Oku-sama Wa Mahou Shoujo

October 22, 2011

Remember Hollywood movies like True Lies and Mr & Mrs Smith? What do they have in common with this anime that I am about to blog? Their spouses have something to hide from each other! But unlike super-secret agent spies, Oku-sama Wa Mahou Shoujo resembles more closely to that longest running supernatural-themed sitcom in the USA, Bewitched. That’s right, in both cases the wife has supernatural powers in which she must hide from her husband and other Earthlings while trying to live a normal life as a suburban housewife without the tempting use of magic. Sounds easy? Not if you’re a b*tch. Oops, I mean a witch.

In place of Bewitch’s Samantha, we have Agnes Bell who is a 26 year old housewife taking care of a boarding inn under the name of Ureshiko Asaba. And her secret is that she’s not a witch. She’s a magical girl, albeit a clumsy and klutzy. Hey, an aunty magical girl! Oops. Just kidding. But have you seen a magical girl who isn’t young these days? And unlike in the American sitcom’s counterpart, Ureshiko and her husband are in an estranged relationship. Yikes. So where has the love gone too? That’s why when another younger guy comes into the picture, you could say she’s torn between her love and duty. What duty?

If you’re asking what the heck a magical girl is doing in this world in the first place, you see, all magical girls come from the land called the Realm. This particular sleepy countryside of Japan to the people of Realm is called Wonderland. Ureshiko is currently the Manager of this Wonderland and has been maintaining, preserving and protecting how things are since taking over from her late mom, Aphrodite and her successor, Freya. But after 3 generations of more or less the same thing, the Realm people want some change in this artificially created town. Thus Ureshiko is in a dilemma to relinquish her position since only young magical girls can hold the post as Manager and shape the town to their will based on their creativity. Now we know why all magical girls are soooooo young.

Episode 1
We see Ureshiko having problems using her magic doing household chores because she screws up with the vacuum cleaner. Maybe she’s really getting old. She’s being told by the inn’s hostess, Maiko Motohiro to clean up the inn to welcome a new tenant. He is Tatsumi Kagura, a young man and an ex-track and field who is being driven by her senpai Yuuko Ayase to his new lodging. Elsewhere, Cruje arrives in town and is supposed to be the new successor to Ureshiko. Under the alias of Sayaka Kurenai, she disguises a transfer student at a school. A bunch of bullies, Yuuki Katsura and his odd-face lackey, impose their authority on Sayaka but she weaves a little magic to drop their pants! Then she goes on a magic transforming spree by turning the entire school into something more attractive and even flying around, even zooming pass by ex-magical girls such as Yuki Tanishimi the school’s nurse. Ureshiko’s ring is able to detect any use of magic so she transforms herself and heads to school to confront Sayaka. She wants her to hand over the ring (a symbol of the position) but Ureshiko refuses. So ensues a high speed chase throughout the town. Sayaka almost got hit by the truck driven by Yuuko but Ureshiko’s magic saves them from being casualty statistics. Tatsumi spots Ureshiko before the latter disappears. Upon arriving at the inn, they are greeted by Maiko and Ureshiko but Tatsumi feels that Ureshiko resembles oddly close to that magical girl he saw earlier on. Of course Ureshiko pretends not to know anything. Must be his imagination, eh? As she helps him unpack his stuff, she trips and falls into a compromising position. She uses her magic to push him away. Maiko advises the young lad not to mess with a married woman. Later she takes Tatsumi on a little tour of the town and tells him why she loves this town very much. Back home, Ureshiko continues to help Tatsumi pack but being the klutz she is, she falls off as he catches her. Their face is close enough to kiss but she stops him and says that they can’t do that.

Episode 2
Ureshiko meets her other friends. They are also middle-aged ex-magical girls, the married Nori Misugi with a young daughter named Ayaka and the constantly boyfriendless Ururu Kinjou. They support Ureshiko in fighting against Cruje in order to protect this place. Ureshiko has a flashback when she spotted her husband kissing another woman. Sayaka continues to be picked on by Yuuki and his lackey but the other girl classmates come to her rescue, though she isn’t that appreciative. Meanwhile Tatsumi starts working in a publishing firm and under the wing of an editor, Shioya, he takes the new lad around town and possibly a first-hand view of what is expected of his job. One of them includes trying to get a writer to write for them. He is Tamotsu Asaba (the man in Ureshiko’s flashback and thus her husband) but they see him boldly kissing another woman outside his house.  Well, that woman, Kusakabe isn’t only his mistress but from a rival publishing company as well. I guess this is the only way to get rights to his new book. Shioya leaves Tatsumi to handle everything (thanks for being a nice trustworthy senior) and upon entering his messy place, he gets kicked out when he tries to clean up his place but ends up making more mess than before. Probably he was just nervous that’s why he ended up like a klutz. Sayaka is one annoyed girl because her girl classmates are so eager in following her everywhere and wanting to know more about her. Sayaka uses her magic to have them slide down a giant sand dune. WTF?! Luckily they are saved by Ureshiko’s magic. Tatsumi is down and out on his luck when he sees a giant sand dune right in front of him. I’m not sure what he is thinking but I guess he took it as a challenge to face his obstacles and aim for new heights. Yeah, he tried to do a high jump over the dune but after he leaps, the dune is gone and he lands flat on the ground. Sayaka spots him and goes over to introduce herself (looks like she has taken a liking for him). Then Ureshiko back in her housewife mode comes by and even invites Sayaka for dinner. It’s funny to see them talking nice to each other but behind Tatsumi’s back, they’re unleashing and throwing magic against each other! It’s a good thing Tatsumi didn’t notice them. I don’t think he should find out the bitter rivals these ladies are. Sayaka stays and helps Ureshiko cook. During dinner, Tatsumi suddenly gets this idea that the reason why Tamotsu is grumpy and moody was because he may not have a nice hot home cooked meal. He takes a pot and rushes over to his place. Seriously? With Tatsumi gone, Sayaka takes this chance to challenge Ureshiko to a duel over the ring but all Ureshiko is concerned is the stew getting cold. Tamotsu tastes the stew and recognizes this is from Ureshiko. I guess you can’t go wrong with his wife’s trademark cooking, eh?

Episode 3
Yuuki and Lackey make Sayaka do cleaning chores but she holds it in and does it. Another classmate who was also once a transfer student befriends her and helps her out but she maintains her distance. Sayaka has this feeling that there is a presence of another magical girl and she turns out to be Bulga (a magical girl who once fought Sayaka for the rights of this Manager position but lost). She is sent by the Realm’s Council to help retrieve the ring from Ureshiko but Sayaka insists she doesn’t need help. But Bulga starts destroying buildings to lure Ureshiko out. They both fight (wow, Bulga using those temple stone pillars like missiles!) as Bulga tells Ureshiko that she is too old to hold that ring. Ureshiko uses the ring powers to restore the damaged town and this drains her power. Bulga uses this chance to steal the ring but it repels her. Ureshiko mentions that this rings a very great power and that normal magical girls can’t handle it. Bulga flees in fear and defeat. Sayaka witnesses everything from afar. Meanwhile Tatsumi’s publishing company made a printing error so he along with Shioya and the editor, Kashiwada go round apologizing to their readers. From home to home. Man, that’s got to be tough. Along the way, Tatsumi even meets Ureshiko and her buddies. Ururu tries to flirt with him but obviously he has better taste than her. Oops. The publisher’s final task for the day is an appointment with Tamotsu so Kashiwada tells Tatsumi to go buy some sweets since Tamotsu has a sweet tooth. In his house, the ‘interview’ begins but Tatsumi being the rookie could only apologize and couldn’t answer his questions or lost for words. Yeah, if you’re getting fried by a seasoned writer even about the sweets you bought, might as well apologize like a man. It ends with Kashiwada quoting a line from his book so Tamotsu gives in. On the way back, Tatsumi learns about Kashiwada as a once ruthless hell editor who could think nothing of meeting deadlines during his heydays in the big city. But when he neglected his wife, he decided to take it cool and easy retreating to this countryside. Tatsumi comes back to see tired Ureshiko and vows to do his best.

Episode 4
Tatsumi continues to read more of Tamotsu’s books and is absorbed into his world. Ureshiko notices this and decides to pay her husband a visit. A strange silence fills the air, making their positions awkward. She tries to clean up his place but he tries to force kiss her. Of course she still can’t so Tamotsu tells her to get out. With Ureshiko down, Tatsumi decides to make her an energy drink and goes out to town to buy ingredients but meets Sayaka. They end up having ice cream as she gets excited when he promises her to take her to an amusement park. It starts raining as Tatsumi rushes back. He passes by Tamotsu’s house and sees him kissing Kusakabe. Once Tatsumi has finished making his energy drink, he finds Ureshiko is gone and goes out to find her. Speaking of which, Ureshiko is confronting Cruje for another unauthorized use of her magic. Seems Cruje couldn’t wait for Tatsumi to take her to the amusement park and has created one herself. She sends Ureshiko on a roller coaster ride (to prove if she’s young at heart?) but Ureshiko’s superior magic puts a stop to it. They get into an argument as Ureshiko is adamant of not wanting to hand over her ring because she fears Cruje will destroy and change all that she has been protecting. Cruje is upset that she has no confidence in her whatsoever and flees. The conversation takes a turn into one whereby Ureshiko remembers the night of the wedding whereby she couldn’t let Tamotsu kiss her. So sex was okay but a kiss wasn’t? Since she couldn’t tell him a reason, he left. The reason why she can’t kiss him is because if she does, she will lose her magical girl powers! I guess that’s why she’s been keeping quiet. Nobody would believe that kind of answer. Just like how mermaids will turn into bubbles if they tell anyone else about their real identity, eh? She has another flashback whereby when her mom was alive. She was talking about life and all. Of course as a kid, you’d take it real serious when your mom starts saying that she won’t be here one day. So like her mom said, by maintaining the town as it is, probably reminiscence of her will remain. In a way, Aphrodite will still be alive, right? Tatsumi finds Ureshiko sitting in the rain so he goes comfort a very depressed her. The romantic atmosphere is ruined when she remembers that she forgot to take in the laundry!

Episode 5
To see if Tatsumi is worthy of becoming an editor, Tamotsu hands him a research assignment of Shoin Yoshida (some scholar and revolutionist). Tatsumi starts his research via internet and when he returns with all the printouts, Tamotsu isn’t pleased and rejects it because he did what any normal school kid could do and wanted something that only he could do. In short, he failed to live up to his expectations. Meanwhile, Sayaka’s girl classmates bug her to pay her a house visit. They are amazed of her nice big room but when they question about her parents and being a grownup, Sayaka gets an idea. The next day as Tatsumi goes to work, Ureshiko notices he isn’t cheerful as usual and gives him a hint to pay a visit to a local school called Shoka Sonjuku (where Yoshida thought his students). Sayaka feigns sickness so that she could skip school and transform herself into an adult version to meet Tatsumi who is oblivious on who she is. At the school, Tatsumi begins to see the teachings of this Yoshida guy. Ureshiko out on patrol after sensing another magic from Sayaka, sees the adult version talking very friendly with Tatsumi. Probably she got a little jealous and flies off without interfering. Tatsumi returns to Tamotsu with what he has learned and this time the latter is much impressed with his work. Sayaka back to her normal form is happy that she is able to spend time with Tatsumi while the bespectacled guy notices Ureshiko not too happy so he says that she looks better if she puts a smile on, making her feel better.

Episode 6
Maiko injures her back so she decides to give Tatsumi her letter. No, it’s not her will, mind you. They are a pair of tickets to some mambo concert. It’s a shame that it’ll go to waste if Tatsumi and Ureshiko don’t go. Ureshiko becomes like her name suggests, a happy gal as she looks forward to her ‘date’ with Tatsumi. During pool classes, Yuuki and Lackey tries to show off so Sayaka mocks them of being small. They think she is referring to their private parts (when she actually meant their attitude) so they mock her flat chests. I guess this is what made her conscious about her boob size as even in her adult version, Yuuki and Lackey commented on her flat boobs, causing her to be upset. Yeah, even if she is all grownup some parts still remain the same. Adult Sayaka accompanies Tatsumi doing his interview of a famous local potter. As they leave, Sayaka pops the question to him. No, not getting married, but rather if he likes big breasts. Well, he doesn’t have to rush to answer since Sayaka collapses due to using too much of her magic. Oh, look at the time. He’s supposed to meet up with Ureshiko who is waiting patiently for him and so eager to this event. However being the nice guy he is, he can’t leave Sayaka’s side. He rather stood up on Ureshiko than leave this braided girl? I guess there are some things that are more important. Worried Ureshiko goes around looking for Tatsumi and sees what he is doing. So she decides to use a little of magic to help restore Sayaka’s health. Tatsumi gives his handphone number to call him in case she needs anything. Tatsumi rushes back to Ureshiko but finds she is not there. Oh wait. She is. Looks like the concert has already started. I guess to make up for it, Tatsumi starts doing the mambo in the street as Ureshiko joins him in the fun. Yeah everybody, get up on your feet and do the mambo too.

Episode 7
The episode opens with Ureshiko battling and coming out tops with another magical girl, Chane, sent by the Council to retrieve her ring. At the aftermath of the battle, Ureshiko remembers how she and Tamotsu were dating. She couldn’t allow him to kiss but he was okay with it. Then they got married traditional Japanese style because you don’t have to kiss like in those Western ones. And I guess just like another guy who is deprived of kiss, Tamotsu left her after the first night. Yeah, sex wasn’t enough or complete without the kiss. Sayaka calls Tatsumi and invites him to go out to the beach together. Why is Ureshiko looking so concerned and a busybody? However Sayaka’s pals invite her to the beach as well but she turns them down. Then she goes to consult Yuki on love affairs and gets a warning about kissing. She is confident she won’t fall into that kind of trap. Really? Ureshiko visits Tamotsu again and he tries to force kiss her but gets a slap across his face. She wants to end their relationship but he’s not going to have it her way and refuses her selfish request. As Tatsumi meets adult Sayaka at the beach, Ureshiko tails and spies on them from afar. They’re really having a great time together. She loses sight of them when 3 troublemaking guys want to ‘play’ with her. However they pick the wrong lady to mess because with just a twitch of the finger, she uses her magic to have them buried in the sand. Sayaka continues to have a nice time with Tatsumi but those naughty classmates of hers have the cheek to tease them and ruin their moment. When Tatsumi and Sayaka are alone at a secluded area, Sayaka remembers Yuki’s words about getting the right atmosphere. They prepare to kiss but thoughts of losing her powers causes her to freak out as she pushes him away and run away in tears. Meanwhile Chane comes back for revenge and this time with her twin sister, Hermes, their surprise attack got Ureshiko in their grasp (crushed in between a sandwich?). Sayaka notices the magical girls fighting and interrupts them. Chane and Hermes assure Sayaka that they’re on her side but Sayaka doesn’t want any kind of help and will take the ring herself. Sayaka scares them away but Ureshiko collapses into the sea after her powers are drained. Sayaka rushes back to Tatsumi for help. He manages to pull her on to shore but she’s not responding.

Episode 8
Thankfully Ureshiko is still alive and back in her room with Tatsumi by her side. Apparently Tatsumi didn’t do any CPR because Ureshiko still has her powers intact. Meanwhile Sayaka is being summoned by the Council over her delay in taking the ring and gets a good ticking off. She becomes depressed upon returning to Wonderland. She meets Yuki on the way and they chat about this world. Elsewhere Tatsumi goes to Tamotsu’s home but finds Kusakabe there. She takes him outside and tries to seduce him but he doesn’t fall for her charms. At the Obon Festival, Sayaka follows Yuki as she prays for her deceased lover. Then Yuki reveals and transforms herself to be a magical girl, Valentine Valentino. This catches Sayaka by surprise because this means Yuki hasn’t kissed her lover as believed to be. Valentine remembers she was in love with a biker dude. Of course she couldn’t allow him to kiss her and he was okay with that (I guess every guy is like that at first). Her joy turned into despair when he is killed in an accident on the very day she was successfully passed her school entrance exam. Ureshiko senses the use of magic and confronts the user and is shocked to see Valentine. Valentine wants Ureshiko to hand over the ring so that this old world will be erased along with her pain of the loss of her loved one. As the aerial battle rages on, Ureshiko tries to persuade Valentine that all those memories and times spent with her lover were real and not artificial. Valentine breaks down and lets Ureshiko go so this prompts Sayaka to note that Valentine has lost. Upset Sayaka wonders around the festival and we see that Yuuki kid really has turned from his bullying ways into someone who likes Sayaka. I mean, he tried to give her free snacks to cheer her up. Meanwhile, Tatsumi sees Tamotsu and Kusakabe at the festival. Tamotsu wants to talk to Tatsumi and brings him to a secluded area and starts punching him! Seems Kusakabe has made up lies that he tried to assault her. Though Tatsumi asserts that he has eyes on someone else, Tamotsu isn’t buying it. Ureshiko arrives in time to see what’s happening.

Episode 9
Ureshiko goes over to shield Tatsumi. On the way home, Ureshiko is happy to hear that Tatsumi’s concern of her but feels she wants to protect him too. While nursing his bruised cheek, Tatsumi gets a call from Yuuko about her engagement party. Seems she’ll be marrying her childhood friend and move back to her hometown. I guess if she is to wait for Tatsumi to realize her love, she’ll wait till kingdom come. Yeah, she has a crush on him but in life, she has to move on. So with her parting ways, Tatsumi gets the determination to move forward and aim for a higher goal as advised by Yuuko. Meanwhile Freya pays Maiko a visit and she is revealed to be Maiko’s daughter. Her purpose of visit is to tell them that the Council are losing their patience about changing Wonderland. Freya too isn’t happy about their decision as she feels there are important things here she wants to protect. Sayaka in her room is shocked to see her stuffed toys come to life. They are proxies being used by the Council to watch over and communicate with her. They say they will erase this world by force if she cannot complete her mission. The first thing she did was to call Tatsumi and to meet up. In her adult form, she is clearly distraught about the thought of erasing him. She runs away in the rain but Tatsumi catches up when she trips and injures herself. Sayaka knows that she could never have a fulfilling relationship with him as his heart is set on Ureshiko. The reason why she liked him was that he was different from other people who made her shoulder lots of everything. He was kind and helpful. So she wants him to stop be kind to her or else she may fall in love with him again. Tatsumi got her message and breaks off with her. Tatsumi rushes back home and hugs Ureshiko, letting out his true feelings. Meanwhile Maiko and Freya pay the Council’s head a visit. Seems he and Maiko are husband and wife! Yeah, they don’t get along well too. Family feud. Ureshiko takes off her ring and they get ready to kiss. However she remembers her duties is unable to go ahead and ends up an emotional wreck.

Episode 10
However Ureshiko transforms into Agnes to reveal the reason why she can’t kiss. She senses a large magic cloud and heads over to find an army of magical girls being ordered by the Council to have her remove her ring. Even with greater powers, Ureshiko can’t handle them all. Sayaka arrives but to the girls’ surprise, she helps Ureshiko to escape. Her reason is that she wants to legitimately take over as her successor. Really? Bulga fires a shot at Ureshiko to send her tumbling out of the sky before the magical girls are warped back. Tatsumi catches Ureshiko in time. Though he broke a bone, Ureshiko uses her magic to heal him. Ureshiko continues to explain about her duties as Manager of Wonderland and her feelings for him. Dejected Sayaka sits alone in her dark room. The Council chastise her for wasting a golden opportunity but gives her a new mission: Take control of Wonderland within 24 hours or they will destroy it by force. Sayaka seals her magic for that period as a loophole that she isn’t obeying their orders. Then she makes a run for it when the stuffed toys start to besiege her. Run! It was funny to see how they slammed against the door. She bumps into her classmates who are alarmed that fire broke out in their school. Apparently before Bulga and the rest got warped back, she dropped several golden shards around the town. Those shards now become inflammable and start burning several areas. Due to the lack of firemen (they are busy putting out fires elsewhere), the kids and the public have no choice but to fill buckets and put out the fire. Sayaka is unwilling to help till Yuuki decides to barge inside to save a championship flag that he treasures most. Seeing his determination and the rest, she goes into the burning building herself. How is Ureshiko going to solve this problem? Easy, use the powers of her ring to summon a giant rain storm. That should put out all the fire. I guess she still hasn’t lost her touch of controlling large scale magic. But those little household chore ones are a different story. Sayaka manages to find the flag but collapses due to inhaling too much smoke. When she wakes up outside, she is touched to see how concerned her friends are. What’s more, the flag included her name. But since it is all burnt, the kids couldn’t help give out a frustration cry. Ureshiko meets Yuki as the latter says that the world will change somehow and she should be prepared for it anyhow when the time comes. Ureshiko decides to put an end to one of her biggest regrets in life: She flies down to Tamotsu’s house in her magical girl outfit. Hey pal, you aren’t seeing strange things with your wife.

Episode 11
Ureshiko finally tells the whole truth about her being a magical girl to her husband. Now does he believe it? Well, better than never knowing the reason, right? Also a flashback on how they met when she was working as a waitress in this town. It was love at first sight. She thought she could entrust this town to him even if it was an illusionary one. As for the world getting destroyed, well, it’s not his problem. He’ll do what he does best to the end: Continue writing. Ureshiko returns to Tatsumi and wants them to escape this town before it’s completely erased. It feels like eloping. However the moment Tatsumi steps on the train, Ureshiko steps off the last midnight train out of this town. The storm is picking up pace in Wonderland. The Council begin their work in erasing the town but are interrupted by Maiko and Freya. Their attempts are somewhat futile and just delaying the inevitable. Ureshiko protects the town with her barrier but even so, she has her limits and she’s fighting a losing battle. Sayaka is disheartened that the erasure is taking effect earlier as promised but the Council elder claims this is merely just like the change of season. Sayaka rushes out and meets Tatsumi on the way. Hey, how did he? You see, this has got to be the ‘best’ part because once Tatsumi gets off the nearest station, he runs straight back to Wonderland! Can you believe he reaches back home before anything begins? I know he’s part of the track team but even the fastest guy on Earth will take some time to return. It’s like saying that the train ride to the next town is so close within walking distance. They find Ureshiko on her favourite spot on the hilltop. First thing Sayaka did was to slap her to wake her up from her senses of course. At this rate, she’ll be erased along with the town. Tatsumi asserts that he will be by her side no matter what and will not run away. Ureshiko then unseals Sayaka’s powers and then wants Tatsumi to throw the ring as far as possible. This is so that both the magical girls’ power are amplified when they fire through it. The plan works and the entire dark stormy sky turns into a bright sunny one. Ureshiko gives her ring to Cruje so the latter agrees to hold on to it for safekeeping till she returns. Where is Ureshiko going? She is going to meet the Council to settle everything once and for all. Well, she did learn a lesson or two from Tatsumi about not running away, right? And The Council decide to abandon their plan since the ring is already in Cruje’s possession.

Episode 12
Though Sayaka seems happy just holding on to the ring, Bulga, Chane and Hermes aren’t particularly pleased since this means Sayaka won’t be reconstructing Wonderland soon. They dare her to put it on and when she does, they hypnotize her. Ureshiko faces the Council before her. She tries to plead for the old Wonderland to remain but to no avail. However the Council elder chides her for not guiding Cruje properly on how to manage the town. It wasn’t the question of whether the town should be recreated or left original. All she did was had no faith in her and jumped to conclusions that she wanted to destroy and create a new world. She even went to great lengths to try and take a certain guy out of this town to prevent him from being erased. At this point Ureshiko realizes her mistake and that’s why Cruje’s heart is weak and is now easily overtaken by others. The elder shows how her underlings are taking hypnotized Sayaka around town and ‘ordering’ her what needs to be recreated. As punishment for her actions, Ureshiko is sent to a prison in another dimension to reflect on her actions. Yuuki spots Sayaka and chases away the mean-looking Doberman dog and pair of crows (Bulga and the twins in their respective animal forms) thinking they’re harassing her. Sayaka is snapped out from her spell. Yuuki finally confesses he likes her but she questions would he remain the same if this town were to change. Yuuki’s answer seemed to give Sayaka confidence as she rushes off. However Bulga and the twins hypnotize her again. Maiko and Freya talk to the Council elder and he doesn’t seem like a bad person like we all initially thought. The ladies reflect on themselves that they too were wrong for relying too much on Ureshiko and took for granted that she knew how to manage the town since she’s Aphrodite’s daughter. The elder says that he doesn’t need to release Ureshiko from prison because if she deeply thinks about someone she loves, she’ll be ‘released’ from prison. Depressed Ureshiko is visited by the spirit of her mom. They talk about protecting the town as Aphrodite feels guilty for pushing the responsibility on her. She tells a way to get out of this prison. She starts thinking that the only person for her is Tatsumi. Elsewhere, Tatsumi is seeing visions of Ureshiko just about anywhere. It’s like having a withdrawal syndrome. Ureshiko here, Ureshiko there, Ureshiko at every turn and corner. His eyes are sure playing tricks. So probably it’s like a miracle come true when he thinks too much of her and wahlah! Ureshiko comes appearing out and right into his arms. Feels good to be back, eh? Meanwhile hypnotized Sayaka is at the hilltop accompanied by Bulga and the twins as she begins the process to recreate this town.

Episode 13
Looks like there’s one final thing she has to do. Ureshiko transforms to go rescue Sayaka. Bulga and the twins keep Ureshiko busy to prevent her from interrupting Sayaka. Valentine appears and is on Ureshiko’s side. She stalls the young girls while telling Ureshiko to go ahead. Bulga uses her umbrella to aim at Ureshiko but Valentine uses her body as a shield. Bulga becomes afraid upon knowing that she stabbed her for real. Never killed anyone before, eh? With that, Bulga and the twins escape since they just wanted to scare them off. So looks like it’s them who got scared off. But don’t worry. An old hag, oops I mean an experienced lady like Valentine won’t die so easily. She summons Tatsumi to be by Ureshiko’s side before disappearing. Sayaka is snapped out from her spell but realizes that she can’t stop the process. Thus the only hope is to imagine the kind of world she wants to create. She reflects that meeting with Yuuki and seems he said that he would prefer the world as it is now because if the world changes then Sayaka won’t be the Sayaka he knows. Ureshiko puts her trust in Sayaka but still can’t help ponder if she will really recreate a new Wonderland because she doesn’t want to lose Tatsumi. He assures her that they won’t so they both hug and kiss as a bright light engulfs the town. In the aftermath when Ureshiko wakes up, she is now an ordinary lady with no more powers. She meets up with Tatsumi, Maiko and Freya waiting for her. The town it seems remained the same and the only difference is that Sayaka, the new Wonderland Manager used her powers to fix the damage that was caused during the fire. In school, Sayaka’s pals wonder if the fire ever took place because the school is still intact and their championship flag is unscathed. Okay, maybe just a little burnt part. Bulga is cast down at school (new transfer student? She seems like in a daze) while Tatsumi attends the celebration of Tamotsu’s latest book release. Kusakabe is also at the party and seems she admits Tamotsu has acknowledged him and there aren’t any hard feelings between them anymore. But you know what was the first thing he went up to ask Tamotsu? He begs to give Ureshiko to him! Woah! Right in front of everyone! Daring! Tamotsu’s reaction? He punches him not because he’s jealous. But rather not to consider Ureshiko as an object! Of course he then smiles and leaves Ureshiko in his care. I guess that means he got the green light. Finally Ureshiko narrates she loves this town very much and it will never change as long as the Manager managing it understands what it truly means to live.

Magical Middle-Aged Aunty
So a happy ending even if this town is an artificial one? I’m not sure if there are many more other such Wonderlands other than this town because later as I read and find out, the people of the Realm created this Wonderland as experiment on human potential. So it bugs me that if everything here even from the lives are artificially created, do they really pose real emotions and feelings? From this show, they do. It feels somewhat like breeding Sea Monkeys, eh? And I guess becoming Managers of Wonderland, they have this danger of getting too emotionally attached to the town so that’s why they don’t want it to change. Considering that if people coming in from other towns like Tatsumi, once they enter Wonderland, do they become artificial lives too? And he will have to disappear if a new town is recreated? Or those this mean that the entire Earth is one big Wonderland? Now we know why there are so many unsolved cases of missing people.

At first, the Council seem like the main antagonist. A bunch of old guys who just keep rushing to change for a new Wonderland. Sometimes it makes you think that these old guys have some sort of fetish of wanting to see young magical girls run the town and when the reach middle aged and no longer appealing, a new one takes over just to make it fresh and new. If the ring possesses powers to change to town, you just wonder why Ureshiko didn’t use her ring powers to change the Council and the Realm. Yeah, erase those old baldies in the Realm instead. However as I read a little more, I found out that the Council are under some sort of pressure by the higher ups of the Realm to change the town, that’s why they are pushy and trying to get Cruje to change it as soon as possible. You can’t really blame them since they’re just doing their job. It’s like the people of the Realm have this past time of watching Wonderland as some real life soap drama and after 3 successions which brings the same result, I’m sure they’re going to tire of it. It’s like watching a very long running and repeating TV drama. Plus, to them the lives in Wonderland are just artificial and just that. So no emotions attached unlike the Managers who run it. So like I said, like watching Sea Monkeys, right?

With Ureshiko now ‘retired’, I’m sure she can look forward to living a blissful life with Tatsumi. I’m not sure if Tamotsu has agreed in divorcing her because legally that would mean adultery, right? Well maybe with Sayaka in charge, there won’t be such laws even. Ureshiko seems like a confident and mature woman but at times she starts doubting her duties as a Manager and a wife due to the fear that she will lose what she has been protecting all this time. It’s odd that she still gets embarrassed with how short her magical suit outfit is. Maybe she really has grown out of it? Can’t her magic do something about it considering that she is the most powerful magical girl in the Realm? Tatsumi has also grown from a green kid to someone who is more mature. Sayaka felt like a tsundere at times. She isn’t honest about her feelings when being confronted with the obvious. Her frustration mainly stems from the fact that she was given no opportunity to strut her stuff of what she is capable of. If Ureshiko had not doubt her at first, will all these troubles could be avoided? But you can’t blame Ureshiko for not wanting to give up the ring at first because Sayaka sounded like an obnoxious brat when she first wanted her to hand over her ring. I wonder if she and Yuuki will become a couple since she has given up on Tatsumi. But that’s another story. I can’t see any important role Tamotsu played except for the fact that he is a past that Ureshiko couldn’t easily let go off. He’s an understanding guy if you could just provide your reasons. Therefore sometimes, silence is not golden. I’m still wondering why a simple kiss can cause a magical girl to lose her powers. Okay, maybe it’s better than having Kryptonite as one. Even more bugging is the fact that why do guys here want to ascertain their love by kissing their girl? I thought it was more of the other way round. I’m not sure about this, maybe she could just allow a kiss any other part of the body except her lips (no dirty thoughts here, please). Just playing it safe in case, eh? Nori and Ururu felt like non-important characters as they’re just ‘bumming around’ supporting Ureshiko. Well, this shows that they have lost their powers. At one point I felt it could turn into something like Desperate Housewives, magical girl version. Just kidding.

From the look of certain scenes, I’m sure if you but the DVD or Blu-Ray discs, you’ll be able to feast on some fanservice scenes. I’m not saying that the fanservice here are extreme since this is a year 2005 production but you know those bright lights and shadows that conveniently blinds or covers the necessary areas. The other fanservice-y part which I find rather weird (sometimes it made my hair stand on ends) is the transformation scene of Ureshiko and Sayaka. Some of the transformation process like the way Ureshiko kisses her ring or Sayaka rubs her stomach shows it like in a very tempting and seductive manner. Yeah, do they need to wiggle their butt when the skirt comes on? Is that supposed to be inviting? The transformation ends with the so called ‘audience’ calling out to their name. It’s like a WTF moment. I don’t really have qualms about the background music but I have to say that they played too much of the one featuring the recorder/flute. I don’t know it just gets to me. Sometimes it feels like they’re blowing too hard and make it go a little off-pitch. Maybe it’s done on purpose or perhaps my hearing problem.

Kikuko Inoue as Ureshiko was recognizable due to her trademark dreamy voice like Kasumi in Ranma 1/2 and Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama. Likewise I could still recognize Ai Shimizu (Koyori in Sola, Daniel in Shinigami No Ballad) as the voice of Sayaka even if she doesn’t go into her high pitch mode very often. I know and could identify that Rie Kugimiya is the voice as one of Sayaka’s classmates. However I have a feeling that she voices more than 1 character in this show and if I’m not mistaken she does 2 more. They are Ayaka and Hermes. It is hard to ascertain since it is never listed in the end credits but after straining my ear and listening to those characters’ lines several times, I could safely bet that it is her (I still could be wrong, though). Surprisingly I find the voice of Yuu Kobayashi as Yuki. To me, she fits roles that have crazy loud screaming female voices like Ayame in Gintama, Kaede/Kaere in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Lia in World Destruction. But I guess I have to come to terms that she has a versatile voice and has voice a myriad of characters. Besides, this isn’t her only boys-role voice as she also did the same in Fractale as Clain and Kyou No Go No Ni’s Ryouta. Other casts include Daisuke Kishio as Tatsumi (Suginami in Da Capo series), Juurouta Kosugi as Tamotsu (Akisame in Shijou Saikyou No Deshi Kenichi), Rica Matsumoto as Freya (Futaba in You’re Under Arrest series), Akeno Watanabe as Bulga (Rito in To Love-Ru series) and Atsuko Mine as Maiko.

I’m still wondering why Managers need to be young magical girls. You can’t say that middle aged ladies have past their prime because in Ureshiko’s case she still has it under control. Except maybe she needs more fine tuning when she does her household chores. Well, let’s hope not that they will turn into witches if they overstay their tenure like in some Puella Magi show. So now do we understand why all magical shows, old and new feature cute little young girls and most of them not even hitting puberty? So that the magical girl show in the series always looks fresh and new no matter how stale and typical the plot is! Now do we understand why we don’t often see magical girls kiss others especially their loved ones? Yeah, you can’t save the world without your powers. And if you subsequently find out that the girl you love turns out to be a magical girl, remember it is still much better than any vengeful Super Ex-Girlfriend.