August 24, 2013

Uhhhhhnnnnn… So lazy… So lethargic… So unmotivated… Ever had days when you just feel like not wanting to do anything? Well, there are those people who somewhat feel like that their entire lives. Not willing to do anything that exerts lots of energy which includes mixing around with society outside, they shut themselves inside and their only connection to the real world would be the computer that they stare into. I guess that is how this gives birth to hikikomoris or shut-ins as we call them. At first I thought Sasami-san@Ganbaranai would be somewhat the life of a shut-in of this girl, Sasami Tsukuyomi. She seems to not have the motivation to do anything and lets her dear brother takes care of everything while she idles away and squanders her life in front of her computer. It would be funny to see her idle around in a dozen episodes and how she goes about in her life but that wasn’t the case. As it turns out, there is something more than meets the eye to her shut-in behaviour and the several oddities that surround her. Something about gods, the super power she possesses and her appeasement that keeps the universe from going crazy. Eh? What? Repeat that again, will you? Too unmotivated to explain it… Just watch it…

Episode 1
Sasami is a lazy girl. And a blessed girl too in that sense. Her brother Kamiomi dotes and loves her so much that he feeds her, bathes her and even clothes her. Literally she doesn’t even need to lift a finger. He obeys every command with all his heart without question. He hopes she would come to school one day because his job as a teacher would be livelier. She’s not even thinking about it. One morning before he leaves for work, Sasami gives him chocolate as lunch. He is unaware it is Valentine’s Day and thinks it is her usual love for big brother. After he leaves, Sasami starts up her PC for her Big Brother Surveillance System! OMG. She’s got a detailed surveillance of Kamiomi wherever he goes! Along the way she sees Kamiomi bumping into Tama who is acting like a frog to catch a frog. Because her stomach growls, Kamiomi gives the chocolates to her. That does it for Sasami. She is not going to let him have his way and dresses up. The moment she steps out from her house, the sun overwhelms her. She goes back in. Not today, huh? Returning to her computer, she sees Kamiomi advising Tsurugi not to play adult games in the staff room. She gives him a chocolate mushroom and considers it his first Valentine chocolates from her. Sasami won’t let that hag have her way and once more makes her way out. Can she stand the sun this time? Nope. Back into the shade… Back to her PC… She now sees Kamiomi interacting with Kagami at the library. He wants to talk nothing but Sasami. She’s not interested. Anyway Tama seems to be flustering (hugging Kagami to death) because she thought Kamiomi’s chocolate was like some sort of proposal. Kamiomi is surprised and even mentions he didn’t get any chocolates from Sasami! Well at least Sasami realizes he doesn’t know much about Valentine’s Day. And he’s hoping Sasami planning will give him inner in a maid outfit and tell him she loves him? Dream on.

Sasami looks around the internet and realizes a new manga. She reads the sudden development in the plot that revolves around chocolate. What happened to the love? And election too. Geddit? Everything is about chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. Chocolatey this, chocolatey that. Everything on the internet is chocolate. A job position pertaining to chocolate and a political party about chocolate? A country named after chocolate? There is a chocolate type weather too? Suddenly Sasami realizes the world is being altered. Like error on her monitor, the world suddenly turns brown like chocolate. The Yagami sisters go into action to contain this chocolatey problem. Tsurugi slashes her way, Tama is eating all the chocolate she wants and every body part of Kagami turns into some mecha part (she even has missile boobs!). The next step is to make their way to Sasami’s house. They dash across the chocolate covered town fighting chocolate monsters. When they arrive, Kagami initiates a programme to return the world back to normal. Kamiomi returns home and sees Sasami covered in chocolate like a statue. He thinks this is her invitation to ‘eat’ her. Before he can do that, the chocolate breaks and Sasami kicks the crap out of him. Then she picks up her bat ready to beat up the Yagami sisters and tell them to get out of her house.

Episode 2
Sasami types her report. There are gods in everything and can be divided into groups based on their divinity. Those with higher divinity can control and change lower ones at will. The highest of them all is Amaterasu. That power was something Sasami once had and now resides in Kamiomi. It is safe to assume he is Amaterasu. So, if he wishes for something happy, the gods will try to make him happy. This was what happened during the Valentine’s Day incident as the gods altered themselves and begged him to eat them. Thankfully the Yagami sisters stopped the alternation. Who they are is a mystery but she suspects they are somebody with high divinity. She will continue to watch them and her brother. Tsurugi and Kamiomi are playing jenga in the middle of class till Kagami informs them lots of students are missing from class. She thinks it’s due to Yamatano Orochi SNS, an online network game that everyone is hooked. Suspiciously, it was a game that was on the verge of shutting down 3 years ago when it suddenly became popular. The only way to find out is to try it themselves. And the best place to do it is at Sasami’s house because she has lots of computers. One for anime, one for music, one for internet, a few for games… Wow. True shut-in. Sasami can’t let them know she plays this game and it is going to be a pain if they suspect something and shut it down. After all she put in all those hours in levelling up like crazy with rare items. As the sisters and Kamiomi start creating their character (delinquent boss is a job? And so is a naked loser?), Sasami tries to sabotage by disconnecting the internet. However Kagami has her own connections. Then she turns on every appliance to cause the power to trip. Till she realizes everyone is on laptop! Sasami is at her wits end as she secretly rebukes the sisters for treating this house as their own. The last straw came when their dirty and oily fingers touch the keyboard. Sasami goes into panic mode trying to clean them (does she know how to operate a vacuum cleaner?). Worse, Tama spilt food and drinks all over hers!!! Sasami going crazy! Even more when Tsurugi nonchalantly touches her manga collection and rips her prized packaging! Oh… More to come. Tama deletes all her saved game data.

So finally when they are ready to play the game, Kamiomi’s character got killed in class. They try to revive him at the infirmary and this excites Tsurugi because she thought this is where the sex part comes in. Sasami can’t stand the in-game lewdness and pops into the game with her avatar. Now the cat is out of the bag. Her insulting curses didn’t reach Kamiomi since that pervert that Sasami wanted to shower him with her love. She accidentally kills him. As Tsurugi take Tama to the toilet, Sasami and Kagami notice light dots representing players’ spirit being absorbed by a giant monster. Before they know it, their consciousness gets absorbed and they find themselves in the game. Another alteration? Kagami notices another odd thing. The monster has insanely high divinity enough to invade the real world and create its own kingdom but yet it is only consuming sacrifices and doing nothing more. Tsurugi points out it just wants to maintain this world. This monster was what Sasami created unconsciously. She checked her profile and noticed some matching coincidences. Three years ago to escape the harsh reality from her strenuous studies, Sasami played this game and made a wish (she had the powers of Amaterasu then). So this game suddenly became popular when it was on the verge of shutting down. The monster has been protecting Sasami’s ‘playground’ from being shut down. There is only one thing left to do. Sasami makes a wish for the monster to rest in peace, assuring she is living a happy life now. Everything in the virtual world disintegrates. When she wakes up, she checks the game down due to system glitches. Then she slips back into bed and continue her slumber.

Episode 3
Sasami writes her own mythical story called the Hare of Inaba whereby she is the hare and her masochistic brother the shark who always gets abused. Yeah, he even gets abused by the gods played by the Yagami sisters. Sasami becomes embarrassed when Kamiomi catches her writing so she throws the mouse at him. Later she continues her report about Amaterasu and her powers that reside in Kamiomi of which he is unaware of. He still thinks she has it. Sasami narrates their history. Their family is the first human beings to obtain such power, Ninigi No Mikoto. They are trained to inherit and protect Amaterasu’s power. Women underwent training to become her vessel so Sasami endured hellish training till she could take it no more and ran away. That’s when she descended upon civilization and was awed with everything. Thank God for internet cafes, animes and manga! She became addicted but the shrine people came and took her back. Soon she frequently ran away and yearning for a normal life, she took Kamiomi with her. Due to some alterations, they are currently hiding under the radar of the shrine family and she knows they won’t let her off the hook just like that. The Valentine’s Day and Yamatano Orochi SNS incidents, it is an indication her peaceful life won’t last long. Suddenly she grows a third hand out from between her breast!!! All Kamiomi can see is her flat boobs! How perverted can he get? Besides, he is not surprised to see a third arm. It’s after all, just an arm. This had Sasami think that this is an alteration as Kamiomi is not of aware of it.

Continuing her report, Sasami narrates how the Tsukuyomi family’s life is short-lived and they resort to incest to maintain optimal bodies for Amaterasu’s power. This causes their bodies to deteriorate. As women become the vessel, men become slaves to assist priestess in risking and protecting their lives for them. They become ultimate tools for impregnation. That’s why Kamiomi hides his face and lives in the shadows, has no qualms of living his life as a robot. Even if Sasami takes advantage of him and becomes the cruellest woman, she knows he will never betray her. He will always protect, support and accept her without question. That’s why she took him when she ran. There was a time she was fed up with the world. Kamiomi, who never spoke before, opened his mouth to assure her everything is alright. He wanted her to be happy and is willing to bear all the pain and suffering for her. Suddenly her third arm starts moving like a mind of its own. It claims it is her split personality and set up by the shrine people. It appears now because her job is over. Her greatest threats are the Tsukuyomi shrine hunters. Once she is caught, it is game over. While Sasami was asleep, the third arm went to show Kamiomi all her reports. In order to protect her, Kamiomi has gone back to the shrine in her place. Because it is Amaterasu’s power they want and not Sasami. Sasami seals the third arm and tries to head outside to rescue her brother. But the glaring sun… Or is it the sun that is weakening her? Just when she cannot stand back up, Tsurugi extends a helping hand. She doesn’t want Sasami to give up. Sasami regrets placing all the burden on Kamiomi’s shoulders and made him live for her. Tsurugi says holding his hand is allowed because she is still a kid. It’s not naive. It is trust. She hopes if she has family problems to feel free and talk to her because they are like family.

Tsurugi then takes Sasami back to the shrine. Tsurugi has been here before. She could’ve destroyed it but just let them be when they said they would manage the gods for her. Long ago the creator gods, Izanagi and Izanami gave her absolute authority to maintain this country. In short, Tsurugi was Amaterasu. Because the other gods did as they please and not listen to her, Tsurugi wanted out but they dragged her back. She got fed up and gave her powers to Ninigi No Mikoto. Tsurugi thought of going back after he died but he passed down the power to his descendant in an unthinkable manner. Because the world humans made wasn’t that bad, she decided to watch over it. If she wants to get her power back, she prefers to have someone much younger to succeed. Someone like Tama. Tsurugi makes an explosive entry into the shrine before Tama comes diving down from the sky to fight whatever shrine familiars thrown her way. Tsurugi explains Tama was originally part of her and that’s why she calls Tama her sister. Kagami also joins the fray fighting the entire army with her in-built weapons. Kagami was created after Tsurugi cut off a cursed part. But an evil person found and raised her with magic and weapons for evil. Not liking that idea, Tsurugi took her back. The Yagami sisters are here to destroy the shrine simply because Sasami wished for them to protect her peaceful everyday life. That’s what they’re going to do after they wreck this place. When the shrine is totally annihilated, they couldn’t find Kamiomi anywhere. A passing priestess tells them he was here a moment ago but was kicked out. He made some crazy claim he had Amaterasu’s power and would gladly take Sasami’s place. They checked him and found he had zero divinity and supernatural power. Sasami realizes she made a huge mistake. Amaterasu’s power had resided in her all along. She wished for Kamiomi to live happily and the gods responded and in turn granted his wish. She thought she had lost her power but in reality wasn’t able to use them to its full potential. It was a pain to go outside the house due to some evil god doing something to her. Now she is alright as Sasami prepares to head to school for the first time.

Episode 4
First day of school over and so tired… So unmotivated… That’s life in society, girl. Back home she finds a top secret DVD believed to be from Kamiomi. Wondering what kind of porn he is watching (though she prefers him not to look at other girls except her), she inserts and watches the film roll. To her surprise, there is Tsurugi appointing herself as the director of this Sasami Watch Project. The goal is to support Sasami since she has returned to society. They will back her in any way while living a life as a normal high school girl with Amaterasu’s powers within. The ultimate point of this project is to record her progress and laugh their ass off for every mistake she makes! And for that moment there she thought she felt touched… The film rolls on as we see Kagami secretly filming Sasami’s journey to do errands proposed by Tsurugi. Like buying condoms at a pharmacy store and her visit to the public bath (perverted Tsurugi wanted Kagami to use her x-rays to peek into her underwear instead of the contents of her bag). Sasami is filled with embarrassment while watching but the bath house trip is cut with another scene. The one whereby Sasami wakes up in the middle of the night to put on a new seal for her third arm. And this was recorded by Kamiomi on the roof as part of his collection of sleeping Sasami faces! Sasami has a bad feeling about this because she doesn’t remember she did all those. Continuing the video, Sasami enters an otaku shop and makes her way to the adult floor. Geez. A little limited figurine can cost so much just because it had an option to be undressed compared to normal ones. The store owner thinks she lost her way to the idol concert and guides her there. Tsurugi is arguing with the cashier about the adult stuffs she bought. Can’t blame him for thinking she’s a kid, right? Sasami dances along with the otaku guys as the idol sings on stage. Kamiomi continues to film but bumps into security. He recognizes her as one of the priestesses back at the shrine. Though she suspiciously denies it, Kamiomi realize that it could only mean one thing if a shrine priestess is here. Suddenly all the guys turn into priests and the idol turns out to be Sasami’s father, Ruza. They put seals all over her and unseal her third arm, taking out that lump of meat which is Amaterasu’s power.

The Yagami sisters barge into the building and I don’t know why Tama brings in a UFO! I guess she was busy distracted with this alien mission of hers. The UFO crashes through the streets and SWAT guys surround it. They order Tama to return the alien which is government property but she vows to let the alien return to its home world. That’s when they throw gas canisters that contain drugs to erase memories. The lump of meat materializes into a familiar looking girl and asserts she will be free. The video ends. Tsurugi pops up behind Sasami and reveals the real Sasami has been taken to hospital and the shrine priests have been dealt by her. This Sasami is that lump of meat and the smoke messed up her memories. She came back home thinking she was the real Sasami. Tsurugi is going to merge them back together because there is no telling when a body part strays too far. Fake Sasami asserts she is a separate personality from her and that she is free. She complains the pain of being stuck in someone’s body and will not trade her freedom. She is going to use Amaterasu’s power to do secure that. However Tsurugi easily contains the power and seals her. The real Sasami wakes up in hospital being told by Sasami that they both wanted the same thing called freedom and caused trouble to those around. They are after all from the same body. However the fake one made a sin and that was to find happiness by sacrificing others. The real Sasami not only refrained from abusing Amaterasu’s power but despise and reject it. That is why Tsurugi could trust her holding the power. I’m not sure if Tsurugi had put back Amaterasu’s power into Sasami because Kagami is holding a pet rabbit in her arms and she wants to call it Meat instead of Sasami even though they are of the same origin. Meanwhile, Tama has left a trail of unconscious SWAT guys in her wake and her mission is complete after she frees the UFO back into space.

Episode 5
Sasami has a request for Kagami. Please be her friend! I think Kagami prefers her sleep. But Sasami continues to bug her. She is in dire need of one because when she transferred in, Kamiomi introduced her as an ex-shut-in which made her look like she had a tragic past. Everyone stayed away from her then. You see, Sasami just wants Kagami to be her stand-in friend so that she could make everyone think she is a happy-go-lucky girl and in no time will be lining up to be her friend. Some friend she is. Kagami agrees to be that as long as she can get her sleep. Not sleeping over that thought? So the first thing Sasami wants her ‘friend’ Kagami is to accompany her to buy food at the canteen. But they see Kamiomi and Tsurugi in an eating competition. I think you’ll lost count of the bowls they’ve eaten. It ended in Tsurugi’s victory and the loser must buy the winner lunch for the rest of the year. Not sick of food yet? Sasami must eat on her own since the cafeteria lady accidentally spilled food over Kagami so she has to go change. Next, Sasami pesters Kagami to accompany her to the toilet. Is this a must? Along the way, it’s like Kagami is experiencing bad luck like thumb tacks on her shoes, a basin dropping over her head and the locker falling over her! Thank God she is a robot and doesn’t feel pain. At the sushi restaurant with Kamiomi, Sasami blabs about Kagami causing Kamiomi to feel left out. Shouldn’t she be blabbing about him? He can’t take it anymore and strips so that she could ‘eat’ her! Don’t ever do that again! On the way back, Sasami is shocked to see Kagami bleeding by the roadside. She refuses any help since this has nothing to do with her. Besides, she only wants them to be friends at school. Even as a stand-in friend, she finds her clingy attitude annoying. Next day Sasami invites Kagami for an outing but she refuses. Wondering if she is annoying, Kagami replies her existence has no effect on her life. This hurts Sasami and doesn’t care about her anymore. To add salt to injuries, Sasami sees Kagami talking casually to other female classmates. She becomes distraught.

While walking home, Sasami sees Tama playing with kids at the park. She is in no mood to play till Tama says it is dangerous for her to be sad because the gods will try to make her happy and mess up the world. If she’s sad, Tama is also sad. She may not be bright but she likes to see Sasami happy. At the end of the day, Sasami still ponders the big question of how to make friends since she has none. Tama thought Kagami was her friend because the latter was always talking about her and praising her. She hopes she can get along with Kagami since everything will be over soon. Kagami said she had something to take care of herself. That is when Sasami realized as she rushes to Kagami at school. Because the gods do whatever they want to make her like them, and her wish for a friend mad the gods jealous and attack Kagami. That explains all the injury she’s got. By becoming her friend, she made the entire world want to attack her. She wanted to be friends at school because that was the limit of her power. Meanwhile Kagami spews up crazy jargons to load up her deadly weapons and fight the gods. She doesn’t care what comes her way as long as it’s her friend’s wish, she will shed blood to protect her normal life. She is happy to have a friend and thus took it upon herself to clean this mess before she noticed. When Sasami arrives at school, she warns the gods not to make her angry and they obediently left. She meets Kagami lying in the classroom in the aftermath. Kagami claims the friends she talked to were gods and purified them. They were using high school girls to get close to her and would’ve been in trouble if Sasami was influenced by them and made bad alterations. From now on, Sasami will have no worries in making friends as she has finished her purification. Sasami emotionally hugs, apologizes and loves Kagami. I’m sure she’d appreciate her snot not to stick all over her. She wants her to be her real friend and not a stand-in. Kagami explains she used to be a doll without emotion and heart. Still, she wanted to be normal like others. If she could have one wish, then it would be to become human. Because even if they are stupid and weak, they are warm. Sasami says she is already a human because she is warm. But Sasami doesn’t want he to be human, but friends.

Episode 6
Sasami writes how she saw the back of her mom, Juju in the streets. She tried calling to her but she didn’t respond. She chases up to her but finds her gone when she turns the corner. Mommy’s presence was flickering on and off as with the streets lights. By the time she looked back, the lights burnt out and she was gone. Sasami thought it couldn’t be her and might mistake her for someone else because she already knew where her real mom was. In class, Sasami bugs Kagami about seeing her mom. I think she is more interested in sleeping. She doesn’t even want to accompany her pick a bicycle. Plus, she had plans to accompany Meat to the vet. Sasami lost to a rabbit… On her way home, Sasami sees her mom once more. This time she responds. Happy Sasami takes her out through the shopping district. Each time Juju had something pessimistic to say about the outing, a little experience causes her to change her mind. Worldly temptations… Whether it’s playing the crane game (using power is forbidden! Better run before the store clerk suspects anything), eating ice cream or going shopping. Finally at the Italian restaurant, Juju wants to discuss something. She noticed Sasami was happy spending time with her, something that mother and daughter never did when they were busy training. Sasami indeed had fun but she too needs to tell her something. Because Juju already died a long time ago due to her frail body and health since birth. Juju knows that fact too and that alternation is preserving her appearance. She shows her real rotting body that scares the hell out of Sasami. Juju continues that everyone including gods only live once and thus there is no such thing as reincarnation. Everyone who dies will go to the underworld. Before she became a resident of the underworld, she negotiated with the underworld king. They had a common interest so he allowed her to return as a mortal till her body completely rots away. The reason she came back is because she saw Sasami leaving the shrine, abandoned the duties and bum around doing nothing with her life. She couldn’t stay dead for Sasami broke her promise about taking care of this world. She won’t blame her for she too had sinned for passing away early before her training could bear fruit. She wants Sasami to return to the shrine and resume her training even if the shrine isn’t there anymore but it is away from the world’s vulgarities and she can train in peace.

Sasami won’t sacrifice herself for mankind’s convenient so Juju tells her no one asked her opinion. Are her happiness, freedom and pleasure worth more than mankind’s future? Don’t be selfish. This goes beyond life. Her existence means nothing if she is not living as a Tsukuyomi priestess. Sasami is slapped to silence when Tsurugi makes her appearance. Juju thinks this evil god is the one who led Sasami astray. Tsurugi denies that and although she is slacking in this world, she cannot ignore severe violations of the rules since Juju returned to the living world which is a big no-no. As for Sasami, she wasn’t led astray and chose it herself. Tsurugi will put things right and doesn’t want Juju to act like a responsible mother after all this time. She prepares to slash her but Juju easily overwhelms her. Reinforcements Kagami and Tama arrive. Juju continues to spout about their guidance is the only reason mankind advances and will be taking Sasami back to train her to fulfil her role. Obstruct and you die. Tsurugi gets up, not wanting to go back to the underworld since there’s someone she hates there. But her sword, Ame No Murakumo has no effect on Juju because even if it’s a powerful divine sword, it is only for protection. Juju’s sword, Ame No Habakiri was reforged in the underworld as the sword of misfortune and was presented by the underworld king to slay gods. She is confident nobody can lay a finger on her as she has this sword and the underworld king’s protection. Not even Kagami’s heavy gunfire can stop her. Juju pierces through her chest to put her out of commission. Then she opens the portal to the underworld and pushes Tsurugi through it. Tama protects Sasami and though she admits she is too dumb to understand what is going on, she sees her as being mean because everyone was happy. This is made possible by Sasami so what Juju is saying now doesn’t make sense to her. Juju is going to make her understand but Sasami couldn’t bear to see anymore hurting so she agrees to go back to the shrine and become a priestess. And in a snap, she’s back in the rotting reality of the human world.

Episode 7
When Sasami was young, she watched her mother practise her Reverse Path spell, a spell that can imprison all sort of oddities. Because she looked like a hero, Sasami considered her as a superhero and even Juju got into the flow of it. Ah, those innocent times when Sasami truly loved her mother. But now, she is back in the destroyed shrine and drugged, unable to move. Meanwhile Tama is making her journey to who knows where. She tells us the sisters never got along till Sasami came. Till then, Tama only knew how to smile and act happy in hopes they would smile. And then this sh*t came and none of that now means anything. Juju wants Sasami to vow never to escape again but Sasami won’t promise. She lied back then just to stop her. She doesn’t want to continue doing a job that got her killed. She finally got out and doesn’t want to come back. She doesn’t want to try harder. Since re-educating her won’t work, Juju has no choice but to stab her stomach so that the drug will hasten its effect. Juju wants her to bear a child and she will educate this child of her duties. She throws him an unconscious priest for her impregnation. Sasami doesn’t want to do it and if so at least with Kamiomi. However speaking of him, earlier he tried to save her so she ‘took care of him’. Sasami ‘dies’ inside but Juju is unfazed so long as her body is in good shape to bear a child. Juju then goes to see Kamiomi locked up and tells him about her talk with Sasami. Kamiomi truly believes Sasami loved her. Juju knows and acknowledges that but being a priestess comes before being a mother and such is just a trivial matter. She calls Kamiomi her brother. Kagami wakes up with just enough strength to send Ame No Murakumo to Kamiomi. He cuts himself loose and goes to rescue Sasami. But the first thing she did was to kick him for being late and throw her usual tantrum. Not the hug and kisses he expected, eh? He calms her down assuring he will always protect her. When they escape, they are confronted with Juju who didn’t expect them to break the barrier when she’s away.

Sasami tells her the Tsukuyomi bloodline and this stupid job dies with her. She has decided. Juju won’t acknowledge her as her daughter anymore since she took the easy way out. Plus, Sasami’s words won’t move the dead. That’s when Tama arrives. She starts throwing her tantrum how she got lost trying to find this place. Tama seems to display teleportation divinity as she teleports Ame No Murakumo and make it appear in the same space as the other sword. Because Ame No Habakiri is weaker, it breaks when Ame No Murakumo is in its close proximity. Tama starts hitting away Juju, causing her flesh and bones to break. Juju realizes she is a new kind of god designed to take over the old ones. Juju cannot move when Sasami does Reverse Path spell on her. Tama pushes into the portal to the underworld and Tsurugi drags her in. She tells Tama she has got things to take care of and won’t be back for a while. Next day, Sasami wakes up in the comfort of her own bed. She gets call from Tsurugi. She’s calling from the underworld. She will be here for a while to beat the crap out of somebody who calls himself her brother and hopes Sasami could take care of her sisters during her absence. As for her mother, she was on the verge of falling apart since Tama took a few ‘bites’ out of her. Although she didn’t get erased completely, she will take some time to return to normal. She has also sent Sasami something Juju dropped along the way down to the underworld. Sasami sees a package outside her door and upon opening, she breaks down to see the tainted stuff doll rabbit they got from the crane game.

Episode 8
Tsukuyomi priestess Micchan writes a log how the family head, Ruza bums around not wanting to do anything. She even recorded his favourite phrases and how many times he said it! “I want to die” is off the scale! As for Sasami, she has barricaded herself in her room and vows not to let anyone in. Kagami and Tama see Kamiomi at the diner. He is sad he hasn’t heard, touch or bathe with Sasami (he keeps count of the number of hours too). Want to die too? So much so his Sasami withdrawal symptom has him harassed Kagami whom he thinks is Sasami. After beating him up, Kagami gets serious with the problem they’re facing. Tsurugi is away and Sasami has secluded herself for unknown reasons with a powerful barrier Ama no Iwato which also rejects all contact the outside world. Kagami wants to break through and find out. As they dive down from the sky, all the building and vehicles turn into gun turrets as Sasami warns them not to get close. She won’t say her problem either so Kagami goes ahead with her infiltration. An aerial battle takes place but it seems Sasami’s missiles are mixed with acid that melts Kagami’s clothes. If this continues, she’ll be stark naked and Sasami plans to upload her nude pics on the internet and turn her into a famous model! I think Tama and especially Kamiomi wants to strip for her but Sasami is not interested. Geez. Some friend she is. Not buying that friendship thingy now. Tsurugi drops out from the sky. Though she explains gods can’t break through Ama No Iwato, new gods can eat it up and has Tama gobble up the barrier. Inside her room, they want to know what’s going on. After removing the blanket, we see a bloody fat Sasami!!! Bloated!!! Apparently this happened after she ate pizza last night. She was surprised at this state and didn’t want to tell or consult them for fear they may hate her. She thought of reorganizing her thoughts first but they had to come see her. Maybe it’s some sort of oddity. Tsurugi thinks that Tsukuyomi priestess didn’t finish her job and brings Sasami along on this one.

Sasami finds herself in a decimated city. She thinks she is in the past because she sees Juju taking out gravekeeper Baron Samedi and his zombies. Sasami can only watch the events unfold. Juju is picked up by Micchan who flies her back to the shrine because Sasami has fallen ill. Though she often falls sick, this time no priests or priestesses could cure it. Juju nurses her and has kind words for Sasami. She hopes she will grow up quickly because the world would be a little better place by then. After she leaves, Juju starts coughing blood and wonders if she will go first or see her daughter grow up. Micchan helps Juju to make dinner for Sasami. Micchan was spirited away by an evil god who wanted her powers because she was born with immense power. She was drained of it all and lost everything. That’s why she understands Sasami’s feeling as their situation is the same. Juju worries a lot about Sasami and this made Sasami feel guilty she worked so hard to make the world a better place and yet she betrayed her. Suddenly they are attacked by a golem who has captured young Sasami. While Juju was away fighting Samedi, Sasami snuck out to town so the golem latched onto her so no one can sense her entering the shrine. Grownup Sasami feels even guiltier she is the cause of this trouble but doesn’t remember this ever happening. But the golem seems to be talking to our Sasami. Introducing herself as an assassin of the Wicked Occult Society Arahabaki, her true form is the spirit of this Sesshou golem, a golden nine tailed fox called Tamamo No Mae. She wants to make a deal. Has she ever wanted to change the past?

Episode 9
Micchan continues her log. Ruza must have gotten worse. He has stripped naked and into this S&M thingy calling Micchan his master. Back to the story proper, Tamamo No Mae grabs Juju (with our Sasami within) and has been waiting for this moment to change history. Of course she needed a great power to do that and since Amaterasu’s power warps through time, the moment Sasami felt regret she betrayed her mom, that is when he alteration of the past begins. Tamamo No Mae will kill Juju, her powers pass down to Sasami who so happens to be in her hands. She rants about Arahabaki growing further in the future and ruling the world. Sasami tells her off she can’t do anything without changing the past and that’s why she can’t rule the world. Before Tamamo No Mae could kill her, Sasami wakes up and finds herself next to her mom’s body. This is on the day she died. To her surprise, Tsurugi pops up and Juju resurrects. Just like waking up from slumber? Seem the drugs that Juju put in her stomach was some sort of totem that serves as her gateway from the underworld. That is what caused Sasami to grow fat since Juju couldn’t control that power. So now the goal is to prevent Tamamo No Mae from taking over the world. To do that, they will have to travel back in time to erase all negative feelings and find its indications. So the trio go back in time. First stop the time right after Sasami escaped from the shrine and was on the verge of breaking down. But with Kamiomi being a total pervert, she had no time to feel down. Then at a time Sasami drew a picture of Juju as present but she ripped it apart calling artful creations as wicked. Though Sasami’s heart broke to pieces, after she left Juju picked it up and stick it back together! After seeing how happy Juju gave birth to Sasami, going back further in time sees Juju ruthlessly chasing down her brother Ruza. When she corners him, she confesses she loves him! Didn’t know mommy was that passionate then, eh? How embarrassing!

Next they see Juju going through intense training. Juju asks Sasami her answer and she remains steadfast she doesn’t want to be a priestess. Juju believes at this changing age, they cannot rely on the whimsical gods for protection and it is necessary that humans guard and oversee the world themselves. Sasami agrees with her but says even if the gods are random and weak, they can only become strong by overcoming that. Since they are only entrusted with Amaterasu’s power, it would be arrogant to say that they can protect it. The age of protection is over. She believes they should trust in the gods more and thus will not put forth anymore effort. Juju replies she always thought her early death was the reason Sasami was spoiled due to lack of proper preparations. However she is now convinced of her well thought out conclusion and doesn’t consider her a traitor anymore. She blames herself for making the mistake but Tsurugi doesn’t think so. She just worked too hard. Tsurugi then transforms into her goddess form and laments all this started because she got tired and threw her power away. She has had enough rest, rested more than she should and depended on them too much. In exchange she ruined humans and many of them died along the way. This shouldn’t have happened in the first place. She wants to know what she did was wrong because she couldn’t figure it out herself. Sasami replies she worked hard after so long, rested and then came back. If she is tired, just pass the torch. With everything resolve, we’re back to where Tamamo No Mae is moments from crushing Juju. A great spirit flows through Juju’s body. She attributes this to Tamamo No Mae’s awakened powers that triggered their desire to change the past. With no more regrets, Juju slays the golem to free Sasami. In normal time, Sasami returns to her normal state when Juju exits her body.

Sasami puts in more effort as she tries to help Kamiomi shovel the snow. They are confronted by the student council president, Jou Edogawa who wants to be friends with her. If she needs any help, feel free to ask. But Kamiomi throws her a caution if she dares use Sasami in her wicked schemes, friend or no friend, he will make her pay. Edogawa returns to her fox girl servant, Foxie who is surprised she took such a direct approach. Edogawa asserts she is really interested in Sasami though she doesn’t have the power of Amaterasu anymore. Such divinity remains even if it’s an empty shell. Edogawa wanted to drain that power but had mistaken her target. Foxie will abide to whatever Edogawa’s wishes are for her happiness. Everything for the sake of her desires and interests. She plans to use Arahabaki to teach those gods who think of themselves so highly a lesson.

Episode 10
Sasami begins her new term as a second year high schooler. However since being friends with Edogawa, that girl hasn’t been friendlier. Maybe she’s shy in opening up? Actually Sasami stumbled upon a deep secret so she understands why she wanted to lie low. At the pool, Sasami saw Edogawa’s ‘elephant’! Holy cow! Is Edogawa a boy?! Well, she claims she her penis grows from time to time. WTF?! Unless she meant ‘grow’ in the sense as in seeing naked girls… So Sasami continues to be over friendly with Kagami (much to her chagrin) to the point her ‘love’ has been misinterpreted that they are pure lesbians. Edogawa then comes in to invite everyone to Kuzuryuu Shrine resort for her vacation. And she’s being tsundere about it too. Sasami is of course invited too but she ends up getting ill. To solve this problem, Sasami uses her power to turn Tama into a splitting image of herself. It’s a win-win situation. Tama gets to go on their trip and Sasami can view and hear everything through Tama. But first, they need to convince Kamiomi to let her go. So with Sasami guiding the words Tama should say to persuade Kamiomi she is well, at first that guy is suspicious (she shouldn’t have said or read everything word for word) and this may not be the Sasami he knows. I mean, she would have beaten him up already and rejected his love but why is she so willing to accept him? Is this a dream?! Hell, no! I think he would love this to be his true ending. I hope he doesn’t take ‘Sasami’ on their own honeymoon. And despite having the approval, the real Sasami feels this is going to get ugly since Tama did say she is willing to marry Kamiomi!

Everyone departs by bus (except for poor Kamiomi who had to peddle all the way since there are no seats for him), Sasami logs on to the tele-divine chatroom and speaks with the Yagami sisters who are connected. Tsurugi hopes she will stay safe since she has passed Amaterasu’s powers to Juju. Kagami is confused the Sasami/Tama treats her like a sister. But I think this is all part of Tsurugi’s harassment plan. Everyone starts thinking they are so deep that their hopes of reaching them are zero. Give up your first love! At the resort after everyone ate their satisfying meal (Tsurugi sexually harassing the other teacher in charge, Youko Kitsunebi), it’s time to head for the baths. Edogawa can’t go for obvious reasons but the girls insist. Oh no. It’s that time when that ‘thing’ starts ‘growing’. She tells them off to leave them alone since she has her own duties and to not get close to her. Sasami via Tama covers for Edogawa that she has to clean up so everyone understands and will help out. ‘Sasami’ brings Edogawa to a hotspring where the water is white so she can ‘hide’ it better. Then comes in Tsurugi who wants to grope big boobs (she must be having withdrawal symptoms if she doesn’t touch them now! Because Tama offered to touch hers after they get home). She’s not interested in flat chests and targets Edogawa (who knows where Youko has gone after enduring her sexual harassment all day). Tama manages to divert Tsurugi’s attention by saying Youko’s breasts has grown 10 times bigger and off the pervert goes to look for her. Edogawa wants to know why she is helping her and even going this far to keep her body a secret from others. Because when she first wanted to be her friend, she felt happy. Friends are there to share each other’s secret and help each other out. However Edogawa doesn’t think this will be possible because one day she will kill her.

Episode 11
Juju and Micchan receive postcards from ‘Sasami’ on her trip. Bad pictures? Thank Tama for that. What the heck is Kamiomi lying on the floor with seaweed over his head? I’m sure he just arrived after a long journey. Sasami (remember, Tama is impersonating as her and Sasami herself interacting via the divine chatroom interface) takes a morning bath only to see Edogawa there. I’m not sure what Edogawa is ranting about her so called evil plans with Babysitter and Foxie over her own chatline. Once everyone realize half sleepy Tsurugi was also on the line, they log out. Despite Sasami want to be genuine friends with her, Edogawa turns into somewhat a tsundere, suspicious at every intention of hers but in the end allows it. Kagami happens to drop in the chatroom and feels irritated that Sasami is making a new friend. Although Sasami views Kagami as her first friend, Kagami denies and claims she is just a stepping stone and mere practice doll for her. Ouch. Even during the beach outing, Sasami wanted to invite Kagami to play beach ball with them but she rather finish her sand castle (and then blast it away with her guns!). Kamiomi must be having the fun of his life when ‘Sasami’ starts loving big brother. Oh Tama… It’s time to head for the festivals so Tsurugi will have Kamiomi become her purse… You know what this means. Sasami wants to invite Edogawa to the festivals but she remains sceptical. First she thought Sasami is her enemy after seeing through her evil plans (what plans?). Sasami thinks she has chuunibyou. Then Edogawa thinks she is flattering her because she wants to be her servant! Because Foxie tells her she wants a deeper and more equal relationship than that, Edogawa thinks Sasami loves her! I think Tsurugi can get the wrong idea about this.

Sure, Sasami loves her but only because she wants to be her friend. Kagami becomes irked at this conversation and leaves for the festivals herself, claiming Sasami will end up relying on her if she is there. Because of that, Sasami went all out to look for Kagami and left Edogawa alone (hey, she said not to come, right?). When Sasami finally meets Kagami, to put a summary in the latter’s long winded explanation, she was jealous when she saw Sasami making a new friend. She should be happy and supporting her but views herself as broken since she is a robot. Sasami dismisses she is one and completely human. In that sense, she got hurt so she apologizes for hurting her. Hugging her, Sasami wants her to stay by her side and doesn’t have to support her. Meanwhile Juju reads Micchan’s log about Ruza’s unruly behaviour. Dog collar? Naked? Pretending to be a dog? Can you blame her for blowing her top? Elsewhere Foxie accompanies Edogawa. Tama reverts to her own appearance and this doesn’t sit well with Kagami because she felt embarrassed over that emotional drama. She treated her so because she thought she was the real Kagami. The fireworks lit up the sky as the real Sasami goes back to sleep since she is spiritually worn out (that’s why Tama came back out).

Episode 12
Going back a little in time when Sasami discovered Edogawa’s true gender, Edogawa’s plan was to perform a ritual to summon a Kuzuryuu dragon. She has this other personality called Awashima (Babysitter) that takes control of this body while her spirit rest. That’s when Sasami unfortunately discovered ‘it’ so he had to cook up some excuse. After that, Edogawa discusses with Awashima and Tamamo No Mae (Foxie) to initiate their plan. All for the sake of her happiness, desire and curiosity. During the festival, Edogawa believed for the moment that Sasami wanted to be her friend till she ditched her to find Kagami. At that same moment, she too wanted to invite Sasami to be her servant but was flat out rejected. This causes Edogawa to rue her disappointment. All expectations result in disappointment especially when it involves humans. That’s why she doesn’t understand and hates them. When she initiates the plan, Kagami leaves Tama because she thought she spotted something strange. Then the crowd turns into water and absorbs Tama. Sasami feels her body being drugged. Tsurugi and Kamiomi are examining destroyed shrines as Kagami faces off with Tamamo No Mae who has set up a barrier around the island. Tamamo No Mae identifies Kagami as the former Lord of Fire, Kagutsuchi. She is confident both her divine swords will cut through her. Tama is taken to Edogawa to a shrine where she is forced to help out re-enact a play how Kuzuryuu was slain. It is a fitting role for Tama because she is the new god while Edogawa is the old forgotten one, Arahabaki the Unworshipped. Edogawa wants Tama to kill her with the sword but she can’t. That’s when Edogawa strikes back. Claiming this ceremony is just history repeating itself, she will use Tamamo No Mae’s power to mislead the world so she’ll change history and make Kuzuryuu defeats the Yamato court. After taking out Tama’s heart, Edogawa claims history will alter and Kuzuryuu victorious. The multi-headed Kuzuryuu emerges and burns down the entire island.

By the time Sasami is able to establish connections with Tama, the latter says she was eaten by a scary god. Edogawa revives in her golem form and has been waiting for her. She opened a little window in the barrier for that. Now that Kuzuryuu has declared war on the world, she wants Sasami to be the new ruler of the world. She will become a priestess to mediate between gods and humans. Sasami admits defeat since many are dead and the innocent involved. Tama begs her not to give in. However all this is just a ploy to buy time. The golem is on fire and it seems Kagami has defeated Tamamo No Mae and took over her body to play possum to her. Sasami apologizes to Tama for keeping a secret. Because she really wanted to go on the trip as soon as she felt better, she moved the entire house inside her body! That’s why at some points it was like Sasami herself controlling her from inside on her driver’s seat. Edogawa’s mistake was thinking that she has defeated the Yagami sisters and opened a little window to communicate with Sasami when she had been inside the barrier all along. This allowed Tsurugi to go outside the barrier and plan something. Kagami then burns the golem and takes over the rock body before reverting to her own original body. Then she uses her Yata Mirror to restore everything back to normal. Sasami’s house is spit out. But the world isn’t destroyed as believed and the island is uninhabited to begin with. Was that an illusion? Apparently Kuzuryuu’s revival wasn’t perfected. But Kuzuryuu breaks free from the ground within. Tsurugi has called her underworld brother, Susanoo as he swings his Ame No Habakiri at Kuzuryuu to destroy it. The great impact causes Sasami to fall into the ocean. She sees Edogawa drowning and pulls her to shore. As the girls lie on the shore, Edogawa explains she was scared that if she got everything and became supreme god of the world, she would be all alone and never have done things with Sasami and the rest. Sasami understands her fear of being alone. Edogawa adds she worked so hard since young as the head of the organization and shouldered huge expectations and yet it all turned out disappointing. Sasami says if she runs away, she loses. Although Edogawa will still kill her one day, Sasami wants them to be friends till that day come. Weird. Kamiomi and the Yagami sisters paddle their way to rescue them while Juju reprimands Micchan for shirking her duties and fall into this outrageous decadence of foolish lifestyle. Micchan got the cheek to say she looks cute when she’s jealous. Sasami and Edogawa frolic together on the beach, vowing not to put anymore effort today.

Sasami-san@Try Harder Please…
Actually everything started out okay in the beginning and it seemed interesting at first. However as we go by, it gets a little complicated. In fact, too complicated for my puny brain to comprehend so the enjoyment decreases with each passing episode. When the story gets a little grimmer with gods in the picture and Sasami’s past unveiled, that’s where my turmoil begins. I’m not a guy who really understands or am interested in gods so that takes a big chunk out of the enjoyment. Some of those terms were a put off too. Who understands God anyway? Well, maybe those who devoted themselves to them. So you have gods who have power to change everything from the setting to the way the world functions just to please the almighty Amaterasu. So what? I still don’t get it. It was okay when it started out with Valentine chocolates, then some network game and the spying over Sasami. Though, these serve as plots and build-up for later stories. Then when you have Sasami making friends with Kagami, meeting and going against her dead mom, travelling back in time to ‘adjust’ history and the final arc of befriending Edogawa and preventing her from carrying out her world conquest. Tell me again, what is this anime about in a nutshell?

Sasami at first seems like a usual shut-in with no motivation to do anything. As bits of her past are revealed, you will clearly understand why she lacks the drive to do what she is supposed to do. After all, she is a human girl. All she wants is to be a normal girl and do what girls her age normally do. When she is finally freed of her spell and duties, she is very much like a normal girl. Or at least trying and yearning to be one by making her first step to make friends. Well, there aren’t an awful lot of characters in this series but having two at the end is already a good start. Sasami is now more open up and has more expression than before and this makes her quite likeable. However I have mixed feelings because I viewed her as funnier when she was in her shut-in mode. No motivation to do anything and such uninspiring attitude is what made her funny. But for the sake of her betterment, I guess you have to lose something to gain something. She could have become the next god like the ever famous Haruhi or even Kamisama Hajimemashita’s Tomoe. However she totally rejects this because she wants to live her own life the way she chooses. It’s pretty ironic because there are lots of other people out there who would die to become God and wield such power. Ah well, humans. Have it, don’t want it. Don’t have it, want it.

The other supporting characters are okay too but the way it seems, they may harbour lots more secrets than they look especially the Yagami sisters. Especially about Tsurugi being an ex-god or something. At first I was interested to know more about their background but then the whole thing about being gods and all made it such a turn off so I just didn’t want to think about it. Especially that Susanoo character that appeared right in the final scene. Who the? What the? By that time I think I couldn’t really care less if more new characters turn up. The Yagami sisters are unique in their own way each with different personalities. Tsurugi’s first love may always be adult porn games (and she isn’t afraid to admit it – God playing human porn?) but when it comes down to putting things right, don’t count her out. She does her best. Kagami has lots of fancy weapons built inside her body that she could put all the Gundam and Macross mechas to shame. It’s mind boggling how everything can fit inside that body of hers. Like as though there is some time-space dimension warp inside. As a robot, she juggles hard with her emotions. Sometimes she is more human than human beings themselves because she does her best to be Sasami’s friend. Evidently, despite being jealous of Sasami trying to make Edogawa her friend, it proves that she has a human heart. Oddly too as a robot, she loves sleeping (don’t you love it when she goes “Funyaa~” when she wakes up?). Doesn’t she have extra recharge batteries? Maybe it’s all those weapons that eat up lots of energy. Tama may not look like an elementary school student because she is the biggest size among the sisters. Her happy, naïve and child-like nature may make her the most light-hearted character in this series. But as we see it is her way of trying to make others happy. If you have sisters who are already gloom and doom, if two wrongs don’t make a right, then a third definitely won’t. She might not be the smartest of all the characters but her simple ways are enough to motivate you to try your best. I know she is.

Kamiomi’s role in the series seems to be like a joker and a comic relief because this guy whose face is always covered by something, usually is at the receiving end of things. Just when you thought you think you might get a glimpse of his face, think again because you will never really get to. He hides it very well. Overall his role in the series I feel doesn’t have an important impact in the storyline. For the final arc, it’s like he became forgettable. He didn’t really do much. Not that I can see. Despite vowing to always protect Sasami, all I can see the most he did was free her from Juju’s imprisonment. Otherwise, many of Sasami’s help relies on the Yagami sisters. His love for Sasami is both good and bad because it shows he cares for her more than anything in the world. Which kind of sister wouldn’t love to have a brother like him who does everything without question? But too much love can be creepy, disgusting and sickening especially when he shamelessly reveals his intention of wanting Sasami’s sisterly love. Something which he doesn’t really often get. I think he is a masochist. Sasami refuses his advances but this doesn’t put him down. Ironically there are some points where I noticed if Sasami or somebody else impersonating as her, Kamiomi may love the idea that his sister has accepted him but if she gets to lovey-dovey, then he starts to freak out. Is this the real Sasami? Is this really the Sasami he knows? Yeah, that. Dilemma, right?

Before Juju accepted Sasami’s decision not to become a Tsukuyomi priestess, it was hard to view whether she was wrong or right. Her ancestors for many generations have practised such ritual only for Sasami to be a combo breaker and put an end to that lineage. Sometimes when you think about it, is it the ultimate fate of mankind or a single person which is more important. Generally, a single person’s sacrifice would have been the reasonable answer seeing it is only an individual compared to the masses. And if you put that individual more important than mankind, what good would it do if only one individual benefits at the expense of the rest? But making somebody to go against her wishes is also pure malicious. Sasami is a human being even if she is some vessel for a god or come from a line of descendants who supports god. She is still human right down to her bones. That’s why it was a tough call for Juju to make. She knew she was torn about her duty and motherhood but had to prioritize. She can only do one at the time because doing both together will cause great conflict. In the end, I’m glad that she accepted Sasami’s arguments and is now holding Amaterasu’s power. Whether or not she intends to relinquish it to Sasami in the future (in the event if she changes her mind) or some other member of the family is yet to be seen. Speaking of family, it got a little confusing when almost everybody starts calling each other their parent or sibling. So who is who? Kamiomi is also Tsurugi’s brother, Juju is also Kamiomi’s brother. Everybody is somewhat related, don’t you think?

Some characters make me wonder what their appearance is for. Like Ruza and Micchan. All we see Ruza do is bum around and degraded himself into some S&M dog. So what is the implication of this? What has it got to do with the storyline? Maybe nothing. Just for a quick laugh and side distraction. It shows that Ruza is also human since he too can’t resist the temptations of worldly desires. Even Juju herself was once like that. See how she confessed to Ruza? Just like a girl in love, no? Yeah. Edogawa coming into the final picture as the antagonist, it made me wonder what she wanted. Sure, it’s about her happiness and such but somehow I just don’t feel that. In the end, her whatever plans to change history and rule the world got stopped and what does she really want then? Whatever she wishes for, let’s hope that being friends with Sasami will bring out the best in her. Her underlings like Awashima and Tamamo No Mae also feel like they didn’t make much of an impact. While foxy girl’s battle with Kagami was just a short bout, after Awashima made his formal introduction to us, he is like forgotten soon after. What happened to him? Did he really matter after that? So is Edogawa really a boy or a girl?

Many things in the anime baffle me especially about the gods and divinity thingy. Ever since their mention, it made me wonder why in the world do they need a human as vessel to house the most powerful god of all? Then the way they want to please Amaterasu is like as though they are trying to please a human since Sasami was the one housing Amaterasu. Doesn’t that make them inferior and cheap? There are good gods and there are bad gods but those trying to fight over Amaterasu only serve to make me think that they are no better than humans themselves. Humans are already flawed so seeing them struggle and trying to improve for their overall happiness is okay. But if you talk about gods… Shouldn’t they be perfect even if some of them ranks lower? And if they have the power to just change the world in the blink of an eye, don’t you think they would have done something for themselves? They are that powerful, no? Another thing that got me baffled is Juju’s return to the human world. It is said that once one enters the underworld, it is forbidden to return anyhow. At least that is what I understand. Then when Juju broke that rule to return and re-educate her daughter, got sent back again and now she’s back once more this time doing her duties in Sasami’s place. Maybe some deal was made but I thought Tsurugi went to whack some sense into that brother of hers? And I thought Tsurugi was the one who said that such rule should be strictly enforced. Unless she changed her mind about it.

Learning that this anime is from SHAFT, my expectations for this series were there and it is safe to say that it didn’t disappoint. There are several SHAFT trademark styles that you will notice (if you have watching a few of their shows like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Maria+Holic and the ef series). For instance the typical head tilt. I wonder how many times they have shown that here. Then, Sasami’s incredulous or shocking expression that has her facial appearance looking more like a clown is also part of the package. Mainly, somehow I feel that many of the trademarks remind me of Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari. Although there are no words to bombard you and fill up the screen as often as in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. That could be a tad annoying. Make that very annoying.

Since the drawing and art also takes after some of SHAFT’s trademark, I notice that some of the backgrounds and scenery are very water colour-like painting. It’s like as though the artists didn’t have enough motivation to put in more effort. But that is just my speculation and I think it is done on purpose. I mean, if you have a world that can be easily changed by the gods, I won’t even be surprised if the series suddenly undergoes lots of visual changes. Something which did not appear in this series. I guess the lack of such creative and different visuals is also good so it doesn’t distract you from what you see. Or is it what you see are real in the first place? Also, for the end card, I am not sure if they are drawn by the same person because I feel that they are generally the same style. Fanservice wise, there are some but I happen to notice the increase in nakedness. Yes, the characters will be naked and yes, mostly there are no censors. But… when the characters are in their birthday suit, they will usually be at a distance. Far enough for us to identify they are not putting on any clothes but not close enough to warrant any censors over those sensitive areas. Well, Sasami is rather flat, right? So you can’t really see much from that distance. Oops… Even Kamiomi has more ‘censors’ over his face than the fanservice scenes… Heh…

For the voice acting part, Kana Asumi being casted as Sasami, she wasn’t really in her typical lively character type such as Nyaruko in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san or Miya in Amagami SS. Of course when your character is a shut-in and lacks motivation, you don’t expect to pull that kind of crazy voices that you expect her to. But still, she is still identifiably quirky as Sasami. Kana Hanazawa as Kagami does away with voicing retard characters. She also did characters who lack emotions in their speech like Noir in Dog Days and Kuroneko in Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai. So if you know how those characters sound, you basically have an idea how Kagami would sound like too. At first I didn’t recognize the voice of Tsurugi. It felt familiar but couldn’t pinpoint who. Then when I get to know it is Chiwa Saito, it suddenly brings back familiar memories. I guess voicing loli genius is her forte. As Tsurugi, it seems like there are traces of Pani Poni Dash’s Rebecca and Linebarrels Of Iron’s Rachel within her. I haven’t heard Ai Nonaka in a while so it was a pleasant surprise to hear her voicing Tama. She still got her liveliness there just like her Fuuko in Clannad and Meme in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Other casts include Houchu Ootsuka as Kamiomi (Shiro in Arakawa Under The Bridge), Manami Numakura as Edogawa (Arata in Black Rock Shooter), Yuu Asakawa as Juju (Motoko in Love Hina), Erino Hazuki as Micchan (Akari in Aria The Animation) and Rikiya Koyama as Ruza (Kiritsugu in Fate/Zero).

The opening theme is Alteration by ZAQ. Nothing memorable about this piece but the animation is filled with lots of circles and funny symbols. Whatever. Not that I understand since I think it has something to do with the Tsukuyomi shrine or priestess. The more memorable and amusing one is the ending theme. For the first time ever (as far as I can remember), we don’t actually hear the real song being sung, Shintou Atsu Symphony. For the first 11 episodes, as the ending credits are being played, we hear the characters ranting away about singing this song. Just like a karaoke session, some really want to have a go at it and others like Sasami are really reluctant to sing it and some encouraging others to just belt it out (like our Kamiomi who keeps pestering our Sasami to do so for the sake of this broadcast). So after halfway through, we hear the characters singing the song and all of them are out of tune! It’s like they didn’t put any effort or too much effort. The cacophony actually makes it sound funny! I also tried joining in and sing with my monotonous lower voice. Of course it sucks. Intentionally. So we have all the characters singing their own version and despite Sasami very reluctant to ‘show’ her voice to the audience she eventually does on a handful of occasions. I think she really wants to sing it, just that she doesn’t want anybody else to hear her (Tama caught her!). And there’s one time the imposter Sasami sang so lively that it made Kamiomi sweat, thinking if this is really the Sasami he knew (see, what did I tell you about him really wanting Sasami to get all lovely like he expects?). So the final episode we get to hear the real song sung by Kana Asumi. However… After hearing so many unmotivated and over-motivated tries, this one doesn’t sound any better at all! Okay, just slightly better since to me it still sounds out of tune. Perhaps the song is like that and Kana Asumi was just in her character singing the song.

Another one of the most amusing sections in this series is just before the next episode preview which I call Unmotivated Segment. In this part, we hear Sasami in her unmotivated voice narrating the various types of unmotivated categories, be it unmotivated fortune telling (such vague and ambiguous predictions… Maybe), unmotivated weather forecast (it doesn’t matter rain or shine because I’m staying home!), unmotivated cooking show (you get someone to buy all the ingredients and cook it for you), unmotivated consultation (since an unmotivated person is writing this letter, it’s like the kettle calling the pot black), unmotivated quiz (what questions will she ask? Whatever that is you answer), unmotivated warm up (Kamiomi is doing all the warm ups while Sasami just sits there unmotivated on her ass), unmotivated ranking (this next episode preview ranks as first because there’s nothing about the next episode!), unmotivated shopping channel (you buy the vacuum to piss yourself), unmotivated pro wrestling (doesn’t all the unmotivated wrestlers feel like Power Rangers spoof?), unmotivated cinema (trying to find some clip to replace this show but eventually gave up) and the ultimate one called unmotivated drama (previous episodes… Stuff happens… Next episode… Stuff happens…), each of her unmotivated narration doesn’t tell you much since it is after all unmotivated. So don’t expect much ;p. Except maybe a few chuckles. Or else you’ll be tad disappointed and ultimately unmotivated. Yeah, Sasami is so infectious here in her unmotivated speech that you might just feel so. Don’t fight it…

The bottom line is, individuals should be free to do whatever they want without pressure as long as it doesn’t give or bring trouble to others. Gods are gods and humans are humans. They are both very different entities. Of course being a shut-in doesn’t seem to benefit much to society because you lock yourself up in your room all day and night. But what else can an otaku do? Besides, being a shut-in is a luxury and a disease as once admitted by another fellow shut-in from NHK Ni Youkoso. I hope this anime serves to give us more motivation to do our best rather than the opposite. Imagine if everyone in the world lacking motivation just for anything. We won’t have such high-tech modern conveniences that we are so comfortable with nowadays. Having said all these, somehow I just can’t find the motivation to take a break from watching anime, get out of my chair and go breath in some fresh air outside. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow. Or next week. Ming@Procrastinating…

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