Oh God. Finally. I almost nearly forgot about this and even so, I thought they had given up on it. Because it took one damn year for the OVA of Yozakura Quartet ~Tsuki Ni Naku~ to come and go. And there are only 3 episodes! Three stinking episodes and you made me wait the entire year just to watch them all at one go? Even the retelling of the TV series, Hana No Uta is long gone and over. Okay, so that is my own problem and I don’t think this is the first time that I have waited an entire year for such a short OVA series to be completed. In fact, the Hoshi No Umi OVA also followed this pattern back in 2010-2011. But anyway let us not get distracted by that and since it is all here, might as well watch and enjoy what the OVAs have to offer. It better be worth the wait of a whole damn year. One damn year… And I’m not even a fan of the series… One year…

Episode 1
Ao won the lottery for a trip to the hotspring at Hakone. Hime really wants to join but hints she has lots of work to do. Everyone looks at Kyousuke… Alright, alright. It’s been a long time since she has a break but they’ll work extra hard when they get back. Yipee! As Shidou fetches Mina and Kana, he needs to stop by the station but the jam is terrible. Lila gives them a lift there. Police car tied to a broomstick and flying? She learns Shidou is in the only police department in town that deals with supernatural stuffs. Because such supernatural cases don’t happen often, the unit is quite small and the staffs have lots of free time slacking off. Like the baldy chief Takao Takemura who is literally sleeping on the job so Mina lands her flying kick in the face while Kana accidentally shoots her rubber band bullets. Yeah, old geezer Tokui is teaching her how to shoot right. Then there is Nadeshiko Matsudaira who doesn’t hesitate to hug Shidou and jump to conclusions he will be taking over the family business. Since her careless hug on Shidou almost crushed Mina in the middle, Mina teases her small boobs. Nadeshiko gets brazen to even open her top just to show they exist! Throwing a tantrum like child, she spills a pail of water over Mina so that she would turn into her teenager self and that she could start fondle revenge those boobs of hers. Don’t even ask. But looks like the unit will need to get down to business. There is a call reporting in that there is a fallen bear in the Saitama region. Lila drops off Mina and Kana and on their way meet Yuuhi and Mariabelle. Since Yuuhi is going to unleash his lolicon fetish, Mariabelle whacks him. Shidou and Nadeshiko are driving along the highway when something fast zips by in the opposite direction. Could that be a black wolf?

Akina and co are riding a cable car up the mountains. Only Hime is the scared one. It’s swerving left and right! Akina wonders the bag Yae told him to carry is heavy. And only now he has the decency to check inside despite being told he could see what is in it? Well, what do you know? It’s Yae inside (in chibi mode)! At the top of the mountain, I am not sure why Kyousuke is making Hime eat lots of eggs. But it only took one to turn Ao into a drunken state. They follow the guidebook to the inn and it seems Yae is very close friends with the dog spirit owner, Tomoe. And so hotspring soaking fanservice and a very hearty and delicious meal. Tomoe is fine revealing her dog ears since humans rarely visit here. They are the only guests tonight. Yae reveals she stows away in the winner’s bag every year to get here. To work out that meal, they play ping pong. Hime sounds like she is raring to go and an expert but her serves are just freaking weak. Kyousuke is noticeably gloomy ever since so Akina talks to him about his long face. He thinks this trip will be their last because next year Nanagou will bloom and it’ll be the end. It’s hard to enjoy when you are thinking like that. Akina’s answer? Things will somehow work out. This is the kind of answer that Kyousuke won’t take. Kotoha receives a call from Juri just to scream something. She does so and everyone is thrown off their feet. Then Kotoha, Ao and Akina challenge Kyousuke to a ping pong match but he beats them all. I didn’t know he is that good.

Kyousuke receives a challenge from Tomoe and they’ll put the stake of the world in this match. He doesn’t really want to do it but Tomoe shows her true strength after easily pushing away the ping pong tables and turn this into a kendo dojo. As they fight, Kyousuke finds he needs to get serious and use all his strength to pin her down. Tomoe finds it charming. And since it is a full moon tonight, she transforms into her voluptuous self. Charming, eh? Long ago, this place used to be a stopover for youkais as they travel far. They often get into fights and Tomoe is the one to quell them. It is Tomoe’s victory but Kyousuke took it seriously. He feels he is too weak to protect this town, let alone the world. Tomoe wants him to train himself and come back in a year to face her again. But the world will end by that time, no? Don’t think about the details. Just promise that he will come back here in a year’s time to defeat her. Just think that. Or if he isn’t in any fighting mood, coming back to see her is good enough. Because it gets lonely up here. Trying to hint something? Biting his ear and getting all flirty… Touka reveals Kyousuke was the one looking forward to this trip the most as the guidebook was made by him. And you thought Touka did it, eh? Kyousuke agrees to come back next year but with a condition that everyone here must come along too. And they must run in the Tokyo-Hakone relay race too? Meanwhile Shidou and Nadeshiko investigate the bloody forest site. The bear is cut up into pieces and eaten. Mina couldn’t understand why Kana couldn’t stop crying when the black wolf attacks them. It takes Kana.

Episode 2
Takemura sees Juri to give her some medical records. Lila calls her and thinks it’s time to come back from this voluntary patrol. As she wanted to take a shortcut through the alley, it is like there is some barrier interfering with her thoughts and telling her to change her mind not to. She sneakily enters her medicine box and pops up in a garbage bin inside the alley. She’s a magician too, remember? Then she sees this. Mariabelle and Mina down. Kana in the black wolf’s mouth. Time to hang up and go into action and teach this bad dog a lesson. Takemura calls Nadeshiko (since Shidou was on the phone trying to call Kana but couldn’t get through), he scolds him for taking too long on their patrol and should have been back by now. I guess they stopped somewhere for some eel meal. Lila is eventually flung and defeated by the black wolf. She is not surprised he can speak. Rokkaku says a single bear wasn’t enough to satisfy his appetite and is going to eat her (I thought it looked like raping her, tearing her clothes, licking her skin…). However the barrier wears out and it is a sign to get out. After all, he doesn’t want to spoil his main course: Kana. Next time they meet, he’ll surely eat her. So stay pretty till then. Lila’s best counter quote: She’s always pretty! By the time the police arrive, it is already too late. He’s gone. Takemura gives Shidou a good scolding that he is slacking off instead of protecting the twins. Since Hime and co are out of town, it is their duty to hold the fort. And no, he can’t call her. She’s on vacation. Shidou and Nadeshiko head out to town to go search. Trying to find a needle in a haystack? Mina and Mariabelle are at the station with minor injuries and recuperating but Mariabelle gets off and leaves. Lila is pissed that Takemura is not acting and just waiting. He reminds her the Commissioner is their boss and they follow his orders. He isn’t afraid to admit they are obedient dogs because loyalty is a form of strength. If they were to break it, they’ll shake the foundations of that strength. So no matter what, they’ll not take action until the boss says so. Yeah. So many police staff and none taking action except busy with their own paper work.

Explaining to us why Kana is targeted, based on famous fables, mermaids have been sought and eaten not because of rarity but because their blood and skin gives immortality. So if they don’t do anything, Kana will be eaten. Speaking of which, Rokkaku is going to have his tasty loli when Enjin comes in. Rokkaku chides him to make a better barrier that holds out. Enjin hints he shouldn’t eat her like that and should add some ‘seasoning’. Rokkaku puts some of his blood on her and her body transforms into her teenage version albeit only for a short while. It is hinted that since her power is weak, it is only right to strengthen her vampire half so this mermaid will also strengthen. So it is not just any blood and must be the one that matches the power stored in her flesh. And the blood that greatly matches it is the blood of a vampire. Looks like Rokkaku is going to have to go get Mina now. Lila continues her explanation about werewolves and tonight couldn’t be a worse night as the full moon is out. Shidou and Nadeshiko follow Rokkaku and confront him. Rokkaku could smell something familiar about Shidou. He is a werewolf too! He invites him to eat Kana together. This only makes him mad. Time to fight. Rokkaku thinks he needs some exercise to work up an appetite. Lila continues to be pissed with the police’s no-action despite they know werewolf weakness and have all the silver bullet equipment in the store (why abuse Takemura’s sunglasses?). Takemura explains that there are no rules for youkais to join the police force but many don’t want to. Because the police will always take the human’s side, they don’t want to end up taking down their own kind. Lila thinks it’ll be fine since Shidou and Rokkaku are both werewolves and should settle things themselves. Well, Shidou just lost and Rokkaku mocks him as weak for not eating real stuffs. Only the moonlight is powering him. Again, he invites to eat Kana but Shidou gets real mad and pulls off a really powerful punch almost hitting him. Rokkaku demonstrates his ability to use the shadows to pop out anywhere and take Nadeshiko hostage. Before he could do anything to her, he nearly got hit by a silver bullet from Tokui. This old guy mentions about Mina’s whereabouts and points the directions to the station. Good. He was getting bored of this. Why would Tokui sell out? He knows Shidou has no chance of winning and dying would be meaningless. The station has a better chance of winning.

Kana wakes up and is surprised to see Enjin next to her. Don’t be afraid. He won’t eat you. She can tell he is from the Hiizumi branch family since she pieced the details together over time. She doesn’t remember about her parents as they were part of the Blank Period. It was a time when Akina’s father tried to stop the merging of the dimensions by journeying to the other world en masse. Enjin gives false hopes that he might know them. He explains to her what it is like on the other side. Nothing but emptiness and hatred. He is the only one who has returned from the other side and has no choice but to listen to him and could even be lying. Obviously he is trying to merge the dimensions as revenge. But why involve the world when he is angry at the family’s head? He wants the Hiizumi family to bear the burden that all humanity will suffer for what they did. Besides, he’ll feel so much better to make them do it than himself. Kana starts crying not because she is scared. Not because she pities the Hiizumi family. She pities him for having such twisted thoughts. This is enough to get Enjin real mad as he beats her up to tell her to shut up and not talk like she knows everything, the hatred and resentment they have. OMG! Loli abuse! It is that exact reason that she doesn’t know is why she pities him. Enjin is bored of waiting and thought somebody interesting would have come to rescue her. But since they’re all cowards, they’re going to Rokkaku instead. That werewolf boy is outside the police station as they speak. Hey… Hime and co did not freaking appear once in this episode!!!

Episode 3
A short flashback about Shidou. He was once a lone wolf. Stealing food and wandering from town to town. Till he wandered into this one where a policeman picked him up under his wing. After observing him on several police jobs, he is encouraged to join the police force. His wife gave birth to twins (Kana and Mina) but the happiness didn’t last long. It is hinted that Shidou gave into his instincts and devoured the parents. He vowed to protect the twins from then on. Back in present time, Shidou has arrived back at the station. Rokkaku has already torn up the force. Do the ripped clothes of Lila tell you anything? Although Mina is hidden, Shidou fights Rokkaku again and loses. Not even Takemura could stop this rampaging hungry wolf. When Lila sees Juri crawling around (in her underwear?), she creates a smoke distraction. It backfires since Mina’s whereabouts are revealed. Rokkaku takes her and leave because everyone knows nobody is strong enough to stop him. Shidou feels frustrated and if you think Rokkaku’s beating was the end of it, Nadeshiko comes beating him up for being pathetic. Is this the man she fell in love with? Think of all the hard work he has put up with all these years and he should take responsibility for stealing her heart and never stop working hard. Shidou gets renewed confidence to go after him. But can he defeat Rokkaku alone? Nope. The entire police force is behind him. They have all the analysis and info at their fingertips as they discuss Rokkaku’s weakness. Thanks to the moon, he is able to detect movements within surrounding shadows and thus needs someone to take care of it. Lila volunteers to do that. Now if you’re wondering why everyone is now moving their ass unlike before, did they get an order from their Commissioner? Yes. Who? Nadeshiko! Holy cow! She is the high commander?! And now you see the effectiveness of the police force as they blaze out in chase of Rokkaku. Once everyone has left, Zakuro stumbles into the police station. Maybe she got lost again. She saw somebody…

Meanwhile Enjin takes Kana to the edge of the Sakurashin City to wait. If Rokkaku gets here and eats her, he wins. Otherwise he loses. That’s the plan. He explains Rokkaku was just a wolf before he got struck and became a werewolf. He has natural instincts that not only allow him to sense movement but danger as well. The police corner and chase Rokkaku all over town. It is time for another grudge match with Shidou. Although Shidou is still much weaker, he doesn’t give up so easily. Now it is Lila’s turn to put on her magic show. She materializes 2 moons and this somewhat thins Rokkaku’s power. What about a hundred moons?! Oh sh*t! Now it’s down to the strength of the brawl. Shidou may look like he has lost but it was a ploy to take back Mina from him. Then Mina turns out to be Juri in disguise. They swapped places at the station. Plus, this is where Juri called Kotoha to shout and summon aloud an RPG from her handphone. Although it isn’t made of silver, now everybody else fires their silver bullets but Rokkaku is still confident he can sense all the incoming bullets 100 metres wide. Only that? Because he is hit by a silver bullet from a long range snipe shot by Tokui. Game over. Not quite. He still has enough left to fight Takemura. But the punch to his face only hurt his hands since his shades are made out of silver. And finally, the last boss that he must face: Nadeshiko. Make that an angry Nadeshiko. With her silver sword, her slash was enough to send him flying and crashing into the police cars and cause a mini atomic-like explosion. Oh sh*t! But that wasn’t enough to kill this tough wolf. He has already escaped. Meanwhile Zakuro has brought the real Mina to Kana. Enjin notes that Rokkaku has lost and takes his leave. Rokkaku continues to run into more bad luck. Yuuhi is now pointing his gun at his face and will repay the favour of what he did to Mariabelle. He reminds him Mariabelle, every part of hers is his. He will never taste an inch. However Mariabelle doesn’t want him killed and so with her kindness, Yuuhi did something else. Game over for real. Shidou is reunited with the twins. They are impressed with him today. When Hime and co return from their trip, they see the twins riding a tame wolf. They are surprised it talks! Didn’t they just meet a dog god? Anyway as Nadeshiko explains, this is their new police mascot and undergoing training.

Meat! Glorious Meat!
If something struck me at the end of the series it is that our usual Yozakura Quartet aren’t the main stars of this little OVA! It is like the very minor characters of the Hana No Uta temporarily take over the leading roles and become its star. Especially Shidou and Lila. So you can say that this OVA series is basically for them. It’s like the rest take a back seat and let the supporting ones handle things for once. I guess it goes to show that it is not only our usual Yozakura Quartet of Hime, Akina, Ao and Kotoha with the extended force of the ogre siblings of Kyousuke and Touka that are responsible of taking care and protecting Sakurashin City. Because everyone who lives in this town and loves it have this duty to protect what they love if they are going to continue living in his unique town. And it doesn’t take superheroes with super powers to do it. As proven, as long as you combine your strengths against the menace, you’ll come up tops eventually. So as far as this OVA is concerned, this is a rather nice little side arc for our little supporting characters although it doesn’t impact much on the main overall storyline of the series. Although in a way if you think about it, isn’t it a little misleading to term this OVA series as Yozakura Quartet since our main heroes are away?

As said, Shidou is the main star of the triple episodes. As you can see that he might look and act like a wuss. He might not have all the necessary power to protect what he loves. But you can see that he never gives up till the end. He might have his ups and downs, his low points in life and the feeling of helplessness but with the support of his friends and force, he’ll be alright. Speaking of Nadeshiko, I thought she was going to be just a comic relief character playing a one-sided crush on Shidou. Turns out I was wrong. She is the most powerful woman in the police department and you certainly don’t want to mess with her when she’s mad (despite always putting up that ‘dumb’ smiley face). It really proves that you shouldn’t really judge a book by its cover. I think I learnt my lesson. For now. Then there is Lila who has turned into a heroine compared to her antagonist role in Hana No Uta. All I can say is that she shows a lot of angst (initially when the police refuse to do things themselves) and also a lot of sexy fanservice shots. Yeah. I think this is the biggest reason why she is around since we lack seeing Ao’s shima pantsu or Juri’s sexy appeal. Care for some sexy meat, anyone?

As for our lone antagonist of the series, Rokkaku is cocky and arrogant, a reason why it led to his downfall. Partly too is because of his lone wolf persona. Unlike the rest, he has no backup comrade although he relies greatly from his strength and other abilities drawn from the moon. Enjin isn’t necessarily one because like he said, an enemy of an enemy isn’t necessarily a friend. So Enjin and Rokkaku may be just strangers after all with a seemingly common goal for a little excitement. The only thing that bugs me about Rokkaku is when he kidnapped the fake Mina, shouldn’t his very keen sense of smell tell him that this is not the real Mina? Unless there is a spell that also replicates Mina’s scent or Rokkaku was too happy he got his meat and then too busy evading the cops to even notice. But even so, I think he should have got the hint because it couldn’t be this easy to get her after all the trouble they go through to stop him and hide Mina, right? Then it must be his cockiness and arrogance blinding his senses like I mentioned.

One of the saving grace I find in the OVA is the power battle in the final episode. Even though it seems exaggerated and the quality not as good (heck, the art quality has remained as less refine an ‘un-beautiful’ ever since the retelling) but the devastating power blows and all was enough to keep me glued to the screen for the duration of the fight. Because it is like everyone is giving and throwing everything they have like as though they are staking al they’ve got into this battle. Which makes it pretty awesome and impressive at the least. So even if the distracting and trolling plot of the entire first episode which is just to see off Hime and co go holidaying, the build up of the second episode about a werewolf wanting to eat certain meat to live forever, personally I figure the third episode that contains all the action is the one that nails it. If I am going to remember this OVA, it isn’t by the first 2 episodes but rather the third one.

I don’t know if they will do another TV series or make another OVA like this but I sure hope that they don’t continue this same formula of a year to get our 3 episodes. Because in this era where everything is so fast and instant, it might be the producer’s idea of wanting to retain that interest in the series. However wait too long and you’ll find many flocking elsewhere or even forgetting about it by the time it is released. Perhaps only true fans can wait forever till the next instalment comes out. For me, I’ll think about it when the time comes. Because I’m sure not going to hunt down mermaid flesh and drink vampire blood just to live forever to find out if this series will continue or not.

After the 3 episode OVA that came out in 2010 and 2011, I didn’t expect a TV series to be released. Maybe it is because I wasn’t such a huge fan of the series that I didn’t bother looking it up. But for old time’s sake, I decided to give Yozakura Quartet ~Hana No Uta~ a try. However this is not a continuation of the first season that went on air in 2008. In fact, it is an alternate retelling of the series. Although the big major points are still intact (humans and demons living together peacefully in a city that contains 7 huge pillars and somebody threatening to destroy that peaceful balance – yeah, I’m still familiar with that general storyline. I think), I am guessing that there are a few minor changes to the series that will stick true to the manga since the first season somewhat deviated from it. Thus this isn’t exactly a reboot of the series. But does this mean we have to go through the entire story again? Honestly, I do not remember much about the original series and did not go rewatch it (ultimate excuse: no time) so even if they do repeat certain stories or scenes, I wouldn’t really spot it. But as said, this is a retelling of the series, which means there is renewed hope to redo things from the start again so it is best for me to also have that same feelings while watching it.

Episode 1
A blonde girl, Lily is seen skipping through Sakurashin City. She is met with Kotoha and Touka who think she is lost and they accompany her throughout the festival. While playing the goldfish saving game, Hime the mayor and her ever complaining Kyousuke learn about this lost child. She also learns this place is a melting pot for humans and demons and some of them are in the latter category. But Hime is completely human. Meanwhile the villainous Enjin is going to rev things up. Akina is handling a centre for lost kids at his office. Lily is brought here so that Ao can use her mind reading and check who her parents are and how they look like. It may look like Ao’s drawing suck but are these cute little demons Lily’s parents? Before they can go on, a lightning strikes a goldfish to turn it into a huge monster. Touka panics trying to get everybody to safety. But everyone is calm since they know their heroes will do something about it. Kotoha saves the day and contains it in a huge poi. But it’s not over yet. Enjin continues his mischief and unleashes more lightning. This means more giant goldfish. Our heroes have their hands full in trying to contain the monster goldfish across town. The final one appears at Akina’s office. Hime and Akina engage it while Lily is puzzled that a normal human like Akina is emitting some sort of strange power. Finally Kotoha traps it in a giant tank. Lily’s parents finally arrive to pick her up. But after a distance, they return to their true form, a pair of cute little demons. She meets Enjin who asks her opinion about them. They were just decent. As for whatever planning they need, Lily doesn’t feel the need of any and transforms into her true form. A busty sexy witch named V Lila F.

Episode 2
Juri hands Akina the health certificates for the new citizens. Ao helps out with Rin’s ramen delivery. Shidare Morioka and Noriko Shiina drop by the office to get the certificates. Kyousuke doesn’t trust them because to protect humans, they handle info of demons. He asks a provocative question if it comes down to saving humans or demons, which would he choose. Shiina didn’t mince her words that she would pick humans. Kyousuke gets riled up when Shidare warns about him unable to control his power and go on a rampage like his sister. No war started because Akina hand the certificates to him and they leave. We go back a few moments earlier in the day when Hime stopped by a ramen shop after school. Kyousuke’s instincts made him rush to the scene just to reprimand Hime for eating too much. Then he too is forced to eat bowls after bowls of ramen. Since Hime needs some exercise after all that intake, she hopes Kotoha could spar with her. She is forced to agree or else Yae won’t stop her boobs fondling. A barrier is made near the office so Hime and Kotoha can fight to their heart’s content. Unknown to them, Lily is watching as she chants some lines that cause Kotoha to remember some traumatic memories. This causes her to materialize lots of weapons of mass destruction. They could have been done for if Yae didn’t slice up the barrier. And she didn’t even know she did it because she was half asleep. Yuuhi had to reprimand and take Yae away (reducing her into a harmless chibi form) because what she did could upset the balance of the world. Once they’re gone, Shidare and Shiina just left the office and greet Hime and the girls.

Episode 3
Touka’s leg is in a cast because she got injured after misusing her strong powers. She gets scolded by big brother but Yae had him drop the subject or she’ll reveal all his confessions were about his sister. Sister, sister, sister. Nothing but his little sister. Touka is made to go home instead of cleaning up the mess of she flusters about a meal cooked by Akina. On her way home, she sees twins, Mina and Kana Tatebayashi (they think she got dumped by Akina because of her sullen face). Shidou Mizuki, the cop who is always a second late picking up the adopted twins or losing them, sees them at the junction but then the brakes stop working and he is going to crash into them. Touka protects the twins and uses her strength to stop the car. In the process, her strength also crushes the twins! I know it’s not a laughing matter but I can’t help it that the way the twins coughed up blood due to the strong hug seemed bloody comical. Serious! Kyousuke hears Touka crying that she hates this power and quickly blames Akina that if he was only Dutybound, this wouldn’t have happened. Thankfully the twins are recuperating in hospital and are doing fine because they are vampires. Yeah, they would have been dead kids by now if they were human. Kyousuke and Akina aren’t on talking terms and the former keep harping on that Dutybound issue. We learn the meaning of Dutybound just like the twins. Apparently this world has 2 dimensions existing simultaneously. The human world and the demon world. Although in the same place, both sides cannot see each other. Demons who live in the human world lose control of their power and start aging. Technically it is better for them to be in the other world but because those who were sent there can never return, they don’t know what it’s like. For demons who want to go to that dimension, they need to be in tune with the same frequency just like in a radio.

Tuning demons is a Dutybound’s job. And because an exact location is needed in order to tune in, that is what the 7 pillars called Nanagou is for. It is featured in both worlds and the famous landmark in Sakurashin City. Thus this town is also famous for returning demons to the other world and this is the duty of the Hiizumi clan’s head. They have the power of Tuning. That responsibility has been passed down to Akina. Because demons really disappear after Tuning and never return, they akin their duty to murder. When Akina’s grandpa, Makiharu Tuned Hime’s grandma, Machi back to the other world, he was asked if he had the resolve to kill. When Kyousuke is carrying Touka home, Akina comes by to settle a score. Kyousuke still believes that the siblings and the rest of the demons could have lived peacefully in the other world if Akina had done his Dutybound. Akina takes Touka as hostage and wants to know where he heard he has not inherited this power. He wants Kyousuke to take of his shackles and punch him with all he has got or he will really send Touka to the other world as he wished. After provoking Kyousuke as a big siscon, he punches Akina that sends him flying. Akina claims it was nothing. Sure? He claims his power is nothing special and if this is all he’s got, he can handle it by himself. One day if he is unable to do anything about it, he’ll send him over instead. But now, he doesn’t want to part with any demons in this town. Akina punches back a Kyousuke. Kyousuke couldn’t believe he was reckless in his Tuning but what if something really happened? Touka hopes Akina would take responsibility and this causes Kyousuke to misinterpret Akina has gone this far in seducing her. Now he really turns into a demon… Now he’s even scarier. The rest who are watching don’t really get it about them beating each other up to make up but are glad they’re just back to normal. As for Enjin, he is satisfied to learn Akina has inherited Dutybound.

Episode 4
In a meeting with all the district mayors, one in particular, Kazuyoshi Morino isn’t happy with this farce because one didn’t turn up and Hime is doing her homework. Plus, he is faced with an election next month and his rival is a 9 year old girl! So can you see why this baldy is so pissed? Soon we see the usual gang splashing at the pool party which was originally supposed to be a hanami event to reward their hard work. Mina accidentally pours sake into everyone’s drink. Some passed out, some drunk and if you’re Hime, you’ll be depressed and eating like a glutton. At the end, Yuuhi tells Akina that there is one more spring to go before Nanagou blooms. He warns that there is somebody trying to hasten the bloom and in worst case scenario, the entire city can be sacrificed. Hime is practising with Kyousuke and hopes one day she can use the dragon spear, the symbol of the mayor. She remembers Machi’s words about the 3 things needed to be a mayor. Love from the town, people and dragon. For the last one, she must keep polishing herself to achieve that. An arrow message is shot into the room. Hime and Kyousuke head to Akina’s office to relay the news of this. But we get the idea of what it is when a loli named Kohime barges in and Kyousuke takes the biggest fall. This spunky energetic girl is running for mayor in the next town and is here to train under Hime who is her cousin. Hime brings her around town to meet the other people but a particular old man, Jinroku doesn’t like them. Probably he didn’t like kids who break his fine arts. Plus, he doesn’t acknowledge Hime as a mayor and is nothing compared to Machi. Only his wife, Okiku could stop him from shooting his mouth further

Morino is still worried about his rival so much so he has hired some shady people to take care of it. It will be done tonight. After another party at Hime’s place, she is still worried about what the old guy said but Akina and Ao’s words assure her. Akina makes an announcement that Nanagou will soon bloom. History time. In the past, the success rate of Tuning demons was extremely low and it ends in true death. The Hiizumi clan decided that there will be no more such deaths and needed to establish absolute coordinates. Two men volunteered, Oushuu who is the current head then and Enyou the head of a branch family. Enyou volunteered to be sent to the other world. A year later, 7 gigantic trees appeared. Because they were only half tuned, Nanagou exists in both dimensions. Although Tuning demons have become successful, Enyou never returned and the clan had no choice but to give up on him. Humans and demons gathered near Nanagou and created a town that we all know today as Sakurashin City. So when Nanagou blooms, it would mean both dimensions will merge and demons living on the other side will flood here. It will have effect on demons living here. Some might lose control or even die. Hime is not pleased that she is the only one who doesn’t know about this. And she’s the mayor. Why? Because she’s human. Not a demon. At least Kotoha is half-youkai. Hime feels Akina thinks she is a failure who just inherited this post. Although he did want to tell her, he thought it could be best settled with just those from the office.

Episode 5
Somebody is at the door. Not just anybody. A huge hostile alien dinosaur! Kyousuke gives Hime the permission to use the dragon lance. She’s doing fine till she trips on her scarf. When Mysterious Man (we’ll call this evil old dude this name) makes his entrance, Hime is not too happy to see Morino and his aide, Eiji Shinozuka having Kohime as their hostage. Mysterious Man makes a call to activate some anti-demon field that causes all the full demons to paralyze. When Hime also goes down, the rest are shocked to know that she is a demon. However Hime gets back up to fight and demands Kohime’s release. She gets slammed by the dinosaur and Mysterious Man calls it a day. Besides, her dragon lance has broken. He will give Kohime back on 2 conditions. First, Kohime is to withdraw from the mayoral election and Morino must be elected. Secondly, Hime will relinquish her mayor post and give it to him. He gives her the rest of the night to think about this and will be waiting on the main street. Yae did something to lessen the effect of the anti-field and warns that they will be back since the demonic powers in this town have been weakened. Also, Akina’s memories from 6 years ago will return. Akina pleaded to Yae to turn her into a demon. This is so she can see things from both humans and demons’ perspective. In turn, she wants everyone to forget that she became one. Hime is at a lost now. She can’t do it alone and hopes Akina can help to save this town. Juri whisks Hime away (bandaged like a cocoon?) to tend to her injuries. The rest see the memo that Hime writes down about the town every day. She loves this town in short. Akina adds his own to leave this to them.

The gang split into 2 teams. Ao, Kotoha and Touka will ride in Shidou’s police car to go stop the anti-demon field. Easier said than done. Where the hell is that field? The other team, Kyousuke and Akina are going to take Kohime back. Akina calls Juri to check up on Hime. She’s doing fine. Juri doesn’t know much about the enemy they’re going up against but they can’t ask Yae too because she is busy getting punished by Yuuhi for interfering. But looks like trouble has found them. Shinozuka and his men are before them. As both sides aren’t going to comply, they start throwing things. Seriously. Everything they can grab like scooters. Hime is in a dilemma and wonders if she should resign as mayor. It’s her fault the dragon lance broke too. Juri lets her look at all the mountain of presents for her in the next bed. They are from the townspeople and prove that they love her as mayor. Tomorrow will be the seventh anniversary of Hime as mayor. Kotoha’s side is also having problems. They’re being chased by the dinosaur. Yuuhi then calls Ao to tell her to find the field fast because Mariabelle is not feeling well. Hint: It’s somewhere in this city. Oh sure, that was a big help. Think about it why he calls her. Because it’s something only she can do. Ao gets the hint. She is going to read the minds of everyone in this town! 12 million people! Can she do it? She will. It uses her up all of her energy and she could eke out the source of the field originating from a high place. So where in this town is a place suitable to transmit filed waves over a wide area? A telecommunications tower, right? Tokyo Tower.

Episode 6
However a barrier is preventing them from getting out of town. Kotoha has an idea. All she needs are lots of cough medicine. This is going to be big. Kyousuke and Shinozuka’s fight is getting physical but Shinozuka is much more superior. Kyousuke tells Akina to stay away from the fight between demons because if they both fall here, who is going to protect this town? Shinozuka questions Kyousuke’s loyalty to Hime. Is she worth dying for? He can only think of thoughts about her goofing around. I think Akina Tuned the van to buy them time to escape but the dinosaur knocked out Kyousuke while they’re running. They’re picked up by Shidou (Ao used all her powers to find them). But where is Kotoha? She has summoned a giant train cannon and fires at the Tokyo Tower to destroy the barrier. Akina alone faces the baddies. No one left to fight? What is he going to do? Tune them? If he can touch them, that is. I’m sure the dinosaur and Shinozuka would have owned him had not Hime come to his rescue. In fact, her cool entrance was ruined when she jumped off the building and landed hard. She could’ve died… But she too isn’t enough to stand against the might of the dinosaur. Touka is trying to wake up her brother. Memories how they were running away and Kyousuke was trying to protect her. However he was being forceful and hurting her instead. So Hime had to tell him off he can’t do a job of protecting others if he doesn’t learn to protect himself. She invited to come live in her town and will protect him until he is strong enough. That woke Kyousuke up and slams the dinosaur away with a pillar before Hime and Akina are squished. Mysterious Man uses his magic to turn more lizards into dinosaurs. Hime and Kyousuke are sufficient to handle them and want Akina to rest because of the effects of Tuning too much. The duo are no sweat in disposing the dinosaurs so Mysterious Man summons more dinosaurs for them to fight. Surprisingly, Jinroku helps out using his giant mechanical crane. He hasn’t evacuated because he doesn’t trust the current mayor and have to defend the town himself. Isn’t that sarcasm? Hime and Kyousuke defend his precious shop, much to his surprise. She loves this town and will protect it even if it destroys her precious scarf. Can’t stand to see this sight, Jinroku self destructs his entire shop. Hime feels power flowing through her body. He reveals that there are powers flowing through the earth called Dragon Vein. Machi entrusted him and now he wants her to use it. Hime draws the raging earth power and materializes the true dragon lance, Sakanade. She easily blows the dinosaurs away.

Episode 7
Mysterious Man uses his trump card: Kohime as hostage! He turns one of the dinosaurs into a huge monster. Kyousuke throws lots of extinguishers to create smoke so Hime could deal with it. In that mean time, Akina sneaks up on Mysterious Man to try and grab Kohime from him but he disappears up to the building and threatens to drop her down into the monster’s throat. Morino is against this since this wasn’t part of the plan but Mysterious Man says if he doesn’t go through with it, his re-election isn’t guaranteed. Hime chides Morino for stooping this low but it seems he jumps in to grab Kohime after Mysterious Man drops her. Then he spouts something learning to protect others by protecting themselves and would have gladly stepped aside if there was someone more qualified than him. He orders Shinozuka to come save him. His loyal servant doesn’t hesitate and welcomes back the old Morino he knows. In exchange, Shinozuka gets swallowed in their place. Morino pleads to Hime to save him. Kotoha drops down from the sky and lands a drop kick on the monster. After asserting Shinozuka is alive (he won’t get easily digested), she materializes swords to cut open the stomach to save him before Akina Tunes the monster. The rest are baffled when Mysterious Man knows about Akina’s power. He notes using too much of it can make him fall out of alignment with this dimension. When Ao says she cannot read this old man’s mind, Mysterious Man reveals his true identity: Enjin! The rest recognize him as Gin (Ao’s brother who was on a journey) but Ao feels his evil aura and believes this is not the brother she knows but someone else. Enjin is the descendant of Enyou.

Akina reveals the fusion between the dimensions started 2 years ago. He, grandpa and Gin tried stop and tried to get in contact with Enyou’s branch family descendants for help. Akina Tuned Gin to the other side. Enjin is ‘amazed’ that he Tuned people based on his own terms and assumed he is dead while carrying on with their selfish lives. He reveals the truth that Enyou did not on his own free will volunteered to be Tuned. He was made a sacrifice along with the rest of the branch family. Thus he is the one trying to fuse both dimensions and Nanagous aren’t landmarks for the sake of tuning but vital tools for the fusion. They are the embodiments of hatred. Since the Hiizumi think that using them are guides for Tuning, thanks to that the dimensions were distorted to a considerable extent. But it still needs the family head’s body for one last push. That is, Akina’s body. All Enjin needs to do is to push his soul out from his body, like how he did to Gin. Also, the extra ears that Ao and Gin have aren’t just for antenna purposes. They can make illusions too. Enjin demonstrates as he summons a dragon lance. Akina won’t be cowed into that fake and fights back. But hiding beneath that illusion is a little blade that stabs Akina in the heart. Everyone is mad. The ogre siblings start throwing things at him. Kotoha uses force to send him through a building and Hime is going to kill him. Yes, kill him! Shidou stops her as there are things he needs to ask him. Yuuhi puts a stop to this charade and wants Hime to leave things be. He can’t be serious? In that distraction, Enjin escapes. Everyone is relieved that Akina is alive since he had Hime’s memo hidden underneath his shirt. Then they beat him up because he should have gotten up instead of playing dead. Morino apologizes for everything but Yuuhi says Kohime is disqualified to stand as a candidate since she is only 9 years old (Sakurashin City is an exception) so Morino is re-elected for another term. Everyone is just so duh after what they went through. In the aftermath, everyone chips him to help rebuild Jinroku’s shop. He sees Kohime sad so he gives her his prized bowl which cheers her up.

Episode 8
Shinozuka is going around on an apologizing spree. First with Ao (talking about Gin whom Ao still believes his soul is in intact), Kotoha (he is a half-youkai like her) and Kyousuke. Akina wonders if Hime is still mad at him. Not really. Since she didn’t tell him she was a demon too, they’re even. With Shinozuka arriving, Hime wonders if he wants to stay in this town and can make some arrangements. Since Morino and Kohime are here to pick him up, Shinozuka has to decline the offer since he hasn’t repaid his debt to him. He hands Akina his personal card and will do everything he can to ensure their towns will cooperate in every aspect possible. Hmm… Morino and Kohime getting along so well. This scene… Old man riding on a bike and a loli on his head…What does it look like? Yuuhi tells Akina that the elders want to see him. Akina is not thrilled because their different ideals put them at odds (they are willing to sacrifice this town just to prevent Nanagou from blooming). Although Yuuhi can’t side with either one of them, he mentions that the anti-demon field was created by them. And so Akina and Hime go see the elders, led by Usuzumi Iyo. The old fart maintains his dominance over Akina. He clarifies this world is theirs and not the demons. The problem now is getting rid of all 7 Nanagous to prevent the fusion and since Akina cannot handle all 7 together, that’s why the anti-demon filed was prepared. He doesn’t have to sacrifice himself and use the powers of the demons in this town. That is one way. Another way if he can’t sacrifice the demons, tune every one of them. He does not bat an eyelid to view demons as alien and poison to their world.

Akina realizes they knew the branch family became unwilling sacrifices. If he knew, why didn’t he say? Because it would make them use their Tuning even less. Iyo thinks this is a good time to use his Tuning. Tune Hime now. Akina becomes so furious that he displays his Tuning power that creates a huge crater till several floors below. Akina and Hime leave but Iyo tells them one more thing. Enjin has teamed up with the Youkai Hunters which consist of a dragon slayer, vampire hunter, exorcist and necromancer. They can be considered natural enemies to demons but they are not on their side either because they are half-youkais and possess demonic powers too. Shidare notes that since Akina can’t Tune demons to the other side because he doesn’t know what is there, if demons view Sakurashin City as 80% ideal, why not look at it as that side as 100% complete paradise? In that case, Akina will make Sakurashin City 120% Hime tries to cheer Akina up on the way back. Does he still feel guilty about it all? No use moping over it. Getting over it is likely but still he needs to find a way to deal with it. He believes everything will be alright and there will be a way if everyone put their heads into it. They return to office only to find lots of udon that Hime bought. They need all the help to finish it. Does Akina have a friend he can call? Shinozuka’s private number… And there is Enjin and Zakuro making some sort of deal

Episode 9
If you’re suddenly wondering why the villainous necromancer Zakuro is part of the gang, you need to see the earlier OVA, Yozakura Quartet ~Hoshi No Umi~ before you jump into this episode. This episode takes place after the events of that OVA. We see Zakuro trying to do her delivery debut but because Rin’s map is so horrible, she got lost. She passes by Shinozuka and thought he is an evil half-youkai till Kotoha clears things up. Zakuro learns Kotoha and Shinozuka are the only known half-youkais around. Such breed are not born but are struck. She is brought to a memorial ground that contains those who couldn’t be cleansed and Tuned so half-youkais like them are a rare breed. Kotoha’s goal is to be happy and enjoy the moment because happiness in this town won’t last. At least not till the Nanagous bloom. Though she doesn’t like the concept of happiness built on sacrifice of others, she thinks half-youkais will play a pivotal role when the time comes. Over at another memorial site, Akina is paying respects to his grandpa. Juri, Morino and Kohime also pay their respects. Especially Morino who views Machi as his mentor and has taught him the basics about being a mayor. Just when they are talking about the possible fusion of worlds, Enjin pops up to tell them it will happen. Just that he is just the impatient kind. He wants Akina’s power but Akina wants him to tell all he knows about the fusion instead. Because Enjin is the only one who has been on the other side, he is going to show Akina what it is like. Heaven or hell? Nothing. Darkness. Hatred. In Akina’s weak moment, Enjin tries to seize his power. Morino does all he can to protect the grounds from being defiled but there is not much an old man can do. Enjin is stopped dead in his tracks when Iyo and Shidare appear. Enjin attacks them but he cannot even get close or touch Iyo. That old dude just stands there and deflects charging Enjin with his pipe. Cool! Enjin grows madder by the second but it’s time for Juri to show us some fanservice as she gives Enjin a throw with her thighs. Shidare then uses some high tech talisman based on the sciences of Esoterism to pin demons like him down. Enjin claims none of them are human anymore and Akina agrees because they have to deal people like him, they can’t be pure and good and are monsters alike. If that is the way it is, Enjin is going to make preparations for that and escapes. Akina thanks Iyo who insists he is not on his side and is only here to pay his respects. Enjin is at a dam and he plans to take both the Hiizumi and Esoterism as they work well together.

Episode 10
Hime is sick so Ao takes care of her. Ao wants to go back to school after this fusion incident is over. She believes Hime is doing a fine job as a mayor. Because her other friends are being too noisy, Ao tells them off. It’s rare of her to get this mad. One of the elders, Uzu Kibune pays Hime a visit. As he is here on behalf of the elders, he gets straight to the point. Due to her difference with her predecessors, it is clear she has her limits. They want her to resign. Due to the special circumstances of this town, the elders cannot force her and she must do it voluntarily. Her friends tell Uzu off that Hime is doing a good job. Of course Uzu was just a messenger. Now personally as a person and the vice principal of her school, he believes she has done a good job. After he leaves and the rest of Hime’s friends arrive, Hime feels grateful to have such wonderful people around her. One day when Hime, Mina and Kana visit Juri, the nurse is sleeping only in her underwear. She is dreaming of the first time she came to this town and doesn’t like adults very much. She wants to grow up fast. Her distrust is compounded when Yuuhi harasses her when he picks her up (Yuuhi and Yae switched body sizes?). She gives him a judo throw. She is brought to see Machi. She lets Yuuhi and Juri spar with each other so they don’t have grudges later. Yuuhi is still harassing her so Juri is even madder. Machi spars with her and learns she is a descendent of Dr Frankenstein. She wants to be an adult because a child’s voice is ignored. When her ancestor’s town was plagued with a disease, he turned his daughter into an immortal to save it. However the people branded him a criminal who turned to human experimentation. Juri wants to grow up so she can tell everyone with a loud voice that they are greatly mistaken. Machi replies that it is her own energy and hatred that is hurting herself. Adults and children can never become like the other. What she should strive for is to be an adult with a small but clear voice. Machi brings Juri to Frankenstein’s descendants who have opened a clinic in this town. However it is now an empty plot of land. It was torn down decades ago when Machi was still a child. Juri is resolved to learn medicine and become a respectable doctor like him. Machi introduces Hime to Juri and they can be sisters from today. However she doesn’t seem comfortable when Machi asks if she has a little sister back in her own town. Juri wakes up to find Hime sleeping next to her. On the way back, kana thinks she has spot a ghost but is actually Lila.

Episode 11
Yuuhi is in his adult form much to Mariabelle’s dismay. So he turns into a shota just for her. He leaves Hime with a warning to take care of Juri, especially tonight. Kyousuke was just being yelled by Touka. Lila who happens to hear everything cheers him up with several magic tricks. Lila returns to Enjin and she makes a joke about him changing his name to Engine since he wants to rev things up. She threatens to cut his ears but he stabs her. Nothing happens. Magic trick? Illusion? Lila is part of the Youkai Hunters and is told to do her job. Hime sees Juri for her usual check-up. Since it finished too fast, she talks with her to keep her company. She asks if she has a sister. Juri used to have one. Little sister seemed obsessed in wanting to amaze Juri with her magic tricks. To a point where her magic tricks become self inflicted pain and torture like stabbing herself and burning a flower mark on her cheek. And she’s laughing like crazy! True masochism? All Juri did was avert her eyes despite shaking in fear every time she sees it. Then one day, she just died. Just like that. Cause of death unknown. I thought all those self inflicted wounds would be a plausible explanation. Kyousuke comes in to tell them that the citizens have spotted several sightings of a ghost around town. He thinks it is a Youkai Hunter. Kotoha and Ao are already patrolling the area. Hime’s friends seem enthusiastic to catch the ghost. Seriously, with a net? They get caught instead and almost got tentacle rape if not for Zakuro saving them. They chase after it but lose it. Lila is outside Juri’s place and is feeling good since she gets to see her sister again. Then her interest is pique and anticipating in baited breath when Hime asks Juri if her sister was alive, would she want to see her? No. I guess Lila snapped. She makes her ghostly entrance while pinning Juri and Hime down. Look who is back, big sister?

Episode 12
When Lila was young, father used to show her magic tricks and she was impressed. She practised hard every day and prayed hard every night in hopes of becoming a magician one day. Lila is glad to see Juri again but the latter remains silent. She is going to show them a magic trick. Zakuro explains how she was struck and turned into half-youkai. She was painfully thinking to be with Rin forever when something like a comet crashed into her and she felt like her wish being granted. Everyone sees a giant sword floating in the sky. It is part of Lila’s magic show to stab Hime as she is trapped in a box. Will this get Juri to admit she wants to see her sister? Nope. Lila stops short of stabbing the sword. Still won’t admit? Lila thinks she must be wondering how she is alive. Lila adds all she did was study back then and never paid any attention to her. Just like how Juri studied to become a doctor, she did the same to become a magician. And then one day the shooting star crashed into her and she felt her body receiving the wish she had always wanted. When Ao, Kotoha and Zakuro arrive on scene, Lila keeps them busy by throwing swords at them. I wonder if they are getting tired deflecting every sword. They are. Lila remembers Zakuro since the last time they met was when all the Youkai Hunters gathered. Unfortunately Zakuro doesn’t. When Zakuro launches a counter attack, Juri pleads not to attack her little sister. Lila stops in her tracks and thinks she is concerned over her. But it is odd that she doesn’t even say she is happy to see her.

The room they are in turns out to be a stage in a car park as Lila flies away on it. The rest give chase but Akina calls them. Hime is facing off with Lila but eventually ejected through a trapdoor. She says it is not Lila that she doesn’t understand, but Juri herself. Now that the sisters are alone, suddenly Lila is zapped by a stun gun from Shiina and Shidare. But since she is showing so much pain they realize she is not a half-youkai and a human instead. Lila is sad that all she wanted to hear was Juri’s voice that she is happy to see her but yet she won’t. The stage falls but luckily Hime catches it (who the heck threw a flying witch broom to Kotoha?). Hime doesn’t understand what is going on but blames Juri that this is all her fault. Juri explains that she knew Lila was trying to cheer her up but she kept pushing her away. Before she can say she is happy to see her, there are lots of things she needs to apologize for. So much so they may grow old and die before she finishes! Wow. So much to say sorry? But after Hime lectures her about a simple thank you and sorry, Juri did just that. All Lila wanted was to make her relax from her studies and she was happy that she enjoyed it. She didn’t hate her but loves her with all her heart. That was tearful enough for Juri to blurt those words Lila wanted to hear. However as Lila made a contract with Enjin, looks like it’s the end. Enjin fires a devastating bolt at their direction, only to be stopped in the nick of time by Akina. So, he has been missing for this entire episode and suddenly he shows up like the hero? Oh yeah. He is.

Episode 13
Enjin explains that if Akina’s power is to Tune, his is to Strike. Meaning, he can summon things from the other side. Another little story told. When the Hiizumi was just one family and before the Nanagou was formed, all is well till the birth of a son. More accurately, twins. Their powers split. It was then it was decided whose powers are better and thus the establishment of the head and branch family. Enjin wants Akina to join him because even if he takes over his body, he cannot utilize it well. They can rule the world, humans, demons and even Gods. Sounds good? You know Akina’s answer. He rejects it. As they fight, Akina is losing energy the more he uses this Tuning. Uzu helps out using Esoterism that Shidare researched on. Akina is baffled that Uzu showed no signs on tiredness despite using more power than him. To his horror, he learns he is using Esoterism combined with Hiizumi’s power. There is a whole lab of that research in Shidare’s lab, you know. Enjin is going to show what it is like for those who have been summoned to the other side. A giant hand slams into Akina. It may just be his imagination but he is dumbstruck. He becomes disillusioned and in disbelief. Enjin won’t have Akina die now since ‘obstacles’ are coming their way. That flying stage zooms pass them almost killing Akina. Uzu throws Akina to Hime and Kotoha to take care of him.

Touka and Kyousuke use their strength to stop the rampaging stage. Juri uses her touch to heal and restore Akina. Kyousuke and Touka made up with big brother handing her a bouquet of flowers. It might not be fresh after all that commotion but Lila does her magic trick to freshen it up. Enjin thinks of retreating for now since he has done his part of showing Akina what he needed to know. He is satisfied of showing him the truth if it will make him worry a little and instil feelings of guilt and suspicion. Enjin also reveals he has Tuning powers but it is insignificant. This means that Akina too has latent Striking powers. He warns that there are other monsters out there who can destroy the world and another one well lurking out there. While Lila recuperates, she remembers the wish of wanting to become a magician. Juri pushed her out of the way before she was struck. Lila is happy to hear that Juri had always been looking out for her. Simple. She is her little sister. Although Akina is still grumpy that the fight ended indecisively, Juri makes him smile since his frown is making Hime worry. He then cheers her up that they did a good job and the town is safe. Lila states her intention to stay in this town and she becomes Juri’s nurse assistant. Although on occasion, she still becomes the entertaining magician. The rest wonder if she isn’t a half-youkai and all those illusions were just tricks, how does she do her magic tricks? As if a magician would tell. Everyone enjoys the festival that night.

All Quartets Lead To Say What?
Nothing special. Nothing that would make me yearn for another season. Because if there should be another continuation, I might go watch it for nostalgia’s sake but as far as this alternate retelling season is concerned, it is nothing extraordinary. Feels somewhat generic in moving the storyline about the basic stuffs like the Nanagou and the fusion but I feel those are basic things that Yozakura Quartet fans would already know. Therefore I wouldn’t want to go so far that this season is pretty boring but somehow it lacks that oomph to make it fun. Sure, the characters have their own quirks but it feels there isn’t enough time to properly flesh them all out and I am sure each one of them have their own story to tell but were just told in pieces and that is it. Also certain stuffs like Esoterism and the elders doing some sort of research which may be some foreboding of things to come in the possible future was a turn off because I didn’t really understand them.

Thus the most ‘interesting’ character goes to Enjin because even though he is the antagonist of this series, something in the end tells me that he isn’t all that bad and was just playing the villain part to make Akina realize something. His threat to merge the realms could be just an empty threat. He is always hanging around here and there, watching over this, watching over that like as though he has so much free time (which I think he does). Then he gets involved when he feels like it and his powers are so awesome that I think everybody’s combined cooperation won’t be able to defeat him (unless he is fighting against Iyo of course). Beat him up maybe but from the way I see it, they won’t win against him. So much so he just has to resort to retreating and fight another day. Although I am not familiar with this series and perhaps a lot of points I may have forgotten from the first season, I just can’t help baffle about a few things especially if Enjin’s ability to summon and bring things from the other world. In that case, why doesn’t he bring his clan back? Unless he is the only one left. If not, why not others who had a change of mind and wants to return to this side. Something tells me that something more sinister lies beneath the nature of the Nanagou and both realms. Just like how Akina found out the true purpose of Nanagou, maybe that itself is another cover up for something even more.

The other characters feel ordinary and somehow I don’t feel the impact of them in the series. Hime is your typical happy and responsible mayor but has a big appetite. I thought there is some potential about her using the dragon lance but ever since Lila’s appearance becomes centre stage, it feels like Hime has been sidelined. And here I thought she is the star of the series alongside Akina. Speaking of that guy, he too has his flaws. Burdened with the guilty and heavy responsibility of his ancestors so he is really reluctant to use his Tuning powers unless necessary. From my view, he looks weak and needs a lot more training since he tires out after a few rounds of energy releasing. He is going to need more stamina if he is going to fight enemies far powerful than Enjin. Completing the quartet are Kotoha and Ao and again I feel that their presence wasn’t leaving any great impact. If Hime and Akina are already having this much screen time, you can imagine theirs.

But not as bad as Yuuhi, Yae and Mariabelle. It boggles me that despite Yuuhi being a local god who just observes and does not get involved, that itself I find it odd. It feels like the town doesn’t need him and he is only around just for formalities. What good is a god if he can’t help out and just watches? Besides, I’m not sure what kind of a god he is since he loves harassing Mariabelle whom he loves putting in cosplay outfits and in turn she loves the perverted kid in his shota form. More disappointing is Yae. I thought she was a pretty cool and sexy nun slicing with her sword back in the first season. Now she ends up just like a joker and worst still, in her chibi form she looks so helpless, cute and funny. Not forgetting Kyousuke and Touka but my comments on them are the same as Kotoha and Ao. Too bad I thought with Touka’s obvious crush on Akina, I would see something of the likes but alas, I was just hoping too much. Morino, Kohime and Shinozuka in the end feel like odd bedfellows because they hang out together like a glue and to those unfamiliar, they might misinterpret the scene. Especially a bald elderly man and a cute loli having such a good relationship.

Ever since Zakuro has become a citizen of Sakurashin City, she has left behind her grudging and hateful behaviour and now somewhat feels like an airhead. She also has that blur feel to it. It is like as though her role in this season is to be a comic relief character. The deadpan type. Each time you see her, you can expect something ‘funny’ happening to her or something that she says or does. Rin didn’t make much of an appearance here and you might forget all about her if she didn’t make her 15 seconds of cameo most probably because she already had Hoshi No Umi focused on her. So I guess that for this season, Lila is the one taking the spotlight as another of the Youkai Hunter but the drama between her and Juri just felt odd. Lila was just probably desperate to get her sister’s love and acknowledgement and who knows where she has been all this time before finally turning up. Something strange too about how Juri explained how she suddenly died. If she didn’t get struck and she’s still standing here (assuming those aren’t her magic tricks), then I don’t understand how all this came about. It just feels suspicious. When Lila first appeared before Juri’s eyes, I thought her shock felt unconvincing. It’s not like as though she sees her ghost. I mean, she thought her sister died and then suddenly she pops up before her. Shouldn’t she be more surprised than that? Instead of staring so dumbfounded whether Lila was real, I thought she should have just shouted out in disbelief, “Oh my God! OMFG!!! Lila is that you?! Is that really you???!!!!”. But that would have ended the tension since those were the words Lila longed to hear and you probably wouldn’t have seen it end this way.  Oh yeah I forgot. This town is a melting pot for humans and demons. But ghosts and spirits are not demons…

The art and drawing remain the same as Hoshi No Umi’s style. Meaning that it is closer to what the manga looks like and less refine and ‘beautiful’ than the original series. Uh huh. I still prefer the first season’s art where the characters look better as compared to this season where at certain points and angle they just look cartoonish and comical. Maybe that is why some call this to be a supernatural comedy. I guess with the bunch of oddballs like Hime around, you can expect them to be funny while doing their job. That’s a compliment, no? During action scenes, because things are moving so fast, the producers maybe thought that you wouldn’t catch how simple the drawing goes. I mean, it’s moving fast enough, who is going to catch it, right? Wrong. I thought they didn’t put enough details into it and felt like a rush job. But the action is entertaining enough with each of the characters having their own forte like Kyousuke and Touka’s super strength as ogres, Kotoha’s ability to materialize what she says (so far personally I still like this power of hers) and Ao’s ability to read minds I thought doesn’t really make her suitable in the front lines and serves more of a support. The power fights are okay since it’s packed with lots of supernatural powers. That’s a given.

Also, although this series isn’t supposed to be one filled with fanservice, there are a few scenes just for that. But it is the case of blink-and-you’ll-miss kind of panty shots fanservice. Out of the blue, suddenly there is an unsuspected panchira shot that make you go, “Hey, wasn’t that supposed to be on purpose or not?”. I mean, get this. Some of the girls like Ao, Kotoha and Juri wear a skirt so short that the slightest bend or wind blow can flip them up. You can’t help wonder if Ao’s fashion sense of wearing a one piece dress that is so short or just a t-shirt long enough to cover her butt. So much so you might be waiting for that chance where you get to view her shima pantsu or exclaim that haitenai phenomenon. I suppose Ao is the one responsible for much of the panty shots that you’ll see. But those who have fetish for nurses can now rejoice since the Frankenstein sisters are donning the same white very short nurse outfit. Gives you more motivation to go get your check up, eh?

All the seiyuus for this season are retained even way back from the original series. So it’s a good thing that there is some consistency in the voice acting department. However the opening theme, Sakura No Ato (All Quartets Lead To The ?) by Unison Square Garden, I personally feel it is a bit odd to have it as the opening song. There is some hip hop in this rock song and with the opening lyrics that go “All quartets lead, lead to say lalalalalala…”, I don’t know, I just find it weird. However the song itself is fun and not that bad. Kid, I Like Quartet is the special opening theme for episode 9 and is taken from Hoshi No Umi’s opening. I suppose it’s a reminder why the series suddenly had a jump in the storyline. I thought that this fast rock piece should be more like it for the series. The ending theme, Tsukiyomi by Phatmans After School although has the lead singer feeling like as though he had a few drinks last night. You know how Rod Steward sounds like? Yeah. I thought it was something familiar like that. I won’t say the voice sucks or anything. Just weird. Otherwise this song doesn’t sound too bad either. Sampling some of the OST music, I notice the better sounding ones are the hip hop and jazzy style. The mid-intermission is a good idea of the hip hop music style of the series. The next episode preview background music sounds so comical and casual that it made me wonder if it is going to be a serious episode. Even if it does, that kind of music just made it feel weird.

There is still the other OVA that I haven’t caught yet but planning to (Tsuki Ni Naku, that is), but I’ll let this one sink in first before I start watching that. In the end, I always thought that this season could have done better since my main gripe was the art and drawing that seems to take away my enjoyment as I still prefer the first season’s art style. Although the plot may be incomplete and there are some parts that are not explained, this is still an enjoyable anime in its own bizarre way. Yes, bizarre. Because if you have a bunch of kids running the town, a young mayor who spends as much time stuffing her face with ramen and patrolling the streets, the possibility of a loli running for mayor, a perverted kid as a god, half the denizens are youkais, nothing more can surprise you. Otherwise, just tune into something else.

This is one of the few ‘old’ animes to be given the reboot years after the TV series ended. Just like my recent stint with Kaibutsu Oujo OVA, Yozakura Quartet OVA ~Hoshi No Umi~ is also a retelling and remake of the TV series. I guess there were many fans who were unhappy of how the TV series deviated from the original manga works so that’s why you have this OVA which is faithfully reproduced close to the original. Me? I don’t read the manga so I can’t really say but I do find the 2008 TV series version quite okay. Of course as far as my memories serve, it could have been better.

Also like Kaibutsu Oujo OVA, not only there are 3 episodes in total, but it took an entire year for all the episodes to be released! Yes, that is a pretty long time if you are a diehard fan of the series and every excruciating second of the wait seems like eternity. Unless of course you prefer to read the original materials instead of watching the reproduction. So basically this retelling isn’t just an abridged version but one of the chapters from the manga. You need to have some knowledge about this series beforehand if you’re going to decide to watch this OVA without scratching your head to understand the developments of the events. I’ll spare you the details because it’s much easier to Google it yourself (read: I’m lazy to rewrite a brief summary). The big focus of this OVA will be on a minor supporting character in the TV series: Rin. Yes, that Chinese vampire keong si girl.

Episode 1
Zakuro Kurumaki just entered Sakurashin City just to retrieve a ‘toy’ she lost. We can tell she’ll be the main villain for this OVA because she rots a little shrine at one of the Nanagous and steals something within it. Rin is living a peaceful life. For 2 years, she has been living and doing ramen deliveries in a ramen shop owned by a couple we shall simply call as Oya-san and Okami-san. Her adopted parents are kind and understanding people. Life is good. It’s just sad it won’t last long. See the hideous scars over Rin’s body? That tells you she has gone through hell, doesn’t it? During her delivery, she meets Akina who is on his way for a medical check-up. Rin SMS Touka about it and the latter seems pretty excited to join in. I don’t know about this but did Touka ever show us she had a crush on Akina in the TV series? Of course to her dismay, she also sees Hime at the clinic run by Juri. She thought it’s going to just be her and Akina. Hime also secretly likes Akina more than a friend? Surprise, surprise (to me at least). Touka doesn’t want to lose out to Hime on strength so Juri has them both arm wrestle her at the same time. Guess what? A mere human nurse like Juri could completely beat them youkais! Mind boggling, isn’t it? So it goes to show that it’s not your physical strength that counts. You need to know how your bones and muscles work, etc. Master them and you can do almost anything. Now it’s Akina’s turn for his check-up. Juri can tell he has been using his Tuning skills lately (a skill that sends bad youkais back to the other world). She holds his hand and a golden glow is emitted from both of them. As Juri explains, doing too much Tuning has caused him to deviate or slide away and all he needs to get himself back is to hold the hands of another living thing. Well, youkais don’t really count so it’s obvious to see why Hime and Touka are pretty upset about it. Yeah, can’t hold hands with him. After Juri makes Akina leave to do an investigation, she can clearly see how depressed the girls are. So obvious. She snaps them out by saying that they both have a crush on Akina. Also advising them that there are things a youkai can do. If they do a better job, Akina may not have to use his Tuning often.

Ao and Kotoha are at the church to see Yae. They are here to retrieve the stolen items back to the people. I remember the district chief, Yuuhi the kid who is actually a God being an oddball, but I didn’t know he was this perverted because he flipped up the skirts of the duo. There is no rule to say you can’t smack a God if he gets dirty, right? As Ao and Kotoha follow Yae, they see Hime trying to get close to a cat. The funny thing was, why is she wearing an oversized bear headgear? They can tell it’s Hime due to her trademark scarf. Worse, Yae is totally infatuated with the scene. Ao and Kotoha notice Yae’s room close by and take a peek. They see lots of bear stuffs. Teddy bears, posters, bed sheets. Just about everything. I didn’t know she was this much a bear fanatic. Because the duo failed to read the door on her sign (“Please knock before enter”), Yae is going to teach them a good lesson for seeing her secret. Hime gives her bear headgear to Yae. Hime thinks of continuing her patrol even though the crime rate in Sakurashin City is low but she takes pride in it. Yuuhi mentions something bothering him and that there was a victim in the next town. All the more reason for Hime to step up her patrol. Then Yae (still hugging on to the bear headgear and rolling…) assures her that there is a slim chance crime will not happen in this city because the city is made that way. Later Ao and Kotoha meet Touka at the playground. Touka is seemingly down because of the fact she can’t hold hands with Akina. Hey, you can just hold his hand and not necessarily just to tune him back, right? Oh well, I guess for a girl at her age, it’s complicated. Kotoha mentions about herself being half-human and half-youkai so she can only lend half her powers. But there are also other things that she can do, Touka can do, certainly more than just holding hands.

Yae is a Tochigami (local guardian) of this city and it’s her duty to put a damper on any crime. I guess this is partly why the crime rate in Sakurashin City is low. Oddly, before she heads out, she puts on the bear headgear and waltzes through the city! I guess it really boosts her motivation. A bunch of low-life criminals are planning to rob a store that has that rich looks. Seriously. They didn’t plan which store to rob and walk around so boldly with their balaclava masks looking for such stores? Maybe the street is totally empty. No wonder Yae’s job is easy. First mistake the baddies made is that they looked down on a nun in a bear headgear. They probably think she’s a wacko cosplayer. Secondly, one of them wanted to smash her with his wrench. Now this is where we get to see Yae in action. Stealing the wrench and knocking out the other 2 thieves with it. However a nearby villain (Zakuro) uses her telekinetic power to move one of the baddies’ hand and shoot Yae. Fortunately, it hit and destroys part of the bear headgear. Unfortunately, it hit and destroys part of the bear headgear. She is so in shock that the baddies got even time to tie her up! But not for long. Maybe they don’t know how to tie or she’s just to freaking strong for those losers to handle. She gets herself loose and fights back. Now she is one mad nun. Better say your prayers. The impact nearly has a car slamming into one of them. He starts praying to God for help. Haha. A believer at this point? Well, he’s looking at one. Fortunately for him, Yae just scared the daylights out of him.

Next morning, Yae brings the headgear to Akina in hopes he could fix it. He thinks she had done something incredible last night but she didn’t really admit. Akina is suspicious because he heard reports that a bunch of arrested robbers were explaining how they were defeated by someone in such a headgear. Maybe they’re just dreaming? Akina also concludes his investigation on the Nanagou. Seems there are strange things happening and one of them was like decaying. This is perfect timing for Yuuhi to explain that Enjin is on the move. He plans to make all the Nanagous in full bloom. Previously he always worked alone but this time it is different. He is working along natural enemies of the youkais known as Youkai Hunters to fulfil this goal. They aren’t just your typical villainous gang as each are specialists specializing in a certain area with incredible strength. It includes a dragon hunter, a vampire hunter, an exorcist and especially a necromancer. Meanwhile Rin is feeling very strange. So much so she starts collapsing in the middle of the road. It always bugs me why don’t truck drivers slow down at pedestrian crossings. I mean, the light may be green but couldn’t he see a helpless girl collapsing in the middle? That was even when the crossing light was green before it turned red as Rin couldn’t cross the road in time. So really. Why oh why are they speeding? Thankfully, Kyousuke uses his brute strength to stop the truck with his bare hands. But that’s not the end of the problem. In fact, it is just beginning. Zakuro controls Rin and uses her like a doll to throw Touka away and strike Kyousuke. Even a strong ogre like him couldn’t stand her single blow. Looks like Zakuro has got her ‘toy’ back.

Episode 2
Rin is unconscious sleeping at Juri’s place. If not for Okami-san (she is half-youkai) knocking her out, she would’ve gone on a rampage. Yuuhi explains in vain about their enemies making their move but everybody is too busy slurping on their ramen to listen. Can’t fight on an empty stomach, eh? Well, it’s said this is Rin’s new dish. Once done, everyone leaves to do their work. Okami-san wants Yuuhi to bring the culprit to talk to her if she is ‘that person’ (see her scary aura? That means she’s serious!). Yuuhi doesn’t take requests like Yae but that’s not what Okami-san had in mind. He needs to pay for all the ramen bowls his friends ate. Haha. Last to leave, pay the bill. Rin is having a nightmare of running away from a group of people doing a witch-hunt. Alone and afraid, Zakuro pops up to offer her help. In reality, she is rudely awakened by Zakuro who has busted into Juri’s clinic. She reminds her that she is her toy and that she is a bad girl for running away from her master. Besides, she did tell Rin that she will always protect her. Zakuro kidnaps her and along her way bumps into Enjin. Zakuro assures him that she will do his work but wants him to stay out. Hime is doing her night patrol and is tempted by the roadside stall. Then she sees Zakuro with Rin in her arms. Hime goes after her while Akina returns to get Kyousuke’s help. Seeing Zakuro has time to spare, she decides to play with Hime. At the bridge, they introduce each other but Zakuro notes that even though Hime is strong, she is not interesting. Hime makes the first moves and beats Zakuro up. That easy? Is it game over? Far from over. It’s just starting. Zakuro admits that she may be weak but reminds her about Youkai Hunters are only strong when they use their special abilities. As a necromancer, Zakuro needs not be strong herself. Using her true ability to control her ‘toy’, a possessed Rin pushes Akina away. Then she toys with Kyousuke before her fight with Hime. Though she got Hime is in her grasp, Hime ekes out a smile and this temporary breaks Rin out of her spell (Hime’s smiled reminded her of Zakuro’s when they first met). This distraction allows Akina to slam a talisman on her forehead.

With no ‘corpse’ to use, Zakuro starts rotting the ground and summons the ground as her monster familiar. Since the monsters regenerate, Hime attacks Zakuro directly but it won’t be easy since she is well guarded. A wall is slammed onto the monster and Zakuro is thrilled the interesting one is here: Kotoha. Noting that they’re both half-human and half-youkai, Kotoha doesn’t want her to put her in the same category as her. Zakuro taunts Kotoha to kill her because eventually they’re both the same. Kotoha is temporarily stunned when flashbacks of her tragic past resurfaces (she burnt down her entire town). Hime wants her to materialize a weapon but she didn’t like the lance because it’s too sharp. She reminds her about their no-killing policy. So I guess they’ll just have to beat her up till she repents, eh? If only rehabilitating hardcore criminals were this easy. Meanwhile, Ao leads the ambulance driven by Oya-san, Juri and Okami-san to the bridge. Seems they have ‘stolen’ several car batteries and left Touka behind. The battle between Zakuro and Kotoha intensifies with the former summoning more monsters (Kotoha fares better than Hime when she fights multiple enemies). Kotoha is going to have a major sore throat the way she is summoning all the big stuffs in succession to counter all those monsters. See how many stealth planes she kamikaze into the monsters?! How much will that cost in real life! Kotoha has observed Zakuro’s pattern and realizes her weakness is a life source. This is where Juri comes in. She plugs all the car batteries and runs them on the ground, shocking Zakuro with all the flowing electric.

Rin dreams of her likes (cooking) and dislikes (the starry night sky) and also the time Zakuro offered her hand. The reason why Zakuro did that was she too was alone and wanted to protect Rin. The duo started living a blissful life together as Rin learns to cook dishes and opens up her heart and her dislike of starry night skies because it makes her feel alone that she can’t sleep at night. Then at a flower field, when Rin asked why she helped her, though Zakuro said she wanted to protect her, it may be because she too wanted to be protected and that if they’re together, they won’t be alone. But suddenly it’s like she has a sudden change in character. Zakuro becomes the evil lady as we know and forces Rin to go on a killing spree upon those that tormented her. She places a talisman on Rin’s forehead and made Rin her toy. When Rin awakens, she interrupts the fight between Hime and Zakuro. Hime won’t allow Zakuro to take Rin back since she considers Rin her toy. However Zakuro threatens she can escape and return. Each time she’ll leave a scar much worse than before. In a surprise move, Rin says she will go with Zakuro because she’s been with her for a very long time and was the first person who treated her kindly. Zakuro may have felt sympathy in seeing Rin’s eyes when suddenly a flame monster engulfs her. It is the work of Enjin and he has turned Zakuro into a more powerful being. Asking Hime the population of Sakurashin City, Zakuro is glad to add 2,040 people to her corpse collection.

Episode 3
Once more, Rin remembers why she hates the starry night sky unlike other people because there is nothing for her to see as it is pitch black. Enjin is watching from afar and is being approached by Yae (still wearing that bear headgear?). She is here to ensure that he does not interfere further like herself because she believes in those kids. Kotoha is at her limits so she touches Akina’s hand to tune him back and also pass the baton to him. Zakuro attacks as Kyousuke uses his body as a shield to protect Hime from her controlling corpse power. Zakuro uses Kyousuke as his doll to fight Hime. Hime wants Zakuro to give the dragon back (the thing she stole from the shrine and the reason why Rin became weak and fell under her control). Zakuro possesses Hime but is surprised that she could break out from her manipulation with ease. Okay, make that lots of determination. Akina Tunes Kyousuke to free him from his possession. He may not have mastered the control yet but it was good enough because he didn’t send Kyousuke to the other world. Zakuro uses her final trump card in the form of Rin. Rin is not under her mind control when she blurted out how she hates everyone in this city, shocking Hime. She wants them all to leave them alone as Zakuro takes her away. Akina wants to go after them but Hime is doubtful. He tells everyone who isn’t willing to help to stay back as they’ll be in the way. Of everyone goes except for Hime and Kyousuke. Kyousuke gives her a one minute break. He reminds her how he agreed to worked with her because he sympathizes her heart’s desire to fix this city. She gets a call from her grandma informing her that everyone is safe in the shelters (during the fight, the city suddenly went pitch black). Hime gets her confidence back and unlocks Kyousuke’s bracelet to unseal his true strength before rejoining Akina and co. Oya-san too has his doubts over chasing Rin since this is what she wished for. But Akina tells him she wasn’t saying what her heart wanted. What was the reason she left the other world and came here in the first place? Life was so hard back there that she ran away here. And ever since, she has never said she wanted to leave this place once.

Zakuro is furious jumping all over town because there are no people in sight for her to turn them into corpses. In no time, it’ll be another round with Hime. Zakuro again grips Kyousuke to use him as a weapon against Hime and Akina. The distraction to save Rin failed as Akina is tossed off the building. Thankfully he landed on the garbage pile below. Touka, with her bracelet off also joins the fray. Akina gets an idea and wants Ao to telepathically inform the rest to make it to the new government building. Hime and Kyousuke got the message and race through the streets walloping all the tree monsters Zakuro summoned. Hime pleads to Rin to return but she still insists to live with Zakuro. Well, if Rin doesn’t listen, then what are the chances will Hime listen to her to stop fighting? Zakuro pounds Hime into the elevator of the new government building. Giving the signal to Kyousuke, he sends the lift up to the top floor. Hime is confident that with this city and its people’s love for the dragon, they can’t lose. Zakuro fears that she may have been lured into a place with a dragon coil but that was just a decoy. There is none. When the elevator reaches the top, Akina surprises her with his Tuning. The blast is so great that she starts flying off the building. Rin jumps down to save her. This is followed by Hime. But heck! Why is everyone else also jumping down?! Can anybody fly here? Furthermore, they’re offering to be the one as the landing cushion. When Kyousuke volunteers, they let him! Haha! Fooled. But don’t worry. Nobody is going to be a cushion because Kotoha has recovered enough to materialize a giant air bag for soft landing. Recovering from the shocking fall, Hime wraps her scarf around Rin (maybe she wants to hide her tears?). She says she wants to be with Rin even though if she hates them. Of course Rin denies hating them and then cries her heart out. Akina starts crutching in pain but Oya-san holds his hand to readjust him back. Before Rin follows Zakuro to the hospital, she has a little touching reunion with her adopted parents.

Life returns to normal for everyone. For now. Yuuhi tells Akina and Hime that things will really get tougher now but the rest take it in a positive light seeing anticipating it is half the pleasure. Wait a minute. It’s fun to anticipate bad things? Better than being all gloomy, right? As for Zakuro, she now works and lives with Rin at Oya-san and Okami-san’s place. She is more docile than before. Plus, she also has a certificate of residence and is now a citizen of Sakurashin City. Rin narrates that she now loves the starry night sky she once hated because she has someone to look up with.

Yozakura Minna…
It would be unfair to say the ending is unsatisfactory because this is just an end of one of the many chapters in the manga. I’m not sure if there are going to be any more OVA productions for this series seeing that it is obvious everything has not end yet. In fact, the tough fight may only be just the beginning. Enjin may have begun to move but he hasn’t really make his presence felt yet. He is just hanging around, watching things unfold. Then there are the other Youkai Hunters that are yet to be introduced. So perhaps future OVA episodes may introduce them and in return have the series focus on one of the heroes/heroines just like how this one is pretty much on Rin. In a way I felt that some of the characters like Ao have been relegated to a minor background character that doesn’t really stand out. Yuuhi’s assistant, Mariabelle is still around following him wherever he goes but still, her appearance lacks any impact.

There is a lot of potential in the story and characters if they really do want to continue with making more OVAs or even translate it into a TV series remake. For we may get to know more in depth about the past of characters like Kotoha, Ao, Akina and especially Hime. The bits of information like the dragon coil and Nanagou are interesting enough to warrant further expansion. Maybe throw in a little love romance while they’re at it :). For Rin, she is a lucky girl to have lots of friends and people who care and support her. She’ll just realize more that the people in this city will always love her like she does for them. It is still really unclear why Zakuro turned Rin into her personal doll to go on a killing spree. Was Zakuro hypnotized or being controlled by something sinister? How did a nice person could suddenly change into something so heartless? No matter how wicked she was, Rin still considered her as someone dear. Because she was in a dilemma and couldn’t stand her new family, friends and city to suffer any more, she was willing to leave with Zakuro. But at least with Zakuro’s case and issue settled, she’s no longer part of the Youkai Hunters and is one of them now.

One of the many areas why I find this series as similar to Kaibutsu Oujo OVA is also the drawing and art. In one word: Horrible. The TV series definitely has the characters drawn and looking way much better than the ones here. Not to say they are unidentifiable but it is such a turn off looking at those simple lines and other stuffs that lack great details. It is like as though there is a budget constraint in making the OVAs or everybody is doing a rush job to meet the release date. Hah! Three episodes over a year? Deadline excuse is not feasible. However this is how the original manga drawing looks like. But you’ll learn to get use to it instead of criticizing it all the way. It makes life much easier. Besides, it’s not that my drawing skills are superb either so it’s not really my place to say. However unlike in Kaibutsu Oujo OVA, Yozakura Quartet OVA has retained all its original seiyuu voices from the TV series. Misato Fukuen still voices Hime, Yuki Kaji as Akina, Miyuki Sawashiro as Kotoha, Fuji Sakita as Ao, Ai Matayoshi as Rin, Haruka Tomatsu as Touka and Daisuke Ono as Kyousuke. The only addition is Kaoru Mizuhara as Zakuro (Gisen in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls).

At first when started watching this OVA, I was thinking that it may just be some comical fun stiff seeing we started out with the recognition of Touka and Hime’s possible crush on Akina. This is followed by Yae’s comical antics with her bear infatuation and the likes. But when Zakuro finally comes into the picture and abducts Rin, that’s when the real action begins. The action feels smooth and the flow not disruptive. I won’t say the fight sequences are mind blowing but they are enough to keep casual viewers like me satisfied. Just that because of the drawing that makes it a major turn off. The best fighting character to me is of course Kotoha because of her ability to materialize objects by merely saying it. So the part whereby she sent waves and waves of objects in her fight against Zakuro was quite exciting. When Yae was acting all cute and strange, my first thought was where did that kickass nun chick went to? This wasn’t how I remembered her. Then just to show us she still hasn’t lost her touch, that little brawl with those petty criminals was just a prelude before the main action shifts to the main gang. After that, you won’t really see her again except for that little confrontation with Enjin. I also remember Yuuhi being some sort of womaniser in the TV series but here, he is like a naughty perverted kid whenever he is not serious in his job. Juri is still an eccentric nurse but she wasn’t as crazy as I remember she was in the TV series. Was she?

It still bugs me that the quartet is used to describe the team of Hime, Akina, Kotoha and Ao as they go about helping those in need in the city, no matter how big or small. I always thought Kyousuke and Touka should also be part of team because they’ve always been helping out too. But to call a team of six people as sextet may sound a little dirty, don’t you think? But I don’t think that this team is really confined to these small number of people. In fact, I feel the entire Sakurashin City should be part of this ‘quartet’ because everybody helps each other out the best they can. This OVA may not show the hostility between humans and youkais living together and would give off a feel that all beings are co-existing peacefully together (there will always be exceptions like a certain bespectacled baddie). So if everybody is cooperative to protect each other, why do you need God in the first place? Maybe that’s why Yuuhi and Yae play a passive role in just watching over the city. Just in case a big time baddie with devil-like powers show up. Otherwise we could just rely on our trust, bond and friendship to get things over with. Or maybe just pray harder.

Yozakura Quartet

August 23, 2009

I’m sure there are countless shows whereby it explores how the human race tries to coexist and live with other kind of races. Be it different tribes, clans, species or alien beings. I’m certain that there has to be some sort of conflict whereby one side or both don’t like each other and try to wipe each other out. Yozakura Quartet is of such genre but the setting of this supernatural action thriller starts off on a different note.
 
Not to say that there is no conflict between humans and youkais (ghosts) in the world setting of this anime, the relationship between both sides are somewhat tolerable at the start. As narrated at the start of the first episode, Sakurashin City is the melting pot of both humans and youkais. Both sides living in harmony and coexisting together peacefully within a city which is protected by seven pillar barriers called Nanagou.
 
But don’t worry. You can’t really tell at first glance who is the youkai or human as the youkai inhabitants have blend themselves by taking the form of a human. Don’t want to scare the little ones. Another odd thing about this city is that the mayor, Hime Yarizakura, is only 16 years old! Of course, she isn’t human to begin with as she is a reincarnation of a dragon and wields a long lance. She has a loyal assistant, Kyousuke Kishi, who is an onii (ogre) always by her side and aid. So these 2 supernatural beings are the only staff running the city?
 
Nope. Hime regularly engages the help from the 3 member staff of Hiizumi Life Counselling Office. They are its human director, Akina Hiizumi, a kotodama tsukai (one who can materializes things by just uttering words of them), Kotoha Isone, and a satori (literally a mind reader), Ao Nanami. The trio are some kind of jack-of-all-trades or should I say help-for-hire as they perform any sort of requests needed by the citizens of the city no matter how petty. Like fixing a leaking roof. Together with Hime, they are dedicated in protecting the city and the safety of its inhabitants. I’m still wondering why the show is called a quartet. I mean, the primary focus seems to be on Hime, Akina, Kotoha and Ao. Did they forget about Kyousuke? It’s not like he’s not a side character who appears for only 5 seconds in every episode. So should it be a quintet instead? What about Kyousuke’s sister, Touka, too? Sometimes she helps the gang out too. But whatever the numbers, Hime is going to need all the help she is going to get in protecting the city. Being mayor at such a young age is tough. Lots of high expectations to meet. Yeah, you may find her a little naive and a glutton. Uh huh. Hime loves eating ramen.
 
Anyway as the first episode sets the tone of the series like how part of the Hiizumi Life Counselling Office is to transmit whatever important announcement through its loud speakers which can be heard all over the city, the gang are trying to welcome a new resident to the city, Rin Azuma, a Chinese vampire (you know those keong si in Manchu outfits that hop and terrorize people? Ah, I still remember them…). Also, recently there seems to be a criminal on the loose stalking its citizens. During one of Hime’s rounds, she spots him terrorizing poor Rin with his gun but he disappears when Hime comes to the rescue. They learn that human, Kousuke Yoshimura, is being possessed by a youkai and soon he holds a nurse, V Juri F, as hostage and wants Hime to come to him or else he won’t know what a heartbroken guy would do. Of course Hime and her team manage to defeat Kousuke and it’s cool to see Hime deflecting his bullets with her fists. Juri also shows that she’s just not a dumb nurse as she herself too can pull off some self defence manoeuvres. Then I don’t know why Kotoha froze the entire street just to stop him from his trigger happy ways when she could just froze his hands.
 
However it is not the end yet. It seems that Rin, who is one of those youkais who despise humans to the utmost, initially made a pack with Kousuke to get her revenge on heartless humans who used her. She points a gun at Akina. Careful, he’s human. Even if Rin hates humans, she’s not a killer and is still finding hard to pull the trigger. During this time, Akina uses his tuning power to send the youkai in Kousuke’s body to the other world. So what is this tuning power? It seems Akina is the only human and successor of his family who has been using this tuning ability throughout the centuries to send back evil youkais to the other side of the world and cut them off from the human world. When Akina activates his tuning powers, his hair will grow longer and his eyes a little more ‘eviler’. Once all that is done, we see the main villain of this series, Enjin, watching the gang as he notes how things are getting real interesting with this bunch of characters.
 
In episode 2, Hime goes to see Yuuhi Shinatsuhiko, some sort of God and chief division officer of this city to discuss matters of the city. Yeah, he looks like a 10 year old kid. Plus, he has an assistant, Mariabelle who is always by his side, and a cool double sword wielding nun, Yae Shinatsuhiko, which is Yuuhi’s sister. Besides the flashback of how Akina reluctantly learns the tuning process from his grandpa (which seems to ‘kill’ the youkai before exiling them to the other world), we see that Rin is still bitter about humans and to make things worse, she has been put under the care of Akina. Rin is visibly upset and doesn’t trust Akina and thinks his tuning powers are akin to murder even though they are essential to protect the city. Even Kotoha and Ao’s words don’t seem to convince Rin that humans aren’t that all bad. Can’t blame her too since we see Rin’s flashback of some nasty girls bullying her by burning her arm! At the same time, Enjin is seen attacking one of the Nanagous, and this causes some of the youkais in town to lose control over its powers. Unfortunately, one of them being Rin. You see, Akina was trying to give a nice and polite tour of the city when that brat still sulking and stubborn runs away on her own. That night as Akina reflects on Rin’s words, Rin’s destructive powers starts to go out of control. Just as Akina was to use his tuning powers as other methods to stop her were futile, Rin starts to have fears over her own mortality. But Akina wasn’t aiming for Rin, but some shadowy youkai who is controlling her. The next day, after witnessing Akina’s determination, Rin at least is grateful and doesn’t hate humans anymore. She now leads a normal life and also does part time ramen delivery. See, even youkais can change too.
 
In episode 3, Hime continues to train hard in her dojo and her flashback tells us how she had to immediately grow up and take over the mayor job with the sudden demise of the previous mayor, which is her grandma. Of course Hime had to prove herself as many people have doubts what a little kid like her can do to protect the city. In present time, Hime still needs more practice and concentration since she flops on her last training move. The counselling office staffs seem to be thrilled with a new stray furry dog that they found, whom they named Silver. It was pretty funny to see Ao scared of that little dog (is it because she has cat ears and I’m assuming she’s a cat?) but as time goes by, she’ll get used to it. The rest of the gang takes a liking for Silver and Hime even had some grand plans for Silver to help her out for her usual city patrol (riding on it? I O Silver, away!). Spending too much time with Silver has Akina talking to Hime that it may seem that she is shirking her duties as mayor. Because of that, Silver doesn’t like Akina much. One day when Akina is sleeping on his couch, Silver bites his hands. This incurs the wrath of Hime as she slaps it! Will the SPCA look into this? Just kidding. I’m not sure if it understood but it could feel that Hime is visibly upset. Hime tells Silver to get out and with a heavy heart, Silver leaves. Is she being too hard even though Akina says his wound isn’t serious? Spare the rod, spoil the child… As Silver wanders dejectedly, Enjin spots it and decides to possess this abandoned creature for his own means. This would mean that Hime and co have to face-off with Silver who is terrorizing the city. No matter how hard they try, the only way to save Silver is to tune him since it is completely possessed. It’s a sad thing but it has to be done. And I’m not sure why since Yuuhi and Mariabelle knows about Enjin’s doing, why don’t they do something about this threat? God doesn’t like to dirty his hands? Or he prefers to not interfere and let destiny take its own course?
 
In episode 4, we see this Enjin guy who has a half-youkai subordinate Eiji Shinozuka. I’m always wondering if they are trapped in some sort of barrier within the city because it’s like they’re hanging out at certain places. Anyway we learn that Enjin is currently possessing the body of a guy named Gin, who is Ao’s older brother and a close friend of Hime and Akina. A flashback of how Hime, Akina and Gin have to finish eating a super big bowl of ramen in a designated time in order for their meal to be free or else they’ll have to pay more as penalty. Since Hime and Akina are at their limit, it is up to Gin to do so and he doesn’t disappoint, though he didn’t like it. In the end, I guess that’s how the trio got the see-do-hear no evil monkey handphone keychains. In present time, Enjin is having trouble controlling this body because the soul of Gin didn’t completely die out yet and is giving some resistance, thus making him unable to use his full powers. Enjin then plants some seed at one of the Nanagou and the duo manages to pass through the barrier. Akina on his way, then encounters the duo and is surprised to see Gin alive. Well, it’s actually Enjin. Meanwhile Shinozuka goes to the Elders chamber to see Yuuhi but after a short chat and the arrival of Ao and Kotoha, he flees. Enjin continues to taunt Akina but after finding out that Gin’s soul is still alive, he is hesitant to use his tuning powers. Akina could have been toast if not for the appearance of Yae. Yeah, I love that babe, the way she coolly slices and dices solid stuff into half thrown by Enjin. Soon Enjin has had enough fun and retreats. In the end, Akina tells Ao and Kotoha not to reveal this to Hime, who is currently out of town with Kyousuke.
 
Hime returns in episode 5 and we see her new order to broadcast some weird funny anthem throughout the city. Daily. I don’t know if one can get sick of it but Hime sure enjoys them. This episode has the counselling staff helping to care a bunch of nursery kids at a day-care centre. I suppose little angels like them can be devils when they give the gang a hard time. Though they get along well with most of the kids thanks to Ao’s mind reading powers awing the kids, Ao notices a boy named Junta being reclusive. She decides to further use her mind reading powers to find out what he wants. She learns that when his dad left, they made a promise that he’ll return if he can juggle a football consecutively for 20 times. But even when Junta succeeded, his dad never showed up. Junta gets upset instead of surprised when Ao tells him what she knew. Because of this, Ao questions the use of her ability. I know many people would die just to have such mind reading powers but at least Ao has a conscience. Ao teams up with Akina to go look for Junta’s dad and in the end, all their hard work paid off as Junta’s dad and mom comes to see him, making that little boy happy while Ao apologizes for the unauthorized use of her powers. Later as Ao sits on one of the Nanagou in relief and reminisce the times when she was with her brother, suddenly a flock of crows appear and Ao spotting a shocked expression, spots her brother in the flesh floating right before her eyes.
 
However Enjin/Gin soon vanishes in episode 6. Ao tells Akina about it and wants him to keep a secret too. But I’m wondering why did Enjin did so because he is experiencing more painful resistance from Gin within possibly that guy still has a strong bond for his sister and showing up right in front of Ao would just make it worse for Enjin who is trying to 100% control this body. Because of that, he tells Shinozuka to go do as he pleases. Meanwhile Kotoha is at school talking with her buddies about how she can’t wait to go to Germany (she’s already got a ticket) when Hime calls her for an assignment. A funny part is that when Kotoha decides to go karaoke party with her pals, to her dismay she finds that she has to stay back for after-school class and said the F-word in English! Holy sh*t! I wonder how that would be materialized. And it seems that so called important assignment was to be Hime’s sparring partner. That’s it? During the match, Kotoha materializes several machine guns going da-da-da-da-da firing mode and during their bout, Hime accidentally rips her ticket. Pissed off Kotoha then summons an 88 Flak (some anti-aircraft artillery firepower) and starts blasting away! Woah! If not for Kyousuke, Hime would’ve been blown to bits. Later all hope for Kotoha isn’t lost as she finds out that she still may make it to Germany if she wins a karaoke contest as Kotoha and her classmates go practice their karaoke.
 
However Shinozuka intercepts her classmates and kidnaps them in order to bait Kotoha. As Kotoha comes to their rescue under a bridge, we learn from her tragic flashback that she is a half-youkai and once a human before. As a kid with weird powers, she must have despised it because she burned down her town with it. Till Hime showed up and requests her to join her. Shinozuka wants Kotoha to join him and Enjin’s cause but she isn’t willing to give in so a heated battle ensues. Kotoha uses her materialized machine guns but Shinozuka is too fast evading every single bullet. Hime and co soon arrive to help out. After securing Kotoha’s pals, Kotoha summons the 88 Flak and with the help of Ao’s mind reading powers and Hime’s lance, they defeated Shinozuka (he almost got blasted). But you can count on that pale face to be back again. In the end, as Kotoha suggests to continue her karaoke practice with her buddies, she finds that she has lost her voice! What’s this? Hime thinking that she has a chance now?
 
The townspeople are preparing for a local festival to honour the Nanagou in episode 7. I’m not sure if Yuuhi is a pervert or not because the old ladies are mentioning how he is here to ogle at women. Akina and Hime are representing their family line for the ritual. We see Hime proceeding to enter a Nanagou shrine to pray for the safety and protection of this city. Later the gang gathers for a party together and the funny part is that when they drank normal water, all of them got drunk (exception of Akina)! Well, according to them, giving water to a youkai is like giving hard liquor to a human. Yeah, they’re getting intoxicated alright. Even Mariabelle. After the party is over and everyone goes home, Ao is surprised to receive a visitor. Enjin. He kidnaps her and the next morning informs her other pals about it. While under Enjin’s custody, Ao can’t bring herself to stab Enjin (with a fork?) because she still sees Gin in him as Enjin continues to taunt her. Hime and friends soon arrive at the shrine to find Enjin and Shinozuka waiting for them with Ao in their hands.
 
In episode 8, Enjin wants the key to the room within the shrine that Hime entered during the ceremony. I wonder why he didn’t just ask Shinozuka to rip it open or use some other door tearing accessory. Unless that door has a barrier but to be locked with just a key? Hime then finds out about Akina’s initial meeting of Enjin previously and isn’t too pleased. Of course they won’t hand over the key that easily. Akina tosses the key to Hime after getting punched by Enjin and after securing Ao, the gang goes on an offensive. It may seem that Enjin is outnumbered but I assure you he’s got an ace up his sleeve. I mean, he can stop that 88 Flak bullet shell with 1 hand without any effort. Kotoha and Ao team up to battle Shinozuka while the rest takes on Enjin. I’m not sure during the battle, Kotoha managed to trap Shinozuka with her materialized walls and stab them with blades (just like in those magic shows). Then when she removed the walls, Shinozuka’s place has been switched with Hime. How on Earth did he do that? Enjin knows that because Hime still sees Gin in him, she can’t fight him seriously.
 
With Hime as his hostage, Akina has no choice but to give him the key. Then another part I don’t get is that as Enjin opened the door, Yae appeared from the back and threw a sword at him, injuring his shoulder. Then she just leaves it like that as Enjin limps into the room. Earlier on, Yae wanted to help Hime upon realizing Hime can’t defeat Enjin but Yuuhi forbids her to interfere. Is God trying to stay neutral even if he knows an impending doom is upon them if Enjin gets his way. Enjin manages to enter the room and make the Nanagou bloom. And that is a bad thing because if the Nanagou ever blooms, it will mean that both the human world and the other world where the exiled youkais are will be merged. Havoc will ensue. Enjin continues to taunt Akina how the other world which he has been sent (an apparently returned from) is totally void of anything. It’s worse than hell because there is nothing. I understand that so what does this have to do by destroying the human’s world? Ah, he just hates humans after all. As the Nanagou blooms, mysterious shadows start appearing, causing the city folks to start panicking. Hime has no choice as she strikes and splits the Nanagou with her lance to stop it from further blooming. That easy?
 
Seems like it in episode 9. However those youkai citizens who have come into contact with the strange shadows are starting to lose control over their powers. Like Touka. She is so powerful now that even her bracelet which restrains her powers is ineffective. She collapses when she accidentally tripped and caused a big portion of the road to be ‘dug out’ and stopping an out of control van with just a kick. The citizens continue to complain about the recent happenings as Touka is hospitalized. Kyousuke goes to visit her and when Akina comes by, he blames him for all that has happened. If he had used his tuning powers on Enjin back then, all this wouldn’t have occurred. Touka tries to stop them from fighting when her excessive powers accidentally hit a nearby cupboard flying and crashing out of the room. Nearly could’ve hit them. Also a flashback on how before Enjin doesn’t believe in the coexistence between humans and youkais just before he got tuned. So his return to this city is to of course destroy it. Ao goes to visit Hime, who is seen training real hard in her dojo. Also a short flashback on how when Gin was being possessed, he wanted Akina to use his tuning powers on him but Akina couldn’t send his best friend to the other world and wanted to save him. And because Gin’s soul is still alive in that body, they are still in a dilemma to tune him if they ever confront Enjin again. Later Hime and Akina go to meet the Council of Elders (who are somewhat tied to the Nanagou). It seems that they are blaming Hime for the recent events and have failed in her duties as mayor. In short, they have decided to cut down the Nanagou. And as for Yuuhi who is there observing. Yeah, he’s just there observing and won’t get involved. Some God. Yae isn’t too pleased with her brother’s couldn’t care less attitude.
 
So what is so bad about cutting down the Nanagous? This would mean that the entire city will perish! Gasp! How can they think of such a thing? Well, it’s better to sacrifice 1 town to save the whole world. What about the citizens? The Elders say that it is Hime’s responsibility on how she would deal with them. WTF?! So just make a decision and leave all the problems to her, eh? Some people. Thus in episode 10, the citizens too are getting restless and Hime is upset to find Ao and Kotoha as a precaution, requesting the citizens to evacuate to the Elders chamber, which is the location furthest away from the Nanagous. Can they fit the entire city there? More flashback as we see Gin and Akina giving Hime a scarf to hide her neck scar. Then as usual, Enjin unleashes his havoc on the city using giant white monster lizards (looking very cartoonish here). While Akina manages to tune one, Hime tries to take on 1 herself but gets brutally beaten up. Meanwhile Yuuhi and Mariabelle visit the Elders to tell them that the Nanagou is being controlled from the outside and can’t be cut down. The thing which bugs me is that Yuuhi took out his handphone which is placed within Mariabelle’s boobs. I’m really starting to think that kid as a pervert. As Hime lies in hospital, she starts to break down in tears over her helplessness and being weak even though how much she wanted to protect this city. She even confessed that she likes Gin. Was it the reason why she couldn’t fight Enjin seriously? She’s still a 16 year old girl after all. However Akina and the rest assure her that they are by her side to help her, which raises her spirits.
 
After safely evacuating all the citizens in episode 11, Kotoha divides the team into 2 groups. Kotoha and Ao will search for the source of the youkai power which is continuing to bloom the Nanagous in a car of a bearded friend of theirs, Shidou, while Akina and Kyousuke will fight off youkais. What about Hime? Well, Juri wanted her to recover first and even jumped on her to stop her from going. She even bangs her own head on Hime’s! While Ao and Kotoha are met with some shadow resistance, thanks to Yae, they could have some breathing space. Akina and Kyousuke soon encounter Shinozuka and a power battle starts. Shinozuka is disappointed that a full youkai like Kyousuke is on the human’s side and suggests to use his powers for Enjin’s cause. However Kyousuke is ever loyal to Hime because she saved him and Touka. Their fight is cut short when Shidou swiftly comes by to pick them up while Shinozuka was being distracted by one of their combo moves. But in the car, there is only Shidou, Kotoha and Touka (tagging along because she was worried). So where is Ao? Ao is on a Nanagou and decides to use her mind reading powers to tap where the youkai power source is and detects it to be at Tokyo Tower. Enjin is there too. And he is the source. She relays the information to Kotoha and upon arriving at Tokyo Tower, Kotoha materializes a train with a huge cannon to blast the tower. Must be a tough one because she notes how she’s going to get a sore throat for it.
 
Meanwhile an elderly citizen comes by to give Hime a new powerful tip for her dragon lance and since Juri gave her the green light, Hime is all set to go into battle. As Hime comes out of the hospital, she takes heart to know that several city folks who are determined to protect this city that they love. At the same time, Kotoha fires a cannon shot at the tower but Enjin notes it won’t hit him due to the change in wind direction. However, the shell hits right through it because Yuuhi decides to interfere this time and change the wind direction with just a flick of his finger favourable to Kotoha. So now he decides to act, huh? And with just his finger, eh? Enjin isn’t too pleased that Yuuhi has a hand in it. Having just barely avoided being blown to bits, Enjin makes more Nanagous bloom. Better hurry, Hime.
 
The destined battle between Hime and Enjin begins in episode 12 and Hime’s new dragon lance gives her an all new power and shine. While Hime resolves to beat him, Enjin says how Akina won’t send his friend back. He continues to tell them that Gin is no longer in his body because he has let him out and shows a scar across his body. Just as Akina gets ready to tune him, Enjin goes down to him and taunts him. Because he is still hesitating, Enjin gives him a painful lightning bolt. During that time, Akina and Ao saw Gin’s spirit. Hime intervenes but Enjin disappears. Meanwhile Kotoha is trying to take down Shinozuka with her 88 Flak but she is at her limits. Kyousuke comes to her aid. At the same time, Enjin has entered the Elder’s Chamber room and have beaten up all the elders while telling them how he’ll make this a perfect youkai town and if he wants to blame somebody, it should be Hiizumi. Before Enjin could finish that old fart, he is interrupted by Yae who at her limits decides to duel him. However Yuuhi and Mariabelle appear and tell her to back down and let Hime handle it. Speaking of which, she does and another round of battle starts. At the same time, tired Shinozuka is defeated by the teamwork of Kyousuke, Kotoha and Touka. Being pinned by a car, the rest offers him an olive branch to join them to see the err of his ways but Shinozuka has gambled too much of his future on Enjin (seeing that he saved him before, and thus grateful in a way) before being engulfed by the shadows. Kotoha notes how he is a weakling for taking the easy way out.
 
Hime and Enjin’s fight continue and the latter cuts off Hime’s scarf with his scythe. Hime then uses an ultimate technique from her dragon lance to make the sakura petals flutter away from the Nanagous. Enjin is devastated and I suppose with that little distraction, Akina prepares to tune him. This time he does it and before Enjin is being deported to the other world, Akina has a glimpse of Gin who thanks him for protecting the town and its citizens. In the aftermath, the Nanagous are fully withered and the entire city is covered with sakura petals. Shinozuka wakes up in Juri’s infirmary and we see the counselling office with a makeshift tent as their roof. Well, it was damaged during the giant lizards’ attack. Then it caved in and fills the office with petals. Now they have more cleaning up to do. Kyousuke continues to remind Hime and Touka not to eat too much and the calories the char siew mien Hime is eating has. Hime takes her leave and meets Akina on her way. He gives her a new scarf before thanking him and continues her city patrol.
 
I guess for a short series, things ended on a good note. It’s pretty much okay in my opinion. One thing I didn’t like is the non-involvement of Yuuhi and Mariabelle over the series. It’s like they are there just to observe and I felt that in a way their presence wasn’t really necessary seeing that they don’t want to get implicated with the city’s affairs. So being God is just watching over everything? Another thing peculiar I noticed about Yuuhi is that he likes to cosplay Mariabelle. Hmm… Does God have such otaku fetish too? I was also particularly disappointed with the number of screen time that Yae has, seeing that she is my favourite character because I like her wielding a pair of blades. I was hoping she would have some slashing moments with Enjin although ultimately it would be Hime that would take him on but nope. After seeing her short debut clash with Enjin, I was really praying for more but I guess God didn’t want to intervene and make true my hopes, eh?
 
Besides Yae, I think Kotoha has the best ability being able to conjure and materialize anything she speaks. It’s funny to note that everytime she uses this power of hers, she’ll stick her tongue out and you can see electric currents flowing over it. You know what it means when you stick out your tongue especially to somebody you don’t like, right? And to have that whatever thing materialized to that person you dislike, it’s like adding further salt to his/her wounds. Though Ao didn’t use much of her mind control skills, this shows at least she doesn’t want to rely on her powers unless when necessary. Hime has learned to shoulder her responsibilities more maturely and have grown up a little along the way. It won’t be an easy road for the young mayor but I’m glad she’s taking up the challenge. And yes Hime, watch what you eat, okay?
 
One thing I noticed from the synopsis of this series is that they mentioned Akina is a powerless human. Unless tuning is considered something powerless, then I guess he is true. But otherwise in a general sense, I don’t think Akina is powerless since he has the support of the others with him. Another thing which I found out is that Akina and Enjin both shared the same surname, Hiizumi. Does this mean Enjin is a descendent and part of the Hiizumi’s bloodline? Does that make them both brothers or distant relatives? Don’t know. The series here doesn’t address this. It’s hard to say if Enjin is gone for good but he did returned from the other world once, right? Hopefully Shinozuka would turn over a new leaf seeing that he’s been given another living chance. Throughout the series, there are short flashbacks here and there about the character’s past or how they came to be. But it’s better than dedicating an entire episode or stretching it to a couple of few episodes.
 
Though the drawing, art and animation are of today’s Japanese anime standards, I can’t help notice that most of the characters have that one kind look which makes them look the same. Is it because of their eyes, outline of their face and their thin mouth line? Perhaps. Maybe they are trying to look as close as the manga. The mid-intermission has manga drawings of the characters, though. Although the scenery may not be that breathtaking, but the part whereby the sakura petals flutter was a beautiful sight to behold.
 
Most of the songs in the series have that rock feel which is suitable for this kind of genre. The opening theme, Just Tune, by Savage Genius is quite an upbeat tune while the ending theme, Nagareboshi, by ROUND TABLE featuring Nino sounds more like pop rock. There is an insert song during the series which is more of a slow rock and is entirely sung in English. Sounds a little drowsy, though.
 
So another moment in anime history whereby humans and youkais have succeeded against other threats to live together peacefully. But thinking about it, I don’t think that this is possible in the real world because humans themselves will be the real ghosts and demons. And if there isn’t any, they’ll take it out among themselves. So typical. I think we really need a youkai city like this as a role model. So the next time if something supernatural is bugging your neighbourhood, who are ya’ gonna call? No, not that ‘G’ guys, that’s for sure. These quartet, or quintet, or sextet (okay, this doesn’t sound pleasant for a group of 6), or whatever numbers, these people definitely pack a punch and more.
 

Yozakura Quartet