Maou-sama Retry

January 25, 2020

Oh no. Instead of giving us the fourth season of Overlord, we got yet another one of those ubiquitous isekai genres. Yes, people. Maou-sama Retry starts off with that suspicious premise of a long running popular game now shutting off its servers. During the final moments of being shut down forever, the creator plays the game one last time for nostalgia’s sake. And when the time comes, he finds himself inside the game world! As a Demon Lord! He tries to make sense of his new surroundings as well as his new overpowered abilities, helping the local kingdom from its crisis while trying to find a way back. Now you tell him how that is not a rip-off of Overlord?! Overlord, Retry???!!!

Episode 1
The popular online game, Infinity Game is going to shut down its server after 15 years. Akira Oono as one of its creators is sad and is sticking around for one last hurrah. But when it crosses that deadline, he finds himself in a different world and his body is now different! Why does this opening plot sound all too familiar? He realizes he looks like Hakuto Kunai, the Demon Lord of Infinity Game. What’s with the getup like a mafia boss?! Before he could make sense of things, a young girl, Aku is seen running away from a demon, Greole. Easily Kunai defeats it! Aku fears him because he is stronger than this demon and is going to eat her! He must be the Demon Lord! Kunai assures he isn’t. She explains this land is called Holy Light. One of the angels known as Cherub sealed Greole in the past. Kunai realizes he can still pull down an interface and check his stats and use some admin privileges. He then hears Aku’s sad story that her village hates her. After being bullied for so long, they tried to sacrifice her to Greole. That’s why she is so touched when ironically a Demon Lord like him treats her so nicely. Kunai carries Aku as they make their way to the Wishing Shrine, supposedly the place where Cherub sealed Greole. It is also a place where wishes are granted. According to legends, that is. Upon reaching, Kunai sees lots of dead bodies. Inside is some revered being. Kunai demands answers if he was being summoned here (those dead people wanted a Demon Lord so Greole was released and got what’s coming) and if he can be returned to his world. However the being is already on her last leg. She has weakened tremendously after all the wishes and just gives Kunai an irremovable curse-like ring on his finger before disintegrating. Gee, thanks. Kunai’s goal is to head to the capital but Aku hopes he could stop by her village so he could get some of her stuffs. Entering her dilapidated village, the villagers immediately scorn Aku for returning. They continue to blame and bully her. Aku hears the voice of the ring telling him to kill those people but he won’t give in and instead just burns down their village! Still brutal, though. He then takes Aku and leave for the capital. Sorry she can’t take her things. I guess she won’t need anything as long she has him!

Episode 2
One of the Holy Maidens, the bratty Luna Elegant is going to find Kunai and kill him so that she can prove her worth to her sisters. Oh damn, Kunai can create his own luxury motel with amenities so they don’t have to camp out in the wilderness? Wow. Super convenient. Next day, he detects several bandits trying to attack them. Of course he dodges their attack and even mocks the boss. But the bandits soon try to escape when Luna is here. Don’t want to be the receiving end of a Holy Maiden, eh? Then she tries to take down Kunai but as we can tell, she underestimates him as he easily takes down her attacking guards. Ultimate humiliation for Luna because he spanks her butt till it hurts!!! WTF???!!! He lets her go after taking her money. So basically he robbed her? In the market city of Yahoo (?!), they stay in a hotel named Gugule (???!!!). They get first class treatment because of the money Kunai has. Remember, they’re from Luna. Heck, even when he goes to shop for a decent dress for Aku, the moment he flashes his giant gold coin, damn this guy is treated like a God! The irony! Yeah, the owner, Bingo doesn’t even mind being his masochist! In the end, Kunai just bought the entire store! While fine dining at a restaurant, stupid Luna comes in to complain about spending her money. Before she could cause a commotion, Kunai threatens to spank her ass and buys every other customer fine wine. That did the trick. Luna eats her heart out. Well, this is her money after all. Aku notes that Kunai is a kind person but sometimes can be mean. Going back to their hotel, why the heck is Luna following them? She has no money and no place to stay! What about her guards? She sent them home so as not to put them in danger. WTF. Shouldn’t she ask them to at least take her home? Ah well, since it is technically her money that paid for this room, might as well stay. Meanwhile, Killer Queen, Luna’s older sister and one of the Holy Maidens is coming to the city. She isn’t pleased Luna has acted on her own and has caused her trouble. She is going to pay dearly. Gee, what’s up with her subordinates looking like they came out from the set of Mad Max!

Episode 3
Kunai learns more about the land. After Cherub died sealing Greole, there are still Ophan and Seraph who protect and guide the people. From what Luna explains, he thinks that being at the Wishing Shrine could be Ophan. He doesn’t have enough info to form a plan yet so for now he decides to go make some money. He tries to build rapport with the local merchant, Nanden Mannen and manages to sell this useless item for a handsome price. Must be his smooth talking. As he returns to the hotel, he sees Queen and her goons calling out to Luna. She doesn’t believe Luna’s explanation that a Demon Lord exist. It is made worse that Luna explains the Demon Lord has a butt fetish!!! WTF?! Suddenly members of the Satanist cult attack the Holy Maidens. The sisters turn into bad guys to take them down. One of the members unleash Hades to pin them down. The ring once more tries to force Kunai to kill everyone and when Kunai resists, he is paralyzed. Desperate, he executes some command that changes his character. Hence he becomes this delinquent in white, Zero Kirisame! Easily he whoops the asses of those cultist as Queen watches helplessly and starts to fall for this handsome hunk. Has she finally found the man of her destiny? Damn, seeing a violent badass sister turning into a blushing teen in love… Such a drastic change in character! One of the escaped cultist think Zero is from the Dragonkin and has secretly aligned with Holy Light. When Zero reverts to Kunai, he is dying with embarrassment after realizing all those ‘cool’ words he said were just downright embarrassing. Worse, this Zero’s dude reputation has spread and he can’t tell everyone, not even Aku that they’re the same person. Meanwhile, adventurers Mikan and Yukikaze are looking for request jobs to do. They see this wanted bounty poster of Kunai the Demon Lord that pays handsomely. So it’s a crime for just claiming to be the Demon Lord? Luna joins Kunai in his travels because she claims he has a butt fetish and should be happy her butt is following him! WTF?! I have a feeling this brat might like being spanked…

Episode 4
Kunai has Luna change into normal clothes so she won’t stand out. Don’t worry. Nothing lewd. Meanwhile Mikan and Yukikaze are running away from a pack of sandwolves. Lucky for them, they stumble into Kunai’s carriage. Now let the Demon Lord show them what he can do. He uses all his skill to defeat the sandwolves and sends the remaining ones running away. After Kunai leaves, Mikan and Yukikaze know that this is that Demon Lord but for now will return to the capital. Kunai sets up base for them to rest. Then he checks with system admin. There are 8 strong and talented people working under Kunai. However with his current points, he can only summon 1. Thinking hard, he decides to summon Yuu Kirino. She might be a genius doctor and scientist but her drawbacks are being a sadist, short tempered and a shotacon. Kunai needs to know more about this world before he can do anything. So he converts the base into a first class hospital so Yuu can get to work. But first he has her look at Aku’s leg and heal it. Yup, no scars are even left. Good as new. Aku is now able to run and jump however she likes. I guess it’s some cue to spend some quality time with Kunai. Uh huh. Already setting that this guy is the man whom she’ll marry. Kunai then praises Yuu for a good job. The moment he pats her head, she starts to feel a strange sensation. A feeling that makes her feel happy that she is being acknowledged by her chief. Is this what you call falling in love?

Episode 5
I know Yukikaze is in love with Kunai and everything coming out from his mouth is just dirty. WTF he thinks girl boys can also get pregnant?! This is what happens when you get corrupted by SJWs… The Satanic cult report back to their master, Utopia. He is baffled they summoned a Demon King who was then killed off by a Demon Lord. In lieu of this, he wants more sacrifice for Hades. They’ll kill everybody in the capital. Kunai enters a poor village that is supposedly under Luna’s domain. She isn’t into running territories so she doesn’t care and just appointed some caretaker. Hence Kunai wants to take over this village for his own cause. Hey, the land belongs to Luna and nobody is going to be dumb enough to object a Holy Maiden. His initial plan is to build a hospital and a hotspring next to it. A good combo to do business. So he has the caretaker relay the message to the church that he’s taking over. Then he notices a group of bunny people (Bunnies) farming failed crops. Apparently all creatures except humans are ostracized so Bunnies despite rare and few are somewhat ‘quarantined’ here. Talking to Momo and Kyun about their farming problems Kunai then introduces some pulley wheel to the well. Even with such a system, it is useless if there is no water to draw. Oh wait! Now there is water being drawn! OMG is this Demon Lord a Jesus Christ?! I don’t think Kunai really explains how it’s done and just changed the topic of how valuable this item is despite its real worth is just sh*t. Meanwhile the eldest Holy Maiden, Angel White is talking to her subjects and is worried about Luna’s actions lately. Is she being deceived by the Demon Lord? She decides a wait and see approach. When Queen comes in, she does nothing but praise Zero and can only think about him. Seriously, this girl is really in love. Is this what lovesick means? You bet Angel is getting really worried her sisters are acting weird. Hope she doesn’t break too.

Episode 6
S-class adventurers, Mink and Organ learn about the Demon Lord and think of meeting him. Mikan and Yukikaze got some serious competition now. Kunai and co are at a high class hotel recommended by Luna. They are joined by this noble lady, Ebifry Butterfly. As the centre figure for all the nobles’ wives, she has connections and is largely influential among nobles. Hence Kunai wants to be gain her trust so that she will become their ally. Kunai reveals the kind of paradise he wants to bring to this land. Soap? This will be essential in the hotspring resort he will soon open at Rabby Village. It will contain all sorts of baths to accommodate all sorts of guests and their fancies. Suddenly the Satanist cult attacks the town. Time for Kunai to go burn off some calories. Mikan and Yukikaze are fending them off but when the numbers become too great, Kunai jumps into the picture and no one can touch the power this Demon Lord falls on them. The cultists won’t lose and sacrifice the very last of their lives to summon a demon, Carnival. A nasty demon that would send panic throughout the kingdom. But it looks like child’s play to Kunai. He mocks the demon in every way and of course Carnival gets mad and wants to kill him. But then he realizes his deadly aura. Looking pretty scared for a powerful demon. Carnival even pleads to do as his wish just to spare his life but Kunai kills him off and turns him into fireworks. The townspeople rejoice at their hero while Yukikaze must be orgasming that he gets to see Kunai again. Then an argument with Mikan about the types of people they like. Everyone’s got their own twisted fetish…

Episode 7
Utopia is mad that his plans are going awry so he orders Tron to take what’s left and unleash it at the holy castle. Meanwhile, an assassin masquerades himself as he keeps the nobles busy. As he approaches Luna’s table, he wants to show a magic trick. But Yuu decides to show hers. Somehow he cuts off his arm and puts it back in the wrong place! After she puts it back correctly, she warns him never to show his face around here again because she could smell his poison in his pocket. Queen and Mink are disposing zombies when the cultists get desperate again. After sacrificing their own lives, they summon this vampire, Oruit the Prince of Darkness. Queen and Mink fight her but because Tron unleashed Hades into the battlefield, they are weakened and this allows Oruit to get nasty with them. I’m not sure what Kunai’s problem because he isn’t too pleased watching all this. Something about not letting this monster get in his way as he hasn’t started researching on Seraph. Hence he transforms into Zero to take on Oruit. Clearly Zero is so badass and powerful that he makes Oruit look like a baby struggling! Oruit gets desperate so he kills Tron to take her blood. Dying Tron sees flashbacks of her tragic life but then she gets a second chance at life when Zero completely heals her with his, uhm, Calorie Hell? Desperate Oruit now transforms into some giant beast but all it takes is just one punch from Zero to shatter him into pieces! Yeah, so cool, right?

Episode 8
Tron is so happy that she hugs Zero. Queen also joins in the hug fest. Not sure how he got out of that one but Kunai sees Angel who is wary he might be planning in invading the capital. However he is just asking for permission to use the library to research on Seraph. She wonders if he wants to kill her. She grants him permission but will not involve herself. As he looks through the library, he learns that dungeons often drop weapons and armour. Sometimes rare ancient items. Because magic doesn’t exist in Infinity Game, it is his weakness. He needs to find a way to protect himself from that. Later Kunai knows Tron has been tailing him and calls her out. Tron knows Kunai and Zero are the same person because she can sense they have the same person. She wants him to bring her saviour out but Kunai wants her to work for him and maybe he’ll grant her wish. Kunai introduces Tron to the rest. New loli member, huh? He views her abilities vital to Rabby. Speaking of which, off they go there to check things out. Due to the last battle, Kunai has earned enough points to upgrade the base. Yup, now we have a full-fledged hospital as well as a high class hotspring resort. He even discusses with Yuu on how to charge customers. So they’re going to go easy on the poor and max charge the rich? Kunai also has Momo and Kyun to gather the villagers after their day is done so as to test out the facilities. Finally, Kunai has enough points to summon 1 more aide. He decides on Isami Tahara who is a gun specialist and can protect Rabby in his absence. Also, he is a siscon…

Episode 9
Kunai explains to Tahara the circumstances and what he wants to do. All that is left is to make preparations for Ebifry’s visit. Kunai then visits Mannen to show him this orgel. Such sophisticated music box doesn’t exist in this world so you bet he is fascinated with it. Kunai lets him determine the price so Mannen thinks this is a test. If he screws up, he fears Kunai might take his business elsewhere. Eventually he assesses it as high value and Kunai receives a handsome amount. Then he goes to see Bingo and pays in advance to have him make 20 suits. Nothing motivates you to work harder when there is money in your face. That night, Kunai tries to practice to change to Zero and revert back at his own will. You mean he isn’t doing it all the time? Tahara continues to train the Bunnies at Rabby on how to operate a hotspring resort. The day Ebifry visits is here. It seems she also brought along a grumpy old man, Commander Sambo. He is a retired soldier who once served under Martial Arts. However he is blinded by a magical beast. You bet Kunai will have Yuu take a look at his condition and even cure it! And yeah, a drop of some magic drip and now he can see again!!! Yeah, so happy he can serve his master again. Ebifry pays for all this by giving Yuu a very rare and valuable lambda coin.

Episode 10
Flashback 10 years ago, Luna was living in poverty and had a friend named Eagle. Because the rich nobles scoffed at them for being filthy, Luna vowed to become a Holy Maiden and show them. 2 years later, she trained and became worthy to be a Holy Maiden. But when she requested to bring Eagle in as her slave, she was told she was already executed. You see, Eagle is a demihuman and being one itself is already a sin. When Luna was given Rabby as her domain, she lamented had she got this power earlier, she would have prevented a lot of deaths. Luna is awakened by Kunai since he is going to leave Ebifry in her care now. Luna shows her all the different hotsprings this place has to offer. Ebifry can tell Luna is in love with Kunai. Despite the loli keep on denying, Ebifry continues to advise her not to give up. She should try to be more feminine or he might not look her way. Meanwhile Angel is furious that Ebifry has been lured to Kunai’s domain. She is disheartened that Queen doesn’t care as the kingdom might fall into crisis. Heck, Queen even teases her she should fall in love to understand and prays for that! Yuu sees Tahara trying to make some changes to the building locations. She suggests asking Ebifry’s opinion on this and Tahara immediately chastises her that she should know better herself never to let outsiders dictate what they do in their territory. Yeah, some Nightless City incident thingy. Later Yuu checks up on Kunai’s body. WTF she tries to feel it up but obviously he got uncomfortable and leaves. That night, Aku sleeps with Kunai. Nothing naughty but of course Luna gets the wrong idea. Just to be safe, she also goes to sleep with him. Since she is moving around, obviously it must be some ruse to make his hand touch her butt and accuse him of so. So to keep watch on this naught hand of his, she sleeps on it? I don’t even…

Episode 11
Kunai goes to town and Yukikaze who has been yearning for him, finally gets his wish to talk to him. Although Kunai doesn’t feel they are indebted to him for saving them twice, Yukikaze feels the need to pay him back. Since he is acting like an airhead, Kunai plays along. At this bar they frequent, everybody knows Kunai and welcomes him, even buying him drinks. I suppose Yukikaze’s chance to flirt with him. Even drinking his drink so he can make this cheesy statement that his stuff is all going down his deep throat! Kunai asks about the workings of this world that includes the system of the adventurers, mercenaries and the kind of different types of items found in dungeons that can be further divided into a few categories. Yukikaze is getting bolder and closer to Kunai and the reason this Demon Lord is putting up with it is just to get more info. Then he decides to see if all they said is true. Yukikaze offers to be his guide. Since his comrades will be busy developing Rabby and he can’t drag the lolis in, he takes up Yukikaze’s offer. Happiest day of his life. Will this lead to something more ‘dangerous’? Meanwhile Angel decides to rescue Luna from the Demon Lord’s clutches. She teleports herself to Rabby and is shocked to see its rapid development. Did she come to the right place? Tahara mistakes her for some worker and makes her go do some work. Yeah, the Holy Maiden working… Angel then sees Luna. Apparently little sister is so happy here reorganizing her domain that she doesn’t want to go back. Angel laments she has been totally brainwashed and the only way is the defeat the Demon Lord. She has so much on her mind that Momo and Kyun invite her to take a bath. Yeah, she entered the men’s section… She is surprised to see baths everywhere.

Episode 12
What else is more surprising? Kunai in the bath! Despite Kunai acting cool, inside he is close to panicking. Heck, it would be hell if this ends up as some scandalous harassment. Even Demon Lords are not immune to sexual harassment accusations! Luckily he is suave and has her dip in and talk. After she gets over that anxiety about nakedness and all, he invites her to drink with him. She thinks he wants to poison her but he shoots back the only poison in this kingdom are the ones running it! He’s got a point. See how they neglect rundown villages? I guess Angel is still insecure about minor stuffs like indirect kiss so on the verge of crying, Kunai gives her an angel halo as a gift to assure her he is not her enemy. A Demon Lord with a halo gift? Kunai even teleports her safely back to her palace. He hopes they can cooperate as allies in the future but doesn’t want her to tell about what happened today. Certainly she too don’t want others to get the wrong idea she had a drink and a bath with the Demon Lord! The kingdom will be in chaos! When Kunai explains his goal to find more about Seraph because he was summoned by Ophan, she quickly connects the dots and understands why Luna is obsessed with him. Also, she thinks Kunai could be the fallen angel, Lucifer. After all, he can use miracles that only Seraph can produce so he isn’t entirely a bad person. She hopes to revert Lucifer back to an angel he once were. Back at the inn, so as not to forget Aku, we see Kunai talking to her about his journey. She hopes he will come back safely. A way to seal the Demon Lord: Have 3 lolis sleep by his side and over him! Haha! Next day before Kunai leaves, he leaves Rabby in the hands of Yuu and Tahara. Then he travels with Yukikaze and Mikan to the town of Rookie. He hears the people praising the return of last year’s heroes. WTF, the macho gay men Tri-Stars and this otaku guy, Otamega???!!! You bet Kunai is so incredulously in disbelief!

Abandon Immediately, Do Not Retry Again!
YAWN!!! Boring!!! WTF. They made the final episode into one long drama that feels like an episode to convert Angel into a believer of Kunai?! Angel might not be totally accepting of him yet but at least now she has faith in him. Ah, that’s the first step. And when Kunai has finally conquered the heart of the top Holy Maiden, I am guessing that everything else will be as easy and falling like domino pieces. And if that’s not enough, WTF do you mean this is going to be continued???!!! Kunai’s priceless expression at the end is perhaps the best reflection what most of us would feel about this series by the time it ends. And you expect this crap to be continued???!!! Please, no more!!! NO MORE I SAY!!!! Hence the only ‘good news’ is that as far as I am writing this, no news have been heard about any second season. Yet. I hope it will stay that way forever.

I wasn’t putting any high hopes on this series to begin with. Imagine when something manages to drop way below that, you’ll know that this series is ultimately crap. I don’t know where to begin to explain how bad of an anime this is. Oh heck, everything is bad. Everything is the worst! The end. Hahaha! Okay, could have cut this blog short but I still feel the need to ‘elaborate’ all its bad points. Just for completion’s sake. Sheesh. But still, not the worst anime that I have seen in my entire life but definitely this one fits in that group. Sometimes I just wished that they stop making us this kind of crap already but you know, you can always blame me for being a sucker that I keep falling to watch such bad animes. Even though my guts were ringing like hell that this was going to be bad and the online comments of this series were already raging like an uncontrolled wild forest fire. Oh well. Live is a vicious cycle and those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Forever.

Now where do I begin with the story? F*ck, it is all over the place that I can’t make head or tail where this series is actually going! It feels that almost every episode is a like a standalone filler. Yeah sure, Kunai is trying to get to the bottom of this and in the midst of it, he is going to show those in power what he can do. Basically, creating his own kingdom from scratch. Which feels pretty much effortless and easy because Kunai being the Demon Lord can just create anything out of nowhere. So long as the plot convenience signals it is time, then it’s time to perform a miracle that not even God and his son can do. Just to show us he isn’t totally a bad guy or a jerk, that is why on occasion some bad guys pop up and he beats them easily without breaking a sweat. So yeah, I’m not sure if this series is about a Demon Lord trying to open a hotspring resort and reviving an abandoned village. I’m sure he can succeed. Just sell more of those soaps…

Next, the characters. Fail too. I don’t even know what else to say. Kunai is the Demon Lord. He is overpowered. He can do anything! I’m going to sound like a broken tape recorder repeating all that. Am already one since this is what I usually say in my other blogs concerning overpowered main characters of the isekai genre. Worst of all, the other supporting characters are so f*cking forgettable that you wonder why they are even in here. Like Aku. The first ever follower of Kunai but you start to notice and realize her presence actually don’t f*cking matter. Like, this girl just follow him around and just be obedient and listens to what he says. What a good girl. Boring! Then you have the fallen Holy Maiden who is no other than Luna. Obviously she is a tsundere and using that excuse Kunai likes her butt to stick around. Yeah, she’s the butt of all jokes because she likes to use that butt excuse of Kunai going for other girls’ butt if she thinks he is cheating on her. WTF. Since when does her butt is exclusively monopolized solely by Kunai? Her sisters are just as weird and you’ll wonder if the threshold to become a Holy Maiden is that low. Queen is some badass b*tch who suddenly turned into a teenager girl stricken with love. Like, that’s how she’ll be for the rest of the series. Angel isn’t that bad but she’s so worried how her sisters have become, she doesn’t even do anything herself! What good is a sister if just keeps doing nothing? You mean you fear the Demon Lord more than God? Something not right… And even more so considering she now views him in a better light. Imagine the irony of the kingdom finding its saviour in the Demon Lord instead of God.

Do you need more lolis into your group? Tron fits that bill for some reason. I don’t even know why they even need to throw in another overlapping character that doesn’t do anything else but whatever. Kunai’s aides, Yuu and Tahara are now summoned and we see them equally overpowered in their own respective fields. This is very ironic because Kunai as the Demon Lord should be the all-powerful master himself so why does he need such powerful helpers too? Not too sure how the previous Infinity Game works but I guess they want to show something relating to friendship and bonds. And since there are 6 more left… Oh thank goodness there is not enough episodes for this series in this season to make them all appear! It would have been the most overpowered group ever in the history of the isekai genre. This world and Infinity Game will totally be destroyed! I don’t even understand why Kunai feels the need to summon his alter ego AKA Zero. I don’t even know they need to go with this plot or something. Why the heck this character?! Maybe there’s a reason but I just couldn’t be bothered now at this point.

Even more lacking are the other heroes, especially the heroes such as Yukikaze, Mikan, Organ and Mink. Like, why do they even exist? I thought they were going to be part of Kunai’s groupie but apparently they serve to be just extra minor characters. The ‘interesting’ one is Yukikaze because this cross-dresser makes dirty sex statements of his delusions of getting raped by the Demon Lord! Uh huh. You either laugh or cringe at his words, how he can twist ordinary sentences into Kunai assaulting all the holes in his body! They should have more depraved jokes on this kid since this series is so boring that I laugh at such cheesy sex gags. Yeah… You can’t help feel that Kunai’s chastity is in danger every second he spends with this thirsty kid. Your mind goes crazy wondering if Yukikaze will finally break and really rape Kunai. I doubt the Demon Lord would let something like that happen to him but also nothing stops a pervert when he puts his libido to it.

Maybe this series is also boring because it lacks any main antagonist. Yeah, Kunai finding low level baddies and cult members aren’t going to cut it. Even the inaptly named so called baddie of the series, Utopia doesn’t even make much of an appearance despite we want to think of him working in the shadows. This guy should just hurry up and show himself before Kunai (or Zero) and get his ass kicked. End of story. Yeah, I bet you’ve forgotten that this shady hooded guy existed. Besides the minor skirmishes he sent his cult members to bring down the kingdom, I suppose the most we’ll remember him for is how he gave another loli AKA Tron to Kunai. Sheesh… So yeah, lacking of any main antagonist might be why this series is also lacking in its direction. It could be that Lucifer guy Angel talked about who could be the last boss (by the way who has an uncanny resemblance to Kunai), but as far as this season is concerned, Kunai’s worse enemy is only himself. Seriously.

I guess the characters are so lacking that I theorized that they have to resort to this method to make us remember them. As you would have noticed in every damn episode, the character names keep popping up on screen the very first time they appear for that episode. I mean, if you haven’t being paying attention and not realize that this mafiaso Demon Lord is Kunai already, you shouldn’t be watching this show in the first place. Yup, right up till the last episode we still have his name ‘introduced’ over the screen. Like, we get it already! Worse of all, the ugly fonts for the names. Are they even trying?!

One of the oddest segments of the series is the mid-intermission. Because for every episode, you are given the statistics and data of 2 characters in the series. I suppose that is why this series has so many characters that don’t matter… Anyway, you have the usual stats of sex, race, height, weight, likes and dislikes. And some other power stats like strength that don’t even matter. Some stats are printed and some are given the big question mark to make it oh so mysterious or the creators can’t decide yet what those measurements are. I guess it is to give some sort of meaning to the existence of these characters. Yeah, we have some stats on them so they’re not just like some any other extra minor background characters! Not that I care at this point anyway. Remember what I said earlier about introducing so many characters just for this segment? Because the oddest and perhaps the funniest ‘character’ is Kunai’s cigarettes! OMFG!!! You mean this ‘character’ even got its own stats???!!! Real funny, dude. No wonder there are some stats that are “???”. Definitely, his cigarettes aren’t male or female, duh???!!! Not enough characters that they have to add this, huh? Oh yeah. You see Kunai smoke them every episode. Yeah, I bet they get more screen time than Aku or Luna. He is the Demon Lord so no worries of him dying of lung cancer. Heck, even Kunai’s real life persona (Akira, if you remember his name) gets a cameo here. But nothing really important to remember. Move along.

The art and animation is totally rubbish and crappy. The quality is so bad that you wonder if there was any budget put into it and that the staffs were forced to do it and hence putting their half-hearted efforts into it. It is so poor and bad of a quality that I don’t even want to further elaborate. Character designs are so simple and cartoonish that like I’ve said, no effort seems to be put into them. They have this one kind look to them. And then there are jokes and memes going around about Aku being a rip-off of Rem from Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. Just change her hair colour to yellow and voila! Meek loli character! Worse, she’s not even a maid character… Zero points! Like as though the producers asked for permission to rip-off other Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu characters because there also memes of how Luna is a rip-off from Emilia but a discount version. I haven’t seen memes on this but I have a feeling that Queen is ripped off from Priscilla… This series is made by Ekachi Eplika whose only other anime they made was Fumikiri Jikan (which has better animation quality compared to this crap). Come on, you can do better than that!

I feel that voice acting is particularly wasted especially the eccentric Kenjiro Tsuda playing as Kunai. Because of the sh*tty role he is given, hence there is only so much he can do for his character. He can’t save it either. So hearing him as Kunai is one of the few reprieves I have but eventually this doesn’t improve the anime one bit. There are a few other recognizable seiyuus too and I have the same feeling that they have wasted their talents on this sh*tty show. Like Haruka Tomatsu as Queen, she is in that usual crazy voice of hers but too bad the character she plays sucks. Then there is Aki Toyosaki as Angel, Rina Satou as Yuu, Takehito Koyasu as Utopia as well as Showtaro Morikubo as Zero. What a pity.

The rest of the other characters are Kanon Takao as Aku (Latina in Uchi No Musume), Kaori Ishihara as Luna (Aladdin in Magi), Suzuna Kinoshita as Tron (Misaki in Fumikiri Jikan), Sora Tokui as Yukikaze (Nero in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Hitomi Nabatame as Mikan (Yukiji in Hayate No Gotoku), Chiyo Ousaki as Mink (Sara in Da Capo III), Mao Ichimichi as Organ (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Tomokazu Seki as Tahara (Gilgamesh in Fate series), Kimiko Saitou as Ebifry (Chieko in Kuragehime), Yurika Kubo as Momo (Hanayo in Love Live) and Kazusa Aranami as Kyun (Grenda in Robot Girls Z). The opening theme is Tempest by Kaori Ishihara and the ending theme is New by Haruka Toujou. Both are boring and nothing exciting too. Feel out of place too if you ask me. The opener feels like some techno dance beat that is written for a video game while the ending one is like a badass hard rock piece that feels like it is in the wrong anime to begin with. I didn’t notice much about the BGM but there is one that is quite cool and jazzy. Reminds me of some cowboy western thingy. Had this show not sucked and this song feeling so out of place, this could have been a great piece to listen to.

Overall, this is really one sorry excuse of an anime. Like as though they need to fill up the quota of having a number of really bad animes that sucked. Yukikaze, please don’t get any weird ideas after hearing the word sucked. Literally I have no idea where this anime is going and it’s like the ones who produced this too didn’t have the heart to make it. Poor story, bad characters, lousy animation are all the tell-tale signs that this anime should never been given another chance to retry. I don’t know, maybe if it got rebooted it could be better. But for now, let the Demon Lord just run his hotspring business. Just like how the anime industry is churning out sh*tty quality isekai a dime a dozen because it’s raking in the money. I pray to God and the Holy Maidens that we deserve better animes. So stop giving us a sh*tty rip-off of Overlord and instead of continuing this crappy show, give us a real fourth season of that damned series already!!!

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?

Wait a minute. A remake to a series that I have never even heard of? Well, Kono Yo No Hate De Koi Wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO was first released as an adult visual novel game back in 1996. Yup, starting to feel old now when I hear things that come out in the 90s. Then it got its anime adaptation in late 1998 but in the form of OVAs. However they are hentai. Ah, I see. No wonder. So I guess that since they are going to remake and adapt this for normal TV viewing, they got to do away with all the naughty scenes and substitute it with something more acceptable? Like having some cheap harem and cheap pantsu shots? Uh huh. I see. Oh, what’s this sci-fi about parallel worlds thingy? Oh no. Have a bad feeling about this. Can I just stay for the harem factor? Stupid promotional poster convinced me…

Episode 1
Takuya Arima is relaxing on the school rooftop when his sexy school nurse, Eriko Takedo wakes him up. Obviously he tries to get naughty with her. What a way to get over his dad, Koudai who recently died in a cave-in during a research expedition. Later Takuya is being bugged by his ‘disciple’ Yuuki Masakatsu to join some club. Takuya teases him that he is only trying to get Mio Shimazu in which of course he denies. Speaking of her, Takuya doesn’t seem to get along well with her and the only reason she is sticking with him is because she is a fan of Koudai’s works. Sure that’s the only reason? Takuya’s stepmom, Ayumi works at Geotechnics and since they are doing some construction at a controversial site, she has to do some PR work. As he is to help clear his father’s room, Kouzou Ryuuzouji wants to help continue with Koudai’s work. He asks if Koudai had given Takuya anything lately. Not that he can think of. I think they’re trying to establish Takeya as a chick magnet, because this hot teacher, Mitsuki Ichijou who is now working as Ryuuzouji’s secretary hints she can make him feel better to get over his depression over his dad’s death. I’m sure he’ll keep that in mind. On his way home, Kaori Asakura interviews Takuya since the usual street protest is going on. Back home, Takuya thought his porn package finally came. WTF is this strange artefact?! Then a phone call but nobody is at the other end. As the protest continue, suddenly lightning strikes. Takuya sees this live on TV and rushes to the scene. There are some worker casualties but Ayumi is safe. But Takuya dislikes her aide, Hideo Toyotomi who is your typical jerk. When Eriko introduces Kanna Hatano as the new transfer student, WTF Takuya strips before them as a prank!!! The whole class expects this but is amazed Kanna didn’t flinch (emotionless girl hint). Back home, Takuya receives another package. This time, it is a book written by Koudai. Parallel World Constitutive Theorem? Gee, looks confusing. But the artefact matches an illustration inside. Also there is a letter from Koudai addressed to him. It is hinted father is not dead but disappeared. Following the instructions to head to the cape and bringing the artefact, he thought Koudai will be there. But yikes, who this sexy naked elf girl?! After she disappears, Ryuuzouji and Ayumi approach him. After seeing this, Ryuuzouji pulls out a gun and wants him to handover the artefact. Something that allows one to cross time. He also hints Koudai and Takuya’s biological mom are actually living in a different world. Then some resonance happens. Lightning strikes. Takuya gets headache. Finds Ryuuzouji gone. Goes home. Sleep. Next morning at school he sees Ryuuzouji. He doesn’t remember what happened last night.

Episode 2
Takuya tests the artefact. It seems he can return to a certain ‘save point’. But an exception is that objects he holds stay with him. Then some flashback of Koudai giving his technical explanation of how different parallel worlds form because of the decisions that one make and don’t make. Confusing… Takuya as Mio and Yuuki help clean out Koudai’s room. Mio is interested in this article she found written by Koudai. Something about the 400 Year Cycle Theory. Because it was very controversial, the academic society disowned him. Then they head to the cape and see Kanna doing something. She leaves and will not admit what she was doing despite Mio threatening her. After their short research and heading home, they see Toyotomi being threatened by workers who refuse to work in this dangerous project. Of course he gives excuses and when he does the same to the kids, Mio is not amused. As she is the mayor’s daughter, she will bring it up to her father. This causes him to panic and run away?! That night, Takuya knows Ayumi will be working late. But he tries to visit her at the company and blackmails the guard (since she is slacking on the job) to tell her where she went. In some warehouse, a couple of ruffians threaten her to hand over some documents. Takuya uses his artefact as save point to barge in and save her (the baddies think this is part of the show). Of course he gets beaten up. Luckily he manages to reset back to that point and retry again. Each getting more outrageous and Takuya always end up getting owned. One point even ramming his scooter into them?! Still fail, though. Suddenly Toyotomi comes rushing in to save the day!

Episode 3
A few fake punches and the baddies run away. Oh, so he wants to look good before Ayumi, huh? Takuya gets patched up back home. Despite Ayumi worried about him being reckless, she was happy he tried to be brave and to rescue her. With the bruises, Takuya thinks he can skip summer class. Yeah, get his lackey Yuuki to substitute him! Heading into the infirmary, he sees Kanna there. But her accessory reminds him of a girl he once met before. When he asks her about it, she says it is her flame of life. Later Mitsuki comes to tell Takuya about Ryuuzouji’s strange behaviour lately. Please Takuya, stop with the bad jokes. She hopes he can help keep an eye on him. Ayumi calls Takuya and hopes he could help bring some documents she forgot. Inside Geotechnics, Toyotomi wants to take it from here but Takuya doesn’t trust this jerk and hands it directly to her. Of course later Toyotomi sneakily takes it away when nobody is looking and Ayumi left for a press conference. This conference is to assure the public that Geotechnics is putting safety first. However with the people accusing Geotechnics of literally just anything and that their construction might have angered the gods, it’s really tough for her. Even after it is over and outside, some jerk pelts her with eggs! Ayumi then goes on TV for another interview hosted by Kaori just to clear Geotechnics’ name but as we can see, she’s being bullied and asked lots of tough questions. It is no surprise she comes home drunk and acting like a baby before Takuya. When she sobers up, it is sad to see her slowly breaking down. She doesn’t know if she can keep doing this. Just for tonight, she hugs Takuya and cries as much as she wants.

Episode 4
Takuya has a bad dream Ayumi is tired of living and killed herself. He wakes up and tries to look for her. Oops. Caught her naked in the bath. Awkward. Meanwhile, Mio’s dad has transferred her to an international school in America next week. Because things are going to get busy around here, he doesn’t want her involved. I guess she has no say in this, huh? On his way to school, Takuya bumps into Kaori who asks him about Ayumi. As she is currently investigating Geotechnics, there are rumours the company and the mayor are colluding so she needs any sort of info from him. He doesn’t like how she words it but he won’t sell out his friends. While in school, Takuya is called to answer the phone. The legal department of Geotechnics can’t reach Ayumi. She isn’t at work and nobody is picking up the phone at home. He can’t say more but only reveals this could turn into a criminal case. So he rushes home only to see Toyotomi and Ayumi flirting with each other! Takuya gets violent but Ayumi stops him. Even to the point of slapping him when he won’t listen. With Ayumi more concerned about Toyotomi, disgruntled Takuya leaves. He bums out at the café until Kaori comes in. Seems she has more info and wants him to come to her hotel she is staying to talk. There, Takuya thought he saw Kanna. It seems she is also there and to see a shady man who has been stalking outside school for a while. In Kaori’s room, she reveals some secret documents have been stolen from Geotech. It is rumoured that Ayumi sold them to a rival company and can be fired. Of course she believes it isn’t her doing and is set up. She needs his help to switch Ayumi’s access card with this fake so she can get in and investigate further. Takuya is sceptical since her interview show that night embarrassed Ayumi. Takuya starts believing that Toyotomi is the culprit and that Ayumi is acting so because he was threatening her. He rushes home but something feels off. He finds Ayumi in the toilet. Water still running and she slit her wrists!!! NOOOO!!!!!!!!

Episode 5
Going back in time to when he was just starting to take the test, this time he confronts Toyotomi right before he begins his rape and punches him. After he kicks him out and threatens him never to come back, Takuya returns home only to see Ayumi hanged herself! That was fast! Time to go back in time again and try a different path. This time he takes Ayumi away. Trying to explain everything was a setup by Toyotomi, she snaps that he doesn’t understand anything. She is then tired of living and let herself get banged by a truck! So no matter what Takuya tries, Ayumi keeps dying. Damn, she kills herself in so many different ways that this is starting to become a tragic joke! So Takuya reads up on his father’s notes about all that sci-fi sh*t. In short, this is fate. Like hell he is going to let fate win. So Takuya goes to see Kaori and gives her the access card. In exchange, she gives him something juicy. I think baiting him to have sex with her wasn’t it. Now Takuya confronts Toyotomi before his raping. He throws down photos of him setting up things. Toyotomi runs away as Takuya tries to give chase. Luckily Kaori knocks a pot on his head. Though, she warns him the media will still lie in order to bait viewers so they can’t go to the police either. She will deal with the scumbag while he returns to Ayumi. In the nick of time, Takuya spots Ayumi attempting to slit her wrist. After struggling with her, the childish argument ends with Takuya slapping her. Did that do the trick? So they calm down and talk things out. The clincher probably is Takuya assuring he will always protect her even if he ends up going to another time or world. At least he looks cool saying that.

Episode 6
Takuya returns to his normal school life. He is soon called by Kaori and looks like she has some news that will have Toyotomi quit and transfer out in a few days. Hence she seeks his help to break into Geotech’s office. As she is a journalist, she can walk through the front door but Takuya must sneak in from the back and wait till she unlocks the door. What a close shave. But thanks to also the security guards being sloppy on their job. Yeah, the one supposed to be watching the overall surveillances is interested in watching her period soap drama! Using the blue card to access the room, Takuya sees lots of stones on display. Kaori explains Geotech’s real goal is to excavate these rocks. In the main room lies a glowing rock known as Psychite. It was first excavated beneath Mt Sankaku and it reacts to the human mind and creates vast amounts of energy. Some believe to be a living ore. However its weakness is that it loses its properties when exposed to air. Hence this Psychite is crystallized here. Ayumi’s job is to find a way to crystallize it properly. With Toyotomi framing Ayumi, his next step is to steal Psychite. Hence she wants Takuya to break the glass to make it look like Toyotomi did it. He does so but the moment he does that, Kaori knocks him out. The truth is revealed when Kaori is actually working with Toyotomi to steal Psychite.

Luckily for Takuya, he saved before entering this room. Now that he knows what has happened, everything plays out exactly the same. He still gets knocked out by Kaori but this time he is more prepared and doesn’t suffer too much damage. He makes them spill the beans on making him the fall guy. This is to further blame Ayumi. With the recent incidents, she will now resort to using her son to steal Psychite. Toyotomi also hints at Kaori’s ‘journalism’ in which she blackmails companies for money and then report them in her programme. Takuya isn’t fazed. Because his big boner is actually a walkie-talkie. Their confession is heard by the guards as they storm in to arrest them. After the duo are taken away, Ayumi expresses her gratitude to Takuya. She further elaborates how Koudai was obsessed in researching Psychite because he still loves his first wife and entrusted the research to Ayumi. Suddenly Takuya starts disappearing. Ayumi believes it is time for him to go since he is from another parallel world. After Takuya disappears, he sees Koudai before him. Some sci-fi crap about correction of chaos as it is impossible to resist causality. Because Takuya wasn’t meant to be there, he will be sent right back to the start and experience things again but with slight changes. He knows everything because he rests against the Tree of Vrinda that rules all over events, past, present and future. So this tree is basically God? And one last advice: Causality rules everything in this world.

Episode 7
Takuya returns at the start where he is at Mt Sankaku just off experiencing his headache. Some familiar scenes like Mitsuki complaining about Ryuuzouji’s strange behaviour. With Takuya, Mio and Yuuki invited to Ryuuzouji’s house, Kanna is not interested since she could smell something different of him. The trio are greeted by Ryuuzouji’s mom who thinks her son is no longer her son. Upon seeing him, she flees in fear. Ryuuzouji explains mom has Alzheimer and then proceeds to show them an old tapestry. A strange picture of people being burnt by the light? As Mio sketches it, Ryuuzouji talks to Takuya privately. A little bit of past with him and Koudai as they were studying in the same college and shared a common goal to unlock history. Things that weren’t put in textbooks. Of course, Koudai was kicked out after that controversial article so Ryuuzouji invited him to research in his university. Along with physicist Yurika Imagawa who specializes in magnetic and gravitational fields, eventually Ryuuzouji chose humans as his research subject but Koudai chose immortality. During their research, Imagawa’s notes spoke of a woman who lived in reclusion near Ken No Misaki. A blonde with pale skin who was also blind, Keitia later changed her name to Keiko and would be Takuya’s mother. Despite her condition, she took care of Takuya who was often sick as a kid. He can’t remember much, though. Ryuuzouji then asks if Koudai left him something. Takuya of course says no. Then he starts to feel heavy and dizzy. He knows Ryuuzouji is trying to do something to him and trying to force him to give that thing to him. Ryuuzouji notes he is able to resist Niarb. All this stop when his friends come by. Time to leave. Ryuuzouji’s mom shows them the way out but has them ponder about her earlier question about swallows and sparrows do not know geese and swans.

Episode 8
Mio researches on granny’s words. So basically it means that insignificant people will never understand what important people think? Then she overheard dad in some shady conversation and that scene of her dad telling her she’ll study overseas. Eriko trolls Takuya the best massage that will cure his headache. Not sex. The massage chair. He asks about Niarb and she explains it is some sort of hypnosis. You are conscious but unaware you are under that spell. Later he goes see Mitsuki and thinks Ryuuzouji has got them both hypnotized. As Mio has discovered something from the tapestry, she has Takuya meet her in her room. She believes it is a doorway to somewhere and something about the Takanoamahara people. Their next goal is to head to Mt Sankaku to ascertain it. But Takuya sees her changing and so when she freaks out, her dad of course knocks on the door and thinks there is a boy in her room. He better run because dad is going to kill him! Indeed. He’s going to use his shotgun to gun down the door! Saved by the bell because Yuuki is at the doorstep. Leave, kid. This distraction allows Takuya to escape. At Mt Sankaku, Mio and Takuya start digging to find that doorway. Just as Mio thinks she did, she sprains her ankle so Takuya stops her and brings her back to school to treat it. That is when Mio reveals something about her dad’s corruption with Geotech as well as her leaving of this place. Takuya is supportive of her but this conversation is interrupted when Misaki enters. All the gloves come off. Misaki accusing Mio of approaching her to even break up with Takuya. Mio denies it all but she getting emotional only proves Misaki’s point that she loves Takuya. It gets more complicated as we see Yuuki overhearing everything. That’s the fastest way to make a chirpy guy go depressed. Things take a nosedive the next day as Mio thinks Takuya has betrayed her. Posters denouncing the mayor are everywhere.

Episode 9
Takuya rips off the posters. Violation of free speech, you say? Free speech is only for those who can take responsibility! With the press hounding the mayor, others are talking bad about Mio behind her back. Takuya tries to talk to her but to no avail. Discussing this with Mitsuki, the way Takuya tries to pinpoint the culprit as to someone who would benefit with Mio’s absence, that sounds a lot like Mitsuki, right? After all, they’re both in love with the same man. But Takuya doesn’t believe it since she won’t resort to something so cowardly. The news is just in that the mayor has just handed in his resignation and hence the city council will withdraw all support for Geotech. Takuya is outside of Mio’s house. Lots of reporters waiting of course. However Yuuki is in distress. He tells him that Mio has run away. He was here earlier and the maid told him so as she left a letter for her dad. Along with Mitsuki, the trio look for her around town. Had Takuya not stumble into Kanna, he might not have guessed where she went. Yeah, Mt Sankaku. Well, she was kinda obsessed with that place so shouldn’t that crossed their minds? I know that place is dangerous and off limits but what is more dangerous is Mio’s disappearance, right? There, they see a dug tunnel. Most likely Mio has entered. Because Takuya wants Yuuki to stay put to keep watch, he starts complaining he needs to fix this since all this is his fault. He reveals he was the one who put up those posters because he was jealous after overhearing that incident. After Takuya punches him, he vows to bring Mio back so Yuuki can apologize to her. The boys go in while Mitsuki keeps watch. Deep inside the cave, they stumble into a strange room. Don’t be spook by human bones just yet.

Episode 10
Trekking deeper, they find Mio’s bag. Yuuki panics and rushes ahead. The ground collapses and he gets impaled by metal rods! The only way to save him? Rewind time. Outside the cave, this time he forces Yuuki to stay put and doesn’t want a useless idiot getting in his way. Now he descends with Mitsuki. Up to that same point, this time the ground collapses by itself. Everyone safe. Please Takuya, no groping in the dark. Then they find a ‘newer’ corpse. Based on the notes, this is the body of Imagawa. She was exploring this ruins and believed in Koudai’s 400 Year Cycle Theory. Some event collision led to humans importing technology and culture from a higher dimension. She also mentions about a device Koudai gave her in which she named Reflector Device (the one in Takuya’s hands). At this moment, Mitsuki changes. She demands Takuya hand it over and pulls out a gun. She fires a warning shot. But Takuya realizes this is Ryuuzouji’s Niarb since Mitsuki is trying to fight it but it is giving her a major headache. Eventually she couldn’t fight it and Takuya runs for his life. Oddly, he hides in some coffin but the ground gives way. Long way down. But light at the end of it. Thankfully an underground lake. This is where Mio is. The rocks are glowing and Takuya realizes they could be Psychite. He tries to find a way out but Mio says she has tried but there aren’t any. They talk about the defaming of her father in which she knew it wasn’t him but Yuuki (from the way he talked). Because Mio is scared to be alone and that death only awaits them, she wants Takuya to kiss her as she wants to remember this last moment with a kiss. So I guess that’s why she got wet and had to take off her clothes to dry so as to set up for this steamy sexy scene, huh? But Takuya only kisses her forehead. He won’t let this be her last memory and promises to get out alive. He is tempted to use Reflector Device but decides not to as he doesn’t remember the route here. Later he hears somebody calling him and assuring she is here with him. Uhm… Mom?!

Episode 11
Examining behind the waterfall, he finds a jewel. He recognizes it as one of the missing jewels of the Reflector Device. With Mio curious, he tells her briefly about this device as well as this time travelling thingy. She might find it hard to believe but why does she sound worried? Because if he reverts time, does this mean the kiss won’t happen? Yeah. That. And looks like there is an exit behind the waterfall. I guess Mio wasn’t thorough enough. On the way, Takuya picks up a rusty old sword. Just in case. They follow the strange humming sound that leads them to a room with a giant machine. If you don’t understand what it means, don’t worry, Mitsuki is here to explain for our convenience. It is a lightning generator and it strikes when Psychite is removed from the grounds. Hence that is what the tapestry means. Mitsuki hints they knew the machine existed but don’t know how to get to it but thanks to Mio’s deciphering, here we are now. With lightning starting to generate, it means Geotechnics is starting work. Meanwhile Kanna finds Yuuki and warns him about the people going to die if they don’t do anything. They head back to the construction site to stop Toyotomi forcing the workers to continue working. He defies and when lightning strikes and almost kills a worker, Toyotomi flees and thinks this isn’t his fault! Mitsuki tries to resist Ryuuzouji’s Niarb. However she realizes she can never disobey him so she wishes for the young ones to look after each other. Then she shoots herself. Before a slab falls on her! WTF AM I SUPPOSED TO LAUGH AT THIS TRAGIC OVERKILL SCENE?! Mio wants Takuya to go back in time to redo it all to save Mitsuki. Just promise to give her a real kiss next time. Oh. That. But Takuya won’t. Who knows what will happen to Mio in this timeline should he leave. And so they follow the path that leads them to the bottom of a well. Don’t worry. Somehow Kanna knew they would end up here and drops them a rope. Once out, Yuuki confesses and apologizes everything to Mio. No biggies. Then Takuya starts to disappear. I guess this isn’t his timeline too. He’ll save Mitsuki in another timeline. Once more Takuya sees his dad and spams him questions. Once more he is told to use his brain but hints Ryuuzouji is something else. He’ll soon find out.

Episode 12
We’re right back at the ‘starting point’. Takuya calls Mitsuki and is glad she is alive and safe. In school as he goes to see Eriko, he finds her sleeping underneath the bed on the floor. Without her clothes. Oddly, she is crying in her sleep. Something about not wanting to be left alone. She wakes up and mistakes Takuya as Abel. When Mio and Yuuki come in, they see a very ambiguous scene. Mio blowing the top of her head at this walking libido despite Eriko explaining the misunderstanding. Later Takuya talks to Mitsuki about Ryuuzouji and his behaviour. Then he hides in the closet of their office in hopes of catching what they are talking. Well, Eriko had the same idea so the hiding place is now super cramp. Mitsuki asks Ryuuzouji if he has changed. However he points out that it is her who has changed because everything else is still the same. Mitsuki is confused as he adds she might be lying to herself and perhaps she has feelings for him? WTF. He hugs her. Takuya, his face being smothered by Eriko’s boobs, can’t see anything and because he somewhat worries about Mitsuki, Eriko tells him to forget about her since she will disappear soon. After they left, Eriko wants Takuya to meet her at the café later. It is to show him Ryuuzouji meeting up with Kaori. Of course this doesn’t surprise Takuya and this confirms it for Eriko as she hints she knows he has been time travelling many times. Next she brings him to Ryuuzouji’s house because his mom decides to let them in on some info. However they find her hanged. Did Ryuuzouji silence her? Hearing a car screeching away from the scene, woah Eriko like a ninja chasing after it. However it soon crashes into the pole. When Takuya catches up and to his shock, the driver is Mitsuki and she is out cold.

Episode 13
Eriko brings her back to the infirmary. Takuya stays next to her till she wakes up. When he goes to get more bandages, Mitsuki strikes him with a fire extinguisher. Enough time to do a save point, huh? Tied up and presented with before Ryuuzouji, Takuya sees Eriko drugged out and Ryuuzouji mentioning that he and Eriko are old acquaintances and thought would be safe after Abel’s death. When Mitsuki shows him a jewel, Takuya’s shocked reaction proves he knows about the Reflector Device and Ryuuzouji wants it to hand it over. Hand over his ass because Takuya goes back to that save point. He is able to dodge Mitsuki’s fire extinguisher and Eriko returns to tackle her. Eriko then brings Takuya to Ryuuzouji’s storehouse and dig open a hidden wall. There consists of human bones. However no torso. This is believed to be Abel’s body with Ryuuzouji’s soul inside. Ryuuzouji’s body has been taken over by something else. Eternal dimensional criminal. Beings of pure thought who travel between dimensions to interfere with events. Eriko is from a parallel future and to arrest the being. She and Abel were lovers and scientist researching the Tree of Vrinda. Because of the branching out of possibilities, their goal is to find that root of source. Abel thought he had found the truth but stumbled into the criminal instead. He tried to outrun but was possessed. Abel returned changed much to Eriko’s dismay. After destroying the lab, he fled to another dimension via Abel’s body and then transferred himself to Ryuuzouji. Eriko takes Takuya behind the tapestry. A machine that allows travel between dimensions that the criminal escaped but it is now broken. That is why he is targeting Takuya. Ryuuzouji pops up and despite Eriko shooting him in the head, he is still alive. Eriko believes the body is only a body and there is a limit to how much damage he can take. Before she can fire some more, Mitsuki brings her down. Ryuuzouji and Takuya fire at each other but Mitsuki gets in between! Ryuuzouji feeling the body is at its limit, flees. I guess Mitsuki’s death is the much needed drama for 2 reasons: She confesses she loves him and passing him a jewel. After she dies, Eriko says no matter what world he goes to, it is Mitsuki’s fate to die. So he can never change that. You think Takuya will accept that? But Takuya starts disappearing as chaos is correcting itself. Eriko erases his memories of her and Ryuuzouji because the latter will go after him if he knows who he is. Once more Takuya hears Koudai’s lecture about causality. Sick of it, right? But this time he tells him to seek Kanna as she will be the one to show him the path. And a new path will open once he gathers all 8 jewels (he already has 7). So right back to that starting point and this time Takuya wastes no time in confronting Kanna. You’re going to tell me all about yourself.

Episode 14
Takuya tries to get to know Kanna more but the only thing he finds out is that she likes plants and hates the ocean. Despite she often stares at it, she claims it is her duty. With Kanna down with fever, Takuya takes her to the infirmary. Where is Eriko when you need her? Ah, time for some fanservice as he strips her just to wipe away her sweat. No repercussions! He talks about her necklace being familiar and could have seen it in some place dad dragged him to. Takuya takes Kanna to Mio and Yuuki’s club. Noticing the diorama of the place they made, Kanna points out that it looks different from the photo they took. As they head there, they see Toyotomi arguing with the workers to carry on work. Kanna pleads to them to stop since a lightning strike is going to happen. Well, what do you know, dark clouds forming. The workers heed Kanna and stop work, much to Toyotomi’s dismay. After inspecting Mt Sankaku, Takuya walks Kanna home to her apartment. Apparently she lives alone and this shady guy, Atsushi Hojo is seen waiting for her. He is trying to ask her out. She declines and his persistency has Takuya lock horns with him. Kanna doesn’t want a fight so she brings Takuya in. She feels yet another fever but goes to take a shower. Takuya still sees Hojo stalking outside. Takuya notices alcoholic drinks as well as her savings statement conveniently out in the open to see. Koudai has been depositing into her account until he disappeared. Claiming that Kanna knows a lot, he wants answers. Kanna admits it but he can’t tell him now. At least Koudai told her there will come a right time for her to tell everything. She offers him to stay the night but he leaves. Yeah, Hojo still there. He warns Takuya not to stay away from Kanna. Thinking Takuya’s turn is over and it’s his, Takuya changes his mind and stays. A strange dream whereby Takuya confronted Koudai about marrying Ayumi who is 20 years his junior and his student. Though, Koudai claims Takuya is in love with Ayumi. Then as he is about to reveal something about Keiko and history, time to wake up. Takuya sees Kanna cooking and has this weird feeling he has known her for a long time like as though she is family. He apologizes if Koudai did something weird to her but she wants him to have more faith in his father as he is not the kind of person he thinks he is. As Takuya wants to do something for summer, Mio suggests her private beach in the outskirts. Kanna doesn’t want to go claiming she is unwell but since Takuya puts it that nobody will be around if she collapses, I guess she has to come.

Episode 15
Taking a train to the beach, they notice Hojo is following them. So at the next stop, Takuya hatches a plan. In the toilet, Hojo comes to talk to him and believes he can get Kanna to reveal Koudai’s whereabouts. Just hold her pendant at ransom. Of course Takuya dismisses this idea. When Hojo comes out, he thinks the train is going to leave and jumps on board. The kids tricked him as they waited outside. He’s on the wrong train that will travel nonstop to the final stop. The kids continue their journey to the beach and the fun summer begins. They thought Kanna went missing but she went to buy a watermelon. Because Mio has never done watermelon splitting before (daddy doesn’t allow this barbaric activity), the guys troll her on her first go. Next is Kanna but it’s like she knows where to go and perfectly splits it. Mio lends an extra swimsuit so that Kanna can get into the water too. After all the fun in the sun, sand and water, they return to the villa and Kanna realizes her pendant is missing. Even their BBQ food is missing and the place is ransacked. Takuya also notices his Reflector Device is missing. Hearing noises from the basement, the boys head downstairs to see a wild dog growling at them. It escapes and it’s like it knows what to do because it drops over the fireworks and the lighter to starts the fireworks early before escaping into the bushes. Summer ruined? Takuya could have reset this timeline but won’t do it. Kanna feels fun that she get to do this together. Mio asks her opinions about Takuya. Her heart beats faster each time he is near her. Same for Mio. So are they rivals now? Meanwhile Yuuki is half asleep and thinks he found his missing BBQ frankfurters and bites Takuya’s dick!!! OMFG!!! GAYEST MOMENT YOU CAN”T FORGET EVER!!! When the kids return from their holiday, after Takuya sees off Kanna, that girl suddenly collapses.

Episode 16
So she’s just tired from all the excitement? Takuya finds an old photo of Kanna smiling. With her is a woman whom he thinks is her sister but he realizes the place of this photo is Mt Sankaku. He talks to Mio to find out the history of the place. From what Mio says, Takuya thinks Kanna is from 50 years ago? Even checking out the old geology of the place, it seems like as though something from another dimension ‘collided’ with the place. Meanwhile Hojo sees Kanna. Because she says this will be their last time, he agrees as long as she tells him where Koudai is. Otherwise he will make sure she will never return to school again. Takuya talks to Eriko about Kanna. It seems her parents are overseas and are uncontactable. Looking further into her record, it looks like she has transferred schools 20 times! Make that 21 times as she is filling out the form! Takuya catches Hojo stalking again. Hojo wants to make a deal with him to find out about Koudai’s whereabouts but Takuya refuses this detective’s deal. Next day when Takuya is out with Kanna, he asks her about the pendant and thought he saw someone who looked a lot like her when he was a kid. Was that person her? Instead, she talks about not wanting sadness in her life and is tired of being betrayed and hated. Sounds like she doesn’t want to be friends with him too. Hojo sees Takuya again and hopes he could plant a bug in Kanna’s room to eavesdrop. Yeah, Takuya squishes it! Hojo is seen talking to Ryuuzouji who has grown weary of waiting for his results. So he hypnotizes this sucker. Takuya is shocked that there is an article revealing Kanna’s dark past of going to love hotels with men. Pictures to prove it. With Yuuki and Mio helping out, they squash the rumours and shoo away those people who don’t care in the first place. Takuya talks to Eriko and oddly if you say that is the reason why she transferred schools, even more mind boggling she only transferred to schools within the area (like as though she needs to be near Mt Sankaku), how come nobody remembers this? You mean the rumours never spread? Anyway she has just submitted her transfer out form. Guess we know Takuya’s going to go to her now.

Episode 17
Confronting Kanna, he believes she is the same person he met when he was young and hasn’t aged. She kept changing schools to avoid that suspicion. But yeah, people so dumb not to remember this girl? Since Takuya bugs her to tell about herself, in third person she explains that woman in the photo is her mother. Both lived a normal life without aging until she died. Alone, Kanna had to resort to prostitution to stay alive. Until Koudai and his wife took her in. But that too only lasted until they disappeared. Takuya asserts she isn’t alone so her logic of stripping naked to ask if he can look at her right now. Hey, where’s the sex joke now? Then Hojo calls and threatens her to come to the park or he’ll kill Takuya. With that, Kanna tells Takuya to leave. Takuya sinking into depression until Mio tells him off about Kanna being their friend. Yeah, that was enough to get him going again. At the park, he sees Hojo getting rough with Kanna to spill the beans. He realizes this dude is under Niarb and is now crazy enough to take out a knife to kill. Kanna then admits about Koudai’s whereabouts. He is no longer in this world. Not in this dimension, that is. Dela Granto is a place from another universe where Kanna’s mom came from and every 400 years when it approaches this place, a few people cross over. As Keiko has left, Koudai also wanted to go on that journey. She left him the Reflector Device which originates from Dela Granto. Although history doesn’t repeat and flows 1 way, the flow of time is different. Hojo doesn’t believe this lie and during the struggle, Kanna’s pendant breaks off. After Takuya punches Hojo, he talks to Kanna and considers her his family. Care to live with him? After yet another fight with Hojo, now Eriko shows up to take care of this dude. However Kanna starts to weaken. You see, the pendant is her life and is made of Psychite. I guess it couldn’t crystalize and it’s the end of her. So how long must she wait if Takuya claims he is going to the other world where Psychite exists and bring it back? Hence she tells him Koudai’s last message. In order to get to Dela Granto, all 8 jewels are needed. The last one is in the grandfather’s clock. Gee, that was easy. And then head to the burial chamber underneath Mt Sankaku, use the Reflector Device to activate it. It’s working. Gee, why did he not bring Kanna? Did he just leave her to die in the park?

Episode 18
Koudai knows Takuya is here to save Kanna just like how he did for Keiko. These women can’t live without Psychite. Takuya, you’re new in Dela Granto. So don’t just charge in blindly! You fell off a cliff! Don’t know how he got back up but he heard a girl scream for help. After fending off the weak monster, he realizes she is a mute. I don’t think making funny faces is going to break the ice… It worked?! I don’t think writing Japanese words would make her understand… SHE DOES?! She is Sayless and is lost. Walking a little bit more, they come into the edge of the desert. Oh, there’s a house. Entering it, Ailia attacks him, thinking he is an intruder. She wants him to strip to search for hidden weapons. Not because she noticed your ‘Magnum’!!! But soon she passes out. When she comes too, after learning how they took care of her, Ailia explains she is a guard who defends the border of Dela Granto from invading monsters. She is the only one left. It seems their numbers are increasing and they are getting more aggressive. It could be Mother Nature’s wrath every 400 years. But there is hope, there will be a priestess who becomes the vessel of God. In exchange for divine power, she loses some ability like talking. At first she thought Sayless could be the priestess but how the heck did she trek across the desert? And of course Sayless is that priestess since back at the imperial city, the higher ups confirm her disappearance to the Divine Emperor. Ailia doesn’t know about this Psychite that Takuya is talking about. Across the desert is the imperial city and in between some quarries. Ailia fights off some monsters but loses concentration. Could have been killed if not for Takuya coming to save her. Apparently she is worried about her sister, Amanda who ran away. She doesn’t know about her whereabouts. Oh, Ailia is also dying of a disease. Next day after saving Sayless from another monster, Ailia collapses for real. She realizes Sayless is the priestess and believed she knew she would die today. She hopes Sayless would do her duty to protect the people. After burying her, Takuya decides to trek the desert and head to the quarries to find Psychite. With that kind of minimal gear?! Oh, off he goes. But he won’t let Sayless follow? He realizes his mini water container is leaking and thank goodness he might not have gone far because he turned back to the house. He realizes Sayless is not around. Realizing she could be lost in the desert, he goes look for her. How does he know where to look for her? Yup, her voice guides him. He kisses her to transfer water. She kisses him because their meeting is fate? I don’t get it…

Episode 19
Wow. Takuya must be getting used to life here because he is married to Sayless and has a daughter named Yuno!!! He lives the happy family life and takes over Ailia’s job of killing invading monsters. You know what they say when your child grows up so fast. Because literally in 4 years, Yuno is already like a teen! Of course Takuya has not forgotten about Kanna. He thinks Psychite are in those mines in the desert but no matter how much he searched, he couldn’t find them. One day, a female monster is found wounded in the garden. She attacks Takuya but weakens due to her injuries. Takuya finds out she comes from the imperial capital and from what it looked like, escaped with her child. Unfortunately she passes away from her injuries. But I guess Yuno know has got a pet friend whom she named Kunkun. Soon, Takuya thought he spotted some humans. However they quickly turn back towards the desert. They are guards from the imperial capital and as they report back to the Divine Emperor, they are ordered to investigate immediately. And then one day as Takuya is out with Yuno, from afar he sees those humans again at the house. He thought of going to ask them how to cross the desert but the moment he enters, they are all holding down Sayless. Damn, this looks like a rape scene. Sayless screaming from the top of her voice to Takuya to run.

Episode 20
This is really a weird way of checking one’s virginity! Takuya attacks but since the guards are better, he gets tied up. Sayless is left with no choice that she kills herself! OMFG!!! Sayless’ spirit then says goodbye to Yuno and then combines with her. The guards take Sayless’ body back to the imperial capital and they also confiscate the Reflector Device whom they recognize as a sacred treasure that Takuya stole. Takuya wakes up with Yuno by his side. She is not sad that mom is gone because she is now in her heart. Apparently Sayless does live in her heart and can sometimes communicate to Yuno. To others, she might look like she’s talking to an imaginary friend… The soldiers report back to the Divine Emperor. Knowing that Sayless has a child, the soldiers are ordered to find her as she will be the new priestess to continue with the ritual. Takuya and Yuno forcefully leave Kunkun behind because they’re going to cross the desert. Not enough food to bring. Can’t make that dragon kid their emergency food! Trekking the desert is tough. Almost being fooled by the mirage that the city is near. They also stumble into a weird grave of empty coffins. It boggles me how the soldiers can reach the city so fast but Takuya looks like lost for a long time. Yeah, maybe they had better navigation, I don’t know. Eventually their camel died and they have to eat it. Worse, Yuno grows weaker and sickly. And then a miracle. An oasis. Also, lucky sukebe for Takuya because hot elf chick, Sarah is bathing there. She calls him a pervert but hints of wanting to be done in by him? Sarah says she is from the imperial capital but ran away due to its problems. She laughs at Takuya’s revenge plot to go there and punch the Divine Emperor. So much so when they leave, she also wants to follow them to see through this. When it rains heavily, she leads them to take shelter in a temple. However it is a trap as she has all the soldiers waiting. Hey, Takuya has a big bounty on his head that is too good to pass. Yuno is taken away while Takuya is brought to some quarry prison.

Episode 21
As Yuno is taken to the Divine Emperor, Takuya is in prison and meets the ‘acquaintance’ of the prison warden, Bazuku. He also makes friends with fellow prisoners, Kartz and Deo. He learns the meaning of survival as Joe steals his food. If you wonder why nobody escapes this quarry as it lacks walls and guards, well, anybody who runs out gets zapped by the Tower of Garzel. So much like Mt Sankaku, huh? The prisoners’ job is mainly to mine holy stones (Psychite) which are then processed as ornaments for a coffin for the priestess’ ritual. One day, Takuya sees prisoners gathering around something. It’s Kunkun! Claiming this is his pet, the prisoners laugh at him and tell him such creatures are livestock. Takuya frees it and then pins the blame on Joe for trying to eat it. Because of that, Bazuku punishes him. Note, this guy is a pervert… Oh sh*t. But then Takuya gets caught trying to steal a Psychite and is now punished by Bazuku. This guy is going to interrogate his holes for he may hide them there! OH SH*T!!!! I hope those times f*cking Sayless was worth it. Takuya gets this idea to find a way out via the tunnels. So he searched every route for a year until the last route he finds it. THE LAST ROUTE. Want to shout louder? Bet nobody heard you. He goes to tell Kartz and Deo about it but apparently the guards are bringing in a rare female prisoner. They’re not ready to escape yet. After stealing a Psychite, Takuya goes to escape. But Joe usurps him and climbs out. Turns out the well is just right within Garzel and he gets zapped! Lucky Takuya, huh? Takuya is caught and imprisoned. Bazuku just finished torturing and interrogating that female, Amanda. Remember her as Ailia’s sister, they talk and it seems she is the leader of the resistance force trying to take down the Divine Emperor. You see, all that ritual thingy are lies. The truth is that the priestess is killed so the Divine Emperor can take her powers and rule over the people. Takuya agrees to help seeing she already has her members infiltrate this place. This hang loose/telephone sign is their signal? And when Takuya reunites with Kartz and Deo, he can tell they are part of the resistance force.

Episode 22
Bazuku continues to torment Amanda and blinds an eye. Takuya plans with Kartz and Deo on their escape. First they have to cause confusion and during that time they will also rescue Amanda and escape. But how when Garzel is activated? On the day they carry out the coffin, Garzel will be temporarily shut off. Of course they have a backup tower and they need to shut it down too. Takuya remembers the way to destroy it is sticking a sword into it. Take his word. He did it before. However can the 3 of them pull off this plan? Other prisoners want in because they too want to escape. Gee, it’s easy joining the resistance force. Takuya is then called to Bazuku’s room. Takuya sees that tapestry but Bazuku wants to offer him a deal. If he can make Amanda talk, he will let him see Yuno. Takuya agrees but wants Ailia’s sword. Bazuku agrees? On the night the coffin is carried out, Takuya goes to talk to Amanda. At the same time, the prisoners revolt. Bazuku wants Garzel to be activated despite it will kill many of the soldiers too. If they won’t do it, he will. During to riot, Kartz manages to throw a sword into the tower. You mean it really stuck there?! Like a charm, Garzel struck itself and crumbles. So easy! Bazuku activates the backup and people start getting zapped. Takuya frees Amanda as they head to the control tower. Bazuku ambushes them. Takuya fights him and makes this clumsy fatty destroy the controls. In a lucky twist of fate, Bazuku falls down (you mean there are no barriers on this high tower?) and falls into the coffin! The tower is going to explode and Takuya and Amanda are trapped. WTF Amanda wants to kill herself? Takuya won’t let her. So how? Here comes Kunkun flying down to save them! Man, Kunkun has evolved into part human, huh? Make that part hot chick! So you think Kunkun is going to carry them all the way to the imperial capital but then she gives out. Oh dear. Is she dying? Amanda gives Takuya a knife. As her owner, do what he needs to do. Kunkun will become their emergency food as the journey to the imperial capital is still very far. Oh my. Before she could be the next hot babe in Takuya’s life, she’s gone.

Episode 23
With the ritual nearing, the Divine Emperor sends more guards out to the quarry to retrieve the coffin. This may leave the imperial city with lesser guards but the Divine Emperor will leave it to a masked woman to take care of things. Amanda and Takuya part ways before entering the imperial city but will meet at their hideout. Takuya gets spotted by guards and is on the run. Thankfully he is saved by Eriko! What is she doing here? So Ryuuzouji is also here, huh? She uses some device to let him remember his memories. Eh? When did he forget them? Was having fun with Sayless made him forget his days on Earth? Anyway, more sci-fi mumbo jumbo from Eriko as she talks about causality and how she found out some spiral. This means certain events keep repeating like every 400 years, something terrible will happen to Dela Granto. There might be a collision. She gives him a device. You mean this small compass is supposed to detect disruption in event elements? Okay. Look how shaky its needle is. It shows how unstable Dela Granto is right now. Takuya goes to the hideout but they ambush him thinking he is a spy of the masked woman. Thanks to Deo and Kartz, he is saved. With Amanda joining the meeting, she relays info that the Divine Emperor has picked another priestess. As the ritual is in 2 days, the masked woman has been going around destroying the resistance’s hideouts. The plan is to attack the castle at dawn. I understand Amanda is nervous before the big raid and that they might not make it out alive. That’s why she can’t sleep that night. So she wants Takuya to sing a lullaby? Is that adult talk for f*ck you till you sleep? Hahaha… Oh wait. You don’t really mean it?! Oh sh*t! She wants him to f*ck her! TAKUYAAAA!!! Yeah, I guess it’s the only thing she can trust him to do. Next day, the team resistance is separated into groups. Amanda’s team managed to infiltrate inside the castle. Takuya’s side is supposed to come through via the sewers but is having trouble with the doors. Just then the masked woman finds them. Takuya fights her and when her mask comes off, isn’t that Yuno?! Why am I not surprised? Did she forget her father and continue attacking him?

Episode 24
Takuya manages to escape with a distraction and returns to his mission. In this underground cell, there is a prisoner locked within a barrier. The prisoner knows Takuya and Takuya instantly recognizes this haggard old fart as Ryuuzouji! Looks like he got outsmarted by the Divine Emperor and Mother. He mentions for a God to possess a priestess, she must give up 1 of her senses. That is why Keitia went blind, Sayless lost her voice and Yuno sacrificed her heart and memories. Ryuuzouji knows of a way to return Yuno to normal in exchange for freedom. Takuya will not do that and just in time, Eriko leaps in. While Takuya talks to her, Ryuuzouji hypnotizes Deo and Kartz to free him and then attack them so he could escape. Eriko goes after him so Takuya and the rest resume their mission. Outside the priestess’ room, lots of guards. Deo and Kartz sound the intruder alert and all of them left their position! WTF?! Takuya goes in and sees sleeping Yuno. She wakes up and tries to kill him. Takuya then tells Sayless within her to remind her daughter about their family. Yuno experiences headaches before some reckless attack breaks something (coffin?) and Yuno has her memories returned. He has her stay here while he goes deal with the Divine Emperor. Gee, no guards accompanying her? Before Takuya could attack her, she unmasks herself. It’s Ayumi! Again, why am I not surprised? In her room, Ayumi apologizes for all that she has done and returns the Reflector Device to him. She knew this day would come. She is going to tell him the whole truth of Dela Granto. Similarly, Amanda and the other resistance fighters enter a strange room (thanks to traitorous Sarah who is working here as a maid, picking its lock! A LOCK!) and a cute AI hologram also tells them the whole truth. Gee, what convenience.

The first time Ayumi was struck by lightning at Mt Sankaku, she arrived at Dela Granto. Ryuuzouji was already a ruler here. With his help, she took control of this super computer known as Mother since the locals lost their ability to control it. Ayumi then found out Ryuuzouji’s grand plan to use Mother to rule over the world and hence with Mother’s help, sealed him away. She took on the role as Divine Emperor since Mother’s words are absolute. Millions of years ago, there was an advanced civilization on Earth. But one day, scientists predicted meteors will rain and wipe out all life on Earth. Led by Grantia, they created a technology to carve out a piece of the world to another dimension! Gee, nobody noticed the odd crater on Earth then? No? Must be millions of years of rehabilitation then. However this dimension isn’t suitable for living and many lives perished. Hence the scientists modified living beings themselves to adapt. So the strange creatures you see here are because of the process of adaptability. But not all adapted and those failed turned into monsters. They can’t survive without a certain ore called Psychite. Grantia then miscalculated the orbit and hence Dela Granto will collide with Earth in 400 years. Since Grantia can only control the floating continent, she too knows she isn’t an immortal and hence uploaded her data into Mother. But its only flaw is that a catalyst is needed so that her mind can be synchronized and that is why a female human AKA priestess is needed. Soon, Dela Granto will approach Earth and that collision will destroy both worlds! That is why a priestess is needed to synchronize with Grantia to avoid this. Ayumi is sad to say that even if this is successfully, Yuno will still be annihilated. The resistance fighters are shocked to hear this. They are in a dilemma because succeeding in their mission would mean doom to all.

Episode 25
The resistance fighters are about to be executed but Divine Emperor stops this and instead pleads for their help to save the world. Takuya was also told that the ritual might send to priestess to another world, though that is a one in a billion chance. Hey, chances aren’t zero, right? So Takuya is stressing how to tell this to Yuno but she already knows. She has made peace with why she was born in the first place. Sure it wasn’t because of Takuya and Sayless’ labour of love? Sorry… So he gives her a jewel as a charm. So how is he going to teleport to her if she ever calls him? Meanwhile Eriko has caught up with Ryuuzouji. Seems she wants answers why he annihilated several event trees. Ryuuzouji is also interested to find the root since he can’t die. Wrong place, wrong time. Eriko gets washed away. Ryuuzouji escapes again. On the day of the ritual, everyone gathers at the plaza as Yuno enters a device to synchronize with Grantia. Yeah, the process is going to take a while so cue for Ryuuzouji to crash in. Don’t worry, Divine Emperor has seen this coming and enacts a strong barrier around. Ryuuzouji as an eternal being enjoys destroying lives since everything that lives will eventually die. He is just hastening the process. Since he saw this coming too, he has a trick up his sleeve. He opens a dimensional rift whereby out comes, uhm, dimensional ghosts?! From afar they look like swimming sperms… Those lost souls not only terrorize the people, but it is also trying to weaken the barrier. If they are formless, why do normal weapons get to hurt them? Anyway, Ryuuzouji also opens up rifts that suck people in. Yup, Amanda gets sucked into one. Takuya tries to save her but she lets go because she can’t drag him along too. Bye. No wonder last night was worth it. And still 15 minutes to go for the synchronization?! Man, lots more gonna die…

Episode 26
Ryuuzouji takes Ayumi hostage in hopes Takuya will destroy the barrier. Luckily no power of boners here. Because if he lets Ryuuzouji escape, the world will still be destroyed. Meanwhile one of the souls is Abel. He finds Eriko so that they could end this sh*t. Ryuuzouji uses Niarb on somebody to break the barrier. There. So easy. Should’ve done it in the first place. Now that Ryuuzouji is free, he kills Ayumi. You bastard!!! He turns into his true form to try and escape but Abel restrains him. But can Eriko shoot through both of them? That’s why Abel needs to tell her how much he loved her. He failed to find the root but found eternal love. Yeah. Bang! Ryuuzouji and Abel gone. With this mission over, Eriko is going to disappear as her mission is complete and is sent back to her dimension. Takuya has one last goodbye moment with Ayumi. You’d thought the world is saved but WTF the worlds will still collide even if the ritual is successful?! Yuno manages to talk to daddy one last time before she is sent to the other dimension. From what I understand, as Grantia puts it, she must move faster than the speed of light and go back in time. So she did just that and Dela Granto crashes into Earth before humans were even on it. Now we return to the time where Takuya just left Kanna. Then in a second he returned with a crystallized Psychite. Then he realizes Kanna’s mother is actually Amanda! So you mean Takuya is actually her father!!! Then Takuya starts to disappear. Can’t be in this timeline anymore. Because there’s another daughter he needs to be with. Takuya returns to the ‘starting point’. At Mt Sankaku, he rushes to that sexy naked elf girl who is no other than Yuno. She claims Dela Granto crashed here 8000 years ago and is still underneath this place. So Yuno is going to merge with the elements? Like disappear? Takuya won’t let her go alone and will always be alone. It might be only emptiness but they have each other. We see Koudai noting what he saw and is jealous of him. Because Takuya and Yuno can travel between rifts of time and this is the window of the truth of history he has always longed for. But he will continue to search his own way. Takuya and Yuno travelling as instants and eternity stumble into a small tree that remembers everything. They name it… Insert pun here!

Yuno; Gate – RetrieD: Tokigoe No Takuya
Wow. Gee, I don’t know if I am happy or sad with that kind of ending. Hey, at least he got to be with a girl in the end. Even though she is his daughter. Creepy to think that she looks more and more like his girlfriend than his daughter. Looking old enough to get f*cked. Incest! But technically she is still a minor so is this what you call a reverse legal loli? Anyway, with Dela Granto crashing into Earth thousands of years ago, maybe that is why over the years when Earth has slowly regenerated, that is why humans don’t get freaked out seeing some floating island approaching at lightning speed and then crash! Dig deep enough and you’ll find the hidden lost city of mole people! Haha! Just kidding. But it got me thinking if this was what wiped out the dinosaurs! Not a meteor from outer space but the collision of Dela Granto! Oh wait, that collision happened 8000 years ago and dinosaurs are long gone way before that. Maybe the impact was so great that the fragments go back in time and wiped out the dinosaurs? And I was under the impression the collision would destroy the entire Earth. Heck, it just ‘dented’ one small seaside town in Japan. WTF?! Even if it did collide, only Japan is affected, right?! Only this town and its vicinity, right? Damn Japan, don’t act like it’s the only place with living people in the entire world! Oh, I know now! Regarding that tree Takuya and Yuno were going to name? I call it… Three-some! Because technically Sayless is inside them so… Get it?! HAHAHA! Sorry… Better get serious now…

The overall series as we can see is divided into 2 main parts. The first part involving dimension hopping on Earth while the second part turned into some reverse isekai with our main protagonist finding himself on an alien fantasy world. Honestly, I find the first part to be more interesting than the second although it does have a lot of mind boggling flaws. Perhaps it was because everything was such a mystery and we were journeying with Takuya to try and resolve to get to the bottom of it all. And then when Takuya was sent to Dela Granto, it became somewhat generic. An adventure in a faraway fantasy world that became some sort of an ‘epic’ quest to save the worlds. Am I watching a different anime now? I may be wrong but I have a feeling that despite the dimension hopping is an interesting concept to explore, it is as though they ran out of steam in Dela Granto and everything felt boring and somewhat rushed. Remember, the first main arc had 17 episodes dedicated to it while the Dela Granto arc only had 9. But I’m not sure if it is a good thing to drag this out with more episodes if they decided to go on for another season.

While the sci-fi terms and ideas are not as convoluted as heavier anime series like Steins; Gate or even the To Aru Majutsu No Index series, there are lots of things that I do not understand and still find mind boggling. I don’t know, these feel like one of the biggest loopholes in the series that I could never get my mind around it. For example, I remember it is said that one doesn’t exactly travel to the past but to other different dimensions that run at somewhat different times. Okay. I think I can understand that. I also understand that with Takuya holding onto the Reflector Device, hence he is the only one (and those that he brings along) will be the only thing that moves in between the dimensions. So this is the biggest mind boggling question: You mean in those other dimensions in which Takuya has left, what the heck will happen to that dimension anyway?! So are you telling me that of all the infinite parallel dimensions, there is only one and one and only Takuya?! But there are infinite Mio, infinite Ayumi, infinite Kanna, etc. Remember the dimension in which Yuuki died? So Takuya restarted and went back and redo everything. That’s fine and dandy. So what about that dimension he just left? Yuuki died. Mio is left scared all alone in that cave. She’d probably die alone. And Mitsuki will forever be waiting outside the cave… See what I’m getting here? Because if Takuya claimed he can’t leave this dimension and redo it until he assured Mio’s is safe, then what about the other previous dimensions he left by restarting using the Reflector Device? Yeah, my mind is ready to explode…

Then it’s just like real WTF when Takuya starts to disappear and restart just because this so called dimension and timeline isn’t meant to be his. Like as though you’ve won the video game and now it’s time to go back to the start and try a different route. Gee, this is so twisted and confusing. You mean Takuya has no future in this timeline? And who is fate to tell Takuya that it isn’t his fate to be here? So everybody in that dimension gets to carry on living their normal lives without Takuya? How you’re going to explain it? Uh, looks like he went to another dimension. Period. That’s not going to cut it. F*ck that causality that Koudai claims to be the most important here because I sure hell don’t really understand it till the very end. How the f*ck is everything connected when Takuya as the only one with the Reflector Device can only travel between dimensions? What an unfortunate soul like me, can’t even connect these dots that might seem like a piece of cake to others with better intellect. Maybe that’s why I’m stuck in this damn dimension of mine… Oops, getting side-tracked here. But I guess it doesn’t matter because Takuya now being one with eternity together with Yuno, they’re like everywhere!

Also mind boggling that the priestess have to lose one of her senses in exchange for the divine powers. Assuming that the newly chosen priestess can choose which sense to give up, why not give up smell or taste? I’m sure that beats sight, voice, hearing or even memories. I mean, it’s much better to be unable to taste tasty and delicious food again than never having to see forever for the rest of your lives, right? And I don’t even know how the coffin plays a role in saving the world. I thought the priestess will be buried in it but apparently it is more of a plot convenience or something of that sort. You see Yuno entering straight up the synchronizing device. Coffin not needed in the first place. Yeah, they turned a part of the desert into a coffin graveyard. Ironic.

On to the characters, Takuya isn’t anything really special. Therefore I figure to make up for the absence of any sort of hentai material in this remake, hence Takuya is turned into some sort of smooth operator Playboy. It is either you’ll laugh or cringe at his dirty talk. This guy sure has his way with the ladies. He doesn’t pass up the chance to make sex jokes or dirty jokes. If this is his way to flirt or break the ice, well, I can’t say he is doing it entirely wrong. Because he has got at least most of the featured girls here in love with him for some reason. I bet it isn’t his dirty talk that gave him his charisma but it is all part and parcel of him. Yeah, love works in mysterious ways. Go figure that out in another dimension. But definitely not the kind of cheesy lines you want to use when you pick up chicks. Trust me, you don’t. Otherwise, pretty generic and cliché main character. You know the drill. Cares enough for his friends and loved ones to go all out and do the right thing. After all, he is the only who possessed the power to redo stuffs. So why waste it?

Then the rest of his harem, oh well, I guess they’re pretty generic too. Since this is a multi-branching type of story, I guess we can dedicate a few episodes for a pair and then move on. Nothing really special, really. It’s not like Amagami SS whereby the main character ends up with a different girl for a different arc. Takuya being the wandering Playboy on a mission he is, I guess that’s why he can’t settle down with one. Oh yeah, his love belongs to all! I bet he’ll say that if he had the chance. This harem formula is somewhat modified once he get to Dela Granto. It might be a bit misleading to call it a harem because it can’t be one if many of the babes keep dying! OMFG. Girls who love him and even had sex with him end up dying in some ways? This world sucks! From Ailia (died after just one freaking episode) to Sayless (dead but technically ‘living’ inside Yuno for a plot convenience – why do I have a feeling she is named after a pun of not being able to talk?) to Kunkun (died after becoming hot) and even Amanda herself (died after losing her virginity), looks like Dela Granto isn’t the place for Takuya to keep his harem. But I guess it is better than that streak of timeline where Ayumi killed herself in every conceivable ways! Finally as her role as Divine Emperor, she still got killed anyway. And Mitsuki coming in close because it’s like her fate to just die in the timelines we see. Yikes. Kanna almost died. Almost. Eriko returned to her timeline so I guess she is like ‘dead’ in Takuya’s life. Mio still lives but she’s going away so I guess that’s more or less the same thing. Good thing she has Yuuki as ‘backup’. Kaori? Nobody gives a f*ck about this b*tch. Oh yeah. The girls here sure have very grim fates if you think about it.

Ryuuzouji being the main antagonist, well, I want to say that he is on par with God because he is immortal and can exist across the dimensions. But I think because sometimes of his incompetence that makes him think he is just a villain just for plot convenience. Like relying on human goons to get the job done when he himself could have done it better. Oh, I don’t know if he wants to hide his identity because it’s like he doesn’t want others to know he is behind this. Is there some sort of limitation if he takes on a human body even if it is just some vessel? Takuya eventually knows he is the culprit but so what of it? So he might be immortal but he isn’t all that powerful. After all, what fun is there if you can destroy a world with the snap of your fingers. Better to have fun by plotting the worlds’ slow destruction and watch it yourself. Also, it gives time to our heroes and do something about it and prevent a bad ending. Ah, true villainy fail 101. And then got easily killed off by some special gun + the power of love. Ah, true bad guys die the cliché way 101.

I thought Takuya will eventually come into contact with Koudai and answer some of the questions but I guess it would be awkward for father and son to be meeting each other again after so many years. What are the chances of dimension hopping father and son meet again? Not highly likely in this sense but the chances aren’t zero. Hence Koudai here looks more like an unwanted cut scene that you can never skip. Uh huh. It’s not like he explains it thoroughly to his idiot son and leaves him hanging with more questions than answers. Not sure if this is his way to get his son to think and act but he seemed to be playing his cards right and walked the correct routes. So it got me thinking that people here don’t really die. They just go on to live on in another dimension! Maybe those who really died go to that other dimension called heaven or hell. But I don’t want to go over there and open another can of worms.

Art and animation look pretty okay. Nothing to shout about. But I’m guessing the artwork is given a huge update than its 1998 OVA predecessor (which could look very 90s and dated). In fact, I can’t really find any over the internet. Yeah, it’s that obscure and I suppose I’m too lazy or Google’s safety filter is making me lose my motivation. It’s hard to find details on that OVA series because I have a feeling that nobody is that old like me still watching anime. Hah. Even the few reviews put it as unworthy even for the very few hentai scenes. No hentai scenes in this remake but a few sexy tantalizing fanservice scenes like Mio getting close to naked in the cave just because a moment of insanity. And who’d thought that Erika likes to dress so sexy during her school nurse stint and give the male fantasies what we all want to see. I wonder if the director’s cut version will show some extra hentai scenes like Takuya banging Sayless or Amanda’s last night with our Playboy. Just maybe… This anime is done by Feel who did Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru, Hinamatsuri, Dagashi Kashi, Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai and Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai.

Voice acting also feels okay. A few recognizable veteran seiyuus like Rie Kugimiya and Yuu Kobayashi as Mio and Eriko respectively. However they sound meek and soft compared to their tsundere or loud crazy trademark that I am more familiar with. Others I recognized included Marina Inoue as Amanda and Fumihiko Tachiki as Koudai. I also misrecognized a couple like Yuuki and Kartz, I thought it was Daisuke Sakaguchi but instead it was Yuuki Fujiwara (Liang in Nanbaka). Kaori, I was sure it was Rina Satou but instead, Rena Maeda (Nike in Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii). The other casts are Yuu Hayashi as Takuya (Ryuunosuke in Haikyu), Maaya Uchida as Kanna (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Kaori Nazuka as Ayumi and Divine Emperor (Tsukasa in Amagami SS), Saori Oonishi as Mitsuki (Aiz in DanMachi), Ari Ozawa as Yuno (Fai in Endro), Asami Sanada as Sayless (Dejiko in Di Gi Charat), Taiten Kusunoki as Ryuuzouji (Rock Bison in Tiger & Bunny) and Takuya Eguchi as Toyotomi and Deo (Tao in Grimms Notes The Animation).

The first opening theme is the same name as this anime and sung by Asaka. I don’t know, it could be a theme song suitable to be used for supernatural mysteries. Can this series be considered one? The first ending theme, Shinri No Kagami Tsurugi No You Ni by Konomi Suzuki is heavy on the techno side. She also sings the second opening theme, Mother whom I thought is trying to compete with Shingeki No Kyojin’s main theme because it starts out with those epic voices before the techno dubsteps drown it out and make it sound generic. Kami No Suushiki as the second ending theme by Asaka is also another techno song but a bit slower on the beat. All in all, these techno songs aren’t really my cup of tea and I have this feeling that prolong hearing of it will induce some sort of ringing deafness in my ears. I don’t know, I didn’t try it but that’s what my guts tell me… Maybe I should turn down my speakers’ volume…

Overall, this anime was interesting and had potential but somehow it lost its way and shine and then it became generic and boring especially in the second arc. Then there are a few mind boggling loopholes that will raise more questions than answers if you think too much on how it all works. Perhaps this anime has done better but it existed in another dimension way beyond our reach! I read many comments that you’d be better off in playing the game which has better storyline and everything. Including those delicious sex scenes of course. But of course, it has been through time and time when a game with so much content gets adapted to a medium that has very limited content, there are going to be lots of things left out. Maybe this remake is to get newbies to go check out the game which was remade back in 2017. But for me, I’m done dimension hopping. I’ll just live the rest of my life in this timeline of mine watching more or less the same kind of animes.

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.

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?

Mamma Mia! Mothers to the fore! I guess it is time for mothers to take the lead instead of having hot teenage chicks, be it your sister or childhood friend. Hey. Moms can be equally cool too, you know?! If Tsuujou Kougeki Ga Zentai Kougeki De Nikai Kougeki No Okaasan Wa Suki Desu Ka is too freaking long and a mouthful for you to pronounce, Okaa-san Online should be good enough. So what is ‘worse’ than having your mom tell you to stop playing video games and go outside? Why, mom following you around and playing a video game with you! Yes, people. Who is this unlucky kid who has got his mom following him in his party to slay monsters and raid dungeons in this VR RPG game? I’m sure he’ll never want to remember this ‘dark’ period in his childhood. Imagine trying to be the cool hero and then mom shows up to say or do something. Sighs… But mom!!!!! “Sonny, do you like mummy’s normal full powered double multiple attacks?”. MOOOOM!!!!!

Episode 1
Masato Oosuki is answering a questionnaire about his relationship about his mom. Nothing special, really. WTF kind of questionnaire is that? Despite Mamako treating him nicely, he is that typical so who is embarrassed by her. Next day, Masumi Shirase comes by to inform him of some big news. Due to the government’s survey of online players, they would love to enter the video game world. Since Masato agrees, immediately Shirase keys in some secret passcode and has him enter the video game world! Awesome technology?! Masato is happy to start his adventuring days. Only, Mamako is also here to adventure with him! WTF?! Before they king, they are given their roles. Masato as a normal hero and Mamako, uhm, is hero’s mother a real role? A little briefing how this is just a beta testing game but since Mamako is very alien to all the terms, she is given a manual to read up. Don’t embarrass your son… The king lets them choose some weapons. Usually reserved for those clearing hard quests but young punks these days have no patience and won’t play your game if you don’t give them cool items… After Masato chooses one, Mamako chooses the remaining 2! It would be sad just to leave one alone, right? During the battle tutorial, Mamako owns the monsters! Masato hardly brings down a little bird. Can’t believe mom is doing better than him! Don’t worry, mom still loves you a lot. Masato starts complaining and even pinpointing it is all because she tagged along. Don’t make mom mad. Why, he even runs his mouth to spill the secret deal with Shirase or else he will disown her! OMFG! Ungrateful son you just made your mom cry!!! WTF???!!! She feels so hurt and sad with that statement and doesn’t really know what is going on. At least he has a conscious to apologize for saying too much. Masato agrees to let mom tag along and in the kingdom of Mommalia (really?), they need to join a guild first. Mamako makes a flashy destructive move so as others won’t look down upon them? Hey, it’s written here in the manual. Masato is worried about PK (player killing) but luckily the only damage done is to an NPC desk woman (Shirase?). She helps selects the best players for Masato. Why, aren’t they all hot chicks? Are these his type? And of course, the question that every mom will ask her son: Which one he likes best. Long story short, she sees this girl as his potential life partner whom he will share his life with. See where this is going? Yup, she is going to interview the girls!

Episode 2
As expected, Mamako rejects them all! Next is a timid girl, Porta. She is a merchant and non-combatant. Because Mamako thinks she is good in making deals and getting freebies, looks like she promotes her right away from party member to Masato’s wife! Woah! One step at a time, mom! Next is a poster of a sage named Wise. Her stats aren’t that good and she smells like trouble. Masato gets rid of the poster but it always returns. Until he steps on it that the poster screams in pain. Turns out she is disguising as one and as punishment, teleports him away so as to step back on his face. I suppose the reason he isn’t complaining is because he gets to see he pantsu… Wise is also a beta tester. She reveals the true intention of this game is for the parents to make up with their child. This is why his mom tagged along. The only way to clear the game is for them to improve their relationship. Apparently Wise and her mom were also in this game but they had a fight and split. She has been adventuring alone since and trapped. She hopes to become Mamako’s child and get out. Soon, Mamako finds them but not after Wise is put into prison because her dangerous teleporting could be seen as PK. Although Mamako cannot accept Wise as her child, she will allow her to travel with them in hopes she could find her mom. But Wise remains stubborn and would rather have the world destroyed than reconcile with mom. But with Masato claiming he needs her magic, that’s the deal that got her to join them. Their first travel has them fall into some pit that leads to an underground dungeon. Attack of the slimes! When Wise tries to use her magic, she freezes. Looks like her magic is sealed. Mamako destroys it and levels up but the slimes return and combine into a larger monster. When it attacks, Masato saves mom and despite both ended up getting slimed, only Mamako’s clothes disintegrate! So slippery that Masato can’t get up and has his face planted in mama’s boobs! Rejoice, viewers! Your MILF fanservice is here!!! Porta helps Wise disables some bad stats of her to able her to use magic. This allows Mamako to get her vengeance back on the slime. More fanservice with Mamako in naked apron. Is this our reward? After the slime defeat, a nun (Shirase?) rises from a coffin. In recognition of defeating the monster, she has them go on a special quest at a small farming village, Maman.

Episode 3
As they go buy equipment, Masato dreads this bikini armour. The last person he wants to see them on, yup, Mamako puts it on. But for the rest of us, itadakimasu! I guess the shop is having cheap sale so she bought a few more. This has Masato reprimanding her for being carefree. Damn, you trying to make mama cry again?! With the girls calming him down, he realizes he was only taking out his frustrations on her. This time they manage to make up with Mamako letting her son lie on her lap while she digs his ears while talking things out. Nothing beats this mom and son bonding. In Maman, they meet the mayor who tells them of their grave situation. A powerful with named Night Empress is forcing the town to hand over their most handsome and macho men or else. Hearing him describe her other qualities, Wise knows who this b*tch is. We take a detour as we see Masato’s party soak in a hotspring. No gender segregation? I guess with (naked) mom around, no funny business. Almost the cliché scene whereby Masato sees Wise’s naked body and is expecting a Team Rocket blast off into the sky treatment but reverse psychology! She won’t do it thinking he is a pervert who is expecting one! Meanwhile we see Shirase confronting Night Empress using her macho men as furniture. As she is an irregular, Shirase tries to purge her but Night Empress has a more powerful programming and purges Shirase instead. Before she is ejected, Shirase warns her daughter is nearby and if she has any plans to reconcile with her. None. She doesn’t need that girl. Masato can tell something is wrong when Wise is talking strangely and knows a lot about Night Empress. The only way to end this stubborn scene is a highly suggestive and ambiguous position of Masato slipping and falling onto her, making it look like he is taking her from the back! Serious business, Wise admits Night Empress is her mom. In the real world, mom loves to spend money on host clubs. Wise’s real name is Genya and is named after one of her favourite hosts. This habit led to her parents being divorced. Though Wise lives with her father, one day mom marches back in with a pretence to get back together with this game. Everything happened so fast and they ended up here. But since mom discovered she was so powerful, she decided to stay here and do things her way. This caused them to argue and split up. Wise envies Masato’s family so Mamako has her hug her. Feels like the warm mama’s hug she needs but not quite her mom’s. With that, they vow to make Night Empress remember her motherly bond with her child.

Episode 4
Wise revives Shirase who in turn tells them about Night Empress. Her real name is Kazuno and she is a sage like Wise. Like them who receive bonuses before they start their mission, Kazuno receives all the magic spells. But her greed led her to pursue her own disgusting hobbies and for some reason she has some invincibility that isn’t part of the game. Hence she might have brought in some cheat code. Cheaters like her will be heavily penalized. A huge fine, that is. The conclusion of the quest is when they can bring Wise and Kazuno closer. Shirase uses her admin privileges to summon Kazuno. Not in the mood to talk, she quickly attacks with her range of spells. She has also used her cheat code to move objects in the game to trap Mamako and Porta. Then in this room where she claims she can make any of her wish come true, she claims she can rule both the online and offline world. When Wise tells her to stop this nonsense, Kazuno reminds her this is all her fault. Initially when Kazuno got this game, she earnestly wanted to reconcile with her but Wise rejected her. Kazuno says the worst thing a child could hear: She regrets giving birth to her. Masato is somewhat the same too because he too isn’t all that fond of his mom. He too has his selfishness as a child. He hopes she can forgive Wise and not abandon her. His advice falls on deaf ears. Mamako breaks out from her entrapment. Illuminating like a goddess, Mamako remembers all the joy Masato brings including all his firsts. If Kazuno will not remember those feelings as a mother, she’ll make her. Masato’s party do a combo to take Kazuno down as Mamako lectures her about children despite being burdensome, they are irreplaceable treasures. Kazuno is losing and she hates it. Now she is throwing a tantrum like a kid until she finally loses. Wise admits despite saying hurtful things, she still loves her because she is her mom. After that it descends into a full blown mother-daughter argument. Uhm, I guess this is normal and how the family talks? In the aftermath, despite Kazuno already logged out, why is still Wise following Masato’s party? Oh, she wants to stay with them thinking the party needs her? You mean to say she needs somebody? I think Mamako can pick up what she means… We’ll see. Shirase informs them of another quest to do. Heck, she wants them to complete all the quests. So you mean to say they’re like cleaning up whatever mess the government makes?

Episode 5
With Mamako again taking the spotlight, this demoralizes Masato and Wise that they should be stronger. But don’t fear. Pamphlets about a school in Maternia where they can get stronger. With Mamako’s blessings, off they go. Masato is happy to meet this pretty chick, Medhi. Unfortunately she has an overbearing mom who keeps praising her daughter and everybody else as second class. Is this the obstacle in Masato’s love life? In class, Masato fears the other new transfer student is his mom but it turns out to be Medhi. Hence everyone teases him he sees mom in every other girl! Embarrassing! Worse, Medhi introduces herself that she is NOT Masato’s mom! Don’t you just want to die? But it won’t get worse than this since Medhi’s mom is also sitting in as an observer. Can they do that? As the teacher asks questions, the first to answer will be awarded points. It seems Medhi’s mom is using a trick to make everyone except her daughter answer. To the point in putting them to sleep. Yeah, she’s bragging about how she wants the best for her daughter, blah, blah, blah. Later Masato receives a note that a heroine is waiting for him. No surprise. Not even him. It’s Mamako. Saw this coming. So why is she here? Shirase will explain. As this school was quickly constructed to ward off overbearing parents, it has lots of bugs. Since Shirase lured them here, it is their mission to handle problems between parents and children that the game master can’t. Next class starts and Mamako is a student?! Masato manages to intervene to make mom an observer. Medhi’s mom tries to throw her weight and authority around but Mamako isn’t fazed and this throws Medhi’s mom off. During Q&A, Medhi’s mom is up to her usual tricks but thanks to Mamako’s equipment, it nullifies all negative effects. Mamako then answers the questions with equally ridiculous motherly love answers and gets extra points! This goes on for a few times and Masato is so embarrassed because his name is somewhat dragged into those questions. Please stop. At the end of the day, Mamako scores the most points. Medhi’s mom is not pleased and wants to have a strict talk with Medhi. Everybody else got zero and Masato dreads his mom stealing the spotlight again.

Episode 6
Masato’s lovely walk to school with Medhi is ruined when Mamako joins in. Even more so when Medhi’s mom has now get herself the school uniform. During cooking class, once more she puts a spell to make everybody’s food taste bad while her daughter’s to appear and look good. But with Mamako blowing her special mom’s breath of love, you bet this nullifies the effects. With Masato’s party getting top points, Medhi is refrained by her mom to even praise them. If you’re wondering why Shirase is sexily molesting Mamako, it’s to take her measurements. Because Masato saw this worst nightmare come true. It’s swimming class! Masato literally wants to die… Which son would love to see his mom in a swimsuit? But what’s worse than a mother in a swimsuit? Why, 2 mothers! Too bad all the NPC guys are all over Mamako’s traditional school swimsuit over Medhi’s mom’s sexy one. You lost, bad mama. In this class, students earn points by killing monsters in the pool. Until the ultimate fish turns up that Masato and Medhi are in competition to take it down. While Mamako doesn’t care about standings and is only worried if her boy will get injured, Medhi’s mom is pressuring her daughter to be number one. The last straw as Medhi snaps when mom tells her she must become number one or else she is worthless. Medhi just stops. Suddenly a giant sea anemone pops up. Only Mamako gets tentacle raped?! Damn anemone has MILF fetish… Porta throws Mamako her sword to cut herself loose before Masato finishing it off. This earns Masato big points. The happy celebration is cut short when Medhi’s mom slaps her daughter for being worthless. Back to more training for you girl. This is for your sake. Tearful Medhi runs away. Time for the hero to go after the girl. Make that, the hero and his mom. Both have noted Medhi sometimes acting strangely and saying strange stuffs behind her mom’s back. It couldn’t be truer when they see a frustrated Medhi kicking the wall and cursing mama to death.

Episode 7
Group meeting. Masato wants to help Medhi and her mom since he knows how it feels to have problems with a mother and not know what to do. It is the school’s cultural festival so they are free to do what they want. When Masato’s side wants to do a café, Medhi’s mom also wants to do the same and challenges who could do better. Obviously we see a long queue outside Mamako’s café. Everyone is waiting for Mamako’s cooking! None for Medhi’s mom. Hence she forces Medhi to switch from a maid to a swimsuit (WTF???!!! WHY???!!!) to attract more customers. Masato happened to pass by so Medhi’s mom ‘kills’ him. He turns into a ghost and he is able to hear her evil scheme to force Medhi to seduce him so that she could control and then ruin Mamako’s café. After Masato revives, Medhi is in seductive mode but Masato knows what’s going on and isn’t taking the bait. Medhi drops the act but before she could badmouth her mom, yeah mom pops up. Masato pleads for her to stop this but she thinks she can still win. Yeah, this beauty contest! Medhi ranks first since all the guys love this cute clumsy girl. Wise tries to be clumsy but nobody likes it. Then Mamako comes up on stage to promote her café and since all the guys love girls who cook, her ratings shoot through the roof! Literally, it’s over 999!!! As Mamako is being crowned, Masato takes Medhi to talk. With the other girls, they ask her what she really wants to do. She wants to enjoy her school life but is afraid she has no friends. On the contrary, Masato and co confirm they are her friends. Enough to break Medhi down in tears while she screams out her heart’s desire to have fun with her friends. You can bet on her mom to cut short that as she strangles her daughter! Before she could beat her, Mamako gets in the way. She understands mothers want the best for their child. But is it right to push Medhi so hard that it makes her suffer? According to Medhi’s mom, yes. She has to be number one so that she can say she is the best mom. So it’s basically all for herself. This is the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Medhi has truly had it. She thought of putting up with all the tormenting thinking mom as doing it for her. Now it’s all about herself, well screw it all! This betrayal has Medhi unleash all her magic that it turns her into a monster.

Episode 8
Even when Medhi is mad, mama calls her disgusting and ugly. She blames Masato and co for ruining everything. The kids head off to handle Medhi while the mothers settle things. Their ideals clash on how to raise a child. But of course you know Mamako will have the edge when she starts illuminating like a goddess and saying how parents should raise their kids to become wonderful adults! This causes Medhi’s mom to feel guilty over what she has done. She realizes she has always loved Medhi and now she is in danger. She tries to talk some sense into Medhi but obviously her girl doesn’t believe her lies anymore. Too late to play nice. Mom praises her for doing all she has asked despite never liking it. Masato feels Medhi’s mom’s sincerity so he too steps in to protect her from Medhi’s attack. Wise has finally finished drinking bottles after bottles of MPs as she blasts Medhi into the air. When the sceptre tries to protect Medhi, Mamako unleashes her powerful attack to break it. This frees Medhi as both mother and daughter emotionally reunite and reconcile. It is believed the sceptre has been causing Medhi’s mom to act strangely. Because she wanted to become a good mom, the sceptre enhanced that wish to the extreme. When she signed up for this game, all she wanted was to get back on good terms with Medhi because she knew she was putting a lot of stress on her. She just wanted her daughter to grow up to be a good person but she ended up being the worst mother. As the class graduates, Masato offers the pair to join their party but Medhi’s mom decides to log out and erase her dark legacy, a blog she wrote on how to raise children. After today’s lesson, she’s going to take it down. As for Medhi, she gives her a choice to stay and she definitely wants to continue adventuring with Masato. But can a parent and child log out separately? Well, Shirase says Wise already set a precedent. I guess it’s not yet for Masato, huh? Shirase rewards them with many bonuses in which they can spin to get special items. Unfortunately Masato got lots of HPs and Wise lots of MPs. Medhi will be keeping hers to boost her stats later and Porta might be the only winner getting what she wanted (a teddy bear). Masato gets an extra spin for solving this mother-daughter issue. Will he get a super rare item? Nope. Just a mother’s apron! Hey, at least not naked apron Mamako! Hey, has Masato succumbed to liking seeing mom in this?!

Episode 9
Mamako answering survey questions about her relationship with Masato. All is well! I’m sure Masato never felt that way… He tries to take out his frustrations by destroying a wave of monsters but Mamako takes it out as usual. Then there is a poster about a dungeon tower whereby anyone who clears it will get whatever wish they want. Sounds like a scam but whatever, let’s check it out. But outside the tower, there are lots of disgruntled moms complaining about their lost kids. They try to ask Shirase but she too has no clue what is going on. They head into the tower to investigate. Looks like an easy tower with Mamako being friends with the monsters and stepping on plates give you certain power ups. Oddly, there seems to be a weird rivalry going on between Wise and Medhi because Medhi wants to take out Wise so she can be the party’s only caster. Reaching a certain level, they stumble into Amante. She claims she is one of the leaders of the group called Ribele. They are made up of kids who have rebelled against their mothers. Noticing Mamako is in this group, Amante feels scared and retreats to form a plan. Though, she believes a small party like them can’t clear this tower. Mamako’s group returns outside and with Amante’s info, Shirase has a gist of what is happening. As there is no in-game event like this, she believes somebody is trying to cause a rift between parents and children. Ribele could be behind this and Shirase recognized some of the kids in the group from the database who joined Ribele. The plan now is the increase their party size and it is suggested they form a guild and recruit members. So this rundown building will be their guild’s base? Yeah, Mamako took the liberty to name it Mommy Guild! And now she’s the guild master? Yes, Momaster! What a mouthful to pronounce! Shirase also left them with presents while she goes to investigate. Maid outfits!!! I APPROVE!!! While Mamako and Wise clean up their guild, Medhi and Porta go shopping and Masato is left why he is forced to carry the bags when they have Porta’s infinite bag. They stumble into Amante shopping too. But Medhi mocks her slip ups so badly that Amante starts crying!!! Enough for her to reveal she sent an assassin to their guild. The rest doesn’t think this would be any trouble since Mamako is there. Yeah, it’s the Mamako we’re talking about. Suddenly Wise teleports in to request for help because Mamako is losing. Say what?! No way?! Mamako losing?! Oh sh*t! This must be real serious trouble!

Episode 10
It seems Mamako is losing to… A salesman?! She can’t help with all the good offers and gives in whenever Masato’s name is mentioned. Although she is stopped, the salesman quickly flees and the crystal ball he left behind is a bomb. It’s going to explode! But wait! Mamako calms it down like a baby! Can it work? You bet! Come to think of it, crying babies and bombs are like the same! Later Amante shows up just to complain how they foiled her assassination plans. Yup, she even admits she was the one behind it and even sent another one. Oh, the guild just exploded. Returning, Amante’s men are the one behind this, they claim they have also placed bombs all over town and they must do their bidding to avoid casualties. So they want maid service, huh? Mamako in maid outfit? I APPROVE!!!! Damn she looks hot! And when she serves them fried rice, it makes them nostalgic about their mom’s cooking. Eat up, boys. Next they want ‘bed service’. Mamako pulls a blanket over them and sings a lullaby till they sleep! What were you expecting? More nostalgic mama moments for them. In the end, the guys feel bad for everything they did and will go disarm the bombs around town. Power of mother’s love! And even later, Amante drops by to complain about yet another failed attempt. Care to reveal more stuffs? Not only they get to tease her but she bloopers and embarrassed herself on the exit. Next day, it seems the other mothers are grateful for what they did for their kids. They intend to join their guild to help clear the tower. Though, their kids won’t be joining as they will be doing something else. You could say this is the mother of all guilds! As they arrive outside the tower, the mothers realize they left their windows open and worry about the recent robberies in the area. They want to be sent home otherwise will Masato take responsibility? And so he leaves Wise to teleport them all back. Meanwhile Amante has been waiting inside the tower for them to show up. Yeah, she’s ready to bomb the hell out of them but as expected, she bloopers and accidentally presses the detonator. Boom! And Masato is still waiting for all the moms to finish their stuff outside… This is going to take a while before the mission can even start…

Episode 11
Finally. Can we get this tower climbing started? Amante has set a trap for the entourage but because they never came, she clumsily sets off the trap herself. Then she goes down to see what’s taking them so long and they’re having a picnic?! Just done. Time to wash the dishes. Chotto matte! Amante challenges Mamako to see who can wash the dishes faster. While Amante is good, Mamako uses her magic! Instant cleaning! Hey, nobody say how you’re supposed to get them cleaned, right? Next challenge? Wash clothes. Masato’s clothes. Again, Mamako wins because of her magic. Maybe next time, huh? As the gang make their way up, they step on plates that make their body feel lighter. That’s because their clothes are gone and only left in their underwear! Oh dear… Masato has to see his mom in her undies! Ironically, Masato is the only one who is embarrassed for being semi-naked while all the other girls and moms are cool. But this also means they have no defence against the enemies. And before them now is… Oh, just stupid Amante. However she unleashes monsters to fight them. However they recognize the monsters are Amante’s ex-men. She reveals while Mamako and the rest were fooling around, they were climbing the tower to fight her so she changed them into monsters. Oh no. Can mothers raise their hands against their sons? Good thing is that the monsters drop their weapons and won’t fight. But Amante unleashes another spell to turn them into vicious savages while she goes up to make her wish. While Medhi and Wise put some temporary confusing spell on them, Mamako tells the other moms how to tackle this issue. Yup. Just go do what mothers do best. And Saint Mamako shines so greatly that all the moms now don full armour. Full Mom-our?! With this, they are able to withstand the strongest attacks and also give the biggest hug that turn their sons back to normal. Behold the power of moms! Yeah, the most embarrassing moment that all kids don’t want their mom do. Even Masato gets this ‘hell’ himself. Can’t leave him out of the fun, can we? Once that embarrassing moment is done, the adventurers warn them about Amante’s wish: To erase all mothers from this world.

Episode 12
As they enter the next level, Masato realizes that he is separated from the rest. But he soon hears Mamako beckoning him. Knowing something is strange, he soon realizes it is a trap. There are other Mamako clones too but he ignores them. I can see why if 1 Mamako is already bad enough, how about hundreds of them! Of course being the true son he is, he can tell when his real mom comes to the rescue. That’s right. Mamako is going to scold them for scaring her precious. What if Masato comes to hate her?! Yeah, every mom’s worst nightmare. And with her beam of light, the clones are blasted away and they are reunited with the rest who also faced similar trials. In the final floor, they see Amante trying to break through the door. Amante starts fighting them. Because of her magic spell, she is able to repel any attack back at them. Amante then explains her reason of hating Mamako. As Masato is supposed to be on his own exciting adventure including gaining friends and even fall in love. He would have gotten all of that had Mamako not joined him. Thus she blames Mamako for stealing all that possibility and future. Uhm, still doesn’t explain why she hates her. Of course Masato doesn’t accept that explanation. Despite all the crazy and embarrassing things that have happened, he thought maybe that is what an adventure is. There are times when he was lost but mom was there to help him overcome it. Considering it all, it isn’t all that bad. With Amante still refusing to admit, it’s time for Mamako to do her specialty scolding. Yup, with this beam of light is made up of her motherly love. So it’s not an explosion but scolding? Yeah, doesn’t matter to the one being hit, right? Amante takes a direct hit but survives. With the door open, she hurries to make her wish. Not if Masato can wish faster. I can’t believe despite thinking on what to wish and then Mamako hinting about what Wise said before climbing the tower, Masato is still fast enough to wish for fresh eggs for everybody than Amante’s mother existence erasure?! Amante is in despair and fumbles away in tears. And now everybody gets to have fresh eggs! Shirase informs she found a dark jewel Amante was using. As it is unbroken, she will investigate it. But for now, she will have Mamako’s team on a new quest to defeat Ribele. Remember, there are 3 other members, right? I guess Masato can’t be more impatient to leave this town because everyone built a giant statue of Mamako to honour her for saving them! Masato might be irritated that mommy continues to cling to him but I guess she’s shining so brightly and it’s not that all bad.

Always Forever Momma’s Boy!
Aren’t mothers the best?! Uh huh. Despite the mind boggling wish of Amante wanting to erase mothers, I wonder if this will only translate inside the video game. Forgot that we’re still inside one big MMORPG? So if Amante really had her wish come true, would Mamako and other moms be kicked out of the game? I’m glad we won’t have to find that out because it would suck if Masato’s party continues to adventure without Mamako. He might be happy at first but I’m guessing he’ll soon be lamenting he wishes mommy was here adventuring with him! Nah! Maybe. Therefore for all you kids out there, appreciate your mom better today!

The story itself isn’t all that interesting nor is it original. They’re just using this virtual world video game so that we can see lots of ‘fantastical nonsense’ when mothers do their unbelievable motherly power to overcome ‘evil’. This series is supposed to see how Masato get back on good terms with Mamako but instead we get side-tracked and do other side missions like helping other kids and their moms. Better to do all this stuff inside a video game than in reality, which is so much harder. From the looks of it, they’re going to be playing this game for quite a while. Momma is away from reality at the moment, come back some time later!

As we can see, because of Mamako’s hot stunning looks, at first glance she looks more like a big sister than mother to Masato. Any ordinary person would have come to this sort of conclusion. Hey Masato, this your big sister? No, it’s my mom. Say what???!!! Sure, Mamako does motherly stuffs and cares a lot for her son but because of her youthful looks, she still passes off a lot more like a big sister than anything else. Worse still, I wonder if her parents who named her Mamako must be damn confident that she’ll grow up to be a mother. I know it’s a pun and but it just feels weird the more you think about it. You know, like calling your dog, Dog. Hence, my mom’s name is Mama. Strange… On a side note, I wonder if their father is called Papasuke or Papatarou… That would be just so bizarre!

Therefore you think that Masato could be the star of this series and leader of his party? Nope. Mamako. Masato feels a lot more like a follower and oddly plays the ‘straight man’ whenever mom does something ‘embarrassing’. But don’t worry. Even if Masato doesn’t look like the main protagonist of this anime, Mamako will always consider you as her number one! Everything she does, she puts her tender loving care and heart into it, all for the sake of her boy. Sometimes Masato doesn’t appreciate it because of the overwhelming embarrassment. I understand it’s natural and at most times he just wants ‘to die’. Remember that time that forced cliché moment of the slime disintegrating Mamako’s clothes that leads to that mother-son naked body rubbing fanservice? Are you freaking out now?! It might be easy for that scene to be fapping material for anybody but imagine if that was you mom… Not so fanservice-y now, huh? I wonder if this beta version is live stream. If so, Masato’s death by embarrassment will be compounded hundreds of times over.

I feel like this virtual game gives mothers extra powers and abilities because you see Mamako swinging her weapon’s powers so easily. And you thought your moms aren’t the kind who are good in video games. Noobs in video games. And then we see Mamako just swinging with ease, legendary weapons that probably needs seasoned players to grind and level up like hell but she does it with ease. All because of the power of being a mom! And that’s not just all. Whenever Mamako gives off some of her motherly love, it’s like it has some sort of God-like powers and Mamako is elevated to a saint because she starts shining and once again the mother of all powers has defeated and overcome evil! Don’t laugh. Mothers know best. That’s why no child no matter how bad he/she is, if they are a reasonable child, a mother’s love will surely bring them back to the right path. For once, it isn’t the power of friendship that saved the day but the power of, wait for it, motherly love! Mothers are never wrong! This series might look absurd putting Mamako as some awesome accidental gamer. But it won’t be in a few decades time when many mothers would also make great gamers. Yup. Once a gamer girl, now a gamer mom! Don’t you wish your mom is like Mamako? Uhm… On second thought, maybe not.

Though, Mamako isn’t always perfect herself as she has some flaws. Sometimes she could be a bit imposing on Masato but that is only because she wants the best for him. I mean, which mother doesn’t want the best for her child? Thus there are still lots of work in progress to be done between them. Ironically they could solve the issues of other mothers and their child but they can’t solve their own. I mean, it is proceeding fairly well but it is not at the rate like Wise and Medhi’s mom’s case. Their relationship at a point where they can log out of the game together. I suppose this is an excuse for the government to keep them adventuring together. Masato still complaining about this and that about mom, I guess he hasn’t fully accepted her yet. But you can tell he is slowly appreciating his mama better than before. Of course there are other cases whereby mothers abandon their child (Wise) or being over protective (Medhi) but at the end of the day, Mamako’s greatest motherhood guidance will bring even the worst of mothers back to the right path.

If Mamako really wields the power of motherly love that heals all (yes people, not her twin swords are her offensive weapons but her motherly love that also acts as the best defensive weapon), I wonder if this could help heal the toxic behaviour in online games. You know, those other games especially first person shooters? Imagine Mamako tagging along with Masato to play Call Of Duty, Overwatch, Fortnite, PUBG, etc. Who this f*cking whore???!!! Watch it, that’s my mom. Your mom? HAHAHAHAHA!!! And then sprinkle a little dust of motherly love and suddenly everybody loses their aggression and starts becoming more compassionate! Holy cow! The government might be using this game as an experiment to heal the rift between parent and child but if it has the positive effect to heal toxic online behaviours too, I’m all for it!

Not much to be said for the other characters. Masato, the loving son whom is Mamako’s greatest motivation to keep going. Just try not to embarrass him too much, okay? Then there is Wise and Medhi whom I thought at first would become love rivals for Masato but I guess they don’t want to ruin this motherly themed series with some cheesy romcom harem antic so that’s the end of that. Yeah, with Masato’s mom tagging along, I guess Mamako is in some ways old fashioned. No forbidden relationships while she is around. Hence Wise from a tsundere becomes some sort of a joker character thanks to Medhi being some dark sarcastic character ever since she joins the party. It’s like Medhi gets her kicks by mocking and teasing Wise. But towards the end I noticed Wise has wised up and even talks back to Medhi on the same level of sarcasm. Even if Wise isn’t the butt of those mockery, recently I notice this running joke of her drinking bottles after bottles of MP just to power up her ability. Is there no other way to level up her MP permanently? I wonder if Porta is an NPC because she doesn’t seem to have any mama issues since joining the party (it is hinted that she couldn’t say about her own mama, like as though she never existed). I guess with the party having hot chicks and hot mama chicks, we need a loli character. Her bag is supposedly like Doraemon’s 4D pocket and can pack anything into it but I hardly see this being used. At least she’s the only character who isn’t really sexualized.

Wise could have been the series’ only comic relief character had Amante not pop up in the final arc. They really write up her character to be a silly bumbling b*tch. No siree, we can’t have another young cute teenage girl becoming a badass antagonist. Hence to counter her evil wish of eliminating all mothers, they turn her into a clumsy fool who has a penchant of revealing all her intentions without even asking. It’s like you want to ask her if she really knows how to be a villain. She could have been a lot formidable had she been half as serious as seen in the final episode but I suppose her character is programmed written that way. Let’s just hope that the other 3 Ribele members aren’t as bungling a fool as her. Last but not least, Shirase as the game’s guide feels like she wants to live up to her namesake to just inform. As also the game admin, there’s this running joke to be killed off and revived in a coffin. This game’s bug is just freaking buggy and weird.

Art and animation aren’t the best there is that J.C. Staff has to offer. I guess when you have multiple series to do in the same season (particularly To Aru Kagaku No Accelerator, DanMachi S2 and Machikado Mazoku), you try you best with all the resources you can get. J.C. Staff being a huge company and a veteran in producing so many animes over the years, I guess they have the resources. Sometimes I see a drop in quality in certain scenes but with everything in this fantasy MMORPG so bright and colourful, they definitely want mothers to have a swell time here. And of course, you could have guessed the design of Mamako, she looks so young and pretty enough to be even Masato’s girlfriend. She isn’t the first anime mom to be designed in such a ‘misleading’ way. Uh huh. You have loli mothers too. So I guess Mamako looking like a teen isn’t all that bad especially when compared to other typical looking moms in here. You know, fat and wrinkles? The kind of look that makes you go, “Oh, she is surely a mom” stereotypic look. Now we can glee as we see Mamako’s various reactions from cutely pouting to heart-breaking cry. Best of all, Mamako’s lovely motherly smile, no?! And of course with Mamako being so hot and stunning and having a body that is to die for moms her age, this gives rise to the typical fanservice department in which we get to see Mamako in her lingerie in some scenes. Hence, giving us the greatest dilemma if we are going to fap to MILF material. I guess it’s okay if it is other people’s mom. NOT!

In the voice acting department, Ai Kayano perfectly takes on the role of Mamako. Her sweet voice makes her a perfect fit for the character. However, I think there is one other seiyuu whom I think would have been even fitting to take on Mamako: Kikuko Inoue! I believe she would have been perfect too and there will be a lot of reference to her famous line of forever being 17 years old. Yeah, it would’ve been so epic. I guess Ai Kayano would do. The other seiyuus I recognize is Satomi Arai as Shirase and Mai Nakahara as Medhi’s mom. At first I was so damn cocksure that Ayana Taketatsu was behind Porta’s voice. I mean, she is capable of doing that squeaky high pitched voice mode. Never was I in doubt. And then it came as a big shock. WTF?! Who the heck is Sayaka Harada?! I was in disbelief. I had to go look at numerous sources just to make sure that I didn’t make the mistake. Yup. It was my mistake. This is the same girl who is the voice of Chiya in Urara Meirocho, Mimika in Uchi No Maid Ga Uzasugiru and Chitose in Yuuragi-sou No Yuuna-san. Come to think of it, yeah it’s really her voice… I’m so ashamed…

The rest of the other casts are Haruki Ishiya as Masato (Tamotsu in Akiba’s Trip: The Animation), Sayumi Suzushiro as Wise (Oono in High Score Girl), Lynn as Medhi (titular character in Fuuka), Natsumi Fujiwara as Amante (Eddie in Satsuriku No Tenshi) and Ryouko Yuzuki as Kazuno (Sastsuki in Kill La Kill). The opening theme is Iyayo Iyayo Suki no Uchi by Spira Spica, a lively and upbeat anime pop rock. Generic but I guess it’s okay. But I love the ending theme better, Tsuujou Kougeki Ga Zentai Kougeki De Ni-kai Kougeki Mama by Ai Kayano. It has this retro tune to it, making it quite catchy overall. It is one of those songs that I would love to sing along. And perhaps moms too.

Overall, this anime might not sit well with some who don’t appreciate the crappy mom jokes and puns that permeate throughout this series. Are they saying that mother’s love is everywhere and you can’t escape them?! With some having mixed reviews of this anime, honestly though, I just purely enjoyed them because it’s funny (I wish the characters could forever keep dressing up as the maid). It’s not the best parenting anime out there because if you’re looking for a parent-child bonding, I still believe that series like Usagi Drop does it way better. I also doubt that this series would make you love your mom even more. I’m not saying this series would make you love your mom less because one might find it mediocre (or in extreme cases turn you into a fanatic MILF obsessed lover), just be a good child and that’s the best gift that you can give mom. So don’t get mad when mom calls you to put down that video game controller and come right down now for dinner. What do you mean you can’t pause an online game?! I’m on a freaking kill streak right now! You get your ass right down here now, young man! Don’t make me come up there, young man! But… MOOOOM!!!!! Yeah, aren’t moms great?

WTF?! WHAT THE F*CK DID I JUST WATCH?! You know, I was interested to take a look at that Accelerator spinoff series and maybe get some cute hearto kyun~ seeing the weird relationship between Accelerator and Last Order. And boy, did I watch the wrong anime???!!! Because Uchi No Ko No Tame Naraba, Ore Wa Moshikashitara Maou Mo Taoseru Kamo Shirenai (Uchi No Musume if that’s a f*cking whole lot for you to pronounce – and it is!) feels like an alternate happy fantasy ever after version of To Aru Kagaku No Accelerator! Serious! But nope. It’s not the same anime. Totally different. You’ll notice that subtle similarity but it’s totally different, I guarantee. A lone adventurer guy finds a lost demon girl and decides to care for her. Lots of cute and adorable things happen along the way. Hmmm… SO CUTE!!! I LIKE IT!!! KAWAII SUGIRU!!!! ~KYUN <3!!!!!

Episode 1
After killing some monsters in the forest, Dale Reki rests up but a loli approaches him. He notices she is of a demon clan and is in a feeble state, Latina. He’s not the best communicating in her demon language but I guess he can go about enough for her to understand. As he feeds her his food (there, tamed her like a wild animal), he notices her broken horn. Normally demons with broken horns means they have committed a crime and banished. Latina then brings him to a corpse nearby. It is believed to be of her father’s. After burying her, can’t leave this loli all alone in the woods and invoke the wrath of lolicons so he brings her back to his town, Kreutz. Back in the bar run by his friend, Kenneth, he has Latina take a bath. She can’t wash herself hence an excuse to strip and wash her. Lolicons, you jealous? Some old clothes by Rita and ribbons to hide her horns. Dale and Rita try to find out anything on the news but nothing of this sort. Then Latina’s stomach growls. I guess it’s time to feed her. Dale ponders on his options to send Latina to the orphanage but it might not be a good idea since it is always underfunded. More loli goodness as Dale sleeps with her. But nothing happens thankfully. Until she has to bug him to go to the toilet. With Latina picking up some of their language, I suppose it is also right for Dale to bring her to the market and experience life. Dale continues to ponder. He doesn’t knows what is best for her and fighting monsters is what he is only good at. Sending her to the orphanage is out of the question too. So what’s the conclusion? Why, he is going adopt Latina to take care of her himself! Hooray! Today I got myself a loli!

Episode 2
Oh dear. Dale has to be gone for a job and he doesn’t want to leave Latina alone. Can’t bring her along too. Too dangerous. Damn, Latina is handling this calmer than you are! But in the care of Kenneth and Rita, I hope that calms his mind to get going. During that time, Latina somewhat helps with the bar. Wow. Everyone so impressed and anxious at the loli carrying the tray. Is she going to tip over with the tray? Nope. Phew. Thank goodness. Kawaii… Damn, all the macho men’s hearts are now stolen by Latina! Dale rushes back and is glad to see Latina. But not as glad she is to see him. As Latina spends more time in the bar, you can feel Dale is getting a bit jealous she is closer to others. When Kenneth goes out to do errands, Latina wants to come along. Normally Dale won’t allow her but he can’t say no to those puppy dog eyes. Unfortunately during the trip, Latina was so amazed by everything she got lost. Kenneth realizes too late and returns with the bad news. Time to hit the panic button. Yeah, everybody is going to do a massive search. Find our loli! Latina is found by a group of boys, Rudy, Marcel and Antony. They aren’t that rough but to Latina, they’re scary. They try to help her but she thinks they’re being rough. Luckily Chloe beats them up to remind them to be gentler. They are impressed when Latina uses healing magic on Marcel. With Latina’s smattering vocab, they figure out where she came from and escort her back there. Everybody is glad their cutie is back and safe as Latina goes around apologizing. But Dale is not around. Still out looking? Oh, he’ll be back… Speaking of the devil… Latina cries the moment she sees him as she fears he is mad. What?! Who the hell would be mad at such a cute loli?! They both reconcile as Latina never wants to be alone again. Yes, it’s you official confirmation she wants to be with him. Now there is a valid excuse for him to be with her instead of being called a lolicon! We’re going to stay together forever!

Episode 3
You know you’ve regressed into worse than a child when you think Latina is so cute that you don’t want to go to work that involves meeting with other old men! But Rita manages to ‘encourage’ him to go since he’ll get to buy souvenirs for her. Hence his deep thinking face that scares off his dragon chauffeur. Upon arriving, he meets up with his friend, Gregor and can’t shut up spamming how cute his Latina is. It’s a good thing Gregor has some high discipline not to cut down this cringe. On to business, with the rise of the Demon Lord’s presence, a plan is to ambush them in small units. Oh Dale, can you not think about Latina for like 5 minutes? That too long for you to concentrate on the mission? Meanwhile Latina makes shepherd’s pie. When the customers know about it, they realize how good it is and damn they become big fans of her cooking! Yeah, they don’t mind waiting long for it. That’s what they come here for! Chloe visits and talks to Latina about school. Since they are about the same age, she suggests going to the same school with them. We see Dale and Gregor’s team ambushing the Demon Lord’s minions. Uhm, this anime got blood and death?! Damn those minions got sliced and killed! When the mission is over, Dale can’t wait to get home and bring back all the presents rather than attending tonight’s banquet. Loli is more important than official state feast! And of course everybody knows when Dale is back because he literally lets the whole world know with his loud screaming of Latina’s name. Lolicon and loli reunite. Happiest reunion ever. Latina then brings out her shepherd’s pie for him to eat. He is so touched that he can’t eat it. WTF… Can we just get over this long day already?

Episode 4
So now you can’t praise Latina without going through Dale?! How jealous can this guy get?! Latina now attends school and apart from Chloe and co, she makes a new friend, Sylvia. However their teacher looks crazy… Indeed. Because one day she spots Latina’s horns and that’s when she snapped! OMFG! She mistreats her like a ragdoll?! WTF ranting about demons trying to infiltrate them, blah, blah, blah?! Sylvia stands up against her and despite the threat of being excommunicated, she dares the teacher. The students gang up against her. By banging against the table? Okay. Whatever. But clearly this affected Latina. Oh dear. Look at those traumatic eyes… So when she goes home, something is clearly wrong. So much so she breaks off her horn (thanks to some offensive magic Dale taught her earlier)! OMFG! She trying to be Hellboy?! Luckily Kenneth brings her in time to the nearby temple to heal. You bet Dale is going to rush all the way back. When she wakes up, she starts crying about never wanting to be alone again because since demons live longer than humans, eventually everyone will die first. Time for Dale’s special assurance and special thanks of meeting her. Even if Latina is human, Dale will still die first as he is older and the job he does is dangerous. With Latina feeling better, what a way for them to make up with a hug. Aww… So cute! Now Dale gets on to serious business as he meets the principal of the school. He gives her warning to hand down the maximum punishment on her. He has talked to the other students and also his connections allow him to demand the kind of info on that person. Despite having trauma of her family being killed by demons, that is still not a valid excuse to take it out on an innocent life. If they continue to cover for her, he will take this to the higher authority whereby the god of war, Ahmar reigns all over arbitration and judgment mercilessly. The principal agrees to fire and expel her. Chloe visits Latina and slaps her for endangering her own life. More heart strings to tug with lolis giving each other an emotional hug. Everyone celebrates Latina’s return with Dale buying everyone a drink. So don’t complain when they order the most expensive one! Latina’s cute apology will make up for it. Latina is so perfect in everything she does, is there nothing she can’t do? Oh damn, she’s tone deaf… But being imperfect also has its charm? Dale you lolicon…

Episode 5
Latina thinks of getting Dale a present so as she consult her friends, they are unsure what to get that guy. Dale feels he is left in the dark since Latina doesn’t want to tell him. And he can’t force it out of a loli’s mouth either. Yeah, this guy is sinking into depression thinking Latina doesn’t need him as she stops by Chloe’s house (brainstorming for present ideas) and even doing some work behind his back (nothing shady, mind you). Eventually his blues are blown away when Latina gives him a handmade bag for his birthday. Surprise! Flashback shows Latina consulted Kenneth that she needed money to buy something for Dale. So to earn her keep, she learns things under his apprenticeship. Now Dale is bragging to everyone in the bar how Latina made this bag for him. The next morning it snows and Latina gets her first experience. So was she living under the cave all this time? When a usual customer, Jilvester AKA Jil leaves the bar, Latina notices he forgot his wallet. She goes to return it to him. On her way back, a couple of shady guys try to ask her for directions. Smart Latina can tell they are bad guys because of that typical trademark bad guy face. She tries to run for it but the slippery ice made her slip. The baddies try to kidnap her but luckily Jil is here. They try to give excuses but nobody messes with Dale’s loli. Fortunately no blood will be spilt today as the lieutenant of the police is here. He seems to comprehend the situation and has those baddies arrested. Damn, it must be so bad luck to have that kind of face, huh? He warns about the recent black market in selling other races. He knows a lot about Latina because he is Sylvia’s father and heard a lot from his daughter. Dale thought he could replenish himself with Latina’s smile after another tough mission. He gets jealous seeing Latina with Jil. WTF is this?! But for today, Jil is Latina’s hero, okay?

Episode 6
Rita is pregnant?! Man, that escalated quickly. Hence thoughtful Dale thinks of moving out with Latina. But what’s this? They say Dale can leave but let Latina stay?! She has been an irreplaceable employee and has been saving up. She might have enough for her own dowry. I guess that joke has gone too far so it triggers Dale he won’t have any of that! Back to the serious side of this episode, Dale prepares to head to his hometown and he gave Latina the option to stay or follow. No prize to guess which she picked. Because she wants to bring a cooking knife along, Kenneth opines a multi-purpose knife should be better. Hence he takes her to Rudy’s father’s shop as he is a blacksmith. I guess pops has a hard time thinking this little girl is looking for a real knife than a toy knife. Rudy is surprised to see Latina here. Even more so that he learns she is going on a trip. Wow. This guy is panicking and he could be Dale number 2. It seems Latina didn’t tell her friends of this trip so Kenneth advises her to do so because it would be just as bad if her friends disappear without saying anything. Meanwhile Dale is shopping for a magic robe for his precious. He has the misfortune to stumble into a mage, Helmine. Despite knowing she is trouble, he has nobody to seek for help from this hot babe to help him pick out the right magic robe. In return, she hopes to one day meet Latina as a fellow spell caster. Dale and Latina soon begin their journey but before that, Latina wants to pass by her father’s grave to pay her respects. They encounter a few magic beasts but it is thanks to Latina’s intuition and ability to sense danger that gives Dale enough time to prepare. Latina tries to explain this providence or foresight ability she has but from what I understand, probably it’s just guts feeling. I could be wrong… Latina manages to go up to her father’s grave and it’s going to take a while since she has a lot of things to tell him. I didn’t know demons’ ritual for the dead is so like humans’.

Episode 7
Stopping by a town for the night, Latina keeps a diary of her journeys. No peeking, Dale! Then they put their beds together to sleep. Funny, I thought a bed is big enough for them both and they still have room. They reach the port town of Qualle. While dining in a fine restaurant, Latina notices the performer wearing the same armlet as hers. A few days later they arrange to talk to her, Glaros. Latina wastes no time to tell she is a demon with broken horns so Glaros also reveals she is also a demon and comes from the demon country of the first Demon Lord, Vassilios. Though it is a custom for demon mothers to raise their child, armlets are passed down by fathers to their offspring to celebrate the birth of their child because it is hard for demons to conceive. Glaros is certain Latina is born in Vassilios as it’s the only demon country to practice this as this is not a tradition in the third and sixth Demon Lord’s domain. Then there’s something about the first Demon Lord being killed by the second and perhaps currently there is no Demon Lord ruling over Vassilios right now. Also, unlike Vassilios that closes off its borders to the outside world, there are other calamitous Demon Lords who love to fight and kill like the second, fourth and seventh. Latina then asks the hardest question about Glaros meeting her human husband. Well, he had a good long life. They had no children because if it’s already hard for demons to conceive a child, what more with a human. A little lift from the gloom because Glaros has always been happy since she met her husband. Continuing their journey, Dale and Latina hold hands and then Dale feel the need to carry her. But of course.

Episode 8
Dale stops by at Joseph’s village. He is his relative and a furry. Joseph’s mom is Dale’s dad’s second cousin. Damn, sounds confusing… Joseph has his own family too, wife Ute and baby Maya. When you have a kid who looks like an animal, you wonder if the kid doubles as a pet too. Cute Latina + Cute Maya = Too much cuteness in this household! Dale notices Latina gets worried when they were talking about some prophecy thingy. He wonders if this is the reason why she was chased out from her village. When Maya starts crying uncontrollably, it is because she detected Latina’s sad feelings. Trying to put up a tough front? So with Ute telling her to let the tears flow, Latina starts crying. Damn, this house is noisy with 2 crying kids. Later Latina talks to Dale about the prophecy. She thinks it says she is a bad girl and the reason why her dad died. Dale gives his perspective on this prophecy thingy. Because it didn’t describe her in any specific way, she shouldn’t worry too much. When Dale and Latina leave, Maya puts up a tantrum. She doesn’t want Latina to go. Poor Joseph got a few baby kicks in the face just to hold her back. Better go now. We see Dale trying to outrun his pursuers as well as evading lots of traps. Turns out they are his family. Is this their sick way of greeting their son? We finally arrive at Dale’s hometown, Teathrow. Oddly this is not the village’s name but a reference to all those who live here. Huh? Nobody here has surnames and Dale’s surname is actually his job description in some language. Latina stamps her authority because I guess she doesn’t understand family sarcasm so she has Dale and granny be nice to each other. Wow. Latina so cute when she’s ‘mad’… Meeting the parents, Latina gets worried when hearing about the wedding. Turns out Dale’s brother, Yorck will be marrying the nearby village head’s daughter. Phew. So relieved. That night, Dale thought he heard Latina’s voice. He enters her room only to see her cowering at a corner. Once again, it’s that insecurity of not wanting to be alone. Of course he accompanies her to bed so you bet this is going to be some touchy topic when mom finds them sleeping together. Nothing naughty happened but I guess they’ve got something new to tease their son. It’s like as though they really want to make him out as a lolicon. Oh Latina, you’re the only one who can heal Dale’s hurt feelings now…

Episode 9
Latina writes home to update what is happening. Since her stay at Teathrow is long, she also takes some magic and cooking studies. Big bonus is that she gets to play with lots of pups too. And of course more of Dale and Latina sweet screen time and assurance that they’re happy with each other. One day, grandma decides to take Latina to the mountains to show a secret. When Dale notices this, he becomes suspicious and tails Latina. What’s this? Latina feeding some white winged wolf? Dale scolds her for trying to feed wild animals as this would make them depend on the food and it might carry some disease. However the wolf can speak and snarls at Dale! It is then Dale realizes this is a phantasmic beast. He is surprised because such intelligent creatures don’t live near human settlements. Latina then brings Dale to its entire family just nearby. As explained, these beasts have made a pact with the ancestors of Teathrow that they will co-exist together as neighbours without stepping into each other’s territory. Dale is surprised that Latina has become so friendly with them that she even gives their leader a belly rub! For your information, Latina is not human… At night, everyone prepares for Yorck’s wedding. Seeing this, Dale thinks he is definitely not going to let anyone marry his Latina and will break all his bones! OMFG! However the thought that Latina might hate him for rejecting her boyfriend is too much to bear! Oh dear! While the celebration goes on, why is Latina putting on a sad face? Ah, kids her age wants to grow up fast. Dale then rethinks back had he not take up this Reki job, he wouldn’t have left the village. Because Teathrow doesn’t belong to any nation, there are other lords that might want to take over this dominion. Hence they make some political pacts to stay safe. But to avoid outsiders from meddling, this Reki job is supposedly viewed as a divine gift and a hero. Dale took up this job in hopes of protecting Teathrow from outside. He was at a lost and not sure if he was doing anything to protect his village until he met Latina. Someone to protect. In a way, she saved him. Back to the party, I guess Dale got drunk announcing Latina belongs to him. Because everybody is family, I guess they didn’t see him hugging Latina as some sort of rape potential. Grandma is ever so nice to offer some advice if Latina ever wants to get married and beat up this idiotic grandson. Oh yeah. That’s what family is for. Uh huh. Let’s all laugh over it!

Episode 10
It is time to leave Teathrow and return to Kreutz. Time to say goodbye to everyone too. The winged wolves give them their magic feathers. It will help scare off lesser intelligent beasts when they travel home. Grandma gives Latina a gift. It’s not going to take up any space as that gift is a name. This signifies that she can come back here whenever she wants. Later Dale realizes why grandma put up Latina to meet the winged wolves. Because she helps brushed their feathers, they managed to get a whole bunch of their magic feathers that they will use to make protective clothes when they tend to the fields. Normally they would have to wait till they shed them but looks like Latina did a pretty good job. And so grandma also gives Latina a couple of ribbons made from those feathers. After leaving Teathrow, they stop by at Joseph’s place. Oh dear. We can see this coming. Maya throwing herself at Latina. Yeah, daddy so sad that Maya doesn’t want him anymore. Hence the plan is to leave early tomorrow morning while they’re asleep to avoid that ruckus. However somehow Maya crawled in to sleep next to Latina. Plan failed. And so it’s that déjà vu scene again with Maya giving off her legendary wailing and this time Dale and Latina have to leave fast. No long goodbyes now. Gotta go. Resting at Qualle, Latina wants to buy souvenirs for her friends. Then there is this bright coloured hair person known as Rose Princess passing by. Dale is amazed Latina knows that the glow is due to magical traits of her person. Although she was born in a place with people with high magical traits, Latina herself has low magical traits and is hereditary since her father too doesn’t have such high magic qualities. And now they’ve finally arrived back at Kreutz. Latina greets Kenneth and Rita. With Latina back, I guess it is double celebration for all the patrons. Their favourite server is back! So good to have her back, right?

Episode 11
Latina’s back and you bet her friends are happy to listen to her tales. Chloe has been keeping Latina’s broken horn as a charm. But wait. Why does Rudy have one too? We all know why but Latina believes his reason to keep it because it’s rare. But what’s this? Latina sighing? The customers think she is having romance issues but it turns out she wants to go to a cat’s gathering like her friends did. Phew, right? Dale has this sneaky plan to take her there as long as he accompanies her but Jil usurps him because he’ll go ask his neighbour, Shihesu Gojo a bachelor who lives with his cats. That name rings a bell for Dale because he was grandpa’s partner during his adventuring days. Dale and Latina visit Shihesu’s place. Poor Latina, the cats don’t like her? Except for one! Good enough. Meanwhile the adults talk about things. This includes Shihesu’s original homeland on a faraway island that has a high child mortality rate. So when a child reaches a certain age, they put some extravagant costume on them to celebrate. Sounds familiar… And of course we want to let Latina try that outfit. Yup, it’s a kimono. Looking over the top kawaii. Shihesu thinks this land should adopt this tradition. I can see the kind of influence Latina is going to have if this is accepted. Latina will become God! So I guess for that kind of investment, Dale willingly splurges on this kimono. Any money he spends on Latina is not a waste! Never an upper limit! And of course her attraction power increases dramatically back at the bar. Meanwhile a baby winged wolf wants to go see Latina but papa doesn’t allow it because it is too young. Offspring throws tantrum and threatens to tell mama… WTF.

Episode 12
Helmine visits the bar. Uh oh. Latina’s womanly guts are ringing like hell! Who this woman?! And to show that Latina ‘owns’ Dale, she hugs him and never lets go. Unfortunately Helmine will be staying here for a while. That’s because she and Dale will be paired up on some away mission. Damn. I think this situation is more dangerous! And when a woman says she is not mad, SHE IS MAD! Wow. Latina so young, already so like that. With Helmine hanging around the bar, you bet the other patrons are going to be confused with Latina’s ‘less than satisfying service’. But Helmine isn’t going to play the nice lady. She teases Latina about her small stature since Latina herself has been harbouring hopes of growing up fast. It doesn’t help at all since her classmates especially Rudy talking about her being compared to as a baby. Hence Latina talks to Kenneth about small. Not her stature, but her boobs! Erm, why not talk to Rita? No way. She’s flat! WTF?! And so the rumoured solution is to drink milk… One night, Helmine talks to Dale to advise him about how certain creatures live longer than humans. That’s why they don’t attach themselves to someone special. Otherwise you have to live with that pain. So if he cares about her, live as long as you can! As Latina’s grade will be graduating, her friends are going to walk different paths. Is this to shoehorn in some last moments with Rudy because he is going to join the reserved army? Don’t worry. Many visit Kenneth’s bar so you can still see her, right? Before Dale departs on his mission, he has Latina visit her father’s grave. He narrates he might not live as long as her but as long as he is alive, he will protect her. Dale’s goodbye to Latina could have been longer had not Helmine just tell him to get going. One more Latina hug for the road, please? And as Latina narrate about her being blessed and being grateful to those around her, Rita finally gives birth. Not sure if Kenneth’s bar is now a nursery because you have the baby, loli Latina and even Maya and the winged wolf pup coming to visit! Oh dear. I smell another rivalry coming up… And as expected, Dale returns from his mission safely and gets a big Latina hug.

Always Forever Daddy’s Girl!
Heh. I guess we’re not going to play along with Dale-Helmine being a pair. Because it would have really sucked and be a big time shocker if Latina were to actually blow her head off and go into some full blown jealousy rage. That would be so unthinkable! Hey. Even if she is just a young girl, she still has the guts and genes of a woman! Don’t underestimate woman! But thankfully, Dale has already clearly made his choice and Helmine is just like a cock teaser or something. I guess she is old mature enough to not be a family wrecker. Phew. Good for them. Good for us. Good for everybody. Now we can continue fawning over Dale x Latina’s relationship.

I’m in a dilemma whether to call this series ultimately boring or pleasantly calming. Because this is sure no Aria The Animation or its spiritual successor, Amanchu. But with all the violent and nonsensical slapstick comedies seasons in and seasons out, such calming and cute series is very much welcomed. So if you aren’t feeling nauseated by the time you finished watching this series, then congratulations! This series is for you! So feel free to continue fawning over the cuteness of Latina as she serves us in her trademark cutie smiles. Oh yeah. Definitely would bright up anyone’s day or cheer up anyone who has had a long day!

Due to the very calming nature of this series, it isn’t just peace and tranquillity of the cuteness factor all the way. Why, there are some ‘heart wrenching’ moments where Latina was tormented! Gasp! Latina being tormented?! WHO WOULD DARE???!!! Well, remember that crazy scene whereby that crazy fascist teacher pulled Latina by her horns? Oh man, that was harrowing! The most traumatic scene ever! I don’t know if I’m ever going to get over that! And then there is also the danger of shady people wanting to kidnap and sell Latina in the black market. Thankfully that never happened. But you see, all this could have made the series more interesting because it at least gives some story to tell. Maybe elevating Dale’s status to be Latina’s true hero each time he comes to rescue her. But I guess we don’t want Latina to turn into a loli in distress and are already going for that cute calmness and since that itself is already too much to take, we’re just going to sweep all those threats under the carpet like as though they never happened. Don’t want to watch Latina go through all that, do we? WE MUST PROTECT LATINA’S SMILE AT ALL COSTS!!!

It would have been slightly interesting if the lore and setting of this world is further explored. For instance the several Demon Lords mentioned here as well as the different types of beasts and races. And the Rose Princess thingy whom Dale knows? Yeah. So what of it? It felt redundant to have all this mentioned because it didn’t even matter at all. Like as though in case there is another season, maybe they could use this setting. Because as I’ve said previously, the black market thingy was just short-lived and never even came close to materializing. Hence Latina was never close to true danger. All so as not to take away the spotlight from Latina’s ever glowing cuteness. I guess we’re not ready to sacrifice all that for the sake of TV drama and suspense.

And having said all that, I guess all the characters are… Uhm… Boring… I mean, okay. We can’t keep fawning over whatever Latina does so I guess it doesn’t matter what others do, right? There are lots of conspiracy theories about Dale and Latina’s relationship once Latina reaches a certain age. Yup. Once she is legal of age, can Dale finally sexualize her? I mean she eventually has to grow up? But I am making this assumption that since demons live longer than humans, it would take a lot more years for Latina to become a teen and by the time she reaches that, Dale would have been an old man! So too bad, no f*cking a loli for the moment! Unless you tell me that demons grow up at the same normal rate like humans and only they stagnate when they reach adulthood? I don’t know. As long as Latina remains a loli, happiness is spread everywhere! Banzai Latina-chan! I don’t know whether to feel annoyed each time Dale fawns over Latina because you got to admit, she’s the cutest thing ever! And would it not be an insult if you do not fawn over something cute! Hey, look at all the grown men in Kenneth’s bar being mesmerized over Latina’s charms! We can certainly see why Kenneth’s bar is experiencing brisk business. But if you think about it, it is also a den filled with grown men… Potential loli rape… NOOO!!!! DON’T EVEN THINK OF THAT!!!!!!! I guess it is also not child exploitation as long as Latina is happy with her waitressing job and everybody loves her, huh?

And the rest of the other characters… Oh yeah, everybody loves Latina so much because she is such a cute and nice girl. What else to say? Humans like her, other creatures also like her. What else to say some more? We see she has a bunch of friends at school so that she is not alone for a little girl her age. Potential love interest with a certain boy but that is another story. Could be an interesting one… Dale or Rudy… Latina is now like family now that she has met Dale’s family and she certainly she has lots of godfathers, Jil and those rowdy guys at the bar. Don’t forget those winged wolves whom she ‘tamed’ by giving them a good belly rub. And nobody has turned into a fanatic BFF like Maya. Latina’s like her security blanket… Oh wow. Latina, you are so loved by everybody! No other demon clan character is this loved so much as her!!! Oh Latina, you are ironically truly blessed! Let’s just hope that when Latina grows up, everyone will still continue to love her like their little girl always. That’s when we see the true test if you’re just a lolicon or not…

One thing that boggles my mind is some of the chants that Dale said, it seems to be in some weird language. I thought it was German since you know, the town of Kreutz… Such a German name… Heh… But the more I listen to the gibberish he says, the more I wonder if it is some lesser known language. Google Translate didn’t help so I am confused if this is just made up language. Because you see, when he says the gibberish, they also translated this gibberish in the subtitles to let us know what he actually says. So I thought it must be an actual language. Maybe it isn’t any real one in the first place and they’re just making it up as they go along.

Art and animation are okay. Animated by Maho Film and this is their debut anime and so far their only series they have animated. Everything here looks bright and colourful, like as though this is a series aimed at younger audience. It could have totally been one had not for that few dark parts. Yeah, never do I want to see Latina break her horn again! Heck, there are a few parts in the earlier episodes where there are blood and death! This is more of when Dale goes adventuring and has to fight evil creatures and bad people. The cuteness of Latina seems to remind me that she looks like other cute lolis in other anime series. Namely, Asahi from Shichisei No Subaru. More Latina bonus because every episode’s mid-intermission eyecatch, you get to see Latina in different outfits. SO FREAKING KAWAII!!!!!!!!!! I WANT TO COSPLAY AND DRESS UP THIS LOLI!!!!

One reason why I said in my opening paragraph that this might be some weird spinoff of To Aru Kagaku No Accelerator is because Dale is voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto. Yup, that guy with the crazy voice. Now pair him with a loli, doesn’t this make this pair look like Accelerator x Last Order? Hmm… Dale-ccelerator x Last-ina Order!!! Oh sh*t! Can’t unsee this now!!! Latina is voiced by Kanon Takao (Yuu in Anitore! EX) and well… As cute as she tries to sound, sometimes I feel like you can’t hide the fact that this is a grown woman trying to fake the sound of a loli. But since she sounds cute, I guess I’ll let that slide. The rest of the other casts are Tsuyoshi Koyama as Kenneth (Youhei in Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou No Sho), Manami Numakura as Rita (Paula in Nisekoi), Tomomichi Nishimura as Jil (Anzai in Slam Dunk), Yuuki Kuwahara as Chloe (Tooru in Kobayashi-san Chi No Maid Dragon), Marika Kouno as Sylvia (Suzuka in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby), Mutsumi Tamura as Rudy (Sonya in Kill Me Baby), Mai Nakahara as Helmine (Mai in Mai-HiME) and Yui Fukuo as Maya (Linze in Isekai Wa Smartphone To Tomo Ni – on a personal note, I kinda hate her character Maya in constant crying mode. My ears can’t stop ringing…).

If you want more Latina goodness and cuteness, be glad to know that she sings the opening theme, I’m With You. Despite this rock outfit, I guess she still does make it sound cute. But the one that takes the cake is the ending theme. Nope, not Latina singing it but Dale! OMFG! It is with both cuteness and cringe when hearing this song. Because of the hip hop nature of this song, the ‘funny’ part is how Dale’s seiyuu sings it and like I said, it is both cute and cringe worthy. One moment you are fawning at how cute he sings it but the next your hairs could stand on ends at how cringe it is. Especially the final lines that has him go. “Chu chu chu chu chu chu chu”. Yeah… I don’t want to hear this song again but something is compelling me to listen to it again… OMG. I’m… Addicted… To it…

Overall, this isn’t a cute girls doing cute things genre but rather, CUTE LATINA DOING CUTE THINGS!!! Yes, all the colourful and sparkly cuteness from this demon loli steals the show at every turn and moment and possibly some of our hearts. The only real danger is turning some of us into lolicons. Good thing I’m still not! Really! So if you are looking for some good wholesome anime with decent characters (but a very cute main one) and a decent storyline (although everything revolves around everything Latina does oh so cutely), then this is definitely a must see. A good show to also tell us that even though you’re not related by blood, love all around still makes you family. Just make sure the cuteness doesn’t run out. Ever. Latina-chan hontou ni kawaii sugiru ~kyun…

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!

Sounan Desu Ka

October 18, 2019

How good are your basic survival skills? Zero? Well. Same here. I suppose we have been so reliant and dependant on technology that now we take the basics of survival for granted. Sure, we think those YouTube videos and the internet can help when we’re stranded but let’s just hope the uninhabited island has some strong internet connection to begin with! But don’t worry. Not all is lost. In the very most remote of chances you think you might find yourself stranded on an island, perhaps watching Sounan Desu Ka beforehand might do the trick. I hope. A group of girls has been shipwrecked on a deserted island and are forced to do whatever they can to survive. From collecting water and catching food, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Not the paradise kind of private beach island life they’re hoping for.

Episode 1
A plane crashes. It seems only Asuka Suzumori, Mutsu Amatani, Shion Kujou and Homare Onishima survive and are stranded on a rock. Only Homare has survival skills since her dad taught her before and they often got stranded on trips around the world. So this is no stranger to her. As we can see, Homare puts her survival skills to good use. Like catching a flying fish, beating it up while wrapping it in her shirt and then squeezing it to drink its blood as liquid! I think the rest will pass. Still thirsty? Homare offers a ‘fresher’ alternative of peeing in your mouth! They continue waiting and still no sign of rescue. Next morning, an island across is visible. They start swimming. Getting exhausted? Nothing moves you faster when you see shark coming! Luckily Homare throws an old handphone battery that has the shark turn around due to its sensitive nose. With Mutsu feeling a bit dizzy, Homare believes their best action now is to find water. She explains several methods but it either takes too long or they don’t have the equipment. It’s not going to rain either. Hence their only option is to find a water source. With Mutsu’s mouth feeling dry and she can’t produce saliva either, Mutsu kisses her to transfer some of hers! Eww! Worse, Homare just ate a flying locust and its leg got stuck in that kiss. Mutsu’s first kiss… A taste of locust…

Episode 2
Homare and Asuka head into the jungles to find the water source. Ironically, Asuka being the athletic one, she tires out and is complaining? I guess she wasn’t really trained for this kind of environment, huh? But soon, Asuka starts to get dizzy. Homare hurriedly digs for water on a soil that is damp and lets her drink. Best water ever! Until she realizes she is drinking this ‘filtered water’ from Homare’s sock! Meanwhile Shion tries to find something for Mutsu to rest. She stumbles into this coconut. Mutsu gets the hint she wants to be praised for her efforts. It took some effort to break it open and from what I can see, Shion drank it all. So to make it up for her, if she pees, she wants Mutsu to drink it? Not outrageous but I don’t think the girls have gone crazy being stranded… They are given a respite when it rains. With their water source secured, the next step is to build a shelter. But since the rest are complaining about being tired and hungry, Homare goes hunting. She caught some cicadas, sea urchin, seaweed and some mysterious jar. Rock-scissors-paper to see who gets what. Shion gets the sea urchin and Mutsu gets the seaweed. Asuka thought it is some jam in this jar but whatever it is, it’s expired. Tastes bad… Homare is willing to share the cicadas. Did you lose your appetite after seeing he decapitate it? Tastes like shrimp? But Asuka passes since Mutsu shares her seaweed. With night fall, they have to sleep in the open. That’s why Homare told them the importance of making a shelter. But I guess sleeping underneath the open sky isn’t too bad either. The girls are surprised that Homare can instantly fall asleep. Well, she’s done a lot for you girls today.

Episode 3
It’s one thing being tired. It’s also one thing to be useless. But it’s totally another thing to throw a tantrum just because you are hungry and wanting Homare to get some food. Oh Asuka, you looking like a spoilt brat. Luckily for her, Homare intends to head into the jungles to find more vines so Asuka tags along under the pretence to help but also to look for food. When Asuka pulls out some sort of potato from the ground, Homare doesn’t think it is a good idea to eat it. Bugs are okay and not potatoes? Hence Homare employs a patch test to see if it’s edible. By rubbing the thing on your body to see if it has any sort of reaction. She rubs it on Asuka’s ass. Suddenly she feels numb. Definitely poison… She is still scared of eating cicadas but once she gets the hang of it, yeah it tastes like shrimp. Shion hopes they could build a shower next since hygiene is important. Don’t want to have those rescue workers think they stink? Homare builds one but it is out on the open. Hey, at least nobody else is watching on this uninhabited island. Works fine until they broke the mechanism. Homare takes Mutsu to hunt for shellfish. Mutsu thought hermit crabs are inedible but on the contrary, Homare demonstrates by ripping off its shell and devouring this ‘delicacy’! They have caught a few shellfishes so Homare demonstrates how to start a fire and use the sun and rock to make it like an iron plate. Shellfish tastes so good that they can’t stop this ‘buffet’. Don’t worry, if you still have stomach for more, here are hermit crabs. Bon appetite!

Episode 4
Once you try it, you’re sure to love it! See? Hermit crabs tastes good to. Uh huh. Tastes like shrimp… But will this be enough? Don’t worry, Homare believes it is time for them to catch a real animal for its meat. Uh oh. Real survival begins… Based on the footprints, she believes there are squirrels nearby. Hence she explains some of the traps they will be making to catch one. When a toad pops up, Asuka uses her skirt to catch it. Careful not to touch some of its skin as it contains poison. Because Homare says they can only eat its legs and to leave the rest behind, Asuka gets worried. You mean she has to kill this little guy? Like, how? Oh sh*t… Thus she pretends to slip up and let it escape. No frog meat tonight… Homare so disappointed… Homare then spots a burrow. It is believed to be European rabbits and hence they will be changing their target to them. She creates a snare trap and to see whether it works, Asuka volunteers to be bait. Works like a charm. Why does it look like she wants to flash her (rabbit print) panties? As Mutsu and Asuka set up similar traps near other burrows, Mutsu notices a branch too high to be placed for their trap. Therefore she improves and uses a log as a counterweight. They fear it might not be as speedy as the original so Asuka tests it and it works perfectly.

Episode 5
So Shion is b*tching that the catch will have to wait for a few days, they have to eat the same shells and hermit crabs again? Homare thinks up fast that she’ll go collect some turban shells and this delights Shion since she loves eating them. Homare and Asuka dive in to catch some but they didn’t find any. So what did Homare bring back? Starfish! Oh Shion, you still not happy? Until she realizes some bruises on Homare’s hands that Asuka explains she tried to get some oyster but its shell was hard and she accidentally scraped it. Shion realizes her selfishness and eats the starfish. Better than any turban shell! Yeah, be prepared because that’s the menu for tomorrow too as Homare catches more! When the gang goes to check on the trap, looks like everything is still in place. Then they see smoke from the beach. Alerted, they think it’s some rescuer. But when they return, they see Shion in a daze. She thought she saw a ship. She starts crying and apologizing. Keep it strong, girls. Can’t have a domino effect of everyone breaking down. Next morning when Homare asks Shion to come with her, the latter thought she is going to be punished. But Homare takes her to a place where there is low tide now. They dig up wrasse fish that buried themselves in the sand while they sleep. That night they have a mini celebration. Got to have some fun sometimes, right? Here’s to their safety and health. Next day, Asuka and Mutsu check on the trap. Looks like something is caught in it… It’s still moving so the thought of killing it swiftly lingers…

Episode 6
Indeed there is a rabbit caught in the trap. Can’t call for Homare or it might run away. Mutsu offers to kill it. WTF?! How could she miss hitting its head at this distance?! I know she isn’t athletic but the way this plays out, like as though the rabbit is making a fool out of her! WTF Mutsu giving up and crying?! Truly the rabbit has taken her for a ride. So Asuka sums up her courage and does the honours. Relaying the good news, Homare now explains how to remove their organs but first they need to create a knife using a stone. Mutsu wants to try skinning it to make up for her failure. Hang in there. Let’s hope this bloody mess doesn’t traumatize her even when Homare is guiding her. Yeah, biology class wasn’t like this… On how to cook the meat, Shion has an idea of some French dish she once experienced, lievre. Well, with some improvisations, they can make something close to it. After deboning it, they wrap it in some plant leaf, cover them with rocks and twigs to grill them. And of course when it’s done, it is the best meat they’ve eaten ever since. How does it taste like? WTF tastes like chicken?! Shouldn’t rabbits taste like rabbits?

Episode 7
Homare thinks of exploring the island but only needs one of them to accompany her. Hence it becomes a ‘battle’ to be picked. Choose me! In the end, Mutsu is chosen and this leaves the rest devastated. After exploring for a while, they stumble into a dock. Excited at first, Homare examines it and realizes it has been abandoned a long time. For now, they make camp. Mutsu asks why she was chosen and to her surprise, Homare views her as most suited for survival as she has a deliberate nature and adapts quickly. So to say the others aren’t so fit for survival and are going to die? Then they hear rustling in the leaves. Turns out Asuka and Shion followed them. Can’t leave mommy behind, can they? They make a bed using a net. A bit cramp but it’s all they’ve got. They think of naming this island but definitely reject Mutsu’s idea of using their initials because it sounds like ahomushi (idiot). Next day, they continue exploring the island and while Asuka finds pears, Shion claims she has found a house! Well… A dilapidated house. Homare explores it and is excited to find a broken pair of shears. The rest cannot understand why she is so happy so she spells out how its metal parts can be modified into a knife. Makes survival a whole lot easier. Then they climb to the highest point to get a feel of the island. Well bad news, water, water everywhere. But something catches Homare’s eyes. There’s smoke nearby…

Episode 8
Calling out if anybody is there… No response. When they head down to the spot, the smoke is actually vapour from the hotspring! Quit wasting time analysing about somebody was here building these unnatural formation of the rocks so as to make the hotspring because it’s time to soak in and have fun! Not sure if the rocks or water is illuminating because we can sure see the naked girls clearly! Of course, important parts strategically blocked off… When the water temperature gets warmer, they realize something is wrong. Too late as the waves engulf them. Luckily they are washed ashore as Homare theorizes this area is only visible during low tides. Later Homare wants to go down a narrow chasm because there are thick ropes there. This spot was once used to anchor boats. Testing the water depths and all, she finally jumps in to grab the rope. Then she uses the chimney style movement to climb her way out. When it starts raining, the girls quickly rush back to camp. Because of the heavy downpour, their tent couldn’t do anything and the fire is put out. Asuka tries to maintain optimism by heading to sea to find something since she is already wet. Suddenly lightning strikes the far end of the ocean and she got electric shock! Thank goodness she is still alive. With the heavy thunder and lightning, the girls wonder if they should move into the forest but Homare points out it is more dangerous as the lightning could strike a tree. The solution is to build a 4m lightning rod and take shelter at precisely 45 degrees away. While Homare builds it, the girls are on the verge of breakdown from the incessant flashes. But thankfully the storm is gone. Asuka thinks of dipping into the sea again but why did she get electric shock again? Jellyfish. Ah… Homare applies sea water to relief some of the pain. Shion and Mutsu realizes how everyone has got it hard and promise to use this as a lesson to be mindful and not to make life already harder than it is.

Episode 9
Homare is excited as she manages to finish creating a couple of knives. Because of the UV, Asuka’s skin is peeling so they ask Homare if there is any natural sunblock lotion. As she was just finishing hunting squid, squid ink provides excellent sunblock. Unfortunately it is only enough for 1 person so Mutsu won the bet and got it. But don’t despair, Homare grinds the seaweed for its mucus and it might not be as effective as squid ink, it’s still better than nothing. Shion accidentally drops and splashes it all over Homare. Asuka doesn’t want it to go to waste and starts rubbing her body against hers. Our yuri fanservice for this episode. With Shion pouting that she is left out, Homare hands her dried squid liver. Not as effective either but still, better than nothing. Too bad it stinks like hell! When Mutsu got bitten by a horsefly, Homare treats it with sap from dandelion. Shion and Asuka argue to make a hammock or a drying rack. In the end, because embarrassment is next to nothing in nature, they made a hammock instead. At least they can sleep easy. With all the stinking business, Shion wonders if making perfume is possible. I think Homare didn’t mean anything bad because she says at this point all of them stinks! It just means their smell got used to the bad odour over time. When the girls praise Homare for her great survival skills, it Homare attributes them all to her father so the girls think she has daddy complex.

Episode 10
Homare makes a raft with bamboos to help transport heavy stuffs. When Shion is lazing around, a bee ‘visits’ her. This scares the hell out of her but Homare realizes this means there must be a hive nearby. She tracks the hive to a dilapidating log. I don’t think she is trying to scare the girls about people dying from bee stings but hey, no pain no gain, right?! First, Homare uses a makeshift torch to smoke out the bees. Then they lie low so as not to provoke it. You think the bees aren’t mad after their hive has been set on fire? Once the timing is right (don’t want the honey to melt), Homare goes in to cut them. With the bees still buzzing around, the other girls get scared but Shion sums up her courage after seeing some mild bee stings on Homare and helps to take the honey. In the end, you can say it is sweet victory. Next day, Homare and Asuka return from fishing. Shion insists she wants to go fishing too. As she cannot dive, Homare lets her fish from atop a raft. After a while, Homare realizes the current has been gaining speed. To her dismay, Shion is nowhere to be seen. Even getting on top a high rock, screaming her name, there is no sign of Shion anywhere. Oh no. Truly lost? Shion has been so engrossed in fishing that she didn’t know she has been drifted far out to sea.

Episode 11
When the rest finds out that Shion has been drifted, Asuka becomes upset. How can Homare lose her when she was supposed to be with her? Hey, even monkeys something fall off trees. But Homare isn’t giving up yet so she has them help her build a raft. She can still catch up and find Shion before sunset. Homare remembers papa’s words to always think about her own safety despite having others around. Because this might put others at risk too. But Homare isn’t going to let that lesson lose a life of a friend. At this point Shion realizes she is lost. She can’t panic and cry. Got to save those moistures. She spots an island ahead but when she lands, it is just some big rock with no life. She tries to stay calm but at this point she is feeling dehydrated and negativism is setting in. Meanwhile Homare fears she might have passed Shion. Due to her limited vision of the horizon, she remembers daddy’s method on how to measure height without any tools. So this high jump acrobat move has her spot that rock island. And in good time she finds Shion cowering underneath the shade of a rock. Shion starts crying. Uhm, is it a good time to waste moistures? And she’s complaining Homare took so long?! Jokes aside, it’s time to go ‘home’.

Episode 12
In her haste to go rescue Shion, Homare forgot to bring any water. At this rate they will dehydrate before they get back. Shion mentions about a cave she found. However as Homare examines, despite having fresh rainwater, it is contaminated with bat dung. Drink it and you’ll get sick! However she has an idea as they prepare their raft back. As they paddle back, it seems the water with bat dung is left out to dry in hopes the UV will somewhat sterilize it a little. As they are really dehydrating, they still can use this contaminated water. As the colon absorbs water and they can drink it without going through their mouths. Have you guessed it? Through your anus!!! Not joking!!! It’s either you lose your dignity or your life! She’ll put some of the water in her mouth and blow it through her anus!!! OMFG!!! Worse than a horror rape scene, Homare does the unthinkable on Shion! That’s only half of it because now Homare wants her to do it to her! This is the worst day of Shion’s life. But she survived… That’s even weird sh*t porn for today. At sunset, they finally reach back thanks to Mutsu and Asuka’s smoke from cooking. Shion couldn’t wait to reunite with her friends and swim ashore to hug them. That night they have a great feast. Next day, Homare teaches them how to ensnare a wild boar. Come on, girls. Cover your hands with wild boar dung!!! The trauma for Shion doesn’t stop… And then they let Shion be the one who trips over it to see if it works. Works like a charm. Lastly we see Homare’s papa on his boat on his way to rescue her…

Cast Away: Girls Versus Wild
Well, this just in. Looks like I know nothing at all and I better have somebody like Homare to hold my hand if I ever find myself in a similar situation. I don’t know if I can really ever do that anus hydration thingy if I were in the same situation. Really, that scene was really the most disturbing and so full of cringe for those who are not used to it. I really hope I don’t have to go through that… And with the girls looking like they’re making the island their home and learning better skills as each day pass, the cliff-hanger of Homare’s papa coming to rescue her, if he does so will they really want to leave their ‘second home’? That will be a survival story for another time. If they manage to put out another season, that is.

While the survival skills and techniques are interesting to watch, I have a feeling that they are just very basic. After all, even though there is this intention from this anime to enlighten and teach others about survival techniques, you can’t go in too deep and technical otherwise it will bore and confuse the hell out of many viewers. Especially like yours truly who know nuts about surviving and this might turn this series into one ‘scary’ experience. Oh damn, you need to know and do so many things just for that little thing? I’m going to pass this island survival thingy. Yeah… Also, this series is only 12 minutes or so and I can see why they want to keep it short and at the same time cram as many interesting survival situations and techniques into the dozen of episodes. This is after all still anime and the main point is to entertain. Otherwise it makes zero sense to have 4 cute girls as our protagonists here, right? In spite of everything we have seen the girls go through, it feels that nature has still been kind on them rather than unleashing some sort of fury that would have threatened their lives at every moment. Like as though this island is made for beginner and amateur survivalists…

While the plot of this series is to see the girls survive the island and to improve their daily survival, a lot of other things when you think about it doesn’t make sense. Like as though it was just all for plot convenience to set up this setting. For instance when the girls shipwrecked, where are the bodies of their other classmates? Unless you tell me that they are the only ones who were on a trip. Even so, where’s the pilot’s body? Oddly in the first episode I have already been wondering about stuffs like this because I figure if you want to be realistic, might as well think of this gruesome reality too. I know they don’t want to stay depressed or even think of their dead, but it’s like those dead classmates never existed at all. It’s like, oh there are only 4 of us who survived this. Okay. Let’s start surviving this island together. See what I mean? Plus, this is sea water so the bodies should float? Amazingly no corpses have been drifted on the island they have been. Assuming that the girls have been stranded on this island for days and weeks, why has there been no search and rescue operation to look for them? Unless the pilot went off its course so the rescue team is searching in the wrong place. Hmmm… Now where have I heard this plot before? With no rescue team means it beats the girls having to bum around and wait to be rescued and hence why we see them doing things to survive.

And then here is another mind boggling part: How come the girls still look fresh and especially their clothes still looking good and new? Remember what I said about this series trying to entertain us and probably targeting a certain demographic segment? Uh huh. It just feels unrealistic that even though there might be some natural solutions to help keep the moisture and some skin care, it won’t be as good as those manufactured ‘poison’ that those international brands produce. In short, the girls here look amazingly cute and clean despite being stranded on the island for days and even weeks. Their school uniforms look amazingly neat and spotless despite being exposed to the elements. No torn or ripped parts of their shirt or skirt. Even more mind boggling how Homare has used her shirt to drain blood and I can’t believe it is still as white as snow after she somehow cleans it. If this was true in the real world, serial killers and murderers would have gotten away with it so easily. Therefore sometimes looking at the girls who are clean and fresh makes me feel like they’re doing one big advertising for the island… Get what I’m saying?

Character wise, I guess there is nothing much to say about them. You can easily pigeonhole them as the athletic tomboy (Asuka), the studious megane (Mutsu) and the prideful oujosama (Shion). Thankfully with one of them being a master survivalist, the rest get to extend their lives longer instead of game over the moment they crashed. It is that ironic feeling that everything you learnt in school is not really applicable here. But let’s face it, how often are we going to live in the jungles or somewhere without human civilization? So it is pretty expected that Asuka, Mutsu and Shion know nothing about survival. Occasional b*tching and whining I guess it is acceptable seeing that they are unfamiliar with their new surroundings and it is a good thing they learn and help out since trying to forever be a spoilt brat will only get you dead (by nature) and not sit well with us viewers who might be trying to find somebody to hate. I dunno. It’s just human nature, I guess?

But I suppose this means with their undies in good condition too, it gives a great excuse to see them in it while they get wet and do water activities. Damn, that sure sounded ambiguous but whatever. Viva our little fanservice here! And because the trio are noobs in surviving, some of their slip-ups are made to look like jokes and punch lines. Ah well, gotta have some fun too, right? It’s a good thing they have Homare as company rather than, say, Wilson! Cute blonde twintail beats bloody hand printed ball any time!

Homare being the ultimate survivalist and somewhat saviour of the pack, it feels like God is trying to play a cruel trick on her by testing what she has learnt from her father all these years. Many of the techniques she employs here are thanks to the lessons and flashbacks while travelling with her dad that are scattered throughout the series. Hence it also becomes one of the mind boggling points of the series: Why the heck was papa bringing a young girl along with him through his travels around the world? I don’t know what job papa does that has him travelling to all the dangerous parts of the world, but why bring a young Homare who could have been in elementary school then with him? I am making a big assumption that mom is dead and it’s the only reason why a child is not stopped to go on such journeys. And of course thanks to the travels, she has gained a lot of valuable knowledge on surviving. For some reason she stopped travelling and entered high school. I am also assuming this happened because dad is dead and she thought of experiencing the high school life before she gets too old to be a high school girl. And then this happened. Perhaps the ultimate test to see if she was really paying attention to daddy. From what we’ve seen, it is sure paying off.

On a side note, thanks to my limited Japanese vocabulary, initially I wondered why this series was named so. Only after a simple Google search did I realize it was appropriately named and it can be used as pun too. Hence the official English title of “Are You Lost?” is appropriate (sounan means lost). This also offers a play on word and pun because “Sou nan desu ka” technically means “I see…”. Therefore when Homare shows and wows us with her techniques cue this line which could actually mean both. Pretty neat, huh?

Art and animation feel pretty okay as we have cute looking girls and for thankfully the island life isn’t harsh enough that the girls suffer some kind of horrible injury or tragic fate. Yeah, nobody gets paralyzed or suffer from some sort of illness! And with cute girls making look like it is so easy and fun living the island life, better think twice and do your research after research if you really want to try this out. This anime is animated by Ezola whose only other anime at this point was Happy Sugar Life.

I didn’t want to make any issues with the voice acting part but I want to point out that Homare’s character at first I didn’t think she was suitably voiced. Not that Mao Ichimichi (Shion in Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken) did a bad job but rather my perception (and most of us) of blonde twintail girls. I was expecting her to have this high pitch squeaky voice like what many blonde twintail girls do. Yeah, bonus points if she is a tsundere. Therefore having Homare’s voice as the calm and lower pitched, it just feels, uhm, not right. Had Homare looked like any one of the other girls, I would have agreed to the casting but I guess the producers want us to cast away that stereotypical views of blonde twintail girls. Yeah, it all doesn’t matter when it comes down to survival, huh?

The other casts in this small line-up include Azumi Waki as Shion (titular character in Oshiete! Galko-chan), Hiyori Kouno as Asuka (Kazusa in Araburu Kisetsu No Otomoe-domo Yo), Kiyono Yasuno as Mutsu (Megumi in Saenai Hoeroine No Sodatekata) and Akio Ootsuka as Homare’s papa (Kyouraku in Bleach). Seriously, the more I hear the voice of this guy, the more I keep thinking he is the late Unshou Ishizuka! Remember Ahomushi? If the island didn’t get named by them, then they could have formed a band in an alternate reality and sung the opening theme of this song, Koko Wa Doko! Another one of the weird aspects of this series is how lively this song is. I don’t expect it to be dark, dramatic and edgy but for a show about survival, seeing the girls having fun doing survival stuffs in the opening credits, it just feels really weird. Yes. Really, really, really weird. But I think we need all the positivism and motivation we can get by staying on this deserted island. The ending theme by Kiyono Yasuno goes to a slower beat. Ikiru has this slight feel that it is a marching band song but it’s not that bad either.

Overall, this series can swing both ways. It is entertaining because you get to see the girls doing basic survival tasks and if you like a bit of ecchi, having them doing certain stuffs in their underwear gives a natural excuse for this. However the series can be a drag because it is basically the girls doing basic survival tasks. Rinse and repeat but shown in a different way. And the saddest part is that I would forget all the lessons that Homare has thought us once the next season rolls in. Heck, even by the next episode I would have forgotten the important survival lessons of the previous! Looks like I’m not cut out for surviving in the wild. Anime had better not die out and force me to go outside and live a normal social life! Oh the horror! I don’t need that kind of survival skills, please!!!

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…

Allison To Lillia

September 8, 2019

Due to that amazing flight themed Kouya No Kotobuki Hikoutai, I started looking around for another anime of the similar genre. I know I’m not going to expect something this awesome but what the heck, probably to satisfy my whimsy flight craze for the moment. And that was when I remembered an old retro show, Allison To Lillia. Yeah, that anime came out like 10 years ago back in 2009! I suppose it was one of that shows where I wanted to watch but never came around to it because there wasn’t anything ‘of importance’ to watch it. And it is thanks to Kouya No Kotobuki Hikoutai that I could finally come around to this one. Like I said, not likely to be as awesome as that airplane series but catching a few aerial stunts should be more than suffice.

Episode 1
Wilhelm “Wil” Schultz is such a bright student that he briefs the young ones about the history of the land. Roxcheanuk Confederation AKA Roxche and United Kingdom of Bezel Iltoa AKA Sou Beil have been at war for 130 years due to their differing opinions on the originations of men. Lesson interrupted when Allison Whittington flies down. Isn’t this dangerous? Yeah, Wil’s old friend has just gotten enlisted into the air force although her tasks are mainly transportation. As they head to town, they stumble into an old man. Wil knows him from the rumours as a guy who likes to lie because he tells everyone grand stories like being a butler from the royal family. He hitches a ride with them home. He treats them to tea and admits all his stories are lies. Except for this one. There is a treasure that no amount of money could buy that can stop the war between the nations. However it is on the side of Sou Beil. It was discovered during some poison gas war. History said that thanks to a lieutenant colonel’s thinking, it saved Roxche. However gramps points out that everybody who died from the gas are actually alive as he is part of that special unit. This is to protect them from retribution. Also the lieutenant colonel did not exist. So did history lie? History is written to suit one’s purpose. Allison is willing to fly there whenever she has missions. Of course she cannot be found out or she’ll be expelled. But she thinks they will let it slide as the treasure will justify her actions. You think so? Just then, a man from the town hall wants to bring gramps away to discuss about tax matters. He agrees to go with them. Wil is suspicious because he mistook them for being family members when their sidecar would have told him they are students. Yup, time to go after him. True enough, they are heading away towards town. Wil spots the guy taking out a gun. Jump! Man, they survived that crash. So they’re going to chase by foot all the way? I hope the destination is nearby. When they reach the private estate, they see a plane just departing. They think gramps is on it. They trespass into the hangar and the place is so big that there are no guards?! Oh look. A plane. Convenient. I guess leaving an apology letter to borrow doesn’t constitute as stealing.

Episode 2
Crossing the Lutoni River means entering into Sou Beil’s territory. An enemy fighter attacks so Allison pretends to be shot down. Even got some smoke material. Crash landing could have been perfected had not the wheels got caught by the electric wires. In the middle of the forest?! Luckily they jump out in time before the plane explodes. Next day, they talk about Sou Beil that is supposed to be Moot’s homeland. She is the caretaker of their orphanage. As Allison plays with this Bambi, the mother attacks her but Wil protects her and gets injured. Oh Allison, you want to shoot and kill the mother and fawn?! I guess not. So Allison has to carry him for the nearest aid. Who knows where this house in the middle of nowhere is but at least this lone woman, Radia takes them in and treats Wil. She asks Allison why she came here so she tells the truth about gramps and the treasure. Radia finds it bogus because Sou Beil’s side of the story is about the lost gold of a general who was about to attack Roxche. People have been trying to look for it but nothing was found. Later Allison apologizes to Wil for dragging him into this mess but Wil thanks her as he is able to see what Soul Beil looks like. Yeah, just a day in enemy territory… Next morning, Radia learns about Moot from Wil. She explains Moot was labelled as a traitor when she emigrated to Roxche and opened an orphanage there. Wil continues how Moot continued to take in orphaned kids whose parents died in the war. Allison was no different but instead of crying from loneliness and fear, she first made Wil her henchman! They’ve been together since. Unfortunately Moot passed away 6 months ago. Radia’s answer to why she lives remotely here. If a war ever breaks out, she is ready to take up arms and fight the enemy. When Allison wakes up, a cuckoo badge that secretly signifies her army rank drops out, Wil remembers what gramps said and realizes his story is true. Radia wants them to stop this foolishness or they’ll lose their lives but after seeing they are determined to get the treasure to stop the war, she gives them army uniforms from her sons. They are from Sou Beil Royal Guards, the elite of the elite so they are able to walk around in most army bases without showing ID or suspicions. She also gives Wil her husband’s gun. As they leave, Radia realizes that despite she hated Roxche for taking her sons’ life, Roxche also had people who had lost their lives. That is why Moot took them in.

Episode 3
Benedict Carr is the pilot for the plane that kidnapped gramps. He doesn’t understand about the treasure his higher ups are talking about as they interrogate the old fart but nothing came out from his mouth. Allison and Wil manage to infiltrate the base and get a nervous private to show them around. Of course this leads to where gramps is. After telling the stupid guards to bring blankets, gramps is amazed they are here and only requests for a hairpin and will meet up later. As the duo leave, they bump into Benedict. Allison recognizes him as he was the one who wrote the love letter but she rejected him. They tell him about the treasure. Meanwhile gramps brazenly unlocks before the guards and pushes open the door to knock them out?! Shameful! They’re so stupid and weak! With the alarm sounded, gramps rendezvous with the duo and try to get to the hangar via secret passageway. This guy is still as sharp as ever. But you know a death flag is coming up when he tells them the route to the treasure. Just in case. Gramps stalls the guards to let the duo take off via seaplane. I know the entire base is on alert to hunt down this old fart but only a handful of soldiers chasing them and none guarding the hangar???!!! Gramps is so heroic that he makes that soldiers look like morons because he rolls barrels of oil conveniently lying around and then shoots it for some great explosive distraction. Even though he gets shot subsequently but it is all worth it since the duo have already taken to the skies. Benedict is ordered to capture the duo and if he fails, shoot them down before they cross the border. As insurance, they also order another unit to follow him and if he does something suspicious, kill him. Allison and Wil are sad that gramps is dead. So to honour his wish, they are going to head for the treasure at all cost.

Episode 4
When Benedict catches up to them, he lets them hear the radio that the enemies want them shot down. So Allison challenges him to a dogfight? Allison gets to strut her stuff and even gets the better of Benedict. She fires! He still survives because it is only paint bullets?! How the heck did she know it’s not real bullets? Did she have time to examine?! With that, Benedict wants to join them in their treasure hunt since gramps’ last words to him was to take care of them. But he has to shake down those Sou Beil bogeys first. Don’t worry. His skills are even more exceptional considering those are just low level goons. As they make their way towards a cave in the mountains, little do they know those greedy Sou Beil higher ups are secret tailing. Inside after following gramps’ instructions, they arrive in a section where there are primitive paintings. But the ‘treasure’ turns out to be a big mural. One man is holding a spear (Roxche’s military insignia) and the other holding a dagger (Sou Beil’s military insignia). They realize both sides originated together. They also realize that gramps fictional lieutenant colonel and was forced to kill his men to keep this treasure a secret because they didn’t want to get along with the enemy. He waited for 30 years since people will not believe so soon during the height of the war. Wil wants Benedict to announce this mural since it is too heavy a responsibility for them. Those greedy higher ups are here. Hand over the treasure. I don’t know if Wil is super fast as they didn’t see him whip out his gun and fire. Just a shoulder wound. It causes them to fire at the ceiling and the rocks fall and crush them! WTF?! What a stupid way to die! But good riddance. Soon news breaks out that the war is over thanks to the discovery of the mural. Wil and Allison visit gramps’ housemaid. She is sad he is gone but is finally relieved of his agony.

Episode 5
Wil is on his way on a fieldtrip to the kingdom of Ikstova. During a stop, he gets kidnapped! Turns out to be Allison. Looks like she is also here for a mission so what a better way to spend some time with him. Yeah, and also she has something important to tell him that she can’t write it in a letter… She drives him to a joint military base by Roxche and Sou Beil where they will be conducting a joint ice rescuing expedition. They meet Benedict who is part of this expedition. He is promoted to major after becoming a hero and that nation’s most eligible bachelor! Benedict invites them to a party later where the top brasses will be attending. I guess he doesn’t want to be alone. Later a blizzard hits the place so Allison and Wil change their plans to take shelter at the nearest village. Benedict notices the blizzard and that his friends may have been caught in it and goes to look for them. But for the villages he went, his friends were not spotted and he had to entertain the people wanting his autograph. After an old lady points Allison and Wil to the assembly hall, she makes the call to her comrades about a couple of suspicious Roxche personnel. In the assembly hall, another old lady serves them tea as Wil displays his knowledge about Iktsova’s royalty insignia. Each of them has different plants or animals representing them. The old lady leaves and confides in her comrades that they might be spies since they know the insignia well. Allison sums up her courage to ask what Wil will be doing after graduation. She even suggests a university to go to and because she will be flying all over the world, it will get a little lonely. So won’t he come stay with her in the capital? Dumb Wil fell asleep… Not his fault as Allison soon realizes the tea is laced. Benedict sees fresh tracks and believes this is where Allison and Wil went but there is no village on this map. So he is going to walk there by foot? He stumbles into this girl, Fiona who recognizes his notes that was written on a poster of the portrait of Owen Nihito. She wants him to take her to the capital of Ikstova now but change of plans as her comrades call for her return.

Episode 6
Allison and Wil find themselves locked in a cellar. But nothing like a bit of improvisation to let themselves out. This isn’t maximum security, you know. Hiding in a cabin, they thought somebody is coming so Allison ambushes him. Luckily she misses because it would’ve been bad news had she really hit Benedict. Thanks to their noisiness, the villagers are coming. Lucky for them again, Fiona hides them in her house. Because of the icy night, they have to wait at least till tomorrow morning to have a chance. So Fiona tells why she is bent on heading to the capital. Nihito is a politician and is holding a speech. She wants to use this chance to declare that she is alive. You see, Fiona is the sole survivor of the royal family’s massacre and her real names is Francesca. She wants Benedict to teach him how to use a gun left behind by her late grandpa but he can’t let a princess swing around something so dangerous and leaves it to Wil. So shooting is not okay but punching is? Next morning (even had enough time for breakfast), they sneak out via hiding under a white sheet. Seriously. They think the snow can camouflage them? When they reach a lone guard, Fiona pretends to take Benedict hostage. When he is close enough, he knocks him out. But not after he sounds the alert. Suddenly the villagers surround them! Woah! How did they get here so fast?! Where were they hiding?! Fiona protects them and if they want to shoot, shoot her first. She tells them of her intention to head to the capital. The villagers look shock that she knows she is the last surviving princess. You mean they really didn’t know she knows? Anyway the chieftain gives his blessing for her to go since she is already an adult. But if she fails to achieve her goals, feel free to come back here anytime. And so a few last goodbyes before Fiona leaves for the capital with her friends.

Episode 7
At the base, Benedict and Fiona take off in an observer plane. But shortly they ran into some trouble. This is just a distraction so that Allison could ‘steal’ a fighter jet. Yeah, it’s the second time she ‘borrowed’ a craft. With the military blocking their path, there is not enough runway to take off. I understand she intends to use the cliffs and drop to fly but if she has to go through the town and even causing a major accident, shouldn’t she have took off in town? I mean, the roads are wide enough to accommodate the plane’s wingspan and there are not obstructing towers. Yeah, they really took the military for a ride. Once in the air, Fiona tells Benedict the truth. She is not the real princess but an imposter. The real Francesca died during massacre. So yeah, she wants to deceive the people of Ikstova. She just wanted to tell somebody this. Cue for Benedict to say he too isn’t a real hero. The credits go to Allison and Wil. WTF do we have time for Benedict-Fiona’s sky romance?! I know this isn’t like roads where you have to constantly keep your eyes forward. This makes Allison really jealous and poor Wil has to bear the brunt of it as she makes him sick with her wild aerial stunts. Once they reach the capital, Benedict lands directly in the square where the speech is taking place. Thank goodness everyone knows how to get out of the way. Using his hero status, everyone loves him and this gives him a free pass to speak on the podium. Nihito allows him to do so if he supports his idea to reject independence. Benedict then introduces Fiona as Ikstova’s princess and shocks everyone. But Fiona’s plan to re-establish the royalty comes to a grinding halt because Nihito does an igi ari. Objection!

Episode 8
Nihito calls this a farce but Fiona can show proof. This royal pendant. But is this real? Fortunately, the head of security, Rean Warren was the security for the royal palace and he can vouch for that. Yup. It’s the real deal. Nihito tries to escape but Fiona stops him. Here is his cuff links she is returning. 10 years ago when he tried to kidnap Francesca, she ripped his cuff links in her bid to escape but he shot her parents who came chasing after him. Fiona arrests him for treason. Guess what? Nihito takes Fiona hostage! How the f*ck did that happen???!!! All the guards surrounded him and yet this happened?! Warren tries to be a hero to save her but gets stabbed in the thigh. WTF. Worse, Nihito takes Fiona up the tower. Dead end. Checkmate. Benedict confronts Nihito. Alone. Where the f*ck are all the useless guards???!!! Nihito tries to stab him but thank goodness for his expensive watch blocking the stab. Then one punch in the face! Do Benedict and Fiona have time to lovely reunite because Nihito isn’t done yet. This guy loves taking hostages and when he tries to do so again, that angry Francesca’s face resonates in Fiona’s face. WTF he got scared and fell off the tower himself! WTF???!!! Later when Wil and Allison join them for tea, Wil asks Fiona if she is not the real Francesca but her twin. Fiona tells the whole truth that 10 years ago after the fire broke out, Francesca was injured and somewhat brought to the village. It was the only time both sisters met. Before Francesca passed on, she gave her this pendant. When Fiona’s grandpa passed away, among his belongings was Nihito’s cuff links. So when she saw that poster (still wearing the same cuff links, huh?), she realizes that bringing that man to justice is what she existed for. As for how Wil could tell, at the assembly hall, the royal insignia tilted in the opposite position. Hence this symbol was originally made for Fiona. Ikstova’s weird custom is that the royalty can only have 1 child?! Thus this village was created by the royalty to protect Fiona. This answers the question why there are only old people and they have military training. With the issue resolved, I guess the only thing sore for Allison is that Wil could notice all these details but not her feelings…

Episode 9
The transcontinental express linking Roxche and Sou Beil is ready. Although its fare is expensive, Wil and Allison manage to board it thanks to Benedict’s invitation. Fiona is also riding along as she is incognito as a photographer. She isn’t officially the queen of Ikstova yet (must be all those red tape to bring back the monarchy) so she is still in the process of learning a lot of things. After passing the Roxche military supplies and artillery field, they stop at Green Island. This was the place where Allison’s father died during the war. As Allison pays her tribute, Wil tells Fiona about this. It is probably her dad, Oscar was killed by his own subordinate because of the bullet from the gun that only their division used then in the battlefield. Since Allison had no pictures of her father, it could only mean he worked in the intelligence agency. So to prevent any risk of him being captured and interrogated, the only conclusion was that his subordinate killed him than risk betrayal. Benedict is supposed to board the train on the next stop and while waiting, he meets Major Fran Stork who tells him this ‘embarrassing’ secret of his mission here. There is a customer in the royal car who will play an important role in the future of both the nations’ trading. Because there will be lots of companies trying to court him upon arrival and one of them being a company that delivers artillery to the army, they are trying to gain the upper hand in competition by making a request to the army to dispatch a valet under the pretence of a security guard. Benedict boards the train and the gang could hardly recognize his disguise. Long hair and beard. The friends spend their time together on the train. Allison trying to be considerate and give Benedict and Fiona some time together. When it’s time for bed, Allison hints to Wil not to peep at her changing. Why the constant reminders? He assures her he won’t. She’s not satisfied. Wil no baka…

Episode 10
I guess Allison is taking too long in her preparation to confess something of importance that Wil fell asleep! Please don’t take it out on the pillow… Frustrated, she sits by herself at the observation coach. There she meets Stork and he learns she is from the air force and daughter of Oscar. Next morning, Wil and Allison are up early. However they witness a murder at the back of the train. The chief conductor had been thrown off! Allison tries to go after the perpetrator but thanks to the train entering a tunnel, the culprit ‘vanished’. They go warn the other conductors and then Benedict. He in turn goes to tell Stork but is met with Thomas Eyen. When he learns the chief conductor is dead, Eyen kicks out Stork. Eyen will not let anyone into the room to harm his master and that includes Stork. The plan now is to gather everyone in the main car and hold them there for a day until they reach out of the mountains where they can alert the authorities at the next stop. Benedict doesn’t want to accuse everyone of being a suspect and if they start searching, they’ll reach the next stop by that time. Stork then suggests taking a detour because there is Sou Beil’s military base where they can use their phone to contact authorities. Unfortunately the phone service is out. Just then, Gautier Terol walks in and claims he is the target. As a head of Terol Steel Foundation and a war magnate, he shows them a threat letter addressed to him. It states he will not return to Roxche alive and will start killing everyone around him and he will be the last. Terol thinks everyone might be accomplice and hence it is better they do not mix since it is understandable they don’t want to be suspected and certainly they don’t want to be near a target. As the train continues its journey, it seems this was an act by Terol. His goal is to make Benedict pay for making that heroic announcement. Wil is suspicious that the culprit hasn’t moved to kill them yet as they were eyewitnesses to the murder. Suddenly a military train is chasing from behind and shoots a flare that signals them to stop. WTF Stork thinks he can shoot them with his pea shooter pistol? Of course they fire back! It’s a wonder they missed our heroes with all that firepower.

Episode 11
Stork wastes the fine liquor and sets them on fire. The military train is forced to put some distance. Stork then bombs and detaches the last coach, causing the military train to crash. Then opposite but on parallel tracks is a special armoured tank designed to run on railroad tracks. Stork contacts them and learns they are an escort to protect them. However he wants all of them to do him a favour: Destroy that armoured tank. He can’t tell them the reason now and wants them to believe in him. Since it is to avert a crisis, they sheepishly do as he says. They are going to shoot it down via a special tank gun belonging to Terol. He wants Benedict to fire but since this isn’t his forte, the only one to do it is Wil. So as they wait for the right time, Wil and Stork have time to chat. Stork reveals his true mission. He is here to arrest Terol on grounds of firearms smuggling and crimes against humanity. Terol is planning to defect to Sou Beil with his weapons and the one who invited him are no other than Sou Beil military personnel who were against the ending of the war. To prevent his arrest, the opposing side is planning to kill everybody else on this train. Because you don’t search for a dead man, right? However Stork was the one who killed the chief conductor because he needed to disconnect the train to increase its speed from the attackers so he had to get everyone believe to go along with his plan that an imaginary killer is out to get Terol. When Wil is in position, Stork instructs him to fire. Miss. The armoured vehicle then speeds up. Benedict tries to distract it by taking pot shots at it. After a few more tries, Wil finally derails it. When Stork goes to tell Terol about this, Wil tells his friends about Stork. Just then, Eyen comes in and wants to kill them all. WTF Benedict runs faster to bump the gun out of his hands but gets knocked out by his bigger size?! Allison tries to shoot him but is a bad shot. Yeah, how the heck can she miss?! Last bullet left. Don’t worry. Wil is guiding her. Uhm, this isn’t the right time for such close proximity. Is your heart beating fast, Allison? All that build up and just a shot in the shoulder? Oh, Stork did it. When they go and see Terol, looks like he committed suicide. But Wil still has his suspicions on Stork because if he was behind all this plan, wouldn’t he have got rid of them too as they too pose a great threat to his plan.

Episode 12
The train stops at the food of the mountains. The gang stays in a hotel and the next day what’s this urgent business that Benedict brings them to a chapel? Long story short, he confesses to Fiona and they proceed with this ‘ritual’ called kissing. So Benedict is going to be the king of Ikstova, eh? You jealous, Allison? Stork seems to be running late for this ‘ceremony’ but manages to come by. Since they won’t meet again, he makes it clear he was never on board the train. As he leaves, Wil takes out his gun and shoots him! Don’t worry. Just a rubber bullet. But his bodyguard rushes him and addresses him as colonel. Wil deduces Stork’s real mission: To silence Terol. As he holds important military secrets, should he testify, this would bring about the greatest military scandal. Wil also believes Stork’s initial plan was to let Terol die in an accident. Even if that meant sacrificing all the passengers. However something made him changed his plans: Allison. But Allison has no recollections of meeting him before the train trip. Wil remembers the talk with him during the firing at the armoured vehicle. He knew about Roxche’s festival as well as Moot. He thanks him for had he not come to the orphanage, he wouldn’t have met Allison. Since Allison isn’t the brightest tool in the shed, Wil reveals that Stork is actually her father! He definitely can’t kill his daughter on this mission, right?

10 years ago he came to the orphanage. Oh my, he looked so different as he was plump! He feared he would die in the battle and didn’t want to leave Allison alone and hence left her there. Oscar was actually from Sou Beil and doing a covert mission inside Roxche’s military and had to relay back some important mission. When Wil first saw him, he had those sad eyes. The same eyes that Stork has. As for Oscar being killed by his own subordinate, actually he killed his subordinate and assumed the identity of a dead soldier. This is all to relay the information back. This is why Sou Beil had the same military artillery as Roxche and hence their similar strength ended in a truce. Now Stork goes by the name of Icacia Cross. Because he abandoned his role as her father, he cannot return with Allison. She is still having troubles accepting him since he looks so different but he explains an important birthday event so like it or not, he’s your dad. As for why Wil went to great lengths for this, he hoped both father and daughter could meet. After everyone has left, why is Allison and Wil still staying behind? Allison quickly ushers him back into the chapel. Is this going where I think it is going? Since she is still too scared to say it, more runabout beating around the bush talk. You know, Allison is graduating, needs somebody to stay with her. Sure, Wil is mostly glad to stay with her and even help pay the rent and everything but I think he is missing the point to what Allison wants to hear. Eventually frustrated Allison pushes him down and tells him what he thinks of her. A person who always gives her courage? Duh! Screw it all. She just asks him to kiss her.

Episode 13
After graduation, Wil moves into an apartment with Allison in the capital. Wil meets Icacia and the latter praises his knowledge in history. Wil admits it is only after the discovery of the mural that his interests peaked since he wanted to see how the world would change. As Icacia laments how even in peaceful times there are those plotting behind the scenes. Hence Wil is an important person for him for his job. In short, he wants Wil to join the intelligence agency and assume a new identity in Sou Beil. The catch is that he can no longer live as Wil and with Allison anymore. Wil thinks hard about it and remembers the time when Oscar left Allison at the orphanage. Wil asked Moot about that man and was told he was a knight who promised to bring peace to everyone in the world. In order to do that, he must follow his destiny. Thus Wil must find something he can do when he grows up and someone who approves of it. It is hinted that Allison is married to Wil since she took on his surname. She is returning from the fertility centre and going to relay the good news but what’s with the long face, Wil? He tells her about this new mission of his. Allison is sad but tries to remain positive. Even though they technically can still see each other, he will no longer be Wil. It won’t be like old times before. Since he has found his calling, Allison supports his path. On the day Allison sees Wil off via train, he finally confesses to her that he loves her. Well, better late than never. But not too sure if she heard it because the damn train whistle. F*cking train whistle always finds the right time to ‘interrupt’…Or did Wil perfectly timed this? We fast forward 15 years later. Lillianne Acacia Corazon Whittington Schultz is their daughter. If that is a mouthful to pronounce, Lillia is fine. She is told that her dad died in a train accident and his body was never found. Lillia might be a fine and responsible girl, but has Allison regressed into a slob?! Lillia forces her mom to wake up! She only does so because Major Travas is coming. She is Allison’s boyfriend and a Sou Beil soldier working for the embassy who lives nearby.

Episode 14
In school, Lillia is not pleased her childhood friend, Treize is here to pick her home as requested by Allison. You mean this guy rode all the way from his home in Ikstova and took 20 days to reach here?! That’s some major dedication. As narrated, Treize is her childhood friend who lives next door to Allison and Lillia whenever they visit Ikstova annually. She doesn’t particularly like him because he knows about the affairs of others but hardly talks about his. Lillia introduces Treize to Travas for the first time. After Lillia leaves them alone, it seems both guys know each other. Treize is the son of Ikstova’s royalty. Yes, the son of Benedict and Fiona. Seems he can walk around freely like this is because his twin sister, Merielle was chosen as the heir. Remember their one child policy? Yeah… Also, here is another big revelation: Travas is actually Wil! Both promise to keep each other’s secret. Lillia is looking forward to her summer break at Lartika with mom but last minute she can’t make it and sent Treize in her place instead. Of course Lillia doesn’t like it and ‘fears’ that he would ‘jump’ on her. But Allison jumps on Lillia first. Who knows she might be the one who ‘jump’ on him. Who knows? Like mother, like daughter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. During the train ride, an old couple sits with them. They are actually Treize’s royal guards in disguise. When Lillia goes to do things herself, they try to advise Treize to be a gentleman for a lady. Unfortunately when Lillia returns, she thinks Treize harassed the old couple and smacks him. After lodging in their hotel, they go sightseeing. They get lost in the maze-like town but a young lad helps them to be their tour guide for a small fee. After returning them to the hotel, a guard arrests the lad because it is against the law for unofficial tour guides. The lad will be returned to some priest. Next day, the duo see this guy, Mateo who gives aerial tours of Lartika. Being an ex-Roxche military man, he happily takes them around. Meanwhile Travas calls Allison (it is hinted that Allison knows he is Wil) about an emergency regarding a prince and a princess. Some evil plan will be executed in Lartika and both cannot be allowed to board a plane. Uhm, too late?

Episode 15
Lillia and Treize are treated to a breath taking view of the town and lake. When they are to return, Mateo spots a stranded plane on the sea. He goes to check it out and from its insignia, it seems to belong to the Torcacia Air Defence Force. Mateo gets off to talk to the pilot but is taken hostage. Suddenly Treize pulls out a gun and then jumps into the cockpit to fly away! WTF?! I’m sure everyone was so dumbfounded by this that’s why there was enough time for their getaway. Treize’s plan is to return to Lartika to inform the police but looks like they have boogies on their tail. Even armed with machines gun they can’t take down this seaplane?! Is Treize that good or they’re just lousy? Treize crash lands near the shore as they run into the forest before the plane is shot and exploded. So the enemy is going to presume they’re dead? Time to hike as far as they can. Flashback shows when Treize and Merielle celebrated their 15th birthday, Treize was called by his parents. Something about the proposal to marry Princess Matilda from Sou Beil. Fiona doesn’t think it is a bad idea but gives him a chance that by his 20th birthday should he not find anyone he loves, he will marry that princess. Hence this summer break is for him to find a chick? I can already tell who that love is. Night fall and they stumble into a cabin in the woods. Nobody in. No harm resting, right? Dead in the night, the owner returns and lets them sleep. I guess Treize failed in his night watch. Next morning, they apologize to the owner, Eyne Morceau but he is fine with it. They learn he is the priest who runs an orphanage and that kid got arrested, Carlo is safe and sound. Morceau is kind enough to lend them his vehicle to his orphanage (because Lartika is 80km away!). There, rich people conduct scenic flights for underprivileged children in the name of charity. They can join in with no charge after Morceau writes a letter of recommendation. You mean Morceau is not coming with Treize and Lillia? This is the middle of nowhere. Is there somebody else to pick him up? Along the way, they pass by a group of soldiers hiding in the woods who think they must be that person’s accomplice. They reach the facility and are awed to see the very huge seaplane.

Episode 16
Carlo is also part of the orphanage on tour. When the soldiers report back to Travas about Lillia and Treize boarding the seaplane, he has Allison take off immediately. It’s going to take a while since the lake is huge and they have no direct coordinates of the seaplane. After a while, Treize realizes something amiss. They should have landed at Lartika by now but everywhere is still a body of water. Then he realizes the plane is heading in the opposite direction instead because of the sun’s direction. Rudely waking up Lillia from her nap, they go check the pilot cockpit and see the pilots trying to parachute out. Woah, Treize. You gonna shoot them if they remain? The turbulence is the perfect chance for the pilots to jump off. Bye, kids. With nobody manning the cockpit, Treize takes control despite this is his first time flying a plane this big. The pilots destroyed the radio so they can’t call for help. But luckily they dropped the transreceiver but that is just short range. Treize calls Carlo to look after the kids and not make them worry. Don’t worry. They’re having fun alright. Oblivious to what is happening. Lillia pays him as motivation. When Treize tries to turn the seaplane around, warning shots are fired by the Torcacia fighters, the same ones who shot them down yesterday. Communicating them via transreceiver, it seems they want them to get out of the seaplane before they shoot it down. Changing direction also means getting shot down. Huh? Why wait to shoot it down if this is their original plan? With Treize running out of ideas and the Torcacia side bugging for them to get off, Lillia scolds back to shut up or she’ll ram them off the skies. This gives Treize an idea. He’ll do just that and with the wing damaged, a transmitter signal will be set off. With such dumb pilots, I think it’s totally feasible.

Episode 17
Treize hopes Lillia can forgive him if he fails. WTF is this pessimism? You won’t know if you don’t try, right? Nothing serves as a better motivation when Lillia will give him a kiss reward if he succeeds. Of course this was Carlo’s idea. Treize speeds up the seaplane to make the rest chase. This allows Treize to knock one of them off. Why don’t the Torcacians just shoot them down now? Because the commander says not now? To add more drama, Treize has Lillia speak to them and they’re shocked there is a woman on board? She manages to make them reveal why they are doing this. Because of the bad and poor conditions in Torcacia, they are going to sacrifice these orphans. This news will be highlighted throughout Roxche and only then the capital will notice and take action. Of course it is a dumb and stupid plan if you ask me and nobody is as mad as Lillia as she chastises them for just being terrorists. So now they are going to shoot the seaplane down? Oh yeah, Lillia can buy more time with her scathing complaining. Enough time for mom to come to the rescue. Allison tells the Torcacia side to surrender and when they return to their airbase, they will be arrested by the military. Of course they won’t listen and call her bluff so Allison shows her skills by shooting a couple of them down. With the commander left, Allison toys around with him. He gets mad and tries to shoot her down but obviously Allison’s plane is faster and more flexible. This is part of her plan to make him run out of ammo. When that happens, the commander still won’t give up. He is going to do a kamikaze crash into the seaplane. Allison is forced to shoot him down. With the drama over, it is now up to Treize to land the seaplane on sea. Allison’s advice isn’t helpful at all. All planes are the same. I guess he has got to rely on the kiss reward as motivation. Go for it! Don’t worry about the kids, they have been sleeping before the dogfight action began as they tire themselves out from all the excitement. Treize makes a rough landing but unfortunately the seaplane hits the bedrock. It is now taking in water and sinking.

Episode 18
Don’t worry. The kids can swim! They’re really having fun from start to finish. But there’s a problem: Treize can’t swim! I guess it’s all ice in Ikstova. Not sure Lillia throwing him into the water and shouting instructions would make things better. So far so good. Until he sinks. Not sure how Lillia pulled him to shore but I guess it’s time to resurrect him with a kiss. CPR is too hard to pronounce. So Lillia starts off with that and then presses his chest. I wonder if Allison could see all this from the sky. Treize revives and soon the Roxche army arrives. They really setup a picnic for those kids. Damn these orphans are lucky. Carlo then talks to Treize personally. Carlo hints Treize knows his secret. Carlo is actually a girl, Carla! But Treize already knows because of the way she admires Lillia’s hair. In exchange, Treize also tells his secret of being a prince and needs to do something before he reaches 20. I don’t think Carlo believes it and thinks it is his way of trying to get to Lillia’s heart. But whatever. Both promise not to tell each other’s secret. I’m confused they say it’s a man’s promise. So if Treize isn’t married by 20, is Carlo booking him to be his bride? When they reach back, Treize asks for the reward. So he really wants it? Unfortunately Lillia shifts the goalpost. Not today. Treize sees Travas alone. Travas reports that the real mastermind behind this is Morceau. 30 years ago, he was given a mission to gather orphans in Torcacia. Though he earned the people’s trust, he actually sells them to the rich in Roxche in exchange for info. But after the war ended, he was abandoned. Roxche and Sou Beil discovered this human trafficking plan at the same time. Treize is upset because Travas knew about this but still let the orphans boarded the plane. Had Treize and Lillia weren’t on board, it could have been a tragedy. Still, Treize thanks him for helping to save them and the kids are alright. Probably Morceau let them ride the seaplane as he believed one of them could fly a plane. Treize tells Lillia he wants to head back to Ikstova on his sidecar. No problem. She can take the train home by herself. Treize is sad and had to put up a fake expression since Lillia is praising Morceau as a good guy. On his way back, he stops by a store, hoping to pick up a book on swimming.

Episode 19
Lillia is excited to be invited by Treize to Ikstova for the New Year. Because this time he is going to reveal everything about himself. Lillia takes this as a chance to find his weakness (I guess Treize already mastered swimming) and win against him. Is that a longwinded way of saying she loves him? I guess not. Grats “Ax” Axenteanu, Travas’ assistant reports in some irregularity about an anonymous account making large purchases of film rolls to film at Ikstova. Could it be they are spies? Further investigation reveals Lowry Productions headed by Elicia Lowry are going to film a documentary there. Nothing suspicious until they discover a note with vague words that sounds more like a revenge plot. Better safe than sorry. With no direct flights to Ikstova, Allison and Lillia are forced to take the bus. During the journey, a mini avalanche blocked the path so instead of waiting for reinforcements, everyone gets up to shovel. Until the snowplough ploughs through. Well, at least the road is clear now. Too bad it wasted everyone’s efforts. So when mother and daughter reach Ikstova, they’re dead tired. Time to get some beauty sleep. Benedict and Fiona host their own New Year countdown party and Lowry Productions are also there to help film this historic moment. With that kind of face, we can tell that Elicia is harbouring some sort of grudge. She talks to Fiona about her hobby in making movies all thanks to her late father who left enough fortune for her to live easy. As the countdown begins, Treize and Lillia are alone. Hard to say the right words, I suppose. I guess we just enjoy the moment with great fireworks rather than spoiling it with some nervous confession. Meanwhile at the palace, Elicia fires a warning shot as her crew takes everyone hostage. Where the heck are the guards?! I mean those young soldiers on duty rather than those old farts. Wow. Security is really lax here.

Episode 20
Meanwhile Treize is still finding it hard to say it to Lillia… I don’t think Lillia wants to hear about the weather in Ikstova… Elicia moves Fiona and Benedict to another room to interrogate. It seems she wants to know the whereabouts of the royal treasure. Fiona plays dumb to stall for time. Ikstova’s treasure, huh? The people? The nature’s beauty? Please be more specific. Meanwhile in the other room where the guests are being held, one of the old guards does a distraction so that Emma could flee. Yeah, nobody saw the OPENED window! Emma manages to wade through the thick snow to the cabin and tell Treize what is happening. Time to go do some rescuing. Lillia wants to come along too. I guess being with him beats taking care of Emma. Meanwhile Allison is in town drinking alone when she stumbles into Warren. Ah, relive those good times, eh? Warren mentions that after Nihito’s death, his bereaved family moved out from Ikstova to Roxche. He hopes they are living in peace there. Since Elicia knows about Fiona’s past, she then takes out an old but detailed map of Ikstova. From what I understand, there is a valley that supposedly hides the royal treasure. The royal family has prohibited access to it (hence untouched for 400 years) but they have been searching for it there but to no avail. That’s when they thought of ‘asking’ the royal family. Time for Fiona to spill all the beans or her husband dies. Lillia wonders how Treize knows a secret underground mine cart that leads to some cabin. He has a bodyguard friend who tells him this? That bodyguard should be fired! Riding the mine cart, it it’s bad enough the brakes broke, they crash and they f*cking survive the fall!!!!!!! Then they stumble into a room filled with dynamites. Really. How convenient. Time to use this.

Episode 21
Treize wants Lillia to put the dynamite into the stove and hopes this explosion will serve as a distraction. After that she must return to the cabin. Lillia did just that but she slips. To avoid being find out, she returns to Treize. Are the guards dumb not to see a human shaped cavity in the snow? Luckily they’re not dumb enough not to notice the loud explosion. Returning to the guest room, now they take a head count and realize a hostage is missing?! Checking outside, they see other dynamites in the snow and realize this is a distraction. Meanwhile Treize and Lillia manage to enter the former’s room. He has to pretend he gets lucky and know where the things are. Like this communications receiver. He really hooked up the whole thing in time? He manages to call the airport but his message is not clear since they have to hide after hearing footsteps. Thankfully the closet has a secret compartment to the attic so after the baddies destroy the receiver and clean out the closet, the duo are still safe. The subordinates report back to Elicia about their suspicions and advise her to hasten their plan. As Fiona realizes who she is, it is no surprise that she is the daughter of Nihito. Her real name is Claire. During the height of the war, Nihito was a historian who thought Ikstova royal treasure would help bring peace and he asked the queen. Unfortunately she did not say and because he was deemed a dangerous person, was banished from Ikstova. A year later he returned to exact revenge on the palace. Claire claims Ikstova killed her father and is seeking revenge. The plan is to take Fiona and Benedict away, burn down this lodge and kill the rest. Fiona then tells the inconvenient truth about herself as a fake. Claire is surprised and disappointed. She gets angry but her subordinates calm her down and tell her to carry out the plan. Travas and Ax are at the airport and are suspicious about the reported transmission. It says the royal lodge before being cut off. Treize prepares himself and gives his pendant to Lillia. If anything happens to him, please give it to the queen. But she wants to keep it for herself so I guess he can’t let anything happen to himself. Treize makes his way out and sees his parents being taken by the perpetrators to trudge through the snow. Lillia continues to hide in the attic but sees a sniper coming in and taking aim at Treize. I can’t believe he can’t hear her coming out and then scream a warning to Treize. But too late. Treize gets shot!

Episode 22
The subordinate then knocks Lillia out. Noticing her pendant, he mistakes her to be Merielle. He calls Claire so she returns to the lodge. They set up timed explosives before carrying Lillia out. Benedict notices something in the snow. He talks to the terrorists to distract them. This allows the military agents to knock them out. Of course this unit is led by Travas. Meanwhile Treize still lives. Because we all should expect the sniper bullet hit his rifle. He treks back to the lodge but loses consciousness. Thankfully his dad picks him up. Back in the lodge, Travas has disarmed all the explosives. Damn, they really set it to a long time, huh? Oddly, Claire’s side reaches the point where their earlier team was ambushed. You mean they didn’t stumble upon each other on the way back?! Claire calls Fiona to confirm her back at the lodge. She tells her to come alone or else they will kill the hostage. Benedict and Fiona are confused at first because Merielle is now away at Sou Beil with Matilda. Could she be bluffing? Just in time for Treize to wake up and say Lillia got caught in this mess. With Lillia awake, because she is her usual dense self, she tells everything. Yeah, literally tell anything the hostage taker wants! With a smile! Does Lillia even know the situation she is in? This gives Claire a headache with this mix up. Travas thinks there is a risk that if Fiona goes alone, she will also end up as a hostage. Treize has an idea. So Claire really waited for her, huh? And of course this isn’t Fiona but Treize. Can’t see clearly from that distance, right? But this WTF moment as Claire’s side start shooting, they miss!!! OMFG!!! How could they miss???!!! It’s not like he is a slalom champion. IS HE?! Even more WTF when Claire realizes Treize is not Fiona, so shocked that she let him ‘land’ on her?! WTF?! Claire’s subordinates suggest giving up because as long as they live, they will still have chances. Oddly, Lillia kicks Treize and warns him not to bully Claire. WTF?!

In the aftermath, looks like Allison is late to the party. Still having hangover? Lillia apologizing profusely to the king and queen of Ikstova and even has her mother do the same. Now they all are going to find Ikstova’s treasure. In this secret valley. The inhabitants claim they don’t know any treasure. But they point out Sou Beil is just right over this valley. You mean it is this close?! YOU MEAN THE MAPS NO MATTER HOW VAGUE THEY ARE DID NOT CLEARLY EVEN STATE THEIR BORDERS?! You see, this valley is the treasure. It links both Roxche and Sou Beil together and had this path was known during the war, it would have changed the tide and would have become a battleground. That’s why Ikstova kept this valley a secret. But still, nobody had even a decent map, huh? Claire is frustrated this was the treasure her father chased after. But Lillia gives her motivation not to give up. After all, both of them lost their fathers. Remember, Lillia never knew her real dad. With this case solved, the only puzzle left is that Lillia is still unaware of Treize’s real identity. Time not on their side…

Episode 23
Merielle confronts Treize about that marriage thingy. She wants him to marry Matilda now instead of waiting till 20. WTF?! Is she his mom?! Since he is hesitant, she guesses that he might have a thing for Lillia. Hence she prays their relationship won’t go well. Some princess… Meanwhile Travas and his team will be providing security to Matilda as she will be visiting Roxche and Ikstova. Elsewhere, some prisoner is given a task to assassinate somebody. Don’t care how he does it, just get it done. Matilda has a great time in Ikstova. When it’s time to leave, Merielle starts getting emotional. Wow. It’s like they’re already sisters? Matilda and Treize are to ride with each other on this train and this activity is of course a secret to the public. Merielle plays Treize’s mom again and warns him not to screw up. Or else she will have Travas kick his ass on her behalf! Oh damn, she’s demonstrating a few kicks!!! The train stops at a station where Allison and Wil last met. It brings back lots of memories. Treize heard from his father about Allison’s dad and his actions somewhat prompted Wil to follow in his footsteps. Sacrificing his own happiness for peace of others. Treize hints he also wants to do that but Travas tells him not to rush it although ultimately he is the one who will decide. Allison and Lillia who departed on an earlier train to go on their own trip, the train experiences some malfunction. Stranded at the station, the passengers want to board the next train but is irked when it is told it is fully booked. Because it looks empty. Allison and Lillia spot Travas trying to explain to the conductor that he booked all the seats on this train and cannot reveal any further information. Lillia being suspicious wants mom to explain everything. I guess mom needs to play dumb. For some reason, Travas allows everyone to get on board after getting permission for Matilda? It’s not like he spotted his family, right? Why risk danger? Of course there are sections the passengers are forbidden to step in and his agents will be on full alert. It might seem cruel but they should have left the passengers stranded than take them on. Yeah, for the plot… Meanwhile it has been awkward between Treize and Matilda. You mean they said nothing to each other the entire trip? Treize thinks of getting tea to break the ice. Also, Lillia goes to stretch her legs. They both meet. The biggest freak out moment they have in their entire lives. Once again, Lillia beats him up and wants him to explain. This girl always in the dark and wants explanation, huh?

Episode 24
Worst case scenario when Matilda enters the scene. Treize, who the heck is this beautiful chick! I know Matilda is smart but damn she suddenly could grasp that Lillia is Travas’ daughter?! Just because of their same eye colour?! You mean she never met anybody else in her life who has those eye colours? Matilda is so smart that she knows the pinch Treize’s in and gracefully cooks up a story that she is here on her father’s behalf to buy gold in Ikstova. Hence Treize is her tour guide. Phew. Great cover there. Even smarter when she hears Lillia’s story and how she believes her dad died before she was born. Because now she feels grateful for Travas for sacrificing his life for her country. But soon a commotion when a student is poisoned and a guy brings everybody over and starts accusing the agents that they poisoned their food. Of course Travas denies this. When a culprit is spotted on top of the train and captured, turns out to be the accuser’s wife! He is in shock but this only aggravates his suspicion. When Travas wants to interrogate him, he takes Lillia as hostage! What a way to prove your innocence by being even more suspicious. Damn, Treize so useless and got punched away. Allison wants to take Lillia’s place as hostage and accuses him of poisoning because why bother to gather everybody when he could just scream for help? This is indeed for distraction. When he refuses, she fires a warning shot. Scared guy releases her and tells the truth that this woman isn’t his wife but an accomplice. They were told there were gold on this train and accepted their employer (whom they only talked over the phone) to pull off this heist. However he swears he didn’t do the poisoning. Just before more can be revealed, the guy and his wife experience chest pains. Supposedly the medicine they took turned out to be poison. Karma’s really a b*tch. Travas discusses with his agents that the perpetrator may have planned it all along. In order to safeguard Matilda, they will detach the train when they stop at the next depot and travel separately. This means dumping Treize with the rest of the other passengers in the other coach. As Matilda’s train moves along, somewhere in the woods, somebody switches the rail lines. The train driver spots a car blocking the path and wants to stop but Travas orders him to ram it. Unfortunately the train driver is also an accomplice and stops the train. Now bandits surround it.

Episode 25
The bandits want the gold on the train. Travas tells his agents they are going to fight back. Oddly, the train driver abandoned the train. So an agent is able to take control and start the train again! That was f*cking easy! I guess the bandit boss has a jeep to chase after but an agents snipes the tyre. F*cking amazing that the dumb bandits abandon ship, the jeep can still move straight on its own?! Oh, I see. Cue for Travas to jump off and take control of it! So those dumb baddies gave up chase? Travas’ next plan is to take Matilda via jeep. Meanwhile Matilda talks to Ax about Travas prioritizing his duty over his daughter, Lillia. This makes Ax shock. Matilda thought she knew. You mean agents are supposed to know each other’s life? Anyway, Ax then confronts Travas about this and wonders if he knew it all along. Yes, he did. You see, Ax is the daughter of one of that Sou Beil’s higher ups that was killed during the mural’s discovery. Although Wil did not kill him directly (remember the cave in?), Travas still faults himself as the one who did so. Therefore he doesn’t blame her if she chose to kill him as revenge. That’s why he put her closest to him. Nothing like a few more baddies for them to take out and take their mind of this. Travas has realized the mastermind’s true intention. Everything was a setup. Their target is not Matilda but Treize. Travas’ will continue to escort Matilda to her next point since it is his duty. However in that case, Matilda will go rescue the other train. He has to follow her, right? Meanwhile on the other train, Treize must be wondering why Lillia suddenly is asking him about marriage proposal. Gulp. Then confusion because she wants him to propose to Travas?! WTF?! She wants him to talk to Travas to propose to mom!!! Did admiring Lillia’s beauty made him a little dumber? She is okay as long they are both happy. Then Lillia starts hinting about her dance. Yes, really hinting. Can’t blame Treize for not thinking straight since she is being scary. Then she practises dancing with him. Is that a hint too? If that isn’t clear enough, more hints because if only Treize went to her school… Even if he sucks at dancing maybe he can be there… Do you get it Treize???!!! Conversation interrupted when another passenger seeks Lillia’s help. But when brought to another coach, this evil looking guy knocks her out. Allison and Treize notice something wrong when the train changes tracks. It stops then they realize too late their coach has been detached as the front part (where Lillia is) starts moving again. I don’t think they can run after a train, right?

Episode 26
A message is left for Treize that he is to come after Lillia alone. With Travas’ side rendezvousing with them, a train passenger tells what really happened (since he is a big fan of Matilda so he opens up). The culprit behind this who was also masquerading as one of the passengers is actually a very dangerous criminal known as Prisoner #42. The only reason why this guy is released is because somebody of higher authority allowed it. And that person is Duke Bessar who is also the Minister of Justice. It seems he has a son who is also a candidate to marry Matilda. Gee, this is really extreme and f*cked up way to eliminate your son’s marriage candidate! While Allison and Travas go borrow a plane, Treize drives the jeep. I don’t know if the jeep is boosted with some weird juice that makes it able to catch up with the train. Even more mind boggling fact is how Treize jumps on board the train!!! Damn this kid can be a stunt man! He tries to stop the train but finds all brakes and acceleration are destroyed. Meeting Prisoner #42 and Lillia in the room, Treize is forced to confess he is the prince of Ikstova since Prisoner #42 is going to reveal on his behalf to explain Lillia’s kidnapping. Gee, Lillia isn’t going to ask if that was a joke? Yeah, Treize looks so sad. Can’t be joking. Even more so, Prisoner #42 pressures Treize to confess to Lillia! It’s his last chance to ask everything! Oh damn. Trying to wait for the right moment, this doesn’t feel like it but yeah, see what happens when you procrastinate? With Allison and Travas flying by, how the f*ck can they hear each other talk???!!! Because Travas says there is a ravine ahead and the tracks end there. No prizes what will happen when the train reaches there. It seems Prisoner #42 intends to kill all on board including himself (though the trio are the only ones on the train). I guess it’s better than rotting in prison.

When Travas tries to shoot the chain to separate the coach (gee, did he bring this special gun and foresaw this?!), he is told to throw it away because now Prisoner #42 takes Lillia hostage on top of the train with Treize! How the f*ck can they maintain their balance on a speeding train?! For some odd reason, Allison masterfully weaves between the trees instead of following the train? Is she trying to show off her skills at this moment?! Then it’s like Travas and Treize got this telepathic mind and know what to do next. Travas drops him a ladder for Treize to climb up. Is he abandoning Lillia???!!! Actually he is using the ladder as momentum to give Prisoner #42 a flying kick! Phew. You sure scared Lillia for a while there. And damn, I thought Travas was going to jump on the train or something. He is that capable, you know. Oh come on, please can we do this romantic staring scene later and climb up the ladder? Because of this slight delay, Prisoner #42 grabs onto Treize’s leg (amazingly Prisoner #42 didn’t drop off?). F*ck! Can’t the plane carry all of them off at once?! Is Prisoner #42 that heavy???!!! Lillia threatens she’ll punch him if he doesn’t grab her hand. Uhm, I think you’re doing it wrong girl. And so Treize goes back to his usual procrastination. He’ll tell her the truth some other time. He lets go the ladder and the train plunges into the ravine. OMFG?! For real?! In the aftermath, Bessar is confirmed to have had a hand in this and will be prosecuted. However no news of Treize or Prisoner #42’s whereabouts. WTF?! You telling me people can survive that fall???!!! Some tears and hugs… But when the next school term starts, surprise for Lillia! Treize is the new transfer student in her class! How?! What?! When?! Why?! He looks fine… First thing she does is punch his guy! A little lover’s quarrel right in front of class. Can they do this spat somewhere more private? The class must be enjoying this. Oh, so Treize transferred just in time to be Lillia’s dance partner.

Peace Only Exists Because Of The Presence Of Love
WTF???!!! WHAT THE F*CK WAS THAT ‘HILARIOUS’ MIND BOGGLING FINAL EPISODE???!!! It felt unsatisfying. It felt like a joke. It didn’t feel like a proper ending because it was so rushed just to give us a so called good happy ending. So how the f*ck did Treize survive that crash? Oh, he must have jumped off the train because if he can jump in, he certainly can jump out without taking injuries too, no? Oh, better still. I think Treize is an angel so he spread his angelic wings last moment to fly away!!! He probably got stuck in some pine tree and that’s why he was missing for a while!!! HAHAHA!!! Prisoner #42? Nobody cares about him so don’t bother. With Treize’s sudden return without any proper explanation, it somewhat ruined the experience of watching this series. Not to say that it is bad (not that it is good either) but it was so rushed like as though the producers ran out of budget and decided to throw in everything they could think of so that poor Lillia won’t be the only one sitting out alone during her dance party. F*ck yeah, just dance with your mama then! Oh well, what’s done is done.

Having said all that, there are lots of many dumb and mind boggling things that defy logic here (yeah, the last episode takes the cake on everything). Sometimes you want to let it slide and pass because you know, it’s anime! It’s supposed to be fantasy so okay. One or two maybe. But having it so frequent just had me thinking that this is really plot convenience here. For instance, when Sou Beil and Roxche were at war and at an uneasy truce, how come there are no soldiers stationed on either side of the border Lutoni River? That was why Allison and Wil could easily fly over and chase after that old man. You’d think that there would be at least soldiers patrolling along the river that serves as both countries’ natural border but nope. It’s like a virgin jungle that no men has ever set foot. I don’t know how long this river flows and from what I know, perhaps Ikstova somehow borders in between somewhere. Because that hidden valley was the real kicker. I mean, this shows that none of the nations have a clear idea about their borders. Sure, even if the place was kept hidden by the royalty, do you not think those warring nations would have at least tried to scout for ways? So close, yet so far. Right under your noses. Goes to show they don’t really hate each other and perhaps going to war then was just their pastime. Haha. Just kidding. I can go on a few more paragraphs about the dumb logic here but I don’t want to ruin my sentiments for this retro anime as the last anime already took a lot of HP points. Yet. Because if people can go to war over the dumbest reason like arguing over the origins of mankind only to later find out they’re the same and then suddenly let’s be friends… Yeah…

The stories aren’t the best or mind blowing in the world or even if you try to rank the best stories among all animes in history. But they’re pretty satisfying thanks to the mini arcs they are being divided to. At least, this small bite size is enough for us viewers to munch and digest before moving on to the next arc. While I find it unique that the series is divided into 2 big arcs (hence the name of the series), somehow I find that Lillia’s arc is nearly and almost (but not perfectly) similar to Allison’s arc. Like as though Allison’s spirit continues to live on and is now embodied in Lillia. Well, that is somewhat true since the latter is her daughter. But what I mean is that, while it isn’t exactly history repeating itself, the stories do you not see are somewhat familiar? Just in a different form. Or in this case, the next generation. During Allison’s time, there was an incident that would change Ikstova, right? Yup. Then in Lillia’s arc, we revisit Ikstova again for another incident. Thankfully, nothing that would change the nation’s history. And then there’s the train arc. You got that right. 2 train related stories here.

And sometimes certain plots don’t get resolved like remember that Morceau guy? What happened to him after that seaplane hijack incident? Last we heard was that he flew the coop by the time the authorities stormed his cabin. So he went missing and was never caught? So nobody is going to bring justice to what those orphans just experienced? Oh wait. They had a swell time. So I guess we’ll overlook that. And did that Terol guy committed suicide? That rich chicken guy killed himself? My guts tell me somebody else did him in… But who cares about bad guys, right? Not even Prisoner #42, the best character ever because he got Treize to confess to Lillia… And it would have been a successful one if not for that meddling Allison-Travas combo flying n! Just like the dumb logics of this series, I can go on a few more paragraphs but I think it’s time to move on.

The main characters are pretty okay. Allison and Lillia are really spunky and feisty as young girls and the guys seem a bit like wuss. Very evident in Wil because this guy looks more like the indoors type of bookworm despite being a sharpshooting ace. While Treize fares a bit better in his manliness than Wil, unfortunately he still feels as weak as f*ck compared to his crush. So, uhm, having him ride a sidecar is as closest as he could get being seen as a badass? Heck, even his sister Merielle is more badass than him despite being naggy and pushy. But that is expected when you have a brother who is this indecisive and soft. Because if he can’t even have the balls to confess his feelings to the girl he loves (I know, lots of guys are nervous when it comes to confession but still, we expect this prince to add least be brave in this sense!) and somewhat using that marriage thingy as an excuse to just delay, I think you can pretty much see where this is going.

As I’ve said about Lillia being a reincarnation of Allison, I guess Lillia takes after her mom in character but her hair and eye colour from dad. I think Lillia also got part of that clueless and density from Wil since I feel that she is the only one who doesn’t know about Treize’s true identity. And this guy taking his time to tell her… Dude, if you wait till the time is right, there will never be such a time! And now that God has given him a second chance, will he confess everything for real or will he wait for another life threatening incident that puts Lillia in danger for him to spill the beans? I’m sure Lillia will love you for who you are since you know, you’ve both been so long together. But better for Lillia, because he is the prince of Ikstova, right? Oh girl, you won the lottery big time. Nobody gets to punch the prince of Ikstova in the gut or give a flying kick and gets away with it! Many times! She’ll get even more pass for that if she marries him.

Hence the dynamic relationship between Allison-Wil as well as Lillia-Treize is amusing but yet annoying to watch. They have great chemistry together and they have managed to overcome a lot of obstacles with each other but only thanks to plot conveniences that includes making enemies dumber are the reason why they’re still breathing today. It is that same chemistry that might bug a few (like yours truly) since obviously they like each other but some sort of silly pride and nervousness prevents them from going all out and be an official couple. You want them to be together but if that happened, it will all seem too easy. Allison’s failed attempts to get Wil to be naughty to her only backfires and I believe Wil might be just be a good poker player in being a dense character. No wonder he is so good as Travas.

Meanwhile Treize continues to fumble with Lillia about himself. Better hurry. Deadline for this 20th birthday is nearing… Is it because of Ikstova’s weird royalty child policy that gives Treize and excuse to run around without close bodyguards and do as he wish? I see Fiona hasn’t rescinded this stupid law when she became queen… Also lots of funny quips between these pairs in the next episode preview. Mostly one is talking about something and the other would refute. They’re both on different pages and the revelation is the punch line. For example, the penultimate episode has Lillia being shocked about the truth as Treize tries to calm her down and be frank about it. Guess what? She’s shocked because the next episode is the last! Hmm… Since Lillia is handling Treize’s initial confession as a prince pretty well, I wonder if the real shocker will come if she learns who her real father is. I am afraid this might lead her to have trust issues since everyone close to her harbours secrets and what did I say about Lillia always being in the dark? Treize is a prince? Travas is my dad? Mom and dad are good friends with the Ikstova royalty? Damn, there is only so much a girl can take…

When one throws away his normal life to become a secret agent who will protect the peace of the world in secret, this means also changing one’s looks? I guess this is only correct because you don’t want to be recognized by people whom you know in the past. With Oscar/Stork/Icacia truly changed his appearance into a really unrecognizable one, the same fate befell on Wil/Travas (see what I mean when I said stories of both big arcs are familiar? This is another example). Wil really changed into a different man. He was no longer the wuss we all knew. He really manned up. I guess before I could start thinking down the episodes about the conspiracy that Allison was being thirsty for a guy to fill in her lonely heart and that it could be Wil masquerading as Travas, they make the revelation faster in the next episode to indicate Travas is indeed Wil. Heh.

At least I can’t blame Allison for cheating on Wil. Because Allison being Allison did ‘warn’ Travas about cheating on her with Ax as his right hand woman. Because she’ll fly and ram her plane into him!!! OMG! That’s the funniest and most epic revenge story I want to see! But Allison now as a mom (I wonder how she still keeps a freaking awesome slender body) is more toned down and like as though she passed all that feistiness to her daughter. Yes, people. Lillia is Allison v2. Thus this anime is also called Allison To Allison… Just joking… Benedict and Fiona as the other main characters don’t really do much. They just play supporting roles and perhaps the only shocking thing you’ll remember them is how they have no qualms in showing their love for each other. Hey, they’re the king and queen of Ikstova! They do what they want!

Unfortunately as I have said in my opening paragraph, I wanted to see some cool aerial flights. Sure, this series has a bit of planes being featured but well, yeah I blame myself for expecting despite warning myself not to put high expectations. I noticed during Allison’s arc, there were at least more plane flying scenes compared to Lillia’s arc. Even so, they’re just mediocre. Better stop talking about this to avoid being further ‘depressed’. As for the action bits, sometimes they are laughable. As I have previously said, it feels like as though it is for plot convenience. So much so this kind of logic or physics could only be acceptable in cartoons like Looney Tunes. I mean, it is not that cartoonish but you’d expect some sort of logic but they betray that and just go for it. Like that Travas jumping from a moving train to take control of a driverless jeep. That has its tyre blown out!!! Wow. This guy is definitely the top agent. It’s sad but somewhat a good thing this guy chose his duty and happiness of everyone rather than his own.

Art and animation feel pretty dated. This is after all an anime that came out in 2009. Characters look one kind although some like Allison and Lillia look cute. Round eyes. Round face… I don’t think I got used to Benedict changing his appearance from a clean shaven handsome young major to some shaggy bearded dude who looks like as though he is some rugged cowboy or something. On second thought, maybe this looks make him more mature. This series was animated by Madhouse who animated lots of other favourites like No Game No Life, One Punch Man, Overlord, Btooom, Highschool Of The Dead, Death Note, Black Lagoon, Trigun and Claymore.

Here is another reason why I keep saying Lillia is the reincarnation of Allison. Both are voiced by Nana Mizuki in her trademark cutie voice. I think it has been a long time since I have heard her voicing a main character for this duration. I don’t want to go so far as say she gets more loads of work compared to others for voicing 2 different main characters across the series but she’s doing a fine job in voicing them. And of course, because of that, it always feels like Lillia is a, wait for it, a reincarnation of Allison. Just change the hair and eye colour and voila! New character! When Allison became a mom, she is voiced by Houko Kuwashima (Sango in Inu Yasha). I guess this is for differentiation purpose. It would be really weird if Nana Mizuki voiced mommy Allison. 3 Nana Mizuki characters! I won’t be surprise since she can also do another lower voice but I guess that would be too much for her to handle. Maybe?

And oh yes, my favourite Mamiko Noto voicing Fiona might not have a lot of screen time compared to the other main characters, but at least she isn’t being killed off!!! Phew. That is still a trauma for me after all these years… The only other character I recognized is Sho Hayami as Nihito. There are many seiyuus lending their voice here due to the sheer amount of minor and extra characters. Some even voicing multiple characters because after all, can you really identify characters who only speak a few lines and then never seen again. Here’s the list of the selected casts: Motoko Kumai as Wil (Ginta in MAR), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Treize (Meow in Space Dandy), Kouichi Yamadera as Benedict (Ryoga in Ranma 1/2), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Travas (Julius in Black Clover), Chika Fujimura as Matilda (Haruka in Guilty Crown), Chiwa Saito as Merielle (Senjougahara in the Monogatari series), Rie Tanaka as Claire (Suigin Tou in Rozen Maiden), Tokuyoshi Kawashima as Prisoner #42 (William in Emma: A Victorian Romance), Megumi Toyoguchi as Ax (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist), Misato Fukuen as Carlo (Hime in Yozakura Quartet) and Hideyuki Tanaka as Oscar/Stork/Icacia (Doflamingo in One Piece).

The opening theme, Tameiki No Hashi by Kuricorder Quartet and Shione Yukawa although sounds like a calming ballad from a medieval time, sometimes I can’t help that some parts of the tune feel creepy (the beginning) since it sounds like some ominous hymn. Sometimes I also feel that because of the slow nature of the song, it is as though the singer is holding back on her soprano voice. She sounds like she has potential to reach higher and longer notes but the song doesn’t permit her. For the ending theme, Sayonara No Omajinai by Kuricorder Quartet and Sou Matsumoto, despite being a slightly livelier piece (still a slow ballad, though), the singer’s voice makes the song sound a bit gay…

Overall, this might not be the best show in any field or genre. Despite a lot of dumb logic moments (even though some of those mind boggling moments are later tried to be explained to cover the mind boggling-ness but still fail), it is still entertaining and enjoyable. No spectacular aerial flights, mediocre fight scenes, cheesy character romance that sometimes feel like it wants to annoy you just because, average storyline and plot, that really bad and rushed final episode… Wow. I make it sound like it is a bad anime. But don’t worry, at least it is not an isekai anime (gasp!) and with Smartphone (double gasp!!!). Those dumb moments at least make me smirk and go WTF (the good one, instead of the irritable one). Thanks to people like Wil/Travas giving up their own comfort in life to protect the peace from the shadows, it’s the reason why people like you and me are able to watch such animes with peace and even talk crap about it. And ironically we won’t sacrifice our anime and manga to make the world a better place…

Radiant

July 28, 2019

How often it is for an anime to adapt manfra? That’s French manga. Japan has taken countless of French stories and adapted them into anime like The Count Of Monte Cristo being adapted as Gankutsuou (don’t even get me started over that countless Jeanne d’Arc stories). But I think Radiant is the first that it is based on a manfra. So I suppose that is a big achievement, no? We’ll have to see if this ‘foreigner’ can live up to what Japanese manga expects since some Chinese and Korean manhwa do have got their adaptations but French? That’s really got to be the first. It must really have something.

As narrated, monsters known as Nemesis fall from the sky. When humans touch them, they are permanently cursed. But those who survive obtain magic known as Fantasia and they are the only ones who can fight against Nemesis. Even so, these people face great discrimination among the other normal humans for they fear it is a punishment from God or the wrath of mother nature. This is the story of a young boy who strives to become the greatest sorcerer ever. Why does this sound like Black Clover?

Episode 1
In the peaceful Pompo Hills, Seth tries to show off to Tommy his magic. Since nothing works, he tries his own original magic that of course goes berserk and causes the nearby elephant cows to rampage into town. Thanks to Alma, the damage is put to a stop. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. The townspeople blame Alma for bringing back luck despite it is clearly Seth’s fault. In fact, people don’t really have a favourable view on sorcerers and blame them for bringing bad luck. Seth would have wanted to give them his own piece of mind but Alma doesn’t want to provoke the situation any further and brings him home. Of course he gets reprimanded to clean the place and the usual lecture that if he wants to be treated like an adult, then act like one. Apparently being the rebellious kid he is, Seth doesn’t really learn from his lesson and continue to experiment with his magic. Worst case scenario happens as a Nemesis Egg lands right smack in the middle of town. I guess there’s a first time for everything since this town has never had a Nemesis attack before. Seth gears up to go tackle the Nemesis menace. Nothing really works until the Nemesis hatches out from its egg. You bet it is way stronger than Seth. Seth might be useless against this thing but when it comes to protecting Tommy, he has no qualms doing so. After letting Tommy escape, Seth is in danger of being squashed. How can he still think of showing others sorcerers are good when he lacks the strength to get out of his predicament? But do not fear. At such times, a hero will pop up to save the day, right? Here comes macho old guy Don Bossman, the leader of Bravery Quartet.

Episode 2
Bravery Quartet looks like a bunch of weirdoes with their own poses but they easily bind the Nemesis even if it is temporary. With cool motivational words, Seth wants to join him and fight Nemesis. So Don tells Seth to keep the Nemesis at bay while his gang go warn others to evacuate. And so Seth lets the Nemesis chase him around town while thinking of ways trying to outsmart it. Meanwhile we see Bravery Quartet’s true colours. They are actually bad sorcerers and are taking this chance to rob the bank when everyone has evacuated. Too bad the bank people haven’t yet. After rounding everyone up and stealing all the cash, Seth comes in to report he managed to restrain the Nemesis (how the heck does Seth know they are at the bank?). He is shocked to learn their real identity and is really disappointed because he believed in them. Don tells this naïve kid the harsh truth that sorcerers are blamed for everything. They only ask for help when threatened by Nemesis and once that is done, they hand you over to the Inquisition. Yeah, those people even prove that right now blaming them that Nemesis won’t come here had sorcerers been here in the first place. So are these people still worth saving? Luckily, the justice is still strong in Seth. He doesn’t accept their pathetic ways but when try to fight back, he is put down by their great magic. Bravery Quartet escapes because it’s time for the Nemesis to blow everyone to smithereens. Don’t worry people. Seth is the main character so you bet he is going to get up and protect them all with his awesome magic.

Episode 3
Seth dealt some damage to the Nemesis but not enough. As usual, had not Alma come back in time to finally put an end to this, it would have been over for this series. Seth recuperates back home as Alma explains she apprehended Bravery Quartet and at least Tommy gave his thanks. With Seth still bent on defeating every Nemesis so humans can get along, Alma talks about the legendary Nemesis Nest called Radiant. That is where all Nemesis Eggs come from but of course nobody has ever found it. You bet Seth wants to go find and destroy it. This brings back some old memories for Alma. She has no recollection of her past and the most she could remember was waking up after a fiery fight with a Nemesis. There was a young boy named Seth with her and the doctor mistaken her to be her son but as far as she is concerned, she has none. So as she travels to find her identity, she has Seth tag along. He was always a burden and the only reason she never tossed him away was the belief he is a link to her past. One day Alma went faraway to hunt Nemesis and left Seth alone. Some kids bullied him and unwittingly he unleashed his Fantasia. The townspeople wanted to burn this cursed boy but luckily Alma came back in time to shoo those heartless bastards away. It was then she realized how small and weak he was and took upon herself the role to not let anyone treat him like a villain again. Now Seth decides to set out on his journey and he thought Alma was going to stop him. I guess she knew he wouldn’t listen so she hands him some of her stuffs as parting gifts. One last big emotional hug before Seth gets going.

Episode 4
Doc sees Alma to get parts of the Nemesis. He sent his assistant, Melie in advance to tell her but apparently she never arrived. Seth has the bad luck of crashing into the Inquisition ship of Captain Dart Dragunov. He puts up a fight before being put in a black silver cage that nullifies his Fantasia. Seth regrets not listening to Alma properly. He was told to head to the town of Artemis and find a sorcerer named Yaga who might have an idea about Radiant. Seth meets Melie and her familiar Boobrie who are also captured. Doc then comes by but is also captured since Melie revealed the reason of her capture: She was tasked to retrieve Nemesis part (a crime under existing laws). Seth continues to brag how he is going to find Radiant and defeat all Nemesis while Doc isn’t so optimistic since he is more of a researcher and doesn’t want to die. Thanks to Boobrie stealing the guard’s keys, they are free. However Seth needs to get his stuffs back. He does but gets ambushed by the guards. As they put up a fight, Seth is impressed with Melie’s defensive magic. But when they are cornered again, Melie suddenly changes character into a badass girl. When in extreme stressful situations, her character will completely flip. Dragunov has got Melie in his point blank range but Seth uses his magic to bust them out of here. In no time, they finally reach Artemis.

Episode 5
In Artemis, Doc rushes Seth to be a citizen in hopes of ridding him. The ceremony is initiated by the head of Artemis, Master Lord Majesty. After Seth signs the contract, looks like he has also take on huge debts. Karma backfires because since Doc is Seth’s guardian, he will also share the debts! They go round looking for Yaga but Seth and Melie only incur more debts. Yeah, everything here costs money! A strange wizard approaches them and is willing to tell them were Yaga is if Seth answers a few questions. Seth gives his honest opinions on Artemis. As for why Majesty ‘extorts’ from his citizens, he shall see the answer now as the alert is sounded. The Inquisition’s ship is nearby and would have initiated a full scale attack had not they received orders from HQ to back down and not risk war with these powerful sorcerers. Majesty has used the money to pay off these people. Wouldn’t that make them come back for more? Anyway, this is where the money goes and that is why Artemis is the last sanctuary sorcerers go. No discriminations or persecutions. The wizard suggests Seth live here and protect this paradise. However Seth still wants to find and destroy Radiant. This might be a safe place but the rest of the world. If they want to help others, they must change it. If no one will do it, he will. With that, the wizard reveals himself to be Yaga. Hardly surprising unless you’re as dense as Seth and Melie. Dragunov reports his failure to capture Seth to General Torque. He is ordered to keep a close eye on his movements.

Episode 6
Because Yaga tells Seth to get stronger if he is to teach anything, Seth bugs Melie. Too bad she can’t explain well and thinks Doc can do the job. Hate to break your futile flirting with Kettle Café’s Melba (her herbal tea sucks, by the way – and she has a hand puppet as her father!) but Doc was initially reluctant to teach Seth anything at all. Until Melba notes about all the kindness and that crap that Doc wants to show off. But since Seth fails, Melie gets desperate. She turns into her crazy side and starts attacking! This is sure going to rake up the debts with all the buildings damaged. When a slab threatens to fall on her, Seth could suddenly pull off basic magic to save her. Why do I have a feeling his gloves are the one suppressing his power? So with Seth a bit stronger, as per agreed, Yaga takes him as his disciple. I don’t think strict hell training is going to scare him. On a side note, Seth lives with Melie since he can’t sleep anywhere for free and Doc refuses to take any more debts. Oh sure, conveniently she has an unused room in her home.

Episode 7
Looks like Seth still has a long way to go from Yaga’s training. I’m surprised Melba’s bad coffee isn’t going to be a running joke because Doc tastes her latest brew this one tastes really good! Suddenly Doc is kidnapped by a tentacle monster! Don’t worry. It’s not Nemesis. I guess this Kraken is classified as an animal that lives in Artemis’ sewers. Yeah, it likes coffee… Seth and Melie head down to rescue him but all their plans backfire. Yeah, somehow Doc is the one falling into their traps. This guy still alive after being dragged by Kraken for so long? So before the young ones can give up, time to remember what quitting is not in Seth’s vocabulary. The next time they face Kraken, looks like Doc has become acquainted with it! They’re coffee buddies! Seth’s plan is to dump a cauldron of Melba’s coffee onto himself. This makes him irresistible as Kraken swallows him whole. Despite the mind boggling nice coffee aroma, it tastes like sh*t. Even Kraken spits everything out. Is he going to get some stomach discomfort? Seth and Melie combine their power to take Kraken down but before that, Doc protects Kraken! Don’t hurt my friend! Devi? I guess that’s that. If Kraken is Doc’s friend, it is also Seth’s friend. Doc returns to normal life and he thought he could have more of Melba’s good coffee. Then the truth is revealed. It is actually her dad who makes it. Yeah, from now on, he will be making coffee for this loser. Doc is so the biggest loser.

Episode 8
All the training has wrecked Seth’s gloves. So Yaga makes him wear special black silver gloves that restricts any use of magic. Seth is unhappy but is made to think that there is more to this world than just power. If he takes off the gloves, he will be expelled. Seth and co are called by Majesty. Yeah, they have the highest accumulated debts ever in history. Seth, I don’t think that’s a record to be proud of. They must pay this up now or… Oh well, I guess it’s hard labour for them. Seth and Melie clean Artemis’ top. Then they spot Bravery Quartet trying to break in. Looks like they escaped from their low security imprisonment and why are they only in underwear? Because it gives them magic! Seriously. Don tries to make a deal to help free Seth from the gloves in exchange he lets this slide. But Seth refuses. Don then tries to sweet talk him about his potential strength and that the strongest in this world only gets what they want. The resisting force is still strong with Seth. He sure wants power but not use it like they pathetically did. Time to square off. Seth might have no magic but he uses Melie’s explosive magic as springboard for a dropkick on Don. When Don tries to take Melie hostage, Boobrie pecks him off. Don would have fallen to his death had not Seth swoop down to save him. But not after breaking his gloves. Later he apologizes to Yaga for breaking his promise but Yaga saw the whole thing and let this slide. He also repaired his gloves with some modifications and hints why Alma made him wear it all along. Because sorcerers cannot use magic with such gloves, those doing so bare handed will be considered a heretic. Alma’s foresight saved him from unwanted attention. It is discovered that Majesty setup this so he could capture Bravery Quartet via cheap means instead of deploying the army.

Episode 9
Dragunov’s team has been stationed near Artemis for so long that they are running out of provisions. Not if Dragunov can do some fishing and cook for his men. A newbie is starting to feel disillusioned with him as he thought being an Inquisition would be a more glamorous job. Soon they receive word that another Inquisition team led by Captain Edmund has been damaged after a fight with a Nemesis. They are to assist and repair the ship scheduled for HQ. Edmund boasts about his skills that drove the Nemesis away and also shows Dragunov the evil sorcerer prisoners he captured. Women, children and the old? As they fix the ship, the newbie thinks of requesting a transfer when the Nemesis returns. However it ignores the Inquisitions and head for the nearest town where there are lots of people. Edmund is relieved they don’t have to deal with this and doesn’t care if the people gets killed. But it’s a different story for Dragunov. He and his men’s goal is to take out threats that threaten the lives of powerless people. Hence taking out Nemesis is the same as weeding out evil sorcerers. Dragunov’s team easily defeats the Nemesis and it is only so since somebody else has already fought it and put a deep wound on it. When Dragunov returns, he arrests Edmund. His men has checked the prisoners and they lack any markings that indicate they are evil sorcerers. He knows it is easy to round these harmless people up and then accuse them of being sorcerers. He realizes Edmund has been using his false achievements to get where he is and will report this to Torque who will then judge him. The newbie has seen this side of Dragunov and decides to stay on his team.

Episode 10
Majesty throws a festival so foreigners can spend the cash. But the highlight is the broomstick race. Although the prize money is high, so is the participating fee. Seth contemplates on entering but this arrogant jerk, Nick who is double winners of this race starts badmouthing Alma. Seth won’t let it slide (excuse for this episode to air some recycled footage of Seth’s parting with Alma) and will win this race to prove Alma is the strongest. So as the race begins, Seth is put at the lowest odds. His broom might not be the most high-tech and expensive like Nick but it’s filled with Alma’s love! Majesty plays cheat by entering the race with his giant spaceship! Well, technically you keep the money if you win your own race. So with him blasting other competitors out, Seth puts a stop to this foul move. Thanks to Yaga’s training, he has gotten better and forces that greedy cat on eject mode. With the race entering the final stretch, Nick is in the lead but Seth is catching up. Desperate, he uses his turbo mode and blows his lackeys away. Although he reaches the finish line, Seth is the real ‘winner’ since he went to save those lackeys. Hey, I thought all those who participate wear a parachute? Whatever. It’s just to show that Alma’s teachings are never wrong. And Seth can only later dream he won the race because now Doc is once again exasperated for the increase in debt. He had to pay for his participation, you know. It’s not like taking on another debt would make a difference, right? Oh Seth… I understand money is of no value to him but sometimes…

Episode 11
Doc needs to find a job that makes a quick buck fast. So definitely he won’t take this Nemesis hunting job. Not if Seth and Melie wants to take it up. He tries to give excuses until Melba notes how brave it is for one to take up this job. Yeah. Love makes you do silly things. They make their way to Rumble Town, supposedly a noisy and industrial area but it looks more like a ghost town than densely populated. They stumble into that Nemesis but realizes there are 2 of them. A short bout before some pied piper calls them back. Man, there are hundreds of them now! Seth chases them but is attacked by a weird sorcerer, Grimm. He wants to know Seth’s goal in chasing those Nemesis as those Nemesis are his. They may be a clue to his past. Seth is not obliged to answer him so they fight and Grimm is much powerful than him. Melie helps out but the commotion will certainly draw attention and that is what Grimm dislikes. He retreats and as long as they are connected to that Nemesis, they will meet again. The Inquisition sees this and reports to the captain of the area, Konrad de Marbourg. He is happy he can go sorcerer hunting.

Episode 12
Konrad is shocked to see Dragunov, his former superior here. Konrad tries to assert he is now the boss here and won’t take any of his orders but instead Dragunov plays it cool and it is Konrad who gets impatient and loses his cool. Seth and co see Zeda who requested the hunt. He explains that his son, Taj had come into contact with a Nemesis. Thankfully he survived but he is now sneezing purple snot. Is this the curse? Because they are immigrants and highly discriminated against, nobody will believe their story and if they tell their son is infected, what would others think? Because Seth is determined to see this through, Taj shows him the place where he saw the Nemesis. Inside this building is a large tree with feathers. Melie mentions about Source Nemesis, the original Nemesis that could curse others. It can also create smaller clones called Echo Nemesis but those do not have the ability to curse and serve more like scouts. Then the ground starts shaking. Doc deduces that the constant boring of the land made it unstable. Hence some parts had no people because they were ordered to move. Seth has an idea. After everyone is evacuated, they observe from the sky and wait for the Nemesis to come out. True enough, they do. They use their magic to trap and capture it. The more Nemesis they capture alive, the more those money signs in their eyes begin to flash. Yeah, not only their debts will be gone, they’ll be filthy rich! Until Grimm destroys the trap. Like, WTF?! If he isn’t interested in them then why destroy their catch?! Luckily as he escapes, Melie has put a mark on him.

Episode 13
Doc wonders if Grimm is behind the disappearance of immigrants too. When Seth asks him about the marks on Nemesis, he explains when it glows, it means they are being controlled by sorcerers called Domitors. Dragunov hears rumours of the immigrants being blamed for everything. He knows this is Konrad’s doing and that his target are the immigrants. He will not interfere but warns if he is getting Nemesis get away while being so preoccupied with his goal to protect citizens (apparently immigrants don’t fall under the category of citizens). He shows him a letter that Torque and his Thaumaturges will be coming here since that sorcerer kid they are targeting is believed to be here. Looks like Konrad is definitely hiding something. He knows he can’t hide it any longer and will proceed to his final phase of his plan by using the sorcerers to create a chaos. Seth and Melie visit Taj’s house but it is destroyed. A passer-by says the Inquisitions have taken them away as immigrants and sorcerers are being accused of plotting terrorism. Konrad then rallies his people to cooperate with him to witch hunt immigrants to protect their town or risk repeating that tragedy 15 years ago. Doc hides from the mob and stumbles upon an abandoned home that serves as a nest for Nemesis. An Inquisition catches him now that he has seen the secret. The mob tries to burn Taj but luckily Seth comes to their rescue. The people retreat as they are scared, claiming they are only following orders from Konrad. Learning that Taj’s family are arrested by the Inquisitions for sheltering an infected, Seth vows to take Konrad and his men down. He downplays crazy Melie’s logic to hurt the people as they are only afraid. If they attack them, everything will be blown beyond repair. It won’t take long for Seth to encounter Konrad. Because he orders his men to fire on the district despite the people have not yet been evacuated. Because some sacrifices are needed to protect the peace.

Episode 14
Dragunov helps Konrad to defeat Seth. He has to give up because they see Doc as a prisoner. Oh my, he looks so old. Did they suck out his life force?! With the riots against the immigrants happening, Konrad uses this chance to lie to the public by blaming Seth as the one siding with the immigrants and hiding a horde of Nemesis. So to eradicate this quickly, he will destroy them all. This means trapping normal people in the area and sacrificing them too. Seth uses his Fantasia to beat up Konrad. However he orders his troops to fire. Grimm absorbs the shells. He asks if Seth knows about the Domitor. Since he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, consider Grimm his unexpected ally. Speaking of the Domitor, Hameline makes her move as she unleashes her Echo Nemesis to attack the people. Konrad wants to settle the score with Seth and reveals that Hameline works under him. The Echo Nemesis run rampage. Sorcerers and Inquisitions put aside their differences to save the people. Hameline has summoned a whirlwind and intends to crash the bell into the ground to cause a massive ground collapse.

Episode 15
The bell crashes into the Inquisition’s HQ. You mad, Konrad? Cue for Hameline to tell her sad story 15 years ago. She was part of a group of tainted children gathered to fight Nemesis. However they were thrown into prison and the people hated them for just that. Only the kind Major Oxumare treated them nicely and gave them a flute to play to ignore the mockery. However, Konrad who was a mere soldier at that time, detested all that. So one night he let the children escape prison. However he also told the crowd about their escape and hence began a witch hunt. By the time Oxumare intervened, all but Hameline died. When actual Nemesis dropped into Rumble Town, Konrad used this chance to have Oxumare put Hameline in the frontlines. But it is just a ploy for him to kill him. Scared Hameline fled and at a lost, started playing her flute. The Nemesis became attracted to her. At the same time, the Inquisitions bombed and let an entire district fell from the sky. Konrad continued to blame immigrants for this and he himself admits all that with the excuse of protecting this town. Hameline accuses him of accepting her offer when she said she would help rid of all immigrants. Though, Konrad denies this. But Konrad continues to admit he is willing to sacrifice more people to keep the town safe. Naturally the townspeople turn against him and think Hameline will be their saviour. Sorry to disappoint. She isn’t here to save them. She’s going to kill them. She considers all of them as the same as Konrad. Accomplices in murder. They never changed. Even if they said they weren’t around during that time or try to wash their hands off this, she views this all the same. Because they don’t want to shoulder the responsibility, they picked a leader to decide for them. Hence, she is going to destroy Rumble Town and lived for this day. Her destruction put on hold since Grimm has a question for her. Meanwhile Seth blames it all on Konrad for this mess. Epic power battle with Seth now even stronger without using Fantasia. I guess we’re tired of hearing Konrad blabbing about him being the impregnable wall of Rumble Town so here comes Seth’s Skull Burst to break down this immoral wall. XD.

Episode 16
With Konrad defeated, Seth goes to stop Hameline. Dragunov vows to arrest him after that. When Seth meets up with Melie, she is sad that Doc had died. However Seth shows Doc has turned into a baby! Seth stumbled into Doc’s corpse and bursting out from the stomach was this baby! Cute cuddling put on hold with Grimm telling them he doesn’t intend to sink with Rumble Town unless they have a plan to stop Hameline. Seth believes he can do so without killing her and Grimm would gladly lend his assistance. As they fly up the clock tower, Hameline unleashes Nemesis to attack them. In some strange burst of power, Seth is sucked inside the clock tower whereby he meets this strange guy with horns, Piodon. Melie and Grimm fight Hameline. Melie manages to seal Hameline’s Fantasia in a giant lamp while Grimm goes on a Nemesis killing spree. Piodon wonders about Seth’s strange seal that makes him unable to use Fantasia efficiently. He offers to get rid of it but asks whom Seth is fighting for. Is it the weak? The infected? The Inquisition? Seth can’t stay to chat so he leaves but thanks him for saving him earlier. Piodon believes they will meet soon again because they are family. Because of Hameline’s strong bond with the Nemesis, she could combine her powers with them. This means, Melie’s lamp is unable to absorb anymore of her Fantasia and Grimm’s giant sword has reach its limits. But don’t worry. Seth is here.

Episode 17
As Seth and Hameline fight, the latter accuses him of helping his enemies. Even when Seth says he wants to protect the people, this doesn’t bode well with her. She doesn’t care about the people and will let them die. Seth points out she is only doing the same things Konrad did. She does have a point about the people will never acknowledge him and will only use him for their own purpose. People’s attitude will never change. Despite Seth disagreeing with her, he points out he is the same as her. Although people treated him badly and at times he wanted to destroy everything, he refuses to become the monster they painted him. Seth overwhelms her but refuses to kill her or hand her over to the Inquisition. He wants her to join him in his journey to find and destroy Radiant. Only then everyone can happily live together when there are no more Nemesis. Conversation interrupted with Santori making his divine entrance. So people like them don’t use Fantasia but Miracles? Is there a difference? Must be the power being bestowed from God. Anyway, Santori wants Seth to be handed over as he lists down all his crimes that ranges from killing, stealing, etc. Seth doesn’t know all that but can’t help feel familiar with those murdered names. Hameline then takes Seth hostage in hopes to negotiate. However Santori rejects her demands. She attacks Santori so as to buy time for Seth to run away. She leaves her Nemesis siblings in his care. Bye. Seth would have wanted to stay behind to save her had not Melie and Grimm take him away and not let Hameline’s wish go to waste. Sadly, Torque kills her.

Episode 18
Seth tries to take on Torque but Von Teppes puts him down. Before he can kill Seth, Piodon did something that turns Seth into some monster that oozes out tremendous Fantasia. He easily pulverizes Teppes. Torque strikes him down and in the midst of the chaos, Grimm and Melie whisk him away. Grimm then shows some dimensional coffin where he put all the missing people. Those who were infected or witnessed Konrad’s atrocities are kept here and hence many thought people were missing from the Nemesis. But to get off Rumble Town, looks like Artemis sent a train to save them. Thaumaturges prioritizes saving the injured of Rumble Town and hence ‘allowed’ Artemis’ train to escape amidst the fireworks distraction. Seth is inside his own consciousness, blaming himself he couldn’t save Hameline. He also accuses Piodon of doing something but the latter explains had he not, he and his friends would have died. Seth laments that in his monster form, he couldn’t tell between friend or foe. Everything that Seth did was on his own. All Piodon did was to help him get in touch with the powers and memories he doesn’t know of yet. Then the revelation that we aren’t too surprised: Piodon is Seth’s older brother. After a week, Seth finally wakes up in Melie’s room. Grimm explains of Torque’s ability to nullify Fantasia. Since Seth’s arm was hit by it, it cannot be healed by any magic and he might never use Fantasia again. Seth doesn’t think it’s bad since he realizes all he is capable of is reckless violence. Rumble Town is under construction and since Konrad is gone, it will be better than before. Oh Seth, still blaming yourself that it was the Inquisition who saved the day? A bit of good news, Hameline’s Nemesis brothers are safe, living in Artemis’ facility.

Episode 19
With Seth’s heroics all over the news in Artemis, he is a hero. Too bad that gloom face that says it all. Because the news labels Hameline as an evil sorcerer. Oh, how will Melba ever love Doc now? Oh well, she finds him adorable and he has more skinship than ever he has of her in his life. Too bad her papa changes his diapers… Doc uses his secret stash of cash to buy an expensive potion to grow up. At least, he is now the body of a young boy. Just in time for the party Majesty throws to celebrate Seth’s heroics. But you know, Seth is still gloomy over his failure. Even when everyone sings praises of him, he denies of being a hero. F*cking Seth, still so down over Hameline’s death. Like, WTF?! Like he needs Nick to challenge him to some strength competition. Not in the mood. But Nick crosses the line by badmouthing Hameline so here comes a great sucker punch in his face. Seth snaps about many other sorcerers out there that shares Hameline’s tragic fate. That’s why he must destroy Radiant as soon as possible. He sounds disappointed that with so many sorcerers here, none know anything of Radiant. More sulking until Alma shows up to give him her usual beating. She wouldn’t have known had not Melie contacted her. She gives him a letter from Taj. He thanks him for what he did. Everyone now is helping to rebuild Rumble Town. He hopes to meet again. Seth might not been able to save some but he did change those he touched. Even back in Pompo Hills, everyone treats Alma nicer than before. Also, Melie disregarded her own wounds to nurse Seth back when he was in ‘coma’. With Seth’s blues blown away like that, now he goes around thanking those who helped him. At least better than moping around.

Episode 20
Thaumaturges discuss about Konrad’s actions have led to people’s trust in the Inquisition dipping. Teppes has been removed and punished for letting emotions get the better of him. Then there’s the case of Dragunov too… Speaking of him, his unit is facing food shortage as they had to give theirs to Rumble Town to help it rebuild. So hunting a few wild animals didn’t yield anything. Even calling towns for help, they are turned away. Yeah, nobody likes the Inquisition as much as before. When the newbie asks Dragunov about the things they do because at this rate the world will not get better, Dragunov replies that despite doing the right thing doesn’t guarantee good results. The newbie suggests asking from the town they saved from Edmund and surprisingly they are more than glad to help. So everything isn’t wasted. Kindness goes a long way. We take a detour as Melba’s coffee is getting thinner? Sorry, lack of coffee beans. Thanks to all the coffee and other supplies being rerouted to Rumble Town. At this rate her shop might close down. But what could me more concerning for Doc than her? Devi! Yeah, dried squid is so dried without coffee! Seth tries to help but after a few blunders, he gets it right. Only, he took out a loan from Majesty for the beans. Better enjoy the world’s most expensive coffee. Dragunov has got a personal letter from Torque. His vice knows it is an invitation to join Thaumaturges. At first Dragunov didn’t want to accept because he was worried about his men. But looks like he knows they’ll be alright. Just like Seth, he believes he needs to leave to protect those around him. His men will wait for his return one day.

Episode 21
Alma wants Seth to bring him to Yaga to talk about Radiant. However that guy went into hiding as he doesn’t want to see her but left a note. It says to go to Caislean Merlin, the capital of Cyfandir and meet the knight sorcerers as they are a bunch of people who are also looking for Radiant. But beware. The Inquisition has begun to hunt them down in hopes of regaining their reputation. Of course Doc will not go with Seth this time and doesn’t want to die again. He’s got enough problems on his hands already. Friends you say? Doc tells him straight that he is going to fight even stronger and crazier enemies. Is he willing to put Melie in danger? As he thinks about it, I doubt Majesty is here to give him any solid advice but a reminder to pay his debts. Because if he’s dead, he’ll still has to repay them! Does he have connections with heaven? Just then, many Nemesis Eggs plummet into Artemis. The sorcerers go to battle them but with Seth ‘frozen’, Nick mocks him for being a fake. Oh no. Seth, are you pitying Nemesis now?! Because Hameline said they are not all monsters. But with an egg dropping in to where Melie is, Seth ‘borrows’ Nick’s broom to rescue her before she becomes Nemesis chow. They both take it down but a moment when Melie let her guard down, the Nemesis strikes again. This scene traumatically reminds Seth of Hameline’s fate. He pushes out of harm’s way and takes the brunt. He is being dragged deep into the waters and this is when his berserk mode unleashed. This time the Nemesis is blown to smithereens. When he comes to, he is sad he once again lost control. Now that Seth is determined, the next morning he left a note to Melie saying that he has left since he can’t be bringing her along to his dangerous journey. Take care. He left with Alma and didn’t say goodbye to everyone either in fear he might want to stay. Yeah, blaming himself he caused everyone problems. Especially Doc with his debts, right? Oh, that guy is the most shocked in hearing Seth left.

Monster Hunter World
And as expected, there will be another season. But I am surprised that it only had this odd number of 21 episodes. It fuelled my speculation that it wasn’t expected to do well but I suppose it did and that’s why another season was announced. From the sneak preview that I see at the end of the final episode, it looks like it is going to notch things up a bit and things might get a little grimmer. After all, for light to shine the brightest, there has to be the darkest of the dark, right? And of course, don’t count on Seth going at this alone as Melie and Doc will soon catch up. You know, they’re friends, right?!

Also, despite that speculation of mine, initially I thought this series was going to be the next big long running anime. It was going to be the next Fairy Tail. The next Black Clover. The next Naruto or Boruto. The next Bleach. The next One Piece. So for them to just have 2 cours for the first season, hmm, something doesn’t feel right. Because as far as I can see the way the story and the pacing plays out, it certainly is going to look like one of those very long running animes that is going to lust for multiple cours. There are still other things and developments to flesh out and from what I can see from this season, this is just merely touching the tip of the iceberg.

Hence this season can be both good and bad at this point in time. As the manga, oops I mean, manfra is currently ongoing, there is of course the need to wait for more materials to be published. As you can see, this season has only 2 big main arcs: Artemis and Rumble Town. With the series taking several episodes to flesh out the stories and characters in both these arcs, it is good pacing to see Seth grows as a character but at the same time it hardly moves anywhere. Sure, Seth’s heroics of Rumble Town may skyrocketed his fame and status but if a story is about a boy who goes on an adventure to seek some imaginary place that is not supposed to exist, it is definitely going to be a very long journey and don’t tell me that Seth is going to find Radiant after hitting a few places. I mean, look at how freaking long One Piece has been running and they still can’t find that One Piece! Heh. You get what I mean. But thankfully, Radiant doesn’t take as long as One Piece for its single arc that could span to as long as a half a year to a year! Is that good? Is that disappointing? I know it is wrong to directly compare this series with One Piece but with the vibe Radiant has been giving off initially, I really thought it was going to at least be Black Clover’s rival.

Like I have already said, the story and pacing is building up at a reasonable pace. It does take its time trying to flesh out Seth as the main character as well as the other supporting characters. Sometimes they have time to even put in fillers especially after the big Rumble Town battle, we get this very slow moving and boring couple of episodes as the characters ponder their next move. That is why I thought this series was going to be the next big thing (sorry if I sound like a broken recorder on this). Because when you have long running series, it is without a doubt that sometimes they need to put in filler episodes to fill up the space while they make preparations for the next arc. Even though this Rumble Town arc lasted for about 10 episodes, somehow it felt like a bit draggy to me. Initially I thought it was just going to be 3 or 4 episodes and the final arc would be something else but it eventually lasted till the end of the season. Oh well, goes to show that sometimes my own guts and expectations can be dead wrong. On a trivial note, is Rumble Town’s immigration problem a take on the current USA’s issue of influx of illegal immigrants? Must be just coincidence.

On a trivial note, sometimes I believe Radiant is aimed for younger audiences like teens. Sure, there are some dark themes and well, some character dies but the overall feel of the series can be said as, uhm, how should I put it, bubbly? Like the narration at the beginning as well as the next episode preview is narrated in a way that makes me think that well, maybe this series is targeted for young teens to watch. This is no Shingeki No Kyojin or even Goblin Slayer but if you put Radiant and One Piece side by side and if I had to pick one for my young nephews to watch, I would have gone with Radiant without a doubt. Of course One Piece keeps going forever and that means they’ll be glued to the screen forever… Theoretically!

Character wise, surprisingly there isn’t a lot of characters. At least not yet. We have the main character, Seth. His groupie, Melie and Doc. The master, Alma and Yaga. Animal mascots, Boobrie and Devi. Mystery ally, Grimm. The scheming brains, Majesty. The supposed antagonist, Torque and his Thaumaturges. And the anti-hero or how should I put it, fighting on the wrong side? Yup, that’s Dragunov. Did I miss out anybody? Oh Melba, where should I put her? Anyway, if I look at this series generally about character development, not really good either. I did say that the story and pacing was to help develop the character. Yes, but that is for the long run. For this season, it doesn’t look like it moved anyway. I mean it did. But not very much.

Seth as the main character, we see him grow from a reckless sorcerer into one taking fate and destiny into his own hands. Oh wait. Seth has been the same reckless sorcerer with his staunch ideal of justice from the start. Literally Seth is Seth from the beginning till the end. Lots of anime main protagonist seem to fall into this cliché trap. How much different a character can you make Seth from Luffy, Natsu or Naruto? And hence you’ve got a kid who has lots of power but is a simpleton. I guess that is why they usually always win in the end because it is not complicated unlike complex brainy villains who planned this and that with backup plans here and there. Yeah, how not to fail like that? Also, they rant about their plans to the heroes cliché. Heh. And oh, to top the cherry on the icing for being a cliché main character is that Seth has this hidden latent power, now taking in the form of his berserk mode. How convenient. Wanna bet he is going to learn and control it by the time the climax comes around?

Anyway, I am fine with Seth being that typical stereotype of main character until they made him such an annoying kid when he couldn’t get over the death of Hameline. I mean, that was like the worst. I know they want to portray him as a character who realized he is weak and needs to get a lot stronger (because there is always room for improvement) but they spam it so much that it is just intolerable. Like, WTF?! Oh God. Can we move on already? Instead of looking at the positive side of the numerous lives he changed (Tommy and Taj to name a few), he had to focus on his one miserable failure. And it’s not really his fault either. So he wants to mope around forever like that? Oh yeah, thank goodness for Alma to come smacking some reality back into his mind. I guess that’s the only reason to bring her character back. While it looks like Seth might have gotten over it, but that ghost of a regret is hinted to linger on. That’s fine too. But don’t overdo it, okay? Don’t make it Seth’s weakness that when he is faced with another similar situation, this fear paralyzes him. Please don’t. I know Seth can do better. Don’t even start on him starting to slowly sympathize with Nemesis. It makes his life’s mission and setting of this series redundant for the sake of plot twist.

As for the other characters, not really much is known about them or fleshed out properly. Especially Melie and Doc. Melie feels like your token cute girl because every main character groupie needs to have a kawaii bishoujo, right? Right. Since she has another alter ego, it is never explained how she got this and it would be interesting to see the backstory to this side of hers in the next season. Yeah, I guess Boobrie really loves this sadistic version because you see hearts in his eyes whenever she is in this mode. Doc is like the whiner, complainer and pessimist of the group. He feels like a comic relief character because of his failed one-sided love to Melba and constantly being piled up with debts thanks to Seth. He claims he doesn’t want to help them but from what I can see, he still cares for them despite all he has said because he could just walk off and not entertain them anymore but keeps coming back. Yeah, maybe it’s fate. And those damn debts that tie their fate together.

Speaking of love interest, this series seems to lack every inch of it as it is marketed as some fantasy action adventure oriented. But if our guts and experience tells us, will it be Seth x Melie? Has cutie pie Melie already fallen for Seth from the start? She might be sticking around him because she is so impressed with him whatsoever but what if it is because she likes him? What if her alter ego was just a fake front to hide her love for him? Notice how she usually gets stressed up when Seth is in danger, causing her to be this BDSM queen? No? Must be me then? Since Seth too has another dark alter ego, I guess they’re a match, no?! Because I think Seth x Melie is more probably than Doc x Melba! My conspiracy theory is that Melba also likes Doc but puts a barrier in the form of her hand puppet father. She looks and sounds a bit dumb but I think she isn’t. Especially making poisonous coffee all the time. Think about it. How can her business survive when she makes such bad coffee? Oh sure, her father backs her up but I want to really believe her father is just a hand puppet.

Torque looks like the big bad guy but I doubt that he is so and he only looks mean and his goals might sound a bit tough but I am predicting that his sense of justice doesn’t stray too far as from Seth’s. After all, this guy doesn’t talk much unless when necessary. I’m thinking there will be another hidden bigger baddie to all this and that Seth and Torque will eventually cooperate with each other. Same case for Dragunov. He might be fighting against Seth now but in time I foresee they will be fighting on the same side of justice. We also assume Grimm is on Seth’s side but that is only their goals somewhat aligned. Remember, this guy who talks in third person may be more than meets the eye.

One of the biggest nonsense I find about the setting of this series is how sorcerers are treated badly by others. Yes, it is stated that they are cursed by Nemesis but the only ones with powers to take them down. Are they trying to teach us that the world itself is ungrateful no matter what you do? And that only those with strong sense of justice and goodness can arise from this? That’s so screw up if you asked me. People who have no qualms scorning them but yet cower behind sorcerers during Nemesis’ attack, they are the worst. Damn, it’s not like they are even trying to hide it! If I existed in this world, I would have gladly joined Bravery Quartet! (Why do I feel these characters are like those jiggly butt jokers of Fairy Tail and Rave?). It doesn’t make sense since Inquisition are also out to capture such sorcerers but doesn’t Thaumaturges have one? Piodon, anybody? Oh come on. Do you not see his costume is clearly from the Inquisition? Oddly, if Torque’s main ability is to nullify Fantasia, wouldn’t it be a lot easier if he just went around and do that to other sorcerers? Turning them back into normal human beings? No more sorcerer discrimination, hooray! Sometimes I think that Nemesis randomly rain down on human civilization to attack them is because to wipe them out for being assholes. People are the real dicks (which is somewhat true). Only if those sorcerers didn’t get in the way! Uh huh. Plot twist! Nemesis aren’t the bad guys! Isn’t that why Seth is starting to think that not all Nemesis are bad?

Action bits are rather okay. Not to say they are mediocre nor are they mind blowing but for an action series, I suppose it is suffice. With big explosions and effects, I guess they really exaggerated the effects of using Fantasia. It’s magic! After all, with Seth being just somewhat a beginner in using his Fantasia, we see him pull off a few variants of punches and the recent Skull Burst. Then we have Melie casting her Meteor Drops, barriers and traps. In time maybe they will learn more and add to their repertoire of skillsets. Does Dragunov shoot anything else except with his bow? Oddly, a series about hunting down Nemesis, there aren’t really a lot of them. Sure, you can count them with your fingers. And I don’t mean Hameline’s brothers as individual Nemesis but a collective one.

As for the art and animation, everything looks clean, bright and colourful, also the reason why I said it looked like a series aimed for younger audiences. Some really weird character designs because what’s with the main female characters having weird hairstyles? Like Alma’s big bushy broomstick hairstyle and Melie’s killer croissant drills? Some character designs look familiar like Torque I thought Fairy Tail’s Gajeel was moonlighting as the high commander of Inquisition. Before Doc turned into a baby, I thought he look like that character from Cartoon Network’s Codename Kids Next Door, Numbuh 2. Why does the Nemesis feel like they are rejected designs of Bleach’s Hollow? This series is animated by Lerche who did Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Asobi Asobase, Mahou SHoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Kuzu No Honkai, Danganronpa and the reboot of Kino No Tabi.

Voice acting, they used a lot of popular seiyuus like Aoi Yuuki as Melie, Takehito Koyasu as Grimm, Romi Paku as Alma, Koji Yusa as Dragunov, Kappei Yamaguchi as Majesty, Nao Touyama as Melba and Sho Hayami as the narrator. Saori Hayami and Ayane Sakura also lend their voices as members of Thaumaturges but sorry I didn’t catch their characters’ names here. The other casts are Yumiri Hanamori as Seth (Hayasaka in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Shintarou Oohata as Doc (Morgan in Beast Saga), Kenta Miyake as Torque (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Hiroyoki Yoshino as Yaga (Favaro in Shingeki No Bahamut), Ryohei Kimura as Piodon (Tsubasa in Kyoukai No Rinne), Yumi Uchiyama as Hameline (Maki in Toji No Miko) and Katasuki Murase as Konrad (Three in Hamatora) and Tetsu Inada as Don (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill).

The opening theme is Utopia by 04 Limited Sazabys. I didn’t like this because it is like punk hard rock and the constant bass drubbing feels like you need to be high are on drugs while doing head banging if listening to this song. Really. Hence I prefer much the ending theme which is as the same name of this series and sung by Polkadot Stingray. It has this funky feel to it and the electric guitar accompaniment isn’t too shabby either. Though, the singer’s voice might sound a bit flat but it is still way better than mine!

Overall, even if this doesn’t seem like the next big anime that will stand alongside the other aforementioned big anime titles, Radiant is still Radiant and stands by itself as a decent fantasy action adventure genre. Story, characters and action all feel pretty much cliché and standard like any other stories about a young character setting out on a journey to defeat the main evil and bring ultimate peace to the land and in the midst discovers more about himself and changes for the better. It is still too early to call and judge it and even maybe a second season won’t be enough if it is to strive for higher greatness and garner followers and fans from all around the globe like One Piece. Even with its flaws and shortcomings, this series still did what it takes to shine through. There is still a radiant of hope after all. Because (to borrow a quote from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam) if the series (and Seth) wants to shine like the sun, they must first burn like the sun. Keeping shining forward!

Kemurikusa

July 14, 2019

Well, the synopsis didn’t say much. Kemurikusa is about a group of girls needing to fight off bad bugs in a world covered with red fog and mist. Sounds intriguing enough and although my interest of whether to watch it then was on the fence, I further read that this adaptation only came into being after it because it won’t a 3D anime contest back in 2012. So I guess that there is something good about it. I hope.

Episode 1
Rin and Rinako are out to get some fresh water. However Rin detects a red bug and engages in combat. Although Rin defeats it, she didn’t realize there was another one. It attacked careless Rinako drinking the water. By the time Rin returns to defeat it, Rinako is already close to death and soon sadly dies. Rin returns to her base that houses her other sisters, Ritsu and other Rinako clones who are collectively known as Rina. Yup, 4 of those Rina still left. They fill up the water tank and eat up some green leaves called Kemurikusa produced by their tree named Midori. Suddenly a boy is washed into the water tank. Wakaba is unsure how he get here but the sisters think he is some kind of bug and attack him. He tries to run but ends up being captured. They are puzzled this new bug type can talk and although Wakaba says he is human, they don’t believe because the sisters are the only humans left on the island. To prove he isn’t a bug, they shoot a green leaf at him. It is supposedly a bug’s weakness. Rin fires at him. The blast destroys the structure around but only Wakaba is still intact. So he’s not a bug, right? Nope. They think he is a new type that is resistant to Midori’s leaves! Ritsu picks up the appearance of a red fog and hence another red bug. They are surprised because the fog has never come so far up on this island. Rin and Rina take Wakaba there. More ‘confusion’ because Wakaba feels pain when he touches the red fog. Bugs shouldn’t. The bug makes a surprise attack and gobbles up on of the Rina. Wakaba can sense where she is held and not dead yet. Hence he braves the red fog and dives in to go get her. This also lures the bug out and Rin is prepared this time to take it out. The sisters are happy that they didn’t lose one of their own this time. However Rin remains sceptical of Wakaba although she feels something strange welling in her heart…

Episode 2
The sisters decide to let Wakaba live a little longer for now. Ritsu deduces this is the last batch of water on this island. But since they have gathered so much, they can go to other islands and search again. Rin tells Ritsu her strange heart problem. Whenever she is near Wakaba, her heart beats fast, her face feels flushed and her vision sometimes get blurry. Oh! I know what it is! But guess what they think? It must be a poison from the red bug! DOH!!!! WTF???!!! Rin then takes Wakaba to get some kiiro that serves as food and light source. Yeah, this guy is like so fascinated with everything. He spots different coloured leaves and decides to keep them. They also spot some bugs but those that are not red are not hostile. But there is one that attacks Wakaba! Rin blasts it with a green leaf. Wakaba gets caught in it but nothing happens to him. Also, his wounds get healed. As Rin gets some kiiro, she talks about the sisters surviving from letters that tell them locations of the water as well as how to defeat red bugs. She claims she has no ambition and the only thing she cares is protecting her sisters. When they return, Wakaba’s Kemurikusa starts glowing. It is rare for leaves other than Midori’s to glow. Furthermore, it is in another colour. But soon it stops glowing. Rin then makes a decision to leave the island. They pack up and make plans to leave Island One they are in now to Island Four. Wakaba is amazed as Midori’s roots turn their tram base into a mobile one as it sets itself nicely over the tracks. Rin scares Wakaba not to do anything funny or else she’ll kill him. I wonder if she is trolling him about leaving the island. Because whenever they do, somebody dies. So Wakaba is that bait?!

Episode 3
The gang make their slow trail to the next island. Wakaba might be having too much fun being fascinated with everything that he almost fell to his death. Thanks to Rin grabbing him, he did not meet his maker. I guess she owes him for saving Rina. Arriving on Island Two, they use some fish-like thingy to detect water around. They’re not going to find any for a while. Ritsu starts coughing since she is pushing herself. So they all take a break and drink some fresh water from their tank. They drink a lot at one go and it will last them for several days. Because they stopped by some amusement park, one of the Rina went off on her own. Hence Rin and Wakaba go in search for her. Wakaba learns that Rina can eat anything and then produce some weird stuff. So this is how they supposedly duplicate? Though, Rin warns not to just eat anything in fear of getting that poison. Yeah… Wakaba then finds another Kemurikusa but this one has a stem. Because it is also edible, the Rina also want a taste of it. Back at base, Ritsu gives Wakaba a Kemurikusa they used to use a long time ago. Apparently it belonged to their old sisters. Ryoku didn’t particularly like Kemurikusa and was always furious when Riku made them glow. After all, only Riku can make them glow and thanks to Ryoku, they know so much. The ground suddenly shakes and opens up. Wakaba could have fallen into the red fog just to save a precious pot of the sisters but Rin pulls him up just in time. Rin is mad that he saved something that he didn’t know of its importance. He didn’t think of it and just knew it was important to them. He hopes he can help out in anywhere and thanks her for saving him. Rin starts to blush. Must be the poison…

Episode 4
They have reached Island Three as the Rina notice Wakaba continuing to be obsessed with his Kemurikusa collection. They show him a few nifty tricks of their own that they develop from eating many things but since Wakaba is only amazed at those with Kemurikusa, no more tricks for you mister! Along the way, a few red bugs but nothing that Rin could handle herself. As they rest for the night, more Kemurikusa obsession from Wakaba as he swings around his collection and in certain angles they do glow. With the Rina using Kemurikusa for cloning purposes, Wakaba realizes its importance to the sisters. He admires Rin’s Kemurikusa too but she hides from him. Is she being shy? Nope. Just taking precaution to stay away from his poison! To get to Island Four, they need to take the sky bridge. Rin uses her strength to haul the entire tram up. But along the way, they encounter a red bug. This isn’t just an ordinary one. It’s so freaking big and powerful that it’s termed as Nushi. The gang retreats as the Nushi attacks them. Rin is injured by its blast albeit a minor one. At this rate the Nushi is blasting about and putting holes in the bridge, I’m thinking the bridge’s integrity will be compromised. The plan seems to be like this. Rin sacrificing herself to let the sisters pass. Not if Wakaba has an idea. He noticed the Nushi reacts to Kemurikusa thanks to some of them he dropped while retreating. So he has Rina make several little toy clones to carry Kemurikusa as distraction. Rin will use that as a chance to destroy it. The plan works but the dying Nushi gives out one last blast at the sisters. If not for Wakaba reacting fast to protect them with the special Kemurikusa, they would have been goners. Now the Nushi is dead, the sisters are in disbelief they actually defeated one on their own. They are excited as they draw closer to Island Four.

Episode 5
Now on Island Four, they are looking to get to Island Six. They don’t really want to get lost and end up in Island Five although ironically that is where they found this tram. It was also around here that they picked up Midori’s branch. It was small at that time but now it is big and able to protect and move the tram around. When a Kemurikusa glows, Wakaba throws it at a broken pole and suddenly it fixes it back to normal. As they continue their journey, you mean now only they realize a wheel of the tram is missing and possibly during the fight with the Nushi? Did they not notice Ritsu controlling the tram and walking in a weird fashion? Wakaba looks at the nearby junk for some parts and oddly a docile bug helps find a wheel. Because the mechanism is broken and some parts are missing, Wakaba has this idea to use a Kemurikusa to fix it. Well what do you know? It is as good as new! Everyone is happy and surprised that Kemurikusa could be used this way other than fighting red bugs. Ritsu is in tears with Wakaba praising her so much for taking care of Midori. Time for Rin to accuse Wakaba of doing something fishy. Somebody explain to her those are tears of joy? Finally they arrive on Island Six. It is mostly uncharted territory and filled with red bugs. Thanks to Riku finding this tunnel hole, they can travel underground and avoid any hostiles above. But first, they need to rest. I guess Wakaba isn’t as tired as the sisters so he explores around. To his delight, he finds lots of Kemurikusa lying around. So happy picking them that he realized too late that he is lost. Oh sh*t. You scared now? Then he stumbles into a girl. Not a ghost, I hope.

Episode 6
Riku thinks Wakaba is a bug and tries to attack him. Good thing Wakaba is quick at dodging. But after hearing she knows her sisters, now he’s her friend. She talks briefly about her sisters as she hints she is here to do some preliminary investigation. She also teaches him how to use Kemurikusa as a barrier (good thing he learns fast otherwise he would’ve been vaporized). Riku gives him a compass to find his way back and doesn’t want him to tell her sisters about her. She’s supposed to be gone. On the way back, Wakaba discovers a new interface in using the Kemurikusa. Especially one that looks like a diary written by one of the sisters, questioning about the world and the likes. Walls and connecting islands, the first person hiding something, some memory leaf, all too vague for now. Before he knows it, Rina jumps on him for going missing. I guess he’s back. Well, it’s not like they cared, right? So let’s move on. Thanks to Wakaba’s new compass replacing their old one, they manage to make their way through the labyrinth. They stumble into another huge tree like Midori. Ritsu tries to connect with it but it’s too huge to move and most of its branches have wilted. Wakaba consults the diary to find an answer. Something about large Kemurikusa tree dead, its large branches and roots can lead to a pool of water nearby. Following the path, they reach a huge lake.

Episode 7
The giant criss-crossing roots of this tree is supposed to be Island Seven. Because it is overgrown other structures, they wonder if humans once lived here. Then they stumble into a wall. They find it weird because there is no hole. Ryou supposedly broke it the last time. All of them pool their powers and yet it did not make any scratch. Then all the harmless bugs turn black and start attacking them. They are easy to deal with but their numbers is a pain. Wakaba then uses his Kemurikusa to open a hole in a wall to retreat to safety. At the centre of this tree is a huge pool of water that would last a lifetime. Everyone is joyed that they finally found a safe place to live. No red bugs, no red fog. This could be their utopia finally. Wakaba is thrilled to find more Kemurikusa. Rin and Wakaba go explore around and find another wall. Using the same technique to open a hole. To their horror, they see endless red fog and endless red bugs. Does Rin think she is a hero and can take all of them?! There is also a giant red root but when cut, it regenerates. For now they are forced to go back and report to the others. At this rate, the red bugs and red fog will eventually break through and reach the water source. While Rin’s decision is to carry all the water they can and find some place safe to live, she is scared that she would make the wrong decision that would result in someone dying again. Because Wakaba saw something further at the end of the red fog, they decide to follow the red root that would led to its trunk that they must destroy.

Episode 8
The sisters fight their way through and although they defeated many red bugs, they are tired. As they make their next plans, that docile bug pops up. Let’s call it Shirou for ease of reference. So it followed them? Heck, it is showing them a map that could possibly take them to Island Nine. There is also a route that is clear of red fog or bugs. Shirou gets attached to Wakaba like as though it is his pet now. Wakaba reads more of the diary but still too many riddles. Wakaba notices a red Kemurikusa inside Rin and from the diary, it supposedly belonged to the first person. He wants to touch it. Eh? You sure you’re not rubbing it off the wrong way? Of course Rin won’t let him even if it’s for info. Coming out from the tunnel, they arrive at the top of the dam. Red fog below and the valley is covered with red roots. Shirou wonders if a map could help. Then it leads them to a boat where there are other Shirous! It seems they came from Island Nine and are sleeping here since the red fog makes them go crazy. They escaped there since the place is sinking but lost their captain along the way. They want Wakaba to be their captain and will do anything. They hand him to map of Island Nine as requested. The only way there is to cross the red root blocking it. Since they can’t go unnoticed, they’ll have to destroy it. Hence the Shirous combine themselves into some giant cutter machine to cut it. The root tries to fight back but the Shirous manage to snip it to free their path. But since they have absorbed too much red fog, they will stop functioning before turning into a red bug. They thank Wakaba for allowing them to serve him and giving them a purpose. Wakaba feels sad for ordering them to their deaths but Shirou can’t understanding because his comrades were grateful. Rin finds this familiar since sisters died smiling. She wonders if Wakaba will cry if they die. Of course!

Episode 9
Trekking up the mountain, be careful not to fall off into the red fog. They reach a wall and as Wakaba prepares to open it, they are being attacked by a Nushi. However this one seems to be using the wall as defence but at the same time it can’t leave the wall. Instead of opening the wall to lure it out and attack it (and risk the Nushi calling the red root for reinforcement), they rest up and think up of another plan. When the sisters are asleep, Wakaba wanders off to find water and stumbles into Ryou. I guess she is supposed to be dead but is kept alive by a Kemurikusa inside her. One more big fight and she’ll vanish for good. She supports him to fight the red root but first they need a way to get through this wall. Hence she summons Ryoku. So she just shapeshift into her? Are they both occupying the same body? Ryoku doesn’t like Wakaba in particular and even more so he read her diary. But after hearing him out, they exchange ideas. Ryoku believes this world deliberately made this world and could have learnt more if they opened the memory leaf. Then there’s the page with some contents erased. More about this world could be known if they had the memory leaf. Conveniently or not, it is with Rin and you know damn well she isn’t going to give it to Wakaba for such puny reasons. She encourages him to take it by force as she wants to know about the world before she dies instead of defeating the red root that will eventually destroy this world. Ryoku thinks if he can touch Kemurikusa, he might control the red tree. One way is to use Midori’s branch since they are of the same material. Wakaba returns to the sisters to ask permission to use Midori and of course Rin snaps at him because Midori is precious. However Ritsu agrees since Midori has gotten a lot stronger. Wakaba will be the bait to draw it out. After Wakaba opens the wall, the Nushi attacks. How can puny Wakaba grab and hold it down for Rin to throw a part of Midori at it? Yeah, they make it look so easy, defeating this Nushi. Midori must be damn strong. With a hole in the wall, they can now move forward.

Episode 10
The gang are tired after beating lots of tough bugs in this red mist zone of Island Nine. Reaching the end of the island, they believe what lies ahead in the thick red mist is Island Ten. But this is no ordinary island. It’s floating! Wakaba feels the main trunk is nearby and the only way is to climb up. They think on how to deal with it since the bugs and mist react to their Kemurikusa. Wakaba thinks if he can touch it, he might be able to control it. For now they rest and they drink their last portion of water. Ritsu and Rin talk and thank each other for being sisters. They are the world to each other. But of course. What else is there left? When they begin trekking up, it seems Ritsu and Rina can’t go up. It dawned to Rin that they didn’t drink their water portion and instead made a few more Kemurikusa for her. Rin doesn’t want to leave them alone but they have to go now or all their efforts will be in vain. Wakaba leaves Shirou to protect the sisters. After they leave, it seems there is a reason why Ritsu and Rina stayed back. Once the duo attack the trunk, red bugs will swarm to attack them. So they think they can stop the bugs? Wakaba and Rin arrive at the trunk’s centre. It looks like a giant beanstalk reaching the heavens. Wakaba wants Rin to show her memory leaf in hopes there would be clues to defeat this trunk. Hurry up, Wakaba. Don’t want to make a girl feel embarrassed by touching and doing something strange on her back, do you? When activated, Rin suddenly sees a vision. It is a view of the first person. Hmm… A young girl who is eagerly studying and can’t wait to grow up to be an adult.

Episode 11
Riri loves Kemurikusa and bugs. At least those white ones. Yeah, they’re cute and useful. She lives with Wakaba and is glad he has come home from his research work. We see him talk about his Kemurikusa research but Riri is also a genius seeing she mixes a few different Kemurikusa colours to create a new one. We also see Wakaba using Kemurikusa to make buildings and islands in his giant floating crane. Huh? Because there isn’t enough circulating water, the buildings crumble. Then something about Riri died once but Wakaba saved her. Her parents are dead and she would prefer to live with him than by herself. Riri notices Wakaba is working so hard that he might be neglecting himself. Hence she tries to create a new type of Kemurikusa that can stop Kemurikusa to help out with Wakaba’s work. But it is glowing that ominous red colour… We take a break with Rin returning to reality. She tells Wakaba what happened. Yeah, she believes that Wakaba must be him. Still the same dork. However Wakaba can’t remember a thing. She returns to watching the vision in hopes to find more clues. And what’s this? Looks like that red Kemurikusa has grown out of control and growing into a big menacing root. Riri feels sorry but Wakaba understands she was only trying to help out. All the trick Wakaba try to stop it didn’t work. So he sends Riri away and tries to stop this red mist himself. Several walls come up after Riri is far and safe. She waits for him but after 10 days, what broke through the walls isn’t Wakaba but the red fog. Instead of waiting, Riri needs to do something. She intends to become a wall and uses all that she has learnt from Wakaba to configure the Kemurikusa she has. There is a risk she will become a Kemurikusa and not human so just in case, she decides to split her memories. There is also the danger of the red tree making her vanish. She wrote in the diary that her mission is to save Wakaba and despite the risks, she is going to do it.

Episode 12
Wakaba notices the root targeting Rin while she is still having her vision. So he distracts it with more Kemurikusa power. When Rin is back, what she sees? Wakaba got stabbed by the root! Oh no! But don’t worry. Thanks to a Kemurikusa in his pocket, he still lives. So the duo try to fight their way to the trunk. When Wakaba gets pinned under and ‘dies’, this triggers another Riri flashback. When she was separating the Kemurikusa into several bodies, she noticed her memories are clear. She used this to find Wakaba but to her horror he is dead. Saddened, she doesn’t want this to be known and erases some of the records in the diary. Now that Rin has realized, timely messenger by Ritsu and Rina to give her a branch of Midori for her final fight. They hope she has realized to do the thing she loves. So as not to make it sound like a death sentence, they assure her they are doing well holding back the other red bugs. Rin powers up to fight and reach the red root but can she do so as she is losing limbs at this rate? Cue for her ‘dead’ sisters to pop up and show what they’ve got to weaken the big bad monster and allow Rin (who somehow regenerate all her limbs) to nail the final coffin for this red trunk. Falcon Punch!!! With everything red dissipating, last goodbyes from the ‘dead’ sisters. They hope she realizes what she loves and not let go of it. And yeah, Wakaba lives too. Again, thanks to what’s left of Midori protecting him. First thing Rin does? Hug him! I guess after all this time of berating and distrust, it paid off with something different. Wakaba you lucky guy now. Ritsu and Rina report the red bugs and mist disappearing so they must have won, right? With no water and a long way back to the rest, I guess Rin wants to sit and chill with him. Just don’t leave her alone. But soon they notice a draft and it leads them out of the cave. Oh my! The real world?! Mountains, rocks, trees, the sky and more importantly, water! Water! River! Rin is so happy that she starts crying. And the most important of all, she finally says I love you to Wakaba with a big smile.

Bugged Out, Blow Out & Blow Over: Mist-ing The Point…
Is this supposed to be a romance theme either? Like as though the goal wasn’t to defeat the red mist and red trunk and to find the eternal utopia but for Rin to finally remember who she really loves. Thank goodness it’s not poison. Haha. But I’m still confused. If they all are from the same person (because the sisters hinting they should all stop talking differently now that everything is over), aren’t they all supposed to love Wakaba? Unless Rin is the main body or something. Does this mean everybody except Rin knows about the past and Wakaba? Or they can tell from her bad acting that her body and mouth say different things. And with the final scene revelation that they broke out from some ‘ship’ into the real world, are they saying that this entire setting was just some sort of experiment?! Man, it has got to be one giant ‘ship’. A ship that was good enough to contain the red menace because I surely didn’t see it contaminate the natural greens of the real world. Let’s hope the wild animals won’t eat them the moment they step out. That would add a lot to the cheesiness and weirdness after Rin’s final scene confession. Next sequel, Wakaba and the sisters living like Tarzan and Janes in the jungle! Thankfully that will never see the light of it.

Unfortunately, the intrigue and novelty of the plot seems to wear off very early and it became a drag to watch. It became some sort of horror journey survival as the sisters and the only male in the group seek to move from one island to another. Don’t really understand why they needed to do that because it is not like they had any other goal to do so in the first place and my suspicions is that it is better than staying in their (almost) safe zone and go adventuring in this vast unexplored world. I could be wrong since I was too bored to pay any attention. Oh right, the water source. Even so, how did they end up on Island One in the first place? Did they try to escape from the other direction? Because is Island One the last? Is there Island Zero before that? I’m sure the producers wanted to unravel the mysteries bit by bit as it goes along but with every episode almost having this same feel of getting from one point to another, I was quickly confused and bored. Even if they leave it late to reveal some of the secrets of this world, I was already not really that interested. I wanted it to end. Yeah, it would take a shocking miracle if they really wanted to get my interest back. No such luck.

Even with the penultimate revelation of what happened, it still created a lot more questions on the setting of this world. For instance, why is Wakaba creating islands and buildings? For what purpose? And where are the other human beings? If he is going to make such big cities and with no humans to populate them, what does this achieve? If it was all in some ‘ship’, was the project then abandoned because nobody else came to their aid? Damn, it would have been better if they just entered some portal to a whole new world to live in instead of their decimated waterless world. Wait, on second thought, maybe that isn’t any better either. There is also the case of how the sisters come about as they aren’t born and conceived like how normal humans would (is Riri some sort of magician to materialize them like that?). One day they just woke up and realized they came into existence. Hence, what are their purpose? Are they supposed to continue the lifeline of humanity’s existence? Are they even humans in the first place? Riri’s flashback did shed some light on this by it doesn’t really make sense for her to split herself like that. And how did Wakaba first pop up to the sisters? Sure, it’s in the water tank but how did that even happen? I am guessing that it had something to do with Riri saving him and hence his sudden appearance in present time, that is the future. So did Wakaba get thrown into the future? I mean, it’s not like we could see that old Wakaba was actually dead in the first place, right?

Hence there are lots of things I don’t really understand about the Kemurikusa or how their different colours and shapes give it different abilities or something. They just look like lines made out of thin neon lights and sure, they’re nice to look at when everything in this world is so dark and covered with ominous red fog. Perhaps I could have make the connection if I watched the original Kemurikusa indie series but at this point I’m too bored and lazy. There was even a chart I saw somewhere on how Riri was related (or rather created) to the sisters. But yeah, not really interested at this point. Sorry Wakaba. I don’t share your enthusiasm and curiosity on the different Kemurikusa types.

The characters didn’t help in making the story interesting either. I know that with the small group making their advance and the episodes showcasing how they ‘get along’ but I still feel that it wasn’t enough to make me want to really care about them. Even if I did, it was just hoping to answer some of my questions about them. So basically the group consists of tough girl Rin AKA tsundere, nice elder sister Ritsu AKA cat girl and a bunch of Rina AKA loli and not forgetting Wakaba as the Kemurikusa enthusiast that makes him sound like a retard sometimes. Each of them has their own abilities but nothing that feels exciting. I really don’t understand the logic of the other ‘dead’ sisters to not live with them seeing that they would stand a better chance as a group but I suppose this way is going to make them stronger by being apart. Better than living a peaceful sisterly life together for as long as they can. Their appearances before Wakaba didn’t make any sense. Plot twist? It’s like they want to have us think they are really dead but surprise! Not dead. Yet. So I think it is so that when they pop up finally, you won’t surprise or be angry they throw in a few new characters. The last episode feels like one big ex machina for those dead sisters to pop up. Like as though they’ve been waiting their whole existence for this to happen. If they are this powerful to bring down the red trunk, why didn’t they do it in the first place and wait for their other sisters to suffer? Maybe they can’t deliver the finishing blow? So they’re like waiting for the sisters to be strong enough to go on this journey to defeat the red trunk, huh?

I wonder what the goal of the red tree is. Is it to destroy the world by turning everything its poisonous red mist touches into antagonistic beings that attack those who are not affected? Well, literally painting the town red. Haha! Heck, turning the entire world red. And I thought those Nushi would be some sort of level bosses seeing they are powerful enough. Who made them anyway? I’m sure they were good bugs or robots before the red fog engulfed them. Yeah, a group of characters on a journey to destroy the root cause of this redness while defeating bugs and the more difficult Nushi feels more like a video game concept. Well, the red trunk does give off that feel of a final boss because it’s really big. Really, really huge. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

If there was something more bugging than the story and the characters, it would be the visuals. Entirely animated using CGI, the animation can appear jerky and one kind. If you want to say it makes them look unhuman, this is the reason. Uh huh. The sisters aren’t human not because they drink large amounts of water at one go, fight using Kemurikusa (Rin), eat almost anything and everything (Rina) and control branches and roots of Midori to scout for enemies (Ritsu) but rather because of the poorly animated CGI! Just really plain weird. This anime is made by Yaoyorozu who also brought to you a few other CGI anime series like Tesagure! Bukatsumono and Kemono Friends.

Voice acting feels pretty normal with me only recognizing Mikako Komatsu as Rin. She also doubles as Riri and hence my speculation that the reason why Rin had this ‘poison’ (AKA love) feeling towards Wakaba. Oh, and those Shirou robots with their squeaky beeping sounds, yup, Mikako Komatsu too. Beep, beep, beep! No offence to Kenji Nojima (Eiji in Banana Fish) but him voicing Wakaba does make his character sound so gay. Especially with his tagline “I’m so curious!”. All the loli Rina are voiced by Tomomi Jiena Sumi and this is her debut role and her only role so far. The other casts are Arisa Kiyoto as Ritsu (Misato in Gin No Saji), Yuuna Mimura as Ryou (Riko in Hanebado), Kanna Asanuma as Riku (debut role) and Akira Sekine as Ryoku (Princess in Princess Principal).

The opening theme is of the same name as this series and is sung by Nano. Although this rock piece is rather okay, sometimes hearing it sends shivers down my spine or my hairs stand on ends. Not to say that this song is scary or creepy (or even that bad) but somehow I just don’t like the way the singer sings the song. The deal breaker was the last line “Finding my life in the Kemurikusa”. I don’t know. I just find that intolerable the way he sings that. The ending theme, Indeterminate Universe by Yuuya featuring Kemurikusa feels like it is fit to be a video game song. At times, the song also reminds me of the opening theme from Black Rock Shooter. I don’t know, the singer sounds similar enough although they are entire different.

Overall, what started out with an intriguing premise quickly turned into something dull and tedious. Perhaps I was too impatient in wanting answers quickly instead of letting the flow reveal itself in time. Sure, there are some unanswered questions (or unsatisfying answers depending on your point of view) at the end too but if you were like me, the dragging out of the journey of the Wakaba and the sisters would have zapped your zest a long time ago. And the ending was like we need to get over it so let’s just throw in everything for a good happy ending as reward for our characters who came from a long journey and to our viewers who have stayed with us through thick and thicker mist. Yeah… Just to be fair, there are no feelings of ‘red mist’ or ‘seeing red’ from me. Just some boredom and dissatisfaction. Unfortunately for me, this series will soon be lost in the mists of time…

Old propeller planes like the Zeros and Spitfires are boring compared to their modern counterparts like F-15 and MiG, huh? Lacking the firepower and the exhilarating Mach speed that would make you go faster than the speed of sound, huh? Well, I’ve got news for you. Don’t look down on old single propeller fighter planes too. Because in the world of Kouya Kotobuki No Hikoutai where the enter land is filled with nothing but desert sand and there are air pirates threatening the skies and livelihood of isolated towns, there is literally no one else you could rely on but these magnificent girls riding their magnificent propeller planes to come save the day. Thank your lucky stars for such great piloting skills.

Episode 1
The Kotobuki Flight Corp girls consisting of Kylie, Reona, Emma, Kate and Zara are chilling out in a bar when Adolfo from Yamada from Nazarene Air Force tries to hit on them. He mentions some of his records and achievements but the girls aren’t impressed and instead make a mockery out of his puny achievements. He really would have wanted to have a go had not his friends stop him. Just in time because the alert has been sounded. Pirate bogeys have been spotted and all pilots are to sortie. The captain of the Hagoromo blimp, Saneatsu issues his orders to take down the pirates and protect the cargo. It is very important because their employer, Madame Loulou despite will reward them for every enemy they shoot down, if one of the cargo goes down, that’s it for them. And so we see the Nazarene side being easily taken out without a fight. Time for Kotobuki to strut their stuffs. They stray a little too far and more pirate reinforcements pop up to attack Hagoromo. Although Hagoromo takes some damage, it is still airworthy and the Kotobuki girls manage to return in time to smoke them out. With the remaining pirates fleeing, Reona gives orders to her crew not to chase and return. However Kylie spots a rogue pirate and chases after it. This is a skilled one as they continue to engage in aerial dogfight. A tricky one too with, leading Kylie into the clouds and almost letting her crash into the ground. If not for Kylie’s skill and good luck, she would have crashed hard. Ultimately the enemy deals some minor damage to the plane but when Kylie is within range of defeat, it looks like time is up for the enemy so he flees instead. Kylie is frustrated and insulted. When Kylie returns to base, she is punched by mechanic, Natsuo for doing something reckless again. When Hagoromo lands safely, the Kotobuki girls immediately head off to town to do their own thing instead of receiving the reward.

Episode 2
As the Kotobuki girls drink in town, they hear a commotion outside. Looks like their comrade, Chika is trying to teach a few men who are looking down upon them. Yeah, she beats him up with her crutches. Kylie even joins in when her pancake was accidentally wasted. Once all that is over, Chika seems jealous that she wasn’t invited to their ‘party’. Technically she is hospitalized but is now discharged early. Bratty girl always seem to quarrel with Kylie on the pettiest of things. They have to put it on hold since they get a call from Saneatsu for another mission. As Loulou explains, this time they will escort Councillor Julia. You can instantly tell she has an attitude problem and basically a b*tch. So why choose to fly this crappy service? Because she hates Loulou. So as Saneatsu shows her around Hagoromo, the rest deduce Loulou and Julia must have go a long way for them to hate each other like that. It seems she gets her kicks by making enemies wherever she goes. Then there’s this sick perversion of men always flocking to Loulou but Julia will steal them before they get to her, twist and use them before tossing them away. Talk time is over with bogeys spotted. They thought they are just the usual pirates but their numbers suddenly rise up to 30. Even more surprising is how they are using the expensive Hien type planes and their formation is very controlled. Skilled fighters to say the least but of course our Kotobuki girls are still better. Even during the dogfights, Kylie and Chika can continue to be buttheads with each other and still shoot down the enemies and cover for each other despite not really liking this order Reona put them up to (they have to or she’ll ground them the next time). They are so in unison. Are they friends? Enemies? Frenemies? In the end, Julia arrives safely and Loulou hopes she would never fly with them again. But what if Julia flash the cash? Loulou is not impressed as Julia waves a load of lovely goodbyes to her. The Kotobuki girls hang out and nobody is paying attention to bratty Chika bragging. For the eleventh time…

Episode 3
Upon reaching the town of Rahama, they find it partially destroyed. Talking to the mayor, it seems a small group of salesmen from Elite Industries flew in. They want to exchange their old Raiden plane for this (fake) painting. They rejected of course and when they leave, they attacked the town as sourpuss and promised to return with their full force. So is it worth to give up Raiden which is the pride of Rahama just to save the town? The mayor thinks so because Loulou’s bill is too much for his budget. But his vice thinks they should fight. Too bad in the name of democracy, the mayor decides to hold a discussion with everyone to come to a solution. As expected, the town is split. Everybody’s shouting and disagreeing. Until Emma steps in to give them a piece of her mind. If they allow this trade, they will be back to demand more. Plus, if everyone agrees to help out, Loulou might cut him a deal. With everyone reminiscing the old days of protecting each other, they want to fight back and thus the mayor finally decides to go with that. With Elite Industries returning with a strong 40 plane fleet, they take Rahama by surprise by coming from the other direction. This is the opposite of where Kotobuki is. Hence the local vigilantes suit up and take flight. But Elite Industries won’t have it easy as they display Raiden in the middle of town (they can’t damage it) and they have ground artillery support. The locals hold them enough for Kotobuki to return for a real challenging dogfight. When Emma is shot but before being blown out of the sky, here comes the mayor flying the Raiden to save her. A dilemma for Elite Industries because they cannot shoot it down. Too bad Raiden runs out of bullets so the boss hijacks it and kicks the mayor out! That easy?! With mission accomplished, Elite Industries retreat. Kotobuki is forced to give up. Although this is a failed mission, the vice believes this is a wakeup call for Rahama to believe they can protect their town like they used to. Emma apologizes to the mayor and thanks him. But it’s not over for Loulou yet. Because as per their contract, they are to protect Raiden. Yup, they’re going to get it back.

Episode 4
As Kotobuki reach the next town, they receive a warning shot from an old guy. However it wasn’t the Elite Industries but those darn air pirates. It gets personal when Kylie realizes the pancakes are also the casualties. It’s getting personal. They discuss about getting into Elite Industries’ base which is located in the natural canyons. When they show him a painting, he claims it is drawn by the boss’ daughter. Since Elite Industries just ordered a bunch of dance girls to their base, this is a great chance for Zara to disguise as one of them and infiltrate. Yeah, she’s hypnotizing the men with her dance moves. She challenges them to drinking and none can even hold their beer. Perfect time for her to sneak around. She finds Raiden in chains and the boss’ daughter holds the key. So she visits her and sees her trying her hand at drawing. Zara gives some motivational advice and Zara wants her to be her model. Meanwhile the other Kotobuki girls take this chance to ambush the base as distraction and in hopes Zara will get Raiden in 10 minutes. Or else they will have to find and rescue Zara and abandon Raiden. I wonder how they could fly through those tight canyons at night!!! It’s like they know the place like the back of their hand or are they on auto pilot mode?! With Kotobuki beginning their attack, Elite Industries is taken by surprise as they scramble to sortie but many of their planes and equipment have been grounded by the sneak attack. With some managing to take flight, however there seems to be a rebellion from within the company. The HR chief along with the sales division have teamed up to attack the boss. Kotobuki is confused but it buys more time for them. Meanwhile some men try to steal the daughter’s key but Zara easily beats them. The daughter gives Zara the key in hopes she could save her father. Zara takes Raiden to the skies as she chases after the HR chief. He pulls a sneaky move on her by escaping via a hidden small hole and this forces Zara to pull up hard. Luckily she is still in one piece as she rendezvous with her pals. Since they’ve got Raiden, they’re out of here. In the aftermath, the boss and his loyal men have turned over a new leaf and will make an honest living. His daughter is pleased when Zara keeps a painting of hers.

Episode 5
The usual Kylie and Chika bickering almost had them being run over a car. Luckily this driver is quick. Such an eccentric joker too. Is he a street magician? Kotobuki is called by Julia for a mission. In a few days, she will have to attend a meeting she hates. She has to meet with Isao who is the head of View Trading because she can’t stand the way he tries to preach his ideals to become famous. I guess there’s nothing wrong about justice, safety, unification, mutual benefits, etc. Is it because Julia can’t be a sneaky shady b*tch now that Isao is turning those in power to his side? Because of that, there would be air pirates targeting the meeting. Julia could ask the local Areshima services for protection but she doesn’t want to be in their debt and would rather be in Kotobuki’s. By now, we should know that eccentric street magician is Isao and man he loves playing pranks. Either you love him or find him annoying. With Loulou not around, looks like Kotobuki is split in whether to accept the job but Reona is adamant to take on the job. This has the rest wonder her strange act ever since Isao came into the picture. Is it love? Is it some debt repayment? The day Julia and Isao have their meeting (I thought it sounded more like a comedy talk show!), air pirates attack. It looks like there’s a handful of them so Kotobuki should be enough to engage. The couple of guys who are remnants of Nazarene just get to patrol the other peaceful end. Until it turns out it was a diversion and the enemy horde is heading from this direction. I figure Nazarene has to hold them until Kotobuki arrives. Just in time because they run out of bullets. Time for the guys to head home in shame while the girls do their usual kickass. Their aim is to take out a couple of heavy bombers. During the dogfight, Reona becomes ruthless, something that Zara points out to the rest that this is her true nature. But so ruthless that she almost fell for a trap and Kate had to cover for her. Kylie lashes out at Reona if she wants to get ahead of herself, do so by all means but don’t let others take your fall. With the enemies closing in, Julia will not evacuate as not to be deemed a coward. Isao? He is going to fly! Yup, he was once known as the Soaring Magician. And now only Reona remembers him?! That guy who shot down a dozen enemies in some war?! The guy who saved her from being shot down?! I know she hasn’t seen him in 8 years but she can’t even remember him until he flies? As usual, Isao shows off his skills and even takes down the last bomber that crashes right at the doorstep of the hotel of the meeting. The tea must be still warm and nice for Julia.

Episode 6
Reona feels guilty for acting out of line and wants to be indebted but is told to believe in her squad and let them help out whenever they can with no strings attached. Hence Chika asking to borrow money! That was really a fast one! Kylie went to see Julia to get their payment. On her way back, she spots that rogue air pirate and chases after it. It seems the rogue pirate is toying with her as they fly through the skies and canyons. The rogue pirate is much better than her and you bet Kylie is mad and trying to get the better of her. In the end, Kylie is shot down. End of chase. Thankfully, only her engine is blown out. Her plane is still intact as well as its fuel tank. Phew. Man, how did she even landed so perfectly? She recognizes this place as Ofukouyama, a small slab of flat rock in the middle of nowhere that rookie pilots used to practice short landings but always ended with disaster. Hence the wreckage all around. Meanwhile the other girls are worried that Kylie might have run off with the money but they believe she won’t because she’s not into all that. Okay. Time to mount a search. As Kylie scavenges the wreckage to find parts, we see her flashback. She met an old man name Sab and is interested in him because she thinks she come from outside and knows a lot. She often hangs out in his place and is not scared of him despite his fugitive status. Better than her own home where they always fight for food. She soon learns he came from Yufang. People there came here via a hole to build planes and factories but one day they left. Did Sab get left behind? He didn’t say. Since she continues to be amazed by his stuffs and wants to know more, Sab takes her flying in his plane. Awesome view for a kid flying the first time. One day she overheard a guy wanting Sab to come back but he rejects the deal. Soon Sab shuts her out and the next time she returns, his hut is burnt and she felt disappointed he left without her. Kylie has fixed her plane and prepares to take off. Remembering the teachings of Sab, she pulls it off. Yup, you don’t fly a plane. It flies itself. You just follow its lead. Not sure if Sab died but Kylie made a tombstone for him and promised to go see the world. Just in time for Kylie to rendezvous with her comrades. Feels good to be home.

Episode 7
Kylie and Kate are having a mock dogfight as Natsuo is testing the octane level of the cheap fuel they bought. Kylie thought for once she beat Kate but soon realized it’s because Kate was being held back by the cheaper fuel. This cheap fuel proves a drop in performance and they should avoid using this fuel altogether. The irony is that Standon Oil Company as one of the biggest companies out there is supplying it. Kate goes to see her brother, Allen in hospital. He is interested in finding out the disappearance of Yufang but was attacked during one of his flights and still recuperating. The Nazarene guys stop at Nanko to refuel. They notice a plane from Standon here. Talking to the bartender, it seems they are here to make a deal to buy out their oil. However there is no deal struck yet since Nanko rather have quality over quantity and know these corporate guys will make them work to the bone for every last drop. Soon after, the oil fields suddenly explode and the entire town is on fire. Hence the Nazarene guys fly over to the next town for reinforcements. Good thing Kotobuki girls are there. Saving the town is more important than evacuating its people. If they lose their access to Nanko, they’ll be forced to deal with Standon. Despite their inferior quality, they will soon monopolize their oil and jack up prices. Also, there is no other place closer to refuel as Nanko. Losing this means they will be block off and grounded indefinitely. Loulou agrees to help put out the fire but Nanko will have to pay one year’s worth of gas at reduced price. And how are they going to stop the fire? Kate’s answer: Fight fire with fire: Bomb it! To Kylie’s dismay, she will be in the driver’s seat of the bombing plane with Kate guiding her since her plane was damaged the last time. As expected, Standon’s planes come to ‘greet’ time. However they are flying Hayate types that have better power and turning speed. Also, their body armour is thicker. Kotobuki meeting their match since these pilots are really pros and don’t give them space to fight back. Our speculations that emotionless Kate might be a robot as she guides Kylie to move directly while she mans the gunner. When it’s time to bomb, she has to light the fuse manually and then calculate to release the bomb accurately! It does!!! The explosion wipes out the fire and at the same time the enemy retreats. A mission accomplished although Chika is frustrated she couldn’t shoot down any bogeys.

Episode 8
Isao has become the mayor of Ikesuka, he formed the Brotherhood of Freedom Union and to celebrate that he bought a rare arowana fish for public display. Hence the Kotobuki girls are to transport it there. Loulou didn’t want to take this job but since he recommended them and the press asked if they were up to the task, certainly she can’t say no. With Saneatsu having stomach discomfort, Loulou takes command of the bridge. As expected, multiple bogeys in sight. As Kotobuki goes to intercept their unusually large numbers, to their surprise this is only a decoy. Because a few more air pirates crept up on Hagoromo by flying very close to the ground. Because Kotobuki took too long to deal with the decoy, the others have boarded and took over Hagoromo. They order the Kotobuki girls to go away in which Reona orders her girls to do so. Then the pirate leader makes an announcement. In addition to the fish, they demand Isao’s resignation and the disbandment of the Brotherhood. Otherwise they will blow up Hagoromo. Kotobuki isn’t giving up of course. After they receive word from Saneatsu about the situation on board, Emma flies up to Hagoromo’s radar blind spot so that Reona and Kylie can board it.

First they have to go find Johnny the bartender and Ririko his barmaid. Although this is where most of the crew are being held captive, Reona hints to Ririko to make a scene. With Reona crashing in, she hints to Johnny and he is forced to use his gunslinger prowess to dispatch the pirates! You mean this wuss is a sharpshooter?! Because we see him ‘dance’ as he guns down all the baddies?! OMFG!!! So cringe! So cool! Ironically all the pirates are dumb. They have machine guns but cannot even shoot straight? The other crew just throw whatever they got and it counts! Isao has received word of Hagoromo and takes his own action. When Loulou retakes the bridge, a small struggle ensues. Stray bullets damage the controls. With some of the pirates escaping, Kotobuki wonders why they aren’t fighting back. Well, Isao’s full air force is coming their way. Loulou contacts them but no response. This could only mean they are here to take down Hagoromo. Can’t have it explode over Ikesuka, right? Hence Loulou wants Reona to shoot down Hagoromo. No, not destroy it. Take out enough helium so it could safely crash land. Of course Reona the pro does it perfectly and Isao’s air force don’t have to cause any tragedy. In the aftermath as the fish gets displayed, the girls learn Johnny was once a good mercenary but left this trade when he met his wife. However because he continued his gun collection, she resented this and left. No wonder this wuss is still praying for her to come back. Not a chance… Loulou hands Isao the bill and hopes never to take another job from him.

Episode 9
Kylie’s unhappy. She has to hold the fort while the rest of her Kotobuki girls are away on a mission. Yeah, this sucks. It seems Kotobuki are to be guards for some retirement ceremony. Something about the new licence system and union registration red tape made it unbearable for them to go on even if they are just flight postal workers. Meanwhile Julia is being heckled by the men in the council for speaking the truth. Something about giving up their own culture and system to adopt another city’s system. But you can’t beat all those sexist men, right? They kick her out of the hall as she notes being an air pirate will definitely be better than working for Isao. Her underlings know it is not safe for her here anymore and suggest she flees before they come arrest her. Kylie is summoned by Loulou for a job. It is giving Allen a scenic flight around Rahama. She also tells her she has been invited to work under a new company in Areshima. In fact the offer comes for any one of the Kotobuki girls. They’ll double their pay and get whatever aircraft they want since they are teaming up with View Trading. Kylie interprets this as she doesn’t want them anymore but Loulou puts it this way: She has no right to tell them to stay. Kylie takes Allen on a scenic flight with her mind preoccupied with this. But Allen talks about the portal to Yufang. He could have seen it had he not been shot down. He believes the portal didn’t close forever but on and off on a smaller scale. At the same time, the ex-Elite Industries HR chief and his men are rummaging through Allen’s room to find some info. Allen gives Kylie directions until they reach a certain point where they see strange circles in the sky. That’s the portal? However suddenly they are attacked by bogeys. I don’t know how Allen fitted his machine gun in this aircraft but at least they have a fighting chance. I know it’s just fantasy he gets to shoot down the enemies while they all miss but I’ll believe it because he says his aim gets better after drinking! Just when they think they’ve gunned down all the enemies, more of them pop up! Can Kylie outrun them in this canyon chase? Soon reality catches up as they are hit and Kylie crash lands. Oh, they also pretend to be dead to stay alive and let the enemies fly away. If not for Chika, they wouldn’t be rescued. With Kotobuki returning, Loulou tells the rest what she told Kylie. But Kylie instantly says she will always stay with Kotobuki as she doesn’t want to take orders from anyone else but Reona. She shocks everyone by optimistically saying another portal might open over Rahama.

Episode 10
Allen tells he gang about the portal. There are many sizes and opened up here and there many times. It was just coincidence the one that appeared 70 years ago connected them to Yufang. The holes may also be the culprit that absorbed the seas of this world. Then Julia barges in, complaining how she is no more a councillor as all the men voted to kick her out and framed her with fake allegations. While the rest think Isao is a pretty nice guy, Julia then reveals this whole thing is just a setup so Isao can become a dictator of the world. As Rahama has not decided to join the Brotherhood, she doubts he will let it go scot free. Because as per Allen’s calculation, looks like another hole has opened up over Rahama. This is why Isao is targeting this place. They take in a damaged fighter plane. Woah. Who this sexy dolly babe? Camilla from Shouto Vigilante has been shot down despite being allies of Isao. They were accused of plotting something and bombed out. Even though Camilla wanted to surrender, they continued bombing so she escaped. The town of Rahama is now in a discussion over the portal over their town. They are discussing whether to join the Brotherhood or not. Isao knows about this hole because his men stole Allen’s notes from the hospital. Then here comes the HR chief who is now representing the Brotherhood. He is giving Rahama a chance to join them and hand over Julia the fugitive or risk being bombed in 24 hours. However it soon dawned to them that their plan is to evacuate Rahama so that Isao can monopolize the entire portal himself. Rahama’s mayor had balls for the first time to reject all that and with the crowd chanting for them to leave, looks like it is war.

Hence Kotobuki and their allies now take to the skies to defend Rahama from the oncoming onslaught of huge bomber planes. The good news is that the bomber planes are huge so you can’t miss them. The bad news is, it’s going to take a while to shoot through their thick armour. Kotobuki shoots down a couple of bomber planes but they were too late for the last one as it unloads over Rahama. Uhm, did it not see the portal was in its path and hence everything just went through the hole?! The explosion causes some sort of huge temporary suction before the portal closes for good. With the hole gone, the enemies retreat. As Kylie is about to land, she spots this rogue pilot. Grrr! Time to chase! Eventually both run out of fuel and land safely. Next to each other! Time to get down for a fist fight! Kylie is no match for the verbal bout with Naomi as she accuses this little girl for always getting in her way. I think it’s fun to see these ladies trade some verbal barb wires but Naomi is the one who always have the upper hand. Yeah, she’s even better than you not only in flying but sarcasm too. Naomi claims she is neither friend nor foe and does what she wants. This time she just sided with Julia as she made more sense than Isao. Naomi then accuses Kylie of copying her plane’s mark that resembles the mark of her mentor’s. That is when Kylie is shocked. Does she know Sab? Oh yeah. Now the girls are like good friends talking about that old bastard. Naomi relates how she was his student training under him but he eventually abandoned her. Since Kylie was abandoned too, now they’re the abandoned sisters! Her goal is to find him and shoot him down with the techniques she stole from him. As for why Naomi flies, because it feels good being up there.

Episode 11
Isao uses his charms (and magic tricks) to convince the crowd that their Brotherhood is the only one that could bring true freedom to this world. Hence anybody else who tries to keep Yufang to themselves are criminals. Like Rahama and Porokka. So to say they aren’t? Rahama and Porokka combine their forces to lead an attack against Ikesuka. Kylie is spaced out not because the briefing was a really long one. She just couldn’t understand what they’re fighting for. Especially their mission to attack Ikesuka. Are wars fought on a whim like this? Is this what Kotobuki stands for? Well, she’s got a point. But no time to think all that because Isao has sent in hundreds of planes to fight them. Man, this is going to be one messy dogfight. I can’t tell who is who shooting each other down. But I’ll bet that the Kotobuki girls will be the ones staying up. Kotobuki is supposed to bomb the factory that makes the firepower for Ikesuka. However it is abandoned and empty. Is this a trap? Speaking of which, yes. 200 enemy planes in sight! At this point, Loulou makes the order to retreat and will not turn this into a gamble to lose any more of their side. They have underestimate Isao. However the Porokka side will not retreat and push on. Unfortunately their blimp gets shot down under heavy fire. And then Isao comes into the fray himself. Because of his more aerodynamic and specially designed plane, he climbs and turns faster and shoots down all his enemies at ease! Reona tries to talk to him to get his side to pull back so they can retreat. He lies so as to get her guard down and then shoots her down. Mad Kylie tries to take on him but Isao recognizes her mark that belongs to Sab. He explains something about Sab being abandoned by Yufang who call themselves the Japanese army. And when that stubborn old goat tried to fleet, Isao shot him down too! Not too sure where he is rotting in desert. This makes Kylie extremely mad and is going to teach this jerk a lesson. Chika is shot down and Hagoromo is about to take heavy damage too. But thank goodness for Elite Industries backing them up. Isao eventually shoots down Kylie but as he brags, he lets his guard down and gets shot by Kate. She confirms that it is this jerk who shot down Allen. In the aftermath when everyone is retrieved back to the blimp, Allen shows them that another hole will appear. This time right over Ikesuka.

Episode 12
Naomi leads her squadron to take on the Ikesuka fighters who have the air pirates on their side. Yeah, money does buy everything in this world. With the battle raging on, Kotobuki is to sneak in and attack Isao’s tower. Along the way, Zara asks Reona if she would like to run away and leave all of this behind. She can do whatever she wants. That will have to wait when the enemies have spotted them. Time for the most exhilarating dogfight action scenes through the narrow streets of Ikesuka’s infrastructures! When Kate gets shot down, it is by a plane with jet engine and using missiles! Just to show how good our girls are, they manage to dodge its radar missiles. Even better, Kylie and Chika trick it to fire multiple missiles at them. Then they dodge for the missiles to hit the huge statue structure to come crashing onto the jet plane. I guess with Chika being taken out because Isao is now itching to get into the fray, as the price to pay seems worth it. Emma gets taken down after her fill of shooting down many enemies. Isao’s butler uses a dirty trick to have the crane crash into Zara’s plane. Don’t worry. She still lives. In return, Reona sacrifices herself to take down the butler. All that is left is an angry Kylie trying to take down Isao. When the portal has fully materialized, that is when the signal is given to Hagoromo. It blasts off into the sky carrying loads of explosives to seal off the hole for good. So Saneatsu is going to do a suicide mission?! Desperate Isao tries to shoot down Hagoromo and even though he took down Kylie before that, Kylie like as though saw the spirit of Sab and remembers his words to let the plane fly itself. I guess it’s a cue so that Kylie’s plane could amazingly land a few more shots on Isao. Hagoromo explodes upon contact with the portal. Saneatsu not on a suicide mission after all. He escaped in his mini plane. Good for him now that he has a chance to confess to Loulou. Isao now being a desperate greedy megalomaniac hell bent on keeping the portal all to himself, gets sucked in as the portal closes. The air pirates retreat and all our heroes fly home, dreaming all the things they want to do. Wait a minute. Naomi seriously considering dating Adolfo?! Amazingly, Kylie’s plane still manages to fly home. I guess her plane really does fly by itself. Reona explains to the rest that Kotobuki comes from the Yufang word of good fortune. I guess it really served them well till the end.

With Flying Colours!
Is this the official retirement of the Kotobuki girls?! But I’m sure like Kylie, she’ll continue to do what she loves doing and even with Kotobuki or not, she’ll continue flying. The final episode to close to portal to Yufang felt more like a revenge plot because I am sure the portal will open up somewhere. It is probably to teach Isao a lesson and open up the eyes of all those who blindly follow him. Who knows if Isao will survive through the portal but I guess the important thing is that this world is now freed of his madness. Perhaps Yufang could have brought more and better technology and equipment to this world. But I figure that each world should retain their own culture and even if this one seems primitive, so be it as long as everyone here is free and happy.

Now, the very interesting aspect that I believe what makes this series stands out apart from other animes this season is the fact of its cool and exciting flight scenes. Whether it is just joyride or in the midst of some hot dogfight, the first person views of the flights are very thrilling. Even a casual viewer like me having no sort of interest in aviation have been charmed by the awesome and breath-taking first person flight views right from the start. I was so immersed in watching them that thinking back about it, it was as though I was in some sort of flight simulation! The visuals and views are done in a perfect manner that it really gives the viewers a great experience of what it is like to be in the cockpit of a plane.

Hence the dogfights are pretty much as exciting to watch too. Your staple fix for every episode guaranteed. Although it can be sometimes a bit farfetched that our Kotobuki girls are so skilled that they don’t usually get shot down. Maybe once in a blue moon. But other than that, they are so perfect in their shooting and flying skills that they could be the world’s greatest pilots. No wonder they are called the Magnificent Kotobuki. They live up to their name. Oh heck, I think that title is an understatement to their awesome talents. Sure, all of them got shot down in the final battle but after notching up their victory ratio to over a billion, it was probably time to bow out. It was worth it. A high score that no one can tops for a long time. Hey, can’t last forever being undefeated. The other unbelievable thing is how there are no casualties or deaths from the dogfights. Once a plane gets shot, you see smoke trails from its engine and the plane crash lands. Yeah, planes don’t explode in mid-air. They really avoided shooting the gas tank, huh? I rarely see people eject out so I’m assuming they went down with the plane. Even though the desert wasteland is vast, I don’t see wreckage of downed planes. Even the final big battle with so many planes shot down, where are those wreckages? Is it too small to see from up there?

The final battle at Ikesuka was exhilarating as well as it was exciting. But because Ikesuka looks like a typical modern urbanized city from our world, it felt so different than the rest of the other towns that we see that looked like old ranches from the wild west. So I wonder if Isao somehow managed to steal some ideas to create this big metropolis. I’m sure it wasn’t built in a day or night. However during the final battle, it felt so devoid of people. Like as though it is a giant ghost town. Such a shame with such beautiful skyscrapers and even roads, it really feels abandoned. Perhaps he has evacuated everyone. Or maybe this is one big giant personal playground Isao built for his dream world.

While there is nothing much from the overall story, I believe there is a lot more potential to be fleshed out. We mostly see the Kotobuki girls taking on job requests of certain towns and while they don’t constitute much, it does contribute a bit to the overall story and bigger picture. What could be fleshed out better is the Yufang side and it is confirmed that this world is another parallel world that exists aside from the real Earth. And since Yufang are actually the Japanese military, this feels like a plot rip-off from Gate. Instead of a single fixed portal, many random portals pop up here and there from time to time. It doesn’t help that these portals are not clearly explained except that they are gateways to Yufang’s world. Like as though they are pulled out from the air for plot convenience. Literally. But then again, more details could be clarified if this had another season.

The Kotobuki girls feel a bit shallow. Each of them has their own backgrounds and past but some are just merely touching the surface. I wish there were more meat to show the girls bond together but with the limited number of episodes, this would have replaced the cool aerial scenes and that is a definite no-no. Because of this trade off, the character development suffers. However you can still feel the closeness and bonds of the Kotobuki girls because of the amazing banter and dynamism in their conversations. Some of them are pretty witty and sarcastic especially Chika and Kylie who often don’t get along with each other and even when they do, still have time to throw a few banters at each other. Kylie gets the big bulk of the focus as we get to know her as a simple girl who just loves to fly. Her relationship with Sab makes it more intriguing and it’s like she continues to fly in hopes of looking for him one day.

Even in this world, there is deception. I thought Julia was going to be the antagonist and Isao some sort of hero but it turns out to be the other way round. Yeah, they had me fooled. Hence a valuable lesson to learn, never judge a book by its cover. Julia may look angry and sound a lot like a b*tch but that is only because of all the other men trying to bring her down and put her in place to toe the line. Understandably anyone could get this mad. Her relationship with Loulou also leaves much to be desired. It’s like a love-hate relationship between them and Loulou always keeps her cool and professionalism at all times. It is hard to see Isao as the baddie because he is always laughing and joking at all times. Even during hard times he can still make comeback lines! Not sure if this guy is the Hitler of this world because since Julia paints him in a bad light so I guess she must be right? Uh huh. Remember, don’t be fooled by appearances. If they really want to take on him, they have to be way more prepared than they are now as Isao still walk the talk and remains true to his legendary status.

Johnny. This minor character is really amazing and amusing. Better than the Hagoromo bridge crew whose names are I think puns of ABCs. His gunslinger skills are really so cool and had he been a pilot, his skills would have been even more extraordinary. This series’ mascot is a dodo bird who is supposedly the captain of Hagoromo too. I don’t see its significance except being a minor comic relief like sending messages to the Kotobuki girls. And laughing at Saneatsu’s forlorn picture of Loulou he keeps in his room.

On a trivial note, sometimes I feel that this series is more of a feminist series. Given that the politically correct era we now live in, I can’t help think about this even though I believe it is just coincidence and me overthinking. All the women here are capable, independent, strong and reliable. Even Ririko kicks ass. I have nothing against it but many of the men here are just weak and lame ass. Like the Nazarene guys are just losers. Especially that Adolfo dude who just talks big. Even when he tries to help, he’s just like useless. And he is even trying to impress and hit on Naomi? Yeah, that kind of strong girl doesn’t need this wuss. Oh wait. She did. Maybe he has some merit after all. Johnny is so gay, the mayor of Rahama is a wuss, Saneatsu is a wuss (I suppose he is doing it all out for his love for Loulou), the boss of Elite Industries is a conman and Isao is a bad guy. More than often you see females piloting on the good side, that is the side siding with Kotobuki like Camilla and Naomi. Sure, there are other guys fighting on their side too but they are so insignificant that they don’t matter. And here we assume all the faceless piloting bad guys flying on Isao’s side are males. I hope I’m just overthinking…

Like the few animes in the same season, this series is animated via CGI. However I am unsure as if to label the entire series as being done by CGI. Although the main characters like the Kotobuki girls are fully rendered in CGI (you know, you can see that one kind animation), there are some characters like the bridge crew of Hagoromo that I cannot determined if they are CGI material or not. It looks like they are your typical 2D animation but I just can’t say thanks to the lack of screen time. Overall if the CGI feels weird, at least it is not that bad. Luckily the environments and background sceneries are nice to look at despite it is mainly the desert wasteland. I guess I am really enthralled with the first person view flight experience as the animation here is seamless for a really good wholesome experience. I’m not an aviation enthusiast but I can see that they put in some details for the planes. Generally speaking, they look nice. This series is jointly animated by WAO World (Animegataris) and Gemba (Berserk – the new one).

Oddly when I first glimpsed the Kotobuki girls, I thought they reminded me of the same bunch of girls in Akanesasu Shoujo. But that is merely because Kylie has this strange resemblance to Asuka (and replace chikuwa with pancakes), Kate having this uncanny resemblance to Mia and perhaps Emma and Nana do look a bit similar. And Reona had the same seriousness tone as Yuu. It made me wonder if those Akanesasu Shoujo girls did the right frequency, would they have ended up in this strange Fragment? Well, frankly speaking, we did see our heroes and heroines fly off into the sunset. Geddit? Sunset? The twilight? Oh, never mind…

Voice acting feels fine with me only recognizing Shizuka Itou as Naomi and Keiji Fujiwara as Saneatsu. Sayumi Suzushiro as Kylie sounds so lively and amazing that it is hard to think of her as the one who voiced Oono in High Score Girl. The latter felt like it was really a waste of her talents. The other casts are Asami Seto as Reona (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Hibiku Yamamura as Zara (Sara in Island), Sayaka Nakaya as Kate (Orine in AKB0048), Eri Yukimura as Emma (debut role), Miyu Tomita as Chika (Aoi in Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou No Holmes), Akiko Yajima as Loulou (Kohaku in Inu Yasha), Ayaka Shimizu as Julia (Masaki in Sasameki Koto), Katsuyuki Onishi as Isao (Oga in Beelzebub), Kazutomi Yamamoto as Allen (Yumoto in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu), Youji Ueda as Johnny (Kisaragi in Basilisk), Nao Touyama as Ririko (Chitoge in Nisekoi), Mai Fuchigami as Camilla (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) and Rumi Ookubo as Natsuo (Aguri in Gamers).

The opening theme is Soranone by ZAQ. Nothing exciting that attracts my attention. It just sounds lively and okay, trying to breathe some sort of life into the series but I got my kicks from somewhere else during the episodes. The ending theme is Tsubasa Wo Motsumonotachi by the quintet of the Kotobuki Flight Corps. A slower and calmer pacing than the opener and although still not that appealing, it still is a good song if you’re just going on a joyride flight. There are a few fanfare and marching-like military BGMs here. If you heard Girls Und Panzer, you can have an idea what they sound like (heck, they both had the same director). Such BGMs add more thrill and excitement to the dogfights.

Overall, despite the less than stellar storyline and characters, the amazing dogfights and aerial views are the ones that blast all those minus points away. Not to say it is perfect but this is easily one of the best and favourite animes of the season. At least by comparison, still way much better than that other flight anime in the same season, Girly Air Force. To say that old is gold isn’t exactly accurate. It is all in the execution and this series did it right from the start. Truly the top flight. To quote a saying, the sky is the limit to some but to others who love aviation, the sky is their home. And truly this is where the Kotobuki Flight Corps feel at home with. Thank you for letting us fly with you and have a pleasant flight.

Murder Princess

June 28, 2019

Remember my case with Melty Lancer a short while ago? Yup. It’s the same for Murder Princess. Although this series isn’t that bad as there are still subs around the internet, I guess the panic button was pushed and so here I am. After all, alphabetically Murder Princess comes after Melty Lancer in the list of anime titles, right? Uh huh. I must have missed all the other titles that fall in between them and didn’t find them attractive. Anyway the title sounds as suspicious and intriguing because I thought it would be some crazy princess who goes around killing people using her royalty status or at least she was labelled as one when some royal family member framed her by killing the rest of the royal family and hence she has to fight her way back to reclaim her throne and innocence. I am both wrong in that instance. Instead, princess and bounty hunter switch bodies. The fight to fend off rebels from their country begins. And oh, don’t forget that royal conspiracy…

Episode 1
Alita Castilia Arago Forland meets up with her father, the king in the throne room. It seems the palace is under sieged by rebels. The king is gravely injured and he wants Alita to escape through the secret passageway into the forest. As long as their bloodline doesn’t die out, their family will continue to live on. Thank goodness he said all that before he kicked the bucket. To fool the enemies, Alita’s maid, Milano Entrasia substitutes as her as she makes her getaway. The rebels crash in. A bunch of lolis? Anna and Yuna? Make that mecha lolis. Because of their android features, it is believed that a traitor has sold the nation’s secrets and true enough it is Dr Akamashi behind this coup detat. They are given a chance to live if they surrender Alita but fighting to the death is their answer. As Alita runs through the forest, a monster kills her escorts. Run! She bumps into Falis and in her fear, accidentally fall off the cliff together. In that instance, they switch bodies. Luckily they are caught by Falis’ underlings, Dominikov and Pete Armstrong. Falis is shocked to see her own body before her and herself in the princess’ body. No time to rest and think yet as the monster is here. So Falis has Alita throw her sword to her as she cuts it down like hot knife through butter. It is explained that when both are facing death at the same time, their souls may intertwine. Alita then apologizes for bringing trouble to them and then begs for them to help save her country. Falis refuses. They are bounty hunters who do jobs for money. Alita offers anything as reward but what about collateral? She will use her own body for that. So that’s it? Enough for Falis and co to ride back to the palace and start saving the kingdom. Meanwhile, everyone is dead except the king’s aide, Jodo and Milano. Just in time for Falis and co to barge in. Akamashi’s monsters attack but Falis slices them all down. Then she dukes it out with bratty Anna and somehow manages to disable her body. Then she throws Akamashi sitting off her rightful throne and claims her right to it. So cool!

Episode 2
Yuna might be meek but when she panics, she releases a lot of weird weapons. This distraction allows the loli rebels to escape. Dominikov is suspicious since those weapons are from the old world. Alita is sad since Milano is dead. Next morning, still saddened over her death, she decides to cast away her own identity and continue to live as Milano. Then she goes to wake up Falis to get ready for the coronation ceremony. No matter how much she points to the maid as the princess, I guess the rest are playing dumb that Falis is the princess. Time to learn princess etiquette. It isn’t going to be easy seeing Falis is such a crude woman… Later Milano explains that their country’s law that a king must be crowned within a week (can’t they change this stupid law?!) and the only heirs are Alita or her brother Kaito. However he is away in another kingdom for military service and cannot be contacted. Milano hopes Falis will take the throne till he comes back. After all, the pact still hasn’t end yet as the rebels haven’t given up. In exchange for doing this, Falis will gain everything she has lost. I don’t know how Anna got the plans for the coronation procession but she did and they will as expected attack and kidnap Alita then. Falis is coronate as king (from now on, I’ll refer to her as Alita for easier reference). Jodo wonders if this is okay and Milano believes this is the only way. That night when she was running away in the forest, she already lost her title and her identity. She has given everything to Falis in exchange to save this country. Hence right now she is only her maid. Alita accepts her role but still acts a bit crude, confusing the crowd. A parade is held and Alita finds this country to be quite nice thanks to all its friendly people. As expected, the Akamashi unleashes his giant Frankenstein to attack. Time for Alita to go into action. She slices and dices with ease so Yuna shoots some booster into the monster. It’s like Alita herself has her own booster as she powers up into a merciless killing machine. By the time Dominikov confronts the rebels, they escape again. Even when the monster is down, Alita continues to kill it. Then when a kid is close by, Alita tries to strike her but Milano protects her, willing to be cut down. In that instant, Alita returns to her senses and although has no recollections of what she was doing, regrets what she was about to do. Milano calms her down by hugging her. In the aftermath, Alita’s actions have earned the people’s trust but Alita knows that the stronger one is Milano.

Episode 3
Milano tells Alita about Kaito. A very good swordsman but left on an expedition for a peace negotiation in a neighbouring country. Hey, that country is just next door. It’s not like it’s half a continent away?! Milano continues to sing praises of his kindness and loyalty but then the thought of passing the throne back to him, what would become of Alita? When Alita accidentally breaks a doll, they start quarrelling. WTF Milano blaming her she doesn’t understand her feelings?! Of course she don’t! How long did you guys met?! Thanks to the battered army, just in time for Alita to head out and lose some steam and kill some goblins making ruckus in some valley. She leaves with Dominikov while Pete stays back to accompany Milano. Jodo tells Milano not to blame Alita. The doll was given by the original Milano to the original princess Alita and though he is glad she still treasures it, the new Alita doesn’t share those same feelings. While praying in the church, those loli rebels manage to sneak a monster inside and kidnap her?! When Pete comes to rescue, one punch was enough to knock him down. WTF???!!! IS HE THIS WEAK???!!! Good thing Alita just finished kicking goblins’ ass and heard the news from Jodo that Milano has been taken hostage to the northern ruins. The lolis interrogate Milano. They know she is not the maid because they killed her. They believe she could be someone else and the one holding the key. They try to scare her enough not to kill her (although eventually they threaten they will) but as long Milano keeps her mouth shut, she thinks it will be fine. Alita leaves Dominikov and Pete to fight the monsters outside as she heads in. However she is told to drop her weapons lest she wants Milano dead. She does so and gets pounded by the monster. Anna mocks Alita that she may have some secret because a princess coming to save a mere maid. Alita shuts her up by replying she made a promise to save this country regardless to whom she made it. She’ll protect everything! Just in time for some guy to drop in, cut off the monster’s arm, disarm the lolis, free Milano, bring her to reunite with Alita (for some yuri hug), let them ride away to escape on his horse and then finish up the monster. Yeah… As expected the loli rebels run away when the going gets tough. Heck, even the other monsters know how to retreat?! Of course not surprisingly that guy is revealed to be Kaito. Awkward. Does he know who his real sister is? Awkward for Alita to welcome back his onii-sama…

Episode 4
A pre-coronation party is held. As explained by Dominikov, once the coronation is over, Alita and her subordinates will leave the palace and travel. This is because if she stays with Kaito, sooner she will be exposed as a fake. It is better for things to cool down while they’re away before returning. Hence Alita talks to Kaito that she is leaving for a journey after this. Big brother hugs her and wishes her well. Meanwhile we see Akamashi and the twins in the party. Where the heck is security check?! They’re supposed to be the highest on the alert list and here they got in so easily by just change of clothes?! WTF???!!! Milano is looking for Alita in her room but notices she left a note of apology and ‘fixed’ the doll. Meanwhile Alita is being led by this strange woman to a secret passage underneath the palace. Took some time for Alita to be suspicious about her and when she does, Cecilia forces her hand to activate something. Cecilia then attacks her. Milano and Alita’s subordinates continue to look for Alita. Strange, she left her sword behind. Oh look. Oil lamp trails. Lead to dead end AKA secret passageway. You know what this means. They arrive in time to throw Alita’s sword to her. Enough for her to slash out of Cecilia’s grasp and make a run for it. And damn, now they run into the loli rebels. Do we have time for this?! Anna hints about Alita being the key to Teoria. And just when Akamashi is about to have the rare moment of opening his mouth to explain that, he gets killed by Cecilia’s dark knight!!! WTF???!!! Lolis become sad-cum-enraged with his death but gets easily incapacitated. When Cecilia unmasks herself, Alita remembers her as the culprit who burnt her village and killed her people. Now it’s Alita’s turn to attack but with the dark knight defending her, she cannot cut through his magically infused thick armour. The battle then reaches the party. Milano thinks their worries are over as she calls out to Kaito for help. Surprise but not surprise, Kaito is the dark knight! He then accuses them of being the real rebels, conspiring with Akamashi to commit treachery and replacing the real Alita with an imposter. He orders the guards to arrest them. Milano is paralyzed in shock so I guess it’s this series’ specialty for them to make their escape via simple smokescreen. The next day, Kaito is crowned the king, much to the crowd’s delight while our heroes-cum-rebels are resting at the outskirts of the kingdom.

Episode 5
Kaito and Cecilia order a nationwide search for the traitors. Luckily they manage to get help from a group of travelling performers thanks to Pete’s kindness in helping their caravan out when stuck. With them hiding the rebels, they are able to easily pass checkpoints. Yeah, those guards sure didn’t do a thorough job. And since when did Jodo join the rebels?! As they rest, it gets awkward for the lolis since they’re once enemies now they’re allies? So they relate about Akamashi’s struggle. He was a scientist of a kingdom when his research was suddenly halted. Then he met Cecilia who introduced him to several lost technologies. That was when he created the lolis via that lost technologies. And when Teoria came into light, that is when he began executing his plan. The rest is history. But now they realize they have all been used by Cecilia. Dominikov demonstrates his own android abilities. This is the same lost technologies as the lolis but his and Pete’s are different as they are not completely robots. They are bioorganic forms infused with lost technologies. Hence Teoria is lost technology. Milano then explains the legend of how this world was created. Gods fighting, they cried at the end, their tears flooded the world, water gone, life appeared. Yeah, sounds pretty far-fetched. Humans then pop up and started living and now they are in the 672nd year of the Shandena Era. Before that, human civilization reached the peak of science and arts. The ability to even control time?! It was all thanks to the power of Teoria. But due to their constant wars, Teoria went out of control and human civilization ended. The few survivors sealed Teoria away and in time it was forgotten. Of course not all have forgotten of it as its arts were bequeathed to a certain country’s royal family. Jodo and Milano are forced to admit and apologize a secret they have been keeping for them. They do have the key that would unlock Teoria that is located underneath their palace. However the key can be handed to only female successors. It’s a good thing they had male successors all the while, eh? And does it activate when the female reach a certain age? Because why now instead of when Alita was born? It is believed Kaito betrayed them for this power that could literally change the world. Yeah, create a world the way you want it.

Storytelling time is over since the royal army is hot on their tail. Did they take too long to tell? As they run, the lolis ran out of juice so Dominikov and Pete try to stall them. They transform into their true hideous monster form to fight Cecilia and her army. As the caravan reaches near the body, I wonder how Kaito was able to ride this fast ahead of them? With the caravan toppled, Milano tries to be the decoy and runs away. Yeah, Kaito took the bait and caught her. This guy who committed the biggest betrayal dislikes being tricked like this?! However he can’t kill her. Milano’s piercing gaze looks familiar. And when she calls him a traitor, he is shocked to realize this is his real sister. Alita who was weakened and injured since the end of last episode, somehow manages to draw out her strength to save Milano. How the f*ck did she cut through Kaito’s thick armour and even injure him???!!! Is this the power of yuri???!!! Then it’s like since both sides are weakened, let’s call it even, let’s withdraw. WTF… And Cecilia calling the retreat order? I thought they’re not supposed to fail in this mission to capture the traitors? Alita has this nicely timed flashback. Cecilia killing her father or master before her eyes as he protected her. She vowed revenge and picked up his sword. This timely flashback has Alita remember why she became a bounty hunter. Realizing that she and Milano are now facing their destinies, they are not going to run away and will face it. This means returning to the palace once more.

Episode 6
With many of the guards thinking they have crossed to another nation, looks like there aren’t many around and hence they’ll use this chance to strike. But first, Alita and Milano talk things out. Alita has decided on what she wants as a reward: Her body back via Teoria’s power. They will go back to their old ways and of course she will still keep her promise. As the gang infiltrate the palace, Alita faces off with Cecilia. She asks why she burnt down her village. Oh, for fun. Just to test out her new power she got. As they fight, Cecilia zaps her but thank goodness for Milano throwing her doll as distraction. You mean the doll didn’t break at this impact?! WTF?! Anyway the distraction was enough for them to head to the Teoria room. Too bad Kaito catches them and forces Alita to open the door. Inside, he activates Teoria and wishes for the world to be destroyed! Alita has her second bout with Cecilia and this time she manages to destroy the crystal that is the source of her power. Turning Cecilia into an old hag before she bites the dust. Literally, turning into dust. Kaito explains why he wants to world destroyed. He is sick with all the wars and constant fighting and with them clinging on to lost technologies, is there any value in this kind of world? Well, he’s got a point but… For some reason, Alita goes into her berserk mode and only the voice of Milano easily snapped her out? With Kaito defeated, Alita explains there is a princess who is willing to risk everything just to make her happy. That itself is enough for her to find this sh*tty world to be worth protecting. But if Teoria is activated, can it be stopped? Oh, Jodo says it can with a switch! WTF?! Did the sealers create this in mind that this would happen???!!! Of course the only caveat is that everything related to lost technology will cease to exist. This means Dominikov, Pete and the lolis will disappear. Oh Alita, don’t waver now. So we hear Dominikov making his peace with her. Do it. As products of lost technologies, they aren’t supposed to be in this era. They’ve lived long enough to know that. And he explains it so well to the lolis and they’re like, “Okay, bye-bye”. Wow. Better go off with a cute smile, huh? Alita does so and with Teoria stopped activating, all lost technologies related beings disappear. In the aftermath, both ladies realize they failed to swap back their bodies. Alita will continue to live like this for a while and protect the country until they figure things out. And so with an enemy nation attacking, Alita does best what she does as she heads to the battleground to slice them all up, hence earning her the legendary nickname of Murder Princess. Good job for that title to send shivers down your enemies’ spine.

Battle Princess Alita
I guess it wasn’t all that bad. The story is clear cut and simple and doesn’t have anything long and complicated so it is easy to digest. So if you are hoping for really drawn out stories with convoluted plot twists (heh, I saw Kaito as the dark knight betrayer twist coming from a mile ago) or very long complicated character histories, this series isn’t going to cut it. Yeah, you’re going to need anime series to be as long as One Piece or Naruto or even Black Clover to drag things out. So I can’t complain with that kind of ending. Alita and Milano continue to reside in each other’s bodies because I figure if they somehow return to their original bodies, everything would just really, really, really, really, really end there. They part and that’s it. Sounds bittersweet. Because at least with them still being in switcheroo mode, it gives this sort of excuse for them to be together. For how long it may take. And they also ‘wrap up’ nicely her subordinates and the lolis by conveniently disappearing with the cessation of Teoria so that you don’t have to wonder what they’ll be doing in the aftermath. I mean, it would look weird and suspicious if a bunch of ghouls and lolis hang out with our princess, right?

Like I’ve said, the story is simple but so much so there are quite a few WTF moments that will make you raise an eyebrow or in my case, start laughing. From as simple as the numerous times they have to return to the palace (like as though this is the main setting of this series) as if fate always draws them back here (from the princess’ first escape to the final return to fight the final boss scene). Then there’s the use of Teoria which sounds just as suspicious and shady as it is. I think they want to give some sort of story to what this super power is but the execution just feels laughable. I mean, when those human survivors decided to seal it, you mean they also foresee that those greedy descendants will also want to use it for their own selfish reasons? Isn’t that why somehow there is a switch to deactivate it all despite the popular belief that once it is activated it cannot be stopped? And once deactivated, can it not activate again? Because from what I see, it’s like it is forever lost. Yup. Truly lost technologies now. WTF, dude???!!! It’s like I’ve got a wish to change the wold, and then changed my mind. Heck, this means Teoria is only good for one use!!! Like WTF???!!! If that was going to be the case, should have destroyed it instead of sealing it in the first place!!! Yeah, I don’t know what those humans were thinking. It’s like they want to save humanity but let’s just keep this little power just in case. Just in case… Or maybe not… Make up your mind!!!

Sometimes it feels more like annoying and a comedy too with certain scenes especially those that involve Akamashi and his lolis. They come into the picture for a while and then when the going gets tough, they do their best tactic ever which is to escape. And they’ve been doing this for a while for the first half of this series that sometimes I think it’s a running joke. And for them to be able to this again and again for a while, damn the kingdom’s security must be really flawed. I know they give excuse that the recent coup detat has decimated their main forces but allowing this to happen feels more like a joke than anything serious. Damn, the clincher was when they entered the pre-coronation party. These people should be on the wanted posters everywhere!!! Speaking about the royal army, I guess they’re a joke too because they’re so weak and useless I’m thinking that they are newly recruited amateurs. I guess all those really good ones died along with the previous king, huh?

When the princess and the bounty hunter first switched souls, the mind boggling thing is how Alita is now suddenly able to pull off her fighting moves with ease and flexibility. I am assuming that the original princess does not work out or train in ways of the martial arts so I don’t believe her body was able to adapt so quickly to fit the bounty hunter’s deadly techniques. Yeah, in this sense it doesn’t make much sense. Heck, when they swapped bodies, their voices also swapped. This leaves only their body as the outer shell while everything else from personality to skill is switched. Probably that is why it was so confusing for me at first. And before I know it, I got used to them as they are. Note, if they’re really desperate to change back to their original bodies, perhaps they can try another near-death experience? Say, fall off the cliff together again? Yeah, who knows if it would work again and besides, I think they got used to and liked their new bodies so it’s no use trying this risky scientifically unproven (heh) stuff because it’s the same like using Teoria to destroy the world, right?!

Character wise, nothing really deep about them. Alita and Milano are an odd pair due to their circumstances. It is hinted there is some budding yuri relationship between them. After all, they’ve spent some time together. In each other’s bodies. So what is there not to slowly grow to like the other? Yeah, it might be confusing at times if they make out with each other. Are they masturbating, because they’re like playing with themselves? Haha! Oops, went too far… Alita’s past is simple. Just motivated to become a bounty hunter for revenge and she finally got it. But it is never explained well about her berserk mode that allows her to have temporary boost of her power. Does that only happen when Milano is in danger and it puts stress on her mind and hence this mode? Well, good thing Milano was able to stop it otherwise she would really live up to her Murder Princess nickname. Yuri power banzai! As long as Milano is by her side, anything is okay. And yeah, Milano = maid character!!! Huzzah! I approve!!! The past between Alita, Dominikov and Pete is also never explained. How did she team up with those guys? It would have been interesting to see how they pair up but it won’t matter now since they’re gone. Dominikov feels like for plot convenience, at least he is there to explain things while Pete as the gentle giant so as to tell us that not all such big brutes are dangerous creatures.

The funny thing about Akamashi is that I wonder if he is a shy person or not. Because at points he is seen whispering into Anna’s ear for her to explain to the rest (and us) about things. I thought he had no voice but at very rare times, we do hear him speak. Besides, I wonder if Akamashi’s faceless expression is permanent. He has this boring look on his face that screams, “Damn this is troublesome, I don’t want to do this sh*t”. Yeah, it does give off that feel. Funny. But not as funny when he was instantly killed off. That moment for me was like, oh sh*t, you really kidding me?! Not kidding. Dead scientist for sure. The lolis are there for some loli cuteness. Even though they are androids and not supposed to have feelings I suppose they do because we need to sympathize with them. Because Anna said they aren’t supposed to have taste when they ate food but they do anyway so I’m assuming they too have feelings since Anna is the brat while Yuna is the shy one. But they look like they’re handling it well with Akamashi’s death. It’s not like they’re so overly emotional about it and even when it’s time to disappear, they’re cool with that. Yeah, maybe they do have feelings but not a wide range.

I wonder what will happen to Kaito now. Will he still be the rule of his country? I mean, he wanted the world to be destroyed. Didn’t get that wish. Now he is stuck ruling his sh*tty country in this sh*tty world. But then again, with Alita taking the frontlines of the battlefield as their fighting princess, could Kaito have been exiled? I mean, it’s not like the people found out about his treachery, right? Did they? The last we know is that Alita’s side have been branded traitors. Maybe somewhere in the epilogue that wasn’t shown, things were explained to the people. Otherwise, how would Alita have led the royal army to fight the enemies?

One of the reasons why I wanted to watch this series was because I read it was action packed. Well… Not exactly. Sure there are action bits but they aren’t from start to finish. Not to say they are shown sparingly either but at least in every episode you are guaranteed to see Alita go into some sort of sword swinging action. But the action sequences aren’t really top-notched either. Sometimes a bit laughable. Like when Alita slashes Akamashi’s monsters, it all feels so easy like as though she is cutting through just waves of mindless monsters whose sole existence is to be cut down like that. Dominikov and Pete don’t really do anything much since we focus more on Alita so they’re relegated to fighting whatever small fries in the background while Alita takes the bigger slice of the cake. This series has blood too but nothing that would really spook you. I think blood is ‘necessary’ so that you can see how it somewhat lives up to its namesake title when you see blood stains all over Alita’s white princess dress. I think Milano is doing a great job as a maid removing those stains every time…

The art and drawing aren’t anything to shout about. Came out in the last decade (year 2007 to be precise) so everything looks dated like from that era. The character designs, the monsters and even the fantasy setting. Some characters do look weird, though. Like Jodo whom I thought is some leprechaun without the trademark Irish green lucky clover hat. With that kind of serious looks, I thought Jodo would be some sort of traitor but thankfully nope. Then there’s Dominikov whom I thought is some discount version of Ghost Rider. I mean, did his design take inspiration from that? At least his bike on fire wheels made me think so. And Pete is he looking like some kind of punk rock golem? Well, don’t judge a book by its cover? I’ve already said about Akamashi’s look, having this boring outlook expression. How can you not identify this dude as he is the only one in the country with this broomstick hair?! When the dark knight (no relations to Batman whatsoever) first appeared, the first thing I thought was damn, how this guy looks like Overlord’s Ains-sama! More accurately, Momon! They are also dual handed sword wielders. Did Overlord take inspiration from this design? Because Overlord also have dark elf twins and was it these android loli twins they also get their inspiration from? This anime is made by Bee Train who did Tsubasa Chronicle, Noir and Madlax.

It’s nice to hear a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here. Oh, just Romi Paku as Alita/Falis, Ami Koshimizu as Milano/Alita and Chiwa Saitou doing twin roles as Anna and Yuna. The rest of the small casts are Kazuki Yao as Dominikov (Franky in One Piece), Akimitsu Takase as Pete (Tamotsu Kodate in Fafner), Takkou Ishimori as Jodo (Sengoku in One Piece), Megumi Toyoguchi as Cecilia (Revy in Black Lagoon), Daisuke Namikawa as Kaito (Mystogan in Fairy Tail) and Hiroshi Tsuchida as Akamashi (Grisha in Shingeki No Kyojin).

The opening theme is Hikari Sasuhou by Back-On. Typical hard rock music that suits this series. However, somehow hearing this song reminds me of hearing that American punk rock band, Green Day. I don’t know. Perhaps people who sing like that sound like that to me. And oh, also this reminds me a bit of Linkin Park because there’s a little rapping in this hard rock piece. As for the ending theme, Naked Flower, it is very rare to hear Romi Paku sing. I’m not saying that it sounds bad but she is one of those few seiyuus I know that don’t really have that kind of singing voice (I hate to admit it, because my utmost favourite Mamiko Noto’s voice also isn’t suited for singing). So rare that the only other time she sang was one of those ending songs for Ueki No Housoku. Yeah, it’s so long ago that I’ve forgotten about it that I Google it. But this ending theme in general is quite nice since it has that Latin vibe to it and those killer violins at the start.

Overall, looks like another one of those anime series resting in the back burners of my mind being checked off the list. With only 6 episodes in total, I guess I can’t really complain and b*tch about the simple story and characters since I do have to admit that I enjoyed watching this series despite some of the WTF moments that made me want to laugh. The action scenes are supposed to be the big draw but it didn’t really quite cut it for me and it felt more like just to showcase why Alita is badass enough to slice and dice with her sword while still in her princess dress. I wonder if Disney is thinking of incorporating her as part of the official Disney Princess line-up because she sure does kick ass with style like some of them. But then, not likely since Star Wars’ Princess Leia is still waiting her turn and most unlikely she’ll be that part of that elite group ;p. Don’t want to market to kids bloody stained dresses of a princess with an equally bloody sword now, do we? Kill Bill this isn’t either…

Melty Lancer

June 14, 2019

Retro time! It is one of those moments that I weirdly remembered. Long ago, I harboured this ‘interest’ in watching this Melty Lancer OVA series but somehow never got around it. It was always kept on the back burner of my mind and I keep blaming the ‘obligation’ to watch more current animes of the season than just quickly finishing up these 6 OVA episodes. Throughout the years this thought has been floating in and out of my mind and one day I just realized that if I keep delaying this, this series would not be found anywhere anymore! Yeah, it’s old enough to be rare and the ones online are dubbed. So what a way to press the panic button and put this case to rest. Boy, that sure did the trick. Anyway, this series is some ‘futuristic’ sci-fi space action adventure about a group of girls that formed a special space police organization that was disbanded but now deployed again thanks to some new conspiracy that threatens the fabric of space, time and the existence of the universe! And to think episodes are enough to save the galaxy…

Episode 1
When a scientist created a small capsule that could alter an entire planet, terrorists led by Defiant D storm into the place to steal it. Collins who has been incarcerated for 5 years is now eligible to obtain his freedom in exchange for this small task. After he was imprisoned, a paramilitary police force named GPO was set up. Recently they are getting bad press and their relationship with Galaxy Federation isn’t good. His job is to lead a group of females known as Melty Lancer. However they were disbanded a year ago. An aide (only known as Aide) is currently being sent to gather them. After miraculously surviving some civil war zone, he manages to get Sakuya Lansaihe who is now preaching as a priestess. At the same time, an asteroid is detected to crash into Earth. Actually a group of criminal students consisting of Vanessa, Ligel and Grianos (collectively known as Vannesars) are hiding in it and hope that their act will lure out Melty Lancer. Sylvie Nimrod finds Jun Kamishiro and Angela to take them to flee as she warns them they are being targeted. Aide now sees Melvina MacGarlen but she refuses seeing that she is now a politician and cannot leave in the middle of her job. However she realizes that there is a conspiracy to it all and agrees to get drafted to get to the bottom of this. The asteroid crashes into Earth and a giant mecha pops out. She then leaves a message that they are going to continue their job to alter the Earth’s natural environment. Nothing is going to stop them and if they insist, do send Melty Lancer. Is this the reason why Melty Lancer was recalled? Sylvie’s groupie is driving through the African savannah when the animals weirdly surround them. So is Nana the Lion King? She is happy to be reunited with them but save that for late as Melty Lancer is reunited for the first time in a year as they join forces to take down Vanessars’ menace. Isn’t this causing more destruction? Things get heated up when Melvina somewhat gets injured. But it ends with Sylvie attacking from the top since there are no weapons attached there. I guess Vanessa was too cheapskate to install any weapons there. Once Melty Lancer is victorious, immediately the Surface Security Bureau steals the limelight by securing the criminals. Melty Lancer is frustrated that they were just the bait but Melvina knows there is more to come and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Episode 2
Despite the mecha secured, Vanessars are reported missing. Eastern Metropolis (EMP) was a city that was almost hit by the asteroid. With the citizens evacuated, Defiant D and her team take this chance to infiltrate and steal some genetic package. Melty Lancer enter their underground base for the first time. So run down. It doesn’t help that Collins is being a dick. He doesn’t care why they are being put together as a unit and this doesn’t sit well with Melvina. Worse, he dismisses her as the team leader and has Sylvie take up that role instead. Later, Aide gives each of them tasks. Menial tasks. Directing traffic, finding a lost cat… On the news, the criminal organization known as Defiant has been going around stealing DNAs of endangered species and leaving notes that only say “Iyonesco”. Sylvia speaks to Collins about this and wants to hunt them down as she knows they will target rare species like Jun, Angela and Nana. Collins however accuses her of stealing a vehicle then. Although she admits she would file in a report after the case is solved, he threatens to report her. He challenges her to a gun duel in which he will forget this if she wins. Of course he ‘cheats’ and is faster. But this is just a test as he gives her a new prototype gun to test. Sylvie tries to hunt down Defiant but it seems they are quicker than her. After raiding the place and leaving, only Sylvie arrives. On another stakeout, Sylvie is surprised that Jun, Angela and Nana are here to help. Why not? After she is acting so strange in office (due to her failures), they figured it out. Just in time when a slime monster goes on a rampage in a lab. Jun and Angela head in to tackle it but find themselves running away since they hate slimy things. Meanwhile Sylvie and Nana intercept Defiant D and her team impersonating as medical officers. Unfortunately Defiant is better than our Melty Lancer duo as they make their getaway. But this leaves Sylvie puzzled as she is unsure if they intentionally dropped their evidence. When Jun and Nana are cornered, I guess desperate Jun got this weird idea to fight DNA with DNA and fires the entire blaster. Although the monster is calmed down, it turned into some big giant friendly bubble? A cute creature pops out from it. Meanwhile Melvina must have failed her horrible CGI 3D rendered simulator. With the authorities being useless dicks, she goes to find some hermit whom she has known for a very long time.

Episode 3
So that cute creature is now their pet, Moumou? Thanks to that incident, the news is all over Melty Lancer. You can say that they are now famous and there are lots of creepy cosplay fans waiting outside. Yikes! Sylvie tells Collins about the equipment left behind by Defiant. She seeks permission to analyse it but is denied as he knows it will blow up the entire place. Instead, he wants her and Sakuya to dress pretty. There’s a ball tonight. Melvina continues to gather intelligence. There is some connection going on between the religious order and the federation that have bigwigs involved in the setting up Melty Lancer. They seem to be building some spaceship. Then she blackmails a former lover, Oushita who is now some top official to get more info on Collins as well as the reason behind Melty Lancer’s reunion. At the party, Sylvie and Sakuya could identify lots of important bigwigs around. The party then starts but it is all a setup by Vannesars to eliminate all the syndicates at one go as they unleash some robots that could do carbon freezing. That is, freezing live people. Sakuya manages to summon a barrier to protect them but how long can they hold from this onslaught? Especially Collins is still eating away! WTF?! Aide sends Nana and Angela as reinforcements but upon arrival, they too are met with resistance from Defiant. Where’s Jun? Not sure how she ended up in a gay bar brawl. As for Melvina, she goes to see Oushita but is already down for the count. A mysterious man talks to her about the data in Oushita’s hands. From her reaction. Looks like it reveals everything. Aide thinks Moumou was being a cute toying with the computers. Suddenly it grows fangs! Oh sh*t!!!

Vanessars watches the havoc and Vanessa is feeling pretty good about her success. She is trying to prove her worth to Defiant D but the latter will only believe when she achieve the results. During Angela’s fight, a henchman accidentally destroys some power core. Why the heck did this cause the robots to stop moving? With this failure, Vannesars quickly escapes. Sylvie faces off with Defiant D when Collins get in between. It seems Collins was the boss of a secret unit before Earth became part of Galaxy Federation. They were all nameless people with no records and you can say they do a lot of dirty work. However their last mission to rescue and escort and important person, Lady Marvel ended in failure. Collins disbanded the team. This left everyone in disarray. Defiant D accuses Collins of pulling this stunt that left many of their comrades dead soon after. She gives him a chance to return but too bad he is now the commander of Melty Lancer and won’t go back to his past. So what does Defiant D do? Blow up the entire building? All this just to escape? If you wonder why Collins and his girls survive, thanks to that bubble cushioning their fall. Melvina hears that same story from the mysterious guy. However he cannot tell her about Iyonesco and can only say that Melty Lancer is the scapegoat. She then starts to feel pain. Not sure if Moumou is playing around with Aide by chasing him around. Because it gets tenser when Melvina barely breathing returns as she tries to warn everyone the fate that is about to befall on them. She should leave a note or something if she’s going to pass out at the crucial moment.

Episode 4
Aide is getting drunk and complaining his sh*tty life. A couple of hot chicks decide to hear him out. Really?! With Melvina in hospital and stabilized, Jun and Sakuya are sent on a mission to infiltrate this religious Ark Organization who are taking in people with trouble. Guess what? Aide is the motivational speaker???!!! He is giving a speech that gives hope to this troubled people. A new paradise will be born! Jun and Sakuya realize everyone has been scanned for their genetics. Think they won’t be found out? Yeah well, Defiant D already knows they’re here and have fallen for their trap. Sakuya relays back to Sylvie as the rest of Melty Lancer sortie to rescue them. Meanwhile the mystery man talks to Melvina. He has given permission to let her know more. They must stop Iyonesco who are within EMP. They only recently managed to pinpoint their location thanks to their transmission of activities regarding some experimental second phase. Now they’re heading into the third phase. Iyonesco collects genetic material through Defiant and also conduct experiments to create unusual space phenomenon. It seems their goal is to annihilate space. No time for Melvina to sit back in bed when there’s so much to do. A black hole materializing from converted energy. Sylvie is shocked with this but she has seen this before. All the ecology systems on a planet were wiped out. However the planet was eliminated 20 years before the incident, proving that the destruction not only travelled across space but across time. Like as though somebody built some giant space teleport device. The organization shows its true terrorists colours by showing this ‘miracle’. Everyone is going to die!

Sylvie is being caught up with the suction and finds it hard to escape. However Nana figures out how to stabilize their position. Not sure this sci-fi mumbo jumbo explanation but she realizes this phenomenon is something like a vacuum. You just need to supply the mass shortfall with the same material as the reverse field. Melvina confronts Collins about Galaxy Federation leaving Iyonesco alone. Something about they’re too scared of that organization and that is why Melty Lancer was recalled to handle that task. In fact, they draw in the crowd. Though the goal was to improve GPO’s image, expectations were not high. By breaking ties with Iyonesco, they divert public attention, hence their re-organization. Thanks to Melty Lancer working hard in the recent incidents, they manage to charge high officials with corrupt acts. Of course it won’t end with that as Iyonesco is hell bent on annihilation. Sylvie manages to break through and assist Jun fighting a Defiant goon in a power suit battle. And before they could arrest the other members, they flee again. Damn they’re good at this, aren’t they? Of course Melty Lancer goes after them. Meanwhile Aide is given the task of guiding the lost sheep. Yeah, just preach God’s name! I think this is going to be tough with everyone hounding him for salvation! Ah, a God’s messenger’s job is never done. Defiant D still has an ace up her sleeve. After tricking Melty Lancer into following them (just holograms, fools! Gotcha!), then whatever this she activated. Huge space light laser explosion or something?

Episode 5
Collins seems to be overworking the scientists. Well, what do you know? The experiment to teleport Melty Lancer is successful. So that’s what the transmitter he gave them for in the first place. Don’t have to grieve over their deaths now, eh? However they notice that only Angela isn’t around. Did her teleportation failed? Sylvie is the most affected by her death. Because Angela is some bioengineered soldier, if she dies, her body will turn into ashes and not leave a trace. No time to cry over her because Melvina has received orders to hunt Iyonesco instead of Defiant. Everyone goes about their own way to gather info. Except for Sylvie. She’s still dead like a zombie. Of course Angela is still very much alive and in the care of a fellow kin, Rufus. Some weird explanation how he teleported her away although she was still partially injured from the blast. Rufus also lets her know that he is a follower of Defiant because they saved him. He was once experimented on as a bioengineered soldier as he is a rare species but Defiant came to save him. They gave him the option to do what he likes but he rather follow them. Defiant has been stealing endangered species’ DNA to avoid them being wiped out by stronger rivals. Ironically, Defiant D doesn’t like Rufus harbouring an enemy. So Angela is enemy first and endangered species second? With Rufus pleading for Angela to be spared, Defiant D allows it but will not let Rufus stay with her. Aide returns to base, very sad and blaming himself for Melty Lancer’s death. However he sees Sakuya and it’s like the biggest relief to him. Weird sexy trolling moment as Sakuya rewards him for his efforts with her healing. Yeah, they sure made this scene look like she wanted to make out with him. No sexual healing. Just some weird healing.

I guess the higher ups have had it. That means destroying Earth. With explosions everywhere, you bet everyone is going to panic to try and leave this planet. Melvina experiences yet another weird interference dream. However she follows those cries for help that leads her to some dying android girl? She feels so sad for her and laments had she only arrived sooner to help. The moment Aide tells Sylvie about Melvina uncovering Iyonesco’s true identity, it’s like she suddenly spring back to life! Like, WTF?! Like it blew her blues away. They go to see Collins but he is gone. Yeah, conveniently he dropped his video that shows Defiant holding Angela as hostage. So Melty Lancer join Collins to go save Angela. Meanwhile Melvina has the scientists salvage what is left of the place and watch the video of the horrifying experiment on this girl AKA Iyonesco. Shortly after Earth joined Galaxy Federation, they caught a lost species who was caught up in the confusion. The experiment failed as she turned into a monster. She became some sort of computer virus that sought knowledge of itself and was able to propagate and think. Trying to find her own existence and kind, she infiltrated various networks and managed to find various secret and criminal organizations. When the higher ups learnt of this, they made a pact with her whom they abandoned before. All in the name of greed and self-interest. Although Iyonesco is taken away, some programme starts activating by itself. Collins and Melty Lancer seemingly step into yet another Defiant trap. Uh huh. With Defiant D’s signal, she blasts them to smithereens. Is Angela going to cry over their deaths now? We should know better…

Episode 6
Yeah, as expected, Collins tricks Defiant and singlehandedly beats them up. At point blank range with Defiant D, looks like Iyonesco has plans of her own. Both Melty Lancer and Defiant side are teleported onto the Ark that Iyonesco has absolute control over. I don’t understand that chaotic space battle outside but Collins berates his ex-members about being too afraid to be independent and free on themselves, hence they depend on Iyonesco and be her puppet to validate their existence. They claims he only taught them how to kill, steal, etc. So Collins has nothing further to ‘teach’ them and dares them to kill him. Not sure what the people on Earth are protesting at the federation’s HQ. Vanessars are reluctantly supporting this. They spot Aide who seems to be desperate in helping Melty Lancer. So they agree to help him out for money. So they just give him a mic to speak to the masses? Looks like his screaming speaking skills come in handy. He rallies the crowd to force the federation to deploy the fleet. And when they do, why does he look so shock? You mean he didn’t expect them to? Rufus explains how he is going to carry out Iyonesco’s wish to destroy the galaxy and create a new one. So this spiral thingy is the centre of the galaxy and bombing it will destroy everything? Wow. So simple yet so confusing. With Ark getting sucked in, all those on board start to experience some weird trippy trip. Past, present and future all meshed up together. Everyone’s memories out in the open for all to see. And this weird cliché moment of everybody suddenly getting philosophical about the past, present and future. Uh huh. No past, no future. We won’t be here today if it’s not for the things that happened in the past. For the future! With that, everyone returns to reality. But they’re not out of the woods yet. Because Iyonesco’s programme is still activated. So the Ark is still going to crash into the centre? Yeah, the only way to stop it is a 3 billion character password! OMFG!!! THIS IS THE MOST HILARIOUS THING I’VE HEAD SINCE WATCHING THIS SERIES!!! But don’t worry, Rufus points out the password… Moumou! Yeah, this critter’s DNA is the password to stabilize everything! But wait! Still not really out of the woods yet. The centre is still sucking them in. I suppose this is now where Aide with the help of Vanessars in their puny ship come to help pull the Ark away, huh?

Once they are safe, the commander of the fleet contacts them. So this mysterious guy is actually a clone of Collins? Wait. So this Melty Lancer Collins is also a clone? He is here because his boss wants to speak to Collins. Guess who? Marvel! Seems she faked her death and went into hiding to stay out of Iyonesco’s network. Somehow Iyonesco’s plans didn’t take into account both the Collins. Back then, info was leaking out too much and they had to kill comrades who knew too much. If she fell into enemy hands, everything would be for naught. Hence to save the troops and Earth, she had Collins deceive his unit and pretend to kill her, then sealed himself off and kept silent. Thanks to that, she was able to protect Earth from the shadows. Now she credits them for saving the galaxy. Because the federation is still unstable, she cannot come out in public. This means their heroics too cannot be officially recorded but will be sure it will be passed on as a legend to the next generation. As the Ark is too tainted, they have to abandon it. Defiant D is still asking Collins to come back to them and define their purpose of existence. What more has a guy got to tell them that he’s not into the past anymore. So I hope with that final goodbye, they manage to make peace and move on. As Melty Lancer and Defiant part ways, Rufus stays with the latter. I guess no romance for Angela then. Only Moumou decides to go with Rufus. WTF?! This critter decides to abandon a group of hot chicks for some terrorist group?! WTF?! Fail!!! As Melty Lancer celebrate, they think they forgot something. I bet it isn’t important. But you’ve guessed it, Aide has been whisked away by Vanessars since Vanessa is smitten with him. Going to take him all the way across the galaxy, huh? With Melty Lancer’s mission somewhat completed, they now have a duty to keep the peace in EMP.

Collins’ Angels: Fool Troll-ttle
Oh boy. What a mess. I am not sure if I find this series tolerable is it because this is a retro series? You know me. Because animes that came out in that era, I seem to give such a pass and forgive all its other weird atrocities that would not even make me bat an eyelid had this came out more recently or a few years back. So yes, there were some fun moments but largely if I am going to summarize my overall sentiments about this series, that would be disappointing. But I suppose that would be better than keep procrastinating for another few more years and delay finding out how disappointing this series is.

Firstly, the big problem of this series is the pacing of the story. It’s a mess. Here, there and everywhere. Because right from the first episode that is supposed to tell the tale of reuniting the girls of Melty Lancer, suddenly it is like they were already reunited. Eh? Did I miss something somewhere? I mean, the girls are now scattered after their disbandment for a year. And to suddenly come together like that and do their first mission flawlessly (as in their communications and teamwork) like as thought the last they seen each other was yesterday? Yeah, I thought they skipped some parts here. But that is the thing about just having 6 episodes. You cannot tell much and it does not give room for proper fleshing out. Maybe animes were harder and more expensive to make back then. But anyway, then they throw in too many other stuffs that just confuses the viewers. Conspiracy, terrorism, genetics and what is this about a failed computer experimented girl trying to restart the universe? Is she trying to play God? Fortunately God was stopped by a 3 billion character password that was conveniently in Moumou’s DNA! Oh yeah. If I am ever going to remember this series, it is this one that takes the cake.

The next problem are the characters. Melty Lancer being the main characters as well as the name of the anime itself, you would have thought that there would be some sort of prominence given to them. Unfortunately there is no backstory for these main characters and my guess is that if you really want to know more about them, you should play the games that this series was adapted from. Hence the series sort of expects you to know these characters and for those who never played the games like yours truly, you are guaranteed to be lost. Because there are many things about them that are not explained like Nana’s transformation into a sexy curvaceous adult body. It’s not like she could control when she can transform into this state any time either. I mean, how the heck is this relevant except for one small scene where she needs to get some info from guards who are thankfully not lolicons but into mature babes. Then there’s some traumatic flashback of Melvina’s past that I think that is pretty forgettable. I could be mistaken since Melvina could be seeing the dreams of Iyonesco instead.

So basically you can guess the Melty Lancers are made up of a few ‘unique’ individuals who are as predictable and boring as they can be. They’re supposed to be close but you don’t feel that way as the series didn’t really flesh them out properly to make us feel so. Sylvie the face of Melty Lancer just because she’s a pretty blonde babe. She’s good in guns but we don’t get to see that often to ascertain that skill. Melvina is the brains of the team and often works independently with her own network to get info. Jun is the brute tomboy and Sakuya is like the soft spoken priestess or something of the group (I read somebody referred her as the discount version of Belldandy of Aa! Megami-sama). What is better than a loli? Having 2 lolis! So that’s what Angela and Nana are. One animal version and the other some magic princess or something. Lastly, Moumou as the pet mascot of the series feels useless in most of its part except for that password thingy to make it relevant. Yeah, don’t look down on such critters. I think Iyonesco failed to take into account this critter. Should have made a 10 trillion character password!!! It felt disjointed that it suddenly became part of Melty Lancer after that incident and hence when it ‘defected’ there wasn’t any much love lost because personally I never felt that it was part of the team to begin with.

Ironically, I feel that Collins and Defiant have been given slightly better characterization and storytelling albeit just a little. This commander of Melty Lancer is so shady and weird that he gets more fleshing out than the main girls themselves. Which just feels pretty odd. You might think that he is a dick but the big revelation reveals that he was just playing his part to perfection. Yeah. The tired trope and overused cliché of hope. Always believe! And Defiant not merely being evil terrorists, even though they had a reason to steal genetics of rare endangered species, it still makes them no less a terrorist group. After all, a thief with a cause is still a thief. Though, Defiant D feels annoying as she keeps bugging Collins about their old times. Give it up, girl.

Aide feels more like a comic character, a punching bag whom nobody gives a damn about. Either way, he is more ‘memorable’ than Melty Lancer because of his constant annoying voice while he whines about his job and life. Yeah, that’s basically what he just does. Whining and mumbling. Well, got any other better career choices? And now he struck the ultimate jackpot by being Vanessa’s boyfriend. Oh sorry. The ultimate misfortune. God help him. I bet he is wishing the universe to be reset, huh? Speaking of Vannesars, their role as the secondary antagonist feels more comical than anything since they always slipped through Melty Lancer’s fingers. They are more of an annoyance than threatening. Had this series been given more episodes, we could have at least seen their love-hate relation with Melty Lancer. As of now, it’s like they aren’t even significant nor matter at all.

Action parts are just average at best. Nothing really to shout about. You know, with Sylvie firing her gun and Jun being in her power suit and bashing everything that stands in her way, it doesn’t give much of a variety. Not sure if it is a good thing that such action sequences don’t last long but I guess it beats having it last for many episodes. Because this is some space sci-fi setting, I guess we need some gunfights and laser fights and bombs and explosions that go with it.

Art and animation feel pretty retro. This is after all released back in 1999 to 2000. Yeah, you know me again. Forgiving how anime in that era having that kind of one kind look. Even the characters have this feel of other cliché and other typical look of characters from other series. Like Melvina the brains and cool beauty, strong independent female. She has that same look and feel to Airi of Those Who Hunt Elves. Hot blonde chicks who is the face of the group like Sylvie, same feel like Rio of Burn Up Scramble. I wonder why girls in that era of tomboys have this one kind look too. So you can say Jun and Angelic Layer’s Misaki are of the same kind. Lolis like Angela and Nana, I guess they’re pretty similar to petite girls like Slayers’ Amelia. Then b*tch face female antagonists like Defiant D, see the similarity with Fushigi Yuugi’s Yui? And doesn’t Collins’ clone look a bit like Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Gendou? And Aide looks so plain and typical like a normal salaryman that I think this kind of plain design still follows today. And of course, who could forget that in that era, you can see how futuristic such metropolis are with so much fancy computers and holograms that it looks so outdated. Yeah. Ironically you can tell how dated a futuristic setting is by watching a show from that era.

The opening and ending theme of course have this retro feel and personally I think they sit right at home with me. Flying High by Matsuura Yuki and Yume Mita Watashi No Soba E by Aya as the opening and ending songs respectively are my cup of tea but if you think if they fit the pacing of this series, I don’t think it’s suitable. For instance, Flying High might sound fine but I keep thinking this kind of pop music suits better for dating and romance genre. You know, it doesn’t give that action oomph that the series is. Same can be said for Yume Mita Watashi No Soba E. It is a slower pop ballad that just feels out of place. Yeah, I am reminded of hearing the first season of Galaxy Angel’s Horoscope Rhapsody. You know, that kind of feel.

Overall, this series is a let-down in many aspects from the storyline to the characters lacking any substance. Too many things going on that confuses us and rushing everything for a good happy ending that makes it all feel just numbing. Especially the final episode with the threat of the destruction of the galaxy at hand by a single jilted computer, they managed to preserve everything by changing their outlook about the future. Oh sure, I guess it shows that we won’t really get to where we are today had not been for the decisions we took in the past! And just like that, everything is over. How anti-climactic. And Melty Lancer continues to operate together instead of being disbanded again and doing what they’ve been individually doing for the past year? You got me. I don’t see any difference either. I bet they must be there because of the fan clubs and fan boys. Just remember to keep your passwords safe and strong. Make that 3 billion characters safe and strong!

Pastel Memories

May 19, 2019

Imagine that one day, Japan suddenly stop interest to produce any otaku culture. Suddenly all anime, manga and games that we have come to love immediately cease to exist! Horror! It’s unthinkable! It’s unimaginable! It’s unconceivable! Arienai desu! Japan without their beloved culture and ‘most famous export’ is impossible! It can never happen! Can it?! Thankfully (or not), that is just the setting of Pastel Memories. Japan now a boring mundane unidentifiable generic country void of all the otaku culture. It is said because some virus erased those memories from everyone. Yeah, I’d rather be dead than living this lifeless Japan! But anyway, do not fear. Because in this anime, we still have a small group of girls still passionate about the otaku culture and they’re keeping its miniscule flame burning by ridding of the worlds that the viruses are infecting. Is this anime trying to save anime? I mean, what could go wrong with a dozen of cute girls (and an ‘ugly’ mascot) trying to save the world, right?

Episode 1
Izumi Asagi arrives late for work at her anime shop. Thank goodness it is a slow moving day? Yeah, no customers at all! It’s unthinkable how the otaku culture just suddenly died out one day and Akihabara is now a boring normal city. Together with Irina Leskova and Ayaka Sakaki, they talk about the sole customer who came in yesterday. She was looking for some Rabbit Café manga but this store only had the 2nd volume. There are total 7 volumes. I guess with so much time to spare, they try to find it in the store and found some ‘treasures’ like some air gun and yaoi manga. Minami Senju, Chimari Maiko and Nao Mejiro come in to help but they only find several duplicate copies of the 2nd and 5th volume. More reinforcements arrive, Kaoruko Nijouin, Yuina Machiya and Michi Edogawabashi. They get this idea to order from the publishers but too bad it is already out of print and not even available online. Good thing Ayaka found an old map of Akihabara and they pinpoint the remaining 6 anime stores around. So they split up to go to those stores while the rest comb the store. Too bad, more volume 2 and 5. Luckily for them, there are only 1 set left for the other volumes on the shelves and all that is left is the 1st volume. Izumi finds the final store but it is closed. I don’t think pleading outside while telling all her nostalgic memories of those times is going to do anything good. Oh wait. The owner just opened the door! But too bad. Not the volume she is looking for. Back at the shop, the girls really wonder if people’s memories of the otaku culture have disappeared. Michi vows not to let it happen. Just then, Usagi Nejire AKA Nejiusa returns with Rei Kurushima, Saori Rokugou and Komachi Satonaka. It seems they were on a mission to destroy viruses in another world but the villainess Maya keeps setting them up. With Nejiusa detecting another virus from another world, they realize it is that rabbit volume since the manga are disappearing. To prevent memories of this manga from disappearing, Izumi, Irina and Ayaka step up to save this world.

Episode 2
In this world that mimics a lot like that Gochuumon Usagi Desu Ka series, our girls are shocked to find the inhabitants here looking like eels. It must be the virus that are having an effect. In the café, they meet up with, uhm, Chino and the eel that is always on her head, Choppy. They take Choppy’s famous coffee fortune telling since it is always accurate and it seems they are going to have some water trouble. A virus is spotted and the girls give chase only for Izumi to end up herself in the water. Then they spot the big mother virus as it sets loose its baby virus to turn all normal humans into eels. And of course, Maya controlling them all. The girls get ready to fight and defeat them or else this world is doomed and hence people losing their memories of this world. Hurry, the viruses are sucking up the people’s memories into their core. Maya thought she could use some slippery eel liquid to make them lose their balance. Izumi has a great idea of sliding through it all. Time to finish it up as they destroy the mother virus’ main core and send Maya flying away in defeat, Team Rocket style. With everyone returning to normal (Choppy now a rabbit), the girls have a taste of their greatest coffee before heading back. They receive the good news that many people have replied to their message for the 1st volume and one even came to donate. Hooray! Now they have the completed volume set. Next day, the shop is filled with customers who are here to read Rabbit Café. Great publicity. And the young girl who requested it all is now delighted she gets to read the entire series.

Episode 3
The girls notice Michi with a beautiful doll. She made it herself based on the manga, Rosy Maidens (?!). However it seems none could remember how the series went about. Is it due to the virus? Because of that, Michi feels sad as she searches the store for it. There it is. But oh no! It’s disappearing. Time to head in and save that world. As Michi, Kaoruko, Yuina and Nejiusa arrive, it looks like a normal room when a suitcase flies in. Hey look. It’s, uhm, Shinku. In jerseys?! And Suigin Tou too! In jerseys?! Damn virus. And then you have Suigin Tou using machine guns, her taboo word is ‘you suck’ and they turn Super Saiyan and fight! DON’T RUIN MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES!!! Michi transforms into their trademark frilly Victorian era dress to stop them. Suigin Tou then takes her away. It seems she is jealous Michi transformed into Shinku’s design and not hers. Maya and her viruses then show up for trouble. Meanwhile Kaoruko and Yuina find themselves in some TV junkyard as they hear Michi’s voice of wanting her friends to remember this series so much. After dispatching several viruses, they regain their memories and remember how they spent time loving this series. Then they go to aid Michi who is on the brink of defeat after tiring out fighting the viruses herself. Maya summons a giant mother virus to attack. The trio combine their effort and using gravity to slice it up. And of course, Team Rocket treatment again for Maya. Shinku and Suigin Tou get their trademark dresses back and they somewhat made peace with each other. When the girls return to the shop, they get this idea of using a Rosy Maidens themed cosplay to attract customers.

Episode 4
When Komachi can’t remember of that basketball manga, Saori uses her invention to sniff it out. Oh look, it’s Mini Basketball (Ro-Kyu-Bu?!). Komachi remembers a friend of hers being sad because her other friends don’t remember about this manga. It could be the work of the virus. That’s why Komachi wanted to find out more about it and read up. Yeah, she got so emotionally touched reading it. Don’t look now because the manga is disappearing! You know what to do. In this world, they see lolis being attacked by virus. Yeah, Maya jealous that lolis got too popular that men started getting interested in them, hence she can’t get married. WTF. Because for some reason violence is a no-no, Maya suggests a 3 on 3 basketball match. Yeah, she’s so kind to give them time to practice as the match is after school. Anyway we see them suck at playing the real thing. I think it’s because of their dress… So how? Here comes, uhm, Subaru! Yeah, he’ll coach them to save his lolis! He employs weird training techniques that makes you wonder if they are training for basketball. The match is here as Maya’s side consists of a giant mother virus and 2 floating hooded virus. So we see Subaru’s training isn’t all nonsense because the girls actually apply them and score! OMFG!!! This should also be a spoof of Kuroko No Basket or Buzzer Beater. Our girls are leading by a point when Maya decides to ‘cheat’. Her team lands in the final score at the final second to win. Then they see the basketball is actually a virus in disguise and this is against the rules. So what now? You wanna fight? I guess it’s back to violence. This makes it easier as the girls destroy the mother virus and send Maya away like Team Rocket. When they return, the other girls in the store have read the manga and are now overwhelmed with its story. But Komachi’s friends have a happy ending as her friends now remember the manga.

Episode 5
Irina is playing shogi after reading that manga, Shogi Ou No Oshigoto (?!). Speaking of which, that manga is starting to disappear! Time for Minami, Nao and Chimari to head into this world. In this dark gloomy world, there are monster turtles with shogi boards. Chimari panics and shoots but once the timer runs out, the turtle explodes. It seems you must make the correct shogi moves to defuse them. But they don’t know shogi! Don’t worry, here comes shogi prodigy, Mai Tsurumizu (uhm, Ai Hinatsuru?!). She relates how Maya kidnapped her master (uhm, Yaichi?) and other strong shogi masters. The only way to save him is through the shogi hall but it is filled with viruses. The girls agree to help each other out to save her master. They have to traverse the floors, each with different versions of shogi. With Mai tired, Chimari thought she could help out but fails. Mai has to save the day again. This only increases her guilt of being useless. The higher they go, the more ridiculous games they play. Uhm, chess and Chinese chess? Poker and then mahjong?! WTF?! When they reach the final floor, Maya is trying to seduce Yaichi to irk Mai. Mai must face off with the mother virus if she is going to save her master. With the shogi match dragging out, Maya plays cheat by sending virus to attack and distract Mai. Not if the others could help. With Chimari again flopping, it’s time to feel that guilt again. Until her friends reason why she was never ever a burden, the much self-confidence Chimari needs to help Mai land that checkmate move. So ‘devastating’ that it destroys the mother virus and automatically gives Maya the Team Rocket treatment. After Mai reunites with her master, the girls return and Chimari is now a better shogi player than Irina. Yeah, so confident that she’s spouting military quotes from Nobunaga! Game for another shogi?

Episode 6
Rei might look like a girl who is only interested in making plastic models. But she holds a secret that no one knows: She also likes cute things. However things didn’t go her way as there is an Akita dog she wants to pet so much, somebody will just steal the march to pet it first. Back at the shop, the other girls find several cute Chutaro (Hamtaro?!) dolls. While they love it, Rei pretends not to like them. I guess Nejiusa is going to have a run for his money on who is the cutest. Too bad the girls find him more funny than cute. And then… Damn virus affecting Chutaro! Time to get to it. Rei, Izumi and Minami enter the world of Chutaro. Yeah, cute critters too hard to resist… Until they turn into scary ferocious beasts! Damn those viruses. Rei got separated during the attack. She finds Chutaro and learns how Maya appeared and transformed his friends. But out of the fire and into the pan for Chutaro because Rei can’t hold it anymore and starts cuddling and molesting it. Maya sees this and his shocked and irritated but has an idea. As Chutaro brings Rei to his other uninfected pals, more extreme cuddling and molestation! Then Minami and Izumi see this. Oh my. Rei tries to give excuse. I don’t think they’re buying that mouse fairy or virus infection thingy. Rei gets embarrassed and runs away. But her friends don’t really mind this side they have never seen. They want her to be true to her feelings because it’ll be too late once they’re gone. Just in time for Maya and mother virus to attack. But Maya unleashes photos of Rei snuggling with Chutaro, paralysing this embarrassed cutie. Until Rei sees Chutaro protecting his friends instead of running away, Rei gets her senses back, powers up her weapon and with 1 strike, sends Maya blasting off into the sky. Rei now comes to terms and admits she also likes cute things. In reality, things are looking up for her as she is now able to pet the dog all she wants.

Episode 7
Time to go JRPG retro with Quest Of Phantasia! Yeah, Tales Of Phantasia spoof. Saori, Irina and Yuina arrive in this world and experience a load of JRPG cliché other than the pixelated visuals. From repetitive NPCs to getting resurrected after being killed by monsters (that takes a load of gold!) and even a side quest to save Nejiusa after he gets kidnapped. Yeah, they want to parody the side scrolling action of Ghost N Goblins! Usually it is mostly thanks to Saori and her love for such games that gets them out of most situations or advance. She might be a scientist but she loves RPG monsters too because they don’t follow the law of physics? As they make their way to defeat the demon lord, however there is one day a month that Saori becomes totally a pessimist. Yes, that day is today. And so the party is having a tough time navigating through their journey with Saori being such a negative person! They finally reach the demon lord’s castle. When Irina and Yuina are about to be sacrificed, thankfully a whole day has passed so Saori returns to normal and kicks ass. Cue for the demon lord to turn into his true form. So what if their attacks now don’t work? Nejiusa reminds them to transform into their magical girl form! Oh yeah, forgot about that, haven’t we? At least in this form they are not bound by the game’s limits and can kick ass to their heart’s content with their overpowered moves. Isn’t this like cheating?! With the demon lord gone, Maya and her mother virus pop up but gets easily owned! So sad, that’s all the appearance she has today. At least she still got her trademark Team Rocket treatment.

Episode 8
Nao sucks at cooking. Yeah, she almost killed Yuina and Nejiusa with her ‘poison’ although the latter duo are to blame for trying to secretly eat her food. This has Nao sad and losing confidence. But when they claim that she too has her good points, Nao gets happy and suddenly very girly?! Because of that, she is now able to cook well like a girl and tastes way better (although presentation wise, it looks horrible). Of course this mode doesn’t last long and it’s back to the tomboyish Nao. Just in time for them to notice the virus attacking the manga world of Aji Master. You mean the discount Shokugeki No Souma? Nao, Ayaka and Minami enter this world and stumble into the diner of Medatama. Heh. I guess we have this old guy in place instead of a young vibrant Yukihira. Anyway, his cooking is good but there are no customers. A food journalist, Okayama enters to taste his katsudon but calls it crap. He even thinks the girl can cook better than this. He then takes his word back. It tastes like crap too. Until he tastes Nao’s cooking that he totally loves it! His praises turn her even more feminine. Hate to break this happy session but Maya and her viruses are here to attack. Since the old fashion fighting is boring, Maya suggests a food battle whereby the loser leaves this world. She picks Nao in this one on one cooking as she believes her tomboyish feature is her weakness. But since Nao is in girly mode, Maya is starting to sweat seeing how good she is. She sends her virus to disrupt but Ayaka and Minami keep them at bay to let her concentrate on cooking. At this point, Nao loses her femininity but her friends give positive words for her to carry on. Once it’s done, they present to Okayama to judge. Maya’s sh*t curry tastes freaking good???!!! Of course she laced it with some drug and he can’t stop eating. While Nao’s curry looks normal, it tastes hell of a good! So much so it is the start of the exaggeration reaction of swimming in curry! Nao is declared the winner and Maya can’t believe what makes her curry so good. As she tastes it, she finds it horrible. Mother virus accidentally eats it and explodes. Here’s your Team Rocket effect for her this episode. As Nao is being showered by praises, her friends believe that the viruses warped the tastes of the people here. Hence Nao’s cooking is still pretty sh*tty. Better stay quiet…

Episode 9
Kaoruko sucks at dating sim games. It is apparent she often makes the wrong choices that she thinks are correct. This has the rest commenting there are things she is bad at and this shocks her because she thinks herself as perfect. Hence she goes to one of the last remaining game software shops in Akihabara to buy up the entire shop of its dating sims. I think she just can’t decide on what the shop owner says. So she starts playing them and at first it is frustrating because she is always losing. But once she realizes what needs to be done, she finally gets the good endings. I don’t know how many games she bought but can she clear all of it in just a night? Did she stop time? Kaoruko, Irina and Chimari are early to open the café when they find a dating sim game they think a customer dropped. They start playing Love Love Legend (Tokimeki Memorial?) when suddenly it stops working. Is it a bug? Nope. Just in time for the virus attacking. As they head inside the game, they are shocked to see the legendary sakura tree withered and the heroines of this game hating boys! Yeah, thanks to Maya spreading the word! She’ll turn them into independent women who don’t need men! They get to hear Maya’s rant about her disappointments in her love life and that’s why she’s such an ‘expert’. But don’t fear. Kaoruko transforms into a boy and vows to capture her heart. However her flattering has her losing points instead. Thanks to Maya being so twisted at love and the master of breaking up, words aren’t going to earn you brownie points. But soon Kaoruko finds her ‘weakness’ because since Maya sees herself as useless, Kaoruko helps out whenever she is in need. Hence earning enough points for the legendary ending. So on the day Maya is to confess her love to her underneath that now bloomed sakura tree, the heroines return and cry foul. They thought she taught them to hate boys but she snagged one herself. They’re not trusting anybody anymore! Hence they take out their bloodied cleavers and start hacking! OMG! Is this yandere simulator now?! Obviously the virus is turning them into violent zombies and they even summon mother virus. But Maya is stumped since she did not order the destruction of this world. Kaoruko and her friends go to great lengths to protect Maya until they defeat the mother virus and send those heroines back to normal. For once, Maya is satisfied and enjoyed her time here. Wow. A peaceful ending for her once? Back in reality, the rest discuss this game’s popularity was due to the shock ending of other girls turning into zombies attacking you and your girlfriend. It was all done during the zombie craze and hence part of the game. It doesn’t matter for Kaoruko because she still thinks she is perfect at everything.

Episode 10
For the first time I do not recognize this cliché shonen manga they are parodying. Anyway, Touya Kontoshi is about a delinquent guy who has to fight his way through several ‘floors’ of high school, each guarded by a powerful bancho AKA delinquent. However when Ayaka learns that Nao stopped reading and formed her own conclusions, Ayaka turns scary to lecture her about the true greatness of this manga. Oh dear. Her evil aura looks like she is being possessed by a virus! Is she?! Nao is so dead after listening to her long lecture. Wait, is this BL material too???!!! Then the real virus invades the manga and it’s time for our heroines to jump right in to save their favourite manga. Already at the start, the hero Touya is being defeated. He gives Ayaka his wooden sword to progress. In a typical shonen cliché, we see the gang fighting the other floor bancho as they let Ayaka pass so she can see the student council president, Akina at the top. As expected, we see them pulling off winning exaggerated moves like Michi using her forehead flick, Nejiusa and his giant drill and Nao turning into a boxer. When Ayaka reaches the top, she sees Akina being brainwashed trying to sign heaps of paper to hand over the academy to Maya. Is this even possible? Screw all that. It’s shonen manga logic. Ayaka frees her from the brainwash by stabbing the wooden sword into her chest! Yeah, no chest wound whatsoever. Ayaka then proceeds to lecture Maya… This is going to take a while… Is it because of this long lecture that mother virus is going to explode? Actually turns out it is being possessed by some secret shadowy student council character, blah, blah, blah… It’s going on a rampage but don’t fear. Shonen manga cliché at its finest! Touya returns! With all the defeated friends and foes uniting under him, they send power to the wooden sword for Ayaka to destroy the mother virus. Also expected, Maya gets caught in the explosion so it’s Team Rocket for her. Back in reality, the manga ends with Touya roaming the wold to fight other stronger people after graduation. World’s strongest unemployed delinquent bum? Nao feels sad since he wanted him to hook up with her with Akina in college. Oh no. Time for Ayaka’s lecture…

Episode 11
Oh dear. Not another store closing down in Akihabara. I guess you can’t sustain a business when there are no customers. And for today’s trouble, the virus have now invaded the world’s most famous that was a phenomenon 20 years ago, Neon Nova Exceed! Oh, you mean the Neon Genesis Evangelion rip-off? Izumi, Kaoruko and Komachi head into the world and are delighted to see the original Akihabara. Yup, Exceed’s setting is based on this so you can bet that the original otaku world is thriving. The girls can’t help get lost in this fascination but trouble is here. The town is soon evacuated and all the defences up. It’s an attack by Maya and her larger than usual mother virus. OMG. The girls can’t defeat it? The mother virus then goes on a rampage that not even Maya can handle. It is destroying Akihabara and the irony of Maya pleading to the girls for help to save the day? When they lecture her for always causing trouble, she regresses into a child and starts throwing a tantrum. Whatever. Anyway she explains this mother virus is powerful than usual because a lot of people hold special memories of it. So the more famous an anime is, the more powerful the mother virus? I guess this shows why the previous mother viruses were easily defeated… But don’t worry. Maya will help. First she snipes at it but the barrier deflects and hit her back! Too early for Team Rocket treatment so she now tries the cliché of talking to it! Remember our memories? Nope. Be gone! As expected. Maya’s last hope is to use Exceed and she might be a huge fan of the series since she knows where the secret base is. Yeah, it also shows how old she is… But in the base, no giant mecha! The sole scientist (Gendou and Ritsuko mash up?) explains that due to Maya’s viruses attacking, its development was disrupted. Even if they have the blueprint and facilities, they have no manpower to make it. They have this idea to go get Saori and make Exceed but mother virus pops in to wreak havoc. Nejiusa and Izumi are separated. The rest put their faith in her to bring Saori back. Back in reality, Izumi is fraught with guilt for abandoning her friends. I know we believe in them but can we stop stalling and move on? Thank goodness for Irina’s timely slap that Izumi shouldn’t let their efforts be in vain. That is why she came back in the first place. With that, all the girls gear up to enter this world for one big final fight.

Episode 12
The girls split up to create Exceed and to search for their missing comrades. They find a dropped camera belonging to them and it gives them hope that they are still alive. Somewhere. So don’t give up now! As they continue searching, seeing Akihabara filled with otaku stuffs remind them of the good ol’ days how they bonded and got to know each other because of that. I don’t know how long it took but finally they finished a few robots. Yeah, bad design. But the ‘better looking’ one looks suspiciously close to Di Gi Chara’s Dejiko. Nyo! And I suppose the mother virus was patient enough to wait for them to get ready and attack, huh? If individual mini robots can’t beat it, combine! They can fight on par with the mother virus but it absorbs other viruses to become bigger and stronger. Oh no. What will we do? Do you not know at this moment of pinch, it is always the cliché moment that the hero shows up. In this case, Exceed! Yup, the lost girls have somewhat created it. I suppose this explains the secret cave that led to some secret place to finish it. Yeah, so why didn’t the girls looking for them just follow that path? Whatever. With Exceed fighting on par with the mother virus and when the mecha fight looks like it is heading to a deadlock, that is when our girls get down and out to destroy the mother virus with their own individual power and weapons. Yes, they even summoned the power of the other previous worlds they saved. Because the feeling of love is invincible! With the mother virus’ defeat, the town returns to normal. Yeah, all restored back to normal like as though they reloaded a previously saved file of the city. The girls thank Maya but she notes it is just for today. They’ll go back to being enemies tomorrow. Okay. Whatever. Back in reality, the girls continue to serve customers who walk in. Are there any?

Pasty Parodies
And so the real world still remains lifeless and without any hint of the otaku culture at all! Yeah, I consider this a sad ending. Not even managing to save the world of the most famous anime 20 years ago could have a ripple effect on the real world. Even though the girls continue to put on a chirpy outlook but with this otaku culture no longer trending and close to non-existent, I say that it is only a matter of time before they really follow suit like other otaku shops in Akihabara and close down. That is why I believe with the girls continue to helm the café, it’s like they get to continue protecting the dream of the otaku world. I mean, where else can you find such vivid imagination in the real world except through all those anime and manga? I know they said love is invincible but they didn’t say it is forever! Haha! Gotcha!

Being an anime that tries to parody genres of anime, I guess this can be called the general plot of this series. Everything here is pretty much cliché and formulaic that it is, uhm, uninspiring. Because if you really want to make great and funny parodies, my reference would always be Gintama. Even Animegataris isn’t all that shabby. But this series feels like the parodies are done just to get on one’s nostalgia side, especially like yours truly who have watched so many animes over the years that the ‘fun’ is pointing out which anime series they are parodying for the day. Looks like I couldn’t get a clean sweep since I am still unsure of that high school delinquent parody. I think it is Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys but I could be mistaken since I didn’t watch that anime. But I guess the parodying was too much for some to take because towards the end, it has been hit with some copyright laws since some of the parodies are too close to home. Hence the streaming version of it was pulled. Yeah, don’t you dare make fun of our animes!

Other than that, the stories of each episode just follow the same predictable pattern that hardly amounts to anything in the end. Because after freeing the world from the invasion of the viruses and giving Maya her obliged Team Rocket treatment, all is well back in reality because they get to preserve the anime and manga. For now. Rinse and repeat. It’s just so mind boggling that the villains never tried to take over the anime or manga. So a world once freed is forever saved. Some anime logic there for you.

It also doesn’t make any economic sense that the café continues to operate as an otaku themed one albeit being one of the last few remaining bastions of the otaku culture in Akihabara. I mean, we don’t even see the owner’s nose anyhow so where the heck does he get the money to pay the girls? Twelve of them! Oh, the girls do volunteer work because of their love for the otaku culture! I hope so. I get a feeling that the real owner is doing something else to rake in the money (like drugs?!) and this is just some fringe activity he has in his portfolio. And the far and few customers who patron the café must be just a one off experience for them, huh? I mean, they’re passing by and they thought it’s cute so they enter to have a drink and read a manga or something. Then they leave and go home, never setting foot in there ever again. Because do you not remember after that Rabbit Café manga craze, looks the crowd died down after that. Back to zero customers on average per day.

The dozen of main characters feel pretty much one dimensional and lacking depth. At first when you are spammed the dozen girls of the café, you might be amazed of how this café employs so many young beautiful girls but hardly have any business. Because the series focuses way too much on the clichés of the parodies, the characters of these girls suffer. They lack any substance that would want to make you want to care or support them. You only do so because they’re the heroines and that’s what we’re supposed to do. And maybe perhaps because they’re looking cute. Anime girls have got to be kawaii, right?

Therefore my theory why there are a dozen of those kawaii bishoujo instead of just 4 or 5 is for variety purposes. The pattern in every episode has 3 of them ‘on duty’ to head into the affected world so you can bet they will mix and shuffle the girls to be featured. However I believe that not every girl gets an equal amount of screen time AKA featured in an episode. For example, Saori only featured once. But it’s not like we keep count, right? And it’s not like we really care for them either, right? Yeah, by the time the next episode airs, I don’t even remember who is who. Not even their names… Sad… And it’s funny to think that if you erase an entire anime or manga volume or series, the whole world forgets it. That’s not even altering the minds of every individual on the face of the planet. Even more mind boggling how the virus targets those otaku works sitting right in the main room of the café instead of their obscure store. Because of that, the girls are able to dive in immediately and take action. Had the virus infect those inside the store, nobody would have even noticed! They would have easily gotten the job done! Damn, the villains are just as dumb for plot convenience.

Maya is supposed to be the antagonist but considering the nature of this series, she turns out to be more of a comic relief. Ironically, she is the only character that appears consistently in every episode (the other being Nejiusa), hence making her the series’ regular. Despite being totally cliché, she seems to have more character than the heroines. Even more ironic is that Maya is the only character whom I can identify right away other than the dozen heroines. It is her role to be the punching bag (they really write and setup her role to be a failure anyway) and also having that running joke that she is an old woman who has past her prime to snag a boyfriend, hence her eternal complains about being a single woman at her age. So perhaps if she had a guy who loves her, she wouldn’t have to go around destroying the otaku culture? What does she think this is?! A manga romance fairytale?! ;p.

Because of all that, Maya despite being the villainess, she is the character that I guess most of us can relate too. Uh huh. When you’re an adult trying to just live life, then you get all those young punks who think they know more about life and sputter all that sparkling justice crap. And they get away with it while you get blasted away. That’s so really like life. Suspiciously, there is this plain Jane in reality who wanders around. My speculation is that this girl is Maya and the conspiracy theory is that because the real life is so boring, thus the reason why she plays the villain and cause havoc within the worlds. Holy cow! Because it is so much fun when you can still live your otaku dreams, right? No wonder Maya doesn’t get disheartened after losing every time and it’s not perseverance that did the trick. The goal was never to destroy those worlds. Let’s continue to live the otaku dream as long as we can!

Nejiusa as the series’ mascot comes off more than annoying than cute. I mean, doesn’t this zombie rabbit sound like some mouse whose got his ass stuffed with something?! Sometimes it tries to be a wise guy with some comeback lines but he is not funny. More so, Nejiusa is useless in combat and is only with the girls on the mission because he teleports them to the world. Other than that, he is just forgettable. So forgettable that I think they forget to make him appear in the last episode after the opening sequence! Yeah, thinking about it, where the f*ck was that zombie rabbit during the battle and after that? Like as though it vanished along with the mother virus.

The action parts feel boring and repetitious. It is just an excuse to have some sort of weird battle against the virus minions that doesn’t amount to anything much because this is all obligatory. You know, the heroines are here to purge the viruses out of the world. Hence I believe that the so called huge fantasy-like weapons that they hold, they feel redundant because it’s not like they pull off any memorable special moves with it. If it’s a gun, just shoot with it. If it’s a sword, just hack and slash with it. Boring. Why bother with special moves when the virus army is just going to stand there and not fight back with special moves whatsoever.

Art and animation feel pretty okay and sometimes mediocre. I noticed drops in quality in some scenes but at least it’s not that bad like that recent little sister crap. Yeah… Oddly, even with the various designs of the girls, I still can never identify who is who despite their cheap steampunk outfit design that makes some look like some Irish St Patrick’s outing thingy. It goes to show that even when you have different hair colours, hairstyles and the likes, you can’t remember the character if they don’t even have any character. Yeah, Maya is more identifiable than any of the heroines. The viruses and mother viruses look so generic that you think they didn’t put enough effort in the design. Probably what goes behind the production is something like this: We need a design for a virus antagonist. Just make it look like a virus, that’s all. Okay. Approved. This series is done by Project No.9 who did some of the works they parodied here like Ryo-Kyu-Bu and Ryuuou no Oshigoto.

Voice acting is pretty meh. I’m not going to do my usual casting list. Just want to note that Nejiusa is voiced by Chitose Morinaga and if this character sounds weirdly familiar, it’s because she sounded close to that weird rabbit, Timothy from Anne Happy. Unbelievable. I think I recognized Yui Ogura as one of the girls, but I don’t remember who. Yeah, can’t tell who is who still. There are other guests seiyuus lending their talents as one off cameo appearances but only Takehito Koyasu as Okayama was recognizable. Even with all the disappointments, the only thing I truly enjoyed is the opening theme, Believe In Sky by Asami Imai. It has this upbeat and catchy tune to my liking so if I want to forget the mediocrity of this series, I just sing this song. The ending theme, Sparkle Power by Iketeru Hearts, your typical all-girl J-pop anime song. Perhaps the episodes themselves lack fanservice so the ending credits animation spam all the sexy bikini and swimsuit fanservice of the heroines. Damn, they should have just made an ecchi harem or yuri parody instead.

Overall, initially it was a fun idea to parody anime itself. But because of the repetitive cycle of each episode and the characters that lack any depth, this mission to bring back the glory days of the otaku culture feels like it is doing more harm than saving it. No wonder the people here don’t want anything to do with the otaku culture! While it is unthinkable that this otaku culture will die out, but the chances aren’t zero. Let’s just hope it does only for this anime… Because without the otaku culture, Japan is nothing. Heck, Japan should not even have the right to exist if they don’t have the otaku culture at all!!!! FFFUUUUU YEAH!!!!!!!! VIVA ANIME AND THE OTAKU WORLD!!!

Goblin Slayer

April 21, 2019

Have you ever hated something in your life so much that you dedicated your entire life to eradicate and eliminate every last bit of thing you detest the most? Well, some people do go that length and in the case of Goblin Slayer, that title says it all. One may not think much of killing goblins since they are one of those low level monsters like slimes. Yeah, others prefer to slay dragons and more powerful monsters so slaying goblins isn’t going to turn heads. Unless you’re like the titular character who has an obsession in taking down every last one of them and turn their existence status into extinction. He’ll hunt them down to the ends of the earth and spill their blood with extreme prejudice. No mercy. Is he the fantasy goblin version of Liam Neeson’s Taken?

Episode 1
Onna Shinkan (Priestess) is a rookie adventurer and is eager to start her first adventure. She teams up with another group of rookies to go goblin hunting. Shinkan feels worried as they make their descent into the goblin cave because she thinks they should make more preparations. However they are confident they have dealt with goblins before. In the dark cave, they get separated. And then the goblins start to ambush them. Real sh*t hits the fan when one of them gets stabbed. Reality check. The warrior guy tries to fight back in anger but with the cramped space of the cave, his sword is useless. Defenceless, he gets overwhelmed and killed. And then this female fighter she thought she could kick some mini goblins’ ass. When the big daddy is here, she gets owned. To add salt to injury, the goblins rape her!!! OMFG!!! Shinkan tries to protect the injured comrade. Goblins too want to rape her?! Until Goblin Slayer shows up and kills them. After treating Shinkan’s wounds, he has no choice but to kill her injured comrade. She is beyond saving. Shinkan follows Goblin Slayer deeper into the cave as he dispenses his knowledge of the goblins habitat. Near the goblins’ nest (where there are other kidnapped females as their playthings), he sets trap to kill the big daddy. He also quickly kills the shaman who is leading the leader of the pack. He finds a hidden room where there are young goblin offspring. As they breed very fast, Goblin Slayer shows no mercy in slaying them all. Shinkan is very conflicted and sad seeing all the blood and violence. But it is either her or them. In the aftermath, the kidnapped girls are rescued and it is a sad thing that many of them will live the rest of their lives with trauma. As for Shinkan, she continues to be an adventurer and unofficially teams up with Goblin Slayer to hunt goblins. Best chance she has for survival if she wants to stay as an adventurer.

Episode 2
Ushikai Musume (Cow Girl) once had a childhood friend. But they ended up in an argument before she left for the city. Many years passed and she finds it hard to apologize. Goblin Slayer stays in her village and every morning he does his routine checking for any trespassing goblins. At the guild, many adventurers badmouth Goblin Slayer because despite his high adventurer rank, he only slays small fries like goblins. Not that he cares what they say. He is only interested in quests that exterminates goblins. Hence it is an unofficial rule nobody picks such goblin slaying quests. There are a few of them but he chooses to destroy the one with a nesting cave. There was a group of rookie adventurers who took an easy goblin slaying quest but Goblin Slayer places more importance of the nesting. He gives Shinkan the choice to go save them if she wants to. For a few days, Goblin Slayer never returned home as he prepares to take out the goblins’ nesting. We get a glimpse of his past of why he hates goblins so much. Apparently they attacked his village and burnt everything down. He was hiding and could only watch in fear of what is hinted that his sister got raped and killed by them. He made a vow to kill every single last one of them. He will kill and kill even more. There will be good days and there will be bad days. You test every idea you have and before you know it, you start to enjoy the killing. It is hinted that Ushikai is his childhood friend but at this point, it seems he has lost it. Now we see Goblin Slayer along with Shinkan’s help, burn down the entire colony and hunts down any that escaped. Ruthless. And the rookie adventurers who did the goblin slaying quest, thank goodness they all came back alive. Ushikai welcomes Goblin Slayer back and cooks for him as always.

Episode 3
An odd adventurer group consisting of Elf, Dwarf and Lizardman are looking for Goblin Slayer. There he is. While they go talk to him, another group of adventurers talk to Shinkan in hopes of joining them as they talk bad about Goblin Slayer. They heard rumours he is only using newbies as bait. Luckily Witch shoos them away and talks to Shinkan about her experience of working once with him. Something about help with magic scrolls. He might only be slaying goblins but this also helps out the world for the better. Hence Shinkan should make up her mind if she really wants to follow him. Elf explains the Demon Lord is going to be resurrected and unleash hordes of monsters upon the world. She wants his help but Goblin Slayer rejects her. Goblin slaying is more important than the end of the world. Dwarf calms her down and explains in detail. It seems there are goblins bothering their land. You interested now? Very. Too bad the military and politicians won’t budge over these small fries and if they raise their own army to fight the goblins, the humans will become suspicious and hence why they come to him. There is nothing left to discuss. Except how much they will pay for his services. So we see the gang camping out as they talk why they became adventurers. And then it feels a bit like a cooking show because all share their special food. I guess the winner is the cheese. Glorious cheese! Then they talk about how goblins came about. There are many legends but the one Goblin Slayer learnt from her sister is that they come from the moon. Because they had nothing, they come down here to steal everything. Thus those who filled with jealousy will become goblins. It sounds like a load of crap but Goblin Slayer believes his sister is never wrong. Next day, they begin their assault on the goblins’ base.

Episode 4
Trekking deep into the base, Elf detects a strange trap. Although this means there is no shaman leading the goblins, it is very worrying since normal goblins cannot set such traps and it could mean some other beings are leading the goblins. They enter a very smelly waste room. They see a tortured elf woman. They think Goblin Slayer is going to kill her to put her out of her misery but he kills the goblin hiding behind her. With Lizardman’s familiar, they send her out to safety. Elf is most affected by this brutality but she has to be strong and continue. After all, her hometown is near here. Then they trek deeper and at the bottom, they see a horde of goblins sleeping. With Dwarf and Shinkan’s magic to make them drunk and sleep, the rest begin their kill. Again Elf is having a hard time killing just 1 goblin as she ponders if Goblin Slayer has done it so many times like that. Once all the goblins are dead, here comes the big boss. Actually, an ogre. He is mad that the army granted by one of the Demon Lord’s generals is massacred. He uses his fireball to eliminate them but thanks to Shinkan’s protection, they live. Too bad she is all out of miracles. The rest go on the offensive but the ogre has healing capabilities and Goblin Slayer takes a near fatal blow. While the rest fight to buy time, Shinkan tends to Goblin Slayer. Thank goodness for the healing and stamina potions he brought. Now back on his feet, he has a plan to face this big daddy. The next thing we know, the ogre is cut into several pieces! It seems Goblin Slayer used the gate scroll to link it to the bottom of the sea. Hence the intense pressure cut the ogre in many places. Goblin Slayer then kills him for good and mocks he is not as troublesome to kill as those goblins. As they emerge from the base, the elf reinforcements are here to take over and scout the area. They all head back for a well-deserved needed rest.

Episode 5
Goblin Slayer has been asleep for 3 days! I guess he needs the rest. When he’s up, Lizardman is asking him for more… Cheese! And what’s this? Elf is blushing while asking Goblin Slayer’s help to survey some ruins? I don’t think the issue is the ruins… And Shinkan tells him the good news that she got promoted. Meanwhile a couple of rookie adventurers are hunting monster rats. Unfortunately his sword gets stuck in the corpse and they had to flee because monster bugs are now descending to feast on it. With their failed mission, they don’t get any reward and this puts them in a punch. They can’t fight without a sword and they have no money. They ask other adventurers to lend a spare but it’s not that they don’t want to, rather their swords are incompatible with him. You know, he is too weak to even hold them. Finally they seek Goblin Slayer’s advice and he thinks a club should do the trick. So back to hunting but this time to retrieve the lost sword. He looks like a barbarian smashing the club but it’s hell of an effective. It is detected that a monster bug ate his sword so they have to flee but with the help of a miracle and some guts, I guess he has to bite the bullet and club the bug to death and then slice it up to take back his sword. Gross. Meanwhile the guild’s Receptionist requests Goblin Slayer to be an observer for a promotion test. He’s not interested but since they’re in a pinch… So we see the cocky adventurer trying to talk big but his lies are easily detected. Because he has also breached the trust of his comrades by keeping the treasure to himself, he shall be demoted and banned from adventuring in this town. He is mad and would have wanted to kill her but had the thought of Goblin Slayer punching the hell out of him cross his mind, he goes away. Mad. Just go away. Receptionist is relieved the scary part is over and thanks Goblin Slayer for being an observer. Oh my, is she another one of those girls who has a crush on him? Why do girls really like hard to get guys? Soon Goblin Slayer gets a quest to slay goblins. However this letter has a special seal on it and is specifically requesting him for the task.

Episode 6
There are tales of heroes taking down Demon Lord’s minions. But Goblin Slayer isn’t interested in that. It’s goblin slaying time. His party members aren’t that happy that he isn’t giving much of an option to discuss. You either go with him or not. But they should have been used by his style by now. So they head to this water town to meet the Sword Maiden, the second highest rank adventurer who requested Goblin Slayer. Goblin Slayer lacks tact as he sounds pushy trying to get more info so Sword Maiden explains a girl was sent to do errands but her corpse was later found in the alley. It is believed to be the work of a goblin. Even with increased patrols, this continued to happen. As this town was built on an old settlement, the goblins may have settled underground. And without haste they head underground and kill a lot of goblins. Yeah, there are lots of them. I guess somebody is going to have fun counting the kill streak. When Elf hears something weird coming, to their surprise, a group of goblins on a boat! Pirate goblins?! Doesn’t change a thing to kill them all! Since they are wearing armour, it is easier for them to push them off. Yeah, should have just sank the boat in the first place. But what is worse than a group of pirate goblins? A monster alligator! Not goblins so… Run! If you think they’re going to be sandwiched between another group of pirate goblins, Goblin Slayer has this bright idea to use the alligator against them! Have fun feeding. As they leave, Goblin Slayer mentions the oddity of the circumstances. Goblins aren’t bright creatures and for them to be steering boats, somebody must have taught them. Plus, if they have been breeding down here, how come they are unaware of the alligator? They would have avoided using boats. This means they aren’t breeding natural and somebody is artificially causing this.

Episode 7
Fanservice? Shinkan and Sword Maiden bathing in the aqueduct together. Not sure if the heat got to Shinkan because when Sword Maiden mentions one day Goblin Slayer will disappear, she gets really worried. I mean, really, really, really worried. Like as though the end of the world is near. The party return to the sewers to hunt more goblins. This time they reach the end of the map. Uncharted territory. It is believed this place is the graves of the heroes fought alongside the order side during the war. But now it is dark and it is perfect breeding ground for goblins who can see perfectly in the dark. Opening a door to the room, they see a chained warrior. Turns out it is a trap as it is just a corpse. And they didn’t hear the goblins closing the heavy door behind? Now they’re trap. I guess the goblins really did wise up. Even more so when they release poisonous gas into the room! With Goblin Slayer having some measures and plugging up the holes, they just wait for the goblins to barge in. When they do, it’s clobbering time! Then the big boss arrives. It is a goblin champion. When Goblin Slayer takes it on, he takes a lethal blow. Oh dear. Goblin Slayer gets done in?! Oh dear. Don’t you guys start panicking now! Too late. Shinkan is so paralyzed in fear that her protection barrier is gone, allowing the goblins to overwhelm them. Time to relive the trauma of the goblins trying to rape Elf!!! OMFG!!! If you’re wondering why Shinkan isn’t getting done in by them, well, big daddy has her all by himself. Damn he is eating her! No, I mean literally eating her out! The screams and cries of them reminds Goblin Slayer of a similar trauma. Then some taunting how he can’t kill all the goblins. It’s like his trigger mode as he turns into some killing machine? He uses the fake wig from the corpse to strangle the goblin champion. Apparently such hairs are strong so don’t worry them snapping. Then he gorges out an eye! With the goblin champion limping away, the other goblins get scared and retreat. After Goblin Slayer learns Shinkan is safe thanks to Lizardman’s healing, it’s his turn to collapse. I’m sure he isn’t dead but I don’t think this party needs any more of such surprises.

Episode 8
Short flashback shows a young Goblin Slayer being taunted by his master he couldn’t kill any goblins and watched his sister got raped and now he wants to kill them all? He is made to pass several tests. Now we see Goblin Slayer in bed with Shinkan. Naked! Double damn because he did it with Sword Maiden too! WTF is this double virgin resurrection?! Is this a new fancy sex technique???!!! Is this why they drew her nipples out?! OMG. If this was an ecchi romantic comedy I know what the reactions will be but alas this isn’t… And we’re stuck with our boring mundane Goblin Slayer who is all cured. So we hear Sword Maiden talk about how she isn’t exactly a virgin as she hinted she was raped by goblins when she was young and the irony that despite she slew the Demon Lord, has some sort of fear of goblins. But why the angle and sound like she’s seducing Goblin Slayer? Expected reaction from Shinkan when she wakes up naked. But Goblin Slayer assures her he has seen it… Thankfully no scars on her body (like his). Reuniting with the rest, as promised they go eat together before repairing their gear. And then some private moment with Goblin Slayer and Shinkan but nothing much comes out of it if you’re really expecting something. Then it is back to underground hunting. But now they are faced with some eyeball monster that disintegrates any movement it sees or dispels magic. It’s like Goblin Slayer got a solution for everything. So this time he has Elf be the decoy (thank goodness she is faster than the eyeball laser), Dwarf using his magic to spread the flour that Goblin Slayer got from Witch, Lizardman summoning a familiar to further distract it and once everybody is out of the room, Shinkan casts a barrier. Because in that closed up space and fine flour all around, one spark from the laser means boom! Yeah. One shrivelled giant eyeball coming up. And now before them is a strange mirror.

Episode 9
The mirror serves as some sort of gateway to a goblin settlement. This is how they enter and exit to this city. Elf picks up a horde of goblins coming their way to secure the mirror. Goblin Slayer and co make preparations to ‘welcome’ them as they fend off wave after wave of goblins. When the goblin champion is in the picture, Lizardman just in time manage to pry the mirror out from the wall. They use it as cover after Dwarf unleashes his spell to cave in the ceiling and crush the goblins. Goblin Slayer returns to Sword Maiden to report the job done. However, from what I understand, it seems he has been suspecting she knows everything from the start. Like how the sewers have no precise map and nobody even requesting quests to kill sewer rats. Something about a familiar guarding the place. From her story, it isn’t goblins who kill women and rip out their entrails because they would take them back to their nest to toy with them. Sword Maiden says the minions of the Demon Lord is trying to use the mirror to plot something as the mastermind is no longer around. She knows a sect is plotting revenge against her and what would others think when she asked for protection from goblins? She did all this because she wanted others to understand there are creatures in this world that would commit such atrocities. She allows him to keep the mirror but too bad he has no interest for it and toss it to the bottom of the sea where it would make a good bed for the alligator. She tells the irony that the world would be saved if the hero slays the Demon Lord but nobody would listen to a girl asking for help from the goblins. Goblin Slayer rubbishes thoughts about saving her since he doesn’t know how she feels. But if she wants goblins killed, call him anytime. Even if it is in her dreams. Is this enough as the salvation she seeks?

Episode 10
Goblin Slayer narrates his goal was to become an adventurer and then a hero. He might not have achieved the latter but at least he became the former. When he was young, he loved his sister’s stew. Of course now he can’t even remember how it tastes like. As the official news have gone around that the Hero has defeated the Demon Lord, the kingdom is now quiet and quests are rare. Goblin Slayer doesn’t think the minions will stay quiet. At least not the goblins. He visits the guild without his armour and some doesn’t even recognize who he is. He gets his armour and gear fixed up and later Receptionist hands him a letter from Sword Maiden. His party wants him to join them for lunch. Goblin Slayer wanted to refuse but with them insisting, looks like Ushikai and Receptionist are joining in too. Will this get interesting? Receptionist tells them about the proposal of opening a training hall to train new adventurers. This is also beneficial to retired adventurers as they can impart their valuable knowledge and experience as well as it can serve as a retired home. Is this her way of warning Goblin Slayer to not get himself almost killed next time because she can ground him with no adventures for the next 6 months? Later Goblin Slayer reads Sword Maiden’s letter. The usual thanking and how miraculously she has no more bad goblin nightmares. Although the Demon Lord is gone, his minions are still around and they can’t rest on their laurels yet. Dwarf and Elf have a drinking competition. Everybody else starts taking bets. Except for Goblin Slayer and Ushikai. She ponders about his future because what Receptionist said somewhat rings true. One day, he will grow old and tired. One day, he will have to stop slaying goblins. These days won’t last forever. When that day comes, he won’t probably know what to do nor has any answer for it. For the record, Dwarf wins the drinking competition.

Episode 10.5
Damn recap episode at this point?! WTF?! I don’t see any new scenes. Just recycled scenes of past episodes. Mainly starting off with Ushikai’s narration of their past, especially that petty childish argument. Then Goblin Slayer joining the odd party, the water town adventure that had him almost killed and his party wiped out and raped before the redemption fightback that caved in the entire place. What will the future hold for them and especially Goblin Slayer who will one day cannot slay goblins anymore? Yeah, we already know. That nobody knows.

Episode 11
Goblin Slayer tells Ushikai to escape. Checking the perimeter, he believes hordes of goblins will attack this town tonight. So, can’t Goblin Slayer deal with it as always? He could if they were in a cave. But out in the open, he stands no chance. Especially when there is the king of goblins leading the pack, Goblin Lord. Wow. Did I hear right? Goblin Slayer can’t even slay goblins? Ushikai will not run because she doesn’t want that to happen again, him losing his home. Hence Goblin Slayer heads to the guild to plead for help. However many aren’t interesting and besides, this is a guild and they’re not doing charity. What can he offer? Everything he has. Assets, equipment, knowledge and his life. It puts a lot of them in awkward position. But with some agreeing to let him buy drinks, they and the usual suspects join in. But Receptionist returns with approval from management for 1 gold coin for every goblin slain! Now everybody’s in! From high ranking adventurers like Lancer, Warrior and Paladin to amateurs and noobs, everybody wants a piece of a gold goblin. Wow. Money makes everyone look at the positive side of this adventure. So that night as they lie in wait, the goblins as predicted show up. However they use naked female prisoners as shields. Dwarf and Witch put the frontlines to sleep, enabling the adventurers to collect them before an all-out war breaks out. Thanks to Goblin Slayer’s knowledge and plan preparation, everyone is well prepared to face the hordes and even the goblin riders as reinforcements. Sh*t gets real when the macho and buffed goblin champions pop up. The heavy hitters are here. It’s time for the veterans to show their mettle. Getting bored of killing small fries. If you’re wondering where the heck Goblin Slayer is since he looks like missing out on all the goblin killing action, yeah, he went straight to fight Goblin Lord.

Episode 12
Goblin Lord’s plan is to retreat and reproduce again. Then he’ll come back with a bigger army to wipe them all out. However Goblin Slayer predicts his plan. That is why he was away destroying his base. It’s time for the final boss fight. Both take damage but it is Goblin Lord who had the upper hand. Laughing and stomping over Goblin Slayer’s head, only with Shinkan’s protection barrier put a stop to it. Being crushed, Goblin Slayer starts crying and even speaks to apologize, promising he will never do this again. But we all know this is too good to be true. Crocodile tears. Snippets of people letting goblins live, once they turn their backs, the goblins kill you. Yeah, more goblin rape scenes! Goblin Slayer gets back up and slices his throat. Good thing his injuries aren’t that bad. Because Shinkan’s mini cure is enough to get him going. Don’t need that double virgin resurrection, eh?! Shinkan was worried he did something reckless again despite it was all part of his plan to make himself as the bait and Shinkan caging him in multiple barriers. Goblin Slayer apologizes because he trusts her. With them returning, it’s the best news ever. Victory sealed. Now everyone parties hard at the guild and Goblin Slayer lives up to his promise to buy everyone drinks. Paladin thought she was ‘cheated’ since she killed goblin champions and they’re like only worth a gold. It was the deal. No matter what kind of goblins, each is worth a gold. Goblin Slayer hands his gold to Shinkan since she was the one who defeated Goblin Lord. She asks why he didn’t post a request instead of going this roundabout way. Because nobody came to save his village that way. There were no guarantees. He had to trust luck. Shinkan says if he ever needs her help, she will gladly do so. Hence luck has nothing to do with it. Shinkan then requests a ‘reward’. Please take off your helmet. I guess there’s no reason for him to decline. Got a good look at him? And with that, everyone is now fascinated to see how Goblin Slayer looks for the first time! Wow. This is the main attraction of the party. Is this some free viewing freak show? Sorry to those who are expecting he is a woman or a goblin. Just a handsome young man. Only we viewers are screwed because we didn’t get to see his face.

Goblin Slayer Is Very Strong
They say Goblin Slayer will return. I take it that means there is going to be another season but it is highly speculative since I haven’t read anything about it. Because I’m sure it is going to be more or less the same thing. Hell, what is the name of this series again? It doesn’t take a genius to guess what Goblin Slayer is going to do after the party ends. Yup, back to more mundane grinding of killing goblins. After all, it is not like the goblin threat has been totally exterminated. It’s not like goblins have been killed to extinction. It’s not like there is only one Goblin Lord in this entire world. This world may be filled with other more dangerous creatures and somebody has got to do the job in taking on low level ones. Thank goodness for Goblin Slayer, right?

I have mixed feelings whether to call this one of the better or worse series of the season. Many felt like the latter only because they fell into that hype trap. Initially there was hype surrounding the promotion of the anime. And when it turned out to be as we seen, nothing really that spectacular, disappointment was naturally to follow. Now, this series to me might not be a masterpiece but it wasn’t trash, garbage or crap either. Yup, my usual middle ground stance.

But the furore that had some screaming their heads off was the controversial first episode. Uh huh. The goblin raping young girls. So much so in subsequent episodes they had to put warning notices of graphic scenes that viewers may find disturbing. WTF. I guess some snowflakes couldn’t take the heat and got scorched. And yes, you could say that was the reason why I wanted to take a look. It reminded me back in the days when Mahou Shoujo Magical Madoka was airing and there were controversies about magical girls killing each other. Looking back then, it was nothing. It still is now. Hence when I watched goblins raping girls, sure it was shocking and evoked some emotions within (shock, that is, duh) but it wasn’t so much so to a point that I wanted to complain and call out. I mean, I’m watching anime. I have come to expect some sort of level of controversies, right? So for those pussies who couldn’t really swallow this, you’re better off watching Barney the purple dinosaur. Are they still making that today? I won’t be surprised there are fan made porn of goblin rape over the internet. You have furry porn and beastiality so what is new in the world of porn?

So the only thing that I find ‘entertaining’ is of course the action scenes of Goblin Slayer and his party mowing down the hordes of goblins. It looks repetitive after a while because there are only so many ways you can take them down. But still, somehow the bloodthirst in me never seemed to wane since I get to see such vile creatures being hammered to pieces. After all, goblins aren’t humans so no love lost, right? Goblins are certainly portrayed as vile creatures who rape our beautiful women so when you see humans and others fighting goblins, you’ll be sure you want to vouch for all goblins to die! There better not be any goblin sympathizers out there calling for goblin rights! Seeing the goblins being stabbed and cut in half with lots of blood sometimes feel like playing a video game. You know, waves of low level enemies and you do your button mashing just to hack them down. Bloody. Messy. But they’re all dead so it’s okay.

A few things that bug me about the lore and setting of the goblins here. I wonder how goblins breed seeing that so far I’ve only seen male goblins of all kinds here. Maybe that is why they seek females of other races to toy around with. Preferably females of the humanoid type because I don’t see them kidnapping and raping lizardmen women. Unless you tell me the horror story of goblins raping to impregnate these women, that is how goblins are bred! No way! That would be the controversy I can’t accept! But what about eggs? Do goblin lay eggs? Don’t see one either. I suppose they don’t make one out of thin air using magic, huh? I don’t think that is what the shaman types do.

Now, the story of this series isn’t particularly a masterpiece either. It is just the simple plot of a guy who hates goblins and will kill them all. That’s it. That’s basically what the entire series revolves around. So for those wanting more meat in the plot, you’d be better off finding your story driven anime somewhere else. We’re all here to see goblins getting slaughtered. Maybe those rape scenes are to stir up some emotions and get you to hate goblins, not the series. But sometimes I feel a bit disjointed the overall flow of the series. What I mean is that, after every goblin slaying mission and action, it is followed by some boring daily life episode. It is good to take a break and breather instead of constant goblin action that would numb you in the face. But these daily life episodes are slow and draggy and they don’t add anything special to the mix. If these were taken out, the series would go on probably fine. Yes, I feel such episodes are a waste of time. Because remember, what are we here for? Goblin slaying! When do we want it? NOW!

As for the characters, they fare as bad as the story itself. Don’t expect any bit of character development otherwise you will be even utterly disappointed. It may be unique that all the characters here do not even have names! Yeah, they are called by their profession. Imagine if there was a porn star here… This isn’t the first series that has characters named after their roles, they did it too in Maoyuu Maou Yuusha. So we must be really fortunate that there is only a single elf, dwarf and lizardman to appear. Otherwise we would be confused. Because even if they are other elves, they would be labelled as elf henchman 1, elf henchman 2, etc. Weird. Heck, I think they call each other with their own versions of nickname like how Goblin Slayer is called differently by them. Some I believe never ever had their names called like Ushikai. Does she even have a name, you wonder. Yeah, I got that from the credits. Pronouns are so important in this world that lacks names.

Anyway back to the characters, all feel one-dimensional with nothing really more fleshing out on them. Even Goblin Slayer’s back story of watching his family and village burnt down by goblins and hence turning his hatred into his lifelong mission to eradicate them, that’s as shallow as we can get from the main character. Now if only they fleshed out that training scene with his creepy master and his weird power up technique… But otherwise, Goblin Slayer feels like a generic main character whose goal is to kill all of a certain species. Looking at you, Eren (of Shingeki No Kyojin fame). Not to mention he is blunt and straight to the point in your face. He sounds tired and lethargic and you wonder it stems from his endless slaying of goblins or his hatred of them in mellow form. Maybe kinda both. It is just a bit disappointing that we didn’t get to see his past where he was trained by his weird master and how he came to possess that seemingly Terminator-like killing machine mode that sometimes feel like a cheat code.

If that is so much I can say about him, what else can I say for the rest of his motley crew? Shinkan’s just like a side character who needs to stick to him after her horrible first outing. She feels safer following him than anyone else. Without her miracle protection, I feel she would be more inclined to become a damsel in distress. Then there’s the other trio who are skilled warriors in their own right but make a quirky character off the battlefield. Like Lizardman’s penchant for cheese and ice cream! Do lizardmen really eat that? Dwarf loves drinking while Elf is just too short fused and loves arguing with Dwarf. Goblin Slayer is so central to them (at least in missions we see) that he better not die on them or else it would be all hell break loose.

Because Goblin Slayer is such a stoic guy, there is this danger of setting up some sort of weird romance with him. Many of the female characters here do have a thing for him. From the obvious Receptionist (probably that’s why she never quit her job) to Shinkan (isn’t that why she follows him around?), Elf (tsundere’s actions are easy to pick up), Ushikai (childhood friend, enough said) and even Sword Maiden (boobs and tits won’t do?). Is there room for love in his heart when it is only filled with hatred for goblins? Speaking of Sword Maiden, her back story too is tragic and it shows that even the most revered of warriors still has a weakness that many would consider as petty. Why do I keep thinking that Ushikai is only for fanservice purpose? Those humongous racks are perhaps the reason why the goblins decide to finally attack this town! Damn those are huge! Can’t let that plaything slip now, can we?! Milord, 2 huge boobs in sight! When do we attack? TONIGHT! Haha! That’s what I thought at the start of the penultimate episode… Sounds more like a setting for a porn parody… Yikes!

Art and animation are pretty average (although animation for action scenes are considerably good). Nothing that is spectacular but I have a feeling that this world setting seems to be gloomy. Many scenes here are just downright mundane and depressing and even the guild that is filled with sometimes lively people, have that sort of miserable atmosphere. Probably with goblins running rampant, that’s why. What about other monsters we don’t see? After all, this is supposed to be a dark fantasy series. Also, my other complaint is that some scenes are quite dark so it is hard to make out. As for the character designs, seeing Goblin Slayer for the first time made me think if he is the medieval version of Halo’s Master Chief. Really. I never realized it but I read that Goblin Slayer is rendered mostly in CGI. Probably the dark scenes I can’t tell the difference but in brighter scenes I didn’t take notice at all. With Lizardman’s headgear, I keep thinking he is some native American tribe while Dwarf looks more like some period Chinese drunken master and Elf some bratty teen. About Shinkan’s outfit design, was it inspired by Aria The Animation?

There are a handful of veteran seiyuus lending their talents to this series. Most notably, Yuka Iguchi as Ushikai, Yui Ogura as Shinkan, Tomokazu Sugita as Lizardman, Yuuichi Nakamura as Dwarf, Nao Touyama as Elf and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Lancer. There is also Yoko Hikasa as Witch and despite she talks like as though she is a retard, somehow this mirrors almost exactly as the role she played as the narrator in Yuragi-sou No Yuuna-san. Others that I couldn’t identify are Aya Endou as Sword Maiden (Matsu in Sekirei) and Maaya Uchida as Receptionist (Rikka in Chiinibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai). In early 2018, Yuuichirou Umehara as Goblin Slayer (Mitsuhide in Akagami No Shirayuki-hime) was temporarily out of the voice acting scene seeing he was hospitalized for some disease affecting the nervous system. Many roles he was playing were affected and had to be replaced by another seiyuu (I was watching Tada-kun Wa Koi Wo Shinai at that time when the sudden switch happened). Glad that he is discharged in the second half of that year and is now slowly making a comeback.

The opening theme, Rightfully by Mili feels one kind. Weird, if I should say. For this series, I must say it isn’t that suitable because of its very dramatic tone (sometimes I think of it has a dramatic Broadway-like feel), it better suits series that has a dark and mysterious fantasy to it. Uhm, doesn’t Goblin Slayer fit into that genre too? The pacing of this series as I personally feel doesn’t make this song suitable. The ending theme, Gin No Kisei by Soraru is more of a slow rock, having this tinge of sadness in its tune. I didn’t find out more about the lyrics but I have a feeling if it is supposed to reflect Goblin Slayer’s life of tragedy, it fits perfectly well.

Overall, this series is entertaining because of its bloody goblin massacre scenes. Otherwise there is nothing really special from its story and characters (simple and straightforward is not a term I want to use here). I still enjoyed it in that sense despite those shortcomings. There are some questionable and uncomfortable content that sparked a futile controversy but what else more do you expect when the title already tells you everything that you need to know? For a guy who has been killing goblins for his entire life, you can say that he literally slayed the game.

Ple Ple Pleiades

April 19, 2019

After the third season of Overlord ended and me having some sort of Ains-sama withdrawal syndrome, I went in ‘desperate search’ hoping there would be some sort of sequel. Well unfortunately as of today, not hearing any news of Ains-sama’s recent great exploits. But it did make me stumble into something that somehow slipped my mind all the while. I don’t even know how I missed the short comical specials of Ple Ple Pleiades. I did catch the first season but the subsequent seasons and other wacky specials, they just seem to fall out of my mind. And here I am, somewhat happy to catch these specials and give my Overlord addiction some fix. Hopefully it will be enough to last me till the next season runs. Or at least announced.

OVA
This is supposedly the OVA from the first season. Ains gathers everyone and intends to show them an item in his hand. It looks like a party popper but Yuri seems to fear it. She claims it is an item to destroy the world! Ains assure it isn’t and it is one that will further his relationship with them. Apparently this item, Absolute Excitement – Modified (AE-M) has everyone reveal their true feelings. Like Shalltear becoming a slut, Cocytus a pervert (?!) and the twins becoming more childish. WTF Demiurge adding weird words to his sentences?! Later he summons his Pleiades maids. They are not affected because he was testing the floor guardians. He does hope they act as casual. When Sebas goes to prepare, they wonder if it had affected him and is just holding in his feelings. True enough, Sebas is affected and really wants to burst out dancing but has been holding it in all along. Ains first interviews Shalltear. She is troubled about boob size. Ains says there are fans of those being flat but this only digs his own grave because now Shalltear and Albedo wants to know which he prefers. Can he just say he loves both instead of diverting the topic away? Next, Ains interviews the twins and Cocytus. However Cocytus is feeling too sensitive. He gets shocked when Ains tells him to keep quiet. Hence Entoma scares him with a bug in which the twins burn it while Entoma eats it live! Next interview is with Demiurge and Sebas. Sebas is still holding it in and is trying to find the best time to let it all out naturally. However he blunders all the chances. Even more shocking when Solution becomes fat after trying to eat 10 consecutive humans!

Yuri, Narberal and Lupusregina confront Pandora. Yuri believes AE-M was made by him in which he admits it is. Yuri could tell the difference because when AE-M is popped, a statue of Pandora’s face can be seen. Demiurge eavesdropped on this and now knows the whole story. He wasn’t affected by AE-M and was just acting. Pandora argues the one in hand is only a prototype and not the complete model. For the latter, it includes changing one’s personality entirely and that is hard to do. The prototype just reduces someone’s personality to a simple quality. To tell if it is a prototype or complete item, the latter will reveal a statue of Ains instead. So this means you can’t tell until you open it. Demiurge contacts CZ over the situation of Ains’ interview. Not good. Everything is wrecked. To solve this problem, the toy hammer (?!) is recommended to be knocked on all the heads of the affected. Everyone returns to normal and has no recollection of what happened then. Demiurge makes up a story that Ains was testing the Pleiades maids but Yuri went berserk and threw her head around, destroying the set. Ains feels bad for Yuri taking the blame but at least the case is settled. Just to be safe, Ains knocks the hammer on all those not affected as well on himself.

Season 2

Special 1
Ains and his Nazarick team… They are now a corporate company! Ains is the boss and the rest of the floor guardians are his workers. Some things don’t change with Albedo still talking like as though she wants to bang him… Ains has this similar feeling of being transported to Yggdrassil but no matter what world he is in, his goal has not changed. That is, to build the best company in the world! If only he knew what the company does.

Special 2
Ains doesn’t understand the summary that Albedo gave. He then notices his Pleiades maids are working as his secretaries. Then he sees Lupusregina sleeping. Is she on break? Nope. She is resting. Eh? So what does she do? She attends drinking parties. Best role ever?

Special 3
Summoning his floor guardians for a meeting, they introduce themselves now as floor managers. Ains notices all of them dress the same but they said it was him to dress as they wish. I guess he didn’t remember that. This means Cocytus is stark naked, right? Albedo wants to compete and strip naked too.

Special 4
CZ introduces Ains to Shalltear’s department. Ains remembers Shalltear once got brainwashed and fought against them. Will she do the same here? When he asks, she starts to go into panic mode. Ains tries to calm her down and mentions he was just asking a hypothetical question if she was being headhunted. Shalltear vows her loyalty to him and will even prove it by becoming his chair. Now, sit on her! CZ’s comment: Power harassment…

Special 5
Ains visits the sales department which is now headed by Cocytus. It seems Cocytus has made some error and caused some loss for the company. Hence he will take responsibility and resign! Of course Ains will not accept it and wants him to use this as a lesson for the future. With that, Cocytus gets motivated and will forever follow Ains.

Special 6
Ains is now at the department manned by the dark elf twins. He narrates how Aura is tomboyish while Mare is so feminine. This has Solution think Ains is sexual harassing Mare because of the way he stars at him. Ains changes the subject by talking about this department. Personnel department? What the heck is that? So basically they hire people. So far looks like no one passed their test. Solution comments to hire young and tough people.

Special 7
Ains sees Demiurge efficiently conveying his ideas to his underlings. He praises him for his efficiency but Demiurge refuses such compliments because he is his slave! Ains then wants to know the status of that project. You know, that matter. He lets him handle it. Of course Ains doesn’t have a clue what the heck is going on.

Special 8
What does Victim do? He answers the incessant phone calls of complaints! Yeah, he really lives up to his name in this sense. Yuri explains that thanks to Victim, their company image has been saved many times. But is he the only one for the job? Can others help? Yuri has Ains imagine the other Pleiades maids handle such complaints. Rude, crude and creepy… Yeah… But don’t worry. Sometimes CZ helps out too.

Special 9
Ains realizes he hasn’t visited Gargantua’s department yet. Lupusregina will accompany him but Albedo wants to tag along too. Upon entering this huge empty room, Gargantua is fast asleep. No matter, he doesn’t wake up. So why the heck employ him? So Albedo’s concern in following is because she fears Ains and Lupusregina will be alone all together and do something indecent. Technically with the sleeping golem around, they won’t be alone. But what the heck, the ladies continue to argue…

Special 10
Ains notes Sebas as the head of the Pleiades maids. If that is so, what does this make Albedo then? She manages and handles all the floor departments. I think Ains can think for the rest himself. He asks Sebas’ opinion of Albedo’s emotions. Basically it is love. Sebas surprises Ains by saying he too is in love. With the company. Oh no. Is Sebas going into a long monologue about love?

Special 11
Ains visits the company’s cafeteria. Albedo believes he doesn’t need to eat such food and her bento is more than good enough. It’s made with her love! This only makes Ains want to eat the cafeteria food. Éclair accompanies Ains as he rants about his goals to become the next president. Albedo shuts him up and suggests firing him, turning the penguin into a coward pleading not to be fired. But the cycle repeats again and again…

Special 12
Ains and his floor managers are in a meeting. As Demiurge talks about the acquisition, Ains accidentally blurts out he doesn’t know anything about it. To save his skin, he gives Demiurge a chance to explain on his behalf. Phew. So this isn’t just a mere acquisition but also to have the media side with them. This includes finding scandals and having the public turns against the other company. And the company in question for acquisition is… Re-Estize. Sounds familiar…

Special 13
And so the merger with Re-Estize has been done. Ains realizes running a company isn’t that easy and never thought so as a salaryman. Now that he has experienced it, if he ever returns to his own world, he will be more optimistic. Suddenly Ains returns to Yggdrassil. Was it all a dream? I guess this means back to the usual business of spreading his fame.

Season 3

Special 1
Ains sees his Pleiades maids practising weird lively actions?! It stems from Solution telling them about some great spell casting by Ains. So when he ordered the transition for Pleiades, they too want to introduce some awesome moves. Yeah, somehow it increases the effects of their magic and skills too. Ains isn’t too sure about it but the maids continue to train.

Special 2
Ains remembers Solution saw that moment and hence was awed with it. Since Cocytus and Demiurge was also there when it happened, Ains thinks of closing this case before it spreads. Too bad he hears Shalltear practising her actions. Of course she still has that guilt of being brainwashed. With Shalltear spotting him, she asks for his opinion. Not wanting to disappoint her (since she practised hard day and night), he claims it is good. While posing too.

Special 3
Yeah, Ains is still watching Shalltear’s action. When Aura comes by, Shalltear shows off to her. Cool. But one thing, though. Did she copy from Pandora? This has Shalltear blowing her top and raging. Ains signals to Aura to calm her down so she admits her mistake and praises how cool her moves her. With Shalltear feeling happy, she decides to show the rest of Nazarick. Damn. Ains’ request for Aura: Pretend she didn’t see all this.

Special 4
Now Albedo’s underlings are doing such actions. Albedo doesn’t approve of this because nobody understands Ains’ ideas so this level of acting is just ridiculous. I think Albedo wants to spread her actions that she thinks are superior… Ains is willing to explain this and it the truth supposedly stems from Pandora impersonating on his behalf. However he could never get to explain as Albedo continues to rant her love for Ains and then rushes off to tell this to everyone.

Special 5
Safe to say that the weird action has spread all around Nazarick. However Éclair believes that such actions mean that everyone is worshipping him! He thinks the time for him has come to be the leader of Nazarick. Ains narrates that many in Nazarick hates Éclair because of his behaviour. But given the situation, does it mean they like him now? So when he asks the Pleiades maids about this, they without batting an eyelid say they still hate this irritating motherf*cker.

Special 6
Ains calls Sebas and Solution to put an end to this. Though, Solution is still making those weird actions while speaking that it’s annoying. All for the sake of improving magic and skill! But what about Sebas? He doesn’t seem to be trending like them. Actually he has put a lot of thought in it and thinks it is wonderful (oh no). He wants to try it but cannot make up his mind (oh no). With Solution cheering him on, Sebas goes full retard in his action and in sync with Solution.

Special 7
Ains sees Mare practising but he is having a hard time. Apparently he saw everyone doing it and wants to do too but can’t seem to nail it right. Ains doesn’t want him to push himself but on the contrary Mare believes the actions originated from him and must do it in order not to disgrace Ains. Here we go. Still as lame as before… Is it just painful to watch?

Special 8
Ains needs to go somewhere peaceful away from the madness. But at the coliseum, he sees Hamusuke trying to teach a Death Knight the action. Hamusuke demonstrates but it turns out to be more like martial arts moves. Then the Death Knight tries out, which is quite cool in Ains’ opinion.

Special 9
It must be weird for Cocytus to try out those actions because of his warrior status. Ains manages to explain the truth about this originating from Pandora. Because do you think as Nazarick’s ruler, would he ever do such weird actions? Cocytus sees the point but further misinterprets that Ains would have done it even way cooler! He praises a cool move Ains did and believes Ains taught Pandora all about it. Well, Ains feel he could go along with this…

Special 10
Time to confront the source of all this. Ains sees Pandora and blames him on the recent Nazarick craze. However Pandora is unsure what he is talking about. Those weird actions he is talking about, Pandora doesn’t think they’re weird. Because every action he made is cool! Hence when he impersonated as Ains, he believes he has become his perfect substitute and acted accordingly. Every. Singly. Pose. Ains is in disbelief if he himself does all that. Does he?

Special 11
Ains wants a solution to stop this craze. Hence Pandora suggests using this, uhm, toy hammer? Yeah, just knock it over one’s head and it will stabilizes the mind. Hence Ains uses it first on Pandora! Wham! However Pandora acts even more dramatically. Is this how he acts normally?!

Special 12
Ains calls CZ and Entoma for an important mission to stop this craze. They are to set traps all around Nazarick and lure them into it. Once they are trapped, use this hammer to turn them back to normal. Because they might face difficulties in capturing floor guardians, he will give them some useful tool. However they claim there is an easier way. Summon everyone here and whack it to them. They’re sure everyone will accept it. No need for all those roundabout traps. Hmm… Good idea. Ains gives time for everyone to gather in the throne room. When it’s time to move in, guess what he sees? A big massive action contest!!!

Special 13
Ains has everyone line up and start whacking them on their head. Phew. Now everything is back to normal. Demiurge who was away on a long mission and the only one not affected by the craze, returns. He sees what is happening and could tell it all stems from misinterpreting Pandora’s impersonation. However he goes on to add that this is only to be expected to those who have worshipped Ains greatly after thinking and acting independently. After all, Ains always told them to think and act for themselves. Yeah, whatever Demiurge says. Ains once again takes all credit with Demiurge predicting this would all happen from the start. Let’s leave it at that. Ains promises to act in a more imposing and dignified manner from now on. Pandora wants to take a little credit that it’s all thanks to him but Ains shuts him up before any more trouble could stir up.

Theatrical Version

Special 1
Hamusuke in love?! So the hamster’s telling to the Pleiades maids because she wants their advice on how to snag the love of her life? The maids don’t really care but they have not picked up any strange creatures and any other similar hamsters all over Nazarick. Could it be just her imagination? Not if Hamusuke says it’s real. Too bad, it’s not like the maids have any experience in love. But they still try to help Hamusuke out as they go seek Albedo’s advice. But she is enraged thinking that beast has stepped over her line to fall in love. Until she is told that it isn’t Ains that the hamster has fallen in love with that Albedo is all for Hamusuke’s love. She suggests setting traps around Ains’ room since that was where the creature was spot. Then they go seek Ains’ permission to do so and Ains realizes somebody has seen it. Flashback shows he told Pandora to mimic Hamusuke. Was it because he wants to pet a hamster? Pandora felt good and wanted more but Ains kicked him out. It is then Hamusuke saw this. Hence Ains gives permission for the traps to be set. Then he goes to see Pandora and wants him to turn into Hamusuke and come to his room. But Pandora wonders why go through all this trouble when he can just order Hamusuke to give up. As a supreme being, he must be sincere to the promise he made to all of them no matter how trivial. Since he did initially promise Hamusuke to help find, he must follow through and cannot give up while the whole of Nazarick is watching. When Ains shows Hamusuke her ‘love’, Hamusuke has lost interest and is now interested in one of the Death Knights as a friend. Albedo explains that Hamusuke was merely going through a phase and was in heat. Yeah, Albedo toyed with all of them.

Special 2
Pandora thinks everyone hates him. Damn right. He seeks Ains’ advice. Ains says he might think he is cool but others might not. If he wants to be loved, he must put in the effort too. How? Why not be a cat? Try becoming something cute and making contact with others just to see what it’s like. And now Pandora is a cute little furry feline. Please stop with the weird poses if you want to really act like a cat. Hence Ains tells him not to give away his identity as part of this ‘mission’. Pandora is put under CZ’s care. But the rest of the Pleiades maids aren’t really fond of this living thing. Too weak, not edible and just looking weird. Ironically CZ spends time with it and even calls it Kinkan (brass pipe). Meal time, she feeds it some meat. Cockroaches… Sorry, have to decline. What about this cat food? Okay. Ate the whole can too. I guess it was worth it to see her eke out a little smile. When Ains summons Pandora about a missing item in the treasury, Pandora can’t come now since CZ has got a little too attached. So being a cat, Pandora slips out and runs towards Ains’ room. The maids give chase but they notice the cat is going to step on a trap left behind to catch Hamusuke’s love. Yeah, the trap that kinda overkills when activate. Thus the maids cooperate to save the cat and diffuse the trap. Ains praises their efficiency and asks CZ if she would take care of this cat as a pet. She declines. Because they are his protectors and have no time for pets. Ains will leave this cat in Carne then. With this episode over, Ains hopes Pandora understands what it means to be loved. Next time when Pandora sees CZ, she still treats him with disgust. Oh well. Nothing’s changed, really.

Clementine Toubou-hen

Special 1
Oh yeah. Clementine has somehow been resurrected for this little special. She laments that despite being one of the strongest warriors of the Black Scripture, she now finds herself as a fugitive running away from them. I guess failure wasn’t really an option. She is tired so she hits town and starts drinking at the bar. Meanwhile, Yuri and Lupusregina are on a mission to find more info when they stumble into her. They want to sit and drink with her and it’s not like Clementine (going under the alias of Claire) has any reason to reject them. They don’t look like pursuers from Black Scriptures so she thinks she can deal with them. At times she just wished she could just kill them. But that’s all in the past. As they drink, it soon turns into a drinking challenge between Clementine and Lupusregina. I think the way they guzzle the alcohol, the town’s going to turn into a desert. As the competition continues, it soon turns into mocking Yuri as a tomboy. Yuri got so embarrassed that she pushes them into the barrels. What a wreck. And so is Clementine. I guess the drinking is over. Hey, at least Clementine didn’t die from that, right? The duo return to the other Pleiades maids to report and it is obvious that they did not gather whatsoever info at all. Just loads of heavy drinking.

Special 2
Clementine is having a bad hangover for the last 2 days. Meanwhile Solution and Entoma are now out in town to gather info and they enter this same bar. At the same time, Clementine passes by here too and has this familiar feeling she has been here before. But screw that. Time to go drinking! As expected, both sides’ eyes met. The maids think she is good source for info but Clementine has a bad feeling about them. They aren’t normal people. But screw that. Just join them drinking! Flashback shows Ains needed somebody to gather info on martial arts. Because his floor guardians are busy with their designated task, Lupusregina suggested the Pleiades maids for the job. Although she is assigned to protect Carne Village, she further suggests taking turns. But with the maids away, who will serve Ains? I see Albedo is waiting for this chance to work in place of the maids… So back to the drinking, Clementine definitely knows these are dangerous people. Suddenly bugs swarm the place. Of course it is Entoma’s doing as Clementine crazily tries to dodge all of them. To solve this, they have to leave but not before erasing everyone’s memories. In the end when they report back to the other Pleiades maids, I suppose a girl who is fast in dodging fast isn’t the kind of info they’re looking for. Yup, no info gathered whatsoever.

Special 3
Clementine wonders why her body is so beat up. She heads to that familiar bar and wonders why it is partly demolished. The hysterical owner should give her a hint but she needs to stock up and leave the kingdom. Narberal and CZ have the same thinking. Yup, the bar is the best place to get info. Then she sees Narberal coming in. Holy sh*t! Hide! Then she remembers the other Pleiades maids. That same uniform. Could it be they are trying to gather info if she is still alive? CZ surprises her. Desperate Clementine makes a deal with her to get her out of here in exchange for anything. At the same time, Momon summons Narberal as there is trouble. With Narberal gone, Clementine is puzzled over her disappearance. But CZ will make good of