Sometimes it is good to go back and watch old school animes once in a while rather than always seeking to watch current ones. Having said so, I don’t really remember the reason why I decided to go watch Samurai Girl Real Bout High School. Perhaps it just caught my attention when I was just randomly browsing through the internet one day and my curiosity got the better of me.
 
From the short manga series of the same name (it lasted around 6 volumes only), the series was given the anime treatment back in the year 2001 although the anime storyline did stray from it. Now that is a pretty long time if you think about it. I guess at that time anime is in the process of booming so don’t hope for anything groundbreaking in this series. And if you are looking for some fanservice, just be warned that it isn’t as ‘good’ as today’s standards (don’t even start forming an opinion towards me!). But those were the animes back then. Can’t complain much, can’t we? What more do you want to expect from an action, adventure, comedy and fantasy genre?
 
The opening in episode 1 sees two men battling with each other in some ruins. Then a change of scene whereby our heroine of the story, Ryoko Mitsurugi, is heading towards Daimon Private High School and she is quite popular among the girls as they give her lots of stuff. Her pal Hitomi Yuki, teases her but Ryoko says she isn’t happy being popular. Photo bug Daisaku Kamiyama replies that isn’t true as she’s also popular with the guys. Real popular too. Isn’t this what most high school girls dream to be? Ryoko sense several shurikens coming her way and deflects them all. She dispatches several hidden ninjas but soon a number of them surround her. A group of people including a school girl announcer, Tamaki Nakamura, sets up several props for a K-Fight (Kenka Fight, for short). What in the world is that? Well, in this school, disputes are settled via matches and are even run by K-Fight Executive committees. So today’s fight is between defending champion Ryoko and the amateur ninja club. And the commentator is the principal of Daimon High, Takao Todo. The fight attracts all the students so much so classes are empty and the little petite teacher Misao Aoki thinks she has entered the wrong class. Aoki is so small that you could mistake her for a school kid! Anyway Ryoko beats all those ninjas flat and defends her title.
 
Later, Ryoko spars with her senpai, Tatsuya Shishikura in a kendo match. He praises her improvement and she seems happy. You can obviously tell that she has a crush on him. Ryoko senses something coming her way and stops a cloth with her bokuto (wooden sword). It’s from her senpai Azumi Kiribayashi and she says it’s a towel for her. But the towel is clad with nails! Azumi flirts with Tatsuya and takes him away, pissing Ryoko off. Yeah, the love rival. I smell cat fight. Meow! Daisaku and Todo are discussing how to make K-Fight more interesting since Ryoko is too strong and it’s getting monotonous. Todo thinks Shizuma Kusanagi is the only one who can challenge her but ever since he lost to Ryoko, he has disappeared, supposedly on a training trip. Ryoko spots a jewel pendant in her locker and puts it on. When she does, it starts glowing as she screams in pain before collapsing. The next thing she knows, she is standing there as though none of that happened. Suddenly Tamaki announces everyone to head down to the gym because anybody who defeats Ryoko will get their club funding 100 times more plus a trip to Hawaii. If no one wins, the fund automatically goes to the kendo club. Say, I noticed Tamaki has 2 assistants who seem to cosplay in various outfits. They’re acting like her echo… Everyone gets hyped up as Ryoko is reluctantly brought in, not to happy with another one of these fights. Ryoko beats all the pathetic club members flat but her next challenger is Azumi. Before the bout starts, Azumi mocks Ryoko and shamelessly flirts with Tatsuya. Ryoko’s bokuto vs Azumi’s long nigata trade blows till Ryoko did a trick by letter her bokuto being hit up in the air which allows her to step on Azumi’s nigata before retrieving it in midair and strike the final blow. But she stops short of hitting her. When Ryoko says that this isn’t practice but K-Fight, Azumi admits defeat. Everyone rejoices.
 
As Ryoko is congratulated by her friends, suddenly her pendant starts glowing and the next thing she knows is that she is in an empty gym. A voice welcomes her as Demon Lord of Yenen. That voice turns out to be some sort of war priestess as Ryoko is still pretty much confused on what is going on. The priestess points towards a dragon, in which it starts attacking them.
 
In episode 2, Ryoko wonders if this is a dream as she has no choice but to battle the dragon known as Demon Beast. She notices her bokuto flashing and is being told by the priestess of its God power. Finding it interesting, she uses her newfound powers to defeat the dragon. When the dragon disappears, the priestess is nowhere to be found. Her pendant starts glowing and the next thing she knows, she is back in her own room and the pendant missing. Her sister, Madoka, comes in asking about dinner and that is when Ryoko realized that the time now is 8pm but she is sure that the K-Fight had ended around 3pm. She calls Hitomi to find out what happened and it seems Ryoko collapsed after being congratulated, taken to the infirmary and went home. Hitomi thinks she may be suffering from amnesia from the fight’s shock. Meanwhile Shizuma is seen beating up a group of thugs with his Tiger Flame power move and a girl named Sara Himekawa, very delighted of his return as she hugs him. He is looking forward to his sure-win return match with Ryoko. Ryoko is pondering the events that have happened when she is being poured by a bag of sand. She knows it is Azumi, so a little quarrel before they chat. Azumi thinks Ryoko is better off learning swordsmanship than kendo and ‘thanks’ her that because of her defeat, she still has a long way to go.
 
Shizuma makes his grand return to Daimon High and Ryoko isn’t pleased that the banchou of Daimon High and previous K-Fight Champion has returned. You can guess that they start arguing right away. Lots of people either love her or like picking a fight with her. Soon another K-Fight match between the duo. They trade insults before the match proper. During the bout, Ryoko’s pendant starts glowing and a big flash of light engulfs the gym. A large sized man, Keiichiro Nagumo, appears before them. Todo recognizes him as the creator of K-Fight and its first champion. Thus, the strongest person on Earth. Nagumo is here to challenge Shizuma to a fight. Ryoko is upset for the interruption (actually more like being ignored). But Todo finds it interesting and will allow it. Before their match begins, Ryoko is shocked to hear Nagumo congratulating her for defeating Demon Beast on her first try. Thus she is spacing out on how he knows it considering the fact she thinks it was all just a dream. Shizuma isn’t on par with Nagumo’s level so he starts using his Tiger Flame. Nagumo notices this move which is the Fist of Kamui. Shizuma says it is his original move which he learned from a man reeked of booze. Nagumo wants him to show his Kamui powers so he too powers up with his blue flame. The fight ends with Shizuma being blown away hitting the other end of the gym wall.
 
In episode 3, Todo is seen talking to an old man, Tessai Onizuka, about Nagumo. In school, everyone is talking about the recent events (Shizuma has disappeared from the infirmary) and Tamaki bugs Ryoko for comments. Ryoko commits to challenge anyone and gives them the slip while they’re all hyped up. Ryoko meets Hitomi and continues to ask her about her passing out. Hitomi suggests that Todo may know something. Self proclaimed loyal follower Daisaku suddenly pops out from the water to inform Todo lives at a nearby Hiten Shrine. Ryoko decides to go there. Daisaku wanted to follow but Ryoko threatened him or else. At the shrine, Ryoko acts out a dramatic fight scene from a book. She gets embarrassed to know when a miko priestess, Miyuki, is watching her. But Miyuki ignores her and walks away. Ryoko tries to ask her if she knows Nagumo but she suddenly feels scared. Actually they’re being surrounded by a blonde lady, Mian, and her MIBs. An MIB gets rough asking Nagumo’s whereabouts when suddenly his hand starts to bleed. Before he could get physical, Tessai appears and singlehandedly beats them all since they aren’t going home after he says Nagumo isn’t here. Mian retreats for now. Tessai tells Ryoko to go home, in which she obediently obliges. Due to that, Ryoko can’t concentrate on her kendo practice with Tatsuya and he notices this too. During break, they chat as Ryoko indirectly hints if she isn’t cute because there aren’t many samurai drama otakus and that she’s a tall and violent girl (she really admitted it!). But Tatsuya says she is cute enough and possibly could go a step further by being a handsome girl. Ryoko felt happy but that atmosphere is cut short when she senses danger. Several sharp spikes come piercing her way. You guessed it. It’s Azumi. As usual, they trade insults and could’ve started a fight if Tatsuya didn’t stop them. However, Azumi is here to see Ryoko.
 
Azumi drags Ryoko to Hiten Shrine because there is a person she wants her to meet: Tessai. Hmm… Though he is an old guy, but look at his muscular body! Wow! The six-packs, man! Ryoko is amazed but the previous fight she saw and begs to be his apprentice. However Tessai refuses but Ryoko is persistent. Ryoko then takes up his heavy bokuto and says she will swing it till he accepts. He says to do as she wishes. Meanwhile Mian plans to kidnap Miyuki to lure Nagumo out. Before her MIBs could make their move, Nagumo appears and puts them out of their misery. It is evening and Ryoko continues to swing the bokuto till she tires out and collapses. She open her eyes to find herself in bed with Azumi, Miyuki and Daisaku next to her (that guy had secretly recorded her every move from the nooks and corners!). Though her hand is injured and bandaged, Ryoko learns that Tessai has accepted her as his apprentice as he tells her to rest up for tomorrow’s early morning practice. Ryoko is grateful and thanks him. Meanwhile Nagumo confronts Mian and smashes her car as a warning not to come near this place if she isn’t willing to risk her life and to relay this message to Gates before walking off.
 
Ryoko fantasizes that she’s a heroine of some samurai show in episode 4 when Miyuki comes by. Ryoko tries to explain but she just walks pass by without saying anything. Ignored? After finishing her chores, Ryoko goes to eat breakfast but isn’t happy to see Azumi, Daisaku and Hitomi there because they’re frequenting the place as though it’s their home. Elsewhere, Shizuma furiously arrives at Hiten Shrine calling for Nagumo to face him and in his rowdiness he notices Miyuki watching him. In his embarrassment, she nods her head so he understands that Nagumo isn’t here (does he like her? Blushing, you know…). A little kitten comes by and he starts playing with it as Miyuki watches. Ryoko is taking lessons from Tessai like how her bokuto can be an all-purpose weapon by being both a sword and a bo. She also learns that Miyuki’s mom, Misaki, died in an airplane crash. Later Ryoko starts panicking when she finds out that today is Miyuki’s birthday and rushes off to make preparations. At the cafeteria, she enlists Daisaku and Hitomi’s help to set up a party for that 14 year old. After she leaves, Daisaku is surprised to see Shizuma camping under the table! He overheard their talk about the party. Preparations for the party at Hiten Shrine are on the way and Ryoko isn’t happy to see Shizuma there. Especially in a panda suit. WTF?! Sara is also there and she is the same grade as Miyuki though she notes she rarely sees her and wonders if she attends school. Daisaku comes in to report that Miyuki has become suspicious of their birthday surprise and true enough, Miyuki sees the whole thing. So in haste, the elaborated party starts abruptly. Shizuma is playing on stage when Ryoko hits him to stop because she thinks he is scaring her.
 
Suddenly her pendant glows. Ryoko and Shizuma find themselves in an alternate but deserted dimension. The priestess appears (she greets Shizuma is Demon Lord of Panda!) and tells them that they are in Solvania. She says that she has summoned them for something important. A monster appears so Ryoko quickly fights it so that she could get back to Miyuki’s birthday. Back in the real world, the party continues with K-Fight matches (everyone lost to Tessai. Pathetically) and Azumi putting up her nigata display. I’m not sure if everyone is aware that Ryoko and Shizuma are missing. Anyway Ryoko tries to pierce to monster but finds its skin too tough. Though Shizuma is still in shock with what is happening, he tries to help out but gets eaten instead. However he manages to come out alive by holding the monster’s mouth open. Thinking back on Tessai’s words, Ryoko uses her bokuto to jam the monster’s mouth open and tells Shizuma to fire his Tiger Flame inside it. They defeat the monster and Ryoko tries to ask the priestess questions. But her pendant starts glowing and all she learns is that her name is Reiha. They are transported back to the party’s aftermath whereby everyone is like drunk, knocked out and sleeping. Shizuma gives a glowing plant to Ryoko and wants her to pass it to Miyuki. Later Ryoko meets up with Miyuki and does so. Gloomy Miyuki says how she was born in an unfortunate year and thinks she should have died instead of her mom. Also, she wonders the use of celebrating birthdays. Ryoko gives her positive views and reasons for living so Miyuki thanks her.
 
In episode 5, three baddies are planning to find Shizuma in order to draw out Nagumo. What is with these people and Nagumo anyway? At Daimon Outlet Mall, Ryoko desperately clings to the wall because she doesn’t want to do some cosplay thingy as requested by Hitomi. Since Azumi is working part time there too, her loser taunts angered Ryoko so being the kiasu she is, Ryoko changed her mind to cosplay in front of all the otakus as Mahou Waitress Oyster Lulu. How embarrassing. Tamaki is also there to emcee the event. Ryoko regretting doing this as the crowd goes wild. The 3 baddies are beating up street people to get them to spill Shizuma’s whereabouts. Sara is among the crowd so she rushes back to Hiten Shrine to find Shizuma but he is nowhere to be found. Only Miyuki is there and she points he is at the mall. Shizuma is seen carrying shopping bags fir his lady teachers when he spots Ryoko putting up her cosplay performance. Sara and Miyuki come by to warn him but Shizuma knows who the baddies are. They too have arrived. Tamaki sells the otakus Oyster Lulu merchandise as Ryoko takes her break but notices a deadly aura and wonders if it’s Shizuma’s. Shizuma confronts the trio at the car park. They introduce themselves as Setsura Kyogoku, Nanase Kuon and Akitaka Fudo. Shizuma teases Akitaka as uribo (baby wild boar) so this gets him mad. Before they could start fighting, Ryoko, Hitomi and Daisaku come by to warn them to stop. Whip user Nanase takes on Ryoko for interfering while Akitaka fights Shizuma. Initially Shizuma is at the losing end but he manages to grasp Akitaka’s powers and did some combo move to knock him out. Ryoko too is having a tough time herself as she gets whipped and Nanase unleashing her electrical powers via her whip. But Ryoko manages to get the upper hand by fixing Nanase’s whip to her magical wand so that she could get up close and knock her out. Shizuma now faces Setsura and his black wind powers. As usual, he receives some pounding at first but stuns Setsura with his successive use of his fire power as Shizuma blasts him away. An MIB watching everything contacts the higher ups about the trio’s failure. Suddenly Ryoko’s pendant starts to glow and several monster crabs appear surrounding them.
 
It seems the teachers and Azumi too are being pulled into this alternate world void of people in episode 6. Ryoko, Shizuma and the baddies team up to take on the crabs but their numbers are overwhelming so they make a tactical retreat. Ryoko needs to go somewhere first and tells the rest to head along. Daisaku and Hitomi follow Ryoko. In the empty mall, Shizuma and the rest encounter more crabs so he tells Sara to take Miyuki and run while he and the rest fight the crabs. But everywhere they run, they encounter more crabs. Ryoko runs back to the restaurant to ditch her magical girl outfit and don her usual school uniform and bokuto to get her confidence back. Hey, clothes maketh a (wo)man. She tells Daisaku and Hitomi what she knows about Solvania and how their powers are amplified here. Ryoko takes on the crabs (Hitomi being a scream queen) when Azumi shows up. They cooperate to take down the claw menace. Sara and Miyuki continue running after a crab discovers their hiding place (in the dressing room?). Definitely not a dream. The duo bump into the lady teachers and they continue running. I guess this is the best defence for them. On the other hand, Shizuma and the trio are tired after relentless attacks. Shizuma learns from Setsura about Yonshinkan who told them about him, Nagumo and Ryoko. Though he knows nothing much about them, he thinks that they have enough power to pull this crazy thing and realizes that they have been used as pawns. Miyuki, Sara and the teachers are cornered. Just before the crabs are going to dispose them, they disappear and Miyuki sees Reiha before her. Ryoko and Azumi are having a tough time too when Nagumo appears to help out. He tells Ryoko to destroy the Fuma Stone located inside the boss in which everything will be reverted back to normal. He wants her to close her eyes and heighten her divine spirit to find it since this is no longer her problem. She does so and her pendant starts glowing. Ryoko is transported to a water tank whereby she easily defeats the monster lobster boss. That easy, huh?! Everyone returns back to their own world like as though none of this ever happened. Nagumo then disappears in front of Ryoko. This guy has a habit of appearing and disappearing. It’s like now you see him, now you don’t.
 
Back in school, Ryoko, Hitomi and Daisaku are discussing the recent events in episode 7. Daisaku is upset because all his recordings on the monsters turn out to be blanks. His further investigation shows Nagumo did disappeared from the mall without a trace. Tatsuya comes by so Ryoko blushingly asks him to have lunch with her but he’s broke and his tummy growls. Before she could offer her bento, she is being hit by a basin. Azumi comes running to offer lunch. Both girls get into an argument though Tatsuya doesn’t mind but they do. So another K-Fight to see who gets the right to make bento for Tatsuya. K-Fight now stands for Kitchen. After over the top preparations, before the judges could have a taste, Shizuma snatches the meal away because he felt left out of the fun. After he eats them, he starts foaming in the mouth and collapses. Everyone relieved that they didn’t have to sample it. Tamaki announces a draw but Todo objects as there are no draws in K-Fight and changes the rules of winning. The first one to give their bento to Tatsuya wins. Luckily Hitomi gives Ryoko their practice bento this morning and off she goes looking for Tatsuya. Azumi uses her influence and summons her Secret Flower Arrangement Club (SFAC) members. The usual tussle so much so a cameraman got caught in the middle. With Daisaku’s help, Ryoko relies on him to pinpoint Tatsuya’s location via headphone.
 
Shizuma is recuperating in the infirmary (Tatsuya just left) when Sara comes by to give him her bento. Now that guy fears it after the experience he just had. Ryoko and Azumi busts in, gets between their crossfire and the whole infirmary is messed up. Ryoko is on a wild goose chase because every time Daisaku tells where Tatsuya is, she reaches there only to be told he isn’t. Fed up, she destroys her headphone. By that time, Azumi has found Tatsuya and is going to give her bento when she realizes it isn’t hers. She tells him to wait and will be back. She also orders the SFAC to get Ryoko’s lunch. Ryoko bumps into Sara and learns of the switch between their bentos when the SFAC steals her bento. They battle outside the school gates and Ryoko emerges victorious. Eventually a 3 person face-off as they toss their bentos in the air and grab them when they land. They check the insides and are assured that it is theirs. Off they go. Sara gives hers to Shizuma but when that guy eats it, he foams even more and experiences spasms! What a horrible day for him! Tatsuya leaves the kendo dojo and is confronted by Azumi and Ryoko who are pushing each other to have him taste their bento. Since he’s so hungry, he decides to eat them both. He takes a bite and finds them delicious. But soon after, he starts foaming like mad and collapses! Oh dear. These girls don’t even know how to cook properly! They start blaming each other eventually. Hey. What happened to K-Fight anyway?
 
In episode 8, on an uninhabited island, Setsura is talking to his uncle Genya Kyogoku about their alliance with Yonshinkan which will destroy them. But Genya isn’t going to listen to a failure and tells him to leave. Meanwhile a group of 4 hooded people are seen trying to revive something with a Demonic King Sword, Schwartzkaiser and a ceremony. This episode has the usual gang (including Tessai) heading to Azumi’s private beach for the holidays but Azumi is upset that everyone tagged along and that Tatsuya, the only person she wanted to invite, isn’t here. Ryoko recalls Tatsuya had an all-boys camping for the kendo club and since Ryoko felt left out, he suggested this for her instead. Since they come in 2 cars, the teachers are racing with each other to their destination. Hold on to your seats! When they arrive, Miyuki is a little traumatized as the teachers play beach volleyball while the rest takes a swim. Ryoko notices a lone uninhabited island so Azumi decides to scare them by telling a spooky rumour. However Ryoko and Shizuma think it’s interesting and decides to go there for an adventure. The kids take the boat there while the adults stay behind.
 
Setsura, Nanase and Akitaka are preparing to leave the island on their speedboat when Setsura gets shot. When Ryoko and gang arrive, they see another speedboat and hear fighting in the jungle. Setsura and co are taking Mian’s MIB and are having a tough time as Setsura is injured. Luckily Ryoko, Azumi and Shizuma come to their aid. Because Ryoko and Azumi continue to quarrel, the MIBs surround them and before Mian could give her shooting orders, Ryoko’s pendant glows and Nagumo appears. The MIBs fire at him but the bullets ricochet off as he knocks them all unconscious. Mian flees. Ryoko wants to give chase but Nagumo stops her. Ryoko bombards Nagumo with questions but he tells them that he and Gates (some guy running the New York mafia) are constantly fighting in an eternal battle (perhaps that opening scene in episode 1) and to stop this looping nightmare, he has to defeat a man named Ryugen Higashikata (Shizuma’s master). He tells Ryoko to take care of Miyuki and disappears back into the portal. Mian is reporting her failure to a mysterious hooded guy (Gates, perhaps?) but he doesn’t mind since the time for Demonic King’s awakening is near. Back on land, everyone sees off Setsura and co. Shizuma notes how they’ll come to Tokyo since they have been saved once and would consider this as repayment of favour.
 
Hitomi and Daisaku pleads to Ryoko to do a sequel of Oyster Lulu in episode 9 since it’s such a hit but Ryoko refuses since it’s embarrassing. Not to mention every damn person in town recognizes her and are even obviously pointing out who she is! When a kindergarten girl, Rumi, does the same, Ryoko strongly protests and causes her to cry. Panic and feeling guilty of not wanting to ruin this child’s dream, Ryoko reluctantly admits she is Lulu, making her happy. Rumi has a request for her. It seems her parents own Daimon Outlet Mall and are always overseas. Due to that, her brother Akira is acting up and she wants Lulu to change him back to his normal self. In the mall, Ryoko, Rumi, Daisaku and Hitomi confront Akira and his evil looking scheming caretaker-cum-company vice president (VP). Ryoko ticks him off for pouting so Akira flips up her skirt. VP sends 2 bodyguards to dispose Ryoko as he and Akira go up the elevator. Akira is kicking up a fuss alone in his room when VP comes by. Akira gives him an access card and tells him to do as he wishes. VP searches through the company database for any secrets that will enable him to take over the company when a bodyguard informs him that they’ve been beaten. Akira comes in and wonders what VP is doing but since he is bored, he is going to play with Ryoko a little. Akira controls the entire building with the main computer as Ryoko and co try to make their way up to the 60th floor going through all those obstacles. Meanwhile Shizuma, Miyuki, Sara and Azumi are at the mall when they spot Nanase in a cosplay outfit for a job interview at a restaurant (embarrassing!). Ryoko and the rest crash onto them in another failed attempt to reach Akira. Bored Akira thinks it is over while VP thinks he has found a paper clue to the company’s secrets and orders his bodyguards to kidnap Rumi. Ryoko is pissed and the rest wants to help out but feel they can’t go out in their soaked clothes. The restaurant manager offers them to wear cosplay outfits. Seriously?
 
VP has Akira and Rumi tied to a chair when suddenly in typical magical girl style appearance, Ryoko as Lulu and her 6 pals as her seafood friends appear to save the day. Even Shizuma is dressed as a magical girl! Yeah, Hitomi is forced to do so too. They put up a splendid performance as they take on VP’s bodyguards. Rumi is confident Lulu will use her magic to save them but VP scoffs it off. Ryoko is ready to admit the non-existence of magic when the restaurant manager appears. Since Rumi believed so much in magic, he puts on another cosplay outfit on her and frees her. Oyster Lulu Petite? Suddenly her parents come back via helicopter. It’s revealed that the restaurant manager is an internal director of the company in disguise, George the Ace. VP isn’t going to give up and is going to gun down the helicopter and kill the president when Ryoko knocks him out with her Oyster Lightning Drop. The kids reunite and reconcile with their parents as VP finds out the paper clue is some faded shopping list the president used as a bookmark. Ryoko thinks George cosplays as cover up in his investigations but he says it isn’t so and is more like it is his hobby. Speaking of which, he is counting on Ryoko for this coming Sunday’s performance. Ryoko reluctantly puts on another splendid show much to the delight of the crowd and Rumi.
 
Episode 10 begins with Ryoko and Nagumo being led by Reiha through an underground tunnel underneath Sargaia to stop the Ceremony of Makishi. They teleport to where the 4 hooded guys are as they say how the ceremony is almost over. They revive sine angelic-like demon named Kenma who is going to paint this land with the blood of 10 million sacrifices. Nagumo thinks Kenma is Gates and proceeds to do power battle with him. Ryoko suddenly wakes up in bed, sweaty and panting, wondering if this was a nightmare as her pendant is still glowing. Miyuki also experiences the same thing. Next day, it is Daimon’s School Festival and Ryoko and Tatsuya are doing some samurai remake play with the drama club. As everyone rehearses, Ryoko overhears how Tatsuya and the play’s producer, Shiori Gotou are childhood friends. That’s because unlike most childhood friends who get along well, they’re usually bickering since Tatsuya is always forgetting his lines. After practice, Ryoko and Shiori stayed back to put final touches on the costumes. Ryoko takes the opportunity to ask Shiori the kind of relationship she had with Tatsuya. After that, Ryoko and Tatsuya had a heart to heart chat but he soon leaves to do something. Surprisingly Azumi didn’t intercept. Tatsuya went back to help Shiori with the costume. Next day as practice continues, Ryoko suddenly feels uncomfortable when she finds out Tatsuya and Shiori were making the costume together. Because of the way they argue and the way he looked at Shiori, Ryoko’s heart is clouded so much so she can’t concentrate and lightly injures Tatsuya during a practice scene. Shiori calls it a day even if his injury isn’t serious. Ryoko alone outside school is reflecting the events that have passed especially with Tatsuya. She is confused, her heart heavy and sorting out her feelings when Shizuma comes by. They start arguing so he suggests settling a K-Fight now. They do so but Ryoko isn’t at her optimum as Shizuma easily blocks her attacks. He senses something amiss when she shed tears. Then the final move whereby he kicks her bokuto away and Ryoko couldn’t hold back her tears anymore as she cries and runs away, leaving him stunned.
 
Episode 11 is so like a flashback episode. Ryoko trains in the bamboo courtyard but her mind is still clouded with thoughts of Tatsuya that during 1 of her swings, her sword got stuck in the straw bag. Ryoko apologizes to Tessai so he says how she was like a graceful beast when she first came (flashback of episode 1 and that entire K-Fight with Azumi!). He wonders if she is lost because of love. Ryoko is startled so he advices her to kill! OMG! He did say that, right? Another flashback during the time Ryoko and Tatsuya chat whereby he commented her to be a handsome girl. In class, Daisaku shows Shizuma his complete photo collection on Ryoko but Shizuma gives it back to him and says it is incomplete because it doesn’t have times of her laughing or crying. Later Hitomi meets with Shizuma to ask if there’s something wrong with Ryoko since she can’t contact her (oh no. That flashback when Ryoko and Shizuma fought and it ended with her crying and running away). Tessai says that to kill is merely a play on words and suggests getting between them and abduct the man she desire. However Ryoko feels she can’t do that even if Shiori is her love rival (has she ever considered Azumi as one too?). He continues that there was a person who was exactly like her but he disappeared. He is Nagumo. Ryoko is shocked (flashback when Nagumo suddenly appeared and interrupted her K-Fight match with Shizuma). Miyuki comes by to say Shizuma was here to pass Ryoko her bokuto and lecture notes from Hitomi. When Ryoko learns how everyone was worried about her, she broke into tears. Tessai continues saying how she has changed in the sense her sword now lacks sharpness and has sunken very deep down. Though she doesn’t need to end up like him or Nagumo, he wants her to walk the path she believes. After Ryoko leaves, Miyuki wonders if Tessai has expelled her but he instead asks her age and says she will one day fancy a man and burn in his love. Miyuki doesn’t understand so Tessai just notes for Ryoko to do her best.
 
Setsura and co are beating up several MIBs and asking them about Yonshinkan’s plan in episode 12. Back at Daimon High, Hitomi finally sees Ryoko and asks her several questions but she apologizes and wishes for some time alone before running away. Hitomi wanted to go after her but Shizuma stops her and says Ryoko isn’t good with words. At Hiten Shrine, Miyuki sees a vision of Schwartzkaiser. Ryoko is practising but still can’t fully concentrate. The drama club continues to practice without Ryoko and Shiori thinks she has to change the script since they’re using a different person to replace Ryoko. Tatsuya says it’s impossible since it’ll be 3 more days to the festival and will talk to Ryoko. But Shiori replies she already did but to no avail. Just then, Ryoko comes in and apologizes and requests to rejoin the drama club, much to everyone’s delight. They are motivated to work harder. Tessai finds out Miyuki is going to the festival with Sara as he recalls how Ryoko told him she has slain the greatest enemy barring her path. Elsewhere, Setsura is telling Shizuma that something big is about to happen. The day of the festival arrives and of course there is the usual K-Fight but it’s between SFAC and the ninja club. Todo doesn’t seem amused and thinks he should’ve got Ryoko and Shizuma instead. After Shizuma finishes his rock concert and Azumi her flower arrangement performance, everyone goes to watch the drama play. Before it starts, Setsura and co come by and Shizuma knows it is happening. They are seen taking on several MIBs outside. During the middle of the play, Miyuki senses something coming but it’s too late as a bright beam of light crashes through the roof and onto the stage. Kenma appears and Miyuki recognizes Schwartzkaiser in its possession. However Kenma faces Ryoko and introduces himself as Willard Gates while the panic crowd flees. Ryoko is upset that this has to happen today as her pendant starts glowing. Suddenly all the MIBs turn into mini versions of Kenma and chaos ensues. Nagumo is seen arriving at the school gates.
 
In episode 13, those who can fight take on the mini Kenmas. Shiori confronts Gates to tell him off about ruining the play but Gates doesn’t give a sh*t and attacks her. Tatsuya uses his body to protect her and gets injured. While he is rushed to the infirmary, Ryoko is very pissed. She and Shizuma cooperate to take on Gates but their efforts were futile. Well, Ryoko’s bokuto even broke. Then Nagumo appears to say how he has been waiting for this day. He also says that Reiha chose her and not him. In addition, Nagumo says Shizuma is him because the latter has a future that Nagumo and Gates didn’t get to experience if not for Ryugen. Why is Ryugen so important? Get ready for this. He is fate itself! He comes and goes along the eternal flow of time between Earth and Solvania, thus influencing both worlds and its people. Holy crap! Nagumo is therefore here to change this fate. Nagumo unleashes a power move but it has no effect. So he tells Ryoko to remember to destroy the Fuma Stone just like how she did with that lobster monster back at the mall. Then he leaves Ryoko and Shizuma to take care of Gates. WTF?! I thought he was waiting for this day. Along the way, Nagumo sees Miyuki, who wants him to take her along but he just walk on into a building as Reiha appears besides him. Ryoko then throw her pendant to Gates since he wanted it so much but it disappeared from his grasp and reappeared back around Ryoko’s neck. She concludes that without the pendant, Gates won’t be in his perfect form and apologizes that she can’t get rid of hers. Gates says that he will take it by force. Ryoko gives him a lecture about this and that, and with full determination, she manages to recreate her bokuto. Wow! It’s like a light sabre now! Star Wars! Once more they cooperate to take on Gates.
 
Meanwhile Nagumo enters a room with Reiha to face Ryugen. Nagumo rants about his eternal loop nightmare and says the only way to end this is to defeat him. And in 1 power move, he blasts the entire room. Wow! Ryugen just appeared for a short moment and he got easily defeated like that?! Unbelieveable! Because of that, the powers that Ryoko, Shizuma and Gates got starts to grow weak. Now Gates is lamenting why now. Haha, funny. The 4 hooded people tell Gates to return in order for them to have a chance to save Solvania but Gates refuse, thinking he still has a chance to beat Ryoko. Ryoko decides to finish him off but Miyuki appears and say that he will not be defeated but returned to Solvania instead. Miyuki uses her priestess power and with Shizuma’s fire power, Ryoko breaks Gates’ Fuma Stone and returns him to Solvania. As the 4 hooded people curse their luck, everything on Earth returns to normal. The next day as Ryoko goes to school, she gets another K-Fight challenge from some Power Ranger-like club. She’s happy to take them on. Later that night as everyone gathers for a celebration at Hiten Shrine, Miyuki sees the spirit of Nagumo and Reiha outside and thanks them for she will be alright. They both disappear as she goes back in with Ryoko.
 
Well, well. Another one of those rather forgettable animes which has its ending feeling pretty much like a rush job though it ended on a good note. There are many things which raise an eyebrow or two. Like Ryugen’s very short cameo appearance. If that isn’t the problem, how about his easy defeat from Nagumo. It’s just like for convenience, if you know what I mean. Then there are some other questions that are still burning inside me. For instance why did Reiha chose Ryoko as the Demon Lord of Yenen. What the heck does that title mean anyway? What about the pendant Ryoko first found in her locker? Was it deliberately put there by Reiha? What about those Demon Beasts Ryoko had to fight earlier on? Was it Ryugen who with his own powers transport whoever he wants from Earth to Solvania, the reason why Ryoko’s pendant keep flashing and teleporting them to the other world? Who really are the Yonshinkan anyway and what are their real plans? To save Solvania or rule that place? Why the need to send Gates back? To show that they aren’t monsters like him? Will they be back since Ryugen has been defeated and the whatever passage that links Earth and Solvania is now sealed? Where did Nagumo and Reiha disappear to? Back to Solvania? Is that world domination and power crazy Gates be staying as a corpse for good? What about the spirit of Misaki that Nagumo saw in Miyuki? What the hell is the Fist of Kamui anyway? What does that feather at the final scene mean? Ah, so many questions but as Ryoko mentioned, she doesn’t know all that except the fact that she is Ryoko.
 
Another thing is that I felt that many of the other characters were sidelined in the final episode. I was expecting to see Azumi to kick some butt even if it meant her having just 5 seconds of screen time. But no, she had to go accompany Shiori to take Tatsuya to the infirmary. I guess that was what Ryoko meant that she has slain the greatest enemy barring her path. At least she doesn’t get her love for Tatsuya in her way anymore. I also felt that Setsura and his buddies’ presence were redundant after that monster crab incident. Didn’t do much either except just seeing them around helping kicking small fries. Then some characters were there because they were just there and don’t really made much impact like Sara. In my opinion, the series could’ve been done without her. Say, what happened to that Mian girl anyway? I’m still thinking why everybody wants to find Nagumo in the first place. Better stop asking all those questions.
 
Seeing that this is an old school anime, the quality of the drawing, art and animation is from that era. Don’t expect much. Plus, the action scenes are just so-so. Just like the fanservice moments. Nothing eye-catching, really. Perhaps at that time, the fluttering of a girl’s skirt revealing what is underneath is considered good. Ikue Kimura who voices Ryoko seems fitting for her role. You know, violent brute girls. Not to say that her voice is that polished but because of that it suits her character. Tomokazu Seki who does Shizuma sounds equally as brute and versatile in his role. If you know how Kenichi from History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi or Sagara from Full Metal Panic sound, you should have an idea. Satsuki Yukino does Azumi (Kagome in Inu Yasha) sometimes makes Azumi sound like an obnoxious one while Sakura Nogawa does Miyuki unlike her other livelier roles such as Runa of Seto No Hanayome and Hina Ichigo of Rozen Maiden.
 
The idea of using K-Fight to settle things still amuses me. I mean, what kind of education are we teaching our young ones even if this only happens in anime. Yeah sure, everyone loves a good fight. But wouldn’t it be better if we all just sit down and talk things out? Well, like they say, action speaks louder than words. Hey, it took a high school girl to defeat a powerful monstrous being, right?
 

Samurai Girl Real Bout High School