Night Wizard

August 5, 2011

Apparently yet again I’m trying my hands at another RPG game turned anime. I guess the sole reason for me to jump in watch Night Wizard was because of a female character with a big blazing gun. How cool would that be each time she fires her weapon, bringing utmost power destruction among her targets. With bullet shells bigger than her palm, you could say that it’s going to pack quite a punch. Not to mention the magical insignia appearing each time she pulls the trigger.

I wasn’t really that interested in the unique terms set out for this world such as Gekkou (Lunar Casket – barrier stretching) and Kaguya (Lunar Robe – ability to store objects and items in a different dimension) but I had to know the gist of it if I am going to understand what is going and not get disappointed in understanding a damn thing by the end of it. So the setting is in our modern world. There are dark forces hell-bent on invading Earth. And you guessed it that these beings, Emulators are immune to whatever scientific advances mankind has ever come up with. However, ah there’s always an exception, there are a bunch of people with powers that can break through and fight these menacing hordes. They are called Night Wizards and are the only thing that stands between our world falling into the hands of the Emulators. In short, they’re protectors of Earth. Where’s Ultraman when you need him?

Episode 1
Renji Hiiragi is brought before Anzelotte who wants him to answer her request with “Yes” or “Okay”. That’s not much of a choice! Hiiragi is sent crashing down into the planet below while he laments about the need of going to school due to his bad attendance record. He crashes down below and cooperates with comrade Akari Himuro (the girl with the big gun) to take out hordes of Emulators. Back on Earth, Elis Shihou is the new transfer student in Kinmei Academy of the Akihabara branch. She’s popular enough that everyone is pestering her to join their club. But she is whisked away by miko-priestess outfit Kureha Akabane to join her astronomy club since she likes reading stars. Hiiragi is on his way to school but Anzelotte snatches him for another mission. That same request line again. Man, she doesn’t give him a break. Elis learns Kureha and Hiiragi are childhood friends and the withered legendary tree supposed believed to when proposed underneath, it will bloom. Suddenly she felt a terrible pain in her head after a blinding light emerges from the tree but soon recovers. A pair of dark girls, Bell Zephyr and Lion Gunta (pronounced ‘lee-on’) are watching them and think they should have some fun before Anzelotte interferes. Night time, Hiiragi makes his way to school but gets kidnap by Anzelotte for another mission! Deja vu! How desperate are they? Elis back at her home sees the moon glowing red as it becomes larger. She gets hypnotized. Kureha senses something wrong, spots Elis and follows how to the legendary tree. A yellow orb emerges from beneath the tree into Elis’ hands before she snaps out of her trance. A Gekkou is suddenly activated, the sakura tree in full bloom and a dangerous Chimera appears. Kureha uses her arm crossbow to attack but to no avail. Hiiragi dives down from the sky to fight. Hey, he’s finally back in school. However the Chimera is targeting Elis. As it fires it fire breath at her, Elis’ orb glows and turns into a shield to protect her. Hiiragi uses this chance to slay it as everything reverts to normal. The orb becomes part of Elis’ bracelet. Kureha thinks that she is a wizard while Hiiragi introduces himself and says he is here to protect her. Bell notes that the jewel is one of the 7 Jewels of Virtue and this one is the Jewel of Kindness. Elis is brought to see Anzelotte in her castle as she asks her that request thingy… Are there any other options available?

Episode 2
Hiiragi becomes Elis’ second year classmate. Hey wait a minute. I thought he is a third year? Something about his mission to protect Elis but how does this look in the eyes of others? Yeah, fallen man. Looks like he will have to repeat another year in school. It’s complicated. Flashback reveals Anzelotte explaining the history of Emulators trying to invade Earth. I guess that’s how we get our ideas from vampires, werewolves, etc. She is also being thought how to use her bracelet that can be formed into a shield and another round of history about the Jewels and how it brought destruction and wars to mankind because everybody wants to own it. Anzelotte plans to collect all 7 Jewels and open the door to the dark side and bring the fight there to end it all. Elis jumps at the chance of accepting the mission to help protect Earth. Hiiragi isn’t too pleased about this so Kureha blackmails him about revealing his shameful secrets. Hmm… What could it be? I guess being Elis’ bodyguard means having to stay with her too. I know guys should get a separate room but what the heck is this unfair treatment of giving him live in a camping tent outside the balcony?! That night the trio have a celebration party by forming an unofficial World Saving Club. Do you really want to be in it? Do you really have a choice? Kureha also learns about a book that was given to Elis from an uncle, though she barely remembers him but is always seen writing letters to him. Next day at school during recess, Hiiragi must learn not to say bad about people (especially a particular grey haired loli who is actually older than she looks) so Anzelotte appears spot on and ‘kidnaps’ him and the rest. They are taken to her giant castle and a mission briefing about the location of a Jewel. Looks like some abandoned magical continent in the middle of South Pole? Yeah, note all the penguins there. Bell decides to ‘start the game’ and sends her underling Lalamu to either retrieve the Jewel or kill Elis. As the trio trudge into the kingdom, Gekkou suddenly appears. A Golem starts attacking them. Hiiragi and Kureha’s weapons seem to have no effect on the Golem that is specifically targeting Elis. There is only so much her shield can do. Thankfully, she is saved with the arrival of Akari as she blasts a shot into the magic symbol on the Golem’s head. Backup has arrived, though it may just be Akari herself. Sometimes it is quantity over quality. But it’s not over yet because Lalamu summons more Golems for them to deal with.

Episode 3
As Anzelotte talks to her God Gazer (is he a mirror or a person behind it?), the rest fight the Golems and easily destroys them after figuring out their weak spot. The place returns to normal as the quartet enters the main castle. It’s good to have someone with bad luck as Hiiragi leading because he is like some sort of ‘trap tester’. Poor guy. But it’s amazing he manages to survive them all. I don’t know, it’s just like he’s some sort of a trap magnet because he seems to be accidentally activating just about every trap there is. They break for lunch as Elis notes Akari isn’t that friendly with her though the latter says her mission is to protect her. Meanwhile Lalamu is in a chamber with the Jewel but a barrier prevents her from getting her hands on it. The gang enters a room with a large painting, possibly telling the history of the great battle with the ultimate Demon Lord Shaimal. Elis felt that headache again. They resume their journey deeper into the castle until they reach a room with blocks. Elis’ pain is aggravating so they suggest using the Jewel of Kindness as it has some healing attributes. It worked. Then Hiiragi activates some platform thingy and sends the girls up while he goes down to who knows where. The girls enter the chamber with the Jewel. Elis approaches the Jewel but is blocked by the barrier. Lalamu watching from afar thought she would be able to break through the barrier but since she is deemed useless, she summons the skeleton soldiers to finish her off. Kureha and Akari are kept busy (Hiiragi soon joining them when he fell from above. Who knows where he’s been) while Elis uses her brains to solve this puzzle. She remembers the painting about the flames. This is where her physics and chemistry come in handy (f*ck science subjects!) as she mix the different chemical compounds to unlock the barrier via correct colour. The Jewel of Wisdom absorbs into Elis’ bracelet. Lalamu transports them to another dimension and changes her appearance into Akari. Oh dear. Which is the real one? Elis and Kureha get this idea to attack both of them because they hate her so the fake one flinches, gets defensive and targets them back. The real Akari knows they would never harm her as she places her trust in them. This allows Hiiragi to slice Lalamu with his Demon Sword. Bell doesn’t sound that disappointed with Lalamu’s defeat but Lion says that is expected because it is what is written the book. Yeah, it’s like reading the future. Elis and Akari open up to each other as Elis apologizes for saying she hated her but Akari comments her food was delicious.

Episode 4
Anzelotte tells the gang of another Jewel location on the Moon. Say what? Do you remember that Chinese folklore about the woman living on the Moon, Chang’O or better known as Princess Kaguya in the Japanese version? Yeah apparently what they’re trying to say is that she’s an Emulator. Sheesh… Anyway to go to the Moon, the gang rides a space shuttle but they are attacked by cute killer bunnies with pounders. Ugh… They destroy the space shuttle but thankfully (I don’t know how this is possible) everyone survives as they fall onto the Moon’s surface though separated. Elis faces more trouble as the rabbits continue to hound her. After running here and there, she is cornered at the cliff (wait a minute, isn’t the Moon’s gravity only 1/6 of Earth’s? So no worries if she jumps down, right?). This time she is saved by a mysterious kid who has been watching her ever since her arrival. He paralyzes the rabbits with his magic while taking Elis to safety. He chides her friends who are supposed to be protecting her but Elis tells him off that they aren’t like that. He apologizes and leaves after Elis is safe. Akari reunites with her. Elsewhere Kureha picks up Hiiragi after they dispatch more bunnies. Elis and Akari approach a castle whereby Chang’O brags about being the queen of the Moon and servant to Shaimal. Akari fires at her but it is blocked by Chong’O’s sword in which a Jewel is attached to. Chang’O absorbs Elis into a giant barrier that resembles herself. Akari and Kureha combine their powers to make a crack in the barrier enough for Hiiragi to break into. Elis is tied down inside and is to become a sacrifice. The ceremony will be a little delayed since Chang’O has to deal with Hiiragi. Suddenly Elis falls under some trance as she absorbs Chang’O’s Jewel of Fortitude into her bracelet. Shocked at the turn of the events, she let her guard down and allowed Hiiragi to slay her for good. Now we know why she couldn’t return from the Moon. The barrier disappears as Elis wakes up to her normal self outside reunited with her friends. They meet that mysterious kid again as he introduces himself as Kirihito. They don’t really know who he is but he seems to know Hiiragi a lot. Plus, he is wearing their school uniform.

Episode 5
After the Moon, now another Jewel location on some island. Anzelotte knows the Jewel has been here all along and is in the possession of another Night Wizard, Kurusu Andou. However he is not giving it up. As the gang arrives on the island via teleportation, they see fellow-comrade Mayuri Wanstein crying about her failure to convince Kurusu (that includes seduction) as she quickly teleports away and leaves it to the rest. If a cute girl couldn’t do it, what more them? They approach his house and see him chopping wood. They tell him about the mission and the stuff we’d probably know but he’s not interested. He must’ve heard it a thousand times. Because he was once a Demon Sword user, Hiiragi challenges him to a duel. However Hiiragi is made to eat humble pie when Kurusu easily disarms him with his axe. But that stubborn kid won’t give up and each time he tries to ambush Kurusu, he ends up looking more like an idiot. It’s no doubt he sinks into depression with his pride shattered into pieces. Elis continues to accompany Kurusu and help him out though the old bugger didn’t mind. He learns that she considers her friends important. He tells her that Anzelotte isn’t what they know her to be as she can be cruel and will go to great lengths to use her friends to achieve her goals. I guess peaceful times must come to end so Bell sends in a couple of Emulator dogs to attack them. The relentless attack has Kurusu telling Hiiragi to value his life but he is adamant that he will lay his life down to protect Elis. Kurusu makes up his mind and follows Hiiragi’s orders to take Elis away to a safe place. He brings him to a cave and tells her when he was under the service of Anzelotte. He and his partner secured a Jewel and are about to escape but his friend got caught. She wanted Kurusu to return with the Jewel though he is reluctant to leave her. Anzelotte teleported Kurusu away against his will seeing that the objective was to collect the Jewel. His friend perish and in the end, Kurusu refused to hand over the Jewel and left. He lost faith in saving the world since he couldn’t save his friend. He picks up his Demon Sword sticking out from the grave and goes back to give it to Hiiragi. He wants that kid to show his resolve. He doesn’t disappoint and destroys the dogs. Everyone gathers in the cave as Kurusu gives them the Jewel of Faith lay buried in his friend’s grave and into Elis’ bracelet. Hiiragi hopes to have a real duel with him one day.

Episode 6
Without doing any effort, suddenly the gang now have the Jewel of Temperance in their hands. As Anzelotte mentioned, there are other teams helping to seek out the Jewel too. She also introduces to another Wizard, Nightmare who will help them in their next mission. What kind of a name is that if this cool guy is supposed to specialize in dreams. When Elis touches the Jewel, she collapses. She is in her dream world and they have to rescue her by entering her dream. So I guess this is where Nightmare comes in. Meanwhile Bell sends another underling, Pheus Mor to make her debut. The gang arrives in Elis’ dream world. They encounter Elis’ child self as she is infatuated with the storybook Daddy Long Legs. Elis rushes off to see her uncle so the rest give chase in hopes of trying to convince her about this fake world and wake up. As they search around her pastry-filled kingdom, they see Kirihito sitting on a stairs. Since he’s not really helping, they walk away. They find Elis in a lonely tea party with her teddy bears. Hiiragi tells her that they need to return to the real world but she insists that she wants to stay here with her uncle, in which he appears and happy Elis goes to hug him and celebrate her birthday. Nightmare can tell this uncle is an imposter and questions him. Elis freaks out when she looks closer to her uncle when asked to and sees a demonic face. As she struggles away from him, the walls of the house fall apart to reveal a Gekkou. Elis runs away so Hiiragi chases after her while Nightmare deals with the imposter. Hiiragi tries to console crying Elis who locked herself in her room by drinking some potion Nightmare gave him so that he would be the same size as Elis. He promises that he will protect her, easing her heart. So they return to the rest and fight the enemy as the ‘uncle’ reveals his true form which is Pheus. Elis then vows to protect the gang and this causes a massive amount of energy to be released and the Jewel being absorbed into her bracelet. They turn into her shield and surround Pheus while shocking her with its energy projection. Another chance for Hiiragi to do another slaying. Hiiragi returns to his normal size after drinking an antidote while Elis thanks everyone and shows them the exit. They return to the real world though Elis doesn’t remember anything. Meanwhile Pheus isn’t totally dead but heavily injured. She limps into a door hoping it would be an exit but finds something so horrible that she had to rush back out. What could it be so fearful that a dream manipulator like her can scream that badly? Anyway Kirihito has that ‘oh-dear-you’ve-seen-what-you’re-not-supposed-to-see’ look on his face and kills her. At least that is how it seemed like judging from her painful scream.

Episode 7
Akari comes out from some maintenance chamber. She goes to see a friend, Mikoto who is also a Night Wizard but in coma. I guess after back to back episodes searching for Jewels, we take a break here. Akari officially goes to live with Elis as they throw her a welcoming party. That night, Hiiragi is having too much on his mind. Studying for his test, collecting Jewels and cursing Anzelotte’s conspiracy. Tsk, tsk, tsk. His annoying scream interrupted Elis and Kureha’s talk about the letter Elis always writes to her uncle. Kureha shuts him up by dragging him to take a bath (because his tent stinks – he thinks not taking a bath doesn’t kill anyone) or else she will reveal his secret. That time when Elis is alone, she sees Kirihito. He looks at her bracelet and notes that she will collect all the Jewels before her birthday because he is the one who will protect her. Kureha’s voice distracts Elis and by the time she looks back, Kirihito is gone. Next day, Elis’ class is at the skating rink. Hiiragi makes it in time before he is being marked absent by the teacher but unfortunately he is marked late. This won’t look good on his records. Hiiragi teaches Elis to skate and the funny moment is during the break time. Hiiragi thinks he is going to savour Elis’ delicious cooking when Akari takes hers out. Akari has bloody confidence in her cooking but Hiiragi knows better. Green gas leaking out from the bento? In order not for Elis to ‘die’ a horrible death, Hiiragi hogs Akari’s food, chowing it all down clean! He’s already dead when he’s halfway there! Man, what a torture. Just as he thought he could wash it down with Elis’ cake, Anzelotte appears out of nowhere to eat his share. She’s here just to relax. And break time is over. Poor Hiiragi. The skating continues with Hiiragi continuing to teach Elis but this time she fares better. At the end of the day, Elis and Akari buy souvenirs for Kureha and themselves. But it isn’t a bad day for Hiiragi because after his incessant bugging to his teacher, he finally decides to not mark Hiiragi late as he took care of Elis. Elis and Akari give Kureha her handphone strap souvenir as each of them has one. Don’t worry, Hiiragi isn’t left out though Elis slips it in his pocket. Back in Anzelotte’s base, she is receiving numerous activity reports of the movements of Emulators around the world, including major Demon Lords. Things are heating up with the hunt of the Jewels and it’s going to be a decisive battle between man and demon.

Episode 8
While the gang are cleaning Kureha’s shrine club house at school, Elis falls off the ladder but safely into Hiiragi’s hands. At that moment, they are engulfed in some energy ball and disappear. As explained by Anzelotte, they’ve being pulled into the past via some time rift. It’s bloody mind boggling to know how they can communicate in different eras. Elis is separated and finds herself at the top of the highest tower. You can guess she is being summoned by this Demon Lord Amy who accidentally summoned her when she was trying to summon Shaimal. Elis sees the Jewel of Justice in the middle of the summoning device. Meanwhile Hiiragi beats the crap out of the slave drivers and learns about Amy’s goal to build the tower. Before all communications are cut off, Anzelotte manages to tell Hiiragi that since an Emulator summoned them, they have to defeat the Emulator to return. Simple. Hiiragi enters the tower but is attacked by several beasts. Kirihito mysteriously appears again and reluctantly lends his hand to help him. They race up the tower as Amy resumes her summoning. Elis is locked away in a room and she could’ve done this earlier because she manages to blast away the seal and set herself free. Amy is surprised to see Elis again as she charges up the pillars for her summoning. She successfully summons only a partial of Shaimal as Elis could only stand and look in fear when her eyes met with Shaimal. Kirihito’s magic blast knocks down one of the pillars which put a damper to the summoning process. Amy traps Elis in a red bubble and let her float towards Shaimal but Hiiragi cuts it and saves her. Shaimal then unleashes a powerful blast towards Kirihito. He didn’t take a direct hit but was enough to injure him and that entire poor town in the distance got destroyed. Luckily Kirihito managed to destroy the magic structures so the summoning process couldn’t proceed any longer as Shaimal disappears. Hiiragi is going to cut down Amy but she is in a rage and sends him flying with her ice tornado. Elis then absorbs the Jewel into her bracelet in which it soon turns into some type of power sword and stabs through Amy. Hiiragi and Elis disappear from this world while Kirihito destroys what is left of this tower. The duo find themselves in the club room as Kureha and Akari notice that Elis has a new Jewel added to her collection. Meanwhile Bell is going to move in and is confident she is going to win because as mentioned by Lion, the book says the final Jewel will be in her possession.

Episode 9
Anzelotte speaks to Gazer and is pleased that everything is going well. Now it’s down to the final Jewel. As Hiiragi talks to Elis on her balcony, she suddenly collapses and in her trance talks about the final Jewel in some ringed place. Next day as everybody walks to school, something ominous is about to happen to Hiiragi. Yup, it’s Anzelotte and she is here to take the gang away for another mission. Yes or okay? What about school? Screw it since there’ll be no more school if you don’t save the world. In her castle, she shows them the final location of the Jewel to be in the rings of Saturn. However it will be like finding a needle in the haystack. For this mission, they will have Nightmare and Mayuri to accompany them. Since they don’t need to ride that space shuttle again, the entire castle becomes one giant fleet and they’re already reaching Saturn. As Anzelotte discusses the delegation of the duties to them, a large Gekkou is closing in from behind and the largest and massive hordes of Emulators they have ever seen. A change in plan as they will now have to defend and fight the hordes to buy Elis time to find the Jewel. Bell orders her underlings to go into action as they easily flank and take out Anzelotte’s platoons. Bell shows why she is the great Demon Lord as she whizzes pass the soldiers and even takes out a fleet by her own, including putting a large hole in Anzelotte’s castle. She goes after Elis. By this time, Elis has found the Jewel of Hope but to their dismay, Bell got it. Hiiragi and Kureha spring into action to retrieve it but Bell is just too good. Akari from afar fires her shot which hits a nearby asteroid and sends its exploding debris to throw Bell a little off. Hiiragi catches the Jewel and throws it back to Elis. Lion is in despair because it is not what is written in the book (this is what happens when you’re too reliant on pre-determined destiny). Bell demands an answer but Lion continues to panic and search for answers as she sifts through the pages. When Elis absorbs the final Jewel, it turned red instead. Suddenly Elis remembers that painting as the atmosphere around her turns red. The shield forms her wings on the back. She fires one helluva big massive shot. So big that it wiped out a portion of Saturn’s ring! Holy sh*t! Hiiragi jumps towards her and embraces her. This calms her down as she snaps out from her trance and realizes that Hiiragi is bleeding badly. Anzelotte is stunned at the developments and can’t believe Elis is Shaimal. Can you too? So what the heck have they been collecting all the Jewels for?

Episode 10
Both sides take heavy damage from the blast so it’s best that they retreat for now. Elis is confined in a room, utterly confused on what is going on. Hiiragi, Kureha and Akari barge their way in and demand Anzelotte an explanation. Seems there has been some misconception about obtaining the Jewels and instead of opening the portal as believed, it awaked Shaimal who is Elis instead. She points out her bracelet as the cause. Not that the rest are going to but it anywhere since they consider Elis their dear friend. Anzelotte seeks answers from Gazer but he didn’t answer directly and tells her to do what she thinks it’s best for the world. Meanwhile Bell and Lion discuss the developments as Lion’s book too didn’t see this coming but they know with Shaimal around, darkness and destruction will follow. Elis thinks she’s getting a much needed morale booster visit from Nightmare and Mayuri but their glum expression indicate that something bad is going to befall on her. True enough, Nightmare puts her to sleep (literally) as they have received orders to put Elis/Shaimal to sleep (for real) kill her. However before they could begin the execution, Elis wakes up in a trance and blasts everyone away. When she regains her normal self, she runs away in fear after noticing the destruction she has caused. Anzelotte orders every soldier to hunt her down but Hiiragi is upset on her decision. Either way, he is going to save her since no amount of words will change her decision. After Hiiragi leaves, Anzelotte summons Akari and Kureha for a mission (there is no option to refuse, remember?). Kirihito appears to save Elis from the guards and they come into contact with Hiiragi soon after. Since Hiiragi is adamant in risking his life to save Elis, he berates him for being a double agent, first loyal to Anzelotte and then betraying her. Elis slaps him for shooting his mouth. Hiiragi asks Kirihito’s real identity. He only replies he is the same as him, once a follower of Anzelotte but wishes to save the world too and will protect Elis. After dispatching more guards, they arrive in a bay. However the pod can only hold 2 people. What does this mean? Kirihito kicks Hiiragi as he free falls down to Earth! The amazing part is that, he didn’t die when he crashed hard on the tarmac. WTF?! It’s obvious that he wants to beat the crap out of that guy but Kirihito stops his sword with just his fingers. They take a short refuge back at Elis’ apartment. As they ponder what to do next (they can’t stay here for long), Elis thinks of going to look for her uncle. They have to make a move since Anzelotte’s soldiers are descending from the sky. Kirihito offers to stall them so Hiiragi takes Elis and run.

Episode 11
It shows the quality of Anzelotte’s soldiers. They lost badly and Kirihito unscathed. Or maybe he’s just too good for them. Hiiragi and Elis take a train to Elis’ former orphanage. Elis feels depressed about the fact that she is Shaimal but Hiiragi cheers her up. Meanwhile Bell decides to confirm her suspicions and takes Lion along with her. At the orphanage, nostalgic memories flow through Elis’ mind. They see a tree whereby the kids carve their names on it as not to be forgotten. The nun spots them and recognizes Elis. She invites them in for tea and soon the other children are happy to learn their big sister is back. They have a swell time with the kids, baking cookies and going through the photo albums (ah, those happy times). After the children go to take their nap, a mysterious white man with a white rose enters the orphanage and knocks the floor with his cane. A strange wave scatters throughout the orphanage. To Elis horror, the photo albums now are void of herself. She is no longer in all the pictures. She starts panicking and rushes out to the tree to confirm her existence but her name isn’t there either. Hiiragi consoles her that her existence is true but when the nun comes up to them, she doesn’t recognize them at all. Including the kids. Elis tells her name but the nun insists that there is no one like that. Even if there was, the Elis they knew died in an accident when she was 5 years old! Elis runs away in tears as Hiiragi gives chase. Meanwhile as Bell and Lion fly through some strange corridor, Bell suspects that everything on Elis was fabricated including her memories. She never existed till she first transferred and met the gang and now that her role is fulfilled, her existence will be erased. Elis continues to breakdown at the bridge as Hiiragi tries to comfort her that she is real. At least the times spent with them. The world suddenly turns blue and this can’t be a Gekkou. They are surprised to see Akari and realize that she is sent as Anzelotte’s assassin to take them out. The inevitable happens as both ex-friends start their battle, each believing their way is right. I wonder if Akari’s gun would be at a disadvantage since it’s effective for long range. During the bout, Akari’s souvenir strap fell out causing her to be slightly distracted, Hiiragi closes in and slices her Gunner’s Broom into half!!! Wow! Akari admits defeat and decides to withdraw seeing that she will have no winning chance against 3 people. Speaking of which, Kirihito just arrives at the scene. She lets the trio go while reporting her mission failure to Anzelotte. Anzelotte on the other hand receives a forceful visit from Bell and Lion (they blast their way in – again, such useless soldiers). It’s time to talk things out. Why wait for some unpredictable event that threatens both sides to discuss things? Meanwhile Elis, Hiiragi and Kirihito arrive at the school’s legendary tree but receive an energy shot as a welcome. They manage to block it. Looks like now they have to deal with another familiar face: Kureha.

Episode 12
A flashback of young Hiiragi and Kureha spending time together on Christmas. Some talk about Santa too. If you ask me, this doesn’t really have any bearing in the present except to show that they’re close buddies. So they have their own different ideals of saving the world and Elis as Shaimal. As the confrontation continues, meanwhile Anzelotte discusses with Bell and Lion about wanting the world to be saved. For Bell, if there is no world, she can’t invade, right? Ironically if gathering the 7 Jewels will awaken Shaimal, then obviously Anzelotte must’ve been fed false information and hope to retrieve them. Plus, killing Elis may trigger the full awakening of Shaimal. Back at the confrontation, Hiiragi and Kureha already draw their weapons. However Hiiragi lowers his sword as he deems his weapon is not for hurting his friends (how come he nearly did it with Akari?). Kureha also agrees with him and puts away her weapon. As they make peace, Kirihito isn’t happy with the developments and stabs Kureha! OMG! Now here comes the revelation part. Kirihito is the supposed uncle of Elis! Yeah, those white roses look familiar. He wanted them to finish each other off and turn Elis into despair to hasten the awakening of Shaimal but it didn’t happen the way he wanted. Plus, Kirihito is also Gazer! So the person Anzelotte is always seen praying to is this kid? Man, he’s everywhere! This is his reason for wanting to revive Shaimal. Long ago, he was to watch over Earth but you know humans, they become tainted and pollute everything so he lost hope and decided to destroy mankind and start anew. Something what Klaatu from The Day The Earth Stood Still wanted to do, eh? Hiiragi attacks Kirihito but the latter is still strong. Hey, he’s up against God, right? Anzelotte refuses to believe Bell so she reminds her about Kirihito appearing at convenient times and grooming Elis all the while. If Gazer is to do his himself, he will be breaching some rule about protecting the world so he used a third person and avoided getting his hands dirty. Hiiragi continues his attack and gets up no matter how bad the damage he has taken. Elis falls into despair as she feels guilty that all this is her fault. She falls into a trance and her bracelet turns into Shaimal wings (looks like an ugly giant fly) and starts destroying the city. Anzelotte receives report of the mayhem and she remains stubborn that Gazer isn’t behind this so she storms off to ask Gazer in person. Her worse fear is confirmed when Gazer reappears as Kirihito, confirming about his intention to save the world by destroying and used her all the while. So now do you believe him? That’s why it’s never good to blindly believe in some Gods. Hiiragi couldn’t do anything to stop the rampage as he holds Kureha’s lifeless corpse. Is calling out her name going to make her stop? Elis is bounded with thorny vines inside Shaimal still blaming herself as the cause.

Episode 13
Akari reunites with Hiiragi. Nice timing if you consider that guy leaving Kureha’s body in her hands so that he could confront Shaimal. Kirihito stops him from going further while spewing the usual insults and that Elis is gone for good. Like words would make him believe that. If he did, he might have given up a long time ago. As Kirihito orders Elis/Shaimal to destroy Hiiragi, Anzelotte finally decides on her resolve. She is going to abandon her faith to Gazer and orders all her soldiers to protect Hiiragi. The barrier protects Hiiragi from Shaimal’s blast as they are teleported outside Anzelotte’s castle. So if the soldiers can’t even face a massive horde of Emulators, how do you think they’ll fare against a single God? Yeah, Kirihito just easily fries them with his bolts. One of them tosses Hiiragi off but to his surprise is caught by Bell. She’s calling a temporary truce to beat Kirihito. Well, the enemy of my enemy is also my enemy. Since the entire universe isn’t big enough for 2 great beings, Bell and Kirihito duke it out. Thankfully Elis is still clinging onto something that prevents the full awakening of Shaimal. Hiiragi searches for a way to get in. This is where Nightmare comes in. Just like the last time, Elis herself might be asleep inside Shaimal so Nightmare casts a spell on Hiiragi to enter the dream world. It is the pastry-filled land and this time they go up the stairs where they first met Kirihito. They see a door this is only as far Nightmare can go so it’s all up to Hiiragi now as he ventures beyond it. Hiiragi faces some frightening dragon at first but slices it down and then move forward to meet Elis. He frees her but she is still in guilty mode. The same attitude so the same answer lah. The times she spent with her friends are real, bla bla bla.

Meanwhile Kureha’s body is brought to Anzelotte so she and Lion decide to resurrect her by combining their powers. I suppose it’s not good to have a dead heroine in the end so for happy ending purposes, even if the magic is forbidden or life-risking, they have to bring Kureha back to life. So Akari and Kureha fly towards Shaimal and their voice relieves Elis a little (Kirihito still being kept busy by Bell). They tell her to come home and her birthday party is due. The red atmosphere turns blue signalling Elis’ freedom from Shaimal. She emerges from Shaimal and Kirihito isn’t pleased that all his hard work is going down the drain. He attacks Hiiragi but Elis’ shield protects him. Elis combines her powers with Hiiragi so both sides charge at each other. It ends with Hiiragi successfully striking through Kirihito’s body. The only thing that can defeat a God is another God, right? So to defeat Gazer (Kirihito), it has to be Shaimal (Elis). Kirihito can even comment how he still hates Hiiragi from day one and says his farewell to Elis before vanishing. Elis bids goodbye to her ‘uncle’. With everything over, Bell and Lion excuse themselves and Anzelotte orders a full report on the situation. Back on Earth, it is graduation day and unbelievably, Hiiragi graduates along with Kureha. After all the absentees and tardiness and even being pushed back a year, you’d think he’ll never make it out of high school. Yeah, it’s complicated. But the celebrations have to be put on hold as Anzelotte forcefully drags Hiiragi away via her helicopter on another “Yes” or “Okay” request. This guy will never have peace. But for Elis, she’ll be glad to continue her life the way she knows it and notes she’ll be fine with everybody else.

Want To Have Another Go? “Yes” Or “Okay”?
For an RPG series and an ending like that, I guess it is okay. So the world didn’t get destroyed and start anew as Gazer wanted it to be. This means it will be back to the usual Night Wizard taking on the Emulators every now and then to determine the fate of the Earth. I’m wondering if Gazer is truly gone. He might not be the Almighty God of everything but he has been observing Earth ever since time immemorial. So without him, will Anzelotte take over his place? One thing I didn’t like about this series is some of the absurd, make-no-sense scenes. I know this is a fantasy genre but still if you think hard about it, it doesn’t feel right. For instance, the mission on the Moon. It’s like as though everyone can breathe and move so easily in outer space! Heck even that decisive battle outside Saturn was the same thing. Everyone in their normal uniforms and not in at least some sort of space suit or oxygen tank. Perhaps magic? Another one is the time distortion sending back Hiiragi and Elis to the past. So where is the Jewel in the future if they took it back from the past? And shouldn’t at least some sort of history change when they meddle with it? Lastly, about that free fall of Hiiragi from space to Earth. Shouldn’t he get burn up upon entering the atmosphere? Using magic as an excuse seems more like convenience. Oh and another things about why Gazer used another third party to fulfil his goals. Seeing that he is going to destroy the world and start everything anew, why the hell is he afraid of dirtying his hands seeing that nobody will be around by then to remember or accuse him?

Other than that, I could say that at times the characters are the most amusing ones in the series rather than the storyline which is divided into searching for the Jewels in the first half and then the shocking revelation of Shaimal in the second. Hiiragi if you don’t look at him as a hero, he’s like some sort of a guy that attracts bad luck. Especially when Anzelotte around pulling him away against his will for all sorts of mission whether he likes it or not. Because of that, Akari always teases him as sagaru otoko (fallen man) and in some situations, he does appear as one. Whether he is repeating a grade, going down a trap or even falling down from the sky. Yeah, it’s like the butt of jokes. But in the end, even Akari notes that he has become agaru otoko (rising man) because literally he has been whisked up in Anzelotte’s helicopter. It’s fun to note that Hiiragi sometimes is suspicious of Anzelotte’s actions and even badmouths behind her back. Ironically, Anzelotte has some sort of a “Hiiragi Sensor” and can tell whether he is talking bad about her and when she feels like it, will decide a punishment later or appear right in his face (speaking of the devil). Kureha’s weapon design is pretty cool and I feel her character is to put Hiiragi in place during comical scenes. Akari’s gun action doesn’t disappoint but I just wish that she has more screen time pulling the trigger. She may appear and sound monotonous but she values friendship as important as the rest. If you notice each time the gang pays a visit to Anzelotte’s castle, she’ll offer them a different tea to drink. Does she really have an extensive collection of tea? The only thing I like about her is the way she phrases her requests so much so you can’t say otherwise and she does it with a cute smile. Technically, you can’t say she’s forcing you, right? She’s giving you 2 options. I may not be right, but I think her other favourite phrase is “God damn!” when things aren’t going in her favour or she’s in a pinch. Yeah, it’s like cursing her own God she worships.

At first I thought Bell and Lion should get more variety of lines because there were seemingly locked in some room, Bell always looking at her magic locket always saying it’s getting interesting and Lion reading the book that predicts everything. So I’m glad they got out of that shell and did something different for once. They show that they’re not as dumb as Anzelotte by revealing several revelations (partly because to think like a baddie, you have to be one). Elis seems like a helpless moe blob at times but that’s because she doesn’t know about her powers and when she does, she starts fearing how devastating it would be. With her finally free of Shaimal, looks like she’ll be able to resume her normal life. Now that the threat is over, will everyone still need to cram in at her place? Kirihito’s strange and mysterious appearance and action makes him stand out that there is more to him than meets the eye so it’s easy to suspect that he would be something major and big in the series later on. Nightmare is such a cool guy with his “Dream” word in every sentence. However I lament he didn’t get much screen time either. I want to note that the subordinates of Bell are somewhat ‘useless’. After making their grand and threatening appearance, at the end of the episode, they get easily killed off. Then there were this bunch of other subordinates unleash to attack Anzelotte’s soldiers during the Saturn standoff. They only display their dark abilities for a while then after that, who knows what happened to them. Something tells me they got killed by that powerful awakening blast of Shaimal. Another character left hanging is Mikoto, Akari’s friend. I thought there would be a short flashback to see her connection but in the end, I felt that the producers forgot all about her.

It got me thinking about the irony of the 7 Jewels of Virtue. Common sense, if you collect them, then at least some sort of super good holy power will come forth, right? Instead, it becomes a key into awakening Shaimal. So shouldn’t they be named after the 7 Deadly Sins instead? Well, perhaps if they were named so, it would be a dead giveaway and that nobody wants to collect them in the first place. In which, we should have got a hint when we are told many people died when they fought over to get their hands on those little orbs. Maybe it goes to show one thing. Too much of goodness isn’t a good thing. The opening theme is Kurenai by Ui Miyazaki (who is also the voice for Elis). I don’t know, I thought the loud sound effects make the song sounded like those tunes you usually hear in ‘Game Over’ moments in video games. The ending theme by BETTA FLASH, Erinyes is totally opposite. Sounds creepy and ominous. The opening lines sounded and felt like some sort of dark priestesses chanting forbidding charms.

Well, I won’t be playing the game any time soon or in the near foreseeable future. Briefly skimming through Wikipedia of the other terms and character classes, perhaps it is not my place to say that they don’t seem to appear in the anime. Well, it’s an adaptation in the first place. Besides, I don’t think the characters in the anime really do appear in the game (not that I know of). So next time if you read all those tales about monsters, spirits and ghosts, maybe they’re really those Emulators trying to invade our world. I don’t really want to end up like Hiiragi as a fallen man, getting whisk away to protect the Earth so much so he doesn’t have any decent time to himself, what more attend school. At his age where guys are dying to play truant or skip classes, he is dying to attend them and graduate. Not to say his studies are his forte but… So with this anime done, I’m wondering if I should continue watching more animes of this genre. Please answer “Yes” or “Okay”. Now, that’s a tough choice…

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

July 23, 2011

I was never a fan or follower of any sort of occult or the supernatural. Neither am I for the horror series. So what made me decide to watch Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin? You know me. I read that there was this comedy element so I thought it was going to be one of those spoofs and rip-offs for instance like how Hollywood did with that Scary Movie. Not exactly like that but this is what made up my mind that this show could be a funny one. Looking at the promotional poster, I saw a commanding and superior-looking lady in white, sitting on top of a wuss guy like as though she’s using him as a human chair! That definitely seals it. Now this I got to see.

As part of the occult theme in this series, I’m sure that many of us have read or at least heard about the famous end-of-the-world prophecy of Nostradamus. Remember that 2012 movie that stroke fear worldwide about the possibility of the world ending on that year just because some Mayan calendar wasn’t clear whether it just ran out of space for further dates. Apparently in this year as shown in this series, mankind is facing a different kind of Apocalypse. Towering beam-firing aliens are destroying our world. Hmm… I thought those aliens resemble something like those ATs in Star Wars. Well, at least we won’t have to worry about destroying ourselves from global warming. Hehe, I’m not helping either.

It seems that something dubbed the Nostradamus Key has triggered the events of the world back in 1999. So the future surviving agents are sending time travelling agents back in time in hopes of finding the Key and hope restore humanity. Unfortunately this isn’t going to be an easy job because well, agent #5 just died. Oh boy. What does this mean? Send in the next agent #6 lah. So in addition to occult and horror themes, we have to deal with sci-fi too? I just hope the comedy part will be as interesting and entertaining as well.

Episode 1
The large Waldstein Academy is founded amidst the lush greenery of a remote village in Nagano prefecture of Japan to cater to those students who would like to pursue their passion in the occult. The date is July 1999. Maya Kumashiro, the daughter of the founder and principal of Waldstein, Junichiro, returns to the school because her dad has just recently passed away. She reluctantly has to assume the principal role now and despite her vast knowledge on the occult, she despises it. The academy is currently holding a funeral ceremony with all the students attending. Maya doesn’t seem too thrilled about it as she sits on stage with her arms and legs crossed. Maya’s childhood friend, Ami Kuroki and her bespectacled friend, Kozue Naruse recognizes Maya upon her return. Waldstein’s vice principal, Chihiro Kawashima reads a tearful eulogy and plays Junichiro’s last words on a player. Seems goofy. But it’s like as though he knew his days were numbered. During the ‘speech’, Junichiro mentions about a successful spell of summoning dead ancient spirits. Call it fluke or coincidence, suddenly the windows start flapping and mysterious gas appearing. Junichiro’s lifeless body moves and it is clear that he is possessed by a spirit. The hall turns into chaos as everybody runs helter-skelter for safety. Dead Junichiro charges but Maya takes a chair and whacks him right in the face. No respect for your father! Maya takes charge by telling everyone that this is all staged and that spirits do not exist! Tell that to the students again when Junichiro starts to rise once more. This time he breaks out from the hall.

Maya does her research in the library and needs to capture this spirit known as lamie. She meets Kozue who expresses her admiration for the occult and deep respect for Junichiro. Ami brings in more help in the form of Smile, the school mechanic who holds a real big spanner (like that Graham guy in Baccano, eh?) for fighting purposes, and JK (no relation to that Harry Potter author), a big chubby guy with horrendous make-up never seen without his pair of dowsing rods. Yeah, this school is definitely weird alright. Following JK’s rods, they try to track the lamie. Eventually it possesses Kozue and starts attacking the gang. Maya rushes to find the source in order to kill it. Upon opening a room, she sees her father and the entire scene changes into her home. He mentions that this was all a set up and starts getting emotional how he neglected his family while building this academy. Maya plays along till she picks up an axe and is prepared to chop off his head. She knew the lamie has the ability to read one’s mind and heart so she wasn’t swayed by her its words. The lamie is destroyed (releasing Kozue from its possession) and the room returns to a storeroom storing all sorts of occult torture devices. Maya remembers how she was fascinated with the occult when she was young. But her father was too busy researching the occult that he slapped her when she reminded him about their promise to go shopping. Because of that, Maya and her mom left while Junichiro continued his obsession to build his academy. Thus the reason Maya decided to return to this school: To destroy it and the occult that brings nothing but ruin to the world and delusion to the people. As Maya takes a breather on the rooftop, a handphone drops down from the sky. She picks it up when suddenly a bright light comes shining down from the middle. Is an angel descending? Heck no. It’s a naked guy! Her shocked expression wasn’t the fact he was floating down from the sky before her. If you look closely at his shadow over Maya’s face… You’ll understand why… Meanwhile Chihiro and her bodyguard resolve to keep a close eye on Maya.

Episode 2
Like any normal girl after seeing a naked guy, Maya runs for her life. Yeah, don’t take any chances. He might be a pervert or rapist. Worst still, that guy chases after her. Naked. Thank God he fell into a pit. Maya rests back in her room and watches a television programme. Currently there is a young boy, Fumiaki Uchida AKA Bunmei on the rise to popularity as he is able to bend spoon using his psychic powers. Maya takes a picture of herself using the handphone but gets freaked out upon seeing a skull and bones as its result. Next day in school, Maya discusses certain school matters with Chihiro. The latter introduces a new history teacher, Minoru Abe. Uh… It’s that naked guy! After excusing Chihiro, Maya tries to kill him! After she mentions about his weird handphone, Abe tells her that he is a time agent sent from the future to protect the future. Narrating how the world is overrun by aliens and on the verge of being destroyed, Abe was sent as agent #6 because of his top class psychokinesis. Abe was bloody cool and calm when he was being explained about the Key, the rift in the time-space dimension rift that causes the appearance of the aliens and the special handphone he was given to. Using some kind of special technology, the object that is being taken while thinking of your intentions with it, will allow one to see whether or not it exists in 2012. For instance, if you take a picture of a human and it turns out to be skull and bones, you can bet the future is still the same gloomy and apocalyptic end that it’s heading. It’s an interesting feature but really, how can such a technology see into the future? It’s really mind boggling if you think about it. I wonder if this could be the new application feature on our iPad. Anyway Abe needs to use this handphone in order to find and pinpoint the object that is the Key. Oddly enough, Abe can communicate with the agents in the future, though it is just one way. I can think of all the contradictions about this but that would a big headache. Hmm… Maybe he’s from the past so when he ‘communicates’, the message may take a decade to reach our future folks but really if you consider it, wouldn’t it be like ‘instant’?

So that is how Abe is transported to the past. But Maya still doesn’t believe this crap. Abe mentions that the Bunmei kid was him 10 years ago (which is now). She wants him to prove himself by bending a spoon. Since he took too long, she kicks him out. He lost his powers? Abe goes around taking pictures of stuff in the academy while Chihiro takes Maya back to Junichiro’s place where she is going to live. During shower, strange events start to occur. A warning in blood not to interfere is written on the mirror, an invisible creature breaks into the window and only its wet footsteps are visible (creepy!). Abe was nearby and crashes in Tarzan style. Maya thinks he is the Great King that will bring terror to mankind on July 21st as prophesized. The creature closes in and Maya accidentally pushes Abe away, revealing a secret passageway. Down the stairways, the creature tries to strangle Maya when a great flash of light behind the bricks disintegrates it. Maya sees a notebook belonging to Junichiro. Upon reading it, she learns he was researching about the Nostradamus Key and trying to find ways to destroy it. There were some parties who disagreed and tried to take him out. Junichiro seems to know his time is up if Maya finds this notebook and has written all sort of defensive magical spells in it. This means that somebody killed her father. Next day, Abe becomes the homeroom teacher of Ami and Kozue’s class. To his surprise, Maya becomes a student in his class too. Later Maya reveals that she plans on cooperating with him (though she hasn’t forgive him yet) by exchanging information to find Junichiro’s murderer and using herself as bait to lure the perpetrator out. They shake hands as sign of agreement. But when Abe mentions that she really loves the occult, she punches him and asserts her hate for it. Nothing went right for him ever since he came, eh?

Episode 3
There are rumours that several townspeople are going missing. They suspect it may be the doing of a tengu, a spirit of the Japanese folklore. They decide to investigate it in hopes that it will lead them to the Key. After Abe leaves, he bumps into Chihiro. She starts falling in love with him after he praises her hairstyle instead of teasing it. Eww… Those puckering lips look disgusting. Abe takes a picture of her and it reveals skull and bones. Better get yourself away and not associate with her. Abe reminisces about his past and desires to go back. He even calls his mom but didn’t say anything. He enters an eatery and is taken in by a beautiful and busty waitress, Mikaze Nakagawa, politely serving him his favourite curry dish. Abe isn’t just taken in by her looks. He is surprised that she calls him Fumiaki. Her mom only calls him that and so it’s a surprise that someone else does so. Abe makes frequent visits to Mikaze’s shop and one day she asks him if he has free time. Would he pass this chance up? The funny part wasn’t the fact that this small town girl owns a flashy sports car, but rather the way she drives! Abe is in a hell ride of his life! Look at the way she drifts! She can put all those expert drifters in Initial D to shame! Thank God, I don’t know how Abe survived the ordeal but it is sure a traumatizing experience. She takes him to several historical spots in the town. As the duo visit an underground bunker, Maya is pissed and suspicious after she spots him fooling around instead of investigating the tengu case. Abe and Mikaze soon leave the bunker and they spend a little tome closer to each other. Meanwhile Maya is in a pinch as she tries to escape from an attacking creature. Did it get her?

Episode 4
Kozue is missing, Abe tries to turn down Chihiro’s advances as he seeks Mikaze’s help to find Kozue. Oh no. It’s that hell ride all over town again. At a shrine, the duo uncover a secret passageway so Abe tries to become a man to protect Mikaze though we know that he is just putting up an act. Trekking deeper underground, Abe and Mikaze got separated. Abe then bumps into Maya. Looks like she’s still alive. They discuss about pyramids and how this mountain based on some theory is one. The passage leads them to a large world tree. Abe takes a picture of it but it isn’t the Key they’re looking for. Abe falls into a giant dung and a giant moth starts attacking them. Maya is going to let that guy take some responsibility to save the future of mankind. That is when Abe reveals the true story. In the future, he’s some sort of poor guy trying to make a living via road side entertainment. I guess he must’ve lost his spoon bending powers and tries to cheat the audience but they saw his trick and left without any ‘donations’. That’s when the future agent picked him up for a mission. Abe was like a total coward, screaming in defiance about going on this dangerous mission. He was forced to against his will. So! That guy is a complete worthless wuss after all! So much about his grand story. Maya and Abe walk deeper and discover several human bones on the ground. There are lots of cocoons on the wall as Maya spots Kozue in one. She tries to dig her out but coward Abe fails her when all the other moths start awakening so he runs away! F*cking chicken!!! Maya is left to deal with the monstrous moths alone as she has her hands full with unconscious Kozue. Luckily for her, Smile and JK who were also searching for Kozue, bump into Maya as they battle the moths. JK’s dowsing rods are quite handy for fighting if I must say. JK also brings his special keyboard that unleashes a certain frequency to immobilize the moths. Everyone manages to get out of the cave alive before an explosion seals the moths in. They bump into Abe (who is still thankful that he is alive) so Maya gives him the cold shoulder and returns with the rest to the academy. Then he is reunited with Mikaze and he told the most despicable lie ever. He said he saved the missing student and sent her back to the academy. F*ck you! As Chihiro writes in her love diary for Abe (oh, if she’d only seen the kind of wuss he is), the Bodyguard comes in reporting about the explosions that sealed the moths in. Chihiro becomes wary of Maya for being a troublesome principal.

Episode 5
Kozue shows Maya a spoon that never rusts. She in turn tells her about some OOPart thingy. Over the next few scenes, Kozue gets excited at the slightest everyday occurrence and thinks it must be some sort of occult. Like the teacher’s bad handwriting to be some sort of alien language! Or following a black cat just to have bad luck but her injury she got was of her own doing. Abe gets a visit from Mikaze. She thinks of selling bread at this school to help pay her car loan (it’s that trauma again!). Maya, Ami and Kozue meet at the rooftop during recess. Kozue laments how she was the only one who hasn’t experienced an occult. Seriously? Has she forgotten about being possessed or kidnapped by one? Apparently she claims she didn’t see them since she believes what is important are the things you can’t see with your eyes. Soon Kozue goes missing again but this time it didn’t take long for her friends to find her trying to reach a near-death experience state in some cold storage room. Abe tries to get Maya to approve Mikaze’s bread selling activities in school. I guess after pissing her off, she stamps her approve mark. On his forehead. Be careful to stamp it on the paper… Later, Kozue volunteers as a test subject for a near-death experiment. Oddly enough, they have a big screen to see what Kozue is seeing. Is the afterlife a colourful and fantasy-like place? Up to you to interpret as Kozue goes deeper into this world. Her time limit is up as the scientists pull her back out. When Kozue regains consciousness, her friends are suspicious of her change in behaviour. She doesn’t seem to take this occult thingy seriously. Then on the big screen, they see Kozue trying to search for the glasses she dropped (around the time when the scientists pulled her out). Is the real Kozue still trapped there? Besides, the Kozue that came out from the capsule did not have specs on. Hmm…

Episode 6
So Kozue becomes somewhat lethargic to the occult. Ami decides to make Kozue remember and want Maya to help her out. They did all those so called lame occult tricks like what Kozue got excited over in the previous episode but Kozue tells them straight why it’s not. Eventually Maya orders Abe (busy accompanying Mikaze and a guinea-pig for her bread) to do spoon bending in front of Kozue. Of course he flops (since he admitted his powers are long gone) and makes a fool of himself. Kozue still doesn’t believe in the occult but it is strange when tears suddenly stream down her eyes. Maya concludes that Kozue left her heart in the aftermath so Maya plans to go back to the lab and bring her back via near-death experience. I guess Abe wants to redeem himself so he decides to step in instead of Maya. Good, she lets him do it. As Abe goes deeper, the rest sees his memories during his childhood as Bunmei. He seems a lonely kid but a traumatic one crops up. On a day Bunmei was looking forward to go to the planetarium with his mom, she rescheduled his performance on that day. When Bunmei tried to remind her, she slapped him! Maya felt guilty because he was the same like her as her father did to her. Then they see the alien invasion that wrecks havoc in the future. Abe finds Kozue sitting alone dejectedly lamenting about the need to see with her heart but still can’t see it. Abe realizes that she may be looking for her glasses which are on her head. Kozue returns to her perky self and this dumbfounds all her buddies. Later Maya agrees to work with Abe to find the Key seeing that what he said about the future is true. Now he believes him. Next day, Mikaze thanks Maya for allowing her to sell bread on the school grounds. Maya gets upset when she sees Abe helping to sell and punches him for doing other jobs while on duty. Relationship, back to normal.

Episode 7
Ami’s labourer dad, Shigeru spots Maya walking by but she isn’t interested to stay and chat. Come Sunday, Maya and Kozue pay a visit to Ami in her room while Abe bumps into Smile and JK at Mikaze’s shop. The TV news reports a mysterious crop circle so Maya calls Abe to go and investigate. Shigeru and Maya’s friends offer to help. Reaching the spot, the police have barricaded it. Maya suggests to camp here tonight seeing that the crop circle was only recently made. Of course Shigeru and the other girls won’t let them have all the fun and invite them to their BBQ dinner back home. Then later that night, as the gang stake out, a UFO suddenly appears so they chase after it. Thankfully in this town, traffic isn’t bad so they can speed how fast they want. Thank goodness Shigeru’s driving isn’t as horrible as Mikaze. They reach a cow farm and have to go on foot. They get freaked out when they stumble upon several dead cows and their blood have been sucked out. Then the UFO appears again. This time a little gray alien floating down. Abe takes a picture of it. Wait! Something is amiss. Why are there pictures of JK?! So yeah. The whole thing is a set up. JK is dressed up as that alien while the UFO is attached to ropes coming from a crane handled by Smile. Ami confronts her dad who admits that he set up all this because he wanted to see Maya smile and have fun again. Maya chides Shigeru for wasting their time because they’re serious about this. Ami slaps her for being rude. Then Shigeru slaps her daughter and wants her to apologize but Ami runs off.

Episode 8
Maya and Ami’s relationship hit rock bottom. They’re not talking. Maya learns that all the events of the crop circle were made except for the dead cows. She and Abe investigate it and it is too big to be a prank since the place is scattered with carcasses. Then Maya remembers that she forgot to meet up with Ami at a shrine (Ami wanted to talk things out) and rushes there. Eventually Maya manages to get there. Before they could talk, a little green creature sinks its teeth into Kozue’s shoulder! What the hell is that?! Plus, more of them appear surrounding the girls. Then a big mother emerges and kidnaps Ami. They rush back to Shigeru and tell him about the situation. Maya says those little green things are chupacabra (I thought it was that large Amazon rodent. Oh wait, those are capybaras. Hehe…). The gang stock up on their ammos, weapons and head to rescue Ami. How do they know where she is? Use those dowsing rods, baby! Abe is in for the ride when they abruptly pick him up after another visit to Mikaze’s store. At an abandoned shrine, they trek across the graveyard as several chupacabras start pounding on them. Everyone fights back but Kozue goes missing (again). Inside the shrine, Maya finds Ami on a stone. Ami comes to and realizes many chupacabra around her. Maya extends her hand to pull her up. Both girls reconcile as they fight the little green things. Then the big mother comes out but was taken out easily by Shigeru. I can’t believe its head fall off after just a few rounds. With all the chupacabras taken out, Abe snaps a shot but they aren’t the Key. And for Kozue, she’s found asleep safe and sound amidst the skeletons. After the gang leaves, the shrine is burnt down and it seems to indicate of Chihiro and Bodyguard’s doing. She wants him to keep an eye on Maya. Maya and co gather back at Ami’s place as Shigeru tells a ghost story that only Kozue gets freaked out. Abe notices Maya smiling.

Episode 9
Abe manages to get Maya’s approval to let Mikaze sell ice cream at school (yeah, just want to impress her I guess). She gets defensive when he notices real estate documents on her desk. During a class by Chihiro to summon a spirit via medium (using herself), instead of summoning Junichiro, a little girl named Akari appears instead. Each time she appears and disappears, she leaves a trail of snow behind. Akari asserts that she wants to go home. Maya agrees to help her return home. The only clue they know is that she is 7 years old and a first grader at elementary school. I’m sure Abe would love to help the gang out but I guess they had to leave him behind since he got so distracted by Mikaze. After checking out several elementary schools in the vicinity, finally they find her home. However she starts sitting outside the door and feels cold. The entire around suddenly turns into snow. The blizzard is so powerful that it shattered windows. Akari soon disappears. They meet the landlady as she explains Akari’s past. When she just entered elementary school, her parents divorced and it was hard for her daddy to raise her all alone. The landlady tried to help her out the best she could but maintained not to get too involved. Akari froze to death on Christmas Eve as she was sitting outside her house’s door on a very snowy night. The gang then go in search for Akari’s dad and find him working at a construction site. Despite numerous persuasions to help save his daughter, he tells them to leave since he believes he is responsible for Akari’s death.

Episode 10
Abe calls Maya to the teacher’s room in an attempt to get an answer why she’s avoiding him or if he did anything to upset her. He wants to more about her and get to know her better as her partner. I think we all know why Maya’s so hothead against him. Just when Mikaze starts calling him, he diverts all his attention to her. Yeah, enough to earn another Maya’s super punch in the face. Maya and the rest later go visit Akari’s father. He won’t let them in so they plan to stay outside till he lets them.  Finally he gives in (it took all day?). Daddy explains how Akari was such a cheerful girl and their family was a very happy one. Till he spent too much time working so mommy didn’t like all that pressure and left. Daddy continued being a workaholic and even if Akari tried to cheer things up about hoping for Santa Claus, he shoots her down that there is no such thing. Akari was adamant in waiting to Santa to show up. At work, he received a call from the landlady that Akari was locked outside her house. He rushed to the hospital but it was too late. Akari passed away. Maya plans to hold a Christmas party for Akari. Meanwhile Mikaze and Abe have returned from an outstation trip. Guess what? Chihiro is there. I smell a cat fight coming up. Abe tries to get out before the fireworks start by saying that he got an important call to help Maya. Chihiro wonders if it is the demolition of Maya’s residence at the academy. Then it hit Abe about those documents. Abe enters the soon-to-be-demolished residence and meets Maya. She talks about her dad and the party they’re planning. She has an idea for him to help out. During the party, Akari appears and everyone have a fun time celebrating. Then Maya’s cue for Abe to enter as Santa Claus. However he is knocked out. Santa enters and everyone is surprised to see Akari’s dad. He hands her a present, hugs her and apologizes. Akari thanks her daddy and can now peacefully rest in peace. Maya returns to her partially demolished residence and remembers how it was her Christmas wish to Junichiro that she wanted a monster school (thus the birth of Waldstein Academy). Maya felt guilty for never realizing his feelings and only turned her back on him and hated him. Abe comforts her as he holds her hand. This strengthens Maya’s resolve to find her father’s killer and protect this school as well as humanity’s future.

Episode 11
Abe returns to his place one evening to find Mikaze in his room. Seems she manages to get a spare key from the landlord and enter to cook him dinner. Then she hugs him from behind and wonders if he is free tonight. I’m sure you know what that guy is taking this as. Turns out that she brings him to a group of occult people (why is their dressing like KKK?). Mikaze passionately seduces Abe and tells him about the den of evil at Waldstein and that they have to kill the witch that has returned. She brainwashes him into saying that Maya is the witch and that all the occult events that has happened was her doing. After all that hugging, licking, kissing, etc, do you think that guy has the guts to say no? Next day Maya takes Abe out on an outing but his mind is pretty much preoccupied with Mikaze’s words. Eventually he tells her about this so Maya says that she has snapped a photo of herself with the photo but the picture turned out negative. Abe reminds her in order to make it work, she must think about destroying the object. Maya tries to take another one of herself but Abe snatches it away, conceals it and lets Maya repeatedly kick his ass. I guess all that kicking has her tired so Maya leaves. On her return, she encounters Chihiro. What is that creepy smirk on that vice principal’s face? Suddenly it is all over the news that Maya is found dead! Can this be true?! Her bloodied body found sprawled across the floor! Everyone sinks into depression and even Abe misses her mocking. Ah, is he admitting he’s a masochist? While crying alone in his dark room, Chihiro and Bodyguard enter. Abe yells if she killed Maya. Chihiro only nodded so angry Abe charges at her but was pushed back. He is further surprised when Maya appears. Chihiro explains that the body was fake and they used magic to do so. Furthermore, she reveals herself to be a white mage in service to Junichiro to protect Maya and deceive the enemy. Abe still wouldn’t buy this is the real Maya and asks her to show her notebook. She passes it to him when Mikaze suddenly floats in, freezes Abe and destroys the notebook. The rest escape as Mikaze turns herself into a dark witch and hunts them down. Maya and co are surrounded by the occult people. Chihiro orders Bodyguard to take Maya to safety (Maya was getting emotional after learning she is her father’s killer) as she transforms into her true white mage self to fend off Mikaze.

Episode 12
A power battle between the mages begins and their clash of ideals of human’s desire and meaning of love. Mikaze reveals she was the one who unleashed all those occult happenings intended for Maya though she never realized that. Also, she fooled Abe into getting close to him so she could get close to Maya. Bodyguard transforms into a panther with wings to take Maya and escape. Ami, Kozue, Smile and JK are trying to summon Maya’s spirit via various tools but eventually the dowsing rods are the ones that proved useful. Hey, she’s not dead, remember? They see Maya and the panther and go after her. I don’t know how this happened because Kozue becomes part of the brainwashed occult members. The mages’ battle ends with Mikaze vanquishing Chihiro (probably the latter got caught off guard when Mikaze said Abe kissed her). Mikaze goes in pursue of Maya but before Chihiro bites the dust, she goes back to Abe and unfreezes him. She tells him that Junichiro is alive and how they used the same magic trick on Maya to do that. She whispers something in his ear and pecks his cheek before hitting the ground. Mikaze’s chase has them ending up in Waldstein where she blasts and injures Bodyguard to send him crashing down. She confronts Maya but the latter reveals this was all part of her plan to lure her here to activate a spell and that the notebook she destroyed was a fake. Abe arrives in time and ignores Mikaze while calling out to Maya. Mikaze transforms herself back to her harmless form in an attempt to confuse Abe. Maya is able to snap a shot of her and realizes that she is the Key. Abe starts reciting the magic spells from the notebook Maya dropped earlier on as Maya repeats his words to activate a spell around Waldstein and destroy Mikaze. Then every supernatural occult starts disappearing (including Chihiro and Bodyguard) and those under her hypnotizing spell are set free. In the aftermath, Abe tells Maya that Chihiro told him the page of the spell. They both embrace. After Abe reports to his future agents of his mission accomplished, everyone runs out but to their horror, it is still the annihilated world.

Episode 13
A flashback reveals how Junichiro completed his notebook of spells and Chihiro teleported him away to another location and faked his death to find the Key. On the day before the closing ceremony of the academy, Abe tells Maya that Junichiro is still alive. Maya calls Abe’s mom and arranges for them to perform at the ceremony thinking Abe wanted to meet her. However Abe mentions that he has no recollections of visiting this school when he was young. The footage of his memories also proved that and there was a blackout in it. Abe reports this to the future agents and they explain some mumbo-jumbo about time and space dimensional rift about meeting yourself in the past. In short, they’ll both disappear. Furthermore, Abe is revealed to be the Key. Not exactly him, but the act of meeting himself! You know that part Maya snapped in the previous episode? Well, it wasn’t just Mikaze in the picture but Abe as well. I’m sure many of you saw this coming. They are arranging for Abe’s immediate return to prevent that from happening but Abe requests to stay an extra day. The future agents discuss this and it is revealed that their leader is no other than Junichiro. He narrates about the irony of events. He knew the Key was not found at the academy and sent an agent back after his funeral thinking that the Key must have been brought in after he left. However this act itself was the trigger. Maya blames herself for arranging this but Abe notes that he just need to meet his mom and not his younger self. So Maya arranges a meeting with his mom to tell her that the performance is cancelled. She seems pretty upset about it seeing that they’ve travelled from far to this remote place. When she returns home, she finds that little Bunmei had already ran away. Earlier on, Bunmei wanted to come with his mom to see the school but she forbade him in her usual strictness. So I guess that’s why he decided to come to Waldstein all alone and is having a blast, going through all the rooms in the academy. As for Abe and the rest, they have a farewell party at Ami’s place.

The next day after Maya’s closing speech and Abe’s resignation as a teacher, she meets him on the rooftop. It’s time for him to go but Maya doesn’t want him to. Oh. Could it be? Suddenly Abe comes face to face with little Bunmei. The sky turns dark and a dimensional rift opens up in the sky. Aliens start attacking the academy. Bunmei charges at the alien intending to protect this school but gets knocked away unconscious. Abe then takes a spoon in Bunmei’s coat and tells Maya that history changes from now. Now it’s his turn to charge towards the alien and unbelievably, his spoon deflects the alien’s beam! Suddenly he gets his psychokinesis powers back (I’m not sure about the flying part as well) as he sacrifices himself to seal all the aliens back into the rift. He tells Maya to look after Bunmei. The sky returns back to a sunny one and the world is saved. When Bunmei comes to, Maya takes his hand and they walk away. In the future, the agents rejoice that the scenery of their outside world has changed. Junichiro steps out and no longer sees the destroyed world but the one thriving with human life. He gets a call from Maya to join her and Abe for dinner. And what’s this? Maya and Abe are married? Hey, she married someone who is a decade older than her!

Paranormal Activity…
Okay, wait a minute! I’m not saying that the happy ending sucks but the point is not the happy ending. It is the way the world turns out due to the change in history. Remember the time paradox thingy from the Terminator film? The reason it worked out was because the future didn’t change unlike this one, whereby it turned from the bad ending into a happy one. My thoughts and confusion about this sci-fi theory is the same as discussed on this site: Random Curiosity. Think about it. If Abe was sent from the future to save the past and he manages to do so, where do you think this Abe came from seeing that in the peaceful future, Abe is happily married to Maya and thus there is no need to send him back to change the future. In addition, shouldn’t the future Abe have memories of meeting Maya the first time when he first met her in the first episode (considering the case of little Bunmei meeting her in the final episode)? It would have been more plausible if they made it as an alternate future like what they did in Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn. But not that I would approve of it either. Instead, I suppose of having an expected bad ending, I feel that the producers made a happy one so that viewers won’t be disappointed of how everything ended. I mean, Abe died but Maya still get to live with him, right? So which Abe are we talking about? But aside Abe as the Key, I am wondering Mikaze’s role as the antagonist. Unless her belief in Maya as the Key (which is of course false) to save the world, it’s ironic that she wants to open the door the demon world. Well, she was against Junichiro in finding the Key.

There are other inconsistencies as well. For instance when Maya took a shot with Mikaze and Abe in it, I remember that Abe said that you have to think about the object you want to destroy in the picture to produce the results. So, Maya has got to be thinking about Mikaze when the serene picture came out, right? She couldn’t be still holding a grudge on Abe and made that mistake. Unless a technical glitch… At such a time? Then the part about Abe being able to directly communicate with the future agents in the end. How the heck do you do that? Even communications from Earth to the Moon is delayed about 1 or so second. If the future people can create such a superb invention, they could’ve used their geniuses to create a better weapon to destroy the aliens. Plus, if you think about it, if those future agents are still stuck in their desolated world, it means that the past hasn’t changed, right? If it really does change, they won’t be sitting in that rut and most likely their memories of the events that led to the change will be altered. So yeah, this sci-fi thing really made me go scratching my head especially how it screw out the whole time line and history. Damn sci-fi theories! Damn time paradox theories!

Abe initially is the kind of wuss that everybody would love to hate after his lie and acting big. All talk and no action. So I guess that last part whereby he sacrificed himself to regain his manliness and redeem himself that he wasn’t a total wuss after all. He changed in a way that Maya too changed. She was the kind of girl that will not open her heart easily to anyone. Not even her friends. She may be assertive and strong-willed but is lonely. Her hate for the occult was just a diversion and misguided feelings for her dad but after she gets to know his true feelings, she realizes what is most important to her. It was settled that when Abe made his cool self-sacrificing move, she fell for him. Mikaze may have been a wolf under sheep’s clothing. But seasoned viewers would have probably sensed something amiss for a side character like her to recur many times even if the events of her and Abe don’t seem that all important. Chihiro’s actions are less obvious because she’s been acting like as though she is keeping a close watch on Maya secretly. She’s been made to believe that she’s the culprit and antagonist. But I guess it’s just her way of getting serious to protect Maya. Cheery and lively Kozue is an amusing girl. Noticed that she is some sort of comic relief character who either lost her glasses (she’s really blind without them) and a penchant of getting possessed or abducted by the occult. And she has got the cheek to say that she has never really experienced one! JK and Smile are cool dudes that make a perfect combo pair. I just wish that they have more screen time. You got to love Smile swinging his giant spanner and who wouldn’t smile whenever pudding maniac JK comes into the picture. He is inseparable from his multi-purpose dowsing rods so much so it’s like his extended body part. Really, perhaps his rods could even serve as a TV antenna.

I’m not saying that the horror part is scary enough to scare seasoned horror fans. But there were several scenes that were creepy enough to spook me out! Perhaps it’s because I’m watching this show late into the wee hours of the night all by myself. Another creepy fact is the ending credits whereby we see a guy and a girl lying down on the grass with their eyes open. Not sure if they’re corpses or it’s just a still picture but the real images can be scary if your mind starts to go astray about those occult stuff. Fortunately, nothing scary happened. But for the few occult creatures that appear, I guess it’s enough for this short series. Some of the occult information bits are interesting but if you’re fascinated to find out more, you can always do your own research. As for the comedy part, other than Abe getting beaten up by Maya (yes, those are funny and no, I’m not a sadist), Mikaze’s awesome drifting and Chihiro’s genuine but hilarious fawning over Abe (man, I really thought there will be a cat fight when Abe’s rival showed up but not expected it in the form of mages), it is the facial expressions that Maya puts up. We all know her typical cold and unfriendly mug that is enough to make a spirit think twice of approaching her. But she has other expressions too and the funny ones are when she is surprised, flabbergasted or just annoyed. It’s fun to see this variety of facets. Of course she is also shown to have more emotion as a human being like the time she shed tears and also smile.

One thing about the drawing and art of this series. I have to admit that the background and sceneries are rich and well done. From the lush forests to the flowing water, they provide soothing eye candy with their smooth animation and quality texture. However, I can’t say the same about the characters. They seem simple and at times their animation jerky. At times if you stare straight at their faces, they just look at a little too odd. I had this feeling towards Chihiro and Mikaze especially. Sometimes if I don’t feel like paying attention on the characters, I would just focus my concentration to the background. On a trivial note, during the next episode preview, they feature bonus songs sung by the seiyuus in the series. You can get them if you buy the DVD of course.

Speaking of which, if you buy the DVD, there a total of 5 specials in all. The first one is some sort of a music montage in which Maya sings the Love Machine song in about a minute and a half. Though you can see many of the series’ characters dancing, some of the other scenes are taken from the first episode. Special 2 is the start of a series of shorts lasting about 3 minutes. It is about young Maya and Ami together with their snake-like pet with a big bulge in its middle stomach they found, Tsucchi. As the girls are going to the pool, the come across another girl (Kozue) running for her life. A snake strikes out from the bushes, barely missing them. They take it back as Junichiro explains it is Tsuchinoko, some sort legendary Japanese creature. The girls are fascinated and decide to keep it. After naming it Tsucchi, they hope they can get along. But Tsucchi attacks once more but thankfully it misses and hits the wall. In Special 3, Ami tells Shigeru about Tsucchi. Noting that Tsuchinoko isn’t a friendly creature, he trains her how to avoid its poison fangs. Meanwhile tries to feed Tsucchi with all sorts of foodstuff but it only takes interest in sake. Then Maya learns about Ami’s training and after a little demonstration, it’s Ami’s turn to train Maya. I guess they got good enough to know when Tsucchi is going to strike and avoiding it becomes like some sort of a reflex. After it calms down and is rather tame (perhaps it doesn’t want to end up banging the wall), the girls discuss if Tsucchi is lonely and decide to find it a mate tomorrow. As they trek into the woods, a truck driver spots them. In Special 4, they contemplate if Tsucchi is male or female before hearing voices of Kozue searching for her glasses. It’s right on top of her head. After she leaves, they come across a swamp pit. Suddenly a giant black salamander surfaces and attacks them. Tsucchi goes into defence of the girls and bites the salamander unconscious. Wow. It’s like David versus Goliath. The girls are thrilled and happy of what Tsucchi did and vowed to stay together. In Special 5, Tsucchi doesn’t look well. They hope it will be better soon but unfortunately it died and they had a tearful burial. Then they watch a TV report, a witness retelling his encounter with Tsuchinoko. The news is abuzz with it so much so they dug up Tsucchi’s grave and did some test on it. They call it pseudo-Tsucchi. This pisses off Maya and Ami as they repeatedly shout aloud that they hate adults. In present time, it seems it is a story told by Ami to Kozue. Kozue still ponders the identity of the clumsy bespectacled girl (seriously, she doesn’t remember? Even if she hummed those same lines?). Ami gets a call from Maya that she is arriving soon for Junichiro’s funeral so they head back into the building. Note: Maya looks much cuter when she is a child. Second note: No, I am NOT a lolicon.

At the end of each episode, the tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that states this work is purely of fiction and that aliens, psychics and other occult stuff do not really exist. Unless if you believe in them! So really, it is all up to you of whether or not you want to believe not just about the supernatural but the other stuff in life whether it is the truth or fiction. Everyone is free to believe in them all. Including whether or not the end of the world will really come in 2012. It’s just how we use that information and belief in our everyday life that makes the difference. Like how I believe anime is the new religion, manga the bible and games for ‘real life’ experience. It’s no joke! Anime has invaded the world and became a growing fad and trend like some sort of an occult. All hail the maids and gothic lolitas!

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