Tenshi Na Konamaiki

November 8, 2008

Somehow when I first watched this anime, it brings back memories of another anime series, Ranma 1/2. Now, I’m not saying that Tenshi Na Konamaiki AKA A Cheeky Angel, is very similar to the said series but the thing which comes to mind that is that both series has that gender bender thing. Remember in Ranma 1/2 you have the main protagonist kid who fell into some tragic spring so much so that whenever he gets poured by cold water, he turns into a girl? And when he gets poured by hot water, he turns back into a guy. So though on the outside he is sometimes a female, deep down in his heart he’s a boy and he’s bloody adamant that he’s going to turn back into one.
 
Well, in this anime, our main protagonist, Megumi Amatsuka, starts off as a girl. But deep down in her heart she is a boy and is bloody adamant and insists she is one and that she’s going to turn back into one. But that’s just where the similarity ends. Megumi here doesn’t turn into a boy when cold water gets thrown at her. In fact, we’ll never see her in boy form. The reason how she turned from a boy into a girl too is different from the other said series. Back when she was a 9 year old boy, she and her best friend, Miki Hanakain, was strolling along the river bank when they saved an old hooded guy from several bullies. As gratitude, he gives Megumi a magic book, in which Megumi summons a little magician.
 
Unlike genies, the magician can only grant 1 wish so you better think real hard what wish you want to come true. But for Megumi, she has already decided what she had wanted and wants the magician to turn him (Megumi) into the manliest man among man. I don’t know why he wants to be a manly man when he’s a boy already at that time. Probably can’t wait to grow up, huh? The magician grants his wish but I’m not sure whether the magician didn’t clean his ears or was playing a cruel prank on Megumi as he turned Megumi into a woman! He even got the cheek to ask if he is satisfied being a woman among women. I’m sure Megumi is in shock and total disgust at first and even did a short naughty trick for this denial. Yeah, he put that toy sword between his legs and pretended that it was his erm… let’s just say a male anatomy. Of course, Megumi wants the magician to properly turn her back into a guy but the magician says he can do it but it will cost Megumi 10 years of his/her life. Frustrated, angry and the feeling of being cheated, Megumi tosses the book into the river. Oops. There goes Megumi’s chance of returning back into a boy. And when Megumi and Miki went home to tell the former’s mom, Tsubasa, about it, Tsubasa thinks Megumi is pulling a fast one because she tells Megumi that he has always been a boy all along. Looks like everybody now thinks Megumi is a girl and the only wants who know the fact that Megumi was a boy are Megumi herself and Miki.
 
So 6 years has past and Megumi has grown and learned to live life as a girl. Must be hard, huh? Not only that, she has grown into a very gorgeous, pretty, beautiful and all those nice words you can describe a stunning lady. That’s right. She can beat any Miss Universe anytime. Long blonde hair and fair snow white skin… Ah… Just like an angel. I can see why every guy around her is starting to fall for her. If looks could really kill. Literally. So the magician’s twisted spell did have quite a nice outcome and effect, though it’s more of eye candy for the others than Megumi herself. However, deep down in Megumi’s heart, she is still determined to find that magic book and turn back into a boy.
 
However, having said that she’s looking all beautiful is just on the outside. Though Megumi has learned the ways of being a girl, she is still acting like a boy at times. Meaning, she talks crudely, sometimes act unlady-like and even dare get into fights with others who challenges her (though this is as a last resort). Because of so, the way she talks and acts reminded me of the female version of Ranma in Ranma 1/2. Unlike dumb blondes or damsels in distress, Megumi is self sufficient and knows how to take care of herself. Yeah, she’s cool, smart, sharp, agile, and quick-witted. She even knows self defence and her reflexes are top-notched. It’s like she doesn’t need a man to protect her. Uh huh. To put it in another way, you guys aren’t good enough for her. Oh wait, let me rephrase that. She’s too good for you guys. Hehehe. So perverts, you can forget about targeting her as your prey. In addition, I’ll refer to Megumi as a she instead of a he. Speaking of which, I thought Megumi is a girl’s name… So if she was a boy and had this name, it doesn’t quite add up right, don’t you think?
 
But not every episode you’ll see Megumi trying to find ways to search for the book or other methods to break her curse and turn her back into a boy. I mean, that would be plain boring since this series lasts for 50 episodes. Aside from being a romance-comedy genre, if you’re into harem series, I could consider this as one but more of reverse harem or shoujo harem. Meaning that, instead of 1 guy being flanked by several love-and-attention-seeking-girls, we have 1 girl (Megumi) being flanked by several guys who intends to be by her side. Ah, the good days of being youthful, at that age where teenagers are starting to discover the magic of love and romance. It’s the season of loooooove.
 
So let’s meet the potential guys of Megumi’s reluctant harem. Sigh… It’s going to be tough to shake these guys off as fate always seem to compel and bring the gang together, whether she likes it or not. First up is Genzo Soga. At first looks, this stubborn white-haired pineapple head guy looks like a typical gangster. Well, he is. And he’s got a little scar under his right eye to prove it. He’s a bad ass delinquent so much so he has earned a devil-like nickname. So it’s either you’re afraid of him, if not, have a deep grudge against him. Genzo is your typical brawns over brains kinda guy and he first met Megumi when the latter gives him a kick where it hurt most for trying to pick on Miki. Ouch! Even if this dense guy fell head over heels for Megumi, that doesn’t stop him from trying to get closer to her or even try various weird stuff and tactics to make Megumi his girlfriend. But I guess Megumi becomes more receptive from him after learning that he goes around apologizing to those he had beaten up previously and even if those ‘victims’ aren’t ready to forgive him and beat him up as revenge, Genzo in a way gets some respect from Megumi when he didn’t fight back. See, love can really change a man.
 
Next is Ichiro Fujiki. To sum it up in one word to best describe him, normal. Yup, your typical average normal guy. Even he himself tries to be one. Nothing extraordinary nothing less. Just normal. Is there a need for me to go on? Then there is the bespectacled Tasuke Yasuda. This short guy has a past reputation for being a pervert and still is. Thus most of those erotic nosebleeds you’ll see are from him. Sick guy. Aside that, he has skills in collecting information which will prove useful sometimes to the rest. Oh, did I mention that this guy has pretty eyes if you see him without his glasses? Yeah, you may mistaken him for a girl. Lastly, there is Kimura. I don’t remember much about him. You’ll see why.
 
As these guys are stunned by Megumi’s beauty, Fujiki, Yasuda, and Kimura formed a group called Megu-chan Protection Club which well, protects Megumi from whatever they think is threatening her and admire her at the same time. Like that will work. Remember, Megumi knows how to take care of herself. Soon after, Genzo wants in and the trio reluctantly agrees after his intimidating persuasion. So the group now is a foursome but the original trio secretly forms a group to kick Genzo out. Not that you’ll see how that group will manage to kick Genzo out, since those trio are quite the ‘weaklings’ they are.
 
Though the quartet tries to get Megumi to date them, Megumi bluntly tells them that she is a guy. Or previously was one. But would the guys take that as an excuse? I mean, take the duck theory for example. If it looks like a duck, walks and talks like a duck, then it must be a duck. Case in point. Megumi is too pretty to be a guy. So could she be cross-dressing then? Don’t think so. So in order to find out, the quartet followed Megumi home and holy sh*t! They find out that Megumi is a rich girl. Very. Filthy rich, I tell you. Her house is like a mansion and has all the amenities you could think of. But still, this doesn’t really spoil Megumi at all. After seeing her unbelievable abode, Kimura then comes to a conclusion that he and Megumi are very much from a different world. The vast difference in their positions made Kimura opt out of the group and after that you’ll never hear from him again. Sort of. But the remaining trio wouldn’t want to give up that easily. Like they say, less men more share.
 
So the gang gets invited into Megumi’s mansion and has a first-hand look at the huge inside. We see Megumi’s over-protective but idiotic father (for convenience, I shall refer to him as Papa). He loves his daughter very much and is wary of the guys who are Megumi’s classmates. He thinks the only guy Megumi needs is her father. Another idiotic part of Papa is that he has built many secret paths which ultimately leads into Megumi’s room. Uh huh. This guy can pop out from anywhere and interrupt Megumi’s conversation with the guys. Did I mention that Papa is slightly perverted too? He secretly likes taking pictures of Megumi (and sometimes Miki) when she’s asleep. Because of that, Megumi doesn’t really like her annoying dad and you could certainly tell it’s a love-hate relationship. More towards hate, that is. Megumi too has a loyal personal maid named Yoriko. While Yoriko is quite supportive of what Megumi does and sometimes gives her advice, however Yoriko seems to have that ambition to turn Megumi into a girly girl and gets excited whenever such schemes are hatched.
 
But that ‘seat’ which Kimura has left vacant will soon be filled by another guy. He is Hitomonji Kobayashi. This guy has got that bishonen look. A look which many girls would die for to be his girlfriend. Kobayashi first encountered Megumi when the latter was giving Genzo her usual ticking off lecture. Kobayashi then commented how it was unlady-like of her to criticize Genzo. Of course Genzo is pissed off and wants to pound him but Megumi stops this monkey by saying "Returning fists, when someone fight with words, in a sense, it would be our loss". Initially Kobayashi didn’t really cared much about Megumi but several events like how Megumi helped him get back a little memento of his, made Kobayashi ‘attracted’ to Megumi and his perception towards her changed. And so once again the Megu-chan Protection Group is a whole now. Hey, mathematically 4 quarters equals a whole, right? Among the guys in the group, Kobayashi is the most decent and polite because of his bushido and samurai upbringing. He also posses superb martial art skills due to his training since young.
 
If you’re wondering why such a high class beautiful rich girl like Megumi is doing in such a normal school, there is a reason for her to attend this one. You see, in her eternal quest to find that magic book, some fortune teller guy tells her that she will have hopes of finding the book at this particular school. Since then Megumi has searched high and low and every inch of the place for the book but to no avail. Then Megumi and Miki made a visit to Genzo’s home and to their surprise, they discover that Genzo has been keeping that magic book all along! Yeah, it’s like fate bringing them together one way or another. So Megumi, Miki and the 4 guys gather around and try to summon the magician. When they successfully do, the magician seems to be playing and screwing around with them. Yeah, especially Genzo trying to get ahead of the rest by making a wish for himself by asking the magician to make Megumi love him more. Of course Megumi is pissed off and it seems like she hated him even more. Thus Genzo without thinking further wants the magician to reverse this curse and gladly exchanges 10 years of his life. Thing is, there isn’t any difference before or after the curse. So it’s like Genzo has been ripped off. Hahaha. In the end, after all that threatening, the magician then decides to put a curse of Megumi to show his displeasure. Oh no. Later on, we’ll find out that from the magician that his powers are weakening and Megumi will soon turn back into a boy. Gasp! Though Megumi is happy but I don’t think the rest is happy, especially Miki, who wants Megumi to remain a girl. By the way, Genzo has a wild sister, Setsuka, who seems to take a liking for Megumi. Probably too pretty and cute to resist.
 
Though we won’t get to see every subsequent episodes of bad luck befalling on Megumi. Even so, you can see how Megumi is quick on her feet to avoid all those mishaps. Looks like she is pretty well prepared for it. From time to time, you’ll see the magician watching the gang from somewhere and you’ll wonder what the significance of this is. Most of the adventures see how the gang bond closer to each other, though Megumi doesn’t really particularly care about it but I guess she just goes along with the flow. I mean, there are a bunch of devoted guys who would do almost anything for her, why not keep them around. I know she doesn’t have any bad intentions too so unlike rich pretty girls, Megumi isn’t the obnoxious kind.
 
Speaking of which, there is a new transfer girl to her school which Megumi seems to fear most. She is Keiko Tanaka and is your typical arrogant spoilt brat rich kid who sees Megumi as her eternal rival. In short, she has superiority complex and is always trying to outdo whatever Megumi does. Keiko has a loyal friend-cum-admirer-cum-follower, Yoshimi Shirasagi, who is always seem around her and supporting her. The reason why Megumi was so afraid of her was because Keiko had a hand in indirect bullying of Megumi during her junior years which made other students shun Megumi. Keiko even tries to bring havoc to the Megu-chan Protection Group by tearing them apart. Like how she calls Fujiki a pervert after bumping into him accidentally (yeah, that guy is going psycho by saying how he’s just a normal average guy) or Kobayashi a weirdo after that guy did some weird Mongolian facial expression joke to himself in the mirror (huh?). So as time goes by, I think Megumi learns to just ignore Keiko or not get worked up after all the challenges Keiko throws at her. Like how Keiko decides to pick a fight with Megumi but to her surprise Megumi acts all girly like a helpless girl getting bullied. Now that’s playing psychology with her. Speaking of the girly part, as the series progresses, I’m not sure if Megumi wants to remain a girl or a boy because sometimes her statements are ambiguous and contradicting. So is it a boy or a girl? Maybe she’s using this as part of her convenience to get out of whatever sticky situations or any schemes she’s planning.
 
Other ‘small’ adventures of the gang include Papa bringing Megumi and Miki on a trip to Osaka and the Megu-chan Protection Group seems to gather there by chance or in Genzo’s case, by force. There Megumi befriends a lady thief and even goes to great lengths to get her out of some sticky situation. An episode whereby the gang thought they spot the magician at school only to find out it was the principal wearing such an outfit. Also, there is an episode whereby Genzo brings Megumi out for fishing but Kobayashi’s presence spoils Genzo’s plan as the trio got drifted out to sea on a wooden plank. Another fishing episode is when Genzo and Megumi heads to a nearby pond to fish out a large crayfish to prove to some little kids that there exists one. Yasuda’s information about the old hooded guy whom Megumi met when she was a child prove to be true as the gang goes to meet him to seek some answers about the magician’s curse but I’m not sure whether he’s under the curse of the magician or just his plain fetish for wearing such hood as he can never take them off. Back to the drawing board guys. An episode which briefly features Genzo’s ex-girlfriend when she encounters Megumi and proceeds to tell her how useless and a parasite Genzo is (obviously jealous). She also went on to tell how Genzo got his eye scar but other than that at the end of the day she acknowledges Megumi to be the girl for Genzo. Then a match between Keiko and Megumi to see who can make a strong man out of a little kid who is being bullied by his peers. It’s obvious that the kid doesn’t want to do this but reluctantly agrees so that Megumi doesn’t have to suffer. I mean, Keiko’s ways are so harsh whereas Megumi’s are so gentle. It’s so contrasting. In the end, the kid manage to stand on his own 2 feet and Keiko… she forgot all about him.
 
Also a time when Tsubasa decides to have an interview with the members of Megu-chan Protection Group to see if any of them are suitable candidates for Megumi and in the end, she accepts them all. Then a cooking contest between Megumi and Genzo as we find out Megumi isn’t a great cook and even a delinquent like Genzo can cook better than her. There is an incident whereby Megumi is trying to get away from Genzo’s advance and got herself trapped in an elevator with several perverted guys. Of course Genzo shows up in time before they could do anything serious on Megumi. Megumi and the rest too go to great lengths to help a high school girl who has been molested by a guy on a train. Yeah, they really thought him a lesson and in the end he did some community work by cleaning up and picking out the trash. Also, another magic book has appeared but this time a different magician but in the form of a kappa. The kappa picks Fujiki to do a test for him in which he has to save a little girl from drowning. It’s going to be tough seeing that Fujiki himself can’t swim. But with the support of the rest, Fujiki manages to risk his life to do so and it’s revealed that the kappa was doing this because in the past he failed to do the same thing and by doing so through Fujiki, he could atone it all and finally rest in peace. Then an episode whereby Megumi and Miki stumbles upon a book written by Genzo whereby he listed down things a manly man should be and do.
 
The first main story arc came (though a short one) was when the gang finds out that Miki is going to quit school and is to be engaged to a guy named Takao Gakusan, who is from another rich and well known family. Thing is, Miki has never seen this guy before and that their marriage has been pre-arranged when Miki was still a little girl. Megumi then decides to stop this engagement. Uh huh. Megumi feels that Miki has always been by her side and can’t bear to think that she will be separated from her. I’m thinking at this point does Megumi really love Miki more than just friends? Though deep down inside Miki’s heart she doesn’t want to do this, but her strict grandpa won’t listen to any reasoning. Furthermore, this Takao guy is some sort of a perfectionist control-freak jerk. Initially he thought Megumi was Miki because of her beauty (later on to his disappointment finds out the real one) and went to great lengths to do some acting to show how he’s the caring kind and like a hero. However, Megumi is sharp and sees through all his dirty tactics. During the engagement party, Megumi enlists the help of her Megu-chan Protection Group as she attends the party as well as part of her plan to take Miki away. Takao seems to be prepared for it and had set up some ambush for them. Finally when the gang and everyone else concern reaches Miki’s room, Genzo comes up with an idea which I myself too didn’t see it coming. He says out loud how he is in love with Miki and wants to marry her! And his acting and voice is damn bloody convincing. Genzo and Takao then engages in a short fist fight in which Genzo defeated Takao in a single super punch. In the end after Megumi slaps some sense into Miki’s grandpa (yeah, she did that alright), he realized everything and the engagement is called off. Because of that, Miki is grateful but Megumi is confused because of the statement about her being a former man knowing a woman’s heart and a former man not knowing a man’s heart. Haha. So is Megumi totally a girl?
 
Due to the fact that Genzo did mention how he wants to marry Miki, later on, Miki’s personal attendant, Sakatsuki, thinks off testing Genzo to see whether he is true to his words or not or else Genzo has to cut his own stomach! So the gang tries to come up with something but in the end, what seems to be like Sakatsuki swiftly taking out his sword at Genzo, he was just slicing off the wings of a nearby bee. Phew. Close one. So better be careful of what you say next time. After Miki’s rescue, Megumi decides to hold a competition among themselves to see who would be the manliest man among them as they write their names down in a book. Even Miki wrote her name down. Something about if one does a manly act, he/she gets a point if not, points will be deducted. However, I don’t see how this proceeded throughout the rest of the series and I later feel that this is somewhat ‘forgotten’.
 
The next story arc is when Keiko decides to throw another big challenge to Megumi after spotting her and Genzo in a compromising positing between a narrow alley. The reason being Megumi did so was so that she could hide herself from Keiko but it didn’t work out. So the grand challenge is entitled Yamato Nadeshiko Cup and though I’m not sure about the rules and game play, what I understand is that the girls who are participating has to be paired with a guy and follow instructions given to them by doing several tasks before reaching their pitstop. It seems that Miki and Yoshimi are playing too in addition to Megumi and Keiko. Yoriko must be really looking forward to this. Keiko has brought 3 foreigner guys of her own so that in the draw there are higher chances of her being paired with one of them. As expected Megumi gets paired with Genzo while Miki gets Kobayashi. Since Yoshimi has Yasuda, the final one which Keiko will be paired is… Fujiki! So those 3 foreigners came for nothing. Keiko must be cursing her luck. Her chances of getting one of her familiars is 3/4 but she got the other one. Haih…
 
During the game, Megumi and Genzo encountered several thugs, led by an arrogant boxer named Yanagizawa who ambushed them. Not to mention, he’s playing dirty too. In the end, the Megumi-Genzo combo managed to teach Yanagizawa a lesson and let him have a taste of his own medicine. Though, it was quite funny to see Genzo going to land his final punch in his so called stellar performance punch when all those audiences (Yanagizawa’s underlings) are gone by the time he realized it. Then when the teams reached a pit stop and resided at a haunted inn, Megumi and Keiko (who are both already scared by the fact that their rooms may be haunted) took turns trying to out-scare each other but ended up scaring each other. Keiko’s got a room filled with scary dolls while Megumi has hers a scary looking samurai armour. I think Megumi ‘won’ when she dressed up in that armour to scare Keiko back to her room.
 
As Yanagizawa is recuperating from his defeat (and probably his crushed ego), he seems to have encountered Takao and the latter tells him all he knows of how to bring down the gang. Yanagizawa agrees to work with Takao after the former lost to the latter in a short bout. Looks like this jerk is back and his grudge runs deep. As the competition continues the next day, Yanagizawa and his henchmen goes in for the kill. They initially tried to kidnapped Miki and Kobayashi but it seems the duo can fight back although Kobayashi’s vision is temporarily ‘closed’ after being sprayed by some bug spray. So another group cornered Yoshimi and Yasuda team to use them as bait. Yasuda tries to be save her but got beaten up instead. Soon news of what is going on reached Megumi and Genzo as they hurried to save their pals. As Megumi heads for Yoshimi, Genzo tries to save Yasuda who is hanging precariously on a tree branch off a cliff after being brutally beaten up by those thugs. In exchange for Yoshimi’s life, Megumi would gladly trade places with her. After the thugs handcuffed Megumi, they went back on their word and chased after Yoshimi. Yoshimi must be really shaken to have experience all this but luckily Genzo appears in time to save her. Meanwhile Megumi has been taken to an abandoned building and Yanagizawa has several of his men trying to teach her a lesson. We see the vast difference between Megumi and those useless thugs. Even with Megumi being tied, she still can move about and avoid them. They can’t even lay a finger on her!
 
As Genzo, Miki and Kobayashi rushed to the abandoned building after disposing the others, Kobayashi comes up with a theory after Miki gets emotional by blurting how Megumi has been a girl all the while. Kobayashi thinks that the magician’s powers are limited, it is much easier to alter the minds of Megumi by making her think that she has been a boy all the while rather than actually turning her into a girl back then. Of course the gang manages to reach the place and with Genzo’s sheer brute force and determination, breaks down the iron door to the room that Megumi is being held. Though Yanagizawa escapes on his bike, Genzo throws a pot which directly hits him. The crash must be awfully painful but I don’t think Yanagizawa is going to give up on this yet, though he’ll back down for now. The gang regroups and get their injuries treated. Meanwhile, Keiko and Fujiki are in the city under the sweltering heat when Keiko bumps into another arrogant lady. After a little spat with that lady and realizing things (something to do with her boastful ego of course), Keiko decides to do a cruel thing by quitting the competition. However, her attendant tells her that Megumi and the others have already quit the game quite some time ago and she could’ve won if she had just reached the finish line. Haha, should’ve told her earlier. She went through all that for nothing. Thus, there is no winner in this cup competition.
 
Just before the final story arc, the school has a field trip and we see Yoshimi having a crush on Genzo for saving her that time, though Keiko very much disapproves of it. But soon, Yoshimi falls head over heals over Fujiki when he saves her from falling. That’s really fast. Also, because of that incident, Kobayashi thinks he’s having some feelings for Miki but would Megumi allow it? I don’t understand her, she wants to keep Miki all for herself? Yeah, even Genzo punched him after finding out about it. I thought if Kobayashi would like another girl, his chances of getting Megumi as his girlfriend would be brighter. Remember that Kimura guy? Yeah, he has a short appearance her when Fujiki spots him going steady with another girl. So Fujiki, still harbouring hopes that you’ll get closer to Megumi? Just keep trying, will you. And what’s this? Takao made his brief appearance in front of Miki to put some fear back into that girl! Looks like he has 1 final plan to get his revenge on them and at the same time inherit Miki’s family’s large inheritance.
 
The final arc begins when the gang are back from the field trip and Miki thinks that Takao was the one behind the ambush back then during the competition. A little flashback of how Miki met Megumi and became best of friends, and also a time when she overheard her parents talking about her being engaged to someone else, hence Miki has always felt that she has been caged. But Miki is snapped out when Megumi comes by as a prince! Not only that, Genzo is playing the part of a horse named Silver, Kobayashi a samurai, Fujiki a squire (not to be mistaken as a slave), and Yasuda a magician (not to be mistaken as a thief). Megumi had Yoriko and other attendants to gather more information on Takao and Yanagizawa. She too received a personal mail from him about to meet him somewhere for a challenge. Though it sounds like a trap, but I think they’re game for it and would like to put an end to it all.
 
They took a train there and on the way spot a couple of guys bullying a lady. As usual, they can’t let justice slide away and teach those guys a lesson. But after the lady gets off, the guys tailed her to get their revenge, Megumi and co too followed them. Since Megumi and friends outnumbered the duo, in such timing, the policeman came by and he thinks they’re ganging up to beat up those 2 helpless guys (yeah right). So the policeman took them in. The van ride seems long but when they reached their destination, it seems all this was a setup by Takao and Yanagizawa but Megumi and the rest knew it all along and starts kicking ass when the van door opens. Those guys are no match for them. Not even close. Even that lady is their accomplice. So when Takao’s face has been exposed, just like a cowardly dog with its tail between its legs, he pleads to them to let him go and he’ll stop pursuing Miki. But do you think this guy is honest to his words? As Megumi and co leaves on a train, courtesy of Takao, that guy sets his final plan in motion by using some control to shake the train like mad. Now he looks like a crazy idiot gone insane.
 
When Megumi and the rest wakes up, they find that Miki is missing. Through a tv screen, Takao tells them that he has Miki held captive at his base and if they want to rescue her, they have to play along his with his game. Though Megumi and the rest are adamant in saving her, it seems Miki has resigned to the fact that as long as this goes on, they’ll never be free, so Miki has to go with Takao. Like Megumi gives a sh*t about it. She’s going to rescue Miki whether she likes it or not. But it seems Fujiki has been strapped by several explosives and time is running out. They can’t take it off either unless they have the tools. Takao is planning to see how the gang will desert each other. Finally Fujiki decides to do something manly by jumping down into the waterfall in hopes of short-circuiting the fuse. As he is drowning, he thinks some angel is coming to save him but in fact it is Yoshimi! That girl rescues Fujiki by borrowing Keiko’s golden helicopter! Yeah, Keiko brought her 3 foreigner pals too. After pulling him up and dismantling the bomb, we find out that the bomb wasn’t diffused by the water and exploded seconds after they tossed it away. Phew. Really close shave. After reuniting Fujiki with the rest, Keiko says it’s on their own now since she doesn’t want to start a misunderstanding between her family and the Gakusan’s, and soon leaves with Yoshimi.
 
In their final push to save Miki, we see Megumi and the guys (yeah, she’s calling it Megumi Team now) going through all the traps that Takao had set. Some are really weird like springs which ejected them right back to the start or even a giant sticky paper which uses to catch cockroaches. Other than that, it’s more of those useless henchmen who seems to just have the numbers. Nothing more than that. As Miki and Takao watch their every move through a screen, Miki gets even more hope that Megumi will come rescue her while Takao gets frustrated with every of his plans being thwarted. The gang then reaches a rock in which Kobayashi uses his super inner energy to blast an opening, which weakened him a little. I don’t know how they knew the opening was there. Inside, Yasuda uses his sniffing skills to locate Miki. I didn’t know he had such a skill. Yanagizawa decides to go first and face-off with them but was quickly defeated. Once he’s down, Takao replaces him but since he’s wearing some body armour, the gang can’t land a scratch on him. Finally, Genzo summoned all his will and determination to defeat Takao in another single punch, also destroying his armour. Genzo soon collapsed. After freeing Miki, the gang are outside as Genzo lay unconscious by Megumi’s side. I’m not sure what Megumi’s thinking but she thinks that Genzo needs a kiss as gratitude. Though we don’t get to see it, Megumi pecks Genzo on his forehead as the rest looks on. Suddenly, the magician appears and tells Megumi that since she has decided to live life as woman, he will not take away to curse and thus not returning Megumi to be a boy. Megumi must be real surprised to hear that, huh? But I don’t understand the magician’s rational too. Back at school, Genzo is pestering an embarrassed Megumi to kiss him because he was out cold then. Keiko is suspicious about them while Yoshimi is getting real close to Fujiki. As for Takao, his family has reprimanded him and he’ll be serving as a monk to atone his sins. Though Megumi will continue living as a girl, she still claims that she’s a boy and will find a way to return being one.
 
When an anime ends, most of the storyline continues in the manga. But for this series, that’s where it ended too. Yup, it goes no further than that. The only difference is that in the manga it is revealed that Megumi has been a girl all along but a tomboyish one. So when she wished to be a man, the magician altered her memories instead. Unlike in the anime, Megumi in the end embraced womanhood after kissing Genzo (source from Wikipedia). But I guess it’s pretty much okay since the whole jinjang gang are back together once more. Yeah, a group of weirdos. A stubborn delinquent, a bushido samurai, a pervert, and a normal one. You can’t get odder than that. Oh, let’s not forget about Miki too, shall we?
 
At first, the drawing and art seems pretty old-school and not appealing to me. But as I gradually watched the series, I became used to the type of drawing. Besides, most of the time you’ll see the characters, especially Megumi and Genzo in chibi mode, whereby their facial expressions and body parts become simple lines. You know those comical moments or times when they are in disbelief. Even Kobayashi has his chibi and comical moments, albeit not many.
 
There may be some illogical moments which defies logic like Megumi jumping off the train and landing perfectly on her 2 feet (I know she’s agile but this?) or when Genzo was trying to get away from Kobayashi went the latter says how he might fall for him is he’s a girl by swimming all night long (doesn’t he get tired?). And there are some moments which are an eyebrow raiser whereby Miki was telling Kobayashi, Fujiki and Yasuda about Megumi’s case in a cafe when she shed a tear. Yasuda then quickly ‘collects’ her tear in a cup and runs away. It’s like something precious and a collectible to him. Don’t get it either.
 
Another thing I want to mention is that the delinquents or bad guys in the series. It seems that in this show, there are tons of them and somehow they have that ‘one kind’ look which viewers could easily tell and predict. Uh huh, these gangsters have no qualms about throwing their fists when they are a little annoyed or if things don’t go their way. It’s like they prefer to do their talking with their fists and take the violent way out. They even dare raise their fists on a girl! Is this the kind of society that we all live in today?
 
Some of the title of each episode sounded quite crude as if they were statements or comments from Megumi herself. Erm… I think they are. After the ending credits, there will be a few more seconds of screen time of that particular episode, whether or not it is related to the story in that episode. So for those who instantly turn off or away when the end credits start rolling, it’s advisable to stick around a little longer.
 
Of all the opening and ending themes in the series, my favourite one is still the 1st opening theme, Grand Blue, by Aiko Kitahara. It’s lively and catchy and has that Mediterranean-like feel. The 2nd opening theme, Sun Rise Train, is also sung by Aiko Kitahara but I find this one less appealing. On the other hand, all the ending themes are sung by U-Ka Saegusa in db (decibel) and most of them has an R&B flavour in it. The songs are Whenever I Think Of You (1st ending theme), It’s For You (2nd ending theme), Tears Go By (3rd ending theme) and Secret & Lies (4th ending theme). Though there are quite a few background music, even if they are not appealing to me, I need to mention that some of them sounds like a rip-off from other tv series. Like there’s one which sounds like from The Twilight Zone and another one from The Pink Panther series. Hmm…
 
If you’re still thinking that Megumi sounds somewhat similar to the female Ranma in Ranma 1/2, that’s because the seiyuu for Megumi is the same person, which is Megumi Hayashibara. So there’s another connection between this series and Ranma 1/2. I love her voice when she goes all crude or whenever she goes crazy by making funny noises. She’s so convincing and funny at the same time in that mode. Genzo is voiced by Wataru Takagi who was the voice in Komiyama in Ichigo 100% and Bellamy in One Piece. Though he sounds like a gangster at first, gradually he’ll sound more like an idiot whenever he gets his usual scolding from Megumi. Other casts include Makiki Oumoto as Miki, Nobuyuki Hiyama as Kobayashi (Harry McKenzie in School Rumble), Issei Tanaka as Fujiki, Yuji Ueda as Yasuda (Keitarou in Love Hina), Naoko Matsui as Keiko (Koyomi in Da Capo Second Season), Shoutaro Morikubo as Takao (Shikamaru in Naruto), Masayo Kurata as Yoshimi (Koyomi in Girls Bravo, Tomoe in Rozen Maiden), and Takeshi Kusao as the magician (Hanamichi in Slam Dunk).
 
Before the series reached its halfway mark, at the end of several episodes, there’s a Megumi-look-alike-contest showing several successful participants. In my opinion, they all don’t look like her! What’s more, Megumi still looks a thousand times better then them! Oops, sorry if I said too much, but yeah, that’s what I feel. Am I starting to fall for Megumi too? Can I be part of the Megu-chan Protection Club too? Reject!
 
While we learn that true friends stick together and help each other out in need, this series also explores a little on one’s sexuality. You know these days, there are many women who feel that they’re being born as a man and vice versa. While I don’t really hope for an angel to drop down from the sky and into my arms but I wonder if I could ever make a wish for one (or even a harem!) from that magician. Urm… Perhaps he’ll turn me into a gay with several men flanking around instead. Yikes! *Shivering*. Better stay how I am now. Yup, be happy with who you are, what you have and the friends around you.
 
Tenshi Na Konamaiki