An anime made from a fighting game that I have never heard off? Actually I am not in touch with the gaming industry these days although from time to time I do check things out. BlazBlue – Alter Memory, which is based and adapted from the Japanese fighting games of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger and BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. Despite both games came out in 2008 and 2009 respectively, I never heard of it till the anime came about in late 2013. I mean, it’s always been the usual suspects in the fighting genre, right? Mortal Kombat (being my favourite), Street Fighter, Tekken, Dead or Alive and the Soul Calibur series. So all that is left is to check this out and if this anime is good, maybe I will even get myself to go and try out the game. Hopefully.

Episode 1
Ragna The Bloodedge faces off Nu to destroy the latter in some Cauldron but got stabbed instead. Next, we see Ragna just fresh destroying Novus Orbis Librarium (NOL) Akitsu branch and as he is making his way through the swamp, vampire girl Rachel Alucard teases him by throwing her poor bat familiar. She tells him to head to the city of Kagutsuchi. Ragna decides to since he hasn’t destroyed the Cauldron there yet. When Second Lieutenant Noel Vermillion hands a letter to Major Jin Kisaragi, he starts laughing in delirium upon knowing Ragna is in Kagutsuchi. Ragna is in town and bumps into a weird cat character, Taokaka. She attacks but loses out because she is hungry. I don’t know why Ragna treats her to a Chinese feast. Seems Ragna is on the wanted list and has a very high bounty on his head. The only reason why Taokaka doesn’t recognize this dude is the badly drawn picture. Doesn’t look like him… Ragna remembers his master telling him about his Azure Grimoire power on his right hand and never to think of it as his own. Noel arrives in Kagutsuchi with Captain Hazama. They are to bring back Jin because it would be troublesome if it is known to the public that the Hero of Ikaruga is acting independently. Also in regards to Ragna appearing here, Noel is to only watch and not engaged when come into contact. Ragna is pissed that Taokaka keeps following him. Her playful character accidentally touches his right hand and it causes her to feel a little dizzy. Ragna finds a quiet place to sleep and Noel sees him. He dreams of some horrible incident that happened to Saya and how his little brother chopped off his right hand. He wakes up from this nightmare only to find himself sleeping on Noel’s lap. Noel is worried about him but he doesn’t give a sh*t. He gets agitated when she accidentally touches his right hand. He leaves but Noel feels odd because although this is the first time they’ve met, she talked as if she had known him. Ragna enters the NOL branch office but it’s deserted. Could it be a trap? Then Jin pops out. This is Ragna’s little brother. They hate each other and start fighting. Of course Ragna wins but won’t finish him off since it’s not his mission now. Jin points out he is naive and that’s why he can’t protect anything. Noel and Hazama arrive to find Jin out cold. Noticing Ragna is here, Noel can’t leave this odd situation alone and goes to pursue Ragna deeper into the building. Ragna takes the elevator down and suddenly he feels his Azure Grimoire petrified. He is faced with Hakumen who is going to cut him down.

Episode 2
Ragna seems to easily go down. Kokonoe won’t let Hakumen and recalls him. However he breaks the spell and continues to fight. Ragna activates his BlazBlue to fight. Noel must have got lost so she wanders into some reactor part and enters into a trance when Nu appears. I don’t understand what their conversation is about except that they both decide to eliminate each other. Halfway through the fighting, Noel regains her conscious and doesn’t understand why she is fighting. She becomes afraid Nu cannot be put down. She is about to be killed. You know what they say when life flashes before your eyes before you die. Yup. Flashback of Noel’s life. Or is it Ragna’s memories? Noel is saved thanks to Ragna’s intervention. He seems familiar to her. Nu is glad to see Ragna again. She hates everything and everything but Ragna is the exception. She talks about the last time Ragna killed her and loved it although he tries to dismiss all that. Nu is willing to destroy everything so that they can be together forever. The fighting continues and in the end, Ragna gets stabbed again. As Rachel explains, this cycle has been repeating itself over and over again with the same conclusion so it is no different this time. Ragna is too weak to activate his BlazBlue as Nu draws him closer to death. Ragna agrees to take it all and destroy the world since they’re so disgusted with him. Noel won’t allow this and rushes to save him. Memories of Ragna and Saya together… Noel pulls his right hand up and only Nu falls only into the fire below. Rachel is surprised, Hazama ecstatic. Ragna has a hard time understanding Noel. She’s acting like an emotional girl relieved to see him alive but at the same time calling him an idiot and such. When she goes off to get medical supplies, Rachel tells Ragna that she is the new Eye. The Azure successor. The Calamity Trigger. Unlike the imitation Ragna has, she is the one who will inherit the true Azure. Ragna demands more explanation but Rachel leaves since Noel returns. He starts noticing her striking resemblance with Saya. Rachel flies up to space to confront Archenemy Highlander Takemikazuchi.

Episode 3
There is some monster coming out from the satellite to shoot its beam down on the city but Rachel’s barrier protects it. Takemikazuchi returns to its slumber. See you in 4 years. What is he? Olympics or World Cup? So this is the ‘trivial’ thing Rachel needs to do? Well, the city is protected. Back to Ragna and gang. I don’t understand what is happening because Noel looked at Hazama with her Eye, Hazama turns into his true madman self that Ragna recognizes as Yuuki Terumi. Ragna wants to kill him but Rachel tells him to save it as the change in events means he cannot beat him. Like he’ll listen. Terumi of course easily beats Ragna. Feeling he is weak, Terumi goes away. Rachel teleports the duo back outside. Noel has got a lot of questions. Who is that vampire girl? Why does Ragna feel familiar to her? Maybe it’s because she doesn’t have memories of her past? Aha. There. After all that, Ragna’s answer: I don’t know. None of your business. Enough to send Noel running away like an emotional girl complete with I-hate-you feel. But right after that, Ragna has got some nasty business to deal with. The Archenemy magician-like kid, Carl Clover and his marionette ‘sister’ are bounty hunters after Ragna’s head. Meanwhile happy Hazama reports back to Colonel Relius Clover. Something about Noel who was thought to be a dud turned out to be the true Azure successor which is quite a surprise. And then some other on-goings in preparation for something. Once the Azure successor is in their grasp, preparations for the God Killer will be completed. Then there’s something on awakening Murakumo Unit too in Noel that requires tremendous hatred. Relius will come to Kagutsuchi since he wants to see Noel for himself. Hazama hopes he will come to Iwasu first to discuss the details. Back to Ragna’s fight, he tries to escape via collapsing the ground. Clover’s inexperience means he gets knocked out and lost. Ragna lands safely but passes out due to his injury. Now squirrel girl, Makoto Nanaya comes by to check on him. But since Taokaka is around, she lets cat girl send Ragna to a doctor. Ragna’s past becomes clear. When the peaceful town is suddenly set on fire, Ragna was stabbed by Jin. He reached out his hands to Saya but Jin chopped it instead and blamed him. Then there was Terumi taunting and laughing like a maniac. He took Saya away and told Ragna to remember his name if he survives. Ragna wakes up in the care of the town’s doctor, Litchi Faye Ling. Taokaka continues her playful persona despite Ragna being confined to bed. Meanwhile Noel is starting to sound like a tsundere. ‘Complaining’ about Ragna’s attitude but can’t get him out of her mind. Also, Jin escapes from hospital. Hazama summons First Lieutenant Tsubaki Yayoi and entrusts her with a top secret mission supposedly from Joint Command. She is to find and assassinate Jin and Noel.

Episode 4
Noel wrote a cat poem? Jin the student council president? Must be old times… Kokonoe restrains Hakumen for violating her order but he is not fazed. As for Rachel, she meets some invisible council, Takama Ga Hara who wants to know why she unleashed Tsukuyomi Unit. Not telling. They are the ones who unleashed Terumi and from what I understand, they are not gods and are trying to maintain some world balance thingy and eliminate irregularities. Noel is surprised to see Makoto. They talk about the good ol’ days in the military academy with Tsubaki studying some sort of history regarding Takemikazuchi, Black Beast and Six Heroes. Jin was the senior whom Tsubaki and possibly Noel has a crush on. Makoto then relays the bad news of Jin escaping from hospital, defected and is now missing. Even bad news, Tsubaki is now in the Zeroth Division and in charge of their assassination. Tsubaki remembers Hazama telling her little about the reason for their assassination. It has something to do with Ragna as they share some kind of special relationship with him. It seems after their contact with Ragna, they defected. Jin stumbles upon Jubei, supposedly one of the Six Heroes. Jubei warns the Power of Order. If something tilts one way, a power to correct that tilt will also appear. The farther the tilt, the greater the power and will put the world in danger. Because the Power of Order is neither good nor evil, it depends on who wields it. Noel goes to look for Ragna but comes into Litchi. The doctor thinks she wants to kill him. But Noel pleads he saved her life and feels the need to see him. He looks to be doing fine back at Taokaka’s place. Hot-headed Ragna accuses Noel of staring at him (because he is shirtless. Got a problem?). I don’t understand why Rachel has to pop up here but Noel knows her. As Noel puts the bandages on Ragna, she wants to know his relationship with Jin. Enemies, duh! That’s not it. There’s something else but she can’t put her finger on it. He claims she too is the enemy since she is from NOL and he is going to destroy the Cauldron that NOL is trying to stop him. Especially Terumi. Noel unknowingly has bandaged him like a mummy.

Episode 5
Rachel returns to her butler and tells him things are already moving. However she will only be the observer. Iron Tager has been instructed by Kokonoe to capture Noel. She is not happy her Sector is arguing how to deal with Noel and Ragna so she’s going to get her hands on Noel first. She wants him to ignore Ragna since his Azure Grimoire is the weakest. Taokaka suggests a secret place that could heal Ragna up in no time. That place is a hotspring. Fanservice time? Rachel is also here to help heal Ragna’s wounds but she’s being tsundere about it. Noel can’t stop ‘complaining’, Litchi becomes too happy after drinking some catnip hotspring water, Taokaka is hyperactive while Ragna has his eyes covered. In the midst of the antics, Noel accidentally pressed a drain button and all the water flows out. So do they. Rachel returns to her butler. He can sense Ragna and Noel’s Azure has begun to interfere with one another. This is all going as Rachel’s wish. While Ragna and Noel are walking through the forest, several beasts attack them. Noel pulls out her guns to take care of them but Ragna becomes upset upon seeing them. He wonders if she is a Prime Field. He cuts the ground and leaves on his own. Flashback sees Rachel giving Ragna Azure Grimoire right after he lost his right arm. She wonders how he will use it. Ragna is back in town but this hooded kid, Sena keeps begging him for food. Unless he wants to attract attention as a heartless adult, better treat her. The kind and polite Sena knows Ragna. Likewise, Ragna knows about her split personality. Sena turns to Luna and she doesn’t hesitate to scold and mock him the lolicon he is. Then she collapses and Platinum the Trinity appears. She is one of the Six Heroes. She is not here to fight him but to warn him. Do not fight Terumi because there is no chance of him winning with his Azure Grimoire. Tager spots Ragna and is told to hold his position. Kokonoe is going to send a preliminary skirmish and materializes Lambda before Ragna.

Episode 6
Tager watches while Lambda (Nu in Ragna’s eyes) fights Ragna. However Lambda stops moving once she remembers who Ragna is. Kokonoe wants Tager to take her away seeing she still possesses remnants of memories of Nu. Bang Shishigami has just found Jin and he is going to avenge his lord and country that he has destroyed. However Jin is easily taken out and Bang realizes he is injured. He is such a good guy that he brings him back to his home and gets Litchi to treat him. Despite vengeance is on his mind, he wants Jin to be back at his best to have their fair fight. Jin is even given food and taken around town. Though the kids despise Jin for destroying their country and taking lives of some of their parents, that is the very reason why Bang wants them to smile the very least. Later at the sweets stall, Jin calls Bang’s wish a selfish one since he doesn’t want the townspeople and kids to be consumed by hatred. Bang leaves Jin alone to wander himself. At his current condition, there is no need to watch over him. Tsubaki then pops up before Jin. He can tell from her outfit the kind of job she is doing. She tells him the crimes he is charged and wants him to come back. However he won’t as he has some score to settle with Ragna. Tsubaki will bring him back by force and transforms into Sealed Armagus Izayoi. In an alternate world, Tsubaki tells him about her orders to kill him. She doesn’t want to. However her heart’s waver means some sort of spell activates and makes Tsubaki lose her free will. She is under hypnosis and stabs Jin in the heart (since he couldn’t draw his sword). Tsubaki couldn’t believe this is happening. Takama Ga Hara sense the disappearance of the Power of Order and takes steps to rectify it as they cannot lose one at this time. Conveniently, they rewind the entire event up to the point Bang is about to leave the sweets shop. This time, Jin leaves with him. Meanwhile Kokonoe readjusts Lambda and lets her sleep now for if she is to defeat that person, she needs Idea Engine within her. Jin realizes he cannot draw his sword. Bang thinks there is doubt in his heart. He heart somebody from NOL is looking for him and tells him to leave. As he cannot draw his sword, it would be meaningless to call for a fight. Tsubaki bumps into Noel.

Episode 7
Noel contacts Makoto that she will try talking to Tsubaki. As Noel knows about the assassination, Tsubaki wants Noel to return to HQ and doing so may lighten her sentence. Of course she can’t. She feels something big is going to happen at Kagutsuchi and in a way related to Ragna whom she feels isn’t a bad person. Noel wants more time but time ran out for Tsubaki. She dons Izayoi and orders her to return to HQ or it will be punishment by death. Rachel brings Ragna to Relius who is watching the events unfolding between Noel and Tsubaki. He insists he is not interfering and just watching his creation who is no other than Noel. When Tsubaki attacks, she is surprised to see Noel’s guns as they are Archenemy. But Noel won’t shoot back because she believes it doesn’t exist to shoot her friends. Tsubaki’s heart starts to waver again so she hears Hazama’s words. He is trying to incite hatred within Tsubaki and paint Noel the bad guy. Especially how a lowly person like her was made to be Jin’s secretary. She must not exist as she will take everything from her in this world. In short, kill her. Hazama hopes they’ll die tragically and goes off with Phantom to prepare the Cauldron. Tsubaki lost but she still wants to go up against Noel. Ragna had to interfere because he got irritated watching them fight. WTF. Noel becomes paralyzed when Relius walks up to her. He notes although she is the Azure successor, she is still a defective unit. Tsubaki runs away and Noel wants to go after her. Ragna doesn’t think it’s a good idea but Noel considers Tsubaki her friend. Rachel tells her to do what her heart tells her. Rachel explains to Ragna that Noel is in some pre-smelting state and is no different than a person. Now that he knows, what will he do with her? Hazama is upset that the ladies are fine. He recomposes himself and asserts he can only rely on himself in the end. Noel catches up to Tsubaki. She notices she is blind from using Izayoi. Although Noel still looks up to her, Tsubaki admits she once wished Noel disappeared when she heard she was working under Jin. Noel forgives her. She was under orders to kill her. Tsubaki tells her that for today, they never have met. When Makoto finds Noel sitting alone and dejectedly, the latter starts crying uncontrollably in her arms.

Episode 8
Arakune smells the Azure within Hazama and wants it. However Hazama is too powerful for this black blob. He is thinking of using him to buy some time. Kokonoe accidentally spills coffee she never drinks on her lab coat. For some reason, she throws it at the containment unit containing Lambda. She awakens and teleports away. So happen Arakune was nearby and swallows her to take her Azure. Luckily Ragna was nearby and digs her out and makes Arakune escape like a slimy slithery blob. Ragna gets defensive when he recognizes Lambda. However she is just staring at the sky. Not a threat? He leaves her but he couldn’t. Seems she is infatuated with a bug that Arakune dropped. Meanwhile Kokonoe realizes too late Lambda is gone. She tries to look for her but increasing the power output explodes the device. Shutting off her Idea Engine won’t be a good idea as who knows when it’ll start up again. She hacks into NOL’s security system but everything went blank because the system is down. The only way left is to ask Tager to look for her. Makoto tells Noel that Hazama maybe hiding something big. No matter how much information she looked on him, there was nothing. She suggests going to Kokonoe to seek refuge. Lambda acts like a lost child. It’s like she’s trying to pronounce Ragna’s name properly. I don’t know why but Ragna lets her follow him around. Since she is still infatuated with that bug, they look for medicinal herbs to cure its wound. Then he gets poetic about death and relying on others. Is he talking about himself? Thanks to Rachel and Jubei in that sense, he won’t be here today. He even makes a grass whistle and teaches her how to blow. Suddenly it feels like a love story blooming when Lambda sits close to Ragna’s side. But the bug had to die and spoil it all. So Ragna’s advice is to remember that it was alive till she naturally forgets. WTF. Remember it where? In your soul. Yeah. He gets poetic too in explaining what a soul is. Tager has sighted Ragna and brings Lambda back. Kokonoe thanks him for taking care of her. She explains Lambda is a living weapon she created to defeat Terumi. Yeah, yeah. Ragna’s Azure is too weak to beat him. Because Terumi has set his sights on Noel to smelt her, she needs to bring her into protective custody. She orders Tager to resume searching for Noel while Ragna is going to do what he is going to do: To protect.

Episode 9
Now it’s Ragna’s turn to find Noel. They just missed each other. Litchi stumbles upon Hazama and is wary of him. He says he is her hope and shows her Arakune. This blob is supposedly her beloved one but touched the depths of Azure. He knows a way to restore him back to normal. Makoto tells Noel that all the guards at Kagutsuchi’s branch have disappeared. Hazama may have something to do with it because there’s an odd altar above the building. She contacts Kokonoe who is surprised she has Noel. She wants them to head somewhere for Tager to pick them up. Makoto continues that Tsubaki may be controlled by Hazama who doesn’t exist. It’s like everybody is gathering at the same point with Tsubaki who is after Jin who is after Ragna who is after the Cauldron. Noel wants to go save Tsubaki for fear she is in danger but Makoto believes she’ll be alright. Worst case scenario is if Noel gets caught by Hazama and the priority is to get her to safety. Tager waits at the designated place but Hazama is there. How to kill time? Fight. Tsubaki finds Jin and orders him to surrender. He won’t. There is someone he needs to meet and ascertain something that is none of her business. Fine. Fight. But Jin cannot draw his sword so his offense options are limited. Jin asks why Tsubaki is doing this and she mentions about the Imperator who is absolute justice. He questions her about the destruction of Ikaruga just because they do not support the Imperator and NOL. Even within NOL, there were many who were against the war and many who purged their own people in the name of the Imperator. Especially those under Zeroth Division. The justice she speaks is just a dream. He doesn’t want to be taken in by the powers of the Imperator. But Tsubaki thinks absolute power is necessary to represent order. This causes Jin to remember Jubei’s words. Then he realized and powers up. Now he is able to draw his sword. It’s not that he was hesitating, he was refusing to accept. He easily defeats Tsubaki and doesn’t feel she is worth to kill. He realizes his true enemy he must fight is the one who brings destruction to the world balance. Jubei sees Ragna before he enters the building. His request: Don’t die. Like duh. If he cannot win, please don’t die. Makoto and Noel just reach the place where Hazama is fresh off defeating Tager. Now it’s Makoto’s turn to fight. Tsubaki questions her existence and is about to take her own life when Mikado (Imperator) appears before her. She wants her to join her side. Ragna is about to begin round 2 with Jin.

Episode 10
Rachel is talking to Takama Ga Hara. I’m not sure about their talk about Continuum Shift and the balance of this world. They warn Rachel about her role as an observer but she reminds them her role of existence is to protect the Master Unit and that the world they desire seems dull. Ragna’s heated battle with Jin gets underway. Hazama explains this Continuum Shift was prepared just for Noel and he is getting all the supporting characters out of the way. Noel and Makoto team up to fight Hazama. Since this dude isn’t great in combat, he becomes Terumi and binds Makoto with his Ouroboros chains. He beats her to a pulp and threatens to drop her off the ledge. Noel begs to stop so Terumi blames and accuses Noel everything is her fault. Her existence throws everything out of balance. He tries to make Tsubaki a good example that because of Noel, she lost her place. He makes her see the despair in a world she doesn’t exist. Then he drops Makoto. Noel becomes so upset and mad that she is going to kill him. Terumi dares her to pull the trigger. Pull Calamity Trigger. Hate him. Hate everybody. Hate the world. Hate herself. Use that Eye to see the world’s despair. Mankind and the world reject her so unleash your hatred and madness. She gets swallowed by a lump of black feathers. Hazama is glad he will soon have full control of everything. I guess the turn of events interrupt Ragna and Jin’s fight. Another day to settle it? Jubei tells Jin to wait at the Cauldron below if he wants to fight Ragna. Ragna arrives too late (or too early in Terumi’s view) and is disheartened to see Noel in the Cauldron being smelted. Both of them activate BlazBlue. Meanwhile Rachel sees Hakumen and frees him to fulfil his role of eliminating the Azure Successor. It might mean repeating the cycle again but losing Master Unit is not an option. Once Hakumen is on his way, weakened Rachel gets trapped by Mikado’s magic. She is going to let Rachel watch the closing performance and not let her interfere further. Ragna is surprised he cannot activate his BlazBlue. Hazama likes the looks of his despair now and lets him in on this secret. The one who created BlazBlue was him.

Episode 11
Ragna thinks Terumi’s goal is to revive the Black Beast. He denies wanting that crap because the Black Beast is just a Cauldron going haywire. It’s story time that he wants Ragna to know. Once upon a time… Mankind discovered a gateway to a world called Boundary which is what they call Cauldron. It was filled with seithr, the source of power that everyone uses, the substance this world was made of and also an artificially created particulate programme. Mankind also learnt the absolute observer, Master Unit which could freely control seithr. Desiring control over it, mankind created Dimensional Boundary Interface Prime Field (DBIPF). However the first Prime Field obtained the power of the Eye and became an observer. It was powerful enough to let you overwrite every event to suit your needs. Fearing it’s power, the first Prime Field was dumped into the Boundary but the data was left behind. So mankind use that data to control events for themselves. That was when they created the Takama Ga Hara system. Mankind created God. Naturally there need not be 2 Gods and Takama Ga Hara also came to the same conclusion. Thus DBIPF was made to destroy the other God, Master Unit. However it created a Shinki called Murakumo and it would impossible to destroy the Master Unit alone without the Azure power. Terumi was able to extract a little Azure from it to make some preparation. The BlazBlue they have are fakes. When BlazBlue and Murakumo fail to fuse, it resulted in a monster called Black Beast that continually destroyed everything. But Noel was different. She didn’t need any Azure Grimoire and as a perfect Prime Field had the Azure within her. Terumi turns Noel into Kusanagi, the God Killer sword and with the hatred she possesses, will lay waste to this world. He orders her to head down to the Cauldron and destroy Amaterasu. Noel faces off with Hakumen.

Ragna is left to fight Terumi but is no match for him. Kokonoe has transferred enough energy to Tager so he could transfer Lambda to the scene. She is ordered to wait for an opening when Terumi attacks Ragna. It is a brief moment and she only has one chance. Terumi is bored of ‘bullying’ Ragna and is about to kill him. The window of chance opens and Lambda moves in but uses her body to protect Ragna. Kokonoe couldn’t understand her decision and can’t retrieve her as she is beyond repair. Terumi is going to kill everyone and kills Lambda like how he killed Kokonoe’s mother. Lambda gets stabbed by his Ouroboros. Like in a tragic love story, Lambda dying in Ragna’s arms, she still has Nu’s memories and is reminiscing all the good times they had together (wasn’t it just that single moment with Ragna as Lambda?). She calls Ragna a gentle person and will always be together forever. Lambda disintegrates much to Ragna’s dismay. I don’t know how he interfaced with her because Lambda got absorbed into him. As suggested by Kokonoe to initiate Idea Engine, Ragna powers up his BlazBlue and surprises Terumi with his awesome Azure power. Then he kicks his ass and Terumi wants more of it. I’m sure Ragna wants to kill him but Rachel’s batty familiar comes looking for Ragna to go save Rachel. He just pulled her out from another dimension? That easy? Maybe with his new Azure power, I guess. Jin joins in the fight between Hakumen and Noel. Jin wants to eliminate Noel and tells Hakumen not to interfere. Then here comes Ragna joining in. Time to finish this so they can get to their fight.

Episode 12
Ragna was told the only way left is to kill Noel for she is no longer herself and a doll whose purpose is to destroy the world. This will happen if she enters the Cauldron. Ragna could only tell off Rachel and Kokonoe for talking and yet could do nothing to save a measly idiot. Well, they’re no God. This dude really cares for her? Rachel hints there may be a way. As Noel has lost all hope after seeing the despair, technically she has ceased to exist. In order to stop that, his Azure Grimoire has the power to do that by shattering her soul from within. Jin is still injured, his moves are limited so ultimately it is Ragna who has to take on Noel. But instead of going full force, Ragna talks to her like as though he is betting on that it will bring back her memories. Can this work? I mean, nobody really believes it. Ragna hears Lambda’s voice. He is going to use her life and Idea Engine to do some reverse connection. With some last scolding words to remind Noel to carve her own destiny, Ragna does the impossible and defeats Noel. Takama Ga Hara despite finding it interesting that Ragna defeated Terumi and Noel, this is not the future they wished for. However with Noel losing her powers, this means they can inherit the Azure. Although they failed to destroy Master Unit, as long as they can possess the Azure, things will work out and they will allow it. They are surprised when Terumi enters the scene (looking like an alien boy?). Thanks to Ragna, things will move towards the Day of Ruin. By right, Terumi should not have existed since Noel lost her powers. But he has awakened her and is able to continue to do so. As reward, he gives Takama Ga Hara some virus made by Phantom. Noel returns to her normal self. She is surprised that Ragna and Jin are brothers. Then she throws her usual emotional tantrum seeing Ragna has lost his left arm just to bring her back.

Terumi returns and relays the news that Takama Ga Hara has been incapacitated. All thanks to Ragna for not finishing him off. Things are going just as planned. Now he is going to kill them all. However he has to put on his best behaviour when Relius tells him that Mikado is around. Instantly Ragna and Jin recognize her as Saya. Noel’s heart starts to feel pain. Hakumen charges to attack but was blocked by Tsubaki. Looks like she has severed all ties with Noel since they both are walking different paths. Mikado announces the end of Continuum Shift and the since all possible events have been established, this world will be headed for the Day of Ruin where the world will be restored to its rightful form. Rachel warns her not to count her chickens but Mikado reminds she is just an observer. Till then. Noel is recuperating on a ship of NOL. Makoto is still alive. Ragna has left but Noel knows their path will cross again. Jubei knows Jin has obtained the Power of Order and if he wishes to learn more about it, come to see him. I’m sure prideful Jin isn’t the kind of guy who would request to be someone’s disciple. Relius and Terumi watch the creation of the thirteenth Prime Field, something Relius feels it is closer to perfection and is supposed to be the Izanagi sword. Taokaka follows Ragna on his journey. Because wherever he goes, she goes. No reason to stop her, right? Next stop, Ikaruga. Lastly Rachel narrates something about destiny and the world being pushed into moving onto the next path. It is not the world that changed but Ragna himself and Noel’s heart. A new bond was formed when the 2 Azures forged. Now a new dawn has arrived and nobody knows what awaits in this new world. The only thing certain that a hope is born from the new world and no matter what happens, move forward without giving up. You get all that? I didn’t.

BlazBoo – Falter Masterpiece
Let me put it straight this way. I don’t understand what is going on. This is my sentiments right from start till finish. I do not have the slightest idea what is happening. Let me just remind that since I have never played the game nor have I even read up about it, what I am about to review is perhaps based on the lack of my knowledge about this series. In short, it can’t be that good. So to start things off, my guess is that only those who have played the game fairly long enough would understand what is happening because it seems to me that they’ve already spouting all the terms and jargon and expecting you to know it all. Which means, casual viewers like me can’t just jump in and enjoy the show and you’ll be lost all the way on what is happening. This is what happened to me. I might not have read up on the series to find out more about the plot but I have also read a few comments from the internet (just Googled it and selected reviews from the first few pages) and find that many were not happy with the way this anime was adapted. Especially those fans of the series who felt there were great injustices and blazing atrocities done to it. Yeah. Remember how Street Fighter was adapted into a live action movie starring a certain French actor in an American role back in the 90’s? Yeah. That kind of sentiment. So it was the same here. It might have been just a few full series reviews (not counting those that reviewed on a per episode basis) but since all of them had nothing good to say overall, I guess this says pretty much about it. BlazBlue was rich in story and plot but the anime somewhat rushed things along and the pacing was too quick for anything to develop especially the characters whom many felt were weakly developed. Even if there was, like I said, casual viewers like me wouldn’t have caught it.

There were lots of characters and each of them I believe had their potential in bringing out the story in the BlazBlue universe but this anime felt like it was trying to cram in all the characters into a short season just to show us that this character at least make his/her debut and perhaps for you to go “Aha! I spotted that character”. In a way, that’s why I thought the synopsis that includes “… a motley array of fighters converging at Kagutsuchi” was quite an interesting watch but in the end it just falls flat. For example, what happened to Carl? His first attempt to rein in Ragna failed. Then? That’s the last we heard of him. Then there is this Sena/Luna/Platinum split personality too. It felt like her appearance was just to tell Ragna not to fight Terumi. Heck. Somebody could have just left a message, send a minor despatch boy to deliver the message to him. Or leave it on Twitter, damn it. Then she’s gone forever. Other characters playing minor roles that feel like it’s just for fillers. Like Taokaka. I don’t know what her role is in this anime here besides providing some comic relief. She looks funny, sounds funny, she must be funny, right? Meow. In the end, she wasn’t really involved in the very important final fight scene. Like as though she was completely missing from it. Where have you been? Napping?

Hakumen also feels underutilized. He gets freed and called to defeat Noel the final boss (of the season) and all he got was an order to stay out. I thought he was the rebellious kind? He didn’t obey Kokonoe and for hell sure why did he obey Rachel? As gratitude for freeing him? I thought he said he won’t thank her? That’s like being tsundere, no? And in the end, we didn’t get to see him fight. Even his initial fight with Ragna was only glimpses of it. Tager’s entire purpose was just to look for Noel, retrieve Lambda and when it’s time we get to see him fight with Terumi, oh wait, we didn’t see anything at all! Automatic lost. It’s like the producers are saying please imagine how he lost to the awesomeness of Terumi with your own imagination. Sheesh… Bang also felt like a filler. He hates Jin. Wants revenge. But his code of honour means he cannot fight him wounded. Great guy. Fixes him up too. Lets him go. What the? So where the heck is the significance of this samurai’s role in this anime? Then there’s that Litchi doctor lady, right? We could have totally forgotten about her had she not appeared in the end on the side of Mikado. Looks like she made a deal with Terumi just for the sake of Arakune. Probably it is just to even the numbers for both sides and show us who belongs to which side before the next big fight happens. If that ever happens. And Relius… I don’t even know what to say. Makoto? Can anybody explain to me how that squirrel girl survived from her fall? Her soft bushy tail saved her? Don’t kid me. I’m sure Terumi wasn’t putting on a show to kill her because he was hell bent on bringing out the despair in Noel. For true despair, true tragedy is needed, right? Don’t tell me it’s Ragna because I hell know he was fighting Jin at the same time.

So the main characters are nothing to shout about either. I don’t know what Ragna’s mission is all along and I don’t understand about him going from city to city to destroy the Cauldron. Ragna is full of angst like as though he is angry with something but I can’t guess what it is. But I’m guessing later on it is because of Noel. At first he doesn’t care about her, then I don’t know what towards the end or something which I couldn’t really remember, he starts realizing that she holds some sort of special meaning. Otherwise why go through great lengths just to bring back one silly idiot? And no, it definitely isn’t romance either because I don’t really feel it between them. Even they try to paint one (I think) with Ragna and Lambda, it felt a little cheesy. Heck, the so called one-sided crush Noel and Tsubaki had on Jin also didn’t feel like it had much impact. Or the time Ragna carried Rachel in his arms when he pulled her out from Twilight Zone. What was that advice that Ragna shouldn’t fight Terumi? He didn’t care about it and went ahead, right? I suppose he got a little help by merging with Lambda and that was perhaps the little turning point that tipped the scales. I’m sure nobody saw that coming or else they would have told Ragna to merge with Lambda instead of telling him not to fight in which he won’t listen to. They try to paint Noel as the cute and caring idiot who ultimately gets used by the scheming villain just to earn some sympathy but since I was so lost trying to understand this anime, I had no time to pay attention to all the explanation that involved her. So was she actually created? I thought there was going to be a catch in the title of Alter Memory and thought Noel was Saya and that she had bits and pieces of her past because of her altered memory. You know, that. And then it turns out in the end, Mikado was the one who is Saya. What a way to screw with your mind. Or maybe it is me who is thinking too much. So who is the altered memory? Nu? Lambda? Hell, Lambda’s memories of Nu mysteriously remain… Or maybe Ragna and Jin’s memories got altered instead. But I don’t think they can be that wrong in mis-identifying their little sister, can they?

Then there is this vampire girl who is seemingly bored so she bides her time instead of watching this dull world, tries to make it interesting too. I guess this is what happens when you have lived so long for centuries and aeons and she’s probably gotten tired of tea and cakes her butler never fails to serve her. So bored that her expression has become stuck with that monotonous gloomy look although it is more of because she comes from a noble upper-class family so there is that oujou-sama feel of arrogance, snobbery and apathy. Sometimes I feel she might go a little tsundere. But when she got ‘scolded’ by Ragna in the end for being unable to do anything and nothing (which I think is what she does 95% in this anime), there was this slight shock in her look like as though a little girl has been told by an adult for being cocky and I thought she should have put on this look more often. Why? Because it would have been more interesting. Haha! Jin too he’s been wandering around looking for big brother for simply the rest of the series after being defeated and injured in their first encounter. What is it that makes him hate Ragna so much? Why is he so obsessed with him? Could it be possibly that he is somewhat obsessed and loves his brother in a very twisted manner that it makes him want to kill him? Big brother complex if I must say…

The best and most interesting character in the series is definitely Terumi/Hazama for the simple reason for being plain crazy. He is a badass villain in his own level but I guess he himself isn’t enough to save the series. I suppose if you want to make a memorable villain, you have to make him as crazy and despicable as possible. He is probably the best schemer in this series because almost everything is going according to his plan. Just as planned… Taokaka was also interesting enough but just for comical purposes due to her lively antics and the fact she is always somewhat screaming while talking. Then she also has little kitten clones who are as equally as cheeky as her but unfortunately does little to further the plot or develop anything. Jin would have been interesting too because of his crazy demeanour but his obsession in tracking down Ragna has somewhat become a little annoying. What is it with crazy characters that make them interesting in this series? At least they’re better than ‘dull’ ones like Rachel. Act and talk like as though she knows a lot but still couldn’t do anything that matters. Other ‘boring’ characters include Kokonoe who is always seen in front of her computer chewing her lollipop, spewing out some terminologies that I couldn’t really understand. I know she knows a lot of things but please make them understandable to viewers like me. I figure Ragna boy isn’t that smart too and sometimes I notice he requires further explanation like when rabbit girl (that’s vampire girl) talks to him in riddles.

For a fighting game, you think the action should be great, right? Sadly, I don’t think I can say there was anything spectacular about the fights. I am very sure that the characters of fighters have an interesting arsenal of fighting skills and weapons which I feel weren’t fleshed out properly here. Or just for the sake of putting in some fighting action like Ragna who seems to be rushing into almost every fight like as though he has got some share in it. Like the one Noel and Tsubaki were in. It’s like he couldn’t stand the ladies fight each other and wants a piece of it or just felt like swinging his big sword. In short, the fight scenes were mediocre and nothing memorable. Some fights get cut out and not properly shown simply for reasons which I could think of was to fit into the dozen of episodes. Not forgetting the terminologies of this series. It was sure blazing difficult for a noob like me to understand. Like I have said, you need to play the game in order to understand what is going on. The series did little in explaining them and even if they did, it wasn’t to the level that was understandable to casual viewers. Learning the few terms here is almost like learning another dialect but I would stop short of saying of learning another new language as the terms are mostly in English. But then again if you can’t understand or relate them to the anime, that term itself is as good as a word in a foreign language.

One of the more amusing aspects (if not the most) is the next episode preview which sometimes tries to break the fourth wall. For example, Ragna praying for a miracle to erase the jinx of animes adapted from fighting games. I suppose his wish went unheard… The jinx continues. Too bad for him. Too bad for us. There is also one whereby Jin was so happy BlazBlue became an anime because it means there will be people watching his fight with Ragna. I tell you, that guy really does have a twisted big brother complex… Other amusing stuffs in this section include reading the wrong and non-existent next episode title, playing word puns, having the voice actresses introducing themselves, Arakune speaking in so hip fashion (“Check it out!”) and Mikado wanting to see Hazama create BlazBlue right now!

The drawing and art feels pretty decent and nothing to shout about. I haven’t actually seen the real game itself so I can’t really make any comparisons. I thought certain parts of Kagutsuchi looked quite nice as some of the unusual building shapes give rise to that fantasy-like feel. Later when I found out that BlazBlue was a spiritual successor of another fighting game, Guilty Gear (they were both developed by the same developers, Arc System Works), it dawned to me no wonder some characters look quite similar. Like how Noel reminded me of Bridget. Just that Noel wasn’t a trap in a nun outfit. There is also very strong and uncanny resemblance between Jin and Guilty Gear’s Ky. Tager suspiciously may have taken after Potemkin while I see some similarities between Kokonoe and Baiken. Does Bang looked like a buffed up version of Sol? Seems like it to me. And then there is Hazama like Johnny… Oops. Only because they both wear a hat. Otherwise if that guy is in the form of Terumi, apply a little white makeup and he looks like Batman’s Joker. No kidding. I only think Litchi and Jam Cloudberry are similar because of their Chinese cheongsam. Ragna may not take his looks like any character from Guilty Gear (not that I can directly see) but from first impressions, I thought he was a copy of Devil May Cry’s Dante. Rachel also doesn’t owe her looks to any of that series’ characters but I thought she looked pretty similar to Dance In The Vampire Bund’s Mina. I am not sure if Taokaka’s true face is just some black sphere with eyes and mouth or her hood is just covering it out. If the former is true, then she certainly reminds me a lot of Warner Bros’ Marvin the Martian.

In terms of voice acting, the crazy characters sound the best. Especially Yuuichi Nakamura as Hazama/Terumi. After voicing lots of admonishing characters like Kyousuke in OreImo, I think he is very much suitable as Hazama/Terumi whenever he starts laughing in evil insanity. His maniacal laughter was very convincing and Yuuichi Nakamura definitely played that part sensationally over the top and well. Chiwa Saito (Rebecca in Pani Poni Dash) was also amusing as Taokaka especially her shrieky screams in her speeches. Although Tomokazu Sugita was the voice of Ragna, he sounded just like Gintama’s Gintoki but minus the fun factor. Too much angst is not good for you. Same case for Kana Ueda as Rachel. I even thought the most monotonous sounding characters she voiced like Komori from To Aru Kagaku No Railgun sounded more interesting than this one. Other casts include Tetsuya Kihara as Jin and Hakumen (Natsu in Fairy Tail), Kanako Kondou as Noel/Nu/Lambda (Kanashi in Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge), Asami Imai as Tsubaki (Chelsea in Shukufuku No Campanella), Chie Matsuura as Kokonoe (Hisako in Angel Beats), Tomomi Isomura as Makoto (Shouko in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Chiaki Takahashi as Litchi (Nanami in School Days), Junichi Suwabe as Relius (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), Yukana as Mikado/Saya (Ai in Amagami SS), Kenji Nomura as Tager (Kugayama in Genshiken) and Aoi Yuuki as Platinum/Sena/Luna (Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica). The opening theme is rock style, Blue Blaze by Faylan and the ending theme is Reincarnation Blue by Aira Yuuki and sounds like it has a little hip hop in it.

I suppose it must be getting cliche with stories about groups of people wanting to destroy the world and recreating a new one based on their so called ideals. Nothing original but if you have the chance to do just that, why not? It is ironic that almost everyone in power here is trying to play God but lack the necessary power to do so. Some are just taking their own sweet time watching and waiting to see what others will do and relying on a set of events to get things done. If it goes their way, that is. The basic rule of getting things done fast your way: Do it yourself. So instead of destroying the world in this anime, the anime itself got self-destructed. Get what I mean? Even more painful memories for fans of the game to be watching this anime. Maybe some part in them ‘died’ while watching this show. So was it a good thing it was only limited to just a dozen episodes? Perhaps they should let me have the Eye or Prime Field so I could just rewrite everything again. Better still. Rewrite as though it never existed! Dull and boring as hell but it is as safe the way I like it.