If you notice that both girls have a creepy resemblance to a ghost character in a particular horror movie. Their pale skin, their long slender black hair and their socially inability to communicate with the other ‘normal’ people. Yes, that’s right. It is Sunako Nakahara from Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge and Sawako “Sadako” Kuronuma from Kimi Ni Todoke. From a stranger’s perspective, they may get scared out of their pants. But if you get to know them a little better, you’ll find out that they’re not as bad as they seem. Looks can be deceiving…

Age
Sunako: 15 years old.
Sawako: 16 years old.

Eye colour
Sunako: Violet.
Sawako: Dark brown.

Meaning of name
Sunako: Since her name is officially written in katakana, the meaning is not known. However some may translate it as sand or gold dust.
Sawako: It means “lively child” but often nicknamed as “Sadako” as reference to a character from the horror movie The Ring.

How her misunderstood creepy character came about
Sunako: The boy she first confessed her love too rejected her and called her “ugly”.
Sawako: Due to her very shy nature and tendency not to correct people about their misconceptions.

Her good traits
Other stuff she is good at. No, scaring people isn’t one of them.
Sunako: Cooking, athletic, intelligent and plays good piano.
Sawako: Cooking, neat and orderly notes, knits well and makes Christmas gifts by her own hands.

The boy
The XY that is seen as the prospect love interest.
Sunako: Kyouhei Takano.
Sawako: Shouta Kazehaya.

How the chemistry came about
Sunako: Kyouhei and the other guys are tasked by the Landlady to turn Sunako into a lady as part of a deal to live in the luxurious mansion rent-free. Oh course the hot-cold relationship between them is amusing though it isn’t hinted that if they have feelings for each other. I would say it is more of a mixed feeling.
Sawako: Kazehaya as the outgoing and very friendly guy can’t stand seeing others being left out or in trouble. Because the other classmates shun her, Kazehaya takes it to himself to help her not feel isolated. During the course of the series, both developed feelings for each other though they can’t tell each other yet.

The other boys
The other males who get along with her.
Sunako: Takenaga Oda, Yukinojo “Yuki” Toyama and Ranmaru Morii.
Sawako: Ryuu Sanada.

Her girl pals
Girls need to have their own girlfriends too, right?
Sunako: Noi Kasahara. Later it is Tamao Kikunoi
Sawako: Ayane Yano and Chizuru “Chizu” Yoshida. Later it is Eriko Hirano and Tomoko Endou.

Past friends
She wasn’t always alone.
Sunako: 4 mannequins namely Josephine the skeleton, George the husband of Josephine and the anatomical models figure Hiroshi and Akira.
Sawako: Her middle school classmate Shino.

Her rivals
You need this if there is going to be a love triangle, quadruple, etc or someone who just don’t like her.
Sunako: The Goth-loli girls, Ganguro Girls and just about the rest of the other girls who have a crush on our quartet of handsome guys.
Sawako: Ume “Kurumi” Kurumizawa and just about the rest of the other girls who have a crush on Kazehaya.
Yeah, I know. Being least popular is a sin. Especially if you’re hanging out with popular guys.

Her parents
Sunako: They live abroad, believed to be in Africa as they have left her in the care of her aunt known as the Landlady.
Sawako: They live together in a house in Japan.

Prone to
What I notice she is inclined to.
Sunako: Nose bleeds whenever she sees the dazzling light of the guys’ beauty.
Sawako: Profuse apologizing whenever she thinks her words upset people.

First kiss
Sunako: During a heated ping pong match against Kyouhei, they accidentally kissed in mid-air.
Sawako: While walking back alone with Kazehaya, she closed her eyes and tugged his shirt. They could’ve kissed if they didn’t open their eyes and back off. Seems Sawako misinterpreted this ‘advice’ from Pin to do this if she ever wants to talk to him.

Outing with others
Can’t stay cooked up at home all the time, can’t she?
Sunako: A visit to a hotspring inn with the guys, an invitation by the Landlady to an island with a rumoured legendary pirate and an outing with her girl pals to the spa.
Sawako: A sleepover at Chizu’s place with Ayane, a farewell party with her classmates for her homeroom teacher’s transfer and a visit to a local shrine temple with Kazehaya on New Year’s Eve.

Sports festival participation
Sunako: She fiercely participates in every darn event against Kyouhei. She wins some, he wins some. But in the end as they’re both neck-to-neck, neither won when the teacher puts off all deals on the bets (the motivation for the duo to beat each other was the prize they would receive from a couple of students betting on them).
Sawako: She joins her classmates in the football category. Her class lost all their matches.

Pretty version
When they don’t look ‘scary’, that is.
Sunako: Whenever we see her real eyes or her mood turns confident.
Sawako: Whenever she smiles.

Chibi mode
That super-deformed kawaii version we see them as sometimes.
Sunako: As a visual metaphor of how she and the rest see herself.
Sawako: Whenever she is dense, panic (comical) or dreamy.

In the end
The change she underwent.
Sunako: She may not have turned into an ideal lady but at least she doesn’t lock herself up in a dark room watching horror and bloody movies 24/7. She is more receptive towards the quartet of guys she has been living with.
Sawako: She gradually opens up herself and is able to talk to other people with more confidence albeit she still has a long way to go.

Seiyuu
Sunako: Yukiko Takaguchi.
Sawako: Mamiko Noto.

Conclusion
It was quite tough for me to do a comparison between both girls because Sunako lacked information on her personal bio-data while there is no sufficient data on the likes and dislikes of Sawako. Both girls show that it isn’t the outside appearance that counts but the inner beauty that lies within them. Because Sunako comes from the slapstick comedy genre, I’d love her character in the sensed that she went through a roller coaster ride of events. Especially when she is in action mode. On the other hand, because Mamiko Noto is my favourite seiyuu, in a way Sawako is likeable in that area. Otherwise the typically shoujo romance genre makes her less ‘formidable’ as compared to the former. As opposed to misconceptions that popular guys should end up with popular girls, it goes to show that total opposites do attract. After all, they’re both ‘normal’ teenage high school girls, right?

Sunako Nakahara Sawako Kuronuma

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge

February 2, 2008

Lots of beautiful people here. Pretty people aplenty. Okay, for most of it anyway. That was my first impression when I started watching Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge. Just like most popular mangas, this one too has been adapted into an anime series. But unlike any other manga turned animes, as far as I’m concerned, this is the only anime I know that doesn’t retain its manga title. Yup, this anime is based on the manga entitled The Wallflower or also known as Perfect Girl Evolution. Of course, there are some differences as well between the anime and manga.
 
I could say that this anime would easily be included in my top all-time favourite animes because the comedy factor here is sky high. You could say that it even reaches the point of absurdity and nonsensicalness (if there are such words that exists). Each episode never ceases to make me burst into laughter.
 
Though the manga is still ongoing, the anime series has only 25 episodes. I suppose it’s more than enough wackiness to last a long time. The basic premise of the story mainly focuses on 4 high school boys, Kyohei Takano, Takenaga Oda, Ranmaru Mori and Yukinojo Toyama AKA Yuki. Their good looks alone are enough to make any girls swoon and fall head over heels over them. Yes. Pretty looking boys. At first I thought they’re girly guys especially Yuki, whom I thought was a girl! But nope. Hmm… Must be their lips. They’re every and any girl’s dream guy, heartthrob and hunk. So much so going to school is such a hassle. It’s a sin to be beautiful, literally. I mean, it really gets to you when girls are just more than avid fans. Yeah, more like obsessed love-stricken admirers. You have girls surrounding them all the time and going ga-ga just about the slightest thing they do. Not to mention a fan club totally dedicated to them. Is this the kind of popularity they want? Don’t think so.
 
However, that wasn’t really the basic premise. That just feels like the setting. Okay, now here’s what it’s all about. The handsome quartet gets to live in a big luxurious mansion rent free. But there’s a catch. In order to do so, they have to turn their landlady’s niece, Sunako Nakahara into a lady. Sounds easy? Wait till you see this Sunako girl. To cut things short, Sunako isn’t your typical girly girl. I mean, she’s not the tomboyish kind either. You see, Sunako has an obsession for darkness and horror-like stuff! Because of that, she rarely has friends and is always by herself (also read: stubborn). Uh huh. She has a couple of mannequins to keep her company and which she even talks to! Is that scary or what? Furthermore, at times Sunako looks like a character popped out from a horror movie!
 
No matter how scary she is, I guess the guys have no choice but to turn her into a lady. I mean, the rent free luxurious mansion sounds a once in a lifetime offer but failure to do so will result in them having to pay their rent 3 times the rate as penalty! Woah! Better start cracking your heads now.
 
Things don’t start off on a good note as we see the guys enjoying tea in the mansion’s garden when something inhuman pops out and scare the living daylights out of them in episode 1. They soon realize it’s Sunako. Yeah, such dark and deadly aura she’s got there so much so the lights even burst when she walks pass by! I hope these guys won’t get an early heart attack. Yeah, talk about having to live with a real life horror thing. At first their attempts to even communicate with Sunako failed because she pretty much locks herself up in her dark room watching horror and gruesomely dark movies. She also has a large collection of those weird stuff mad experiment scientists put in their jar. However, whenever Sunako sees the faces of these handsome guys, she’ll experience nosebleeds. Yeah, it look like their bright shining aura of handsomeness is too bright for her to handle so much so she’ll say "Dazzling creatures…" everytime when that happens. Also, the background music will turn into something like heavenly choir voices. Halelujah! How fitting.
 
So just how ‘ugly’ is Sunako? People who pass by her even thinks it’s a real ghost or monster and runs away screaming! Boy, this is gotta be a tough job. I love the funny part whereby the guys are at a cafe lamenting how they’re gonna turn Sunako into a lady when the waitress came to take their order. They reply "I want a normal girl". With that, we see all those loser girls suddenly appearing from nowhere creating a riot at the cafe trying to prove how ‘normal’ they are. How abnormal. Hahaha.
 
Since their attempts to even come close to Sunako failed, coupled in with the fact that she gets upset and disheartened when some random stranger calls her ugly, Sunako attempts to run away but Kyohei goes after her and tries to talk some sense into bringing her back. The real reason why she’s turned into something like this was because a guy she liked back then called her ugly. Call it silly or nothing much to it, but I guess that’s enough to scar a young girl’s heart and mind. Thus the word ‘ugly’ is taboo to her and if anyone calls her that, she’ll snap. Sunako eventually comes back to the mansion as she remembers the kindness the guys did to her earlier on. Though they later got a call from the landlady to check her niece’s progress status, they had to say that Sunako’s a magnificent lady already. I guess it’s more than financial reasons at stake here. Don’t worry guys. The road ahead is still a long one. Filled with bumps, cracks and portholes. Good luck.
 
So it’s gonna be like this in most episodes. The guys try to come up with various ways to break the ice with Sunako but with hilarious results. Usually it doesn’t work out well in the end because Sunako’s still that dark loving creature in the end. However, as the series progresses, you’ll see that the guys form a bond with Sunako. Yeah, these guys pretty much prefer Sunako over those jealous pretty school girls, so much so, those girls will wonder who that dark lady is and why such gorgeous hunks are with her. That’s because you’re losers, girl. Also, viewers will kinda notice it’s gonna be Kyohei-Sunako the way they interact or do things. No, not that they become a couple but rather it points towards that, even though you’ll see them squabbling. Ah, just like a normal couple in love, right? Okay, maybe not that normal. Erm… That’s because Kyohei’s sarcasm is enough to drive Sunako up the wall so much so at times she just wants to kill him. And she’ll do it I tell you! Luckily some force will restrain her from doing so.
 
I also want to mention that Sunako during the anime, has 2 forms of appearance. One form is her dark short chibi self and the other one is her tall beautiful self. Hey, Sunako’s not that ugly when she’s in the latter’s form! Why she even has beautiful eyes. When things get ‘hot’ or ‘excited’, Sunako will transform into this shape (some destructive mode, that is) or else she’ll be just that shorty person with no facial features. I also love the versatile voice acting of Sunako. In her chibi form she’s sounds like a ‘muffled’ crazy insecure chubby kid but when she’s in her other form, she sounds more ‘commanding’ and lose that weak girly voice. Somehow her form’s stature seems to have an impact on the series in the sense that when she’s in her chibi mode, people do bend down and talk to her and she even has difficulty reaching heights she would easily reach in her other form. Hmm…
 
In each episode, there’ll be at least 1 segment called Path To Become A Lady. It’s a short comical clip with the characters giving the do’s and don’ts of becoming a lady. It’s really quite hilarious and though some of the advice seems logical, try it at your own risk. I like whoever is screaming when the segment starts rolling. In some episodes, this segment may be replaced with another theme like Path To Do Housework or even Path To Become A Horrible Man (that’s right. You didn’t hear me wrongly), depending on the particular episode’s theme. Also each episode starts off with 1 of Sunako’s mannequins, Hiroshi (her other mannequins are Josephine, Akira and George), narrating some witty or sarcastic remarks which disgusts the 4 guys as they rebuke what he says. Remember, Sunako talks to her mannequins and treats them like her companions, so it’s right that they have a ‘voice’ in this series as well.
 
I kinda notice that at times when the comical action gets a little on the way (like getting shock, surprise or scared), or there are too many people or rather, unimportant characters on screen, the producers will draw them in a simple manner. In fact, too simple. It’s like those human symbols you see on road and toilet signs, only thing is they’re all white in colour. I’m not sure if this is the right description, but it’s something like this. Even the main characters sometimes get this treatment, usually their handsome/pretty face being retained but their bodies have been drawn into this similar manner. You may say that it saves costs and time, but you’ll find it funny and it does fit in the flow of the series. Marshmallow people?
 
So episode 2 continues with the guys trying to ‘force’ Sunako to become a lady, like having her bangs cut, but as usual, she doesn’t cooperate. I suppose spending too much time in darkness has resulted Sunako to not stand the sunlight too. Mainly, this episode introduces Noi Kasahara, who is Takenaga’s girlfriend. Your typical hyped and positive girl who eventually becomes best buddies with Sunako. Hey, since Sunako’s living with the guys, she not only does the laundry, cooking and household chores, she has to attend school too, right? Yeah, we see that whole bunch of loser girls waiting outside the school awaiting the arrival of their heavenly princes. They get a rude shock when they find out someone uglier than them following the heartthrobs and even living with them! Life is unfair. Anyway, these girls need to get a life.
 
Another bunch of loser girls introduced are the Goth-loli girls. A group of ‘ugly’ looking girls with ‘tentacle arms’ (are they trying to do some Hindu God dance?) dressed in goth-loli dressing and are one of the many obsessed admirers of the handsome 4. Their appearance are mainly comical and they always do their trademark sign by holding up their crossed finger high in the air and say "Goth goth… Loli loli". Expect them to flop or fail in whatever attempts they do, whether it’s to attract the attention of the guys or separate Sunako from them.
 
This episode sees how the boys in the school makes a competition with a reward of 100,000 Yen to see who can get a facial pic shot of Sunako. That’s enough to motivate any guy and they start chasing a hapless Sunako around school. Sunako manages to escape from them and seeks refuge in a shed but a quartet gang of Ganguro Girls (tanned bad ass girls whose appearances will be scattered and seldom throughout the series) cornering Sunako and bullies her to cut her bangs. Kyohei finds out about this and confronts the gang. Of course those love stricken bad girls try to play all goody and deny it. However, 1 of them accidentally injured Kyohei with her fingernails! Gasp! Sunako saw this and snaps out as she defeats the Ganguro Girls. Scary. Don’t play play. Sunako even cut her own bangs and demands the girls to apologize to Kyohei! Soon after Kyohei develops a fever and Sunako has to nurse him. But even when Kyohei’s sick, he’s still ordering Sunako around, making her wanting to kill him. The other 3 guys try to calm her down and give her some confidence of becoming a lady by showing a fake picture of a fat Noi while she was young and how she turned into a pretty and kawaii lady she is now. I guess, Sunako took that too literally because, she’s gonna kill Kyohei for being beautiful. Ah, haven’t I said that it’s a sin being beautiful?
 
Yeah, being beautiful is not only a sin, but in demand as well. In episode 3, several men-in-black (MIB) approaches Kyohei to recruit him as some host club member. Of course, that guy turns it all down. That night, the landlady unexpectedly arrives to see how her niece is doing but the guys give some excuse that she’s cooking and doing something. I guess the landlady is stinking filthy rich that’s because she’ll always come by in some exaggerated mode of transport, in this case, a bunch of helicopters, and wishing the guys in some foreign language of hers. Yeah, she eventually has to fly off because she’s a busy busy woman. Busy to go to her lover, that is. Before that, she tells the guys about the upcoming party in which she expects Sunako to be a gorgeous lady by then to attend. As usual, the foursome tries to ‘train’ her but is futile. Another Kyohei-Sunako spat so much so Sunako tries another attempt to take his life but is unable to do so because of his ‘dazzling light’. However, the MIBs storm into Kyohei’s room and kidnaps him. By hook or crook, they just have to have his beautiful face.
 
Thus, the other 3 guys along with Noi forcefully dresses up Sunako before they go on a rescue attempt. Upon reaching a club supposedly where Kyohei is kidnapped, the gang is shocked to find Kyohei being auctioned! Oh dear. Is this the price to pay for beauty? Sunako snaps and goes on a rampage causing the entire club to be demolished. Yeah, she’s claiming how she’s the only 1 who can touch Kyohei and nobody else, because she personally wants to kill him. Yeah, don’t get the wrong idea that she’s in love with him or what, that’s why she wants to rescue him. As the club owner tries to flee, he bumps into his girlfriend. Why, it’s the landlady! She saw all that’s happening and gives him her version of justice. Because of that, the landlady decides to cancel the party, and also the rent free agreement as penalty for the guys. Oh oh. Now they’re several zeros poorer. Erm… Isn’t that a bloody looooooong limousine the landlady’s riding in? Yeah, the guys wonder if it could even make a decent turn. I suppose being rich really attracts because the landlady has a new boyfriend too. That’s really fast.
 
Since the guys are broke, they’re thinking of ways to make some money. Luck is on their side because in episode 4, their school announces a prize money of 500,000 Yen for the best school cultural exhibit. Kyohei does some food stall but because all the loser girls are swooning over him, causing jealousy with the other guys as they vandalize his stall. Though Kyohei fights back, this causes his stall to explode because of the gas tank. Later, the gang finds out that Sunako’s class is doing a haunted house and decides to help her to win the prize, thinking that if she wins, they could get some portion of the money. In the end, it was enough for Sunako to win the prize. She’s a natural. Then an announcement that Kyohei wins as the king while Yuki as the queen (this poor guy reluctantly always have to be in a female’s role) of the school’s cultural festival. While the girls are loving it, the guys are in protest. Soon a battle of the sexes begins. During the chaos, one of the vandals decides to challenge Kyohei when Sunako appears to beat the crap out of the guy. Back home, the gang are happy to have won the grand prize and a further 200,000 Yen due to Kyohei and Yuki’s win but they soon receive a call from school demanding a compensation of 700,000 Yen for the damage Kyohei’s stall explosion caused to the school building. Ah well. Broke again. Easy come easy go.
 
A photographer, Kinoyama, spots Sunako’s pic at the school festival and becomes infatuated in making her his model in episode 5. In order to entice her to come, the guys tell her that the theme is set in a haunted castle. However, Kinoyama notices that Sunako isn’t the photogenic kind and isn’t satisfied with all the shots, so much so he decides to recruit the 4 guys for his photo shoot. Kinoyama seems to like Yuki and tells him how he couldn’t have done it with that ugly Sunako. This pisses off Yuki as he walks off the set. Kinoyama throw several insults at him. Sunako heard all this and destroys Kinoyama’s equipment. Kyohei rush to the scene after hearing some commotion but got injured on his way. Eventually the gang decides to leave the place as Kinoyama took 1 last shot of them. That last shot of them leaving was enough to win some prize. Kinoyama even invited them to his gallery. I suppose this winning shot wasn’t the most surprising one. That’s because the landlady’s there at the exhibit too and she instantly took their rightful share of the prize money as rent payment. Ah, broke again. Not their destiny to be rich, huh?
 
Sunako is feeling depressed so much so she neglects her household chores and stays locked up in her room in episode 6. The guys can’t figure out why and when they think it may be her birthday and throw her one, they realize it isn’t so either. Because of that, the guys try to do the household chores themselves but ends up worse than before. So much so when they head for school, all those squealing girls can’t stand the stench and kept their distances. Hey, this is 1 way of making them stay away. However, it had the same effect on Noi too. The guys then explained to her what had happened. Noi then tries to takeover the household chores as part of her plans to impress Takenaga. Unfortunately, she’s as ‘useless’ as the guys. Bummer. Noi then had a heart to heart talk with Sunako, in which Noi realized that Sunako is depressed because she missed Halloween’s Day. The rest then starts to plan a Halloween party for Sunako. Soon Sunako comes out to find the mansion decorated with a Halloween theme, much to her delight, as the gang parties.
 
Some gangster from the National Boss Association (is such association legal?) comes looking for the strongest man in town in episode 7 so that he could defeat him and rule the roost. I don’t know how, but this Mob Boss (let’s call him this) gets word that Kyohei is the strongest guy and proceeds to challenge him. Ah, once again Kyohei is in the spotlight. However, upon arrival at Kyohei’s school, Mob Boss falls in love at first sight when he sees Sunako. Yeah, love does work in mysterious ways. The guys think it’s a perfect chance for Sunako to turn into a lady. Not. Mob Boss eventually decides to send his henchmen to kidnap Sunako but they’re worried how to do so because by just watching her cleaning her mannequins, they’re thinking how scary this woman could get. But they accidentally kidnap Hiroshi in their panic as Sunako chases after them. Yeah, it’s even scarier when some scary woman starts chasing you too. Soon Sunako became Mob Boss’s hostage. Noi saw this and reported back to the guys but Kyohei just laughed it off, pissing off Noi as she slaps him. Noi and along with Takenaga, Ranmaru and Yuki went to save Sunako. However, they all became hostages instead. Mob Boss would only release them if Kyohei is here. Speak of the devil, Kyohei arrives to beat up Mob Boss and his croonies but is overwhelmed by their numbers. Since the gangsters threatens to harm Sunako, Sunako goes into rampage mode and beats up the gangsters. Think they could use this girl? Think again. In the end, everyone heads home and that’s the last time you’ll see Mob Boss. He got really beaten up. Yeah, love hurts. Kyohei is glad that Sunako’s safe and hugs her. But Sunako experiences another round of nosebleeding while Noi thanks Takenaga for standing up and fight earlier on (though he got beaten up) because she thinks it’s cool for a guy to protect a girl, making him blush.
 
Sunako thinks that her peaceful days are gone ever since she has to take over the household chores in episode 8. Though the other guys think of working part time in a restaurant to ease her burden, Kyohei still insists that Sunako cooks for them. Furthermore, Kyohei wants to eat nabe tomorrow. So Sunako and Kyohei head to town to buy some ingredients and it seems the townspeople misinterpret their relationship, thinking they’re a couple. Why, they even gave her some free stuff. But Kyohei buys them all and ends up poorer. Beside all that hoollo-balla at the shopping district, the guys got a part time job as waiters in a restaurant because of their good looks. Hey, their cooking sucks remember. We also see several Kyohei-Sunako moments. So as everyone try their best, in the end, the gang manages to make and enjoy a decent nabe meal.
 
Because Ranmaru has dozen of girlfriends, in episode 9, one of them a hotspring hostess, Sayuri, invites him and the gang to her hotspring inn. I think Ranmaru like older women that’s why I kinda notice he ‘snubs’ girls around his age. So the gang along with Noi, forcefully brings Sunako along with them as usual as they ride a train there. While Ranmaru hooks up pretty well with Sayuri, Noi wants to be spend some quality time with Takenaga. Since Noi mentioned that if she becomes Takenaga’s full fledge girlfriend, she’ll move in with them and takeover the household chores (even though she sucks), Sunako thinks this would allow her to shift all the household chores to her and tries to help Noi and Takenaga to be alone. But the hilarious part in this episode is when Kyohei and Sunako engaged in a frenzy super pulsating ping pong match. They’re both filled with passion and determination not to lose to the other. Can you see anything with everything zooming by so fast? Because of the intensity and energy, somehow Kyohei and Sunako kissed while flying in mid-air over the ping pong table. Argh! Her first kiss stolen by an irritating dazzling creature. Of course, more nosebleeds after that. The episode however ends with a cliffhanger. The gang finds out that the inn’s manager is dead and Ranmaru is seen fleeing the scene. Could it be?
 
Episode 10 continues to shock everyone except Sunako because she’s loving all the blood and gore, until she finds out that the manager isn’t dead but in critical condition and is whisked away in an ambulance. Ranmaru tells the gang how he went to meet Sayuri that night but saw the manager’s body instead and that he didn’t kill him. Meanwhile Sunako tries to play detective and to find the murder weapon even though the manager isn’t dead but I guess thinking about a blood soaked weapon is enough to turn her on. Soon Sayuri tells Sunako the possibility where the murder weapon is and an excited Sunako follows into a storeroom. But it’s a trap! Sayuri ties her up and sets the place on fire, claiming how nosy Sunako is. Looks like Sayuri is the mastermind of all that has happened. Before she leaves, Sayuri calls her ugly. Oh oh. Kyohei and the rest spot a fire coming from the storeroom and rushes there and just in time to save Sunako. The rest soon accused her of attempted murder but Sayuri laughs it all off and says that they don’t have any proof as she blurts out the whole truth. Well, be careful of what you say. Since Sunako’s playing detective, she’s got a tape recorder in hand. Busted. Initially Ranmaru sided with Sayuri, but after hearing how she called Sunako ugly, it’s over between them. Though Noi is a little disappointed for not spending enough time alone with Takenaga, that guy makes it up by giving her a kiss. Aww… While Noi is naturally embarrassed, Sunako is also too because it brought back memories of that ping pong match…
 
Because of that, Sunako has a hard time concentrating on her studies in episode 11. All she can see is that word ‘chu~’ (sound effect for a kiss). Thus the landlady throws down a challenge to the guys saying that if Sunako manages to score 80% in maths, they’ll only pay half the rent. Better start coaching her. Thing is, they too suck in maths. Thus Kyohei forces Sunako to study and eventually challenges her to see who’ll get higher marks. Kyohei turning into a nerd? The other loser girls must be having their suspicions. Oh what has happened to that handsome hunk. Yeah, run away in tears you losers. Back home, the rest decide to do the household chores to give Sunako time to study. After the exams, another flashback of that kissing incident made Sunako freak out and wants to commit suicide. Kyohei stops her by forcing her to kiss a skull…?! Uh huh. Something about a kiss doesn’t mean anything if she doesn’t want it to be. Sunako calms down. When the exam results are out, everybody finds Sunako has scored a chicken egg! Well, actually she did get all the answers correct. Only thing is, she wrote them down in the wrong column. Darn. There goes the rent waiver.
 
Episode 12 is a Christmas episode and it’s been a year since the guys were ‘gathered’ and stayed at this mansion. We see a short flashback of their past lives and how they managed to barely live with each other then. For instance, Ranmaru’s a spoilt playboy brat and was sent to live here to learn the ways of real life while Takenaga’s an antisocial introvert and was sent here to learn how to socialize. Yuki seems to be the most ‘normal’ one as his dad had to work away for quite a long time and thus Yuki has to live here. But the most pitiful one is Kyohei’s. He was born such a beautiful boy that his parents had a hard time taking care of him. Why? Kyohei has been constantly harassed and mobbed by people who are taken in by his beauty. Because of that, his mom can’t take it anymore and kicks him out of the house. It’s a sin indeed to be beautiful. I’ve said that once too often already. Have ever heard of a guy being sexually harassed? No wonder Kyohei turns down or ignores all those opportunities to become popular and such. He has too much of it. The landlady bumps into Kyohei by chance (living in a cardboard box?) and invites him to stay at the mansion. The landlady tries to make the quartet more socialable but they had trouble interacting with each other. Trouble soon comes as Kyohei’s fangirls gather outside the mansion, demanding to see him. Since Kyohei isn’t too fond of it all, he decides to end it all by… begging on his knees for them to stop? Well, I suppose it was effective enough. The trio saw this and was touched. Ever since then, they’ve changed their ways and the foursome become close buddies.
 
Hooray! Sunako has turned into a lady in episode 13. How did this happen? Well, Sunako accidentally ate some magic mushrooms that the Goth-loli girls initially gave to Yuki. With that, wahlah! You’ve got a pretty, kind and gentle Sunako. All that you’ve ever dreamed of or wanted in a girl. However, there’s a catch. With Sunako’s amazing transformation, her cooking takes a toll. Urgh! That chicken tastes horrible. Is this series saying beautiful people can’t cook? Anyway Takenaga, Ranmaru and Yuki wants the old Sunako back because I think being scared isn’t as bad as being hungry. The trio asks Kyohei to kiss her so that she could remember that horrible incident and return to her normal self. But Kyohei doesn’t want to because this way, they’ll get to live rent free. Thus they ask Takenaga but he can’t do it too because it’ll be like cheating on Noi. Eventually Kyohei too prefers the old Sunako because her cooking now really sucks. He tries to kiss her but an innocent Sunako slaps him calling him a pervert. However they got a surprise just when they’re resigned to the fact that they’ll have bad cooking from now on. It seems after much practice, Sunako’s latest meal is pretty decent. Kyohei is so grateful that he hugs Sunako. In her embarrassment, Sunako reverts to her old self. Yeah, back to the good ol’ days again. I’m not sure why but Kyohei is seen watching a horror movie with Sunako in her dark room. He’s saying how he prefer the old scary Sunako. Huh? Maybe he’s got too many girly girls coming after him and Sunako’s dark characteristics can be considered as ‘refreshing’.
 
Ranmaru getting engaged? Well, his parents are arranging it with some wealthy girl, Kikunoe Tanao in episode 14. I guess Ranmaru still wants to continue with his playboy days and asks the other guys to help him in ruining this omiai (marriage meeting). So on the day itself, Ranmaru is dressed like a bad boy punk equipped with bad boy attitude in order to scare the girl’s family off. Since that didn’t work. Ranmaru tries to act all strict and then cowardly to change their minds but all is futile. But it also seems that Ranmaru may be falling for Tamao. Tamao even went to the mansion to return something and Ranmaru tried to seduce her. Didn’t work pal. The next day, Ranmaru goes out with 1 of his many girlfriends as Tamao comes to the mansion again and waits for Ranmaru to return so that she could give him a gift. But Tamao sees Ranmaru coming back with another girl. This prompts Ranmaru to think if he could hit on any girl and tries to seduce Sunako. He gets beaten up of course. Next day, he decides to give Tamao a chance and goes to meet her at her school. I don’t remember why, the other guys called Ranmaru’s other girlfriends and tell of his location. As Ranmaru is gonna make a move on Tamao, his other girlfriend arrives and chaos ensues. Looks like those girls prefer Ranmaru to have a harem and not settle for 1 girl. Probably that way, he won’t be ‘taken’ just yet. However, after witnessing all this, Tamao isn’t mad and decides to become a girl whom Ranmaru can look at and win his attention.
 
The landlady invites the guys and Sunako to an island she recently bought in episode 15. Sunako is having a hard time because it’s all sunny and bright. Also, the island has a legend about some pirate, Captain Wing, who died on the island with his buried treasures but Sunako is more interested in finding skeletons and bones. However, Captain Wing and his undead crew comes back to life and possesses Sunako after she find his remains. I like the funny part whereby everyone is lost, hallucinating and going wild! Like Yuki sees Ranmaru as a panda while Ranmaru sees Yuki as a sexy woman. Yeah, Takenaga sees Noi as some dinosaur and Noi sees Takenaga in a naked apron. And the both of them wanted to ‘eat’ each other! Soon Kyohei is kidnapped and is to be made a sacrifice so that Captain Wing could be reincarnated as him. However, the dazzling beauty of Kyohei is too much for Sunako to handle as she breaks out of Captain Wing’s possession and goes into her usual evil destructive mode and beats the crap out of that pirate. See, not even ghosts can beat her. Soon landlady comes by in her helicopter to check how things are going. I’m sure they don’t want this to happen again.
 
The school’s sports festival in episode 16 and we see Kyohei and Sunako fiercely engaged with one another and every darn sport that they participated. Lots of silly exaggerated and funny stuff here to make viewers laugh and say "Is that even possible?". From the traditional kibasen (calvary) event to those weird obstacle courses. So it’s the last race and Sunako and Kyohei are neck to neck but it seems they’re tired and it’s taking a toll on them as they reach the finishing line. We then find out the hype and why those 2 are so into it as we hear a couple of boys saying how they made a deal with them, like if Kyohei wins, he gets an all-you-can-eat pass while if Sunako wins, she gets access to the bio lab filled with dissected models. Unknown to those 2 guys, the teacher is listening to what they said and they even blurted how they made a million Yen bet in order to coax the 2 into participating so that the sports festival would be livelier. But they realize it too late when the teacher takes the microphone and announces all deals are off. This shockwave sends Sunako and Kyohei crashing into the ground just before the finish line. Though nobody wins, the whole school lifted and threw them up in the air as they’re touched by their spirit and passion. You could say it’s all for nothing for those 2.
 
Because Sunako is spending too much time in her room and munching on snacks in episode 17, she freaks out when she finds out she has gained weight and pimples. Thus, this episode is mainly about Noi and Tamao along with a reluctant Sunako spending the day to beautify themselves at a spa. Why not. Noi and Tamao wants to become the ideal woman Takenaga and Ranmaru looks at respectively. While Noi and Tamao are enjoying the treatment, Sunako is experiencing hell! Meanwhile Ranmaru and Takenaga are bickering so much so they accidentally said something which hurt Tamao and Noi’s feelings. Sunako teaches those guys a lesson and the duo tried to be all goody goody and give their ladies some good treatment. There’s a saying that it’s difficult to take back one’s words after being said. Something like that. Sunako even asks the ladies to come join her in the dark side! But after some drama and apologizing, everybody’s back happily together again.
 
The gang decides to try another attempt to turn Sunako into a lady in episode 18. You know, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This time, the guys decides to dress in dark horror outfits and even decorates the mansion so. Sunako has to accept or else she’ll look ‘out of place’ (isn’t she from the very start?). Sunako does look beautiful and scary in her dark gothic dress. Yeah, her hair’s a little like Medusa. However, Sunako decides to go to town to buy ingredients in this outfit, only for onlookers to look at her with suspicion and sort of gains unwanted attention. Then a misunderstood situation arise when she followed a boy to some playground and everybody thinks she kidnapped him! A mountain made out from a molehill. The media even surrounds that area and does coverage on it. Soon Kyohei comes to her rescue in a prince charming outfit and even rides a horse. All the ladies there once again fell in love and are swooning over him. Finally it ended with the people thinking that they’re just cosplaying or acting. As for Sunako, she tells Kyohei and the rest that she doesn’t mind wearing this dress once in a while.
 
It’s Valentine’s Day in episode 19. You know what that means. A torrid time for our guys. Yeah, the mansion’s garden is filled with crazy girls trying to give them their chocolates. Just take the backdoor exit, okay. However, Sunako is loving it. Why? Because she’s a chocolate freak! She really loves them and hopes she’ll receive some. Erm… I think the other boys will pass. She’s like having some withdrawal syndrome if she doesn’t get any. Uh huh. Scary. Even there’s no peace at school. What the? The male teachers even try to get a piece of Kyohei? I love the part where the girls tied Ranmaru to a bed in the infirmary and is going to jump on him, But because he’s so moe, they all ended up in nosebleeds, which pretty much look like a murder scene. Later, Ranmaru returns order by faking that he already has someone. Yeah, go away all you disappointed heartbroken girls. Yuki and Takenaga too try this tactic out and succeeds. However, Kyohei isn’t so lucky. The girls are forcing him to spill out the name of his love. So the 1st name to come to mind is Sunako. Everybody is shocked (the force of the explosion really shows it) but it’s enough to keep them at bay. In the end, Sunako makes a big chocolate cake… all for herself and her mannequins to feast on. Yeah, those guys have been running around all they and are tired and hungry but gets nil.
 
Hiroshi gets kidnapped again in episode 20. Well it seems Sunako is happily cleaning Hiroshi away in the garden when 3 loser girls thought that this Hiroshi is Kyohei’s beloved doll. They proceed to kidnap the mannequin even though they note how scary it is. Sunako is in a frantic and searches for Hiroshi but to no avail. The loser girls later realized that this isn’t Kyohei’s doll and sends a letter to Sunako telling their whereabouts. Sunako rushes over only to be told to hand over Kyohei if she ever wants to see her Hiroshi again. Yeah, those losers are fantasizing how they’ll get Kyohei to kneel down, strip naked, and caress his body. Sick. Sunako runs away but bumps into Kyohei and the rest. Kyohei decides to sacrifice himself by giving in to their demands in exchange for Hiroshi, surprising everyone. But those loser girls couldn’t get close to Kyohei because they passed out as Kyohei’s too moe and hot for them to handle. Kyohei leaves with Hiroshi and Sunako is pretty much happy that Hiroshi is back with her again.
 
Sunako’s dad comes to visit the mansion all the way from Africa in episode 21 after he heard rumours that she’s in love with some guy called Kyohei. Actually, he heard the rumour from the Goth-loli girls and man, he’s on fire. He’s entrance is grand and big so much so, it scared the wits out of the guys and even Sunako. But it’s just his fatherly love. After Sunako explains everything, her dad is still wary and even tests Kyohei if he’s good enough for his daughter through… a 1-on1- traditional kendo match? Anyway no matter how scary this guy is, he faints at the slightest scary stuff. The reason why Sunako drifted apart from him is because she doesn’t want him to know her weird hobbies. Then a flashback on how Sunako’s dad protected a little Sunako (looks no different from her chibi form) from a ferocious bear, tames it and decided that he’ll do anything for her. Eventually he came to like Kyohei and even asks him to take care of Sunako. Just then, Sunako’s mom drops by to ‘pick up’ her husband, literally. Wow! She seems so young and pretty. Makes you think if Sunako’s her daughter if not, where’d it all go wrong. So Sunako’s mom ‘picks up’ her husband and off they go. She’s strong indeed. Scary. It all runs in the family. As Sunako reminisces her family pic (that bear’s there too), I don’t know which smart alec decides to ask what’s Sunako mom’s measurements. Better cut that out.
 
It’s Kyohei’s turn to get kidnap in episode 22. Yeah, looks like a bunch of bungling cult members bundled Kyohei and Sunako into their van 1 night at their mansion. So the other guys along with Noi goes to their rescue. Tamao too comes along and it seems her driver has already stand by some military firepower. Don’t need to go that far, gramps. Kyohei comes to in a cave and tied to a chair. However, Sunako’s loving all those cult stuff and is getting really excited. Better not bother her or else she’ll turn into her destructive mode. We find out these cult members are actually Kyohei’s old neighbourhood store owners. After Kyohei’s family moved due to his mom’s inability to take all the non-stop harassing, business in their area has been on the decline ever since. Wow. This guy has some attracting power in nearly every aspect. Also since Kyohei’s gone, hard times fell on them and those selfish people want Kyohei to come back so that everything could become normal for them. However Kyohei mentions how his parents are better off without him. Just then, Yuki arrives alone to rescue Kyohei (the other guys chickened out). But the cult members notice how cute Yuki is and decides to give up and let them go. What the? Just like that? Yuki is pissed off because people thinks he’s cute rather than manly like Kyohei. But in the end, the gang are reunited outside the cave. Hey, where’s Sunako gone to? We see her drinking tea in Kyohei parent’s house.
 
In episode 23, one of the cult members tells Kyohei that his dad has taken Sunako so Kyohei decides to go pick her up by himself. Since it’s already late, they have to stay for the night. Hmm… You wonder if Kyohei is their son or not because their parents are plain looking. Mainly, we hear how Kyohei’s mom blames her husband on just about anything on their son’s beautiful looks. Because of that, Kyohei’s mom has to go through lots of harassment and such. Her mindset hasn’t changed since. She’s really scary in this mode. Furthermore, she wants Kyohei to disappear! Oh dear. What kind of mother is she. Sunako and Kyohei’s mom had a little chat. Just then all the girls get word that Kyohei is back and gathers outside the house. It’s deja vu again. Mom’s going insane. However, the other guys dressed like cult members save the day by telling those girls how those around Kyohei will be reduced to blood and unleashes The Divine Spirit Energy Examination Device. What the? That machine just came out from underneath the streets. They’re saying how everyone is possessed and starts the machine. What exaggeration! The girls get scared and runs away. Kyohei’s mom soon has a more favourable view of her son. While Kyohei and Sunako are walking back, they had a chat which made Sunako yell back at him how she doesn’t want to be with a dazzling creature by him. Soon Tamao’s driver chauffuers everybody home but Kyohei decides to stay behind a little longer.
 
Because of what Sunako said, Kyohei went missing in episode 24. Actually he’s wandering around and some good people takes him in for shelter temporarily. The other guys wonder where Kyohei could be and asks Sunako if anything had happened, but she said nothing. The guilty feeling is creeping in. Then by chance they saw on tv how some young guy is joining food contests here and there eating like a glutton. It’s Kyohei alright. Later Kyohei even joins some bike gang. During an interview, Kyohei did mention how he has no home to return to, prompting the guys to grill Sunako. Yeah, they lecture her how saying nobody wants to be with him is as taboo as saying how Sunako’s ugly. Yeah, it really strike her at her heart. So that’s what the giant arrow in outer space is for at the start of the episode. Sunako’s mannequins even lectured her! The guys and Noi decides to do a commercial at a restaurant to persuade Kyohei to come back. I like the funny part whereby a ‘dazzling’ Sunako comes in and shows the fried shrimps she made to a cameraman. You should hear his freaking out scream. It’s so darn hilarious! Yeah, the director’s wondering why the gang isn’t saying any lines from the script too. Kyohei saw the commercial and heads straight there. He and Sunako manage to reconcile a little but since Sunako is at her limits already, she gets into a nosebleed. That’s the longest she’s ever tolerated. Meanwhile the landlady is chatting with some director or producer in her exaggeratedly loooooooong airplane when she saw that ad. The landlady becomes angry and in her rage the whole airplane crashes as she thinks the guys are making a fool out of her niece. That does it. She’s coming to town. Beware guys.
 
The landlady comes to the mansion in a fiery rage in episode 25. Be prepared for a rude shock guys. D-day is here. She blames them that Sunako turned out like this. Yeah, fast forward that lecture. Soon the landlady confronts Sunako and finds out that the guys weren’t at fault. Also, the landlady’s back because it’s her husband’s 10th death anniversary and would like Sunako to dress up as a lady to celebrate it (does this imply she’s happy her husband’s dead? Just kidding). However, Sunako would if her aunt would do household chores for a day. She agrees. It’s funny to see the landlady doing household chores with her rich and famous mindset. It doesn’t work that way. In the end, Sunako admits they’re just from different worlds. A flashback about the time the landlady’s husband passed away and she was crying. Sunako comforted her and promised that she’ll become a lady. I don’t understand the part whereby the landlady said how a lady musn’t show her tears because it’s more beautiful than diamonds. Huh? Back in present time, Sunako finally has the determination to become a lady for her aunt’s sake and the rest of the guys and Noi helps her. Erm.. Did you notice know the landlady’s limo is bloody wide?
 
The gang arrived at the party smartly dressed, except for Sunako who is cloaked. As usual, everybody is taken in by the gang’s beauty and starts to gather round them. I’m not sure why, but the Goth-loli girls for once did something good as they distract the crowd, allowing the gang to find the landlady. They manage to find her outside the balcony and some drama and talk. The landlady seems to acknowledge for who Sunako is and still loves her. Just when Sunako is walking down the stairs, she trips and her cloak came off to reveal Sunako in a stunning white bridal-like gown. Sunako’s really beautiful! Kyohei catches her in his arms and they seem like a newly-wed. The landlady saw everything and gets excited and wants the guys now to turn Sunako into a super lady. Like hell they will. Yeah, they ran away asking her to give them a break.
 
Overall, I really enjoy the entire series and I wish they’ll make a 2nd season. I love all those wacky slapstick humour and it dawned to me that the characters in this anime has a tendency to shout or speak aloud at times. That’s mainly because there’re lots of rebuking to do. Not to mention freaking out moments. The show did have a good mix of humour and horror but the latter depends and is more inclined to the former. So you’ll be laughing your heads off and your guts out instead of squirming and squealing in fear. Also there seems to be lots of blood but it’s mainly from nosebleeds. Yeah, the characters seem to have ample amount of them.
 
The drawing, art and animation seems to remind me of Ouran High School Host Club because in this anime too, there are lots of beautiful and rich people. Okay, maybe we don’t have many rich people here but lots of bishies so bishonen and bishoujo fans out there should watch this for the eye candy.
 
The voice acting is superb and Sunako who is voiced by Yukiko Takaguchi is still my favourite character because of the versatile voice she perfectly portrays her character. Her resume is a short one and the only character I find she voices is Hinata of Lucky Star. Mai Nakahara is the voice behind Noi as she also did Mai Tokiha of Mai-HiME, Miina of Onegai Twins and Yuuna of Kage Kara Mamoru. Shoutaro Morikubo is Kyohei who also did Robert in Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nocchi Guu, Saji in Ikkitousen and Kirihara in Prince Of Tennis. Hirofumi Nojima is Ranmaru and you could recognize him as the voice of Boogie in Karin and Akatsuki in Aria The Animation. Takenaga is voiced by Tomokazu Sugita who is more famous in his roles as Rin of Shuffle and Kyon of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Norihisa Mori voices Akira who did voices for Hokuto of Cromartie High School and Yoshimi of Di Gi Charat. However, I can’t find any info on Yuki’s voice actor. Maybe he’s a 1st timer.
 
Besides, the anime has a variety of background music ranging from those typical frenzy horror organ playing to even more slower acoustic guitar tunes. Though the opening and ending themes don’t appeal to me, you’ll kinda notice that the animation in the opening credits is filled with weird crazy stuff. Just watch it if you want to know what I mean. Though halfway the opening credits animation changed to be more ‘sexy’ as we see the guys semi-nude and with six-packs. Uh huh. The ending credits show a skeleton doing some weird dance while the credits are rolling in a skewed and crooked manner. For the record, the opening song is Slow, sung by Kiyoharu, who also does the first ending theme, Carnation. The second ending theme has a more tropical feel (probably because of the animation theme is set so) is sung by Bon-Bon Blanco, entitled Changing.
 
Another unique thing is that each of the episode titles are revealed at the end just before the start of the ending credits. Some of the episode titles are quite creative such as ‘Pirates Of The Tres Bien’ (my personal favourite),
Oui Monsieur’ and ‘Girls Bravo’. Shinichi Watanabe of Excel Saga fame does make his appearance in the show (because he’s the director for this one too). If you recognize his afro hairstyle at the start and end of the Path To Become A Lady segment, he is the voice for that segment’s narrator too. He also made a cameo appearance in episode 24 and is also the landlady’s former crush back in episode 1! This guy’s really popular.
 
There are several lessons to learn after watching this series. Firstly being it doesn’t matter how you look on the outside, it’s the inside that counts. Yeah, don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s also important that we accept who we are and those around us. Often, our stereotypical perception of others makes us form early conclusions about them at first impression. Like how all anime otakus are geeks and have no life ;P. I’m glad the guys saw Sunako for who she is and their relationship improves each day (okay, maybe not so smoothly). In addition, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and surely more than just skin deep.
 
And if you’re wondering what yamato nadeshiko means, it’s a Japanese term to refer to an ideal woman with all the desirable attributes from the perspective of a male dominated society (source from wikipedia). I’m sure we guys all do dream about that. So will Sunako’s path to become a real lady take longer than expected? Will she ever become one? Well, most important thing is that everyone’s happy with the way things are now. Some things are better left as they are, huh? Meanwhile, I’ll be taking the Path To Become An Anime Otaku… Oh dear, I’ve got lots to learn and catch up.
 
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge