Gokudo-kun Manyuuki

April 26, 2020

It isn’t every day that you have the main character of a series who is a selfish and greedy type. Gokudo-kun Manyuuki has the titular character being one of the biggest dicks in the land and having such main character as an anti-hero was something you don’t see every day back in the late 90’s. Yup, an old retro anime way back in 1999 right before the turn of the new millennium. I guess human nature never changed. That is why karma has always been our b*tch in hopes that we will remind ourselves of our position and circumstances. But what are the chances of us learning at all? That’s why our Gokudo gets to hop from one misadventure to another without so much turning over a new leaf.

Episode 1
Gokudo Yuccot Kikansky is having is meal. Some old witch bugs him to warn him his life is in danger. He doesn’t give a damn and swipes her money bag before running back home. He thinks he strikes it rich but to his dismay, her money bag is only a stone. Worse, it transforms into a genie, Djinn. 3 wishes to be granted? Okay. Give me babes, honour and money! Unfortunately Djinn lectures him to think about what true happiness means. Oh sh*t… This is going to take a while… For some reason, Djinn transforms himself into a sexy hot babe just so as to be by his side. I guess there are rules to follow if he is going to follow him 24/7 until Gokudo makes all his wishes. This hot version is going to be easy on the eyes. The inn owner then barges in because his daughter, Asraga Onnitsu has been kidnapped and wants him to help save her. Gokudo will not do so unless he pays him upfront. After doing so, sneaky Gokudo intends to go treat himself with the money. Djinn berates him for having no honour. They are attacked by knights. Although Gokudo defeats them, Djinn believes they are monsters since the way they disintegrate. Then the knight leader pops up. Apparently he wants Djinn. Gokudo is happy to give her. Unfortunately the baddie will kill him too. Gokudo flees so Djinn turns into a dragon and burns the baddie. All that is left is his magic sword. Gokudo is now its owner and it seems when he wishes for it, the sword can return to him. Unfortunately this despicable guy decides to sell it for a high price. Yup. Money matters. After doing so, he asks if there is a place for adventurers to hang out. He is told that the daughter of the king, Rubette La Lette has just been kidnapped so there is a big reward for her rescue, hence the gathering of many heroes and adventure seekers here. At this bar, Djinn is already drunk and entertaining the men. Because Gokudo mocks her, Djinn turns him into a woman! Now they have to dance for the men? Too bad some shadowy baddie puts them all the sleep. Gokudo and Djinn find themselves in a cell. Also with them are Asraga, Rubette and Mora. There is some seal so Djinn can’t turn Gokudo back. Asraga is shocked to realize this is Gokudo. He is into cross-dressing?! Uhm, do they accept trannies for sacrifice? Sacrifice? Yeah, that’s why they’re all kidnapped because girls are going to be sacrificed tomorrow in some ceremony.

Episode 2
They are shocked to learn this dungeon is within the king’s castle. The kidnappings are ordered by the king and sacrificing virgins is a ritual to replenish his power. Because Djinn remains useless (her powers can only be unlocked by her master), Gokudo gets this idea to summon that magic sword. With that, he busts out of prison. Rubette has sword skills, Mora’s hunter ability has them avoid traps and Asraga herbs can heal wounds. Wow. What a party. Now if Gokudo stops being a coward… They stumble into a guy who got caught into a castle trap, Seigi. He is supposed to come rescue the girls. Because he too has a magic sword, they think he is the legendary prince. Legend has it that when the king sold his soul to the devil, a prince will rise and save the people with his magic sword. So if Seigi has a magic sword, what does this makes of Gokudo’s magic sword then? They’re both from the same king’s sword. When the king’s knights pop up to destroy them, Mora reveals the truth that the king killed his own son. But Mora used her magic to revive him but some error has them split into Seigi and Gokudo. Huh? Hence both their swords are genuine magic swords. Mora then reverts to her true form, which is that old witch (Granny) and also Djinn’s master. 16 years ago she came to the castle to warn the king about the prince’s future and his but was thrown out and her warning ignored. Gokudo and Seigi power up their magic swords so the knights know they don’t stand a chance to defeat them and escape. Granny unseals Djinn’s power so he could turn back Gokudo into a man. But this counts as his first wish… Yeah, rules, rules, rules… The plan now is to defeat the king if they want to escape from this castle. Gokudo opts out until Granny tells him all the treasures in this castle can be his. You bet he is in. Granny also dupes Rubette by giving her a bow that shoots infinite arrows. She believes she is more reliable to defeat the king than Gokudo. You bet you can count on her to do that.

Episode 3
Evil clones come out from the mirror to abduct the girls. Before the king’s room, the knights pop up again to rid of them so as not to interrupt the ritual. Gokudo wonders why they’re doing all this since only the king benefits. Well, you get all the power and treasures in the universe! Gokudo is interested to they invite him to join their side. You’d think Gokudo accepts only because he is faking it. Turns out he actually defects! When he fights Seigi, both of them get hurt. Granny reveals since they are of the same soul, naturally hurting the other means hurting yourself. Yup, a dastardly plan to eliminate each other. Gokudo has had it and flees. The knights transform into dragons and fire away. Djinn protects Gokudo. OMG. Gokudo concerned and mad at this?! He unleashes some holy light when his sword clashes with Seigi’s, effectively destroying the dragons. Everybody soon becomes disappointed learning that Gokudo is only concerned for Djinn because he still hasn’t finished granting his wish. Once he is done, he can just die!!! Unbelievable… Inside the room, the king puts all of them to sleep. However this spell only works with those with a good heart. With Seigi still awake, this says a lot… So is Seigi going to fight the king alone? WTF he unleashes the biggest fart and wakes everybody up???!!! Because Granny is familiar with the king, it is revealed he is the Demon Lord taking over the king’s body. Also, Granny is married to the Demon Lord. Holy sh*t. So this is just one big marital spat? Gokudo isn’t interested and instead frolics himself with all the gold in the treasure room. With the Demon Lord so formidable, Seigi has no choice but to ask everyone to restrain Gokudo so he can clash their swords and shoot those holy lights. Eventually the Demon Lord is defeated and sealed back to the demon world. Gokudo frolics in gold while some cheesy romance happens between Seigi and Asraga. In the aftermath, Gokudo and Seigi both become double kings. This means a packed schedule for Gokudo as he has to attend meetings and parties. All dressed up nicely and on his best behaviour too. Djinn considers this his second wish granted so Gokudo decides his final wish to revert to his ordinary adventurer life. You sure? No regrets? Okay. Poof. Back to ol’ Gokudo again. Djinn’s role is over but lets him keep the stone for future use. Just in case. Gokudo leaves but it seems Rubette also wants to follow him. Bored of the royal life, she found her thrill in adventuring and wants him as her guide!

Episode 4
Arriving at the outskirts of the kingdom of Parmette, Gokudo accidentally slips off the cliff and dies! The end! Haha! Just kidding! He is now a ghost and there is this hot chick who claims she has been in love with him and watching him. She claims she can bring him back to life and gives him her magic mirror. When Gokudo wakes up, he is in the room of a poor magic student, Issa. He saved him but you bet Gokudo is ungrateful. Because Issa is clumsy and spills soup over him, he is forced to take him out to eat. Noticing the revelry outside, Issa explains that the kingdom’s princesses are of marrying age. Hence a race will be held as candidates will traverse through the desert filled with monsters, return with a relic from a tomb. Of course the candidates who can participate are only chosen by the princesses. At a restaurant, the owner views Issa as a loser and doesn’t want to serve him. Gokudo won’t take this and announces himself as the heir of the Eschallatto Empire. Nobody believes him and laughs. He summons Djinn as proof. However this is only a shell of his as the real Djinn is away at the demon world. When Issa tries to stop Gokudo from picking fights, the magic mirror falls out. It is that hot chick and she is the third Princess Coco. She starts flirting with Gokudo and announces he is her candidate for the race. The winner of the race is bestowed power by the goddess. Rubette doesn’t want Gokudo to participate but since he heard that buzzword, you bet he is going to participate. Coco mocks Rubette for being jealous so Rubette leaves by herself. The race begins as Issa wants to be Gokudo’s guide, claiming he can help navigate the desert. Gokudo doesn’t need him and even blackmails him to pay 100 gold if he really wants to follow him. Issa relents since he also needs to hand in his thesis (he is doing research on the monsters). Along the way, a Chinese dumpling guy attacks Gokudo. Apparently Gokudo owes him money and never paid for the dumplings he ate at his store. This dumpling guy is also the servant of Ya Sager, the candidate for the second Princess Keruna. Since Gokudo won’t pay up, he burps his garlic breath! But Gokudo goes one step better! He farts in his face!!! WTF?! Of course Ya Sager wants to eliminate his competitor and since he is the royal mage for the Parmette royalty, he blasts Gokudo with his magic!

Episode 5
Dumpling guy turns into… A cow?! Ya Sager realizes something messed with his magic. But now they have to deal with… A sand parrot? WTF this hybrid monster? Gokudo gets partially petrified. Ya Sager doesn’t have enough magic to save him and Issa doesn’t know any spell to undo it. So Issa and Ya Sager combine what they have to blast away the sand parrot. When Gokudo comes to, he is healed thanks to Ya Sager. Heck, he even made a tent for him although he himself has departed. As Gokudo feasts on Coco’s food, he asks about the other competitor. First princess Elma’s candidate is a knight on a unicorn? Looks like he is here. Hey, a talking unicorn! The knight can’t speak because of some spell making him a mute and hence horsey here speaking on his behalf. Both fight and Gokudo looks like he has the upper hand when the unicorn intervenes to break the fight. He advises that the hybrid monsters only move during the day and if he wants to know more about the truth, ask the Star of Dawn. Gokudo continues his journey, stumbling into many weird hybrid monsters. Then Ya Sager meets up with him. He suggests they team up to find the source that is messing up their magic and causing the natural monsters of the desert to become hybrid. Of course Gokudo is not interested. Now they arrive at the tomb but they must pass the Sphinx’s riddle. Because Gokudo is being arrogant, the Sphinx gives a hard one. Bring back a moon drop. Failure to do so means she will eat you! Ya Sager thinks of summoning the Demon Lord for help, a reunion Gokudo doesn’t want. But thanks to the messed up magic, he summoned a demon monk kid instead, Ikkyu. Gokudo then kidnaps Ikkyu and wants him to retrieve the moon drop for him. Sure, but Gokudo must give his soul. Gokudo won’t do that. Instead, he can have Issa’s soul! Devilish! Ikkyu likes that part of him. It’s a deal. Ya Sager berates Gokudo for his unethical behaviour and unfit to be a ruler. When he talks about the Daybreak Star given by the goddess as blessing and that mark on the forehead indicates possession of a great power, Gokudo then connects the dots. He calls out Coco and forces her to tell the truth about the messed up magic and all. Of course she tries to play dumb but he knows that the Daybreak Star and Star of Dawn are in reference to her.

Episode 6
After much bugging, Coco reveals that Parmette is going through a crisis. The magic protecting it is disappearing. The source is this desert and one day all the monsters just disappeared. Isn’t this good? Nope. The monsters are a tourist attraction for Parmette. Furthermore, the goddess is sealed, indicating some power is trying to take over this kingdom. The king tries to solve this secretly and so as not to worry the people, hence this race was continued to be held. Prophecy said that a traveller will help save this kingdom. That’s Gokudo, right? Of course he isn’t interested. Ya Sager drops out of the race so he could go help. After much bugging, Gokudo still refuses so Issa tries to shoot him with his fireball. Gokudo deflects but it hits the Sphinx. Bad mood. She’s going to kill them when Ikkyu returns. The moon drop is sealed in this special vial. If opened it turns into normal water. The Sphinx thinks he is bluffing and wants him to go get proof but Ikkyu is smarter because the Sphinx can only ask 1 riddle. With that, the Sphinx just let them into the tomb. Just then, the knight and unicorn just arrive. Inside the tomb, Gokudo is captured. It’s that dumpling dude cooking dumplings for mummies?! WTF?! There’s some explanation how he got in here but I don’t really get it. The truth rears its ugly head when Coco and Issa are shown to be in cohorts. Plus, they are lovers. The real prophecy said that the traveller has to sacrifice his life to save the kingdom. That’s Gokudo, right? At this point, Gokudo allows Ikkyu to take Issa’s soul as part of the bargain. Issa is dead and Coco gets mad. She tries to kill him but is promptly knocked out by the knight who turns out to be Rubette in disguise. I guess the unicorn was smart enough to answer the Sphinx’s question. Then they head to the room with another puzzle. Trying to decipher the puzzle, it ends up both of them arguing and Rubette kicking Gokudo. Apparently that is supposed to be the solution. Huh? A secret door opens. Giant bats attack Gokudo. Rubette and the unicorn go ahead and leave the selfish bastard in a lurch.

Episode 7
Gokudo rides a bat into the next room? Whatever. However there is a dragon guarding it. Luckily it is Djinn in disguise. Something about this is his part time job since the kingdom lacked manpower to guard the relic? Rubette changes her story, claiming she was finding a way out instead of ditching him. Speaking about why Gokudo’s sword didn’t respond to him, it is believed it is sealed inside the treasure room. Djinn leads them in while they leave the unicorn to guard the relic. Uhm, lots of guards waiting for them. Even more so, Coco still wants revenge over Issa’s death. Djinn intervenes and wants to hear to whole story as he plays mediator since both sides are accusing each other of deceiving the other. Learning that Ikkyu was involved, Djinn summons him. He orders Ikkyu to give back Issa’s soul since it is against the law to take a soul without that person’s permission. You mean there’s such a rule in the demon world? Anyway, Issa is back to life. Coco doesn’t like how everyone belittles her Issa so Djinn poses the question if Issa would be happy as king. Issa agrees that he won’t be happy as one. As long as he can continue his monster research, that’s all he needs. With this affair solved, Gokudo is now free to reclaim his sword. Can’t resist trying to steal some treasures, eh? Better check him before he leaves… Regarding the race, if Keruna and Coco are disqualified, this leaves Elma. But because Rubette is a woman, she definitely isn’t the candidate. This means the unicorn is the one? Ikkyu then hints that the unicorn has a true identity. He is actually Prince Niari and the only son of the Demon Lord and Granny. To sum it up shortly, he is a liar and a player. Just like Gokudo. Oh boy. It’s already bad we have one and now another? When they return to the relic room, Niari is gone and so is the relic.

Episode 8
Gokudo doesn’t want any part of this as usual. But Djinn claims he has stolen some treasure and will overlook this if he helps. Otherwise he’ll be thrown into prison for the rest of his life. When Niari returns to the palace, he admits he was the one who sealed the goddess and will take over this kingdom. When Gokudo and co arrive, they see the palace destroyed and many injured. Niari has also kidnapped the princesses. Gokudo and Ikkyu are fooling around with some strange item. This causes a fairy to pop out. This is the goddess? Because her powers are sealed, she is also amnesiac. But she claims Gokudo is the hero who will save Parmette. She follows the strong power source that leads them to a tower where Niari is holing up. They can’t get in so Ikkyu bluffs his way for Niari to open the barrier by claiming he brought Rubette for him. This prince is interested in human chicks so he thinks Rubette wants to join his harem as he opens his barrier. The princesses are being mind controlled to love him. When Rubette rejects this jerk and fires her arrow, Niari is going to teach them a lesson as he summons his mecha! Holy cow! Is this cheating?! Gokudo and co’s attack don’t do anything much. At this point, the goddess regains some of her powers. She claims she knows a way to completely break the seal. She wants Gokudo to kiss him. Oh yeah. He wants more but the goddess claims it is enough. You sure? Because the goddess turns into her true form: GRANNY!!! OMFG! Gokudo just died! So this is the ‘sacrifice’?! With Granny regaining her powers, she destroys the mecha. In the aftermath, Niari is stripped of his magic and must face the consequences in the human world. Granny offers to rebuild Parmette and also nominates Ya Sager as the next king for his selflessness. Then everybody sings praises of Gokudo’s ‘sacrifice’ and will tell future generations of his heroics. Of course Gokudo won’t have that and revives! As reward for saving Parmette, I guess now they’ve got Ya Sager’s flying horse, Pegasus. Also, Niari is tagging along since Gokudo is made to be his guardian. More misadventures coming up…

Episode 9
Gokudo opens a box… And becomes old! Does this story feel familiar? This box of course belongs to Otohime and to get his youth back, they have to travel to Inaho and seek and audience with the Dragon God. I guess gods and demons use a different system of magic so Djinn can’t change Gokudo back. Oh, gods and demons don’t get along too so they must hide all their powers as well as Djinn turning himself and Pegasus into human form to avoid suspicions. At the port, because nobody is willing to lend them a boat, Gokudo’s grand idea is to wait till night fall and steal one. They do so but apparently no boats are out at the dock. In his frustration, he throws a stone which hits a turtle, Nini. Learning that she is a maid of the royal court of the underwater palace, Gokudo tries to get on her good side to introduce him to the Dragon God. But she gets annoyed since she can’t lay her eggs. Gokudo tries to fight her but his age won’t let him. Nini then summons this giant fire breathing turtle to get back at them. Gokudo plays dirty by taking Nini hostage. But then an army of, uhm, Ninja Turtles arrive to take them into custody. In the underwater palace, they meet the Dragon God. He reverts Gokudo’s age back to normal but this will only last for a week. In return, they must find his stolen magic sphere which is the source of his powers. Failure to do so means Gokudo will return being an old man. Regarding the person who stole his magic sphere, his sister is investigating and has some leads. They are to meet her at Fire Land where she is worshipped as the sun goddess. Because Niari insists he wants to see Otohime, Dragon God summons her. This babe… Is an ugly giant!!! I think that’s the fastest way to grow old too!

Episode 10
Otohime takes a liking for Niari and wants to marry him! He tries to give excuse that he needs to go on a mission but Dragon God allows him to stay. Oh God. Otohime won’t let him sleep tonight… And Gokudo laughing his ass off… The rest head out for the mission and meet up with a priest, Nihi who guides them to see Nano. But upon arrival, it looks like the sun goddess is in a bad mood. You can tell when the place is all dark and she has holed herself up in some cave. Of course Gokudo cannot wait until she is in good mood and tries to force his way in. Well, if only he can move the boulder closing the cave mouth. He lets Pegasus do it while the rest feast on the offerings for Nano. Djinn gets drunk and Rubette can’t stop singing. Yeah, horrible singer. Gokudo then lets out the smelliest fart. That is when the boulder opens. You bet Nano is going to complain about that stinker. Eh? Nano is a little chibi bratty girl?! She also has an attitude so you bet she is going to lock horns with Gokudo and throw tantrums. Nano can tell Djinn is also a deity but from a foreign land. They are called Hotoke and are now worshipped in Inaho. Then she narrates some tragic story how their Higashi and Hanishi tribes escaped to the south of Inaho. Gokudo understands it all as they embarrassingly lost some battle. Gokudo then summons his sword just to prove his superiority. Rubette’s ability to talk to animals has her finding out that the magic sphere is somewhere in Inaho. With that, Nano announces she wants to join in this mission. Otherwise she’ll throw a tantrum.

Episode 11
Trekking through the forests, they fight off spiders with demon faces? After a tough fight, Gokudo spanks Nano for still being a brat. She starts crying and the weather turns bad. Fortunately or not, it only affects him. When they get to the seaside town, they see the villagers gathering. Who this mermaid? Eh? Niari?! Turns out Otohime turned him into one to suit her taste and he subsequently escaped. The villagers turn on them thinking they will bring bad luck because previously there was a fox with a ball that came by. Believing it could be the magic sphere, they head to the shrine at the foot of the mountains. Because Djinn continues to act strange and Nano and Nihi know they are from the demon world, Niari gives the green light to tell Rubette and Gokudo the truth. A princess was torn between some demon and a god of Hotoke. But she went with the demon and because the Hotoke felt rejected, he held grudges. You might think it is a romantic story. Turns out that princess is Granny! Oh sh*t! Hence Djinn accuses Nano and Nihi of trying to use them to get back. Then Fox God appears. As you would expect, because she’s such a hot babe, Gokudo and Niari compete for her. Unfortunately she is just a projection as she hints her real body is being held captive by the Hotoke at Inaho’s capital. On the way there, they learn Prince Tsukiha is down with a strange illness. Rumours have it that he is being possessed by a fox spirit. Niari gets this idea to disguise as a doctor with magic to treat him. They are then confronted by a pair of deities, Aa and Un. Uhm, they do their specialty of telling jokes. Nobody finds it funny except Pegasus. Once that is done, they start fighting and their goal is to capture Nano for trying to use these demon people to get the magic sphere.

Episode 12
Aa and Un hypnotizes them till they pass out. When they come to, they realize Nano has been kidnapped. Because Gokudo and Niari aren’t interested in rescuing her, Djinn and Pegasus take this mission while the rest head to the capital. Using Gokudo as a sick patient, Niari disguises as a doctor to heal his wounds. This attracts everyone who wants their sickness or injuries healed. This also catches the attention of a court official. Sneaky Gokudo has him pay upfront an introduction fee if he wants this magic doctor. In the palace, they talk to Prince Hanayo and it seems the emperor will have them rest first. Hanayo then talks to Gokudo because the emperor is interested in Rubette. Gokudo doesn’t care about her and will let them do as he please, shocking them. So Gokudo tells Rubette she is wanted. Look at that emperor’s rape face… Of course Rubette beats the crap out of him. With the gang arguing, the guards arrive. They are about to arrest them for this atrocity but the fox spirit whisks them away to Tsukiha’s room. It seems Tsukiha and the fox spirit are happily coexisting and in love with each other. It seems the fox spirit stole the magic sphere from Hotoke but because they were persistent, she was forced to hide with Tsukiha. Now that they have become one, if Tsukiha dies, the magic sphere will also die. Hence they have bonded so close now that they love each other. Tsukiha knows the magic sphere is the source of the problem as the gods are also fighting over it for unlimited power. So the gods are not all that powerful? He can’t confide in Hanayo as he has sided with the gods and is trying to take the emperor’s place. Tsukiha gives the magic sphere to Gokudo. Then Hanayo comes in and wants it handed over. He has taken Nihi hostage. Hanayo is appalled that Gokudo and Rubette don’t care about each other and have no trust. When he lectures them about bonds and justice, they laugh off at his naivety. Nihi then reverts to his true form. He is actually the Dragon God in disguise. Oh, Hanayo also transforms into his true form. He is the Hotoke, Indra. Gokudo makes a run for it and won’t give the magic sphere, leading to a wild chase. Gokudo manages to give everyone the slip. Now what to do with this magic sphere…

Episode 13
It’s a battle royale among everybody to find Gokudo and get the magic sphere. Meanwhile Djinn finds Nano locked in a tower. He lets her escape but they have to get away from Aa and Un. Those bozos in their bid to chase after Djinn and Nano, stumble into Gokudo. Fearing they would get scolded by Indra, they even pay Gokudo gold so as to let him tell Nano’s whereabouts. That stupid, huh? Of course Indra is here. Gokudo runs away with all the gold he can carry until Indra corners and captures him. That won’t be long until Dragon God comes back into the scene for another fight, allowing Gokudo to escape once more. This time he bumps into Rubette. Also at this time, he is starting to grow old. WTF he doesn’t care about growing old as long as he has the magic sphere? The Dragon King and Indra fire all they’ve got at Gokudo. He takes a direct hit! OMG! Gokudo dead?! Djinn crying over his dead body and confesses he loves this dude despite being a snivelling bastard! Even Rubette is mad and is about to get her revenge when Gokudo revives! Thanks to the magic sphere protecting him. Nano tries to snatch it from him but the tug of war results in the magic sphere being broke into 2. It was that fragile? Now to gods and Hotoke are panicking. It’s the end of the world. Their world. You see, the magic sphere contains powers that allows them to stay on Earth. Now that it is broken, they can no longer be around. A vortex sucks them all back up to heaven. Now Gokudo wants his youth back? Too late. Yup, an old geezer now. But wait. He turns back young! Because the gods and Hotoke are gone, this means their curse is also lifted. Phew. With no more gods ruling the world, Gokudo is pleased that humans can do anything they want. Heh. It’s no different for Gokudo, right? So he swims in the sea butt naked. And Rubette sings her heart out… Oh God… God has abandoned us!

Episode 14
Gokudo robbing people, Niari chasing after girls and Rubette picking fights with men? The gods have truly abandoned us! Because they are acting like demons, that folklore kid, Momotaro comes by to defeat them. They underestimate him since he is small and chibi. Something happened as everybody gets blasted across the sea. When Gokudo comes to, he is in the hospitality of Ikkyu and his master, Tei who is some ghost reformer? It soon dawns to Gokudo that he is in Rubette’s body! He takes advantage of his female status to get food. When Gokudo introduces himself using his real name, Ikkyu is frightened that it is the same name as a certain ‘monster’. Plus, there is another monster called Goku running around rampaging the city with fire. Hmm… Could be somebody in Gokudo’s body…Tei and Ikkyu are on their way to fight this villain and it seems Ikkyu has already reformed. But Gokudo’s evil plan is to kidnap Ikkyu, turn him back to evil so that he could get his own body back. Meanwhile Rubette is sad because she is in Djinn’s body. Oh, this magic book. Let’s see what transformation magic can be done. Djinn on the other hand is in Niari’s body. He is picked up by a pair of beautiful sisters, Rayuka and Shikinka. They treat him with great sake and food. But of course there is an ulterior motive as they spiked his drink. The real Niari? He is in a monkey’s body and is being a playboy with other female monkeys! Tei and Gokudo arrive at the village. But the mayor tells them that Goku has been treating people nicely instead. He just wants the monster scared away since it is harmless. That night, Gokudo tries to steal Tei’s urn (where Ikkyu is kept) but is caught red-handed. Suddenly a monster (elephant? Penguin?) knocks Tei out and kidnaps Gokudo.

Episode 15
Gokudo doesn’t understand what the monster is telling him so he thought of releasing Ikkyu but opened the wrong urn. Who this Panda hermit?! Asking his help to find his real body, the moment he hears about Goku, Panda becomes scared and doesn’t want to do this anymore. At this point, Tei and the villagers come to attack but the monster fights back and escape. They are then picked up by the sisters. Of course Gokudo eats all he wants so the monster isn’t happy he is getting somebody’s body fat. A weird chase as the monster tries to take away all the food. The sisters then put them to sleep. When they wake up, they find Djinn with them. It is then revealed the monster is actually Rubette! She tried to transform into a dragon but this was what happened. Gokudo makes fun of her body and doesn’t even give a damn about it. Oh Rubette, you gonna beat up your own body like that? Then they realize they have been shrunk into doll size and are made to be the sisters’ play dolls. What’s this about their pet Momo who devours souls? Gokudo needs Ikkyu’s help but he got Panda again. Forcing him to use some repellent magic, Panda instead uses his magic mirror to absorb but instead it turns the house into a giant carnivorous plant. So this is Momo? Now awakened, Momo is hungry and wants to eat. You guys better run! In the sisters’ flying cloud car, they reveal Momo was once a small cute pet but grew too big. So they put it to sleep by turning it into their house and feed it souls of travellers once a week. They are going to Horai Mountain where a sage lives who might help revert their size back to normal and also switch back their bodies. But first they have to escape from hungry Momo. This plant can fly? Anyway after dodging all its acid attacks, Gokudo starts blaming Panda. That is when Panda realizes he was holding the mirror in the wrong direction. This time, the mirror absorbs Momo. The sisters don’t want Momo anymore and throws the mirror away. Okay, now onwards to Horai! But the cloud car has taken damage and it is free falling.

Episode 16
Luckily they fall into some natural hotspring. This turns Rubette back into Djinn’s body. Because she still isn’t happy and after much bugging, Djinn uses his magic to turn her into a hot Chinese chick. Yeah, this looks better, right? The sisters want Panda to guide them to Horai since Rayuka’s fiancé never returned. However Horai isn’t just any place where anybody can go as it is located in another dimension. Only qualified sages can do so. The sisters get this idea to get Jiki to come over here to bring them over. However when they enter the cave, Jiki is not around but Ikkyu! He’s been waiting for them and is back to his devilish ways because of the hotspring effect. As they talk about their swapped bodies (all of them have to be together if they want to revert back), here comes a monkey in Gokudo’s body. Panda points out this is not Goku as that one is real fearsome. Then they realize that Niari could be Goku as he could be stuck in a monkey’s body. This is getting complicated. Ikkyu then remembers Niari has been here before because he was asking to Horai. So it’s in this pot? Time to go down. They arrive in this creepy Horai place. Some call it hell… Guess who is running a business here? It’s that dumpling guy! Of course the monkey causes havoc by eating for free. Dumpling guy tries to get him but stumbles into Djinn (remember he is in Niari’s body). Remembering he is a wanted man, he calls the guards to arrest him. Gokudo gets sneaky. He uses his feminine charms to convince the guards to pay him the reward, leaving the dumpling dude all sad. Gokudo then wants Panda to use his crystal ball to find Niari but Panda gets sneaky and wants him to pay up for more info. Gokudo is sneakier because he distracts Panda and fills the reward bag with stone instead. Looking through the crystal ball, they see this evil monkey. It could be Niari is playing as Goku. He is at Yama Palace who is the caretaker of Horai. The prince is no other than Tei who is also Rayuka’s fiancé. So she never thought he was a prince of the underworld? As no humans can get near the palace, Ikkyu comes up with an idea. He holds a concert and introduces the Chingensai Sisters as idols. Rayuka, Shikinka, Rubette and Gokudo… Yes you, Gokudo.

Episode 17
The crowd loves the Chingensai Sisters. It’s mind boggling since Rubette is tone deaf… After their part is done, Panda is up next doing some magic trick. The crowd doesn’t like him and boos him. Chingensai Sisters return to the stage and with Panda being mean to Gokudo, he screams for help so all the unruly fans hop on stage for a free for all. Yeah, the girls getting molested too so Rubette starts beating them up. As they run, they stumble into a talking tree. Joka is a powerful high ranking wizard and offers to hide them but with Gokudo being rude, she changes her mind. But Rayuka and Shikinka plead for mercy, she lets them in. Gokudo drinks some water inside and the sisters warn him too late that it would turn somebody into a sage. Well, if you qualify to be one. And if you don’t? Oh, something is happening to his body… Gokudo passes out and when he wakes up, only the monkey is with him. He goes outside and realizes he can communicate with animals. But how come he can’t understand what the monkey says? This means this is no ordinary monkey and must be Goku. Suddenly they are attacked by Garuda, a servant of Sanzo the monk. They are saved by Jiki who stuck some delusional bamboo in it. Off it flies to Mars? Reuniting with the rest, Jiki then explains about Goku. A monkey ate some immortality peach and caused all kinds of mischiefs after attaining god-like powers. All the sages imprisoned him in a huge rock but recently a meteorite smashed into it and might have awakened Goku. It is assumed the meteorite could be Niari and hence the swap. Because Sanzo is gathering monsters and planning something, what would happen if Goku follows Sanzo? Jiki uses a banana as bait to fish out Goku. But it is Panda who took the bait. Knowing that Niari will not be deceived by a mere banana, what would be the most appropriate bait? Yup, Gokudo! He is in Rubette’s body, right? Rubette must have mixed feelings right now.

Episode 18
Gokudo enters a land with talking monkeys! Threatening them, they take them to their boss who is of course Niari in Goku’s body. But Niari seems to be hiding from somebody. Goku’s wife! This gorilla is going apes that Niari is cheating on her! Even more so with ‘Rubette’ here. Yeah, she’s getting violent. Gokudo signals to Jiki to fish him out. Niari being Niari continues to be flirty as he tries to hit on Rayuka and Shikinka. Rubette senses something amiss when she tries to guess who is in whose body. Then they all realize this monkey in Gokudo’s body isn’t Goku. The real person behind this is Sanzo. Even so, this is not Gokudo’s real body and is just a puppet. The real body is being controlled somewhere else. When they try to attack Sanzo, Gokudo feels pain. As long as the puppet’s curse is activated, if you hurt the body, the original soul of that body will also feel the pain. So nobody can hurt anybody, huh? What does Gokudo do? Protect Sanzo, of course! Sanzo then wants to turn them into his servants and sends them to hell. It seems only Gokudo is feeling all the pain as he is in the body of a human. The rest aren’t human or their bodies aren’t so they don’t feel the hot or cold. Finally they arrive at the desert. Without magic here, Jiki and the sisters revert to their true forms: A turtle and snakes respectively. Then they see Djinn and Pegasus. They don’t respond. In fact, they have become retards! It seems the longer you spend time here, the more you’ll risk becoming retards. Then a hot chick comes up to Djinn (remember, he is in Niari’s body). It seems she is glad she has finally found him.

Episode 19
Jiki recognizes her as Nanya, a servant of the Queen West. She lends them her white tiger fur coat said to help deflect the curse of the desert. Yeah, everybody scrambling to get under it. Nanya leads the gang out of the desert but remains distant with them. She is only helping them because they are Djinn’s friends. Because Djinn is still a retard, Nanya continues to feel sad for his case. Cue for flashback. As Djinn was taken away by the guards, they stumble into Nanya. Learning she is the Queen West’s servant, they attack her. Djinn helps to fight back and escape. Then they encounter King Yama and his monsters. They too attack them but since their numbers are overwhelming, he stayed back to buy her time to escape and get help from his friends, namely Gokudo. Safe to say at this point Nanya has fallen for Djinn. Now that she has found him, her plan is to take her to Konron Mountain and hopes Queen West can cure his state with her supernatural power. Next morning, Nanya and Djinn are gone, leaving the rest deserted. However as Jiki points out, they are already at Konron. Its mist can leave travellers lost if not careful. Also at this point, Gokudo has got used to Rubette’s body so he doesn’t mind staying as her for a while. Because he can make money as an idol! Conveniently here comes Tei. WTF this guy wants to continue his kiss with Gokudo?! Of course Rayuka and Shikinka won’t allow this. Haven’t forgotten he is engaged to the former, huh? You bet they’re going to make him explain himself for this cheating. Then they force him to lead them to the palace since he is Yama’s son. It get worse for him as the rest discover idol merchandises of Rubette (Gokudo). Creepy, huh? How do you like having your first biggest fan? Gokudo throws out all those stuffs. Because Queen West has been captured and being guarded heavily inside the palace, Yama is indiscriminately shooting anybody down who gets near. More woes because Panda is pregnant and going into labour?! Yeah, some weird egg he ate in the desert. I don’t think Tei’s driving skills is evading the beams like a pro. They’re all bad shooters. Thankfully some white light teleports them elsewhere and Panda finally gives birth to… A monster?!

Episode 20
Well, it’s actually a baby Gokudo! He can talk and is an arrogant brat! But when he sees Niari, he wants his body back. This proves this baby is Goku! Meanwhile Queen West chides Nanya for doing this. Even so, Nanya pleads to her to save Djinn and she’ll do anything she asks. Queen West uses her power to bring the gang here. However Gokudo and Goku remains sceptical of her. Because Nanya has fled with Djinn, this means they cannot begin the ritual to return to their original bodies. Remember, all of them must be present. It is believed Nanya is under Sanzo’s power and Sanzo’s plan is to take over the Hotoke. So part of his plan was to summon them here to get rid of the Hotoke after hearing of what they did in Inaho even if it isn’t entirely their doing. Queen West tried to stop him and hence her interfering power was what caused them to swap souls. Gokudo is upset that this is her fault and blames her that she is doing this all for herself. Is he speaking from his selfish experience? Gokudo wants her to go get Djinn but she can’t leave this place, citing house arrest, He tries to attack her but she easily fends him off. The rest try the same but to no avail. Then Tei pleads to them to help save his father. It seems Yama too is under Sanzo’s spell. He noticed Yama was acting weird after meeting Sanzo so he stole an egg he was keeping for Sanzo in hopes he would come back. Of course inside that egg was Goku and perhaps Sanzo failed when he tried to get his soul into Gokudo’s body. Goku remembers Sanzo making a strange doll (that monkey) but complained he couldn’t separate the soul from the body. It is theorized that because separation is impossible if the soul is from a different body, Sanzo ended up reluctantly controlling the monkey and trapped Goku inside an egg after making the doll. It could be the same case for Yama. That night, Queen West sees Niari and gives him a key to some Miroku device that will save the universe. From what I understand, it turns misfortunes into happiness by repairing any imbalance. You bet Niari and Goku want to take this mission by themselves and not tell the rest. After they leave, Queen West tells the rest that Niari and Goku have left. Gokudo is impatient to go after them but it seems the rest has a better way to sneak into Yama Palace. Oh yeah. It’s the return of Chingensai Sisters.

Episode 21
If Gokudo said he is more than happy to be an idol, why is he not looking forward to this concert? I guess there’s no money in this, huh? And so we see recycled scenes of Chingensai Sisters on stage. Then there’s the handshake event but they are approached by Sanzo’s men, Hakkai and Gojou to pick them up and go see the monk himself. Sanzo claims that West Queen has tricked and brainwashed them into thinking he is the bad guy. It is her who has the ulterior motive. He shows Djinn and Nanya being confined in Queen West’s prison. Niari and Goku are having a feast with babes in the next room. The guys quickly defect and join this party while the women are furious and remain sceptical. Sanzo will show his goodwill by returning them to their rightful bodies. He starts with Gokudo but some slip up has him shoot his beam at Tei who then turns into an egg. Now that they know Sanzo is lying, they fight him but everybody gets turned into an egg. Only Gokudo, Ikkyu and Goku are left so they escape. They even have time to argue that they deserve to get that device. Arriving in a room with lots of eggs, they throw them at their enemies. It hatch lots of monsters who were forcibly turned into eggs. Then they bump into a giant egg that turns out to be Yama. Yama learns what is going on and tells them the location of the device. Sanzo desperately tries to warn them it is not what they think but you think Gokudo is going to listen at this point? Yama stalls them as they get to the device below. After inserting a key, a giant Buddha appears. It then begins to suck in everything. It seems this is the final weapon of the Hotoke. Because the Hotoke want fairness, hence everything will be return to nothingness. So nothingness = happiness? Not the kind of happiness that Gokudo wants. What to do? Everybody gets sucked in!

Episode 22
Inside this giant, Gokudo and co see an awakened Miroku. Gokudo and Goku argue to let Miroku grant their happiness. When Miroku asks their definition of happiness, here comes Sanzo to denounce whatever Miroku is going to do. He claims Miroku is not supposed to wake up for another 5.6 billion years. By that time, humans might not exist anymore. Even so, the Hotoke will not have a reason to wake him up. Sanzo believes he is created out of Hotoke’s pure arrogance. When Sanzo met Queen West, they talked about salvation but the latter didn’t believe the Hotoke will save humans now despite they are suffering. This is why their promised salvation is so far in the future. In the end, the gods and Hotoke never had plans to save humans. They are just doing so that they could control humans at their convenience in the future. That is when Sanzo had a thought. He should become mankind’s saviour! Why does that me him sound like a villain? Gokudo becomes impatient with this and wants Miroku to quickly grant happiness. So Gokudo’s definition of happiness is free food? Miroku finds him interesting and wants to look from his point of view. Gokudo looks like he has returned to his body but it is a just a light illusion from Miroku. With them still arguing about happiness, Miroku now doubts if he can do that since he is unwanted by everyone. Gokudo then tells him off to stop being a Hotoke and do as he wishes. You don’t say. Because Miroku now wants to fuse with Gokudo’s soul and see the world through his eyes! Now Sanzo wants that too? Too bad Miroku chooses Gokudo. A sore Sanzo won’t lose out so he uses the device to go beyond God. Uhm, can you go beyond God? I’m so confused. So now he is controlling the statue and trying to destroy everything? As usual, Gokudo runs away but since Miroku is inhabiting him, he forces him to turn around and fight. Gokudo remembers he drank Joka’s holy water. This has Joka popping up because it’s like he summoned her? Her true form is a giant serpent and was cursed to become a tree. Because Gokudo called for her, the curse is broken. Huh? How does this simple thing even work?! Joka fights Sanzo but he is spewing souls to fight on his behalf. Kill them and they die. Luckily, there is Ikkyu to suck them all up. Sanzo turns his attention to destroy humans. With Gokudo wanting to kick Sanzo’s ass, Miroku understands how he feels. Believing those who try to rule others in the name of God is despicable, Miroku turns into some missile flame and launches himself into Sanzo. He is going to send Sanzo to see God as he wishes. And just like that, they go to heaven. Phew. I’m glad the complication to destroy the world is over. Gokudo returns to Rubette’s body and Nanya is seen charging at them.

Episode 23
It seems Nanya is jealous of Gokudo? Rather, she wants Rubette’s body so she can be with Djinn forever. Because Nanya’s body will return into a white tiger someday, possessing Rubette’s body means she can forever remain human. This is so we can have some weird comical fight and dodge scene. Right before Nanya kills Gokudo, Djinn got his sanity back and stops her from doing the unthinkable. Nanya repents her ways and we have this weird cheesy love thingy going on between them. Interrupted when Goku gets kidnapped by Sanzo. Isn’t this dude supposed to be dead? Yeah, he wants to drag Gokudo down to hell with him. And so he turns into a monster to attack them. Nobody can attack him because each attack he absorbs, he becomes stronger. Then when all of them are clinging on to Djinn who is clinging onto the ledge, Nanya is possessed by Sanzo as she tries to kick them down to their doom. Only, Nanya’s conscious is stronger so she jumps off herself. All for nought because the ledge gives way. Free fall! But thankfully Miroku’s light saves them all. He finally tosses Sanzo into the black hole, supposedly the door to the underworld. But he warns if this hole isn’t sealed, it might collide with their world and bring disaster. Only Joka can do it. So Gokudo reluctantly calls Joka to do the same. She seals up the hole and it’s goodbye to everybody. Everyone wakes up back at Queen West’s place. She mentions all this was just a test to see if Nanya would inherit Konron but apparently she failed as she gave into her desires. Gokudo wants Ikkyu to call Granny to switch back all their bodies since everybody is here. When Ikkyu calls her, Queen West’s phone rings. Oh no. Queen West turns out to be Granny in disguise! She has trolled us for the last time! A simple magic returns everyone to their original bodies. Man, it’s going to take some time to see Rubette in her own body again… Nanya still loves Djinn because of his soul. Granny suggests they go on a journey together as Nanya has still lots to learn. And Gokudo… He is a little baby! Oh boy. Going to take a few more years for him to grow up. Even as a baby he is so selfish and bratty. Some things never change. In the aftermath, Shikinka went solo as an idol. Jiki and Panda become her side entertainers? Tei marries Rayuka and they both entered some construction business. The rest journey to Yamu to find the Spring of Life for Gokudo.

Episode 24
A tribe is worshipping the Fire God, Ryu Gee as they let the fire burn before the Spring of Fire. Because Gokudo and co are flying over, they think it is their rival tribe that worships the moon goddess, Negana Luna. It’s amazing how their puny arrows can make them lose their balance. Gokudo and Rubette fall off but a giant black bird saves them. Riding it is a little girl, Lee Ho who brings them back to her moon tribe village. She believes Gokudo is the Holy Infant who will help save Negana Luna. You see, the Spring of Fire was previously the Spring of Life until Ryu Gee took over. So basically in order to turn the spring back, they need to find a maiden as a host for Negana Luna and they have to conduct the ritual using this necklace. The original host, Kikue got possessed by Ryu Gee and Lee Ho herself is too young to be qualified. Of course sneaky Gokudo offers Rubette who has been out cold ever since. Each time she wakes up, he knocks her back to slumber. That night as they sneak to the Spring of Fire, a guard attacks them. Gokudo has a hard time fighting him off until he cracks his mask. His gaze upon the moon causes him to black out. Using the necklace, Gokudo must summon 4 magical items from what he sees in the necklace that will aid in the spring’s resurrection. Firstly, something that flies. Pegasus with Niari on it? Next, a snake. Shikinka? Sorry to cut your idol performance short. Third, something from the wilderness. A tiger. Like, Nanya. Finally, something that breathes fire. Thinking Djinn in dragon form would be it but it turns out to be Gokudo’s sword. With everything in place, Negana Luna now possesses Rubette as she returns the Spring of Life to what it was. Happy Gokudo dips in and returns to his adult size. Before he wants to monopolize this spring and make a fortune out of it, Ryu Gee pops out to attack them. Lee Ho is distraught because she is supposed to be her mom. But Negana Luna easily owns her and Ryu Gee who is possessing her leaves her body and takes a form of his own. Is he a dragon or crocodile with wings? Gokudo charges at him but gets eaten!

Episode 25
Ryu Gee disappears while Negana Luna falls into an unconscious state. Kikue explains Ryu Gee and Negana Luna were both gods of the night and day respectively. Their authority was equally divided until Ryu Gee tried to eradicate Negana Luna. But now both gods are trying to take over their human hosts and Kikue is in a dilemma as her tribe has always been worshipping and passing down Negana Luna’s teachings. Gokudo finds himself in the dream world whereby Ryu Gee tries to convince him to be possessed by the Fire God forever. Of course Gokudo won’t allow that. Stranger, Ryu Gee tries to force himself inside Gokudo but just can’t. Thus Gokudo sees visions of all the past characters he crossed before. Time to get their payback. With Gokudo remembering his entire life is one big misfortune, Ryu Gee tries to convince him to give up and let him take over. But you know Gokudo. He won’t budge an inch. He isn’t going to ask for help even when he has fallen. Meanwhile, Rubette is also in the dream world and Negana Luna is also trying to possess her. However she fights her way and wakes up. Everyone is shocked to learn that Rubette actually possessed Negana Luna instead. As proof, she has got a mark on her butt! Meanwhile Gokudo isn’t afraid of any god. Remember, he eradicated the entire Hotoke! Realizing this is his own dream world, Gokudo has the advantage and fights back. Ryu Gee realizes his strength and wants to join forces. In the sense that he allows Gokudo to use his powers as he sleeps inside his body. But he warns him that he intends to take over him fully when he is stronger. With that, Gokudo returns to reality and reunite with the rest. He too has a mark on his butt as proof he has possessed a god. Gokudo and co part ways with Kikue and Lee Ho who now believe in the power of humanity and will pass down the true teachings of what they saw today to future generations. On their way back, the gang is suddenly teleported back to Eschallatto. Ikkyu didn’t summon them but Granny. Looks like there is trouble brewing.

Episode 26
Granny views Gokudo and Rubette getting the power of the gods to be troublesome. She reveals ever since they defeated the Demon Lord, the gods started to do as they wish. Hence Granny has plotted and used them to go around defeating the gods. Yup. Everything was a setup by her. She wants them to give up those godly powers or else. Of course they won’t. With Gokudo and Rubette going all out at her, Granny transforms into her actual form. So she is smoking hot goddess?! WTF is she an angel too?! Suddenly Indra drops down from heaven in an alien ship?! Can he return from heaven? Bewitched by Granny and recognizing her as the Madonna of the universe, he is willing to get rid of those pest in exchange for her hand in marriage. She agrees. So what about the Demon Lord she is married to?! The spark’s over a long time ago. I guess human divorce laws don’t apply to such beings. When the rest tries to oppose Granny, she turns them into stone. Gokudo and Rubette are left to deal with Indra but his powers are too great despite their anger gives them the godly powers to fight on part with Indra. When the going gets tough, Gokudo gets going! So typical. But Indra won’t let him. He even transforms into a mecha form! The humans are no match for this. Time for Niari to step in. He doesn’t like how things are turning out so with that frustration, this breaks Granny’s seal as his original powers return to him. With that, he summons his own mecha! Now we can have a real giant power mecha fight! Try not to destroy Eschallatto… Oh, too late… Eventually, the combined powers of Gokudo, Rubette and Niari defeat Indra and send him back to heaven. Damn, a god defeated by humans who are using the powers of the gods. Granny then congratulates the young ones. Trolled us again, huh? She tricked everyone by pretending to be on Indra’s side and it is a good thing they managed to defeat this creep. As for their godly powers, Granny allows them to keep it. She hints she is quite fond of them so Gokudo doesn’t want some MILF romance and kicks her away. Kick her as far and hard as you can. She shall return. Oh, you mean I’ll be back? In the aftermath, Gokudo and Rubette are wanted fugitives of Eschallatto since Seigi saw them during the fight and thinks they are responsible for the destruction. Oh well, another excuse to go on another adventure. Gokudo thought Rubette won’t follow him anymore and felt worried. But she trolled him just to see his reaction. Niari is also following them since where Rubette goes, he goes. Shocking last scene: Rubette gives Gokudo a quick peck on his cheek! Why is this loser the winner?!

Big Anti-hero Sux: Despicable Me
They really go all out in this final episode, huh? I suppose after breaking the fourth wall, they really wanted to go out with a big bang instead of a sputter. I’m sure we’ll remember it for quite some time. Oh Gokudo, considering your selfishness and greed that never change, we’ll always remember you for the wrong reasons. As long as you haven’t found your golden goose or fortune making mechanism, keep on adventuring. Tune in next time as Gokudo tries to find more fame and fortune coming to a city near you!

Even if this is a retro series, the plot and stories itself feel silly. Of course, it is so because it is meant to be funny. Each arc sees the misadventures and misdemeanours of Gokudo and his team and that the whole adventure could be one big zero sum game. In the sense that because of Gokudo is being greedy and selfish, whatever his intentions to capitalize and make a fortune out of it often turns out badly and hence the misadventures and all the nonsense he had to go through. Had he not been this self-centred and egoistical, he might not have gotten into so much trouble. You could say it is like a double edged sword as this is where all the fun and silliness come into. Is this what you call his ‘pleasure trip’ AKA ‘manyuuki’? Pleasure of seeing him getting into trouble. Weird.

So like I’ve said, despite all the silliness in the arc that sometimes don’t make sense, I have this feeling that the author just made things up as they go along. Take for instance the Chingensai arc. Because it is the longest arc in the series spanning for 10 episodes, I find that the more the plot thickens and the twists revealed, the sillier and crappy it sounded. Come to think about it, the whole thing just doesn’t make sense. From the body swapping just to confuse us (perhaps to give us some eye candy variety to see Rubette as a hot Chinese babe – because certainly we’d be feeling weird if she was to be shown as Djinn’s body for the rest of the arc) to unnecessary characters like Jiki and Panda, it’s just bizarre to say the least. Then there are some that is illogical like Gokudo summoning his magic sword. I just think that during the body swapping, the sword was being stupid rather than comical when it couldn’t detect Gokudo’s spirit instead and only became a servant of the master who looks like Gokudo. Just dumb.

I also noticed that each of the story arc is, uhm, how should I put it? Is international the right word? I don’t know, diversity sounds like a dirty word in this point in time. If you have observed, each of the story arc takes place in a different kind of cultural setting. The first in Eschallatto, which is your typical western medieval fantasy. Then the next arc has the gang visit Parmette which is of Arabian and Middle Eastern setting. Can’t forget that Japan has their own culture too and hence the next story of Inaho gives us some Japanese folklore. Then it is off the Chingensai for some ancient Chinese setting before hitting Yamu as the African finale. Or is it Pacific? I’m not sure. Primitive tribes like that all look the same to me but I’m guessing it is Africa since Yamu looks like deep inside the land instead of an island. So did we miss out any other international cultural fairytale setting here? Maybe some Inca or Mayan adventure next time, huh?

On to the characters, Gokudo as the titular and main character, we have come to expect him to be so. I don’t think Gokudo isn’t necessarily a bad guy and is nowhere being Hitler material. You see, everyone is not perfect and has their bad points. Gokudo just has more than your average human and he is not shy to flaunt them. Because of that, Gokudo is the truest character who stays to himself. It is that freedom that allows him to do as he wishes but also the double edged sword that causes him problems. Like a reminder that there is only so much he can do and he should not overstep his boundaries. He may be despicable and has undesirable traits that do not befit a hero but then again, who are we to judge what is good or bad? As said, it is that attitude that often gets Gokudo into further trouble but seeing that he has survived this long and how almost nothing could kill him, I’d say he is a pretty lucky adventurer. I mean, this guy has come face to face with death himself, banishing the Hotoke altogether and he still comes back alive stronger. And with the same nasty attitude. Hence it is with much dilemma for us to want Gokudo to remain as he is. Because this is the Gokudo we know and the Gokudo that we love and loath. Seeing a change in character whereby he really turns over a new leaf and becomes good for the sake of everybody else, I don’t think we can stomach that. We’d rather have our old slimy Gokudo anytime!

Like I’ve also said, Gokudo isn’t really such a bad guy and he shows it through his actions. He might say or put things that sound he is only looking out for himself but if you look deeper into his words, you might find that meaning that he still somewhat cares for his comrades. He doesn’t necessarily needs to care about the rest of his friends if he was 100% so self-centred. But he still fights back for them although giving excuses that his intentions for doing so only meant for his own future and benefit. As seen in the final episode. He doesn’t necessarily have to go all out like that. Sure, he is pissed but finally admitting he had a good time with his pals? So enjoyed those bad times too? Like as though he is one big tsundere who can’t admit that he does care for his friends. Or maybe he is just a big jerk after all. That is why sometimes I make a pun out of his full name, Gokudo You-got-to-be Kidding-me-can’t-you-see?! Hahaha!!!

As for the other characters, I can’t say that their relationship and interactions among each other is dynamic. Amusing to a certain point but nothing more than that. It feels like they’re there to soften the big jerk face that Gokudo is. Like Rubette being the strong independent female character that we all need. Yup, even way back in the 90’s we already have feminism. Nothing new. Niari is like tagging along only because he has got his eyes set on Rubette but rest assured that Rubette will never return his love no matter how many cheesy ‘romantic’ lines he spews. She’s just not interested into you. Take a hint. Oh well, you know what they say about persistence. Yeah, we need some perverted playboy in the group. Because we finally know whose heart Rubette belongs to.

They really threw us off that Rubette had feelings for Gokudo right in the final scene with that kiss. Seeing all that they’ve gone through, it is plausible since it’s the only reason why she continued to follow him on his adventures and tolerate his selfishness. So she’s just being mean to him at times to hide her feelings, huh? I mean, she knows his behaviour and yet… Why do girls like her like jerks like him?! Seeing that she was once a princess and he is a free commoner, maybe that’s where the connection is. Weak indications of Rubette may harbouring a thing for Gokudo made us just overthinking and this is just part of the comedy. Like the time when Gokudo almost died, she got so emotional and wanted revenge. I mean, a kickass babe like her wanting to avenge a jerk like him? So you really have to ask yourself is she really in love with this jerk?! Nah. I wouldn’t put my hopes on it like how I would on Gokudo being a considerate gentleman. Because Gokudo somewhat attracts trouble, she can still have fun staying by his side as the idiot too can be her punching bag. And the time Gokudo turned into a baby and she was happy babysitting him? Nah. Just a cute baby boy, that’s all. Who would have really thought she had a thing for him. Love works in the strangest of ways and to the strangest of all people. It’s not like this series is supposed to be of the romance category, right? Is it?!

So naturally I brought up this Gokudo x Rubette romance thingy, it is because I happen to notice that in each of the story arcs, there is a pair of minor characters for that arc who are deeply in love with each other. Do you still remember in Eschallatto that Seigi and Asraga eventually ended up together? Then in Parmette we have Issa and Coco. Back in Inaho, we’ve got Tsukiha and the fox spirit albeit a short one, Chingensai we have Tei and Rayuka finally having a happy ending together. Yamu is too short to have anything. Lack of characters, lack of a story. It was just a simple plot to change Gokudo’s size back to normal. And our very own Djinn x Nanya. Enough said. Meanwhile Niari continues to be single and still trying to flirt around. I bet Otohime is open if he ever changes his mind!

Granny feels like the joker card among the group. Although I don’t really consider as part of the group, she has been the biggest troll for Gokudo ever since the start of the series. I don’t know, she has fooled me everything too because the biggest ‘plot twist’ turns out to be her in disguise. From Mora to the goddess of Parmette and finally as Queen West, we should have known better that she was the one who is behind it all. Nobody saw it coming, huh? She’s like the puppet master pulling the strings and manipulating everybody right till the very end. At this rate of using Gokudo and co to get rid of the gods, she might become the Almighty One herself. Then there is the good hearted Djinn who really looks out for everyone especially Gokudo since that idiot is his master. Could have been a better character if he had more fleshing out but we can’t have him outdo Gokudo, can we? We have Nanya finally joining the gang but that is too late to showcase anything. Ikkyu feels like a fringe member of the pack, only summoned when the plot requires him to move it forward. There is also another character but she is just mostly relegated to just changing scenes. That bunny girl I thought was going to be part of Gokudo’s group seeing I had this impression of so as she does appear in the opening and ending credits. I don’t think she is Gokudo’s guardian spirit either… The rest of the minor characters only appear for that story arc but once it is over, they are mostly forgotten because we need to move on.

On a trivial note, I believe there was some sort of mistranslation for some of the terms in the series. The most obvious one being the magic kingdom. I could be wrong but I believe the demon kingdom would have been a much more accurate translation where Granny, Niari and Ikkyu come from. I mean is it not obvious? That is the realm where the Demon Lord rules, right? You see, the kanji word for magic and demon are the same. At least for the ‘ma’ portion. So I think back then there were no Google Translate to get things around (not to say that tool is pretty accurate these days but pretty hilarious still to laugh at as some translations are still inaccurately funny) and hence they mistranslated the demon world as the magic kingdom. Also, when you have gods and the Hotoke in this world, isn’t it only right to have demons as their counterpart as well? I think magic kingdom sounds kids friendly for a cartoon (yes people, anime is considered cartoon back in those days by the ‘uneducated’!) but I don’t think that’s the case… But with Granny being an angel or a goddess, now I’m really confused. Fallen angel, perhaps?

Art and animation, well there’s nothing else for me to add on here seeing that it reeks of 90’s retro style anime. You’ve seen one anime from that era, you’ve probably seen them all. So don’t be surprise if you start to see shades of other anime characters from that era in this anime such as Slayers and Bakuretsu Hunters. The voice acting is pretty decent and okay too and hearing Akira Ishida as Gokudo and Shinichiro Miki as Prince, it dawned to me that these guys have been in the industry for more than 20 years! That’s a long time! And they are still active today especially Akira Ishida. Even Megumi Ogata had a cameo as Miroku. Then there is also Houko Kuwashima as Coco and Ryotaro Okiayu as Sanzo. I think the former has already semi-retired but it just made me think that those old veterans really came a long way. Yeah, there are so many other casts in the list, many whom I have never heard of already retired and some already passed on (RIP).

More retro feel as the opening theme, Prism by Baiser has all the ingredients of being a retro theme fitted for this series. Simple rock music with simple lyrics. Ah, life was so much easier then. Same thing for the first ending theme, Wake Up by Chisato. This is what retro anime rock feels. The second ending theme is Silent Moon by Ellemo and if I haven’t stress this enough already, the song really feels dated and retro from that era. Not bad songs actually and honestly I would prefer to listen to this more than more contemporary anime music.

Overall, this retro anime is fun the watch if you can put aside all the silly randomness and that the main character acts more of an anti-hero (though some would go so far as to paint him as a villain, but I digress). The art style and storyline may not fly in today’s standards but having an anti-hero as the main protagonist is now a dime a dozen in today’s form of entertainment (though the anime industry have churned out dozens of anti-hero characters and series throughout). I’m sure everybody is familiar with Deadpool, right? Oh, he isn’t an anime character, sorry. I guess I’ll go with Accelerator then. This is what happens if Gokudo is made in today’s era and given a fearsome power. Heh. Sounds more like a joke, right? No wonder when the series got licensed in USA, it was renamed as Jester the Adventurer. Ugh… I don’t think Gokudo would appreciate this dick move…

What is love? Before you start replying this in a jokingly fashion with that 1993 hit song from Haddaway, seriously, can you rationally explain the concept of this emotion? No? Don’t worry. If love is all too complicated for you simpletons to understand but you still need to know how those feelings of affection and tenderness works, be glad to know that you can tune in and watch Rikei Ga Koi Ni Ochita No De Shoumei Shitemita. It’s not your usual kind of romantic comedy of a man and woman just falling in love with each other. As scientists, they’re going all out to scientifically prove that this concept if these feelings they have for each other are real and is truly what is called love. We all once said before that love works in mysterious ways. Now we can definitely also add to that. Love works in complicated ways too! So sit back and pay attention. Get your pens and tons of sheets of notes and papers ready. You don’t know how much you can learn from science!

Episode 1
Shinya Yukimura and Ayame Himuro are doing their respective research when suddenly Himuro drops the bombshell: She’s in love with him. Of course their love story hasn’t really begin yet. Why, it’s not even at the starting point because Yukimura wants proof. What defines love. Hence Himuro comes up with a pie chart and with some info of their dreams and numbers, they come up with a formula that could possibly determine if they are in love with each other. Wow. Sounds easy, right? Not. So when they ask their colleague, Kotonoha Kanade about it, she points to a romance manga as reference. They believe the heart rate is the precondition for love. This has them do several experiments such as chin lifting, sleeve rolling and the wall slam. Yeah, they had to rely on unverified internet info to get started. The activities don’t make them any closer to the results. Himuro then just sits close and hugs him. And then she falls asleep… The experiment chart shows Himuro’s heartbeat fluttering. As Yukimura is still sceptical if the wall slam caused Himuro’s heartbeat to increase (it could be other outside factors influencing), hence we have Rikekuma explain to us about null hypothesis. Whatever… Yukimura continues the wall slamming experiment 100 times! Obviously Himuro’s heartbeat does not increase and decrease instead and remain constantly low after that. Yeah, she got used to it. Then they analyse Himuro’s wall slamming movement. Doesn’t this looks like a sumo wall slap?! No wonder such move didn’t excite Himuro anymore. I’m sure Kanade wants to counter all that but she needs proof. So when she tries to explain her first love with her high school maths teacher, Yukimura makes circles in order to find points of commonality in love. He gets too persistent until Himuro has to put her foot down. Then he wall slams on her for trying to get in the way of his research. Is anybody measuring her heart rate now?

Episode 2
When Kanade enters the lab, she sees Ena Ibarada multi-tasking with her games! I guess there’s some limited event, huh? Today it is Yukimura’s turn to get his heartbeat measured. However he isn’t prepared and runs away. With Himuro telling Kanade to stop him, instinctively she lands a judo throw on him. They tie him up and let him pet Himuro’s head. Ibarada learns of this but points out the flaws in their experiment because there is no scientific control as comparison. So she suggests all the girls enter the fray to see if this is real love or Yukimura is a jerk who just gets excited with any woman. The end results show that he has the same high heartbeat for all of them! He tries to give excuses that his lack of interaction with women makes his heartbeat increase but this leaves Himuro mad. When a woman says she is mad, SHE IS MAD. How can science prove this… Later we see Yukimura and duo cooking. Yukimura trying to be precise with the ingredients, cue for Rikekuma to explain about significant figures. So they are cooking to see if affection can make the food taste better. Himuro gives 2 scenarios whereby a cute girl cooks for you or one whereby macho men does it. The first one, definitely, right???!!! Yukimura thinks of using some hi-tech taste sensor but that would be time consuming. Hence Kanade suggests the simple solution of test tasting 2 cooked dishes. Himuro putting precise supplements into one… When done, she has him taste both. Obviously the second one is better because it has a love note written on it. So this is the system of affection that applies to cooking? A second later, all of them cringe with embarrassment.

Episode 3
Because they’re still lacking lots of data on love, they ask fellow colleague, Kosuke Inukai. Yup, the self-proclaimed man who lives on love! He proceeds to tell them about the lovey-dovey things he has done with his girl, Aika. Himuro agrees with all that till she realizes he spends more on his girl and has even held her many times over! So I guess numerically, this means Himuro’s love for Yukimura isn’t enough, right? Then turns out Aika is a video game character from a dating sim that he is playing. Yup, the amount spent on her is the amount he bought the game. Say, doesn’t Aika looks a lot like Ibarada? Well, they’re childhood friends… He feels embarrassed with this until Yukimura comes up with a very logic argument how this kind of love is normal and that there is nothing strange. I should try using this reasoning! Until Himuro points out that she might not be in love with him! Then Yukimura changes his stance and calls Kosuke’s love as weird and excessive! So Himuro talks to Kanade about this nameless boy in her elementary class who changed her. She was often bullied for being a nerdy girl. That guy too. But because he used scientific reasoning never to let it get to him, she vowed to be like him. Hence she became a scientist in hopes of meeting him one day. But Yukimura dismisses it and calls it rubbish because they are from the same school and he has never once met that guy. As the argument begins, Kanade had to spell it out to them that the nameless kid was in fact Yukimura! Since they cannot settle this, she points out they have to go on a date. Of course they pester her on that definition. Kanade gives her example (using her maths teacher, of course). Kosuke also helps out but obviously it is from his video game experience. Ibarada adds some tragic drama spice… As Kanade tries to push this to move along, a new set of problems occur: As the amusement park has many entrance, hence the travelling salesman problem. This is necessary as they need to cover more grounds to do more experiments. While both come up with the same distance, Ibarada changes some angle to come up with a more efficient route. Next step is for Yukimura to invite Himuro. Like a shy kid asking for a date the first time, he does so. And like a shy girl being invited the first time, she agrees.

Episode 4
The date begins but because they’re starting off sounding like they’re going through an experiment, Kanade and Kosuke who are tasked to observe them have to stop them and get them do the proper stuffs first. Yes, change your outfits! Himuro is looking super cute in her new outfit and Yukimura can’t stop tapping his counter. You see, throughout the date if they feel something, they’ll tap their whatever counter to increase or decrease that feeling counter. Oh dear, they’re even getting detailed with the kind of shoes they’re wearing. At this rate, will the data recording ever end? Now to get started with their optimized date plan. At the diner, it seems Yukimura panicked and ends this without holding her hand. Irked Himuro then leaves. A sleazy guy tries to pick her up and after his constant bugging, she takes out her laptop to explain why she can’t date him! What a nerdy way of being rejected. He still won’t give up and claims he fell in love with her at first sight. That is when a visibly annoyed Yukimura warns him not to touch this woman. He takes her hand and could feel her hand shaking. It’s about time. The jerk still won’t give up and wonders why he is so persistent if he claims he is not her boyfriend. Yukimura argues back about the definition of love. Yup, he takes out all his thesis on love and if he can’t even find the definition to fall in love, what makes a simpleton like him able to declare his love? Well, technically he has got a point from a scientific point of view, that is. Safe to say, better give up on this science nerd now. The amusement park date begins. But we see the scientist duo calculating scientific stuffs like the revolution of the merry-go-round, etc. Even in the haunted house, can scientists be afraid of ghosts even if they are not scientifically proven?! We see them do lots of stuffs but is it me or is Yukimura the one flustering the most from the rides. Finally, it’s the Ferris Wheel. You thought it is a success since they are holding each other. But that is not romantically. Rather, they’re scared of sitting in this vulnerable carriage at this height! Yukimura gives her a present. He tries to inject some formula into some index but whatever the results, he doesn’t think it is sufficient data. Himuro then shows the chart of her exponential increase in her happiness. Numbers they can believe in, right? But because they have no other samples to base on, I guess they need more data. The experiment-cum-date ends but it leaves the duo quite satisfied.

Episode 5
Typical cliché of a girl running with a bread in her mouth, late for school. She bumps into Yukimura but the jam dropped on her shirt. Yukimura then explains scientifically why it is so before leaving. Girl not amused with this nerd. The end. WTF was that all about?! Back at the lab, it seems everyone gathers for their weekly meeting with Professor Ikeda. They are to present their findings. Because Kosuke didn’t even do his assignment, Ikeda gets mad. You can tell he is so when he becomes the Hulk! Oh sh*t!!! Bulging muscles?! How can science explain this?! Anyway, Yukimura goes first and presents his findings on love. Yukimura and Himuro repeat each other’s cheesy lines to get back at each other but everyone just feels like dying from this cringe. Ikeda seems like he is going to get mad because Yukimura didn’t conduct some polynomial time reduction experiment but this love thingy looks more interesting! Because of their sample limitation, Ikeda suggests all of them in this room participate and from the possible permutations, 15 different possibilities may emerge. Yukimura is trying to force Kanade to participate since she is the closest to being normal. She refuses so this has Himuro whack him for lacking tact. Before it starts getting violent, here comes Ikeda in Hulk mode to warn them to solve things via intelligence and not violence! The irony… So we see the first pairing of Yukimura x Kosuke. So gay… Ibarada laughing her ass off! Then we see Yukimura x Kanade. As she is about to feed him, Himuro gets pissed and eats the food! Kosuke and Ibarada challenge each other in which the loser is the one whose heart readings spike. And that loser must buy a week’s worth of dango. Kosuke is in trouble since Ibarada is saying and acting lines exactly like Aika. He loses but since he calls it cheating, they redo it again but without the Aika act. This time Kosuke is in Buddha meditating mode. She talks to him about their past. All his embarrassing moments. Including the moment he came in his pants when she was playing his first dating sim with her!!! Safe to say, Kosuke lost in all aspects. Yeah, nobody can beat Ibarada… When Ibarada takes another look at the data, she gets this idea. Yukimura and Himuro should try kissing.

Episode 6
They’re trying to measure the right angle to kiss… OMG… That is when Kanade interrupts to talk about the right mood for kissing. And this leads to them coming up with a formula for the right mood! Oh, damn. So many values! So you’ve got dimness to sound to other parties around… Ikeda then gives his input if one of the factors interrupt, it will definite affect the rest. Yes, an infinite negative value mood. And now it is up to the rest of them to conduct the experiment.

1) Yukimura x Kanade: Nothing happening. Kanade doesn’t want to kiss him because he’s not her boyfriend. So he kisses her hand instead.
2) Himuro x Ibarada: Because Ibarada says kissing is very normal in western countries, she proceeds to give one on Himuro, shocking everyone. She notes that girls kissing doesn’t count as a kiss. Really?
3) Himuro x Kosuke: Himuro would prefer to let him kiss her feet but settles to let him kiss her hand. And she felt nothing…
4) Kanade x Himuro: Sorry, no yuri moment. They feel awkward just the thought of kissing each other. But after Himuro pats her head, Kanade would really want a kiss from her as a big sister. Wow. So cool. Then they both flinch from the cringe.
5) Yukimura x Kosuke: Sorry fujoshi fans. No yaoi moment here. The guys are in a rage that they’ll get over this by doing the manly thing. Butting heads?
6) Yukimura x Ibarada: Ibarada is flirting and trying to force Yukimura to kiss. Stubborn guy refuses and the chase begins…
7) Ibarada x Kosuke: They just both play their handheld games…
8) Kosuke x Kanade: Nothing happening. Just complaining how they ended up in this weird lab group.
9) Yukimura x Himuro: Finally, the moment of truth has come…

Seems everything and all the factors are right to set up the perfect mood for them to kiss. And as they’re about to do so… Damn helicopter passes by! This diminishes the mood and although it still can be regained after it is gone, it is already night and there is no light! Yukimura thought of this and tries to light his romantic candle only to be interrupted by others checking on them and the personnel needing to lock the place up. I guess this really diminishes the mood beyond repair. But it’s still not over. Himuro screws it all and just wants him to kiss her. Shut up and do it! Or is this impossible for him? Yukimura then kisses her hair. Don’t go and assume the impossible on him. Because one day he will give her a kiss with the highest theoretical value! So cool! Only Kanade is stumped over this wasted drama and experiment… In the aftermath, it seems the pair with the greatest vital value is Yukimura x Ibarada! But that’s only because the sly vixen made him run around!!! Again, Kanade stumped over this wasted experiment.

Episode 7
We have a drinking party to mark the end of the first semester. Kanade thought she could hook up with some hot guys but all that expectation comes crushing down because it’s just a local party inside their lab. Then we have some prime number and its theorem explanation thingy. After a few wine glasses, we see how some of them already fall under the influence. Like Himuro boldly declaring her love for Yukimura while Kosuke turning into a child and declaring his love for Ibarada. Ikeda is fast asleep. Kanade is also not spared because 20 minutes later, she becomes the grumpy type who complains about wanting to experience love. In the end, only Yukimura didn’t get drunk and he is glad not to do so because the next day everyone has a massive hangover. We now see a ‘scientific’ version of Cinderella with Himuro as the titular character. Yeah, she’s ignoring her evil stepmom while continue to type in her laptop. Ibarada the fairy godmother turns her into a princess for the ball. Of course the dance with Yukimura the prince only lasts until midnight (GMT) before she has to leave and drop her glass slippers. So how does Yukimura find her? Send it to the forensic lab to extract her DNA! With her found, they marry and lived happily ever after. Sighs. Not another guy who can’t remember a woman he loves by her face! So this story is because Yukimura wanted to gather more evidence after their kissing experiment. Ibarada suggests fairytales and this popped up. Of course they also discuss how it is full of plot holes. Next fairytale discussed is that Kaguya-hime folklore. The scientific twists include Himuro as the titular character leaving a tough maths problem for her suitors to solve. And when it’s time to return to the moon, she returns via NASA space rocket! And another folklore, that Tsuru No Ongaeshi. Himuro as that crane woman who seems to be weaving high quality fabric. So curious Yukimura takes a peek behind her room only to find she does so via a high-tech air jet looming machine! They marry and revolutionize the textile industry while become rich in the aftermath. The end. No wonder fairytales leave out sciences…

Episode 8
Ikeda is going to be in Hulk mode if Kosuke doesn’t hurry up and make some progress with his research. Of course he offers to help if he is stuck somewhere. Kosuke complains that the research he is doing doesn’t seem to be applicable to things in life and that’s why he can’t understand. When Ibarada says that he might have to transfer to another lab, this gets on Kosuke’s nerve. Luckily Ikeda comes up with an idea about the possible paths and endings for dating sims as a topic. With so many different combinations, is there an effective method of exploration? This motivates Kosuke to start on it right away. Yukimura and Kanade just enter the lab. He is chastising her for some difficult slide presentation. Suddenly he asks for her saliva. Of course he gets beaten up. When Himuro comes in, she also asks the same thing. Of course the idea is to measure oxytocin, the hormone secretion that is involved when one is in love. It is basically mostly found in the saliva. Yukimura starts his presentation but Himuro quickly disagrees. It seems he has a video of her being in close contact with him while in a drunken state. She wants the video deleted but he won’t. Too precious a data! Then they reconduct the experiment by being close with each other. They get hyped thinking their body is filled with oxytocin. Kanade as usual is stumped seeing their overreaction and believes any normal person would be turned off seeing this. Oh wait. Somebody is watching! Hope she doesn’t freak out. Arika Yamamoto is an ex-student of this lab and has already graduated. After learning from Ikeda about the experiment, she is interested to know more. Yukimura and Himuro present their research and of course they also embarrass themselves in the midst of it. Yamamoto is struck with inspiration. Turns out she is a mangaka and her series is not doing well or often got rejected. She wants to use this experiment as her basis for her new manga. While the duo seem pretty interested in this idea because if her manga reaches worldwide audiences, it could give them more data, however Yamamoto will do anything to make her series a hit. This means she is going to draw erotic sex scenes of them! And yes, she will be joining them in their upcoming summer camp.

Episode 9
The Okinawa trip has begun. Well… Yukimura and Himuro bring lots of excess baggage and they really want to get that saliva experiment going right on the plane! So they have to be on their best behaviour. But as Himuro tries to distract herself by explaining Bernoulli’s Principle of lifting air currents, she still can’t help feel she wants to hug Yukimura. Upon arrival, the gang stays at a nice hotel courtesy of Yamamoto. Wait. Does she have the money? Why, she spent it all on this gamble in hopes this will bring her future profits!!! So she’s broke as hell now?! The moment you’ve all been waiting for, the swimsuits! Yukimura can’t comment directly on how cute Himuro is. 2.34 times to be exact. Because Yukimura is so fair, he is shining like a reflector board!!! Damn, is he a vampire?! Time for the watermelon hitting game. Ibarada gives equations that confuses Kosuke. But Ikeda seems to get it all and destroys it with his, uhm, hadouken?! Meanwhile Yukimura and Himuro try to get it on at a secluded spot. Of course their embarrassment got in the way so they give excuse for a time out. At this point everyone is spying on them. Then they talk about the problem of a couple’s greatest close contact whereby 2 people seek the greatest area of contact. Yukimura comes up with really weird positions that you wonder if this is acrobat kama sutra or just basically twisted porn. Then Ibarada notes a problem she had before. As she hugged someone with huge boobs, it caused a gap when they hugged. So is she implying that hugging flat chests have the greatest contact area? In fact, the best would be 2 men hugging each other! Oh sh*t!!! Is this some yaoi BL awakening here?! Because they want Yukimura to hug Kosuke!!! OH SH*T!!! We don’t see how that turned out but later, remember those jerks who tried to flirt with Yukimura but failed because of science? Yup. They’re here too. They never learn their lesson. Or at least they see Yukimura and remember her. Don’t mess with her. But then they see Ibarada and think she’s their type too. Then Kosuke returns from buying food and see those jerks ganging up on Ibarada. He thinks she will turn the tables but when one of them seemingly gets rough, Kosuke jumps in and punches the dude! Plus some manly warning not to touch this girl of his. Turns out that they were just playing some Pokemon spoof. While the misunderstanding is cleared up, Kosuke is super embarrassed as Ibarada can’t help laugh at how cool he was. Sorry dude. Can’t forget all that! This one’s for the album too. Later Ikeda tells them that several professors will be at the summit and they’ll have to give their presentations to them. So are they Nobel Prize worthy?!

Episode 10
Himuro is nervous as she hopes Yukimura would come into her room and do something romantic. Speaking of the devil, here he comes! Oh wait. Don’t tell me you’re not prepared now?! Then turns out he is here to help Kanade with her presentation. Are you relieved or disappointed? Later Himuro examines her recorded data on her feelings for Yukimura and believes it is psychological reactance. When a person is told not to do something, he/she is more inclined to do the opposite. Hence her feelings for Yukimura isn’t actually love! I don’t know, that just felt like an excuse… The presentation starts off with Naoya Shikijou with his Nash equilibrium. Just like Kanade, what the heck is he talking about?! A few professors ask some questions. Because he cannot answer, Professor Kanou berates him for not doing enough research! Oh sh*t. This is scary! This is making Kanade worried. Next up is Kosuke as he presents his dating sim routes. Professor Kaku dismisses this as he doesn’t find it all relevant. They’re in the engineering division, you know. Kosuke argues back how this is ever more relevant in today’s world, silencing that baldy! Wow. Don’t you badmouth his Aika. There is a break before Kanade’s turn. As Yukimura helps setup for her at the backstage, it is clear that Kanade is shaking in fear. To a point where she just cannot do it. No choice, Yukimura hugs her! What are the odds Himuro sees this?! Yukimura’s reasoning is that this experiment is to help calm a nervous person down. Only catch is that the hugging person is their mother! Kanade beats him up and they argue. But at least it blows away her nervousness. She is up next as she presents her travelling salesman problem. The professors ask a few questions, she is able to answer them honestly. They are impressed with her. This boosts Kanade’s morale as she thanks a nagging senpai for helping her. At the end of the presentation, Ikeda forces Kosuke to apologize to Kaku for the insults. But Kaku is glad he could engage in a lively discussion. Himuro then confronts Yukimura. What was he doing with Kanade earlier on?! Oh dear, sh*t hits the fan…

Episode 11
Though Kanade explains her best, Himuro although accepts this explanation and that it is not her fault, what she cannot accept is how Yukimura is able to do it easily with other women. She starts lashing out at him despite in her heart this is not what she wants to say. Yukimura argues back about the experiments they’ve done. It’s not like they’re dating, right? That was it. A slap across the face. The rest of the trip that is supposed to be fun and relaxation is now ruined with the tension between them high. What can the rest do? Probably what Ibarada says is correct. They’re always fighting. Technically. So it’s best to leave them alone. More tension when Himuro asks Yukimura the reason she is angry. Oh dear. Trap question! Answering with scientific logic earns him a slap with her handbag. I guess that’s not it. Later Himuro confides in Kanade. She actually didn’t want to say all that and is regretting all that she did. Back in their room, Kanade tries to explain about jealousy and love but this leads to Himuro typing a thesis on some psychology topic of romantic emotions. Kanade suggests they reconcile because she was having a lot of fun watching them conduct experiments together. And so with Yamamoto, they discuss a reconciliation plan. Himuro’s flashback tells us she never had any friends nor was she interested in love. Girls bullied her because of her intellect and there was a guy who confessed to her but she rejected him. Then of course she met Yukimura. Things started to get different for her. It got her hopes up that something wonderful would happen. The girls go shop for a present and a glass case would make a lovely gift. Himuro is done with her apology thesis (?!) and has her present ready. She goes out to find Yukimura. She meets him and the moment she hands her present, it is broken in pieces! Disheartened, Himuro runs away as her thoughts in disarray, wondering if anything in life will ever go right for her. Yukimura picks up her dropped thesis. He goes back to his room. His dead serious looks on his face. He is going to commence reconciliation with Himuro now. Meticulously and completely.

Episode 12
Yukimura can’t find Himuro anywhere. Kanade and Kosuke help search but to no avail. Yukimura notices the present really broken into pieces so Ibarada says she saw what happened. She saw Himuro trip on the last flight of stairs and also she saw Yamamoto secretly going back into her room prior. Yukimura then confronts Yamamoto and knows she is the one who broke the present. He explains according to Himuro’s height and the casing of the present, that kind of drop cannot shatter it so. Hence somebody must have smashed it with a hammer. Only Yamamoto could do such a thing as Kanade who helped picked the present isn’t that kind of person. Yamamoto admits to it and explains about the psychological study of Romeo and Juliet effect. Something about interference around will cause feelings of love to increase. In short, Yukimura and Himuro’s relationship must hit rock bottom in order for it to dramatically make a comeback. Yamamoto would do anything for her manga and has achieved it. It is the same for Yukimura. So he warns her to not Himuro any further or else. Yamamoto points the direction of where Himuro went. We see her walking on a bridge. Her high heels just broke. Sitting there dejectedly and reminiscing all those regrets. Until Yukimura shows up to lecture her not to base all those thoughts on assumption. Yes, he is here to berate her on her poorly written presentation!!! Himuro claims she cannot think straight as her head and heart are in a mess. Showing evidence of spiking body readings and rates, she can’t take this anymore. She wants to hold him. Embrace her! As they hug, it seems all the elements and factors for a kiss are appropriate. Yup, at maximum point value. Then they kiss! Finally! Something that we can understand! The proof we all can wholesomely accept! Of course they back off and realize this unscientific act they were doing. Yukimura has to carry Himuro all the way back as they talk more about that scientific stuffs… Back to confusing territory… Meanwhile Ibarada gets back at Yamamoto by ordering lots of food. She’s covering for this trip, right? That manga better be a hit… Back at the lab, Yukimura and Himuro deny their kiss to Kanade and give all sorts of (scientific) excuses. They are not amused with each other and start arguing. So is another kiss going to prove it again?

Love Actually: Kagakusha Ni Koi Wa Muzukashii
First thing, I want to apologize… I didn’t really get it at all! OMG. Am I such a dumb person?! Oh well. It is no big deal. On and off I do admit myself that I’m such a simpleton and that such complicated stuffs do not register in my mind. Enter into one ear, out the other. Sad… And just like they say in the end, the research on love will continue to go on. But my guts tell me that nobody will eventually understand what love is… So is this research doomed from the start? Well, never try, never know.

Hence this show is a hit or miss depending on your state of intellect. Uh huh. I have this feeling that this series isn’t for the ordinary people even if it is meant to be. In other words, this show is the anime equivalent to that American series, The Big Bang Theory: An intelligent show for stupid people! Somewhat! Maybe some will go so far as to say this show is too nerdy because of all the theories and such but I guess that’s what happens when you’re not ‘smart’ enough. Heh.

Like I’ve said, you can find this series to be highly entertaining and enlightening or you can find this as one big bore and snore fest. Its content is somewhat a double edge sword as its brand of humour as well as the ‘plot’ relies on the scientific theories and explanations. Therefore Yukimura and Himuro getting really serious (and sometimes exaggerated) in their efforts to explain their experiments, this is supposed to be the main source of comedy. It looks funny on the superficial level but if you try to understand their justifications deeply, you might start to get lost. So it is unique compared to most other romcom animes that rely on the typical clichés of its trope. What we get are bits and pieces of scientific theories that also touch the psychological aspects. See if you can try to make sense and apply it in your life!

Unless you’re the kind of person who denies science outright (then there is nothing more to be said), the experiments and hypotheses justifying the experiments on love cannot be easily brushed off as hogwash nor could it be easily accepted as a critical model to work with. Science is merely but a mode, a systematic structure and study of the physical world based on observation and experimentation. Love is just like everything else and it cannot be simply justified by one brand of theory or experiment. Even as seen using various methodologies to try and prove one ‘simple’ topic, it seemingly does not get anywhere close to the desired results. So keep on trying till you get the results you want? Persistence is key! Hence the interesting parts in this series are some of the small scientific theories and concepts explained (sometimes expanded a little via Rikekuma) and although they are just touching the tip of the iceberg, those who are further interested can look up on your own. Personally, it is enlightening and educational but unfortunately I don’t have that kind of inquisitive scientific mind so once the episode is done, I usually forget the whole thing. Because it is irrelevant in my life! Sad…

Safe to say the characters aren’t anything much but Yukimura and Himuro conducting experiments to prove their feelings for each other sometimes feels like the biggest roundabout way to express their love. The irony that they’re just like any other human beings when confronted with the crazy little thing called love. In certain ways, they are no different than a shy guy trying to express his love to his equally shy crushed. Using science just make it all seemingly look intellectual. Instead of getting it over in a few minutes, their romance thingy is dragged out to a dozen episodes (like how many other romance dramas too but less scientific). The theories they come up with feel like an excuse to ‘hide’ their feelings because once the results they want show up, they would probably use this answer (AKA excuse) to finally confess to each other. So yeah, we know they both love each other from the start. They’re just being shy and stubborn in not wanting to admit it. But you can’t entirely blame them because as they of a science background, many things must literally make sense and be shown sufficient proof before being accepted. Show me the money in this case would be show me the evidence!

Because of this, their brains and heart conflict and this causes some sort of confusion. If not, more confusion. This is especially so in Himuro’s case. We hear her monologues of how she just really wants to be with Yukimura, hold his hand, be embraced by him, etc. Then she tries to rationalize it with some sort of scientific excuse just to get over this conflicting emotion. Because that is apparently easier for her to accept and understand. Sort of. There are similar cases too for Yukimura but it is less frequent possibly because women are usually more prone to emotions, right? Hey, that’s not sexism. It’s just natural science! We are tempted to just scream out loud that it is simply just love and to have them accept it at face value but it you are an atheist while needing answers about the creation of life and some religious nut shouts to you the same to just accept God, would you? Case in point. Hence the final episode feels like one drawn out justification to justify if they are in love or not. We all believe they are. Unfortunately the scientifically intellects won’t. Just how much damn evidence do you need???!!! No wonder we are all tempted to say screw science and just go with our natural instincts!

The other supporting characters are just, well, supporting. Like Kanade being the most normal among the pack feels like your benchmark of this is what happens when you put a normal person within a group of nerds. Probably most of us would know what it would feel like to be in her shoes, having to tolerate the ‘nonsense’ of the scientific nerds when it could be just as simple as what it looks but just lacking solid evidence. So in some ways, Kanade is like playing the straight man retort role if the nerdy duo overstep their boundaries in science in the name of love. Then there is Kosuke who feels like every group there is this one person who is some slacker. I wonder how he got into this faculty in the first place. It’s not impossible for a gamer dude to be scientific intellect but I feel he would do better as the former. Just saying… Just like Yukimura and Himuro, this guy shows his love in a different from and that is via his dating sim and 2D love of his life, Aika. Just another weirdo with a roundabout way to express his love for Ibarada. You do know that this guy likes the smartest person in the group, right? Big spoiler hint: Aika is a mirror image of Ibarada. So the only way to win over Ibarada is via this 2D clone, right? It’s the only way he gets her love. For now. Isn’t it why he is in the same faculty with her?

I’m sure that Ibarada also shares the same feelings for Kosuke. I mean, they are childhood friends and that says a lot in Japanese culture, right? Because of her status of being the smartest among the group, it would definitely be demeaning if she would to reciprocate Kosuke’s love. It’s like she would have to lower her standards. Doing so also shatters our illusion of her of being the smartest so better not go down that road. Therefore putting on a poker face and being taciturn is best for her character (better remain silent and be thought of a fool than to speak and remove all doubt – but in her case, remain silent and be thought of as wise!) and until Kosuke levels up enough to deserve her love, then only their true romance can start. Geez, love is so complicating! In the meantime, she enjoys teasing him and working him up.

Last but not least, Ikeda being the head professor of this group, he gives a new meaning to having both brawns and brains. He could be a distant relative of Hulk because don’t make him angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. I wonder what kind of science has his muscles bulge out only when he is angry… And Yamamoto, I believe she isn’t all that bad a person to provoke Yukimura and Himuro to this dramatic point. She’s like playing the villain and it is a good thing the duo worked out for the better. See how close they got in the end? Well, sort of. Otherwise she’d be in real sh*t. It won’t be science that ruined her mangaka future…

Art and animation are okay but the overall tone of the series can be a bit dull. It isn’t all that colourful and the series being mostly scientific explanations, the animation can be a little bland to look at sometimes. After all, the only kind of ‘violence’ is when Himuro and Kanade knock on Yukimura’s head or Kanade giving him a judo throw whenever this guy steps over the line and not being considerate enough (carrying on any further would’ve outraged the modesty). This anime is done by Zero-G who did Tsugumomo, Dive, Dorei-ku The Animation and One Room.

Voice acting is also rather okay. Sora Amamiya as Himuro trying to sound like the scientist type but when she gets love stricken, she starts showing signs in her voice like KonoSuba’s Aqua and Hangyakusei Million Arthur’s Danchou. Almost. Then there is Yui Ogura as Yamamoto. In short, it’s really hard to picture her voicing characters that are not loli type. The other casts are Yuuma Uchida as Yukimura (Ash in Banana Fish), Natsuko Hara as Kanade (Mei in Jashin-chan Dropkick), Nichika Omori as Ibarada (Yurine in Jashin-chan Dropkick), Jun Fukushima as Kosuke (Kazuma in KonoSuba), Ryotaro Okiayu as Ikeda (Byakuya in Bleach) and Momo Asakura as Rikekuma (Nagisa in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai). The opening, Paradox by Sora Amamiya sounds cute but it still sounds like a generic manufactured anime pop. At least it sounds better than the ending theme, Turing Love by Akari Nanawo featuring Sou. I don’t know, this piece sounds like a cacophony with everything all over the place. Especially the rap singing that makes it sound more of noise than music. Seriously. But there is an insert song (usually played in some experiments) that I like most because it’s cute and somewhat romantic, although it is a spoof of Unchained Melody! Makes me want to sing along to it sometimes!

Overall, this series like I’ve said isn’t for everybody. We probably saw and predicted the outcome right from the start and despite the scientific results didn’t really produce something of our expectations or answered and questions, in a way we were entertained and enlightened by it all. Somewhat. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to appreciate this show. Hey, at least they’re trying to prove whether or not love is real! Instead of just believing in blind faith! Love is amusing. Science is amusing. Yeah. What a weird chemistry the both are. It just goes to show that when it comes down to the most complicated and basic and natural of things, it is just best to go with your guts. Like how we all have been doing it ever since throughout history. So much simpler to understand this way. Get what I mean? Love is already complicated itself. Don’t need science to add to that misery. Because some things are better left unexplained in detail and that some things just can’t be explained by science. Love is just, uhm, love. Oh, now I’m starting to hear Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got To Do With It…

I thought this would be it. Nakanohito Genome [Jikkyouchuu] OVA would get serious. They’ll be playing a game that would put their lives on the line. A risky game in which a false misstep or calculation could mean life or death! This is how you rake up the subscriber views, right?! Well… Unfortunately it was just my wishful thinking seeing that this OVA did not even come close to that. Instead, it is an episode made up of a few short skits. Sighs… I guess the fun and games haven’t really end yet.

Mushroom or fish
Kaikoku and Zakuro are fighting… Over fish or mushroom to be added to their dinner. Yes. This fight is about that. So they decide to go search their own fish or mushroom and whoever cooks the better meal and gets the approval of the rest, wins. Also, the loser must to what the winner says for a day. Ultimately both fail to get what they want and slip off a waterfall or cliff. In the end, the dinner gets on find without both ingredients and the irony is that Kaikoku got the mushroom Zakuro wanted while Zakuro got the fish Kaikoku wanted. Yeah, you’ll find things where you search the least.

Pan-da
Paka suggests items for the sports day so Akatsuki suggests a bread eating contest using a panda face with chocolate cream. Paka notes it is hard on the budget but if they put his alpaca face, they’ll get discounts. Agreed!

Switcheroo
Karin is upset that she switched bodies with Akatsuki. While Akatsuki is cool, this poses a lot of problems for Karin. So is she the only one with problems? Though, the next day, Karin now switches with Kaikoku. It seems for the next few days, she switches bodies with everyone else. Zakuro is the only one left and he fears he will be left. We all know his fear for women, right? So to avoid this, he won’t sleep. Easier said than done. Next day, Zakuro has switched bodies… Not with Karin. Karin is still Karin. It’s with Punitsuki… Is this much worse?

Cheer danshi
Continuing the sports festival discussion, they discuss who to be on the cheerleading team. While the guys vote for the girls, they also imagine the guys doing the cheering job, especially Anya being a mean one. And then they imagine Makino doing the cheering… Can’t happen…

Panty thief
Pool episode! Oh yeah. Girls in swimsuits. And yeah, the guys too. Whatever. After done, Akatsuki realizes his underwear is gone. Time to decipher this mystery. Karin accuses Yuzu since she is obsessed with Akatsuki. She dismisses it because she already got all of Akatsuki’s underwear in her collection! Zakuro accuses Kaikoku because of his habit of stealing. But it can’t be because his usual underwear is a fundoshi. Then they all accuse Paka but he denies and gives them food for thought that what if Akatsuki’s underwear was not there in the first place? Hence everybody thinks Akatsuki tried to trick them and stole his own underwear. Here’s the real culprit: Punitsuki!

No show
Sports day is here and only Akatsuki turned up?! Zakuro came down with a flu so Himiko is nursing him. Kaikoku escaped. Makino and Anya slept in. Yuzu and Karin arguing over the cheerleading skirts. But Akatsuki is soon out since his whole body is aching from the practice and now needs to see a chiropractor. Sports day is cancelled?

Drunken spring
Everyone goes for hanami. Of course with everyone drinking sake, they soon start acting rowdy because that is what drunk people do, right? Even when Himiko uses her flash grenades to maintain order, it all amounts to nothing when she herself gets drunk. WTF she is now the God of White Rice Inaba?! When everyone passes out, Karin who has not drink and sat there quietly, finally takes a sip. It’s like everybody knew she did so and woke up just to get drunk and party altogether again. Oh yeah. Great times. Next day, everybody has a hangover and doesn’t remember what happened. Accept something about God of White Rice Inaba!

Sleeping beauty
Imagine, 3 short clips of watching Makino’s sleeping face… 3 FREAKING SHORT CLIPS…

And the award goes too…
Paka reviews all the skits and is going to award his Akapalsy Prize. Looks like he is going to award it to the underwear skit when he sees the unsatisfied players standing behind him. They beat him up. So I guess the award is cancelled? Personally, I think all are worthy of being the dumbest award!

Bro You Just Posted Cringe, You’re Going To Lose Subscribers!
Ah well, the short skits aren’t that bad and are fun in its own way. It reminds me of the final episode of the TV series whereby they’re all just playing games and having fun. Heck, that is what the entire series was about. There was no danger to them in anyway and you bet they’ll be as fine as they are as before. Also, they’ll just somehow win the game anyway. So yeah, this OVA doesn’t put much on the plate and it feels like to give some of the fans a slightly more good time as we see more antics from the usual suspects. Really nothing much at all. Since they didn’t show the view counts at the end, I’m thinking that these shenanigans might be costing Nakanohito to lose viewership! So if you’re like me hoping to see a death game starting, might as well hop on to Darwin’s Game that was currently running while this OVA was released. They may be a bunch of genius in their respective game genres so don’t expect them to jump in and get involved with the real game of death that is Darwin’s Game. They’re much smarter than that. After all, some just want to play games just to have fun, right? Me, anymore of this cringe and I’m gonna hit that dislike and unsubscribe button soon.

Kuutei Dragons

April 19, 2020

Dragons. Majestic mythical monsters that we human have painted in legends as fearful or with high reverence and awe throughout the ages. But don’t expect Kuutei Dragons to be a story about hunting dragons or anything about the said creatures. Instead, the story focuses on a relatively small independent dragon hunting crew who travels the skies in search of hunting down those dragons as part of their profession and passion. I suppose people make better drama materials than dragons.

Episode 1
We see the crew of Quin Zaza taking down a dragon in mid-air. It’s a tough fight only because Mika refuses to use the stun lances so as not to ruin the dragon’s meat. After killing the dragon, they land in town to sell its meat, oil and other essentials. Even though their business is good, the town mayor refuses to let them stay in town, claiming they are some unlicensed dragon hunting vessel. As they have no port and home to return to, Quin Zaza camps wherever they park. We see some of the activities of the crew like the engineers fixing the ship and Mika creating a delicious dragon meat hamburger that has some wanting a piece of it. But rest time is cut short when the mayor then makes an emergency request. A dragon is spotted flying above their town and wants them to take it out before anything untoward happens. Quin Zaza’s commander, Gibbs negotiates to provide lodging and meals for his crew in exchange for this service. Naturally they agree. Quin Zaza takes to the skies again as they encounter this much bigger dragon. Mika can tell from its actions that it is trying to call for its comrades. They have to take it out before more dragons arrive. Mika then acts on his own and attacks the dragon, causing it to get mad and attack the ship and cling on to it with its entire strength. Mika then realizes the same smell this dragon has. This is the mother of the dragon they killed earlier on and it is calling for its child. Of course, Quin Zaza is covered with its scent and you bet mama dragon is really mad. The dragon attacks the ship and its crew. Mika as usual doesn’t want to use the stun lances and tries to fight it the old fashion way. He gets caught and is almost eaten. He is forced to use the stun lance to kill it and prevent any casualties. In the aftermath, Quin Zaza crew members have a feast back in town. The best they’ve ever had in a long time. The cook cooks a dragon meat for Mika to taste. How does it taste after getting stun lanced? Horrible. Yuck.

Episode 2
Gibbs teaches Takita how to shoot. Of course when it comes to the real hunt, the veterans handle the guns and she is just in position to reload. The hunt is successful and she helps to extract oil. She learns that a dragon is very valuable and rakes in the money. However a failed hunt means they go into huge losses. Takita dares how much she is compensated for this hunt. We take it from her reaction, not much. Looks like she still has a huge debt to clear after paying the entrance fee to join this ship. Later Takita thought she saw a bird. Could it be a mini dragon?! She tries to tell the guys but they don’t want to be bothered on their break. Hence she tries to catch the dragon alone. To no avail. Suddenly Gibbs collapses. Though he is okay, something bit his hand. Something larger than a dog. Could it be that dragon? And yes, we see that dragon belonging to another ship and has escaped its cage. The owner must be furious to get it back. Takita tells the rest and they can’t blame her for not telling them in the first place. They want to go hunt it down but Jiro suggests instead of separating into groups and risk getting bitten (who knows it might be poisonous), all should stay in one place while a small group hunts it down. So as Mika, Takita and Jiro track it, the rest hole up in the bridge. What a crowded place… Eventually they find it in the oil room as Mika deduces it must be a parasite that lives off dragons as it is attracted to dragons’ scent. They try to catch it and why does this remind me of trying to catch a chicken? Eventually Takita catches it but it opens its mouth wide trying to bite her! Why does this remind me of Resident Evil monster?! Thankfully Mika kills it. What to do with its corpse? Cook it! Since cutlets are out of the question, they fry it into some golden crisp. So how does it taste? Mika trolls everyone by looking like he got poisoned. Yeah, it’s delicious alright. They give the remainder to Gibbs. Looks like he wasn’t poisoned and he was just showing symptoms of coming down with a cold from overworking. Meanwhile that dragon’s owner is furious and still wants it found. That ultra rare dragon is supposed to be a gift to some royal family and is worth 2 billion!

Episode 3
You think hunting dragons is tough? It is the chores on board Quin Zaza that are harder! So Takita has to do the laundry since Vanabelle is having a bad hangover. Takita learns that Jiro’s father was also a dragon hunter and that’s where he inherited some of his good senses and sight. As the crew is preparing for stormy weather, they thought there is fire on the ship. Well, turns out Mika is trying to smoke his meat. Too much smoke… Jiro tells of the glittering dragon legend. At least that was what his father told him. His ship was in danger during the storm but a glittering dragon popped up and saved them. The ship has entered the storm clouds. Jiro and Mika keep watch so as to avoid taking dangerous paths. But unfortunately the clouds were trolling them and they were hiding the mother of all storm clouds. Their only choice and chance is to slip through it if they are going to have a better chance of getting out this storm in one piece. When the storm gets electrifying and too strong, Jiro is almost blown off but luckily Mika catches him. It is then the glittering dragon pops up and flies alongside them. Jiro so happy he cried? Legend must be true. So as to prove that they’re not hallucinating, everybody also sees this glittering dragon and can’t help stare in awe. Mika wants to catch it but of course the bridge captain, Crocco will not allow it since everybody is already at their limit trying to weather through this storm. Jiro believes this glittering dragon is guiding them out of this storm and wants to follow it. In the end, Quin Zaza exits the storm safely. The glittering dragon is gone. While everyone is relieved, only Mika is unhappy because he really wanted to catch it! Jiro would prefer the legend staying as a legend but Mika isn’t because legends don’t fill your stomach! Well, he has a point. The day gets ‘worse’ for Mika since dinner is served and has no meat. Or just very small pieces. That’s what you get when you don’t have dragon hunts.

Episode 4
Takita finds a very good (and sexy) sketch of a sleeping Vanabelle. If she doesn’t want the guys to see it, why did she show it to them? Of course now they want to know who drew this sketch. Since it is found in the room of Jiro, Hiro and Gaga, they try to narrow down the suspects. They let Jiro and Hiro draw sketches but they’re obviously bad. So the perpetrator is Gaga. But when they confront him, he denies. They suspect him even more since he continues to panic. This ruckus wakes up Gibbs. So Gaga comes clean and reveals he is good at drawing. There are other sketches of other crew members. With everyone laughing over this, Gibbs still isn’t pleased so he has all of them scrub the deck. Later Vanabelle talks to Takita and asks the latter about the reason why she joined this crew. But for Vanabelle, she doesn’t have any particular reason and is questioning her own existence on this ship. Also, it is because she doesn’t belong anywhere on land, hence she took it to the skies. Soon after, a round dragon (goldfish) is spotted. Of course they’re going to hunt it. After harpooning it, it seems the dragon faces them and starts giving off a strange sound wave that attacks their mind. The crew have to hide inside to avoid their eardrums from being ruptured or getting a massive headache. However Mika will not lose. He still wants to take it down despite knowing the risk. Even when Vanabelle tells him off if he enjoys killing dragons so much, Mika remains stubborn and jumps on the dragon despite its continuous sound wave attack. The headache is killing him as he weakens while trying to take it out. Vanabelle who seems not effected by the sound wave anyhow, assists to help kill it. Dragon looking at her with those eyes? After thinking about that talk with Takita, I guess no love lost. She kills it. That night, Vanabelle catches Mika trying to snitch some dragon meat. So she joins him and suggests cooking it with leftover cabbages and potatoes. The result turns out to be another delicious dragon meat. Gibbs and the guys come by and too bad the sharing means it’s all gone. Vanabelle asks Mika’s reason to be here. It’s because he loves dragons. Hunting, dissecting and eating them is a dragon hunter’s way of life. Of course he loves eating them because it’s tasty. There may be other tasty things out there but dragons are the tastiest! Next morning, a mad Takita screams at Mika for not waking her up to eat that dragon meat. Gaga sketches a lovely picture of this ‘fight’.

Episode 5
Crocco thinks they can refuel, restock and rest up once they get to the next town. But Lee points out that won’t do because they have no money! Despite hunting a few dragons, they are small ones and Quin Zaza is a sizeable crew. I guess they have to make with those potatoes again. And no stealing dragon meat for sale, Mika! An ocean ship is spotted with a distress SOS flag flown. Mika, Vanabelle, Soraya and Faye head down to check but it looks abandoned. Nobody is on board. Could it be they have been rescued? But why didn’t take down to SOS flag? Vanabelle sees a fast ship approaching. She has everyone return and Quin Zaza take off as quickly as possible. Their worst fears come true as that ship is air pirates and the ocean ship was just bait. The air pirates are faster as they try to riddle some holes into Quin Zaza. I know Takita is in shock but she just stood there ready to get shot?! Had Mika not acted in time… Vanabelle and Niko try to shoot back but their guns are not to hit small things. The enemy has a machine gun, you know. The air pirates decide to board Quin Zaza on their kite. Mika’s plan is to board them back instead. So those boarding air pirates are so confident they can jump on board without any weapons? Mika then uses this chance to swing down to the air pirates’ ship. Then he just kung fu kick all of them! You mean the air pirates can’t even shoot straight at this distance?! Oh, can’t blame them. At this height and velocity, it’s hard. Eventually the air pirates get scared of Mika and because he is hungry, they bring out all their food and give it to him! Mika is about to enjoy this huge chunk of dragon meat when suddenly the gunner who is supposed to shoot him, the gun jammed and he fires and destroys the meat instead. Mika so mad that he punches the daylights out of him. Damn, Mika looking more like a pirate than those air pirates! I suppose they’re all so dumb because they could have just shot him at the back of the head while he is eating. But I suppose they learn their lesson not to mess with dragon hunters anymore. A good day for Quin Zaza as a dragon is spotted. You bet they’re going to catch this one or else as Lee says, no salary to pay them!

Episode 6
Arriving in the port city of Quon, Gibbs has Takita do her first dragon dissection. After a tough job, she takes a deep rest. Mika thought she is hungry but why did he go share his meat with her? Because Vanabelle said after all that overwhelming incident, newbies like her may take this chance to quit! Mika then takes Takita to the city whereby he brings her to see an old blind man, Ura who is some dragon expert. His main job is making pelts out of dragon skins and his entire tent is covered with those beautiful pelts from dragons as far as many generations ago. Takita is excited to make a pelt from her first dissected dragon. Meanwhile the Quin Zaza ladies are out drinking and they can’t stop talking about work. Yeah, what else is there to talk about? When a few men want to buy them drinks, obviously they decline (not their type either). They take this as an insult so Vanabelle challenges them to a drinking contest whereby the loser must pay everyone’s rounds. Safe to say, it’s Vanabelle’s victory and she didn’t even break into a sweat. Meanwhile the other Quin Zaza guys are hanging out in a bar and some even calling for prostitutes. Of course Jiro being the cherry boy is being shy so Niko tries to convince him this is their only chance. There is another dragon hunting group here, one from the local guild. Because one of them is being rough with a prostitute (she too is disinterested in him), Jiro steps up to tell him off that this brings shame to their profession. Oh really? And before you know it, bar fight!!! At this point, the girl, Katja takes Jiro and run out into town. They hang out for a while as they trade stories of their lives. Jiro hears her sad story how she hasn’t been anywhere. He wants to invite her out to tomorrow’s festival but she remains quiet and part ways. Obviously Jiro is having some issues of the heart as he returns to Quin Zaza (the other guys getting lectured by Gibbs for getting into a fight). Jiro probably wanted to ask Vanabelle a question but can’t bring himself to it. Suddenly the guild’s ship explodes in flames. The dragon that they brought in for dissection, it revived!!! OMFG!!!! You mean it’s not dead?!

Episode 7
Quin Zaza crew help out with the injured. They learn the dragon was poisoned but apparently not enough to effectively kill it. The dragon wreaks havoc but after crashing into the walls of the city, it stays there. Mika can tell that it is not angry but rather scared. When city guards try to kill it with their pea shooter bombs, the dragon uses its wings to form into one big amplifier and turn it into devastating scorching heat ray. Ura mentions that because the dragon is poisoned, it lost its sight and is now scared. Before he could tell some deep stories about the sky, Mika is only interested if they can eat it. What? As the townspeople are panicking and in the midst of evacuation, Katja doesn’t seem all too eager to do that. After all, where else can she go? With the other ships fleeing, Quin Zaza is about to do the same but Jiro suggests using their ship to evacuate some of the people. Lee shoots down his proposal seeing that it is not plausible. The nearest town is still far and how many trips are they going to make? First of all, they didn’t start this problem and has nothing to do with them. But of course Mika says to take it down because it is edible as long as the poison is taken out. With the crew still unsure, Vanabelle vouches for Mika. As they don’t have opportunities to take down big dragons like this, they can profit from doing so and if they fail, nobody will blame them for trying. I guess it’s decided then. They’re going to take the dragon down. So who made Jiro the boss as he gives orders to the rest of the crew to get on the double on their feet? Ah, this is what love makes a man do. Lee has gotten permission of the guild’s captain to share some of the spoils and to also lend some manpower. But some the guild’s crew didn’t like it so they try to finish off the dragon themselves. Riding an autogyro, they drop a few bombs on it. Seriously, they think that would kill the dragon? Naturally the dragon gets mad and now tries to hunt it down. Worse, it chases them deep into town. Jiro has a bad feeling and rushes into town. Then dragon starts falling. Why does it have to be in the direction where Katja lives?

Episode 8
With the dragon crashing down at the bar, Jiro starts thinking how dragon hunters brought this upon themselves. You know, they don’t know how dragons lived and hence this tragedy was brought upon by themselves. While Quin Zaza gets ready to take off, some of the crew head on the ground and try to kill it. With their pea shooters? Better hurry and put it out of another misery. Because there is an oil refinery nearby and the damage will be more than devastating if another heat ray is released. Mika as usual is reckless as he climbs up the dragon’s neck and stabs a stun lance. Despite being thrown off and bleeding all over, he won’t give up. It is their responsibility to hunt this dragon down properly. But I guess the hunt is cut short because here comes the heat ray! Everyone escapes but Jiro becomes a hero, Mika style. Recklessly he climbs up the dragon and manages to shoot one into the dragon’s spine. I think he needs more than that to take it down. But the heat ray is coming. Is this the light one sees at the end of one’s life?! Haha! Oops, sorry. No time for jokes. Jiro thought he is done for when suddenly Quin Zaza rams into it! OMG. How can such a rundown ship not sustain any heavy damage like that?! At point blank range, Gibbs fires his heavy harpoon, effectively killing the dragon. In the aftermath, Jiro is happy to see Katja returning. I don’t think the bar girls were that stupid to stick around when the dragon crashed, right? Jiro is so relieved that she is fine, earning the tease of his comrades as well as Katja herself. Reality sinks in that they can’t sell the dragon as they used the stun lances and this has caused its value to drop. Nearby, the townspeople are arguing with the dragon hunter guild members about this disaster. Both are blaming each other when the guild captain steps in to f*ck his own crew for giving him more problems. Niko tells the real hero is Jiro, otherwise the town would’ve been devastated by the heat ray. Lee suggests donating the dragon to Quon. This leaves some unhappy because they worked hard to kill this dragon. On the contrary, if they try to sell it, nobody is going to buy it. Because trying to profit out of this will look like rebelling. With the city heavily damaged, donating it will be the best option and in exchange to getting their ship fixed and other expenses covered. I suppose that’s a fair deal for everyone. Mika still not happy he can’t eat dragon meat? He thought of heading to Ura’s place for some but Gibbs forces him to help clean up the city. Katja laughs when Jiro looked so serious when apologizing the festival is ruined. But she would love to have seen how cool he was when taking down the dragon.

Episode 9
The dissecting begins. The real problem is how the different have different methods of cooking the dragon meat! This could be the real battlefield instead. So Yoshi cooks the best dragon cutlet meat for everybody and you bet this is the best meal ever after a hard dissecting job. Too bad Mika makes a head start by biting it first. SHARE! As Ura explains how to remove the poison from the dragon, Mika is all too happy about this until he realizes that the trick is that it needs to be soak in rice bran for 3 years. 3 YEARS???!!! Does that justify him getting rough with a blind old man? Mika so disappointed… Once Quin Zaza is fixed up and refuelled, they are to take off as soon as possible at the next light. This puts a damper to many of the crew because they wanted a much needed vacation. Like Capella. There goes her wish of getting a massage. But they have to respect the townspeople as they have got a lot on their hands to rebuild the city too. Meanwhile Jiro sees Katja. As the guild gave them the autogyro, he takes her to the skies and grants her wish of leaving the city even if it’s just temporary. He knows how to fly this thing? Okay. Whatever. Then he pops the question. No, not marriage yet. He wants her to come join him on Quin Zaza. Pretty girl so overwhelmed that she cries and can’t give her answer right now. So before Quin Zaza leaves, Katja trolls Jiro by looking like she wants to kiss him. She just wants to cut his hair because he looks like a girl. Say what?! Anyway he allows her to and I guess this is where she gives her answer. Sorry, can’t come with you. Heart breaking, no? :’(. Quin Zaza flies off and Katja keeps a part of his cut hair. Uhm, I don’t know, but isn’t this a bit creepy? Mika and Takita are shocked by Jiro’s new look. So is this the new him?

Episode 10
It’s back to dragon hunting business as Quin Zaza flies into the dangerous dragons corridor. It is here where they hope to get lucky to find a pod of migrating dragons and strike it rich. They are navigating through the narrow chasms so that they will catch the updraft that will lift them to the clouds where the pod is. They are lucky to get that and even stumble into the pod. The hunt is on. As they manage to spear onto one, of course the dragon struggles. In that close brawl, the dragon drags Takita off the ship as she falls with it! Oh no! Man, I mean, woman overboard!!! The crew is in shock and immediately go into search mode. Takita wakes up in a cave. Yes, she survived. After treating to that nasty cut on her thigh, she lights a fire but the smoke isn’t enough to create any signal. She has no strength to even break the branch of this lone tree. Then she sees that dragon lying close by and injured. Her spear deeply imbedded into it. She starts to feel bad and is hesitant in finishing it. The dragon’s weak tentacle tries to strangle her so I guess this is cue for her to finish it off. She stabs deep into its throat, effective killing it. Takita reels from the shock but a small dragon pops up. Is this a jellyfish or something? But this dragon cub seems to take a liking for her. As the cub accompanies Takita dissecting the dragon, she feels more and more guilty. Meanwhile Quin Zaza continues to look for Takita. Shouting her name seems futile but it’s better than nothing. So I guess that’s where the autogyro come in handy as Jiro and Mika ride on it to scour the lower areas of the valley. Takita wakes up after dozing off. She panics when the cub is not around but it soon comes back. Wow. They’re like best friends now? But also coming into the picture is a matagi hunter, Ascella. This is supposed to be her hunting ground. She learns Takita fell from the sky and when Takita notes she has a knife, she has Ascella help out in dissecting the dead dragon. We learn a few things like how a dragon can fly because of the shape of its heart. Takita collapses and Ascella realizes she has a fever. Jiro’s search fails. He wants to refuel and return to finding Takita but Gibbs disallows him. As it is getting dark and they don’t have any options to land, he is not risking losing another member even if Jiro has good night vision. Lee suggests raising their course above the cliffs and declare the next 48 hours as search period. But Crocco orders to remain sailing at low speed.

Episode 11
Quin Zaza is riding the roller coaster of emotion about Takita’s absence. They try to be positive but can’t help think negatively that she may be dead. Never say never. Meanwhile Ascella cooks some nice dragon stew but Takita doesn’t want to eat. Feeling guilty? After some teasing, Takita gives in and chows down the entire pot. I hope those tears aren’t because she felt guilty eating the cub’s mom or something. So it tastes so good, huh? Good. Next morning, Ascella brings her out of the ravine to her mini base. The other person there is an old woman. Grandma is going to fix her swollen injured thigh with a needle. Brace for the pain. Ascella distracts her with some dragon stories. When all is done, Takita tries to feed the cub but it won’t eat anything she gives. Thinking it only eats things from the sky, Takita uses her knowledge to extract dragon oil to put in her food. The cub still won’t eat it. I don’t think forcing it will make it any better. Grandma suggests putting eggs and making margarine out of it. Only then the cub eat it. Success! Takita and the cub so ever close. Deep that night, Takita becomes panic to see the cub all weakened and wrinkly. They deduce as sky creatures cannot live on land, it must be returned to the sky. With Takita vowing to do so, Ascella prepares for their trip to Mt Kin. Legend says that because the mountain gives off smoke, the pod will definitely pass there. Meanwhile Quin Zaza also has this same idea that Takita might come here. Making this gamble more ‘credible’ is Faye showing a matagi book about this legend. There’s only 1 way to find out. Takita braves the pain as she brings the cub up the mountain. A few heart stopping scares for Ascella as Takita almost fell off. And she finally fell off for real! But thankfully the cub floats her up! OMFG! The cub that strong?! I guess it’s the power of love. Takita sees the pod closing in on the mountain and it is starting to change shape. Hurry before it goes away. But the cub wants to be with tearful Takita and won’t go no matter how much she tries to shoo it to return to its pod. And then peeking out of the corner is Quin Zaza! OMG. Happy ending? Time to add to those tears.

Episode 12
It is with great sadness that Lee announces the end of their 48 hour search. Just then, Mika hears Takita calling out his name. He knows where to find her? Just listen to where the wind blows! And there she is. Vanabelle ties a rope to Mika so he could jump and get her. Greatest acrobat catch ever! Mika upon seeing the cub on Takita’s back, he wants to eat it! Seriously! Takita is brought back up Quin Zaza and everyone is relieved she is alive. Takita wants to return the cub to the pod. Also, a different species of dragons pop up as they all try to hunt and feast on each other. It’s a goldmine for all dragon hunters here so why do they still need to go around the world to hunt for dragons? Well, such phenomenon is unpredictable and nobody knows when it will show up. I guess Quin Zaza got lucky and struck gold this time. After hunting and raking in a dragon, a big mother dragon now pops up. Now, it is a good time for Quin Zaza to get out of here but you know, Takita wants to send the cub back while Mika wants to eat this big mother. Vanabelle assists Takita in taking down this big mother. Gibbs thought he could help by firing a powerful blast but the duo fall off! Can’t risk another missing incident so Niko shoots them a lifeline. Meanwhile, Takita has Jiro fly her up in the autogyro to the pod. She drops in and returns the cub to its big ancestor grandma. She hopes that if they meet again in the future, she will hunt it down. So please don’t get eaten till then. Once the pod is gone, it’s like all the dragons disappear too. Gibbs reprimands the reckless ones but you know this isn’t going to be the last time, right? Mika so sad he failed in taking down the big mother. Couldn’t even take a bite out of it. Everyone celebrates Takita’s return with food and booze. Then it is back to normal dragon hunting business as usual for Quin Zaza.

How To Cook Your Dragon Meat
Hmm… A pretty normal and average ending that screams ‘life goes on as usual for our characters’. I don’t know why but I was having this weird idea that a twist might happen. You know, after Takita releases the cub back to its pod, suddenly it gets eaten and devoured by another dragon!!! HAHAHA!!! Oh sh*t… I don’t think it is that kind of anime but I thought it would be hilarious and shocking if that were to ever happen. Then I will leave the series with really weird feelings that I would probably start to regret in the future and should have wished for a more ordinary one. Thank goodness the boring and typical ‘happy’ ending happened instead.

As already stated in the synopsis, this series turns out to be almost what I expected it to be. The stories and plots are close to non-existent as many of the episodes especially in the first half of the series serve as standalones and also episodic in nature. This is probably to introduce and let us get used to the kind of life the main characters on board Quin Zaza are experiencing. Then in the second half, we have a couple of mini arcs in the form of the port city of Quon and Takita getting lost in the dragons corridor. I won’t say that all the stories are boring as each of them are unique, fascinating and intriguing in their own right. However I can’t help feel that it is still missing that sort of oomph that makes me want to yearn and hope they will make another season. But I want to note that one of the episodes where a rare dragon bird strayed into their ship that was supposed to be a gift for a royalty, I really thought this was going to be the final story for this season. I was thinking the owners have found out what Quin Zaza had done to their precious dragon and would start a war. It would have been interesting to see that story but I guess unfortunately the anime just left it where it was. I’m not sure if it is covered in the ongoing manga but it would’ve been an interesting one.

As we already know beforehand, the dragons aren’t the main characters here. But sometimes I do wish that they are given more focus on. Because of that, we do not know much about the dragons, their habitat and life cycle or anything else about them. As far as the story is concerned, the dragons are turned into convenient plot devices and nothing more. But to be fair, there are only a dozen of episodes here so it is not possible to give the dragons their screen time when they are already struggling with the human characters. It would have been certainly interesting to see more about the lore and setting of this world, the history between the humans and the dragons. Hence I feel it is a shame that we just got the minimum of what these dragons are and they look more like monsters to be hunted down with to add spice to the plot rather than intelligent majestic creatures.

Speaking of dragons, noticed how that in every episode (except the final one) they feature some sort of dragon food? So to be honest, dragons may not get the spotlight they deserved but they get featured as some sort of food? I don’t know if this is insulting or creative but heck, has anybody in real life ever tasted dragon meat before?! So sometimes I think that Kuutei Dragons can also be a play on the word for Kutte Dragons meaning Eating Dragons! Which is clever, by the way. So yeah, they can feature a few seconds of that dragon dish in every episode that will make us curious to wonder how it will ever taste in real life, but that’s never really going to happen in reality. So sad. Dragon meat could’ve been a real deal shocker had it been featured in Shokugeki No Souma. The exaggerated reactions would’ve been priceless, I tell you.

The action bits while hunting the dragons feel just sufficient to keep you entertained. Not the most heart pounding action scenes ever but still feel exhilarating in its own right. It’s just mind blowing that they manage to kill such a huge dragon without spilling a lot of blood. Maybe the kind of weapon they use allowed them to maintain the freshness of the corpse whatever. Mika being the crazy one, prefers to just dive down onto the dragon to kill it with his own hands. I bet the meat tastes better if you kill it yourself with your own blood, sweat and tears. I think. Don’t even get me started how Mika singlehandedly beat the crap out of those air pirates. I was just dumbfounding… I don’t even know how they manage to carry the freshly killed dragon on their ship seeing the dragon is as big as Quin Zaza and it is such an old ship, you bet everything is being overworked way past its limit. I also thought Quin Zaza should have a bit of barriers at the open deck where they hunt dragons. I understand they need the space to move and do whatever to hunt but at the same point I can’t help feel that anybody can just fall off if they’re not careful. This is not a place for drunk people to wander and yet we see the crew sometimes blowing off steam drinking booze (although it is inside the ship).

And as for the characters of this series, I can’t say that I am impressed with it either. They are supposed to be the main focus and drive but I find it hard to connect with them. Even with Mika and Takita as the main characters. Even if both are eccentric, I would say that Mika seems a little more eccentric than Takita because of his penchant to think nothing about eating dragon meat. He only has got dragon food on his mind. Yes, it’s his passion. Don’t laugh at him. But it’s more like a running joke to see him each time to think in such a way that dragon meat is his end goal. Everything he says or does, nothing but dragon meat is the feat he needs to achieve. Then there is Takita who is the newbie on Quin Zaza. They say that with her around, it never feels boring but I don’t see her as so. Sure, she is quite lively and has her slight quirks. But that is only when you compare her to the rest of the dragon hunting crew who are mainly guys. Yeah, there are only 4 ladies total on board Quin Zaza. Guys will be guys and when a woman joins their ranks, of course she is going to look interesting. After all, Takita is kinda cute, right?

Those hoping to see Mika x Takita romance would be sorely disappointed. I didn’t think it would come to this because of the pacing of the series but the series do try and troll us with red herring hints. Like how Mika smelling Takita just to note she is smelly and then later on Takita actually washing her hair with shampoo so as not to attract him because of love but rather to prove that she is no longer smelly. Yeah. That. Jiro x Katja distraction almost came close but I suppose when you think about it, their parting was the best because imagine if love got in the way during a fierce dragon hunting session. That would put everybody in danger.

The rest of the other characters fail to make any sort of impact as they feel mostly like side characters. After all, Quin Zaza has about 20 crew members so it is going to be hard to give each of them the limelight. In fact, you hardly know anything about them! I believe I don’t even know some of their names when the series ended. Sure, they might have mentioned them from time to time but they weren’t just memorable. So there is hardly anything for me to say for the rest of the crew because I hardly know anything about them! We know Gaga is good in drawing. That’s about it. That’s just his most prominent standout ever. What about Vanabelle’s reasons to be on board Quin Zaza? I’m sure all the crew members have their reasons but we want to know why she’s always putting a poker face and that one time she isn’t affected by that dragon’s sound wave attack. Could she have some sort of special ability that we are not aware of? Overall, if you want to talk about the character development here, it is mostly not what you hope it to be.

The other mind boggling thing is that Quin Zaza may not be a very big ship but it is still quite a big ship to maintain. My gripe is that the engine room is only manned by 3 people! Just 3 damn freaking engineers! We have a young boy (Hiro), a very old man and a feisty lady who I think is the leader of this division. No wonder they always complain and get stressed out whenever Quin Zaza goes into overdrive mode and they have to really work hard to make sure the engines do not bust during such crucial times. Oh yeah. Quin Zaza is a very lucky ship. I guess having 3 engineers isn’t as bad as just having 1 cook (Yoshi) who cooks for the 20 or so odd crew members. Oh well, with the limited rations in the kitchen, I’m sure the crew should be thankful he can make them a decent meal. If only Mika could stop snitching dragon meat from the kitchen like as though he is trying to sneak in for a midnight snack, that will be great…

One of the unique things one will notice when starting to watch this series is how the animation and visuals are all using CGI. Reminds me of Kouya Kotobuki No Hikoutai. Some may loathe it because it’s not your true Japanese 2D hand drawn animation. But if done right, it can look quite stunning. This is the case for this series as the CGI effects may not be perfect but it does a great job in providing good visuals. Though, the animation movements of the characters can be a little stiff at times but this is negligible. The background and sceneries look quite good. After all, Polygon Pictures who animated this show is no stranger in using CGI as they have done so in Ajin and Sidonia No Kishi.

As for the dragon designs, they do not look like your typical dragons of the western lore. At least for the ones that appeared here so far. So sometimes their designs may come off as weird and perhaps a little scary. Like as though they came out from some B-grade horror flick. With different dragon species, it feels like as though they are being featured as the ‘monster of the week’ or something. It would be boring to see them hunt the same dragons, right? Maybe we just conveniently call them dragons since they soar through the sky. More than often, the dragon designs look more like sea creatures ranging from manta rays to jellyfish and squids. For the character designs, don’t really have any issue except for one: I don’t know if it is Quin Zaza’s uniform because it makes Takita’s butt looks big! Damn, she’s thicc!!! I think the others too look a bit big on their butt if you squint your eyes further but it is only very obvious on Takita. Sometimes I can’t help stare and wonder if this is an animation error or something. Seriously. Maybe that is why the guys find this newbie quite interesting… Just saying…

For the voice acting, a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents to this series including Kana Hanazawa as Vanabelle, Junichi Suwabe as Gibbs (he reminds me a lot like Black Clover’s Yami), Takahiro Sakurai as Niko and Ayane Sakura as Katja. I was surprised to learn Rie Kugimiya was behind Capella’s voice. No matter how much I go back and listen to this character’s lines, I can never bring myself to really think that it was her behind it. It was like as though she was deliberately trying hard to sound very different than the stereotypical tsundere roles she often voiced in the past as well as those young boys’ role too. Still can’t believe it was her. Sora Amamiya as Takita, at this rate I think I am going to pigeonhole her voice because I seem to start recognizing her voicing such ditzy characters. From Aqua in KonoSuba to Dancou in Hangyakusei Million Arthur, you get the idea. The other casts include Tomoaki Maeno as Mika (Schubert in ClassicaLoid), Souma Saitou as Jiro (Tazuna in Hand Shakers), Tomokazu Seki as Crocco (Gilgamesh in Fate series), Hiroo Sasaki as Lee (Vidaux in RErideD: Tokigoe No Derrida), and Maaya Sakamoto as Ascella (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji).

Gunjou by Yoh Kamiyama as the opening theme sounds rather okay. While it isn’t the most calming song ever, somehow I find that listening this song gives off this calming feel despite being of a rock genre. In a way, it suits the kind of pace as seen in this series. Zettai Reido by Akai Kouen sounds okay but at times it sounds weird. Apart from the screeching electric guitar, sometimes this song brings memories of Kujira No Kora Wa Sajou Ni Utau despite both sound very different. But nothing beats the weirdest part of the ending credits animation whereby we see Takita doing some weird hip dancing. Then the rest of the crew got into her pace and try to do the same. I don’t know. That kind of dance, I thought only old people dance like that. Weird.

Overall, this series is enjoyable and intriguing but could have been a lot better had they fleshed out properly the characters as well as the lore of this world, especially the dragons. Otherwise it feels like a semi-pseudo-documentary of a group of dragon hunters hunting down dragons. It doesn’t offer anything much in that sense. Yeah, in a way you could say that we wished that this series had a bit more of dragon meat for us. Just like how they tell us how the economics worked in this show, even though you’ve got the biggest catch ever, it still means nothing if you cannot sell its essential parts. A subtle foreshadowing of the fate of this series? Maybe if they could just share with us those delicious dragon recipes, maybe we’ll change our minds in wanting another season. Just maybe. Better hunting luck next time.

Radiant S2

April 18, 2020

We know it’s a long journey and not expecting things to end so soon. But it’s all about the journey, right? And that is why despite knowing that Radiant S2 won’t be anywhere close to its conclusion and still considered at the starting point, I hope that this would build further upon the world that we have already seen the first season. Hey, it is not bad that a manfra got the green light for a second season. This means it isn’t all that bad, right?

Episode 1
Seth is hitching a ride on Alma’s home as he makes his way to Caislean Merlin. He is shocked that Don and Jiji are her assistants now. Not sure what happened to the other duo of Bravery Quartet but I guess it’s Bravery Duo now? After Bravery Quartet were imprisoned and escaped from Artemis, they hid on some deserted island. They were attacked by Nemesis but thankfully Alma was there to save them. Normally she would hand them over to the authorities but believed it is wrong to ruin one’s live with just a few petty nuisances. If they behave themselves, might as well let them be free. Seth talks to Alma about Piodon but of course Alma who herself doesn’t remember much of her own past, can’t confirm anything. Furthermore, she has this bad feeling ever since Rumble Town. Meanwhile Dragunov is trekking through the snowy mountains as he laments how he could’ve stopped Konrad had he taken action way earlier when the signs of his madness were showing instead of waiting too late. Thanks to that hesitancy, that was why Rumble Town lost a district and many lives too. Dragunov thought he is lost but apparently he is ushered in by Thaumaturges’ Liselotte into the holy land of the Inquisition. Inside this cave is a giant statue, believed to be the most faithful sculpture of the Father of Inquisition. Torque is waiting for him and welcomes him to be part of Thaumaturges. Torque tells him of the old legend how people were ruled by powerful sorcerers. A poor farmer rose up to rebel against them and only armed with a simple pitchfork. How did he win against the sorcerers? A miracle, huh? Hence in this scared cave also lies the original trident that belongs to Father. Torque sends Dragunov on a mission to find Seth.

Episode 2
Another tearful goodbye for Seth as he drops off at Cyfandir? Maybe Don is just being dramatic… Seth hits a snag when he stumbles into a group of merchants. As narrated, they are a ruthless bunch of greedy merchants and they will not hesitate take do stuffs that will rake them a handsome profit. They are on this continent because of a valuable resource that is sure to guarantee them returns since the image of Inquisition have dipped. So yeah, we’ve got a real bunch of weirdoes here. A really fat guy, a scaredy and pessimistic guy, his wife who is just bored of him and having that I-wish-I-had-better-adventures-in-my-life looks on her face, a really scheming one and perhaps his equally scheming cold wife. And there’s the really weird old geezer, Cristolom too. They think Seth is some spy or rare specimen so naturally they are out to get him. Seth tries to outrun them but Cristolom hunts him down thanks to his elixir of boosting his leg power. The merchants only back down because of the appearance of… Ghosts?! Just illusions created by Grimm. He helps tend to Seth’s wounds and is puzzled he didn’t use Fantasia that could have easily gotten himself out of the predicament. I guess that Rumble Town incident, he is trying to refrain from using it. Grimm notes he is fortunate not to bear the burden of many hundreds of deaths. Next morning, both part ways as Seth makes his way inside Caislean Merlin. As said, this is a place where humans and sorcerers coexist peacefully. The town is abuzz (especially young women) with the most promising pair of knight sorcerer apprentices, Mordred and Sagramore. Seth is walking around when he spots Melie and Doc.

Episode 3
Melie spots him too but apparently she is still mad so she ignores him and walks away. So there’s some flashback probably telling us why Melie is here because she felt she wasn’t good enough to be of help to Seth. Seth heads to the library find out more about Radiant but the clerk looks like she has a long day. Perhaps she can tell spunky kids like him and so her half-hearted sarcastic answers. There is a section of the library with precious historical records that can be accessed by authorized personnel. Seth tries to apply as a knight sorcerer apprentice but immediately gets rejected and thrown out. As he brainstorms outside the huge statue of Merlin, this weird beardy guy, Myr pops up and can help him sneak in. Unfortunately he badmouths Merlin and leads Seth to some stable. Things get rushed when the horn is heard. Myr gives Seth a saddle in which he is made to give it to knight sorcerer apprentice, Ocoho and her flying Dracoon (geddit? Dragon + racoon), Lulu. Once they and the other knight sorcerers take to the skies, Ocoho realizes she has been duped since Seth knows nothing. Apparently Myr is also quite infamous since he loves to play pranks. Anyway, the horn is an alert signalling the appearance of a Nemesis and hence why the knight sorcerers were scrambling to sortie. This time they will be fighting this huge Spectre Nemesis. Not your ordinary Nemesis because ordinary Fantasia don’t work. Fortunately, Mordred and Sagramore’s attack still work on them so the knight sorcerers prepare their attack in several stages. This includes using Gysoni, some synchronizing technique with the consciousness of Lord Brangoire to create Fantasia that surpasses their individual abilities. With Seth being blur and ‘noisy’ asking about stuffs, Ocoho can’t concentrate. This causes Seth to be knocked off by the Spectre Nemesis.

Episode 4
Seth makes a soft landing. Noticing the farmers taking cover nearby, he hears how the Nemesis just popped up. No egg whatsoever. Also, something about the curse of some Dullahan. Seth tries to attack the Nemesis himself but Ocoho restrains him from something so reckless. Time for Seth to virtue signal that they just can’t simply destroy the Nemesis. Because if they ruin the farmlands, the farmers will also starve. Hence Ocoho suggests using Cromen, a spell to protect a large area. Doing so also makes the Nemesis start to disappear but finished off by Mordred and Sagramore. In the aftermath, Brangoire scolds Ocoho for not following orders and that she is doing just to get attention. They are then visited by the queen, Boudica. She sounds like she cares for her people but it’s odd she has this fetish of wanting her subjects to bow before her on both your knees. She hears out the farmers’ worries about the Dullahan that popped up around the same time as the Nemesis. She is unsure of it all and hopes all of them would stay true to Merlin’s teachings and find the answer. Then she talks to Ocoho. Although what she did was reckless, her actions were worthy of Merlin’s will. She takes her leave after praising the knight sorcerers for a fine job. After they return to their castle, Seth spots Grimm. Impersonating as a scarecrow? It seems Grimm needs something from inside the castle and hopes Seth could get it. He isn’t stealing but just borrowing it. Some memory stone that belonged to a female sorcerer named Magosia. Since Seth isn’t sure about doing this, Grimm thinks he isn’t fit for espionage type missions. Perhaps Melie and Doc are more suited but he doesn’t see them travelling with him despite also on Caislean Merlin. Yeah well, I guess it’s complicated, Seth thinks they are mad at him for leaving Artemis without saying anything. Yeah, a note wasn’t good enough. You bet Grimm can’t give him any solution (plus, he is an outsider in this case) and that Seth has to solve this himself somehow.

Episode 5
Seth goes to see Doc and Melie to apologize for leaving Artemis without telling them. Oh dear. You know when a woman says she’s not mad, she’s mad. And in the calm tone of hers, yup, pretty scary. Melie doesn’t blame him for anything and that she is here to become stronger by being a knight sorcerer. But the more he tries to explain himself, I feel the more he is digging his grave deeper. So Seth was worried they’d get hurt because of his uncontrollable powers. Maybe that’s the last straw that broke the camel’s back because this long Seth-Melie drama is about to get weirder once Melie starts crying! Holy sh*t. Melie does have a point about if one is cursed, are you not allowed to have friends or seek help? She too has her fair share of troubles. Remember her split personality? And just when she thought she found someone who understood her curse… Oh well. Goodnight. I suppose later Seth is regretting all this, Doc comes to explain a little more to him how Seth’s ‘leaving’ reminds Melie of those who eventually left her. Try not to blame her for it. He returns to the stable to see Ocoho just finishing her awesome practice. She introduces him to her assistant, Lulu. However she is always sleeping. Seth wonders if sleeping is her curse and continues to ask about Ocoho’s own curse, something she finds irritating and don’t want to talk about. Learning that Seth is here to learn about Radiant, Ocoho thinks of cutting a deal to work together. She wants to learn how he used his amazing Fantasia as her dream is to become a real knight sorcerer. In exchange, she can get into the library (though, not the archives) to help look for some info. Seth probably still reeling from Melie’s lecture… But okay. She throws in a freebie by letting him sleep here. Now he doesn’t have to sleep in the streets, right?

Episode 6
Seth makes contact with Alma. Hi, how it’s going? When he tries to tell her about the weird dreams he is having lately, gotta go. Somebody’s coming. He sees Mordred and Ocoho together. From his angle of course it looked like he kissed her! Not sure why Seth have to blow his own cover to apologize about peeping but Ocoho looks like she’s under hypnosis. Seth thought the archives is lacking security. So when he tries to sneak in, his name doesn’t appear on the scroll. What does he do? Tear it up! Now he’s a fugitive as the place is on alert to hunt the intruder. But Seth seems to know his way around. Yup, those weird dreams. He hides in some secret passageway that leads him to the strangest places. Here lies a mini version of that Spectre Nemesis. There is also a shady dude here but when Seth is busted, Diabal panics and thinks he is Piodon. Damn, he thinks of killing himself but then decides to invoke something. Seth is trapped in some barrier along with that Spectre Nemesis. He soon realizes both are now huge projections over the field outside town. The Nemesis attacks Seth. Oh, its tip is poisonous. The sortie alert is sounded. Because there are not enough knight sorcerers and Sagramore is missing, Ocoho volunteers to become Mordred’s partner. Seth is barely holding it as the poison is taking its effect numbing his senses. He realizes the Nemesis only attacks when it detects movement. But can he hold out much longer? Dragunov and Liselotte are also here as they make haste. The knight sorcerers arrive and this is the first time Melie is joining in. Ocoho and Melie are shocked to see this giant Spectre Nemesis in the shape of Seth.

Episode 7
Melie and Ocoho plead to Brangoire to not attack this Seth-like Spectre. He doesn’t listen and reprimands them. Seth lets the creature attack him again so that he could trap its tentacles in some armour he summoned. He uses his last ounce of strength to jump out before fainting. The projection then ends and this leaves the knight sorcerers confused. Apparently a few of them were injured. Was there an attack to begin with? Dragunov and Liselotte examine this only to smoke out Grimm from his hiding. They chase and fight till they corner him. No choice, Grimm uses his last measure to escape back to his faraway base. He sustained some injury from Dragunov’s arrow. His retarded assistant, Leogon wants to help out but Grimm gets mad and firmly warns not to touch him. He then has him retrieve every last ounce of his precious blood he dripped on the floor before it coagulates. Grimm prepares to start his long journey again. He hopes Seth will be safe since he can’t protect him. Oh, Seth is dead? Figuratively. In some limbo state, this is a very brief summary of what happened in season 1. Oh dear, not that Hameline regret again. Please, no… Then he sees some strange eyeball and touches it. Immediately he gets devoured as he screams for help. See, that’s what you get for simply touching things you don’t know. Meanwhile several characters could now detect Seth’s voice. Seth returns to life. But he is now in his monster form. He is so powerful that the spectres protecting Diabal are surprised he is this powerful. Seth eventually blasts out of the cave. Myr happen to be there and just a single touch reverts Seth back to his calm state. He can’t treat these injuries so he needs to let a certain person tend to him.

Episode 8
Melie uses her magic to trace Seth. It leads them into Caillte Forest. Ocoho is pretty unsure to enter because it has magic that will make you lost. With Seth on the line, you think she’d go the long way around? Just go right through! And now they’re lost in this magical forest kingdom. Oh, thankfully Myr is here. Care to join him to meet his wife, Jill? Because he’s going to let her heal Seth. So they meet Jill who is a giant wood person or something. Myr and Jill meditate to go into Seth’s consciousness. Or more accurately, Sidh. A spiritual realm that all consciousness are linked. They see Seth sitting depressed with his dark power. They learn his problem. Because of Myr’s magic, the dark power is contained. Though Jill can heal him, once he wakes up, Myr’s magic will wear off and he might lose control again. So he intends to stay like this forever? Not if Melie can have something to say. Thanks to Ocoho’s power, she is able to get into Sidh too. Time for the duo to talk it out. Again. Seth once more says he is scared and thought she would understand that he fears everything he touched will be destroyed. He tried to tackle this himself but the more he fights it, the stronger it becomes. Now it’s Melie’s turn to relate how Seth saved her and made her feel her own curse wasn’t a curse. He trusted her. She now believes in him and that’s why he can do something about it. Seth trolls by saying he still can’t do it. By himself. Yup, he is grateful to have a friend like her and hopes she can help him overcoming this problem. You can tell they’re back on track when they give out a sincere laughter. When both return to reality, Seth says he wants to stay here for a while and train under Myr.

Episode 9
Melie wants to report about somebody projecting the Spectre Nemesis but Ocoho doesn’t think it’s a good idea. If this scheme is not known in public, there is a chance that somebody important might be involved in this. There could a traitor among the knight sorcerers. Some are summoned before Boudica. It seems she views the recent failure as a threat as the people will lose faith in them. Brangoire tries to put the blame on Ocoho and Melie but Mordred stands up for them and believes what they did was right as it saved their lives. So this means it is Brangoire who erred? Because of that, she strips him of his captaincy and replaces him with Lord de Gulis. This creepy joker is their next leader? I can see doom… Afterwards, Boudica talks in private to Ocoho and is not pleased she also entered Caillte. However she likes her bold behaviour and will support her. She advises her not to stand out until her ordination because the higher ups are mostly men and there are things men can do that give them a free pass. Oh dear. Feminist talk here? Jill has finished healing Seth. So he slept for 3 years! OMFG!!! Before you panic, Myr explains time flows differently here. So if he leaves Caillte, it’ll be like the same time he entered the forest. Seth is glad he can train all he wants. But I guess he has to catch Myr first. Hard, eh? Myr tells him he views everything as the enemy. Open up your senses and feel the world. Make the world your friend. Of course Seth doesn’t get it and it’ll take some time before he finally manages to do so. Once achieved, he wants Myr to teach him to control his Fantasia. Oh you silly, you were already doing that all along! It’s all about sensing and control. But for Seth’s case, he has to go an extra step and defeat that dark power inside. Using his Fantasia at full force to bring it out, Seth eventually blacks out and Myr instinctively beats him down till he cannot move. When Seth regains consciousness, he explains it is not like the power is trying to control him but something watching him. Myr feels odd and has him do all that again. This time Myr observes from Sidh. He detects somebody trying to control the orb around him. Fending off attacks, Myr also realizes once Seth loses his will and protection of his orb, he will probably be offered up. By who? Well, that’s enough for now. Myr is puzzled if Piodon actually wants to protect Seth this way by entrusting this power. Meanwhile Diabal and co can’t find Seth. He thinks Piodon is behind this. He can’t reveal his true powers in fear Piodon will find him. That is why he stays hidden in the castle and protects it. He thinks Piodon is using Seth because if he fails, he will be destroyed. Just like how it was done to him.

Episode 10
Myr gives Seth an armband that strengthens his bond with this world. All that is left is to take control of that dark power and it all depends on his state of his heart. Meanwhile, the alert is sounded. This time a real Nemesis has appeared. WTF Gulis is flirting with Melie at this important time? Gulis easily defeats the Nemesis in one strike. Despite being a weirdo, he is the strongest knight sorcerer. Ocoho explains why Gulis and Brangoire are so different like night and day. While Gulis values individual abilities, Brangoire values teamwork and order. As the knight sorcerers clean up the mess, a giant Nemesis is spotted. Hence Gulis challenges Brangoire to see whose team can take it down first. Ocoho had a bad feeling about this and she realized the earlier Nemesis is made out of several smaller Echo Nemesis. They’re back crawling up and attacking the villagers. While Melie puts up a barrier to protect the people, Ocoho goes on the offensive to take them out. However there are too many of them to handle herself. She thought of calling the rest for help but they’re too far away fighting the giant Nemesis. She could use Gysoni but remembers what Boudica said about standing out too much before her ordination. Then she realizes she can’t put people’s life at risk just for her own ordination. Thus she uses Gysoni on the other knight sorcerers to aid her in destroying the Echo Nemesis. Once done, the Gysoni wears off and the knight sorcerers are unaware of what they were doing. The merchants are watching as they note everything is according to plan. Especially Ocoho’s surprising strength. She will be an important basis for their plan as her strength will bring them great profit.

Episode 11
Ocoho and Melie are recuperating fine. Ocoho fears that she might be terminated because she broke so many rules. But rest assured, thanks to Mordred and Sagramore vouching for her, Ocoho is still in the game. Meanwhile Diabal continues to look for Seth. He also knows the merchants have entered the land. Now we return to see Seth in more training. Still failed to control his dark power. He asks Myr about his true form. He reveals he is a pixie, one of the many races under the umbrella known as little people. He claims he is the last of his kind. He is 853 human years old and that is already considered young. Heck, he is even younger than this country. Myr claims Merlin was never a sorcerer and never wanted this country to turn out the way it is. Long ago when the forest was still wide, Fantasia was aplenty. But humans began expanding their domain and this reduces the amount of Fantasia. With no options left, the little people instead of dying out slowly, dissolve and became one with the planet. Myr then shows Seth a few pixie babies. But it will be a few more years before they hatch. That is why Myr can’t leave this place and is training Seth. So now it is back to more training. Take a deep breath. Remember all those memories. Fantasia in old language means imagination. And with positive thoughts… Voila! Seth finally controls the dark power! Hooray! As proof, Seth has created a small little tree root, further evidence that he can now use his Fantasia to create rather than destroy. He is now one with nature. Now Seth is ready to renew his mission to find Radiant and leave this place to rejoin his friends.

Episode 12
Ocoho has noticed Brangoire watching her like a stalker ever since. Not sure if Melie was stressed but her other personality takes over. And this personality is also the one that Ocoho likes? Melie has also noticed Brangoire observing Ocoho but keeps her distance so as not to let him notice. And then outside the city, Brangoire makes his move and tries to kill Ocoho only to be foiled by Melie. Brangoire claims Ocoho is a traitor and was about to unleash a Nemesis. And then Ocoho attack them. Seth back in time to help. He knows something is wrong because Ocoho is not herself. Yeah, her eyes looking different. She tries to escape but Seth catches her and she somewhat reverts to normal. She doesn’t have any memories of what happened and is shocked when told what happened. Ocoho then reveals there is a mark on the back of her right neck. It is a curse and anyone who presses it, she will fall into a state of hypnosis and obey all orders. While this only proves that there is someone else behind all this, Brangoire suggests Ocoho return to her normal life so as not to let the perpetrator suspect anything until he catches the culprit. However he will oppose her ordination. Seth suspects Mordred since he noticed certain times he got too close to her. Seth also thinks Diabal would know more about this but Ocoho suggests waiting for tomorrow’s ordination where the castle’s security is lesser to sneak in. Meanwhile Dragunov and Liselotte see the merchants.

Episode 13
Doussant informs they have this device called Harmonizium that nullifies Fantasia. Using this, they can wage war against the knight sorcerers. So it’s a full scale invasion? Winning this war will help the Inquisition regain their image and the merchants will get the resources they want. Dragunov throws caution and wants to know what resources he is talking about. Their plan is to turn everyone on Caislean Merlin as their slaves. Ocoho sees Mordred. He lets her enter his room but she anticipates he is going for her mark and quickly pins him down. She is disappointed in him and wants him to tell the truth. He claims a group called Faithful of the Hermit wanted to use her as an assassin and hence he was just trying to protect her. If she had fallen into their hands, they would use her to eliminate knight sorcerers who betrayed Merlin as well as farmers who trade with foreigners. Ocoho wants to tell all this to Boudica but Mordred warns her not to because Hermit swears fealty to her. And so Ocoho is so confused and lost. She doesn’t know what to believe in anymore. Leave it to Seth to tell her to just do what she thinks and feels is right. During the ordination, everyone is gathered at the hall. Seth and Doc use this chance to sneak into the archives. As knight sorcerers pick the apprentices as part of the ritual, it seems only Ocoho is the only one not picked. Boudica finds this troubling and hopes they would reconsider. But it is then Ocoho gets up and says she doesn’t need such title. Then she accuses Boudica of the one responsible behind the Spectre Nemesis incidents and goes on to spill other details like Hermit, etc. When guards try to arrest her, she uses her superior Gysoni to hypnotize them. Gulis claims Ocoho is doing this because she is sore of not getting selected. When Gulis tries to attack her, Brangoire defends Ocoho. From his actions, he believes that he is in cohorts with Boudica. And from the reaction from some of the knight sorcerers, some of them are too. Boudica is disappointed in him but Brangoire maintains his stand to protect the people. Commotion interrupted when a messenger says the Inquisition have begun their invasion.

Episode 14
Melie wants to join the fight but Dragunov takes her away. Both sides have lined up in preparation for the battle. The Inquisition first reads all the human rights violations Boudica did. So Boudica’s reply is to tell them to go home or she’ll pile up their bodies. I guess that’s that. Negotiations failed. Time to fight. Doc finds a convenient book of truth that tells him the page of the things he wants to know. Yup, there is that page on Radiant. Oh darn, the page is torn out. Meanwhile Seth smokes out Diabal and wants to know more about Piodon. Diabal attacks at first but after realizing Seth doesn’t really know everything, he tells him this secret. Diabal could be Seth’s big brother! Heck, they have actually a lot more brothers and the other known one is Triton. Diabal was taken from the orphanage and marked for death because of his horns and Fantasia. But Piodon saved him and that was enough to earn his trust. However he soon realized that he was just using him because he would wake up in unfamiliar places and fight unfamiliar enemies. Diabal believes that they are the first people who are born as sorcerers. As there are people who survived contact with Nemesis and gain powers, it cannot be hereditary. But what if there were sorcerers with the ability to have infected children? So being born as sorcerers is the most likely of answers and they are basically the second generation. The horns they have are inherited from their parents and why is the Inquisition so insistent in chasing down a horned sorcerer but never specifically mentioning the name? People like them may give birth to more powerful children and this would be troublesome for the Inquisition. When he told this theory to Piodon, he said nothing but left him to be tortured by the Inquisition. We return to the raging battlefield. The knight sorcerers seem to be having the edge but they also find it weird that this fight is too easy. When it’s time to charge in, suddenly as they enter the proximity of the Inquisition, they lose all power. Ocoho then realizes they have a device that nullifies Fantasia.

Episode 15
Ocoho tries to warn about Harmonizium but they don’t believe her and continue with their futile attempts. To her dismay, she also sees Mordred, Sagramore and Gulis heading into the battlefield to be slaughtered. Meanwhile, Seth is sad to learn Piodon turned Diabal in to the Inquisition. But does he intend to hole up in here forever. Diabal snaps about not knowing the suffering he went through. Seth agrees to that but even so, he will not spend his life running away and make others suffer. Seth offers to search for his memories inside Sidh. However Diabal is still too traumatic to face whatever fears he has. Seth calls for Myr but it is Ocoho who responds. She needs his help and tells him about the ongoing war. Seth wants Diabal to fight with him and even swears to protect him. However he is still a coward so he gives him a stone to be set in the enemy’s camp. This stone will summon a Spectre Nemesis. He just needs some time to fix the projector. Once Seth reaches the surface, he sees the devastating ongoing war. Then Boobrie drops near him. He realizes Melie is in trouble. Dragunov brings Melie to Liselotte. Their plan is to use her as bait to draw out Seth. Works instantly because here comes Seth. The guys fight it out as Dragunov questions his recklessness. Especially his battle with Konrad at Rumble Town. No doubt that Seth also put those people’s lives in danger but at that time, Seth believed he was the only one who had the power to stop him. Even if it risks all the people’s lives, he can’t not do nothing. Meanwhile Melie provokes Liselotte about the arrogance of the Inquisition that they think everything is right. This allows her to swap out her cuffs with her. Though Liselotte can break free with her miracle, Melie already got a head start to look for Seth. Mordred, Sagramore and Gulis hop on board the merchant’s ship to negotiate. Gulis thinks they are doing this at Boudica’s command when suddenly Mordred switches sides. It was a lie he made up. And get this. Mordred is Doussant’s son!!! With Harmonizium increasing its range, Myr is starting to weaken as the forest is also shrinking. He worries what will become of Jill.

Episode 16
The knight sorcerers continue to make their charge with Boudica summoning several golems to aid. However they are stopped dead in their tracks by Verone, the youngest Thaumaturge who can turn people into stone. Brangoire is lucky he only got away a leg petrified. Ocoho flies too close to the ship and is captured. Oh well. Saves time to explain it twice and also the plot convenience she can hear the truth and everything with her own ears. Mordred praises Ocoho for a good job. She was investigating them for quite a while although she mistakenly thought Boudica was the leader of the Hermit that they are part of. Of course Boudica has nothing to do with Hermit at all. It is believed that the people of this land will side with the merchants. The knight sorcerers may have fought off the Spectre Nemesis but did nothing to help the citizens. The merchants offered money and food to them who were desperate at that time. Hence they have earned their trust but not enough to have the Inquisition take action. That is where the horned sorcerers came in. Diabal being an international criminal was the key that led the Inquisition to intervene. Doussant thanks the Hermit for helping them do a wonderful job. They will save the citizens who have been oppressed by this war. Ocoho thought Mordred is brainwashed but he denies and in fact has lived for this day. Boudica weakens but cannot stand to see anymore of her men sacrificed. So she charges straight into enemy territory and takes whatever punishing. When she can no longer go further, she gets mocked by Santori for being reckless. But she is able to muster her final strength to throw a large boulder to break Harmonizium. Santori beats her up in his rage but thankfully Harmonizium isn’t completely destroyed. Just need some time to get it back up. Doussant wants to welcome them to their ranks but Sagramore and Gulis refuse. With negotiations broken, Cristolom fights Gulis while the best friends take on each other. Honestly, it’s more amusing to see the weird old geezers fight as they free fall and passionately accuse each other. Quite funny. Friendship fight ends with Sagramore besting Mordred. Because he can’t kill his best friend, he gives him a second chance. Too bad his naivety caused him his life as Mordred kills him.

Episode 17
Liselotte finds Melie and the 2 start fighting. Until Melie changes her personality that the pace starts to pick up. Now finding yourself pushed against the wall, Liselotte? Ocoho remains devastated. Everything Mordred did was a lie. Though he maintains it was to protect her, ultimately it is to keep her by his side or his efforts would go to waste. He reveals his curse as having no feelings. I mean, really, no feelings at all. That’s why he can do all this despicable acts with no regrets. After killing Dracoon, he would’ve killed her too since she has outlived her usefulness. But since daddy don’t want the fine wood to further be stained, he presses her mark and orders her to jump off the ship. But wait. In the Sidh, Dracoon gets her back and frees her from control. Then she uses her Gysoni to control Mordred back. Seth’s fight with Dragunov ends with the latter claiming he wants to end this war. So Seth agrees to go with him as Dragunov signals to the Inquisition that Seth has been captured. Immediately Santori signals the next formation. A huge ship, Uranos, a flagship of the Inquisition starts blasting away at the castle. Seth is shocked and accuses of being tricked. Dragunov realizes he too has been betrayed. Because Torque promised him he just wanted to keep the world under an ironclad order and would shed as few blood as possible. Seth rushes off to fight the enemy. No use thinking. Just blast his way through. Dragunov aids him and he is not alone. His old squad is here. They still remain loyal to him and will help him out in any way. From now on, Dragunov and his squad will act on their own. Seth has reached Santori and is about to give what he deserves. Suddenly something faster than the speed of light interrupts their fight. Sonic? Woah. Who this armoured superhero? Ironman? Actually it is Doc in an armoured suit!!! WTF?!

Episode 18
It seems Doc had all the memory stones but because he was in danger of being discovered by the guards, he hid in this armour. Not just an ordinary armour but the legendary Pen Draig. If it seems the armour has so many clashing personalities, it is because of all the memory stones in Doc’s hands. They are the past heroes of Caislean Merlin. Pen Draig and Seth team up for a while to fight Santori. However upon learning about Boudica’s capture, the armoured knight leaves to go rescue her. Seth is now alone with Santori with the beardy saying how they have met the umpteenth time and fought. Seth is confused and thinks he is referring to his other brothers. Pen Draig rescues Boudica and Brangoire. However with Verone in the picture, they cannot get close to him because everything that enters his ring will turn into stone. Doc has been sorely ignored because instead of fighting, the coward wants to run away. So he threatens to swallow all the memory stones if they do not listen to him! That did the trick. Doc suggests they just unleash a huge amount of Fantasia. Meanwhile Doussant is dreaded to see Mordred taking on his men. Calling his son useless and a traitor, he orders his men to kill him. Ocoho is not pleased because he badmouthed is own son and even regards the fine wood more important than his own flesh and blood. Santori is enjoying his fight with Seth. It’s about time Diabal shows up in a giant hologram mode. But there is nothing he can do as he putters out shortly. At this point, Seth is down so Santori feels disappointed. He brags about his ideals as well as badmouth the infected but as we can expect, this kind of insult gives Seth the much needed power to get back up and smash it all away. We’re just humans, right? But can a normal human super punch somebody into the stars? Bye-bye Santori. Hope you enjoyed your fight. Now enjoy your flight to the stars!

Episode 19
Doussant escapes via mini ship that all the other merchants are already on. Mordred is reeling from Ocoho’s Gysoni. He wants her to disable it because he is starting to feel feelings and he hates it. I don’t think Ocoho is going to let him off the hook so easily. Thanks to Doc’s bright idea, he has Pen Draig slam everything they’ve got at Verone. Naturally it turns into stone but all that slab crumbles on him. Fortunately or not, Verone still escaped. Many feel the Fantasia is weakening and something is happening to Caillte. UIlmina has placed Harmonizium right there and doesn’t care what happens to the forest. Then she uses her miracle to turn all dead corpses into her puppet zombies. Seth feels something is wrong with the forest and telepathically tells everyone to meet him there. Upon arrival, they are shocked to see Myr in despair, slumping over the wooden corpse of Jill. I guess this means those babies are dead too. Myr thanks Jill for her kindness. Had it not been for her, he would have slaughtered all humans. But now she is no longer around, nobody is going to stop him. Myr then transforms to his beast form and goes berserk. This also affects Seth as his dark power engulfs him. You know sh*t is going to hit the fan when both these guys are on a rampage. Boudica upon realizing Myr’s real name is Myrrdin, that is the name that belonged to Merlin. Diabal is also in despair, thinking he couldn’t help much. But thanks to him unleashing that Spectre, Piodon is able to find him. Seth running riot through the Inquisition ships. Ullmina is ‘fascinated’ by his tormented soul and captures him. She hugs him and absorbs all his impurity. They will share this agony forever.

Episode 20
The Inquisition continues their attack but look who’s back? Grimm! Man, that was fast. Ocoho isn’t strong enough to destroy Harmonizium. What about Boudica? She is depressed she couldn’t protect anything and not worthy to be queen. At times like these, somebody needs to slap her to her senses, queen or not. Thank you Ocoho. Standing up with her renewed resolve, Boudica stops Harmonizium by giving it a bear hug? Uhm, wouldn’t it be easier to push it down and then beat down that thing rather than crushing it like that? Oh well, it worked anyway. Now that Fantasia has returned, Melie needs to find Seth. Dragunov agrees to take her to Ullmina. Along the way, they stumble into Grimm who also lends a hand. They easily snatch Seth from the hands of this masochist. Guess she’ll have to wait next time to indulge herself in all that pain. She gives orders for the Inquisition to withdraw. End of war, right? Well, not quite. Time to feel the wrath of Myr! Hulk smash?! The knight sorcerers thought Myr is on their side as he attacks the Inquisition. Then it becomes their nightmare when Myr turns his attention to them. Dragunov’s squad distracts Myr so as to buy time for others to escape. Ocoho and Melie enter Sidh to bring Seth back to his normal. After all that screaming, the clincher is when Melie doesn’t want him to leave her alone again. Seth’s back. Time to talk things out. Jill doesn’t want this. But Jill is dead! Myr smash! We hear more of Myr’s thoughts and regrets. But before he could smash the castle walls, the tree roots protect them. Jill? Nope. Just Seth. Jill is dead. But she didn’t die because of humans or Harmonizium. She died protecting their babies. Somebody needs to protect these little ones. Tears well up in Myr’s eyes as he embraces his innocent offspring.

Episode 21
Myr thanks Seth for stopping him for he could have killed his own children. Myr reveals more about himself. He is half human thanks to his father being a trickster. He would transform himself into one and flirt with human women. Damn, he got one of them pregnant and that was how Myr was born! Because he was different, he was left behind and this led to humans encroaching onto him and he got hostile with them. If not for Jill, he would have attacked humans. Thanks to her, he wanted to have children and even started visiting humans on the land. He also chased away bad ones. Thus the rumours spread and the miscommunication passed down the line that he is the great Merlin who protected the land. As the Fantasia protecting the children will run out and Myr doesn’t have the ability to sustain it, Seth suggests using a human with great Fantasia to help nurture them since Myr is half human, his offspring is too. Albeit it is just 1/4. But who is big enough to fit them? Now you know why Boudica is big, right? In the aftermath, we see Dragunov and his squad planning their return to Bome, the HQ of the Inquisition. He wants to ascertain Torque’s real intentions. Liselotte is imprisoned as well as other knight sorcerers associated with Hermit like Gulis. 3 days later, Boudica gives her speech to the people to assure their future. So part of the step to get closer to people is for everyone to tell their curse? We know Ocoho’s mark. But do we regret Brangoire telling his he has 6 boobs???!!! OMFG!!! I can’t unhear that???!!! When Brangoire wants to take Ocoho as his knight sorcerer, Boudica rejects it. Despite all the greater good she has done, Boudica feels she is not fit to be one. Instead, she is better fitted to be queen! Ocoho levelled up more than she bargained for! All hail, Princess Ocoho, heir to this land! Before Seth and co leave, Boudica gives Seth a memory stone he wants, a necklace for Melie and a medal for Doc (sorry, no money to repay his debts. Need to rebuild the land). Also, Brangoire hands Doc a stone which is actually Pen Draig! He needs it to protect Ocoho. Eh? Boudica views her narrowmindedness prevented her from seeing a conspiracy brewing. Hence she wants Ocoho to broaden her views by travelling with Seth so that she doesn’t make the same mistake when she becomes queen. So yeah, Ocoho is Seth’s new travelling companion. Is that why Dracoon is still alive? Grimm joins them on their way out as Seth hands him the memory stone. Though, he is disappointed the archives didn’t contain anything related to Radiant. That’s why they have to continue the adventure, right?

Magical Warfare: The Measure Of A Hero Is Always His Nemesis
It sure isn’t the end or nowhere near it and the way this season ended, it raises more questions than answers. Heck, even the final episode’s mid-intermission trolled us by asking what happened to Diabal and Piodon. Really. I want to really know what happened to them! I don’t think it’s the issue of not having enough time to hint their whereabouts but I think they want to make the final episode as some sort of goodbye to Caislean Merlin so that the next season will start afresh on another adventure. I mean, it’s not like Seth is leaving forever and never coming back to the land since he got his ‘brothers’ to look forward to once they are born. Oh wait. Is there going to be a third season at all?!

As we have already seen, this entire season takes place on Caislean Merlin and it feels a lot grimmer compared to the first season. At some points it seemed draggy but that it only necessary to build up the plot and story on this land. I read that this season adapted and stayed true to the original manfra source and hence the grimmer feel. I suppose that is a good thing because this season lacks all the stupid silly fillers that was in the first season. Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with that squid and his damn coffee again. Or that cheesy broomstick race! Yikes. Phew. Thank heavens. So we don’t waste any time and get straight down to the plot and although it leaves more to be desired as well as questions than answers, but it is better than having time wasting mind numbing fillers that don’t do anything to advance the actual plot.

Seth as the main character takes a big chunk of the spotlight here. I believe it is part of the process to turn him into a true hero and also I think they want us to forget how they turned him into some whiny kid who can’t get over the death of a certain someone he failed to save at Rumble Town. Yeah, I still find that very annoying to this day. But thank goodness they manage to shove that all to the back of our minds and make it a distant memory since Seth has achieved some sort of zen-like status and being one with nature. I think we viewers would prefer to see Seth in this kind of state whereby he overcomes his darkness and grows. So yeah, it was a good thing that he came and set foot on Caislean Merlin.

Therefore it is with mixed feelings that with the first half of the season feels like Seth’s training and the second half having the Inquisition’s invasion over the land, the plot of Seth wanting to find Radiant feels almost non-existent here. Do we still remember that plot? Yeah, final episode to remind us of this series’ actual plot. Sure, he was here to find out more about Radiant and that was his initial intention. But the string of events had him take a detour and ended up doing something else. Which is of course good because we can see now that Seth isn’t just some kid who relies on just brute force and can call forth the force of nature to his aid. The lack of Nemesis fights also made us ‘forget’ that Nemesis still threaten the world and thus the possible existence of Radiant. I don’t think that Spectre Nemesis counts as a real Nemesis but whatever.

The other character they try to build up is Ocoho whom is newly introduced this season. She’s a great ally to Seth and also an aspiring and amazing knight sorcerer but sometimes I feel that having Ocoho and the other side plots on Caislean Merlin is like a distraction to add to the dragging out of this arc. I’m not saying that they’re unnecessary but I can imagine that everything would be over in less than half of the season should it all not happen. So I guess that in addition to having Seth and the usual gang, they try to create another likeable heroine on par with Seth. The kind who is ‘cast away’ just because she doesn’t really ‘follow the rules’. Not because of the colour of her skin, mind you. I don’t know why but the first time I saw Ocoho, I kept wondering if they took inspiration of her character design from Katara of the Avatar series. Well… Close enough. But now she has joined Seth on his travels so I suppose building up her character wasn’t a waste.

The recurring characters feel less this season. Especially Melie whom I feel is mostly side-lined. They added that Seth-Melie spat just to add some drama and tension between them but my guts told me it wasn’t threatening and in no time they’ll be back. Hey, it’s not like they’re married, right?! I thought I could find out more about her other split personality but unfortunately it remains unanswered. She only pops up so as to remind us that Melie has this other dominatrix sadistic queen to her side. And Doc I see he is even worse. He is still the whiny coward he is even as a kid and I am still trying to get used to his new looks as one instead of his fatty adult version. Doc’s role is even more minor this season and even more so I feel he is reduced to some mini comical role. Therefore for him to stay ‘relevant’ in our eyes during the final stretch of this season, that is why he accidentally got into Pen Draig and gets dragged around. Ah, if it is not Seth who hauls him everywhere, it would be something else. That is Doc’s destiny. Oh well, I guess he doesn’t need to continue raking up Seth’s debts. I’m sure he’ll make a ton if Seth becomes a hero and rids the world of Radiant. But that will be somewhere in the distant future… And too bad we left Artemis last season so no cheesy one-sided romance with Miss Melba. Do you still remember her?! Yeah, her coffee still sucks, I bet… Not as much as it sucks that Doc is now the rightful owner in using Pen Draig! Regretting the time he swallowed some of the memory stones? Now his stomach can’t stop talking… Oh Doc…

They teased us a bit with Grimm’s background and now I’m just interested who this guy really is. Too bad they cut him out in the middle and distracted us with other happenings before he makes his comeback in the penultimate episode. Dragunov also didn’t do much but being newly recruited as part of the Thaumaturges, this sets in stone the kind of character and role that he needs to play out. We know Dragunov isn’t entirely a bad person and it feels like he is fighting on the wrong side. Hence this timely ‘betrayal’ from the Inquisition themselves is the right moment for him to re-question and ask himself again what he wants to really do. Not what the Inquisition wants. Not what Torque wants. What does he himself want to achieve.

The new characters are rather okay but the more interesting ones are the merchants whom I feel will be the greatest villains Seth and others will eventually have to face. We’ve got a taste of their ruthlessness and slyness and they could be more dangerous than any Nemesis seeing that they made the Inquisition and the knight sorcerers fight each other while they reap whatever profits they made. I hope to see more of them in the future. Then there is Mordred and Sagramore whom I feel they would be traitors because of their looks and the way they act. It was a bit predictable but I guess we need a plot that has a childhood friend betray the other. Unlike Mordred, I feel Sagramore’s character is totally wasted. He didn’t really do anything in particular and yet he is killed off in this fashion. Like as though his entire character role was just written for this moment to die. Sometimes I also suspected Boudica for being the mastermind behind this (because she acts haughty sometimes) but I guess I was wrong. She’s just a big queen who really wants to protect the people of her land. Brangoire is commendable but not so memorable so they make him a running joke as someone who is firstly incompetent in making a list. And secondly… Ah, forget about it. Not as much as I want to forget about his 6 nipples, though… Please don’t remind me! I thought Gulis being so flamboyant, he came out from some mental asylum or something. Why do I keep thinking his hairstyle was an inspiration from Rick of Rick And Morty?!

Myr the cheeky prankster and Seth’s master is lovable as well as his wife Jill who definitely loves making dark humour about humans. Not so funny now that Jill is dead, huh? Myr being Seth’s teacher somewhat reminds me of Luke Skywalker being coached by Yoda! Heh. May the (nature) force be with you! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me, though, that Myr is actually the great Merlin himself. With hints earlier on, the way he talks about Merlin like as though he knows that guy personally, yeah, I figured that Myrrdin sounds close Merlin and the people might have misheard and twisted his name to until what it is today. Yeah, useless people can’t even remember his name right.

The action bits this season feel okay and comparable to last season. Previously we had Seth rumbled with Konrad in Rumble Town, this season we see Seth colliding fists with Santori. There’s your epic Fantasia battle this season. The need to show the fruits of his training and remind us that he can still use Skull Burst. Yeah, it’s the only way Seth is going to use his Fantasia due to the lack of Nemesis this season. But no dancing with Torque this season. Don’t want his Fantasia sealed forever like the last time. Though, I do find the short fight scene between Seth and Dragunov to be hilarious. Hilarious in the sense that the quality of the fight is bad enough that it just looks comical and cringe worthy! Just watch that scene to get what I mean. It was like they don’t really want to animate this scene at all but had to so as for plot convenience. Even they had to ‘force’ Melie to fight with Liselotte so as not to let that killer croissant skills get rusty.

As old seiyuus are retained this season, new ones join the line-up such as Mai Fuchigami as Ocoho (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Bin Shimada as Myr (Gengai in Gintama), Yukana as Boudica (Cecilia in Infinite Stratos), Haruki Ishiya as Mordred (Shuuichi in Hibike! Euphonium), Kentarou Kumagai as Sagramore (Theo in Grancrest Senki), Hiroshi Shirokuma as Brangoire (Warrod in Fairy Tail), Tomoyo Kurosawa as Verone (Kumiko in Hibike! Euphonium), Kensho Ono as Diabal (Slaine in Aldnoah.Zero) and Hiroyuki Kinoshita as Doussant (Baji in Naruto Shippuden). While Kikuko Inoue is recognizable as Jill and Shigeru Chiba still alive (touch wood!) doing his trademark crazy voice as Cristolom, I thought it was Yuuichi Nakamura behind Gulis’ voice but I was sadly mistaken. Yutaka Aoyama (Yamada in To Be Hero) was behind this flamboyant knight sorcerer instead.

This season’s opener, Naraku by Halo At Yojohan feels more palatable compared to last season. Just your normal anime rock unlike last season’s Utopia with such heavy punk rock that left my brains shaking from all the drubbing of music waves. Heh. Just exaggerating but you get what I mean. As for this season’s ending theme, Chitto Mo Shiranakatta by Emi Nakamura sounds normal although it starts off with some weird tune. I don’t know, it’s like silence and minimal instruments at play at first before everything comes together.

Overall, this season is interesting enough to warrant another season but so far they haven’t announced any at this point. This season has decent story, characters and action so if you didn’t like the first season at all, this season might help change that feeling a bit. Of course if you love Radiant, you’ll probably also love this season albeit it is darker and void of any comical fillers. My sentiments are still the same as last time that it can’t become the next big anime nor will it become a long running series such as the ongoing One Piece, Boruto and Black Clover. This series might still have all the cliché ingredients of a shonen anime but if you’re tired of all the mainstream and popular anime everywhere, maybe this one will provide something a little different. After all, it is still a long way and it might not be Seth’s time to shine just yet. Give him a few more adventures (or seasons?) and he will be a shining example of what it takes to be a true hero.

Overflow

April 17, 2020

At first I thought it was going to be a normal ecchi romantic comedy series between childhood friends who act like siblings but aren’t blood related. It didn’t even occur to me that instant then that after reading the synopsis how their passion will ‘overflow’ after a weird encounter in the toilet and how this young romantic comedy will not let us say it is over, that this would be one of those mini pseudo hentai of the season. Even the poster of the main characters putting their asses together didn’t make me think so. Probably I wasn’t horny then. Only a while later as I reread it all again just to make sure I’m getting it right, it is then Overflow struck me as those sleazy hentai short. I guess the floodgates are all open wide. Let all the horny stuffs overflow the gutter of the mind!

Episode 1
Must be nice for childhood friends to live together, huh? Oh yeah. The Shirakawa sisters, Ayane and Kotone showing off how great their boobs are. Lucky boy, Kazushi Sudou returns but gets scolded by Ayane for not getting the message of buying the pudding she needs. He then heads in to take a bath but Ayane is also not pleased. She has prepared her expensive salt bath and he just dumped his ass in there like that? He dares them to bath with him. Challenge accepted! Yeah, they come prepared wearing their swimsuits underneath. Since Ayane ‘chickens out’, she lets Kotone dip in first. Kazushi using this weird excuse to grope Kotone and don’t tell me Ayane who is washing herself didn’t notice this going on?! When Ayane dips in together in this already tight tub, Kazushi’s dick enters Kotone’s pussy. For some reason, Ayane thinks this is no fun and lets them bath together first and she’ll come back later. This is the flimsy excuse to get Kazushi horny so he f*cks Kotone hard. Bet it was a good bath. Don’t taint the expensive salt bath with your semen! But just after they finished, impatient Ayane comes in. You guys are taking too long…

Episode 2
Fortunately, she goes away after hearing that they’re not done yet. Phew. That night as they sleep, Kazushi somewhat feels guilty for what he has done to Kotone?! Blame your wrong head for doing the thinking. He wants to apologize and according to porn logic, how do you do that? You f*ck her some more!!! Uh huh. Blame Kotone for having such sexy bootylicious body. Then he realizes this is Ayane! Oh sh*t! He f*cked up this one!!! Normally in this situation, you usually back down and try to give sh*t tons of excuses. But what does porn logic dictate for Kazushi? Go all the way and f*ck her!!! And so with her cute moaning and the way she allows him to play her nipples, I guess she has to keep quiet in order not to wake her sister as this f*cker rapes her in bed. Then full mode penetration until he cums. Hope he doesn’t wet the bed with his semen. I guess she gives him the most annoyed looking face after sex. But it’s all worth it after f*cking her like that. Uh huh. Her punch is also worth it all. And best of all Kotone didn’t find out because she is still deep asleep. Goddamn this guy is so lucky.

Episode 3
Oh dear. Kazushi feeling guilty again? Better stop f*cking girls if you don’t want to feel like this! Naturally it gets awkward when he is with Ayane. Probably it is his fault that she is skipping school and going home at this hour. A guy’s worst fear when she asks him why he did that last night. No more excuses for him. He apologizes but before he could proceed, she forgives him. So calling her cute gave him a free pass? And what do you know? Lesson not learnt. This activates Kazushi’s horniness. Yeah baby, let’s do it one more time. Even more so when Ayane is the one who asks him to continue from last night! You betcha! After kissing her, he goes deep inside her before climaxing. Oh yeah. The best ever. You’d think there is something wrong with Ayane after sex when she is acting all weird. But Kazushi was probably too dense to figure it out then. Because he never saw her again after that. Oh sh*t… Don’t make it sound so dramatic, please…

Episode 4
Ayane won’t even reply or answer his calls. This is serious. Even Kotone thinks he did something to make her mad. But who cares? As long as Kotone is here, still got a pussy to f*ck. And she is here to do some lesson reviews. Probably maths got boring she gets up close to him and starts kissing him. Is this part of the lesson?! Kazushi realizes she ate some chocolates with alcohol. Why is it that girls who get drunk become horny? Porn logic dictates that you go with the flow and f*ck her! So they get naked and start the show with this 69 play. Best maths number for sex! Once they’re done, it’s back to basic multiplication AKA fornication for them. I’m sure they pass this physical education with flying colours. Like how his semen is flying everywhere! HAHAHA!!! So this sex might just be a bait to get him to come to their school this weekend for the sports festival. Because Kotone really wants him to make up with Ayane. Oh well. Can’t say no after she’s given you her body.

Episode 5
So Kazushi did meet Ayane at the festival. But of course she ignores him and when he wants to talk, she goes away doing something else. After her cheerleading stint, Kazushi really needs to talk to her so he forces her to talk alone at the girls’ changing room. Of all places… So about that cold shoulder you’re giving me… Actually, Ayane was just too embarrassed to face him after their f*cking. Yup. She’s not mad at him. What a relief! He pats her head and hopes she could come by sometimes. It’s lonely without her. That really turned on the mood. Fast. The quickest make up would have turned into a make out had not the other girls return to change. So naturally they hide in the locker. Instead of silently waiting for the storm to pass, Kazushi starts molesting her! You trying to give us away?! That’s all up to you! Thank goodness the girls left in time before Ayane let out her passionate scream. Because the locker is too cramped for sex, it’s a good idea to lock the doors before having real sex. And so they can f*ck all they want before the next event. The sports festival, that is. Not whatever their next sex act! And do clean up the floor and not let your semen stain it, okay?

Episode 6
The sports day continues with Kotone in the scavenger hunt. Well, looks like she’s in luck. She needs to find an onii-chan. And with that, she wins the race! Probably this gives her the courage to go talk to him alone in the classroom. Uh oh. I can see where this is going. She wants to let him know how she really feels. I knew it. Ayane’s face flashes through Kazushi’s face. Before he has got time for some guilt trip, Kotone says she wants to be by his side. She doesn’t mind if Ayane is his number one because she can settle for second place. That’s why she wants him to look at her just for this moment. Ah, damn porn logic. There’s your cue for them to f*ck. Holy sh*t, after that foreplaying, Kazushi cums and I thought it was over. Because now is the penetration part as he f*cks he deep and she is lovin’ it. Yeah, he cums again. No wonder she’s so happy. Don’t take too long because Ayane is waiting for you both and it’s getting hot. Well, not passionately hot. The sun’s freaking hot… Can’t she just wait in the shade? PS: How many times can Kazushi cum?! Last episode was the same day, you know…

Episode 7
Ayane wants to make breakfast for him. Sure. Why not? Kazushi probably didn’t expect early in the morning as he wakes up to see Ayane in a naked apron. Is this the breakfast? Bon appetite! So apparently Ayane got this idea because her nosy friend suggested it would be good in wooing men. You damn right it is. At least for this genre. And hungry Kazushi is even asking permission to eat, uhm, I mean f*ck her. Go ahead. And here’s your sex act today. Then he bites a love mark on her tits so as to leave a proof that she belongs to him. Weird and creepy if you ask me. Both eventually orgasm and they’re so satisfied. I hope they have space for lunch. And dessert. When Kotone returns, no luck in catching them in the act. They’re back in their clothes but acting all embarrassed. But does Kotone know what happened? Anyhow, she’s glad. Please don’t tell me she’s the dessert…

Episode 8
Pool episode! This means swimsuits! Oh Kazushi. You’re ogling at how hot the sisters are, right? Oh Ayane, don’t get mad when he stares at you like that but at the same time you scorn him for his fashion sense when he says it is too revealing? Can we save this for later and go have some fun in the pool. Lots of fun indeed until the god of naughtiness decides to do some nipslip on Kotone. Yeah. Her top came off. I don’t know why Ayane has to go look for a new one for her. Wasn’t her top just floating there? Or it got disintegrated when no breasts fill it for a few seconds?! There’s literally nobody in this unpopular pool park! So anyway, Kazushi takes Kotone to hide at some storeroom. Bet your hands must be tired covering those boobs like that. Here. Let me hold them for you. And in the meantime, let’s make out. Oh yeah! Best pool episode ever? Everyone is happy on the way back. I’m sure we know who had the most fun. And as always, Kazushi being the ‘smart’ guy he is, knows that his depraved days with the sisters will not end soon. Sure, but I think we already had our fill.

My Cock Runneth Over…
I guess it is really over then. At least as far as this anime is concerned. Nothing much. Just your usual life goes on for them. Or rather, the f*cking goes on for this weird family unit. If I should call it that. Imagine it all started in the toilet and then it just blossomed like that. They’ve upgraded from doing weird sex stuff in the toilet in just about doing anywhere else, huh? Oh well, got to keep the passionate flame of horniness going and overflowing. Also, got to keep 2 tit monster b*tches satisfied. Kazushi is one really busy man.

And as you can see, there is actually no real plot here whatsoever. Heh. Which porn setting has a real plot anyway? But if you take a look at this one in particular, it really is very lacking. Nothing at all. So much so you can say the story is about childhood friends awakening to their sexual romp with each other. That’s basically it. No wonder there were only 8 episodes. I suppose it is a new trend now for pseudo hentai anime. It could have been literally anything. Current colleagues, former colleagues, long lost friends, etc. But I suppose the childhood friend trope is easier to deal with because you already have that shared bond. Hence easier to twist it and use it as a plot to f*ck. Otherwise the story is so general that the only ‘drama’ is the quarrel between Kazushi and Ayane. Therefore the twisted reasoning how they will f*ck to reconcile. I know. Porn logic. Don’t ask.

Characters… So meh. So generic. So boring. Kazushi is a college kid. Makes him a bit older so it looks legit if he starts f*cking his childhood friends who are a year or two his junior. Because of porn logic, this guy is so generic and thinks with his penis. Can’t blame him. He is at that age where it is natural to think about all those kinds of stuffs with the opposite gender. And with the sisters being so busty and sexy, this ‘aggravates’ his horny side. Yeah, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of them seeing that they also have their ‘permission’. How nice it is to have 2 girls by your side whom you can take turns and f*ck. Variety is the spice of life, they say. Good for him. F*cking a different girl a different day makes his dick stay healthy always! HAHAHA! Ayane the tsundere and Kotone the meeker one who doesn’t mind being number 2. There is always that girl in a harem who prefers to stay as the role of a concubine. Because of that, the moral dilemma being posed to Kazushi whom he should prefer. He likes Ayane but with Kotone so willingly like that, is there anywhere in the rulebook that says he can’t have both as his main? And… WHAT MORAL DILEMMA?! Just f*ck everything! F*ck, f*ck and f*ck them all!!! Oh yeah. Keep spilling those love juices of yours, Kazushi.

Is it me or did I notice that the mosaic censors for the porn scenes are somewhat lesser compared to previous pseudo porn animes? Yes, there is still the mosaic censor but this time the dick and pussies can be seen ‘clearer’. Or is my imagination that sharp that I am starting to see things?! After a couple of years censoring these parts out, they might have brainwashed us to think that this is pretty normal. The mosaic censors bit by bit lessen out as each season passes. By next season, the mosaic censors may not be even there. And we’ll get a full view of dick and vaginas. I don’t think it will happen otherwise the show itself can’t be shown outright and have to be aired via underground hentai channels.

On a trivial note, I think old veteran anime fans will notice this. Doesn’t the voice of Kotone sound a lot like Ilya of the Fate series?! Oh my God! Yes it is her!!! YES IT IS!!! That’s the voice of Mai Kadowaki! But wait. The credits listed Anzu Mitsu as the voice of Kotone. True. But that is Mai Kadowaki’s moniker when she is voicing shady adult stuffs. Because of her distinct voice and role as Ilya, every time I hear Kotone talk, I can’t help envision that it is Ilya. Even more so when she gets f*cked. OMFG!!! I can’t take my mind off this! I’m not really an Ilya fan or a lolicon but each time I hear her voice moan and groan like that, I just cannot shake off the vision that this is Ilya being f*cked!!! Oh sh*t!!! It will probably be worse if I close my eyes because I fear I might see clearly Ilya in my head then. It really feels weird after all the sex act is dusted and done. The thought that it was Ilya and not Kotone getting defiled really messes up with my mind. It goes to show how distinctive her voice is and that it could really ruin and shock you if you are not really strong enough and prepare to steel your heart to hear a decent seiyuu doing such indecent voice acting work. It’s like as though she doesn’t really want to try and hide that Ilya voice and wants to make us feel guilty and weird. The ‘punishment’ for all you perverts out there because it is our own minds now that is the biggest culprit that has sullied Ilya’s innocence. Damn. This is going to take a while for me to get over Ilya being f*cked…

Overall, this is not the worst pseudo anime porn out there and is definitely below average. Nothing really special. I thought they would put a uniformed man as the feature for this season like how a fireman and prison warden got its spotlight but I guess they might want to save other professions for future seasons. Worse, it isn’t as funny (in terms of porn logic) as I thought it would be compared to all the previous mini hentai like this that I’ve watched. Even worse, still can’t shake off that feeling that Ilya’s voice was behind Kotone’s character. This is what happens if the German loli aristocrat won the Holy Grail war and wished herself to be grown up and busty and Shirou getting all horny with her. Yikes. I like it how all my horny creative juice is overflowing and having me spew out crappy and cheesy nonsense at this point. Don’t expect all this to stop any time soon because porn and horniness flow forever eternally like an endless stream, never ever drying up. I guess they’re right when they say they won’t let us say “It’s over!”.

Black Clover

April 12, 2020

What’s this? Trying to rip off Fairy Tail and be the next big new epic mage magic power fantasy? But I feel that Black Clover also rips off a handful of other big anime series such as One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. Oh yeah, with 51 episodes under its belt, the way it is trying to play out its characters and stories feels like it is certainly trying to be the next big new thing. Will it be magical or eventually sputter and fizzle out?

Clover Kingdom – The kingdom where this series takes place. Apparently the other surrounding kingdoms are named after the suits of cards…

Wizard King – Did they rip this term off from One Piece? As in, Pirate King? Well, this is the ultimate title that all wizards in the Clover Kingdom would dream to become. Yeah, there’s a legend how a Wizard King came about to save the kingdom from a demon’s reign of terror and bring peace to the world.

Asta – Did they rip him off from Natsu Dragneel? And Naruto? Just make him shorter and have no magic. Yes, that’s right. For a series that is supposed to have magic as its main core, the main character has no magic whatsoever. But luckily he has his raw brute strength. Annoyingly passionate to always achieve his goal especially to become Wizard King. Best trait is of course never to give up despite everyone seemingly having low to no faith in him doing great things.

Yuno – Did they rip him off from Gray Fullbuster? Just make him cool, calmer and his magic is wind based. At first looks, obviously the better half to Asta and despite coming from the same orphanage, they share a very close bond as brothers but become ‘rivals’ to be the next Wizard King.

Hage Village – A poor small forsaken village situated in the fringes of the Clover Kingdom that our main duo hails from. The church doubles as an orphanage run by father Orsi Ofai and sister Lily Aquaria whom Asta annoyingly bugs to seek her hand in marriage. Oh, not to mention a few other weird looking orphans there too.

Magic Knights Recruitment Arc

Grimoire Tower – All 15 year olds around Clover Kingdom gather here to get their grimoire so they’ll be able to use their magic. Not surprisingly, Yuno gets the legendary four leaf clover grimoire that was used by the first Wizard King. Asta? Not surprisingly he gets nothing.

Luck of the devil – But not so surprising too, Asta will get his own special grimoire. After some ruffian tries to steal Yuno’s prized grimoire, Asta goes to save him but is beaten to a pulp. I guess one of the good thing of having such strong determination is that it allows this ex machina for Asta to receive a five leaf clover grimoire!!! That’s right. Not four, but five! Also he is able to pull out a gigantic sword that is able to nullify and deflect all sorts of magic. Uhm, did they rip this off from Bleach’s Ichigo Kurosaki’s earlier Zanpakutou?

Magic Knights Entrance Exam – For those who want to join the highest order of magic and serve the kingdom, you’ll have to take and pass this seemingly weird exam that will have you display your magic powers.

Magic Knights – Did they rip this off from Bleach’s Gotei 13? Anyway there are 9 units each headed by a captain as they are the kingdom’s military unit to serve and protect the kingdom.
Golden Dawn –So called the best Magic Knight unit ever. Captain: William Vangeance – Why does he wear a funny fluffy headgear?
Silver Eagle – Looks like a unit for nobles. Captain: Nozel Silva – Ah damn it. Why must such nobles be arrogant and superior of his lineage and look down on commoners?
Blue Rose – Feminist squad. Females mostly dominate. Captain: Charlotte Roselei – I try not to judge a book by its cover but it’s hard at this point because she certainly has that arrogant and haughty look too.
Crimson Lion – GAARRR!!! Manly team! Captain: Fuegoleon Vermillion – Why do I feel that if you want to fight, you join this team?
Green Mantis – Really? A Magic Knight unit named after a bug? Captain: Jack The Ripper – With a name like that and he looks like a rip off from Naruto’s Orochimaru, why do I have a feeling this is a unit of betrayal?
Coral Peacock – What kind of colour is a coral? Captain: Dorothy Unsworth – She only sleeps all the time. Yes, this means she sleep walks…
Purple Orca – Why do I have a feeling this is going to be another suspicious unit like Green Mantis? Captain: Gueldre Poizot: Did Mr Incredible and Futurama’s Bender join forces to become this weirdo?
Azure Deer – I hope this isn’t a hunting unit. Captail: Rill Boismoriet – Is he a kid?
Black Bull – Ah yes, your typical troublemaker unit filled with bunch of misfits. Captain: Yami Sukehiro – Typical tough manly smoker dude. You don’t want to mess with him. Uhm, did they rip him off from Gildarts and Laxus?

Underestimated – Sekke Bronzazza (ba-hah!) made the mistake of underestimating Asta since he has no powers. He thought he would be easy meat during the magic battle but Asta defeated him in a single blow that nobody could see it coming.

I choose you – Magic Knight captains will raise their hand to choose you to their squad when your name is called. If more than one captains do so, the candidate is allowed to choose whose side to join. Yuno has all 9 captains wanting him since he is so badass in has magic. Yuno chooses Golden Dawn as he believes this unit will be the best one to make him Wizard King. As for Asta, nobody chooses him! Aww, so sad. Well, this is of course a magic exam. No magic, no use. However because he starts ranting how he will become a Wizard Knight, Yami finds him interesting and takes him under his wing. Phew. Looks like he won’t have to take an early walk back to Hage.

Welcome to mayhem – As you would have expected, the members of Black Bull are consists of weirdoes, each with flaws and, uhm, weird personalities.
Magna Swing: Delinquent dude. Manly passion could match up with Asta. Supposedly to be Fairy Tail’s Gray but with fire magic.
Finral Roulacase: Playboy dude. Has teleport magic.
Gordon Agrippa: Mime dude. Is he murmuring to himself all the time? Can you speak louder? I can’t hear you. I think this guy just wants to have friends and hang out with them?
Vanessa Enoteca: Every group needs to have a sexy hot babe. Does she walk around the base only in her underwear? Carry on, sexy baby! Oh, did they rip her off from Cana? Because she likes to get drunk too.
Luck Voltia: Don’t be fooled by his petite stature. This kids loves to fight! Uses lightning magic.
Charmy Pappitson: Glutton. Always stuffing her face with food. Every girl’s dream to eat everything all the time without gaining any weight.
Gauche Adlai: Siscon lolicon. Loves his little sister Marie so much. Don’t you dare make a move on her or he’ll kill you! Man, he must have lots of tissues to wipe his incessant nose bleeds…
Grey: Big woman who doesn’t speak much. Smoke always coming out of her mouth… On a side note, why does she remind me of Shokugeki No Souma’s Isami Aldini?
Noelle Silva: Did they rip her off from Juvia? Proud + water magic. Nozel’s younger sister. She is the black sheep of her noble family as she cannot control her magic, hence her brother hates her. Being a noble in this misfit group is sure hard but you know they’ll accept her and she’ll come to accept them. Though, she still has to put some arrogant noble air because of her pride.

First big break – Magna takes Asta and Noelle on their first mission to Saussy Village to rid of some wild boars. However they stumble into some bad guys led by the ice magic wielder, Heath trying to kill the villagers. Not surprising despite out young heroes being beaten and close to death, the will to never give up and protect commoners is strong. With cooperation and that friendship thingy, their powers grow (even Noelle now could amazingly control at least this portion of her power) to surprise defeat the baddies who of course underestimate them. In the end, before they could interrogate their intentions, they kill themselves. It looks like whatever cult they are from (isn’t that logo from Golden Dawn?) need some magic stones to revive their master. And they’re so kind to let our heroes keep it for now.

A star for effort – What’s this? Kindergarten grading? With Saussy Village’s heroics, the Wizard King acknowledges their efforts and awards Black Bull a golden star. Currently Golden Dawn leads with 70 of them. How many does Black Bull have? Minus thirty!!!!!!!!!!! Oh sh*t!!!!!

Julius Novachrono – The 28th Wizard King. Likes walking around on his own. Hence his assistant, Marx Francois is always shouting at him to haul his ass back to office before work piles up.

Escort mission – The arrogant Klaus Lunettes who is the mentor for Yuno and new recruit, Mimosa Vermillion, are to escort the son of Salim Hapshass (the guy who lost to Yuno in the Magic Knight Entrance Exam) back home. As expected, they are being attacked by bandits who soon disappear shortly. Like as though they were targeting Yuno all along.

Rescue mission – Escort mission has them visiting Hage for a while. During their stay, Lily gets kidnapped by those bandits. Yuno defies orders from Klaus to go recue her but eventually snobbish senpai and Mimosa come to his aid to defeat those baddies and save Lily. Not surprisingly, Salim is behind this as he is acting out of revenge to get back at Yuno for his own failure. And yeah, a golden star for such a heroic deed. Wow, if they award stars for such little but impressive missions, will rescuing a kitten up a tree earn me a star too?

Nero – That anti-bird that recently stays with Asta and somewhat the mascot for Black Bull and the series, that’s its new name. I guess it’s better than Toritarou, Silvantus Schnauzer, Wine, Magna, Fire or Marie.

Dungeon Exploration Arc

Dungeons – Weird tombs that mysteriously pop up that could contain relics and info of ancient magic as well as rare magic items. Lots of magic traps of course.

Reunion – With Black Bull and Golden Dawn sending some of their mages to explore a dungeon, the inevitable reunion of Asta and Yuno. Also, Noelle reunites with Mimosa who is her cousin. The latter is a bit blunt and dense, hence could sound a bit rude. Asta and Klaus lock horns because of their clashing personalities.

Out of luck – Luck in his bid to fight stronger opponents run into Lotus Whomalt of the Diamond Kingdom. He gets hypnotized by Lotus’ smoke magic. Although Asta returns to save him, Luck still believes in fighting on his own. Something about attributing his victories to his late mother. But of course, the power of friendship overcomes all that so they cooperate to take down Lotus in his thick smoke magic because Lotus cannot sense Asta who has no magic at all and gets knocked out by his ‘sudden attack’.

Hard as diamond – Mars, one of the Shining Generals of the Diamond Kingdom ambushes Mimosa, injuring her gravely. Klaus is running out of magic dealing with him and once more the power of friendship has Yuno backing up his senpai. But if that’s not enough to deal with his diamond clones and diamond encrusted weapons, here comes Yuno smashing through all that bias belief and smashing through that thick diamond armour of his like a hot knife through butter. Okay, maybe like a hammer and a peanut.

Small & compact – While examining the treasure room, Mars revives and breaks out from his binds and has some healing magic too. He defeats everybody and uses faster magic to counter Asta’s sword. So how does Asta fight back? I know his friends in danger are partly the reason but I suppose he was blasted through some magic item. Hence his sword now is small and compact, allowing him to swing fast. Oh, it could also temporarily borrow magic from others. In this case, Noelle’s water power to cut through Mars’ defence a second time.

Got you too – Apparently Asta also receives some lethal damage.

Kokkoku – Apparently right before angry Mars could kill unconscious Asta, Yuno somehow draws upon the mysterious power he got from the scroll in the treasure room. He is able to stop time and a strange girl helps destroy what he needs, defeating Mars for good before returning to normal time.

Saving your killer – Even when the dungeon is collapsing, Asta wants to save Mars because they’re here to secure the dungeon not kill anybody. Hey, the dungeon is going to kill him not you guys! Too bad with the rapid collapsing, the Clover Kingdom mages have to escape. Own lives first priority. But you can thank Lotus for saving Mars as well as securing a load of treasure for his kingdom before everything goes down.

Acknowledgement – Wow. Even Klaus apologizes and admits how wrong he was to mistreat and look down on Asta and Yuno. Things do change.

First love – Guess what? Mimosa is in love with Asta? Not surprising. Expected it. Oh, be careful Noelle. You’ve got yourself a competitor. Yes you do!!!

Royal Capital Arc

An audience with the king – Our dungeon heroes (minus Luck) get to see Julius himself for their heroics. Yuno shows the new magic he obtained and Julius believes the wind god named Sylph chose him. As for Asta, he could feel his magic drained into his sword and hence the reason why a person with no magic like him is best wielding it.

Merit – Apparently this is what you only need to become the Wizard King. I guess everything else like respect falls in line once you’ve got merit.

Decoration ceremony – Magic Knights who obtained a certain number of stars before a certain time will be promoted to a new rank and given a medal. So our top dogs are from Crimson Lion (Leopold Vermillion), Blue Rose (Sol Marron), Silver Eagles (Solid Silva and Nebra Silva) and Golden Dawn (Hamon Caseus, Shiren Tium and Alecdora Sandler).

Party of shame – The newly decorated Magic Knights are given a little party and joined by Asta and co. Of course this leads to loathing stares from those arrogant holier-than-thou Magic Knights as well as some badmouthing. But they cross the line when the Silva family belittle Noelle, pour water over her head and remind her existence that killed her mom. Yup, Asta to the fore again to shut up those conceited dumb f*cks. Hope he could do more than just angry screaming.

Royal rumble – Asta looks like he is doing fine showing those arrogant nobles by slashing through their magic. Until Nozel steps in. His aura definitely putting pressure and fear in everybody. I don’t really know what the definition of shame is because the Silva family thinks doing this and that to a peasant is just bringing shame to the family name. Just when there is going to be a royalty showdown between Nozel and Fuegoleon, something is rocking the capital. Yeah, everybody’s so arrogant they didn’t even notice the royal capital is under attack.

Resident Evil – Wait a minute. The royal capital is being attacked by… ZOMBIES???!!! At least there is a mage summoning them, Rades Spirito.

Brownie points – Time for our Magic Knights to show what they’re capable of as they blast their high level magic at the zombies. Also, additional brownie points for Asta as he comes to a little girl’s aid, protects her despite being relentlessly attacked and yes, Rades being the ultimate jerk by trying to target the little girl and distract Asta. But don’t forget teamwork from our Magic Knights to aid Asta too.

Augustus Kira Clover XIII – The king of Clover Kingdom. Typical lazy and selfish dude. No wonder nobody likes him. He should’ve been a joker…

Rivals aplenty – In addition for having Yuno as Asta’s rival, it looks like Leopold and Fuegoleon have also declared themselves to be Asta’s rival to be Wizard King.

Eternal youth – After the Magic Knights stop the zombie threat, they are whisked away far from the capital. This allows Catherine the witch to steal the townspeople’s youth for her own.

Bell – Yuno being the only Magic Knight not whisked away by Catherine’s magic, he fights her but absorbs too many of her curses. Just when he starts losing his senses, he is finally able to understand and use the Sylph magic that was always present around him. Herald this little Sylph girl, Bell to blast Catherine out the skies.

Don’t steal my food! – Desperate Catherine has reverted to her old hag form and tries to steal youth from Charmy who think she is trying to steal her food! Sheep punch! Some people need to learn how to grow old gracefully.

Eat, save, love – Charmy’s food is still in danger of being wasted but thanks to Yuno saving it, does Charmy now find something else to love other than eating?

Lion king target – So this elaborated invasion was to kidnap and kill Fuegoleon? Whisked into another dimension by Valtos, in no time he is defeated and left for dead. Gee, one of the strongest and righteous Magic Knight dying?

No getting away – Asta keeps using his anti-magic to prevent Rades and Valtos from escaping. Even giving Rades a taste of what it’s like to feel pain.

Reinforcements – The baddies got reinforcements from evil mages. Think they outnumbered our heroes? Well, our Magic Knights also return for the much needed reinforcement.

Eye of the Midnight Sun – I guess when you’re hell bent on destroying Clover Kingdom, they have to announce their evil group’s name so that in the future we’ll have more fights and clashes. That’s what they did and oh, they also kidnap Asta while they escape.

Show off – Time to show off why Julius is the most powerful Wizard King ever lived. With his extraordinary magic, he defeats and restrains all the baddies at their home base and at the same time rescue Asta. I guess it’s also payback for what they did to the royal capital. Not before the big bad boss rescues his underlings in such a bright flashy manner.

Jewel concern – As Fuegoleon’s pendant is missing, it is safe to say it is the reason the enemies of the kingdom targeted him. Julius saw a slab in the base filled with jewels and some still missing its piece. Let’s take a wild guess of what happens when all of them are filled up.

Promoted – Haven’t you heard? For Asta’s heroics, he has been promoted to 3rd Class Junior Magic Knight. Yeah, he now ranks higher than you guys now, Luck and Magna. Show some respect! Also, Charmy has been promoted to 1st Class Junior Magic Knight credited for capturing Catherine. So she’s like the second most powerful Black Bulls after Yami? Not forgetting who Yuno is now a 1st Class Junior Magic Knight.

Eye Of The Midnight Sun Arc

Mixer mix-up – Asta is invited to Finral’s mixer with Luck. Of course with these misfits, they won’t stand a chance with our fair ladies. Noelle tails and spies on them since she is ‘worried’ for a certain guy. It seems Asta is getting along well with Rebecca Scarlet just because they have many siblings. Asta saves Rebecca from a drunkard and when she is about to like him and asks if he likes anyone, earnest Asta of course replies but is cut off by Rebecca who ‘understands’. This means Noelle has the wrong impression Asta likes her as she misinterpret his incomplete sentence he likes someone from the same… Same what? Same guild? So she thinks it’s her? Not Vanessa or Charmy?

Marriage talks – Gauche has used up all his pay to buy toys for Marie. And what does he see? Marie having fun with Asta???!!! WTF?! Apparently he came to visit Rebecca and her siblings who happen to play a lot with Marie who stays at the church. Bet you didn’t see this coming too. Because Marie wants to marry Asta!!! Gauche spends so much time trying to kill Asta that his ‘date’ time with Marie is over. Also, Rebecca’s siblings are trying to set her up with Asta and Noelle is not too pleased they want big sis to marry Asta.

Prevention is better than cure – What is the best way to ensure Asta will never marry Marie? Kill him! You got to try better than that, Gauche…

Lost kids – Apparently somebody is doing a Pied Piper and whisking away young kids from the village.

Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai – Neige kidnaps the kids because he lacks friends. But his brother, Baro has him do this job so as to drain their magic power and sell it for money.

A brother’s wrath – Nothing is more fearsome than a brother who sees his little sister messed up. Ya’ll gonna pay dearly!

Do you want to build a snowman? – Neige sends snowmen clones to deal with Gauche but his mirror reflection magic zaps them all.

Asta, my hero! – The first person Marie runs to is Asta. Sorry Gauche. Your ranking just dropped.

Sticky reunion – Baro signalled for help from his employer. Sally of Eye of the Midnight Sun is thrilled to be reunited with Asta. She sticks to him, licks him and even bites his neck! WTF?!

Mudman – Sally turns Baro into a giant mud monster. Damn Gauche takes Marie and run.

I hate you – Feared words of a siscon. Gauche better turn back and help Asta if he wants to continue looking cool in Marie’s books. After he puts her in 100% safety first.

The eye’s reflection – Gauche uses his hidden magic mirror eye to reflect and duplicate Asta so that his clones continue to cut down the monster so fast it doesn’t have time to regenerate.

Licht – The leader of the Eye of the Midnight Sun. Once again makes his well-timed entrance to salve Sally and kill everyone else with his, uhm, antenna lights? Don’t forget his holier-than-thou attitude in which he considers everyone else born as sinners. Because of that he is going to destroy Clover Kingdom and form their own country. I suppose going through the ballot box isn’t his style.

Faster than speed of light – Apparently his light magic and his teleport speed is so fast that you practically can’t see him shoot his magic and can pop out anywhere he likes.

Light deflector – Good time for Yami to join in and show why he is the captain of Black Bull. Thanks to his ‘Japanese’ background, he is able to deflect Licht’s light showers easily.

Ki training – Asta receives on the spot training on how to use his ki to detect and predict enemy attacks. Because he is main character, he gets it on the first try and manages to wound Valtos.

Borrowed magic – Well, everyone and all the kids decide to lend their magic to Gauche so that he can go save Asta. If Marie says so…

The reflection – Gauche becomes the unwitting hero because he pops back in time to save Yami and Asta from Licht’s ultimate badass light magic that would have obliterated them. Yup. Just used a mirror to deflect the light! It’s that simple! If only he wasn’t that arrogant and used this method and saved us all the drama and trouble.

Third Eye – Licht’s reinforcements. Supposedly the strongest trio in Eye of the Midnight Sun. You mean even stronger than Licht? Folks, meet lazy copycat slicer Raia (Black Jack?!), wild beast dude Vetto and hateful Fana with fire breathing dragon pet, Salamander.

A little help from my friends – Yami trying to show off he can take Third Eye all on his own? Moments before getting owned by them all, here comes the very timely reinforcements of our Magic Knights: Nozel, Charlotte and Jack.

The complex and complicated depths of the heart – I would never have guessed it that the very proud feminist Charlotte HAS A FREAKING CRUSH ON YAMI!!!!! WTFFFF???!!!!!!! Oh well. He is the only manly manliest man of all the men. The rest look more like weaklings or gays…

Not your sword – Apparently Licht is not happy that Asta wields his swords known as Demon Slayer Sword and Demon Dweller Sword because it supposedly belonged to his master. So this guy isn’t the ultimate boss? Man, it’s like just when you thought you defeated the final boss, another final final boss shows up.

Unleash the power – You know that no brainer moment when you reduce the big bad boss’ life down so much and then he gets even stronger?! Yeah. That is what happens to Licht when Yami-Asta combo effectively took him out. His tremendous amount of mana threatens to probably destroy this anime so Third Eye has to stop their fight and use all they’ve got to seal him and then escape. Good excuse to put an end to this long fight…

First kiss – Rebecca kisses Asta on the cheek as gratitude for saving her siblings. Why is Noelle screaming the loudest? Has she ever screamed this loud before?

Unlocking the mind – Julius in addition to summon all the Magic Knight captains for a meeting, Asta also needs to come along as he is taken to a secret dungeon where a couple of Eye of the Midnight Sun members have been held captive. They have a magic spell blocking their mind that makes it hard to get any info. So this is where Asta comes in to use his anti-magic and break that spell so that Marx could extract their memories. It looks like they have found the traitor among them. A Magic Knight captain level traitor…

Sell-out – The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The traitor. Drum roll please… Can we have a name? Gueldre!

Whale catching – As expected, Gueldre denies everything and despite all the shady rumours heard about him, Gueldre digs his own grave by choosing to escape instead of letting his mind read by Marx for confirmation. Oh, did I tell you his invisibility magic means all magic will pass through him? Talk about invisible invincible. Of course this is where Asta comes to play as his anti-magic pins him down. So all the shady rumours of him are true ranging from abusing his men, smuggling dangerous potions to others and the heinous act of kidnapping barrier mages hence the reason why Eye of the Midnight Sun was able to infiltrate easily.

This is not my final form! – Remember the magic stones Eye of the Midnight Sun needed? Apparently gathering them all has them believe they will evolve into their true form and gain enormous power.

Seabed Temple Arc

Seaside story – As there are 3 magic stones left and they know one of its location, time to head down to the underwater temple and which group is suited better for this hazardous job than Black Bull? This means… Beach episode!

To be seen or not to be seen – Noelle bought the most expensive swimsuit and she wants Asta to comment on it but is too shy to go out. By the time she summons her courage, Asta is being distracted by the shenanigans of other Black Bull members. Yeah, Noelle sounds like a desperate girl trying to bug him for attention only to be ignored…

Big responsibility – Fun time is over. With the path to the underwater temple a dangerous one, the only time when its mana protecting it weakens is during a full moon. That is 1 week from now and Yami wants Noelle to use her water magic to create a path there. Pessimistic Noelle doesn’t think she can do it since she still cannot control her water magic. Yeah. You have 1 weak to master it or risk drowning everyone.

Idol wannabe – Asta and Noelle befriend a girl, Kahono singing at the beach. Her dream is to be an idol and make lots of money!

Healing lullaby – Apparently Kahono’s singing magic can also heal all wounds. Just be careful of the charges.

Pleasant memories, none – Kahono advises Noelle to think of the most relaxing memories if she wants to control her power. Unfortunately being the black sheep of her family, none. Until she realizes she has ton of them after joining Black Bull. Yeah, weird memories. They are more family to her than her original one. With that, Noelle is able to control and create a new magic.

Abyss – Wow. There is an underwater civilization and all the people are so friendly to welcome them (despite not having visitors for the past decade) and guide them to the temple priest.

Battle royale – Nothing comes free. Want the magic stone? Yeah, have a battle royale fight with the weird priest’s fish face guardians. But thankfully all the guys of Black Bull (except for Finral because he’s so gay) win theirs instantly thanks to their opponents underestimating them.

Grilled fish – Best seafood ever for Charmy until she gets put to sleep but a fish priest’s spell.

Nice to meet you again – That fish priest… It’s Kahono! Shouldn’t be surprised here. She faces off with Noelle and despite Noelle looking like she can’t control and hit with her water magic, Kahono knows she is already doing it. She is just subconsciously not wanting to do so and hurt others.

The shape of water – Asta is having a hard time fighting Kiato. His dancing moves make it hard for Asta to read. So how do you catch water? You become water! Yeah, Asta and his lame ‘dance’ moves…

Gate crashers – Just when Black Bull is leading the battle royale, guess who had to crash this party? It’s Vetto and his goons. Guess the battle royale took too long.

Electrical fire – Luck and Magna are the first to fight Vetto. We even get to see a short flashback of their weird friendship. Usually Luck doing pranks on Magna and using reckless tactics to put the latter in harm’s way. Oh boy. Those were the days. But even after all that stubbornness, the spark and flame of their combo just couldn’t match Vetto’s raw might.

Blockchain – One of the guys from Eye of the Midnight Sun uses chains as his magic. You could say Gauche is in a bind but with the help of Grey’s transformation trickery, they duped the dude and defeat him.

Pulling a wool over your eyes – Gauche and Grey then get trapped in another guy from Eye of the Midnight Sun who uses vine magic and their magic being drained. What trickery will they use this time? Falsely accusing him of stealing Charmy’s food and this petite girl uses her cotton and sheep magic to beat the sheep out of him.

Will the real Grey please stand up – Finally we get to see Grey’s true form: A young and lovely girl?! She’s embarrassed with her true looks and hence that dark towering ugliness we always see her?

Bark worse than your bite – You know Asta is always screaming with zest and when he can’t get out of Vetto’s grasp, what does he do? He bites his arm! Like that would do any sort of damage.

Song and dance – Can Kahono and Kiato’s singing and dancing combo defeat Vetto? Well, he ended their idol and dancer dream by ripping out Kiato’s feet and damaging Kahono’s throat!

Unarmed and armed – I guess it’s time to show Noelle isn’t some tsundere b*tch. Because now she manages to power up with her new magic and give Vetto a run for his money. Wow! She ripped off an arm of his! Too bad with his regenerative power, he got his arm back. Bummer.

Second chance – Well, Asta’s back in the game to face Vetto a second time.

Stringing along – Vanessa too. With her string magic.

Portality – And Finral too. With his portal magic. Chicken senpai decide not to run away?

The flying marionette – With Vanessa’s strings attached to Asta and his sword, combined with Finral’s portal magic, Asta is able to ‘move’’ like the wind and avoid Vetto’s damaging blows while giving himself a chance to strike the beast dude at close range.

Caged bird – I guess it’s high time we get some flashback on Vanessa’s past and how she joined the Black Bull. Initially a young witch imprisoned in a cage for being weak, you can guess she’s going to go crazy creating imaginary friends to talk to. Always giving excuses this was her fate. Then one day all she needs was just a little courage to break out. She has never looked back since and never regretted her choice.

The superficial wuss – I guess we also need to give Finral the same treatment. Just because he didn’t want to use his spatial magic to kill, he is deemed useless by his family. His younger brother, Langris showed potential and eventually became the head of the family and the vice of Golden Dawn. Yami had Finral joined Black Bull so as to ‘chauffeur’ him anywhere and Finral thought that would be okay since he had no fighting abilities. But Yami told him he has his own way to fight.

Many hands make light work – Maybe it is getting a bit boring seeing Asta-Vanessa-Finral combo. So we’re going to add more of it by adding Gauche, Charmy and Grey! Gauche’s mirror reflections plus Charmy’s sheep monster pounding the ground to make smokescreen and Grey making Asta clones now give Vetto a run for his money.

It finally got through – Yeah, Asta finally stick his sword through Vetto.

Gotcha – Too bad Vetto just trolled everybody. He purposely let Asta stab him so he could steal his sword and break his arm.

Zetsubou shita! – We get it! Vetto spamming despair has got to be the most annoying catchphrase of this series.

The true beast awakens – If four leaf clover is for luck, then five leaf clover is the luck of the devil! Because Asta’s aura awakens into some super demonic form to defeat Vetto for good! Good riddance.

The true beast awakens again – Oh damn it. Do we need more trolling from Vetto because now he awakens with even more ferocious power that threatens to blow up this entire place!

The other true beast awakens too – Don’t hold your breath because Yami finally gets out of his trapped predicament and does his fair share of the work to stop all this despair once and for all with his dimension cutting darkness magic.

Respecting the dead – I know good guys don’t usually be a dick but they still respect Vetto’s corpse? Lighting up a candle and putting flowers. But the mind boggling part is that why they left his body right where he died?! I guess it beats throwing it into the ocean for the fish to eat. But still, if they properly want to give their last respects, at least give him a proper burial instead of just putting a sheet over his corpse?

Never ending praises – I guess it is good morale boosting and irony for Black Bulls, the worst Magic Knights group to be praised by the people 24/7 until they leave. Yeah, they even sing them a song while seeing them off.

Border invasion – No rest for Clover Kingdom. Taking advantage of the attack from Eye of the Midnight Sun, the Diamond Kingdom has sent 3 of its Shining Generals (Brocks, Lagus and Yagos) to attack the border town of Kiten. Even if the local guards are routed, don’t worry, here comes Golden Dawn to the rescue. I guess from time to time we need to see Yuno strutting his stuff too. But with the overwhelming Diamond forces, looks like another Magic Knight unit needs to give them assistance. You up to the task, Black Bull?

Popular Yuno – Yuno is so strong that Brocks and Lagus start fighting over the right to fight him. And Bell doesn’t want to lose out either because she tells them off Yuno is belongs to her. Anybody else wants Yuno to be theirs? Oh right, Charmy…

Beauty vs strength – Obviously you have to be stronger to defeat your opponent in a fight. That is why Yuno defeats Lagus. Did he just see the beauty of his own defeat?

World tree – Vangeance’s magic is sucking up mana and creating a huge gigantic world tree. Brocks found out the hard way and got turned into one.

Scarface – Yami suspects Vangeance for a long time and requests him to remove his mask… The moment we’ve been waiting for… Vangeance’s face… Uhm… Very scarred… Looks a bit like Licht but the scars really catches your attention. His story: Born out of wedlock to a noble, it is only the noble’s death without an heir that enabled him to take over. Even so, he was hated for his scarred face. Only Julius saw past that and gave him that lame mask for him to wear.

Bell Blues – Bell getting more agitated after misinterpreting Yuno and Asta’s relationship. Eat together, sleep together, bathed together… I hope no weird awakening. However the real battle for her is with Charmy. Are we ready to rumble over Yuno?

Sibling mockery – Langris continues to belittle Finral. But Finral won’t stand for it when he belittles his Black Bull pals.

Zero fatality – When Langris thinks of sacrificing a few citizens caught by Yagos to stem further casualties, leave it to Asta, Finral and Charmy to show him how it is done without losing a life.

Witches’ Forest Arc

Forever unarmed – Guess what the royal doctor, Owen tells Asta while healing his arms? Because of some curse and all the shattered bones, he cannot use his arms again. WTF. Can he not nullify the curse?! You think Asta is going to sit there and accept his fate? Why, he is going to punch fate and make his own fate! Oh wait. He got no arms. Maybe kick it? And everybody else is so touched that they all went off to find some cure. And Asta is so touched that it took him this long to realize he might not be blessed with magic but blessed with amazing friends. Cheesy but sniff, sniff…

Fanzell Kruger – Before Asta took the exam to become a Magic Knight, during one of his training stints, he stumbled into this elderly guy, Fanzell. He agreed to teach him to ways of the sword so long he uses it to achieve his dream. Of course Fanzell harbours a secret and it is revealed when one of his students, Mariella returns to inform him that his fiancée, Dominate Code is dead. The truth is, they are from Diamond Kingdom and ran away because they couldn’t stand the army’s torturous ways. Turns out Mariella is also a spy sent to hunt down defectors. But she is to take him back alive as his services are needed for an experiment on Mars that is near completion. With Asta’s help, they defeat the weak Diamond army but Mariella vows to hunt him down. Fanzell then leaves on a solo journey to find Dominate whom he believes is still alive.

The curious case of the naked pervert – Fanzell had the misfortune of stumbling into Noelle after he got robbed. He sounds like a pervert wanting to have fun with her. It’s no surprise the Black Bull members beat him up and round him up for a suspicious pervert. Thanks to Asta knowing him, he gets to breathe longer.

Wand wonder – Fanzell was ‘interested’ in Noelle because of the wand she possessed. It supposedly belonged to Dominate and Noelle bought it from a black market.

Taking the bull by its horns – Before you know it, the Diamond Kingdom assassination squad led by Galleo attack Black Bull’s base to lure Fanzell out. We all know how this is going to end…

Never make a lady wait – Good thing Fanzell is reunited with Dominate at the black market. Too bad she gives him multiple combo punches for taking too long.

Turncoat again – Oh, Mariella trying to help Fanzell and Dominate because she has grown tired of the Diamond Kingdom’s ways? This is part of her plan to get her revenge against the organization. Once this is over, she hopes to become a Magic Knight of Clover Kingdom.

The Witches’ Forest – Noelle and Finral are now seeking Fanzell and Dominate as their last hope to find a cure for Asta’s arms. Dominate points out her former home, the queen’s magic might help. Speaking of her home, looks like Vanessa has the same idea and returned there.

The queen of heartless – The witch queen being the most powerful witch around, it’s no wonder the rest don’t want to make her mad. Yeah, she hates imperfection and beats up Vanessa who demands she teach some ancient cure magic. She’s not amused when Vanessa offers to be her slave forever in exchange for the cure of Asta’s arms. After all, Vanessa was once imprisoned by her and she escaped. So if the queen is so powerful that other kingdoms don’t even want to mess with her, why didn’t she go after Vanessa when she escaped? It’s like nobody got the balls to stop her, right?

Spoiler – Asta will not allow Vanessa to trade her freedom in exchange to cure his arms. Of course Vanessa is not entirely planning to do that. After the queen does so, her plan is to use her anti-magic to get herself out. Looks like the perfect plan had she not scream it out in front of everybody. Should’ve left a spoiler alert.

The more the merrier – Looks like there are a couple of other parties trying to crash into the forest. Namely the Eye of the Midnight Sun led by Fana. They are here to get a magic stone believed to be in possession by the queen. The other is the Diamond Kingdom led by Mars and Ladros. They are here to take advantage of the chaos and kidnap the queen.

Armed again – Yeah, the queen just heals Asta’s arms like that. In exchange for that, Asta and co head out to protect the forest from the enemies.

SJWs – Witches saved by our heroes don’t thank them simply because they are men. Ungrateful? Selfish Jackass Witches…

Diplomacy first – Wow. You mean Asta wants to talk to Fana and understand why they hate them so much? At least he isn’t the kind of guy who just charges in. But I don’t think Fana believes there is anything to understand between them. A vague flashback how her tribe was eliminated and they think humans were the ones who betrayed them.

Water beats fire – With Fana growing a third eye and Salamander turning into a huge fire breathing dragon, looks like Noelle’s up to the job to extinguish those huge flames. But first, the need to hype up that is not weak. You are not weak. You are strong. You are not weak. You are strong. And there you go.

Dragon slayer – And now it’s up to Asta to finish it all with his secret move. A move that thrusts his sword through the enemy. Wow. You mean that’s the end of it? The battle’s over? They’re not going to drag it out like 10 episodes like how they did with Vetto’s?

Former teacher vs former students – Fanzell vs Mars and Ladros.

Another defection – Just when cold hearted Ladros is going to kill Fanzell and Dominate, Mars protects them. He is willing to betray and defect the Diamond Kingdom for his former sensei. Man, Diamond Kingdom must be one sh*tty place to have so many defections.

Burnt to a crisp – In order to defeat Ladros, Fanzell and Mars seek Asta’s help to hit Salamander’s fireball at Ladros’ way.

Past revisited – If you’ve forgotten Mars’ past, here it is again to remind you because Mars and Fana are childhood friends involved in the Diamond Kingdom’s cruel super soldier experiment. Fana forced Mars to kill her so he could live and carry on.

Remember me? – Apparently Fana doesn’t remember Mars despite his constant screaming of their past. Must be that third eye that is blocking her memories. Yeah, it’s going to self-destruct too.

Welcome back – After Asta uses his anti-magic to cut through the fire, all Mars needs to do is hug Fana, scream apologies and forgiveness. With that, all that pent up hatred disappears. Like as though there were never traces of it to begin with. Hi Mars. Nice to see you again. At least cutie pie here doesn’t need to die like her gorilla comrade.

Stick it to him – Ladros maintains his distance firing his lasers at Asta. Even if Asta deflects it back, he can recycle his magic and reuse it again. But he never see it coming that Asta would throw his sword into him. Now his magic is rapidly draining. What are you going to do now?

Not as dumb as he looks – Despite pitiful pleas from Ladros to pull out this heavy sword, Asta has learnt from his battles that is all just a ruse to let his guard down and attack him. With Ladros powerless, all that is left is to whack him unconscious.

Man on fire – In Ladros’ desperation, he uses his remaining magic to escape, enough time for him to take Fana hostage and threaten her to kill unconscious Mars if she doesn’t give him her power. And just like that, he absorbs Salamander and becomes a very powerful fire element villain.

Demonic revival – Due to the queen’s blood flowing through Asta, it removed his limits and accelerated the power flow and his body is now a vessel for the raging anti-magic. So we see a very explosive and abstract (low quality?) battle between Asta and Ladros with the latter getting scared for someone who thinks he is invincible. With that, Asta cuts him down with his Black Meteorite and even won’t kill him. Because he will make him apologize to all the people he has hurt. That’s Asta being Asta for you.

Blood queen – With Asta repaying his debts to the queen, of course she’s not going to just let him go. Her goal was to obtain his anti-magic and because she cannot wield it, she will turn him into her puppet after observing his battle as she controls his blood. Her first order is for him to kill his comrades.

Cat caught your fate? – In Vanessa’s desperate bid to prevent Asta from killing Noelle, somehow she finally masters the magic to control her fate. This little red cat, Rogue? All it needs to do is to touch the subject and its fate will change in favour of its master. For instance, when Asta actually killed Noelle, it’s like time reversed right before that point to take an alternative route where he missed.

Not my family – The queen wants to take Vanessa’s newfound power but with the feline’s touch, looks like it is not her fate to be. The queen is shocked that her perfect magic is imperfect as Vanessa tells her off that she has never been her family, but the Black Bulls whom she has a closer family bond with.

Heal all – I guess the queen lost so she heals everybody. Thanks.

The elves’ secrets – The queen hands over the magic stone to them. It’s not like she need it (why was she having it in the first place?) since its attributes only work on elves. It is believed they lived in the forsaken realm peacefully for centuries until humans outnumbered and decimated them all. The third eye is some sort of forbidden magic that requires a lot of mana and sacrifice. It is believed the demon was activated by the elf’s leader and that the Eye of the Midnight Sun could be descendant of elves. Oh, Asta’s swords, they were believed to be used by the elf’s leader.

Back to the Diamond Kingdom – Mars decides to return to the Diamond Kingdom to conclude his mission and pass off this special blood to his king as some longevity essential. He vows to change Diamond Kingdom into a safe place to allow Fana to come back one day. Ladros goes with Mars to support him. It’s the fastest and best way to aim for the top?

Change is not necessarily good – With Asta’s return, other Black Bull members have changed! Luck and Magna have levelled up into some demi-god level after spending time in the dungeon, Gauche and Gordon have turned into nerds after spending time in the library, Charmy and Grey have parasite mushrooms growing all over them after spending time in the mushroom kingdom. But all of them revert to normal after learning Asta’s arms are healed.

Star Festival Arc

Star Festival gift – With the Diamond Kingdom celebrating their annual festival, Asta also invited Kahono and Kiato to join in. So that he could use the queen’s blood to heal their voice and leg completely.

Dating woes – Kahono tries to make Noelle do something about her feelings with Asta. This means Kahono acting like as though she is interested in Asta and doing things with him. Too bad Noelle can only watch in horror. And Kiato trying to flirt with Noelle with his dance moves, I don’t think she’s watching… Eventually when Asta notes how much she likes Noelle because she used her royalty status to help a poor peasant girl find her mom and admonished the arrogant aristocrats, the usual Noelle beat down treatment. Somebody too dense, somebody not too honest with her feelings.

Caught with your pants down – The stall rivalry between Yami and Jack to outsell each other turned deadly as now they are raring to go at each other. Thanks to Julius putting a stop to this by cutting their pants. And with that they lost the motivation to kill each other. But it might soon resurface as they now argue who has more wins. Why is the number keep increasing?

Rose with a million thorns – Woah! Who that beautiful babe?! Don’t be too surprised when she starts whipping you with her thorny vines magic. Yup, Charlotte!

Beauty and the beast – The last thing Charlotte wants is Yami to see her and then it happened…

Catfight – For some odd reasons (actually to see who is more worthy of Yami’s company), Vanessa challenges Charlotte. The latter didn’t want to get involved had not Sol forcefully getting her to participate, believing her captain will never lose. So we have a cosplay contest that ends in a draw and then a drinking contest that also ends in a draw. Sure, Charlotte can’t hold her liquor but Vanessa also passed out on the first cup?!

Cursed fate – A glimpse of Charlotte’s past whereby her curse activated when she turned 18. She tried to become strong and break out of it and the reason she hates men is that they’re all just talk and weak. Until Yami came, that is. When her curse went berserk, Yami easily cut through it. And because he did say he likes strong chicks, apparently the way for the curse to be broken was to have her heart stolen by a man. Yeah, it’s that simple yet so complicated.

Rising Dawn – Julius announces the squad winner that accumulated the most stars during the year: Golden Dawn. The biggest contributor is of course Yuno.

Rising Bull – Shockingly, the one who takes second place is Black Bull! Yeah, even their own members are so shocked since they expected to get last place just like every other year. And it is no surprise that the biggest contributor is Asta, only second to Yuno in total.

Wooden spoonist – If you’re curious as to know who occupies last spot after Black Bull’s big jump, it’s Azure Deer. Damn, Rill looks so shocked…

New captains – Crimson Lion and Purple Orca have new captains. Meet Mereoleona and Kaiser Granvorka respectively.

Lame king – Augustus makes his rare royal appearance. Because he looks like an idiot, nobody is revering him. Yeah, he gets petty about how much he should be showered with praises and all. Everyone even thinks the Wizard King should just become their king!

Taking all the glory – In order to make the people love him, he announces that the hideout of the Eye of the Midnight Sun has been discovered. Hence he will be holding an exam among all Magic Knights in which the best will be selected to be part of the Royal Knights who will then destroy the terrorist group once and for all. Of course this plan was all from Julius.

Off with their heads! – Because Asta speaks the truth that the ones who are awesome are the Wizard King and Magic Knight captains as well as the king hasn’t used his power to do any good for his people, Augustus wants Asta killed right now! Had not Julius reasons with him, Augustus’ reputation might have been taken another hit to even below rock bottom.

Bragging rights – Yami must be having a swell time by himself as he brags he beat the other captains to second place. I’m sure they want to sock it to him but no violence in this bar establishment. Ah, such a calming drink. And why is this scrawny bar a place where such captains go for a drink?!

Roar of the lioness – Mereoleona chides her Crimson Lions for dropping in the rankings. Although the men still acknowledge Fuegoleon’s achievements, she needs them to prove that to her. This means hotspring training. Because of that, she also ‘forces’ Asta, Yuno, Noelle, Yami, Charlotte and Sol to come on this trip.

Really, really hot hotspring – It’s not your typical Japanese onsen. Because it’s a mountain spewing lava! But if they can cross it, what awaits them is a splendid revitalizing hotspring.

Mana Skin – Apparently if you can produce constant amount of mana to cover your skin, it works as some sort of protection layer and you can safely make your way across the hazardous terrain.

Can’t take the heat… – So with no Mana, can Asta do this? He defeated big baddies and overcome so many impossible magical moments but is going to lose out to this heat? So when Mereoleona mocks him as just being lucky and to go home, you bet that is going to make Asta do the opposite. Luck isn’t what is going to land him the Wizard King position.

The key to using ki – Yup, using the power of ki is what Asta did to overcome all this crap. Now he turns into some wild black comet blazing over the volcano.

Peekaboo – And while we have our much awaited hotspring respite, shockingly Yami rallies to guys to go peek at the women! Because that is what being a true man is?! More nonsense excuses like they shouldn’t be afraid of death and that they’ve come here to be whipped back to shape. Now go get some peeping done! I bet Yami just wants to see the clowns climb the wall. Sol just made the wall higher to protect the beauty of Charlotte’s nakedness. It comes to an abrupt anti-climactic end with Asta refusing to do so because his heart belongs to Lily!

Royal Knights Entrance Exam Arc

Captur- Destroy The Flag? – In this team battle, teams must destroy the opponent’s crystal to win while protecting their own. If within the time limit the crystal is not destroyed, the one who dealt the most crystal damage will win.

The oddest teams – Are you excited to know how is in which team? For Asta’s team, we have Mimosa (good for you girl, looks like you need your much needed screen time) and Xerx Lugner. Xerx who? This shady guy who came in late and assumed the identity of Purple Orca’s vice captain showing disrespect to everyone and is doing this all for fun… Other notable characters taking part in this exam (apparently not everybody else is interested in being a Royal Knight) like Noelle is in the same team with Yuno (Bell and Noelle already at each other’s throat?), Luck with Klaus, Magna with Sol, Finral with Leopold.

Sleeping on the job – Asta’s team is the first match. However Xerx is not interested in cooperating and winning. He takes a nap and lets Asta and Mimosa sort it out.

Comeback – Asta and Mimosa are already having a hard time facing the enemy. It gets worse with Asta stepping into a paralysis magic trap and the other team attacking from all sides. Will Asta lose? If you know the trend, of course not. A magic portal absorbs the opponent’s magic and reflect them back. Xerx then destroys the enemy’s crystal to register their first win.

Shady magic – Asta isn’t too happy Xerx mocks other Magic Knights but Xerx won’t reveal his strange ash magic that reflects. The trap Asta stepped on belonged to him and because of that, it activated that reflection trap that sealed their victory. The stronger the spell, the more effective it is.

You’re so vain – Next up is Magna and Sol’s team. Also in their team is Kirsch Vermillion, Mimosa’s vain older brother who is the vice captain of Coral Peacock. So beautiful… Mimosa just wishes he’d disappear…

Beautiful win – I know Kirsch is such a creepy vain guy but he does dispense some useful info to Sol and Magna on how to beat their opponents efficiently. And beautifully. With that, an easy win for their team against opponents we don’t care. Wow. Everything so beautiful. So pretty. So gorgeous. So ugh…

Battlefield experience – Finral uses his spatial magic and experience from his past battles with Black Bull to help his team make an easy win over opponents we don’t care.

Instant wipe out – Sekke is in Langris’ team and the only thing ‘useful’ he did is to show off his transport? Anyway Langris seals an easy win over opponents we will never care by instantly shaving the space away.

Explosive piece of art – Just when you think the next matchup has nobody of significance, well this mysterious contender turns out to be Rill! Well, there’s no rules saying a Magic Knight captain can’t participate. While he might look like some naïve ditz, we delve into his past to see him being depressed and throwing tantrum when he obtained his art magic. It wasn’t the kind of art he wanted to draw and his tantrums almost destroyed his mansion. Until he almost killed his butler, Walter who advised him to join the Magic Knights and use the sky as his big canvas. Since then, Rill hasn’t looked back and became the youngest Magic Knight captain in history. It goes without saying he owns his opponents with his art magic, recreating magic attributes from scratch.

Tough luck – With Luck powering up so much from all the missions, you bet he is going to have fun all the way as he pulverizes his opponent in a single blow and at the same time destroying the opponent’s crystal.

Mushroom magic – En Ringard of the Green Praying Mantis looks weak and feeble. Is he going to be alright in Yuno and Noelle’s team? But he really has some weird freaky mushroom spore magic…

Jealous guy – Yuno is forced to face fellow teammate Alecdora from the opposing team. Alecdora has a grudge against Yuno because he has been hogging Vangeance’s attention recently?! You mean he also knows how many times he called his name today?! Creepy. No wonder Yuno defeats this guy with his superior magic.

Sibling rivalry – Solid abandons whatever strategy just to target Noelle. Unfortunately this cocky guy is still stuck in the past. Because he looks awfully surprised when he sees Noelle’s immense water magic. Think she’ll miss? That’s why he’s stuck in the past. Noelle does an instant KO on him (that’s for all the torment!) and also destroys the crystal all in one go!

On a clean slate – Time for the second round to begin. Kirsch uses his sakura magic to conceal everything. Why, just leave it up to Asta and use his anti-magic to wipe it all clean! And because of that he erased all of Xerx’s sneaky traps too.

Drop dead gorgeous – Kirsch decides to handle this himself after learning Magna is a peasant. Because of his abhorrence for peasants, he tries to target Asta but falls into a simple pit trap created by Xerx. Time for this royalty to take his beauty sleep…

Batting practice – With Magma improving his skills, Asta tries to protect the crystal by swatting back his fireballs. If not for Xerx reflecting his magic back at him, their crystal might have been destroyed.

Drop dead gorgeous, again – Kirsch returns to fight but again gets busted in the face by Asta.

Free hit – Just before Sol can destroy their crystal, I don’t know how Mimosa’s plants are so strong to stop Sol’s golem, let it reveal their crystal, enough for Asta to destroy it and win it for his team.

True beauty – Kirsch might have not been beautiful in this unsightly lost. But because he put in his last spurt effort to be a team player, he saw true beauty in this.

Brotherly hate – Well, it’s inevitable. Finral facing off with Langris in the second round. Lots of flashback to see why Langris hates and envies his brother despite being so much better than him. So much hate that he becomes some sort of dark Super Saiyan. Finral’s attempt to stop him fails. Their crystal got destroyed and there are holes in Finral, making him like Swiss cheese. Oops, not a good time for jokes.

Don’t bull-y our comrade! – Langris is so filled with hate that he is going to continue to kill his brother despite the match is over. Immediately the Black Bull members jump in protect Finral and are prepared to kill Langris if he decides to go overboard. Wow. A minute ago they weren’t caring about him and now he is so injured and on the verge of death, they get upset? Like I thought Gauche was so into his Marie but came out to also protect Finral? I guess it’s different when this womaniser isn’t being a coward.

Brought forward match – Since Langris and Asta are really wanting to have a go at each other right now, Julius gives the approval to bring forward their semi-final match.

Unconscious traitor – Another reason why Julius was keen on this Royal Knights Entrance Exam is because he believed someone in the Magic Knights is unconsciously aiding and leaking info to Eye of the Midnight Sun. Hence this exam is to sniff out that traitor. Could Langris be that culprit?

Zora Ideale – We interrupt the match to bring you a flashback from Xerx. Zora is his real name and he looked up to his father who is part of Purple Orca. However he died and he found out that his own comrades betrayed him just because of his peasant status that led to his death. Upset, he trained hard and then go on a spree to beat up cocky Magic Knights who abuse their power. That is why he has beef with them as he feel these Magic Knights aren’t the kind whom his father dreamt of.

I’m so special – With Langris b*tching of how special he is and the chosen one compared to everyone else being so useless, time for Asta to give his special lecture how they Magic Knights compete with each other to grow stronger so they can protect everybody. And in one strike, Asta takes him out.

Double KO – Both their crystals get destroyed at the same time so it’s a draw. I guess they can’t continue with another rematch since Asta and Langris are out cold.

Deflection – It is Klaus’ team versus Rill’s team. Luck has this idea to unleash the most powerful lightning strike at them. But Rill uses his painting to deflect it back to them. Rill’s team wins.

Was this even a match? – Yeah, Yuno goes into his match and destroy the opponent’s crystal all by himself. Against a group with nobodies? No wonder it is in record time. Yuno so strong, they so weak that they just stood there and did nothing.

The semi-final final – So with Asta and Langris’ semi-finals a draw, hence Rill’s team and Yuno’s match is now the finals?! So technically if everybody’s first round matches ended in a draw, will everybody be winners?

Super Saiyan level – Now this is the match that should have been the entire Royal Magic Knights Entrance Exam. Save the best for last, huh? Yuno’s wind power and Rill’s painting taking to a whole new level that could even shatter the universe!!!

Own goal – Because Rill has been emitting such powerful magic aura, he destroyed his own crystal. Damn. Hence Yuno’s team wins it.

Still hope – As we know, winning this exam doesn’t guarantee you are part of the Royal Magic Knights as Julius will go through everyone’s performance and make his final evaluation. So there’s still hope for you losers out there…

My, what big eyes you’ve got – Damn. Asta in shock that he looks like a retard spacing out!

Grey dawn – Back when Azure Deer was called Grey Deer, that was Yami’s first squad and while helping a remote village to fend off bandits from stealing their harvest, Yami also first met a fellow squad member who is no other than Vangeance. They were a team taking down the bandits and it also led to their first rivalry to see who would become a Magic Knight captain first.

The enemy within – A few years later, Yami and Vangeance were promoted as Grey Deer’s vice captains right after Julius became the 28th Wizard King. Sensing a traitor among the Magic Knights who are supplying bandits with stuffs and info, the duo are tasked to smoke this out. As expected, the duo come together to weed out a couple of disgraced Magic Knights and save the day.

New dawn – To recognize their exceptional efforts, Julius appoints Yami and Vangeance to become captains of their own Magic Knights squad. Yami created Black Bull because he wants to take in all those outsiders and hooligans and give them a place they can call home. And it’s black because that’s what you get when you mix all the colours together. As for Vangeance, his Golden Dawn is pretty much straightforward. A new light that will bring change to this world.

Herald the Royal Magic Knights – Those who make the cut: Asta, Noelle, Luck, Yuno, Mimosa, Klaus, En, Ril, Kirsch, Hamon, Nils Ragus (Silver Eagle), Ruben Chagar (Crimson Lion), Ben Benfunk (Crimson Lion), Puli Angel (Blue Rose), Fragil Tormenta (Azure Deer) and Zora. Mereoleona is appointed as the Royal Magic Knights’ captain.

New member – Haven’t you heard? Zora joined the Black Bull!

Additional members – Also fighting alongside the Royal Magic Knights but those who didn’t take the exam are Nozel, Shiren and Cob Portaport.

Reincarnation Arc

To deceive your enemies, deceive your friends first – You’re wondering why the Royal Magic Knights are having a grand party and storming the enemy’s base is only in 3 days. Turns out Mereoleona’s plan is to sniff out a spy. Yeah, the Royal Magic Knights can’t even sniff this low level spy out? I’m worried for these guys… With the spy busted, Mereoleona moves up the attack plan to tomorrow.

Storm troopers – Because Eye of the Midnight Sun’s base is like an ants nest with many entrances and exits, the Royal Magic Knights split into small teams to storm in from different points and make their way to the core of the base.

Socially awkward – Meanwhile back at Black Bull’s hideout, Gauche is left with Gordon and Grey. As we know Gordon is still too soft with his voice but wants to make friends but Grey is still too shy to be seen but wants to improve her self-confidence. And Gauche only cares about making his Marie doll…

Walking dead – The base is under attack by zombies!!! Apparently Sally, Valtos and Rades are here to destroy Black Bull’s base.

Rise of the socially awkward – Because we all know how Black Bulls is the place where the misfits find as home, we see Gordon and Grey rising up to the occasion to defend the base. Gordon using his poison magic and Grey using her properties changing magic.

Henry Legolant – Ever wondered why the space inside Black Bull’s hideout keep changing? It’s because of this slow talking ‘ghost’. Apparently when Yami was looking for a hideout after forming his Black Bull, he stumbled upon this rundown place. Henry was bedridden and is only surviving on mana he absorbs from others. He was willing to give this base to Yami after he kicks the bucket but Yami refuses to let this place be haunted. And when members of Black Bull slowly trickle in, Henry watch them all and knows about them. So he’s still like a ghost, huh? And now with our 3 Gs in a pinch, Henry comes out from his hiding to help his comrades.

Clash of the titans – Henry transforms the base into a giant blocky bull to fight against Sally’s giant sticky newt.

Jewel thief – Once Valtos managed to get a jewel inside the hideout, he calls off the mission. Black Bulls were winning anyway and much to Rades’ disappointment, they’ll have to fight again another day so as not to risk this mission’s success.

Only I can do it – With 2 more jewels left, it seems Licht claims only he himself can get them. Uhm, so why wait until now and not earlier? Did you not know where they were or something?

The lioness strikes back – No matter how many powerful magic Raiha has copied, Mereoleona easily crushes them all with extreme speed and power. Is she even human?!

Gomu Gomu No Gatling – Out of tricks, Raiha? Well, here comes Mereoleona unleashing her unlimited punches till he disintegrates!

Unmasked – If you have your doubts since the last time Vangeance revealed himself to Yami, well, those who kept doubting (like yours truly) is going to say, “I told you so!”. Because as Vangeance confronts Julius, he reveals himself to be Licht! More accurately, they aren’t the same person but rather 2 souls in 1 body. The scarred face of this body belongs to Vangeance whom Licht considers as his only friend aside Julius who also gave him a chance. It is Licht’s goal to seek revenge on humans in Clover Kingdom for killing his elven brethren.

Boss fight – Light magic versus time magic… Who is faster?

Don’t judge a book by its cover – Ever wondered about Julius’ grimoire? It has no cover!!!

Heavenly light – A weakening Licht knows he cannot defeat Julius so he did the most despicable thing that every despicable villain should do: Rain down his light magic on everybody in the entire Clover Kingdom.

Time reversal – To counter Licht’s magic, Julius uses up all his magic to do the biggest time reversal and nullify the light swords. Because of that, Licht uses this opportunity to stab Julius! I suppose there isn’t any magic left to do time reversal on himself?

In the nick of time – Before Yami can sends his dimensional slash to Licht, he escapes via Valtos’ portal.

Self-destruct – You know, Third Eye’s favourite pastime is to blow themselves up when the going gets tough? Lucky for Asta, he saw this coming and nullifies Raiha with his sword.

We’re the same – You know, Asta is at one of his rare moments where his words make sense. Refuting Mereoleona’s words that both sides can’t understand each other, in fact they actually do. In more fact, they’re the same and are only fighting because each side got their loved ones hurt. So can we just sit down and talk things out? Asta admits he is dumb so he’s not cut out for this stuff…

Passing of the great Wizard King – JULIUS!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for your service – Licht now puts all the magic stones in place and this will truly awaken their kind’s power. However he labels Valtos, Rades and Sally as selfish despite all their contribution to help Eye of the Midnight Sun. Their basic human greed never changed. Such foolish and ugly creatures. Their final contribution will be to serve as foundation for the resurrection.

Life of Patry – Patry is a young elf who looks up to Licht, a great elf who received a four leaf grimoire. Though Patry is wary of humans and fears they might attack them one day, Licht remains optimistic that they can get along. One day, Licht saves a human princess, Tetia. He has a brother prince whom he also gets along with. Soon, Licht and Tetia got married and it would have been the start of the greatest human-elf relationship in history. Unfortunately somebody attacked the elves. They think it is humans and Tetia’s brother because his magic attribute is light magic. All but Patry died. When Patry awakens, he finds himself in the body of Licht? No. This is the body of a human that looks like Licht. He remembers Licht casted some forbidden regeneration spell before he died. Although Patry can tell his other brethren’s souls, they are not so lucky to be reincarnated like him. Hence Patry decides to take on Licht’s name as he learns magic to resurrect the members of Third Eye. As they are the only ones whom he can resurrect for now, in order to resurrect the rest of their elven brethren, all the magic stones is needed as well as the sacrifice of humans.

Return of the elves – With the completion of the ritual, not only the shocking revelation that Yuno is of the elf tribe but a whole lot of other familiar characters too such as Luck, Gauche, Marie, Klaus, Hamon, Rill, Marx, Owen, Charlotte and a few of the other Royal Magic Knights!

Revenge of the elves – This sets up some interesting match ups that include Yami vs Charlotte, Noelle-Kirsch vs Luck, Asta-Zora- Mereoleona vs Raia-Rill.

The lion sleeps tonight no more – Randall Luftair is the vice captain of Crimson Lion and he is one of the resurrected elves. Everyone gets beaten up by him including Leopold. Luckily they hold up long enough as Fuegoleon wakes up! Finally! Partially thanks to Salamander choosing him for his much awaited wake up call. Now he’s got a fiery arm to boot with. Fuegoleon shows he still got it despite being in slumber as he overwhelms and defeats Randall.

Golden Elf Dawn – Why is it the bunch of resurrected elves are now inhibiting the bodies of the members of Golden Dawn? No surprise too that leading them is Langris.

You just can’t put a lioness down – No matter what kind of magic the elves throw at Mereoleona, she just keeps coming back! She just can’t die! Is she even human?! Even when she uses all her magic up, she still won’t go down. At least she’s passed out while standing!

Right back at you – Asta and Zora return with a ‘brilliant’ plan. Zora reflecting the elves’ magic twice and then Asta quadruple that power by deflecting it with his anti-magic sword! Enough time to take Mereoleona to escape. Unfortunately Raia won’t let Asta go so easily so he kidnaps him to bring him to Licht.

From rivals to enemies – Why does poor Mimosa looked like she’s going to get raped? Yuno, Klaus and Hamon have reverted to elves and it is made worse that the real Licht has resurrected here. Thankfully Asta is dropped in and his worst nightmare begins when he sees Yuno… I guess this is how they face off for real, huh?

Still Yuno, though – Just trolling us! Yuno’s will is so strong that the elf couldn’t take over and our Yuno continues to remain as Yuno. Time for Asta-Yuno combo to kick ass!

Star Wars – With the real Licht revived, he is stronger, faster and everything else you couldn’t possibly imagine. And then they take the fight into outer space?! Best light show ever? Eventually Licht’s condense magic blasts our heroic duo. Overkill because the entire land below got decimated!

On to the capital – The elves’ floating fortress seriously has a hole in it from Licht’s awesome firepower. Can they steer this whole thing to the capital? Yeah, what is plugging up a few holes?

Hage Village revisited – Well, first stop in the elves’ tour in killing all humans is Hage which is closest. Can our forsaken villagers hold out in time before their homeboys return? You bet.

Goodbye, father Orsi – Say it isn’t so?! Father is dead?! NOOO!!! This sadness and anger has Asta managing to pull a new sword from his grimoire. The same sword that was used by Licht recently.

I have the power – Yuno’s new sword not only absorbs the poison from all the villagers but can also purge the possessing elf from the human body! Definitely the key to saving Clover Kingdom…

Luck-ning speed – I guess we need to have an ‘official’ Magna vs Luck battle. Can Magna hit Luck with his newly trained skills? Seeing Luck is way faster than ever and can sense mana. Magna is only saved thanks to Rogue distorting his death fate. So you think Magna and Vanessa can yell out how strong their bond with Luck is to bring him back? Well, not if Asta enters the fray. Triple the bonds now!

Luck on our side – And like what all strong bonds do, with the help of Asta’s sword, the elf inside Luck is purged. First time seeing Luck with a crying face. Glad to be back.

Eat up – Returning to base, it is all in shambles. With no magic left for them to head to the capital, Charmy has her sheep cook for everyone to replenish their magic and strength. Now they can charge towards the capital on a full stomach and full magic power!

Unholy alliance – Somehow Rades, Valtos and Sally have their own reincarnation too. Yeah, Rades’ power barely resurrect them and they are hell bent on revenge on those elves. Hence Rades tries to make a deal to work with Asta and Black Bulls but instead Asta beats him up for not atoning. Their goal is after all not revenge and to protect and you buggers who attacked the capital in the first place now want revenge? Instead, Asta has them join them to save the kingdom. I think they give in after they are served great food. Oh well, can’t fight, avenge and rescue on an empty stomach.

Night of slicing – Yami teams up with Jack to take out those elves at the royal castle.

Royal massacre – Those Golden Dawn elves storm into the royal castle and slaughter all the useless nobles. I guess this means Solid and Nebra are going to die too, right?

Get your bearings right – Not if Nozel and Noelle could have a say to that. They are up against Letoile Becquerel whose compass magic allows her to change the direction and flow of magic.

Changing tides – Noelle floods the entire place so Letoile has to undo her magic to avoid drowning. Allowing Nozel to finish her off.

Like mother, like daughter – Apparently Nozel being cold-hearted towards Noelle stems from the logic that she looked a lot like mom. Fearing of seeing mom die again, that’s why he put her in ‘safe’ places and avoided her getting into dangerous missions. Oh wait, Nozel apologizing to Noelle?!

Water armour – Ironically Nozel said not to let their guard down. He lets his guard down and gets owned by Letoile. Now it’s up to Noelle levelling up and writing a new magic to don some water armour. Fast and powerful. Just like her mom. I think we can see how this match will end.

Down with the king – Augustus thinks his brilliant light show can make Langris submit. Didn’t work. F*ck. Langris should’ve just killed him instantly but too bad reinforcements arrive.

Finral-Yami-Jack vs Langris – How can our heroes fight against Langris’ spatial magic that devours anything it touches? I don’t know, they somehow manage to cut through it. But Finral steals the show because after Langris goes berserk, all big brother needs is to give him one big punch. Damn, he doesn’t need Asta’s sword to purify him? Did the brotherly bond pull the real Langris out and banish the elf?

The return of Third Eye – Using Sally’s research, Raia has created new bodies for Vetto and Fana.

Soul exchange – The elves’ final phase of the plan is to put the final magic stone in which some Shadow Palace will appear to complete the reincarnation. When that happens, the souls of the human host will be purged and sent to hell.

The sleeping peacock awakens – Dorothy wakes up! Well, at least her elf version. She sends some of the heroes to the dream world.

Get out of my dream… – Because everything that Dorothy visualizes are those that she encountered in real life, this means real life physics, mechanics and magic work the same way. Hence, Sally just needs to wish for exits! That easy? Only for Dorothy to reseal all exits. Yeah, easy come, easy go.

Will the real Dorothy please stand up – With everyone’s help, they make a fake mirage of Dorothy. Because she perceives it to be real, hence this fake doll becomes the real Dorothy. So this is the real Dorothy? Chirpy and energetic? It’s a huge clash of dreams with both Dorothys slugging out with their imaginary dreams. So big their dreams that they explode back into reality.

Mirror, mirror everywhere – Asta’s side is having troubles facing off with Gauche and Marie. Gauche’s unlimited mirrors can deflect or zap from anywhere and Marie’s eyes can immobilize you. Not until Henry wants to sacrifice himself that Asta makes the bold move to use his dark power to quickly neutralize and purify the siblings.

Roaring to go – With Fuegoleon and Mereoleona entering the fray, the gang prepares to head into the Shadow Palace before the gate closes. Only Asta, Noelle, Mimosa and Nozel join them while the rest stay put to fend off the elves.

Asta-Mimosa vs Rill – Rill’s painted monsters keep them at bay. Can’t get close. Then Charmy drops in tries to offer food. Rill spills it. Won’t eat that human garbage. Charmy mad. But she gets blasted.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing – Charmy then resurrects as a hot babe?! Her sheep is actually a wolf?! WTF is this that Charmy is a hybrid of a human and dwarf?! This means she possesses hybrid powers as she can use all the powers her wolf absorbs and fight back. That’s one for the protein you wasted!

Noelle vs Fana – Water vs fire. Water beats fire. But because Fana used some forbidden magic, she cannot die. Can’t blame her. Tired of dying. Really, Noelle calling out for Asta’s help? She got Jack instead. Disappointed?

Yuno vs Raia-Patry-Ronne – Yuno trying to do a boss fight already? But he got his stone stolen by Ronne whom he can’t sense his presence. Just when Raia thought their plan is complete, he finds something strange about Ronne. And what do you know? Ronne kills off Raia!

Playing with the devil – The real mastermind behind everything that has happened so far: A demon! He was the one who tricked the humans into attacking the elves and then by using Patry to reincarnate the elves to destroy the humans. He was also the one who reincarnate the elves instead of Licht’s forbidden magic. All for this moment when he can return and revive again. After all, he tried to reincarnate 500 years ago but was resisted till the very end.

What you say comes true – You know your enemy is one damn powerful mother*cker when his magic is to turn what he says true. Are we worried for the first time as Asta and Yuno’s combo can’t even come close in taking him down? Let alone that tiny scratch they eventually put on him got easily healed!

Dark elf – With all the betrayal and being used, that Kotodama demon (temporary name) turns Patry’s four leaf clover into a five leaf clover out of despair. Turning into a dark elf, he uses Patry to keep Asta and Yuno at bay while he escapes.

Mercury rising – Had enough of Asta-Yuno combo? Well, here comes Nozel to join in the party. His mercury powers are suitable to stop Patry’s light.

Angry buds – Asta tries to purify Patry and gets absorbed into his conscious. He sees all his memories including the killing of Julius. When he stumbles into a confused Patry, both of them get mad at each other but I suppose Asta who is the maddest, starts lecturing about not giving up. With that, Patry returns to normal and will help Asta in taking down that Kotodama bastard.

Playing with the devil part 2 – Kotodama is a door away to escaping this place but standing in his way is Licht. Also joining in this fray is Rose and Yami.

All hell breaks loose – Kotodama unleashing a nightmarish magic. Leech-like creatures devouring one’s magic and life force! Can’t touch this! Except for Asta’s anti-magic. Oh…

A little bird told me – OMG! You mean Nero can talk?! Nero wakes up Finral so as to transport them to where the magic stones are. Pluck them out and put them on the statue of the first Wizard King. And he revives!!!

The prince’s story – Lumiere Silvamillion Clover is the first Wizard King and Nero’s true identity is a hot babe, Secre Swallowtail, Lumiere’s servant. So she waited 500 years just to revive him. Of all times, now?! Couldn’t she have done it earlier before sh*t hit the fan this deep? So we go back and see how all this came to be. 500 years ago, Secre was made Lumiere’s servant because of her lowly magic to seal. Lumiere loves making magic tools and the adults didn’t like his progressive thinking but he ignored them. Lumiere and his sister Tetia often interacted with the elves in hopes they could live together peacefully. And one day, Kotodama came to cause havoc and tricked the humans in killing the elves, he bound Lumiere to prevent him from taking action but Secre was able to free him. When they arrived, it was already a massacre. Kotodama tried to possess Licht’s body but was still unable. Licht has used some forbidden magic on himself and was gaining more negative emotions. In the end, Licht turned into that legendary Demon Lord. Lumiere is forced to absorb all his magic and defeat him before there were more casualties. Secre managed to seal Kotodama but with the passage of time, it will certainly weaken and be broken. As Lumiere has taken a near fatal damage, Lumiere used forbidden magic to seal him and preserve his life. In exchange, she turned into a bird.

Reunited and it feels so good – With Secre unsealing and fully awakening Licht’s soul, the old friends of the past are finally reunited.

Luck of the devil – Lumiere and Licht astound everyone as they fight on par with Kotodama. Even with Licht gathering the powers of the other elves to unleash some super light power to obliterate Kotodama, damn that demon can still regenerate. No magic can kill him. At least, magic not from this world.

Sword upgrade – All it takes is just the usual rivalry between Asta and Yuno so they get pumped up and their swords evolve to a whole new powerful level. Though with the speed and anti-magic, they pierced through Kotodama, still not enough to kill him because he shifted his real heart.

Surpass your limit – Kotodama may have gotten serious in going all out to kill them since he did receive some damage, Asta lands the killing blow that kills Kotodama once and for all after some upgraded dimensional slash from Yami, Secre’s sealing healing and Yuno’s blitzing wind. Finally!

Out of the pan and into the fire – The gang might have left the Shadow Palace but Clover Kingdom is still under intense battle.

One solution for all – So Patry makes his exit first by getting Asta to free his soul and return this body to Vangeance. Vangeance would then use his world tree to connect Licht’s magic to all the humans possessed by elves. Finally Asta stabs his sword into the tree and frees all the elves’ souls. So easy and hassle free. Only the reincarnated Third Eye are left behind since they aren’t inhabiting any real human body.

Not so fast – Rades won’t let Patry leave in peace so he uses some magic to bind his soul into Licht’s body after Licht’s soul leaves. Now you can atone for all you want.

Unborn son – So the elf soul that inhabited Yuno but never got to control him was supposed to be Licht’s son???!!!

From stone to dust – I guess everything is over. Lumiere’s magic is over so he says his goodbye to Secre before his body crumbles into pieces.

Little Julius – OMG! Julius lives! But in a child form?! Yeah, some ancient magic device created by Lumiere and Secre he stumbled upon that stored magic. How convenient.

The scapegoat – Julius narrates a big problem facing Clover Kingdom. Because of the recent attacks exhausting everyone, other kingdoms might invade. As some of the Magic Knights were possessed, it is hard to prove that it was the demon’s magic that caused the elves to possess and do this. Hence somebody must take the fall before the Magic Parliament. Someone who is well known to possess the power of the devil. Like… Asta?! So Asta must die?!

Damnatio Kira – Damn nut what? Oh, this so called justice guy is from the Kira house and hence a powerful figure in the Magic Parliament.

Kangaroo court – Asta and Secre are tricked to give their truthful accounts in the Magic Parliament but it is obvious that Damnatio wants to accuse Asta for being linked to the demon. If he doesn’t do so, every other Magic Knight will be judged. Starting with Marie! Safe to say, Asta won’t be accepting their ‘justice’ any time.

Honesty isn’t the best policy – Asta tries to tell the truth but obviously the nobles have made up their minds and won’t believe him. Death to the devil!

Birds of the same feather – Yeah, you can expect Black Bulls to barge into the hall and come rescue their own comrade.

Birds of the same feather too – Also, Secre ‘officially’ joins Black Bull since Yami says she is one of them. So I’ll also call her Nero since that’s what the rest calls her. It’s a new life for her after all.

New mission – To solve this impasse, Julius has given Black Bulls a new mission to investigate and find prove of the demons. Doing so will help clear Asta’s name. To further make this credible, Julius and the Magic Knights including Nozel and Fuegoleon will take responsibility of this.

Total recall – All the events from Lumiere and Licht’s meeting up to their wedding and the day they got tricked by that demon and got massacred… Yup, all those clips nicely but together again with some new clips as reminisced and narrated by Nero all for our convenience. From the time she spent as a bird watching over Hage to keep watch over Licht’s grimoire and over a certain magicless kid with potential to the time they finally defeat Kotodama. The future is saved. But more is to come. And this time Nero won’t be alone. She’s got a new family to call home.

The hunt – With Black Bull’s base in tatters, they have to go hunt for their missing demon beast pets. They split up and got hunted by them instead. Turns out they were just licked to death. I mean, they’re still alive. Even demon beasts need attention sometimes.

Taming of the feminism – Those who wanted to see how Charlotte will respond to her hidden feelings for Yami, well, this is it. She isn’t prepared for his physical visit so she goes berserk all over town.

End of the feminism – With her feelings in disarray, Charlotte summons her squad. She will take responsibility by resigning as she confesses that she is in fact in love with Yami! Oh my. Never thought this day would actually come. However all of them are happy and would gladly support them to be together. That’s because a lot of them have boyfriends too in secret. Probably Sol is the only one not too happy…

Curses… – After being egged by her squad members to go confess to him, can Charlotte do so over a romantic candle lit dinner? And if you know Yami well, he just wants to talk about the curse she had since he needs to find clues about demons. Oh well. Sorry to get your hopes (and ours) up. Charlotte points out that a member of his had curses longer than she did. Gordon?

I’m Not Giving Up On This Anime Yet!
For the first time ever since I started watching anime ages ago (nah, just over a decade ago), I am taking a break from this series for a while. It is not that I am getting bored with the series and dropping it but because with the recent developments and turn of events (but of course, how could such a respectable race like elves be the biggest crook and villains of the series, am I right?), I feel that bigger things are going to happen and what has just happened so far was only the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps it makes no difference to me whether I am binge watching or faithfully watching it weekly because as a long running anime, at this point I am starting to forget stuffs. Heh. How typical of me. So perhaps I’ll resume my watching once this series finishes. Heh. Whenever that is. So for now, after 126 episodes, I’m temporary withdrawing to take a break. Also, I think they’re going to spam a few filler episodes before the next big arc. Yeah, Charlotte’s confession was a blast. A temporary ‘farewell gift’ for me.

I don’t think this will turn into the next One Piece or the next Naruto (or Boruto), maybe it will run into a few hundred episodes like Bleach or Fairy Tail. I don’t know. It’s pretty hard to tell at this rate since this series is quite popular and considered to have a huge following in Japan. When it first aired back in 2017, I thought it was going to last for only 1 cour. The way things were slowly pacing out, it sure heck wasn’t going to look like 12 or 13 episodes were going to finish the job. And maybe 2 cours would do it. Heck no either. When it reached 25 or 26 episodes, I read they decided to extend it to 51 episodes. Yup, an anime that’s going to last for a year. Fine. So when we arrived at that, guess what? Another extension! Another year to be precise! So I guess back then it put to rest for those who were going to speculate how many episodes this series is going to run.

And then finally when we reach the 102th episode mark, we thought this would be it. This would finally be the end of the series. After 2 years, maybe the series will just end because it’s not going to be the next One Piece or Naruto (or Boruto), right? Wrong! They pulled the wool over our eyes again! Yup. As of this point it has gone beyond that and continue to continue. And as of now, there is no official speculation of how many more episodes and seasons this series can go on. Heh. It feels like a bad game of trying to predict the end of the world, huh? Well, good for fans for the series who want to see more. Bad news for those who want to seek a closure but can’t. I suppose you can’t really just end such an epic anime, huh? And with that, that’s why I said, I’m taking a break for a while.

Since we’re in for the long run, the story of course is dragged out. I won’t say it is going to be somewhere near a masterpiece but it’s got all the ingredients that is needed for a typical and cliché shonen anime. You know, the underdog protagonist who works hard to achieve his goals. His so called rivals. The girls who are in love with him. Somewhat. Villains who aren’t just villains but have their own back story to tell why they turn rotten but ultimately a thief with a cause is still a thief and hence they’re still villains. And lots of everything else in between. So yeah, the ultimate good versus evil story that isn’t so clear cut or black and white but still cliché as expected. Sometimes it gets a bit draggy because you know, they can really drag out an entire arc for a season. I suppose that is why they have that brief last episode recap at the start of each episode just so in case we’re that absent minded, to add to the running time of the episode. Otherwise each episode could be shorter a few minutes. Yeah, I’ve invested quite a while watching this anime so what’s a few minutes, right? Sure, when you realize all those recap minutes add up…

A long running and mundane segment of this series is the start of each episode whereby it narrates the history of the first legendary Wizard King who became a legend by singlehandedly slaying the Demon Lord when humanity was on the brink of destruction. Yes, it was good when the series started. But now crossing over 100 episodes and they still play this crap?! Like dude, are we done with this and should we move on with the storyline? Sheesh. It feels like it is part of the opening credits but not quite entirely because it is followed by what happens in the previous episode then some few scenes of the episode before playing the opening theme. I’m sure you can memorize this entire part if you faithfully watch it every episode. But me, I usually skip it so thankfully it didn’t get stuck in my brain. Not that I could remember anything for the long term in the first place :’(. And towards the end of the Reincarnation Arc, now we know why this is such an important scene… Oh yeah. Who would’ve guessed…

Before the next episode preview, there is this short mini segment called Petit Clover. As you can tell, it is a short segment lasting about a minute that is supposedly some small time comedy with the characters in chibi form. It’s like they’re trying to have their own Bleach’s Shinigami Cup Golden or something like that. Of course this part is for some mini laughs but sometimes I don’t really find it funny and it is more cringe than anything. At least not at the level where I would be LOL. Maybe just a small smirk, that’s all. I mean, it’s trying to be funny for the sake of being funny but it ultimately isn’t. And what’s with Yuno having his smug poker face trying to be the straight man and retort it isn’t possible?

The characters. Oh my, the characters. You’ve guessed it. There are tons of them and you think that with so many episodes, all those who are concerned will be justifiably fleshed out. Well, I say yes and no. Some main characters especially from Black Bull will be given more prominence and focus since they’re the star and underdog team. So you get some decent character flashbacks in certain arcs like Luck during the Dungeon Exploration Arc and Vanessa during the Witches’ Forest Arc. I suppose they’re pretty okay. Some probably having just a brief spell for now like Gordon whom I believe maybe his past will get fleshed out better in the future. You thought this guy whose wish is just to be friends with everyone will never ever get to talk properly. But during the Reincarnation Arc, I guess we don’t need to strain our ears and rely on onscreen subtitles to figure out what he is whispering. All thanks to the power of friendship! And you thought Nero was just a mascot character whom nobody will care. Surprise! Hot chick alert! Eventually everybody in Black Bull will have their turn and story to tell. It just takes a little more time…

Outside the Black Bull, some characters will completely stay the same like Sekke whose role has always been seen as a comic relief from the start and some whom you’ll keep wondering. But given enough time, that ‘mystery’ will be uncovered. Like if Coral Peacock’s Dorothy will truly ever wake up. In her real human form, that is. If you still remember about her and despite her short cameo isn’t much, at least we get a glimpse on her character even though it was in the dream world. Then we have formidable ones like Nozel, Fuegoleon, Mereoleona and Julius to remember by for reasonably good reasons. Not so good reasons like that stupid king of Clover Kingdom. I didn’t think Julius would really get killed off and though it was shocking at first when he did, thanks to Fairy Tail (yeah, that series trolled us a lot on characters who die…), I was expecting they pull that kind of revival surprise. But I’m not surprised. Killing off a very good and likeable character? You wanna earn the wrath of the fans and viewers?! So yeah, so many characters and it’s hard for a simple like me to remember them all and care.

I thought having that much character was already bad enough. Until the Royal Knights Entrance Exam Arc. Boy, I was wondering why the heck they need to add tons of never-heard-before mages into the fray. Do we really need more new characters?! Even more so, some of them getting selected to become the Royal Knights. I mean, I was like going, who the f*ck these guys?! Are we going to have more drawn out character flashbacks and past being told in the future? But ah, wait. I suppose that’s why they suddenly introduced so many characters. I suppose it is to provide for some fights during the Reincarnation Arc. That’s the only other way where you can see our Magic Knights take on each other officially. And sometimes, perhaps to make us feel confused in who to vouch for because with these elves reborn into their human bodies, it might make us feel sympathy to see former comrades fight each other.

Asta and Yuno are the main characters are pretty okay and cliché too. Asta being the typical passionate guy who is more brawns over brains while Yuno being the level headed and stoic one. They’re like night and day. While it is good that they have some sort of rivalry that keeps them going since their orphanage day, sometimes their promptly rivalry reminder might be annoying. Yeah, yeah. I know they both want to become the Wizard King and hence their renewed declaration to always not lose to the other. We get it already. They sound serious but at the same time not. Get it? And of course for now, Yuno seems to be the one who is outshining Asta because he has the honour student material. Anyway, can they both become Wizard Kings and for the first time in history there will be 2 Wizard Kings ruling over Clover Kingdom? Everybody would be happier, right? Rather than having Asta camp or Yuno camp eventually claiming their camp is the better one in the end if one of them do end up being the Wizard King. With both camps happy, I’m sure everyone will work together for the greater good. Yeah, sounds like I am talking like as though I’m from Asta’s camp. I could go on talking about their rivalries from all aspects including supremacy and romance but that will just be stating the obvious. Because rivalries AKA competitions are supposed to help you level up, right?

The action bits are okay. It’s part of the shonen genre because you need some cool and epic fights but magic edition. I have mixed feelings about this since I’m expecting that not all the action sequences are going to be really exciting. It would have an impact on my opinion had every fight been as epic as Yuno-Rill’s one or Asta-Yuno vs Licht, but most come off as passable or meh. I mean even though trying to put up those big epic flashy special magic effects, it still doesn’t matter if the fight sequences itself isn’t exciting in the first place. After all, despite having lots of characters, they have to also make sure that those who matter have at least 1 special magic skill. After all, Black Bulls are the main team so they need to have more than 1 tricks up their sleeve. Can’t be fighting enemies after enemies using the same set of moves, right? Got to show us that they’ve evolved! They’ve matured! They’ve mastered something after tons of practice! Got to show us something!

This also means that certain fights do drag out to several episodes especially the more important ‘boss fights’. I mean, you can’t have a very powerful character go down in just after 1 episode, right? Hence the action is sometimes like a double edged sword since we are treated to some cool fight scenes and it takes time to build up as to why our characters are able to unleash some new or cool devastating moves. At the same time, the fight seems to last almost like forever and this might get boring a little while. But since I have ‘experience’ from watching One Piece, Bleach, Fairy Tail, etc, the long drawn out fights are bearable. However after a while, it still gets a bit repetitive after you know how the system works. I mean, isn’t it funny to see the characters having a floating grimoire with its pages furiously fluttering before them while they fight? It’s like in case they need to reference a spell or something. Because I see them recite the spell like as though they remember it from the heart. Hence sometimes rendering that grimoire useless and making this magic fight with an open book looking a bit silly.

For an anime series that is very long running, obviously there are episodes and scenes in which the animation quality dropped tremendously. Like certain action scenes where the details really downgraded so much itself like as though the monitor can’t process all the high level resolutions and automatically become low-res quality. Yeah, it feels like that. But overall, feels pretty okay. Because the character designs as I have said earlier in my blog, they do remind me like a few other characters such as Asta being Naruto and Gordon being inspired from Marilyn Manson and En from John Lennon! Or Mars looking like he came from Hunter x Hunter. Yeah, it’s weird when you have so many characters that you try any kind of design and style just to differentiate them but end up looking like characters we’ve seen from somewhere else. I wonder if Marx and Gray are related because you know, same hairstyle and colour. And when Nero turned to Secre, I thought this was Mariella! Or Luck is an insane version of Lumiere! You see, once more having so many characters, it’s hard to keep track of your character designs and some will overlap looking like each other. This anime is made by Studio Pierrot who is no stranger to animate long running series such as Naruto (and Boruto too), Bleach, Urusei Yatsura and Yu Yuu Hakusho.

Having a big cast of characters, there are a few seiyuus whom I recognized. They’re all fine and dandy so nothing for me to complain. Yami = Junichi Juwabe, Vanessa = Nana Mizuki, Finral = Jun Fukuyama, Gauche = Satoshi Hino, Licht = Takahiro Sakurai, Vangeance = Daisuke Ono, Yuu Kobayashi = Charlotte, Natsuki Hanae = Rill, Henry = Mitsuki Saiga, Ayane Sakura = Secre/Nero and Showtaro Morikubo = Kotodama.

And there’s of course the whole lot of other casts because the characters are so extensive that I would be writing an encyclopaedia if I were to name them all. Yeah, I’m so lazy so don’t hope for it. Asta = Gaukto Kajiwara, Yuno = Nobunaga Shimazaki, Noelle = Kana Yuuki, Julius = Toshiyuki Morikawa, Luck = Ayumu Murase, Magna = Genki Muro, Charmy = Kiyono Yasuno, Zora = Hikaru Midorikawa, Gordon = Kenichirou Matsuda, Grey = Masayuki Akasaka, Nozel = Kousuke Toriumi, Fuegoleon = Katsuyuki Konishi, Mereoleona = Junko Minagawa, Klaus = Takuma Terashima, Mimosa = Asuka Nishi, Sylph = Aya Uchida, Leopold = Kenn, Langris = Kaito Ishikawa, Kirsch = Daisuke Namikawa, Sol = Haruna Kakiage, Mars = Yuichiro Umehara, Fana = Mao Ichimichi, Kahono = Megumi Han, Fanzell = Satoshi Mikami, Dominante = Misako Tomioka, Mariella = Sayaka Senbongi, Witch queen = Ryoko Gi, Lily = Miyu Kubota, Hiroshi Tsuchida = Damnatio and Shu Hikari = Lumiere. Damn this list is so long so anybody ‘important’ I’m missing out is intentional! Or maybe I just forgot. Yeah, they’re adding new characters as the new arcs come by so you can guess the list is going to blow up. And I guess they didn’t get Mamiko Noto because she was too busy playing Mavis in the final season of Fairy Tail, huh?

On par with other long running anime series, lots of opening and ending themes throughout the seasons. Mostly many of them are rock based music like Haruka Mirai by Kankaku Piero (first opening), Paint It Black by Bish (second opening), Amazing Dreams by Swanky Dank (second opening), Black Rover by Vickeblanka (third opening), Guess Who Is Back by Kumi Koda (fourth opening), Gamushara by Miyuna (fifth opening), Rakugaki Page Kankaku Piero (sixth opening), Right Now by Empire (ninth opening – though, heavy on the synthesizer effects), Black Catcher by Vickeblanka (tenth opening – got some Broadway and jazzy feel to it).

The rest I feel are not so heavy rock music: Aoi Honoo by Itowokashi (first ending), Back To The Dreamlight by Empire (third ending – why does this sound like ending for Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari), Four by Faky (fourth ending – more like slow rock), Tenjou Tenge by Miyuna (fifth ending – a bit of hip hop), My Song My Days by Solidemo with Sakura-men (sixth ending – boy band music?), Hana Ga Saku Michi by The Charm Park (seventh ending – K-pop boy band music?), Against All Gods by M-Flo (eight ending – hip hop, rap and heavy synthesizer effects), Jinsei Wa Senjou Da by Kalen Anzai (ninth ending – slow ballad) and New Page by Intersection (tenth ending – what a sleepy piece). If I had to pick among them my ‘favourites’, it will only be Justadice by Seiko Oomori (seventh opening – but screaming vocals?) and Sky & Blue by Girlfriend (eighth opening – lesser rock? Compared to the rest, sounds ‘soft’ in terms of impact).

Overall, this series isn’t so bad and I can see why it is popular and continuing to maintain its popularity for time to come. Trying to compare it with other currently long running series heavyweights like One Piece and Boruto is the same as comparing apples to oranges. It is in its own category. Nothing is perfect and everything has its ups and downs. It all boils down to preference. For example, I like how it is trying to flesh out the main characters and the story but at the same time it is taking an awfully long time (yeah, I’m an impatient guy). If time is of essence, you’re not going to find this anime enjoyable as investing in the characters and the story, well, that takes time. And one day the story and magic of this series will eventually end. But not just yet of now. Until then, I’m still not giving up on this anime yet!

Shokugeki No Souma S4

April 11, 2020

Thank you for waiting patiently. Your meal is now ready to be served and enjoyed. Please do enjoy. Boy, this main course meal sure took like forever to almost come out. I’m talking about Shokugeki No Souma S4. Or is it actually Shokugeki No Souma S3 part 2 of part 2. Oh wait. Actually, Shokugeki No Souma S3 part 3. Argh! All that waiting has made my brain go hungry fast and now I’m so confused! Why the heck did they take over a year to get this fourth season out when it is basically a continuation???!!! LET ME EAT ALL THOSE GLORIOUS COOKING, DAMNIT!!!

Episode 1
Short flashback shows Souma liaising with Isshiki to get a few more members on their side. Though Kuga and Mimasaka agreed, Megishima instantly turned him down. In the second round, we have Mimasaka vs Soumei Saitou, Megishima vs Rindou and Kuga vs Tsukasa. Apart from seeing Rindou’s crazy cutting skills as she cut up the little crocodile as part of her menu, the remaining half of this episodes shows how Megishima ended up on Souma’s team. Apparently Souma and Megumi go to see him personally. Of course he turned them down again. You see, Megishima hates competition and even more so the Shokugeki. Food shouldn’t be used as tools as competition and if there was something that needs competing, it is the satisfaction of the customers. However he got fed up that people always wanted to challenge them all so he took on all of them, beat them and ended up as the third seat of the Elite Ten. Well, former third seat now. Souma tries to even ‘bribe’ him he will give his ramen culture preferential treatment if he wins but Megishima still won’t take the bait. Until Souma challenges him to a ramen battle. Megishima doesn’t view this as a challenge but as punishment. After all, he makes the best ramen in Japan. Souma loses the first time but will not give up. Each time, Megishima’s ramen ends up way superior. Even though Souma’s ramen can never beat his, Souma wants every dish to be free. Azami is planning to change all that and Souma intends to protect that environment. That is the clincher that made Megishima join his side. So technically Souma ‘won’ because Megishima forfeited. Hence Megishima’s promise is to give all he’s got at this Shokugeki. Now, Megishima and Rindou are crazily going all out dumping their battled themed cayenne peppers into their dish.

Episode 2
The cooking drama continues. Highlights: Tsukasa using a grater that is so long that it looks like a sword. Mimasaka supporting Kuga by making him soy sauce. Mimasaka mimicking every move Saitou makes perfectly. Because Saitou values bushido in everything, this sushi master even lends his knife for Mimasaka to use. Eventually, Mimasaka and Saitou finish their dish first. Both dishes look exactly the same but Mimasaka having an additional sushi, gunkanmaki. Similarly, Rindou and Megishima also finishes theirs so the judges are going to judge all their dishes together. After all the mind blowing exaggerations, praises and everything, the results are clear. The judges unanimously vote for Rindou and Saitou. It seems Mimasaka was unable to trace a very minor detail, allowing more invisible cuts than usual and hence the flavour couldn’t spread and linger in the mouth. And Rindou’s dish brought out the mild alligator meat into some fragrant rich realm of flavour. Whatever. Her crocodile beat the elephant, right? And now Kuga has finished his. Confident he can turn the tables?

Episode 3
Kuga narrates he was confident in his skills and went undefeated. Until he challenged Tsukasa to a Shokugeki and loss in a humiliating way. But that is not the worse part. The next day, Tsukasa couldn’t even remember the name of that shorty he fought! Hence Kuga vowed to improve so he could have a rematch and make Tsukasa remember him. The judges taste Kuga’s dish first. He amazes them by mixing Chinese with French cooking. Now it’s Tsukasa’s turn. The judges couldn’t complete eating his dish and they are already orgasming like hell! Can they even take the next bite!!! With that, they unanimously declare Tsukasa as the winner without hesitation. Though it is a total loss for this round for the rebels, it is all part of Erina’s plan. You see, Tsukasa and Rindou are so exhausted from the battle that they have to skip the next round and rest up. This is part of Erina’s strategy to wear them down and boost their team’s morale. Hence Kuga and co’s loss aren’t in vain. The next round pits Souma against Saitou with butter as their theme. Then we have Takumi against Eizan using beef as the ingredient. Finally it is Megumi versus Momo using apples.

Episode 4
We all think Megumi is the weakest link and her fate is sealed, right? Time for a flashback to change our minds! Yup, during that train trip, she had a personal coaching from Shinomiya himself. That’s right. Don’t write her off yet. At first she was so intimidated by him but I guess there is a limit to that so she ‘broke’ and got her motivation from some ping pong manga. She might be a slow learner but she never gave up and continued to persevere under his guidance. Momo finishes her rose apple cupcake first. Even the aroma is enough to send the judges into orgasm. What do you think tasting it will have an effect on them? Yup. Thought so. Megumi serves up… A plain dorayaki?! Don’t judge yet! Wait till you take a bite. You could say that she is giving Momo a run for her money as the judges are also impressed with the sweet apple content. Just when they think that this is still not enough to beat Momo, they still see her fighting spirit in her eyes. You mean there is more to this? Yup, eat more and deeper into this dorayaki. OMG. Something amazing happening!!!

Episode 5
After all that deliberation, Momo wins by a whisker. Of course, everybody is proud of Megumi but she still can’t hide her tears from her loss. Yeah, she put in a lot of effort. We now focus on Takumi and Eizan. Eizan is being sneaky as he uses artichoke that has lots of cynarine bitter flavour. Because Takumi’s pizza needs time to bake, Eizan will present his dish first and when Takumi presents his, his pizza’s flavour filled with sweet shigureni is going right to the gutter after he spams the judges with artichokes. All going as planned until Takumi’s pizza is done. He has the judges taste the half with sweet shigureni first. It still tastes good. It seems Takumi has changed the formula of his recipe by reducing the amount of sweetness and enhance more acidic and bitter flavours. Takumi has been observing Eizan since the start of the match and his previous battle with Mimasaka proved useful because he is now thinking how the enemy would think. Knowing that Eizan would use this underhanded technique, that is when Takumi set his course to turn Eizan’s dish as the opening act while his own dish as the main act. Then the judges eat the other cheesy half and fall into ecstasy with the ultimate harmony of its 4 cheeses. With Eizan cursing he has been used, it goes without saying that Takumi wins this match.

Episode 6
Saitou serves his buttered seafood rice bowl first. You can guess how good it is. Of course there needs to be explanation why he became this good and it wasn’t just because of the fish his using but the base ingredients. Then a flashback on his past. His family used to run a small sushi business. His mom decided to go for training and improve but those conservative sushi guys didn’t like a woman becoming a great chef and just made her do petty chores. Eventually she overworked herself and Saitou took over the business. Slowly, he owned all those arrogant sushi jerks with his cooking. Souma admits his cooking is great by why side with Azami? Because he wants to protect the weak. Coincidentally, this is also Souma’s goal. Now it’s Souma’s turn to show his toasted butter pilaf sushi. The aroma itself is enough to make the judges hungry. It becomes apparent as they eat his dish, they have better reaction and praises. The factor that contributed to Souma making this dish is all of his previous battles with everyone ever since he came to Totsuki. Unlike Saitou who continued to refine his single blade so he won’t lose, Souma continued to use and break as many blades as he can. With Saitou admitting his loss, the judges too unanimously vote Souma as the winner.

Episode 7
Okay, now we’re going into the matches of the heavyweights. This next round pits Tsukasa against Isshiki (wild rabbit), Rindou vs Takumi (spear squid) and Momo taking on Erina in her debut (brown sugar). Momo seems to be irritated ever since her win against Megumi so Erina is going to tell her why she is so. Via cooking, of course. Momo finishes first and makes a kingdom of roll cakes. Don’t be fooled by the cute looks. Because it tastes delicious AND cute! She’s made enough for everybody in the crowd to taste too. Now it’s Erina’s turn to present her soufflé. Might look plain in comparison but because it has hidden red bean with brown sugar inside, it is like dorayaki. While she explains her creation, Momo questions this because it seems had she used a different method, she would have made this the perfect dish. So Erina lets Momo taste it. And you guessed it, Momo is taken in by the cuteness of the taste and all. And of course, the explanation how she does it all. Hence Erina lectures Momo and despite she has used her talents to create perfect dishes, she is irritated when there is an even cuter and better unknown dish outside the world she has ruled. Erina knows because she went through the same thing (yeah, those visual rapes from Souma, remember?!). Momo tries to fight it but eventually gives in to how cute and tasty this dish is. It goes without saying, Erina wins this. The rebel side celebrate her victory and Souma even joining in but taunting her how he copied his style and all. Of course she denies. But a sudden announcement from Azami. It seems there will be a change in judges from now on. He will be the judge. Isn’t it a bit too late? Well…

Episode 8
Everybody is crying foul with Azami being one of the judges. Shockingly, Senzaemon has also agreed to this. And to be ‘fair’, the other judges will be top ranking Bookmen from WGO, Courage and Decora. I guess we need some more hot babes for fanservice… Since Anne herself is also a top ranking Bookmen, she wants to continue the judging. Okay, so be it. The rebels still cry foul at this new line-up but Souma looks at this in a positive light. Because now they can let Azami taste their cooking. Back to the cooking, Takumi and Rindou have finished theirs at the same time. It is Takumi’s calamari ripieni against Rindou’s Peruvian causa. After all the tasting, all that needs to be said and react, the judges all unanimously vote for Rindou. Now going for the final match of this round, Isshiki finishes his first and he stuns everyone with his very traditional Japanese rabbit soup. So with all the praises and explanation, we also have this weird reconciliation between Isshiki and Nene. You know, Nene being sceptical why he always looked so happy while cooking and she thinks it is because it is being easy being a prodigy. After all, he always masters everything instantly. Then of course, Isshiki had to thank her and called her his saviour because without her, he wouldn’t be into cooking. As the eldest child of his family, he already had the burden to master everything thrown to him. He never realized the meaning of cooking until he saw Nene doing so. Seeing her profile then, he changed his thought that cooking could be fun after all. Okay, enough trying to make the feels in Nene and get on deliberating the soup. Well, everyone says Isshiki has a bloody good chance of taking down Tsukasa…

Episode 9
Tsukasa interrupts Isshiki and Nene’s talk so as to ask him to join his side. Well, he has until he finishes his cooking to think about it. Tsukasa serves the judges the wild rabbit in a royal western style. At first, it tastes like it lacks the oomph compared to Isshiki’s dish. But once they discover and taste the hidden flavours, here comes to reactions. I guess we know who is going to win so they don’t want to prolong the drama. Hence Tsukasa wins unanimously. Isshiki turns down Tsukasa’s offer because he wants to continue to have fun cooking in his own way. For the next match, Senzaemon suggests a change in format. It will be the final match and a real team match. They will cook a 2 course meal with one as the appetizer and the other as the main. Any ingredients can be used as long as it is a truly gourmet multi-course meal. Azami agrees to this and also blatantly believes Erina does not have what it takes to do this type of meal. Erina talks back that she has changed ever since. She is no longer his obedient little girl. As everyone leaves, Takumi asks Rindou if she is worried because during their match he could feel her uneasiness. Of course she denies. Souma and Erina continue to bicker what they should do. Their ideas too different. Oh boy. This is going to take all night. Or never.

Megishima confronts Rindou and asks about her uneasiness. I guess she is more open to him. She never thought how things would turn out once they obtained what they wanted. 5 years ago, she hanged out with him since he looked super fun as he worked the hardest in perfecting his cooking craft. She made a vow that they would take the top 2 seats of the Elite Ten. After achieving that, Tsukasa got offers to travel around the world and cook for others. But the more people praised his cooking, the more annoyed he became. One day, Azami came to tell him personally that his cooking sucked. Since then, Tsukasa hanged out with him often. Azami somewhat told him the dilemma he was facing. Because Tsukasa can’t rate paintings as he doesn’t know about that industry, it is the same for other people when they eat his food. They only say it is good because of his position as the top Elite Ten. Hence he is tired of that. Azami suggested of using his energy for those who understand him. Part of his plan to save all the chefs from suffering using the quickest way was of course Erina’s God’s tongue. Azami could have harboured ambitions to take over Totsuki then but what does Rindou know? She seemed to support Azami’s plan only because she wanted to continue making more delicious things with Tsukasa. The next day before the finals begin, we see the top Elite Ten already organized and decided. Tsukasa will be the main dish while Rindou the appetizer. What about Souma and Erina? Despite having bags under their eyes, we believe they have been up all night arguing. Because they’re still arguing now. And if they are still deciding what’s what via rock-scissors-paper, it means nothing was decided! We’re so screwed! Eventually Erina won the right to do the main dish. We’re all doomed…

Episode 10
Tsukasa and Rindou’s teamwork is flawless. Souma and Erina… Still bickering… Rindou creates a beautiful millefeuille that has formic acid from ants as its secret ingredient. It elevates Tsukasa’s main dish of chevreuil (venison) into a higher level. He even lets Souma tastes it and this venison dish is far more superior than the one in their mock Shokugeki. Then some of the audience realize they are half naked. What’s this crap about Azami’s specialty called Gifting? Basically his delicious thoughts slipped out from his mind and caused others to unintentionally strip! WTF???!!! I guess we need more variety to exploding and ripping clothes reaction. Souma seems to be letting Erina taste the ingredients he has. Last night when Isshiki told him about Azami’s plan to use her God’s tongue as a revolution, hence Souma gets this idea to use it himself. And so his appetizer comes out as one huge chunk of meat that looks like cartoon cavemen will eat! But don’t judge a meat by its looks. Biting it gives you that terrific experience. The deeper you bite the more you exciting flavours it brings out. And with the judges stripping, I guess that is what that Gifting crap so as to tell us that Azami can’t lie to us and that he finds this dish delicious too. So he explains while this dish is on par with Tsukasa’s, however that is only if ranked as an individual dish. Because this is a gourmet battle, this dish fails. While everyone is shocked at Souma for not being a team player, Souma reminds Erina that he really wants to win this. Because Tsukasa’s chevreuil is his specialty, he realized that none of Erina’s suggested dish would be enough to beat this. Therefore they need to beat him with all they’ve got with 2 specialities. In other words, Erina must make a better dish than Souma. Basically, this is also a Shokugeki between them. She must beat Souma’s dish if they stand a chance to win this.

Episode 11
So Erina decides to start a new dish from scratch? Do we have enough time? You bet. And so what’s this we hear Senzaemon mention about every dish Erina makes is a specialty but also not a specialty? They trying to confuse us viewers with an empty stomach? Erina finishes her dish that turns to be an oyakodon. Everybody is shocked since it is a dish she rated lowly. Azami refuses to eat it after looking at it because it doesn’t fit whatever true gourmet description. Of course she tells him he is supposed to judge its taste and not its looks. As Tsukasa and Rindou also want to taste, they have to start with Souma’s appetizer first. Good of course. Now comes Erina’s dish. Superb! To put it shortly. She explains how she makes it and it seems the key ingredients are squid and peanut butter! This is not a joke! That hideous dish Souma created is her ultimate ingredients?! Of course she has her God’s tongue to fine tune it all. Oh, Erina smiling so beautiful like that, you bet daddy won’t accept it. Okay. Erina introduces the final secret ingredient topping. Some chicken cubes. Everybody else feeling so good. Of course, not Azami. The rest of the episode sees him b*tching and complaining why it’s not. Why he is the saviour of chefs and cooking. He’s not going to let some tragedy happen again. His revolution!!! OH STFU!!! It’s already getting annoying at this point. And then the ultimate kicker. His Gifting starts to make everybody strip! Ah, even if his mind says no, his body says yes. So eventually, cooking needs freedom and this allowed Erina to grow after she met all those ‘contaminated’ people that became her ultimate spice for cooking. So can he not please decide what happiness is for everybody? Ultimately, Azami himself strips. And that decides it all. Erina and Souma wins! The rebels win!

Episode 12
Even after the win, Souma and Erina are still quarrelling. It’s a good thing they’ve won, right? Or Souma will never hear the end of Erina complaining of straying from her plans. No wonder Tsukasa is so confused. They are so opposite of each other and couldn’t seem to work together but yet they could make better dishes. Oh right. You just need to have fun cooking. Azami leaves in a huff. Sore loser? Don’t worry. He’ll keep his word. So as not to be a total loss, Joucihirou and Dojima have a little talk with him. A bit of apology for leaving him alone and some words of encouragement that it isn’t the end of the world. Yeah, there’s still hope for him. Now with the choosing of the new Elite Ten, Rindou takes this chance to take Tsukasa around the world. Hey. No more paperwork! Freedom! At first it looks like Erina would take the first seat but to everyone’s surprise, Erina suggests Souma as he was the one who made the pivotal decisions. In that case, Erina will be the director since Senzaemon wants to retire. Souma will not accept his position if Erina doesn’t become director as he feels she is still better than him. After all, her cooking surpassed his, that’s why they won, right? As the new Elite Ten leader, Souma axes all the stiff rules. Anybody can do Shokugeki with anybody anytime. No collaterals! Man, everybody is going to get busy with Shokugeki 24/7. And that is what happens with the new school term starts. Uh huh. Hayama, Ryo and Alice Shokugeki each other all the time. We see the seniors and former Elite Ten members graduate and doing great with their dreams. We also see all the other characters at Totsuki are up to. Things are looking up for them. The most shocking one if I should say is Megumi taking a trip around the world to learn their culture and implement it in her cooking. No more the shy girl now. So if you’re curious of the new line-up for the new Elite Ten: 1) Souma; 2) Isshiki; 3) Kuga; 4) Hayama; 5) Ryo; 6) Alice; 7) Takumi; 8) Eizan; 9) Nene; 10) Megumi. Mimasaka could have been part of the line-up but he declined, claiming he needed to improve himself with a cooking that won’t need any mimicking. And there you have it people. The new Elite Ten of the future. Souma now swamped with paperwork, though…

Cooking Like A Boss
Oh well. And you thought that was the end of it. That cliff-hanger of a new character approaching Erina hints that this isn’t over yet. Not the true real ending yet. A new (mini) danger to Totsuki and a (mini) test of her new leadership? As you have guessed it. There is going to be another season. Most probably it will be the last in the series as the manga already ended way back in mid-2019. I think I know how it will end but please, no spoilers for me! But then again, the anime may end up taking a different and original route.

So as you can see, this season continues where we left off from the second part of season 3 that aired in 2018. At this point in time, I have to admit that I am starting to feel fatigue in this series because it is more or less the same thing. Even more so when this whole season is to conclude the team Shokugeki. We see who gets paired with who and to add to the drama of the whole cooking process and as not to show how boring it is, that is why we have snippets of the cooking in action while being spammed with lots of flashbacks what happened prior. Then the tasting, the deliciously and hilariously over the top reactions when the godly dishes are tasted. Spam more explanations how they are made and the ingredients that they put in to turn this into a super aphrodisiac. And you can perhaps guess who will win too. My guessing rate is at 99% because I didn’t expect the final match to be a tag team one. I thought it would be the Souma x Rindou with Erina x Tsukasa so that it would turn into a Souma x Tsukasa final just for Souma to get his revenge match. That would be so boring, right? But despite Souma is the main protagonist of this anime (it has his name in it, duh), I suppose we can’t ignore the other main supporter who is also Erina. Just like all great dishes, it is also the other supporting ingredients and sauces that help the main dish to taste real good. Wow. Do I sound like a food philosopher now?

Speaking of the food that all of them cooked for this season, it is with mixed feelings that although I still do enjoy in whatever dish they come up with, it is unfortunate that I cannot taste them. I guess that is why to compensate for all you disgruntled viewers and gluttons who can’t taste them, here, have this reaction fanservice instead. Honestly, I prefer to have to eat the food rather than visual eye candy ;p. But anyway, for the umpteenth time now, the reactions are of course over the top exaggerations just to convey to us how super good the food really is. It is amazing that they have eaten so much of it and didn’t die from all the heart pounding delusions. I swear, they must have laced drugs in it. Oh, who needs drugs when you’re super talented chefs! And furthermore, having females as judges is so obvious for fanservice purpose. I wonder if they all can remain a virgin after eating so many of this food raping cooking. I swear, one day all these girls are really gonna get raped by the food they eat. I mean, REALLY get raped. Yeah, it’s no different when they take a bite and put it in their mouth. Too bad guys, only orgasmic food can satisfy them like that multiple times!

Now that Souma is the new first seat of Elite Ten, he has given freedom to everyone to just do Shokugeki at any time. This is a bit worrying because instead of having other school activities like studying, everybody will be busy in an iron chef cooking showdown and those not involved will be much inclined to go watch. I know this is a culinary school and also it is best for budding chefs to improve themselves via hands on approach. But with everybody busy with all the Shokugeki action, there won’t be time for anything else. Because somebody has got to grow the ingredients. Somebody has got to store them. Somebody has got to prepare the Shokugeki. Somebody needs to get the paperwork done!!! Oh yeah. It feels like Tsukasa actually won the lottery despite losing. Total freedom! I can see why he isn’t the least bit upset. And with all the Shokugeki battles, will there be enough time for proper research for new and improved recipes? Not all foods can be created through such elaborated food fights, you know. And are you sure that such high class quality food is what they can serve to the normal people all the time? Okay, whatever. Just enjoy your cooking.

The rest of the characters here feel meh. Souma plays the secondary role as the big focus is on Erina. After everything that has happened, it is a good thing that this girl who started out as some high class snobbish b*tch, didn’t turn into a final boss character whom Souma would have to face off and defeat. It is a good thing that she has somewhat become an ally from all the weirdoes that she has been with ever since. So a lot of good things have had happened to her ever since and that helps in expanding her vision and cooking. This in turn helps her to get the much needed strength to fight back against her stubborn and rigid father. Speaking of Azami, I suppose at this point we are getting tired of hearing how he wants to create his utopia and give everyone some salvation, free from all the suffering. So he thinks he is God, huh? That’s the mistake he already made first.

And you thought that Gifting crap was some sort of nonsense that they had to think up because with Azami being the bad guy here, he isn’t going to play fair in achieving what he wants. And so with people stripping, it is visual and physical proof that he also finds the cooking delicious (itadakimasu for the fanservice too). It’s the only way the rebels can actually defeat this guy is with Azami using his own Gifting on himself. It’s nonsense and mind blowing but whatever. And to show that he isn’t the Hitler of his series, he is offered some sort of ‘salvation’ so he isn’t so much of a bad guy. Yeah, it all boils down that he is still Erina’s father. His dream might not have been realized but the dreams of others carry on. Yup. The culinary world still turns like it has been before.

And you thought that Souma’s worst dish of squid and peanut butter was some running joke all forgotten. Who’d knew that it would come back to bite us in the ass as not a joke at all! And Erina is the one who made it! Boy, all those tasting of Souma’s dishes must have finally gotten to her. Yeah, remember how Souma’s dishes ‘raped’ her back then? Oh, the memories. Now she’s using it to rape other people too. Haha! So this is her specialty? Okay. Whatever makes you happy and smile. And everybody else… Meh. Especially those rebels reduced to being another one of those commentators giving their deductions and thoughts about everything. It’s the only way they could stay relevant this season. They powered up Megumi in the final scenes to at least show that she is worthy of the tenth spot of the Elite Ten. Wouldn’t want the old nervous wreck Megumi to be sitting at that spot that could have easily gone to Mimasaki, Mito, Isami or even Ibusaki. It feels like a sudden drastic change in character but I guess it does a lot of good for her in many ways.

This season’s opening theme is Chronos by Stereo Dive Foundation. I don’t know if the hard rock punk music fits the pacing of this series. But after all the craziness in the food reaction we have seen, I guess it is. Nano Ripe returns to sing the ending theme (she did so for the second and part 1 of the third season). Emblem sounds pretty okay and average to me and nothing that special. But what makes it weird is the ending credits animation where I find it so gay. Especially that scene of everybody lying and posing in the snow just to make a kanji word of ‘kami’ (God). Like, WTF?! This is so gay no matter how you look at it!!! I think this takes the cake of being the most cringey of the cringiest cringe fest.

Also another thing that I just noticed, it might have been very old and stale news to you guys but I realized that Risa Taneda no longer voiced Erina ever since the third season! I read the news she was taking a hiatus to treat her throat ailment then but never gave much thought about it. Yeah, it never even occurred to me how she was voicing her roles during her hiatus. Hey, she’s not my favourite seiyuu anyway! And as time passed, she’s back to business and currently can be heard in some animes I watched like the recent Strike The Blood series. But since she never retained her Erina character, Hisako Kanemoto took over that role but I never ever figured out the difference. As far as my (horrible) memory remembers, they do sound alike so perhaps that’s why I never noticed. Only when I coincidentally stumbled upon this that I realized so.

Overall, this season is still as entertaining as always but it is not the best. I know this is the formula of this series but even when you eat your favourite food every day, you will eventually get bored of it. That is why spice is the variety of life. Oh, do I sound like a real food philosopher now? So I hope that even if this formula remains the same, I hope my enthusiasm will not diminish as we reach the final home stretch for this series. It will finally be over. The long main meal of the course will finally end. Hopefully we will be full and satisfied by then and leave with all the great memories of tasting this delicious series. So be patient. Even though hungry makes you angry. The best (finale) is yet to come. Hopefully. So stay tuned for Shokugeki No Souma S5. Or is it Shokugeki No Souma S4 part 2? Oh wait. Is it actually Shokugeki No Souma S3 part 4?!

I was sceptical in watching Tenka Hyakken Meiji-kan E Youkoso at first. I didn’t think it would be my cup of tea despite the intriguing premise of hot babes maidens who are physical incarnations of ancient swords. They were living the peaceful life after the end of the war but a new battle will soon take place with the appearance of a new enemy from an alternative timeline. Looks okay at first. Until I read another synopsis that says that due to the recent events and hard training, they decide to accomplish a large change. Change into maid outfits! Oh wow! That’s it! I gotta see what this is all about.

Episode 1
We see the Masamune sisters of Houchou, Horinuki and Sukashi sneezing. Each time they do so, the plates break! They start blaming each other but more importantly… They need to hide! Seriously, they think this would work? So when Kuwana Gou and Goou Yoshimitsu try to find the cause of it, you’d think the sisters hiding under the bed would mean the storm would pass over. Until they sneeze… Dead giveaway… They get lectured by their big sister, Jouizumi. The little ones insist they don’t know anything about it. Yeah, but they’re the ones who started it, right? It is revealed that Goou might be the culprit as she released some pollen chemical in the air. Yeah, they’re allergic to pollen so what? Swords can’t beat pollen? But this means this round of sneeze has all the windows broken! I guess the business for today will be closed…

Episode 2
Sukashi admires Jouizumi and envisions her as the perfect flower. Her other sisters catch her in the act of peeping. During lunchbreak, Sukashi thinks how cool it would be if she could be like Jouizumi. Hence the rest has this devilish idea to let her imitate her. First, the looks. Yup, those heavy makeup makes her look more like a clown. Next, her coolness has Sukashi being turned her taller with boobs. Yeah, they can’t stop laughing. But it’s no laughing matter when Jouizumi finds out what they’re doing. Later, Jouizumi is concerned because is that what Sukashi’s vision of her looks like? Of course not! Sukashi feels down that she is beyond her reach. So Jouizumi that even if she is imitating her, she will soon find her own new self. If she ever loses herself, big sister will be glad to help. Now Jouizumi has ascended to an angelic status in Sukashi’s eyes.

Episode 3
Yayoi hosts a contest to see who can brag how cute Tsuda Echizen No Kami Sukehiro is. So the only contestants are her doting mom, Soboro and the Masamune sisters? And the prize is of course Tsuda herself. Mom would sure love to brag about her daughter’s cuteness but that will take about 3 days… So we get this short Q&A with Soboro why she’s so cute. And then we have the Masamune trio relating their memories with her. Who the f*ck is this robot loli?! Yayoi then mentions about producing dolls and many people have already pre-ordered them. Because Tsuda wants them cancelled, it seems this is predicted by the rest. Hence broken-hearted mama cries because she ordered them and the rest wants Tsuda to say something. All going as planned… Yeah, the whole tournament is just to setup Tsuda to say something thoughtful. Like, mom, you already have me, don’t you? Mommy so happy.

Episode 4
The Masamune sisters are soaking in the hotspring. When Kuwana joins in, Horinuki feels intimidated. With those huge jugs, I can see why. But Houchou then sleeps in her boobs and asks how they can grow big like her. I believe she’s talking about her boobs rather than overall growth, right? She assures them there is no rush as they will all eventually grow up just like them when they were their age. Then this is like the signal. Kuwana complaining her shoulders are stiff because of her heavy boobs. The trio decide to help give her a massage. She can’t say no, right? My, those hands are massaging at illicit places… And you thought hotsprings are supposed to be a place for relaxation and healing…

Episode 5
It’s Halloween. So Gokotai Yoshimitsu, and the Toushirou sisters, Midare, Gotou and Namazuo think they can get free sweets by doing trick or treat. However this concept is very alien to the Masamune sisters so they don’t understand what is happening. The quartet are also confused. Thinking they should put on a cute show, after Gokotai does so, the Masamune sisters think the mask on their head is controlling them. Hence they destroy the carved pumpkin decoration whom they believe is the main culprit. Nothing happens. More confusion. Then they show the Halloween flyer. Relieved that they are not being controlled, but they destroyed the store decoration. Jouizumi in depression because she worked hard to make that…

Episode 6
Horinuki and Sukashi fall sick. With everyone out for errands, Houchou is left to nurse them. It is hard for her to do some of the stuffs but she tries her best and doesn’t give up. When night falls, the duo are feeling much better. Goou is watching them and notes that it is thanks to Houchou that they got better. Houchou remains sceptical that she did anything big but Goou points out because she did it with her heart, that is the best treatment and medicine that anyone can get. Goou is proud of Houchou for doing a fine job and can count on her to do things when she is away.

Episode 7
When Kogarasumaru receives a letter, Nukemaru teases it is a love letter and gets scolded. She isn’t fazed since she has gotten used to her scolding. She is proud of that? The Masamune sisters think Nukemaru is a ninja and hopes she could show them a trick. After putting up a cheap disappearing trick, the sisters go in search for her. Of course they easily find her since stupid Nukemaru thinks she really blended in with the wall. Nukemaru then escapes with the sisters hot on her tail. Thing is, Nukemaru barges through the walls and leaves behind holes in it. Until they reach Kogarasumaru’s room. She gets angry and so the usual technique of running away from it. Retreat! No what are they going to do with all the holes all over the place?

Episode 8
Goou, Kuwana and Jouizumi are having tea together and talking about stuffs. Yup, just that. From hair split ends to a new tea sample they will receive soon and more hair care. YAWN!!!!!

Episode 9
It seems the girls are in trouble. Goou is manning mission control over this emergency threat. However it is too late as Momijigari Kanemitsu and Inaba Gou have already infiltrated the place. It all began because Momijigari ate Inaba’s rice without permission. So they launch a few bread missiles towards Inaba but she will not be defeated until she eats rice! Hence Momijigari goes to tickle Inaba as part of her self-sacrifice so that they could launch all the bread missiles at them. They get a direct hit and some weird reconciliation that they want to really eat rice together. Turns out to be a dream from Houchou. WTF. Trolled us. And both those girls are indeed enjoying their rice together.

Episode 10
It’s a BBQ party. Of course when meat is involved, it is not going to be civil. So we see all the girls using their special skills to try and take the meat. Hope they don’t destroy the place. But Kuwana may have gone overboard as she summons rain. The fire’s put out… When BBQ resumes, so does the war. Not sure what the Masamune sisters Trick Or Meat totem pole ability is supposed to do but they lost anyway. More stealing and eating and as the BBQ reaches its climax, Jouizumi realizes she hasn’t eaten much. So she decides to eat the final cut slices in one strike. She burns everything. Though the meat is nicely grilled, everyone else is burnt to a crisp. Toasty!

Episode 11
We have a weird adaptation of that Kaguya-hime folklore but with the Masamune sisters as the titular character. So born out of bamboo, they aimed for the moon, flew there in their rocket but upon reaching it, the dazzling moonlight has them recall some flashback. Something about their low self-esteem and thus the reason they couldn’t reach the moon previously. And some weird fight with their other selves (pie in face?) until they realize they can do it. And once they accepted each other, they decided to head for the moon. Upon arriving on the moon, there is nothing. The end.

Episode 12
It’s Christmas. The Masamune sisters have got presents for Jouizumi and co. Houchou gives Goou a doll. Uhm, it looks ugly… But if Goou finds it cute, so be it. Horinuki gives Kuwana a book. Lastly, Houchou gives Jouizumi and apple perfume. Of course they love their presents and they too got a surprise in store for the sisters. They also have presents for them and it is matching ribbons. Looking great, girls. Merry Christmas, everybody!

Dull Broken Blades
WTF did I just watch? WTF is the meaning of this entire series anyway?! Thankfully the shorts are only 3 minutes long but it still pains me that it achieved really nothing. All I have seen are just random standalone fillers that are supposed to be funny but failed to even make me chuckle. Instead, most of my face was like in WTF mode written all over. To be fair, I am guessing that this series is adapted from a popular mobile game and perhaps only diehard fans can appreciate what all those random skits are. They might pick up some references from the game too. But even so, I don’t think all that I have seen here has anything close to the premise that I said in my opening paragraph. It was probably the premise for the game but not the anime. Hey, when they animated this series, nobody knew what it was going to be about or at least which story or route it was adapting. But now we know.

In short, this series failed to make any impact on me who has never heard of the game before and after the season ended, I am sure not having the slightest interest to go check out it even though I have no intention to even play it if I have a sliver of interest. Okay, it did expose to others that there is such a series but if it was going to attract newer players to the game to then further increase the popularity of the game, I don’t think this anime did a good job. Thus, definitely you have not played the game and now nothing about the series, you will for sure be lost while watching this. I know, I was. You thought being short, random and funny would do the trick but apparently sad to say it did not. So basically from what I can see, it’s just girls just wanna have fun. Make that, sword girls just wanna have fun.

Worse still, the characters whom you just can’t relate to anything and don’t even make any significant impact. As said, only players who are familiar with the game might feel some sort of relevance and connection but to others outside this game, we are totally alien to everything. We can’t find any reason to support or even hate any of the characters. We just don’t care. And for a short series, they really introduced a lot of these characters. Some making their appearance once or twice while some like the Masamune sisters make more appearances because I have a feeling they are the main characters of the series. Oh right. That promotional poster must be the dead giveaway.

Anyhow, the series doesn’t try hard enough to even want to make you care for them. Because their names themselves are already hard to remember if you’re not into the Meiji era Japanese-like names and terms. So it was hard for me to remember who is who and especially with that kind of unique names, I keep forgetting them and had to multiple times check back again their name. I know their names are not as bad as certain names that sound like tongue twisters, but like I have said, the problem is that they did not give us any sort of motivation to care and hence there is no reason why we would even remember their names. That is why like yours truly found it so hard just to remember which one is Jouizumi, which one is Goou, which one is Kuwana. By the time I think I finally know who they are, the series is over. Phew. Thank goodness. And for those that appear only once, I guess they’re all forgotten once the episode ends. Hence I feel that other real swords like those in Sword Art Online, Fate/Stay Night, Bleach, Rurouni Kenshin and Inu Yasha have better personalities then them!

The art and animation are just rather mediocre. Nothing that I would really want to complain or nit-pick but nothing that I would also call good and decent. Overall it feels that most of the visuals are like sketches. I don’t know if it is a good idea because sometimes I think because of the sketchy art, it is an excuse to hide mediocre animation and its quality. Just saying. There was one part they used CGI on the characters and visually they look okay, the animation part felt weird. Do they even need to do this gimmick? Worse, the maid outfits aren’t the kind that I favour. Well, got to be fair, this is the Meiji era so in that era we have those kind of Meiji-like outfits even for maids. This show is animated by Lidenfilms who did Yamada And The Seven Witches, Koi To Uso, Tejina-senpai, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet and Killing Bites.

There is only the opening theme for this series, Aka Hana Wo Sakasete by Ohanamishuu Tsubaki-gumi. While this rock piece sounds rather okay, my only gripe with it is how the series loves to cut off the song before it is finished. I guess that’s the only ‘unique’ thing this anime has that stands out from the others. I believe that this is done so to fit in the skits. Some are (slightly) longer than others so in order to fit it exactly 3.5 minutes for each episode, hence the sudden abruption and ending of the song so that we could get on with the story without further delay. Yeah, I think the characters who interrupted the song also made jokes about it eventually (which I sometimes too don’t get it). Uh huh. Time’s up. Time means money and we don’t have the budget to go more than 3.5 minutes per episode. However they played what I think is the full song for the final episode that lasts 1.5 minutes and taking up half of the final episode’s running time. I don’t think it’s their way of making it up for those abrupt cuts but rather the final episode has nothing much to tell so they inserted this to make up for the remainder of time.

Overall, this is one of the worst and boring animes of the season and possibly the year. Sometimes I want to complain that they clickbaited me with hot chicks in maid outfits and a deceiving plot summary but thinking in retrospect, I only have myself to blame for being such a gullible idiot who didn’t put much thought into deliberation. Oh yeah. How bad can 3 minutes per episode be? Yeah… Oh well, we deserve each other. I don’t know now if fans of the mobile game would actually appreciate this monstrosity but I certainly know that with this kind of blades, I think the enemy would not need to put in any effort to wipe them all out in one fell swoop. Yup, pretty disappointing. After all, swords are not meant to serve others in a maid café in the first place.

Rifle Is Beautiful

April 5, 2020

Oh yeah. It’s time for another anime about girls with guns. Uh huh. Time to see those sexy hot chicks with their pistols or duel wielding guns akimbo in pure high octane gun action. Bang! Bang! BANG!!! Pew! Pew! PEW!!! Let the blood splatter and the body count intensify! Oh… What’s that you say? You mean Rifle Is Beautiful isn’t that kind of girls with guns anime???!!! SAY WHAT???!!! So if you are one of those who have been trolled like yours truly, indeed this technically an anime about girls with guns. However it’s not like what you’d expect from the likes of Madlax, Noir or even Canaan. Or even Upotte whereby guns are anthropomorphized as girls. This is a rifle shooting sports series. Oh… Oh… Oh…Oh well, I guess that’s okay as long as there cute girls shooting their guns…

Episode 1
Hikari Kokura is eager to join the rifle club of Chidori High. Due to her bad sense of direction, she can’t find the club but thanks to her friend, Izumi Shibusawa, they make it. Only… The club is closed! The teacher reveals that because of the lack of interests of girls and guns, the club was recently closed down. Is Hikari’s dream over? Is this the end of the anime? Not quite. Not if they can find 4 members and revive the club. Then they remember somebody who is most likely to join. Erika Meinohama laments her loss to hen unknown Hikari during some middle school shooting competition. Suddenly Hikari pops up before her. What? Didn’t know you enrolled in the same high school? Erika thought she is here to rub it in but with Hikari praising her exceptional skills, you bet Erika is going to join. Don’t bother finding a fourth member because here she is. Uhm, Yuki Nagato? Nope. Yukio Igarashi. She claims they have seen her before but they can’t put her finger on it. I suppose it’s not Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu or that spinoff series of hers either… With the rifle club back in action, we see the girls practising. Don’t worry, they won’t be using live bullets but laser beams. Yeah, don’t want the whole neighbourhood to jump hearing gunshots. We also learn a little bit of the girls like Izumi loves reading and Erika is half Russian who loves Japan (but of course). Also some explanation how this whole rifle beam thing works as well as introducing to us the very hard protective coat and suit they wear. Because Hikari’s coat can’t fit anymore (is it because of her growing boobs?!), Erika invites them to her mansion where they can pick coats from her collection. Basically it also feels like hanging out with a rich girl. Hikari chooses a pink coat and Yukio fools around with a bigger coat that belongs to Erika’s father so much so she gets stuck. More girl hangout time when we see them go to the convenience store to grab some snacks and then head back to celebrate the revival of their rifle club. We see Yukio’s misinterpretation of Erika supposed to be a clichéd tsundere and dojikko while Hikari’s jokes are pure lame… All this friendship bonding somewhat gives them motivation to aim for the Olympics! Oh well, got to dream big while you’re at it.

Episode 2
A brief intro on the shooting format before the girls resume their practice. But it becomes a test of endurance since the ventilation isn’t really good, the girls are feeling the heat and sweating underneath their coat. Nothing like a break to freshen things up. Hikari takes the last shot and hopes to make it count but she sneezes and misses entirely. In the end, Erika tops with the most points but surprisingly Yukio is dead last. She was doing so well at first but gradually tumbles. What’s this about her allergy medication ran out? And then it hit Hikari. Midterms are coming up! Oh sh*t… With the tests over in a flash, Yukio tops the grade. Erika and Izumi did well too. Hikari? Somewhere at the bottom! With that, she has to take remedial tests and Izumi becomes her Spartan trainer to watch over her study. Thankfully she passes them. Time to take time off shooting and focus on a different sport: Softball. We see Hikari and Izumi having no stamina. Then some showdown between Erika and Yukio in which the former wins. Then Hikari falls into depression. What’s eating her? Olympics are coming up and they’re nowhere world class material. Oh well, there’s a reason why we all dream big. But nothing like a big distraction when Izumi has her calm down and eat some apple pie. What was it that she was worrying again? On a serious note, the qualifiers for the Nationals are a month away and at the rate they are shooting, obviously they won’t qualify. I know, practice, practice and more practice, right? But Yukio has a better suggestion like practising with other schools. The problem now is who to contact who. Hikari and Yukio try to get Hikari to contact other rifle clubs but she doesn’t want to do something so troublesome. No kissing up is going to trick her into doing it. With Izumi willing to research some of the other schools, Erika relents and will contact some of the girls she knows.

Episode 3
Chidori will play against Asaka Academy. Yup, runner’s up of last year’s Nationals. The moment they arrive outside their school and see all their accolade banners, Hikari and Izumi turn around and walk home! Don’t run away now! They meet the club’s president, Akira Shinonome and the vice, Misa Kuroi. How is Erika related to Akira? They’re cousins! The girls are divided into groups for the line-up. Yukio is in the first group and she fires a high score that shocks everyone. Hikari and Izumi are in the next group. During practice, Hikari tries to adjust her rifle but it seems she just can’t get it right. But when the actual competition starts, she starts hitting the target. So happy that she lost focus on the next one. Izumi finishes her rounds first. She didn’t do very well so Erika tries to console her that at least she didn’t make any big screw ups. Hence she is largely consistent. Unfortunately Izumi takes it the wrong way like as though there is no improvement. Meanwhile, everyone thinks Hikari will flop during her closing shots. However she seems to be hitting target after target. Maybe her win over Erika wasn’t a fluke, huh? This has Akira note that perhaps she is one who does better in competition where everyone drives her. But she might need to take that back a little since Hikari flops in the last round. Hikari clicks with Asaka’s Karen Sakashita since they both got lousy scores! When Asaka talks how good Akira is, Hikari decides to watch and learn from her. Yeah, such amazing aura now. Besides, the final group pits Erika against Akira. In the end, it is Yukio who takes first place while Akira close behind her. Erika is 4th, Izumi in 12th and Hikari in 21st. Hang in there girls. Practice makes (almost) perfect!

Episode 4
Yukio follows a black cat and ends up in a rapid service train. How did it even get to this? Oh boy, it’s going to be a long journey. Hikari and Izumi hang out together while Akira visits Erika. When school resumes, everyone is shocked that Yukio is so tanned. A couple of girls heard about the rifle club and wants to sit in. This doesn’t make Hikari happier. Yeah, they even shoot better than Hikari! But I guess they’re not really into shooting although they’re happy that Hikari and co are doing well. Sorry, no new members. Hikari is worried that they might not qualify for the qualifiers simply because they don’t have an advisor. Because they share theirs with the shogi club, he is too busy with shogi activities to attend their qualifier. But relax. Erika knows they just need an advisor on paper and that they can just ask another teacher to do it for them. And we know that advisor is going to be Yuuko Tsurumaki. She isn’t an advisor of any clubs because of her meek behaviour and introvert. Then fate has her bump into Yukio. At first she gets shocked thinking she took out her rifle to shoot her! But it’s just to check for damage. Tsurumaki feels the need to improve herself so she sums up her courage to ask to become the rifle club’s advisor. Don’t mind the stammering. At least she tried. Also, Tsurumaki has interests in girls with weapons because when she was young, she used to watch lots of animes of that genre. She offers to make a poster to help recruit members but WTF is this badass poster?! Looks like some movie or something?! To fight is our destiny???!!! And the irony of the girls needing to teach Tsurumaki all about shooting because she knows nothing. Nothing! One thing led to another as Tsurumaki somewhat invites them all to her apartment. We’re going to expect it’s messy but not this messy! Yup, boxes everywhere! Is this what a hoarder looks like? The girls help clean up but I guess she finds everything too precious to be thrown away. I don’t know what happened to those stuffs but her place is so clean now. Then they talk more about the sport as well as the other schools in their area whom they need to defeat to get to the Nationals. Apart from Asaka, there’s the veteran Iseaoka and the rising Kiritani First. Yup, that’s about all of them. But only 5 members can go through. After the girls leave, Tsurumaki is all motivated to do what she can to help them. Meanwhile Asaka just finished their joint practice with Kiritani. Damn snobbish French wannabe b*tches…

Episode 5
The qualifiers are tomorrow and some are nervous the night before (like Izumi) and some over prepare (like Yukio). We are introduced to some of the potentials like Iseoka’s club president, Kozakura Konno and senior, Chiyo Satou as well as Kiritani’s club president, Rei Asakura and sophomores, Komachi Enomoto and Ushio Sanada. Rei and Erika have the same goal of taking down Akira! The qualifiers will be divided into groups and to qualify for the Nationals, 610 points is needed. Going first in the first group is Hikari. Nervous, isn’t she? From her practice score, she isn’t ready to qualify but everybody is shocked that she has been hitting high scores! So they really think she couldn’t make it, huh? It’s all thanks to her stable posture in supporting her rifle. Of course as the match drags on, the heat and tension has some losing focus and their target. Even Hikari is falling into this trap. And then finally she nailed good shots that has her in second place in the provisional standings! Currently on top is Misa. In the next group is Yukio. Komachi throws down a challenge to her that by beating her is the same as beating Asaka. Yukio dares her to try. Because nobody is going to beat her. That’s the spirit.

Episode 6
I guess Hikari is so free now. She wanders around and becomes friends with Rei. They click because they are both very bad at physical sports. With Yukio doing well, Hikari is worried that she will be knocked out! In the end, Yukio shoots to a record high and this leaves Komachi embarrassed and having to eat her words. The next group after this has Izumi’s turn. However she shoots to a mediocre score. It wasn’t anything near Nationals quality. So you bet she is a bit depressed. Tsurumaki tries to cheer her up and take her for a drive. But WTF she got too worried and ended up driving into somebody’s hedge!!! WTF???!!! They have to run the whole way back… In the final group, we have Erika and Akira going head to head with each other. In the aftermath, the results are tabulated and the top 5 (in descending order) who qualify are: Yukio, Rei, Akira, Misa and Erika. Oh damn, Hikari in 6th place just missed out… But wait. Because Rei and Akira are going for the air rifle, this means Hikari as well as Kozakura who is in 7th place, qualify for the Nationals! And because Chidori wins the overall team points, I guess this means the entire team gets to go the Nationals. Yup, Izumi is in too. Wow. Everybody in Chidori in. Hooray! Sorry to interrupt your celebration but just for the record, Karen got last placed… :’(…

Episode 7
Naturally, the Chidori girls go out to celebrate their achievement. Since it is Erika’s treat, can’t complain where she picks to eat. Oh wait. Since Akira and Misa are there, change of plans. Too bad they are invited to sit with them so that’s that. Since they are noisy, Rei who is sitting in the next table has to show her face. She warns the Chidori girls not to get this victory to their head because there were many girls who failed to make the cut and cried. Hikari doesn’t know if they can win but they’ll do their best and have fun. In school, Hikari doesn’t have anybody else to talk to about this rifle sport. But the moment she mentions her club is going to the Nationals, everybody becomes excited and starts talking to her! Wow. She’s like the star. But they still won’t go so far as to join the club. Bummer. A few days before the test, bad news hits. If they fail more than 3 subjects, going to the Nationals is off because of remedial classes. Tsurumaki should have told them earlier but she forgot… I guess that car wrecked incident got to her… Anyway, we know Hikari is in danger of missing out. So Erika hosts a study session. If you’re wondering why Yukio is also here, her grades are also sh*t! Double bummer. Izumi is like the kind mother who tutors Hikari and yet the latter still so blur. Erika is like the Spartan trainer lashing out Yukio so much so the latter seeks solace in the bosoms of mother Izumi. The study session goes into the wee hours of the morning but they completed it. In the end, the girls pass their tests. Only Erika is displeased because Yukio outranked her?! Tsurumaki seems to be asking her girls which one is more feminine. Oh, is it that time of year when she thinks she needs to snag a man before she pasts her expiry date? Not sure about this delusion of trying to make Yukio smile, though. Hikari and Izumi put some thought into marriage too but because they don’t know who, they think they’ll marry each other! I don’t think that’s how it works… In the end, Tsurumaki seeing the quartet happy together, she decides to go for the harem route. So screw men? Later the girls are talking about this rifle sport not given enough coverage. I mean, they are heading to the Nationals and yet nobody comes to interview them. Yukio didn’t say much but she has the best answer: She does want to be valued but they have to change things themselves. OMG. Everybody so speechless…

Episode 7.5
OMG. This anime too needs a recap?! I guess they need more time to prepare for the Nationals, huh? Narrated by both Hikari and Izumi, if you’re too lazy to go watch the last 7 episodes of what happened, they condensed all you need to know that has happened so far. From the introduction of the club members to the gear to the point scoring system as well as the competitors they face in the qualifying rounds up till the results of those who qualify for the Nationals. This recap is also ‘special’ as it introduces other strong schools around Japan whom they will face in the Nationals. They include last year’s champion, Hozumi High (competitors to watch out for: Maho Kogomori the club president, Sayu Kaijima and Serena Nitta) as well as Saiga Girls’ School (Ruri Hachigou) and Akita Third High (Tae Nakagawa). Now you girls prepared for Hiroshima calling?

Episode 8
Our Chidori girls are discussing how even height can change everything in shooting. That’s why everyone has their own style in shooting. Hikari tries to compliment Izumi’s body and I don’t think she has any ill intentions nothing how much squishy she is… We see the girls practice hard before the Nationals. Hikari is in a slump unlike her pals who are consistent so she thinks they betrayed her?! I don’t think that’s what it supposed to mean when she said friends are always with her. Not shooting scores, definitely. The day before the big tournament, we see everyone taking the train or plane to Hiroshima. The Chidori side takes the train as they discuss last year’s results. It is surprising that despite Asaka being quite good in their prefecture, last year they ranked only 12 out of 26 teams. Of course last year’s champion to beat is Hozumi and don’t look now because they’re on the same train as Chidori! Is this some sort of premonition or something? Everyone arrives safely and coincidentally the teams of the same prefecture stay at the same place. This means the Asaka side easily going over to Chidori’s room to talk about love stories! Yeah… Girls need to have that, right? So we have Akira asking the type of guys the Chidori girls like. You’d be surprise at some of the answers. They want to skip Hikari thinking she won’t be much of an answer. Insulted? Karen gives her a chance and you know, she definitely has to most ‘surprising’ answer: Her dad! Oh well, time to hit the sack. Wait. Give her another chance. Think hard. Somebody who shares the same hobbies, etc… Aha! Izumi’s dad! That’s not even funny! Is she into older men???!!! Father type figures???!!! So all this love talk is just to calm nerves before the Nationals, huh? Oh well, shooting > love. You can fail at love but not shooting! Haha! The Chidori girls can’t sleep so they go out and watch the stars. Except for Yukio, they forgot to put on bug spray and came back all itchy. Hope they sleep well because morning is here and it’s time for the Nationals.

Episode 9
We’re here at the Nationals. Is Hikari going to say hi to everybody that passes? Kozakura feels lonely since she is the only one here. Until she meets an online forum shooting buddy. Not so lonely now. With the first day being just practice, you bet everyone will have to wait for their turn. Erika must be so bored that she tries to draw on Akira’s sleeping face. That’ll show her… On the day of the competition, Tsurumaki explains the reasoning for Chidori’s line-up. Well, it wasn’t thought out that well and serves for some comical and drama that’s unnecessary. As we can see that most of the rifle shooting girls are weird. Even Akira makes a comment about this. So when Misa points out she is in the same boat, she really thought deep about this. Hence she reasons that the sport itself is weird and not her! In that case, would everyone be weird then? Ah, Akira just gave up… Yukio is in the first line-up. We are focused to some of the other teams too. Especially Hozumi who is the top gun and Serena as the reigning champion. She also analyses the performance of other schools. She feels the burden of carrying Hozumi’s name. She would have been the perfect shooting beauty had not her senpai always keep sexually harassing her. And then there’s also Ruri who loves gardening. Like, WTF this got to do with anything?! While Serena shoots well, looks like somebody is also shooting even better: Yukio! And we hear her narrate how she finds her own name weird. Her parents probably named her after winter but she never liked that season. Her favourite is summer and I suppose that’s why she could do so well now. In the end, Yukio tops the standings! Woah. Yukio and Hikari doing an epic handshake! Hikari motivated by her performance and Yukio humbled by her victory, crediting her friends for being there. So touching. Because of that, Hikari wants to marry Yukio! Wait a minute! Wasn’t it supposed to be Izumi???!!!

Episode 10
Izumi is playing Hikari’s substitute mom. Without her, Hikari could’ve wasted her allowance and bought everything! Like this very expensive coat. But since Hikari’s argument also makes sense, they end up flipping the coin. Well, what do you know? It lands perfectly upright! Not even sure what this means but Hikari didn’t buy the coat either. With the next round starting, it is Erika’s turn and she’s nervous. Akira wants to give her a hug to calm down but is ignored. Akira tries to force one on her so Erika runs. You trying to make her even more nervous? Eventually she catches up and gives a big one. Sayu seems to be doing her homework by observing her participants rather than wasting time practising. She believes Erika is the one to watch and you thought it was her skills she was referring to but actually was just her beauty! No wonder Serena so angry after being trolled. Even neat freak Touko Yosomiya from Yaginuma wants to cleanse her. Despite her pervy nature, she is one of the top shooters and she has an elegant form thanks to her traditional dance background. Then we got some long drama on Erika’s thoughts. Basically Yukio’s comment of her being a drama queen fits the bill because she should have showed her exceptional skills from the start if she was this good to begin with. When the round is over, we can see Erika trying to put up a tough front. Her last few rounds were bad and this contributed to her overall lousy score. So much so her scores in the preliminaries were better. Then the smile turns to tears. Time for a comfy hug. As Hikari will be in the next round, she buys that coat. Don’t want to regret it now, eh? The provision standings has Hozumi leading a comfortable margin followed by Ayaka and then Chidori. If they are going to close that gap, Hikari needs to shoot a score that is on par with the record high score in all of Japan. Hope it’s going to be her good day. Or maybe not, because she’s WTF singing out of tune whatever. And then WTF moment when Tsurumaki tries to make Hikari wear some inner shirt so her boobs will stand out. She has no boobs!!! Tsurumaki so disappointed!!! WTF???!!! Because Hikari seems chirpy, Erika wonders if Hikari’s dream of going to the Olympics is real. Her friends believed her. Erika, better believe it if you know what’s good for you.

Episode 11
It is Hikari’s turn. You know how first impressions count, right? She does the impossible by shooting the max points on her first shot, shocking everybody. Well, it’s Hikari we’re talking about. You’d think she would then falter away but nope. She’s darn consistent for the rest of her shots! Also in Hikari’s group is Maho who is of course last year’s runner’s up in the individual tournament. We hear Maho’s tough mentality and all until Hikari’s ribbon caught her attention. Did that distraction prove fatal because it’s like she shot badly then. I guess it’s to tell us some flashback that Maho and Hikari both met before many years ago. Even then, Hikari still harboured dreams to go to the Olympics. At the end of the day, Hikari’s tremendous performance pulls up Chidori’s ranking. They climb up second but still not enough to dethrone Hozumi who is clearly the team champion for the second year running. The Chidori girls are so in shock that you wonder they are sad or just speechless. Hikari feels sad because she hoped to win, only earning the wrath of the other girls for being greedy. Then they start to lecture her on this and that but eventually still praise her for a job well done. Even Maho personally comes to thank Hikari. That says a lot about her future. All the tired shooters retire to their rooms. Our Chidori girls soak in the outdoor bath. Some girls who don’t know Hikari realize that she actually has big boobs! She just keeps them under wraps because it gets in the way of shooting!!! OMG. Is that supposed to be an insult to flat chests everywhere?! Because tomorrow is where the individual tournament begins, nothing for everyone to hang out and have fun playing sparklers by the stream.

Episode 12
Tsurumaki feels abandoned since the girls didn’t invite her to the hotsprings or play sparklers. Hikari is brutally honest that they forgot! She can say that with a smile?! Oh Tsurumaki, there goes your harem route… In this individual tournament, it is one big battle royale in which the top 8 will advance to the finals for the final shootout. Hikari rallies and hope all those in her prefecture will make it. Kozakura is so touched she is included in the pack that she joins in getting loud with them. Desperate? Misa is in the first group. It ends with her taking third provisional spot but her total score is still below the average that is needed to qualify. Erika is in the next group that has Serena. She tries to make a statement that based on her observation, the first person in their team who goes first always does the best. Well, she was waiting for some clever comeback by Yukio but none. Is she trying to jinx her team???!!! It ends with Serena taking provisional top spot and Erika in second place. Misa is pushed down to eight… Oh dear… In danger… Hikari is in the next group. But some foreshadowing drama shows that this time she really had a disastrous performance. Well below any level at all! What happened?! Safe to say that Hikari is so shocked that she disintegrated! Oh man, even Thanos’ snap reached this far?! Safe to say, Hikari’s first wife (Izumi, who else?!) talks to her and provides a shoulder to cry on. Uh huh. Time to listen to her rant how her performance might have been flukes all the while. Once she is done crying, time to rush back and watch the finals. Damn, it already ended! WTF Hikari?! You cried too long???!!! No regrets now… Maho wins the tournament with Serena in second place. Erika was the only one representing their prefecture in the final 8 but she finished a dismal 7th. As for Yukio, she finished 10th in the group and didn’t make it. Wow. Really jinxed, huh? Also, Akira didn’t win her air rifle and got 4th. Tsurumaki tries to cheer up the girls that their summer has just begun. But we can obviously see that it is going to take some time for Hikari to get back on her feet. Of course in the end when she reflects back in retrospect, she had lots of fun. She couldn’t face Maho in the finals but hopefully she will face her on the bigger stage. Yeah, keep dreaming of that Olympics dream. For now, it’s back to more practice.

Shooting Blanks & Way Off Mark!
Oh damn. Can’t they even shoot this right? I mean, they delayed the damn final episode for 2 weeks! Like, what the heck went wrong? You thought an earlier episode was delayed and hence a recap episode was bad enough. Delaying the final episode like this? Looks like somebody’s heart is not in there just to finish this. And when it ended like that, with none of our main characters winning everything, I guess they really end it on some bitter note. Hey, it is Chidori’s first appearance at the Nationals so that already itself is an achievement. It’s going to be unrealistic if they win the championship at their first go and topple more established and experienced veteran shooters. Yeah. Losing at this stage helps build characters. Until next time, girls. If this series ever gets another season. But I’m so sceptical right now so 99% chance it won’t have a sequel. Yeah, if this is the treatment of the final episode of this series, might as well just end it here.

Being an anime series that focuses on a group of high school girls in a shooting club, there is only so much room and direction one can go with this very limited plot. To be honest, the story here is pretty boring and pretty much predictable. From the establishment of a club to finding its members, having target practice with the local powerhouse and then competing in the Nationals and coming face to face with the national champions. That’s pretty much it. Sad to say that because of this very basic formula the series follows, there is nothing really exciting to follow in the story. Unless you are a real shooting enthusiast, there might be something that interests you but even so, shooting pros would have done something better than to watch this mediocre series. Say, practice their shooting? Heh. I wanted to say that this series probably wants to introduce and get people interested in the rifle shooting sport but unfortunately no matter how much I try to look at this from a positive point a view, I just can’t. It’s just too boring to be considered as something introductory. Therefore this series comes off more as cute girls doing cute things, rifle version. Even during the tournament, we are not shown 100% the girls in shooting action. Sometimes we see those not in turn shooting, goofing off outside and doing unrelated fun stuffs. It feels unnecessary but everyone will be bored out of their wits if they are to sit and watch through the scenes of girls shooting. Want to see that? Go watch a real rifle competition live!

The other sad part is that the characters aren’t anything interesting either. Sure, you have the basic weirdoes in the small shooting club of Chidori. Each has their own quirks in personality but sometimes it feels forced because the show is already boring, then they have to put in their quirky behaviour that sometimes look like the running joke of the series to distract from the boredom. I think I hardly know anything more about the Chidori girls at the end. Thus I don’t feel the connection and they are not the kind of characters whom you feel like want to throw your support with behind. You just do so just because they are the main characters, the dark horses who are supposed to follow the cliché script of doing their best and thanks to the plot convenience, they surprise many and end up in a very good position. Something that is way beyond their expectations. Even if Chidori didn’t manage to win the tournament, finishing second in the team standings already says a lot. Of course the individual tournament was like the reality that brought them all down to earth. Man, what a gloomy end, if I should say. I guess this show needs some sort of character development and to show that the Chidori girls aren’t perfect, that is why they didn’t do well in the final individual tournament. They’re just human beings. Not perfect. Still got room for improvement. And it’s like God telling them to get off their high horse and boom! Here’s your reality. High school dream might be over but don’t forget the Olympic dream. That door is always open if you consistently level up.

The only best character that is my favourite is Yukio because of her deadpan sarcasm and jokes. I believe she is the most realistic among the group and because unlike the rest, she doesn’t say much and when she does, it speaks more volumes. Sometimes I wish we had more screen time of her instead of the retard Hikari. Uh huh. No offence but she’s one of those cliché main characters who looks dumb and not really knowledgeable in the things she loves. But when the time comes for her to shine, she’ll shine through very brightly alright. Like as though there is some sort of trade off with prodigy geniuses and their common sense. And something about her having this weird unconscious fetish for older men. Is father figure the right word? Just weird. Other than old men, if Hikari continued to accumulate ‘wives’, I would have nicknamed this series as Waifu Is Beautiful!!! HAHAHA!!! Sighs… And then you have the rich halfie Erika (because every groupie needs a snobbish oujo-sama) and Izumi being the big sister of the group (because every groupie needs somebody who is kind and gentle). Tsurumaki feels like she is just hanging in there. It feels like she might be falling into degeneracy because you notice her strange yuri harem route that she wants to take. But of course, the only memorable thing about her is how she crashed her car into the bush! She better drive straight before trying to even learn to shoot straight!

If those are my sentiments for the Chidori girls, what about the other girls from other schools? Yup, they feel much worse. And there are so many of them that you might lose count. Okay, that may be a little bit exaggerated but it’s true. When you have a few schools and each school has a few notable shooters in their ranks, at least try to make them stand out. As of now, I think I don’t even remember their names when this anime concluded. They may serve as future rivals but like they say, first impressions count and since I’m not really impressed with them, they can forget about having another season. But for those in the same prefecture as Chidori, the usual my pace happy go lucky Akira and her assistant Misa who feels like her own personal rebuttal machine. Misa is another realist but she feels a lot more sceptical compared to Yukio. Also another rich girl prodigy and somewhat Hikari’s ‘ally’, Rei. Not sure if she is an overlapping character with Erika but less tsundere. So many top shooters, who is going to be at the bottom? That’s you, Karen. That’s you…

Because shooting is the main theme for this series, it is also regrettable to say that they didn’t make the shooting scenes any much exciting. It is a good thing that they do not add any dramatic effects or fantasy-like exaggerations just to make it all look interesting and unbelievable. Because of that, you have girls standing in a row just aiming and shooting. And aiming and shooting. And aiming and shooting. And then more aiming before shooting. They hardly even move. Where’s the excitement in that?! This is why during tournaments, we are being ‘distracted’ by drama monologues by some of the characters. Flashback on this, back story on that. Their thoughts and their future, blah, blah, blah. The struggle they faced, yada, yada, yada. Oh wow. So insightful. There. An anime episode is over thanks to all that. Heck, the rifles they hold aren’t even real rifles with real bullets. They’re modified and shoot laser beams. So heave a breath of relief that there will never be an incident of a stray bullet killing another participant! Phew. Don’t want that kind of drama here anytime! Playing safe is the best. So carry on aiming and shooting like you always do. And then aim and shoot. Aim and shoot. Aim and shoot. Aim and shoot… Rinse and repeat at its best.

Art and animation lean toward the cute side. Everything is so bright and colourful and even the characters have this cute looks that is a few steps close of being chibi versions themselves. Speaking of the characters, I thought some of them look like characters from another anime. As I’ve pointed out earlier, Yukio looks like Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Then there is Rei whom I thought is Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Asuka and Tsurumaki a grown up version of Kodomo No Jikan’s Rin. Hikari’s trademark ribbon keeps reminding me of characters like Gotoubun No Hanayome’s Yotsuba and Yuika from Kawaikereba Hentai Demo Suki Ni Natte Kuremasu Ka. The other characters I’ve probably seen them from somewhere too but I’m too lazy to think hard now. So if you know, please let me know too, okay? In addition to the 2D animation, there is also 3D CGI but this is only reserved when the girls are in their shooting position. Visually they don’t look any different. Until they start to move then you will notice. It is good they keep this only to this part because if there are any more movements outside this, my guess is that it would be horrible. It’s a good thing those suits are stiff. This anime is done by Sudio 3Hz who also did another girls with guns anime: Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online. They also did Princess Principal and Sora No Method so if you see the art style similarity in the cute girls, now you know why.

For the voice acting, I didn’t really recognize anybody and I wouldn’t have any qualms except maybe for Hikari who is voiced by Machico (Teio in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby). She’s too f*cking squeaky in her voice and it’s somewhat annoying! There is only a certain limit high pitched squeaky voices sound cute. But not this one. In some ways, makes her sound fake. Really. At first I thought Kana Hanazawa was behind Misa’s voice but it turns out to be Reina Ueda (Shiori in Sakua Quest). Damn, I must be losing my touch with her voice. The other casts are Saki Minami as Erika (Yuuki in Hachigatsu No Cinderella Nine), Akane Kumada as Izumi (Eren in Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken), Anna Yamaki as Yukio (Saki Tennouji in Himomaru Sumo), Yukiyo Fujii as Tsurumaki (Latifa in Amagi Brilliant Park), Natsumi Fujiwara as Akira (Dimaria in Fairy Tail) and Mao Ichimichi as Rei (Bada in ClassicaLoid).

The opening theme is Let’s Go! Rifling4 by, uhm, Rifling4. That’s the main quartet of Chidori if you don’t know. Remember what I said about Hikari’s voice being too squeaky? Yup, she somewhat ‘ruins’ the opener with her squeaky voice here. I don’t know, I just didn’t really like it. And now it keeps getting stuck in my mind! Get it out!!! The rest of the song feels like your generic lively anime pop idol piece. The same quartet sings the ending theme, Yuuyake Friends. Goes to a much slower beat and slightly more bearable than the opener. Except when Hikari sings her lines, that is. There is one BGM that happen to attract my attention. When this BGM first played, I thought it was a pretty cheap knock off of Girls Und Panzer’s Panzer Vor! The marching styled fanfare was sure close enough but overall it sounded more comical than the aforementioned epic one.

Overall, this comes off as boring and uninspiring. I wanted to say this is a calming anime but I decided not to go that far because it’s still just plain boring. Some cute and funny moments but it isn’t enough to warrant it close to passable. Since I’m still not sure of the scoring system, I’ll give it a 3.1! Did I get it right?! Sometimes it is also hard to see that this is a rifle sports anime because I don’t see how the sport is promoted or even introduced. Even if this was the intention to expose and give this sport more attention, it wasn’t done in a good way. Also, this isn’t really a yuri series and because there are lots of female contact, the characters are too boring for anybody to make us see this series generally this way. Hikari wanting to marry Izumi or Yukio (make up your mind!)? And a certain senior keeps sexually harassing Serena? Still not enough yuri to make me consider this is yuri. Speaking of which, where are all the guys?! Probably the real men take their real rifle and go hunting for real bears and other dangerous creatures in the wildlife. I know this sport isn’t as easy as it seems but thanks to anime, it might have shot itself in the foot portraying cute girls having a great time doing this sport. RIB (Rifle Is Beautiful), RIP.

Senpai, our fight for the fourth season hasn’t begun yet. So before the next season begins, let’s take a look at Strike The Blood: Kieta Seisou-hen OVA first. I’m sure this will be the appetizer before more sci-fi crap sh*t hits the fan in the fourth season. Remember, this is not your fight alone. This is our fight!

Who Moved My Lance?
Kojou and Yukina wake up in a classroom together. Oh gosh. Did they finally do it? And Yukina in an old fashioned bloomers. Of course they have no memories what happened last night. But Yukina thinks something precious to her is missing. Oh Kojou, it’s not her virginity! It’s Sekkarou! What were you thinking?! As they leave the classroom, they see a bloodied bat on the floor and what’s inside Kojou’s pocket? A bra?! Definitely too big to be Yukina’s! Could be Sayaka’s. Oh sh*t! Worse, he sniffs it to make out its scent but Yukina misinterprets this scene… They move on the rooftop as Kojou thought he saw someone moving there. Lots of sheets being hung out to dry. Also there is Asagi’s swimsuit. That is when they remember they were here yesterday for supplementary swimming lessons. But before they could start, it rained. Astarte then came to inform them that swimming lessons are cancelled since a storm is brewing. Hence they got permission to take shelter in the school. When they see Asagi, it seems she is flushed with embarrassment. But she is relieved that Kojou doesn’t remember what happened last night. She hopes it will stay that way. Meanwhile, Motoki, Kiriha, Yuiri and Shio are investigating Vatler’s abandoned cruiser. Looks like some monster broke out of its cage and there is a magical artefact shield in another container. Investigating further, they are then assaulted by an army of mermen and a huge Kraken. Wanna bet this squid was the one who escaped its cage?

Meanwhile, heading into the home economics room, they find Nagisa dead! Don’t worry. She’s not. That’s just ketchup. They further remember what happened last night. She also stopped by the school since the trains had stopped running due to the storm. Asagi then pointed out the big problem: What’s for dinner? After getting permission from the gardening club to use the produce in their garden (it will be wasted from the storm anyway) and make nabe, Kojou and Yukina drew the raw end of the stick as they had to go pick the produce. Yukina slipped and her clothes so Astarte gave her Natsuki’s bloomers to wear. After hearing screams from the next room, rushing over we see Sayaka trying to kill herself and La Folia assisting her?! Seems Sayaka lost some important magical ingredient. To put it shortly, some mushrooms that make you go high and hallucinate. Heh. You bet they remember that they ate some of that last night’s nabe. After dinner, Nagisa created a rice omelette with ketchup and tries to serve Kojou. Of course you bet the other girls were also flirty. Yukina complaining he looks at other girls and should have just done it with her if he wanted to. Sayaka stripping naked and crying foul Kojou doesn’t like her big boobs. La Folia trying to convince him to sign their marriage papers. Wow. It was literally hell. Somehow he got out of that and was taking a breather outside. Asagi came to talk to him but the wind was naughty and blew harder. Her skirt went up and she wasn’t wearing any pantsu. Kojou saw it of course. And you’ve guessed it, Asagi thought human brains are like the same as computers. Beat it hard enough and they’ll forget! And now we know where the bloody bat came from. Sayaka still sad and wants to kill herself. Don’t worry. Astarte says Natsuki has some of those ingredients and will share. Phew. No need for the harem to lose a girl.

Kojou gets a call from Motoki. Mermen and Kraken are too much to handle. Can come help? Sure. After they settle looking for Sekkarou. When Astarte returns Yukina’s dried clothes, she also claims the pole is no longer required and will return it to her. Eh? It seems that Yukina gave her permission to use Sekkarou as a laundry pole to dry her clothes! Yeah, blame those mushrooms! So embarrassing… With the final mystery solved, Kojou has Natsuki do them a favour and teleport to Motoki’s whereabouts. And hence your action sequence in seeing them take down the monsters. But before Kojou could do the finishing move, Yuiri realizes that this shrunken Kraken is just protecting the shield. Since it is just a young offspring, she hopes Kojou can let this one go. Kojou the merciful does so. So they just let the squid swim away into the sea? Hopefully this doesn’t come biting back in the future. While they’re happy for Kraken, they wonder about the mermen. Of course we see some shady baddie, Lei. He is being told the mermen were defeated and failed to retrieve the shield. A shame because it would really have been useful for their future plans.

Strike The Flashback
As cheesy as this OVA seems, I have to admit that in some ways that it was also fun. Oh well. Some fanservice and the usual Kojou harem problems are the things that I understood (I suppose they somewhat included Kiriha here because she was sorely missing in the third season). And hence this OVA is nothing much and feels more like a filler as our gang tries to piece back their missing memories of a night’s mishap. Blame those mushrooms! I bet it is one of those nights that they would want to totally forget. Especially Asagi. Even more forgettable-cum-laughable the officially cheesy named English title of “Who Moved My Lance?”. I thought “The Disappearance of Sekkarou” or “The Missing Sekkarou” would sound better and more accurate than this pseudo-detective-mystery-like title. Oh well. Must be those darn mushrooms making whoever thought that this title sounded like a good one. Yeah, I really want to forget about this title. I hope so when the next season comes around when we are then spammed with more action scenes, fanservice scenes, complicating supernatural sci-fi plots and more cheesy harem narratives. Oh yeah. Just another usual day in Itogami for Kojou and the gang. So senpai, are we ready to take this fight together for the fourth season?!

It’s My Life

April 3, 2020

It’s my life/ It’s now or never/ I ain’t gonna live forever/ I just want to live the live while I’m alive/ It’s… My… Life! I bet every westerner who watched this anime short is going to have this Bon Jovi song pop up in their head first. I know I did. It’s My Life is definitely a strange name for an anime but it’s not going to be one of those cute girls doing cute things genre. In fact, it’s about this dude, Astra Ludger Doomsday who is a retired knight. Living his peaceful retired life until a young girl named Noah crashes into it and mistakes him for someone else. And so this is their daily life.

Gar(b)age sale…
We are given a brief synopsis of the setting as mentioned in my opening paragraph. Astra decides to hold a garage sale to get rid of all the clutter in his house. Yeah, he got this idea while reading some monthly magazine. But will anybody come to his house located in the mountains? He has already used the postal service to distribute flyers. So we’re going to see weird characters popping up… The first is Kyuss who could be some pervert because he wants to buy everything Astra uses every day. You bet Noah and him are going to become enemies. Astra is worried about Kyuss because this former comrade of his never seems to work. Kyuss is confident of leaving things in Rose’s hands but as you can see, his subordinate of his doesn’t waste any chance in beating him up and even make him repent. Then there’s a pair of dragon brothers who plan to steal all the items but they are usurp and taken out by Elise. So much for their appearance. She looks around and thought Kyuss was for sale. 150 gold? So cheap. It’s a joke. He’s not for sale. Noah shows her cute drawings and Elise becomes interested in buying the whole lot. Next is this weirdo Riff who wants to sell her items to Astra instead. But thanks to Buntline making a good statement, the garage sale gets on in a normal way. At the end of the day, here comes this rocker, Johnny. He wants to do a live concert because that way a lot of people will gather. Will he be stealing his customers then? But Astra has no more things to sell. How about buying his time then? Then it becomes a competition to buy Astra. Or Noah. Ah well. Today’s garage sale is a success despite all the weird things happening.

Everything Must Go!
Well… That was… Weird… And just mediocre! Safe to say that I won’t be going to such garage sale in my life ever again if Astra decides to hold another one! I am not sure this 10 minutes of running time is just a promotion for a proper TV series. Because as first impressions count, I am not really impressed at all and hence I don’t think I would be looking forward if there would be any. You see, this series was actually made because of a crowdfunded project. And from what I read, they got 12 million yen! Yeah, that’s a lot. But that’s the controversy. A lot of fans felt scammed that all that money and they just got a single episode for just 10 minutes. I know it costs a lot of money to make 1 animated episode but with today’s cost cutting technology, I think people expect better. And to make a boring episode out of this crowdfunding source, I can see why many aren’t really too happy about this series that was being adapted from a fantasy manga. But I wonder if all that money went into the ending theme. Turn A Page is an English rock song by a German band, Blind Guardian that was released back in 2006. If you like bands like Scorpions, I’m sure this is your cup of tea. Anyway, I’m wondering if the bulk of the funds went to paying the copyright of this song.

The episode might be boring and just introductory. I mean, it just introduces what is supposedly the main characters of the series. But then again, we have to remember the synopsis that this is about the life of a retired knight. Even in the event if we might see all the adventures and missions of Astra during his time in duty, it may just be flashbacks. Yeah, all those illustrations in the ending credits animation was just tempting. They seem to look a lot more interesting and could have been so had this series been given a proper adaptation, fleshing out the story and the characters. Heck, even if we didn’t get all that, it would still make sense to at least show something on Astra and Noah. I mean, whom does this guy she mistakes for? A single episode just doesn’t justify how this loli ended up living with this dude. Without the brief synopsis especially for those who have never read the manga, we would not even think who Noah this and that she might just be some minor character who is Astra’s helper.

Overall, this OVA didn’t really make an impact and knowing that it got so much money from crowdfunding and it still turn out this mediocre, I guess it really shows that even with all the money in the world, you still need that passion and creativity to make an interesting series. I hope that this garage sale isn’t a metaphor of the producers selling out the fans’ dreams cheaply. After all, Astra said all these stuffs he is selling are important to him. So why the f*ck is he selling them in the first place?! I guess there’s no room in his heart for such memories. Plus, this guy lives in the mountains. Such big spacious space. He could make another big house as a storeroom. Unless he used all his savings to buy this house he retired in. Hence no more money and thus this garage sale. And yeah, even with this mediocrity, life goes on. That’s life for all of us. Good times, bad times. I’m sure we want to continue with Bon Jovi’s song but there’s another older song of the same name. Remember the one by The Animals? I think this one fits it all just fine. It’s my life and I’ll do what I want/ It’s my mind and I’ll think what I want/ Show me I’m wrong, hurt me sometime/ But someday I’ll treat you real fine…

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