Marchen Madchen (cont)

July 13, 2019

Oh well. Better late than never. After that horrendous production issues, I never thought Marchen Madchen would have their final 2 episodes released. But yeah, call it a miracle and that all stories must come to an end, finally those couple of episodes made its way out instead of being lost forever in the wilderness of abandoned production hell. Uh huh. Better make a few bucks off those DVD and BD sales. Unfortunately I can’t remember anything much although the series only came out less than a year ago. Girls using their fairytale origin powers to fight in some tournament. Remember that? Yeah. We’ll always remember this series for its infamous art and animation quality then.

Episode 11
Lynne has gone crazy. She thinks papa is so good to give a useless girl like her a present. Meanwhile our Japanese side are hanging out together and Sachi is bragging about taking on the Germans since her debut wasn’t enough. It’s not like she did anything right then either. Speaking of Germans, yeah they overheard her. Want to have a go now? Thankfully Agathe doesn’t want to waste time with this since tomorrow’s finals will prove everything. Later Hazuki talks to Agathe who starts talking about the doll she has. Funnily, Hazuki doesn’t laugh like Agathe expects since others always do so. Hence Agathe goes into b*tch mode reminding her she isn’t here to make friends. Huh? When Hazuki is teased by Misa about her ‘boyfriend’ and to introduce that loved one to her family, Hazuki is motivated to win Hexennacht to bring Shizuka to her home. Sugami tries to get Committee 13 to postpone the finals for tomorrow because it looks like James is plotting something but you know, they’re not going to do anything unprecedented. They’re going to regret it because right before the finals start, Lynne unleashes her present from papa. It is a tube containing a Fleck. She gets swallowed and turns into a rampaging Fleck. Everybody evacuates but apparently Agathe tries to be a heroine and got swallowed by it. Uh huh. Some C-grade horror flick with silver liquid coming out from all her orifice before she turns into one. Why the f*ck is everybody standing there watching in shock? Aren’t they going to try and stop her? Because Agathe is now going to destroy the library that houses all the Origins. Yeah, for a place that keeps all the important documents, its defence is pretty much weak. And f*ck, now the English side moves. So is this what they mean about you’ll know when the time comes? Arthur explains with Agathe as the vessel, Shizuka’s new magic and Arthur’s holy sword, the prophecy will be fulfilled to stop this disaster. So Shizuka gets to avenge her mom? Don’t forget, Hazuki is the main character and she’s going to do something about it. She unleashes her magic but this teleports her to another dimension. She meets a person who is the personification of Cinderella. Not sure what crap she’s spouting about miracles. Because of that the backlash of altering reality is so heavy that one would shatter. WTF?! She claims Hazuki doesn’t have to do anything as her friends will stop Agathe. It might not be perfect but it’s still a happy ending. However Hazuki can’t accept it. She’ll make her own ending.

Episode 12
All the girls cooperate to combat Agathe. Thanks to Avengers: Endgame, a group of heroes fighting a giant lone baddy is now the standard everybody vs Thanos. Arthur has Shizuka power up because looks like the only way they’re going to end this madness is to sacrifice Agathe and Lynne inside. Yeah, got to do what the prophecy says. And everybody doesn’t like this. But what else can they do? Don’t worry. There’s always the other option. Because Hazuki returns. She has everyone join powers. Come on everybody! Join your hands together! Before Agathe and Lynne could be swallowed forever in the Fleck, those hands pull them out! With them in safe hands (pun intended), this allows Shizuka to drop her moon on the Fleck! You mean that really killed the Fleck?! And why does Arthur looked so shock? You mean she never saw this coming or even expect this? No wonder she isn’t the main character… In the aftermath, Hazuki invites Shizuka to her place. Saeko and Misa shocked and confused she isn’t a boy… Yeah, how did they jump to that conclusion? In Hazuki’s room, Shizuka sees a picture of Hazuki’s real mom. Hmm… Doesn’t she look like the actual identity of that personified Cinderella? Shizuka reports this year’s Hexennacht ended in a draw. So no victor. Why not cancelled all the results outright if that’s the case? Agathe is recuperating well. She wanted to thank Hazuki because when she was inside the Fleck, she heard a voice and that was the reason that she was able to come back. Meanwhile Lynne is sulking. But eventually becomes a cry-baby after Angelina gives her sisterly hug. Hazuki and Shizuka revisit ground zero of the moon drop. It’s going to take a while to repair the damage. Then Shizuka brings her to the original site where the tragedy occurred 7 years ago. Still nothing growing till this day. She was here on the day she first met Hazuki. She accredits Hazuki for saving her and the reason why she could fight in Hexennacht. Hazuki helps sprinkle her magic all over the world and he friends could tell it’s her brand of magic. Wow. So magical that it sprouts flowers and greens all over???!!! Damn, it’s really a miracle. Sugami is approached what seems to be the ghost of Shizuka and Hazuki’s mom. Take care of our daughters, please. And finally the words we all have been somewhat waiting and expecting to here: Shizuka confesses she likes Hazuki and wants to be her friend. Hey, I thought they were already one? I guess this is official since Hazuki accepts her friend request. Sorry yuri fans. No kiss.

What The Fleck?! The Magic Of Crappy Ending
I wasn’t really that enthusiastic going in watching the couple of final episodes of the series. After all, I was only doing so to get some sort of closure and not really expecting anything much. And the series did stay true to that. It didn’t exceed any of those expectations and hence, uhm, a successful failure? Like I’ve said earlier on, the production issues plaguing the series has been a curse and bane and it is somewhat a miracle that they managed to release them in less than a year instead of taking 10 years later or forever. So even if the ending is pretty much cliché and meh, at least the ‘happy ending’ is that we get somewhat of a closure to this series. We can now file everything and dump it all in the darkest corners of our minds or wherever. This series is done. We can all move on now. Heh. Sad ending, really…

Looking at the art and animation quality this time round, they seem pretty decent and passable. I’m not saying they really put in a lot of effort in those months to make it look good but at least it wasn’t so obviously bad when they aired those horrendous episodes on TV. This was and should have been the quality of the overall series from the start to finish. Just borderline okay with nothing much to shout about and nothing special. Thanks to that no-QC episodes, the series will forever be remembered as such no matter how decent the animation quality improves or even if it really becomes super gorgeous like Shingeki No Kyojin or the Fate series.

Character wise, it’s like they try to make some sort of redemption for the other multi-national girls but it really falls flat. Remember how we couldn’t see those Chinese and Indian schools in action? Well, yeah. We get a glimpse of them here. And that isn’t amount to anything much since everybody is just giving their one shot effort to bring down the Fleck possessing Agathe and Lynne. By the time it all ends, you won’t remember them nor do they actually matter. And they throw in the twist hinting that Hazuki’s mom may be among those Origin users who fought Fleck 7 years ago and perished. So it somewhat makes sense and connects to why her daughter is drawn to this fate. But I’ll say the most interesting-cum-annoying character still goes to Sachi. This girl should be given her own spinoff. She never stops yapping about wanting to be in the spotlight and even right till the end, still shamelessly b*tching about not being credited. Oh Sachi, you’re just a minor character. What more do you want? That’s why I suggested having your own spinoff where you can be as lame and energetic all you want.

Overall, still a mediocre series that ultimately disappoints. They say time heals all wounds and maybe that is partly a minor reason why I don’t really hate this series nor do I feel so dramatically dissatisfied. Because my heart is not there anymore for this series. Haha! What is supposed to be a story about 2 girls who lost their moms from a tragic incident trying to be friends, instead dragged in a myriad of fairytales that aren’t related into a poorly written plot. Will the Fleck be back again? Because it sure looks like some discount Terminator silver liquid metal thingy whose weakness seems to be the moon. Will Hexennacht be the same again next year? Fire those damn Committee 13 spineless old hag b*tches. Will Lynne be forgiven? Always give America a second chance! Will Hazuki and Shizuka end up having yuri sexual relations? Hentai versions if you look harder, definitely. Some stories are not meant to be told. Ever.

Marchen Madchen

July 7, 2018

Initially I thought Marchen Madchen would be some sort of fairytale mishmash whereby several classic fairytale story characters are brought to life in a single anime. You know, we get to see Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White all in one series, anime style. Sure, Disney took those classic fairytales and turned them into separate movies but how cool would it be if all of them exist in the same story universe? Oh right, Shrek… Anyway, this series didn’t turn out to be what I expected. It’s one of those isekai series. Normal girl from our world goes to another magical world, learns she has a dormant power and sort of the most powerful one of them all. Tournament series. Team battles. Friends and enemies. Yeah, pretty much the standard clichés you’d expect to find. And then something unexpected happened… And I’m not talking about something inside the story but the production of the show… Sighs…

Episode 1
Hazuki Kagimura is an ordinary high school girl with no friends. She has this bad habit that whenever she does something wrong, she starts reading to escape to her fantasy world. She calls this Story Syndrome. After finishing reading a book, she notices a strange book in her bag which she didn’t buy. She can’t open it. Then she notices a robed character running pass. She follows her and notices nobody else could see her. But robe girl corners Hazuki and wants to know her intentions. So she wants to be friends? She is not amused and flies away. Hazuki recognizes that girl from the previous book she just read. She continues tailing her to a library and then sees her open a secret door. As Hazuki tries to find that door, we see her past how her late mom used to tell her lots of stories. Mom hoped she would find her own story. Too bad she got confused in all the fantasies she cooked up. Hazuki may have not said the magic word but that magic book starts glowing and opens the secret door. It took some time for it to work? Hazuki gets sucked in and too late to regret not wanting to enter. Dropping in a strange land and enters the nearby school. However she gets scared by Yumilia Qazan, thinking she is a delinquent trying to bully her and runs away. She runs into a nice farm-cum-hotspring whereby the lady kind lets her soak in. Hazuki confirms form her that robe girl is from this school and it is a rule to whoever goes to the other side to wear it. Hazuki’s bath time is interrupted with Yumilia barging in. Poor Hazuki has to run away butt naked only with that book in hand. She eventually finds refuge in some hall. Oops. A few people watching this streaker. When Yumilia catches up, she wants to see Hazuki using her power and transforms into her battle gear. Luckily Shizuka Tsuchimikado (robe girl) stops her but not before Hazuki somehow managing to display slight powers from the book. She gets dizzy and passes out. Everyone thinks Hazuki is a Madchen.

Episode 2
Hazuki wakes up and is being interrogated by petite Ariko Kasumi who decides to burn her after thinking she was insulted! Luckily Shizuka is here to put an end to her prank. She brings Hazuki to the principal, Sugami who is that farmer lady. She welcomes Hazuki to Kuzunoha Girls’ Magic Academy. Hazuki is fascinated that everyone here is a magic user and that book she has is the original Cinderella, a very powerful one. Due to her being an amateur, she is letting her magic being drained out and this would pose a danger to others and herself. Hazuki accepts to be trained as a student of this school. Shizuka becomes her teacher as she demonstrates her own powers using Bouf Hyure. When Hazuki tries out, nothing happens. This prompts other girls to taunt if she is a fake or cheated her way to get in here. Hazuki starts feeling bad that it almost affects her health. Shizuka decides to teach her with something simpler like using toys for a start. Of all the toys, Hazuki had to pick one that belonged to Shizuka and it embarrassed her. Well, her name is written on it. After a few moments of concentrating and imagination, her powers start up. This makes her buoyed in confidence. But Yumilia is here to rain on her parade because she mentions about Hexennacht. It is a tournament between schools and the winner gets whatever wish granted. Because Cinderella is a very powerful book, hence the only reason Shizuka is desperately trying to train her to achieve this goal. Shizuka does not hesitate to admit that. Hazuki cannot help feel disappointed although she should have known better. Oh look. Now she runs away. Shizuka feels guilty she didn’t think of her feelings but Sugami believes she reached out to help her and that was good enough. As Shizuka goes after Hazuki, Sugami forces Yumilia to clean the library as punishment. Shizuka takes Hazuki out to eat hamburgers because it is her favourite food. She adds about her strict upbringing as she was the only daughter in her family. Both girls reconcile and become friends. Ariko too somehow got in the mix.

Episode 3
Hazuki makes some progress but she is still unable to master a basic skill known as Buchhulle. Without it, she cannot participate in Hexennacht. Shizuka explains more of this tournament. Although rules may vary, the main rule of losing one’s Buchhulle puts you out of contention. She takes Hazuki to the library where it houses many Origin magic books. Watching Yumilia clean, there is a reason why magic users need to often do so. Evil magic known as Stains constantly try to eat the Origins. Once an Origin is gone, it is lost forever. Stains that gain an Origin’s power become black beasts called Flecks. I don’t think they’re supposed to look like Godzilla… More on Hexennacht, only 7 schools are allowed to participate. There is only one spot left and looks like the only thing that stands between Japan’s place is their battle with the Coalition School. Yumilia and Shizuka decide to fight here as well as clean the place but Hazuki panics upon seeing a Stain on her Cinderella, inadvertently knocking out Shizuka. Fight over without starting. Hazuki goes home but it seems her stepmom, Saeko has noticed she has been coming home late. Hazuki lies it is club activities but her stepsister, Misa knows it is a lie. Hazuki eventually says there is someone she likes who goes to another school. Technically she isn’t lying. Misa believes her and will do all she can to support her. Shizuka is introduced to a judge from Committee 13 who will oversee Hexennacht. However he tries to persuade Shizuka to only teach Hazuki some parts of Origin and rewrite her memories. Sugami will not allow this intimidation and has this Origin fundamentalist leave. Hazuki sees the girls from top schools arriving, Li Xuemei (China), Maria Rasputin (Russia) and Mahakali (India). All very powerful Origin users. Meanwhile Shizuka is being met by Agathe Arier (Germany) and Arthur Pendragon (Britain). Agathe wants Cinderella returned to her since it was originally from her country. She is not amused when Shizuka says Cinderella has chosen its owner although she isn’t sure if she is participating. Agathe views Japan must participate otherwise it will bring shame to Moon Princess, the oldest Origin as well as Shizuka’s mom who along with many Origin users perished in a disaster 7 years ago. Agathe wants her to find another combatant to replace Hazuki as she still hasn’t mastered Buchhulle. Is she going to miss Hexennacht because of one useless Madchen? Oh, here comes Hazuki to disprove it all. Well, her Buchhulle works. Cinder ashes falling but at the price of her being naked. WTF.

Episode 4
It might just be fluke since Hazuki still has it rough doing her Buchhulle. Yumilia is surprised to see her teammates here, Charles Giovanni and Molly. Apparently, American Lynne Daves gave them a lift here. She knows all about Hazuki since having Cinderella makes her famous. As the girls soak in the hotspring, I guess other nations start arguing how Cinderella was originally from their country. Lynne being the stereotypic American troublemaker lights the fire and before you know it, naked girls start going all out at each other with magic. Hazuki runs but into another bath area whereby Arthur seems to see the truth in her heart. She tells Hazuki that she keeps running from herself, reality and everything she doesn’t like. How far will she run? Hazuki is so overwhelmed that she passes out. Lynne could have owned everyone with her paralyzing magic had not Yumilia rush in to put a stop to it all and threaten Lynne. That was easy. Hazuki wakes up in the infirmary with Shizuka by her side. Hazuki saw the online post of Origin users on Shizuka. It has lots of her details especially Shizuka’s birthday on Christmas. She wants to hold a birthday party. However Shizuka snaps and runs away. Soon, Hazuki learns from Ariko that Shizuka’s mom died on her birthday. Shizuka’s mom was always busy and Shizuka was anticipating her call on that day but it never came to be as she was busy fighting a super power Fleck along with other Origin users and died. Hazuki feels bad but knows what it’s like to lose a mother. Meanwhile Lynne meets up with Yumilia and praises her for her fine acting. Although Yumilia is not pleased, she is in cohorts with Lynne. Using her position as a transfer student, Yumilia is a spy for foreign schools and gives Lynne the data. You see, because Japan fought that Fleck and lost many Origin users, Committee 13 has decided Japan hasn’t the capability to protect the library. This means they plan to distribute it to other schools and if that happens, they’ll be given the priority. Before Hazuki goes home, she is attacked by Yumilia. She has made a deal with Lynne to get rid of her so that Cinderella would be free of any user for the time being when Hexennacht is held. In exchange, she will give her a place to call home. Hazuki calls out to Shizuka for help. It’s like that girl got this sense to know she is in danger, gets over her depression and rushes down to wherever she is. How does she help? She tells her to return to her own world and never come back. This is not where she belongs. But are they friends? No, they’re not. Ouch.

Episode 5
Hazuki is given a potion that will erase her memories and return to her normal life. Looks like she took it and is back at her home. Misa notices Hazuki is down and tries to invite her to a Christmas party but is turned down. Thinking she has boyfriend problems, so the best way to forget a man is with another man? Eh, what? Because she likes reading, those are just words. It doesn’t tell who she really is. Meanwhile Committee 13 has sealed Cinderella. Shizuka receives Mai Sadohara as Hazuki’s replacement. We see Hazuki back at the magic library. Sugami confronts her and knows she has not taken the potion. Hazuki is worried her story has no next chapter so Sugami tells hers. She had a friend who was chosen by Cinderella and her dream was to help even Stains and Flecks. Knowing everyone would laugh at her, she would only tell her closest friends. As a talented Madchen, she was picked for Hexennacht. She was winning until at some point she must have felt her heart has been broken. She gave up her contract and vanished. Sugami doesn’t remember much, her face or her name probably because she took the potion. All she remembers was the feelings they shared in their dreams and her regrets. Even though the story has no conclusion, this is the end of her story. The qualifiers begin with Shizuka’s Japan side against Yumilia’s Coalition School. The game is some castle siege. Either you defend or take control of the throne room to win. It seems Shizuka’s team is losing as the newcomer is slowing her down and ultimately everyone. Lynne is confident Coalition School will win because Yumilia will continue to be her pawn. Hazuki is with her family and starts crying. No, not the beautiful dress she is in. She must be missing her magic world. So a few words of support and encouragement from her family is all that is needed for Hazuki to get moving. She runs back to the library. The secret door doesn’t open apparently Sugami was waiting for her to say the right words to go see Shizuka? Sugami was a little sneaky too and it is a good thing she had Hazuki for insurance. As she ‘forgot’ to wipe her name from the register, it gives her a free pass to barge into the match. Even if Hazuki can’t use her Buchhulle and doesn’t even have a contract with Cinderella, will she still go? Of course. Somehow the magical power of friendship will save the day. Sugami allows her too because she didn’t rely on the potion. Plus, the potion she gave was just water. WTF?! So either way they’re still relying on Hazuki, right? Security is so lax that Hazuki is able to jump into the game. Is having an extra member against the rules?

Episode 6
We go back 15 minutes in time to see how Japan got owned by the Coalition School. Thanks to Mai being a weak ass, that’s when everything went downhill. Oh heck, it was already downhill for Japan from the start. With no options left, Shizuka is forced to use her ultimate magic. This is what Yumilia has been waiting for as her Origin, Shuten Doji steals other magic. Before Yumilia could defeat Shizuka with her own power, this is where Hazuki drops in. I’m sure she can guess the situation seeing her friends down. Characters like Hazuki have to give a pep talk how being one character makes you, you. Don’t follow the book blindly, blah, blah, blah. I thought it was funny she was trying to say how weird Cinderella’s story is. Like why she fell in love with the prince or had to leave by midnight. Girl, you also forgot to mention how a fitting glass slipper could slip off and why the prince only recognized her by her feet. Hazuki decides to rewrite her own Cinderella. One whereby she doesn’t give the prince a f*ck and continues running home to be with her kind family. Hence Hazuki is able to make another contract with Cinderella and rename it as Cinderella Doesn’t Look Back. WTF. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a bad title. She transforms into her Buchhulle form. Chibi pumpkins attacking Yumilia? She tries to fight back but Shizuka’s powers are going berserk. She won’t let go of it. Hazuki got this brilliant idea to make new magic. I don’t know how but it looks like it involves intense staring and shouting. You know Yumilia gives up when she remembers her vagabond days with her pals. Enough to make her realize what home really means to her. I guess Japan wins. And this magic is now spreading to Origin libraries? Whatever. Cue for Shizuka to apologize for being mean and get the ball rolling for Hazuki to admit she likes her and wants to be her friends. Don’t worry about that. Because they’re already friends. You mean they thought they weren’t?

Episode 7
Looks like Japan will face Russia in the first Hexennacht round. Because of that, Maria and her Russian goons plan to sabotage Japan so they can make their comrade’s wish, Tatiana come true. Guess what? Hazuki and honest to goodness (AKA gullible) Tatiana are already friends after having some bonding in the hotspring. Yup, Tatiana even tells her magic’s traits and weaknesses. So the first sabotage is to have the Japanese side drink lots of milk? Because they think Asian’s have weaker stomach? Didn’t work. Next, they think of locking them in some underground room with no connectivity to the outside. Because Japanese loves clean room, they clean it up real good and send a ‘love letter’ to Hazuki. Though she takes the bait, Hazuki manages to call Shizuka to get her out. Too late to see the free wi-fi poster there… When Hazuki and Shizuka are in the library, they get sucked into a mitten. It is a trap laid out by Nadia. Apparently this is considered cheating and the team could be disqualified if found out. But Nadia said if everyone pretended not to know this, only she will bear the brunt of being expelled. But I guess everyone is a bad actor when Tatiana asks about Nadia’s whereabouts. Spill it. As Nadia leaves the library, she is confronted by Yumilia who caught her in the act. As they fight, Yumilia gets sucked into it but all inside gets spit out soon. Looks like Tatiana is here and her Origin nullifies all magic within a certain range. Maria explains that before this, a stranger claimed to be from Committee 13 told Tatiana to hand over her origin. She fell for that trap and later found it tainted. Hence her comrades promise they would win Hexennacht so as not to make her sad again. They still don’t know who the perpetrator is but beg for the Japanese side to let them have a chance at Hexennacht. Obviously Hazuki being the optimistic Japanese girl, goes for the Japanese politeness and forgiveness because this got her the chance to sleep with Shizuka inside the mitten? Whatever. I hope they won’t show this kind of mercy during the proper match.

Episode 8
Hexennacht begins with Germany against India. I suppose India is so insignificant that Germany owns them immediately. They’re not the main casts too so why bother watching them? So now we have Japan against Russia. I think they’re making the Russians look like fools because they think the Japanese will give up if they inflict them with cold. Yeah, too sick to carry on. Nope. Japanese are stronger than you think. Then the Russians decide to tell jokes so bad that they would ‘die’ laughing. Yeah, they actually cannot stop laughing and it would have worked had not they run out of jokes! You gotta be joking! Then, some hypnosis that makes the Japanese hop like rabbits into the mitten. Could have worked had not she looked at where she was hoping and crashed into a tree. WTF?! They’re making a fool out of Russians. All magic then nullifies when Tatiana uses her Origin. Committee 13 wants to consider both teams lose (because they have nefarious plan to take Cinderella) but thanks to Sugami talking about precedent, history and tradition, those old hags are forced to shut up. So with the nullification magic lasting 3 minutes, they think of going fist fighting. As the Japanese side has no martial arts backgrounds, surprisingly Mai says she is well versed in a handful. The Russians dare take her on with their sambo but they all lost pathetically! Singlehandedly! And then when they try to infuse the power of friendship in their sambo, also the same ass whopping result! Man, they’re really making those Russians look dumb. Then this ‘miracle’ happens. Hazuki is so worried to grant Tatiana’s wish that her Origin literally heals Tatiana’s Origin. This means she can now control who to nullify. The Russians regain their power while the Japanese are still powerless. So are the Russians going to defeat the Japanese for good? Until Tatiana fakes some injury. So obviously fake that you can tell she’s lying. Guess what? The Russians surrender! Because they believe their wish has come true (you mean Tatiana being able to lie was it?!). In short, Hazuki’s stupidity fixed Tatiana’s stupidity. Damn, this is sure a stupid match… I guess Russia and Japan are great friends now, eh?

Episode 9
America vs China. Is this hinting something political? And why must drunken fighting be associated with Chinese? Anyway, Lynne knows everything about the Chinese and defeats them. Wow. America beating China? Can’t happen in real life, can it?! Since the next round matches are a week away, Shizuka suggests training back at her hometown in Fukui. Guess what? The Coalition School are tagging along. Haven’t you heard? Sugami suggested it. Oh, guess what too? The Russian girls are coming too. Haven’t you heard? Sugami said so. On the train, Hazuki fears of being alone because of a bad school field trip that somehow always ended up having her being alone. She thought history would repeat itself but once she opens up, now she is the star of attraction. Back at Shizuka’s home, she reports Japan’s success. They start crying and getting emotional like as though they have won the whole thing. Yeah, they’re counting their chickens and calling for a celebratory feast. Getting to the real training, they attempt to learn and discover more about Hazuki’s Cinderella magic so they could find the perfect balance for their team. That night, the girls get into a pillow fight. Hazuki barely escapes and talks to Shizuka outside. She is still talking about that Fleck incident 7 years ago? I understand she is still traumatized by it but what a time to bring it up. Because apparently Shizuka is called by Committee 13 who have found new evidence regarding that incident. It seems her mother fled the scene but was killed in order to keep her mouth shut. Shizuka doesn’t believe a single word but to clear her name, they request she hand over her Origin to investigate. Sugami strongly advises her against it because it will take 6 months and this means she cannot participate in Hexennacht. They seem pushy to force her to choose. I mean, after 7 years and they can’t wait until Hexennacht is over in fear her clan will destroy the evidence? After 7 years???!!! Do you not think they would have done it by then???!!! Unfortunately clearing her mom’s name is more important so she hands over her Origin. So when the rest learn that Shizuka now cannot participate, too late to say sorry. But don’t worry. We have a replacement. Sachi Hino conveniently escapes from hospital and claims she is all good to go (despite still being clumsy). Oh boy… WTF… Meanwhile Lynne’s teammates don’t like how she broke the rules by playing dirty (that had them won over China). Man, America being the good fair players? But you think Lynne is going to listen? She already has plans set in motion for the Japanese. It’s all for dad… Meanwhile get ready for Japan vs America (world’s best comic book style face off) and Germany vs Britain (World War II revisited).

Episode 10
Lynne’s teammates are not pleased on what she has done to Shizuka. They threaten to pull out. However, since Hexennacht requires minimum 3 participants, one of them, Lucy Barton betrays to join the Daves sisters (since Lynne’s dad is financially supporting her family) so team America can still participate. Before Japan versus America could begin, it is announced that Shizuka has withdrawn. Also announced, the withdrawal of Lynne’s teammates. Also announced, Britain has withdrawn, handing the Germans a free pass to the finals. WTF?! I thought this was a sacred tournament and they can just easily waltz out?! And if you thought Sachi didn’t make the cut, here she comes in with her flashy transformation scene. So embarrassing. Hey wait. Can they accept last minute entries?! Apparently she has a letter that allows her to do so. Yeah, this tournament is starting to lose its shine. The winner of this match is when the other team is obliterated. They are transported to London. With zombies! Lucy’s summoning them. With Hazuki and Mai distracting them, Ariko and Sachi ambush the Americans. Lynne becomes desperate to win as she fends off Sachi and will not allow her sister, Angelina to surrender. Meanwhile Sugami discovers evidence that Lynne’s father, James has been pressuring Committee 13 to change the report and hence Shizuka’s mom fleeing was a lie. However security system detects her and she flees but the evidence is destroyed. When Ariko and Sachi become zombies, Mai gambles with a risky move to take out Lucy. Now it is Hazuki facing the Daves sisters. Angelina thinks bombarding Hazuki is more than enough but Lynne will not go back to the orphanage and face that perverted sadistic priest. She views her father as their saviour and will win this tournament for him. Just when Hazuki is about to give up, here comes Shizuka. WTF?! Can she just jump into mid-tournament?! Just like that!? Really, this tournament is now looking like a farce. After Sugami’s revelation, she begged to her elders about wanting to participate in Hexennacht. They see her sincerity and deem her worthy as the clan’s successor. Yeah, just like that. Apparently Shizuka confronted Committee 13 who is now so docile and supportive of her clan. They cower when she asks for her Origin back. I guess this is what they’re resorting too now that they are free from blackmails and distancing themselves from America. Yeah, Committee 13 is so spineless… So Shizuka literally drops the moon on everything! Wait a minute. Isn’t that like wiping out everything? I don’t know. The Americans lost. The Japanese win. Sachi embarrassingly tries to give her autographs. Lynne on the verge of going crazy.

Meh-hen Mad-chan
Well folks, if it was already as disappointing in the initial episodes, they certainly outdone themselves with this even bigger disappointment. Didn’t see that coming, didn’t we? Even those who did I am sure we hung on to that small prayer it wasn’t so. Too bad it did not turn out for the better. Everything that we had feared that could have happened, happened. Thanks to production issues, a couple of episodes were stalled midway through the season to fix up some quality issues. Hence the delay in a couple of episodes. However there was no improvement at all and since the allotted slot of the series for the season had ended, the reason why this series had a ‘sudden ending’ with only 10 episodes. F*ck, they even aired a next episode preview at the end of episode 10 like as though there is going to be another episode alas it was not. The fate of the remaining 2 of the dozen is left unknown and it is said will be decided in the near future. This is certainly worse than that Kekkai Sensen series’ first season. At least they finished it. We don’t even know if this one is going to be finished at all. It is highly at this rate and with angry sentiments from fans as well as those who have lost faith in the show running high, I doubt they will get any BD releases (so we’ll get our final 2 episodes even if this is a sorry excuse). It will be a miracle. A magic miracle for that to happen.

The mind boggling thing that stalled the series was said to be quality and production issues. Okay. It was understandable at that point. Even though they stated they would take 2 weeks to improve the quality, casual and rational viewers like me would understand and still wait. But this is where it gets sh*tty and sh*t hitting all over the fan. THE QUALITY NEVER IMPROVED!!!! OH MY GOD!!! IT SUCKS SO BAD THAT IT IS SO F*CKING OBVIOUS!!!! Like as though they purposely want to make us mad by actually airing such bad quality. Now, I don’t actually notice the art and animation quality of this series from the beginning. I was going to rate it as normal, decent, conventional and standard. Nothing out of the ordinary. So-so cute looking girls. Nothing extraordinary. So when this delayed news came and that stalled episode finally aired, the quality took a nose dive. It was inconsistent. It was sh*t. Full of it. Characters looking weird. Animation was crappy. Like as though they never fixed it and in the last minute got some 5 year olds to ‘finish it up’. Yes people. It is that bad. Like as though they wanted to kill the series.

What makes it sadder is the fact that the author of this series died almost 2 years before this anime was aired. Justice will never be served. Even if it did, it is too late as the damage has already been done. He’ll just turn over in his grave. RIP, sir. A sad end to this series that was never properly finished and even sadder to have been given such treatment. I know, I’m not even a fan and I already don’t care that much. Something tells me there might be hidden issues underneath it all and this quality issue was just the scapegoat and distraction to ‘appease’ everyone. It’s a very sad and disappointing moment in anime because even if the series itself is not good and would have gotten lots of bad criticisms in the end and many will not like or even hate the series, at least they should have finished it and not leave it hanging. Yeah, nobody cares. Imagine if the great classic literal works as well as timeless classics we all know today never got finished. Maybe there are such works, that’s why we never hear of it. Lost in the darkness of time forever.

On to the plot, it isn’t anything extraordinary. The usual cliché of an ordinary person with no friends usually comes to another world and possesses such great latent power there. I guess when you have the main character being lacking of friends, this at least closes the case of her friends always worried why she is always missing. It is so convenient for the plot for a social outcast to do whatever she wants since the people of her own world/country/community don’t give a sh*t about her. And to build up some sort of drama and tension, this kind of series has to go after that friendship stumbling block route. Issues that impede the main characters from becoming friends right off the bat. While it seems logical because you wouldn’t really hit it off especially getting to know someone from another world instantly, the friendship drama in this series just feels meh. It just doesn’t feel convincing. I am not sure if I was feeling pretty annoyed too because I know I was bored watching this.

One of the biggest disappointments in the plot is the Hexennacht tournament. This is supposed to take up to big bulk in driving the story forward for the characters and the series but it fails on so many levels thanks to some inconsistencies and mind boggling questions. The first one is why they have such an odd number for the tournament. Yeah, only 7 of them. Because of that, England somehow gets a free pass in the quarter finals. It would have been the magical 8 had the Coalition School been in this equation but I guess a lot of people in this world has got issues with Japan and hence need them to fight an extra round. Oh right. They’re the group with the main characters so need an excuse for more screen time. Even if the Coalition School’s match was supposed to be a qualifying tournament, couldn’t they just add some other country to make it 8? Don’t tell me there are no other famous countries than those participating here? You mean South Korea or Ireland don’t have their own witches? I recommend Canada… Thanks to the sudden end, Germany gets a free pass to the finals and we now can’t watch the former Axis allies battle each other for the ultimate title…

The other thing that makes Hexennacht a big laughing joke is how easily participants can enter and pull out of it. Wasn’t this supposed to be the all sacred tournament that all Madchen look forward to? And then you have England suddenly withdrawing because of some reason that we will never get to know thanks to the inconclusiveness of the series, so what was it that makes them so afraid that pulling out was even more worth it than winning? Or at least even try their best and lose? Because hell, we all know Japan is going to win and restore honour, right? It’s part of the damn script, damn it! Worst of all, the conspiracy to remove Shizuka and then reinstate her back before and during Japan’s match with America felt like the biggest slap in the face. Because those Committee 13 b*tches surely don’t have their own backbone and can cave into pressure after a little coercion. Hey, Committee 13 agrees, the affected team agrees, so what is there not to approve or disallow? I don’t know how famous this tournament is in this world but if this was the World Cup in our world and the organizers pull off this sh*t, there’ll be hell to pay and heads will roll!!! Definitely.

Hence the action scenes during the fights are not exciting and boring. Even if this series didn’t live up to my unrealistic expectations of several fairytale characters in a single series, at least the thought of each of the characters having some sort of powers related to the storybook they wield would prove interesting. It was only on a theoretical level. Practically it fails to translate into anything that viewers would find it interesting or want to know more. You know, weave that story into that character or something. So I assume that you need to know certain fairytales and stories to even comprehend the very faint traits these characters possess. For example, Lynne and her Little Matchstick Girl persona. I am not sure how famous this story around the world is but if you are unfamiliar with this story, you’d be wondering why the heck Lynne has different scented giant matchsticks with different effects during her matches. And I suppose everyone is supposed to be familiar with Cinderella. So why didn’t she use some sort of skill using her glass slippers? Whatever.

Finally, the characters themselves are a let-down. Hazuki as the main character is as cliché as she can get and the only thing that drives her is her will to become eternal friends with Shizuka. After all, the girls in this academy are the first she made friends with so she really doesn’t want to waste her effort. The biggest kick in the balls is if all that she has just experienced are just imagination in her head and this is one big story. Why? Remember her Story Syndrome? How often does she escape into her fantasy world? For all you know, she was still reading her book and started dozing off and what do you know? We’ve been in her dreamland ever since! This better not be it. Though, it would have been the biggest shocker ever for the series. Shizuka has some issues on her own to make her feel more human. You know, that responsibility of regaining pride for her country and that tragic incident in which her mom was killed. Yeah, so far that Fleck incident only feels like a plot convenience because which main character do not have some sort of tragedy that tragically killed their parents?

Then there is Ariko whom I thought is supposed to be the prankster but she turns out to be insignificant after her debut. They just need some backup shorty character. Then they shoehorn useless girl Mai into the team because apparently nobody else is as good as the trio. I mean, aren’t anybody else better than them to represent Japan? With her being the amateur, it calls for plot convenience for her to screw up, make it look like Japan is going to lose, allows Hazuki or Shizuka to transform or undergo some revolution and save the day. The biggest joker of them all is Sachi. I think they want to surprise us with a new character who is so full of herself that she could have been possibly the most interesting character had she been given more limelight. I think she even made a joke about her appearances and by the unfortunate luck of the series being somewhat cancelled, I guess the joke of lacking appearance becomes a nightmare because now it’s like she just made her debut a couple of episodes ago and then is improperly cut off thanks to the series’ unfortunate demise. What a sad joke…

Outside team Japan and for the other teams, they really paint the Russians to look really dumb. That’s all I can see and say about them. As usual, America is painted as the big bad guy because you know, America. Lynne is one of those characters suffering from daddy issues and is it me because lately I noticed a few characters having experiencing daddy issues, hence their twisted reason to fight just so that they could be somewhat accepted by their father. I mean, remember Gintama’s Kamui? What about ClassicaLoid’s Wagner? Yeah, these people have nothing else in mind except the scheme they cooked up just to get their father’s acceptance or doing it all for his sake in some way. So Lynne in turn is painted as a sneaky and calculating brat who will do anything and trample on everything in her way just for this goal of hers. It’s like just desserts when she lost. Thanks to plot convenience. Sorry team America, you were never meant (rather in the script) to defeat Japan and go win Hexennacht.

The Coalition School girls feel like a ragtag team of girls from other countries. I don’t know, why do I feel like they are supposed to be from the Middle East but thanks to anime looking like anime, they don’t feel like they’re from there. No Arabic headgear, I guess. Their mission to go home or find a place of their own belonging feels like one of those people in the world who are stateless or people who seek to find their own independence. I don’t remember much about China or India, but why is it England’s team is painted as airheaded and casual people while Germans are strict snobs? Damn those Nazis still has a great impact in stereotyping what Germans are. Anyway with a few characters making up the team, they don’t get any decent spotlight so you don’t really know nor want to care more about them.

Outside the country teams, the most disappointing and laughable goes to Committee 13. We see them being aggressive and non-negotiable in their stance. Especially when they are targeting Shizuka. But it is Shizuka’s fault to begin with for giving in to their demands. Damn plot convenience also. My dislike for them suddenly turns into disrespect when it is found out that they were being blackmailed to do all those by Lynne’s dad. Yeah, America as your number one baddie again. Can America be so big and flex its muscles to even make the highest order of the Hexennacht to yield to their demands? At least it is true for this series. Yeah, now they are a bunch of spineless cowards after America’s scheme was exposed. Trying to stay away from USA, huh? Well too late. Damage is done.

I know Sugami tries to play the supportive role for the Japanese girls but once again it feels so forced and shoehorned that she only exists for the plot convenience. Hazuki is down and needs some timely advice? Here comes Sugami telling her experiences with her supposedly long dead best friend. Japan is losing a Hexennacht match and needs some sort of comeback? Here comes Sugami turning into a female James Bond to discover evidence that will put Shizuka back in the game. Is she the in-anime scriptwriter? Whatever. Lastly I want to point out Saeko and Misa being Hazuki’s stepmom and stepsister. I know it’s good they are trying to give her some space but don’t you think they have given her too much of her own time to be by herself? I mean, do they not spend family time together? Man, I thought this was reverse Cinderella. At least they don’t mistreat her. So for plot convenience, they believe in her and whatever she is doing. Because the power of family. Thank goodness Hazuki doesn’t get involved with drugs. Her step family is so redundant that they might as well have Hazuki living alone. That would be even more plausible and realistic. But I suppose it is to show that Hazuki has ‘allies’ from her real world too.

Well, I’ve pointed out the art and animation in my earlier paragraphs. But this one I just want to point out how certain characters remind me of others. Yeah, it’s that other section of mine where I sometimes rant about how an anime character resembles like one from another series. For example, when I first saw Yumilia in her battle gear, I thought her design was completely ripped off from Gurren Lagann’s Yoko. I searched it is supposed to be from her Shuten Doji Origin but I can’t help feel that Yoko comes to mind first. When Sachi first entered the picture, I thought what the hell was Toaru Kagaku No Railgun’s Misaka doing here?! Why the f*ck is she so joker-like?! Somehow seeing Shizuka has me think she is from Negima. Sometimes I get a bit mixed up with her and Mai since they look almost similar. Damn Japan’s long black haired beauties… Not sure why, but looking at Hazuki reminds me of New Game’s Aoba despite they look different. And Aoba is much cuter too. But doesn’t Ariko look very close to Koufuku Graffiti’s Kirin? Just take away the smiling face. Hoods Entertainment who produced and abandoned this mess, did made some great animes like Drifters and Nazo No Kanojo X but mostly sleazy ones like Seikon No Qwaser, Aki Sora, Manyuu Hikenchou, Kagaku Na Yatsura, Hantsu x Trash and Rescue Me. Damn I hope they don’t mess up the next season’s project they are animating, 3D Kanojo: Real Girl… Please, please, please…

Voice acting feels average. Didn’t recognize anybody so it didn’t make my day any better. The casts are Tomori Kusunoki as Hazuki (Miki in Slow Start), Rie Suegara as Shizuka (Yui in Diabolik Lovers), Kaede Hondo as Ariko (Yae in Girlish Number), Hiyori Nitta as Mai (Gabriel in Nanatsu No Bitoku), Azusa Tadokoro as Sachi (Fino in Yuushibu), Lynn as Yumilia (Maya in Sabagebu), Rina Hidaka as Lynne (Airi in Ro-Kyu-Bu), Akemi Okamura as Sugami (Nami in One Piece), Airi Ootsu as Maria (Mimi in High School Fleet), Reina Ueda as Arthur (Jasminka in Little Witch Academia), Ai Kakuma as Agathe (Julis in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Amina Satou as Angelina (Yuuka in AKB0048), Nodoka Hasegawa as Saeko and Ayaka Shimizu as Misa (Reo in High School Fleet).

The opening theme by Fhana is unfortunately named after the state of this anime, Watash No Tame No Monogatari ~My Uncompleted Story~. Did this generic anime pop beat foreshadow the fate of this series? If so, damn this is scary. Reina Ueda sings the ending theme, Sleepland. I prefer this slower piece as it sounds fitting for a series that has relations to fairytales. However the ending animation credits are filled with lots of the series’ females in fanservice poses while our main duo of Hazuki and Shizuka end up in a hot naked lesbian fanservice position in case our fairytale fantasies and delusions didn’t run wild enough. I think we’re going to need it seeing how the anime ‘ended’. Or not.

Overall, it was already a disappointing series and further made unacceptable and distasteful with the way things were handled and ‘ended’. Everything was so lacklustre that it is as though the producers knew they were going to get criticisms and brickbats and hence decides to up the ante before we could. They gave us a reason to hate it. Well, good job guys. Or should I say, bad job? And notice how I spanned plot convenience in my blog. Yup, that says everything else that is needed. It’s just painful and sorry to see what this series has become. There is this irony that this series had fallen victim to those Stains. It makes other anime series that mishmash various fictional characters together like Code: Realize: Sousei No Himegimi (and to a point even Re: Creators if I should say) to look even superior even when it’s actually not. Of course the best mishmash of such that comes to mind is still Drifters. Even if this series somehow manages to get its final 2 episodes out, I will still watch it albeit I will not put any expectations or hope about it. Like all fairytales, there needs to be a closure and hopefully this one will not become a lost ghost wandering the eternity of nothingness. Sadly and even so, still not a happy ever after for Marchen Madchen.