Wandaba Style

December 18, 2010

It has always been man’s dream to land on the Moon. Oh wait. They’ve already done that back in 1969. So I guess the next step is for man to establish a new civilization. From this point of time and the technology available, seems like a long shot, isn’t it? So what are the chances of even putting up a first live concert? Like a dream, eh? But sometimes it is those same dreams that makes the impossible possible. So landing on the Moon isn’t just leaving your footprints on the surface but footprints in history and in the hearts of the people. But a concert? Using a bunch of ex-idols who have no astronaut training whatsoever? And behind them all is a brainy rich kid whose inventions could put modern scientists to shame? You’ll have to watch Wandaba Style to find out.

As episode 1 opens, we see the so called genius but sleazy manager, the agro haired Michael Hanagata telling his superior (always having a hand over his mouth?) his new idea that will boost TV ratings. He has gathered a former nursery song singer Sakura Haruno (no relation to the one in Naruto), former enka singer Himawari Natsuwa, former folk singer Ayame Akimo and former rock singer Yuri Fuyude to form a group called Mix Juice. But his superior isn’t excited because the new craze now is to go to the Moon. A young rich genius kid, Dr Susumu Tsukumo and his assistant Kiku #8 are planning to just go there as he rents a couple of airplane carriers. Apparently he doesn’t believe men has already planted the flag there back in 1969 and he plans to leave his mark there. Well, even as of today, there is that controversy that Neil Armstrong ever did land on the Moon. Meanwhile the ex-singers are trying to gather people to attend their Mix Juice debut concert. You can tell that they’re way past their prime time because the situation they are in now seems pathetic. Like Himawari working at a construction site, Ayame doing street performances (she sees fairies in the form of little green macho men with wings?!), jealous Yuri trying to disrupt a rock concert of a rising rock idol and Sakura trying to sell her underwear via online auction (it’s fetching a high price! Perverts!).

Tsukumo plans to go to the Moon using a high speed catapult because he believes the traditional way of blasting fossil fuel with carbon monoxide will cause damage to Mother Nature. How considerate! In addition to being a genius, he’s eco-friendly too. After meticulous preparation and calculation, Tsukumo launches Kiku into orbit in his Wandaba machine, surpassing the speed of sound. However due to some measurement conversion difference and discrepancy (Tsukumo uses the old Japanese metric system by the way), Kiku is thrown out of orbit. Ah well, nobody’s perfect. Kiku has no choice but to orbit the Earth and Moon before landing back in 7 days. In that period, Hanagata appears before Tsukumo and offers him to take his Mix Juice girls in. He agrees. Meanwhile Mix Juice arrives at the shopping complex rooftop for their concert debut and all 4 can’t get along with each other. Their manager Hanagata makes the unpopular fallen idols go out to stage. Since there’s only 1 microphone, they all fight for it and end up tearing each other’s clothes. Naked. So the end result is that the audience got visuals of naked fanservice instead of hearing their voices. How embarrassing. Back in the dressing room though they vow to continue, Hanagata throws them jerseys and brings them to Tsukumo under the excuse that they’ll perform a concert on the Moon. Sakura teases Tsukumo as a kid so he throws a fit. While doing so, he notices the cork of the champagne bottle blasting off so he decides to send them to the Moon in his Wandaba Style. At the end of each episode, you’ll get to know the number of days for the deadline to reach the Moon via Kiku’s Countdown Corner. And for a start, it is 83 days left.

Kiku is falling into orbit in episode 2 and the re-entry burns up her clothes leaving her naked. And she’s cheerful about it? Why? Since she mentions the satellite as her sisters, this should give us a hint that she’s a machine. Meanwhile the gang are in Guam to catch Kiku. Hanagata and the girls just wanna have fun. They also meet Ichirin, a scooter-like robot-cum-bodyguard-cum-talkative-good-advisor. Not sure about the ‘good’ part, though. Tsukumo assigns the girls to catch Kiku while he and Ichirin scoot away! Oh, the sh*t they’re going to face! Kiku crashes into them so much so it causes a tsunami! They’re riding the wave! Back in the base, they learn about Kiku being a satellite and her naked body using the solar energy to recharge. Sakura teases Tsukumo as a boy and thinks he has such fetish. Back to business, Tsukumo will have the girls go to the Moon via carbonation like the champagne cork. After having them enter Wandaba Mark II (looks like a giant bottle) in an elaborated set up, Tsukumo fills it with lots of carbonated water and food. He asks the girls for their weight but they are reluctant to tell. You know, girls… Hanagata has the details as their manager and would gladly tell for a price. Tsukumo agrees and uses their weights in his calculations. Then it’s lift off. Everything seems to go according to plan till they reach orbit. The capsule goes off course as Kiku says the weight was heavier than expected. Seems Hanagata lied about their weights due to some showbiz thingy where nobody actually says what they are to be popular. Tsukumo ejects him. Good riddance. Then a little chaos ensues. Tsukumo learns Yuri has acrophobia (fear of heights) and Sakura has achluophobia (fear of dark) while Himawari is feeling ‘sea sick’. To add to their misery, Kiku explains they’re on an eternal flight between the Earth and Moon! Tsukumo realizing that they have no aptitude to be astronauts, will find a way for them to get to the Moon and wants them to come onboard his Wandaba Style. Like they haven’t been into enough trouble already. Kiku’s countdown = 76 days.

Hanagata prays at a makeshift grave of the Mix Juice in episode 3. But he’s just putting a fake front because he’s happy he’ll gather a new bunch of New Mix Juice! He’s already starting auditions! Too bad Tsukumo says they’re all doing fine (arguing, that is) because they’re returning home soon as they didn’t really deviate from the satellite orbital path. Bummer. When they touch down, they aren’t happy to see Hanagata. Plus, they’re tired of going through this and can’t work together anymore and retire to their respective rooms. Tsukumo whispers his plan to Hanagata. Something about the stratosphere and he’s happy he’s going to make some money there. As Mix Juice rest, they pick up their CD album and start listening to their song. Then it’s Wandaba time but the girls can’t hear Kiku’s announcement. Tsukumo sets a series of mechanism (moving floors?) that forces the girls to their designated positions. This time they’re in a space shuttle powered by helium gas. Hanagata rushes off to tell his superior to broadcast the breaking concert at the stratosphere. He is however not convinced because the previous attempt at Mt Fuji flopped due to thin air so with the stratosphere having thinner air… You go figure. But Hanagata is adamant it will work because… THEY DON’T NEED OXYGEN! WTF?!

At the stratosphere, Kiku cues them to get along and get ready to sing. But this causes them to remind of their sour relationship. Soon it turns into another all-out argument. During the heat, one of them slams Kiku into the window. It breaks and causes the air to be sucked out. They would’ve been goners if Kiku’s butt wasn’t there to plug it albeit not enough. At the same time, Hanagata has his crew broadcast the live convert but they see Kiku’s butt! Sakura convinces the others to use their jerseys to block up the remaining gap. When the crew switches to inside the capsule, they see the girls stripping! Though the gap is block, the capsule is running out of air. Kiku unleashes the emergency replacement air and enables them to start singing. However all of them start to have high squeaky voices! They sound like chipmunks! Yeah, it’s helium air. The broadcast is cancelled, Hanagata in tears because his show flopped and Kiku’s countdown is 60 days.

They continue to float in orbit with squeaky voices lamenting their fate in episode 4. Sakura takes out on Yuri whom she blames since she has fainted from acrophobia. Hanagata does another prayer for the ‘departed’ Mix Juice as he thinks their career is over after that embarrassing stint. But Tsukumo isn’t going to lose his precious pilots yet so he and Hanagata enter a rescue capsule to rendezvous with the girls in space. Hanagata and Mix Juice aren’t on talking terms as usual. They start arguing of wanting to go back to Earth when their voices return to normal. Hanagata makes a total u-turn having confidence in them to sing on the Moon. Yuri wishes to sing there at least once because they have the music and if they want to quit, they can do it anywhere. She wants to be number 1. Tsukumo’s plan now is to use Earth’s rotational power of 16,000 kmph to swing them to the Moon. After that technical lecture of stationary satellite, the girls get into Wandaba Mark IV and with a cable attached to it from Earth, after getting enough velocity, the cable is cut and their capsule on its way to the Moon. Kiku starts feeling sleepy because her inner batteries are low so she goes offline. Tsukumo realizes the moon eclipsing the sun so at this position they’ll go off course to Uranus. That’s 12 years! Sakura blames Yuri so the latter takes responsibility to get them back. They strip Kiku to her undies and let her drift outside in hopes the sun will recharge her power. Yuri shows her maturity and shuts the rest up as she receives Tsukumo’s commands to release air from their air valve to change their orbital path. Since she’s slow, she has to redo it several times. The other girls chip in but they fail. The air in the valve is almost used up and they only have 1 last chance. When they start singing, Tsukumo gets an idea. They will press the button according to the song as timing. Hanagata says “You can die singing!”. Like hell they’ll die! They’re successful as Kiku is recharged and guides them into re-entry while Tsukumo wonders what went wrong since his theory is perfect. Kiku’s countdown now stands at 62 days.

As the girls chill out and complain about their astronaut job in episode 5, it’s Wandaba time once more! However they’re whisked to a giant experimental facility in the guise of an amusement park. As Tsukumo said, all the rides here are experimental. The girls try out 1 but felt bored by the end of it. Hanagata disagrees with their attitude and wants them to scream more. Why? Because the owners of a famous amusement park are trying to find performers to promote it and want to see whose scream is better. A new idol group, Tricolor is seen as their competition so Hanagata tells them to win even if they die! Under his advice, Tsukumo activates dangerous obstacles during Mix Juice’s ride to make them scream (seems fake). In the end, the owners feel Tricolor’s final scream made a big difference. Hanagata isn’t taking this well and shows them how it’s done. Telling Tsukumo to up the blast, Hanagata is really blasted into orbit. Tsukumo agrees with Hanagata that the girls are weak at the finish line when they could’ve won. The girls disagree and blame him that he is the one who is so and his inventions for screwing up at the last minute. Upset Tsukumo tells Kiku to let them test the world’s greatest roller coaster.

As the girls being the ride, they start to have that bad feeling because of that Wandaba time theme song! Tsukumo explains his linear motor principle in which Wandaba Mark V converts energy of the future. Some force continuously attracting the car and causing acceleration. Hanagata is falling from orbit and crashes into the electricity supply causing the entire park to blackout. The girls are relieved when the ride stops at the end of the rail but this means they will slide back! It’s dangerous since they’ll crash into the starting wall like crash dummies. Tsukumo is bent on saving them and rushes there on his trusty Ichirin. I don’t know how but he’s using Ichirin to stop the speeding car! Serious?! And no serious damage too?! Probably his determination got it to stop just before the wall. A few more inches, the professor and his robot would really be flat. Notice how the girls were really screaming for real all the while? In the aftermath, the girls thank him and note how his invention nearly worked. But Tsukumo seems gloomy and acknowledges that he himself is weak at the finish line again. Kiku’s countdown = 55 days.

Mix Juice saw a glimpse of their future working in dull and prospect-less jobs in episode 6. Seems they’re stranded on the beach with Kiku and Ichirin. This was what happened. When Tsukumo locked himself in his room due to depression, the girls gained weight by eating and sleeping since there’re no launches. Realizing how fat they’ve become, the start running and bump into 1 of Tsukumo’s inventions, a warp machine. Since it uses manpower (running like hamsters in wheels?), the gang test it out and the next thing they know, they’re in the future. Kiku notes it’s a time machine instead. So in order to go back to the past, they run in reverse. Well theoretically… It worked! However they’re thrown back to when Tsukumo is much younger living with his scientist parents. The gang see his carefree dad and strict mom. Tsukumo wants mom to cancel tomorrow’s space launch to the Moon due to some error her calculated since dad will be onboard. But she doesn’t listen and slaps him since he is persistent! That night as Kiku has nostalgic memories meeting her predecessor prototypes, she sees her own self which is still work-in-progress. Mix Juice go give young Tsukumo hope to go to the Moon so he agrees to test all his experiments but as expected, failed. At least the girls fared worst in the future.

Next day, the tired Mix Juice note how today is the launch. Tsukumo’s dad was never mentioned in history that he landed on the moon. That could only mean 1 thing but Yuri notes that they can’t change history. As the launch begins, it starts off well. Tsukumo’s fear is realized when the error occurs. However dad tells him to be a good boy and listen to mommy before all contacts were lost. Mom is still indifferent so this upsets Tsukumo. She tells him that sacrifices are necessary for scientific progress. Tsukumo vows he’ll beat her to the Moon and go there with his own methods. Tsukumo fixes the time machine and tells them to throw it away once they return to the future. He was trying to overcome distance, not time. Plus, he believes the fun in the journey not just the destination. Kiku hugs him and thanks him for everything. When the gang return to the future, the girls encourage Tsukumo to send them to the Moon. He gets his confidence back and is ready for his next experiment. Then the girls realize his dad is still alive. Due to the misaligned orbital path, he could only come home in 5 years! He’s living a carefree life in Canada now. And the girls thought they started to feel sympathetic for him. Meanwhile a pair of MIBs are observing them and contacting their superior that they’re on the move. Kiku’s countdown is 14 days. Wow! That’s a big jump!

Another failed experiment in episode 7 to land on the Moon. Mix Juice confronts Tsukumo who is busy designing his next experiment. He fails to notice their ragged jerseys so they bug him to make them new clothes. Yeah, their clothes ripped to pieces when they make sudden movements. For much needed fanservice, I guess. Then they fear the familiar music. It’s Wandaba time! Meanwhile Hanagata makes a shady deal with Tsukumo’s mom, Furoku. He also hears Wandaba time song but to his horror learns that he will be the one going to the Moon! Mix Juice finds themselves in front of Tsukumo’s clothes-making machine. Since each has their own style of what to wear, they start arguing. Tsukumo’s machine obtains feedback from them and creates a mix of their style with a hint of futuristic design. They like it and thank him but they soon want him to make new clothes for Kiku too. Though reluctant, Tsukumo gives in and it seems Kiku’s new clothes are the same design as her current one. Then Ichirin rushes in to show them a live broadcast. They see Hanagata on the moon! Hanagata who was reluctant to do anything decides to have his fun to become more famous. He even gets a call from his mom! Do they have reception on the Moon? Ichirin reports back the findings and it seems no craft has left Earth’s orbit. Which means the broadcast is fake! Tsukumo explains the tricks and other scientific stuff people use in movies or to train astronauts to make it look like Hanagata’s on the Moon. He also notes the broadcast as a failure as there’re many dead giveaways. Like the way the camera and Hanagata fall like as though it had Earth’s gravity. And the handphone call. That’s impossible, right? But it managed to determine his location. Speaking of which, they are surrounded by an army of MIBs. Tsukumo decides to ‘welcome’ them by firing missiles as distraction and then rides on Ichirin tagging Mix Juice along to where Hanagata is.

Hanagata remembers the time he wanted to become a singer but got so nervous on stage that he vomited! Thus he decided to be a manager and rake in the money from there. Then his suit ran out of air. As he lies on the ground, he spots the Moon up in the sky! Not to mention the ant he saw on the ground! Tsukumo and the girls arrive and explain that he has been deceived after revealing the props and tricks. Suddenly the spotlight is cast on Tsukumo. Furoku broadcast this and tells the world how Tsukumo is the one deceiving everybody while slandering and damaging the country’s scientific achievements. She will forgive him if he apologizes to everyone for his lies and shows her team’s preparations to land on the Moon. However Mix Juice stand firmly behind Tsukumo and will go to the Moon with him. Furoku makes a challenge to see who will land on the Moon first. If she does, she will take everything he has and he will have to do everything she says. Her son is unyielding and will make her regret doing so. Now Kiku’s countdown has increased to 55 days.

Tsukumo continues to work hard and Mix Juice notice his dirty white lab coat in episode 8. They decide to buy a new one via online shopping but realized they can’t afford it. So they choose to strip him and wash it instead. Hanagata is made to do another space experiment with Furoku. This time he has to sign a contract. Though he’ll get loads of money, if he fails he will die! Her MIBs forcefully make him stamp his thumbprint! Because of that, Hanagata goes to see Mix Juice and wants them to ride Furoku’s rocket but they turn him down citing their tight schedule and don’t want to betray Tsukumo. With his life on the line, Hanagata manages to convince Furoku to delay the blastoff till midnight. While Himawari is washing Tsukumo’s coat, Hanagata appears and tries to persuade her to do a solo debut because she has something different from the rest. But the only condition is to ride Furoku’s rocket. After that, he’ll announce the disbandment of Mix Juice so this would make her not breach her contract with Tsukumo. Himawari is in a dilemma. Because she is taking too long, Yuri goes looking for her but stumbles upon Hanagata. He too tells her the same thing! Then Ayame goes looking for them but Hanagata finds her first and the same solo speech with her at the diner. Finally he approaches Sakura and you can guess what he told her. What is that stupid threat that if they don’t come, he’ll haunt them?! That night as Tsukumo watches the news, he sees Hanagata hosting a broadcast of Furoku’s launch. He introduces Furoku as the main sponsor and the 4 pilots. The Mix Juice girls are surprised to see each other. But Hanagata says that Mix Juice has been disbanded and they are now known as Rocket Girls. He adds that they were the ones who decided to come. Sly… No choice, they enter the conventional fossil fuel burning space shuttle as it blasts into orbit. Furoku takes a little detour to hit Kiku’s sisters and Tsukumo knows she is purposely doing this to piss him off. Tsukumo calls Kiku to launch Wandaba Mark VI. Then Ichirin comes in with a bunch of white lab coats and it seems the girls did break their bank to buy it. Kiku’s countdown: 21 days.

Furoku’s team reach the Moon in episode 9 and it seems with her resources, a concert stadium has already been built. Mix Juice still feels guilty for breaking their promise with Tsukumo and wonder if they could perform in their spacesuits so no one could see their faces. Hanagata ticks them off about showbiz and the likes and since they’re still reluctant, he’s going to perform himself and be popular. The girls reflect on their trials and harsh life so they decide to perform. As Furoku broadcast her success to Earth, Kiku pleads to Tsukumo to create a little sister to send to space but he isn’t interested. Noting how humans aren’t interested in the sky and only what’s in front of their eyes. Mix Juice debut concert begins as Hanagata does all the backstage work due to lack of staff (heck, he’s the only one). Tsukumo uses his telescope to zoom in on the Moon. He is glad Mix Juice arrived safely and is performing. Then he broadcasts their performance to the world. Hanagata’s supervisor is trying to get Mix Juice debut CD to be broadcast and thinks Hanagata has done it. After the performance, the girls and Hanagata congratulate each other but Furoku mentions they aren’t going back to Earth. Well, the contract states of going to the Moon but nothing about coming back so there’s no breach. Yeah, they’re stuck, much to their dismay. Sorry, Hanagata. No reception to call your mother on the Moon. Tsukumo also realizes this since there is no capsule for a return trip but he decides not to rescue them since the girls’ agreed to her plans on their own free will. He sets his target to Mars since the Moon is conquered, much to Kiku’s dismay. Why do we need a countdown now that Furoku has touchdown on the Moon? Yeah, 14 days left.

In episode 10, Mix Juice is trying to persuade Furoku to change her mind but she’s adamant to stay and willing to be a sacrifice for progress in the name of science. Hanagata too thinks of going back home but since they’re stuck, might as well do some promo videos! WTF?! Furthermore, he thinks Tsukumo will come and save them but the girls think otherwise because they’ve betrayed him. Hanagata goes off alone, falls into a crater, briefly got abducted by aliens and comes into contact with a large diamond. He sees a little octopus-like blob and emotionally gets attached with it. Meanwhile Furoku shows them a little rocket. The girls think it’s their ticket home but it’s just enough to carry data and a guide post to the next people who will come to the Moon. After Furoku tells them to accept their fate, the girls fight each other to see who gets to ride on it back home (probably it had room enough for 1 person) but it took off since you know, you can’t wait for their argument to end. Kiku and Ichirin plead to Tsukumo to go save the girls but he is still stubborn. Ichirin tells Kiku to pack up and take the white lab coats with them. Before Ichirin leaves, he gives Tsukumo a few words of advice. The Moon is the closest satellite to us and we don’t know anything about it. If he’s trying to get there first and nothing else, then he is no better than those who have the same intention who are just to show off. Kiku and Ichirin are going to save the girls by themselves in Wandaba Mark VII but before they blastoff, they’re surprised to see Tsukumo onboard. After his long speech about different theories on how planets were formed, in short, he is going with them. Ichirin’s words must have got through his thick skull. Glad he changed his mind. As they blastoff in a capsule tied to a very long elastic rubber band tied down to Earth (seriously?!), we see Tsukumo’s dad returning and watching from afar. It seems he was the one who made Ichirin went through all that.

As Mix Juice resigns to their fate of staying on the Moon, they decide to sing one last time when they see a capsule come crashing their way. They are happy to see Tsukumo and co. They’re going back. Tsukumo confronts Furoku and wants to make peace with her and return with them. But she insists on staying. He tells her he doesn’t care about being 1st on the Moon anymore because the more important thing is that they don’t know anything about it. The next step is to see whether humans can live here and it would be a waste for her to end it here. She agrees and they shake hands. They don’t have much time since the rubber band is breaking. Then they realize Hanagata isn’t around but the girls are happy to leave him behind! Devils! So when Hanagata sees the gang leaving, he hurries up to catch them and I can’t believe he ‘swam’ faster than the capsule! That desperate, eh? Luckily Kiku and the girls form a human chain to grab him in as the capsule springs back to Earth. Must be a really long rubber band. When they land, Mix Juice has become popular as the media mobs them. Furoku thanks Tsukumo and leaves in her car. Dad is in it as he tells her how their son has surpassed them and to recognize his achievements. Why do we need Kiku’s countdown of 7 days for anyway?

Hanagata is back in his home in episode 11 spending time with the water loving blob he brought along from the Moon, Sachiko. He mentions how the girls don’t need him anymore since they’re famous. Speaking of which, they have legions of fans and are on the road to stardom. Mix Juice decides to pay Tsukumo a visit and hold a celebration party for their success. They try to call Hanagata but he doesn’t pick up. He must really love Sachiko, playing with it and taking it to the ocean as he notices it grows bigger each time it absorbs water. Then he gets a call from the girls and is forced to come to show his gratitude for being rescued. He leaves Sachiko to play alone but promises to be back. As the party starts, Hanagata is having the time of his life! Drunk and passed out! And he didn’t want to come… Lonely Sachiko grows into giant size and wrecks havoc on the city. The jet fighters’ missiles are ineffective. Tsukumo’s party is interrupted when they get reports of the rampaging monster and it’s heading their way. The girls want Tsukumo to defend his lab but since it has no weapons, Tsukumo plans to use a previous Wandaba craft and send it back to space. Using Wandaba Mark III, the plan is to grab Sachiko and let the craft fly into space while they abandon ship. The plan goes accordingly as everyone jumps off. Till it’s Hanagata’s turn. He realizes the monster is Sachiko and it came for him since he never came back. He is going to save it. The craft loses grip as Sachiko falls into the ocean. Tsukumo says at this point they have no choice but to electrocute the sea and blow it up. But Hanagata still wants to save it and extends his hand (he can pilot the craft?). But Sachiko pushes him away. Hanagata isn’t going to let it die alone and jumps down to die with it! Then an explosion occurs. However both are still alive as Hanagata says his farewell to Sachiko. They’re going to catapult it back to space. Hanagata does the honours and becomes inconsolable. Pitiful. At least he has a heart. Tsukumo ponders Sachiko may have come from a faraway place and has decided on his next experiment.

The Mix Juice girls are getting more famous in episode 12. But you know, so famous that they have differences and start arguing among themselves again. Yeah, they even have look-a-like groupies now. Except for Ayame because she has her Mr Fairies. Because they need to write a new song and have been starring at each other’s face for too long, they think of taking time off from each other. Meanwhile Tsukumo after getting inspiration from Sachiko has decided his next experiment is to venture into space like a spore. Using Wandaba Mark III, he, Kiku and Ichirin are floating above the Earth’s orbit. Ichirin and Kiku are against Tsukumo doing such an experiment as a human’s body isn’t built for such space environment adaptation. However he states he is never returning. Eventually Hanagata and Mix Juice all gather at Tsukumo’s lab and are surprised to find Tsukumo out in space. Then Kiku did the honours to Wandaba them all onboard. At that speed they’re screeching against the orbit on the cable, they should’ve been toast! Tsukumo uses a combination of his past experiments like Earth’s rotational power and carbonated power to propel him on course. He is set for this journey when he learns Hanagata and the girls are onboard. He decides to send them back and change the coordinates though they want to journey with him. Tsukumo learns this was all part of Kiku’s plan because she doesn’t want him to bite off more than he can chew and wants him to continue experimenting. Kiku asserts her love for Tsukumo so the rest tease their lovey-dovey affair and it’s getting hot. And I mean, really hot. Yup, they’re approaching the sun.

Using its orbit to swing back to Earth, however they enter a meteor field and it damages the capsule. After doing calculations, they have 1 chance but the timing must be accurate and they need someone behind to handle the controls. Hanagata volunteers himself to stay back and be a new legend since the capsule will be on course with Halley’s Comet. Mix Juice gets emotional and finally love their manager and thinks of staying back instead of him. Their emotional group hug is disrupted when Tsukumo forces them into the emergency capsule. He’s going to leave Kiku to pilot the craft. However Kiku mentions that she will only be back in 27000 years! That’s around 74 years! Tsukumo’s going to be a grandpa! Too late, Kiku has set her course with Halley’s Comet. When the gang crashes back on Earth, the girls still think they can go save Kiku so Tsukumo says that all he can do now is to keep going forth with his Wandaba and the girls should do the same with their own Wandaba. They have a Wandaba? He meant their singing. They hope they will come to their concert some day. As Mix Juice conducts their National Tour, a space craft comes crashing nearby. Looks like it’s Tsukumo all messed up but he has successfully rescued Kiku! Hooray! Their reunion is short-lived because Tsukumo wants them to come on his next Wandaba Style. Not again! Hey, I thought they’d follow him anywhere.

So are they going to hold another concert on the Moon again since the final conversations seem to be indicating so? It was a good thing that the gang still stick together at the end. Hanagata wasn’t such a bad person after all. Perhaps the meeting with Sachiko changed him, eh? At first he was a guy would not hesitate to do shady stuff for money and usually bearing the brunt of it (still does at the end) whether it is some unfortunate event or being blown away into the sky. What would we do without this comic relief guy? Hey Tsukumo, ever noticed how he is being launched to space? Perhaps he should consider this method of being sent to the Moon as well. Just put on a space suit with lots of oxygen. Hanagata grows into a manager who cares for his Mix Juice girls and didn’t care about his road to fame anymore. Though the Mix Juice girls are still quarrelling right at the end, at least their relationship is much better off as compared to the start. But their overall personalities still remain the same like Sakura’s mouthing off and smart alec behaviour usually gets others annoyed while Yuri may still have that stubborn pride as a rock singer and act tough. Don’t think Ayame will ever be cured of seeing her illusion Mr Fairy friends.

Tsukumo’s long standing rivalry with Furoku was perhaps the reason he was rushing to get to the Moon. A big chunk of the series seems to focus on just getting there but after Furoku did it with Mix Juice, the Moon mission doesn’t seem important anymore as the couple of last episodes threw in an alien life form and an eternal journey to the final frontier. It was a good thing that mother and son reconciled but I’m wondering if she would be continuing her own experiments after that. Tsukumo may not be successful in many of his experiments but at least he made a few friends along the way. Kiku’s love for him is unconditional because he put lots of effort into creating her so I guess it’s natural for a satellite to return the love to her master even if machines aren’t meant to have any sort of feelings.

An eyebrow raiser I find was about the time trip inconsistency. When the Mix Juice girls return back in time to see Tsukumo, didn’t they have an effect of the future by meeting young Tsukumo? And if that young lad had met the girls when he was young, he should at least recognize them when he first took them in for his Wandaba experiments, right? Or was it because he knew of it and accepted them when Hanagata offered him that contract? The seiyuus of Mix Juice sings both the opening and the ending themes of the series, The IJIN-DEN Tensai No Hosoku and Moon De Go! Go! respectively. I’ve got this feeling that both songs felt like a mix between all-girls group and surfer music from the 60’s. Must be the way they play those guitar riffs. Except for that insert song they sing all the time. Really does sound like an all-girls group pop song.

I guess on a subtle note they are trying to hint on the eco concept. Tsukumo’s ideas may seem ideal on paper but if they really do work, don’t you think those guys at NASA would have already figure it out? Don’t tell me they got those ideas from a bunch of manga artists. Besides, it won’t be economical or cost wise to do so. Yeah, it’s all about the money in the end. But if you still want to save money on paying astronauts, why not hire a bunch of idols as experiment subjects to do the job? Saves a lot. Just get ready for the incessant screaming. You don’t need to go to space to conserve and save the Earth. You can still do so like switching off the lights when you’re not using them. But ironically when I think about Tsukumo’s eco-friendly methods, it was just confined to going to space because I noticed his futuristic island lab isn’t. There are lots of mechanical stuffs, you know. I wonder what powers them. Don’t think hamsters or carrots did the trick.

On a trivial note, when I first heard about this anime many years ago (yes, I knew there was such an anime but did not have the chance to watch it due to many ‘circumstances’), the name of the series made me ponder what the show’s significance is. I mistakenly thought it has something to do with the Wonder Bra! Gosh. They sure do sound alike. Well, the series does have its fanservice moments after all (why do the girls wear the same coloured undies)? So what the heck does Wandaba mean? Definitely not found in any dictionaries. Probably just some catchphrase Tsukumo came out with. Even that background music went “Wandabadaba Wandabadabadabadaba…”. Something like that. Funny.

If you’re an idol way past your prime, doing crazy things may just bring you back to the spotlight. Whether for good or bad reasons, that’s another story. And though still costly today, you need to be multi-billionaire if you want to go up to space as a tourist. I think before we humans try to live in space, we should try living on Earth first. That means respecting Mother Nature and the likes. Man was made to be grounded for a reason and if God wanted us to fly, He would have given us wings. Oh, oh! I have a suggestion for Tsukumo that he might find useful to get to the Moon without hurting Earth. Built a long suspension bridge from the Earth to the Moon! It’s like making a staircase to Heaven ;p. Oh, it’s that sound, time to find my Wandaba!

Wandaba Style