Hime-sama Goyoujin

March 6, 2009

Imagine if you had something which is so hot and precious that there are other parties which will stoop at nothing to get their hands on it. Sounds like a plot from an American cartoon, you say? Well, sort of. Not that I have been watching any American cartoons lately, but Hime-sama Goyoujin shares this somewhat a familiar plot.
 
Also known as Princess Be Careful, viewers can expect a lot of crazy and misunderstanding stuff in this 12 episode series. In other words, you can say that the hilariousness of this anime is somewhat a little nonsensical. Unfortunately, this series isn’t mainstream anime even though it is produced back in the year 2006. In other words, not that popular. At least from my perspective of trying to find more information on it on the internet.
 
It all began in episode 1 whereby a pair of thieves, Leslie and Karen, who seem to be dressed in some sort of 60’s fashion outfit, trying to steal a magic crown and replacing with a replica. Karen is so thrilled of making the switch but in her happiness, she forgot which of the crown is the real one. Uh huh. The replica is so good that it looks like the original. Both good news and bad news. Too late the alarm has sounded and the thieves have no choice but to flee with both crowns in their hand. Figure out which is the real one later, huh?
 
The scene changes to the next day. A high school student and tennis club member, Aoi Misuzu, is seen practicing her tennis. She is your typical filthy rich obnoxious girl with a princess-like attitude (not the good and gentle kind, that is). Aoi is seen flexing her muscles on her superiority and even the kid-like teacher, Mari Kode, who is always dressing in a jersey, reluctantly fulfilling her whims and fancies. I don’t know why but most students don’t tend to remember her name and even say, mispronounces it as Oda-sensei. Aoi has a penchant for replacing people with her trademark raccoon doll if that person did something not to her liking. So is this how rich people treat everyone else? Aoi steps and slips on a can, showing her slip to everyone. She gets pissed off on who’s supposed to be on cleaning duty today. But thankfully Aoi isn’t the main star and princess of this series. So who is it? She is Himeko Tsubaki. Another typical naive and slightly clumsy girl, who is running late for school. Her mom, Ebine, is your typical housewife while her dad Sanjuurou, your typical police officer who seems to have a habit of falling asleep in toilet. Plus, Himeko has a best friend named Sobana Kana. A bespectacled girl who always wears a little cat hand puppet and speaks through it most of the time. It’s like her 2nd personality. Plus, she ends her sentences with "~Nya".
 
Anyway Himeko is in a panic because it’s supposed to be her duty today to do some cleaning up at the tennis club. And boy, is Aoi real pissed. As Himeko rushes to school, she bumps into Leslie and Karen (still running away I guess). Since her bags and the thieves’ look the same, they switch hands. Leslie and Karen finally arrives to trade the bag to some mysterious evil cat leader called Chief X and his assistant Miss Yoko (which Chief X always say Ms Yoko. An insult or what?). Hey, he has henchmen dressed in skeleton-like cat suit and has lines which go only "Mii~". Reminds me of that cat in Itchy And Scratchy of The Simpsons. Of course Chief X realizes could tell this isn’t the real crown (how I wonder) and zaps Yoko with his Grim Reaper beam!
 
Himeko has missed her bus and has to start walking all the way to school when she comes across Leslie and Karen again, who have returned to complete their job. We learn that Himeko is xenophobic, meaning she has fear of foreigners. Thinking that Leslie is one, she runs away even if he could speak Japanese though with an accent. She runs into the forest mountains to shake them off and while resting near a pond, she opens her bag to find a crown and puts it on her head for size. Just then, we see a magic aura-like thing which changes the scenery a little. Then a little girl in castellan outfit named Nana (uncanny resemblance to Hina Ichigo of Rozen Maiden) appearing and trying to take the crown but Himeko is pretty blur about it. Oh yes, this Nana girl seems to speak in gibberish and nonsensical words. I thought there weren’t any translations on her speeches but upon closer listening, they actually made no sense! Wow. Easiest voice acting job? Yeah, it’s like nobody really understands what she says. It’s so hard to communicate with her. Besides, she has a cheeky mischievous pet monkey named Banana. Everytime you see him eat and throw a banana peel, it’s a cue for somebody to step and slip on it. So cliche.
 
Because Himeko thinks Nana is hungry, she gives her a banana but her pet monkey took it. So Nana is trying to get her crown and Himeko trying to get the banana. Yeah, she tried to do a distraction move by saying there’s a bear behind and wahlaa! There is actually a bear behind! Run away! By that time, Leslie and Karen have arrived and spots Himeko across the lake. Leslie strips naked down to his undies to swim across. When he reaches across, he tries to persuade Himeko to give the crown but he scared her away. Yeah, his underwear is now gone. So where did it go to? Notice how Banana is wearing them? How did it get there? Dunno. But he’ll be wearing it for the rest of the series. Himeko realizes she’s running late and rushes off to school. Leslie and Karen continue to chase her in their car along with Nana (who’s wearing the fake crown) and Banana. When Himeko finally arrives at school, she is surprised to see all the students lining up in a line and greeting her "Welcome, my princess". Wow. What’s happening? Is this a dream?
 
Instead of being happy with her newfound status, in episode 2, Himeko thinks that the "Hime-sama" everyone is referring to is anyone else but her. Yeah, how dumb can she get. Even with all those clues telling right in her face. Himeko even thinks that they are referring to Banana as their Hime-sama! And because Himeko thought Banana is male and being called Hime-sama means female, she went to check Banana under his boxer shorts! Himeko still can’t believe all this and thinks its some ruse for being late. Yeah, has Aoi been so nice to her before? Better be wary. Aoi tries to give her some apples since she thinks Himeko is hungry but she slipped and the apple landed in Nana’s throat as she arrives with Karen, almost suffocating her. Himeko is horrified and thinks it’s a trap to erase her! Because she’s being such a paranoid, Himeko starts crying when Aoi tries to console her. Kode takes this opportunity to get even with Aoi by saying that she bullied Her Royal Highness and it’s an unforgivable crime! Hey, speaking of Leslie, where is he? He’s in jail because he was running around naked. Yeah, like a flasher. But he somehow got out and disguises himself as a cop.
 
Aoi tries to sooth Himeko by bringing her a basket of apples to her hiding in the toilet (Nana still trying to get the crown with no luck). Luckily Sobana is with Himeko and conjures up a plan. Her puppet tells the crowd how the apples are poisonous. Everyone is aghast that Aoi is trying to poison the queen! So to prove that they aren’t Aoi uses Kode as a guinea pig and stuff it down her throat! Because of overeating, Kode doesn’t feel too good and is experiencing tummy ache. Another misunderstood situation of getting poisoned! Sobana thinks she’s dead but when Kode gets up knocking to use the toilet, she thinks she has turned into zombie and trying to attack them! Kode can’t hold much longer and breaks the door. Sobana mentions how she’s trying to enter when the queen is still inside. Now it’s Aoi’s turn to get back. She saw the toilet window open and thinks she has fled through it but Himeko is actually still hiding in the cubicle. As punishment, Aoi takes off Sobana’s hand puppet. After the commotion is down, Himeko gets out and finds Kode finished using the boy’s toilet and ‘advises’ her. Haha.
 
Leslie arrives to see Aoi ordering her maids to water and make soggy Sobana’s hand puppet. Then Himeko rushes to them and Aoi is glad to see her (wanting to prove her innocence?). Since Himeko’s stomach is growling, Aoi prepares some fishballs for her but Himeko starts crying again. She’s saying after all this time, she’s still trying to poison her! How dumb can she get! So Leslie tells her to apologize even if Aoi didn’t do anything wrong. Aoi bumps into Nana and notices the crown on her head and tries to say that this is the real queen. But Leslie is still adamant on her apologizing to Himeko. Since it’s like that, Aoi suggests solving this through a tennis match. Aoi and Nana are a team whereas Leslie and Himeko are her opponents but Himeko is running late. Good thing is, the referee is Banana and Karen, and they’re making the game in favour of Leslie’s side. Yeah all ridiculous rulings. WTF?! The score is now 10 quadrillion to nil?! Of course at this rate Leslie is the winner. Himeko then arrives and starts apologizing for everything. The crowd applause her for her honesty. Aoi runs away in tears because she can’t take it no more (yeah, she’s like the bad guy now) and takes out her frustrations on a passing and innocent Kode. Sobana then says how Himeko is the real queen, in which Himeko still thinks it’s Banana and some others. Not until Sobana points out that she is wearing a crown. Himeko then tries to take it off but it is stuck. Oh great. What fine mess they’ve gotten into.
 
Himeko wakes up in episode 3 and wonders if all those were just a dream. Nope. The crown is still stuck to her head and Nana and Banana are next to her. It seems Ebine is now the maid chief and Sanjuurou the head of the Royal Guards. Meanwhile Leslie reports back to Yoko and wants more time but she isn’t going to wait so she hires somebody else, an assassin ninja named Adron to do the job. Ironically, Adron is just answering the phone call next to the booth where Leslie is making his. But since he doesn’t want his name to be sullied, Leslie and Karen decides to beat stealing the crown. Anyway, Himeko find out from Ebine that she is getting married to some foreigner and she starts to panic and throw tantrum, thinking he is some shady character. Adron on the other hand tries to shoot some dart at Himeko but luckily Nana spots this and since she can’t communicate well she throws a comb of banana at her, the dart just missing her. Due to that attack, Leslie and Karen offer themselves to Ebine as Himeko’s bodyguards. But Adron appears and says how suspicious they are and well, it was enough to raise Ebine and Sanjuurou’s suspicions on them. With that, they are taken away and Adron is hired to be Himeko’s bodyguard.
 
While riding in a carriage, Himeko is reading a shoujo manga (I think it’s yuri!) and asks Adron if he has kissed anyone before. Of course he gets flustered up and after much pestering, Himeko wants him to teach her how to kiss! OMG! She’s trying to practice kiss with him! Lucky the carriage has arrived at school. Himeko finds out from Sobana that they are doing a Romeo-Juliet puppet play for her wedding and since Aoi is the main character, she has to reluctantly give up her lead role even if Himeko doesn’t want to do the play as suggested by Sobana. Adron gets to practice play and I think he’s trying to kiss Himeko now! Lucky he slipped and his daggers nearly hit Aoi (reduced to a minor role as a tree). After school, Himeko chides Adron for trying to act like a pervert and take away her first kiss, in which Adron vehemently disagrees. So the next day, Sobana tells Himeko how Adron and Nana are trying their best.
 
Leslie and Karen have once again escape from jail and are going to snatch Himeko’s crown in the dead heat of the night. But Adron is standing guard by her and tells them that Himeko is her prey but they tell him he’s an undedicated thief for having a sword. I don’t know what a banana skin is doing there but Adron slipped and fell onto a sleeping Himeko while trying to dismiss the undedicated word. She wakes up and is horrified to confirm her suspicions of him as a pervert! The thieves decide to retreat for now after the alarm is sound. So Sanjuurou takes away that undedicated bastard (along with Nana and Banana). The next day, Himeko is in her carriage to attend her wedding when Leslie and Karen show up in time. Due to circumstances, Himeko wants them to take her away. The carriage arrives and Sanjuurou finds it empty. It seems Himeko and Leslie are shopping at a mart for food and since they don’t have money, Himeko holds up the cashier with a shotgun! Woah! Hey, she’s queen right? Then she changed her story of how she’s being kidnapped by the duo. The royal guards then come in and Himeko gives them the slip with that UFO behind ploy. Yeah, they fell for it.
 
Trapped and surrounded in a building. Himeko devices a plan. She uses her Juliet hand puppet to act as a demand for ransom and a getaway helicopter. News of their queen is being broadcasted and Nana is watching it from jail. Though Adron doesn’t care, because he can’t stop thinking about Himeko, his brute strength causes him to break open the jail door. And off they go to rescue Himeko disguise as a giant mouse? So all of them board the helicopter and everyone is relieved. Well not everyone. Yoko is real pissed off because she’s yelling how they’re supposed to get the crown and not go along with this kidnapping drama. Back in Himeko’s room, Himeko is lamenting her fate to be married as Adron tries to slice off her head but he can’t do it. Yeah, you’ll notice how this guy is in love with her but doesn’t know about it. He’s turned from a cool assassin to a love-sick one. Their ruckus woke up a little kid in a turban and an Arabian outfit. So he takes out his flute and starts adding to that cacophony.
 
That kid claims himself to be Prince Rasse of the neighbouring country in episode 4. Wherever that place is. However, it seems nobody believes him and he always had a hard time trying to convince them. And they still don’t believe him. He’s supposed to be the one being married to Himeko and since Ebine doesn’t believe him, panics that the real prince hasn’t arrived yet. Not even the loud screeching speaker helped. Really fallen on deaf ears. Adron thinks he’s an assassin to take out the queen and so the royal guards arrested him. He’s being jailed next to Leslie and Karen’s cell. And once again, they managed to break free. Rasse tries to help them get him out by making up a sob story but eventually didn’t believe him when Rasse said he had 8 brothers and 9 sisters. In a desperate move, Rasse gives them a taiyaki ring (some bean paste food shaped as a fish) as exchange but they took it as an apology and left. A news broadcast saying how Prince Rasse hasn’t arrive for Himeko’s wedding yet and this gives Leslie an idea. Yeah, he pretends to be Prince Rasse and Karen as Atsuki, his attendant. Thing is, Ebine thinks he’s the real prince. What? No verification? Oh, Himeko is being caged to prevent her from running away! And she’s really crying reiterating how she doesn’t want to marry a foreigner. Leslie and Karen’s words may be contradicting and suspicious but after seeing the taiyaki ring, dubbed the Mythical Carp Necklace, Ebine and Sanjuurou apologize for their rudeness. Except for Nana who is suspicious, Leslie uses his newfound authority to send Nana and Banana back to jail. Again.
 
That night, since Rasse isn’t going to lose to those bunch of thieves, he uses some hidden bomb to explode out of his cell. Should’ve done that earlier. However the wedding ceremony is about to begin. Everyone is surprised to see the queen in a cage crying. Well Sanjuurou says it’s some defensive measure. Sobana is the emcee and wants Aoi to give her speech but that girl didn’t attend and is seen sunbathing at a beach. Yeah, she thinks nothing good will happen to her if she gets involved with Himeko. So better stay away. Then Rasse tries to throw a bomb onstage but a crow took it and flew away before dropping it exactly on Aoi! Haha. No matter where she is, she’ll always suffer the same fate. Next to give her speech is Kode but she is greedily taking all the food at the table. Rasse tries to throw another bomb but Nana stops him, causing the bomb to hit Kode’s head before exploding into a scroll which says that he is Rasse. Everyone thinks that is a splendid performance. Next is Sobana’s solo puppet play since everyone else on the crew is missing as Himeko and Leslie in disguise are soon wedded. Rasse goes up to the top and display a light show to tell everyone his name. Another magnificent fireworks display everyone thinks!
 
Rasse tries to onstage to stop the wedding but Sanjuurou prevents him. Leslie quickly exchanges the carp ring with Himeko’s lobster one to end the process. But Banana takes off their fake wig to reveal their true identity. Even if Leslie says he has the carp ring, Rasse tells them it’s fake. Upon closer examination by an expert, the ring has the words "Nisemono" on it, meaning fake. The thieves are arrested yet again. Rasse takes this chance to say that he is the real prince but the rest still don’t believe him and advices him not to impersonate as a prince. Just then, Rasse gets a call from Yoko, chiding his failed plan to impersonate as a prince to get the crown. Haha! So this guy is hired by Yoko too! Too bad it didn’t work out. Talk about a failed swindler! Yoko feels she’s been scammed by that failed scammer and wants to lodge a complain?! Just then, a fat pinkish-purple cat, Minister Yimo, says how he has found his Hime-nyama (uh… he ends his sentences with "~Nyama". If you know Cantonese…). Himeko is utterly surprised. Hey, what happened to the real prince anyway? We see Adron standing before an endless herd of sheep crossing. Since it’s going to take forever, he might as well return home. Same with that prince anyway. So the wedding is cancelled I suppose. Wow, the twist and turns of this series are getting interesting. From one problem to another. Besides, did you notice Himeko was crying 99% throughout this episode?
 
In episode 5, Yimo explains that he is from Dual Country and that he has been looking for his country’s princess who was being taken away by a mysterious person soon after her birth. 15 years later, he has found her, which is Himeko. Though Sanjuurou is suspicious, Yimo wants to know if he could show proof that Himeko belongs to them. They throw the same question back at him. Yimo says the proof is Himeko’s tail. Woah! He searches her butt for it! Then he remembers once she turns an adult, she will lose the tail. How convenient. More convenience when Yimo says royal families have a blue mole on their butt, in which Himeko in her surprise admits she has one. Yimo wants Himeko to return with them but she rushes off to find a photo album to prove that she doesn’t belong to them. At her home, Sanjuurou is sifting through the boxes when Himeko finds a note. To her horror, it states "Her name is Himeko, please take good care of her". A dejected Himeko resigns to her fate and agrees to leave with Yimo tomorrow morning. Everyone is dejected knowing that Himeko is leaving except for Aoi who rejoices the fact that she will be trouble free. Ebine and Sanjuurou notices how Himeko has been acting strange and even when she said she wasn’t their real daughter bothered them. Ebine looks through her old stuff and clothes and gets an idea.
 
That night, Yimo and his cute cat army parties in his galaxy railway train at an amusement park. Adron tries to assassinate them but since the train is moving, he can’t get a clean slice and misses. The next morning, Leslie and Karen impersonate themselves as some ambassadors of Royal Monkey and wants Himeko to fit into a glass slipper, which she does. Leslie says that whoever fits into it is their princess, shocking Yimo. Jealous Kode then wants to try it too and it fits! Soon every other girl gets the same idea and fights for the slipper, till it broke. They then realize the duo are fakes just like the slipper. No choice, retreat for now. As Yimo leaves with Himeko, Yimo spots Sobana’s cat hand puppet and suddenly realized she is the real princess! What a quick change in mind! Though Himeko is relieved but she realized her best pal has taken the fall in her place. Aoi, who is watching from afar won’t allow this so she sent her maids to take it off. Yeah, Yimo now thinks Himeko is the real princess again. WTF?!
 
As Himeko is sitting in the train with Nana and Banana, Yimo thinks the crowd is here to see off Himeko. Sanjuurou then orders his royal guard to stop the train from leaving but Yimo’s cat army fires back with… popcorn?! The train starts to leave when a mysterious lady in a Sailormoon spoof outfit dubbing herself the beautiful maiden warrior Cupid Mommy (It’s Ebine no matter how you look at it) appears to prevent Himeko being taken away. Why, she even has her own theme song in the background! She pokes Yimo’s butt with her sword and clings on to the train. Unfortunately, she fell off when it took off into the sky. Everyone spots a pensive look expect Aoi who is looking forward to re-establish her era. Then they heard a familiar sound coming from the amusement park toilet. Adron slashes it open and to everyone’s relief, it’s Himeko! We learn Himeko wanted to use the toilet before lifting off and Himeko finds out that she wasn’t an abandoned child. Himeko in the letter refers to a stray kitten whom her parents found and baby Himeko always played with it till the original owner decided to take it back again. And now the million dollar question. If Himeko is here, so who is up in the train with Yimo? Oh no! It’s Nana! Boo-hoo! Banana still waiting on the ground…
 
Though everyone is relieved that everything is over in episode 6, obviously Himeko isn’t. She feels that Nana is an important friend and wants to get her back at all cost. Meanwhile the train has landed on the planet of cats and I think since Yimo doesn’t understand Nana’s gibberish, he tends to put words in her mouth, thinking that is what Nana is trying to say, which obviously isn’t. Back on Earth, the gang seems to have got themselves a rocket scientist named Dr Shin Kouenji Hakase to help them. He’s really what his job means. He makes rockets. The plan is to send Himeko to space through this rocket so that she could get Nana back. Though he claims himself as a genius, but you’ll see he’s just another dumb guy. Oh yeah, another person hired by Yoko to get the crown. Chief X isn’t too please with Yoko hiring another guy and wonders what if he fails again. Leslie ties a rope to the crown hoping the blast off impact will rip it from Himeko’s head but the rocket went berserk and the rope was loose. Where did the rocket go? Aoi is relaxing on her bench chair when the rope of the rocket hooks it. She’s in for the ride of her life. Meanwhile Nana’s ‘return’ has been receiving hot reception and I don’t know, but don’t the dogs on that planet look just plain weird?
 
Hakase launches rocket number 2 and all seems to be going fine till Rasse in another desperate attempt pulls down a big scroll of his name from the rocket and wants everyone to look. Since the rocket is experiencing engine failure, nobody looked. Aoi is relaxing inside her mansion soaking in her bath, thinking she is safe from another rocket launch, but be careful. If you think it can happen, it WILL happen! The rocket comes crashing down on her. Back on the cat planet, Nana disguises herself in a hood to wander in the streets. She befriends a lady and later it seems Nana’s gibberish singing seems to attract the attention of all the dogs. They really love her nonsensical humming, though it doesn’t sound that bad. However, she soon finds that there is a notice from the palace saying how all dogs will be captured and released on an desert island. Meanwhile Hakase gets ready to launch rocket number 3 and Himeko doubts his capability. Adron has blindfolded himself so that he won’t get nervous if he is to slice Himeko’s head. Then he heard some ambiguous lines between Himeko and Hakase. Something about how Hakase is going to do something naughty to Himeko as she tells him not to rush it. Adron slices the machine and Himeko is furious. His blindfold is off now and he comes to know that since Hakase has got eyesight problem, she was just helping him push the right button! Why that sexy seductive tone then? Anyway the rocket is launching itself. Towards underground. Aoi has barricaded herself with raccoon dolls and dares whatever rocket to bring it on. Yeah, she shouldn’t have said that. The rocket did burst out from underneath Aoi.
 
On cat planet, everyone is saddened that their beloved pet dogs are being taken away. Yimo explains that when his princess was young, she was bitten by a dog and she hated them since then. Must be another one of his misunderstandings. Nana watches the dog catching process and some of the residents are beginning to hate her. Nana is saddened by what has happened so she starts singing that weird song of hers. All the dogs then got the strength to break out of their cages and run towards Nana. After seeing how Nana got along well with the dogs and she giving him that stare, Yimo starts sweating and reverses his order of dog catching and that dogs are their friends. Everyone rejoices. Then 1 of the dogs sneak into the castle and bumps into Nana, resulting her crown to fall on the dog’s head. Yimo then comes by and thinks that dog is the princess! Is he blind?! Or is he thinking whoever wears the crown is the princess. Because of that, he doesn’t recognize her and decides to send her back to Earth. Meanwhile, another rocket failure and poor Aoi bears the brunt of it again. At this time, everyone thinks he’s a fake but soon the train comes colliding with the rocket. It crashes onto the ground and when Himeko regains consciousness, to everyone’s horror, she has forgotten who she is! Oh great! Now she has amnesia. It couldn’t get any worse. Initially I thought Hakase would be part of the motley crew to steal the crown, but this is last time you’ll see him. Yeah, just a one-episoder character. I would be great if there’s another additional one to this great big mess.
 
In episode 7, everyone is in a panic on how to regain Himeko’s memories when Leslie takes her away. After Karen gets the rest fall into their hole trap, Himeko wonders who they are and Karen says that they are thieves. It seems Himeko thinks she is a thief too seeing that she’s running with them. No time to talk, everyone else is back on their feet chasing them. As they run through the streets, Rasse catches them in his net and starts blabbing about him being the real prince. Since Himeko believes him, this unprecedented move sends that kid into ecstasy as he daydreams of being married to her. I don’t know that dream turned out into Himeko still treating him like child like wetting his bed so back in reality, he’s clinging on to Karen’s leg instead while Leslie takes off with Himeko, leaving Karen in a lurch. Adron confronts the duo hiding on the rooftop. Himeko says she’ll defend her teacher and starts hitting him like a girl. This causes Adron to push her. With that, Himeko starts to cry and this attracted the royal guards. They are preparing a ladder to climb up when Karen just arrived. Leslie then pushes her to send the ladder tumbling. Sneaky guy. While making another escape, they bump into Yimo, who now thinks Himeko is the real princess. The 2 engage in a tug of war over Himeko. Karen is running away from that weird dog chasing her and when they collide, the crown fell on her head. Yimo stares at her and you guessed it. He drags Karen away thinking she’s the real princess! Karen thinks Leslie is a traitor for leaving her like this. Yimo takes Karen to some restaurant to overstuff her with food. Karen is fed-up and leaves but trips on a cat. The crown fell on the cat’s head and Yimo… You know lah.
 
Meanwhile Ebine is launching a full scale search operation over town for Himeko. Leslie and Himeko are hiding on a tree and Himeko is dreaming about plucking a banana for lunch but in reality she’s pulling Leslie’s leg. No, it means what it means and she’s not telling him a joke, okay. Of course they both fell out from the tree and Sanjuurou spots them. As they are being surrounded, a group of masked raccoon girls (it’s Aoi by the way) uses smoke screen to lead the duo away. At a cave hideout, Leslie thinks he has seen her face before but Aoi claims that she is just a masked raccoon girl. Aoi’s real intentions is to bring Himeko somewhere else out of trouble when the drilling machine encounters problems. Himeko decides to start digging but the cave crumbles and water starts gushing in. The underground river leads them both to the town’s river side, whereby they’re being cornered by Sanjuurou and his men. Now we see Aoi in a futuristic hi-tech outfit dubbing herself Tanuki Mask Girl, here to save the day. But the rocket propulsion experience some problems as it goes haywire. So you could say her blunders is what took out the entire troop. Is this an effective measure? Back at HQ, another mysterious masked girl (it’s Karen by the way and everyone else recognizes her) thinks of collaborating with them to catch the escapees.
 
In the middle of the woods, obviously there is a shoe cupboard which highly points that it’s a trap to any normal thinking person. But we know Himeko isn’t that, right? Though Leslie warns her of the trap, she finds a love letter addressed to Leslie, asking him to wait in the hut nearby. Himeko then says how this is like a trap but Leslie being the playboy he is has already entered the hut. Leslie must be in for the shock of his life because that ‘lover’ is actually Sanjuurou in a school girl outfit! Horrible make-up on Nana too! Oh the heartbreak. Leslie rushes out but slips and fell on Himeko. When Himeko comes to, she spots Leslie’s face between her thighs and freaks out. She slaps that pervert and wonders why her dad is in that awful outfit. Yay! Her memories have returned. Now Leslie is in court facing trial…
 
Leslie’s trial begins in episode 8 with Himeko as the judge. Everytime she brings order to the court by hitting the hammer, the mallet will fly off, hitting Leslie’s head. This will happen a few times. Leslie is faced with charges of kidnapping Himeko and manipulating her during her short spell of amnesia. The ultimate penalty is execution of capital punishment. Though it’s like an interrogation between Sanjuurou and Leslie, all Himeko is concern off his executing him or any other guilty parties for seeing her panties. WTF?! A messed up Aoi comes in to defend Leslie. She has to or else her real identity for destroying the troops will be jeopardised. Aoi tells Leslie to play along and tells the court that Leslie is the hero trying to save Himeko from the real perpetrator, which is Rasse. Of course that guy is so eager to introduce himself and with a photo of Rasse having Leslie and Himeko captured in his net, proves it. Because Rasse is so happy being recognized, he has been sentenced to execution, which caused him to panic, though he repeatedly admit that he is a prince from the neighbouring country. He hits a canon which rolls out a cannonball with a raccoon mark. Sanjuurou recognizes it is from Aoi and sends her away. Too bad her plan backfired. Leslie thinks he’s cleared but Ebine says that there is another witness to his crime, Karen. Looks like it’s Karen turn to get revenge on him. So the duo argued which goes back to their childhood days where they started stealing. Starting young, huh?
 
Then Karen reveals Leslie’s true intention of stealing the crown. But it seems Ebine and Sanjuurou misinterprets about her saying something about her ill mom. Haha! There’s a big difference between okkan (crown) and okaa-san (mom). They can never get it right. Then a flashback of Karen’s mom about how she wanted to have a look at the crown before she dies. With that, Leslie decided to help her out and they became partners in crime. But that teary story is interrupted when Yoko makes her appearance as a vagabond lawyer called Igi Ariyo (meaning, I have an objection) by knocking out Karen. I guess if you want a job done, do it yourself. Yoko is here to defend Leslie and argues that he did all those to restore Himeko’s memories because he is her best friend. Yoko goes on to rant all the embarrassing things Himeko definitely would do like picking up food on the floor and eat it, and putting on 3kg this month for eating too many banana rice cakes. Himeko is devastated for her to reveal a young girl’s secret and that it’s too cruel. Because of that, Himeko doesn’t want to declare him innocent. But Yoko counters that by denying it is a proof of friendship and that she is in love with him. I think Leslie got carried away and wants Himeko to fly into his arms. WTF?! He rips his top and starts chasing her?!
 
Karen then wakes up and says that there is a person Himeko likes. She points to Adron! I think she was just randomly picking someone. With his face all red, his mind goes wild and out of control and rushes to hug Himeko but hugs Yoko instead, breaking all her bones (I think) and taking her out. Later Leslie and Karen continue to have their spat when Nana comes by and brings Yimo along. Since Yimo has crashed landed on Earth, he has opened a curry ramen shop to save money so that he could go back to his planet. So to commemorate his opening business, he gives everyone a bowl of ramen. Everyone loves it. Karen then recalls how Leslie loves naruto and likewise Leslie remembers how Karen loves the bamboo shoots. They start reminiscing the good times together. For the first time, Nana spoke proper words. She said "Leslie and Karen are friends". It makes me wonder if she is capable of proper speeches, why didn’t she say so in the beginning to avoid all those miscommunication or even after this? Leslie and Karen decides to make up as they go on the run in their red sports car with the royal guards close on their heels. Too bad Himeko, you won’t bring the one who saw your panties to justice.
 
So is it all back to normal for Himeko in episode 9? Well, she’s still the queen and Adron is still shivering behind her trying to slice her! Give it up pal. You’re not up to it. Himeko notices how Sobana is looking at a large cat outfit called Haneko (a full size version of her hand puppet I guess) outside a shop’s window and thinks she wants it since her birthday is coming up soon. The price tag is 50,000 Yen and I’m surprised she doesn’t even have enough allowance to buy it. Aren’t queens supposed to be rich? Nana too spots Himeko at the window and thinks she wants that Haneko. Himeko thinks of asking her mom a raise but back home, Sanjuurou is leading a protest for a salary raise. Ebine counters it by saying how they’re sloppy on their job with the recent events of Himeko getting into all sorts of trouble. Plus, the pair of thieves have not been caught since. Now they can’t justify their raise. With that, Himeko decides to drop this idea and wish she was as rich as Aoi. Speaking of which, that girl has been sent to Siberia doing some mining in the cold blizzard! Poor girl. Himeko tries to do several part time jobs but since the people recognize her as the queen, it’ll be troublesome if they let her work. Himeko tans herself and wears a turban as a disguise and soon spots a poster on a wall whereby the hourly pay is 2,000 Yen!
 
This leads her to Chief X’s hideout and we see several of his cat henchmen carrying stuff. Chief X decides to interview her personality so Himeko decides to pass this scary job. But the henchmen brought her back. Then beneath the door opens and we see Chief X’s real identity for the first time. Look like a normal looking bespectacled guy in their usual grey skeleton uniform. Due to lack of manpower I guess he hires her right away (Yoko being demoted to some cleaning job? He zaps her when she said too much!). Chief X continues to tell her to never enter the room with a big door. That night, Himeko starts her part time job by laying traps in front of her school and using dried fish as a bait. When Himeko finds out that their target is a girl and not a cat, she suggests to use a cake. Chief X realizes his mistake and compliments his newbie for such brilliant ideas. He gives her an accomplishment badge whereby if she collects 10, her hourly pay will go up. Nice promo. You’ll realize that Chief X and co are trying to catch Himeko and Himeko is unaware that she is helping them to catch herself! The next morning when Himeko arrives to school, she spots Sobana wanting to eat the delicious cake and warns her not to. Just then Kode happened to pass by and decides to eat it. Yeah, she fell into the hole.
 
At class, Himeko is sleepy and tells Sobana it’s due to her part time job. Kode is cautious that her student, what more the queen is doing a part time job in which is against school regulations. She thinks Himeko is doing some illegal shady GRO job. She continues to think that this will lead to some scandal and that she will be fired because as a teacher she failed to guide Himeko properly. While we see Nana doing part time job at Yimo’s curry house (doing great business!), Kode decides to follow Himeko that night. She tries to get in to Chief X’s base through the backdoor but got zapped. Himeko continues to improvise the traps Chief X make, like a fully automatic trap instead of a manual one (a food trap whereby a lid is drop on the victim when he/she goes to pick the food under the lid), just outside the store Himeko frequents (she still doesn’t realize it). But the victim fell into that trap in an instant after just setting up! Why, it’s Kode! She never learns. Then as they are running away from cops after some money heist, Himeko suggests to drop the heavy bags and take the lighter stuff. Then poor Kode thinks she’s turned into an instant millionaire when she picks up all those money. The cops of course thinks she’s the criminal and arrests her. At this time, Himeko has already collected 10 badges and Chief X promotes her to Major Cadre. The next day, Nana has bought the Haneko suit.
 
As Himeko helps a little girl trapped in that food lid trap, she realizes that she is crying and starts thinking of her job. Yeah, took her long enough. That night they are drilling to their target’s home, they went off course and surfaced at Kode’s place instead. Pity her ramen meal, interrupted. So they decide not to leave empty handed and kidnap her. Chief X plans to use her as a bait to kidnap the queen seeing that she’s her teacher. Himeko finally put the pieces together when Kode wakes up and recognizes her. She says how Himeko is doing such an improper job in such a place. Then it hit Chief X that their newbie is indeed their target! They start chasing her as Himeko enters the forbidden room and locks the door (Chief X quoting how he should’ve kept a spare key). As Himeko is running through the dark corridors, her turban starts to unwrap because it’s stuck to the door as she runs deep. Then she stepped on a banana peel and slipped, causing her crown to come off. Finally. Just like that? A magic-like aura changes the scenery back to normal. Meaning, her mom and dad are normal people now. She sees a light at the end and thinks it must be the exit. We then see Nana packaging the Haneko suit when Himeko comes in and is surprised on why Nana is here.
 
In episode 10 we see that Himeko has entered a room full of Nana’s castellan outfit in the closet and Nana’s mugshot on the wall. Nana wants to give the Haneko present to Himeko but the latter is so suspicious that she might be related to Chief X’s evil organization, that she refused and ran away. While doing so, her crown fell off. She must’ve feel some attachment to it and puts it back on. She comes out through a manhole to find Leslie and Karen having not enough money to buy taiyaki (why don’t they just steal it?). Leslie wants to borrow 100 Yen but Himeko is suspicious. Since Himeko dropped her wallet, Karen went after her to return it. Upon doing so, Himeko’s crown slipped off and Karen saw it. Himeko tries to dismiss it. Then another assassin sent by Yoko, Higuma, a giant bear, is going to attack Himeko. The ladies pretend to play dead upon seeing a bear when Himeko’s crown roll off. Higuma happily takes the crown but got hit by a truck. Karen then confirms her suspicion. Then a pair of panda twins appear since Higuma has been disposed off. But since they’re so cute, Karen and Himeko are quite infatuated with them and don’t see them as a threat. So the panda pushes Himeko as she goes tumbling down along with her crown. Those crown-hungry people started chasing it but fell into the river. Since Karen can’t believe the crown did fall off, she went to sleep thinking she’s dreaming.
 
Nana then comes by to give her present to Himeko but she is still so suspicious and refuses. Leslie passes by and wants to know why Himeko doesn’t accept a present from her. Himeko still thinks that they’re both from the evil organization after her crown when Karen comes by to knock her out. Not wanting to break Nana’s heart, Karen uses Himeko as a puppet to gladly accept Nana’s gift. With that, Leslie takes the real crown off Himeko’s head. Several random baseballs are seen flying knocking them out. Yeah, Yimo and his cats are playing nearby. Himeko has escaped with Haneko suit when she bumps into an ecstatic Sobana. Himeko is in a pinch because she can’t reveal to Sobana about the evil organization as she notices Leslie and Karen are spying on her. When Sobana wanted to touch the Haneko suit, Himeko refuses. Ebine and Adron then appears and wonders why Himeko is bullying her friend and wants her to explain herself. Of course she is unable to. Then it hit Ebine that Himeko may have turned into a delinquent and a crisis is at hand as she drags her back home! At school, Kode is reflecting about Himeko’s illegal job when Ebine comes in and scolds her as she is responsible for Himeko. Kode’s fear come true as Ebine fires her after accidentally learning Himeko did some shady job! Not only her, due to Adron’s inability to protect Himeko, Ebine fires him too! That time Himeko has escaped and bumps into the thieves again. Getting even more paranoid she drops the Haneko suit, which Nana picks up. Then Chief X appears and tells his henchmen to look for Himeko for the sake of their newly appointed queen, which is Nana! Chief X seems to speak the same gibberish as language! I wonder if they understood each other. Looks like it. It’s evening and Himeko is still being chased by the thieves. Rasse is still going around telling his identity when Himeko bumps into him, dropping her crown onto a tree branch. Yoko happen to pass by and spots it. I guess the chase was too long for the thieves to realize that the crown isn’t on Himeko’s head anymore. Back at Chief X’s HQ, we see him giving the real crown to Nana sitting on a throne and saying about how the crown is proof of their royal family.
 
It seems it has been 6 months since Himeko is no longer queen in episode 11 and everything returns to normal for her. Well, she’s still xenophobic. Himeko seems to have visions of those who were after her crown. Feeling nostalgic? But it seems the new queen is Nana and Yoko on Nana’s behalf is enforcing stupid prohibiting laws on the citizens. Like any sticks longer than chopsticks are banned in order to assure Nana’s safety in fear of any assassins who may use them to assassinate queen Nana. Prevention better than cure? More like irrational dumb laws. Yeah, they can get real creative with it. Slowly everything gets banned and everybody is starting to hate queen Nana. Not until the latest ban which include hand puppets did Himeko realized how much depression did Sobana sink into. One night while worrying about her, Sobana comes by to show Himeko her newly made cat hand puppet and to assure her that she’s alright. But then a spotlight is cast upon them (like they’re criminals) and Yoko arrests Sobana for possessing illegal stuff. Himeko tries to go see Nana but is stopped at the front gates. Leslie and Karen then arrives in their car to bring Himeko somewhere. They say how they have fled the country for awhile ever since Nana took the throne and now they’re back because they feel unsatisfied for not stealing the crown.
 
They arrive at an Underground Ramen Club, secretly run by Yimo. Apparently curry ramen has been banned due to a perceived threat on Nana’s health. WTF?! However their secret hideout is being discovered by Yoko and she threatens that resistance is futile. She soon bombs the place but the thieves and Yimo are nowhere to be found. Himeko later emerges from the rubble and is determined to save Sobana by herself. That night she infiltrates Nana’s castle and at first she seems to have gotten away with that nonsensical language of only "Mii~". But those henchmen soon realize that she is an impostor and sounded the alarm. Better start running. Yoko comes in to warn Chief X and we see Chief X in a room making new laws. Heaps of them! Luckily Yimo in a newly built ship storms the castle as he can’t forgive the person who banned curry ramen. Cute little pink cats vs grey skeleton cats? Don’t worry. Those popcorn won’t kill. Several henchmen are going to attack Himeko when Adron comes down from the sky slash them. Adron is having problems trying to confess to Himeko since Himeko wonders if he has come to see her. And since he took too long, Himeko is long gone. Himeko is met with more resistance but good ol’ Leslie and Karen gladly took her place. Inside the castle, Himeko meets Rasse, who now claims he’s a swindler and the brother of that neighbour country prince (obviously a lie). Himeko wants him to take her to Nana’s room, which he obliges. The duo then come face-to-face. Hmm… I’m thinking that it may be Chief X and Yoko’s scheme all along since Nana has been ‘imprisoned’ in her room ever since she took the throne. It’s like they make the laws and let Nana take the blame.
 
The battle rages on in episode 12 but as Nana is happy to see Himeko and rushes to her, a hole appears from the ground and sends Himeko below the dungeons. Yoko and Chief X restrains Nana from going after her. In the dungeon, Himeko finds out that Sobana is doing well and that Higuma and the panda twins are treating her nicely. Plus, they decide to let the girls go seeing that they have done so with the other prisoners. Yeah, the overcrowding of the jail due to those incessant arrests for breaking the laws has made them do so on their own free will. While Nana is scaling down the ivory tower by using curtains, Himeko decides to go return the crown and rushes back upstairs but couldn’t find her. Chief X and his henchmen too are trying to find Nana but notices a strange never-seen-before door. They open to find a Koala leader and his kangaroo henchmen who is shocked to see that their secret organization has been discovered. Koala can’t let them go and starts chasing Chief X. Similarly, Yimo has found Chief X and starts attacking the enemy of curry ramen. Looks like Chief X has got his hands full from running away. Similarly as Himeko tries to search for Nana, Leslie and Karen try various tricks to steal the crown, but it didn’t work. Rasse then comes by and wants to elope with Himeko seeing that she is his marriage partner. Nana spots them and wants to approach her but has to hide behind a pillar after seeing this. Yeah, Himeko is fed-up of Rasse’s persistence and before she knows it, the crown unleashes a big fist pounding Rasse! One of the 7 secrets of the crown, which is Princess Punch! Rasse spots Nana and tries to tell the rest she is behind them but each time they look, Nana hides back. Since Himeko is suspicious of the thieves, the crown then spouts out another 1 of its secret powers, a mind reading flower! Now their true thoughts are revealed.
 
Then Adron comes by and has finally realized it all. After some dramatic speech he confesses that he likes Himeko. Yeah, it took him 10 long episodes to do so. However, Himeko and the thieves are gone and it seems he has confessed to the wrong person! It’s Yoko! She gladly accepts his passionate love and gets all lovey-dovey with him! Too bad. Even if he says it’s a mistake, she’s adamant that their love will nurture in time. Nana tries to rush to Himeko to give her some ramen (earlier she was hungry) but tripped and spilled the bowl. It’s evening, Ebine and Sanjuurou are searching for Himeko when they spot Nana sitting dejectedly by the riverside. It seems Himeko and the rest are finding Nana too and soon reunites. Nana rush to give her the Haneko suit. Though it’s torn, but Nana mended it back well. For the 2nd time, Nana spoke proper words and her sentence is much longer: "Look Himeko, this is Nana’s present. But Nana’s present is all dirty. Nana is no good. Sorry". But Himeko isn’t mad as she hugs her. Before Leslie could snatch the crown, Himeko remembers this crown belong to her and tries to take it off. Unfortunately, it’s stuck. Not again. So Karen puts on the fake crown on Nana and says how it suits her just fine. I guess Nana’s happy with it too.
 
Before we forget all about Aoi, she suddenly comes down in a raccoon mecha, wanting revenge on Himeko. Everyone starts running and Chief X joins them (still running away from Yimo). Before Aoi can fire, Banana calls upon several of his kind to take down the mecha. But Aoi and her mecha are sent flying into space when a driller machine bursts out from beneath her. It’s Koala and since his base is exposed, he’s going to take down Earth in 1 swoop! Oh another character to add to this ever growing mess. Koala starts letting loose his missiles and almost every character gets hit! Wondering where Kode is? She’s running off with some rich guy and we find out that she’s doing some swindling job to marry him to get his riches. Can’t live the honest way anymore, huh? Anyway, she and her fiancee gets hit by those missiles too. Finally when the missiles hit Himeko and Nana, Himeko is fed-up and wants all this to end because she’s still the queen of this country. Now she acknowledges she’s queen. The final scene shows Himeko and Sobana (in that Haneko suit) rushing to a pet shop run by Chief X and Nana. Since Himeko and Nana’s stomach are growling, Nana says that she is hungry and all the usual characters line up to viewers saying "See you".
 
It’s been one hell of a crazy ride and I totally enjoy each moment from start to end, laughing out most of the time. Though there are some questions which still bug me like the relationship between Chief X and Nana. Why do they want the crown so badly and even if they have got it, what is Chief X’s true intention? Also, the reason of why Nana speak such gibberish is never fully understood (in both sense). I still don’t understand the meaning of that magic scene changing aura when one puts on the crown. Is it the world changes according to one’s imagination? But even so, this didn’t dampen the entire series.
 
I love all the crazy and wacky characters. I can help love each one of them, even if they are just minor characters. So we’ve got a gibberish spouting girl with her pet monkey, a pair of failed thieves who can’t catch anything (but can they catch a cold? Just kidding), a love-struck assassin (should consider a change in profession), a swindler who has only a notion for people to acknowledge his fake status, a boss who seems intimidating and mysterious at first but turns out that he has no special powers whatsoever, and his assistant. How about those animal assassins which appeared late in the series? Also add a fat cat who sees anyone with a crown as his princess, a vengeful upper-classmen, and a teacher who doesn’t act like one (turned to that dark side in the end, huh?), and you’ve got yourself a whole bunch of colourful misunderstandings. Yeah, they could’ve add that rocket scientist too but perhaps the producers feel he can’t do much or add to the overall hilarious. Too many cooks spoil the broth? I wonder if life would be normal for the gang since now they’ve got a new menace to deal with.
 
The voice acting is excellent and it mostly suits the characters’ personality. Himeko is voiced by Ryoko Shintani (Milfeulle in Galaxy Angel, Nami in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei) while Nana by Ui Miyazaki (Iroha in Sumomomo Momomo, Aisia in Da Capo Second Season). But my favourite voice acting has to be Sobana which is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro (Shinku in Rozen Maiden). Initially unrecognizable, I really love her dreamy voice which suddenly goes high pitched and squeaky sometimes. Though I love Norio Wakamoto’s voice as Chief X (Onsokumaru in 2×2=Shinobuden) but I kinda feel that his low sexy voice doesn’t really match with the Chief X guy. The other casts include Youhei Tadano as Leslie, Chiemi Chiba as Karen (Tamon in Happy Seven), Kousuke Toriumi as Adron (Kiba in Naruto, Gennosuke in Basilisk), Asami Sanada as Rasse (Dejiko in Di Gi Charat), Kozue Yoshimizu as Aoi (Renge in Ouran High School Host Club), Mika Kanai as Yimo (Nomad in Galaxy Angel), Yuri Shiratori as Kode (Mei in Love Hina), and Yuko Kaida as Yoko (Ryoumou in Ikkitousen).
 
The opening theme song is Hyappatsu Hyakuchuu Toraburun by Ryoko Shintani and Ui Miyazaki. Initially this song sounds like a cheerleading song as it is quite lively and upbeat with all the hype. You can see and expect the craziness from the opening credits animation. Yeah, feel like doing a little dance of your own? The ending theme is as lively and upbeat. Entitled Candy Pop Sweet Heart by Ryoko Shintani. The animation here seems to be manga-like drawing of Himeko and Nana.
 
On a trivial note, before the start and end of each episode, the sponsor screen in particular, you can hear Himeko in her heavily Japanese-accented ‘Engrish’ saying "This programme is supported by Bandai Visual and Lantis" and at the same time in the background we hear Nana saying repeatedly "WOWOW HIME HIME WOWOW HIME HIME". Oh the cacophony! But they sound so hilarious! The mid-intermission features the character in chibi form as they are being represented on a deck of cards. After the opening credits, each episode will be narrated by Sobana through her hand puppet about what has happened so far and what fate will be in store for them. Then just before the ending credits animation, the "To be continued" screen, they’ll put up random pictures of Yimo and his cats. What does that mean?
 
If I ever find myself in such situation, it’s best to give that precious item back to the relevant parties. Don’t want to go through all that hassle and trouble. This case reminds me of what Ringo Starr’s character faced in The Beatles’ debut movie A Hard Day’s Night. Yeah, poor chap got a precious ring stuck to his finger. Unless you’re a famous idol celebrity, then probably that’s a different case. Everybody wants a piece of you. So is it really that hard to steal a crown? Is it that elusive or just plain incompetent? Well, it’s just like trying to catch Osama, huh?
 

Hime-sama Goyoujin