Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara

February 22, 2015

I never really understood the meaning of flag in computing terms. Maybe it is because I never played dating simulations so I am not familiar with the term. Even doing my ‘extensive’ research on it over the internet yields more confusion than anything. I still do not understand. Is it something that triggers some event in the future? Well, I think it is something like that so anybody can be kind enough to enlighten me? Anybody? Ah well, I guess I will have to watch Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara to understand it. Oh what the heck, who am I kidding? Wanting to further know about the definition of flags wasn’t my purpose. It’s the harem factor, baby! Oh yeah! Bring it on!

I don’t know if they are trying to match Sister Princess or not but I think it is pretty awesome (personally) to know that there are 12 girls in it. You read that right. A dozen. One two. XII. Although something tells me that not all of them will be the main focus but I guess that is better than nothing. Wow. Twelve lovely girls. Are they really going to overdo this harem trope and overload it? Say what? You’re more interested in what the story is about? What has the harem has got to do with flags? Okay, okay. Our main guy has the ability to see flags on people’s heads. The kind of flags that determines your future and destiny and thus his other ability to break or change them. Pretty cool, right? Well, not as cool as having this harem. Anyway he has got a death flag on himself and is traumatized by a near death experience when he was young. So he isolates himself through life trying not to make friends and strangely enough this attracts several girls that are interested in his weird way of life and they end up living with him in a dorm. I don’t know. So his strange way of living becomes the flag for a harem anime?

Episode 1
Nanami Knight Bladefield is waiting at the lights when a truck is going to crash at her and the group of people waiting there. The tragedy is averted when she notices this kid wearing the same school uniform as hers, whispering into the ears of another guy. She’s thinking through and through about this boy when it turns out, Souta Hatate is the new transfer student in her class. He sits behind her as she notices that whenever classmates approach him with their personal intentions, just a mere sentence breaks their spirit. She confronts him and wants to know. Because she also observed that he is watching the top of a person’s head before speaking out. Lies don’t dissuade Nanami. Unless he wants another eyeball poking pain, he better tell the truth. He can see flags on people’s head. At the lights, the person he whispered too had a death flag. He said something that broke the flag and of course ultimately his death. Nanami doesn’t believe but Souta is okay. He doesn’t want her to get involved anyway. Nanami thinks he doesn’t want anybody to get close to him so he reveals about a worst boating accident in history whereby Souta was the only survivor. All other crew and passengers were missing and they still are. He believes anybody that gets involved with him will be plagued by misfortune. Nanami doesn’t think so. Since he doesn’t see a flag on her head and if she did, she would have been broken by his gloomy attitude. She’ll complain and yell at him if she wants. He can do the same. So please don’t act so gloomy before her. Okay. While having lunch, Akane Mahogasawa pops up before them. She has a friendship flag and wants to join them. Attempts to break it are futile since it always comes back up. He eventually gives in. Akane mentions Nanami as the 13th princess of the Bladefield royalty. Nanami continues that since her siblings was so big (10 princes and 14 princesses!), she wasn’t really welcomed and sent away to Japan to study.

More flags pop up on Akane’s head and it’s literally impossible for Souta to break them all. Akane wants to visit his house as part of their friendship thingy. He lives at Quest Dormitory… It’s so rundown. Oh wait. It’s abandoned. He lives here? Well, at least his room is decent. Akane wants to do something for Souta. Because she felt this heart tightening feeling when she first saw him. It isn’t exactly love at first sight. As the granddaughter of Mahogasawa Foundation, she didn’t have any friends. She made her first real friend her age and exchanged items as proof of their friendship. However the adults had different views about their friendship and saw their gap in material wealth as the main factor to separate them. They called her friend a poor person. She couldn’t save that poor person. So when she saw Souta’s poor state, she believes she can save him. Nanami thinks she is just like Souta but if they both think of each other’s happiness other than their own, they’ll create a bond of happiness. When the girls leave, Akane returns to take something she forgot. Souta sees a death flag on her head. Seems the wooden floor gave way and she falls through. Souta tries to break the flag but it’s not working. There is only one way left. He kisses her! It turns into a conquered flag. And that probably sealed his own death fate because Nanami comes giving him a flying kick. Later that night as Souta washes up, he sees a death flag on his own head in the mirror.

Episode 2
Souta finds himself in a dream. On a luxury liner. There is this girl, Sakura asking him to invite girls over since it’s the vacation. In class, Akane probably loves what Souta did but not Nanami. More women problems for Souta because big sister Kikuno Shoukanji is thrilled he is back. Apparently she is supposed to be his older childhood friend but she went to study abroad last year and fell a year behind when she came back. Kikuno loves pampering Souta so much so it sends those jealous guys into envy. Taking look at Quest Dormitory, she is appalled at his living conditions but is also glad he has amassed his own little harem. Then they dance in circles as proof of friendship. Don’t ask… They go and see an elder who is a loli by the way who is in their same class if you noticed, Tsumugi Ryuukishibara. They ask to do something about the dorm but she says due to declining students, their budget is limited so rebuilding it isn’t an option. However student council president, Mimori Seiteikouji believes she can help and she has the Public Works Study Club to build it up from scratch again. A club of manly girls? It is rebuilt in no time and now for the finishing touches. Everyone helps to move things in when Souta requests the help of this boy to move furniture. Oh wait. It’s a girl. Too cute. What? Megumu Touzokuyama is a boy????!!!! Get out of here!!! Well, it’s no wonder why he has always been treated like a girl. Too girly. There are lots of friendship flags popping out on Megumu’s head. But all that turns into depression because the rest of the girls continue to look at him as a girl. Too girly to even note the fact he is in a boy’s uniform.

The dorm is fully renovated and furnished but Mimori mentions a tiny little problem. It will be closed down because it only has 1 resident! What the heck was all that hard work for anyway?! But as Tsumugi mentions, in order to keep the dorm open, at least 5 people need to stay there. Want to guess who are moving in? Let’s see… Souta as resident number one, so we’ve got Akane as number two, number three for Kikuno, Megumu offering to be number four… Okay, who is going to be the last one? Nanami is just hinting… And when she does, she has a condition to get that corner unit or else she won’t stay. Hooray! Circle dance friendship time. But why everyone is crowding in Souta’s room? So the ladies go take a bath and Megumu wants to prove he is a man by go taking a peek. He drags Souta along but chickens out and lets him bear the brunt of Nanami’s kick. Some friend. Some man he is. That night, Souta finds a letter in a drawer. It includes RPG-like classes. He remembers playing a twisted version of chess with Sakura (samurai, knight, dragon knight, ninja, summoner, among the weird pieces?). As the loser must do what the winner says, Sakura mentions she did not win because she is strong but she saw a defeat flag on his head. She will give him her power and in exchange he must find the truth of this world. Souta remembers Premium Ambriel (the luxury liner that was involved in the accident), Sakura the forgotten sister as well as this world’s truth.

Episode 3
Akane all over Souta to wake him up? How did she get a key to his room? From Kikuno. She insists it’s her sister right to have one! Even worse for Souta. They find somebody lying next to him in bed… Megumu! Now, this might look yaoi but since he is so girly… The commotion is compounded when a helicopter from Mahogasawa Electronics drops some big metal crate. Ruri Ninjabayashi is an android and sent by the company to support Akane. Yup. Add another resident to the list. They thought they can leave her to take care of the dorm while they head to school but she’s coming to school with them too. And she fits in like a glove… Mimori makes an announcement of the upcoming week-long sports festival. Everyone is going to compete nonstop for the coveted MVP title. However this is the least of their problems. As Mimori sees them personally, looks like Quest Dormitory will be demolished! Flashback reveals she was in a meeting with those board guys. They disagree about the dorm having mixed gender staying with it. Just because they are losers who never got to experience such youthful lust doesn’t mean they can impose such rules, right? So Mimori decides herself that if the Quest Dormitory people can’t take the MVP title, the dorm will be demolished and Souta will be expelled. So… All this is Mimori’s fault actually?! Oh sh*t! Kikuno is really mad! Souta going to be expelled?! Die you b*tch! But let’s look on the positive side. Mimori has got somebody to train them and she is Rin Eiyuuzaki. Archer girl has been assigned to guide them to become MVP. Souta knows she is going to be troublesome because she has this guy hating flag. She is also close friends with Rin.

The strict training begins in the wee hours of the morning. The girls must be tired but Rin is giving Souta special treatment. Yeah. More training for him! While he rests, he still feels everything that has happened recently is unreal. Up till now he has been alone and suddenly a bevy of girls flock to him. He asks what kind of guy he must be to pass his standards. She mentions about this tough kid she knew when she was young. His name is Souda (suspicious…). All other guys were inferior to her but Souda never gave in. Eventually they became equals and fought many battles together. She felt she could do anything with him. One day Souda had to move to another town and that’s the last time she saw him. Souta says he was used to be called that. Rin thinks it’s a coincidence. Since she still keeps his contacts, she will mail him about this. Souta receives an exact mail from her. Then it hit them. Yeah. Time to panic. Especially Souta who thought she was a boy! She almost falls but he catches her. She feels bad for doing all the bad things to him. Souta fears this yandere flag popping up. But with a little assurance their friendship is unbreakable, that flag turns into a conquered one. Rin explains everything to the rest. Now she is motivated to get everyone motivated to aim for the MVP title. Souta’s future is riding on it.

Episode 4
The week-long festival is here. Rin has a long list of sports everyone will have to participate. And some of the sports suspiciously aren’t sports. Cat herding? Massage the committee’s shoulders? Even a competition whereby only real princesses can enter? WTF. Anyway with Quest Dormitory in the lead, everyone’s morale is high and when Rin suggests winning the MVP to strengthen their friendship, Kikuno encourages everyone to strengthen their love for him to. So everyone tries to pass the buck around who should be a more suitable lover for Souta. While busying doing that, Souta takes another look at himself. The death flag is still there. Because of that, he spaces out and couldn’t perform and this causes the team to slowly slip down the rankings. Ruri has observed his behaviour and confronts him that his depression has a correlation and affecting the girls’ performance too. It is like as though death is involved in some way. So he reveals about his inevitable death. But that is not the scary part. It is the part where his death will bring sadness to everyone and he is heartless to make such great memories with them. Figuring out the break the death flag of others is simple but not so for his own. Then it’s like some programme in Ruri activates. Something about wondering if he would like to enter the other world. There is a First Gate that will open to the 4 heroes seeking the Great Tree that will lead them to the other world. There, they have a chance to destroy the death flag. Trying to determine where the First Gate is, Souta sees the place as Quest Dormitory. Souta is the king, Nanami the princess knight, Akane the magician, Ruri the ninja and a hooded person as the clergy. Souta believes he can’t leave this dorm if that door really exists. He requests Ruri for her help and she is amazed that he needs her. Although many people acknowledge her, this is the first time somebody actually needs her. A friendship flag on her head?

On the final day of the festival, it seems the winner gets to win everything. Leave it to Mimori to spice things up. Teams partake in a relay race and Souta and Nanami are the final pair. Prior to it, Souta has been telling the rest of his team personally to win to raise their morale and thus victory flag. They do well to make a sizeable lead. Nanami isn’t impressed with what he is doing as Souta realizes he has never seen a flag on Nanami before. As they get going and before the home stretch, Nanami trips and injures her leg. She wants to continue so as not to waste their hard work. Eventually she couldn’t and everyone zooms past them. She feels guilty but not as guilty as Souta who thinks he has failed everyone and made them sad. But since they are still cheering them on, Souta won’t give up and carries Nanami. His extra determination gives him the much needed boost to catch up with the rest but in the nail biting finish, the photo finish indicates they came in a close second place. Although everyone is sad that their fate is sealed, Mimori introduces them to the board members who are very impressed with their beautiful cooperation and friendship. Despite coming in second place, they decide to hand them the MVP title. Hooray! The dorm stays and more importantly Souta! Someone better stop Mimori before she makes a fuss about the board members doing their calculations wrong! One of the board members later turns out to be some mysterious masked babe, Zero and she knows Souta.

Episode 5
As Souta tries to investigate the passageway, all the girls come running to him. I guess Ruri made something up. Seems it is about some reward about Souta going out with them as reward for the doing their best for the sports festival. The girls discuss their turn in going out with him except for Nanami who is vehemently saying she won’t be on this date. Twice. I don’t know. She’s hinting something about some food poster… And over the scenes as we see Souta date the rest, we see Nanami doing something ‘fun’ all alone in the dorm. But why doesn’t she look happy? Megumu is the first one to go. Everybody thinks they are such a lovely couple. Remember, Megumu is a guy… So lovely… At the parfait shop, Souta helps Megumu finish a large serving. Megumu got some cream on his face and everybody is watching with anticipation for them to kiss. Nothing dramatic happens. He just wipes it off. Next is Akane and they go boating. There is a legend that couples will break up if they boat here but since they aren’t, they won’t. Some logic but she’s got a point. Though, she would love to be a couple one day. She gets embarrassed and almost falls off. Souta catches her but her clothes are quite wet. She then brings him to a library which reminds her of that friend. Although she has never seen her since, she was able to meet and get closer to him. That’s why she wants to thank them. Next is Rin at the park and because she’s already having a yandere flag, Souta quickly praises her and she was gullible enough to be conquered. She brought old photos of them and it brought back memories. Especially that one where they climbed up the bath house’s chimney and took off their pants and peed into the sun. There are a whole lot of things wrong here. Shouldn’t Souta have guessed her gender then? Unless the setting sun was blinding. And why was Rin calling him Souta instead of Souda? Rin gets so embarrassed about remembering it that she wants him to take responsibility. Unfortunately she passes out before anything could happen.

Finally it is Kikuno and their date is rather simple. Back in her room, she offers her lap pillow and they remember the time when Kikuno was sad that she couldn’t be a big sister anymore. Souta gave her a keychain and said he would be her little brother. Ever since, Kikuno considers him not as a brother-like friend but her real brother. At the end of the day, the girls thank Nanami for giving them a chance to go out with him at her expense. Nanami is hinting the thing she wants in return but it seems none of them understood what she was talking about. So frustrated… Next time make things clearer okay? Thankfully Souta understands and got that whatever food she wanted and hangs it on her door. Ruri returns with her investigation results. She has scanned the area and indeed it is confirmed the underground passage does exist but is buried deeply. Thankfully she took the liberty to dig it all up. She’s an android. It leads them to a chamber with a huge stone tomb. There are pictures that depict a knight, magician, clergy and ninja just like in the letter. Ruri scans the insides but can’t determine it since it is composed of unique materials. Nearby there is a crack in the wall that is believed to lead to the forest behind Quest Dormitory. Suddenly a bright light flashes and Souta goes to explore. Climbing out of the well, he meets Mei Daimyouzamurai. She isn’t pleased about him playing around with the attribute flags like that since he is the bearer of the death flag.

Episode 6
There is a council called World’s Seven Virtues as they discuss humans are the world’s disease. Zero mentions about Souta who raised his own death flag and defied it. They must confirm whether this heretic is a true messenger of the Sacraments that will be of value or a threat to the world. Meanwhile Mei becomes a transfer student in Souta’s class. He notices she has the same ability to cut people’s flags too. But there are more pressing matters. Souta notices his name has been nominated in both the beach and mountain camp. Thanks to some screw up by Mimori who believes in this way the girls of his dorm can get equal quality time in addition for him to learn swimming. Souta joins Ruri, Nanami and Megumu in the beach camp first. However he still has fears entering the water. Tsumugi hears his tragic tale of Premium Ambriel and led to many traumatic experiences. She is so touched that she will personally take care of his swimming lessons. Not much progress actually. While he is resting, he meets Kurumiko Daishikyougawa who sells popsicles to him. He remembers her name associated with the letter. Could she be the clergy? Anyway she views him as a nice person and she goes off as she’s a little shy. Souta notices a story flag on her head and this means there is some sort of progression in her story. Souta now switches to the mountain camp to join Akane, Rin and Kikuno. Tsumugi shows a picture when she was younger. Much taller and beautiful?! Like a different person… You shrink when you grow older? What is she? Benjamin Button? Before Souta can get into group study, he realizes he has been scammed because both camps will now switch places. Which means, back to the beach! He still fears the sea. Kurumiko is here to sell her popsicles again. Seems she is trying to be strong trying not to rely on anyone. Akane is introduced to her and anybody who is Souta’s friend is her friend as well. She’ll buy her entire box of popsicles. Kurumiko is so overwhelmed at her generosity that she runs away.

Souta catches up to her to explain Akane is desperately a generous person. Kurumiko feels she doesn’t belong whenever she thinks about people who can buy her out on the spot. She will apologize to her the next time. Souta notices her story flag has progressed to the next stage. Kurumiko wants to show him her secret hideout. This cave is where she goes to when she feels sad to remember her parents’ words. Souta believes it is good to rely on oneself but there are times she should rely on others too. Kurumiko reveals that there is something she didn’t tell him. She knew who he was because her parents were crews on the Premium Ambriel. She doesn’t hold a grudge against him but herself. Because the media continue to blame him, she took responsibility of her parents by trying to punish herself living this way. She thought she was the only one suffering till she saw him. She feels ashamed to think like that. Souta says she doesn’t need to take responsibility for her parents. They have been talking so long that they didn’t realize the tide has risen and trapping their only way out. Kurumiko hopes he could be her honorary brother when 3 death flags appear on her head. He agrees not only to that but become real siblings to cut them. Although her story flag rises, it is instantly replaced by the death flags again. He wants her to come to his school and believes things will work out. It’s his turn to save others. Ruri scares the sh*t out of them as she has located and begins rescue operations. Souta brings Kurumiko back with intentions to introduce her to everyone else when there is this babe in white and a straw hat standing melancholy before them.

Episode 7
No cause for concern. That is Megumu. His sisters snuck into the dorm and swap all his clothes for dresses. Really? Kurumiko introduces herself as Souta’s little sister. But Kikuno cannot accept this because it’s like he prefers a smaller one than a bigger one. Then she accepts it because his little sister is also her little sister. Tsumugi hopes Mimori can do the necessary to make Kurumiko attend their school. In return she can date Souta. Well, she doesn’t come cheap. That or a can of juice. She’ll take the date. So in this nature date, Mimori notes his kindness and Souta notes her energetic and that she should continue being bright and lively as it shows she is enjoying life. His words remind her of somebody close on his deathbed saying the same thing. Mimori vows to make him happy and a love flag pops up on her head. Mimori does what she can for Kurumiko’s case but unfortunately after all that, the board turned her down. Kurumiko is just happy to at least meet him for a brief period. When everyone returns to the dorm, Kurumiko is waiting for them. Seems Mei has brought her back as she felt bad for leaving her behind. She will also be staying here. How? Mei did some adjustments in the database. Why didn’t Mimori think of that?! Oh, Tsumugi and Mimori will also be staying at Quest Dormitory from today onwards. Everyone thinks Mei will be living with them too but she brushes it off before bowing down to pressure. Even if she doesn’t want to sleep with Kurumiko as she requested, she eventually gives in. Weak? Later Souta confronts Mei about her ability to see flags. She admits it but compared to his, hers is artificial and limited. This Flag Manipulation is given by Sacrament or also known as Sakura to him. It is the territory where humans were not originally allowed to trespass and the power that can even change the course of a fate that has already been decided. Ultimate Test Passenger Ship. The fateful ship that drifts along the universe’s sea. Souta has that power to rival that ship. What is his wish? One, to break his death flag. Second, to find out about Sakura’s wish. She opens a portal to bring him to a parallel world where none of his harem girls know him.

Apparently the Council of Seven Virtues is in charge of maintaining this parallel world. Currently they have their eyes on Sacrament and Souta. Mei’s duty is to determine if he is going to throw the world into chaos. His power is more fearsome than he thinks. She proceeds to show him some of his harem girls are dead like Nanami’s inevitable truck accident, Akane falling to her death and Kurumiko drowned in the tide. Then onboard the Premium Ambriel, Souta thought he saw himself waiting to die. He talks to himself to give himself the will to carry on living and all the great people he will meet at Quest Dormitory. He is surprised he turns out to be his teacher, Miyuki. She shows him a door in which her great grandfather, Souta Hatate went missing. Yes, she is Miyuki Hatate and not Miyuki MacKenzie. She will be alright now as she has found the will to live. A main character flag pops up on her head. Mei points out that world will now revolve around Miyuki. As she is the main character, she will have the power to view the world or change its course. Suddenly Souta starts coughing blood. The death flag has triggered and it is starting to affect his body. To save him, Mei tries to pull it out but experiences the despair and fear of death, the burden and power to control flags. She draws all her strength to stop it temporarily when Sacrament pops up and knocks her out. There are things Souta mustn’t know and should discover the truth by himself. Souta wakes up to find himself sleeping on Mei’s lap. He is shocked to see a captured flag on her head. She doesn’t remember about flags or Council of Seven Virtues. Could it be her memories are gone?

Episode 8
Rin is not amused that Kikuno is doting and spoiling Souta. It will make him a loser! Don’t tell me she wants to do all that to him? Because everyone has returned to their hometowns for the summer holidays, they are the only ones remained at the dorm. Suddenly Ruri drops by and kidnaps him back to Akane’s mansion! Because Akane wanted to see him, right? And so here Souta is in her very big luxurious mansion. Shortly, Kikuno, Rin, Megumu, Kurumiko and Mei come rushing in. Kikuno panicked and called everyone about his abduction and they rushed all the way here. Everyone tries to follow Akane’s aristocrat ways and I don’t know how but Souta ends up having lots of roast beef on his plate. That night Souta soaks in the outdoor hotspring alone. He didn’t realize this is the women’s section till Rin comes in. She hides him when the rest comes in. She’s got this yandere flag on her head so he turns it into love flag by saying he’ll marry her if something happens. Eventually Souta is able to make his escape without the others knowing. Meanwhile Nanami calls Akane and thinks she is lonely or something. You should see the surprise on her face when she sees the rest especially Souta having a sleepover and a big pillow fight! Feeling left out? Even a princess can throw a tantrum.

So I guess it’s only right that they all come to her principality. Nanami greets them as they take the first class train towards the capital. A mini version of Ruri pops up from Akane’s bag seeing her original body is undergoing maintenance. After Souta finishes his business in the toilet, he comes across the 14th princess, Hakua Berserker Bladefield. She is amazed at Souta and all things Japanese (since her mom is also a Japanese although different mother than Nanami’s). She talks to him and is awed at the difference between their countries. She goes to an all-girls monastery and doesn’t view anything wrong about siblings having different mothers. She is also the same age as Souta and Nanami. Speaking of her, here she comes with mini Ruri (she somewhat planted a tracker in his body) as they suspect he is taking too long coming back from the toilet. Suddenly an assassin enters the carriage and beats up all the maids. Holy cow! Ruri???!!! Mini Ruri thinks this is one of the mass manufactured assassin type androids bought by this country and could be her sister. Souta takes the princesses and run while the maids hold her back. Can’t do much since every inch of her body becomes or conceals a weapon. They are cornered when they reach the last carriage. Suddenly Souta knows what to do. He detaches the carriage and hits the emergency brake button. The assassin is about to follow but is stabbed and put out of commission for good by Zero. Souta knows this is his first time doing this and definitely it isn’t something a normal person can easily do on the first try. His powers must have levelled up. Okay. Now what? Up for walking?

Episode 9
There is a sad tale of 2 princesses. A peaceful country ruled by them was attacked by demons. A dying boy was entrusted a power of a goddess before she got tainted. His appearance also changed into of a royal flag. One by one the heroes fell to the demons. A princess was separated from the heroes as she took the flag and tried to escape. Souta and the princesses have reached the town. He is surprised when Nanami knows about the Council of Seven Virtues. It is a special organization that rules over the populace and royal family. They are the protectors of the Bladefield founded along with this country. Zero leads the council to bring the princesses back. Souta’s worried harem girls are relieved he is alright but they are stumped to see Hakua clinging close to his arm. Elia is the princesses’ big brother and crown prince as he thanks Souta for his help. Zero confronts Mei but it seems the latter truly have no recollection of her. Later Zero talks to Elia and it seems everything was planned by her. Soon, Elia makes a live broadcast that the king has passed away this morning. The reason for the delayed announcement is to subdue assassination bids from his other brothers to seize the throne. But why assassinate the princesses who are down in the pecking order to inherit the throne? Because the duo are his daughters! They are his successors. OMG! So their brother is actually their father and the father king whom they thought is their grandpa? Confusing indeed. After 3 days of mourning, the town celebrates the coronation of the new king. On a side distraction, somebody mistook Souta and Megumu as part timers for the parade and made them dress up as groom and bride respectively. Megumu as a bride? Looks very much like the part… I wonder if he can get married… Souta can tell Hakua is forcing herself to be happy and allows her to talk her troubles to him. He might regret it because an annoying girl flag pops up and she just cannot stop talking! Souta advises her that her grandpa would prefer to see her smile instead of sad and depressed. The other girls heard and feel sorry for not being sensitive. They all welcome her to Souta’s harem club and sing praises for Souta. Don’t even ask…

That night, Zero confronts Souta. She introduces herself as Mei’s former superior. She explains a nearby tombstone detailing the tragic story of the 2 princesses. Continuing where we were left off, a queen raised the royal flag and managed to drive the demons away. However it cost her life. The boy although received a blessing from the goddess, he used it to revive the princess and others instead of healing his own illness. The princesses and her comrades made this torn flag as their country’s symbol. It has become a story of hope and despair especially with that boy who has no name. A boy who turned into a strange flag to save a country. Souta feels this story is similar to his past. He fears it will still lead to destruction no matter what he does. He has done everything he can to defeat the death flag but it just wouldn’t go away. He sensed the death flag trying to gather everyone’s bad intentions to kill him. He wanted to kill himself but was scared. Zero says she loves this world and will not hesitate to kill a princess or take any lives for that. She reveals she was the one behind the assassination setup in which also serves as bait to get rid of the opposition in one fell swoop. It was also to judge the capability of the princesses. Killing 2 birds with a stone. Souta can see she is serious to a point of sacrificing her life for this world. She asks him how does he feel in a world that doesn’t need him. He might not be able to answer now but she looks forward to hear it. Zero visits some dungeon and praises him for deceiving them and escaping his bonds. Someone has escaped from the chains in a cell as Zero notes someone like him will never be able to save Souta, his beloved brother.

Episode 10
Mimori has spent a meaningful holiday in the mountains and now back at Quest Dormitory, she really looks forward to see Souta. But who the hell is this little princess Hakua?! You might have guessed it too. She becomes a transfer student in his class. In addition of not minding being his secret lover, she has him sign some documents which turn out to be recommendation of participants for the school’s beauty contest. Why is it that most of his harem girls are here? Even Megumu… As everyone has fun preparing for the school festival, Souta continues to be bothered about his death flag fate. He is worried he will end up just like that boy in the story. But after having fun with the girls even at the most trivial and silliest of reasons, he believes this is all he can do now. He wants to make everyone laugh even if it’s just a bit longer. As the beauty contest begins, the judges are Tsumugi (too ‘old’ to be a participant?), Kurumiko (too young?) and Souta (who better than the guy who recommended them all). So all the 9 participants introduce themselves on stage and it seems either their favourite thing is Souta or he is the most important thing in their lives. Yeah. Souta. You lucky bastard. For the swimsuit contest, everyone wears a t-shirt over. It is suggested Souta have to shoot a water gun to make their shirt wet and reveal their swimsuit. I don’t know… Sounds so lewd… Looks so lewd… In the end, everyone accumulates the same number of points. Even the judges give the same score. Can’t decide? My guts tell me all the guys voted for everyone because all of them are just too cute and moe not to vote. The final tie-breaker sees the girls confessing to Souta and Nanami is made to go first. She starts off by saying she hates him because the first time they met, he was such a gloomy and pathetic person. It got better after spending time together but now it’s back again. She doesn’t know what is going on but she knows he has done his best. This makes Souta realize that it wasn’t about his fate or death flag. He is happy someone noticed it. He starts crying! So touching Nanami’s speech that the other girls too can’t help but cry and automatically declare her the winner. Yeah. So much points that the computer exploded! Her prize is a free escort pass by him. Lastly, finally the last of the harem, Serika Ginyuuin bumps into Souta and she wants him to help hide her.

Episode 11
Serika is a famous idol and the moment Nanami finds out about it, she almost went ga-ga. Uh huh. Big Serika fan. Wow. A side you’d never see of her. So she is somewhat upset that Souta doesn’t know a single thing about her. Serika and Nanami become good friends as the latter lends her uniform so the idol can disguise better while going around the festival. From her name, Souta guesses that she is the bard in the story. Serika talks how she became such a nationwide famous idol. Humble and nervous beginnings led her nowhere even though her friends and teacher cheered her on. She was only an idol in name as everyone else ignored her. She was about to give up as she thought instead of bringing everyone happiness, everyone brought happiness to her, there is this familiar hooded boy walking up to her to tell her she can’t give up among other words of encouragement. She will inspire others in the future. He knows because she has this success flag on her head. She didn’t lose hope and soon fortune smiled on her and she became who she is today. She viewed that boy like a prophet but never got the chance to thank him. After she leaves, Nanami has this look at Souta. Know what she is thinking? Yeah. She has a pretty good idea who that guy in Serika’s past is. So Souta says it is him but he initially didn’t want to do it out of goodwill because at that time he was about to commit suicide when he saw Serika. He thought talking to her would make him feel better but eventually he saved her. Even so, Nanami is very pissed that Souta had more impact in Serika’s life than her. That night all the girls dress up nicely because they are looking forward to dance with Souta at the dance party despite he can’t dance. Oh what the heck. Just give it a go. And of course, Ruri’s legend about this dance party that couples will get married if they dance with each other… Believe it or not.

Before that, everyone attends Serika’s concert and Nanami just can’t wait to get into the action. Serika spots her in the crowd but when she sees Souta, she feels something familiar about him. Then the song starts. Souta notices everyone has a shining flag. The light converges to Serika before uniting at him. He has always thought his death flag brought only evil and despair but realizes he has people to connect him with. People who give him hope that will shine through the despair. Suddenly the world freezes. Data numbers are seen running through everyone. Zero appears before him and explains the world he went with Mei before is a virtual world. There are many of such worlds created by the Council of Seven Virtues to help combat Angel Boat. In a world composed of network and data, trouble begin when the system called Angel Boat existing in cyberspace to watch over the real world went berserk and it is a matter of time before it takes over the real world. Because of Souta’s ability to see and control flags, they need his power to alter data of events and reach Angel Boat. Souta feels depressed although he is mostly calm. He now has all information on the network. He knows everything. But why him? The council has been running simulations in created worlds a hundred million times faster than reality. Sacrament guided their way. The Souta of this world only met her and was given her power. Fate or coincidence it doesn’t matter as his power has grown and perfected. Souta now understands he can’t break his death flag. It’s like a curse. It’s like she gave her power just for him to understand that. Now that his power is complete, this world will collapse if he continues to stay. So while everyone is at the dance party, gloomy Souta is pondering despite this is one of the many virtual worlds, this is the only world he had. Sorry everybody. Nanami wonders where Souta is hiding his ass when she felt something ominous. Then Akane asks. Who is Souta?

Episode 12
Electronics of the world go offline. Seems Angel Boat has steadily increased its influence. Don’t worry. Souta is fighting off the hordes of Angel Boat by putting death flags on their head. But there are more of them… Zero communicates with him to protect the Principality of Bladefield as it is the world and main server. So long it doesn’t fall, the world will not be destroyed. Meanwhile Nanami finds the other girls have forgotten about Souta. Kikuno never had a brother, Rin never had a childhood friend and Megumu is the only guy staying at the dorm. She tries to show them the room where Souta lives but it is locked. After Akane fell through the floor, it is cordoned off. They think she is just tired after the festival. As graduation day comes, Quest Dormitory will be torn down as the girls wonder why they are living in this place since it is far away from school. Nanami then rushes back to break down the door to Souta’s room. When she sees his letter, she recognizes her handwriting. Ruri approaches her. She hasn’t forgotten about Souta and realizes Nanami was the one to break Protect Mode from Souta. To reveal all the truth to her, Ruri kisses her! What the?! Yuri kiss?! I guess it is faster this way. In the virtual world, Nanami meets her other self who claims she is Souta’s brother. Slowly Nanami’s memories return as she now knows about Council of Seven Virtues. The control information networks and increased the net worth of Principality of Bladefield. As a secret organization as countermeasure to fight against Angel Boat. That is when Zero found Souta, a prince of the Bladefield. Why use him? As the tale is true, the founding queen, Kagura is a descendent of a young man of a royal lineage and female knight who fought the demons. The story tells of a descendent who will be blessed with magnificent powers. That is Souta.

Zero linked Souta’s soul with many other virtual worlds to form a large simulation to activate his power. This means Nanami brought Souta to the virtual world to save him. But Zero sensed them and obstructed them. As a result, Nanami was divided into 2 pieces of data. One was imprisoned in the virtual world and the other placed like a pawn as his classmate. The imprisoned Nanami managed to escape and tried setting up a programme to help Souta but her powers reached its limits. She ended up in Ruri’s body that she found but also fell asleep. In the end Ruri created a new personality of her own. Now that their memories are synchronized, all that is left is to merge back into one. As Souta is fighting endlessly, they need to gather other heroes to save him. Once back in the world, Nanami wants Ruri to lend her power. Akane is seen peeping at the door and she is sad because she feels like she has lost something important but can’t figure out what it is. Nanami also wants her help. Oh look. All the other girls are here too. So the dozen girls plus Miyuki are at the stone tomb and since this Souta guy is believed to be such a precious person to them, the only right thing to do is to go help him. They activate something in the tomb that opens a portal to another dimension. Souta is tired from the endless fighting. Oh great. More Angel Boat. More defeat flags popping up from the ground. And Premium Ambriel couldn’t be timelier coming into the scene. It’s like they really want to kill him. But don’t fear! Nanami and the gang are here in time to protect him. Yeah. They’re in their full RPG gear now.

Episode 13
Why is Souta sad that all the girls come to his rescue? He should be happy his harem is here. Okay, sorry for the bad joke. The girls fight Angel Boat and of course telling us why Souta is important to them. In short, they love him. The last boss flag is activated. Premium Ambriel absorbs those angels to become a giant boat with wings. Get it? Angel Boat. I hope they didn’t actually make a pun out of this. So powerful that it blasts to girls unconscious. Souta needs to do something or they’ll lose. Is there a special death flag that can defeat it? Ultimate death flag? What’s that? Souta finds himself transported back on that day on Premium Ambriel, the real truth that he had forgotten. A fire breaks out on the ship and everyone evacuates. Souta and his girls too but Souta saw a lost girl (Sacrament) and went to help her. Actually she is Laplace Demon and she knows who Souta is. They get lost and this time Souta sees a guy pinned under the rubble. He helps him get out but another quake rocks the place. Now he is pinned underneath. The guy can’t do it by himself and runs off promising to bring help. Souta wasn’t convinced by his words and felt he was abandoned to die. Laplace Demon plays mind games with him that no one is coming back and how does it feel to be betrayed by the person he rescued. She thinks people are the same in different worlds while Souta becomes scared he doesn’t want to die. Suddenly that guy returns with help, among them Souta’s harem. Everyone helps lift the pile but suddenly death flags form on their head. Everyone one except Souta will die. Fate is cruel, isn’t it? But what if there is a way to change it? As he alone doesn’t have a death flag, he can change everyone’s fate. Combine their death flag into one and shoulder its burden. That is, take in all the elements of death and despair (scenes of him being the only survivor, being mocked and attempted suicides). This is the price of saving everyone. Souta agrees to carry the burden. Laplace will remove everyone’s memories while he will live alone and curse his decision and the world around him. Souta believes he won’t because the world is beautiful. No matter how much he is in despair, he’ll continue to shout that. His girls too won’t forget about him. They promise to find him someday. The death flag that holds together the fate of his death is used for this moment. Souta is to pierce through Angel Boat but it’s not enough. Suddenly all the girls help support and give him that much needed push to destroy the final boss. He is glad everyone kept their promise.

He wakes up in the real world. Zero is by his side explaining although there are still problems after that battle, they are at peace now because they won. Souta refused to enroll in school, got into an accident and hovered between life and death. He then met Sacrament and Laplace Demon. They are the emotions Angel Boat discarded upon rebelling against humanity. The Council of Seven Virtues has been simulating these programmes along with the virtual world simulations for humans to fight against Angel Boat. Laplace Demon embodies self-sacrifice while Sacrament represents bonds between people. The result as he has seen. Zero feels as though humanity is being tested. She takes off her mask. Souta is surprised she is Nanami but on the contrary, she is Kagura. She thanks him from the bottom of her heart. Because she once lived believing to protect her principality in which is no different than Angel Boat. She realized she has been saved by the things she turned away from a long time ago. She lets him know the days he spent in the virtual world were nothing more than a flash in reality with nobody to share them. Nanami who dived into the world to save him is no exception. After she leaves, Nanami comes in and hugs him. She is so happy to see her brother well. In the aftermath, Souta returns to the dorm. He sees Akane but she doesn’t remember him. They get along well since they will be moving in soon. As they take a look around, Souta remembers the spot Akane fell through and died. He saves her in time. She notes he saved him… Again. He also notes that she kept her promise… Again. Sacrament and Laplace Demon watch them and comment how interesting humans are. They have just showed them how beautiful this world is. The rest of the other girls head and meet up outside the dorm where Nanami is waiting.

Episode 14 (OVA)
A Christmas episode. The girls are looking forward so much to the Christmas Eve party when suddenly it is cancelled! But thanks to Souta (yes, Souta. NOT Santa) he somehow got it going. I don’t know what he did but he saved Christmas. He’s like a saint, no? So we’ve got all his harem girls dressed in cute-cum-sexy Santarina outfits while Souta is the only one in a reindeer. He’s the only boy, right? Oh… Megumu… Nice Santarina outfit there… The party gets underway with the only flag cutting incident when Rin and Kikuno have a yandere flag popping up on their heads as they want to cut the cake with Souta. Then everyone plays the King Game and by coincidence or fate, Souta is ordered to take off pieces of paper over Akane’s body! With his mouth! There’s one between the legs… Too steamy to watch! Are you girls excited yet? Before the next turn begins, all of them place paper all over themselves. But Souta becomes king. He gives boring orders. Do impersonation of Mei? Do a punch line? This has to stop. Next event is exchanging presents like musical chairs. For the girl who received Souta’s present, she feels happy but feels bad for the rest and restarts the exchanging thingy again. This goes on for several rounds till Souta had to put a stop to this. He got enough presents for everyone. Next is the moment that the girls probably are waiting for: To spend an allotted time alone with Souta. Who the heck make up such programmes? Since we can’t fit everyone in, we only get to see a selected few. Like Akane having Souta sleeping on her lap (she’s very happy about it like as though she reached her goal – oh wait, it is her goal!), Mei is so panicky that she desperately seeks Kurumiko’s advice and the latter was cool enough to suggest a bold doggy move (this loli isn’t as innocent as you think), an ambiguous steamy scene with Megumu (which ends in an un-climaxing way of Souta putting blankets over him), Souta shoulder massaging Miyuki (she takes a picture of them to send to her mom but instantly got a misunderstood call she has a boyfriend or targeting one of her students).

Serika gets a bit more screen time in this segment as she is unhappy she has to spend time with this jerk. She even brought Nanami with her just in case. After all that badmouthing, Serika remembers something and rummages through his closet. What the heck is a girl’s panties doing here? Dunno. Ask Kikuno. Left out of consideration? WTF. Then she finds his purple hood and realizes she is that person from back then. It is really him. She goes into berserk panicking mode after realizing she insulted him. It’s like she could turn into a psycho any second now. It’s just painful watching her like this. Thank goodness time is over as Nanami takes Souta away. Serika is left confused that he didn’t say anything despite being close to her. Outside the dorm, it starts snowing. This makes Nanami note that although they were born and raised in different lands, yet they are spending Christmas Eve together. They have grown closer to each other seeing the same sights together. Like as though it’s their own Christmas miracle. The duo get close enough to initiate a kiss (yes, definitely it is going to be a kiss!) when suddenly all the other girls come crashing through the door. What the heck were those busybodies doing? Anyway they’re trying to change the topic about heaviness and weights. The one at the bottom of the pile has got to be the most disadvantageous, right? But Souta helps them all up and they go back inside. Merry Christmas folks.

Red Flag! My Brains Were Toppled!
Confused flag. It was raised very early in the series and never went away. Gosh. I think I have a hundred confused flags on my head right now. Sad to say, I find this series hard to understand. I cannot comprehend what is going on aside the fun filled harem days. Oh yeah. I sure loved that part. The only parts I understood. So when there were hints and scenes about hinting that there is more than meets the eye, the damning revelation about the virtual world or something (was everything a dream then?), I was already completely lost. (Heck, I don’t even understand or see what that Miyuki taking over as the main character had any connection with everything else before and after. Unless everything was undone). I cannot connect the dots no matter how many times I replay the scene. I gave up. Too bad a person like me whose fate was sealed in the beginning. Therefore by the time the series reached its end, I wasn’t shocked, angry, upset, happy, satisfied or anything. Except numb. Because I was just dumbfounded the entire way with my mouth wide open (okay, so I exaggerated). As though I have never watched the series in the first place because right now my mind is completely blank. Worse than any memory erasing spell.

Thus some of those who call the harem part unnecessary and a distraction to this, maybe those intelligent people do get it but sorry, for me I’m just too dumb to appreciate what is going on. Therefore I don’t mind if you start scorning me that I love the harem parts a hundred times more than anything else in this series. And it is because personally too romantic harem comedies are my favourite genres so call me a pervert otaku loser if you want. That’s who I am. Oh great. I think I just revealed too much. But you get the idea. Learning this anime was a harem genre attracted me to watch it. What more, a dozen girls. Hell more than the average of 3 or 4. I am not saying that this anime is bad. Having a different twist to this series isn’t that bad. Masking it under the guise of a harem anime isn’t bad either and it is great in addition to your ubiquitous high school setting. But if you want to fully enjoy a series, first and foremost you have to understand what is going on in the first place, right? I didn’t get that. Therefore I was already toppled from the beginning with no chance of recovery.

So let’s not go too deeply into the storyline because I know it’s interesting but too confusing for me to elaborate. Thanks to that, the show isn’t considered to be that funny except only when it comes down to the harem parts. Therefore I’ll just head into the harem section that I love best. (Haters going to hate?). It is unique that they decide to assign RPG classes to the girls and although the girls in their RPG roles don’t play a significant part, it was fun (at least on my part) to guess what kind of class they belong to. Some are obvious as you can guess from their surnames like Nanami’s knight, Akane the magician, Ruri the ninja and Mei the samurai. The rest weren’t so since my Japanese vocabulary isn’t that high standard. But like I said, even though they have such surnames that let us know their classes, I can hardly see how they play a significant role in the anime. You can say it’s that tale or something but in terms of the storyline, how does that contribute to anything?

With a dozen girls, it is hard for all of them to be getting a fair share of the limelight and thus I feel only the first half of them (namely Nanami, Akane, Kikuno, Megumu, Rin and Ruri) are given much prominence while the rest feel more like supporting in the background. Despite the many girls and their varied personalities and even looks, all of them feel like they represent some sort of archetype and trope like Nanami and Mei’s tsundere, Akane the super rich girl, Kurumiko the loli, Ruri the robot and Kikuno the big sister. Heck, I can’t believe Megumu is supposed to be the trap trope. Eventually all of them love Souta. It might be odd that suddenly girls flock to him and they might not realize it but I have a feeling it is because of that promise they made so unconsciously they may be doing so. I don’t know if Miyuki is considered part of the harem since she is part of the heroes fighting along with the heroes. Heck, she may be the 13th and hidden harem girl.

It is nice to see that some of the girls are given background flashbacks to see how they met Souta like Rin and even Serika. However due to the sheer amount of girls and limited number of episodes, in a way the character development for them and the rest are not fully fleshed out. For example, Serika as the last girl to be introduced and appearing quite late in the series have only a small flashback scene to tell us how she is connected to Souta. Sometimes it feels like things are being rushed. The most intriguing of them all is Megumu because I believe that guy is so girly in every way that I find it hard to believe he is a guy despite the numerous ‘reminders’ from his disappointed reaction when everyone continues to refer him as a girl. Then there is that very intriguing part when Megumu was dressed in a gown although he said it was his sisters doing. Somehow that doesn’t feel convincing. Deep down inside my heart, I believe Megumu is a girl. Unless they’re really gunning for this trap thing. Otherwise, if she looks like a girl, sounds like a girl and acts like a girl, then by all means she is a girl, no?

Another intriguing one is Tsumugi. This loli is supposed to be an elder and thus the oldest among the pack and it feels there is something off with her being portrayed as a loli. Something more than meets the eye. But that isn’t really explored. Maybe blame the programme. Hey, this is the virtual world, right? Or is it reality? Mimori is also interesting with her fickle behaviour. Sometimes it feels like she is the troublemaker because most of the time it is her fault that gets our gang into a predicament like how Souta is going to be expelled if they don’t win the MVP. All that is her doing, right? And at times she acts like a really shy girl because she likes Souta. But too bad she isn’t one of the main six… The most baffling one goes to Mei because after her character reset, it feels like her role is to be part of the harem and that is it. Because it feels that her initial mission of determining if Souta would become a danger to the world becomes the flag of her to become part of his harem. A fall from grace if I should say because she turned from a cool capable chick into a tsundere.

Blame the sheer number of girls too that the romance department feels lacking. They should have more of that dating episode and expand the number of girls dating him but I guess that would be in expense of the twist and plot. Because as we know beforehand, everybody loves Souta. He is the main reason and motivation why they do things with and around him. But I guess that is why they call it a harem genre. You really can’t have a pair blossoming and leave the rest in the lurch unless you want to incur the wrath of certain groups of fans. So generally everybody understands their love for Souta and continues to be friends and live their happy normal life. Well, if that was only applicable in the real world. Speaking of which, they were inside a virtual programme, right? So I guess such benevolent harem is possible there. Another surprising fact (or not) is that the fanservice is quite minimal and not heavy. Probably from my part I was being dumbfounded by the confusion to fully ‘appreciate’ it.

The art and drawing are okay with each girl having a distinct hairstyle and hair colour that you can easily identify with so that you won’t mix up or mistake with some other character. Except maybe for Sacrament and Laplace Demon. But sometimes I wonder the baby face looks on the harem girls’ face make me wonder if they are overdoing this moe thing. It is further enhanced with that pink blush on their cheeks. Even Miyuki has this cute baby face look. Tsumugi’s case may be just really overdoing it because assuming she is really an old grandma but looks like a loli. It’s like they are hinting about some cougar trope or something. Oh yeah. Only in anime where girls can look so much younger than they really are without any invasive surgery or Botox.

The voice acting seems pretty okay but I only have one qualm. Yukari Tamura as the voice of Mimori! Now, don’t get me wrong that I dislike her voice. Who wouldn’t love that squeaky cutie voice she makes? Just that I feel that employing her voice with a character that wears pads all over her body doesn’t seem suitable. I thought a more assertive voice like Youko Hikasa or Marina Inoue would be more fitting but I suppose once you get to know her clumsy personality, then maybe it fits. But generally, I still think it isn’t that 100% suitable. Recognizable seiyuus include Kana Asumi as Kikuno, Youko Hikasa as Rin, Kana Hanzawa as Megumu and Aoi Yuuki as Serika. I was tad surprise to find out that Aki Toyosaki was behind Tsumugi’s voice. I should have recognized her by then. I should. Probably I haven’t heard her in a while and I forgot! How could I?! Maybe Tsumugi didn’t have much screen time as some of the girls but that isn’t an excuse. Shame on me.

The rest of the casts include Ryota Ohsaka as Souta (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator), Ibuki Kido as Nanami (Chinami in Golden Time), Ai Kayano as Akane (Inori in Guilty Crown), Ayaka Suwa as Ruri (Tokaku in Akuma No Riddle), Misaki Kuno as Kurumiko (Serara in Log Horizon), Sakura Tange as Mei (Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura), Ai Kakuma as Hakua (Hami in Inu To Hasami Wa Tsukaiyou), Yuuka Nanri as Miyuki (Nao in Mai-HiME), Risa Taneda as Zero (Mirai in Kyoukai No Kanata) and Rina Hidaka as Sakura/Sacrament (Airi in Ryo-Kyu-Bu).

The opening is Cupid Reviews by Aoi Yuuki. I didn’t realize it was her singing this song. Probably she’s putting up a very cutie voice. Anyway I thought this song sounds a bit like Broadway since it has this fun and lively fanfare. The ending theme sounds more like anime pop, Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Tateru Wake by YELL, which is a group basically consisting half of the girls in Souta’s harem (Ibuki Kido, Ai Kayano, Kana Asumi, Kana Hanazawa, Youko Hikasa and Ayaka Suwa if you must know).

In the end, it got me thinking that this might be a harem version of The Matrix minus all that bullet time action effect. So unless you have a brilliant mind of going on what is in the plot, do yourself a favour and just watch for the harem entertainment. If you are into harem genres anyway. But even so, there are ‘better’ ones out there. And more importantly, at the end of the day I still cannot fully understand what a flag is. I wouldn’t care about it because if only I had a harem of a dozen girls then maybe I’d really love to live in such a virtual world happily ever after. Too bad I always knew I had this loser flag on my head… Yeah, reality sucks.

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