Yum! Yum! Apparently I thought it was over but since I recently only found out there were short specials of Shining Hearts: Shiawase No Pan, it serves as the perfect moment to remember those nostalgic bread moments. Mmm… Those delicious and tasty breads… Oh darn. Thinking all that bread is making me hungry. Maybe I should prepare a light snack while catching the 6 specials lasting 2-3 minutes each.

Special 1
Rick and the girls are at the beach. Airy is worried that God will be mad at her for showing some skin as she dons her swimsuit. By the way, she already put it on. Too late to retract your statements. Hope your God loves sexy babes in swimsuits. Meanwhile the rest notices Amil not in her swimsuit. So they ‘strip’ her to reveal the one she wearing underneath. After a hard day of playing at the beach, the girls head home but they think they have forgotten something. Maybe not. Poor Rick still buried in the sand. The tides are coming in and weird people are starting to think he is some sort of merman!

Special 2
You know Rick’s bread is so good when you can’t stop eating them. But there’s a limit to it. Notice something different about Airy? Oh my… SHE’S FAT!!!!!!!!! Amil and Neris help her to slim down but I don’t think jogging and cutting down her portions are going to do any good. So they go see Alvin for help. Uhm… Isn’t he fat too? Anyway he suggests sauna so the girls alternate between the hot and cold sauna till Airy gets back her sexy slim figure. Hooray! Rick has baked lots of new bread. Oh God… No… AIRY!!!!!!! TOO GOOD TO RESIST!!!

Special 3
Melty is thinking what kind of sweets to make for the Le Coeur girls. She thinks she knows what they like but she is basing that on the clothes they wear. Judging a book by its cover? So she mixes several ingredients together. And then a handful of non-edible ones into the mix. Oh God. Is she serious? Her little devil familiar, Sorbet has to test eat them, you know? The verdict? I think that vomiting scream is enough to tell us.

Special 4
Rufina is running a confession stand. Amil goes first as she confesses she has become a bit lazy ever since Rick came. Time to repent. Water splashes down on her. Next is Neris who believes that it is because of her charming face that is making the store popular. Time to repent. Water splashes down on her. Airy talks about organizing such things herself and despite trying to praise Rufina, it sounded like she’s saying bad about her as well. She got a basin dropped on her head for repentance. Finally Rick confesses and apologizes as he thought Ragnas was an impulsive prince at first. Ragnas sings him a song for his honesty. I guess it’s so boring that Rick fell asleep. Guess what? I guess now it is punishment time. 98 more songs to go… Oh God… Please forgive me!

Special 5
Xiao Mei’s room is filled to the brim. At this rate there won’t be enough room for all her antiques. She clears them out by holding a clearance sale. This means our Le Coeur girls are eager to get some stuffs they want at a bargain and Xiao Mei easily recommends and sells it to them. When Rick spots an odd item, Xiao Mei accidentally reveals it is a unicorn’s horn. This startles the girls since the unicorn’s horn is supposed to be confiscated by the kingdom. She tries to change the story that they heard wrong and when the girls seek Rick to vouch for them, he tells them he heard unikonbu no sunomono (pickled sea urchin and kelp). The girls are relieved and leave. Xiao Mei is grateful for Rick’s help and wants to kiss his cheek as reward. However he turns her down that he doesn’t need it. She turns into a mad cat and kicks him away! And he had no clue what he had done!

Special 6
Rick is reminiscing his time ever since coming to this island. Well, they’re just clips from the past specials. Yeah, so he is thankful and grateful. He’s happy as can be. Blah, blah, blah. We get it. Our Le Coeur girls also have a reason to be thankful for him and bake him a little bread. And of course, not forgetting the viewers for watching till the end.

The Bread And Butter Of Happiness
Hmm… Okay… It is just sad that I didn’t get to taste any bread! Damn it my mouth is still watering as I am typing this. I know. You’re going to tell me to go to the store and buy some, right? Anyway, I guess the specials are a nice way to end the series seeing it ended a couple of years before and I’m just late in watching the specials. Lots of nostalgia factor nevertheless. With the characters mainly in chibi form, sometimes they turn into their normal/bishoujo form for ‘fanservice’ scenes (albeit it is very minimal). So much so I thought they should have renamed this special as Shiawase Nopan or Shiawase No Pantsu!!! HAHAHA!!! Holy cow. I don’t think I would ever stop drooling if they put in such fanservice and bread. So delicious that I want to eat them all!!!! YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Uhm… They don’t make those PAN-tsu no pan, do they? Heh…

Yum! The last time I watched an anime series that has bread as its main theme was Yakitate! Japan. Yumeiro Patissiere didn’t really count because it was focused on pastries and other confectionery so when I heard there is another bread themed anime but not a sequel of Yakitate! Japan, my thoughts quickly jumped to how many delicious baked dough filled with butter, milk, cream and other fillings. Oh great. Now I’m starting to salivate as I am typing this. I’m not bread fanatic but I still enjoy those tasty bread varieties. Thus it didn’t stop me from watching Shining Hearts: Shiawase No Pan and the main motivation was to see what kind of visually delicious treats they can whip up.

Though a little part of me remained sceptical about the plot and characters because of my earlier stint with the previous Shining game series that was adapted into anime, Shining Tears X Wind. But that anime production was many years ago and for the sake of the trio beauties I saw on the poster (I guess bread wasn’t just the motivation after all), I thought I should give it all a new chance. After all, despite from the same Shining game series, both animes aren’t really related to each other. You may see some very familiar characters but they’re not the same. It’s a totally different world. So the basic storyline for this show is that we have this guy, Rick who is washed up upon the shore of the kingdom of Wyndaria. He is amnesiac but rescued by 3 ladies, Amil, Neris and Airy and taken to work as a baker in their bakery called Le Coeur. As you know, while Rick makes new memories with his new found life, his past starts creeping up on him and he begins to question what he really was before.

Episode 1
Our ladies wake up Rick in the wee hours of the morning so that he could go make preparations for the morning bread. So while he is slaving away, oops, I mean working alone in the kitchen, they go to sleep. No, they’re not slave drivers. That’s because you can’t have a fresh smile and face in the morning if you don’t get your beauty sleep, right? And here comes to fresh bread right off from the oven. Yummy! Rick must be one talented baker because it’s so delicious that nobody can resist it! Me too! I want to try some! So good that it’s a sell-out! Business has been brisk since Rick became their baker. Since it’s a nice weather, they decide to go out and get more ingredients. They head to Madera’s Bakery to borrow her wagon. They get the natural ingredients needed and on their way back, they feel they don’t have enough dew grass that Madera requested for. They decided to head to the outskirts of the elven territory to get them. While picking the dew grass, they spot an injured cute little selph creature. Amil feeds it with her bread and the creature takes a liking for it. Yeah, even non-humans love this bread. Knowing they can’t get near the elven border, they decide to leave their bread at the border. However they are confronted by elven named Alvin who wants them to hand over the selph. Rick leaves the bread too but the unfriendly Alvin just took the selph. This didn’t sit well with Amil and chides Alvin for being rude. He replies it is his decision whether to take the bread or not and shoots back at her that humans as uncivilized and vulgar. Rick didn’t mind since they manage to bring the selph back safely. Besides, they shouldn’t get emotional. Amil is upset because Alvin looked down on his bread.

Then pops up another elf. She is Lana and she thanks them for saving the selph. Alvin is her brother and has great pride so when humans venture too close to the elven territory, he gets upset. Ever since they entered the forest, Lana has been watching them. Or rather, she got attracted by the smell of Rick’s bread. Yeah, she can’t resist it and wants to try. Doesn’t disappoint, eh? She hopes they can bring freshly baked bread next time and leave it under this big tree. The selph is looking forward to it too? More like she’s looking forward to it the most. So they part promising to bring more bread next time as Lana hopes they don’t harbour any ill feelings for her brother because as the chief protector of the elven forest, he has to put on a cold exterior so it’s sometimes hard to support him. His words may be hurtful but he means no harm. When the gang return to Madera, they tell her about their encounter with Alvin. She thought it was rare of him to speak but Rick notes how he wasn’t making eye contact with them. As though he is looking at the sky. Madera thinks Alvin too has also noticed. True enough, he is still looking at the sky back home. The moon is bright red and he feels a great storm is coming. Worried Lana goes to talk to Madera that night and she confirms that the moon doesn’t lie.

Episode 2
Madera is working together with Le Coeur today. She tells them about Lana’s warning about the impeding storm. This means everybody will be stuck and home and what are they going to do for food? Aha. See the connection? That’s why they’re working hard to bake those breads. Old hand Madera gives Rick some tips to bake better bread. Airy goes out to deliver bread especially to the children at the church. As the storm looms, the castle guards signal the warning for everyone to stay indoors. As Rick also goes out to deliver bread, he spots Airy accompanying a girl who is waiting for her mom as she’s late. Seems she is trying to make preparations for the apple orchard by putting up a giant mast before the storm or else it’ll be a shame for it all to go to waste. Her mother makes it back in time to pick her up so Rick and Airy head back before the storm picks up. However they see that girl’s mother running past their store and it hit them she must be alone at home. Since they know she lives nearby, Airy goes to deliver warm bread to her and comes home all soaked. The storm passes that night and when morning comes, it is bright and clear sky. The little girl and her mother pay a visit to Le Coeur to thank them for last night. She also gives them farm produce as her token of gratitude. With their bread once again a major hit among the people, Madera says it’s time to share their seeds of gratitude. They head to the elven border to give their bread to Lana and Alvin. Because of their warning, the people had time to prepare for the storm. Alvin takes a bite from the bread and finds it not bad. See? You won’t know if you don’t try, right? That night, seems a woman is washed up on shore and she is unconscious.

Episode 3
Rick and the girls find this woman with a beautiful pendant around her neck to Doctor Ron. Though her life isn’t at risk, she is still unconscious. They walk back to Le Coeur and the ladies remember how they first found Rick in that same circumstances. He was wearing an armour then and they note he is much better suited in an apron than an armour. But as they get back to baking, something is wrong with the oven. Because of the storm, there is a branch stuck in the chimney. Before they can remove it, the chimney explodes! There goes the oven. Oh, how will the people go on without their daily bread now? Madera advises them that a dwarf named Hank residing in the mountains may be the right person to fix their chimney. But beware of his odd personality. They go see him and he tells them his price. Let’s say it’s very pricey. He can tell from experience they are first timers and since they are young people, he can’t really trust them. I guess that’s a no. The gang return empty handed but Rick notes that more importantly today’s yeast will go to waste if they don’t do something. How can they bake bread without their oven? Heading back to Madera, they see her talking to the castle guards. She is being told that unidentified ships are approaching the island. They thought it would be damaged from the storm but so far have not received any distress calls. They could be pirates. Though there are a few who call themselves pirates down at the bar, they live to hunt treasures. But a handful of them pillage and hurt people. Therefore tonight they’re going to have a blackout. That’s right. No lights. No sound. No nothing. It’s going to be eerily quiet. You know what that means for people being stuck at their home, right? So the gang borrow Madera’s kitchen to bake bread and deliver them to people on the island.

The mysterious woman at Ron has finally woke up that night. Must be the smell of the bread. Yum. She is Kaguya and that’s the only thing she said before falling back to sleep. Suddenly her pendant starts to emit a bright light. Similarly, there is a mechanical doll hanging inside Hank’s workshop. It is emitting a bright light too. But her lights are seemingly searching for something and it finally pinpoints an area in the ocean. The guards at the coast spot the ships and release the doves to signify the people that they are here. Since there are not lights on the island, one of the ships fire randomly and the powerful shot barely missed the town, hitting the mountains! Oh sh*t! The guards rush into Ron’s room and think they are ignoring the blackout order. One of the guards tries to put it out but was thrust back. The other guard draws his sword but Rick instinctively picks up his sword and defends Kaguya. He tells the guard to scram and thinks he has met Kaguya somewhere before. The guard gives him the slip and is about to strike the pendant when a bright light flashes. That light is coming from the mechanical doll who is unleashing a powerful blast that destroys all the ships! Morning comes and Amil seems disturbed by the fact she saw Rick picked up the sword. Thinking back when they found him unconscious on the shore, there was a sword beside him. He remembered nothing except his name.

Episode 4
Thanks to Rick’s delicious bread, Kaguya is on the recovery path. Who needs medicine when you can have those breads. The mechanical doll works up again but it seems Hank notices it is trying to load some resurrection programme but an error occurred. Amil is still bothered about last night and talks to Madera and especially the kind of face she saw Rick put up. She fears if he gets his memories back, he won’t be the same. Madera tells her all they can do know is believe in him. Rick and Neris visit the antique shop run by Xiao Mei and show her the pendant from Kaguya. Though she didn’t put a high price on it, she thinks there is treasure at the bottom of the sea (after hearing local fishermen talking about something shiny near the rocks). Dismissing as just reflection, she researched on an old book and found out wrecked pirate ships often threw a portion of their treasure there. She convinces them to help her out by agreeing to give them a portion of the treasure to fix their furnace. So they borrow a boat and head to the location. Schemer Xiao Mei makes Neris do the diving and hooking the heavy box on the seabed. She almost loses her life when she got her hand stuck underneath the sand and the crate. Maybe Xiao Mei should’ve just done it herself? The crate is so heavy that the rope broke. And they’re all exhausted. Rick then sees Hank’s workshop and gets an idea. They request his help and Xiao Mei’s smooth talking had him agree (because it’s at the place where the mechanical doll’s light was pointing). Hank remembers how he found this doll washed up ashore on one stormy night. Hank’s mechanics is able to bring the crate up but it is wrecking the ship Xiao Mei borrowed! Using a series of explosion for pulling power, they manage to pull up the crate. They wreck the mast, sacrifice Hank’s machine just to save the crate. Now the ship is all wreck. I wonder how they sailed back to shore but Xiao Mei is ecstatic to find anything valuable. Hank sees a shiny box and thinks this is what the doll is looking for. Suddenly the castle guards pop up and tell them to hand over the treasure. Because everything from the sea belongs to the kingdom and that’s the law. Oh. Just great. Let them do all the heavy work and they so easy come and take everything just like that. WTF. Xiao Mei can’t even get compensation on the wrecked ship. WTF. I can understand why they feel bitter about this.

Episode 5
There is a cute little demon familiar called Sorbet coming to the bakery and seemingly has a hard time choosing the bread he wants. Even if they offered to deliver it, Sorbet refused their kindness. So what better way than to find out where it lives by following it back to a mansion passed the graveyard. The ladies witness Sorbet getting kicked out by his master, Melty who doesn’t want the bread he bought. Sorbet sees the ladies and brings them in to meet Melty. They realize the sweet smell coming from her kitchen as she is trying to create the ultimate ice cream dessert. Sorbet bought the breads in hope she could use it as reference. Melty is just stumped that if she adds another flavour, it clashes with others and the texture changes. Plus, she’s making cold ice cream so warm bread isn’t going to be a good reference. But won’t she try some? I know it’s delicious but her tsundere attitude means she wants them to leave. The ladies thought Melty should come to the bakery and choose the bread herself but Sorbet points out she rarely leaves the mansion. Melty is in her room pondering if she could turn this delicious bread into ice cream so Sorbet suggests to figure out the ingredients themselves. That means, spying on the ladies selling and delivering those breads. The ladies tell Rick about Melty so he thinks of baking bread so good that even she would want to come out to buy it. That night the ladies visit Melty’s mansion again and she invites them in for a dessert party. Each of them made delicious variety of bread for her to try. After that, Melty goes back into her kitchen to make ice cream for them. They find the sweetness perfected and Melty notes it was made using the same techniques as they did. The secret in making the ultimate ice cream is to imagine the people’s face when they eat it. Because when they make bread, they think about the people who eat them. That’s why they’re more delicious than any of the bread tasted before. Prior to this, she only made ice cream for herself and notes it wasn’t the right way. She gives Sorbet taste some and it brings tears of happiness to his eyes. So happy, so full that he can’t take another bite. Melty follows the ladies back to Rick and she hopes he could make more bread of happiness for them. But of course.

Episode 6
Xiao Mei loves eating their fish shaped bread. What if it’s cat shaped? Scared the hell out of her! Later, Rouna a maid from the castle is here on behalf of Prince Ragnas and Princess Rufina to place an order. Though they can make muffins, country bread is impossible. But Rouna notes that they want it and by tonight. Neris feels the royals only think about themselves so Madera advises to deliver the bread themselves to see how the royals are. Rouna will help out since she knows the royals’ taste and is also the castle’s cook. But beware. She’s a little clumsy. The gang arrive outside the castle but the guards stop them till Rouna brings them in. They are brought to Ragnas and Rufina and enjoy tea with them. Neris brings about the crate that was confiscated. Same answer. Anything buried property found belongs under the jurisdiction of the kingdom. This is to ascertain if they are lost items or not. But it will take time to sort things out. When a guard reports that nothing suspicious within the castle grounds is found, this prompts Rick to ask about the many guards on patrol when they arrived. Ragnas mentions a thief by the name of Blacktail has infiltrated the castle. He offers Rick to help out in apprehending the thief since the guards can’t compromise on the outer perimeter, he suggests Rouna to accompany Rick. I guess Rouna was so surprised by this decision that she became clumsy and pulled the table cloth. There goes the tea… Neris wants to help after hearing there’ll be a reward. As Rouna guides the duo around the castle, Rufina notes Ragnas is only returning Rick’s clothes. He says it’s too early to return everything. Especially his sword that is sitting nicely in a box somewhere inside a chamber. Rick and Neris encounter Blacktail and they put up a good fight. Rouna is no pushover too. Be careful of her knives she keeps underneath her skirt! Rick corners Blacktail in the library. The morning sun blinds Rick for a moment but he saw a familiar face in Blacktail’s silhouette. Though Blacktail got away and the ladies still get their reward for the hard work. Ragnas praises for Rouna had her into clumsy mode once more. But for Rick, he is bothered by the fact that Blacktail is indeed Xiao Mei.

Episode 7
Le Coeur’s furnace is nicely making some progress thanks to Hank’s help. He even lowered the cost. How did he agree to fix it? Well, they know Madera. If they had only said so in the first place. Madera requests Rick to deliver bread to Xiao Mei. At her antique shop, he asks her straight what she intended to steal because since she runs an antique shop. She notes this is the first time she escaped empty handed. She asks him about wielding a sword and was pretty good at it. He doesn’t remember but realized he could wield one when he picked it up. Xiao Mei figures Ragnas was giving him a test. Why else would a prince ask a baker to guard the castle? She thinks he is unsure which path to take. A baker or a swordsman. Rick hits a nerve in her when he mentions despite how chivalrous she claims, she is still a thief that steals from others. Rick returns to see Hank making the final touches on the furnace. Rick asks Hank why he chose this line of job but he asks back it is even weirder for him why he chose to be a baker. He should be more concern about the furnace than his line of job. Later Xiao Mei meets Rick at the coast and she answers his question why she became a thief. If there’s a lock, she wants to unlock it. Also, something about dealing with unfinished work like how Rick delivers bread to are troubled. Xiao Mei invites Rick to follow her around. He observes her returning fixed items to children. Then she invites him to join her since there are lots of treasures out there. Of course there is one particular lock she would like to unlock. The lock that Rick has hid with all his strength. He can join her if he changes his mind. Rick returns to tell the ladies about what happened when he first picked up a sword to defend Kaguya. No need for that because Amil already told them. Rick didn’t question his past until recently. Would it be okay to continue being a baker without knowing his memories? Madera says that in the past, she never meddled in the affairs of others. But in the midst of helping vagabonds, she realizes her true calling to help others. So what is Rick’s decision? He says his job now isn’t to point sword at people but to bake bread and deliver them. Amil is especially relieved because she was worried if he would be continuing to be a baker and leave the shop once his memories return but looks like he has decided. Le Coeur reopens and this time they also have a cafe for those who want to eat in. Kaguya is also recovering well with all the delicious bread she’s been eating. Meanwhile a pirate ship sees a giant floating fortress fitted with heavy guns. Surrounding it are wrecked ships on fire. The captain knows the danger they are up to and orders his crew to get away.

Episode 8
Rick goes to deliver bread to Flora who operates a bar. I guess she is sleepy so she has him make coffee. He really did. He notices onion garlic toast on her menu and she notes the recipe is from Madera who helped her out when she first arrived here. You could say she also washed ashore like Rick but unlike him, she has no interest in finding her past memories because she realized there is something she needs to do. Back at Le Coeur, the ladies are discussing on how to improve their service but Rick’s mind is filled with Flora’s words. So he pays her bar a visit that night to talk. Till the pirate captain, Dylan tells him he is sitting in his seat. Flora hopes Dylan would stop teasing this troubled youngster. Next night, Rick visits the bar again. Dylan has a taste of Rick’s onion garlic toast. Despite still delicious, Flora thought the taste has changed a little recently. Rick still asks her if she is not troubled at her if she doesn’t mind knowing her past. Although Rick is happy that his bread brings happiness to others and blessed to have others to support him, he fears that one day his memories of his past he left behind will catch up to him. Dylan tells him from his experience how it was common for pirates to be stabbed in the back. Since no one can predict the future and that the currents will change. He tells him about the floating fortress he encountered. He doesn’t know where it’s going or what it’ll do. There’s no point in thinking about it even if it makes him uneasy because it lies in the future or has already happened. There’s time for everything and believes a lot waiting for him in the future. Rick on his way back sees Kaguya who wants to take a look at the moon. She too doesn’t remember her past but she’s not bothered at all. Well, Rick is still bothered. Bothered that he has to continue living with this a void in his heart. But to Kaguya when she woke up, everybody was there. He was there. She is happy he always brings her delicious bread. Meanwhile Dylan feels danger may be upon this island and allows her to board his ship if she wants. He’ll save her from danger again as many times it takes. However she can’t because she has her own reasons for being unable to leave this island. Next morning Rick delivers bread to Flora as thanks. Because of her words and Dylan’s, he was able to pull himself together. She says Dylan is not on this island anymore and doesn’t know when she’ll meet him again. Meanwhile Hank sees Xiao Mei.

Episode 9
Hank and Xiao Mei are teaming up to infiltrate the castle once more. They accidentally trigger an alarm so all the guards are put on alert that Blacktail has returned. The duo give the guards the slip as they crawl through the air ventilation instead of fighting head on and into the treasure room. They get what they want and make their escape on Hank’s multi-purpose tool (which is in scooter format now). Rouna and the guards think they have cornered them underground but Hank breaks a wall with an insignia on it and free a golem. The golem attacks Rouna and the guards. During this distraction, the duo make their escape. Hank drops Xiao Mei off halfway since their alliance has ended as they got what each wanted. She offers to team up next time but he’s not interested. Meanwhile the Le Coeur gang take Kaguya out on a picnic and a fun outing it was. That night Amil can’t sleep and goes to talk to Rick. She is worried that he has been acting troubled recently and if there is anything he wants to talk, he can talk with her because it’s confusing her again. He explains that his void memories are what is bugging him still despite he has decided to be a baker and not a swordsman. However he assures her he is not lost about it anymore. Although he has no past, he gets to spend time with everyone and create new memories. No matter what past he has, he won’t lose to it. He’ll be fine as long everyone is with him. Amil is so relieved that she cried. He thanks them for being with them. Xiao Mei wakes up in the dead of the night to see castle guards surrounding her place. Hank is about to insert the shiny box into the mechanical doll when the guards storm the place to arrest him on suspicions for infiltrating the palace. Some magnetic force from the doll takes the shiny box from Hank’s hand and into her system. She reactivates as her repair system completes.

Episode 10
Xiao Mei and Hank are thrown into prison. I don’t blame Xiao Mei for feeling upset but can she do it less noisy? Hank remembers when the mechanical doll reactivated, it instantly blasts off into the sky. Kaguya is alone at the beach when suddenly she is taken away. Guess who? Next morning, Rouna eats bread made from Rick at Le Coeur but something is amiss. Amil takes a bite and did he lose his touch? They wonder where he is since they don’t remember sending him out for deliveries. Ron comes in to ask if Kaguya had come by since she’s missing. They wanted to help look but his nurse is already doing that so it’s more than enough help. Kaguya wakes up in a cave and her abductor is the mechanical doll named Queen. Rick seems to be bumming in his boat home when he sees Dylan’s ship close to wreckage. He wants medical attention to some of his men who are badly injured since they came into combat with the heavily armed floating fortress. Seems they are on their way to Wyndaria. News of this reaches the castle so I guess it’s another blackout order. Suddenly Queen with Kaguya in her arms crashes into the dungeons where Xiao Mei and Hank are. Queen warns a fleet of enemies are heading for this island. She explains about some infinite layers of world that don’t really mix but she sensed one from another world coming in sync with this one. Queen doesn’t deny she is from another world and is here to protect her master Kaguya from being taken by the enemies. Because the castle is isolated from the sea and protected by the town, this is the safest place for her to hide here. However Kaguya didn’t like the idea that this means the town will be used as a shield and get destroyed. She doesn’t want harm to come on this island and its people and is willing to go to them. Queen takes Kaguya’s pendant and hands it to Xiao Mei. She wants her to give it to the person Kaguya trusts most. Queen cuts the bars to free them but they’re on their own making a dash out. Queen takes Kaguya in her arms and blasts off into the sky. Dylan is seeking treatment at Ron’s clinic with Flora and Rick by his side. The Le Coeur girls bust in to scold Rick for making them worried. Dylan relates his encounter with the enemy fleet. Snake-like people from another world forced them into a fight and started attacking. Ragnas plays his harp as he narrates how worlds are connected at times. An indication is when the moon turns red. A sign that the night sky is being torn apart. The Le Coeur gang go out in search of Kaguya but come back empty handed. Xiao Mei and Hank thought they’re home free after climbing over the castle walls but they’re sadly mistaken. Ragnas and his guards are waiting for them. He wants to know why Xiao Mei has the fairy stone (the pendant). As the fleet inches closer to the island, Queen zooms towards them and the islanders can see a battle lighted up across the horizon.

Episode 11
Queen and Kaguya land on one of the fleet ships. A voice calls her Sakuya however he gets upset when he realizes she doesn’t have the pendant with her. Noting that she is useless without it, the snake people start acting aggressive. Queen knows negotiations have failed and tries to flee with her but Kaguya is captured. Queen begins attacking to save her master. Meanwhile Rick asks Madera the meaning of vagabonds since there are lots of them in Wyndaria. In short, they are beings from another world. Kaguya came to Wyndaria from an alternate world and those pirates have come after her. She is probably someone important because she has the strength to fight. The pirates need that, which is in the form of the pendant. You saw its devastating power when it was first activated, right? This made Rick question his own past since he was found in a swordsman outfit. Madera doesn’t deny the possibility he came from another world and experienced war just like the other girls. Perhaps the fighting has pained and scarred their souls, making them grow weary and came here. A guard comes in to tell Rick that Ragnas requests his presence. Ragnas tells Rick and the girls that Kaguya and Queen head towards the fleet on their own will. This statement is taken from witnesses Xiao Mei and Hank. Ragnas returns Rick’s original sword and wants him to go bring Kaguya back. He notes how noble she is as she could have just stayed hidden on the island but chose to save lives. However Rick declines he can do it because he is a baker. What about his bout on par with Blacktail? That was for the reward to fix the furnace. But his bread isn’t up to standard the way he is now. Even if Ragnas is willing to lend Rufina for help and tells him his past is already determined when he was found in swordsman clothes, Rick still doesn’t want to do it.

So amidst the crisis he goes back to bake bread?! WTF?! Still not good, huh? When he goes out, he sees Amil and co. They apologize that they didn’t realize he was troubled by his past and lost memories. No matter what he did before, they will still believe in him because Rick is Rick and know what he is like now. He doesn’t have to hide his true feelings. And while he’s thinking about it, they’ll be back at Le Coeur to bake bread. I guess this is what they can do. I suppose this changes his mind but Rick doesn’t need to rush back all the way to the castle because Rufina is waiting for him halfway. As they make haste, Rufina mentions Ragnas was always worried he couldn’t protected the people stranded on this island. So when Rick arrived, he was please that the swordsman he was looking for had come. He has been waiting for a stranger with the powers to protect this island. Dylan and his men also set sail towards the fleet as Ragnas was generous enough to hand them a new ship. Before Rick leaves, Flora and her son give Rick bread made by the ladies from Le Coeur. This bread will bring everyone on this island happiness. Rufina gives Rick the pendant from Kaguya and believes its true power will reveal. Queen left it behind foreseeing the worst circumstances and perhaps the main reason why the pirates come to Wyndaria for this great power. Rufina chants a spell as Rick sprouts angel wings and flies towards the fleet. Together with Queen, they start slashing and cutting down the heavy weaponry. I don’t Dylan’s little ship can make any impact but it’s better than nothing. Hank brings Xiao Mei to his workshop and we see him unveiling a giant cannon from beneath the floors. Queen protects Rick from a direct shot but she wants him to go save Kaguya.

Episode 12
Rick dives into the ship and sees Kaguya tied up. But he has to deal with the giant reptilian foe first. Rick seemingly lost at first when the pendant starts glowing. The reptile is surprised he has it. Xiao Mei wonders how they are going to bring up this cannon. They can’t. Hank lights the fuse and makes a run! The cannon is so powerful that it blasts a hole in the mountain and right into the floating fortress. There goes his workshop. In addition, Queen revives and finishes it off with another devastating blast while the distraction means Rick thrusts his sword into the reptile’s gut (can a small sword do any damage to such a big creature?). We know the good guys have victory when the floating fortress sinks. Rick finds himself lying on Kaguya’s lap on the shore. He gives her eat bread from Le Coeur. I wonder if it still tastes good after all that war dust. Yup, it is. That’s Le Coeur for you. Rick says that is the bread of happiness. A bread that can make anyone on this island happy. Hmm… Shouldn’t he have given it to the scaly enemies first? Oh, I forgot. They’re probably carnivores. She wonders if he’ll continue to make them but he’s tired. She doesn’t want to be hurt and keep smiling. That would’ve been enough for her. I guess she’s tired too. Rick closes his eyes and rest. In the aftermath, Kaguya continues to stay on this island as Queen part ways with her, hoping they’ll meet again. Ragnas is to bestow Rick, Hank, Xiao Mei and Dylan and his crew reward but it seems Madera is only here on their behalf. We see the Le Coeur girls continue to deliver their bread, Xiao Mei returning a fixed toy to an orphan, Hank probably now enjoying an open air campfire now that his workshop is totally ‘remodelled’. Rick is training at Madera’s place and he learns a few more tricks regarding controlling temperature via good fire to make good quality bread. She also explains about tricks, which are methods used by people long ago who kept trying after failing. What she is trying to say is if he is going to follow some path or make his own. Of course Rick wants to continue this. Though his bread is still inconsistent, Madera notes he has something important now. Later that night, Amil, Airy and Neris sneak in to wake Rick up but he surprises them first. Off they go to make more delicious bread at Le Coeur.

So Good You Can Even Eat It On Its Own
Despite the happy ending, I can’t say that I am really satisfied with how it all ended. At least it is still much better than the Shining Tears X Wind series. I just felt that the final battle with those reptiles from another world was kinda rushed. It took some time to build up their mysterious presence to arrive closer to the island (which they never even got close) and then with a few blasts and shots here and there, they’re destroyed. Doesn’t it feel cheap? I guess they’re not so tough without the pendant after all, huh? So what does this mean? Will it mean that more of their kind from another world will come back in the future when the moon turns red again since Kaguya is still holding on to the pendant? Can she just destroy it if it just brings bad news? Well, it did play a pivotal role in helping Rick and the others defeat the reptilian foes so I suppose it is whose hands the pendant falls with.

I guess the characters are pretty average and from what I understand, most of them come adrift from the other world. So to say that a big majority of the people in Wyndaria are from other worlds? Not too sure if they are from the same different world but I thought it was really kind of a weird custom for those vagabonds to show up in Wyndaria via being washed up ashore. It’s like they’re saying all strangers come from the sea. Besides, wasn’t there a theory that states that living things originate from the sea? And for those people washed up on the shores of Wyndaria, the other trait that they all have is that they don’t really remember their past. It’s like as though they have been given a second chance and a new lease of life to start things all over again from scratch in a new place. So how and why did they drift from another world is perhaps a mystery and another story. But as Madera puts it, to escape war and pain. I won’t discount the fact that she too might be a vagabond and having lived so long, she might have seen lots of things.

So Rick might be more than your average baker that keeps the customers coming to Le Coeur. Despite his happy new life, his mysterious past continues to bug him and he can’t leave it alone either. Perhaps that anxiety of worrying has caused him to lose touch in his bread quality. Will he be better off once he knows his past? There will be no turning back once he learns it and if so, can he live with it? True, he might be a swordsman in his previous life but was he a chivalrous swordsman? Or was he some sort of mercenary and killed many? It’s not like Rick has fully regained all his memories but I guess for now he has come to terms with his past and the most important thing is to chart his future. You can’t move forward if you keep getting trapped in your past. If Rick ever feels a dilemma to choose which path he has to take, let me propose it this way. While he continues to bake fresh bread every day, when the time calls for it to fight enemies that threaten Wyndaria, he can pick up his sword and play the hero. Not too bad, right? We have seen him done it so I don’t see any problems in the future.

I feel Neris, Amil and Airy make any significant impact in the series maybe except provide us with cute pretty faces while serving the bread. Okay, maybe that is just me. Seriously, I couldn’t see how they played any pivotal role in the series besides giving Rick their support. Amil seems like a worrywart when she first saw Rick picked up the sword but just like the other girls, they come to realize that it is not Rick’s past that they should be concerned about. Rick is Rick for who he is now regardless of who he was. It’s not like anything is going to change. Other characters seem pretty okay though they don’t really change much throughout the series. Madera the old woman gives advice when needed, Hank may be a grumpy dwarf but despite his cold exterior of steel he still has a warm heart and helps out in his own way. Hank did mention he knows Madera for a long time but I wonder what their relationship is. Maybe Hank will just tell me to mind my business and go watch more anime rather than cracking my head over something that I will eventually care less about. True. Xiao Mei is a crafty cat girl. By day she is an antique dealer and by night a thief (whenever necessary) but that doesn’t mean she is a bad person or have ulterior motives (unless when it comes to something that can fetch a high price). I don’t know how Xiao Mei’s role in the final episode would amount to anything. How can a thin cat girl help Hank pull a lever for the giant cannon? I thought it would’ve been plausible if Hank could’ve done it himself. Maybe he needs that extra push. Maybe Xiao Mei needs that extra little appearance otherwise we don’t really see her in action, right? Well, that’s the most you’ll see her in action anyway.

Ragnas may initially sound like a prince who has some ulterior motive but it turns out that he genuinely cares for his people and all those in Wyndaria regardless where they come from just like Rufina. I guess you don’t really rush into things so he takes his time observing Rick to see whether he is fit to do a job or not. Rouna, she is still clumsy (who doesn’t love clumsy maids, what more with animal ears) but she is still lethal when it comes to taking down enemies. For some of the other minor characters, I begin to wonder what actually happened to them. Take for instance Alvin and Lana. So after Le Coeur people leave the bread as thanks, that’s all you’ll ever see them. Then in the final scenes, you see them munching on the bread so as not to forget that they really existed. I don’t know if elves and humans really do not really mix well because in Shining Tears X Wind too, elves don’t think highly of humans. But in this series, we hardly see any of their race due to the secrecy and privacy their race wants. So we don’t really see much about them. Melty and Sorbet? Well, she’s still trying to perfect her ultimate ice cream. So that’s about it about her, huh? Just one stinking episode on her that really bears no impact to the overall story. Now that Kaguya is planning to stay here, I wonder what she’ll do. More importantly, where did Queen go? I don’t know if she really went back to her other world or went travelling around the globe. Shouldn’t she stay with her master? You don’t know when the next danger might come.

I would like to say that the true ‘star’ of this show are the breads and pastries. YUM! Too bad I can’t only feed my eyes on them. How much would it cost to taste Rick’s bread? I hope I don’t have to take drastic actions and wash myself up on some shore (hoping it is Wyndaria) just to get a taste of them. As delicious the breads may look, however as the story picks up pace, they get featured less and less. So it was nice that the series started out with seemingly filler episodes (which I approve since I was more into the delicious bread) about Le Coeur baking bread and delivering them around town. Then when a strange fortress is seen approaching the island and Rick having trouble coming to terms with his missing memories, the bread gets lesser appearance to the extent that they become cameo appearances. It’s like the series is losing sight of what it was originally made for (at least that is what I feel). Can we at least end the series and leave some of those delicious breads in my memory? Yeah, the Le Coeur girls may be welcoming us at the end but I don’t see the bread… Oops, my mistake. Rick is holding up some croissants. But need more bread variety…

The drawing and art is of course more polished compared to the other Shining series so lots of the characters have this beautiful people look. I guess the bread will ‘taste’ better to us if there are pretty people making and eating them. If ugly people were seen eating them, I think you would lose your appetite too. For this series and your subsequent meal. When I noticed Amil, Neris and Madera’s hairstyle braids, I thought that I’m going to see a majority of females’ hair having this hairstyle. Why did I think of this? Well, you see, braids sound close to bread so I thought they were going to play around with this theme… Hah. How embarrassing. There is also no fanservice in this series. You thought Rouna’s clumsiness would allow us to peek underneath her skirt or when she lifts them up to reveal the hidden knives underneath it. Alas, you’d be disappointed because they don’t really show them. I don’t think there was any intention of making such scenes either since they are not even purposely censored out.  The most I suppose is Xiao Mei’s sexy short qipao dress. Mmm… Nice legs… Because if this series really had fanservice in it, it would have probably overwhelm the bread parts. And I would have the cheek to call this series, Shining Hearts: Shiawase No Pan-tsu. Haha! Geddit? Oh yeah, that will be a different kind of happiness and bliss.

Romance wise, I don’t think there is any here. Though it is hinted that the girls of Le Coeur have feelings for Rick, but it is not very obvious. I know a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but how can any girls resist him if he is such a good baker? He can easily steal the hearts of others with these babies. I’m sure I would have fallen in love with those breads by now if only I had a taste of them :'(. Come back my darlings! I’m not sure if Xiao Mei does have any feelings for Rick and even if she did display them (not that I see any of this in here), it would probably be using him so that she can make some profit somehow. Kaguya doesn’t seem like she has shown any because she just totally loves his bread as it makes her smile and happy. Well, maybe that’s another kind of love. The only chemistry which I can see (assume rather) is Flora for Dylan. Too bad as a pirate he gets land sickness and can’t stay for too long since the sea is calling for him.

As I found out, just like the Shining Tears X Wind series, this one also had the same seiyuus from the game reprising their roles for the TV anime as well. With the exception of Kanae Itou (Nobuna in Oda Nobuna No Yabou). In the game she voices Amil, Neris and Airy but in the TV anime she is just only the voice of Amil. The other roles are given to Mai Aizawa as Neris (Mio in Nichijou) and Shiori Mikami as Airy (Akari in YuruYuri). I guess it would be a pain to differentiate who is speaking if they all sounded the same, right? I guess in the game the girls are all sisters but this isn’t so in the TV anime. Hiroshi Kamiya is the voice of Rick (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei) and though he is also the voice of Alvin, there wasn’t any much differentiation between them so I thought it sounded funny when both guys were talking and they sounded the same. It’s like, hey, isn’t he like talking to himself? Hmm… Chiwa Saito as Xiao Mei seems like she is reprising her role as Mao from Shining Tears X Wind. Well, both are scheming sexy cat girls, right? Rie Kugimiya makes her cameo as Melty though she won’t be pulling off much of her typical tsundere voice like Louise from Zero No Tsukaima. Other casts include Ryou Hirohashi as Lana and Rouna (Alice in Aria The Animation), Masaharu Satou as Hank (Pagos in Dr Slump), Houko Kuwashima as Kaguya (Nakahito in Steel Angel Kurumi), Izumi Kitta as Queen (Cordelia in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Hiroko Emori as Madera (Chaozu in Dragonball Z), Hikaru Midorikawa as Ragnus (Rukawa in Slam Dunk), Yui Horie as Rufina (Kotori in Da Capo), Kazuya Nakai as Dylan (Hijikata in Gintama) and Tomoko Kaneda as Sorbet (Chiyo in Azumanga Daioh).

The opening theme, Toki Sekai by the trio ladies of Le Coeur, I thought it starts off with an ominous-like tone. Then it turns into what I feel like is a little Christmas song! Though it plays to a slow and calming beat, it isn’t that appealing to me. That’s because I prefer very much the cute ending theme, Fuwaffuwa No Mahou, also sung by the same trio. In this sparkling and cheeky tune, we have the girls singing about, you guessed it, bread. Especially the lyrics are about how to make happy bread for you. In addition to sugar, butter and flour, you got to put your feelings into it for some fluffy magic. Yes. Put in lots of love in it while kneading the dough. Don’t be sad or else the bread will be salty. Then add more love and bake it till its brown and continue sprinkling it with powdered sugar of love on top. Now you’re ready to eat! Yum! I’m sure it’s going to taste sweet. And while the girls are singing, you can see them doing a little cute dance of their own. May not catch on to be the next big craze like Psy’s Gangnam Style but at least for me, I did try to imitate a little of their moves. I’m not sure if my bread tastes more delicious after this little dance but I had a good time having fun and laughing while doing some of the hand movements myself. Yeah, this should be the official song for any happy bread in the world. A song from the game’s soundtrack is also featured as an insert song for the TV series. White And Shadow ~Mugen No Rinbu~ by Lia (Veil) sounds like it has a hint of sadness though its lyrics are mostly abstract about time, light, darkness, forest and storm. Well, I suppose it really fits the overall mood if the series is of fantasy genre.

Watching each episode definitely made me crave to eat bread each time I finish the episode. Oh well, breads to cost a lot if I buy them at the nearest bakery so I’ll have to make do with my plain bread and put lots of peanut butter, strawberry jam, butter, margarine and kaya topping it off with Kraft cheese singles. Mmmm. Yum! This whooper still tastes good. I know chocolate and sweet stuffs are still my favourite by bread and its equivalent pastries can be a wonderful substitute if the former isn’t around. Who cares about the calories as long as I feel happy. Yes, it is good for you. Good for your soul, I mean. I’m sure breads of happiness do exist as well as chocolates of happiness, ice cream of happiness, cake of happiness, candies of happiness, sweets of happiness… Oops. Before I lose myself, let me just say that despite bread being able to bring wholesome goodness and happiness to the family, I guess it won’t make a good tool for world peace. Otherwise you would have been seeing all world leaders chomping breads in their mouth as gesture of peace and there will be no more civil and international wars. I guess it takes more than a loaf for peace. Especially in times of war when price of a loaf just shoots up… Will ice cream do a better job then?