Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou

April 17, 2010

When we think of magic, we conjure up images of wizards, mages, dragons and all those fantasy related stuff. That is of course old school magic. What about new age magic? If you’re interested, then have a look at Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou. Not to say that this anime teaches modern magic but as we are all accustomed to think that magic are cast by chanting spells via a magic user. That is classical magic. In this series, one can make modern magic via computer programming! Wow! Serious?! At least in this anime. Now that is what I call technology advancement for magic.
 
If you intend to watch this series, please note that there are quite a few terms in it. However if you are computer savvy (unlike yours truly) then the terms should be a little easier to understand. Of course there are terms of their own for example magic spells in this series are termed as Codes. Probably it is befitting because just like writing computer programmes, require certain codes for input, right? Erm… I don’t even know what I’m saying.
 
Prior to the start of the 12 episode TV series, there has been a special episode release on the web dubbed as episode 0. I guess it’s to serve as an introduction for viewers to expect for what is to come. Being an introductory episode, we are introduced to modern magic student, Koyomi Morishita. Now this little ditzy girl isn’t what anybody would call their A student. Not athletic, lousy grades, slow learner and what’s more her only magic ability is to turn things into wash basins. That’s it. Unlike her classmate Kaho Sakazaki who is a total opposite. She grasps and learns things quickly. Maybe she just needs to improve on her monotonous ‘lazy-like’ voice and facial expressions. Maybe not. Both are under the cool and calm modern magic teacher Misa Anehara. I guess she too has her quirky habits as she receives a mail package of a lion head bathtub thingy. Of course her serious and moody cynical little brother Soushirou isn’t too happy about it. Not as upset as another fellow magic user, Yumiko Cristina Ichinose will soon find out that Misa billed it to her name. Well Misa reasoning is that Yumiko is always barging in and destroying stuff while she’s at work so it’s right that she bears the costs. Before Yumiko could punish Misa, Koyomi has just finished some computer programming assignment but it turns out to be a wash basin landing over Yumiko’s head. Ouch. With that, Yumiko decides to give Koyomi a special training so that she could summon other things rather than wash basins. Good luck Yumiko.
 
I’m not sure what Yumiko’s reasoning is for them to don PE clothes for their training (besides fanservice purpose I guess) but running around town in that outfit would surely make heads turn. Hope no hardcore otakus are around. With Kaho tagging along on a bicycle, Yumiko and Koyomi make several laps around town. However Koyomi is like a magnet for bad luck because she’s always getting into unfortunate situations like being taken away by the crowd. Somehow. Then Yumiko decides to do voice training so that she could chant spells properly. Unfortunately, she bit her tongue. Yeah, how useless can she be? Desperate Yumiko then plans to help her construct her Code whereby Koyomi has to use her heart to complete it. Guess what comes out? A wash basin. Over Yumiko’s head. Deja vu? So I guess even Yumiko decides to change her teaching style and instead of making Koyomi learn new Codes, have her improve on her existing one. Like taking the easy way out, eh? So Yumiko starts attacking Koyomi seriously but each time, a wash basin appears. Yeah, I think there are hundreds of them summoned by this time. But look on the bright side. Each one of them has different designs and colours. An improvement, I’d say! Not if unless you’re Soushirou who thinks the gang are making a mess, a wash basin junkyard right at the back of his yard.
 
Kiasu Yumiko decides to unleash a stronger magic this time and this causes the sky to turn black and a strong storm sending all the wash basins to the air. Koyomi panics and uses her magic. The sky then turns back to normal. Can it be true that she stopped it? Has she really improved? Erm… Seems a giant wash basin crashed into the rooftop of the house. I guess it’s time for Yumiko to give up. With the wash basin stuck on the rooftop, Soushirou can’t do his cooking nor can the girls take a bath because the heater’s out. Misa has an idea. With a little improvisation, the girls take a hot bath in the giant wash basin. Wow. It’s like an open hotspring under the beautiful sky. Then they all remember that Koyomi’s summoned wash basins would disappear after some time. And that time happens to be now. Get ready for the biggest disappearing act. At least this answered my question of why Koyomi didn’t open a shop selling wash basins.
 
The story proper begins in episode 1 as we see Koyomi and young Yumiko battling a mage named Jean-Jacques Guibarthez. Of course a pair of lolis isn’t good enough to take a seasoned mage. This was what happened 6 hours earlier. Yumiko was running away from home and seeking to find Anehara’s Cross School of Magic as written in her late grandpa’s notes to learn magic and become a mage since she herself is a naturally born mage. Plus, she’s had enough of naughty skirt flipping boys in which she retaliated by throwing her panties in his face and sent that stupid kid crying. He deserved it. And the teacher thought she was too much? Has she ever heard of sexual harassment? Odd part is she decide to run away without anything else except her staff Kerykeion? Even if she didn’t intend to pack some clothes, didn’t she remember to wear panties? Forget about that. In town she comes across Guibarthez who seeks Kerykeion and of course she isn’t going to hand it to him on a silver platter. Elsewhere we see Misa programming Codes to even make people have desires to buy the latest phones! Woah! Is this even possible?! Is this even morally and legally correct?! Well some store manager wanted her and I guess she’s being paid to do a job. Now that sure is modern magic.
 
Yumiko arrives at Misa’s house but Guibarthez too is here. Suddenly Koyomi pops out of nowhere and hugs Yumiko, claiming to know her 6 years in the future. Huh? Did Koyomi travel back in time? I mean, her stature didn’t change much (aside that she has a body of a child though she’s a high school girl) and that Soushirou is actually a young boy instead of a tall handsome hunk (okay, some may want to differ on this). Yumiko doesn’t know her and mistakes her to be Misa, just as Guibarthez because of her wash basin summoning Code. That distraction was enough for the gang to make a run. However they can’t just rest yet because a two-headed dog appears to attack them. Yumiko runs into a dead-end alley so she decides to stand her ground as she chants a Code to successfully disintegrate the beast. Yumiko then is able to see all the Codes that are hovering around the city. Guibarthez then praises her for being able to use such magic and is truly a descendent of Cristbarth (Yumiko’s grandpa). Guibarthez is ready to kill Yumiko but she is being shielded. It is Misa arriving on scene in a Santarina outfit (must be part of that job of hers) and Yumiko thinks she’s Santa Claus. Hey, no white beard or pot belly lah…
 
Don’t panic if the story doesn’t continue in episode 2. As seen, Koyomi arrives at Misa’s house to learn magic because she wants help in improving herself. However Misa says this house is just a normal residence and the letter she got probably was in the 1800’s and noting the tons of Codes the letter has. Also note Soushirou’s cynical approach towards magic. Yup, that moody guy really doesn’t believe in that crap and shrugs it off and thinks it’s crazy talk. Probably that’s why he’s got an attitude. So Misa proceeds to take Koyomi to her lab upstairs to test and explain to her about Codes. While conducting the test, a Daemon (something like a stray hostile) attacks them but is shortly being brought under control. Misa notes that Koyomi can see them. Next day, Koyomi follows Kaho to Akihabara (yeah, the holy grail of all otakus) but as usual she gets lost. At a dark car park area, she spots a cosplaying idol being attacked by an obsessed fan. He attacks but a barrier protects them so he flees. That barrier was from Misa. Seems like she’s being employed for another job programming Codes to make people who listen to that idol’s music into her fans. Danger is, it could create obsessed fans like that one. So Misa shows Koyomi what she does in her job and this includes programming a Code for people to buy her DVD (now I know why otakus buy them). She asks if Koyomi is interested in helping a mage of the good side.
 
Suddenly the stage is covered in smoke as the idol is being taken away. Later as she is walking in the car park, the obsessed fan once again attacks her. However it is just a ploy by Misa. It seems Koyomi was being disguised as the idol as Misa pinpoints from her investigation that the obsessed fan is the agency president himself (not sure if this is part of the Code’s doing or his own). The president attempts to escape but Misa programs a Code to split the car in half (OMG!). Then his assistant has taken Koyomi as hostage. Koyomi then uses the amulet that Misa gave to her earlier on and uses it to form her own Code. Yeah, you’ve guessed it. A wash basin falling over his head. In the aftermath, Misa asks Koyomi if she wants to learn magic and if she wants to, will not charge her a cent. But Koyomi is still unsure knowing herself to be a klutz and not good with machines with more than 3 buttons (I guess the elevator’s out then, huh?). When Misa says that depending on her choice she could change chance into fate, Koyomi agrees to learn magic from her. From nearby, Kaho sees them shaking hands.
 
In episode 3, not only Koyomi becomes Misa’s student but Kaho as well. One day while Koyomi was rushing to school, she bumps into Yumiko who has just arrived at the gates (more like getting faceboob). Koyomi thought she was a foreigner and looked pretty cute but Yumiko is well versed in Japanese and soon leaves. In class, Koyomi sees a Daemon but Kaho couldn’t. Koyomi leads in following the Daemon as it transforms into a scorpion-like creature. If it had not been for Yumiko, the girls would’ve been toast. Seems that she is doing an investigation on how is unleashing the Daemons. I don’t know if this is her fate or what because the Daemons too somehow stole her panties. Like everybody/thing wants to have a look at it. Yeah another chase around town while trying to get her undies back. Of course Yumiko bumps into Koyomi and they agree to find the Daemon. Plus, Yumiko thinks she has some high class magic skill after summoning a wash basin. Yeah, that’s all you’re going to see, girl. Elsewhere, Misa is waiting for Yumiko at a restaurant but the latter is no show because she is Daemon hunting with the klutz girl. Their investigation leads them to a building whereby they see several Daemons around the servers. Something about the server linking to the parallel world and is a huge magic circle to summon Daemons.
 
Yumiko plans to take them all out by herself when her handphone rings (from Misa). Annoyed that her perfect plan is ruined, she hangs up and braces for attack. The Daemons relentlessly attack the barrier Yumiko make and it is draining her powers as she can’t make an offensive move. Furthermore, she’s starting to bleed. Then she learns the truth about Koyomi’s only ability and decides to buy time for Koyomi to run away. When Koyomi does so, she thinks that this isn’t right and her earnest feelings to reject all this has all the Daemons turned into wash basins. Just as Yumiko acknowledges and thanks Koyomi, a wash basin drops on her head. That sure ruined the mood. Koyomi goes back to Misa’s place to take a bath and Soushirou isn’t happy that there are quite a few weird people coming in to take a bath. It seems Yumiko has just gotten out of one and as she quips, it is like fate for them to meet again.
 
So in episode 4, Yumiko is accusing Misa that she was the one who unleashed the Daemons but as explained it wasn’t. So Misa will help Yumiko in finding the one responsible for those modified Daemons. And which better place to start by gathering lots of information and interviewing people than the amusement water park? Yeah, an excuse to have fun and fanservice. As usual, Koyomi’s slipping up and Yumiko having to bear the humiliating end really does test her patience. She then attacks Misa for the more humiliation that she suffered (at a place like this?). Luckily Misa has the upper hand in the form of Koyomi which means all her attacks turn into wash basins. While Koyomi is riding the water tube, she sees and hears a giggling light. Misa is seen talking to a friend of hers, Gary Huang, who helps her out with some info about the modified worms. He says that this is probably the work of some guy called Jinzai but he’s dead. Just as Koyomi is learning to swim, she is submerged underwater and hears that giggling voice again before passing out. She comes to later and the gang decides to search the entire place after feeling that there is a Daemon Code. During then, the pool waves start to go out of control and with the combination of Yumiko’s classical magic and Misa’s modern magic, they put the stop to the waves. Well, just live with the red sticky stuff that it turned into. Koyomi hears the voice again and follows it to the water circulation facility room. The girls except Kaho see a spirit-like image as Misa explains it as a Jini, a spirit that lives through objects. Since it is the cause of the accidents, they have to erase it but Koyomi feels bad. There is no other way to rewrite it since it’s unstable. When the gang walks home, Yumiko tells Koyomi that she is not suited to be a mage.
 
Episode 5 reconnects where episode 1 has left off. It may be a little confusing because it flashes back and forth between past and present. Guibarthez backs off after Santa Misa’s arrival but will be back. Guibarthez remembers some Code which awoken him from his sleep, the Code from his arch-enemy Kenjurou Anehara whom he has once fought and also against Cristbarth. Elsewhere, Koyomi learns about Ghostscripts in which when living things die, they leave behind very strong Codes and thus why some are able to see them as ghost-like. When Koyomi sees a cat Ghostscript, this prompts her to ask why Yumiko doesn’t like cats. So Misa suggests taking a peek into the past via a program that she wrote with lots of Ghostscripts and there is one which posed a problem called Christmas Shopper. She wants Koyomi to go back 6 years to find out the password for its execution. And so that’s how Koyomi ended up 6 years ago though in reality her real body is in present time and I guess it’s all in the mind as she goes through this 6 years in the past visions via goggles. So that is what Koyomi told the 6 years ago Misa so she agrees to send her back to her real world via some large scale magic that uses a network called Christmas Shopper. Problem is, Koyomi is greatly entangled in this world’s Code so anything that goes wrong here could affect her real body and advices her to stay put and that Yumiko is able to handle this herself. But Koyomi isn’t going to let her friend die and goes out to search for her.
 
Soon Guibarthez comes knocking on Misa’s door and tells that he is seeking for the Sorceress’ Library left behind by Digitalis Flammalacia which is believed to be sealed in Kerykeion. Digitalis was rumoured to be some vile mage that took the lives of 100,000 men and has been revived countless times every time is being killed. Since Misa isn’t interested in the library because she’s planning on performing a magical ceremony, she strikes a deal that neither should get in each other’s way till they’re done in achieving what they want. Meanwhile Koyomi has found Yumiko on the streets and you should hear this comment of hers. Something about how Yumiko’s Siberian plains will grow into Mount Everest in several years time! I know she’s slow but she’s got an acid tongue too, though unintentional. Though Koyomi is infatuated with cute little Yumiko, the latter isn’t amused that she’s being made fun of and attacks her with Kerykeion. Of course the aftermath is wash basin, you know why lah. Yumiko learns that she isn’t Misa. As Koyomi goes to buy burgers for them to eat, Yumiko sees an apparition of her granddad, who tells her something about which is stronger: A hunter, an elephant or the president of USA (huh?). He also tells her not to hand the staff to Guibarthez before disappearing. When Koyomi comes back and the girls eat, their dinner is interrupted with the appearance of Guibarthez.
 
In episode 6, Yumiko makes a deal to end it all in a battle atop a building later. She tells Koyomi to go back to her time. While biding her time alone at the park, Yumiko remembers the time her parents brought her to the park. So before the battle starts, Yumiko asks Guibarthez that strongest question which of the 3 is him. He answers that mages are elephants because magic is power bla bla bla. Yeah, if he controls the Sorceress’ Library, he’ll control the world. What else is new? Little Yumiko is no match for Guibarthez as he snatches her staff away. Koyomi, who has gone back to Misa, decides to go back to Yumiko again. She will help Yumiko recover her staff as Guibarthez starts retrieving the library, unleashing lots of Ghostscripts. Meanwhile Misa creates an amulet loaded with 2048 different variable Codes and leaves her home. While fending off against the hordes of Ghostscripts, Yumiko says she will be the bait to allow Koyomi to attack. Guibarthez has obtained the Sorceress’ Library and has no further need for Kerykeion. Now he is going to finish the girls. Their baiting plan fails but luckily Misa arrives. She buys the girls time to think up of something while she holds off Guibarthez. She warns him that Christmas Shopper has been activated and has entered the Ghostscripts as they began their attack.
 
The girls try to hold him down as Koyomi tries to get a hold of his Code but are being hit away. Then a black cat, Katamari attacks him but was pounded away. I’m not sure if I understand what happens next because the Ghostscripts of Yumiko’s parents and those at the park starts entering Guibarthez, making all his Codes vulnerable. Koyomi then uses her magic to seal and Guibarthez into a sword that he was once sealed in. Looks like he was a Ghostscript too. Koyomi has been beamed back to her time during that stint as Koyomi hopes to her soon and become best friends while Misa takes lifeless Katamari to the vet. Back in present time, it has only been 23 seconds and Misa doesn’t need the password anymore because the effects of Christmas Shopper are gone (like she obtained the password anyway). I don’t know if going through that Ghostscript thingy did affect the flow of time because Katamari is well alive and is sort of Soushirou’s pet. Maybe it did not because Yumiko and Misa should’ve remembered who Koyomi is when they first met a few episodes back unless they totally forget this klutz girl. Seriously, who could ever forget her bumbling ways.
 
In episode 7, Koyomi and Kaho decide to put their magic to good use by helping to find a lost cat. As we know the outcome of Koyomi’s magic, Kaho’s one manage to summon a litter of them but they weren’t the cat in the poster. After lots of thinking, Koyomi thinks that her magic will improve if she gets a magic item just like Yumiko’s staff and Misa’s amulet. Finally Koyomi decides on a turtle backpack and when Yumiko discovers her intentions she feels she has misjudged her and gets a little upset. Misa puts a chip in the bag so that Koyomi will be able to perform some Codes. Though she is still gloomy over what Yumiko had said, Kaho suggests putting her magical item to use by continuing to search for the lost cat. However as expected she only manages to summon wash basins. Tons of them. But Koyomi continues to be persistent so Yumiko asks her why she’s learning magic. So that low self confidence story thingy which she always ended up quitting till she discovered that modern magic letter. Yumiko decides to help her out. With Kaho’s help via internet postings that the cat have been sighted at the nearby park (all hail the internet!), they quickly trod over. Koyomi is low on self confidence so Yumiko cheers her up. Getting serious this time, can Koyomi finally do it? Nope. Another wash basin. So Yumiko uses her magic to summon the cats. A bunch of them appear and they see the one in the poster. However more cats are appearing causing public nuisance. Yumiko thinks the Code has gone out of control and suspects Koyomi’s backpack. So Koyomi uses her magic to summon wash basins as the cats being to walk away. The crowd thinks it’s a wonderful street performance and gives a rousing applause. Back home while Soushirou still spites all that magic crap much to Koyomi’s dismay, Misa and Yumiko indirectly suspect each other of what has happened. Just when Koyomi is going to show Soushirou her magic, Katamari has shredded her backpack to pieces. Boo hoo!
 
Episode 8 starts with Misa’s flashback when she was young and her mom pregnant. Misa was curious about a sealed Daemon and accidentally unleashed it. It gone wild so her mom had to put it back under control. However the strain was too much as she died after giving birth to Soushirou. No wonder he’s so moody. In present time, Misa is on a plane doing research on recent events that involve Codes going wrong due to wrongdoings. As for the rest, they are to clean up the storeroom. Then Misa reminisces something about Christmas Shopper which made all idle computers start up on their own and played some song. The police suspected and interrogated her for causing damage to the electronics industry. After her release, that’s when she met a talented programmer from Hong Kong, Huang who is interested in her Christmas Shopper. Suddenly Misa gets a threatening email that there is a bomb onboard her plane. Being the cool girl she is, she starts looking for the bomb after her attempts to track the message sender has been impeded by the sender himself. I don’t know what Code Misa used but heck, she is searching outside on the wings of the plane! Mind blowing! There is no sign that she’ll fall off anytime. As Misa continues her search, she remembers the time when she conducted her investigations on Jinzai and that he faked his death and is very much alive living a reclusive life in his parent’s place. Though he feels guilty for his deeds he insisted he wasn’t the one who summoned the Daemons. Then Misa spots a weird box in the back of the plane and opens it only to find it as Jack-in-the-box. Realizing that this was a decoy to distract her, the real culprit, Huang, uses that time to enter Misa’s house while the rest are out to seal a sword that Guibarthez was sealed in from the storeroom. Just to be safe, Huang even programs a Code for the plane to crash! Cool Misa borrows a little girl’s teddy bear and with her Code, enlarges it to provide the plane soft landing. Unbelievable. Really. Yeah, she gets to go back and have dinner with the rest.
 
Huang must be planning something big in episode 9 because he’s hooking up lots of server to the sword. Meanwhile Misa has Koyomi accompany her to a building in which a job request to exterminate apparitions. Misa suspects something about the thievery and the request because it came simultaneously together. Plus, Misa needs money to buy a new oven that she busted (nearly destroying the entire house too). Huang has revived Guibarthez and tells his plans to revive Digitalis to obtain the Sorceress’ Library and all its Codes. Furthermore, Huang says that the girl who will act as Digitalis’ container is already here. While Misa and Koyomi are searching in the building, Yumiko confronts them and suspects Misa up to something shady. Misa throws Koyomi at Yumiko and makes a run. She then meets Huang and it seems they both have differing views on the spread of magic usage. Huang advices that it’s too risky to fight against him and it’s better for her to fight her allies. As Koyomi and Yumiko search around, the building walls and doors start to activate to separate them. Plus, a people disappearing Code makes all people in the building vanish leaving only our main protagonists. Yumiko sees Misa as the duo prepare to duke it out on the rooftop (the latter saying no hard feelings for the loser and if anything happens to her, call Soushirou for help as he is her final weapon), while Koyomi foolishly waits for Yumiko to use her magic and blast her out. Keep waiting… Misa and Yumiko battle each other while Koyomi calls Kaho for help. Misa has the upper hand but Yumiko isn’t about to give up. As she reaches for Kerykeion, suddenly Misa is stabbed by magic swords. Her body shortly disappears leaving a crater behind and Yumiko in shock. Koyomi manages to get out of her sticky situation and notices lights on the rooftop.
 
In episode 10, as Yumiko walks back dejectedly in the rain, Kaho finds Misa’s amulet in her mailbox and starts doing her investigation (to the extent of skipping classes). Soushirou waits for Misa to come back but she never did but surprisingly finds Yumiko at the doorstep. She requests to search the house in hopes of finding Misa but to no avail. After lots of pestering where Misa might go, Soushirou answers Akihabara. Before Yumiko leaves, she admits that she killed Misa, leaving Soushirou very confused. Huang and Guibarthez are engaged in a conversation about Digitalis about how her information is eternal and since her program is installed outside her body, every time she dies, she’ll install it into a different one. Koyomi pays Soushirou a visit and learns that Misa is dead according to what Yumiko said. They both decide to go find her then. Koyomi calls Yumiko to say that she will help her look for Misa. The duo are out in the streets and meet up with Kaho when Huang and Guibarthez appear before them (Kaho can’t see him). Of course Soushirou recognizes Huang as the thief (as he’s holding the stolen sword) and his emotions get the better of him, only to be restrained by Koyomi. Kaho suggests Soushirou to wear Misa’s amulet. Guibarthez senses a strange Code and suggests to Huang that they should back down. By the time reluctant Soushirou wears the amulet, Huang and Guibarthez are gone. Then Koyomi recognizes a familiar voice and as she looks up, a Ghostscript of Misa comes swooping down.
 
As Soushirou runs off by himself to search for the thief, he encounters Yumiko and she is shocked not to see him but the Ghostscript Misa following him in episode 11. Of course being a guy who doesn’t believe in ghosts or magic, he thinks Yumiko is crazy talking to herself. Misa tells a short flashback about how horrible her cooking was (what kind of ingredients did she put in?!) and used magic to cover it. Soushirou was the guinea pig and found her cooking delicious. In short, Soushirou is kinda immune to magic because he has been fed with magic-drenched food since young. No wonder. Maybe that’s why he never believed in magic too. In order to prove that Misa is indeed standing next to him, they improvise by having Soushirou wear earphones and with a little magic, he starts to hear Misa’s voice. However he still thinks it’s some kind of voice imitating trick but realizes she is the real deal when she answers a question that only both of them know. Yumiko is bewildered on Misa’s actions then so she asks her if she likes magic even if it’s not infinite and that magic tools are just tools. Yumiko’s reply is that she always chooses the best path.
 
Elsewhere, the odd part wasn’t Guibarthez stopping a speeding car with his magic swords, but the driver instantly got out and ran who knows how far. As fate would have it, Huang-Guibarthez party meets with Yumiko-Misa-Soushirou team. Soushirou rushes over to give the thief a piece of his mind but Guibarthez unleashes a magic sword right through his heart. However to their surprise, it has no effect whatsoever as Soushirou lands Huang a good punch on his face. Guibarthez thinks he is a mage killer, something churches in the past created to counter powerful mages. Well, remember Soushirou is immune to any sort of magic. This prompts Yumiko to remember and realize Misa’s words about him being her final weapon. Huang takes on Soushirou and the rest among themselves. Meanwhile Kaho and Koyomi follow trail of Codes to find Misa alive and well recuperating in a building. With Guibarthez being despatched easily, Yumiko tells Misa to aid Soushirou. She receives a call from Koyomi but is stabbed from behind by Guibarthez. Koyomi and Kaho rush to wear they are and are shocked to see bloody Yumiko lying motionless in Soushirou’s arms while Ghostscript Misa battles Guibarthez. Suddenly a bright light is emitted from Yumiko. Her body floats in the air, starts to sprout wings and blows everyone away. Huang notes that Digitalis has revived via Yumiko’s body.
 
With Digitalis’ revival in episode 12, she is burning down the city so our heroines retreat to where real Misa is recuperating. Misa says she has created a code which will send Digitalis into the other world and prevent her from future resurrections. However this will be at the expense of Yumiko. But Koyomi doesn’t want that to happen so she tearfully runs out to try and save Yumiko. I guess Soushirou can’t leave that tripping klutz on her own as he follows her. Kaho notes how there’s a hole in Misa’s story. That is, the Code has not been created because if it was, she wouldn’t have sent her amulet to Kaho to amplify her Ghostscript powers and fought Digitalis on her own. Misa admits this and says that she was in a dilemma of her killing Yumiko or the other way round. So she decided that if Yumiko killed her, she would have a better chance of ending the Library’s continuous cycle. Kaho says to trust in their number 1 ace. No, not Soushirou but Koyomi. Meanwhile Yumiko is viewing memories of Digitalis when she was killed by Cristbarth. She vows to return but he vows that his descendents will seal the Library. Digitalis who felt she was oppressed because she was different, welcomes Yumiko as her new comrade. Koyomi and Soushirou come into Huang on the streets so Soushirou fights him to allow Koyomi to find Yumiko. Unfortunately Koyomi encounters Guibarthez as he tests her wash basin skills to the limit. When a telco pole threatens to fall on Koyomi, it suddenly breaks apart allowing her to escape. Guibarthez notices this is the work of Digitalis. He is glad to see her and offers to work together. But she isn’t interested with the scum and eliminates him. With that, Huang’s sword disappears and this allows Soushirou to give him another good punch in the face.
 
Koyomi meets Digitalis/Yumiko at the supposedly promised meeting place. The latter tells her she is both persons and that this town is going to burn to the ground. Ghostscript Misa arrives in time to fight her. While doing so, she notices Yumiko’s time-stopping Code and devices a plan to neutralize her powers by summoning all the world’s CPU’s power and with Koyomi’s wash basin transformation magic. She is successful and opens a wormhole to suck Digitalis/Yumiko into the other world. However Koyomi grabs her hand to prevent her from being sucked in. Yumiko barely in her conscious part tells her this is her last chance to stop the vicious cycle but you know Koyomi, she doesn’t want to see her friend die like that, vows to promise her, bla bla bla, sob sob sob. Thankfully Soushirou grabs hold of Koyomi’s hand before they fall in for good. Bad news: All 3 got sucked in. Good news: Remember Soushirou as the mage killer? I guess that’s why he’s able to come out and pull the girls out of the wormhole so easily. Another bad news (depend on how you look at it): He still isn’t believing in all that magic crap. Huang is upset that his plan is ruined and gets his revenge by punching Soushirou in the face. But that’s all he’s going to get because Ghostscript Misa takes Huang with her into the portal to live together in the other world. I don’t want to know what’s even there. Before Yumiko/Digitalis collapses, she explains death was the trigger used to activate her revival and wants Koyomi not to forget her promise to protect her till she grows old or else Digitalis will return. With this klutz girl? Oh boy… Soon Koyomi returns to her normal self so happy Koyomi hugs her. Back at Misa’s place where everyone is having her curry meal, another accident of Koyomi summoning wash basins over Soushirou and Yumiko’s head. Yeah, another argument that she’s a failure as a mage. Ah well, everything is back to normal.
 
Wait a minute. It just hit me. There is another parallel dimension? Probably I didn’t understand when they were explaining stuff (heck, I didn’t understand most of the terms explained throughout the series as I just merely understood the surface of it. I think) but how come Misa knows of it? Did she write a Code which opens up a portal there? Normal humans (like Huang) can also live there? Maybe it’s something abstract that no amount of explanation would make a dumb otaku guy like me understand. So we get to see that even though Koyomi may not be a top student and even at that age she’s still tripping while walking, at least she knows the true value of friendship and that her wash basin summoning magic isn’t totally useless. I know many would first come to think how boring it is but when you have abundant powerful magic at your disposal, it won’t take a genius to figure out that the world’s balance and safety will be at stake.
 
So I guess it’s hard to dislike Koyomi for her klutz and though she may not be cut out for modern and/or classical magic but at least she keeps trying her best. Maybe with more practice and hard work, she could summon a branded wash basin. Who am I kidding? I don’t even know any famous wash basin brands. Though Kaho may excel in many subjects but her non-ability to see magical stuff like Daemons or Jini prevent her from being the perfect mage. Thankfully she has brains and what would Koyomi do or be without her best pal who is always looking out for her. Misa too is likeable because of her cool laid back personality but sometimes I can comprehend the way she thinks. It’s like it lacked common sense. Or maybe it’s because of my lack of understanding on the programming subject? Yumiko may be a little hot-headed, goes on a little rampage when mad and acting like she’s superior to others but deep down she really cares for those around her. Perhaps it’s her past always getting teased by others which led to her tough display of character. And Soushirou, at least he smiled more towards the end and isn’t so cold towards Koyomi. Whether he believes in magic or not is another thing. So don’t shrug off moody people. They can dispel magic, you know.
 
At the end of the series and right after the next episode preview, there will be a short live puppet segment hosted by Misa and Koyomi in their puppet forms. I don’t know about you but I find them in puppet forms to be a little ugly rather than cute. Amidst the real life backdrop of some district in Tokyo or other places such as the beach, this segment has the duo explaining certain terms used or the way things work in the series for the viewers’ better understanding. For instance, without this section I bet viewers would be very confused especially the break in the story flow at the beginning of the series if they hadn’t been informed right here. But it would be totally boring if it’s all about teaching magic so sometimes they break the monotony by having interview with other characters or as Koyomi said "shameless promotions" to announce the opening and ending single CDs and the release dates of DVD and Blu-Ray Discs if you are ever so interested in buying them. Then the final episode a review pop quiz of what has happened so far and at least slow Koyomi has got them all correct. Unfortunately I didn’t remember a single one of them. Shame on me. That makes me lower than her. Yeah, even if they compile a book, say "Understanding Modern Magic Made Easy" or "Modern Magic For Dummies", I’d still be pretty much at a lost.
 
On a trivial note, each of the episode titles as I later find out are taken from programming-related terms such as episode 5’s "Jump Off Into Never-never Land", episode 7’s "Voodoo Programming", episode 8’s "Scratch Monkey" and episode 12’s "TMTOWTDI". I took Misa’s advice to Google and find out its meaning but as usual, I didn’t really grasp them. Not really cut out for this computer thing, eh? Yeah, much more lower than Koyomi *hangs head in shame*. I’m not sure if the mid-intermission serves as a little fanservice. I mean, you’d see a female character of the series (changes after a few episodes) in an ambiguous position. Koyomi in a tied-up position? Is that supposed to be Kaho in her bra? And whose sexy legs are those?
 
Ai Nonaka is the voice behind Koyomi and her voice definitely suits her character well. Especially all that whining and yelping whenever she’s in a pinch or did something wrong to earn the wrath especially from Yumiko. You can recognize her as the voice of Ichijou in Pani Poni Dash and Fuura in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series. Other casts include Hitomi Nabatame as Misa (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana), Haruka Tomatsu as Yumiko (Nagi in Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens), Minako Kotobuki as Kaho (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Shintaro Asanuma as Soushirou (Kusuda in Hatsukoi Limited) and Kenji Yamada as Huang (Kuze in the ef series). The opening theme, Programming For Non-fiction by Natsuko Aso is catchy with the computerized sound effects to make it a lively dance music if you want to consider it so. The ending theme, Made in WONDER by Aki Misato is also another lively pop piece to make you shuffle your feet (at least to me). With a variety of the background music which ranges from casual and fun tunes to computerized and digital mixes, there is one or two whereby it uses eerie dramatic choir voices (usually played during suspenseful or confrontation scenes).
 
So this series at least left me at the marvel of the possibility of combining modern technology and magic. Yeah, programme those Codes at your fingertips via a handphone. You don’t need conventional wands anymore. Don’t laugh. That might be even possible in the near future. So all you programmers and hackers take note of this. While Koyomi’s magic won’t ‘improve’ anytime soon, so would my understanding and interest in computer-related terms. Like all youths in this era should, right? Hey, I’m not that young anymore. Hmm… Come to think of it, I think it’s some Code which got me to get hook on anime. Nah, what am I saying? Anime itself is magic. I think it would be a nightmare if everyone person in this world would turn into an anime otaku under some otaku-enhancing-Code. Now I wonder if there is a Code for me to continue watching my favourite animes 24/7 without affecting my real life job and performance.
 

Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou