Mini Toji

May 3, 2019

I thought the series ended for good and that it didn’t needed another sort of spinoff whatsoever. Apparently I was wrong. Or rather I did not anticipate Mini Toji. Just like how Naruto had that chibi Rock Lee spinoff, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu had their chibi Koro-sensei Quest spinoff and Overlord having their Ple Ple Pleiades chibi spinoff, now it is Toji No Miko’s turn to have the same. I guess you can’t totally leave girls with swords alone. Not when the main TV series ended a few seasons ago. As you would have come to expect, having characters in their cute super deformed style means a whole lot of cuteness and comedy. No real plot to be confused over. No anxiety to fret over the dangers that will befall our cute heroines or the world falling into danger of being destroyed. Just expect to have some great fun and laughs in this 3 minutes per episode stint.

Episode 0
Kanami and Mihono Asakura host this somewhat recap introduction special. Mihono is particularly thrilled since she had no dialogue at all in her very short cameo in the TV series. It’s not like we even knew she existed! Anyway, the duo narrate some of the important events of the TV series, which is basically the first half. If you want to know more and can’t remember, go back and watch the entire thing!

Episode 1
Miruya Kitora analyses Kanami and co who are now considered the greatest heroines. Despite having largely different personalities and skill, they are a cohesive bunch. Because her team’s usual training doesn’t work, she sends them to spy and imitate what they’re doing. Like Kofuki Shichinosato and Kiyoka Musumi trying to imitate Kanami and Hiyori eating ice cream together (Kiyoka just wanting to take a cute pic of Kofuki eating). Also, Mihono and Chie Setouchi trying to imitate Mai and Sayaka eating cookies together (it only gets more embarrassing for them). Eventually Kaoru and Ellen discover this. Kaoru quips their side should have more missions to fight Aradama and in turn save them from getting sent out on missions. Unfortunately Sana calls. Get back to work!

Episode 2
Mihono realizes tomorrow is Kanami’s birthday. With Hiyori and Mai, they discuss about celebrating with her as well as what sort of presents to get her. Mai gives her pudding, Mihono a ticket for a free sparring match while Hiyori a great rice meal with dishes. As they argue whose present is the greatest, Kanami ‘solves’ it by offering to them all together. Can she spar with her mouth full? Meanwhile Kaoru just got back from a mission. Guess what? Sana’s calling…

Episode 3
Yukari and her elite guards are having a wonderful hanami. After Yume gives her toast, Maki and Shizuka become drunk as they pet some cat statue. Yukari turns this hanami into some personal teatime festival? Yume gets an idea of taking a group photo and everybody wants to be the one to take the picture. Eventually Yomi uses her Aradama to take the shot. Do they get only one chance because Maki certainly wasn’t ready and it ends up looking more like a blooper. But it was worth the memories. Meanwhile Kaoru is ‘dying’ from overworking when another timely call from her exploitative boss comes in…

Episode 4
Kofuki has had it with Miruya’s weird training. When Kiyoka wants her to go shopping for clothes with her, Kofuki rejects. Unless there is pudding involved. Too bad Kofuki’s pudding has been eaten by Mihono. I guess not writing your name on it isn’t going to cut it. Better go buy back a pudding before Kofuki blows her top. To kill time, Kofuki decides to play a prank on Miruya as she notices her foods are labelled with her name. So she packs her milk carton with dried sardine! Although busted by Chie for wasting food, Miruya analyses its ‘nutritional value’ and announces it should be made into stew for everyone! Sorry Kofuki, you must eat your share! Good news for Kaoru as Sana sends Ellen as backup. But the ‘Aradama’ turn out to be namahage.

Episode 5
Kofuki is very annoyed after seeing Mai treating Sayaka like as though she’s her mom. Not that Sayaka minds. When a request to take down Aradama comes in, Sayaka doesn’t need Mai’s babysitting anymore. This makes Mai worried and fears she will be left behind. So she tries to bribe Sayaka with cookies. If only Mai isn’t force feeding her and turning her face into a squirrel! Even when Kanami and Mihono tries to have some, Mai won’t let them! These are for Sayaka… Don’t touch! With Chie settling the issue and Mai repenting, the rest are glad this worked out. Then Chie boasts about her nature as a big sister. Oh no. Sayaka’s imprinting… Mai’s insecurity… Here we go again… And it goes without saying about Kaoru’s status busting Aradama’s ass around… It’s amazing she’s still alive.

Episode 6
Yukari, Maki and Shizuka are supposed to greet and welcome Yume as the new elite guard member. However she got lost and wandered into several prohibited places in the base. Having fun, is she? I guess they need to go get her. Yume then wanders into Yomi who is making omusubi (onigiri?). She explains how it’s made from the best rice, blah, blah, blah. When Maki and Shizuka find her, it seems Yomi was making omusubi as part of Yukari’s plan for Yume’s welcome party. I guess they can start the party now. Meanwhile Kaoru is turning into a zombie. Oh dear, she doesn’t even think she needs a break! Sana you better take responsibility if Kaoru dies from this!

Episode 7
Hiyori and Chie discuss how soy products are good for breast enhancements. After all, they are the ‘horizon alliance’! Since when did Hiyori joined this ‘alliance’? Kofuki was invited too but she didn’t want to join in. Probably for the best. As they head to the hotspring that supposedly helps in breast enhancement, the other Toji girls are there. Hiyori, I don’t think the effect will be fast. Hiyori thinks Kanami is an ‘ally’ but remembers her favourite foods are soy based. Will she be going ahead of her? Then they discuss if the uniform is part of the reason why the rest aren’t as flat. But what about Kaoru then? Not too sure how she makes the outfit work thanks to her fashion sense. When Mihono talks to them, Hiyori asks a few questions about Nene. Seeing their all positive, Hiyori considers her as their asset and now she is unwittingly part of their ‘alliance’. Speaking of Kaoru, she is now lying dead tired in church. Is she going to meet her maker? Not if Sana calls in…

Episode 8
It’s about time Kaoru gets some love. Yeah, we see her sulking and done being a Toji. She thinks of going to India but it’s not for a mission (not that taboo word!) but to find enlightenment. Hence the rest help out and although it’s not India, I guess Hawaii would do. Clueless Kofuki thinks this is great and to be perfect, they just need some Aradama action! Don’t jinx it! Chie takes her away but she still throws a tantrum. With that, we see Hawaii is just a backdrop. The girls work hard to make Nene feel like she is on vacation and thanks to all that, her work ethic has been restored to 2%! That’s great coming from a slacker like her. When Sana calls, it looks like Kaoru is in a great mood. Until she throws in another mission for her. I hope she got all the rest she could get.

Episode 9
It’s time for the festivals. Hiyori feels insulted since Kanami says her yukata is tight around the chest… I don’t think this festival is going to cheer up Kaoru any better. She’s been working to the bone so long that she’s seeing her job in the fun she’s supposed to have. Like saving the goldfish… Although she can’t save herself… Meanwhile Mihono’s side are actually tasked to make yakisoba for the festival. With Miruya putting in her analysing, their cooperation (including Kofuki who is only good at eating) makes the greatest yakisoba. Too bad now they have a long queue. Good luck serving them all. Meanwhile Hiyori tells Kanami that is the most dramatic to happen for this mini series so far… She is sent back to Heijou. Gasp! *Dramatic sound effect*.

Episode 10
With the crowd building up, Mihono is at a lost. But thank goodness for Kaoru and Ellen noticing this and offer to help. Kaoru sends a message to others. Hence Hiyori’s revelation to Kanami about going back is interrupted with Kaoru’s sarcastic message for Kanami to bring a ‘flat plain’ with her for help. Yeah Hiyori, it’s killing time… So all the friends gather to help. But Hiyori hints about even plains have hills. Kaoru’s comeback: You’ll never get to bounce it like that! With everyone pitching in, the yakisoba is a success. Miruya thanks Mihono for her special bond with others that enabled them to get through this. This is her special power. Kanami and Hiyori resume their talk. The former will wait for her till she returns. Nice fireworks as the big finisher and a group photo to top it all.

It’s Been A (Mini) Slice
Ah… Everything is so peaceful and fun here that not even the Aradama makes any sort of appearance to even interrupt our Toji girls. Not even those Aradama princesses. Maybe they’re not on call. That’s why we have Kaoru to thank for… You know what I mean? Well girls, have fun while you can until the next Aradama attack. Wait. Why do I sound like I want to spoil their fun here? Hey, don’t blame me. Blame Hiyori for giving that ‘tension’ drama of wanting to leave. Yeah, the biggest tension (not really) in this mini series. It’s like it could have been done without and had no bearing whatsoever since it came so late but what the heck, it’s to remind us the power of the Toji friendship. Now that they have more friends, the more the merrier! The friendship power is only going to get stronger…

Although the 3 minutes have been largely fun, one of the biggest downfalls for this series I find is that the newly introduced characters do not really amount to anything special. Sure, due to this series’ nature, we don’t see them being fleshed out properly and they’ve been reduced to just comical side characters. Hence setting our first impressions of them being some sort of jokers. It is a strange way to introduce a bunch of characters that did not appear in the main TV series but I suppose if Toji No Miko gets another season, these characters will be incorporated and then we will be shocked to find how different than they are from this chibi spinoff. Unfortunately for me, I don’t find them memorable. The most being Miruya with her over-analytic behaviour thingy and Kofuki being, uhm, the aloof type? I may be wrong, though.

Sometimes I have this feeling that this little spinoff was also conceived on the grounds that they want to really make fun of Kaoru being overworked the death, a recurring running joke over the TV series. Call me a sadist, but this is the part of the series that I enjoyed the most as I find myself laughing out loud the most. It’s also the segment that I could ‘understand’ the joke and find it the funniest. Somehow it never grows old despite at the end of every episode they throw in this shenanigan. She is the real ‘star’ of this chibi spinoff. Without her working so hard, you think the other Toji girls can afford to frolic so freely? Thank Kaoru for her unpaid hours of hard work! Yeah, maybe Kaoru is also a little workaholic because she would have run away from it all but she didn’t. Oh right, Kaoru is a responsible Toji although she may not look like it.

Oh my dear Kaoru, look on the bright side. You’re the only one who can withstand prolong hours, days and weeks of work without rest. Otherwise, why would Sana pick on you choose you for the job? If you don’t do it, can you imagine your other comrades like Ellen in your shoes? That’s why, Ganbatte, Kaoru-chan! You can do it! You don’t need a break or anything!!!!!! ;p. Or maybe Sana’s just a big bully slave driver, that’s all… At least the final episode didn’t see her being turned into a dead working zombie and even so Kaoru is still so lovable and killing it with her sarcasm. Somebody should really make a spinoff series just for Kaoru!!! The series’ best character ever!

Thanks to Kaoru personally being the highlight of the series, the other Toji girls feel like they didn’t matter. Kanami remains the same enthusiastically optimistic girl while there is this little running joke about Hiyori and her small boobs. It looks like she is starting to get really conscious about it. Fear not for the ‘horizon alliance’! Sayaka sounds so much happier that it makes her look a bit like a retard and Ellen doesn’t make much cameo here. Where the heck is she? It’s not like she accompanied Kaoru on her nationwide work, right?

Overall, there is nothing much to comment on this short series. It is fun and relaxing in its own little way but of course you would understand and appreciate a bit better if you have watched the original TV series. Newcomers who didn’t see that and stumble upon this might go, “WTF is this sh*t?! But oh so kawaiiiiiiiiiii~!!! Kyun~!!!!!!!”. Something like that. I hope that if they want to make another season of this, I pray it would be another spinoff but Kaoru as the main star. Yup, an entire spinoff series about Kaoru working herself to death while making sarcastic remarks about her old hag boss. On second thought, maybe I should give this running joke a rest. After all, Kaoru deserved it. She worked hard for it, you know. ;-).