is to protect this world from Dark Territory. He asks her back about the Integrity Knights’ chance in defeating Dark Territory and she remembers even Bercouli has his doubts but Chudelkin admonished him to think of a way. Despite nobles being corrupted, Kirito has an idea for the people to protect this world. With the large stash of weapons in the armoury, the Integrity Knights can help dispense their knowledge and skill to the people to have a fighting chance. They can at least be ready in a year. And it looks like Alice seems to have been taken in by Kirito’s words because she wants to see Selka and Kirito even promising to let her see her sister back at her village before she regains her memories. I guess she somewhat remembers since she is crying. When she decides to forsake her role as an Integrity Knight, her right eye starts to act up. She is in pain as Kirito finds a barcode in it. He believes if she tries to think differently and defy the church, this barrier will be activated. Empty your mind! Or your eye will explode! However there are things she needs to do and continues to defy. Meanwhile Eugeo finds himself possibly at the top floor of the cathedral. Who this sleeping beauty? A voice tells him to run away but too late, Administrator wakes up. She claims Eugeo wants to be loved and although he denies, the way she words everything makes him start to doubt. Like his mother who didn’t truly love him alone because she shared her love among her brothers. That’s why he hates them. Then there is that Tiese’s case where she was almost raped. He killed Raios because he hates him, right? But does Tiese loves only him? Alice? Yeah, she shows a past clip whereby Kirito and Alice are seemingly close to each other behind Eugeo’s back. With Eugeo in shock, Administrator goes in for the kill. She is willing to love only him. So… Sex = love? The deeper your love, the more she’ll bring him ultimate pleasure. Confused Eugeo hears to voice of Tiese, Alice and Kirito but are all soon blocked out. With Eugeo fully enchanted by her, she goes down on her. That’s right. Come into me! Deep inside me! Into eternal stasis! Damn, this could be good hentai dialogue!

Episode 20
Kirito and Alice manage to climb up to the balcony. Because Eugeo is not around, Kirito uses his System Call to locate Eugeo’s sword. Still below them. Entering the bath level, Kirito can tell the frozenness is Eugeo’s doing. Alice is sad to see Bercouli turned into stone but he is strong enough to break free at least his eyes and mouth to speak to her about some conspiracy and Eugeo being taken away by Chudelkin. As they move to the next level, Kirito asks about the senators’ role. Apparently they oversee the Taboo Index. If anybody breaks them, they send an Integrity Knight to deal with it. Kirito finds it odd since Administrator is giving lots of power to them to act as her proxy. Then they enter the room where all the senators are. Them inside chambers and monitoring everything. This is sure some freaky sci-fi. Then they hear Chudelkin screaming in agony in his room. Something didn’t go as planned? Alice confronts him and after he runs his mouth about her going to betray Axiom Church, he continues to reveal the sweet moment before Alice was synthesized. She was begging and crying and all. He revels just thinking about that. Alice then stabs him but it didn’t kill this fatty and instead he explodes into some red smoke to escape. Trying to chase him to the next floor, shockingly an Integrity Knight arrives to face them. Eugeo?! Alice finds it odd that the ritual can be done so quickly. Kirito is close to losing himself seeing his best friend in this state and ironically it is Alice reminding him that they need to stay calm and find another way to restore him or they will forever lose him. Kirito asks Eugeo if he remembers him. Nope. He doesn’t even want Alice or want to know anything about it. Administrator gave him what he wants and nothing else matters. I guess talk time is over. Time to see if the student can defeat the master.

Episode 21
Kirito and Eugeo clash with all they’ve got. No harm trying to awaken Eugeo’s memories by mentioning the important people in his lives. But did it work? Because Eugeo got a little sloppy. But then again, he could be trolling because after Kirito lets his guard down, he freezes them. He returns to Administrator who wants to give him his reward but first, she tries to adjust his Piety Module. Because she allows him to freely move, this chance allows Eugeo to completely break free and tries to stab her with the dagger. Too bad Administrator’s barrier is thick. She gives him a chance to redeem himself and forgive his sins if he destroys the dagger. Because her view of eternal love means eternal control, he mocks her as the pity one who has never been loved. Because Eugeo’s view of love isn’t something like a transaction or reward but something given continuously. With that, Administrator finds it a shame she’ll have to do force Synthesis on him just like how she it to Alice many years ago. Hearing that makes Eugeo mad. He charges at her and of course her protection is still intact. This is interrupted when Chudelkin comes running in for help. He thought of finishing off Kirito and Alice but he realized Eugeo fooled him and now they’re after his ass! Yeah, dumb joker just brought them back to this room. Eugeo is happy to see Kirito and Alice again but apologizes for giving in to Administrator’s temptation. Hence he thought he tried to atone for this himself. Don’t be silly. Kirito knew what he was thinking all along. Yeah, you sure had us all fooled. Maybe. Because Administrator senses something wrong with Alice’s logic circuits, she gives her a chance to say anything without any risk of reprimand. Alice explains how she has been disillusioned by everything, especially Administrator’s conflicting actions that would eventually bring harm to the human empire. This has Administrator thinking there is no error in the logic circuit and her Piety Module is still functioning. Could it mean she disabled Code 871 (the seal in her right eye) on her own? She then gives Chudelkin to redeem his honour by disposing off them. Chudelkin will gladly do it but pleads, to put it bluntly and crudely, he wants to f*ck her! Administrator agrees for a one night stand offer if he fulfils his mission. And we can see the power of boners makes a horny guy power up as Chudelkin summons a fire genie to burn them all!

Episode 22
While Alice distracts the genie, Kirito powers up and pierces Chudelkin. Well, that’s that. Easy. This spectacled allowed Administrator to collect some data and realizes that Kirito is a human from the other world. Kirito warns her about the impending invasion from Dark Territory while Alice derides her for planting false memories. Administrator knew of all the pain and suffering her Integrity Knights went through. That’s why she erased them all. It doesn’t matter what Alice feels, once she is synthesized, she will no longer remember or feel. Kirito then warns her about the other humans on the other side who holds absolute authority and they can eliminate everything just by the push of a button. But that is that same reason that Administrator reasons why Kirito has no reason to criticise the methods she uses. As she will not grovel before them or beg for her existence to continue, the only proof she needs is the control she exerts. Her feet exists to trample upon others. Hence she is going to show them the ultimate weapon that she needs to fight Dark Territory. One that is not even human. She combines all the divine weapons and turns into a killing machine named Sword Golem. All it needs to do is endlessly massacre its enemies. And it will taste its first blood as it stabs Alice. Being mad won’t do you any good because Kirito also gets stabbed. A voice tells Eugeo to stab the floating platform while Cardinal’s spider tries to hold it off. The spider dies but holds it off in time for Cardinal to pop out from her library and blast Sword Golem away. Damn, she has time to heal the wounded and even mourn the death of her favourite pet? Administrator must be real confident… So is Cardinal going to lecture this hollow fool about love?

Episode 23
Administrator claims Sword Golem isn’t just made out of weapons, they are actually humans. Hence Cardinal can’t technically kill them since they aren’t monsters. Administrator claims this is just a prototype. Once completed, she’ll use about 800,000 human lives to complete a perfect one and thinks it is enough to repel Dark Territory’s invasion. The source is the Piety Modules and all those crystals on the ceiling’s mural are actually it. Cardinal agrees to be defeated by her in exchange the lives of the trio is spared. Administrator blasts her several times. Gotta have some fun first, right? And then she is so kind so as to let them say their final goodbyes. Because Eugeo realizes what needs to be done. What he needs to do. From what I can see, he wants to be turned into a sword to fight Administrator because he realizes that she is resistant to metal weapons, the reason why his dagger cannot pierce through. Somehow Eugeo takes Alice’s Piety Module and then begins his transformation process. See, Administrator? Had you taken action earlier, this wouldn’t have happened. Too late as Alice staves her off until the process is complete. Eugeo the sword is able to destroy Sword Golem and gravely wound Administrator (because of the sword’s silver properties). But it comes with a price. Eugeo is left broken. Yes, his real body is split in half! Kirito falls into depression as Administrator heals herself. Fun time is over. Time to kill the last remaining brat. As she is about to slay him, suddenly Alice jumps in front to protect him. Damn, this awakens Kirito that he might repeat the same mistake so he gets even faster to draw his sword and protect Alice. Was Administrator that slow? With Alice passing out from exhaustion, it’s time for the final boss fight.

Episode 24
So for nostalgia’s sake, Kirito transforms into his trademark SAO uniform to fight. But Administrator knows how to counter all his sword techniques. Then time out. Because conveniently time for Kirito and Eugeo to talk things out and give the former motivation. Damn, do they have to make it look yaoi? Anyway, Kirito is now dual wielding with Eugeo’s sword. The fight continues. Administrator still b*tching she is the ruler of this world and how control = love. That’s why she loves everything. Can’t argue with that. Their swords are glowing red so this might as well turn into a lightsabre duel. In the end, they cut an arm of each other. Kirito still has an arm but Administrator no arms left! So how? Why, she uses her hair to strangle him! Damn, why didn’t she use this for multiple weapons? Was covering her modesty more important?! Anyway, Kirito dealt a fatal damage to her core. She’s all cracking up. Literally. She tries a tactical escape and hints she is bringing the fight to his world. But as she escapes, Chudelkin clings onto her, hoping to take her with him. She tries to shoo him away but he turns into a flaming ghost and burns everything. Damn! Is this how Administrator is taken down?! It’s like saying porn virus destroyed the main super computer!!! HAHAHA!!! With Administrator gone, Eugeo still isn’t dead. You mean he is still alive after being cut in half for so long? I guess this is good excuse so as to why Kirito can cry hard. Friendship talk thingy, blah, blah, blah. That scene whereby Kirito and Alice are supposed to be flirting behind Eugeo’s back? Actually they made a wooden sword for his birthday. See the power of context? Final goodbye. Time to walk their own path. Eugeo’s dead for good. You can tell when his body disappears. Kirito hacks into the PC and calls out to Kikuoka. Before he could blame the scientist, he hears a commotion in the back. Looks like military men are trying to storm into the place! With no time, Kikuoka tells Kirito to find Alice, take her to the World’s End Altar. Unfortunately the soldiers are trying to cut the power line. The Lightcube may be protected but the surge will hit Kirito’s STL. He’ll be fried. Kirito is confused when he hears Asuna’s name. Why is she here? Too late. The power cut. Kirito dying? WTF is this angel Asuna floating down to rescue him?! What a dramatic and confusing end…

Debugging Art Online
As we all can see and already know beforehand, there is going to be another season. Hence the final episode that ended in such a chaotic and dramatic way didn’t come off as surprising or disappointing. Well, maybe when the last episode suddenly ends. But after all, this arc is so far the longest arc and story in the original light novel series and since the anime is going to fully adapt its entire arc and being faithful to it, they are going to need a lot of cours. I suppose it is good that they decided to take a break after back to back twin cours since if they continued (it is rumoured that the total episodes for this Alicization arc itself is to be around 50 episodes), it could feel like a one long draggy affair. I mean, I have to say that the SAO series isn’t just for everyone. Not even for yours truly. Even if you’re a masochist and can binge watch the entire series, it is still good to go outside and stretch your legs, take a breather before resuming. Heh. Now I can see and understand why a few animes employ this tactic although sometimes my guts tell me it is for economic reasons.

Anyway, I’m not saying that this Alicization story is really interesting because you know like I’ve said, the SAO franchise isn’t for every Tom, Dick and Harry. For those who have reached this far into the original light novels, you have got to already be some sort of elevated status of a fan. I have been watching SAO since it was first adapted back in 2012 and I continued to watch all its TV series (but somehow skipped the movie, Ordinal Scale) in hopes I could understand something. But you know me. I didn’t really get a lot of the technical terms. This season’s Fluctlight and other technical terms I am still struggling to understand even as I type this blog. I feel that artificial soul is the best I could understand for what it means for Fluctlight but I am also pretty sure that isn’t as accurate as what the producers intended its definition to be. Then there are other commands inside the VR game like System Call and the likes which I am still blur in and going “What the heck are those again?”. Every time a character says those commands to open or change some options, it feels more like some sort of magical spell. You know, those charm lines you say when magicians and wizards cast a spell but only this time they sound like programming terms. The story for this season might seem long and dragging out but the way they flesh out the characters and other development, it is all not a waste of time.

Sometimes when I think about this whole Alicization story, it could have been actually another spinoff or an entirely different story not related to SAO whatsoever. It could have been a totally new story, make and change Kirito to another new character and voila, we’ve got ourselves a totally new series and anime. It doesn’t feel so much like an SAO series as the plot delves around 2 young boys trying to rescue a long lost childhood friend and at the same time trying to rid of the big ruler who rules over everything before the ultimate tragedy of the other side invades and destroys everything for good. And add some programming terms into their lingua. So if we substitute those programming jargons with classic magical ones, this could again be passed off as entirely another series. But of course it can’t be a totally new story altogether since Reki Kawahara, the creator of this series wrote this arc. But I guess it is better than those isekai animes of the main character being killed in the real world and reborn again as an overpowered one in another magical fantasy world! Uhm, can VR be considered isekai?

Just like how I said SAO felt weird without Kirito, it also feels weird without Asuna. Naturally as we can see from the flow of the story, Asuna is now reduced to a very concerned girlfriend waiting for Kirito outside while Kirito himself is probably having an adventure of a lifetime as he lays in coma. Hence the dynamic relationship now isn’t Kirito x Asuna but that of Kirito x Eugeo. It is a good thing that the series didn’t really show it in a way that makes it look like their friendship is going beyond just good friends and potential to be gay partners (f*ck the PC culture!). But just pure and hardcore friendship among the boys as swordsman. Perhaps the final episode was the closest into seeing that suggestive yaoi scene but it might just be our dirty minds. Kirito doesn’t feel so much as the sole star of this series as Eugeo too has his fair share of the limelight. Hence both of them being given enough time to develop and being fleshed out, by the end of this season, you’ll come to at least want to support them as a team instead of one over the other. Perhaps to a point that it would be weird if Kirito is without Eugeo and vice versa. Yeah, f*ck Asuna! At least for this season. So hardcore and amazing their friendship that you can see them in sync during the opening credits animation. Especially they have this weird sync of hand gestures. So weird but so cool.

With Kirito and Eugeo developing their (virtual) friendship, so much so that I never once think that they would end up in some weird romantic love triangle with Alice. Hah. It’s not that kind of series but you know me, I’m inclined to somehow think of that. I never thought of this until the series ended and it only makes Alice looks like as though she is a third wheel! Alice despite being the boys’ main reason and motivation to do what they do, she feels mostly like a side character and not really doing much. Partly because she has been brainwashed for most of the part as an Integrity Knight and even when she somewhat started to question her loyalty and then witnessed Administrator’s hypocritical actions, it’s not like there is a whole lot that she could do, right? After all, Kirito and Eugeo still continue to dominate as stars of this story. So sorry folks, no Kirito’s cheesy harem moments to get in the way of hardcore male bonding friendship here. Not sure if the next season will feature Eugeo since he is seen riding off into the sunset with loli Alice. Eugeo turning himself into a shota so that it won’t look like some pedo thingy might be the ending Eugeo and Alice need. Because that Integrity Knight Alice has may just be a vessel and several hints she may be a separate manner than the original loli Alice. But we’ll see when the next season rolls in.

The thought of Administrator playing God although she is just some programming entity, maybe her character doesn’t get me thinking a lot about her twisted thinking and personality but rather about the sentient life called reality. What if this simulation is actually what is happening in our lives in reality too? There have been debates about whether or not this reality is just a simulation and the things that occur after death that are beyond our imaginations. And what if there are higher beings than the one and only Almighty God we know? A lot of things about this simulated VR game can be drawn parallel to reality. Like God could just be another being because He has more access to shortcuts and other debugging stuffs that the rest of us don’t. Hence, administrator privileges. And God bringing Revelation and Doomsday to the world? That’s like you delete this game forever! Coming back to Administrator’s character, but think about it, can you blame her twisted thinking and definition of love because she is programmed that way? In a sense, it’s like as though she is written and setup to be an antagonist, don’t you think? And it was pretty ironic that a pervert took her down completely…

I wouldn’t say the action and sword fighting scenes are a masterpiece but the action bits are enough to satiate those who want to see some sword clashing battles. It feels like Kirito doesn’t have a lot of options what he can do here despite his Aincrad style somehow being carried into this world. His and Eugeo’s sword have their own unique properties and sometimes they seem like they pull off all the stops for that one exaggerated over the top moves but I guess it’s necessary just to show us how far they have come along and improved on their skills. And if you can’t hack your way through via programming, just hack and slash your way with a sword! I never expected to use both meanings of hacking here…

One of the superior elements in this season is that the art and animation are very good. If I should say, it is comparable to the standard that we see in Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works TV series. There are lots of high quality put into the visuals and it doesn’t disappoint. After all, A-1 Pictures have animated all its previous adaptations (except that alternate GGO spinoff) and it pays off here with an important arc like this one. Can’t disappoint fans of the series, can they? With a lot of hype that went about, it’s too big to fail! Thank goodness. So if the story is hard to follow, at least the high quality visuals may be something to give you the wow factor. There is also some CGI employed and it doesn’t feel disjointed. It feels seamlessly woven into the superior quality of the animation.

The first time when I laid eyes on Alice as an Integrity Knight, I thought she looked familiar. Isn’t that a more serious and zero perverted version of KonoSuba’s Darkness? Well, almost. Must be the golden armour. And more suspiciously, same seiyuu… Anyway, Administrator being a character who is mostly in the nude, I wonder if it is a lazy way out so as not to design some sort of fancy garb for her. After all, all of the Integrity Knights have their armour so shining and colourful that you wonder if they are a liability in battle. But as we’ve seen, they’re not so it looks like they look as good and nice as they are in their skills. But Administrator being naked all the time especially in the final stretch makes me feel weird. Imagine battling a naked last boss. Isn’t that distracting? Yeah, no backlash since Administrator is a smoking hot babe. Because remember that video game uproar for a naked final boss fight in Bioshock? Yeah, nobody wants to see a naked macho man monster boss… Isn’t it no wonder why Chudelkin brought Administrator down with him? Who could’ve resisted such beautiful pure naked body? Something to literally die for… And so it goes to show that something she deemed perfect became her undoing.

Voice acting is pretty fine too with new casts joining the line-up including Nobunaga Shimazaki as Eugeo (Yuno in Black Clover), Ai Kayano as Alice (Darkness in KonoSuba), Maaya Sakamoto as Administrator/Quinella (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Sakura Tange as Cardinal (Angela in Melty Lancer), Hitomi Nabatame as Fanatio (Reina in Circlet Princess), Kaori Ishihara as Tiese (Azusa in Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko), Reina Kondou as Ronie (Hana in Slow Start), Wataru Takagi as Chudelkin (Alaindelon in Beelzebub), Megumi Han as Liena (titular character in Mushibugyou), Hikaru Hanada as Deusolbert (Akihiko in Junjou Romantica), Ryuuichi Kijima as Humbert (Lenka in God Eater), Shuuhei Iwase as Raios (Yasutaka in Sankarea), Takeaki Masuyama as Eldrie (Ida in Nora To Oujo To Noraneko Heart) and Kaori Maeda as Selka (Mari in Back Street Girls: Gokudolls). The only new cast I recognized is Junichi Suwabe as Bercouli.

The first opening theme, Adamas by Lisa feels a bit chaotic. The frenzied pace of this rock piece tries to sound epic but to me it comes off as noisy. Except for the last bit which has a funky bass solo. That’s the only part I like. The second ending theme, Resister by Asca is also a rock outfit but it is toned down I think this one suits the pacing of the series better. The ending themes are slow rock with Iris by Eir Aoi being the first one and Forget Me Not by Reona as the second. I still prefer the former, though. There is a special ending theme for episode 19, Niji No Kanata Ni by Reona and this is quite a slow lovely ballad. Feels a bit disjointed from the series but I think this song is the one I like the most. I want to note that some of the sound effects are, how do I put it, deafening. Like when there is an epic magic sword clash or something, it’s like the bass and effect goes really loud and one kind. Are they trying to test my sound system or something?

Overall, not a bad season. An SAO series that isn’t your typical SAO, it feels both weird and refreshing at the same time. Infusing sword fighting with some computer programming setting? Strange indeed. After all, my experience with the first 2 seasons of SAO had this similar pattern in which the first big chunk of the series started off great but towards the end with its lesser arc, it disappoints. Remember that mediocre ALO that reduced Asuna into a damsel in distress for the first season and then the WTF Calibur and trying-to-prop-up-the-feels Mother’s Rosario in the second season? Yeah… Thankfully for this season, it is Alicization all the way and no disappointing small side stories to be distracted with. So huzzah for long story arcs? I promise I won’t complain about this story being draggy! Unfortunately no System Call or any delete button to erase those disappointing arcs. That’s why here’s to hoping the next continuation of this story would be a lot better to erase those dissatisfying ones. You can’t change the past but at least we can programme and create the future to be better. And no, delete and format everything isn’t the answer!

Miru Tights

October 4, 2019

I guess it has come down to this. We’ve basically run out of ideas on how to attract people to see your work. And what they say it’s true about the oldest profession in the world as well as sex sells. While I’m not talking about porn or anything hentai, looks like the easiest way to attract the attention of guys especially single horny otaku males is to do a show with some sort of sexy appeal. Remember that short series whereby women of different outfit flash to you their panties but with an angry face? Uh huh. If that was a bit too much for you to handle (wuss!), then let’s scale down a bit. Now we have a series that focuses on a group of girls in tights. Yes. Tights. Miru Tights. Heh, even the name doesn’t shy away of what it’s supposed to mean. Seeing Tights. No plot whatsoever but just watching a group of close friends do whatever in tights. Yes. Tights. Somebody here definitely has tights fetish. Oh, what about me, you say? I’m just checking out of curiosity and see what’s so great about tights… Honest! Please don’t be such a tight-assed!

Episode 1
What a way to start a school new tem with a rainy and wet day. Homi Moegi alights from her car but accidentally steps on a puddle. Her shoes and tights are now wet. Ren Aikawa and Yua Nakabeni are already complaining how the rain is drenching their tights and even more baffling when Homi is now soaked. Well, she thought since she is already half wet, might as well go step on more puddles! Hey, gotta have fun while you’re at it. No point being a wet blanket. I wonder why they didn’t even consider taking off their tights since they’re feeling so uncomfortable in it. And just when Homi has the common sense to take it off, her friends won’t let her. At least not in class where everyone can see. As she tries to head out to the changing room, too late. Homeroom teacher Yuiko Okuzumi is here.

Episode 2
Maid outfit with tights… I APPROVE!!! Yua is taking pictures of herself in this sexy maid cosplay and posting them online for all her fans. In record time, she gets a lot of comments and retweets. Damn right. These people sure have good taste!!! She takes a poll on what to cosplay next. You mean, I can’t have more maid cosplays? Hence she cosplays as a bunny girl followed by a nurse. Not a big fan of those but she’s still sexy as hell. Finally when she takes requests on what to cosplay next, many want a high school girl. Ren who has been watching this is worried because this might give her identity away. Fortunately, Yua wears a different school uniform instead of her real one. Like nobody can recognize her face, right? Can they?!

Episode 3
In class, Homi realizes her tights is slightly ripped. She wants to take it off but Ren stops her. This causes her own tights to be ripped. So now she blames Homi for all this and everyone is going to see this? What’s the problem? They got another ‘comrade’ because Yua too has her tights somewhat ripped. She woke up late and her haste to put it on, she accidentally ripped them. But thankfully they have spares. However when Yua puts them on, it rips. Damn poor quality. Because Ren laughs like mad, Yua gets her revenge by scratching her tights. Truly, poor quality material. Homi then joins in this weird wrestling game. In the end, the trio attend class with ripped tights. Worse off than before.

Episode 4
Ren works part time as a waitress in a café. I’m pretty sure that she is part of the attraction of why some of the customers patron this place. Yeah, those sexy tights, baby. At the end of the day, Ren complains that she has been working so hard that her legs are aching. She didn’t expect this job to be that busy. Well, master says it wasn’t. Until she came… And he can’t afford to get another helper. So deal with it? Ren gets a call from her friends to go karaoke. I guess that busted away her fatigue. Count her in. Master couldn’t be more thankful that with Ren continuing to work here, his café will be good for a while.

Episode 5
Homi is running late for her swimming club. Only after she enters the clubroom and changes halfway did she realize that the club’s schedule had changed. What a waste to have woke up so early so she sleeps on the bench. So when her swimming mates come by to wake her up, they are appalled to see her sleep this way. Swimsuits + tights. Is this sort of a new fashion? Since it is hot in class, Homi can’t help use her skirt to fan. Her friends don’t want her to casually do that but Homi is not worried since she is wearing her swimsuit underneath. However they point out that she already had her club activities this morning and her swimsuit is hung out to dry. So that means she has been giving the guys a free show of her pantsu… Man, Homi no shame. Even the guys are having that embarrassed look on their face and trying to pretend to ignore.

Episode 6
As punishment for being talkative, the trio are forced to learn the traditional tea etiquette by Okuzumi. As Ren drinks the tea, Yua plays a prank by tickling her numb legs. She manages to hold it in until the class is over. Once done, Ren is going to get her revenge. However both girls have their legs numb so they fall over each other in some weird floor wrestling fashion. They notice Homi is okay. Can she really sit like that for an hour? Homi sounds like she is used to it but when she gets up, she immediately falls down. Looks like she didn’t even know that her legs went numb!

Episode 7
During a test, a guy can’t help stare at Okuzumi’s ass and tights. Yeah… Okuzumi knows because of his guilty looking face and the way he averts his eyes when their eyes meet. So she has him stay back after school. Gulp. Okuzumi wants to know what is bothering him since he got zero on his test! Damn, was that distraction so effective?! Anyway, she claims she can help him and is serious about it. But wimpy boy thinks he doesn’t need her advice and instead has something more important to say. But did Okuzumi catch on? Because she is caressing his thighs with her feet!!! She can help solve his problem directly… Then he wakes up. Must be a dream. But then he notices something down there. And Okuzumi just fresh in putting her tights back on and claims it was great. F*cking cock teaser!!! WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED???!!!

Episode 8
Ren’s feet is hurting thanks to overworking. Yua offers to do a reflexology massage on her foot. She knows because her parents went to Taiwan to take the same. Why does her depiction show them in pain? Oh well, looks can be deceiving. Ren lets Yua do the honours as it starts to get a little ambiguous. Ren showing us her orgasmic face while Yua looking like a sadist who is enjoying every single bit of it. Even their dialogue is so ambiguous. It’s our first time. Be gentle. You’ll feel better in no time. Yua must be so good that it looked like Ren climaxed. Those liquid droplets are sweat, right? Since they’re so loud, this woke up Okuzumi who was probably next door snoozing. She keeps this to herself and hopes they keep their volume down.

Episode 9
Homi and Yua are doing a study session. With a kotatsu. Yeah… Most of the viewpoints are from underneath the kotatsu… No wonder it is so warm and fuzzy here… With Yua trying to study buy Homi just lazing around, I guess the last straw is when Homi tries to monopolize Yua’s pet cat. And now the study session is off and a ‘standoff’ over the cat. WTF Homi trying to bait the kitty with her pussy???!!! WTF???!!! And then some argument on whose thighs are softer instead of muscular. You think the cat cares with your ‘threats’???!!!

Episode 10
Homi’s brother is looking at porn instead of studying. He thinks of putting it away so he can study when his sister comes in! Phew! Thank goodness didn’t catch him with his pants down. It seems she wants to clean his ear. She tried it herself but she wasn’t satisfied. So now she wants to do his? He only relents because it looks like he has tights fetish. While she cleans his ear, this dude suddenly has a boner? Yeah. Awkward. He hints it is because of her he has tights fetish. He struggles to get away but Homi won’t let him. Now he has got his head stuck deep in between her thighs. This guy is going to get more trauma when Homi continues to tease him like blowing into his ear. Don’t blame him when he becomes a sister rapist…

Episode 11
Ren wins a prize at the crane game. Because she is embarrassingly trying to give it to Yua for Valentine, Yua takes advantage of this by pinning her to the wall and then whisper perhaps she should have just given herself as the present. Of course she was just joking and wanted to see her reaction. As Ren waits in her room, she really thinks about it. Thus she decides to tease her by wrapping herself in some leftover ribbon. Somehow she got entangled with it. Yeah, now she’s looking like a genuine present. Yua enters and sees this sexy gift. Help me please doesn’t mean help yourself! Did Yua just put on a rape face? Too bad we can’t see how Yua ‘frees’ Ren as we are left to our imaginations while we hear Ren’s squeals.

Episode 12
The girls are planning about their trip when the spring break comes. Wow. Looks like they’re going to be really saving up if they really want that European tour. But of course, we don’t get to see those picturesque locations the girls are discussing but instead the exotic tights! Oh yeah. I would love to visit those lovelies any time. But wherever the trio go, they sure have a lot of fun together. And when they take a commemorative photo, it’s like the camera got a little pervy mind on its own because when it drops, it snaps a pic of their tights. Classic. That’s one for the album.

Episode 13 (Special)
Homi helps take pictures of Yua posing. This is to practice for her upcoming photo shoot. Uh huh. Some guy probably saw how sexy Yua was on her social media and contacted her to do a cosplay photo book with her. And tights is the theme. Shady indeed. I bet he wants to use it as his own personal material to jerk off. Ren refuses to join in as she is not into this stuff. But when Yua mocks Ren that she might spoil the photo shoot since she has no modelling practice, this provocation is enough to make her join in. And so Homi snaps away the duo posing, each time the posing gets more and more risqué. Are you sure you’re not doing some yuri porn shoot? And then it’s like they knew what we were thinking and wanted because Yua starts blowing into Ren’s ears as well as start running her fingers through her tights! And finally Yua ‘attacks’ Ren by getting on top of it! Full yuri assault! We approve!!! And Homi is just filming this with glee. Will you upload it soon?! I don’t even know what’s the point of why this happened but gochisousama anyway.

In A Tight(s) Spot…
Well… Good news… Sort of… I realize I didn’t develop any tights fetish after watching this series! Hooray! I’m clean! I’m in the clear! However this doesn’t mean I’m not going to watching ecchi animes in the future! But seriously… The anime isn’t anything special and would only resonate with those who have tights fetish. Ecchi fans would also enjoy this but the ecchi parts feel mild. But I suppose the series stays true to what it does best the most: The focus and emphasis of the girls in pantyhose AKA tights. So for a person like me who isn’t into this kind of fetish, it feels a bit odd to see the camera work focusing on the pair of legs covered with tights. It’s not like I don’t understand. It’s the equivalent to panty shots, boob shots and crotch shots. So you liking your thick thighs tights now, huh?

Like we are already told from the synopsis, there is no stories whatsoever and it could go on for another cour of them doing just about anything but with the focus continually on the tights. It would have been probably more or less the same thing. Going shopping. In tights! Going hiking. In tights! Hot yuri hentai. In tights! Oops… Went too far. Hence the real ‘character’ and ‘star’ of this series are the tights themselves. Not Yua. Not Ren. Not Homi. These girls feel so shallow that we feel that their tights and thighs have more character than themselves! Really! Do you not feel their stocking legs get more screen time than their pretty face? Who cares if Homi is in the swimming club and she’s the ditz of the trio. Who cares if Ren works part time at a café. Who cares if Yua is a popular cosplayer but might harbour a secret split dominating personality. Oh wait. The last one seems interesting but alas, can’t take away the limelight from those tights.

So yeah, the girls having some sort of personality seems like fillers so the episodes aren’t just completely random. I think it would have worked well had it went with that format. As random as that episode where Okuzumi who is already an enigmatic character because of that one episode where she is being very suggestive with a student. But that could just be our imaginations running wild. Is she a predator? I guess she also needs a little screen time of her own since some love older women in tights. Just saying… Besides, episodes with guys in them are the most interesting because we get to see how they deal with this tight situation-cum-menace. Poor Homi’s little bro… The irony when you think it is his big sister that somewhat introduced him into this porn…

Art and animation feel pretty minimal. Do you not agree that the characters look a bit weird? Sometimes I think if the girls having high forehead is a trademark of this series. No, seriously. Because that is how it seems to me. But of course don’t mind the low quality of this series because if they can spam in your face those tights, everything will be okay. Yeah, the tights get more detail and quality compared to everything else! You give us those delicious tights shots and the possible but vague panty shots, we be happy and shut up. Happy simple otaku guys are happy and simple. This series was animated by Yokohama Animation Lab whom many won’t hear of because they do short and obscure series that nobody heard of like Yakusoku Nanaya Matsuri, Hanasaku Kizuna No Romantan and Neko Ga Kureta Marui Shiawase. Yeah. Boring sounding names. Nothing like some tights appeal to help propel your studio name to the fore. Unfortunately this series isn’t that mainstream and pretty niche so I guess they’re still nobodies and not going to attract heavyweight and veteran studios. Not even a storm in a teacup.

Surprisingly, a few recognizable and popular seiyuus lending their talents to this short series like Youko Hikasa as Yua, Haruka Tomatsu as Ren and Ai Kayano as Okuzumi. The only one I didn’t recognize is Aya Suzaki as Homi (Mako in Kill La Kill). So if you’re not fans of tights or even ecchi, perhaps they could draw your attention if your favourite seiyuu was taking part in this. Yeah, now imagine her in tights… Damn it would have been so epic and ironic had Mamiko Noto had a role here… So yeah, the tights might be distracting you from their voice acting talents… The ending theme is True Days and there are a few versions of it. 3 solo versions and one trio collaboration. They sound fine to me although not likely to be memorable and last beyond the season.

Overall, definitely a tight masterpiece! Haha! It feels like a cheap ploy to keep the company afloat with some fast cash grab because like I’ve said from time to time, sex sells. Also feels like a bait and introduction to those with weak will to get you hook into tights. And then from there you could move on to leg and feet fetish, thicc thighs, thigh gaps, etc. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Animes like this as well as that Iya Na Kao Sare Nagara Opantsu Misete Moraitai might be series that give the anime industry a bad name. But remember, these are also the kind of series that keep Japan and anime alive! Hold on tightly to your dreams! Shallow minded people of society might call this sleazy but only true men and otaku know how to appreciate such masterpiece! That’s all, people. Good night and sleep tight(s)!