This anime series too in a way reminds me of Gakuen Alice’s case. No, not of the series’ storyline, but rather the subbing and its release. You see, Mamoru-kun Ni Megami No Shukufuku Wo (phew! Now that’s a mouthful. Initially had some problems trying to remember and saying it) had its subbed episodes released on a ‘slow’ basis. Firstly, I want to say that it’s not the subbers fault as it’s mine in the first place for not being fluent enough in Japanese. Anyway, they stopped after 2/3 of the series. Thank goodness, after some time (probably after some fans got really pissed off), another fansub group took over and finished it. Much appreciated thanks to both fansub groups anyway. Since it’s been a long time, I think I’ve almost forgotten about the earlier parts.
 
This series is based on a light novel of the same name and I guess it’s a trend these days that in order for one’s works to be popular or to go greater lengths, it must be given the anime treatment. There are 24 episodes in total and it’s one of those love-comedy genres with some magic. The setting of this anime is somewhat I would call, a ‘futuristic present’. I mean, there’s some high-end out-of-this-world technology blend with some present day conveniences.
 
Also, magic here is called Beatrice. There’s some explanations on what Beatrice is but to cut out all that words which don’t seem to stick in my head, it’s just magic. But only some people who can use this special ability. So in order to hone such skills, there is a school established for this. It seems really grand and the school is like sitting on an island of its own with a really long bridge as its connection to the mainland.
 
So we’re introduced to this shorty intellect boy, Mamoru Yoshimura, a Beatrice rookie and enthusiast who gets admitted into that prestigious Beatrice school. What I didn’t expect in the 1st episode that a girl, Ayako Takasu, instantly falls in love with him, blushingly confess her feelings and even asks him out for a date! Now that’s really fast. It goes to show that love knows no bounds and is free from those typical stereotypes like a taller older boy must date a shorter younger girl. It’s the opposite here. This Ayako girl is actually 1 of the 3 world’s most powerful Beatrice users so much so many fear her and even dubs her Beatrich (I guess it’s short for Beatrice Witch). Don’t mess with her, she really does live up to her nickname and when she’s pissed off, you’ll get a taste of what real pain is. Ah but even so, I guess Ayako’s still a girl deep down in her heart and still falls in love.
 
What makes this series amusing is the student council of the school. Because everybody knows Mamoru and Ayako are an item, throughout the series, you’ll find the members of the student council (which Ayako is also part of) being busybodies as they try to spy, snoop and eavesdrop in whatever those lovebirds are doing and would even go to great lengths to make elaborated plans and schemes to do so. They must really get a kick out of it. Yeah, they’ll get a kick (and other abusive and offensive forms of attack) from a mad Ayako when she finds out later.
 
So let me introduce the members of the student council first. The president, Maya Sudou, though a strong character, he is also behind many of the schemes that irritates Ayako. Yup, he gets the receiving end quite frequent too. Then the vice president, Shione Sudou (woah! It’s Mamiko Noto’s voice!), is Maya’s younger sister. First thing you notice about her is her wild hairstyles. Fashion? Though some episodes she changes to a different variety of wild styles, I notice the most frequent ones she dons are the sharp-looking drillers-like (or is it croissant or a worm’s cocoon?) style. I think it looks like that. Yeah, those things could really kill, at first glance, that is. Only second to Maya in the sense of getting her deserved receiving end from Ayako.
 
Then there is the brunette secretary, Anna Hase, who is the most ‘normal’ one among the bunch of weirdos. Also, the tall level-headed bespectacled treasurer, Youko Kirishima, the shutterbug and photo maniac PR officer, Mitsuki Fujita (no prizes for guessing who she likes to snap her pictures of most), and the very shy and soft-spoken science officer Yuuka Maruyama. But my most favourite student council member is Kousuke Yagi. This muscular guy has a major quirk in using English words in his sentences. I love the way he says it passionately with ‘full of air’. Hahaha.
 
So I suppose life has really gotten more ‘interesting’ for Ayako now that the student council has so much ‘free time’ to spy on her personal love life. As for Mamoru, well he doesn’t really use violence and probably just live with all those ruckus. Oh yes, I need to mention another character. He is Tsuneo Abiko and is an avid, obsessed admirer of Ayako (can he be considered as a stalker?). Ever since Mamoru came into the picture, he has become jealous and schemes to break them apart so that Ayako could be all his. Don’t worry. Abiko’s role is more comical rather than threatening. Yeah, he’s a loser and whatever plot he comes up fails eventually. Loser.
 
There is a little fanservice in this series so those who can’t stand 2-D girls in their lingerie or showing a little of their slip should stay clear of this anime. Uh huh. Episode 1 has some of them already. So mainly this episode introduces the characters, a little show of Beatrice and some Mamoru-Ayako moments. Mamoru too joins the student council. In the end, Mamoru’s slumber is interrupted when Maya calls him at his home due to an emergency. If I remember well, that emergency is supposed to be some Astral Fire weapon stolen as explained in episode 2. How is that a world trouble? I’m sure Ayako could’ve done it herself to retrieve the stolen weapon but I think the gang are thinking to spice things up if they team her up with Mamoru. Uh huh. You know why lah. It’s later revealed that Yuuka was the one who stole it. She did this because her precious dog, Arun, was kidnapped by some enemy. I see. Later as Mamoru and Ayako were walking together on a date, they saw an explosion coming from a building. Thus the duo come face to face with their nemesis (looks like an ordinary typical chap). During the fight, Ayako took some bullets when Arun appeared. This caused Mamoru to be upset as he unleashes some latent Beatrice power, literally putting that man on fire. Mamoru soon faints. Once everything is back to normal, they find out that the Astral Fire the enemy had stolen was a fake one and Maya had initially switched it previously when he knew Yuuka was gonna steal it. You know what’s waiting for Maya, right? That’s for all the trouble and ruining her date with Mamoru. So more of those Mamoru-Ayako moments but Mamoru surprises her this time by asking her out on a date. Would she miss this chance of a lifetime. Think not.
 
So in episode 3, word reaches the entire school that Mamoru and Ayako are dating. They don’t really need such attention. Yeah, a recording of their confessing is playing live! We’re also introduced to Mamoru’s family, his mom Shizue, and his little sister Itsumi. But in this episode, Mamoru visits Ayako at her huge mansion. Wow. It’s really big. This girl is rich. Leave it up to the student council to come up with their sick schemes. This time they decide to throw a welcome party for Mamoru at Ayako’s house too. Maya suggests that the student council members have 1 hour to catch the pair and having do so, the lovebirds will have to kiss each other in front of everyone at school! Sick people. Though Ayako doesn’t want part of this, I think she has no choice as they evade and escape wave after wave of hilarious traps. While hiding in a closet, Mamoru spots a photo album with her parents face crossed out. Ayako reveals her tragic past in which her parents hated her Beatrice powers and she was ostracized and such. Since she couldn’t control her powers when she was young, she caused lots of trouble. But Mamoru told her how everyone in the student council didn’t hate her but loved her. So some touching moments between them before the student council members spoil it. Yeah, it seems they were hiding in the surroundings. Another special moment ruined. Super blast from Ayako! They deserve it.
 
It’s the school cultural festival in episode 4 and Ayako is to play the princess role in the play Sleeping Beauty, since the lead actress has fallen ill. Guess who’ll be playing the prince. Your guess is as good as mine. It’s Mamoru. Everybody’s shock to find that the Beatrich is taking part in the cultural festival. Is this the end of the world? Aha. There’s a kissing scene, right? Something for those weirdos to look forward to. No wonder they ‘persuaded’ the duo to do the play. It was bloody hilarious to see Yagi in a female costume. Then there was a rehearsal of the kissing scene. Since Mamoru and Ayako are blushing, they suggest for Mamoru to practice kissing Shione. Ayako went crazy and said that she didn’t do it with Mamoru. She then rushed out embarrassed with Mamoru chasing behind. Since she rushed out hastily in the rain, Ayako got a cold. So much so Ayako collapses just before the day of the play, sending shockwaves to everyone.
 
Actually Ayako isn’t really having a cold. We find out in episode 5 that it’s some immense amount of Beatrice in her body which causes her to be sick. To cut things short, Mamoru is the only one who can save her. Dunno the reason (forgot rather) but I guess this is the way things are if you’re the main lead ;P.  Maya tells Mamoru that there is a way to control her Beatrice but the method is risky. Of course Mamoru would go to great lengths to save his loved one. I didn’t really get this part because Mamoru and Ayako stripped naked and in a weird dream-like state/trance, the duo did some intense Beatrice concentration power and before you know it, Ayako is well again. Don’t worry, nothing steamy happened. I don’t know how Ayako’s Beatrice is under control but I’m thinking this must be the mysterious workings of love. So the play goes on well the next day and due to the angle of the stage, Mamoru make it seem like he kissed Ayako but their lips never met actually. After the play, Ayako pecks Mamoru on his cheek as her gratitude. But the end scenes show a grey haired girl, Emelenzia Beatrix Rudiger (looks like Meimei of Kamisama Kazoku or Primula of Shuffle), saying how Ayako is going down.
 
The student council is planning for some skiing trip in episode 6. Because of that, Mamoru and Ayako are spending less time together and the former thinks if he had done something wrong and if Ayako is hiding something from him. So while taking a bus there (Itsumi also tagging along), Emelenzia and her 2 cronies, Saburo and Jiro are following closely behind. Looks like Emelenzia doesn’t know what love is and has her subordinates explain it to her. She finds it hard to believe that Beatrich’s heart is ‘captured’ by some shorty. Later Ayako and Mamoru went to have a chat. Mamoru heads back to his room to get a present he bought for her. Because Itsumi heard Mamoru coming, in her haste, she accidentally broke Mamoru’s little present. Mamoru is devastated to find the present in that state and Itsumi couldn’t bring it to herself to say that she was the one who broke it. So Mamoru went out to meet Ayako with a depressed and gloomy look and feeling.
 
In episode 7, we find out that Ayako was making a sweater for Mamoru, the reason why she was avoiding him lately. Though Mamoru is touched, their intimate moment is yet again ruined. However, this time it isn’t from the student council. Emelenzia causes a snow avalanche which also in a way traps the student council in their inn. Emelenzia challenges Ayako to a duel and mentions that she is being sent here by her brother, Johan (the other 3 most powerful Beatrice in the world and he has also fought with Ayako before), to see how weak she has become. Jiro and Saburo caught Mamoru as the girls duke it out. Ayako tries to save Mamoru but was knocked out by Emelenzia. Emelenzia notes how weak Ayako has become and thinks it’s not worth to kill her. But Ayako finds her inner strength to stand up and beats the crap out of Emelenzia. The duel became some crazy snow fight and the whole are was blasted away by Ayako’s fury. I don’t think that afro hairstyle suites Emelenzia. After the student council cleared the snowy path from their inn, Mamoru takes a hot bath only to his surprise to find Emelenzia there. A little chat before Emelenzia uses her Beatrice to fix Mamoru’s present back to normal. In Mamoru’s joy, he then later gives it to Ayako. In the end scene, we see Johan saying how he’s waiting for Ayako to be mature so that she can be his bride.
 
The skiing trip ends but Maya decides to make a stop over at a hotspring in episode 8. Uh huh. Another reason for fanservice, huh? Maya suggests to the guys a challenge to deliver a shampoo to Shione. Yeah, it’s a plan to peek at the girls. I think Mamoru doesn’t want part of it but Maya coaxed him into it. Even Ayako’s driver, Kikugawa, is part of it. Since Shione knows her brother’s tricks, she and the other girls set up some traps to prevent them from advancing. Ayako on the other hand believes that Mamoru isn’t like those jerks and probably isn’t part of it all. It’s really a battle out there as the guys try desparately to break through the girl’s defence. One by one, each of them is taken out and ‘died’ so much so Mamoru is the last one left and has no choice but to carry on. That kid is obviously brainwashed. Emelenzia had a little hand in destroying the central command whereby the girls are controlling the traps and defences. This made it easier for Mamoru to enter. Too bad that Abiko loser went ahead first but got blown up with some last trap. Ayako sensed somebody is here and opens the door only to her disappointment to find Mamoru. Oh the horror. That kid is still brainwashed (what pride of a man?). Ayako later finds out that this whole set up is just a bet by Maya and Shione to see if Ayako could forgive Mamoru for what he has done. I’m not sure how the bet went but the siblings ended up as big time losers as Ayako blasts them away in her rage. Mamoru, you can snap out of it. It’s all over, kid.
 
It’s Ayako’s turn to visit Mamoru’s home in episode 9. Before that, more of that usual teasing from the student council which resulted in Ayako getting flustered before giving them their usual punishment. Also, Abiko’s still around to stalk Ayako but because of his dumbness, he brought it upon himself. Anyway, Ayako does some cooking with Itsumi while Shizue and Mamoru goes out to do some shopping. Ayako finds out how close Itsumi’s relationship with Mamoru. I don’t remember, but it’s quite close. Even sleeping in the same bed and comforting her with some special towel (reminds me of Linus from Peanuts). And there’s no incest, mind you. During the cooking, the curry they’re cooking accidentally spilled on to that special towel and scalded Itsumi a little. Ayako uses her Beatrice to heal her little wound. Ayako wanted to restore the towel’s colour but Itsumi suggested that they die it in the curry’s yellow colour instead. When Mamoru comes home, Itsumi apologizes. Since Mamoru isn’t the kind to harbour ill feelings, they all had a lovely meal. All’s well ends well. Itsumi wishes how Ayako would come here more often.
 
Fanservice heaven in episode 10! Wohoo. Do I sound like a pervert? Anyway it looks like Emelenzia wants to know more about Japanese culture and has Ayako teach her some. Since Ayako herself doesn’t know what to teach, the other girls of the student council help her out. From putting on weird and ‘unfitting’ clothes to a total beauty face makeover. Looks hideous. Yeah, they even went karaokeing. Hey, Ayako’s not bad as singer. Meanwhile the guys and Mamoru go around the city to show Mamoru what girls like to do. So when the guys enter a room supposedly where the girls are changing into certain costumes for a fashion show. Ayako gets embarrassed to have Mamoru see her in such a weird dress and look and blows up the building. Later, it seems Emelenzia has transferred to their school as a transfer student and even joins the student council body. Oh great. That’s just what Ayako really needs. However I’m starting to feel that Emelenzia is gradually falling for Mamoru. I smell a cat fight coming up. Meow! Just kidding.
 
With Emelenzia’s transfer, she too has gained a legion of admirers and fans (read: loser boys). But looks like the battle for Mamoru heats up in episode 11. Mamoru requests Emelenzia’s help to train his Beatrice power but this is just a ploy by Emelenzia to break up Mamoru and Ayako. This way, Johan could have Ayako and Mamoru would be Emelenzia’s. It’s a win-win situation, right? Well, it’s harder than it looks. Firstly, Mamoru isn’t a pervert and would go flirting with any loli girls he’s with. Secondly, probably since Mamoru’s a kid, he’s a little dense over Emelenzia’s advances and flirtatious seducing attempts. I mean, Emelenzia literally took that advice about making her hair smell good to win Mamoru’s heart and puts her head in his face for him to smell. Yeah, any guy would wonder what’s that all about at first. There’s a funny part whereby Yagi was picking up a coin on the ground when Abiko tripped and bumped his face into Yagi’s butt! And Yagi said "Oh… Molest…". So funny. Then finally, Emelenzia got into a nightie dress which surprises Mamoru, but she told him that this was part of his Beatrice control training and asked him to close his eyes while she seductively rubs her little boobs around his arms. Ayako is searching for Mamoru and so happen she saw what was happening. Gasp! She must be thinking that shorty is two-timing her.
 
I guess Ayako loves Mamoru too much and didn’t blast him nor Emelenzia away in episode 12. Ayako just ran away upon seeing them. Mamoru is of course blur on what has happened. Because of that, Ayako is feeling depressed and avoids facing Mamoru. Better not piss her off. She’ll kill anybody who gets in her way. It’s like making a death wish. Yeah, Shione has some Ayako mood meter detector on her hair. Scary. Emelenzia sees this opportunity to snatch Mamoru away and tries to seduce him further but to no avail. Abiko too tries to take advantage of the situation by pushing his wheelbarrow full of Christmas presents to cheer Ayako up. But it went downhill (literally). Maya then goes to talk with Ayako at the library but that girl isn’t in talking mode. Killing mode rather. Wah! She just lifted up that table ready to pound at Maya! I’m not sure what Maya said, but it was enough to comfort her and make him leave in 1 piece. I guess that’s good enough. Later Ayako spots Mamoru and Emelenzia doing some cooking together at the home economics classroom (with the other student council spying of course) and Ayako’s first reaction is to run away. Mamoru goes after her and tries to explain but Ayako refuses to listen. Not until he hugs her and tells the truth how he was letting Emelenzia help him to improve his Beatrice so that he could protect her. I suppose those words are enough for Ayako to realize things. Before you know it, they both kissed. Sealed with a kiss. But the end scene shows Johan in a plane arriving at Japan.
 
Johan’s arrival in Japan at the Beatrice school in episode 13 seems to be to give the students some Beatrice lessons for 3 days. But it’s just part of his ploy to break up Mamoru and Ayako and claim Ayako as his bride. Johan even makes a ‘grand entrance’ by kneeling down in front of Ayako, kiss her hand and proclaims his eternal love for her. Since Ayako isn’t a cheap girl, she replies with a slap across his face, shocking everyone, before she walks away. Since Johan is a stubborn guy, that face slapping won’t deter him either. I don’t know why the other girls thinks he’s so hot. Doesn’t he look a little evil? But Mamoru assures that he’ll protect Ayako no matter what. During 1 of Johan class, he makes it in a way Mamoru collapses from pushing too hard when in actual fact Johan entered and messed with his mind. Don’t worry, it isn’t life threatening. The next day, there seems to be a duel of Beatrice between Ayako and Johan. I dunno. It looks just like a magnificent display of fireworks or lighting in the sky. That classical background music, Waltz Of The Flowers from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky seems fitting. When it’s over, Johan gives Ayako that sweet talk again but I’m sure she isn’t easily buying it. Mamoru then goes up to Ayako saying how he would like to be her partner next time but Johan isn’t impressed and gives that I’m-better-than-you crap and Ayako-is-all-mine talk. He messes with Mamoru’s mind again and causes him to faint once more, shocking everyone.
 
Mamoru wakes up with Emelenzia next to him and glad that he’s fine in episode 14. Johan is still pestering (rather blackmailing) Ayako to be his bride so Ayako has no choice but to say she’ll think about it. I think everyone in the student council (and viewers including yours truly) would like to see Ayako end up with Mamoru rather than some obnoxious German guy. Lots of drama and spacing out as Mamoru gets a visit from Maya and Shione who help talk to him. Meanwhile, Johan is researching and experimenting some Beatrice power called Return To The Origin and requests for Ayako’s help. I’m not sure but when Ayako’s hand touched some sphere, it blows up, releasing some Beatrice in a form of a phoenix. In short, the experiment is a failure and it’s going out of control. Maya activates a shield to prevent it from escaping but their since it’s firing destructive beams, the school is taking its toll. While Johan and Emelenzia try to contain the threat but to no avail, Ayako is confused an in a state of shock, unable to do anything. That is, until Mamoru arrives. Some words of comfort and encouragement bla bla bla and soon the duo get their confidence, combine their powers and zap that wild beast in smithereens. The next day Johan leaves for Germany and Mamoru sees him off. Mamoru tells him that he is gonna be with Ayako no matter what since he is Ayako’s lover. Though Johan is gracious in defeat, that doesn’t mean he has given up.
 
Episode 15 is more of a filler. A funny one. There’s a new girl in town. No actually. It’s Shione with her hair down (after listening to a tv programme advice)! Woah! She’s nearly unrecognizable! Because of her normal straight down hairstyle, this causes everyone to panic or fear her and come up with some weird theory like the world is coming to an end or some conspiracy theory. Yeah right. It’s only hair. Even Maya and Ayako are suspicious if Shione’s the same person. Whatever it is, Shione still looks kawaii and cute. Shione decides to head home and not listen to all those weird theories. I’ve never seen Maya and Ayako teaming up this good before, tying up Shione back at the sibling’s home and trying top interrogate her. After all that hilariousness, Mamoru realizes after looking at their photo album how Maya’s ex-girlfriends have long straight hair and that Maya may have harboured some feelings for Ayako in the past. So in a way you could say that Shione has that onii-chan (brother) complex and did her hairstyle this way to gain his attention. I know this isn’t mentioned but the way things are, it points in that direction. Something about that pun ‘buranko’ which can both mean the playground swing or big brother complex when Mamoru had a chat with Shione at the playground. The next day, Shione has her usual wild hairstyle back. It’s revealed that the other reason why she straightened her hair was due to the tv programme’s horoscope love advice: "Be straight in everything you do". I guess Shione took that too literally. The end scene shows Ayako’s grandpa, Naoyuki returning to Japan.
 
Another hilarious episode is episode 16. With Naoyuki’s return to visit his granddaughter, Ayako and Mamoru went to great lengths to hide their relationship in fear that Naoyuki won’t accept it. Ayako even denies it when grandpa asked but he did mention how Johan told him back then Ayako had one. Suspicious. Then a funny part when the powerful and influential Naoyuki assembles the entire school at the assembly hall and his first speech is to ask the entire school if there is anyone here who is Ayako’s boyfriend. I’m sure nobody wants to speak up for fear of backlash from the Beatrich. But Abiko is a sly person and uses this golden opportunity to announce that he is Ayako’s boyfriend. Though Abiko makes a fool out of himself, Naoyuki gives his thumbs up and quickly says how he likes this guy, dumbfounding everyone. Haha. Later, Mamoru tries to tell Naoyuki that he is Ayako’s true boyfriend but before he can finish, Naoyuki gives some rousing speech and tells him that he had lost his opportunity, depressing Mamoru. Ayako and the other student council members try to persuade Naoyuki that Abiko isn’t the right men but their efforts were futile. That guy is as stubborn as an old goat. To make things worse, he announces a wedding ceremony between Abiko and Ayako. Oh no! I guess Abiko is really looking forward to this day. Emelenzia is at Mamoru’s house and is slapping some sense into him. Thanks to her, Mamoru realizes what he has to do and rushes back to school. Inside the hall, the wedding procession is taking place but since there is a commotion (Mamoru barging in with the help of the student council members), they finally let him through and Mamoru gives his love assuring talk to Ayako and tells Naoyuki the truth. Oh yeah, Abiko’s spotlight ends here as he’s been knocked away. It seems Naoyuki gave out a heartily laughter and knows it all along and is happy it turned out this way. He did heard from Johan all about Mamoru. This guy isn’t so bad or blur at all. Probably he did this in a different way to open their eyes and hearts. The wedding party (just the party) goes on and everyone is happy in the end. Well, maybe except for Abiko and Emelenzia wonders why she did something to help Mamoru and Ayako when she herself likes Mamoru.
 
Episode 17 is the start of the turning point. Because of the ruckus caused in the previous episode, Naoyuki decides to compensate the student council members by giving them a free vacation trip to some tropical island. I wonder why Abiko is on the trip too. Is it because to make up for his initial embarrassment and disappointment that Ayako will never be his? Perhaps. So while the gang have their fun (and more fanservice in the form of swimsuits), Mamoru and Ayako plans to go to a cliff whereby a rumour says that if a couple kisses there, they’ll forever be together. We’ve heard this sort of thing many times before, right? Besides, they have to do it in a way it won’t arouse the student council suspicions but I guess it’ll be harder since Abiko is obviously stalking the pair. Ayako can’t kill him because there are too many people around. Darn. Besides Emelenzia spacing out and confused about her feelings of Mamoru, Ayako and Mamoru also meet a little girl named Maria and from the way she speaks, she isn’t Japanese, but for convenience, I could say she speaks fluently like one. At this rate, Mamoru and Ayako can’t break away from the gang and do their kissing thing. But luckily Maria is nearby and smoothly guides them to the place. After trekking through the forest, Maria tells the duo to go along first. Once they’re gone, Maria tells Abiko to come out. Looks like Maria is a Beatrice user and Abiko doesn’t like the way she’s helping Mamoru and Ayako and proceeds to attack her with his whatever lame move. In short, Abiko lost. As expected. It’s gonna rain soon and Mamoru tells Ayako that they need to hurry. Maria then catches up on them and gives them some necklace which will supposedly help them be together and leads them to a cave, with several glowing orbs in it. Once inside, the cave starts crumbling, blocking the entrance. Ayako tries to use her Beatrice but it seems that something is nulling the use of her powers. My guess is the orbs. What else.
 
Episode 18 starts with a flashback when a young Mamoru and Ayako (so they’ve met before but how come they didn’t realize it up till now? Blur) were stuck in a cave and a man saved the day by using his Beatrice to get them all out. So this was why Mamoru partly became interested in Beatrice as well. So back in present time as the duo are sitting in the cave with Ayako slightly injured, they remembered something similar which happened to them when they were young. Yeah, took you long enough, you two. In the previous episode, there’s a guy named Masaki who’s seen hanging around with Maria and tells her not to do anything naughty. After Masaki realized that Maria has started her plans, he searches for Maya and co and tells them that Ayako and Mamoru may be in danger. That little girl Maria isn’t actually what she seems. According to Masaki, she’s an old witch (I find out later that her true form is just like a pretty young adult, unless…) and she is actually Silver Maria, the other 3 most powerful Beatrice in the world. So the gang manages to find the cave and Masaki tells them that the orb is what is making all their Beatrice weak. So they have to find each and every one of them and squish it. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack but in order not to have a tragic ending, the gang are lucky to find all of them and Ayako and Mamoru uses their combined Beatrice powers to blast the rocks away. Also this Masaki guy was the person who saved a young Mamoru and Ayako back then. It’s a small world after all. Maria herself is happy with the results and it seems she was sort of testing Ayako’s Beatrice. As for Abiko, I think he volunteered to be Maria’s lackey to get Ayako. I guess in a way he likes Maria but still can’t betray Ayako. Real loser. In the end, Mamoru and Ayako manage to get to that cliff and share a kiss. As the gang prepares to head home, we see Masaki talking to Johan over his handphone.
 
With the gang back at school in episode 19, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Leave it to Maya to suggest a challenge which of the girls could steal Mamoru’s heart with their chocolates. Ayako herself of course is making some chocolates and because of that is acting a little weird whenever Mamoru’s around. I’m not sure what Yagi is thinking because that guy covered himself with chocolate and presented himself to Mamoru. Like a tanned Mr Universe? But the most elaborated one has got to be Shione’s. She staged an over-dramatic act like how she has not much time left to live and wants Mamoru to accept her chocolate as she gives it over her deathbed. Real convincing. While Abiko receives a mail from Maria saying how that loser can win Ayako’s heart. I’m sure he’s all excited to hear about it. Meanwhile Emelenzia too is acting strange due to the effects of her love of Mamoru and it’s been a long time since Jiro and Saburo are with her. While the trio are out shopping, they spot Ayako. I don’t know what Emelenzia said to upset Ayako because Ayako did an impersonation of Enma Ai from Jigoku Shoujo’s "Would you like to see what death is like". I think later Emelenzia tries to make some chocolates herself. Long way to go. But the climax and surprise of this episode is at the end whereby Emelenzia confronts Mamoru, seen chatting with Ayako. Emelenzia then confesses her true feelings in front of the duo and says that she’s serious this time. Looks like now she’s gonna take action rather than sitting back and watching all this while.
 
Because of that, in episode 20, Mamoru wonders and is doing some deep thinking if he’s hurting Emelenzia’s feelings. Even though he has his heart set on Ayako, but he still can’t help worry about Emelenzia. And even if it’s just 2 girls (not counting the student council girls), I wouldn’t really classify this as a harem anime. Emelenzia too is doing some thinking and spacing out. Abiko on the other hand receives some package from Maria, supposedly will help this loser get rid of Mamoru and make Ayako his. In short, Emelenzia challenges Ayako to a duel of Beatrice over Mamoru. Except for Maya, the other student council members are really looking forward to this duel and even set up cameras like as though it’s a live show. During the battle, Ayako is obviously more powerful and has the upper hand. Maya did something good by unplugging some cable (a tree had a socket oulet?) when the battle reach its climax. I think they’ve seen enough for the day. Ayako manages to calm Emelenzia with her words bla bla bla. Just then, Abiko arrives and it’s pretty funny to see some super side effect when his glass came off. Unknowingly when that happens, all the other student council girls ‘fell’ victim to it! They all fell in love with Abiko by having an ideal vision of their ideal man! I think Youko’s one was some U.S. president. With the girls paralyzed in love, Abiko then throws the package at Mamoru but Ayako gets in front of Mamoru. The package then suddenly absorbed all of Ayako’s Beatrice as she collapses. Abiko is still blur of what he has done (see, it’s partly his fault!) but Mamoru and Maya are shocked by what they have witnessed.
 
Ayako indeed lost her Beatrice powers in episode 21 because it has become fused with her body. She has only 1 week left to cure it or else she will die. And the only way to cure it is to go to Germany and let Masaki and Johan help her. Of course Ayako thinks it’s just a ploy by them to get her involve in their research. At first Ayako decides to stay and Mamoru respected her decision. But as time passed, Ayako began to grow weak and thus Ayako and Mamoru decides to finally go. The duo told Shizue, who’s supporting them, but Itsumi doesn’t agree with it. I think she blames Ayako in a way. Just like Abiko, even though he has a hand in what happened, he still blames Mamoru and goes to stalk outside Ayako’s house on Maria’s advice on how to seduce Ayako. Erm… Why is that a secret base of Abiko’s under the road just outside Ayako’s house. It’s like he’s living in the sewers. I guess that’s what obsessed stalkers do. Itsumi happened to bump into Abiko trying to sneak into Ayako’s house and inadvertently gets dragged into Abiko’s plan. Yeah, he told Itsumi to strip… So that he could put on some magical girl cosplay outfit on her. Real sicko. What an unlikely pair. Also, Ayako’s weakened state has been known and her enemies are trying to take this chance to assassinate her. Some already have broken into her mansion. Lucky Kikugawa is on vigil and manages to intercept the attack. Does he have ninja training? Ah well, being Ayako’s driver doesn’t mean he has to chauffer her only. Abiko drops his specs but good thing only a female plant fell for the effects and grasps Abiko in its hold. Good riddens. After witnessing Ayako’s determination and will, Itsumi changes her mind and supports Ayako and Mamoru to go to Germany for her treatment.
 
The duo head off to Germany in episode 22 but it isn’t just the 2 of them. Why, Maya and Emelenzia too tags along. Why is Emelenzia like an air-stewardess? Meanwhile, Abiko is being tied up on the school’s bell as punishment. Haha. Once there, the quartet are taking a boat to Johan and Masaki’s castle lab, which is situated on a cliff-like island in the middle of a lake. But on the boat, the gang are ambushed by Maria and her henchwomen. Mamoru is then kidnapped. Though Johan appeared but even he can’t do anything. Probably he’s thinking that this is the best way to get rid of Mamoru and make Ayako his. Back at Maria’s place, Mamoru and Maria had a little chat. All this while, the way things are portrayed it seemed Maria is like the antagonist. So I don’t know what her previous schemes on Ayako were actually really for now. Maria is a good person and on Mamoru’s side. She tells him about Masaki and Johan’s dangerous research on Return To The Origin, like how they want to give Beatrice a conscious. Something like that. It’s also hinted that Maria and Masaki were once a couple. Probably the differences in their views have caused them to break apart. Meanwhile, Ayako and Johan are at the lab and in some tube, ready for her cure-cum-experiment. Something about needing a powerful Beatrice (Johan’s, that is) to awaken to ‘sleeping’ Beatrice in Ayako. Didn’t get all that technical crap. But during the experiment something went horribly wrong. Suddenly an alien-like creature is seen emerging from the tube. OMG! It’s the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen! Johan is too weak, Masaki is watching in horror and Ayako is unconscious. The monster then goes over to Ayako’s tube and swallows her! Oh no.
 
After the monster absorbs Ayako, it’s going berserk in episode 23. It must be deja vu because that monster turned into a phoenix, only more vicious looking this time. Masaki manages to enable a force field to prevent it from getting away but it won’t hold for long. Maria and Mamoru has sensed that the inevitable has happened and goes to the lab in their flying car (reminds me of Back To The Future movie). Upon arrival, Maria gives Mamoru some pendant. I don’t know if Mamoru has a driving licence. That’s because while Maria is in the air doing something to stall the monster or what, Mamoru single handedly pilots the flying car, crashes through the force field and gets absorbed into the monster. So now everybody else has to pray that things will end on a good note. Inside the monster, Mamoru faces a young Ayako who has her trust and self-confidence shattered. She was lonely because of the way her parents treated her. Mamoru tries to battle the inner beast within. Another deja vu… Why are they naked? Is it a must whenever they go into this state? Fanservice? Leave it to Mamoru to comfort her with words of hope bla bla bla and with their love assured, the monster stops its attack even though it has broken out of the force field. Ayako did mention something about she understood what the Beatrice is trying to do is destroying itself. Huh? Also during that havoc, because the other countries have detected some heavy levels of uncontrollable Beatrice, automatically they’ve launched several missiles to destroy it. So dangerous. I can’t understand such reasoning after all. It’ll soon arrive and destroy the whole place. See, so illogical. So if there’s any massive power or energy that can’t be contained within a certain time frame, it must be destroyed at any cost. Is that what they’re trying to imply?
 
With the monster destroyed in episode 24, the duo must now face a barrage of oncoming missiles. With their assured love, they combined their Beatrice and take out all the missiles as the others watched from below. Even back at the student council, they were very surprised to see Mamoru and Ayako on the news. A nuclear explosion occurs when they took out the final missile. Then this part really shocked me. Back at school, Maya gives an emotional farewell funeral for Ayako and Mamoru. I can’t believe that they died! It’s too tragic! Not. We see Ayako busting through telling Maya to stop his sick elaborated joke since the duo are away for 2 weeks to undergo some tests. Phew. They really had me there. So everything ends well. After the graduation, we see Maya depressed because he doesn’t want to graduate. Yeah, he must be having so much fun as president of the student council. Though Emelenzia initially said that she has given up on Mamoru, but I think she slyly decides not to (seen clinging on to Mamoru’s arm? Ayako must be pissed). Uh huh. Something about friendship is a slippery word like love and that she’s a girl from the dark side. Masaki is currently forced to work under Maria and that guy is dreading it. Johan is still there, still the same ol’ obnoxious, still the same ol’ can’t-give-up-on-Ayako-yet attitude. Haih… And Abiko is still tied to that bell. Why, he even quips how next week will be the start of a new series called Tsuneo-sama Ni Maria No Sukufuku Wo! That’s obviously not gonna happen. In the end, the entire student council heads out of school and the scene is somewhat similar to the one in episode 1, whereby Ayako met Mamoru amidst the floating sakura petals. One of the student council member said even how the famous Beatrich came to the graduation ceremony, Mamoru mentions that Ayako isn’t a majou (witch), but a megami (goddess). Now that’s how we should all look at her. While Mamoru and Ayako have their moment together, Ayako thinks Mamoru is gonna give her a kiss but he’s just actually taking away a sakura petal on her. Disappointed? And those student council members still never got bored of spying on them. But I guess, they’ll live with it as they all rush out heading towards the beach.
 
Overall, the whole anime just feels kinda okay. Though it did end in a good way, but I was hoping it could be a little better. No doubt in the end it’s still Mamoru and Ayako, like viewers wished for. Probably the time taken for me to watch this anime has been dragged on at times I kinda feel that some of the episodes were a little draggy. But I still find those hilarious moments real funny, especially some of the filler episodes like Shione’s hair-raising (more like straight down) episode or Naoyuki’s acceptance of Abiko as Ayako’s boyfriend at first. Hmm… I can’t help wonder why the boy’s school uniform’s button is such a big yellow round thing.
 
One thing unique about this anime is that for the next episode preview, you’ll see lines of kanji writings appearing or scrolling across the screen. The narrating character is actually reading those kanji writings. If you notice that some of the words are coloured differently and at the end of it all, these coloured wordings will form to be the next title of the next episode. Nice. Also the background music playing is the kind of fast and cute piano playing you tend to here in those old western saloons. The opening theme, MA-MO-RU!, by Maho Tomita is quite upbeat and has a little rock n roll feel. The ending theme, Venus Dream, by Hiromi Satou also has a similar rock beat. Unfortunately both songs don’t seem quite appealing to me.
 
Even with the existence of Beatrice, I’m sure love itself is a different form of magic. Yeah, it can do wonders and miracles. Speaking of Beatrice, I’m still wondering what is it actually. As I’ve said, to put things short, it’s just some kind of magic. Just like how characters in Gakuen Alice call their special powers Alice. Perhaps it’s just a lingo. If you don’t mind the fanservice (I kinda notice that there are quite a number fan arts and original drawings of the ladies in sexy and ecchi pose), I’m sure you’ll find this little magical series worth a little watch.
 
Mamoru-kun Ni Megami No Shukufuku Wo