December 1, 2006

Another one of those series where comedy and romance are bound to be plentiful. Mix them together and there’ll be lots of crazy stuff ensuing. Yes, I’m talking about Rizelmine. A 24 episode series but each series has only approximately 15 minutes of air time. Plus, if you take away the opening and ending credits, it’ll be 10 minutes or so. Yeah, you can say that such animes are like ‘snacks’. Because unlike the main course, it doesn’t take a long time and you just watch the show for fun and entertainment rather than in-depth analysis or story and character developments or things like that.
Be a little warned, though. Eventhough that the series may look a little innocent as in the drawing and the characters, there are some nude scenes here. Albeit, it isn’t that bad in the sense that it actually shows the girls bare chested (at least not in the earlier parts). Just showing of some skin here and there (okay, maybe still too much skin showing) but not so much that one would categorize it as a hardcore hentai genre. Maybe a little ecchi. Besides, that’s the main reason why the series is funny in the first place. And I like the comedy because it made me laugh, not because I’m a pervert.
The way I see it, I can safely split Rizelmine into 2 seasons, 12 episodes for the first one and the remainder as the second season. Though, the series was aired somewhere around 2002, there was a slight break in the continuity of the series after the first 12 episodes, before the series resumes and finishes its run by the end of the year.
The first half of the series, well of course, mainly introduces the characters and the plot of the series. As seen in the first episode, a 15 year old boy named Tomonori Iwaki (looks a bit like Takeshi Oomura of Happy World. Probably sounds a bit like him too), who’s really devastated and feeling the pangs of love when his homeroom teacher, Natsumi Ihata, announced to her class that she’s getting engaged. Yup, you’ve guessed it. Tomonori is in love with his teacher and has a major crush on her. I guess that’s how one will feel when the ones they love has been ‘taken’. Too bad.
At the same time, we see some 3 government men in black guys transporting some prototype girl somewhere. Meanwhile, Tomonori cycles back home in a rage. Wow. Kids, don’t do this on the streets, it’s reckless riding. Not only drinking affects ones driving/riding, but now it seems love does too. Anyway, to add salt to Tomonori’s wounded heart, he comes back home to find that the Japanese government has made him against his will, married to a 12 year old genetically engineered girl named Rizel. Why? No reason. Actually there’s a reason. That typical government reason… it’s confidential. So typical. They even have all the necessary documents and papers for Tomonori and Rizel’s marriage certificate. So what’s this project all about for? Well, I did already mentioned, it’s classified. Probably the producers can’t come up with a simple solution so they decided to use that reason.
Of course, would Tomonori’s parents allow something like that? Not at first. Since it’s their son, they should consider his feelings and consent first, bla bla bla. Yeah, that’s what parents should do when their child’s in toruble. But all that changes when those 3 government guys, nicknamed Papa A, Papa B and Papa C, said something about the government bearing all their expenses, job promotion and having government sponsored home loans and all sorts of other benefits. And all this could be theirs and much more if they just agree to it. Wow! See how materialistic and monetary subjects can really turn people around and change their minds. And because of that, Tomonori’s parents had no choice but to tell him to be nice to his new wife. Must be really tempting. Of course, Tomonori is still reluctant and protesting and wouldn’t just accept her, ignoring her most of the time.
But in contrast, Rizel seems to be the opposite, with 2 head disk (which looked heavy for her head) as some sort of hair accessory, she’s quite energetic, genki, and enthusiastic about doing anything just about and pleasing Tomonori, calling him ‘danna-sama’ (husband). Even though Tomonori may be oblivious to her affections and efforts (which may sometime go awry), she never gives up and always try again. Maybe that’s because she’s naive and innocent and probably believes that he’ll love her. Wait, she is. And her favourite word is "Hafuuuuun…". What ever that means. Plus, she gets excited and always say "This is my first time doing so and so with my danna-sama…".
To make things even worse, the 3 Papas have to somewhat stick close to and monitor Rizel’s development along with Tomonori. Yeah, sometimes like busybodies. But it’s their job. Plus, they’ll be living under the same roof as Tomonori and his family. And it’s like this for the rest of the episodes. Rizel tries to do something to make Tomonori like her, but the latter isn’t interested and her plans go wrong somewhere and sometimes Tomonori has to in a way and unknowingly save her. Rizel gets closer to know about him in the end (in a way) but Tomonori will say something mean and make her cry. However, as warned by the Papas, no one should ever make Rizel cry. Why? Hehe, it’s not classified answer this time. That’s because her tears are made up of explosive chemicals like nitroglycerin. And one teardrop would mean a massive explosions! And that’s what happens at the end of nearly every episode. Thus, Tomonori’s house is always under repair by the Hinomaru Construction Company. I guess those scaffoldings will always be permanent. And there’s always that stray dog passing by there (and at times somewhere else, just to make its appearance) and getting scared of the explosion and thus ran away.
So what are Rizel’s attempts to make Tomonori like her? One of them includes trying to dress up as an ideal girl to suit Tomonori’s taste in episode 2. She got that idea when she found a stash of secret photos in one of Tomonori’s books. Yeah, so she dresses up like sailor girl to nurses and even naked apron! But Tomonori isn’t too fond of it. Okay, I’ll just tell you why. Actually, Tomonori likes older girls! Yes, it’s true. That’s the reason why he’s in love with his homeroom teacher in the first place. And since Rizel is younger than him, I guess the equation adds up, doesn’t it? Anyway, the gang found out that the photos don’t belong to Tomonori but his dad! Oh my. Even his dad is a pervert and in order not to be found out, he hid it in Tomonori’s place. Hmm… I’m starting to have doubts and thinking that his family is actually dysfunctional too.
Like in episode 3 where Rizel heard that most probably Tomonori like the smell of a men’s stench. What the? Is Tomonori gay? I don’t think so. But anyway this doesn’t stop Rizel from trying to smell like one like trying to sweat it out playing sports and even getting rubbed in a crowded train filled with men! Wow, this naive girl would really go to such great lengths. In the end, she just wore Tomonori’s clothes just to smell like him. But still, Tomonori’s irritated and not to pleased.
Well, there’ll be a bunch of odd characters thrown into this love chain fray. Yup, in episode 4, Rizel wants to sneak into Tomonori’s school by putting on some weird disguise (yeah, that one with specs, moustache and big nose). Thing is everybody recognizes her but they just didn’t want to disappoint Rizel who’s trying so hard. During Rizel’s wandering in Tomonori’s school, some guy, Ryunosuke Hououin caught a glimpse of Rizel’s kiddy bear-faced panties and instantly fell for her. Literally, love at first sight, if you know what I mean. Yup, and he’s determined to make that mysterious girl his.
By episode 5, after that ‘excursion’ Rizel is somehow now a new transferred student in Tomonori’s class, much to his shock and dismay. This is the funny part. When Natsumi introduces her to the class saying that she’s much younger than them because of some grade skipping thingy due to her genius (more like the government pulling strings) that she’ll be joining the class from today, Rizel then replied something like "I don’t know what that all means, but I’ll accept it". Hahaha. She’s really naive and she’s just got Tomonori on her mind. And to make things even worse, Natsumi also mentions about Rizel being Tomonori’s bride and living under the same roof as him. Tomonori must be thinking, this can’t be happening. Also, she made friends with one of Tomonori’s classmate, Aoi Seimoto.
Oh yeah, that Ryunosuke guy’s somewhat of that kind of guy where he’s every-girl’s-dream-guy (at least to Aoi). And yup, Aoi does have a crush on him. And just like in Tomonori-Rizel’s case, her efforts to gain his attention is oblivious, but Aoi’s not so bold and daring as compared to Rizel as she’s more shy and reserved. Also, since Ryunosuke has his eyes on Rizel, the funny thing is Rizel can’t always seem to remember his name, giving him funny nicknames which rhyme with his name. But I suppose Ryunosuke can tolerate it since he’s in love with that girl. Also, when he speaks, his speech is usually that ‘charming’ kinda talk, filled with all those love-destiny jargons and garbage. Quite amusing, though.
So can you see the love chain? It’s something like this Aoi likes Ryunosuke who likes Rizel who likes Tomonori who likes Natsumi. And it only goes in that one direction and not the other way round. That’s why it isn’t a love triangle or quadruple or anything like that.
That love chain gets another contender with the introduction of Kyoko Yachigusa in episode 7. Yeah, she came to Tomonori’s school to give him some present because he saved her life 2 years ago. Aoi thinks that Kyoko will be Rizel’s rival since she’s older than Tomonori and has a more developed body. But Rizel seems so carefree and isn’t jealous (well, maybe it’s not that obvious). Actually, Aoi’s doing this because if Rizel and Tomonori are together then Ryunosuke would give up on Rizel, thus making her chances with him much more brighter.
There’s one thing weird about Kyoko. She seems like a very shy and bashful girl but when she takes off her specs, she becomes a totally different person. Yup, she becomes even wilder and daring. So that specs is some sort of a ‘control’ device’. Weird. Furthermore, she is the daughter to one of the Papas! And that poor Papa is sometimes torn between choosing which side to support as Kyoko and Rizel both like Tomonori. Also, I find the part amusing where Papa shoots a bazooka with specs just to calm Kyoko down. Such exact timing!
So in episode 8, Kyoko and Tomonori are dating at the amusement park. As Rizel and the Papas tries to hurry to save him, the 2 now in a ferris wheel, with Kyoko can’t control herself anymore decides to give Tomonori her present, takes off her glasses and… taking off his pants??!!! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Of course some struggling from him. In the end, Rizel manage to save Tomonori but and the Papas calm Kyoko down and we find out that Kyoko actually wanted to give him a pair of new trousers she had sewed. And she wanted him to try it on. Ah… that’s why. And to be close to Tomonori, Kyoko rented a neighbouring house next to Tomonori’s. Looks like another string pulling thing from the government
Other adventures in season 1 include where Tomonori had to rescue Rizel in episode 6 because he thought Ryunosuke’s gonna do something ‘funny’ to Rizel (is this a sign that Tomonori’s concern of her?) but Ryunosuke just wants to immortalize Rizel in some sculpture. Or in episode 9 where Natsumi and her fiance got into a big fight and Tomonori sees this as his chance to mediate things and gets closer and elope with her. Unfortunately, though Natsumi says he’s a nice kid but she just see them as a teacher-student relationship. Oh well. And in episode 10 where Aoi writes a love letter to Ryunosuke but the latter thinks it’s from Rizel. That’s because Aoi forgot to write her name on it. Poor Aoi trying to convinceRyunosuke but to no avail. Must be really frustrating.
To end the 1st season, in episode 11, Natsumi told the gang about some legendary Kissing Rock thing. Whereby the first person who manage to get a flower on that rock is allowed to kiss the person he/she likes and that person would fall in love with him/her. Seems like a good idea and everyone has that intention and in no time, left for the place. Yeah, why do they need to take a plane and sky dive there, as Tomonori asked. Because it’s faster that way lor.
Plus, we see the 3 Mamas (ladies in white lab coats) are somewhat like the Papas, monitoring Rizel’s development. The Mamas seem to be quite fierce and dominating while the Papas quite afraid of them in a way. Hmmm.. The Mama And The Papas. Reminds me of an old British pop group, don’t they. Though, they don’t have any connection at all.
In episode 12, the race begins with Tomonori, Rizel, Ryunosuke, Aoi and Kyoko getting all ready and excited to win the race. Of course the Papas were watching and wouldn’t hesitate to help Rizel win. During the course, Ryunosuke, Aoi and Kyoko somehow crashed into each other and are out of the race. Since Rizel is struggling swimming, the Papas have come up with some device to help boost her chances, but Rizel said she wanted to do it on her own. The Papas saw that determination in her eyes and decided to let her do it on her own, and even went against Mamas orders to do so. But some big tidal wave causes her to drown. Just then, Tomonori who’s leading saw what happened and proceed to rescue Rizel, putting aside his initial goal. He manages to do so and tries to resuscitate a lifeless Rizel on the Kissing Rock. Well, Tomonori tried CPR, that mouth to mouth resuscitation. Yeah, inadvertently it looked like a kiss. Maybe it is.  And for a brief moment there, Rizel transforms into a grown-up, hugging Tomonori. Could he be dreaming? But that lasted for just a few seconds before she returns back to her kiddy self. Tomonori pushed her away after realizing what they’re doing. Rizel thought she’d turned into an adult for a brief moment but Tomonori thinks otherwise. And the others seem knocked-out as they lay unconscious on the beach.
The second season seems to be more ecchi. Yup, at the end of each episode where they review the next episode, there’s this haiku with some sexual innuendos and puns. And they had to do the next episode review twice since there’re a lot of those haikus. Yup, a double dose of haiku filled sexual innuendos and puns. Also the girls are in a sexy position and tempting sexy voices with some ‘naughty’ talk in the beginning of each episode where they warn you about things like don’t watch too close to the tv and things like that. Remember I said that there’re no chest baring scenes? I was wrong. There’re certain scenes here where if you look closely enough, you can see it, especially in those bathing scenes. Besides that, I felt that the second season has Tomonori more receptive of Rizel and is a little more serious. Though, there’s that usual craziness to make you laugh. Oh yeah, in this second half I notice Rizel didn’t cry as much as the first too.
Episode 13 begins with the Papas giving Rizel some pills where if she swallows them, she’d turn into an adult although it will last for 5 minutes only before she turns back to her normal self. And the thing is Tomonori doesn’t recognize the growned up Rizel and is starting to fall for that older mysterious lady, much to Rizel’s delight. The funny part is, as the 2 are dating, everytime the pill is gonna wear off, Rizel will make some excuse to run off somewhere and swallow another pill. However, each time not only she turns into an adult but her uniform changes as well! And she’s giving an excuse that she has many jobs. Tomonori should smell something fishy here. By the way, Natsumi’s married her fiance already. So it’s no go for Tomonori.
Because the pills ran out, Rizel sneak into some secret lab and ate some super pill which will accelerate her growth hormone and make it more permanent in episode 14. But in the end, Tomomori found out that the older woman he’s dating is Rizel, much to his horror. Though he’d made a date with Rizel earlier on, he decides to back out and not meet her, since her cover’s blown. Poor Rizel waiting for him through the night and in the rain. Just when Tomonori noticed that Rizel’s not back, he’s thinking that she might be serious about the date and went to look for her. As he managed to find her and crossed the road, suddenly an oncoming truck hits him.
Yup, Tomonori’s in a coma in episode 15. As the doctors try to revive Tomonori with the rest waiting anxiously by his side, Tomonori has some weird dream of being in a train on a school trip with his friends, but someting’s missing. It’s Rizel. But he can’t seem to figure that out until he heard Rizel’s voice calling for him. And with that he opened his eyes, much to everyone’s joy and relief. Then we find out why Tonomori likes older girls. When he’s younger, he saved an older girl, who’s Rizel at that time. Since Rizel has some problem with her growth, she can’t grow up and will always be 12 years old. And that’s why, Tomonori has to ‘turn her into a woman’. With that, Tomonori realized that it’s Rizel’s fault that he likes older women to begin with. Hey, wait a minute. I noticed something here. When Tomonori’s in a coma, Rizel’s pleading emotionally for him to come back, and she has that teary eyes. Shouldn’t the tears make some explosion? Dunno.
As dreams do come true, in episode 16, Tomonori’s class takes a class trip. And there’s that saying that if during a field trip, if a person carries the one he/she loves with the landlord/landlady and has his picture taken, they’ll be together forever. Some saying. Anyway, you know what’s going on in their minds, right? So Aoi went to great lengths to act, speak and dress like Rizel just to get her picture taken with Ryunosuke. So is it true that Ryunosuke’s really falling for Aoi as her plan seems to work. Not actually. We find out that it’s Aoi kiddie bear-faced panties that’s making Ryunosuke all over her. But later, Ryunosuke said that he can’t be in love with Aoi, just because she’s not a 12 year old. What the? And Aoi’s willing to give him everything. Yup, everything, including that… ahem ahem. Yeah, that guy’s only infatuated with 12 year old girls. And this line made it even funnier. When Aoi told him that Rizel will be 13 next birthday, Ryunosuke went into some frenzy denial saying that his loved one will always be 12 years old and never grow up, like how Shizuka will always be 12 years old (yes, that Shizuka from Doraemon), and all other 12 year old anime characters that will always stay their age. So funny lah. At least an angry Aoi then tried to knock some sense into this sick lost guy by kicking him away, landing in the arms of Kyoko, just right when she has her picture taken.
The school trip still continues in episode 17 as Ryunosuke gets a hold of some love potion whereby whoever drinks it will fall in love with the first person he/she sees. But it’s Natsumi who drank it first and then saw Tomonori. Is this a dream come true? Well, Natsumi’s gonna really ‘do it’ with him in the bus alone, that is, until the potion wears off. When finally Ryunosuke manages to get Rizel to drink it and she saw him, Tomonori’s worried that he may do it. But all fears alay, he just wants to see her kiddie bear-faced panties. That’s all. Really sick guy. And he’s in love with Rizel in the first place only because of this too. Really really sick perverted guy.
Episode 18 is my favourite. At some inn, the intention of making that saying come true continues. The Papas came out with some mind controlling device that if the victim where’s that helmet device, he/she will do anything the master asked them to with a remote. A lot of helmet swapping here and there. With a lot of unwanted funny incidents beyond their control. Like Aoi (with the helmet) and Kyoko kissed! Yuri!!! But the funniest part is where Aoi, who thought Ryunosuke is wearing it, then asks him to love her, only to find out too late that the helmet is being worn by that stray dog. And that stay dog proceeds to lick her… ahem ahem. Can’t say. Not only that, her girl classmates too had the helmets on. So it’s a foursome, I guess. But does Aoi sound enjoying it, eventhough she’s reluctant? In the end, though Kyoko was gonna have her pic taken with Tomonori (with the helmet), Rizel fell down right when the photo’s being taken. And the outcome of the photo looked as if Rizel’s in the arms of Tomonori, blocking Kyoko completely. Oh, how frustrating.
Looks like the Mamas want Rizel to mature into an adult in episode 19 as they instruct Rizel and Tomonori to do ‘Otona No C’. I think it’s some… ahem ahem. Well, since Rizel is still that naive, her interpretation of it isn’t so extreme. Meanwhile, Ryunosuke and Kyoko found out that the 2 are gonna do ‘Otona No C’ and decided to cooperate to break them apart.
With Tomonori’s parents having a round-the-world trip, he and Rizel are all alone in the house in episode 20 and 21. Yeah, just another big string pulling from them so that the 2 can do ‘Otona No C’. And they’ve made some barriers around the house so that no one can interrupt them. Poor Ryunosuke and Kyoko, they could’ve arrived earlier. Only thing is they got lost to which short cut route they should take to reach Tomonori’s house. Anyway, why are there so many routes? Anyway, some Grendizier spoof, as they try to reach their destination.
Meanwhile, there’re lots of subtle hints to make Tomonori do ‘Otona No C’ with Rizel, and he seems tempted to do it. But after realizing that it would benefit Rizel in a way, Tomonori decides to do so. As the 2 gets undressed and were about to do it, Rizel fell asleep. Tomonori thinks it’s okay for now, but the Mamas barges in from some secret passage and say it’s not, much to Tomonori’s surprise and shock. He finds out that ‘Otona No C’ isa actually some adult-chuu (kiss) and the Mamas have been observing them all this while. Double shock! As he stands there naked, the Mamas asks him to put on some pants. Hehehe.
At the same time, the efforts of Ryunosuke and Kyoko were futile. They both became shock when they saw from the window that the 2 are gonna ‘do it’, causing the duo to fall into a ‘compromising position’. And the worse thing is, Kyoko’s glasses are off! Because Kyoko can’t hold back anymore, she kissed him!!! I guess to her any bishounen would do. Reluctant at first, but looks like Ryunosuke gave in and he seems to enjoy it! And the 2 walked away happily. Ah… the love chain has been broken and it seems the 2 are gonna be a couple. Looks like that legend during their school trip came true.
And in episode 22, Tomonori seems to avoid Rizel after what happened in the previous episode. Rizel pretends to threaten to divorce him showing him divorce papers. And much to Rizel and the Papas and Mamas surprise, he signs them. But that’s the start of things to come. You see, there’re other countries with genetically engineered-like Rizel. And since the 2 are not married anymore, they’re competing to make Tomonori their bride. Particularly Lux from USA, Lan Lan from China, Lobelia from Italy and Rei Cherkasky from Russia. Also, each of them have their Papas look-a-like in their country’s uniform.
Makes you wonder, what’s so good about this Tomonori guy that other guys don’t have. Yeah, the 4 compete for the right to be his wife as poor Tomonori gets caught in between. And Rizel’s no where to be found. Where is she? Things get even hotter (or worse) in episode 23 when the 4 not only moves into Tomonori’s house but transfer to the same class as he is. I like the funny part where in his house they’re doing their usual trying-to-get-his-attention attempts when 1 of them accidentily slipped and touch his crotch. The others who saw this didn’t want to lose out and proceed to try and grab and touch his crotch. It’s so hilarious to see so many hands moving here and there much to Tomonori’s annoyance. But looks like he’s quite spaced out.
Ever wondered why the show’s called Rizelmine? That’s because in this episode, Rizel finally appears in a mecha, called Rizelmine shows up to save Tomonori from the clutches of the ever competing foreign Rizels. She manage to beat them all and they backed down and admit defeat when she tears their divorce papers. Later as Rizel and Tomonori meets face to face, she tore her marriage certificate in front of him, much to his surprise.
In the last episode, Rizel pleads to the Papas and Mamas to have her memories of Tomonori erased as she thought he doesn’t love her anymore. But the Papas want to observe Tomonori’s behaviour first before doing so. They notice him going to random places but they soon realized that those places are the one he and Rizel had been together. So in a way, Tomonori still cares for her. As Rizel rushes to the park to see him sitting there alone, he rushes to her and hugs her. Then he shows Rizel his marriage certification to her, much to Rizel’s happiness. The 2 then finally had a real kiss. And for the first time, Rizel’s teardrop didn’t explode. Wow! Talk about the way things turned out. Tomonori now loves Rizel and her tears won’t go boom.
In the final scenes, we see events that happened a year later. Ryunosuke and Kyoko are married with a baby in her arm and are living next door to Tomonori’s house, and for the first time the construction has finished. Yeah, now Kyoko’s dad is concern and spying on them. Meanwhile, Aoi is over with Ryunosuke and has that weird relationship with that stray dog, as the 2 have a bath together. Probably must be from that time when that happened. Ahem ahem. And Tomonori’s got a little baby brother. Though, I’m not sure the baby in Kyoko’s arms belongs to her or Tomonori’s mom.
The Mamas asking the Papas for some shopping money, but it seems they aren’t so fierce now with the latter asking them to ask properly. Natsumi getting naughty with her husband something about ‘eating her’. The 4 foreign Rizels are still at each other, but now they have to fight many other Rizels from other countries as well. It’s a battle royale! Yeah, they come in assorted uniforms and colours. Reminds me like one of those ‘collect them all’ series. And finally, as Tomonori and Rizel rides together to school on his bike, we see how much they love each other as Rizel has Tomonori’s chibi face on her panties and Tomonori has Rizel’s chibi face on his undershirt. Aww…
Overall, I guess this anime is pretty much okay with the way things and the characters develop towards the end. I’m glad the 2 of them are together and how Tomonori has changed throughout the entire series. Also, I would say that the producers manage to tie up things pretty nicely rather than ending it abruptly or leaving viewers scratching their heads in confusion or disappointment.
Forgive me if I used the ‘ahem ahem’ phrase too much. Okay, I admit, I’m quite embarrassed to actually mention or explain whatever sexual innuendos or acts, therefore grown ups who’re reading this should know what I mean. Or if you don’t, then just watch it. Ahem ahem. Oops, sorry.
Also I find the opening song, Hajimete Shimashou, a little weird. Well, not so much the lyrics, but the way the squeaky voiced singer sings it. Yeah, it may sound cute at first but later it was enough to make my hair stand on ends. Especially that chorus part where she goes "shimashou… shimashou… shimashou shimashou shimashou shimashou". Meaning, let’s do it, somehow I just can’t stand it. Uh-huh, the voice actress for Rizel also sang this song as well as it’s ending themes. Though the ending themes doesn’t sound that bad (squeaky, that is).
The drawing and animation is also pretty much consistent and so is the voice acting. Therefore, if you want some happy fairytale ending with some mixture of comedy, but don’t mind some nude scenes (especially that haiku part), then I suppose this series could be quite entertaining as well. Mind you, I didn’t like those chest baring moments and I’m not a pervert!

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