Love Fate Love

December 12, 2008

  Sono toki wa totsuzen,
  Futte waita mitai ni,
  Me no mae ni otozurete,
  Subete wo kaete ita
Hmm… It’s been quite a while since I’ve heard this song, Love Fate Love, which is the ending theme for the anime series Final Approach. It sure does bring back memories of me watching that short series. As usual, when I first heard this tune, I was like going crazy over it. Somehow I just love this upbeat, buoyant and lively pop piece.
  Anata ni aeta koto,
  Unmei ja nai nara,
  Sekaijuu sagashite mo,
  Kiseki nante nai kara
When I was looking high and low for a karaoke version of this song, I was initially delighted to have found an instrumental version of it. However, to my disappointment, the instrumental version is actually a background music! Oh no! I felt ‘cheated’. I was really hoping that there is one but after searching for so long, I have come to a conclusion that such version does not exists. Boo hoo. :'(
  Ai wo dakishimete,
  Ai ni kuchidzukete,
  Ai ni egao shite,
  I miss you
As usual, I have to do a duet with the singer, Miyuki Hashimoto, each time I feel like singing this song back then. The song starts out loud with a heavy drum beat and fanfare-like trumpets blaring. Well, I guess that this is one of the reasons which makes the song nice and enjoyable. The guitar playing here sounds a little funky (obvious during the solo part) and there are bell chimes too (I think) at certain points of the song. When the song ends, it also ends on a loud note. As for the lyrics, it’s quite simple to remember since it’s a simple love song with the singer telling all her feelings and emotions of what love is and her ‘incidents’ of love.
  Ai wo tsukamaete,
  Ai ni tomadotte,
  Ai ni hanikande,
  I love you sasayaku
I don’t think I have any much problems singing this song, especially the verses. So much so I think I sound very close to the singer (note that it’s all in my mind only). The only problem I face is that during the chorus I can’t seem to sustain my voice for the lines "I miss you…" and "zutto…". My voice gets shaky and sometimes it just goes out of tune. Maybe it’s just a little pitch higher but ah well, maybe I need to sing this one a thousand more times before I can pull it off real close.
  Watashi dake wo mitsumete zutto…
Final Approach

Final Approach

April 13, 2007

Do you know why some people hate or dislike the government? Is it because of how they execute their policies or use their arm twisting tactics to execute whatever they want? Well, maybe. But that’s not what it’s mainly about in Final Approach. This series isn’t about why the people hate the government but the government does have a hand in it.
This is a short series with only 13 episodes. And it’s even made shorter wth each episode has only about 12-13 minutes of running time. But nevertheless, this comedy, romance and drama is quite fun to watch. And of course, it’ll be better if a harem anime involves high school bishie teenagers.
Basically, we’ve got this teenage guy Ryo Mizuhara who lives a mundane life in an apartment along with his younger sister Akane. What about their parents? Sorry, they passed away several years ago. Case close. Even so it may seem harsh at times, at least the 2 siblings are happy with the way things are.
But all that is about to change one day as we see in episode 1 whereby several government troops storm and gatecrashes Ryo’s apartment like some sort of military offensive takeover. And in the midst of the confusion and to their sudden surprise, a girl named Shizuka Masuda then suddenly proclaims herself to be Ryo’s bride. And she manage to wear such beautiful kimono under that jumpsuit.
Of course, Ryo got mad (like anybody else would) when some stranger gatecrashes herself and proposes herself to be your fiancee without considering your feelings first. Ryo’s asking Shizuka to leave his apartment (and life) immediately but Shizuka seems pretty unfazed and cool. Yeah, she’s like so patient and genki like all this was expected. But it’s better than having 2 angry loggerheads, right?
Soon, Shizuka calls her government MIB (men in black) which then proceed to elaborately set up a film projector to explain the situation. By the way, I happen to notice that all the MIB look the same. Clones? Probably done on purpose. Anyway, the funny part was when Shizuka started rolling the film, before anything could start, she fast forwarded it all and then decided to explain it all herself, much to Ryo’s dismay.
It seems that Japan is currently experiencing a low birth rate. And at this rate, you’ll know what will happen to the future of Japan, right? So to counter this problem, the government has been experimenting with a programme by choosing and ‘forcing’ 2 people of a certain age group to get married. Think of it as an arranged marriage or matchmaking at a National level. Failure to cooperate will land one in jail and it will be a National offence (read: you’re a criminal). Furthermore, this programme must be kept secret too so Ryo and Akane can’t really tell anybody else. Or else… Akane’s already shivering. But Ryo still isn’t amused by all this. Hey, doesn’t all this seem similar to Rizelmine?
So Ryo tries to shoo Shizuka and her MIBs but to no avail. See, getting mad doesn’t get you anywhere as Shizuka’s still very patient (or rather turning a deaf ear to his pleas). Uh-huh, really like Rizelmine’s case. Even when Ryo decided to pick up the phone to call the police, he found out that his phone line has been ‘reorganized’. Even the tv set! Uh-huh, looks like it’s the government’s doing too. And when all the MIBs left to leave them alone, Ryo lied about accepting Shizuka and wants to remove her physically. How unfortunate for him, Shizuka knows her judo well and throws him over before choking him in her arms. And Shizuka’s still pretty optimistic about Ryo accepting her in their lives as she pecks an unconscious Ryo on his cheek. Looks like their life now will never be the same. Yeah, it’s all turning upside down inside out.
And it’s gonna be something like this for the rest of the episodes. Ryo isn’t too fond nor does he accept the fact that he is engaged while Shizuka eagerly tries her best to perform her duties as a housewife, much to Ryo’s objections. Then with other characters getting thrown into the fray and the obstacles and misadventures they go through, life sure is getting much more interesting for Ryo and Akane. And by the end of most episodes, we’ll see a chibi person of one of the characters appearing and narrating so far what has happened and then wondering what will happen based on the events that has happened so far as they say quickly ‘tsudzuku’ (continue).
So in episode 2, we see the power of the government once more as Shizuka transfers to Ryo’s school and class, much to his dismay as usual. But before Shizuka made her debut at school, we’re introduced to 2 of Ryo’s classmates, Emiho Mutsu and Miki Moriya. I’m sure Ryo didn’t care about the consequences as he relates his previous night’s ordeal to the 2. Well, even the 2 girls believed him, I’m not really sure whether they really believe it as there’s no really shocking reaction from them. And the trio proceed to discuss things on such marriage and the likes of it.
During their conversation at the school park, suddenly a row of trailers come by and a red carpet rolls out. Uh oh. You know what this means. That’s right. Shizuka’s here. The headmaster and teachers seem to ‘welcome’ her and Ryo’s classmates are thinking how cute she is. Why, they think that she and Ryo may be related when Shizuka introduces herself by using the same surname as Ryo’s! And the teacher even told them that they’re both engaged and their marriage has been approved by both families! This is really an elaborate plan. Could anything get worse for Ryo?
That’s just the beginning. Shizuka made an adjoining table next to Ryo’s and sat beside him. And we find out that she’s a year younger than Ryo but because of political power, she’s been able to get into the same class as him. And all the guys in class are ‘knocked-out’ after finding out such cute girl has been ‘taken’. As Emiho grasps the situation, Miki wonders how this will affect Akane. Well, Miki and Akane are best friends and the former is always concerned about the latter and doesn’t want anything unpleasant to happen to her. Even if it means pounding Ryo.
Back at the apartment, the trio are having dinner and Ryo’s still not accepting it all. Until Shizuka said something like she’ll stay until she changes his mind and if she can’t then she’ll leave. Shizuka’s still pretty steadfast with her words, attitude and all. And because of that, I guess Ryo reluctantly allowed her to stay for a certain period of time, much to Shizuka’s happiness and she’ll try her best (and all those busybody MIBs outside the window must be real happy to hear that too). And the funny part was, when Ryo drank the miso soup, he fell unconscious because Shizuka confessed that earlier on she put some sleeping substance in it as a precaution that she might get kicked out that night. Hehe. The devil is the angel, vice versa.
In episode 3, we find out that Ryo and Akane works part time at a cafe called Plavi. We’re also introduced to a character Hazuki Mukasa AKA Haru who seems to be doing his job through a laptop while sipping coffee at his designated sit in the cafe. Haru seems to be like guardians to Ryo and Akane since their parents’ demise. And probably it’s because of Haru, the cafe received some business. Yeah, all the girls there are just swooning over him. But Haru has just 1 girl on his mind. She is Yurika Menou who’s operating the cafe. Though Haru and Yurika are dating, their relationship is kept a secret so as to protect the business.
Of course, Shizuka then comes in. While Yurika is thrilled to meet Ryo’s fiancee, it seems that Shizuka and Haru don’t get along. Why, when she introduced herself, all the other girl customers there are whispering among themselves "Who is this b*tch?" and aren’t too fond seeing her talking to their beloved Haru. Why doesn’t Haru like Shizuka much? That’s because Shizuka asked Akane to go take a rest while she replaces her job as a waitress. Of course Haru isn’t too amused and proceeds to lecture her. And so it starts. You could see ‘deadly’ auras coming out from the 2 as they try to out talk each other in a nice sarcastic way.
Then one of the customer’s teasing Akane when Ryo steps in to protect her but gets shoved instead. This made Shizuka to whistle and call her MIBs as they come crashing in surrounding that jerk. And the funny remark from him was "Who are you guys?! Everyone has the same face?!". Hahaha. So true as the MIBs ‘escorted’ him out. Usual, Haru doesn’t seem too fond of it and another round of deadly auras from the 2 and macho talk. What’s this? Shizuka’s aura turned into a red tiger while Haru’s a blue dragon. But looks like Haru won when he threw some paper at Akane, something about bill of indemnification about damages Shizuka must monetarily compensate Haru because Shizuka’s act has made Haru lost his chance of showing his coolness to the ladies. What the?
As Shizuka gracefully admits her defeat she also mentions that it was her method that helped protect Akane and the shop. Because Haru felt that she was sincere in her defeat, he decided that she should receive a sincere thanks from Ryo, much to Ryo’s dismay. Shizuka wants to have dinner with Ryo alone, in which Haru agrees. Ryo must’ve felt really ‘betrayed’ by someone he has been looking up all this time. Yeah, Shizuka even proceeds to call Haru ‘brother’. Oh, brother.
Ryo’s really had it with Shizuka’s persistancy in episode 4. Yeah, Shizuka followed to wherever Ryo went, even when he’s taking a leak in the men’s! And Ryo’s conveying his frustration to Emiho and Miki during lunch. But Emiho seems to understand Ryo’s feelings. Why? That’s because Emiho admitted that she too has a total stranger as her fiancee, shocking Ryo and Miki. So later the trio discussed about it over at Plavi. And it looks like Emiho seems to have accepted her fate of her arranged marriage rather than object to it, much to Ryo’s disbelief. He even wanted to help her turn it down but Emiho seems resigned to that fact. So much so Emiho gave a reverse psychology back at Ryo about his case.
This guy could learn a thing or two about Emiho’s positive approach. I mean, from her point of view, she thinks it’s better to try and get along and know her other counterpart better rather than being hostile. More of those kind of talk even as Ryo and Emiho walked together in the streets until it’s time to part. I hope you realize something there, boy. And back at Ryo’s apartment, Shizuka’s still as genki as ever. Though Ryo still isn’t too fond of it all but because of Emiho’s words, he toned down a little. But maybe Shizuka’s pushing her luck as she tried to kiss Ryo but he just stuff his hands in her face pushing her away.
Ryo seems to have a lot on his mind as he’s thinking about the events that has happened and the possibility that if they had met differently. In the end, he’s still not convinced. So the next day at school, Ryo wants to have a word with Emiho alone. To cut things short, before Emiho gets into all that arrange marriage crap, he boldy told her that he wants to date her! Shock! That’s what Emiho felt (and me). Is this guy thinking of two-timing Shizuka so that he could get her of his back? Even that chibi narration from Akane at the end said something like how shocking it was that news to her even after living with him for 15 years. Hehe.
Episode 5 is just about Ryo, Akane, Shizuka, Emiho and Miki going on a ski trip. But because there’s a heavy blizzard, the gang got stranded. So taking refuge under the snow, we find out that Shizuka seems to accept Ryo’s fling with Emiho because she believes that if he wants to flirt, it’s better to do it before they get married. Wah. Then some weird contraption Shizuka brought, which is supposed to be a light turned out to be some explosive device which blew the gang out of their snow refuge.
But luckily there’s an abandon hut nearby. The cold must be getting to them as they’re acting weird, especially Miki (going yuri on Emiho?). Then to the other’s surprise, Shizuka whips out a sophisticated tracker device laptop but threw it away, shocking Ryo. But the laptop landed in a hotspring nearby. Before you know it, everybody gets in and are enjoying it. When Ryo tried to get out of the hotspring after being too long in it, he immediately froze. This prompts Emiho to conclude that they’re trapped in a hot steam hell. Like they can check in but can’t check out. Just like Hotel California.
Soon morning arrives and thankfully the blizzard’s gone. Then Shizuka asks if everybody had their fun already as she prepares to activate a transmitter hidden in her ribbon. It’s actually a tracking device. Everybody’s in shock and real mad! They think that she should’ve done it in the first place to save them the trouble. And they’re ‘punishing’ her by spounting water and throwing her up in the air? Just like a geyser. But Shizuka seems to enjoy it too. Also I think why Shizuka does this was to spend ‘quality time’ with them. Soon a bunch of helicopters arrive. Hey, was this supposed to be part of Ryo’s date plan with Emiho as the end narration by the latter suggests?
So Ryo and Emiho are sort of dating in episode 6 and Emiho made bento for Ryo, much to his happiness. Shizuka, Miki and Akane are eating nearby too and Shizuka seems not too bothered by the couple as she doesn’t want to interrupt them. Back at Ryo’s apartment, he receives a call from Emiho. What’s this? Shizuka and her MIBs eavesdropping on their conversation with some hi-tech sophisticated system and network? Anyway, Ryo and Emiho continue their date at the zoo the next day. Looks like they really like each other.
Later, Ryo comes back and finds Shizuka only at home since Akane has gone out. As the 2 chat and because it’s raining, this prompts Ryo to wonder who his little sis and Emiho are doing. Then Shizuka told him not to worry and goes up to her pc and track their whereabouts. Woah. Like a spy camera thingy. We can see them do anything from her pc. Ryo is in shock and angry as he pushes Shizuka away from the pc. As Ryo demanded for an explanation, Shizuka tells him that it’s natural for her to ensure the safety and well-being. Even Ryo’s earlier date with Emiho, Shizuka had a hand in it. Of course, Ryo’s still pretty mad about that privacy intrusion thingy and has had enough. Ryo looks pretty scary too. From then on, Ryo gave Shizuka the cold shoulder and ignores her presence completely. Oh, so cruel. Pity Shizuka lah.
Ryo’s coldness continues in episode 7. But Ryo got some warning from an angry Miki as she told him that his ‘dumping’ of Shizuka may have affected Akane and if he makes Akane cry, she’ll beat him up. Miki’s so cute when she’s angry especially in her chibi form. As Shizuka and Akane chats, Ryo seek some advice from Haru and Yurika but it seems the way they said things indicate that they side with Shizuka, much to Ryo’s dismay. And even back at home while he chats with Akane, he lost a little of himself and raised his voice towards her though he was directing his anger towards Shizuka actually, making Akane shed a little tear. Of course he felt sorry and the next day an angry Miki is giving Ryo some grappling moves. Hehe. He deserves that.
So lots of spacing out from Shizuka and Ryo reminiscencing the words and advice from his friends. Shizuka must be really hurt inside as she decides to take a long walk home in the snow after school instead of being chauffeurred. Really pity her seeing her like this. An MIB comes up to Ryo and gestures him to take a small umbrella, which Ryo refused before walking off. Is Shizuka losing it? A little. But soon she noticed an umbrella over her head. It’s Ryo! Shizuka’s happy as Ryo uses his umbrella to shield her from the snow. And even though Ryo just said "Let’s go home", Shizuka must be relieved and thrilled (so are the MIBs watching from afar) as they both head home together. Looks like Ryo forgives Shizuka. Hey no chibi narration at the end.
Looks like everything’s back to normal in episode 8. It’s quite funny to see Shizuka trying to get a kiss and hug from Ryo but the sleepy head latter somehow manages to avoid them all. But in this episode, Akane caught a cold. Some flashbacks when the siblings were young and how Ryo always took care of Akane and even after their parents’ demise. Yeah, he really cares for his little sis so much so that in class he got so freaked out worrying about her. But at home, Akane’s got the feeling that she’s becoming distant from her bro.
Ryo’s really panicking when he calls home but nobody answers so much so that he told his teacher that he’s not feeling well and is going home early. And he’s even psychoing himself as he rushes home. He manages to reach home and luckily nothing serious happened. Good news is that Akane’s on the recovery path as Ryo feeds her some porridge in bed, just like in the old times. She whisper to herself that she’s glad Ryo came home.
Just then Miki, Emiho and Shizuka arrived at their doorstep, surprising the 2. Since Ryo was acting pretty strange in school, they thought they’d come over to check things out. Disappointed that nothing big happened but relieved too because nothing big happened. Miki even had the cheek to ask Emiho if she wants to fall sick *wink wink*. Just then Shizuka feigns to have a cold and asks him to nurse her too. But Ryo shrugs her off as Shizuka says kawaii-ly why he’s being so kind to Akane only. He says Akane is her sister therefore he’s kind to her. And as usual, Shizuka is still that genki optimist as she still pesters him as his ‘cute fiancee’ and hugs him still.
Emiho’s gonna get married soon in episode 9. So much so her brother, Naohiro, came to have a chat with Ryo at Plavi and told him to forget about Emiho. This is serious. Meanwhile Emiho gets prepared in her wedding gown and the wedding is taking place on board a ship at Tokyo Bay. And Ryo along with Shizuka are watching their preparations through that tv. I thought Ryo was against that idea. Maybe since Emiho’s future on the line. But he looks determined to stop it.
So on board the ship as both families feast on and chat happily about their future and all, when suddenly Ryo and Shizuka in a full-face jumpsuit crashes down into the party from above. I guess those jetpacks are provided by the government as well. What’s this?! As Shizuka removes her jumpsuit to reveal herself wearing a swimsuit?! She says she’s here to pick her up as Emiho’s fiancee’s having a nosebleed after seeing her sexy body. Another pervert. Of course, Shizuka realized her dressing faux pax and swiftly changes into a commando outfit, and proclaims herself as the warrior of love…?!
As Shizuka tries to take care of things, Ryo grabs Emiho’s hands and made a run for it but only to be stopped by muscle bound sailors (why are they happily flexing their muscles?). Wah! Shizuka unleashing her bazooka and firing away at them. This is also her signal for her MIBs to move in. Swarm of helicopters flew in with the MIBs parachuting down onboard the ship. So it’s MIBs vs sailormen. And that Emiho’s fiancee jerk is swooning over Shizuka in action. And he’s clinging on to her and asking her to marry him!
Ryo and Emiho are cornered at the tip of the ship’s deck when Akane and Miki arrive in time in their speedboat. Ryo then uses his jetpack and fly onto the speedboat carrying Emiho in his arms. Hey, wait a minute! Why didn’t Ryo use the jetpack to escape in the first place? Anyway, Naohiro orders his sailors to get on their speedboats and chase them but is blasted away by Shizuka’s bazooka. However, Naohiro manage to get onboard one himself. But the thing is, he spotted several speedboats with Ryo and Emiho clones. He’s really confused. Hehe. What a nice way to escape.
Anyway, the real Ryo and Emiho actually took a dive into the ocean and discarded their scuba suits once they reached the shore. Emiho seems pretty convince of Ryo’s words now, since he has gone this far to help her. Furthermore, Emiho still wants to stay with everybody else and how she’s glad to see him there. As their hands met and were about to kiss each other, their moment of intimacy got interrupted when Shizuka, who now controls the ship, flashed its bright spotlights at them and told them that’s enough, catching them by surprise. They should’ve done it faster. Yeah, it spoils the mood.
Of course, Shizuka beached the ship and hurriedly hop down to get her promised kiss from Ryo for asking her to help. Ryo denied but I suppose Emiho now has her doubts as she thought he hated her previously and now his feelings for her has changed while walking away ‘merajuk’. I think Emiho’s a little jealous, don’t you think? As Shizuka tries to peck Ryo on his cheek, Emiho’s ex-fiancee now wants a piece of Shizuka’s kiss too as he and his sailormen chase them around the beach. See Shizuka, you’re too cute. At least Emiho’s free now.
It gets a little tense in episode 10. Why? Shizuka’s got 1 week to be with them before she returns home. But before that, a flashback of a young Shizuka and her grandpa. She seems to be quite attached to him. Then back to present time, everything’s back to normal after that Emiho-saving incident. Then at home, Shizuka tells Ryo and Akane that she’ll be leaving to return to her original school to take some test there. But soon MIBs come knocking at their door and handed a CD over to them.
It looks like Shizuka’s dad! He looks like your typical mean evil arrogant guy. He doesn’t care about the declining birthrate thing as he chides Shizuka for getting married to a stranger without his consent. So he gives her the ultimatum of 1 week grace period to settle things and come home. In addition, Shizuka’s grandpa has fallen ill as he’s one of the people leading this secret programme. Mainly the reason why her busy dad got to know about it. Shizuka’s in a pinch. Uh-huh, your typical evil laughter from that guy.
So some talk among the trio as Shizuka explain things. Ryo then told her to go back for her grandpa, much to Akane’s dismay at first. But Shizuka mentions that once she return, her dad will never let her go again and she won’t be able to see him anymore. Of course Shizuka would agree to explain everything if Ryo promise to mary her, which he still refuse. As they’re both being loggerheads, Ryo then told Shizuka to do as her wish and that since her father’s asking her to come home, they have no right to interfere with their family problems. But even having said so, I think Ryo has feelings for Shizuka from the looks of it. And the week passed by normally with nothing extraordinary for them.
Judment day arrives in episode 11. So the night before, Shizuka reached home to get a pleasant surprise and thought that Ryo had setup her favourite dishes, apple pie and milk tea. But actually Ryo mentions that it’s Akane who bought it. Anyhow the 2 had a romantic candlelit dinner and chat over things. Shizuka gave Ryo some Hina Dolls, some girls’ festival whereby they display such dolls. Then Shizuka proceeds to tell Ryo her story. That long ago, her grandpa was some heir to a prestigious family but fell in love with a girl of a lower caste. And to preserve their reputation, they were being kept apart and eventually he married the girl of his parent’s choice. Though his wife is amicable, her death 2 years ago brought back memories of his first love and he went searching for her. Only thing is, she too has passed away. But she left behind 2 grandchildren, which is Ryo and Akane. Wow, the twists and turns of the storyline. Shizuka didn’t tell Ryo initially because she thought he might think that she’s doing it in a manipulative way and make him unhappy.
So some more sad talk on belief, hope and love. Wow, this must be the longest gloomy scene in this series. Shizuka wants Ryo to take the Hina Dolls as a token that they’ve met and also so that he won’t find any other love and will come back to her someday. You might think that she’s selfish. But her sad tone of her voice, she really does love him. And then they embraced. It seems like a pretty long one too. More of those lovers getting separated but don’t wanna leave kinda talk. It’s so disheartening to see Shizuka in tears. Because of Ryo’s hesitation to answer Shizuka’s question if he hates her, she screams "I hate you" to him before running off. No chibi narration at the end too for this sad episode *sniff sniff*.
Shizuka’s gone in episode 12 as Ryo’s life has become more peaceful, though he feels refreshed but that dark cloud hovering over his head doesn’t indicate so. Even Emiho and Miki misses her extravagant bentos. Meanwhile Shizuka’s back at her old school and is flanked by her friends who are giving her gifts and wishing her to get well soon. Though Shizuka says she’s okay, but that black cloud hovering over her head doesn’t indicate so. Hehe. Even Ryo’s having trouble sleeping, thinking about her. His strange behaviour is even noticed by Yurika while at work as she and Haru gave him some advice.
Then back home, this empty feeling of Ryo’s must be getting to her head when Akane made him a cup of coffee and Ryo seems to see visions of Shizuka before thanking Shizuka (which is Akane actually) for the coffee. He became embarrassed when he realized what has happened as he denies it and apologizes to Akane. Then later as he picks up the Hina Doll and reads a message saying "Thank you Ryo-sama", he suddenly realized all the wrongs he has done. Yeah, it took you some time, buster. How he was bloody cold and stubborn fool till the end and wondering why Shizuka thanked him for things that he has never done.
With a teardrop from Ryo, he is determined and knows what to do now. He tells Akane that he’ll be skipping school tomorrow. The next day Ryo heads for Shizuka’s old school. Meanwhile, Akane, Miki and Emiho are overjoyed by the fact that ‘that idiot has finally won’. Miki even teases Emiho what she’s gonna do now since her ‘rival’ has made a comeback. Also, Yurika and Haru seemed pleased with it when the latter gets a phone call.
At the school gates, Ryo is being obstructed by the MIBs, but he just easily charge through them. But it looks like the MIBs seem satisfied too. Then when Ryo asks the passing girls about Shizuka, they got thrilled and proceed to bring him in and the news spread so fast that one of the girls told Shizuka about it as she rushes to the front gates. She’s elated to see Ryo there as the two rush to each other and embrace. The other girls must be really excited to see such classic romance story unfolding before their eyes. And as they kiss, several jets in the sky made a heart shaped love, the MIBs threw confetti like as though they’re newly weds and the onlooker girls clap in delight. Yay. Finally, Ryo and Shizuka together. A little late but it’s better than he never realized it at all.
The final episode 13 starts off with Haru and Yurika getting married. Ryo teases Haru by making a sad funny face and saying how he was like that earlier on. But that cool Haru just gave him that look and said "You too". And that lovey-dovey Shizuka is saying how it’s gonna be Ryo and her turn next. Then back at home while Ryo and Akane are chatting, when they heard some commotion next door and think that somebody new is moving in. To Ryo’s horror, he saw the MIBs moving in furnitures big time. His worse fear has been realized when an explosion rips his apartment wall and Shizuka appears in her kimono saying that she’ll be their new neighbours from today onwards.
Of course, Akane is thrilled of this fact but Ryo isn’t as he’s worried that her dad might find out about it again. But Shizuka assured him that since her grandpa’s condition wasn’t serious, they both conspired to ‘shut him up’. Yeah, it was sp darn funny to see Shizuka’s dad waking up from his bed in the middle of South Pole with all the penguins surrounding him. Hahaha. Serves him right. And about that hole between their rooms, Shizuka had her MIBs instantly made a door to it to respect their privacy. But Ryo still isn’t too fond of it and preferes to live alone with Akane conservatively.
Just then, Emiho and Miki showed up to pick the trip up to visit some new shopping mall. Actually, it’s Naohiro who invited them because he wanted Emiho and Ryo to help work as models for a wedding commercial with the catch phrase "Steal The Love". And he’s bragging how this commercial’s gonna be a hit with Emiho as the perfect bride. Then Shizuka says that there’s only 1 person that is qualified to be Ryo’s bride, which is her, and she’s gonna ‘steal the love’. Miki then butts in and says she wanna do it too because it’s a tv commercial while Akane always wanted to wear a wedding dress. And since Emiho’s not the kind to give up easily, she’s joining in too. It’s a foursome! Shizuka then suggests a Pick-The-Bride Contest.
And before you know it, they start off with a swimsuit contest, attracting the crowd. Then followed by a cooking contest (with MIBs and sailormen as judges?), in which Shizuka won. Next, the cuteness appeal contest. Ryo can’t believe all this is happening. Then as Miki gets excited for an event which she’s good at, the showing vitality by surviving household chores contest, Shizuka decides it will be skipped, much to Miki’s frustration and surprise. Then it’s the sweet voice attack contest (Akane seems to be a hit) and finally the ultimate love making contest. Woah! The crowd is rushing to the girls in pyjamas on the bed on stage. Ryo thinks this is too much and hits Shizuka on her head but she hugs him and gets lovey-dovey. Chaos ensues when Naohiro thinks that all this is perfect. Miki then starts to do what she thinks she’s good at, singing that is. But the the reaction from the other girls indicate otherwise. As Naohiro starts filming, we see Ryo and Shizuka in their wedding outfit. Soon the other 3 girls too appear in their wedding dress. They all look stunning and pretty. Naohiro gets excited and changes the catch phrase to "Hog The Love".
While Ryo’s still not amuse by all this, the 4 girls flanks around him with Shizuka proclaiming how happy she was, Miki saying don’t blame her if he gets stabbed by her fans in the future, Akane quotes how it feels like getting married to her brother and Emiho telling Ryo not to look so disappointed because everyone’s enjoying this. While Ryo calms down, he finally realized that this was what Haru meant earlier on. Right back at ‘cha. And the final chibi narration by Shizuka, she says that Ryo’s days of love and suffering will continue. Of course, Ryo wanted this misery to end instead of the usual ‘tsudzuku’. Unfortunately, it’s ‘mata ne’ (see you again). Looks like Ryo’s in for the ride.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series. I love it when the characters go all chibi. Those funny moments never ceased to make me laugh. Plus, they all look so cuuuuuute. Kawaii desu yo. Thus, the drawing, art and animation is your standard Japanese anime bishies. The storyline may be short and may not amount to anything much but because of the way things went, it was enough to keep me occupied, ooh the drama, the romance, the suspense. And more importantly, the comedy.
Though it isn’t anything, I happen to notice that the ending theme, Love Fate Love, sung by Hashimoto Miyuki is only 1 minute long (or maybe just 59 seconds). That’s because ending themes usually last longer than that, probably around a minute and 20-30 seconds or so. Anyway, that song is quite nice to listen and it’s quite amusing to see a chibi Shizuka slowly walking across the screen as we see the headshot of the characters in the series.
So the important thing here is the power of love. Even if the government (or traditional thinking old school parents) come up with some kind of scheme, it’s ultimately the true love of the lovers which will prevail. Of course, acceptance, tolerance, understanding and all those stuff comes in as well. It may seem a lot but it really pays off and such wonderful feeling and experience can’t be bought, transferred or stolen. Yeah, love does work in mysterious ways too. So Ryo, ganbatte ne!

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