Mini Toji

May 3, 2019

I thought the series ended for good and that it didn’t needed another sort of spinoff whatsoever. Apparently I was wrong. Or rather I did not anticipate Mini Toji. Just like how Naruto had that chibi Rock Lee spinoff, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu had their chibi Koro-sensei Quest spinoff and Overlord having their Ple Ple Pleiades chibi spinoff, now it is Toji No Miko’s turn to have the same. I guess you can’t totally leave girls with swords alone. Not when the main TV series ended a few seasons ago. As you would have come to expect, having characters in their cute super deformed style means a whole lot of cuteness and comedy. No real plot to be confused over. No anxiety to fret over the dangers that will befall our cute heroines or the world falling into danger of being destroyed. Just expect to have some great fun and laughs in this 3 minutes per episode stint.

Episode 0
Kanami and Mihono Asakura host this somewhat recap introduction special. Mihono is particularly thrilled since she had no dialogue at all in her very short cameo in the TV series. It’s not like we even knew she existed! Anyway, the duo narrate some of the important events of the TV series, which is basically the first half. If you want to know more and can’t remember, go back and watch the entire thing!

Episode 1
Miruya Kitora analyses Kanami and co who are now considered the greatest heroines. Despite having largely different personalities and skill, they are a cohesive bunch. Because her team’s usual training doesn’t work, she sends them to spy and imitate what they’re doing. Like Kofuki Shichinosato and Kiyoka Musumi trying to imitate Kanami and Hiyori eating ice cream together (Kiyoka just wanting to take a cute pic of Kofuki eating). Also, Mihono and Chie Setouchi trying to imitate Mai and Sayaka eating cookies together (it only gets more embarrassing for them). Eventually Kaoru and Ellen discover this. Kaoru quips their side should have more missions to fight Aradama and in turn save them from getting sent out on missions. Unfortunately Sana calls. Get back to work!

Episode 2
Mihono realizes tomorrow is Kanami’s birthday. With Hiyori and Mai, they discuss about celebrating with her as well as what sort of presents to get her. Mai gives her pudding, Mihono a ticket for a free sparring match while Hiyori a great rice meal with dishes. As they argue whose present is the greatest, Kanami ‘solves’ it by offering to them all together. Can she spar with her mouth full? Meanwhile Kaoru just got back from a mission. Guess what? Sana’s calling…

Episode 3
Yukari and her elite guards are having a wonderful hanami. After Yume gives her toast, Maki and Shizuka become drunk as they pet some cat statue. Yukari turns this hanami into some personal teatime festival? Yume gets an idea of taking a group photo and everybody wants to be the one to take the picture. Eventually Yomi uses her Aradama to take the shot. Do they get only one chance because Maki certainly wasn’t ready and it ends up looking more like a blooper. But it was worth the memories. Meanwhile Kaoru is ‘dying’ from overworking when another timely call from her exploitative boss comes in…

Episode 4
Kofuki has had it with Miruya’s weird training. When Kiyoka wants her to go shopping for clothes with her, Kofuki rejects. Unless there is pudding involved. Too bad Kofuki’s pudding has been eaten by Mihono. I guess not writing your name on it isn’t going to cut it. Better go buy back a pudding before Kofuki blows her top. To kill time, Kofuki decides to play a prank on Miruya as she notices her foods are labelled with her name. So she packs her milk carton with dried sardine! Although busted by Chie for wasting food, Miruya analyses its ‘nutritional value’ and announces it should be made into stew for everyone! Sorry Kofuki, you must eat your share! Good news for Kaoru as Sana sends Ellen as backup. But the ‘Aradama’ turn out to be namahage.

Episode 5
Kofuki is very annoyed after seeing Mai treating Sayaka like as though she’s her mom. Not that Sayaka minds. When a request to take down Aradama comes in, Sayaka doesn’t need Mai’s babysitting anymore. This makes Mai worried and fears she will be left behind. So she tries to bribe Sayaka with cookies. If only Mai isn’t force feeding her and turning her face into a squirrel! Even when Kanami and Mihono tries to have some, Mai won’t let them! These are for Sayaka… Don’t touch! With Chie settling the issue and Mai repenting, the rest are glad this worked out. Then Chie boasts about her nature as a big sister. Oh no. Sayaka’s imprinting… Mai’s insecurity… Here we go again… And it goes without saying about Kaoru’s status busting Aradama’s ass around… It’s amazing she’s still alive.

Episode 6
Yukari, Maki and Shizuka are supposed to greet and welcome Yume as the new elite guard member. However she got lost and wandered into several prohibited places in the base. Having fun, is she? I guess they need to go get her. Yume then wanders into Yomi who is making omusubi (onigiri?). She explains how it’s made from the best rice, blah, blah, blah. When Maki and Shizuka find her, it seems Yomi was making omusubi as part of Yukari’s plan for Yume’s welcome party. I guess they can start the party now. Meanwhile Kaoru is turning into a zombie. Oh dear, she doesn’t even think she needs a break! Sana you better take responsibility if Kaoru dies from this!

Episode 7
Hiyori and Chie discuss how soy products are good for breast enhancements. After all, they are the ‘horizon alliance’! Since when did Hiyori joined this ‘alliance’? Kofuki was invited too but she didn’t want to join in. Probably for the best. As they head to the hotspring that supposedly helps in breast enhancement, the other Toji girls are there. Hiyori, I don’t think the effect will be fast. Hiyori thinks Kanami is an ‘ally’ but remembers her favourite foods are soy based. Will she be going ahead of her? Then they discuss if the uniform is part of the reason why the rest aren’t as flat. But what about Kaoru then? Not too sure how she makes the outfit work thanks to her fashion sense. When Mihono talks to them, Hiyori asks a few questions about Nene. Seeing their all positive, Hiyori considers her as their asset and now she is unwittingly part of their ‘alliance’. Speaking of Kaoru, she is now lying dead tired in church. Is she going to meet her maker? Not if Sana calls in…

Episode 8
It’s about time Kaoru gets some love. Yeah, we see her sulking and done being a Toji. She thinks of going to India but it’s not for a mission (not that taboo word!) but to find enlightenment. Hence the rest help out and although it’s not India, I guess Hawaii would do. Clueless Kofuki thinks this is great and to be perfect, they just need some Aradama action! Don’t jinx it! Chie takes her away but she still throws a tantrum. With that, we see Hawaii is just a backdrop. The girls work hard to make Nene feel like she is on vacation and thanks to all that, her work ethic has been restored to 2%! That’s great coming from a slacker like her. When Sana calls, it looks like Kaoru is in a great mood. Until she throws in another mission for her. I hope she got all the rest she could get.

Episode 9
It’s time for the festivals. Hiyori feels insulted since Kanami says her yukata is tight around the chest… I don’t think this festival is going to cheer up Kaoru any better. She’s been working to the bone so long that she’s seeing her job in the fun she’s supposed to have. Like saving the goldfish… Although she can’t save herself… Meanwhile Mihono’s side are actually tasked to make yakisoba for the festival. With Miruya putting in her analysing, their cooperation (including Kofuki who is only good at eating) makes the greatest yakisoba. Too bad now they have a long queue. Good luck serving them all. Meanwhile Hiyori tells Kanami that is the most dramatic to happen for this mini series so far… She is sent back to Heijou. Gasp! *Dramatic sound effect*.

Episode 10
With the crowd building up, Mihono is at a lost. But thank goodness for Kaoru and Ellen noticing this and offer to help. Kaoru sends a message to others. Hence Hiyori’s revelation to Kanami about going back is interrupted with Kaoru’s sarcastic message for Kanami to bring a ‘flat plain’ with her for help. Yeah Hiyori, it’s killing time… So all the friends gather to help. But Hiyori hints about even plains have hills. Kaoru’s comeback: You’ll never get to bounce it like that! With everyone pitching in, the yakisoba is a success. Miruya thanks Mihono for her special bond with others that enabled them to get through this. This is her special power. Kanami and Hiyori resume their talk. The former will wait for her till she returns. Nice fireworks as the big finisher and a group photo to top it all.

It’s Been A (Mini) Slice
Ah… Everything is so peaceful and fun here that not even the Aradama makes any sort of appearance to even interrupt our Toji girls. Not even those Aradama princesses. Maybe they’re not on call. That’s why we have Kaoru to thank for… You know what I mean? Well girls, have fun while you can until the next Aradama attack. Wait. Why do I sound like I want to spoil their fun here? Hey, don’t blame me. Blame Hiyori for giving that ‘tension’ drama of wanting to leave. Yeah, the biggest tension (not really) in this mini series. It’s like it could have been done without and had no bearing whatsoever since it came so late but what the heck, it’s to remind us the power of the Toji friendship. Now that they have more friends, the more the merrier! The friendship power is only going to get stronger…

Although the 3 minutes have been largely fun, one of the biggest downfalls for this series I find is that the newly introduced characters do not really amount to anything special. Sure, due to this series’ nature, we don’t see them being fleshed out properly and they’ve been reduced to just comical side characters. Hence setting our first impressions of them being some sort of jokers. It is a strange way to introduce a bunch of characters that did not appear in the main TV series but I suppose if Toji No Miko gets another season, these characters will be incorporated and then we will be shocked to find how different than they are from this chibi spinoff. Unfortunately for me, I don’t find them memorable. The most being Miruya with her over-analytic behaviour thingy and Kofuki being, uhm, the aloof type? I may be wrong, though.

Sometimes I have this feeling that this little spinoff was also conceived on the grounds that they want to really make fun of Kaoru being overworked the death, a recurring running joke over the TV series. Call me a sadist, but this is the part of the series that I enjoyed the most as I find myself laughing out loud the most. It’s also the segment that I could ‘understand’ the joke and find it the funniest. Somehow it never grows old despite at the end of every episode they throw in this shenanigan. She is the real ‘star’ of this chibi spinoff. Without her working so hard, you think the other Toji girls can afford to frolic so freely? Thank Kaoru for her unpaid hours of hard work! Yeah, maybe Kaoru is also a little workaholic because she would have run away from it all but she didn’t. Oh right, Kaoru is a responsible Toji although she may not look like it.

Oh my dear Kaoru, look on the bright side. You’re the only one who can withstand prolong hours, days and weeks of work without rest. Otherwise, why would Sana pick on you choose you for the job? If you don’t do it, can you imagine your other comrades like Ellen in your shoes? That’s why, Ganbatte, Kaoru-chan! You can do it! You don’t need a break or anything!!!!!! ;p. Or maybe Sana’s just a big bully slave driver, that’s all… At least the final episode didn’t see her being turned into a dead working zombie and even so Kaoru is still so lovable and killing it with her sarcasm. Somebody should really make a spinoff series just for Kaoru!!! The series’ best character ever!

Thanks to Kaoru personally being the highlight of the series, the other Toji girls feel like they didn’t matter. Kanami remains the same enthusiastically optimistic girl while there is this little running joke about Hiyori and her small boobs. It looks like she is starting to get really conscious about it. Fear not for the ‘horizon alliance’! Sayaka sounds so much happier that it makes her look a bit like a retard and Ellen doesn’t make much cameo here. Where the heck is she? It’s not like she accompanied Kaoru on her nationwide work, right?

Overall, there is nothing much to comment on this short series. It is fun and relaxing in its own little way but of course you would understand and appreciate a bit better if you have watched the original TV series. Newcomers who didn’t see that and stumble upon this might go, “WTF is this sh*t?! But oh so kawaiiiiiiiiiii~!!! Kyun~!!!!!!!”. Something like that. I hope that if they want to make another season of this, I pray it would be another spinoff but Kaoru as the main star. Yup, an entire spinoff series about Kaoru working herself to death while making sarcastic remarks about her old hag boss. On second thought, maybe I should give this running joke a rest. After all, Kaoru deserved it. She worked hard for it, you know. ;-).

Toji No Miko

October 28, 2018

I thought Toji No Miko is going to be something similar like Schoolgirl Strikers and Battle Girl High School. You know, a group of school girls with weapons fighting off a hostile alien invasion. Though if you put that in the most general of perspective, it does sound similar but going a little deeper, it is not. Girls with swords go around exterminating hostile supernatural creatures around the country. To hone their skills to become the best an efficient Toji, there is of course the tournament. The tournament that ends in an ironic and disastrous fashion, leading to a revelation that may change the fate of the world forever. Guess who is going to stop these events?

Episode 1
As seen and narrated, evil beings known as Aradama can only be exorcised by sacred shrine maidens known as Toji, chosen by divine swords known as Okatana. So far so good with the terms. At Minoseki Academy, Kanami Etou defeats Mai Yanase to win a sword competition although both are to represent their school at the upcoming sword tournament. They arrive at the Origami family mansion, the household that oversees the Okatana and the location of where the tournament will be held. They spot Hiyori Juujou from Heijou Institute. Kanami and Hiyori oddly go into defence stance when they pass each other but back out and continue their own way. In the hall, we see a few potential fighters and some matches between potential main characters. In the end, it is Kanami and Hiyori who will face each other in the finals, which is to be watched by Yukari Origami, the head of the family and her elite guards. As Kanami and Hiyori get ready to battle, right when the referee gives the start signal, Hiyori immediately dashes to assassinate Yukari. However she saw that coming and deflects her strike. Maki Shidou of the elite guards is going to strike her down when Kanami protects her and helps her escape. Yukari gives orders for her elite guards not to chase them but crazy Yume Tsubakuro wants to have fun and fights them. Eventually they fight long enough to buy time to flee. Outside, Hiyori is puzzled why Kanami would get herself involved with this since this doesn’t concern her. Because they still haven’t had their match. Yeah, that still doesn’t give her the right to interfere like that. Anyway, now they are fugitives and continue to run.

Episode 2
I know they’re somewhere safe for now but could Kanami wait till things blow over before settling their match? Because of that, Kanami is willing to help her and risk getting into trouble. All just for a rematch? Maki interrogates Mai since she is Kanami’s friend and partner. From her actions and answers it is believed the duo are acting solely on their own. The head of Minoseki and Heijou are called in, Ema Hashima and Iroha Gojou respectively. They see Yukari who tells them Kanami and Hiyori both have the Chidori and Kogarasuma Okatana respectively. The fugitives rent a room for now as Kanami calls Mai from a public phone to ensure she is safe. Mai talks to Ema so that she could help search for her friend. Based on the background sounds from the phone conversation, she has an idea where she is. So efficient. Hiyori briefly tells Kanami about her mission to kill Yukari. Looks like she’s not in the mood to reveal the rest now. Next morning, they leave fast enough before Mai arrives. Hiyori’s spectrum meter detects an Aradama close by. Hiyori wants to run but Kanami can’t let the Aradama run free. Since Kanami’s will is stronger, I guess they’ll have to go spectre busting. After defeating it, Mai finds them. She tells them to come back with them and she has negotiated with Ema for Kanami to have a lighter punishment. As for Hiyori, she will take her back to the mansion by force if she has to. Kanami stops their fight and tells Mai she can’t let Hiyori be caught yet. Kanami saw when Hiyori attacked Yukari, there was an Aradama eye hiding behind her. It is unbelievable at first since Yukari is one of the great heroes who vanquished the great Aradama. Hiyori debunks that and insists the great Aradama is taking Yukari’s form. The Origami family, the Sword Administration and the 5 schools are all controlled by Aradama. Mai lets them go but leaves Kanami a number should they need assistance.

Episode 3
Yukina Takatsu, the head of Renpu Girls’ School is not happy that everyone is slow in doing things. Even more so when they have located the traitors and failed to take swift action. She seeks Yukari’s permission to take action into her own hands. Rui Onda is the help the duo get. She is an alumna of Minoseki and quit the Sword Administration a long time ago. She lets them stay at her place. Kanami wonders why Hiyori won’t get help from others to defeat Yukari. Because the Sword Administration and Special Religious Military Units (SRMU) are under Yukari’s command. They’ll be crushed in no time. Better to go this alone, right? Sure, she might die but she can’t give up as long as she is alive. Mai befriends Ellen Kohagura and Kaoru Mashiko of Osafune Girls’ Academy whom they clashed before in the tournament. Also meet Kaoru’s pervy youkai, Nene. Mai is summoned before Yukina who suspects her of letting them go since she didn’t arrest them. Mai gets away with cleaning up the Aradama mess. Street CCTVs finally pinpoint the fugitives and hence their current hideout is quickly traced. Rui shows the duo some hi-tech software since she works at Yahata Electronics that develops the S Equipment. Not sure who or what Hiyori is conversing with for information. At this point, Yukina gives signal to Sayaka Itomi to attack. She’s fast but Hiyori reacts faster. Hiyori fights and dismantles her Utsushi. However, Sayaka can still pull off techniques without Utsushi. Hiyori fears her only option is to kill her. Not if Kanami could help it. Taking over the fight, Kanami senses Sayaka’s soulless sword unlike the sword she had during the tournament. Swords like that cannot through anything. Kanami swiftly disarms the sword from her hands, rendering Sayaka back to normal. Kanami hopes to spar with her again another day. Hiyori is impressed with Kanami’s actions because she never would have thought of something like that.

Episode 4
Ellen and Kaoru’s boss cut short their vacation for a job. With the police barricading everywhere, Rui lets the duo off somewhere as they hitchhike with a kind random trucker to head to Ebisu. Hiyori wants Kanami to return because her Okatana protects unlike hers who kills. Therefore she thinks she can’t kill. Hence Hiyori will kill all those who stand in her way to kill Yukari. Yukina chastises Sayaka for her failed mission when she is called by Yukari for pursuing the duo when not ordered to. She is ordered to stop what she is doing. Ellen and Kaoru find Kanami and Hiyori as they start fighting. The Osafune duo would have lost if not for the nice timing of their boss dropping down S Equipment for them. They are complete tools used to eliminate Aradama. By the time they put on their armour, Kanami and Hiyori took that chance to escape. On a trivial note, if you take away the school uniform they are wearing, isn’t the armour skimpy? Kanami and Hiyori are in hiding again as they talk about their recent bout with each other. Kanami believes she still has a reason to stick by her because since her sword protects, she will protect her from killing other humans. And technically Yukari is not human, so I guess that is okay. I suppose now is the right time for Hiyori to reveal the important details. About 20 years ago when the worst Aradama incident happened, it took Yukari as well as the current presidents of the 5 schools and SRMU to bring it down. A letter Hiyori has states the true identity of Yukari and as Kanami suspected, the great Aradama that was supposed to be vanquished still walks the face of this planet under the guise of Yukari. Hiyori’s mom is the only one possessing enough power to destroy that great Aradama but she failed and it became part of Yukari and survived. After mom exhausted all her powers, Hiyori could only watch her mother grew weaker and weaker as the years past until she passed away last year. That was when she resolved to kill Yukari. She will destroy that thing that stole her mother’s life. Such a heavy burden, that’s why Kanami will take half of it. An excuse just to stay by her side?

Episode 5
Ellen and Kaoru find the duo. Then they congratulate them. Confused. They explain they have passed the Mokusa test. They are an organization who are against Yukari and seeks her downfall. Hence they have the same goal and this test proves they are worthy to join them. Hiyori thinks Nene is an Aradama so they explain some legend thingy that although it is through Nene is one, it is docile and protects humans. Suddenly a swarm of Aradama attacks and separates them. But it seems to lead Hiyori and Kanami to a certain area. It is so that Maki and Suzuka Konohana could fight and bring them in. The source of the Aradama is elite guard Yomi Satsuki. She cuts herself and the Aradama would burst out from her blood. Kaoru and Nene are in a precarious pinch. Hanging so dangerously over the ledge. So flashback to see how Nene was always there for Kaoru. Even that one time when she was lost in the forest. I guess pet bonding flashback allows her to buck up and get them out. Hiyori is losing against Maki and because Kanami is concerned for her, she can’t concentrate too. Then a well-timed combo, Kanami throwing her sword at Maki as distraction and Hiyori slicing her, this allows the duo to escape. But Maki is left traumatized as she being the top Toji got cut. Yeah, her pride hurts a lot. Kaoru confronts Yomi do pay back the trouble she gave. Nobody messes with her pet. Though she defeats her, she lacks enough energy to finish her off. Yomi escapes and Kaoru takes a nap before resuming her search for Ellen.

Episode 6
Looks like Ellen lets herself get caught at Maki’s camp. She gives an excuse she was on a hunt for the fugitives to justify the summoning of S Equipment but is taken in for further questioning by Suzuka. She talks about Ellen’s grandpa, Richard Friedman who developed the Noro for military use and pioneered the development of S Equipment. 5 years ago he sold off this research company he founded and went missing. It is rumoured he entered Japan and is a core of Mokusa. Ellen looks like she is playing dumb. Not sure if she is anymore when she is told that Kaoru clashed with Yomi. Fighting an elite guard means fighting Yukari herself and the punishment is death. When Maki and Suzuka think they have pinpoint the traitors, they take their squad and leave. With the skeleton squad left behind, Ellen takes this chance to escape. Yeah, they must have left low level guards. She spies on Yomi and her secret. Vials containing Noro. Of course Ellen gets spotted and they both fight. Yomi is desperate to be useful and injects more Noro into herself, turning part of her into an Aradama. It seems this is all part of Maki’s plan to let Ellen regroup and lead them to the traitors. Well, don’t have to find them because they’re here to save Ellen. Yomi injects more Noro into herself to fight Kaoru and Hiyori. Kanami who is supposed to take Ellen and run decides to help them. See, she almost gets killed. Plus, she won’t even kill Yomi who is beyond human. So does she prefer to get killed? Not if the plot can help it since Yomi passes out as her body cannot balance the Noro’s power. I’m surprised the overdose didn’t kill her. Ellen takes the rest to escape. Yup, she summoned a submarine. Because Maki didn’t see this coming, she withdraws her troops. I’m sure she gets shelling from Yukina for failing but Yukari doesn’t care. She dismisses the school presidents from this mission for now. Yukina now gets desperate as her goal is to get Yukari’s approval. It’s her goal for living.

Episode 7
Yukina is going to insert some vial into Sayaka that will turn her into a heartless tool. Obviously she doesn’t want that and smacks it out right from her hands. Kanami and Hiyori meet Friedman. He explains his reasons for working with Mokusa. The development of S Equipment was stagnating until that disaster 20 years ago and Yukari became the head of the family. It was then the technology started rapidly and finishing the S Equipment since her family had control over the Noro. Scientifically this should not be possible so where did it came from? That’s why many like him became suspicious of Yukari and formed Mokusa. Hiyori’s mom was one of the few people who helped him. Ellen has stolen a Noro vial and it was part of her mission to get proof that Yukari was conducting experiments on human with it and turning them into artificial Aradama. Maki declines Yukina’s request to look for Sayaka who has run away. So she badmouths them about fearing being replaced by her. When Yomi offers to give her powers, she is badmouthed as a failure and slapped. Man, you can’t satisfy this b*tch. Yume heard this and thinks of getting her. Mai manages to find Sayaka and accompany her. However Yume has found them and wants her to come back. It is obvious Sayaka doesn’t want to and when Mai has her clearly state her feelings, Yume wants to play a game of hide and seek. If they can escape her, she’ll give up on them. Obviously this is part of Yume’s plan to let loose some steam on them as she furiously enjoys clashing their swords. Yume is disappointed in Sayaka at first and when Mai takes over in her stead, Sayaka suddenly has all the feels about warmth and such. She doesn’t want to lose it and fights Yume again. This time it is more intense but it’s time to stop when Yukina is here. Sayaka shocks her and says she can’t be the Toji she wants and doesn’t want to lose these warm feelings. Yukina can rant about the ultimate to only serve Yukari but Sayaka rejects her and rather be with Mai. That must be the biggest shock in her life. With arrangements by Ema, the duo reunite with Kanami’s side in Mokusa. They are introduced to Akane Origami, Yukari’s younger sister.

Episode 8
We see glimpse of that great disaster 20 years ago. Casualties are high and the damage to great. Yukina was gravely injured and was ordered by Yukari to other Toji to take her away. Now we understand why she’s such a b*tch wanting to lap up to her. Ultimately it is Yukari along with Kagari (Hiyori’s mom) and Minato (Kanami’s mom) who went to ‘defeat’ the great Aradama but only Yukari returned unscathed. The girls also meet Sana Maniwa who is the president of Osafune. She owes it to their moms otherwise she will not be standing here. Everyone is shocked to learn Kanami’s mom was a Toji. Why didn’t she say? Nobody asked. Yeah… Plus, mom don’t usually talk about those things. Akane continues the story that the public was lied to about the extermination of the Aradama because they discovered a higher intelligence Aradama known as Princess Tagitsu behind it, fearing it would confuse the public. Yukari never told how she suppressed it, Kagari and Minato’s names were removed as heroes as Yukari installed the other heroes as current presidents of the 5 schools. The duo quit being Toji and raised a family. Only after Minato’s death 7 years ago that Kagari started blaming herself, Akane was determined to find the truth. Her research led her to find a method of dragging Tagitsu into the netherworld in exchange for Kagari’s life. As Toji use the power of their Okatana, they are using layers of powers from the netherworld. When you reach its limit, you reach some infinity limit and will not comeback. Kagari achieved that for this double suicide move. Kagari survived only because Minato saved her but this means their overall lives were shortened. But if they drove Tagitsu back then, what is Yukari now? Hiyori knows her mom only took away its power temporary. Tagitsu must have latched onto her to continue surviving. Akane once spied Yukari talking to Tagitsu and hence the letter she wrote to Kagari for help. Tagitsu has spent the last 20 years trying to revive herself. Akane is somewhat grateful that had not Minato and Kagari come back, their daughters would not have been born. After the girls train with the Osafune counterparts, Kanami and Hiyori wonder if the Toji then had S Equipment, would their moms still be alive. Friedman tells them about the ever changing technology and he studied this to understand Yukari’s motives. He concluded it is to hunt Aradama and quickly recover their Noro. This is a simple task for Yukari and the opponent they are facing is not any ordinary Aradama but one that is close to a god.

Episode 9
Our girls have time to enjoy the festival. Rui is also there. Not sure how she was released after being captured on suspicions of abetting assault on Yukari. As they witness the ritual, they are surprised the shrine worships Noro. There are still a few hidden places where the Origami family hasn’t collected them. Looks like the girls will need to have their history revised as they are being told the truth. In school, they learnt Noro left on their own for too long will turn into Aradama. That’s totally wrong. Noro was once worshipped widely across the country but the government thinking about economic reasons decided to consolidate and gather them at one place and strictly supervised. But due to the war, the restrictions were relaxed and the Toji were permitted to use them. After the war, America joined in on the study. However it was then they realized that the more Noro gathered together, the more intelligent it becomes. This is why Tagitsu is becoming more god-like. Therefore that great disaster was actually manmade. America was transporting the stockpiled Noro when an accident happened. Noro are the real victims as they are forced into existence by humans who wish to create Okatana. If things cannot go back to the way they were, at least they could enshrine and let it rest peacefully. The girls feel they have been doing a great injustice to Aradama but they have discharged their duties in accordance to what a shrine priestess would do so they didn’t really just defeat the Aradama. This truth is a bitter pill for them to swallow and accept but they have to since it is reality. Soon, Yukari’s forces clamp down on the festival. They’re not here to hunt Aradama but to smoke out Mokusa members. The Osafune girls split into groups to stall the forces to let our main heroines escape via submarine. Yume is also here and owns them pretty easily. The submarine is heavily guarded as the girls notice the guards have spectrum meter. Friedman explains the government might have fine-tuned it to detect those with Okatana as Aradama. In other words, blaming them as humans turning into Aradama. The guards are taken care off for our main heroines to board the submarine. Yume arrives too late to fight the remnants of Osafune. She is not pleased she is accused of using Noro. She is never used them one bit and it is all entirely her own ability.

Episode 10
Police have surrounded the 5 schools and arrest certain people while the students have their Okatana confiscated. Yukari is naked before a pool of Noro. Uhm, Noro tentacle rape? Because of that, all Toji across the country start to temporarily experience, uhm, soul split? Out of body experience? Friedman says something similar happened once 20 years ago. He believes a great change is about to occur because after that one, the great Aradama was released. Akane intends to let the people know about this and will gather the mass media at Yokosuka. It is a risky move and of course Yukari will take measures to prevent that. Hiyori and the rest want to help and believe if they take down Yukari, everything will be over. Akane agrees and will be the bait to attract as many enemies to make their fighting easier. But as for how to reach Yukari, Kanami has a plan. When the submarine reaches the port of Yokosuka, the media is waiting and of course the police and special units have cordoned off the area. Akane shows up as the spotlight is now on her. While she trolls everyone hinting some truth, this has the girls enough time to set their jet containers as they blast off to Yukari’s HQ. Yeah, no one saw that coming. Too bad for Yukina who has come all the way here thinking she could solve this mess by herself now has to go back there.

Episode 11
The girls make their way to the shrine where only Yukari is allowed. However Yume is waiting for them but chooses to fight with Kanami as she is the strongest. Their bout is interrupted with Ellen and Kaoru substituting for her so they could trudge ahead. This pisses off Yume as she views the rest as weaklings. Mai feels bad s she was the one who put up this plan for Ellen and Kaoru to fight her. Don’t worry. See Kanami smiling? She forgives you. No time for friendship as they are attacked by Yomi. Mai and Sayaka stay back to let the duo go ahead. Yukina is coaxing Sayaka to come back. All those sweet words until she says they are tools to serve Yukari and openly mistreats zombie Yomi. Kanami and Hiyori face off with Suzuka and Maki respectively. They are losing actually until the power of plot convenience in the form of my will-is-greater-than-yours gives them the extra strength to beat them. Yeah… Back to Yume’s match. She gets so mad when she is defeated by their combo. This has her Aradama leaking out but she threatens it not to come out and will not use it. So like final stage bosses, Yume is now ever more powerful as she defeats the Osafune duo. But it took a toll on her. So as she trudges on, we have to see her flashback so that we don’t hate this psycho girl. It shows she has been chosen by the Okatana since young. High expectations. But her body began to break down. She was abandoned at the hospital and left to die. Not even her family visited her once. Until Yukari came and gave her a choice (plus Noro). She chose. So her wish is to leave a great legacy of how great she is in everyone’s minds? No way this psycho girl is dead, right???!!! Kanami and Hiyori step into the shrine to confront Yukari who is expecting them.

Episode 12
After Mai takes out Yomi, Sayaka points her sword at Yukina who thinks she still needs to get rid of those emotions. Sayaka feels sad for her and the pain in her heart is out of pity. Suzuka tells Maki to go ahead as she will deal with properly disposing Yume’s body by killing her once more. Otherwise she will turn into an Aradama. Kanami and Hiyori fight against Yukari. No, Tagitsu rather. It seems she can see and predict their moves. Tagitsu claims she could have easily killed Hiyori when she first attacked at the tournament but let her go so she could use her to smoke out Mokusa. Since Tagitsu can predict their moves, Kanami doesn’t attack. Because of the logic she will see too many possibilities and hence unable to decide. In this distraction, they are able to at least cut her arm. But Tagitsu revives as her hair now turns into an Aradama monster! Bad hair day? They could have been done for had not Mai and Sayaka come to their aid. Maki is shocked that the storeroom that has stored 20 years’ worth of Noro is empty. She is being told the truth by Ellen and Kaoru how the Noro had been pretending to lie dormant all this time just for today. That includes the decrease of Aradama incidents and Toji deaths. All nothing but deception to let their guard down. Oh look, convenience. Because Tagitsu’s fight with the quartet is now brought here. Time for the sextet to join in the fight but ultimately with more numbers, means higher probability of being eliminated. Back to Kanami and Hiyori to fight again. Flashback during that tragedy, Yukari was unable to give the necessary orders to deal with the Aradama. So Minato and Kagari sacrificed themselves to seal it. That is when Tagitsu awakened and proposed to Yukari. She explained about how she was taken from her homeland and feelings of revenge grew. She became an evil god and realized she would be destroyed by humans one day and only thought of survival. Tagitsu proposes to fuse with her and in exchange will save Kagari and Minato’s life. She will grant Yukari a grace period of a few decades and if she can destroy her in that time period, she wins. Really? Now back to the fight, suddenly Kanami is possessed by Minato and fights on par with Tagitsu! Unbelievable, right? After dealing some damage, it is Hiyori’s turn to seal Tagitsu. She is about to sacrifice herself for the ultimate sealing but Kanami brings her back. So the Noro become shooting stars? Is this a good ending?

Episode 13
Not really good ending because Tagitsu detached herself and launched into the sky, raining Aradama all over the region. Now Aradama attacks are more frequent than ever. Kanami and Sayaka are like new celebrities in the Toji world as they help to take down rampaging Aradama. We’ve got a new kid from the block, Ayumu Uchizato from Ayanokouji admiring Kanami and that level is set to go up since she is tasked to temporarily work with her. Meanwhile Akane is in court trying to answer to charges for the Aradama aftermath incident. Because Tagitsu’s ‘leaking’ also caused hazardous damage to the environment. Iroha sees Hiyori who has decided to quit being a Toji. Her goal of finishing her mom’s mission is over so there is no reason for her to stay. Although Tagitsu will not return for the time being, it seems Iroha has a mission for her that might but her early retirement on hold. Kaoru continues to complain about her labour rights since Sana is working her to death. Maybe it’s just Kaoru whom she is treating badly. Be prepared for more workload as Sana tells her an incident of a mysterious hooded Toji attacking recovery teams and stealing their recovered Noro. They cannot guess who she is as her Okatana is unregistered and she fights using various forms. This incident is kept a secret and only a handful of people know. Kaoru suggests showing it to Kanami since a martial arts fanatic like her could identify. Meanwhile Ayumu continues to admire Kanami. She likes it but from what I understand from ‘disgusted’ Sayaka, it’s like she is getting drunk on it and being too distant, especially about their skill levels which is aeons apart. Kanami has this dream with Minato again. Minato denies possessing her body then to fight Tagitsu. She thinks Kanami had to believe that she became her and hence ‘copied’ her ways. Meanwhile that Yukina b*tch is still alive and now using Yomi as her plaything. With the cooperation of the president of Ayanokouji, Yuzuru Souraku, they have mass produced some secret medicine believed to evolve people, alleviate suffering, etc. Sana and Kaoru see Suzuka at the hospital. They show her the unidentified Toji. Although she doesn’t recognize her, Kaoru wants her to admit that is Maki. Kanami is surprised to see Hiyori back. Looks like they’ll be teaming up again to hunt down the mysterious Toji.

Episode 14
Mai returns home and dad wants her to transfer out of Minoseki. He is worried with the increased Aradama attacks in wounded Toji. This isn’t what Mai wants but is given time to think. Next morning, father brings her to his organization. It is a research lab on special metals. Originally it was state funded but went bankrupt. With him financing it as a privately owned entity, it is searching for ways to use tamahagane steel. Mai is introduced to Ellen’s scientist parents who explain the research to extract energy from Noro to act as intermediary with this world and the netherworld. Also here is Friedman who is invited by Mai’s dad as an honorary member. Friedman talks about the Noro’s impurity as loneliness and that is because they seek the tamahagane steel. This experiment will try and prove the Noro will be cleansed by bringing it closer to the tamahagane steel. With Ellen here, both friends talk about the importance of family. Ellen points out that her dad brought her here not to show this is a profitable research but if they can clear the impurities of Noro with tamahagane steel, then there would be no need for Toji to be in danger. AKA Toji would be out of a job too? Meanwhile Sana shows Kanami’s side the hooded Toji killing an Aradama and saving other Toji. From her fighting stance, Kanami thinks it is Maki. They are told to keep this a secret since many still believe this is an inside job and would further damage their reputation. But that hooded Toji looks slightly different and is definitely a different person as she steals Noro from the research centre. Time for Ellen and Mai to fight to prove to their parents how much they’ve grown and why Toji is still relevant. Although they lost and the culprit got away, everyone is glad nobody got hurt. Cue for heart-warming reconciliation of daughters with their family. With that, Mai’s dad decides to cancel Mai’s transfer. As expected. Meanwhile we see Yukina and Yomi working and worshipping that shady hooded Toji. Tagitsu?

Episode 15
Once again we see Kaoru being worked to the bone by Sana. So on a trip to Gunma to find some Aradama, as usual she slacks off. When she decides to get serious, she finally meets her young team of Toji and is surprised to see Sayaka on the team. Why is she here? Her job with Kanami is done so she came down to help. Damn workaholic. With Sayaka being hardworking, she earns the praise of her juniors. Don’t worry Kaoru, you have never been in their good books since the start. Kaoru even tries to teach Sayaka how to slack off. Like this ping pong game. Heck, all the juniors support Sayaka. Even Nene defects to Sayaka! Weakling Kaoru lost. She even tried to bring her Okatana into the game! Somebody has to report the damage… Next day as they continue to find the Aradama, with Nene sticking to Sayaka, Kaoru trolls Hiyori by sending a picture of them. Because this means Nene has got attached to a flat chest and this means there is hope for Hiyori! They stumble into a cute squirrel Aradama. Sayaka wants to instantly kill it but is stopped by Kaoru. Because Nene is being friendly with it, it is not hostile. Sayaka thought of killing all Aradama but Kaoru points out in that case, shouldn’t she kill Nene too? Can she? She can’t. So the lesson learnt is that she must think before she acts. However Tagitsu is passing by and this causes the squirrel to turn into a giant hostile Aradama. Kaoru instantly kills this one. As the collection team retrieve the Noro, Tagitsu knocks them out to steal them. That is when Maki confronts Tagitsu. She has been chasing after her and wants back the Noro she stole. A short bout before Tagitsu escapes. When Kaoru and Sayaka return, they think Maki is the culprit. Made worse as Maki didn’t say anything and leaves. Kaoru calls to report back to Sana who praises her for a job well done. Kaoru sure knows how to make Sana’s blood boil with her sarcasm. And you think all is going to end well because Sayaka also reports how Kaoru has taught her well. Like how having fun is also important in missions. Kaoru is going to get an earful when she gets back. But right now, RUN!!! Oh Kaoru…

Episode 16
Sana confirms with Suzuka that one of the hooded Toji is Maki. As for the other, she is unsure but is certain it cannot be Maki’s ally. We take time off for the girls to celebrate Sayaka’s birthday! It’s a quick one because after that they discuss about the hooded Toji. As they have conflicting accounts, they go see Sana to confirm. With Akane’s permission, it is revealed the other hooded Toji is Tagitsu. She has not possessed anyone but manifest in a human form. Conveniently, Akane has them accompany her to the Ministry of Defence’s HQ. Locked deep inside a chamber with many guards, sits Tagitsu. Actually, she wants to be identified as Takiri. She wants them to hand over Ichikishima who is in their safekeeping. After an audience with her, Akane reveals more that after they defeated Yukari, Tagitsu split into 3 parts. She realized Yukari was not under the Aradama’s mind control but was suppressing it. Now they are free and acting on their own will. Gee, during Yukari’s ‘suppression’, she sure acted hostile and evil. Is that the side effect of suppression? So Kanami’s dream with her mom didn’t make her have any clear convictions as she is further in a dilemma as to whether to cut down Takiri. But the thinking has to be put aside since Tagitsu attacks the HQ. Yeah, all those guards and Toji are useless. The duo spar with her but just when it looks like they are about to be defeated, here comes Maki again. Eventually Tagitsu disappears and Maki is shocked to sense another Aradama (Takiri). Yeah, Tagitsu now knows about Takiri’s whereabouts too.

Episode 17
Suzuka slaps Maki for trying to play the lone heroine. She too has trying to be fighting. With the research progress, they will soon have a cure to purge the Aradama from their body. But for now, the girls are to taken to meet Yukari. So she’s still able to run free? Inside the submarine, Yukari explains that she is free from any Aradama inside her body. On that night when both were to perished, Tagitsu purged herself from her body to save herself. She also split herself to stave off pursuit. In this submarine also houses Ichikishima. She sounds rather pessimistic… She feels she is abandoned and not useful. But when told that Takiri wanted her, she believes if they combine and use her powers, Takiri’s victory is 100% assured. There’s more mumbo-jumbo explanation about Tagitsu splitting herself in 3, how the tamahagane steel binds the Aradama and it is no surprise when human’s greed stole them away, they became angry. This is why Aradama attack humans. The issue now is that since Tagitsu split into 3 parts, each have contradicting ideals and are opposing each other. Tagitsu wants to retaliate and destroy all humans. Takiri wants to control, dominate and guide humans as their new God. Ichikishima wants to know if Aradama’s existence is necessary and she has come to a conclusion that a hybrid of human-Aradama is the key! They will fight with the winner absorbing the loser which will ultimately obtain their true form still in the netherworld. Of course in theory it is easier to go to the netherworld and destroy the real body but to humans that realm is infinite and close to being impossible to exist. Need some kind of bond… The rest discuss Ichikishima as the most dangerous but the immediate risk is Tagitsu. Their plan is to take her out and then negotiate with the rest. Later Yukari apologizes to Kanami and Hiyori for their mom’s demise. As Kanami is still unable to forgive, she further explains their moms were on the verge of falling into the netherworld with Tagitsu. Tagitsu who wanted to avoid destruction made a deal with her. Yukari accepted it because she doesn’t want to lose her friends. In the end, only she survived and their moms didn’t. But Kanami isn’t bitter. She notes her mom seemed happy up until her death. Meanwhile Yuzuru is vetting through candidates to be Takiri’s elite guards, something Yukina isn’t happy since there is no time. Good thing Ayumu is rejected? To hasten things, Yomi almost kills them! On the verge of death, Yuzuru is forced to administer and inject Noro into them to save their lives. Now they are zombie guards who will die for Takiri.

Episode 18
Everyone is at their stations preparing for Tagitsu’s attack. I agree with Kaoru that they should just kill’em all! Akane is trying to negotiate with Takiri to get her to cooperate but again she refuses to help lowlife scums. Oddly, Kanami asks to spar with Takiri so they can understand each other. You think this ‘God’ will lower herself to your level? Shockingly, Nene finds comfort in Takiri’s boobs! I guess it’s time to find some nice bosoms after being too long with a washboard. Takiri peaks into Nene’s mind. Originally an Aradama born out of man’s ignorance and foolishness, Nene went on a rampage but was quelled by Kaoru’s mother and tamed. Takiri finds it strange Nene has no impurities and wonders if living with humans long enough made it so. Hence she surprisingly agrees to spar with Kanami. So she deduces she is somewhat kind? Uhm, what again? Soon the Ayanokouji Toji girls attack. Yeah, it’s good it doesn’t put those on station to waste, right? Kanami is shocked to see Ayumu among the group and is further surprised that Ayumu is happy to fight her. Maki and Suzuka face off with Yomi and try to convince her to come back and serve Yukari like the old days. But she isn’t listening. When Tagitsu finally shows up, it is because Takiri is out of her cage. Both clash but eventually Takiri loses. Tagitsu absorbs her and is now super fast and powerful. Not even our usual Toji heroines could do anything. Even Nene transform into its original Aradama form to fight her but is still no match for Tagitsu nonetheless. With everyone incapacitated and having achieved her goal, Tagitsu leaves. Yeah, a mistake to let them lick their wounds and recover.

Episode 19
It has been a week since and Tagitsu is not making any moves. This is why Kaoru is so impatient in getting back into action to return the favour and not to be mistaken for being passionate about work! But surprise! Tagitsu makes a public announcement. She claims she wants to coexist with humans but the Toji then denied that chance, hence leading to that great disaster. Lies of course but remember, the public doesn’t know the truth. Even more shocking, the government is now on Tagitsu’s side! What shocks the ladies even more is how Yukina is giving her ‘true’ statement and seeks to forge a better relationship with the Aradama via dialogue. She accuses Ichikishima of wanting to destroy humans and how Yukari is sheltering her. Yukina’s goal is to bring them together to be fused. To achieve that, she declares the creation of Sword Administration Bureau Restoration Faction to be set up in Tokyo (thus splitting Sword Administration further). She demands Yukari hand over Ichikishima immediately. Our Toji girls for now have to fight usual Aradama threatening the city. Kanami meets Ayumu on the job and the latter seems obliviously happy. Although she is exterminating Aradama, she is under the impression that Tagitsu is a goddess. Yukina’s ego might boost even further because she hints she will take over Sana’s position soon. More woes for our heroines as Friedman informs that his own country has abandoned the submarine. This means Japan can seize anything with unknown nationality in their waters. Maki and Suzuka go to see Yomi and ask questions if she is doing this on her own free will. She says she does. But is she happy? You think she knows the answer to that? Yukina is seen threatening a government official to make their next move because what other choice do they have? When the government surround and take the submarine, nobody is on board. Thanks to Rui, Yukari and Ichikishima escaped earlier on a mini raft. Yuzuru feels guilty when Ayumu like a happily little angel thanks her for allowing her dream to come true as she was able fight Kanami and somewhat win.

Episode 20
Yukari slashes her way through the Ayanokouji girls to leads Ichikishima away. They hide in a shed in the outskirts and supposedly meet up with Yuzuru. Yuzuru talks about the dream she wanted to realize and would even walk the wrong path for it. But now she has forced her ego on her students, she is starting to feel guilty? So does that mean she wasn’t prepared to walk the evil path in the first place? Yukari will not condemn her since she blames herself for being weak and in turn ‘gave’ that weakness to them. Unfortunately Yukari and Ichikishima have to run again as Yomi has found them. She used Yuzuru to trace their whereabouts. She too will not condemn Yuzuru nor kill her but says that despite everything they have done, they chose this way of life and thus shall not be condemned. Our usual Toji heroines fight the Ayanokouji counterparts to give Yukari time to run away. Kanami has to put up with Ayumu who is once again eager to fight her. At the same time Yomi fights her old elite guard comrades and eventually lost. Yukari thinks they have run away far enough so this enables her to talk to Ichikishima about how she did not lose herself while she was being possessed by Tagitsu. Something about needing them as well as they are not an unnecessary existence. Huh? Now Tagitsu is here to reclaim what is hers. Yukari is unable to match her speed and strength. Since Ichikishima has been captivated with what Yukari said, she wants to protect her. So she goes to find help and stumbles into Hiyori. She pleads for her to combine. Hiyori of course refuses due to her past with Aradama. But with Ichikishima being adamant of entrusting herself to her… In the nick of time, Hiyori dives in to save Yukari. Woah. She is electrically charged! Is this the result of the combination? Uhm, if Ichikishima could combine with Hiyori, shouldn’t she had combined with Yukari since technically she is stronger? Oh right. They hinted something earlier but it wasn’t clear…

Episode 21
Hiyori doesn’t want Kanami to come near. She has acquired Ichikishima’s power that sees the future and she saw Kanami being cut down many times. Hiyori escapes and Kanami wants to go after but Yukari tells her to return and rest. She will chase down Hiyori and tell her how to control the Aradama. Hiyori notes the irony of their reversed roles now. She vows not to be swallowed by the Aradama’s power. Yukari explains their families possessing the same power but Hiyori still cannot accept that her mom was the one who sacrificed herself and none from the Origami family. Yukari suggests absorbing it into her body and become an evil god. After she does that, she will end everything. At this point Tagitsu pops up to fight. Yukari becomes Hiyori’s coach-cum-motivator for her to fight Tagitsu. This allows Hiyori to cut her. Viewing Yukari as a threat, Tagitsu targets her but this distraction allows Hiyori to cut her down and absorb her. With their other friends arriving, Yukari asks if Hiyori can suppress it. Otherwise she will bring her to the netherworld and be sealed there forever. Hiyori knows it is impossible to suppress it for 20 years like she did but will not seek her help either. With all the friends pleading for Hiyori to suppress it (easier said than done), Kanami suggests they continue and finish their fight from the tournament. You mean now? She arrogantly adds that she could have beaten Hiyori many times before but now she has become god, they are on equal footing. Hiyori is shocked to see all possibilities end in her own defeat. She fights anyway. And lost. Kanami continues playing tough until she breaks down. If Hiyori can’t suppress it, let it all out and she’ll cut them all down! So that’s her solution? But plot twist! Tagitsu emerges from Hiyori’s body and cuts her down before absorbing it. Oh no! Hiyori dead?!

Episode 22
Tagitsu is trying to open the gate to the netherworld and it portal is getting bigger every moment. It’s like going to be a repeat of that great disaster. Yukina pledges her loyalty further to Tagitsu but she doesn’t need her anymore. Boo hoo. She got what she deserved? I guess Kanami tries to act happy but since her everyone knows it’s wrong to put up a fake front, shed a little tears and they’re ready to put that behind and go into action. You don’t say because Aradama attacks are now getting more frequent. With nobody ‘qualified’ enough to be the field commander, it seems Yukari has managed to convince Yuzuru to rejoin them take command. Also, Kanami and co want to be dispatched on this next mission at least to salvage Kogarasuma. Hence Kanami has no time to play with Ayumu and has to deal with Sayaka. Ayumu is still complaining she cannot catch up to Kanami. One lecture from Sayaka to cut her down is enough to make her finally understand. Good riddance. Kanami and Yukari face off with Tagitsu. Because they could feel the resonance of Kogarasuma, it means Hiyori is still alive inside Tagitsu. Great motivation for Kanami to save her friend. Meanwhile Yukina has fallen into depression. She got what she deserved, right? Hard to pity her in her last moments crying that she doesn’t want to be abandoned. Oh look. Who is here to save her? Yomi. Partially fused with Aradama now. Yukina still thinks she is here to mock her. You dare say that to the person saving your ass now? Of course some reminiscing moments as we see Yomi was the unfortunate one not picked to have her own Okatana. Yukina agreed to give her power even if she is just a guinea pig. Yukina finally acknowledges Yomi. Now she can rest in peace. Kanami manages to slash Tagitsu. And since her voice managed to reach to Hiyori inside, Hiyori cuts her way out. Yay! Now our lesbian duo reunite! Mission accomplished so Yukari takes them to escape and Hiyori to reunite with her friends.

Episode 23
Uhm, sky is falling. Skyfall? Black snow too. Friedman explains they have no idea what’s going on because this is all unprecedented. Tagitsu is trying to merge both worlds and smashing the netherworld into Earth. But long story short, it could be the end of the world. Yeah, I figure from the looks of everything. Of course the only solution is to defeat Tagitsu. So our Toji heroines go up to face her. 7 against 1. Sounds unfair but when you consider how super powerful Tagitsu is, maybe another 100 won’t do. Meanwhile, looks like Yukina has lost her mind. Perhaps repentance because she gives Yomi a decent funeral. Maki and Suzuka find her but the former isn’t happy. Because she can’t kill her now? Huh? Yukina doesn’t want to leave Yomi and doesn’t mind getting absorbed by the Noro. They slap her and take her along otherwise it will be an insult to Yomi who returned to save her. Tagitsu takes the fight to a higher plane. Eventually it is Hiyori who faces off with her. Side distraction with Yukari trying to seal Tagitsu like she did before but it looks like Tagitsu can resist and deal some serious damage to her. Hiyori is now motivated to do the unthinkable but look who is here now to interrupt? Yeah. Kanami. So they’re going to be sealed in eternity together? I guess with a female companion, it won’t be so bored after all. Back to the real world, looks like some black hole is going to drop on the world.

Episode 24
How strange fate could be. Like mothers, like daughters. Yup, Kanami and Hiyori are sealed together forever so that the world could return to normalcy. 2 months have passed, Aradama incidents continue to crop up frequently and although the duo are classified as missing, the friends are very hopeful they would return. But in the meantime this is where they are. Hiyori finds herself in the etches of her own memory. Oh, there’s mom. Her younger self. Time to play catch up and tell her all the events that transpired after, their regrets, etc. Same with Kanami and hers but since they met a lot in their dreams so I guess this meeting is no surprising. And there is something about how their Okatana originally split that enabled them meet like this. Cue for their Okatana to resonate because it means they are close by. Yeah, very close. Not even in screaming distance. All of them reunite. A big emotional teary hug. Funny. All women are about the same age in this meeting… Weird to meet your high school mom. But I wonder, if this is Minato and Kagari’s first meeting since, you mean they couldn’t meet each other in other times? So it only took their daughters for them to do so? With this place slowly fading, I guess it’s time to go back. Can they? The moms say the young ones can because their bodies are still intact. The only way is to overcome your lingering regrets. For Kanami, I guess it is sparring with her mom. Finally she wins. Hiyori? She has made new friends. So no regrets. One last big emotional goodbye hug from mother and daughter. And off the daughters go into the mist. Gee, like that would help them figure where they’re going. Oh, this little Noro from this spectrum meter Hiyori brought to lead the way in this nothingness. Good thing, right? So now the moms can forever be together, they have someone else to play with: Tagitsu. I guess better be friends than be hostile.

End snippets of what the characters are doing. The best one goes to Kaoru who continues to slack off because Sana is now swamped with work! Have a taste of her own medicine? I’m sure the earful would be worth it. Others include Friedman giving his research talks, Sayaka singlehandedly completing missions by herself (why do they need other Toji if she is this bloody efficient?), Ayumu undergoing rehabilitation and Yukina somewhat ‘forgiven’ because some management thingy has been passed to her. Yukari and Akane talk about the reconstruction of Noro shrines and efforts to bring back the ancient ways of humans and Noro coexisting. So when Tagitsu returns in the future, they will welcome her as a stable deity instead of an evil one. I don’t know if some portal opened or they got dropped out of the sky because Kanami and Hiyori are back in reality. Right in the middle of beautifully blossoming sakura. They relish seeing the reactions on their friends’ faces. The next tournament is about to start with Akane presiding over it. Sayaka and Kaoru join Maki and Suzuka as the new elite guards.

Busou Shoujo Baeblade
Funny. The last episode feels a bit strange. Our main heroines didn’t actually technically reunite with the rest of the friends! Did you not notice that? At least not seen with them. I was expecting that happy reunion group pic cliché but it was nowhere to be seen. Therefore it only leads me to believe this conspiracy theory that they are still wandering in the netherworld! I mean, if they can picture their old place and past from their memories, what are the chances that they could also picture themselves amidst the blossoming sakura? That’s what they look forward the most this season aside than reuniting with their friends, no? Best VR experience ever. So the final episode feels a bit like a damper because it is just one big dramatic family reunion finale. Daughters assure that the future is in good hands. Goodbye to the moms in their teens. Weird, right?

I was never intrigued by the plot all the while. Although I was quickly forming the stereotype idea that this is going to be a tournament style format, that is soon quickly dealt with and put away for another plot twist to develop. So while it is a good thing that this series didn’t use up a cour for a tournament style format storytelling, but the plot to reveal Yukari as the Aradama as sheep’s clothing also doesn’t sound as interesting to me. The first half served to introduce some of the main players, show some bonding between the 2 main characters while the plot becomes a big game of catch with our heroines becoming the fugitive as they run from the authorities and try to plot the downfall of the powerful matriarch holding power across the organization. That’s pretty much sums up the first half.

I’m not sure if my sentiments would have been slightly better had the first half ended on a cliché happy ending note with the Toji girls defeating Tagitsu once and for all. But instead, she split herself into several pieces and hence a reason to make us stay for another cour. Because this second half doesn’t feel any interesting as the first too. At least I failed to be captivated by the plot. It feels like a distraction and detour for Tagitsu to split herself into 3 versions. While all have interesting views on how to deal with the humans, ultimately they became absorbed by the main body and forgotten. That is why this second cour feels more like a diversion than adding anything special. It keeps you guessing which of them is going to be the one but my guts told me it was Tagitsu from the start because you know, the main one. Or maybe I just got lucky. Then it all comes down to the final fight between our characters right before the end of the world and you know they’ll save the day because we didn’t come this far for a bad ending and it would be a waste for our heroines who have put in their effort to stop all this. Just saying.

I don’t find the characters interesting except some of them. But for the main ones, I wasn’t really interested in them seeing for example Kanami is always being Kanami, the cheerful and positive girl who reeks female main character tropes. Because she thinks a bit out of the box and results go her way, that is why she is placed in such a favourable light. Whenever she is lost or need some sort of guidance, hence that weird dream with her mom in her younger days to show the way. Not that I really understand what is going on but I suppose some people draw some sort of motivation from their dreams. Then there is Hiyori who seems to be having grudge issues. She is supposed to be Kanami’s balance because if you have one who is happy and positive, then you need to have one who is strict and serious. Yup, Kanami falls under that and it is perfect combo for the duo to initiate some lesbianism. Oops. I mean girly friendship.

I also felt that it was odd with Kanami sticking around Hiyori for most of the time, Hiyori never actually thought that Kanami wanting to share the burden is to be sealed together with her? You mean that didn’t even remotely crossed her mind? Looked at how shocked when she realized it in the end. I guess making friends clouded her judgment, huh? Is it me or do I find that Kanami is the kind that loves to fight the good fight? She doesn’t pass up chances for this. Because to her it’s like things can be solved after clashing their Okatana. From that understanding Takiri incident to even making peace with her mom. Nothing soothes her soul like the sound of a couple of steels clashing.

We have been shown a lot from Hiyori’s side that it makes us think that Yukari is the bad guy. But what do you know? Plot twist. She isn’t. Hardly surprising too because my guts were already ringing early on that something was wrong, believe it or not. How can such a powerful character turned to the dark side? Well, not common but there are characters who were once good turning to the side of evil. But not this one. We are only made to think so that Yukari could have been the big bad boss because of how good she plays her poker face. Yup, as though her muscles to smile has been cut and this frown is always permanent on her face. Even when she is back to her normal self in the second half, I was a bit confused at first if she was really Yukari herself since she continues to play poker face. It was mind boggling for her to make a deal with something that normal people would have considered as the devil, but I guess when you’re in that position, you don’t have many options. And it was also mind boggling to hear Tagitsu giving her this odd choice to let her revive for 20 years in her body. I mean, wasn’t there any other way to let others know? To me, they’re ‘dumb’ to let this 20 years slip in between them. If they were so resolved, they should have tried to kill each other for good during that period and save us all this drama. Whatever.

They try to pain the Aradama as not the true bad guys and we humans are the one. Yeah, so what’s new? That is why that convoluted story of how they were snatched from their natural habitat before going berserk and taking their revenge on humans. Heh. Even supernatural higher beings have feelings. So Tagitsu trying to exact revenge by annihilating humanity seems justified on these grounds. But I guess some Aradama have turned hostile and hurt innocent people, that’s a big no-no and they must be extinguished and Tagitsu as the big bad boss must be forever banished. Too bad banishing Tagitsu to the netherworld is just a temporary solution. From what it is hinted, she will still be back and seeing how Aradama still run rampant after Tagitsu’s sealing, it looks like humans have a lot of work to do before coexisting can become a reality. But with Kagiri and Minato being Tagitsu’s playmates until then, I predict when the world is ready for Tagitsu’s return, they might be ultimately surprised she comes down as a lovely and happy go lucky Aradama girl. Yeah, everybody so flabbergasted. But I suppose it’s better than killing each other.

On a trivial note, I thought it was a pretty smart and nice subtle way they design Tagitsu, Takiri and Ichikishima. In the sense that they have hands covering over their ears, eyes and mouth respectively. Somewhat representing hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. My theory is that they are related to the Aradama princesses with Tagitsu not wanting to listen to her human counterparts, Takiri unable to see the goodness in humans and Ichikishima unable to speak what she really feels because of her inferiority complex to the other two. I don’t know if it is related or just coincidence but I think it’s quite neat.

The rest of the other Toji don’t really make an impact. Mai tries to play the supportive sister, Sayaka trying to find her footing with her new friends despite still the same emotionless girl as ever (although still much better than she was under Yukina), Ellen as the spunky halfie also serving as boobs fanservice, Nene the animal mascot, the other presidents of the schools are like, uhm, whatever, Friedman as the character to explain the technical stuffs and Rui being the technical support behind the scenes. They added Ayumu as the new girl in the second half but she played the second fiddle as Kanami-Hiyori lesbianism friendship continues to dominate. Hence they turn her into an annoying girl who is that kouhai-chan who looks up to her senpai. And the only way to overcome all that is to fight. Whatever. Even enhanced when she got under the influence of that Noro drug. Now that she is under rehabilitation, she still wants to fight Kanami after she recovers?! Oh, you mean fight with Kanami.

As I have said, some of the characters are interesting. To me, it is Yume. She is basically crazy. Unfortunately they had to kill her off halfway as to prop up some sort of drama that I don’t understand. Sadly, she is the most interesting and my favourite among the elite guards compared to boring emotionless robot Yomi, the arrogant I-always-go-solo-and-then-full-of-regrets Maki and nice girl Suzuka (hinted second pair of lesbianism but not as popular as the first). Too bad they had to cut short her life and role. I would love to have seen this crazy girl kick more ass because she could really do it. What is life without some thrill, right?

Other than Yume, my next interesting and favourite character goes to Kaoru. I just love the way she slacks and being lazy but is forced by Sana who is practically her personal slave driver. I believe Kaoru is just working smart. Sana is still her boss and will somewhat have to take responsibility so slack off while she can. Kaoru has one of the wittiest lines in the series especially if she is trying to be sarcastic. Even more so when she is trading such sarcasm with Sana. I sure brightens up my day when I am feeling bored watching this series. Yes, really. I want her to have her own spinoff series but seeing that she is such a slacker, I don’t think that will pass. The irony of her becoming part of the elite guards shows nobody is good enough to be of her level and hence had to be appointed (because Kanami and Hiyori not being appointed either proves my theory they are still stuck in the netherworld to be true, or history repeated itself like how it blanked out their moms, or they are not as good as we thought they are despite doing lots of heroic stuffs). So is she going to slack even further and leave it all to Sayaka like she always suggested? Sana will need more medication for her headache and sore throat after all that reprimanding.

Finally, Yukina is also an interesting character but not in a positive light. From the start she is casted as a b*tch whom you’ll love to hate. She is bossy, pushy, impatient and does things that is either in her favour or the one whom she favours. It is as though her character is written this way so that we could easily spot this and quickly form spiteful sentiments for her. Especially on how she treats Sayaka and then Yomi. It’s like they don’t want you to sympathize for this b*tch, no siree. I believe Yukina is just lost. Among the Toji who dealt with that great disaster 20 years, she was being the most ‘useless’. A liability if I should say. Therefore I think she is trying to find her own place of belonging and acceptance with this b*tch-like attitude now that she is the director of Renpu. Thinking she could earn the praise and accolades of her Yukari-sama (then Tagitsu) if she has served them well. Then to show that she is still human after all, she gives Yomi a decent burial because at this point, what else can she do? She has lost everything. Probably her mind too. But at that point I was like no love lost for her. I thought that she would be better swapping place with Yomi and died.

Seeing that this is an action series, aside the drama there are a few fight scenes although personally I don’t see them as impressive. Perhaps this is because many of the fight scenes that involve Toji clashing their swords feel a bit awkward. As such scenes are rendered via CGI, watching the Toji girls moving feels as though their movements are like from a video game. I’m not saying that it is lame or anything but it just feels one kind. Sometimes if you pay a bit more attention, you would find that the moves are somewhat repetitive too. Press forward, back, press A, hold B, go back, left, right, press some various buttons simultaneously to unleash final move. I know I just made that up but watching the Toji’s actions sometimes want to make me feel like describing their movements like so.

I suppose that they want some ‘realism’ in their action that is why the Toji girls activate their Utsushi as some sort of protective armour in fights. So that when the sword cuts through them, they don’t die or take serious damage. I mean, you don’t want to have a show where you have to keep missing, right? In shows heavy on the gun action, low fries baddies will have this Stormtrooper aim and miss the good guys even if you give them infinite bullets. Hence with Utsushi here, the girls are able to fight and strike each other down without having to make this looking so obvious. Also they have this fast speed ability thingy and it sometimes they look weird zooming here and there fast, which feels a bit video game-like. Speedy Gonzales?

Also the irony that it is funny to think that although the Toji maidens are the only ones who are most qualified to stop the Aradama threat, having those other military or SWAT guys on scene just feels redundant. I guess men can’t become female swordswomen so they have to end up in this mundane job if they want to protect their country. Except that they can’t. Not at least from Aradama. And why do the Toji girls get to wear their high school uniform as their fighting gear? It is just not practical to fight in such clothes but I guess Japan and the rest of the world love Japanese high school girls. Even if our heroines get to don that special armour, having them in their high school uniform still looks a bit out of place. Futuristic meets kawaii?

Voice acting is rather okay with recognizable veteran seiyuus taking on supporting roles like Ayako Kawasumi as Akane, Romi Paku as Sana, Mai Nakahara as Ema, Satsuki Yukino as Iroha, Ami Koshimizu as Yuzuki, Shizuka Itou as Minato, Risa Taneda as Kagari, Chiwa Saito as Takiri and Eri Kitamura as Ichikishima. The other casts are Kaedo Hondo as Kanami (Hitomi in Hinamatsuri), Saori Oonishi as Hiyori (Aiz in DanMachi), Asami Seto as Yukari (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Rina Hidaka as Tagitsu (Airi in Ryo-Kyu-Bu), Azumi Waki as Mai (Maika in Blend S), Risae Matsuda as Kaoru (Minael in Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku), Eri Suzuki as Ellen (Chinatsu in Flying Witch), Hina Kino as Sayaka (Hanako in Asobi Asobase), Hitomi Oowada as Ayumu (Sana in Alice To Zouroku), Yumi Uchiyama as Maki (Kuromitsu in Kyoukai No Rinne), Mao Ichimichi as Suzuka (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Mai Fuchigami as Yomi (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Inori Minase as Yume (Hestia in DanMachi), Yukana as Yukina (CC in Code Geass), Mitsuaki Hoshino as Friedman (Magellan in One Piece) and Kanomi Izawa as Rui (Chieko in Francesca). Even Nene has its own seiyuu, Satsumi Matsuda (Jinko in Nana Maru San Batsu). Must be the easiest job ever, huh?

All the opening and ending themes are sung by the main sextet. I believe the first opening theme, Save You Save Me as the better among all the themes (although it is not the best). Despite sounding like a typical idol pop group song, I figure the fast paced energetic beat suits the theme of this series well. The second opening theme, Shinkakei Colours also have this feel but somehow doesn’t live up to the first one. The first ending theme feels a little weird. Kokoro No Memoria has a little hip hop infused in it. Then it is back to typical anime pop for the second ending theme, Mirai Epilogue.

Overall, this anime is still watchable and although not boring, it doesn’t excite me in many ways. Story and main characters feel uninteresting as the entire series is just trying to stop a huge revenge plot by an angry organism trying to end the human world. It’s just not for me despite I read comments over the internet that the community is mostly divided into loving and hating this series. But I guess this is the only series I can think of that is the closest in having nearly all its entire female casts using swords. Besides Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism but if this doesn’t has much swordplay here. Sure, there are other great swordswoman in other anime but those are mostly individual (like Fate/Stay Night’s Saber, Sword Art Online’s Asuna, Fairy Tail’s Erza, Kill La Kill’s Satsuki) rather than a series as a whole. I guess for a change, swords that cut deep enough to kill Aradama for now are better than swords that cut deep enough to expose boobs and pantsu. Thank goodness we didn’t have any of that here. Tagitsu would definitely accelerate the crash to send everyone to hell on her next return.

%d bloggers like this: