Cop Craft

January 19, 2020

Time to change the buddy cop formula of anime a little bit. Instead of having 2 male partners in a police force like in Tiger & Bunny as well as Double Decker! Doug & Kirill, why not have a male and a female partner? Yeah, that’s what Cop Craft looks like. Everything else about them is as opposite as day and night. Total opposites. The guy is a seasoned human police officer while the female is a rookie noble alien knight. You can see where the clashes come from due to their cultural differences. Yeah, otherwise a very typical ingredient for a buddy cop genre because it is those differences that makes them clash as well as bond or get along.

Episode 1
As narrated, a hyperspace rift appeared in the middle of the ocean 15 years ago. An influx of alien culture arrived. This also mean an increase in crimes and thus the special police unit of San Teresa was established to deal with this. Kei Matoba and Rick Fury meet their clients to buy a smuggled fairy race. The duo are actually undercover police and right after the deal is made, they bust them. But one of the smugglers turned out to be a Semanian alien. He is much stronger and snaps Rick’s neck and then escapes with the fairy. Kei is left to do the worst, call Rick’s wife and inform the unfortunate. Like any normal dude, he wants to hunt down his partner’s killer but his boss, Jack Roth orders him to go pick up some VIP alien noble tomorrow since he is only one of the few detectives who can speak their language. It’s an order. Kei does so and he is shocked the VIP is a young girl. Tilarna Exedilica (that’s the very short of her very long name) is a Knight of Mirvor and she starts off as a proud brat. Kei isn’t sure her manservant but whatever. Back at HQ, Kei is not happy they are going to be partners especially an alien (that’s racist!). Tilarna’s mission is to retrieve a kidnapped fairy noble. Roth believes this partnership is necessary for all of them and will not change the partnership. Kei might be uncouth but he gets things done compared to some guy who has all the etiquette but ultimately useless. Now we see Tilarna a curious cat. Trying to touch everything (Kei’s warning is so unheeded) and asking lots of (sometimes dumb) questions. Just keep your mouth shut and follow him. Kei goes to see an informant, Bizz O’Neill and it seems the fairy has fallen into the hands of some Mexican. Then as they enter some building, Tilarna could smell danger so she transforms into her knight form and starts barging in. They catch the criminal just fresh from killing somebody. This is not the time for talk so bullets start flying first.

Episode 2
Though the duo get in each other’s way, it is also because of that they saved each other’s lives. Kei’s bullets can’t do much to this walking corpse and only Tilarna’s deep slash finally puts this corpse to eternal slumber. Tilarna can tell this person was already dead but some evil latena turned him into a living corpse (zombie?). As he is controlled by mildey (basically, magic), questioning him won’t do them any good either. Taking the body to Cecil Epps (who is also Kei’s ex), she conducts an autopsy and the only similarity she can find with the one who killed Rick is that they’re both dead before they turned zombie. Tilarna elaborates about the latena of a fairy being ingested regularly and this is the result. So basically that kind of ‘drug’ is called ‘fairy dust’ to us laymen, huh? Kei drops Tilarna at a motel for the night but is kicked out because of their no weapons policy. As a knight she cannot be without her sword. So Kei has to be the gentleman and bring her back to his place instead of letting her sleep in the park. Kei has a pet cat despite having cat allergies. Actually, Kei felt responsible for getting the cat injured as he was chasing a drug dealer. He is keeping it temporarily until someone can adopt it. No luck so far. Dennis Elbaji and Kareem meet to do business. Elbaji introduces him to Zelada who specializes in the dead. Showing him a prototype of a fairy bomb using fairy dust, he called a couple of cops here. Then he throws the bomb at them. Those who look into its light are dead instantly. Now that the cops are corpse (pun no intended), Elbaji has Zelada make them kill each other. As this is just prototype, the real deal will use the fairy’s entire body and the bomb radius can reach 5km and thousands can be controlled. Kareem wants this and will gladly pay for it. After attending Rick’s funeral service, Kei gets a call regarding a couple of missing officers. Their bodies are found dumped into the lake and as a veteran, he can tell they were killed elsewhere. Tilarna looks at the bodies and can detect use of fairy dust. Funny, if officers were using it, it would have been very obvious. They may be using gold which can be used as a catalyst to enhance latena’s power. However the best craftsmen in her world can even make this. So Kei thinks a device was used. Hence he suspects Elbaji because as a Semanian who owns a club and a dummy company, this guy is also interested in some manufacturing device. Tilarna wants him arrested now but Kei knows the red tape protocol as well as rights infringement thingy. Tilarna then excuses herself to the ladies but she is taking too long so Kei realizes she has fled. Oddly, she left her precious sword behind.

Episode 3
Tilarna has O’Neill get her some fake IDs as she enters Elbaji’s club. She is looking for that man himself and with such luck this guy shows up and wants to hit on her. So he brings her to his office and she gets down to business asking him to release the fairy. Since he doesn’t want to part with his ‘product’, negotiations ends, kill her. Tilarna has a hidden sword in her bag and cuts the bodyguards’ arms. Then Elbaji fights her and wins. Huh? A knight lost to this club owner?! There are things he would like to ask her so he won’t kill her yet and brings her to a temple in the middle of nowhere. Kei is already staking outside but since Roth says reinforcements will arrive in 30 minutes, no time to lose. Just be a hero and barge in! Tilarna manages to free herself from those agents. She looks around and stumbles into a room filled with vials of fairy parts. Elbaji shows off his latest fairy bomb and the money he could make from it. They fight once more and Tilarna is on the losing edge. Only if she had her real sword. What luck. Kei is here to throw it to her. With that, it’s like she levelled up and slashes Elbaji. She then realizes this fairy bomb is fake and the fairy is just a doll. The real one is with Zelada and he has made his backdoor escape. They go after him and as they arrest him, Roth pops up and shoots Tilarna! So this guy is in cohorts with Zelada as he lets the wizard escape. He is the one who set everything up from the start including making Tilarna as Kei’s partner just to slow him down as well as killing Rick. Because Rick was close in figuring out his true colours. Roth and Zelada have the same goal. They both hate to see humans and Semanians mix and want separation. Wow. Ross thinks by the third generation, humans will be ‘conquered’ and he fears that. He views himself as a human first than an officer. With Kei rejecting his offer to join him, then it becomes the quickest draw. Of course Kei besting Roth and shooting him in the chest. Guess he doesn’t have to fear about humans being wiped out now, eh? Kei and Tilarna race against time to stop Zelada who is most likely going to release the fairy bomb from the highest building in town. As they reach the top, Tilarna can tell that is the true fairy.

Episode 4
As they try to get the fairy, Zelada rains flames on them. Kei’s back is badly burnt while Tilarna continues to dodge. As Zelada remains hidden, Kei tries to find him via sound. So his hearing is damn good despite all that noise? Whatever. Kei shoots Zelada, enough for Tilarna to slice off his arm. He’d rather kill himself than be killed by her so he jumps off the building. So now what? How to stop the bomb? You mean they’re going to die together? Tilarna is grateful to this fairy because she helped her when she was lost in the woods. But the fairy then uses her life to save Kei. Tilarna has some healing magic but with the fairy’s life and powerful latena, Kei is healed and the city is safe. In the aftermath, they give their statement and testify in court. Then both part ways. Life returns to normal. One night Kei comes home and is shocked to see Tilarna making his place like home. So she changed her mind and decided to become his partner? Because Zelada’s body isn’t technically found and there are lots of crimes going on. Welcome aboard? On a mission to storm some smugglers’ hideout, their new chief, Bill Zimmer calls them out because Tilarna cut off a baddie’s finger. So this is also liable for lawsuit? Inside the storeroom is a coffin and upon opening it, there lies a corpse of a mummy. They take it to Cecil for autopsy but she reminds them she doesn’t specialize in old corpses. Let the archaeologists handle it. But Kei is pushy and wants a report by morning since Zimmer demands one. Because of that, Cecil and Tilarna become friends as they badmouth how much a jerk Kei is. Best part, they agree to take selfies of themselves before Kei’s dissected body after he dies! Tilarna and Kei go to interrogate the smuggler. Nothing like some Semanian beating down another just to get some info out. It seems they stole it from a graveyard in Doras Derill thinking it would be worth lots of money. Tilarna realizes the grave danger Cecil is and rushes back. Speaking of her, she has the misfortune in watching her assistant being devoured by the corpse! It’s alive! Luckily for her, Tilarna returns to fight it. She realizes this being is a vampire.

Episode 5
Tilarna can’t defeat the vampire but Kei can by spraying his fire extinguisher?! The vampire escapes so back at the police station, they receive word a truck driver has become her latest victim and thus Zimmer sends the duo to go investigate. They speak to the witnesses and since they can’t describe her clothes, Tilarna realizes that she has gained enough strength to cast some magic illusion that also serves as clothes. Tilarna traces the vampire holing up in the mall. She deduces after filling up her belly, she probably wants info on this world. They have the SWAT backing them up as they search every inch of the mall. Suddenly the vampire ambushes Kei. He got thrown a few floors down. Thank goodness for that shallow fountain breaking his fall! Kei’s comrades manage to rescue him but by that time Tilarna is missing. She fought and loss and is now a hostage. The vampire won’t kill her as she has things to ask. Learning about Earth, she thinks this world must be some prophecy as told in some ancient book called Niba. The vampire would have sucked her blood had not Kei and the SWAT barge in. How did they find them? Anyway, this vampire chick is so tough just like the last time that no amount of bullets could kill her despite taking heavy damage. They better have a truck load of ammo and never take their finger off the trigger! Of course, she escapes and they try to find her again thoroughly through the mall. Since there are no signs of her, it is deduced she must have escaped via the air ventilation that leads to the subway. In fact, some magic spell is leading her there. She meets this guy who supposedly guided her here. He hopes to serve her since his goal is Niba. However she doesn’t need his help and sucks his blood. Just in time since Kei and Tilarna are hot on her heels. Another round of fighting. Another round of pumping bullets. It gets to the point where they dice dangerously with death. Because vampire chick pins him down on the rail and a train is coming! I don’t know how Tilarna kicks Kei away but the train runs over the vampire and she got shredded to pieces. WTF?! A vampire can die from merely being run over?! What kind of low grade vampire is this?! But good riddance. Tilarna gets upset because Kei won’t thank her so she throws her repeated weak kicks at him.

Episode 6
The usual Kei-Tilarna spat. A runaway truck grazes into Kei’s car. You bet he is going to get some payback! Kei drives like a monster. Tilarna fearing for her life! Eventually Kei causes the truck to overturn. The culprit fled but all the truck’s contents spilled out. Porn magazines. As Kei talks to an officer, Tilarna take the liberty to park away his car. Apparently she didn’t apply the handbrakes so it slides down onto the path of an oncoming truck! There goes his baby! Worse, back at the office, Zimmer is scolding them for acting like cowboys and wrecking things. Kei too is so stressed up, complaining his car was damaged and that his request for a company car for business use fell on deaf ears. Yeah, these guys sure had it tough. In the end, Zimmer agrees to get him a new car but he must handle this porn case. I guess the alien world has no porn so curious Tilarna wants to know more about it. Her reaction is expected. Welcome to the real world! Since nobody is willing to help Kei on this case, I guess the only gay guy in the force got reluctantly dragged in. So Tony McBee goes see O’Neill and looks like they hit up on this young Semanian kid, Gavin. He is trying to sell porn in hopes to make some quick cash so Tony arranges to buy some for him at a designated time and place. Kei is pleased he is got a new sports car baby! Time to take her for a spin. Meanwhile Tilarna tries to learn how to drive with Cecil as her instructor. She is shocked to learn what an ex means. So Kei and Cecil were in that sort of relationship? Tilarna flusters when asked if she likes Kei. It’s not like that… Cecil thinks they look more like siblings. She tells a little secret that Kei had a sister but she died 10 years ago. Maybe that’s why she sees her resemblance in her. With all the police force undercover for this porn sting operation, Tony goes to meet Gavin for the exchange. However some rat pops up to steal the money. When Kei and the police move in, that guy takes Tony hostage and drives off. No time to waste. Tilarna now drives Kei’s car! OMG! After 1 lesson, she’s like a pro?! Driving on the wrong side of the road! Yeah, now it is Kei who is fearing for his life! You haven’t seen anything yet because Tilarna uses the car to crash into the culprit! Man, she really got balls. Miraculously, nobody died. The culprit is arrested. You think Kei wanted to give Tilarna an earful but she yells back at him that she is trying to learn about this world every day. If he doesn’t understand that, who will? So Kei now the bad guy? He apologizes for being a bit harsh. His car? Nothing like a bit of fixing up can do. And then it bursts into flames… Oh Kei, calm down, calm down… And then Tilarna makes her room (which is actually Kei’s place) into her own place. I guess Kei isn’t ‘mad’ about the loss of his car so yeah, everything is okay then!

Episode 7
Tilarna selling her body in a brothel?! Damn, she’s obedient as this guy starts going down on her. But luckily! Kei and the cops barge in. Everyone is arrested in this sting operation. Apparently Tilarna blames Kei for a second too late because that jerk touched her hair. Any later and she’d kill him! Woah! Calm down! As you’ve guessed, that guy is Coal Mozeleemay who is a mayor candidate. Like the politician he is, textbook answer to the press. Tilarna meets with Zoey who was one of the brothel girls and is released on bail. They hang out and become friends. She learns she is a photographer but I guess it was tough to earn a living that way so she sold her body. She claims she is giving up on this dirty job. Kei and the police force are trying to gather evidence to charge Mozeleemay. They have video recordings but apparently that isn’t enough these days. Kei picks up Tilarna and learns about her new friend. He advises her never to meet again since Mozeleemay will be convicted and she could be one of the witnesses to testify. If Zoey realizes Tilarna as a cop, she might feel betrayed. This causes a rift between them since their ideals of justice and the real world differ. Tilarna continues to hang out with Zoey. Then trouble hits the police department. Apparently there is a leak of the brothel’s customer name list. Some are fake, some are real. If Mozeleemay’s name comes up under the fake list, they won’t have a chance to prosecute him. The culprit is of course Zoey as she sold out the data to him. She meets Mozeleemay who pays her even more. Yup, he wants her body too. Halfway eating her out, she shows she is recording him. He gets mad and she lets him delete her recording before he kicks her out of his car. Kei and Tilarna are looking through some camera logs of those in the brothel who has access to the customer list. Other than the owner, the other turned out to be Zoey. Tilarna is shocked so she goes talk to her. Zoey seems disappointed to know she is a cop but before she could say any further, she is sniped. Kei goes after the sniper but unfortunately he dies of his wounds. Tilarna becomes a sad girl after Zoey dies. She is adamant Mozeleemay is behind this even though she has no evidence. But Zoey left a framed photo of Tilarna for her. And her camera too.

Episode 8
Kei and the cops are ready for this raid operation. Unfortunately the target spots them and tries to fly off in the plane. Can anybody seriously stop the plane? Well, Tilarna cuts it up as it crashes into the swamp. I’m amazed it didn’t explode. As Kei gathers all the items, he runs afoul of officer Hellmandes who is from CBP (Customs and Border Protection) who blames him for letting the target get away. Funny, Kei brought back all the items to his home. After he goes to sleep, seems his cat is being naughty with Tilarna. Accidentally it activates and fires a mini crossbow, shooting Tilarna in the arm. Don’t worry. She didn’t die but passes out. Next morning, Kei is shocked Tilarna is trying to get so close with him in bed while his cat is just being noisy and frantic. Because he is late, he thinks Tilarna is sick and goes off to work. At this point, we should realize that Tilarna has switched minds with the cat. Worse, Kei has taken out the garbage in which the crossbow accidentally fell in. Well, that’s not the worst part. The cat in Tilarna trying to take a dump in the kitty litter!!! Can’t unsee this!!! Tilarna the cat texts Cecil about this problem. Cecil doesn’t understand so she calls but only the cat’s purr is heard. Noticing something is wrong, she heads down there. The place is a mess and Tilarna the cat is so glad to see her. Cecil quickly grasp the situation but just before she can go out to look at the dumpster, big kitty jumps over Cecil. Man, I don’t want to think Tilarna is heavy but if that person jumps on you like that, surely you’ll pass out in no time. Kei continues his investigation and gets a stinging call from Hellmandes that 1 of the confiscated items is missing. He goes to see O’Neill but apparently his place had one hell of a party last night. Yup, lots of drunk people passing just about everywhere and a goat?! O’Neill is nowhere to be seen but he could be under this fat momma hooker! Kei has this nasty idea as he mixes some devilish hot sauce cocktail and pours it into her mouth! Sure to wake up! Eh, but isn’t O’Neill crushed further?! By the time Cecil wakes up, the garbage truck has already cleared the dumpster. Time to go after it. Could have been on its tail had not Tilarna the cat bugging Cecil to close the blinds so as not to let the world see big kitty parading her naked ass through the window!!!

Episode 9
Cecil calls the waste disposal company. Normally they don’t entertain but Cecil using her weak blackmail that they might be destroying evidence… By the time they get to the waste disposal centre and the guy doing some search which truck went to their place, just in time that truck just dump all its load into the disposal unit. Tilarna jumps into it to find the crossbow. Kei is already having a tough time trying to get O’Neill name some smuggler (that guy got stretchered in by the paramedics), then Cecil calls Kei and tells what happened since she is at a lost. Kei returns but doesn’t worry too much. Either he trusts his partner a lot or he doesn’t give a damn. Meanwhile Tilarna tries to trace the crossbow and sense its latena. She finds it but it is already heading towards the shredder! She fails to save it and the crossbow is destroyed. She laments her fate when suddenly she wakes up back at him. Hellmandes trying to hurt her real bad and demanding to know where the crossbow is because he wants to sell it for money. With Tilarna back in her own body, she starts kicking Hellmandes’ ass. Now this guy is scared. Oh, have you seen her this mad? Tilarna would have killed him for seeing her naked body but luckily Kei is back. Hellmandes is arrested and Tilarna is mad that Kei is not mad enough that she almost got violated. WTF… Meanwhile poor Cecil thinks Tilarna is a goner… One day Zimmer is having a pool party with his staffs. Then on the news that one of the mayoral candidates, Nathan Kahns got shot. This leaves everyone in shock as Zimmer calls an emergency meeting. The shooter has been identified and he is relatively a clean Semanian guy with no links to the underworld whatsoever. Normally their special division won’t get involved but Zimmer suspects something amiss. Because Zelada’s body was never found, he fears that somebody is using magic to control a corpse to do the killing. This is to stoke a race war since Kahns is a conservative human. Kei and Tilarna return to office just to identify the body. Don’t mind the beachwear. Tilarna can tell a rare form of latena coming out from the dead shooter’s body. As they leave, an officer scoffs at Tilarna. Surprisingly Kei confronts him to tell him off and make him answer why he did so. Apparently he got mad because his family voted Kahns so and he was shot by an alien. Tilarna doesn’t want Kei to continue embarrassing her but thanks him for standing up for her. They relay the news to Zimmer and now he has the headache to go tell all the departments to watch out for a certain wizard. While they dread looking for this guy, Tilarna suggests going back to basics. That is, questioning who would benefit from Kahns’ death.

Episode 10
The polarized polls has split the public. Either you’re on the humans’ side (aliens go home!) or Semanian supporter (aliens have rights too!). Kei and Tilarna head to Mozeleemay’s office to talk to him. A journalist, Kevin Randall tries to bug Kei for an interview but he has no time for him. Randall will email him some details and wants him to read it. It’s important. The duo confront Mozeleemay. He has nothing to say but apparently his wife, Marla is the one with balls and would gladly answer their questions. Of course regarding Kahns’ death, it is believed the Mozeleemay may gain a few hundred thousand voters. Marla replies that even if that is true, their only other mayoral candidate, Domingo Tourte stands to gain even more. As for using corpse as puppets, they should be aware that normal Semanians can’t use magic. The cops leave and they can tell that Marla is the one wearing the pants. As they are about to head to Tourte’s place, a gunshot is heard. Mozeleemay has been shot. Kei heads to the broadcast room to find the culprit. I am surprised that computer AI is able to pinpoint the kind of people Kei is looking for! I mean, right down to their body actions! F*cking precise?! So they manage to pinpoint to this Semanian guy. They look for him and they see him trying to coolly leave the place. When they try to arrest him, he fights back. Miraculously, the crowd isn’t injured so they start chasing after him. They manage to corner him but at this point he is already fatally wounded. His last word is “Leeze” before kicking the bucket. Shockingly, he reverts to human form and Tilarna realizes that this is transformation magic. However he cannot be a corpse puppet because she fought him and was using his own free will. Is it possible for humans to learn Semanian magic? Well, if Semanians can learn human technology, the reverse is true. Then they examine his gun, also transformed into something else. That was how he snuck it in. If you noticed why the whole place is deserted, yeah, I don’t know why either but the FBI arrives. Their jurisdiction. Get out. Back at office, Tilarna explains to her colleagues this vaifaht steel that the gun was made of. In short, it can be moulded into anything simple but it takes very talented craftsmen to do so. Hence something complicated like a gun is impossible for them to even do. Hence there could be a human and Semanian working together on this. Zimmer has the rest of the team investigate further on this but wants Kei and Tilarna to interview Tourte tomorrow. Meanwhile the protests on both sides continue to grow fiercely.

Episode 11
Kei and Tilarna discuss about Tourte who is a very right wing politician. I don’t know if this guy worked for Nike before because his campaign line: “Just! Do it!”. Yeah… Interviewing Tourte, he is upfront in telling how Semanians are lazy and to a point that they love Earth’s culture, the reason why they don’t want to go back despite humans have offered them so many options to return. He didn’t mince his words to tell them to obey Earth’s laws if they want to stay. Or get out! This of course upsets Tilarna but Kei asks him a question if he had to choose between being an Earthling or politician, which would it be? Without skipping a beat, he replies a politician and would have done the same if he was born in the other world. This has Kei thinking about his answer because his former boss, Roth definitely came up with a totally opposite answer. A couple of female police officers manage to get the identity of the assassin. He is Ethan Dole and is supposed to be dead. He was once from the military and went missing many years back in some Semanian operation. As the protests grows, Tilarna is shocked that Marla is running for candidacy. Yeah, you’ve spent so much money on the campaign trail, it’ll be a waste to bow out, right? You’d think Tourte is going to win this election unopposed, eh? Politics, people. Kei gets a call from Randall who keeps bugging him to see the email he sent. Kei checks but sees nothing. Panic, he wants to meet seeing it is utmost importance. A paranoid Randall shows Kei a picture of Marla meeting up and having an affair with somebody else. From the description, that person is Dole. So how is Kei related to this? Randall knows he arrested Mozeleemay at the brothel and thinks he is somewhat connected. This guy gets more paranoid thinking somebody is watching and out to get him. And then the FBI surrounds them. Tilarna can sense something wrong about them. They’re all dead. Except for the one leading the team, Ronald Chan. All of them are cuffed and thrown into the back of the van. Tilarna and Kei are shocked to see that Zelada is still alive and well.

Episode 12
Kei and Tilarna are put to sleep. Back at the base, Zelada speaks with Tilarna while Chan interrogates Kei. I guess it saves time as they reveal they are in cohorts together as their goals align. Yes, they don’t want humans and Semanians to coexist. The original plan was to kill Kahns and Tourte so that Mozeleemay can be the mayor as he is easy to be manipulated. However Ethan decided to go against that and killed Mozeleemay. It is hinted Ethan could have been trained by Tilarna’s master as “Leeze” means master in their language. Zelada wants war because he feels that Earth’s culture has corrupted the Semanians. Chan wants the photo Randall had that Kei uploaded because he wants to blackmail Marla. Kei won’t cooperate so he beats him up. Perhaps he got his guard down so Kei fights back and manages to suffocate him with his thighs! As he leaves, he sees Randall’s corpse in a bag. Tilarna mocks Zelada of being afraid of change. That’s why he is giving all this sort of excuse and resorting to terrorism. Despite this place is a filth, Tilarna believes she can find something that will shine. Kei must have been playing Resident Evil and a pro in it as he fights his way through those FBI zombies! Does he have unlimited ammo cheat code? Just in time before Zelada is going to kill Tilarna. Zelada makes himself invisible and this becomes a game of hide and seek. Kei manages to free Tilarna but she is too weak to fight. Eventually, Kei’s smart thinking has him shoot the sprinklers. Now that they can see Zelada’s outline, Tilarna uses Kei’s gun to pump lead into the old geezer and Kei finishes him off by decapitating him with Tilarna’s sword. Good riddance. In the aftermath, Kei asks Tilarna’s opinion if he should hand over this photo of Marla. She will get exposed and lose the sympathy votes, making Tourte win by a landslide. Or he could play dumb. Tilarna says just to hand in the evidence. She doesn’t care who the mayor of this city is because this is still a good city and there are still some good people in it. And most importantly, because Kei is here. In the aftermath, Marla is arrested and Tourte is sworn in as mayor. Life returns to normal. Yeah, all the protests and street fighting died down but the vices are still there. Back to business as usual. That racist cop apologizes to Tilarna so I guess they’re even now. Humans, Semanians, yeah we’re all the same!

Copped Out…
So this is how it ends? Feels like something is missing… Feels pretty odd that everything resumes to normal after election season is over. Like as though everyone got the message to deal with the winner and continue with their daily lives. I suppose the sins will stay more or less the same whoever is in charge, huh? Kei and Tilarna continuing to be partners for the sake of both the futures of their worlds, trying to tell us that everything is not as bad as it seems. There is always light in the darkest of darkness. Do not lose hope. So you see, human culture not only corrupted other alien cultures with its decadence, we also get to virtue signal that this is all part of development and civilization. Yeah, gotta bring more alien civilizations to our world and let them get a taste of our fun! Any troubles, just let the San Teresa special unit deal with them!

I don’t want to say that the stories are really that boring but it is nothing that interesting either. I mean, they feel just really run of the mill because what else can you have when dealing with aliens from another world getting involved with all sorts of vice and sins that we humans do pretty well? We got the case of smuggling fairies to the case of assassinating mayoral candidates. Pretty ordinary stories if you think about it. Nothing really spectacular or blow your mind. I feel that if they were better written and had better pacing, the little story arcs might be interesting to watch but alas they weren’t so I guess that’s why this series is just passable and mediocre to some. When you have many episodes that leave viewers in suspense especially on cliff-hangers, that is really one way to kill the mood. I know many animes are guilty of doing this but this series only has a dozen episodes and for example, when that vampire chick revived and started attacking, suddenly “To be continued…”. Like, WTF?! It was somewhat about to get exciting and then they cut it off! Next episode for those who are still interested…. Man, what a killjoy. And then some episodes feel like fillers and don’t really make sense. Like Tilarna getting swapped with Kei’s cat. Weird…

One of the worse factors that contributes to the mediocrity of this series is how not enough emphasis is given to flesh out the lore of the Semanian alien world. It’s like as though they are not really important in the first place. From what I can tell, the Semanian world is pretty backwater and not advanced despite having magic. Why is it that other worlds always have magic but lacking in technology? But with San Teresa having all the cool human stuffs, it is no wonder why aliens do not want to go home and stay here and continue to have fun. I mean, planet Earth has porn!!! PORN, PEOPLE!!! PORN!!!! Ah yes, even aliens share the same carnal desires. We living beings aren’t any much different, huh? After all, humans and Semanians look pretty much about the same and the only significant difference is their mini faux elf ears. Sort of. So having no real background or history of the Semanian side, it makes us not really wanting to care or even sympathize with aliens. I mean, really. We don’t. Heck, even that narration about San Teresa being a melting pot for both civilizations feel rushed. Here’s the setting. Nothing convoluted. Now let’s get on with the story. To hell with those Semanians. That’s racist! And other Semanian terms feel like just like plot convenience. Vaifaht steel what again?

This show couldn’t have been released in a more politically incorrect era. Because I’m sure with humans and aliens at odds at each other here, it is hard not to think that the Semanians are somewhat an allegory for illegal aliens, especially with the influx of migrants from other parts of the world into American and Europe. This gets more politically charged up with the final arc especially the race for San Teresa’s mayoral position. Local humans want those aliens out but those aliens screaming they have, uhm, whatever rights they have too. And then racial clashes. Oh yeah. Why does it look so familiar with today’s world? And I can’t help think that Tourte could be a metaphor for the current US president, Donald Trump. I mean, Domingo Tourte. Donald Trump. DT. Geddit?! Not so obvious because Tourte doesn’t sport that trademark orange bad hair day of his. Also, Tourte is very brash and right wing, reminds you of a certain orange man, no? Hmm… “Just! Do it!” sounds like “Make America Great Again!” if you look at it at a certain angle (because Make San Teresa Great Again would’ve been too obvious, alas MSTGA doesn’t have a nice ring to it). HHHMMMMM… And also, Trump has no other real candidates who can challenge him for his 2020 re-election… For now… HHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!! And is Marla like Hillary???!!! Because Mozeleemay is like Bill Clinton getting caught with his pants down once… HOLY SH*T!!! Better shut up now if I know what’s good for myself.

However, the thing that intrigued me is the Farbani language that the Semanians speak. I can’t seem to find online what kind of language on Earth they based on. Yeah, maybe my Google skills aren’t so good. To make it all look authentic, some dialogues are spoken in this Farbani language with Japanese subtitles. My sceptical guts tell me that they didn’t go all the way just to create a new language just for this series. And of course they don’t sound like they are spouting random gibberish as I feel there is a system in how their language is spoken. So I’m just really curious what kind of language is this really based on? I hope somebody can enlighten me. Good thing is that I’m not that and I picked up a few Farbani words myself. Rakebye. Rock-a-bye what? That’s baka AKA idiot for you who are still guessing. Heh… No, not any reference to that Shawn Mullins song.

A big fail for this series is how they depict to us the relationship between Kei and Tilarna. I believe that the story and other settings of this world have been side-lined so as to give this pair the focus but even that, they failed to save the series. At first, it was somewhat amusing to see both of them from different backgrounds trying to get along. You know, they’re new to each other, some communication and cultural problems. He is a tough veteran cop. She is a naïve Jedi knight. Both having although same sense of justice but different approaches to it. There is some dynamism between them but ironically the more episodes I see them together, the less I feel that they have actually bonded. I don’t know, their partnership seems somewhat superficial. Sure, they do care for each other in some ways but I just don’t feel that buddy cop thingy between them. You think Tiger and Bunny or even Doug and Kirill were bad enough in this department, boy, I have bad news for this pair for you then.

Some cute and funny moments in between them but nothing that makes me want to say that their partnership is solid as a rock. After all, Kei has been through his fair share of sh*t and seen lots of things including the death of his previous partner before his eyes. Then we have Tilarna whom you can tell is a bit naïve because of how emotional she gets when things don’t turn out the way she expected it to be. You can tell by the volume and emotion in her voice. And then Kei is like he has that I-don’t-give-a-sh*t tone in his voice because he knows better than to waste his breath and argue at the same pitch. In other words, Kei sounds like he doesn’t care but remember, he has been in this line for donkey years so sometimes taking a frontal approach and rushing things may not be the best idea. Despite having the focus a lot on the duo, there are a lot of other juicy details that were not really fleshed out. A lot of blanks to be filled in. For instance, remember what Cecil said about Kei having a sister who died 10 years ago? It would be interesting to know if a Semanian had a hand in that. What about Tilarna’s life as a noble? How did she end up where she is now?

So you see, when your main pair of characters already have this sort of problem in the character development segment, what about the other characters? They are worse. You don’t even care about them. Because I believe there are many other colleagues under this special department but they do not even get a sliver of screen time. I mean, we have Tony the gay guy, his chubby partner (what’s his name again?) and that pair of chicks too whose names I still can’t remember. Like, they don’t even matter unless the script says it’s their turn to do something. Like the final story arc whereby we see them doing something but by that time, it’s already too late. This series has been primarily Kei and Tilarna and then to suddenly see these minor characters thrown into the limelight… Just weird. Uh huh. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. And Zimmer is like your typical black cop boss. Loud in your face and can be verbally abusive but cares a lot for his men.

The one thing that bugs me is how Kei gets to have a new car. Twice! I am not sure if there is a special provision and budget allocation for this special unit but man, he does seem to get a brand new convertible sports car. Twice! F*ck, I thought he would get back at least his old model or some lousy second hand car but damn, this police department upgraded his car! Maybe it is the company’s car but who knows? Kei is driving it all the time so I’m going to think it belongs to him. Wow. All those crying and begging of OT must have really gotten Zimmer to just get him one and shut him up and do his job, huh? Unfortunately this won’t even happen to me in real life and I risk getting fired… Kei, you lucky bastard! You better take care of that new car!!!

Cecil being Kei’s ex? I guess it must be awkward for former lovers to be still looking at each other working at the same place but I guess they’ve got to be professional. Hence, if you are hoping if there is some sort of Kei x Tilarna romance, don’t even bet a cent on it because from the looks of it, I can tell that it won’t happen. Humans and Semanians can’t mix! That’s racist! Anyway, it would have also been interesting to note what happened between Kei and Cecil that didn’t work out. So sometimes I feel that both of them dedicating their hours on their jobs is like as though they are trying to run away and erase that whatever bad chapter in their fleeting moment. Bad romance? No wonder Kei won’t make this same mistake with Tilarna and plus, she might remind him more of his late sister than a lover. Rakebye.

The antagonists of the series also feel weak. It feels like they are the villains of the episode and nothing more. I thought Elbaji will be the final boss or antagonist or something. Nope. He got sliced dead. That vampire chick might be the final boss. Because you know, vampire clan. And then she too dies! Really? So what she said about that Niba book thingy, was that all just red herring? That’s why I said they should have developed the setting better instead of this half-baked thingy that don’t even matter. I didn’t think Hellmandes would be it either. But he’s such a sneaky guy I can tell he has bad intentions the moment he first popped up but I didn’t think he would get owned that easily by Tilarna. All bark and no bite, huh? Mozeleemay? Dead. Kahns? Dead. Marla? Obviously this chick is the one who hired an assassin to pop Zoey. Now facing prison time. And yeah, Zelada. Oh Zelada. Truly the ‘final’ boss of the series. Literally speaking. Aren’t you supposed to be surprised when the final comes around? Like as though once he is dead, it is endgame for this series. I mean, Kei got his revenge for his ex-buddy Rick so what else more?

On a trivial note, I wonder if the episode titles are parodies of other pop culture. For example, this obvious one, “Smells Like Toon Spirits” is of course based off one of Nirvana’s most famous songs. “Need For Speed” could be based on that video game of the same name. Could “Girls On Ice” be a parody of Yuri On Ice? I wonder if “In The Air Tonight” is based on Luck Be In The Air Tonight. I don’t see how an English nursery rhyme character could be in “Cock Robin, John Doe”. Maybe these episode titles are just random and I’m just overthinking.

Action wise, there are some action sequences. Mostly passable and some really exaggerating to the point it looks comical. Like when Tilarna became a pro driver and trashed his car. Yeah, that was like so WTF. Other than that, Tilarna can’t do more unless she’s in her special uniform and then using her sword to slash. Kei on the other hand only uses his gun. He has got to be one lucky guy because there are scenes where baddies just spray bullets and they all missed. I don’t think having a few gory and bloody scenes would help but yeah, having the setting of a city with vice and sins, this is only to be expected.

For the art and animation, they look pretty okay and it is without doubt that once more that a lot of things here look very American. Especially some of the characters who typically have that American style look like Zimmer (hey, doesn’t he look like Neil deGrasse Tyson?) and characters like Kei having very much this Japanese anime look. As said, Semanians other distinguishing feature is their elf-like ears and it is how you tell them apart from normal humans. Also, is it just me that Semanians have this one kind look on their face? I don’t know. Like a mild Down Syndrome or something! Oh sh*t! I don’t know, the more I look at Tilarna, the more… Forget it. And for those of you who can’t find Carmen Sandiego all this time, be glad to know that she turned into an old Semanian wizard named Zelada in this series. No, seriously. Sometimes the animation can be so low quality, for example when Ethan died, he didn’t have the face of a dead man or a corpse! I mean, he’s got that chillin’ look. Dude, WTF?! This anime is animated by Millepensee who did Teekyuu, the newer season of Berserk and Wake Up Girls.

The other reason why I decided to check this series is out is Kenjiro Tsuda as the voice of Kei. Yeah, I may start to like this guy’s low dreamy voice so I guess him being cast as Kei, I think he fits his character very well. The other casts I recognized are Hochu Ohtsuka as Zelada, Shinichiro Miki as Hellmandez as well as Mai Nakahara and Marina Inoue as those couple of police officers under Zimmer’s department. And that was Rie Tanaka as Zoe? The other casts include Mayu Yoshioka as Tilarna (Mayu in Wake Up Girls), Fumiko Orikasa as Cecil (Rukia in Bleach), Ryousuke Takahashi as Tony (Calibur in SSSS.Gridman) and Shinpachi Tsuji as Zimmer (Makarov in Fairy Tail). I have mixed feelings for the opening theme, Rakuen Toshi by Masayoshi Ooishi. This is quite a very jazzy and lively samba piece and sometimes I wonder if it really fits the pacing of the series. But hearing this song seems to somewhat remind me of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana. The ending theme… Meh. Connected by Mayu Yoshioka is a hard rock piece and definitely not suitable for this series at all. I don’t really like the frenzy rock pace at all (certain lines sound cacophonic) and I’m wondering if this song is a reflection of Tilarna’s real soul. Then there is this BGM that has that Indian or Arabic tune to it. Find it very weird…

Overall, this series could have been a lot better had the producers put more effort into the story and its characters. There were things that were not clearly explained or left forgotten, making it feel it was all unnecessary red herring and worst, Kei and Tilarna’s dynamic relationship failed to make an impact. And because all that supposed good stuff didn’t happen, it came out just another one of those ubiquitous mediocre animes. It also has some potential in thought provoking issues like race and the dark side of humanity but it turned out to be just some really ordinary if not less than stellar buddy cop series. I read online that the main cause of this production being produced below par is the budget. Yup. Eventually it all boils down to money. Unfortunately, first impressions count so I don’t think this would be getting a review for a second season. Hence, bye-bye… Rakebye.

Kimetsu No Yaiba

January 12, 2020

Time for another anime series about slaying demons. Kimetsu No Yaiba might start off having all the cliché ingredients. Normal boy from seemingly normal family has got his family massacred by demons. Trains up to become the best demon slayer to avenge his family and also find a cure to return his sister who is now a demon, back into human. Along the way, meets powerful allies as well as equally powerful (perhaps even more so) enemies while powering up himself with more powerful techniques. Well, if you judge a book by its cover and give a general opinion that if you have seen genres like this, you’ve seen them all, well, you’re wrong. Instead of explaining it all in this opening paragraph, might as well go watch it and see for yourself that this is not just another ordinary demon slaying anime.

Episode 1
Tanjirou Kamado is trying to be a good son. Yeah, with a single mom and like 5 other siblings, he needs to sell those coals so he can buy more goodies for them. He treks down the snowy mountains to town whereby we see him as a handyman too. Everybody needs him for something! He sells all his coal but as night falls, an old man Saburo tells him not to trek at night because of man eating demons. He forces Tanjirou to stay at his place. Tanjirou takes up his offer and the first light next morning, he returns home. To his horror, his entire family massacred by demons! Because his sister, Nezuko is the only one showing signs of life (albeit fading), he carries her down in hopes of saving her. However she awakens as a demon and tries to eat him! As Tanjirou has a great sense of smell, he believes she cannot be a demon who killed the rest as there was a different scent at home. Tanjirou tries to fend her off while trying to use words in hopes she’ll regain her humanity. Hah. Like that will work. Will it?! Then here comes Giyuu Tomioka, a demon hunter to cut her down. But Tanjirou protects her. She’s his sister for Christ’s sake! Tanjirou may sound naïve that he promises to find a way to turn Nezuko back but each time Giyuu counters it with grim reality. You can’t. Tanjirou gets desperate enough to beg but is told off by Giyuu for being weak. As Giyuu is about to kill Nezuko, Tanjirou moves in desperation to save her. Although he loses against Giyuu, the demon hunter realizes he was pretty innovative and creative in trying to attack him with his hatchet. Nezuko seems like she wants to devour Tanjirou to but to Giyuu’s shock, she protects him! This is unprecedented as no demons have ever done this as they devour humans for energy. When Tanjirou wakes up, Nezuko is already gagged. Giyuu wants him to see Sakonji Urokodaki who lives at the foot of Mt Sagiri. He also warns him of not exposing Nezuko to sunlight as that is demons’ weakness. After Tanjirou buries and prays for his departed family, they begin their journey.

Episode 2
Tanjirou makes a basket big enough for Nezuko to hide in so he can continue travelling during daytime. When he reaches a house, he smells blood. A demon is feeding on its victims. Tanjirou tries to fight it and could have lost had not Nezuko smacked him away! The demon despite being decapitated by Nezuko’s slap, he still lives and both parts move independently. The head tackles Tanjirou while the body goes after Nezuko. Tanjirou manages to make the head tangled with his dagger before going off to find Nezuko and pushes that body off the cliff. As Tanjirou is in a dilemma to destroy the head, Urokodaki tells him to finish him off. How? You figure it out yourself. Urokodaki fears his kindness even in killing the demon could be his downfall. In the end, it is the sunlight that burns up the demon. Urokodaki poses some hard questions for him and then slaps him for being too hesitant to answer. He believes his resolve is too weak and the moment Nezuko devours a human, he must kill her and then himself for allowing it to happen. Knowing that Giyuu sent him, Urokodaki is a trainer and will train him to see if he is fit to join the Demon Slayer Corps. So the first task is to have him climb the mountain. Then he must descend it and reach the foot by daybreak. Think it’s easy? Despite his great smell, the place is filled with traps. He gets owned by some of them but he mustn’t give up or at this rate he will not make it. And make it in time Tanjirou does. Urokodaki agrees to take him in as his disciple as he narrates Giyuu’s letter about something different in Tanjirou and Nezuko. He believes Tanjirou can become his heir since Urokodaki also possesses the same keen sense of smell.

Episode 3
With Urokodaki training Tanjirou, he also writes a diary for Nezuko. A convenient way to narrate and explain to us his exploits for the episode. Like how he has gotten better in avoiding the traps but Urokodaki has also ramped up the difficulty like as though he wants to kill him. He is also trained how to use a sword and different water breathing forms. Strangely, Nezuko has never awakened since his training started and he fears she would die in her sleep. After a year, one day suddenly Urokodaki tells him he can teach him no more. His final test is to cut this boulder. Do it and he will consider him qualify to take the final selection test to enter Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjirou continues his training and sometimes tries to cut the boulder. But nothing changes for another 6 months. Slowly, he grows frustrated since he trained so hard to breaking point and it yielded no results. Until one day this guy in a fox mask, Sabito fights him since he can’t stop complaining. Suck it up and be a man! Because Tanjirou is worried that he might hurt him with his real sword, Sabito finds this insulting because he thinks he can hurt this guy?! Let alone touch him?! After Tanjirou loses, Makomo takes over. This little girl with a fox mask is gentler as she corrects and guides the err of his ways. The duo aren’t siblings but are deeply grateful to Urokodaki. They claim they have been watching him all the while. Another 6 months passed. This time Tanjirou reeks of manliness to face Sabito in a showdown. For the first time, Tanjirou’s blade reaches Sabito first. He cuts off his mask. He sees his smile but a sad one. With Makomo reminding him never to forget this, the duo then disappear. Creepy? But not as creepy and astonishing when Tanjirou realizes he has cut the boulder in half!

Episode 4
Urokodaki didn’t want to send Tanjirou to the final selection because he doesn’t want more children dying. But because he sliced the boulder, he believes he is an amazing person. Tanjirou is given a mask as a protective charm. He is also told about demons grow stronger the more humans they eat. Once Tanjirou’s smell sense grows stronger, he will be able to tell how strong. Tanjirou leaves for the final selection. There are many other potential candidates. In this wisteria prison, they must survive for a week fending off demons inside. Tanjirou faces off with a couple of bickering demons. Remembering his training, he manages to kill them. It is also thanks to the special steel that demon hunters used and the sword Urokodaki gave him made out of Nichirin. Tanjirou stumbles upon the worst demon ever. This grotesque one has killed a few candidates. Tanjirou jumps in to save a fellow candidate. This demon thinks he is Urokodaki’s student because of the mask. He has a grudge against him because he was the one who caught and imprisoned him here so he makes it a point to kill all his students. The way he describes the best students he killed definitely he is referring to Sabito and Makomo. He further taunts them and how he ate them. But Tanjirou getting mad can only get him so far. He needs to think how to cut down this demon. His hands regenerate quickly and he has a very thick neck (every demon’s weakness is the neck and that’s the part you need to cut off). When Tanjirou is down for the count, it is thanks to his dead sibling’s voice that woke him up before he could be the demon’s next victim. Tanjirou then charges in, slicing everything in his way. The demon is confident the moment he fails to slice his neck, he will crush his head. That’s where he failed. Giving Tanjirou that one chance is more than enough as his entire head is suddenly decapitated!

Episode 5
Even when the demon disintegrates, Tanjirou feels sad for him and prays to God he won’t reincarnate as a demon. Tanjirou tries asking other demons for a way to turn back to human but they just attack and he is forced to kill them. In the end, it seems there are only 4 survivors. The invigilators talk about the uniforms and swords they are given as well as each getting a Kasugai Crow for communication. But one of them, Genya Shinazugawa calls out to all this BS and wants his sword now. He gets pretty rough so Tanjirou warns him to back down or he’ll break his arm. Next, they are to choose an ore in which their Nichirin sword will be forged. Weary Tanjirou makes his way home. He is overcome with delight and emotion when he sees Nezuko finally awakened. Even more surprise and tears for Urokodaki to see his student come back alive. He is told of that demon he slain and his dead students can now rest in peace. Tanjirou is also warned about higher demons who can use different types of arts. They will be very difficult to deal with. A few days later, a weird dude, Haganezuka comes by to give Tanjirou his forged Nichirin. Its blade changes colour depending on its wielder. Tanjirou’s Nichirin turns out pitch black. This frustrates Haganezuka because he was really confident it would become red. Then a Kasugai Crow flies in to give Tanjirou his first mission as a demon hunter. Go to a nearby village and slay the demon responsible for making young girls vanish.

Episode 6
Looking pretty dashing in a Demon Slayer Corps uniform, Tanjirou. Urokodaki has also made a lighter and more durable box for him to carry Nezuko about. Urokodaki theorizes that Nezuko’s long hibernation is because she might be replenishing her strength than eating human flesh. Arriving in town, Tanjirou hears rumours about Kazumi whose fiancée, Satoko was abducted by a demon. Immediately Tanjirou goes to hear him out. Using his keen sense of smell, he could sense the faint and strange demon scent. That night, the demon strikes again. With the surfacing of a stronger scent, Tanjirou manages to sniff the demon out and pull out the girl. He leaves her with Kazumi so as to fight the demon who can split himself into several clones and can hide in grounds and walls. Tanjirou despite managing to slice the demon, they are all shallow cuts and all vitals are missed. The demon can swiftly regenerate. Tanjirou cannot stray far from Kazumi and the girl if he is going to protect them. While trying to stave off this tricky demon’s attacks, he remembers Tanjirou’s talk about the only demon who could turn humans into one. He is no other than the first human who turned into a demon more than a thousand years ago, Muzan Kibutsuji. He might hold the answer to revert Nezuko back to a human. With Tanjirou managing to hold his ground, the demon gets annoyed that he must devour girls before reaching the age of 16 or they lose their taste quickly. Kazumi pleads to give back Satoko but apparently the demon keeps hairpins of those he devours as collectibles. Yeah, Satoko’s ribbon is there… When an attack is too close for Tanjirou to dodge, Nezuko pops out of her box to kick him away. Then she goes on the offensive to attack him while leaving him confused with this human-demon combo. Flashback shows Urokodaki doing some hypnotic suggestion on her during her sleep. All humans are her family and demons are her enemy. Never forgive those who brings harm onto humans.

Episode 7
Tanjirou wants Nezuko to protect Kazumi while he dives into the swamp to fight the demon. Thanks to his harsh training, he is able to withstand the murky swamp conditions and kill 2 of them. Then out back in time to defeat the last demon that is keeping Nezuko at bay. When Tanjirou asks about Kibutsuji, he suddenly becomes scared. He cannot tell him anything. Snippets show Kibutsuji warned him to keep his identity a secret. Or else. The demon becomes so scared that he starts going berserk and that is when Tanjirou is forced to kill him. He tends to Nezuko but realizes she is asleep to heal her wounds. Tanjirou knows Kazumi is sad but can only tell him to live on. This makes Kazumi mad at first but after seeing Tanjirou’s smile and noticing his rough hands, he realizes he went through the same thing. Tanjirou has no time to rest or start up his hatred for Kibutsuji because the Kasugai Crow tells him his next mission at Asuka. Get a move on now! Culture shock for Tanjirou. Big city with lights, people and tall buildings! Wow. While he takes a breather, a familiar scent that sends shivers down his spine. He follows this scent that was present at his home. It leads him to Kibutsuji but to his shock, Kibutsuji is with a human wife and daughter?! As Tanjirou continues to be paralyzed in shock, Kibutsuji quickly scratches a passer-by. He then turns into a demon and bites his lover in full view of the shocked crowd. What you gonna do now, Tanjirou?

Episode 8
While Tanjirou restrains the man, Kibutsuji escapes. Frustrated Tanjirou screams a warning to him that he’ll follow him to hell if he has to. The authorities think Tanjirou is restraining some drunkard. Tanjirou refuses to let go or else the man will kill. Before the authorities get violent, a strange scent saves Tanjirou. Tamayo and her assistant, Yushiro are doctors but also demons. They have a grudge against Kibutsuji. After Kibutsuji sees off his family, he tries to return to the scene but a few unfortunate drunkards bump into him. They pick the wrong time to fight with him because he easily kills them. For the last one, Kibutsuji injects his blood into her and causes her to melt since human cells cannot handle his perfect blood and transformation speed. Kibutsuji orders his subordinates to kill Tanjirou. It seems he has a grudge. At least towards a person who wears that same hanafuda earring pattern. Tanjirou is brought to Tamayo’s secret hideout. Note, because Yushiro is such a rabid fan boy of Tamayo, he has bad blood with Tanjirou and anything slightly crossed the line, this guy won’t hesitate to beat him up! Anyway, Tamayo explains as demons, they still need human blood. Although in small amounts, they manage to buy them under the guise for transfusion. She also explains although she was turned into a demon by Kibutsuji, Yushiro is one whom she turned into a demon after 200 years! Tamayo isn’t trying to create more demons but as a doctor, her job is to tend to those at the end stage of their life. She would then ask them if they would like to live on as demons. As for whether a demon can be turned back into a human, the answer is yes! But that’s just trolling because from a medical perspective, there is a cure for everything! Just that they haven’t found one for this! Sorry to get your hopes up, boy. Hence she has a favour of him. In order to create that elixir, she needs to study Nezuko’s blood as she has not been taking humans’ blood for years. Secondly, Tanjirou needs to gather blood samples from demons closely related to Kibutsuji. In other words, those who are as powerful as him. If that’s what needs to be done, he’ll do it. Just then, the place is ambushed by Kibutsuji’s underlings, Yahaba and Susamaru.

Episode 9
Susamaru has got homing balls that seem like they can move on its own. When Yushiro tries to dodge, it changes trajectory and explodes his head! Of course Yushiro is a demon so he can regenerate fast. Now he’s mad. Anybody who interrupts his Tamayo time will pay! Susamaru grows more arms so she can throw more balls. Yushiro gives Tanjirou a talisman so he can see the arrows guiding the balls. Now he can easily dodge without making any careless moves. When Nezuko is able to distract Yahaba and hinder the balls’ movements, Tanjirou cuts up Susamaru. Of course as a high ranking demon and part of the Twelve Kizuki (Demon Moons) who serve directly under Kibutsuji, she heals fast. She even dares Tanjirou to try and extract their blood. Yushiro tells Tanjirou to take care of Yahaba and his arrows first while the rest keep Susamaru at bay. Nezuko got careless and got her feet severed by a ball. As she is no full-fledged demon, her healing is slow so Tamayo has to administer some medicine. Tanjirou has a hard time keeping up with Yahaba’s arrows. He can’t even get near him as the arrows are hard to deflect and only vanish when they hit him. And it’s very painful when he takes a direct hit. So he can’t afford to take any more hits and need to change the arrows’ direction without touching it, Tanjirou comes up with a strategy that has the arrows flow along with his water based sword attacks. Along with other combos of his techniques, he is able to turn the arrows back and decapitate Yahaba with them.

Episode 10
Dying Yahaba tries to take Tanjirou down with him. His arrows constantly throw him about and Tanjirou has to do quick succession of moves to cushion the impact. It is only over when Yahaba disintegrates fully. So after all the tossing about, he only suffers a broken rib and leg? I guess that’s not bad. Even if he has no strength, he must go assist the rest. Speaking of which, Nezuko returns to help Yushiro. I’m pretty sure Tamayo’s medicine was just normal but Nezuko is now stronger than ever. Heck, she even plays kick ball with Susamaru. The strongest kick wins! Looks like Nezuko wins but before Susamaru could get serious, Tamayo mentions about Kibutsuji being a coward. Noticing he is always fearful of something, that is why he manipulates demons to fight among themselves so they cannot band together and attack him. With Susamaru denying all that, she carelessly mentions Kibutsuji’s name and this allows Tamayo’s spell to take effect. In this horror scene, arms start bursting through her body and they crush what’s left of Susamaru. It is believed to be Kibutsuji’s cells and they will slowly destroy her until she dies. After taking the blood sample, Tamayo believes both demons aren’t from Twelve Kizuki because their eyeballs have no numbers engraved on them. Also, they were far too weak. Tanjirou almost died and they’re like the weakest? Man, real serious sh*t is waiting for him. As the sun rises, Susamaru’s corpse disintegrates and Tanjirou even feels sad for the kind of life she has lived, especially how Kibutsuji treats all his demons even those who revered him. But good news for Tanjirou as Nezuko has healed up. She gives Tamayo a big hug and a pat on the head for Yushiro. Tanjirou believes Nezuko perceives them as humans instead of demons, the reason she protected them. Tamayo cries being considered their family. Yushiro remembers Tamayo giving him an option to live as a demon or die after he was at the end stage of a terminal illness. Tamayo and Yushiro will be moving away from this area since they are too close to Kibutsuji. She offers to take Nezuko with them but seeing that Nezuko is holding Tanjirou’s hand, safe to say that the siblings will be together. Good for you Yushiro, eh? With the Kasugai Crow bugging Tanjirou to go to his next mission, he sees a desperate guy bugging a girl to marry him.

Episode 11
Tanjirou pulls Zenitsu Agatsuma from the girl. Still persistent? She slaps him and tells him off she just took him in after seeing his pitiful state. Oh, she already has a fiancé. Now Zenitsu blames Tanjirou for getting in the way of his marriage and wants him to take responsibility. This coward goes on to rant he was supposed to die at the final selection test but was somehow lucky to survive (something about being swindled into debt that got him into all this). Now he is living in hell and wants to marry before he dies in the next mission. After calming down, they head their way to a house. They spot a pair of young siblings, Shoichi and Teruko cowering in fear. They claim a demon snatched their big brother, Kiyoshi into that house. Only Zenitsu seems to be able to hear weird sounds from the house. Suddenly a guy drops out from the house. He is sad that he finally managed to escape but succumbs to his wounds. Luckily though, he is not the siblings’ brother. Zenitsu initially doesn’t want to head in to rescue but with Tanjirou giving him that evil look, I guess he is coming. Unfortunately the siblings also follow them. Because Tanjirou left his Nezuko box with them, they got scared hearing something inside. Zenitsu’s panic mode has him blunder as they get separated. Tanjirou and Teruko realize the rooms change at the beat of the drum. They see this frustrated demon cursing he would have gotten that rare blood hadn’t that somebody interfered. Meanwhile Zenitsu is stuck with Shoichi and the young lad is disgusted with his cowardice. Yeah, his sharp words might have ‘killed’ the guy. Trying to find a way out, they stumble into a guy with a boar mask, Inosuke Hashibira. Run wild! Tanjirou tries to attack the demon but the room changes and throws him off balance. However Inosuke comes barging in. He is eager to kill this demon who will serve as his springboard to greater heights.

Episode 12
Inosuke is reckless and selfish, using anything just to get to the demon. This irks Tanjirou because he doesn’t care of Teruko’s safety. This sets Inosuke to attack him but with the demon attacking and the rooms changing, they are separated. Meanwhile Zenitsu has been yelling to keep quiet so as not to attract demons but the irony one pops up! Run! So scared this dude that he falls asleep! WTF?! But wait! As though he has a change in personality, suddenly he cuts the demon up in lightning speed! He returns to his cowardly demeanour once he wakes up. No sir, it’s not Shoichi who killed the demon! Inosuke kills another demon in his rage to find the drum demon. Speaking of which, flashback shows Kyogai was a former Twelve Kizuki. But Kibutsuji got disappointed with his limit and cast him away. Hence he believes in eating more humans to become powerful and regain his seat. Tanjirou and Teruko stumble into Kiyoshi. He explains what happened. After he was snatched, the 3 demons argued who should devour him. They started fighting among each other and when Kyogai got a drum ripped, Kiyoshi used it to change to change the room arrangements. That’s how he has stayed safe. Kyogai has been calling him Marechi so the Kasugai Crow explains it is humans with very rare blood. Feasting on one is equivalent to feasting 100 humans. Tanjirou goes off to face Kyogai. He has learnt the patterns of which drum rotates the house or attacks. However due to his nagging injuries that never fully healed ever since and that he has been holding it in silence, it is giving Tanjirou negative thoughts. He is pessimistic of his chances. Then he remembers Urokodaki’s teachings to adapt like water. Not going to give up now.

Episode 13
Kyogai rapidly rotates the house. Luckily for Zenitsu and Shoichi, the rotation has them thrown out of the house. When Tanjirou mocks Kyogai he won’t give up, this makes the demon mad. Flashback reveals he was a writer but his editor called his work trashed. The last straw came when he stepped on his manuscripts and was promptly killed. Kyogai now rotates the house even more rapidly. But with Tanjirou getting used to all the patterns, he finally unleashes his form and attack to decapitate him. As Kyogai vanishes, Tanjirou takes his blood sample as well as praises his great demon art. This brings Kyogai to tears as he realizes his writing was not trashed since he noticed took great effort to avoid stepping on them during their fight. He is now at ease that his work has finally been recognized. Tanjirou collects Kiyoshi and Teruko to bring them out. However he sees Inosuke beating up Zenitsu who is protecting Tanjirou’s box with his life. Flashback shows shortly after being thrown out of the house, Zenitsu tells us how he was born with very good hearing. Every living thing seeps off some sort of sound. So good his hearing that he can also hear other people’s thoughts. So he knew Tanjirou was carrying a demon with him the first time they met. He also knew Inosuke was the fifth survivor at the final selection test. But he came and went faster than anyone else. So when Inosuke came out of the house and wanted to kill the demon inside the box, Zenitsu went to great lengths to protect it. I know Tanjirou is having trauma seeing this scene like as though he is seeing his family killed again. But you’re just going to stand there and let Zenitsu get beaten up by this boar kid? Until Inosuke has had enough and threatens to skewer through him that Tanjirou finally intervenes.

Episode 14
OMG. Tanjirou’s Falcon Punch broke Inosuke’s ribs but that boar guy can still move like the wind! Because Inosuke thinks if fighting with swords is forbidden, then he’ll just go with his fists! Yeah, he even shows off how flexible he is. Finally Tanjirou head butts him. Fracture skull now, huh? His boar mask comes off. Everyone is shocked he has a girly face! Being illiterate, Inosuke’s goal is to fight the strongest. But the head butt is too strong and he passes out for real. When he wakes up, he is baffled to see Tanjirou and the rest burying the dead. Fight me! No way! Tanjirou thinks he is too injured to help with the burying. Everyone else better not retort… A Kasugai Crow tells them to head down the mountain. The siblings part ways and WTF Zenitsu doesn’t want Shoichi to go because who’ll protect him?! WTF?! Kiyoshi is given a charm made out of wisteria to help ward off demons. The Demon Slayer trio descend the mountain and looks like Tanjirou has a new role to play as the straight man. Zenitsu is being an absolute chicken while Inosuke is just barbaric and rude. At the bottom of the mountain, the Kasugai Crow wants them to rest and heal all wounds before their next mission. No, this lady is not a monster, Zenitsu! And please be polite, Inosuke. She’s not a weakling! They are treated and given food. Inosuke trying to piss off Tanjirou by stealing his food or get ahead of him but obviously that didn’t work. They learn Inosuke joined the Demon Slayer Corps because he stumbled into one, defeated him and stole his sword. Yeah… Then he heard about the final selection and the rest is history. When Nezuko is coming out of her box, Zenitsu panics big time. And then when he sees this cutie, he gets Super Saiyan mad. He gets the wrong idea that Tanjirou carries her around just to fool around. Zenitsu is so going to kill him…

Episode 15
So basically Zenitsu is in love with Nezuko? And he’s chasing her?! Everybody’s chasing everybody? Once their wounds are healed, they are told to head to Natagumo Mountain. Nearing it, Zenitsu once again chickens out. Even more so when they see a Demon Slayer Corps member suddenly being pulled back into the forest. Tanjirou and Inosuke head in and find a lone Demon Slayer Corps member, Murata. He explains there were 10 of them being called here but the moment they arrive, it’s like they’ve been controlled and started killing each other. Meanwhile Zenitsu is contemplating about things. Then he realizes Tanjirou went in with Nezuko! Oh no! Nothing makes you braver than the power of boners. Yup, Zenitsu’s turn to rush in to rescue his cutie pie. When controlled Demon Slayer Corps members appear to fight the trio, they can’t slash them because they are still alive. Tanjirou then realizes they are being controlled by spider webs. However even though he cuts them, those tiny spiders will repair the threads. The only way is to find the demon who is controlling them all. As the foul smell is preventing Tanjirou from detecting that demon’s position, he hopes Inosuke could do something about it. And we see Inosuke using his spatial awareness ability to track down that demon’s exact position.

Episode 16
Murata will hold back his comrades while the rest go ahead to find that demon. But the nearer they get, the threads get thicker and there are more Demon Slayer Corps to deal with. They are in a pitiful state and some of them have all their limbs broken and want to be given a quick death from the pain that their bones are piercing their organs. That’s because mama demon is getting desperate to kill them so she doesn’t hesitate to bend their bones in her haste to take them down. This is because her son, Rui is telling her to finish up quickly or he’ll tell daddy. Yeah, this sure makes mama demon shiver in fear. Tanjirou will still not kill so he comes up with this brilliant idea to toss his comrades and leave them hanging up the tree branch! Inosuke won’t be outsmarted and does the same thing. Was there a competition to see who can toss the most? This frustrates mama demon so she snaps all her doll’s neck! Tanjirou is sad but they have to move on. Now mama demon unleashes a huge headless demon corpse to fight them. Inosuke rushes in and almost gets killed had not Tanjirou quickly came to his rescue. Tanjirou calls the shots as he wants them to work together to take this enemy. After Inosuke cuts off the arms, Tanjirou cuts off the legs before Inosuke finishing off with a diagonal slash over its body. Inosuke then tosses Tanjirou up in the air. Now he can smell better and pinpoint the demon’s exact location. He drops in to slice her as mama demon fears she will die. However when she realizes she will be free, she ‘welcomes’ him with open arms. Tanjirou sees this and immediately changes his decapitation technique. Mama demon doesn’t feel pain but warmth. Flashback shows papa demon was always abusive of her. As she lies dying, she tells Tanjirou that a member of Twelve Kizuki is here.

Episode 17
Well Zenitsu, keep on b*tching. Until you stumble upon a spider with a human head!!! Freak out! More horror from him as he stumbles into spider boy’s lair. Yup, everything is hanging from a thread and spider boy has a head of a human and body of a spider. Freaking out yet? Yup. As expected. And even more when spider boy tells him he has been bitten by spider poison. In no time, he will turn into a spider and his slave. Zenitsu is cowering in fear that we get to see his flashback. As a coward, grandpa forcefully trained him hard. Then one day lightning struck him! Is that how his black hair turned blonde?! So scared at this point that he passes out. But as we know, this is when his secret ability activates. In his sleeping form, he is able to dodge anything in mid-air and anything else as fast as lightning. More flashback telling us that he could only master 1 single form of this lightning technique. But grandpa was okay with that. Hone it until perfection. It’s okay to run. It’s okay to cry. But just don’t give up. As an orphan, Zenitsu was a disappointment to many so they never had expectations of him. Except for grandpa who steadfastly reprimanded and trained him. Because no matter how hard Zenitsu tried to run away, grandpa always brought him back. He never abandoned him. Now Zenitsu is at his peak as his lightning technique decapitates spider boy. So fast that he couldn’t even see it coming! Zenitsu lies injured, lamenting his fate. However he remembers he can’t give up or take the easy way out or else grandpa will give an earful to him. When Tanjirou and Inosuke stumble into a demon child, she calls for his father. Immediately this big guy with a spider face comes jumping down to Hulk smash them. Stay away from his family!

Episode 18
Higher officers of the Demon Slayer Corps, Giyuu and Shinobu Kochou now enter the forest. Inosuke has injuries and can’t fight at his best. Tanjirou tries his best to fight off spider papa but is flung away! Shinobu stumbles upon Zenitsu and he is moments away from going numb. Tanjirou stumbles into Rui tormenting his demon sister. Rui tells him to stay out so Tanjirou calls their so called bond as fake. Just as to show us what Rui is capable of, a cocky Demon Slayer corps newbie who is definitely a jerk comes into the picture. Even spouting he will kill this demon and climb the ranks for money. Rui quickly slices him apart with his web! Inosuke is running away and hiding? Once he realizes he shouldn’t be influenced by Tanjirou, he stops using his head and goes on the attack. Using his sword as a hammer to pound it in till he cuts off an arm. Now it is spider papa’s turn to run? So he might look like cowering atop the tree but he is shedding his skin to become bigger, stronger, faster and scarier! Damn, now Inosuke’s turn to be scared? His sword breaks after trying to take him down. Oh dear. Inosuke really believing of succumbing to his fate and die?! Spider papa then starts crushing Inosuke’s head. Nothing much he can do about it. Just some weird flashbacks he himself can’t remember. But suddenly spider papa’s arm is cut off. It’s Giyuu. He is faster, swifter, stronger and more skilful as he cuts up the monster. Inosuke so impressed. Back to Tanjirou’s fight with Rui, the latter wants him to take back what he said but obviously Tanjirou won’t. Tanjirou has been waiting for a chance where the sharp smell has dissipate so he can predict his web move. But as he goes in for the strike, his sword breaks as he strikes the web!

Episode 19
Tanjirou dodges in time. Couldn’t have our young dying now, can we?! Inosuke wants to fight Giyuu and be the strongest but Giyuu tells him to go back to training. Since he won’t shut up, he ties up the boar kid. Shinobu administers her antidote into Zenitsu. As Tanjirou finds it harder to fight Rui, Nezuko pops out and protects him. This moved Rui. A sister who is a demon protects his brother nonetheless. This is the bond he wants. When demon sister tells him not to abandon her, he slices her up! If she wants to be his sister, then go kill other Demon Slayer Corps. Rui talks to Tanjirou on how moved he was. He wants him to hand over Nezuko and he will spare his life. As her new brother, he will create a new bond via fear. Of course Tanjirou will never hand over Nezuko. She’s not an object. He’ll kill him first. Rui dares him because he reveals himself to be a Twelve Kizuki. Rui somehow kidnaps Nezuko and when she struggles, he binds her in his web to teach her obedience. If she is still stubborn, he will leave her like that till day break. Tanjirou is mad and scared but he can’t let his emotions get the better of him. Rui mocks him and even lets him cut of his head. See? Not even a scratch! Rui beats up Tanjirou with ease but Tanjirou can’t give up now. Using his water technique, he manages to create force from his rolling momentum to cut the threads. Rui still has a trick up his sleeve, though. Using his blood to harden his threads, there is now way Tanjirou can escape this one alive. Is this it? Is Tanjirou finally done for? Ah, life flashback… He remembers Tanjurou, his father despite having a weak body, managed to dance about during the Hinokami Kagura dance in the snow. It’s all in the breathing. With that, Tanjirou turns his water dragon into a fire dragon! That’s not all. The spirit of mom wakes up Nezuko so she could go help her brother. She uses her blood to make the threads scorch and burn. And together with Tanjirou’s fiery power and force, Rui’s head is lopped off!

Episode 20
Tanjirou is feeling pain all over. But bad news. Rui still lives! Before his sword decapitated his head, Rui cut off his own head with his web. Now mad Rui is going to kill the siblings for good. Tanjirou done for? Not if Giyuu can drop in to save the day. He is on a whole different level. The toughest of Rui’s thread cannot even touch him and before Rui knows it, in a blink of an eye his head got decapitated! Didn’t see that coming. Meanwhile sister demon is running away and notes this is the first time she screwed up. Flashback shows she was hunted but Demon Slayer Corps. She stumbled into Rui. In exchange in saving her, she will be part of his family. She agreed and instantly her pursuers are cut up. She entered a ritual to become part of his family, which then included a lot more siblings. One day, another sister talked to her that she is through playing this pretend family. They should run away together. On the day Rui was supposedly away, they escape the mountains but waiting for them is Rui. It seems sister demon betrayed her by ratting her out. She was left to be burnt by the sun. Murata had the misfortune of stumbling into her and gets wrapped up in her ball yarn. The acid will soon dissolve him. She is pleased with this until Shinobu corners her. She pleads for her life but Shinobu doesn’t think they can be friends. Okay. Maybe there is a way. She asks how many people she has killed. Obviously she is lying when she said 5 because Shinobu stumbled loads of those ball yarns in a certain area. So the only way to be friends is that she will torture her for all the lives she has taken and then she can reborn again to be her friend. What do you say? Sister demon attacks her but this is all expected by Shinobu. She got slashed but felt her head still intact. Is she alright? Then she starts to choke and die from the poison within. Shinobu reveals that she is the only Demon Slayer Corps’ member who cannot decapitated demons. Because of that, she develops poison as she is a pharmaceutical expert and her sword was laced with wisteria poison. Bye. We go back to Rui, he narrates his intentions in starting a family is because he had no memories of his human form. By having a family bond, he hopes his memories would come back.

Episode 21
Rui was born with a weak body. All that changed when Kibutsuji met him. As a demon, he had to kill humans for their blood. His parents disapprove of it. Rui’s ideal parents are those who protect their child. However they tried to kill him so he killed them. Then he remembers. Mother’s last words were apologizing for not giving him a strong body. Dad not only wanted to kill him but the entire family too to take responsibility and atone the sins of his son a as a murderer. Rui realized that he broke that bond that night. He believed in Kibutsuji words that his parents were at fault just because he couldn’t bear the weight of what he had done. Ironically, even after creating a fake family, he felt empty. He was the strongest, nobody protected him. What he wanted to do was to apologize to his parents. He thought he won’t even see them in the afterlife since he is going to hell. But his parents show up and assure they will even follow him there. Rui apologizes in the warm arms of his parents. It’s over. Tanjirou could feel an immense regret from Rui’s body. Even though he cannot forgive all the innocent lives he killed, Rui was human. There are demons who regretted and lived in despair for what they have done. Shinobu tries to kill Nezuko but is blocked by Giyuu. Of course she is unaware of the circumstances so Giyuu tells Tanjirou to take her and run while he stalls her. Confused Shinobu thought he is just mad at her for quipping people dislike him. Tanjirou is ambushed and knocked out by Kanao Tsuyuri. Nezuko runs and can shrink herself! Kawaii! Giyuu doesn’t talk much or explain to Shinobu. How long more can she maintain her politeness? Kasugai Crows then relay a message that Tanjirou and Nezuko are to be taken custody back to HQ. Phew. Zenitsu has healed but is wrapped up like a mummy. He sees Kanao and recognizes her as one of the survivors of the final selection. He also notice the Kakushi crew cleaning up the place. They specialize in doing so after Demon Slayer Corps fight demons. Inosuke is also taken in. He is in shock that he isn’t strong enough to bring down a single demon. Tanjirou wakes up at the HQ before the presence of the Hashira level Demon Slayer Corps members.

Episode 22
Folks, meet the weirdo Demon Slayer Corps Hashira members: Apart from Giyuu and Shinobu, we have Kyojuro Rengoku (sunny passionate guy), Tengen Uzui (flamboyant guy), Mitsuri Kanroji (lover girl loves everything?), Gyomei Himejima (big stone guy always praying and crying?), Muichiro Tokito (daydreaming kid) and Iguro Obanai (snake guy). Most want to execute Tanjirou for merely having a demon by his side. They also want to punish Giyuu too for assisting Tanjirou but that can wait. Tanjirou explains about Nezuko but it is too far-fetched a story for them to believe. After all, that never happened in history, right? Plus, Nezuko is his family so all the more reason they can’t trust what he says. Sanemi Shinazugawa (crazy killer guy) provokes Tanjirou as he stabs the box with Nezuko inside. Tanjirou obviously gets mad and attacks him and then tells him off if he can’t tell the difference between a good and bad demon, he is better off resigning as a Hashira. The fight is stopped when the master of the Demon Slayer Corps pops up, Kagaya Ubuyashiki. He explains about Tanjirou’s situation and hopes they would agree to accept him as he has sanctioned their position. However some of the Hashira cannot accept it because it goes against their core beliefs. Ubuyashiki then reads a letter from Urokodaki that vouches for Nezuko’s circumstances that she has never devoured any humans even for the past 2 years. When that happens, not only she will die but Tanjirou, Giyuu and Urokodaki will commit seppuku. Still, this isn’t enough to convince the sceptical Hashira. Ubuyashiki accepts that there is no proof Nezuko will attack others. However the fact Nezuko refrained from devouring humans for 2 years and has 3 people putting their lives on it, for those who still reject must offer an even more convincing argument. He also tells them that Tanjirou has met Kibutsuji. This shocks the Hashira because none of them have met him. As they pound him for answers, Ubuyashiki continues as Kibutsuji has sent pursuers to kill Tanjirou, it may be because something happened to Nezuko that Kibutsuji never saw coming. Drawing Kibutsuji out is already hard so do they get what he is trying to say? Sanemi is okay with letting Tanjirou live but not the demon. He tries to provoke Nezuko as he cuts himself and drips his blood all over her.

Episode 23
Luckily for Nezuko, she remembers her family and Urokodaki’s words. She is able to resist the blood. Can this be proof that Nezuko will not attack humans? Ubuyashiki notes that even after this, not all can accept Nezuko. He hopes Tanjirou can work hard and further prove that they will be useful to the Demon Slayer Corps. Tanjirou finds his words soothing and promises to bring down Kibutsuji. Did Ubuyashiki just joke and say to start small by defeating the Twelve Kizuki first? Shinobu suggests to let Tanjirou and Nezuko stay at her place. As the Kakushi bring them away, Ubuyashiki tells Tanjirou and hopes to relay his regards to Tamayo. Arriving at Shinobu’s ward, oh damn Zenitsu just can’t stop complaining about his medicine intakes! Can this whiny guy just shut up???!!! Oh, there is Inosuke too. Lying there quietly. Lost his voice, huh? Uhm, Inosuke depressed and apologizing for being weak?! Man, this isn’t funny… Tanjirou is just glad they are alive. Ubuyashiki and his Hashira have a meeting. With the increase in demon attacks on humans, he is seeking their opinions in bolstering the ranks of Demon Slayers. Some find the quality of newbies have tremendously dropped. Ubuyashiki notes that with Rui popping up at Natagumo, it only means Kibutsuji wasn’t anywhere there. In addition, whenever he wants to hide something, he always creates a clever diversion to throw them off. The only way is to keep doing what they’re doing. Defeating Kibutsuji is the last thing Ubuyashiki swears he will do.

Episode 24
OMG… Zenitsu still complaining… Will this kid ever shut up?! Inosuke still lying there… Better leave him be. Murata visits Tanjirou. He looks fine but is depressed that after he gave his report, the Hashira complained about the deteriorating quality of Demon Slayer Corp newbies. Shinobu has Tanjirou and Inosuke undergo some rehabilitation training. But each time they return, they are more deflated than ever. This scares Zenitsu since he will be joining them soon. And then he finds out the kind of rehabilitation they undergo everyday seems to be body stretching, cup taking reflex and tag? Zenitsu then blows his top and gets mad at them. They returned from hell and got the chance to be with girls and they’re not happy? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU GUYS???!!! And so Zenitsu happily joins in. He loves being ‘touched’ by the girls and is even fast in grabbing the girls! Yeah, he got slapped. Won the battle but lost the war? Even motivated Inosuke got his groove back. Temporarily. Because when Kanao is involved, nobody could best her. So much so Zenitsu and Inosuke eventually give up. Only Tanjirou is left to continue the training. He still couldn’t beat her, though. Then he is given some advice by the loli triplets to concentrate on his breathing. He makes the effort to regain his stamina. One night as he is concentrating on his breathing, Shinobu comes to talk to him. He asks why she brought them in. Well, they were so banged up. She would also like to entrust her dreams to him. It is them Tanjirou could smell anger from her. Despite always smiling, he noticed she is always angry inside. She reveals her older sister, Kanae was killed by a demon. She too was a kind soul like Tanjirou and sympathized with demons even till her last breath. Ever since, that anger has been built up inside her. But she has to continue her sister’s legacy by always smiling. Seeing Nezuko defying the norm was shocking. She still believes demons only lie and murder humans indiscriminately. She hopes Tanjirou can find a way to cure Nezuko. Knowing he is working hard in her place reassures her to no end. You bet that will motivate him even more.

Episode 25
Tanjirou’s training is progressing well. Even asking the loli triplets to beat him up if he falls sound asleep! This has Zenitsu and Inosuke finally start thinking that they too need to get back to training. But trying out this total concentration breathing isn’t as easy as it looks. But with some ‘motivation’ from Shinobu, you bet they get their asses moving. Shinobu wonders if Kanao would like to join them since they were from the same class. She declines. Flashback shows she was from a poor and abusive family. To a point she just became unresponsive. One day when her family was about to sell her, Shinobu and Kanae stumbled into her. They ‘bought’ her as Shinobu scatters money into the air to her seller, enough a distraction for them to ‘steal’ Kanao. They clean her up and provide for her but because she is still unresponsive (only taking action when specifically told to), Kanae gives her a coin in which she could flip and decide. Tanjirou and Inosuke are visited by their sword makers. New Nichirin swords. Yay! Unfortunately mad Haganezuka blames Tanjirou for breaking his sword and tries to kill him?! Kanamori (Inosuke’s sword forger), is all zen and calm. Until Inosuke purposely makes holes in his swords like his last one. Kanamori now loses his cool and wants to kill him! Tanjirou has progressed so well in his training that he is able to best Kanao! Bad news for Zenitsu and Inosuke. Better ramp up their training. Shinobu gives Tanjirou the greenlight that he is completely healed and fit for real combat. When he asks about the Hinokami Kagura dance, she is unsure of it. Apparently there IS A DIFFERENCE between fire breathing and flame breathing. Kyojuro’s breathing is based on the latter and Tanjirou should consult him but he is out on a mission. It’s that time where Tanjirou speaks to sleeping Nezuko to give some sort of assurance. Maybe he is hearing things because it’s like Nezuko speaks to give him encouragement. Even if it’s all in his head, he is still happy to hear it.

Episode 26
The lower half of Twelve Kizuki is summoned. Before them is a woman. However it is Kibutsuji taking a new form. He tells them Rui has been killed and laments the lower half is useless. Throughout the century, it is the upper half that has managed to kill Hashira and even remain unchanged. But the lower half has always been changing. Maybe Twelve Kizuki should just be the upper half. Kibutsuji shows how fearsome he is as he kills off those who even tries to speak their mind, agree or disagree. If you even run, you’re dead. The last one is left. Any last words? He loves the despair and prepares himself to be killed by him. Kibutsuji likes his answer and injects him with his blood. If he survives this transfusion, he might gain more powers. Then be useful to him and kill more Hashira. And if he kills the one with hanafuda earrings, he will give him more of his blood. Back to the Demon Slayer Corps, a Kasugai Crow tells our young trio to assist Kyojuro in the Infinite Train incident where many people are going missing. Kanao finally talks to Tanjirou. It is only because her coin flipping finally allows her to. As Tanjirou finds it odd a coin decides for her, he borrows it to toss it so if it lands heads, she will decide with her own heart. And heads it is. He hopes her heart can grow as strong as she wants it. Tanjirou also thanks Giyuu for putting his life on the line for Nezuko. You can repay him by doing a good job. At the train station, apparently Inosuke has never seen a train before and thinks it’s some monster! Tanjirou thinks it is some spirit guardian… Tell it to them, Zenitsu… Because Inosuke attacks it, the police almost arrest them. Apparently Demon Slayer Corps isn’t officially recognized by the government so they can’t flash their swords in public. Really? No wonder demon attacks are so rampant… Stupid corrupted politicians… Don’t loiter around, guys. Don’t wanna miss the train… All aboard now.

The Shape Of Water; Every (Total Concentration) Breath You Take
Well, if you think all that wasn’t enough and also because there are still too much at stake to just ‘end’ there, be glad that there will be a ‘sequel’. At least the Infinite Train arc, the next sequel is in the form of a movie scheduled to be released some time in 2020. Though, I am not really sure if this movie would have Tanjirou as the main character because of its initial promotional poster that has only Kyojuro taking up every inch of the picture. Like Shinobu pointed out, he could be the guy who could help Tanjirou master his flame breathing or something. But we’ll have to wait and see.

I can easily see why many considered this to be one of the best anime for 2019. I feel the same way too. But too bad not the top because the third season of Shingeki No Kyojin was still better. Heh. But anyway, the story of this series is quite intriguing to watch and despite there are slow and draggy moments, it doesn’t totally feel boring to watch at all. This season has its plot divided into a few story arcs and sometimes some of the episodes might get a bit slow as they drag out a little the drama. But thankfully because of how intriguing the story and the characters were masterfully depicted, it doesn’t feel like a chore at all to sit through all the 26 episodes of this series. Looking back at all the things that Tanjirou has gone through, it is definitely all just scratching the surface and we have not even begun to dig an inch deeper into the lore and setting of this series. That’s why I believe this should get another season in the form of a TV series. It would be a shame to just leave it all hanging ‘forever’.

Besides the story, the other exciting factor that is the series’ strong point is its action and combat scenes. Can’ have a demon slaying anime without any demon slaying, right? In short, the fight sequences with the demons are quite exhilarating to watch. Although the fights with more ‘important’ demons are dragged out to several episodes, it doesn’t get boring or repetitive since Tanjirou is ever growing and improving himself. It is with great excitement to see him pull off different versions of his water breathing techniques and slowly mastering its various forms. So if you’re not into the blood and gore that are abundant in this anime, looks like you’re not fit and ready to watch this. Barney the purple dinosaur may be a better option for you.

Character wise, Tanjirou as the main character may feel like he is a typical main character for a shonen genre. Guy driven by a tragic past and with a great sense of justice and determination, he overcomes his obstacles. That is generally putting it and it wouldn’t be fair to just generalize and pigeonhole Tanjirou into that sort of generic main character although it is technically not wrong to say that he also fits that. Because we get to see up close and personal at how Tanjirou struggles with each obstacle and foe he comes across, this gives his character more credibility and hence why we also form a ‘bond’ with his character. For many instances when he fights with the demons, you just feel that you want to support and cheer on for him to win his battle. He has grown so much in such a short time and has a lot more room for improvement. And since we have been following his development, it is no surprise that we want to see him achieve greater heights and of course his end goal.

But the only ‘annoying’ thing that makes it all seem a bit absurd is that Tanjirou sometimes feel like Superman, especially in his desperation fights with a demon he is facing. What do I mean Superman? You see, Tanjirou is still human and since he is still considered a rookie Demon Slayer Corps member, obviously he takes a beating as the enemy shelves their techniques, trump cards and other moves on him. This means Tanjirou will have broken bones here, there and everywhere in his body. The ‘Superman’ part is how he is still able to continue fighting like as though he is no pain of those broken bones! I know. It is the cliché part of him having a much stronger will and determination that the pain is nothing. Or at least he must tolerate the pain for the sake of his Nezuko and defeat the demon before resting. Even with fractured bones and cracked rib cages, Tanjirou still looks pretty normal! I mean, he still looks good! No broken bones protruding his flesh whatsoever or blue black injury showing on his skin. It’s just unbelievable.

The other thing that makes the story and character development stand out unlike many of such anime of the same genre is that the demons (the important ones that Tanjirou fights) are given an equal back story to tell of their own. Generally, villains are not given much of the limelight and focus and even if they do, it is just a short one just to let us know why they are twisted and do what they do. But for this series, they take a step further by crafting the demons’ background. I’m not saying they too have a fair share of the limelight overall but with their stories fleshed out, it makes us understand and sympathize on why they become demons in the first place. Remember, demons are not born! They are made! So for Kyogai and Rui, they might not have a very elaborated back story but at least they have a background that ‘justifies’ why they become demons. Of course this doesn’t clear them of the guilt of killing innocent people but it shows us that these demons aren’t just one-dimensional villains who exist as a stepping stone for the hero to be defeated just because the story script says so.

As for the other characters, well, it’s too early to say or comment anything deep about them yet. We have a glimpse of Zenitsu’s background and why he is such a slacker and a very annoying whiner. Really. You want to hate this guy or feel annoyed but because he is such an excellent comical dude, I don’t know, I just forgave him and want to see him complain so more! It’s that conflicted state of mine that wants him to shut up but also don’t because a calm and cool Zenitsu who isn’t some flirt isn’t Zenitsu at all. I bet we were all shocked when he showed his real strength in his sleep mode, right? Nothing much on Inosuke yet at this point. Just some really hot headed kid who wants to be the strongest until he realizes that he wasn’t as strong as he thinks. It was really weird to see him come to terms with that after the Natagumo incident but at least with him acknowledging his weakness, this is nothing shameful but a step forward to becoming stronger. Perhaps it is Inosuke’s competitive nature that makes him so. Thus it is amusing to see him always trying to ‘compete’ with Tanjirou but the latter being so cool, Inosuke sometimes can’t help fall into his pace and starts feeling fluffy by his influence. Yeah, even the most badass of guys have their soft side! With these dorks by Tanjirou’s side, man he is going to have a hard time rounding in this circus.

With the introduction of the Hashira level Demon Slayer Corp members, it gives the series more colour and variation. Yes people, the most powerful group and team in the anime world is more than often made up of weirdoes. Powerful weirdoes. Each of them as briefly introduced have their own quirks and powers but at this point of the anime, they are not properly fleshed out yet and I think if we’re going to do justice to these characters, maybe a couple of more seasons will do the trick… I believe many of them have tragic encounters with demons so it is understandable why the hate demons so much and why they persevere to where they are now. Some showing their emotions outright and some hiding it with other weird personalities. Thus it is with irony that many of these Hashira members now have to live with the fact that they are sheltering a demon named Nezuko. It goes against the norm but sometimes like they say, you have to think outside the box. It’s not just always killing demons, more demons and demons dying. Because if Kibutsuji is already so cunning and sly, they need more than conventional methods if they are to really make humans win this war in the long run.

Speaking of Kibutsuji, this guy is really filled with enigma. At least for this season, they tease us enough to make us believe that he is the ultimate and true final boss that not only Tanjirou, but the Demon Slayer Corps will face. Kibutsuji showing up early (rather than in some animes where the real big bad guy shows up in the last few episodes or his shadowy presence only teased) and even before Tanjirou at least proves that his existence is real and not some fabled made up legend. After all, it is said that many Demon Slayer Corps and even the Hashira side have never seen how he looks like. Yeah, Tanjirou scoring at the lottery, no? Not the big jackpot but at least the lowest winning denomination. And before that, they’ve got the Twelve Kizuki to deal with (or is it Six Kizuki now that Kibutsuji decided to trim it down?). And since we don’t even know half of who they are (the upper ones), the suspense remains. Serves as a future plot for great and epic group battles, if you know what I mean?

Kibutsuji is also truly fearsome as seen in the final episode. It really gives weight as to why every demon who serves under him fears him like instinct. He is truly the essence of a demon. More than a dictator, his words are absolute and believes whatever he says is the truth. You cannot suggest, deny or even speak anything. You only exist to serve him and be useful to his needs. Otherwise, death awaits. He is brutally honest with all that and doesn’t need to raise his voice because he himself already gives off that aura of fear. I mean, who is going to really oppose him, right? So yeah, now you see why even thinking of his name sends shivers down their spine? I think even Satan himself fears this dude!

Then there is Nezuko who has become another bag of mystery ever since she became a demon. I believe it is the cliché factor that the strong sibling bond is stopping her from fully becoming a demon. Even all that has been explained about Nezuko’s uncanny demonic behaviour (especially from what Urokodaki said), it may all just be speculation. Nezuko sometimes feel like the ‘backup weapon’ for Tanjirou because if that guy is in a pinch and has exhausted his options, don’t worry, here comes Nezuko to help turn this into a tag team match! Yeah, you thought you’ve seen everything that there is for her to show us but now she can turn into a chibi version?! Like, WTF?! So kawaii!!! Makes you want to go own a chibi Nezuko keychain or nendoroid, eh? Are those on sale right now?!

All in all, there are too many ongoing development and with more new added characters to the fray, it is going to take some time to really flesh them out. Especially Tanjirou’s dad who seems to be just more than a sickly man. Kanao has got her small past explained but I believe it is just abridged and more could come in the future. After all, Kanao is part of the same group of survivors with Tanjirou who passed the final selection test and with 4 out of 5 them coincidentally ‘gathered’, it is going to be the future generation of the Demon Slayer Corps and humanity. WTF are they very subtly hinting Tanjirou x Kanao romance… I don’t even… Don’t forget about Tamayo and Yushiro too. They might be on the run but that doesn’t mean that they are gone forever. Still need that ultimate cure. Last but not least the big man of Demon Corps Slayer himself, Ubuyashiki. We’d like to know how he ended up with a hideous upper part of his face. No manga spoilers please!

One of the light-hearted and amusing sections is the next episode preview. At first I thought this Taisho Secret that Tanjirou or some other random characters of the series whisper to us, they are trivia about the Taisho era that this series is set in. Yup, I thought they were real facts or trivia. But the more I hear them whisper these secrets, the more I realize that they are just the small comedic trivia of the lore of this series. Yeah well, I’m not really that huge of a fan of this series so I don’t really think I can remember them nor do I really, really, really, care. Inosuke can only call someone’s correct name on the 7th time? Tanjirou’s parents always cook toast rice crackers for him after every festival? Uhm… Okay. Thanks for that bit but whatever. Only that one time this segment is switched to some Demon Slayer Academy! Oh man, this series having its characters in a high school setting? What are the chances this would be some silly spinoff?!

The art and animation are quite good. The series does feel have its own unique art style. It has that edgy looks to it and sometimes the art is cell shaded. Especially when Tanjirou unleashes his water styled techniques, they have this really cool mix of traditional Japanese art and cell shaded art to it. Of course there are some scenes whereby it gets comical and you can see how the character turn into its chibi form. Especially Zenitsu. This guy has incredulous eyes popping out?! Funny… Unlike many other action oriented series whereby the quality drops during fast paced action scenes, there are none here. At least, not that I noticed. Maybe I was so engrossed that I didn’t notice but I am sure that the series was putting in the quality in all those action scenes because they are rather important, especially Tanjirou unleashing his move for the first time or the technique that gives him the edge over his opponents. Smooth and awesome. The art and animation is such good quality and it is no surprise that Ufotable is the studio that was behind its production. They still got it there after their superb consistent quality in the Fate/Zero series as well as both seasons of Tales of Zestiria The X.

As for some of the character designs, notwithstanding at how some weird some the characters look (especially those Hashira guys), I happen to notice that some of the characters have dead eyes. Uh huh. Dead fish eyes. Giyuu, Shinobu, Kanao and even Tamayo all have this lifelessness look in their eyes. I thought they are blind or something but it’s just how their eyes look. And here is another big shocker character design: If you are old enough like yours truly :’(, the moment you first laid eyes on Kibutsuji, you’d be screaming to yourself, “WHAT THE HECK IS MICHAEL JACKSON DOING HERE IN THIS SERIES???!!!” OMG! OMFG!!! MICHAEL JACKSON STILL LIVES!!! Aaow! Hehe! Smooth Criminal! Oh yeah. Even looking at his name, the more I look at it, the more I feel it looks closely resemble to Michael Jackson. Mu-chael Kibu-Jackson… Sorry, bad pun. So MJ fans, the king of pop isn’t that. He just lived on as a demon. Uh huh. That Time When I Reincarnated As A Demon… And when I first looked at Tanjurou, I thought he looked more like a drug addict. Seriously. On a trivial note, the coat the Demon Slayer Corp members wear, well, somehow it makes them look bloated. Thankfully it doesn’t hinder their ability to fight demons. I wonder how they choose the design because it’s good to have them wearing different patterns and colours as it makes it extra easy to identify them visually. Can’t have them all wearing the same taisho uniform now, can they?

This series has a many seiyuus lending their talents and many whom I recognized, namely Natsuki Hanae as Tanjirou, Saori Hayami as Shinobu, Takahiro Sakurai as Giyuu, Satoshi Hino as Kyojuro, Kana Hanazawa as Mitsuri, Tomokazu Sugita as Gyomei, Kenichi Suzumura as Iguro, Jun Fukuyama as Yahaba, Mikako Komatsu as Susamaru, Junichi Suwabe as Kyogai, Ami Koshimizu as spider mama, Showtarou Morikubo as spider boy, Ryoko Shiraishi as spider sister, Takehito Koyasu as that grotesque hands demon, Ai Kayano as Kanae, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Genya, Hochu Ohtsuka as Urokodaki, Shinichiro Miki as Tanjurou, Shigeru Chiba as Zenitsu’s grandpa and Yuuki Kaji as Sabito. Phew. That’s a lot. And don’t think I didn’t spot my favourite Mamiko Noto as Inosuke’s mom making a very brief cameo in his short flashback! Hooray! But the one taking the cake are Hiro Shimono as Zenitsu and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Inosuke. Hiro Shimono is just freaking hilarious and annoying as the whiner while Yoshitsugu Matsuoka shows us he can cast off his heroic stereotypic voice in Kirito, Souma and Bell by voicing a character always in eternal hog grunting mode! Not easy to speak like that! Kudos!

The rest of the casts are Akari Kitou as Nezuko (Karin in Nakanohito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]), Toshihiko Seki as Kibutsuji (Senketsu in Kill La Kill), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Ubuyashiki (Julius in Black Clover), Kouki Uchiyama as Rui (Raku in Nisekoi), Rena Ueda as Kanao (Ayado in 3D Kanojo Real Girl), Katsuyuki Konishi as Tengen (Oga in Beelzebub), Kengo Kawanishi Muichiro (Rei in 3-gatsu No Lion), Tomokazu Seki as Sanemi (Chiaki in Nodame Cantabile), Maaya Sakamoto as Tamayo (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Daiki Yamashita as Yushiro (Midoriya in Boku No Hero Academia), Daisuke Namikawa as Haganezuka (Waver in Fate series) and Ai Kakuma as Makomo (Rossweisse in High School DxD). For a series with double cours, it is one of the very rare ones whereby it only has a single opening and ending theme. I guess when you have such a great story and action, you don’t need the gimmick of retaining or attracting viewers’ attention with a new opening and ending come halfway. The opening theme is sung by Lisa and Gurenge might sound like a song fitting this series as well as Sword Art Online because I’m just fresh off watching that Alicization story. The same can be said for the ending theme, From The Edge also by Lisa but featuring Fiction Junction. Uh huh. Sometimes hearing this song I could mistake them to be songs from Sword Art Online. A special ending theme, Kamado Tanjirou No Uta by Go Shiina featuring Nami Nakagawa is a very beautiful but emotionally powerful and slow ballad to say the least.

To summarize it all, this is definitely a very good series. Excellent story, characters and action sequences make it really worthwhile the quality and what truly means for anime to be anime. Just wished that it had more episodes and hopefully there would be more sequels in the future. Don’t make me turn into Zenitsu and start screaming and b*tching for a need to have another one! Sure, I can live with this kid’s incessant ear piercing screeches so long as I can get another season of this epic anime. I don’t mind hearing Inosuke’s uncouth speaking manner as long as they put up another sequel. I also don’t mind if they ever have that cheesy Tanjirou x Kanao romance as long as this show is having another sequel. But don’t kill off Mamiko Noto’s character in the next… Oh wait… She’s already… ARGH!!!! Just bring me the next season, okay?!

Apparently I was confused the last time. I thought the recap episode that was the final episode of the TV series was the first OVA episode. It wasn’t. Then I later realized that due to production issues at that time, the first OVA episode was delayed and hence the second OVA episode was released first. Now, this is the first OVA of Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken, finally making its release in December 2019. Better late than never.

Hey! Butts!
Rimuru has Vesta create some sleeping pills. The moment he takes it, he is completely knocked out. Yeah, dream world time. Dream world still the same with Shuna and Shion fighting over Rimuru. This time over which clothes he should cosplay. Rimuru then realizes he is fooling around when others are working hard. He fears they may wake up feeling empty. Hence he calls for an assembly and decides to introduce a sport where everyone can have fun: Sumo wrestling. He explains the rules but there are more don’ts than dos. Hey, they are monsters after all and sumo isn’t a blood sport to begin with. Just don’t hurt or kill your opponents, okay? The prize for the women’s division is getting to spend a full day with Rimuru. The prize for the men’s division is getting to sleep on Shuna’s lap! You bet they’re fired up. We have the first round of the men’s side pitting Geld against Kurobe. The moment they start, the women’s side is ready to take to the ring so Rimuru is interested to see that! Haha! Men’s side nobody is interested! By the way, Benimaru would go on to own the competition and perhaps win it because he isn’t letting anybody sleep on his sister’s lap. So the first match sees Soka against Shion. Shion is too powerful and accidentally rips Soka’s clothes. Embarrassed she runs out of the ring. Shion wins. Now you see why the women’s side is much more interesting?! Next match has Milim against Shuna. Rimuru imposes handicaps on her, that is she can’t use her hands or feet. But she can still use her head butt! She dives like a missile but luckily Shuna dodges. Then Milim uses her hair to latch onto her. She also uses all her muscles in her body to avoid touching to ground outside the ring. WTF hair got muscles?! The ring collapses and although Shuna is said to have fallen first, Rimuru declares Milim out because of the indecency rules as Milim’s loincloth came off.

The finals is between Shion and Shuna. Because of the destroyed ring, Rimuru turns it into a butt sumo. Oh yeah. You can see why the men can’t take their eyes of this match. With the ladies colliding butts, you bet they can see everything else clearly! But the butt collision is so great that this mini stump they are standing on also collapses! Luckily Rimuru to the rescue as he becomes their cushion. Oh yeah. Like they would fall to their deaths, huh?! I bet he just wants to be the ‘real winner’ because their butts are sitting on him. Anyway the match is declared a draw. Although sumo become the national sport, oddly it is butt sumo that is more popular. Yeah, I wonder how fish is going to play butt sumo?! Rimuru doesn’t mind as long as everyone is having fun. But this comes back to bite him in the butt because of Shion and Shuna’s draw, they are continuing to fight over him. Yup, they are tearing him apart!!! Will the slime finally be torn?! Cue for Rimuru to wake up from this dream. Later he has Vesta to forever seal the sleeping pills. There wasn’t any side effect and it worked like a charm. But because it is too powerful, that pill never see the light of day again. Sweet dreams, sleeping pills?

That Time When I Reinvented Sumo As A Fanservice Sport
Ah well. Fun as it is, I guess that is why they had to turn this into some sort of dream so that it would be canon. You know, so it doesn’t have any sort of unwanted or permanent effects in the real plot or story. Also, whatever absurd things that need to happen, happens inside a dream so it is somewhat valid. You know, it is all just a dream. So what happened in Rimuru’s dream, stays in Rimuru’s dream. And with Rimuru putting away the sleeping pills for good, let’s hope that there would be no more such nonsense in future instalments of the series! Better get going in getting more powerful, make more enemies into allies and taking over the entire world when the next season comes around!

Now I can see why sumo is traditionally a sport only for big fat men. I am sure there are underground rings for women doing sumo and for sleazy and shady reasons but let’s leave that there. Had sumo have beautiful and hot chicks pushing each other in loincloths, you bet this could rake in a lot of money and viewership. But thanks to Japan being such a conservative and traditionalist country, oh well, I guess you can’t have everything. That’s why if we really want to legitimately see a sport that involves sexy and hot babes in scantily clad clothes, thank goodness we still have beach volleyball for that! Oh Rimuru, you might reconsider reopening the vault and give those pills another shot for another awesome sexy ass time! Reintroduce beach volleyball to your nation! I bet we and you will not be sorely disappointed about it. No but(t)s about it, that’s for sure!

Hangyakusei Million Arthur

January 5, 2020

Excalibur throughout history has been the most famous legendary sword wield by the famous King Arthur of Britain. Countless tales and fiction are written about him and his sacred sword. So who in the world would really go all out to destroy it?! Well, in Hangyakusei Million Arthur, apparently the power of this sword went berserk and some freak miracle cloned million copies of it. Albeit many of them have a few slight variations in powers and effects. With the history of Britain being distorted by this, hence a group of 6 Arthurs from the future are sent back to the past to destroy all of them. Yup, count them. One million of them. Boy, this is going to take a while. I suppose there isn’t any repossessing or recalling service in Britain for Excaliburs, huh? Oh well, gotta do it the hard way and destroy them all one by one. Yup, count them again. One million of them, baby.

Episode 1
We see our sextet Arthurs: Danchou, Renkin, Yamaneko, Tekken, Kakka and Rurou taking on other rogue Arthurs and their fake Excaliburs while their respective fairies Nuckelavee, Bodach, Coupy, Titania, Brigitte and Bethor only watch. Flashback shows they are from the future. Distortions of Excaliburs were detected and causing to distort time in the past and future. Hence they are sent back to destroy every single last one of them all over Britain. There are a million of them, you know? Danchou is the leader of the group as she meets the rest who aren’t too amused with her. Because she thinks by being flirty or acting like a clown would do the trick in breaking the ice? Yeah, she’s just end up embarrassing herself. And also, nobody really likes her. Uh huh. You screwed up. It’s not your charm… But obviously the idiot doesn’t give up and thinks of inviting everyone to a home party. Too bad nobody notices the invitation she slipped in. Because they are busy investigating the thousands of Arthurs who are said to be hunting down the Arthur hunters (the sextet). Danchou, you need to get over why nobody came to your party and instead focus on this hordes of Arthurs who are coming. Obviously even with overwhelming numbers, our Arthur sextet could easily take out all those generic fake Arthurs and their fake Excaliburs. Not even a dragon can stop them! 10,000 of a million is only 1%. Long way to go but somebody has got to do the job. And can Danchou cut out her stupid ice breaker already? Don’t react lest you want to lose…

Episode 2
What did I say about not responding to Danchou’s sexy ice breakers? Tekken found out the hard way… Renkin despite her child-like stature, is the most knowledgeable Arthur. So to prove she is an adult, when the system detects a large amount of distortion in some area, she heads there herself. Danchou wants to go after her but the rest put their faith that Renkin is more than prepared if she decided to go herself. Of course Danchou went and finds Renkin. Still safe. Until a group of ruffians want to… Date Danchou?! I guess there are people with horrible tastes… So while Danchou dates them (really?), Renkin does research at the library. Since she meets a nice man, Bodach though romance is blossoming and lets them be. Danchou can see through those ruffians that they are Arthurs. Date plan failed. Attack! And lost! Danchou then realizes if she wasn’t the only one being targeted… Yup, that man whom Renkin is with is also an Arthur. She is kidnapped as he reveals his nefarious plans to take out the sextet one by one. Bodach tries to help but ends up locking herself in her own magic coffin. Bummer. Yeah, it makes her look so stupid. The man becomes despicable as his glasses shaped Arthur can also see through clothes! Lolicon!!! Danchou busts in to save Renkin before he could make the loli cry. Of course Danchou being an exhibitionist herself isn’t fazed when he sees everything through her. Because he relies heavily on sight, this is his weakness as both Danchou and Renkin bust his glasses and ass. In the end, Danchou and Renkin are friends. You think Danchou has an ulterior motive of using those glasses to see Yamaneko’s body but too bad as pointed out, only the owner can use it. Such a waste but thank goodness.

Episode 3
With simultaneous distortion readings at different places, Danchou hatches a scheme to become friends with Yamaneko by rigging the raffle to decide the teams. Of course Yamaneko sees through her and the plan fails. Yamaneko gets Renkin while Danchou ends up with Rurou. But this episode focuses on Tekken and Kakka. They head to a mining town to investigate but get caught up and become miners. While muscle brain Tekken enjoys it, obviously magician kid Kakka is all out breath. They also learn many miners come from other countries because invaders attacked their mines and they had to flee. Thanks to the generosity of the mining company’s president, Leicester, everyone is happy with things as they are. So as they continue their mining day job, they also investigate Leicester’s office. Having enough evidence, when Leicester is giving his speech to his men one morning about the booming business, they reveal the evidence that Leicester has been selling those mined minerals to the invaders to be made as weapons. This is why their country is spared from attacks. The miners are disillusioned but lost all respect when Leicester shows his true colours. Yeah, he summons an invader but luckily our heroes took out some of its parts so it won’t work. Leicester is an Arthur himself as he has strong drills as his Excalibur. But nothing beats Tekken’s fist of course and he is defeated. In the end, the miners return to their countries and drive out the invaders. With Tekken and Kakka being close enough, the rest think they are in a gay relationship and let them be.

Episode 4
When an Excalibur is detected in a town that grows takuan, Yamaneko surprisingly volunteers. Danchou thought it’s her chance to get close to her but damn she loses the lottery to Rurou. This town is about to celebrate its annual takuan contest but it’s like a ghost town. They witness a sniper shooting people and turning them into takuan! Roy saves them and in hiding he explains his sister, Loretta is behind this for revenge. Previously a year ago, an outsider who knew nothing about takuan won the contest and left their father in shame as he was the best takuan farmer. Disillusioned, Loretta left and during her journey she found an Excalibur. Thus she shoots anyone who is planning on holding this contest. Yamaneko and Rurou want the contest to carry on and they will be bait to lure her out. They thought of detecting her heat signature but she is smart enough to use a fake. Loretta begins sniping the townspeople. This scene triggers Yamaneko’s trauma since snippets show her family faced the firing squad. This distraction causes Rurou to protect her from a snipe and in turn he gets turned into a takuan. I don’t think blasting the mountain would do her any good. Loretta’s gone. To make up for her mistakes, Yamaneko once again heads out to lure Loretta out. Just when Loretta thought she got a clean hit on her, turns out Yamaneko is wearing a vest of takuan! Can’t turn takuan when it’s already a takuan! Yamaneko destroys her Excalibur and everyone in town reverts back to normal. Roy reveals the truth the outsider switched her takuan with their dad’s and by the time the townspeople discovered it, she already skipped town. After Loretta apologizes, the contest goes ahead with no further interruptions. As for Rurou and Yamaneko, they got a bunch of takuan. So eat up! There’s a lot more, way more from where that came from.

Episode 5
An Excalibur is detected in some all-girls’ elite high school. Kakka thought of heading down there to investigate but looks like Danchou is joining him. Heck, she makes him wear a girl’s uniform and he doesn’t protest? Oh well, this makes it easier to infiltrate. Kakka becomes popular with everyone on his first day. Danchou, Brigitte and Nuckelavee too but they’re more like fooling around rather than doing anything serious. Kakka then bumps into this art club president, Milia. Kakka notices various weapon props and could one of these be Excalibur? Unfortunately Milia and her club members turn Kakka into their paint model. This guy can’t say no, can he? Their horny creative turned on so they make him do sexy poses in various outfits. This is art! Finally he decides to escape but they corner him. That is when Milia uses her giant Excalibur paintbrush to trap him. She then reveals she knew he was a boy all along and set this up. Her ‘tragic’ story is that a cute boy betrayed her. Since art will never betray, she decides to capture a young boy’s prettiness before he starts betraying. After some tickling fanservice, she unleashes a couple of cross-dressing girls to flirt with Kakka. The humiliation lasts long enough for Danchou to bust in and easily knock everyone out. Seeing the perverted art Milia made, Kakka quickly destroys her Excalibur. However in the aftermath, Milia submits a humiliating art of Kakka and won first prize! Yeah, he forgot to destroy her art after destroying her Excalibur. More infuriating is that Danchou’s late appearance was because she was enjoying seeing Kakka’s humiliation! This guy has no more dignity left… Meanwhile Brigitte and Nuckelavee continue to become popular high school girls… Life must be good there, huh?

Episode 6
Swimsuit episode! Oh yeah! Our girls are enjoying themselves at a spa resort that belongs to Kakka’s estate. Of course there is trouble as there is a swimsuit thief swiftly stealing the tops and bottoms of the patrons’ swimsuit. Hence it is Danchou and the girls’ duty to catch the thief before this resort’s reputation plummet amidst the growing complaints. They separate into teams to sniff out the pervert but some of them fell victim. During the swimsuit competition, Danchou almost got hold of the culprit but he is faster than Sonic and she loses him. However noticing a hook has her have a good idea where this guy comes from. At the boring fishing section, they see a very strange man (because everyone else is just so boring looking) and true enough, Sander is the one stealing them. His Excalibur is a fishing rod that enables him to fish out from a distance. He claims he is doing it for Gaira, his brother’s sake. Long ago, Gaira was diagnosed with an illness. He wanted a star so Sander went on a journey to look for one but found this Excalibur. Then he fished in a star. A swimsuit with a star pattern. Since this isn’t what he wanted, he continued fishing but only fished swimsuits. And Gaira supposedly died from all the swimsuits suffocating him? The girls are shocked that Sander continues to do this because it became his hobby and fetish. Give back those tears! Danchou faces off with him and despite getting her top reeled, Renkin uses her hands to cover it. Hand bra defence! For an exhibitionist, she sure is worried getting naked. Sander tries to run away seeing he has got what he wanted but Danchou feels insulted because he isn’t interested what is underneath. After Sander is owned, it seems the real monster comes out. So this barbarian is Gaira? So he didn’t die and all that swimsuit suffocation instead turned him into a much worse monster? Yeah, he likes to fish the bottoms. Combining her might with some of the girls, they put him down, destroy their Excaliburs and end this reign of terror. Now they can go back to enjoying the rest of the day without the worry of their modesty being outraged.

Episode 7
Rurou is being washed away down the river! The gang gathers to look for him but Renkin tells them Rurou asking them to take care of Lucy. Not that anybody knows, not even in Bethor’s database. Rurou wakes up in the house of a young lady, Rose. He has been sleeping for 3 days. He finds it odd that she is too young to be the lord of this small territory so she explains her parents died in a carriage accident when she was young but they left her a beautiful rose garden. So helps distribute them to the villagers as its fragrance brings happiness. Hmm… Rose rose up to give roses. Yeah, I know. Bad pun, sorry… Then here comes the typical scumbag lord of the next region, Dokudami. He wants to marry Rose and of course she rejects his proposal for the umpteenth time. After all, rumours are rife he was the one who killed her parents. Look at that suspicious looking spanner Excalibur. Rose tries to get him off her back by having Rurou pretend to be her boyfriend. Dokudami gets mad and wants to fight. Rurou easily destroys his Excalibur and sends him fleeing like a coward. With Rurou’s heroics, they really think he should get hitched with Rose. Yeah, she thinks so too… However Rurou claims he only stirs up bad memories for her since she keeps talking about her parents. Soon Rurou reunites with his Arthurs. They are shocked to find this village because history goes after Rose’s parents’ died, she fell into depression and the village withered away as the people left. Rurou was sure he destroyed an Excalibur but you never know there could be more than one… Then Dokudami returns for revenge. While the other Arthurs keep him at bay, Rurou confronts Rose. Her Excalibur is a pair of shears. It brings life to anything it cuts but at the expense of sucking that life from other areas. Rose knows about his duty and realizes what is lost cannot be returned. She lets him break her Excalibur. Damn, I feel so bad about it. While the Arthurs defeat Dokudami and his army, Rurou destroys Rose’s Excalibur. Everything withers away… So sad… In the aftermath, the rest try to cheer him up. But they ask about Lucy. A wounded bird whom he found and tried to put back in the nest. But he slipped and fell into the river. Why do they look so disappointed now and Bethor wishing they never found him?!

Episode 8
Magical girl Arthurs? This sh*t is getting weirder. With Danchou and Tekken out sick because they challenged each other naked in the snow (don’t ask), Rurou watches over them so the rest head to a town whereby its famous wall kept out invaders. However there are no walls but 3 magical girl Arthurs easily destroying the robot invaders with their magic. They are also targeting our Arthur hunters as they know they are out to destroy the Excalibur wands. They fight but our Arthurs lose. Thanks to their fairies, they manage to escape with the skin of their teeth. Then they read a fairytale story that seems to mirror what’s happening. Uh huh. Town being attacked by invaders, girls pray to God, got the magic needed to bring back the smiles. With the Arthur trio facing off with the magical girls, the townspeople are sceptical because if their magical girls are defeated, who is going to protect them? Oh well. Here’s the second rematch of Arthur hunters vs magical girl Arthurs. And no interrupting or attacking until they finish their introduction! This time our heroes know their moves and are able to counter attack nicely. Before their Excaliburs can be destroyed, here comes the invaders. Time to call it a truce and work together to defeat the invaders. Their cooperation brings down the invaders but here comes the big mother invader. Ironically the magical girls got their Excaliburs destroyed by it. How will they protect the town without magic now? Then all the adults and kids rush out to protect them. I know this isn’t going to do anything much but I am thinking this is to show this symbolic metaphor that the people are the town’s true walls. Our Arthurs are so touched that now they go all out and destroy the mother invader at full force. There. Day saved. In the aftermath, the magical girls decide to get stronger by becoming Renkin’s disciples. Can this little girl act like a big sister?

Episode 9
While Tekken, Kakka and Yamaneko are on their way back, they stumble upon an idol, Kaguya. It seems she is running away from obsessed fans who want to just show their love. Because their pen lights are detected as Excaliburs, our Arthurs waste no time in defeating time. Easy. That would normally be the end of it but Kaguya doesn’t want to be left alone. What if more rabid fans like them attack her? Hence she wants them to serve as her bodyguard until she gets to her concert venue. Being the simpleton, Tekken agrees to see this through. Kaguya might be a brat and boss around, but the fairies detect her to be a knight. She admits she is one and an AI that was born to work under Arthur although currently she isn’t serving one right now. Kaguya has beef with Tekken. Although he compliments her, he also mentions her bad points with brutal honesty. So after beating up a doodled Tekken face on her pillow, she decides to go take a shower and strips. But Tekken enters. Oops. Wrong room. My bad. Bye. Hence she is going to make that guy pay. So next morning when they hear a scream from her room, they rush over to see the window open. Tekken instantly searches her throughout town. Yamaneko notices something amiss because everything happened too fast. True enough, Kaguya is hiding under the bed. She comes clean about wanting to get back at Tekken for shaming her. She apologizes but no biggies for Tekken who is glad she is safe. Later they go face off with the hordes of those fatty fans and destroy their Excaliburs. Is looking alike a dress code for them? That night, a mad doctor who is an obsessed fan of hers paralyses her. He is also interested in her knight genes. She ekes out a call for help. Normally the rest would think this is a prank but Tekken doesn’t think so and goes after the mad doctor. Despite the mad doctor sounding threatening, Tekken easily defeats him in one punch. Wow. So easy. The mission is done once Kaguya arrives at her concert. She is sad at them leaving and invites them to listen. However Tekken isn’t a music fan and passes. Kaguya saw this coming and accepts. Tekken might not be acting like a gentleman but he thinks music is for those who truly wants to hear them. But not hearing Kaguya sing, he can imagine how her songs sound like.

Episode 10
Our Arthur hunters are at it again. Destroying a whole bunch of Arthurs and their Excaliburs. And let’s check the tally how many are left. WHAT?! 900,000 left???!!! Meanwhile a group of shady Arthur bosses are discussing on how to deal with them. They’ll eventually meet since their goal is to destroy all Excaliburs. The next time our Arthur hunters do their usual, it seems those Arthurs abandon their Excaliburs and run away. They feel odd and suspicious because it is somewhat insulting for an Arthur to just abandon their Excalibur. Then they discover that all the remaining 900,000 Arthurs have banded together and are going to take them out! Those who ran away were just decoys while the rest gather more Excaliburs. So yeah, the actual figure is more than 900,000. Hey. Why are they worried? It’s not like they’ve never taken on such huge number before, right? RIGHT?! Oh sh*t. From Tekken’s simple solution to just fight them to Rurou’s surprising answer to run away, Danchou wants them to give her until tomorrow to make a decision. Hence everybody has a sleepless night. Next day, Danchou’s plan is to become a decoy to let others run away. But the rest saw through this plan and will fight alongside her. Even Yamaneko admits she prefers her idiotic Danchou than one who acts out of character! So okay guys, let’s do this! As usual, thanks to those dumb low level Arthurs, this looks easy. However as you can see because of the immense numbers, our Arthur hunters soon get tired and that is the plan of those shady Arthur bosses to go in for the kill. But wait! Suddenly divine intervention?! Pharsalia drops down from the sky and didn’t expect the Arthur hunters to be so weak. She decimates the others in a single blow! OMG! WTF she’s so overpowered?! Is she God?! When other Arthurs flee, Pharsalia turns to the Arthur hunters. She warns them she might have saved them today but if they can’t entertain her, she’ll crush them instead. So yeah. Time for Danchou and her motley crew to get serious go after those who got away.

Season 2

Episode 1
You know it’s a dream when Danchou is respected by everyone and Yamaneko even wants to get yuri with her! Reality is much worse. Yeah, Danchou trying to make out with Nuckelavee in her sleep! That’s not the bad news. Because reality hits when Nuckelavee points out everyone has left! Only letters left behind. Some addressing her pathetic leadership. And then Pharsalia visits her. She rubs salt into wounds as she finds it funny a leader with no followers. Pharsalia reveals that because she gets bored easily, she will wipe out history. In fact, that is her duty. She will decide if an era is worth preserving. Because Danchou is so amusing, she’ll let this era go on for now. So stay interesting. After she leaves, Titania comes to complain to Danchou about Tekken. Yeah, that muscle brain has been training ever since. He blames himself for being weak. Can’t get an idiot to rejoin him? Play his game! Because Danchou asks when he will turn stronger so as to defeat Pharsalia. Won’t fight a fight you can’t win? Is that the Tekken she knows? It’s not like him to say that without even trying! Yeah a punch in his face down the cliff should change his mind… That did the trick. With Tekken rejoining her, they find Renkin in the next town. She is firm she won’t rejoin them as she will not fight a losing battle. That’s that. Actually, Renkin has been trying to research a way to defeat Pharsalia. Fairy Combine? Sounds like a perverted move that Danchou will do to defile Nuckelavee. When a rogue Arthur targets our Arthur hunters with a homing missile Excalibur, Renkin uses her strategy by having Bodach suck it all up into her coffin and then easily defeat him. With Danchou getting her groove back to defeat the remaining Arthurs, Renkin rejoins the group and may regret a little after she tells her about Fairy Combine. Maybe she should have worded it in a different way…

Episode 2
Rurou and Kakka team up to defeat other Arthurs. Thanks to that, the Excalibur count is drastically reducing. As Danchou’s side is having a hard time fighting against some wine sommelier Arthur, Rurou and Kakka show up to defeat her with their combo. However they are not returning to Danchou and they view her as pathetic. They even sow doubts in Renkin and Tekken’s minds if she is worth following. This leaves Danchou worried and feels the need to do something despite Renkin and Tekken sticking with her. Renkin has a plan to make Danchou change her ways so the rest can return to her. Burn away her cosplay outfits? She can’t. She won’t be who she is anymore! With that, Renkin has had enough and leaves. More anxiety for Danchou. Her worst fears come true when Tekken also soon leaves. It seems both of them went to join Rurou and Kakka. Danchou is so desperate not to be left alone that she is throwing a tantrum! Okay, if she wants in, she must fight and beat Rurou and Kakka. Danchou gets a beating while the duo complain about her failure as their leader. Can’t read the mood, toying with them and worst of all, she tried to do things herself and that shows she didn’t need them. But of course with Danchou’s steely determined eyes and that vow she makes to protect them, turns out this is all an act just to see her determination. So I guess she passed, huh? Though, those harsh comments weren’t a joke. Rurou and Kakka will follow her since she has always been true to her heart. So about their chances to defeat Pharsalia? She’ll knock her out when it comes down to that. That’s Danchou alright. And we should’ve seen this coming as we see her dress up in a very revealing seashell bikini. This is how she is going to knockout Pharsalia? Uh oh. Time to consider leaving again…

Episode 3
Wow. Yamaneko living the peaceful countryside life? Until her Arthur friends show up. Oh dear. Yamaneko doesn’t remember them?! Is she acting?! But wait. When Danchou tries to flirt with her, she pulls out her bazooka! But she doesn’t know why. So she really did forget. Oh Danchou, panicking now? As explained Yamaneko left to train after that devastating loss to Pharsalia. Then when she soaked in this hotspring, an old man told time this hotspring makes one lose their memories. Although the Arthurs plan to bring back her memories, Danchou has a different idea… Yeah, she’s going to take advantage and spew lies that they are engaged to each other! Not that the rest would allow it. Yamaneko doesn’t get it despite all the lessons and training about their mission. Stupid Danchou trying to ruin it all with her flirting. You trying to waste their efforts? And then the town gets attacked by stereotypical villains. The Arthur goes to deal with them. Yamaneko helps the people evacuate but feels frustrated that she herself is already out of breath. And then Danchou protects her from a villain’s strike. Cue for stereotypical drama. Uh huh. Danchou as if she’s dying and Yamaneko getting emotional about that. Yeah, it’s like Danchou’s last wish is her death wish because she wants a kiss. Her hand is already groping her ass! The horrors of people suffering has Yamaneko’s memories return as she doesn’t want to go through that again. And hence she takes out her bazooka and starts firing all the way! Better get out of the way, Danchou! After the villains are rounded up, Nuckelavee deduces Danchou was acting so as to bring back Yamaneko’s memories. I’m sure that wasn’t it but whatever, let’s go with it. Danchou is still gunning for Yamaneko’s ass as she laments goodbye to that kind and innocent version. Then Yamaneko shoots her away. Welcome back, Yamaneko. But really, still want to rejoin this group? But some of the kind Yamaneko still remain because you can sometimes see that sweet smile.

Episode 4
So Yamaneko still a polite girl, huh? However she is still merciless towards pervy Danchou. Thank goodness. Renkin and Bodach continue to research on Fairy Combine and stumble upon this erotic material… Is this how it is done?! Oh dear! So in this hotspring area where there are many weird hotsprings with weird effects, I guess it is to help Yamaneko return to her original character. Pharsalia is also here but Danchou will not allow any fight as there are too many people around. After all, they are not strong to defeat her and even so, that is not their mission. She is okay they risk everything for their mission but not on a needless fight. OMG. Did Danchou say the coolest thing?! Until of course she tries to molest Yamaneko… I’m sure this is inspired from Ranma 1/2 because they try to let her dip into various hotsprings that turn her into a baby, a delinquent, a man and finally a flirty nympho! The commotion also has the rest falling in so we got an equally flirty nympho Renkin, a serious Danchou and the rest of the guys turned into girls! While this fiasco is ongoing, Touzoku faces off with Chapman, the hotspring owner who seems to be affecting the entire place with his Excalibur. It gets complicated when our messed up Arthur hunters enter the scene. Then this weird chase scene before finally Renkin decides to do Fairy Combine with Bodach. So it’s just mouth to mouth eating Pocky sticks? Everybody is looking with much anticipation… Eventually Bodach can’t do it. What a downer. Back to the action, by stopping the hotspring source, Chapman loses his ability and is defeated. In the aftermath, everyone returns to normal. The rest are suspicious of Touzoku since she is friends with Pharsalia. She assures she won’t do anything if they don’t attack first. As they are interested to see what they’re doing, Touzoku and her groupie would be watching them closely. Back home, some are reluctant about doing Fairy Combine. Some are daring though it is just one sided. Like Brigitte and of course Danchou. Oh Nuckelavee, you regretting Danchou has reverted to normal? But Yamaneko and Coupy just, uhm, eating Pocky sticks just fine. Nothing much happens. Want to have another go?

Episode 5
Kakka is out sick so Yamaneko plays the nurse? The rest head out to this town that is deserted. The fisherman explains some chef started challenging all the restaurants with his superior food. Because of that, all the shops closed down and those who supply food have a hard time selling it to him. Now he only serves the rich and wealthy. So our Arthur hunters go into his building to challenge him. He doesn’t want to fight but rather have a cooking showdown. Normally they won’t entertain him but stupid Danchou agrees. With their fairies as judge-cum-commentators, the chef finishes his dish and lets Danchou taste. Instantly she goes to heaven. Yeah, she lost. Next, Tekken tastes it to see why it’s so special. Instant heaven trip! Yeah, he lost too. When Renkin tastes it, she finds it normal. The chef is so insulted that he wants another showdown of clam chowder and acqua pazza at dawn tomorrow. As Renkin prepares her dish with the fisherman’s help, Rurou wonders why she is unaffected. Bodach explains Renkin was raised in an orphanage so she doesn’t care about fancy food. More importantly, the people who made food for her made it with love. Rurou goes to help Renkin. However her clam chowder poisons Bethor! Dawn is here. Not enough time. Rurou tells her to make the food she loves the most. And so Renkin arrives at the showdown with just a bun. The chef thinks he has already won and tastes it. Instantly a nostalgic trip down memory lane! The nostalgic taste has him remember he was once from the orphanage too but craved freedom and ran away. Many years later, he paid the price of being lonely. A bread that the rat didn’t even want to eat, he tries to steal it but it drops into the gutter. Then some gutter goddess gave him choose some breads and he chose the ordinary one. That taste reminded him of the same bread he had in his orphanage. And so when he wielded the Excalibur, he vowed to help hungry people around the world. Crap story, but whatever. He calls Renkin his saviour and returns to his roots. But no happy ending yet as Yamaneko scolds them to come back and help her with the ‘sick patients’.

Episode 6
Yamaneko receives a letter from Utahime that she’ll come to visit her. But she didn’t think she would come this soon! Turns out to be an imposter as she knocks her out and takes on Yamaneko’s appearance. Her plan is to infiltrate the base and take all of them out. However due to the alert, the Arthur hunters realize there is an intruder but cannot pinpoint where. As they go look, the imposter thinks of taking down Renkin first. WTF she thinks Renkin is Little Red Riding Hood and disguises as a wolf?! Arthur alert!!! She manages to escape and next she tricks Tekken and trips him down the chasm. Only, this guy climbs back up and loves this new training spot! Next, she tries to seduce Kakka but he alerts everyone she has Danchou Fever! WTF?! Anybody who cosplays sexily is deemed to have one and must be put to bed! You bet Danchou wants to look after her. The imposter doesn’t know and wants her to stay by her side. Big mistake. Because this turns Danchou on and suddenly the room becomes a love hotel and… Damn, the imposter so violated. I don’t know how she survived it but she remembers her original mission to usurp Utahime. When the real Utahime arrives, the imposter goes to greet her. Luckily the real Yamaneko returns. Oh no. Which is the real Yamaneko?! Easy. The imposter doesn’t have Coupy by her side. Time for some answers. But the imposter does the oldest trick in the book, “Look over there!”. The moment they do so and look back, oh no, which is the real Utahime?! Time to see if Yamaneko truly knows her stuffs. After a few deliberation, she blasts the imposter away. How she knows? She doesn’t have the same scent as in the letter. The imposter she was a queen of a certain kingdom. One day the magic mirror told her the fairest in the land is Utahime. Ever since she has been waiting for her chance to take her down and did lots of research. She also heard Utahime was going to see Yamaneko and that’s when she hatched another plan to take down the Arthur hunters. After criticizing her flawed plans, they are going to dispose of her but Danchou has a better idea. Meanwhile Utahime and Yamaneko talk. The former admits her lie that her schedule isn’t as hectic as she painted and is very free. Most of her jobs are just opening for other idols. She wanted to ask if she became a famous idol in the future but scrapped that thought. It is best she discovers that herself. Meanwhile Danchou the dominatrix queen wants the imposter to turn into Yamaneko and… Oh f*ck! This fate is worse than death!!!

Episode 7
You think you’ve seen everything? Think again! This time our Arthur hunters stumble into footballers! Captain Tsubasa Arthurs???!!! And of course we have to play a football match. Danchou as the coach agreed to this idea because they don’t know which item is Excalibur. The enemies will only give it to them if they beat them. Otherwise, forever be their slaves! You think this looks easy, right? Well, if you put Renkin as the goalkeeper… Poor little girl… She gets blown away by the impact of each goal shot! It’s a scoring spree! By halftime, Arthur hunters are down 0-23! And Danchou has the balls to complain?! Heck, they are even moving as they were told! However Renkin has an idea for the next half. This time when the opponents shoot, she uses her complex calculation of tai chi moves to stop the ball and send it to her comrade to score. This method allows Arthur hunters to take the lead 29-23. However the opponents are now getting serious and that is when the striker’s super special kick, Renkin can’t stop. Turns out his cleats is Excalibur. The score is now tied at 29-29. With Renkin at her limit, Danchou steps in to take over. I thought she was fired? She has Tekken be the goalkeeper because his Excalibur gloves are good in keeping those shots away. And this ridiculous winning goal… Danchou turns into some spinning fireball and shoots the ball that blows away the opponent’s clothes, the goalpost, the stadium and the mountain!!! WTF????!!!! Arthur hunter team wins 30-29! Showing great sportsmanship, the opponents hand over their Excalibur with no fuss. In the aftermath as our Arthur hunters recover from sore muscles, Tekken stumbles into another group of Arthurs… Ping pong Arthurs, anybody?! Let the madness stop already!!!

Episode 8
Danchou talks about unity until she hears the city of Florian in addition to having an Excalibur detected, there are lots of cute girls! Yup, she’s already halfway there! Until Kakka puts a stop to her and lectures her about stuffs. Since they’re almost there, Danchou and Kakka will handle this. However the place is decimated and where are the cute girls?! Anthony brings them to Lord Adam Christopher. He explains there is a civil war going on. That’s why he has the women and children evacuated. Apparently his general, Bartos now don’t see eye to eye with him and hence this war. Danchou and Kakka impersonate as maids to serve Bartos but he only wants Kakka! Danchou may leave. Don’t tell me this guy is shotacon… Anyway, Bartos abuses Kakka and believes women have no equal rights to men, the reason why this war started. It’s heart breaking to see Kakka’s bruised like that! Oh sh*t! When Bartos’ men attack, Christopher has the Arthur hunters escape. In the end, he loses his life. This might sound things will be easier since they will just need to defeat Bartos and destroy his Excalibur. But a message from Renkin saying that there is no Excalibur here. The counter was experiencing some difficulties and is now fixed. The real Excaliburs are somewhere else and is being handled by the rest. Real history of Florian is happening. Christopher dies, Anthony dies and Bartos takes over ruling the city. Kakka is infuriated because he will not sit by and let this cruelty happen. Only to be slapped by Danchou and reminded their true mission is to correct history and not distort them further. If he insists, he can leave the team. And so Kakka disobeys and goes to help Anthony’s side launch an attack. Kakka faces off with Bartos and tells him to surrender. But Bartos dares him to kill him. Since Kakka couldn’t he gets mocked that he is really a pussy, a woman in disguise. The Arthur hunters leave dejectedly. However Pharsalia is not pleased with this outcome. Whatever history she thinks is right will be that history. So she kills Bartos and decimates his entire castle! This allows Anthony and his men to declare victory.

Episode 9
Kakka is still affected from the last time that he almost got owned in battle. Meanwhile a group of previously defeated Arthurs, band together as Revengers to seek revenge on Arthur hunters. This time they have a mercenary on their side, Youhei who is part of Touzoku’s group. With another Arthur anomaly detected, Kakka rushes there to prove himself. Tekken follows him and they find a large Excalibur graveyard. Before them is Revengers. However they are not those Arthurs they defeated but rather their twin! Note the subtle difference! You see, after their twins got defeated, they turned over a new leaf and contributed greatly to society. Hence they are jealous that in comparison, their lives now suck! WTF?! As they fight, Kakka gets careless. Not only his Excalibur is stolen but Brigitte gets injured protecting him. Tekken forces them to retreat for now. With Kakka wallowing in depression, Tekken goes off to fight Revengers himself. Of course with Brigitte waking and Kakka making amends, time to get down to business. Tekken goes straight to face Leicester. However he has a device that would allow him to use and combine multiple Excaliburs. At this point, Youhei joins Tekken to take him down but they’re no match. Kakka returns to fight but is still no match. Can Brigitte protect Kakka in her weakened state? And this part where they stare at each other, suddenly something activates. So is this what Fairy Combine is all about? Yup, the duo transformed into a more powerful being. Uhm, don’t their character design look evil? Anyway, they are powerful enough to take down Leicester. In the aftermath, Youhei explains he was just using them as bait and waiting for a chance. When Touzoku stole blueprints of that device, they didn’t know where it was being hidden. Hence he had to wait for the chance when the device is being used to take action. Tekken wants a rematch with him but Youhei is not in the mood. Maybe some other time.

Episode 10
While everyone celebrates Kakka and Brigitte’s Fairy Combine, Renkin gets desperate and technical. So she wants to know the temperature and the atmosphere too? The rest try to calm her down but she views it as no one taking her seriously. As she decides to leave to do more research, a butler greets her because he is here to pick her up for his master, Andy. Apparently when Andy was ambushed by bandits, Renkin came to her rescue. Oh dear. Is he a lolicon? Because he now wants her to accept his proposal! Her Arthur comrades throw caution and that she should do some research on this guy first before committing. Unfortunately she finds their nagging a bit too much and decides to go to Andy. Yeah, this guy now wants to marry her! Lolicon alert! But then the bandits show up for revenge. Renkin will go fight them. However Touzoku cuts in and tells the truth that Andy has been stealing a lot from these people and that they are the real victims. Renkin is shocked but she still wants to confirm and talks to Andy about this. He then shows off his wives and claims they are here because they want to. Of course the real culprit is the butler whose ring is an Excalibur who can control others. WTF his weird satisfaction comes from watching Andy cleaning the ears of his wives?! Renkin tries to attack the butler but he uses the wives as a wall. Naturally Renkin pulls back and gets hypnotized. She is ordered to attack Bodach. Luckily Danchou and Tekken are here to help. Renkin and Bodach bump heads and this somewhat restores Renkin’s sanity. The rest head in to fight the butler as Renkin realizes her foolishness just so that she can be useful. When the others get hypnotized, Renkin faces Bodach once more. Touzoku easily snaps Danchou and Tekken out. Renkin is about to be sucked into Bodach’s coffin and realizes Bodach is not completely hypnotized because she is crying. Though she breaks her spell, both get sucked into the coffin. In this weird dimension, some weird bonding and then voila! Fairy Combine! Renkin now kicks ass. Although the butler buffs up like the Hulk, still no match for levelled up Renkin. With his Excalibur broken, now it’s his turn to pay from the angry men and wives. Our Arthurs now celebrate Renkin and Bodach’s Fairy Combine.

Episode 11
Because an Excalibur is detected in the gambling city of Loss Vegas (yes, you lose!), I guess kids and ‘uncontrolled adults’ are not allowed so it’s a job for Rurou and Yamaneko. Bethor’s plan has them dressed up as a rich newlywed couple so they could smoke out the Arthur who might be using the Excalibur to cheat and win big. But with stunning Rurou and Yamaneko seemingly close together (because they had to look the part), Bethor feels jealous. That is confirmed when the crowd pushes Rurou and he accidentally kisses Yamaneko’s forehead! Oh dear, is that Danchou here too? She’s on a losing streak. Then in the VIP room where the big money is, Bethor is not allowed because of her dress. So she scores in all the games to win big to buy herself a dress to go up against Rurou in this poker game. What gives? Rurou doesn’t understand why but eventually folds when Bethor bets all and wins. The real Arthur is the casino’s owner and he knows the Arthur hunters and will take action. Rurou confronts Bethor about that stint but she’s not going to say it straight to his face, right? When a woman says she’s not upset, you bet she’s upset. When penniless Danchou seeks money from them, it is a trap as they got captured. The owner wants them to return all his money and threaten to kill Danchou who is now reduced to a scumbag, trying to sell her cosplay outfits for money! If not, he’ll kill Bethor too. The duo manage to break free as they run amok to find and rescue their fairies. Yamaneko explains about Bethor’s jealousy and understands why she did so. The owner turns his casino into some flying fortress. When the fairies are rescued, Rurou apologizes to Bethor for not knowing her feelings. Maybe he did but didn’t want to acknowledge them. Then Rurou protects her from a bullet. Yamaneko gets mad and pumps her bazooka into the fortress. This allows her to Fairy Combine with Coupy to do more devastating damage. Sad Bethor’s tear drops on Rurou and you bet another Fairy Combine is happening. Just in time because the owner is escaping in his pod and is taken down with his fortress. Happy ending for our Arthur hunters. Except for Danchou. Seeing the bag of money, she tries to grab it but falls into the abyss. Some things never change…

Episode 12
Danchou fears everyone will mock her for not being able to Fairy Combine. I think it’s because she’s showing such a tantrum that they naturally have to… I mean, it’s a fact, right?! So I guess the counter showing Excalibur anomalies at different places would be the right time for those who can’t Fairy Combine to uhm, try and Fairy Combine? Good luck. After Danchou and Tekken defeat a few Arthurs, Pharsalia drops by to visit. Don’t worry, she’s not going to attack them but warns them that having too much power won’t make anybody happy. With Danchou having deep thoughts about it, Tekken being Tekken doesn’t care with all that. Power is just power. All that matters is what you do with them. They receive word that the next town over is being attacked by invaders. You mean those giant black balls? Danchou flops and gets injured. Titania sure pick a fine time to feel worried about not being as talented as she claims, huh? And of course, Tekken being Tekken, he always believed in her and never felt she held him back. Just stay the way you are. Titania gets back in the groove and joins him destroying the invaders. Yup, time for them to Fairy Combine! Oh Danchou, looks like all the jokes are going to be on you and only you… Pharsalia watches this and realizes that this power is too dangerous for the world. Hence her twisted reasoning is that the reason she exists in this era is to stop those Arthur hunters. Yup, she is going to destroy them all now, only to be stopped by Youhei. He thinks she should give them some time to think and decide. If they return to the future, then the current era won’t be in danger, right? While the Arthur hunters aren’t happy with this suggestion, it is better than fighting her and dying right where they stand. That’s right. They have no chance to defeat her at all. Pharsalia gives them 7 days to think it over. She will do nothing if they return to the future. Otherwise, total annihilation.

Episode 13
The Arthur hunters are discussing whether to run or fight. However Danchou disbands the team because she wants to give them the freedom to choose. At this point they shouldn’t be surprised with her decision but yeah, they fear she might go it alone again. So we see the Arthurs and their fairies talk things out, some talking to their Arthur counterparts in Touzoku’s group. And Danchou getting desperate to Fairy Combine with Nuckelavee. Trying to put on her this skimpy bikini and make out?! Fortunately it didn’t happen. Unfortunately, Fairy Combine didn’t happen either. So on the final day, all the Arthur hunters return. I guess they’ve decided. Let’s fight this. Facing off with Pharsalia, the rest has Danchou stay out. Without Fairy Combine, she might just get in the way. True. Despite giving all they’ve got, it’s hardly a scratch on Pharsalia. Now it’s her turn. You’ve never seen true fear until now! I think this is just a fraction of what she can do with her power. Danchou butts in but even Pharsalia doesn’t think she is a threat. Since she is stubborn, I guess upgrade status to threatening. Touzoku interrupts because the invaders are having a full scale attack. This doesn’t concern Pharsalia. She will eliminate the Arthur hunters first. She will rewrite their legend. Danchou agrees because being alive is her legend and she will not let others decide it. At this point she looks so cool that Nuckelavee dons that skimpy bikini so as to Fairy Combine with her. Yeah, finally it worked. That’s not all the Fairy Combine goes. Danchou absorbs her comrades into a giant sword that deals a lot of damage to Pharsalia! But they don’t finish her off and go deal with the invaders. Are you sure? Even if Pharsalia fights them in the future, they will fight back again. Simple. If she deems Fairy Combine as the greatest threat because of its power, they’ll show her how it is also the greatest power to protect. Danchou, so cool! 3 days later… Pharsalia asking for a rematch! Give them a break, they just finished fending off the invaders. But then the counter goes crazy. Looks like all over Britain there are now 10 million Excaliburs! WTF???!!! Every item that everyone has is now an Excalibur?! They suspect Pharsalia did this but they have to deal with this first. Otherwise they can’t return to the future. Get going now!

Special
Yamaneko and Renkin have this feeling somebody is watching them. Of course everyone instantly suspects Danchou. Heck, she admits she wouldn’t stop at peeping and would rather get physical right now! Over the next few scenes, the girls continue to get molested and this time the guys got their crotch squeezed! Instantly, Danchou is suspected again. Interrogation time. Though she is let off, the rest continue to ignore her. With Danchou so broken, Nuckelavee pleads to the rest she is innocent. Yeah, it’s so pitiful that they declare her innocent. Until Yamaneko’s panties get stolen. Back to the interrogation room! Because they find panties all over her room and secret sexy stash of Yamaneko pictures, this time the court finds her guilty and thus she is stripped of her leadership and exiled. With the pervert no longer around, it is such peace and quiet. Until Renkin’s panties are stolen. OMG. Is the culprit one of them? What’s this? Renkin’s panties in Rurou’s pocket?! Guilty! Exiled! Everyone is shocked at Rurou being a lolicon. Of course Rurou knows he has been set up and needs to clear his name. He finds Danchou who is living like a vagabond and tells what happened. Outside their base, they detect an additional figure running around the house. Could it be a ghost because that figure is running up close to Nuckelavee but yet she sees nothing. Suddenly all the other Arthur hunters and their fairies are being tied up. The culprit reveals herself to be an invisible Arthur. She has infiltrated and did all those despicable acts so as to break their team apart. Now she is going to enjoy themselves as she molests them to hear their squeal. Yeah, taking pictures to boot. Not sure if this is part of the plan as Danchou and Rurou crash in to rescue. Uhm, are you sure you can fight the unseen enemy? Fighting fire with fire, Danchou strips and the invisible Arthur gets a nosebleed. Oh look, she just marked herself. She tries to escape but Danchou and Nuckelavee Fairy Combine to take her down. The Arthur sextets return to their daily lives with Yamaneko and Renkin apologizing to the wrongly accused. But Danchou is enjoying the confiscated treasures of the invisible Arthur and then she got busted by the rest. Don’t need any trial. Guilty! Death sentence!

Ah Turds, Are There Utterly Other Arthurs?
Oh well, for the sake of the future of Britain, better get used to searching and destroying all the Excaliburs. Having fun, are we? No wonder the sextet are a kooky bunch. Prolonged Excalibur hunter has turned them into a bunch of clowns and jokers, even more so led by a self-admitting pervert. If you don’t hurry up, Pharsalia might impose additional penalties on you. Yup, howzabout one billion Excaliburs more to exterminate! Just when the Arthur hunters have whittled down to just a single digit of Excaliburs left, our fun loving sadistic Pharsalia ramps up the challenge and adds more Excaliburs to be hunted. Yeah, I’d understand why they’d go crazy. Can you blame Danchou of wanting to let loose some steam and be a pervert? Uhm, maybe not. She’s already broken to begin with. Those secret sexy stash of Yamaneko better help… She’ll need all the help she can get. Oh God save Britain… God save us all!

Having a million Excaliburs, oh sorry, ten million Excaliburs, I suppose it is one of the way to make many of the episodes as standalone fillers and episodic. I mean, nobody is seriously going to keep count on how many Excaliburs our Arthur hunters have destroyed, right? So in each episode, it gets somewhat predictable and boring. Counter detects some anomaly somewhere in Britain. Not all our Arthurs go there and mostly it will be 1 or 2 because this serves as a chance to give them some limelight and flesh out their character development. A lot of weird and dumb things happen in between. The obligatory Arthur fight and action scenes. Excalibur destroyed. Insert joke or punch line to finish the episode. Yeah, that’s the flow of how most episodes go.

But I have to be fair too because not all of the episodes are pretty generic and formulaic. Some of them are really funny like that football spoof one. Boy, I can never stop laughing when petite Renkin gets blown away from the impact! Yeah, I can’t stop chuckling even thinking back about this. Some are touching like that episode on Rose. It was really a sad one and I wished it could have ended in a better way. Some left my head scratching like that Florian episode. I thought it would affect and change the course of history or something but from what I can see, it feels the same like other episodes. After it ends, it is mostly forgotten like though it has no effect at all. So it doesn’t really matter, huh? The same case for those Renkin’s magical girl apprentices. Whatever happened to them after that episode? Forgot about them too? But it doesn’t beat weird ones like that time Yamaneko lost her memories and became a nice girl. Yeah, that was a weird episode.

Besides, the plot of having just 6 Arthurs from the future to hunt down and destroy all the rogue Excaliburs feel like a flimsy plot so as to give us that lazily written standalone and filler-like episodes. Remember, we don’t keep count on how many Excaliburs they have destroyed. So in the event if there is a huge group of rogue Arthurs and their rogue Excaliburs descending on our Arthur hunters, we can just go all out with one big cheap action scene of knocking out those unimportant enemies. Then they can knock off some ‘big numbers’ like a thousand Excaliburs or ten thousand Excaliburs that they have destroyed. Wohoo! Achievement! There, shaved off a few Excaliburs there. Hey, might be still far away from reducing it to zero but we are now closer to our goal when we first started, right? And then somebody got the bright idea of increasing it to 10 million more… Oh well, if Pharsalia can’t destroy them, might as well be amused and see them run around taking down as many Excaliburs they can. Better work their ass off for the sake of her entertainment. Hey, better than being destroyed, right?

Also, something that doesn’t make sense is that the rogue Excaliburs are only confined to Britain. So I am assuming other parts of the world is relatively safe from this Excalibur threat? It also makes no sense that the Excalibur threat pops up one by one as detected by the counter. I know, plot convenience. I mean, Britain isn’t really that big of an isle, right? It’s not like the size of Russia, right? And sure, Britain has a population of around 66 million people so having a million Excaliburs and then 10 million of them seems justified. Can’t the future send more Arthur hunters to deal with this? You’re telling me that in the future there are no qualified Arthur hunters than just the 6 of them? Boy, no wonder we don’t want to do some divisions and realize how many Excaliburs an Arthur hunter has to deal with individually. That will be 1,666,666.667 Excaliburs per Arthur to be precise, thank you please. Yeah, and everyone who wields a rogue Arthurs must be so dumb to think they’ve got the power to do whatever they want. No wonder they don’t last. Yeah, thank plot convenience again…

With so many distortions in the past, you wonder if the future of Britain will be the same. People’s lives are changed the moment they come into contact with the Excaliburs. So as long as they destroy it, it’s like the outcome in the future will be the same? I don’t get that logic. I don’t want to open Pandora’s Box by thinking about some time paradox thingy but I am sure that what the Arthur sextet are doing is correct and the past didn’t change at all because otherwise they would cease to exist. So I believe whatever tragedy happened still happened. Sad… And I hope they won’t give this lazy and lame excuse of a way out that Pharsalia rewrote the legends… Please don’t…

As for the characters, I can’t say that I am impressed with the main sextet. Sure, we had 2 dozen of episodes to flesh them out but sometimes I feel that they are poorly written and rushed. For instance, today’s episode we will have this Arthur hunter in focus. Some weird setting for the episode to serve as the plot too. After a few episodes, you can guess their primarily personality. Like Tekken who is has more muscles in his brain and prefers to jump in first. Yup, punch first, ask questions later. Then there is the prideful His Excellency Kakka who uses magic, the handsome wanderer Rurou, the stoic mountain cat AKA Yamaneko and the intellectual Red Riding Hood AKA Renkin who seems to be concerned about her small stature especially if being treated as a kid. It is too bad that we don’t know much about these Arthurs whose past ironically lies in the future. What drove them to become Arthurs and take on this mission? Unfortunately this series doesn’t delve much into that.

Of course the biggest ‘loser’ is no other than Danchou who can be described in just a word: Pervert. Yup, it’s basically funny because she’s female. Had she been a guy, this would be creepy as f*ck. So Danchou is basically the one who makes this series ‘funny’ because of her perverted antics and fetish. I know, we’re supposed to cringe rather than laugh. Hence she becomes the punch line when this backfires on her because she deserves it anyway. Her comrades don’t think much of her in high regards and it’s not surprising. They put up with her because she is their leader (mostly in name) and that she is amusing. I know they didn’t say that last bit but I’m guessing that if she was a strict and serious leader, the group would have been super boring. This series wouldn’t have been nowhere near a comedy and this would really suck. So with Danchou being an idiot because in some major animes where the team leader is always that my pace idiot, yeah, this group doesn’t feel as boring as it should. So be thankful for Danchou! Never change, Danchou. Never change. Of course there are times where she says the coolest and the most leader-like things but that is far and few in between her stupid and perverted exploits. I believe one of her life goals is to get lesbian with Yamaneko… That wild cat better maintain her distance and ignore her if she knows what’s good for her even though in the end, Yamaneko’s like more tolerant of her. Don’t ever let your guard down once around this pervert.

You know what they say about a leopard never changes its spots. This means despite all of Danchou’s promise to change, she’ll never keep her word and will be back to her usual perversion in no time. It’s a wonder that the group can still be cohesive and the irony of always suspecting her when perverted stuffs happened, they still let her hang around them. Yeah, I know the childish tantrums are one thing. You sure Danchou isn’t some rogue Arthur too? I can imagine if this is the trust level of the Arthur hunters, man, infiltrating and trying to break up and bring them down would be easy. We have seen that happened a few times. And then they get back together again. And then on the verge of breaking up again. Man, their trust is so fragile and fickle… Even when Rurou was accused as a lolicon, sure there were circumstantial evidence but you guys have been so long with each other that you should know better than to suddenly throw your trust out the window. Danchou is one case but Rurou? I suppose a group without a leader can’t get anywhere. That’s why the role of a leader is so important. You hear that, Danchou?! Ah forget it. I’m wasting my time talking to a pervert who just wants to get inside of Yamaneko.

I don’t even know what the fairy companions they have are really for except for the fact that it is to serve that monumental plot of Fairy Combine. Because otherwise I see them mostly as useless and don’t really contribute much. They’re just there by their Arthurs’ side, maybe give a little advice or something but nothing really that makes you feel like they should be a pair. The closest came in the form Bethor when she got jealous that Rurou looked close to Yamaneko. But still, the Fairy Combine episodes look somewhat rushed too seeing that they needed some reason and catalyst to power up our Arthur hunters. After all the times that they have gone through, you mean this flimsy setting and scene that looked just like any other moments that they have gone through before, becomes the means for them to do Fairy Combine? Whatever. I’m done.

Since this series is based on a game by Square Enix of the Million Arthur franchise, I subsequently discovered that there are many different other Arthurs depending on which game you play. Hence other Arthur characters like Utahime, Touzoku and Youhei come from the other titles of the game. Hence they are like making cameos here and it is unsure what their mission is. But I doubt it is helping our Arthur hunters in destroying the Excaliburs. Because otherwise they would have joined forces and it would ease some of the burden our Arthur hunters are facing. But for now, they have a totally different mission and I’m assuming there is something more than meets the eye. Different Arthur units with different missions, that would be interesting. Well, if they do make other spinoffs of this series then maybe it would be worth to check out.

Pharsalia seems like the antagonist of the series but it is hard to tell whether she is friend or foe. As long as you are amusing and not a threat to the world, I guess she will put on her cutie smile and looks. She claims she is some legendary fairy who rewrites legends. But I guess that doesn’t mean that she is God because for the simplest reason she failed to tackle our Arthur hunters, even more so after all of them make their Fairy Combine and then the ultimate Fairy Combine v2, it is safe to say that she isn’t legendary after all. Oh sh*t, I hope she won’t kill me off because I just ruined her legend.

I thought this was going to be an action genre series since we’re going to have Arthurs destroying Excaliburs. Well, the action sequences are just passable. It feels like it is something obligatory so that we could see something get smashed or the likes. I mean, that is the purpose of our Arthur hunters too, right? Nobody is going to gladly surrender their Excalibur peacefully. So watching the Arthur hunters in action sometimes feel like watching a low quality action series. They just do what they have to do with their limited power and thanks to the plot convenience, we all know it is going to end well. After all, Tekken only uses punches, Kakka his magic, Rurou shoots his twin pistols, Yamaneko her bazooka and Renkin her giant hammer. What else more of a variety can you expect from that? Don’t even get me started on Danchou using her sword. I feel that is only there for accessory… And if they are overwhelmed by countless enemies, it makes it all easier for the action scene to be sloppy. After all, that is the disadvantage when you have such huge numbers. You have to be careful not to hit your own comrades unless you’re the kind who doesn’t give a f*ck about others. And thus the big numbers make it easy for our Arthur hunters to rain their offensive power on them as they are such easy targets. And you think Fairy Combine has them wielding better firepower? Nah. Just looks like they have much flashier effects!

One of my favourite segments is at the end of each episode. No, not the part where they showcase one of the staff’s cute pets at home, but rather the very silly comical skits. If you have watched the very nonsensical Ai Mai Mi, you know what I’m talking about. Yup, the characters and animation are even drawn to the crazy chibi style of Ai Mai Mi. In this segment, everything goes. That is the best way to summarize all the stupid nonsense that happens here. Throw logic out of the window because for the last 2 minutes of every episode, you will be fed with so much nonsense that your brain won’t be fast enough to process whether it is funny or cringe worthy. Even if I don’t get it, I still laugh my ass off! And the best part of it all? That manjuu club song at the end!!! So epic to sing along! That nonsensical Dainagon Is Dead rock piece isn’t so bad too but nothing beats the manjuu song. We are omanjuu club!!! Oh yeah! Now it makes me wish we have another season of Ai Mai Mi…

Art and animation are pretty standard but I do notice that there are some scenes that are low and poor in quality. Sometimes it comes off as a bit cartoonish. Of course some of the character designs are weirdest especially the fairies. They looked more like oversized cosplay maniacs. Especially Bethor. She’s literally wearing a swimsuit. School mizugi for heaven’s sakes! Sure, she wears a jacket over it but a swimsuit is basically her official uniform. I don’t think this is Rurou’s fetish but I could be wrong… The other fairies are like Nuckelavee who is some sailor wannabe as she has 2 lifebuoys by her side. Bodach looks some gothic fashion, Coupy a fallen angel, Brigitte some race queen wannabe and Titania probably looking closest to what a fairy but comes off as human butterfly. And the designs of Fairy Combine at first I thought they look badass but the more I look at it, the more they seem weird. Just slap some wings and accessories and voila! Your Fairy Combine form! This anime is done by J.C. Staff and I can say this is not one of their best quality anime considering they did One Punch Man, Shokugeki No Souma, DanMachi, Bakuman, the Index and Railgun series to name a few.

For the voice acting, I recognized a few seiyuus lending their talents here. Notably, Ayana Taketatsu as Yamaneko, Yuuichi Nakamura as Rurou, Tetsuya Kakihara as Tekken (why does he remind me of Fairy Tail’s Natsu but without the fire firepower?), Natsuki Hanae as Kakka, Nao Touyama as Coupy and Ayane Sakura as Touzoku. The other casts are Sora Amamiya as Danchou (Aqua in KonoSuba – now you know why the idiocy is so familiar), Inori Minase as Renkin (Hestia in DanMachi), Himika Akaneya as Nuckelavee (Yatsumura in Mahou Shoujo Site), Rie Takahashi as Titania (Megumin in KonoSuba), Rina Hidaka as Bethor (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Suzuko Mimori as Bodach (Umi in Love Live), Yuu Serizawa as Brigitte (Iroha in 3D Kanojo Real Girl), Ai Kayano as Pharsalia (Darkness in KonoSuba), Atsushi Abe as Youhei (Kokonotsu in Dagashi Kashi), Maaya Uchida as Utahime (Kaguya Date A Live).

The first season’s opening theme is Highlight by Ayaka Ohashi. Typical lively anime pop that suits the pacing and genre of this series. Quite okay if you hear it once in a while. The first season’s ending theme is Ki-te Mi-te Hit Parade sung by the fairy sextet. Feels like a weird song. Not sure if this is supposed to be a dance piece and it sounds like your typical idol pop music. Making it even weirder is the animation of the fairies rolling over the LP record. Is this record broken? Not going to be a hit anyway… The second opening theme sounds slightly better. Open The Worlds by Oresama has a very catchy finger drilling piano play although the overall song is just okay. Time to ramp up the sinfulness of sin city because the second season’s ending theme, Pearly x Party also by the fairy sextet has this disco feel and its animation revolves mainly around the casino and gambling. I guess I’m out of luck. The series also has other insert songs and special ending themes and the one I prefer the most is Utahime’s Ito Utsukushiki Hikari No Naka De, the special ending for the first season’s episode 9.

Overall, this is actually a mediocre anime series if you look at it in all aspects. The story is a big fail with a flimsy setting to begin with. The characters are also a big fail because at the end of the day you don’t feel like putting your support behind them. All thanks to pervy Danchou ruining it all despite her comrades are decent but even so they are still terrible. Action pieces are just standard and nothing to shout about. They’re supposed to entertain but it felt more obligatory than anything. And the biggest fail is that this is supposed to be comedy and the funny moments usually comes off as cringe and mostly are derived from Danchou’s perversion. You’ve got to be a kindergarten kid to find her shamelessness as funny. But thanks for the fanservice anyway. Not. The only comedy that saved the day was Ai Mai Mi’s spoof. But that couldn’t do much to save this series that was doomed from the start. Not because of the threats of rogue Excaliburs. Sometimes you think it is the Arthur hunters’ Excaliburs that could be the cursed ones and this crappy legend wouldn’t have arisen had this series not being made. Did I tell you there was live action TV show of this back in 2014 although it used an entirely different cast of Arthurs?! Yikes! I saw the surreal promo poster and was instantly put off. Sighs. Forget this series being just the level of a myth, fiction or fable. This is just crap. I guess some legends were never meant to be.

Finally. After being trolled by that side story that wasn’t actually the second season, the real season 2 is now here. Heh. Four years later. Thank fully, this is Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru Darou Ka S2 for real. Yes. Not some side story of the perspective from another character. Thank goodness. Now we can move on and get the story going. So will Bell be able to pick up more chicks in the dungeon? Isn’t that what the title is all about? No? Okay. Whatever.

Episode 0
Don’t worry if you have entirely forgotten what this series is about. This special recap episode has Bell and Hestia narrating all you need to know, the important points and happenings of the first season with recycled scenes to go with that. Yeah. Sorry guys, still don’t remember. And I’m too lazy to go rewatch the series again or even read my blog.

Episode 1
We see Bell’s party finishing up yet another successful dungeon raid. But as they celebrate at the bar, some guys from Apollo Familia start mocking Bell. Normally Bell would ignore them. Until they badmouth Hestia. That’s it. Fist fight! Who wants a piece of me?! Bell and Welf are doing fine until Hyakinthos joins in and beats the crap out of them! He would’ve gone further had not Bete tell them to scram as they’re making his drink taste bad. So as Hestia treats Bell, she didn’t like how he got into trouble but appreciates how he stood up for her. Soon Daphne and Cassandra from Apollo Familia hand him a letter. It is from Apollo and he is inviting people to his party. So we see all the characters dress up fancily for this ball. Freya makes her entrance and Hestia tries to cover Bell’s eyes. With Hestia b*tching about every guy falling for Freya if they gaze into her eyes, Freya backs down. Maybe next time. But then there’s this childish rivalry going on between Hestia and Loki. Because Bell and Aiz are too shy with each other, Hermes intervenes. He trolls Bell by asking Aiz to dance with him. Then he backs out and lets Bell dance in his place. Just follow how the others are doing and you won’t go wrong. They sure make a cute couple dancing together. If only stupid Hestia and Loki can stop bickering and b*tching about this ‘betrayal’! Nice time comes to an end with Apollo making his announcement. He then confronts Hestia about her Familia causing some scene and wants compensation. You know he is a douche when he sets up his own men as witness and fake injuries. Knowing Hestia refuses to admit to this ‘guilt’, he hereby challenges her to a War Game whereby if Apollo wins, he gets Bell.

Episode 2
Realizing this is Apollo’s target all along, Hestia sees no reason to participate in this and leaves. Of course Apollo won’t let this be so next morning, he has his Familia attack Bell and Hestia’s place. Once Apollo sets his eyes on you, he won’t give up and will chase you till the ends of the earth to get you. And so the entire Orario is now a giant ‘playground’ for Apollo Familia to hunt Hestia Familia until Bell joins them or dies. Bell fights again with Hyakinthos and the latter complains how much he envies Bell and as much as he dislikes this, he will obey Apollo’s wishes to join his Familiar. But an ally sniper helps keep Hyakinthos at bay so Bell and Hestia could run and head towards the guild. Speaking of which, the guild can’t do anything because the only penalty is a hefty fine and Apollo Familia is willing to pay any high price. Bell’s allies like Takemikazuchi help fight other ruffians. Welf and Lily also help stave off the enemies but Lili is shocked to see her former captain of Souma Familia, Zanis Lustra. Shockingly, she abandons supporting Welf and claims she has to return to Souma Familia. Hiding, Hestia tells Bell their options: They fight a losing battle or they leave Oratoria and hope Apollo will give up on them. Of course she will follow him wherever he goes and this is supposed to be a cue for her to signal him to confess he loves her. Unfortunately he goes as far as to say he respects her. Disappointing? Yeah, enemies found them and she isn’t impressed of the interruption of this most crucial moment. Hence she now has Bell head to Apollo’s base. She agrees to his challenge in a War Game. Later, Welf reports about Lily’s case. Bell wants to go rescue her but Hestia reminds him of the important thing he must do now. So Bell heads over to Loki’s place to seek Aiz’s help to train him to become stronger.

Episode 3
Lily begs to Souma to allow her to leave. However Zanis threatens her about the price to pay in which she definitely can’t afford. Lily is imprisoned as Zanis reveals his true nature in getting her back. He wants her rare transformation ability to net him a handsome profit. In exchange for this, he will leave Hestia Familia alone. Hestia is relaying her plans to rescue Lily to Welf and other allies of Takemikazuchi Familia. Do they have time for this when War Game is so close? Because Bell recognizes the importance of allies, he recognizes their strength and knows how weak when one is alone. Even if War Game forbids help from outside other Familia, this is an important supporting factor for Bell. Hestia then attends a meeting among the gods with Apollo to decide the rules. Based on the lottery, the War Game will be siege. A bad outcome for Hestia since that game needs numbers. Apollo gives her the honour of attacking since one can’t simply defend with a single person. Apollo strikes down Hermes’ suggestion for outside help since this looks unfair. Until Freya mentions about Apollo being scared of helpers. With the other gods agreeing, Apollo agrees to only a helper but must be outside Orario. Zanis sees Lily because it’s business time. However their base is being attacked by Hestia and her allies. Zanis and his men go deal with them. The jailor frees Lily as he hates arrogant Zanis. Lily sees Hestia fighting and can’t understand why she is doing this. Do you think Bell will abandon her? Because now Bell needs her. So Lily goes to beg to Souma to stop the fighting. However he views her words as empty and lest she can say the same thing after drinking his divine wine, he’ll listen. She does so and goes into seventh heaven. Until Bell’s face pops up. She fights against the temptation to repeat her pleas. With that, Souma orders his Familia to stop fighting. This shocks Zanis because Souma never did anything. Anything. So now he wants to kill Lily? Not if Welf could help knock him out. Lily has one more request of Souma. That is, to leave his Familia and join Hestia. But it’s not only Lily who will be doing that. Welf and Mikoto plead to their respective gods to leave their current Familia and join Hestia. Hermes seems to be trying to convince Ryuu as that helper. Meanwhile Bell continues to be owned by Aiz and Tiona. Getting any stronger?

Episode 4
Bell returns in time to get the War Game started with his ‘extended’ Familia. Cassandra warns Daphne about her weird premonition she dreamt of Hestia Familia won but is dismissed because nobody thinks the odds are stacked against them. The War Games begin with Ryuu attacking the castle walls with her magic swords. Hyakinthos orders half his men to go out and take her out. Even if her magic swords get destroyed, her hand to hand combat is still superior. Mikoto gets into via the wall crack to hold off other men. But this is where the tables turn. It seems one of Apollo’s men turn traitor to open the main gate to let Bell and Welf in. This is actually Lily in disguise and the real person was kidnapped the day before and Lily managed to slip in the last minute before the War Game started as the Trojan horse. Welf keeps Daphne busy so Bell could go face Hyakinthos directly. Nothing like a little firebolt to shock everybody and make your grand entrance, huh? Daphne and Lily try to aid and save their respective leaders. Until Bell takes a near fatal blow from Hyakinthos’ homing blast. Because he still survives, Hyakinthos gets mad and is going to kill him. But this is all just a ploy as Bell is utilizing what Aiz told him about people getting predictable when they let their guard down. Bell is able to predict his moves, dodges and then slugs him one in the face to knock him out! OMG! One punch man?! With that, Hestia Familia wins! An upset! I bet all those who betted on Apollo Familia lost big. Hestia having the last laugh now executes her demands: All his property confiscated, his Familia disbanded and Apollo himself is eternally banned from Orario. This means Hestia Familia now use Apollo’s mansion as their base. Hestia draws their Familia’s emblem. Hmm… They say it is a mix of flame and a bell but I just see some lousy doodle… Or ink blot…

Episode 5
Lily says her final goodbye to Souma. Hestia Familia celebrates back at their newly and extensively renovated mansion to congratulate Bell in reaching level 3. Oh, everyone agrees he should also be their leader. Toast to a new Hestia Familia! Thanks to their victory in the War Game, their reputation has soared. This means lots of people want to join Hestia Familia! Lots of them! All mostly come from outside Orario. Everyone is sure agreeing to the hype Hestia is saying. And Lily making a list of people who can’t join. Hmm… Sexy pretty women… Loli characters that overlap hers… Suddenly Mikoto finds a strange letter. What’s this? Hestia Familia with 200 million valis debt?! And suddenly there were none. Not so hyped to join Hestia Familia now, eh? This letter has the signature of Hestia and Hephaistos. Remember that special knife she gave him? Yup. That’s how much it costs! Bell is so shocked at the price of the knife he has been using to slash, that he faints!!! Apparently Hestia forgot all about it but I guess sorry is a little too late. They have no money left from Apollo’s estate as it is mostly used for the renovation. More dungeon raiding to pay it off? Hestia doesn’t want to drag her family into this and will pay off the debts herself. Can she? 200 million sounds quite a lot… Once Bell wakes up, nothing like a talk in a warm nice bath with Welf to set things straight. Basically, lots of thanking and gratitude towards Hestia. Eavesdropping goddess so touched she wants to climb over to him right now?! And with that, Hestia vows to pay it off no matter how long it takes but hopes her family can help her out. While they are celebrating, Chigusa comes to see Mikoto. From the looks of it, bad news?

Episode 6
Mikoto sneaks out of the mansion. Bell, Welf and Lily tail her. They see her meet up with Chigusa as they enter the red light district?! I wonder if Bell is going to be traumatized with all the sexy women gunning for this cute innocent boy. Don’t worry. Lily the ‘protector’ will keep them at bay. When Mikoto is eventually busted, she reveals that she is here to look for a friend. Rumours has it that she who is born of a noble is working here and they want to see if this is true. Speaking of Bell, they realize he is no longer around. Swept away by the bevy of beauties, huh? He stumbles into Hermes who gives him some aphrodisiac to keep this a secret. Then he stumbles into Aisha Belka and her Amazon women who think they’ve scored big with this boy. He’s that War Game winner, right? They take him back to their home in which Bell realizes they are from Ishtar Familia. Before they could get their way with him, Ishtar Familia’s commander, Phryne Jamil wants to steal him. You mean this big ugly toad thinks she is helluva beautiful and that men can’t satisfy her?! I can see why so many men were ruined… To settle this, the Amazon chicks play a game of tag. Whoever gets Bell first, keeps him! Man, Bell must excel in running away. His chastity depends on it! Yeah, the word has now spread throughout the entire Ishtar Familia. He ends up in the quarters of a fox girl, Haruhime Sanjono. I guess both are newbies. So much so she passes out just by seeing his collarbone? She’s got a lot to learn as a prostitute… Later she learns the mix up and apologizes. They talk about themselves especially Haruhime who angered her father and was kicked out of her family and sold here as a slave. They both click well as they love reading adventure stories. It’s time for Bell to go so she leads him out through a safe passage. She laments her fate to be stuck here and no men will save her. Oh yeah. You know Bell’s next course of action… Meanwhile Hermes sees Ishtar to exchange some shady stuff. No men could resist her charms so after great sex, he spills all the beans. Including Bell. Hence she is now interested to steal him if he is the key to that woman’s weakness.

Episode 7
Boy, Hestia is not happy Bell went to the red light distract. That aphrodisiac isn’t making anything better. But she believes him he didn’t do anything weird. However she still doesn’t like the fact he went there and sends her Familia to clean the neighbourhood. Later Mikoto learns from Bell that he actually met Haruhime who is that noble she is looking for. But Lily warns them they can’t go save another person. Not just after their War Game. It is not right to put their own Familia in danger. Later Bell talks to Eina. She too freaks out learning where he went. He is here to learn about the Ishtar Familia. However it has records of its strong members and none about Haruhime. Eina then warns him that many years ago, many Familia accused Ishtar Familia of under reporting their actual strength. The Guild launch an investigation but found nothing. After that, Ishtar went after those who accused her and their Familia ended up destroyed. Furthermore, the Guild had to pay a fine as Ishtar claimed they exposed lots of her private detail. Mikoto tries to talk to Haruhime but the latter claims she doesn’t know her. She talks to Bell about this and cue for her childhood days with her. As a noble, she was always locked up in her home so Mikoto and co used to sneak her outside. After they left for Orario, they heard rumours she was tricked and sold off as a slave. As she is suffering now, that’s why she wants to save her. You bet Bell shares the same sentiments too. Coincidentally Hermes is here and they talk about this. Although they can’t risk a war between Familia, Haruhime being a prostitute makes things easier because she can be bought. As she is a non-combatant, she won’t be expensive. Hermes wants to know more details so he could speak to Ishtar about this. But the moment he learns Haruhime is a renard, he lets them in on a secret. That night he was delivering a Killing Stone to Ishtar. Speaking of her, Ishtar plans to kidnap Bell and turn him her slave so as to see Freya’s reaction. After the Killing Stone ritual, they will start a war with Freya. Right now they must kidnap Bell but not attract the public’s attention nor must Freya Familia find out about this. So as Bell and co fight monsters to earn money, Ishtar Familia use this dungeon raiding as a guise to kidnap Bell. Aisha attacks Bell the moment they come into contact.

Episode 8
Although Mikoto assists Bell, Aisha and her Amazon reinforcements are too strong for them to handle. Though captured, unfortunately Phyrne steals Bell for herself. This has Aisha and the rest initiate a huge search. You bet Bell is going to be traumatized if Phyrne starts eating him. Is it no wonder why he doesn’t have a boner? Let’s say Phryne will come back with something stronger than Viagra. Luckily Haruhime knows of this place and frees him. Bell is so happy that he can’t stop hugging her. Can we save this later before the fat toad comes back? As she leads him out, Bell tells of his Familia’s intention to buy her. But she doesn’t look relieved as she has already made her peace with what’s going to happen. Uhm, you want to walk faster too? Because Phyrne could catch up any time. Hestia and Takemikazuchi are brainstorming why their Familia were ambushed. Until Hestia mentions something about Bell telling her about Killing Stone, Takemikazuchi fears the worst. So this ritual is supposed to seal the soul of a renard? Even with a small fragment of the stone, it gives you the power known as youjutsu. Once the ritual is done, the stone is smashed into pieces. Yup, an irreversible ritual. Coincidentally, after Haruhime freed Mikoto, the latter snuck around and found a library containing contents of what the Killing Stone ritual is. The moment Bell and Haruhime emerge out on the streets, Mikoto angrily confronts Haruhime for she intends to be a sacrifice. Aisha then snatches Haruhime. She reveals Ishtar’s Familia to start a war with Freya Familia. Bell should have noticed their skirmish in the dungeon was because of the power of youjutsu. They have no qualms sacrificing Haruhime as her death was long ago decided. When Bell reprimands their actions, Aisha must have had time to tell some flashback story of herself. Eventually, it is how Ishtar Familia works and she cannot disobey her goddess. Then she throws back a question to Bell. Why does he not move to save Haruhime? Is he worried about dragging his Familiar into a war? She is disappointed he isn’t the man she envisioned him to be. In that case she cannot let him have Haruhime. With other Amazon reinforcements here, Mikoto is forced to take a stunned and depressed Bell by his hand and run. Is he really living up to Aisha’s criticism?

Episode 9
Oh Bell, you’re going to be depressed and think long and hard about this? Guess not. Because he decides to go save Haruhime even if it means making Ishtar Familia enemies. The plan isn’t just to save Haruhime because if that fails, they need a way to destroy the Killing Stone ritual. Bell makes his offensive attack. Damn, his firebolt so powerful the Amazons can’t do anything. Then he has to face off with the ugly toad and Aisha but Ishtar wants them to leave this boy to him and to prepare the ritual. Ishtar reveals her plans to take down Freya Familia. So it’s all about jealousy because the men consider Freya more beautiful than her? She is going to f*ck Bell and shut him up but apparently this guy can resist her charms. Looking at his stats, he has some spell that crystalizes emotions. This means he is immune to divine charms. While Ishtar is left in shock and possibly insulted, Bell got away. You’d think that Haruhime as an important factor for the ritual, she should have more than 2 guards guarding her. ONLY 2 FREAKING GUARDS. No wonder Mikoto easily dispatches them so we can have some argument why Haruhime doesn’t want to be saved. She thinks she doesn’t have the right to be saved with this tainted body. Even if there are those who are okay, she is not. Not when she knows it puts Bell well in danger. Then reinforcements come and Mikoto gets ‘defeated’. But she comes back in time just after they set everything up for the ritual. However she becomes a punching bag to Samira. Just before defeat, she plays dirty. It looks like she is clinging herself onto Samira and chanting a self-destruct spell. This panics her as she tries to get her off. Don’t worry, nobody died in this light purification magic. Just that Mikoto bows out and it’s cue for Bell to take over. Fast enough, he destroys the sword that would supposedly kill and seal Haruhime.

Episode 10
Ishtar is shocked that her domain is in flames. Well, Freya Familia is attacking. At the same time, Hestia and Takemikazuchi Familiar head in to rescue their comrades. Despite the ritual over, Haruhime still thinks she is not worthy of Bell because of her status as prostitute. That kind of status only taints the hero. But you know, Bell doesn’t care about that. He doesn’t want her to think she is worthless. He hasn’t heard her truth yet. Mad Phryne wants Haruhime to boost her up so she could crush Bell. However she boosts Bell instead. Haruhime pleads for Bell to save her as she is tired of selling her body and doesn’t want to hurt others anymore. He is able to fight on par with the mad toad. I think too much jumping has the ground collapsing? Don’t worry, only Phryne fell through. Of course she survives but stumbles into Ottarl. She tries to attack him but he easily twists her hand. She tries to weasel her way out and offer her body. But she did the unthinkable by comparing herself to Freya. Ottarl becomes mad and smashes her!!! One flat dead toad coming up. Bell is now left to face Aisha. Does she want to see how much he has grown as a man? Eventually after all that hard hitting moves, Bell emerges victorious. Got to be his trademark firebolt to finish her. Ishtar tries to escape but here comes Freya. She’s here to talk. More accurately, say goodbye. Ishtar is cornered and frustrated that Freya’s beauty stands far above her despite being the same. Same? Freya thinks the difference is elegance. Ishtar’s jealousy is at her peak so Freya slaps her off the ledge. Can goddess die from that fall? Well apparently now she becomes a beam of light. As explained, this means she is summoned back to heaven and can never return to this lower world again. Gee, I wonder who wrote such rules. Haruhime is glad now she is free. More happy news when their Familia comes to pick them up. It seems everything is part of Hermes’ plan although he didn’t think it would go out of control like this. He believes in creating Bell as the last hero. Something that Zeus failed to achieve that Orario will accomplish.

Episode 11
Ares, the god and ruler of the Kingdom of Rakia is trying to attack Orario. However his soldiers are only ordinary men so they naturally lose to the monstrous might of the Orario adventurers. Aisha sees off Haruhime since she is now under Hestia Familia. Aisha and some of her other Amazon girls are going to Rakia seeing that there is war going on, some men might be in need of their service. Bell talks to Hermes who tells him about the Three Great Quests that the world wants to see from Orario. That old ancient tale involved the great Familia defeating ancient monsters. Behemoth and Leviathan were defeated by Zeus and Hera Familia but were wiped out. The final monster is the Black Dragon. Since this ‘story’ has yet to be completed, every adventurer in Orario has a right to be that hero. Things must be easy with Haruhime as the maid. Hestia gets the wrong idea that Bell is flirting with Haruhime, gets jealous and imposes a no contact rule. This causes Lily to argue with her. I guess the same rules don’t apply to a goddess, huh? So Hestia asks if some goddess declares her love for him, will he accept? He right away rejects because there is no way that would happen as they both come from different worlds. Obviously, Hestia becomes mad at baka Bell and runs away. Yeah, everybody agrees it is Bell’s fault this time. Time to go look for her. Meanwhile Ares tells his aide, Marius that he plans to kidnap a god from Orario to turn things around! Yes, this guy doesn’t think… Bell meets Miach and Hephaistos and tells of his problem. They admit that gods sometimes do fall in love with humans and sometimes in different forms too. The idea is to respect a god’s love. You can accept or reject it but do not fear it. Hestia is sulking and somehow ends up doing some potato delivery errand? As she heads outside Orario’s walls, Ares who just arrived, spots her and promptly kidnaps her! Bell sees a commotion and good thing Aiz is nearby. She fills him in about Hestia being kidnapped. The problem is the enemy split into many groups and they can’t tell which is carrying the real Hestia. Don’t worry, Hermes will have Asfi guide them. Bell follows Aiz until they catch up with Ares. That guy really thinks he can fight Aiz. His sword broke! Hestia manages to free herself but slips off the ravine. Bell dives down to save her. Aiz too. Is this what you call leap of faith? Yeah well, rapid rapids below.

Episode 12
Don’t worry. When you see Hestia waking up in bed, everybody’s safe and sound. Yeah, thank goodness for the small village nearby. I bet Hestia wants to stay this way a little longer because you know, Bell by her side… Since the village is preparing for the festival, Bell helps out too. There are Black Dragon scales everywhere that the villagers worship as an altar as it keeps monsters away from attacking. This prompts Bell to remember about the Three Great Quests as the villagers feel the irony that if the Black Dragon is defeated, their village will no longer be safe. When Bell returns, Karm the village elder talks to him. Showing him an emblem, he was once in a Familia and was in love with a goddess. She reciprocate his love but he failed to protect her. By saving him from monsters, she was killed and returned to heaven. Karm miraculously survived and has thoughts on following her but realized he must not waste the life she has given him. So his advice to him is to take care of his goddess. That night, the festival gets underway. Hestia even learning some legend of the dance to become lovers. Yeah Bell, wouldn’t you like to ask your goddess’ hand for the dance? And he did because he remembers what Hestia said about a goddess loving him and also Karm’s words. Festival somewhat ruined because Karm is dying. Hestia goes talk to him as he mentions about the goddess he loved, Brigid. Hestia knows her as they used to play a lot in heaven. Dying man fears both to see and not to see her and because he still has regrets, Hestia acts and plays as Brigid to make his passing easier. Later Bell talks to Hestia if Karm would ever see Brigid. Hard to say. She thinks Bell still believes humans and gods shouldn’t be together. He worries that humans will die before them. Like when his grandpa died, he cried so hard and it didn’t change anything. So he fears that same thing again. Hestia assures she will always be by his side no matter what. Even when Bell is gone, reincarnated or aeons has passed between them or even Bell is no longer Bell, she will still come to find him. Enough assurance for you, Bell? Damn, he’s already bawling like a baby. Next day after praying at Karm’s grave, the trio make their way back to Orario.

Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Prostitutes In A Red Light District?
Well people, looks like we don’t have to wait for another 4 years to get another season. Because there is a third season coming by mid of 2020. Good news, right? Yeah, this means there will be no time wasting in between the waiting years for another trolling side story. Phew. Glad we could just jump straight to a real sequel. Notwithstanding that final scene in the final episode whereby a new character was being ‘born’ in the dungeon (hence the catalyst for the next season), why does it feel like this final episode is just one big roundabout way to ascertain for sure about Bell and Hestia’s relationship? For the longest time their relationship has been in status quo. Bell just wanting to be with his goddess and Hestia trying to get naughty with him. With this mini experience, I’m sure they’ll take their relationship a little more seriously. I doubt it would be to a whole new level but better than the status quo than before. So love your goddess, eh? Ah well, can’t say the same for Aiz and Loki. See that girl avoid her goddess like the plague? Better quit Loki Familia and join Hestia Familia!

This season’s stories are rather okay. Sometimes I feel it isn’t living up to its name in the title anymore. Besides, I feel that there is practically no dungeon raiding this season. Sure, they venture into the dungeons for some adventure but it is hardly the setting of the story for this season. It’s like as though the dungeon has been side-lined and taken a back seat while the stories for this season unfolds in Orario. Oh well, the dungeon was the setting of the final arc of the first season so I guess this season they want to take the story to another direction and instead of fighting monsters in the dungeon, they are fighting for the freedom of others in Orario! Goodbye dungeon raiding, hello Familia wars…

Basically the second season can be divided into 2 main arcs with the first one fighting against Apollo Familia with the plot to establish Hestia Familia for real and the second storyline fighting against Ishtar Familia with the plot to add another member to Hestia Familia. While looking at it generally looks interesting but somehow I feel that it isn’t anything special. Sure, it is to develop and establish a family bond among the Hestia Familia and to see how strong Bell has grown. Like the War Games with Apollo Familia, I don’t know, it felt just easy for Hestia Familia to win. I know, they’re the heroes and main characters of this series. But with all the odds stacked against them, they actually did the impossible which is 0.001%, Hey, the chances aren’t zero. Also, Apollo Familia underestimated them and that contributed to their downfall. And only with such great obstacles that Hestia Familia is finally a whole seeing that it forced members from other Familia to seek permission to leave and join another Familia. Also, it gives Hestia Familia a (huge) place they can call home instead of that rundown ‘love shack’. Yeah… Then for saving prostitute Haruhime, it doesn’t feel so much about the Killing Stone ritual but more of Bell and Haruhime contemplating and coming to terms with what they want and must do. Because if Ishtar had been planning to defeat Freya for a long time, you don’t think she’d allow this little slip up and mistake to make her plans come undone so easily just like that, huh?

Bell and Hestia are the 2 main characters so we get to see more of them. Though, Haruhime seems to take more of the spotlight than Hestia in her arc. So we get it. Family ties are important. The bonds and everything. Hestia Familia might be the smallest Familia ever in all of Orario but at least they are close to each other, which could be impossible for a big Familia with so many members. Yup, the perks of being closely knitted when your family is small. This means many of the other characters fall by the wayside. Like Welf, Syr, Ryuu, Eina and even Aiz herself. With Bell being so busy trying to save Haruhime, it looks like they’re trying to set up some romance between them and erase the initial romance of Bell x Aiz. Still remember that elegant dance they had together in the first episode at Apollo’s party? Yeah, I almost forgot about it… Last episode almost hinted they might have another go had not that goddess thingy hogged it all and made Aiz just some lady in waiting literally. So Aiz, still thinking of not leaving Loki Familia for Hestia Familia? I bet Bell would be the happiest guy in the entire universe and heaven. Not so for Hestia, though… Lily had a fair screen time just so as to justify why she can leave her Familia officially. But after that, she’s more like blending in the background with the rest.

What are the odds that Bell becomes the centre of attention of 2 different gods? Both equally vain themselves. First we got Apollo who wants cute Bell for all himself because apparently his old toys aren’t giving him the same excitement anymore. And then we got sexy Ishtar who wants to get back at Freya just for being more beautiful than her and what a plan she has by, wait for it, involving Bell. Oh Bell, you’re such a lucky guy who wants to be loved by so many gods. Albeit for differing reasons. They only lose because they look down and underestimate our heroes. Yeah, even gods can falter. I see they have to involve Freya too because she feels like the final antagonist with an ulterior motive. I could be wrong but she always gives off that feel to me. The series hasn’t reached its climax or anything yet so no need for Freya to show us more than she needs to and keep us in the dark of her true motives. Hermes might look like he is playing some dumb cowboy but he could be the one pulling all the strings behind everybody’s back. So he is another one to look out for although for now he looks like is on Bell’s side.

One of the strangest lore that I am still confused just thinking about it is how gods and deities are banished from coming down to the lower world. Gods are eternal so that means if they are forever banished, you really mean that until the end of time they cannot return? So I guess Apollo must find his new entertainment in other kingdoms while Ishtar I don’t even know getting killed means you aren’t qualified to play with the mortals anymore. So theoretically if you kill a god or goddess, you can banish them forever? Don’t they get a second chance? I don’t know, maybe another reincarnation in a thousand years? Can’t current gods and goddesses just go back and forth from heaven and Earth as they like? Maybe I’m missing something here and I’m too lazy to research more about this since I’m not really that big of a fan of this series. Uh huh. Eventually my fault that I don’t get it. So for now, Orario is safe from Apollo being a dick to steal mortals he loves as well as the heavenly seduction of Ishtar. Oh man, is Orario going to be a clean and morally upright town now that Ishtar’s district no longer exists? Not even the gods here are absolute when they come down to the world of mortals.

With Hestia mentioning that mortals who die and their souls go to heaven, they become purified into some sort of clean slate of sheet (wiping out all memories and emotions in your previous life), the way she briefly explains it sounds like reincarnation is part of the setting of this world. Hence it got me thinking of this conspiracy theory that perhaps Bell is a soul whom Hestia knew for a very long time ago. Somebody that she was very much in love with. That is why she is flirty and trying to get so close to him because she found that person whom she has always been in love before. That is why when Hestia told Bell that she will always be with him no matter how old he grows or what state his soul is, this only makes me curious that this conspiracy theory might be very well true. Did you not notice Hestia saying all that in a very calm and confident manner? Because she already knew about Bell, who he was and all… And though Bell claimed he is being grateful to her and hence him sticking around her, something in his old latent soul attracts him to stick with her, making my conspiracy theory even more ‘credible’. Oh dear. I don’t know if this would be the ultimate twist of the story! I don’t even know if I should feel happy or worried if this ever turns out so! OMG… I just created an unnecessary spoiler and anxiety!!! Time to distract my mind and talk about fanservice…

Fanservice. I wonder with the red light district arc, did they ramp up the fanservice? Even with lots of sexy half-naked Amazon women running around, I just didn’t feel turned on. Yeah, the real killer is that fat ugly toad! Hope I never have to see this rapist in the next season ever again! And Hestia’s boobs are well, still there. Don’t worry, they aren’t going anywhere. Still jiggling them from time to time… Is it me or does Bell seemed like he was in danger of getting pseudo raped on many occasions? Yeah, with all that has happened, it is amazing that this guy still manages to stay a virgin and his chastity safe in the end. If you’re not into the fanservice, maybe the action scenes would entertain you. They look better and choreographed better this time.

With old seiyuus retained for this sequel, the new ones added to this season include Haruka Chigusa as Haruhime (Sylvia in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Akeno Watanabe as Aisha (Rito in To Love-Ru), Takako Honda as Ishtar (Hone Onna in Jigoku Shoujo), Kimiko Saitou as Phyrne (Chieko in Kuragehime), Ryota Ohsaka as Apollo (Vali in High School DxD), Kenn as Hyakinthos (Jinbei in Mushibugyou) and Chikahiro Kobayashi as Ares (Sugimoto in Golden Kamuy). Just like last season, Yuka Iguchi sings the opening theme, Hello To Dream. Since she wasn’t in her trademark cutie voice, I didn’t realize it was her singing this generic anime pop. The ending theme, Sayakana Shukusai by Sora Tob Sakana might sound a bit out of place. With its jazzy fanfare and jazzy bass pickings, it feels a lot like Broadway music and the carnival-like atmosphere of the song sounds contradictory to the tone of the series. Ah well, got to show how much fun Hestia Familia is having. A Familia that is happy together, sticks together. Obviously.

Overall, not really better than the first season and picky people might start to wonder if it derailed from its name. Uh huh. No more picking up girls in the dungeon and in place of dungeon raiding adventures, we have Familia starting wars with Hestia Familia just for the silliest of reasons. I don’t think jiggling more of Hestia’s boobs would save the season either since come to think of it, she is starting to feel a lot annoying and bratty with her whims and fancies. And oh, Bell x Aiz romance didn’t really go anywhere so it’s a bummer. Maybe now I understand that is why the third season will be coming in soon just a year later after the second season went on air. Because of this disappointment as well as Aiz’s side story a couple of years back, they might want to flush away all the frustrated feelings of fans who felt ‘cheated’ that the sequel didn’t live up to their expectations. Maybe the answer was already obvious in the title. It’s definitely wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon after all. Tinder, anyone?

Strike The Blood III

December 27, 2019

Oh dear. Looks like with Strike The Blood III, I guess this means I have to watch the third season altogether now, huh? My third season of the series, huh? No, senpai. This is our third season! I didn’t think this would get another season but I was wrong. I did. And again, following its previous season’s format, it is released via OVA format and this means taking almost the entire year just to come out all 10 episodes for this season. Oh God. I don’t know why I must watch this series. It’s not that I am a huge fan of it. It’s not like I remember every detail of what happened in the previous season. It’s not that the harem and tits are… Oh wait. Maybe it’s that. All the headache and incomprehensibility just for some cheap fanservice that don’t even matter? Ah well, looks like my fight has just begun. Again. No, senpai. This is our fight! Again.

Tartaros Roses Arc

Episode 1
Kojou and his harem problems. More like his girls got problems. Like Nagisa reprimanding him not to wake up naked in front of her when she herself is in her lingerie. Then when he has no reaction, she gets jealous. What you want, girl?! And then a conversation with Yukina. Don’t know what she got so upset about. Did he say the wrong thing? And then Asagi… Never mind. Noticing that today’s class has many people late, it seems as Motoki reports, there has been a series of ships being grounded the moment they enter Itogami waters or passengers being food poisoned. What are the chances they aren’t coincidences? More women woes. Yukina already irritated seeing Kojou with Asagi. Nagisa takes a step higher as she shed tears the moment she sees them! Something not right… Now down to business. Kojou is captured by Natsuki to explain today’s problem. There has been already 21 cases of ship accidents today. The only thing in common is that all of them are heading towards Itogami. Because of this, no new people or goods can reach the island and so Itogami is effectively isolated. Natsuki suspected Kojou because only someone with vampire powers can do this. She thought capturing him would end this trickery but alas it didn’t. Yeah, we know this guy, why would he even do that?! After asking Yukina’s opinion on magical terrorism, this reminds Natsuki of a similar case whereby a Demon District in Europe was destroyed. The official reports said it was due to flooding but it was a deliberate terrorist act by Tartaros Lapus, a terrorist organization who commits magical terrorism in exchange for money. And the person behind it who can perfectly use feng shui like this is Takehito Senga. Yup, they need to find him to break this whatever diagram thingy. Then a call comes in saying that a director from Artificial Island Management Corporation has been sniped. Natsuki now well knows that this is definitely terrorism as they’re trying to throw their chain of command into chaos.

Meanwhile Nagisa is so confused about her feelings on Kojou that she runs away to a park and hangs out by herself. She meets and befriends December who claims she is here to witness the beginning of the end of the Demon District. Nagisa is then made unconscious and this summons out Avrora’s soul inside her. December assures her not to worry for this is their war and to return to her slumber. Then an explosion occurs at the administration’s HQ. Motoki is worried since it was his father, Akishige who is the president who got caught up in that explosion and his big brother, Kazuma who is a head of the operations won’t let him help. After Asagi learns from Kojou what is going on, she uses her hacking skills to get some info. But immediately she has to destroy her laptop as she was hacked back. Yup, some military grade virus not only infected her laptop but the Island Guard’s network too. Looks like Senga and December are in cohorts. The former is doing this because he has something he cannot forgive and thus putting an end to it all by using Tartaros Rose. Once Nagisa wakes up, December sends her back to Kojou. But the moment Kojou looks at December, those familiar and painful flashbacks flood his head. He realizes she is Avrora.

Episode 2
Kojou pretends nothing happened so December leaves. This has him thinking about December’s word that food is peace. This could mean Tartaros Lapus’ next target could be Itogami’s food stockpile. As they patrol around the warehousing site, suddenly huge golems attack. Apparently Natsuki was confronting Senga and they had a past. Just when she had the authorities surround to arrest him, here comes the golems. Kojou summons his familiar but is stopped by December who proclaims she is the leader of Tartaros Lapus. It seems she has the ability to control Kojou’s mind and seal whatever familiars she summoned. Luckily Natsuki comes to his aid. Then she realizes Senga and December are only distractions as Rogi the pyrokinetic is burning down the warehouses. As she is about to restrain them, December orders Carly to snipe Natsuki. Man, she really took a direct hit. December wants Kojou to join them but after he’s seen, no thanks. While Natsuki is okay but in comatose state, because of the hit from the magic bullet, Nina diagnoses she will take time to regain her consciousness. So Kojou and Yukina have a short while to lament their shortcomings. Can’t mope around forever. Better do Natsuki’s request to get more info on Tartaros Lapus. Just in luck, Rogi is here to bring them to see Senga who wants to talk to them. They are forced too since Carly has them in sights. Don’t want unnecessary casualties…

Senga explains that their aim is to destroy the Demon Districts. All the members in Tartaros Lapus have some history of being illegally used by the military and then abandoned. With Kojou still refusing to help, Senga reveals the true purpose of Itogami is an altar to resurrect Cain. Kojou laughs at this pathetic action of theirs. Even if they did try to ask for help and was shut down, was it because they really lacked proof? That’s not true because they themselves don’t believe in anyone else! So the irony of instead of destroying the Demon District to stop Cain’s resurrection, they should be saving the people who will be sacrificed for it! Well, he’s got a point. Senga realizes that their paths are different and since Tartaros Lapus will not back down from their methods, I guess this is it. After all, they have already set in motion to kill the Priestess of Cain which of course is no other than Asagi. Speaking of her, she visits Motoki who is puzzled with all the events happening. No word that Akishige has been found yet. Because if they wanted to throw the island into chaos, they would have killed Kazuma who is the real person in charge. Besides, it would take more than explosions to kill that old fart. Motoki’s sharp hearing saves Asagi from Carly’s snipe. Run! Kojou uses his familiar powers to rush over but is stopped by December. Then it becomes a battle of summoning and sealing familiars. Kojou looks like he is winning but Avrora’s soul plays cheat by asking if he is going to kill her again. Of course that guy can’t take any more pain to the head so he passes out. Senga comes to collect December and then has Ran to activate the Roses.

Episode 3
Kojou remembers the day he met Avrora and also that fateful day he become the Fourth Progenitor and killed her. A day known as the Scorched Banquet. Motoki and Asagi see demons hovering over the skies and those wearing demon bracelets are all incapacitated. Asagi realizes the hacking wasn’t for Island Guard but this. Now that they have been cut off, the only way is for Asagi to break into Keystone Gate and connect them back to Island Guard so the vaccine will continue to flow. Kojou wakes up after an hour. Mogwai telling him what has happened and it seems a large magic circle AKA Rose is hovering over Itogami. It is gathering magical energy from those bracelets. He hopes Kojou can take care of this as Asagi gets herself into Keystone Gate. With so many demons, can Kojou and Yukina handle it? Not if Sayaka, Shio, Yuiri and Grenda drop in to help. Nice timing for Yukina to take Kojou to a secluded room. She wants him to suck her blood because increasing his vampire powers could be the only way to maintain dominance over his familiars and defeat December. So why does she have to get naked if he is biting only her neck? Need to arouse the blood to the other head below?! HAHA! Oops, sorry… Anyway after blindfolding him, he digs in. Yeah, now I know. Can’t let the blood stain her nice uniform. No wonder her lingerie is also red. Apparently Kojou stops because at this rate her body cannot take it. Coincidentally Yuiri is here to bring Grenda to rest and Yukina gives permission to Kojou to do her in because it’s one-off. Isn’t every emergency one-off? With Kojou powered up, yeah those demons don’t stand a chance. But wait. The Four Heavenly Beasts that represent the directions in feng shui pop up. Is this what Tartaros Lapus is after? Sayaka then detects the one who activated the Rose. The location is Itogami’s abandoned district and Kojou realizes this would be the ideal place if Avrora is going to pop up one last time.

In order for Asagi to break into Keystone Gate, Motoki eats some pills to power up into some wind wraith and take out Carly. Meanwhile Natsuki returns as she restrains Rogi to find Senga’s whereabouts. Asagi manages to do all the hacking and it looks like it is going to affect Ran. She doesn’t mind dying this way but December unplugs her before she gets roasted. December narrates Ran’s tragic story only because maybe Kojou can understand why they’re doing this. Sure, he understands they have a reason to be angry. But instead of taking lives, he is going to save them. That’s why he will stop Tartaros Lapus. It’s his fight! No senpai. It’s our fight! When December summons Dabih-Crystallus, one of the Fourth Progenitor’s familiars, Kojou realizes that she is the Tenth Kaleid Blood and just a seal for the Fourth Progenitor’s powers like Avrora. December explains she was a captive for the Third Progenitor then, Chaos Bride. She was only released because she wanted to go to Itogami. Now that December has unleashed the seal, at the expense of her vanishing, at least the Four Heavenly Beasts will remain even if the Rose is gone. Not if Kojou and his girls can defeat them. Wow, they make it look so easy. December admits her defeat and hopes Kojou can send her comrades to a better facility. She gives him the power of the tenth familiar before vanishing. A before kiss before she goes. I guess Yukina allows it. Since it’s a sad occasion. Meanwhile Senga tries to continue with his mission but is shocked with the appearance of Akishige. Yeah, that old fart is still alive. It seems Akishige is pleased that Tartaros Lapus has done everything as planned including the Priestess of Cain entering the Coffin. Senga realizes too late that Tartaros Lapus was just pawns from the start and is killed off. Asagi is shocked to find herself that the spot she is in is Cain’s Coffin and Mogwai sounds like he did have an ulterior motive to lead her here.

The Time Of My Life Arc

Episode 4
With the restoration in progress, Kojou and co do some charity work to distribute food. All over the news is Asagi who has become a star after her hacking heroics. Heck, she is now an idol singing for peace! Woah! But Kojou feels something is wrong… Asagi looks a bit different. Then he finds out from her friend that this idol is just CGI and was done because the restoration wasn’t making any progress so they thought of cheering up the people this way. With Kojou looking so blur and oblivious, she can’t fathom why Asagi likes this dude. Yeah, he hasn’t even got a clue… Kojou and Yukina then goes to visit Motoki at the hospital but it seems he has been transferred to another hospital. Of course it is Kazuma who had a hand in this as he feels a normal hospital cannot protect him. Also, Kazuma wants him to succeed as the family head now that Akishige is assassinated since he has the proper lineage and abilities. Of course Motoki is free to decline and he will stopped being targeted. However doing so means losing their chance to save Asagi. Of course Natsuki will help them out. Sayaka is happy to become roommates with Yukina. Since nobody is home, she looks around and what’s this test kit?! It’s positive?! Freak out! Since Kojou lives next door, she knocks but only Nagisa is in. Asking about Yukina’s state, Nagisa describes what it seems to be pregnancy sickness symptoms! OMG! Can it be true?! Time to look for that bastard! Now Kojou and Yukina try to visit Asagi’s residence but it is heavily guarded by armed soldiers and you need a special permit. Come back again next time. On their way back, they are attacked by a mage who turns out to be Shike, Yukina’s master and also Nyanko’s true form. She was just testing her and looks like Yukina only powered up when Kojou was injured. Even so, she lost stamina after it’s over. Shike wants to confiscate her spear but Yukina won’t allow it and runs away with Kojou.

Yukina can’t go home now since she has disobeyed Shike, there might be pursuers waiting at home. So that’s what she meant when she said she doesn’t want to go home. It’s not like she wants to flirt with you, Kojou! Can’t stay under this bridge forever so Kojou takes her to a ramen store. Surprisingly they see Lydianne and Ibliss there. Lydianne tells them that she was infiltrating Keystone Gate but stumbled into Island Guard’s SSG, an official strike force comprised of demons who work directly under the administration’s board of directors. Lydianne tried to escape but SSG cornered her all the way. Just when she thought she was done for, Ibliss happened to be passing by and saved her. Since she is under his protection now, that’s how they ended up together. As for why she snuck into such a dangerous place, it is to rescue Asagi. You see, she is being confined in the deepest level of Keystone Gate. In the centre of this impregnable floor lies Cain’s Coffin where Asagi is imprisoned. Somebody needs to decipher that fake idol video because there is a hidden message from Asagi pleading for Kojou to save her!

Episode 5
Kojou and Yukina head down to Floor Zero to save Asagi. Gee, no security? Even with these weak sentries, Kojou is enough to dispatch them. But Yukina mad because he used his magic recklessly? Hey, he saved your ass! Inside this floor, they are shocked to see Meiga. He is also here for Asagi but unfortunately she isn’t anywhere to be seen. Since the guys hate each other’s guts, they start fighting. Meiga shows his true form as a manmade jiangshi AKA Chinese vampire. So he’s an immortal too, huh? And when he stabs Kojou, this shocks Yukina that she turns into an angel?! Hey, she should know that Kojou is immortal, right? So he gets back up and fires back at Meiga with his familiar. Suddenly the scene is cut to Kojou in a lab. Kanon is by his side as she explains they were found by Shike. Yukina is unconscious in the next room. But WTF Sayaka tries to kill him for ruining Yukina’s future?! Kanon’s dad and Shike enter to explain about Yukina having the power of a false angel known as Angel Faux (just like Kanon before). They also explain Meiga was once hired by Lion King to create divine weapons but died during one of its trial runs. However he was brought back to life and Shike suspected his grandfather, Senra turning him into a jiangshi. Due to his talents, Lion King hired him back but with lots of conditions. Hence Touka Fujisaka who was a Sword Shaman and first wielder of Sekkarou was tasked to observe him. Of course she is no longer is this world. She never returned after a mission. Immediately after that, Meiga turned bad before Natsuki threw him into prison. Although officially it is said that Touka died after fighting a group of mages on her own, the real reason is that she did not die. She evolved. She turned into Angel Faux.

Meiga finds himself alive and it is thanks to Vatler who saved him by interrupting Kojou’s familiar. Vatler knows about Meiga’s true objective to recreate the Cleansing that will wipe out everything from the face of the Earth. I guess Vatler has lived so long that he got bored of living? Kojou further thinks back on what Kanon’s dad and Shike explained about Angel Faux. Yukina will have no trouble if she continues to live a normal life but if she continues to use Sekkarou, this will rapidly progress her angel transformation and in no time she will be erased from this world and shift into some higher dimension. Then that pregnancy kit was actually some spiritual kit. Sayaka was devastated because this means Yukina knew about her condition beforehand. And she didn’t say anything to Kojou because perhaps a happy and ordinary life to her means being with Kojou? Oh, don’t start overthinking things now… Hence with Yukina out of action, tsundere Yukina will only help him save Asagi to save Yukina. Lydianne calls Kojou and has found Asagi’s whereabouts. The Coffin is docked in a submarine 400m below sea level under Itogami. Asagi seems to be enjoying her virtual life and has decent control over it. She is approached by Popess to make a deal. That is, she wants an eternal curse brand upon those who wield the power of the Sinful God. No can do. Asagi thinks she doesn’t benefit from this and would make everyone unhappy. I don’t think Popess is going to accept that since she wants to make everybody unhappy anyway. Kojou gets Natsuki to help him teleport to the Coffin. No can do. Got some magic barrier. But she notes it will resurface soon as the ritual for the Cleansing is almost complete. Then Meiga pops up. He is not pleased that Yukina is not with them. He is going to force her out then. Wow. All their combined powers can’t even scratch this jiangshi.

Episode 6
Natsuki warns Meiga’s power is the real deal because he can rewrite the laws of the world. So, basically like God? I don’t know how they can win this but they keep running until the Coffin shows up. And then Yukina pops up! And she turns into an angel to fend off Natsuki’s attacks. Meiga has help from Popess but ultimately it is Paper Noise who intervened and let Kojou and co escape. Wow. This is getting messy. In order to know why Meiga is trying to resurrect Cain, Natsuki calls a specialist who is no other than Kojou’s father, Gajou. Cleansing is about humans massacring demons on a large scale. But back then, demons were known as Gods. Cain was one of them and was somewhat banished. He met humanity and in his bid for revenge against the Gods, provided humanity with knowledge and tools like magic and magical artefacts. Even so, can humans defeat Gods like that? That is why Cain sought to rewrite how everything works. So by just turning Gods into demons, that loophole was enough to massacre them? Okay whatever. Of course the effect that Cain was also killed by a sect of divinity called Devas, those created and bestowed immense powers just for killing Gods. The strongest vampire, in other words, the Fourth Progenitor. We take slight distraction to see Sayaka in her drunk start. Meiga’s poison had alcohol so… Anyway Natsuki wants Kojou and the rest to leave Itogami so that they have a chance to fight back. Natsuki and Lydianne will decentralize the super computer. More Sayaka tomfoolery as she wants Kojou to suck her blood. Sexy time? Fortunately she passes out. Hence an excuse for Yukina to do it on her behalf. Because she sounds like this is the last time she will give his blood, Kojou refuses. Everyone will be sad if you’re gone! I guess that’s the reason why Yukina insists. Oh well. If she says so. Sorry to interrupt your feeding (why does it sound like sex… “Go deeper…”) but Shike is here to give Kojou a ring that will somewhat suppress Yukina’s Angel Faux. Why does this scene look like he is proposing to her, putting the ring on her finger?

Natsuki confronts Akishige trying to condemn the Coffin to the bottom of the ocean. However she won’t need to do anything as Meiga is here. Meiga doesn’t care if Cleansing destroys the world. That’s his intention anyway. Meiga thinks Kojou showing up isn’t a threat but Kojou knows that Meiga and Popess are not in real control of the Cleansing. Otherwise they won’t be down here at the control room because it is Asagi who has been protecting the Coffin’s contents, Cain’s wisdom all this time. Meiga is confident he can deal with her after he takes care of them. He doesn’t think much of Kojou summoning multiple familiars and it still won’t be any match for him. That would be the case if he and Yukina were his opponents. Popess turns into Mogwai and Lydianne has just rescued Asagi from the Coffin. The fight with Kojou was just to buy time for Asagi to do her preparations. With that, Meiga is defeated. Yukina collapses but it is not because of Angel Faux. She’s hungry?! Oh well, better than turning into an angel. Shike is glad it worked out because the ring links Kojou’s spiritual passes to her. So now she is his servant. Technically not yet his bride but his fiancée. Now I see… Meanwhile Paper Noise and Kazuma arrest Akishige. Old geezer thinks he can get away. True, if only he is the head. Too bad a new resolution has been passed to make Motoki the new head (since Akishige is thought to be dead, right?). With Asagi so famous, she has to wear disguise while walking in public. Nagisa then rushes to Yukina and hopes for the best, even taking things a bit far by talking about the name of her future baby! So will Nagisa be an aunt now? They didn’t explain it properly so I suppose that’s why Asagi also gets the wrong idea Kojou knocked Yukina up. Kojou’s battle has not ended yet… We see Meiga is still alive but Vatler kills him off and takes his Cleansing power. All as planned…

The War Of Original Vampires Arc

Episode 7
A council of shady hooded people… Oh well, what else? Destroy the Demon District! Meanwhile Kojou gets into some weird Valentine chocolates argument with Yukina, Motoki and Nagisa. I don’t even… Then they see Asagi getting into the car of Tobias Jagan who is one of Vatler’s men. Shio and Yuiri can’t determine the evolutionary system of Grenda. They also wonder if Grenda who was created to guard a lake treasure, could she be the treasure herself and that she is the guardian of Cain’s relic? They are attacked by Veres Aladar who serves the First Progenitor. It seems Grenda has been identified as a threat by the Holy Ground Treaty council and he is tasked to take her back to be sealed or recycled. Yuiri and Shio know they can’t defeat him but buy enough time just for reluctant Grenda to escape to Itogami to seek Kojou’s help. Aladar could have gone after her had not Kira intervened. Mimori sees this young girl, Kaleid Blood no. 6, Hektos who isn’t pleased she is going to resurrect her generation. Mimori’s goal is to clone a Kaleid Blood so she can transfer Avrora’s soul into that clone. In a way saving both her children. Hektos understands but tells her that her wish won’t come true. Hektos wants this body destroyed and does so. Kojou confronting Asagi getting into the car of Jagan. Geez, why he sounds like a jealous boyfriend? She ignores him and even her friend had to point this out. Heck, not satisfied, Kojou talks to Natsuki about this. Well, it’s Asagi’s freedom to do whatever she wants. So stop sounding like a jealous boyfriend and be one just because a woman got stolen! Kojou then spots Grenda on the roof. Can’t miss that big dragon. Before sad girl can explain, Aladar attacks. Kojou fights him and is of course no match. With Yukina and Natsuki showing up, Aladar knows better not to make enemies with Natsuki here. Hence he challenges Kojou to a duel at sunset today at a northern artificial island. If Kojou loses, Grenda will be taken away. If Kojou wins, Aladar will return Shio and Yuiri as well as swear on his First Progenitor name that they won’t chase Grenda anymore. Natsuki and Yukina can be the witnesses.

Kojou and Natsuki go talk to Shike about this. Shike paints this as a grim outlook that Kojou can’t win. She is unsure why they want the dragon but it doesn’t matter because Kojou will lose and Grenda will be taken away. 2 problems solved! And when Shike suggests Yukina give him something special as a final service, why does Sayaka have to get worked up and attack him? WTF?! And Yukina’s logic is that if Kojou wins, she doesn’t have to give that special service, right? Yeah, how she’d know he’d win? Shike criticizes Kojou that despite being the Fourth Progenitor which is supposed to be the strongest in the world due to the strength of his familiars, he doesn’t even dominate them. Theoretically, if he controls them, he can beat Aladar. Since this vampire thingy is something Shike is unfamiliar of, the only other person whom Kojou can think of is Vatler. But that guy isn’t going to give it to him easily, right? Yukina then suggests talking to Ibliss. He too doesn’t think he can win and even so, doesn’t have a reason to help Grenda. Is because he wants to save her enough of a reason? Because Kojou continues to be oblivious, Ibliss calls him arrogant. He has privileges of a king since even the enemy’s life is at his discretion. A discretion that only the very strong could have. It could be the reason why he is chosen as the Fourth Progenitor. Ibliss hints that there is another person he should consult. If he can figure out who, he has a chance of defeating Aladar. Or else, he’s done for. Meanwhile Asagi sees Lydianne and they do some exchange. Lydianne wonders why Asagi needs all these tanks. It’s to start a war.

Episode 8
Nagisa thought she saw December but is actually Hektos. She is here to bring Nagisa and Kanon to see Kojou and learn about the truth. Aladar is not pleased that Vatler has turned this duel into a grand show. Aladar insists the match will be over soon but La Folia disagrees and believes in Kojou. She adds to the bet that if Kojou wins, he must acknowledge him as the Fourth Progenitor as well as invite him to join Whisper Garden. Since Aladar is wary to accept, La Folia also throws in her virginity to him should Aladar wins. Kojou and Yukina arrive at the place to see it turned into a carnival. Yeah, high class and posh people waiting for the party to get started. And Sayaka instantly accusing Kojou of wasting his chances not speaking to anybody else and hence putting La Folia’s virginity on the line. Apparently it’s not because vampires are horny, if La Folia gives his blood memory to him, he will have knowledge of her kingdom’s secrets. So yeah, looks like the responsibility is on Kojou again to win. Before the fight begins, Kojou sounds like he is going to lose so it’s Yukina’s turn to tell him not to say it like that. Of course he promises to return. But in return she better prepare a lot of service for him! Holy sh*t! For real?! Let’s not jump to conclusions yet… The fight begins with Kojou pulling off a sneaky move to throw the first punch in Aladar’s face. But after that, Aladar goes all out and Kojou is on the defensive. Yukina is worried over her boyfriend’s beat down so Natsuki tells her to calm down and think why this is happening. This duel is most likely a setup by Vatler to make them fight so that Kojou’s Fourth Progenitor powers will awaken. Nagisa witnesses this fight and is shocked to learn the true nature of her brother. She is in shock as Vatler discloses more spoilers to her. She starts blaming herself that all this happened because of her. So shocked that she unleashes a power that temporarily freezes Aladar. Just in time because Kojou is about to get a real beat down.

Avrora possesses Nagisa to go talk to Kojou. With Hektos popping up and claiming to be Kojou’s familiar, Aladar is going to destroy all of them together. That is when Nagisa uses her power with Kojou’s to summon a familiar and fire through Aladar’s body. This isn’t enough to kill him but this opens Kojou’s eyes. He know understands what Natsuki said to him that he isn’t alone. The person Ibliss meant that he needed to talk to are those inside him. His familiars. As they are the ones who have been fighting for him. Hence Kojou warns Aladar to back down now or risk him summoning all his familiars at full power at once. This is when Vatler calls off the match and it is Kojou’s win. With unconscious Nagisa in a dangerous state, Natsuki teleports her to her dimension to recuperate. As for why Aladar was chasing Grenda, Vatler reveals that as the Holy Ground Treaty maintains peace between humans and demons, the council has deemed Itogami as a weapon of mass destruction and will thus be destroyed. As seen by what Meiga was trying to do, using this island as an altar, one can repeat the Cleansing. Therefore fleets from multinationals will soon surround Itogami. How is Grenda related to all this? She is the guardian for Cain’s relic. With this, Natsuki realizes Vatler’s goal is to do another Cleansing. As they try to figure out who else would be enchanting the Cleansing’s spell, they are attacked by Asagi’s tanks. She kidnaps Grenda and leaves the rest in shock that she is cooperating with Vatler. Then Asagi pops up on the news, announcing that the Holy Ground Treaty has sent a message to the Japanese government on their intent to destroy Itogami as a mass weapon of destruction. The attack is scheduled by 6am. Because it is impossible to evacuate everyone from the island and even more so there are not many cities in the world who can accept demons, she is urging all citizens to fight back.

Episode 9
Asagi further adds that the Japanese government has abandoned Itogami. But don’t worry, Vatler will be helping them. Also, she has Grenda activate fortresses that emerge and surround Itogami. These fortresses contain ancient weapons. With that, Grenda’s role is over because as the guardian of Cain’s relic, only she knows the dimension and coordinates of it. Thanks to this, Natsuki’s seal is also destroyed. While she assures there won’t be another Halloween Festa of magic criminals running lose, the more pressing issues is Nagisa. As Natsuki stopped her time, bringing her back to reality means restarting it. So the gang head to her side and Kanon tries hard to heal her. Apparently Hektos thinks she has done enough and knocks her out. Now it’s time to get started on their last banquet. So Hektos has them frolic in the sea? Is she naughtily flirting with Kojou just to stimulate him? So Hektos’ solution to save Nagisa is to extract the 12th familiar from her body. Wow. It’s that easy. But Nagisa disagrees because Avrora will disappear forever. Sure, but don’t do that and both will disappear. Hektos believes Avrora won’t disappear because she is their hope. It is that reason that Hektos believes herself to be the one to disappear. After giving her blood and familiar to Yukina, she starts sucking Kojou’s blood and lets the girls look. This is also to awaken Avrora and draw out the 12th familiar. Then Yukina summons her familiar to cut and extract that familiar from Nagisa.

All is fine and dandy now as the weapons manage to prevent the fleet from decimating Itogami. But as La Folia points out, that is the least of their problems now. Thanks to Vatler entering into alliances with countries not affiliated with Holy Ground Treaty, the world is now divided and on the verge of world war. A large one. This means Vatler intends to fight against the other 3 Progenitors. Stopping this madness depends on Kojou as she takes him to Whisper Garden, the place of the supreme council of the Holy Ground Treaty. The council is made out of 12 members, 3 of which are permanent members. Even if a decision has been made to go to war on Itogami, it can still be reversed by a veto. That right is held by the 3 permanent members who are the Progenitors. Of course that will be hard too seeing that they too might be itching for war. Kojou is teleported to Whisper Garden and tries to get them to cancel their attack on Itogami. No can do. Destroy Itogami = no more Cleansing = world peace. With Kojou realizing there is no negotiations in the first place, he uses his position as the Fourth Progenitor to veto on this war. Yeah, why everyone shocked by this? Like they didn’t see this coming? I mean, do they not know who Kojou is? However, Giada Kukulcan who is the Third Progenitor cannot agree to it because Kojou lacks something to claim himself as the Fourth Progenitor. Like a territory. Conveniently, Kojou claims his territory is Itogami since the Japanese government has abandoned it. Even so, he doesn’t seem like he has control over the island. But they give him a chance that if he can eliminate the threat of Cleansing without casualties, they will accept his veto. And he has only 24 hours to do so. With Kojou claiming Itogami as his territory, Asagi doesn’t welcome this news as she thinks he is trying to undo her efforts. Vatler on the other hand is pleased because he can fight Kojou. Asagi reminds him the deal is off if that happens. Vatler doesn’t mind. Asagi thinks of persuading Kojou to join them and Vatler also thinks this is a good idea. Kojou and him fighting against the 3 Progenitors. La Folia’s troops are now Kojou’s army and Aladar offers to help Kojou because he wants to punish the traitorous Vatler.

Episode 10
Aladar’s plane is under tremendous fire. Oh well, since they’ve reached the destination, prepare to crash land! It won’t be much of a story if anybody died, right? Aladar fights Vatler’s subordinates so as to let Kojou and Yukina go ahead. Meanwhile La Folia’s plane too is under heavy fire. At this moment she asks if Sayaka wants to marry Kojou. You see, Kojou will become the Lord of the Night Empire and he has the right to gather a harem as his blood companions. If Sayaka is not interested, she will not waste time with her anymore. Better think fast, girl. Sayaka claims it is to be with Yukina but to the rest of us, that’s a yes. Kojou and Yukina face off with Lydianne but she is easily dispatched with Natsuki and Astarte intervening. Yukina goes deal with Asagi so Kojou can face off with Vatler. Speaking of which, that vampire dude just sucked the blood of the delegates of the non-member countries of Holy Ground Treaty. That’s what they get for being scared and trying to escape. As Natsuki teleports them to safety, the epic battle between Kojou and Vatler we’ve been waiting for. Yup, Vatler has the power of Cleansing. Kojou is going to lose… Until Yuiri and Shio show up to stall him as Grenda takes him away. Meanwhile Yukina and Asagi’s fight… Looks like it is turning into some argument accusing the other. Yup, Kojou is the centre point. Accusing the other of being too close to him, having Kojou give them stuffs. What’s wrong with these girls? Bickering stop when Grenda delivers Kojou to them. Yukina goes off to fight Vatler since Shio is stalling him. Asagi slaps him to wake him up. Then she starts crying. Is this love? Whatever. After kissing him, she undresses so that he could suck her blood. I think it’s pointless to argue at this point so what the heck. Just sink it in. Can one actually suck gently?

If you’re wondering why Shio, Yukina, La Folia and Sayaka can fight on par with Vatler’s Cleansing, here is Motoki calling to explain that he temporarily has Yume to block Itogami’s dragon vein lines via Leviathan. So they have only 30 minutes to end this. Hence Kojou and Yukina go off to face Vatler. So he doesn’t need the rest of his girls? Whatever. Vatler is waiting for them at this spot where the Fourth Progenitor killed Cain. Kojou corrects him that is only because of the curse of the Devas. Afraid that the Devas could become Cain’s ally, he rebelled against them but was eventually defeated and split his powers into 12 beings and sealed. But all this doesn’t matter to Vatler as his real goal is to fight Kojou at full power. Vatler unleashes his power but Kojou scolds him for being a child. Just because he can’t overcome his boredom, he resorted to this childish manner. It won’t last. Uhm, you just made him madder. Point proven. So if Vatler wants to destroy the world, Kojou will protect it. Because it’s his fight! No, senpai. It’s our fight! Because Kojou’s familiars aren’t enough to fight Vatler, Yukina offers herself to give Hektos’ familiar to him. Yup, blood sucking time. Didn’t even hesitate. Now Kojou has all the power. Vatler even transforms himself and tries to be one with Kojou! They will become the new Fourth Progenitor together! WTF IS THIS GAY SH*T???!!!!! Unfortunately he loses to Kojou and Yukina’s combo. Too bad Kojou spares him because he doesn’t hate him that much. Really? After all that he has done? Because of that, his subordinates come to take him as the escape to another dimension. After all, Cain was also exiled. So is Vatler going to do Cleansing in another dimension? Right after this, the good news comes in with the Holy Ground Treaty rescinding their attack order on Itogami as they have recognized the island as Kojou’s territory. Time to go home. Even in the aftermath if Kojou is the lord of his dominion, he is still a high school student. So shut up and finish your homework! Oh, can you hear the alert that some magical being has escaped from the ward where Avrora is being treated? Time to go take care of it. Hey, it’s his territory, right?

Strike The What?!
Holy what?! You mean there is going to be a fourth season for this series?! A FOURTH SEASON?! Fourth season for the Fourth Progenitor. Heh. Sorry, bad pun. Still I can’t believe it. So my fight will continue?! No, senpai. Our fight will continue! I see this is what happens when you don’t finish Vatler and save us the trouble of getting another season! Sure, there would be other baddies who would want to use Itogami for their own nefarious goals but seeing Vatler had been the main antagonist and hiding in the shadows for a long time, by not getting rid of him means risking he will come back again in the future and bring a whole load of sci-fi sh*t that would threaten Itogami and the people living on it. So you regretting this decision not to finish him off when you had the chance, Kojou?

And as usual… I don’t really understand the finer details of what is going on. Yeah, yeah. I’ve always sounded like a broken recorder when it comes to sci-fi anime series especially those that have lots of those sci-fi jargons, terminologies and other crap words to make it sound oh so grand. Making it even worse is that I don’t really remember much of what happened in past seasons and compounding that misery of mine is that I was too lazy to go back and read my blog. I only refer to my old postings just to find names of the characters. Yup, I couldn’t remember some of their names. Yup, I dug my own grave from the start. And then me go on to blame how confusing this series is… And yet I still continue to watch… What irony! What hypocrisy! Strike the Irony! Strike the Hypocrisy!

And hence I do remember the series for the wrong reasons. Something that I believe is what the series is ‘consistently’. For instance, when Kojou’s harem isn’t fighting against the enemy, their hobby seems to be instantly accusing and blaming Kojou for being a pervert. It’s like their favourite pastime. Like as though they want some of his attention. Senpai, notice me, please! And now with Kojou having his own domain to rule over as the Fourth Progenitor, it becomes official of an excuse why he needs a harem. Not that the series needs a reason anyway to begin with but now this is incorporated into the plot so I guess it makes more sense for him to amass his girls. And I believe that his harem (emergency/spare blood bank would be a terrible name for them) would be further divided into tiers because when you have so many girls with you, it is hard to give them the same equal time. I’m guessing the top tier would be Yukina because since she is his observer and he has sucked her blood a lot more time than others. Next tier would be Asagi and Sayaka. And then Nagisa, Kanon and Yuiri. I could be wrong but I feel this is the pecking order from what I’ve seen. Oh yes senpai, this is your harem!

The other formulaic thing involves the fight and action sequences. Just like in many previous fights, when Kojou fights an enemy, the battle is always somewhat interrupted by a third party, be it ally or foe. This allows our main characters to retreat or escape, giving them some breathing space to plan or whatever. This is how they prolong the drama and the arc. You’d thought they would finish the entire fight the first time they meet but nope, sorry you’re not powerful enough yet or there are some more mysteries for you to uncover as the arc has not finished yet. So we’re going to shoehorn in somebody to break up the fight. Yup, that’s how it always feels. Oh boy. Everybody sure has their own problems to deal with. And for some reason they had to pick Itogami because, long revenge story or some vampire dude just got bored of living so long. Sheesh. Still can’t believe this guy wants to be one with Kojou to be the Fourth Progenitor. Safe to say Vatler won’t be in Kojou’s harem any time forever. Sorry dudes, women only. Also another thing I noticed this season, is it me or does Kojou seem to summon his horse familiar more often than others?

Having said all that, this makes me feel that some of the solutions for plots are written for convenience. Like as though they pull it out of the air for the answer. Take for example when Yukina was in danger of becoming Angel Faux. And guess what? Just one prototype ring created by Shike was enough to elevate the fear of Yukina ever disappearing from the face of the Earth. So easy, huh? You mean no one thought about it? That Yukina would turn into Angel Faux? Didn’t a precedent happen? And just like that, Yukina is safe with other technical loopholes because dumb people like yours truly don’t really understand it all. Also, this ring part is just to make it symbolic that Yukina is the main girl for Kojou. How convenient. I suppose that nothing in this world is neither perfect nor fool proof. You just need to find that weakness or loophole (which this series does quite often) and exploit it. I mean, Vatler’s Cleansing was supposed to be the ultimate destroyer, right? Nothing can stop it ever, right? Nope. Behold! Yume’s Leviathan did the trick. And to think nobody else actually thought of this beforehand. Also, it’s the only way Yume can get her 1 second cameo appearance. Remember that Kiriha girl? I certainly don’t. She didn’t appear this season at all so I guess she really left since the end of last season, huh? Oh well, don’t want to complicate the harem further…

Overall, this series is not for simpletons. Fans with sci-fi minds and interests are only ‘allowed’ to enjoy this. After all, everything that has happened so far, I believe it is just scratching the surface for Kojou since it is just the beginning of a new dawn for him as the real Fourth Progenitor. There are other quirky and shady characters or organizations to deal with so you bet they will ramp up all the drama and the likes in the next season. He won’t have to fight it alone, though. He’s got his harem. Truly, it is their fight. But for me, it’s just me and only me fighting in hopes that I would somehow by then understand and appreciate the fourth season. Fourth season, Fourth Progenitor, heh, it could finally be Kojou’s season. No senpai, this is our fourth season!

Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV

December 20, 2019

Oh boy. I really thought they forgot all about it when they announced the fifth season altogether when the fourth was starting. I didn’t think it would run back to back and that they would take a season or two break before resuming. Who’d knew that it would about 2 years for the fifth season to come out! I was somewhat waiting and waiting and then conveniently forgot all about it. And then here it is, Senki Zesshou Symphogear XV. Speaking of which, looking back it seems that this series releases a season about every 2 years so I guess it’s valid. By that time I think it’s safe to say that I’ve forgotten everything and I’m too lazy to go rewatch the previous season. I’ll just roll along and let the girls do the fighting and saving the world! Because I believe in them!

Episode 1
We see some dying guy managing to activate something before he dies. Meanwhile our Symphogear girls have dropped into Antarctica to face this giant Sarcophagus. So this giant robo dung beetle is the ancient relic guardian of something? After the girls set their firepower on it, cue for some tension as the Sarcophagus renders them immobile. WTF interfering with the laws of the universe?! Hence a flashback sees Hibiki finally passing her singing test. Because she sings from the heart?! While out with Miku, they spot an explosion on a cruise ship at sea. Apparently SONG has a lab hidden in there and were analysing some gear left behind by an Autoscorer and probably its defensive mechanisms activated when the researchers delved in a bit too far. But the data they managed to extract pointed them to a lake in Antarctica. And that is where it brings our girls to. As agents have also been investigating the remnants of Pavarian Illuminati, they discovered Adam wanted to use the divine power to achieve the goal of destroying the Sarcophagus in order to become the world’s ultimate ruler. But it looks like a group of girls from Pavarian Illuminati, Vanessa Diodati, Millaarc Cranstoun and Elsa Bete are targeting it for an entirely different reason. They don’t want it destroyed but to use it to rebuild their future. Our Symphogear girls break free and continue attacking the Sarcophagus. Heck, to show how awesome they are, their combo has them locate and destroy its only weakness located in its neck with pinpoint accuracy and timing despite all the obstacles that stand in their way! Damn, they make it look so easy. In the aftermath as the scientists try to salvage it, they discover a mummified corpse inside.

Episode 2
I guess everybody is teasing Chris she is using the gloves they got her for her birthday. You want to be sad for her not using it then? Flashback shows during the retrieval of the corpse, Alca-Noise showed up attacking the US vessel to steal it. Kirika and Shirabe went to deal with it but stumbled into Elsa whom they also fought with. In the end, Elsa is forced to withdraw and not go all out because they cannot risk damaging the corpse. Meanwhile Genjuurou gets lectured by Fudou (Tsubasa’s grandpa) because Japan relinquished their right to examine the corpse to US and he even let the Pavarian remnants off the hook. He is warned not to bring further shame. Meanwhile our girls are already late for Tsubasa and Maria’s concert because of the damn traffic jam. Why not just go on foot? It’s this close, right? So as the duo belt out their hits, suddenly Alca-Noise drop in to slaughter everyone! Oh sh*t! Everybody dies! Damn those fans paid to enjoy a good concert and they all got slaughtered instead. You mean the other Symphogear girls can’t transform right now and go? Stupid traffic jam! Tsubasa’s trauma activates when Millaarc kills a hostage before her eyes. This allows Millaarc to scan and capture whatever data was needed before fleeing. You bet Tsubasa is in despair, thinking important things keep slipping through her fingers. Meanwhile as the scientists scan the corpse, the moment the bracer was scanned, the corpse turns into dust.

Episode 3
Tsubasa so traumatized that she’s in coma. Millaarc and Elsa doing some shady exchange with American agents. F*cking Americans. Because a few biker guys happen to see this, wrong time, wrong place, the Pavarian duo go out to slaughter them. Biker boss praying for angels to come rescue him. God answers his wish in the form of Symphogear girls! Millaarc trying to play psychology with Hibiki because without her Ignite Module, she cannot beat her. But with Chris backing her up, the duo manage to escape by the skin of their teeth although they had to leave behind an important suitcase. Analysing its contents, it contains a very rare blood type known as Rh-xxoyle. It is believed the US is behind this but their suspicions are put to rest when they get news that their lab in Los Alamos is destroyed by Pavarian Illuminati. Further investigation by Yatsuhiro reveals the lab also deals with heretical technology research. And FIS was part of Los Alamos. Also, although several relics with no power were stolen, that bracer known as Shem-ha was one of them. Yatsuhiro will press the US government to help resolve this matter. Tsubasa is back up now and before she can claim she is okay, a stinging message from Fudou that she allowed enemies to attack Japan and that she cannot protect the people. He believes songs cannot protect the world. There goes Tsubasa getting depressed all over again. Kirika is joking that the enemies might be targeting blood banks. What do you know, Millaarc shows up at one! With Shirabe, they attack and defeat her. Don’t let her sew doubts in your thinking because Millaarc claiming she wants to protect her family, cue for Vanessa to drop in. This fight was just a decoy for Elsa to get the blood. Vanessa then blackouts all electricity in the vicinity. This give them time to escape as our heroines are forced to save the patients. Damn hospital has no backup generator?! We see Vanessa talking to Fudou and will give him Shem-ha as he wanted. He believes this is what Japan needs to reclaim its rightful place.

Episode 4
These remnants call themselves Noble Red and they need the blood to filter the impurities from the use of their powers. Fudou sees Noble Red to activate Shem-ha. He uses the American agents as bait by having them killed. One of them panics and puts on the bracer and he explodes! Fudou realizes the divine power won’t let itself be used so easily. Elsa has a proposal. When the Symphogear girls drop down to fight Noble Red, Hibiki learns their goal is to return to being normal girls and be friends with everyone. So why fight then? Can’t we just talk? No can do. People reject and ostracize those who are different. This fight is just a distraction for Shem-ha to be taken away and once so, Noble Red retreats. SONG picks up some device from the ruins and analyses its waveform to be in some strange music format. Because Maria planted a tracking device on Vanessa during that fight, they are able to trace their makeshift hideout. Although Noble Red realizes this too late, they prepare to fight the Symphogear girls. So the moment they land and before they can finish singing their first sentence, BOOM! Landed right on the minefield!!! Is this a joke?! Of course it will take more than that to kill them so Noble Red traps them in some indestructible blocks that turned into some giant pyramid labyrinth. Then they compress their weak powers in a confined space to multiply the explosion exponentially. Since Hibiki is feeling down about losing, cue for vision of Saint-Germain to lecture her whom she lost to. To yourself? Hibiki being Hibiki, that’s enough to pull her out of the doldrums. Why, Saint-Germain lending her powers means golden protective barriers? Wow! Hibiki’s outfit has transformed into even something shinier! Now packing some power punches to counter strike Noble Red. But she won’t deal the final blow because she remembers Vanessa wants to be friends. Can we just shake hands and talk for a start? Suddenly an order from Genjuurou to abort mission now. Looks like the Japanese government has got SONG at gunpoint.

Episode 5
Not sure what is going on because this sneaky official forces SONG to cooperate so as they can investigate whatever. Noble Red rendezvous with Fudou. He tells them to begin the last phase of the plan as everything has been set. However he warns them that because they have failed in some ways, there are people sniffing around his feet. Vanessa’s flashback shows us she was working as a researcher in Pavarian Illuminati. While researching Faust Robe, it exploded and almost killed her. But her body was replaced with cyborg parts and she was further humiliated by being experimented on. Her only solace were Elsa and Millaarc as fellow experiment subjects. When Pavarian Illuminati fell, they escaped. However their bodies require special blood and Fudou offered to supply them that in exchange for their assistance with his plan. Genjuurou manages to contact Yatsuhiro. The latter laments that proper paper has been filed for this despite noting there are shady individuals involved. There are also traces that Fudou might be involved but it is best not to suspect him until they have solid proof. For now, Yatsuhiro is trying to fix failing relations with US and hopes the joint lunar expedition will solve it or he will threaten them with some WMD incident. With the Symphogear girls on standby, I guess now it’s a good time to take a break. Hibiki is out with Miku, Tsubasa and Elfnein. Hibiki and Miku end up in an argument about Tsubasa’ feelings. But they have to put that aside since Alca-Noise are attacking the city. As Hibiki and Tsubasa go into action, Genjuurou and SONG manage to get court order to take back their commandership. Tsubasa becomes riled up seeing Millaarc and launches relentless assaults. Though, they are just illusions but that didn’t stop her from powering up. Damn, is she responsible for the destruction of the city?! The real Millaarc is hunting down Miku and Elfnein and has orders to take in the latter. It seems that sneaky official is in cohorts with her. Miku thinks she can stall them and let Elfnein run away but looks like Millaarc has a different plan for her.

Episode 6
Yeah, there’s a lot of blood on the scene. Whose blood? Let the lab find out… Meanwhile, the Symphogear girls are in despair over the missing duo. Worse, Tsubasa thinks the rest are blaming her for her err in judgment and gets a little edgy. Then Fudou calls Tsubasa. Like as though he hypnotizes her, he tells her this is not her battlefield and to come to him for guidance if she is lost. Lab results are in… The blood belongs to… Neither! Hooray! Elfnein wakes up and realizes she is in Chateau de Tiffauges. Flashback shows Millaarc killed the official as they have no use for him. Yup, that’s his blood. That scene was so horrifying that the duo passed out. Miku is also alive but is unconscious in another room. It seems Elfnein is tasked to activate something. Looks like some huge generator. Vanessa realizes Ogawa has got his hands on some evidence linking Noble Red to Kazanari Institute. She goes to intercept but thanks to Ogawa’s awesome driving that turns his car into some ninja (car cloning???!!!), he manages to get away. But that is also thanks to the help of Maria and Chris arriving to tackle her. Knowing she won’t be enough to beat them, Vanessa decides to use innocent civilians in her fight. Luckily they are able to save them and also defeat Vanessa. Before they could interrogate her about their pals’ whereabouts, some great light activates from Chateau de Tiffauges. You can’t miss that bright light shooting towards the heavens over there.

Episode 7
Millaarc brainwashes Elfnein to go break through some system security. However because of the abundance of energy, it went berserk. So I take it that this godly monster is Shem-ha? The other Symphogear girls drop in to fight it. Ultimately Hibiki takes the biggest blow and knowing without her god slaying powers this would be a battle they can never win, they make a tactical retreat. When Vanessa returns, she hears their explanation about the need to do an emergency purge after drawing out the divine power from Miku and the output was way beyond their expectations. Back at the base, analysis shows that the wave emitted by Shem-ha is the same as the song from Maria’s homeland, Apple. Vanessa is about to kill Elfnein who has outlived her usefulness. Damn this brat had enough reflex to avoid that? The next time Vanessa tries again, this time Elfnein is saved by the appearance of her Autoscorers. Somehow their scrapped bodies were chained to the reactor core and conveniently revive during the output. Elfnein then contacts SONG and tells them about her whereabouts. Don’t worry, Miku is also safe. Also they’re lucky the diving being hasn’t completely materialized yet. However she can’t hold out and is asking for backup. Unfortunately Genjuurou can’t send his Symphogear girls now, especially their trump card Hibiki is out. So hang in there until they can send reinforcements. So I guess it’s cue to see the Autoscorers serve and protect Elfnein from Noble Red till their last breath. Vanessa thinks she can finally kill this brat but think again! Another miracle! The Autoscorers’ sacrifice has made Elfnein able to transform into a badass Symphogear lass. Oh wait, is this Carol?

Episode 8
Noble Red can’t even touch Carol as she owns them. Better escape while they can. She would have gone after them had not Elfnein tell her their priority is to rescue Miku. Carol then contacts SONG and she wants them to destroy that monster while she finds a way to save Miku before she becomes Shem-ha’s vessel. Fudou is not impressed with Noble Red’s failure. He looks reluctant giving them another chance but when Vanessa hopes he remembers his promise to give them human bodies after he obtains divine power, he shuts her off. Meanwhile Hibiki has her own issues to deal with. Traumatic dream of Miku won’t be her friend anymore? Gee, that’s really like the end of the world. The other Symphogear girls try to power up with their combined swan songs but it has no effect on Chateau de Tiffauges and it’s already taking a toll on their body. Worse, Shem-ha is attacking them. Noble Red returns to fight Carol. They thought their pyramid labyrinth could do the trick but all Carol needs to do is just sing and blast her way out. Remember, her song alone has the Phonic gain equivalent to 7 billion swan songs! Oh, Carol might tire out now but this powers up the other Symphogear girls as they fight back. Noble Red are weakened as Vanessa suspects Fudou has put poison in the blood transfusion. Finally the Symphogear girls have the edge when Hibiki is now launched towards Shem-ha. I guess she has gotten over her trauma. Yeah, what’s the point of wielding Symphogear if she can’t even save a friend? So saving the world isn’t as important? Anyway, with the other Symphogear girls relegated to protecting Hibiki from Shem-ha’s attacks, Hibiki finally uses her extended arms to give the deepest direct punch into the monster. Though she punches through, she is shocked to see Miku waiting for her inside. Wow. Miku has her own Symphogear transformation scene? Apparently this isn’t Dark Miku. Shem-ha has materialized.

Episode 9
I suppose Shem-ha didn’t completely materialize into Miku so that’s why she’s fighting it. But it is that exact moment where Fudou activates a seal in Tsubasa to turn her into his lapdog as she kidnaps Miku from the rest. Everyone is in shock with Tsubasa’s betrayal but continue to believe in her. Hibiki is on probation so she hangs out with her dad? He tries to listen to her problems but don’t get your hopes up. Yup, sorry can’t help with that kind of problem. With now Miku in Fudou’s hands, he is trying to override its feedback system so he can be its master. This is not Symphogear but Faust Robe. Yatsuhiro and Genjuurou summon Maria for a new mission. They have evidence that Kazanari Institute is behind this and will be going to arrest the patriarch. Maria refuses because this mission also means slaying Tsubasa. So she’s going to try diplomacy first, huh? Upon arrival, Alca-Noise greet them. Genjuurou faces off with Fudou while Maria fights Tsubasa. Oddly, a slap from Maria is all it takes to break the seal. And also some lecture since when she cares more about herself than others. But this leaves her only in more despair because she views herself as insufficient to protect the weak. Meanwhile Genjuurou lost to Fudou. He could have won had he had the killing intent. So Fudou finishes him off with this extreme piledriver move!!! During this commotion, Noble Red sneak in to override the instructions but were promptly slain by Miku! Fudou now faces off with Tsubasa and views her as bringing shame. Since the seal won’t work, he shoots her with his gun. But wait! Yatsuhiro fast enough to protect her with his body! Last words from father: Don’t protect people because they’re weak. Protect them because they’re worth protecting. True. But how to know if they’re worth it? Oh Tsubasa, you’re so confused. Tsubasa levels up to an even better gear to fight Fudou. Heck, Fudou is willing to let her kill him so she would become the monster to protect Japan. She is actually going to do that but Genjuurou stops her. Can’t waste everything they’ve worked for, eh? Poor Tsubasa. So confused. I hope she doesn’t break further. And then something activates. Looks like big sh*t hits the fan. So much so Hibiki is called for help. Screw probation. Just when Hibiki’s dad was trying to at least say some cool things to help his daughter.

Episode 10
God has awakened. Humanity is screwed. Maria tries to intercept but Shem-ha is defended by Noble Red. Because they are so powered up, a tactical retreat is best for now. Shem-ha doesn’t even think of going after them because now that Yggdrasil has risen, mankind has nowhere left to run! Sure, but you’re giving them time to fight back? We now see Fudou in prison, Yatsuhiro is dead and Tsubasa given back her authority to fight alongside her Symphogear comrades. Some emotional reunion before sh*t hits the fan. Flashback shows Noble Red was killed by Shem-ha. However her powers are not how they used to be so she revived them and make them perfect monsters? Huh? So being perfect is anything other than being human? Since Noble Red can never become human again and so Shem-ha offer them to serve under her instead of wallowing in depression. Huh? Yeah, she’ll erase all rejection and loneliness in this world. With the rise of Yggdrasil, it triggered some reaction on the moon. Hence the next mission is to head there. Thanks to Yatsuhiro’s diplomatic efforts, US is willing to cooperate. However the mission will be helmed by the Americans while the Symphogear girls will be defending the launch. Because true enough, Alca-Noise and Noble Red attack to prevent the launch from happening. Noble Red is so powered up that they overwhelm the Symphogear girls and even destroy the rocket! There goes the billion dollar programme up in smokes. The big bulk of the fight is focused on Shirabe-Kirika vs Elsa. In the end of this vicious battle, our Symphogear pair combine and power up to take her down. Even lecturing her about there is no need to become a monster just to ease her loneliness. Yes, walls in your heart aren’t meant to keep others out but to protect and accept who you are! Noble Red is going to escape. You mean to show off your escape device? Because enough time for desperate Tsubasa to cut in and try to teleport to their base to save Miku. Well, her comrades are also fast enough not to let her go alone. With that, all of them disappear from the face of the Earth. So where could they be? From the look of it, they’re on the moon! Yeah, saved a 3 day trip there.

Episode 11
Maria has this strange dream. In the past, Enki was fighting Shem-ha. He lost but sacrificed his arm to revive. Then they killed each other so Shem-ha sacrificed her own life so she could have a future. Such a convenience that the ruins on the moon has air and same gravity as Earth. Drones attack the separated girls and though they manage to hold their ground, thanks to Maria and Tsubasa finding the control centre room, they manage to deactivate the defence system. Great convenience that this room has a hologram of Enki who tells them everything. In turn they contact back to SONG to relay back this big reveal. So it is some higher alien lifeform that helped humans on Earth to evolve and all? What’s that again about the Yggdrasil system that connects all humans as a cluster of biological computer terminals? Unfortunately, Shem-ha had different plans of her own and revolted by challenging them to battle. Well, I can see who won. Now Shem-ha exists as data fragments that remain in humanity’s genetic info. Hence she is basically immortal as each defeat means she can regenerate from whatever data fragments remain. Thus the rest created a jamming system known as Balal, they sealed her and abandoned Earth. Hence the curse of Balal is the root of all conflict but is also the same source that is protecting humanity. If Shem-ha removes this curse, she will turn all lifeforms into monsters she can control. Therefore the goal is to destroy the lunar ruins. We interrupt this with Millaarc attacking Tsubasa and Maria. She powers up by cloning herself so we can have this very strange pro wrestling tag team fight. Of course Tsubasa and Maria just need to remember the song they first sang together to power up (and regain Tsubasa’s shattered pride) to defeat her. While everything is fine on the moon, back on Earth it is not. Yggdrasil has popped up everywhere! Time to remodel Earth.

Episode 12
Elfnein plans to face Shem-ha as Carol. It’s a suicide move because for Carol to fight on par and defeat her, it is at the expense of her memories. But even so, it wasn’t enough to defeat a God. Hence, Shem-ha’s reward to her is to let her live so she can witness the end of the world. Damn, Earth has become so red that it’s Mars? Meanwhile on the moon, Hibiki and Chris team up to fight stubborn Vanessa. And of course the power of friendship has Vanessa defeated. After some lecture, I guess Noble Red realizes that even if they are perfect monsters, they don’t want to have a heart of a monster. Yup, finally they’re tired of doing all this sh*t. Too late. Because Shem-ha possesses Vanessa to inject some virus into the system and take over it. Hibiki’s hesitation to punch through Vanessa with her god slaying fist only made that possible. Shem-ha considers herself reborn and thanks that event from a year ago (from last season) where everyone combined their hearts which revived her then. The girls realize the irony that it wasn’t because humans couldn’t be connected but must not. The place is crumbling and how to get back to Earth without dying? Easy. Noble Red forms a long pyramid labyrinth as their passage back to Earth. Take this as their final repentance for all they’ve done. Yeah, don’t worry. The Symphogear girls will make sure their will lives on through them. Adios, Noble Red. Upon reaching the exosphere, they manage to contact SONG. It seems everyone in the world is coming together to fight Yggdrasil! Because Yggdrasil is using the computer networks, we see the world hackers coming together to put up the biggest firewall!!! Now it’s the Symphogear girls’ turn to sing for the world. Don’t worry, they won’t vaporize when they re-enter the atmosphere. In fact, they level up into angels just in time for a final showdown with Shem-ha!

Episode 13
Wow! My eyes are bleeding from all the flashy godly pow wow beam blasting effects!!! Wow! My ears are going deaf from the singing, talking and heavy rock music in the background! WOW! My head is going to explode trying to compute everything! All typical and usual until Shem-ha doing a dick move by putting up Miku’s cute innocent face to make Hibiki falter once more. Oh yes. Can’t hurt a cutie girl, can we? Carol uses up all of her powers to protect the Symphogear girls and give Hibiki some hope that her fists aren’t just cursed but give hopes to those whom she doesn’t know too. And then everyone is broken from Shem-ha’s connection. WTF?! Network interruption?! Now the humans of the world send over their hope to Hibiki as Hibiki mercilessly fights back Shem-ha and believes she can still save her friend instead of killing her. And then she overcomes the curse to purge Shem-ha and rescue Miku. Well, drama’s not over yet… Elfnein meets Carol one last time in her subconscious. It seems she used up all her memories and will now disappear. Bye. Will never forget you. Meanwhile, despite Shem-ha gone, Yggdrasil is still active. They have to find the core and shut it all down. Rats, those pesky enemy minions. Do have time for this? Don’t worry, Miku in her Symphogear form joins them! Yeah, Elfnein tweaked her a little so you bet she’s ready to join Hibiki. However Elfnein warns them of Carol’s last words. Even if they destroy the core, another unit will take over. Essential, fighting a losing battle. So Elfnein’s idea is to use Phonic gain and make all of them self-destruct simultaneously. So the girls start singing their swan song at the core. Damn, it feels like roll call when we see the ghosts of dead characters (also from previous seasons) popping up to support this miracle! The girls succeed and they have to race out as Yggdrasil is destroyed. WTF the ghost of Shem-ha still trying to pull them in?! Well, Shem-ha trying to ask them one more time about what the f*ck they’re trying to do. Even if it’s painful and suffering, they’ll still continue to walk their future. Then it’s like finally Shem-ha has given up. Okay. You do what you want. It’s your future. And with that, finally can we see we won this whole sh*t?! Behold! The dawn of the new future starts now! Lastly, Hibiki and Miku finally get to say what they wanted to say to each other for a long time. I’m pretty sure it’s not, “NOT ANOTHER SYMPHOGEAR SEASON”!

We Are All Connected In More Ways Than Just The Internet!
Well, let’s hope that’s the end of it. While no future seasons were announced, there may be still trouble for the world and its future. You know, everybody was okay with suffering and the pain in the future so I’m guessing there will be disgruntled assholes and jerks trying some similar dick move in the future. Hence SONG’s job will never be done. But as far as I can see for the anime format, it is highly not likely because they do some roll call at the end so this might actually be their swan song. But then again, they didn’t put the ‘magic word’ called ‘final season’ in the title so everything is still up in the air. There is always hope for the future (instalments)! Don’t you ever forget that. The Symphogear girls fought for us that!

I think the storyline has become somewhat predictable or at least it follows some kind of pattern. There is some group, normally one that has a bunch of gorgeous babes fighting in front, having their own nefarious goals. Somebody wants to play God or bring an end to the world and humanity. Hence SONG and the Symphogear girls use their ever transforming and evolution gear to fight and thwart the enemy’s plan. Even if the world or humanity is close to being defeated or on the brink of destruction, never give up till the last drop! Because you bet that somehow songs and the power of friendship will be there to always save the day. It’s that easy. Because after all, it’s all just fiction! Oh yeah. Carry on, Symphogear girls. Carry on protecting the world and your friendship the way you have always been doing.

I don’t know what’s up with the strange alphabets when naming the seasons. Symphogear G was the second season, then followed by AXZ for the third, then GX as the fourth and now the current one as XV. Do they stand for something? I don’t know. So when can we have Symphogear XXX? Oh sh*t! I think that itself already exists if you know where to look on the dark side of the internet! *Wink, wink*. Heh. Another way humans are connected to the dark side…

So yeah, honestly I’ve been going through this season as blur and even more so that I can be. Not remembering what has happened in previous seasons and the terms and sci-fi jargons are still all over the place in my head. Yeah, I don’t know watching this series would constitute in wasting my time. But to be honest, the only thing that I could ‘understand’ (other than the cliché plot of some ‘God’ wanting to destroy the world) is the action parts. I guess this is the only part in the entire series that I never consistently get bored of. Despite all the exaggerated and flashy power moves, it is that same reason why I still find them so fascinating and exciting. All those loud over the top punches, projectiles and the likes are so outrageous that it’s just so amusing. This season packs even more punch as we see our characters level up and hence adding more firepower to their arsenal. Sometimes I think having so much power feels like if they’re not careful and slip up, they might destroy the entire city! Oh wait. That happened once when Tsubasa went berserk, right? Good thing it is just one off. Phew. Good thing the gears are overall still in good hands, right?

This season too has ramped up the blood spills and body count. You’d think that nobody in this season will die, especially innocent people, right? Well, time to relive your trauma of the first season by massacring all the innocent concertgoers! Damn, a future generation all wiped out like that. It’s so sad so next time dad forbid you to go to some live concert with your friends, better be safe than sorry. Oh heck, just screw it all and just go have fun with your friends! And also not forgetting, RIP Yatsuhiro… On a side note, Alca-Noise has now being reduced to some low level warm up baddies for the Symphogear girls to fight. They still looks weird but now it gets even weirder because I thought I saw some of them riding a Segway!!! WTF???!!!! WHAT THE FFFFFUUUU???!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

In previous seasons, the Symphogear girls have their own transformation scene. I don’t remember past seasons’ transformation scene but it seems the ones I do notice here seems to be a little sexier. Is this what happens when you power up that your transformation scene is also freaking awesome sexy? Okay. Whatever. When you have the girls dressed up like that as their battle uniform, what else can I say?

As for the characters, I guess there is nothing much for me to say here except that perhaps we need some kind of catalyst for this series’ drama and hence the tension in Hibiki and Miku’s friendship. But that is a bit overshadowed by Tsubasa’s drama because she is in a dilemma whether her sword could continue to protect the people. It was a bit disheartening to see her lose her way for a while and get disillusioned but as you would have expected, once her friends bring her back to the right path, she’s back to the Tsubasa we all know and even stronger.

For the new characters especially Noble Red as the antagonists, it’s that same ol’ formula from previous seasons that these hot babes are once more tricked into doing stuffs that would bring harm to humanity as a whole. And just like in previous seasons, once they are truly defeated by our heroines, they turn over a new leaf and there are only 2 options for them: Join and become their comrade or die but their will lives on inside the hearts of our heroines. I bet SONG Doesn’t have more space to accommodate more heroines and they don’t want to blow it up and give AKB48 a run for their money so I guess these girls better die. Don’t worry, like I’ve said, they will continue to live on inside our Symphogear girls’ heart so all is not lost. So in future seasons, they might be brought back in some ghost form to power up our heroines should they ever find themselves in a pinch.

I don’t know if this season ramped up the sexiness too because Noble Red feels sexualized. Especially when you have Vanessa being the kind of monster that could shoot missiles from out of her boobs!!! So the members of Noble Red feel like they take some form of sexualisation. Vanessa has all the right curves. Millaarc is thicc. Elsa is flat and child-like. All you men out there with any sort of fetish of your ideal women, we have it all here in Noble Red!

Shem-ha as the true final boss, I guess this is the only way they could make Miku have her own supposed Symphogear outfit. Personally, I think I find Miku in her Shem-ha dark form to be hot and looking better than the rest! But her white Symphogear form seems clumsy… And so the irony that Shem-ha is going to use humans as well as their internet technology to connect and destroy mankind? Yeah, I thought she would just crack open the lands, cause tsunamis, extreme tornados and burn everything down. But I have to remember that this ‘God’ is actually some intelligent alien lifeform from somewhere and considering how humans today are so dependent on technology these days, it’s the best way to get back at them. Is this also live by the sword, die by the sword? Not if all the hackers of the world could come together and at least be a stumbling block to Shem-ha if they can’t destroy her. Uh huh. An irony and big joke if Shem-ha gets taken down by human technology! Now I see why it’s best left to the power of friendship and the songs of these girls to finish her off no matter how cliché and ridiculous it sounds. Yeah. What a sham hahahaha!!! Sorry, bad pun. But really, trying to show us that humans can and will unite to defeat even the mightiest of God with their songs and internet technology. Damn, I must be missing something here…

I’m glad some of the older antagonists of past seasons stay dead or at least didn’t revive in this season. Yeah, you don’t know how annoying it was to have Fine and Ver come back alive just for some plot twist (I don’t count that final cameo roll call scene). Let’s hope they stay that way and with Fudou out of the picture, let’s hope he just stays a senile old man locked up in his cellar. I can understand why he doesn’t believe in songs that would save the world. Seeing the world is in constant threat and that results are needed, the Symphogear girls may not be considered as victorious as they have continually fought off wave after wave of threats. So it’s not entirely a failure but with the world at stake, you’d want something that would just kill off all the threats once and for all so I understand why Fudou is being the bad guy because when you want something done, you just have to do it yourself if you have to become a monster. But leave it to the Symphogear girls to find another way than that because, wait for it, power of friendship! Don’t fight fire with fire in this case.

Previous seasons’ seiyuus return and retain the roles they’ve voiced. New ones joining this season are Mao Ichimichi as Vanessa (Fana in Black Clover), Aimi Terakawa as Millaarc (Kasumi in BanG Dream), Kana Ichinose as Elsa (Kurai in Hitori Bocchi No Marumaru Seikatsu) and Noriko Hidaka as Shem-ha (Kikyou in Inu Yasha). Just like in past seasons, the opening and ending themes are hard rock and also the place to show off Nana Mizuki’s awesome vocals. At least for the opener, Metanoia and the special ending theme of the first episode, Final Commander. The ending theme is sung by Ayahi Takagaki, Lasting Song. Even so, not really my cup of tea. And also not counting the numerous hard rock insert songs. Boy, they could compile and make albums out of these.

Overall, yet another mind boggling Symphogear series for me. I guess I never changed. Still find everything else boring and confusing and this itself prevents me to appreciate and enjoy the series even after 5 seasons. Yet the only thing I like are the outrageous power action bits. It’s not that I don’t want to understand, I just simply can’t! Now can you see why humans are doomed from the beginning? They don’t need some advanced alien being God or Almighty Himself putting an end to humanity because we are on that path of self-destruct. You just have to be patient and wait a few more generations for that instead of instant death. I suppose singing John Lennon’s Imagine won’t cut it and save the world, huh? Maybe some Metallica and Megadeth will do… And if you think cutting off our internet will make us all lose hope in living, think again because we’ll all gang up and turn into angry mobs and witch hunt. Nothing makes people of the world come together and band as one when you take away their internet porn! Yup, the irony of porn connecting us all! So when can we expect the official Symphogear XXX to come out?

To Aru Kagaku No Accelerator

December 15, 2019

Tch. I suppose with the less than well received third season of To Aru Majutsu No Index, the producers need to come up with something fast to appease all that disappointment. And that solution came in the form of To Aru Kagaku No Accelerator. What a way to make the series’ most beloved hero, uhm, I mean villain, oh wait, make that anti-hero become the star of his own spinoff series. After all, it is about time the best ranked, number 1 and strongest Level 5 esper in Academy City should get his own mini series. I mean, why should a certain Level 0 and a certain biri-biri get all the attention so far? In any case, Accelerator somewhat became an angel by the end of the third Index season and hence deserves this spinoff, right?!

Episode 1
Yomikawa and her Anti-Skill team are trying to track down thieves. In this air compressing R&D facility, it seems the thieves have stolen something and gotten away with it. Meanwhile Last Order is bugging Accelerator to not stay late. Because it’s the day his bandages come off, she wants to celebrate this ‘holiday’! Tch. Yeah, she wants to throw a party too. Soon, Yomikawa enters the hospital. Since Yoshikawa is there, Yomikawa explains the R&D was secretly developing a secret weapon but it got stolen. Because the facility refused to divulge any more info, it could mean they are related to the governing board. After researching, they concluded the thieves stole the weapon to use it against Accelerator. Oh look, they’re here now. The hospital is put on evacuation. Accelerator doesn’t even give a damn to budge and Last Order wants to protect her cake! She baked hard for it, you know. Yoko Takata is slicing things up with her new weapon while Hiromi Nakahara replenishes her when her ammo runs out and Minori Kidera just, uhm, accompanying them? Because they are just high school kids, Anti-Skill can’t even hurt them? How then? How far can they back up until their backs are against the wall? But Yoko can’t kill them too because Hiromi disallows her. Cue for Accelerator to drop in. Time to have fun. They think it’s going to be hard to kill him? Well, Accelerator thinks it’ll be easy to kill them! I think he would have gone all out had not Last Order got in the way. Yoko’s goal is to take Accelerator’s genes. Yeah, his blood dripped onto Last Order’s cake bag. Yoko takes it and flees with Minori but leaves down and out Hiromi behind. So I guess Accelerator has to go after them since the bag is so important, right? Yoko reveals their ultimate goal to sell Accelerator’s DNA and become rich. They will return to rescue Hiromi but first they have to make a clean getaway. Not when Accelerator is standing in the way. He has also figured out things like the weapon is just a high pressure water cutter. Because nitrogen gets spread, this makes anyone who get close to them dizzy due to lack of oxygen. The only reason why Yoko’s team can still function is because Minori’s ability to control the air around them although it is only for a close proximity. Accelerator defeats them and destroys the weapon. He would have killed Yoko but with Minori trying to protect her despite shaking all over, I guess doesn’t want to be a true villain today. Back at the hospital, Last Order is happy to get the bag back. Then she gives it to him. Happy recovery holiday? I guess he’s not interested in the party plans she has laid out for him.

Episode 2
Hasami Hitokawa killed herself by drowning. However she failed and is still alive. But the paramedics decide to kill her and use her pyrokinetic abilities. Now she’s scared to die? We see members of Anti-Skill infiltrating the hospital just to chase down a hooded target Esther Rosenthal. She enters Accelerator’s room but is then cornered by Anti-Skill and taken down. You’d think Accelerator didn’t give a damn with all the commotion but rather he offed all his senses so he can read in peace. Once Accelerator reactivates his senses, he sees a dropped photo by Esther. A picture of Last Order? So he goes down to confront Anti-Skill. He can tell they are fakes because real Anti-Skill will never point a gun at an unarmed civilian. Then they reveal they are DA who will bring true justice to Academy City. I guess they don’t know who Accelerator is so they think they can dispense their justice on him. Yeah, the bullet just ricochet back at him. This is your justice? Now let Accelerator show his! Hey, do villains have justice? Then they bring out this hideous monster machine known as Coffin to fight him. But of course it is still no match for Accelerator. Before he could chase those fleeing baddies, the corpse of Hasami drops out from the machine. This traumatizes Accelerator because it reminds him of the Sisters he killed. When Yomikawa and the real Anti-Skill show up, he tells them about the body has been dead for 2 days despite looking very preserved and clean. He believes they must have drawn out her abilities to be used in the machine and even raised its level. Meanwhile the members of DA are conferencing about this failed mission. Especially Esther who got away as she is a very important factor for the Waste Recycle Experiment. The guy who failed wants to make it up as he fears being tossed away for being useless. Mikihiko Hishigata is tasked to clean this up so he kills that failed guy. Accelerator returns to his room only to see Esther who needs his help. He isn’t interested and threatens he isn’t a champion of justice. She can tell he is not a bad person but if he wants to kill her, go ahead. But in turn please use his power to save the world. She blames herself for being the root of this problem and many more are going to die if this is not stopped. It seems Last Order is an essential part of their plans to shift the world to a new level. I guess that killed his vibe to kill her. Yeah, so why decide to take on the job she dumped on him? He wants her to lead him to their base and he’ll show it to them their true style of a villain.

Episode 3
Busting into this warehouse, before them is a giant robot, Qionghe. Piloting it is Hishigata. Though he credits Esther for teaching him about necromancy, she is the same like him because they bring back the dead just to serve the purposes of the living. Hishigata won’t stay to fight Accelerator and flees. Smart choice. At least he knows what he is up against. Returning to the hospital, Last Order is jealous Accelerator brought back another woman and throws food boxes at him! Why do that if you’re going to be scared? But thankfully he didn’t get mad. Time to go out and eat. So, uhm, everything is okay? At the diner, not sure what kind of life Esther did because she’s so fascinated with all the food in the menu. Last Order describing how tasty they are while Accelerator adds the sarcastic but truthful touch. With DA still weighing heavily on his mind, Accelerator calls Yoshikawa for answers but she doesn’t know a thing. As Last Order goes for her usual check-up, the doctor tells Accelerator about Hasami. Anti-Skill requested he take a look at her body but after being dead for 3 days, there’s nothing he could do. Except he found a talisman in her mouth. Esther recognizes it as a low level spiritual charm. They go examine Hasami’s body as Esther explains about her family’s roots in necromancy of transplanting a false soul into a dead body and freely controlling it. Then there’s more technical sci-fi sh*t I just can’t understand but basically what Esther is going to do to Hasami’s body is to restart it. When a hologram of her brain lobes appear, Accelerator curiously touches it. He sees snippets of Hasami’s life from young till her suicide and ‘second death’ by those fake paramedics. Esther’s ritual is successful when a couple of fake Anti-Skill guys tell them to scram so they can look at the body. But Accelerator stole their solution that is supposedly to rid of the corpse. I guess we’re going to fight now, huh? And also Hasami returns to life…

Episode 4
Hasami returns to life as Huotou, a pseudo-soul. She targets the attackers but Accelerator wants to have fun showing these bastards what it means to be monsters. Unfortunately his injuries were too much for him to handle just when he was about to have fun. He collapses and one of the perpetrators got away. So much so he bumps into one of the Sisters and takes her hostage as he flees with his other comrades. Meanwhile Hishigata contacts Nakimoto. Because he views DA’s activities getting to be more brazen lately, he doesn’t want them to obstruct his upcoming plans. Hence Nakimoto thinks of cutting DA off and has Scavengers do the job. You mean this quartet of hot weirdo chicks? Okay. Accelerator wakes up in hospital. The doctor did a good operation on him. A Sister visits him to leave him a note from Esther. Looks like she and Huotou has gone looking for DA. And you know Accelerator is going to get involved too once he learns one of the Sisters has been abducted. A timely call from Yoshikawa to dispense what she has researched on DA. It stands for Disciplinary Action and as the name suggests, they take punitive action. They are formed by rejected members of Anti-Skill and will do anything to bring about their version of justice. The problem is that they have a huge number of sympathizers from bigwigs to scientists who support and fund them with high technology weapons and info. However with DA going berserk now, there is word they will be purged. Sounds like fun to Accelerator. Bet you he wants to join in this evil party? Hishigata notes a Sister in custody and wants her. In the name of justice, of course. Yomikawa is shocked that lots of info on the members of DA is popping up. Yeah, it’s like a whole lot of them right under their noses. Then a warehouse which is supposedly their base explodes. Scavengers trying to do their purging job.

Episode 5
Anti-Skill is engaged in a heated battle with DA. Some are complaining to Hishigata about the completion of a certain weapon but he blames Esther getting in the way of getting Last Order so that’s that. But he can improvise as long as they bring him a Sister. Of course this is just a ploy by Hishigata to get the Sister. Once he gets his hands on her, he’ll desert this group. With DA cornered by the reinforcement might of Anti-Skill, they decide to use Tarantula. Yup, a devastating killing machine! See Anti-Skill drop dead like flies! Yomikawa tries to stop a small group delivering the kidnapped Sister. She is appalled to see her being abducted. Then Scavengers come into the picture to rout what’s left of DA and even taking out the mighty Tarantula. With the place crumbling, Yomikawa desperately tries to save the Sister. Slipped. But don’t worry. Esther is here to save the day. Scavengers will let her live if she leaves the Sister behind but with Yomikawa protecting Esther, Scavengers are through playing nice girls so they’re going to just kill them all anyway. Before you forget Accelerator is the main star of this show, looks like he has ‘rested’ enough so he is going to continue with his mission. Just the rehab he needs which is so much better than lying in hospital, right? Time for the big player to get into the game.

Episode 6
Scavenger believes educators (I suppose that’s their term for adults) are the root of all evil. Hence they are ruining the minds of kids in Academy City. So if they kill them one by one, they’ll eventually get to the principal (I suppose that’s their term for the big boss of whoever is running Academy City). Yomikawa tries to convince them that not all adults are bad. That didn’t work because a DA survivor tries to kill them. Yeah, got killed off promptly. Yomikawa didn’t stand a chance. Luckily Huotou comes to her aid but after taking a pounding, Esther helps reinforce her with some dirt armour to give her a chance to fight back. But with Naru turning her bunny mascot into a giant driller, I wonder how long Huotou’s arms are and will it be enough to stop the drilling? This is the cue for our hero, I mean villain, oops I mean anti-hero… Whatever… Accelerator drops in to have fun! Esther, you looking so relieved and happy. Leader is fascinated with him and wants him to join them. Accelerator ignores her till she throws a tantrum. Then he throws Tarantula at her! Scavenger thinks using their undefeated combo will defeat him. Confident burning him in this Iron Maiden will do the trick, huh? Surprise! Still alive! Yeah, Accelerator is going to be your sensei and teach you how to be a true villain! They start to be afraid (make that very afraid) when they learn he is Academy City’s number 1 esper. You mean they didn’t know?! Oh well… Now you do. As he takes them down mercilessly one by one, Leader starts to panic. Really, sh*t hits the fan. So much so Leader wets her pants and passes out! Oh Accelerator, I hope that didn’t disappoint you. But this sure isn’t much of a rehab, huh?

Episode 7
Accelerator is not appreciative that Esther is praising him that despite his destructive powers, he doesn’t kill. He might look wild and unmannered but he still helps others. And because of that, she wants him to become her master! No thanks! She even has Huotou help bug him to take on that role. I wonder if this will make him really want to kill them. I guess now she’s resorting to tears, huh? Not strong enough to stop the enemy, huh? Not Accelerator’s problem! Suddenly they are attacked by 3 machines whom Esther recognizes is controlled by Hirumi (Hishigata’s sister). Accelerator fights them but this is a distraction just to kidnap the Sister. As Accelerator chases after them, Esther explains to Yomikawa about the artificial soul inhibiting Hasami’s body. And then some mumbo jumbo about how special pseudo souls that have been fine tuned for generations can be used in those machines. Hishigata is impressed Hirumi has gotten the Sister but now they need to shake off chasing Accelerator. While trying to stave off the machines, Hishigata is trying to download and copy the memories of the 10,000 deaths of the Sisters from this Sister to complete his experiment. Then he mocks Accelerator about trying to play the hero and save a Sister when he has killed lots of them. In fact, weren’t Sisters created just to be killed by him? Oh my. You wanna make him mad? Yeah. You did just that. Now he’s going really kill you! Esther, instead of getting in Accelerator’s way to chase after the machines, she has another way to put an end to this.

Episode 8
Flashback episode. Hishigata and Hirumi seem to be infatuated to go to Level 6. But with failed results, they call in a necromancer, Esther for help and safety purposes. Of course with Esther using talisman and other rituals that science can’t really explain, Hishigata isn’t going to accept all that. Currently his research on a huge machine is at the crossroads. Though he needs some corpse to power it, the experiment cannot carry on if vital life support organs fail to support life and needs something else that can step in to do so. With Esther having trouble in a foreign land, Hirumi shows her around and they even become best friends. A promise to help each other out too, huh? More mumbo jumbo terms I can’t understand regarding this experiment. Scavengers were girls in debt and were forced to go along in this experiment. Something about the bigger the machine, the more power it draws out their abilities. Hence there will be no limit to growth and theoretically it will be easy for anyone to go into Level 6. However with Hirumi being eager for that, Hishigata has always been lying to her and feeding some placebo experiments on her. But one day when Hirumi really wants to become the subject in the experiment, Hishigata will not allow her despite Esther being their safety device. Besides, he has never seen Esther’s necromancy at work ever since she came. Also, he doesn’t think it is worth risking one’s life to get to Level 6 and at this rate if everything goes well, it will take 2 years. Apparently that is not enough time for Hirumi. So she went to commit suicide. Before that she left a video for them and there’s something about some illness she is also suffering. Can’t wait that long. She hopes this would push him forward and that her death wasn’t in vain. Hishigata is in despair and Esther knows her pseudo soul thingy cannot bring the real Hirumi back. Going all for broke, Hishigata puts Hirumi’s body into the machine. Surprisingly, she wakes up as the machine. Then a disagreement breaks out between Hishigata’s other fellow colleague. Hishigata wants to take Hirumi and leave Academy City but the rest disagrees. Then Hirumi starts knocking Hishigata out and killing everyone else. At this point, Esther realizes this is not Hirumi. In fact Hirumi already died some time ago when she used one of Esther’s talisman. So playing Hirumi would be easier to control her brother for now. She then forces Esther to work for her. And then something about Hirumi being like a Schrodinger’s Cat because she is neither alive nor dead and thus the reason Esther has to stick with her. Now, Esther pulls out Emperor Shun’s Blade in hopes of putting an end to this madness.

Episode 9
With Accelerator hot on their tail, the little tussle loose a few cables. This frustrates Hishigata but Hirumi has an idea. Instead of fighting head on with Accelerator, they stall him. Meaning, the robots attack the innocent people and this forces Accelerator to protect them. Best or worst villain ever? Though they get away, Accelerator knows which direction they went. Once the robot is back at their base, the direct cable downloads faster. Just in time for Accelerator to bust in and save Sister. Hishigata isn’t fazed. He has finished downloading and installed the 10,031 Sister deaths and incorporated into his formula for the machines. He has them tackle Accelerator while he finishes his ultimate goal to turn Hirumi into Level 6. The robots are now enhanced as they can teleport Accelerator and anything else within their visual range. But after a while, Accelerator figures things out. Using friction and all the debris around, he spins fast enough to make a fire tornado and disables the machines’ visuals. Easy victory. Hishigata expected this since this was just to buy time and Hirumi’s upgrade is almost complete. It’s now or never for Esther as perhaps thinks there isn’t enough time so she rushes in to stab Hirumi with Emperor Shun’s Blade but WTF Hishigata is faster and uses his body to block?! Oh Esther, you just killed a human!

Episode 10
When Hirumi wakes up, she gets mad believing Esther has stabbed her brother. So mad that she is glowing red?! And plugging cables to herself?! Is she the female Dr Octopus? So becoming Level 6 is turning into this giant hideous tentacle monster? Hishigata is ecstatic his research has come to fruition. Esther tries to tell him that is not Hirumi all along but Taowu, one of the pseudo souls that has gone astray. He doesn’t believe and asks Hirumi himself. At first Hirumi acts like the little sister he knows. Suddenly she stops and then resets. She reverts to Taowu and purges all memories of Hirumi. Taowu claims she has perfected necromancy for Rosenthal. Although pseudo souls cannot go against a master’s command, Taowu views herself as a higher being. In fact she was connected with another pseudo soul who claimed himself to be the devil! Taowu reminds Esther about Rosenthal’s goal to create the perfect golem. Flashback when the founder dabbled in necromancy, the leaders did not like this idea and casted him out. His subsequent generations then found its way to the east and incorporate some of their Taoism and the likes. Hence the goal of creating a perfect golem possessing a perfect soul and a perfect body that would be on par with God. Now with the formula of 10,000 deaths appended to the Sephirothic tree that becomes Taowu’s pseudo soul. Esther tries to command her not to tamper with death and reincarnation as well as not to do evil stuffs. Unfortunately Taowu isn’t going to let go of this newfound power. It is revealed that the devil who merged with Taowu is in fact Isaac, Rosenthal’s fourth family head. Because of him dabbling in necromancy (turning people into zombies?), he is often called the devil. Ironically, a devil trying to create God? Isaac continues to mock Esther that as a necromancer, she brings death wherever she goes. Had Hirumi not think she is one, she wouldn’t have committed suicide. Esther falls into depression so Isaac tells this failure to sit back and watch him become God. So I guess this tree is part of the process? Esther continues to wallow in depression, believing she has been wrong from the start. You think Accelerator cares? You sad girl just sit back and watch him kick God’s ass!

Episode 11
Gosh. The budget must have ran out since this episode is entirely in sepia-monochrome colour! Or did Isaac become God and sucked away all the colour? Well, Isaac sure knows how to get on Accelerator’s goat by mentioning the 10,031 deaths that could only be found in Academy City. So what else? It’s pulverizing time! But no matter how many times Accelerator destroys this monster, it regenerates. Because Isaac hasn’t completely become God yet, he still needs some time to evolve and hence won’t play with Accelerator. Hence our heroes have to trek in and find the charm of the pseudo soul and destroy it with the Emperor Shun’s Blade. Although the abomination is getting bigger, Isaac decides to evolve faster as he devours the DA members. Even though Anti-Skill is ordered not to engage, I guess common sense would have them to go in to rescue. Hey, nobody said they could do a rescue mission, right? Isaac then uses the corpses of the devoured DA guys to fend off Accelerator and co. So is this going to turn into a zombie flick? But better hurry. Isaac is close to becoming God.

Episode 12
With Isaac’s evolution complete, can Accelerator not do anything? But lucky. Because Isaac devoured too many DA members, he starts to hear voices in his head. He starts to feel conflicted because their wish is to bring justice to Academy City. Enough time for Accelerator and co to head up right to the core and confront him. Esther heads straight to stab Emperor Shun’s Blade but Isaac putting that cutie Hirumi act of please-don’t-kill-me-again, Esther hesitates and fails. Yeah, even annoyed Accelerator had to tell her off and be a proper hero! But Isaac experiences more interruption. Hishigata and Sister did some unplugging. The irony is that despite Isaac being God, he is still connected to the Coffin containing Hirumi’s body. This might be impossible to kill him but it bought some time for Esther to final stab in the blade. With that, Isaac is purged. Oh, Hirumi returns for a short while just to say goodbye. Bye. Sad Esther watches Hirumi’s body disintegrate. Don’t worry, Hishigata will soon follow you in the afterlife. With God gone, can we get back our colour now? Oh, what’s the problem now? You mean the power built up inside this blob is going to explode and level Academy City? Okay, time for another ‘hero’ to do his stuff. Otherwise this final episode and spinoff would be meaningless. Yeah, can’t let anything happen to his loli who is sleeping so snugly now. Hence Accelerator uses all that he can to channel the blast into outer space! Woah! I wonder which unfortunate planet or star will get hit by God’s wrath. But not our problem! Esther is so glad her master didn’t die. Of course! He is the hero! I mean, villain. I mean anti-hero.

Back at the hospital, Accelerator doesn’t give a damn what Last Order is b*tching about. So he sends her to some district to buy coffee. Sure you want to send her away that far? Then Yoshikawa comes in to apologize for getting Accelerator involved. But she wants to know what really happened. The report just said Hishigata’s experiments went wrong but she thinks there is more to it as Accelerator was the core of it. Not that he cares. There’s no other damage, right? See? Good enough. Esther has an emotional farewell as she is about to release Huotou. Huotou had to borrow Accelerator’s words to remind her to become a hero. And even if Huotou loses her memories, Esther won’t. And then Esther parts ways with Accelerator. She’s going back to rebuild her family’s name. I guess that’s fine with him because he could use one less babe in his life. Because Last Order and Sister are arguing over who to play nurse with him!!! So much so he gets out and while taking a breather pondering how some villains are behind all this, some suitcase crashes nearby and some drones shoot it. There goes his coffee. Wreck the entire building just to destroy the drones? Yeah. Bad day. And out from the suitcase is an unconscious bride? Wow. Academy City sure never gets boring.

Uchi No Last Order No Tame Naraba, Ore Wa Zettai Ni Kami Mo Taoseru Kamo Shirenai
Oh, Academy City. What will we do without Accelerator around? Yeah, safe to say that without this dude, Academy City would have been toast a long time ago. Or maybe it is because of weirdoes like him that it attracts even more weirdoes. And I’m not sure if trouble in the form of troubled babes come looking for Accelerator because this spinoff sure makes it look like that. What now? That bride trying to run away from an arranged marriage and perhaps forcing Accelerator to play her husband?! Tch. But yeah, Accelerator doesn’t give a damn as long as he could keep Last Order safe. Putting up with her incessant complaints, lecturing and the likes is just a small price to pay. Academy City has got to be grateful that they have the world’s best hero, I mean world’s best villain, I mean world’s worst villain, I mean, oh heck, I give up. Just don’t piss him off.

Honestly, I didn’t find anything interesting about the story. But that doesn’t mean that it is overall bad and disappointing. It is bearable and tolerable only because it is just a single cour. Unlike the series that has Touma and Misaka as the main stars, those lasted for 2 cours and at least have 2 seasons worth of stories. Accelerator is just the side character in those series and at most a supporting character in arcs that he is heavily featured. Hence for this own spinoff series of his, despite being the main star, as usual he doesn’t really give a damn about what’s going on. He doesn’t care about the science in bringing back the dead or using fake souls to reanimate corpse and even more importantly, the f*ck somebody’s grand idea of becoming God. Oh yeah. It’s that cliché and one of the most overused reasons why a bad guy is a bad guy. You try to mess with him, all Accelerator cares is that he’ll beat the crap out of you!!! Oh yeah. That’s the only plot that I understand for this spinoff!

As for Accelerator himself, I guess some would say that he is better than Touma because of his status as an anti-hero. Because he isn’t exactly a hero, he doesn’t give a damn nor does he somewhat virtue signals like Touma. Therefore no such annoyance. Also, no Index. Yeah, I can see why this spinoff is so much more refreshing than the original one. The annoyance of Touma and Index are nowhere to be seen! Not even a hair! Like as though they don’t even exist in this universe at all! Uh huh. I thought they would make a very short cameo appearance by bumping into Accelerator or something but thank goodness that didn’t happen. In turn, I feel that the value of this series is kept intact! Isn’t it why this series feels so much better? Why do I sound like I’m an Accelerator fan now?

Anyway, Accelerator being Accelerator always at his own pace, he claims that he is a villain but as we know even from the original Index series that after his initial humiliation beat down by Touma, this guy tremendously changed. Maybe that is why so many prefer to relate with Accelerator because despite not doing so called virtuous stuffs, he doesn’t really do evil things either. He says that he is a villain but his actions show otherwise. Is he a hypocrite? Whatever you call it, Accelerator doesn’t give a damn! So while we can see that he doesn’t resort to the most vile of tactics (he doesn’t even kill!), he might not want to admit that he isn’t a hero but in most of our hearts, he is one! <3! XD! And I know what Accelerator is going to respond to all that who thinks so. He won’t give a damn! That’s so Accelerator for you. Never change, Accelerator. Never change.

Giving Accelerator’s reason to continue existing is of course the loli Last Order herself. She isn’t as prominent as I think she would be as she is just reduced to a role of being looking and acting cute. Yeah, I think that’s more than enough for her. Besides, imagine a cute loli like her go into the frontlines of the battle. That would be so odd. Also, Accelerator isn’t the kind who is a team player as he is best beating things up by himself. Therefore one of the oddest pairs ever in the history of anime as we have the badass anti-hero and a cute admin superior of the Misaka Network. Yup, Academy City for the umpteenth time is indeed a field of strange bedfellows.

The other characters are just pretty meh. Like Esther making her debut in this spinoff, she’s one of those characters who takes it upon herself to fix what she believes has gone wrong but ends up being very weak at it. Isn’t that why Accelerator has to help out? Hence I can’t help view her as some useless damsel in distress. She feels unnecessary but is forced to as to give a reason why Accelerator is dragged into this mess. Making it worse is that she becomes a self-proclaimed disciple of Accelerator. Like, WTF?! I don’t know if this is a possibility to turn this into a cheesy harem because thank goodness it didn’t. Accelerator already has got a loli, a bunch of Sister clones and now you want to add a necromancer to the pack? Give him a break! Not that he cares anyway. But considering Accelerator ‘cares’ a lot about Last Order, I’m figuring he is somewhat of a lolicon! And Huotou also feels underused. It is just to show us that Esther has some sort of fighting backup since Esther herself is lacking in any sort of martial arts. Esther looks like she isn’t staying around to be the spinoff’s mainstay (at least for now – and assuming this series will get another season) but I guess that’s what memories are for. Goodbye Esther. We won’t forget you too.

I don’t see how Yomikawa is relevant her. It’s like as though they’re trying to tell us there are some good adults in Academy City because as aa teacher and Anti-Skill member (in that order), she tries to help out the kids as much as she can. But being just a normal human, you think she has any chance against overpowered weirdoes and their weird technologies here? Yup. Didn’t think so. So far, she and her colleagues are pretty much lucky to have survived all the sh*t that has been going on in Academy City. Is this another way to say that good guys live longer and that crime doesn’t pay if you’re like those twisted justice seeking DA goons? Okay. Whatever. If only reality was like that…

Hishigata being the antagonist-but-not-the-real-main-antagonist-who-turned-over-a-new-leaf-to-help-things-out also doesn’t fare any better since his character feels pretty cliché as one of those obsessed personalities trying to achieve something. In this case, to reach Level 6. And then plot twist Hirumi not really his sister because she died some time ago but is inhabited by a pseudo soul and more importantly the true secret final boss of the series who is no other than one of the heads of the Rosenthal family, Isaac. Yeah, boring story and past. What’s new? Guys like him who wants to be perfected and become God? Yawn!!! This means all the other baddies like DA and Scavengers were like just side dishes. In some ways, I thought Scavengers were going to be like the sub-boss or something but the way Accelerator took them out without any sweat, boy I was wrong. You’ll never hear from them again. Just like Yoko and her cronies. Yeah, that just felt like appetizers and introduce to us Accelerator.

Action wise, I guess I can’t complain. They’re okay and not boring. But with Accelerator being the best Level 5 esper, he makes it look so easy when he goes up against many of his opponents. Yup, he looks like an overpowered character with his vector altering abilities. Not that I still understand how it works but I guess him being an anti-hero character who just smashes anything that gets in his way, maybe that’s the only thing I understand from the fight scenes. So it doesn’t matter how advanced technology you’ve got because they all look like pea shooters in the face of Accelerator or at least some other seemingly superior hi-tech equipment. With Accelerator being so powerful, sometimes I think he should go up against One Punch Man’s Saitama just to see who is the strongest!

Art and animation feel decent and nothing that would stray from the original Index series seeing this spinoff is done by the same J.C. Staff but this time joint with ACGT (Freezing, Dies Irae). Voice acting maintains the same seiyuus like Nobuhiko Okamoto as Accelerator and Rina Hidaka as Last Order. New casts joining this spinoff are Yurika Kubo as Esther (Hanayo in Love Live), Ryota Ohsaka as Hishigata (Marco in Shingeki No Kyojin), Ayumi Mano as Hirumi (Natsumi in Date A Live III) and Sayumi Watabe as Huotou/Hasami (Tachibana in Koi Wa Ameagari No You Ni). The opening theme is Shadow Is The Light by The Sixth Lie. This heavy rock outfit isn’t my cup of tea but the dark feel of this song suits this series as well as Accelerator like a glove. Another heavy rock outfit for the ending theme, Parole by Sajou No Hana. But this time it has heavy funky bass line and although not my cup of tea too, but if I had to choose, I’d prefer this one than the opener.

Overall, this series might be an improvement from the disappointing third Index season but it still has its flaws that doesn’t make it anywhere near a masterpiece. Not like Accelerator would care anyway. It feels this spinoff is to cater for Accelerator x Last Order fans and a transition to keep us occupied for those who are waiting for the arrival of the third Railgun season (which was supposed to premier at the end of 2019 but somewhat delayed to early 2020 and I’m guessing they don’t want either series to overshadow each other). That is why Academy City is interesting not only because of the myriad of weird people with twisted ideas and technologies but because of my pace characters like Accelerator who just pulverizes anything that gets in his way! You don’t need science or magic to understand that! Says me with full confidence and pride although sheepishly trying to hide and not admit that I might be a closet fan of Accelerator…

Golden Kamuy OVA

December 14, 2019

Hinna, hinna! Oh finally! Thank the spirits that Golden Kamuy is going to get a third season! After that cliff-hanger second season, it was only right that another season was needed or else there would be uproar! Yeah, the fans more upset and enraged than the gods! But first, before we welcome the next season, here are a couple of (funny) OVAs to remind us why this series is worth the watch.

OVA 2
Shiraishi’s escape from prison is solely thanks to a man named Chouan Kumagishi who is a forgery expert. They both met while they were stuck in Kabato Prison. One day, all the prisoners were lined up because the guards showed them the brutally murdered corpse of a guy who tried to escape outside labour. Of course Shiraishi calls this guy’s attempts as stupid and right away the guards take Shiraishi away to strip and search him. Already back then he has a reputation for making escapes. They found nothing and he was returned to his cell. Kumagishi then approached him and pleaded that if he was going to escape, please take him along too. So what’s in it for Shiraishi? Kumagishi claimed he is good in drawing so Shiraishi asked him to draw a sister. This pathetic drawing is a sister? WTF?! Even so, this piece of crappy drawing became Shiraishi’s fapping material! Hence the more he thinks about her, the more he wants to know about this elusive Sister Miyazawa and this is when he started to think about breaking out and look for her. With Kumagishi’s help, they manage to mould a key but the guards get wind he did so and search stripped Shiraishi. They found a key in his mouth so they locked him up in solitary confinement. Kumagishi is disheartened as he wonders if a cellmate ratted them out. Of course this was all part of Shiraishi’s plan. Including the reporting of his escape. The real key is in his anus! And when the guard got wind of it and looked into his anus (OMFG!!!), they found nothing. And then Shiraishi escaped. They realized despite their thorough search, they only thing they missed out was because he hid the key inside the stag beetle!

Hence begins Shiraishi’s journey to other prisons to find Sister Miyazawa. At first he tried asking the guards but since they recognize him, they immediately arrested him. No Sister Miyazawa here. That’s when he also broke out. Yeah, it was really brazen of him to starve himself so that he could be thin and slip through the smallest of holes! Next prison he just snuck in but was caught. No Sister Miyazawa here? Escape time. The cycle repeats itself. By this time his reputation as the escape king has grown. Finally he got put into Abashiri. He became friends with Henmi and Nihei who somewhat supported his search. One day, Shiraishi spotted a sister heading into the prison’s chapel. He rushed in to go meet her while other prisoners stop the guards. Is this finally his dream come true? Yes, this is Sister Miyazawa! And how beautiful is this sister? Why… She looks exactly like Kumagishi’s painting! Oh dear. What a downer. Yeah, all those fapping for this ugly b*tch… It was then Shiraishi realized Kumagishi was really a good artist. We see Kumagishi meeting Sister Miyazawa once. He confessed he did forgery because his drawings couldn’t earn him enough for a decent living. He really wanted to make good art that changed people’s lives but fell to the dark side. And Shiraishi realized art is just a piece of paper…

In this short epilogue, we see Sugimoto and co trekking through the jungle. Shiraishi got bitten on his head by a poisonous pit viper! Nobody wants to suck the venom out so Asirpa administers some traditional moxibustion to help alleviate the pain. Then she warns him he was lucky it was just a regular pit viper. Because of it was Sak Somo Ayep, he would’ve been a gone. I’m thinking Asirpa trying to put on a scary face but she looks so funny with it, the reason why Shiraishi and Sugimoto started laughing at her and even not heed Ogata’s warning that snakes are attracted to whistling. Yeah, they do so and before they realize it, did you not notice Shiraishi’s head has swollen much bigger and so is Sugimoto’s face? Then they see a giant black snake popping up behind the bushes! OH F*CK!!! It’s that Sak Somo Ayep or whatever!!! RUN!!!! They’re lucky to get away with their lives, eh?

OVA 3
Asirpa sees this American dude, Mr Dunn and wants him to return a seal skin garment that belonged to her great aunt. Her son-in-law sold it cheaply and ran off. She is willing to buy it back but Dunn thinks it is worth more than that. Sugimoto then warns him about war so Dunn agrees to sell back at the dirt cheap price if they kill a monster. Something has been killing and stealing their horses. Oh look, one is in the act right now! It’s a giant brown bear! Sugimoto’s missed shot managed to scare it off. Dunn then shows them a toe that he shot off from the bear. But it keeps coming back. That is why he calls it a monster. An immortal. Time for immortals to fight each other. They split up to search for the bear. Shiraishi and Kiroranke stumble into that freshly stolen horse but the bear is nearby. Stupid Shiraishi runs away loudly so you bet the bear is going to chase them. They manage to take refuge in this nearby house of Kiichiro Wakayama. As they try to push the furniture to block the entrance, then Tatsuya Nakazawa comes in. If he is the owner of the house, who is this dude then? Worse, Kiroranke sees severed heads of the guys from the horse racetrack and thinks one of them is a yakuza here to kill him. Meanwhile Sugimoto and Asirpa find the burial site of the bears. This must be last week’s horse in the burial mound. A bear attacks them and also Dunn’s servant. It occurred to them that there is more than just 1 bear but 3 of them! They manage to run to the house and get in in time but Sugimoto lost his ammo pouch while he is fending the bear. Worse, Dunn’s servant who was resting too close to the window gets mauled. RIP, sir.

Inside the house, once they see the severed heads, Sugimoto wants them to strip to see who has the yakuza tattoos. Wakayama then immediately tries to strike Sugimoto but thankfully quick reflexes. With tattoos over his body, it is safe to say he is the yakuza. As the owner of the racetrack, he wants to get back at Kiroranke as he suffered huge losses. But they have to deal with the bears now. Also, Sugimoto has Nakazawa strip but everyone gets freaked out seeing his weird hairy nipples! WTF?! But they didn’t see his bright yakuza tattoo on his back… Wakayama as the gambler suggests using the dice to see who goes out to get the ammo pouch. They check the dice for any tampering. None. Wakayama lets Nakazawa roll the dice and it seems they are both accomplice and Nakazawa is just acting as a noob. Sugimoto’s side wins the bet so Wakayama kicks Nakazawa! He believes Nakazawa did it on purpose because he is supposed to be the best dealer. Yeah, there is cheating mechanism inside the cup. And that is when Nakazawa spills the beans. WTF Nakazawa is in love with Wakayama and blames him for cheating on him?! With some prostitutes?! Can we now deal with the bear and stop this gay story sh*t?! Wakayama goes out to get the ammo. A bear confronts him. He throws his belt in hopes to startle the bear who might think it looks like a snake. With his pants down, everyone sees that map tattoos on his legs! So if he was a prisoner but Shiraishi didn’t recognize him? Wakayama makes a run for it while the other bears break into the house. Damn, one could even climb in from the second floor?! Sugimoto gets slashed across the face but pumps all his bullets into its mouth to kill it.

Noticing that Sugimoto has gathered poison leaves he thought were herbs, Asirpa knows there is a way to defeat the bears. They used the dead servant’s body as a decoy. When the bear mauls it, Sugimoto starts stabbing it with a makeshift spear laced with the poison. It might not be enough to kill the bear but it will slow it down. Meanwhile Wakayama has run all the way to Dunn’s house and forces him to bring out his top weapons. Sugimoto and the co escape the house just when the bears break in. Similarly, Dunn and Wakayama return with a car. With a gattling gun, Wakayama guns down a bear. Everyone hop on board! I know it’s heavy but also remember this is still the early stages of a motor car. It can’t go faster than the bear! However with this final boss bear chasing them, it is only thanks to the poison that it cannot run as fast. Nakazawa then drops off and gets mauled. Wakayama dives down to go save his ‘princess’ and in the process both of them deal fatal damage to each other. Furious Wakayama cuts off the bear’s paw, snout and finally sticking his sword into the bear’s ass! Wow. That’s enough to kill it. Finally Nakazawa and Wakayama lie together on the ground with their hands holding each other. That’s it for them. Damn, enough of this weird gay sh*t already! Let Sugimoto harvest the tattoo…

Golden Side Stories Time
These OVAs didn’t disappoint. I wasn’t going to expect anything great but here it was, blowing my expectations away. That’s what happens when you set your expectations so low that when it is slightly better, everything seems so amazing. Don’t get the wrong idea that I don’t like this series, in fact I love this series a lot. Because you know, the connotation of an OVA is usually something that isn’t related to the main plot of the TV series and hence most of them are just standalone fillers. While these OVAs can also be considered as such, it is part of the overall long journey that our characters had to go through. The first OVA being very much a comical story of Shiraishi’s prison break love. He didn’t really get what he want in the end but at least along the way, he honed his escaping skills with utmost creativity. That is why he is a survivor because he thinks outside the box and dares to go where no men has even thought of going. Yeah, you could also say the power of boners made him one of the escape artists of his time ever! I don’t think he faps to that piece of paper any more but if this was in modern times, then this guy is respectable because that guy fapped to something that is level extreme!!! Holy sh*t!!!

The second OVA goes back to the gritty and bloody action but this time not humans but bears. When I first realized they are going to be up against the bears, I thought oh dear, bad CGI nightmare déjà vu! Yup, those who watched the TV series should remember how horrible the bears were rendered in. But thankfully, the bears here look decent. I can’t tell if they are hand drawn or done via CGI but at least they aren’t that bad as the TV series. Phew. And then the story here also got side-tracked a little with that gay yakuza sh*t thingy. It was really a weird feeling. Amidst the tense action of bloodthirsty bears hunting down the humans, we also have a pair of yakuza lovers in the midst of their lover’s quarrel. Like, WTF?! You thought being non-binary people was just a thing in modern times, huh? Yeah, this sort of sh*t also existed way back then. In Japan too! So yeah, till death do them part and I suppose they can’t cheat on each other now that they’ve gone to heaven. Oh wait, or is it hell? Oh well, life goes on for the living. Don’t mind if we take those tattoos on the legs because the dead sure won’t be needing them.

Shiraishi might be the comic relief character of the series. Somehow I feel that Asirpa is also close in becoming like this character. Especially when you see her half of the times putting up that comical cartoonish face. I mean, I was like, “Asirpa, is this really you?”. Yes, there are times when she is serious but it is so often that I think that being in the company of these guys maybe changed her a little. All of them are kooky and have a screw loose in their head in one way or another so it is no surprise that Asirpa who is still a young girl might get influenced by them after journeying together for so long.

Overall, these OVAs for the second season are worth the watch especially if you like the series. I know I did. This serves up as the appetizer and whet our appetite before the third season comes, supposedly to be slotted somewhere in 2020. I didn’t really want to know the exact date or season it comes out so as to surprise myself. Uh huh. Oh, it’s already here! It’s here already! Hooray! Yahoo! That’s how I keep the hype in myself alive. Till the next season arrives, keep giving thanks to the gods that there are still animes that are worth watching. Hinna, hinna…

Isekai Cheat Magician

December 8, 2019

Oh no. Here we go again. From the title, one can easily tell that Isekai Cheat Magician is yet again going to be another isekai genre. Even more so the protagonist is going to be an overpowered one. Have we still not learnt from the past overpowered main character isekai series?! But wait! This one is a bit different. How different? Hey, at least the main overpowered character didn’t have to die in the first episode! Yup, no reincarnation into another fantasy world. Heck, he was summoned there! So now you can’t blame the series for killing off its protagonist in the first episode! And to make it even better and double the fun, our main guy didn’t just get summoned to the other world. In fact, his companion too is summoned! That’s right. Two main characters summoned to another world. Do you not see how ‘different’ that is to other isekai animes? But everything else turns out to be cliché and more or less the same… Here we go again…

Episode 1
A summoning ritual went awry. An attacker tries to kill the summoner but the bodyguard managed to kill the killer. But the summoning is still activated. Hence our unlucky boy, Taichi Nishimura is shocked to find magic circles all over him. He tries to push his friend, Rin Azuma out of the way but she won’t leave him and so they both get warped to another world. As they try to make out their surroundings, a demon horse attacks them. Taichi felt the need to be manly and die like one so without any proper skills he tries to become the horse’s bait. How uncool. Luckily, adventurers, Barada, Raquelta and Mejilla save his ass by killing the horse. They let the duo tag along and talk about the increase in monster attacks lately. They agree to take them to the next town of Azpire but in return, Taichi must get back on good terms with Rin. Yup, that girl is mad he tried to die a hero and let her be all alone in this world. What kind of a jerk would let that happen???!!! So with Taichi apologizing and promising he won’t do that again, can’t stay mad at him forever, right? The adventurers guide the duo to the adventurer’s guild. I mean, you’re stuck in this world, might as well become one, right? As they try to register, it dawned to them they can understand what everybody says despite not understanding the language and even read what this language they don’t know! While conducting the aptitude test, despite nothing seemingly happened, the clerk got alarmed and calls for the guild’s master, Gerard and a high level adventurer, Myura. Because he can’t register them now, he has Myura take them to the home of Lemiya. They are going to be her apprentices. Meanwhile shady people report about the summoning that was activated despite going awry. No matter. They have cast a wide net to look for the lost ones and will receive a report in a few days.

Episode 2
Lemiya explains and to put it shortly, Taichi and Rin are overpowered. Wow. It’s more than 9000!!! Hence they are becoming her disciples to help control their magic. So there is a brief lesson on the difference between magicians and sorcerers as well as the 4 elements that exist in magic. So normal people can only use 1 magic but there are some who can utilize more. Like Rin who is able to use all 4 and Taichi he isn’t a mage but a sorcerer but his power makes him being dubbed the Unique Magician? Confusing. Lemiya trains Taichi while Rin gets Myura as her teacher. While Rin naturally brings out her abilities without much effort (making Myura a bit redundant), Taichi has a harder time. He thought he heard some voice speaking to him but it could be his imagination. If they managed to control their powers, they have the ability to take over nations. Sounds tempting, right? But Lemiya knows the capital has troubles and hopes it won’t reach here. Even so, she hopes to train her apprentices so they can stand on their own. We see the duo train more and they get better each time. They also take out some monsters including, uhm, horned rabbits? And the sweetest revenge is that they can kill that demon horse now. Now that they have graduated, Lemiya lets them in on one thing. They are both considered as lost ones as there are phenomena that sorcerers summon others from another world to here. If they want to know why they were summoned, it’s best to find that summoner. But it will be easy because such sorcery requires very high level of power and only a few can do this. Even a rarity among rare sorcerers. So for now Taichi and Rin’s goal is to return to Azpire to become adventurers and earn their keep. That night, Taichi hears that voice again who tells him they will soon meet.

Episode 3
Taichi and Rin are now Rank E adventurers and doing the basic of quests. But soon they receive and official summon by Gerard requesting them to get info from a bar. There is currently goods shortage and it is believed this bar is smuggling them. This looks like a job for Rank D adventurers but since this has already failed twice, if they fail again, they might have to see Rank C adventurers and cough up more reward money. Yeah, so asking them is like trying to penny pinch. The duo ask around and rumours have it that monsters have been attacking transports. When they enter the bar to find out more, of course those rowdy men underestimate these rookies and got their asses handed to them when they try to attack. Eventually they spill the beans that someone hired them but they don’t know who. As they leave, they are attacked by assassin babes. They manage to defeat them but the assassins left one of them behind? Conveniently Taichi and Rin take her back to Gerard where she is imprisoned. So they let her keep her getup and mask? You mean they’re not interrogating her yet? With the shortage of goods, this causes the town to suffer from inflation. Yeah, it’s real bad. Myura seeks the duo’s help and hopes they would join her to further investigate. Hence they travel to a farm where the fruits are ready to harvest but robbers have been hitting it. They are being shown the orchards and that’s when they feel something non-human approaching. Orc and ogres! We see how strong the duo are taking the monsters down and even to a point Taichi punching the orc in the forehead that its eyes explode!!! WTF???!!! That night, the trio discuss that orcs and ogres do not live in this area and hence there could be somebody setting this up. So the next step is to lay a trap for the perpetrator.

Episode 4
Next morning, they find a campfire. Since it is warm, this means bandits must still be in the area. The thieves are caught red-handed and because their mage bodyguard isn’t here to protect them, they are easily rounded up. One of the farmers, Cassim thanks Taichi but when they shake hands, Taichi can tell he is not a farmer. His hands are soft unlike other farmers whose rough hands show how hard it is to cultivate the fruit. Also, Cassim seems to recognize ogres and orcs, something farmers cannot identify as they live in very far north regions. So that was enough for Cassim to reveal his true nature? Yes, he is the one who hired the bandits and handed in the request to the guild. All this is to lure them out and test their powers. That mage bodyguard, Grammy is Cassim’s partner. She fights the girls while Cassim takes on Taichi. Grammy could have easily taken them out while she was hiding her presence but she wants to have fun fighting head on. Yup, muscle brained masochist. Cassim has his frost beast fight Taichi. Taichi has a hard time fighting it since physical attacks cannot connect but all its attacks can hurt you. That’s cheating! Taichi is defeated so cue for Cassim to be a villain gentleman and reveal his goal. He wants to control Taichi’s power and to make sure he is obedient, he plans to take the girls as hostage. So any disobedience means he’ll let men rape them? Why, that’s so evil. Rin and Myura look like they’ve been defeated but that was because they were testing out their skills. So when they get serious and take down Grammy, not so fun for the masochist, huh? Oh wait. She still finds it fun after losing like that. The girls can’t do anything further with Cassim showing Taichi being owned by the beast. With Taichi so worried how uncool he is being unable to protect the girls, a voice asks him if he wants power (typically). Okay. She’ll lend it to him. And so Aerial the wind spirit powers him up to a crazy killer that destroys the ice beast with his wind powers. And Taichi will not forgive that bastard Cassim for wanting to defile his harem, right? Hold it right there! I’m going to beat up your ass! Cassim so scared that he runs for his life but crazy Taichi unleashes the most devastating wind attack. Hey, I think it’s considered letting off the hook since Cassim still has his life but only lost an arm. And of course, Taichi passes out after that tremendous use of force.

Episode 5
Taichi finds himself in Lemiya’s house. Looks like he has been asleep for a week. The girls brought him here and went back to Azpire to research something. She explains about Crimson Pact, a forbidden magic that draws out one’s power dozens of times. That’s why he had a hard time fighting that beast. When Taichi mentions Aerial, Lemiya is surprised and finally realizes what Taichi is. He is a summoner. Apparently this is different than magicians and sorcerers. The difference is that summoners can hear or see spirits. Plus, it is the spirit who uses their magic on behalf of the summoner so you bet it is undiminished and in its original powerful force. Meanwhile Cassim reports back to his boss, Lodra and he is impressed. To move on to their next phase, he puts a spell on Grammy to be more obedient. Taichi sees a hot chick being hit on by a few men. He goes to help out but she is more than capable of defending herself from those creeps. She isn’t an ordinary girl and she knows Taichi. Apparently Anastasia or Ana for short is that assassin whom Taichi defeated. She has joined the guild since she knows she will be targeted. Yeah, all those dumb assassins who are after her are easily defeated. I guess it’s dead meat for them, huh? Taichi finds a note in his room. Gasp! Goblins underneath the city waiting to be unleashed?! Rin and Myura are ambushed by Grammy and her assassins. Grammy is under strict orders to kidnap Myura and has her subordinates deal with Rin. Shortly, because Grammy doesn’t like how this is done, she returns to tell Rin that Myura is being held captive in that tower. Her boss is planning to do Crimson Pact on her. And yeah, Rin just waltzes into the tower and freeze all those dumb guys. They didn’t really expect this, huh? After freeing Myura, Lodra shows up. Seems he planned all this. However he is here not to fight them but to tell them about the goblin army attacking Azpire. He wants to see how well they will defend this city of 3000 strong goblins. At the same time, Taichi and Ana investigate underground but Ana accidentally trips on a magic circle and unleashes a golem.

Episode 6
Oh well, Taichi easily destroys the golem. What awaits them next is a pair of twin trouble, Milo and Melo. They are going to set upon them goblins with Crimson Pact who will then kill everyone in Azpire. Yeah, Taichi makes it look easy slaying the Crimson Pact goblins but their numbers are too many. Somehow the twins blunder and lose control of the item controlling the goblins. Fear getting goblin raped?! Don’t worry, Taichi to the rescue! If that’s not enough, he’s got to rescue Ana too. WTF does a former assassin need rescuing?! Time to get the heck out of here! Meanwhile Rin and Myura inform Gerard of the siege on Azpire. He orders the gathering of all adventures. This is boosted with Lemiya joining in. Because the enemy will be arriving in thousands, Rin has this super magic plan to dwindle their numbers. To put it short, this mixture of fire, earth and water element is going to work something like a volcano. And so we see Rin working her magic to make this crater, fill it with water and then drop fire and burn and explode the hell out of those monsters. And then the rest of the adventurers can go slay what’s left. But it’s not over, now the Crimson Pact ones come out. Nothing that Lemiya, Rin and Myura can’t handle, right? Lodra is watching all this and is satisfied everything is living up to his expectations. Similarly, Taichi returns to Azpire. After explaining his discovery to Gerard, he is going to go out now to assist Rin. Why the f*ck does Ana sound like she wants to confess something but she’ can’t?! Do we have time for this?! Does she need some sort of assurance from Taichi?! Crimson Pact monsters gone. Now all that’s left are 3 ogre commanders. Rin fails to deal the finishing blow. You mean that is enough to demoralize her? What about all the other monsters you killed? I don’t even think there were human fatalities! So as she is about to be killed, the cliché moment of wishing Taichi will come to save the day and the regret of not saying that word to him. Well, she has a chance now because here he is!

Episode 7
See Taichi take down the ogre commanders with ease while his girls get to back him up and handle the small fries. Meanwhile we once again hear Ana’s monologue of being grateful to Taichi for treating her as a woman and not a tool. We get it, we get it… Cue for some shady hooded guy to hypnotize her and make her way out to the battlefield. With Taichi’s heroics, could the commotion of the battle awakened a twin headed dragon from his slumber underground? You bet Taichi is the only one qualified and strong enough to fight it so the rest better back off and not get in their way. We see the difference in strength as the dragon owns Taichi. Even so, he is not using his full strength and holding back. Taichi is shocked that Ana is next to him. The spell wears off and Ana is unaware how she ended up here. Puny woman tried to interrupt epic fight? Dragon not pleased. Dragon fires breath of death. Ana pushes Taichi out of the way. Gets hit. WTF. That powerful shot hit her and she didn’t disintegrate? Despite taking massive lethal damage, doesn’t she look pretty okay? Just some stomach wound only. And this cheesy death flag moment where she asks him to be her friend before she dies. Thank goodness. I can live without the potential of a cheesy harem. Now Taichi mad. Forcefully summon Aerial out. Why didn’t she lend her powers earlier? Yeah, wind spirit feeling scared while explaining to him about the law that needs to be followed. Yeah, that one time was an exception. Now I know why a trial run always feels like a scam to bait you into buying their product. So they have to form a pact, huh? Taichi realizes the need to grow stronger to protect and so he makes a pact. Now that he has become a real summoner, he asks the dragon why such a superior being is doing this. Well, he will answer if you defeat him. And so Taichi turns Super Saiyan to sweep the dragon off his feet! So easy now. The dragon is pleased as he reveals it was requested by someone to fight him. The dragon also warns that someone will also continue guiding him. This is necessary for this world, that is why the dragon agreed to lend his power as it is in line with his beliefs. Lodra reports to his superior. The experiment was a success. With Taichi forming a pact with the wind spirit, time to move on to the next phase. A bigger target. A country.

Episode 8
Azpire is getting back on his feet. Taichi visits Ana’s grave. Yeah, time to move on. Soon, Alsena Norman, the daughter of a marquis visits Lemiya as she is under orders of King Gilmar to bring them to Wennifix, the royal capital. As explained, there is a war between factions of Gilmar and his younger brother, Duke Dortesheim. While Gilmar wants to open borders and use his best mages as diplomats, Dortesheim disagrees and believes this will only weaken the country’s dominance. It is now at tipping point where war is about to break out. In Wennifix, because Taichi and co are outsiders, they are given that cold stare. Heck, somebody even tried to assassinate them?! Having an audience with Gilmar, Lemiya knows him close enough to be frank and casual. She agrees to help him stave this rebellion off but also has her conditions. Lastly, she wants to confirm if he is the one behind Taichi and Rin’s summoning. He knew the rebellion is getting out of hand and hence summoned more powerful people to help fight. Gilmar confirms this. I don’t think sorry is going to cut it for Taichi. He plucked them out of their normal high school lives just to settling this sibling conflict? Yeah, boy. Sorry. Later, Princess Charlotte (Gilmar’s daughter) talks to them. She reveals that she is the one who did the summoning. She regrets dropping them in the wilderness but only because somebody intervened with the ritual. She hopes they can help because Gilmar really wants to save his people. When a princess is crying like that, can’t hate her, right? But here’s the real kicker. Summoning magic can only be done once in a lifetime! So you mean Taichi and Rin can’t go back?! But this does not stop her from trying to find a way even if it costs her soul. Uhm. Okay. I guess everybody has their problems too. Taichi is then called to fight the supreme commander of the army, Sumella. I guess the best way to gauge one’s abilities is for a test match. Both are on par with each other with the sword. Taichi can’t summon Aerial for fear it will kill her. So once the sword breaks, it’s close quarter combat! Taichi has the edge and defeats her. And immediately Sumella wants him to be his wife?! Without shame, she is asking for 3 kids and she planning to f*ck him right in public?! I don’t know if this is how they do things around here… But lucky for Taichi, he rejects! Later Taichi talks to Aerial. He is worried with the upcoming battle because previously he was only fighting monsters. Now he has to fight ordinary human soldiers. And he doesn’t want Rin to get hurt or hurt others. Hey, this isn’t Earth but oh well… And we see Charlotte doing her prayers as Lodra wishes her well. You know how the most unexpected of things are right under your noses…

Episode 9
Nilgan and Marchese argue if they should attack Wennifix directly or assess the enemy first. Since Nilgan assures Dortesheim he has a plan, he leaves it to him to attack. Of course, Gilmar will also be preparing his army to defend and attack. Yes, Taichi and co will be in this war too. Taichi is nervous so Lemiya lectures him about being naïve. Does he really believe he can win without casualties? I know Sumella tries to take things possibility because cheering him up that their wedding will be after the war does not cut it! WHAT WEDDING?! Night before the battle, the usual Taichi and Rin talking things out. Marchese didn’t want Nilgan to steal the spotlight so he sent an assassin to kill Rin. Too bad the rest saw this coming and set a trap. Although busted, he continues to target Rin. Taichi becomes mad and beats him up! Rage mode on! Taichi says he doesn’t fear hurting others or dying but can’t protect the ones he loves. I guess Ana’s experience was more than enough, huh? The failed assassin then kills himself. Next day, before the battle begins, Taichi uses his power to create a huge chasm. Either the enemy will have to retreat or go around it that will make them like a sitting duck. However they are not fazed. Suddenly they use magic to throw all sorts of projectiles! Our heroes soon realize they are using magic rings. Yeah, even amateurs can use great magic. So why nobody has used it? Because it uses up your life force! Show’s over when you’re dead. And the enemy doesn’t even know it’s draining it. What a way to die for your country. Although Gilmar’s army is okay with this, let the enemy kill themselves, our heroes don’t? So it’s okay to die in a fight in the battlefield but not okay to let the enemy die since you know how they’ll die… WTF???!!! So how to go about this? Lemiya has an idea. Rin charges up to create a storm above the enemies. And then lightning strikes them out cold! YOU MEAN ELECTROCUTION WON’T KILL THEM???!!! With everyone out cold, Nilgan is approached by Inimicus (Dortesheim’s right hand man). Seems he planned this whole thing out and now that Nilgan’s role is over, he kills him! After collecting the unconscious bodies of the enemy, the people now can party. Oh dear… About that wedding…

Episode 10
To reward Taichi and co for their efforts, Gilmar gives them weapons from the royal collection. So basically a weapon upgrade. Guess what Taichi chooses? I guess he still remembers his Japanese roots and chooses this katana supposedly forged from an eastern land. Yeah, a Japan-like country in this world too. Immediately Sumella wants to fight him thinking he wants to test out his new weapon. But she jumps on him to get started. Is this some sort of ritual for their future wedding? In town, Taichi is famous because the people recognize him and the kids want to shake his hand. However Cassim returns and wants to fight him. He can’t refuse because he’ll poison all the wells in the capital! Is security that lax? So in some alley, Cassim wants this fight to be fair and hence uses a statue to limit Taichi’s power. Oh sure, that looks fair. If that’s the case, wouldn’t this fight be a draw? Cassim believes he has put in effort for all this and doesn’t think Taichi as the gifted one did any. So the fight begins and I think there is some slight disadvantage. You know, Cassim has only an arm? Eventually Taichi uses his quick thinking to defeat Cassim. He hates to admit it but Cassim admits it is Taichi’s victory. However nobody sees this coming as some evil spirit pops up from the statue to attack Taichi. Luckily Grammy is here to fight it. Even destroying the statue, the spirit becomes bigger and more aggressive. Luckily Taichi has regained his powers and destroys it. In the aftermath, Grammy tells Taichi how Cassim is now regretting everything because now he is forced to acknowledge that Taichi also put in effort, something he himself knows how hard it could be. But it’s not over for Taichi because civil war is looming and armies of both sides are preparing for the big clash. Taichi and Rin renew their vow to protect each other.

Episode 11
The big civil war is here. How are our heroes doing? Well, Rin fights against another Amazon warrior, Myura is up against an arrogant handsome knight and Lemiya versus a shady magician. Taichi drops right in to Dortesheim’s camp to negotiate a peace deal with him. He finds the brothers having the same goals using their own people to kill each other as foolish. He hopes Dortesheim and his side will surrender and Gilmar will grant leniency. So care to avoid further bloodshed? Meanwhile we see Lemiya creating a new move to destroy her opponent. Heck, a fiery fireball to kill him! Same for Myura, because cocky knight mocks his dead comrades, she shows no mercy and cuts his throat. Back to Taichi, Dortesheim rejects the peace offer. But he wants to know why he is Gilmar’s pawn. Why doesn’t he become king himself if he claims to be very powerful? Oh, becoming king? Taichi doesn’t want the responsibility of being a king. Then why not be a dictator? Don’t want people to hate him! With that, Dortesheim laughs and believes the outcome could have been very different had Taichi served under him. And so because of pride, Dortesheim can’t back down. This is when Inimicus initiates his plan. He has used his magic to turn dead soldiers into zombies! He admits that he serves a greater being and that he doesn’t care for the world, country, let alone the brothers’ petty quarrel. He is only doing this because she commanded him. Wow. What a way to show his obsessed devotion to his supreme one as he uses up his life and flesh to complete the spell.

Episode 12
Lemiya narrates that something similar happened in a great war 200 years ago. Soldiers went berserk and killed soldiers and civilians alike. The cause was unknown but it is believed to be mind control. So mind control isn’t considered magic but black magic? The only way is to crush the source? Okay. Whatever. Rin manages to convince the Amazon warrior to work for her and her reward is to survive this hell. That’s enough for her to make the switch! Dortesheim realizes in his bid to save his country, he destroyed it. He laments he will be remembered as a villain. You sure are. Too late now. But Taichi will not end it like this. Looks like when he is about to do some self-sacrificing move, Aerial stops him. WTF she can stop time now?! Aerial admits she has lied to him and hid her true form for fear of his tremendous power. So she reverts to her true form and her true name is Sylphid, queen of the spirits and one of the Four Grand Spirits. Aren’t they all? Gee, she just got bigger, huh? Rin coming by to see how Taichi is doing, he hugs her the moment he sees her injuries. Is he going to blame himself for taking too long to protect her? Yeah, all the zombies were kind enough to let them do this cheesy stuff. So now he’s ready to protect the things he loves, huh? Okay. Another pact to be made. This time with Sylphid. Wow. So great the pact that it undoes the spell and turns all zombies back to normal? I don’t know, did he bring back the dead too?! Apparently Inimicus is still alive as he now transforms into a monster. Good. Taichi can beat this guy up. Taichi wants to know about this master of his but the only thing Inimicus says that everything has been going according to her plan. From the day he was born to even why he was summoned here to even why this civil war is happening. In short, Taichi will become the greatest weapon for her?! That’s why he is the chosen one! But Taichi doesn’t care about the world and all that. He just cares for those around him. Beat down time. Inimicus thinks his weakness is unable to kill but Taichi begs to differ. He is different now. He is willing to go that far just to protect those he loves. And with that he finishes off Inimicus. He probably died happy thinking he has served his purpose to his master. In the aftermath of the war, life return to normal. Taichi wakes up after a few days of sleep. Magic depletion of course. Taichi and co are handsomely rewarded and promoted. More deaths because Dortesheim is executed for treason but he regrets nothing. Taichi and co return to Azpire. He still has lots of questions but I guess he needs to take things one step at a time. We’ll cross the bridge when they get there. So for now, screw whoever that puppet master is, just do what it takes to survive this world.

“Magic Is The Cheat Codes For The World”
So is Taichi still human? Because him saying goodbye to his humanity I take it he has become something close to God. Heck, aren’t all overpowered main characters like God? Yup. They’re not like human anymore. And I hope that saying goodbye to his humanity also doesn’t mean he has casted away his good side and doesn’t give a sh*t anymore. It certainly most likely not this but the chances aren’t zero. You may never know what the future holds for them. You might think that everyone is doing everything on their own free will but nobody knows any better if they are being controlled like a puppet from a certain almighty. Yeah, what kind of cheat code did she employ to have everyone’s fate dancing in the palm of her hands like that?

Although the story and overall isn’t that bad, it is still nowhere anything good. In fact it is just average and mediocre. That is coming from me who is just feeling lenient right now. Because that handphone one was definitely a disaster (heck, perhaps the worst isekai ever). Because that sage’s grandson was too cheesy and overbearing. Others feel like some pseudo harem. So I guess taken all that into consideration, this series isn’t as bad as compared to those other series. But still, like I said, nowhere near anything good and just average. Yeah, sometimes it’s dumb and lazy too. I know a dozen episodes feel like it isn’t enough to develop anything but I guess that isekai genres of this type only get this much duration to flesh things out. So from Taichi’s training to control his, uhm, overpowered-ness to getting involved in civil conflicts because some supreme being got bored and probably just wants to test out his abilities. Yup, that is basically what this entire series is about. And yeah, I’m still having trouble differentiating between the terms, magician and sorcerer. What’s with that summoner definition again?

So yeah, the characters are pretty generic and cliché too. You don’t have to tell me again that Taichi falls under that category as the overpowered main character but thankfully they didn’t make him as obnoxious as that handphone one as well as that slime monster. This somewhat lessens the ‘hate’ because although Taichi is super powerful (literally he can pull anything out from thin air), he still doesn’t know a lot of things and it feels like he is just getting by in this world. Sometimes I feel that Taichi having Aerial as his spirit (now upgraded to Sylphid), it is like those who don’t really like that smug Yuno from Black Clover, well, at least Taichi looks friendlier instead of being aloof. Also, this Aerial isn’t as annoying as Yuno’s Sylph although Aerial feels useless at times seeing she is the wind spirit but she acts like some weakling Tinkerbell to Taichi. And even when she returned to her true form, it feels like she didn’t do anything. Yeah, I think it was Taichi’s power that purified the zombies…

It feels Rin, Myura and Lemiya are like trying to make Taichi’s party a pseudo harem but I wasn’t putting my hope much on the romance section so I wasn’t really that disappointed when it didn’t really happen. Yeah, Rin as his childhood friend, all the tropes and ingredients are there for some cliché romance but with all the battles they have to fight and figuring out how to survive in this world, romance can take a backseat for this season. To soften the blow of Taichi and Rin suddenly arriving in this world, hence Myura and Lemiya become their teachers and mentors. Something inside me feels they are wasted because Myura being a very high level adventurer and Lemiya being a very high ranking magician (or was it sorcerer?), they become overshadowed thanks to Taichi and Rin being so overpowered. Sure, they are still good at what they do only because everybody else are weaklings and come nowhere close to their level.

I thought this series was heading downhill and down the road of cheesy cliché when they make Ana fall for Taichi. It was so damn obvious and cheesy to watch this girl, whatever she says or does. To a point that I was praying, please don’t make this happen. Please don’t let this be a clichéd isekai harem. Thank goodness I got my wish. But I didn’t see it coming that they killed her off!!! OMG! How dare they killed a cute anime girl?! Hey, at least I don’t have to deal with that cheesiness. I suppose like Dortesheim said, some sacrifices are necessary. Hence this is one of the darker moments in the series whereby they had a character killed just so as to spur our main character to make his stance on something. Oh Taichi, now you know why trying to get yourself killed won’t look cool at all because you can’t save anybody when you’re dead! I thought this harem cheesiness was over until Sumella come along… Please God, please no… Please don’t let history repeat itself! Oh well, she didn’t die in the battlefield…

I suppose one thing that makes this series stands out from other cliched isekai series with overpowered main characters is that they aren’t shy with the deaths of certain characters. Also, they try to break the formula of our main hero being so overly good that he can’t take a life but this series tries to do it differently and show us that Taichi is not as ‘weak’ and cliché as those main characters. Yup, he can and will take a life if he has to. After all, he already has that power to do it so if you really have a death wish, the easiest way for him to grant you that is to threaten those close to him. That’s like his trigger word and he’ll be no more Mr Nice Guy. Even with this said theme of the hero taking a slightly darker route, this feels mild as there are much darker themed series out there like Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari. So killing a few baddies isn’t going to make you badass. But that also means he is no longer squeaky clean.

Would the series be slightly better that the antagonists be a lot better? Because of the enigma surrounding that supreme being who is somewhat trying to guide the world, it does sound interesting. Why and what is she trying to achieve with all this? However with the story being focused more on Taichi’s party, this true villainess-cum-puppeteer feels like a cock teaser. So for the final arc, we are to content with the civil war between the king and his younger brother. I understand why Dortesheim won’t accept Taichi’s peace proposal. Imagine the face value he will lose if he listens to a kid! Yeah, even men have their pride. Sometimes it’s stupid but yeah, they call it pride. Even baddies like Cassim and Grammy had their redemption match so they’re not that all bad, right? I mean, they’re just pawns for another pawn for the supreme being, right? And what happened to those loli twins? Haven’t heard from the bratty duo ever since they got rescued. Phew. Don’t want them to be another ingredient to turn this into a pseudo harem isekai genre!

Speaking of that mysterious supreme being lady who has been pulling all the strings and watching Taichi’s every move, it was certainly an enigma at first. But when it is said that she wanted to nurture Taichi into the ultimate sword and shield, it got me thinking, for what purpose? Are there other threats to this world? Aliens? Monsters? I mean, are there other worlds and other gods like her? Some god challenged her to some war game so she has to make preparations to defend and counterattack? Oh wait. Don’t tell me. Other kids from Earth too are summoned to other worlds and being nurtured as overpowered main characters. The clash of overpowered main characters of the isekai genre! The ultimate isekai crossover?! If that ever happens, Taichi and Rin will soon be shocked to find that their opponent could be a classmate from their school on Earth!!!!!! Oh man. I’m laughing so hard now because I can write crappy isekai stories like this too!!! So whatever that mysterious lady is (did I hear Inimicus addressed her as Shade?), I think it’s best for Taichi not to think too far and just concentrate with what is at hand. After all, Taichi did say he doesn’t care about the bigger things.

Action scenes are mediocre at best. There might be some blood spilled during the battles but they aren’t anything that would make you cower in fear or go into trauma. Yeah, blame the mediocre animation somewhat. Taichi and Rin despite possessing tremendous powers, they don’t really go all out unless being pushed to a corner. So I suppose that in a way it is somewhat ‘palatable’ because when overpowered characters could come up with just about anything to solve a crisis, they make it look too easy. We can blame that Taichi and Rin might not know the extent of their powers and abilities yet and hence can’t fully draw them out properly, but from this point of view they don’t look as overpowered as we would like to think they are. Yes, they still are only because everybody else are weaklings. Ah, I’m repeating myself…

Art and animation also feel mediocre and like I’ve said, the battle scenes look one kind rather than exciting. Just look at the time when the adventurers were fighting the waves of monsters outside Azpire. It looked… Lame! It’s not really convincing either that they’re striking with their sword or casting their magic spells. Even the character designs look pretty generic. Taichi your generic high school boy. Rin… Heck is she the grown up version of Little Busters’ Rin?! Suspicious… Myura… Now where have I seen blonde elves before? Oh right! The ones in Isekai Maou To Shoukan Shoujo No Dorei Majutsu, DanMachi, DanMachi, Isekai Shokudou, Gate and Zero No Tsukaima. Lemiya is so for fanservice because when you’re such a powerful mage, you can walk around in revealing outfits. So confident no magic won’t lay a scratch on your smooth skin, huh? Other characters feel like they’re designed after some stereotype like Gilmar looks like the good king while Dortesheim looks like the baddie and Inimicus looks like a pervert because his pervy moustache gives him that rape face look! Honest! I’m sure I’ve seen the rest of the character designs somewhere too but I’m too lazy to think right now… And the monsters are like rejected D&D designs or something… This anime is done by Encourage Films who did Etotama, Hitorijime My Hero and Love Kome: We Love Rice.

Voice acting feels pretty average too and the only ones I recognized are Sayaka Ohara as Lemiya, Hiro Shimono as Cassim and Youko Hikasa as Grammy. I thought Sumella sounded familiar. Only later I discovered it is Marina Inoue behind her. Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard from her. The rest of the other casts are Kouhei Amasaki as Taichi (Haruo in High Score Girl), Rie Takahashi as Rin (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Minami Tanaka as Myura (Mary in Kakegurui), Yurika Kubo as Aerial/Sylphid (Hanayo in Love Live), Hiroshi Yanaka as Gilmar (Ishida in Kaiji), Jiro Saito as Dortesheim, Daisuke Hirakawa as Lodra (Makoto in School Days), Satoshi Hino as Inimicus (Gauche in Black Clover), Rie Suegara as Charlotte (Emily in Harukana Receive) and Ayumi Mano as Ana (Natsumi in Date A Live III).

If the rock paced opener, Panta Rhei sounds familiar, that’s because it is sung by MYTH&ROID who are famous for their songs in Overlord and Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. Their trademark style is still there but I can’t help feel that some parts of the vocals used too much effects like as though they are on Auto-tune. Sure, MYTH&ROID songs do have effects but I don’t believe it is that much. For the ending theme, it is Chiisana Omoi by Rie Takahashi, a slow moderate anime ballad.

Overall, this is yet another copy and paste isekai and it really looks like no signs of slowing down. Generic, cliché, uninspiring as well as boring and predictable story and characters help contribute to this series’ downfall. Had this series took better time to tell its stories and weave its characters and perhaps had it come out in a time where isekai series were not so abundant as the stars in the sky, this could have been slightly better. Just slightly. I doubt that this will get another season like many of its counterparts that never see the light of a sequel. Good. Because I believe that no matter what kind of cheat codes are given as input, it still can’t fix how bad an anime is. If it’s bad, it’s bad. If it’s good, it’s good. That’s not cheating whatsoever. It’s just common sense.

6 Angels

December 6, 2019

You know me how I ‘sympathize’ with old retro anime series, right? Because with so many disappointing and mediocre animes in today’s time, the only reprieve is to go back and watch some old animes of the 90’s, right? Even if they suck, they don’t suck that bad because they’re retro animes, right? Well… Until I started watching 6 Angels, that is. Yup. This anime I stumbled upon by chance that came out in late 2001 was bad enough. Originally labelled as a movie, it was broken up into 6 ONA episodes. Yes, even during a time when the internet wasn’t mainstream yet, this was released over the internet as separate episodes. So what’s this anime about? A group of all-female mercenaries. Big bad guy and his ‘family’ hijacked a prison facility. Nuclear warheads. Yeah, you know the story that comes next. Hey, this is the late 90’s and early 2000’s! But still, it’s that bad…

Episode 1
As narrated, the world is still at war, the world is still polluted, blah, blah, blah. No clear line between good and evil? Sure. Whatever. We now jump right into the action scene as we see our Rose Guard patrol women, Maki Aoba, Naomi Jones, Doris Nicholas and Marilyn Moreau being under heavy attack by US missiles. It’s amazing they managed to dodge and survive them all despite crash landing. It’s a miracle, right? Don’t count your chickens too fast because the structure gives way and it’s free fall! Flashback several hours ago, an underground prison known as Neo Purgatory has been hijacked by the Canyon family. Of course the US President has been informed about this and you bet he sent his army to go deal with this situation. Meanwhile our Rose Guards are just waking up to just another morning and heading out for another patrol. Yeah, talking about Christmas, aren’t we? Suddenly they realize something wrong with the transmission. Everything is blocked. Worse, they found a stowaway kid, Katherine Hook who has been sleeping here since last night. You mean they didn’t check? Not even their helicopter robo guard, Giga detected somebody sneaking in?! This is when all hell breaks loose as missiles are locked on them. Back to current time, the helicopter free falls but they must thank Giga for this awesome break falling manoeuvre to cushion their very rough landing.

Episode 2
Flashback shows Katherine’s father was a drunkard and often abused her. The ladies realize they are all safe. There are also a few US marine survivors from this helter-skelter. Meanwhile Ed Canyon is summoned by the big boss, Donn Canyon (Guile, monster version?). He reports that all enemies have been shot down but Donn notices that one of the choppers shot down belongs to Rose Guard and wants them to be taken in. He will use them as their declaration of war. Maki finds what remains of Giga and hopes her mini robo, Link could fix it back to normal. You mean like how it was, functioning and looks? I say that’s impossible… Rose Guard hears about Corporal’s orders to suppress New Purgatory as they are trying to use nuclear weapons. The marines will head in to destroy the core and want the ladies to take cover. But then we see the marines being slaughtered by the mutants of the Canyon family. So much about the males being the heroes. That is when Rose Guard transforms to take on the baddies. It is narrated that Rose Guard is formed to tackle male violence, the reason they are all females. I’m sure bad guys don’t stick to chivalry but whatever. Then Terry Canyon starts using his mecha to blast away the copter while blasting his heavy metal music. Not sure why Rose Guard had to return inside it. It’s not like they could protect it from being destroyed, right? I don’t get it, where this explosion comes from but boom! Meanwhile at the White House, the president is having a meeting from his team. From what I understand, he is trying to withhold actual info from being leaked out. Then the Soviet president calls. Not sure what he wants too. Meeting adjourned. Clock feels the president is not saying something and of course he isn’t. He is told not to aggravate the situation. So Clock has to bite the bullet and pray for the best for his Rose Guard.

Episode 3
Don’t really know what is going on. Rose Guard finds themselves in prison. The moment Maki wakes up and sees JC Canyon and Mike Canyon, she attacks them on impulse. Like WTF?! Be careful, almost dropped from this 100 storey prison! JC and Mike somewhat saved them and are quite the perverts. They want to see their boobs because they think it will explode! WTF?! Who told them that?! I understand Maki gets upset but stripping her top and then lecture them about being perverts isn’t going to help. Oh wait. The boys just got knocked out. Not sure if it’s because they saw her explosive boobs or her lecture. Whatever. So funny that Katherine can’t help laugh. Silly boys. Meanwhile Ed calls Terry and he knows he has a woman hidden and orders him to bring her here. Maki realizes that Marilyn is not with them so Mike tells them she is being held by Terry. Speaking of which, Marilyn is being tortured. Is it me or does Marilyn’s body look like a man’s? When JC detects a camera from Terry and wants to hide, Maki has an idea. When the goons arrive, they see JC and Mike being tied up. They claim they’ve been tricked. Sam Canyon then brings them back to Terry’s base. Oddly despite deactivating security, the system still detects intruders. The guys are then brought into the room where Marilyn is and beaten up. But surprise! You mean Rose Guard remained invisible the whole while?! Wow this got to be level 100 stealth! After rescuing Marilyn, Maki gets clobbered from the back by Sam. However it is Katherine who pumps all the lead and empties her gun into Sam. Probably Sam reminded her of her abusive father and that’s the same solution she gave him. Damn, this girl is most brutal! Then everyone escapes and Terry is like so enraged that he just fires pot shots everywhere and screams. WTF?! Yeah, everybody is mad a Canyon family member is dead.

Episode 4
Looks like America is not going to bow to the demands of New Purgatory and hence the president authorizes the use of nuclear missiles based in outer space that will destroy the entire place. Yeah. That’s so American. Rose Guard is making their escape. Katherine using her feminine wiles to call the guys as bullies and weak despite they calling her strong when they don’t take the front and instead walk behind her. Terry and his goons attack. But too much force that Rose Guard falls deeper into the sewer. Ed is mad but Terry will do something to make it up for it. However Akira Canyon will help big brother out. Looks like he has hacked into the American nuclear missiles’ system. This is the true plan of Donn. Rose Guard is well alive after falling from that height. Link reports that Giga is almost complete but Naomi wants the guys to identify a certain head of US Air Force, Arondeck. They recognize him as the person who always bring them weapons. Speaking of which, he and the US president is meeting with the Soviet counterparts. It seems the Soviet side has launched their own rebellion to attack New Purgatory but is met with strong resistance. With communications back, Rose Guard is able to get in contact with Clock. He informs them that Donn is planning to use nuclear weapons he made on other nations and hopes they could do something about it. But JC and Mike laugh it off and claim there is no such thing. Despite here is a nuclear waste, they won’t explode. This is their retaliation. Clock arrives in time to arrest Arondeck for treason. Akira has hijacked communications of the world so that Donn can speak. He declares war on all humans. Yeah, we know the story of the planet being contaminated by radiation and thus a dying planet. Some history about some nuclear testing in Utah where Neo Purgatory is. Lots of radiation and deaths. People didn’t learn. History repeated. With the radiation becoming worse, not sure about some being will be born out of it. Hence Donn has found a way to purify the planet but blames the authorities for betraying him. So he’s going to destroy the world, huh? But he is giving them 24 hours to change their mind. They could use his weapons and perish with him. Otherwise follow him or die. I’m confused. He’s going to save the world or destroy it? I’m betting on the latter…

Episode 5
Looks like the Pacific nations are being nuked. Oh well, American president is in despair they fell right into Donn’s hands. JC and Mike explain that Donn’s plan will annihilate the surface and those underground will only be safe and hence a new free nation will be born. You mean Rose Guard is contemplating to fight or give up? GIVE UP?! Heck, Katherine even says it’s better to let everyone else die and just for them to stay safe here. Damn, this kid is really brutal. This gives Maki the motivation that they’re going to fight back. So the grand plan is to destroy their launch programme? When Katherine collapses, Link traces some capsule containing radiation to be the culprit. Donn wants Akira to tell Mom that he hasn’t got what he promised. He also wants Ed to tell Terry he doesn’t need Rose Guard anymore and to do away with them. But something doesn’t sit right with Ed. JC and Mike believe Mom can help heal Katherine. Arriving at the reactor, damn Mom is some monster angel?! Despite her hideous looks, she is the kind mother she is. A kiss on the mouth is what it takes to save Katherine. Just in time, Donn pops up to reveal his nefarious plans. Look at the water around. It’s not just ordinary water but the blood of thousands of prisoners that will become some medium to purify Earth. Gee, thousands is enough and not millions? Do Donn wants them to become purified into that medium that will serve to save Earth. Donn leaves and lets his goons handle it. But Terry realizes the robots are not responding. That’s because Link has hacked them! Oh, Link returned and combined with Giga’s body? Odd. Damn, he uses Kamehameha to blasé them away!!! If he runs out of juice, there’s the Soviet mechas to help. Once done, Link also reveals he managed to hack into the launch programme. So he just bought 20 minutes of time?! For some odd reason, cue for Katherine to whine about how this is all her own fault. Feeling useless. Feeling lonely. Cry. Cue for Soviet counterparts to tell her that is just life. Heck, these soldiers are born without limbs and instead of being pathetic, they thought how to live. Once that is done with, it’s time for the final operation. Maki and Mom are going to team up? Wow. Mom spreading her angel wings that even JC and Mike have them?!

Episode 6
Maki and Doris will head into the command centre while the rest retreat. Marilyn and Naomi find a helicopter they can conveniently use and needs minimum fixing. Convenient… Akira is getting so frustrated that the nuclear command doesn’t respond that he shoots one of his comrades! WTF?! Even more WTF because Ed then shoots Akira and the rest in the command centre! Donn is puzzled there is something wrong with the nuclear system but Ed says he is coming to go see him. Whatever Ed’s grouses are, he doesn’t agree with Donn’s plan and shoots at his forehead! But you know… Donn’s a monster so he leaves. Guess what happens to Ed? Maki and Doris enter the command centre, shocked to see dead bodies of the Canyon family. Wow. They easily hack the system and shockingly because they can’t stop the nuclear launch, the change its destination. TO THE MOON?! Why the f*ck not somewhere further like Pluto?! Or Andromeda???!!! Yeah, the missiles head towards the moon and explode but the moon still looks fine… Then Donn finds them and takes them hostage. Looks like he intends to drop this facility filled with nuclear waste onto the world. So that’s enough to destroy the world? Maybe. Hence New Purgatory now turns into some rocket and flies up into space. Then the US president contacts Donn. Damn, even admits his mistakes and hopes he can surrender. Donn of course tells him to go f*ck off. US President must be sweating asking why he is doing this. Interestingly, Donn tells him to look into his own soul.

Maki and Doris find themselves before Donn. Yeah, they are so dumbfounded with this scene just like us. Mom along with Mike and JC crucified?! Donn having angel wings now?! Conveniently, Marilyn pilots the helicopter and latches onto the floating facility. In the nick of time, Link and co busts in to pump all they’ve got towards Donn. Still alive? You bet. Now he has turned into his final form?! A human torch!? With wings???!!! I’m losing it! And then Mom just says it’s time to stop. When Donn won’t stop? She compresses him into a little ball?! WTF?! So easy?! Should have did this from the start!!! Of course she explains from her side of the story that Donn isn’t entirely bad. He first chanced upon her in this reactor and she wanted his help to stop the destruction. And although it might seemed Donn agreed because he get to kill others for the plan, he was also willing to use his own life to do so. Maki has something to say but I guess it’s time to go. After Rose Guard leaves the facility, Mom activates something and, uhm, explodes? Maki then has Link connect to the rest of the world as she explains what happened. The crisis has been averted and the facility has been transported to another world. So that’s what happened???!!! Then she also gives a speech that sounds more like virtue signalling. Uh huh. Let’s overcome this together. Don’t be mad and if you feel mad, just think for a second. Honest!!! That’s what she bloody says!!! And Maki dared say Rose Guard was formed to protect women but don’t know how to eradicated violence in people?! I give up… You think the world was ready to listen to a monster, you think they’re going to listen to some hot chick? In the aftermath, we see Rose Guard doing their usual. The mind boggling part is that JC comes to visit Doris in the bath?! Like how the f*ck did he get back?! And because he is not a ghost, good news for Doris because she gets to beat him up! Oh yeah, Rose Guard’s reputation must be so elevated now that they join the US president and his White House team in the next operation briefing.

Angel Has Fallen…
Well… That was… REALLY BAD!!! I mean, totally absolutely utterly zettai ni crap fest and garbage! Honestly, I have to admit that before I started watching this show, I was already looking around the internet and found the far few and between reviews of this show. None of them had anything good to say! And of course being the curious cat, that was a factor that made me determined to watch this and decide how bad it is. Instead of listening to all those ‘warning’ reviews to stay away, I guess it enhanced my curiosity further. And now you know why it kills the cat, huh? Though, I won’t say I regret watching it because otherwise I wouldn’t really know how trashy this show would be.

Seriously, I don’t know what the producers were thinking when they were making this mini movie. Sometimes it felt like they were making up and coming up with things along the way as the progress. And in the end, you have got one big hell of a mess that doesn’t make sense at all. Honestly, this series does have its potential. Eco terrorists having their decent arguments on ‘saving the world’ or even destroying it. Unfortunately it was so poorly written that I understood close to nothing and in the end it didn’t matter. Because since our heroines won and the bad guys gone, I guess that is it. Happy ending. The end. The world gets to live happily ever after. Oh wait. Make that slowly being poisoned from the ever creeping radiation from the nuclear weapons and wars they continue to make. I guess Mom made the wise decision to move all her family to wherever the next world is. I hope it isn’t heaven. Because heaven will now have a facility carrying nuclear wastes and evil prisoner men who might rape your angels!!! Yikes, Mom! Did you not think this through?! Oh, don’t worry, any naughty children she can just squish into this mini ball size matter. F*ck that end of how the big bad boss dies or get defeated was just hilarious and so disappointing.

Many of the scenes are not clearly explained and it leaves you mind confused. For example that medium that Donn claims is supposed to be used to help purify the world. Like, huh?! What?! I bet the producers came up with that idea and hoped to use it somehow in the movie. Unfortunately nothing ever materialized and that half-baked idea just got slotted into that scene just in case. Yeah, it didn’t matter anyway. And why did JC return? Is he in love with Doris? Not sure. I would love to believe that but I am more inclined they want to make us even more confused. And the last scene that Rose Guard joins the US president and White House… I mean a group of mercenaries in the same room with the people holding the highest posts in America! Oh, thinking about it, it’s not surprising because politicians are a bunch of sneaky crooks themselves… Haha! Nothing to see here anymore. Just move along…

I’m sure they want to highlight some environmental issues and feminine issues as well but I guess they also fail to tell their message. Thankfully this movie came out at the turn of the millennium so obviously the outrage wasn’t there yet (also thanks to this being an obscure movie). Had it come out today, I’m sure there will be lots of anger and criticism from people who don’t even matter. So yeah, the world didn’t end. Even more polluted than before. But we’re still here surviving. I’m sure we’ll figure things out as we advance in technology. I hope. And feminism, Rose Guard might be one of those early all-females group only but as the years pass, there are even more all-female groups in so many other anime series. So yeah. Feminism still alive and doing well. And if you’re wondering why this show is weirdly named 6 Angels, I guess they refer to all the female characters in this series. You know, Rose Guard, the stowaway kid and Mom? Conveniently, right? Too bad nobody cares about that female reporter reporting from the news helicopter. I believe she got blown out of the sky when New Purgatory took to the skies. Ironically, I thought Rose Guard and Katherine would get wings just so that we can have that cue to roll credits but instead, Mom’s sons got them instead… Sheesh…

Compounding the misery and making everything much worse are the characters themselves. Especially Rose Guard who is supposed to be the protagonists of this anime, they have no personality and fall flat. In short, really disappointing. They don’t really have a back story and even if they had one, it is just a very brief one. Not that it makes us want to care. I think they want to be edgy having all women in the lead but they fail to make us want to care for them in anyway because who cares if Maki’s grandma is the one who created this power suit that they are using now. Who cares about Doris being a weapon’s expert because I sure hell didn’t see how she uses a variety of them. And what the heck is Naomi and the kids? Who the f*ck are the kids she keeps mentioning she wants to see? Marilyn… I don’t even know anything about her. Katherine might sound brutal and might come as closest to something we hope to have in a character. Her abusive father and a bitter growing up environment that has her being bitter about life. She may be a brat and an annoying (but lucky) stowaway following Rose Guard around but unfortunately towards the end, her ‘meltdown’ tamed her a lot like as though she realizes it’s time to be a good girl and shut up. Damn, I was even rooting for her to have a go at Donn. Was it that radiation thingy that made her say some crazy stuffs? If Link wasn’t enough being a tiny mecha mascot, then combining with Giga to turn him into one looks… Weird.

And then there is the rest of the Canyon family… As I’ve said, they look like they have the potential of becoming a fearful terrorist group but unfortunately I ultimately don’t really know what they want. The ragtag of the family look like they are being inspired from Mad Max and could have been much more interesting if they had been given much more screen time instead of their forced appearance so as just to tell us they are the bad guys. So are JC and Mike the good guys of the big bad family? Are they considered the black sheep of the family? I feel their characters are only to serve as inept bungling spies for Rose Guard and to show female power because these guys are just useless and nothing but (mild) perverts. What happened to Ed? We didn’t see him die but I guess that is what happens to one when he opposes the big boss. Terry? So that liquid medium he fell in is fatal, huh? I guess we can write him off. Worse, I don’t even know what Mom is doing and I am largely thinking that because she is a retard who knows nothing about human justice and sin, that is why she is late to act. I wonder if her power is also limited because she could have just whisked the entire world to another dimension. But then again, humans won’t learn and continue to pollute the new world. So yeah, on the other hand if Rose Guard couldn’t save the day, I was also foreseeing a tragic ending in which the Canyon family destroys the world and in some world purifies it.

One of the more frustrating things while watching this video is the bad spelling and translation. Yeah, I guess that’s why a lot of things we don’t understand it is because it got lost in translation. This is such an old movie and my bet is that there are no good subs and the one who probably did it had just half-baked English and non-native English speaker (who the f*ck is Tone Kane?! Oh, you mean Donn Canyon…). A few lines are omitted or badly translated. I know. My Japanese isn’t that good even after all these years but thanks to the dialogue not one of this show’s strong points, some of the simple lines I can actually catch and yet the translation got it way wrong. But worse still, the original production itself is flawed and filled with bad spelling itself. Could you imagine that I was wondering what the heck is Neo Pagatori?! You mean, New Purgatory?! And this one I remember clearly. That big word ‘DECASED’ on the screen. Like, huh? What the heck does that mean? Oh… You mean DECEASED!!! WTF???!!! Spelling purists might get mad at how many of these simple mistakes permeate this show but I guess if you’re like me a simpleton, first you get flabbergasted and then you laugh at all the silliness.

Action wise, they’re terrible to boot too. You’d think I would forgive this because it is retro anime and that was the standard then. However it is so bad that I just couldn’t find my inner Buddha and Jesus to do any forgiving. Even if God forgives this pile of garbage, I won’t. Hence the action sequences feel forced because it needs to have one just because this movie is so. I mean when you have a dystopian future dealing with hardened criminals, you’re going to expect some sort of gun fights, right? See, this is why the mind boggling setting that capital punishment has been abolished, criminals now get to live and run rampant. You see what you stupid leaders are making the future of the world of?! Is this what you call human rights?! I’m sure the criminals won’t give a f*ck about chivalry either. And yeah, amidst the lousy action scenes, some explosions! Gotta have some explosions! Boom! I was also hoping to see Rose Guard fighting and taking down the Canyon family one by one but I guess they owned themselves. After they got Sam, it’s like that’s the last of the family they’ll ever fight with. Stupid goon clones don’t count and aren’t exciting… So basically an internal family feud was the main reason a big number of the Canyon family got annihilated. And then mommy finally owning daddy… Is that a reflection of how most household operates?! And I thought the Canyon family is supposed to be powerful or at least have some sort of weird powers due to the radiation contamination. Nope. Didn’t see any effect.

Now we move on to the art and animation. Yup, horrendous. Should have been better and this time I can’t use ‘because it is a retro anime’ to justify why it’s just bad. The series is set in the future but it looks so futuristic that it’s so dated. CGI is also used but they are so stiff and rigid that it’s painful to watch. I know technology isn’t that advanced then but I believe they could do better than this. This makes me wonder if the producer making this is really on a tight budget. Limited funds and resources were given and he needed to make something out of it. And something was made and this was what we got. Hey, at least it was something. I think they want to show a few fanservice moments (isn’t it why Rose Guard is all female?) and Maki looks the hottest because she’s the only one who bared her bare tits and in her lingerie. Good thing those boobs didn’t explode, huh? Sorry guys, didn’t’ get any boner watching that very short scene of sexy Maki. And the rest of the sexy level of the rest aren’t just there. Marilyn has a body of a man. Doris is just meh. Katherine is a kid (are there any lolicons out there?) and Naomi is a, uhm, black?! Oh sh*t! Racist!

The character designs too are fail. Especially the Canyon family who could have been inspired by everything from here there and everywhere. Like Donn himself like I’ve said looks like a monster version of Guile and this could be his Darkstalkers version. For some reason we have Ed as your typical evil salaryman. Dressed so sharp but for what occasion, huh? Then you have got a bunch of heavy metal Metallica bros in Terry and Sam. Could have been crazier but whatever. Then Akira looks like some hacker brat kid but I think his other family member in the command centre looks even worse, a mad scientist, I suppose. Hmm… A mad scientist doing computer hacking… JC and Mike are the ‘good guys’ thanks to their good looks and don’t judge a book by its cover because Mom might look hideous but that’s not enough to give me nightmares. If I don’t stare at her long enough… And those other non-important Canyon family goon clones… I thought they are a discount version of Power Stone’s Jack. Yeah, what a lazy way to draw all those mindless low level zombie guards by covering their entire head with bandages. Yes, it is to hide their hideous mutated face but I believe those who did not read the synopsis or reviews will be baffled to see why they look like monsters. Radiation contamination turned them into such, that is. On a side note, I wonder why Marilyn’s hair tone colour reminds me of Yugioh’s Yugi…

Overall, it has been said to death that this show is really bad. Super bad. I am its latest ‘victim’ to have watched and add to the statistics at how appalling the quality of the story, characters, action, animation and just about everything else. Especially that line of women’s boobs explode! What the f*ck were they thinking?! Is that bad quote how they want us to remember this forgettable series?! The only good news is that so far nobody has pinpoint this movie to be remade! Oh the horror! Not surprising in today’s era of remakes, reboots, retellings, etc. But I have hope that it would be better had it been given better development. Then again, better not. Some things are better left buried and most probably we can thank all the contaminated radiation and nuclear waste surrounding this movie that makes it hard for others to approach it in any way. Come back in millions of years when it is finally purified. Oh, just f*ck it all! Just nuke this movie and let it be forgotten forever! I guess it is somewhat true that when Rose Guard can’t even figure out how to stop violence, we still can’t figure out how to stop making bad animes! And so with violence and pollution continuing, sad to say so will bad animes… :’(.

“Either you die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. Yeah. That sure was the most striking and famous Batman quote ever. Because that what it feels like in Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi E. A group of genetically modified soldiers who were on the verge of bringing victory to their nation now find themselves becoming useless and no longer appreciated when peace suddenly drops in. With no place to go and nobody to accept them for the monsters they have become, some have become lost souls bringing a new reign of terror. Hence the only one capable of bringing them down is their former captain who made an oath with them all that he will take them down if this worst case scenario happened. Like fighting fire with fire, it takes a monster to take down a monster?

Episode 1
Yeah. There’s some civil war going on in the country of Patria. The south side seems to be losing until a group of special soldiers in white waltzes in. They transform into beasts and slaughter the enemies! So easy. Should have arrived earlier and saved their side the casualties. These soldiers who can transform are called Incarnates and led by Hank Henriette as well as his childhood friends, Cain Madhouse and Elaine Bluelake. It isn’t all sunshine and roses being an Incarnate as they have side effects especially those blemishes on their body. But Elaine is working hard to find a cure and close knit group bond very well together. I’m sure everyone is interested in the budding romance between Hank and Elaine but there’s a war going on so… The Incarnates notch up victories after victories. Until one day one of them just go berserk and started killing friend and foe. He claims he wasn’t himself in that state and to stop such future atrocities, he kills himself! With everyone being depressed and scared, Hank makes a vow to all of his men. If any one of them should go berserk like that, they should be the ones to stop it. As the war rages on, more casualties and more Incarnates also start to bite the dust. To lift his men’s gloom, Hank announces he will propose to Elaine once this war is over. Later that night as Hank talks to Elaine, he is told there has been a secret peace treaty signed between the countries. Hence tomorrow’s decisive big war may not even happen. However for Incarnates, they will have no peace. Hence Elaine pulls the gun and shoots Hank. She is in cohorts with Cain. She blames herself for finding a cure because eventually all Incarnates will lose their mind and soul and she will put a stop to that. She shot him because she knew he will stop her. The plan for Elaine and Cain is to kill all Incarnates before killing themselves. However Cain betrays and shoots Elaine! This was the last think Hank sees before passing out. When he wakes up, he is in hospital and Liza Renecastle from the military’s intelligence says he finally woke up after 2 months. She explains they found him on the verge of death while Elaine has been missing. The war has ended and Incarnates were told by Cain to go wherever they want. However they lost their minds and went on a rampage. Once considered as gods, they are now feared by people. Hank is so mad at hearing all this that he clenches his fist so hard it starts bleeding?! Hence Hank is now on a mission, going around to kill his ex-comrades.

Episode 2
Nancy Schaal Bancroft lives with her father, William in a small town. They run an orphanage and they are very much happy living this life. William teaches her to hunt the first time but WTF he brought along all the orphanage kids too?! Schaal fails as the deer runs away. Don’t worry. You’ll pull the trigger when you’re ready. One day, soldiers come to visit the orphanage. It seems William is being enlisted. Despite not being a soldier, he is selected because he is special. Schaal doesn’t want him to go and doesn’t care if they don’t have much food as long as they are together. William reasons he goes to war not for the money but so that the kids can have a better future. He has the power to stop this war. He left and when the war is over, he returned but as a huge dragon! Is it him? Yes. Those eyes. And so their fun days return. Not many towns can have a giant dragon, no? But it all starts going downhill when William showed signs of randomly going berserk. The villagers worried his is now only killing their cows so for the safety of the children, the orphanage kids are transferred away. Schaal is left behind. But one night she heard a commotion and she saw Hank killed her father in cold blooded fashion. Angered by this unreasonable death, she hunts down this man until she finds him in some western cowboy town salon. Immediately she shoots him but despite hitting directly into his chest, he still lives. Before she could get any explanation, Hank goes pay a visit to a returning Incarnate. Daniel Price has been killing travellers for their money so that he could give it to his mom and people. Schaal gets in the way and questions Hank’s decision to kill him but Daniel goes berserk. Hank defeats him and reluctantly kills him with a special bullet. Schaal is shocked to see all this and demands answers. Because Hank won’t answer, she will travel with him to see for herself what he does and why her father had to die.

Episode 3
In this next gloomy town, Hank rendezvous with Liza. Oh Schaal, don’t let those boobs intimidate you… This town is being ‘ruled’ by a minotaur AKA Theodore Sherman. He has been building a fortress from the town’s materials and giving a daily reminder to his townspeople to be vigilante about the enemy. He thinks the war isn’t over yet. So Schaal thinks they can reason and talk to the Incarnate? Girl, if talking was so easy, wars wouldn’t have happened in the first place! That night, Schaal follows Hank into Theodore’s fortress. Promise you won’t get in the way? Yeah, seeing all the dead guards who tried to storm into the place but got killed by the traps, she almost got killed by a trap she clumsily activated herself! Stay close! She asks him more about Theodore so Hank relates how this guy was a coward. But it is thanks to Hank advising him to always be prepared that somewhat calmed his nerves. Hank leaves Schaal behind to go deeper. Normally it is Liza’s job to bring her back but since she is so stubborn in wanting to see what Hank does (you mean the last time wasn’t convincing enough?), Liza lets her go. Yeah, the girls want to see some action too. Hank faces with Theodore who claims the enemy might strike when they least expect it. That’s why he keeps building this fortress and traps. But the irony the more he builds, he doesn’t feel a bit safer. Hank then plays the enemy just to make him fight. Now, if you’re wondering what kind of Incarnate Hank is, well he is so special that his powers only activate at night. Yup, he is a werewolf. Eventually Hank brings down Theodore. Because he is told he is going to die, suddenly he doesn’t feel the need to be scared anymore. Hank kills him as Schaal ponders what were father’s last words to Hank then. Meanwhile we see other Incarnates being hunted by an extermination squad known as Coup De Grace led by Claude Withers. And Cain is like some Dracula dude with the company of a loli and awaiting Hank’s next move?

Episode 4
Hank and Schaal ride the train that crosses the iron bridge. It is the symbol of peace between both north and south. We interrupt this train ride because Liza needs Hank to come over right now. It seems the behemoth has been moving faster than expected and at this rate he will crash into the bridge. Because of the behemoth’s healing factor, old wounds heal and it will become harder to kill him. So he’s like an immortal? Hank’s solution? Damage him on the side that doesn’t receive much attacks! That did the trick to bring him down. And do those puny hooks able to hold this behemoth down? Schaal thinks there is hope when Liza explains that the behemoth has not killed anybody and went all out to avoid dense areas. All soldiers wounded were not directly hurt by his attacks. This means there is still some humanity in him. Schaal tries to talk to the behemoth and convince him to turn around. I don’t think he can hear you. Meanwhile the railroad owner is angry the military hasn’t killed the behemoth yet. He is impatient they are going to use explosives on the cliff to kill the monster instead of the monster himself. You bet they’re going to take things into their own hands. Schaal asks Hank about the behemoth. Well, Arthur Allston is a man of few words. Doesn’t speak much. Period. Yeah, not even Hank knows a lot about this guy. But maybe he knows what this guy wants… For the umpteenth time, Hank has to put up with Schaal’s naivety of not wanting this beast to be killed. Still hope, huh? Not much different than us, huh? That night, can you believe it that bandits knock out a few military guys to try and kill the behemoth?! WTF?! This angers the behemoth as he breaks free (told you those hooks don’t do a thing) as he squashes the bandits and inches closer to the bridge. Hank fights him and he must be some strong werewolf to even try to hold back a behemoth! A few well timed explosions has the behemoth’s guts spill open. Still he is inching closer. And then a final strategically timed explosion over the cliff. It reveals a sunrise over the ocean. Yup. That’s what Arthur wants. To see the ocean before he dies. So happy he can just die. Just like that. Liza has information about Cain’s whereabouts. Hearing that name just makes Hank’s blood boil, huh?

Episode 5
Arriving at Whitechurch, despite this lawless town having high crime and murder rates, it is believed Cain has been killing its citizens. They go around asking citizens but they refuse to cooperate. With Schaal sewing back that small bullet she put in Hank’s coat, was this enough to let him tell her his bad blood with Cain? That night, another corpse is found and hung out in public. However Hank believes from the wounds, Cain could not have done this but the gargoyle AKA Christopher Keynes who had a strong sense of justice. A boy named Andy was the only witness to this murder but nobody believes him. Only Hank. When Liza wants to ask more questions, Andy naughtily strips open her shirt and runs! This is what you get for being so tempting!!! Schaal goes after him and learns that Andy has a grudge against the gargoyle because he killed his mom. Sure, mom tried to steal something but it wasn’t something she needed to die for. Schaal catches Andy in the act of stealing but the gargoyle sees this and will serve justice by killing him. Schaal is also deemed a sinner since she tries to protect Andy. When the gargoyle attacks, Schaal couldn’t pull the trigger. If not for Hank, they would’ve been goners. Viewing his captain is also a sinner, he invites him to the abandoned church where they will settle things. Later Cain visits the gargoyle and gives him a special bullet. It can take away an Incarnate’s abilities or kill, depending how you use it. That night, Hank goes to face off with Christopher. More spouting of his version of justice. That’s why he came to this town to cleanse people of their sins. At first he tried talking but naturally people freaked out and attacked so he had no choice but to kill. Ever since, he believed death is the justice he must bring. Hank is shot in the gut by the special bullet and loses his powers. Meanwhile Schaal is thinking if her pity was the reason she couldn’t pull the trigger. Then she realizes her rifle is missing. Oh no. Don’t tell me Andy took it. WTF the gun was right next to her and she didn’t notice he took it?! At least Andy got the balls to shoot the gargoyle even if he missed. Andy almost gets killed. Schaal tries to protect him. Could have been goners again had not Hank somewhat power up to rip out the bullet and do in the gargoyle. Even till his last breath he still thinks he is justice. Bang. In the aftermath, Cain shows up to invite Hank to a certain place. Please come if you want to rescue Schaal. Unfortunately Hank is so weakened that his fury didn’t power him up this time. Just blacked out.

Episode 6
Miglieglia is fascinated with Schaal because of her blue eyes. Arachne AKA Elizabeeth Weezer explains to Schaal that she is just bait to lure Hank in. Claude and Liza examine the bodies of victims of the gargoyle. However there is one body that doesn’t share the same scratch marks but devoured all over. This body belongs to one of the wealthiest man in town. His wife also died but with unknown reasons. Upon examining closer, Claude sees vampire teeth bites. He knows this is Cain’s doing. He controlled the wife to kill the husband. He orders his men to gear up and get ready for battle. Hank attends this lavish party hosted by Cain. He begins by praising other attendees for sharing his vision. Some history about the civil war that stemmed because of some minerals they were fighting over. When the south tried to establish trade relations with other countries, the north attacked. Hence the economy collapsed and the government using the excuse to steal their fortunes. Then when the war ended, they lost their chance to regain their fortune. Hence Cain is going make a new order and with their contributions, they can continue the war and lead to victory. He ushers in a few new Incarnates. And then Cain has the Incarnates kill all of them! Thanks for your contributions but you’re no longer useful! Hank begins his assault and at the same time Claude and his military too bust in with their weird steampunk gear to fight the Incarnates. It seems Claude is Cain’s little brother and wants to stop his madness. Can he? Cain doesn’t share Elaine’s view that they must all die just because they lose their humanity. Incarnates’ souls might change but they aren’t lost. They will exist how their hearts decide. In fact it is Incarnates who risked their lives for greedy humans. Who is more human? With Cain getting pierced, stabbed and exploded, you wonder why the final last boss is so easily killed. He’s not. Turns out because he is a vampire he regenerates! Damn, how do you kill an immortal?! Hank rejects Cain’s offer to join him in a new order. Thinking that something is shackling him down, this is where Cain will get rid of it and shoots Schaal! Uhm, can one die immediately when shot in the guts? With Schaal’s death mirroring Elaine’s death, this causes Hank to undergo trauma and extreme transformation. A giant wolf that is supposedly the king of beasts. Hank loses his sanity and goes on a rampage. Yeah, he sure left a huge destructive mark on town. Hank’s missing. Cain’s missing. Schaal might still be breathing…

Episode 7
Cain and his Incarnates have gathered enough humans to form a military. Even some disgruntled nobles have joined them in their cause to create a new independent nation of New Patria! As they make their base in the undeveloped west and gaining allies from other cities, the north is preparing for war. And how are they doing it? Kill all Incarnates in their region to avoid them from joining this new terror! Yeah. And not surprising, Schaal is alive and returns to her village. It seems the dress she wore was made out of special Incarnates material and after she had surgery done, she was interrogated. Hank has been stripped of his military rank and is now a wanted man. Soon, Liza and Claude come to her village. They hear rumours of an Incarnate roaming in the mountains. Can Schaal just easily follow them like that? No harm, right? And then it turns out the Incarnate is the dragon! I thought he was dead?! Oh, looks like he is in zombie mode. Apparently nobody burns the bodies of dead Incarnates but bury them. How the f*ck did they bury such a huge monster?! Anyway, with the dragon attacking, can their pee shooter do anything? Oh wait, the dragon retreats?! So while they prepare for better firepower (should have done this in the first place), Schaal talks about her father. Liza so sympathetic she gives her those special bullets. Yeah, it’ll help somehow. Next time they trap and attack the dragon, looks like it starts flying towards the village. Liza and Schaal try to warn the villagers but they don’t believe. You mean they didn’t hear the loud attacking noises from the mountains?! Too late. Dragon’s here. Run! Schaal comes face to face with her father. Now she understands why Hank did what he had to do. This time it is her turn to pull the trigger. Uhm, maybe this thing needs more than a bullet to bring it down. Eventually the last bullet into his heart, you can say Schaal somewhat said goodbye to her father. Yeah, the communication is in the eyes thingy so go figure. And now Schaal wants to follow Coup De Grace around so she could find Hank? He easily allows her? Don’t tell me he has a thing for her!

Episode 8
Claude’s men are stopping at a seaside town to stock supplies. Schaal stumbles upon a singing siren, Beatrice singing alone in the cave. Her only company is Charles, a bar owner who once let her sing on his stage. Schaal becomes friends with her as she reveals how the people loved her singing. But when war broke out, her songs no longer bring comfort. She was drafted but after the war ended, she realized nobody wanted to hear a monster singing. Her days were numbered. There is no point in living if she can’t sing. Schaal tries to cheer her up as she makes frequent visits. But too often that Claude even has his suspicions. Cue for him to talk about his mission to kill Cain because he betrayed everyone in the family. Oh yeah, also he’s also taking down Hank. One day, men come into Charles’ bar to question him about him being spotted going to a cave where strange songs were heard. WTF Charles beats them up?! Of course they shoot him! Couldn’t he just pretend and deny at first? Anyway, Charles drags himself to warn Beatrice about what’s coming. His death turned Beatrice sad. So much so she walks into town and starts singing, putting everyone to sleep. Not sure why Schaal isn’t affected (friendship power?) but enough to find out Beatrice is doing this to save everyone’s future. They don’t have to be scared anymore! With Schaal screaming this isn’t the Beatrice she knows, it brings her back to her senses. She knows she can’t go on like this and hopes Schaal will listen to her last song. And then… Firing squad!!! How the f*ck did they miss Schaal? Schaal stops them from firing the next round because Beatrice sings a non-hypnotic song. A very beautiful piece. You could say it’s her swan song. RIP, Beatrice. Claude’s men now move out as they have detected Hank’s whereabouts. He warns Schaal if she gets in the way next time, he’ll just shoot through her. Now we see Hank kill off an Incarnate walrus. Goo Goo Ga Joob! Sorry, I mean, good job…?

Episode 9
Hank is being haunted by those he has killed. He is then attacked by a garm Incarnate FKA Rex “Roy” Brock. He is under orders by Cain to kill him if he continues to decline his offer. Hank gets owned and could have been killed had not the dawn come. Claude and his men are trekking to the snowy mountains. As Claude is weak, he is hit with fever and the team is forced to temporarily halt their hunt. Schaal treats him as she tells him why she isn’t so keen on killing Incarnates now. After all that she has seen, she believes there is a way for Incarnates to coexist with humans. After all, they just want to live in peace and the human connection is what mostly prevents them from losing themselves. As the scout reports of Hank fighting an Incarnate, Claude immediately calls for an emergency meeting. Because he is still weak, his assistant, Sergeant Gerald Corlani forces him to rest and will take over leading Coup De Grace. Time for Liza to ‘relax’ him? This guy is so rigid and complaining he has to rest while the Incarnate hunt goes on without him, hence cue for Liza to tell him about Schaal’s initial goal to kill Hank at first. However she decided to find out more rather than killing him. She could be the most mature among all of them. It’s night time and Hank really slept the whole day. Still got those haunting dreams, though. And it’s like the garm waited for night fall to continue their fight. He is disappointed Hank won’t transform to fight him. Hank gets owned and as the garm tries to rip out his heart, trauma of death has Hank finally transforming into his Incarnate form. The tables are turned as Hank pulverizes him. But the wilder Hank gets, the more he gets traumatized and then reverts back to his human form. With Hank’s eyes lifeless, the garm is so disappointed and blames him he had no more dignity. Now he can only retain dignity by averting from the truth. He can’t save them. Before he kills him, the soldiers interrupt. Those pea shooters can’t do a thing but at least it could annoy the hell out of garm. During the intense fight, the ground collapses. Oh no! Hank falling into the abyss!

Episode 10
We see Roy as one of those in the frontlines during the civil war. Miraculously he survived but lived through another hell after being turned into an Incarnate. Because Hank always supported him, his words always made him feel proud. I don’t know how Schaal managed to pick up Hank and let him rest in a cave. All by herself! Hank soon realizes he isn’t in heaven. Because this is Schaal in the flesh. Not a ghost. With the garm slaying half the corps, you bet Liza wants to head out too. So does Claude. Yeah, everybody wants to have the piece of the action. Just say the right words. Need your help. Can’t let my men die. Can’t let Schaal die. That’s it. You’re good to go. Schaal tells Hank about the incident her father turned into a zombie and this time she shot him. Now she understands what it feels like when Hank shot his fellow Incarnates. Hank laments how he has to kill his comrades when they were actually humans to begin with. It is the only reason why he is able to kill them so ‘easily’. But now he feels the burden of the oath and that he is starting to lose himself. To a point he asks Schaal to kill him because he wants to die with the memories of how his comrades used to be. But he changes his mind. Got to settle some business first. Gerald uses himself as bait to lure the garm. Everyone encircles it and starts shooting. Gee, I hope no stray bullets. Even if this is Gerald’s plan to sacrifice himself, I guess it’s great timing for Claude to jump in and pump a few rocket launchers into the beast. Gosh, everybody just stood there and let it escape? Of course, warning from Claude to the old geezer not to pull this sh*t again. Hank faces off with the garm. Time to end this. At first Hank thinks of going down with him but with Schaal taking a few pot shots and then telling Hank she will kill him if he ever loses his way (or at least when he is still human) so that he could continue killing his comrades and fulfil his oath. That is her oath to him, to let him live as long as he can. And so the wolf dudes duke it out in a beast version of Super Saiyan fight. Until Hank got his fist through garm’s heart. Fight’s over. Roy so meek now. Was this what he was aiming for? And one final bullet in the head. Claude approaches Hank. After all the violence and blood tonight, I guess it’s time to try talking.

Episode 11
With Cain’s base discovered, orders are sent to all squads to destroy it. Meanwhile Claude is trying to interrogate Hank but gets emotional the moment he mentions Cain as his younger brother. But no time for this interrogation. Got the new orders, right? The leader of this mission is Colonel Martin Wall. It seems his side already has experienced lots of casualties and injured in trying to storm the fort. Furthermore, this is all just the doing of an Incarnate using arrows. Hank can tell this is the work of the centaur AKA Miles Byron. He has a plan to smoke him out. During a night raid where he can’t see, the centaur misses his target and thus will come charging to kill his enemies. He also screams during his fight so as to instil fear. The plan to lure and trap the centaur succeeds. However they can’t kill him. Because now he is an immortal and can regenerate! So while we wait for the next raid at dawn, some few time wasting scenes like Schaal getting restless because there is nothing for her to help around, the centaur attending wounds of his injured men as he was once a doctor and the usual Hank-Schaal conversation. Yeah, remember the time when she first shot him just like that? Now can really laugh it off. The morning raid begins. I wonder if Martin can actually take the fort with this small artillery unit. Anyway, after a while when it seems like they’re close to taking the fort, the centaur now pops up to do some killing. Yeah, a few men had to die first before the showdown with Hank. Flashback shows Miles was a doctor before a soldier. He was happy to have treated wounded soldiers well enough for them to head back to the frontlines but then there was no next time to treat them again because they died. He started pondering if there was any point to saving them at all. Then after he became an Incarnate and killed enemy soldiers, this is when he realized if he did the killing himself, he could save a comrade’s life. Well, he’s got a point but Hank claims his soul has been broken for some time now.

Episode 12
Miglieglia seems to have the ability to revive the dead… Once Hank gives the signal, the artillery fires all they’ve got at the centaur. He’s got regeneration, remember? But what’s this? Poisonous mist that disrupts his regeneration? Oh look, it also takes out the soldiers on both sides. Martin reveals this new poison developed after the Incarnate hydra’s death. Claude is against this sneaky tactic that caused casualties on their side but as Martin puts it, this is war and not some hunting trip. Then Cain comes into the picture and chops off everyone’s head! This guy can infect others as well as teleport?! He claims this poison is cheating?! So his vampire abilities aren’t?! Then he kills off Martin and could’ve done the same to Claude had not Hank return in time to face him (after killing off centaur for good, that is). Hank realizes too late that this is just a diversion. Because the rest of his Incarnates are busy taking over the south. Yeah, the north and south once again are going to have a sneaky alliance to fight against them so he sent his Incarnates to kill them all. With the help of zombies of course. Cain tries to open Hank’s eyes that humans are the true beasts because they are the ones who created Incarnates. So shouldn’t Hank thank him for killing Elaine? Hank replies that Elaine realized her mistakes and tried to fix them. That’s why he is trying to carry out her wish. Talking time over. Time to transform and fight. Damn, since when Cain has cloning abilities and hand blades?! No matter how much Hank attacks, Cain can teleport and slash him. After dealing him a fatal blow, he warns Hank he can’t even defeat him as human. So join him. Last chance offer. Of course with Schaal reminding Hank he is still human, offer rejected. Cain puts on his maddest face and tries to kill the girl. Only for Hank to suddenly power up and become Super Saiyan and beat the sh*t out of Cain with this single punch that caused a huge crater?! WTF?! With the fort taken by Gerald, cue for Cain to leave. Next time, Hank. In the aftermath, New Patria has taken over the south and hence the north declaring an emergency to recall all their forces back to the capital. Hank and Schaal leave first. Hank noting she has changed because now they’re in the same world. Likewise, Hank has also changed. More obviously, he smiles more often. Only because Schaal was there for him. But she isn’t doing this just for him, she is going to follow him so she can keep her oath even if this means putting herself in danger of the battlefield. Lastly, we see Elaine is kept alive in a pod in Cain’s base.

From Kemono Friends To Beast Wars!
The journey is still long and far from over. There are so many more Incarnates left to kill and with all the zombies now at their disposal, it is going to feel like a video game. Despatch zombie grunts along the way, fight mid-level and sub-bosses along the way before the final boss. There are so many unanswered questions especially that loli who keeps following him around. I hope this is not the plot twist whereby this loli is some reincarnation of Elaine!!! It better not be!!! And how did Schaal’s father revived as a zombie? Is this a forced plot convenience to push forward her character? What’s that? Elaine shown to be in some pod? Don’t let that fool you. Have you seen Elaine and Miglieglia together in the same place at the same time?! Oh yeah. Paranoia sure turning my mind into a beast now.

Aside from some silly moments in the series (seriously, Schaal as an outsider being able to do what she wants so freely in the military?), at first the story was interesting and captivating as it shows the dark side of war and those who were affected by it especially the soldiers who fought in the front lines. Perhaps it started to get a little boring halfway because the same formula of Hank hunting down an Incarnate while Schaal tags along and tries to understand why he does what he does. Halfway, a change of pace is needed with Cain finally showing himself up and revealing his intentions of turning rogue. I guess this is a much needed refreshing change because it would be a darn shame if the rest of the entire series sees Hank going around killing his ex-comrades. The ultimate bore fest. Besides, how many soldiers are there that turned into Incarnates? Are there like a hundred of them? If so, damn it’s going to take some time… So with Cain having revealed his hands, at least this gives Hank some ‘motivation’ to hasten his plans. But still, it wasn’t enough to save this season as this new direction didn’t make the series go anywhere as it still feels the same repeat plot of Hank going around to hunt down and Incarnate but in a different form.

As for the characters, it was interesting to note some of their personality and history especially those Incarnates that Hank went around killing. It gives them some character as we understand why they become so. But unfortunately it still feels shallow because since they are going to be killed off anyway. It’s like the excuse needed to give us the feels when Hank kills them. Because you too will somewhat sympathize with them and be at a dilemma when Hank shoots them. However as said, unfortunately with just an episode to focus on their back story, it isn’t deep enough for us sophisticated viewers to want to feel sorry for their deaths. But at least it tells us they once had a human side and possibly they still have them had the war turned out very differently.

Hank might look like a merciless ex-captain who goes around to kill his ex-comrades but of course he is the one hurting the most inside and we can’t see that. Imagine if Hank starts crying and tears coming out from all his orifice each time he has to pull the trigger, I think we’d be more annoyed than sad. So Hank has to steel his heart and kill them without showing any shred of emotions because who knows, he might lose it if he does. I figure it is also to show that he has his imperfect human side. That is why Schaal serves as his balance if he ever falls into that dilemma pitfall. Lucky him. Unfortunately the other Incarnates aren’t so lucky to have a young girl following them around. Hank and Schaal, Cain and Miglieglia… Ah, now I see why these 2 Incarnates can survive so long aside being the main character and antagonist.

Something bugs me about Hank’s character in the sense that I wonder if he was inspired from X-men’s Beast. At first I thought Hank looked like some discount version of Logan AKA Wolverine because of that hairstyle of his. However upon closer inspection, I thought he actually looked more like Beast. At least the version I knew in the comics that I read in the 90’s. Even more curiously, Beast’s real name is Henry “Hank” McCoy. Oh dear. See the similarities? But I think that is where the similarities end as they are both largely different characters. Just the thought if the base design on this character was just inspired from that. It might all be just a big coincidence but there is still a small chance that his conspiracy theory of mine may be true…

And then there is Schaal whom at first looks like an excess baggage. An excuse to tag along with him just to understand why he does what he does, wow that is too mature a thinking for a girl who was initially hell bent on seeking out her father’s murderer! I guess she didn’t want to fall into that stereotypical role of the character on a revenge mission. Although she does look like in danger of falling into that stereotypical role of being a damsel in distress. Heh. Once captured by Cain and almost killed! Sure, Hank doesn’t give a damn about her following him about but it just feels so odd that a girl like Schaal who barely has any military training but only some minimal deer hunting skills her dad probably taught her, I can only see she’ll get into trouble in everywhere she follows him and she almost did and could have got in Hank’s way. But subsequently after that incident she almost died, she changed and matured (although technically still weak as a character). Especially after she personally put down her zombie father. Now she’s not just tagging along but some sort of ‘security’ for Hank in the case he loses himself. So if Hank kills all the Incarnates, will Schaal kill him? Or will some sort of weird romance blossom between them? F*ck!!! Don’t let this turn into some dark version of Beauty And The Beast!!! So I hope she’d be useful from now on following him because hell I didn’t see her being any use in the final episode when Hank fought Cain. She just stood there watching with baited breath. And then when he is in dilemma, cue for her to remind him of his human origins. I guess that still helps no matter how minor the role is.

Cain as the antagonist feels one dimensional too. With a name like Madhouse, damn is it not a tell-tale sign that he is just going to be the plain villain? Heck, doesn’t have that typical villainy look on his face?! I don’t know what the story is between Claude and him because they have different surnames but I am guessing that after the betrayal, he took on this new twisted name. And even so, Hank didn’t see this betrayal coming from miles away. Literally under his nose. But it could be that we still don’t know much about Cain despite his claims for a New Patria country and hence we judge him to be just another megalomaniac villain. Likewise with Cain being so filled with angst trying to take his brother down, it’s like you want to tell this guy to cut some slack but I guess you can’t have a squad leader who is slacking, right? After all, Claude is the son of the north’s president and he has his expectations to live up to.

On a trivial note, I wonder if Cain is actually in love with Hank and wants to be gay with him! Seriously, think about this. Because he knew Hank and Elaine were lovers, killing off Elaine because she brought about the Incarnates was just an excuse to get rid of his competition. Notice his grimace when Hank was too close with Elaine? The same can be said when Schaal came to Hank’s aid. Look at his angry face that has all his veins bulging! And what did he scream to Schaal not to come into their beastly world?! Is it of the yaoi kind?! Do I need more proof when there were many chances for Cain to kill Hank but he always let him off the hook and giving him another chance. Yup, those second and third chances to join his side could just be a diversion so that some BL sh*t can get it on between them. F*ck this twisted fiction… I’m done thinking about this…

Last but not least, Liza. The only reason I think we’ll remember her is because of those monstrous boobs and cleavage. It’s like for those who aren’t into washboard types like Schaal, yeah this twin monstrosity might make your day. Because I don’t remember see her doing anything important that would at least make us remember what her role is. I don’t know if the military lacks enough material to make enough clothes to cover her cleavage but I suppose all the foot soldiers’ resistance game is strong because I don’t really see them react to those jugs. So don’t complain when a boy strips your top! The only person who mostly reacts to them is Schaal because they need some cliché moment where flat girl flusters seeing how mature woman uses her busty assets to her advantage. I guess nobody in her poor remote village has grown things that big, huh? HAHA!!! However as seen in the last episodes, those soldiers must be flat chest fans because they rather have Schaal than Liza who boldly flaunt her twin peaks as her main instrument of comfort!!! Is this Schaal’s first ‘victory’?

I’m sure they want some variety as they have different Incarnates rather than a whole bunch of similar ones. That is why you only see 1 minotaur, 1 garm, 1 siren, 1 centaur, etc. Couldn’t they have 2 of each just in case? Sure, you can point out garm and werewolf are somewhat the same but I suppose they are from different folklore source and origins so it counts as separate… I know they test on different individuals and each might have different results but even so I wonder how they are assigned to that Incarnate. And because they are designed after mythical creatures, does this mean they can’t create their own monster? So I figure those from the Ultraman or other tokusatsu series don’t qualify, huh? Yeah, nobody here became an Incarnate Godzilla… I bet it would’ve been epic. But for now, I wonder who got the gorgon, supposedly the best mythical creature out there no? Lastly, Cain being the ultimate Incarnate as a vampire and Hank a werewolf, is this some sort of ultimate showdown between the most well-known mythical monsters eventually? I suppose not many series puts the werewolf kind as being the hero, huh?

The action parts feel okay and although the fights between Incarnates are just average and borderline satisfying, the mind boggling parts are Claude’s Coup De Grace trying to hunt the Incarnates down. Firstly, their gear looks so odd because I think they want to design something that is badass steampunk but it makes the whole bunch of them look like Olympic skiers!!! Not kidding! And then their movements are like super stiff and worst of all, they look alike, meaning I thought they are some robotic clones or something. Oh well, they only exist to get slaughtered. Oh, they got some blood spilled so I guess they aren’t robotic NPCs after all. But still, the thought of their pea shooter guns and rifles feel really redundant. I mean, do they seriously think that if they pump tons of normal bullets into the Incarnate, they will die? I thought you need special bullets for that? I know some scenes are very gory and bloody but I thought the scene whereby Cain chopped off the soldiers’ head, damn I thought he exploded them!!! The blood just came gushing out like a geyser!!! It was hilarious to say the least!

Art and animation feel average. Sometimes I could see that the quality and frame rates dropping especially during those action scenes. I wonder if the designs of the military uniforms are inspired from America’s Civil War. Sure, there are some differences but that was the first thing that strike my mind when I see them. Heck, it made me wonder if this was an alternate fantasy reality of the Civil War! Also, Incarnate soldiers in their human form have weird patches on their bodies. It’s a sign of some aftereffect but it made them look like they’re suffering from some sort of disease like leprosy or something. Best part of turning into an Incarnate is that their military clothes don’t get ripped. The coat just unfold conveniently to show off their monstrous abs, huh? Hulk should get this material from these guys! This series is done by MAPPA who did Kakegurui, Zombie Land Saga, Shingeki No Bahamut and Zankyou on Terror so I can say that this isn’t one of their best works out there.

WTF???!!! WHY DO THEY HAVE TO KILL OFF MAMIKO NOTO’S CHARACTER AGAIN!!!! OMFG!!! I’M SO READY TO TURN INTO AN INCARNATE AND SMASH EVERYBODY!!!! Ahem… Yeah, once again here I was happy to hear Mamiko Noto’s voice in the first episode and though I don’t expect her Elaine character to be the main one, at least maybe you know, from time to time I get to hear her voice. And then they killed her off at the end of the first episode! WTF this atrocity! This is war! Probably they think they can calm my infuriation by making her whereabouts unknown because you know, Elaine’s body was never really found and hence there could be rife speculation that she is still very much alive. Hence a surprise if they ever wanted to bring her character back to life in future instalments. Oh right. Don’t have to wait next season. They already did that in the final scene of the final episode. She might be in some chamber but who knows if she is still alive or even the same person. But for now, the anger within still flows… And yeah, Elaine still does appear from time to time. In dreams and flashbacks… Yeah… Gotta appreciate what I’ve been given and can’t complain… And besides, doesn’t this Elaine character look a bit like Mamiko Noto in real life?! The resemblance is striking as though if this is her 2D version…

There are some recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here such as Yuuichi Nakamura as Cain, Youko Hikasa as Liza, Kenjiro Tsuda as the behemoth, Jun Fukyama as the gargoyle, Saori Hayami as the siren and Tomokazu Sugita as the centaur. At first I thought it was Nao Touyama behind Schaal’s voice but apparently I was wrong. Instead it is Ai Kakuma (Miyako in Imouto Sae Ireba Ii). The other casts are Katsuyuki Konishi as Hank (Laxus in Fairy Tail), Kaito Ishikawa as Claude (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Tatsuhisa Suzuki as the garm (Ban in Nanatsu No Taizai), Maaya Sakamoto as the Arachne (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji) and Kana Ichinose as Miglieglia (Kurai in Hitoribocchi No Marumaru Seikatsu). Sacrifice as the opening theme by Mafumafu is a rock paced outfit that fits this dark theme just like the ending theme, HHOOWWLL by Gero x Araki which is more of a slow rock.

Overall, this series had a lot of potential but was setback by its pacing and lack of more episodes to flesh out better the characters and storyline. I read many comments online that this was just slightly better than Fairy Gone but since I haven’t watch that one myself yet, I guess I can’t say. It becomes a pretty standard cliché of everything like a revenge story, a redemption story, hot sidekick chicks, good guys gone rogue, military only good for shooting everything down, etc! You get the drill. I hope this gets another season so that justice from all sides (the characters in the anime, us viewers) can be given but at this point, it seems this series’ fate is as hopeless as those who have turned into Incarnates. Abandoned and left to die a cruel death all alone while being usurp by more popular and mainstream ones. Oh, the anime industry have turned us into such entitled selfish monsters…

Agent Aika

November 22, 2019

Yeah… I know what I’m getting into when I decided to go watch this retro OVA series, Agent Aika. Uh huh. Fanservice galore of the 90’s! Who cares about the profession of our titular character who is working as some Salvager to salvage lost items from the ocean’s deep. It’s just one of those excuse why our ladies need to don the swimsuit and parade in them around with their sexy curvaceous body. Who needs a plot when you can gawk and stare at all the cheesy fanservice, tits and ass shots and all because that’s the only thing that you’ll find focusing the most. Oh, there’s a plot? What plot?! Just stare at those asses and you can’t go wrong!

Episode 1
A tour guide has the tourist view the submerged Tokyo city. Also, there are lights beneath this underwater ghost town as Salvagers are working to salvage lost items. Among them is Aika Sumeragi and Rion Aida. As soon as they salvage a suitcase, it is snatched by bitter rivals, Gust Turbulence and B.A. Bandora. He wants Aika to date him if she wants her package. Of course she won’t date this rich playboy. Only an underground explosion stops their tussle. As Rion hands over the suitcase to the client, he will only pay half price since it is damaged. She would have beaten it up had not Gouzo, her boss-cum-father stop her. He tells her about the pride of being a Salvager but as a realist, Rion reminds him it doesn’t pay their bills. A client then calls him and for the umpteenth time, he turns him down on this dangerous mission. It’s not about the money. But Aika snatches the phone and will take up this job! Money > Pride. As they go meet the client, it seems Gust is also hired for this job. They are to retrieve data and/or sample of Lagu. The reward is very handsome. As they leave, they are ambushed by Nena Hagen and her hot chick goons. Of course Aika and Gust fight them off so Nena warns they are also after Lagu and to keep their noses out if they know what’s good for them. Naturally, Aika won’t listen and will still go ahead. Before she leaves, boss talks to her and it is hinted that Aika still feels responsible of putting him out of the game, that’s why she still worked under him. Though, he doesn’t hold any grudge against her. Damn, Aika flying some jet without any gear and can pilot it with her thighs?! Only in the air did she realize Rion snuck on board. You mean she didn’t even notice?! Rion throws a tantrum when Aika wants to turn back and not let her help on this mission. Until Gust zooms past her that Aika just doesn’t care anymore. Do what you wish. Nena and her team are on board some destroyer. Detecting those jets, she has her goons fire missiles. I guess they’re bad at aiming so Nena herself takes to the skies and shoots down Gust. Her brother, Rudolf Hagen has detected they are in the vicinity of Lagu and orders her to come back. As she is stubborn, she continues hunting Aika. I suppose it is Lagu’s weird waves that cause the jets to stop working. Nena ejects and Aika’s plane must be so old it has no eject seat. Nosedive! Hence her weird outfit automatically activates. WTF this weird tentacle rape transformation scene turning Aika into some hot tropical island chick to better pilot and land the jet! Wow. Super. Once on the island, Aika and Hagen’s eyes come into contact. So close…

Episode 2
Nena tries to act tough and beat up Aika but gets her ass handed to her instead. She wanted to get revenge but Hagen takes a liking for Aika and welcomes her on board. He tells his sister to go find Lagu instead. So this sphere thingy is Lagu? Hagen explains to Aika that it has some sort of power that caused that world catastrophe 20 years ago. Earthquakes and volcanoes and the likes. Many cities destroyed. You could say that Japan was one its victims. He then shows Aika a laser beam using Lagu’s power that disintegrates metal into nothing. Though this is just a military toy, he believes Lagu has more potential than this. One of them being restoration of Earth. Hence Lagu is like the vaccine to rid of the infection that is humans. Now that he has Lagu, he couldn’t care less about his military colleagues and wants to move on to his next stage of research. He wants Aika to join him. Uhm, I don’t think the right way to convince a woman to join you is to molest her body! Aika is not interested in anything except Lagu’s data. He gives her some time to think but in the meantime he goes to have incest with Nena?! She is jealous of Aika and wants to kill him but I guess she loves him too much to do that. Meanwhile Gus sneaks in to rescue Aika. Thanks to all the useless goons, he easily incapacitates them. All of them. Yeah, they’re so incompetent that they left ‘unconscious’ Rion alone when their shift is over! So Rion can sneak around in their clothes and eavesdrop some juicy details. Then she stumbles into a strange girl, Maypia Alexymetalia. She might be a spy because she sneaks into some restricted area to take pictures. They are caught by a guard but thanks to the alert being sounded, they use this excuse to ‘return to their post’. During the commotion, Nena is so angry she trashes her room while drunk? So now Hagen is going to have sex with Aika? Sex in exchange for the data?! Yeah, he’s interested in her outfit too that has this rare Ultranate Metal. Sex interrupted when Gus comes in to rescue her. It’s not what you think but thanks to his timing, she manages to steal the data and escape with Gus. Outside, the guards corner her. Drunk Nena wants to take it all out on her. When Gus tries to protect Aika, Aika instead protects him. She got stabbed in the shoulder. This activates her suit and super Aika now tentacle whips everybody! Hagen is amazed seeing all this so he fires some beam at her to neutralize it and revert Aika back to normal. He wants Aika retrieved. You can kill the man.

Episode 3
Amazingly Bandora flies in. You don’t think your puny semi-autos can take it down, huh? Gust takes Aika and escape in the jet. Meanwhile Rion follows Maypia and learns she is some super spy. Yeah, here comes the teasing of how a spy has a business card! Crawling through the ventilation, they arrive at the Lagu reactor that serves as the ship’s main power source. Aika wakes up from this dream of some explosive action with Gouzo. Too dark and blur to make things out but she activated her suit. She realizes Rion is left behind and wants to go rescue her. In that weak condition? Gust relents but after she gets her strength back. And man, that was fast because Bandora is taking them there. Also, Hagen has created some pantsu based on Ultranate and is supposed to be a lot more times powerful. Gee, so fast? He wants Nena to wear them. Since the military threatens to use force to take Lagu from Hagen, I suppose they don’t know what he can do, huh? So Hagen proclaims to his crew that they will soon take off to the skies and use Lagu to purify Earth. He maintains nothing will be destroyed in this operation. But first, take down those pesky military ships. Uh huh. After destroying the main ship, other ships flee. Now you see the power of Lagu? And Maypia is frustrated her higher ups have abandoned her because it’s her mission to destroy this reactor. So as the submarine prepares to turn into a rocket and take off, Maypia opens the hatch so she can escape (you mean main control can’t close it and Nena have to go down herself?). Sorry, Rion. This jetpack is only single seat. But Rion holds onto her until Maypia crashes outside somewhere! Then Rion gets arrested by the hot chicks. At the same time, here comes Bandora’s jet carrying Aika and Gust. I don’t even know how this is possible that the duo drop in despite all the turbulence. Unfortunately Gust is blown away while Aika manages to sneak in before the hatch closes. The rocket takes off and destroys Bandora’s jet but not before she ejects. Good to know that Gust and Maypia are still alive stranded on the island below. Aika is now in but is suddenly strangled by… Pantsu tentacles?! Is this Nena’s Ultranate?! Damn, why does Nena like a discount version of Rutian Twi’lek Jedi Master, Aayla Secura?!

Episode 4
Gouzo manages to convince his employer to lend a shuttle so they can go up and rescue Aika. Hagen explains to Rion about his plan to beam Lagu down and activate earthquakes and destroy civilization. This ship is like Noah’s Ark and has DNA of all other life forms. Yeah, in addition to replenishing other life on this planet, Hagen is going to have his utopia paradise. No wonder all his crew are hot chicks only. Rion will not have a part in his perverted plan and is taken away. Aika manages to distract Nena and run away. Luckily she bumps into Rion but their reunion is short-lived as Nena is back to beat them up. This causes Aika’s Ultranate to activate as she transforms before Rion’s eyes. Aika laments she doesn’t want to see her in this form. However Rion is ecstatic with this transformation. It’s like anime! Then the Ultranate babes slug it out. With Bandora managing to dock onto the rocket, Gust places bombs everywhere while Gouzo has Maypia guide him around the ship. The more Nena gets desperate to defeat Aika, suddenly her Ultranate goes out of control and she starts melting. Ugh. Gross. I suppose no humans are supposed to withstand the fusion with Ultranate, huh? Hagen manages to neutralize Aika and narrates about some research into this Ultranate. It could have been the perfect weapon had not it claimed the lives of many researchers. It is rumoured that Aika is the only survivor but that data was lost during the great disaster. Now that Nena is of no use to him, he wants Aika to work on his behalf. Damn, this guy got the guts to kiss her?! Got too close that the Ultranate stabs him! Just desserts when Nena clings on to him and won’t let him go. Eventually fusing and absorbing him as one. With the Lagu reactor going out of control, you bet the mission is a failure. Don’t want hot chicks to go down with the ship now that their captain is done for, huh? Abandon ship! With our heroes meeting up just in time and escape right before the rocket explodes. Phew. Humanity is saved.

Episode 5
I guess the salvaging business is doing great that Gouzo hired another staff, Shuntaro Michikusa. Also, to appreciate their contribution, Gouzo has them stay at an island resort. Of course on this resort are also ex-Hagen babes (collectively known as Delmo). One of them doing a total makeover as a man. Pierre Valimore bumps into Aika and charms her way into Aika’s heart. Rion is jealous but there is nothing she can do. While Pierre takes Aika out on a date, the other Delmo babes kidnap Rion and Michikusa. Damn, Aika must be an easy woman to end up kissing Pierre! Finally going back to the hotel, Pierre drugs her drunk and brings her back to his room. Unfortunately no naughty time because Aika realizes the other Delmo babes surrounding her. Led by Bianca, they are here for revenge and killing her won’t be enough. They want to humiliate her. Isn’t that too much revelation for a bad guy? Yeah, villain fail 101. And Aika realizes Pierre is a woman, Valerie. First, they toss Rion and Michikusa into the pool to drown them to make Aika in despair. But Aika surprises them and jumps down several levels to save them and also beat up those lowly babes. Nothing like pool water to sober you up, huh? Then some weird chase throughout the resort begins. Aika has her fast rematch with Valerie. Why she gets knocked out so easily? I guess this means she gets to fight Bianca. But the fight too doesn’t last long as sore loser Bianca calls for air support. Uhm, more like armoured tanks being dropped? WTF?! Damn, can armoured tanks run rampant around the resort? I guess one of them being dumb enough for Aika to hijack. Damn they’re blowing up the resort like nobody’s business! And then Aika has a sneaky trick that has Bianca shoot directly at her. Wow. You mean Aika didn’t die from the explosion? So when Bianca gets close and let her guard down, surprise mother*cker! One hard kick to the guts to knock her out. And as soon dawn arrives, Aika and co leave the island. It’s not over yet as those Delmo chicks have yet another operation in hand.

Episode 6
Wow. The enemies talking about the need to gather data on Aika so they can defeat her. A good idea. But I’m worried about the execution… And so we see a couple of Delmo girls in disguise seeking Gouzo’s request for a salvaging mission. They heard Aika is the best in the field and they require her. So it’s off to some cold land, presumably Russia? The modified jet Aika will use for the probe is currently being piloted by a young girl, Rie Petroyikowa. So to see if Aika is fit to the task, Rie does a lot of physical examinations on her including Twister while being taken pictures in sexy compromising positions. Damn, Aika must be a fool to think there isn’t something wrong with this. Rion is so jealous about this but her hunch might be right when she starts pulling the skirt of one of the staffs. This leads to her discovering they are Delmo babes in disguise. Yeah, WTF are they wearing their uniform underneath those clothes?! So when she goes to spill the beans to Aika, cue for Rie to admit everything and also spill the beans they want her data. Villain fail 101 again. Rie now needs data on Aika’s fighting skills so she sets some of the Delmo girls to go fight her. Of course you can tell Aika will easily despatch those goons. They’re so useless that Gouzo despite being drunk and singing karaoke, they can’t even hit him while he hits them back in his drunken stupor! I don’t even think this is drunken fist! More villainy fails when Rie shows some of the recorded intimate moments of probing inside Aika. WTF?! Shoot the screen! Rie fights Aika and claims she has studied her moves. Yeah, didn’t see this choker move coming, huh? Then it boils down to chasing after the data. Yeah, all saved in this precious diskette! Rie runs to the Commander to give the data. Along the way, Aika takes out more Delmo girls until she arrives at the final big boss. So why are they doing this? So now that Hagen is gone, they have no reason to exist and this is so called pride? So they don’t have a life? I just don’t get it… Anyway, more Aika acrobats and high kicks to knock them out. Not even the Commander stand a chance. Oddly, Rie who was fighting her a while ago is now cowering in fear? I guess mission complete when Aika destroys the diskette. As they leave via jet, Rie is not done yet. WTF she brings out this SAM artillery right in the middle of the runway to shoot them????!!! Not sure what Aika did to disable her HUDs and Gouzo shooting some blunt object at her, this knocks her out as she misfires and destroys some other jet. Sleep tight, Rie. And the rest take off back home. What a weird misadventure…

Episode 7
Gouzo talks to Rion about her future. He doesn’t want her to continue this salvaging business but she insists she wants to. Meanwhile Aika is working hard back at the office but suddenly a power outage! Should have saved those 4 hours of work! Of course this isn’t just an accident. Freddy Krueger Delmo babe is trying to kill her! Damn, they really wreck the place. When Gouzo and Rion return, the enemy is just about to escape. WTF Rion standing in the middle of the road?! Gouzo pushes her away and gets run over! OMG! Worse, since when did they plant bombs around the office and boom!!! Entire building collapses! You mean this isn’t anything serious because after the fireman and ambulance, next day no police to cordon off the freaking area???!!! And why are the other buildings unaffected?! Where are all the other people?! So you can’t blame Michikusa for coming to work and suddenly no office. Yeah, Rion sifting through the rubble to find Aika. Only her earring. Damn, this girl wants revenge and drags Michikusa into her scheme. I don’t even know how Gust knows Aika is dead and is crying his heart out. Bumping into Rion, she wants his help in this revenge plan but Bandora says some pretty good advice that she shouldn’t be doing this to make Gouzo sadder (he’s hospitalized, you know). What does Gust have to say? He’ll help Rion in her revenge plan! You’re on your own. Bandora’s out. But where do they start? It seems Michikusa knows a former super spy… Yup. Maypia! How the heck does he know her? I don’t think they’re dating. With Delmo’s base located in some rocky island, our revenge team heads there only to be intercepted. Yeah… Stupid enemies didn’t even make sure they’re dead so nature washes them up nicely on shore as they get their revenge plan going by stealing some weapons and then run havoc throughout the base! Eventually they face off with Bianca and Rie but the duo let them handle Sania and Tonia (that Freddy Krueger girl). All of them got owned. Before they could be killed, cue for Aika in her Ultranate version to the rescue! Yeah, didn’t think she was dead, huh? Besides, she has been running wild too throughout the base. She beats up those Delmo girls and before you could say boss fight with Commander, shockingly she is not going to fight Aika. Heck, she doesn’t want her comrades to be further injured and calls off this operation. It’s about time she realizes that! But oh no! What will they exist for? Who knows… Anyway, everybody agrees to abandon base and never come into contact with Aika again. Gee, that was easy and so anti-climactic. Why must the base self-destruct? In the aftermath, we see our usuals continue to go about their salvaging job. Life goes on.

Special
Sometimes dubbed episode 4.5, this short takes place around the time Gouzo’s company moved into their new building. Aika is moving the boxes and hopes Rion can help but she insists to let the new recruit do it. Well, that guy seems to be busy taking photos with high school girls who think he is hot! Until Rion kicks his ass, a signal for those girls to get the heck out of here! Rion really wants to do a promo video for the company. It’ll bring in the money too. However Michikusa spoils it that they don’t have the capacity to handle it so Rion beats him up. Uhm, did becoming a punching bag is part of his job description? Because as Rion continues to explain how to promo video would look like (fighting terrorists?) and Michikusa commenting how it is so spy-ish, once more she beats him up. Rion continues to dream to be a super agent like Aika. Imagine Rion in skimpy sexy outfit and doing all those kung fu chops. Yeah… When Gouzo returns, Rion bugs dad to do a promotional video. He agrees. Hooray! However… A promo video needs a song. See where this is going? Yup, looks like he just wants to sing. And a duet with Aika! I guess we’re not getting the promo video Rion wants.

Aika R-16: Virgin Mission

10 years later, a prequel spinoff OVA, Aika R-1: Virgin Mission was released with some few changes. But the same ol’ panty and crotch shots remain the same and bountiful.

Episode 1
Aika has gotten her C-licence as a Salvager. Gouzo doesn’t seem pleased on how she got the licence with that skills. So, uhm, feel it with your ass? Since when he is a dirty old pervert? We take a peek at Aika’s school life. Well, despite living in the dorm right across the school, she manages to always come in late. For the 30th day in a row! Hence teacher, Nagisa Risako reprimands her to clean all school windows. Aika later realizes her posters of offering her Salvager services are being torn down by class rep, Eri Shinkai and her goons. Don’t want that kind of cheap service to ruin the class’ reputation, huh? Yeah, they argue till Risako had to remind them they’re already late for class! Is this going on their permanent records? Later Eri brings Aika to her treasure hunting club in which she is a president. I guess rich girls have weird tastes of art, huh? Tempting Aika to pilot some mini sub she likes, so what’s the catch for this mission? I guess everybody gets the wrong idea when Eri starts stripping the top of Karen Minamino. This isn’t a club about starring at boobs! Look closer! At her boobs? No! There’s a butterfly mark on her boobs! Looking even closer, the mark is made out of numbers and based on some deduction Eri did, it leads to an encryption that spells out, “The gate of truth will be opened by the sleeping butterfly” accompanied by coordinates. So we’re assuming there is going to be some treasure here so it’s treasure hunting time.

Taking a cruise ship there, Captain points out a ‘problem’. Gust, the young butler has trouble serving Risako because she’s so sexy at every turn, he has boners all the time. Yeah… Apparently Risako is the advisor for this club so you bet she’s tagging along. Captain discusses with Eri that the coordinates of this location is very dangerous. Something like the Bermuda Triangle. But Eri equates danger with the romance of adventure and loves it. Captain reminds her he has a job as instructed by her father to keep her safe. If it gets too dangerous, they’ll turn back. Later Aika asks Eri how she found out about Karen. So basically she got curious of a lonely girl living alone and stalked her? Meanwhile several girls are being knocked out and hypnotized by Risako. Some of them try to take out Aika and Eri but luckily they manage to dodge the tranquilizers fast enough and Aika knocking them out. So this device in their ass is what’s making them like obeying zombies? Risako has tranquilized Karen and is trying to kidnap her. Captain stalls her before she gets away in her helicopter, enough time for Aika to come rescue Karen. She is shocked that Risako is doing this so sensei tells her today’s lesson that she should be sceptical of other people. Then they just let her get away? I guess she didn’t get Karen so that’s okay? Captain wants Eri to call off this mission but she is excited to carry on. She loves the danger of where this adventure is heading. She threatens to fire him if he abandons this mission. Captain hopes Aika could say something to her but unfortunately, she is hired by Eri. She’s the boss. She calls the shots.

Episode 2
Risako reports back to her boss about her failure. However he isn’t panicking yet because Karen has friends who would also protect her. So I’m guessing there’ll be another chance. Meanwhile… Naked girls baring their ass?! Is this the way to examine the mind controlling device? Karen somehow knows it will disappear within 2-3 days and will leave no mark. It’s just her guts saying. And now for the much awaited beach episode. Sexy young girls in swimsuits having fun while the guys do all the work surveying the ocean floor… I’m okay with this! Soon, one by one the girls start dropping like flies. Looks like Risako is here to cause trouble. Only Aika, Karen and Gust remain conscious. After using Gust as distraction to take out the sniper, Risako despatches her sexy hot babes to fight Aika. She manages to get by with the help of Karen’s lousy golfing. Aika then faces off with Risako who tells her there are some things that should be kept a secret and never revealed. Not that Aika would listen to her anyway. Both ladies fight and Risako has the overwhelming edge. Had not Karen help out with that grilled lobster distraction, Aika wouldn’t have the chance to fight back and land her high kick on her. Risako is tied up and because she won’t talk, Karen shoots her! Oh, just tranquilized her. Karen knows there are transmitters in Risako’s bikini and rips them out. She talks through it and knows who is behind this. It seems Karen knows she doesn’t remember much of her past. She wants to regain her full memories and discover who she really is so that she can take control of her future. Now that it’s time to head to the ocean floor, I guess Eri’s clubmates are still out cold so they can’t go. Yeah, they even took in Risako’s hot babes. So many naked women on this ship! Damn, the guys must be really guy because their resistance game is strong! Anyway, Aika now manages to pilot the mini sub as Eri and Karen join her as they submerge deeper towards the ocean floor.

Episode 3
There are runway airport lights down there? I understand if this is some submerged city but the lights are still working?! Anyway, Karen knows where to go. Just follow the green lights! This leads them to the lowest level. A huge warehouse-like area. Aika tries to be careful but Eri and Karen are like touching and activating things on their own. Gee, the lights and electronics of this place are still working so well? Aika is shocked that Eri knows he way around because all of it was described on Karen’s map. Sure, that doesn’t mean she’s a pro since this is her first time down here! With Aika arguing with her for the details, better catch up with Karen or she’ll leave you behind. Then they talk about some legend about a meteor carrying alien life form crashing onto Earth. The life form implanted themselves into humans and as a result, infected ones became very intellectual but regressed in the physical areas. Arriving at a huge door, they notice the pattern similar as the mind control devices of those girls’ asses. So if you have forgotten that sleeping butterfly key, here it is. Karen lets Eri tranquilize her and once she is undressed, she is placed in a chamber in which the scanner scans her entire naked body. Since it is a perfect match, the door opens. Great. An even bigger place with many pods. Nothing like checking out the convenient computer next to it. So I guess this is where that alien life form comes into the picture. They discover clone cells and that this place is researching those intellectual alien cells in hopes of cultivating them so that humans could be able to develop. Hooray! Your discovery of the century! Then they gets spooked when Karen suddenly pops up before them. Not just 1 Karen but many Karens! Yeah, they’re all clones. I suppose they’re not the friendly kind as they start attacking. Aika goes into action knocking them out. Finally a really huge Karen! Titan Karen?! I don’t think it is affective trying to fight it but at least something has to be done. Aika gets knocked out and before she could be squished, the real Karen wakes up and ‘communicates’ with it. With the clones backing down, Karen learns the shocking truth that she is also a clone and ‘born’ here. I guess there’s nothing left to discover and it’s time to head back home. After they leave, the clones return to their slumber. Finally all the runway lights are turned off. Back on the ship, Karen is sad that her memories weren’t real. Aika and Eri cheer her up that they can make new memories together. Lots of them.

Aika Zero

Episode 1
We see a girl stumbling upon an alien ship underground. Then she gets tentacle raped! Tentacles in the form of light beams?! A year later, we see a group of girls being ushered into a chapel and then being groped by girls in white. Is this chapel just a façade for some lesbian club? After liking their boobs, thighs and asses, that tentacle beam then infiltrates their asses!!! I can see why nobody can stay awake after that. Then they hear a plane hovering over. It is Aika piloting it but something hit her. Luckily she manages to land without any trouble. That dent on the body, I suppose a bird can’t make that, right? Meanwhile the army tasks some officer (Hagen?!) to investigate some UFO hitting a civilian plane. Aika is reunited with Eri, Karen and Risako. It seems Eri has once more hired Aika for another case. This time the case of disappearing high school girls. It started a year ago and it has claimed its 30th victim. Although the girls are returned, they lose their memories. Part of the plan is for Aika to wear their uniform and infiltrate. Upon entering, those girls in white start their usual lesbian stuff. Aika runs away but not before she drops that eraser that serves as a mini surveillance bug. However soon after, it stops functioning. Don’t tell me Aika has to go back and get molested again?! We’ll think of something… As Aika and Karen walk by, a group of drama girls suddenly attack them. Nothing like a few good chops to put them out, eh? And then entering the chapel again, the girls in white attack but still no match for Aika. If you’re wondering why Karen has been examining their asses, oh look, here’s a strange mark! It seems all the girls have this mark near their ass. Even more so those in white. They are White Knights, supposedly the student council body. Aika goes deeper into the chapel to find the missing girls all hanging upside down! Is this some sort of exhibition? She comes face to face with the student council president and ring leader, Miyu Shiratori. This time Aika can’t defeat her tentacle beams and is in danger of being raped too but luckily Captain snipes! So those aren’t lights? In great timing, Risako jumps in and rescues Aika. Then she throws the eraser thingy which also has a mini self-destruct mode to distract Miyu. Best coordination ever as Risako jumps out and hangs on the helicopter piloted by Gouzo.

Episode 2
Aika wakes up fine in hospital. No serious physical damage. But maybe internally because she isn’t going to sleep and wakes up and strips! In the presence of Gouzo?! I guess to show that she’s still kicking. WTF?! Flashback shows Miyu first stumbled upon that light in the library that soon led her to that underground ship. After she got controlled, she started toppling top students in athletics and academics. Then she gathered them and a few more students to form the White Knights as the student council. It seems Miyu is doing this all for the real mastermind behind this, E.T.A.I. Sure they didn’t misspell H.E.N.T.A.I.? Anyway that ass sucking thingy is so that E.T.A.I. can suck whatever nutrients for whatever. Because the military is also in this, damn they prop up Aika’s plane with machine gun?! They also lend a few cool equipment?! What kind of military is this?! As Aika takes the plane for a spin, then something hits her. Luckily she manages to control and emergency land at a broken road near the cliff! Phew. So precise. At the same time, Karen infiltrates the chapel but it seems everything has been moved out clean. Yup, even Captain’s sniper marks are gone. Of course the next logic is to check if there is any underground passages. Meanwhile the tentacle beam is now targeting naked girls in the shower. Yup, there’s a hole that leads to their base and Aika just in the nick of time saw the last girl being dragged down this hidden hole. Time to get to the bottom of this. So she brought a sub-machine gun as her only preparation? Whatever. Of course she is being attacked by White Knights but nothing like a few kung fu chops would knock them out. Meanwhile Karen is also attacked by a White Knight but luckily Risako is here to assist. After despatching her, they then discover the secret passageway underground. Aika stumbles upon the huge alien ship. But first she has to tackle Miyu and her subordinates. Unfortunately E.T.A.I. got her from behind. And surprise butt secks!!!!!

Episode 3
Oh! Aika can resist the behind infiltration?! What’s this about her being Zero? Hence E.T.A.I. enforces a more direct infiltration! This is going to hurt! But wait! It backfires! It burns her tentacles! I guess they’re not messing with her anymore. Letting the goons handle her, Miyu and E.T.A.I. go to start up the mother ship. So it has enough juice now? E.T.A.I. explains about Aika being Zero. A similar extra-terrestrial organism like them but it is not their ally but enemy because of its twisted evolution. Whatever. After despatching the subordinates, Aika meets up with Karen’s side. How to get this door open? Use the ass! Is that what the mark is for?! They see all the unconscious kidnapped girls. Mission over once they’re rescued, right? Well, not if the ship is starting to launch right now! As Aika makes haste to the surface, she is stopped by Miyu and E.T.A.I. She fights them and this ridiculous part, when Miyu fires a beam at her, Aika grabs and throws it back to her. However E.T.A.I. protects Miyu and gets the returned beam struck right into her ass!!!! THIS GOTTA HURT LIKE HELL!!!! I don’t know if E.T.A.I. is dead but Aika is now free to ride her plane (all readied by Gouzo) to take to the skies and stop the mother ship. She empties her bullets on a single thruster and this is enough to make it change its trajectory???!!! Better still, F-15 reinforcements are here. About 20 of them!!! Fire away!!! Wow. Gotta be dumbfounded how human missile technology could really take down an entire huge spaceship!!! Oh no! Is it going to crash onto the school below?! Don’t worry. It explodes in the air. Phew. And to complete the good news, Aika returns to her gang waiting down below. Meanwhile Nena who is a student at this academy, secures Miyu and E.T.A.I. She reports to her brother who has also finished his successful military operation.

God Bless Dat Masses Of Asses!
Oh well, what a mess. But did you enjoy all that? Yeah, I’m sure. Thanks to all the fanservice, I guess that is why the OVAs are decent. Oh wait. Is that supposed to be indecent? But it makes viewing tolerable in otherwise would be an utterly boring story that doesn’t make sense and characters whom you’ll never care. Thank goodness for the fanservice, huh? Yeah. Aika and co might have somewhat saved the world but the fanservice saved our viewing! It was all worth it…

So yeah, despite the overwhelming fanservice that this series is pretty (in)famous for, sometimes you wonder if they are really overdoing it. I mean, really, really, really, overdoing it. Ass shots and crotch shots make up predominantly the fanservice of this series. It is like for everything these characters do, they usually end up in a way that bares their ass or crotch in our faces. So much so that it is ridiculous to see that whenever a female enemy gets knocked out (which is pretty much easy to do), they don’t usually fall flat on their back or stomach but will get knocked out with their knees upright so that their ass can be so obviously visible. And if they don’t get this treatment but get knocked out cold on their backs or stomach, they’re spreading their thighs as wide as they can so you could see better the delicious parts. Basically almost everything and anything the characters do is to justify the means of fanservice. Is this what you call the means justifying the ends? That is why all the females need to do their high kicks or kung fu kicks whenever they get into a fight. That is why all the girls need to wear mini skirts so short that they’re not wearing any of them at all! It seems in this universe, mini skirts are the only normal clothes that these girls can wear for all occasions. Even more mind boggling when unconscious girls who are rescued instead of putting them lie flat on their back, they are put on their stomachs on something like as though they are futons being hung out to dry! The ultimate ass display! Like, WTF?!

And somehow even though we get all those delicious ass shots and crotch shots, nothing says great uniformity when all the characters wear the same plain white panties!!! Sure, sometimes a few characters wear different lingerie like Nena who feels like a porn star in waiting when she first debut. My guess is that having plain white pantsu is easier to animate and think about how much work the animators will have to do just so that we could have different colours and design! But I’m sure they could because the power of boners would give them the motivation. But that would be another unrelated story. So I guess we have to be grateful. We got our fanservice wish. Spammed a whole lot of them. Included certain scenes of characters with bare tits. Don’t be a spoilt brat and wish for more. Don’t be that jerk who gets an inch but wants a mile.

Having said all that, the story is secondary and at most so mediocre that it doesn’t make sense. There are also so many gaps, holes and parts that are unexplained that sometimes maybe the producers want us to fill in the blanks ourselves. This is mostly in the newer Aika where some issues were never resolved like Karen and her clones. So why is that underwater base still running those clones? What about that mysterious employer who is trying to stop Karen? Never explained anywhere in the series but my guess is that he is the scientist who did the cloning based on the image of his deceased daughter or something. So Karen is then allowed to live freely? I guess with Risako and Captain watching, no biggies.

Then in Aika Zero, why does the alien ship need the nutrients of sexy young high school girls to fuel it? I believe it is never explained and even if it was, I guess we were paying attention to the fanservice more than anything else. But I’m pretty sure all this wasn’t explained at all. And how the f*ck did a freaking huge alien mother ship crashed beneath a school?! Without any traces whatsoever! Don’t tell me it was aeons ago and because high school girls weren’t invented yet, I guess they had to wait till today to suck out their sexiness. Told you the stories and conspiracy theories are dumb. Told you that you’d be better off focusing on the fanservice.

The original Aika’s story wasn’t as mind boggling as the newer one but even though it is simple, it is still cheesy. Because it never explained about that Ultranate thingy that possessed Aika or how she got her hands on it. But considering how it is hinted in Aika Zero that Aika could be an alien life form herself, that could be the link but still, that is just superficial and nothing conclusive. I guess many shows from the past needs us to use our grey matter to think rather than nowadays to be spoon fed and told just about everything. Sighs…

Character wise, there’s nothing much to be said except I thought the newer Aika was supposed to be a reboot or something but after finishing watching this series and doing a little read up, I only found out that they are actually the same Aika and not different alternate timelines. Which feels pretty odd because it felt like it missed out that great disaster thingy that supposedly Aika and Gouzo caught up in. But that could be somewhere in between the 10 year span of Aika’s character. Anyway, both Aika feel like totally different characters with the older Aika feeling somewhat mellow, cool and quite the grown up she is unlike the high school and university teen version who is so, uhm, like a teenager. It’s mind boggling to see who Aika transition to that kind of character. I guess all the dangerous missions has made her wise, huh? No wonder she is the best agent around then.

This strange continuity also affects this Gust character because if he was such a rich playboy in the original Aika, then why the f*ck was he some sort of butler serving Eri’s classmates in the newer Aika? I mean, even if he is a rich kid trying to get some experience, doing this kind of job? This boy? Just totally weird. He is supposed to be the hero hunk for adult Aika but I guess he didn’t do anything much. I guess that’s why as a butler kid he serves as a mini comic relief in some ways.

Then you have Rion and Eri as the overly excited characters because passion drives them. If Aika is too serious, then I suppose these jokers will do. Karen is the weird girl of the series because she does unconventional things that makes you question why she does so but she does have her logic. I mean, like she’s not a pervert when she’s checking those asses out, right?! Many of the other characters are just forgettable like Maypia you wonder why she is in this series in the first place and her character is a whole lot unnecessary except to serve as plot convenience. Yeah, she’s a super spy but that doesn’t mean she’s a good one. Then you have Michikusa who sounds like a retard with his slow talk and he becomes Rion’s punching bag whenever she doesn’t like his truthful and honest comments. Also, they need some sort of gay character because this guy likes to dress up as girls especially when they infiltrate Delmo’s base, he doesn’t hesitate to put on their uniform and even ask if he looks good in them. Sheesh.

And the antagonists are also big fails. Just because they are the bad guys, they are doomed to follow the script to lose. Like Hagen and Nena in the original Aika, their goal to destroy humanity could have been written and fleshed out better but instead Hagen looks like some girly playboy who wants a harem in his aftermath utopia. Because of his great girly looks that’s why there is a mind boggling amount of ladies who have no qualms working under him. I wonder if he has a no male policy too. And Nena turned into one jealous b*tch who is just out for Aika’s blood just because she got Hagen’s heart. And she can’t kill her onii-sama because he loves him too much so the only thing she can do is take it out on Aika. Which she always fails. Good riddance the siblings are forever together now, huh? Literally.

And the Delmo girls literally have no life after Hagen’s death and it’s like they blame it all on Aika. Uh huh. Their only purpose is to serve Hagen and if you think about it, what happens if they do actually succeed in killing Aika? Are they going to kill themselves? Yeah, didn’t think that far, huh? See, they’re doing just fine after getting their ass kicked so many times and Commander just gave them a simple withdrawal order. SO EASY! If I was one of the Delmo girls, I would be wondering what the heck the suffering we all just went through and would’ve now targeted her and kicked her ass! Ironically they have the best facilities all over and yet they fail to capitalize them… And yeah, this reminds me of how old I am and how much times have changed: The diskette!!! Oh yeah, that was really the thing that would have broken Aika. But thankfully no internet yet. Phew!

And it goes without saying in the newer Aika, Miyu and E.T.A.I. continue to fail as baddies. Somebody just thought that zapping beams to control the spinal cord would be sexy if done via the ass. And only girls with hot bodies will do as fuel. Yeah, do you not notice there are no fat and ugly girls at this school? And they would have gotten with it if not for that meddling Aika! Thankfully their fates are not left in limbo because in the credits we see them working under Hagen and Nena. But since they didn’t appear in the original, your guess is as good as mine what actually happened to them. I also wonder if all the alien ass zapping moments on those innocent girls is what drove Hagen to have an all-female crew. Sure, he didn’t see those rape moments but I’m guessing from the interrogation that he must have found out something of this likes.

The action bits are totally dumbfounding and like I’ve said before, they are just steps to provide the much needed fanservice. I know it is good that fights don’t last and span several episodes but it makes you wonder if these girls who are supposed to be trained in the first place are really trained. Because one good chop to the back of the neck is usually how Aika finishes them off and they’ll be out for a long time. And all those flash kicks are just for show, huh? And I swear that gravity and the law of physics don’t truly exist here. Our girls can jump so high and with ease doing their somersaults like as though gravity is in cohorts with the fanservice god so that they could show their pantsu. You also don’t have to worry about the girls using guns. They’re mostly tranquilizers. Don’t want to damage the nice skin, eh? Yeah, this is also how a lot of the girls are being taken out.

Art and animation feel pretty okay. At least the difference in animation style shows the gap and era of when both the series was made. Original Aika was so retro that it’s, uhm, so retro. And the newer Aika is so 2000’s that it’s so, uhm, 2000’s. Sure, some characters do undergo a different look especially I noticed Hagen looking very different in both series. Sort of. Because in the newer Aika, Hagen spots this bishonen look. Then if you look back at the original Aika, damn this guy has a girly face!!! WTF?! What happened?! Then Bandora… I don’t know if this person is actually a combination of a man, woman and cyborg. Punk Mohawk hairstyle surely makes me think he is a guy but she sounds a lot like an old woman. And those visors made me think she is some cybernetic enhancement or something. I thought the newer Aika was made by a different studio but apparently it is also the same studio who made the original one, Studio Fantasia (Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien, Stratos 4, Soukou No Strain). Wow, talk about a change in art and animation style in just a decade.

I wasn’t going to bother doing the voice acting but I guess I have to because MAMIKO NOTO IS THE VOICE OF KAREN!!! In a time when I am still reeling from her characters that have been killed off, in a time when my favourite and best seiyuu has been relegated to make cameo appearances or take on motherly roles, this is somewhat a great relief to get to hear her voicing a character that fits her voice type so perfectly. The other seiyuus I recognized are Ami Koshimizu as the newer Aika and Miyuki Sawashiro as E.T.A.I. And I didn’t realize it was Yuko Goto behind Miyu’s voice and I believe at that time she didn’t sounded like her trademark Asahina from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu that perhaps got me stereotyped her voice as that dreamy ghost-like voice. Yeah… Also, I thought Rie sounded familiar. Couldn’t put my finger on it till I finished watching this show. Ikue Ohtani voiced her. You don’t know who that is? Pika! Pika! Chopper!!! Yup, that’s her. It’s so shocking to hear her other than a yellow electric mouse and a reindeer tanuki.

First opening theme is the rock based Silent City by Mari Sasaki with More Natural by Hiroko Konishi as the disco-like ending theme. Then we also have another retro rock style Manatsu No Seiza by Mink as the second opener while Dance With Me Tonight by Punky Fruites as the second one. Personally I like Dance With Me Tonight since it has that funky disco beat and it sure brings back some 70’s music nostalgia. For the newer Aika, Ami Koshimizu sings all the themes. With the spy-like Sailing To The Future as the opener for Virgin Mission and anime rock Flying Kid for Aika Zero. More rock based music as Rise and Dream Hunter are their ending themes respectively.

I want to believe that perhaps it is because of the lacking story and shallow characters the reason why this never got adapted 10 years later. The original Aika made its debut in 1997 before a full 10 years passed then we got an updated Aika that probably nobody asked for. Hence people then might have wised up and wanted something more than just crotch shots and ass shots and their tastes ‘refined’ into better hentai and fapping material. But I digress. We’re just primitives when it comes to such carnal desires. It’s just natural. It’s just in our genes.

All in all, don’t hope much if you want to watch this series. After all, the reason that one may stumble upon this old series is because you’re feeling a bit naughty but not horny enough to go watch real porn! This series is as silly and shallow as one would have imagined but it’s all worthwhile because the story and characters that could have been better written were sacrificed for all the fanservice of ass shots and crotch shots. Well, you can’t have everything. So I hope no Japanese director sees this blog of mine and realize the idea of the need to reboot Aika! Gee, will Aika get younger in the next instalment? Sorry, not a lolicon! Just stick to the basic formula and you can’t go wrong. Boy, you wished Lagu would cleanse the world of perversion right now, no?

Mob Psycho 100 S2 OVA

November 8, 2019

For those who still can’t get over that the second season of the TV series has ended, don’t despair. There is always the OVA to cheer you up and producers to net some profit. Yup. A win-win situation. And that’s why we have Mob Psycho 100 S2 OVA. Yes, people. Finally we have a hotspring episode. But I hardly doubt it would be filled with sexy fanservice considering the protagonists of the series are males. And of course knowing the nature and genre of the series, what is it that is spooking the hotspring inn?

A healing trip that warms the heart…
Mob and Ritsu join Reigen and Serizawa for a trip to the Ibogami hotspring for a working holiday. It all started when the inn hostess came to Reigen for help. She claims her guests have been experiencing dreams of going into a parallel world. If nothing is done, her inn will be finished. At first Reigen wasn’t so sure of accepting but since she will pay for his travel, lodging and food, the question is now how many people he can take with him. During the train trip, after Mob and Ritsu head to the toilet, Reigen and Serizawa doze off and the train enters the Ibogami tunnel. When they awaken, they realize outside is a wasteland. Reigen soon realizes that wherever he goes, he always ends up back in the same coach. So this is the parallel world, huh? True enough, they are. Because they’ve been sleeping all the time so when they reach their destination, Mob had to use his powers to ‘carry’ them to the inn. They meet up with Teru who went to recon the place. After being welcomed by the hostess, they learn the legend of this place once had a portal to another world. Hence the god, Ibogami sealed it up and the people worshipped him until today. As the boys have fun soaking in the hotspring, the adults are still trapped. However Serizawa trying to be mindful and not offend Reigen who seems he is trying his best to find the source of this, manages to leave this parallel world and join the boys. Yeah, he manage to do this several times! Because of his awkward way of speaking not to offend, Reigen gets the wrong idea that he too is trying to investigate. It feels like days Reigen has been stuck here and when he tries to jump out of the train, he lands back inside the coach! No way out! Soon depression sinks in. Hunger sets in.

The next time Serizawa returns and after feeding him, only then Reigen realizes what is happening. Why the heck did he not take him along?! Reigen controls himself so as not to scold him. He is after all still a junior. After telling him to think for himself, he has Serizawa bring the rest here. So now Reigen admits he doesn’t know what the source and wants this parallel world destroyed. Of course everybody can tell that ominous mountain is the source and behind it is Ibogami but some sticky ghostly goo must be the one causing this phenomenon and weakening Ibogami’s protection. Nothing but a little power to destroy it. Finally Reigen wakes up. Dimple returns with an explanation of what really happened. Because the hostess had a slight flu, it somewhat weakened her protection power source that is situated inside her nose. As her ancestors worshipped Ibogami, the descendants develop psychic powers without even noticing it. With her flu cleaning up, looks like the parallel world is case is solved. Maybe until the next time she gets another flu. Everybody goes to sleep after a long day. But Reigen obviously can’t sleep… Yeah. As they leave the next day, Reigen gives his business card to the hostess. He also hands some to Mob since it contains Reigen’s new address. And of course, Serizawa has his own too. Don’t need to depend on those business etiquette notes anymore now. On the train trip back, Reigen dozes off and the train enters a tunnel…

Dream A Little Dream A Little Dream A Little Dream A Little Dream…
Ah well. Nothing really much, I guess. Enjoyable to say the least but at least the horror effects weren’t that scary to spook the hell out of me. Yeah, I might be having sleepless nights! Maybe I would be going into my own parallel world! Anyway, the focus of this OVA seems to be more on Reigen and Serizawa while Mob being side-lined to just a role as plot convenience. As usual, the suave talking conman shows us why he is so good being the great pretender and of course it has its drawbacks. Serizawa on the other hand who has turned over a new leaf is trying his best to make a good first impression and hence with his miscommunication, it results in something a lot worse for Reigen. He might have given Serizawa the greatest advice for his working life but he sure isn’t doing the same for himself. Is that double standards? Because Reigen still needs to admit that he needs help instead of waiting for things to turn grave. But that’s Reigen for you. Some things are hard to change. If there are more OVAs in the future, I would still love to watch them. Because the biggest mystery now that I want to know is, for that brief moment at the start of the OVA, why does a certain bald strongest hero appeared in Reigen’s contacts???!!! Can Saitama’s punches connect with ghosts?! Can Mob’s psychic powers do physical damage to monsters?! Damn, now I want to see a Mob Psycho 100 x One Punch Man crossover! That would be the ultimate parallel world dream!

Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari

October 20, 2019

Naturally when one is to select a weapon, many would have opted to go for offensive melee weapons like swords, spears, lances, axes or ranged weapons like guns or bow and arrows. Not many would have picked shield as their primary weapon and would have only viewed it as some defence mechanism. Hence shields are not given as much prominence and does not receive its fair share of reputation, the most being relegated to fancy designs for coat of arms. But now we have an anime series to tell that shields can be as badass like any other weapons too. Herald, Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari. You know what they say that a good offence is a good defence. And our shield hero is going to show you why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of shields. Oh, is this another isekai genre too?!

Episode 1
Naofumi Iwatani is your typical otaku. He has enjoying this lifestyle but all that comes crashing when he reads a strange fantasy novel at the library. You know, world in danger. Four heroes each holding a different weapon (sword, spear, bow and shield) are summoned to help save the world. The moment he turns to this strangely blank page he is suddenly summoned to another world. There are 3 other guys who were also summoned, Ren Amaki (why do I have a feeling he is taken after Kirito?), Motoyasu Kitamura and Itsuki Kawasumi. The summoners beg them to save their world after using some ancient ritual. However the other guys want to talk business and rewards before accepting any mission. They are brought to King Aultcray Melromarc XXII who explains destruction is about to beset this world in Waves. They already experienced the first one and underestimated it. They survived but at a great cost of casualty and damages. Unfortunately the heroes don’t start out strong. They must train and power up their weapons before the next Wave hits. The heroes retire to their rooms. To their surprise, they learn each come from a different alternate version of Japan. Naofumi feels he got the raw end of the stick because shield heroes are regarded as losers. Can only defend and not attack? Next day, the king has gathered brave warriors to join the heroes. So the warriors are the ones who get to choose which hero to join? Too bad for Naofumi, none joins him! Why do all the hot babes join Motoyasu? Sure he is hot guy but he’s such a cocky jerk… Because Naofumi keeps complaining, Myne Suphia from Motoyasu’s side decides to join him. She shows him around and brings him to Elhart who is a blacksmith to buy some gear. Too bad for Naofumi, he cannot wield any other weapon besides his shield bummer. He practises but the most he could do is destroy those weak orange ball monsters. Naofumi works hard to kill and sell monsters, enough to buy him a decent armour.

One night Myne wants to drink and flirt with him but Naofumi decides to be a gentleman and turn her down. But when he wakes up the next morning, he realizes he has been robbed. Worse, the royal guards arrest him. Before the king, he realizes he has been set up as Myne accuses him of raping her. More salt to his wounds as his armour is now worn by Motoyasu whom he claims Myne gave it to him as present for rescuing her. With nobody believing in Naofumi, he screws everything and wants to return home. However it cannot be done until the Waves are over. So you’re all in for the ride. As he is one of the heroes, Naofumi cannot be executed but banished. With rumours of his crime spread, Naofumi leaves and has turned into a bitter and resentful man. At least he is no longer naïve and has wise up. Elhart almost believed the rumours but choose to show some sympathy and give him a meagre gear as parting gift. Naofumi channels his anger to kill those orange balls and sells them for money. Those who threaten to pull a fast one on him will get their just desserts. He tinkers with his shield’s branching abilities and also try his hand at making medicine. When ‘adventurers’ claim they want to join him but Naofumi sets harsh terms for them, turns out they are robbers but nothing could beat a man who has been bitten once. Even more bitter as Naofumi realizes he cannot farm his offensive ability as cannot attack. A slave dealer, Berocas sees potential in him and decides to show him some slaves. They cannot disobey their master and demi-humans are usually used due to discrimination. Hello there. What have we got here? A cute raccoon girl?

Episode 2
Raphtalia is the cheapest slave he can afford and he will use her to upgrade his shield. Berocas then conducts a ritual to make a mark on her that makes it hard for her to defy him. He goes back to Elhart to get her some gear and forces this scared and meek girl to kill. He tells her straight she will fight monsters for him and to recoup the cost of acquiring her. He did say he doesn’t see slaves as people but he still treats her decently to food and trains her. Raphtalia learns he is the shield hero and remembers her parents told her that the shield hero treated them good. She still reels from the nightmare when a monster killed her parents who bought time to save her. All Naofumi can do is hug and console her. These nightly screams are going to be routine? Better get used to it. One day during training, Naofumi is attacked by a vicious monster. He tells Raphtalia to kill it but she is scared of blood. More truths lectured into her about the Wave and the likes. If he dies, he cannot protect her. He needs someone to fight for her as he cannot attack. With that, Raphtalia makes her first bloody kill and vows to fight for him. In order to make fast money, they head to the mines to collect gems. Nobody goes there as monsters inhabit it after the first Wave. However a dog monster similar to the one who killed Raphtalia’s parents pop up. She is paralysed in fear. Naofumi tells her the truth her parents cannot come back but she can prevent other kids from sharing her same fate. If he dies, so will her. As she is still is still afraid, Naofumi changes his mind. He will buy time for her to run away. This has Raphtalia realizes it will be the same as then. She picks up her sword and stabs the monster to death. She hugs him and cries not to die or leave her alone. So that’s the deal between them. She attacks, he defends. Simple.

Episode 3
I don’t know how long it has been but Raphtalia has now matured into a hot raccoon babe! She even has guts to talk back to Naofumi especially when he doesn’t put his own health as priority. With the Wave drawing closer, oddly this must be some huge coincidence as all 4 heroes converge at the cathedral to see how much time left before the next Wave hits. This gathering only brings bitter memories for Naofumi. They’re all still cocky and Naofumi bites his tongue to stay quiet and tries to leave. Jerk ass Motoyasu trying to flirt with Raphtalia? Thankfully that raccoon girl stays loyal to Naofumi. Who feeds her, right? She is still grateful to him for giving her a second chance in life. The day of the Wave is here. Sky changes colour. Weird portals throwing down monsters. Naofumi tries to defend the abandoned Lute village. Not sure if he can do much by being the bait and lure all the zombie monsters to a burning tower and let it crash. His brave act has the villagers returning to help him but he doesn’t want them to waste their lives and die for nothing. It gets worse when the royal guards simply fire their artillery to take everything out in the village. Naofumi is not pleased they aren’t defending the people they are supposed to but that’s none of his business. He would have let them become monster feed but he can’t sink to their level and still defends them. While some cocky guards leave to assist other heroes, those who see Naofumi’s true character stay behind to help him defend the village. With all the monsters defeated, the sky reverts back to normal and the portals disappear. Woah. You mean it was that easy?! Maybe that was just the warm up. Next Wave should be harder… The villagers thank Naofumi from the bottom of their heart although he remains sceptical and brushes it off as nothing. At least he commends Raphtalia for doing a good job.

Episode 4
A lavish party is thrown. Naofumi attends only because of the reward. Otherwise he is like the wallflower. However Motoyasu still isn’t pleased. He challenges him to a duel thinking he is mistreating Raphtalia as a slave (despite slavery is legal here). Naofumi sees no reason to accept this until the king orders him to do so. Even if Raphtalia stands by Naofumi, they think she is brainwashed. Yeah, everyone continues to think badly of this shield hero. In this one on one duel, Naofumi relies on his tricks. Not to say they are underhanded but everyone else thinks otherwise. He supposedly had the upper hand until Myne interrupts and deals a serious blow, allowing Motoyasu to win. When Naofumi calls her out, no one in the crowd saw what happened. With everyone continuing to badmouth him, Naofumi realizes everything has been a setup since Myne is the king’s daughter. With Raphtalia freed from her curse, Naofumi thinks she has turned against him. He blames his shield and starts hating this world. So much hatred that he activated some curse series?! Raphtalia slaps Motoyasu for doing something she never asked. She explains how Naofumi took care of her and never abused her. Can Motoyasu do all that? Ren and Itsuki call out to Motoyasu that he actually lost that duel since they saw some wind magic interfering. Raphtalia goes talk to Naofumi. At this point, he is already at the peak of his depression and burning with hatred. Raphtalia reasons that his shield save others many times over and that she believes he did not rape. Even if the whole world is against him, she will always be by his side. After all, he gave her a purpose in life. That warm hug must have did the trick to make him open his eyes and ears to her again. Raphtalia evolves to an even hotter raccoon chick. I don’t see any difference but Motoyasu can’t recognize her? He sleeps on her lap till morning comes.

Episode 5
All the heroes are given their rewards. Naofumi gets his minimum but Aultcray deducts the expense for freeing Raphtalia so he gets nothing. However Itsuki and Ren vouch Naofumi should get something as he defended Lute and also fought an unfair duel. Naofumi takes his minimum and leaves. Raphtalia returns to Berocas so she can get the slave mark back on her chest. She regards this as a symbol of his faith in her. Berocas introduces Naofumi to some monster egg lottery. If you take care of the hatched monster, it can fetch a handsome price when it grows up. If you win the jackpot, you might get a dragon. Naofumi buys one. Thanks to his heroics, store owners give him freebies for saving their relatives at Lute. The egg hatches into a small bird known as filolial. Amazingly Filo grows up into some Chocobo spinoff in 2 days! Trouble comes when Myne declares Lute under Motoyasu’s domain as one of his rewards. They are going to impose some levy to help rebuild it. Of course the villagers oppose it and so does Naofumi. Myne would have resorted to blackmail had not messengers drop in with a message. Whatever it is, she challenges Naofumi to a race over Lute. Initially Naofumi refuses but the villagers vow to reward him. The winner gets Lute after a 3 lap race around the village. Naofumi teases Filo and gets kicked in the crotch! Ouch! During the course of the race, of course Myne has her subordinates use magic to cheat but whatever attempts they do, Naofumi manages to get back. In the end, Filo’s beak seals the win. Sore loser Myne calls Naofumi a cheat and all but with the messengers detecting magic properties that do not belong to Naofumi or Raphtalia, Myne and Motoyasu back off for now. Since Naofumi doesn’t want to take money, the villagers give him a carriage. Good timing since Filo evolves into a bigger bird! Naofumi is also give a traveller’s pass that exempts him from tolls and can traverse many other roads. They take a rest since Raphtalia has motion sickness. Next morning, who the heck is this naked loli sleeping next to Naofumi???!!!

Episode 6
So let me guess, this loli is Filo levelling up? Sounds pretty fishy but there’s an explanation about how filolial can disguise itself as human… Anyway, with Elhart convinced Naofumi is some lolicon, because Filo has this penchant to change between forms, she rips her clothes. Need to find clothes that don’t rip between transformations. Where is Bruce Banner when you need him? It is possible to make such magic clothes but special materials are required. So as they travel to the next village, it seems a peasant request an emergency delivery. Naofumi does so and realizes in addition to become merchants, providing transport can also fetch a handsome profit. He continues with this trade and one day as he transports a wealthy trader, bandits ambush. Of course Naofumi’s team easily defeats them. When they think of throwing lies of him if handed to authorities (because he is the shield hero), Naofumi decides to kill them. How does it feel to become filolial feed? Now they are begging for their lives? Okay. He spares them but in exchange loots them? Sorry, donate all their tributes! The grateful trader pays back by teaching him how to craft gems and also introduce some connections. Naofumi heard the exploits of other heroes. They are doing well on their own but he finds Itsuki’s story all over the place and less credible. Naofumi’s party enter some mine to get the special ingredient. They overcome aural illusions and fight off some badass monster (did Filo and Raphtalia did some Mortal Kombat X-ray move there?!) before getting the desired gem that is crucial in making Filo’s magic clothes. And when it’s done, damn she looks like an angel! So cute that Raphtalia is jealous Naofumi is staring a lot at her.

Episode 7
Arriving at a village ravaged by vines, as expected the desperate villagers plead for Naofumi to help them. Long story short, the village was facing famine when Motoyasu brought a sealed seed here. Without a doubt it solved their food problem for a while but the tree mutated and started growing vines and plant monsters that destroyed everything. Even some of the villagers are being infected by the parasitic plant. Since they will pay and perhaps some sort of score to settle with that spear jerk, Naofumi heals the infected and then goes off to destroy the core. Not sure what ability he has because it seems the vines have no effect on him as he could easily approach and poison it with his medicine. Because he learnt a new skill upgrade, he even did some genetic mutation to create a better plant that will only produce greater food yield. Wow. This guy is soaring to greater heights. After leaving the village, they stop by and rest at a hotspring area. This part feels like filler as Raphtalia feels insecure since Filo is clinging too much to Naofumi. Thoughts of trying to snag Naofumi for herself fail since Filo is always with him. That night, both have this same idea to get some rare egg. It started out as a race but they realize it is better to cooperate since a giant wild boar stands in their way. Unfortunately the rampaging boar destroys the egg. I guess the boar can even sense how mad these girls are. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… Bringing back the dead meat boar to town, villagers want to pay them handsomely for it because it is used as offerings in their ritual. With the money, they buy an expensive metal crafting tool for Naofumi.

Episode 8
Entering a village where the people are dying of a disease, Naofumi treats their symptoms but didn’t cure them. As long as the root cause is around, the problem will go back to square one. It seems recently Ren slain a dragon on the mountain. This attracted visitors but they soon started dying because of the poison its rotting corpse emitted. Of course Naofumi will fix this for a fee. As they approach the dragon, it revives?! Zombie dragon?! Filo has a grudge against dragons and starts attacking it. Uhm, how do you kill a zombie anyway? Unfortunately, Filo gets eaten! Oh sh*t! Naofumi becomes so enraged that he unlocks his curse. Damn, he is so overpowered but evil! His trauma of betrayal fuelling that hatred. As he is about to dangerously go berserk, the voice of Raphtalia brings him to his senses. He realizes Raphtalia has been infected. He desperately tries to heal her but he needs that curse power to defeat the dragon. Don’t worry. Suddenly it dies. Filo bursts out from its stomach! She claims while eating through its stomach, she found a crystal that is supposedly its core. Yeah, she ate it too. Naofumi tries to use his reward money to get Raphtalia healed by the doctor doesn’t have enough materials nor power to stave off the curse. He lets him keep the money and perhaps the churches in bigger towns might help. Naofumi reflects on his actions. He realizes the difference between bravery and recklessness, caution and cowardice. As that cursed shield isn’t in his upgrade tree, had he continued to use it, he would have killed both of them. He realizes the need to protect them. The duo also share some of the blame for being reckless. Naofumi promises they’ll get stronger so he could protect those who believe in him. Raphtalia wants to him to accompany her tonight but he has Filo do it instead. Bummer.

Episode 9
Naofumi finds a girl frolicking with other filolial. She is Melty and because Filo can talk, they become friends! Wow. Naofumi now playing doctor? Because he is going to the capital tomorrow, Melty wants to hitch a ride. Isn’t it odd if she is part of the nobility, she got distracted playing with filolial and the guards left her behind???!!! Were they doing their job???!!! Along the way, one night they thought Filo ate her because her clothes are only left behind. Naofumi thinking of destroying evidence? Luckily, she was just sleeping in Filo’s feathers. So warm and fluffy… After Naofumi buys an expensive holy water from the church, a young soldier calls for him. Guts tell him to run but this has him bump into Motoyasu who immediately attacks him. What now? He claims he made a slave out of some blonde angelic loli and wants her freed! Damn, this guy a lolicon now?! Uh huh. His fetish is blonde angels. I don’t even… Motoyasu continues to attack, causing destruction around. The young soldier stops them because this is a public area but Myne uses her authority to turn this into an official duel. Only to be stopped by Melty! With all the guards bowing down, this girl must have some authority. You mean Melty is Myne’s younger sister???!!! Stop this or she’ll report to mom. Motoyasu tries to be nice to Filo but when he badmouths that fat chicken, I guess Filo has to show him again. Motoyasu realizes they’re both the same as Filo kicks him in the crotch again! No padded armour can save his crown jewels now… Later Melty explains to Naofumi that despite being the second daughter, she is the next in line to the throne since Myne has always been a problematic child. Before she could explain further, Naofumi will not listen anymore. He cannot trust her. Go away.

Episode 10
Melty is ushered away by her guards before she could tell the truth. Her mom the queen knew about the king’s mistreatment on Naofumi. She wanted to admonish him but from what I can see, she is on house arrest and sent Melty on her behalf. That young soldier brings back more of his friends. Inspired by him, they want to join Naofumi and fight alongside him when the next Wave hits. He wants them to bring 150 silver. That’s to build trust, right? With Raphtalia eligible for class upgrade, he tells her to pick a path instead of relying on him. Because once this mission is over, he will return to his world. This makes her worry. As they can only do upgrades near the hourglass, the nun charges a high price. When Naofumi is able to afford, they shift the goalpost that Aultcray has a decree to refuse any upgrades for the shield hero. Hence he goes to see Berocas for this service. He doesn’t offer such service but mentions a few nations that have that hourglass. Shieldfreeden or Siltvelt are most suitable as demi-humans there welcome humans but the journey is long and they won’t have time before the next Wave. Berocas suggests buying weapons for Filo. She gets talons and she tests it out on sewer monsters. Raphtalia talks to Naofumi about wanting to follow him back to his world once this is over. But is interrupted with Filo accuses her of trying to kiss him. End of conversation. Naofumi visits a dilapidated town in the north and the few people are starving. It seems it has gotten worse after Itsuki gathered revolution warriors to overthrow the despot king. Back in the capital, Naofumi sees Itsuki and Ren together. Both seem to think that somebody is impersonating them to get rewards because after they did the job, they couldn’t get it as the rewards is already paid. They accuse Naofumi as the impersonator but he tells them off their actions have caused the rescued towns to be worse off. Like that town Itsuki saved, the revolutionists increased their tax with the excuse to rebuild the country while that rotting dragon corpse Ren did, no reward was paid because the job was cancelled and he had to clean up the mess. If they don’t believe him, go see for themselves. Ren and Itsuki see no reason why Naofumi would lie. The young soldier and his friends have returned with the money. But Naofumi tells them to buy better gear with it so they can fight the next Wave. I guess they’re in.

Episode 11
With the next Wave here, Naofumi and his merry band defend the village from invaders. Who the heck is this granny giving kung fu kicks on the monsters?! She is one of those patients he saved so it makes me wonder if his drug is really that potent. Naofumi goes off to handle the big boss on this flying ghost ship. The other heroes are also there. However they are not cooperating and doing things their own way. Hence the deadlock in trying to spawn the Soul Eater since the enemies keep reviving. Eventually Naofumi spots an oddity in their shadows and strikes it to lure out the Soul Eater. With everyone pitching in to fight it, their attacks seemingly don’t have any effect. Hence Naofumi is going to unleash his cursed shield. He gets engulf in the flames of hatred and hears the voice of the zombie dragon vying for revenge. Naofumi turns into a wild beast to attack the Soul Eater. Filo also gets affected and follows suit. With the rest standing around and in shock at this transformation, Raphtalia chastises them for having so much power but yet they don’t use it to fight and help him. Though, she blames herself for being weak if not otherwise Naofumi won’t be in this situation. Luckily her voice still resonates within him as he returns to normal. Naofumi does an overkill on the Soul Eater with his Iron Maiden piercing ability. Just when the heroes thought everything is over, pops out another Soul Eater. However this one is easily destroyed by the heavenly zaps of Glass. This dark Japanese chick mocks the heroes as weaklings because they’re already having a hard time handling the small fries. She only calls Naofumi as the true hero and begins what is now the true battle of this Wave. So this is like the true hidden boss fight?

Episode 12
Nothing works up the other heroes more when Glass calls them Naofumi’s servants. No matter how much they power up, they couldn’t scratch her. Now it’s Naofumi’s turn to dance with her. He also throws everything he’s got and nothing affects her. So much so she teases him to use his trump card in which he unleashes his Iron Maiden. Still no effect! Is this dark babe on God mode?! Thankfully Naofumi lives up to his name as the shield hero and also withstands her attacks. Glass could have actually won had not she murmured something about the time limit. Yup, the Wave is ending soon. Hence Naofumi uses this last moment to escape. Glass uses her range attack but it is less effective. Time’s up. Glass returns and hopes he would be stronger next time. Otherwise he won’t survive. This signals the end of this round’s Wave. But soon, Naofumi against his will is brought to meet Aultcray who wants to know how he did it. But Naofumi plays hardball. You want to know? Bow and beg before me! This makes Aultcray mad as he threatens Naofumi who threatens back he can kill all of them right now. So leave him alone. If he dares threaten his party members, he will hunt them down and kill them all! After he leaves, Melty confronts her father and notes how things ended on a sour note. It seems he hints his grudge against the shield hero is because letting him and the demi-humans do as they please, he believes he will lose his family again. Myne as usual tries to be a b*tch and convince Melty to stand down. Melty replies back that this is none of her business. Myne trying hard not to let her angry b*tch face show… Naofumi thinks of visiting Shieldfreeden for his servants’ upgrade before the next Wave. So Elhart gives them a few weapons and accessories goodies for their journey. As they rest, Melty confronts them and hopes Naofumi can return to the capital to make amends with her father. Of course he rejects. Then the loli starts throwing a tantrum how stubborn the guys are. Does this run in the family? Like father like daughter? Naofumi suddenly has a bad feeling like as though all this was a setup. Then he spots a guard trying to stab Melty from the back. Luckily Naofumi is quick enough to shield her. Damn, is the guard that stupid to attack so obviously?

Episode 13
Other guards start attacking, claiming Naofumi has taken Melty hostage. But after a while, they retreat. Indeed, the footage that has been recorded and re-edited so as to make them look like bloodthirsty killers. No wonder the guards were acting so lame. This fake footage is then spread to other villages. Hence Naofumi’s party have to camp outside and cannot easily enter villages as they are also heavily guarded. Melty believes Myne is behind the attacks since her elimination would mean she would be the next in line to the throne. That’s why Naofumi suggests she come with them. If she goes back, she’ll get killed. Following him means the least he could do is protect her. Melty tells about her mom the queen and she has a higher authority since the country is matriarchal. They have to start running when guards are on their tail. This time the other heroes have also joined in. When cornered, Myne accuses Naofumi of brainwashing everybody, the reason why Melty and others so willingly follow him. He is ordered to hand over Melty but Naofumi hatches an escape plan. It falls apart but it gets more appalling as Myne tries to kill Melty giving an excuse she attacked first and if her brainwashing is this bad, she’ll have to die. Meanwhile Motoyasu is trying to rape Filo?! WTF?! Ren and Itsuki are in shock that Myne is trying to kill Melty but Myne was so engrossed in focusing on trying to kill Naofumi, she didn’t sense Raphtalia sneaking up and owning her. This allows Naofumi’s party to escape. Later they are approached by this ninja woman who is one of the espionage members called Shadow directly under the queen. She wants Naofumi to see the queen and he’ll get his answers. We slightly distracted with Melty throwing a tantrum at Naofumi until he calls her by her name. Weird. So weird that even Raphtalia feels weird out. Can we move on? Speaking of which, crazy Myne b*tch is now setting the forest on fire…

Episode 14
Has the word spread that Naofumi was the one who started the forest fire. We didn’t start the fire! They arrive in an area whom Melty knows the noble. Seyaette was a kind noble who treated his demi-humans well but he died in the first Wave and all those loyal to him were spread out across the kingdom. This place also brings back bad memories for Raphtalia as she was from this jurisdiction and after the first Wave, soldiers stormed the place and attacked them. Van Reichnott welcomes them and allows them to stay at his place. Though, Naofumi remains sceptical. Next day, they see Reichnott being taken away by guards. The lord of the neighbouring domain, Idol Rabier accused him of hiding them and marched his way in. As a maid hides them, Melty confronts Idol and claims Naofumi abandoned her here and escaped. She wants to return to the capital to talk to her father. After being taken away, Naofumi and co hatch a plan to go rescue her. That night when demi-humans are protesting outside Idol’s mansion, Naofumi uses this chance to sneak in. Meanwhile Idol is trying to force Melty to reveal where Naofumi is. Despite she maintains she doesn’t know, he then beats up Reichnott in hopes this will get psychological on her. When all fails, why the heck does he look like having that rape face and wanting to rape her?! Thankfully our shield hero crashes in to save the day. After Melty is secured, Raphtalia confronts him and even turns the table on him. With Idol begging for his life, Raphtalia is not amused because lots of demi-humans also begged for their lives like this. After all, she was part of the demi-humans whom he rounded up and sold as slaves.

Episode 15
Idol still begs for his life and Raphtalia ponders about killing him until Naofumi asks if doing so will have her closure. Has she not grown stronger only in terms of her sword? Raphtalia recollects herself and despite how much she hates him, will not kill him. Otherwise she is the same as him. Obviously being the typical baddie, he tries to kill her when she lets his guard down but she is fast to defend. Ah, the best way for scumbags to die is to trip and fall out the window. Good riddance. But Raphtalia still needs to confront her past. In the basement where the slaves were kept and tortured, she remembers being forcefully brought here with her other friend, Rafina. Together they suffered but kept each other alive until one day Raphtalia was sold to a slave merchant. Rescuing other demi-human slaves, Raphtalia recognizes another fellow friends, Keel. He doesn’t recognize her at first but after recounting a few incidents together, he remembers. But it is all tears for Raphtalia when she discovers Rafina is reduced to bones. She’s a corpse. Crying over her death, it’s that moment when Raphtalia begins to feel she is useless and weak. And it’s that moment where Naofumi reminds her how she was the one who gave him hope and trust. So in order to avoid others from going through the horrible things like them, they have to protect those who survived. And I guess this weird vision of Raphtalia and Rafina so they could find their closure and move on. When they resurface, it seems that fatty bastard is still alive. He has gone crazy and undone a seal that sealed a monster. So this T-rex is the monster? Fatty thinks he will be blessed by God if he destroys everything but looks like he’s got the devil’s curse. Because T-rex stomps on him. I’m pretty sure no one can survive that. Good riddance for real.

Episode 16
Chicken vs T-rex? The reason the monster is targeting Filo is because both have crystals inside that are resonating. Are they hinting something about T-rex are related to modern day chickens? Naofumi takes his team to lure the monster away from the city. They end up at a lake where they fight it but they’re not making any headway. Naofumi tries to use his cursed mode but a voice tells him not to rely on it. Then the place is surrounded by filolial and the one taking on the monster is the giant filolial queen. She makes it look so easy when she kills it! She transforms into her loli version since we all approve of this cute form that is better for conversations. Introducing herself as Fitoria, she takes them back to her base to talk. But first, Naofumi cooks for everyone. Can’t talk on an empty stomach. Yeah, he has to feed the entire filolial herd too! Damn, this looks like a KFC farm… Finally Naofumi and Fitoria can talk. She is against him relying on his cursed shield despite he views it as his only way to survive. It might give him power now but the consequences will be immense too. Fitoria came to Naofumi’s aid because she heard news of a potential filolial queen candidate. Fitoria might be powerful now but that won’t last forever. She is appalled that the heroes are bickering among each other and not fighting Waves in other countries. So you mean the heroes aren’t aware of this? She thinks the heroes should be talking their differences out as much as they don’t like it. Fitoria views her mission is to protect and save the world from Waves. Despite not liking humans and not caring for them, she is only doing so because the previous hero raised her. It is also the reason why Filo is growing differently from other filolial because of being raised by a hero. Because Naofumi is still stubborn not wanting to patch things up with other heroes, Fitoria has no choice but to kill them.

Episode 17
Fitoria takes Melty hostage in hopes Naofumi would change his mind to reconcile with other heroes. Nope. If she wants to kill him, feel free to do so but he won’t go down without a fight. Let’s see if he can do so when she locks his shield’s properties! Hence Fitoria challenges Filo to a fight. She will disregard all this if she defeats her. As expected, we see Filo getting owned left and right. Fitoria is so powerful that she can even take care of Naofumi trying to sneakily rescue Melty. She uses this to blame Filo as weak. Otherwise why resort to this? She continues to taunt her weak will to protect Naofumi. That’s the cue for Filo to turn stronger as she absorbs mana from the air until she breaks through Fitoria’s shield and just scratch her. Well, I guess she passed. So it is no surprise this was just a scheme to see if Filo is worthy to become her successor. And since she has proven that, here is a crown. And also being the next filolial queen means you grow an ahoge? Don’t mind that since she also gets a considerable stats increase. Fitoria also helps boost Naofumi’s shield attributes by unlocking more branches. Then they have a party to celebrate Filo becoming queen. So Naofumi has to cook more KFC? Damn did he get filolial raped? Later Fitoria talks to Naofumi seriously that she still would have killed him and the other heroes if they won’t continue to cooperate. Since they’re going to die at this rate, might as well kill them off and summon new heroes. She doesn’t know how many Waves will come but there will be a time when the world demands sacrifice from all life. The heroes then must choose what they fight for. Saving the world isn’t the same as saving its people. She casts a spell to help slow his shield’s corruption. You might have guessed Fitoria’s previous hero who raised her was also a shield hero and Naofumi is now sounding a lot like him. Sometimes a queen also needs a gentle pat on her head. Ren and Itsuki are in a cave supposedly housing the legendary weapons of the heroes. However it is empty and they realize too late it’s a trap. Boom!

Episode 18
Naofumi’s party nears the border. Fitoria previously sensed another hero nearby so Naofumi hopes he could talk to Ren or Itsuki to let them pass. Unfortunately it is Motoyasu. He looks mad, attacks Naofumi mercilessly and blames him for the killing Ren and Itsuki! Of course when Naofumi tries to explain, he won’t listen and even thinks his party members are still under his brainwashing. Myne forces both their sides to fight in an enclosed ring. No surprises that Naofumi’s side wins. Filo using all that she has learnt from Fitoria and Raphtalia doing some sneaky combo with Naofumi to get the better of them. Before Naofumi can further talk, Raphtalia senses something strange. All the soldiers that were surrounding them are now gone. Filo also senses something dangerous so she has Naofumi put up layers after layers of shield. And then some gigantic beam hits them. Everyone is okay. Just one big huge crater left behind except for the ground they stood. This kind of devastating power can only be from the pope, Bisca T. Balmus. He views them as sinners and will be purify them in God’s name. But he almost killed Myne who is of the royalty, right? He believes the script goes as they are killed by Naofumi’s side. And now they are just walking corpses. WTF?! Which sci-fi did he pluck that out from?! You know he is starting to be the bad guy when he claims the royalty is nothing but nuisance as the soldiers have already taken over the castle. They have already planned a system of government to take over the royalty. No one can rule the country but them! Is this all God’s will? He further explains the damage done by the heroes despite these weren’t intentional. They thought they were doing the world some good but they are just naïve. Balmus further hints he killed Ren and Itsuki for doing some unnecessary investigation. Oh Motoyasu, you sure look very shocked for a hero. Didn’t see this coming, eh? How could he after being blinded for so long? And now Balmus takes up his sword. Time to receive God’s punishment.

Episode 19
Naofumi manages to block the attack. And that was just a trial run? The sword then changes into a spear. Melty realizes this was a replica that was created and can transform into the 4 weapons. It was rumoured to be lost centuries ago but apparently the church created that lie. If it’s so powerful, why need to summon the heroes then? Because it really sucks up mana from believers. See that long line of believers stretching for miles? It’s draining and also takes time to gather. Motoyasu’s feeble attacks didn’t work but before Balmus could finish them off, Ren and Itsuki return to fight back. The duo were investigating this replica in secret but the church knew they were snooping around and sent them to a fake location to assassinate them. The assassination could have succeeded had Shadow not saved them and they barely escaped it from the skin of their teeth. Now that the church is the one to blame for taking their rewards, credit and framing of Naofumi, Naofumi sure isn’t looking impressed because he had that I-told-you-so look. The heroes want to unite to fight but Naofumi refuses to play along. He is confident his party can survive without their help like they’ve always been. Now the heroes start arguing and pointing fingers but ultimately it is Naofumi who has the last say as he reminds them of the mess they did and the cleaning he did after that. In short, they let their hero status get to their heads and didn’t spare a thought for anybody else, thinking their justice version is right. It won’t be surprising if the people got sick of heroes like them. So in his eyes, they are no different than the pope because they use and abuse people for their own gain. Worst of all, they tried to take things precious to him. Naofumi won’t forgive them but will only cooperate to take Balmus down and also to make good Fitoria’s promise. Are we ready to continue now? Because too much talking and infighting has Balmus licking his lips as he has gathered enough mana to summon the greatest magic power to finish them off.

Episode 20
Mirelia the queen dons her armour and decides to make her move. It’s about time. So decided to wait till the world is on the verge of destruction only to act, huh? Nothing our heroes do could put a scratch on Balmus. Balmus has his followers put in more mana because there is nothing greater than dying as a martyr. With the heroes at their wit’s end, Naofumi’s curse then unlocks. A voice telling him to unleash all his anger and in return he will be given the power to strike back. Naofumi tries to resist but ultimately with the spamming of all the humiliation and disrespect he has been through, he gives in. Only, now his party members manage to talk and calm his heart. Yeah, the journey we had together, blah, blah, blah. Thank you for taking care of me, yada, yada, yada. Because he keeps to himself and doesn’t open up, they have a hard time understanding him. This helps suppress Naofumi’s curse at the expense of them being blighted. With this, Naofumi is like a changed person. He apologizes to the other heroes and seeks their cooperation. Shocking but yeah, people can change. We see all of them pulling off their coordinated combos on Balmus. If you think that will be the end, too bad it isn’t. Because Balmus’ weapon is able to mimic their high level attacks and at this point he uses his high level power to cast a scary illusion on them all. A kaleidoscope of Balmus? That’s scary indeed! Is that all our heroes have to offer? Okay. Queenie, your cue to move in. She freezes Balmus to give the heroes the much needed chance to take this traitorous pope for good. As Naofumi chants his spell, shockingly it backfires as he starts bleeding all over. Balmus won’t have the last laugh because some monster pops up and devours him and breaks his prototype weapon. I guess that’s the end. Devil beats God. With Naofumi looking like he will bleed to death, Mirelia vows to save him. Yeah, couldn’t you have arrive a bit earlier?

Episode 21
With the best treatment from the royal clinic, it took a month for Naofumi to heal. Mirelia explains what has happened. She was on a journey to meet with other nations to discuss about each nation summoning a hero for the Wave. Unfortunately Aultcray went ahead to summon all of them and this angered the other nations. Mirelia has to do damage control, that’s why there was inaction from her for so long. For some reason, Aultcray hated the previous shield hero and the church knew about it and took advantage to manipulate him. In addition to reward him for his heroics, she will also help clear his name and thus tomorrow everyone will be gathered at the royal palace. That night, Naofumi dreams of Aultcray and Myne being executed via guillotine. He doesn’t care for those jerks who deserve what they got but something just doesn’t feel right. In the throne room, all the heroes are summoned before Mirelia. Aultcray and Myne are now criminals and therefore a public trial will be held. In order to make them tell the truth, a temporary slave mark is put on their chest. Not sure if Myne is stupid or just desperate because she continues to lie and deny even though the mark zaps her for lying. Even till the end Aultcray still hates Naofumi and believes he did the right thing trying to rid of him before he ruins the family. At the end of the trial, Mirelia sends them to death and will be executed now. The people are baying for their blood for deception as Naofumi’s weird dream comes true. Myne pleads for Motoyasu to save her but when he abandons her, now she turns to Naofumi. So Naofumi steps in. Killing them would be too easy. After mocking them for who they are, he hereby wants to change their name to Trash and Bitch/Slut and live with it for the rest of their lives. If they refuse, they can die now. And with their lives spared, the queen also abolished the church. Once this charade is over, Naofumi intends to head to Siltvelt instead of staying here. However he will still work with all the nations to fight the Wave. Naofumi’s party is given an honour guard as he leaves. Melty won’t be joining but she learns from mother that she had intended to take her own life to beg Naofumi to spare the executed had Naofumi didn’t stop the execution. Perhaps he saw through her and stopped it. One last big thank you from Melty to Naofumi for bringing her home and saving her family.

Episode 22
With the corrupted church gone, Naofumi is free to upgrade Raphtalia and Filo. However something is preventing them to choose their class. Talking to Mirelia about this, she thinks certain accessories may hinder the upgrade like in Filo’s case, it could be what Fitoria gave her. There is also a party held for the heroes. Actually this is for the heroes to sit down and discuss. Meanwhile Myne, oops I mean Bitch/Slut tries to poison the food but gets busted by Melty. She doesn’t give up, does she? Then a drunkard tries to piss off Raphtalia for her kind as well as badmouth the shield hero so it descends into a free for all. Mirelia tells the heroes of the activation of Cal Mira Archipelago. It only comes once a decade and on this island they can level up greatly before the next Wave. Hence this ‘conference’ is to exchange info. The heroes are reluctant to work together but after Mirelia points out that only Naofumi has a real chance of surviving the next Wave, they relent. Naofumi shockingly learns from them how they could easily power up and copy powerful weapons. Just touch and copy?! That easy? There are loads of other easy skills and this shocks Naofumi since he did it all the hard way. Well, at least you can say Naofumi levelled up because of his own hard effort. Eventually the heroes disagree on the important factor that makes a weapon great. Proficiency? Rarity? Refinement and stats? This farce has Naofumi abruptly leaving the room. Can’t deal with these idiots. Naofumi then tries out this new knowledge at Elhart’s store. Wow. It really works. Copy everything for free! Damn this guy is going out of business!!! I’m sure it’s reassuring he’ll pay him back one day. Before leaving for the archipelago, Raphtalia requests to stop by her village to pay her respects to her parents and fallen brethren. Of course, her insecurities of Naofumi leaving has her bringing up this loneliness issue. Naofumi assures he won’t leave. He can’t leave the world in the fate of those idiotic heroes. How reassuring. I’m sure Naofumi didn’t say to them that he won’t leave until they find their own happiness. Otherwise they won’t find other happiness other than being with him. As they leave on the ship, because it is crowded, they have to share rooms. Naofumi’s party ends up sharing a room with L’Arc Berg and Therese Alexanderite whom they’ve briefly met recently at Raphtalia’s village.

Episode 23
L’Arc doesn’t believe Naofumi is the shield hero because he believes that dude is a demon in human’s clothing. But looking at Naofumi, he isn’t that of a bad guy so he can’t be the shield demon, right? Don’t waste your energy refuting this guy… On the deck, Naofumi sees the other heroes… They’re all seasick?! At Cal Mira, the heroes start farming for XPs but since an island isn’t big enough for all of them to share and hunt, I guess Naofumi can’t be bothered to join in the argument and leaves for another island. Farming XPs must be so good that Naofumi decides to hunt more into the night and camp on the island. However L’Arc and Therese come looking for them and they were worried. Because the boatman didn’t see them return, they thought they were killed. Understanding Naofumi’s desire to level up, even so a good rest is needed. So they head back to the main island where they party with the other heroes. Next day, Naofumi agrees to join L’Arc to hunt together. Raphtalia has finished crafting some jewel item as per requested by Therese and she’s so happy with it. On this island, they start killing… Killer penguins! Therese uses her new jewel spell on Naofumi. It burns away the killer penguins but Naofumi is not even effected and he felt the burden of his curse even lifted from this spell. After defeating the penguin boss and splitting their shares, Naofumi thinks of asking them to join his group when this is over. As they take a break by the beach the next day, Filo discover an underwater ruins. Inside it is an hourglass. This means this place can be attacked by the Wave. Speaking of which, it is in the next 48 hours.

Episode 24
Naofumi returns to report to Mirelia and she wastes no time in gathering a huge army for this Wave. Uhm, wouldn’t the humans be at a disadvantage because you know, monster fish can sink the ships? Apparently there is only a huge swordfish shark monster that can do damage and the rest are, uhm, fish people? Yeah, one of them must be a lolicon and tries to kidnap Melty! She is however saved by L’Arc. Noticing how strong L’Arc is, Naofumi needs his help to defeat the big mother. After luring it out from the waters, L’Arc deals the finishing blow. The heroes are going to get the drop items but L’Arc attacks the other heroes whom he views as weak. His target is Naofumi. So what’s going on? It seems L’Arc and Therese are also heroes like them but of another world. Their world is also on the brink of destruction and that’s why they are fighting towards a goal. L’Arc and Naofumi begin their fight with each other but L’Arc has an ace up his sleeve because he has some attack that deals damage to Naofumi the higher his defence points are. Naofumi also has some tricks up his sleeves. Mind tricks and his team combo. With this fight taking too long (and didn’t you notice the Wave is still ongoing?), Glass then shows up. She is on L’Arc and Therese’s side. She notes Naofumi has gone stronger as he manages to deflect her powerful attack and deal a lot of damage to L’Arc without even resorting to that cursed shield. That’s why she is going to take him down with her own hands.

Episode 25
Noticing that Glass anxiety towards his Soul Eater shield, Naofumi decides to fight her alone while letting the rest of his party take on L’Arc and Therese. Naofumi learns that she is also a hero from her world. A fan hero. She claims she must kill Naofumi and destroy this world or risk hers destroyed. When Naofumi sees a short glimpse of her world fending off the Wave, this makes him question his own motives. Because Glass is fighting so hard to protect her own world, why is he fighting hard to protect a world that isn’t his? Does he care enough for this world to crush Glass’ hopes? In the dying minutes of the Wave, Glass powers up so Naofumi also uses his cursed shield. He views himself as an outsider but this world is all Raphtalia, Filo and Melty got so it is worth to protect. But before he can use his cursed shield, Mirelia has Lecia (from Itsuki’s party) to use her wind magic and splash rum all over? So apparently Glass is weak against this alcohol? Literally can’t hold her glass! Haha! Time is up so L’Arc admits their defeat and takes Glass to retreat. See you again next time. In the aftermath, it seems Lecia is trying to drown herself. She was kicked out by Itsuki’s party after being accused of breaking something she didn’t. Naofumi doesn’t think she is as useless as she claims to be because she helped him a lot during the Wave. Also, is she going to accept this accusation? He can help her grow stronger. So is this his way of letting her join his party? Returning to Melromarc, Mirelia still feels the need to reward Naofumi. Speaking of which… Naofumi soon takes Raphtalia back to her hometown. I guess she is the only one left in the dark because surprise! It’s being rebuilt. Under Mirelia’s orders, Naofumi shall become lord of this domain. Naofumi explains of making this place as his base and a symbol of resistance, recruit more people and build an army. However Raphtalia doesn’t want him to say anything more. She thinks he is doing all this because he is going to leave them. She doesn’t want to live in a world without him. Please don’t go. Please stay. Naofumi makes it clear that he once thought of going home. But thanks to meeting them, he wants to protect this world as a shield hero. Hence this will be their origin. Their starting point. Their home. He hopes she will keep fighting as his sword. Of course. Probably steamy kiss interrupted when they realize everyone is spying on them! Is this how their new story starts?

Do Not Fear But F.E.A.R.: Face Everything And Rise!

So uhm, Naofumi finally has a change of heart and decides to stay? I suppose it is more fun playing the shield hero than being some boring useless otaku back in his world. After all, in the most remote of chances if he ever returns, where would he put to use all the skills he has attained? What a waste. Might as well stay here and write a new story of his legendary heroic feats! All hail Naofumi the greatest shield hero ever! Yeah, at least this puts to rest Raphtalia’s insecurity of him leaving her forever. Happy ending for everybody. Hope he doesn’t bump into Myn- I mean Bitch/Slut. Uh huh. No more episodes for this series means no more having to put up with Bitch/Slut’s antics. It’s a trade-off we have to live with. So yeah, the ending is reasonable. A good happy ending that we probably need after a very rough and dark start for a main character, even if it’s a weak one. There are a few slow parts in the series and it somewhat got a bit draggy with Naofumi still being viewed as a baddie and the final arc of the season on Cal Mira felt a bit rushed but overall it has been a great story.

This series was in danger in falling into that much loathed isekai cliché and tropes when you have your main character being summoned from our world to another world. It was a good thing that they didn’t make Naofumi an overpowered character from the start and because they ostracized his character, this somewhat plays on our emotions that would eventually lead us to support him because he has been mistreated so badly by the people in power and betrayed by those whom he trusted. Therefore when Naofumi somewhat becomes powerful, it is only because through the sheer hard work and effort he put in to become where he is today.

To justify how skilful and powerful he has become today, that is why his character is made to become bitter and distrustful. Look at it this way, if he was still the nice and naïve guy even if the shield hero wasn’t prejudiced against, he wouldn’t have actually put in a lot of serious effort to level up. Only when a man has his back pushed to a corner, he will bite back and challenge his limits. That’s why Naofumi being a truly powerful shield hero is very much justified. And I think that is what makes this isekai series so different from the rest of those ubiquitous and similar titles in the genre. Even though Naofumi looks overpowered towards the end, I wouldn’t consider him as overpowered. Sure, his shield skill tree has so many branches and it looks like he has unlocked a lot of them but there are still certain fights that he struggles with especially during the Waves. So I figure with Glass being so much more powerful than him, it shows that there is still room for him to improve and to remind us that Naofumi isn’t overpowered as we would like to think he is.

Speaking about the Waves, there are still a lot of things about this phenomenon that I don’t really understand. Like as though it is some sort of excuse to setup the plot and the likes. Because if the Waves hit countries that have the hourglass, how many countries are there in this world? And can they actually summon more than just 4 heroes at the same time? Can they summon other classes too other than the usual four? How long has the Waves been going on because it’s not like it just happened two or three editions ago. Did it? And the recent Wave we saw happened over the seas. If the heroes didn’t come to fight it, I mean would it danger any country? Are they just going to kill the marine life if the heroes didn’t show up? Unless the monster fish and fish people start swimming to the nearest island. And how nice of the Waves to let people know the countdown of their next attack so they can prepare and take appropriate action. So everything feels like some sort of game.

With the recent hints of the guardians from the other world, I am theorizing that there is some overseer higher entity who is so bored with its existence that it is sending worlds to fight to the death in mortal combat called Waves. And the world who wins the Waves will eventually get spared. I guess you have more than one try because we see this fantasy world being attacked a few times and even though each time gets stronger, it isn’t over yet. Hence the world Glass and co are from as they mentioned it is on the brink of destruction, the more they fail, the more their world will be destroyed so it’s like they are running out of time to win this Wave and save their world. Yeah, maybe they need to win it once or 10 straight defeats would mean the end of them. Yeah, they could have just tweaked the storyline from Mortal Kombat anyway…

Also, it was never fully explained about the previous shield hero nor what happened to him. Maybe this is saved for later instalments or seasons but it just leaves a confusing taste in my mouth. Because I am ever so eager to know why in the world Aultcray, oops I mean Trash, hates the shield heron the first place? Was it something to do with the previous shield hero whom he blames for ruining his family? Which family? The royal one or before he got married into the royalty, assuming he has that because Melromarc is said to be matriarchal. Even during his trial, he never did fully expand on this grudge of his. But I guess they didn’t want us to sympathise with an old fart who has done our main character wrong. So they leave this part in the dark and let us speculate. After all, trying to take out his grudge on an innocent man who only holds the title he hated is still wrong.

I guess this series has some character development especially for Naofumi and his team but mostly on Naofumi. After all, there is the pitfall of making him a really overpowered character or a very weak ass character and both types do not sit well with viewers. There needs to be some sort of balance so that Naofumi is the kind of character we would support instead of loathed since he is the main character and star of this series. So like I’ve said, having him turned from a naïve otaku into one who has to suddenly grow up and face reality overnight, it might sound harsh but I guess most of us would love to see that kind of character because it gives room to grow and develop. After all, many main characters have some sort of tragic past or need to face some biggest trials in their life in order to get where they are. Eat or be eaten. It’s a dog eat dog world even in this new world. Thankfully even though Naofumi can be considered as aloof, he isn’t as bad as when he started. He could have turned into a villain during those dark days for all we know. We see him trusting his comrades a lot more and opening up when needed. But still he maintains his distance because it would be just a shocker if he suddenly ditches his badass attitude and becomes all nice and glossy. That would make him so wimpy and I think his badass is what attracts his harem. Is this really Naofumi then? But there is still a possibility that Naofumi might become a villain. The final episode scene with Berocas hinting Naofumi is his golden goose to bring him more patrons, I figure Naofumi might turn into a dictator and cause others to rise against him, hence those seeking slaves or selling them for revenge or profit, keeping Berocas’ livelihood pretty much going.

Then there is the case of his cursed shield that is still as mysterious as the Waves I just mentioned. All we know is that it is able to give Naofumi all the power he needs in exchange for his rage and anger, thus losing his mind and turning him into a mindless berserker. But alas, to show that he doesn’t need to be tempted to use this method, that is why the all-important bonds he made with his party members so as to tell us that he isn’t all that lost nor desperate. Like I said, he could have screwed everything and become a villain and destroyed everything but despite how bitter and resentful he has become, thankfully he still has not his humanity so I think that’s why he might not be the nicest or the most pleasant of sugar coated main characters but this also makes him likeable. So the cursed shield ability thingy feels for now it is just lying dormant, waiting for the moment they need to move the plot forward in the future.

Because of Naofumi’s attributes as the shield hero, hence the excuse and reason why he needs to form a party to let others do the offensive and attacking role. Why do they all have to be lolis? Some sort. Well, at least Raphtalia was a loli racoon at one point before they decide not to somewhat turn her mature so it won’t be so obvious the shield hero’s party is a loli party too. Of course Raphtalia has some moments focused on her too since it won’t be right for Naofumi to be hogging all the spotlight by himself. So yeah, Raphtalia coming from a long way as a demi-human, her suffering and fears. Naofumi giving her that second chance was all she needed to turn it around albeit she might take a little time. He could have picked another slave but it was her. Lucky racoon. Raphtalia becoming Naofumi’s sword makes her an indispensable asset to Naofumi. This also tries to set up some sort of romance but it’s just one-sided. Because you know, Naofumi the kind master who teaches her, protects her, how else to get closer and bring their current relationship to the next level but to become a couple? I don’t know when the Waves will end but Raphtalia’s current insecurity being left alone if Naofumi returns to his own world, you bet she is going to try to get closer and snag him to prevent that. And now she can do that without worrying him going home because he has already decided to stay.

Then there is Filo who naturally doesn’t have any back story since she was born while the series is running. That’s why the need for that meeting with the Fitoria so as Filo would have something going for her instead of just being a combat assistance and carriage puller. Now that she is the filolial queen successor, you better show some respect for this loli chicken. She and Raphtalia might be gunning for Naofumi’s love but I say their kind of love for their master are different as Filo feels more like the master-pet relationship. But still, love rivalries nonetheless. And of course so as not to make her as one of Naofumi’s loli party members, hence she is sometimes in her giant fowl form. Last but not least is Melty who feels like a fringe party of the group. Because she is great friends with Filo, it is somewhat an excuse that she considers herself to be part of Naofumi’s party. Although mostly the first part was to escort her back home. Melty completes the party as she has magic attacks albeit not very strong ones but it is better than nothing. With Lecia joining Naofumi’s party in the final episode, I guess I can’t completely say he only recruits lolis into his team. Maybe now he is into retard-cum-joker? Because that is the kind of feel Lecia gives off in the final couple of episodes. Is she supposed to be cute being like that? Kawaii!

The other heroes aren’t anything much. There isn’t much back story on them so as not to take away the focus on the shield hero. Therefore we don’t really put our support fully behind Ren, Itsuki or even Motoyasu for any kind of reason unless you are an obsessed fan of the weapon they are holding. Though their intentions are good, the mess they created that Naofumi had to fix only helps makes us feel the need to vouch for the shield hero. It’s not like they’re the bad guys but we prefer a lot characters who can keep their sh*t together as well as solving problems, right? I keep thinking if Ren was a rip-off from Kirito since they even employ the same seiyuu to be this sword hero. But he isn’t as friendly as you hope he would be like Kirito. Motoyasu is the obnoxious guy whom you would love to hate. Just because this guy thinks he is hot and popular, he thinks what he does is correct. Unfortunately to set him up as Naofumi’s initial main enemy and a character whom we wouldn’t like, I feel Motoyasu has more screen time than Ren and Itsuki. Ren and Itsuki are calmer and more rational unlike Motoyasu who jumps the gun without thinking since he was so bent that Naofumi is the bad guy and trying to add more hot chicks to his party by trying to steal raccoon girl and chicken loli. I guess other people’s girl are hotter than yours, huh? When the rivalry between Naofumi and Motoyasu is gone, Motoyasu is then relegated to the same unimportant focus like Ren and Itsuki.

But I think many would agree with me that the most spiteful character whom you would love to hate is Myne, oops I mean Bitch/Slut. I had my guts ringing like mad like Spider-sense when she first joined Naofumi’s side. There were tell-tale signs here and there that throws suspicions on her character. And true enough, the ultimate betrayal that has viewers alike loathing this b*tch. If that wasn’t enough, it felt like she was really trying to make herself as the number one most hated character in our personal top 10 list by trying to muscle her way around, pick a fight with Naofumi using dumb Motoyasu for her ends but usually end up paying the price for her backfired schemes. If she was really beheaded then, I think most of us wouldn’t have shed a tear and would have cheered instead. But of course to show that Naofumi is merciful (they gave an excuse that death is too easy a way out), that is why she continues to breathe. Too bad she doesn’t learn from her lessons and still tries to get back whenever she can. Like as though the pain from the slave mark gives her pleasure and is some sort of masochist. I mean, does she really think she can actually get away with it! Oh well, you at least have to praise her persistency.

Action wise, I think it is great although not as exhilarating as say, the recent third season of Shingeki No Kyojin. They have a variety of moves and combos in taking down the enemy but I guess it is better than using once and then never used at all. Yeah, I would have complained about that had they do it and now that they have a few varieties, I even complained that I can’t remember those moves or that they aren’t memorable to begin with. Naofumi’s shield skill tree has branched out so much that it feels like those we see him used in battle are just a fraction of it. I assume he has practised in using them all otherwise it feels like he is a pro when he could instantly bring out that specific shield properties. Filo who provides fighting support to Naofumi, it feels like this giant fowl can do almost everything. From flying to kung fu kicks and even recently, she can swim?! Man, she is like the all-purpose vehicle and weapon that everyone dreams of. Naofumi really won big time with that lottery, huh?

Art and animation are decent. Some drop in quality sometimes but nothing that would be of real concern. For a world that is facing gloom and doom, there are quite some livid colours especially the characters like the heroes who sometimes feel like colour coded heroes. Red = Motoyasu. Blue = Ren. Green = Itsuki. And uhm, darker green = Naofumi? Naofumi’s shield has a lot of weird designs seeing that he has levelled up and branched out his shield tremendously. Sometimes I feel it is like there was a design contest to see which of his shield’s design would make the cut. I mean, like how is that Iron Maiden even a type of shield???!!! On a trivial note, does Raphtalia’s design take after Horo from Spice And Wolf? Does this allow Naofumi to circumvent the rules and attack personally? This anime was done by Kinema Citrus who gave us Yuyushiki, Code: Breaker, Barakamon and Made In Abyss.

Voice acting, a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Ren, Jun Fukuyama as L’Arc, Saori Hayami as Therese, Hiroki Yasumoto as Elhart and Kikuko Inoue as Mirelia. The other casts include Kaito Ishikawa as Naofumi (Genos in One Punch Man), Asami Seto as Raphtalia (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Rina Hidaka as Filo (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Maaya Uchida as Melty (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Myne, uhm, I mean Bitch/Slut (Yuzuru in Date A Live), Makoto Takahashi as Motoyasu (Kouta in Majimoji Rurumo), Yoshitaka Yamaya as Itsuki (Sugino in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Megumi Han as Glass (Akko in Little Witch Academia), Natsuko Hara as Lecia (Mei in Jashin-chan Dropkick), Sakura Tange as Fitoria (titular character in Card Captor Sakura), Takayuki Sugo as Balmus (Wanyuudou in Jigoku Shoujo), Yutaka Nakano as Aultcray (Ishikawa in Ghost In The Shell) and Kenichi Ogata as Berocas (Genma in Ranma 1/2).

The rock paced first opening theme, Rise by Madkid fits the series like a glove and should have maintained as the only opener. Not to say that the second one, Faith by Madkid sounds bad but adding some hip hop elements to the rock music somehow just doesn’t appeal to me. Both the ending themes are slow rock ballads and sung by Chiai Fujikawa, Kimi No Namae and Atashi Ga Tonari Ni Iru Uchi Ni respectively. Personally I prefer the latter. I didn’t notice the BGMs but when I tried to sample some of its soundtrack, it has over 2.5 hours of music! Of course I couldn’t wait that long to hear them all but from the random samplings I heard, they’re rather okay with a wide variety of styles from the usual medieval style music and orchestra strings to hard rock punk metal ones and creepy eerie/dramatic Gregorian style chanting voices.

Overall, not a bad series and one of the better isekai genres out there despite its dark theme. It’s not that we hate characters who are overpowered and can do everything right from the start, it’s just that we need a reason to justify why we want to support that main character. It’s not like we are sadists wanting to see him struggle and improve through all the sufferings but we can see it brings out the best and worst in a character during those trying times. Naofumi does it not because he is the one who has to wield the shield bur rather he has to. So it doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from or what you have, it is how you make the best and adapt with what you’ve got and this series shows us how to tackle internet trolls without stooping down to their low level and engage them directly! Just ignore them and do your own stuff! Is that not how it seems?! Don’t let them dominate and step over you. Otherwise you would just F.E.A.R. Forget Everything And Run! Or F.E.A.R. F*ck Everything And Regret!

OMG! OMG! OMG!!! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE SUPER HYPE!!! DOUBLE SUPER HYPE!!! IT’S FINALLY HERE! AGAIN! We’ve been waiting for this like forever! I don’t know why they did this by breaking up the third season into 2 parts and taking a cour’s break. Did they think we can’t handle the shocking truth and sheer awesomeness and we will die before the series reaches its conclusion? Don’t underestimate us! Because of that, just to be clear, Shingeki No Kyojin S3 part 2 is actually the second part of the third season and hence making it the fourth instalment of the TV series overall. Confusing? Nah. They did that with Shokugeki No Souma’s third season so I’m not surprised. But we’re not talking about cooking food here. We’re talking about Titans eating humans as food! GAWR!!!

Episode 50
Our usual gang is taking Eren to Shiganshina. They stumble into a Titan but thank goodness it is motionless thanks to the moonless night. Eren realizes his hands are shaking. You scared? You might not want to admit but everyone is too. Will this mission be a success or failure? Once they reach Shiganshina, everyone takes off to their positions. As Erwin narrates, everyone is wearing hoods because they do not know if there is an enemy in the midst so this is to also help conceal the real Eren and avoid him being directly targeted. Once everything is ready, Eren transforms into a Titan to plug the outer Wall Maria. Success. The world is completely sealed up. If something feels off because it’s too easy, damn right it is because Armin has done some investigating and realizes someone has been camping nearby. There could be at least 3 enemies and they might have seen them coming while camping on the wall. Erwin is impressed with his thinking and makes him in charge. Armin is awkward with this new chain of command but issues his first order to sniff out enemies. As he thinks and thinks and the soldiers could not locate them, he realizes the enemies could be hiding inside the wall and has the soldiers look for cavities near the wall. When one of them finally found a hole, Reiner pops out and kills this dude! Although Levi swiftly stabs his sword through his neck, Reiner didn’t die. He was a second quicker to activate his Titan power as he soon transforms into the Armoured Titan. This signals to all his other comrades outside. The Yeti Titan and all other Titans now surround the inner entrance of Shiganshina. Yeti Titan then throws a rock and seals off that inner entrance. Erwin realizes they want to prevent them from escaping via their horses.

Episode 51
Smaller Titans rush in to attack. But Erwin is puzzled. The enemies could have just killed the horses and wait until Survey Corps tire out and unable to fight back to capture Eren. Whatever their plans, Erwin’s goal now is to prevent their horses from being slaughtered. He orders Hange’s squad to take down the Armoured Titan and approves the use of Thunder Spears. Indeed Reiner’s goal is to kill the horses but seeing Eren running in the opposite direction, he knows this is a bait. However he is forced to take this bait because Eren might circle around and escape, thwarting their plans to capture him. Once that happens, they have no reason to stay back and fight. Eren and Reiner clash and the former has gotten and improved in his close quarter combat. So while Eren keeps Reiner busy, Hange has her team get ready the Thunder Spears. Flashback shows she used this powerful technology that was kept secret by the Military Police that gives them a fighting chance against the Armoured Titan. Once Eren has got Reiner in position, Hange and co drop in their first Thunder Spears. Their environment makes it advantageous for this to be used because the buildings can be used as anchor while using Thunder Spears that literally explodes upon contact. With Reiner in pain, the rest use their remaining Thunder Spears to finish him off.

Episode 52
Flashback shows when Eren first transformed into a Titan and plugged up the breach, Marco overheard Reiner and Bertolt’s plans. Though, he thought it was a joke. But then Reiner pinned him down and knew he was too clever to brush that off as a joke. He then forces reluctant Annie to remove his 3DMD to prove her warrior status. They then left devastated Marco to be eaten by a Titan. Oddly, Reiner’s split personality then made him go in shock upon seeing Marco getting devoured. Fast forward to moments before Erwin’s squad arrive at the wall. Reiner and Bertolt are talking to their boss, Zeke (the Yeti Titan) about recovering the Coordinate and ending this cursed history once and for all. Connie and Sasha crying over Reiner’s death? Wow. Must be real bros. But Reiner isn’t exactly dead. He manages to give a loud roar in which Yeti Titan throws a barrel over Shiganshina. This is where Bertolt is hidden. The plan is for him to transform into the Colossal Titan in mid-air. The explosion will cause all those around to perish. But the moment he sees Reiner, he goes down to him. His head might be blown off by Bertolt can tell he is still alive because using the Titan power, Reiner managed to transfer his consciousness to his nerves. Bertolt has made his resolve. He needs Reiner to just move a little. Armin wants to negotiate with Bertolt and even throws Annie’s name into it. But Bertolt knows this is just to buy time so the rest could kill Reiner for good (at this point, Reiner turned on his back, making it hard for the soldiers to kill him off). Bertolt mentions about their mission of capturing Eren and annihilation of all humans inside the walls. He doesn’t view his friends as evil but they will still have to die. Conversation ended with Mikasa trying to do a sneak attack on him but he got away. Then Bertolt goes into mid-air and transforms. The blast seems to have killed almost everyone in the squad except for our usual heroes. As the Colossal Titan, he is using debris of the buildings and raining them like projectiles. Armin’s plan is to retreat for now but when Jean points out Bertolt might set fire to the wall and make everyone stuck in between the fire and the Yeti Titan, Armin dreads the idea of defeating Bertolt right now.

Episode 53
Armin is so panic that he passes the leadership to Jean, believing he can make better judgment. Though quickly makes a decision to get near the river, he will still be counting on Armin to come up with the ultimate plan. Yeti Titan is now smashing rocks into smaller ones and throwing them. This takes out many of the soldiers. Almost everyone is wiped out except for Erwin, Levi and the new recruits. They are forced to take refuge at houses near the wall but at this rate, Yeti Titan will flatten all the houses and there will be no place left to hide. Bertolt is moving closer to the wall. Jean has Eren to distract him but Bertolt ignores him. In a desperate move, Eren tries to stop his feet but is easily kicked away like a football! The rest try to use Thunder Spears but it backfires as Bertolt releases his hot steam to deflect everything. Armin, how is that plan coming up? Nope? Ah sh*t. Reiner has fully been recovered too! Levi’s plan is for Erwin to wake up Eren, have him take as many people to escape. A demoralised soldier, Floch Forster then rants about the dream of becoming a hero but he realized too late when reality sinks in. They’re all going to die. Everything is for nothing. But Erwin has a plan that could have Levi take down Yeti Titan. He didn’t say it because it involves everyone else sacrificing their lives just to give him this chance. He will lead them to a suicide charge and so as to ‘convince’ the new recruits to die to him, he will lead the charge and die first. His only regret is not seeing what’s in the basement. So close yet so far. When Erwin is breaking down, you know sh*t has already hit the fan. Hence Levi has decided. Give up on your dreams and lead your men to death. In exchange he will slay the Yeti Titan. So we see Erwin giving one last ‘motivation’ speech for his soldiers to go out there and die. Sacrifice and meaning of lives, blah, blah, blah. You ready? Here we come! CHARGE!!! They fire their flares simultaneously so as to affect Yeti Titan’s aim. Meanwhile Levi goes around taking down the other giant Titans while what’s left of the Survey Corps acts as decoy.

Episode 54
Oh well. Erwin went down first. Now it’s a crazy charge to their deaths. Yeti Titan gets more and more angry each time he sees what’s left of the Survey Corps inch closer to their mindless death. Till there is none. By the time it’s over, he realizes the other Titans have fallen. Too late as Levi cuts everything up and pulls Zeke out. Levi hesitates to kill him because he is hoping for a single survivor to use that Titan transforming serum and eat this Yeti Titan to take his abilities. This causes a Titan to snatch Zeke away as Zeke orders the other Titans to kill Levi. Levi is only left with fury. His promise to Erwin… You Titans will pay! Ironically, Floch is the only survivor and unscathed… Armin has observed the Colossal Titan is getting thinner thanks to expending a lot of power. He now has a plan. He will wake up Eren. They will be enough take Bertolt down. The rest are to distract Reiner and keep him at bay. Reiner’s memories are still hazy. Mikasa and the rest have to cautiously use their limited Thunder Spears to take him out. The first part almost fails. Connie while nailing his Thunder Spear, Sasha misses and this also causes her to be wounded. Mikasa is carrying the last Thunder Spear. The goal to open Armoured Titan’s jaw has not succeeded. Time from Hange to return from being dead to plant her Thunder Spear and force open that jaw. Enough for Mikasa to blast her last one inside and send Reiner blowing out. Bertolt uses his steam to blow away Armin but he seems to be hanging on. His observations were right. Using his 3DMD to cling onto the Colossal Titan’s teeth that is the only part that isn’t affected by the thinning of the steam. Bertolt cannot understand why he is doing this. Eren is down and not moving and the rest are busy with Reiner. Armin hangs on until he is totally burnt and blown away. Bertolt then realizes that Eren Titan was just his hardening skin. Armin has bought enough time for Eren to get out as he slices Bertolt out of his Titan body. Sadly, Eren sees Armin’s charcoal corpse… Armin… NOOO!!!!!

Episode 55
No time for tears. Zeke arrives so Eren becomes defensive and threatens to kill Bertolt. Zeke claims Grisha has brainwashed him but will be back to save him another day since Levi is hot on his trail. Levi is out of gas and wants Eren to give his 3DMD. Then he hears Armin’s cough… Meanwhile Hange takes something from Reiner. A letter supposedly from Ymir to Historia. Because he won’t let them know what they want, Hange will kill him. Ironically Jean stops her. Why not use the serum and take his abilities? Hange cannot risk it so Jean argues how are they going to kill the enemy if they don’t know anything about them? Flashback shows Erwin explained to everyone about the serum. As it is the only one left, he left it in Levi’s care. Hange wants Mikasa to seek Levi and if for some reason she cannot get it, fire her flare. It will be her signal to kill Reiner. For the longest time we haven’t seen Mikasa this emotional as she sees Armin’s charred body. Eren arguing the need to use the serum on Armin to take Bertolt’s power. Mikasa fires the flare. Just then Zeke retrieves Reiner. Jean feels guilty it is his fault that led to this but Hange asserts the decision was hers. As Levi is about to give the serum to Eren, here comes Floch carrying Erwin on his back! Barely alive, he wants Levi to use the serum on their commander. Because Levi views Erwin as the one who has the highest chance to save humanity, it becomes a showdown between Erwin and Armin camp. Mikasa pins a weakened Levi down while Eren paints a picture of Armin being the brains and the one who got them out of all situations. Then Floch blows his top. They’re not the only victims. He relates how everyone else from the Survey Corps is dead from Yeti Titan’s baseball practice. When he returned, he noticed Erwin still breathing and wanted to kill him. Then he realized he shouldn’t let him go so easily and should suffer like them. That’s why he brought him to Levi. With Hange somehow managing to convince Mikasa to calm down because in that case there are hundreds of more comrades whom she wants to bring back alive, Levi has everyone clear the area as he will inject the serum into Erwin. Last ditch effort by Eren to talk about Armin’s dreams of the sea compared to his blinded hatred to kill all Titans just for revenge. No change of heart. As Levi prepares to do it, Erwin smacks his hand away. Levi thinks hard. In the end, we see a Titan Armin devouring a very scared Bertolt in his final moments. Levi’s reason to give the serum to Armin was his realization that it was everyone else who forced Erwin into a demon. He was finally freed but they almost brought him back for another round of hell. As Erwin kicks the bucket, the other friends pull a revived Armin out from his Titan shell.

Episode 56
Armin wakes and since his memories are still hazy, Levi has Eren explained all that has happened. Shocked at Erwin’s death and other developments, he too has the same thinking that Erwin should have been administered the serum. While it looks like Armin would be replacing Erwin as commander, it doesn’t mean he is Erwin’s substitute. Levi doesn’t want anybody regretting this decision and that’s an order. Now Levi, Hange, Eren and Mikasa head to Eren’s house. Walking through the abandoned streets, time to hit up the nostalgia. The moment of truth we’ve all been waiting for. What’s in the basement. The key… Doesn’t fit!!! Levi just kicks down the door! That was easy. You’d think Grisha would have given Eren the key to the lock of something flimsy, huh? So they search the basement but mostly are Grisha’s notes and medicines. Then Mikasa spots a keyhole in the drawer. This time the key fits. There are 3 journals that are very well preserved. Opening the first one, there is a photo of a family (note, photography is not known in this world, at least not to those living behind the walls). Behind the photo is a note claiming he is from a civilization outside the walls. Meanwhile news break that the Survey Corps have successfully retaken Wall Maria and the people erupt with joy as they prepare for the heroes’ return. We have a short glimpse of Grisha as a young boy living with his younger sister, Faye. They were curious about the airship so one day Grisha took her past the restricted zone to its landing strip.

Episode 57
The duo are caught by officers, Kruger and Gross. Because they don’t have exit permits from the Liberio Internment Zone, he gives them a choice of manual labour or punishment. Grisha chooses the latter and will also take it for Faye’s part. As Gross leads Faye away, Kruger beats him up and then lets him watch the airship. He came here for that, right? Next day, Faye’s body was found by the river. Gross and Kruger talked to Grisha’s parents and lecture them about raising their child right. Grisha is in shock because he knew the officers were lying as they were slacking off then. At that moment he started hating Gross and especially his father because he obeyed the authority’s words like a dog. Grisha’s dad then starts to indoctrinate him about the sins of their ancestors. 1820 years ago, Ymir Fritz made a pact with the devil and obtained the power of Titans. After her death, her soul split into 9 Titans who built the Eldia Empire. They then destroyed the Marley Empire just to rule over them and persecuted other races inferior to them. This went on until some Eldians conspire with the Marleyans to bring down Eldia from within. They managed to do so by stealing 7 of those Titans. The Eldian king retreated to an island known as Paradise Island and hid behind 3 walls he constructed with his people. The rest of the ancestors were abandoned on this mainland. But the generous Marleyans did not kill them. At this point, Grisha didn’t care all that BS because it’s a sin neither he and Faye committed. Father tells him it doesn’t matter. All they can do is live humbly in this zone and please don’t send them to Paradise Island. Grisha backs down and continued this mundane life, taking over his father’s medical practice. Until one day a guy comes to see him and has info about how Faye was killed (Gross let loose the dogs to devour her). These people are a small group of Eldian revolutionists and are planning to restore the old Eldia Empire. Grisha soon became the leader, even go so far as to decipher the real history how Ymir actually brought prosperity to all nations. The revolutionists also receive a boost with the joining of Dina Fritz, the last surviving member of the royal family. Grisha fell in love with her and they get married. Soon they have a son named Zeke.

The revolutionist has an informant working inside Marley only known as Owl and they discover that the Marley side also has plans to infiltrate Paradise Island as it is rich in minerals. However the then Eldian king warned if they do so, millions of Titans will be unleashed upon them. That is why the Marleyan government is selecting children in an experiment to become Titans to storm the island. Grisha realize they have only an option left. He is going to use Zeke and make him a double agent in Marley. Like father, like son. History repeats itself as Grisha indoctrinates Zeke. However this backfired as Zeke rats them out. The revolutionists are brought to Paradise Island. One of the guys is dropped and left running for his life while his other partners turned into Titans to chase after him. Grisha becomes dismayed when Dina is also turned into one. He is shocked that the deal was to let her free after he told everything he knows but I guess that didn’t happen. Making it worse, Kruger and Gross are here. More disgusting is how Gross mentions he is doing this because it is fun and shows no remorse in killing others. Especially Faye. Ah, nobody forgets that day. We take a short detour to see Eren and Mikasa dreaming this same dream in their insubordination cell. Back to the story, with Gross hoping for the complete annihilation of Eldia, Grisha thought this is the end for him but Kruger pushes Gross down and lets him get devoured by the Titan. Not so fun now, eh? Kruger then reveals himself as Owl. Why am I not surprised? Then he shows Grisha how to use the Titan power as he himself transforms into one and goes on a rampage.

Episode 58
Kruger explains more about himself. His full name is Eren Kruger and the bearer of one of the 9 Titans. In other words, a subject of Ymir. Kruger managed to infiltrate into Marley because of the help of a doctor fabricating his blood result. Grisha blames him for letting everyone else die but Kruger gives Grisha his final mission. He wants him eat him and take his Titan power to storm into the walls and steal the Founding Titan’s power. Kruger can’t do it himself because those who bear the Titan’s power only have 13 years to live. This is called Ymir’s Curse. Guess this is his final year. Kruger goes on further to explain his father was also part of the resistance but died without achieving anything since the Marleyans burnt him alive. Since then he vowed to get revenge on Marley and restore Eldia. However by doing so he has only sent many of his brethren to death just to keep his identity safe. More explanations on Ymir’s Curse that if a bearer dies without passing on the power, that power awakens within a baby among the Ymir subjects. In some way, all of Ymir’s subjects are connected. Eventually all those paths converge at a single coordinate: The Founding Titan. Thus all Ymir subjects are connected by the Coordinate. Grisha wonders why Kruger didn’t help Dina even though she is of royal blood. He couldn’t afford to let her fall into enemy hands. Because it would be messed up if she bears the child of the enemy nation. Grisha is now depressed and feeling all the guilt that he tries to give excuses he can’t do this final mission. Kruger tells him the reason why he chose Grisha is because he was the only one who went past the walls. Had he not taken Faye past the walls, he would have inherited his father’s medical practice and Faye might have grown up and bore children. However this is reality and the story he started ever since he went past that wall. The Titan power he is about to take has a name like with all the 9 Titans. This Titan moves forward and fights for freedom and is hence called, wait for it, Attack Titan AKA Shingeki No Kyojin! Roll credits!

Eren and Mikasa’s imprisonment has ended. They are taken to see Historia who will have an audience with the surviving members of Survey Corps. We see her reading a letter from Ymir. Nothing really important except her regrets of picking the other side instead of her and not being able to marry her. I don’t think it was meant to be a joke. Historia seems to receive Ymir’s memories when she touches part of the letter. With the journals, the truth about the Titans and human civilization is now known. Hange addresses the audience in the hall about the true enemies not being Titans but humans of the entire world. As they are able to transform into Titans, it is a reason why the world wants them eradicated. If Marley get their hands on the Founding Titan, it is all over for Eldia. Grisha thought the king will not let that happen but unfortunately as Kruger states, the king has renounced fighting. Hence the million Titans threat was just a ruse to keep other nations from attacking while he hypnotizes his own people that the outside world is decimated so they could live in this fake peace. Kruger views a king who doesn’t protect his people is now king and that’s why he wants Grisha to seize the Founding Titan from within the walls. Grisha completed that mission and passed it to Eren. Any royal descendants who inherit the Founding Titan’s power becomes subordinated to the king. Eren is not of royal blood and he may have potential to use this power. That is when Eren realizes something very important. He has not told anybody about this. The Titan who killed his mom and Hannes was Dina. Eren realizes by touching a Titan that carries the blood of the royal family, it is possible to use the Founding Titan’s power. If he tells anybody about it, what would they do to Historia? Lastly we see Kruger telling Grisha to start a family once he gets inside the walls. He believes someone down the line will be watching this. If he can’t do that, history will only repeat itself.

Episode 59
With this newfound information, the hall is divided whether to tell the public as it will create chaos. However if they withhold this, would they be no better than the previous king who lied to his subjects? Hence Historia announces to release all the details to public. There are various reactions from shock to laughing it off and it is all just hogwash conspiracy theory. Well, you do what you want with the info. There will be an award ceremony for the Survey Corps and to honour the fallen. Surprisingly Hitch attends but I figure this is so that Floch could tell how Marlo died a hero. However he might have said too much that Marlo could have regretted his last moments there. But it’s the truth. I think Hitch can’t take any more of that. But this has Floch now questioning that everyone would have come to the same conclusion after reading all this: Why wasn’t Erwin the one alive. Despite Eren trying to speak up for Armin, Floch gets honest. Sure, Armin is not his friend and he knows nothing about his achievements. He blames them for making Levi make an irrational decision because they let their emotions take over. Eren might think he did the right thing and is dead set on it, that’s why he isn’t remorseful. Medals and awards don’t matter. What matters next if they tell the truth to the next set of Survey Corps recruits. Don’t you dare let cowards like him sign up. But no matter how useless a coward is, he is still entitled to his own opinions. As Historia gives out the medals, Eren is still indecisive. He isn’t willing to sacrifice Historia yet. Touching her hand, we see glimpse of Grisha’s flashback when he managed to find Frieda and her family. He explained about being the same as them as Eldians and subjects of Ymir. He warned her to kill all Titans that breach the will or their people will die. A year after the attack on Trost, all the refugees are returned there and life in the district blooms again. The Survey Corps are able to exterminate every Titan and then venture outside Wall Maria. They spot a crawling Titan and Eren can tell its origin by touching it. Another Eldian sent here as punishment. They just leave it there since it can’t do anything. The long journey finally leads them to the ocean. The first time everyone is amazed and stunned by this endless huge body water. Everyone except for Eren. Maybe he seen it too many times in his father’s memories? But despite everyone frolicking like kids in the water, Eren puts on his gloom cap. Because he once thought freedom awaits them across the ocean. But he is wrong. There lies only enemies. Would they be truly free if they kill every last one of their enemies? So it is no longer kill all Titans but kill all non-Eldian humans???!!!

Clash Of The Titans
OMG! WTF?! Only 10 episodes for this second part. Oh man, I’m so ‘disappointed’… But nothing says hype and much more hype when the final season of the series is announced. Uh huh. You can’t get more hype than that when you add ‘final season’ into your title. Oh boy. That is sure going to drive up the hype and excitement. Don’t forget all the anxiety and worrying too along the way. Now I am ever so eager to watch the final season… There had better be some good animes to keep my company while I wait for that very anticipated final season to arrive… Or a whole load of crappy ones which will just make me fully appreciate this truly awesome and superb masterpiece when the time comes and thus making the painstaking wait worthwhile.

This season is still so amazing and awesome that I might sound like a broken recorder if I continue to praise everything about it all over again. But I’m so lazy so please read my previous blog ;p. This series is one of the very few and rare anime series that I have watched throughout my entire life in which the next season gets better and better. So many other series have fallen to the wayside to even live up to their second season but this one is still going strong. And my only ‘fear’ of all this is because of the hype and excitement that has been building up over the years, the final season would come out sputtering. I know it’s wrong for me to be so negative even when I haven’t even started to watch the final season yet but this anxiety originates from that Game of Thrones final season… Yeah… Remember that fiasco? I didn’t see that HBO series but because of the disappointment of the final season, it left a negative impact (comments and criticisms alike) so great on the impact that even I had taken notice. So can you blame me for being so negative when there is already a precedent that something so great can even stumble so hard? Yeah, I guess better than never getting a conclusion at all.

Besides the awesome Titan action in retaking Wall Maria, this season we have some few shocking developments like the death of Erwin (as well as Bertolt) as well as finally the damn truth. Finally we get to see what is in the basement that has been a nagging thorn to us viewers. The truth of course but I was expecting to be some sort of hologram device with audio to narrate the entire true history! Haha. Just kidding. The history of the real world is indeed interesting and sometimes it feels like a big fairytale. But then again, remember the characters who have been living within the walls are as good as the frog who lived in a well. It was also shocking that Erwin had really died. Honestly, I thought that guy would never die. At least because he is such an important figure and reeking that charismatic aura that is on par with the main character, they can’t kill him off, right? I was wrong. His guilt and reflection of standing atop the corpses of his fellow Survey Corps to get where he is seemed like a death flag now… Oh well, rest in peace, Erwin. Because of his sacrifice, we’ve come to where we are right now. So it’s not just Erwin who won’t know the truth but all those dead Survey Corps who died previously too. Maybe they’ll learn the truth as they watch in heaven… Hey, we got a history here talking about gods and demons and Titan powers so why not our departed souls watching from heaven?! Also, RIP Marlo… So with the big revelation about the people of the world, come to think of it, isn’t this entire series just one big civil war among the Eldians? Yeah, they have to be united before they can face the entire world who wants them dead!

Possibly the ‘funniest’ realization is when they gave this Titan that Kruger gave Grisha, a name. Not so much funny if you’re Japanese but if you know the official English title is called Attack On Titan. And now we have this roll call that this Titan’s name is Attack Titan. Both carry entirely different meaning literally. Japanese won’t have any problems but we English speakers might be left confused. Truthfully, even when this official English title came out when this series first aired, I was even sceptical of how this naming sense even made sense. Attacking Titan would have been such a better and accurate translation but I guess it doesn’t sound as cool as Attack On Titan. After all, Attack On Titan shows us from the viewpoints of the heroes doing just that whereas Attack Titan would also still be correct but sounds a lot lamer. And now with this revelation on why the series is named so, it would be weird for the English side to officially change it so. If this was some subtle way for us not to figure this out, then in some ways it worked. We didn’t see this coming, right? Did we?!

This season Eren doesn’t feel like a wuss because I guess when you’ve been such a big wimp last season, he has somewhat hardened his heart and resolve to end all this crap. So thankfully he does his mission well that ultimately helped the Survey Corps regain Wall Maria and obtain the Colossal Titan’s power. It was a scary moment for us when Eren and Levi almost go head to head over who to save with this last serum. After all that they have been through, this one little decision on who decides who to live could have become the biggest deal breaker and it would have been really heart wrenching for us all if that fallout and bloodshed actually happened. We don’t need another ‘civil war’. We have already seen that when Reiner, Bertolt and Annie have defected and what is left of the Survey Corps is threatened to split apart even more? Wow. It was sure scary. Mikasa still kicks ass and like in previous seasons, isn’t so overprotective over Eren.

Armin and Jean try to showcase their leadership and thinking skills and I think they’re cool but somehow I feel it is to give them some screen time. Same case with Connie and Sasha. Can’t be jokers in this time of distress. Though, (thankfully) Sasha is still Sasha despite being gravely injured. Historia so lacking this season because she is already queen (she still think it’s unofficial?) since last season she already had her run so I guess she now has to play her real duty instead of going on a dangerous adventure. One last note on Armin, I know he feels guilty about being alive in Erwin’s place but he better not turn into an annoying one because it will also start to influence and make me think that yeah, perhaps Erwin SHOULD have been the one to live! It’s like as though he doesn’t value the second chance he has been given. He might not be able to be as charismatic as Erwin or come up plans that will assure victory but I’m sure in time something will change and happen. Like how we see a year later Eren has grown his hair a bit longer and he looks slightly mature and giving off this gloom face. Haha! Yeah… So Armin, don’t make us all believe including yourself regret that decision to be alive! Please, just don’t. We want to face this reality and move on already.

Remember how last season I complained that the opening song sounded like a wuss? Sounded so gay that it took away all the epic feeling that defined the series? Well, probably they heard my complaints (and from others as well) so they decide to go back to that trademark epic theme. Yes, Shoukei To Shikabane No Michi (once more sung by Linked Horizon) might sound like a copy and paste of its predecessors, Guren No Yumiya and Shinzou Wo Sasageyou (just change the lyrics!) but I guess I must live up to my promise not to complain about it. Better to have this than some gay sounding sh*t! This season’s ending theme, Name Of Love by Cinema Staff is a slow ballad. It might sound unsuitable for the series at first but after watching the events unfold and all the madness that had happened, I think this homecoming-like song is definitely fitting to wind down.

Oh well. I suppose it is that time again where we have to wait for the final season to arrive and it is that agonizing moment of waiting again. But it is good to know that good things come to those who wait. So just a little while more, okay… But for now, I’ll have to be contended with this amazing second part of the third season that left me breathless and yearning for more. Amazing Titan action as well as intriguing story have certainly defined this season. At this point, I can safely and definitely say that Shingeki No Kyojin is definitely the top and best anime series that I have watched in recent years. Even ousting One Punch Man and Boku No Hero Academia per se. Even Gintama too. Once this series truly ends, it will be difficult to find another series to top and replace this masterpiece, let alone get even close to it. As Erwin said about everyone dying one day and this doesn’t mean life is meaningless, I’d like to modify that: Even if no other series outshines or surpasses this one, it doesn’t mean all animes are crap or inferior! (Although, some definitely are!).

Circlet Princess

October 6, 2019

Time for another made up futuristic sci-fi team sport. The last time I watched Ao No Kanata No Four Rhythm, I wasn’t really impressed. It was weird despite they tried to create something creative. But that series didn’t get any sort of follow up or sequel since its run back in 2016. And now we have yet another futuristic sci-fi team sport, Circlet Princess. In this world, we assume that VR technology has advanced so much that we are able to create this bizarre sport that only females seem to participate. And yeah, the typical story of a fallen powerhouse in the sport making a comeback because of a talented ace joining in. Yeah, the story is as cliché as you can get and not made up.

Episode 1
Oh yeah. Circlet Bout (CB) is all the rage now, right? Chikage Fujimura from Kurojishi Academy is the top dog with a 50 match winning streak. However as revealed in the backstage, everything has been a setup. You mean like WWE? Understandably Chikage is bored but as her manager puts it, she is free to go all out with the next rookie opponent she faces. It’s all part of the show anyway. Since there is still some time before the match, she goes out for a walk. Meanwhile, country bumpkin retard, Yuka Sasaki just arrived in the big city. Wow. Everything so futuristic! Plot cliché commands her to be awed by the awesome poster girl of CB who is no other than Chikage. She is supposed to meet up with someone but gets enthralled and followed signs that leads her to the CB stadium. Along the way, she meets Chikage in disguise. Blah, blah, blah. Outside the stadium, some stupid girl mistakes her to be the Candita (player) from St Union Academy and rushes to get her ready. Yeah, without checking anything, right? Because Yuka is a dumb retard, she accepts. Yeah, everything will work out somehow, no? In the ring, Chikage and Yuka see each other. Is this fate? You can tell Yuka has all the beginner’s luck as she blocks Chikage’s offence and dodges. Wow. This is getting exciting for you huh, Yuka? Chikage must be really frustrated thinking she isn’t as strong as a champion she thought she is, huh? The match end is cut off and we fast forward 2 years later. She is ecstatic to enrol at St Union, the school of her dreams. Meanwhile Miyuki Kasahara and Ayumu Aizawa are at their wits end to revive their club. I don’t think making a cheap video will somehow generate views. Will it?! Coincidentally they stumble upon a clip about that legendary CB match 2 years ago that put Chikage in a pinch. Then they see Yuka in the flesh having problems with the robot security. Why do they look like they’re trying to rape her if they’re just asking for her student ID she is unable to produce? Luckily the duo manage to help her out and hence their chance to ask her to join their club. But first, Yuka sees Reina Kuroda who is the student council president. She instantly gets shot down because there is no CB club at St Union. Oh sh*t! Say what?! Her dreams come crushing down but Yuka refuses to budge and continues bugging Reina?! WTF?! Yuka returns to her dorm and coincidentally this is also where Ayumu stays. Ayumu realizes she is that Yuka 2 years ago and believes this could be something big. Flashback 2 years ago again. The match ended abruptly because the power was cut. Due to system error, Chikage postponed their match. So next time, huh? What a way to set fate rolling.

Episode 2
Continuing from that episode, as Yuka leaves to the backstage, the strange announcer confronts her and claims she has potential, blah, blah, blah. So she gives her a bracelet that will certainly have her reunite with Chikage one day. Yeah, that’s good enough a promise and motivation for Yuka to totally get interested in this. Because if you think you can’t achieve something, try until you can! Yeah, I really love that quote… Now, Yuka continues to bug Reina. She’ll make a new club then. Rejected! Please don’t rape her if she rejects, Yuka! Later Yuka meets up with Miyuki and Ayumu and realize they are part of CB club. Unofficial club, that is. Oh yeah. Now she can play. But first, it’s Miyuki’s turn to go bug Reina to approve their club and they just need a couple of members. She hopes Reina can join since she used to play CB but of course, the b*tch declines. Ayumu shows Yuka that legendary clip. You mean she didn’t know it is online? Oh yeah, the rural areas don’t have internet. She plays dumb since she doesn’t want to be busted as that accidental player who was there. The trio practice CB. Ayumu the computer whiz cannot analyse Yuka’s strange circlet weapon. The practice is interrupted with Reina once again using her authority to stop all unauthorized activities. They just got a slap on the wrist with house arrest? The moment they are back, Yuka is seen trying to recruit new members via old fashion way: Handling out pamphlets. And she gets into Reina trouble again… I don’t think Yuka is going to stop bugging her to approve the CB club and even with Reina spewing all that procedure and formalities, suddenly her aide informs her of something important. So apparently Reina has to suspend her actions to stop the formation of the CB club because St Union got a request for a practice match with Takamori Academy. You mean that legendary video just went viral? Like, now?! Miyuki teases Reina that she is dying to play this game and hints about her older sister who was a CB champ. So why is Takamori really trying to achieve with this practice match? According to their captain, Hiyori Sugiura, it’s to motivate their players. Because Ayana Kuroda has a younger sister there and this should give great incentive for their regulars. While Yuka is eating with her friends, suddenly her bracelet talks! WTF????!!!

Episode 3
The bracelet is being some naggy coach, eh? Some top class battle AI, eh? And Yuka being a retard means this is going to take a while… Yuka wants to get stronger in all aspects but the bracelet rejects. No can do. I guess he isn’t some wonder drug. But he’ll do what he can. Phew. Safe. Yuka can continue with her fate to meet Chikage then. Don’t worry about wasting an episode to find a new member because Nina Avelin decides to test it out. Yes, she is half Russian. Uhm, since when did Reina join? Is she unofficially officially in? Whatever, now they have an official CB club! Yay! They practice and Miyuki owns Yuka big time. Bet she’ll improve during the real match? So the first match pits Miyuki and some unknown Takamori Candita. Damn, Miyuki lost? Next is Reina against another unknown. While Reina shows her experience, unfortunately because she has this losing mentality and does not expect to win, she loses. WTF?! More misfortune because this is best of 3, oh damn you mean Takamori wins it?! Thank goodness it’s practice match so nothing officially recorded. Just hurt pride. Because they can’t just go home with this easy win, I guess Takamori is eager to continue with the practice. Hence eager beaver Yuka gets to go next. She is facing Kasumi Iida who is one of the top players. This won’t look good… If she wasn’t the main character to begin with! Thus you can see Yuka putting up a decent fight against Iida that shocks everybody. Yeah, didn’t expect this retard to last that long, huh? Her bracelet has analysed her moves and gives some hints. In the end, a swift move from Yuka has her defeat Iida. Wow. This upset victory has got to be the most exciting match, huh? Yuka decides to call her bracelet, Siegfried or Sieg for short. I guess it’s better than G-kun. WTF… Sugiura isn’t sad but glad they might be witnessing the birth of a new legend. You don’t say, huh? Coincidentally Chikage is also watching this and is glad Yuka is back in the game.

Episode 4
Flashback shows Ayana totalling owning her opponent in a CB game. Wow. Young Reina so impressed and vowed to be like her. Wow. So young. So motivated. Too bad we won’t get to see the rest of the practice match but from what I understand, it looked like a 100 men sparring match and only Yuka won. Thanks to that, she has some fans back at school cheering for her. Yuka is briefed on the Princess Cup. Yeah, you know the most prestigious tournament that every sports genre must have. But currently, Kurojishi Sougou Academy has been holding on to that throne for a long time. That school is where Chikage goes. When the girls are being called by the director, they think it’s because Yuka won her practice match. Because Takamori is their sister school and they’re supposed to lose? Hence it’s all Yuka’s fault?! Good thing it’s not that. Sugiura thanks them for a wonderful match and welcomes St Union’s CB’s return. However b*tch Reina insists the club’s closure. I guess only now Yuka hears of Ayana and her exploits. Ever since she left for America, St Union lost its ace and started dwindling. This makes Yuka feel uneasy. No, it’s not your stomach growling! Sieg’s best reply: You overeat! Sugiura talks to Yuka and is scouting her to join Takamori since they have all the facilities to help her get into her game. She can then challenge Kurojishi. But what’s eating Yuka? She still not happy? After Ayumu lets her see clips of Ayana in action (in which Reina’s moves mirrors Ayana’s move although it lacks something), she’s all fired up to go bug Reina. Yeah, Reina just dissed another attempt by Miyuki. So Reina is out of the club just so she can close it down? Yuka confronts Reina in the toilet and talks about Ayana’s greatness. Reina explains St Union didn’t want to hold her back, that’s why they let her go to America as it has the latest technology. But look what it did to St Union? By the time Reina enrolled, the CB club is as good as dead. She rejects Yuka’s invitation to join. So desperate that Yuka decides to go see Chikage at Kurojishi? No wonder she gets kicked out. Then she challenges Reina. She accepts because if Reina wins, Yuka will join Takamori. Is that her way of getting rid of her? Yuka seems to be imitating Ayana’s move. And Reina seems to be having those flashbacks about her sister departing. Yeah, so devastated. In the end, we can tell Reina lost because she has to join the club now. Yay! They’re official now.

Episode 5
Miyuki is voted as the captain of their CB club. Yeah, she’s the only one who volunteered. So starts off with their plan for Princess Cup. The usual line-up: Miyuki, Reina and then Yuka. Nina and Ayumu serve as backup. They attend the draw and it seems for the first round, St Union will be up against Hoshinoumi Academy. Yup, another good CB school. Typically, Hoshinoumi has this rich b*tch girl, Christie Yamauchi who has some sort of rivalry with Miyuki. As expected, she badmouths her about running away from her track club and as well as her current CB. You gonna let that fly, Miyuki. Oh damn. Looks like Christie’s words got to her. Because of that, she can’t concentrate in practice and her friends know something is wrong. With Yuka in her typical retard to assure her, Reina knows it is something that Christie said. Time to get it off her chest by telling her past. As her family makes shoes, naturally she loves running and was a good athlete, putting in all the effort. However many think she is successful because she had money and access to facilities. This made her depressed and at the crossroads. That was when she saw Ayana in a CB bout and decided to quit track and join this weird sport. Had she not quit her track, she would have ended up at Hoshinoumi since they also produce good athletes. Princess Cup starts. Because Miyuki is still having low self-confidence, she switches place with Yuka. Yuka easily wins her match and you thought Reina would be enough to seal the deal. But she lost! Turns out it was an ‘elaborate’ setup so as to get Miyuki to face Christie in the decisive match and put this thorny issue to rest. Of course Miyuki still has doubts and is weak. We hear a bit of Christie’s grudge against her because she looked up to Miyuki but before she could face her in a competition, she quit. Yeah… Since Miyuki continues to be pathetic, Reina scolds to remind her that her true ability is running. Is it allowed to have time to talk like that in the middle of the match? Anyway, this gives Miyuki the much needed confidence to turn the tables and defeat Christie. Wow. So easy. Just run around and make Christie tired. Yeah… She better train her body more before running her mouth… Miyuki admits she may have run away but now she won’t look back and will continue to run forward.

Episode 6
Because Reina has some student council duties, Nina replaces her in the first CB match but she basically got easily owned. But thanks to Miyuki and Yuka, St Union won this round. We see her let loose some steam on her online shooter game and it tells us a lot that she is a good sniper. Musashino Kyuoh Academy is their next opponent and they are the top 4 favourites for the Princess Cup. But of course. In order to help Nina become a strong attacker, they go shopping for her weapon. Just when she picked out this rifle one she likes, so sorry, we’re on a budget. WTF?! And also, no money means limited amount of bullets they can buy. You mean ammo isn’t infinite in this digital technology game?! So I guess she goes with a spear. During a practice match with Yuka, she lost badly. No prizes to guess why she suddenly becomes so dejected. So much so Yuka stalks her?! So to find out what is bugging her, she goes to bug her?! WTF?! Since Nina is not the kind to talk, I guess the next plan is have all of them clean the pool. However some blooper has Nina spraying water hard on Yuka. This means she is down with a cold and will not recover in time for the next match. Damn, this girl is weak! I guess this means Nina has to cover for her. Later Ayumu talks to Nina. Ayumu reveals she is the online shooter game partner whom she interacts often with. Surprise! She also explains the cleaning job was to get some funds to buy Nina her desired weapon. Wow. The pool cleaning job must really pay, huh? More pleasant surprise in store for Nina as they got the rifle weapon for her. With their match with Musashino on the way, Miyuki goes first and lost since she couldn’t see the enemy’s weapon coming. Next is Nina. Can she survive with only 2 bullets? She has Ayumu be her eyes on the field as the stage is littered with ruins. Her first shot misses and when the opponent charges close up, WTF she hears Yuka’s voice to duck and doing so, she is now point blank with the opponent and makes her final shot count. I guess Yuka couldn’t stay in bed and dragged herself out to cheer on Nina. Needless to say, Reina wins it for St Union. Nina thanks her friends for doing all this for her. Correction. We did this together for our CB club.

Episode 7
St Union is pretty much a rising star now, so much so Yuka is nicknamed the Overclock Princess. Sorry, it’s not Order Croquette Princess, Yuka! Don’t think with your stomach! As Yuka practises with Reina, the rest note they don’t know much about Yuka to begin with. Especially who gave her Sieg. To help boost their morale for the semi-final match with Kurojishi, they hang out together. In the streets, they are famous enough that everyone gives them freebies! Are they all passing off with that Overclock brand name? Then they go karaoke in which Yuka and Miyuki fight over the right to sing. I guess better than tone deaf Reina… And is Nina just on an eating spree? Ayumu then talks about MR being a by-product of the CB system. That’s why they are very influential in so many technologies and facilities today. They are also the reason why Ayumu became interested in CB because of its concept. With Ayumu getting technical, I guess the rest can’t follow (especially Yuka of course) and they even joke she could be a spy! Flashback shows Ayumu’s dad was a researcher and she was fascinated with some 3D princess knight model he rendered. And of course, Ayumu watching Yuka practice alone, suddenly she sees all her moves so similar to that princess knight. Talking to her, because Yuka is willing to do anything to improve herself and face Chikage again, Ayumu wants Yuka to battle her. Why do Miyuki and Reina feel so shocked? Sure, she is the support but this is just to collect data, right? Her research about CB didn’t yield the data she wanted so could Yuka be the missing link to her father as well? Since Ayumu hacked her weapon’s script, it is obviously overpowered. Yuka is made to run like hell but all her movements are again similar to that princess knight. Even the way she countered and charged through her eventual victory. Yeah, Ayumu’s weapon broke! Sure, Yuka is fast but is she that powerful? Then we see Ayumu using her connections to get into the backstage of Kurojishi just to see Chikage. She wants to know more about Yuka, especially what happened on that fateful day. Something about the overheating factor too.

Episode 8
Officially, the reports said Chikage’s attack caused the overheating factor. However, Ayumu believes Yuka is the key. From what I understand, Yuka seems fast only because the system cannot process her moves fast enough. Hence some sort of ‘shortcut’. This is an ability she has although she herself is unaware she could use it. Chikage too has this ability. When both used this, that is why the system crashed and blackout for a while. That is the real overheating factor. Ayumu hopes this answer would lead her to her father’s whereabouts. The semi-finals are here and St Union is up against Takamori. Revenge match, right? Reina goes first and wins. Miyuki faces Sugiura next but we all know that to prolong the drama, she has to lose. After all, Takamori has studied St Union’s matches like a bible. And now for the expected grudge match between Yuka and Iida. We know Yuka is having some worries because of the b*tch talk Iida had with her in the toilet as well the night before, Sieg told her not to rely on him and think for herself. Uh oh. Sounds like some death flag trouble. You can say that Takamori’s studying pays off since Iida is now able to predict Yuka’s moves. Uh huh. Don’t really on your sight. Use foresight. And you know what they say about the best offence is the best defence? Yup. Iida was just blocking most of the time. WTF weapon fatigue that Yuka’s weapon broke?! I guess that’s it. St Union lost. Yuka is already depressed and made even more so when Sieg doesn’t respond to her. Damn, like as though he is dead. Is this thing out of battery? Oops, sorry. The rest try to leave her alone but when Yuka doesn’t come out of her room for too long, they go in and check on her only to see her room empty. A note. I’m sorry. Yeah, that sure really says a lot. For somewhat who talks a lot, she sure kept it brief. Heh. Looks like they’ve got to go after her back at her home. Yes, her home back in the mountains.

Episode 9
Buckle up. It’s going to be a long train trip to Wakayama. I don’t think the shinkansen goes there either. Yuka practises in her old shed. Her old CB practice programme still working? Yeah, she’s so powerful, her stats are off the charts! As he bums around and feeling sorry for running away, surprise! Her friends pop up and tell her she should say that in person. However, Yuka being Yuka, she thinks they are ghosts and are back to haunt her for that loss!!! WTF?! Damn, Yuka is a fast runner! When cornered, they explain about this double elimination rule. There is still a chance to come back if you lose once. WTF?! Does this rule only apply to them or the rest? But Yuka still feels uneasy because Sieg is ‘dead’. They talk more over the hotspring, giving more assurance to Yuka that she’s not useless as she thinks she is, blah, blah, blah. Then over dinner, they hear how Yuka got into St Union via scholarship. This has Ayumu asking Yuka where she got Sieg. A pervert gave it to her. Ayumu realizes that person is her father, Makoto. She analyses the bracelet. It looks completely dead and all files missing. Funny, Yuka was able to summon her weapon in yesterday’s practice. Demonstrating her moves in the shed, Ayumu concludes that the file must be hidden. She believes all this is CB DKX, a battle development kit. It is only something her father possessed. As an engineer of MR system, the idea of VR led him to develop this CB game. During that point where CB wasn’t sure of taking off, Chikage was cultivated as an unrivalled player. Despite the success, the project was shelved. Makoto parted ways with his team and disappeared. Makoto only left behind this terminal in which Ayumu thought where all the answers like but it seems it could be in the bracelet. So why did he entrusted it to Yuka? Despite Yuka becoming stronger, she has been shackled with that playstyle. Hence the reason Sieg ‘died’. She cannot win if she continues to play like this. Hence a challenge by Makoto. With renewed confidence and motivation, the girls head for home. Meanwhile Takamori loses to Kurojishi. Thanks to that double elimination rule, I guess the losers are going to battle each other to face Kurojishi. Damn, this is confusing.

Episode 10
Nina defeats her Musashino opponent because she’s cocky, talkative and underestimating. That’s what you deserve. So apparently the loser’s match only has 1 match, huh? And of course this means they will fight Takamori for the right to face you-know-who. Ayumu thinks Yuka needs a new weapon but first she needs to analyse her data and Sieg. Meanwhile Reina uses her influence to seek resource donation from others. Well, if she’s bowing down like that, can’t say no, eh? Even Miyuki goes to town to ask for donation. After passing off that Overclock brand, you better pay back something. And in no time all the resources come flowing in! As Ayumu has trouble figuring out Sieg, not sure what happened when she touched that princess knight render and suddenly everything becomes unlocked! WTF?! On the other side, Takamori has their own issues. It seems Sugiura won’t participate in this loser’s match against St Union and this causes some friction among the members. She knows Yuka will be chosen and hence she wants Iida to take on her. Some psychological strategy too, I guess. But after some deliberation and talking, let’s move Takamori’s CB forward, okay? Chikage will also be watching this important match and it is confirmed the announcer is Makoto. The best way to dispel suspicions of your missing whereabouts is to turn into a drag queen? Makoto has Chikage analyse the odds of the match. Sugiura dominates in every aspect but Yuka is not one who is not confined to regular analysis. The loser’s match between Yuka and Sugiura begins. Yuka starts off aggressive but eventually Sugiura makes a comeback. So much so she breaks Yuka’s weapon! But don’t fear. Because it’s evolution time! The fragments now form into new weapons. Holy sh*t! Yuka just got herself 2 new swords? And this is supposed to be Sieg’s gift? With that, Yuka uses this and goes in for the kill- I mean, victory. On to the finals. Makoto is pleased with the outcome because this is essential for his greatest masterpiece to advance to the next stage.

Episode 11
Don’t feel bad Takamori. There’s always next year. So continue to work hard! Yeah! Ganbatte! Before the finals, Yuka and Chikage meet. Because Yuka already knows the bracelet was given by Makoto, Chikage wonders if she will continue to be manipulated by him. Yuka being Yuka who isn’t too smart on the technical stuffs is only playing because CB is fun. That’s your answer. So the finals begin with Reina going first. It’s a close match but she eventually loses. So as to show respect, her opponent even calls her worthy and asks her name. You mean she wasn’t paying attention to the announcer or the screen? Next up is Miyuki. Cut things short, a tricky move allows Miyuki to defeat her opponent. No surprise because we need the rubber match of Yuka versus Chikage. How many years has it been for their grudge match to resume? But as we can see, Chikage has more experience than Yuka so it’s natural that she dominates. So much so her double swords break! Oh no. Yuka don’t you go into depression again. But before Chikage could checkmate her, something strange happens. Oh, it’s Sieg going through another evolution! This time Yuka gets a pair of gloves! One punch in the gut! Now that Yuka is fighting back and stronger, Chikage getting scared she’ll lose? At the same time she is happy that she has finally found a strong opponent. Now Yuka destroys Chikage’s weapon. Game over, right? Not yet! Because Chikage too goes through some evolution! Oh my. I hope her darker uniform isn’t just for aesthetics.

Episode 12
Yuka takes a beating while Chikage sounds like she has turned to the dark side since she is enjoying every moment of this sadistic beat down. Guess what? Apparently Yuka’s uniform also transforms! Is this her final form? Yeah, thanks to all the people in her life that make her feel she’s not fighting alone. Yuka now has a fighting chance as we hear Makoto narrate more crap about emotions and evolving based on intuition and adapting rather than just blindly following orders. Woah! People start to give their resources in mid-match?! Is this even legal?! Things are going great and then uh oh. Yuka is at her limit. Is she going to lose for real? Time out. Weird conversation with Siegfried as he comes back ‘alive’ to scold Yuka and make her remember her original reason why she wants to fight against Chikage. And this allows Yuka’s uniform to evolve to another final form. A more princess-like form. And if Siegfried says she is the Princess, I guess she is the princess. Uh huh. No prize to guess who wins the Princess Cup. In the aftermath, we see St Union CB members bumming around with nothing to do. Shouldn’t they be practising? Because from what Reina said, due to the overheating factor again, this causes CB to undergo major overhaul in its rules and format. Because of that, St Union failed to adapt well like their other rivals and are on a losing streak. Yup. Rock bottom again. It is also rumoured they hired a hot overseas coach to help them. Ayumu didn’t see her dad once in the flesh. That wasn’t her real goal apparently. Knowing that he is still around and Makoto giving her all the data on MR system secrets, I guess she’s fine. If you’re wondering why Yuka isn’t with them, it’s because she is seeing off Chikage who is going overseas to hone her skills. You know the drill. They both hope they’ll get stronger by that time and fight again. Yuka’s pals come by to pick her up and continue to tease her because it’s nice once in a while to tease a retard.

Sure Crap Princess
Yawn… Oh… Thank goodness is over. I don’t know how the NPCs in this anime can get overly excited and hyped over this boring virtual made up sport. No wonder they are NPCs… Heh… Thank goodness it ended and there are no other major trophies for them to compete because the season could have ended in such a way that hints there might be another tournament for them to try again to be the best but I guess for this kind of sports, Princess Cup is the only major CB tournament. So major that we didn’t even get to see Yuka landing the finishing blow on Chikage. I suppose they want to leave it to our imaginations that there might be another overheating factor and Yuka winning on some technicalities. Imagine having this sort of error at a major event finals. Everything so great, everything so evolutionary but your system can’t handle it?! Fail! Back to the drawing board to redesign the system again!

I believe that the CB game itself is not given any sort of prominence. I feel that it is an unimportant factor here. While it looks like this CB game has its sets of rules and the likes, do you not feel that it is not really given any more depth than what we have seen? It feels like everything is just so made up on a whim so that they could have some sort of fighting sequence whatsoever. Hence the CB sport is probably one of the worst and ill-conceived futuristic sports that I have known to date. The basic premise of the sport is that you enter some VR, conjure up whatever weapon you think you are good at, beat the sh*t out of your opponent until she can no longer move. Yup. That’s as original as they can get for this CB game. It’s just sounds so boring. Even that weird water sport Keijo is way much better than this crap. I know, fanservice but still, it beats CB flat. I’d spend my money to go watch that ass game than this asinine one.

Making CB even worse is its format. Now, I understand that it is a team game and even if they want to make it a one on one match, don’t you think having just 3 matches total per game is a little too short? I mean, why the heck do you always have 5 members entering their standby platform then? Backup? I don’t see any substitutions during the game here. That’s why I earlier said they didn’t really thought out about this sport well. I think my suggestion if the format was a team deathmatch type, it would have been more exciting and better. Even if they don’t have all 5 on 5, at least 3 on 3 in this team battle royale format would at least give us some thrills. Though, this was largely hinted in the new shake up of the format but it comes rather too late. St Union won’t be there at the major stages any time soon even if they have their ace Yuka. Yeah, it goes to show that they aren’t really good CB team players to begin with… Therefore for this individual format, no real strategy except hit your opponent until she can go no more and maybe a few tricks to lead up to that. Stages are for aesthetics, uniforms are for aesthetics, weapons are mostly for aesthetics. Now we are reduced to just predicting who wins or loses instead of a real team battle to guess which one gets taken out first. And if the weapons break, does it mean your programming of its toughness is not enough?! It’s all digital, right?! To put the overall CB battles in short, just boring and uninspiring. No wonder there is ‘time’ for players to chat or mock each other during the game. Hey, we pay to see you fight, not to chitchat!

If they didn’t put much emphasis on the CB game, you’d think the characters make up for it, right? Wrong! Not at all. The characters also feel as boring and as cliché as you would expect a team sports anime to be. Each has their own quirky personalities but nothing that interesting that would make you really want to like them and you only do so because they are the main characters. I guess the formula of dark horses, no hopers or former powerhouses regain their glory again and rising up through the ashes is what a lot of people prefer. This way, it gives more drama, story and characters to build on rather than starting off with the featured characters as overpowered powerhouse. And now with the new rules, St Union is back to being no hopers and dark horses again. So it gives a chance for them to rise up like a phoenix once more. If they ever get that far, that is. Like I said, this formula isn’t bad despite being done to death and so cliché. But this series didn’t do it well so here I am b*tching about it as an excuse.

So like Yuka being the ace and the poster girl of the group. As usual she is of the my pace and retarded kind. I guess this is to show that she isn’t really a perfect character. Because if she was really smart and elegant like we wanted her, she would now seem like a perfect and overpowered character. Something that we viewers don’t really like. Ah, I see we are such hard audiences to please. Therefore with Yuka being a retard (whose stomach probably thinks more than her head), this gives her more room to do as she pleases and not give a damn about the technical parts. It’s the reason why she excels in CB so well. She doesn’t give a hoot about all the technicalities and what it takes to be an ultimate player in the game. All she wants is to have fun and her goal is to fight Chikage again. How simple can you get than that? And also to show you she has some more imperfections, hence that depression period when she lost. You thought people like her don’t care about wins or losses but it seems it really got to her then. Yeah, even retards have got emotions too, you know? Hence, your excuse for an additional episode for her friends to bring her back because we need the much needed friendship bonding this series lacks. It’s a team sport, so go figure. I suppose they want to show something that binds the group together, hence this running joke of Yuka letting her teammates eat her sour umeboshi. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it…

And the rest of the other CB players in St Union, well, I’m not really impressed either. Reina starts off as the b*tch who opposed everything just because of her past and then once she somewhat got over it (I guess that is why sometimes it is good to have stubborn retards like Yuka who doesn’t know the meaning of giving up), suddenly she joins the team. However I do not feel like she is really into it like the rest of them. Probably because of her poker face. I have got this feeling that Reina is just in it to make up for the numbers although her enthusiasm for the game improves as they advance further. I mean, when your team has gotten to the semi-finals and then the finals, it would be just really bad sportsmanship to not give a f*ck and not give it all. Having a sister who is a good CB player feels like just to give her character some sort of depth and hence the possibility that she will be more inclined to return to her CB roots than continuing to be a bitter student council president b*tch. If there is anybody who tops being the most stubborn and persistent, it’ll be Yuka. Yeah, that retard again… Bugging people until they literally change or give in. See, people? Consistency is key!

Nina serves as the backup of the team and sometimes when you need some sort of variation (because seeing Reina, Miyuki and Yuka order gets boring sometimes), Nina is slotted in to provide that alternative. It felt like some sort of excuse for her to suddenly join the CB club so that we don’t have to waste on an additional episode for the girls to go search for that elusive final member. Uh huh. I guess Reina already did that so don’t wanna waste more time on that. Then you have Miyuki as the club captain as well as Ayumu providing the technical support. Somehow I feel with Ayumu being the tech wizard feels wasted. At least in terms of the CB game. Like I’ve said, CB could have been better if it was a team match of 5. Because Ayumu doesn’t participate in real CB matches, it just feels wasted. So as to remind her she is of the brains kind and not of the fighting kind, that’s why she wears that oversized lab coat. All these girls have their own past and problems to deal with but nothing that an episode in focus could solve it and have them get over it and move on. If only really life is that simple. And as for the other girls from other teams, I guess they’re so forgettable that I don’t even know their names.

Even Chikage falls under this pitfall since we only see her as the most powerful in the game thanks to the media’s exposure. In this case, because the anime told us so. Otherwise being the most powerful player feels like an understatement because if this was only in Japan, what about overseas like America whose technology is said to be even better? So is Chikage just a local village camp in this sense? And why is Makoto doing all this thing in a roundabout way? He had to disappear and leave his daughter worried about his whereabouts just to evolve the game to the next level? Is this some sort of placebo effect? I mean if he announces he is going to do this and that, either everyone won’t take him seriously or people will start getting unrealistic expectations. Hence he only observes from the shadows as it is best to see people in their natural form. That’s why Yuka is his best bet. So what’s the next step in his evolution? So like Ayana, will he take his research to the next level by going overseas? I heard CB is pretty popular overseas too in this anime but if you can’t conquer Japan, you aren’t ready for the world yet! Haha!

The art and animation are pretty okay. Just average if you ask me. The futuristic designs don’t really feel futuristic at all because nothing says about the era being futuristic when you spam live holograms everywhere! Yeah. So futuristic. And even if this is a VR game, why do the Candita have to wear sexy leotards during the CB game? Sex appeal still a thing here? The weapon designs also don’t feel exciting. It’s like the staffs wanted to design something quick and hence you see each players wielding different weapons for variety. After all, it’s not like they’re going to really have the weapon and perform some really jaw dropping moves, right? On a trivial note, I noticed that Takamori’s school uniform is designed like a male! Girl schools have all the pretty different designs so much so you can tell them apart from one anime from another. Guys don’t really have that much variety. So seeing Takamori girls in that kind of outfit, just weird!

For the voice acting, Juri Nagatsuma (Satone in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) did a really perfect job in making Yuka sound like a retard. Ryo Horikawa as Sieg and Makoto sounds like your weird pervy uncle and if he sounds like one only because he was the voice of Dragonball’s Vegeta. Yup, that’s the guy. The rest of the casts feel pretty average. They are Hitomi Nabatame as Reina (Yukiji in Hayate No Gotoku), Saki Nakajima as Miyuki (Dorothy in MAR), Kaori Mizuhashi as Ayumu (Ai in Aria The Animation), Mai Goto as Nina (Mika in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu), Atsumi Tanezaki as Chikage (Miu in Blend S), Yuna Taniguchi as Sugiura and Megumi Tateishi as Iida. The rock paced opening theme isn’t that bad, Heat: Moment by Miyuki Hashimoto fits the pacing and genre of the series well. Only had the series lived up to this, this song that is also a bit techno would have been so much better. The ending theme flows to a more light hearted pace despite a generic anime pop music. Circle-Lets Friends is actually a collaboration among veteran singers like Miyuki Hashimoto, CooRie, Yozuca, Sayaka Sasaki, Aki Misato and Minami. With so many of them, at least this song sounds a bit better. I suppose it’s better than having the St Union CB quintet handling it. Just concentrate on your game, girls.

Overall, this is largely a disappointing series. Lacking any sort of real story, unappealing characters and a sport that doesn’t even have much depth to it, it already says a lot on why this won’t likely be getting any sort of continuation. Maybe that is why there is not even any OVA for some quick cash grab even if they put in 100% fanservice that has nothing to do with CB. So if in reality our VR reality reach that advanced stage, I hope CB will not be one of those futuristic games that they will try and adapt in real life. Hence with the disappointment of the anime, I’m sure anybody can see why this sport will not even take off, let alone be famous any time soon. You want a futuristic fantasy fight? Lots of fighting games can satiate that fixation. I’ll still bet my money that Keijo would be a more probable sport to watch and enjoy. No VR technology needed. Just boobs and butts! Sometimes going back to basics is the best ;p.

After that rather tepid and lukewarm alternative spinoff story that was Gun Gale Online, I guess Sword Art Online (SAO) fans can now be happy that the next season of SAO would be continuing and adapting one of the more popular and important arcs of the series, Sword Art Online: Alicization. Yes, having an SAO series without the main character Kirito seems so off and weird. Even weirder for me was that I was having a hard time trying to pronounce or remember Alicization. I don’t know how, but I keep initially remembering and pronouncing it as alkalization. Heh. I thought with all the toxic acidity of online players in VR, maybe some sort of neutralization and alkalization is needed to bring things back to order. Damn, I’m getting side-tracked here…

Episode 1
In this 1 hour special, we start off seeing a young Kirito and Eugeo taking turns trying to chop down a tough cedar tree with their axe. Not making much progress. And this is all the mark that Eugeo’s 6 generations of chopping have left! They take a break when Alice comes by to give them her lunch. Because Kirito suggests getting some ice so their food can last longer, they believe the End Mountains hosts the coolest ice. However there is talk about breaking the Taboo Index in which the Integrity Knight of Axiom Church will whisk you away. Then there’s this legend of this hero, Bercouli who entered the End Mountains and faced off with a huge white dragon guarding treasures in the cave. He defeated it with a sword. Next day, the trio make their way into End Mountains. They stumble into a cave and find that the legend was indeed true. Dragon bones, treasures and a sword too heavy for the kids to lift. They aren’t here to steal loots and got the ice they want but realize they forgot which exit they came from. I guess it’s not down to guts, huh? Too bad it’s wrong as it leads them to Dark Territory. They see an Integrity Knight defeating a Dark Knight. The latter somewhat hypnotizes Alice to cross over to the Dark Territory. Although her fingers only touched the Dark Territory, this violation is detected. The trio return home without realizing the consequences they will be facing. Because tomorrow, an Integrity Knight flies into town and arrests Alice. She will be questioned before being executed. Kirito wants to save her but is of course no match. Eugeo is paralyzed in fear while the villagers hold down Kirito and they can only helplessly see Alice being whisked away. Kirito wakes up from this simulation world but doesn’t know why he is crying.

We now see Kirito and his harem trying to take down a group of formidable PK players in GGO. They manage to give our heroes the slip and escape with minimal casualties. Later Asada talks to Kirito about entering the next BoB tournament so they can face off with the legendary Subtilizer. With Asuna joining them, the topic changes to Kirito’s part time job as a tester of some virtual game. Asuna is worried because it is taking a toll on his health. This job that Kirito is doing is a new next generation full dive system developed by Rath. The thing is, to keep the secrecy and anonymity, any memories created in the VR world will be erased. Though he is certain it doesn’t put the stress on the brain like previous models. Then they talk about where the soul of a human’s body resides. Not really getting into all these terms now but that’s what Fluctlight sounds like. Hence the Soul Translator (STL) from Rath supposedly reads that Fluctlight. Yeah, it’s getting heavy so I’ll skip this. Anyway, Kirito’s experience was that he couldn’t tell he was in the VR world. Like as though it is a realistic dream. The only thing Kirito was told that the project is called Underworld. Like the one from Alice In Wonderland? As they part, Kirito tells Asuna he plans to go to America where the technology for full dive is more advanced. He wants her to come with him. But of course. And yes she will. Oddly, they kiss in the streets. Nobody watching? Soon they are confronted with a guy who is the last surviving member of Laughing Coffin. The guys go at each other and both are struck down. However Kirito was injected with a strange serum.

Episode 2
Kirito wakes up in this familiar VR world. Strange. Can’t log out. He also retains his memories of the real world. He then sees Eugeo trying to chop down the tree. Kirito makes up a story that he has amnesia so Eugeo thinks he is a Vecta, those who got abducted as a prank by demons and then released. Whatever. Kirito tries to test if Eugeo is an NPC but nothing conclusive as he might be a test player with restricted memories. Eugeo will accompany him to town but he needs to finish his job of chopping this tree. Kirito hangs out with him and learns he has a childhood friend named Alice taken away for stepping into the Dark Territory. He believes she is still alive in the central city. With the other terms like Taboo Index, Kirito can’t help feel they sound familiar. After learning how to draw out the interface, he also learns Eugeo’s Calling (fate) to chop down this demonic tree because as long as it stands, they can never expand their wheat fields. And they’ve been doing it for 300 years and 7 generations! Chipping it bit by bit every day! Kirito tries to help out with his sword skill but as expected, no significant impact. At the end of the day, Eugeo brings him back but is confronted by this arrogant Zink who thinks he is going to be the best swordsman as per his Calling. Because he badmouths Eugeo’s pathetic Calling, Kirito shows his swordsman skills to shut him up. Kirito temporarily lives in a church run by Sister Azalia and he gets acquainted with one of the young nuns, Selka. Kirito ponders about the people of this world. Like as though they were born and raised here from the start. Are they copies of souls of newborns who were raised in virtual worlds? The only explanation is that they could be artificial Fluctlights.

Episode 3
Kirito’s goal is to go to central city but with no money, he believes he needs Eugeo’s help. So he hangs out with him and learns Selka is Alice’s younger sister and some high level sacred art that could stop life from decreasing. Of course this means you have to be a lot powerful like those high priests in Axiom Church. Eugeo then drags this heavy Blue Rose Sword from the legend to show it to Kirito. That Bercouli legend again. It is believed this sword is made from divine intervention. With Eugeo still regretting he couldn’t save Alice, Kirito tries to help using this sword to strike the tree. Will it make a difference? Just lost 1 HP… Maybe he strike at the wrong place so Eugeo believes if he masters this sword, he can cut down this tree faster. But for now, back to the old fashion axe chopping. Later Kirito talks to Selka since she is now learning the sacred arts in place of her sister. He thinks she likes Eugeo as she is sad he hardly smiles ever since Alice was taken away. Selka was never told the reason Alice was taken away so Kirito tells her. Next day, Azalia wonders if Kirito has seen Selka since it is unusual for her not to be around. Then when talking to Eugeo about this, it dawned to him she might have gone to End Mountains since Kirito said too much. They have to bring her back before Integrity Knight does. Kirito will take responsibility and take Selka to run away from the town since Integrity Knight will only fly in the next day. Then they hear Selka’s scream. In that cave, they see unconscious Selka being kidnapped by goblins. Sure they’re not going to rape her?! Eugeo was so worried he gave away their position. Now the goblins notice them, their big boss tell them to kill those white boys because they cannot be sold. So do they rape young girls first before selling them? Eugeo is paralyzed with fear.

Episode 4
Kirito quickly devices a plan to fight the goblins. He gets the big boss while Eugeo gets the small fries. Thank goodness for his grass light that keeps them at bay. Kirito heavily damages the boss but takes some serious damage too. This makes Eugeo feel the need to save him or it will be just like Alice’s case. So he recklessly swings his sword and gets a fatal strike in his guts. Ouch. Oddly, Eugeo somewhat remembers the promise made with Alice and Kirito during their younger days about dying together. Mad Kirito now turns into Goblin Slayer to decapitate the boss. The other goblins flee. Kirito frees Selka and wants her to heal Eugeo. She is unconfident and comparing herself she isn’t Alice. Can we just try? Selka and Kirito transfer some of their life force to save him. Kirito then hears Alice voice telling him she will be waiting for them at the central cathedral. In the aftermath, Eugeo felt strange about that promise since Kirito only just came, right? But it felt like he was there before with them. Kirito uses Blue Rose Sword on the tree since his skill levelled up after defeating the goblin boss. Damn, the tree takes a massive damage!!! Eugeo pleads to Kirito to teach him swordsmanship as he wants to go to central city to save Alice. He has been regretting that for every day that he didn’t do anything. He wants to be strong so as not to repeat those mistakes again. Under Kirito’s guidance, Eugeo finally cuts down the tree! The village holds a party and because Eugeo completed his task, he has the right to choose a new Calling. Without a doubt, he wants to become a swordsman. Later he talks to Selka about his goal to bring back Alice with Kirito. She wishes him well but promises all of them must come back alive. Kirito and Eugeo soon leave the village. It’s going to be a long walk…

Episode 5
Before we forget this simulation is real, we return to reality. After Kirito was attacked, Asuna sent him to hospital and he has been in comatose state ever since. Although his condition stabilized, he might have suffered brain damage when his heart stopped for a few minutes. He needs to be transferred to a facility with better equipment. That was also when Kikuoka popped up to suggest this facility where Kirito could get the proper treatment. However when Asuna visited, they were told Kirito was to have no visitors and the supposed ambulance that brought him here never actually arrived. Asuna and the girls discuss about Rath and STL and Asuna with Yui’s help detect the last known location of Kirito’s heart monitor. The trace stopped at a port warehouse. Heading there, Yui even checked the security cameras that a helicopter took off on that day. There is a possibility that Kirito was taken overseas. Remember how Kirito went all out to save her? Now it’s her turn to save him. Trying to remember what Kirito said that may have been related to his job. Hmm… Medicuboid… Rinko… Shigemura Lab… University in California… Speaking of Rinko, she receives an email from Kikuoka that needs her participation in a project. She also receives email from Asuna. Rinko and her assistant, Mayumi Reynolds arrive on a pyramid-cum-oil-rig platform dubbed Ocean Turtle. Heading inside the command centre, here is Kikuoka. He welcomes them to Rath and is happy the last of the 3 indispensable people for this project has arrived. The other being Takeru Higa of Shigemura Lab who is devoted to continue Kayaba’s work. When Kikuoka refuses to disclose the other indispensable person, that is when Reynolds reveals herself to be Asuka! Surprise! Did Kikuoka not feel suspicious why Rinko accepted his invitation so easily? Asuna found her email on Kirito’s PC and sought her help. She has a friend who could hack things and that’s why she easily passed all the background checks. Asuna demands to know where Kirito is now.

Episode 6
Kikuoka claims Rath is the only place with the technology to heal Kirito. Something about using STL and Fluctlight and generate new neural network. The purpose of this experiment is to create a bottom-up multi-purpose AI. All AI are created via top-down approach. You programme it and it learns from there. However its drawback is that they are unable to handle situations that they have not learnt. So by using bottom-up approach, they try to copy a human soul and store into this Lightcube as medium for a human brain. Despite successfully copying a human soul, it seems they missed something. He has Higa show them a clone of himself. The clone is panicking and thinking he is the real Higa and wants out of this dark space. In the end, the programme crashes. They have tried copying 10 souls but none of them could bear the thought they are just a copy. Hence the next answer is to raise them from the start. Thanks to virtual worlds and the Seed, they managed to create a small world and start out a small civilization using Rath staffs. Using acceleration, in 3 weeks, 300 years passed in the virtual world and its inhabitants grew to a massive 80,000 population. A governing body called Axiom Church created laws known as Taboo Index. All inhabitants obey the laws without question. This is when Asuna realizes the project is to create AI designed to kill. Asuna knows Kikuoka didn’t say this to Kirito because he wouldn’t have participated in this project. Even AI have rights? Sure, they lack physical bodies but they are the same as living things. Kikuoka understands her concerns but to him, 100,000 AI lives are worth far less than an actual soldier’s.

As for why he needed Kirito, he needed someone who has years of experience in moving in virtual worlds. There was a girl influenced by Kirito who broke the Taboo Index. Ironically she is named Alice, the same name as this project. She is a highly adaptive AI known as Artificial Labile Intelligence Cybernated Existence AKA ALICE. Their goal is to convert a Fluctlight into Alice. Welcome to Project Alicization. Asuna manages to see Kirito lying in the machine. She is surprised he has a personal nurse: Natsuki. Unlike Kikuoka who ‘deceives’, Natsuki is a real nurse. Just that she graduated from the SDF nursing school. Later Rinko confesses to Asuna about the atrocities she did to all former SAO players. Although Kayaba planted a bomb in her chest to force her to collaborate with that project, it was fake. If Rinko was ever caught, she would not be implicated. Flashback shows Rinko started liking this nerdy and scrawny Kayaba. Oddly they dated and it’s not like he was ever interested in her but never pushed her away either. When Kayaba became a murder suspect for that SAO incident, she went to his lodge to kill him but couldn’t. Asuna doesn’t bear any grudges towards Kayaba or her. She is grateful that she managed to spend time living with Kirito in that world. It’s one of her best days of her life. Even though Kayaba’s crimes are unforgiveable nor if amends could be made, they have to continue to face what they’ve done.

Episode 7
Back to the virtual world. 2 years have passed since Kirito and Eugeo entered the city of Zakkaria. They honed their sword skills, entered a sword tournament, won and are now part of the garrison. Under the tutelage of Sortiliena “Liena” Serlut, their skills are further honed. Kirito narrates he has learnt the mechanisms of this world. In short, if you are filled with confidence, this could be enough to give you some power boost enough to rewrite the laws of the world. Kirito spars with Liena and loses. He has never won against her. Even if she is this good, she has never won against the top student, Volo Levantein. She also believes Kirito couldn’t beat her is because he is hiding some sword techniques. As she will be graduating soon, Kirito promises to show her his greatest skill as her graduation gift. Later Eugeo feels worried because if Kirito’s memories returns, he might return to his world. Kirito assures him he will not go home even if that happens because they made a vow to become an Integrity Knight. They are only here now because of each other. Kirito sees a blacksmith, Sadore to get some special sword done. It is going to be costly but will give it to free if he could swing it. Of course he flawlessly wields it and gets it FOC. While he is practising with it, he falters and attracts the attention of Volo. Normally it is forbidden to train on rest days but he will overlook this because he too is guilty of doing that. But he won’t let him go because somehow he got a puny dirt on his shirt. So they’re going to settle this via duel with real swords. Stop-short matches aren’t Volo’s style but he gives Kirito the choice. In turn, he throws that decision back to him because he is the one being punished.

Episode 8
Liena warns Kirito that Volo’s family tradition means his sword absorbs the blood of his enemies. He plans to convert Kirito’s sword strength into his and feed on it. Kirito believes Volo also has the power of imagination. As they fight, Kirito sees his entire family giving him strength. Sure, Kirito has his too. His friends and harem. But the killer support is the cedar tree! Yeah, his imagination must be so strong that his sword grows bigger! Enough to withstand Volo’s strike. Kirito could have faltered had not Azurika (the dorm supervisor) stopped the match. Liena holds a mini celebration for Kirito in her room. She reveals that Volo’s family sword skills originally belonged to her family. But a distant family displeased the emperor and they were forbidden to pass it down. So they develop other weird sword styles but Liena is nonetheless proud to master them. She believes Kirito’s style is different because he doesn’t feel inferior compared to those trained in traditional styles. That night, a couple of noble bullies who aren’t fond with Kirito’s win, Raios Antinous and Humbert Zizek destroyed his little garden. Kirito is sad because those flowers don’t bloom here and he is trying hard to bloom them in foreign soil via his imagination. The flowers are also a great significance to him as it symbolizes Kirito trying hard in a foreign land, not knowing if he could ever return. Then a mysterious voice gives him hope to ‘feel’ the meaning of magic. What do you know? They revive! Wow. Truly the power of imagination. On the final exam day, Liena faces off with Volo in the finals and beats him. Did the power of imagination do its tricks again? She graduates as the officially top ranked student of the academy. Kirito and Eugeo became ranked 5 and 6 respectively after their advancement exam and are promoted to elite disciples. Yeah, they’ve got a couple of cute trainees of their own, Tiese Shtolienen and Ronie Arabel.

Episode 9
As Kirito mentions, you can infuse your sword with some sort of pride of feelings to make it stronger. So what goes for Eugeo? Alice. But of course. Eugeo continues his training and his mocked by Raios and Humbert. They offer him to teach him and Eugeo shocks them by accepting a lesson from Humbert. Eugeo uses his unconventional skills to dodge his attacks and Raios is forced to end the match with a draw. Raios offers his lesson next time but gets irked when Eugeo replies he doesn’t mind it now. Eugeo tells this to Kirito who thinks that they may be acting arrogantly because they are reluctantly obeying the laws of Axiom Church. As long as the Taboo Index is not violated, you can do anything you want. When Tiese and Ronie complain to their mentors about their friend, Frenica Cesky being made to do inappropriate chores by her mentor, damn it’s that Humbert name again. Then they talk about noble’s pride in which nobles must use the power and privilege they have to protect the weak. That pride is more important than any law or regulation. So the guys confront Raios and Humbert. Of course they play dumb over Eugeo’s accusations. So it seems Humbert who was reeling from the draw tried to train more. This means having his muscles sore and hence having Frenica to massage him during bath. Eugeo is so mad he wanted to strike them but thankfully he didn’t bring his sword. He manages to keep his cool but warns them if there is no improvement, they’ll consider asking the instructors to investigate. Raios dares him to do as he please. Later Kirito warns Eugeo that they may be targeting him. Because had he lost his cool and done something wrong, they may use it as an excuse as impropriety and punish him with maximum penalty. So stay cool always. Then Eugeo tells Tiese the actions he has taken. He also wants to apologize to Frenica since this incident stems from that duel. However Tiese isn’t in favour in setting them up to meet. Instead, she tells how she will take over as head of her family after she graduates. Then she will marry to a guy with similar rank or a rank above her. She fears her future husband will be cruel. Can we see where this is going when she asks Eugeo for a favour while being THIS close to him? She is confident he will represent their academy at the Swordsmanship Tournament and compete in the Four Empires Unification Tournament and get a high ranking. She didn’t say it but I’m guessing she wants him to marry her when he achieves that tall order. I hope he didn’t get the wrong idea by accepting this.

Episode 10
Kirito realizes their disciples are late for cleaning. Suspecting something amiss, he goes to check on them. As Eugeo waits, Frenica comes in to tell that she confided in Tiese and Ronie about yet another inappropriate order. They went to talk to him on her behalf and have never returned. Eugeo realizes they were the target and not him. He rushes to their room and demands their whereabouts. They lead him to their room in which they are tied up on their bed. Raios claims because they have acted inappropriately, something they can use the higher Taboo Index judiciary to punish them as their family noble rank ranks higher than theirs. Hence they are going to rape them before Eugeo’s eyes! Eugeo is paralysed due to the Taboo Index he is bound to. But seeing the poor girls scream and pleading for help, I guess something activated in his eye that ultimately explodes? This allows Eugeo to move enough to cut off Humbert’s arm. Raios now uses this excuse to execute Eugeo. Before he can decapitate him, here comes our Kirito to clash swords with him. So great their clash that the windows shatter! Eventually Kirito cuts off both Raios’ arms. The scumbag panics as he loses blood. Strangely, he experiences some weird digital glitch before dying. Our heroes rescue their disciples but some strange system admin detects, traces and reports this incident. Next day, Azurica heals Eugeo’s eye (you mean he didn’t get treatment after that?). However she is here to hand them over to the Integrity Knight. In a way, she gives them encouragement because Eugeo was able to break a seal that she was never able to break. Now he is able to go where she was unable to go. The duo are shocked to see the Integrity Knight picking them up. Alice?! Alice Synthesis Thirty to be precise.

Episode 11
When Eugeo tries to touch her, she beats him up! Do that again and you’ll die! With Eugeo very certain she is Alice, Kirito suggests playing along so they can get into the central cathedral. Before they depart, Tiese and Ronie are kind enough to give them their swords? Of course confiscated by Alice. She is kind enough to let them speak for a minute? At least they say their final goodbyes. We take a break and return to Ocean Turtle. Asuna is surprised a robot is moving around on its own. Ichiemon is created by Higa and fine-tuned by Rinko. From what I understand, they are trying to make an AI robot auto-balance like a human’s body to create a near perfect humanoid body. We return to the central cathedral. Kirito and Eugeo are imprisoned in an underground cell. Kirito wonders if this Alice was the real one, what was that cave incident Alice spirit whisper thingy all about? Could there be a spell that manipulates memories? They use the chains to destroy each other because they’re both the same high level, using them against each other is like wearing down the other’s life! It works! Video game logic! I guess they can escape easily because nobody escapes here before so no guards or even if there are, they’re sleeping. Making their way through the labyrinth garden, Eugeo who is still bent and determined on bringing Alice back hopes that bringing her back to their hometown would blow away the fake memories. This gives Kirito an idea on how he could retrieve his lost memories. They are confronted by an Integrity Knight, Eldrie Synthesis Thirty One who claims Alice is her mentor. She had foresight that they would escape and had him stationed here for the night. He will send them back to their prison but first he is going to exact punishment.

Episode 12
Eldrie is formidable with his whip as Kirito and Eugeo cooperate to fight on the same footing. When Eugeo finally recognizes him as Eldrie Woolsburg, the winner of the Four Empires Unification Tournament, Eldrie panics and denies it all. He believes he was summoned by Administrator from the heavens as an Integrity Knight. As Eugeo discloses more info about him to revive his memories, Eldrie then ‘stops working’. This funny prism in his forehead must be impeding his memories. Before they can do anything further, an archer Integrity Knight starts sniping at them. The duo make a run for it. A voice in Kirito guides them safely into a portal. She is Cardinal and the sole librarian of this great library. There are records of everything here from the start of this world’s creation. But the records here are all fabricated by the pontifex of Axiom Church. All to preserve their rule over the people. This makes Kirito realize that Cardinal is a system supervisor and that she is actually the Cardinal System. She might be the system supervisor but the one who holds all the admin privileges is no other than Administrator who is also her elder twin sister. Otherwise she would not be stuck in here. Time for some history. When this world was created 450 years ago when humans descended on this world (employees of Rath), these Gods taught their children how to live before logging out. But one of them was filled with malice and selfishness that gave rise to nobles and Axiom Church. When the first political marriage was done centuries ago, Quinella was born. She tinkered with the sacred arts that include killing cute forest critters and healing the people’s wounds. With the people awed by her godly powers, Quinella started to rule over them and as time as the city grow, so did the tower they built to worship her that she resided. To continue her rule so that no one would be above her, she wrote laws that became the Taboo Index. However she grew older and fragile but just before her death, she somehow managed to open a list that contains every command (it is rumoured she may have help from outside admins). This allowed her to restore her youth and be ageless. Quinella went a step further as she doesn’t want the Cardinal System to have equal authority with her. However she ended up fusing her soul with it. That is the reason for the existence of this system as if there is any slight irregularities that skews the balance, it will be soon detected. Hence the constant observation of ‘players’. Now that Quinella is no longer human, she seeks to continue ruling and preserving this real forever as both supervisor and rule, the pontifex of Axiom Church.

Episode 13
After 70 years of rule, Quinella realizes her soul’s capacity to preserve her memories had reached its limit. She thought of copying hers onto by overwriting a child’s Fluctlight. That child is Cardinal. But doing so means Quinella had made a mistake. Now there are 2 Gods wielding same level of authority. Both started fighting (more like redefining object structures). But with Quinella holding the upper hand, Cardinal fled. Only 2 places were beyond the reach of the Administrator: Dark Territory and this great library. She isolated herself and has been waiting for a chance to strike back. Quinella anticipated her ambush and assembled loyal and powerful followers known as Integrity Knights. The first one being Bercouli. Cardinal continued to observe the world but couldn’t figure things out and that’s why she wanted a human collaborator. She has pondered why would the real Gods (Rath) let this fake God (Administrator) rule? Her conclusion is that Rath doesn’t wish for people of this world to lead happy lives. They are observing how people will resist them and slowly tightening their load. Eventually the greatest trial will arrive. In short, the monsters in Dark Territory will come slaughter all humans and that day isn’t too far off. Quinella has underestimated them and thinks she and her Integrity Knights would be enough to stop them. Cardinal has resigned to the fact that Dark Territory will besiege this world. Hence her conclusion is that since she doesn’t accept Rath, her only way is to turn everything in this world into nothingness. She needs Kirito’s help to eliminate Administrator and regain all her authority. In exchange, he gets to name a few Fluctlights he wants to save and she will archive them before he returns to his own world.

Kirito wonders if she is a copy of Quinella, shouldn’t she have that selfish and greedy trait? In her senses, eliminating Administrator and normalizing the world is her desire. But there is something she has wanted to know for the last 200 years. So she just wants a hug? Oh yeah. She feels so satisfied that she’s crying. Weird. Kirito accepts to cooperate but will still find a way to save this world. Cardinal doesn’t know if this Integrity Knight Alice is the same as Eugeo’s childhood friend but she knows a way to stop this Synthesis Ritual. Just take out that prism, Piety Module. As you have guessed, it seals their original memories and makes you obedient to Administrator. Of course this means you need to get the original memories back to fill that void. It won’t be easy as it is locked in the highest tower of central cathedral. Eugeo worries to fight Alice because killing her would defeat the purpose of his goal. Hence Cardinal gives them a mini dagger. When stabbed, it links an irremovable connection to her and she will use her sacred arts to put her into sleep mode to buy them time to remove the Synthesis Ritual. She can also help get their swords back in the armoury but that won’t be enough to stop the Integrity Knights’ terrifying amplifying technique. She has them think of their sword and then comes up with a list of commands to remember? Whatever. Now she has told and given them everything she could, it’s time to step back into the real virtual world.

Episode 14
After getting their weapons, Kirito realizes Administrator doesn’t intend to create an army but kept all their weapons here. It could be the pontifex is the one with the least faith in the church’s authority. They are attacked by that archer Integrity Knight. Kirito uses all the defence he’s got to defend against his flames. Once Kirito is out, Eugeo strikes a couple of lethal blows to defeat him. After archer dude learns about their excellent skills, he tells them there are other Integrity Knights waiting for them with orders to kill him. He knows he will be stripped of his knighthood and frozen for failing his mission. To avoid that humiliation, he wants them to kill him. However when Eugeo learns his name as Deusolbert Synthesis Seven, the Integrity Knight who took Alice away, he becomes engulfed in rage. He would’ve killed him had Kirito not stopped him. Let’s not be ugly in killing a man who doesn’t resist. Kirito believes Deusolbert doesn’t even have memories of taking Alice away. He theorizes he got promoted for bringing Alice. But to maintain his fealty as an Integrity Knight, those memories are also sealed because it would be weird if the sinner he brought in showed up as an Integrity Knight. Kirito has him remember if there is a memory that no sacred arts could manipulate. There is one but he can’t really remember much. They let him be as they make their way up and plan how to counter the other Integrity Knights. Then they spot a couple of cute loli chicks watching at them. Hello girls. Want to come out and say hi?

Episode 15
Fizel and Linel are sisters in training. Since Kirito isn’t good with kids, he lets Eugeo handle this. They’re quite nice and cute until they get up close and stab them with their poison daggers! Damn, they’re Integrity Knights?! As they drag them up the stairs, they explain that they are born inside here and their mission was to help Administrator in an experiment with resurrection sacred art. Hence they kill each other. However many other experiment candidates either explode or become monsters after being resurrected. After many failed attempts, the experiment is called off and since the duo are the only survivors, they were promoted to Integrity Knights. But they are confined to only studying sacred arts so they got bored and wanted their own dragons and Divine Objects. They heard about the escapees and thought it would be a good idea to prove themselves. In the top floor consists of top Integrity Knights and their vice commander, Fanatio Synthesis Two. They plan to decapitate the boys so the witnesses can report to Administrator of their great feat. Suddenly Kirito stands up and stabs them with their own dagger. He was suspicious the moment they popped up and knew they couldn’t be just sisters in training due to their dagger gear. Hence he recited some poison dissolving art while Eugeo was attending to them. He won’t kill them but will let them see how strong real Integrity Knights are. Kirito faces off with Fanatio and while the latter brags about her sword made from sunlight, Kirito strikes off her helmet, revealing her female face. She gets agitated thinking Kirito is shocked to discover that she is a woman and won’t fight at his full strength. Just like many others. However Kirito mocks her that she is the one being conscious of being a woman. He had his fair share of losing to female fighters and won’t hold back. Fanatio gets desperate as she summons some dangerous sacrificing move. Cue for Eugeo freed from his poison to summon his sacred art to frozenly bind her. But will it be enough? As he gets pessimistic about his chances, Kirito reminds him that hate will not defeat her. It is love! His love for Alice and those feelings aren’t in any way inferior to her justice.

Episode 16
In short, Kirito defeats Fanatio. After Eugeo uses some of his life force to heal him, Kirito still wants to save Fanatio. If she is erased, everything is for naught. Kirito gets desperate to scream for help. When no one replies, he uses the dagger on her. Cardinal takes Fanatio into her care. Now that they are free to make their way up, damn this cathedral even has a lift operator? She has been operating it for 107 years?! Oh Eugeo, it puts your previous Calling to shame. At the highest floor the operator could go, in this garden, Alice is seen resting. WTF she wants them to give her some time to bask in the sunlight? Probably an excuse so the boys could plot how to take her down. So when she is ready to fight, they have to improvise quick because her sword seems to be in perfect condition. They get blown away and even this is just a warning strike from her. Kirito challenges her to a duel as he asks her about her immense power that originates from a small tree. Something about how her sword was grown from a single Osmanthus tree when the Gods were building this nation. Hence as the oldest creation, its attribute is everlasting eternity. Kirito plays a little cheat as he restrains her so that Eugeo can freeze her. Unfortunately that is not enough as she manages to break out from it. Kirito tries to give another chance to Eugeo and strikes back. However the force is too great that the wall is blown open. The vacuum sucks out Kirito and Alice. Before Eugeo can go after them, the wall builds itself back.

Episode 17
Don’t worry. Kirito and Alice are hanging by their swords. Alice wants him to let go so he lectures her about Eugeo is going to go up and kill Administrator. Isn’t it her job to protect the pontifex? That’s why she must survive. In that case, why don’t Kirito let go? He mentions his mission is not to destroy Axiom Church but protect human territory from Dark Territory’s invasion. They talk about the arbitrary rules and laws set. For now they call a truce but once they enter the tower, she will slay him. As the walls are created with infinite regenerative abilities, looks like they’re going up. Using a chain to chain themselves together, Kirito then uses his skill to create wedges to climb up. Damn, this guy must be real strong and have a really good balance. Because Alice feels ashamed to do the same, WTF she has Kirito pull her from underneath. Is this her pride as an Integrity Knight?! Their goal is to make it to the 95th floor since there will be an open garden. Looks like this is going to take a while. We take a brief detour to Ocean Turtle. Asuna and Rinko notice a destroyer moving further. An agent is perplexed because it’s supposed to escort them. He calls Kikuoka about it. Back to the VR world, looks like they’re still a long way to go and it is going to be night fall. Noticing a ledge a few metres above, they can rest there. However, statues turn into monsters and start attacking them. Can they fight with their balance on the edge? Worse, Alice is scared?! WTF?! Mind boggling moment when Kirito uses all his strength to swing Alice up to the ledge. She then does the same to him. Now they can fight the monsters and easily slay them. Alice is baffled because these monsters are from Dark Territory and created by evil dark art users as soulless familiars called minions. How are these lined up on the most sacred walls of the human empire and how did they get past the detection of Integrity Knights? Could it be someone of high authority within the church placed them here? Because minion blood brings you sickness, Alice lends her handkerchief to wipe it off Kirito’s face. Have it clean and return to her before she slays him. Gee, how kind. Another excuse to delay slaying him immediately? Meanwhile Eugeo has reached the hot bath level. Don’t worry. Not sexy hot naked chicks. But a burly muscular guy with scars. Have fun…

Episode 18
It is no surprise he is the leader of the Integrity Knights and that legendary hero, Bercouli. Eugeo tries to take him on is blown away by his mysterious slash. Don’t worry. Bercouli won’t kill him since he didn’t kill Fanatio or any of the other Integrity Knights. He reveals his sword didn’t slash air but slashed the future! WTF?! Okay, more explanation how it was made by the Divine Object of a clock that existed since the start of this world. Eugeo prepares for his next attack as Bercouli guesses he is going for long distance attacks now. That’s what all his opponents think after seeing that move. Of course Eugeo thinks out of the box. He freezes everything and throws away his sword. This shock stuns Bercouli as Eugeo physically tackles him before getting his sword back to checkmate him. With everything slowly freezing, Eugeo’s plan is also to take themselves out because his blooming ice roses are sucking their life force. Eugeo then gets upset because Integrity Knights like him don’t remember their past and serve blindly to Axiom Church. Hey, you want to blame an amnesiac person for not remembering? Well, before Bercouli starts having a feeling those stories about him, then comes in this clown. Chudelkin the prime senator accuses Bercouli for treason because he did not use his other time ability that would have instantly killed Eugeo. Bercouli denies this and claims he has given everything he’s got while accusing the jester back he has deceived him. Chudelkin deep freezes him so that he would be reprocessed. However he feels Bercouli will not be needed anymore as Eugeo will be a better pawn. We take a detour to the awkward moment of Kirito and Alice spending the night together on the ledge. Kirito tells her about her sister. Starting to remember something? Yeah, keep denying. Despite he assures her everything he said is true, of course she doubles down and will slay him if there is a hint of deceit. She’s a really good tsundere, isn’t she?

Episode 18.5
Recap episode! What a better way to spend the night on the ledge and let time pass as Kirito tells Alice everything from start to finish. Although the visuals are 100% copy and paste (no new scenes, sadly) but at least there are some parts that Kirito narrates like a more summarized version of what has happened so far in their quest to bring back Alice. So now you believe? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Episode 19
Wait. Kirito narrating a quick recap on what happened to Alice? Yeah, I guess it’s for those who skipped that recap episode. Alice wonders why he is doing this and of course as we know, it is to protect this world from Dark Territory. He asks her back about the Integrity Knights’ chance in defeating Dark Territory and she remembers even Bercouli has his doubts but Chudelkin admonished him to think of a way. Despite nobles being corrupted, Kirito has an idea for the people to protect this world. With the large stash of weapons in the armoury, the Integrity Knights can help dispense their knowledge and skill to the people to have a fighting chance. They can at least be ready in a year. And it looks like Alice seems to have been taken in by Kirito’s words because she wants to see Selka and Kirito even promising to let her see her sister back at her village before she regains her memories. I guess she somewhat remembers since she is crying. When she decides to forsake her role as an Integrity Knight, her right eye starts to act up. She is in pain as Kirito finds a barcode in it. He believes if she tries to think differently and defy the church, this barrier will be activated. Empty your mind! Or your eye will explode! However there are things she needs to do and continues to defy. Meanwhile Eugeo finds himself possibly at the top floor of the cathedral. Who this sleeping beauty? A voice tells him to run away but too late, Administrator wakes up. She claims Eugeo wants to be loved and although he denies, the way she words everything makes him start to doubt. Like his mother who didn’t truly love him alone because she shared her love among her brothers. That’s why he hates them. Then there is that Tiese’s case where she was almost raped. He killed Raios because he hates him, right? But does Tiese loves only him? Alice? Yeah, she shows a past clip whereby Kirito and Alice are seemingly close to each other behind Eugeo’s back. With Eugeo in shock, Administrator goes in for the kill. She is willing to love only him. So… Sex = love? The deeper your love, the more she’ll bring him ultimate pleasure. Confused Eugeo hears to voice of Tiese, Alice and Kirito but are all soon blocked out. With Eugeo fully enchanted by her, she goes down on her. That’s right. Come into me! Deep inside me! Into eternal stasis! Damn, this could be good hentai dialogue!

Episode 20
Kirito and Alice manage to climb up to the balcony. Because Eugeo is not around, Kirito uses his System Call to locate Eugeo’s sword. Still below them. Entering the bath level, Kirito can tell the frozenness is Eugeo’s doing. Alice is sad to see Bercouli turned into stone but he is strong enough to break free at least his eyes and mouth to speak to her about some conspiracy and Eugeo being taken away by Chudelkin. As they move to the next level, Kirito asks about the senators’ role. Apparently they oversee the Taboo Index. If anybody breaks them, they send an Integrity Knight to deal with it. Kirito finds it odd since Administrator is giving lots of power to them to act as her proxy. Then they enter the room where all the senators are. Them inside chambers and monitoring everything. This is sure some freaky sci-fi. Then they hear Chudelkin screaming in agony in his room. Something didn’t go as planned? Alice confronts him and after he runs his mouth about her going to betray Axiom Church, he continues to reveal the sweet moment before Alice was synthesized. She was begging and crying and all. He revels just thinking about that. Alice then stabs him but it didn’t kill this fatty and instead he explodes into some red smoke to escape. Trying to chase him to the next floor, shockingly an Integrity Knight arrives to face them. Eugeo?! Alice finds it odd that the ritual can be done so quickly. Kirito is close to losing himself seeing his best friend in this state and ironically it is Alice reminding him that they need to stay calm and find another way to restore him or they will forever lose him. Kirito asks Eugeo if he remembers him. Nope. He doesn’t even want Alice or want to know anything about it. Administrator gave him what he wants and nothing else matters. I guess talk time is over. Time to see if the student can defeat the master.

Episode 21
Kirito and Eugeo clash with all they’ve got. No harm trying to awaken Eugeo’s memories by mentioning the important people in his lives. But did it work? Because Eugeo got a little sloppy. But then again, he could be trolling because after Kirito lets his guard down, he freezes them. He returns to Administrator who wants to give him his reward but first, she tries to adjust his Piety Module. Because she allows him to freely move, this chance allows Eugeo to completely break free and tries to stab her with the dagger. Too bad Administrator’s barrier is thick. She gives him a chance to redeem himself and forgive his sins if he destroys the dagger. Because her view of eternal love means eternal control, he mocks her as the pity one who has never been loved. Because Eugeo’s view of love isn’t something like a transaction or reward but something given continuously. With that, Administrator finds it a shame she’ll have to do force Synthesis on him just like how she it to Alice many years ago. Hearing that makes Eugeo mad. He charges at her and of course her protection is still intact. This is interrupted when Chudelkin comes running in for help. He thought of finishing off Kirito and Alice but he realized Eugeo fooled him and now they’re after his ass! Yeah, dumb joker just brought them back to this room. Eugeo is happy to see Kirito and Alice again but apologizes for giving in to Administrator’s temptation. Hence he thought he tried to atone for this himself. Don’t be silly. Kirito knew what he was thinking all along. Yeah, you sure had us all fooled. Maybe. Because Administrator senses something wrong with Alice’s logic circuits, she gives her a chance to say anything without any risk of reprimand. Alice explains how she has been disillusioned by everything, especially Administrator’s conflicting actions that would eventually bring harm to the human empire. This has Administrator thinking there is no error in the logic circuit and her Piety Module is still functioning. Could it mean she disabled Code 871 (the seal in her right eye) on her own? She then gives Chudelkin to redeem his honour by disposing off them. Chudelkin will gladly do it but pleads, to put it bluntly and crudely, he wants to f*ck her! Administrator agrees for a one night stand offer if he fulfils his mission. And we can see the power of boners makes a horny guy power up as Chudelkin summons a fire genie to burn them all!

Episode 22
While Alice distracts the genie, Kirito powers up and pierces Chudelkin. Well, that’s that. Easy. This spectacled allowed Administrator to collect some data and realizes that Kirito is a human from the other world. Kirito warns her about the impending invasion from Dark Territory while Alice derides her for planting false memories. Administrator knew of all the pain and suffering her Integrity Knights went through. That’s why she erased them all. It doesn’t matter what Alice feels, once she is synthesized, she will no longer remember or feel. Kirito then warns her about the other humans on the other side who holds absolute authority and they can eliminate everything just by the push of a button. But that is that same reason that Administrator reasons why Kirito has no reason to criticise the methods she uses. As she will not grovel before them or beg for her existence to continue, the only proof she needs is the control she exerts. Her feet exists to trample upon others. Hence she is going to show them the ultimate weapon that she needs to fight Dark Territory. One that is not even human. She combines all the divine weapons and turns into a killing machine named Sword Golem. All it needs to do is endlessly massacre its enemies. And it will taste its first blood as it stabs Alice. Being mad won’t do you any good because Kirito also gets stabbed. A voice tells Eugeo to stab the floating platform while Cardinal’s spider tries to hold it off. The spider dies but holds it off in time for Cardinal to pop out from her library and blast Sword Golem away. Damn, she has time to heal the wounded and even mourn the death of her favourite pet? Administrator must be real confident… So is Cardinal going to lecture this hollow fool about love?

Episode 23
Administrator claims Sword Golem isn’t just made out of weapons, they are actually humans. Hence Cardinal can’t technically kill them since they aren’t monsters. Administrator claims this is just a prototype. Once completed, she’ll use about 800,000 human lives to complete a perfect one and thinks it is enough to repel Dark Territory’s invasion. The source is the Piety Modules and all those crystals on the ceiling’s mural are actually it. Cardinal agrees to be defeated by her in exchange the lives of the trio is spared. Administrator blasts her several times. Gotta have some fun first, right? And then she is so kind so as to let them say their final goodbyes. Because Eugeo realizes what needs to be done. What he needs to do. From what I can see, he wants to be turned into a sword to fight Administrator because he realizes that she is resistant to metal weapons, the reason why his dagger cannot pierce through. Somehow Eugeo takes Alice’s Piety Module and then begins his transformation process. See, Administrator? Had you taken action earlier, this wouldn’t have happened. Too late as Alice staves her off until the process is complete. Eugeo the sword is able to destroy Sword Golem and gravely wound Administrator (because of the sword’s silver properties). But it comes with a price. Eugeo is left broken. Yes, his real body is split in half! Kirito falls into depression as Administrator heals herself. Fun time is over. Time to kill the last remaining brat. As she is about to slay him, suddenly Alice jumps in front to protect him. Damn, this awakens Kirito that he might repeat the same mistake so he gets even faster to draw his sword and protect Alice. Was Administrator that slow? With Alice passing out from exhaustion, it’s time for the final boss fight.

Episode 24
So for nostalgia’s sake, Kirito transforms into his trademark SAO uniform to fight. But Administrator knows how to counter all his sword techniques. Then time out. Because conveniently time for Kirito and Eugeo to talk things out and give the former motivation. Damn, do they have to make it look yaoi? Anyway, Kirito is now dual wielding with Eugeo’s sword. The fight continues. Administrator still b*tching she is the ruler of this world and how control = love. That’s why she loves everything. Can’t argue with that. Their swords are glowing red so this might as well turn into a lightsabre duel. In the end, they cut an arm of each other. Kirito still has an arm but Administrator no arms left! So how? Why, she uses her hair to strangle him! Damn, why didn’t she use this for multiple weapons? Was covering her modesty more important?! Anyway, Kirito dealt a fatal damage to her core. She’s all cracking up. Literally. She tries a tactical escape and hints she is bringing the fight to his world. But as she escapes, Chudelkin clings onto her, hoping to take her with him. She tries to shoo him away but he turns into a flaming ghost and burns everything. Damn! Is this how Administrator is taken down?! It’s like saying porn virus destroyed the main super computer!!! HAHAHA!!! With Administrator gone, Eugeo still isn’t dead. You mean he is still alive after being cut in half for so long? I guess this is good excuse so as to why Kirito can cry hard. Friendship talk thingy, blah, blah, blah. That scene whereby Kirito and Alice are supposed to be flirting behind Eugeo’s back? Actually they made a wooden sword for his birthday. See the power of context? Final goodbye. Time to walk their own path. Eugeo’s dead for good. You can tell when his body disappears. Kirito hacks into the PC and calls out to Kikuoka. Before he could blame the scientist, he hears a commotion in the back. Looks like military men are trying to storm into the place! With no time, Kikuoka tells Kirito to find Alice, take her to the World’s End Altar. Unfortunately the soldiers are trying to cut the power line. The Lightcube may be protected but the surge will hit Kirito’s STL. He’ll be fried. Kirito is confused when he hears Asuna’s name. Why is she here? Too late. The power cut. Kirito dying? WTF is this angel Asuna floating down to rescue him?! What a dramatic and confusing end…

Debugging Art Online
As we all can see and already know beforehand, there is going to be another season. Hence the final episode that ended in such a chaotic and dramatic way didn’t come off as surprising or disappointing. Well, maybe when the last episode suddenly ends. But after all, this arc is so far the longest arc and story in the original light novel series and since the anime is going to fully adapt its entire arc and being faithful to it, they are going to need a lot of cours. I suppose it is good that they decided to take a break after back to back twin cours since if they continued (it is rumoured that the total episodes for this Alicization arc itself is to be around 50 episodes), it could feel like a one long draggy affair. I mean, I have to say that the SAO series isn’t just for everyone. Not even for yours truly. Even if you’re a masochist and can binge watch the entire series, it is still good to go outside and stretch your legs, take a breather before resuming. Heh. Now I can see and understand why a few animes employ this tactic although sometimes my guts tell me it is for economic reasons.

Anyway, I’m not saying that this Alicization story is really interesting because you know like I’ve said, the SAO franchise isn’t for every Tom, Dick and Harry. For those who have reached this far into the original light novels, you have got to already be some sort of elevated status of a fan. I have been watching SAO since it was first adapted back in 2012 and I continued to watch all its TV series (but somehow skipped the movie, Ordinal Scale) in hopes I could understand something. But you know me. I didn’t really get a lot of the technical terms. This season’s Fluctlight and other technical terms I am still struggling to understand even as I type this blog. I feel that artificial soul is the best I could understand for what it means for Fluctlight but I am also pretty sure that isn’t as accurate as what the producers intended its definition to be. Then there are other commands inside the VR game like System Call and the likes which I am still blur in and going “What the heck are those again?”. Every time a character says those commands to open or change some options, it feels more like some sort of magical spell. You know, those charm lines you say when magicians and wizards cast a spell but only this time they sound like programming terms. The story for this season might seem long and dragging out but the way they flesh out the characters and other development, it is all not a waste of time.

Sometimes when I think about this whole Alicization story, it could have been actually another spinoff or an entirely different story not related to SAO whatsoever. It could have been a totally new story, make and change Kirito to another new character and voila, we’ve got ourselves a totally new series and anime. It doesn’t feel so much like an SAO series as the plot delves around 2 young boys trying to rescue a long lost childhood friend and at the same time trying to rid of the big ruler who rules over everything before the ultimate tragedy of the other side invades and destroys everything for good. And add some programming terms into their lingua. So if we substitute those programming jargons with classic magical ones, this could again be passed off as entirely another series. But of course it can’t be a totally new story altogether since Reki Kawahara, the creator of this series wrote this arc. But I guess it is better than those isekai animes of the main character being killed in the real world and reborn again as an overpowered one in another magical fantasy world! Uhm, can VR be considered isekai?

Just like how I said SAO felt weird without Kirito, it also feels weird without Asuna. Naturally as we can see from the flow of the story, Asuna is now reduced to a very concerned girlfriend waiting for Kirito outside while Kirito himself is probably having an adventure of a lifetime as he lays in coma. Hence the dynamic relationship now isn’t Kirito x Asuna but that of Kirito x Eugeo. It is a good thing that the series didn’t really show it in a way that makes it look like their friendship is going beyond just good friends and potential to be gay partners (f*ck the PC culture!). But just pure and hardcore friendship among the boys as swordsman. Perhaps the final episode was the closest into seeing that suggestive yaoi scene but it might just be our dirty minds. Kirito doesn’t feel so much as the sole star of this series as Eugeo too has his fair share of the limelight. Hence both of them being given enough time to develop and being fleshed out, by the end of this season, you’ll come to at least want to support them as a team instead of one over the other. Perhaps to a point that it would be weird if Kirito is without Eugeo and vice versa. Yeah, f*ck Asuna! At least for this season. So hardcore and amazing their friendship that you can see them in sync during the opening credits animation. Especially they have this weird sync of hand gestures. So weird but so cool.

With Kirito and Eugeo developing their (virtual) friendship, so much so that I never once think that they would end up in some weird romantic love triangle with Alice. Hah. It’s not that kind of series but you know me, I’m inclined to somehow think of that. I never thought of this until the series ended and it only makes Alice looks like as though she is a third wheel! Alice despite being the boys’ main reason and motivation to do what they do, she feels mostly like a side character and not really doing much. Partly because she has been brainwashed for most of the part as an Integrity Knight and even when she somewhat started to question her loyalty and then witnessed Administrator’s hypocritical actions, it’s not like there is a whole lot that she could do, right? After all, Kirito and Eugeo still continue to dominate as stars of this story. So sorry folks, no Kirito’s cheesy harem moments to get in the way of hardcore male bonding friendship here. Not sure if the next season will feature Eugeo since he is seen riding off into the sunset with loli Alice. Eugeo turning himself into a shota so that it won’t look like some pedo thingy might be the ending Eugeo and Alice need. Because that Integrity Knight Alice has may just be a vessel and several hints she may be a separate manner than the original loli Alice. But we’ll see when the next season rolls in.

The thought of Administrator playing God although she is just some programming entity, maybe her character doesn’t get me thinking a lot about her twisted thinking and personality but rather about the sentient life called reality. What if this simulation is actually what is happening in our lives in reality too? There have been debates about whether or not this reality is just a simulation and the things that occur after death that are beyond our imaginations. And what if there are higher beings than the one and only Almighty God we know? A lot of things about this simulated VR game can be drawn parallel to reality. Like God could just be another being because He has more access to shortcuts and other debugging stuffs that the rest of us don’t. Hence, administrator privileges. And God bringing Revelation and Doomsday to the world? That’s like you delete this game forever! Coming back to Administrator’s character, but think about it, can you blame her twisted thinking and definition of love because she is programmed that way? In a sense, it’s like as though she is written and setup to be an antagonist, don’t you think? And it was pretty ironic that a pervert took her down completely…

I wouldn’t say the action and sword fighting scenes are a masterpiece but the action bits are enough to satiate those who want to see some sword clashing battles. It feels like Kirito doesn’t have a lot of options what he can do here despite his Aincrad style somehow being carried into this world. His and Eugeo’s sword have their own unique properties and sometimes they seem like they pull off all the stops for that one exaggerated over the top moves but I guess it’s necessary just to show us how far they have come along and improved on their skills. And if you can’t hack your way through via programming, just hack and slash your way with a sword! I never expected to use both meanings of hacking here…

One of the superior elements in this season is that the art and animation are very good. If I should say, it is comparable to the standard that we see in Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works TV series. There are lots of high quality put into the visuals and it doesn’t disappoint. After all, A-1 Pictures have animated all its previous adaptations (except that alternate GGO spinoff) and it pays off here with an important arc like this one. Can’t disappoint fans of the series, can they? With a lot of hype that went about, it’s too big to fail! Thank goodness. So if the story is hard to follow, at least the high quality visuals may be something to give you the wow factor. There is also some CGI employed and it doesn’t feel disjointed. It feels seamlessly woven into the superior quality of the animation.

The first time when I laid eyes on Alice as an Integrity Knight, I thought she looked familiar. Isn’t that a more serious and zero perverted version of KonoSuba’s Darkness? Well, almost. Must be the golden armour. And more suspiciously, same seiyuu… Anyway, Administrator being a character who is mostly in the nude, I wonder if it is a lazy way out so as not to design some sort of fancy garb for her. After all, all of the Integrity Knights have their armour so shining and colourful that you wonder if they are a liability in battle. But as we’ve seen, they’re not so it looks like they look as good and nice as they are in their skills. But Administrator being naked all the time especially in the final stretch makes me feel weird. Imagine battling a naked last boss. Isn’t that distracting? Yeah, no backlash since Administrator is a smoking hot babe. Because remember that video game uproar for a naked final boss fight in Bioshock? Yeah, nobody wants to see a naked macho man monster boss… Isn’t it no wonder why Chudelkin brought Administrator down with him? Who could’ve resisted such beautiful pure naked body? Something to literally die for… And so it goes to show that something she deemed perfect became her undoing.

Voice acting is pretty fine too with new casts joining the line-up including Nobunaga Shimazaki as Eugeo (Yuno in Black Clover), Ai Kayano as Alice (Darkness in KonoSuba), Maaya Sakamoto as Administrator/Quinella (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Sakura Tange as Cardinal (Angela in Melty Lancer), Hitomi Nabatame as Fanatio (Reina in Circlet Princess), Kaori Ishihara as Tiese (Azusa in Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko), Reina Kondou as Ronie (Hana in Slow Start), Wataru Takagi as Chudelkin (Alaindelon in Beelzebub), Megumi Han as Liena (titular character in Mushibugyou), Hikaru Hanada as Deusolbert (Akihiko in Junjou Romantica), Ryuuichi Kijima as Humbert (Lenka in God Eater), Shuuhei Iwase as Raios (Yasutaka in Sankarea), Takeaki Masuyama as Eldrie (Ida in Nora To Oujo To Noraneko Heart) and Kaori Maeda as Selka (Mari in Back Street Girls: Gokudolls). The only new cast I recognized is Junichi Suwabe as Bercouli.

The first opening theme, Adamas by Lisa feels a bit chaotic. The frenzied pace of this rock piece tries to sound epic but to me it comes off as noisy. Except for the last bit which has a funky bass solo. That’s the only part I like. The second ending theme, Resister by Asca is also a rock outfit but it is toned down I think this one suits the pacing of the series better. The ending themes are slow rock with Iris by Eir Aoi being the first one and Forget Me Not by Reona as the second. I still prefer the former, though. There is a special ending theme for episode 19, Niji No Kanata Ni by Reona and this is quite a slow lovely ballad. Feels a bit disjointed from the series but I think this song is the one I like the most. I want to note that some of the sound effects are, how do I put it, deafening. Like when there is an epic magic sword clash or something, it’s like the bass and effect goes really loud and one kind. Are they trying to test my sound system or something?

Overall, not a bad season. An SAO series that isn’t your typical SAO, it feels both weird and refreshing at the same time. Infusing sword fighting with some computer programming setting? Strange indeed. After all, my experience with the first 2 seasons of SAO had this similar pattern in which the first big chunk of the series started off great but towards the end with its lesser arc, it disappoints. Remember that mediocre ALO that reduced Asuna into a damsel in distress for the first season and then the WTF Calibur and trying-to-prop-up-the-feels Mother’s Rosario in the second season? Yeah… Thankfully for this season, it is Alicization all the way and no disappointing small side stories to be distracted with. So huzzah for long story arcs? I promise I won’t complain about this story being draggy! Unfortunately no System Call or any delete button to erase those disappointing arcs. That’s why here’s to hoping the next continuation of this story would be a lot better to erase those dissatisfying ones. You can’t change the past but at least we can programme and create the future to be better. And no, delete and format everything isn’t the answer!

Canaan

September 29, 2019

I thought it was about time to complete my trilogy of girls with guns. After my stint with Noir and Madlax many years back, El Cazador De La Bruja was supposed to be next. For some unknown reason, I kept delaying wanting to watch that one. A signal that maybe I wasn’t so interested after all? And when I somewhat did, I thought it was strange. That Spanish sounding name definitely didn’t sound like the other two. They were just single named titles. WTF. And this somehow led me to Canaan. Not one of the original trilogy but still falling under the category of girls with guns. Sorry Mexico. Not going there this time. But Shanghai. Funny how some decisions make you go and end up where you are now?

Episode 1
While the streets of Shanghai is having its festivities, Canaan finished her sniping job. A monologue reminds Canaan despite being a victim of war, she mustn’t fight hate with hate. This will also not rid the world of hate. When she returns, Yuri Natsume who is her employer and informant tells of another job she has to do. A truck protecting an Unbloom was destroyed by Snake. Her job is to retrieve any survivors. If there are no survivors, it is likely the attacker are Unblooms themselves. Meanwhile, Minoru “Mino” Minorikawa is a journalist of a small magazine and is in Shanghai for an assignment. He hopes to make it big with a big scoop here. His assistant, Maria Oosawa seems to yearn to reunite with Canaan. Hence he goes off to get this old guy whom he thinks is some important figure in disguise. This leaves Maria by her own as she frolics in the festivities. There are a group of people wearing weird headgears. When it is removed, they go crazy and in a violent trance before dying. The people around think it is part of the festivities and don’t care. Maria has the misfortune to stumble into one of them as she realizes the mark on their bodies. She is about to be killed by masked guys but Canaan rescues her and takes her to safety in the back alley. No time for a reunion yet as Canaan ties her up with a wool yarn (a symbol of their friendship that she cannot break) and returns to her mission. Mino realizes his target was false alarm. Then he sees Canaan running around and real bullets flying about. With the people still frolicking, he realizes the people have closed their eyes not to accept this reality and think this is all part of the revelry. Canaan uses her super magic sight to sniff out the masked people and shoot them. Meanwhile, a truck with soldiers escorting a young girl, Alphard who is supposed to be the head of Snake is ambushed.

Episode 2
It’s Liang Qi and Cummings to the rescue! All American soldiers slaughtered and even Alphard takes out some of them before she escapes. Liang Qi informs that girl is back in Shanghai and can’t wait to kill her. However Alphard ignores her little sister and wants Cummings to hand over the report for some anti-terror summit in New York. There are things that must be done in order first. Mino goes through his film’s negatives and notices some of the weird marks on the corpses. Flashback shows his boss told him about the deadly Ua virus. Derived from the Swahili word that both means flower and death (hence the mark looks like a flower), its mortality rate is 100%. Maria was a victim of a virus attack in Shibuya a few years ago and only survived because her dad was a researcher and administered an anti-viral drug. Because of the shock, she has a little amnesia and doesn’t remember about the incident. Ironically, Maria came looking for a job in their company and Mino was tasked to look after her. At the restaurant, Mino wants to ask Maria more about Canaan. However they are ambushed. Isn’t that the old guy? He looks like a bloodthirsty mad killer now. Maria manages to hail a taxi driver (I nickname him Taximan for ease of reference) to escape. Taximan is equally crazy as he drives them to escape the trigger happy old guy’s hail of bullets. Maybe he needs some sort of thrill in addition to his mundane taxi life? So crazy that he drives his cab off an unfinished bridge! I don’t know how they survive and his cab still okay! Luckily Canaan is here. With the target now switch to her, the old man chases and fights her atop a bus. Smarter Canaan has him jump in the air so he gets electrocuted by the wires. One tangled fried old geezer coming up. Mino and Maria return to their hotel only to see it trashed with red paint. The only thing missing are their negatives. So spending the night outside isn’t fun. But are they seeing things because who this hot sexy cat girl babe???!!! Meow!!!

Episode 3
I don’t think Maria is going to believe Mino that following this cat girl, Hakko to her workplace where there are other cat women is going to lead him to the biggest scoop. Since Hakko can’t communicate well, Mino makes signs to interview her. Guess what? She shows her boobs! Best lost in translation ever? However Mino sees the mark but before he could ask further, the bartender, Santana kicks him out. He would have preferred him to touch her body but not her heart. Strange. So being a typical pervert is okay? Yeah, curiosity kills the cat. The duo stay in a different hotel but Canaan is able to find Maria thanks to her ‘different colour’. Mino wants to interview her but Canaan wants to hang out with Maria. With the girls having fun, Mino hangs out by himself. He sees Hakko again but this time in her normal clothes. Must be off duty. He tries to talk to her but since she doesn’t respond, he thinks she is a mute and shares his bread. Meanwhile Canaan and Maria are in some underground tram when suddenly it stops. Maria senses something amiss and rushes ahead. She should have known better than to leave Maria alone since the culprit is a young kid in the tram. Once Canaan realizes the trap is just a decoy, Maria has already been taken hostage. The kid believes Maria will come to her as he explains some complex synthesis of her senses blah, blah, blah, whatever. By the time Canaan arrives, a bomb is on Maria’s head and she can’t rip it off or else it will explode. The kid explains he is also from a village that was experimenting the Ua virus. And some gene mutation the virus did. Long story short, the kid accuses Canaan of killing his older brother. That old dude. The mutation caused him to be strong and agile but he aged fast. Canaan is able to sniff out the kid. Looks like his body can contort and hide in tightest of places. Yup, gene mutation thingy too. The effects caused his body to not grow. As time is running out, the kid swallows the diffuser. Flashback shows the kid is betting that Canaan will shoot him since he doesn’t intend to kill Maria. Maria can’t reveal that or he’ll kill her. To Maria’s shock, Canaan shoots the kid. Bomb still ticking. When the timer is over, the bomb is just some jack in the box. Canaan feels nothing but Maria is clearly shocked and shaken from what she has seen. Canaan notices she is beginning to show colours of rejection.

Episode 4
Maria is still depressed. She always thought Canaan was a normal girl. That moment wasn’t it. Canaan on the other hand wonders if she will lose it again. Flashback shows she was the only survivor in a decimated village. A soldier, Siam picked her up out of pity and trained her to be a mercenary. Canaan loves guns because they give off no colour. She hates blue as it is the colour of hatred and that’s why she is able to pinpoint her enemies. Remembering Siam’s words about not fighting hatred with hatred, Canaan knows it but she desperately doesn’t want to lose it again. It seems Siam was killed by Alphard and that was the first time Canaan lost something precious. Alphard attends a party of Daedala whom she is a majority stockholder of and the company will be hosting the upcoming anti-terrorist conference. She is sure turning heads with that stunning dress. Of course Canaan is also staking out at that party, waiting for her perfect chance. Mino gets more information about the mark. It is actually bulging veins that overlap each other. Maria is running around looking for Canaan. She needs to apologize to her. She realizes Canaan has always saved her from dangerous moments. It’s the reason why she is able to hold a camera. All because she met Canaan. She wanted to understand her but instead she blamed her and ran away from the guilt. She almost got into trouble with some backstreet ruffians but thankfully she got rescued by Yunyun. Not Canaan this time. Maria desperate to make a new friend that she wants to get to know her too? Alphard knows Canaan will ambush her in the toilet. She claims Canaan has fallen into the same place that she was. As they shortly fight, Alphard is clearly superior and can even restrain Canaan while keeping her dress clean! It must be hatred that has made Canaan sloppier. Alphard was once like that but escaped it. But Alphard won’t kill her yet since she still can have fun. Canaan is left to lick her wounds as she escapes, Alphard’s words still haunting her every move.

Episode 5
Maria is treated to Yunyun’s hospitality on her sampan. But Yunyun soon has to leave. It seems she is also an agent employed by Liang Qi. She has a special job for her. As the Japanese vice minister is visiting, her only job is to infect him with the Ua virus. Liang Qi will set up everything else. Yunyun is worried Canaan will pop up and kill her. In that case, just die. They have no other use for her. Not so funny now, huh? Yunyun goes to Santana’s bar to set up. She meets that Hakko. They know each other and Yunyun doesn’t want her to further get involved in what she’s doing. Just live the rest of your life happily. When the Japanese vice minister enters, Yunyun and Hakko serve them. Yunyun tries to spike his drink but this guy rather have the sexy Hakko serve him. After Mino tells Maria about the mark and the veins, thus they head down to Santana’s bar to get some answers. Yunyun runs out upon seeing them. At the back alley, she is shocked to see Canaan next to her. Fumbling to use her gun? Don’t worry. Canaan teaches you! With the guys insulting each other, Maria leaves only to see Canaan threatening Yunyun for info in which she doesn’t know. With Maria protecting Yunyun, Canaan sees the sadness in her eyes and leaves. She’s just a killer in her eyes now. Thank goodness Maria is here or she would have really killed Yunyun. Oh Yunyun. You’re such a lucky girl!

Yunyun then gets a call from Liang Qi who knows she has failed. She gives her a last chance to use Maria and die with Canaan. Hence this desperate joker uses Maria as a hostage to lure Canaan out. Yup, she’s strapped herself with dynamites! Going to blow themselves up together? Yeah, tumble into the river together. Yunyun tries to hold her down and drown together. When Canaan thinks of slicing her to break free, she remembers Maria’s sad face. Canaan drags them out to the side. It’s not that she doesn’t want to kill her, it’s just she doesn’t want to make Maria sad. When Mino returns to his room, Maria beats him up thinking he is trying to rape Yunyun?! Actually he spots a mark on her butt. She claims she is a Borner ever since that incident at that village disappeared. Her ‘special power’ is having 2 appendixes. It doesn’t have any kind of power. She knows nothing more about Snake and feels useless. Maria disagrees. Because she manages to help reconcile her friendship with Canaan, she is now their friend. Mino can help her financially to break free from Snake but in return she is to be their special correspondent since she blends well by having experience in multiple jobs. The Japanese vice minister is done in by Cummings while he is taking a massage service. Cummings wonders if Liang Qi intends to get Yunyun go. She is confident she will come back because she cannot live without the drugs. Otherwise she has chosen death.

Episode 6
Mino thinks his journalism effort has been recognized since he receives a reporter pass to the anti-terrorism press conference. But he’ll let Maria cover that as he goes to talk to Hakko for more details. As he questions her, the moment she speaks, his head starts to hurt. The conference begins and as Maria snaps pictures, Alphard approaches her. She is unsure if Maria is playing dumb not to recognize her. The US president is really making a weird speech about love and peace (this guys should be a comedian) and it is probably cue for Liang Qi to set off the bombs. The place is in panic but the bombs have cordoned off all exits. After Mino recovers, he barges back to Santana’s bar to question Hakko if that is her special power. But here is live on TV that the press conference is under attack. Time to call Taximan and make his way there. Maria is brought to the control centre where Alphard and Liang Qi are waiting. Liang Qi calls Canaan (it must be a long way running towards the convention centre via sewers) and tries to rile her by threatening Maria. Instead, it is Liang Qi who gets riled up as Canaan and Maria ignore her to reassure each other. Liang Qi is at boiling point and wants to kill Maria but is stopped when Alphard fires a warning shot. She warns her about letting her hatred get the better of her and those with such hatred should be disposed. What is it that Liang Qi wants? Love. Love of her nee-sama of course. Alphard tells Liang Qi to end her games and get to work. Then she tells Maria that her role is to live. In the underground shelter where all the politicians are taking shelter, the Japanese vice minister starts to feel sick. The Ua virus begins to take effect as he dies a bloody death.

Episode 7
OMFG! Canaan is so fast dodging the bullets that the soldiers shoot each other?! Liang Qi wants to go handle Canaan but with Alphard warning how mistakes will arise when one doesn’t listen, Liang Qi throws a childish tantrum and storms off. The White House staffs deliberate on how to save the situation. An option is to get the vaccine in which Kenji (Maria’s father) administers. Unfortunately the moment he leaves his building, his car explodes! So much for that. Time for Plan B. Alphard then speaks to the politicians holing up in the safe room. She informs that all of them are infected with the Ua virus and in no time will die. However America has decided to make sure they go out in style and they have ordered the stealth bombers to bomb the hell out of this place! When Maria doesn’t remember a thing, Alphard beats her up and tells a back story of a soldier who trained a couple of kids to become mercenaries. Both shared the same name. Alphard’s real name was Canaan but she tossed it away a long time ago. Alphard takes her men to leave once it’s time. Canaan then comes in to rescue Maria but is told of the situation. Yuri sees Santana since he has a secret room with hacking devices. Wow. Those still work? She contacts Canaan and tells her intentions to hack some American satellite. Kenji is seen dropping into the convention centre. Actual footage shows that explosion was fake and edited just to bamboozle USA into using this bombing order. With the stealth bombers already dropping a bomb, Canaan’s ability now goes digital? I don’t know what she sees but eventually she sees it. The bomb explodes. However everybody is still alive. Something about Canaan and Yuri managing to change the GPS coordinates of the bomb. Yeah, it didn’t hit the convention centre but I hope there were no people at the spot it exploded. The stealth bombers abort mission, the White House are left guilt-ridden and red faced due to their ‘incomplete mission’ and Yuri lecturing Santana about forgiveness will not be waiting for you at the end of running away. Canaan starts to feel weird. She now cannot see colours. At least the colours she has been accustomed to be seeing.

Episode 8
Mino has connections to Kenji as he asks about Ua virus. Kenji believes there can be no survivors because before any mutation can take place, you would already have been dead. But with Mino believing there are survivors lurking, could it be related to the disappeared village? It could be possible that Snake has a vaccine and taken in such people. Alphard calls the White House and even offers America to keep their power among the third world countries under the guise of protection but in exchange for some arms deals. As long as they need a conflict somewhere, feel free to call Snake. Alphard then orders Cummings to destroy the factory that Liang Qi left behind. Hakko is reeling from her past whereby she didn’t know her voice was destructive. She tried to calm a boy who lost his mother but little did she know the more she spoke, the more pain he felt until he exploded!!! Maria takes Canaan out. The latter feels weird and is not used to this normal sight as she cannot see colours. Nearby, there is a street concert put up by this idol, Nene. Taximan is a big fan of hers. Hakko is also there too. Unconsciously she starts singing along and this affects everyone. Luckily she realizes it and stops but ultimately feels sad. Mino now confronts Santana. He thinks he is forced to work under Snake in exchange for medicine. He wonders if he a member of Snake supervising Hakko. Because Hakko wants to go to the disappeared village, road trip! Mino and Santana make horrible road trip singers… We also hear Maria expressing to Canaan she always felt empty until she met her. Yeah, another big thanks to her somewhat. In turn, Canaan was worried when she couldn’t see colours but always knew Maria was a kind person even if she can’t see her colours. That night as they sleep, Hakko tries to strangle Canaan. Of course she fails and escapes. You mean nobody was awakened by this commotion? The guys do but that’s only after Canaan went after Hakko. Santana mentioning how Hakko has not forgiven him as he was the one who destroyed her village. Canaan doesn’t intend to kill Hakko but find out why she is hated. Of course she can’t speak but Canaan ultimately could read her lips. It seems a sad Hakko blames her that it’s her fault. The road trip continues and they see a manjuu seller out in this isolated place. Yunyun?!

Episode 9
Yunyun pretends not to know them but I guess she has no more strength to peddle. Hop on. We’re going to the same place, right? Cummings reports Liang Qi at the factory. He is shocked when Alphard orders him to kill her. Yunyun explains she is heading to that village because if she’s going to die, might as well where she came from. As for the medicine, you can’t get it from anywhere else since it is tailored specifically to that person’s symptoms. And then Maria starts punching Yunyun because she doesn’t want her to die? I think she will at this rate! Awkwardness interrupted when a strange masked guy starts firing his machine gun at them. Canaan has a hard time approaching since she lost her ability. Hakko then screams out not to kill him. After temporary dizziness in every one, the strange just explodes and dies! Some of them recognize him as one of the locals. Santana points out to him as an Unbloom. Arriving at the village, Santana tells Mino what really happened. Santana used to work with Langley from the CIA. Under the pretence of disinfecting the town of some virus, they were the ones who spread it. They also test out the vaccine’s effectiveness on them. The result was the entire town turned into a hellish monstrous nightmare. Santana discovered the truth later and quit. Subsequently he stumbled upon into Yuri and they both shared the same goal to blackmail the CIA into revealing the truth. He further explains about Borners (those affected and were given special bodies as side effect) Unblooms (those who couldn’t become Borners and Snake keeps them to find out why they failed). Crazy Liang Qi flies in trying to kill Canaan. However Alphard also flies in trying to kill Liang Qi. Cummings tries to shoot Alphard but his gun is fake. Alphard lets him say a last word before she kills him. She shoots him with a fake gun. Liang Qi retreats. Alphard then finds Canaan lying in the ruins. She thinks Canaan lost her ability since she didn’t see her coming. Alphard reminds her about that desert train mission in which Siam died. Canaan claimed her tattoo is prove she has family. Siam was her light. But now she has a new light. That’s why Alphard wants her to live. Canaan’s power might be coming back because she sees strange colours on Alphard. It is the same as Siam. When the rest gather, Santana is ready to shoot her but Alphard advises against it. She tells him her next plan is to destroy the factory so no more corrupted flowers will bloom again. She also leaves a message: Canaan’s real name is Despair.

Episode 10
Santana’s plan is to expose CIA’s cohorts with Snake. Then the government cannot continue to cover this up. This way there would be free flow of the medicine. The factory is disguised as an abandoned village. Inside, looks like somebody had thoughts of Resident Evil so several zombie Unblooms are released. Don’t worry. You won’t turn into one of them when they bite. But this scene activates Hakko’s trauma. She runs away into a room whereby a video of Liang Qi wants her to join her to kill Canaan. She reveals this factory was built so that a second Canaan is created. After all the sympathetic words, Hakko isn’t moved. Canaan may have started all this but it was Liang Qi who dragged everyone else into this mess. She will not join her. Further flashback reveals Santana pleaded to Alphard to take Hakko with him. She agreed as long as he forgets this place and play by their rules. Though, Liang Qi was against it since Hakko is a valuable Borner. Hakko enters Liang Qi’s room and starts ranting about her pitiful state. To her shock, it is actually captured Santana who is strapped onto the seat. Hakko is left in despair while Liang Qi (in another video) laughs her ass off. Santana doesn’t blame Hakko. Because he knows he isn’t going to make it, he wants Hakko to say she loves him in her voice. Uhm, you want to say that louder? I don’t think he heard you. She keeps repeating it until he dies! Liang Qi then activates the entire factory. Something about cancelling out normal noises. While this means everyone is resistant to Hakko’s voice, only Canaan will be affected as she processes her senses differently. Hence Canaan starts experiencing a massive headache since a despaired Hakko continues to be a broken recorder. Mino tries to approach her since Santana has him promised to wake her up from this dream if something happens to him. Luckily Hakko is a bad shot. He still took some bullets before managing to hug her. Meanwhile Maria and Yunyun stumble into an underground lair. To their shock, is that Canaan stuck in some ice? Yuri is also here and she sounds like she doesn’t want witnesses over this secret.

Episode 11
There won’t be dead girls for now since Alphard wants Maria and Yunyun to return to Canaan. Yuri thinks this is a big mistake but Alphard knows she only cares about the data. Alphard no longer has interests in this disgusting experiment and hands over the Borner data to her. After that she burns everything in this lair to the ground. Not sure how Mino survived all that but Canaan managed to drag him out. After all that he just got an arm injury? Reuniting with Maria and Yunyun, Canaan decides to go back in to rescue Hakko. She has to move fast as she sees American special forces moving in to raid the place. Liang Qi is on the verge of madness. Then Alphard pops up. She gives Cummings a chance to show his love. Cummings tries to convince Liang Qi to return but she beats the sh*t out of him. With that, Alphard tries to kill Liang Qi who is now a super masochist, enjoying every pain nee-sama brings to her. But when she wants to be killed by her, Alphard leaves it to Cummings. Then they see on the footage, Canaan slaughtering the special forces and this makes Liang Qi super mad again. So mad that she swallows some experimental drugs that of course drastically changes her body. She is now frail and old. Alphard reveals that she has known this letter that was written by Siam addressed to her is fake. She knew it was Liang Qi’s ploy to let her be captured by the Americans so that she can come rescue her. She knew the letter is false right away because Siam never addressed her as Alphard. It is then Liang Qi hears Alphard’s real name as Canaan. Now she has gone full blown crazy. Seeing her frail self in the mirror, she thinks she sees Canaan and wants her dead. She is so psychotic that she will do anything, including returning Cummings’ love, just for Canaan to be killed. So tearful Cummings shoots her. Finally this crazy drama is over. Alphard observes how love is such a troublesome thing. Canaan finds Hakko. She’s making out with Santana’s corpse? Long story short, Hakko can’t go with her and gives the medicine so she won’t return empty handed. Cue for the place to collapse so Canaan can get her ass out. Canaan returns to Maria. After she takes a photo of her, they just give each other a long hug.

Episode 12
Canaan is still reeling from despair. But with Maria around, she breathes a little better. Canaan, Maria and Yunyun take a train trip. When the train suddenly stops as the guards at the checkpoint do their inspection, this triggers Canaan’s trauma. She rushes to the front and sees Siam sitting there. Could be just her hallucination as she also sees other dead people whom she killed. They’re all blaming her. Siam tells her not to over rely on her senses. Because it warps her senses and makes her overthink. This also makes her lose her sense of truth. He wants her to see things as the way they are. Meanwhile Alphard approaches Maria and Yunyun. It seems she wants Maria to live up to her duty to awaken Canaan’s true power as she is still living in the stone age. Maria agrees to do that but in exchange wants to take a photo of her. She realizes she can’t walk alongside Canaan anymore. The moment she does that, Alphard shoots and wounds her. When Canaan realizes the light she needs to protect now, she rushes back. She only sees Alphard. She can see Maria’s blood trails as Alphard tells her she locked up the duo in the back of the train. Oh, there’s a bomb too. So if Canaan wants to save her, let’s keep their playtime to a minimum. Both start shooting each other in this narrow carriage. Both having different interpretations of Siam’s teachings. From what I understand, Alphard points out that Canaan was the one who killed Siam. Because had she not been there, Siam would not have been killed. Hence Alphard doesn’t intend to kill Canaan but rather shoot through the ghost of Siam. Yunyun tries to find a way to free themselves. However Maria knows she cannot make it and tells her to go it alone. Yunyun manages to climb out of the window and derail the last coach. Maria doing her monologue of Canaan as her light but because she is being loved and protected by her, this light also casted a shadow on her heart.

Episode 13
What’s this? Alphard is starting to feel scared of Canaan? Because her eyes are looking different now. She is now seeing the way things are. So scared that she can’t even shoot straight? Damn, role reversal and Canaan is the cool cat now. Alphard tries to escape but Canaan chases after her. She believes Maria is still alive. She might not be able to see her colour but she can sense her kindness. Indeed Maria is still alive because Yunyun changed her mind and ran all the way back to grab her out before the bomb explodes. Alphard laughs when Canaan claims Maria isn’t her light but her friend. Alphard then realizes Siam called her once by this name. It was before his death. He told her the meaning of that new name is solitude. She tries to kill herself by dropping off the train but Canaan grabs her hand. Canaan relating the day Siam died, she moved on and met new people. Hence Alphard can’t die because she is already dead? Huh? Wow. Canaan so philosophical now because she means her heart died the day Siam died. That’s why Canaan wants her to live and won’t let her die. Alphard is left to reminisce Liang Qi’s words about being stuck in the past. It was Alphard and not Canaan who is still trapped in the past. To free herself from this haunting, Alphard shoots off her own arm! Long way down the ravine… We see Maria together with Canaan despite just a dream. It’s like a goodbye because Canaan says they can’t be together anymore. Maria wakes up in hospital (sorry girl, not heaven) and Mino updates her Yunyun carried her most of the way back until he picked them up. He tried to contact Canaan but she ‘vanished’. Maria feels sad Canaan won’t let her stand by her side till the end. But Mino believes this is what Canaan had wanted. To protect her. Even if they are 2 different persons, Maria can still get closer to her via her heart. After all, it’s her kindness that bonds them together. Mino is thinking about a career change. He visits Santana’s bar one last time. Damn he is going to miss this place. And Hakko’s ass. Taximan picks them up to the airport as Maria praises how amazing Canaan is. We get it for the umpteenth time. It’s goodbye, right? Better have some closure than none. In the aftermath, we see Yunyun doing odd jobs, Cummings is now a monk (?!), Alphard hinted to be alive because there isn’t a one arm woman in Shanghai but her and Maria back in Japan organizes a photo exhibition of her exploits in Shanghai. Finally, Yuri still hires Canaan for certain jobs. This time her target is a certain one armed woman.

The Holy Land Of Deadly Virus, Raining Bullets & Past Ghost
This sure looks like a bittersweet ending. Our main female leads didn’t get to end up together. Not that I am expecting something yuri to turn out from that short reunion but I guess it is better this way that they lead their separate lives. As said, they are from both different worlds and from the looks of it, the entire time their reunion sometimes felt like they’re trying to get into each other’s way. You know, Maria just wanting to be Canaan’s equal and Canaan just wanting to protect her. So to say, had Maria not returned to Shanghai, all this trouble would not have surfaced? I don’t think Maria will be going back to Shanghai anytime soon. There’s no reason to. That’s what that final episode ‘goodbye’ was all about, right? Then there’s the curious case of Alphard. She got an arm blown off and miraculously survived that long ravine drop (thank goodness there’s a river below) and is her business with Canaan considered finished? I mean, I thought she wanted Canaan to display her true powers but looks like it wasn’t what she desired. Alphard’s a survivor so don’t write her off yet but how relevant is she after this? What will be of Snake? What about that terrorism business partnership with America? Nothing to do with Canaan so don’t really care at this point.

Despite being just a single cour series, I find it hard to understand the general story and what is going on in the overall picture. Maybe that’s why I didn’t understand? Too short? But if they somehow managed to drag it out to another cour, will there be a guarantee that I would understand better or just be even more confused? It might look like some terrorism via biological warfare on the surface. But eventually it is something much deeper than that especially the connection between the 3 main female leads of Canaan, Maria and Alphard. I think. So basically the story and plot itself is intriguing. However due to many parts that I couldn’t understand, it somewhat hinders me to enjoy this series as a whole. After all, this series was conceptualized by co-founders of Type-Moon for a visual novel game, 428: Shibuya Scramble. Since I didn’t play that game nor even heard of it until I was watching this anime and doing my lazy Google research, I’m not sure how much both series are related to each other. The Ua virus, Snake’s factory for manufacturing all this, I feel they are just touching the surface and didn’t go in too deeply to be fleshed out. It feels like as though you need some sort of background knowledge before watching this series. Because at the end of the day, I still don’t really get the difference between Borners and Unblooms. Are they the same but just different in desired outcome? And in the end, they don’t really matter because if Alphard has lost interest in them and could easily throw them all away, should we care too?

The action is the main draw of the series though I would pretty say it is just pretty much standard. But it is not swift gun totting all the way as they have to make room and weave some character development in it. Therefore the action scenes I feel are rather okay. Exhilarating for that short burst of adrenaline but compare it to animes like Shingeki No Kyojin, yeah it’s just average. Sorry. Looks like my standards have really gone up in this category. And perhaps I have come to expect something when I skim through the reviews about this anime being action filled. Good action, yeah, okay. Masterpiece top 10 action of all time? Nah, not really. But I have to admit that some action scenes are quite enjoyable to watch especially Canaan and Alphard trading lead with each other in fast paced mortal combat. What do you expect when you pit the best among each other?

Other than the action, the character development especially among the main trio is also important but like I’ve said, there are some aspects that I already do not understand and therefore couldn’t go forward when bits of their past and history are further revealed. So to condense it all to a point that I understand, both Canaans are trying to get over the ghost of their past and that link is Siam. Alphard being the calm and composed antagonist, Canaan is her obsession because of her need to prove her own hatred is the only way to conquer her past. It’s a reason why she pushes Canaan to her limits and do not kill her outright. Canaan on the other hand is also cool, composed and lacking any emotion. Except whenever Alphard is in the picture. Then she gets her emotions overwhelmed and Alphard usually owns her at the end of the day. So it’s like the battle of the one with the calmer head wins? It is evident like we see in the final episode where the tables were turned.

Maria might feel like the weaker link among the trio and making it hard for me to appreciate her character is how her back story was never really fleshed out. It was just merely pinpointed that she was a survivor of the Ua virus during a viral attack on Shibuya. Also her initial friendship on how she became friends with Canaan felt like it was merely skimmed through. The series does a decent job in portraying and developing the relationship between them but that is only what we see on screen and currently when they reunite once more in Shanghai. Maria and Canaan as 2 females giving each other the strength to live, it’s nothing really new or ground breaking in terms of storytelling and character development but as far as this series is concerned, better to see the colour of life than the colour of death!

On a side note, I wonder if Maria’s character was cheekily named so. I’m not sure if the creators were aware of this but Maria Oosawa definitely sounds too close to Maria Ozawa! You know… The famous porn star!!! I know the different kanji writing but still too close to call. Yeah, the first time I heard Maria’s name, I had to do a double take so as to confirm my ears weren’t playing any tricks on my simpleton pervy brain. Coincidentally this series was released back in 2009, the same period where the said porn star reached the pinnacle of her popularity! Is this why there is this running joke in the series that this photographer Maria is always teased for her small bust size? As opposed to the porn star who has somewhat a voluptuous figure? Strange… Too much to be called a coincidence but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the creators.

Yunyun I feel her character is primarily written as a comic relief. A joker of the series. Almost every move she makes. Almost every word she says. Almost every reaction she reacts. It’s like she is born to look and sound this funny no matter the situation. She would have been a natural clown had she not get involved in all this mess. Seriously. Heck, even her Borner ability is a joke. The thing about Yunyun being this joker character is both good and bad. During times of conflict and high tension, Yunyun’s presence can mostly take some of that pressure off thanks to her comical actions whether she intended to be funny or not. I mean, taking Maria hostage to lure Canaan out and then trying to blow herself up? And failed spectacularly? While making it all look like a joke? Only Yunyun can pull that off! While Yunyun is welcomed as this sort of comic relief, sometimes it really makes her out of place. In such serious and tense moments, and now here is one of Yunyun’s antics. It just feels so weird. It’s like, girl, WTF? I don’t think it’s the drugs she’s taking. So yeah, Yunyun, keep calm and carrying on being you. Sometimes too much Canaan-Maria melancholy colour drama can be bad for the soul. We need to see a different (comedy) colour, you know.

Then there is this Liang Qi character who is written as a psychotic b*tch. Her obsession is no other than her nee-sama Alphard and it would have been a lot better if we could see how she and Alphard first came to be instead of just skimming through a brief flashback. It makes it feel insignificant. Anyway, with Liang Qi being a crazy psycho b*tch, in some ways it draws out the drama because a Canaan-Alphard showdown would be too quick without this woman. Hence with Canaan still breathing, it gives Liang Qi all the more excuse to show her crazy b*tch side just to get on the good side of Alphard’s love. We know this one sided love will never be fulfilled but it never hurts to try, right? Yeah, love is weird. Oh well, till death do us part. Sorry, didn’t feel a single sympathy for Liang Qi’s last moments. Just, good riddance. The annoyance’s gone. Despite having to dedicate 1 whole episode just to kill her off. Also, this Cummings guy who is definitely a big masochist since he loves to get shot by Liang Qi’s airsoft bullets. Yeah, he orgasms each time he gets shot. Even his name feels so ambiguous… Caught between the absolute big boss and the crazy mistress he is in love with, this guy sure had it rough… And he probably likes it that way ;p. The biggest shocking change of becoming a monk. Because it’s like subtly hinting to us to throw away all our depraved porn and lead a clean life! Is this even possible?! Cummings showed us he could… This guy is so zen right now…

The other characters somehow don’t feel significant. Like Mino who is trying to make his big break but this case changed him in some ways that he didn’t care about it anymore. He is only here because otherwise why would there be a reason for Maria to return to Shanghai? Yuri being the sneaky operative, nothing much is known about her but CIA operatives are like that. She could be the real ‘snake’, a double agent since she has her own agenda. Santana and Hakko also feel unnecessary but to prop up some bits of drama and plot convenience. Since Hakko is the one who keeps blaming Canaan for whatever and Santana is trying to make amends and atone for his sins. I know he is smart enough not to put his hope this will absolve him of his sins, but maybe he just wanted someone to love. He got that in his death wish, right? Oh well, till death do us part.

This is one of the few animes in which the setting isn’t set in Japan but overseas. And no, I don’t mean fantasy settings either but settings of real world locations. Sure, that tragic experimental village might be fictional but other than that, China is real. Shanghai is real. What I want to point out is the use of foreign languages especially Chinese and English. Firstly, the Chinese spoken sound so odd. Is it their accent? Because I couldn’t properly catch them. Yeah, it’s like your Japanese trying to speak Engrish and now they try to speak Mandarin and it’s like fail too. For the English part, these are mostly when the American military give their commands. Sounds authentic enough so I’m not really complaining… In view of this, the oddest part is that if there are English dialogues in this series despite only in very limited scenes, remember the American president who is giving his speech? Damn guy speaking in flawless Japanese!!! I just find this odd, honestly. Even if he speaks in English about his crap speech about love and peace, it would still sound funny but at least not as bad. Imagine American soldiers giving standard orders in English for some realism but the most powerful man in the world speaking Japanese? Just feel weird… Even weirder the White House staffs deliberating in Japanese and Alphard calling the vice all speaking in Japanese… Should have went with Japanese all the way then…

The art and animation are pretty good. At least for an anime that is released back in 2009. Some scenes are gorgeous and some scenes are just grim just to highlight the plight of the Ua virus. This series is of course animated by P.A. Works and to me they’re known for drawing some of the prettiest and beautiful character designs. Unfortunately, not this one, though. Maybe no cute high school girls like I expect to see in Glasslip, True Tears, Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari. Hence the character designs feel a bit like Type-Moon characters (duh) such as the Fate series and Shingetsutan Tsukihime. Therefore sometimes when I look at Canaan, I could see shades of Arcueid in her. Yeah, Alphard so badass that I thought she was the reincarnation of Black Lagoon’s Levy.

Attracting my attention to watch this series is because of the star studded casts. Well, at least I recognize some of them like Miyuki Sawashiro as Canaan, Haruka Tomatsu as Yunyun, Hiroaki Hirata as Santana and Jouji Nakata as Taximan. And that was Rie Tanaka behind Liang Qi? Never would have guessed it. Of course it would be one my greatest delight to hear Mamiko Noto as Hakko. Her voice is still so amazing then and that’s why when her character speaks, it causes all our brain cells in our heads to fry! Haha! How fitting for the most beautiful voice in the world. Oh wait… What’s that… F*CKING HELL THEY KILLED OFF HER CHARACTER AGAIN!!!!!!!! OMFG!!!!! TRAUMA! TRAUMA!! YOU MEAN EVEN WAY BACK IN 2009 HER CHARACTERS ARE ALSO MET WITH THIS TREATMENT!!!!! WHY JAPAN, WHY????!!! WHY DO YOU OFTEN KILL OFF CHARACTERS WHO IS VOICED BY THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY VOICED SEIYUU OF ALL TIME????!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO???!!!!!!

And the rest of the other casts include Yoshino Nanjou as Maria (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Maaya Sakamoto as Alphard (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Kenji Hamada as Mino (Jouji in Paradise Kiss), Junko Minagawa as Yuri (Ryouma in Prince Of Tennis), Akio Ohtsuka as Siam (titular character in Black Jack) and Toru Ohkawa as Cummings (Roy in Fullmetal Alchemist). If you are familiar with Faylan’s style of rock music, you can feel at home here with the rock paced opening theme of Mind As Judgment. From all that high octane rock music, suddenly the ending theme, My Heaven by Annabel drops down to be some soul-like lounge music. I’m not saying the song is bad but it feels out of place considering the action pace of the series. Maybe after all that action, some soul searching is needed with this song? That is what it feels like listening to this one. Just close your eyes, let the music envelope all around you! There are a few insert songs here all sung by Ayahi Takagi (voice of Nene). China Kibun De High Tension is your typical genki pop idol anime that gets your feet shuffling while Inochi Nan Da Yo is a pop ballad. Life too is a slow and calming ballad but this sounds like it could be a Christian song. Just saying… Also, some parts feel like it could fit for an epic Hollywood emotional dramatic scene.

Overall, even if Canaan isn’t the promised land for anime for me, it is enjoyable. If only I could understand the bigger plot, appreciate better the character development and not be too greedy wanting to see more action scenes like Canaan just raking up the body count of her enemies. If only I had the ability to see this anime as it is instead of relying on my past stereotypic biasness to label this series as just slightly above average, I could have seen the truth better as it is and appreciate this series a little bit more. But alas, I relied too much on that cliché judgment of mind and that clouded and impeded some of that enjoyment. And don’t fight hatred with hatred? Sure, fine. IF YOU STOP KILLING OFF MAMIKO NOTO CHARACTERS!!!!!!!!!!

One Punch Man S2

September 28, 2019

It’s finally here! 4 years later! That’s right. But better late than never because with all the hype and anticipation for One Punch Man S2, it better deliver. Yeah, a hero always makes his late entrance. So you never heard of this guy? You know. The superhero that ends everything with just a single punch, hence his eponymous hero name. Yeah, that would hardly be any fun. But fun enough to have garnered many followers to warrant another sequel. So how many more can he add to the body count list of defeating his enemies in a single punch? We’ll just have to see.

Episode 1
A villain thinks he can harass the women in public. However with the arrival of King, he grovels and begs for mercy. You see, the people is happy that he is one of the strongest S-class heroes and they’re so happy he is back! After doing his errands, some giant robot challenges him. But King tells him to wait as he needs to go to the toilet. Can’t fight at full strength if he is holding it in, right? But in the toilet, we see King’s true nature. He is actually a coward. Although he attracts bad luck, before he knows it, the enemy is down. He didn’t anything. Somebody else always did. Because he didn’t deny, one thing led to another and now he is in this sh*t. That’s why he wants to quit being a hero! The only way left is to run. What about the robot? Don’t worry. Genos is tackling it. King goes back to relax but WTF why is Saitama here?! He saw him bought some video games and is interested to play with him. He plays along until Saitama asks if he is so strong that he doesn’t want to fight anymore. Yeah, he saw him running away. Oh sh*t. How to answer? Then a monster crashes into his place. Time to prove it? King remembers how always gets dragged into such mess but somebody was always there to clean it up. Hence he always ends up running away. Was Saitama the saviour? Yup he was and still is. Saitama easily destroys the monster. King repents his action. Although Saitama doesn’t care and doesn’t want to lecture him, he wonders if he is going to continue lying to the public. Genos meanwhile barely defeats the robot threat and sends the parts to Kuseno in hopes he can do something to help his upgrade. But he is reminded to find clues about the cyborg that destroyed down his home and went on to destroy countless of towns and lives. Don’t worry. Genos will also get to that. That’s why he needs to undergo training from a master. Meanwhile Sitch, the minister of justice for Hero Association has gathered lots of ruffians at HQ. He plans to seek their help with heroes to fight against the foreboding omen. It is gaining ground as there are more disasters happening every day. As Sonic is among the group, he is disappointed that Saitama is not here and leaves. He is not going to play hero with them. Meanwhile Fubuki and her team also target Saitama and they’re going to move in now. What’s Saitama doing? Playing video games with King!

Episode 2
Sitch continues his briefing but among them is Garou who claims he supports monsters. He wants to know who the strongest is here and will kill them all. Some of the heroes attack him but they are easily killed. Then he goes off to kill all the other ruffians. He lets Sitch live since he has had enough warming up. He warns he will return stronger in 6 months so be prepared. Sonic is outside Saitama’s door. Genos confronts him and won’t let this pipsqueak do as he wishes. Hence an epic duel begins. Meanwhile Fubuki and her team ring Saitama’s door. They try to be intimidating and to cut all that threat short, she is offering her to join her faction. Of course he declines. When she orders her men to attack him, they are easily repelled. Fubuki gets serious to fight him but Saitama lectures her that she doesn’t know what it means to be a hero. She is not cut out to be one since she is more interested in factions and crushing newbies. That’s why she gather weak lackeys so that she feels stronger. The fight is interrupted with Genos-Sonic accidentally cutting in. Fubuki is shocked and confused to see Genos calling Saitama his master. This S-class cyborg calling this B-class hero his master? Genos continues his fight with Sonic but Saitama stops him since Genos is going to destroy the whole place just to take out Sonic and his speed. Hence Saitama shows him how it’s done. Sonic relishes this rematch and does his special ability of moving so fast that he cloned himself 10 times. But Saitama does his side step so fast and cloned himself 100 times!!! OMFG!!! Yeah, Sonic lost. Fubuki explains her situation. She remains as top of B-class because A-class has got lots of crazy heroes whom she can’t control. As we know Tatsumaki is her sister, she is always number one. Hence being number one of B-class is the only thing she can. She thinks manipulating factions isn’t wrong until King waltzes in. Friends with Saitama? WTF is this super strong group? She wants to join!!! Oh man, looks like she joined another faction. Meanwhile Sitch is disappointed that the committee is more interested in giving heroes their nicknames instead of addressing Garou’s threat. They think other S-class heroes can handle it when they are up to the task. Speaking of Garou, he is on a hero hunting spree.

Episode 3
Bang mercilessly beats up his best disciple, Charanko and exiles him from his dojo. Charanko talks to Genos about this and the latter deduces Garou might be behind this. You see, Garou was once Bang’s student and with that incident at Hero Association HQ, Bang is distancing himself from his students to avoid bystanders getting hurt if there’s an intense battle. On the way home, Charanko spots Garou trying to pick a fight with Licenseless Rider. But Tank Top Vegetarian who was recently defeated by Garou, brings back his brothers and S-class master, Tank Top Master to give his due punishment. At first it seems Tank Top Master owns Garou and could have defeated him had Licenseless Rider not stop him to spout crap that Garou is still human. Garou turns the tables and defeats them. He is going to kill the rest of them. Of course they all lose and when Charanko decides to enter the fray, no surprise upset either. Saitama visits Licenseless Rider and Tank Top Master recuperating in hospital to find out about this Garou dude. Despite being human, Garou seems to be a master in martial arts. All attacks were dodged, parried and blocked well. Even his strikes to the joints and vital points were brutal. It’s like he was able to read his moves. Unlike monsters who let lose all their strength in a rampage, Garou has special techniques to break people. Visiting Charanko, he gives Saitama a participation ticket for a martial arts tournament. Since he is injured, he can’t participate. Oh sh*t… 3 million yen prize money… Meanwhile Garou continues his hero hunting by facing off with Golden Ball and Spring Mustachio. Once he learns their moves, it is easy to bring them down. After all, he also knows all their trump cards since earlier on a kid lent him a guidebook on all the known heroes. Later Garou stumbles into Saitama. Thinking the latter is some low level hero trying to get some fame, Garou strikes first but Saitama is hard!!! I mean, real hard!!! Then Saitama just chops him down and Garou loses all strength and passes out!!! OMFG!!! Don’t get in my way of shopping! So why is Saitama buying a brown wig? So it’s not to permanently cover his head as Genos worries that the baldness may have got to him? Nah. It is to impersonate as Charanko at the tournament.

Episode 4
When Garou was young, he loved monsters but found it baffling the heroes always win despite the monsters also tried their best. In that case he will become the ultimate monster and won’t lose to anyone. Garou wakes up in the dumpster, not remembering what happened last night. With Garou targeting not only heroes but Hero Association as well, it is suggested that S-class heroes become their bodyguards. King was called but he is busy ‘fighting a boss’. Yeah. Playing video games. Hence Metal Bat now babysits an executive and his son. When an attack occurs, it isn’t Garou but some monsters. As Saitama waits for the tournament to story, some cocky guy who seems to know Charanko talks to him. He talks about last year’s event where somebody impersonated a participant and went on to win the tournament. That is why this year all disguises and aliases are banned. Otherwise you get sued and even banned permanently. Oh sh*t. The guy believes that impersonator was Garou. One day he got tired of training and decided to beat the crap out of everyone while Bang was away. Though he badmouths Charanko, Saitama calls him a coward since he quit his dojo but Charanko fought Garou one on one. After Metal Bat defeats the monsters, looks like bigger monsters (even monsters have seniors?) attack him. It might seem Metal Bat is having a hard time fighting them but after he pumps himself up, it becomes easy as pie. But it’s not over yet because giant grandpa monster is here! It seems the monsters are targeting the executive and it’s a good thing Metal Bat has been able to hold his ground. With the city under evacuation, Garou is glad to hear Metal Bat in the vicinity. Metal Bat is already busy trying to take down this behemoth and Garou is itching to have a fight with him? He’s serious. Here it comes! Don’t make Metal Bat mad. Because he’s going to bash your crazy head in!

Episode 5
Metal Knight comes to deal with the grandpa centipede monster as Garou fights Metal Bat. However the more damage Metal Bat takes, the stronger and faster he becomes. It somewhat ends only when Metal Bat’s little sister, Zenko intervenes. She forbids the men from doing more violence so I guess nobody can defy nor hurt a loli so that’s that. Some monsters are watching Garou in action. Phoenix Man approaches Garou and invites him to Monster Association. However he is not interested. Phoenix Man leaves for now but believes they will be seeing each other again as long as he is targeting heroes. Once they’ve got the executive’s son, the monsters retreat. However monsters in other cities are still running rampage and many A-class heroes have fallen by the wayside. Meanwhile the martial arts tournament is about to begin and we are introduced to lots of the weird participants. The highlighted ones include defending champion, Bakuzan and an unrivalled contender who has returned after many years of absence, Suiryu. Saitama faces off with the cocky Zakkos who thinks he is hell of a strong. Too bad just one slap is enough to put him down! Damn, is Saitama that strong? Rather, Zakkos is that weak! Yeah, you can hear the crowd in the background laughing like as though this is some sitcom!

Episode 6
Suiryu instantly takes out his opponent. Meanwhile monsters are popping up everywhere and a few are close to the martial arts tournament. Bakuzan doesn’t want the organizer to announce or it will cause panic. If any are close enough, he’ll take care of them. But it is of course Genos who goes to take care all of them before Saitama’s next match. But he is going to miss it since some of them are pretty tough. Because Saitama is now facing off with Bakuzan. The latter thinking he is some newbie with no ambition so he brags what he is going to do to him. Then in one punch Saitama sends him flying out of the ring! OMG! An upset! Genos has finally taken care of the last monster but something fast takes him out. Meanwhile Fubuki is fighting a monster babe who can turn others into her zombie slaves with her whip. She intends to use Fubuki to lure out Tatsumaki but don’t need that because here comes Tatsumaki to clean up Fubuki’s mess. Monster babe can tell she is dangerous and uses her zombies for her escape. She only succeeds since Fubuki doesn’t want Tatsumaki to hurt her zombie-turned subordinates. Suiryu’s next opponent is Snek. The latter contemplating how he has gone weaker and not being able to protect the people like before. He gets riled up hearing Suiryu’s reason for being strong just for the money and to have an easy life. He also believes in survival of the strongest. Because whether there are heroes or not, humans will still survive even if there are monsters or not. That’s how nature works. And in 1 kick, Snek is defeated. Meanwhile we see the king of Monster Association, Orochi. He is pleased with the reports of the rise of their Monster Association and sending panic waves to Hero Association.

Episode 7
While more monsters pop up, don’t fret because S-class heroes are fighting back. Those we see in action include Drive Knight, Child Emperor, Pig God, Flashy Flash (?!) and Tatsumaki. Atomic Samurai discusses with his other sword buddies on taking down Garou before Bang gets defeated. But one of them has betrayed the human race and ate monster cells to become one. He wants them to eat them too or die. Unfortunately for him, Atomic Samurai’s slash is so fast that he disintegrated before he could move. Back to the tournament. After a few boring rounds that end in a single hit, we are now here at the finals. Saitama versus Suiryu. Suiryu starts off with a feint but powerful kicks. This is just warm up, you know. Saitama isn’t fazed and he is more concerned in holding down his wig! Must not get busted. They come to an agreement that Suiryu will teach him martial arts in exchange to be entertained. So a few more powerful moves but it is clearly Suiryu is holding back. And Saitama still holding down his wig. Not until Suiryu starts badmouthing the Hero Association that it hits a nerve in Saitama. So when Suiryu does a surprise kick on Saitama and his wig fell off, Saitama doesn’t give a damn. So if Suiryu wants to have fun, shouldn’t he not get any stronger? Luckily Saitama holds back or else Suiryu would have died. But the force was enough to blow away his shirt! The officials have disqualified Saitama because he broke the rules and declare Suiryu the winner. But the crowd doesn’t want this exciting match to end. So does Suiryu. He gives it his all as he slams and punch all he’s got into Saitama. So after all that Saitama is still okay? But Saitama has learnt something about martial arts. It’s all about the flashy moves, right? And just with the swing of his hips, Suiryu is flung to the other end of the arena! OMFG!!! Cue for Saitama to escape since the officials are going to capture him. Suiryu is in shock that he lost for the first time. Not so fun now, eh?

Episode 8
Suiryu is being awarded and he doesn’t look too happy. Suddenly monsters storm into the arena. One of them being Goketsu. He was previously this tournament’s winner and was rumoured to have been killed by monsters. On the contrary, he was captured and given a chance to eat monsters cells. Now he is stronger than ever. He wants all of them to eat monster cells or die. Those who are weak or desire power eat them and quickly evolve into monsters. However they are easily taken down by Suiryu. Goketsu finds it a waste to kill him and gives him a chance to change his mind. It sure sounds tempting he can enjoy life and do as he wishes but Suiryu passes. He doesn’t want to end up looking ugly. Suiryu fights Goketsu but realizes he cannot even make a scratch on him. As he gets puzzled, he sees Bakuzan and asks for his help. Bakuzan then admits Suiryu is stronger than him but has now given up on being the strongest human after seeing the irony of him having a hard time fighting these monsters. Hence Bakuzan eats all the monster cells to transform himself. But his body can’t handle it and he collapses. To Suiryu’s surprise, Snek and Lightning Max return to help. They easily defeat the monster subordinates but Suiryu is shocked the duo is going to fight Goketsu. Suiryu uses this chance to run as the duo gets pummelled but Suiryu is also hammered by Bakuzan. Looks like his monster activation was delayed. Goketsu leaves and tells Bakuzan to come to their base. But first, Bakuzan torments Suiryu and enjoys every moment of it. On the verge of death, that is when Suiryu sees the importance of heroes. He realizes he needs them and desperately calls out for help. Bakuzan is going to stomp other unconscious participants but they are quickly whisked away by Saitama! IT’S ABOUT TIME YOU SHOWED UP!!!!!!!!!! He thanks Suiryu for holding out and he came after hearing his cries. IT’S ABOUT TIME WE HAVE SOME ONE PUNCH MAN ACTION!!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 9
Bakuzan mocks Saitama. He should’ve sensed something wrong when his punches and kicks have no effect. And then Saitama does his specialty. One punch and he is dead!!! Suiryu informs him what is going on outside as well as Monster Association and those monster cells. He is devastated that Saitama is going to face off Goketsu. He believes he is destined to save more people than die here. But surprise! A decapitated head of Goketsu!!! Suiryu is so impressed that now he has a new goal: He wants to be a hero. Oh Saitama, I know you’re being realistic but please don’t be a wet blanket. How does Suiryu becoming his disciple sound? No way! With the monsters suddenly disappearing, Saitama is left to think deep. He has been bored and this recent events and even joining the martial arts competition out of curiosity, nothing has changed. He talks to King about this empty feeling and how he can’t grow anymore to be strong. Hence he is so bored. For once, King says some mind blowing things. Saitama refuses to do things, take up challenges or stimulate himself but yet he complains. If he wants to see something new, he must open a new path himself because life is an endless journey. If he thinks becoming strong is the end goal, he is mistaken. The endgame of a hero isn’t that simple. Being courageous and taking action for the sake of others is what give heroes their meaning. In that sense, he is still not the ultimate hero. After hearing all that, Saitama is even more bored! Meanwhile, a shocking surprise as Garou barely escaped and is covered in bruises after picking a fight with S-class hero, Watchdog Man. He believes he still has a chance to grow stronger and will test that when he sees King. He is charging at full power when Saitama kicks him away, thinking he is one of those punks trying to earn a name for taking down a hero. Sonic is being confronted by comrades from his village, Tempest Wind and Hellfire Flame. It seems they have joined Monster Association and want him to do the same so they can take down Flashy Flash. Sonic refuses but they give him a monster cell in case he changes his mind. Sonic contemplates on turning into one because his goal is to defeat Saitama and his humanity side already died when he lost. Is he going to eat it? Based on Drive Knight’s info, Hero Associations discuss about Monster Association and their initial ploy is to play along before finding a way to destroy them. Then a message from Monster Association arrives. We see Sonic eating the monster cell. But not after he cooks it well because he is disgusted to eat it in its raw form. What does he feel? A super diarrhoea coming up!

Episode 10
Gyoro-Gyoro negotiates to the Hero Association that the monsters want to be left alone and promise will not rampage anymore. Hence the recent rampage was just to show them their power and hopes both humans and monsters can live in harmony. When one of the executive agrees and puts down his gun, he is shot and killed! So this is just a joke by Gyoro-Gyoro. The real deal is this. He wants Hero Association to gather all their heroes and come to their base to rescue the hostage. Once the message is done, the parasite monster is going to kill them all but S-class hero, Superalloy Blackluster easily squashes it. Gyoro-Gyoro addresses the monsters that this plan is to gather all the heroes and destroy them all once and for all. Once this happens, they can easily take out the rest of the humans. Some monsters aren’t impressed to pledge their allegiance to Orochi. Hence Orochi shows his fearsome tyranny by eating losers, monsters who lost their fight during the rampage. Noticing that Goketsu isn’t around, Gyoro-Gyoro checks about and sees his corpse. Uh oh. Things aren’t going too well. Genos has been given a new body by Kuseno and advised not to rush in. Monster Association makes an official war declaration on Hero Association. Child Emperor is mad that Metal Knight wants out of this operation. The latter thinks this plan will only bring forth more casualties. He has sent in the proposal once they find the Monster Association’s hideout, they should just nuke the damn place and forget about rescuing any hostage but since the executives are thinking about their funding, they rejected his proposal. Hence he doesn’t want anything to do with this mission. Garou takes a rest in that secret shack of that guidebook kid. But other A-class heroes led by Death Gatling have surrounded the place and want him to surrender. Of course Garou won’t do that so they start fighting. As Garou is weakened, he cannot effectively defeat them. Furthermore, the heroes are in sync working well to take this guy down. Eventually Garou gets hit by a couple of poison arrows and is losing strength. Last chance to surrender.

Episode 11
Death Gatling talks about the hierarchy among heroes and that S-class heroes are treated differently. Something that irks him and many other heroes because there are many other talented heroes ignored. Hence he gathered these other Hero Association heroes to make a name for themselves and prove they aren’t just second rate heroes. Garou thinks some would be disappointed in that kind of thinking. Amazingly despite his weakened state, Garou manages to fight back and take out all the heroes. He has learnt their pattern and timing. He even went as far as protecting the shack from Death Gatling’s all-out firing. Yeah, all the bullets had no effect on him. After Death Gatling’s defeat, the poor kid got so scared of Garou that he runs away. Before Garou could take a breather, Genos pops up. Apparently one of the heroes called for backup. With renewed and upgraded power, Genos goes head to head with Garou. Meanwhile Saitama loses his consecutive 81st video game match with King! Damn. Maybe he’ll take out some steam with those monsters rampaging near his place. King asks about Genos because he hasn’t been back and might be taken out by Monster Association. Nah. Saitama believes that guy will be okay. On second thought. Maybe he’ll go check on him. We continue the epic power fight between Genos and Garou. The latter trying to mimic Watchdog Man’s moves for a surprise attack but Genos is still better. Suddenly monsters pop up to tackle Genos. They are here with orders to assist Garou and to bring him to join Monster Association. Garou doesn’t appreciate the help, though. Of course Genos rebounds and kills all the monsters. Just before Genos can finish off Garou, here comes Bang. Time to put an end to this.

Episode 12
Time for master to give his disciple a beat down punishment. Garou tries to flee but Bomb (Bang’s older brother) stops him and joins in the beat down. So great the beat down that it looks like Garou’s life flashes before his eyes. The point in time whereby school kids were playing heroes and they made him the monster. Not that he has any problem with it nor the most popular kid in class, Tatsu playing the hero. It was rather he learnt of the injustice because all the kids ganged up, played unfairly to let Tatsu dominate over Garou that he had no chance to fight back. Even when he did, he was scolded by the teacher that he went berserk and owed everyone an apology. Garou was mad. Unforgiveable. Hence becoming this hero hunter was to make such people feel the blow of the weak. Garou revives and is about to get real when Phoenix Man snatches him away. He lets grandpa centipede handle those pesky heroes. Garou is frustrated and doesn’t acknowledge this because it is meaningless if he doesn’t do it himself. But Phoenix Man tells him he only has himself to blame for not being strong enough to finish this off. We see Bang and Bomb use their martial arts to break the centipede’s exoskeleton. However it moulted and revived. Genos decides to handle this and against the old dudes’ advice not to throw away his life, he does so anyway. Even with all the firepower and innovations he has, including burning the monster from inside out, the centipede is still breathing. At this point Genos is close to defeat. He has tried everything in his book and yet he cannot defeat this monster. He is starting to question his own worth. Bang and Bomb take other heroes for safety but when they realize they will bring the fight back to the city and there would be more casualties, Bang is going to sacrifice himself? Don’t worry, that won’t be. Because King makes a brave announcement to the monster that he has brought Blast (the S-class hero whom this monster has a grudge with). After throwing more insults, the centipede charges at King. Any time now… Saitama!!! This baldy pops up and destroys this monster for good in one punch!!! IT’S ABOUT TIME!!! Genos then asks his master what he is lacking. Uhm, maybe power? And Genos is now enlightened and realizes the path he should strive for! Time to go home.

Own Pace Man
WTF… With that cliff-hanger ending, a third season is very most likely although no news of it has been said. But I’m very sure of it. There’ll be a third season. Very sure… Because if it does not happen, it will surely leave a bad after taste in the mouth. There will be many disappointed fans and angry viewers alike who have come to expect so much and this is what we get? Oh come on. You can do better than that. Why didn’t they expand and make this into a double cour season in the first place? Not enough original and interesting material? Not enough budget? Not enough interest (NO WAY!!!)? Maybe there were reasons but I guess there are somethings behind the scenes that we will never know.

No doubt that this season is also great, I can’t help feel there are mixed feelings while watching this season. You see, there were times when I felt that the martial arts competition as well as introducing the antihero called Garou felt more like time wasting although I believe that it eventually helps in contributing to the bigger picture overall plot. Because of Saitama being away for the martial arts tournament, this contributes to Saitama making somewhat less screen time this season. Yes. This feels somewhat strange seeing he is supposed to be the star of this series. However when I think about it, Saitama being away at the tournament and oblivious to the Monster Association’s rampage, this gives other heroes of Hero Association more screen time to flex their muscles. Remember, Saitama can literally win a battle with just one punch! What was his name again? Therefore had Saitama not participate in the tournament and went on the fight the monsters, it would have been one rather monotonous (although not necessarily boring) affair. After all, so far nobody has ever lived long enough to take his second punch if Saitama is serious in throwing his first punch. So yeah. Saitama racking up the monster body count might be good for Saitama and all you Saitama fans and supporters. But this means other heroes would not get that much needed screen time and some of them might not be even introduced. Then yours truly will complain about this show should do away with all the other characters and just let Saitama and the few be the only heroes in this city.

Then there is the other interesting side plot of introducing another strong character, Garou. At first having this hero hunter felt like also filling in the time and void since showing Saitama participating in the tournament would be just absolutely boring as you know it won’t take up as much screen time. Garou proves to be formidable and what makes him more interesting is his support for monsters. This does not necessarily mean he wants to become a monster but merely he cheers on for them. Many of us never question why we support the heroes and always undermine the villains based on our simple thinking of because they’re the good guys or bad guys. This is natural for many of us so what happens when you have an irregular like Garou? Because of his different opinion, he is shunned and that is probably what drives him to become strong and prove others wrong and that monsters can also become heroes. Sure, many monsters live to destroy humans, etc but not all of them. We don’t really question why they attack those with valid reasons of attacking humanity and thus Garou is out there to prove that point. Maybe they just want to get along? Nah! Garou’s reverse support sometimes reflect reality. You know, when you’re a kid you support all those heroic heroes. But as you grow older into an adult, you realize and connect better with the villains. Yeah, monsters here could have earned the sympathy of some viewers had not they look so hideous. Had they look like those cool mutants in X-Men, well, maybe. Garou does have a valid point to prove. Just that he might be going about in the wrong way. So remember kids, remember who you bully back in elementary school. It’ll definitely come back to bite you if you’re not careful. Despite Garou making his name around as the hero hunter, I don’t think he’ll have the last laugh just yet.

As mentioned, thanks to the martial arts tournament as well as Garou the hero hunter, these help give other heroes some of the spotlight and introduce some that we have not previously heard of. While I have no complaints about the heroes, sometimes I feel that this is just one big convention of weird cosplayers. You know, heroes seem to have this unwritten code of wearing really odd clothes to supposedly match their ridiculous and odd powers. I guess there are so many heroes that sometimes it becomes a chore to really differentiate them. It’s like whatever ideas you got here, please throw them in and we’ll call that some A-class or B-class hero. Some even so lazily named like Megane because he wears glasses. Not that I can see how his power comes from there either. Then there is this typical cowboy westerner who shoots with his twin pistols. What’s he called? Gun Gun. Yeah… And there is this punk who has a Mohawk hairstyle so he is called, you’ve guessed it, Mohican. Damn. These heroes sometimes feel more like jokers and seeing them when they are first introduced it serves up to make you smile and laugh. If you want more laughs of the kind of lazily named heroes, you can look up the internet. Yeah, you’ll find plenty of such hilariously named known heroes for now…

But for all the other characters that have appeared in the first season, some are a hit and miss. Hits like Genos who seems to be trying to improve himself battle after battle so as Saitama’s disciple, he seems to be making quite a steady progress despite still having a lot more room for improvement. That is why the much needed final episode to have some Genos drama to doubt his own abilities. And just like that his insecurities are assured thanks to Saitama’s whimsical (and possibly honest) answer. Even Metal Bat is cool going so far as to have an episode named after him! Some misses like Tatsumaki just making that one short stinking cameo appearance and it feels like Fubuki has more screen time than her. Albeit that is just the start of the season and when the real sh*t starts to hit the fan, she’s like back into the shadows. Same for Sonic and from the looks of it, I think his revenge match against Saitama will yet be put on hold again. Though, I have a feeling that Sonic will eventually team up with Saitama and the heroes. I may be speculating wrongly but this baddie isn’t just a baddie and for him to still be alive and come this far, he’s got to have more than that. I know this series isn’t over by a long shot yet but it’s sad thinking that many of such beloved characters are somewhat ‘forgotten’ and ‘not heard of again’ by the end of this second season. Damn, I really starting to hate how this season’s cliff-hanger ended.

Talking about the star of this series, Saitama seems awfully side-lined this season. But remember what I said about him easily defeating his opponents. Having him do that for this entire second season may not be so fun. That’s why even the final episode we see some other action and drama from other characters before Saitama shows up his short cameo and ends everything. Are we supposed to be happy or disappointed with that? Because you know sh*t is going to happen if Saitama takes more than one punch to defeat his enemies, right?! Hence we see him being absolutely bored at the martial arts tournament as well as hanging out with King and playing video games with him. The irony is that he never wins against King and this might be a sign that says if Saitama doesn’t end his fight in one punch, could he have actually lost the battle if the fight requires the enemy to take many hits before keeling over? This is really food for thought. Even much more than the thought of why his gloves are still intact after his one punch specialty. Because if the monster wears the same material from his gloves, will they be safe from his punch?

Saitama being the strongest character (though not officially in this series’ setting) means that he is just bored with everything and there is nothing more that could challenge him. This explains why he sounds so monotonous and so mundane in everything he does. Like as though he doesn’t care. Actually he does. Somewhat. But he views it as troublesome rather than something excited to look forward to. We can see it from both sides of the coin. While he does look like he has reached the pinnacle of supposedly being strong, this might look like an insult to those who have been trying so hard but never reached a fraction of his strength. Essentially both are right and wrong. Nobody is perfect. Not even Saitama is because although he is definitely super strong, he isn’t quite happy. He has been questioning his life’s goal and purpose but thankfully he still has stuck to his heroic qualities. He might sound half-hearted in shelling out his motivation to many of those heroes he stumbled into and saved, but I’m sure he also means it. I mean, I’m sure he isn’t just saying it for fun that if you have time to be depressed, you should use that to move forward and improve. And because he is at the peak of being strong, he certainly can’t see what ordinary people see. So sometimes it is also good like for King to give a good pep talk to try and bring him down to perspective. So keep trying harder in those video games.

With Saitama having this line of thought, there is this scary thought that he might just screw being a hero and join the Monster Association or become a solo entity like Garou and just go around killing others for thrill. Because he is the main hero and character and what we have been invested seeing in him so far, it is not very likely he will turn into that but as the chances aren’t zero, there is still that dangerous small probability. I know I won’t like it to see Saitama turn out like that and I am very confident the producers won’t (lest they want to anger everyone with this sick twist) but still, sometimes you can’t help worry about this small minor unimportant stuffs.

Saitama may not have realized it but he does change a few people’s lives that he has touched. As we see from last season why Genos decided to follow him and become his pupil. This season we are introduced to Suiryu who is probably a frog in the well. He thinks nobody else is stronger than him until he actually meets one. And the irony was how he viewed heroes with disdain and doesn’t really care much about them until his own life was in peril. It goes to show that a man can change. It would be really even more awesome if Suiryu actually becomes Saitama’s follower and I am betting that he would. Otherwise it would be a waste to just introduce this character and then toss him away like he never existed. Then Saitama’s exclusive club of strong people will continue to grow…

Just like the heroes, the monsters are equally, uhm, is diverse the correct word? Sometimes I feel that designs of characters who are ‘ugly’ enough are to become monsters instead of heroes. And you’ve guessed it, some of them even weirdly and hilariously named. Like Black Sperm… Seriously?! And did Sesame Street’s Big Bird moonlight as Phoenix Man or his distant cousin or something? So last season we had an alien coming all across the universe just to fight the best. Now we have a local antagonist and with the introduction of Monster Association, we can see that things are really heating up and sh*t probably to hit the fan another time. Interestingly the monster cells seen that can turn humans into monsters should have been fleshed out better but I guess they might want to leave that for next season and I hope they do. Are there cells to turn monsters into humans? Well, I certainly don’t see humans making this technology. They might have created the most advanced and destructive weapons but I don’t see them doing so in this medical and biology thingy. Orochi being the ruthless king of the monsters, let’s hope he would give Saitama a much better run for his money than last season’s Boros so that we are all entertained.

This season’s action bits are still top-notched and it is the driving factor why this series continues to be popular. All the ridiculous and overpowered moves from the characters are still fun to watch no matter how freaking fast or absurdly strong they are. You can say the firepower packs a punch. You think that they are strong enough? Wait till another character shows up and shows us another stronger move! So earth shattering. If monsters don’t destroy the city, the impact of these monstrous heroes would do the job. These heroes sure put those in Dragonball to shame. It’s not merely just over 9000! It’s over 9 billion may not be even enough! And then of course, Saitama’s specialty of ending it all with just a single punch that makes him look like making no effort whatsoever (and making other heroes slog like hell with their skillsets and firepower), I don’t know if we are supposed to be glad-cum-entertained with everything ending so fast.

With last season’s seiyuus retained, new ones are added to the already bloated casts. Yeah, a lot more heroes here so I believe the list is twice as much. But I’m going to mention the notable and main ones. Heh. Not much. Those I recognized include Hiroki Yasumoto as King and Takehito Koyasu as Gyoro-Gyoro. The rest are Hikaru Midorikawa as Garou (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Masaya Matsukaze as Suiryu (Ren in Jigoku Shoujo), Atsushi Ono as Orochi (Giriko in Bleach) and Kenji Nomura as Goketsu (Ushiyama in Golden Kamuy). Maintaining the absolutely epic style of last season’s opener, JAM Project returns to sing again this season with an equally epic hard rock Seijaku No Apostle. Don’t you just feel the power welling up in you right now?! And that totally epic metal hard core scream at the end of the song! YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!! Also following last season’s trend, the ending theme is also a slow ballad, Chizu Ga Nakutemo Modoru Kara by Makoto Furukawa (voice of Saitama). Though, this song doesn’t feel as empty and hollow like last season’s. Damn, Saitama belting out this piece? If he wasn’t a hero, I bet he is a good crooner!

Overall, this season still rocks but because of the cliff-hanger and Saitama not in action in so many scenes, some felt like this season is a downer and did not live up to its amazing first season. Sometimes I too get caught in that thought and that it could have been much more epic even though there was an onslaught of heroes vs monsters action. That is the danger when you have built up so much hype and expectation that you become too big to fail. If Saitama knows all this and could break the fourth wall, he would have told us all off to stop b*tching our lazy asses because the producers and staffs worked really hard to bring you this epic entertainment! So at least be grateful you can watch this season in comfort without having to worry monsters suddenly come stomping in your neighbourhood and all animes on air have to be temporarily suspended until further notice! Yeah, that would suck a lot. Look at all the monsters that the anime industry has created. Now it is coming to bite them back with toxic fans and complacent viewers now complaining about how ‘inferior’ this season is. The only heroes that are going to save this series and the anime industry is to make better animes!

Shoumetsu Toshi

September 22, 2019

Why do I have this tingling sense that yet another sci-fi anime series is going to bomb? But yet I am interested to catch what it is all about? Shoumetsu Toshi somehow brings to mind that failure in RErideD: Tokigoe No Derrida. But at least this one doesn’t involve time travelling. So the intriguing thing that had me wanting to find out more was thanks to the synopsis that didn’t reveal much. An unfortunate incident that caused a big chunk of Tokyo to disappear and life to be extinguished, a young girl was the only survivor. Many years later, her father who was thought to have perished in that phenomenon, a message was somewhat received for him. A guy is tasked to deliver her into that black hole to decipher the truth. And of course, there is always that hidden conspiracy behind it that makes moving one step closer to the truth hard and life difficult for everybody.

Episode 1
While the popular idol group, SPR5 is performing, a sudden phenomenon of the place being engulfed in some black hole occurs. Fast forward many years later, Yuki seems to be an experiment subject in a facility run by the Agency but Takuya easily takes out those personnel and kidnaps her. Takuya claims he was hired to deliver her and the contract ends once he does that. Riding fast on his Vespa, WTF strange spiritual monk starts standing on his hands to stop him from steering his bike?! More WTF as I don’t know what Yuki did to release some spirit balls to knock him away. With others in hot pursuit, they are then picked up into a truck. Hopped in, rather. Unbelievable manoeuvrability. And with that the pursuers lost them?! Fail! Scientists Eiji and Kikyou examine Yuki and she seems stabilized. They want to know what the Agency has been doing to her. They also narrate about that black hole incident 3 years ago called Lost. Rumours say it was manmade as many victims lost their lives. Yuki is a lone survivor of Lost. Something about those spirits being called Tamashi. Huh? Anyway, Eiji wants Takuya to do another job and that is to head to Lost. The place is quarantined by the government, no progress whatsoever ever since and all forms of communications within the area are blocked. Oh, did he mention that nobody alive has ever returned from entering there? So why hire him?! It seems they received an encrypted code that is from Yuki’s father saying that he is waiting at Lost. Hence Eiji wants Takuya to take Yuki to Lost to ascertain if her father is still alive. Better pay him good.

Takuya seeks the help of his geeky friend, the aptly named Geek to fix his bike. Yeah, he is a big SPR5 fan. Geek thinks it is dangerous to go to Lost but Takuya’s policy is to finish his job. Because he sees Yuki as a package instead of a human, I guess Yuki felt hurt and left on her own. How the f*ck can these guys lose a girl like that?! Did she wander that far?! As Takuya goes to find her, he also calls Yumiko to help find the quickest route to Lost. Eventually Takuya finds Yuki. She doesn’t have to believe in him. Believe in your father! Yeah. Enough for her to get on the ride with him. Unbelievable manoeuvrability as Takuya dodges debris and even that damn monk! This guy is taking all the damage but his bike is still functioning?! Yuki feels bad and wants to give up (flashback of her happy family moments – because dad and brother are now victims of Lost). After Takuya lectures her about not giving up again, WTF moment for Yuki as she somehow manages to summon her former bodyguard, Akira! WTF?! Gun slinging Akira shoots down the monk! With submachine guns!!! Although Takuya and Yuki are safe, the people from Agency crash them. It seems they know where they are because Yumiko betrayed him. She works for the Agency too. She wants to do the honours to kill Takuya.

Episode 2
Yumiko shoots the agent instead. Betraying the Agency, huh? She and Kouta decide to help them. With the area now under intense lockdown, they hide in Yumiko’s secret place. If Yumiko is going to help him, he also needs her to work with Geek as he knows how to fix his bike. So the easiest way to bait him is to use SPR5 on the chatrooms? It worked. Later as Takuya talks to Yuki, he learns about Akira who was her father’s bodyguard but died during Lost while trying to protect her. She isn’t sure if that Tamashi she summoned was actually him. The gang take the subway as the fastest way to get into Lost. Of course the Agency guys led by Suzuna are waiting for them. Conveniently a door to another room. Yumiko lets the rest proceed while she deals with Suzuna. I think Suzuna is just toying with Yumiko. She could have really shoot and killed her but yet they talk about their different ideals on freedom. On Kouta’s side, they manage to dispatch the stupid Agency henchmen. Until Kouta gets a knife stabbed in a back by this Tamashi knife dude! Takuya takes and forces Yuki to escape instead of mourning over Kouta. Oh no. Don’t lose heart again. No time for that as knife dude is hot on their tail. Convenient so convenient because here comes Geek in his truck to bring them away. Oh man, knife dude is fly and chasing them. Takuya sounds like he wants to sacrifice himself to stop this bastard but Yuki comes along with him. Hey, don’t lecture her about decisions. She decides this one by herself. I’m amazed his bike can make such great moves without any damage. So what Takuya figured out this knife dude’s trick that he can pop up to where he throws his knife? Because at the end of the day, Yuki just needs to summon Akira and blow him away! Yeah, should have used the submachine gun instead of your pea shooter in the first place. In the aftermath, Takuya and Yuki agree to help each other. But first they need to pick up Yumiko and Kouta. I wonder if Suzuna has done the job. And poor Kouta looks like he bite the dust…

Episode 3
Yeah well, Yumiko is amazingly alive albeit bleeding all over. The place where Kouta died, looks like his body is missing… Geek and Takuya realize something amiss. They have been going around in circles. Even weird, they witness SPR5 arguing outside the concert hall they are supposed to be performing shortly? Something about group leader, Yua unhappy that she heard SPR5 will be disbanded. Geek realizes they have gone back to a certain point in time. As they try to move along, they come back to the same place and see the same argument taking place again. I guess this makes Geek he needs to take action to prevent SPR5 to perform in that doomed concert. He finds Yua and talks to her. Not that she believes him. As a big fan, he can tell her character and some hit close to heart. This concert that Yua is supposed to perform in, she didn’t actually perform and was stated as sick although many fans believed she wasn’t and there was a conspiracy behind it. Just when she starts to believe him, she disappears. Takuya and Yuki try to get out but again end up in the same place. Same SPR5 argument. This has Yuki believe Yua is responsible for this space pocket and wonder if those Tamashi are controlled by others. This time Yuki goes to find Yua, talk to her about the need to do something or nothing happens. Otherwise she’ll end up like her. Damn that worked. Meanwhile Takuya tries to find SPR5’s manager, Seiji but to no avail. Yua makes up with the rest of SPR5 and they go on to perform together. With that, Takuya and co manage to get out of this time loop. But when Geek checks for change in history, it is still the same. Yua did not perform at that concert and SPR5 was still a victim of Lost. With fatty feeling down, Yuki thinks she understands about Tamashi. With so many people getting caught in Lost then, they have regrets and unfulfilled wishes. Hence Tamashi is a person’s will taking shape. Yua’s regret was strong that she created that time loop world. Even though they couldn’t change the past, she doesn’t think their efforts were futile. Oh look another Tamashi crashing their bike. Oh sh*t, is that Souma? Yuki’s brother? Well, Yuki doesn’t seem all too surprise to know he is alive. Because he is trying to kill Takuya and claims Yuki should come back with him. They’re family and need to support each other. Yuki won’t accept this. Because of that, did she try summoning so hard that it becomes a huge explosion? Crater size explosion!

Episode 4
Takuya is wheeled into ICU and Geek blames Eiji for putting him up to this. It’s partly Yuki’s fault too, right? Eiji offers everyone his home as a place to hide for now. When they leave, they are confronted by police officers, Ryouko Negishi and Shunpei Aoyama try to press Yuki for answers since a CCTV caught Yuki and Takuya within the restricted area. Luckily Eiji has got his answers prepared so they can’t prod further. Wow. Eiji’s place is a mansion?! I guess when he meant it was a good place to hide, it meant luxurious. Yumiko stays by Takuya’s side. She is shocked when Suzuna is here. Don’t worry, she won’t kill him but to offer her info. Ryouko goes to see freelance detective, Keigo Hidaka to find out more info on Takuya since she has a hunch he used to be in this same profession as him. Takuya wakes up and is updated by Yumiko. He asks about Seiji but is told he just died in an accident. Ryouko tries her luck and talks to Yuki again. She talks about her own father who was an officer whom she looked up to. But when he became a victim of Lost, she became frustrated rather than sad. That’s why she became an officer and still believes he is still alive. This reignites hope in Yuki for hers. A little PR goes a long way because now Yuki opens up on what the Agency had done to her. Ryouko tries to investigate a lab belonging to Lacuna. She should know better she can’t search around without a warrant and is of course turned away. Ryouko gets scolded by her superior for snooping where her nose doesn’t belong but if her instincts tell her, it is only because she is getting close to the truth. Keigo has found an old picture of Takuya. Ryouko looks at some old real estate files and finds a contract of Lacuna trying to buy a certain factory for their second research facility. Although they won the bid, they retracted soon after. As the date shows the day before Lost, it only confirms they knew Lost was going to happen. Suddenly Shunpei stabs her! Yup, this guy is from the Agency. So he doesn’t make sure she’s dead?! Yumiko talks to Yuki about Suzuna’s info. Souma is still alive. As long as she heads toward Lost, he will appear again. Is she is not resolved to do not, please don’t involve Takuya. Yuki’s answer? She wants to save Souma. I guess we’re going.

Episode 5
Yuuji reports to Keigo that Aoyama’s body is found floating at the port. Ryouko’s division has been shut and the chief transferred out. Though they are frustrated with this, it seems Keigo has another plan. A plan that involves the famous magician, Yoshiaki. He goes to see Takuya and knows about Phantom Thief Brigade X that Takuya and Yumiko once tried to catch but failed. The team’s leader, Tsubasa is Yoshiaki’s older brother whom he hasn’t seen in 10 years. He hopes to make a deal so he can see him again. Yuki notices an Artefact known as Tsuki’s Tears is on display at a museum. Because Souma had something similar. Eiji explains research showed it had mystic powers and it is believed to give wielders powers. Now, Yoshiaki believes Hoshi’s Tears that Brigade is holding is its pair and hence they will target Tsuki’s Tears. Takuya and Yumiko are suspicious. Because Hoshi’s Tears is in the Agency’s hands. Could it be Brigade and Agency are connected? If so, this could be a trap. Takuya’s side are heading towards the museum but they are intercepted by Brigade. So putting out Eiji’s van is enough? Flashback shows Tsubasa tried to ambush when Taiyou the boss of the Agency was trying to make some deal. However his secretary, Tsuki protected him and received a huge slash on her back. It left a hideous scar. Was Tsubasa in despair that he got killed? When Brigade prepares to steal Tsuki’s Tears, they are shocked to see Souma and in possession of the real Hoshi’s Tears. Flashback shows they tried to prove to Tsubasa they can also steal something without him but unfortunately the Hoshi’s Tears they stole was fake. Souma wastes no time to pulverize them. Meanwhile Takuya’s side realizes Hoshi’s Tears is not in its display. I believe they aren’t so dumb to leave it unguarded, right? Besides, where’s security in this place?! Then they go join in the fight. Takuya and Brigade’s side accuse the other of working with Souma. But Souma is not happy to see Takuya alive and tries to kill him. Oh just in time for Akira to pop up to protect him! Apparently Souma also has bad blood with Akira. When mom died, Souma blamed him for not protecting her despite being their bodyguard.

Episode 6
I guess who shoots better projection wins and looks like Souma is having the upper hand. It took a while for Akira to use his submachine guns but that’s still not good enough. Yoshiaki tries to be a hero and intervene but fails. However this distraction allows Akira to shoot and destroy Hoshi’s Tears. Don’t be happy yet. Souma has another trick up his sleeve. Yup, he has Tsuki’s Tears. He summons Tsubasa from it and has him blast Akira with his magic icicles. Cue for short flashback showing how his subordinates followed him because he’s a nice chap? I guess Akira holding out this long means Yuki’s determination is strong, right? Well, she can’t hold out longer. It’s really killing her. After Akira is destroyed, Souma orders Tsubasa to kill Yoshiaki. We can see Tsubasa reluctant and purposely missing his icicles. I guess we never learn because with Souma being mad and distracted, the Brigade guys manage to make him drop Tsuki’s Tears from his hand. Yoshiaki picks it up and feels some connection to Tsubasa. He uses his power to make it disappear. Now Souma is the one panicking as he loses power. Yoshiaki now access Tsubasa’s memories. The memories he never knew. As they were part of an orphanage for disabled kids, it seems the kids also underwent experiments. Tsubasa made a fuss with his ability to make things disappear. This was so that the attention can now be brought upon him. With the focus on him, he vowed to destroy all Artefacts before Yoshiaki’s power awakens. Only then he can be truly free. Tsubasa formed his little Brigade and subsequently got caught up during Lost because he received a distress call from Yoshiaki, thinking Taiyou did something to him. The brothers say their last goodbyes before Tsubasa is gone forever. Now that the Brigade wants to cut up Souma, Yuki won’t let them yet. She tries to save Souma but he accuses her of always thinking she is always right. I guess he can’t jump to his death because big sister’s hug saves the day. Tsuki blames Suzuna for this failed plan because now Souma is in the enemy’s hands. She should have seen this coming. Even so, Suzuna notes this is what Taiyou wanted. Souma is unconscious and ‘safe’ at Eiji’s place. They need to do something before Agency comes for him. Takuya and Yoshiaki meet Keigo who wants them to head to the orphanage.

Episode 7
The moment they step into the orphanage, they are transported back in time. Looks like some Tamashi still has regrets. And Takuya believes it is Hinako, one of the caretakers of the orphanage. It all began when Takuya tried to save Geek when he raked up debts in some bar. Of course the punks can’t ‘joke’ so before they deal with him, Kaibara stepped in to warn them and they back off. Takuya was then invited to join Kaibara’s detective agency and introduced to Yumiko. Takuya continued training and before you know it, he became their ace. So to show appreciation, Kaibara gave him his scooter? Gee, thanks. One day, Kaibara wanted Takuya to investigate the orphanage as they are being suspected of child abuse. Hence Takuya went undercover as a caretaker. He noticed there is a certain line of thought that runs through the orphanage and free thinking like Takuya isn’t welcomed. It is obvious that the more Hinako interacts with Takuya, the more she wavers in her beliefs. Takuya’s regret was never pressing her about the children who were chosen that were taken away from the orphanage. The reason given was they were to meet prospective parents but we know the real reason was that they were sent to the lab. However Takuya had a hunch what was going on but before he could do anything, Kaibara pulls him out of the investigation and drops the case. Takuya even saw Kaibara talking to the orphanage’s principal and should’ve continued investigating after being taken off the case. On the day Hinako invited him to go watch the circus with the kids, he declined with reason he tendered his resignation. Yes, that day was Lost. The current Takuya regretted not stopping her and now tries to do so. Hinako tells him her wish is to tell the kids the truth when they get back and thanks Takuya for changing their line of thought. With the regrets taken care of, Takuya and co return to normal time. Shortly after that incident, Takuya quit the detective agency but kept the scooter as he wanted to continue believing in Kaibara. Keigo thought he wasted time looking through the documents in the safe but it’s all trash. But Takuya knows where Hinako kept the documents. In the birdhouse, there is a ledger of financial records that links the orphanage to Lacuna. With this damning evidence, Yoshiaki is willing to risk everything to testify as live witness. When they return, Yuki sees the orphanage’s group photo and recognizes the principal as she has seen him many times in the facility. Takuya and Yumiko are surprised because they thought the Agency disposed of him.

Episode 8
Yoshiaki puts up the greatest magician show. Making it look like he is going to randomly make a building disappear, that building is Lacuna! With that, people and reporters flock outside Lacuna hoping to glimpse this magic. I hope he isn’t pulling off a Lost style disappearance. With this commotion, Takuya, Yuki and Geek manage to get in via their fake IDs and Geek streams the inside live. They confront the principal who has been promoted to some director but he calls the Agents to beat them up. We didn’t see how but Takuya manages to beat the sh*t out of them! These guys need more training! The principal somewhat confesses he did it all for the money to run the orphanage. So in a way, he’s still thinking about the kids, right?! Meanwhile Yoshiaki turns this magic show into some big revelation as he reveals he was an experiment subject at Lacuna. With the public now hounding for answers, the police take action to take Taiyou and Tsuki in for questioning. Taiyou surprisingly agrees. After Takuya and co leave Lacuna, they are being told Souma is starting to act strange. Damn, this kid is shooting light beams now?! Taiyou’s interrogation won’t last long as the commissioner is his lapdog and apologizes for all this and sets him free. It seems all this is part of Taiyou’s plan to test Souma. He considers him a failure as he can’t control himself without an Artefact. As he didn’t go berserk after losing Tsuki’s Tears, that is because Yuki was nearby and served as his Artefact. Now she’s away… Yup, he is displaying symptoms of Lost. It’s like an excuse that he has to die for Lost to be triggered because this allows the city to be evacuated. Of course Yuki won’t let this go. Once again, Takuya delivers her as far as he can but when his scooter can go no more, damn is Yuki flying????!!! Oh, it’s Akira. I wonder how his machine guns can fight against the light beams. Nope. Lost. But he did bring Yuki closer to Souma who is now a big ugly blob. She hears him hate everything, fear everything, don’t come close, don’t want to die. Then she hugs him. He explodes but not Lost v2. Yuki sad her brother’s gone. Taiyou disappointed Lost didn’t happen.

Episode 9
Daichi along with Taiyou and Tsuki were researchers at Lacuna. One day, Ryouko’s dad came to investigate Daichi because a person who died 50 years ago somehow had the same dental records as him. So what? Murder for stolen identity? In time, the trio quickly rise up to the top thanks to Taiyou and Tsuki systematically disposing the higher ups. With them in control of the lab, it is revealed that they are from another universe. There were many other volunteers too but it is not known what happened to them and the 3 of them are left. That’s why Taiyou wants Daichi to concentrate in creating a portal to save millions in their own decaying universe. This is called Project Noah. So theoretically to open that portal, an immense amount of info is needed and it will open a big hole in Tokyo, hence the more people, the better. While Daichi was working on the portal, Taiyou and Tsuki were handling the bioengineering. They were testing kids with abilities and trying to filter out those who aren’t affected by the surge particle because people must move freely through the portal without losing their memories. However Daichi soon gets romantically involved (an awkward one, that is) with the nice cafeteria lady, Mifuyu. He sympathizes that some people hate her because her bus driver dad killed many. The real story goes when she was sick, he worked extra hours to cover the medical expenses but that backfired. She liked his idea and theory of a parallel world because she wished there was one where she never existed and her dad could do his job happily. With Daichi’s work affected, Taiyou warns him not to prioritize a single life over millions. But you know, they both fell in love and had their first child named Yuki. That was when Taiyou blew his top because he thought a being that is not fully from either universe has been born. Daichi believed she has both and her existence is not a contradictory. Daichi warns if they touch his family, he will kill them. Though Daichi claims the portal will soon be ready, Taiyou warns back to run tests and no more slowdowns are allowed. Or else. Many years later as he has completed some safety device and is going to run tests to ensure it won’t be used for evil (yeah, they always think that), somehow WTF how in the world did those agents hack and disable the safety features?! That is when Lost happened. Daichi realizes he has failed to protect the ones he loves but believes there is still a chance. Whatever encryption he left behind was picked up by Eiji, his researcher partner.

Episode 10
Surprise! Kouta is still alive! Apparently Kaibara saved him. Takuya is in disbelief because he thinks that guy is now on the Agency’s side but Kouta claims he is the one who is misunderstanding Kaibara. While Takuya’s scooter is being fixed, we see Kikyou talking to depressed Yuki, Eiji trying to lay off Takuya from his delivery job as well as Taiyou explaining to Tsuki and Suzuna. Just to let us know that now everybody knows the truth. It seems the Lost created by Souma isn’t over yet and is slowly expanding. Albeit it will take decades. The reason being could be Daichi doing something to suppress its expansion. Because Taiyou tried to send messages there but none was received, only that single message from Daichi was received. It could be the reason why Yuki is heading there. Hence Taiyou thought let Yuki run free or Souma go berserk. But the answer is simpler: Eliminate Daichi. He is going to do so by entering Lost. What about the surge particle thingy? That’s what the experiments are for. Of course so far all have failed as the test subjects at the minimum limit turn into vegetative state or in worst case, die. So we see the gang hang out and kill some time. Yeah, Takuya’s scooter must be the most important factor. For some reason, Yumiko called Kouta to ask Takuya to get some tomatoes. This leads him to a farm whereby he sees Kaibara being a happy tomato farmer! A few words of advice. Including his life is how he sees fit to live it. I guess that’s enough to make Takuya’s day. Taiyou’s experiments continue to fail. He then starts thinking maybe they themselves can’t be affected since they’re from the other universe. Tsuki can’t take any more of this so she offers to be the test subject. Everything goes well and she still remembers her memories. Then Taiyou decides to up everything to the max! Oh sh*t! Looking scared now, huh?! But it did confirm Taiyou’s hypothesis… Meanwhile, a weird conversation between Takuya and Yuki. They’re talking about the kind of normal life and house they want to live in. Is this a sign they want to date after all this? Once Takuya’s scooter is ready, it’s time to ride to hell. Hold on to your seatbelts. In Yuki’s case, hold on tight to him.

Episode 11
Takuya and Yuki continue their journey. They see Taiyou’s team and realize he is already making his move to Lost. Better hurry. Yoshiaki and Brigade hand them a transmitter so they can stay connected with the rest while in Lost. Wait. Nobody knows anything in Lost so how do they even know this technology can work?! Meanwhile, the rest are trying to hack and storm into Lacuna facilities. I see that’s why they need to hack the antenna so they can constantly stay connected to Takuya and Yuki. Don’t worry. It’ll be easy. Those agents are dumb. But Geek is having a hard time trying to hack and decrypt the password security. Until a member of Brigade (hacker loli, rather) helps by hooking him up to some super computer so everything is okay. Taiyou is at the fringes of Lost as he relieves Suzuna of her duties. Suzuna then points her gun at him. It seems her real intention is to get revenge on him for all the people he sacrificed for his test. By the time Takuya and Yuki arrive, Suzuna is close to death. Shot by her former employer. She tells them Taiyou has gone into Lost by himself and apologizes to Yuki for making her go through a lot. Too late, but I guess it’s better than never. Takuya and Yuki dive into Lost. Do they even need to ride the scooter? Whatever. They experience weird flashbacks. Is this some sort of pseudo summary of important things that have happened to them? Anyway, those flashbacks also feel like regrets that they could have done something. As the duo are like living zombie since Lost is taking a toll on them, Taiyou is still cool and sinking deeper. He finally enters an area where Daichi is. The latter only existing in digital format. We return to the memories of the duo. This time, Takuya is losing his recognition of Yuki. Who this girl? And somehow the moment they touch, they get their memories back and resume their ride deeper into Lost. I suppose that is why others keep telling us in that hopeless situation when they lost contact of the duo in Lost (pun not intended), only their strong bonds allow their memories to stay intact as long as they continue supporting each other. How convenient. Breaking through, they see Taiyou trying to kill digital Daichi. How do strangle something made out of 1’s and 0’s? Yuki is distraught and summons Akira for his submachine gun overkill! Sure she won’t hit her father like that?!

Episode 12
At least Akira did something good by blocking Taiyou’s super blast. Taiyou thinks the reason Daichi is trying to prevent Lost is Yuki. He wants to eliminate her but he starts to feel the effects. The medicine effects wearing off? Daichi then tells him it is because he is alone. One’s existence is maintained from continual mutual confirmation. With Tsuki being the last one who believes in him, I guess Taiyou can’t be God anymore. Daichi reveals the reason he brought Yuki here is because she can choose worlds. As an observer, she has the ability to do everything over. We are shown scenes of Yuki living a happy and normal family life. Taiyou and Tsuki are sentenced to prison over their exploitation of the orphanage’s kids. Ryouko’s dad has been credited in bringing them down although Takuya’s infiltration was also a large part to play in that. Yoshiaki and Tsubasa continue to remain together. SPR5 continues to perform. This is what the future should have been and Daichi wants Yuki to choose. However she won’t. WHAT?! Despite the tragedy of Lost, everyone lived on so desperately. Choosing one means to deny the existence of the other. Also, this is to show that they are not as weak as he thinks. WTF?! SINCE WHEN YOU A MASOCHIST, YUKI?! Oh, father must be so heartbroken that he did this all for her only to be wasted. Because Taiyou returns to crush this dude! Yuki, see what you’ve done?! However Taiyou (not looking a lot like some last boss demon monster) starts to grow weak. It seems there is some shard embedded in his heart. He remembers when Suzuna shot him, part of her bullet managed to get stuck there. Suzuna’s ability is to predict the future. All paths ended in failure except for this outcome that technically didn’t spell success outright, but it wasn’t a failure. Good thing Akira left his gun because now Takuya can guide Yuki to shot one in Taiyou. Daichi then holds Taiyou back and tells the duo to get out on the scooter. Vroom! But it seems Brigade only finds Yuki lying unconscious. In the aftermath, we see Yoshiaki still a small time magician, Keigo still a small time detective, Kouta is Kaibara’s tomato farmer assistant, Eiji, Kikyou and Geek forming a new Lost committee to recruit talents to help solve this Lost problem and Yuki living a pretty normal high school life. Unfortunately she has no memories of Takuya. You mean only him? Despite no news of Takuya’s whereabouts, either they’re doing a bad job or just straight out lying to protect him (for whatever reasons). Because we see him riding his trademark yellow scooter (can’t miss it)… STALKING YUKI?! I guess he didn’t want to call out to her so he leaves her familiar ribbon on the post. Recall something?

Still Lost And Never Found Ever After
WTF?! What the heck is this weak and unsatisfying ending?! Yuki not remembering Takuya anymore feels like a sad ending. But since it isn’t confirmed that ribbon would spark her memories back, I guess it is up to us to interpret if we want to or not. But it doesn’t matter. Because unlike Yuki, we don’t have the ability to choose worlds! WTF?! I still can’t believe Yuki chose the status quo path which has everyone continuing their suffering. I guess she lost too much (pun intended) that she has gone crazy so there is no difference at all with the outcome staying the same. It could have been utopia and paradise but nope. She didn’t want that. No siree. She’s so kind so as not to deny the other existence whom we’d all probably won’t give a f*ck nor remember had she chosen that. Uh huh. Screw the other people from the other universe. Oh Yuki, your actions have killed the future of millions! You’ve also wasted daddy’s efforts because if this is what Yuki chose, is there any reason for him to delay Lost? Besides, the final episode also feel so rushed and had a few things shoehorned in especially Taiyou conveniently being defeated. I guess he didn’t see things that far ahead, huh? Suzuna’s character being written just for this convenient role and some other stuffs that prevents Taiyou from being Almighty, oh well, that’s the path we’ve chosen. Also, it’s not clear whether Taiyou perished along with Daichi or they remained trapped in that hell hole for eternity. But whatever. And how was only Yuki found unconscious after escaping Lost? My guts tell me Takuya rode out and left her there. That’s why you don’t see him around. Hey, mission accomplished. Delivered her to and back. Not like he’s getting extra paid.

I believe the story has been a train wreck from the start. Rather, a scooter that has taken on so much damage and continue to limp its way to the finish line. Feels a lot like that. I think they want to keep up with the intrigue and the mysteries surrounding Lost and hence they added in all those elements to ramp up the captivation level but it got messy and beating around the bush that I felt it was just an ultimate fail. Thus the only ‘interesting’ episode was the flashback on Taiyou and Daichi, their true goals and intentions. The mystery behind Lost somewhat solved. But it still didn’t take away the bad pacing and storytelling of the rest of the other episodes like how they deviate and meander with that SPR5 time looping déjà vu crap and Yoshiaki and Tsubasa’s past. It’s not that we understand anything much about this Tamashi thingy. Just an excuse that serves as Yuki’s ‘weapon’ because Takuya’s scooter can only do so much. We also have Takuya’s flashback doing his infiltration cover at the kindergarten job and something about Ryouko’s dad and while all those and more seem like they add something to connect it all to the bigger picture, ultimately Lost is just one big incomplete portal trying to be connected to the other universe. And the whole roundabout thingy of having sacrificial test subjects was because they fear of losing their memories while going through the portal. Yeah, it’s that simple. And the simplest way to counter that is to have f*cking strong bonds! Bonds, people! Bonds!!!

It made me wonder if Takuya and Yuki are that close. Sure, they seem to have gotten to know each other since Takuya took on this job and they’ve spent most of the subsequent moments together. I mean, it’s not like I could see them becoming an item. Could they? Not likely. At least, not from what I can see. He was just a delivery boy. She was just a test subject to be delivered. That is all. Excuses to deliver or postpone this mission only serve to drag out the plot convenience and make it seem like as though they have some sort of bond. Not that I can see that they are THAT close. No wonder that cheesy moment of them together talking about the normal life and what kind of house decorations they would like! Sheesh. Because they didn’t mention how many kids they would like, I guess that is why we aren’t confirmed they were an item or not. Even if they did, we’d be pointing fingers of this cheap and forced romance drama part. Heh. No way out of this checkmate. If that is the level of bond needed to prevent memory loss while traversing through Lost, I guess it’s pretty easy. All those high technology and researching were just a waste of time. But I suppose as a researcher you need some concrete proof of science rather than relying on guts and emotions.

I don’t feel like making a long commentary on the characters because they’re just as bad as the plot. Takuya and Yuki as the main characters, you know the drill. Then you have the other supporting characters whom you aren’t likely to remember, just because. You know they play some part in providing support to our main duo but whatever. The plot has got to move forward, right? Like the aptly named Geek who is a computer whizz, an idol crazed nerd as well as the only mechanic in town who can fix Takuya’s bike. I guess Takuya doesn’t trust those other shady overcharging mechanics to fix and juice up his precious two wheeler. Then you have Yumiko, Takuya’s former colleague whom, oh I don’t know what her role is. Eiji and Kikyou trying to get to the bottom of this Lost message. They don’t really seem prominent or of significant. Except maybe for that brief period Eiji providing his luxurious mansion as respite. How the f*ck does a workaholic scientist manage to afford such a big house and land?! Was it inheritance? Keigo, some small time detective doing whatever ground work that needs to be done. Nothing that I would remember. And is Yuuji is dog helper or something? Yoshiaki, victim of the orphanage. Another really insignificant role. Now he has Tsubasa’s groupies. Like that would change anything. Kouta, why the f*ck do they have to bring this guy back and not let him stay dead like Ryouko? It’s not like an extra pair of arms can do anything, right? And Kaibara… Probably the ‘best’ character because he is happily being a tomato farmer not giving a f*ck not to get involved with the rest. You do you. By the way, I don’t like tomatoes…

I always wondered why Suzuna always have that poker face and I suppose it is to hide her real intentions. No wonder when she had so many chances to finish off the good guys, instead she dawdles and gives excuses. So she’s like a double agent, being close to Taiyou, waiting for the right moment to kill him? Why now? Why not earlier and prevent him from doing all this madness? So, the more people sacrificed, the more hatred she will build up in her heart, the more then it will justify she should kill him? Too late. She got what she deserved. Now we can’t totally think badly of her because she tried to do the good thing. Oh right, I almost forgot that soothsaying ability. How convenient. I guess lots still have to die just to reach this outcome. Mission accomplished. Now she can die happy. Same thing for Souma. Little jerk brother of Yuki has some sort of issues to pick on her big sister. Tries to come off as a strong antagonist of the series but sputters out because deep down he is still her little brother. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. And Taiyou being the baddest of the baddest, yeah, probably the producers write him that way. Killing off his subordinates with no mercy just to show us how heartless he is so that when he gets his just desserts, we won’t feel a thing for him. Don’t worry. I didn’t feel anything for the other characters too!

I probably want to say that the hidden star of this series goes to Takuya’s bike! Uh huh. I think this scooter is no doubt the highlight and poster child of this series. Maybe that is one of the reasons that intrigued me to watch. Not that I am a bike crazy fan or anything but seeing the poster of Takuya and Yuki on this bike, well, why do I have a feeling that this bike is also the star? And you can see why because as early as in the first episode, it did a lot of bat sh*t crazy stunts and survived! This bike withstood all the energy projection attacks from Tamashi and is still able to continue moving! Is this freaking awesome or not?! Just a little tweaking and maintenance and this bike is as good as always. Damn, I wonder what it is made of anyway. And they gave that cheesy flashback that Kaibara gave it to him so as to convince us why Takuya is so attached to this bike rather than getting a new one. After how it did the impossible, I can see why he won’t sell or trade this for a better one. And even in the final push, Takuya brings his scooter into Lost itself! I bet his bond with his bike is stronger! Haha! Hey, it got them out of Lost, didn’t it?! In the event if they lose their memories, maybe the bike won’t. What if the bike is Takuya’s Tamashi?! Holy sh*t!!!

This is supposed to be an action sci-fi, right? Fail too! Firstly, those stupid mindless agent clones from the Agency are comparable to all other useless goons you see in other shows and genres. Their numbers might look threatening but it is easy to take them out. I can understand if they are lifeless clones but I don’t think so because if they are normal humans like you and me, it would be a great shame and should be sent back to training. As bad as these cheesy action to fight off easy agents, the battles with Tamashi is over the top absurd! First we got a heavy monk and then some knife throwing hoodie. Whatever happened to them? I guess we don’t care. Even more absurd is Yuki’s ability to summon Akira for his firing power overkill. I think that was the one that broke my camel’s back. Because I can’t contain my laughter anymore and started cracking up. So are they saying that Yuki’s bond to Akira is a lot stronger than Souma or her father? Otherwise, why can’t she summon her dad as he might bombard his enemies with his digital projection! 0101 data coming your way! It all seems like a loose and poor execution to why this Akira character even exist. Like I said about those Agency’s goons, they’re incompetent so Daichi just needs to hire one gun totting bodyguard in case Taiyou decides to move on his family.

The animation is also poor that it makes you wonder if this is the same Madhouse staff that produced other animes like One Punch Man, No Game No Life, Highschool Of The Dead, Overlord, Black Lagoon and even Death Note. If I should say, the animation and even the characters look and feel sloppy. With the Lost area being cordoned off and abandoned for a long time, they want to give off this dystopian feel but with such bad quality, it feels like this anime is the one that is being affected by Lost! And the oddest character design goes to Yuki. No, not how she looks but rather the way she dresses. Even when everyone else is somewhat casually dressed, it is mind boggling for Yuki to wear a sleeveless white dress wherever she goes. Yeah, you might want to cover up a little considering the harsh environment she is getting into. Especially when she rides with Takuya? And doesn’t her white dress get dirty? Damn, she stands out like a sore thumb because her dress is like so bright compared to the rest! Even Kouta dressing sharply in his suit and Tsubasa’s Brigade dressing like cosplay weirdoes aren’t so bad.

This series has got a few famous seiyuus voicing its main characters. Particularly, Tomokazu Sugita as Takuya and Kana Hanazawa as Yuki and Mifuyu. All I can say is that their talents are wasted on this poorly written story and characters they play. It’s not their fault they can’t bring the best of their characters out, it’s because of this poor limitation that they are unable to fully release their potential. The other recognizable seiyuus having their wasted talents here include Ayane Sakura as Suzuna, Kenjiro Tsuda as Daichi, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Yoshiaki, Yuuichi Nakamura as Akira and Mamoru Miyano as Seiji. The rest of the other casts are Hidenoari Takahashi as Taiyou (Waka in Amnesia), Taisuke Nishimura as Geek, Ayaka Asai as Souma (Hazuki in Hibike! Euphonium), Tarusuke Shingaki as Eiji (Kariya in Fate/Zero), Mitsuki Nakae as Yumiko (Tsubaki in Hagane Orchestra), Masaki Terasoma as Keigo (Kiroranke in Golden Kamuy), Asami Imai as Tsuki (Ikaruga in Senran Kagura), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Tsubasa (Itsuka in Date A Live), Aimi Terakawa as Kikyou (Kasumi in BanG Dream), Makoto Takahashi as Kouta (Kouta in Majimoji Rurumo), Tomoyo Kurosawa as Ryouko (Kumiko in Hibike! Euphonium).

Something that doesn’t suck: The opening theme, Kotae by Mao Abe. This energetic hard rock outfit would have been really awesome had the series itself at least being decent. Now I feel that this song is a waste to be put into such mediocre series because this song isn’t that bad. It’s edgy as well as it’s badass to say the least. And then from hero to zero. Because the ending theme is like so out of place and WTF. With Your Breath by SPR5 is such a lively typical idol music that doesn’t fit the setting of this series. You know how mostly gloom and despair the episodes are. Suddenly they have this happy fanfare blasting at the start of the ending song which really makes you go “Huh?! WTF?!”. Really. I suppose this is the only way SPR5 can get its fair share of limelight. What a way to make your debut. Yeah, they got zapped by Lost and killed off! I prefer the special ending theme, Hello Again ~Mukashi Kara Aru Basho~ by Kana Hanazawa (I almost mistake its name to be some alternate cover on Adele’s Hello). Though a generic pop music and still lively, but at least I get to hear Kana Hanazawa’s cute voice while singing it. There are also some other BGM which are dramatic electronic music but they aren’t that memorable.

Overall, this is one big disaster that it seems Lost did not only affect the people and the plot of this anime but it also bombed for all of us who were unfortunate enough to have watched it. Yeah, you could say they really lost the plot and we all lost it with this crap! Haha! Pun intended! Poor storyline pacing and execution as well as uninteresting characters did not help in improving the intrigue of this series especially when some of the action scenes are just downright mediocre or ridiculous. Sometimes we feel we want to walk through the Lost portal and lose our memories of this series but that won’t do because it would mean we might repeat the same mistake and go watch it again. Maybe better to summon a Rambo Tamashi and shoot this series to bits! Haha! Oops. Hopefully, the mobile game that it was adapted on would fare better but since as usual I didn’t play it (nor have I heard of it until I watched this anime), I wouldn’t know. I suppose that is why they also call this series as Afterlost. Because it’s supposed to stay lost after that. Where I End and You Begin? It ended even before it began to lift off! This is also where I end trash talking this series and begin watching another one. I’m such a lost sheep of sci-fi animes after all…

Grimms Notes The Animation

September 15, 2019

Just when you thought classic western fairytales have been given their fair share of anime style adaptation and interpretation throughout the years, here comes another one. Grimms Notes The Animation now takes many of those classic stories from the Brothers Grimm’s collection and turn it into another anime based on western fairytales. Yeah, we’re running out ideas, aren’t we? The stories here are indeed somewhat ‘twisted’ but that is only because some anomaly is turning the stories to not follow their original script and go astray. Hence a group of young people going about through different stories to correct them to its original tale. Yeah, I guess that is why people love originals instead of reboots, retellings and remakes… Or even sequels. Oh yeah. Those were the days where fairytales just ended without any sort of sequels that some franchises these days do that tainted the overall story.

Episode 1
Ex, Reina, Shane and Tao defeat a Villain and revert it to the human it possessed. They are looking for Red Riding Hood because something is happening in this Story Zone and they need to destroy that Chaos Teller messing with it and restore everyone’s fate to what it should be. In town, everyone is worried since Red Riding Hood has been missing for a week. They are even worried about meeting the travelling quartet since their Book of Fate says nothing! So they follow the Woodcutter into the forest as he was the last to see her before she disappeared. When they arrive in a cave behind a waterfall, there she is hiding. She chased away the wolf?! Actually somehow the Woodcutter transformed into that. As they walk along, Red Riding Hood tells of her worries. It is understandable that she is going to be eaten by the big bad wolf. Her fate and life lead up to this. Ex assures her when that happens, they’ll save her. Uhm, isn’t that going against the fate of the story? As they return to the village, everyone has turned into a Villain. Outnumbered, they run to grandma’s house. Nobody is around and Shane realizes something amiss. Asking Red Riding Hood a few questions, it is revealed that she plans to feed them to the wolf. They manage to get out of the burning house as they realize Chaos Teller has possessed her. Red Riding Hood laments her fate. She knew the Woodcutter used her to get close to his mom. Because all men are wolves, she turned him into one. Because everyone knew she would be eaten and didn’t care, she has had it and will make them all suffer. She thinks people are worried only because she might not be eaten by the wold as was supposed to. No choice, the quartet use their Bookmark of Guidance to transform themselves into other fairytale characters to fight her and the hordes of Villains. After she is defeated, Reina tunes everything to return it all back to normal. Though, everyone’s memories of this will vanish. The story returns to normal. Red Riding Hood’s mom cares for her and gives her the strength to go face the wolf. The Woodcutter plans to marry her mom and talks to Red Riding Hood about it and assures they both love her very much. Ex narrates everyone is given a Book of Fate when they are born that dictates their entire life. But how is one supposed to act when it is blank? That is Ex’s Book of Fate.

Episode 2
The quartet are a small group of people with a blank Book of Fate. This allows them to travel between Story Zones to correct them. Now they enter the Story Zone of Don Quixote. He offers to help them fight the Villains but thanks to his back pain, they are the ones who did the bulk of it. He also keeps thinking Ex is Sancho. Back in town, he has a reputation of being a lying old man due to his exaggerated stories. They are brought to see Dulcinea who is helping the nuns tend the wounds of refugees who fled from neighbouring towns. The quartet split up to find out more about Don Quixote. When monsters pop up to attack, Don Quixote will fight them and some of the people are pessimistic. But Dulcinea rallies them to fight alongside him since the threat is real. In the end, they emerge victorious. That night, Ex is confronted by Loki who mocks Don Quixote as just a sad puppet dancing to the Storyteller’s tune. Ex refutes him but Loki tells him Red Riding Hood is now trembling inside the wolf’s stomach before disappearing. He reminds him that they are always right beside him. Dulcinea talks to Ex and Reina. They should know she is not a real person. Don Quixote’s imagination is so strong that she became real. It all began when he mistook a windmill for a monster and after that she was created. It is most likely his desire to be a hero created the Chaos Teller. Speaking of the devil, the windmill monster then attacks the town. Don Quixote bravely defends it from its hurricane attacks but there is only so much he could take before he hands it to Sancho, or rather Ex. Cue for the quartet to use their Bookmark of Guidance and save the day. With Reina’s tuning, Dulcinea disappears and this Story Zone reverts back to its original state. Though he insists that Dulcinea is real although the real fat and ugly Sancho thinks it’s another one of his fantasies.

Episode 3
Ex’s flashback. Born with a blank Book of Fate, his uncle and aunt took him in after his parents died. Though they aren’t very fond of this and hope to get rid of him one day. Is that written in their Book of Fate? Or is this just whimsical? Soon he met Cinderella and helped her with her errands. As we all know, she lives with a wicked stepmother and equally b*tchy stepsisters. She finds solace befriending Ex and when he learns her Book of Fate to go to the ball and then marry a prince, he vows to help her achieve this. Uhm, I know he doesn’t have a role but wouldn’t this still be her fate regardless he intervened or not? Many years passed, on the day that the ball is to be held, Ex is confronted by Loki who claims he has made preparations for this unforgettable event. Ex starts thinking about his fate once Cinderella is done with hers. For some reason that night he went out and stumbled into Reina fighting Villains. Yeah, I’m surprised the heavy log she is stuck beneath didn’t kill her. She gives him her Bookmark of Guidance that turns him into a hero to slay the Villains. She doesn’t want to explain or answer his questions but lets him keep her Bookmark of Guidance? WTF. Eventually she just tells him. For the sake of progression of this story, I guess. Reina is looking for the main character of this Story Zone. Well, what do you know? Cinderella’s Book of Fate sounds like she is the main character… So cliché, right? So they have to rush to her because since she is the main character, Chaos Teller almost always lurks around them. Better hurry because the fairy godmother has turned Cinderella into a splendid princess (also, T&C apply because that 12 midnight caveat too) while Loki has turned everyone in town into Villains.

Episode 4
Cinderella arrives at the ball. Eh? Wrong ball? Because this looks more like a Villain party! It is revealed the fairy godmother is on cohorts with Loki as she wants to preserve Cinderella’s happiness. Wait. So to do that she now turns Cinderella into Sleeping Beauty? This is confusing. With Ex meeting Tao and Shane, Reina explains more about the Chaos Teller. When they are to power up using their Bookmark of Guidance, they are shocked to see Ex is a wild card. This means he can connect with any kind of hero unlike the rest, the heroes they can connect to are limited based on their crest. Time to kick some Villain butt as warmup before the big showdown. As they get into the castle, Loki shows up. He is one who creates Chaos Tellers and he believes he gives others hope to break out from their repeated fates. Reina only accuses him of making everyone suffer. Then they face off with the fairy godmother who is no other the Chaos Teller. She rants about Cinderella’s fate. Despite being married to the prince, she never found true happiness. Yeah, married woes. You mean they really divorce after that? So making her sleep is for the best? Fairy godmother then turns into her true hideous form. Ex eventually defeats her and manages to speak to Cinderella for one last time. Must be exhausted from that nightmare, huh? Reina is about to begin her tuning and this means Cinderella will not remember Ex after this. He doesn’t mind since that is what he wants. After all, he wanted her to have a happy ending and can’t get in her way. In the aftermath as the Story Zone returns to normal and Cinderella happily married to the prince, Ex joins the rest on a journey and an adventure he can call his own. He thought being born without a fate was normal. But now he realizes he has yet to pick one.

Episode 5
Beach episode? Well, they pull out John Silver almost drowned at sea. Yup, welcome to Treasure Island. According to Silver’s Book of Fate, he is supposed to help Jim find Flint’s treasure but that boy went down with the ship when a monster attacked. Tao is eager to help him the treasure since he has the map. But Reina almost messes things up with her bad luck, setting off traps. I’m starting to think that because of her bad luck is so bad, she survives all the traps. Yeah… When Shane spots somebody else, she follows him hiding in the cave. Turns out to be Jim and he reveals that Silver is the culprit who sank their ship just to get the map to the treasure. Conveniently when the truth is out, Silver bombs and traps them in the cave. Don’t worry. Shane has some bombs to blow them out. Then they make their way to the treasure. If something feels wrong with the treasure being so openly displayed, it’s because it is definitely a trap. The moment Jim touches it, he turns into a Villain. Cue for Silver to cue in and rant about screwing fate because it tells him he could never get the treasure or become the greatest pirate. Our heroes transform. I suppose they all had to transform into female characters because fanservice swimsuits. Anyway they face a hard time until Tao sheds some light of truth whatever. A vision of Flint is enough for Silver to admit his loss and accept his fate. After Reina tunes this Story Zone, it seems Silver is still trying to be a rogue but doing it on his own and without the power of a Chaos Teller.

Episode 6
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all? I think we know the answer. Until the mirror tells more about the ugly truth that one day the evil queen’s daughter, Snow White will surpass her. Ex and co are in this Story Zone when Ex is whisked away by, uhm, 7 septuplets are actually the 7 dwarves? They force Ex to kiss sleeping Snow White. She wakes up and thinks he is her prince. I’m sure the rest aren’t too happy to see Ex getting kissed but whatever. So these 7 idiots are actually fairies named Tsuberks? Whatever. Seeing there is no error in this storyline, they want to leave but Snow White refuses to let Ex goes and really believes he is her prince. She throws a tantrum that she gave him her first time (what a way to say a kiss) and needs to take responsibility! The rest thought the story will restart if they bring her back to the castle and Snow White is delighted as she wants to introduce Ex to her mother queen whom she loves so much. Flashback shows she was strict but as loving. Then there’s a twisted time she told Snow White that her Book of Fate said she will be killed by her own daughter. When that time comes, don’t hesitate. Meeting the queen, she wants them to stay as thanks for saving Snow White. Dinner is great but desserts? Apple themed… Damn, this looks suspicious. Snow White didn’t think twice in sinking her teeth in but luckily or unluckily, those 7 idiots barge in. They ruin everything but saved her. Because Snow White still loves her mom, the queen reveals she was the previous Snow White. After eating the apple, she hated her mother and eventually went on to kill her. So that flashback was hers? The apple’s poison actually made her forget the love instead of killing her? The memories were enough for the queen to realize her mom also loved her a lot and let jealousy get the better of her. Mother and daughter have the greatest big hug. Reina theorizes because Ex broke the curse before it could take effect, it is a reason why the apple didn’t have an effect on this Snow White. As they leave, Snow White admits she knew Ex wasn’t the real prince but couldn’t let him leave because he was such a wonderful person. Don’t worry, you’ll find a much better prince. It’s in your Book of Fate, right? Oh wait. Does this mean she must eat another poisoned apple and fall into a deep slumber?!

Episode 7
In this Story Zone, Ex and co stumble into an unconscious lady in the snow, Gerda. Sorry, not Elsa. They take refuge and rest up in a nearby cabin belonging to a blind lady, Curly. As we all know the story from Frozen, oops, I mean the Snow Queen, Gerda is on a mission to retrieve her brother Kai who has gone to serve the Snow Queen. Next day as they arrive at the ice castle, Kai pops up but refuses to return with Gerda. He will be contracted to the Snow Queen as stated in his Book of Fate. However Gerda then thought of exploiting this contract loophole. She immobilizes Shane in hopes she would take Kai’s place instead. However the Snow Queen isn’t amused and sends the ground crumbling. Our heroes are okay at the bottom. Gerda feels confused with what she has done thanks to partially some cursed mirror shards stuck in her eye but due to recent events, she is getting some of her feelings back rather than being some emotionless girl. Shane and Gerda really hit it up as they talk about siblings’ love. They manage to get out and confront Kai again. He reveals his contract is to stay by the Snow Queen’s side forever and in exchange she will remove the shard from Gerda’s eye. However Shane points out that the Snow Queen will not remove it but Kai himself. Because you know, when the siblings start reconciling, lots of emotions welling up, voila! The shards break from Gerda’s eyes. Because tears of happiness. With the happy siblings reunited, the only one not happy is the Snow Queen. No prizes to guess she is the Chaos Teller. She reveals that she was the one who brought sorrow to them so as his sadness and all are purest. That makes him beautiful. Whatever. Can we just transform, fight and defeat this crazy b*tch and move on? There. Easy win. Before Reina could tune things, Curly pops up. She claims she created this Chaos Teller and warns them about forcing her into eternal solitude. Giving other cruel fairytale fates, she believes this is the only way these characters can break out from their vicious cycle. Turns out Loki is working under her and whisks her away to do some priestess duty. Gerda is grateful and will forever remember Shane. Yeah, wait till Reina tunes everything. Ah, all back to normal.

Episode 8
Tao once told Shane since they both had a blank Book of Fate, they can wander anywhere. However to prevent being lost, it is best they venture together. Since it isn’t Tao’s policy to take on a servant, he made Shane his family. Now the travellers are in Momotarou’s Story Zone, Tao and Shane’s homeland. Momotarou being owned by Villains? As he explains, he already went to Onigashima and defeated them. However his animals did all the work and left him. He hopes they can help him defeat a few oni making boats as they are planning to assault the coastal village. Shane recognizes Onihime as dumb Momotarou tries to attack her. Tao knocks him out. It seems the oni aren’t going to attack humans but return home to Onigashima. Tao agrees to help them. When Momotarou wakes up, he is told what happened by grandpa. Even more so about Tao being the traitor because he was the one who betrayed the previous Momotarou and let the oni defeat him. Without his animals, Momotarou is lost. Don’t worry. Grandpa has new servants for him. By the time Tao and co reach Onigashima, the place is razed. How the f*ck did Momotarou get there faster than them? Yeah, he’s got Villains as his servants. He talks about Tao’s betrayal and although Tao doesn’t deny it, his friends believe in him. Momotarou further tries to implicate Shane as she is an oni born without horns. Tao then tells the true story. As a boy despised by others because of his blank Book of Fate, impressed with Momotarou, he wanted to go on a journey with him and was made his partner. It is believed that the oni injured Momotarou and because he didn’t want Tao to die along with him, he pushed Tao into the sea to escape. Now this Momotarou is in disbelief. He orders the Villains to attack but they turn against him. Grandma reveals the weakness in his heart and it gets creepy as grandma and grandpa are the same person! Is this Quirinus Quirrell?! Then they transform into their true twin headed oni form. Yup, they’re the Chaos Teller. Time for our heroes to transform and defeat them. In the end after Reina tunes this world, it is back to the oni planning an attack on humans. Tao and Shane aren’t sad and have accepted this. Tao further remembers Momotarou despite his Book of Fate saying he will be victorious, he still have doubts. Because it said nothing about Tao. It could be possible their fates have changed. Momotarou although considered Tao his family, however it is not eternal. One day he must find new connections and leave. And when he finds that, never let it go.

Episode 9
The gang finds themselves in the desert. With Reina dying for water, she is saved thanks to Aladdin. Now that she has got her groove back, Ex notices her book is missing. Damn thief stole it! Luckily she manages to track him down and slap him. Guess what? He likes it! Is this some sort of awakening?! In fact, he loves her and wants to marry her! But that aside, it seems Aladdin got his magic lamp stolen by the sultan. But don’t worry. His Book of Fate says he will get it back and will eventually marry a princess. That’s Reina, right? As the Story Zone is starting to collapse, so is Reina. Aladdin is intrigued with her past so the rest say she wants revenge against the Chaos Teller who destroyed her home. She was a princess in her Story Zone and Loki destroyed that. With Villains all around, the rest go fight them. Yeah, Aladdin left to protect his princess. WTF he is a wimp? Luckily Reina had enough strength to get up and fight back. But the next Villain stabs Aladdin as he protects Reina. Oh sh*t?! Main character died?! Really?! Although Reina can tune this Story Zone, it doesn’t bring the dead back. Somebody else will become Aladdin and the story goes on. Then Ex gets this idea. What if they get back the magic lamp and wish for Aladdin’s revival. Nah, that’s not going to cu- WTF you mean they believe it is going to work???!!! I hope this isn’t made up. As they head towards the palace, Loki is before them. He mocks Reina’s hate and continues to blah his usual of freeing the people. Then he warps them into the sultan’s palace. Is he going to give up the lamp? Of course not. I wonder if this lamp has unlimited wishes as he orders the genie to attack. Red genie? Better than being blue. I mean, the new blue one and not the old original one! They transform, fight and defeat the sultan. However Reina can’t use the lamp. It’s broken! With the Story Zone close to collapsing, Reina has no choice but to tune it. She has come to accept the choices made by others and because of those choices is also why they live. So why is Ex b*tching about?! Can’t he see this is hard on Reina too? Poor Aladdin remains dead. The world returns to normal as the gloomy quartet ponder on their actions. Well, a new Aladdin became the sultan after marrying the ex-sultan’s daughter. And they at least saved thousands of NPC lives, right? Yeah… Meanwhile Loki and Curly are glad their long awaited ritual is soon finishing. Soon they will end all old tales and write their own stories!

Episode 10
Wait a minute. Is Jeanne d’Arc a fairytale? I thought she was a real historical figure? Anyway, with Ex and co joining the French’s side after the battle at Orleans, Ex seems to be very worried about Jeanne. Ex also spots Curly here but she finds it baffling that he is worried about Jeanne. Does he not know how her fate ends? That night he goes to talk to Jeanne and the latter isn’t particularly afraid of death but rather failing to achieve what she believes in. She fears there will be no one to carry on her feelings after she dies. Cue for some weird English monk fairy monster (?!) to sneak in and own them. He takes Jeanne and will execute her soon. Because Ex is cursed, he is weakened and grounded while the rest try to go save Jeanne. Curly visits Ex and this guy tries to be strong for Jeanne. He isn’t concerned about her fate but her feelings that he wants to protect. With that, Curly heals his curse. Do as you wish. Meanwhile Reina and co have a hard time fighting the monk since he has no physical form and was born out of the hatred of the English. Gee, he is so focused in trying to eliminate them that he didn’t hear Ex free Jeanne? Because now Ex rejoins the group, now their attacks connect and they can defeat this monk?! I thought they can’t even touch him?! With Ex talking to Jeanne about believing in fate till the very end, I guess Jeanne lets him carry hers. Because Reina tunes to world to return everything back to normal. Ex still feels sad that Jeanne will eventually be executed by the English but hey, remember he has the duty to carry her feelings like he has for other characters. Hope it doesn’t get too heavy the more feelings he takes on in time…

Episode 11
We’re in Alice In Wonderland now! Reina is being flirted by Mad Hatter and March Hare when Alice comes in to arrest them? She’s part of the moral police squad?! But Reina is amazed to see Alice. She is a big fan of this story. But no time to admire, they have to run or risk being arrested. In town, Alice continues being a b*tch to arrest anyone who violate the slightest of rules. Reina won’t have that and reveals all her dark secrets to turn Alice squirming. This allows Mad Hatter to kidnap her to their base to have a tea party. Reina wants to talk with Alice. The latter thinks stories and fantasies are stupid and is done with those stuffs. But Reina thinks otherwise and the reason she loves this story because it saved her. Alice relents and they talk about Reina’s other adventures over tea party. However, Alice’s assistant, Watch Rabbit surrounds the place to arrest them. Because Alice doesn’t think they are bad people, Watch Rabbit thinks she has been corrupted by them and will arrest them all. Reina and co are ready to put up a fight but Mad Hatter gets kidnapped. Watch Rabbit retreats. Bad news because Mad Hatter will be put on trial by the Queen of Hearts and her ruling always ends in death! So as they arrive at the palace, they are surrounded. It is all a setup. Alice was just playing along to lead and capture them in one fell swoop. The Queen of Hearts (damn, she ugly) orders their death and of course our heroes won’t go down with a fight. Transform! They are going to show Alice why stories aren’t useless as she thinks they are. Eventually they defeat her and this confuses Alice. Yeah, her entire outlook about being an adult staying rooted in reality just got smashed. Too late for Alice wanting to talk more with Reina but she starts tuning the world. However something is wrong. Alice still remembers them and the Queen of Hearts is missing. Mad Hatter is the culprit as he unleashes a dragon to go on a rampage. Everything going according to plan…

Episode 12
This dragon is Jabberwock and Mad Hatter was just his false form he used. Jabberwock’s attack separates the team. Ex is forced to take Reina to safety but she gets emotionally upset thinking Tao and Shane are left to die. Cue for her explanation why she is traumatized when people die. Because everyone in her world died instantly and she was all alone. That’s why she must continue to keep living. Cue for Ex to assure he will always be with her. Trolling romance scene interrupted with Shane and Tao popping up. They’re doing fine eavesdropping their faux romantic conversation. Reina is so happy that she hugs them instead. Also with them is March Hare. However they realize this is not her from Alice In Wonderland but Through The Looking Glass. She and Mad Hatter help draw a map to the Red Queen’s castle where Alice is supposedly held. Of course stopping them is Loki and Curly. Time to remind us they are from Church of Fortem and their role is to free this world from Storytellers. Freeing by destroying? They consider others here like puppets and having no feelings. Like NPCs? On the contrary, Ex and co would love to disagree. Since they can’t agree on this, no more talk, action time. After a tough fight, Jabberwock is down. But Loki intervenes. Since he has a blank Book of Fate, he transforms into Aladdin. Not just Aladdin but Chaos Aladdin! Stronger and faster! I’m sure this guy wants to traumatize Reina because he aims for her. Ex is weakened when he hears a voice telling him if he wants to keep his promise, say his name: Ludwig Grimm. He transforms into this character and kicks Loki’s ass while defeating Jabberwock for good. Met your match, eh? Ludwig disagrees in Church of Fotem’s ways because what good would all that do by destroying the one who tells the story? With the battle over, Ex reverts back to normal as they listen to Jabberwock’s rage of only existing within the poems and wanted more listeners to get out. Sure they don’t understand but Ex knows he is lonely. But now he has friends whom he can share his feelings. Damn, is that what a dragon needs? Oh well, time’s up. Back to your slumber. Alice is returned and as they exchange their last words, Reina then tunes this Story Zone. I guess Reina needs everyone’s assurance that they’ll stay with her. Okay. Off to your next adventure.

The Pagemaster: Spoilers Alert!
Oh well. Looks like the story has only just begun! Since we still know nothing about the Church of Fortem except for the fact that they want to free the Story Zone from the cruelty of the Storytellers but I guess that would be a story for another time. Translate: If this is popular and profitable enough, stay tuned for next season! But sadly this is where this season ends for now. A story that is left hanging and incomplete. Heh. I wonder if there is a Book of Fate that writes your life’s story halfway and then suddenly it goes blank. Yeah. You were just getting to the good stuffs in your life and then suddenly all the hints and spoilers just ran out. Life abandoning you and you’re on your own.

My only advice is that if you really want to love this series, it is best to play the role playing game this anime was adapted from. There are more heroes in addition to the quartet and possibly features ‘big bosses’. You know, the Storytellers! I didn’t play the game so I don’t know the story and mechanics but it would have been awesome to see them face off with the likes of William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Hans Anderson, Charles Perrault, Dorothea Viehmann and even, get this, Mother Goose! Damn, this could turn out to be like Kingdom Hearts but Brothers Grimm version!

Despite the story having a good premise, but that is all only on the surface. When you try to think deeper on the mechanics and everything, it all falls apart. There are so many loopholes and the unexplained that you will start to think that it was poorly written and not thought out properly to begin with. For instance, every character in Story Zone possessing their own Book of Guidance. While it looks good that all the characters know their fate, but that’s about it. Because everything else just feels like hogwash and nonsense if you really start to analyse and think deep about this Book of Fate thingy. With this Book of Fate dictating that character’s fate from start to finish, I find it odd that people can still go about living their daily lives. Like as though the book isn’t part of their lives. You see, with everything laid out almost to perfection for their lives, do you not think that they are motivated to do beyond that? Hey, it is stated here in my Book of Fate. Can’t argue with it, right? Just blindly follow it. My life already has spoilers so no need to worry. No wonder, everybody with a Book of Fate here is NPCs! Besides, can you get rid of your own Book of Fate like burn it?

Then there is the issue of others knowing what is written in your Book of Fate. At first I thought everyone can read it but it is subsequently said that only you yourself can read what is in it. So who is to say that you would lie about your own Book of Fate to others because if your fate is less favourable, what are the chances that you would lie and make up some other stories, right? Hey, it’s not like other Book of Fates have something to cross check your story, right? So one who destined to live a life of poverty and die of hunger in the streets, you think they would try to lie to others and say hey, I’d be a normal salaryman or something. But then again, remember all of them are like NPCs so everybody is following their fates so diligently. Wow. Like as though they are programmed to do so. Besides, if one is fated to die in a cruel way, it is just mind boggling for them to accept that fate. Yeah, it’s my fate. Can’t do anything about it, can I? Like Red Riding Hood who is forever destined to be eaten by the big bad wolf. No wonder I keep calling these extra minor characters as NPCs!

The other mind boggling thing is how this story isn’t just a looping story. Sure it does loop but that story happens again like the next generation or something. So it is mind boggling that when someone becomes Snow White, she becomes a lesser somebody else after she becomes old? And then her daughter or some other girl becomes the new Snow White? I was once Snow White in my heydays. But now I’m just an old jealous hag and trying to stop my own daughter from becoming the next Snow White! WTF?! Sounds really weird and messed up from all aspects if you ask me. And if you wonder if it is in their Book of Fates to meet Ex and co, well, remember their Story Zone is being corrupted and out of line. Definitely they weren’t meant to meet blank Book of Fate adventurers and that is why when Reina tunes the world, everything returns to normal like as though contact with those adventurers were never made in the first place.

Another interesting concept but also fails in its execution is the baddies’ intention to free all the roles. I can sympathize and understand why Loki wants to free the characters from their cruel fate. Isn’t it much more fun without spoilers? I mean, you go to watch a movie and somebody spoils you the ending. Not fun anymore, right? The same case can be made here. You people are happy living what is being told in your Book of Fate despite how crappy it is? Why don’t you go write your own damn stories! This idea looks fun and nice but it is poorly fleshed out as our antagonists seem to be biding their time and with Reina and co being successful in tuning a lot of the Story Zones, it feels like Loki isn’t really interested in freeing them but merely seeing Reina’s party do what they do. On a side note, if those characters are freed from their Book of Fates, wouldn’t that be chaotic? Because Snow White wouldn’t be Snow White. Cinderella wouldn’t be Cinderella. Alice In Wonderland wouldn’t be Alice In Wonderland. That is why there are spinoffs and alternate retellings. With this, now I am in a dilemma to support whether or not these characters should be free because the story will change and it will not be the original we know anymore!

But don’t worry if you don’t know if all the stories here and if you think that they are being rewritten again. Good news is that in the beginning when Reina and co enter a new Story Zone and the start of getting involved in this ‘trouble’, viewers will be told how the original version of the story goes or at least what it is about. A good short narration told in some silhouette style storytelling. Not everything is totally made out or strayed differently from the original too. For instance, those Tsuberks whom at first I thought it was just nonsense. But my Google search ‘enlightened’ me as I discover that it is a bad translation of Zwerg, which is German for dwarf.

On to the characters, well the main characters feel like they are also poorly written and not much is developed from them. Ex, Tao and Shane are given their own so called origins but somehow I feel that they are ‘shallower’ than Reina. Because we don’t know which story Reina comes from. All we know she is a princess in some story (thousands of stories have princesses and even so, is she a lesser princess?). Therefore personally, Reina seems to have a lot more ‘personality’ than the other trio because they write her character to be some sort of a joker and comic relief. Because her traits are easy to get lost AKA poor sense of direction as well as a very gullible and naïve girl when it comes to treats. You can see that in many troublesome situations the gang doesn’t want to get involved but with Reina being susceptible and already taken the bait, I guess it can’t be help. Time to stick our noses in. Then the rest like Ex is the newbie and the more serious guy who is worried about those around him, Shane sounds like a slacker but shows great interest in antique guns (unfortunately this is never fleshed out properly) and Tao trying to be a lead character and calling everyone in his group as his Tao Family. These characters may have blank Book of Fates but they are sure not writing their own stories well! But I have a speculation that these characters who hold a blank Book of Fate, they could actually be the Storytellers themselves. So Ex’s real identity could be Ludwig who is part of the Grimm Brothers. Hence they are diving into their own stories to save it from being corrupted by those who intend to destroy their original tale. Yeah. It’s too bad that in today’s world, the original authors are not alive to see their works being readapted with different versions. Definitely turning in their graves.

Even the antagonists, Loki and Curly are a bit of a joke. Sure, I did say I somewhat support their idea of freeing the NPCs (who doesn’t sympathize with Thanos’ intention to snap and wipe out half of the universe’s life to save resources?), but like I also said, it seems that they prefer to see Reina and co in action and bide their time to wait for something rather than take action now. For example during Jeanne’s story, Curly was like being an ally to Ex than being a thorn by his side. Not that she has been a thorn as much as Loki did but what I am saying is that if these baddies really want to achieve their goal, they could have done so from the start. But instead we see them pull the strings by turning certain characters into Chaos Tellers and let the havoc wreak for a while. And when Reina and co are successful, it’s not like Loki is super upset when he retreats. He looks a lot satisfied with today’s entertainment. All according to the plan. All according to the script… It would have been also good to flesh out the past between Rein and Loki but I guess with only a dozen episodes, better to parody other fairytales instead. Not sure if Loki is gone for good but I highly doubt it. After all, considering Loki is just another character, a Storyteller can just bring him back to life with the flick of the pen. Yeah, revivals and resurrections are so the in-thing in today’s stories and franchises that love killing off their characters too.

The fight scenes aren’t the best nor the main draw of the series. They felt like obligatory scenes needed because, how else do you defeat the Chaos Tellers? It’s like a side distraction that is unnecessary but only necessary because the script says so. Ah… After all, it always comes out predictable. The Chaos Teller despite being cocky and confident (because who doesn’t want to be the ruler of their own world?), usually their downfall is because they underestimate our heroes. Yeah, it’s all in the script already… Didn’t see that one coming, huh? One thing that confuses me is how the heroes obtain the fairytale characters in their crests. Do they have a set of stories laid out already in their crest or they only obtain that character after visiting his/her Story Zone? If that’s the case it sure feels confusing because since Alice In Wonderland is the final episode of this season, I remember seeing our heroes using Alice in prior episodes. Unless you tell me they’ve been to Alice In Wonderland before and now they revisited it again because the baddies decide to mess with it again thinking they might have forgotten this story they have saved. Hey, nobody said you can’t alter a story again after it is tuned, right? If that’s the case, truly a vicious cycle.

Having our heroes transform into different fairytale characters look interesting at first but it quickly becomes boring. Their special moves are based on the story is from and they are not memorable at all. Yeah, they all shoot some sort of fancy magic with effects and their names of the moves are boringly named after their traits in the story. No prizes to guess whose move is called Beware The Wolf! Do you know Miracle Of Orleans belongs to who? Yeah… And those useless Villains feel like all those useless foot soldiers you see in those tokusatsu series. They’re just there for the numbers to give the hero some warming up before they fight the big monster boss of the week. Not threatening at all unless you’re a wuss. Like Aladdin… Yeah, that is still the most ‘shocking’ one because I never expected a main character to actually die! But yeah, the heroes transforming into their fairytale characters do feel like some tokusatsu imitation. But all in all, still better than that Marchen Madchen series disaster!

The art and animation are just pretty average. Classic western fairytales being given the anime style treatment, I guess I still can’t get used to Snow White or Cinderella looking this kawaii and bishoujo. Damn the Disney’s version of them is still strongly stuck in my memories after all these years… And Alice doesn’t look anywhere near with that trademark blue pinafore that I always pictured her (thanks again, Disney) but this Alice’s uniform somewhat reminds me of the uniform used in Absolute Duo and Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate. And those Villains are so lazily designed that I thought they were ripped off from some tokusatsu series’ foot soldiers and added a pinch of Halloween. Seriously. This anime was done by Brain’s Base who did Baccano, D-Frag!, Durarara, the Natsume Yuujinchou series, Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun and Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru.

Voice acting isn’t anything special. I didn’t recognize any of the main characters but it is ironically that the cameo characters appearing in the different stories whom I recognized some of the veteran seiyuus. For instance, Aoi Yuuki as Snow White, Yui Horie as the fairy godmother, Yuu Kobayashi as the Snow Queen, Sayaka Ohara as the Queen of Hearts, Risa Taneda as Red Riding Hood and Fumihiko Tachiki as Don Quixote. Some seiyuus play several roles like Reina Ueda (Miyako in Watashi Ni Tenshi Ga Maiorita) doubling as Reina and Cinderella, Miyu Kubota (Medusa in Jashin-chan Dropkick) handling Shane and Alice while Rumi Ookubo (Aguri in Gamers) also did Jeanne and Kai. Sumire Uesaka (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) did a lot of roles like Curly, Jim, Onihime and Dulcinea. I guess they must be quite flexible in their voices that’s why I didn’t realize they were the same character. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention as I was trying to wrap my head around the weird stories…

Anyway, the rest of the casts are Ryota Ohsaka as Ex (Climb in Overlord), Takuya Eguchi as Tao and Aladdin (Koikawa in Mushibugyou), Takahiro Mizushima as Loki (Christopher in Scrapped Princess), Hiroshi Shirokuma as Silver (Gazef in Overlord), Ai Kayano as Gerda (Darkness in Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shikufuku Wo) and Sachika Misawa as Momotarou (Sakuyo in Mahou Shoujo Ore) and Junji Majima as Mad Hatter (Kinji in Hidan No Aria). I was expecting Ayana Taketatsu to be voicing one of the cameo roles but unfortunately she only performed for the opening theme, Innocent Notes. Typical rock outfit, kinda fitting for this genre, I guess. Iris sings the ending theme, Endless Notes that sounds more like a slow rock ballad. I guess this one also sounds okay. There are a few BGMs that have that medieval feel which is fitting seeing the origination of these classic stories.

Overall, the animation adaptation may have a lot of shortcomings despite its interesting premise and idea, it falls short in a lot of aspects like its execution, characters, action scenes and even the mechanisms. To put it shortly, a bad story. With so many stories being left out and not told yet, it could only get ugly if this series went on for another cour. Or have another season. Because I’d be flabbergasted to see Rapunzel using her hair as a whip and to strangle everybody! Or the Ugly Duckling turns out to be a giant fowl that runs rampage over the kingdom! Then there’s the naked emperor who went on flashing as a serial streaker to his people in his kingdom… And Goldilocks killed the bears just for their paws to be sold to the Chinese for medicinal properties! Grim indeed! Hansel and Gretel? They become a pair of witch hunters! Oh wait! Hollywood did that back in 2013!

So you see, in today’s world where nothing is that original anymore because we keep borrowing elements here, there and everywhere, it all boils down how you tell a story. Many stories are best left as it is in its original form no matter how twisted and dark it is (remember The Little Mermaid had a true tragic ending?). Because it is definitely weird to see cross culture fairytales being given such an adaptation like white guys playing samurai (remember that Tom Cruise one?) and white guys playing Dragonball characters (still shuddering over all that mediocrity?). It’s like we all want to write our own best of the best stories but we often forget that all of us are the main characters in our own story known as life. After all, what good is a story if there are no listeners and people to tell to. But unfortunately for this series, this is one story where we will put down away forever after picking it up. Left to grow dusty on a forgotten bookshelf in time… Didn’t hear of anybody’s Book of Fate saying this series could be rescued…