After that cliff-hanger ending of the first season, it is only right not to leave it having and thus the sequel Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls Galaxy is needed to save Earth and in turn the universe from the forces of evil by having idols playing crane games. I know it sounds pretty crappy with a plot like that but I guess it beats having a NASA going through the trouble of training a group of ragtag drillers to become astronauts and blow up an asteroid before it hits Earth. Why do I have a feeling this series might save the universe but they can’t save anime…

Episode 1
Our crane game girls are finally hitting big as idols. They’re famous of course for saving Earth. While they’re singing suddenly Dark Gorilla returns! But she is going to fight fire with fire by sending her own idol unit! Folks, meet the Earth invasion idol called Dark Cherry. They are made up of Lumie, Hikaru and Rei. Why are they special? Because they can sing in space. Without spacesuits! But wait. They are not in sync and all over the place. Funny jokers too. Not so threatening, right? That is till they start singing and start shooting powerful beams at our heroines. Tokiko ushers them to play a newly evolved crane game to do idol battle. Wow. So this crane unit has functions of a spaceship too? How convenient. They start singing and blast even more powerful beams back, sending Dark Cherry flying away in defeat. Meanwhile Dark Gorilla and Earth Gorilla talk about the evolution of arcade games from the physical ones to modern day mobile with online functions. For the latter although it may seem there is no physical prize when you win, now there is a hybrid version in Japan in which the company will deliver the prize right to your doorstep! Cool. Easy and convenient!

Episode 2
Dark Cherry is back at their base but looks like they’re goofing around rather than taking their loss seriously. Even when Dark Gorilla summons them, Hikaru shoots at her! Thankfully it’s just the monitor. Worse, Rei locked herself in her room as always. Don’t be surprised to see Saya popping up here. She is hired as their producer and the one who scouted them on Planet Dark Gorilla with the most potential to become an idol. Really? After describing the dog eat dog world of the idol industry, they go get Rei out of her room. However she still refuses and somewhat mocks Lumie about being in a group and going solo. This has Lumie’s bag of patience ripped open as she turns into her devil mode to barge in and give Rei a piece of her mind. Because she has to spend most of her time getting Rei out of her room, she can’t do anything else! Do you see how much she cares for you?! Once the girls are out, Saya begins their training as Lumie and Rei reconcile. On a side note, it might seem Dark Gorilla is scaring Tokiko with a crane machine seemingly moving on its own. A haunting ghost of those who failed to win prizes? Apparently today’s technology allows one to go online and control it remotely! They even have a staff to help you on this but sorry, no late night telephone service to chat.

Episode 3
Dark Cherry is back to challenge the crane game girls. They’re being lame again so our heroines aren’t sure if they’re supposed to take them seriously this time. I mean, they don’t even know if they had really won the last time. Lumie suggests this battle to be an election. There is a counter that will measure their popularity (in billions?) after they make their introduction. The first match pits Asuka against Lumie. Lumie does the exact same introduction in the first episode. No changes. Asuka does hers with some poem and wins lots of applause. First round goes to our heroines. Next round has Mirai versus Hikaru. Hikaru’s introduction is so strange and funny that it makes her popular! While Mirai is doing hers, she accidentally bites her own tongue. Dark Cherry wins by a close margin. Yeah, 2 million votes is small. Finally, Kyouko and Rei. Kyouko goes first with her earnest introduction. When it is Rei’s turn, it seems she is tongue tied and panicking. Even more so the pressure of their group’s fate is rested on her shoulders. When she hits her limit, she starts shooting beams from her eyes! In the end, we don’t know who won but we guess our crane game girls did because Dark Cherry retreats and vows to be back next time. Are you glad they’re idiots? Dark Gorilla shows us examples of scam emails. Then she clicks on one containing a prize she wants but it costs very high. Before she knows it, her PC is infected from all the virus from those emails. Good PSA reminder.

Episode 4
Once Dark Cherry has decided to stop goofing around, it’s another idol battle. This time they’ll be doing rhythm games. And since crane game girls have anticipated another shooting beam, they’ve brought their laser guns. They show us why they’re the best idol gamers because even at high difficulty, they’re still okay. Dark Cherry plays cheat by upping the difficulty to max and our heroines still clear the game with maximum points! Okay, it’s your turn. Gulp. Dark Cherry has no experience in playing rhythm games… During their idiotic rant, they accidentally mention Saya’s name. Naturally our heroines want to know her whereabouts. Saya moves in for damage control dressed in a silly gorilla musketeer outfit and proclaims herself as a mysterious unidentified producer (no, not Pro Douche-cer!), Gorillac Knight! She shares the same name but a different person. Nobody is buying this lameness. She takes her Dark Cherry to retreat. But in the end, the crane game girls are relieved that she is not Saya! Because she wouldn’t be caught dead in such a lame outfit. Yup, another bunch of lovable idiots. But it seems Tokiko has her reservations… Dark Gorilla and a loan shark harass a customer who has been taking loans to feed his online games addiction but can’t pay when it’s due. She tells him about the convenient online crane game with various methods to pay and then force him to do some fishing training that might take up to 2 years! Good luck. You’re going to need it.

Episode 5
Gorillac Knight is holding an emergency press conference. The reporters are grilling her and all she can say is no comment. Why even hold such conference? While Dark Cherry are mocking her behind her back, they realize she is standing out more than them! So what better logic than to go do another idol battle to regain their reputation! Too bad she came with them but this time it is Tokiko whom they are facing. The crane game girls are each having their own jobs. Thus Tokiko chastises Dark Cherry for not working hard! Too harsh! Tokiko knows Saya is behind that mask and won’t be fooled. Time for a flashback. Wow. High quality otome game art style! Anyway it has Saya listing down a long list of things she is going to do to save the world while Tokiko just wants to be a great announcer. They both promise to do their best. By the time the crane game girls arrive, Gorillac Knight continues to dismiss she is the real Saya and retreats this time. Another battle won without having to do anything? Saya should’ve stayed hidden if she didn’t want to be found out. You know how Apple unveils their new products? Yeah, I think they’re paying some sort of tribute here. I mean, Steve Gorilla? He is unveiling a new app that could download a crane game to your handphone. And a whole lot of other crap. Like drones and auto floor cleaner. Lies! And… And… And… And… And…

Episode 6
Dark Cherry is incognito on Earth to infiltrate and find information on crane game girls. But they are tempted by the liveliness of Tokyo. However our heroines are able to instantly recognize them! Plus, with the internet and everything, information is all around so this infiltration is useless. What else to do but not to leave empty handed and go have fun. Crane game girls decide to show them around the game arcade. They demonstrate their high skills in the crane game. When it is Dark Cherry’s turn to try, they of course suck big time. Lumie becomes mad and turns into her devil mode to abuse the machine while Rei zaps the machine with her eye beams! Dangerous! Surprisingly Hikaru won a bunch and gives some prizes to her friends to commemorate their friendship. That’s sweet. Then they continue to have fun at the karaoke. Lumie realizes that they’re rivals and shouldn’t be doing this. But what the heck. They’re already having so much fun so screw all that. Let the fun continue. Earth Gorilla observes Dark Gorilla playing an online crane game. Because of his cautiousness, he levels up everything. Something to do about the girl he has a crush and got no balls to confess to? He is told about the absolutely free to play online crane game so he doesn’t have to worry about spending real money and this in turn gives Dark Gorilla the courage to go confess to his crush he has never ever talked to in his life. Good luck?

Episode 7
Saya is shocked to see a note from Dark Cherry. They have resigned! OMG! Rei is trying her luck on stocks but everything crashes. Then there is some online flaming war that explodes her PC! The internet is indeed dangerous. Lumie is trying for a job interview but the interviewer tells her if it is a good idea to downgrade from an idol. Lumie is fine with it but apparently not the interviewer. Why is she wearing her idol outfit then? Oh, no clothes for suitable clothes. She wants her to go back to become an idol and fails her interview. Lumie goes to take more interviews but also fails them. Meanwhile Hikaru is an idiotic convenience store cashier. She does what she wants and screws around with the customer! She charges everything and free things also include tax?! And what’s this she doesn’t have change? The master of pissing of customers… You think after this experience the customer won’t be back, right? Because she is so damn cute, he thinks he’ll come back. Yeah, I can relate why most of us come back for seconds after a first terrible experience. Eventually the trio fail and have nowhere to go. They see this bright light that gives them hope… Crane game girls are bored now that Dark Cherry has not shown up for quite some time. When they tune in to TV, they are shocked to see them as nuns! Their heads completely shaved! Tokiko answers Dark Gorilla’s anxious questions regarding crane games. No crane game? Make one! Oh, she uses money for that. No confidence or skill to play? Online tutorials are helpful. But if there are online crane games, wouldn’t that make physical ones redundant? Sure. Tokiko shoots and destroys it! Lesson: Don’t waste your time making them. Just play them online.

Episode 8
When the girls meet, you bet crane game girls are really shocked that their rivals have genuinely given up their goal of invading Earth since they were never up to it. They are even going to support them to become the best idols. This does not sit well with Asuka as she flips the table. After all they’ve been put through, you can’t expect them to just let this pass like that. They’re not going to quit for some weird reason. Asuka is going to help them get back on their feet as idols. Don’t worry, their bald head is just wigs. Gathering in the streets, crane game girls are going to gather everyone for a free concert. Wait. So now they love the idea of idol battle? Dark Cherry thinks this is their deep plan to make a fool out of them so bad that they will never recover to come back as idols. Of course crane game girls dismiss that and you can see proof of that in their shiny warm idol aura. Crane game girls call everyone (you mean now only the crowd noticed it is them?) and start singing. The crowd loves them. Then they introduce Dark Cherry. To their surprise, everyone loves them too. It seems they are popular on Earth. Thank internet, right? They perform together to a rousing applause. It looks like a Metal Gear Solid tribute with Dark Gorilla trying to infiltrate steel doors and Earth Gorilla telling its passwords. But it is just a clever attempt to tell you the procedures on how to complete register for a free online crane game. The passwords, details and email that you need to key in for the access.

Episode 9
With their popularity rising, this is all part of Saya’s plan for the next stage. They will now try their hands to win the Cosmic Idol Festival. The girls are now as confused as the reporters in the conference because they are now supposed to join and become a new idol unit, Super Shiny Galaxy! No Lumie, it’s not a darker plot to catch crane game girls off guard and defeat them. Tokiko confronts Saya and knows this is not a plan she put together overnight. Saya reveals that this plan will have them become the greatest idols in the universe. That power will save Planet Dark Gorilla and in turn they will stop invading Earth, thus peace will reign! Hence the idol battles between them were to help them power up for this day. I know Saya is thrilled to train them strictly but what the heck about this part to turn them into gorillas?! And so as Gorillac Knight, she trains the new unit and warns them it is going to be a long tough road. A new unit means they have to start everything from scratch. What a pain. Why does the training menu sound like those survival games from Kaiji? But we can see a difference in their training menu. While crane game girls undergo nice typical idol-like training, Dark Cherry have to fend for their lives! Are they ready for the festival now? Dark Gorilla is some online crane gamer, Gori who is stopped by several challengers. However he ‘defeats’ all of them by not accepting their challenge since he doesn’t fancy their prizes. Till the final ‘boss’ of Earth Gorilla who only has unique and limited prizes. Dark Gorilla gives in and learns the lesson to enjoy crane game battles together.

Episode 10
Crane game girls are nervous before the competition. But seeing their Dark Cherry counterparts not giving a damn and so carefree, they’re even more nervous! Can they make it? Gorillac Knight and Tokiko explain the direct elimination tournament battle style of Cosmic Idol Festival in which the entire universe will be watching and judging. I guess all that survival training are for nought since they’re just going to be singing and dancing like typical idols. They also give analytic details of the opponents they are likely to face like NGC 224 representing Andromeda who are just literally atoms, Lake City Girls representing Saitama prefecture (do they need another Earth representative?) and Jupiter. Yes, there are people living in Jupiter looking like monoliths who can evolve you! Crane game girls are having a headache hearing his but Dark Cherry is pretty fine. They’re used with all the messy intergalactic stuffs. But we don’t have to worry all that because we skip the entire festival and Super Shiny Galaxy wins! However suddenly Dark Gorilla appears and is not pleased. He does not need idols who have forgotten about their goal of invading Earth. He’ll destroy all and start over! Continuing Gori’s adventure as an online crane gamer, he faces off with another gamer but can’t seem to beat him. Till Tokiko comes to his rescue with some laser beams. Apparently some ghost is inhabiting this gamer. So having a second inner spirit is the key to winning? Because of that, Gori tries to summon his own second inner spirit but can’t help spew out names of seiyuus, producers, staffs and anime titles. All rebutted by Tokiko.

Episode 11
Dark Gorilla attacks and destroys the space station but luckily everyone has evacuated. Of course our girls are going to fight back and although crane game girls have no qualms, Dark Cherry ponders by doing so will be considered mutiny. Saya assures them this is just like another idol battle. All they need to do is sing and wake up Dark Gorilla. Thanks to all their training, they have powers equivalent to Dark Gorilla. This boosts their confidence although they aren’t strong enough to defeat her. Dark Gorilla is still bent on taking over Earth to steal its resources because Planet Dark Gorilla is running out of them. When he fires his ultimate beam, Saya intervenes to protect the girls. I guess at this point crane game girls realize Gorillac Knight is the real Saya. A little bit of drama and emotion to rev them up to begin their counterattack. Dark Gorilla fires another shot but the idols’ song this time deflects it. Their harmony is so great that it blasts away the evil force, turning Dark Gorilla into a docile little form. The universe is saved? A scientist is trying to show another fellow scientist inventions relating to crane games but were scoffed off for its impracticality. Finally this idol training unit that utilizes cards to build your very own idol as well as a tie-in campaign with this ‘famous’ anime, seals the deal to have them sell it to arcades everywhere! Damn blatant advertising!

Episode 12
Everyone converges at the stadium for an ultimate concert by Super Shiny Galaxy. Although crane game girls are there and nervous, the thing that makes them even more nervous is the fact that Dark Cherry is nowhere to be seen! Time to go for a witch hunt. Angry Asuka has to pull Lumie attending another idol concert as she has conveniently forgot her own. It isn’t so bad for Rei because she is trying to visit exhibition museums and Kyouko is being very nice to her that she will gladly guide her around after their concert and they both become like super best friends. Meanwhile Hikaru is winning all the prizes at the crane games and Mirai catches herself saying the unthinkable because crane games are unimportant? So they challenge each other but Hikaru also bests her and wins even more prizes. Once Hikaru is bored, she cheekily says there is no more time for this and returns to their concert. Must be a tiring day for Mirai. When they return, Saya and Tokiko usher them to get ready now since it is way past their starting time. Super Shiny Galaxy start singing and thankfully the patient crowd still loves them. Suddenly the girls decide to go on a journey to Planet Dark Gorilla. Despite Dark Gorilla is now in a stuffed toy form, they really want to save the planet with their idol power. Saya and Tokiko give them their blessings to save the universe with their idol power and when they come back, they should become the best idols in the galaxy. And off they go. The final scene sees Tokiko talking to Dark Gorilla the stuffed toy. It seems Dark Gorilla is going to do good and earn points to return to his original form and also promote more online crane games which they didn’t manage to do in the anime. You mean it wasn’t enough? However Dark Gorilla seems to have enough reform points to return to his original evil self. He is going to challenge Super Shiny Galaxy next time and win. Wait. Another season?! Oh please, no!!!

Don’t Make Gorillas Out Of Our Galaxy Idols!
Well, everything turns out as silly as it is supposed to be. I know it might end up in one of the worst anime series of all time but since I was having a little silly fun watching this season, I guess it is not all that bad. Seriously. I still remember my own advice in my previous blog not to be stressed up watching this and thinking too hard of all the illogical stuffs propping up. Yeah, even if this didn’t save anime but at least it saved my sanity. Wowee. What fun this second season is. Right… Please don’t spoil the mood by mentioning that a third season is possible. Because I don’t want to think that there are going to be more idols popping up like Dark Gorilla hiring new ones to fight Super Shiny Galaxy but then they defect and become heroine idols. Yeah, one step closer to expanding as big as AKB48 and beyond. *Shudders*.

However I feel that this sequel has actually done away with a lot of stuffs that we know from the first season that we are familiar with and think we are supposed to expect. For example, the obvious one being the crane games are totally missing! What gives?! Even if that final episode ‘challenge’ between Hikaru and Mirai was to remind us about the ‘origins’, it was a little too late to have any sort of impact. So to have crane game in the title felt a bit misleading since they substitute crane games with idol battles. And also because of that, the idol battles are now in place of crane games as instruments to destroy asteroids aimed at Earth. Yes, it is like a totally different plot now when you look back and compare at these things.

So I figure that to compensate for the no-show of the crane games, that is why this season is blown up to 13 minutes! That is 3 times more than the first season whose duration lasts a paltry 4 minutes! But the actual episode may just be 8 minutes long and taking away the opening and ending themes of 3 minutes, you will be left with 2 minutes of extra, uhm, extras at the end. It is this segment that features a whole load of crane game related references and some even including pop culture references. This might not have any real bearing of the actual plot of the series but at least it has something to do with crane games that the episode proper is missing.

Of course personally this segment also feels like a blatant advertising for crane games and towards the end, for more people to watch this crappy anime. Yeah. I guess that is what being ‘famous’ is all about. But in general, trying to promote crane games here isn’t entirely a bad thing because with people so wired and focused on their Smartphones, nobody actually comes out to the arcade to play these machines anymore. It’s like those pinball machines who are now virtually extinct in many places. What good is having a virtual or online crane game version because I believe being there physically to play the game is much better still. Oh, I have not played a real crane game in my life ever.

Another change that makes it feel this season has deviated from the first is the focus on the new characters from Dark Cherry. I think they are given equal, if not slightly more screen time than the crane game girls. It is both good and bad because crane game girls are supposed to be the main heroines but get side-lined like this. But then again, Dark Cherry aren’t really the antagonists. How can you have cute idol girls as the bad guys! It’s unthinkable!

Though, even with their quirky characters, they still couldn’t really save this anime since their personalities also feel someone cliché. We have the competitive idiot who is also branded a boobs monster. Then we have a socially awkward and ultra shy idiot. Finally the idiotic idiot who is always at her own pace to throw everything off and supposedly make the series funny and make us laugh because she’s such a carefree idiot. You can’t hate cute idiotic girls, can you?! As mentioned, crane game girls get side-lined and since last season we already have a glimpse of their background and family, even if we have forgotten about them, who the hell cares.

Tokiko made a late appearance in the first season and this time around she is sticking a bit longer and becoming part of the main group of characters thanks in becoming crane game girls’ manager. And to answer last season as to why Saya jumped ship to Dark Gorilla’s side, her plans are finally revealed albeit you could have guessed more of the lines her ulterior intentions from the way she planned out those stuffs. She isn’t a bad person, right?

I can’t help think this series is trying to be a very light version of AKB0048 because that show itself is about galactic idols kicking ass and saving the universe. And then you use the power of singing, dancing and music, all idol related stuffs to power up and save the day. Who ever said idols are just out there prancing on stage looking good to please fans. They save the world and you don’t even know it! Yeah, it’s something like magical girls aren’t just little girls transforming into powered heroines to do good and save the world. At least for many magical girl themed series these days… So if crane game powered beams don’t do the trick, your stint as an idol will. Who needs American drillers? So if an asteroid is heading our way, we would prefer the Japanese to take charge and send their idols up there to do the job. Because, they’re just as effective and less destructive so to speak.

The art and drawing still remains the same although the animation is still crappy with using this Flash based tools but at least it is way much better than JK Meshi. Yeah, I can’t believe I still remember that mess. I think from now on every anime that uses Flash with this kind of art style, I have to compare it to JK Meshi because that is the standard of bad. Real bad. This season’s opening theme is Galaxy Party ~Uchuu No Mannaka De Party Shiyou~ by the crane game girls. Although it sounds like a typical idol sound, to me it sounds flat to more I hear it and feels like all over the place once it ends. The ending theme, Zettai Teki Seiten Aozora by Aki Deguchi at least sounds better. Dark Cherry aren’t side-lined as they do sing albeit the insert song, Don’t Call Me Loser (I wished there was some parody called Don’t Call Me Boobs Monster). Speaking of them, they are voiced by Aya Uchida as Lumie (Kotori in Love Live), Mikoi Sasaki as Hikaru (Hercule in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes series) and Akari Kageyama as Rei (Ebina in Himouto! Umaru-chan).

Overall, there are definitely much better idol themed animes out there. Yes, I consider this season to be totally an idol themed one instead of some disaster striking Earth. As usual, don’t get too stressed up watching this series because anger gets you nowhere and you might take it out on the innocent crane game machine. Do you even crane game these days? Logic tells me I’m not going to be a super genius in crane games when I finished watching this show. Because when you already have a talking gorilla in space wanting to destroy Earth, hell, anything goes. I wonder would they have garnered more points had they given Harambe a cameo. Because he would have definitely stolen the limelight from Super Shiny Galaxy without putting in any effort or doing anything. Then maybe we will all really be looking forward to season 3. Dicks out for Harambe!

Do you know what is more absurd than sending hardcore drillers up into space to destroy an asteroid before it hits Earth? Why, send a group of girls to play a crane game and have their beam from every successful game to push away the asteroid! No joke! Serious! I mean, this is actually the premise for Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls! I’m not kidding! For some obscure reasons, a group of idols wannabe have been scouted to drive away impending asteroids on collision course with Earth just by playing crane games!!! Absurd, am I right? Hell, at least it is a hundred times better than training drillers to go into space and detonate the asteroid. You know how much money that will cost? Thank goodness the producers didn’t see that Hollywood disaster movie… I think.

Episode 1
Agent Fox is called by her superior that an asteroid will crash into Earth and destroy life. Their only hope lies with these 3 high school girls. Sure they can save the world? F*ck logic! Just get them! And so, Asuka, Kyouko and Mirai thought they are being scouted by an idol agency. But something sounds fishy when their recruiter has a gorilla avatar. They are then made to wear a funny outfit and their next location is the video arcade. Is this a joke? Keeping their hopes high that they will become top idol, they start practising their (weird) dance. Fox isn’t amused and takes them into a secret room. This crane game is a training simulation that will turn them into top idols.

Episode 2
Fox disguises herself under the name as Saya. She is as sceptical for the girls to save the world as the girls are if she is really a talent agency president. Saya lies that all top idols have one thing in common: They were good in crane games! Enough motivation for the girls to get a move on. Their first training is to grab a gorilla plushie. Failed. Saya shows it how it’s done. They thought she too failed but she manages to get it by slowly sliding it out of the hole. After the girls reflect and ponder her technique, they realize what needs to be done. Trying again, they now know they must not grab the centre but its side so as to move it slightly until it drops. With this task done, some power beam beams away a couple of asteroids! WTF???!!! You mean this is how they’ll save the world???!!!

Episode 3
Now the girls will have to pick up a gorilla plushie in a box. But they are suspicious what the crane game has got to do with being a top idol. Well, if they can’t even handle this well, do you think they will have what it takes to be top idol? That doesn’t make sense but that will do as motivation. Saya guides them to place the hook precisely over the box holes to get a better grip. When they’re done, there is no effect. It seems Mirai ditched her game to call her dad just to buy her a gorilla figure! You can’t be a top idol if you don’t put in the effort! So after the girls successfully clear the game, a couple more asteroids are deflected.

Episode 4
The girls get their pay. Mirai being the rich girl finds it not enough to feed her (ugly) cat. But for Kyouko who is so poor, she finds the amount huge! Kyouko explains her mom died and now she plays that role to take care of her many siblings. Such a touching moment for the girls to rally and become top idols. And also a touching moment as they molest Kyouko?! Saya then shows them how to knock off many prizes in one go. The girls brainstorm and then apply what they have discovered. They shove the hook into the middle of the pile near the hole and knock them off. Saya is impressed and will send those prizes to Kyouko’s family since she can’t get a pay rise. And the day is saved with a couple more asteroids are repelled.

Episode 5
Asuka brings a fish that her fisherman dad brought to her as present to be a top idol. Today’s crane game is to pick up prizes with tags on them. Sounds easy? Nope. During the break. Asuka tells how her dad has always been supportive of her on just about anything. It might sound embarrassing but it proves he is a great dad. He was even happy when she was scouted but Asuka felt otherwise as she didn’t believe she could live up to expectations. After all, when she was young, her dream was to become a fisherman and her dad taught her various fishing techniques. Then it hit her. Different fish use different tactics. So when they apply this in the crane game, they win it using a bit of physics and common sense to fish this one out. Just before they can celebrate, the news flash that there is a huge group of asteroids heading towards Earth.

Episode 6
The girls learn when Mirai was playing a crane game, she was being hit by a guy. However she brushed him off because she won’t date cheap looking guys! Saya heard this and lays down the rules of no dating and love for idols (since it’s their job to save the world). Did something inside her triggered? Because she is taking out her frustrations on the machine when she can’t get a prize with a string. By this time the girls are tired of playing crane games. They want to do real idol stuffs like singing and dancing. Well, they’ll do it one day. Suspicious… When is that? She promises to tell the truth if they win this one. So they manage to do so and as promised, Saya reveals the asteroid danger and how the trio are the only ones who can save the world. Surprise!

Episode 7
The girls can’t believe what they’re hearing. It’s time for Saya to explain a load of BS (which is supposedly the truth in this anime). She is an agent from WSA (World Space Agency) tasked to find people with the ability to save the world. Due to the girl’s wavelength, their desire to become idols, their heart’s purity, each time the girls successfully learn a new skill, WSA confirms several asteroids changing direction. Only they can do this. Thus this training is the thing that brings out their power the most. Mirai is sad she can’t be an idol but if there is no Earth, you can’t be anything! Naturally the girls are dejected and losing motivation. Mirai then walks out on everything. She isn’t doing this sh*t. All she wanted was to become an idol. Kyouko also follows suit. If the world is getting destroyed, she’d rather spend her last moments with her family. What about Asuka? Thinking how they’ve been put into such awkward position by the agency, she’ll try to talk to the girls to come back.

Episode 8
Asuka finds Kyouko playing a crane game. Prizes for her siblings? They realize they love the game. Now the hard part is Mirai. She is going to fly away in her gold helicopter! She calls Saya a liar and her friends traitors for siding with her now. She doesn’t care about Earth. She just wants to be an idol. Well, Mirai isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Her friends first blame Saya for not thinking about their feelings. Then they make her promise she will get trainers for acting, dancing and singing to become top idols. So stop thinking too hard on this and let’s just aim to become idols. And so the trio are a whole again. Now they put their skills to the test of needing to get a prize that is hanging on the ledge without knocking it over. Not sure about this tactic but they knock off the part hanging on the ledge and push it down. Isn’t that the same as knocking it? Anyway their success means more asteroids change its course. Saya apologizes for being insensitive and will arrange to keep her part of the bargain.

Episode 9
Beach episode! After all their hard work I guess the girls deserve some rest and relaxation. Just to make sure the girls know… Saya is funding this trip with her own money! So please Mirai, shut up about your experience of hotspring in Dubai. Also here is Tokiko (the newscaster) who is Saya’s junior in college. She admires her a lot and can’t believe Saya is now working behind the scenes in a talent agency. This gives Saya motivation to make sure the girls become top idols. Then she ushers the girl for their next training at the beach. So are they going to watch the fireworks? Nope. She even brought the crane machines here! You were expecting something else? With the sexy gorilla figure as its prize, they get it out using some gap technique. I’m not interested since sexy gorilla isn’t my thing. With more asteroids averted, Tokiko sees this familiar beam. Saya has an idea to use her.

Episode 10
Tokiko reports this scoop to the world. With the buzz it is creating, the girls are now world famous! How does it feel to bask in the limelight? Saya shows them a crane puzzle but does not show them how it is done. She believes they have enough experience to think on their own. Asuka and Mirai fool around as being famous now is getting into their heads. When Kyouko chides them to take it more serious, they tease her for being serious like a school teacher and even mock her accent. This makes her mad enough to flip the table! But this gave them an idea for their problem. A large crowd and news reporters await the girls outside the video arcade. Hey, why don’t they have their own escort and security into the building?! What if there are crazy stalkers trying to kidnap them?! I don’t know how but they managed to get into the building after the press pester them for comments. Although Saya isn’t around, the girls use their flipping method to show the world that they are the real deal in saving Earth from asteroids. Take that! Everyone, start believing!

Episode 11
The world is cheering for the crane game girls’ success. Meanwhile Saya visits Dark Gorilla, the perpetrator who has been hurling asteroids on Earth. It seems Dark Gorilla’s mission is to protect his species that has been under constant abused on our planet. Despite the crane game girls’ success, he still will not back off. He won’t even grant Saya’s wish to make those girls’ dream of becoming idols come true. He uses his ultimate trump card. The biggest mother asteroid ever! Meanwhile the girls are celebrating a victory when they get a call whom they think is from Saya. However it is Saya’s boss, Earth Gorilla. He tells them Saya has been missing and she probably went to see Dark Gorilla. He shows them the biggest asteroid coming their way. No problem, right? However Earth Gorilla thinks it is impossible as a massive amount of energy is needed. It may cost them their life. This doesn’t dampen the girls since they will continue to do what they have always been doing. They’ll save Earth and bring Saya back. So after using some tactic to pick up heavy prizes, it seems the asteroid’s course isn’t changing…

Episode 12
Finally the crane game girls get their singing stint. Dark Gorilla hijacks the broadcast to announce his intention to take over Earth. Earth Gorilla had to interrupt our girls’ celebration to tell them their power had no effect on the asteroid. Of course there is another way. To push away such huge asteroid, they have to accumulate their powers. This can be done so by applying all the crane game techniques they have learnt together. However it is risky and puts player’s life in danger. The survival rate is only 20%. Hey, at least it’s not 0%. Thankfully the girls are looking forward to the future. They’ll save the Earth and become idols. The more techniques they apply, the more they could feel the strain over their body. Can’t give up now. They muster up all their strength for the final technique and put in all their emotions. Tokiko barges into the building to find Saya but sees the crane girls in action.

Episode 13
Their beam is so powerful that it rips their clothes!!! Don’t worry, we won’t see anything thanks to the beam’s blinding light. Dang. So powerful enough that it breaks up and scatters the asteroid. Earth is saved! But Earth Gorilla sheds a tear over their ‘sacrifice’. Dark Gorilla is still unsatisfied with his loss. He will come up with a new plan and find the secret behind the crane game girls’ power. Saya pleads to send her back but he will not comply. Once he learns the idol thingy that the crane girls are, he becomes more interested and wants idols for his planet. He wants Saya’s help and if she agrees, he will agree to leave Earth alone for now. No choice, she agrees. Apparently our crane game girls are still alive. Yeah, you can’t kill off Earth’s saviour and top idols, right? Tokiko visits them in hospital and she is worried they are being discharged quickly. No rest for an idol? Tokiko says they shouldn’t be in any hurry to become idols since they have already become one from saving the world. The girls are sad that Saya is still missing. But they believe that she will come back. For now they have to go out there and show her they have become top idols.

And I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing
Hey. WTF is this ending. It doesn’t feel like an end at all. Like as though there is going to be another season… It is kinda odd that Saya and the girls do not reunite at the end and thus end the mother of all separations but instead we have her whisked away to an alien planet to train gorilla idols. Serious. I mean, can you imagine seeing gorillas singing? F*ck, it would be Planet of the Apes parody by then. But as far as this season is concerned, we can all breathe easily and sleep comfortably at night knowing that the hard work of our crane game girls-cum-idols have saved the day once more. Good job girls. Really.

Now, I can’t help poke at how silly everything just is. Yes, it is just freaking silly. Just trying to think about how the mechanics work (just for the fun and sake of it) can only result in my laughing and going WTF. You see, firstly I don’t even fathom how by playing a crane game can shoot out beams. I mean, is the crane game connected to some laser beam? In that case, why not just rigged the damn machine? Just think about it. If the beam only appears once they drop the prize into the hole, what kind of mechanism and trigger does it take to fire the beam? And who sets up the prizes in such a way that allows the girls to practice and hone their skills? If you say those crane machines come from outer space, man they must have dropped thousands to let our girls practice and give Earth a chance to survive. How kind of them. It’s just so freaking illogical.

And why does it have to be a crane game?! I suppose it has got to be the hardest ‘family fun’ games at the carnival. Much harder than the pinball or the traditional shooting or goldfish scooping event. Because we all know how sneaky crane game machines are especially how they could be tampered to ‘cheat’. Extra hard and near to impossible rigid controls plus the short time limit makes the player have to constantly feed their quarters to continue trying or else risk being labelled as uncool and pathetic by their watching girlfriends who need this plushie oh so badly because why the f*ck didn’t they just go buy it at a store. Cheaper? The smell of victory? Well, if you’re good in crane games.

Therefore I have a feeling that this series also tries to teach us the several techniques in playing crane games. Well, it looks simple as shown but you know how tough it is in real life. This should only appeal to hardcore crane game enthusiasts and especially those who are just at beginner level trying to master and perfect their game. Otherwise such techniques aren’t really applicable in anywhere else. No, please don’t say it is the same as handling a construction crane.

So while we ponder at the absurdity of crane games being the sole tool to save the Earth, it is never in question about the crane game girls anyway. Sure, we have a little bit info of their family life like Mirai the rich girl, Kyouko the poor girl and Asuka from the middle income group if you consider her fisherman life isn’t a tough one. Anything deeper than that, feel free to cook up your own fan fiction theory. Good times, bad times but more importantly they stick together with their passion to become top idols. Ah, the power of friendship.

So what is the next step for these girls? They have already achieved their dream as top idols and at the same time become experts in crane games. In no time they might be scouted by other arcade game modes just to save the world. Don’t laugh. It happened before. Remember that arcade obsessed girl, Yamamoto Yoko? Yeah… So good she was in her arcade shooters that she was drafted into the future to fight space terrorists! And don’t forget that Fubuki girl from Arcade Gamer Fubuki. Remember how she used her arcade gamer skills to save the world from an evil organization? And all she got was her Passion Panty! No kidding! So don’t laugh the next time you see different alien invaders invading our planet and our crane girls are called in to stop their advancement by playing arcade games. Oh wait. They did something like that in Pixels, didn’t they?

I don’t know why they pick a gorilla as the antagonist or even the head of WSA but to have some sort of monkey related creature heading the world’s top space agency which is supposed to be under the domain of humans to be completely ridiculous. Yeah, everything doesn’t make sense but you’ll laugh and cringe at how silly everything is. So what is Saya’s connection with the gorillas? Did she sleep with them or something? And Tokiko, she came in late into the series but I figure she is Saya’s substitute now that she is temporarily not around to look after the girls and teach them more crane game techniques. Maybe Saya have taught them all she knows. There is no more she could further teach… Say, how the hell did Saya got kidnapped by Dark Gorilla anyway? Assuming she was taken away in the first place. But if she went to see him on her own will, don’t you think it is kinda dumb that she managed to go there but cannot get back down? It’s like a cat stuck on a tree, know what I’m saying?

The art and drawing is definitely Flash based. Produced by Kyotama, their other work was JK Meshi as you can see characters from the latter series making their cameos albeit just confined to the opening credits animation (though I believe there is one episode whereby there was a very short homage to JK Meshi). So it is a blink or you’ll miss type. One thing I want to point out is that their quality for this series seems to be a lot better and improved compared to JK Meshi which was just horrendous. At least the girls here look decently kawaii and the animation smoother.

One thing nice is the opening theme, Dream Climber by Rico Sasaki. This is quite a catchy rock piece if I must say. The relatively small casts are Sora Tokui Asuka (Niko in Love Live), Rico Sasaki as Kyouko (Michiru Kimura in Omoi No Kakera), Natsuko Hara as Mirai (Reina in JK Meshi), Sarara Yashima as Saya (Kurami in Hacka Doll) and Aina Suzuki as Tokiko (Shiori in Joukamachi No Dandelion).

In conclusion, you are not supposed to be stressed up watching and thinking at all the silly and illogical things that happened throughout the series. You’re supposed to laugh at them. Thank goodness each episode only lasts 4 minutes otherwise any longer and we might go crazy by all the ludicrous cringe worthy elements. Because idols, crane games, asteroids and gorillas, weird combination indeed. Despite all that, it still beats the logic of sending miners up into space anyway. Our girls stay safe and feet grounded on Earth. Literally. Okay, sing along with me now. Take it from the top. I could stay awake just to hear you breathing…