Hidan No Aria AA

June 11, 2016

I thought they failed to secure the necessary funding for the sequel. I mean, it has been pretty much over 4 years and so I assume it is safe to say that Hidan No Aria will not be getting a sequel ever. Fans of the series who watched the original anime back in 2011 might have remembered that at the end of the series, the producers even had the guts to cheekily ask fans to help support the DVD sales of the series if they ever wanted to see another season. Well, doing such desperate move only jinx it further even among hardcore fans although speaking so is only speaking the truth. So I am not sure if they finally reached their target after 4 years or they decided to scrap everything and use all that was received to make a sequel spinoff that nobody asks for. That’s right. Instead of getting season two of Hidan No Aria, we get Hidan No Aria AA instead. While our main girl Aria still does make decent appearances, the main character in focus will be a totally new character. That is why it is called a spinoff. Maybe Aria has been threatening to bullet holes in their body for making her series absent for such a long time.

Episode 1
Akari Mamiya has a dream showdown with her idol Aria. Indeed it is just a dream. She realizes she is late for school and why didn’t her sister, Nonoka wake her up? Well, she did. She got a kick in the face! Must be that showdown dream… On the bus, she meets her friends Shino Sasaki and Raika Hino. But it comes to a crashing halt as it has to give way to authorities chasing bank robbers. Making it more spectacular is Aria on the job as she kicks ass to apprehend all suspects! This gives Akari motivation to be like her idol but during the test, she is so paltry and chicken sh*t that it is just paltry. Just pathetic to watch. Just heartbreaking to see her lose and being mocked by Urara Takachiho. Her friends try to cheer her up by suggesting an Amica contract with Aria. It is a special contract whereby a trainee receives special training from a senior for a year. Although Akari’s hopes are close to none since Aria has rejected 20 Amica requests! But I suppose she is desperate enough to fill in and hand it in. Aria receives the form and is bewildered this E rank kid is the last of the last. Then Aria makes a surprise by popping up before Akari. Since she is busy, she will test her right now as she believes everyone should be given equal chance. However, not everyone was good enough. If Akari is still contemplating if she should take this chance, here is another lecture about chance and crime doesn’t wait. So what does Akari do? Straight on charge? Well, she lost at judo. Noticing the same gun she uses and how much Akari idolizes her, Aria takes her gun and the test will be to get it back in 30 minutes.

So it begins a game of cat and mouse. Aria the agile acrobat and Akari the clumsy klutz. But even Aria is amazed that she could keep up and persevere because many would have given up at this point. Their test is interrupted when a real crime crosses their path. The friends of yesterday’s robbers are trying to break out their comrades. Aria goes to help the authorities. A baddie tries to ram the car into her but Akari sees this and pushes her away and gets slammed! OMG! It is already amazing how she survived that crash (with lots of pain) but it is even more mind boggling how she stole the keys of that car from that position. With this case solved, their test resumes. This time Akari turns the tables on Aria. She tells her she has been running away all the while. She will not become her Amica if she continues to run! The showdown begins as Akari uses a risky move that although has her grab back her gun (albeit temporarily), she loses her balance and falls off. Don’t worry, the river is below. Akari thought she has failed but thanks Aria for everything. However Aria says she has passed. Though, the test is a tie since Aria still has her gun. Until she can get it back, Akari will be her assistant and unofficial Amica. That’s good news right? Later, Aria senses something amiss about Akari and has her informant, Hina Fuuma do some digging. Elsewhere a group of bad chicks are discussing about the fake robbery as distraction that failed due to the intervention of an unexpected factor. They are not worried yet as there is still time.

Episode 2
A sad flashback of Shino. Rich girl, no friends, alone. Yeah, Akari ‘saved’ her by becoming her first friend. Now that Akari is an Amica, she is going to live with Aria in her dorm. Man, it is freaking huge! Because Akari cannot name an area she specializes in, Aria has her sew her parachute. Akari is sad that she is reduced to a lackey but Aria is surprised that she took less than a day when it normally takes 2 days. Later Aria sees Fuuma about Akari. Based on her martial arts stance, it seems she uses some ninja assassination skill. Next day, Akari is praising all about Aria to her friends but this does not sit well with Shino. The last straw came when Akari can’t walk home with Shino because she needs to help Aria pack for her long mission. Back home, Shino takes out her frustration in her room. We see all the posters, dolls and mementos in the shape of Akari! OMG! Creepy! Fearing she would lose her friend forever, Shino goes to do some online research. Common sense tells her fighting Aria head on would be dangerous but she has found a way to take Akari back.

After Aria leaves for her mission, Akari is invited to Shino’s mansion. They spend their day together till night time when Shino brings her to her garden and tells her about the 3 day cancellation rule. Of course Akari is unaware so care to explain to us? In the Amica contract, there is a clause stating if the younger sister fights a battle and loses within 72 hours of that contract, the contract is terminated. Oh look. 15 more minutes to time. Shino takes out her sword and starts attacking her. She knows the uniform is bullet proof but it will still break her bones. She can take care of bed ridden Akari for the rest of her life! Creepy! We get it. All that flashback about her friendship with Akari boils down to jealousy, right? And she’s blaming Akari for this happening. Shino can even deduce Akari is going to use her martial arts stance and has already a way to counter it: An even freaking longer sword! No close quarter combat. Akari seems on the verge of losing till Aria shows up (because she has sensed something strange in Shino). So she’s here just to tell her to take care of these little things if she wants to become her Amica? It had an impact on her anyway. Akari uses her scarf to hold Shino’s sword and then leverage it to toss her into the pond. It is Akari’s win. Shino fears Akari hates her now but Akari still considers her friend. Like that, their friendship is patched up. Next day, Akari thought Shino would be sore over last night but here comes a very happy girl. She has found a system whereby Amica sisters can get together and form a group. She has requested to become Shirayuki’s Amica so the trainees can now form their own group and forever be in their yuri friendship. Love is always mutual!

Episode 3
Here is another creepy stalker. Kirin Shima has a room filled with Raika’s stuffs and just woke up from a wonderful dream of prince Raika coming to her rescue. Oh boy. Aria takes Akari and friends’ measurements to see what guns suit them as well as has them all fight her at the same time to gauge their level. Even so, they are no match for her Baritsu martial arts. Then she pairs Akari to fight with Shino and Raika to fight with a guy. Of course that cocky dude loses easily. All the while, Kirin has been watching and admiring her beloved. Meanwhile Akari-Shino’s fight isn’t much of a fight but some sort of yuri position? After school, Akari is worried when she sees Aria talking to Kinji. Shino is delighted with their ‘date’ but she didn’t see Akari was more concerned about tailing Kinji instead of hanging out with her. Akari fails in her tailing as Kinji flushes her out. You know this guy, I suppose has dealt with many hardcore Aria fans and thought she is the same. But Akari gets upset when he mentions Aria is a bother following him around. Then the wind blows up her skirt. Sexual awakening! Don’t worry. Kinji bloopers by falling into the river and thankfully Fuuma saves him. Akari later talks to Aria and confirms she was just trying to get Kinji on her investigation team. There rest are classified and Akari gets lectured about her punctuality as well as her awareness of her surroundings. She didn’t notice a thing around Shino. Don’t let it happen again.

Akari sees Kirin trying to ask Raika and be her Amica. Of course she refuses and even notes Kirin was Riko’s Amica last year. Akari talks to Raika but they noticed the boys in a class badmouthing Raika and her ‘masculinity’. Akari then catches Raika crying alone in the toilet. What did Aria said about being aware of her surroundings? I suppose she’s taking it too literally so she tries to tail Raika on her day off. Kirin is also there so they spy on Raika. To their surprise she is trying out girly dresses. Eventually Kirin reveals her position. Raika is embarrassed and warns her not to tell others. Of course she will keep her mouth shut. For a price. Thus the inevitable showdown to decide if Kirin can become her Amica. If she wins. Otherwise she has to stop following her around. Raika seems to be distracted by Kirin’s girly stuffs and even more so a yuri kiss! Kirin easily takes her down with her foot work. So while Kirin is sticking like a leech at Raika, Akari notices about Raika fighting because she could have easily countered that move. Could it be she lost on purpose? Kirin feels bad but Raika thought she changed her mind in making Kirin her Amica. Riko happened to be there and congratulates Kirin. Akari is left puzzled wondering how Riko knows her name. Aria continues to see Fuuma but there is no other information on Akari. It can be said that there is really nothing to it or she might be good in hiding her past. Either way, Aria doesn’t feel comfortable that something dangerous about Akari is bugging her.

Episode 4
Akari and Aria are idols???!!! However at the end of the concert Aria announces Akari’s retirement because she is E rank! She goes on to create a new idol group with Akari’s friends. Kinji is also part of this group???!!! Man, this sucks. Yeah, just a freaking dream… There is this Quartet test coming up and all first years need to form a group of 4 to participate. There is a possibility to go up a rank but provided if they win. As usual, Akari’s team is made out of Shino, Raika and Kirin (despite being an intern, as she is also a first year, she qualifies). Call it bad luck or fate, their opponent is Urara’s team. That b*tch even had her Aizawa twins, Yuyu and Yaya to start and stop laughing! Raika hates how Kirin is being badmouthed and tries to strike. She is stopped by Fuuma who is hired to be on Urara’s team. They continue to bully to rest and only leave when Aria comes by. We learn that Urara’s dream was to walk in some sand dunes with Aria. She failed her Amica test and since Akari got it, thus the extreme animosity. Akari and co talk to Aria about Quartet. Aria has never participated in one before since she was a transfer student. As Kirin has requested Riko to help train them, Shino suggests using her place for that. A sleepover-cum-training-camp, I guess. Shino explains the Quartet game format which resembles something like capture the flag. Then Riko has specific training regime for each of them. Akari’s one is the funniest because she is riding a horse riding machine?! So funny that the twins are spying and relaying footage back to Urara who is laughing her ass off. Laugh while you can, b*tch.

Raika feels a bit jealous when Riko gets a little too close to Kirin for old times’ sake. Shino also remembers how she became Shirayuki’s Amica. In the weirdest way possible, Shirayuki taught her how to become to best cook and learn different camera and spy gadget models! Essentially it is how to eliminate your love rival. Especially if the enemy is a certain pink twintail, go for the kill! Still obsessed over Kinji, eh? Raika continues to ponder if she would be a good Amica considering the ‘awesomeness’ Aria and Riko’s track record are. But Kirin assures her she has been watching her all along and admires her strength. Don’t you think it’s creepy? How long has she been watching her?! Late into the night, Akari continues to practice on the machine. Aria sees her in action. She learns Akari continues to be hardworking because she wants to prove Urara wrong that it is not impossible for her. They then continue their gun chasing act for that Amica contract thingy for a while. Of course Akari still loses but she has become a bit better. On the day of the match, Urara continues to be a b*tch refusing to shake hands with Akari because she thinks of herself as so godly. I’ll love it when she loses…

Episode 5
The game begins. Akari becomes the first victim when she is caught off guard by the twins. Don’t worry, Shino is here to cover her back as she was taught to fight 2 on 1. She handles them to let Akari go ahead. Fuuma faces off with Raika. I know Raika wants to show off her big sister coolness to Kirin so it looks odd for Kirin just to be standing behind her being protected. Plus, how can they see in all that smoke screen? As expected, Akari faces off with Urara. As expected, Urara shows off her b*tch power while Akari is reduced to a cowering coward. Because it is just freaking perplexing to see Urara’s pistol as every shot of hers count (it hits something) whereas Akari armed with an uzi can’t hit a freaking damn thing! NOTHING!!! WTF???!!! Urara narrates her failed Amica contract with Aria. After that she even tried to bribe Aria with more money but still got turned down. And you thought money can buy you anything, eh? She starts badmouthing Aria for picking a low level person like Akari. It just shows Aria isn’t as great as she is. This riles Akari but as she comes out of her cover only to get shot in the guts! Don’t worry. It’s rubber bullets though it still hurts like hell. When it’s time to end the game, Akari rides a nearby scooter (was the training for this?) up the dirt hill where Urara’s flag is placed at. It just looks silly seeing how slow the scooter is going up that mound and that is even after Akari jumps off. I guess that is why that training was important to control the scooter, blah, blah, blah. Had not Shino jump in to disable Urara’s gun, this tactic could have failed. The scooter dislodges the flag and it is Akari’s team win. Urara is so shocked with the defeat that, uhm, she falls and her butt is stuck in a barrel? Kyouchikutou has been watching so she activates some mechanism that has the iron scaffolding fall. Oh no. Can Akari and Urara get out in time? Don’t worry. Aria has been watching the match too. Luckily she has called Reki whose perfect sniping shoos away the falling metal sheets (to even create a little iron shed?) and enough time for our girls to escape. While Akari’s team revel in victory, it seems Riko is in cohorts with Kyouchikutou and the scooter belongs to Riko and was purposely placed there.

Episode 6
Raika and Kirin are getting married! Before we get to see the second yuri kiss, Riko crashes in to object in her spaceship?! While Aria helps Raika fend off the many Riko clones, Riko kidnaps Kirin. However Kirin is okay to be with her and they fly away happily ever after. Yeah, even Raika can dream something of this sort. Everyone celebrates over Akari’s win and she has been promoted to D rank after saving Urara. Speaking of that b*tch, she is here just to give flowers as thanks but that is about it. After the party, Akari wants to thank Aria for the good luck charm she gave prior to Quartet but Kinji notices it is a safe birth charm. Akari shoos him away but he notes Aria is different now because she once told him she didn’t need friends. Aria sees Fuuma again and she has nothing more about Akari. Aria noticed Akari using some supernatural power during Urara’s rescue but couldn’t see clearly due to the shed blocking. She thinks something must have driven her to a corner to make her use that technique. Kirin worries Raika is way too close to Akari because that tomboy flips up Akari’s skirt!!! Wait, what?! Even more so when Raika agrees to Akari’s request easily but when Kirin does some requesting, she has second thoughts about it. So she seeks Riko’s advice in which she tells her to invoke the Manifesto. So Kirin coaxes Raika to teach her cute loli classmates in giving some gun lessons. I think they are fawning over her instead of paying attention. After that they lure her to a room and then dress up to do… Senpai rape???!!! WTF???!!! The cuteness is making Raika go crazy! Count on Kirin to be the ringleader. She wants Raika to read aloud this Manifesto to declare she will choose her Amica over everything else. Raika screams out Kirin is her bride. That seals the deal. Time to celebrate? Next day, Kirin reveals about becoming Raika’s bride so Raika throws her into the river! She thought of replaying Raika’s recorded declaration on her handphone but Raika throws a knife into it! This gives Shino motivation to do the same with Akari. Please, no…

Episode 7
Urara. Lots of servants. Including Akari! But she is the worst servant and always gets punished! By tickling! Yup. A lousy dream. If you think that is creepy, wait till you know that Urara has Akari on her mind and wants her to be hers! OMG! But she is at a lost on what to do next. I guess bribing is out of the question, eh? Speaking of Akari, here she is before her. Urara panics but thanks to Akari’s dumbness, she manages to bluff her way through. Urara goes into overdrive to get Akari. This means leaving a bouquet of flowers in her home. Akari reads a card attached to it as invitation to her home (so that she can show off how glorious her room is). If you think Urara is spying and stalking Akari reading the card, let’s just say it is Shino instead. And she is not happy that somebody else is going to take her girlfriend best friend away. Akari arrives and is treated to a sumptuous party. With the twins as servants, I can see why they are freaking jealous. Things start to get wild when Urara can’t control herself and starts smothering herself in Akari’s boobs! It has begun! But before anything else can begin, Shino crashes in. I guess there is only one way to settle over Akari: A duel. At an abandoned building, the fight for Akari’s virginity, oops I mean, friendship begins! They are both neck to neck with each other and even to a point whispering stuffs about Akari’s smell and hair. Creepy! Kirin’s cute loli friends happen to pass by and think this is some cool fight and want to record it. They are told off and one of them accidentally slips and falls off. Akari’s quick thinking has her dive down to save her and the rest soon start to form a human chain catching and preventing them from falling to their deaths. Everyone is okay in the aftermath although Akari gets scolded by her ‘best friends’ for being reckless. Based on Akari’s logic, the duo are happy that they are considered as friends. But Urara concedes defeat to Shino because she acted first and this proves her love for Akari is deeper. Of course she won’t give up on Akari’s friendship and even states aloud her intentions to violate Akari (actual f*ck words censored out by conveniently cars passing by)! Akari is clueless of course but Shino is in shock and flustering.

Episode 8
By now you would have guessed such blissful opener is a dream. But an octopus shooting ink into Akari’s pussy???!!! WTF???!!! It is some sort of premonition that she wet the bed! Horror! Luckily it turns out to be her water bottle spilled. Urara continues to spy on Akari and in a ‘big coincidence’ invites her to lunch. From the direction of their talk, it allows Urara to invite Akari to her spa. But she didn’t count on Shino, Raika and Kirin who happen to be there to also take up her invitation. Curses. There goes her alone time with Akari. To keep up her pride, she is forced to allow them to call their other friends to join. This means Akari calls Aria to join but she declines (because she can’t swim) but with Riko’s teasing, she is forced to accept. Meanwhile Raika didn’t expect Kirin and her friends to have a swimsuit choosing party at her place and is forced to go along with it or else Kirin would put up crocodile tears. Meanwhile something shady is going on between Urara and Shino. They put away their rivalry to discuss strategies to deepen their violation friendship with Akari. Urara shows the same swimsuit she will wear with Akari. But Akari’s swimsuit will shrink when it gets soaked in water and in no time everything will come off! Oh yeah… On the day after everyone arrives, the twins are running late and scared of being chastised by Urara, they slip and mix up the swimsuits. See where this is going? Meanwhile, you must be wondering how many pads Aria is putting on to make her boobs look decent. Remember her concave boobs! No joke! Over the course of the fun, Urara cannot understand why the swimsuit shrinking is taking so long. Didn’t she notice her own swimsuit is gradually getting smaller? The twins then realize their mistake and can only pray for the best. This is also noticed by Shino. At the end of the day when Urara gets desperate and signals her final measure, the twins and Shino start struggling with her in which a trapdoor is released, sending Urara and Shino into an underground steam bath of love! So something naughty was supposed to happen here? Well, the rivalry is back. Thankfully Akari is so dumb not realizing what the hell is happening. Later Akari thought she successfully stole her gun back while Aria is changing but it is just her water pistol. Try again. Aria thanks Akari for inviting her and admits spending time with them isn’t so bad. She suggests spending time together again. This time she will visit her home.

Episode 9
This dream sequence starts off differently. Nonoka dreams of her past whereby something traumatic happened to the sisters. Their home got burnt down and they got tormented by a culprit that looks pretty familiar. Aria arrives for her home stay. Yes, she’ll be staying for a few days. So has Akari cleaned up everything yet? When Akari mentions about Aria’s stay to her friends, you can see the dead looks on Shino’s face. Want to bet this piece of information reaches Urara? Akari and Aria to errands together and because Akari’s jealous admirers are so bad in tailing, Aria just tells them to come out. I guess it is also a cue for them to join in. With the rest of the other friends who happen to be here too. Yeah, big coincidence. Shino and Urara have to bite and hold in their jealousy unless they want holes in their ass. That night, Akari thought she could sneak up on sleeping Aria and steal back her gun (or is it to molest her?) but Aria is as sharp as ever. Next day, Akari makes a vow to Aria that she will work hard to become exactly like her. She views her as the perfect Butei who holds up the law. Aria interrupts they’ll chat this later and sends her on an errand. Then Aria makes a run for it because she knows shady guys have been tailing her. Shino and Urara spot this so they go get Akari and call for backup. At the wharf, Aria faces off with the goons but the way they fight makes her realize they are just amateurs. She takes them out gradually but when more goons arrive, so does her Butei friends. They manage to suppress the big group but one sniper still remains elusive. Aria throws Akari back her gun and wants her to shoot him. However she is paralyzed in fear and cannot do so. Before she hits trauma mode, Reki takes him out.

In the aftermath, it is reported that those goons are related to those earlier bank robbers who have a grudge against Aria instead of some criminal attacking Butei students. Akari fears she will be scolded by Aria for that slip up but surprisingly she thanks her. Akari returns her gun since she didn’t get it back on her own accord but Aria says it isn’t necessary. The Amica test is over. She has decided Akari is not fit to be her Amica. That slip up isn’t just the reason. Aria realizes they are different as people. Akari works better with her group of friends while Aria is more of the lone wolf type. Learning her path won’t make her gain much. Akari remains stubborn so Aria tells her off that slip up would have put them in grave danger. Because Aria goes on dangerous missions, she’ll put in a lot of danger. If Akari can’t even shoot decently (not to kill but even as warning), do you think she is fit to be her partner? Besides, doesn’t Akari looked relieved when she didn’t have to shoot him? Aria then takes Akari to the shooting room and forces her to shoot. Even when not looking, Akari nails perfect shots to the forehead, eye, throat and heart. She claims had she shot then, the baddie would have died. Now it is Akari’s turn to run away and cry? Meanwhile Riko is seen talking to Kyouchikutou again. It was Riko’s plan to instigate those stupid punks as distraction so that some group can arrive safely. Now their operation can start. Riko will take out Aria so that Kyouchikutou can hunt down Akari.

Episode 10
A terrorist hijacks a bus. Aria was involved in the mission with Kinji but gravely injured. You know how Akari will feel when she sees this, right? Riko is dancing happily that she defeated Aria so easily. Kyouchikutou appears before Akari and wants to talk. She confirms her partner who is interested in Aria is the one who hurt her. As Kyouchikutou is only interested in Akari, she warns her about the seed she has sown 2 years ago and will bloom as early as today or tomorrow. She gives her the ultimatum to come to her hotel room. The nightmare begins when Nonoka collapses. Her condition stabilizes in ICU but she is in danger of losing her eyesight. Akari starts blaming herself that everything that has happened is because of her family’s secret technique and that she shouldn’t have become a Butei. So only now you think it is not okay? Akari’s only choice is to become Kyouchikutou’s pet. Her family were Shogunate spies in the past, similar to intelligence spies in today’s modern way. They possessed a technique that could kill. But during modern times, they were told by their mom this ancient technique was only passed down as tradition so using it wasn’t allowed. However if the time calls for it, only use it to protect. They train hard under mom until that fateful night 2 years ago. Kyouchikutou attacked the family seeking for the technique because the evil organization that she belongs to, IU is upset with them for keeping their technique a secret! WTF?! Kyouchikutou poisoned Nonoka and did an Arnold that she’ll be back for her someday. Akari’s family subsequently scattered and went into hiding. Fuuma adds Nonoka’s poison is called Fuchou and was originally her clan’s technique in which Kyouchikutou stole. It can only be neutralized by the person who made it. At this rate, Nonoka will slowly lose all her senses and die.

Akari is going to be a hero to confront Kyouchikutou. She’ll sacrifice her life if it is needed. But Aria heard everything and tells her to hold her horses. This is no fairytale so her sacrifice will be meaningless. Aria has deduced that Akari was trying to hide and suppress her technique, the reason why she is lowly ranked at Butei. She also tried to modify her technique since killing is forbidden in Butei’s law. Akari feels things are impossible at this point because she tried so hard in sealing her ability that she couldn’t learn anything new. Aria reminds her she has something that she doesn’t have: Friends. I guess it is time for them to join hands and support Akari in her first ever mission that Aria dubs Double A. Akari’s friends station outside the hotel as Akari heads into Kyouchikutou’s room which pretty much looks like a dark lab. Kyouchikutou lets her know what she wants in exchange for the antidote. She wants Takamakuri, her family’s secret poison as well as Akari herself. As Kyouchikutou is a master and enthusiast in poison, it upsets her that a poison technique that kills in a single touch and doesn’t leave a trace eludes her. Akari rejects her outright. One more last chance for Akari to join IU and Kyouchikutou will help take care and grow her stronger than Aria. No? Time to face off then.

Episode 11
The reason Kyouchikutou could fly is because there were nano-wires all around. She decides to go eliminate other obstacles first. Fuuma becomes the first victim when she mistakes her poison gas that turns out to be gas that melts her clothes too! So a ninja is incapacitated when she is naked? Even weirder, Kyouchikutou rips off her mask and it is the same when a woman has her naked body seen. WTF. She goes unconscious after Kyouchikutou scratches her with her poison fingernail. Next up is Raika. Another poison fingernail move to leave her paralyzed. Now it is Urara’s turn. This time she got trapped in some hallucinating drug before being sprayed by the big knockout gas in her face. Kyouchikutou then causes a big accident pileup on the bridge just for her showdown stage with Akari. If you think Akari’s uzi is going to do something, the big shocker is when Kyouchikutou unpacks her giant gatling gun!!! OMG! Surprise! She fires but Shino protects Akari. She only lives because of her bulletproof uniform but the beating is enough for her to be taken out. Akari is now mad. That Bruce Lee pose has Kyouchikutou finally smiling in glee because Akari is going to show her Takamakuri. Since Akari is remembering Aria’s words and lessons, impatient Kyouchikutou fires her gun to force her to move. Akari is so amazing that she dodges every bullet! Both girls are left puzzled because Akari failed in making Takamakuri happen when she zooms past her. Is this a joke? But lessons from mom soon come back as Akari explains Takamakuri isn’t a poison technique. But Kyouchikutou doesn’t believe. Akari continues explaining the technical mumbo jumbo about pulses and pressure points. Yeah. Whatever. In a single strike, not only she destroys the gatling gun but rips Kyouchikutou’s clothes too! OMG! Why didn’t it rip her underwear? She is arrested but in her underwear too? No decent clothes to put on? Yeah, after all the trouble she has given, the least she could do is give us fanservice. At least she believes Takamakuri isn’t poison now. But she warns it is not over yet and more trouble will come. Akari and Kirin think she is just being a sore loser since their friends are beginning to recover. Aria then rushes into the scene to warn them a piece of information she got from Reki. It seems another member of IU has infiltrated the place. You don’t say. Could you have timed the advice a little earlier because here she comes now running rampage in her mecha. Suimitsutou is not happy that her little sister was bullied and now it’s payback time.

Episode 12
Suimitsutou is going to blast everything until her sister is released. All the while laughing with that derp face and eating her potato chips. Yeah. She’s the crazier one alright. Akari suggests she will be the decoy, much to Aria’s protest. For once Akari reminds her about her own lesson regarding impossibility. Akari then runs straight towards Suimitsutou and although she knows she is a decoy, she just fires away. Another bad shooter because all her shots missed. Or is Akari that petite? Aria runs back to her friends to request their help. Once Suimitsutou runs out of bullets, Reki fires the bridge cables to tangle her mecha. Then the rest shoot smoke screen to cover her vision. If she resorts to electronics, they release tin foil interferes with the electromagnetic waves. As she tries to fly up, Aria shoots her glass cover with paint to completely blind her. Akari and Aria then fire their rounds to send Suimitsutou to her defeat and let her get arrested along with her sister. Great news for everyone is that Kyouchikutou has accepted some plea bargain and so she will make the antidote to cure Nonoka. But it is not so great news when Aria praises Akari and then says this is their last mission together. She tells her to find her own Amica. Not because of what happened recently but she already told her they were different people to begin with. Besides, Aria has so many enemies that following her around will be dangerous.

Akari won’t accept this and challenges her to another test one last time. If she is strong enough, that won’t be a problem, right? She will go all out to defeat her. Aria accepts the challenge and the test will remain the same like last time. Only this time Aria will not run but fight her. So it begins the battle. Akari starts using her power and holy cow! Am I watching a Naruto fight???!!! Akari did some reckless move that allows her to steal back her gun but at the expense of losing her consciousness. Aria could have taken her gun back but seeing the happy looks on her face, she calls it her victory. In the aftermath, Akari continues to remain mainly the same. Still waking up late. Why didn’t Nonoka wake her up? She tried. See that big slap on her face? Yeah… Kirin and her loli friends force Raika to give them some lessons. She isn’t the popular one, though. Because Urara and Shino are at each other over Akari. However she declines them because she has got a date with Aria! So what is Urara going to do with all the food ordered for her? It’s a shame to go to waste so the losers dine over them while they make another pact to get rid of that Aria b*tch. Aria and Akari are on their way to a mission and bump into Kinji and Shirayuki. Akari still hates Kinji’s guts. Shirayuki still hates Aria’s guts. Kinji can tell Akari is a little different now. Aria and Akari being their first official mission together when suddenly… Akari blunders! How the f*ck could she be so clumsy and fall over Aria! It is no surprise she is so embarrassed and upset and threatens to turn Akari back into a trainee!!!

Yuri No Aria B+
Remember what the name of this series is. There is no way in the world that Akari will be separated from her beloved senpai forever, right? And there you have it. An average story to begin with that ends on somewhat on a happy note with our 2 main protagonists together in what will be a long love-hate relationship. But that is another story. Basically the entire season can be divided into 3 parts: 1/3 of the show being the introduction to the main characters, another 1/3 resorting to yuri hijinks fanservice and the final 1/3 reserved as the ‘main plot’ for the girls to kickass and strut their stuff.

Sometimes I felt that the overall story and plot were mediocre because of certain scenarios like when you keep thinking that Aria as the best Butei around, she failed to get a single decent information on Akari’s past. I mean, is Akari really that good in keeping her family secrets? Is there really no documentation of them? How the heck IU knows about it when Akari and Butei don’t (so okay, there are many things Butei doesn’t know about IU)? Aria’s guts tell her something is wrong but that is about it. And with random low level punks targeting her, shouldn’t she get a hint something is obviously wrong? Maybe information isn’t Aria’s specialty since she is more of the on-field action girl and perhaps that is why Aria reminded us she is not as perfect as we think she is. But of course. The best ranked Butei and she can’t even swim? Something feels wrong. Even more so Fuuma is supposed to be a ninja and Aria relying on her means she is an information specialist of the sort, right? Yeah, she had one job and she failed.

I even thought that Nonoka’s unimportant role and appearance in this series is so that she could be a reason to be shoehorned for the final arc. I mean, do you even care about this caring sister who gets little screen time? The activation of the poison in her body just makes me want to ask why the heck did Kyouchikutou waited for 2 years just for Akari to decide if she would come and join her. And what the f*ck were the sisters doing for that couple of years? Didn’t Kyouchikutou tell Akari that Nonoka was poisoned then? Didn’t they try to find an antidote? Oh sure. Living the normal life seems more reasonable. She is going to die anyway might as well let her live the best normal life ever. Duh. And if Akari’s Takamakuri is that strong, can she use it to fight against IU? I know she doesn’t want to kill but couldn’t she just think of it as protecting her loved ones like her mother told her? Uh huh. The case of Akari being just Akari. Now you pay the price.

If you remember the previous season whereby Kinji was the main protagonist, he had some sort of weird sexual condition that made his senses and skills improved when he is stimulated. Though it was just merely hinted as a quick one here, I guess they throw out that kind of Hysteria Mode fanservice (especially for him to get horny with Aria) in exchange for yuri fanservice this season. Yes people. Yuri seems to be the fashion fanservice for this spinoff considering that all the main and supporting characters are female. Sure, you can count Kinji’s minimal cameo to break the all-female appearance but that hardly changes the fact that almost every darn girl here seems to be lesbians ranging from mild to extremely creepy. Really.

Akari may look up to Aria as her role model but don’t you think that this is a subtle hint of being yuri? I mean, look at her room. If it is not creepy enough that she posts Aria’s lessons in her exact words on her bedroom wall, you should see the Aria posters in it as well. It sure did freak out Aria when she came for the home visit. Further prove that Akari is yuri is the fact that she hates Kinji. The only recurring guy in the series and she hates him?! For what? Letting nature accidentally take a peek at her panties? Compounding the yuri love triangle are filthy rich girls Shino and Urara who are rivals to steal Akari’s heart and body. Yuyu and Yaya might look like loyal servants but you can tell from their actions they are so into Urara, the reason why they abide her every order, whim and fancies. Not forgetting the yuri pair triangle of their own, Raika and Kirin and Riko. Sometime it gets pretty duh to see them worrying about the other, stealing glances at the other, only to feel jealous when they see the other getting along pretty well with another woman. So being yuri partners mean they can’t decently talk to others? Throw in Kirin’s cute loli friends and you can have a big moe yuri orgy fanservice. Hell, yeah!

Although Fuuma and Nonoka don’t seem to be yuri oriented thanks to their minimal roles in the spinoff, but I wouldn’t discount it either. Otherwise it the spinoff would be exploding with distasteful yuri fanservice (refer to Valkyrie Drive ~Mermaid~). I’m not saying that this series has horny fanservice like that horny anime since the most you get is just one lousy mild yuri kiss and that was just between Raika and Kirin. Even Riko herself has yuri tendencies towards Aria considering if you watched the original TV series, their rivalry goes way back to their forefathers as phantom thieves and great detectives. Though, Riko feels much like a flirty Playgirl anyway. Kyouchikutou’s obsession with Akari means it is yuri, right? What about big sister Suimitsutou with her sisterly love? That is sisterly yuri, right? Yes, any female relationship among each other is seen as yuri!

Therefore the only obviously straight female ever in this series is Shirayuki. From time to time you can see her planning out her creepy stalker antics to grab Kinji’s heart but usually it fails. It just feels odd that as the only non-yuri character, she struggles really hard to achieve her goal. Would Kyouchikutou’s lingerie scenes be considered as consolation for the typical male targeted demographic fanservice? Okay. Better than remembering Aria’s concave boobs, right?!

The characters of this spinoff feel generic and cliché themselves. Like Akari as the lively and clumsy girl. Despite all that sunshine she has a dark past to hide but eventually no longer wants to run away, confronts it, gets over it. So typical. Then you have her group of friends like Shino the rich best friend, tomboyish Raika (but with a fetish for cute thing!), moe loli type Kirin, ninja type Fuuma (whose favourite pose is hanging upside down most of the time), obnoxious rich rival b*tch turned obnoxious rich comrade b*tch Urara and her yes-man (or woman) twins. The old casts also remain largely similar like cheeky and scheming Riko, Reki’s stoic and taciturn nature. Since Kinji isn’t the main star here, it means Aria does not display her tsundere quality.

Action scenes are rather okay although they are a few compared to the yuri fanservice you will be getting. This spinoff even pales in comparison with its predecessor if you want to talk about fight sequences. The characters here do not really show off much of their skills and even so they look pretty generic like Fuuma with her ninja techniques, Urara with her pistol and Shino with her sword (I believe Tsubame Gaeshi is her ultimate strike but I couldn’t really tell the difference). I don’t know what Raika does and Kirin is only reduced to relay information (can’t a cute loli fight?). It gets weirder when Akari could pull off some sort of seemingly supernatural move. I mean, really? She has got to be the biggest troll ever. Missed all the bullets from an uzi but accurately hits all target with a pistol? Yeah. Akari just being Akari.

Poison master Kyouchikutou is calm and cool in her techniques and I was hoping she owned every other damn character before she lost. You’ve got guns, you’ve got swords, you’ve got fist fights (that short final ‘Naruto’ fight really felt weird), why not insert a mecha battle too? That is what basically Suimitsutou’s role is all about. Come to think of it, why the heck did Kyouchikutou need to secretly sneak her in if it was part of IU’s intention to test this latest mecha? Can she just barge in and fire all the way since Suimitsutou is the crazy type? Why wait and follow according to plan that only when Kyouchikutou falls, then only she can debut. Huh? Besides, the big irony is how Kyouchikutou noted she would have preferred her sister to remain in the sidelines forever and should not have lost in the first place because her crude destruction was just embarrassing. And also the case of the spinoff being just the spinoff, the action sequence of how Aria lost to Riko was cut out and it felt disappointing because I really wanted to see how the Quadra couldn’t live up to her reputation. But it may be the case Riko didn’t face Aria directly because they are still sitting together in the end. After all, Riko is the greatest pretender. Even so, shouldn’t Aria at least be suspicious of her considering how their fate went about in the original TV series?

Despite the art and animation style looking the same, Doga Kobo took over from J.C. Staff in animating this spinoff. And now the characters seem to look similar like some of those visual novel games or manga they animated such as Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi, 11eyes, Koihime+Musou and Myself;Yourself. Or maybe it is just me. After seeing so many animes over the years and seasons, the characters start to look more or less the same. Because even in this spinoff if I am not concentrating, I have a hard time telling the difference between some characters like Shino and Shirayuki. They look nearly similar on the outside. And of course a no-brainer because Yuyu and Yaya look so close that if they didn’t wear their half headband that has their initials so big on it, I couldn’t tell them apart.

The casts from the original series are all retained so it is quite the delight to hear Rie Kugimiya as Aria once again. The rest are reduced to cameo roles like Junji Majima as Kinji, Mariya Ise as Riko, Mikako Takahashi as Shirayuki and Kaori Ishihara as Reki. For the new line-up, Ayane Sakura as Akari once again her bratty voice suits such a character. If you think her character resembles so much like Cocoa from Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka, then you are absolutely right. Sometimes I just thought they pluck out her character from that series and put her here. The other recognizable voice is Aoi Yuuki as Kirin who puts on her ultimate cutesy voice. The rest of the casts include Ai Kayano as Shino (Inori in Guilty Crown), Mao as Raika (Renge in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Urara (Yuzuru in Date A Live II), Ayaka Imamura as Fuuma (Miyabi in Absolute Duo) and Inori Minase as Nonoka (Hestia in DanMachi).

Hearing Yui Horie as Kyouchikutou, I believe this has got to be the blandest role ever she has voiced. Don’t get the wrong idea. She sounds very fitting for her character but over the years after hearing countless of anime roles ranging from super cute (too many to name), creepily cute (that loli from Umineko Naku Koro Ni) and robotic cute (Miss Monochrome, who else?), hearing her in this role suddenly takes away all the emotion from the stereotype that I am used to hearing her. This isn’t exactly her first emotionless character role. She did something similar too like Raika in Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai. But this one takes the cake as the most monotonous ever. Oh, here is a little trivia too. This isn’t the first time Yui Horie voiced a character in this series. She actually made a cameo role as the Landlady back in the special OVA episode of Hidan No Aria. I wanted to make a connection speculation of the character but I think that would be a stretch.

The opening theme is Bull’s Eye by Nano, a rock outfit that is quite fitting for the action theme of the series but not so when you think about how this series is so much yuri. Yeah, I think it is still better than putting an all-girl idol unit as the opener. The ending theme is Pulse by Team AA, which is basically a duet between Akari and Aria. Nothing special about this generic anime rock pop. But still a reminder that despite their bratty and tsundere specialty voice, they can sing decently.

Overall, just like what I have indicated, this spinoff gets a B+ because despite the story being average and felt lacking, at least it gets a plus for being entertaining (in the purest sense). If you like your action with lots of moe and mild yuri, look no further. Just don’t expect the same plot you’d expect in the original Hidan No Aria. Just a different ‘plot’… Although I feel it has a story and characters with potential to develop, something tells me that it all depends on the DVD and BD sales… Hmm… Didn’t the producers ask fans to buy them this time around? Well, you better now in case you want to see another spinoff of a spinoff of this series (maybe by that time you’ll have another Aria spinoff). Otherwise Akari will be putting holes in your body and more accurately than Aria could.

Hidan No Aria

February 26, 2012

Loli. Tsundere. Rie Kugimiya. A gun in both hands. Get the picture? That basically sums up what Hidan No Aria is. There must be something about Rie Kugimiya and her tsundere loli roles that fascinate me for a very long period of time. To say that I’m not a fan of hers would be inaccurate because as up till today, Mamiko Noto is still my number one seiyuu anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Year in, year out, seasons come, seasons go, it’s like almost every quarter we have at least Rie Kugimiya voicing the roles that she does best in. And no, that wasn’t a complaint. Thus, it was one of the few reasons (or excuse however you look at it) to watch this series. The other being comedy and how often do you see girls whipping out a couple of guns in their hands? Revi from Black Lagoon? Jo from Bakuretsu Tenshi? That seems like from a long time ago.

In this series, there is a school, an academy called Butei. Think of it as a military type of school but with a mix of your typical high school anywhere else in the world. Here, students learn the basics and specialize in certain areas that would allow them to carry arms to apprehend criminals. It’s like a school for spies, SWAT and super secret service agents. In other words, James Bond and Jason Bourne wannabes should attend this school. Really. So with criminals getting bolder and the fine line of justice blurring these days, do you see the need of such schools?

Episode 1
Kinji Tooyama is a student of Butei. Not a model student whatsoever. It’s understandable that he wants to leave this academy (which is an entire island of its own in Tokyo). And probably this strange turn of events would accelerate his decision to do so. You see, one morning when he is late to catch his usual bus, he starts cycling only to find that there is a bomb underneath the seat. He can’t slow down or jump off because some automated and armed Segway is threatening to blow his brains off if he did. Then a miracle happened. A girl drops from the sky via parachute and pulls off a major stunt in destroying the Segway and at the same time grabbed Kinji away from the bicycle before it explodes. Wow. Don’t try this stunt anywhere, people. So the next scenes replay the events of how it lead to this. Kinji your normal kid, wants to be just that. Apathetic to life. Not looking forward to today’s opening ceremony. Can’t wait for the day he transfers out of Butei. Childhood friend and wife-wannabe, Shirayuki Hotogi pays him a visit, concerned about her ‘future husband’. Makes him lunch, warns him about having trouble with a girl (which insecure girl wouldn’t?), reminds him about the Butei Killer incident and though the original culprit has been caught, a copycat may strike again. But do you think with the bulletproof blazer and guns or swords that all Butei students are permitted to carry to school will make them safe? Kinji checks his mail. Probably checked too long so it would be the day he regretted missing the 7.58am bus. And the rest is history as we have seen. And in between the action of Kinji’s heart pounding chase, we have the handsome teacher of Butei’s Ambulance Division, Tooru Sayonaki explain the basics to the newbies about Butei. And unlike the police, Butei people work for money. Makes them no difference than a mercenary, eh? He signs off with an advice for everyone to be careful and not lose their lives. At least during their stay at Butei. Shows you how rough it’s going to get. Well, if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

So when Kinji wakes up from his unconsciousness, he finds himself in a storeroom and his female saviour, Aria H. Kanzaki over him. Yes, Aria as you have guessed it by a mile is your typical tsundere when she mistakes Kinji for being a pervert. But no time for that because several Segway reinforcements corner them and start firing. As Aria fires her twin guns at them, her flat chests are leaning against Kinji’s face. No matter how flat, when a girl’s boobs are pressed against your face, you’re still going to get stimulated, right? Because of that, Kinji’s dreaded other personality awakens. He becomes cool, cocky but effective. Putting Aria aside, he coolly deals with the Segways himself while Aria is reduced to a sexual-harassment-crying blushing tsundere. She regrets saving this molester and tries to ‘kill’ him. If not her guns, but her twin swords. Something mind boggles me. If she is so petite, how the heck did she keep twin swords behind her back which is seemingly much longer than her body? Aria fails to ‘kill’ him as Kinji walks away. As explained, this mode that Kinji genetically inherits is called Hysteria Mode. He goes into this mode when he is sexually aroused. His physical abilities and intelligence increase many times fold and is able to pull off near-impossible superhuman stunts with deadly accuracy and effectiveness. So if this is such a cool feature, there must be something about this mode that makes him wish he was never born. Kinji thinks his troubles are over but as he enters class, Aria is the new transfer student and wants to sit next to him! The class goes wild upon misunderstanding Kinji did something perverted to her. Well, Aria had his belt with her (he gave it to her when her zipper was ruined during the Segways attack). Though Aria warns she’ll blast a hole in anyone if they start talking trash like that. The day ends even worse for Kinji. Aria barges into his dorm and wants to him to be her slave. So yeah, Shirayuki’s prediction of him getting trouble with a girl did come true.

Episode 2
Slave or personal butler, Kinji is forced to serve Aria to her whims and fancies. Maybe he has to if he wants to live. Normal life getting further and further… Aria wants Kinji to join her Assault Division and do Butei missions but that division is the reason why Kinji wanted to quite Butei altogether. Do you think Aria cares? Join her or else! Or else what? Yeah, he gets kicked out of his own dorm as punishment. So when Kinji returns, he finds Aria taking a shower. Remember his bad luck with girls? It’s going to get a lot worse because SHIRAYUKI IS AT THE DOOR!!! He tries to make an excuse that no other woman is living with him. But you can’t fool a woman’s intuition. Shirayuki remains suspicious and though she passes him his dinner, somehow Kinji manages to persuade her to go home. Thank God. At least no bloodshed broke out for now. Maybe for Kinji because he saw Aria naked when she came out from the shower. In the short period they are living together, Kinji himself notices he has gotten better in evading Aria’s attack! So it did do him some good, eh? Kinji thinks he can get away from Aria when she’s attending her Assault classes but looks like she raked in enough credits to graduate so she doesn’t need to attend them. Aria follows this E-rank Butei on his part time job of taking up odd jobs. This time to find a cat. Not very much credits but that’s the least he could do for his rank. So during the job, we have more tsundere from Aria. Need I elaborate? If she says she doesn’t need friends, why does she need him? Oh yeah. He’s her slave. At the end of the day, Kinji manages to find and rescue the cat. After he manages to lose Aria, he meets his flirty classmate, Riko Mine at a conservatory. In exchange for information on Aria, he gives this gothic loli fashionista some eroges she loves playing. Kinji learns of Aria’s nickname as Quadra because she uses twin guns and blades during her Butei mission in Europe. When Kinji goes back, he tells Aria what he knows about her. Mom is Japanese, dad is half-British, grandma receives the Dame title from the British Royal Family and she is S-ranked Butei, the highest rank of all. She also has never let a person escaped but she mentions Kinji being the first. Let’s say it has something to do with him being perverted. At least to her. Aria also noticed about his other mode and wants him to activate it. Seeing he doesn’t want to go into Hysteria, he agrees to join her. Though he will just be taking Assault as an elective and for just one mission. No matter how long or big, a mission is still a mission.

Episode 3
Riko gives Kinji a coupon for a crane game machine which expires today. Kinji’s old Assault buddies like Goki Mutou and Ryou Shiranui are happy to know he is back albeit he asserts it is just temporary. Aria continues to follow her slave and at the crane game, she sucks in getting the cat (or is it leopard?) plushies she wanted so much so our cool Kinji shows her how it’s done. Because Kinji somehow managed to get 2 plushies, happy Aria gives him one for his effort. Back home, Kinji notices his wall clock slower than his wristwatch. He adjusts his wristwatch and the next morning, he is puzzled he missed his usual bus. Deja vu? Yes it is. However this time the bomb is on the bus! His Assault friends are all on board. A message is relayed via one of the student’s handphone that the passengers mustn’t do anything rash and if the bus decreases its speed, the bomb will go off. And this time there is an armed Lamborghini firing up by the bus’ side if they do anything funny. Aria and Kinji go into action upon learning about the hijacked bus as Aria thinks the Butei Killer has strike again seeing the real culprit was never caught. As the bus heads to Odaiba, the Assault guys make calculations to disarm the Lamborghini when the bus enters the underground tunnel. However it backfired because the Lamborghini fires faster. If not for the bulletproof blazers, they could’ve been dead. Luckily Aria pulls up from behind and shoots the Lamborghini’s tire to put send it crashing. Then pulling off another stunt that nobody should ever do, both of them get on the bus while letting that expensive car they rode crash into the corner. They try to find the bomb and they need to find it fast because the bus is losing gas. Aria finds the bomb underneath the bus while Kinji finds a device transmitter on top. Then another Lamborghini pulls up from behind. Aria manages to fire and send it crashing before its bullets could reach them. Out of the tunnel, Reki of the Snipe Division pulls off an amazing sharp shooting accuracy through the tiny bridge frames as she fires a single shot to loosen the bomb as it explodes in the sea. Later Kinji learns Aria had asked Reki for help for the mission. Kinji visits Aria recuperating in hospital and reports of the incident yield no results in revealing the culprit. But Aria is disappointed in Kinji because she thought she could see him in Hysteria Mode though Kinji denies he has such power. Aria couldn’t care less about his decision to quit Butei because compared to hers, she is in a more dire situation and running out of time. Kinji is still bent on leaving so Aria notes that he isn’t the one she is looking for.

Episode 4
Kinji wakes up from a dream whereby his brother, Kinichi who was also part of Butei helped saved and evacuated a hijacked ship. Though he was the only one who died, society criticized and pinned the blame on him. Kinji sees Aria on the streets and follows her but of course she knows his tailing sucks. Seems Aria is visiting her mom, Kanae in jail. Aria believes her mom has been framed by the Butei Killer and if she can prove her innocence, she can help reduce her jail sentence from 864 years to 742 years! WTF???!!! Aria loves her mom very much and will do anything to free her but Kanae says she can’t do it alone and needs to bring out her inherited strength and the need of a skilled partner. Visiting hours is over so the policemen pull Kanae away much to Aria’s dismay. Kinji felt sorry for Aria so he goes to do some investigation over the Butei Killer and learns how reports printed that Kanae was arrested for crimes as Butei Killer. He also realizes Aria’s term for slave meant partner. Shiranui informs him that Aria is leaving for London tonight. Kinji goes to see Riko and he has to put up with her seduction and flirty ways if he wants to really know what happened to Kinichi. Riko purposely stimulates Kinji to awaken his Hysteria Mode. Even so, Kinji wastes no time in playing with her. With his heightened intelligence, he starts putting the pieces together and realizes Butei Killer’s next target is Aria’s plane. He manages to get on board at the last minute, much to Aria’s surprise. Since the case of Butei Killer hasn’t been solved, this means his first and only mission with Aria isn’t over. Though Aria feels she can handle this alone, she starts to get frightened by lightning. Well, nobody’s perfect. True enough, Butei Killer is on board and makes an announcement that the plane is hijacked. Kinji mentions about the Butei Killer’s method in not using electronic signals as remote control to avoid detection because the killer was on board himself. He also says the Butei Killer is challenging Aria from the start by forcing his own charges onto Kanae. When they corner the supposedly Butei Killer, she turns out to be Riko!!! How can such a cute girl be a villain?! Ah well, I’ve seen such cases before. Riko reveals she is the 4th generation of the famous phantom thief Arsene Lupin and the reason she’s doing all this was because she’s sick that everyone is calling her the 4th instead of her real name. Plus, she’ll be able to surpass her great grandfather if she beats them when their forefathers locked in a similar battle. So it was Riko who had been setting up things like the bomb on Kinji’s bike and the bus and the tampering of his clock in hopes of setting up Aria and Kinji together. Riko also says she was behind that ship incident and right now, Kinichi is her boyfriend. Because Kinji is close to being provoked, Aria faces off Riko in a close range gun firing battle. I wonder how long their bulletproof clothes will last. However Riko has a trick up her sleeve. She can use her hair to wield objects and this distracts Aria, allowing Riko to fire at point blank into Riko’s heart.

Episode 5
Kinji takes Aria away to a room and manages to revive her with some injections. Of course when she wakes up, she thinks he’s trying to do funny stuff on her. Do we have time for all this? Since she continues to be tsundere, Kinji kisses her to activate his Hysteria Mode. Soon the battle with Riko continues as the Assault guys receive word of the hijacked plane. The plane starts descending quickly. As Aria tries to control to plane, Kinji confronts Riko who is a step away from blowing the door for her escape. She wants him to join EU but he isn’t interested. So she bids farewell by blasting the doors and converting her uniform into a parachute! Cool fanservice! Oops. I mean, cool parachute conversion contraption. Seems EU has got a gift for them, a couple of missiles into the plane’s engines. Kinji goes to help Aria pilot the plane. A couple of Japan Air Self Defence Force escort and inform them to await further orders. Because the airwaves were jammed, Kinji borrowed a satellite telephone to contact Mutou. Reading the plane’s instruments, with the leaking fuel, they can last 10 minutes at best. They also let Kinji know that the government has considered the risk of a failed landing at a nearby airport and are preparing to shoot it down. In short, they have abandoned plans to save this flight and will either way shoot them down when they reach the Pacific Ocean. But Kinji plans on landing on an unused island with a flat open ground. With all the calculations, they have to land with precision. And those guys down at Assault have to do something for lighting because it’s damn dark. Somehow they manage to borrow whatever lighting equipments to light up the outline of the island as the plane inches closer. Have faith in the man. Well, it really does seem unbelievable that the plane stopped right at the edge of the island! So it’s perhaps no wonder Kinji must be recovering from this ‘shock’ as he looks out lethargically from his window. Aria mentions this incident proves Kanae was wrongly accused as the Butei Killer, she is here to wish him goodbye and will look for a new partner. However if he changes his mind, he can come be her partner. So I guess that’s it? Not interested? I guess it took him long enough to realize that he really needs her. No point yelling when she’s already flying off in her helicopter. Probably she had already calculated all this because she leaps off from the helicopter and into his arms! I wonder how many broken bones he got. So if you haven’t guessed it by now, The H. in Aria’s middle name stands for Holmes and yes, she is the fourth generation to that famous detective Sherlock Holmes. With one trouble over, another trouble comes. This time Shirayuki is going to slice Aria when she misinterprets Kinji living with another woman. Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned…

Episode 6
Well, it’s his room and the girls are tearing it up like nobody’s business. She how dangerous women can be? And all over for a guy. Not that Aria would admit anyway but will Shirayuki listen? So while the girls duke it out, Kinji just waits outside his balcony while narrating to us viewers that Shirayuki is from the line of Hotogi miko priestess, armed shrine maidens with super powers passed down from generations. Butei who can use such powers are called Choutei, just like how Riko did with her hair. So have the girls decide to calm down yet? All the furniture are good for the junkyard. Aria continues to deny Kinji is her lover and that he is just her slave but Shirayuki misinterprets this as something naughty. She only believes whatever Kinji says so all this could’ve been avoided if he just opened his mouth sooner. Well, she didn’t let him and was too infatuated in cutting down that cheater. But she might not be able to hold on to her sanity much longer since Kinji and Aria couldn’t deny the fact that they kissed. Though Aria assures she didn’t get pregnant (what era is she from?), Shirayuki faints because she can’t handle this much longer. While Butei is preparing for the Adseard Festival, Aria reads up on a book the truth of how babies are made. In her embarrassment, she takes it out on Kinji. Aria is part of the cheerleading squad for Adseard and she is going to train Kinji to control his Hysteria Mode. By hitting him suddenly as and when she likes. Call this reflex training. Is it really working? Nope. When Shirayuki is being called to see her teacher, Umeko Tsuzuri about her declining grades, Aria thinks this is chance to find her weakness. Throughout the day, Aria almost fell into several traps that she thinks Shirayuki has set. As the duo Eavesdrop inside the air ventilation space, they hear Tsuzuri worrying if she had received mail from Durandal, a kidnapper that targets powerful Choutei though he is just a rumour and no one has ever seen his true form. Tsuzuri feels she needs a bodyguard so Aria busts out from her hiding and offers to be one for free. Though Shirayuki dislike the idea, she agrees as long as Kinji be her bodyguard too. And that she also lives with him. Oh boy. This is getting messy. Seems Aria’s objective has changed to catch Durandal and reduce mom’s sentence to 635 years (at this rate of setting her free, it’s going to be a long road) and believes that super criminal really exists. Shirayuki becomes nervous and acting like Kinji’s new wife. You can tell the obvious discrimination in treatment between Kinji and Aria. Then a short flashback how Shirayuki started liking Kinji. Due to her strict rules living at Hotogi, she was not allowed outside the shrine but Kinji sneak her out to see the fireworks. Though she got scolded after that. Even so, she was happy he always came to play with her. Shirayuki accidentally sees Kinji half naked coming out from the toilet. She thinks of undressing herself to even the score. As they struggle, Aria comes back and misinterprets everything. She starts firing at him, causing that poor guy to jump out from his balcony and into the sea below!

Episode 7
Thanks to that, Kinji catches a cold. He thought Shirayuki left him a syrup for his cold when it was actually Aria. In school, Aria wants Kinji to search through Shirayuki’s mail since Durandal sends threatening mails before he kidnaps. But Kinji isn’t interested and notes Aria doing her cheerleading stuff rather than be Shirayuki’s bodyguard. Well, she had Reki doing it part time. More of Aria’s tsundere mood when she hears Kinji mistaking Shirayuki for nursing him and she snaps when he mentions Durandal doesn’t exists because nothing bad has befall Shirayuki for the past few days. She wants Durandal to exist because she wants to save Kanae so bad. If not, show him proof that he exists. Otherwise, he’ll guard Shirayuki himself throughout the festival. Shirayuki sure must like this, right? So they both go watch the fireworks that night and as Kinji goes to buy sparklers, Shirayuki receives an eye-opening SMS. Kinji comes back, they play the sparklers and Shirayuki mentions her predictions about him disappearing. She feared it was Aria but ever since she came into his life, he seems happier. Then she starts getting emotional, wanting him to have eyes only for her. But the build-up to the kiss is ruined when they are distracted by the sound of fireworks by several kids nearby. As Adseard begins, Kinji watches Shirayuki but didn’t think of anything would happen in this crowd. As he takes a break, he receives a farewell SMS from Shirayuki. Then Tsuzuri comes frantically to him, looking for Shirayuki who is now missing. She is asking if she has received any texts recently. Kinji remembers Aria’s words and he realizes his mistake. He calls Shirayuki but she doesn’t pick up. He regrets not protecting her seriously and not trusting Aria who tried so hard to convince him. He starts panicking but Reki fires a warning shot to calm him down before he loses sight of his goal and the effectiveness of his abilities. Reki mentions she saw Shirayuki entering a hangar minutes ago. Kinji suspects something amiss because this is not a place she would go. Rushing into the warehouse and heading down, Kinji sees Shirayuki meeting Durandal (hiding in the shadows). Shirayuki mentions she has fulfilled her part of the bargain so Durandal promises not to hurt the people at Butei especially Kinji. Durandal wants Shirayuki to join him. Kinji tries to stop her but the ground freezes with him. Before he could be dealt with the final blow, Aria protects him and it’s all part of her plan in using Kinji.

Episode 8
Seems Aria investigated how Durandal worked. When faced with multiple enemies, he splits them up and takes care of them one by one. So by removing herself as Shirayuki’s bodyguard, it was a ploy to lure him out. Though Durandal escapes, he starts flooding the area. Shirayuki is tied up as she admits she has to obey Durandal’s orders and keep this a secret or else he’ll blow up the academy and kill everyone. Kinji wants Aria to go after Durandal (because she can’t swim – not that she would admit it) while he picks the locks. The water is rising fast and it took Kinji this long just to pick one. More to go… Shirayuki wants him to leave her because even if she dies, nobody will cry for her. You think he’d believe that crap? When they’re completely submerged underwater, Kinji kisses Shirayuki to go into Hysteria Mode and instantly picks all the locks with ease. Should’ve done this in the first place dude. As they go up to the next floor, the wave temporarily separates them. But it isn’t long before they reunite and with Aria. Kinji’s heightened sense allows him to cut a piano wire trap before it could walk straight into it. Kinji notices something strange about Shirayuki and asks if her lips are okay. She answers nonchalantly so this is a sign Kinji knew this isn’t the real her (because the real Shirayuki will fluster if asked this sort of embarrassing topic). This Shirayuki is Durandal in disguise as she reveals she is the 30th generation of Jeanne d’Arc! So the French heroine got burnt at the stake in her twenties was just a cover up? And to think why my history sucks… From her speech, seems she is Riko’s ally. The real Shirayuki turns up to turn the tables so it’s 3 against 1. Jeanne escapes into the shadows once more with her smoke screen and activates the sprinklers. After Shirayuki heals Aria with her powers, Jeanne shows herself. I wanted to say she takes after Fate/Stay Night’s Saber but there are obviously lots of differences. But she’s a knight. Shirayuki plans on using her forbidden arts and doesn’t want Kinji to look as she fears he will hate her. This guy? Hate her? No way. Revealing her real name as Scarlet Miko, Himiko, she sets her swords on fire and clashes with Jeanne’s icy one. Kinji and Aria plan to strike when they run out of steam and that Shirayuki is probably saving energy for one last attack. Aria and Kinji move in to corner Jeanne and Shirayuki unleashes her secret art, Double Scarlet God of Hotogi to break Jeanne’s holy sword. So Kinji, are you scared after seeing that fiery fire? Well, just like watching the fireworks. Aria arrests Jeanne. They return to Adseard and the cheerleading event went on smoothly. Back in Kinji’s room, Shirayuki points out it was Aria who bought the syrup and not her. Aria makes a statement that she wants Shirayuki to be her slave too seeing that she needs more than 1 partner. Uh huh. Aria already duplicates a keycard to Kinji’s room. Look how happy she accepts it. But when Aria bans anything perverted, Shirayuki feels she is trying to get ahead of the game and mentions she also kissed Kinji. Then they start fighting as Kinji slowly tries to get out from harm’s way. Who knows the same thing happened. Aria starts shooting, he jumps out of the balcony. Splash! So you think having another partner will solve his misery?

Episode 9
Kinji is surprised when Aria wants him to visit the girl’s dorm. Without hesitation, Aria gets flirty with him and pins him down on the bed! But something is amiss! Aria got boobs?! Definitely not her! Why, it’s Riko! She’s back? She wants to do dirty things with him? She hasn’t changed, hasn’t she? With his Hysteria Mode activated, Riko reveals she didn’t kill anybody so the term Butei Killer for her is wrong. She’ll let him in on more information if he makes her his. Though she mentions she hate harem routes, Aria busts in to ‘save’ her slave. Riko distracts Aria with boob talk (something which the latter doesn’t have, I guess) and escapes. They track and chase after her. Up on a rooftop as the girls trade insults (including whimsical attention whore and flat-chested world record holder), Kinji steps in before they can blow each other’s head off. He realizes Riko probable has made a plea bargain, that’s why she is able to return to Butei. Plus, if Aria harms Riko without a valid reason, she’ll be considered to have committed a crime and this means her effort in clearing Kanae’s name will go to waste. Riko starts crying (hope it isn’t crocodile tears. Oh wait, is it?) and understands Aria’s predicament. Seems Riko got expelled from EU after losing to Aria and Kinji. Because of that, EU’s number 2, Vlad of Endless Sin took away Riko’s treasure. She wants to retrieve it and this means for them to team up with her. It’s like becoming an accomplice to a thief… Aria (in tsundere mode) thinks this is a trick by Riko to steal him away to her side and asserts he only belongs to her! Can’t help bring up that kissing incident with Shirayuki, can’t she? As Kinji sits for an exam, Riko secretly distracts him by seducing him. Yeah, a bad girl she admits. Or else she’ll scream that he’s doing weird things. And if he wants his pencil to the test, he has to take it tug at her cleavage. Consider this as training for him to control his Hysteria Mode before they pull off the big heist. The steamy affair is halted when Sayonaki spots them. Riko gives her fully answered sheet to him and dashes for the exit. That poor kid is going to get an earful after this. Riko has got the guts to show her face and share her umbrella with Kinji after his lecturing. Shirayuki happen to pass by and isn’t happy that another woman is sharing her umbrella with her beloved. She tries to throw Riko off about their kiss but Riko isn’t fazed and mentions they have reached second base. Shirayuki is shocked and this allows Riko to pull a prank and reveal her black panties. Kinji carries Shirayuki to the infirmary and somehow they got locked in. Shirayuki starts undressing herself thinking that they need to use their body warmth so as not to lose their strength. I guess she must be getting desperate to get intimate with Kinji before she returns to Hotogi for a while after breaking restrictions during the Durandal incident. Shirayuki is already down to her undies and forcing Kinji to strip but he tricks her he will do it himself as long as she closes her eyes. He escapes by sliding out the window so I guess Shirayuki will have to continue this when she comes back. Next day Aria and Kinji go meet Riko and they are surprised Riko in a maid outfit and a row of maids greeting them.

Episode 10
In the maid cafe, Riko discusses her grand robbery taking place at Vlad’s villa. She can’t do it herself? Well, she doesn’t have data for the underground so this is where the duo come in as they will infiltrate and steal the treasure, a rosary. Aria isn’t happy that first she framed her mom and now they want to steal her rosary. The reason she is doing this is because Riko agreed to testify for her mom (other than Riko’s flirty threat that she’ll do it with Kinji instead). Riko starts weeping that at least Aria could see her mom. She last her parents when she was 8, thus the rosary is a precious memento from her mom. Despite knowing that, Vlad took it away and hid it in a heavily guarded place. I guess it she was pitiful enough to warrant the duo to agree and do the heist. But they won’t get to see Vlad since he hasn’t been back for decades and it’s being manned by a manager and housekeepers. So to get them into task, Riko has reluctant Aria put on a maid outfit, in which she is darn embarrassed to do so (why is Kinji blushing?). Then she has practise lines that maids would normally say to their master. Looks like Aria’s stuttering the first syllable. Can she do it? Man, it’s going to be a long day. Finally when she eventually ‘mastered’ it, she’s like a cross between a lifeless zombie and a broken tape recorder. Now it’s Kinji’s turn for training. Riko wants him to the infirmary without anybody seeing him. On his way, he is surprised to see Jeanne playing piano in the music room. Don’t worry. She’s not the enemy and due to a plea bargain, she is made to attend Butei. Jeanne also knows what Riko wants (her freedom, that is), thus knowing about Kinji’s heist. She continues how after Riko’s parents’ death, she was taken in by someone claiming to be her relative (Vlad) but was imprisoned, malnourished and mistreated. She tried to escape but was caught and defeated in a fight. However Vlad promised he will no longer lay his hands on her if she proves she has surpassed Lupin the 1st (thus the hijacking incident). Jeanne is telling Kinji all this because he views Vlad as her descendant’s greater enemy. Guess what? Her descendents teamed up with Lupin’s to fight Vlad to a draw about 120 years ago. Vlad’s ancestor? No, Vlad himself. Is this guy human? Well, to put it in other words, he’s like a demon. Jeanne proceeds to draw a picture of Vlad’s weakness. Long ago, a paladin from the Vatican placed 4 permanent marks on him. The marks are his weakness. Good. So you have to hit the marks to defeat him. Easy, right? Nope. You have to hit them ALL simultaneously. Sheesh. In that case, shouldn’t the paladin just put up one mark? Why make life so difficult? Worse, Jeanne only knows 3 of the marks. Great. Looks like he’ll have to find the fourth one. Oh, her drawing sucks too.

Kinji hides in the closet at the infirmary when he hears Riko and the other girls coming. Urm… Why is Mutou in there too? Oh yeah, it’s a peeping feast to see the girls change. So this is his training? To control his Hysteria Mode? Kinji wouldn’t want to look but Riko sends him a naughty SMS that if he doesn’t reply what colour her panties are, she’s going to force open the locker! It’s honey gold! Then when Aria comes in and Riko forcefully laying her hands on her, Kinji instantly goes into Hysteria Mode. Ah, I guess I know what this means. Sayonaki comes in and all the girls start hounding him to take their samples or even more. Heck, they didn’t need to take off their clothes in the first place. However the guys are busted when Reki opens the locker. Oh sh*t. Unfortunately we don’t get to see the expected girls-pounding-the-pervert scene because a silver wolf crashes in and attacks them before escaping. Kinji chases it by borrowing Mutou’s badass bike with Reki tagging along. Reki’s sharp observation of the wolf’s whereabouts has Kinji arriving at a building under construction. Reki doesn’t have tranquilizers so she’s going to subdue the beast with normal bullets. This has Kinji remember emotions are foreign to her. As Reki gets into a sniping position, Kinji hunts for the wolf before realizing he walked into its trap. Though Kinji manages to retaliate, the wolf escapes but into Reki’s sniping range. She shoots but grazed its back. Did she really miss? Well actually it was on purpose. The bullet has applied some pressure points on the wolf so it is somewhat temporarily paralyzed. Reki tells the wolf she won’t miss the next shot so he wants it to give up its old master and serve her. Instantly, the wolf becomes tame! Woah! Not only she’s a sharp shooter but she has a thing with animals! She wanted to keep it as a pet that’s why she wanted to go after it. I’m sure she’ll get approval if she keeps it as a Butei dog. But Kinji has bigger problems to deal with when he gets home. Aria (very mad. Very) is waiting and wants the pervert to explain himself hiding in the closet. She thinks he was being horny for Riko so Kinji’s tongue slip has him revealed that it was Aria he is horny for. OOPS!!! Now she’s going to blow lots of holes through him. I wonder if his room is riddled with them already.

Episode 11
Wow. Aria is a natural maid now. All that practise must have paid off, eh? On the day they’re supposed to head to Vlad’s villa to stay for 2 weeks, Riko comes by in a disguise that Kinji recognizes as Kana. Who is she? Well, he’s reluctant to say. I know Riko’s disguise is to avoid Vlad recognizing her. But if Vlad isn’t going to be there, what point is this for? Arriving at the villa, they are surprised to see Sayonaki as the villa’s manager. So is he. Since the housekeepers are away for 2 weeks, that’s why it’s the perfect infiltration job. As they speak, I won’t say that Sayonaki is close to this villa’s owner but as Kinji puts it, some sort like email buddies. Seems Sayonaki frequently borrowed this place to do his research. Yeah, sorry he can’t accompany them because it’s back to his research while the duo make themselves at home. Hey, even Aria takes a liking to wear a maid’s outfit! Yeah, Kinji saw that embarrassing pose she did… As they continue to work in the villa, Kinji can’t help find himself getting stimulated easily by Aria. They also talk about Vlad’s weakness via that horrible drawing and some Kinji-Aria time when the lightning causes the place to blackout. Yeah, it’s her frightened mode getting all clingy to Kinji. A week later, Kinji and Aria report to Riko what their find via communicator. Aria confirms the rosary in the room but she can’t get it easily since Sayonaki is always busy with his research at the basement. Riko suggests a tactic of luring him out. As Kinji and Aria serve him dinner, they notice Romanian roses in the compound. Sayonaki mentions he cross-breed 17 of them and incorporated virtues in each of them. However he hasn’t name them but decides to named them after Aria seeing she can speak the same amount of languages. Back to the ‘meeting’, seems the basement is heavily guarded with infrared beams. So the plan is to have Aria lure Sayonaki out (because they think he’s skilled with women) while Kinji retrieves the rosary. All in 15 minutes. How can a plain flat chest Aria seduce him? As Riko suggested, let him grope her butt!!! Haha, is that a joke?

On the last day of their stay, Aria has Sayonaki accompany her to the rose garden while Kinji prepares to go in, Mission Impossible style (okay, he’s hanging upside down like a bat rather). Yeah, they’ve dug a hole for 2 weeks right down to the basement. Giving visuals to Riko, in turn she gives him complicated instructions to make some crane to retrieve the rosary. Time is up but Kinji needs more time. Aria tries to stall him but she isn’t good in striking up a conversation. Suddenly out of the blue, Aria confesses she likes Kinji and after this, she’ll let him do whatever he wants with her. Yeah, they can do it all night if he wants. This was enough to activate his Hysteria Mode. Kinji realizes that Riko impersonated Aria’s voice to turn him on seeing she noticed about it too. In this mode, Kinji is able to finish his job and even plant a fake rosary. You know, I thought he should have started in this mode to save time and trouble. Kinji and Aria meet Riko at the rooftop as they hand over her rosary, much to her delight. As gratitude, Riko wants Kinji to undo her ribbon. Upon doing so, she kisses him! In his Hysteria Mode, Riko apologizes for being a bad girl. Seems this is a setup. With her rosary back, she has all the cards in her hands. Yup, she used them both to retrieve her rosary so that she can proceed to defeat them both in this showdown. Looks like she hasn’t given up. Once a sly fox, always a sly fox.

Episode 12
Riko continues her explanation. Her torrid life living in a tiny cell eating nothing but rotten meat and drinking nothing but muddy water. The rosary is her descendant’s heirloom and she hid it in her mouth during her captivity all the time. That’s when she realized this rosary gave her powers and used it to escape prison. She reasserts that she will beat Holmes and surpass Lupin the 1st to earn her freedom. Suddenly she is stunned by electric jumper cables. It’s Sayonaki and he’s brought a pair of mean silver wolves with him. This solves that who-let-the-dog-out a couple of episodes back, eh? Now for the moment of truth. Sayonaki reminds weakened Riko that they met 10 years prior. He was a doctor who took her blood and gene samples. The result was though she is Lupin’s descendant, she inherited no powers and is only good for making a 5th. He knew of their plan to steal the rosary and allowed them. Sayonaki starts getting violent on Riko. He forces the fake rosary down Riko’s throat and steps on her! He wants her to sink into despair so he can summon Vlad. And the sign Vlad is coming is that Sayonaki becomes something like the Incredible Hulk. See his rippling muscles? Though Sayonaki isn’t Vlad, he is simply an outer shell Vlad created using genes he had obtained. He is just a personality to pass off as a human. The full Vlad is here. Looks like a big werewolf. Kinji must have learnt quickly from Reki so he fires a shot to paralyze and not kill the wolves. Aria is going to arrest him for framing Kanae. But can she? When Vlad mentions he wants to get Aria’s blood, Aria realizes his true form: A vampire. So he is Count Dracula? Only thing is that he harvested blood of humans and used their genes to evolve. That’s why he isn’t afraid of sunlight, garlic or silver bullets. Yeah, he’s like an immortal with his healing capabilities. Then Vlad picks Riko up and he isn’t going to keep his promise of freeing her because he wants her back in the cell to produce a 5th. Poor Riko is so devastated that she pleads to Aria and Kinji to save her. I guess they were waiting to hear this. Otherwise, why would they stand at the sides, watch her get deservingly beaten up? Aria fires a few shoots into Vlad while Kinji takes Riko away. Kinji manages to steal the real rosary and pass it back to Riko. Though she knows Vlad is strong, she believes the duo can defeat him and tells of his fourth weak spot: Inside his chest.

Kinji rendezvous with Aria as they aim to hit all 4 spots simultaneously. However Vlad still stands and mocks them that a certain b*tch didn’t really know his other weak spot. Disappointed? Vlad counter attacks and the impact was strong enough to dispel Kinji’s Hysteria Mode. Uh oh. Kinji is thrown off the edge but Aria has to be kept busy on her toes because Vlad is swinging like mad. Riko dives down to save Kinji. Remember her cool gadget for fanservice, oops I mean parachute? Yeah, that. Kinji wants to save Aria and Riko gets her confidence back after having Kinji repeat her name several times. Has he ever called her by a number? Riko swoops down in time before Aria is smashed (she got frightened when the lightning flashes). Then she gets horny with her by licking her neck not because she is yuri but rather to activate Kinji’s Hysteria Mode. I guess it activates even further when Kinji lands on Aria’s boobs. Oh wait. Does she even have them? Don’t shoot me! Kinji knows where Vlad’s final weak point is and since each of them have a bullet left in their gun (Aria has 2, remember?), that’ll be just swell. But he wants them to fire at the same spot like they did at first. Kinji’s bullet causes Aria’s bullet to Vlad’s chest to ricochet off into Vlad’s mouth. Yup, his fourth weak point is on his tongue. Vlad experiences violent spasms before he collapses in his own bloody pool. Kinji realizes his weak point while fighting him. He was always trying to guard his mouth when they’re shooting. If he had unlimited healing power, then he shouldn’t need to do that, right? So aiming at the same spots was just to catch him off-guard. Kinji and Aria note to Riko that she has surpassed the 1st because she has defeated Vlad though it was a combined effort. Riko is back to her sneaky ways and the only thing she’ll acknowledge is that they are on par as her rival. Though she escapes, Kinji is sure she’ll be back soon. In the aftermath as Kinji accompanies Aria to buy swimsuits, he thought he saw Kana but dismisses it. Aria is elated when she receives good news that Riko agrees to testify for Kanae that guarantees her a remand. So happy that her bra pads drop out. Kinji doesn’t know what these are so embarrassed Aria slaps him so many times that you’d probably lost count. Hey, it’s better than shooting holes through him, right?

Episode 13
This is actually an OVA episode that came with the DVD and Blu-Ray release. If you’re hoping for fanservice and love triangle romance, forget it. First they lure you with that and then you slowly realize it’s some sort of supernatural horror! CREEPY! Kinji, Aria, Mutou, Shirayuki, Riko, Tsuzuri, even Jeanne along with Reki and her wolf pet are driving up the misty mountainous roads on a stormy day. The radio transmission is screwed and the GPS ran havoc. Tsuzuri are bringing the kids to not just a hotspring trip but a Butei training exercise. They reach the village on a clear sunny day. Trekking to the village, Riko and Shirayuki get into an argument about wanting to do in Kinji even if it’s in the middle of the road. I can see why Riko loves teasing gullible Shirayuki on this subject. She hates to lose out whenever the subject is on him. In the seemingly deserted village, they meet the Landlady who is supposedly Tsuzuri’s old acquaintance and partner who quit Butei long ago because she like her ancestors prefer to run their business in hotspring. She might not look like it but she’s 60 years old! F*ck! Tsuzuri allow everyone to relax today and training will begin tomorrow. So yeah, the usual hotspring fanservice whereby Riko and Jeanne are too focused on Shirayuki’s boobs, leaving that flat chest Aria out in the cold. Till Tsuzuri mentions how childish they are talking about boobs because mature women’s boobs are… Wrinkled? Aria blows her top and starts shooting but luckily everyone have something bulletproof to deflect the shot. Bulletproof soap? Bulletproof shampoo? Bulletproof headphone? Why is everything bulletproof?! Who needs guns then?! Mutou is the typical pervert who is never going to let this chance slip as he begins his peeping reconnaissance while Kinji tries hard not to hear all those ambiguous sounds from the women’s side. Don’t want to enter into Hysteria Mode, do you? Mutou thinks he is about to succeed till he sees Landlady at the top of the fence and his plan is foiled. Later the girls play ping pong (I don’t know the pose and “Heh~” scream they make) and when they go get something to drink, they feel as though like somebody is watching but dismiss it. However in the shadows there is a creepy little boy watching them!!! OH SH*T!!! Is this hotspring haunted?!

The girls realize that Jeanne is missing and soon hear Mutou’s scream. Everyone rushes to where that guy is as they see Jeanne part of the floral statue! But soon Jeanne returns to her normal self though she has no recollections of what happened. They laugh at her for doing such an extreme cosplay. Reki’s wolf starts snarling at something close by. As the girls talk to Jeanne what happened, Riko thinks this is part of Tsuzuri’s training to catch them with their guard down despite telling them training is tomorrow. Then Kinji comes in to ask if they have seen Mutou because that dude suddenly disappeared. Looking for him, suddenly Mutou’s unconscious body comes dropping from the ceiling. And he is put in a weird dress. The rest has had enough and think the adults have gone overboard and prepare to make their move on them. Kinji is supposed to distract the ladies but finds they are not in their room. The place is messy. Shirayuki opens the closet and to everyone’s horror, Tsuzuri and Landlady are tied up and hanging. S&M? I don’t think it’s this horrible. Noting something really amiss, they see a boy nearby and wonder who he is. He didn’t say and runs away. They chase. The boy leads them deeper and deeper into the rooms. Aria and Kinji realize they have been separated from the rest when they enter a room filled with creepy dolls, talisman on the wall and sounds of crying baby!!! F*CKING CREEPY SH*T!!! Then a door slides open and a corpse-like hand is going to grab them!!! Suddenly! Everyone finds themselves sleeping in the MPV. It’s like they just arrived at the village. Though they feel pretty odd, they make their way to the inn but only realize that there are more people in the village now (there were no one around before). They meet the Landlady and wonder if she’s going to come at them suddenly seeing they know she’s an ex-Butei and 60 years old. Landlady isn’t happy that Tsuzuri told her students unwanted things. As everyone continues to wonder what the heck is happening, the little boy is seen still peeking around the corner. Aw, man! Don’t tell me this is going to be another horror loop!

If I don’t do a good review, she’s gunner blow holes through me…
Ah, man. So that is how it ends? So sudden? The OVA certainly didn’t help either. Well, I read an article that a second was being planned. However! Yes, there’s a catch to it. As being said by the series’ author, the development of the second season depends very much on the DVD and Blu-ray sales of this season! Oh damn! That is the harsh truth but really, if it’s not profitable in the first place, why go on and produce something that not only wastes money but lacks popularity? I mean, a dip in sales could mean that the series wasn’t popular, right? So yeah, I haven’t been following up on this and since I haven’t heard anything, which means… Or maybe it’ll take longer. Like 10 years later. Haha! So people, if you love your tsundere flat chest Aria, show your support and buy the DVDs and Blu-rays so we can have more of the goodness that is of Aria. Oh, and perhaps if you’re a Riko fan, do you not want to see more of her cheeky flirt? The silent type, eh? Maybe Reki will get more screen time then. So what are you waiting for? Dig deep into those pockets and start supporting the production of the sequel! Hmm… I do sound pushy, don’t I? As for me, I’m not really a big Aria fan so count me out :).

So back to the sudden abrupt season ending analysis. So sudden that it made me go “THAT’S IT?!” when the end credits start rolling. It’s not like it’s the kind of ending credits which are usually unique to final episodes in most anime series. For example, seeing the life-goes-on of the characters. Basically the ending credits for the last episode of this series is the same as it was you’d see in the first, second and all the other episodes. And there is no epilogue teaser to say or show anything (I wouldn’t count that Kana scene). That’s why I said the ending is very sudden. So what happened to Vlad and Sayonaki? Don’t tell me they disappeared? Oh, it’s the elusive Vlad we’re talking about. Now that Kinji has discovered Vlad’s weakness, I’m sure he is the first person over the centuries and generations to have figured this out, so please feel free to post online on every forum board and websites so that anybody who is lucky (or unlucky) enough to fight Vlad face to face would at least know where to hit instead of gambling and hitting random spots on his body. I bet that will be the last you’ll see of him. But Vlad being a vampire? I thought that was just too much. The final arc was quite focused on Riko getting back her rosary and the battle with Vlad so much so it could make you forget that there ever was a Butei Academy in the first place. That there was a cool sniper girl named Reki. That there was a miko priestess and ‘desperate’ childhood friend named Shirayuki. And do we know anything about the EU in the end aside that it’s some bad organization? None of these were ‘seen’ in the end that’s why it made me feel so, here’s that word again, sudden. Maybe they do really had plans to make a sequel and the ‘suddenness’ was a midway point. Yeah, money is always the issue, eh?

It was amusing to see the interaction between Aria and Kinji. This is what you should look for when watching this kind of shows, right? Two people reluctantly partnering up eventually grow closer. It is obvious that if there were any pairings to be made, it would be these 2. The rest are just for ‘decorations’. Haha! Aria being the tsundere isn’t honest to her feelings till the end. Though she may have called him “slave” lesser, maybe it’s because she calls him “pervert” more. Whatever name she calls, I’m sure she treats him like her partner. At least when the need arises for it. And so for Kinji who has been thinking of quitting Butei, at this rate I think he isn’t going to quit because this single mission to help Aria could turn into a lifelong one. Kanae was sentenced to hundreds of years in prison and by capturing criminals to prove her innocence, as the years are reduced, it feels like they need to continue this till their next generation. And Kinji didn’t come to hate his Hysteria Mode as much as he did in the beginning. At times with his heightened intelligence and abilities (not to mention the personality) it saves his behind and solves cases that his normal mode wouldn’t. It’s good, right? I wish I had this mode too. But he didn’t really get to control it because he just needs to be a little stimulated by Aria and wahlah! It’s activated. Maybe he couldn’t control it ever in the first place. Just that he started liking Aria so it activates faster. Now the next step is to get them to confess to each other… Seems like a long shot even if there ever is a sequel.

Some of the other supporting characters are given their fair share of screen time albeit it is still mainly Aria and Kinji. We get to see Reki do some accurate sniping, Shirayuki unleashing her forbidden fire techniques and the other pals at Butei working together to overcome dire straits. That’s the good thing when you have friends who truly believe in you not just because it is some Butei Law number so and so to always help out one another. It’s hard to hate Riko even if she acts like an antagonist. Firstly, she’s cute! Who could hate such a sexy babe? Okay but seriously, once you understand her pain and past, you will understand why she was so desperate to have her showdown with Aria. Then when she found out all her actions have been for nothing, the despair you see in her eyes just makes your heart sink. Sure, she got what she deserved but getting beaten to a pulp and relishing in her pain isn’t something anyone would stomach. It goes to show that one bad deed deserves another. She lied to Aria at first, right? So how does it feel to have a taste of her own medicine? All she wanted was people to acknowledge her by her real name and not some number. It was amusing and fun seeing Shirayuki trying to get close to her sweetheart Kinji and of course getting worked up and jealous when other women get too close to him. She had her chance but I guess we all know how it will turn out, right? Reki is an oddball in her own way. Though she lacks emotions, letting an enemy wolf live so that she could make it her pet indicates otherwise, right? She is such a mystery and I would have loved to know how she is able to communicate with animals so easily. I mean, communication isn’t just about words. It’s about feelings and emotions too.

The action in this series does not disappoint and they are thrilling enough to make you captivated. Adrenaline junkies should be kept satisfied with the amount of gun firing action the series has to offer. Don’t twin wielding gun girls look cool? Just like Black Lagoon’s Revi or Bakuretsu Tenshi’s Jo. You could say that whenever Butei goes into action, it will be an explosive affair. Who could forget Reki’s precision sniping? This has got to be the best action bit for me and no matter how impossible and exaggerating, it looks totally cool nevertheless. With the adrenaline pumping background music, you can’t help cheer for the Butei heroes and heroines to come out tops. There are some fanservice moments as well but if you will be sorely disappointed and annoyed by the censors. But it’s not like every panty shot is ‘bright out’ because they do let some slip through and let you ‘enjoy’ the view. So here is another motivation for you ecchi fans to buy the DVDs and Blu-rays. Want to bet those scenes are 100% viewable? Possible they may even throw in additional fanservice scenes for your money’s worth. Just don’t let your parents or girlfriend find out about it or they’ll start blowing their top and blow holes through you. But as for the OVA, the fanservice isn’t much and the most you could see is the smooth butts of the girls. However you’d forget that since the horror part will scare you enough to lose your memories on that. The next episode preview is a short amusing section as we have the characters rant away. The best one has got to be when Aria forgave Kinji for his lecherous ways simply because she thought he had a thing for Mutou (the reason they were hiding in the closet doing ambiguous stuff)! Also another good one has to be when Aria loses her memories. Now, you have to have prior knowledge on Rie Kugimiya’s roles in other anime series to understand this one. Okay, not so much on her but her ‘partner’ to her tsundere characters. She’s trying to remember the names of her partners. Yuuji? Saito? Oh yeah, it’s Ryuuji. Who?

Rie Kugimiya as Aria needs no introduction as she’s a veteran in voicing loli roles and is perfect in another one of her trademark roles. Junji Majima is the voice behind Kinji. He also played Ryuuji in Toradora. So get that little joke now? Other casts include Mariya Ise as Riko (Levi in Fairy Tail), Mikako Takahashi as Shirayuki (Ayumu in Hayate No Gotoku), Kaori Ishihara as Reki (Suzuna in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Ayako Kawasumi as Jeanne (Saber in Fate/Stay Night) and Kenji Nojima as Sayonaki/Vlad (Tomoya in Clannad). Surprisingly the opening theme, Scarlet Ballet by May’N is quite to my liking. Most probably it’s because of the orchestral strings that increase the dramatic effect. If you know that Australian/British string quartet, Bond and their hit remix song Victory, I’m sure you’ll get an idea of how this piece will sound like. The ending theme is Camellia No Hitomi by Aiko Nakano and is a totally hard rock piece with heavy metal-like electric guitar play.

Life is already tough when you have to live your daily life armed. Having an academy like Butei, it feels like it has made the world even more dangerous. Even the school itself is a dangerous place. Imagine this. If the people at the top are rotten, then it has defeated every purpose to make this world safe. Look at the case of Sayonaki. And if Butei has a habit of making plea bargains and have ex-criminals enrol in the school, isn’t it like a big institute with world class felons? Hmm… Maybe I should take up some self defence martial arts class just in case. Then again, thinking about the time and effort needed to spend for all that just for a little peace of mind makes me feel lazy and lethargic. Maybe I should just hire Aria for a job, eh? Yeah, got to buy more DVDs and Blu-rays of the series before she blows lots of holes through me.

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