Oh Edo Rocket

October 14, 2012

Fireworks and aliens. What kind of anime can bring you that? Heck, not only those two, but loads of other mix and mash of just about every other thing. Oh Edo Rocket may sound like just another one of those animes whereby a group of people are trying to build a rocket and reach the moon but I assure you, it just more than that. While that may be the basic premise of this show, you can expect a lot of crazy things to happen here. I mean if you are going for a comedy in a period drama that even has inventions and devices that never existed during the turn of the 20th century, you know you are going to be in for a crazy ride. So it brings back little memories about Gintama because of the fusion between modern and traditional contraptions and with aliens in the fray. Just that we don’t have any samurai but a bunch of poor people. Oh, did I mention poverty?

The year is 1842 and in a place called Edo, the former capital of Japan. Even if back in those days we don’t have iPods, iPads and Tablets to go about, I’m sure life was pretty simple then. If not, poor. Very poor indeed. It doesn’t help that in this period, the government, or in this anime, the senior councillor of the Shogun, Tadakuni Mizuno has banned all forms of luxuries and entertainment to maintain discipline, frugality and whatever reasons that youth these days will not hesitate to take it to the streets (this ban actually happened in history too). And thus, you see people who are in poverty living a life that is even poorer. Even though the reforms are not popular with the citizens, but back then I guess people don’t have the power to stand up against the head of the state. I wonder if these bastards high up in their seats are enjoying the good life at the expense of their people. However a kid, Seikichi Tamaya who is a fireworks artisan dreams of making the biggest and best fireworks that nobody has seen before. It is going to be quite a challenge since fireworks are considered as luxuries and the police keeping a constant surveillance. But Seikichi may get the chance of a lifetime when a beautiful but mysterious lady pops up and requests him to make her a rocket that will reach the moon. With all the conspiracies, challenges and obstacles going on, can Seikichi and his ragtag gang of Furai Row House Block kill 2 birds with 1 stone by fulfilling the request and making the biggest fireworks Edo has ever seen?

Episode 1
Fireworks artisan Seikichi and his brother Shunpei are trying to launch a firework but Seikichi blows his top when the display turns out to be the wrong colours. Elsewhere, a pair of drunk old men talk, a cross-dresser is feeling dejected for not being noticed (except for his mom and the town belle), and a pair of aliens known as Sky Beasts duking it out. A Mechanical creator Shinza has completed his movie projected when his home is being invaded by the police led by Sergeant Nishinosuke Akai. Shinza cleverly hides inside his projector box to keep the police on a wild goose chase over his shadow but Akai eventually cuts the projector into half. Back to the Sky Beasts, their personal battle is being interrupted by a group of armoured government enforcers known as Men In Black (MIB). It is a 3 way tussle but the MIB manages to kill the blue Sky Beast when they are distracted fighting each other. The white Sky Beast runs away but was sniped and injured by a South Edo magistrate head, Youzou Torii. They were going to take him in but the fireworks distracted them and it escaped. Since they can’t catch up to its speed, they are contented with the dead one only to find its body has melted.

Next day, Akai arrests Shinza and is going to bring him in but is stopped by Santa the carpenter and the circus acrobat siblings, Tenhou and Tenten. Shinza’s name was on the projector so all the more proof that he violated the law. With Seikichi just passing by, Akai starts ranting about his hatred for garbage, especially poor people like them (not sure if he’s a clean freak). He mocks them that even though they are poor, they have so much garbage lying around. He questions Seikichi’s whereabouts last night since he noticed the fireworks. Seikichi is lost for words and has a hard time proving his alibi. Look at the sling he is carrying. Could that be a fireworks launcher? Till locksmith Ginjirou AKA Gin cooks up a story to cover him that Seikichi was accompanying him to unlock a woman who accidentally locked herself. Akai finds the alibi credible. But there is just 1 problem. The bag of gunpowder he snatched from Seikichi’s clothes when he was body checking him. And that sling over his shoulder? Definitely that shape and feel has to be a fireworks launcher. He is forced to show it to him and to everyone’s surprise, it is just a roll up box of carpentry tools. Akai lets them go but still takes Shinza in. Seems Tenten and Tenhou had switched Seikichi’s bag. They hid it in a nearby toilet… Gin thinks he should have tested his fireworks at the foothills of Fuji where there is nobody but Seikichi insists all fireworks made in Edo must be tested here since different soil, wind and air will completely change its colours. He is willing to risk it despite the penalty of being exiled. He thinks this awful ban will not last forever and once it is lifted, he won’t lose out to other fireworks artisans. Their talk is interrupted by grumpy tile maker, Rokubei for being noisy in the morning. However he is kept quiet when his wife reels him in. Seikichi returns to his home to find a girl, Sora (looks so much like that girl in Eureka 7) playing fireworks inside his house! She got startled and dropped it! Could almost start a fire! Since Seikichi denies he is a fireworks artisan, Sora tells him her idea of making the biggest firework by using a number of small shells of gunpowder inside a large shell. Seikichi corrects her and this proves he is indeed an expert in this area. Sora has a professional favour to request of him. She asks how high his fireworks can go. He is confident no one can beat him in terms of height. So, does this mean his fireworks can reach the moon? Yes. That big bright natural satellite in the sky. Holy cow!

Episode 2
Oh course Seikichi finds that impossible. There are limits as to how far one can dream. He tells her to scram seeing he needs his sleep but Sora sets up a bed and wants him to sleep with her! Yikes! She thinks that once he gets his deserved rest, he will be able to consider her proposal in a calm manner. Gin the neighbour may have heard something next door and tries to make a hole in the wall to peep with his finger. Well, his finger got through but now it’s stuck. Trying to pull it out, this causes a big hole in the wall. Gin tries to be a playboy with Sora, using cheesy pick-up lines (“I can pick any lock with his finger, even if it’s the tightest lock of your heart”). Seikichi throws him out of the house so Gin talks to him about his fireworks reaching the moon. Though Sora has the figures of how far the moon is (1,254 million feet), Seikichi starts to bore them with his pessimism of how far his fireworks can reach. In short, he can’t. But Sora and Gin still get excited in thinking of conquering the world with fireworks and Seikichi didn’t like the idea of just launching it for fun and must have a purpose. Gin asks him can he just make fireworks for fun. Ever since Mizuno’s reforms, anything flashy is banned and modesty, frugality and self-restraint have been in full force. Seikichi remains stubborn when Shunpei returns. He is excited about a plaque he got from a temple that has the trajectory of a shooting star. Then when he realizes Sora, his face gets all red. He tries to use his maths to explain this irrational human behaviour. The town belle, Onui who is also Furai Row’s public moral watchdog comes in to check on the commotion. With everyone somewhat arguing, they realize Sora is already gone. Elsewhere the blue Sky Beast kills a defenceless woman. When the white one comes by, the MIBs surround it and think this Sky Beast has claimed another victim.

Gin visits Ise, the woman whom he mentioned in his alibi to Akai to save Seikichi’s ass. Ise isn’t pleased because she shows him a video Akai was indeed here to check on his alibi. She tries covering up from him but there were just too many holes. So that’s how she came up with the embarrassing Abacus Dance… Once Gin leaves, he bumps into Akai. He thinks Gin is here to ‘fix’ his alibi. Akai continues to watch and follow Gin but the latter manages to give him the slip. At an alley, Gin runs into the white Sky Beast being chased by the MIBs. They want him to stay away from this blood sucking creature. The Sky Beast escapes and one of the MIBs, Eyes touches Gin’s stomach and understood. By the time Akai arrives, he only sees Eyes as he wants him to tell everything he knows about Gin. Seikichi takes a walk to the bridge to see a bunch of kids playing sparklers. Onui and Shinza are also there. That guy has been released but is covered in bandages. Something about he didn’t tell the interrogators about the fireworks. Onui laments there used to be fireworks every day when it was leading up to the festival. Seikichi reasons it with economic cutbacks as fireworks are just luxuries. But seeing how down they are, he says there are better things for people to look up to. Wondering if there really are fireworks that can reach the moon, Onui and Shinza get excited over that idea. They really want to see his fireworks and even the kids support him. Returning home, they see a large crowd around Sora. They are amazed by the change in the flame colours she is demonstrating. Even Seikichi is taken in by them. Sora shows him a bag of magical powder in which it can change the colour when mixed with gunpowder. It has a substance called Strontium Carbonate, a white powder that allows the colour to be changed. Everyone believes Seikichi is the only one in Edo who can make the fireworks reach the moon. Seikichi gets fired up to do this and not only for fun, but so that everyone can look up to it. With his skills and her intelligence, they can pull this big thing off. With that, Sora declares she is staying with him. Is this allowed? Suddenly an old man, the retired resident and mysterious landlord of this place who rarely makes his public appearance, Goinkyo emerges with his bevy of beauties. He gives Sora the green light to stay here.

Episode 3
Tenten and Tenhou couldn’t find any records on Sora. Realizing that launching the biggest fireworks to the moon will even attract Mizuno and Torii, they vow to protect Seikichi’s cause. Torii talks to North Edo magistrate head, Kinshirou Tooyama about Mizuno’s imposing more ban on luxuries. Yeah, even tofu mustn’t be this big. WTF?! Even funerals must be frugal? Totally a boring era to live in. Tooyama wonders about those Sky Beasts but Torii feigns he doesn’t know about them. If they do exist, they must not be allowed to loiter around Edo. Torii goes to see Akai in a torture chamber. The MIBs didn’t get much info out of him. I’m not sure if Akai is a masochist because he wants to get tortured more by Torii. Plus, seeing that they are no ordinary people, Akai wants to join them. Shunpei is flustered and having second thoughts about entering Sora’s room. I guess feelings of the heart are more complicated than maths. Eventually the other guys barge in without permission but Sora is not around. They notice her futon in the ceiling. Gin is surprised when he finds Sora in his house. She asks if he is alright. Thinking it was that encounter with the Sky Beast, he says he is alright and that some weird fellow just rubbed his stomach. Then the rest finds them and since Seikichi teases Gin likes Sora, Gin fools around that she is too good for him. This causes Seikichi to leave with Sora and the rest close behind.

As Gin leaves, he comes into Akai who wants him to follow him to the woods. Gin is assaulted by the MIBs but he fights back and manages to ‘unlock’ and break the armour of a couple of MIBs. He also notices Torii aiming at him and warns him he can still take him out. Torii puts his gun down and reveals his face so Gin goes on his knees. Torii praises his skills and asks if he has a little pouch with the word ‘Sky’ on it. He does but he can’t seem to open it. However Torii easily unfurls this Tenkai Knot and inside the pouch, a letter that states “Chief of the Men In Black”. Akai explains the MIB are a secret group of agents set up by Lord Ieyasu. Though they disguise as ordinary townsfolk, they serve the Tokugawa government in secrecy in times of unrest. However peace lasted for over 240 years and these MIBs have forgotten about their duty. Torii learnt of it and tracked down each of the MIB descendants. Taking Gin to a meteor crash site, the first one happened 2 weeks ago and just 3 days ago, another meteor appeared as if it was chasing the first one and exploded in mid-air. The ‘meteor’ turns out to be an alien spaceship or as they put it, a mechanical shooting star. Showing him the melted Sky Beast body and the rumours of people being drained of their blood, these are indeed the deeds of the Sky Beast. If they kill one, they don’t know how many more will appear. Torii can’t let the public know about this unbelievable story and you have to be powerful enough to engage them. Thus this is where the MIBs, bequeath with special powers since birth come in. He wants Gin to take his place as the chief of MIB but he doesn’t want to have anything to do with this and runs away. He runs to Ise’s place and needs to borrow some money as the magistrate has found him and will be hunting him down. However he wants to help Seikichi launch his fireworks first. Ise slaps him and tells him about the things he wants to do. Though she may be running a pawn shop, there are some stuffs that people don’t want. She throws down his weapon Truncheon Keys and wants him to take them away.

After she leaves, one of the MIBs, Ears (seen crawling on the ceiling like a bug) mentions about a famous pair of thieves from Osaka: Night Cherry and Silver Fox (Ise and Gin respectively). They were caught by the ex-police intendant of East Osaka, Heihachiro Oshio. Ise didn’t like how the Osaka magistrate is stocking up grain to deliver to Edo to suck up on them and the common people suffering. Oshio admits it but wants to do something for the common good. He needs somebody to snoop around so Gin agrees to help his cause for the greater good. Soon, Oshio led a rebellion but his plan ended in shambles because there was a traitor among his men who leaked information to the other side. Oshio and Gin run to a secluded place but are eventually surrounded. Oshio wants Gin to make a run as he has already given up and lost. Of course Gin didn’t like that but Oshio blows himself up in a hut. Ise pulled Gin away before he met the same fate. That’s when Gin thought he will only live the rest of his life for himself and will never work for the cause of others. Sure brings back memories, eh? Ears mentions Torii also knows about his past and if he refuses to take up this duty, not only they will pursue till the ends of the Earth, all those related to him especially from Furai Row will be thrown into prison. Gin has lots on his mind as he bumps into Seikichi and Sora who are still bent on making the fireworks to the moon. Seikichi feels everyone will change after seeing it and that fireworks aren’t just for fun. This has Gin rushing off to the meteor crash site. Speaking of which, Akai encounters a Sky Beast. Gin faces off with it as he takes up his post as the chief of MIB because he believes he has his own path to walk.

Episode 4
Shunpei finds Seikichi tying Sora to a tree! He wants Shunpei to help out too! Rape play?! Trying to find a mathematical equation to this threesome? Actually Seikichi is mixing some fireworks powder and each time he does it, Sora tried to stop him so he tied her up. He wants Shunpei to watch her but she scoots off. Shunpei goes after her but loses sight. He thought she was hiding behind a mini shrine but it turns out to be Genzo. Who? The cross-dresser whom nobody remembers. Who again? Meanwhile Gin manages to wound the blue Sky Beast when the white one comes into the fray. It passes them and heads into the pod. Noticing it won’t fly and it is set on self-destruct mode, the white Sky Beast jumps out before it explodes and protects Gin from the debris. Gin and the MIBs recover from the shock but find all the Sky Beasts missing, including the melted body. Seems the living blue Sky Beast has merged with its dead counterpart. Bad luck for Shunpei and Genzo because they come across this Sky Beast. Thankfully they pass out from the fright. Gin thrusts his Truncheon Key into the Sky Beast and though it wasn’t killed, it escaped. The white one watches in astonishment from a distance. Later, Torii appoints Gin as the Edo magistrate’s secret agent head. Explaining that each of the MIBs are named after a body part because of their specialty in using that area, as the chief of the MIBs, Gin’s nickname will be… Belly Button. Not a laughing matter! I guess that’s why his stomach was rubbed then, eh? But seriously, have we see Gin using his belly button? Akai thought he had the last laugh till Torii has him to take orders from Gin. Haha. Now Gin is his superior. Sora is also eavesdropping the conversation from behind a tree.

While Seikichi is sleeping Sora mixes her combustion booster into his fireworks powder. Later excited Seikichi finds Shunpei to demonstrate the power of the powder he has mixed. After lighting the fuse, the bowl blasts right through the roof and into the sky. Maybe he can reach the moon after all. The bowl crashes into Goinkyo’s home and inches away from the old dude. Having an audience with everyone, Seikichi plans to launch his fireworks on 28th of August on the closing day of the Sumida River Festival. Even if there will be lesser fireworks on the reforms, the Kagiya counterpart will put a huge display on the last day and if they launch right in the middle of it, they can hide the noise and the smoke. The problem is where to launch it. Goinkyo suggests launching it right here as long as everyone keeps it a secret and they remain careful not to cause a fire. As for Akai who still has his eyes on Seikichi, Gin further suggests to put on a festival dance rehearsal as a distraction. With that, everybody gets excited to make preparations. Yeah, they’re borrowing stuffs from Ise’s pawn shop. On the final night of the festival, Akai is whisked away by the Furai Row gang for a dance rehearsal. Seikichi makes his final preparations to launch his fireworks from a distance when Sora comes by to apologize before going off. After he lights the fuse, Gin comes asking Seikichi if he had seen Sora. They see her getting into a portable shrine she loaned from Ise that is stuck on top of the fireworks. In the commotion, the duo get into the cramp space and are locked in. Sora reveals her intention was to fly to the moon and the door is tightly locked since they’re going to space. However Seikichi tells her it won’t fly this high with this weight and that the fireworks will be blown to bits. They have to get out now. When Sora mentions if she had told them this, they wouldn’t have taken her seriously but Seikichi is more upset that she planned to leave without saying goodbye. That ‘sorry’ isn’t going to cut it. I guess he was so angry that Seikichi manages to break down the door. They all escape before the fireworks launch but halfway in mid-air, it explodes. A big disappointment to the gang who now feels it is really impossible to reach the moon. And Seikichi is still hurt that Sora should’ve told them the truth from the start. He is sad that she plans to disappear suddenly just like how she appeared. Sora apologizes but Seikichi corrects her that people say goodbye when they leave, not sorry. Sora couldn’t understand why Seikichi is crying.

Episode 5
Gin sends Seikichi and Sora to the hotsprings so he can launch his fireworks without anyone seeing and also for him to make up with Sora. Seikichi is troubled that he needs a much more powerful rocket if he is going to reach the moon but the problem is the more powerful it is, the higher its chance it will explode. But more absurd, Sora wants to go there. When Sora brings up the topic of Princess Kaguya, she reveals that she too fell from the moon and is the Princess Kaguya of Edo. Of course Seikichi doesn’t believe her. More unbelievable, a tanned guy, Tetsuju shows up and does some weird language talk and pose with Sora! Is it some greeting? Nope. Noble Lunar tongue. WTF?! Oh, Tetsuju speaks their language too so we don’t have to go bananas to figure what he’s trying to say. He is going to bring his princess back but Seikichi isn’t so keen. I mean, Tetsuju is holding a welcoming party for Sora in the woods. A bar in the woods with his racoon buddies? Does this guy have any other friends? Seikichi and Tetsuju get into a tussle over Sora but since that girl is drunk and wants to stay (even wanting to follow Tetsuju home), Seikichi reluctantly leaves. On his way, he bumps into a bear and got the fright of his life. He turns around and runs back to the duo to seek for help. Turns out this bear, Yoshikawa is another one of Tetsuju’s buddy. Haha. Now they think Seikichi wants to come along with them. Inside Tetsuju’s hut, he shows them a shiny metal piece called Beetle Stone, supposedly their clan’s heirloom and a fragment of Princess Kaguya’s pod whom she granted his ancestors with. Seikichi still doesn’t believe that legend crap but Sora is still drunk to request Tetsuju to tell it. 100 years ago, a pod carrying Princess Kaguya crashed by the mountains and became involved with the villagers (the ancestors) who witnessed the crash. Her servants in the form of pink will-o-wisp continued to protect this sacred ground. Sora wants to know the all important part of how Princess Kaguya returned to the moon. I guess this is a cue for Seikichi to say she’ll go home via his fireworks.

When Sora finally takes a puke, Tetsuju tells Seikichi that he will take over Sora’s request of sending her back to the moon. He further mocks him that even though he has worked hard on his fireworks launcher his entire life, it will never be enough to reach the moon. He feels his rockets are superior and that task is not impossible and wants Seikichi to admit his shortcomings. However Seikichi is upset not because of whether it can reach the moon or not. He is worried about Sora’s safety if the fireworks reach that high. Guess what? Sora heard all that. Sure she isn’t drunk? Seikichi is so embarrassed that he runs all the way to Tetsuju’s rocket hut. Inside, he finds large rocket tubes made of iron filled with gunpowder fuses attached. It also has grease all over so it can be easily ignited when there is wind or rain. With Tetsuju mentioning this Ryusei Rocket as his life and soul, Seikichi remembers hearing rumours of such rockets that shakes the ground, defies the sky and flies up in a straight line. Seikichi realizes Tetsuju isn’t all just talk and that his hands are dirty and greasy as proof he is a skilled fireworks artisan. Sora also notices the same on Seikichi’s hands and starts rubbing it enough to set fire! Then she does the same on Tetsuju’s hands and this leads to him igniting his Ryusei Rocket. So it’s blast-off for that guy into the sky. Seikichi gets motivation and idea to fulfil Sora’s request. He’s going to see his job till the end even if it is absurd. As Seikichi relaxes in the hotspring, Sora thanks him for worrying for her. I guess she wasn’t drunk enough to forget that, eh? And Tetsuju comes parachuting down into the hotspring… So that’s what the racoon buddy he grabbed before blast-off was for.

Episode 6
Tetsuju is rudely awakened when a woman from Kagiya, Riku descends from a helicopter. Wait a minute! A helicopter in this era?! And why the heck is Tetsuju sleeping naked?! Don’t worry, the racoon is covering the necessary parts. Riku wants to know where Seikichi is but as being told, he already went down the mountain with Sora. Oh, looks like she has that jealous looks upon knowing about the other woman. After that, she lights the fuse and sends Tetsuju blasting into the sky strapped to a rocket. Meanwhile Seikichi is testing his fireworks and with Shunpei’s calculations, there are vast improvements. Now all he needs is for it to make the distance to the moon. And if there are any maths problems, Shunpei can always post them at the shrine and this Genzo dude can help solve it. I guess this is his only way of getting noticed. Only his solutions, not him. Gin and the MIBs yet again find another dead young woman as a victim of the Sky Beast. Akai comes face to face with one and he is so scared that he peed in his pants! It escapes when the MIBs come round the corner. Elsewhere, the reckless pyromaniac Riku threatens to blow up Furai Row’s residence if they don’t tell her where Seikichi is. Oops. Too late. Boom! But everything returns back to normal when she breaks the fourth wall about the backdrops being cell drawings. Like that helicopter. Goinkyo recognizes Riku as Seikichi’s childhood friend so she reveals her intention to take Seikichi back to Kagiya. The rest misinterprets they are to be engaged. So when Seikichi shows up, first thing Riku did was to size up Sora. She thinks he has been deceived by Sora. Since fireworks are nothing more than superfluous distractions and with Mizuno’s reforms, making such fireworks that can reach the moon will mean that he will be arrested right away from infringing the frugal decree. She adds he is only making fireworks because he likes her and that she may be a secret spy from the magistrate waiting to catch him in the act. Seikichi rubbishes her claims and asserts he just wants everyone from the Shogun down to the normal folks to look up to his fireworks. Riku got upset and runs away. Akai spots her and thinks she is conspiring with Seikichi but easily believed her words that he should keep an eye on Seikichi for flouting the law.

While Shunpei cannot understand the irrationality why girls keep flocking to Seikichi, big brother explains to Sora that Kagiya once took him under their wing. Since they make custom fireworks for the wealthy, he hated that and ran away. Riku returns to her house and her father still thinks Seikichi is better when it comes to making fireworks. Later Sora comes by to clear up the misunderstanding to Riku that Seikichi isn’t making fireworks because he likes her. It is because she needs his fireworks to return to the moon. So once his fireworks are ready, it’ll be goodbye. If Seikichi liked her, he wouldn’t build the fireworks and let her leave. The ladies talk about Seikichi’s character and even know his phrase in using fireworks to conquer the world. Suddenly the Sky Beast attacks them. Riku fires at it with her own handmade fireworks launcher even if it will attract Akai’s attention. All the better. She wants him to notice it too. Akai quickly brings Torii to Furai Row to arrest Seikichi for committing a crime. But they see the fireworks in the distance so Torii recognizes it from Kagiya’s side and takes his leave. I guess Akai must be red faced over his blooper and blames it on Riku deceiving him. Though the Sky Beast is gone, I’m sure that is a good thing compared to a few demolished blocks and afro hairstyles. Riku will just tell the authorities she messed up the fireworks due to her inexperience. She wished Seikichi would make fireworks for her but he’s always talking about ‘everyone’. Akai returns home to see the wounded Sky Beast lying on his floor. It transforms into a beautiful babe seeking for his help.

Episode 7
Shunpei advises Seikichi and Sora that they shouldn’t do everything by themselves and if they ask, the others will gladly help. But Seikichi isn’t being selfish or what. He wants to do it alone because he doesn’t want to get others into trouble. Santa and Rokubei are hanging around outside while the rest ponder what happened to Shinza. They think he must’ve learnt his lesson after getting caught. Actually he is taking all precautions to avoid being followed. He meets a master in a secret shrine as they are engineering some big mechanical robot in secret. When Shinza leaves, an assassin attacks and chases after him. The next morning, Gin is in a frenzy as he comes running down to Furai Row because he heard rumours someone resembling Shinza has been killed at the temple and wants to ascertain it. Everyone starts to jump the gun Shinza is really dead. A WTF moment when they bring the real Shinza out and start telling him he got killed! Gin has had enough of their stupidity so he tells them off who is this dude if Shinza was killed at the temple? Onui’s answer: A ghost! WTF?! Stupid girl! Must be getting very pissed and tired to correct those stupid people that Shinza IS NOT DEAD, eh? So rumours said it was Shinza because of the umbrella the victim (that mechanical master) had bore his name. The rest fears now the Sky Beast isn’t targeting young women but men as well. Shinza returns to the crime scene and thinks the authorities have found out about their mechanical robot. He needs to do something about it and sneaks into the hideout. In his panic, he activates the giant mechanical female peasant robot. Worse, it is out of control and goes on a rampage. Furai Row people can tell it is Shinza’s property because of his name engraved on the robot. They try all sorts of tricks to stop it but to no avail. Besides, it’s heading towards their block. Goinkyo has an idea: Run away! What?! That’s because if it gets too close, they’ll have no time to run. What about their homes? He’s confident they’ll think of something. WTF?!

Since Genzo and his mom are in harm’s way, Sora leaps into action and jumps to the back of the robot. Conveniently there is a screw and a sign that warns ‘do not turn’. What happens if you do? The entire robot just breaks apart! Just like that! As Sora flies down with Shinza safely in her arms, everyone is in shocked to see what Sora did but she just plays cool and walks away. Shinza’s ass is ‘saved’ when the people think the robot is a café owner’s publicity stunt. Seikichi catches up with Sora and wants to know why she left. She didn’t want to land everyone in trouble. Seikichi asks her again if she is from the moon and really wants to return there. In addition to confirming his questions, she adds she is an interplanetary traveller but had an accident on this planet. If she gets to the moon, she can contact her friends but her ship was destroyed, thus the reason she asked their help. She thought after seeing their shocked faces, like as thought they saw a monster, that task seems impossible. Seikichi chides her for thinking they are narrow-minded people and that she is underestimating them because like hell they’ll treat her like a monster. He drags her back and to her surprise, everyone warmly welcomes the heroine and treats her nicely like they have always been. With this case settled, Goinkyo resolves their destroyed homes problem. How? With a push of a button, a new sparkling home is replaced! WTF?! I won’t say it looks new but rundown and dilapidated. But it indeed is sparkling. Seeing that everyone is going to help Sora go back to the moon, Goinkyo calls the thing that ‘the woman will fly towards the moon’ as Rocket. Everyone gets excited to do this and Seikichi is going to make this their gigantic dragon that will soar above the skylines of Edo. Meanwhile the assassin has claimed another victim and he turns out to be… Akai!

Episode 8
Gin and Seikichi talk about what Sora did, make a rhyming pun with her name and it would be troublesome if anyone else sees her flying. Especially Akai. Oh wait. There she is nonchalantly floating in the sky! In a different region, a mother is trying to pacifying her crying baby when Akai kills her! OMG! He drains her blood into a vase and lets the baby cry. He returns home to give Blue Woman the blood to drink but she is not happy since she wanted blood of young woman. He complains he has to go to another region to get them but she says if he doesn’t like it, she can drink his blood. Then she seduces him into working for her. I guess any cries from babies would start to give Akai the shivers. Rokubei shows Sora a tube he has made for the Rocket but Sora notes that won’t do and they need a nozzle instead. Seikichi thinks she’s been rude because Rokubei worked so hard on it. She gets up and leaves. Then she gets an idea to gather the fragments from the pod. Akai heads to the magistrate office and he is starting to get cautious since Torii has also note the murders are occurring in another region. He decides not to tell him the truth and as he leaves for lunch, he is surprised to see Blue Woman right at the doorstep. Is she trying to get him into trouble? Noting that the MIBs are away and that she is here to collect fragments of the pod to leave this planet, she has Akai pretend to take her in as a criminal so they can enter the storehouse. However Blue Woman gets vexed when she sees the white Sky Beast rummaging for parts. If you haven’t guessed it by now, the white Sky Beast is Sora’s true form. Sora escapes and Blue Woman wanted to give chase but since she didn’t drink enough blood to transform to her true form, she discharges a blue Sky Beast clone from her back to chase her. Later Akai bumps into Seikichi. He is suspicious of Sora so Seikichi wants him to leave Sora who has nothing to do with it all out of it. Akai gets upset and beats him up in public for trying to order him around. Seikichi keeps his cool and apologizes, mentioning that the Goinkyo had requested him to take care of Sora who is his friend. Akai badmouths the Furai Row people as useless trash but they seemed so happy. In contrast, though he is just a poor sergeant, he isn’t happy. He corrects himself that he is having fun ever since meeting her, he has been murdering people secretly and that the magistrate doesn’t even notice.

The MIBs attack the white Sky Beast thinking she is the culprit. Sora didn’t want to face off with Gin and runs into the town to change back to her human form. Gin passes by Sora as she points the way of the Sky Beast. However Gin knows this is a dead giveaway that she is the Sky Beast because it is as though she knows he is chasing one. Gin says she has deceived him and the rest and that the reason why the Sky Beast isn’t caught is because it can blend itself with the crowd. Looking at Sora’s arm, there is the wound Gin just inflicted her with his Truncheon Key. He couldn’t believe she is the culprit but Sora explains she isn’t the one. She is chasing after a criminal from her home planet and came here to arrest her. Gin still doesn’t believe her when the blue Sky Beast drops in. Sora wants him to believe in her and let her do her duty. Transforming into a Sky Beast before his eyes, Sora fights her blue counterpart. With the MIBs coming into the picture, Gin observes the fight and orders his men to attack the blue beast simultaneously. In the end, they manage to kill it but Gin allows Sora to escape giving an excuse that they need to get incinerate the dead one before it revives again. Later Gin and Sora talk. Gin thinks his mission is accomplished after killing it but Sora notes it’s not over yet. The one he killed was just a clone. The blue Sky Beast cloned itself to many different bodies to minimise the effects of the crash landing. Gin agrees to help her out and hopes they can both keep each other’s secret a secret from everyone else. But Sora has no qualms in telling it to everyone! Akai thinks if they helped the blue Sky Beast back then, he would’ve been suspected. Blue Woman notes she’ll be able to leave this planet once she returns to her true form. But for the time being, Akai allows her to stay here. Feeling good about it, he goes out to get fresh blood for her. Sora returns and shows them a fragment in the shape of a nozzle. Rokubei gets motivation to make the Rocket part in this shape.

Episode 9
The gang tests launch using a launch tower and with the great hurling power, the wooden bucket is hurled high up into the sky. A big success if you could call it. But Sora is worried about the escape velocity. Ise picks up Seikichi and treats him for lunch to find out his progress on his Rocket. Elsewhere Gin meets with Sora to talk about her duty as an interplanetary police escorting a criminal. Ise and Seikichi spot Gin and Sora together and think they are having a secret love affair. Seikichi is so bothered at this that he can’t sleep well and kept dreaming about the duo repetitively calling each other’s name! When Seikichi and Sora are fixing another prototype Rocket, he wanted to ask Sora and her relationship with Gin but was nervous and eventually cut out with Ise’s appearance. Launching the prototype, it explodes in mid-air so Sora summarizes the constriction at the front end of the nozzle. Even though they have boosted propulsion, the increased internal pressure exceeded to strength of the tube. Seikichi stays positive and vows to make a sturdy tube to channel that explosion into propulsion. Ise cheers for him and kisses him on the cheek! Sora may not understand what’s going on even if flustering Seikichi tries to explain there is nothing going on between him and Ise. Meanwhile Akai sees a lottery poster that will commemorate the launch of the flying dragon. His informant confirms about this as both events are illegal under Mizuno’s reform and will get to the bottom of this. Seikichi is still anxious about Sora’s relationship with Gin and when he finally asks her, I guess he must have mistaken her words of huge, hard and heavy to be his dick! Actually she was referring to the giant bell she ordered that has just arrived. Shunpei calculates and finds it would be too heavy to fly even if it’s stuffed with gunpowder. Till Genzo suggests to hurl it with Shinza’s launch tower before ignition to give an initial push. But trouble comes knocking because Santa and co show Seikichi and the rest about the lottery. They are not happy somebody is trying to make money out of this and if Akai finds out about this, they’ll be arrested. Goinkyo thought they should use their money to buy all the tickets but since they are this poor, he can’t help them. They’re on their own. They think of doing one final launch before dismantling the tower.

Gin goes to see Ise as he suspects she is the one who sets this up. She admits it so Gin chides her this isn’t entertainment and to them this is the job of a lifetime. They won’t give up even if they’re hunted down by the government. Ise gives the name of the bookmaker, Masakichi. Outside, Gin sees Ise’s man helping out with gunpowder so he thinks she too gets embarrassed if people notice her helping Seikichi. She makes it clear that they pay with labour while she pays with money and isn’t going to let them get all the credit. Gin laughs out loud when Ise thinks he and Sora has something going on. Of course there isn’t. Akai has already got hold of the bookmaker’s name and is on his way to make his arrest when he bumps into Gin. A cat with the lottery in its mouth passes by and Gin thinks it will be bad if Akai knows this and trips him. Gin follows the cat and sees hundreds of cats with the lottery heading towards Goinkyo. Seems this is part of his scheme to retrieve and burn them all. By the time Akai arrives, all the proof are up in smoke. Akai thought he has the last laugh and shows them a lottery he possessed. But Goinkyo just blows it away into the fire. Haha. Now there is really no proof. Elsewhere Seikichi and co successfully launch the bell prototype but the explosion inside the bell is making the bell ring. The noise will attract the authorities and they will get arrested. As the bell floats down slowly with a parachute, the gang are anxious for it to drop faster as they need to hide it since the authorities may be here any minute. Sora is relieved that they can’t use the bell to launch and this means she can stay longer with Seikichi. Shinza shoots a bazooka at the bell but it ricochets off. Sora seems to be having fun and Seikichi can’t understand what’s going on.

Episode 10
Tenten and Tenhou show a video replay to Tooyama how Goinkyo destroyed the last piece of that lottery evidence. Noting that that they know nothing about him and that he has pulled off some miraculous yet mysterious occurrences, Tooyama offers the duo to investigate. Plus, Seikichi and Sora has been missing for these few days. They tail Goinkyo going about town but don’t find anything suspicious. So they turn their attention to search his house. They feel Goinkyo has something to do with Seikichi and Sora’s disappearance and has an ulterior to use Seikichi’s Rocket for his own purpose, thus silencing them. Meanwhile Mizuno himself sees Torii and Tooyama. He tells them not to get involved with Goinkyo and pretend he doesn’t exist. He seems pretty panicky when he said that (not sure about the love making act he put up). Tooyama smells something fishy so Mizuno whispers something unbelievable in his ear. Tooyama comes running down to Furai Row but the residents are suspicious of this suspicious person and start beating him up. They finally stop when Tooyama reveals himself as Kin-san the Playboy. Everybody starts hailing him! There is this popular rumour going around that the north magistrate disguises himself as a playboy each time he comes down to town. Tooyama is so confident of his disguise that he gets pissed off if anyone calls him the magistrate. Anyway he is here to ask for directions to Goinkyo’s house. Tenten and Tenhou find lots of weird contraptions, devices and jar specimens inside the house. There are also a pair of familiar cats (you should be able to tell by their traits that they are Seikichi and Sora). Akai and the MIBs are searching Goinkyo’s house when Gin arrives to tell him to stop the search since Torii himself has rescinded that order. Akai is not happy since this ruins his chance to rid the Furai Row residence. After they leave, Gin knows Tenten and Tenhou are hiding nearby. They show themselves and reveal their purpose of looking for their friends. Gin doubts that and wonders their real objective. Tenhou says they just want to see Seikichi’s Rocket and fireworks that everyone is working on. Both seem to have an idea who the other is and since they can’t trust each other, they start throwing weapons.

Tenhou and Tenten hide till Gin leaves. But they chose the wrong place because after coming out from that compressed coffin, the duo find themselves as cats! So the cats start singing Broadway style despite not understanding what they’re saying. At the end of it, Goinkyo appears but Tenten and Tenhou bare their fangs. Goinkyo fires a ray gun at them and returns them to their normal selves. Quickly Tenten and Tenhou threaten Goinkyo to spill the truth but Seikichi and Sora explain the misunderstanding. They were here to deliver some sweets but got lost and ended up in this room accidentally transformed into cats. By the time frantic Tooyama comes by, it is all over. Once he learns what happened, he apologizes to Seikichi for the trouble and not to hold it against the duo since they were acting under his orders. Plus, they acted for his safety. Tenten and Tenhou also apologize to Goinkyo. Revealing they were once popular entertainers till the reforms set in, when they were in dire straits, Tooyama took them in as spies for the magistrate. That’s when they decided to live for survival instead of ideals. But looking at Seikichi, he is different as he is pure and straightforward. That’s why he should stay this way forever. They really wanted to see his Rocket that reaches the moon but since they have been exposed, they can’t stay here anymore. As Tooyama comes to pick them up, Seikichi and the rest invite them to come have some warm nabe with them. I guess this means they would rather stay with the pack rather than go back with Tooyama. Tenhou and Gin make peace and as for Tooyama, he knows Goinkyo’s real identity is Gennai Hiraga but couldn’t care less about other details like his age. And nobody realized Genzo is still a bird… Was he? Hah! Didn’t even realize that.

Episode 11
Seikichi and co test run another Rocket launch but it still ends in failure. Even though the construction is much better this time (the nozzle only cracked when it crashed), the gang can’t help feel depressed since they put in lots of hard work to construct the high end material only to have it destroyed in the failure. Elsewhere Akai and Blue Woman are on another killing spree. This time a greasy elderly man is the victim. She mentions she is not here to take blood for fun. What she needs is life as she evolves by absorbing life force of intelligent beings. Soon Akai calls the MIBs for yet another murder victim as they go in search. Sora in Sky Beast form pursues Blue Woman and vows to bring her back with her. Since they have no ship, Blue Woman realizes she is making Seikichi create one and will have that. Sora attacks but Blue Woman screams that she is under the attack of a Sky Beast. While she escapes, thankfully it is only Gin who comes into the picture. As she transforms back to her human form, Gin fakes a story she fainted after seeing a Sky Beast but Akai is not convinced since the scream sounded like a more sexy and mature woman. However the MIBs note that there is no one else so she’s safe for now. Meanwhile Genzo laments how he accidentally fell into Goinkyo’s contraption and turned into a pigeon. He flies to the mountains and starts writing his maths equation. Tetsuju is amazed by it and wants Genzo to be his friend Suneo. Suneo who? Genzo gets an idea that he will let Tetsuju chase him back to Furai Row and pinpoint this is no ordinary pigeon and let everyone realize he is Genzo. Seikichi is not too happy to see Sora and Gin together. Gin just says they met by coincidence. However Seikichi’s words that she is not normal hurt her feelings despite he meant he is worried of her safety if everyone else catches her flying.

Tetsuju chases Genzo with his rocket booster boat! He crashes into Furai Row and once Sora and Tetsuju greet each other, the Furai Row residence think nothing more and return to their homes. So much for Genzo’s return. Seikichi gets an idea after looking at Tetsuju’s booster. Tenhou and Tenten bring Gin to see Tooyama while Akai complains to Torii that Gin joined the MIB for some ulterior motive and isn’t serious in capturing the Sky Beast. But Torii dismisses his claims and even though Gin was once a thief, he used his powers for the common good. Akai still not happy follows Gin to a shop and eavesdrop his conversation with Tooyama. Tooyama knows there is more to Torii’s motive in capturing the Sky Beast. Once he finds out the truth, Torii and Mizuno will have to step down. He has already discussed this with senior councillor Toishitsura Doi and Mashiro Abe, the magistrate of temples and shrines. He also wants Gin to be his spy seeing Torii is using his past to blackmail him and will threaten to expose his secrets should he turn against him. Tooyama promises he will not do that. Gin rejects his claims and says he did it on his own decision and wanted to use his strange abilities for good. In actual fact if he tells everything about the Sky Beast, he can’t protect Sora anymore. His true goal is to kill Blue Woman and send Sora back unharmed. Tooyama feels he is protecting something important but Gin wonders what could that be when Ise comes by to tell him Seikichi is causing his usual ruckus.

Seikichi and Shunpei tie the rocket booster to their boat loaded with poo and faeces (under this disguise that they need to send fertilizer to their buyer, at least they can save cost and avoid any suspicions). The blast off works but notes they need to do something about the stability. Tetsuju sees this as a challenge to him and joins in. His ruckus causes Seikichi’s boat to break loose of its rope and dash forward like a wild horse. Seikichi pushes Shunpei off seeing he needs to salvage the nozzle. Initially he didn’t want to race with Tetsuju but since that idiot challenged him over the rights to send Sora to the moon, he got dragged into his pace. Sora wanted to fly and save them but was stopped by Onui that she will attract attention especially Akai’s. If they do that they won’t be able to stay together as they are not normal. They? Riku overhears the watching villagers commenting how a couple of guys are in a race over a woman. Not thrilled seeing Seikichi in it (acting like a jealous girl too), she joins in the race. I wonder how she got time to load her boat powered by her fireworks explosive. She even makes a condition that if she wins, Seikichi has to follow her back. Tetsuju’s constant mocking over her fireworks has her throw one of her bombs into his hands. BOOM! Seikichi is thrown off his boat and is drowning. Sora dives in to save him. In the end, Seikichi’s boat and all the faeces are still intact. Sora rubs Seikichi’s hands to create fire and I guess the mixture with the smell of the poo causes an explosive reaction. Now it’s raining sh*t all over town! IT STINKS!!! Why is Sora laughing? Gin realizes the thing he wants to protect is Sora’s smile.

Episode 12
Shunpei and Onui step out of a modern train and into modern Tokyo city?! Then they turn back and the setting reverts back to their own era. WTH?! What’s Najenaje?! As Seikichi and co test launch another Rocket, another failure because it goes astray, chases after them and ends up destroying a hut. They can even tell jokes that break the fourth wall that all they need to do is to redraw the Rocket for the next episode. Shunpei is distraught that the launch went astray despite his perfect calculations. He gets stressed out thinking irrational things in this world (which includes Seikichi and Sora together). Goinkyo interrupts them to tell a good story on Shunpei. Long time ago in the land called Java, there was a boy named Najenaje. It actually stands for Nazenaze which means “Why, why”. This kid was always asking questions to things he doesn’t know. Not only people got fed up, he too ran out of things to ask. One day he had this ultimate mind boggling question: Why does he worry so much. To answer it, he left on a journey that turns out to be like an RPG adventure. Too bad the story is to be continued despite Shunpei himself wanting to hear more. He isn’t going to tell them since it’s more fun that way. What a damper. What Onui understood was Shunpei should go on a quest to look for his own Najenaje. Thus Onui becomes his guide and drags him around town. Since running around in circles didn’t work, they decide to ask people on the streets. However they are preoccupied or too busy to even stay focus on their question. I guess that’s how the journey took them to modern day Shunjuku train station, eh? Since the day is ending, Onui suggests continuing tomorrow. It’s continuing? Meanwhile Akai in disguise targets a lone woman. Before he could kill her and take her blood, seems it is a bait to draw the murderer out. Gin is cross-dressed as a woman and they both clash swords. Gin doesn’t realize he is Akai but gets the goosebumps when Akai licks him! Probably he couldn’t focus much and got the chance to escape. Yeah, Gin hopes never to see that pervert again. Akai returns home and tells Blue Woman he couldn’t get any blood tonight but he is impressed that he is able to hold his ground against Gin. All those killings may have improved his skill.

Next morning, Onui happily continues their search but Shunpei suggests they should ask someone they know instead of searching blindly. They bump into Tenten and Tenhou who points out to Tooyama. However they didn’t get much since they accidentally called him the magistrate instead of his playboy fame so he got mad. Then they try Ise but it’s either she thinks money or her porn book will solve their woes. Porn book? Who says women can’t be perverts? As for Riku, she’s drunk and ranting about her love story and wants them to stay and listen. They threaten to leave so she agrees to hear them out. Guess what? She doesn’t know the answer.  Oh well… But she points to the fortune teller down the street. After fooling around, he gets real and notes Shunpei’s worry may stem from a nearby beast. Onui panics and takes Shunpei away. In the end, Shunpei thinks nobody cares about him since nobody can solve his problem. Onui notes he may just be worried about Seikichi and Sora when Shunpei remembers something from his past. There’s a dog he used to talk and play with when he was 8 years old. He couldn’t stand his parents fighting so he ran away with the dog. It’s like he heard the voice of the dog telling him they should go away. Onui guesses the dog must be female (big probability it’s her). However Shunpei couldn’t go though he doesn’t know why. Then looking at his abacus, he might have found the answer. Whenever there were problems he couldn’t understand, the teacher said he would always explain to him one day but if he went away, he’ll never find out the answer for the rest of his life. He didn’t want that and never left. Thus he let the dog go alone. He finally understands that the reason he worries is because it is him. If he stops worrying, he won’t be himself and that it is fine this way. He thanks her as they walk home hand in hand. Onui says the dog never forgot about him and was happy that he let it go then. Shunpei is about to tell his brother his discovery when Goinkyo interrupts them because he has just finished editing his continuation of his story. However Shunpei turns the eager old man down because he already understood and doesn’t need to watch the next episode. All the hard work he put in… Santa and Rokubei tease Onui for flirting with Shunpei but she’s not telling them anything.

Episode 13
Blue Woman impersonates as a victim of the blood sucking monster so that she could kill and suck the blood out of an unsuspecting young woman. Gruesome and bloody death. Gin and the MIBs pick up the body later but Gin corrects his men that this is the doing of the blue Sky Beast instead of the white one. Despite them incinerating the blue Sky Beast’s earlier body, Akai tries to make a point that Gin hates the blue one for some reason. Later Gin talks to Sora that she should stay low for now since people can’t tell apart the white and blue Sky Beasts as they resemble closely similar (they must be colour blind). Eyes talks to Ears and Arms about the Sky Beast always staying a step ahead of them. He thinks their chief might have something to do with this but the rest feel he can’t be a traitor. Why would he go after the blue Sky Beast and the way he acts could be interpreted as trying to protect the white one and let it go? Plus, why is Akai giving them orders to stay out of Furai Row?  Blue Woman just finished her feasting and probably wanted to give Akai a seductive reward. However he’ll have to wait for another time since she smelt something not of this world and heads off. Nearby, Seikichi and Shunpei test another Rocket but again it ends in failure since it lacks stability.

Next day, Eyes tries to sow more doubt into the rest of his comrades about Gin. Knees, Ankle and Heel fake stomach spasms to take advantage of the simpleminded residents and gain easy entry into Furai Row while Arms try to hit on Tenhou. Gin is shocked to see his comrades hanging around. He hints to the residents not to mention a word about the Rocket and not be over cautious but I guess they’re over doing it. Sora thought of leaving but he notes they’re here to keep watch on him. To be safe, he wants her to stay indoors. The friendly neighbourhood tries to strike a conversation with the MIB guys but Gin swiftly changes the subject and brings those dumb residents away. Meanwhile Shunpei watches one of the MIBs do some spinning and balancing trick and with Genzo (still a pigeon) writing the pi formula on the ground, Shunpei gets an idea. He runs back to Seikichi to explain his theory for the Rocket’s stability but that kid is so deep in his thoughts thinking who knows what that Shunpei is ignored. So this is how Genzo always felt, eh? The residents feel Gin is acting odd today and confront him but soon get cause in a big messy brawl that involves everyone (it all started when Rokubei’s wife was going to teach her husband some manners). So noisy that Seikichi slams the door that Shunpei unintentionally threw it to his face to distract him, on the scuffle. Then he gets an idea upon seeing this scene. The door stuck onto the head of the 4 MIB guys. He rushes off while Eyes tail him. When the 4 MIB guys regain consciousness, they are in Gin’s house and they plead for him to tell what is happening, especially what the heck is Rocket (during the brawl, somebody said that word). He has them follow him.

Blue Woman sniffs aluminium powder in a hut but she goes into hiding when Seikichi rushes in. Seems he is going to make the Rocket’s stability using 4 nozzles because all the while has only been using one. Suddenly the blue Sky Beast steals the Rocket from him. Gin and the MIBs have arrived and transform to fight off the menace. Seikichi isn’t going to let his Rocket get taken and if it’s going to be like that, might as well light the fuse. The Rocket blasts off in the sky and in this distraction, the MIBs injure the Sky Beast before it escapes. Gin tells Seikichi about the blood sucking monster to cover up but as for themselves, they pose as ally of justice before disappearing. Did Seikichi buy that? The sight of Sora distracts him as he tells her not to hang around because of the blood sucking creature. Gin tells his men about the Rocket which isn’t just any firework. A big firework no one has seen before that everyone at Furai Row considers as a job of a lifetime. Wondering if they’ll report this to Torii, they say their job is to capture the Sky Beast and that they’re not inconsiderate to take away something one would call their life job. Eyes agrees to pretend not seeing all of this since their reputation will drop if they interfere with trivial matters like fireworks. However he still finds something strange. Why would the Sky Beast attack the fireworks maker again? Akai is shocked to see the wound on Blue Woman’s shoulder. But she is more concerned about the aluminium used as a combustion booster and knows without a doubt that Seikichi is involved. That name just pisses Akai off.

Episode 14
Seikichi is staring at Sora at work. Sora smiles back. Seikichi blushes. Shunpei gets irked and heads off to the temple. Onui spots Ise and she’s not in a very good mood. She starts howling like a dog, which turns out to be a warning signal to Furai Row residents that Ise is on her way here. Seems Ise is here to collect the debts the residents have been accumulating and delaying for years. What to do? Hide! She tries to make Gin lead her to where they keep the money but since he is reluctant she steps on his feet and promises to be back before the New Year bell rings. Akai just release Riku’s father for a minor crime for making a slightly making a bigger firework than allowed. Noticing that Riku too was making one, he wants her to follow him to meet Torii. In a hut filled with scattered parts of a space ship, Torii wants to know if she can fix it back. It doesn’t necessary be the original shape as long as it can fly. She agrees to do it. As Riku brings the parts back, Akai and Ears tail her because she suspects she will bring it to Seikichi to help fix it. His is suspicious that Seikichi is working with the Sky Beast and will use this chance to nab them all. However to his dismay she brings it back to her own home and is going to assemble it alone and make better fireworks than Seikichi. At the temple as Onui talks to depressed Shunpei (he isn’t sure about his Nujenuje anymore), Blue Woman goes through the board filled with wooden wishes. Several wishes in the form of the Earth and Moon’s trajectory, the velocity to escape the trajectory, caught her attention and she notices it’s from a guy called Genzo. Though that bugger is still a pigeon, Blue Woman sees his mom instead. Mommy wonders if this woman knows where her son is seeing Genzo hasn’t been home for 3 months. Then she uses up what’s left of her little money to make a prayer. Well, instead of wishing her son back, she ‘complains’ about him spending his time on math problems that is of no use to anyone that they’re so poor. Whatever he’s doing, he hopes to bring back some money. I’m sure that’s heartbreaking for the pigeon to hear. Blue Woman hears Genzo’s mom’s prayers and wonder if money is that important.

Tenhou and Tenten try to sell some plants to earn money to help Seikichi but there are no customers. But one: Arms! He’s going to buy everything and looks like his feeling is genuine for Tenhou. Even Tenten doesn’t see a problem with that. But the duo wrap things up and make a run (noting that he is from the MIB and that his job is to spy on them) while Arms chase them but trips and injures himself. So when they tend to him, they find out he’s not such a bad guy after all. An ex-sumo wrestler who is out of his profession due to the reforms. When Eyes sees him with the duo, Arms has to cut short his conversation and leave. They note he is like them. Unable to do what he wants to do and his spirit is broken. Meanwhile Ise is upset that the money they’re supposed to repay has gone missing. She already made a promise to repay that debt or else she’ll have to sell her entire business to him. Seems Blue Woman has stolen that money and makes her way to see Genzo’s mom at Furai Row. She gives her the money in hopes she could tell more about Genzo and who asked him to make those calculations. Was it a strange person who wanted to go to the moon? Genzo’s mom hesitates so Blue Woman piles more money to tempt her. However she refuses the money because she doesn’t anything. Though she knows her son spends on useless pursuits, it’s still amazing to see him bring happiness to someone else. As for the money, it’s no big deal. She will mention her when he returns and asks for her name. Blue Woman leaves and wonders her name and throws away the money. Gin spots it and returns the whole stack to Ise, bringing much joy to that money face woman. Back home, Akai laments he is still unable to unfurl Seikichi’s true colours and that the white Sky Beast must be hiding somewhere near him. He is surprised to hear Blue Woman visited Furai Row. When she asks him what her name is, he mentions Blue Beast so she throws her bowl at him and leaves. It started snowing that night as everyone goes out to enjoy some New Year noodles. I’m not sure if debts can only be collected on New Year because Shinza and the gang who had borrowed money from Ise rejoice since they have delayed returning the money to her till next year.

Episode 15
Since it’s New Year, Gin and Ears make a special introduction of the gang via some radio-like programme followed by Sora narrating some chronology of future events based on historical records. Back to the real storyline, Gin and his MIBs have a meeting with Torii. They talk about the Sky Beasts. Now that it is confirmed the blue one is still alive, they need to make certain which is the blood sucker and which is the friendly one as they’re both fighting each other. Once it’s over, Gin has his men rest for New Year since it’s a holiday. But Eyes mentions that they may need to stay close to Seikichi since the Sky Beast may show itself again. Gin assures he’ll take care of that himself but mentions about rumours of a strange woman appearing near sites of the murders. Akai panics and sneaks away. Returning home, he complains about Furai Row being totally suspicious. However Blue Woman doesn’t feel like going out so Akai decides to head there himself. Blue Woman is still troubled what happened with Genzo’s mom and in her frustration rips up the pillow. Shinza, Rokubei and Santa show the gang a new propeller device they have created based on the concept of a bamboo copter. As they use their manpower to fly it, unfortunately they got tired and it never got off the ground. Shunpei explains with his maths that due to the weight, it needs a bigger propeller or manpower but as it increases, the weight problem also increases and thus unable to fly. Though the trio are sad that their hard work is for nothing, Sora says it can still fly but won’t make it to the moon since there is no air in space.

Later Seikichi and Shunpei ride a big kite sponsored by Ise. As Sora puts it, when you launch from a high place, fireworks will go even higher. Shunpei is worried about Sora’s words that there is no air in space so Seikichi calms him down that he can’t expect to know everything. So back to their test Rocket, Shunpei introduces his mini Gyro Rocket. Based on the theory of a spinning top, the nozzles will always point to the ground and thus the fireworks will always fly straight up. As they’re about to test launch, Akai who has been hiding on the kite reveals himself and interrogates them who ordered them to make fireworks to reach the moon but Seikichi says he knows nothing except this work is all his. Akai doesn’t buy his story and struggles with him. In that moment, they accidentally light the mini rocket. It blasts off and cuts off the rope securing the kite. Sora heads off to a higher point but she is stopped by Tooyama. He wants her to forget about flying to save them since Akai is onboard, once he sees her flying, she’ll be captured. Tenten and Tenhou do some acrobatic stuff to launch and reach the kite but it seems they fall short. Then after persuading to ask Gin and his men to help launch them, Tenhou manages to leap higher and further but still falls short because well, the kite has already blown further away. The other ladies want Shinza and co to use their propeller machine to save them. Shinza gets an idea and the trio go seek Goinkyo’s help. Seems he has created something from a long time ago and agrees to let them use his steam engine. So, this old bugger created the steam engine? Seikichi starts tying all the other mini Gyro Rockets on the side of the kite. Believing in Shunpei’s calculations that the nozzles will point towards the ground, this will soften their landing when lighted all at once. However Shunpei is in despair. He isn’t confident that his calculations are correct and if it’s so, the kite will go out of control. He laments his calculations are only theories unlike Shinza and co who actually make things, his maths are only number crunching. Seikichi asks him why he is doing maths. Is it different than what he does on the desk and what they have here? It’s not and they’re related. In short, he believes in him. Shunpei starts to envision all the calculations and gets his confidence back. Suddenly a change in the wind pattern and the kite starts falling like a rock. They start lighting the fuse and the soft landing plan works. However, probably they didn’t tie the little Rockets tight enough so they break out of their ropes and it’s free fall once more. Thankfully, Shinza’s steam powered propeller arrives in time to hook the kite and prevent them from getting squished. Happy that Shinza’s invention can already fly, he says to Shunpei it could fly because Shinza believes in it.

Episode 16
Akai shows those magistrate clones a video proof that Seikichi is trying to launch his fireworks to the moon under the guise of a kite. But the rest notes there is no law about launching fireworks to the moon though there is one regulating kite size. In short, they can’t persecute him. However Akai remains stubborn and orders his policemen to arrest Seikichi so that he will reveal the one who requested him to make fireworks to the moon. As he suspects, it should be the white Sky Beast. Akai rounds up the residents of Furai Row and he thought one of them is Seikichi. Actually it’s Tooyama! As proof, he shows them his sakura tattoo on his body. Now do you believe? However he asserts he is just Kin-san the playboy. Akai mentions his intention to arrest Seikichi for planning to bomb Edo with his giant kite. But Tooyama shows his video proof in his mini camera (complete with audio) how the kite fell off the sky. He even plans to upload it to his blog! What he’s trying to say is, if Seikichi is found guilty, Akai will be treated as an accomplice too. Noting that there are good and bad Sky Beasts, this irritates Akai and he tries to be tough that he won’t be intimidated by his threats just because he has a tattoo. Guess what? Tooyama takes off his sticker tattoo and shows another sticker tattoo of a woman’s face on the other arm! This sends Akai running away in tears like a little girl. The residents are grateful but as Tooyama notes, he too wants to see Seikichi’s fireworks. Meanwhile Blue Woman visits Seikichi who is making his mini Rocket. She observes how happy he is and notes this kind of simplistic thinking is frowned upon on her planet. Then Sora and Gin come by. She confronts Blue Woman to stay away from Seikichi. Noting her worked up, she uses it to her advantage by mocking her she ditched her duty to make friends with the locals. Sora slaps her and all Seikichi sees is Sora being violent with his guest. Blue Woman acts like a victim of violence and runs away in ‘fear’. At a distance away, Blue Woman has stolen the mini rocket but notes she can’t go back to her planet in this. Or does she really want to go back? She crushes it. Suddenly she felt an immense pain and a Sky Beast clone replicates out from her body. The Sky Beast escapes but the MIBs are hot on its tail. Even with the 6 of them combining their strength, it is not enough to stop it. What more Gin himself alone. If he thinks as the leader he should be sufficient, then think again.

Sora spots Blue Woman and realizing she has cloned herself, transforms into the white Sky Beast to get rid of her. Blue Woman mocks her if she shows that form to Seikichi, he won’t make any more Rockets for her. Sora’s worst fear comes true when Seikichi protects Blue Woman and thinks Sora is the blood sucking beast. He even threw an explosive at her. Sora has no choice but to run. As Seikichi chases after her, he bumps into Shunpei and the rest who came to warn him about Akai. But no time for that because Seikichi wants them to beat down the blood sucking creature. Everyone starts whacking the beast, unknown to them that this is the Sora they knew. Sora just stood there and got wallop. Blue Woman telepathically tells Sora to give her the Rocket and she’ll leave this planet immediately. Since Sora still wants to kill her, Blue Woman asks her if she’s going to reveal her true self to Seikichi. Out of options, Sora runs away. Meanwhile Tooyama gets a message to see Mizuno. When Blue Woman returns home, he tells Akai that Sora is the white Sky Beast and is certain about it. She has a plan to expose her. Sora is seeking refuge at Goinkyo’s but that old bugger couldn’t cheer her up because he applied the wrong idioms. Torii sees Akai and he knows that someone from the North Edo magistrate was asking about him. About Akai been seen around the blood sucking murder scenes. Torii knows he is just searching for the Sky Beast and that Tooyama is a nuisance. That’s why he had a discussion with Mizuno and it has been decided Tooyama will be transferred to the post of Chief Censor and not interfere in their plans. Akai takes this opportunity to tell the white Sky Beast is hiding at Furai Row. As Blue Woman draws Gin out as distraction, Akai leads the MIBs to storm into Furai Row. They round up Seikichi and the gang and Akai accuses Seikichi of working with the blood sucking monster. Goinkyo and Sora show up and the old man didn’t like how Akai is handling this in a rude manner. Akai doesn’t fear him since he is under direct orders from Torii. No choice, Goinkyo shows his Mito Komon’s Seal Case. Everyone including the MIBs are shocked and instantly kneel before Goinkyo. However Akai cuts that fake seal with his sword. So much for Shinza’s effort put in trying to make it look like the real deal. He is then going to show them proof Seikichi is harbouring the Sky Beast and stabs his hand. Sora rushes to his side but gets surrounded by the MIBs. In Akai’s final attempt, he is going to cut off Seikichi’s head! That’s when Sora got worked up and transforms into her true self to protect Seikichi. Now the cat’s out of the bag.

Episode 17
Sora snatches Seikichi away. But the rest are still in shock as they continue throwing stuffs at her. Eventually when she puts Seikichi down, they still wonder why she kills people. Sora only replied with tears in her eyes. Then she flees. Gin confronts Blue Woman and wants her to show her true form. She changes into Sora and mocks him that his uncanny ability is heresy in this planet. Then transforming to her beast form, she wonders if he sympathizes with Sora. He denies and says he will use his gift to open the gate and for her sake too. He sticks his Truncheon Key into her neck. Though her head came off, he leaves the body alone. Blue Woman regenerates and her wound heals. Gin bumps into Sora who is being chased by the MIBs. Gin learns that her secret has been exposed. He wants them to keep her alive for the trial. Then when Seikichi and co arrive, they thought Gin is in trouble but they too learn that Gin is a secret agent from the government under Torii. Gin doesn’t deny it. Seikichi feels disappointed that he lied to them, interfering with their fireworks and now he’s going to capture Sora. But Sora denies and reveals he knew her secret all along and was protecting her. Gin tells Sora he will protect her and they should go somewhere else but Sora doesn’t want to run because it will cause Seikichi and the others to suffer. Now that all the truths are out, suddenly Sora gets shot in the chest by several needles. In that distraction, Torii took the chance to snipe at her. Gin begs Torii to take Sora in alive for questioning. Seikichi asks Sora about her attacking other people. But she says it wasn’t her but a fellow escapee from her planet she is pursuing. She wants Seikichi to run. The other Furai Row residents hold back the MIBs with their tricks for Seikichi to escape. Tenten and Tenhou are at a lost on what to do and seek Gin’s advice. Now that Tooyama has been transferred, their movements are restricted. He tells them off not to rely on him. Torii and Akai take Mizuno to see Sora locked behind bars. However Mizuno is interested in asking about her home planet. Does she eat dried starfish? WTF?! She prefers sashimi. WTF?!

Blue Woman visits Seikichi in his fireworks hut. Seems he is thinking of quitting fireworks because everyone had been lying. Suddenly a blue Sky Beast punches her away and starts messing Seikichi’s hut like as though it’s searching for something. Seikichi fights back but gets punched. Then he realized when it starts licking his blood on its hand. Sora was telling the truth. He gets frustrated, lights up the fuse to blow up everything in the hut. Now all his fireworks tools are destroyed. Blue Woman watches at a distance and wonders what her other self will do. Meanwhile the Furai Row guys barely got released from the police station. They are still shocked at the development of events and couldn’t trust Gin. It doesn’t help when Akai is starting to accuse them for harbouring a criminal although they claimed they were fooled by the Sky Beast and yet Seikichi was making fireworks to reach the moon. Don’t tell me he doesn’t know anything. Gin tells the residents to leave and then threatens Akai to leave them alone or he’ll get serious to kick his butt. Akai isn’t afraid of his threats anymore but will overlook his misdeeds since Torii is looking at him favourably. Seikichi uses his money to buy lots of clay discs. His trying to throw them at the moon to vent his frustration. Gin is also there doing the same but he is throwing it at Seikichi’s. The way Gin said things, he is making Sora sound like the villain. She will be secretly executed tomorrow. Seikichi believes in Sora and that she’s not the kind of person who is capable of killing. He is going to make a rocket for her to the moon but Gin insists Sora is hers and will enjoy killing her since they have captured the killer monster. Seikichi gets upset and fights back but he is no match for Gin. He tells him to just make his fireworks. When Shunpei and the rest come by (thanks to Onui’s scent tracing), Seikichi tells them they’re going to continue making the Rocket. What about Sora? They’re going to break her out of prison. But first they have to get away from here since Akai and his policemen are coming to arrest him. Seikichi has them gather all the sakura they could find. Then he launches his mini Rocket, it explodes in mid-air and the floating sakura petals distract them that they sit down to admire the hanami.

Episode 18
Akai has a wanted poster on Seikichi and is telling the townsfolk how Seikichi has been corrupted by Sora, hiding those blood sucking creatures while using prohibited fireworks to help the criminal escape. The news reach as far as Tetsuju’s remote home and that bugger isn’t happy his princess has been accused of murder. He’s going to rescue her. While Tooyama is being escorted away, he relays a secret message to Tenten and Tenhou to read his blog. After going through all the anime sites, they realize a secret word in hidden his blog: Passageway. While Torii tries to probe Sora for more information about her kind, the entertainers relay this information to Seikichi and the rest. Seems Sora is being held in a secret passageway and based on the blueprint, they think it’s the dried unused well since the castle has been fitted with water pipes. Since they need a place to prepare for their infiltration, Riku offers her place. Ise pays Furai Row a visit but only sees the ladies talking about Gin. She comes into Tenten and Tenhou and the duo know about her past with Gin. They request her help since it won’t be right if that man takes all the credit. Meanwhile Gin confronts Torii and wants him to reveal Sora’s location. It’s a trap setup to confirm that Gin is trying to set the white Sky Beast free. Gin has had it being the leader of the MIBs so he fights them all as himself. Torii orders them to kill Gin seeing he knows Torii will have the full backing of the MIBs and yet went against him He concludes he has betrayed them, allied himself with the white Sky Beast and wants to die. However Tenten, Tenhou and Ise drop in to take Gin and escape. Akai is late on the scene and he is worried because Blue Woman has gone missing. Actually, she’s chasing after her clone and wants it to return to her. The blue Sky Beast isn’t going to oblige her easily. Genzo’s mom and Rokubei’s wife encounter the blue Sky Beast and could’ve been dead meat if Tetsuju didn’t come by. He is taken in by the creature and the best also likes him because of his gunpowder smell. They become best friends and Tetsuju instantly forgot why he came here in the first place. Gin wakes up in Goinkyo’s place and the old man wants Gin to follow him to see Mizuno. Gin is surprised to see the old fart get up and walk! To prove he is fine, Goinkyo even does break dance! Gin feels he is a coward who betrayed his friends. Anything he does now cannot make him redeem. Goinkyo notes that he doesn’t like being different from others but everyone is different from each other. Gin must realize that he is exploiting himself.

Mizuno is sleeping and gets a rude wakeup call because Gin cuts open the floor he is sleeping on. Mizuno is further horrified to see Goinkyo. Looks like they know each other. Tenten, Tenhou and Ise sneak into Akai’s home to find evidence. Yeah, lots of porn magazines under his futon. But wait! There’s something underneath those magazines. It’s a claw. Suddenly Blue Woman attacks them and they realize she is the blue Sky Beast. Ise tells the duo to leave with the evidence while she takes care of things here. Torii and Akai see fireworks coming from the south, which is far away from where Sora is being held. They know Seikichi is planning something but do not know what it is. Actually the fireworks are distraction as for Seikichi and co have completed a makeshift catapult and the plan is to swing Seikichi into the castle grounds. Seikichi successfully infiltrates the castle and makes his way down the well. He sees Sora behind bars and wants to get out together. Sora is reluctant since she offered to get captured so that he could get away. Plus, now that he has seen her true form, she can’t be with him. Seikichi admits he was shocked but even shocker was she didn’t tell him the truth. He adds that she is different from the blood sucking monster and everyone else believes in her. He remembers his late dad’s words never to judge a book by the cover and you can only do that to fireworks. He asks her if she finds them repulsive and hates staying with them since they’re different. All Seikichi understands from her mumbo-jumbo training to adapt in planets is that she doesn’t find them revolting lah. Still, Sora can’t go with Seikichi because by doing so, she’ll put Furai Row residents in jeopardy. Especially Gin. I don’t know where Seikichi got his baseless confidence that they’ll get by. Like how about now because Akai has been observing them all the while and pops up. But surprise! He lets them go! He apologizes for getting rough on them or else he might get suspected. Gosh! Am I dreaming? Was he just putting up a villain’s face? He also has the same dream as them? And… If it looks too good to be true then it is because while they’re climbing out of the well, that weasel Akai pulls out his gun and fires at them! I knew it!

Episode 19
Sora is shocked to see Akai climbing out of the well instead. He is happy that Seikichi is dead albeit he would have preferred to let him suffer more. Furious Sora transforms into her beast form but the other MIBs use ropes to tie her down. Before Akai can shoot her, Seikichi grabs him. Wait. Wasn’t he dead? Well, Genzo’s mom and Rokubei’s wife made him a bullet proof vest. Akai proceeds to vent out his frustrations how he has been suffering under Mizuno’s reforms but they are having fun illegally. He is about to cut Seikichi when Sora pleads to let him go and will not resist capture anymore. But he asserts that they must die so he can live in peace. Suddenly a television drops in. Its video replays scenes of the Blue Woman. Tenten and Tenhou are the ones responsible for dropping this evidence and accuse Akai for harbouring the blue Sky Beast in secret. Akai denies it so they show additional proof: The claw he used to kill innocent people. Just when Akai thought he is busted for good, everyone came to a conclusion that he is cosplaying with Blue Woman! So he’s an otaku? Akai is so furious that he is being labelled an otaku that he yells he used it to kill people. Oops! Haha. Nice psychological move there. Now the cat’s out of the bag. Even if he denies that, nobody is going to believe him. Sora realizes Akai is collecting bodily fluids of higher life forms for Blue Woman’s regeneration. The MIBs surround him. Akai thought he could seek solace in Torii but he is placing him under arrest for harbouring the Sky Beast and posed as the beast to commit serial murder. Akai is desperate and can’t go down quietly so he tries to claw Torii. Unfortunately Torii uses the back of his sword to knock him out. Ordering the MIBs to arrest him for interrogation, he now turns his attention to Seikichi and Sora. Even though Akai is the culprit, this doesn’t mean they will be clear of their previous crimes like trespassing the castle and the jailbreak. Suddenly a cool handsome samurai arrives on scene. Who the hell is he?! He and Torii are going to have a showdown when Tooyama stops them. He gives a letter from Mizuno. The samurai then reverts to his original form: Goinkyo! Oh sh*t!!! Was that really him?! Actually, the rejuvenate potion affect wore off… Goinkyo wants Torii to return his people as stated in the letter and Torii is not pleased and knows he bribed Mizuno. This is not over by a long shot. But there is nothing he can do though for now he has Akai. But he’s about to lose him too because Blue Woman makes her entrance (by ripping an eyeball of Eyes!!! Oh sh*t!!!). She then kisses Akai and escapes with him. She says she needs to merge with her other self and Akai wants to come with her. Meanwhile Gin learns from Ise that Akai is the traitor. Gin is going after them and hopes she’ll take care of Seikichi and Sora.

The Furai Row residents are having a feast with Goinkyo and they talk about his real identity as Gennai Hiraga. He notes he was used to be called that when he was young. But they do some calculations that since that famous eminent Edo scholar’s arrest happened about 70 or 80 years ago, he must be 130 years old today! What more, he supposed to have died in prison. Goinkyo says he discovered the rejuvenation herbs by chance, was granted privileges to deliver the medicine to the senior council. But one thing led to another as things become a hassle and he faked his death and disappeared. Then talking about Gin who probably won’t be returning here, Seikichi is upset that he works for the government and came here to spy on them. Meanwhile the blue Sky Beast is running riot in Tetsuju’s house! What does it want? Don’t know. Then some forest spirits got absorbed into it and Tetsuju thought he saw his princess within it. Then they like become best friends and go out digging. Huh? Sora knows Blue Woman and Akai are chasing after the clone. Seikichi wants to come too since if they don’t deal with him, he won’t be able to complete his Rocket. Sora disagrees but he is still adamant to tag along. Then the MIBs voice their intention to come along since they are ashamed of losing sight of them. Gin is also on the hunt when he sees a transport guy panicking. He claims a strange customer (Blue Women) killed his partner. Seikichi, Sora and the MIBs arrive at Tetsuju’s house but see him digging holes. Tetsuju seems like he is being hypnotized and wonders why there are 2 princesses. Nevertheless he calls out to the other princess which turns out to be the blue Sky Beast. Once Akai and Blue Woman reach their destination, he is going to send the other transport guys to the other world. Luckily Gin arrives in time to stop him. Akai tells Blue Woman to go ahead while he handles things here. Gin realizes Akai is that masked sicko that licked him. He wants to know why he aligned himself with the blue Sky Beast. He replies he learnt from him and Seikichi and wants to enjoy his life. Tetsuju easily defeats the MIBs though he is still confused there are 2 princesses. They see the blue Sky Beast digging as it finally hits a pod buried underneath. The pod then activates and starts flying in the sky.

Episode 20
Well, the pod looks like a giant peanut… Sora notes that this pod is much bigger than the one the fugitive was in. Gin fights Akai and is shocked to hear Akai wants to go with Blue Woman since he has nowhere else to go in Edo. He doesn’t regret it and finds it exciting. He notes Gin’s ability to open everything and that he has opened his heart to the truth. Up to now, everything Akai had was a lie. His job, his superiors, the government. All lies. But now he knows what he wants to do and that is to take care of the woman he loves. Akai is so determined that he breaks Gin’s Truncheon Keys. Then he tells him back if he can open his own heart to the truth since he too is living a lie. That’s because he loves Sora. Though Gin says it is Seikichi that Sora gets along well, Akai knows it is a lie and thus the reason he can’t defeat him. Akai slices him unconscious. Sora flies up to the pod and confronts Blue Woman. Both decide on a truce and temporarily work together to stop the blue Sky Beast who is trying to find a way into the pod. They beat it down but hear it says how much it wanted to return to the sky. Gin wakes up in Tetsuju’s house courtesy of the MIBs. Seikichi makes him medicine and hopes he would stop telling lies and keeping secrets. Now drink the awful medicine! No time for this because Gin says Akai is already here. As Sora learns Blue Woman split herself on its own, Akai throws his sword at Sora’s back. It’s going to take a lot more than that to keep her down. Though Akai volunteers to take care of Sora, when she takes out the sword from her back and punches him, he becomes all scared. Sora understands why Blue Woman is here and the latter is in a dilemma on what to do. With Seikichi and Gin coming onboard, Akai takes Blue Woman and the clone into the pod. Blue Woman heads for the bridge as she ponders since her ancestors came to this planet on this ship, why didn’t they return them. Then hearing from those little spirits, she understood. Sora tells Seikichi and Gin about Blue Woman’s crime. Blood sucking and killing doesn’t constitute to life imprisonment on her planet and her heinous crime is mind cloning. Using Seikichi as an example, let’s say he likes Gin but also at the same time hates him. When those feelings intensify, the physical body splits into two. One who likes him and the other who hates.

Akai faces them to stall for time as Blue Woman tries to launch the pod. He is not going to listen to reason because he’s doing it for the woman he loves. Seikichi is ready to use the Rockets he found in Tetsuju’s house when Eyes drops in to defend Akai. Is he defecting? I thought he hated Blue Woman for scarring his eye? Well, he thought about it and if they do capture the Sky Beast, what will happen to the MIBs? They’ll be disbanded and return to their worthless life. Eyes is not going to let that happen and wants to fight. That’s why he will help let them escape. Sora easily knocks him out and they resume their chase. Now everyone is in the bridge, including the blue Sky Beast. It swallows Tetsuju’s rocket and fires it from its arm like as though it became part of its body. Blue Woman protects Akai from the blast. Gin opens the beast’s stomach followed by Seikichi shooting a Rocket into it. Akai takes Blue Woman and escape. Not before he jams the controls with his sword. Suddenly the pod goes on red alert and Sora tells the guys to quickly get out. Akai is trying to launch the pod but Blue Woman says it can’t fly anymore because she set it to self destruct mode. This way, Sora can’t return home too. Akai is devastated. Doesn’t she want to return home too? Ironically, living with a primitive life form has made her wanted to stay. Because of that, her mind cloned and the blue Sky Beast was herself wanting to go home. Akai decides to stay with her instead of escaping because this is his devotion to her. Then he wonders if he should call her “Yuu” which comes from the word “Yuuhi” that means sunset. Also, since the sunset is red, this also what Akai’s name means. Yuu is happy but forces him into an escape pod. Akai can only look back horrified and do nothing. The pod explodes as Sora catches Seikichi. Gin thought he had accepted falling to his death but fell into a body of water courtesy of the MIBs. As for Eyes, I think he got owned by the blue Sky Beast while he was crawling his way out. Torii despite getting permission from Mizuno, feels he can’t pretend the Sky Beasts incident never happened. So Tooyama wonders how he is going to punish the residents of Furai Row, the MIBs and especially Akai. Torii says that at least some punishment must be imposed on Seikichi. Seikichi is expelled from Edo due to carelessly causing a fire. Shunpei is fine with it as long they live somewhere outside town. They’ll move just across the river. As for their Rocket project, Goinkyo assures them the government has decided to set up base of operations at Ishikawajima Island. Plus, they have Mizuno’s written approval to continue with the project. The MIBs are looking for Gin and are worried that he may leave for good and never return this time. As Sora follows Seikichi, he wants her to show him her true form. He is not afraid of her anymore and in fact notes how cool she looks.

Episode 21
Onui narrates the blood sucking creature case has been solved for the time being, Gin is missing, Seikichi and Shunpei expelled to a neighbouring area and best of all, the approval of the Rocket project. And on this island the gang has created several buildings to aid in the launch of the project, including Ise’s theatre. Theatre? Genzo the pigeon could’ve been an eagle’s meal had he not turned back into a human and crashed down onto the island. Naked! Woah! After almost 10 episodes, Genzo is finally back as a human being!!! As explained by Goinkyo, some of his contraptions take time for the effects to revert back. That’s one heck of a long time. Since his mom has sold his stuff, she only has small clothes for him. Can he fit into that? She’s not worried because since this is an anime, he’ll manage. WTF?! Genzo puts on the kimono and he looks so girly! Then Ise comes in and is surprise at how feminine he is and wonders if he’s interested in acting. Tenten and Tenhou are putting up posters for the play of Princess Kaguya and Tamakichi. Arms still hasn’t given up on Tenhou and she hasn’t changed her mind about being annoying. The performers and the MIBs talk that this play by Ise isn’t just about making profit, but in hopes that Gin will take notice and return. Seikichi complains to the playwright Kazukichi Nkanoshima about the script because the characters are supposed to confess their love in a scene. Seikichi can’t do that. The character is nothing like him. Really? Then Ise the director calls everyone for casting. She makes Sora the voice of Princess Kaguya. Only the voice? So who is going to play the physical part? Ise! Oh, she herself couldn’t believe it and starts over reacting like this is too good to be true. But the rest reject and taunt her and this made her blow her top! So really. Who is going to play the physical Princess Kaguya? This is where Genzo comes in. Everyone is awed at Genzo and this chance of everyone finally noticing him has come true. Even if they do, they still don’t remember he is the Genzo who had been living with them all these years. Well, you win some, you lose some. As everyone rehearse their parts, Riku and Tetsuju see the poster and aren’t happy. They’re going to do something about it.

As the play begins, Tetsuju gatecrashes into the opening scene and tries to hijack the show. Ise orders the MIBs to eject him from the building. The story continues but yet another troublemaker comes in. This time Riku is charging towards the stage, ranting about that fiancée thingy so Genzo trips her and makes her fall into a trapdoor. Good riddance. As the play goes on, Seikichi can’t help feel uneasy because though Tamakichi is played by Tenhou, the lines Sora narrates and Princess Kaguya acting out probably reflected his feelings for her. In the final scene whereby Princess Kaguya is supposed to leave for the moon, Genzo suddenly adlibs and says he doesn’t want to leave. Realizing his folly, they try to regain control of the show so Ise tells Sora to do what it takes. She is unsure of what to say so Seikichi tells her to say it in her own words. With that, Sora speaks from her heart that it’s not bad either to stay on this planet and perhaps to be by Seikichi’s side. Hey, that’s not in the script but didn’t he tell her to just say it? He is surprised by her words and accidentally hit the buttons for the explosives. Boom! I guess the play was a hit because we see everyone toasting and celebrating in the aftermath despite the theatre burnt down to smithereens. Ise may be pushed deeper into debt but she isn’t panicking and will think of something eventually. Yeah well, no point stressing it out now. Though the rest don’t remember who Genzo is, he is okay with it. Mommy asks why he went off track then. He isn’t sure why and perhaps he was just trying to interpret Seikichi and Sora’s relationship and it just came out. Sora talks to Seikichi and says when the Rocket is complete, she’ll say “Boom!”. Were you expecting “Goodbye” or “I love you”?

Episode 22
Genzo’s mom’s makeup table doubles as a computer and its mirrors as the monitor! Cool! She’s watching YouTube and watching last week’s Princess Kaguya play (probably uploading more clips of it). She hopes the world will take not on her son’s acting. But Genzo isn’t happy. In fact, he is crying that they stole his movie, his emotions and won’t watch or buy it. Then he goes off to do calculations on the construction of the Rocket but comes to a shocking conclusion that at this rate Sora won’t be able to return to the moon. The problem is actually lack of manpower to complete the Rocket. At this rate they’ll take 82 years and 3 months. This translates to 30,023 days and yeah, 720,522 hours! Seikichi and Sora will be old blokes ready to kick the bucket by the time it completes. So why are they telling Ise? Well, they want to borrow some money to cover manpower costs. All Ise sees is how well they get along so much so they’re like a real husband and wife pair. It’s the blushes for Seikichi and Sora but not so for Shunpei. However Onui says Goinkyo has came out with a solution. We see Tenten, Tenhou and the MIBs secretly collecting stray cats. Remember Goinkyo’s weird contraption? Yeah, they’re turned into humans and I suppose this solves the manpower woes. However Shunpei remembers the machine and realizes they are cats turned into humans. Tenten and Tenhou panic and scoot off in their car. Shunpei feels it’s irrational for animals to be turned into humans and his words made Onui concerned.

Shunpei goes to see Goinkyo at his home but he is not home. He accidentally spills a small bottle containing a weird liquid. He cleans it up and smells what’s left inside the bottle. As he leaves, he doesn’t know that all the women he passed starts to get attracted to him. When he returns to his place, the ladies suddenly tries to flirt with him so much so it freaked him out. Ise wants to call him her little brother, Tenhou wants to put glasses on him while Riku wants him to wear boxers. WTF?! Onui isn’t affected and sweeps them away with her broom. Then she smells Shunpei and finds a funny odour coming from him. Sniffing the source of the smell, this leads her to Goinkyo’s place and the bottle. The old man may not be there but Sora is. Then they see outside, a horde of ladies like zombies crying out for Shunpei. Man, he’s gotten this popular with the ladies. Onui realizes the strange love potion created by Goinkyo is the cause of this mess and the reason Sora is not affected is because she’s not from this planet. Sora deduces that Onui is a dog the reason she too is unaffected. Sora says she knew Onui’s identity all along and realizes she likes Shunpei. But Onui fears if Shunpei knows the truth, he might get upset. Sora mentions she shouldn’t be mumbling nonsense and should find Goinkyo. Instead of worrying, she should help Shunpei. Onui gets into Goinkyo’s machine and transforms herself into a dog to find the old guy. Since she hasn’t been walking on all fours for a long time, she’s having it hard. I’m not sure about why Tetsuju suddenly barge into the scene like as though he is emotionally reuniting with a dog named IC. IC who? Run away! Eventually Onui finds Goinkyo but he’s a handsome young man?! Actually he used the rejuvenation potion and went for a night out.

Back at the lab, he is making an antidote for the love potion. He admits making the potion in which a single drop would’ve been suffice and using the entire bottle will turn out bad. Once he is done, Onui takes the antidote and heads straight back. Better hurry because Shunpei’s situation is getting even dire. He’s up the tower and is thinking of flying to the moon where there won’t be any women. The situation gets out of hand as the women start fighting among themselves as it turns into a massive free-for-all brawl. Sora feels she is succumbing to the potion’s effects but instead of being lovey-dovey with Shunpei, she’s starting to spew out dense crap that doesn’t make sense. Dry brushing? Filters and paint chipping? Epoxy putty and rollers? Zimmerit coating? Say what again?! Onui arrives but can’t barge her way through the crowd. But after thinking back the happy times she spent with Shunpei, she gets the determination to run through the crowd and up the tower. Seikichi and Shunpei thought they see a familiar dog but the brawl is causing the tower to crumble. The tower did collapse and at this point Shunpei is out cold and Onui has returned to her human form (albeit naked) and those crazy crawling Shunpei-obsessed women are at a dangerous level. Their eyes are totally red like Terminator! I don’t know why Onui didn’t just pour the antidote into Shunpei’s mouth but put it in her own so that she could transfer the liquid via her mouth. Maybe it’s a kissing scene some viewers hoped to see between the secondary characters. A bright light emits and blows away the effects of the potion. Next day, everything returns to normal as mess is being cleaned up. Santa, Rokubei and Shinza are so dead because their hard work in creating the tower now becomes a pile of rubble. Seikichi mentions to Shunpei about seeing the dog they had last time coming to rescue him. Shunpei then turns to Onui and thanks her. He finally understands it makes sense now. But for Seikichi, he’s still scratching his head because everything makes no sense.

Episode 23
A little flashback on Gin and Ise’s escape to Edo after the failed rebellion. Gin couldn’t the failure and his feelings are in disarray so much so he nearly attacked a kid playing nearby. He is in a dilemma on what to do till he sees fireworks being lit nearby. They are from Seikichi and Shunpei who has just left the Kagiya household and believe their era of fireworks starts now. Gin becomes amazed at the sight. In reality, Gin sees a group of children engaging in a little play on their own in which Silver Fox and Night Cherry are the heroes of justice! Tooyama pays a visit to Ise and Tenhou watching the reconstruction of the Rocket. Seems he used Tenten as his doppelganger. I guess people are that stupid not to see the difference. Anyway he has business in seeing the duo. There are incidents going on in the Kansai region. Ever since Mizuno accepted the Rocket project and has ordered the collection of gunpowder from all over the country, however they haven’t been receiving the supplies lately and it’s due to a group of thieves who call themselves Night Fox Gang. I guess this means the past has catch up with her. Ise agrees to help him out so that her reputation won’t get tarnished. Besides, it takes a thief to catch a thief. Meanwhile Sora seems to be panicking. She tells Seikichi and the guys that their screen time ends now! Holy crap! They’re going to be like Genzo! Hey, at least they mentioned his name. Just when that guy thought his name is finally mentioned and makes a flashy entrance, they don’t remember who he is.  Cry all you want because your screen time ends here.

Ise and Tenhou wonder why Tooyama has that idiot Tetsuju tag along. Well, he thought it’s best they needed somebody who is an expert with gunpowder. If only he could just shut up and not be so idiotic flashy. Elsewhere Gin is doing his Silver Fox play to the kids but since it sucks so much, the kids refuse to tell him how they heard about the story. An old acquaintance of Gin happened to pass by. He is Tenbei Mimasaka and a survivor of Oshio’s uprising. However during the failed rebellion, the canon exploded and was blinded. They chat and Gin learns he was the one who spread the story to the kids. Tenbei still holds very high regards for Oshio and believes about saving the people. When an old man comes to give Gin his potatoes, Gin leaves so as not to be a burden on them. He can tell Tenbei’s cane hides a sword and that old guy isn’t just an ordinary person. However he dismisses he has nothing to do with it all. Ise and co are travelling through the woods when they are ambushed by Night Fox Gang. Tetsuju gets flashy and summons his raccoon friends and do a gatai scene with them (it’s just his furry fellows sticking over his body). He sounds like he is capable and uses the raccoons to tear up the place. Isn’t this animal abuse? Don’t worry, there’s a disclaimer to say no animals were used in making of this scene! Just when the boss sheaths his sword, the raccoons cower and scram! Ise quickly knocks Tetsuju out and reveals her true self. She doesn’t want to fight them and instead is here to give the gunpowder as gifts to them. The boss also reveals himself. He is Tenbei and they’re both surprised to see each other alive.

Tenbei takes them to his base and mentions Gin did come by but left. Ise sees a fleet of ships supposedly his mobile base. Seems Tenbei’s plan is to do another uprising. This time in Edo. Knowing that Mizuno has approved the Rocket project, they will use this confusion to strike and burn the government down. Ise agrees to help out but Tenbei doesn’t trust her words and points his sword at her. Ever since he got blinded, he has this ability to read people’s heart and Ise has been lying all the way. He knows if she helps out, she’ll let the magistrate’s people come right marching in. A little commotion distracts them. It’s Gin and he’s back. Ise tells him of Tenbei’s plan and leaves him to handle the blind guy while she stops the burning down of Edo plan. Gin faces off with Tenbei and put up a poker face in pretending not knowing what he is up to so that he could investigate the truth. Tenbei replies he’ll never understand Oshio’s aspiration so Gin says he’s blinded not because he can’t see but rather he can’t let go of the past he can’t forget. Since the place is shrouded with thick black smoke, Tenbei cuts off the only source of light and has Gin taste the world of darkness he has been living since. Tenbei mocks Gin and tries to implant fear in his mind. He also reveals his true goal of revenge to let those Edo people experience this same fear. Tetsuju was making fireworks lit up the sky for that moment and this allows Gin to see and strike down Tenbei. Ise and Tenhou also start their counterattack on Tenbei’s men. Let’s just say quality wins over quantity. Tenbei couldn’t believe he heard fireworks so Gin tells him gunpowder isn’t just fireworks. It is what gives them hope to achieve their dreams no matter how oppressed and persecuted they are. Those are the people he is trying to burn down. Tenbei in his dying breath asks him if that is his dream as well. Gin watches the fireworks and hopes Seikichi will show them even more amazing fireworks.

Episode 24
Akai is living like a bum alone in his tent in the forest. He’s sporting unkempt facial hair as he watches the ‘story so far’ and the other ‘plots’ that have happened since the demise of Blue Woman. Noting that Gin is back, he feels it’s time he returns too. He also thinks it’ll be unprecedented to have an action-packed anime after what has happened so far. Seikichi and the gang are putting the finishing touches on the 3-stage design of the giant Rocket called Shoryuu that will send Sora back to the moon. Notice Seikichi’s sad face when he mentioned about Sora returning there? Ise returns to her pawn shop but sees Riku making a request that she doesn’t want Seikichi and the rest to know. See her sad face too? Shoryuu is completed and that night everyone parties hard for tomorrow’s launch. A couple of guys are taking a leak by the cliff when the blue Sky Beast pops out and devours them! OMG! It still lives! Shunpei is drunk and is pestering Seikichi to ‘say it’ to Sora. Seikichi thought it was the matters of love but it turns out that if he tells Sora not to go, she’ll stay. He brushes him off and says the Rocket isn’t just for Sora but for the people of Edo to look upwards once more. Tetsuju spots the blue Sky Beast climbing onto Shoryuu. He tries to get it to come back to him. They’ve been friends before, remember? Seems this Sky Beast must have merged with Eyes because it has got an eye of Eyes. Then it ignites Shoryuu with its electricity. Seikichi and Sora have a little chat and to their surprise, everyone else was hiding behind the bush, irritated that they should just say it already. Woah! Busybodies! But that’s not the actual reason they’re here. They point out Shoryuu just got ignited. While everyone makes a run for it, Seikichi tells Sora to fly onboard. However she says she won’t because it’s bound to fail. True enough, Shoryuu comes crashing down even before getting a proper lift off since it’s too heavy. It exploded into flames as Riku watches from afar. She thought this was Torii’s doing but he says he didn’t even have to lift a finger. Riku vows to make a better Rocket than Seikichi and won’t make the same blunder.

While the gang are demoralized at the wreckage, Tetsuju is caught and is being suspected as the blue Sky Beast and the one who ignited Shoryuu. But Sora can tell he’s the real deal (because of some dubbing joke). Sora admits that there were a couple of bodies found like they’ve been eaten by the beast. Was it supposed to be dead? Maybe it was just playing dead so it could hitch a ride with Sora. Realizing that the blue Sky Beast is still alive, Tooyama says it’s more the reason they should finish the Rocket. Since his superiors have heard about the incident and really want to see it, they are willing to send more labourers to complete the job. Looks like the project is back on track. Again. Seikichi hopes Sora can wait a little longer and will launch a better Rocket this time. Ise is surprised to see Gin at her pawn shop as he notes it was her who sent supplied labours to Kagiya. And what he saw on his way back wasn’t something good. When Seikichi and Shunpei go to see Riku for help on gunpowder, her shop is temporarily closed. Ise points out she is at Shimoda and should go there. Whether or not his schedule is tight, she insists he must go! Upon arrival, they are shocked to see a large roller coaster-like structure. Shunpei concludes Riku was building a Rocket secretly since she hates to lose. However Shunpei blows his top and confronts Riku. She tells him he is forbidden to step into Kagiya’s fireworks testing grounds but he laughs it off that she’s launching fireworks. Because that thing isn’t for launching upwards. It’s something to fly over a great distance across the ocean. A cannon. Seikichi further adds that Kagiya couldn’t have possibly made this on their own as there is ice on its rail. Ice you see, is a controlled item during this period that the government only has access to and stored at the top of Mt Fuji. Torii completes his sentence saying this is government property. With Shimoda locating at the bay of Edo and acting as a lookout fortress, they can dispel any foreign fleet from here with this Rocket. Seikichi is still upset that Riku built such a thing but is held back by the guards.

Episode 25
Seikichi and co are imprisoned nearby. He wonders why Riku would build such a thing. Shunpei deduces that she’s jealous of Sora. What happens if Sora is sent back to the moon? Yeah, you do the maths. Of course Riku denies it all. Even Seikichi points out that Shunpei recently got a girlfriend and is getting cocky. Oddly, Shunpei didn’t even fluster or say his usual “irrational” line. But if that thing isn’t fireworks or Rocket to the moon, why did she suddenly make such a thing? Was she coerced? Her body language may indicate so but she’s quick to cover it by saying to prove Kagiya is the best fireworks maker in Edo. Elsewhere, Gin and Akai are impersonation as labourers. On the day of the launch, a group of spectators gather thinking they’re going to watch the fireworks but Mizuno allows them to stay since he wants to show his capability as lately there are many there are those who criticized his reforms and refuse to follow his leadership. Torii spots Gin on top and climbs up to confront him. Gin wants him to stop the launch despite Torii mentioning this is Mizuno’s project. This will enhance the Shogunate’s reputation by driving away foreign fleets. Gin replies that Mizuno’s reforms are falling apart and the Shogun is keeping close watch on him. Still he wants to hang on to his post. Gin feels that if they fire this onto the foreign ships, they are going to close the door of this country again. Torii didn’t like how Gin considers himself as a key to Japan because all he did was staying outside the mainstream and gloat by himself. Since both are stubborn to back off, they both fight. But they’ll have to make a run since the Rocket launches. Sliding down the ice rails, Gin and Torii hide in the ice cracks. Looks like the ice can’t handle the weight of the Rocket and is going out of control. The Rocket lifts off but falls short and crashes into the watching spectators in their boats, killing and drowning some of them. After that, the structure collapses. Mizuno is upset Torii failed and that he has wasted too much money.  He fears people will start talking bad about him. He leaves it to Tooyama to handle it. He frees Seikichi and the rest and will be taking responsibility for these people. Riku apologizes to them and only wanted them to think about fireworks. Ears who had been suspecting something confronts and fight Eyes in the woods. He is surprised he is still alive and working under Mizuno. The other MIBs arrive and they learn another surprise that Akai is also breathing. Akai saves Eyes and they escape. Though it might be Akai’s way of repaying his debt but with his status now, he can’t enter Edo and needs Eyes’ help.

Seikichi returns and sees Shoryuu completed and ready for launch any time. However he notes the people wearing poorer clothes because of the Mizuno’s harsh budget cuts. Seikichi is not too pleased and he sees Santa carving elaborated Sora sculptures on the launch tube. Seikichi thought once the Rocket launches, all his hard work will be burnt up and yet why is he doing this futile work. Genzo replies that it’s alright since it’s just an excuse to say that what you do is useful to others as everyone wants to do things they want to do. Just like his maths, he doesn’t do it for everyone but enjoys doing it for himself. Even if that is just a hobby, he points out isn’t Seikichi an Edo partisan too? However Seikichi gets called by Goinkyo and objects the cancellation of the launch since they’ve already come this far. The old guy understands but there is an order from Tooyama. If he can return Sora to the moon, he wants him to make this Rocket instead. Man, the blueprints seem so complicated. They call it Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and it’s filled with gunpowder up to the stratosphere to bomb America and Russia. Even if Sora knows Seikichi can still do this, he wants to really know what’s going on because what Torii ordered Riku to make was a different project. Tenten mentions Torii and Tooyama are pushing their own strategies in front of Mizuno. Tooyama and Torii and talking to each other and Gin joins them. Gin didn’t like Tooyama’s plan and thought he was for peaceful exchange with foreign nations. Tooyama thinks this will be good for the world so they can watch Star Trek and Prison Break. Jokes aside, by sponsoring Kagiya and Tamaya to do so, having fireworks that reach foreign lands will make the foreign powers think twice about exercising their aggression. And with Seikichi being able to do it because he wants his fireworks to be something greater and useful to others, he might pull it off. Gin notes Seikichi is not that stupid but Tooyama says Gin never made good use of his power apart from wagging his tail in front of Torii. After Gin leaves, Tooyama pours his tea over Torii’s head and thinks it’s time for him to retire.

Seikichi is mad as he asserts he is a fireworks artisan and can’t make something this terrible. But if his launch is successful, he’ll have to create the same things and in the worst case scenario they’ll have somebody else to make it. Goinkyo wants him to run away since he agrees he is a fireworks maker. As long as there is a sky, he can launch his fireworks and there is nothing in this country to keep him here. As for Shoryuu, it’s suspended. Seikichi is not happy and screams out his frustrations. Sora thinks it is fine this way as she’ll get to stay with him but he points out these fireworks isn’t just for her. It’s for the people to look up no matter what. They’re not play things, they’re something great to benefit others. Then watching Santa continue to carve the sculpture and Genzo’s words (I’m surprised he remembers him – okay, his words at least), he gets his confidence to launch his Rocket tomorrow and wants everyone to lend a hand. Eyes talks to Mizuno who is happy that with tomorrow’s successful launch, the Shogunate will no choice but to obey him since he has the power to attack foreign powers with fireworks. And if they don’t, he’ll launch it against Edo Castle instead. Eyes then knocks him out and thanks him for the hard work. Akai makes his appearance and says he has been waiting for him to make his move. Eyes thought he was lying when he said he wanted to serve Mizuno. That was true about a month ago. Akai was at the first launch of Shoryuu and saw him. Seems the blue Sky Beast survived the blast and took over Eyes’ body and posed as him, staying alive all this time. Akai draws his sword to arrest it as it transforms to its beast form.

Episode 26
Akai isn’t doing this to claim credit but as revenge for Yuu’s death. Despite the creature telling him they’re both from the same essence, Akai doesn’t care as he wants to do what he wants to do and starts slashing away. He manages to slice off a hand and stabs his broken sword into its head. But the monster retreats into the pool and Akai remembers Mizuno pouring Goinkyo’s weird potion into it. The Sky Beast starts cloning itself and with the increased quantity, they attack Akai. Seikichi rallies his gang to make the final alterations on Shoryuu. Hey, at least Shunpei remembers who Genzo is now! Brings tears to his eyes, eh? Ise gives a charm to Sora for her safe journey. Later Ise meets Gin and mentions about the alterations that Seikichi will launch the Rocket from inside and not via electricity outside. After that, he’ll get out via escape pod wearing the fire-rat coat. Gin understood the implications of what Seikichi is doing. Akai gets beaten to death and in his final breath, sees a vision of Yuu. His body is surrounded by the MIBs who are wondering why he has such a calm smile on his face. Next day, a huge crowd gathers to watch the launch but they are not anticipating anything fun as they think it’s the government’s show of force after that Shimoda incident. Seikichi and Sora prepares to head inside Shoryuu when Tooyama suddenly stops them. He knows the Rocket has been altered to be ignited from within. Doing so means Seikichi is planning to get away from Edo or even Japan and knows he won’t be jumping out after its launch. Without Seikichi around, Tooyama can still make his cannon but there will be delays and this is not what he wants. Suddenly Torii interrupts them and points out to the horde of blue Sky Beasts approaching. They must deal with this first. Gin charges straight to prevent them from riding the Rocket. Torii helps out since he wants Sora to get off this planet and Tooyama also joins in since he doesn’t want to lose out.

Shoryuu beautifully lifts off into the sky but when reaching orbit, it starts exploding. Even the escape pod! Oh no! However the results of the explosion are beautiful fireworks. To prevent the people from thinking it’s a disaster, Tetsuju shouts “Tamaya!” and has everyone thinking this is in fact a fireworks show. Everybody starts shouting and enjoy the spectacle. After despatching the last of the blue Sky Beasts, Torii relieves Gin from his duty as an MIB and that the Shogunate and magistrate no longer have anything to do with him. Gin dejectedly trudges to his other friends. He sees them whisper secretly before Tenten and Tenhou put up a magic performance to spring Seikichi and Sora up from the ground! OMG! They’re still alive? How can this be? It was planned from the start that the Rocket was to fail. This way, Tooyama and Torii won’t ever think of using their Rocket as a cannon since they’re ‘dead’. But will he be alright since the Rocket is everyone’s dream and not just for fun. But Seikichi says fireworks are exactly for fun and serve no purpose. He is fine with that since he is a fireworks artisan and has made a gigantic firework to light up the skyline of Edo with his soul. But Sora can no longer return to the moon. Well, she doesn’t mind staying with them. Suddenly a light beams onto Sora. She says it is her comrades picking her up. They think the large fireworks were her signal as they think this planet’s technology level couldn’t have caused such an explosion. Seikichi puts up a brave front and is alright that she goes back. But Gin punches him in the gut and tells him to go with Sora. The others also support Seikichi to follow Sora. With Sora agreeing, Seikichi and Sora instantly disappear into the sky. Seikichi is going to be the best fireworks maker in the universe and will only make fireworks for her. Fireworks of universal scale as in the Big Bang?

That night, a group of people riot in front of Mizuno’s residence by throwing just about anything. They know he has been dismissed by the Shogun. Torii tries to defend but his MIBs want him to back off and that he is well aware of the reason. Gin unlocks a locked box of Ise and mentions about his job to open doors and have no place to go. She gives him a pep talk that he might be a key but he can still go anywhere. Just that he hasn’t opened his heart yet. Seikichi’s fireworks have shown them the way that they can do anything. He wants to travel around Japan and even the moon but what should he do? He should think about that himself, right? Seikichi and Sora reach the moon base and Sora is going to introduce him to the others. But what Seikichi sees next shocks him because he didn’t expect his Furai Row friends to be partying in a banquet! Why are they here? Goinkyo thought they should go to the moon too and they ride on his UFO that he once came to the planet with. So, that old geezer’s an alien to begin with?! The UFO’s right under his house! How they reach here faster than Seikichi, don’t ask. The end narration tells us about NASA’s records when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon with his Apollo 11. It was never recorded in real history because what they saw was unbelievable. I mean, how can there be fireworks on the moon as there is no air? Well, call me a monkey’s uncle, the Furai Row House Block is like a little colony on the moon shooting its fireworks. So would you believe it? That the people from Edo were the first ones that came to the moon? After seeing so many unbelievable stuffs, I think it’s not possible that Edo people were the ones that reached the shores of America instead of Christopher Columbus.

“Rocketman, Fly Me To The Moon”
Despite the crazy and no-holds-barred antics, it was quite an enjoyable ride. In short, I love it! Firstly the kind of humour that breaks through just about anything will have you stop thinking logically. It’s the kind of show whereby you get to enjoy best by not thinking too much and just accept the jokes that come by. I mean, if you are going to see television, internet access, sunglasses, helicopters and even maid cafes in old Edo, it is ironic you are going to see the dull, boring, plain and simple life many would expect with the lack of advanced technology. Ironically if everyone is so poor, how in the world can they have such modern contraptions in the first place? I’m sure those monitors don’t come cheap even if inflation is unheard of in those days. Maybe it’s just Mizuno’s reforms. I’m not exactly sure but they didn’t say everyone was indeed poor before the reforms were put up, right? Thus that’s why despite everyone putting a frugal and poor front, previously they were decent and some even well off to have those contraptions (as far as this wild anime is concerned).

The other aspect of the jokes is largely about breaking the fourth wall and exaggerating it. Often from time to time you would see the characters making jokes like as though they are aware that they are in an anime and that the viewers are watching them. Without batting an eyelid or holding back, the characters would comment on the roles, stuffs and even the language that they use. It’s spontaneous so in a way it makes the joke on-the-spot funny. Sometimes they all even laugh it off at the end. So everybody has got a chance to look like a comical idiot, no matter how serious their character role is. Genius and aliens are not exception either. Everyone is equal when it comes to comedy. I know that life is a big stage and a play. So it’s like a play in a play, huh? Yeah, even complaining about screen time and all. So it makes you think that maybe this entire Edo setup is just stage props because well, it was once demonstrated that it can be replaced and repaired quickly and what more cell backdrop drawings. Then there are those that parodies anime and pop culture and with little trivia hidden throughout the series, it’ll be like Easter eggs spotting them. Provided if you know your anime pop culture well.

Though there are quite a few characters, many of them are lovable and memorable in their own ways. Maybe except for one. I just can’t remember who that was ;p. Haha! Just pulling your leg (referring to you, Genzo). Seikichi is a kid who just wants to live his dream of being the best fireworks in Edo. Then perhaps the country and now that he has ventured into space, the best in the universe. Mizuno’s reforms doesn’t put him down and with the support of the gang, he could have probably achieved his dream a little faster if his heart wasn’t swaying and concerned about some of his friends were lying and hiding the truth and also the Sky Beasts serving as a distraction. Because he’s a simple and straightforward kid, the reason why everybody else believes in him and gives him their support to help make his Rocket. Shunpei may not be hands on like his brother but his genius in maths helps make Seikichi’s fireworks a success. If he could only see past things beyond mathematical numbers and not everything can be rationally solved with numbers. Initially Sora was afraid to reveal her true form as she would fear she would be persecuted. After living with the Furai Row people, she would have known they aren’t such shallow minded people. Sometimes the truth may hurt but given time to understand, I’m pretty sure (and that’s what happened) those guys will accept Sora for who she is. I’m not sure if she was really torn to stay or leave because if she was, she would’ve split into clones like Blue Woman. I’m not sure about the details but perhaps it’s only something Blue Woman could do? After staying on this planet for a while, the aliens understood why their ancestors never wanted to go home. Too much fun on this planet perhaps. Sora wouldn’t really mind if Seikichi just told her to stay. So for now maybe they compromise a little as they’re all living on the moon together. Gin was torn between helping Seikichi out and using his powers for the common good. Because he failed to see his own dream come true, the reason he is betting it all on Seikichi. Thus putting aside his feelings of what he really wants to do.

Santa, Rokubei and Shinza obviously are small (no pun intended) minor characters that only serve as comic relief but they have their little screen time to show that they are not just background extra characters. I mean, Shinza’s face is so stiff and comical that I thought he was ripped out from Peanuts’ comic strip. Rokubei’s traits are his big teeth and I believe I have never seen him close his mouth. Can’t imagine that ‘space’ when he does so. Then Santa, I thought he was the Mario of this anime. Only that he is a carpenter and not a plumber. The ladies of Furai Row, Onui, Rokubei’s wife and Genzo’s mom also provide comic relief albeit lesser than the guys. And I don’t think no matter how much Genzo’s mom put her son on Youtube, Facebook or some other social media, I have this feeling he’ll never be noticed. Tenten and Tenhou just like Gin have their own colourful but tragic past. Despite working under Tooyama and as spies, I don’t think the other Furai Row residents would treat them indifferently. Unless they have a bad heart which fortunately they don’t. Ise may not come from Furai Row but she provides valuable resources in terms of labour and money to them. Just hope that she doesn’t fold up going deeper into debt and with poor people like Furai Row delaying their repayments year after year, it’s amazing she is still able to keep afloat in this pawn business. So was the gigantic final Rocket launch worth it? I’m sure it does. But if you’re going to talk about costs and monetary affairs, that’s a different story altogether.

Goinkyo is the most mysterious person in the block. There is an air of mystery shrouding this old bugger and each time you see him, you wonder who the heck he really is. It is highly indicated that he is an alien from another world. How else would you explain the weird contraptions and inventions in his home? So mysterious that he seems to be able to pull strings from behind and even make Mizuno fear for him. Popping up anywhere, knows just about anything and there’s more to him than just meets the eye. Yeah, he can walk and dance too. So that’s about it for the Furai Row people. Did I miss anybody out? Don’t think so. Oh yes. It’s… I forgot. Haha! Genzo shouldn’t feel bad that nobody remembers him. It’s what makes him unique. Okay, so what’s the point of that when nobody notices you. But not everybody. At least his mom and Onui do recognize his presence so all is not lost. Maybe he has come up with lots of genius maths calculations and theories but just that nobody noticed him so his works never really got published or known in future generations ;p. Just saying… Hope he isn’t just an imaginary character.

Akai started out as a despicable villain viewing the Furai Row people as pests whom he wanted to get rid off so badly. It is clear that he holds a grudge for them because of his jealousy that despite being poor they are happy living their poor life unlike him who may be a low ranking police officer but isn’t content with life. What is the meaning of life when all you are is a dog to the magistrate? Till he finally realizes his true love, what he wants to do with her that he is set free. So he isn’t such a bad guy after all because in the end despite his unfortunate demise, he stayed true to what he believed in. I don’t remember him having forgiven Furai Row residents but after Yuu’s death, I don’t feel he despises Seikichi and the gang as much as he did before. Tooyama is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is being displayed that he is on Seikichi’s side but that is just a facade to push his hidden agendas like Torii. So it’s a good thing that Seikichi and Sora faked their deaths in the end and put an end to this tussle and idea of making a cannon that will show the world how powerful Japan is. You don’t need weapons like this to show how strong you are. If you have the backing and support of the people, that is already the true strength of the nation. If there was to be the funniest and most amusing character in the series, then I would have given that title to Tetsuju. Despite being a good rocketeer (and racketeer), he is essentially a crazy loudmouth with wisecracks. His dangerous and wild antics go beyond the trio of Santa, Rokubei and Shinza. I’m not really sure if he really knows Sora as his princess (and vice versa) because he’s such a mad fellow that anything is possible. What do you make of him when you see him as a guy who wants to take in animals as his pet with names right after catching glimpse of them? One crazy dude indeed.

For the romance and chemistry section, many would have put their money on Seikichi x Sora. It isn’t obvious in the end despite Seikichi wanting to come along with Sora shows that he really likes her. So unless the main characters kiss, it isn’t really a strong indication that they will be a couple, right? So did we see Seikichi and Sora kiss? Gin also likes Sora but he is using Seikichi as an excuse why he shouldn’t just be clear about his feelings for her and ruin it all. In this sense, his heart is clogged, leaving him indecisive and feeling left out. Despite being the key and being able to open any kind of locks, he can’t open the locks of his own heart. It’s not that he can’t, maybe he doesn’t want to. Perhaps it’s easier to solve other people’s problems than your own. Riku also harbours some feelings for Seikichi but that becomes less obvious as the plot progresses. Maybe she realizes she has lost out to Sora and it’s best to just remain as friends, if not fireworks rivals. I’m not sure if Shunpei and Onui are an official couple because they don’t seem to be acting like one although it is hinted that ‘Shunpei got a girlfriend’ and he doesn’t dismiss that. So what is it like to have a dog as your girlfriend? Just kidding. But at least Shunpei isn’t jealous or go into his usual ‘irrational’ fit each time he sees Sora with Seikichi. I didn’t feel any sparks between Gin and Ise. It just feels that they were old partners, that’s all. True love maybe ringing for Arms but that is just one-sided since Tenhou isn’t going to reciprocate. So probably the true couple that materialized but didn’t last long would be Akai and Yuu. Till death do us part? See how love changes a man? Now they can peacefully be together in another world. Besides, that’s the only real kiss you’d see. I wouldn’t count Onui’s one with Shunpei because the latter was unconscious and the one Ise gave to Seikichi was just a naughty peck on the cheek. It means nothing.

The plot of the story progresses nicely despite having a few side distractions. While Seikichi is finding ways to build his Rocket, we have these gruesome murders and Sky Beasts to come between. Also we have a few filler episodes (New Year’s Day) and some that gives us a glimpse on some characters (Onui’s past) that fits in nicely in between. When the plot for the Sky Beasts comes to a close, we have a few more fillers before the big bang finale to wrap up everything. Speaking of Seikichi’s Rocket construction, it’s nice to see him steadily progressing in making a Rocket-cum-fireworks via his trial and error. You won’t know something till you’ve tried it, right? It started off with something small and simple, then by adding other complicated materials into the mix, it ends up with something huge and colossal like a space shuttle that one can only see in modern times. Of course with a little future technology help, Seikichi learns firsthand that making the ultimate fireworks isn’t as easy as it seems. There are so many things to take into consideration. The gravity, the weight, the stability, the lift off power, the trajectory, the altitude, etc. That’s why making fireworks isn’t just a one-man show and that’s where all the specialties of the individual characters come in. So not only we learn the valuable lesson that many hands make light work but perseverance and steadfast pays. One shouldn’t be disheartened after the first few failures. It might be natural after putting all your hard work in and in the end it doesn’t go the way you want but if everybody were to give up easily, any form of advancement would never been made or achieved.

The action bits are considerably okay but I won’t bet it would satisfy hardcore adrenaline junkies. I mean, most of the fights you would see here is against the Sky Beasts or between them aliens. You rarely see any those between humans unless it’s that uprising scene or the most with Akai. There may be blood spilled but that is mostly from the Sky Beast and it may be a little gory too. Surprisingly for an anime genre like this, there are a few deaths involved although all of them happened to minor background characters. Well, at least it’s being realistic a little. I mean, it would be unbelievable if nobody dies and everybody gets to live happily ever after. Seeing the different prototypes of Rockets that blast off (and fail) is also another form of action because things go wrong in the midst and Seikichi and co need to do something to fix things right and using their creativity or whatever they have at hand. Some may be exaggerated but at least they don’t disappoint. So in the end after all the Rocket evolutions, they didn’t really send Sora back in one. Instead she was beamed back up. Was it a waste? But it was definitely good experience, right? The drawing and art is a combination of styles, if I should put it that way. Of course we have the main characters looking like your typical conventional anime characters and some of the minor ones looking chibi and comical (with lack of details) and others to be just stereotypical ‘clones’ that you can’t tell apart (especially background extra characters that you won’t care to notice). If you ask me, I prefer Torii to keep his mask on because he looks more fearsome with that. His real face just looks comical. If not, ugly. Oops. Then some of the background and scenery are drawn in a way that as though somebody just painted them with water colour.

I don’t have any problems with the voice casting as they all fit their roles perfectly. Just that when I heard Rie Kugimiya as Shunpei, I thought hey, she’s not going to sound like her tsundere loli roles but male characters like Al in Fullmetal Alchemist or Miharu in Nabari No Ou. Well, at least she doesn’t sound so bad (if you’re wondering, I prefer Rie Kugimiya voicing tsundere loli characters) but her voice is still recognizable as she still pulls off her trademark voice (albeit not that squeaky) whenever Shunpei is in distress. The other recognizable voice to me is Norio Wakamoto who struts his typical low sexy voice as Torii. Other casts include Yoko Soumi as Seikichi (BC in Vandread), Chika Fujimura as Sora (Haruka in Guilty Crown), Kouichi Yamadera (Spike in Cowboy Bebop), Romi Paku as Ise (Edward in Fullmetal Alchemist), Arisa Ogasawara as Riku (Panty in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Tokuyoshi Kawashima as Akai (William Jones in Emma: A Victorian Romance), Tomo Sakurai as Blue Woman/Yuu (Misao in Rurouni Kenshin), Kei Shindou as Onui (Kuro in Kodomo No Jikan), Katsuyuki Konishi as Genzo (Amidamaru in Shaman King), Risa Hayamizu as Tenhou (Kumiko in Gokusen), Masaki Yamada as Tenten (Kanbei in Samurai 7), Kinoko Yamada as Shinza (Jinko Komori in Itazura Na Kiss), Kiyonobu Suzuki as Santa (Hayato Kobayashi in Mobile Suit Gundam), Shinya Fukumatsu as Rokubei (Jun Sonoda in Wangan Midnight), Rokuro Naya as Goinkyo (Matsumoto in Umi Monogatari ~Anata Ga Ite Kureta Koto~) and Toru Ookawa as Tooyama (Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist).

The opening theme is Oh Edo Nagareboshi IV by the pair of Puffy AmiYumi. Sounds like a great pop song and if you don’t mind, you can sing along with them. Then you can go mindlessly “Bababa bababa baba” right at the end. What’s the deal with Sora and the gang doing a little rock group performance in the beginning? The first ending theme is 100 miles ~Niji Wo Oikakete by Santara and it sounds like funky R&B outfit. The second ending theme is I Got Rhythm by Natural High and has this feel of a jazzy soul piece. One of the biggest plus points of this series is the background music which boasts a wide range and variety of tunes. From the Flamenco guitar style to the swing trumpet fanfare to Broadway music and jazzy blues, the music adds to the weirdness to the already weird show. So instead of hearing traditional Japanese music instruments, you hear all these. Which I think you’ll get used to after a while after all the weirdness sinks in. Then it pretty much fits int. Hey, I already did mention about modern contraptions making its appearance all over the series. So why shouldn’t music be any different? My favourite background music includes the exciting Spanish guitar of Passion, the lively swing-like, erm, Swing and also another swing and jive piece called Matsuri.

There must be an easier way to get to the moon than making a bunch of Rockets through trial and error, no? But if they had the solution in the first place, I guess that defeats the purpose of bonding and creating the relationship between the characters. Like they say, it’s not the destination but the journey that counts. So even from a nonsensical anime like this, we get to learn lots of moral values like hard work, teamwork, perseverance, persistence, determination, simplicity, graciousness, loyalty and even money isn’t really everything (thanks Genzo mommy). And it is also true that you don’t judge a book by its cover except when it comes to fireworks. So if a beautiful lady drops out from the sky and starts asking me to help her get back to Mars or Andromeda, I’ll just tell her to Google it. It’s much easier that way. Since my brain is a little messed up, I won’t be surprised if Edo people were the ones who invented Google. Or maybe Edo people came from the moon… I hope I won’t start a different kind of ‘fireworks’ with such statement.

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