At first I thought Saredo Tsumibito Wa Ryuu To Odoru was going to be just another dragon slaying fantasy. Two guys with swords perhaps as dragon slayers on a quest to defeat dragons, each with their own motivation to do so. And then I started to read the synopsis and everything I thought this series was about was blown away. Technically there is some dragon slaying but that is not the mainstay of this series. Lots of dark politics, underhanded tactics, backdoor politics, some sci-fi terms and magic… Oh boy. Looks like I have this feeling I’m in for one of those ‘complicated’ anime series that I will have a tough time understanding.

Episode 1
Uhm… There’s a brief explanation about what Jushiki is but I don’t understand. To put it in simple terms, magic. Once only the dragons were able to use it but now humans are able to wield it in weapons as well. Hence those fighting against dragons using this are called Offensive Jushiki-shi. We are introduced to a pair of oddest Offensive Jushiki-shi ever. Gayus Levina Sorel who is constantly worrying about his financial state and his partner, Gigina Jerde Dolk Melios Ashley Boeuf, a Draken who loves fighting, furniture collecting and very poor financial management. Now I can see the reason for Gayus’ stress… Here they are in some battlefield awaiting their chance as they bicker the usual. A black dragon shows up. Supposedly an 800 year old one called Altar. After a tough fight, the duo prevail. However their efforts are not appreciated as Gayus’ boss doesn’t give him the expected reward, piling on excuses that they need to learn life lessons, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile in some parliament house whatever, politicians are arguing about territories, rights and conflicts. Not that I’m interested in. Even the high ranking cardinal priest, Mordin Orjes Gyunei couldn’t be bothered listening to the tirade. So when he receives news from one of his generals, Yorkan, he decides to head to the city of Eridana where Jushiki and conspiracies of countless nations run wild. Gayus hears from his journalist friend, Arzel that there is a serial killer murdering Offensive Jushiki-shi. The culprit must be strong since all died with a single blow. More woes for Gayus as Gigina has bought more furniture and put it on his tab. Yeah, he even added some accessory to his mighty sword. Since tomorrow is the annual Eridana Festival, he pays a visit to his girlfriend, Jivunya Lorezzo. It must be a tough day for him so cut this guy some slack and make out! While they’re at that, the serial killer kills yet another Offensive Jushiki-shi. She laments another wrong target. Uh huh. Her target is Gayus and Gigina. Apparently all humans look the same to her so she can’t tell humans apart and hence her indiscriminate killings. I suppose she is the kind that shoots first and asks questions later.

Episode 2
To prove this series isn’t heading towards the bromance route, we get a sneak peak at Gayus making out with Jivunya. Until the damn phone rings! F*cking cliché. Oh, it’s his bromance partner. At the office, both their faces are on posters made by some PR people that they slain the black dragon. Also, they have a guest: Herodel, Gayus’ old school friend. He has a job request for them: To be bodyguards for Mordin. But why hire outside Offensive Jushiki-shi like them when he has his own elite team? It would ruin his fun. He has them be his tour guide for the festival. Sorry, Jivunya, Gayus has to forgo your date to be with someone of higher importance. Mordin is able to walk about like this because he has many doubles posing as him. Thanks to those doubles, his life has been saved many times from attempted assassinations. On the way back, they see a group of protestors against the Tienlun Accord. It is an agreement for peace between the dragon and human nations. However it also allows any dragonkind to be eliminated should they encroach into human territory. But this accord is what is preventing an all-out war between both races. But Gayus reasons the people who opposed this must have had their loved ones killed by dragons and hence the accord is an unforgivable compromise. Mordin notes that even so, it is irrational to move society based on an individual perspective. Later as Gayus and Herodel drink, the former asks if he has gotten over his fiancée, Shifaka. He thought joining the military for revenge was the right move but he is different now. Revenge won’t save anyone and working for Mordin has opened his eyes. He strives for his same belief for coexistence. He then asks Gayus if he has gotten over his late sister, Aleciel. He regrets asking this. Later Gigina arrives to pick up drunk Gayus. They are then confronted by the serial killer, Nidvolk. Jackpot. She attacks them as she accuses them of killing her husband, Eningiluud. They don’t know what she’s talking about and it pisses her off. Gayus can tells she uses gravity as her Jushiki and they manage to escape her wrath by the skin of their teeth.

Episode 3
Gayus returns to Jivunya. She is relieved he is safe but needs him to take a shower because he stinks (he was walking through the sewers after escaping Nidvolk). I guess no sex yet. Later Gayus calls Vinnel, an informant to find out more details about Nidvolk. Gayus and Gigina continue to be Mordin’s bodyguard. The cardinal is impressed seeing them argue their bad habits aloud. Yeah, such great entertainment that is more fun than the sightseeing of the festival. As Mordin prays, he asks Gayus if he doesn’t believe in God. In the state of the world now? No. He mentions about Shifaka who died in a silly dispute between the Dragon Empire and Seven City Alliance. If God exists, why allow people to die via wars, disease or accidents? Why does Aleciel have to die? Mordin answers him either God doesn’t exist or is cruel. The dead do not come back to life and miracles don’t exist. But how can people live without deception? They close an eye and pretend to keep living. He must be careful in looking too hard for reasons because Offensive Jushiki-shi are trying to understand the world. To face a question without an answer is the only way humans can fight reality. As for why Gayus works with Gigina despite being like oil and water, aside from his bad habits, he is a great partner. Mordin says they complement each other and appearances aside, they get along very well. Mordin sees Azu Bita, the representative of the Lapetodes Seven City Alliance who is also the right hand man of the Seven City Alliance House’s Supreme Chairman, Kai Kuyou. When they realizes all the other bodyguards are missing, they know trouble is here. The duo fight off the wave of assassins but there are more coming. They go warn the high eminences to leave since they can’t have them dead or else war between both races will start and the same tragedy will happen again. Mordin finds him selfless but Gayus doesn’t want medals or respect. Just the truth. If they get out of this alive, he’ll tell as much as they want. The duo fight off the assassins until the final boss makes a self-sacrificing move. Gayus dreams of his dead sister. The trauma wakes him up in hospital. Jivunya is so relieved he is still alive.

Episode 4
The doctor is stumped that Gayus was dead on arrival and now that he is conscious, he has shown no signs of damage. A miracle? Does this give him a free pass to hit on the cute nurse? He is soon visited by Mordin but Gayus can tell this is the real one and the previous one was just an impersonator, Genon Cull Darius. Gayus explains some complicated observation of his on why he is able to tell the difference. He asks why he planned his own assassination. He is cautious to have 7 doubles but yet leaked info to his enemies on a very well-guarded meeting. Mordin reveals Herodel is the traitor and is already a member of a hardliner when he joined the military. The car outside then sets off, killing Herodel. Mordin also admits the assassination was also part of his plan from start to finish. He recognizes this is unforgivable to sacrifice many but this is a war to prevent a war and save many more lives. He plans to withdraw the Alliance’s occupational forces to retreat to the Daef Front that would seemingly benefit the Dragon Empire. He is doing so to make smoke out Herodel, making him believe the plan was progressing according to plan, using outsiders seem more believable as Gayus isn’t the type foolish or heroic enough to go against authority and also there is a price the Dragon Empire will have to pay the Alliance. As Mordin leaves, he is attacked by Gigina who sensed he is a dangerous person but a barrier protects him. Gigina warns him to take his game elsewhere or die. Gayus returns to Jivunya’s side. She says a lot of lovely embarrassing things since she is worried and then wants him to drink until he passes out to forget all that she said. So no sex? In the aftermath, the accord failed with some senators’ reputation taking a hit. Vinnel returns with some answers about the gravity fragment. The duo go help the nurse who discovered some malpractice. Gayus knows it is a trap and this is Genon in disguise. They are met with fraternal twins who serve Mordin, Beldritt and Jesper Livy Raki. Beldritt summons a dragon to help fight and soon Genon joins in in a dragon form. Mordin is watching all this while Nidvolk waits for a chance.

Episode 5
The duo are almost dead when Nidvolk jumps into the fray. She kills Genon by ripping out his heart. Despite giving the Raki brothers a chance to escape, they attack her to complete the mission but were brutally injured. Now she faces Gayus and Gigina. Gayus knows she is the wife of the black dragon they slew. She is the one who healed Gayus from death before so she could kill him again and many more times. Yeah, she kills and revives him as part of her revenge. When the duo thought they bested her, she stabs them. In this WTF moment, they can still joke?! Something about how the taxman will kill her?! Something about Gigina has a cheap convenient plot that reveals his super Draken lineage?! Something about his secret move only happens when his friend dies?! Yeah, Gayus intends on killing himself but Nidvolk won’t allow that. Not sure what happened because Gayus uses Herodel’s Jushiki to fire face on at Nidvolk’s Jushiki. Gayus took this gamble and knew Nidvolk will not separate herself from her Jushiki as it belonged to her husband. As she lies dying, Gayus asks why she didn’t attack Jivunya if she was so bent on revenge. Well, the ones who killed her husband are them. No others were responsible. Too bad for all the innocent Jushiki-shi she killed. Gayus has his ripped arm put back to normal like as though it was never ripped by super organ specialist, Czahn. Best joke: She is kind in all ways except her billing! Oh sh*t! This is sure going to cost. Later Gayus meets Mordin and knows they have been dancing in his palm. Everything went according to his plan. His goal is equilibrium between the Dragon Empire, the Alliance and the dragonkind Vaisen. First, he faked his own assassination to stem out hardliners who opposed the plan of ceding the Holy Land of Alsok. He then promised to mediate the failed accord to create favourable conditions for Alsok’s ceding. Its failure is also his plan. He traded the needs of the powers in order: Dragon Empire gets Alsok, the Alliance the accord and Vaisen by having its 2 defectors hunted down. This means Gayus and Gigina were good bait for Nidvolk. He knew about the dragon’s proud sense of revenge and hence the outcome was as per expected. Gayus could have revealed more but that’s enough revelation for us to hear. He gives them his prized ring as reward. Gayus doesn’t approve his methods but Mordin is bent on protecting the weak and modest even if it means destroying the dragons and laugh at the face of any Jushiki curse. He will prove the weakness of man is enough to carry on living. He offers them to join his generals but is immediately turned down. They might not have understood what they have accomplished but being alive sounds good enough.

Episode 6
Viscount Remedius Levvi Rahzel plays a weird game of chess in a prison with a girl, Naricia. Meanwhile Jivunya is giving Gayus a kinky policewoman foreplay! Yeow! Sexy level over 9000!!! Until the damn phone rings… Oh sure, Gayus isn’t in bad mood as he and Gigina makes his way to the agency to answer their boss’ call. But due to an emergency nearby, they are ordered to help the police solve some ongoing hostage situation. They head in and find the culprit is this monster, Magatsushiki. It’s creepy to see live humans cramped inside… Anyway they manage to avoid death from its decoys and kill it. They get a bit careless since some of its part still lives. Gayus almost got killed had not Largonkin save his skin. Back home, Gayus accidentally destroys a very cheap chair. Gigina is going to kill him! Yeah, his life is worth lower than that! For the moment, Gigina almost believed Gayus’ lie that he is his twin brother! Luckily Jivunya comes between them. Gigina stops and notes he is always behind a woman. First it was Cuello, now her. Gayus assures that was her past love. Jivunya is now the only one for him. Jivunya doesn’t seem so assured… Gayus has a client. Calpunia Levvinakes Rahzel from the Rahzel Foundation (one of the few corporate giants in the Dragon Empire) seeks his help to find his nephew, Remedius who was supposed to be a continental champion of chells (chess?) and a young creator who was abducted by the anti-government organization, Aurora Hammer, 2 years ago. They have been negotiating underground ever since and agreed to a ransom pay out that runs into billions. That exchange takes place here in 2 days. Since none of their Jushiki-shi have experienced violence unlike them, she wants them to help out and will reward them handsomely. Later Gayus and Largonkin are in a briefing with the police about the recent increase in Magatsushiki attacks. They want private Jushiki agencies to help. But before Gayus could turn this down since he already has a big client contract, Largonkin strong arms him into cooperating.

Episode 7
Remedius is about to be executed by those Aurora Hammer dudes but when he fixes their weapons, they all love him! WTF?! Gayus and Gigina accompany Calpunia for the exchange. They deal with Zhuo Lu who is the new leader of Aurora Hammer. After showing their goods, the exchange begins but it looks like the baddies trick them with a trap. This Remedius is fake and they ran off with the money. Calpunia’s guards all died but luckily the duo protect her. This mission failed and though the duo are partly responsible, it is ultimately their job to protect her and they kept their part well. Calpunia regrets being cruel to Remedius so she has another mission for them: Bring him back at all costs. Speaking of that dude, he is having a party with other guards! Wow. He is like the VIP. Naricia tells the legend of the land ruled by a dictator so a woman sacrificed herself to a sand dragon named Zhuo Lu to kill him. Remedius witnesses atrocities in town and doesn’t hesitate to kill the evil authority tormenting the innocent. We take a detour with Gayus playing a prank to lock Gigina in a cabinet. He blackmails money if he wants to get out or he can break out himself. Don’t look down because Gigina actually breaks out! Though only his limbs. Cupboard man?! Anyway they are called to attend some Magatsushiki lecture by Yahkto. Apparently they aren’t just those creepy beings but a kind that tries to create their own bodies. A creepy guy can suddenly come in to give Largonkin a present. As expected, he turns into some grim reaper Magatsushiki and steals all the other Jushiki-shi’s power. Of course the rest all cooperate to take him down. Their performance is praised by the Magatsushiki duo, Viscount Amupura and Baron Janahn Ghalan. After seeing some ring on Gayus’ finger, they decide to change the rules of the game a bit. A forced condition of victory and bet on their heads. They have 3 days for the final act or everything gets destroyed.

Episode 8
Remedius has joined Aurora Hammer after seeing the injustice the dictatorship used against its people. Gayus and Gigina attend a funeral for their dead Jushiki-shi comrades. Later Gayus gets info from Vinnel about a former employee from Rahzel, Parumuwei currently in contact with Aurora Hammer. The duo are led by Egurrd (Calpunia’s aid) to see Lieutenant Colonel Gohhel who is the director of Dragon’s Jaw, a special force under Queen Xenobia of Ilm. He wants them to stay away from anything to do with Rahzel and Aurora Hammer. Gayus deduces something is wrong and concludes this is only because Remedius has joined Aurora Hammer. Gohhel admits and reveals more about when the party leader Zemunn started reconciling with the dictator, Dochetta, they joined forces with Zhuo Lu to rid of Zemunn and now Aurora Hammer is even more extreme. The raid during the hostage exchange was a distraction and a show put on by Remedius to secure funds. They tried to take advantage of that by eliminating Aurora Hammer but failed. Hence Gohhel orders them to stay out even if Calpunia pleads to them. Zhuo Lu buys a very expensive weapon from Parumuwei and the latter is in shock upon realizing what he is going to use it for. Remedius and Naricia are captured by Dochetta and will be executed. Jivunya is forcing Gayus and Gigina to reconcile! Man, it’s like a mother trying to make her sons be on good terms. As Gayus goes to get his repaired gear, he is asked about the ring from Mordin. As he has investigated it, it comes from a live dragon of 10,000 years! Besides there is something pulsating inside the ring that the detectors cannot detect. Basically, this ring is alive and he wants Gayus to give it back. It seems like a weird outing with Gayus, Gigina, Largonkin and their women. Gayus and Largonkin talk about the old days in which the latter wants him to forget about Cuello but Gayus just can’t. This upsets Gayus as he further adds about Diorg is dead and Stratos without a soul. Only he and GIgina are left in the agency. Timely reminder that Gayus is a lucky bastard who gets to make out with Jivunya. But then she starts to ask him about what he talked with Largonkin earlier in the day. When a woman sounds like that, sh*t is going to hit the fan. Then she accuses him of still loving Cuello and this perfume of hers reminds him of her, that’s why he could identify it (oh sh*t!). He even mentions Cuello’s name in his sleep (double sh*t!). Why is he not looking at her? Is there something he cannot tell her but only Gigina? Who the f*ck is this Cuello? It’s over. Get out. Go home. Oh Gayus. You’re really screwed. So screwed even in the head that he thinks himself of just being badass. Yeah…

Episode 9
While our gang are talking about Magatsushiki from another dimension using a medium from this world to appear here, Amupura and Janahn Ghalan pop up to correct and hint them. This evening party is a giant Jushiki curse and if they want to stop it, they have to stop the person who summoned them. Gayus get info from Vinnel on Aurora Hammer’s hideout thanks to Parumuwei. Too bad he is already a corpse. It seems Dragon Jaw is also here. In a room they see Remedius’ corpse. A hologram of Zhuo Lu explains he summoned them here to pass Remedius’ last words. Zhuo Lu reveals Aurora Hammer was in fact created by the Dragon Empire and this is a serious foreign interference in domestic affairs. Hence the hostage exchange was just a ploy to cover up their scandal. Remedius’ final words include the creation of the ultimate warhead Jushiki known as Ava Dorn. It requires the Jushiki power of several people to activate. Its target is Rahzel Island where the company is situated. If anyone leaves that island, the warheads will detonate immediately. It is scheduled to blow up at noon anyway. Remedius then curses the company as we see flashbacks of the very cruel betrayal of Naricia and her people to a point they had to kill each other for survival. He curses the company to hell. Normally why would Gayus care? Oh. Jivunya works there! It’s understandable why he is losing his cool. Who else would give him great sex? Oops. But we can see how desperate he is as he hacks his way to contact her and apologize. Yeah, any sane girlfriend would know something is wrong. More explanation by Yahkto about the plague that will befall if the Magatsushiki world opens. In short, everyone will die within a few seconds. 100% fatality. So as Gayus racks his brains to think of a way. Anyway, he somehow gets it. He explains to the rest that Remedius summoned the Magatsushiki duo and the evening party is Ava Dorn. As Remedius can’t control the great will of the Magatsushiki, that was why the duo left them clues because they really want to fight them as entertainment. The random appearance of past Magatsushiki incidents actually resembles the board pieces of chells. The final checkmate move will be on Rahzel Island that was famously used by Remedius to win and became champion. The checkmating piece is where the warheads are located: The Osedek Clock Tower.

Episode 10
The assault on all kinds of weird Magatsushiki monsters in the tower begins. Our main Jushiki-shi confront Janahn Ghalan and after a hard fought battle, he is defeated because Gayus used Largonkin’s cigar which has insecticide that Janahn Ghalan’s spider body was not used to. Whatever. Flashback as we see Naricia killing herself so Remedius could eat her and stay alive. So when the rescue team found him, he sounded a bit crazy. He ate all off Naricia (except her eyes) and claimed he is reborn. Hence, inheriting her will to save her town and the metaphor he will eat all his enemies. Back to our Jushiki-shi heroes, they are having a hard time with Amupura since he can teleport and regenerate fast. Janahn Ghalan is in his weak spider form and as part of the rules, he allows Amupura to consume him. This merging means the conditions for the warheads triggering have been met. He fires one as the rest try to stop it while Amupura tries to intervene. They manage to stop it but at the cost of Largonkin. Gayus and Gigina are left as another warhead is fired but Amupura claims that since he has fulfilled Remedius’ contract, the warhead will allow him to open a portal and summon his kind. Fortunately Gayus knows how teleportation works so he uses his Jushiki to burn up everything. Amupura can’t escape and perishes. But another warhead launches. With no power left, can they stop it? Fortunately a Jushiki-shi of Largonkin placed at some strategic place shot it down. Phew. Thank convenience. After the duo crash on the island, another plot convenience calls for Gayus and Jivunya reconciling with each other. Welcome home. I guess at least the future of making out is safeguarded too.

Episode 11
Oh no. Jivunya again trying to make Gayus and Gigina make up. I don’t think it’s going anywhere. They are joined by Largonkin’s subordinates, Jabeira and Iegie. Jabeira is Jivunya’s senior. Czahn also joins drinking with them and she is Jabeira’s cousin. Gayus suggests a drinking game in which the loser gets penalized. Yup, Gayus becomes the first victim and Czahn wants to publicly display his organs! Thank goodness Jivunya won’t allow it. Everyone thinks she wants to protect his dick! As the drinking game goes on, the penalty gets more and more devastating. Especially if you’re getting revenge on being humiliated before. Gayus and Gigina have to leave since Dragon Jaw calls them. They go talk to Xenobia (although just a hologram) as Gayus asks a few questions from the recent incident bugging him. However she doesn’t need to answer since he suddenly figures it out. Something about the Dragon Empire planning to conspire with Dochetta. The Seven City Alliance is also supporting Dochetta and in return, they will get mining rights to very rare resources. They can’t join forces with Aurora Hammer as they have declared the resources belonging to the people of Urmun. That’s why it is crucial for Remedius to die as a hostage so as to protect the nation’s economy and people. Xenobia will do anything for her own people but wouldn’t care less about others. Before they can get mad, she says this decision was made by Mordin during the time they guarded him as he had a secret meeting then. Xenobia then joins Mordin (they are cousins) watching the parade of Dochetta. Suddenly a couple of girls go up to him to give him flowers. BOOM! Where the heck was security?! Oh, Dochetta survives thanks to some Jushiki. However Ava Dorn activates and kills everyone in the stadium. Mordin and Xenobia are protected of course. Gayus and Gigina stumble into Zhuo Lu in the streets as they see that assassination incident live on TV. Zhuo Lu reveals that Rahzel Island incident was just a distraction so as to bring the warheads to Urmun where the true game board is. He believes a new nation will be born with Dochetta’s assassination. Gayus knows Zhuo Lu is the real Remedius and the one that was supposed to him was Zemunn. Gayus disagrees with his idea of freedom by killing lots of innocent people but Zhuo Lu begs to differ because if he has a better suggestion, then be his guest. Gayus knows his method will only create more Dochetta-like people. Zhuo Lu considers them as useless since they can do nothing but criticize. Gayus then smells a familiar scent. We see Zhuo Lu and Naricia talking and hoping for the best even if it will never come true.

Episode 12
Flashback when Gayus was just brought into Diorg’s agency. As you can expect, Gayus wasn’t cooperative and tried to be a hero fighting by himself but is often put in his place by Cuello. This sleazy guy even played the sympathy card just to get in her pants! She’s not buying it. The duo were on a mission to arrest a guy who skipped his bail after being charged for killing a couple of Jushiki-shi. The mission failed as he got away and Gayus nearly died after rushing in. But with Cuello nursing him and the more he talks to her, Gayus finds himself falling for her. She’s not bad after all. Too bad not everyone’s perfect. Yeah, she has her own flaws. She’s a demon behind the wheel! Speed is everything?! They finish up the mission but brought Gigina this time. After a few fights here and there and Gayus covering Cuello’s back, they succeed. And so a group photo of them is all Gayus has left to reminisce about his old team. As usual, the usual bickering with Gigina over taking forever to clean the place if he keeps daydreaming. Yeah, why not clean the furniture in the place if he loves them so much? It is briefly narrated that Urmun entered a nasty civil war after Dochetta’s death. The Dragon Empire sent in troops under the guise of peacekeeping and as long Urmun is in chaos, the Dragon Empire’s economy stays stable. Also, the people of Urmun failed to answer to Aurora Hammer’s call for resistance. There were some but it soon sputtered out. Eventually Zhuo Lu AKA Remedius died for real. Decapitated outside the city, believed to have been assassinated. Aurora Hammer also fell apart after his death. Gayus feels his golden age has passed and those days can never return. But now he has a girlfriend and a partner who backs him up, that’s all he needs.

Dances With Conspiracy And Bromance
Hmm… So they ‘ended’ it with a short flashback and somewhat a ‘fast forward’ of the events of Urmun? Because of that I sometimes wonder if a single cour for this series was just too short to do it justice. But having it 2 cours won’t do any good for me either because you’ll soon find out why in the next paragraph. Hence that final episode flashback was timely and interesting to know about Gayus and Gigina’s early days together. However it wasn’t enough to warrant anything significant. Like as though it is a teaser if the series should warrant another season because I believe this is good enough to deserve another solid arc by itself. Also, trying to wrap up Urmun’s incident felt like rushing it because we’re already at the end of the season. Because I thought Remedius at this rate might become a formidable opponent but shockingly died like a pitiful dog. But whatever.

Just as I feared, I didn’t understand the lot that is going on. Not even the gist of it. Because of all the conspiracy and politics that are going on, it makes it really hard for a simpleton like me to grasp what is actually going on. Even if I had to replay scenes and conversations again, I don’t think I would be able to comprehend what is taking place. That is why when Gayus starts explaining what he deduced from whatever revelation, it sounds more like a plot convenience to reveal to viewers the happenings. Like as though he read from the script just to tell us straight in our faces the answers that we all should know. Not that I would understand either. Gayus may be sharp and a smart guy in the series and with his brilliant deductions of what is going on, too bad it is wasted on people like me because, for the umpteenth time, I don’t really understand what lies beneath all that eventually. So yeah, first half’s arc having some dragon chick trying to kill them. Okay. Cool. Whatever. Second half’s arc having some dangerous game that involves millions of lives only for it all to be a distraction? Whatever. I’m really lost.

Making me even more lost are the names of the characters and places. Actually because this isn’t your standard Japan or Tokyo and hence no typical Takashi or average Sakura sounding names, the characters’ names do sound weird and so sci-fi-like that sometimes I feel that there is this difficulty of trying to formally spell their names in Roman alphabets. Yeah, how do you actually write down those tongue twisting names? Thank heavens for Google or otherwise I would have to strain my ears just to listen over and over again what the heck this character name is. Hence there are different versions of spelling the names depending on which source you look at. Oh, here is another mind boggling thing. Despite all the fantastic sounding names, I noticed the currency they used is yen! WTF?! Not sure if it is just coincidence or oversight on the producer’s part but having yen as the currency makes it feel so out of place. Yeah, the names and setting are already so out of place and then you suddenly have this very common current day thingy here. I guess it goes to show that no matter where you are, money still mostly motivates men.

Thanks to the incomprehensible plot (I suppose Gayus and Gigina are taking jobs so as to put food on their table, or in the latter’s case, to buy more furniture), I find it hard to relate it to the characters. But thankfully, I can admit that what I enjoyed most in watching this series is the very strange and dynamic interaction between Gayus and Gigina. Although I don’t entirely understand them, seeing how they are always at odds with each other but trading insults in very cool and calm disposition is very much enjoyable. It’s like they’re always hot and cold with each other. They’ve been so long around each other that they might be trading such insults as a pastime. They have to do it every time. Before missions. During missions. After missions. It’s like their drug as they try to verbally up one another. It’s like one of those buddy cop teams but in a dark sci-fi world. Heck, the interaction between the duo sometimes feel like a bait and trap for some yaoi bromance! Uh huh. It is even hinted in Gayus’ name. Gay us. Get it? Gay-Us! Gay-R-Us! Haha! Gigina’s name? Is that a Draken term for a manly vagina?! And so there are points where they are tempting to cross that yaoi line but so far so good. As long as Gayus gets it hot with Jivunya, the straight world is a-okay.

Therefore I suspect that a few scenes of Gayus getting really hot and steamy with Jivunya sometimes feels like a troll to make us think that this guy is straight. Enough to make you think that this bespectacled dude isn’t into macho men because he has got a hot sexy girlfriend to begin with. Heck, even Gigina looked like he has a harem of hot chicks of his own! But then again, oddly Jivunya always wants to try and have them be friends. Sometimes it’s like trying to activate our yaoi bromance radar because maybe she would like the see those guys make out for once! Yikes! Here I thought she was a straight woman with eyes only for Gayus but you never know what lurks deep into a woman’s heart. The irony that I somewhat feel and understand Jivunya’s jealousy over Gayus’ possible ex-girlfriend more than the plot of the overall series. Yeah. I was thinking they should expand this but that would dilute the worth of the series. This side relationship is supposed to just be a little side distraction from the big thing.

After all, I don’t think Gayus and Gigina exactly hate each other that much although they do hate each other sometimes. If they are, they wouldn’t have worked together as a team so beautifully as seen all the time. They are like the perfect team combo each time they pull off almost impossible stuffs in each mission, covering each other’s backs. That’s why I enjoy watching them being together and it would be just unthinkable if they really go their separate ways. On the individual level, I believe each of them have their own past to deal with but this series doesn’t dwell on them deeply. We know Gayus has some sort of issues with his dead ex-comrades as well as his late sister but it wasn’t something that is fleshed out deeply and by the next arc, you’ll forget Gayus still hasn’t gotten over Aleciel’s death. Almost forgotten her name there.

Still don’t understand why Gayus puts up for his stupid selfish boss in the agency he works for. Sure, he has issues with his previous agency that resulted in the deaths of his comrades but he is okay having his pay deducted for the slightest and negligible stuffs? It’s amazing he can still keep his cool. As for Gigina, not sure if he loves to spout crap especially about his Draken warrior sayings. Sounds warrior worthy but sometimes sounds more like convenience. Even his whatever Draken culture he warns you about offending with. Yeah, not much is really known about the Draken kind. Of course Gigina will also be fondly remember for his love of furniture. If this guy isn’t a Jushiki, he would have opened a furniture factory or shop. So people, take care of your furniture well. Otherwise Gigina will kill you who are worth less than those precious fittings!

Mordin is a very hard character to understand. As a very high ranking and prominent politician as well as the man of God, he is very sneaky and manipulative. Because of his very calm demeanour, it lets your guard down to think that he is an okay chap. Alas he is wise enough and thinks many steps ahead to certainly make sure you dance right into the palm of his hand. Just when you think you have got the better of him, it is not as he has already taken precautions. This makes him a very dangerous character as it makes you doubt whether he is telling the truth, lying, half truths or half lies. You don’t really know what he is thinking. Given he has that little charisma too, if I was in person speaking to him, I would find it hard to rebut what he would say to me. Even if I know that I shouldn’t trust this person. Plus, he is so careful that he has clones talking on behalf and make you think you are talking to the real thing. Trust in God, sure. But trust your own guts more. Deception is perhaps the best word to describe this guy. No wonder he looks like he has a good poker face!

There are a few more other interesting characters like Czahn who is just weird as she loves organs. No, not the music instrument type. She could have been Frankenstein if she had her own spinoff series. Mordin also has a dozen of very skilled Jushiki-shi under his wing. Too bad we don’t see all of them and those who appeared feel wasted. But they all expend their lives just to protect this important man so maybe they can’t be getting more screen time and back story. Some are just forgettable like that journalist girl whom you’ll wonder if she is even relevant at all as well as that guy who keeps bugging Gayus to take his stupid fortune reading.

As magic AKA Jushiki plays an important factor in this series, I can’t help feel that because of the conspiracies and politicking going on, I don’t really feel their impact. They are mostly used in action scenes but with all the different types of Jushiki, sometimes I feel that they just pull it out of the air and conjure whatever weird Jushiki is being used. That is why with Gayus being an expert on this matter starts saying weird Jushiki spell names as well as explaining its traits, I don’t really understand and would quickly jump to this bias conclusion that maybe they just made it up on the spot. Because it sounds grand enough to sound like a Jushiki so it’s a pass. Hence the Jushiki spell names are the sci-fi curse for me as I don’t really understand them. Some insignia pops up and then the effect. Usually big explosions. So yeah, that’s your action bits. Otherwise be happy with Gigina just slashing around with his giant sword.

Art and animation are rather okay but with the very dark setting of this world, sometimes I feel that it is hard to see things although the darkness feels very much like complementing the theme and setting of this world. My dumb conspiracy theory of why Jivunya is a half elf is perhaps somebody has some deep dark fantasies of making out with an elf woman… Or maybe it’s just me. Also, Cuello’s uniform is another eyebrow raiser. You know, it’s like basically she goes into missions wearing her pantsu. It makes you want to ask if she forgot to put her pants on. Yeah, is she wearing pantsu or hot pants? No wonder Gayus was gunning for her ass. I almost did fall for that juicy temptation too. This series is animated by Seven Arcs Pictures who did Trinity Seven, Dog Days, Mushibugyou and Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou.

Some of the recognizable seiyuus lending their talents include Youko Hikasa as Jivunya, Norio Wakamoto as Amupura, Tomokazu Sugita as Remedius, Akira Ishida as Zhuo Lu, Haruka Tomatsu as Cuello, Hiro Shimono as Iegie and Yuko Kaida as Nidvolk. Other casts include Nobunaga Shimazaki as Gayus (Kaito in Ano Natsu De Matteru), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Gigina (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Rintarou Nishi as Largonkin (Denzel in Nanatsu No Taizai: Imashime No Fukkatsu), Takaya Hashi as Mordin (Inuarashi in One Piece), Sachiko Kojima as Xenobia (Sayako in Bamboo Blade), Sakiko Tamagawa as Czahn (Natsumi in You’re Under Arrest), (Rica Matsumoto as Jabeira (Aoi in You’re Under Arrest), Amina Sato as Naricia (Yuuka in AKB0048), Sora Tokui as Beldritt (Hideri in Blend S) and Takanori Hoshino as Jesper (Kugaha in Noragami Aragoto).

For the opening theme, it sounds hell helluva familiar. Yup, that typical trademark of that techno beat is certainly no other than Fripside. Divine Criminal sounds so similar to the other anime themes they sung such as in Clockwork Planet, Black Bullet and even To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, that I am starting to think that they just make a little adjustments to the tune and voila! New Fripside song. But I’m not going to say that this song sucks because I somewhat like the techno tune of this song even if it is just average and pretty similar to their other music. As for the ending theme, Decadence by Maon Kurosaki sounds not bad as a rock outfit. If the theme of this series wasn’t that dark, it would have fit it perfectly like a glove.

Overall, this series is not just for anyone especially casual viewers. The very dark theme, conspiracy and politics prove that you need some sort of an intelligent mind to understand or at least grasp all the sneaky happenings going on. Yeah, you need to be a smart person to decently enjoy this one. The dynamic interaction between the 2 main characters is perhaps the most entertaining parts of the series, even better than the frenzy action lighted up with lots of Jushiki special effects. Even if this series tries to be manly, badass and sexy (that includes yaoi baiting) at the same time, the confusing and perplexing plot and storyline drain a lot away from that. Sometimes I wish for simpler stuffs no matter how silly it gets. Gigina to turn into Furniture Man and beat up all those who mistreat their furniture while Gayus and Jivunya in a maid outfit have a hot make out session, Czahn opening her own museum of her dissecting anatomy art and finally the warheads just randomly bomb and vaporize everyone and everything. Sighs. Okay, let’s stick with the darker and confusing tones of this series, shall we? Let’s be like Gayus and appreciate what we all have in our hands now, okay? It’s not that bad when you think about it.