This show is so like Ikkitousen. I’m not saying that Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Heart~ resembles the said series in terms of storyline, but rather the fight scenes which involves female’s clothing been ripped to bits in just a single blow leaving them in their undies or sometimes baring their breasts. Yeah, topless fanservice but no full blown nudity. Don’t discount those panty shots too.
 
This is a short 5 episode OVA series and if you are into battle royale tournament style girls-only fighting series mixed with some fanservice, then I guess you’d want to check this out. Did I mention girls only? Yeah, who would want to see muscular and ripped guys duking each other out when you can have sexy and pretty young ladies slugging it out in a no-holds-barred tournament. Much pleasant to the eye for us guys. You could say that this series is made and targeted for male audience. Duh.
 
So this show resolves around a high school student Aya Iseshima who reluctantly gets involved in some mysterious tournament called Platonic Heart in which the winner will be granted any wish that she desires. As Aya is a martial artist herself, she isn’t a mere pushover as she can self defence herself against hordes of unruly guys even if the odds are against her. I’m not saying she is a troublemaker but if trouble comes looking for her, she solves things the way she knows best. Her fists and kicks. Maybe it makes her less elegant as a lady but in today’s dangerous world, that’s a plus point.
 
Episode 1
Aya and her best friend-cum-classmate, Natsume Honma, are walking their way home from school when they encounter a brutal match between a miko priestess named Miko Kazuki (her name is it just coincidence or convenience?) and an air stewardess (for reference, I’ll refer to her simply as Stewardess) underneath a bridge. Brutal as in we’ve got to see their uniforms ripped and that their weapon accessories aren’t just for looks. A handbag laced with weapons? Miko is on the losing end and is being taunted by Stewardess about the former’s wish to make friends as her reason to participate in Platonic Heart. Aya didn’t like the trouble and mess she’s causing to the surroundings and gives her a good whacking knocking Stewardess out. Natsume is totally impressed.
 
Then at a fast food restaurant, Aya and Natsume discuss about the former’s self defence moves in which she learned when she was young but Aya isn’t proud of it. Natsume then tells Aya about the rumour whereby girls take part in ruthless task in order to collect pieces of some crystal gem called Platonic Heart in which the winner will be granted her deepest desires whereas the losers will be taken to the dark realm. I don’t know but the Platonic Heart crystal gem somehow reminds me of the one in Pretty Cure even if they don’t look alike. Miko continues that many girls would like to participate but is unsure on how to do so but Natsume is staying out for fear of the dark realm. Miko then comes by and introduces herself and more about the secretly carried out tournament in which she firmly believes in its existence. The detailed workings of the tournament is a mystery as each participant is given details about their next match via handphone SMS. Who are the organizers? Dunno too. Miko shows them her SMS message as proof. After learning about Miko’s wish to make friends, Aya instantly extends her hand to be her friend. Miko is touched that even though she hasn’t won Platonic Heart yet, her wish came true and is overcome with emotions. Her first friend in 19 years? Wow.
 
The trio are on their way home when they see Natsume’s older brother Haruki. You can see that Aya has a crush on him the way she blushes every time she sees him. Hey, even girls like her have a right to fall for a handsome hunk, right? When they reach Miko’s house, Miko gives them phone straps as commemoration of their friendship. Aya is alone at the park when she receives a mysterious SMS that she has joined the Platonic Heart tournament as Miko’s replacement (Miko withdrew after making friends with her). She may be thinking it’s some prank but soon it isn’t because it’s a rematch with Stewardess. It’s payback time. Aya is reluctant to fight back but Stewardess plays dirty by chaining Haruki with explosives to a lamp post! This is a no-holds-barred match, right? And Stewardess warns her not to do anything if she doesn’t want her beloved Haruki to be blown into bits. This includes defending herself. Yeah, Aya getting beaten up is more of a fanservice cue. But she isn’t going to let it all end this way. Now this part may seem a little farfetched because Aya, faster than Superman dodges one of Stewardess’ attacks and frees Haruki of his explosives which she kicks into the air before Stewardess can push the boom button. Her feet is much faster than the push of a finger! Unbelievable.
 
With nothing to hold her back, Aya goes on the offensive and it is Stewardess’ turn to get naked as Aya rips her apart (more on her clothes, that is). Another defeat for her. Aya is still in shock over the recent developments and rushes to Miko’s place in tears. She can’t believe that they even resorted to using Haruki. But upon reaching her house, she finds the place ransacked and Miko nowhere in sight.
 
Episode 2
Back home, Aya is reflecting the events that happened. To add to the suspense and mystery, the shrine priest where Miko supposedly works do not know of such person. Furthermore, when she contacted the police to Miko’s room, the place is all cleaned up like it was never a mess in the first place. Very strange indeed. This had Aya thinking that Miko may have been taken to the dark realm but is confused because she did not lose but merely withdrew. During breakfast, her mom Suzuho is worried what happened to her seeing that her school uniform is quite expensive. But she questions no further since Aya is a grown adult and whatever she does is up to her. Aya gets another SMS saying that she will inherit all the pieces of Platonic Heart from Miko but she feels something amiss because even if Miko got her wish granted, she went missing.
 
Aya is a few steps late for school and because of that, the perverted PE teacher Yoshida gives her 2 choices. Either go by the rules to be suspended for a week or wear nothing underneath tight clothes and bloomers and run 100 laps parade. Some sick fetish he got there. However, Aya’s chemistry teacher Azuma Suma, saves her by saying that she was doing some chores for her. Yoshida has no choice but to drop his sick schemes and let her off. In class, Aya tells Natsume the strange events that has happened to Miko as she herself finds it hard to believe. Aya gets an SMS about her next battle place.
 
As the duo skip class and wait at the fountain park, they are surprised to know that Aya’s next opponent is Suma! Suma too is surprised that Aya is in this tournament and had hoped to avoid facing her. But if it comes down to this, she’ll still show no mercy. Aya is adamant to get Miko back so she too can’t afford to lose. However Suma decides to postpone the match seeing that there’s a teacher’s meeting later. On the way home, Aya part ways after Natsume reaches back to her home. We see that Natsume’s mom, Kumi, is a mute and has a hideous scar across her neck. Aya takes a train home and meets Suma in the same coach and it’s like a friendly rivalry talk before the storm. Because Aya is in a dilemma since she knows her next opponent, she isn’t concentrating in Suma’s class.
 
The postpone match resumes and we see Suma fitting her limbs with basic chemical elements. When she fights, she says out loud a chemical compound and if you remember them well, you can predict her combo moves. If only Aya had studied them. So people, do you still remember your chemistry lessons? From simple ones like water (H2O) to complicated ones like sulphuric acid (H2SO4). Is this considered educational? I think Aya can’t fight back if she doesn’t have her clothes ripped. Just kidding. After thinking that she has to find Miko, she gathers the necessary strength to turn the tables on Suma and knocks her out cold. Some blood and clothes ripping included. Suma concedes defeat and falls unconscious but Aya feels guilty that she has to go through more painful battles just to find Miko. Watching from afar, a group of 3 sisters are watching Aya’s match and are wondering if she would join them. For convenience, I’ll refer to these 3 sisters from the uniforms that they are always dressed in. Geisha, Policewoman and Nurse. Simple, eh?
 
Episode 3
Aya is in another match and trend has it that she is being mercilessly whipped and her clothes shredded by an opponent whom I shall call Mechanic. Hey, she has a close resemblance to Kyoko of Skip Beat! Anyway Mechanic is sick of spoilt girls like her but Aya turns demonic after knowing her pathetic reasons for taking it all out on her and delivers a crushing defeat to Mechanic. I’m not sure if Aya is enjoying it because she is giving out that satisfying evil grin after the match. Later Aya and Natsume just finished visiting Suma at the hospital and on their way out they meet Suzuho who claims that Suma is now missing and wants them to help look for her. Taken to the dark realm already?
 
Back home as Aya sits dejectedly in her dark room, she gets a call from Haruki who invites her to the pool courtesy from Natsume. Can’t say no, can’t she? This is Natsume’s way of help cheering Aya up so the trio meet up at the pool and have some fun and relaxation. However, the 3 sisters are also at the pool. As Natsume went to get some juice, Aya is left alone with Haruki and starts to feel nervous. Policewoman cuts their conversation and decides to ‘arrest’ Aya for being indecent in public. Aya denies her accusation and soon she realizes that Policewoman is a contender of Platonic Heart when she hits off Aya’s top. Not wanting to show her brutal side to Haruki, she runs to another spot whereby she took out Policewoman with a single kick while having her hands covering her boobs! Wow. She is really that skilled, eh? Yeah, she protected her modesty. Geisha is satisfied with the outcome and leaves as she requests Aya’s presence at the harbour tonight. She has to come because they’ll explain everything.
 
At the harbour, Aya meets the sisters and learn that they want her to withdraw her participation and join them as the organizers of Platonic Heart. They feel that with her much prized skills, she wants her to relay information from the branch to other contenders and the rewards and incentives will be even better based on her performance. But when Aya learns that Suma and Miko have been taken care off (assuming being killed), Aya refuses their offer. Since she has heard the secret, they can’t let her leave alive. The sisters use their bonds and systematic combo to give Aya lots of trouble (including more ripped clothes). So Aya decides to single out Policewoman and go after her even if she is still the receiving end from the other 2. This knocks them off their pace and Aya uses this opportunity to knock Geisha and Nurse out. Policewoman can’t believe what she has done to her sisters so she gets into her car and decides to ram Aya down. Is she serious? Yes. Now this is another ‘incredible’ stunt Aya pulls off. When Policewoman is charging towards her, Aya jumps and her knee kick breaks the front window and into Policewoman’s face. I don’t know how at that position she managed to move away and let the car go off the pier. Geisha and Nurse are horrified to see what has happened and quickly dive in to save their sister. Did they survive? Well, only their headgear resurfaced. I felt this part was a little funny because they just jumped in and never came back up like as though they were meant to be ‘disposed’. Till death do us part?
 
Another car pulls up and a woman named Izumi Hayakawa claims that she is the employer of the sisters. Izumi tells Aya that she will remain in contention of Platonic Heart but Aya doesn’t want to fight anymore seeing that there’s no point in doing so as Miko is dead. But Izumi says that Miko is still very much alive and all she has to do is to win her remaining matches. Aya finds it hard to believe but Izumi says she isn’t lying and adds that her master wishes to meet her. Aya is lucky because Izumi’s master rarely make public appearances and not even employees like her get to see his face. The back seat window of the car rolls down and Aya catches a glimpse of him, which is, take a deep breath. OMG! It’s Haruki! I should’ve seen this coming. The car drives away and Aya is left even more confused. Is Haruki to real mastermind of this tournament?
 
Episode 4
Because of that, a lot has been going through Aya’s mind. At school she tells Natsume about what she has saw and wonders if she has just mistaken him for a look-alike. But she soon dismisses it because if Haruki was somehow involved in Platonic Heart, Natsume would at least have the slightest clue. Aya receives an SMS for her next semi-final battle at Akihabara. That’s right. The otaku district. In short, her next opponent is some loli cosplaying as a super idol maid, Rin Hiroishi, in a maid cafe. But facing Rin isn’t going to be easy because this is her home ground and she has several hardcore otaku geeks on her side! They are her fans and it is clear that they are being one-sided. While shouting their support and eternal love for Rin, Aya gets hostile reception. It’s like putting on a show onstage. Yeah, Rin is promoting her single album too. What are the chances of those otakus buying them. She’s even singing them onstage with her fans cheering her on! Is she serious about fighting? Maybe that’s her style.
 
Rin even goes on to mock Aya about her panty flashing ways when she gives her high kick. Because of that, Aya couldn’t concentrate much and is focusing more on protecting her modesty. Hey, her clothes got ripped so many times and I thought she would have got used to it. I guess it’s understandable that Aya doesn’t want to let those perverted sickos to see her naked. Rin continues to attack and rip Aya’s clothes with her magic wand. Uh huh. That cute thing is definitely a dangerous weapon. Aya trips and fell into a room. Rin thinks that she has won but Aya emerges in a nekomimi maid outfit and says that she just merely had a change in clothes so that she could fight better. Now this is the turning point and unbelievable part. All those otakus who saw Aya’s moe cosplaying outfit suddenly fell head over heels for her and start supporting for her! Traitors! That’s right. Poor Rin wanted them to continue supporting her but they turn hostile towards her instead. What a total u-turn! Now they’re into nekomimi outfits! They are even fighting over themselves who gets to be with Aya! Useless jerks!
 
Rin loses her focus and because of that Aya delivers a knockout blow and notches up another win. Not even lolis are spared. Izumi is watching from behind the crowd and notes how Rin’s weakness is that she relies on other people’s support for her success and because of that she doesn’t improve. The otakus swarm Aya as she spot Izumi and her MIBs taking unconscious Rin away. She tries to catch up but the crowd held her back. When she do finally got away from them, Izumi is long gone. Natsume and Aya walk back and the latter is a little embarrassed to do so because she is still wearing the outfit since her school uniform is ripped. Then they bump into Haruki and Kumi on the way. And because of his ever gentle and kind personality, Aya believes he can’t be the one behind the Platonic Heart tournament.
 
The final battle soon takes place on a highrise tower amidst the dark gloomy sky. How fitting. Aya’s opponent is some fortune teller with a crystal ball whom I shall refer as Cheongsam (because of her attire). As expected, Aya is having a torrid time because Cheongsam can predict all her moves and see into the future. Aya thinks it’s some trick like doing some research beforehand but Cheongsam says it is her crystal ball that allows her to see everything, including her heart. On an unrelated note, we viewers as usual get to see ‘everything’ off Aya. Yeah, in her usual bra and panties. Haha.
 
Episode 5
Cheongsam continues to play mind games with Aya by revealing her past and saying that she is a hypocrite. Like how she is starting to blame Natsume for not showing up to support her, fighting for her friends to seek the truth is just an excuse to cover her violent nature and such. After all that scathing verbal abuse, suddenly Cheongsam sees a green dark aura emerging from Aya and starts to feel afraid of this true evil because she can no longer read what is in her heart. The next thing Aya knows, she is on top of Cheongsam still punching her bloodied lifeless body. Then to her surprise, she sees Miko. Is she dreaming? Did her wish come true after finally winning the tournament? She follows Miko into a dark room in the tower.
 
Now this is where everything is revealed. Miko says that this room is where the losers of the tournament are taken to. Yeah, all of them from the ones Aya defeated and the rest from other battles. Everyone here has lost their sanity and are like some insane helpless miserable woman who are devoid of any normal reply. It’s like an asylum! Aya realizes that Miko is in cohorts with the organizers of this tournament. Miko further reveals that Platonic Heart is also some sort of business whereby the losers are being auctioned off and Aya is partially responsible for putting some of the girls here. To edit a superhero movie quote: With great rewards, come great risks. That’s why the women like Stewardess jumped into this tournament hoping to get medical treatment for her very ill brother (who is dead by now) and Suma looking to reunite with her lost dad.
 
Miko is interrupted with the appearance of Haruki and Izumi. Haruki wants Miko to hand over Aya but she refuses. Good news is that this is not the Haruki whom Aya knows. This fake Haruki did some facial plastic surgery to get the woman he wants. Miko pulls out a gun put Izumi grabs her by the neck. With Izumi’s strength, Miko’s neck could snap anytime. Miko showing her pitiful face pleads for Aya to save her. Aya is still in shock to do anything. However several bullet shots are fired at Izumi’s back as she falls dead to the floor. Okay, now it is the real Haruki who shows up. And no, he’s not Aya’s prince charming on a white horse to save her. This real Haruki too is an accomplice in this Platonic Heart! Woah. The twist and turns. However both Harukis aren’t on good terms so the real one shot the fake one in the forehead. Now that’s one less problem. Or is it? Nope. It just get worse. Natsume is on Haruki and Miko’s side.
 
Their reason for dragging Aya into this painful mess? For revenge. Oh yeah. I didn’t see this one coming. Now here comes the damning revelation. Miko’s mom Yumi happens to be killed by Aya’s dad, Shigeyuki, who is also the father of Miko. Step sisters, I’d say. Not only that, Yumi is also the sister of Kumi which makes Miko a cousin of Haruki and Natsume. Though to Aya her dad died 15 years ago in some accident, this abusive short tempered man was abusing Kumi when she was protecting Miko who was 4 years old then. She watched in horror how her mom died in Shigeyuki’s hands though that guy too died along with her. So you could say Miko is haunted with that thought every night and no wonder she hates Aya so much. To add salt to her physical wounds, now Aya is feeling the pain of her emotional wounds because Miko and Haruki are an item before Aya met him.
 
They further explain that Shigeyuki was the one who created this tournament 20 years ago by luring gullible women to take part. That time, Kumi and Yumi participated in the tournament in which the winner was Suzuho. The plot thickens again. However Suzuho and Shigeyuki were an accomplice and although they gave a handicapped 2-versus-1 match for the sisters against Suzuho, their ability to control the battle scene and using the sisterly bond technique which Aya used against the 3 sisters previously, Suzuho emerged victorious. While Yumi was forced to be Shigeyuki’s mistress, Kumi is muted and to be sold off to a wealthy man overseas. But Kumi escaped when this matter was made known. As Kumi told her children about her brutality through sign language and writings, Miko continued to search for Suzuho and her unknown daughter. Until fate has them meet up together and that’s when they hatched this elaborate plan. After which, they let Aya joined the tournament to experience her parent’s heartlessness and cruelty. Natsume and Miko hated every bit and moment each time they had to smile and be friendly with Aya but it was all for this goal and for this day. The phone straps that Miko gave them had a messaging and listening device.
 
They throw a gun at Aya’s feet and want her to commit suicide in front of them so that they can record this and send it to Suzuho. Aya in her state of shock and picks it up. Still wondering why she have to die, she points the gun at them and pulls the trigger. Unfortunately, the gun is empty. The trio laugh and knew this would happen and continue mocking her like she thinks she’s still the victim. It’s ironic that earlier on Miko put on some crocodile tears when she was being strangled by Izumi and now things are on her side, she’s playing the devil. Oh wait. She is one. Miko and Natsume decides to kill her with their own hands by whipping out their own loaded pistols. They fired several shots at her shoulder and thigh and enjoy watching her squirm in pain. As they contemplate how to torture Aya slowly and painfully, the building suddenly goes up in fire after several explosions. Looks like it is Suzuho. Earlier on, she intercepted the few MIBs, pour gasoline and set up several bombs in the building.
 
Suzuho gets to know of Kumi and Yumi’s offspring and admits it was her mistake on her part not to stop Aya in getting involved. Suzuho says that they are the ones who is being cruel and heartless and tells them something in which they don’t even know. She and Shigeyuki didn’t sacrifice Kumi and Yumi for pleasure, but rather because their parents (grandparents to Natsume, Haruki and Miko) killed their parents. Oh this is sure getting interesting and confusing. So I guess this tournament that Shigeyuki organized was just a huge plot to get revenge, eh? When Suzuho says how it is cruel for Kumi to use her children to get revenge, they won’t allow her to insult their mom and start attacking her. Suzuho dodges bullets better than how Neo does it in The Matrix and even breaks their neck with a single hand! At least she shows why she was the champion and perhaps those fighting skills do run in the family’s blood.
 
As the building continues to be engulfed in flames, Suzuho apologizes to Aya for not telling her the past because she wants her to live a normal life but realized they couldn’t escape from destiny. Suzuho picks up Aya’s handphone and sees the Platonic Heart message and notes how the crystal isn’t complete yet. Now the building floor starts to collapse and while the firefighters try to put out the flame, Aya still in shock over everything limps away. I don’t know if Suzuho or the others in the building survived or not. Back at Kumi’s home, she is seen repeatedly stabbing the pictures of Aya with a knife when she hears the door bell. When she opens the door, her facial expression seems to indicate she has seen the most frightening thing ever in her life. She can’t scream, remember?
 
Zutto Shouganai ~Demonic Heart~
That final scene cliff-hanger and whatever happens next is definitely left up to viewers how it would turn out. Could it be Aya who seeks revenge or is it perhaps the believed-to-be-dead Shigeyuki at her doorstep? Or could it be Kumi is shocked to see her children returning in such a ruin state? Wait a minute. They died, right? So my best bet is that is has to be Aya. Will she finish her off or will she reconcile and explain? Ah, so many possibilities. But I have to admit that the twist in the plot in the final episode left me glued to the screen and caught me offguard. I actually didn’t expect the betraying of the 3 friends even so, just Haruki alone. What about the missing piece of Platonic Heart? Is it with Kumi?
 
All this revenge thing and its elaborate setup has me thinking how humans never change and that I am reminded of the saying violence begets violence and it’s a neverending cycle. I feel pity for Aya because she is innocent and never had any ill intentions for revenge. Her search to find her lost friend is genuine and for her friends to take advantage of her friendship is just disgusting. How can they do such a heinous thing? Ah well, it’s all part of being human. It was heart wrenching to see her face when she got to know the painful truth. Perhaps she did not know of her cruel past but even if she does, will she continue with her bloodthirsty ways? She did show some enjoyment of violence during her matches and her violent self defence moves against her perpetrators during her past did cause some misunderstanding. Even so, she didn’t turn out to be a total delinquent. So is ignorance bliss?
 
One thing I noticed about the female fighters in the series is their uniform that they wear during battles. It feels like a cosplay battle. I mean, I don’t really know if they actually do wear such uniforms as it is their day job or what but even the other losers of Platonic Heart that was briefly shown are wearing some sort of outfit or uniform. Is it part of the rules of the game too? Though the fight scenes are not as good compared to other fighting genres out there, nevertheless it is still decent. Except for the clothes ripping part of course. That’s indecent. How can a single swing rip off one’s clothes without even scarring the skin? Really a wonder. It is so like Ikkitousen.
 
I also wonder how many school uniforms does Aya have seeing that each time she goes into a duel and has them ripped, and that Suzuho did mention how expensive it was, why didn’t she bring spare clothes or ragged clothes? Not enough time? Well, she could have thought about that but I guess brains isn’t her forte. The opening theme song by Little Non is Tatsumaki Wave is a rock piece befitting this action series but I find it funny during the closing lines when she sings after all that yeah yeah yeah, she lets loose a funny rock scream. Aaow!!! The ending theme is sung by Kaori Nazuka entitled Will ~Kokoro No Michishirube~ and is a slow pop tune. The final episode’s ending theme, Zero Gravity by Little Non sounds like a dramatic slow-moderate rock song which suitably reflects the suspenseful end of the show.
 
Another lesson probably subtly hinted is that the ever growing scams using SMS via handphone. There are people in this world who are still gullible to fall for such ploy even if it sounds deceptive and its source unknown. And maybe not to our knowledge, there are many underground illegal fights going on. Whether it is for money or the thrill of blood. So even if I do ever receive such SMS on Platonic Heart or prize winning announcement, I’d just delete them. That would be much safer. How the heck did they get my number anyway?
 

Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Heart~