Another reverse harem based on an otome game? Setting in the Taisho era too? Not really interested. Books are the theme of this series? Double nah. But then as I read deeper into the synopsis of Nil Admirari No Tenbin – Teito Genwaku Kitan, I found its mystery of people being burnt alive by books just by reading it to be quite fascinating. Ironically, I was never an avid reader and it became a bad habit that I never liked to read. Not even manga. Therefore it is strange that I suddenly found myself to be interested in checking this out, like as though I have been hypnotized and mesmerized by the magic of books. Or at least its book theme. It must be the way they worded the synopsis… Those damn words stole my attention ;p. So here I am watching this spectacular story. Just this story, though. Still not reading anything else.

Episode 1
Hitaki isn’t happy his sister, Tsugumi Kuze did not tell him she is getting married. He believes he is forced into it for the money. When she tells him off, he starts sulking and hating her. Feared words of an older sister. She narrates that her family was doing well before the earthquake struck and couldn’t recover. If she marries into the Yashiro family, her dad will receive a loan and help revive the family. Later Tsugumi tries to talk to Hitaki but there is no answer from his room. When she opens the door, she is shocked to see him burning himself! Luckily he was rushed to hospital. Although he is alive, his burns are bad. Tsugumi blames herself when she is approached by 2 hot guys from the Imperial Library Intelligence Asset Management Bureau AKA Fukurou, Hayato Ozaki and Akira Kougami. They have a few questions for her. First, they explain that Hitaki’s actions of suicide might be due to cursed tomes. Strong emotions of an author stored in a book and can have an effect on who reads them. Although this has been happening for a long time, recently it is getting more frequent. Just today, the son of the current Prime Minister, Shougo Ukai attempted suicide after reading a cursed tome. They are here to find out if there is some connection. Tsugumi remembers seeing Hitaki holding one and has her butler bring it. To her horror, she sees it burning. However nobody else could see its flames. They believe she is one of those gifted who can see the aura of the cursed tome. They hope she could join them for their cause. Tsugumi takes her time thinking but continues to blame herself. She is visited by a hot chick from Fukurou, Shiori Tokimiya who apologizes for her colleagues’ rudeness yesterday. But she is also here to request her help with her ability? I guess asking politely does make a difference. With the marriage on hold, Tsugumi has decided to join them as she believes she needs to change and for Hitaki’s sake. Off she goes to Fukurou’s HQ.

Episode 2
Hayato takes Tsugumi around the HQ and shows her the room where cursed tomes are stored. Wow. All burning books! She is surprised to see an old family friend, Yutaka Nabari. He is working here because he too has the ability to see auras. Shiori takes over and brings her underground to the research division. Meet Motofumi Mashiko who is the division’s head and flamboyant guy since his interest is in folklore and ornithology. Tsugumi is impressed with the huge national library where it houses books from all over. Later she meets a weird hottie who sells goldfish as well as a young boy captain with 2 different iris colours, Hisui Hoshikawa. During her welcoming party, she discovers that goldfish guy is Shizuru Migiwa, an author who lives here. He is Hitaki’s favourite author. Next day, Tsugumi goes on patrol with the guys and feels a bit shy since she is the only girl (probably her skirt is a little bit too short). They stop by bookstores to check for cursed tomes. One of the owners being Kuina who also sells other mystical stuffs. No cursed tomes here. Also, time for the series’ pet mascot to appear. Folks, meet Perry! Kawaii! Kuina jokes if he could be Tsugumi’s lover so she quickly brushes it off and says she has no interest in boys or marriage. As they go around several bookstores, Tsugumi soon feels disheartened she couldn’t find a cursed tome. Then at Touichirou Sasagoi, he doesn’t particularly like them since he attributes their suspicious presence driving his customers away. Tsugumi feels guilty when Sasagoi hints that she is a useless person hired by Fukurou. She spaces out and almost gets lost in the sea of crowd before the guys find her again. In the last bookstore they patrol for the day, the owner is very scared upon received a book he thinks it is a cursed tome (he has the wrong impression possessing one and not reading it will curse you). Tsugumi observes and then assures this is just a normal book. This guy is so happy he just couldn’t stop thanking everyone. Hayato points out to her that even if she hasn’t discovered any cursed tomes, verifying and confirming those that aren’t is also good enough.

Episode 3
Tsugumi cooks them breakfast. They are so impressed with her miso soup because apparently the restaurant they frequent to always rips them off. True cooking! That night as they dine outside after another hard day of patrolling, they hear a commotion of a guy being chased. While the guys go after the mob, Tsugumi tends to the victim, Rui Sagisawa. She sees his burning book but it isn’t a cursed tome but burning for real. Later as the Fukurou team gather and discuss, they believe this is the work of Kagutsuchi, a shady organization believed to steal books from others and burn them on the spot. With the people widely believing cursed tomes can kill you, Kagutsuchi becomes a self-proclaimed vigilante to burn such books. With such recent cases, the Tokyo police has assigned rookie Tarou Tsubameno to liaise closely with them. Tsugumi bumps into Rui again and he is very much interested in getting to know more about the cursed tomes as well as her. On another patrol, if this guy’s weird acting doesn’t alert you, perhaps the cursed tome aura would. They chase the crazy guy but he runs into the train tunnel where conveniently the train is coming head on. Splat. Taking back his book, Tsugumi could see the intense dark aura on this one. Nabari shows another cursed tome with a similar aura. They discuss about some who purposely create cursed tomes. Because a black feather is always found beside such cursed tomes, they nickname whoever the culprit is as Karasu, though they have no solid proof whatsoever. Good news for Tsugumi has Hitaki has regained consciousness and she meets her old high school senior, Koruri Masaki who is now a rookie newspaper reporter. Rui sees Tsugumi to give her a kaleidoscope she likes. They talk more about the cursed tomes but their ideas clash on whether one should burn a boko even if it has a potential to be dangerous. When Kagutsuchi is reported to be holding some activity in some building, Fukurou moves in. It looks like a silly setup wild goose chase just to lead Tsugumi into a room with a cursed tome. Obviously we can tell the ringleader behind this is Rui (same voice) as he believes such books should be burnt. Tsugumi disagrees because it is not the contents that are evil. He argues back her ideals might be right but what about reality? The contents aren’t the problem for sure but those exploiting it. That is why Kagutsuchi will eliminate them. He wants her to join them because of her power but she declines. Disappointing for Rui as he makes his extravagant and convenient escape. He is sure they will meet again soon.

Episode 4
Tsugumi had the misfortune of bumping into a rude guy doesn’t like a woman in Fukurou. As Shiori explains, he is Shougo. After his attempted suicide, it would be troublesome for him to stay at the Prime Minister’s residence where many people come and go and hence a rash decision was made to have him stay here for now. Shougo is being a dick, blasting his gramophone loud and not even his servant, Arata Kijitani could handle him. Tsugumi believes everyone should be patient with him since he is in an unfamiliar environment but I guess there is only so much one can take after he continues to snap at her so she snaps back at him. Kuina reports a politician killed himself by jumping off a building. As the police is keeping a tight lid on this case, it is believed he was having a cursed tome. Even more suspicious, he was coming back from Nachtigal. Back at HQ, Shiori introduces Tsugumi to Takuma Yoshikiri who works at the newspaper, Hayato’s college senior and Koruri’s boss. He often exchanges information about such cases. But this isn’t the first case of a dead politician. A month ago, a politician believed to have died from heart attack whose wife was a regular at Nachtigal. It is believed Takashi Shiginuma who is the founder of Nachtigal might be the mastermind behind Karasu but because of his high level connections, the law cannot reach him. That is why Fukurou is investigating every day and exchanging info. Since Tsugumi knows how to dance and Shougo has got an invitation, a perfect chance to infiltrate. Too bad Shougo will not go with her and badmouths everything he can think of her. Tsugumi is such a strong girl not to cry after hearing all that. With more hijinks like him accidentally entering the wrong bath and almost seeing her naked. Later he apologizes and reluctantly invites her to Nachtigal. There, Shougo introduces her to Shiginuma and his wife, Shouko. Then there is also this military dude, Owase mocking about his pacifism that could almost turn his father into a traitor. When Tsugumi returns, she reports to Shiori she saw Sasagoi with an unidentified man. Based on her description, Shiori thinks he is Shirou Mozuyama, a professor from the university with shady rumours. Later Shougo sees Tsugumi and has found out about her brother’s case from the other guys. He sincerely apologizes for saying those things without knowing the circumstances. So they’re like best friends now?

Episode 5
A woman is found dead near a park. Furthermore, a lilac flower is discovered inside her mouth as well as a book of Shizuru next to her. Hitaki is excited his sister gets to see Shizuru and hopes she could get a book autograph from him. She tries but unfortunately he doesn’t do such things. He also explains his goldfish selling was to help an old guy who couldn’t sell them. No prizes to guess why women instantly buy it from him. Looks like a serial murder is occurring in a similar fashion. While it may be premature to think Shizuru is the culprit because if he murders people, he won’t be so dumb to leave clues of himself, right? Perhaps the culprit wants to ruin his reputation. But then again, it might be for self-advertising as his book sales soon soar. Later Shiori talks to Shizuru if he still has that manuscript from his late teacher, Saichou Moritsune who committed suicide. He assures he has burnt it because he knows that is a cursed tome for he couldn’t stand hearing voices of wanting to kill others. Tsugumi learns from Hitaki about Moritsune. Apparently he believes the recent serial murders are trying to imitate a story he once wrote. When Tsugumi tries to read that book, she is approached by Sasagoi who claims he was also a student under Moritsune. Although Moritsune killed himself, Shizuru found his body first. He believes he has a motive for killing him because he criticized his first book and ripped it apart in front of others. Also, Moritsune’s manuscript may be a cursed tome since reading it might make Shizuru want to kill others. Tsugumi refuses to believe this crap.

Unfortunately the police now takes Shizuru in for questioning as another body is found. The police blame such books for the killings but Tsugumi protests the book is not to blame. The police interrogates him as they believe all victims have casual relationships with him. As Fukurou patrols, Tsugumi tells Hayato about Moritsune’s book. People claimed it to be the ultimate love story when it is a twisted love story. It is about the culprit killing all those the protagonist loves until the latter cannot take it anymore and kills the culprit. Hence the ultimate twisted love of wanting to be killed by the one you love. When a suspicious person is found with a cursed them, Fukurou moves in on him. However he is just a distraction as the real culprit targets Tsugumi. If not for Hayato staying back, she would’ve been a goner. Shizuru (with Tsubameno’s help to escape during toilet break), stops the serial killer in his tracks. He turns out to be a crazed fan of his and wants to be killed for him. Too bad he won’t. Because he knows how to differentiate reality from fiction. It’s prison time for you. Hitaki is delighted with Shizuru making an exception signing his book. Tsugumi has a better opinion of Shizuru but it looks like Shizuru still holds Moritsune’s manuscript and believes he is no different than the killer.

Episode 6
Kuina tells Tsugumi and Hisui that a man came here last night to sell a book but since he wasn’t in, he went to sell it somewhere else. Strange, how did he know if he wasn’t in? Don’t tell me Perry was manning the counter and since he couldn’t speak human tongue, he went away? Hisui is visibly concern when the book is believed to be written by a prostitute. They head over to Sasagoi who claims he has already sold the book to someone else and will not simply let out information. Client confidentiality. Later they bump into Mozuyama who warns him about carelessly burning his friends and finding his replacement. When he invites Tsugumi to his lab, Hisui warns him not to get her involved. Tsugumi notices the obviousness of Hisui not joining the party with the rest. So she goes talk to Kuina who reveals Hisui’s mom is a prostitute and because it was during the time where foreign sailors come and go, the reason why he has beautiful hair and eyes. Conveniently Shouko passes by and tells her she heard she was looking for a book. She bought it and if she is so interested, please visit her. In her room, Shouko has only read halfway and it feels like a heart-warming diary. Tsugumi hopes to give it to her or borrow it. She will consider the latter if she visits her again and be her friend. As long as she doesn’t betray her, she won’t do the same. What a strange way to become friends. Tsugumi talks to Hisui who further reveals that his mom used to dressed him as a girl. One night, a customer forced himself on him and his powers of burning others awakened. From then, he felt ugly for trying to kill others. He believes this is the reason why his mom left him shortly after. Mozuyama took an interest in his abilities and experimented on him before.

Before Tsugumi could tell him about the diary, here comes Shiori wanting to speak with her. She was seen with Shouko and this is serious. Tsugumi won’t give reasons and this only puts more suspicions on her. Conveniently Hisui heard this and barges in. He heard from Kuina (conveniently) and doesn’t want the book anymore. Of course Tsugumi won’t let this go and plans to visit Shouko. This time Hisui accompanies her with the excuse to protect her. Shouko sees Hisui as a mirror image of Hiwako. She was her best friend in school. Hiwako was from a noble family before economic ruin befell on the family. Shouko had other siblings to take care off and thus sold her body. Hisui doesn’t know this and is now more certain this is why his mom changed and hates him. Before you go berserk, here, read the book. A strange aura pops out and what do you know? Is this the spirit of Hiwako embracing her son? Whatever it is, mother and son reconcile. As the circumstances have changed, Shouko can’t be friends with Tsugumi anymore and hence can’t let her visit anymore. Conveniently right after Hisui’s personal issue has been solved, right? Hisui knows she will be nosy and meddle in others again that will put herself in danger. He won’t stop her but promises to protect her.

Episode 7
The fourth body of a minister is found. Although it looks like a suicide, all of them have a cursed tome with them. Also, all of them are members who agree with the Prime Minister’s disarmament proposal. It is believed Shiginuma is behind this since he is deeply involved in the munitions business. The ultimate goal could be the Prime Minister himself. As Koruri suggests, Tsugumi goes to watch a movie but bumps into Akira doing the same. Since separate seats are full, looks like they have to go in as a couple. Nothing much happens between them. Tsugumi and Shiori go to warn the Prime Minister of this. When Tsugumi returns, she is confronted by Shiginuma who wants her to join him in Karasu for her ability. His ability is to see the future and can tell the precautions that Fukurou takes. He warns her loved ones might suffer and that there is a spy in Fukurou. He can take her now but will respect her free will. Is this part of the future he sees? Because of that, we can see Tsugumi visibly a bit shaken but trying to act like normal and the only one who notices this is Akira. Over the next few scenes, Tsugumi becomes distraught as wherever she goes, a crow’s feather is there. Then Koruri almost gets killed in an accident, yup, a feather there too! Yeah, she’s getting paranoid that someone is watching her. She even calls home to check if Hitaki is okay. Thank goodness he is. Breaking point comes when she finds another feather in her room. She becomes panicky trying to rid of it but Akira discovers her. No use trying to hide it and it’s like she has to start spilling the beans when he says Shiginuma is behind this. Gee, did he guess? So after letting the cat out of the bag, Tsugumi becomes even more panic because she cannot believe anyone at Fukurou would be a spy because they are so kind. You think? And then what’s this?! Akira throws her down onto her bed and trying to rape her?! Is she showing off his abs?! Oh… There is a mark of a feather there. He admits he is from Fukurou. No wonder. I guess seeing a cute girl in distress has made him changed his mind. Because he is going to protect her now. By going to confront Shiginuma? He went all the way there with his abs exposed?

Episode 8
Akira confronts Shiginuma but gets beaten up. Since he has a fear of blood due to a past trauma, looks like he has become a pawn for Shiginuma’s plans. Shiori gathers her team and reveals about the rumours of Karasu planting a spy in Fukurou. Yeah, never thought it would be her own men, eh? When Tsugumi visits Hitaki, he is not thrilled that Hayato is with her. I guess little bro doesn’t like hot guys to accompany his sister. As Tsugumi researches more on cursed tomes, Nabari explains that it doesn’t necessarily be a book. As long as one puts strong emotions into his writing, even a letter can turn into one. Next morning, a body is found murdered in the dumpster. The media reports the corpse as unidentified but the police is not letting any of its information out because that corpse is a police officer. It is believed Karasu is behind this but Shiginuma hasn’t made any obvious moves yet. Koruri sees Shizuru for love advice. From the way she describes, we can tell she likes Yoshikiri. He advises to confess her feelings and a letter is a way to do that. She will do so once the case is over. Tsugumi is then teased of the man she loves but insists she is too preoccupied with work for love. I thought she was spoilt for choice. Yoshikiri steals a book from Shiginuma’s lab just to check if it is a cursed tome. Nope. Hence Tsugumi warns him not to do reckless stuffs. He won’t be slowing down because he doesn’t want to regret it. Perfect time for detour because he talks about Hayato’s first love, a girl who is always reading at the university park. Many confessed but all were rejected. In the end he didn’t confess because he didn’t want to be the only one happy. You see, he has a sister who loves books. She read a cursed one and burnt herself. Though she survived, the scars were too horrific and she took her own life. Tsugumi feels sorry for asking. She also discovers Shiori’s husband was also burnt to death in the same way. When Koruri visits, Yoshikiri has left. Tsugumi asks if the unidentified letter to Yoshikiri was from her but she isn’t sure what she is talking about. Tsugumi’s fears the worst as she runs around looking for Yoshikiri. It won’t be hard to spot him. Because that letter he is about to read is a cursed tome. Before you know it, he sets himself on fire. Oh Koruri, what a tragic start and end to your love story…

Episode 9
Thanks to Hayato’s quick action, Yoshikiri is saved although in coma in hospital. As Fukurou discuss about the recent case, Tsugumi notes the cursed tome that Yoshikiri had didn’t display aura like others. It had this burning flame like the one Hitaki had. They wonder if it this was not Karasu’s doing. With Yoshikiri waking up just in time to give his notebook on his investigation and reveal some juicy revelations, the artificial cursed tomes are made by several authors via drugs manufactured by Mozuyama in a lab underneath Nachtigal. The centre of these authors is Sasagoi. When the Prime Minister gives his speech, a soldier almost assassinates him. What is mind boggling is that he came up to stage to shoot him in the eye of the public! I believe that gun can still reach had he hid behind the curtains or stage. Thanks to that, the Prime Minister lives but before the soldier could be turned in, he killed himself. He is a subordinate of Owase. When Tsugumi is about to eat out with Hayato and Hisui, she spots a cursed tome. The guys leave her just to go chase the dude. It could be planned because Rui returns to talk to her. Although he assures he is on her side, she still won’t join him and tells Kagutsuchi’s plan of invading Nachtigal and hand Mozuyama over to the police. Tsubameno accompanies Tsugumi home. But they are surrounded by strange masked dudes from Karasu. Tsubameno’s karate can only do so much before he is knocked out. When he comes to, he knows Tsugumi is kidnapped by Karasu. Because they so kindly left her ribbon and a feather next to him. WTF. So when he reports back, the rest really want to take action now to save her. So they’re breaking protocol? Yup. Don’t worry. Shiori will take responsibility. Yeah, that explains why Hayato rides his bike into the building. Kagutsuchi barges in and causes commotion by throwing Molotov bombs? Akira sitting nicely in prison hears the commotion and decides to break out. Gee, he could break out any time but only now? I guess he didn’t want anybody to know. Tsugumi wakes up in Shiginuma’s auction house. So much about waiting for her to come here on her own will. It seems Shiginuma has the ability to see cursed tomes although not as consistent. He traded his right eye for that. Like a typical baddie, he reveals his plan of plunging Japan into war so that it could be rebuilt the way they want it again. WTF. But this is his plan now: He will take Tsugumi to Europe and have her bear his child. WTF?! Wait, he is going to rape her now???!!!

Episode 10
The logic of raping her is so that her child could bear her powers. What birth of the chosen one is he talking about?! We interrupt this rape session with Akira barging in. He lets Tsugumi flee and oddly Shiginuma has his henchmen fight Akira and look for Tsugumi. So what the f*ck is he doing then?! Tsugumi can’t escape with the commotion so Shouko hides her in her room. Still have time for tea? After a while, Shouko realizes she must go to her husband and tells her of a way to escape. See, what did I tell you? What the heck was Shiginuma doing as he asks his henchman if Tsugumi is found. Why the f*ck didn’t he get her himself? Anyway, usual bad guy ranting as he reveals his sick rape plan to Hayato. Confident his Hulk bodyguard can finish him off, eh? Not unless he has help from Akira. Meanwhile Sasagoi is escaping but he is dragging himself down with the books he is trying to pack. He is confronted by Shizuru and Shougo. Sasagoi starts accusing Shizuru for having it all. He thinks books are supposed to be dark and messy? He is the one behind the lilac incident just to bring down his name. When he realizes his books are only sought for murder purpose, Shougo says he is a fan of his and read them. Despite almost killing himself, he felt kindness and love in it. He wants to read a book from Sasagoi, not a cursed tome. So game over for him? Mozuyama is confronted by Hisui. When he badmouths Sasagoi as a third rate author, Hisui starts displaying some of his fire ability. Mozuyama wants to see more of that so he fuels his hatred by revealing the truth about his mom. She came to his lab and in exchange to leave her son alone, she is willing to be experimented on. Since her body was frail, she broke too soon. This enrages Hisui as he tries to kill him but stopped because the touch of the warmth of his (ghost) mom. He won’t kill him and let the law deal with him because mom would be sad if he turned into a killer. Too bad justice don’t play fair as Mozuyama shoots him. Don’t worry, it’s not fatal. Bad luck for Tsugumi has she bumps into Shiginuma. Luckily Akira and Hayato find them. Isn’t it a no brainer if Shiginuma threatens to kill her if they come close? Shiginuma tries to play on Akira’s guilt to do his bidding but Akira refuses. It is revealed they are both half-brothers from the same dad. He badmouths his mom dying in a pathetic way and with Tsugumi biting his hand to free herself, it’s time for the brothers to fight and settle this once and for all. Mozuyama now stumbles into Rui.

Episode 11
With Shiginuma defeated in boring fashion, we now turn to Mozuyama and Rui’s standoff. What is the point of talking about Rui’s dead parents? Mozuyama thinks his mind would change if he reveals who his real parents are. Who? Mozuyama is his father! NO!!!! Shouko is his mom and it seemed he raped her. Because she came from a noble and her family will not accept a child out of wedlock, the baby was given to a pair of scientist (Shouko’s friends I suppose) who promised to take care of him like their own. Soon she is forced into a loveless marriage with Mozuyama just to maintain their noble status. Rui is in disbelief but Mozuyama further reveals he killed his parents and make it look like an accident since they were threatening to destroy his research. Mozuyama wants Rui to join him but of course he won’t. Mozuyama’s escape is halted with Shouko showing up. She is going to kill him. Mozuyama begs for his life and is counting on her kindness to spare him. She can never forget that rape scene and calls him a selfish guy who only cared for himself. He tries to attack her but Rui pushes her out of the way. In that commotion, the injection he is supposed to inject into her, got injected into his own butt! More bad luck because his hot balloon escape is now on fire and his feet is tied to its rope! Shouko and Rui talk one last time before saying goodbye to each other. Rui crosses path with Tsugumi and assures he will no longer burn books. Goal achieved?

Akira thinks of repenting but the rest won’t let him go so easily so he and Hayato trade punches. It’s their way of saying he is forgiven and welcomed back because he is such a hot hunk. More bad luck for Mozuyama. Despite surviving the fiery crash, he read a cursed tome before him and walks into the flames to burn himself! I think that’s it for this guy. In the aftermath, the gang celebrates. But shortly after, Shiori and Mashiko call Hayato to inform him that the deaths of Hayato’s sister, Shiori’s husband and Hitaki’s near death are all from the cursed tome with the same type of flame aura. Further research shows they are written by the same person and that handwriting is deduced to be Nabari! Despite all books have different author names, they have the same initials as Nabari. They know he has some past trauma relating to fires and are going to investigate his home. Oh well, he along with Tsugumi has gone back to see Hitaki back home as he just got discharged. He talks about the book Hitaki was reading before it was burnt. He notes it came from their home’s library and back then he saw some flame auras around some of the books. Of course this has them investigate the library immediately but as they soon gather there, Nabari locks the door and relishes the 3 of them that now he can go back to his home in the flames. Look at his evil eyes. No wonder his eyes are always closed.

Episode 12
When he was working here, he who had no family, Tsugumi’s family welcomed a stranger with opened arms. Before this he had a happy life with his parents until his father was killed as a soldier and her mom fell into grieve and burnt herself. The pain of losing everything made him want to write it all down to soothe the agony. He felt better and noticed a flaming aura. At this point, he shows Tsugumi a cursed tome and poor girl goes into a trance. In this weird trance, she sees Nabari being curious about the effects of the cursed tome as he experimented on letting others read. Many died including Shiori’s husband. So now Nabari is going to burn everything down and return to his family. Geez, must he kill somebody to do that? Anyway, luckily Hayato and Shiori are here. They barge down the door as Hayato beats Nabari up before he completes his whatever insane ritual. How do you snap Tsugumi out? You keep calling her name! Damn, if it only was this easy for the rest. Shiori is mad at Nabari and has thought of killing him (Nabari even daring her) but of course at good guys, the best way is to let one live and atone his sins. Nabari breaks down after Tsugumi tells him his place to return is not within the flames and he must find his place here in this real world. Geez, if only people could easily turn over a new leaf this way.

Now that the case is wrapped up, Tsugumi has the option to leave. However she decides to stay on and our eavesdropping guys are thrilled. But there is something she needs to take care first before she continues. She goes to settle her marriage meeting with the Yashiro family. She is shocked to see Hayato. Wait a minute. This is not a joke. He is the guy she is supposed to be engaged?! Apparently Ozaki is his pseudonym as he doesn’t want his family name to influence his work. He reveals that the woman who always reads at the park is Tsugumi and will always be his first love. Geez, I guess Tsugumi never thought she fitted that profile. As Tsugumi prioritizes her work, he will respect it by putting aside this marriage arrangement for now but won’t give up yet and hopes she will come to feel the same as him. In the aftermath, we see snippets of all the characters. Some of the highlights include Yoshikiri recovering well in hospital and Koruri already playing his dear wife, Sasagoi continues to write in prison but this time with happy feelings. Shougo is learning to be the new iron chef (?), Shizuru burning for real his manuscript from Moritsune, Rui learning medicine in hopes of following his father’s footsteps as a doctor (and hoping Tsugumi would choose him), Nabari sitting quietly in prison and the curious scene of Shiginuma and Shouko overseas with a seemingly strange lady with strange eyes that screams some sort of ominous powers.

Judging A (Cursed) Book By Its Cover
I don’t really understand how Shiginuma managed to get away. I thought he was arrested? It is true that we didn’t see him get arrested by the authorities but didn’t Akira won over him? Didn’t he take him in after their fight? Because it felt like they realize Mozuyama is left and we must go to find him! Unfortunately the event didn’t even need them for Mozuyama to lose and then ultimately lose his life. So really, how the heck did such an infamous guy like Shiginuma manage to get out of the country without suspicions? Maybe some corrupted politicians covered it up. Yeah, no wonder it is a long way to go and that’s why Tsugumi and her Fukurou dudes continue to chase down unlucky people with cursed tomes. Uh huh. I guess somewhere out there, there must be some angry and sad people who remain writing such hateful works. They really want to see the world, or rather the people who read, get burnt down.

Like simulation games being adapted to anime, one of its many pitfalls includes trying to squeeze in everything, if not what is considered most important to be shown. This takes away the many possibilities and potentials that would have made the entire series in general to be satisfying. At least for those who played the game and are fans of it. By squeezing almost everything into a dozen episodes, it does come with some sacrifice especially the story and characters.

Now, I have not played the game but considering this is adapted from an otome game, there would be multiple branches of stories depending on the path you take or the characters you choose to interact more with. I am assuming (though I may be wrong and have no evidence to back it up because I’m just lazy) that this just follows one of the routes. The setting of Fukurou being set up to find cursed tomes is a bit boggling. Before Tsugumi, they had nobody to easily spot cursed tomes for them. So did they just wait for incidents to happen until they could nip it? Even if they had Nabari, that guy confined himself in the undergrounds of the HQ studying cursed tomes all by himself. And now that they have Tsugumi, patrolling the streets to identify cursed tomes should be easier. I mean, twice or thrice she might visit the same bookstore. By then she would have known which are cursed tomes and which aren’t. So isn’t it more efficient then to just focus at the point where the books come in or being imported from? It’s not like a normal book can become a cursed tome, right? So it feels like wasting time or waiting for a convenient plot device to happen by continue to patrol the same streets and bookstores.

Not so much about the predictable plot of the good guys defeating the predictable villains and saving the day, the characters fail to be interesting either. Tsugumi as the face of the series as well as the main heroine doesn’t contribute much except for the fact of her ability to identify cursed tomes. To troll us, they have 6 main gorgeous guys flanking her and to show that she does not give into the power of boner seductive hot hunks, she gives this lame excuse that she isn’t interested in love. Well surprisingly, she does look the part! The way Tsugumi shows her concern and worries, it looks almost like as though she is genuinely worried about that person’s problems. Not so much about whether or not she will fall in love. Yeah, blame that failed arranged marriage as an excuse. But she doesn’t have to feel guilty too since Hayato personally gives his permission to postpone that.

There are 6 handsome guys who share the potential to be Tsugumi’s love interest. Each has their own episode to give some limelight between them but apparently it isn’t enough and it feels rushed. Because it also feels like basically Tsugumi trying to help solve whatever issues or self-confidence problem they are facing such as Hisui’s mom and Shizuru’s master. My guts from the start told me that it is likely to be Hayato she’ll mostly end up with. True enough in that shocking twist that I didn’t see coming, Hayato is supposed the guy she is supposedly engaged to. And I guess he never told her because he wanted to respect her wish to focus on her job. Man, Japan is really a good place to be workaholics. But I suppose they are still young so they still have time to weigh in and for Tsugumi still has lots of options to choose from. But like I said, Hayato is the leading candidate by a mile.

Then there is this other problem of having too many other side characters that sometimes you wonder if they really do matter. Maybe some do like Shiori who acts as Fukurou’s leader and she is like the only other female around so it won’t feel that the toxic masculinity surrounding Tsugumi would look like a potential gang rape. The other is Koruri to show that Tsugumi does have her female friends. Other than that, I don’t see them playing any other significant role. But I guess they are better than those like Kuina who is just, uhm, I don’t even know why his character exists. Worse, Perry is like a forced mascot needed because this series can actually do without the cutie doggy. Sometimes you see it frolic around just to score some cutie points and perhaps hope it will sway your feelings that this series isn’t so bad because it’s got a cute canine. Even when it is cheating at that pool game to help Kuina win over Hayato, you’ll forgive little doggie because he is oh so cute. Then there is Mashiko who never takes off his exotic tribal headgear and Kijitani who constantly calls Shougo his bocchama in which the latter will always remind and rebuke him to not do so again. Is that the running joke of the series?

The villains are predictable and one dimensional. You can spot them from a mile away by the way they look and the way they act. I guess we need to make them despicable because like Shiginuma he tried to rape Tsugumi so that he could bear a child with her abilities. Does this have any relation to why Mozuyama raped Shouko? They try to shock us with this family thingy plot twist like Shiginuma being Akira’s half-brother (blaming him for whatever injury he had, hence Akira being subservient to him) and Mozuyama pulling a Darth Vader “Luke, I am your FATHER!” on Rui. On both occasions, somehow I found them funny and was laughing. Really. Not sure if the villains’ ties are matched and set up to correspond with the main characters. Because it’s like Hayato-Akira vs Shiginuma, Rui-Hisui vs Mozuyama and Shizuru-Shougo vs Sasagoi.

Something felt wrong because with an episode to spare, all the baddies were taken down. So does this mean we have an extra episode for fanservice or cheesy romance of the guys finally getting their break to compete over Tsugumi. True enough, another hidden villain! Nabari is like the final boss, eh? I figure there was something wrong with Nabari being Tsugumi’s childhood friend (the biggest factor for one to proclaim your love) and yet he is not part of her harem. Something is clearly wrong. Yeah, it turns out he too is a misguided villain with a sick twisted mind of his own. I can’t believe nobody sniffed him out while he is at Fukurou. Did he hide his sadness very well? Did defeating Shiginuma’s aides only then made them have time to really think who the authors of those cursed tomes are? Sounds like plot convenience to me.

On a trivial note, the opening narration of every episode sounds a little annoying. More or less the same thing is repeated about Tsugumi’s life and how her fate continues to hang in the balance. Cue for scales tipping to a side that I can’t seem to determine whether it is good or bad. Anyway, the way it is narrated sounds boring like as though the narrator doesn’t want to be here. If they think this is its way of putting in some drama, well it sure didn’t make me think so.

The idea of being killed by books sounds scary. Although the setting is that the authors put their strong negative feelings into it, I can’t help think the other reason why people get burnt after reading such books because they felt so passionate about it. So fiery and moved by their passion that they too literally are on fire! Moeta!!! Haha! Just joking. I wonder if this is set in modern times, when authors upload all their negative emotions online, will it be as effective? Considering the vast reaches of the internet, there’s going to be a lot more spontaneous combustions around. Yeah, there are going be to be lots of memes before and after that too! Haha! Oops. Just joking.

There is something a bit unique of this series’ art. Mainly it has this sepia shade and hue to it. In a way, it looks cool as it gives this Taisho era that olden day feeling. It goes without saying that all the characters are designed with this bishonen and bishoujo looks. I find Shizuru’s clothes the oddest since it makes him look more like a monk than an author. And Hisui, is he a naval captain wannabe? This series is animated by Zero-G who did Tsugumomo, Battery and Dive.

A few recognizable seiyuus including Yuuki Kaji as Hayato, Takahiro Sakurai as Rui, Kenichi Suzumura as Shizuru and Nobuhiko Okamoto as Akira (though he is more toned down here). The other casts include Juri Kimura as Tsugumi (Kyouko in Seiren), Ryota Ohsaka as Hisui (Vali in High School DxD), Ryouhei Kimura as Shougo (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Rio Natsuki as Shiori (Nanami in El Hazard), Daichi Endou as Shiginuma (Herman Cross in Macross Delta), Seirou Ogino as Mozuyama (Tatsuya in Beelzebub), Akane Sanada as Shouko (Chiyoko Imura in Hayanaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku), Makoto Ishii as Sasagoi (Astreas in Guin Saga), Hikaru Midorikawa as Nabari (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Mashiko (Hisui in K), Junya Enoki is Tsubameno (Horikawa Kunihiro in Touken Ranbu), Eiji Miyashita as Kuina (Sugaya in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Kentarou Tone as Yoshikiri (Hattori in Bakuman), Minami Takahashi as Koruri (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma) and Ayumu Murase as Hitaki (Joseph/Cartaphilus in Mahou Tsukai No Yome).

This has got to be the oddest and most irrelevant opening theme and animation ever. It is bad enough that Tandeki Miragism by Kradness sounds like some sort of pop disco dance music (those glaring synthesizers blasting away…), the animation feels out of place. What do I mean? You see all the characters wearing very nice and fancy clothes as they dance to the disco beat of this tune. May I remind you, what era is this anime set in again? So watching and hearing this segment really made me feel weird. I was questioning myself if I was watching the correct anime. Sure, those are the characters in different modern getup. But is this the anime that they are supposed to be in? Totally out of place. It also serves as a ‘hint’ to see which guys are part of Tsugumi’s harem because those who are get to dance with her. And that weirdly weird pose in the end… WTF… Although not as bad, the ending theme and animation credits are still bad enough. Cringe might be it. Black Thunder by Hiro Shimono is like a modern rock outfit. Okay, maybe fair enough. But still a bit out of place. But it is the animation of our hot guys being shirtless! Even if they are just sketches.

Overall, if I wanted to watch a reverse harem, I would still stick with Uta No Prince-sama series. Of course that series has so many seasons, they have the characters properly fleshed out. This one, my guts say you are better off playing the game if you want much more satisfying conclusions. Perhaps there is this subtlety they are trying to tell us here. Go read a book and let your imaginations run wild instead of watching TV or play video games that curtail your imagination. Movies and series get remakes and reboots while video games get remastered. Nobody does this to books. Ironically they blame TV and video game influence for violence but not so much on books. Until this anime came along! Now I can use this as an excuse not to read! I know the chances of being burnt alive from reading are near impossible. But why risk it? Like they say, ignorance is bliss…

If you are a bookworm and an avid reader, there is a chance that you might view life as one big storybook. Every page written is filled with the things that have happened so far in your life and with many blank pages ahead yet to be filled. Or those pages may have been filled and thus your fate of the future already written and predetermined (yes, in the book and not in the stars). So what if you have the ability to read such ‘books’ and see someone’s future? Do you change it? I don’t know. I never liked reading. Not even manga. It’s a very bad habit of mine since young up till today. Anyway, Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai has our lead protagonist as a bookworm. He loves to read and his dream is only that. And by that I mean really holding a real hard and solid cover in his hands. It’s a good thing because nowadays people prefer to affix their eyes on their iPhones, Smartphones and the likes. One day he receives a foretelling message about the change of his fate and he got it rolling when he saves a fellow student from a fatal accident. Something tells me he should have read between the lines… Or I may just be over reading it…

Episode 1
A man sees a young boy reading and tells him the existence of a magic book only found in a magic library. But not anybody can get there. First you must be selfless and help others. Since he wants to go there, he is given a ticket to the place. He must not lose it. Kyoutarou Kakei is now a high school and a big bookworm geek. He is using the ticket as his precious bookmark. He sees a girl, Tsugumi Shirasaki trying to hand out flyers to get people to join her activity, Shiomi Happy Project but is snubbed. Suddenly Kakei gets a vision that a train will derail and slam into her. He quickly goes to warn her (since his bad premonitions are always right) but as he takes her hand, she trips and they fall. His hand over her boobs. What does this look like? She becomes embarrassed and picks her stuffs up and leaves. The train derails but thankfully nobody is hurt. In class, his friend, Ikkei Takamine shows a picture of him holding onto Tsugumi’s boobs (eyes censored out). It is going around. Kakei is sure since this school is so big, chances are he’ll never meet her again. Think again. Because she is just a few seats away from him! The teacher calls her but since she is so shy and soft spoken, her friend Tamamo Sakuraba answers on her behalf. At the cafeteria, Takamine is smitten with the new cutie staff, Kana Suzuki. The student council president Maho Mochizuki talks to Kakei and just like the last time hopes he could join the student council because of his good grades. However like always, he declined because this would mean less reading time. Kakei narrates Shiomi Academy being the biggest and best place for students to study. There is also a rumour of the Shepherd who is always on the school grounds but unseen. It is said to appear only in front of those who are earnestly hard working. Tamamo confronts Kakei because the picture of it now is uncensored. He tries to explain his ability to see the future but she doesn’t buy it and just a lousy excuse. As the picture makes its round, everyone starts to believe he is a molester and he is forced into hiding. This is the thanks he get for saving a girl? Surprisingly Tsugumi pulls him over just to apologize that it is her fault he got into trouble. But in this narrow alley and their bodies are squeezing together so tightly? What are the chances of another misunderstanding? Too late, Tamamo spots them.

Thankfully Tsugumi is able to explain as Tamamo apologizes for being in the wrong. Just when it seems to be over, they are surrounded by karate guys who want to teach Kakei a lesson. Yeah. They don’t believe it either. Too bad Kakei is all talk and can’t fight back. Thank Takamine coming to his aid as he used to be in that club. With Tsugumi stammering to explain, Takamine whispers the words she should say. Everyone is in disbelief to hear that Tsugumi allows it. Things calm down when they think that was just an idiotic couple’s exhibitionism. Kakei brings his friends to the library club where he is the sole member. And there is this fat cat Gaizaemon AKA Giza… Tsugumi tells the guys about her activity to make school fun. She is doing this because as she is an introvert, she thought of changing herself. However Mochizuki disagrees and hopes Kakei will make the right choice. As the girls argue, Kakei notes he wants to join neither as he only wants to read. But after hearing Tsugumi say she experienced a lot of things today because of him and the reason she can start anew with him, he believes she is acting on something other than emotions or words. He wants to know this something he doesn’t understand and decides to go with Tsugumi. This leaves Mochizuki disappointed but as show of goodwill, she will make an announcement to clear his name. Suddenly all of them get the same mail from Shepherd who congratulates them for making a decent start. They wonder if it is spam when a girl chides them for being too loud. As they leave, Nagi Kodachi is seen talking to that man. Kakei is a Shepherd candidate just like her. She is to watch over him and there will be a day when the truth will be revealed and he will take the test. Only then one of them will become the true Shepherd. She is sad Kakei didn’t remember at all.

Episode 2
As Senri Misono sings, she remembers her friend chiding her. Because Kakei is so engrossed in his reading, Tsugumi lets him eat a sweet just to make him notice her! Now that she has got his attention, she talks to him about Shiomi Happy Project. Their first activity will be… Picking up garbage? Where’s the fun in that? Well, it’s not surprising that nobody else is volunteering for it. Kana may be the first one and she knows Kakei because of the webpage from Mochizuki clearing his name. He is now a hero. Tsugumi hands her a poster and it seems she is interested in this kind of things. Kakei sees Senri trying to reach under the vending machine to get her 500 yen. He helps her out and to show her gratitude, she buys him a drink. Later Tamamo shows the research she has done on Shepherd and it seems there are various rumours of how it manifests and if one does its bidding, your wish will come true. Kana relates that she got a similar email last night. On the way back, they find a lost tuning fork. Seems this is planted by Nagi. They try to send to the broadcast club to make a lost and found announcement but she straightaway knows it belongs to Senri, the music prodigy with an angelic voice. Yeah, only Kakei doesn’t know because he has been stuffing his face with books. Ironically, he reads so much and yet he doesn’t know. Tsugumi wants to return it to her at her home and Kakei decides to come along. Takamine leaves it to them to do it since it is rare for Kakei to do such volunteer work.

The duo return the tuning fork to a very grateful Senri because she was searching high and low for it. However Senri feels sad when she thinks they returned it just because she is the famous Song Princess. Cheeky Kakei lightens the mood and irks her that it may be because she showed them ‘something great’. Nice ass… Tsugumi gives the poster and hopes if she has something on her mind, feel free to contact them. Kakei on his way back sees Kana staring longingly outside the window of a handphone shop. She has him help her choose one to buy. As sign of trust and since Tsugumi is always waiting outside his personal room of the library club, he hands a key to her. She can duplicate and give it to the rest. Kana shows everyone her new handphone and they are very excited and happy for her. So loud that Nagi once more had to tell them to keep it down. She is surprised Kakei got another new member to join the club. She is forced to back out when Giza stares at her. She has some sort of phobia not only for cats but animals. Suddenly the quintet receive a similar email from Shepherd that Senri will teach them something important. Something is strange because Kana just bought her handphone and she gave nobody her email except them. Could it be somebody is watching them? Somebody who is good at computers? Kana thinks there is somebody. A genius who is the pride of the school’s cafeteria: Sayumi Ureshino When a student cheekily wants this loli’s smile to go with his purchase, she charges him additional 10,000 yen! Holy cow! What an expensive buy! But was it worth it? The smile that melts your heart?

Episode 3
Tamamo suggests they split into groups for this. Kakei and Kana go talk to Ureshino and she can try help them if they in exchange help her out to hand posters for her food fair. The rest see Senri to ask her about Shepherd’s mail but the teacher calls her for some special lesson. Back in the clubroom, everyone discusses about the poster handing job and Kakei is disheartened to know that he must cosplay as well. Since they only have 1 outfit, Tsugumi can make one for him and wants to take his measurements. Take off your shirt! Nagi is going to chide them for being noisy again when she hears ambiguous noises… My first time… Did I touch some weird place… She thinks this is pretty cliché and barges only to see topless Kakei and Tsugumi the same height as his waist (taking his measurements). She gets really embarrassed and convinced they were doing something lewd and runs away. When Kakei returns home, he is surprised to see Nagi here. Well, what do you know? She lives next door!!! And they didn’t even know they were neighbours. After she enters her room, she feels disappointed he doesn’t remember her.

The library club members sew a particular animal on their cushion. Because Tamamo is a fox, Takamine and Kana tease her to get her to say what does the fox say! She eventually gives in. Tsugumi gets a mail from Senri requesting to make porridge. The girls head over to her place only to see her sprawled all over the floor. Her fever is very high. Everybody did what they could to nurse her and put her to bed. Senri has been clutching Tsugumi’s hand since and won’t let go. She is sleep talking and doesn’t want her mom to go. Tsugumi pretends to play her mom and promises she won’t go anywhere. At least it made her feel better. Next morning, Nagi comes to Kakei’s place because her TV broke down and there is this show she really wants to watch. Yeah, she is making his place like her home. She asks if he and Tsugumi are dating. He thinks she is referring to yesterday’s incident. Nagi flusters as she wasn’t trying to say it directly. Kakei corrects her about the measurements for his cosplay but Nagi further misinterprets and won’t hear anymore from this pervert. Once Senri’s fever goes down, she reveals that she also got a mail from Shepherd 3 days ago, around the same time when they got theirs. Kana returns with Ureshino’s results and she is able to hack and reveal the position of where Shepherd is sending the mails. Looks like a very slum area. Inside this dilapidated apartment, to everyone’s surprise, it is empty. Completely deserted. It’s like nobody has been here for ages, eh?

Episode 4
When Kakei was young, the teachers weren’t enthusiastic in throwing a birthday party. Kakei on the other hand wanted to get it over with so he could read. Because Ureshino has lived up to the part of her deal (only to find the location and that’s it), it is time for them to live up to theirs. So everyone dresses up to hand out flyers. Mochizuki can’t find Kakei. Well, that’s because he is cross-dressed as a maid! OMG! I wonder if those guys really know who this maid is?! Yeah. I don’t even know how Tsugumi screwed up in making his outfit but we sure know that Kana and Tamamo had a hand in it. Senri comes by to thank Tsugumi for caring for her. However, Song Princess must be such a taboo word because the mere mention of it, the mood suddenly changes. She thinks Tsugumi is doing all that just because she is Song Princess. Upset, she runs away. Kakei goes after her and tells her to believe in Tsugumi’s good intentions. He points out he was once sceptical too but Tsugumi is different from others. Once Senri returns, Tsugumi goes into apologetic mode for being insensitive. Likewise, Senri too apologizes. Then somehow she joins the gang handing out flyers and attracts the crowd. I mean, who doesn’t love a maid with cat ears, no? Senri is invited to their club and she is amused by Giza despite this fat cat might be sexually harassing by showing its butt! With everybody rejoicing for Senri, once more Nagi comes in to warn them about being noisy and to her dismay, looks like this club got another member. Kana then invites everyone to go to the public bath together. Time for them to get close and know each other? More like her heater spoiled. Your usual folly of Kana fooling around and being pissed off with those with bigger boobs.

Nagi knows everyone has some sort of interest in Kakei by their reaction at just the mere mention of his name. She becomes cheeky and makes them sweat by telling them she has already been in his room, lives next door and can come over anytime. Well, they aren’t lies, right? And so some of our girls are sighing over this fact. Kana hooks up with Takamine either because she knows she has no chance with him or just to spite him. Either way it is not working. Tsugumi wants to speak to Kakei. Is she getting serious now? Actually the reason why she wants to change herself is because she has a younger sister, Sayori who is in hospital. She painted Shiomi Academy as a great school and this made her really want to come here. So as the lies kept piling on, she fears she will know the disappointing truth one day. Isn’t she the horrible girl? But Kakei sees her as a good girl because she is trying to make all those lies come true by the time Sayori is discharged. Everyone wants to help out because she is working hard. Next day when Kakei enters his clubroom, everyone pops a surprise birthday party. He has this feeling in his heart and then a vision of the library club enjoying happy times with him. He wants to know what this feeling is and hopes to look forward being with everyone for Golden Week. Tsugumi is so happy that she hugs him. Kakei never thought a day like this would come since this is the first time anybody celebrated his birthday from the bottom of their hearts. Kakei texts back to Shepherd about wanting to meet. Surprisingly a reply mail saying “When you figure out who I am, please come talk to me”.

Episode 5
The library club members are doing lots of odd jobs. Takamine can’t help but feel tired. Heck, they even become some sort of consultation group and students with all sorts of weird problems flock to them to seek an answer. Yeah. This school is full of problems, eh? When Nagi comes in, the girls didn’t remember who she is at first and took them a while. Nagi tells them the head librarian wants them to move out to another place because they’ve been using the room inappropriately. Kakei pleads for a chance and she gives them a grace period. So they try to clean up their reputation by picking litter? Mochizuki once more tries to tempt Kakei to join the student council noting that he has changed a lot. Did his members change him? Tamamo stays late to complete some administrative work. Kakei returns and sees her trying to answer weird personality questions about what kind of fish she is. She landed on non-fish types as she tries and tries again. She is happy when she gets an eel. Okay, so that technically counts. She is surprised that Kakei had been watching (I guess she was that engrossed in the questionnaire) that she slipped but Kakei catches her. Their face… Too close… Nothing happens… And it’s like they would satiate our disappointment by replacing it with Kakei sharing an umbrella with Tamamo (who is also putting on a disappointed face) as they walk home. Nagi meets a butler and he considers Kakei passing the preliminary exam. He tells her to stop playing around with the emails as her job is just to observe him. Although this does not disqualify her, at this rate she will not advance past being a Shepherd candidate. She must figure out what she lacks herself.

Nagi then goes over to hang out at Kakei’s room and asks him about his premonition ability. He explains ever since young, he would see a vision of a strange library. There is a magic book filled with letters he cannot read. This vision is what precedes when he sees someone’s future. Nagi teases to see hers. He thinks it won’t be that easy but suddenly he finds himself in a blank space and blocked by an invisible wall. Nagi calls it lame and leaves but in her heart, she laments he is able to see it. Kakei, Kana and Senri go round asking students about Shepherd. Surprisingly, these students are the ones who claimed to have seen Shepherd but now they don’t really remember it. When Kakei spots Nagi, he goes after her as he wants to clear up about last night. But he loses her and only a porn magazine is on the floor. WTF. This has the girls misinterpret. And when they tell the rest, you can see how much Tsugumi is shaking and spilling her tea. Something fishy and scandalous may be going on… Tamamo calls Kakei not for a date (how she’d wish) but to help her out on something. Kakei then hears Nagi speaking to somewhere at this late hour. He rushes over and forces his way in. A dark empty room with no furniture. He realizes she lies about living here. Based on his observations, with his friends and other students don’t remember her, he connects the dots that she is Shepherd. Now that the cat is out of the bag, Nagi admits she is the one who has been sending those emails. The butler congratulates Kakei for passing the preliminary exam and is here to take him to the magic library.

Episode 6
The butler is the one whom he gave the ticket. He is Nagi’s supervisor and Shepherd #771. People call him Nanai. He would like Kakei to be one of them. As Kakei is being taken to the magic library, Nanai explains how this ‘library’ is drifting in the realms of people’s unconscious and exists in everyone’s hearts. Only Shepherds can enter it. The magic library contains books of all the living people on Earth, their past and future. They read and support your future but somehow they end up focusing on those with greater influence on mankind. Naturally, Kakei still cannot read a single book so Nagi teases she is reading an exciting one. Till he teases her back and catches her off guard. He catches that book she drops and somehow could read it. Because it is of his own past. Nanai continues his explanation that his premonitions are the same thing. He has the power to fly into this library with his consciousness and probably peeked inside other people’s books without knowing. If he desires, he can be a resident of this magic library. However Kakei’s wish is just to come here. It’s not like he wants to help anybody. Nanai points out about his club and Happy Project. Didn’t he chance? Even if that is just doing odd jobs, Shepherds are no different and they do it for mankind. He points out he is already doing it as he saved Tsugumi from a mishap. Nanai introduces Nagi as a Shepherd trainee and has a learner’s permit. Once you have passed the second test, you will become a trainee and be able to read other books. Kakei wants some time to think this over. They return to his room. Nagi reminds him he can’t play favourites and has a natural aptitude for that. Ever since others joined the library club, he has neither gotten close to anyone of them. That level is just about right. That night Kakei thinks through. He didn’t help others because he wanted to. He just wanted to find out about this feeling and a peaceful world of his own where he can be alone. Nagi is frustrated that things are turning out like this. She starts thinking that if he dated someone, his chance of becoming a Shepherd candidate will reduced. Giza wanted to comfort her but he scared the sh*t out of her with his gentlemanly ways.

Kakei and Senri are in some gecko finding job (somebody lost their pet). A bug scares Senri as she hugs him. Senri’s friend, Miyu Serizawa is not thrilled to see this because it seems true that she skipped special classes just to fool around. Might as well leave school. Senri is hurt and runs away with Kakei closely following behind. I guess Senri wants to lose some steam so she flirts with Kakei and tries to seduce him to hang out somewhere. Unfortunately here comes Nagi and she puts it in an ambiguous way that Kakei is hers for the day. Senri tells the rest and they start panicking of their new level in relationship. Nagi shows Ureshino’s book. Seems her future is heading to where she would get hurt and she is forced to quit her job and do something she hates. An unhappy life. Their job is to prevent her from getting hurt. Nagi tells him to watch and learn as she counts the right tables and chairs to mess up one. As they hide, they see Ureshino picking it and then walking away. However Kakei sees a vision of her getting killed on her way back. Nagi panics as she thinks she might have miscalculated. Kakei quickly rushes to her and says some embarrassing magical girl line! “I’m gonna take a shot at your heart”???!!! OMFG! So lame that everyone just ‘froze’!!! Though it saves Ureshino, now that girl is upset and embarrassed as she takes out a machine gun and starts shooting him! Wait a minute. That is allowed?! Nagi is down that she messed up. If not for him, she would have failed. Kakei doesn’t view it as a big deal but Nagi is worried at this rate she won’t become a Shepherd. Kakei remembers Nanai telling another reason he chose him. It was written in his book although it is one of infinite number of futures. Kakei wonders if this is the path he must take after all since his entire life is nothing but loneliness and despair. Maybe it is so that he could become a Shepherd. Tsugumi is glad that nothing was going on with Kakei and Nagi. She mentions a heart shaped cookie she made, hinting about if 2 people eat with their eyes closed at the same time… Unfortunately Kakei already chows it down. Tsugumi falls into shock. But she is back up when Nagi throws in the good news that she has talked to the head librarian and they are allowed to stay thanks to the hard work they put in. Also, this is a favour to repay Kakei. Mochizuki is glad the library club gets to stay. Kakei better work hard at this after turning down her invitation. However the vice president, Aoi Takigawa is assessing Kakei’s activities and notes the library crush cannot be crushed yet.

Episode 7
The girls are trying to guess what kind of girl Kakei likes… No progress… Till Takamine steps on a landmine saying Kakei may be dating Nagi… Looks like they’ll have to ask him themselves. Kakei just came in at that moment so the girls are in a little panic. This has Tsugumi going up to him to go on a date with all of them this Sunday. EEEEEEHHHHH???!!! And come Sunday, he thought Nagi was playing his doorbell. Actually the library club girls are here. Disappointed they are not the Nagi you’re hoping for? Anyway he overslept thanks to late night reading and the girls aren’t too happy. They hang out in his room till they finally decide to go shopping. To their dismay, Nagi also joins in. Despite this looking like a harem date, there’ll be instances that Kakei will be left with a girl and the rest will be observing and commenting on their actions. Like Tamamo who has a very well planned out schedule on things to do but when it hits a snag, Kakei is flexible enough to accommodate. Then there is the dancing video game challenge between Senri and Nagi. Senri sprained her ankle so Kakei helps bandage it up. They take a photo in a booth and she teases him about couples kissing here to make him put up that shock face just before the camera snaps. Also, Kana enjoys talking and shopping books with him. But the date is cut short when Nagi says it is time for some Shepherd work. Tsugumi’s fate will change thanks to some otaku guy passing by. No, he didn’t turn into a stalker but he was captivated by Tsugumi’s beauty and created a perfect love doll model that becomes famous internationally. Do you want that to happen to her? Yeah, Nagi doesn’t even know what a love doll is till Kakei explained… Now you know, do you?

The plan to stave off this otaku is for Kakei to call Tsugumi and then hug her like a lover! Shocking! The otaku gets scared and walks away. This doesn’t sit well with the other girls. But let’s bring back Tsugumi to the ground before we continue, shall we? Nagi admits that they set this up because it feels like they’re hiding something so they do this to test their reaction. Busted. Guilty reaction. Especially Tsugumi who is the worst liar. They show to him an anonymous email about a girl who likes Kakei but doesn’t know the girl type he likes and thus the quartet tried dating him to find out. Of course Takamine is the one upset from it all because he wasn’t invited… Kakei is shocked that nobody remembers Shepherd, the reason why they are doing this in the first place. But after checking their emails, they come to remember. Later Kakei confronts Nagi about this. She admits she was the one who sent the email but his point is if he becomes a Shepherd, everyone will forget about him. Looks like he caught on. Everyone has a book in the magic library but Shepherds do not. Once a human becomes a Shepherd, their book will be erased. That is why Shepherds don’t remain in human memories or have life spans. She lectures him about the fairytale idea of helping out mankind without any sort of repercussion. Of course when you have great powers… Let’s just say such great powers aren’t for free. Kakei is in a dilemma as he can’t stop thinking about the girls. But Nagi says he better withdraw as a candidate if he wants to continue being with them. Is Nagi okay with this? Yes. She has prepared to throw away everything since she wants to make the world a better place. He is sad he will forget about her too. This struck her heart as she tries to hold back her tears. She turns back and kisses him. He’ll forget about this too. So sad…

Episode 8
Kakei helps Kana recite lines for a beach play. But when he mentions it is not like her to be uncertain, this brings back some traumatic memories. All goes well in this beach play which is some twisted version of the Emperor’s Clothing. It gets even twisted when Kana slips and crashes into Kakei and co. This means Tamamo’s top is off and they beat him up for it, causing the stage background to be destroyed. Kana feels down for the play being a failure. She tries to return to her cheery self but ends up slipping. If not for Kakei there catching her… When Senri gives her a back massage, she asks if Kana likes Kakei. She mentions she doesn’t have the right to have someone like her back but is glad the library club accepted her for who she is. Senri whispers she likes Kana too so Kana teases her back and wants to go yuri. That’s a joke, right? Some small club seeks the library club’s help about some main stage appearance for the school’s festival. Kakei goes to talk to the student council. Aoi is unaccommodating but Mochizuki is kinder and will see what she can do. It is suggested that instead of waiting for the student council to move, they should do something about it. However Kana is sceptical and worries it will fail. When Takamine points out she isn’t being herself, she tries to act her cheery self that she forgot she was holding Giza (she is allergic to cats). When Kakei goes to check on her, he knows she is trying too hard because the Kana he knows is better at hiding it. He thinks she is still bothered by that event. But Kana says it back to him that he too isn’t acting like himself. I mean, up till now he was pretending not to notice, right? And thus Kakei is once again in a dilemma. If he becomes a Shepherd, he could read Kana’s book but then again, what will be of their memories? When Kana didn’t show up at the clubroom, they think she is still reeling from it. Tsugumi suggests writing another play for her.

Tamamo has been hiding in the bushes just so that she can ‘coincidentally’ pop up to show Kakei some email from Shepherd about the elimination of the library club. He talks to Nagi about it but it seems she wasn’t the one who sent it. Because Kakei’s mind is still undecided on being a Shepherd, she mocks him to worry all he wants. Like Kana. Knowing he will easily panic, she continues teasing him of giving that kiss again. Nope. She bites his nose! Then she tells him if he wants to talk to Kana, try it at some hill before daybreak. Kakei meets Kana as she explains her past in a hypothetical way. She and her friend were in some group of friends. She was the clown at the whims of the ‘queen’. When her friend is tossed away, Kana went to help her but was kicked out. Sadly her friend chose to return to that group and took her spot as a clown. She felt sad and decided to go alone till she met a place with wonderful friends. But she remained scared and didn’t want to make waves and just wanted to have fun. As they accepted her for who she is, she is afraid of not knowing her true self anymore and because she doesn’t want to lose that place, she continues this little charade of hers. And so Kakei with lots of words of encouragement, don’t give up, his feelings will never change, always be by your side, etc. This brings Kana to tears as they hug. Kana returns to normal as she hopes for her friends to write another script. Senri ‘lectures’ her about worrying too much about what others think and just do what she wants. No one here will hate her. She hints if she continues tricking herself, she will take Kakei for herself. Ah, can’t hide that little panic there, can’t she? But the happiness doesn’t last long as Senri’s teacher barges in after looking for her. She chides her for running away from her lessons and since the summer competition is almost here, there is no time to waste. Quit fooling around and quit this damn club.

Episode 9
However Senri won’t quit the club and brings her teacher out of the room. She apologizes for the disturbances but Tamamo lashes out at her. Despite Senri claiming she is practising enough, but when a teacher comes in like that, there is a problem. She doesn’t want Senri to waste such good opportunity. Senri is not pleased and runs away. As usual, Kakei goes after her but Nagi picks him up. She points out Senri’s life is at the crossroads now. At this rate she might quit singing forever and the question is how long she is going to drag this. She wants him to leave Senri’s case to her. Kakei sees Senri singing alone beautifully at a closed bar. But she stops and coughs. He gently strokes her back and says she doesn’t have to keep singing. She explains she comes here to practice but doesn’t know why she is singing anymore. When she was young, she used to love singing. She and Serizawa were friends and they entered the same competition. However Senri was told if Serizawa loses this time, she will quit singing forever. Thus Senri didn’t sing her best but still ended up the winner. Her distraught friend wasn’t happy she didn’t give her best. After losing her friend, she got the title Song Princess. She was alone. She thought coming to Shiomi would change something but it’s the same. Now it feels painful to sing. Kakei tells her to stop in that case. What is the point if she is forcing herself and painful? The library club doesn’t care about stuffs like that. Kakei tells the rest that Senri’s decision to quit singing but assures them to leave this to him. Nagi confronts him about this so he tells her to leave it to him and she should just do what she wants. Like she could. Kakei is in an outing with Mochizuki. I don’t know how this is arranged but she is enjoying feeding him ice cream. Unknown to them, pictures of them are being taken. In fact, this stalker has lots of pictures of Mochizuki. She is no other than Aoi. She edits and replaces Kakei’s face with hers!!! OMFG! She gets an email from Shepherd as she promises to make Shiomi the best school ever.

Sayori teases Tsugumi on which guy she likes an inadvertently helps her out in naming their activity for the school’s festival, Minafes. Kana talks to Senri and says those same words right back at her that nobody will hate her. Just do what you want. Tamamo talks to Kakei and feels sorry for lashing out at Senri. She reveals her dream was to become an artist but she gave it up because her parents strongly opposed it. That’s why she wanted Senri to work hard as she is different from her and wants to support her. Tamamo gets another email from Shepherd saying the Shepherd will not allow people like them all. When Senri asks Kakei if it is okay to have this much fun, he reveals he can read books of people’s future and hers is a bright one. She thinks it’s a bad joke and has him close his eyes so she can stamp a seal on his forehead. What were you hoping? Serizawa confronts Kakei because there are rumours that Senri has quit singing. Is this true? He hints to her about the canary who forgot how to sing. And now Nagi confronts him because at this rate Senri will become an ordinary student and her rare talent would be a waste. He suggests giving her more time and wonders why she is in such a hurry. But she is not happy and scolds him like he knows everything. Nanai appears before him and congratulates him of passing the second test. Now it is up to him if he wants to become a Shepherd. As he is brought to the magic library, Kakei asks about the anonymous mails from Shepherd. There are many other Shepherds. As for Nagi being in a hurry, he notes at this rate she won’t become a Shepherd. Although she is competent, it is the matter of her feelings. If she doesn’t figure it out, she won’t pass. He shows him Nagi’s book where it is sealed. If it is returned, she will live a normal life, even if that isn’t the path she would choose herself. When Kakei looks into it, he sees young Nagi calling him her big brother! Nagi takes away the book, not liking him peeking into it. But what can be seen cannot be unseen. Because now that Kakei has realized it, Nagi is his little sister.

Episode 10
With a cutesy little sister act, Nagi moves into Kakei’s room. Siblings need to stay together, right? As for why Kakei couldn’t remember her as his sister, it is because she was only his sister for 3 months. Confused? Before his dad disappeared and the ‘family’ crumbled, Nagi is actually his step sister from one of dad’s many wives. So many that Kakei couldn’t remember which one! Nagi was always playing alone and this made the house servants pick on her. Of course Kakei couldn’t watch it and somehow protected her. While Nagi is in the bath, Tsugumi makes a surprise visit. After all that stammering, she blurts it out. She wants him to be her boyfriend! Turns out it is because she told Sayori so and thus Kakei comes to the hospital with Tsugumi to meet her. Sayori is very polite and hopes he would take care of her sister. This causes Tsugumi to fluster so much that she accidentally pressed the nurse button. While she gets scolded, Sayori reveals to Kakei that she knows they’re just pretending. In fact, she knows everything she says about Shiomi was just to make her feel better. She also thanks him because of him, her sister is less of an introvert now. As they leave, Tsugumi wants to visit his home. Immediately he grabs all of Nagi’s stuffs and puts her outside the balcony! Just a stray cat… Tsugumi is here to cook for him and since not all of Nagi’s stuffs were ‘cleaned out’, he has a hard time hiding them but thankfully Tsugumi is a blur case. Blur enough that she doesn’t realize it is Nagi who is sending her another Shepherd email prank about her cooking. As the library club members discuss the Minafes, Tsugumi gets a good news call that Sayori can be discharged early.

So that day when another ring at Kakei’s door, Nagi doesn’t want to be left out and decides to spice things up by greeting those at the door. It is Tsugumi and Sayori. Hmm… Kakei with another girl. Care to explain? Ironically it is Sayori that is putting her foot down since Tsugumi is too shy. As he explains Nagi is his sister, Sayori feels it is the poorest excuse. Even Tsugumi is breaking down. Because if she is his little sister, why is she the same grade? It doesn’t add up, buster. This causes Sayori to get strict in telling Tsugumi that she knows the couple thingy is a lie but her feelings for Kakei isn’t. So worked up that it causes her body to go into meltdown. Collapsed. Oh sh*t. This is real. Tsugumi panics. Kakei begs to Nagi to use her powers to take Sayori to the hospital. Nagi and Sayori vanish before their eyes. Sayori is fine at the hospital although her mind is still a bit hazy. This has Kakei confess to Tsugumi that he and Nagi are Shepherds among other stuffs. Once his identity is revealed, there is some awkwardness between them. She wonders if he is going away. He says he isn’t except that everyone will forget about him. But to Tsugumi, that is the same as going away and she wants him to stay because she likes him… In a human being kind of sense. Oh, really? But their awkwardness has to be put aside for now since Kana and Senri come running to them with a crisis. Their club has been ‘taken over’. Seems this bunch of boys claim they are from the library club and have joined last year. Kakei remembers them only as ghost members. Now they’re showing up to do proper activities? Besides, they just elected a president among themselves and tell Kakei and his harem to leave (remember, they aren’t official club members). All this might be the doing of Aoi since she has an email that says Shepherd will not allow his existence.

Episode 11
Our library club members have to grit their teeth and get out. There is nothing they can do. It seems Aoi is indeed behind this. Kakei believes that she isn’t just helping those guys get back their club but rather must have enticed them with something. Aoi shows an email from Shepherd that she will reach greater heights by facing off with them. She wants to make this school a better place and believes this will lead her to it. Of course everyone is sad and mad that their plans are derailed. But as Kakei puts it, they still have each other. They only lost a clubroom. This has everyone motivated to do their best. But it is going to be uphill because the student council advertises on their webpage about some great symposium and has invited famous alums to the talk. It clashes with their Minafes so there are some calling wanting a refund to attend this. Suddenly Kakei receives a horrible vision that Tsugumi will die at Minafes. This has him think that he wants to become a Shepherd since Tsugumi’s life is at stake. Nagi reveals that only one of them can become a Shepherd, the reason why she was trying to get in his way. She thought if she hooks up with one of them, he wouldn’t have to be one. So they head to see Nanai about Kakei’s decision. Kakei says he doesn’t want to be like his father who didn’t do anything when he needed him most. If there is a way to save someone, that is what he will choose. Nanai takes out Kakei’s book and erases it. When Tsugumi is talking to Tamamo, suddenly she cannot remember moments with Kakei. Heck, because it is like she senses her special memories of him missing, she panics that she is going to forget him. But then it shows she didn’t forget him, right? She runs over to his place worried he is gone but thankfully he isn’t. Surprised she can sense this, he lies that she is over-thinking but she isn’t convinced. She really doesn’t want to forget those precious memories with him and wants him to tell the truth. How do you get a guy to come clean? You kiss him! And what a long kiss it is… What happens next is best left to our imagination. We think…

Tsugumi wants him to take her along to be a Shepherd. But is she willing to have others forget her? Of course not. What about him? He wants to check something. If he can make someone happy, it is prove all that loneliness and despair was for nothing. But Tsugumi rationalizes that if he can’t be happy without becoming a Shepherd, then he didn’t believe in Happy Project. She hates Shepherds. She hates him for becoming one. And Kakei thinks it is for the best because eventually she will forget him so the pain will be less. Kakei gets an emergency call from Kana about Senri. He rushes over to her place only to see it decorated like a love hotel?! What’s this?! Senri dressed up as a nurse seducing him?! You lucky bastard! If one isn’t enough, here is Kana the Playboy bunny to add to the fun! Good thing Kakei is able to resist the temptation and wants to know what’s going on. Seems based on Kana’s lazy research on the internet, feminine seduction is a way to prevent him from leaving. And then a call from Tamamo screaming off her head to get his ass down here right now. There is an article of that picture whereby Mochizuki is feeding Kakei. It states he has agreed to join the student council for Minafes to be recognized. Everybody calms down once Kakei explains this is a ruse by Aoi. As Kakei still has no luck in finding a change in Tsugumi’s future, Senri comes to see him and wants to sing for Minafes. She has him close his eyes as she pecks his forehead. With Nagi releasing rumours to the journalism club about Senri’s singing, it soon everyone is excited to hear this news. Serizawa even interviews her for it as Senri requests her to be the emcee for Minafes. Aoi isn’t fazed with their comeback because the more they struggle, the more it proves she is right. More despair for Kakei because no matter what he tries, Tsugumi’s future still remains bleak…

Episode 12
As Minafes begins, it is packed to the brim whereas the symposium is just barely filling up the seats. Kana and Senri beg Kakei to give them a reward after everything but Tamamo puts her foot down that there is no time to be fooling around. But this is just for her so that she could hint about giving him a reward after this. What is this double standard? Later Kakei catches Aoi in the act of trying to rig and sabotage the stage equipment. He and Nagi pin her down as he tells her what she is doing will have her end up as a murderer. But all the screws are loose as the equipment starts to fall. Tsugumi is below. Her fate is sealed? Kakei uses his power to teleport the equipment away. Aoi starts lashing out in frustration about her goal and thus the need to eliminate useless people or else the school will be ruined. She is also upset that Mochizuki likes a guy like him. When she realizes, she has blurted this entire thing right on stage in front of everyone at the symposium. Sh*t hits the fan. Mochizuki has no choice but to tell her off especially her way of doing things. She has been watching her but never done anything in hopes she would realize it herself. Nagi realizes all this is part of Shepherd’s plan for her to lose. Sometimes it is not just winning but one can learn from the battle itself. Later Nanai talks to Kakei and Nagi. He is not pleased Kakei used his power in public when he is supposed to help them from the shadows. Kakei believes this is the only way to save Tsugumi’s life. He also takes responsibility for it all and dragged Nagi into this. Nagi also agrees with Kakei’s way because this is what she would have done too. Nanai will make both of them Shepherds or else he can’t erase them from the memories of other people. Nagi thought their qualifications as Shepherd have been revoked but there is no need for that when one has decided to make people happy. Nanai reminds Kakei that they have their rules on doing things but since he won’t change the way he thinks, Nanai views he is not qualified to be a Shepherd. Since his book is erased, he is simply an existence people forget. Kakei has no regrets.

By the time it is library club’s turn to go on stage, Kakei is missing so Takamine is made to take his role. Tsugumi is grateful for Kakei becoming a Shepherd for had he not, she would have died. She feels sorry for saying she hates him and hopes he returns. Before the finale, Tsugumi goes out to give her speech. Nervous as usual, but once she gets into her groove, it is the usual speech of encouragement, cooperation and moving on. You know, they started out as a small group to make this school a happy place, they’re weak and have experienced tough times but when they put their strength together, they overcome the obstacles and move forward. She hopes everyone could walk together with them. The crowd gives her a standing ovation and unwavering support. Mochizuki has Aoi hear all this and hopes she learns something. It is time for the final performance with Senri taking the stage. At the backstage, Kakei returns to Tsugumi and mentions he is fired as a Shepherd. He wasn’t cut out for the job anyway. But for Tsugumi, it doesn’t matter what happen to the book because what is important is that she won’t forget him. Emotionally clinging on to him, she hopes he could walk forward with them. His magic bookmark disappears. All is not lost since Kakei’s book reappears in Nanai’s hands. Aoi repents and apologizes to the library with all her heart. Kakei is surprised to see Nagi moving in next door with real stuffs. She has been appointed as the Shepherd in charge of Shiomi. That’s a good thing, right? But why does Kakei looked so surprised? And with his library club members coming by, Nagi is going to play a little prank on them…

Special 1
In this picture drama that lasts almost 10 minutes, we see Tamamo having Tsugumi as a model. As she sketches her, we hear Tamamo describing all the good body parts and we too have a glimpse of those good parts but short of anything that would be considered ecchi. As they take a break, Tsugumi sees the drawing and is shocked to see a sketch of her naked body! Tamamo tries to explain herself like how she wanted to sketch her body but the clothes got in the way, etc. However Tsugumi knows she isn’t that kind of girl and allows her to do it if she wants to. So in the next round, Tsugumi is stripped completely naked as Tamamo continues admiring her great body and skin. All that embarrassment soon turns into love that turns into lust… OMFG! Tamamo can’t hold it anymore! She is going to yuri rape Tsugumi! YURI RAPE HER!!! So what she confesses she always liked her all the while, because all I see his RAAAAAAAAAAAPE!!!!!!!! Turns out it was a just a dream from Tsugumi as she fell asleep while Tamamo was sketching her. I knew it… But when she looks at her sketch and sees the naked body, isn’t this exactly like her dream? Which means, reality may turn out the same as well? Holy sh*t!

Your Heart An Open Book: A Baa-d Thing?
So uhm… That’s it? Kakei gets fired and isn’t going to be a Shepherd anymore? How will he continue to save lives then? Does this mean he cannot see the future anymore and thus not be able to change it? Well, let us look on the bright side. At least we have Nagi around. Plus, with everybody in the library club loving Kakei so much, it would be just tad sad to erase him from everybody’s memories. I mean, nobody thinks about Nagi that much, right? :(. So yeah. All is well, ends well.

Although the concept of Shepherds and the magic library is interesting (including the part where a book of a person’s life and fate are represented by infinite tree-like branches), there are some things that I just don’t get. I mean, the concept of Shepherd itself seems to be widely known by almost everyone. Whether or not they truly understand the role or what a Shepherd is, but it seems that you know, it is like something similar to everyone knowing about Santa Claus. In the final episode we hear Mochizuki asking Kakei and Nagi if they were Shepherds although she stops short of interrogating them this instant. As well as Sayori who knows very much about Shepherd and what they do because she wants to be like them too. So, isn’t this Shepherd thing not really a big secret after all?

Plus, the concept of them not existing from people’s memories feels inconsistent. Take for Nagi’s case as an example. Although people don’t really remember her, after a while and a few constant reminders by the one who did, then they start to recall who she is and the memories come flooding back. In the long run based on this concept (I think), they should at least forget earlier interactions with her. But it seems they remember her right from the start when they first met as that annoying librarian who constantly comes barging in to remind them to keep it down. And oddly too, when Kakei temporarily became a Shepherd, shouldn’t he be erased from everyone’s mind? Because from the way I see it, his club members still remember him like as though he was there all the while and the mind boggling part is how Tsugumi actually could sense she is going to forget him! Talk about being dramatic and ironic. So really, I don’t quite understand how this memory erasing thing works. But I have a vague feeling of how it works because there are times myself when I felt that something was done by someone but couldn’t put my finger on it. I’m sure we all have experienced such moments. So Shepherds are like mythical beings like Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and the Sandman? Who knows? Not like we can remember them anyway.

I thought they were going to do some sort of ‘harem elimination’ when they start it late. Harem elimination? You know, the case whereby they focus an episode on a girl with our male lead to resolve whatever issues they have. It is like to satiate fans of that particular girl and have a mini route for her before they hit the guy off with the so called main girl. That is why I thought this was happening when they started off with Kana followed by Senri. I am not sure if Nagi after that is considered but by the time the revelation and confession of things, we don’t have time for Tamamo! So she doesn’t get an episode for herself? Well, maybe that is why throughout the duration of the series, we see short clips of her giving us the big hint that she likes Kakei. Therefore perhaps if you sum up all those suspiciously small parts, it may add up as good as if she had an episode herself.

Thus romance wise, it is just hinting and not very deep. We know every girl likes him from their reactions and thinking. Even more obvious when Nagi teases them about her relationship with Kakei vaguely. It gets them really worried-cum-worked-up. It tells a lot even if they don’t say it. They wouldn’t even pass the qualifying rounds of a love poker game. If that ever exists. While I noticed Senri is the most daring of the lot as she is bold to get up real close to Kakei, I feel Nagi’s actions are just of the teasing type and leaning more towards tsundere. Tamamo also feels a bit tsundere although she tends to get jealous easily. It goes without saying that introvert Tsugumi is the most obvious one when it comes down to it. She becomes stiff, nervous and ‘broken’ if you bring up this topic. Easily written all over her. But ever since Kana and Senri’s issues were ‘resolved’, they have become even closer friends to a point where you think yuri is possible. It just might happen. More likely in the event if Kakei chooses some other girl…

Not forgetting Mochizuki whom I feel also has feelings for Kakei. Otherwise, why be persistent in bugging him to join the student council? She also does certain things within her power for his sake. So is she an unofficial member of the ‘harem’? Because if she likes him that much, she would have just quit the student council and joined the library club. Then again, that would be irresponsible and besides, the newer members of the library club are unofficial. Can’t do something against the rules, right? It would be great if Mochizuki could be ‘admitted into the harem’ but I guess you need a girl or two who is neither in nor out of the harem for ambiguity sakes.

I am not sure if Kakei also realizes if the girls do have feelings of him because as we know, he has shown his observation skills. He might be just pretending not to notice and that goal of finding this feeling is just an excuse to cover it up. Or maybe it is because he is just like any other guy when it comes to love because guys are just oblivious in this department. Hey, not everybody is perfect. He might be the best observer in the world but that doesn’t mean he is perfect in observing everything in detail.

The characters themselves feel a bit bland and nothing extraordinary. Because you have Kakei like your typical male lead, despite claiming he is just doing stuffs for himself and seemingly aloof, he helps the girls out whenever he can. It is like he is contradicting himself and being hypocrite. The ‘varied’ girls in the harem consists of a shy introvert, a serious and strict hard worker, a popular singer, an energetic and lively ‘entertainer’, as well as the girl-next-door who often teases-cum-tsundere. Not forgetting other side characters filling the shoes of other tropes like the other best buddy guy, student council president, the real little sister who is also the eternally sick girl, the mysterious cute loli and the zealous misguided b*tch (looking at you, Aoi). As usual, most of them have their dark past and issues but as far as I can see in this anime, they’re just scratching the surface. So it is hardly any deep development except that the library club members gradually grow closer to each other to the point that they see each other as vital and necessary in their activities. It is hard to say if Tsugumi has made great progress over her introvert as we don’t know how shy she is in the first place and over the course of the series she still stammers and hesitates from time to time. But it’s safe to say that it is better than before. Heck, now she can go on stage and do public speaking.

Something tells me that Takamine is just like all supporting buddies in such genres. His role is reduced to something minor that it is like a running joke. Comic relief character? Not even his final scene of taking over Kakei’s main role elevates this ‘status’ because it feels it doesn’t make a difference. Yeah, the play isn’t so important, right? Also, when the girls discuss among themselves, it is like they ignore he ever existed in the same space with them. His only solace is Giza whom I am not sure if that fat cat shares the same sentiments. Speaking of Giza, I suppose he is the anime’s mascot but at the same time he is some sort like a comic relief character. Every time he gets a few seconds of screen time, you tend to hear him say short sentences in an old grandpa’s voice and sometimes putting on that troll face looks like as though he is trolling us all or something. I thought he might be just more than a lazy fat cat bumming around and could be related to the Shepherd or something but I might be just reading too much…

And yes, personally I think Ureshino is the best character in the series because of not only her cheerful appearance and mysterious background (I mean, a genius loli hacker?) but some of her punch lines like that smile really costing a bomb if you really want it to go as extra with your food (I guess there really is no such thing as a free lunch in this sense) and the ‘winning moment’ when she took out a machine gun to shoot at Kakei for doing the most embarrassing thing ever in public. I think I would do that too if I were her.

Just like any other adult visual novel games adapted into anime, the art and drawing feels pretty generic. So much so I thought I have seen certain characters from somewhere. For instance, I thought Kana and Tamamo were Infinite Stratos’ Cecilia and Houki respectively. Mochizuki looks a bit like Princess Feena from Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na and strangely Senri has the uncanny resemblance to Nagato of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s fame as well as Serizawa looking like Saki’s Nodoka. Ureshino’s hat always reminds me of Da Capo or President Aria from Aria The Animation. Guys like Kakei look typically like your lead male guy and Takamine stereotypically like the buddy for the male protagonist. Yeah, blame me for watching too many animes. For some unknown reasons, I do not know why at first when I looked at the characters, their design reminds me of those in Hidamari Sketch. This anime is produced not by SHAFT but Hoods Entertainment whose many works are of the ecchi genre like Seikon No Qwaser, Manyuu Hikenchou, Vanquished Queens, Aki Sora and Kagaku No Yatsura. Since they also did Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara and Fantasista Doll, maybe that is why the cuteness of the girls is reflected in this anime.

The opening is On My Sheep by Mitsuki Nakae and the ending theme is Aozora To Green Belt by Hagumi Nishizawa. They sound like generic anime pop and nothing special that attracts me. The next episode preview is my favourite segment because it consists of short funny clips from the characters talking to each other. For example when Tsugumi asks Kakei on what he will be doing for Golden Week. He’ll be reading. And then read. Followed by more reading. And more reading and reading and reading and reading! Or when Kana coaxes Tamamo to make that fox sound and get jiggy with it only to her embarrassment to find Kakei is around. Then there is Senri playing with Giza with a cattail S&M style (?!), Takamine ranting of his unkind and ignored treatment in the library club (don’t worry, at least you’re still useful as the club’s gopher) and Mochizuki lamenting about Kakei not joining the student council maybe because there are more cute girls and fun in the library club. But the thought that he might just be pretending to be a good guy and date multiple girls at once gives ‘hope’ to her that she may have a chance. May…

On a trivial note, I am tempted to make a few sheep, lamb and shepherd puns because I feel there is a play on words between hitsuji (sheep) and shitsuji (butler). Do you see the vague connection of Shepherds in this anime? Combine them and they could be called baa-tler! Hah! If Kakei becomes the Shepherd and his harem girls are his little lambs, can this association be called a RELATION-SHEEP?! Kakei is adamant in wanting to help others to the point that he doesn’t mind being forgotten. That’s really SHEAR determination. No? Tsugumi’s shy and introvert nature… Doesn’t that make her SHEEPISH? Remember, a library is a quiet place to read books so keep silent and stay SHHHHHHeep! And finally with that ending, is that all’s wool, ends wool? Sorry if you find some of the jokes lame and baa-d. But is it worth to contin-ewe? HAHA! XD! Okay, I stop right now. Let’s get moo-ving on… ;p.

Overall, this anime is just one of the many okay types in my books (ironically, I don’t read any books!). Nothing too fancy, nothing too deep. Just enough to keep you company for this sort of genre for the time being till the next one. So it goes to show that reading despite is still a very good habit, but not all of life’s experiences can be found in books. There needs to be a fair share of that as well as interaction from other people to help learn, grow and move forward. You know, all that basic stuffs. Because if you noticed, Kakei didn’t learn all that from his books, right? There are no books or classes that will provide you the greatest lesson in life unlike firsthand experience. Therefore books aren’t everything. Hah. A new excuse for me to not take up one.

Inu To Hasami Wa Tsukaiyou

January 25, 2014

Say you are at the prime of your life. You have many things you want to accomplish, yet to accomplish. Suddenly you are killed by some unfortunate circumstances. Will you move on to the next world or reincarnate into something else, say an animal? Don’t get the wrong idea that Inu To Hasami Wa Tsukaiyou is about a guy being reincarnated as a dog and living out his dog days as a mutt. Instead, we have him in his new dog form and his sadistic-cum-abusive owner. Yeah. Don’t mistake this being some sort of heart wrenching drama either. It’s filled with silly comical bits. So for those of you who are pure and extreme dog lovers, you might want to stay away from this anime because despite the dachshund looking cute and will probably melt the hearts of every girl in town (okay, maybe not), many of the so called funny bits come from the near abusive ways the owner gives her pet dog either for his wise cracks or just to flaunt her scissors cutting skills. How can abusing an animal be funny? Leave it to anime to turn cruel into fun. Just like porn… Well, now that he’s a dog, he’s lost his human rights so if he gets ‘murdered’, the owner won’t be charged under homicide, right? I know there are animal rights but they are not as punitive as much as the laws set for humans. But that’s not the point of this story anywhere. Enjoy your daily dog abuse, which is what you’ll be seeing in every episode. If you’re still fuming with fury, then better treat your own dog nicely first.

Episode 1
Kazuhito Harumi the dachshund hound is happily reading his book when his owner Kirihime Natsuno wants him to die!!! WTF?! She whips out her scissors but I guess this must happened a lot for him to dodge her attacks. As explained, Kazuhito wasn’t a dog to begin with. He was human. As an avid book lover, he currently is staying by himself in Tokyo at Sumiya Hall after he decided not to follow his parents transfer out due to their work. His room is filled to the brim with books and his favourite author turns out to be Shinobu Akiyama. Her real identity is unknown but she took the nation by storm with her best-sellers and wrote many books under many genres. He is particularly interested in her Deadly Sins series that changed his life. However the last volume hasn’t been released and it has been already a year. He really wants to read it. While at the cafe, Kazuhito’s day is going to get worse because he realizes his wallet is missing and a lone robber is holding up the place. As he tells the customers to stand up, the girl in the next table ignores him and continues to write. Feeling pissed, he is about to shoot her so Kazuhito fends him off. As they struggle, she continues writing like as though she is unaware of her surroundings. The gun is point blank in Kazuhito’s face. Bang! He’s dead. And she’s still writing… Kazuhito’s life flash before his eyes and all the people he has met. But the one thing he regrets most is not reading Shinobu’s final work so he doesn’t want to die. Next thing he knows, he is in a cage and the afro guy goes to get dog food for him. Dog food? Then he realizes from looking at the mirror, he has become a dog! While being reborn as one sounds ridiculous, even more ridiculous is that he hasn’t read a book for an entire week! What are the withdrawal symptoms for that? Just then, Natsuno waltzes in like a heroine and buys the dog. At first the afro guy tells her it is not for sale (he picked up the abandoned dog) but she cuts the metal cage with her scissors, Hasajiro! Holy sh*t! Don’t mess with her.

However… Kazuhito is tied up back in her apartment mansion and she is going to kill him! Seems she can hear his thoughts and this occurrence is only restricted to him. She can hear no other animals thought nor has she heard of such cases before. She wants him dead because his voice has been ringing in her head for the last few days. It’s driving her crazy. She followed that voice to the pet shop and found the source. Natsuno continues to be arrogant and dominant over the dog. But she calms down after hearing about his robbery victim case. She takes a shower and comes back in her lingerie. Does it turn a perverted dog on? Well, Kazuhito is only into books so I guess he prefers his porn in the form of text, huh? Does Playboy count? Besides, Natsuno is flat so it doesn’t make… Instantly she cuts him… Loose. Thought he was a goner there. She suggests he lives with her for a while. Where has he got to go, right? Better accept her hospitality or else she gets this urge to find out how dog meat tastes like. Kazuhito felt like he died and went to Heaven because Natsuno’s place is filled with rows and rows of books! Actually he did die once but that’s not the point. I’m sure he’ll be very happy with his stay here. He learns another surprising fact: Shinobu is Natsuno’s pen name! This sadistic scissors user is Shinobu? Kazuhito gets demanding and tells her to finish up that last volume of the Deadly Sins series. He better thank his luck stars she didn’t kill him. As he lives with her, he notices she is good in cooking, cleaning and even martial arts. Then he hears the news about the cafe robbery. The suspect, Touji Nakahara is still at large but the police are still keeping vigilant. Kazuhito gets nostalgic thinking about his past life and that awful day he had. Natsuno heard it and makes a call to find out about the victim’s address. She is puzzled it is the wrong room number. Next day, after feeding doggie with kebab, she takes him out to Sumiya Hall to settle their score.

Episode 2
Going a little back in time in the morning, Natsuno and Kazuhito argue about the latter being given a dog collar. On their way through the streets, an annoying girl named Maxi Akizuki tries to get Natsuno’s attention with some flashy distraction but was blatantly ignored. Shining! Too bad her SPs had to take her away since it’s work time. Outside Sumiya Hall, she wants to enter room 102 but Kazuhito says he lives in room 101 and room 102 is used as storage for his books. Apparently he was told he could live here for free if he took care of the place so he turned 102 into his own library and moved into 101. He never told anybody since they might send him less money. That means less money to buy books, right? Natsuno has the keys to 102 because she used her influence to get them. Her sister is a policewoman. Authority abuse! Inside, a newspaper with a front page article of the shooting. Natsuno deduces the suspect fled and his hiding somewhere. When he shot Kazuhito, he stole his wallet and noticed his address. Needing the place to hide, he came to Sumiya Hall but couldn’t enter room 102 since the label on the key is 101. Nobody, not the police or his family went to room 101 because it was documented as nobody living there. In short, the suspect is hiding there. They hear somebody stumbling out from next door and true enough, it’s the suspect. They chase him and on the bridge, he fights back using Shinobu’s thick Deadly Sins series! He even padded himself with them as protection! He says he can’t be caught yet until he reads the final volume! So this guy read her books and changed? I guess during his hiding, he read many of her other books too as he employs other fighting techniques created by the author herself! And the author gets owned! Just when it looked like Natsuno is done for, she was just looking for a chance to strike back. Using her scissors, she cuts his pockets so that the books drop out. Since he is mentally unstable, he goes crazy about ‘his’ books.

She deals the finishing blow and he is left hanging precariously on the edge of the bridge. One push and he will fall to his doom below. Natsuno wants Kazuhito to kill him because after all, he killed him, right? He must hate him. Plus, he won’t be legally charged of murder as a dog. To her surprise, Kazuhito pulls him back down. Why? Because he loves books too. The part of being killed is already done and over. Besides, he is still alive as a dog, isn’t he? Killing him won’t turn him back into a human and it would definitely affect the way he reads books. Natsuno will kill him then. That’s when Kazuhito realizes she has been blaming herself for Kazuhito’s death all the time. Had she not been writing, he wouldn’t have risked his life to save her. Kazuhito pounces on her to make her come to her senses. He did it because he wants to. Although he loves books, he is not willing to go as far as kill for it. On the way back, Natsuno has developed some sort of feelings for the dog. The twisted kind. Because she wonders if she could understand his feelings if she cuts open his chest!!! While Natsuno gets embarrassed ranting away about children (she actually thought of doing it with a dog?), Kazuhito remembers his room door is left open and wants to go back and lock it. Since Natsuno is still in her fantasy, he insults her small chests to get her attention. After the sixth time (she counted it too), she turns into a mad woman and is going to cut him up!

Episode 3
Kazuhito dreams about his sister Madoka. But too much of Natsuno means he sees her in his dreams too! What a nightmare. Waking up, he sees an unfamiliar woman sitting by the table. This zombie woman, Suzuna Hiiragi seems able to hear what Kazuhito says! Or so he thinks. Not. Because she starts acting in some fantasy delusion of taking over the underworld. When Natsuno returns, Kazuhito learns Suzuna is her editor. Judging from her latest writing, Suzuna gives the thumbs down. Natsuno is recently in a slump. She is suggested to do different things for a change but steps on a landmine when she suggested breasts implants. Doesn’t Suzuna has the biggest boobs and is flaunting it! Natsuno almost cuts her but slightly rips her shirt. Suzuna is impressed and loves it. I guess this proves she is a masochist and looks forward to more of it next time. This isn’t a beauty salon for your information. As she leaves, she warns about the recent serial slasher case and to be careful. Later Kazuhito asks Natsuno about her slump. It started about 3 months ago. That’s like when he came into her life as a dog, right? Oh no. Don’t find this as an excuse to blame and cut him up! Suzuna returns another day to check up on her. She is still in a slump. Suzuna also has more information about the slasher and other signs. Natsuno suggests she be the bait herself and draw out the slasher. If she captures it, she’ll reward her with abuse. Right away, she’ll do it! Maybe that’s just a plot to send her away forever…

So in the mean time, Natsuno and the dog will look for their own clues. Asking around, it seems that the victims had one thing in common: They were reading a book from Shinobu. Along the way, it’s that annoying Maxi again. Taking a closer look, Kazuhito remembers and recognizes her as a famous idol-cum-author. Together with Shinobu and Momiji Himehagi, the trio are Japan’s youngest best-selling authors. Natsuno isn’t impressed how her identity is known and doesn’t have time to entertain her whatsoever. Maxi won’t lose out and draws her attention by insulting her flat chests. That does it. Natsuno will shave her head and make her shine more while Maxi will polish her breasts till it becomes really flat. Thankfully world war didn’t start because her SPs whisk her away to get another job done. As Natsuno and Kazuhito stop and think about the clues, they hear afro guy’s scream. He has become another victim of the slasher, although a portion of his afro was just cut. Natsuno chases after a suspicious hooded character. Kazuhito’s doggie sense leads him to the alley whereby he spots a book of Shinobu. He is obviously walking into an obvious cheap trap but he can’t help it since he wants to read it so much to pass the time. Slam! He dreams about Madoka. The time she somewhat finished a volume of Shinobu’s Deadly Sins series. She doesn’t seem all enthusiastic like Kazuhito. Asking what was her favourite this, favourite that in the book. Shinobu that great, huh? The next time he wakes up, he realizes he is back in his own Sumiya Hall room all tied up. To his surprise, Madoka appears before him and is relieved that she has found him.

Episode 4
Unlike Kazuhito the bookworm, Madoka is popular and athletic. But it looks to me like she has a serious case of buranko. When a senior confessed to her, he helped her out by looking up books on love but she got upset at him. It seems Madoka can hear Kazuhito’s thoughts and is very happy she has found him. Then he senses something amiss. Why isn’t she answering his questions? Oh. Another false alarm. She can’t read his mind and is ranting away in her own fantasy they’ll be together. But the mind boggling part is how she knows the dog is her brother. Her eyes get crazier by the moment each time she says they’ll be together forever from A to Z. She tries to force feed him with some super chilli dish that is making his body hurt without even taking a bite (I know, it’s getting to me too) but she leaves to get another ingredient. Thought he is safe? Out of the frying pan and into the fire because Natsuno is outside spying and she doesn’t look to happy. Taking him back to her mansion, it’s the usual dog abuse. She accuses him of flirting with another girl and is having a hard time believing that cat burglar is his sister. Why she tied him up back in his place is also a mystery. I take it Natsuno has lost the culprit but at that moment, he dropped a volume of Shinobu’s Deadly Sins series. It is confirmed that her books are involved but couldn’t the culprit be one of her crazy fans? Kazuhito tries hard not to accuse Madoka because it is suspected that she baited him with it. Then she imprisoned him and acted all strange, right? Although nobody really got hurt in the incident, Natsuno still feels the need to make her pay for hurting her heart. Sure, that’s not her stomach?

Next day as they continue to search for the slasher, here comes that Suzuna. She gets verbal abuse by Natsuno for failing to keep her promise of preventing another slasher victim. I think she likes the abuse very much. She thought the info of Shinobu books relating to this incident would help but Natsuno already knew it like ages ago. There is another thing she heard. A rumour about a girl crying while cutting up Shinobu’s books at the playground. Rushing over, they see torn pages of one of her volumes. Then comes in Madoka. The girls get into a showdown. Madoka doesn’t like this woman near her brother. Since the dog doesn’t want to die from either side, he is forced to stay out. Natsuno asks her about the torn page and her reply is she thought she burnt all the Shinobu books for him. With that, Natsuno throws a smokescreen to escape. Back at her mansion, they discuss that Madoka may be the slasher. Kazuhito doesn’t think she hates Shinobu that much but Natsuno thinks she is trying to prevent Shinobu from stealing her brother. Although he admits he likes Shinobu’s books, he would never hate Madoka. However Madoka might not see it that way. She deduces it might not be fun for her when her brother starts talking about Shinobu. His death may have triggered it. He refused to move with the family, lived alone in Tokyo and died. Madoka felt losing someone important and lost herself. The hatred she felt for Shinobu went out of control and believed her brother died because of her. Kazuhito realizes although he has accepted his death, he never thought about his family since he was afraid to think about them. So if Madoka destroys the person who stole her brother, he might just come back to life. But that’s not likely in reality, right? Whether Madoka is the slasher or not, Kazuhito wants to be the one to stop her but he can’t do it alone and requests for Natsuno’s help. She agrees when Madoka comes crashing into the window! I found you…

Episode 5
Madoka placed a tracker on Kazuhito… Her anger reaches boiling point when Natsuno reveals she is Shinobu. She is told to face reality that her brother is gone and would her brother approve such action? How does she know so much about him? Because she believes in her readers. She saw Kazuhito died before her eyes. Because he is one of her readers, she will continue writing for him. She wants Madoka to open her eyes now but she takes the dog and jumps out of the window! How many storeys is that?! If so, how the hell did she crash in here the first place?! At the park, Madoka mentions she felt she could find her brother if she came here despite knowing the dog isn’t her brother. She set up traps and thought the only one ‘dumb’ enough to fall for it would be a brother. When doggie did, she was happy and believed it was him. Natsuno finds them (because she too had a tracker on Kazuhito). It’s time to settle things. Madoka unleashes her Tuna Eater! WTF is this giant futuristic sword?! I don’t remember watching this as a sci-fi fantasy? So it’s a big knife versus a small scissors? Madoka loses and despite knowing Kazuhito is gone, she’s doing this to prove herself as his sister and can’t let their connection fail here. Now Tuna Eater transforms into a gun! Man, I need to get one of those multi-purpose knives. She fires at her but Natsuno’s scissors cuts it into half! It’s Madoka’s lost. Instantly after that, both girls become friends and even had a good chat. Friendship after battle? Is this shonen anime? However they learn she is not the slasher. She only cut up books and abducted the dog. She cut the books because Kazuhito once told her if she sells books to used bookstores, authors lose their royalties so it’s best to cut or burn them.

Kazuhito calls Suzuna to come out of her hiding. There she is and she can hear Kazuhito’s thoughts well and clear. He deduced something was wrong when Suzuna talked to Natsuno in the city like as though she was talking about Natsuno and the dog together. Kazuhito deduces since all the information they based on was from her, Shinobu had nothing to do with it as she setup everything by spreading rumours. As Natsuno still didn’t really believe in it, she attacked afro guy. Suzuna admits she did them all. This is to cure her from her slump. She’ll do anything to get her back into writing. Kazuhito chooses to believe in Natsuno but as Suzuna points out, an author who doesn’t write isn’t an author. Noting the dog has grown close to her, she wonders what kind of books she will write if she is to kill him. Just joking. Kazuhito won’t accept her methods even if it’s for Natsuno’s sake. That’s when Natsuno jumps down into the scene like a super hero. She didn’t eavesdrop on their conversation. She knew everything right from the start. In just a single command, Suzuna is reduced to a sitting dog and confessed everything. So easy, huh? Natsuno says she has overcome her slump and scatters her pages in the air. She turns into a sadist, making Suzuna (gladly) catch them all before it hits the ground in a sitting position. Suzuna is impressed with her work and is even more impressed when Natsuno starts abusing her. Natsuno warns her never to interfere again. If she can’t do as she is told, she’ll be nice to her. Oh God! Hear her horrifying shrieky scream! She really is a masochist, is she? Now it’s Kazuhito’s turn to get beaten up when he demands the flat chest to finish her last Deadly Sins volume. Next day, Natsuno sees Madoka off at the train station. She will allow her to think her dog as her brother and do whatever she pleases. Because she was her reader, she would do anything to lend a hand to make her readers happy. After she departs, Kazuhito wonders about the real culprit case. Suzuna pops up to admit she already found and beaten up the real culprit while she was spreading the rumours to them. Natsuno punishes her and she loves it.

Episode 6
Kazuhito makes his usual trip to Honda Bookstore to buy his usual books. The store’s cashier and owner’s daughter, Sakura of course thought it was for his master. Dogs don’t read, right? But this one does… He needs to go now or else a certain demon comes back. Too late. Sakura’s sister, Yayoi cuddles him. Does he hate it or love it? Back home, Natsuno is going to kill him for ‘cheating’ her when he let ‘other woman’ touch him. Kazuhito remember Yayoi said she was leaving this place soon and Natsuno deduces she would be running away. Kazuhito thinks how much Sakura has grown in her efficiency to handle her job compared to her incompetent father but Natsuno misinterprets he was talking about breasts. I think she purposely twists her words so she could abuse him! Natsuno allows him to talk how they met. When Kazuhito arrived here for the first time and supposed to meet the Sumiya Hall manager, he waited for a long time so much so he finished the books he read. He entered Honda Bookstore nearby to see Sakura being chided by an old lady for selling a boring book. That book is from Shinobu. Kazuhito argues back her criteria for it being boring (since she didn’t read the entire book) and went on ranting and ranting and ranting… The old lady already left like ages ago. When Sakura’s father comes down, he thought Kazuhito was some delinquent and tries to whack him with a bat. He misses of course. He learns the truth and to make up for his err, he offers Kazuhito to take a free book along with other freebies. That was how the beautiful relationship started. Too bad Natsuno fell asleep… Kazuhito thought he could get his revenge by insulting her flat chest but apparently she did keep count in her sleep. She’s going to kill him 9 times! When Kazuhito goes to check on his favourite bookstore, Yayoi is in an argument with Sakura. She runs away and dognaps Kazuhito.

At the park, he learns the bookstore is going to close down and the family separated. Yayoi has decided on saving it but her sister was against it. And I suppose part of her plan to revive the bookstore is to make Kazuhito part of her advertising campaign, eh? As they walk through the shopping arcade, people start staring at how cute they are. Embarrassing? Girls want to hold the doggie. Lots of pictures snapped and uploaded. And Natsuno happen to see them. Jealousy rage… They even stumble into that annoying shining princess. She offers to make her store shine but got turned down. Yayoi and Kazuhito return to the park. Nothing accomplished. The kid starts crying. What can a doggie do? Well, he almost got cut but Natsuno’s scissors! That’s for not only cheating on her but making a girl cry! Yeah, it’s his fault. Leave it to Natsuno to explain some sisterly stuff and convince Yayoi to return home. After Yayoi apologizes to Sakura, the sisters make amends. When Natsuno asks about the store’s future, Sakura although did mention her father having bad business sense, she guarantees it will not close down no matter what. So how did Yayoi came to this conclusion? Perhaps too much TV drama. You see couples fight (in which their parents often do), leads to divorce and then break up. Sakura explains their parents’ fight isn’t a serious one. It’s their way to express love. Really? They’re into that sort of play? With this issue solve, Natsuno and Kazuhito walk home and the former wants to punish him to show him her love. Maybe just for tonight, Kazuhito doesn’t want to come home…

Episode 7
Kazuhito is interrupted from his reading pleasure since Natsuno wants his help to look for her favourite missing black bra with lace. He made the mistake of saying the need of her to wear a bra to begin with because there is no… You can guess what happens next. If the dog is going to help search, he needs to sniff for her body scent, right? After a couple of close moments and hurtling abuse that goes with it, Kazuhito gets tied up when he comments he didn’t even touch her breast because he doesn’t even know where it is! I’m sure Suzuna would love to be in his position but she is called here to help search for her bra. Uninterested Kazuhito goes back to reading and is again interrupted. He nearly got killed by her scissors but this time when he jumped, he bumped into the bookshelf. A box containing breast enlargement tools drop on his head. Oh no… They continue to expand their search to the gym below. Since that annoying muscle head Macho Munakata suggests her to work out to make her bust up, Kazuhito goes back to read. He realizes the bra in his blanket and remembers last night he was searching something to sleep under and pulled it out. Oh no… Natsuno returns from her failed work out (macho guy almost got killed when she threw the dumbbells at him). She sees her closet messed up. Evidence doesn’t seem like a thief was around. More like a certain dog trying to open her closet but failed. And so we see Kazuhito trying to rid the evidence as he makes his way through the shopping arcade. Yayoi does a cuddly attack on him and stumbles upon the bra. She thinks he stole it and wants him to turn himself in to the police?! Can a dog do that? He snatches the bra away and makes a run. Natsuno continues to look for Kazuhito and even asks Sakura if he has been here yet. Apparently not. She gets jealous upon realizing how Kazuhito has become popular with the locals. Because girls just love to cuddle and feel the fluffy and warmness… As she continues her search, she thought she felt someone following her.

Kazuhito is at the park trying to bury the bra. He hears somebody singing. Sachi Moribe the maid is not only doing a monologue, but some sort of singing and musical. Kazuhito recognizes the words she sings. It belongs to a famous book written by Momiji. At the end of the song, Kazuhito’s sneeze gives him away. Sachi goes crazy with embarrassment that somebody was watching her. Obviously. She’s dancing in public, right? So how? Kill him. Oh sh*t! Her broom just transformed into some sort of dangerous blade! Zapper of Corruption?! Is that a broom to begin with? Why is Kazuhito always bad with women and blades? Sachi really goes to great lengths trying to kill the dog! The dog!!! So much so he almost got ran over by a truck but was saved in time by Natsuno. Surprisingly, she seems authentically worried about him. Then it turns to rage because she is going to teach that maid a lesson for trying to kill someone’s dog. The showdown is put off when Sachi hears the sounds of the roasted potato seller. I guess she can’t resist them. She’s confident they’ll clash in the future. Natsuno discovers the bra he has and gets embarrassed. Especially the miniature dachshund design on it. Kazuhito realizes she likes dogs and thinks of acting more dog-like as possible so she could forgive him. Well, that’s not a choice he has. Because she gives him 3 other choices: A) Die; B) Die; and C) Die! Oh sh*t! Since he can’t choose, by default that means he has chosen all of them. Which means he will die 3 times! I guess this is what she meant when she said she won’t let him die easily…

Episode 8
Kazuhito is forced to come along with Natsuno to her favourite hotspring. She even invited Madoka so that by getting in her good books, she can be her sister-in-law one day. Speaking of book, Natsuno has a little love guide book to ‘deepen’ her relationship with her… Dog. I think I’m going to be in disgust thinking further about this. For sleeping arrangements, Natsuno hoped she would sleep with Kazuhito but he misinterpreted she had some yuri fetish and wanted to ‘eat’ Madoka. Disappointed? Because Madoka wants to spend more time with Kazuhito, the girls are in for another showdown. It is really heating up to boiling point when suddenly it’s time to soak in the hotspring. Eh? What? Suddenly they’re friends again? Natsuno warns the dog not to peep. How come her tone says otherwise? Like as though she wants him to. Really. The girls meet Sakura who is on her school field trip along with her profusely over-apologizing friend, Hami Oosawa. Natsuno waited too long in the bath and almost got dizzy. And then she blames the dog for not coming to peep. You expect the dog to understand you? At the dinner hall, looks like Suzuna and her masochist cult are tied up above the dinner table. Don’t even ask. That night, Natsuno thinks of sleeping next to Kazuhito. But she sees him sleeping next to his books. Rude awakening…  Next day as Natsuno take a walk to the store to get a whetstone, they pass by that (oh God, no) annoying idol and also Sachi who is at that same store to sharpen her tool. We expected a showdown but since Natsuno and Sachi have the same agreement on the whetstone, it’s like they’re friends. For now. WTF.

Returning back to the inn, Natsuno will sharpen her Hasajiro in the hotspring and ‘warns’ the dog not to peep. I think she really means the opposite. Don’t expect him to come because he is going to be reading. Just when Natsuno thought Kazuhito is coming in, turns out to be annoying Maxi. Kazuhito senses something strange. The inn staffs are acting like zombies and holding knives. They are marching towards the hotspring. Kazuhito barges in to warn her (she almost took it the wrong way that he finally gave in to his temptation). Natsuno is not surprised at this situation. When she was chasing the stalker, she fended off a horde of such ‘zombies’. That’s why Hasajiro dulled. Don’t forget the constant abuse on a certain dog too. The staffs attack her as she fends them off. Maxi is complaining everyone ignored her shining while Suzuna enjoys the pain of the staffs stepping over her. Can’t depend on these useless girls. Kazuhito buys time for Natsuno to sharpen her scissors. Throwing buckets? Thankfully, Madoka saves the day because she is one mad sister. Anybody who plans to hurt her brother will pay dearly! Nobody can touch her with her Tuna Eater. Chainsaw version! Wow. It’s like she’s almost the demon herself. Together with Natsuno, the duo fight their way. Natsuno drops her love guide and since the staffs step all over destroying it, she becomes so enraged that she exploded into a mini atom bomb. So devastating her attack that the inn had to be closed although the staffs are back to normal and couldn’t remember what happened. As they leave, Natsuno laments they didn’t get to relax at all. She vows to come back here next time but only with Kazuhito alone.

Episode 9
After buying some books from Honda Bookstore, they return home and Kazuhito feels somebody has ransacked their place. But it looks fine. Well, before they left there were 99,822 books. Now there are 99,823 books!!! WTF?! How the hell can he tell?! Plus, he can pinpoint where the extra book is!!! WTF???!!! This rogue book, Celestial Romance is the one of the books they just bought. Could it be the stalker? But if he had broken in, the alarmed would have sounded off. So to look for clues, they start reading the book. When Kazuhito finishes, he is somewhat taken in by Natsuno’s beauty while she is reading. Wait a minute. I thought he isn’t into 3D women?! And then… He can’t resist to pound on her!!! What the hell! Thankfully she whacks him into the garbage bin. Discussing about the book, it is written by Hotaru Fujimaki and it is too well written for an amateur. Besides, the style seems to copy off Shinobu very much. They try Google for more information for it and since they can’t find it, they had to force Suzuna for some info. They got all what they need except for her real name. Noting she is the daughter of Shuzan Oosawa, an author responsible for numerous works on Sengoku period generals, they think she must have used her father’s influence to debut. They pay a visit to Hotaru’s address, which is where Kazuhito’s old high school is. Along the way as they chat, Natsuno gets flustered upon hearing that he considers her more important than tests. When she has him say it again, what he meant was HER BOOKS are more important. Disappointed?

Since Kazuhito knows the place, he takes her through a short cut that cuts through an abandoned warehouse. They are surrounded by the townspeople in zombie mode. Looks like the stalker is at it again. To fend them off, Natsuno throws the dog at them! Don’t do this anywhere. Then she takes them all out by herself. Finally the shady figure that has been stalking and tailing Natsuno from the shadows shows his true face: Shuzan. Somehow Shuzan lost to Natsuno so he is tied up S&M style and forced to spill the beans. As he is the one who left the book in her apartment, because the security head is his childhood friend and owes him a lot, he will do anything for Shuzan and that includes turning off the alarm and letting him into her place. He did this because his daughter told him to. But why not give it to her in person or mailed it instead of sneaking in? Because he doesn’t want to. He considers Natsuno a bad influence on his daughter and won’t allow her to sully her further. He calls her names and her bad influence is the reason why people attacked her. Natsuno deduces from that sentence that he isn’t the one behind the attacks but his daughter. Shuzan tries to cover for her that she doesn’t know anything and that he is the one behind everything. Not working. Natsuno wonders what Hotaru wants. Other than wanting to meet her, he doesn’t know. Natsuno and Kazuhito arrive at the latter’s high school to begin their search. As they split up, Kazuhito walks into the library and this brings back nostalgic memories. He remembers a secret stash behind one of the bookshelves and is happy to see Hami’s manuscript still there. He is startled when Hami comes in. But she knows the dog is Kazuhito and is glad he has come back.

Episode 10
Flashback reveals Kazuhito during his schooling years accidentally stumbled upon Hami’s manuscript and read it. I’ll spare you the details of her panicky exaggeration to die and the likes. Kazuhito concluded her incomplete novel is like an inferior copy of Shinobu although it is interesting by its own right. Despite Hami having strong influence of Shinobu, Kazuhito hopes she can finish this novel properly and looks forward to it. After she hides it behind the books, Kazuhito suggests she send it in to some amateur contest but of course she refused. She gives lots of excuse why she can’t be a real author (even environmental reasons of wasting ink and paper) so Kazuhito encourages her that there are lots of people including him who are waiting for her work. They make a promise that if she finishes it, he’ll be the first one to read it. In present time, Hami may not be able to read Kazuhito’s mind but she has an idea what he is asking (saves us the trouble too). She reveals her pen name Hotaru is an anagram of her real name. She had a feeling the dog is Kazuhito because she heard from Sakura how a certain dog kept visiting her store and buy books. At first she didn’t believe it but after he found the secret place, she does. Although she kept her promise to become an author, she didn’t use this manuscript and it still remains incomplete. She did everything she could to be an author. Learning from her father and even used his influence. Since Kazuhito died, she couldn’t finish the manuscript and even knowing he is alive, she still can’t write it. Feeling she is a fake author, the only way to become a real one was to defeat and overcome the real one. That is why those ‘zombies’ attacked Natsuno. She calls Natsuno up to the rooftop claiming to have dognapped her beloved dachshund. Natsuno isn’t worried. Just furious he switched sides. And anything he says means he wants to die! Hami seems pretty cool insulting Natsuno back especially about her small chest. Actually she’s reading from the script. The only way to settle this is via writing contest.

The first one to finish writing a short story in 100 pages wins. As the battle begins, Natsuno is clearly more dominant and experienced, leading by a mile. Hami tries all sorts of tricks that include writing with both hands and other mind blowing exaggerating techniques. She still couldn’t best Natsuno. So she asks if she has read Celestial Romance. Natsuno comments it wasn’t bad. Just then, she turns the bookshelves into mirrors. Natsuno sees her reflections and she tries to stab herself with the scissors! WTF?! It’s like her right hand suddenly has a mind of its own! Hami reveals there were certain words in her book that affects the conscious mind. Something like killing the enemy who is a scissors wielding red eyed black haired girl. That’s why Kazuhito pounded on her. That’s why people turn into zombies and attack her. Though, it doesn’t work on some people like her father and Sakura. Hami thought she could catch up but Natsuno overcomes this problem by writing with her mouth!!! WOW!!! WTF???!!! In the end, Natsuno wins although Hami was just a page behind. Hami wanted to kill herself but was stopped. Natsuno believes Hami’s work is the real thing and there is no such thing as fake or real authors as long as you want to write, you’re an author. Hami expresses her will to continue writing and hopes Kazuhito could read them. Natsuno abuses the dog when he shows more kindness to Hami than her. Because the dog never knew Natsuno as a delicate woman. Hami becomes Natsuno’s student and so begins the teacher-disciple relationship as Natsuno guides her. Natsuno has learnt Hami’s technique as she employs it in her latest writing, causing the doggie’s body to move on its own against his will. He’s moving away from his books towards Natsuno… Is this even possible?! Better than any kind of drug…

Episode 11
Madoka is here to visit and to make Kazuhito’s favourite curry. Oh, really? Look how she overkills the curry with her Tuna Eater like as though she is killing somebody. And blue curry? The dog is going to have some kind of indigestion or worse. Kazuhito visits Honda Bookstore as usual and observes several regular weirdoes making their purchase like the macho men and the masochist editor. Suddenly Maxi’s SPs enter the store to buy all books from Shinobu and Momiji. Kazuhito tries to follow them. It leads him to the park where he hears the familiar monologue singing of a maid. Oops. Spotted again. We know how this is going to end up. Like déjà vu, Sachi tries to kill the dog and for the second time, Natsuno comes to his rescue. The showdown is going to be real this time without any interruptions. I take that back. It’s going to be a threesome with Maxi flying from her helicopter. She wants to settle who is the best author of them all via some nine story tower writing contest. Their stories will be judged by judges she has selected. Sachi runs up the tower, taking out all her useless SPs just to refute Maxi’s claims that she is the best author. Sachi reveals she is the personal maid to her mistress Momiji. Ah yeah. What are the chances? All 3 greatest youngest authors at the same place. Although Momiji is represented by Sachi. Maxi begins her challenge with Natsuno first but before they can start writing, Maxi is forcefully taken away by her SPs since it is back to work. Sachi goes off to finish her shopping and return to her mistress. The most disappointed one has got to be Kazuhito because he couldn’t witness the greatest literary battle. Everything ended just like that. What a big letdown. Back at Honda Bookstore, Hami is seen coming in so Sakura recognizes her as that debuting Hotaru author. Hami turns into her usual scatterbrain, unable to convey her words. She decides to take the easy way out by killing herself. Why am I not surprised anymore? Yeah, the only thing she’ll write is her suicide note. Anyway, leave it to Natsuno and Sakura to give her some motivation to carry on living and writing. Madoka enters the shop to convey the good news that she has passed her entrance exam and will start her first high school year at her brother’s old school. Despite her parents against this decision of hers to move to Tokyo and live on her own, and maybe the fact she still hasn’t gotten over her brother’s death, she has decided to go where he was and live his life to the fullest for him. Sakura will support them both. Back home, a crueller fate awaits the dog. Consider this as punishment from Natsuno for saving his dog ass the second time. Madoka’s rainbow coloured curry! There are frogs jumping out!!! WTF???!!! He has to eat that?! Oh my God… Welcome to hell… NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! He almost died again. If he did, maybe he would reincarnate as that frog…

Episode 12
Suzuna is over but Natsuno blatantly ignores her and continues to write. That should be the way but she loves this new ignoring play too. Then she turns her attention to Kazuhito and tries to drag him into her masochistic play. If he’s a dog, what makes of her? A pig! Resist the temptation, Kazuhito! Suzuna is here because she wants to suggest to Natsuno to make herself public. It may change her image for better or worse but ultimately this is to motivate her to write her final Deadly Sins series. As part of her plan to put her in public, Suzuna has brought lots of (cosplay) outfits. How is she going to get Natsuno to put it on? First, she prays on the God of Masochist (such gods don’t exist in real life) and then using her super cyclone speed to put it on her without Natsuno moving an inch! Blink and you’ll miss! After various outfits, Madoka comes into the picture (that volcano sure isn’t curry. Or is it?). Suzuna also has her put on some outfit to fit her several curry theme. Next is Hami and you can tell the way she regrets all the outfits she tries out. When Suzuna is about to get serious and put on a swimsuit, Natsuno abuses her over her antics. I think Suzuna was waiting for this moment to increase her masochist meter. The next plan is to make Natsuno drunk. Dog Slayer brand alcohol? Yeah. I think she really wants Natsuno to get violent. Drastic image change definitely. After drugging her drink, just when Kazuhito thought it is the end of the world, suddenly Natsuno is acting so nice and polite! Thinking of increasing the dosage, Suzuna makes Natsuno drinks more but she turns even nicer! So much so it is freaking out Suzuna that it ‘kills’ her! Her masochist meter just went to zero in an instant and her body shrivelled up dry (except for her boobs). Non-violence kills for this woman. Despite Kazuhito being embraced in her warm arms, he just felt the cold chill. Nice Natsuno is like seeing pigs fly. Can’t believe his eyes, huh? He tries to make her mad by commenting on her small boobs but she gets depressed so it makes him feel guilty and atone himself by saying size doesn’t matter. Natsuno takes it the wrong way that he was proposing to her.

Instantly we are whisked into Natsuno’s fantasies. The woman and the dog married at the chapel! This is really sick… Everyone congratulates the newlyweds. Then the fantasy shifts to their honeymoon in the beaches of Hawaii. Everyone compliments the perfect happy couple they are. Now it is their new home. Colour for their children’s room? Children? Children???!!! Kazuhito has had enough of this farce and so this turns into a little lover’s argument. But I guess Natsuno got tired of getting mad so it’s time for bed. Oh no… Her bed. Double oh no! She pins the doggie down on the bed while she dominates on top. She feels something warm inside her body wanting to come out. She wants to expel this burning passion of hers onto him. Oh sh*t! Kazuhito hell knows that isn’t exactly the kind of passion he wants. Too late! It’s coming now!!! Here comes the puke!!!! Next day, Natsuno returns to her usual sadistic self. Commenting Kazuhito smells like vomit and to get out of her place for a month. Kazuhito is perhaps regretting he may prefer the gentler Natsuno. She then wants to bath him so Kazuhito is confused with her kindness. She says she has always been kind to her darling. So last night drunkenness was her talking and not the alcohol? Lastly, Kazuhito notes Natsuno has written a book on Madoka and Hami but he chides her to hurry up and finish the final Deadly Sins volume. The chase continues. He calls her a flat chest and she tries to strike a non-lethal blow to him. Don’t worry about her killing him. She won’t. What good is he dead if he’s not around to be exclusively abused by her?

Doggone It! Read Between The Lines!
So… Uhm… What? That’s it? Here I was expecting some sort of storyline but in the end, it turned to be just one random and silly nonsensical story of a violent woman and her pet dog. The part of Kazuhito getting killed and the unexplained logic behind his second shot at life as a dachshund feels somewhat distant as though it was just a setup for the theme of this anime. The more you see Natsuno and Kazuhito together in their abuser-abuse victim antics, the more you begin to forget that Kazuhito was a human to begin with since well, I know it’s good to move forward and not be unrealistic to try and find a way to return as a human being, but does this mean he has really accepted life as a dog? What more, Natsuno’s pet? If Kazuhito felt annoyed with his appearance and tried to find a way to revert himself, I guess the series would have taken a different route and possibly another genre. Then he wouldn’t have time reading all the books he wants. I mean, if there is some sort of magic or miracle that made him a dog, I’m sure there is the same to change him back, right? On second thought, I don’t want to think so much about it. So let’s just leave the series as a comedy and nothing more. I’ll prefer it that way since it is more fun and enjoyable. Though we have several showdown episodes like those between Madoka and Hami, but I feel that doesn’t count to being an integral part of the story. It’s like some sort of shonen type of anime whereby Natsuno needs to somewhat ‘defeat’ her enemies and they’ll become her friend. Isn’t that the case? And I’ll be guessing the same will befall to Sachi if their duel should be settled sometime in the future. But not here in this season as far as this series is concerned. Maybe Maxi too. And perhaps Momiji. If she ever shows up in public (the one in Natsuno’s fantasies doesn’t count). Don’t worry about Hami. She already ‘defeated’ herself with the way she always apologizes. Technical win for Natsuno in this case.

I think this is just me because I find almost every character to be in some ways annoying. Annoying not in the sense that it makes me want to kill everybody but rather in the funny sense to tickle your funny bones. Take for example Kazuhito. As cute as he is in his dog appearance, I feel that his role in this entire anime is to play the straight man. And he is very talented in doing that. Everything the rest says or does, he has some sort of comeback lines to retort. That is what makes the series funny. But too much that it gets tad annoying. Is this his destiny as a dog? A retorting dog? So if he is not reading, he is retorting. Then there is Natsuno. Beautiful, strong and independent. That’s what we all love in a woman, right? So when she is all nice and polite, it doesn’t feel like the Natsuno we used to know. So do we prefer Natsuno when she’s dominant or gentler? I would prefer the latter! Definitely! The chemistry between her and the dog is amusing especially the kind of words they exchange with each other. It’s fun to hear the dialogue they exchange. Oh, the verbal abuses and derogatory canine names she hurls at him. Never once had she say his name except when she is in polite mode.

Because as a woman who has to keep up with her image, she is sending mixed signals to Kazuhito and it is confusing the hell out of him. Usually her violent behaviour has become the norm around. But at the same time she wants to be nice and shower him with love but can’t show it. It’s like she wants to tease him but her dominant actions makes it more than just a tease. So she becomes a tsundere. More tsun than dere. And because she is a tsundere, she wants Kazuhito to fall in love with her without having to tell him. Thought reverse psychology would work? Guys are too simple creatures for that. She gets mad, he gets cut. So can you blame him for not understanding what she really wants? Can you blame us guys for not understanding women?! Whoops… Got a little side-tracked there. Despite her abusive ways, I guess it is her way she shows her love. Heh. Whoever wants such kind of slicing love? The unkindest cut, if I should say. So short her temper and quick her fingers that in almost every episode, you can see her swiftly shaving part of Kazuhito’s dog fur as a way to take out her anger. I know we’d be screaming dog abuse but seriously, who would really want to go up to a woman with a pair of scissors in hand? But practice makes perfect and as seen, Kazuhito has become agile enough to avoid her cuts (a reason why he couldn’t be owned so easily by Sachi). If her scissors makes her look dangerous, you should know the other little details so as not to push the wrong button and cause her to emit deadly red/black aura. Rule #1: Never talk about her small boobs or even make comparisons. Doing otherwise would seem as a challenge and aggravating the situation. Rule #2: Never be caught seen with other woman because she has a very short tolerance in the jealousy department. Reasoning doesn’t make her feel better. Cutting will.

Suzuna is also as annoying as sick as a pervert she is. With wavy mouth lines that remind me of Pacman’s ghosts, I think things will go awfully well if she were to switch places with Kazuhito. But you know, things in life are never that smooth. The masochist enjoys every sort of pain or abuse that Natsuno throws at her and going into ecstasy at every such moment makes it annoying. Yeah. It’s like sex to her. I guess it takes a true pervert and sadist or masochist to fully enjoy this sort of play. It’s a two way thing, I suppose. I wanted to credit her as a good editor but when you think of Suzuna, you think of a masochist pig so I think I’ll withhold that thought of mine for now. Next on the annoying list is Hami whose guilty self-conscience is so great that it makes you wonder it must be a miracle she has lived this long. She has a reason to apologize for everything. It’s good to be mindful but hers was just plain annoying. Oh, now I understand why she couldn’t kill herself even with a pen. She thinks it would cause trouble if she were to die right in front of whoever she is offending. I can’t believe she actually thought of that far. One day, I’m guessing she’ll blame herself to be responsible for all the wars that are happening in the world and even why Nobunaga was killed. Madoka thinks she knows what her brother wants especially curry. Well, she thought wrong. I guess she doesn’t really know him. Thank goodness her cooking is only reserved to curry (for now). Who knows what kind of abomination she will cook up with other dishes. If Natsuno’s scissors don’t kill the dog, poison food will. Do you know dogs can’t take chocolate? Let’s hope Madoka will never get that idea… She is the second most dangerous person after Natsuno (Sachi is just crazy and besides, I’m not familiar with her skills. She’s just swinging her broom blade, right?). It’s like she can turn yandere if things get ugly. With the argument over calling Natsuno her sister-in-law a touchy subject, it feels a world war can erupt just from it. Thank goodness they’re friends so it takes a slight distraction to cool things down and get over it. For now.

Maxi too is annoying. At first I was hoping some sort of plot with this annoying idol, popping up with her shining quote and SPs. Then nothing really happened in the end. How she knows about Shinobu’s real identity was never really explained and the nine story tower challenge showdown didn’t really take off. So what is her role actually in this series? Personally I am thinking it is to annoy the hell out of us. Just because she is cute and have that idol aura doesn’t mean she isn’t annoying, right? Her role and appearance in this anime proves that. Yeah. It outshines her cuteness. Same case for Momiji. All you see her in a very few scenes, confined to her wheelchair. It’s like they’re trying to tease us or something. They mention the 3 youngest and most successful best-selling authors like as though there is going to be some sort of showdown but in the end it didn’t amount to anything. So isn’t this somewhat annoying? She doesn’t really make mix around with the other characters thus her character is shrouded in mystery. Sachi is also annoying. The way she perfectly sings her master’s song sounds great or amusing thanks to the great backup vocals but does she have to kill those who accidentally witness her pouring out her utmost love for her master? So what happens if somebody accidentally captured her performance on video and uploaded it onto YouTube? You guessed it. She’ll kill everybody in the entire world! Sakura is plainly annoying, Yayoi is cutely annoying, the afro guy is annoyingly weak (do baby chicks really live in his afro?) and Shuzan is just an annoying baka oya (dumb loving parent). Concluding my annoying list of characters is the group of macho muscle men led by Macho Munakata. Besides serving as side distractions and a chance to flex their muscles, it feels so gay… So annoying… But funny.

As the plot isn’t the strongest point of this series, there are many things that made me scratch my head and left wondering. Take for instance the showdown between Natsuno and Hami/Hotaru. I’m not sure if it is because I wasn’t paying attention so I didn’t get the clues dropped along the way. If Hami wrote her Celestial Romance book and imbued some sort of subconscious command to readers who read certain lines, how come she knows how Shinobu’s looks? I mean, the line to react and become a zombie somewhat describes Natsuno, right? So how did she know Natsuno is Shinobu? And how or when did the entire people of the town or the staffs of the inn enter this state? I don’t think they were reading it together at the same time. Even if they had read it prior, shouldn’t like, say the staffs of the inn reacted when they first see Natsuno walking into the inn? (Like how Natsuno reacted when she first saw herself in the mirror). Why wait till somewhere later in the hotspring to take action? And how did they gather at the same place where Natsuno is? Is there some sort of trigger? Maybe Shuzan is the culprit since he is always seen mysteriously stalking Natsuno before his cover was blown. But does that mean in the future others who read Celestial Romance won’t turn into a zombie and attack Natsuno? Then there is the case of how Natsuno and Suzuna are the only ones who could hear Kazuhito’s thoughts. Maybe in the case of Natsuno, it is some sort of divine punishment for ignoring her surroundings and letting a boy die in her stead. But Suzuna?

Other things that continue to bug me include the romance part especially if Natsuno is falling for Kazuhito as a dog or as a person. If she really falls in love with him as a mutt, then thinking about this entire romance thingy would just make me sick. It’s already hard and tough for many to accept same sex relationships but thanks to anime, too much yaoi and yuri could probably soften your stand against gays and lesbians (or not). So now if you think about Natsuno actually marrying a dog and bearing dog children, don’t you think this has gone a little too far and more than just absurd? Does Natsuno seriously believe in making out with a dog? There are a lot of morally wrong issues here then. The only time you get to see a human and a dog make out is in some very sick and twisted hentai video that only the very mentally ill would watch. Beastility. Therefore, is Natsuno is serious in sleeping with Kazuhito the dog? Unless of course, it is all just a big tease. But I beg to differ because watching her go in her swooning or fawning mode, I think those feelings are genuine. Unless of course, she’s a bloody good actor. I’m not sure if Kazuhito wants to tell the rest of the world or his close friends and family that he is a dog. Although he can’t talk, maybe his paws cannot hold a pen, at least he is smart enough to arrange some alphabet blocks, right? So for Madoka’s case, she is just assuming the dog is her brother and not really sure it is him. So by displaying that kind of intelligence to inform Madoka, maybe it will solve lots or things. Or maybe it’ll get worse. I know. The curry. I suppose he has lots of good reasons why he doesn’t want to do so. He’ll attract unwanted attention and be hounded to be turned into a freak show. Sure, he can depend on Natsuno to cut and protect him but why draw in trouble in the first place?

Despite some mind boggling and I-don’t-get-it-stuffs in this series, this anime also has some good points and despite not telling it directly, it is trying to cultivate a reading culture in us. Okay, I was just highly speculating that since the main protagonist is a bookworm and there are books, books and more books everywhere we go in the anime. I figure even if the anime doesn’t intend to promote reading, maybe with all the books in your face, there would be some sort of sub-conscious effect to make you go read. Like how Hami turned her readers into zombies. Something like that. But it’s not working since I still dislike reading ;p. But really. Using a dog as a mascot to promote reading? I think I’ll have a better chance in turning over a new leaf if they put a cute bishoujo instead. And yeah. That’s about it the good encouraging point I can think of. The rest I feel are not to be imitated anytime or anywhere. Do not play with scissors unless you are like a pro-cum-sadist that views scissors as a torture tool-cum-weapon. Do not display your masochistic side of behaviour in public. Do not try to shine so hard in public (let it come naturally, for God’s sakes). Do not sing in public unless you really want to be on American Idol. Learn to say no (and a big one) if your little sister insists cooking you curry that turns out in any colour but yellow or orange or dark brown. And more importantly, don’t kill yourself so easily or chicken out quickly. Make up your mind, be steadfast and stick to it! Yes, this is more important than DO NOT ABUSE YOUR DOG!

For the voice acting part, Marina Inoue did a good job portraying the various mood swings Natsuno has. From her dominating personality to her tsundere or love stricken mode. Her Natsuno character somewhat reminds me of her other role as Yozora in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai. Just add a pair of scissors in hand and turn her into a best-selling author. The other ‘best’ voice acting goes to Shizuka Itou as Suzuna (Haruka in Amagami SS). As we know how perverted that masochist is, Shizuka Itou brings out the ‘best’ in the character by really making her sound so horny. So much so I think she herself is having orgasm while voicing her lines. Really. Kana Asumi is identifiable as Madoka but she didn’t go into her joker-like voice and since her character borders yandere/crazy mode, reminds me a bit of Strength/Yuu in Black Rock Shooter. Other casts include Takahiro Sakurai as Kazuhito (Suzaku in Code Geass), Ai Kakuma as Hami (Hikari in Campione), Yuu Serizawa as Maxi (Tenma in Mushibugyou), Chiwa Saito as Sachi (Kirie in Girls Bravo), Maaya Uchida as Sakura (Mao in GJ-Bu) and Hiromi Igarashi as Yayoi (Hina in Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai).

I didn’t really find anything special about the opening theme. Wan Wan Wan Wan N_1!! by the female seiyuus of this series sounds like your generic lively anime pop music but the amusing thing in the opening credits is the characters doing their random doggie dance. Lemonade Scandal by Yuu Serizawa is the ending theme and I guess since we have an idol in the anime, it’s only right for her to sign us a song. Nothing spectacular about this one and perhaps the thing that would catch your attention at the very beginning of the ending credits is Natsuno in her black underwear. Ah, fanservice. Especially after that first episode where we see her in her black lacy lingerie (who cares about the mecha scissors she is piloting anyway), it felt like a tease because after that you don’t really get to see her in it anymore. Suzuna provides most of the boobies but she is being too masochistic and sick that you would rather feel annoyed than anything fanservice-y. On a trivial note, some of the episode titles are amusing because even though all of them have the ‘dog’ word in it, some are modifications of idioms like “Strike While The Dog Is Hot” or “Drowning Men Clutch At Dogs” or “Nothing Ventured, No Dog Gained” or even “There Is No Smoke Without Dog”. Yeah, it’s a dog’s life literally.

I just realized that despite Natsuno always wielding a pair of sharp scissors, as an author (and a best-selling one), it is her tongue that is really the sharp one. In addition to physical cuts, you’ll get emotional cuts from her verbal abuses. But really. I thought she could do better than insulting Kazuhito with names like mongrel or perverted dog. If she is going to hurt him in such a way, might as well go all the way. There is sometimes a very fine line between pleasure and pain. One man’s/dog’s meat/pain is another man’s/woman’s poison/pleasure. At the end of the day, I’m not going to be a sadist or a masochist because I’m not really cut out for it. And for those feeling the urge to ‘cut’ dogs, I suggest the only cutting you do is snip those cute dog pictures from the magazine and paste them in your personal cute dog collection album. This is what and how a scissors should be used for.

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