THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR! EXTINCTION IS LOOMING! IT’S APOCALYPSE NOW! Well, that was my first impression when I watched Kono Minikuku Mo Utsukushii Sekai or also known as its equivalent This Ugly Yet Beautiful World. Actually I’m not a fan of sci-fi series but I decided to give it a try upon finding out that there is some comedy-cum-harem-cum-romance elements in it amidst a little action. Can we still have time for that seeing that the there is impending doom for the world?
 
But seriously you’re not going to see the kind of world destruction in the sense we humans take out on each on a global world war scale or some alien travelling a billion light years arriving in our puny Milky Way just to obliterate us. Instead, most of what we’ll see in this series is the daily lives of a group of teenagers in Japan as they will soon learn about the plight of their beloved planet. Sounds simple? Will the Earth be destroyed at the end of 12 episodes? Let’s find out…
 
To begin my blog, let me introduce the characters first as seen in the first episode. Meet our normal guy, the main man for this harem series, Takeru Takemoto. Typical spiky hair with typical lazy and unmotivated attitude. What’s there to like about him. I guess that’s why his female classmates Sakurako Urushima and Amika Kurebayashi seem to lecture and pick on him. How they’d wish he’d be as cool and gentle as their other guy pal, Ryou Ninomiya. Wait a minute? There’s another guy in this harem series? Oh what the heck, so as long as there are more girls than boys in this series. Though at first it may seem there are more guys, but I’m sure the number of girls would increase as we go along. However being a harem series and a motivation for me to watch the show, I find that the girls here aren’t as pretty as I hoped they would be. ;p
 
Then there is Mari Nishino, who is Takeru’s cousin. She is your typical tsundere character. Although Takeru lives with Mari and her family under the same roof (the former’s parents have abandoned him), you can’t help feel that this girl sure has that secret crush on him even if she lectures and nags Takeru for whatever reasons and is harsh on him. So typical tsundere. Sometimes you can also feel that Sakurako and Amika try to play matchmaking and make her and Takeru a little closer.
 
If you’re asking what on Earth do you need side character guys like Shinichi Asakura and Daijirou Matsumura in the gang? To make Takeru and Ryou look cool and the lead characters of course! I mean, if you don’t put lesser loser characters in comparison, then you can’t really tell, right? To sum these guys up, they are your typical perverted losers who seem to daydream about perverted stuff. Uh huh. I’m wondering how they are such a close buddies with the rest. Perhaps it’s because they don’t unleash their lust physically and just confined them to their minds.
 
An important development in this episode include since Takeru is living with Mari and her parents, Icchou and Sumie, he helps them out by doing delivery with Icchou’s motorbike. Yup, the parents not only run a delivery business but a boarding inn as well. I guess this quells for any rumours that a pair of young couple living under the same roof. Sort of. Just made that one up. Takeru is doing another one of his delivery rounds after school with Ryou as his pillion. On the way, they notice some light following them, in which it crashes into the nearby forest giving off a magnificent radiance as it finally splits into 2. The curious duo went to check it out and Takeru spots something glowing on a tree. It’s a girl. And she’s naked! She looks like the girl in the sketch Ryou drew earlier on and Takeru decides to call her Hikari (meaning light. How convenient) as she falls out from the tree and into Takeru’s arms.
 
Suddenly a giant insect-like monster appears and starts attacking them. Common sense is that you can’t take it on so better run for your lives. Ryou got separated from them when he uses the bike to crash into the monster to buy time for Takeru and Hikari to escape. Hikari seems to be afraid of the huge menace but Takeru assures her that he’ll protect her. However Takeru experiences pain and undergoes a transformation. No, he didn’t turn into a magical girl, mind you. Okay, so I don’t know what he transformed into either. Looks like another monster with super strength, speed and can spout sharp weapons from his body. Anyway he looks like a jester to me at first. I’m sure Takeru is as confused but what the heck, monster bashing comes first. Takeru easily beats the monster easily but decides not to kill it after seeing tears in its eyes and realizing the destruction he has caused. See, even such creatures have feelings too. With the injured monster escaping like a dog with its tail between its legs, it stumbles upon Hikari, who was separated during Takeru’s super fight. Then we see Hikari snigger an evil grin as she starts killing it. Takeru (back in normal form) and Ryou soon find Hikari unconscious but when she comes to, she shed tears of joy and fear as she hugs Takeru. But the guys are dumbfounded to see the remains of that monster scattered over the place.
 
Episode 2 begins with Mari wondering why is Takeru sleeping outside his room. A ha! He’s brought back a woman or his room is filled to the brim with Playboy magazines, right? It seems Takeru has brought back Hikari and let her sleep in his room and he’s trying not to let that tsundere cousin of his find out but unfortunately, he’s busted. Don’t worry, Hikari is quite friendly when she first meets Mari. But you know, the same can’t be said for her. Meanwhile, a group of investigators are investigating the site of the recently departed monster. One of them is an American scientist named Jennifer Portman. Later Takeru’s pals converge at his home to learn of the presence of Hikari. I guess since this is a sci-fi movie, nobody is freaking out if she’s an alien. Well, it seems Hikari has a little amnesia and doesn’t remember much of her past nor her reasons for being on Earth. That doesn’t stop them from getting to know her better.
 
Since Hikari can’t forever wear Takeru’s clothes, the girls are taking measurements to tailor new clothes for Hikari. Yeah, she seems to have the physical assets, much to flat-chest Mari’s jealousy. And as for Shinichi and Daijirou who are eagerly eavesdropping outside the room, "Inside there is the mystery of the universe!". So they manage to make her some sort of cosplay outfit. I think. But nevertheless Hikari looks cute in them. And since the guys are staring too much at her, she reminds them about school as they all rush there leaving Hikari home alone. Soon Jennifer, the supposedly new mysterious guest arrives and meets Hikari. Later when the gang returns from school only to be greeted by busty Jennifer who is so unashamed of flaunting her assets clad in just a towel and guzzling down a can of beer (you’ll get some sort of feeling that she’s an exhibitionist too). When Takeru finds out that Hikari has left, he instantly rushes out to find her and has a flashback of how his mom left him when he was young. While he’s doing so, Jennifer has a chat with Mari and she can tell that Mari has a crush on Takeru but not doing anything about it and even confronts her about it. Yeah, Jessica can sense a love triangle brewing. Too bad Mari is confessing her feelings and sorts to Jennifer and not to the guy that matters most. Let me say it again, she’s so tsundere. Meanwhile Takeru manages to find Hikari walking alone down the quiet street. She thought of leaving because she thinks she’s a bother. But would a guy like Takeru think otherwise? After scolding her, it’s enough to change her mind. But I suppose because of that, you can’t just dump a cute alien girl out on the streets either. So Takeru asks Icchou and Sumie to let her stay and they give their permission. Though they live in separate rooms, their lives will be a lot noisier now seeing that Jessica occupies the room between them. And she’s so drunk and going wild…
 
So mostly you’ll see the chemistry between Takeru, Hikari and Mari. However Hikari doesn’t really know what the feelings of the heart is while Mari still can’t say it and prefers to jealously watch while the duo form some bond together. Haih… But it seems that if Takeru is going to get a little harem of his own, Ryou isn’t going to be left out either. Yup, in episode 3 while Hikari wonders about school life and rumours of a mysterious creature ‘terrorizing’ the town like stealing stuff, Ryou looks kinda gloomy and spacing out. Is he in love? Sakurako and Amika would really hope not. It seems Ryou has been visiting a little girl who is living alone near the forest lake with her tiny weird extra-terrestrial creature named Kuon (the creature who’s been stealing food in town for her). Ryou asks her for her name but she says she doesn’t have one until she has short flashbacks that she remembers her name as Akari (also means light. Should’ve seen this one coming). Also just like Hikari, she doesn’t remember much about her past and her reasons being on Earth. Ryou continues to visit Akari after school and chats with her about life and loneliness. One day Akari sensed Kuon in danger and decides to go find him and with Ryou’s help they head towards town. Since Akari isn’t wearing any shoes (note she’s just wearing a camisole all these while and nothing underneath) she hurt her feet so Ryou has to piggy-back ride her to town, though he doesn’t mind it. They find Kuon being ‘held’ by a cat who is treating him as one of its child. I’m not sure if Akari could speak cat language but she did plead to it to release Kuon as she deems it irreplaceable. The cat does so and Akari is happily reunited with Kuon. She soon collapses due to exhaustion in Ryou’s arms.
 
Ryou brings Akari home in episode 4 and we are introduced to his little brother-loving sister Kimi. She must be wondering why her brother has brought back another woman what more a loli. Is she not enough? Is he tired of her? Has he developed some kind of loli fetish? Just kidding. Though Kimi may feel that 3 is a crowd but eventually grows to like Akari due to her sincerity. The funny part is that whenever she gets up close to Akari, Ryou seems to interrupt them, making it look like some yuri moment. We see that Ryou too has some sort of circular pattern on his hand. Hmm… The rest of the episode sees how Kimi and Akari bond as they sleep together, thought the latter would pretty much like to sleep with Ryou. Akari learns about Ryou and Akari being orphans. The next morning since Kimi mentioned that she can’t afford to maintain another occupant (Akari has a big appetite for a petite girl) with Ryou’s meagre part time job pay, the gang trot over to Takeru’s place. Even if Akari comes face to face with Hikari, they don’t recognize each other so Jennifer comes up with a theory that they were once an entity but somehow split into 2 when they came to Earth. I guess they got along pretty well so the other girls decide to take Akari’s measurements to make her new clothes as well. Seeing now that Ryou has got a little girl of his own, losers Shinichi and Daijirou decides to go hunt for a third one. Too bad guys. In this series, these are the only 2 pretty girls that will appear.
 
When Kimi and Ryou decides to go home, Akari felt a little panic as she doesn’t want to be left behind and rushes out to them and requests that if she could stay with Ryou because she likes them both. Because it’s not good to kick out cute lolis, they accepted. Well, it’s better than everyone hording at Takeru’s side and place, right? Even out the joy! Haha. As Ryou and his girls go home, Hikari becomes somewhat a little gloomy after seeing Ryou’s closeness with Akari. Hikari acts strange by throwing herself at Takeru. Perhaps she wants to be as close to him like them as well. Just like Jennifer noted, they should’ve been more honest like Ryou and Akari. Back at Ryou’s home, he gives Hikari the attic as her room and she is delighted to see a magnificent view of the forest lake where she once lived.
 
Since it’s not good for Hikari to be home alone, she gets to attend school and Takeru’s class in episode 5 thanks to Jennifer’s part in doing the paper work. Though she gets her wish, Hikari notices how everyone seems unenthusiastic in class, which is entirely different from her perception that school is a fun place. Obviously enough to confuse her because why attend to something which doesn’t interest you. Of course Takeru gave that ‘on-the-fence’ answer like how sometimes it may be interesting. Hikari quickly made friends with their class rep, Mayu. During P.E. class, an earthquake evacuation drill took place. As everyone lethargically gathers at the school yard, Hikari gets vision of her dark self and is like she’s being in a trance. Mayu spots her and follows Hikari to a school pillar. Hikari asks Mayu’s opinion about school and due to her low self-esteem she says how she sometimes hate it. Hikari smirks and says how school must be destroyed then. Hikari places her palm on the pillar and in a flash a blue crystal glows inside the pillar starts to destroy the pillar and the entire school. Everyone must be thinking a real earthquake is happening but it seems that their school is the only building which crumbles. For those who hate school, they must be jumping in joy because school is out. Takeru searches for Hikari but finds her unscathed and being protected by a weird robot, Ioneous. Furthermore, Hikari doesn’t remember what happened.
 
Back at Takeru’s place, the gang interrogates Ioneous and finds out that this robot with an attitude was in some sort of hibernation and the reason he woke up was that he heard his master’s calling, which is Hikari. So I guess Ioneous is something like what Kuon is to Akira. Everyone goes back to school the next day to help clean it up even if summer vacation starts early. Hikari finds Mayu searching for her precious diary of her experiences in school. With that, Hikari realizes the good side of being in school and notices how the school has more ‘colour’ now. Everyone starts chipping in to clean up the rubble, even Ioneous. That robot will listen to whatever Hikari tells him to. Because school has been closed indefinitely, Hikari gets a little disappointed because she feels things were just getting interesting. As the gang celebrates around the bonfire from the debris of the cleaning up, Hikari hears her inner voice telling her how everything will be dark and gloomy as before. Hmm… Does Hikari have a dual personality?
 
The gang decides to take a trip to the mountains in episode 6 as part of their holiday. Plus, I guess Shinichi and Daijirou are still enthusiastic about finding a third alien girl of their own. Dream on. Sumie and Jennifer drove the kids there in 2 separate cars and since naive Hikari is putting half her body outside the car to feel the air, she nearly puts everyone in danger. If not for Ioneous, Hikari could’ve been split into 2 and we could have another sister. Haha, just kidding. Hey, it seems Ioneous can go through and merge with solid objects. This episode offers more fanservice and feels like a filler episode because not much development in the plot as the only thing you can feast on is your eyes on the girls in their swimsuit. Or most of them in one because Akari is swimming naked and Ryou is thinking of sketching her (he’s sketching the scenery initially, mind you) much to Kimi’s chagrin. Also, Hikari creates a giant onigiri for Takeru, and since that guy isn’t honest, he now has to finish a whole lot of giant onigiris she made. Stuff it in boy! At the same time, drunk Jennifer is forcing several bottles of liquor down Ioneous mouth. Not sure if his system can take it but he seems to get drunk and well, this won’t be the first time. Jennifer also calls Ioneous ‘Oniita’ because his name is hard to pronounce (same case with me when I first heard his name).
 
That night as everyone gears up to play the ‘test of courage’ game, Mari is thrilled that she is being paired with Takeru but decides to give up her spot to Hikari when she notices her being depressed. Has this tsundere girl changed? During their trek through the forest, Takeru and Hikari has a chat as he finds out she came from outer space which has nothing and she finds Earth interesting because of the various differences in terms of feelings. As Hikari puts her head on Takeru’s chest to hear his heartbeat, he slipped. And you know, this whole ‘test of courage’ was just a set up to see if there’s any serious development between Takeru and Hikari (if not, I guess make some of their own). They sure get a kick out of this. I wonder how Mari feels about this. Since it’s so dark, they can’t see clearly. Suddenly a monster appears behind the busybodies scaring the wits out of them and seemingly charging at them. Takeru and Hikari escape to the shrine and it’s revealed that the monster is actually Ioneous, who is on a rampage because he is drunk. I guess this proves that drinking can make robot’s circuits go haywire too. After Hikari gives Ioneous a good scolding and lecture, it seems that during one of Ioneous attack in which he missed and punched some wall, he accidentally discovered a hotspring. Thus the girls take the opportunity to soak themselves in it and as punishment, Ioneous becomes the barrier to separate the girls and the boys. Only thing is, the boys section is so small that they can hardly have space for themselves to properly dip in. It’s discrimination! Later as Takeru has a chat with Hikari alone, Hikari starts crying because she feels lonely and sad for some unknown reason even if her heart is filled with love from everyone around her. But Takeru assures her that they will do all they can so that Hikari won’t feel lonely since summer break has just started.
 
How can the world be such an ugly place because episode 7 is your mandatory beach episode with the girls in their swimsuits! Yeehaa! Fanservice abound! But it’s not all fun and games since Icchou is running a stall there so the kids will have to help out as well. There are some light-hearted moments like Hikari’s cooking disaster, Jennifer giving perverted customers a large serving of her boobs. Ryou licking Akari’s face because there was some ingredients stuck to it (incurring the shock and wrath and Kimi), Mari trying to prevent Hikari from kissing Takeru (the duo nearly did during some bottle accident but Mari was held back by Sakurako and Amika because they want to see what happens next but luckily Takeru remembered something, got up and left) and Sakurako and Amika trying to spice things up by ‘fanning the fire’ making some sort of mock near-kissing scene among themselves. Unfortunately for Sakurako and Amika, during one of their mock near-kissing, their lips met when Kimi accidentally pushes them in her hurry. Haha! Their first kiss went to each other. While Hikari ponders what she is to Takeru, we see Hikari’s dark side emerging again and this confuses Takeru. Frustrated Mari hurriedly swims to them to prevent another kissing scene when a huge storm occurs. Actually, it’s not a storm.
 
Before we forget that there was those vicious giant monsters back in episode 1, so yeah, some monster shark appears and its target is Hikari once more. Of course due to the heavy storm, everyone else on shore thinks it’s some whirlpool. Too bad Icchou’s shop has been destroyed. During their escape, Hikari collapses and falls into the sea. Takeru is bewildered why he can’t transform at this time as he dives in to save her. The monster shark is making big waves and flings both Takeru and Hikari in mid-air. By that time Hikari has regained consciousness and the duo kissed. Much to Mari’s horror. She saw that instead of the monster? Hope she doesn’t get traumatized… As the monster shark grabs Hikari, Takeru is thrown into the sea and that’s when he finally transformed. Expect lots of smashing action frenzy. I don’t remember how but Akari ended up in the grasp of the monster shark and since Takeru isn’t quick enough to save her, it’s Ryou’s cue to unleash some super wind blowing power of his to blow Takeru and Hikari over to Akari and save her while finishing the monster soon after. When Takeru comes to, he is alone with Akari floating on Ioneous in a form of a plank as surprisingly it’s snowing. They nearly kissed but Jennifer cheekily interrupted them by saying "It’s so hot even if it’s snowing". Obviously Mari and the other 2 loser guys aren’t too happy while on the other side of the raft, Kimi too feels the same way when Akari is all clingy on Ryou. Back on shore as the gang discuss what has happened over the day, everyone is shocked to hear how Hikari mentions Takeru’s lips taste like the ocean. Takeru is embarrassed and tries to do something else like drinking his can juice but notices it’s half gone and blames it on Shinichi and Daijirou, who are so depressed that they couldn’t care. However it wasn’t them who drank Takeru’s juice. But rather Mari who quietly says to herself the score is now even. Uh huh. An indirect kiss, I presume. I noticed that the animation for most of this episode has the characters drawn partly in their chibi form.
 
Back to the normal life in episode 8. Takeru ponders his inability to protect Hikari while the latter is enthralled by the sweet chirping of the cricket so she has Takeru to catch one for her (as her pet?). Jennifer seems to be away on some trip while Takeru and Ryou continue their delivery job. With that, Mari along with Hikari, Akari and Ioneous went shopping together. Mari takes this chance to say how she likes Takeru (and probably hint for Hikari to stay away from him) but surprisingly Hikari isn’t surprised because her perception on love is somewhat different. Yeah, she too says how she likes Takeru as how she likes Mari, the rest of the gang and everything else on this planet. Yeah, Hikari even thinks if Mari likes Takeru like she does, they’ll get along pretty well. She’s never seen harem animes like this, eh? Meanwhile we see Jennifer at a museum talking to her colleague about some fossil and wonders how creatures can exist in 2 different time periods. Jennifer says it must be ED and Takeru is one. No, not erectile dysfunction lah! It’s Extended Definition. Huh, what’s that? As far as I can understand, it’s about some extinction programme and the awakening of an object. A kind of monster solely specializing in high offense but they never thought that it could awaken in a human and that it has protected its ‘enemy’ instead of fighting it while maintaining self-awareness.
 
While the girls are preparing for tonight’s festival, Hikari gets even confused when she hears Sakurako and Amika’s comments about life and death. That night as everyone gathers at the festival, Ryou gives some advice to Takeru: "Like melting ice cream, human emotions move on their own. Even if you try to force it back, nothing good would come of it". So the usual fun at the festival as we get to see the girls in their yukata. Mari tries to confess to Takeru but still can’t do it. When Hikari comes back home to feed her cricket, she finds it not making its usual sound. She gets devastated when Takeru tells her that it has died. Hikari is reeling from this shock while crying in her room when she hears her dark inner voice which then appears before her. Hikari asks who is she and her reply is that she is "I am you and you are me". Dark Hikari reminds her about her duty to bring an end to this dull ugly world which she has forgotten while assuming human form as she crushes the cricket cage. Hey, isn’t that the normal Hikari’s own hands who crushed it? Yeah, they’re both the same person/thing just that with different personalities. Anyway Hikari envisions herself on a desolated planet red Earth. Then Ioneous appears from a corner to say how Hikari has finally awakened.
 
Because of that, Hikari sinks into a little depression in episode 9. Even Akari confronts Hikari and tells her that she already knows the answer to it all and that they were once a single entity. Has both sisters start to awaken as well? Well yeah, looks like pieces of their memories are coming together albeit slowly. Icchou takes Takeru to a junkyard and gets him a second hand bike even though Mari feels it’s just a rip-off. But Takeru doesn’t mind as he always wanted a bike of his own and starts fixing it. Takeru also has a chat with Ryou about their struggling growing up life as orphans and finds out that he too has some powers. The power to make things come true the way it is. I’m not sure if Ryou is just making up and playing a fool when he demonstrated this little power of his. I mean, if anybody tells you to like in this direction and that direction, naturally one’s reaction is to follow, right? Plus, all his wishes seems trivial. Anyway while Takeru fixes his bike, the rest decides to help him by finding more spare parts at a junkyard. There, Mari notices Hikari spacing out and feels that Hikari and Takeru has been a little distant lately (should she be happy about it?).
 
Meanwhile Jennifer is typing her report how the human body loves to react to the sign of extinction (huh?) and wonders if Ryou has awakened too. I don’t really understand Jennifer’s hypothesis about the extinction programme which may lead to evolution. Something about destroying everything and starting on a clean slate? Also, something about how the extinction programme (which is supposedly the sisters) split into 2 upon reaching Earth and assuming the personality of the person they encountered because humans have hearts. Huh? So is she saying that if they met some bad-ass people, they’d turn out rotten and destroy the world straight away? The gang return with some spare parts but Takeru finds most of them useless. Well, I guess it’s the effort that counts. Hikari is thinking deep while taking a bath about her meeting with Akari. Akari told her then the reason she woke up was probably the reaction to Ryou’s heart and wonders if it’s the same for Hikari. Later as Hikari walks back with Akari and Ioneous, Akari tells her how they’ve been to this place a long time ago and they totally decimated the place. So it seems the duty to destroy has been manifested in Hikari while the part to protect in Akari. Akari doesn’t want her sister to destroy the planet after seeing so much goodness (well, in a way she’s never seen the real world, huh?). Hikari breaks down and says how she too doesn’t want to destroy the planet and all she wants is to trust Takeru’s heart. But can she go against her instinct, I wonder?
 
In episode 10, we see Ryou and Akari chatting at the forest lake when the asks about summer ending soon and why can’t the seasons co-exist together (well, duh?!). Ryou’s answer is that something has to end in order for another to begin. Mari is out shopping with Sakurako and Amika and buys some jewellery and affirms herself that this will be the day she’ll confess to Takeru (sure sure). Hikari is with Takeru who is still fixing his bike (hope he doesn’t take forever). Since there’s lots of things going on in Hikari’s mind, she starts crying so Takeru who doesn’t know what’s going on comforts her but Hikari continues to weep. Thinking of Ryou’s words, Takeru decides to kiss her but stop short when they notice Mari staring at them in shock. Upset Mari runs away in tears as Hikari chases after her. Naive Hikari still doesn’t know what it means to be in a harem and because of that Mari slaps her and tells her she doesn’t need her pity and that she’s a coward-cum-liar who betrays everyone. Tsk tsk. Hikari goes back to Takeru and she starts thinking what Mari said may have some truth in it when another monster appears to attack her. Takeru is unable to save her in time as the monster devours Hikari. However the monster then explodes from within and Hikari is seen unscathed. Takeru who is bewildered from everything he has just seen gets some explanation from Ioneous and Jennifer about that ED thing. That process is further explained about how species become extinct with newer and younger ones and when that species grow old and weak, the process restarts again. Thus ED is some natural form of defence to reject that extinction process. I think something like that.
 
Takeru still doesn’t believe what they have said and asks Hikari for assurance but she seems not to mind all of it anymore. Plus, she even says how there’s a strong urge from her dark side to take over and destroy the world. Takeru tries to say it isn’t so because he loves her but that was just a short-lived cure. Dark Hikari takes over as she calls Takeru as he doesn’t really love her. He hugs her but when she touches his forehead, Takeru relives those painful moments when he was being abandoned by his mom. Hikari then adds salt to his wounds by saying that someone like him who has never been loved can never truly protect others and love anyone else. Takeru is trying to control his anger and tells her to stop it when he starts transforming. He is trying hard to restrain himself from crushing Hikari’s shoulders while she continues to taunt him. Meanwhile Mari, Sakurako and Amika spot several red butterflies flooding the sky and for some reason everyone just gathered and helplessly watch in shock and horror of Takeru’s transformation. Is this the Takeru they knew? My best friend is an alien?! Just kidding. By now the sky is filled with so many red butterflies it’s like as though it’s crying blood.
 
Takeru and Hikari’s confrontation continues in episode 11 with Hikari entering Takeru’s head to make him relieve his painful past of his mom leaving him. Hikari continues to mock and play mind games with Takeru. Something like how he’s afraid to love because he’ll get dumped again bla bla bla. Hikari tells him not to resist his urge to kill her. After all, they’re both the same. Monsters. But Takeru begs to differ. After all that angst, Takeru somehow reverts back to his normal self but is feeling exhausted. Mari confronts Hikari and blames her for everything that has happened. Easier than to put the blame on others, huh? I mean, in my opinion if she was much nicer to Takeru then probably that guy would’ve at least looked at her, right? Akari decides to stop her sister as her arm transforms into some light sabre weapon. However Ryou calms her down because he feels that this isn’t the right way to settle things. See, violence begets violence. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Ryou then tells Takeru that he is the only one who can stop Hikari but Takeru is still wallowing in self-pity and thinking he’s not good enough to do anything for her. Ryou continues to tell him how he too experienced the same thing like Takeru. It seems Ryou’s parents too abandoned him but he had to grow up and be mature as he told Kimi their parents died instead. Takeru then realized how strong Ryou is. Ryou finally tells him not to abandon Hikari. Takeru gets his confidence back and semi-transforms as he flies through the sky to chase after Hikari. Ioneous wonders why Hikari is hesitating to do her duty and wonders if she has been poisoned by the human heart and decides to complete it himself. It’s so ironic to see him wish goodbye to Icchou and Sumie for taking care of him. Uh huh. A proper goodbye before destroying the world?
 
Takeru continues to chase Hikari and the latter unleashes some projectile to send Takeru crashing to the ground. I don’t know if this is necessary because Jennifer appears to tell him about how 1 of her theories may be wrong and wishes him goodbye. Then Mari comes along and gives him another earful by telling him not to go after Hikari who isn’t human to begin with (yeah like she herself is so human in the first place). Well Mari’s trying to indirectly confess by saying that if he needs love, she’ll be glad to provide him. Yeah, just like that? I’m not sure if her tears help as well because Takeru decides to continue chasing Hikari. Can you say that Mari has been dumped? Well they’re not like a couple in the first place. Takeru once again catches up to Hikari and another round of angst-filled talking till Takeru pulls Hikari close to him. Because of Hikari’s hesitation to kill him, Takeru says if she can’t do that then might as well love him. Woah! Not only that, he kissed her! Is this what we’re supposed to do if we ever encounter a creature of mass destruction-cum-extinction?! Meanwhile Ryou and Akari are running along the road when they spot the nearby forest being decimated by the red butterflies and Ioneous emerging from the ground and creating some big monster emerging from the forest’s chasm.
 
I hope that kiss didn’t made Hikari soft and change her mind not to destroy the planet in episode 12. But even so, it’s a good sign. However Akari and Ryou tries to stop Ioneous but that robot tells her he is merely carrying out his duty as the monster takes Ioneous in his grasp. I’m wondering if Jennifer has some sort of death wish because she insanely hopped onto Ioneous just like that. Does she want to get up close with the action? Anyway Hikari and Takeru continue to talk about things like how Takeru and Ryou made impossible things exist in this world, it was their heart and not their powers which made so, how Takeru wished for change and Ryou wished for stability. Akari bids farewell to Ryou as the time has come for her to perform her duty. Obviously Akari knows it won’t be right for Ryou to choose her over his planet even if he loves them both. Ryou pecks Akari’s forehead before she flies toward her sister. Meanwhile the monster has merged itself with Ioneous and Jennifer is like sitting on its head. WTF?! Hikari explains this creature is called Anastatious, trying to give birth to shards of life that will create a next world. Akari then arrives and we get to see Kuon’s role, which is a key to closing the doors of destruction. Hikari and Takeru lend her their powers as they seal the monster. So easy? Just like that? A giant bright light engulfs the sky.
 
Back on the ground, Mari sees a vision of Hikari who tells her to follow her and make a wish. Mari follows her to a crater but only finds Ryou standing there. As everyone else gathers, Takeru is nowhere to be found. It seems he is with the sisters up in the stars. No, he’s not dead yet. It’s like he’s in some suspended animation as Hikari gives her final farewell speech (at least that’s how I felt it was). They go through several scenarios like one whereby a grown up Takeru and Hikari as a family and having a child of their own. But it’s just a possibility only, right? To cut things short, Hikari and Akari decides to go on some travel but will soon return one day. When? Dunno. Why travel? Dunno too. Perhaps to give some time to humans to mess up the planet so that when they return the next time, they could really proceed with their extinction programme. Just kidding. Since Takeru can’t possibly follow them Hikari beams him down back and when he opened his eyes, he sees his friends and family relieved that he is alright (why is he naked?!). Probably that’s what Mari wished for. Ryou takes the opportunity to tell Kimi that their parents are still alive. She is surprised over the news and breaks down. At the same time, Jennifer (also naked?) comes to in the arms of Ioneous with Kuon. Well Ioneous thinks it’s the start of a new era so I guess he and Kuon goes back into their hibernation mode (turning back into the blue crystals they were) until their next awakening.
 
In the aftermath, Ryou and Kimi goes on a search for their parents and Mari is still as naggy as ever. Yeah, now she spots a new hairstyle too. She cut them, that is (PS: I still prefer her in her twin braided pig-tail style). At school (which is nearly completed), Mayu wonders where Hikari is as she hands an envelope of pictures of her and the gang together to Takeru. She asks if Hikari will come back and Takeru assures her she will one day. He also notices how the sky has a new bright shining star and as long as it shines, he won’t forget Hikari. Finally life goes on normally for the gang. What’s this? Shinichi and Daijirou thinking of borrowing Takeru’s bike so that they can take Sakurako and Amika out on a spin? Are they tired of finding a third one and settle for them? Plus, Jennifer holds both the blue crystals in her hands while looking out her window and both Hikari and Akari happily travel together through space. Will it be a long lonely journey? Don’t think so since the sisters have each other. Though I feel that it’s like having a split personality as a company since it was mentioned that they were once a single entity.
 
So the world didn’t really end at all. Thank goodness. If it does, it would definitely leave a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. Though there are a few questions which still bug me. I’m wondering why do Hikari and Akari need to travel. I mean, they’ve sealed the monster, right? And if they return, will they still remember not to destroy the planet even if it’s a million years in the future and when Takeru and co are no longer around. Perhaps it was explained in the final episode and I wasn’t paying attention because the conversation between Hikari and Takeru was a little long and like I said, it was akin to some farewell speech.
 
Can you say that a normal guy like Takeru and Ryou saved the world? I mean, there is no further explanation about his ED powers in the sense of how he got them and will he still have them. As for Ryou, I’m still not exactly sure of his powers in the end. I noticed that most viewers tend to hate Mari because she nags too much and the way she treats Takeru. I agree. Sometimes you just want to strangle her and tell her to shut the f*ck up. Even right till the end, she didn’t change much. But I guess that’s what being a tsundere girl is all about. Not sure if she’s given up on Takeru since Hikari isn’t around anymore. Then there’s something about Jennifer which bugs me too. She’s like she knows and expect things of how they’ll turn out the way she explains them. She’s like having fun even though it’s supposed to be serious. So what is her presence in this series for anyway? Just to explain things to the gang (and viewers)?
 
The voice acting is rather okay though there are star-studded casts in this year 2004 anime series such as Ayako Kawasumi as Hikari (Nodame in Nodame Cantabile, Aoi in Ai Yori Aoshi), Ai Shimizu as Akari (Karen in Onegai Twins, Ren in DearS), Takahiro Mizushima as Takeru (Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome), Fujiko Takimoto as Ryou (Seiko of Lovely Complex), Asami Sanada as Mari (Dejiko of Di Gi Charat), and Yumi Takada as Jennifer (Ruuan in Mamotte Shugogetten). On a trivial note, even there are some fanservice shots, be warned that there are some nudity scenes. In most episodes before the start of the show, Jennifer cheekily narrates what has happened so far hopes for something ‘exciting’ will happen. She just love watching the kids and their love affairs, eh?
 
Well after watching this series, I don’t think it’s supposed to give some pretext excuse that we humans can save the world. But probably what it’s trying to say is to at least give us some hope. If the world is to end tomorrow, what would you do? So it’s important to live everyday to the fullest, like each day as your last. This world may be generally ugly and rotten but sometimes it’s better to look at the beautiful and positive aspects of it. It makes living easier and less bitter. Recently, there’s another anime series on world destruction called, yup you guessed it – World Destruction: Sekai Bokumetsu No Rokunin. Perhaps there are other animes with such a theme out there. Not that I can remember. But since end of the world themes aren’t my cup of tea, I didn’t really watch that one.
 
I’m sure we don’t need any extinction programme to wipe us human race of the planet as we ourselves are in the process of self destruction. I know this may sound ominous and bleak but hey, conflicts everywhere with people killing each other and not to mention the over-usage of mother Earth’s resources which is really taking its toll. We’re digging our own graves. But hopefully the world won’t end soon because if it happens, I won’t get to watch my favourite animes. Oh heck, the world can go bust as long as I have my animes. HAHAHA!!! My apathy contributes to the world’s end!
 

This Ugly Yet Beautiful World