Fuuun Ishin Dai Shogun

November 16, 2014

Once more, how do you get a guy like me to watch an anime that has genres that I am not very interested to watch in? Namely, period dramas like feudal Japan and mecha? One sure way is to turn them into females. But if that gets too old, what else do you do? You turn it into some sexy harem romance of course! And that is how you bait me to watch shows like this as in the case of Fuuun Ishin Dai Shogun. Uh huh. I am such a sucker for this kind of things. At least this anime didn’t use Nobunaga that has seen countless reincarnations and retellings over these few years. This is an original anime production (not based on some manga, light novel or game) which sees an alternative feudal Japan whereby the Meiji restoration never happened.

For those who don’t know their Japanese history (like yours truly), the Meiji restoration was what happened at the end of the Tokugawa era, signalling the end of the Shogunate era and there were political and social changes made. So for this anime, without the Meiji restoration means our Japs drove away the foreigners and secluded themselves from the world. Yeah. But that doesn’t explain how the heck they get big giant futuristic mecha robots that pack so much destructive firepower. It’s like somebody from the future didn’t want them anymore and to prevent being charged by some disposal penalty law, he dumped it back into the past. Just kidding about that bit. But really. Mechs in alternate feudal Japan? Not the first anime to do so but it is quite ironic when you think about the fact that there are some people who can pilot these heavily mechanised machines (seen them reading a manual on how to operate it?) when you don’t see a decent washing machine or coffee maker around. Yeah…

Oh, right. Don’t forget about the harem part that got me deciding to have a look at this too. When you already have huge gigantic powerful mechs in such feudal era, why not go the extra mile by putting sexy buxom babes into the picture too. Uh huh. And this guy, our typical hero and main protagonist of the story, the kind that is destined to change the future of Japan, blah, blah, blah, you get the point… You bet these girls are going to be part of his harem and help him pilot this incredible mecha. Wow. What better way than to get you into this anime. Did I mention that everybody is a virgin too?

Episode 1
Keiichirou and his buddy, Hyakusuke are about to get into another brawl to unite Nagasaki when the enemies surrender. They throw a party and call him their leader but Keiichirou isn’t pleased. Is this all there is to unify Nagasaki and Japan? He laments there are no more enemies left for him to fight. Oh, he forgot all but one. Otomi, the hostess of the greatest public bath house and the one who raised Keiichirou. She’s here to remind them to get their asses back to work. Of course Keiichirou won’t. His entire life he has never worked and only entered fights. A near naked man seeks help because this busty sexy babe, Kiriko is going to slice off his ‘ugly’ thing. It doesn’t help when the police head accuses Keiichirou of being the troublemaker and into raping men! Well, that woman is no longer around and that guy is crying… I don’t know how he got out of this one but hell he is going to find that woman in the red kimono to clear his name. Hyakusuke remembers her from the party and Keiichirou is desperate enough to barge into the women’s section just to look for her! Hyakusuke has a safer method but doesn’t this make them look like peeping Toms? Eventually they see her thanks to that trademark huge boobs but she wipes out the binoculars after sensing they are watching her. Meanwhile another murder case takes place and the police head firmly believes it is Keiichirou behind this despite witnesses saying they saw a woman in red kimono. His conclusion? Keiichirou is cross-dressing and sleeping-cum-murdering them! He really wants to blame him, huh? Kiriko confronts Keiichirou and confirms he has been living in this bath house since young under Otomi’s care. She makes him touch her boobs and because he is such a virgin, he passes out. He comes to inside the bath house after Hyakusuke wakes him up. And here is that dumb police guy coming in to arrest him but Otomi won’t allow him. Otherwise she will reveal his disgusting habit and ban him for life. Better back down for now.

Another sex-cum-murder takes place and it hits one of Keiichirou’s buddies. There is a dagger stab wound on his chest. Stupid police head again accuses him but Keiichirou sees Kiriko outside and dashes to confront her. He wants to settle things now but Kiriko kills all the hidden ninjas and reveal the real culprit, another sexy buxom babe, Houkouin. Realizing Kiriko is protecting him, Keiichirou must be the one. She couldn’t find him so was killing every young guy he could get her hands on. If being sexy and busty is one thing, wait till you see this freaking huge mecha she rides! The police now believes Keiichirou thanks to this revelation and comes to his aid. Kiriko brings Keiichirou back to the bath house and reveals she is an Iga ninja sent to protect him as the Shogun in Edo has fallen and there are parties after him. Otomi in her ninja outfit (I never knew she had boobs this big!!!) throws him a Tokugawa seal. She explains the attacks have something to do with his secret birth. But save the details for later, they have to stop Houkouin’s rampage. Because Keiichirou is a true virgin of the Tokugawa bloodline, he is can pilot this Onigami called Susanoo. There is a huge mecha hiding underneath the bath house? He gets into it and uses his beginner’s luck to pilot it. Houkouin would really love to enjoy this fight (it’s like sex to her) but she has to escape and report back to her master, Shigeyoshi Hitotsubashi.

Episode 2
Some masochist pervert is begging for Chiharu to step on him. She gets mad and transforms into her true demon fox form to give him some pain. That’s what he wanted, right? If fixing the bath house is one big pain in the ass for Keiichirou, what more Kiriko’s lecturing especially about him being a virgin and his curse of breaking into hives and then passing out when coming into contact with women. She views his ability to pilot Susanoo crucial and is here to protect his virginity. Otomi knows that Kiriko was sent here to also help pilot Susanoo. Although a man’s virginity is needed, its true power is revealed when he is nestled in the crotch of a female virgin in the back. So does she have what it takes to make him sit down there? Speaking of virginity, Keiichirou and Hyakusuke enter a red light district to lose it. Learning Chiharu is the top girl around, they request for her. Is it because Keiichirou prefers flat chests?! Chiharu gets steamy with him when Kiriko barges in. While they’re arguing about her more concerning about his virginity than his body, Chiharu stole his wallet. But outside the police head is going to arrest her because the pervert reported her for stealing his money. She beats up the cops with her nunchakus (and steals their wallets too) and before she can do the same to the pervert, he takes out a knife. Keiichirou cuts in and doesn’t like what he sees. The pervert rants about Chiharu being a monster who will do all sorts of nasty things to get your money.

Chiharu is going to kill him in her true demon fox form but Keiichirou stops her. Surprisingly he won’t raise a hand to her and dares her to come at him. She takes up his offer but it is a ploy to take back all the stolen wallet. He returns the wallets to the rightful owners and tells the pervert to get everyone out of here. Chiharu laments about her sorry state of affair. Born between a human and animal, for the last 250 years people has always looked down on her and hated her. Everyone who approached her always plotted something. So she decided to live in the shadows and do this kind of stuff. Keiichirou lectures her about doing it wrong. She might not be able to do something about the curse when she was born but if she curses the way she lives, she’ll just be miserable. He doesn’t care about curses and she should live with her face held high and someday the sun will smile upon her. He gives her his wallet if that is what she wants. Well, it’s empty anyway. So back at the bath house, now it is his turn to get lectured by Kiriko (despite she was praising him earlier on). Suddenly Chiharu pops up and is all over him. Hives all over him. She quit her red light district job and is now going to work here as a maid (Otomi hired her). She might not look like it but she’s a virgin too. This is the least of his problems because there is going to be a showdown between the women. Especially Kiriko with her deadly aura ‘warning’ the sly fox not to get too close to Keiichirou because her actions are seemingly ‘corruptive and unhealthy’. Chiharu isn’t cowed. Let the fight begin!

Episode 3
I think Houkouin is more interested in molesting her fellow comrade, Tsubaki than listening to her report with orders from Shigeyoshi to kill Keiichirou before he masters Susanoo’s power. Chiharu clearly loves flirting with Keiichirou but there is always Kiriko in the way. She even admits she likes Keiichirou and doesn’t care about his bloodline or the fact he will be Shogun someday. Because Kiriko continues to lecture him, Keiichirou tells her off he likes Chiharu better because she doesn’t keep reminding him about Tokugawa this, Tokugawa that. That stings, right? Chiharu tricks Hyakusuke to keep an eye on Kiriko so she can have her chance with Keiichirou once she is away. Seems Kiriko goes out to meet him as he wants to talk. Then how come he is sleeping in his room? Chiharu takes this chance to flirt with him. Since he still resists, she wonders if he hates her because she truly loves him. She explains when she was around 100 years old, she fell in love with a guy but worried about showing her true form. When she did, he ran away. Ever since she was scared of transforming. However he is the first person who doesn’t freak out about her transformation. I wonder how long his hives can hold. Meanwhile Kiriko knows this imposter impersonating as Keiichirou. Tsubaki is sent to stall her but she succumbed to Kiriko’s ultimate molestation technique which even got her to spill the beans. By that time, Houkouin attacks the place in her mecha. Not again. The bath house was just fixed, damn it.

Houkouin wants Keiichirou to summon Susanoo but he isn’t going to rely on that mecha again. So will his hammer suffice? Apparently not. Also, Chiharu finds out he is a virgin. Kiriko throws him the seal. Time to call for Susanoo. Yeah. Why do they keep it under the bath house? Don’t they have any other place to put it? After all that flashy entrance and preparation, Keiichirou can’t make this mecha move. Best sexual subtext quip from Houkouin: “No matter how big it is, it is useless if you can’t make it stand up”! Kiriko realizes it needs another power and pleads to Susanoo to take her. Well, the robot scans the area and takes Chiharu instead. I think she is going to love this. Once they are in position (no pun intended. Oh wait, maybe it is), Susanoo transforms into its Exploding Passion Beast God form. Uhm… Armoured Godzilla? It is powerful enough to pack a powerful punch. I’m sure Houkouin would love to stay and fight but she’d rather taste the fruit best when it is ripe. I guess this means she is going to back down for now and let him ‘ripen’ even more. So all is well for now? Even if Otomi notes Chiharu may be the woman destined to be Keiichirou’s partner, Kiriko doesn’t look okay with it. Despite saying her mission is just to awaken Susanoo and is alright if she is the key, blah, blah, blah, you can’t mistake that look on her face. Gloomy and disappointed.

Episode 4
Keiichirou is trying to hit on girls and has failed 50 times in a row! Houkouin’s words must have gotten to him, huh? Any woman with boobs, he’ll ‘attack’?! Till this woman who dresses in a man’s outfit, Hyougo Asai stops him. They are going to fight but Otomi wants Keiichirou to get his ass back to work so the lazy boy runs away. Hyougo faints because she hasn’t eaten in days so Otomi takes her in. She will do anything to repay her kindness. Anything? I suppose she has to eat her words since she’ll be working in the bath house too. Keiichirou doesn’t recognize her and tries to hit on her. Since Otomi has them work together, I guess this is also motivation for him. Hyougo observes how Keiichirou brings in the smiles. Later she apologizes for misjudging him and explains she was on a journey to hunt down her father’s killer as he was believed to be killed for trying to investigate Shigeyoshi. It was hard travelling alone as a woman because lustful men were chasing after her. This made her start hating men and it reached boiling point when she saw what Keiichirou did. He also admits his fault since he was hitting girls as he was in bad mood. This makes them even. She adds her father’s killer bears the seal case of the Tokugawa. Suddenly air pirates led by Maika Yurihara steal Susanoo to sell it to foreigners. The bath house again… Kiriko and Chiharu go fight them but are no match. Because Hyougo sees the Tokugawa seal in Keiichirou’s hands, she believes he is the killer. So now they have time to fight each other? Better hurry otherwise Kiriko and Chiharu will become dead meat.

Hyougo is obviously stronger than him and she can’t believe this weakling killed her father. Then doesn’t it prove he isn’t the killer? Because she calls him weak, it is like a taboo word to him so he gets up, gets stabbed by her sword in the arm and fights back. A pillar is going to fall on her. Keiichirou saves her from being crushed. Because she still believes he killed her father despite all the overwhelming recent memories of him being a nice guy to the guests of the bath house, she is going to kill him. Suddenly Susanoo activates and breaks free. It rushes down to Keiichirou and deflects Maika’s bullet. The ship takes a direct hit and the pirates have no choice but to flee. All this without Keiichirou controlling it. Before Susanoo can crush Hyougo, Keiichirou inserts the seal and orders it to stop. Phew. No squished woman. Later Otomi explains Susanoo has a will and soul of its own and will move to protect him if needed. Hyougo once more apologizes to Keiichirou for jumping to conclusions. She realized it wasn’t the one with the Tokugawa seal was the killer. It was a hint that the person who has Susanoo has also the blood of Tokugawa and is in Nagasaki and was told to find him. After learning he too is fighting Shigeyoshi, she decides to stay put and work here as part of her atonement. She may need his help when the time comes. As for why he saved her despite her trying to kill him, it is because it is a manly thing to do. Now that she is part of the harem, Chiharu strips Hyougo naked and to the ladies’ surprise, her boobs even surpass Kiriko’s! Furthermore, she is a virgin! Oh no… The competition just went up by one…

Episode 5
Kiriko sees Otomi coughing out blood. Later Otomi is trying to kiss Keiichirou!!! WTF?! She says being kissed by a virgin will break his curse. This granny is a virgin?! Well, she considers herself one since she hasn’t done it in decades. HELL, NO! He would rather kiss somebody else. Meanwhile the pervert bugs Chiharu again as Hyakusuke comes to her rescue. The pervert threatens he will tell everybody about her true form and cause them to not come to the baths anymore. Chiharu agrees to meet him tonight but she actually doesn’t intend to. She doesn’t care about the bath house and plans to beat him up and scram. Otomi tells Kiriko about the virgin kiss and hopes she’ll be the one. Or would she rather have somebody else he kisses? For more dramatic effect, she starts coughing like hell. Keiichirou seems desperate when he comes up to Chiharu and wants to kiss! Normally she would have accepted but since she is in a bad mood, she declines. Besides, where’s the fun in that? Kiriko stops them so he turns his attention to her. He will kiss anybody to break his curse. This breaks her heart as she slaps him. Later Keiichirou tells what happened to Hyougo and she tells him about not understanding the woman’s feelings. Like a typical man, he doesn’t really get it. She won’t let him kiss her since she is saving her chastity till she gets her revenge. Kiriko also goes to see Otomi and tells her what happened. She asks why she decides to break the curse now. It is because of a promise she made to Keiichirou’s mother, Keiko.

Taking Kiriko to her grave, Otomi explains they were good friends despite their gap in age. It all started when Shigeyoshi used his Onigami called Takemikazuchi to drive away black ships. He was imprisoned for that and lost his chance to become Shogun. Munetsugu became Shogun but before he ascended the throne, he fell in love with one of his concubines. That person is Keiko. At that time Otomi was working as a ninja in the Shogunate and eventually Keiko became pregnant with Keiichirou. She couldn’t tell anyone but her. A high ranking councillor, Sadachika Matsudaira found out. He is the guy who also ordered Kiriko to revive Susanoo. He believes if Shigeyoshi returns to Edo, the world will plunge into chaos and to prevent that from happening, he placed his hopes on Keiko’s unborn son and put a curse on him. If the child remained a virgin, he will be able to pilot Susanoo one day. Otomi was tasked to hide Keiko and her unborn son in Nagasaki. But shortly after Keiichirou’s birth, Keiko passed away. Before she died, Keiko wanted her son to live a normal life and Otomi promised her that. Now that he is old enough to decide, he must choose how he will live his own life. Meanwhile Hyakusuke fends of the pervert and his minions. He takes a beating but Keiichirou comes to his rescue and ultimately Chiharu scares him off. Kiriko sees Keiichirou floating a lighted lantern for his mother he has no recollection of. Otomi told him she was a kind person. He also says he won’t kiss her because he wasn’t thinking about her feelings. He has lived his entire life with this curse so living with it a little longer won’t hurt. Kiriko replies even if his curse is lifted, she will give up her life to defend his virginity. She then tells him about grandma’s condition and they rush back to see him coughing badly. Turns out there was a fish bone stuck in her throat and she tried to take it out. Now she feels much better. Keiichirou is going to beat her up for nearly causing him heart attack but granny doesn’t think so. He can’t even kiss a girl and he thinks of beating her? Oh grandma… That night while Keiichirou is sleeping, Kiriko sneaks in to kiss him. Next morning when Chiharu is all over him, he doesn’t break into hives. At first he thought it was Otomi who kissed him but seeing Kiriko’s blushing reaction, he wonders if she is the one.

Episode 6
21 years ago when the foreign black vessels attacked the coast of Japan because the Shogunate refused to open up trades, Shigeyoshi piloted Takemikazuchi and defeat them all in one strike. And now there seems to be an uproar within the Shogunate because as the chief minister, Naosuke Ii mentions, the Shogun is going to take on a new concubine instead of the one from the 3 families. Matsudaira talks to Ii about this and it seems Ii has made a partnership with a foreigner, Verbeck to trade the Onigami for their cannons that is said to be able to pierce through the armour of those mechas. Also, with the new concubine pregnant with the heir, it means when the heir is born, they can form closer ties with the foreigners and don’t need to fight. Souji Okita of the Shinsengumi heard this and reports back to her comrades Toshizo “Toshi” Hijikata and Isami Kondo. They are not pleased they are doing this behind Shigeyoshi’s back. Houkouin also pays them a visit and mentions if this deal goes through, the Shinsengumi will go overseas and Ii will rule Japan. The Shinsengumi report this to Shigeyoshi but he could only feel the country being ruled with emptiness and the demon raging within his heart. Souji tries to sneak in as a concubine to assassinate Ii but that fat ass was faster with the gun and has his ways with her. The new concubine’s escort arrives but Shigeyoshi cuts her down. He is arrested and brought to Ii who is going to execute him but Shigeyoshi remains cool and calls him a monster who deceives the Shogun and the people. Matsudaira thinks the banquet to welcome the new concubine should be called off since she is dead but Ii is going ahead with it. Because the concubine survived the assassination attempt. Actually, he’s going to put a new woman as a face of the concubine. It’ll be okay as long as everyone sees it. Also, he will have Shigeyoshi executed. Later Matsudaira goes to disband the Shinsengumi because of Souji’s assassination attempt on Ii. As Matsudaira hosts the banquet, he also announces Shigeyoshi’s attempted assassination and thus to be execute. He will die by these foreign firing cannons. Suddenly Shigeyoshi screams the top of his voice for everyone to listen. About the country being ruled by evil apparitions. He reveals the Shogun is already dead and that Ii has been hiding this fact. If what he says are lies, the Onigami will remain silent. Otherwise, it will answer his call. The place starts rumbling as the Shinsengumi go into action to free Shigeyoshi. In turn he cuts and slices up Ii and takes the Tokugawa seal. They slaughter everyone including Matsudaira. With the blood of everyone flowing like a river, Shigeyoshi calls forth Takemikazuchi, rising up from the grounds beneath.

Episode 7
Keiichirou and Hyakusuke are about to enjoy themselves in the red light district when Kiriko and Chiharu show up to take them back and punish them. Keiichirou feels frustrated he hasn’t been touched by a woman. Can’t he wait till peace reigns Edo? Yeah. The fate of this country rests on his virginity! Kiriko accidentally reveals she was the one who kissed him and the situation gets a little awkward. Suddenly this hot Iga ninja guy sweeps Kiriko off her feet and wants her to come with him. He is actually the prince of Iga, Sutemaru. He is on official business here. Speaking to Otomi, seems Shigeyoshi and his Shinsengumi has annihilated his village. His people are scattered. The Shinsengumi has become brutal and killed many including Hyougo’s father (what are the chances she heard this?). Their goal is to kill Keiichirou and take Susanoo. They will be here soon and the reason they attacked Iga was because it was along the way. Nothing like a good practice, eh? However Otomi knows he is also here for another reason. Keiichirou is in bad mood thanks to Chiharu describing Sutemaru as that cold woman’s ex-boyfriend. True enough, Sutemaru wants Kiriko to abandon Iga and leave with him to spend their lives together. It was a silly pledge they made as kids but she is not interested in loving anyone now and cannot leave Keiichirou’s side. Later he talks to Keiichirou and asks how much he knows about her and the thorn in her heart. Kiriko had a brother and they were brought to the Iga village. However some law prevented them to be together so big brother turned the blade on himself. Ever since, she closed her heart and stopped loving others. She thought it would be better to love no one than to love someone and lose them. Can Keiichirou say he loves her? Can he protect her? Sutemaru can.

Suddenly a big airship passes over. It is the Shinsengumi and they are here on their own thinking this would please Shigeyoshi if they bring back Keiichirou’s head and Susanoo early. Maybe they’re just itching to fight. Sutemaru ties up Keiichirou because this was Kiriko’s request to not let him fight. Keiichirou is of course not happy that someone else is going to get hurt for his sake and his rage breaks free from the ropes. Kiriko isn’t going to be the one facing Shinsengumi alone but Hyougo too. Revenge time. However the girls are no match for the bloodthirsty trio. This is where Keiichirou comes in. His hammer got sliced in half. Kondo orders him to bring out Susanoo if he wants Kiriko’s head to be kept. No choice he summons his Onigami. The bath house… He pilots it along with Hyougo and it transform into another version, Susanoo Light Flash Wind God. Kondo and Souji pilot their own Onigami to fight him. Sutemaru seduces and drugs Toshi to rescue Kiriko. Susanoo bests both the Shinsengumi’s Onigami. I guess at this rate the only option for them is to retreat. See you next time. Later that night, Sutemaru is going to leave without saying goodbye to Kiriko but Keiichirou caught him. Sutemaru explains Kiriko’s cry-baby behaviour when she was young and would always follow him and never leave. Now she has changed. She has the look that she is not interested in him anymore. It wasn’t the Kiriko he used to know and that he was the one who didn’t understand her. He asks if Keiichirou loves her. Since he couldn’t answer, he takes it as his love is so great that he can’t put it in words. See ‘ya.

Episode 8
The foreigners (Verbeck, Glover and Ryouma Sakamoto) are using Hyakusuke’s telescope to peep into the bath house. And it is Hyakusuke who gets punished by Chiharu. Life is so unfair. When Keiichirou bumps into Ryouma, he realizes his seal has been stolen. He confronts them frolicking with women in some inn and when Kiriko comes into the picture, it is made as though Keiichirou is the one at fault for losing it and that Ryouma was here to return it to him. Care to hand it back and fight like a man? Well, how do you fight like a man with a gun pointed in your face? They’re going to play rock-scissors-paper and let luck decide their fate. It would be a strip version and Kiriko will have to strip and Keiichirou loses once she is totally naked. Kiriko puts her faith in him since she is the wager. However… He sucks in it! She is down to her last cloth! Oh God… I don’t know if that gun finger movement is legal bur Keiichirou lost. Samurais barge in and demand Ryouma to live up to his promise of supplying them gun powder. Seems he also cheated them of their money and other things. So Ryouma flees with Keiichirou close behind. Glover and Verbeck kidnap Kiriko. Well, technically she is theirs, right? Once Ryouma and Keiichirou get away from the samurais, Keiichirou learns that Ryouma isn’t part of Glover and Verbeck’s group. They are selling weapons to anybody who wants to buy them. Be it the Shogunate or the samurais against them. He feels this country is in chaos and knows this seal will bring it back together.

That night, Ryouma and Keiichirou head to Glover and Verbeck’s base. After all that talking, Ryouma makes it as though this is Keiichirou’s fight. They play a one round rock-scissors-paper over Kiriko. He has to accept since Ryouma threatens to expose some doctored photo of Verbeck with the samurais. If Keiichirou wins, Kiriko is given back to them or else Ryouma will give his ship. Keiichirou wins his game but Glover pulls out his gun. Ryouma sends out a signal and this has his men fire warning loud shots from the ship. The next shot can decimate this entire island. In the end, Kiriko returns to their side and she learns the truth of how he lost the seal. They’re going to play another one round another rock-scissors-game for this. This time Keiichirou will bet his life. Keiichirou wins but don’t you feel Ryouma may have let him win? He warns of Takemikazuchi’s revival and this seal will determine this country’s fate. As the sea is wide and connected with other countries, Japan can’t shut itself forever and others may come to take it. Keiichirou isn’t sure about all that complicated stuff if he rules Japan. But he is not going to run away like before. He will face his problems head on and destroy them. He wants Kiriko to follow him.

Episode 9
What is this? Keiichirou wants to kiss Kiriko? No, you’re not dreaming. But he remembers some work he needs to do before he gets it from Otomi. Kiriko talks to Otomi about her problem that she hasn’t been chosen to pilot Susanoo yet. Could it be Keiichirou doesn’t want her? She should know better. Also, Hyakusuke confesses to Chiharu but that girl rejects him despite showing signs of being tsundere. And so our ladies have this love dilemma. One wishing the other would say and the other wishing he hasn’t said it. Houkouin patrons the bath house to talk to Kiriko. I guess with her different hairstyle and without makeup, she is less recognizable. Plus, Kiriko’s heart is very much occupied with you-know-what. Houkouin advises her to go make the move if that guy doesn’t do it. So Kiriko takes up her advice to go talk to him but it seems he doesn’t want to go to Edo yet as he cannot abandon this bath house. This is more important than ruling Japan. But if Shigeyoshi takes over Japan, this place won’t be spared. His answer is simple. How can he protect Japan when he can’t care of the people right in front of me? Even the reconciliation between Hyakusuke and Chiharu feels awkward. So annoying… Just say it already! Because things are moving too slowly, Houkouin pilots her Onigami to blast everything and destroy everything Keiichirou loves. Time to summon Susanoo. Kiriko pleads to be his co-pilot. Good news. She gets her turn this time. Susanoo Heavenly Thunder God is its version of their combination. Keiichirou says that this might not be what she wants but when he goes to Edo, he definitely wants her more than anybody else. So believe in him! Sign of approval? Just when Kiriko thought she got a much needed morale booster, here comes Houkouin with her reverse psychology. She is saying she has not helped him much because she doesn’t even realize his problem of staying in this place. All she does is complain he didn’t understand how she felt and in the end it is her feelings that are more important than his problems. That is why she was never able to pilot Susanoo. On some level, Keiichirou recognized her selfishness and let her in. In actual fact, he doesn’t need her. She only slows him down and it is best she leaves him. Kiriko is so mad at these ‘lies’ that Susanoo stops functioning. When it comes back on again, Keiichirou cannot control it and it goes berserk destroying the surroundings. Keiichirou is forced to pull the seal out and it zaps him out cold. Kiriko is devastated. It stopped Susanoo just inches from smashing Otomi! Even that granny is feeling scared! Houkouin is pleased the hatred has finally blossomed and the inner demon awakened.

Episode 10
Keiichirou is lying in bed and in pain. Chiharu is very upset and blames Kiriko for everything. Feeling guilty as well, she takes some time alone when Ryouma meets her. Seems he knows what has happened. He takes her on a ride on his ship for a detour. Going to America? Also on his ship is Maika but since she is mostly seasick, she isn’t going to be any threat. Ryouma shows Kiriko the globe of the world and how small Japan is. Since the journey to America will take 6 months, he assures he will make it fun for her so that time will seem to fly by. She slaps him. Cue for advice that no matter where she runs, she’ll end up back where she started and no matter how many detours she takes, she’ll have to face it herself. Otomi feels Keiichirou may not be suitable to pilot Susanoo. At first she did it because it was her mission but now she isn’t sure if she is doing the right thing. Hyougo will continue to believe in Keiichirou. Ryouma explains his past. He was one of those people who wanted to see how big the world and also see how Japan has progressed ever since it closed its door to foreigners. He was on board the black ships 21 years ago. He realized too late the foreigners’ intention. They wanted the Onigami and Ryouma barely escaped with his life when Takemikazuchi attacked. That’s how he got his scar on his arm. The foreigners view the Onigami as messengers of God because of its mighty power for the Onigami was used to end Japan’s civil war and once peace reigned, they were sealed away. When he hears the Onigami in Edo was revived, he wanted to see the man who could control the other Onigami himself. He believes Keiichirou will clean up this soiled country. Kiriko also believes in him and looks like the journey to America is cancelled. I think Ryouma never intended to take her there in the first place. Souji is here to assassinate Keiichirou but Hyougo is there to protect him. Souji is more powerful than Hyougo and could have won if not for some illness she is suffering. Uh huh. Her time is up. She’s coughing blood. Souji wants her to kill her but Hyougo puts away her sword because she now doesn’t seek revenge but fight to protect Keiichirou. Souji’s Shinsengumi comrades come to pick her up. At the same time, the black ships start shooting their cannons at Nagasaki. Keiichirou dreams of Takemikazuchi and finally wakes up with Kiriko by his side. He knows it was her.

Episode 11
Verbeck and Glover are going to take the Onigami by force. Keiichirou wakes up and despite his condition he is going to pilot Susanoo because he saw in his dreams Nagasaki became a sea of flames. However here is Takemikazuchi. Shigeyoshi proves to those foreigners who is boss as he wipes them out in a single blow! No chance! Then Takemikazuchi squares off with Susanoo and Shigeyoshi wants Keiichirou to be devoured by the darkness and demons to unleash his true power. He even destroys the town to make him do that. Sorry, Keiichirou still won’t be taking Susanoo’s power. So Takemikazuchi beats Susanoo up till Keiichirou goes unconscious. Houkouin fights Keiichirou’s harem and the trio are no match for her. Houkouin kidnaps Kiriko. In the aftermath, Ryouma brings Keiichirou back. Although he is lightly injured, he is out again because the demons have ‘devoured’ him. Otomi thinks something is amiss because why didn’t Shigeyoshi finish off Keiichirou and abducted Kiriko instead. Seems it is part of his plan to enrage Keiichirou because Susanoo’s true power awakens with the negative feelings. They are going to kill Kiriko before his eyes. Hyougo receives word that a big ship is docked at a nearby castle. Possibly where Kiriko is being held. She is going to save her. Chiharu couldn’t understand why she is doing this for that ice woman. Isn’t her goal to avenge her father? Because this is what Keiichirou wants. He is straightforward, dumb and never worries about the details. Is the very reason she fell in love with him. Chiharu also remembers how Keiichirou helped her and decides to join Hyougo on her quest. Hyakusuke also wants to come but is made to guard Keiichirou. Can’t let granny be alone by herself, can’t they? Kiriko wants Houkouin to kill her since she doesn’t want to be a burden to Keiichirou anymore. However she won’t and tells some miko priestess tale. She was connected to the gods and loved by them. However as a human, she also fell. She eventually connected with a demon and drove his heart mad. Why is she telling this? Because Kiriko doesn’t know enough about herself. Keiichirou wakes up and forces himself to pilot Susanoo to go save Kiriko. There’s the demon look in his eyes…

Episode 12
Keiichirou must face the Shinsengumi’s Onigami. 3 against 1. No special woman by his side. Will he win? That is why Ryouma and Maika are here in their airship to fight them off and let Keiichirou go rescue Kiriko. Maika’s new super gun can penetrate their armour and she also fires at their boiler compartment to knock them out. However they too are at their limit so they load up the entire ship with gun powder and crash it into the enemy’s airship. Don’t worry, they won’t be doing any kamikaze. The collision causes fire debris to rain down on the base. Enough distraction for Hyougo and Chiharu to sneak into the base and not fight those low level Shinsengumi guards. However Houkouin is waiting for them and beats them up just to rile Kiriko. Now it’s the showdown between the Onigami. Keiichirou is filled with rage. So much rage that the eclipse is happening! I know Shigeyoshi is superior and beats up Keiichirou but what the f*ck is he ranting about Onigami, darkness, rage, hell and the likes?! I mean, who gives the f*ck about that?! Shigeyoshi wants Kiriko to be by his side but she rather die than betray Keiichirou and turn to the dark side. In that case, her death will be his sustenance. He crushes Kiriko and Keiichirou’s anger reaches boiling point. He is zapped in one big blow as Shigeyoshi believes he has obtained eternal power and become the best man in Japan. In some dream, Keiichirou and Kiriko unite. I don’t know how this happened but the next time they return to reality, they are together inside Susanoo. What the hell is this convenience? And since they both believe in each other, blah, blah, blah, they power up and even have their own lecture for Shigeyoshi. Uh huh. Onigami doesn’t seek anger but a warm heart. He will also save them from hell and this is what it means to be the best man in Japan. Susanoo’s true power awakens and reaches its maximum and defeats the enemy with its power of light. Yeah, powerful enough to blow away the eclipse. In the aftermath, Shinsengumi recovers Takemikazuchi and head back to Edo. The war is just beginning. Keiichirou and Kiriko reunite with the rest and it seems Keiichirou and his harem are moving to Edo. Because he has finally decided to become the next Shogun.

The Power Of Virginity!
Not another rushed ending? Hero awakens his power, saves the girl, kicks ass and ultimately the baddies’, finally decides to take up his responsibility to become king. Wow. How unique is that? Okay, to be fair, I suppose this series was entertaining enough. If you can see through the fanservice bits, that is. So as long as Keiichirou doesn’t screw around with women, he will still be able to pilot Susanoo and have its ultimate power? Good luck in staying a virgin forever. If the battle rages on and on because Shigeyoshi and his Shinsengumi are just so badass, they don’t look like the kind who will give up after twice or thrice and this war could well last for decades. That means Keiichirou won’t be having any heir if he wishes to use Susanoo to help fight them. Yeah. The one time that having this kind of virginity sucks. The plot and pace of this series is decent although it leaves you with a few questions like Souji’s illness and what the heck is she suffering from because it feels like something convenient to end her fight when her coughing kicks in. Then there is also the mind boggling last scene whereby Keiichirou and Kiriko end up back together in Susanoo. Because clearly I saw Kiriko being crushed in Takemikazuchi’s hands. Unless somebody used some magic to teleport her to where Keiichirou is. Who then? Who cares?!

Character development isn’t really the best thing since if you’re watching this show, you don’t really want to see how the characters grow, right? What else would you be watching this show for? I mean, we all would somehow know that Keiichirou would be the man, the hero, the saviour and the new Shogun, right? Therefore we don’t really worry about how much he has grown because for a wild kid filled with angst, never worked so hard in his life or even touch a woman as long as he is breathing, just like many other imperfect protagonists, they don’t make the cut at first but somehow with the support of others and his deep belief, he’ll make it. Definitely. You can count on that. Oh yeah. Despite his behaviour, he cares for everyone. Enough said.

So safe to say that the other characters too just lack the oomph because mostly you see is Keiichirou and Kiriko in a dilemma about their fate and mission. You know, Keiichirou has his mind mostly preoccupied with losing his virginity while Kiriko ponders about her usefulness to him which is just a disguise to hide her indecisive feelings for him. The rest feels like they are just hanging about and biding their time. Hyougo certainly doesn’t have the desire to avenge her father anymore. So what does she do now? Become Keiichirou’s protector. How often do you see her do that? Chiharu? What the hell is she around for other than to snag Keiichirou? How often do you see her do that too? Houkouin? From what she said, she looks like a very bored woman and got her thrill when she managed to see the big bad fight and some chaos. I guess some people love disorder so much. Then there is Shigeyoshi whose rage feels like the passive kind compared to Keiichirou. Because the latter is more of the expressive kind whereas Shigeyoshi would just tell us how his heart could feel the rage and give us that evil smirk. Basically Japan is now without any ruler since he slaughtered the whole damn Edo castle. That’s why Keiichirou is now coming into the picture. But how did he know the Shogun was dead? Maybe not. Just coincidence he is going there now.

There is something more than meets the eye to Ryouma. Most of the time it feels like he is trolling around but with some hidden good intentions. Whatever it is, it is a good thing he is on Keiichirou’s side. Maika, I didn’t expect the pirate to come back but I suppose for her to appear in the early half means that she must also have some sort of importance. Or maybe not. I don’t know how Ryouma swindled her to team up with him. Yeah, she lost her ship in the kamikaze act. Then there is Otomi who looks like she isn’t going to retire soon despite Keiichirou now walking his own path. If she is not working in the bath house, she is ‘busy’ trying to match make Keiichirou. I suppose even grannies need some sort of kick before they kick the bucket. Lastly, the Shinsengumi trio. They’re just mad killer b*tches. They sure do love taking the initiative to go ahead and attack. I figure if Shigeyoshi does give them orders to attack, they’ll really let their hair down and go wild with the blood spilling. Hey. What happened to Tsubaki? After she got owned by Kiriko’s seduction technique, you’ll never see her again. Sutemaru too. This one-episode-only guy says he has got lots of ninja babes back home so he can afford to leave Kiriko in Keiichirou’s little harem.

The action bits are okay. Mostly they are the Onigami mecha battles and you have your usual big destructive mecha power fights. Enough to entertain you for the duration of this series but if you want to watch really cool awesome mecha fights, there are veteran series like Gundam around. Not to say that I have watched them and endorsed them being great mecha series. But after being around for so long and having so many sequels and spin-offs, they must be doing something right, don’t you think? Also, there is hardly any variety in the Onigami moves. Not that I can tell the difference anyway. What do you expect when Keiichirou only pairs up once with each of his harem girls and twice for Kiriko (second time for redemption?). As though that moment was just for show… I just can’t help wonder if there are any proper place to keep the Onigami besides underground. Because you know, each time Susanoo is called, it destroys part of the bath house and it will take some time to repair. It feels like a running joke. Keiichirou summons Susanoo and then the ground shakes. Cue for me to roll my eyes and quip, “Oh no. Here we go again…”. Can they just leave it out in the open? I know it would be more susceptible to be stolen but unless they like repairing the bath house all the time, that’s a different story. Aside the Onigami, there are a few limited sword fight scenes, gun battles or skirmishes among the humans. Nothing that impressive, though. I wonder if Keiichirou will get any replacement hammer after his got sliced so easily by the Shinsengumi.

Fanservice. Where do I begin? Not to say that this series is riddled with lots of them but enough to make you think that when you talk about this anime, fanservice is one of the main ingredients to describe it. I mean, look at a town like Nagasaki. There are curvaceous women walking all over! I’m sure this is not even the red light district. With Kiriko spotting huge boobs and Houkouin equally as large but this sexy babe feels like she is taunting us because she loves to caress her own boobs or stick her fingers into her mouth (complete with saliva trails…) when she gets turned on. Don’t even mention the way she dresses. Looking more like a slut than an assassin. I know, seduction techniques but… Speaking of butts, I don’t know if Houkouin likes to bare her ass because each time they show her back despite in her usual sexy outfit, there seems to be a white censor around it. To satisfy loli lovers, that’s why you have Chiharu. For those in between and love the thrill of the ‘hidden’, perhaps Hyougo fits the bill because despite dressing like a man and wrapping her boobs, once it comes undone they will possibly be the biggest melons in town. With bodacious babes and foxy flat chest surrounding Keiichirou, it is hard to believe his chastity is still intact.

The harem factor feels a bit lacking. Maybe that is just being me and getting ahead of myself and expecting something like that. Despite having Kiriko, Chiharu and Hyougo, it feels like it would be Keiichirou x Kiriko all the way. Obviously. Because even though Chiharu has been working in the bath house, gradually she starts inclining towards Hyakusuke although she still asserts Keiichirou is her main man. As for Hyougo, she is mostly missing in action and when she is around, she feels more like Keiichirou’s bodyguard than to be part of his harem. I thought Maika would be part of the harem too but since she didn’t get to pilot Susanoo with him, I guess it is safe that she won’t be his woman because women who like him must pass through this ritual of combining with him in Susanoo, right? Therefore it all boils down to the one and only Kiriko. Now that they’re going to Edo, I wonder how the catfight will take place… Maybe that will be another story to tell and the greatest battle for the greatest man in Japan will ever face. Haha!

This anime is a joint production by J.C. Staff (Ai Yori Aoshi, Bakuman, Kare Kano, Kaichou Wa Maid-sama, Little Busters, Kill Me Baby, Shakugan No Shana, Nodame Cantabile, To Aru Majutsu No Index, To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) and A.C.G.T. (Freezing, Monochrome Factor). The art and drawing seem pretty okay. I just thought that those who look like gangsters have this silly look on their face that it makes them look more comical idiots and jokers instead of fearsome and dangerous. Hyakusuke is a good example… Besides, with his pompadour hairstyle, it makes him look more like a clown, which is what his role in this anime is mostly about. Besides, the Shinsengumi when they are in their crazy killing mode, they look much dangerous and insane. You don’t want to mess with them when they look like bloodthirsty killers. For the mecha, well, with only a handful of Onigami in this entire series, the design also feels somewhat uninspiring. Susanoo in its usual form looks like some big white blob. In his transformed version, it looked like some monster that Ultraman would have fought. And Takemikazuchi I thought at certain angles it made it look like some Transformers…

In the voice acting department, I suppose the best one goes to Miyuki Sawashiro as Houkouin. It’s like she is having fun voicing this vixen villain. Make it 10 times more sexy and evil than Fairy Tail’s Ultear. Besides, don’t both characters look almost similar? It’s been such a long time since I have heard Yukari Tamura playing one of the main characters. As Chiharu, she still hasn’t lost her squeaky trademark voice. Likewise, I haven’t heard much of Ayako Kawasumi in leading roles too and it was pleasant to hear her again as Kiriko. Other casts include Tetsuya Kakihara as Keiichirou (Natsu in Fairy Tail), Youko Hikasa as Hyougo (Mio in K-ON!), Takehito Koyasu as Shigeyoshi (Kururu in Keroro Gunsou), Hideki Ogihara as Hyakusuke (Itsuki in Shuffle), Mari Yokoo as Otomi (Hiroko in Skip Beat), Hiroshi Tsuchida as Ryouma (Yamazaki in Honey And Clover), Yu Kobayashi as Maika (Ayame in Gintama) and Ryota Ohsaka as Sutemaru (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator). I thought Mamiko Noto was the voice behind Toshi. Sounds very close but something sounds a little off. I later found out Toshi is voiced by Sarah Emi Bridcutt (Asuka in Mondaiji-tachi Ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo).

The opening theme is Tamashii Rises by Kyoco. The hard anime pop rock feel of this song fits very well with the pace of this series. Unfortunately it does not appeal very much to me. The ending theme is Upon A Star by Saeko Zougou which is a slow piece and something ‘refreshing’ after all that hard rocking action and fanservice stuffs. I noticed that the handful of background music, most of them are rock based but there are some that have that funky acoustic guitar feel, which doesn’t sound entirely that bad.

Overall, this anime falls into that pitfall like many other animes. Lots of potential going to waste in exchange to make a quick buck. In the meantime, it desecrates the Tokugawa era despite being told that this is an alternative Japan. Because you know, sex sells. Heck, every gender bender fanservice period anime does that. If you aren’t into serious stuffs and just want to watch something to pass time (if you have lots of them) and is into mecha + fanservice, this series should be entertaining while you wait for the next big thing (if that ever comes – and no pun intended). So next time think twice about wanting to lose your virginity because not only it is something you’ll never get back once you lose it, it may also be the big difference that changes the fate of the world! It gives a whole new meaning and outlook to the term of getting screwed…

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