Arata Kangatari

December 28, 2013

You’re on a bad streak of luck and wish you could just run away from your problems and whisk away to a new world? That would be awesome, right? Only one problem: What happens if that other world that you end up too has even more serious problems than what you are facing? That would be like out of the frying pan and into the fire, right? Somehow this is what I felt at first when watching Arata Kangatari. A high school kid-cum-bully victim gets teleported to another world that just got plunged into chaos. If your problems were bad enough, how about being framed for murdering the princess and getting caught in between a looming war between nations that will decide who will become the land’s next leader? Tough, no? And this poor kid has got the honour (curse is more like it) to go through this hell.

Currently I’m having this little obsession with anything fantasy. Heck, isn’t every anime some sort of fantasy in one way or another? Otherwise, I would have given this anime the pass since despite it has fantasy elements, it leans more towards those Japanese folklore and legends. It’s like you’re watching one of those period dramas too. However after seeing a few screenshots, re-read the synopsis over and over again just to wonder and make sure if there is really that sort of fantasy, psycho-ing myself in the process that there is no harm trying since there is only a dozen episodes, and so I gave in to this argument and tried it out. How bad could it be, right? The main protagonist is the one facing all the problems and is running low on self-esteem. All I am doing is just sitting back in the comfort of my chair and watching him how he is going to get out of the fire. Really. Bad me.

Episode 1
The governing Princess Kikuri is to begin a ceremony for the first time in 60 years as her replacement. She leaves it to the 12 Shinsho. In our world, Arata Hinohara is showing signs of improvement as a victim of bully. However, a short confrontation with nemesis Masato Kadowaki starts making him feel helpless again. Kadowaki tells him just because they’re in high school, doesn’t mean things have changed. He won’t acknowledge him. The last straw came when he even heard his so called best friend, Suguru telling Kadowaki’s groupie and denying he and Hinohara were friends to begin with. Back to the mythical world of Amawakuni, Arata is running away from his grandma Makari of the Hime Clan. However he is caught and forced to dress like a girl and become a princess. Because those who possess Amatsuriki can become ruler of Amawakuni. She laments their clan has not been blessed with a daughter for years and should have raised Arata as a girl! If he refuses, he and the entire clan will die since they are not offering a daughter and will be punished. Makari wants him to protect their Hayagami called Goshintai. Arata mishandles this rusty sword and earns grandma’s wrath. Kotoha accompanies Arata to the ceremony. Since it lasts 3 days, she hopes he can hold out by then as it is to buy them time to find the real Hime Clan daughter. Arata is brought into the ceremony room and is surprised that Kikuri is a young girl instead of a grandma. As it begins, one of the 12 Shinsho, Kannagi jumps out and slashes Kikuri across her chest. Arata is shocked but noticing that the 12 Shinsho is standing around doing nothing and that Kannagi is about to kill him, he jumps down the waterway and flees. Kannagi then announces Arata has killed the princess and alerts the guards to have his head. Arata is running towards the Kando Forest as he ponders the 12 Shinsho betraying the princess to start their revolution. At the same time, Hinohara has just about had it with everyone and the concept of trust. He wishes to disappear and before he knows it, both Aratas are face to face with each other and Hinohara finds himself at the edge of Kando Forest.

He is surprised of this unusual place but is attacked by Kannagi’s army. Hinohara doesn’t know what is going on so Kannagi thinks the forest has devoured his memories. He runs back inside the forest and meets Kotoha. She takes him back to the Hime Clan and Makari is told what happened. Hinohara explains he is not the Arata they know but they believe it is the forest that has devoured his memories. But Makari explains the legend of those entering the forest returning as a changed person. It could mean that they have switched places in another world. Because he cannot go back, he has to continue living his life here. Hinohara is not happy since his name is a criminal here and will have to die for another’s crimes. Makari believes her grandson is innocent. Kannagi is at the doorstep holding Kotoha hostage and wants Arata. Kotoha’s lips are sealed and even if she is killed, she believes Arata is not a criminal. I guess those words ring hard in Hinohara’s mind. Believe. Trust. Faith. Although still in dilemma about being betrayed, he comes out from his hiding. Despite not wanting to trust others again, he just can’t stand and watch others who trust someone getting killed. The guards charge at him as Hinohara picks up Goshintai. He hates how they are like Kadowaki and his minions, ganging up on someone. This hatred sparks a little light in Goshintai. Kannagi notices this and unleashes the flames of his Hayagami, Homura at him. Makari quickly tells Hinohara to say the right words and turns Goshintai into a beautiful sword.

Episode 2
Kannagi cannot believe Goshintai nullifies his flames so he backs down. The place crumbles. In Earth, Hinohara’s mom and sister spot him half naked in the streets. Is this some sort of free show? Meanwhile Hinohara, Kotoha and Makari take refuge in some case. They explain all gods in Amawakuni exist in the form of swords. The light he produced that sealed it was also a Kamui, a great divine power. Hinohara has been chosen as a Sho, one who wields the power of gods. Another of the 12 Shinsho, Akachi tells Kannagi that there is a change in plan. Bring Arata back so that they can put him on public trial. This is to assert 12 Shinsho’s authority. Kotoha talks to Hinohara and I’m not sure if she really believes him from another world and it was just a fluke he wielded Goshintai. She notices his Michihi No Tama she gave is missing. It was a gift from Kikuri. She gives him hers. Their conversation is cut short when Kannagi appears and holds Makari as hostage. Since Hinohara doesn’t have Goshintai with him, he is chained and thrown into the wagon back to the capital. It is then Michihi No Tama activates and opens a mirror. It shows his room where Arata is now. They are surprised to see each other. Arata explains the princess’ real killers. He is sad because she trusted them and they betrayed her. They don’t know how much they have hurt her and how sad she felt. Because Hinohara is still jumpy about that trust word, Arata is cool that if he doesn’t trust him. Learning Hinohara has become a Sho, Arata thinks they have a chance to fight 12 Shinsho. The mirror closes as Arata vows to find a way to get them back to their respective places.

Hinohara is put on trial for Kikuri’s murder. Everyone is shown Kikuri using her last ounce of Amatsuriki power to preserve her own life. Even so, she is hanging in the balance. The crowd wants Hinohara’s head so he has had it about this betrayal thingy. It’s the same in both worlds. He tells them back about the conspiracy about betraying those who put their trust in them and will never forgive them cowards. They don’t have the right to control gods and are just traitors and murderers. But the 12 Shinsho are smooth in their talk to turn the tables on Hinohara and the public aren’t that forgiving either. Kannagi sentences Hinohara to be exiled to Gatoya, a living hell where he can reflect his sins. Although a death sentence would be the norm, Kannagi’s true intention is to find out his Hayagami’s true form. On the ship to Gatoya, Kotoha has been caught sneaking in and placed in the same cell with Hinohara. Her mission is a success because she is to bring him Goshintai. Now they can break out. However, it is not activating. Maybe he isn’t saying it right. Michihi No Tama activates and they hear a voice. The light becomes Kikuri as she hopes Hinohara her new Shinsho would hear her request.

Episode 3
Kikuri heard his answer during the trial and it made her happy. It was when she knew his heart would open the path. Until now she has used Amatsuriki to keep Hayagami as one and control their Kamui. Now that she has fallen, Hayagami have been freed and if the Sho wielding them use the Kamui freely, they will use their power to bring their own justice and the people will suffer. She wants him to lead Amawakuni in her stead and bring out his Hayagami to me before her life runs out. Hinohara has no confidence but Kikuri said the magic word: “I trust you”. Oh yeah. Big word for him. Kotoha teaches Hinohara how to use his body to house Goshintai. Arriving at Gatoya, the other prisoners view the princess killer with contempt. Hinohara is attacked by brothers, Kanate and Ginchi. They want him to hand over his possessions but are smitten by Kotoha. Hinohara couldn’t keep up with Kanate’s attacks when suddenly the ground shakes. The prisoners run for their life. Hinohara and Kotoha witness before their own eyes a couple of them being swallowed by the pipes. Fellow prisoner, Osome tells them that this is called The Reckoning and every day, Warden Tsutsuga will choose 2 prisoners to eat. Once that happens, it’s the end of you. She takes a hairpin of Kotoha as info payment. Meanwhile Kannagi is doing research but comes up with nothing. Akachi knows he is up to something but lets him be since Kannagi will report to him once he gets more details. Kotoha heals Hinohara’s injuries. He feels the warmth, the kind that is of his mom. Hinohara realizes he was just thinking about himself all the time. She came with him because she trusted him. Before he could thank her, the ground shakes and Kotoha falls through. Hinohara tries to find her but is chased by prisoners who want his head, thinking they can get out of here if they kill him.

While he is hiding, a mysterious voice asks about his pathetic state. Hinohara regrets he can’t live up to the expectations trusted in him. The voice wonders if he is going to betray their trust too. He is snapped out when Osome enters the picture. He is willing to offer his bag for info on Kotoha’s whereabouts. She won’t charge anything for this and says she heard Kanate took Kotoha somewhere. Kotoha is being treated well by the brothers. Well, they’re smitten by her, right? Ginchi decides to leave Kanate alone with her but he too can’t stand being alone and gets out of the room. He then sees Ginchi unconscious and Hinohara by his side. Thinking he was attacked, Kanate angrily starts attacking him. Hinohara draws out Goshintai and vows to protect Kotoha this time (because she trusted him, blah, blah blah). Ginchi wakes up and dismisses Kanate’s misinterpretation of the scene. He was attacked by Bluebeard Zanji’s minion but Hinohara saved him. However in the process he got his ring stolen. Kanate leaves Ginchi in their care while he goes to retrieve the ring. As Kotoha heals him, he explains how the brothers met (they were kidnapped by a band of thieves) and got into trouble by being framed and ended up here. The ring is his only connection to his mother. Kanate has always protected him and they vowed to get out of here. Hinohara is more confident now and will bring the Hayagami to her. He learns Tsutsuga is also a Sho and wields a Hayagami. With Kanate returning with the ring and both sides even, Kanate wants to settle their score. Before that could happen, The Reckoning triggers. Kanate is targeted and swallowed. Hinohara too is about to be eaten but Ginchi pushes him away so that he could join his brother. In the aftermath, Hinohara laments he was so scared he couldn’t move. But now he is going to save them.

Episode 4
Hinohara and Kotoha follow the pipes to the lowest level, believing it will lead them to Tsutsuga. Along the way, they meet Osome. She calls them fools for wanting to confront Tsutsuga. Hinohara disagrees with her view that although they live in fear every day, at least they’re alive. He can’t leave those brothers alone and will go rescue them. Osome notes the good guy he is and returns Kotoha’s hairpin. Kanate is surprised to see Ginchi before him. Tsutsuga proposes that they fight to the death and the winner will leave this island innocent. Ginchi doesn’t want to do this but Kanate picks up his weapon and attack ruthlessly while Ginchi is reduced to just defending. Hinohara and Kotoha are shocked to see the brothers fighting. Hinohara tries to stop them but is told by Tsutsuga that humans are the same. Selfish and only thinking about themselves. In Ginchi’s fear, he dealt the finishing blow to Kanate. Of course it’s just a ploy by Kanate to free his brother. However Tsutsuga considers Ginchi a criminal because he just killed! So neither can leave, huh? By the way, Kanate is still alive. Hinohara is upset with this bullsh*t so he draws out Goshintai and cuts through the pipes to find the warden. All the prisoners witness their fight and just as Hinohara is about to lose, he thinks back of all those people who trusted him. Oh yeah. That sure is a big motivation. This unleashes his Kamui and blows away all the pipes with ease. Everyone is surprised he is a Sho. Tsutsuga’s real identity is revealed. He is an old man with pipes all over and a Hayagami sticking out from his chest. When Hinohara touches his dark Hayagami, he gets a glimpsed of his past. Tsutsuga was a noble warden but was betrayed by his friend when he stuck the Hayagami in his chest. He was so overcome with hatred about human’s betrayal that he decided to become not a god but a demon. And with his Hayagami, he turned Gatoya into a piping hell.

Tsutsuga wants Hinohara to finish him and the prisoners are encouraging him as well. However he starts pulling out the dark Hayagami to save him. The hatred envelops him as he tries to fight it. Tsutsuga understands they are alike but Hinohara still has hope. He might not understand people but he thinks he shouldn’t be down here alone. What can resentment and suffering do for you? He manages to pull out the dark Hayagami and adds that he too was betrayed. So if he tested someone’s trust and been hurt again, he might have ended up like him. He knows he has been in pain for very long. Tsutsuga replies that he has been watching him for some time and perhaps this is what he wanted. Somebody like him to stop him. His dark Hayagami turns into its true form, Saniwa the Hayagami of judgment. He believes Hinohara as its new owner and has what it takes to wield its justice. Tsutsuga and Saniwa become one and get absorbed into Goshintai. They will live in his Hayagami and have submitted their lives to him. As his first act of the new warden of Gatoya, Hinohara uses Saniwa to return Gatoya to what it was previously. Kannagi is on his way to Gatoya and is shocked to see the light of Hayagami and the changing of Gatoya. The Kamui of Saniwa frees all the prisoners devoured by The Reckoning and Osome is happy to be reunited with her beloved. The brothers take Hinohara and Kotoha to escape the island on their boat (because the island returned to its original form, they figure their old home would be back too) and make way to the capital. Kannagi wants to know where Hinohara is but is confronted by Tsutsuga in spirit form. He knows Tsutsuga has submitted to Hinohara seeing he is calling his innocence and how strong that kid is. Tsutsuga says Hinohara’s Hayagami is the sword of origins that will rule over this world.

Episode 5
Hinohara’s family just plays along with whatever Arata is talking. Going hunting? Kanate and Ginchi are peddling the boat with all they’ve got but thankfully they have reached shore before the mast and everything else breaks down. Looking through the map, if they are to reach the capital (which is still pretty far), they have to trek through Kannagi’s domain. Aside the capital in Amawakuni, it is divided into 12 domains ruled by each of the 12 Shinsho. Ginchi spots a bonfire smoke nearby and this leads the gang to a makeshift village. Ginchi immediately recognizes some of its villagers and ultimately his mom. They happily reunite. This village is trying to migrate to the border before the war breaks out. What war? Well, you can’t have 12 people becoming kings, right? Surely one of them will rise to the top. In the past, 12 Shinsho used to fight among themselves for supremacy till the princess assumed the throne and took over control of the Kamui and the nation at peace. No prizes for guessing what will happen now that the princess has fallen. As the village moves and they’re about to part with Hinohara and Kotoha, Kanate surprises Ginchi that he won’t follow them. The secret passage behind the waterfall to the border that only opens once a month closes. To Ginchi’s dismay, Kanate wants him to live happily with his mom. Hinohara learns that he can’t follow and live with Ginchi’s village because it was his band of thieves that kidnapped him. Hinohara has Kanate follow him to the capital since he can’t leave him alone either. Along the way as they take a break, Kotoha hands him a muru snack. What’s a muru? Well, they’re about to find out. Let’s say it’s some giant shelled-like dinosaur. It’s charging at them! Run! Turns out that a girl, Honi has stole its egg because it is believed to be filled with nutrients and wants to give it to her mistress Fuyo who is pregnant. But I don’t know why the muru targets Kanate. Thankfully he is saved by Honi’s fellow villager, Ohika who is also the mistress’ husband. By the way, the egg cracks and a cute muru is born. So much for the nutrients.

Hinohara collapses and is brought back to the village but thankfully Kotoha heals him. Hinohara discovers Kanate has gone through his stuff, especially his handphone. The message from Suguru brings back bitter memories. Kanate wants to warn Hinohara about Ohika being Kannagi’s Zokusho, the Sho who serve the 12 Shinsho. Ohika then walks in, happy to see Hinohara okay. He uses his Hayagami, Kaneri to heal Kanate’s weapon. His Hayagami isn’t for fighting and forges tools. He says Kannagi has been kind to them and when he was told his wife Fuyo was expecting, he was incredibly happy. Kannagi is at the grave of Emisu. He feels pain in his wounds and vows to take the throne for her. Suddenly he gets shocking report that villages in his domain have been massacred. No survivors. Everyone lying in their own pool of blood. The only village left he notes is Ohika’s and he wants to head there right away. Ohika explains to Hinohara and Kanate that the war may have already begun. He doesn’t want to take part since he wants to live in peace (who doesn’t?). He notes there is a way to claim the throne without killing and that is for all the Sho to submit to one man. Submission is when a Sho passes on his soul and Hayagami to another Sho. They don’t disappear but live within the Hayagami they submitted to. He has also heard what happened to Tsutsuga as well as the princess’ murderer. He hints he knows Hinohara as the one because of his same name. Later, Honi has been told by Ohika to take the trio and leave the village now. Instead of doing this, they eavesdrop Ohika in his conversation with Akachi. He tells the truth that the one behind the plot to murder Kikuri was Kannagi. In order to become king himself, he threw away his allegiance to her and is pursuing the boy he used in his uprising to silence him. He wants Ohika to be his Zokusho.

Episode 6
Ohika doesn’t believe his words and even if it was true, he has sworn loyalty to Kannagi. Akachi summons his Hayagami, Okoro and shows its deadly earth power by threatening Fuyo. He shows the 6 Hayagamis he already acquired and this is his last chance to submit or watch his wife die first before being force into submission. Since he agrees not to hurt his family, Ohika submits and absorbs into Okoro. But right after that, Akachi kills Fuyo and the housemaids!!! Blood everywhere! The kids are shell shocked but they are discovered. Raging Kannagi jumps in too late as he uses Homura to burn Akachi but Okoro’s earth power protects him and even goes on the offensive. After pestering his actions, Akachi hints it’s because the war for the throne had begun and something about Emisu loved him. Kannagi loses the fight and his Hayagami to Akachi. Akachi then displays all of Kannagi’s Zokusho’s Hayagami. Kannagi turns this into a fist fight as Akachi blames Kannagi for the one who first betrayed them. He wants him to bear the agony and live with the sin carved into his right shoulder and won’t kill him so easily. I guess Hinohara has had it of watching so he tries to stop the fight. He isn’t happy Akachi killed innocent people and what is the use of becoming king this way? There’s no meaning to it. Akachi tells him off about his idealistic justice and will let Kannagi live so as to continue to suffer. Honi is devastated and wants Kannagi to bring back her master but as he puts it, once somebody submits, they can never come back again. Hinohara gives Kannagi his piece of mind that he knew this would happen when he killed the princess, the Sho would start fighting among themselves. He starts talking about trust and betrayal, a good man Ohika was and all the Zokusho who believed in him he betrayed them. Kannagi replies he can’t let this chance slip as they were all under Kikuri’s control. He just wants to set Homura free. Honi starts hating Shos as she believes Hinohara is the same as Akachi by making Tsutsuga submit to him.

Arata sees Suguru suspiciously outside his house. He goes to greet that surprised kid. Suguru thinks he doesn’t remember him is because they’re not friends anymore. The guilt ridden kid returns a book he borrowed. Hinohara’s ponders about Kikuri’s words. Is she trying to make him fight and become king by being violent like Akachi? He feels scared but also angry for not being able to do anything. He is weak and wants to grow stronger but that would make him the same as Akachi. He doesn’t want to hurt others. Kanate thinks he is thinking too much and tries to make him to fight to understand. Since Hinohara doesn’t want to hurt, Kanate calls him pathetic and should just do nothing. Brings back guilty memories of his confrontation with Kadowaki. If he wants to be stronger, he has to hurt others. Otherwise he can’t lead this country. Kotoha puts it in another way that Hinohara didn’t take Tsutsuga’s life. He entrusted it to him. Ah, I see… She remembers a legendary Hayagami that Makari told her. One that was a sword of origins that will rule over the world. It possesses no fighting Kamui and Goshintai might be that legendary Hayagami called Tsukuyo. Goshintai then emits a very bright light, awakening Tsukuyo. Before Hinohara and co leave for their journey, he assures Honi a possible way to return Ohika back to life. He won’t guarantee it but feels the princess can bring Ohika back from Akachi’s Hayagami. Hinohara is ready to move forward and make sure no one else suffers. Meanwhile Kadowaki sees Arata at the school gates.

Episode 7
The mother takes Arata away before any confrontation could happen. She is here to plead to the headmaster to go easy on her son since he’s having a hard time. Later Arata is called by Kadowaki’s underlings to the rooftop. Kadowaki is not amused first he was playing truant and now faking amnesia. Arata didn’t like his arrogance and tells him off about acting big since he has a gang to back him up. Kadowaki loses it and is about to punch him but Arata knocks him out in a single kick. Not so tough now, eh? Kotoha has a swell on her feet and oddly even if she can heal others, she can’t heal herself. Kanate goes off to find herbs and stumbles upon Emisu’s grave. He is surrounded by wild flames. Arata’s Michihi No Tama glows so he finds a place to speak to Arata and updates him on what has happened. Arata asks about Kotoha since he is quite close to her. He entrusts Kotoha to him so he can protect her in his place. That’s a big word and responsibility, right? Hinohara is devastated to learn that Arata has gone to his school and knocked out Kadowaki. Maybe that’s an understatement. Shell shock to be exact. So stunned that communication time for Michihi No Tama ends. As he walks back, Hinohara is assaulted by Kannagi who wants him to hand over his Hayagami. Wild fire starts surrounding the place and Kannagi explains because he doesn’t have Homura, he can’t control them. As he is a Sho, he cannot be devoured by the flames. Hinohara uses Tsukuyo to nullify them. Kannagi continues to threaten Hinohara to hand over his Hayagami. He knows his character and taunts him he can’t kill an unarmed man. To a point he’d rather lose than hurt his opponent. He easily snatches Tsukuyo from his scared hands. Before he could cut him, Kotoha’s voice stops him. The flames surround her and this brings back horrifying memories to Kannagi. Hinohara jumps into the flames to protect her. Seeing this act of bravery (which brings back those awful memories), Kannagi jumps through to save them.

Kotoha can’t heal the burn mark on Kannagi’s right shoulder and thinks it is a wound he got before he became a Sho. Or perhaps a wound of the heart. Kannagi explains his past. As the lord of the land’s son, he was introduced to Akachi and Emisu as his helpers. The trio grew closer each day. But the lord who was the previous Sho of Okoro died and lost his domain. The people revolted and the trio fled for their lives. Akachi entrusted Emisu in Kannagi’s hand and let the duo escape while he stayed back and fought the revolters. The duo travelled far and wide and they ended up in this land whereby Ohika took them in. They decided to live here happily. One night Kannagi fell ill so worried Emisu had to go out and look for herbs. Kannagi went after her after learning this. At the place where her grave stands now, Kannagi saw the wild flames engulfing Emisu. He wanted to save her but was blasted away by the flames and this caused the burnt mark on his right shoulder. He saw Emisu perished before his eyes. Deeming his life as no meaning, he wanted to kill himself to be with her. That’s when the god of flames, Homura heard his plea and considered him suitable to be his Sho. That’s how he became one and so to him, Homura is Emisu herself. That’s why he’ll do what it takes to get it back from Akachi. Kotoha laments they were so close and now this happened. Hinohara sees the similarity of hate in the eyes of Akachi and Kadowaki. He wants Kannagi to join them and change this nation. News of this spread to the other 12 Shinsho and also part of them, the group known as 6 Sho have also begun to move.

Episode 8
The 6 Sho discuss Kikuri’s Amatsuriki is weakening but they have to deal with the awakened Tsukuyo. If Hinohara reaches the capital and Tsukuyo comes into contact with Kikuri, she will revive. Meanwhile Hinohara may be starting to regret taking in Kannagi into his group because he is self centred and still eyeing his Hayagami with an eagle’s eye. Kadowaki is so upset that he messes up in his room. Arata can’t bring himself to call Hinohara’s mother his mom since he himself doesn’t have one. He spots Suguru outside again and goes talk to him. Wondering if he is his friend, Suguru thinks he must have overheard that conversation. He only said it otherwise he will be targeted. He thinks anybody would have done the same in that situation. However he realizes he himself is just weak. Arata notes he is truly a friend. Then he asks if he know where Kadowaki is. Kadowaki is about to leave his house when he comes into his father who chides him for not studying or joining any clubs but bum around. Especially about middle school in some track team he joined but gave up halfway (Hinohara was also in that track club). He will never win because he is so half hearted. Kadowaki talks back but was slapped. Father says this is the reason why his mom left him. Hinohara and co enter the domain of Yorunami, one of the 12 Shinsho who controls water. Kannagi notes that the 12 of them never did anything together except for special ceremonies. They have to be wary of the 6 Sho because they never show their faces and are strange men. The 6 Sho are at Kando Forest. They realize Arata must have gone to the other world. One of them, Harunawa (looks a lot like Kadowaki) begins his ritual by entering the forest. The rest are depending on him so they could awaken a Hayagami to eliminate Arata and Tsukuyo.

Kadowaki bumps into his friends who are badmouthing him (because pathetically he lost to Arata). They think of making him their target since they’re bored with Hinohara. Suddenly Arata wants in on this fight seems it doesn’t look fair. They flee but Kadowaki is not happy. He thinks Arata is looking down on him as always. It’s pretty confusing to Kadowaki since Arata is talking as though he is not Hinohara. That’s when Hinohara’s mom comes into the picture to slap him. She was worried about him and looked all over. Oh dear. You made somebody’s mom cry. This scene somewhat rings a bell to Kadowaki so he leaves. He is filled with so much anger and hate that he wants to kill Hinohara. That hatred himself allows the portal to open and he switches sides with Harunawa. Before it completes, Harunawa inputs memories of Hinohara’s adventures in this world (where the heck he got all that footage from?). Kadowaki exits the forest and realizes the real Hinohara is here. He confronts the 6 Sho (5 of them actually, but I’ll call them that just for consistency) and wants to know where that bastard is. They tell him about Hinohara who has acquired Tsukuyo to become king. They want Kadowaki to become a Sho, one of them of the 12 Shinsho to defeat Hinohara. It is those hatred feelings that brought him to this world that will defeat him. He is the chose one. Kadowaki doesn’t understand a thing but all he understands is kill Hinohara and everything will be fine. He is taken to a room consisting the Hayagami Orochi. Like Tsukuyo, it was sealed for a very long time too. This ritual will test to see if he is fit to wield it. Once he puts his hands on it, all the Shos could feel Orochi trying to be awakened. Will Kadowaki succeed, or will he be swallowed like those who tried and failed. Kadowaki has so much hatred bursting out. He shouts for Orochi to be his. With so much resentment in the end, he becomes Orochi’s rightful owner and a Sho.

Episode 9
Jenjenjeng! Behold! Kadowaki appearing before Hinohara! Surprised? Well, for Hinohara. Oddly, Kadowaki is ‘happy’ to see him. He takes out Orochi and attack but Tsukuyo protects everyone. Kadowaki starts berating Hinohara about the coward he is. So scared of him that he ran off to this world. He was a weakling back then and now he is going to be king of this world? Big joke! Is he trying to run away from him? He should be grovelling at his feet! Hinohara snaps and at this point he is starting to feel the intense hatred. The hatred builds up to a point where Tsukuyo loses its light and becomes demonized. It shoots out some dark aura but Orochi protects Kadowaki. If this is not stopped, Tsukuyo will turn into Onigami. Kotoha hugs him and believes he is a kinder person and won’t turn into a demon. Guess what she said? “I believe you”. Yeah. Calmed him down, didn’t he? But she collapses as a result. The 6 Sho tell Kadowaki to retreat for they have failed to foresee Tsukuyo demonizing and need to completely awaken Orochi. Hinohara sinks into depression that he lets go of Tsukuyo. Kannagi seizes that instant to steal it as Kanate goes after him. As Hinohara and Kotoha rest in the hut, she realizes he is not the Arata she knew from his reaction. Took you this long, eh? Besides, didn’t he try to tell them he isn’t that kid they knew? Maybe everything happened too fast. Hinohara explains who he is and the hatred Kadowaki has for him. He was a bully victim and every day forced to submit to their bullying. He knows he needed power to overcome this but feared he would turn out the same as them. So he vowed never to use such power that he felt inside Kadowaki or Akachi, or to use it against anyone. By the time Kanate finds Kannagi, the latter decides to go back to Hinohara. That kid is still pathetic so he threatens him to take back Tsukuyo. He wants him to take responsibility about the promise he made to change the world and see through it no matter what. When he held Tsukuyo, he felt how heavy it was. It was the weight of his mission and responsibility that only Hinohara can carry.

Next day, Kannagi spars with Hinohara and easily dislodges Tsukuyo from his hands down into the ravine. He knows Hinohara fears being demonized again, that’s why he hesitates. Can someone like him change the world? He is not worth believing in right now and gives him till sundown to find Tsukuyo or else leave the group. What to do? Find it lah! Hinohara finds Tsukuyo taken by a giant wolf. As he goes after it, he remembers his past with Kadowaki. At a time they were really best friends. Really. Truest of the truest buddies. Words of encouragement. In the same track club. They ran together. Always will be running by his side. It made Hinohara remember that they were friends. Meanwhile Kadowaki is on the 6 Sho’s airship and talking to the maid assigned to him, Miyabi. He is telling her how much he just hates Hinohara that he wants him disappeared from the face of this planet. Miyabi thinks he likes him because if he really hated him, he would have just ignored him but yet he thinks so much about him. In truth, he just wants to be Hinohara’s friends. Kadowaki shuts her up for talking like he knows them. He continues to blame Hinohara for him. On a fateful day when he was in a slump, he had Hinohara run with him to improve his qualifying time. Kadowaki would be happy even if he had lost since he acknowledged his skill. However Kadowaki believed Hinohara slowed down, allowing him to win. He became upset thinking he was making fun of him and that’s when their friendship ended. So easy, huh? Probably he was feeling the pressure too since at the same time his mom left the family. Hinohara returns with Tsukuyo, much to the other’s relief. Kannagi will believe in him for now. Hinohara assures Kotoha that although he isn’t confident, he’ll try to move forward and change Kadowaki’s heart. He vows not to become a demon. Guess what’s her answer? She believes in him. Consolation prize: The duo hug. Yorunami’s Zokusho, Hiruko who has been observing them notes Hinohara not only had kindness going in him, but the power of darkness and heart to calm it. He could be the one who can return Yorunami to what he was.

Episode 10
Yorunami just finished punishing one of his Zokusho for a slight failure. Hinohara doesn’t wants to meet this Yorunami guy first but his Zokusho so as to know more about him. Kannagi brings them to Suzukura, the most prosperous city in Amawakuni ruled by Hiruko. Because the tax passage to enter or leave this city is very high, the gang can’t afford it. The boss of the place, Suehiro takes them in but to make them work for their part. The men will work in the quarry and Kotoha the sole woman in the textile workshop. Later that night, Hinohara asks Suehiro about Yorunami. Only good things of course. He seeks perfection for everyone and himself and thanks to the laws he came out for this city, it is the reason why it is so prosperous. Next day, Hinohara and Kanate see a group of men accusing a boy named Ruka for ruining a wagon. He clearly did not do it but was dismissed without wages. Kanate couldn’t stand this crap and is about to give his piece of mind to that quarry chief but Suehiro’s presence stops them. He will let this incident slide and not report to Yorunami. Ruka takes the guys back to the slums area. Despite looking perfect from the outside, such a place even exists because many flock to Suzukura to make it rich but reality is harsh. Ruka tells them about how his family once operated a textile shop but his parents died and everyone left. The company went bankrupt. Hinohara laments everyone here just thinks about money and that this is not a perfect city as believed. Ruka wanted to leave this place but the tax passage was too high. Later Kannagi and Suehiro meet. The latter knows who he is and seemingly tries to provoke him. However Kannagi won’t give and warns to be cautious about Hinohara because he is formidable. Hinohara remembers when he was still suffering from his trauma, his mom told him she would wait no matter how long it takes she will wait for him till he gets better. She will always be by his side and believed in him. Because Ruka became emotional since he felt so miserable, Hinohara explains how he too experienced something similar. He didn’t do anything wrong and things just went wrong. He tells Ruka since he was born into this world, it doesn’t give him the right to end his own life and that there’s no one in the world would be better off without. He will help Ruka get out of here. Suehiro eavesdropping outside is amazed by Hinohara’s words.

Kadowaki is going to be brought to Akachi and is shown clips of his merciless massacre. Later Miyabi is happy that Kadowaki’s wounds are healing but that guy wonders why she could smile for him. Because she feels happy. When the airship reaches Akachi, Kadowaki jumps down to confront him. He suggests teaming up with him because their greatest enemies are travelling together. Akachi will not since anyone who lacks the resolve to fight alone will only slow him down. Kadowaki lets out his emotions on how much he wants to beat this Hinohara guy so Akachi tells him straight he cannot defeat him. Because he is trapped by the phantom of the bond reflected in his eyes. He ‘sets him free’ by stabbing his eye! Hinohara and co try to sneak out of the city that night but is Suehiro is waiting for them. He then reveals his true form: He is actually Hiruko. Hinohara tells him this city is not perfect but heartless because it doesn’t see people as people. This brings back memories to Hiruko how he was caught by Yorunami. He was sad people only flocked to him for his money. He wanted Yorunami to kill him but was made his Zokusho instead. Yorunami’s words that there is no place in this world where a human is not needed was the clincher that bought him over. Hiruko unleashes his Hayagami, Takara that shoots out gold pieces! His Kamui is made out of money?! But it’s easily nullified by Tsukuyo. Hiruko mentions he has observed Hinohara for a long time. The way he suffered, fought and even turned into a demon. He wanted to know if he is the right man for the job. Now that he does, there is no need for them to leave this city. He will defy Yorunami and change this city himself. He believes Hinohara can return Yorunami to the way he once knew.

Episode 11
When Yorunami was young, he made his mom a necklace but was told off to not waste time with something useless and to perfect himself. Kannagi leads the gang outside Yorunami’s palace. Suddenly some water force kidnaps Kotoha and it’s like it was all a setup for them to head into the palace (no guards whatsoever). Kotoha is placed on a death-trap pedestal whereby water is filling up the sphere. Tsukuyo can’t break it. Yorunami appears before Hinohara and he wants Hinohara to submit to him or make him submit. Although Kotoha has nothing to do with this, he will do anything that it takes to fulfil his mother’s wishes. The fight begins as all of Yorunami’s Zokusho watch and secretly rooting for Hinohara because if Yorunami wins, they know they’ll have it tough. Meanwhile when Kadowaki lost his eye, he was told he could only see things when he loses them. He wanted to become strong that he doesn’t mind losing another eye for it. Seeing his resolve, Akachi gave him his eye as replacement. He easily just took out one eye, just like that?! Hinohara seems to be on the losing side when Kadowaki crashes into the party. Yorunami has just made Hinohara into some time reversal deep sleep thingy and will make him submit from there. Kadowaki is not amused since he is going to be to one who will beat Hinohara. Yorunami drags him along to watch how Hinohara will submit to him. Hinohara in his subconscious mind is talking to his mom. The good ol’ days. But with a twist. She is asking him how to submit! However Hinohara won’t give in. Yorunami turns back the clock to make Hinohara younger. Whenever he is down, mommy tells him it is okay to run away and quit. No matter how sad he is, he won’t be submitted. This pisses off Yorunami since Tsukuyo can’t be useful to him this way. He is about to kill him but Hinohara hears the encouraging voice of Kotoha and breaks free from the spell. He even reconciles with his mom that he is already and hints there is someone he loves! Tell me, tell me! Tsukuyo’s Kamui bursts into a great light raining down on the palace like raindrops and just like some epic scene, Hinohara is floating down in a light ball like some Buddha, Tsukuyo in one hand and Kotoha in another. Yorunami’s Hayagami seems to have lost the will to fight so he becomes frantic that he has lost and worries about his mom.

Rushing to her side, seems she has ‘died’ as the water bubble burst. But as explained his mom died a long time ago and this one was just a doll, an illusion created by himself. Yorunami believed in working hard to perfect himself so that one day his mom would acknowledge him. Even when he became one of the 12 Shinsho, she did not change. However she died before accepting him. His desire grew stronger and thought if he became king, she would finally do so. But now he has lost and everything is over. Noticing a memento lying nearby, Yorunami’s mom gave it to him on her deathbed. She considered it her treasure and life force. He was told that the day he failed to protect it is the day he will die. He is afraid to look into it since he lost but the rest think there could be some message. When he does, he is surprised to see that necklace. An old Zokusho of his reveals the truth that his mom is not the strict woman he knew. She was kind and loved her child. She was worried of what will happen to him if they die and this nation fell into chaos. That’s why she wanted him to grow stronger even this makes him hate her. Yorunami is overcome with emotion and admits Hiruko was right and seeks everyone’s forgiveness. He believes someone with all-seeing eyes, open heart, strong will and the strength to lead the world could be the Sho of Tsukuyo. That’s Hinohara, right? He asks the thing he values most in this world: Bond. This heart moving moment is ruined when Kadowaki is not impressed with this dramatic crap. Especially about his answer of bonds. He doesn’t want Hinohara to talk about all that and the only thing he needs is to look at him.

Episode 12
Kadowaki says nothing has changed between them and wants Hinohara to admit he hates him. He still won’t and will not turn into a demon. I guess talk is of no use. Time to fight. Orochi evolves and gives Kadowaki more power, reducing Hinohara to just defending. Kotoha wants the rest to help but the men say this is his fight. If they join in, they’ll only be a hindrance. But you know what? They believe in him! Since Hinohara is making no progress, they have to give him that pep talk about the trust he has been entrusted to. They know he won’t lose because… Wait for it… They believe in him! However Tsukuyo doesn’t have offensive Kamui unlike Orochi so it can do nothing but just nullify it. Better do something quick because Orochi’s Kamui is turning deadlier by the second. Yorunami decides to submit himself to Hinohara. His Zokushos and of course Hinohara do not agree but he views this act as more noble than becoming king. He wants to see the world under his reign and will live through his battles. Still not accepting this, Hinohara? Now it’s Kannagi’s turn for his pep talk reminding him what submission is all about and yeah, for all those who believe in him. When Yorunami submits to Hinohara, the impact is so great that it destroys the entire palace. It’s like the A-bomb just dropped over here. The fight isn’t over yet. Kadowaki continues to challenge Hinohara and blames him for not understanding anything. He will gladly throw away everything and obtain power.

Both sides clash and because Hinohara’s determination seems stronger, Kadowaki is thrown away. Hinohara now believes this fight isn’t his alone and is confident Kadowaki cannot make him submit. Tsukuyo’s glow causes the undersea land to surface. Its power grows into wings of light, Sousei No Hinowa. It is proof that Tsukuyo has completely awakened. Hinohara looks like a king too. He won’t run away anymore and if Kadowaki still insists of fighting and bringing him to submission, then bring it on. Before the fight can even start, Kadowaki is blown away!!! And I was wondering what happened! Did the fight started or not! While bathing in the light, Hinohara feels nostalgic when he remembers the good days with Kadowaki. In the aftermath, Hinohara thanks Tsukuyo for believing in him. Kotoha goes to hug him and he takes this chance to give her the hairpin he bought from Suzukura. Yorunami’s Zokushos decide to submit to him and place their life in his hands. Wow. That’s a whole bunch of them gone into Tsukuyo. Later Hinohara communicates with Arata about the developments, especially the switch between Kadowaki and Harunawa. Arata notes he has become stronger. We get the glimpse of the 6 Sho planning to hasten their plan so they can realize their dream; A couple of new 12 Shinsho faces; Kannagi vowing to reclaim Homura and make Akachi submit; Akachi still having tormenting dreams; Kadowaki doing fine in Miyabi’s care and he’s ranting about how he can’t lose to him and the need to even surpass him even if it’s his silly pride. Miyabi really thinks he cares about his friend. And Hinohara, he’ll continue to move forward and change Kadowaki’s heart.

I Believe!
At the rate things are going, I started worrying if they could even get things done or wrap up by the time this anime series. After 3/4 of the show, I finally realize that this wasn’t going to be the end. In fact, just the beginning. What do you expect when you have the bitter high school ex-friends clash right in the final episode? With this season building up the climax to this clash, it feels that the war to be king wasn’t important. If I do not think back on the events that bought Hinohara here, I might have well forgotten what this anime is about or how it all started and gotten into this fine mess. Then you probably are wondering where the rest of the other 12 Shinsho are doing because besides the 6 Sho, if you count them we are missing like one or two, right? So in short, I see there is quite some potential in the development of the storyline and characters (I admit, I took a peek at Wikipedia) but it’s sad that it had to end this way at least for where the anime is concern. Will there be another season? I can only believe…

You would have guessed that believe and trust are the main theme and word of this series. It’s like in every episode they try to remind us of this by telling Hinohara, indirectly or not. And that guy would put up that guilt ridden face as though he almost forgot he needed to shoulder such responsibility. Sometimes I feel when this happens, it gets a tad annoying. I understand that Hinohara is a bully victim and it is going to take a long time for him to overcome his trauma. Worse come to worst, he will live with this scar for the rest of his life. But each time in decisive battles, his morale goes low and you have either him remembering about the trust he was entrusted to or some other character reminding him about it or at least say the magic word of “I believe you!” to get him going. It’s like this is his fuel in getting the extra determination to win. You thought he should have at least grown stronger in this department. In the sense that he doesn’t sink so easily into depression (at least he always look the part) whenever he starts remembering Kadowaki or that delinquent kid starts badmouthing and talking trash about him. But this process of filling up Hinohara with that believing encouragement has been repetitive enough that it has become a drag to me.

I guess it is somewhat a reminder to us that believe and trust can serve like double edged swords. They are powerful but yet deadly when misused. Imagine the horrible feeling of putting your entire trust in a person and only to be fully betrayed in the end. Can you blame the victim for not wanting to trust again? It’s a tough call. It’s not about being weak or strong. Depending on the person, if he/she never wants to trust again, the vicious cycle may be repeated again onto others. For Hinohara, he is considered both unlucky and lucky to experience the best and worst of both ends of trust. Sometimes maybe being bullied is like a blessing in disguise because it enabled him to go to this world and given a second chance to improve himself. Though, I feel it’s going to be a long journey but that’s not the point. Along the way, he meets friends and then enemies-turned-friends who end up believing in him and their faith in him do not waver. That’s what true friends are really for, right? So is this kid lucky or not to end up in a mix of good company? He might be a no good shut-in loser on Earth but on Amawakuni, he might just make amends with himself to bring back the self-confidence he once lost.

Hate of course is never a good thing and the way you see it here, it really brings you down especially in the case of Hinohara. I suppose this series tries to subtly hint to us to control and channel our hate to better purposes rather than taking it out on other people who may or may not be guilty or responsible for something. Sometimes when I think about it, maybe the love-hate relationship between Hinohara and Kadowaki (if I can call it this) is some sort of a catalyst to spur Hinohara to greater heights. He might look like the reluctant kid taking on a big responsibility and each time he is being told or reminded about the duty being entrusted, he shrinks and feels the impossible. He has 2 choices. Either he continues and whines like a baby or he gets over his past and moves forward, which is what he did. I mean, after so many times of hearing his pals about believing in him, it would be plain rude and in bad taste if he doesn’t. And if you think about it, sometimes hating something isn’t bad. Like, hating corruption, hating abuse of power, hating extremism, hating racists…

Something more than meets the eye about Kadowaki’s hatred for Hinohara. I can’t believe that they have been good friends for a considerable amount of time to just suddenly become enemies. All the friendship power built up just vanished in that second. So to say they weren’t really true friends to begin with if Kadowaki can let this little incident get to him and grow into a big ball of hate. It felt like just dumb just because Hinohara slowed down for him to win. If this is the case. From what I see, this may not be so since this is only from Kadowaki’s view. We’re not sure of Hinohara’s version since he didn’t really respond to it and even so, I noticed the blur body reaction, like as though he is unaware of what happened. Also like Miyabi pointed out, since he talks so much about Hinohara, despite the hate in it, it just might be his twisted way of caring about him. Maybe he just doesn’t know it but wants a chance to make amends and sets things right. Fighting is perhaps the only way he knows best. And I am just highly speculating this, the next time Hinohara and Kadowaki clash, whatever the outcome will be, they’ll end up as friends again because there will be a more sinister enemy appearing that will threaten the safety of both worlds. Or at least cooperate against a common foe.

The other characters felt somewhat side-lined somewhere halfway throughout the series. Ever since Akachi killed Kannagi’s Zokushos, Kannagi and Kanate ending up in Hinohara’s group and Akachi just bumming around like he’s waiting for something to come or happen, it is one reason why I felt that this season won’t be somewhat completed when it reaches its end and the build-up of showdown between Hinohara and Kadowaki. Kotoha felt like she’s just tagging around and some sort of trust refuelling station for Hinohara. Haha! I know she has an important mission with him but it feels like the only reason why she’s around is because of the lack of main girls in this series. Otherwise, it will totally be a bishonen series ;p. Why not? Hinohara and Kadowaki are not bad looking themselves and the 12 Shinsho like pretty boy Yorunami are hot enough for fan girls to start fantasizing their yaoi fantasies. I bet that if the remaining 6 Sho take off their weird mask, they’ll be totally hot and good looking too. I believe in that. Oh yeah. Otherwise, who is Hinohara going to hug and have a short romantic time with? Thank goodness this series isn’t swinging the yaoi way. Just like Kotoha, I also kept wondering what is Kanate’s role. I know he has nowhere to go since he has parted with Ginchi but he certainly didn’t look like doing anything useful and at certain times, look more like the joker.

The princess’ murder seems distant when it ended and when I still saw her lying in her comatose form, I thought she’s going to lie in that state for a very long time… So hard to live, so hard to die… Bet you forgot that Homura is still in Akachi’s hands, didn’t you? Because I did… Arata on the other hand is bumming around in Hinohara’s world and I suppose there is nothing threatening for him there. Thus the lack of appearance. But I think he has to be a little wary since Harunawa is on the other side now. And some I thought that would be at least a side character, just vanished. Like in Ginchi’s case. Won’t he appear any more since he has returned to his real family? Because he was so close to Kanate, I really thought he would also tag along with the gang. After they part ways, that’s it for him. The way they show Suguru returning on and off feels like he isn’t just some ‘facilitator’ and turning point in Hinohara’s life. There’s something more to this kid too. In a way, Suguru and Hinohara are like the same boat. They seek some sort of redemption after being bully victims. Perhaps if Suguru had the same chance like Hinohara did, he would have turned out better.

Honestly when it comes to the fantasy genre, one thing I dread is usually the terminologies and jargons. It would be worse if they were already hard to remember its definition and also hard to spell and pronounce. Surprisingly for this series, I never did have such problems. It never occurred to me till I finished the series. I could easily understand what a Hayagami, Sho, Zokusho or Kamui is without scratching my head and it took me at least just 2 or 3 times of mentioning before it gets stuck in my head naturally. Although I am not pretty familiar with a country’s local legends, myths or folklore, somehow I have no qualms in accepting the terms presented in this anime. Maybe it is because as compared to those of sci-fi genre, the terms are more simplistic in nature. Since I am not a science student, mixing scientific terms and jargons could be the reason why I loathe such seemingly difficult names.

Action wise, I guess they are rather okay and nothing that spectacular that you would really gawk in awe. It is just a tad disappointment to not see all the 12 Shinsho clash because each of their Hayagami wields different elemental powers and it would be interesting to see how they use them. But even those that we have seen like Kannagi’s Homura or Akachi’s Okoro, they’re just, well, okay. And then we’ve got Hinohara who is holding probably the world’s most powerful sword but since he has to deal with his low self-esteem problem, mostly you see him hesitating and taking the defensive role. He doesn’t really use it to its full potential until dire times when he fully brings out or part of its power. Otherwise he looks like an amateur trying to learn how to use Tsukuyo via trial and error. Of course, you’ve got to put a lot of faith in the sword and those who believe in you :). If you don’t trust the sword or put your life on it, how do you expect the sword to fight for you? On a trivial note, other than the 12 Shinsho, I notice that for the other Zokushos or Shos, their Hayagami’s design looks somewhat mediocre. It’s like they needed to churn out several unique looking swords but failed to do so and leave the best ones to the main characters. These characters got ‘rejects’. Especially when I looked at those of Yorunami’s Zokushos, that bunch of them I thought just looked funny. Man, I thought some of them were just ceremonial items. No kidding.

They put romance as part of the genre heading for this anime. Personally, I feel that it is very lacking and even so just a side distraction. As I have said, Kotoha is the only main girl around and while it might seem it is going to be a reverse harem, it is a good thing that there are no signs that things will turn yaoi. At least for now. Imagine if Hinohara and Kadowaki burying the hatchet and become friends once again. More than just best friends, get what I mean? I am not sure if Kotoha is in love with the original Arata or this Hinohara kid. She first seemed shock to learn that he isn’t the Arata she knew but subsequently her reactions with him indicates that she might be falling for this Hinohara guy, the way they embrace and spend time together. Or maybe she just doesn’t want to get this this-isn’t-the-Arata-I-know mentality get to her head and influence her with all the negative thoughts. Besides, both Aratas are good guys, right? So which of the Aratas is it that she really likes? Maybe both of them? Well, in this way she can no longer feel lonely because either way there will be one Arata from either world by her side. That’s not a bad thing, right? And if you’re wondering about Kanate’s love for Kotoha, I think that guy just wants to flirt and nothing deep. But he knows his place so don’t put too much hope on a love triangle. They’ve got worldy problems so they can’t waste time fighting among themselves for love. Or can they?

If I was thrown in the shoes of Hinohara, I probably would have done the same thing. In the sense that I don’t want to shoulder the responsibility of saving a world and becoming king. I would perhaps give lots of excuses why I cannot, shall not, would not, unable, incapable, unqualified and all the other synonyms that you could think of just to not take up this duty. Yeah. I really feel what Hinohara is shouldering is something too big for an otaku guy like me to handle. Sure, I can imagine and daydream to be like him, better than him. But if you’re asking about reality and to be more down to earth, I think I would really pass. I would end up more like Suguru instead. I’m having such low confidence, you say? Maybe I’d think about it if everyone really gives me the encouragement and start believing in me. Just don’t be disappointed when I betray your trust. I hope this won’t ever have to happen. Believe me, please…