There is something so similar between the Japanese social network games adapted into anime TV series, Schoolgirl Strikers – Animation Channel and Battle Girl High School. So similar yet different. In this latest instalment of versus blog series, I compare them and try to tell them apart. Okay, they are obviously different in many aspects and it isn’t like finding the better one would change the world or anything for me.

Game developer
Schoolgirl Strikers: Square Enix.
Battle Girl High School: COLOPL.

Main characters
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Satoka Sumihara, Io Yaginuma, Yuumi Sajima and Mana Namori.
Battle Girl High School: Miki Hoshitsuki, Subaru Wakaba and Haruka Narumi.

New transfer girl
Who also conveniently becomes part of the main group.
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Tsubame Miyama. Comes from the future.
Battle Girl High School: Misaki. Comes from the parallel world.

Schoolgirl Strikers
: Goryoukan Academy.
Battle Girl High School: Shinjugamine Girls’ School.

Alien invaders-cum-antagonists
Schoolgirl Strikers
: O’bli.
Battle Girl High School: Irous.

Main female antagonist
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Morgana.
Battle Girl High School: Iris.

Team groupings
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Each group consists of 5 girls and the team is named after a constellation + dessert.
Battle Girl High School: Though not officially grouped into teams, you can see them fight as a unit in 3’s based on their class grades.

Overall name of task force
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Fifth Force.
Battle Girl High School: Hoshimori.

Main mission
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Defend Earth from these dimension crossing aliens.
Battle Girl High School: Take back contaminated Earth from these invading aliens.

Other friends
Oh boy, this is going to take a while… Copy and paste…
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Hazuki Shiranui, Mari Yukishiro, Imina Ibuki, Ryouko Shinonome, Ako Takamine, Amane Kyoubashi, Sasa Momokawa, Haruka Kurimoto, Mano Rinoda, Itsumi Natsume, Niho Hinomiya, Isari Haishima, Kagari Haishima, Yukie Aoi and Kaede Yamabuki.
Battle Girl High School: Nozomi Amano, Yuri Himukai, Kurumi Tokiwa, Anko Tsubuzaki, Renge Serizawa, Asuha Kusunoki, Sakura Fujimiya, Hinata Minami, Kaede Sendoin, Kokomi Asahina, Michelle Watagi, Urara Hasumi, Sadone, Kanon Kougami and Shiho Kunieda.

Aside from teaching in their class, also in charge of supervising over their missions.
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Yukako Odagiri AKA Tierra.
Battle Girl High School: Botan Kamine, Itsuki Yakumo and Furan Mitsurugi.

Odd teacher out
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Mosyne. An AI assistant ~moshu.
Battle Girl High School: Sensei. He is the only male in the entire series.

The retard
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Yuumi.
Battle Girl High School: Kurumi.

Joker girl
Are we supposed to laugh?
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Asuha.
Battle Girl High School: Sachiko Tanaka AKA Odile.

Lazy sounding girl
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Satoka.
Battle Girl High School: Anko and Sakura.

Cheerful loli
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Mana.
Battle Girl High School: Urara.

Popular idol
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Io. Her busts are probably why she is popular among the other girls in school. Just kidding. Maybe.
Battle Girl High School: Kanon and Shiho make up the idol unit of f*f AKA Fortissimo.

Rich girl
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Niho.
Battle Girl High School: Kaede.

Sexy or perverted girl?
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Hazuki.
Battle Girl High School: Renge.

The Cook
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Yuumi. Culinary genius.
Battle Girl High School: Miki. Talented chef but poison maker when she starts experimenting.

Sports girl
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Io – Volleyball club.
Battle Girl High School: Subaru – Football club.

Schoolgirl Strikers
: The Origami sisters, Akara, Hina and Koori.
Battle Girl High School: Miku is Miki’s younger sister.

Team outfits
Schoolgirl Strikers: Each team has a different outfit theme ranging from battle maids to bikini outfits!
Battle Girl High School: Generic futuristic semi-suits. I think.

Oddest training
Schoolgirl Strikers: As Altair Torte is a newly formed team, the best way to find out which method suits them is via trial and error. One of them includes a puppet theatre. Don’t ask…
Battle Girl High School: Some dance training allowed them to break the impregnable Irous barrier. Don’t forget a dose of power of friendship too.

Schoolgirl Strikers: After detecting abnormal noises, the team heads to the beautiful lake mountains to investigate. Can’t resist to have fun and even go fishing until the O’bli showed up then it’s back to work and ass kicking.
Battle Girl High School: The ultimate beach paradise! If only the gruelling Spartan training was absent, this would have been the perfect getaway. But of course, all the fun and enjoyment will come after that. No pain, no gain.

Schoolgirl Strikers: The Origami sisters got kidnapped by Morgana as bait to lure Tsubame out.
Battle Girl High School: Iris sends Miki and Misaki stuck in another dimension’s rift.

False alarm at the dorm
Schoolgirl Strikers: Somebody or something is watching the girls… Who is it that is stalking them? Thankfully it turned out to be the dorm’s cat, Boss.
Battle Girl High School: Strange sounds coming from one of the dorm’s room when almost everyone is away… Could it be a burglar? Thankfully it turned out to be Anko who didn’t go for the trip.

Schoolgirl Strikers: Morgana turns into a giant O’bli and absorbs Tsubame.
Battle Girl High School: With the power of friendship, the Holy Tree absorbs the power of other Hoshimori girls and transfers them to Miki and Misaki!

Confusing identities
Supposed revelation-cum-plot twist turned into some cheesy confusion.
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Tsubame is Morgana???!!!
Battle Girl High School: Misaki is the Miki from the other world???!!!

Art and animation feel
Schoolgirl Strikers
: Bishoujo.
Battle Girl High School: Cute and kawaii.

Number of episodes
Schoolgirl Strikers: 13 episodes.
Battle Girl High School: 12 episodes.

Studio production
Schoolgirl Strikers
: J.C. Staff.
Battle Girl High School: Silver Link.

Although both series suck and are disappointing, if I had to pick between the lesser of two evils, I would go for Schoolgirl Strikers. That’s because they have better looking girls (obviously) and despite having as many characters in Battle Girl High School, the main focus is on the main characters compared to the latter which fells all over the place. What this also means for the former is that those supporting characters are mostly neglected and forgettable. I guess you can’t have everything. You can’t have your galaxy candy bars and eat them all.

How do you get everyone interested in an obscure game that has been released some time ago? Well, one of the ways is to turn it into an anime series. At least that is what I think when Schoolgirl Strikers – Animation Channel was produced for. This mobile game was made by Square Enix, yes, that epic developer that brought you the never-ending Final Fantasy game series and the Kingdom Hearts series. I believe they might want to be known for more than just that. After all, there has got to be a saturation point when you have milked a series so dry, you need a backup plan to milk some other series. Yup. So I thought this unknown series was adapted to test out if this 2014 mobile game would be the next big thing they can milk more money from. I mean, it does have a bunch of cute girls. What else could you go wrong here? Oh…

Episode 1
Team Altair Torte is trying to take down this giant mole monster, O’bli. They failed. Well, not like one loss would bring everybody’s spirit down, right? Besides fighting monsters, they are also ordinary high school girls. Like Yuumi Saijima is being called by her teacher, Yukako Odagiri to her office. It seems she found a sword stuck in the backyard as Yuumi tries to give excuses of it being Excalibur. Not convincing. So she confiscates it. Yuumi joins her other friends, Satoka Sumihara, Mana Namori and Io Yaginuma in trying to find out more about the 7 mysteries of their Goryoukan Academy. So while looking for a ghost girl, they shouldn’t be surprised if they actually run into her so why are they freaking out? Oh, it’s not a ghost girl. Just Tsubame Miyama. Since she leaves late, perhaps that is how rumours of ghost sightings came about. As they go home, all of them got the message to meet up in a secret base under the school. Tierra (Yukako’s real name) and this little AI cutie, Mosyne (“moshu”) explain the rip in time space distortion crap, thus enemies known as O’bli are invading us. We are explained Goryoukan has a hidden goal of finding warriors to fight them. It is Tierra’s job to scout for potentials and let them join Fifth Force. Aside Altair Torte, there are also other teams as they take turn to patrol the area and keep out the increasing presence of O’bli. It is Altair Torte’s turn as they transform ala magical girl style into… Race queens outfit? Seems like it to me. Altair Torte goes into action but they aren’t up to mark with this more powerful O’bli. Luckily team Coconut Vega (team bikini?) show why they are veterans and easily dispose of the O’bli. Altair Torte are left impressed.

Episode 2
All is forgiven for Altair Torte’s slip ups since they are just a newly formed team. But I’m sure they still need to improve because they have yet to win against their first O’bli. This is especially bothering Tsubame as she is Altair Torte’s leader. She tries working harder but we can’t have doom and gloom to set the pace for the entire series so the rest of her comrades throw her a party with good food to cheer her up. Damn I want to eat those snacks… So it finally hit Tsubame why they suck. As a newly formed team, they lack experience. Yeah, duh? She suggests more training (duh?) but since they don’t know what kind of training, they go for trial and error. Then they feast like a king after all those workout. I hope they don’t gain the pounds… We also learn that Tsubame is an amnesiac girl. She doesn’t remember her past very much but usually has strange dreams which sometimes foretell the future. The next training regimen is this… Puppet show? WTF?! Apparently they need to foster their cooperation. But puppet show of them taking down O’bli? It is so cramped in there that the entire show just fails. Even Tierra sensei is finding it hard to watch. I guess fighting a real O’bli has no better substitute to improve their training. Speaking of which, the alert sounds. Altair Torte uses their individual abilities and cooperation to finally earn their first win. Yeah, and this formation move they call it Puppet Dance. Ironic? Despite everyone exhausted, they still continue training via swimming because they realize they lack stamina. Hey, at least they’re not complaining.

Episode 3
We go back in time to see how Altair Torte was formed. Tsubame was picked up by Tierra after she was drifting between dimensions. Yuumi is your typical high spirited girl who wants to be a hero of justice. See how she saved a cat from a driver who won’t even slow down. Yuumi and her friends could feel something strange after entering the school gates. During recess, they are called by Yukako and after following a heap of simple clues, it leads them to the underground base where Tierra explains what we should already know. Tierra knows they have potential to join Fifth Force because if they were able to sense something at the gates, this means they are useful in detecting O’bli. She shows them some of the other teams that include friends they know fighting the menace. Since Yuumi wants to be a heroine, she joins. And the rest find it interesting too so they too join. But there is only 4 of them. Don’t you need 5 members to be a team? This is when Tsubame is introduced as their leader. Now they have their own luxurious dorm house. No wonder girls take up this offer. Living the luxurious life while fighting aliens. Count me in! The girls take their first training simulator. At first they are doing well and it got to their head that they can win this. But the O’bli fights back and that is where everything went downhill. Luckily this is just simulation so they failed. But they’re not feeling down yet. I mean, it’s their first time, right? Except maybe Tsubame. She tells them about how she has no memories and those strange dreams. Her recent dream saw her comrades dead and it almost happened in the simulation, that’s why she can’t fight with them. Too bad the rest don’t give a damn about it. They remain positive and blurt out their own flaws. Tsubame feels better and the girls are a step closer in bonding.

Episode 4
Yuumi talks about the new physics teacher. She seems a bit airy so she thought maybe the school’s mysterious beautiful detective could help solve it. Little does everyone know, Satoka is that beautiful detective as she and her friend, Ako Takamine (also part of Coconut Vega) go around to uncover the mystery. They observe fellow Fifth Force, Biscuit Sirius (made up of Niho Hinomiya, Isarai Haishima, Kagari Haishima, Yukie Aoi and Kaede Yamabuki) doing their own investigations on the school grounds. Coming out from a ventilation duct? They confirm those weird moaning sounds were coming from outside through the duct. At this point, some of the girls are having this feeling that they are being watched. Satoka continues her investigation and mark places where those incidents occurred. She joins up with Niho and the Haishima twins to investigate. Just when Satoka knows who the culprit is, the O’bli alert is sounded. It is cue to show why Biscuit Sirius (team gothic Halloween angel wings?) are the best team in Fifth Force. Altair Torte doesn’t even need to lift a finger. Yeah, too efficient before they could do anything. Satoka explains the perpetrator whom is ‘stalking’ everyone. Turns out to be the dorm’s cat, Boss. Somehow he entered the border and was watching girls who took good care of him from there. Wow, living up to his name like a boss? As for how he got into the border, Satoka is unsure but they need to report this to Tierra. It ends with Biscuit Sirius having high hopes to work together with Altair Torte in the future and everyone enjoying Yuumi’s pancake. Yum.

Episode 5
Tierra will be holding a mock team battle among Fifth Force. It is round robin format and the team who eliminates all other members of the opposing team wins the match. Altair Torte goes up against Coconut Vega and lost. Tsubame thought it was a good idea to fight individually but it backfired. Next up is Biscuit Sirius. Yuumi thought it was a great idea to smoke them out. Unless the wind direction changes… It wasn’t nature who blew the smoke right back in their faces. Remember Biscuit Sirius has members with angel wings. Oh. Another loss. So before their final match, Io thought it would be a good idea to train everyone’s teamwork via volleyball that she specializes in. Yuumi has another great idea attached to it. So when they go up against Procyon Pudding (team maid!!!), they apply their volleyball spiking to confuse and defeat a couple of them. Yeah, the ball turned into a bomb! Uh, it’s legal and part of the rules apparently. Amane Kyoubashi seems to have some sort of rivalry with Io so she dares them to target her. Io spikes but Amane is able to cut it in half. She also knows how Io moves because she has been watching all her matches. This gave away the fact that Amane likes Io. Tsundere time? No time for that because the O’bli alert goes off. Not one but two of them! Altair Torte buys Procyon Pudding some time. They again use their volleyball tactic but soon run out of volleyballs. Luckily it was enough time for Procyon Pudding to regroup and defeat the enemy with their heavy weaponry. In the end, the match results were voided since the O’bli interfered. Disappointed you worked so hard only for this technicality to screw things up?

Episode 6
Tierra detected a signature that doesn’t match a normal O’bli. It could be some dimensional noise but she wants Altair Torte to check it out just in case. So at this picturesque lake mountain, the girls can’t help thinking of having fun and need to be constantly reminded by Tsubame that they are on duty. So when nothing is found, they get permission from Tierra to have fun. So we see Yuumi doing her French cuisine, Mana fishing and Satoka losing her favourite curry bread. What? That curry bread is then eaten up by a giant fish. Oh wait. Isn’t that an O’bli? Apparently this is a rare fish type O’bli. Worse, Mana’s hook has got stuck to it and she is too scared to release. Don’t worry. Here comes Coconut Vega to help out. Why is Altair Torte just standing there in awe watching Coconut Vega do all the job to slow down the fish and rescue Mana? In the end, it got away. So both sides decide to team up and brainstorm to catch it. Satoka decides to give up her curry bread as bait. So as Coconut Vega chases it out of its hiding, Altair Torte waits for the right moment to fish it up. That’s right. They fished it up. I don’t even know how they got the strength to pull it up.

Episode 7
Sachiko Tanaka pretends to lose some small card to gain Mana’s attention. Mana helps to find but when Sachiko touches and seemingly absorbs whatever she wanted, she calls it off. When Mana tells this to the rest, they think it is a Memoca, a device that collects information in the rift between dimensions. All technology produced are based using this information. Thus you can say it is an alien technology and the only method they have against O’bli. Altair Torte continues their training but stumbled upon this self-proclaimed Knight of the Black Swan, Odile. She wants them hand over their Stella Prism used to travel the dimensions. They don’t really know anything about it but whatever it is they won’t hand it over without a fight. Despite Odile’s joker appearance, she can really fight and is much better than Altair Torte. She could have finished them with her gun had not for dumb luck being on our heroines’ side as Odile has her leg crammed up. Altair Torte tells this to the other teams but it is hard to believe someone that acts like a joker. As the teams go on patrol, Procyon Pudding stumbles into a group of 3 girls. They think they are the Odile that Altair Torte was talking about. However they aren’t and are the ones who have been sending O’bli into this dimension. By the time Tierra calls for Altair Torte to sortie, Procyon Pudding have already been badly defeated. Mana recognizes the trio as the Origami sisters, Akara, Hina and Koori. They were from the same orphanage but one day disappeared without a reason. That was shortly before Mana met Io who saved her from bullies. Because Io dressed like a boy that time, to Mana she will always be her prince. Io promised to rescue her whenever she is in trouble. The Origami sisters are actually working for the physics teacher. She punishes them for fighting the wrong target. They were supposed to finish off Altair Torte. Sachiko is revealed to be Odile as she is still reeling from her crammed leg. She can’t give up now as her goal is to destroy all Memoca and Stella Prisms on her own.

Episode 8
Coconut Vega tells Altair Torte that they met Odile on their patrol. She bragged about them mispronouncing their name and wanted to demand their Memoca. However she hit her shin on the rock and thought it was their doing and retreated. Huh?! Altair Torte are called to sortie when a dimensional breach occurs. This time they face off with an O’bli lizard. Though they manage to defeat it, its tail could still cause problems even when cut off (it is a lizard after all). At the same time, the Origami sisters enter the scene. Mana tries to talk to them and though they remember her, they are here under orders from Morgana to eliminate them. When the other teams arrive, clearly they are outnumbered so they retreat. Subsequently Altair Torte finds Hina unconscious in the woods. They bring her back to their dorm and treat her to food. Maybe she’s just hungry. But this is a trap because now that she has locked in on their position, she summons her other sisters here. Mana again tries to have them remember about their time at the orphanage. Apparently if you’re in such a place, it isn’t any pleasant memories. Obviously they don’t want to remember it and had a tough time trying to escape. Morgana saved them and that’s why they’ll do anything for her. They decide to settle this via duel. However… Can’t start fighting on an empty stomach. The fight then begins. Mana didn’t like how they are fighting but the sisters hint they don’t want to do this either but Morgana is their saviour so there’s no 2 ways about it. Somehow Tsubame is triggered by this event. Some mind boggling dimension breaking event occurs (multiple Earths lining up?) before returning to normal. Morgana herself appears before them. She has found Tsubame who had fled. She blatantly admits she has no use for the sisters anymore and was just using them for this task of releasing O’bli to lure them out. She doesn’t care about them. They get mad and try to attack her but she can predict their moves. Funny, she can predict the future but can’t find a lousy single person for 10 years? And on Earth too? But here is another move she can’t predict. She gets punched by Odile! Morgana escapes with Odile hot on her tail to get her Stella Prisms. Now that the sisters are abandoned, are they going to join Altair Torte and live with them? Akara doesn’t think so. Goodbye. Poor Mana. She thought they had become friends? Maybe not just yet.

Episode 9
Did we see this coming? The Origami sisters transferring into Goryoukan with Akara in the same class as Mana. So she thought having her to hang out with them would be a good idea. Akara would always decline each time but since there is food involved, she can’t pass this up. Meanwhile Tsubame has this dream of fighting off Mana while her friends were defeated. She realizes it isn’t a dream but her memories. At the café where some of Procyon Pudding works, Amane is still having a grudge against their accidental loss to the sisters. Altair Torte walks in and Yuumi suggests Akara working here. Of course Akara doesn’t want to. Amane still wouldn’t let it go and wants Akara to hang out with them. She’ll pay her 10 bags of rice. That seals it. But how they are going to settle it? In the simulation room, the one who kills the most O’bli wins. Tsubame tries to stop them for unauthorized use of the room but they ignore her since here comes the O’bli horde. They are very much even and in the end it’s a tie. Not sure if the counter can’t even keep up with their score. Strangely but not surprisingly, the duo bond over this. Stranger, their teammates are touched and moved by this awesome friendship. Only Tsubame is confused over this drama. All that happiness soon turn into fear when Tierra catches them for illegal use of the room. Now they have to clean up the place. But they let Akara go since she has to return to her sisters. She is paid her dues but gives one back as discount since it was fun hanging out with them. I’m sure the sisters would be grateful for this lavish meal. Later Tsubame tells Tierra about her returned memories. She regrets remembering them. Tierra believes about Memoca borrowing powers from other selves in other parallel worlds. If Tsubame is from another world, where is the Tsubame of this world? If she was never here, this means she is an important key to fight against Morgana.

Episode 10
There is this weird play narrated by Odile about how her father went missing one day and left her a note to find Stella Prisms. In short, this is just a notice in advance to tell them she will raid their base in 3 days to take their Stella Prisms. Too bad the battery ran out. Everyone was so impressed by her lame play, they actually wanted to see the ending. WTF. But here is another blooper. Since the USB was left on Tierra’s desk 3 days ago and Tierra forgot to tell them, I guess the raid is tonight. As Coconut Vega have a hard time dispatching an O’bli, here comes Odile inadvertently defeating it to save them. Yeah, the O’bli was too noisy that it’s distracting her plans to sneak in tonight. Whoops. She escapes but later laments she doesn’t want to do this but it is too late to turn back. Soon everyone starts deducing that Odile is a student of this school who is just bad at interacting with others, hence the mask. How else was she able to leave the USB on Tierra’s desk? Skipping out the detective work, they believe Odile is Sachiko. She is Yuumi’s classmate but if you think talking to her straight would be fine, well, her presence is so low that they never notice her. Sachiko overheard that and continues to lament. However she is discovered by Hina. Actually she was put up by Ako to get close to her and be friends. As Altair Torte wait for Odile, she did turn up on time. They ask why send the notice. If not, it would be stealing. Well, it doesn’t make a difference if you think about it. Her flustering makes them believe she is totally Sachiko. They believe her real goal is to find her missing dad. They suggest teaming up to do so. However this is where Odile gets serious. She disagrees because it would be meaningless if she can’t do it with her own power. Odile becomes swift to take out Altair Torte and at the same time Hina tries to hold Tierra hostage. When Odile has her mask partially destroyed, she purposely feigns defeat and arrogantly claims she can take their Stella Prisms any time from those weaklings. Bye for now. So it’s over? With that, Hina also backs down. In class, Mana and co try to make friends with Sachiko although it is a bit awkward for her. Meanwhile Morgana notices the real world starting to distort due to the Stella Prisms as no one is able to control them ever since its creator went missing.

Episode 11
Why is Altair Torte so shock when Tierra gives them a vacation to the snowy mountains for their hard work? Everyone especially Mana is excited since they can go yeti hunting. Say what? They’ve even equipped a camera and Yuumi as the ‘interviewer’ to make it look like their biggest discovery. Oh girls, do you not know cameras are the reason yetis shy away? While taking a break in the bath, it seems Biscuit Sirius are also here on a holiday and also on this yeti hunt. Yukie is an expert on UMAs and more importantly, Niho whose family runs a nearby inn has already started selling yeti merchandise. So there had better be a yeti! Altair Torte continue their exploration the next day. Just when they thought they saw 3 yetis, turns out to be the Origami sisters. Yup, they too tried to find the yeti but got lost and hungry. Initially they found big footprints. Definitely it isn’t a bear. It led them to a cave but they stumbled into a bear and ran. That’s how they got lost. Biscuit Sirius also joins in although Niho still doesn’t trust the sisters. As they enter the cave, they see a yeti. However Niho can tell it isn’t a yeti but an O’bli (why am I not surprised?). As they give chase, they are worried how an O’bli can come to the real world. When they enter an area filled with crystals, the O’bli disappears. They realize the crystals work like Stella Prisms and allow the O’bli to come here. They contact Tierra and want to engage the O’bli. However Biscuit Sirius’ equipment are being maintained and only Altair Torte is readily available. Altair Torte gets help from the Origami sisters to defeat it. The biggest disappointment is that Niho can’t sell the yeti goods anymore since publicizing O’bli is forbidden. So how? They dump all the goods to Altair Torte. Well, at least Mana wants them and she got them all for free. Then Mana shows her friends a shocking good news. One of the photos they took had a real yeti in the background! For real?! Are you sure that isn’t an O’bli. Not clear enough to see… Meanwhile the Origami sisters are kidnapped by Morgana. Looks like she was wrong about not having use for them anymore. Yup, she takes back her word and still has use for them.

Episode 12
Mana notices the Origami sisters missing from school for 3 days. They haven’t even returned to their apartment. There’s some flashback how Tierra approached them and took them in. Obviously the trio were sceptical. It’s good because why would some stranger offer kindness. Maybe she is trying to capture them. But I guess just for the plot of convenience, they give her the benefit of the doubt and chance. Later Tsubame talks to Tierra alone about her memories. She thinks she is from this world. They are interrupted when Tierra is contacted by the physics teacher who is no other than Morgana. Why look so shock? Isn’t it obvious? Same face, different clothes. She wants Tsubame or else the sisters die. Thus you might have guessed some flag is raised when Tsubame thanks her teammates for being her friends, blah, blah, blah. Since this is her problem, she’ll handle it by herself. She steps into the portal to teleport away. Unfortunately for the rest, they couldn’t keep track of where she is so they start trying to figure why Morgana had to resort to this. If she was so powerful, wouldn’t she just take Tsubame by force? They think of asking Odile for help. Speak of the devil, here she is! All coincidence. She is shocked when the girls plead her for help. The sisters teleport back and this signals Tsubame’s teleportation is successful. So Morgana explains the big revelation that because had she defeated Tsubame, humanity would have ended. This was if it went according to her plan. So what did Tsubame do? She went back to the past! Yup. Those memories are actually of those in the future. Yes, the world is destroyed. So it was at the moment she vanished from the world. Didn’t die, but vanished. And what does this all mean? Tsubame is Morgana!!!

Meanwhile back to the rest, everyone reconciles using the power of friendship. Best ice breaker of the series. Now that everybody is on talking terms, time for some revelations too. Tierra knows Sachiko is the daughter of Professor Isami, the inventor of Stellar Prisms. 20 years ago, a meteorite crashed and Isami discovered it. He discovered its particles allow travel between parallel worlds and started developing its technology. People who were exposed to the meteorite had its effect passed down to their unborn children too. These children had the special ability to detect dimensions. And a big number of those children came from the orphanage. Akara remembers hearing about guys in suits talking about experimentation. Curiosity killed the cat when they snuck into a room to see painful experiment tools. That is why they decided to run away. But they don’t remember being experimented on. Isami believed the children should manifest the powers on their own will. But there are others who opposed that method, especially from the military. Thus those tools. Shortly after he refused them, he went missing. Now Sachiko understands why father wanted her to gather and collect those prisms. After Isami went missing, Tierra and other researchers continue to develop the technology for peace. It was also the same time O’bli was first detected as threats. Thus Goryoukan was created to combat them. Oh, did I tell you the school is also the site where the meteorite crashed? Crazy, right? With Odile’s greater power, Tierra thinks she can sniff out Morgana’s location. Sniff out… You mean by smell? Yeah, it brings them to a huge fish painting. Meanwhile Tsubame refuses to believe she is the same as Morgana. However Morgana says she already tested out once at the snow mountains. She can replay everything exactly again. She opens a black hole and here comes the whole party of O’bli dropping in!

Episode 13
Time for the other teams to strut their stuffs by taking on the endless O’bli. Just the question of how long can they last. Morgana turns into a giant O’bli woman and absorbs Tsubame. Is tentacle rape part of the script? Meanwhile Odile’s sniffing leads them to another dimension. They see giant Morgana and engage her. They have to be careful not to be too rash or they’ll hurt Tsubame’s body. As Tsubame floats inside, she sees Morgana’s memories. Before she was Morgana, she was a fellow human scientist named Orie. She was Isami’s colleague. She was obsessed to see the depths of the unknown power known as Fifth Particle. Against Isami’s advice that it might go berserk, the temptation to wander space and time endlessly to seek answers was too good for her. She stepped into that energy and takes on the name of a character who wanders space and time. The other girls wonder why Morgana had to do such elaborate setup if she was all so powerful. Just to find Tsubame? The Origami sisters’ use for Morgana this time is to kill Altair Torte. They are already brainwashed. However, nothing like Odile’s drop kick on her face to snap everyone out. Morgana finds her interesting and captures her to make Odile her lab rat. When the Origami sisters go against her, she tries to make them feel guilty that they are biting the hand that feeds them. They dare do this to their saviour? They correct her. Their real saviours are these girls because they treat them like humans. And more of those cringe friendship and save their friend thingy. So they combine their powers to beat up Morgana and free Tsubame. Now that she is back with them, it’s time for them to unleash their ultimate volleyball combo move to defeat her. The good news is that all the O’bli disappear, saving the other teams the trouble. The bad news: A black hole opens and Tsubame gets sucked in. Well, it is only right since she isn’t from this timeline. But Tsubame is surprised that Boss is with her. Not sure what Boss did but with that glowing light and the next thing we know… Tsubame is now the new proper transfer student at Goryoukan! Everyone throws a welcoming party as she stutters her way making her speech about defeating O’bli but the threat of Morgana still looms. Tsubame doesn’t even remember how she returned to this timeline but she believes Boss has something to do with it because she remembers him back then too. What? Me no understand.

Strike Down & Strike Out!
So for the sake of a happy ending to allow Tsubame to continue to be with her friends, we get this weak reasoning that nobody even understands? It’s like nobody came up with what the answer was and they want us to use our imagination and thinking if we ever want to reconcile why the heck Tsubame gets to live in the present time. Because if so and it is true that she is from the future, where the f*ck is her present self?! Definitely not parallel worlds. Definitely not from another alien world. Definitely not a dream. Definitely from the future. So where is the Tsubame of now?! Geddit?! Damn it! The holes dropping O’bli might be gone but the holes in the plots are widening.

The story feels weak and boring. It started out as a group of girls with special powers gathered to fight mysterious menaces from another dimension. A few O’bli missions that feel like filler episodes and don’t amount to anything much. Then when the main villainess shows up for real, it becomes somewhat of a plot to destroy the world. But that is overshadowed by her obsessive goal to find Tsubame because apparently she is some sort of key that prevents that. Thus her amnesia on her past (or in her case, the future) is shrouded in mystery to make us run around on a wild goose chase guessing this and that before the somewhat predictable path reveals itself. Well, if you’re that smart, you could have guessed it coming from miles away. Morgana should have watched Hollywood movies and more anime if she wants to have at least an idea to really destroy the world. Just saying…

This is one of the biggest dilemmas for a series that has so many characters. None get enough proper screen time. Sure, Altair Torte gets more decent screen time compared to the rest of the other teams but even that I feel that they aren’t properly fleshed out. Even after that is said and done, I don’t even really know anything more about them! Maybe I was so bored that I wasn’t even paying attention. Thus it makes all the characters here as boring as they are. Yawn… Nothing about them that really stands out that you would want to root for them or even connect with them. Teams like Altair Torte are there purely to fight O’bli while Tierra and Mosyne are always just watching and supervising. Don’t they have any other helpful things to do?

Thus for Altair Torte themselves, you have boring and cliché characters like Tsubame as the typical cliché amnesiac character. Yuumi your typical comic relief and joker character with her liveliness. If you love girly cute girl with high pitched squeaky voice, Mana is your girl. Emotionless girl who also passes off as some sort of detective? Check, got it for Satoka. Add: Love for curry bread too. Oh, almost forgot the bustiest girl for fanservice, Io. Sure, she doesn’t flaunt her boobs in our face every minute but since she is in the volleyball club… Add a typical nice teacher-cum-instructor Tierra, mechanical pet mascot Mosyne and the other resident idiot but on a bigger scale Sachiko/Odile, you’ve got yourself a big boring group of cliché girls. Yawn… And then they throw in a bunch of ‘sceptical and hostile’ sisters who will slowly open up to them because, power of friendship. How can such cute girls be antagonists?! It would be atrocious! YAWN!!! And to think that Boss might be the forgotten furry mascot of the series and suddenly that cool cat might just be some inter-dimensional creature that bends space and time just to f*ck with our minds again. ARGH!

If this is what I have to say about the main characters, imagine what else do I have to say about the other teams. None! Yeah, it’s like as though these teams need to have their screen time or else fans who played the game are wondering where their favourite waifus are. Note, there are a couple of more Fifth Force teams that did not appear here in the anime. Great. More cute girls in themed outfits. Yeah, speaking of which, who the f*ck actually came out that a team needs to wear a specific dress code to fight? It’s not like I see any men in the higher echelons of the organization. Heck, is there even a structured organization of Fifth Force?! All I see is as though Tierra and Mosyne are the only ones handling everything from A to Z in this huge underground lab that nobody else seems to be find. So bikini outfits? Fanservice! Maid outfits? Fanservice! By the way, they’re not my kind of favourite type of design so most probably why I wasn’t attracted to cheer on them in the first place. And why is it that the names of the teams are a combination of some brightest star and snack? Who the f*ck got the bright idea of such combination is a good idea anyway?

Therefore to think that the power of friendship permeating the entire series is somewhat annoying. Everybody is so nice. Everybody is so kind. No b*tch rivalries and psycho sluts. Even if there are seemingly arrogant rich princesses, they’re all scaled down a lot to fit into this narrative. Because the power of friendship means everything. So girl with amnesia joins new team, feels alienated a bit. Don’t worry. Welcome, we’ll be your friends until you feel like home and one of us. So take in a bunch of sisters who just gave you all a hard time by sending O’bli, eh? Oh, controlled by some mean witch? Never mind then. Give a second chance. Because the power of friendship. Believe in the power of friendship. Yeah, I really want to believe it happening in my reality.

Morgana as the main antagonist fails to inspire or even feel threatening at all. Because of that eternal fake smile on her face, it is hard to take her seriously that she really wants to end the world. Since she had trouble tracking down just one girl (despite her limited powers, I am guessing that she is powerful enough to locate humans given that wandering space and time is her norm) and this subtle joke of being knocked down by surprise by Odile, you start to wonder if she is really capable of destroying the world. Yeah, somebody should make a joke how Google Maps, Foursquare and GPS would have a better chance of locating Tsubame faster and more accurate. We are left hanging about Isami’s whereabouts but my guess is that he might wandered and become one with another dimension. But who cares, right? At least not in this season. Because friendship among girls comes first than the problems of one girl looking for her father. I guess it makes sense to cherish the friends you have now rather than the unknown status of a missing old man.

Action wise, it also fails. There is nothing exciting than to see a bunch of cosplay girls going about taking down a rampaging O’bli. Besides, Altair Torte often loses and needs to have help from other teams if they are to pull through. Please practice more. It makes you look like a loser if this keeps up. I suppose each of the girls have their own unique weapons and attacks but I hardly see them doing a variety of moves since they are all over the place. Yeah, let’s use cooperation to cover that up. Even the final episode big boss battle feels boring since it is laced with that friendship crap thingy. Despite the epic angles, setting and even music, it fails to kick ass.

Well, if there is anything that is better than the poor plot, poor characters and unexciting action, it would be the art and animation. Hey, at least personally all the girls have this bishoujo look. Enough for them to become heroines of a dating simulation and its sequels. Really. Yeah, so they are the eye candy that ‘lessens’ my boredom while watching the series. After all, the series is animated by J.C. Staff who animated some nice looking anime series with cute girls like the recent Urara Meirochou, Shokugeki No Souma and DanMachi.

Other than that, I have already noted on their team outfit’s design to give each team their own unique look but they’re nothing fanciful. Because if you run out of ideas, just slap in bikinis to do the job and nobody would question. Maybe that is why the gothic Halloween theme has the widest variety of uniform design compared to the other teams who are just separated by the clothes’ colour. What are they? Power Rangers? And as for the O’bli, I thought they are some sort of giant expressionless mole… Worse, it looks like copied from that pervy Miton of Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara. There is also some CGI used especially for the backgrounds in the other dimension but they are nothing outstanding either.

As for the voice acting, I could recognize a handful of them I know. Like Kana Hanazawa as Yuumi, it has been quite a while since I heard her voicing a retard role. Ah, back to those good ol’ days when I first get to know her, eh? Then there is Miyuki Sawashiro as Io, Yui Ogura as Mana, Rina Hidaka as Satoka, Chiwa Saito as Sachiko/Odile and Rie Kugimiya as Mosyne. Speaking of Rie Kugimiya, I discovered that she too voiced one of the girls in the other teams. I’m sure we won’t spot her due to very limited dialogue for that character unless you are 100% paying attention. Don’t quite remember if I did… But I did notice that others like Yu Kobayashi and Ai Nonaka are also one of those girls.

For the rest of the casts that I didn’t and fail to recognize, they are Kaori Ishihara as Tsubame (Aladdin in Magi series), Yuko Sanpei as Akara (Sasha in Seikon No Qwaser), Ayaka Asai as Hina (Hazuki in Hibike! Euphonium), Haruka Terui as Koori (titular character in Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha De Aru), Yuu Asakawa as Tierra (Leone in Akame Ga Kill) and Kotono Mitsushi as Morgana (Excel in Excel Saga). The opening theme, Mirai-kei Strikers by the quintet of Altair Torte sounds like your typical idol pop group music. The synthesizer effects heavy and rock ending theme, Kitto Wonderfo by Rina Hidaka and Yui Ogura sounds overly cute like as though it is on the verge of exploding with cuteness. What do you expect when the singers themselves have the cutest and girliest voice in the series and the ending credits animation is a chibi form of the gang on some RPG quest.

Overall, a disappointing and boring series that would perhaps only satiate the fans of the original game. Not even people who are girl crazy would want to stay and watch a team of girls kick ass. You might be better off playing the game but I can’t say since I haven’t even seen or play it myself. This anime might even make its whatever obscure reputation worse but who am I to say? After all, I can still go stargazing (on my PC on the internet, that is) and eat my cake while at it. Betelgeuse Macaron anyone? Or Mars Milky Way would be better… Yum…

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