Stella No Mahou

April 22, 2017

Wait a minute. Wasn’t it not too long ago that we had a bunch of females making video games? Well, if you do not like the setting of a game company and would prefer the environment of high school girls making games, Stella No Mahou is what is right for you. I think. You may argue that D-Frag is also a high school setting but because of feminism and the need to eliminate any single guy from the entire series and you don’t want to be viewed as an idiot for watching a hilarious (some read it is stupid) slapstick comedy, then this series has got it all for you. All girls. High school setting. Cute and moe. Cute girls doing cute… Uhm, cute game programming?

Episode 1
Tamaki Honda and her friend, Yumine Fuda head to Hoshinotsuji for their first day of high school. As usual, there are many clubs recruiting for new members. One of the clubs is a game making club. But both the members, Ayame Seki and Shiina Murakami seem ‘dead’! The duo try out the action puzzle demo and since the PC freeze, they almost died of heart attack. I can understand putting your heart and soul in making a game only for everything to hang. They reboot and the duo try it out. Tamaki is impressed and asks more questions. Not sure if Shiina is being a pessimist because she keeps repeating how hard it is to make games. Yumine can’t join since she has her own commitments and Tamaki is unsure of her own ability. Tamaki ponders what kind of life she has been leading. Reading, drawing, copy drawing and doodling. Doesn’t look so proud there. When Tamaki remembers grandma praising her for some paper game she made, she decides to go back to the club. This time she meets another member, Kayo Fujikawa who is in charge of the game’s music. At first Kayo is sad that Tamaki was engrossed in the game that she didn’t notice her BGM but that also means the game is a success if she didn’t hear her music. Is she saying her music sucks? Tamaki wants to join this club because she likes the illustration and wants to learn more. However they tell her the person in charge of illustrations has already graduated. They were hoping to find a talented one through this recruitment drive. Of course Tamaki will try her best and without hesitation joins the club. They have her draw a test sample. Well, that looks quite surreal. Next day, Tamaki shows up at the clubroom as they all formally introduce themselves. Shiina is the programmer and her ‘serious’ eyes helped Tamaki decide to join this club. Actually she stayed up all night programming and trying to fit in the whims and last minute fancies of certain people. Don’t get on her bad side when she is in this bad mood. Ayame is the story and scriptwriter while Kayo handles to BGM and SFX. So what is their club called? Shinda Sakana No Me (Dead Fish Eyes) Nisshou Busoku (Not Enough Sun) Shuttle Run Club. SNS for short. Deep name… Don’t ask… They discuss the details of their next puzzle game. They caution Tamaki they want this game out by Summer Comiket so there are deadlines to meet. Thus this is not an easy task and hopefully she won’t burnt herself out. Tamaki is confident she has got passion for this. Let’s hope so. They give her the demo game they recently made to her because they want to incorporate her style into their next game. And so Tamaki’s first night she burns the midnight oil copying the illustration style.

Episode 2
Tamaki is happy that all the club members somewhat meet while on their way to school. It’s like they’re in sync. But the mere mention of that has Ayame feeling down because it means they’re a small club and Tamaki was the only freshman who joined. Let’s hope they got more members along the way. When Tamaki enters the clubroom, she sees and hears Ayame passionately acting out her storyline. Wait. Ayame is crying upon realizing Tamaki was watching? Tamaki tries to go away but Ayame changes the subject by wanting to see her sketches. They’ll trade stories and sketches. But Ayame realizes an old embarrassing story she doesn’t want Tamaki to hear. Shiina almost recites it out… Everyone heads to the café where Kayo works part time to brainstorm. It seems Tamaki cannot start drawing until Ayame figures out a story. Because it descends into a noisy past digging (Ayame and Shiina trying to outdo the other), Kayo kicks them out. When Tamaki takes the train home, she realizes Ayame’s sketchbook is in her back. Ayame is frantically searching for it because the story is her life. Imagine her horror when she learns it is in Tamaki’s hands and she has read her adult-like story. She keeps denying it is her old self. Because Tamaki has some chores to do, Yumine will help pass her sketches to the club. She had always wanted to see what her club is like. You know she’ll be in for a weird ride when she reads the long ass club name. Expressive name? Then Shiina is really scared about Yumine thinking she would spread bad stuffs about the club. Kayo is making weird annoying sounds in her bid to find the right one. Yumine blows her top thinking the club is trying to make Tamaki draw lewd stuffs but they explain. When Yumine asks if Tamaki is being taught by anyone, they contemplate if they should bring up their senior’s name, Teru Hyakutake AKA Temawari. Apparently she is also a famous illustrator and Yumine is a big fan of her. Guess what? Yumine too has her own quirk. She is a fujoshi! Seeing their work is in line with some BL theme, Yumine agrees to help with Tamaki’s work. When Yumine returns the sketchbook, Tamaki asks about her members’ thoughts. At first Yumine is in a dilemma on what to say but tells her the truth that as long as she is happy when she draws, that is all that matters. Next time, Tamaki shows the sketches herself. They’ll try to incorporate her drawings into the story. Yumine will help Tamaki if she helps with her projects too. Of course the real intention is that she doesn’t want Tamaki to hog drawing all the BL stuff. Naughty girl…

Episode 3
Shiina suggests an outing. That’s because Ayame is running late on her storyboard. Don’t want the club to end up rotting and then disbanded, would you? Everyone converges at Tamaki’s house in the outskirts. Shiina installs the necessary programmes on her PC so she can do her digital drawing. They then brainstorm the visual novel adventure game they want to make. However Ayame is still having writer’s block and it is really getting to her. Is it because they dropped the love comedy plot for this adventure? Kayo helps give some motivation by mixing a recently recorded sound. Funny enough to give Ayame some encouragement but it made Tamaki’s grandma mad and out to kill! She thinks someone is playing with the bamboo clacker! This is going to be a long lecture… As Shiina teaches Tamaki the software, the latter asks how the club got its name. To cut things short, the trio were in charge to name it. Each pick out a name from the suggestion box. All 3 names were from Shiina’s suggestions. Shiina also recalls the progress the club made and how fun it was during the year. It would have been a boring life without the club. After dinner and bath, Ayame has finished part of her story and copies it for the rest to read. I’m going to spare you the details seeing I myself don’t really understand what is going on. All I know is that there are the main protagonists, Stella and Samyu. Stella is sick or something and Samyu has to find a cure. There is a bad end and true ending in which Ayame wanted to make the latter more interesting with a .exe popping up on the screen but that will be just suspicious as people would think it is a virus or something. When Yumine is going to read Ayame’s old story, she tries to stop her. Grandma just walked in with snacks and Ayame crashes into her. Oh no. Not again. In the end, everyone goes to the public bath to bathe. Ayame and Kayo observe the good rapport between Tamaki and Shiina. And Yumine couldn’t shut up about her BL fantasies. Or is it yuri fantasy with Tamaki? While her friends are sleeping, Tamaki continues to practice what Shiina taught her.

Episode 4
Tamaki continues her drawing in class. Her fellow classmates, Marika Shimizu the halfie and Natsu Iino the animal lover give their 2 cents worth. Tamaki is so into her scribbling that she couldn’t pay attention in class. However she is also in a slump and as she sits by the riverbank eating candy and accidentally dropping it, she observes the cat licking it and wishes she was one. Then a strange cat girl pops up. More like a crazy girl cosplaying as one. She is Teru and volunteers to be her model. After looking through her sketches, Teru can tell who she is and wants to keep the sketchbook. In return, she treats Tamaki to snacks. Tamaki wants her sketchbook back but Teru asks why she is trying so hard to make a game because it is difficult. Is she being forced to draw? Tamaki thinks back of all the times SNS spent together and mentions they genuinely wants to make a game. Seeing how passionate she is, Teru gives her sketchbook back and believes she’ll create something great. Of course this Teru is SNS’ graduated senior. She visits Kayo at her café and decides to give a little cash donation after seeing today’s ‘cute kitten’. Discussing with the other girls this heavenly fund, Tamaki cannot remember Teru’s name as she was preoccupied with the sketchbook but feels something familiar about the cat girl that her pals are talking about. They plan to use this money to get Tamaki a scanner. As they browse, Tamaki remembers she forgot her sketchbook. She manages to get it but it soon pours. Luckily Ayame’s house is nearby so they take respite there. Ayame’s younger brother, Haruma seems to be having love at first sight on Tamaki. Till he realizes she is older than her petite looks. Haruma is also into drawing and he takes up Tamaki’s request to teach her some. Shiina plugs in the scanner and uploads some of the sketches in Tamaki’s sketchbook. So far she has completed Stella and Samyu only. Haruma suggests using search engines for ideas because if she is going to draw, she needs to look at lots of things and use it as model. Didn’t think of that, did she? Then the question that the girls ask that has Haruma’s heart stop for a while: Does Tamaki have a boyfriend? The only guy in her life now is her dad. Is he disappointed or relieved? Ayame teases him about his first love that will be unrequited but he hits back saying she never has a boyfriend. Let the sibling rivalry begin!

Episode 5
Tamaki falls ill. I know she overworked herself but what’s this about Shiina saying she looked at too many manga for men and can barely breathe? Is that a joke? Shiina and Ayame are kind enough to go out their way to go visit her. Since the deadline is coming up, they have to complete their work there too. Ayame’s fears come true when Haruma reads over her script over the phone to Shiina so she could programme it. Embarrassing story? When Shiina goes to make porridge, Ayame tells Tamaki more about her friendship with Shiina. Tamaki feels restless that she couldn’t help but as Shiina points out, her part there is more than enough time to make it so please concentrate and recover. The next day she is well again. However Ayame relays the devastating news that their club’s name isn’t selected. This means even if they completed the game, they still can’t enter Summer Comiket. I guess Ayame couldn’t bring herself to tell everyone yesterday. Don’t worry, they can enter the next event. That’s in 6 days… This means Tamaki, Shiina and Ayame will be staying overnight at the clubroom to rush things out. They’ve brought their favourite stuffs to get through the night like snacks and for Tamaki it is a picture of her dad. As punishment, Ayame gets a big load of work share. Kayo relays message that she wants to do more sound effects and BGM but Shiina ‘strangles’ the laptop that they don’t have time and to stick with the schedule! They are so focused in finishing their job that they push anyone else away at the door. Including a newbie who wants to join. Later! When there is no word from Kayo for 5 hours (no she isn’t sleeping either), they fear she might have quit. Remember, they are making this game on voluntary basis without pay and can’t force anyone to work. Tamaki feels depressed but chooses to believe in her. Then a message from Kayo came. She has just finished 6 songs and has sent it to them. The trio then make a final last spurt to finish up the game, Stella No Mahou. As explained by Shiina, Stella isn’t just the protagonist as there is another hidden meaning for her name. Because the game is collectively made by 5 different people like a star, and thus this phenomenon is what she calls ‘stellar’ magic.

Episode 6
When they arrive outside the exhibition hall, Shiina gets panic attack and falls sick. She excuses herself home after passing the baton and making it sound like a dying wish. Ayame couldn’t be more appalled because apparently she has been pulling this sort of trick since young. So the duo man their booth and with nobody approaching it, Tamaki starts thinking it is her drawing when in reality Ayame says it is because they did no advertising whatsoever. Yumine is also here but she can’t stop and say hi as she wants to get Temawari’s works. When they finally have their first customer, Tamaki panics as the customer is taken in by her drawing and wants her to sketch in her sketchbook. She is pleased and even has Tamaki autograph it. In the afternoon, they have more sales. One of them was Teru in disguise and they couldn’t recognize her. She is glad they are doing fine. When they go home, Shiina calls Ayame to apologize she couldn’t help. She still sounds very sick. Rest up. Once she is well, everyone gathers at Ayame’s house to celebrate. Kayo is thanking Tamaki for covering her. She is being too close so Yumine blows her top. What’s her problem? Well, she thinks Tamaki should be the dominant one. Oh, it’s her delusion. Tamaki doesn’t even know what it means… Too angelic. Shiina suggests telling Tamaki how SNS was formed like Ayame was from the drama club and when Teru read her script and suggested making a game out of it, it was the birth of the club. Tamaki would love to hear each of their past stories but how far can they dig before it gets forbidden? Instead, Tamaki wants to tell love stories. Is this so she can praise her dad? Yeah, it’s the only guy she loves. Shiina surprises everyone that she has received a love letter before. However she didn’t know what to do with it and thought it was a prank and gave it to the teacher. Too harsh, too negative. Yumine and Tamaki walk home. Yumine reveals her parents aren’t open minded to such genres and they had a fight. But Yumine proved it by improving her grades so they tolerate it. Tamaki might look like she has overworked herself with hectic last minute spurts. But now she has a glowing wonderful smile.

Episode 7
Tamaki is shocked when Kayo starts saying stuffs like “I love you” before her. Turns out she is trying to compose a poem for her senior (Teru). Tamaki misinterprets this for a guy and panics. Learning she is composing another poem, she wonders who it is for. Ayame. More panic. Even more so when Kayo wants her help to talk more about her dad’s love! Yeah, that’s complicated. When Yumine notices Tamaki spacing out and asks why, imagine the fury she has when she misinterprets about Tamaki trying to help Kayo out with her complicated love! Nobody steals her best friend! Kayo ushers Tamaki into a room alone as part of the plan to help out with her ‘love’. More misinterpretations when she starts saying things like making babies (her composition). When Kayo tries to find her scenario sheet, she accidentally fall on top of Tamaki. Right at that moment Yumine walks in. Luckily she didn’t turn into a yandere and quickly takes Tamaki away. Later Tamaki realizes all the misunderstanding. As she explains it to Yumine, she starts thinking BL stuffs about them. This excites her and will support Tamaki! Tamaki tells us her flashback how she became friends with Yumine. She was always absent due to illness and one day she has to take notes to her house. In her bid to be friends with her, Tamaki often tried to talk and share her games. However Yumine did not welcome this and scolds her to go home. She thought Tamaki is the same like the rest who thinks she is getting preferential treatment just because she is sick. In class, Tamaki gets deep in philosophy asking why are friends, you know, friends. Something about studying together, eat together, blah, blah, blah. Wow. Does Tamaki understand all that? She gets this idea to make a board game to play with Yumine. It is so badly created and Tamaki getting all the bad turns, it made Yumine laugh. Ever since, Yumine opened up, came to school more often and made friends. The duo became best of friends and gradually Yumine became a BL fanatic. Tamaki is thankful to games that they became friends. She also got to meet nice people at SNS and hopes to meet all kinds of people through games. Suddenly Tamaki is grabbed by this mad girl who wants to challenge her after making a fool out of her that time. Who the f*ck is she?!

Episode 8
Remember that newbie who wanted to join but was shooed away because they were chaotic in finishing the game? Yup. Minaha. She is from the illustration club and challenges Tamaki to create character designs from a story that sounds so much written by Ayame (it is). If Tamaki loses, she must give her a game from SNS. Well, I think she wants more people to play SNS’ game. In the end, Minaha realizes she has lost to Tamaki’s ‘superior’ drawing. She’s really being sore about it. Tamaki gives her Stella No Mahou to play anyway. She accepts but will challenge again her next time. Next day, Minaha barges into the clubroom crying. She played the entire game and when she finally reached the true ending, some bug froze her screen! That’s the problem? Well, despair for Shiina. Minaha adds that she tried to find a patch on the homepage but it looked so pathetic. Well, more despair for Shiina. They give her an updated version with the bugs fixed. She wants to play right now so Kayo lends her notebook. Minaha likes the quick fix, the sound and the story. As she isn’t swayed by the lousy art, a reason to be obnoxious to Tamaki? Furthermore she doesn’t like Ayame, not knowing that she is the story writer who goes under the pseudo name of Iris. Even when she signs her autograph, Minaha blows her top thinking she is an imposter! They want to let her join but it seems Minaha has changed her mind. Initially she wanted to join SNS during the recruitment day but the members were sleeping. So she joined the illustration club but as it got more boring, she became curious of what SNS is about. Minaha suggests creating detailed member profiles for their webpage. Is this some sort of challenge to make Tamaki draw? So while Tamaki hangs out with Yumine, she gets inspired when Yumine got clickbait. You know, an article with a seemingly attracting headline but clicking on its link leads you to an entirely different article. So when Tamaki introduces this to SNS, they’re lost. Even when she demonstrates, it got even more lost. What was this about again? Minaha has drawn her own profile. But since she is not an official member, they can’t let her submit. Care to join? Not a chance. Minaha chastises Tamaki for not drawing her own. Well, it’s because Minaha is way better, right? But Tamaki is motivated when Minaha gives an example of a cherished gift because it was made just for you. Minaha leaves in hopes of drawing more illustrations to be worthy of Iris. I think somebody should really tell her that…

Episode 9
Shiina is already wondering if she can helm the job as the club president when Tamaki suddenly runs to her crying! She is worried she might kick her out of the club if she can’t draw anymore! Better talk this in private before the public thinks this is some sort of love triangle. Apparently Tamaki is in a slump. Worse, she had that dream Minaha was better than her and Shiina dumped Tamaki for her. Tamaki then sees Minaha in her class trying to spread the word about this story by Iris. Yumine stops her thinking she is picking on Tamaki and then argues some BL position. Huh? Ayame helps Tamaki alleviate some of her slump worries. This has Shiina believe she would make a better club president. She must have taken it quite literally so she takes off her glasses to look all sparkly. Because of her different respectable look, Minaha thinks she is Iris. Plus, Ayame’s bad eyesight means she cannot identify Minaha. After getting her autograph, Minaha is certain she wants to join SNS. Tamaki is worried. Does a club need 2 illustrators? Shiina doesn’t see a problem if their art style matches. At first Ayame disagrees but after a few discussions and how they’re going to do debut a new game at Summer Comiket, looks like everything worked out. Their entry at Summer Comiket will be called Stardust Intenzione. Next day, looks like Marika is a newly convert after reading Stardust Intenzione. Tamaki still isn’t confident about her drawing so she has Natsu give some advice. Just keep practising. Her classmates take turns to sketch each other. In the clubroom, Tamaki seeks Minaha’s help to improve and surprisingly she helps out without objection. When the rest come in, they tell them their work at Summer Comiket will be displayed by Temawari in exchange they help out in sales. Tamaki doesn’t understand why club activities are ending so early. Because tomorrow is the test. But back home instead of studying, she continues drawing to improve herself. Just one more drawing before picking up a book… I believe at this rate she is never going to make it. You can tell she screwed up when she accidentally sends her selfies to Natsu. And now the regret of she should have studied more after the tests ends. It wasn’t only Tamaki who had problems in her test, Ayame too. Perhaps it was the email she got yesterday praising her story that made her too happy to study.

Episode 10
Tamaki meets up with Teru and the latter is pleased with the game they made. Teru plans on sneaking around the school and has already dressed up in her old uniform. Because Teru steals her hair ribbon, Tamaki is walking around with a new mature look that has other girls wondering who this babe is. It’s both embarrassing and exciting for Tamaki. Minaha continues to lecture Tamaki about her drawings and Teru also butts in to have her say. If you’re wondering why Minaha needs to call beforehand to enter SNS, it’s because so Ayame can have time to turn into Iris! It’s time to be awesome. Minaha is still dense and cannot put the picture together about Iris and Ayame. Though she notices that glass girl isn’t around but it is more of some silly reasons about her being punished. Then the inevitable. Minaha and Tamaki argue over who is the better illustrator and wants Iris to choose! This is going to take a while… Later Shiina tells Tamaki it doesn’t matter who is better as each has their own individual quality. However Tamaki snaps back that she wants to draw good pictures before realizing her rudeness. When she runs out, she accidentally drops Shiina’s laptop she borrowed. Oh no. Doesn’t turn on. It’s broken! Panicking, since Teru is nearby, she pleads to accompany her to go apologize. But Teru just leaves back her ribbon and a note to try her best. So Tamaki stalks Shiina on her way home and eventually Shiina lets her in. Shiina’s mom seems to be the kind of mother who wants her daughter to bring back a boyfriend. She doesn’t mind if it’s the same gender too… Oddly, Tamaki tries to strip to apologize?! They are shortly interrupted when Ayame is here. Apparently her makeup is still on and since this scares her brothers, she is here to borrow some makeup remover before returning home. Tamaki apologizes for breaking her laptop. However it works fine when Shiina plugs in power. It just ran out of battery. Phew. As they reconcile, the good mood is ruined when Minaha barges in since she is here to learn game scripting from Shiina. I see Ayame didn’t remove her makeup as she continues to play Iris. Worse, Shiina’s mom welcomes them to stay for the night, allows them to take energy drinks and snacks and has prepared the bath and sleeping bags for them. Shiina didn’t like this but the promise to liven up SNS to Teru is more important as she goes back working with her friends.

Episode 11
The girls are burning the midnight oil to finish their game. Suddenly Natsu knock on their door looking for her little sister. Who? WHO?! MINAHA?! She is mad at Minaha for breaking her curfew and because of that, grandma is mad. She takes her home in her limo. Wow… When Minaha doesn’t come for club activities anymore, Tamaki finds out from Natsu that strict grandma has barred her from everything including Summer Comiket. Shiina would like Minaha back so they can keep up with the schedule so Tamaki is going to her house and talk. She’s bringing Ayame in hopes as Iris would change her mind. Well, she’s making Ayame go as her bespectacled self in hopes Minaha can connect the dots. Let’s hope she won’t be disillusioned. Natsu’s family house is much bigger than Tamaki’s! Damn rich kids. As the duo talk with Natsu and Minaha, Natsu explains ever since Minaha hangs out with SNS, her grades have dropped as she stayed out more often. Previously Natsu was able to cover for her when grandma blows her top but this one has grown too big for anything. Natsu lectures about drawing being a hobby and she is just conceited if she thinks she can draw the things she can only draw. Ayame disagrees and argues about the passion they put in. Then Natsu makes her read collections from some graduating class. I guess they are Ayame’s works so she couldn’t read it eventually. Minaha’s heart feels conflicted as Ayame is giving out a sense like as though she is Iris. It’s right under your nose… Natsu agrees to convince grandma provided Tamaki and Minaha score 70% in all of their term exams. All of them. Don’t worry. They have energy drinks to help keep them awake for tonight’s study session! Déjà vu hell? After the term exams, Tamaki and Minaha continue drawing. As Tamaki is still bugged by Natsu and Ayame’s argument, she goes out for a walk and bumps into Teru. Tamaki is so down that Teru can tell as she hugs her and gives some advice. This gives Tamaki motivation to draw more about her dad. As she rushes home, Minaha is here because it will be faster to get things done if they do things together. Unfortunately because Tamaki’s house is so far away, it will be far past her curfew when she gets back. What to do? Hope Natsu will come up with an excuse for grandma? Because Teru drops by and says she won’t be going home tonight (she’s staying?), this gives Minaha the reason to stay for the night and finish the job.

Episode 12
The day of Summer Comiket is here. Because Tamaki forgot to set her alarm, Minaha and Natsu have to drive all the way in their limo to pick her up. The rest are already heading there via ferry. When they arrive, Yumine is also there. Since Minaha still doesn’t get along with her, b*tch mode all the way. The hall is crowded with people and after going through the BL section, they finally see their booth. They have to immediately get to work because of the long queue. The crowd eases in the afternoon. Marika comes by to buy a game. There is also a customer whom Tamaki remembers visiting from the previous exhibition. She is amazed with their artwork and Tamaki credits Minaha for it. She also credits her as the leader although embarrassed Minaha denies. However the rest of the girls support that Minaha deserves most of the credit as many of the ideas were from her. Meanwhile Natsu and Teru are spying on them faraway via telescope? The day ends well for our girls. Next day, they visit the beach as wrap up party. Initially Tamaki called Minaha to come over but the latter was acting cocky that they aren’t friends but rivals, blah, blah, blah. Now she is complaining while only watching them play in the sand inside her car. Even more vexing is that Yumine is joining them and she isn’t part of SNS! Just go join them already. When the girls relax, they notice something is bugging Tamaki. She realizes the most important thing about joining this club is not to draw but to make a game that makes people smile. She wants to create a game with her own ideas. The rest agree with her idea and feels it is their turn to support her. But Winter Comiket applications are due tomorrow! And they should have seen it coming that Tamaki wants a game with old men! I’m wondering why everybody is smiling when they are giving ‘warning’s about the tight schedules, meetings and hard work everybody needs to put in. Because what the heck, they’re going to try their best anyway, right?

Special 1
Taking place during the spring break where Teru has graduated and Tamaki hasn’t joined yet, Kayo seems pretty distanced. Next morning, Kayo receives a call from Ayame to wish her happy birthday! She would appreciate if she’d just text her and allow her to sleep. Oh, Ayame and Shiina are already outside her house now! Apparently they know her birthday since last year Teru asked them about it. Plus, it was actually Shiina who remembered her birthday. They then borrow her kitchen to make her a birthday breakfast. Tastes good. Like her mom’s. Seconds please, mom! They might have pressed the wrong button when they ask why she looks dejected lately. Kayo has been feeling burnt out and has lots of free time lately. Thus she is reorganizing her thoughts and wondering what she should do with her musical activities from now on. The duo are worried that she might leave the club since her dream is to become a music professional. They change the subject by asking her what she wants for her birthday. Kayo shows an expensive keyboard with an analogue synthesizer. 70,000 Yen! Just kidding. She has been working and saving up for this. Instead, Kayo wants to go out on a date with Shiina since she is cute. Say what?! Just kidding too. Except for the cute part. Ayame wonders if she is worrying to much about making the right decision or just being insecure.

Special 2
Continuing from the last special, the trio walk around town to find Kayo a present. Kayo wonders why Shiina is being silent and should be enjoying herself more. This is after all their date. Ayame and Shiina ponder about buying a tea she likes. But since it is consumable, Ayame would prefer something she can still remember. What about clothes? Kayo doesn’t need them since she gets hand me downs from her sister. In the music shop, when Ayame asks if she would like to perform on stage, Kayo says she prefers making music. Though, she did think it would be fun if they started a band. She shows them the analogue synthesizer she wants. It might look ancient but it can only produce an analogue sound it can. At the crane game machine, it brings back lots of memories. They used to hang out with Teru here. Teru was obsessed in getting a cat doll. She spent too much and didn’t have enough to get home. Shiina covered for her. Eventually she never did get the prize. It is then Kayo realizes she likes Teru. Ever since she left, she felt a hole in her heart. Shiina then surprises them by giving a present to Kayo. It is that cat doll. Kayo pats her head but tells her she cannot be Teru’s replacement anyhow. But since this makes her happy so thank you. Kayo doesn’t want to be the laughing stock of her family by putting the doll in her room. So they decide to put it in the clubroom. The trio hope they get along well from now on.

Less Than Stellar Magic
Yawn… Oh, is it over already? Thank goodness. Unfortunately for me, with all the glitzy cuteness and everything, this is just boring in my books. It isn’t really about making a game but a group of girls making a game and their bond and interaction between them. I know I should have seen this coming and shouldn’t expect to learn something about making games (after all, this is high school setting). So compared with New Game, I’d say that this series fares worse in my books. I believe making a simple game isn’t as simple as we see here. Otherwise, why so many Kickstarter fails and disappointing games from big companies in recent years?

There are jokes and comedies here and there to make you laugh. Some spontaneous. However despite I have a few chuckles, overall they don’t really make me look forward to see what kind of shenanigans they will pull. I laugh at the silliness of the situation, I forget about it and move on till the next one comes. I guess it feels like the comedies here are short term because at this point I can’t really remember what the funniest memorable moments are in this series except for the characters’ running jokes.

Personally, the characters feel boring despite each of them has their own unique personality to make them stand out. Maybe I have been watching too many of such anime that I don’t really find characters in this genre appealing anymore (but will still continue to watch them because I’m always a sucker for this category). Sure, everyone has their own problems and dilemmas once in a while but they are not that serious to make us feel for them. Because we know they’ll eventually overcome it or be positive in facing it. So we have Tamaki the high pitched squeaky newbie who has her own passion and insecurities. She strives to continue to do better not only as a game artist but as well as an artist in general. The only thing that I have memorable about her is the running joke they keep spamming when they have the chance. The part where she goes on ranting about the love of her dad. Yeah, daddy’s girl. She is the kind of daughter whom all fathers in the world would love to have because you don’t have to worry about sneaky and shady boys wanting to date your little girl and always worrying if they’re going to get in her pants after each date. She is one of those characters who has a fetish for older men and this is a rare type because the only other character I know has this fetish is that weirdo in Kuragehime.

Then there is Ayame who always seem to get embarrassed by her past works. It’s like she’s writing it all down when the passion is flowing. Never mind what it is. After when it is all done and published, she only starts to regret and be ashamed of what kind of stories she wrote. This is what I’ll remember her for mostly. The same case for Yumine who isn’t only just a very close friend of Tamaki but some sort of fujoshi crazy girl who ironically loves to fantasize BL stuffs to the point where she turns her female friends into males just to get her fix. Don’t forget Minaha as the rascal and brat of the series, Tamaki’s rival and the non-believer that Ayame and Iris are the same person. At this rate she’ll never figure why they are never at the same place at the same time. I wonder why she hasn’t officially join SNS seeing that she spends most of her club time here. It’s like if there is real sh*t happening, she can quickly opt out because she’s not a real member anyway. Shiina feels like she has locked her emotions away deep inside or she lost them while growing up. Sometimes I want to think it is stress because from time to time you can see her getting depressed from certain things thinking it was her fault and such. Being a club president isn’t easy. At least all these characters have something that I could ‘remember’ them by because I don’t even for Kayo. I can’t think of the most prominent thing about this music producer.

Teru seems like she is trying to be portrayed as the mysterious girl because she keeps popping up from time to time before Tamaki like as though she is some sort of goddess or saviour. It’s understandable that now she is in college, she would want to see how her juniors and the club are doing. Ultimately, she is just keeping an eye on her juniors, that’s all. Nothing special to her. Natsu is surprisingly a responsible and mature character. So never write off a person despite her poker face because she can hold more influence and mandate when you least expected it. Oh, and shows like these always need some sort of halfie (usually Caucasian) because Japan is too homogenous a culture and country. Seriously.

Art and drawing wise, the character designs are mostly going for the kawaii and moe type. Therefore instead of having nerdy looking high school girls, you have super kawaii joshikousei instead. Hence if I were to compare of all game programming anime series based on this category, it would be my least favourite. Not to say that kawaii girls are bad but when you look at D-Frag and even New Game, those have better looking characters, am I right? Animated by Silverlink who gave us titles like Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya series, Kokoro Connect, Cube x Cursed, Curious, Chaos Dragon and Non Non Biyori.

It was a big surprise for me to find out that Aoi Yuuki was the one behind Kayo. Throughout the years of stereotyping her voice and despite she did take several roles that does away with that genki trademark voice of hers (like that frog girl in Boku No Hero Academia), she is virtually unrecognizable here. Sure, it’s part of her character role but it feels like as though she’s grown up so much. Worse, sometimes straining my ears to confirm it is her doesn’t help and somehow I ended thinking she is Ami Koshimizu. Woah… That’s a big difference. The only seiyuu I recognize is Satomi Arai as Shiina’s mom. The rest of the casts include Maria Naganawa as Tamaki (Theia in Rokujouma No Shinryakusha), Ari Ozawa as Ayame (Kirin Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Rie Murakawa as Shiina (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori), Ayaka Imamura as Minaho (Munemune in Shakunetsu No Takkyuu Musume), Ryouko Maekawa as Yumine (Sayaka Sasayama in Yugioh Arc V), Chinatsu Akasaki as Teru (Yasuna in Kill Me Baby), You Taichi as Natsu (Anzu in Prison School) and Shino Shimoji as Marika (Akari Oozoa in Aikatsu series).

The opening theme is God Save The Girls by Shino Shimoji. God, I wanted to make a pun about this song title about saving the anime… Anyway, a typical anime pop piece but the opening credits animation is interesting since some of it is in old fashion retro style 2D pixels and old gamers might feel the nostalgia. Also featured here are the experience levels of the girls. I believe it must be the computer programming skill levels or the motivation level of the girls. Not that I can understand since they’re all in hiragana. Too lazy to find out… The weird one is the ending theme. Yonaka and Jikaru by the duet of Maria Naganawa and Ryouko Maekawa doesn’t feel so much like a song sung by them. They just sing a few lines and the rest of them are like instrumental. Because the other parts they were like just going, “Hooooooooooo~”. The song sounds a bit space-y which really compliments the pleasingly colourful basic shapes.

Maybe I am too ‘advanced’ in my animes to appreciate this kind of simple anime anymore. I don’t think I can classify this series as calming and cleansing the toxic soul like how Tamayura does it. Close, but not similar. It makes me wonder if such shows like Tamayura pop up, I’ll be able to appreciate it anymore seeing I realize how contaminated my mind, heart and soul are to even value this kind of series. To be fair, this series isn’t very bad but if you are looking for something extraordinary, this series doesn’t break any new grounds either. It’s a good thing these girls don’t meet me if I ever come to their booth to buy their games. Because even with the special rate, discounts or other freebies they throw in, I’ll still find something to criticise. I wonder if they can take it all. Yeah, they’ll ban me from ever buying their games again.

Tari Tari Special

March 18, 2016

Wait. What? There was a special episode of Tari Tari released? And that was way back in December 2014?! What? When? How? Where? Why? I know. It came of a surprised to me recently when I saw this title while randomly browsing the internet. I thought my memory was bad (it is) so I was wondering if this must be an OVA of the series that I have watched (there was no OVA for it whatsoever). Then I double checked and discovered that this special is supposedly a new animation to be bundled with the BD box set. Ah… Well, if you are a fan of the series, you might as well want to grab this. Me? I can’t even remember what happened…

Being Cloudy, Shining, Singing Again Someday
It seems to be taking place after the events of the TV series considering everything feels like in the midst of winding up. Christmas is coming and Konatsu is definitely bullshitting about the origins of Christmas in feudal Japan. We know the fat guy in the red suit and white beard is the same too but it has been accepted worldwide ;p. So our Choir Club quintet are cleaning up their clubroom for one last time since nobody is going to be here next year. Next door, they hear the wind instrument club giving its seniors a retirement ceremony. Taichi wonders if they should hold their own retirement ceremony and Konatsu might sound like she is a wet blanket as she is against it. She even tells him to go and sing karaoke by himself if he wants it so badly. Her reason is that one can never quit music. It is all around them. You sing when you want to. Therefore it is meaningless to have such a retirement ceremony. Meanwhile Sawa is having an argument with her dad. I believe she wants to move out and live on her own. Dad is of course against it. He wants her to graduate from high school first and think about it but her mind has been made up. Eventually he puts his foot down that he won’t let her do part time work. Because he is her father. That’s final. But mom says that is his way of saying she can go. Wait. What? I don’t understand. Complicated family matters… Sawa then texts Wakana to have some tea since they aren’t having any retirement ceremony. Later in town, Konatsu must be embarrassed seeing Wien dressed as Santa as he sings in public with Taichi as his backup. Well, she did say to sing when he feels like it, right?

Tarinai? Mou Juubun Da…
Translation: Not enough? Enough already… So erm… Wait. What? I don’t really understand what this epilogue is supposed to mean since there is literally nothing important that goes on here. The fact that this special is only 11 minutes but only 7 minutes of it is actual running time and the rest at the end is just the ending theme in which it showcases snippets of scenes from the TV series. Hmmm… Come to think of it, I believe I did read this is what this special is about too. To showcase a new recorded song for the series. Well, I could say that the full length of Itsumademo Kagayaki Wo is quite a lovely piece especially the harmonization of their voices in this slow and lovely ballad. This song is the saving grace of this little special that would otherwise leave a dull impression on the series’ end. Okay, so I can’t remember much to remember what kind of impression I had on the TV series. Except for that really funny bad English line, “I don’t money”!!! Oh yeah. I really remembered that one.

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

November 22, 2015

Power and hierarchy. That is how the world works. Even at high school level. So the more powerful and higher rank your club is, the better facilities you get to enjoy. Well, it seems interesting that Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku has this kind of setting but I assure you that this anime isn’t about the dark side of this system or the people who abuse it or the newcomer dark horse that will bring this system down. Instead, we have a girl who is about to enter high school and hasn’t even decided on which school to enrol yet. And then there is one that caught her eye. Just by judging a cute girl on the brochure, from that point she decided that this is the high school that she wants to be in. Talk about judging a book by its cover. Is this the yuri harem dream! Cute girls here she comes she has always been dreaming of? Cute girls run for your life!

Ah yes. I can tell that this is going to be a funny action series. And of course the road to paradise isn’t going to be easy because since in this school, there is an intense battle system that pits students representing their clubs (though, only cultural clubs exist in this school), each possessing their own unique ability and power to battle one another. Don’t underestimate a yuri girl will let nothing stand in her way of her yuri paradise. Oh well, if you want to make your dream come true instead of staying a dream, what better way than to get your ass out there and kick some serious ass. Oh by the way, this series isn’t about her going around picking fights to reach to the top either. Just your ‘average’ girl loaded with lots of determination to seek her dream come true as she interacts and goes by her daily high school life with those around her. And participating in battles when necessary.

Episode 1
Yumiko cannot hold back her feelings as she confesses to Eruna Ichinomiya. I’m sure Eruna totally loves where this is going. Even if it is just a dating game… Till her mom reminds her not to waste her holidays and start looking for a high school to enrol for the next term. Yes, mom… Discussing with her friends about this, it seems she is picky on which high school to go. Uniform not cute? Out! Suddenly an asteroid crashes into the area! Yumiko and Eruna are the only survivors. They will begin their Eve and Eve journey from now. You’ve guessed it. Just a game she’s playing… Shigure Ninomiya, Eruna’s cousin who is fond of her (but the feeling is not mutual) tries to help her out with her dilemma and proposes the school that he is attending, Mikagura Academy. Upon seeing the cute uniform, her wildest fantasies take off. The model in the brochure is Seisa and the principal’s granddaughter. And so it is decided. Thanks to this cute girl and cute uniform, Eruna is going to apply here. It would have been better if she had prepared herself to study for the entrance exams instead of fantasizing away. So as the academy’s maid, Kurumi Narumi takes her to the entrance exam, she ignores Eruna’s lust and fantasies (how does it feel for giving Shigure this treatment?). Eruna thought the exam is a trick question because it is a very simple maths question. Next is an interview. A flying talking cat named Bimii?! Poke its eyes and pinch its cheek to check if you’re dreaming! Nope. Eruna thought she had failed the interview when Bimii says he already has the results. I mean, they didn’t even get started yet and she thought their silly conversation was the interview. Actually she passes on the basis that she could already see him. Yup. Pinch his cheeks one more time just to be sure she’s not dreaming.

On the first day of the new term, a handful of club members display some sort of power battle as a welcoming ceremony for the juniors. As explained, it is a rule for every student to join a club. There are perks by doing so. Clubs battle each other for points and the higher rank your club, the better facilities you have. Eruna is given her own electronic device so can check stats, etc. I’m sure Eruna isn’t sure what is going on but it looks fun. Bimii brings Eruna to her dorm and instantly she starts harassing this cute petite girl, Himi Yasaka from the Calligraphy Club. Himi takes Eruna to her room. Erm… Isn’t that just a sleeping bag along the corridor? This is what happens if you don’t join a club. See, the next person, Meika Katai in the sleeping bag is just shivering… So you want to join a club now? Of course. Himi has them take a calligraphy test. Katai passes but Eruna’s calligraphy feels like just some ink blot. You fail. Looks like we know where she’s sleeping tonight. Eruna wonders about which club Seisa belongs to. It is the Going Home Club but apparently it is a special club and they’re not recruiting. All Seisa does is just stay in the mansion and hardly comes to school. Even if Kurumi is Eruna’s homeroom teacher, it still doesn’t dismiss the fact that as long as she remains without a club, she’ll be discriminated like small food portion and only 5 minutes of shower. At the courtyard, there is a commotion. Asuhi Imizu from the Astronomy Club is apologizing to Kyouma Kuzuryu from Art Club for bumping into him but the way he is saying it makes the latter look like a bully. Till Seisa comes by to quell the situation. Seisa notices Eruna (cue for her delusions) as Bimii mentions about Eruna’s possibilities that may be on par with her. Seisa invites her to join her Going Home Club in which Eruna didn’t hesitate to say yes. Seisa’s motive is because next week there is a club battle and she doesn’t want to participate in it and send a representative instead. Whether Eruna is listening or not, she couldn’t be happier that her life is just about to begin. Let’s hope it’s for the better.

Episode 2
Now that Eruna is fantasizing about Seisa, does this mean she is two-timing Yumiko! Anyway, although Eruna has joined the club on a trial basis, the ‘discrimination’ is still there although just slightly improved. Kurumi explains about the battle system. Each student will have 3 crystals materializing over their head. They can break it anyhow and the student that has all his/her crystals broken loses the battle. As special powers are often used in club battles, some sort of summoning object is needed. Eruna isn’t sure about hers and thought of seeking Seisa for help. Unfortunately she is turned away. Well, isn’t Going Home Club about going home? Even Himi isn’t going to show her special attack to her. Bimii suggests visiting the top clubs to learn something. Kuzuryu is ignoring her, Sadamatsu Minatogawa of the Flower Arrangement Club demonstrates his flower power, Yuuto Akama from Drama Club displays his cloning illusion and Asuhi… He is so girly that Eruna couldn’t believe he is a guy. Asuhi mentions he is only interested in looking at the stars and never cared so much about the power he could use (because his telescope can shoot out powerful beams if it absorbs enough stars but the downside is that anyone can use it). Eruna ponders about Seisa’s power. Bimii explains she is the only person who can use her power without activating an item. Shigure is willing to be Eruna’s first test subject to awaken her power. Something tells me he is just being a masochist… Yeah… He loves Eruna hitting him with the bag and sleeping bag… Seisa talks to Eruna that at this state she cannot fight. Eruna suggests doing things together but due to their circumstances, it all seems impossible. Eruna then waxes lyrical at how amazing Seisa is. It makes her happy to join her club and this means she will try her very best. Eruna’s first opponent is Himi. Everyone can watch from the comfort of their personal device thanks to all the cameras installed around the school. As the match starts, Eruna runs away. No, she is not being chicken. She thought of hiding and then ambushing to take out all of her crystals in one go. But Himi anticipated this trick and played along. As a result, Eruna loses a crystal. Time to run and rethink her strategy. She stumbles into a sealed room. When she touches the altar, something inside her activates. By this time Himi has found her and initiates her brush strokes attack. However Eruna is able to dodge and run as fast as the Flash! The battle ends when Eruna’s power awakens. She uses her finger as a gun to fire a powerful blast that destroys all of Himi’s crystals. Biggest upset ever?

Episode 3
Eruna is being interviewed by Rumina Rikyuu from Newspaper Club but since she’s being exaggerative about her victory, I don’t think Rumina is all that interested. Keep dreaming… Now that Eruna has earned massive points, this allows her to buy her lots of breakfast. Yuuto and his animal named Drama Club members are here to greet Eruna not because of her win but because of the newspaper reporting her voracious appetite! How did they report so fast?! Eruna remembers she needs to report her win to Seisa and she brings Himi along with her. Seisa looks like half asleep and Eruna thought she could take this chance to harass her?! Thank goodness Kurumi is always on the alert. Although Eruna is being praised, Seisa notes that the only reason why she was able to win was because Himi let her guard down. Eruna argues that she is the chosen hero of the school and thus her victory was no fluke. Seisa suggests having a practice battle tomorrow. If she can take out just 1 of her crystals, she’ll officially join Going Home Club. Failure to do so not only has her provisional status revoked, she cannot join any club. Eruna accepts since she is confident she will win and live her yuri life with Seisa in this mansion! Eruna thought she wanted to practice with Asuhi first but Yuuto wants to spar with him and relegates Eruna into watching to learn a thing or two. The match begins with Asuhi frantically shooting everywhere but missing. It only took one strike for Yuuto to win the match. Eruna thought she felt something wrong about it but no time to think since her own match will be starting soon.

As usual, Eruna starts off with high spirits and getting zippy like the Flash. But is she that boring that Seisa has fallen asleep?! This might be her chance to break one of her crystals. But wait! Did she just pass through it? Before she knows it, Eruna lost a crystal. She tries her hand gun but it does not even amount to anything close to a pea shooter. Seisa unleashes her Killing Art move to destroy her remaining crystals. Game over. You lose. Looks like Eruna is now living in the streets and although you can’t blame her for feeling depressed, it’s not like her to be this down. Surprisingly Kuzuryu comes to cheer her up with milk but she steps on his feelings that she doesn’t drink milk (lactose intolerant?) and would like to exchange for something more expensive! She sure knows how to make him mad. He advises her power is incomplete and that her inexperience caused it not to activate properly. So getting experience by joining a club seems to be the only way. But all the clubs she visited, none seemed to fit her. Make her own club then. As long as it has 3 members, it should be fine. However at this time of year, new members are hard to find and after her pathetic lost, nobody would want to join a weak club. It is suggested she joins the rookie battle where she’ll get more attention and this should get her more club members. Late that night, Eruna is outside Seisa’s mansion, yelling at her renewed motivation to fight her again once she forms her own club. Then she builds her own cardboard clubroom outside her mansion. Pitiful but WTF. Seisa is not so black hearted to ignore her. Since it is raining, she invites her to sleep inside her mansion although she’ll be sleeping in the hallway in her sleeping bag. Good enough.

Episode 4
Yuuto narrates that when his parents divorced, it was perhaps his imperfection that led his mom to take his younger brother with her. That is why he is putting up a fake smile that everybody loves. To fool others, one must fool himself. Maybe that is why he keeps ‘stalking’ Asuhi as he sees shades of little brother in him. You have got to be amazed with Eruna’s optimism. Despite being given a bone for breakfast, she thinks it means she has been accepted as Seisa’s dog! Not even Kurumi’s warning that her food and lodging are being deducted from her points because this spurs her to work harder. She trains with Himi but it feels like trying her best to harass her. The Drama Club members think it is a good deal for her to train with them since many are rookies who will be participating in that rookie battle. And no matter how weird you look at this hero of justice, After School Six play that they practice, it still gives Eruna her much needed practice. But could it be this embarrassment that has Yuuto not amused? On the day the tournament bracket is announced, Eruna’s first round opponent will be Katai. Meanwhile Yuuto is all by himself at the lake. Seisa happen to pass by and notice his melancholy so he talks about somebody resembling his brother and because of that, this reminded him of his past and digging back up unwanted memories. Seisa says if it was her, she would just deny that past. Later Yuuto returns to the clubroom to talk to Eruna. He knows that she has noticed everything about him was just an act but why didn’t she leave him? Even if she did realize, that is not good enough a reason not to be friends. Besides, she believes the rest of the club members have also noticed this. The members return to hold a disbanding party for After School Six. Kurumi must be getting paranoid checking Seisa’s room. She has not seen that idiot around and thinks Eruna must have snuck in somehow! Don’t worry. Eruna calls Seisa that she won’t be home soon since she’ll be sticking with the Drama Club for a while. What’s this goodbye kiss she wants to give to the monitor? Thank goodness there is Kurumi to turn it off. On match day, Eruna begins her fight with Katai. To cut a long power battle short, Eruna wins. Both sides had fun so even if Katai lost, she has no regrets.

Episode 5
Eruna is on a spending spree. Just remember about those limited points okay? Oh, she forgot… Bumping into Seisa, she thought she is here to congratulate her on her victory but her fantasies get the better of her. I guess some will never understand why she is kissing a takoyaki! As they walk around the festival together, they see Minatogawa manning his booth alone. As explained, he is the only active member in his club. Why does he look so sick? Actually he needs to go pee! Eruna is willing to man his booth while he is gone and tries to attract visitors to his shooting gallery. Aren’t those all his personal belongings he is putting up as prizes? Yuuto sees a life size Super Miracle Man and wants a shot. But how can a small cork even move something so big? Failed… So as not to let the crowd have a bad impression that it is rigged, Eruna gives him several tries. Still not budging. Yuuto ‘dies’ and passes the baton to Eruna. She uses her hand gun but it still won’t budge. Seisa knows Minatogawa’s plants are holding on to it and that he is not willing to give up his most favourite prize. Seisa surprisingly challenges him but she shoots down his second favourite prize instead, a stuffed doll squid. This has lots of students wanting to try their hand at the shooting gallery. Eruna goes to hang out with Usamaru and Tonkyun from Drama Club. They talk about those who advanced to the next round and it seems Asuhi is leading the ranking of being the most powerful rookie. Eruna wanted to visit Kuzuryu at his booth but he is nowhere around. Instead she wants an Art Club member to paint her (delusional) romantic life story. Oh, she can imagine it all now… Kuzuryu is with Seisa and he notices that she is having an awful lot fun with Eruna around. Eruna decides to go watch Usamaru’s match. However it is one-sided. Usamaru is being pinned down by the gravity powers of Azumi Sagara from the Brass Band Club. Sagara isn’t finishing Usamaru off so easily as she is toying and insulting him. Eruna’s cheer gives Usamaru the motivation to do something but before that could happen, Sagara kills the match. Then she throws more insults at the loser. Seisa who was watching the match is not very pleased. She murmurs this is the reason why she hates club battles and do not wish to participate in them.

Episode 6
Kuzuryu thinks his art is like junk. Just like his life. Eruna is not too happy to be invited by Shigure to her victory party. Especially his lame rapping his embarrassing her. Even more embarrassing is how the rest are hiding behind the curtain wanting to give her a surprise but are too noisy about it. After the party, Eruna asks Shigure about his rookie battle. He reveals he did not participate because he was from a sister school before transferring here. Same with Kuzuryu. Unlike Mikagura has only cultural clubs, that sister school only has sports club. He was from the Kendo Club and first met Kuzuryu who isn’t in any particular club and helps out as a ringer. Because of his fantastic talents, jealousy is abound. One day he overheard his best friend badmouthing him and this made him lose faith in trusting everyone including Shigure. That was the last he saw of him. Because Shigure couldn’t take it too, he transferred to Mikagura and found out Kuzuryu did the same. Although they still exchange words, they aren’t as friendly as they were back then. Oh, Shigure won his rookie battle. After a couple more victories, Eruna visits Kuzuryu in his clubroom to ask a favour of drawing her as he sees her. She might have crossed the line being cheeky that she is willing to strip for him so he kicks her out. She hopes he would come to see her match tomorrow.

But right now, Tonkyun has a chance to avenge Usamaru as he is up against Sagara. As usual, she throws insults and trying to pin him down with her gravity. When she eventually does, she becomes cocky and Tonkyun has her right where he wants. He even eggs her to come and attack him up close. After observing her match with Usamaru, he knows how her powers work. It cannot be used continuously and there is a cooling off period for her ability to recover. With that, Tonkyun is able to defeat her and avenge his pal. But this means the next match pits Tonkyun with Eruna! Their match will decide who will be part of the top 8. Right before their match starts, Eruna does advertising for her new club in recruiting cute girls! I don’t think his is what Bimii meant when he said this rookie tournament can help promote her club. To cut things short in Tonkyun and Eruna’s power battle, she had to resort using her secret bayonet move that she was saving for Asuhi to beat him. This match gives Kuzuryu the motivation to paint her. However Eruna lost in the quarter finals so Kuzuryu felt disappointed that he thought he wanted to give a painting of her if she had won. You mean this abstract art is supposed to be her???!!! Now that he has got his grove back, he wants to draw more of her! No thanks… Eruna is running late for the rookie tournament finals. By the time she arrives, it has already ended. She cannot believe her eyes that Asuhi easily lost to Otone Fujishiro.

Episode 7
Shigure is about to interview Otone on the spot but this girl who is like Eruna without a club becomes obnoxious and walks off. Shigure wanted to bring her back but without his glasses he is as blind as a bat, bringing Minatogawa on stage instead. But he can tell where Eruna is sitting! How can he smell her from down there? Eruna beats him up after he tries to embarrass her by talking about their future marriage. Later Eruna sees Otone sitting alone at the flowerbed. It seems she is a strange girl, talking to herself and worrying about her shyness. It’s like she has a split character, a light and dark side too. She tries to brainwash Bimii into thinking she is some legendary hero but upon knowing he can’t do that, she mistreats him. Dark or light, Eruna loves Otone but the latter won’t be taken in yet. Later Eruna learns the Drama Club wants to have a party to cheer up Asuhi. So as she goes around inviting the usual suspects to come, the Drama Club members decide to change to party location to the rooftop, thinking this is best for Asuhi. Bimii is being overworked to death for this and now he has to go around planting notices for the change in venue. Because Eruna is not back in her bed, he just leaves the note there. Eruna misinterpreted that note to be some challenge at the rooftop. So our usual suspects minus Eruna, Asuhi and Seisa are waiting and hiding at the rooftop to surprise Asuhi. When Eruna walks in and anticipates a fight, she happened to see Minatogawa and thinks he is the challenger. He goes with the flow and prepares to fight her when Asuhi comes in. Surprise ruined. Nevertheless the gang start off their party ushering Asuhi the big star when it starts to rain. Bummer. Taking shelter inside, Asuhi reveals why he loves watching stars so much. He was often bullied when he was young for not being manly enough. One day he wished upon a star to be stronger and for the first time he stood back up to those bullies. They never bullied him again. That is when he came to love stars. Seisa passing by uses her Killing Art to change the dark cloudy weather into a clear night for her friends to enjoy the beautiful starry sky. However Otone has seen how she used her power.

Episode 8
Eruna is harassing girls to join her club. If not for that perverted tone… She even bugs Otone for it but it’s not working. Do you think Eruna will give up? Thanks to the treasure hunt event, Eruna is using Seisa’s room as practice. I thought she was like scavenging her stuffs… Thank goodness for Kurumi to smack her out. The participants are randomly paired. This means Usamaru’s trauma is beginning to take shape once he finds out his partner is Sagara. But wait. She is now such a sweet girl! Not taking any chances, is he? It might be a dream come true for Eruna as Otone is her pair but the latter is not amused. I was wondering why Eruna was ‘alone’ because it turns out Bimii isn’t by her side as usual. So we have Mecha Bimii as replacement? Teams have to pass through a series of checkpoints that include some quiz (Eruna got all the Super Miracle Man answers correct), test of strength (seriously, who could ever beat Eruna in arm wrestling?) and an eye test (just watch those boobs movements and you’ll get it right!). During the break, because Otone has had enough of Eruna’s friendliness, she ditches her. Eruna tries to go after her but falls down a cliff. Well, Mecha Bimii is broken and the only way left is to wait for a cute girl to come to her rescue. Keep dreaming… But wait! Could her dream come true right now? What is Otone doing here? Seems Eruna has fallen along her usual walking path. Otone seems kinder now as she takes her to her house in the woods for treatment. Eruna notices despite she lives alone, all the stuffs she has are like for two. Does she want company? I wonder if Eruna’s heart can take it seeing how moe and cute Otone is acting. They had a nice tea time together till Mecha Bimii had to ruin it. Now he turns into a giant monster running rampage. The girls escape. Seisa thought she could help indirectly by using her Killing Art but she witnesses Otone and Eruna doing a combo to take it down. The duo are the last to reach the finish line. Who would have guessed the winner to be Usamaru-Sagara pair. The prize is a manga story based on them to be drawn by Shigure. This might be a romantic deal to Sagara but to Usamaru it is starting to sound like a horror story. Since Otone is shy around others, she takes her leave. Eruna then invites her to join her club and Otone sees no reason to turn her down. Dream club has taken off. But why is Seisa looking so sad now?

Episode 9
The students are being interviewed about various rumours from UFOs to scandals. But there is something amiss in all of them as Rumina noticed… How come Eruna and Otone are advertising for their club recruitment in the background? Then if you’re wondering about Kumano and Nyamirin fighting over Yuuto’s love and that he can’t choose between them, it is just an act Eruna is directing as part of her plan to get the Newspaper Club to notice a fake scandal, interview them while they advertise in the background. But the gang are more concerned about the purpose of Eruna’s club. Isn’t it obvious? Cute girls are supposed to frolic around her! Now you wonder why nobody has applied yet… As reminded by Bimii, Eruna can only start to apply a new club till the midterm battles. If she fails to do so, she cannot pursue in forming a club anymore. But the still lack that one person, right? Bimii has a suggestion… I guess Eruna is desperate enough to go ask Shigure to join. He is ready to do so and even has an incestuous name figured out for the club. Too bad that turned Eruna off. Feeling stupid to ask this dude in the first place? Eruna then sees a couple of girls interested to join as they look for Otone. However Otone turns into her dark side and attacks them! Consider this an admission test! The girls lose interest and run away. But this is the most surprising part. Eruna loves this dark side of hers! Otone then reveals why she did that especially after they’ve worked so hard to advertise for new members. The club has always been only for 2 of them and if new members join, she feels their distance will grow. Eruna assures it won’t but Otone firmly believes so. Right now, Eruna is the only person she has and is her precious friend. Seeing this is not a joke, Eruna feels very happy and if it makes her sad, she won’t recruit new members. It will be just a club for both of them. A club for Eruna to fantasize about Otone… Uh huh. Otone might be regretting this since Eruna is starting to drool and sound like a pervert!

They accidentally stumble into an unused classroom and decide to make this their base. However Rumina says this will be the Newspaper Club’s room. Don’t they have their own room? It is too small and they’re seeking some sort of expansion. And since Eruna won’t give in, a practice battle is in order. Eruna thought she has this match in the bag when Rumina starts reading embarrassing excerpts from her past! Especially times when she was fond of Shigure! NOOO!!! JUST STOP!!! So embarrassing that it causes one of her crystals to break! Oh, the fun is just getting started and there are more delicious juicy bits to hear. Suddenly Otone puts her ribbons into Eruna’s ears. Can’t hear, right? Now Rumina’s scandal won’t work. Eruna easily defeats Rumina with her hand gun. Although it is her victory, technically they still lack a member so they cannot get a clubroom. Suddenly a boy comes in seeking to join the club. Who is this kid? Not even Rumina has information about him! Turns out to be Bimii in his human form. It takes a lot of energy to maintain it. In which he doesn’t ever want to do it again. So please hurry up and find another member. Although Eruna has got the rights to use that room as her clubroom, what about the name of her club? “I’ll Figure It Out Later”. So is that its permanent name or is she just procrastinating as usual?

Episode 10
Having formed a club means she is no longer a vagabond and as ‘sad’ as she is to leave Seisa’s mansion, Kurumi is more than happy and kicks her out! Bimii shows Eruna and Otone how he changes into his human form. What the hell is this eerie factory-like place and this Iron Maiden thingy?! Bimii reveals he was once human but the girls aren’t interested in his long story. Eruna’s friends help bring gifts to decorate her new clubroom and celebrate. But Eruna won’t be accepting Shigure’s twin bed… Rumina then comes in and shows an article of a ghost haunting the dorm. This is her, right? She wants Eruna to admit it since she knows she is behind the fake rumours. However Eruna and friends can vouch they have no idea what this is. Could it be a real ghost? Ironically, how come those who are obviously most afraid of ghosts are the first ones to say they’re not? Anyway Rumina wants Eruna to help solve this mystery then because the Newspaper Club’s reputation has been hit thanks to the fake rumours and Eruna WILL help out to reclaim back their name. When Eruna and some of her friends meet that night to go ghost catching, Otone is supposed to meet up but she left a message she has something to do. She went to talk to Seisa. Usamaru thought he saw some ghostly crack but could it be just his imagination.

As they walk through the halls, this brings back nostalgic memories for Eruna because this hallway used to be her ‘old home’. Yeah… Remember the time she sleepwalked in her sleeping bag? Hey wait… If the majority of ghost sightings were here, could it be that the ‘ghost’ is sleepwalking Eruna in a perverted face? Mystery solved. But imagine what would Rumina think if this news gets to her? Eruna has an idea that involves Bimii. Doesn’t sound good… Rumina thought she has found the culprit behind the haunting and chases him. When she corners him into a dead end, there is nothing left but only his cloak. She runs away scared believing the ghost is real when it is actually Bimii transforming back to his cat form. But shortly, some magical barrier envelops the place. Meanwhile Kuzuryu eavesdrop Otone and Seisa’s talk. The former is lashing out at Seisa for not responding to Eruna and always leaving her hanging. Seisa lashes back. Even if all that is true, what does it have to do with her? Why is she this mad? Usamaru thinks the crack he saw earlier is still unsolved when Kuzuryu comes by to hint that something is going on between Otone and Seisa. It sounds like Otone is jealous because Seisa has a special place in Eruna’s heart. A place that Otone is forbidden to get close. What Otone wants is to see Eruna smiling from her heart as she is the first person who understood her. She is her friend. And since nothing more can be said, the inevitable fight is here. Otone feels insulted that Seisa won’t use her Killing Art on her and thinks it may be because she saw her using it or she wouldn’t want to waste such a good move on a small fry. The fight is interrupted when Eruna comes running into the scene. Now it gets even more awkward.

Episode 11
Good thing the fighting ends but as Eruna seeks answers from Seisa, she is told to leave her alone. After all, she has already got a new club and friend, so go play with her. Seisa gets upset the more she presses on. Eruna is left speechless after seeing hideous burn scars on her back. Eruna refuses to let her depression get to her and talks to Otone about doing a practice battle to see who represents the club for the midterm battle. At first she declines as she wants to see Eruna’s smile and then fight Seisa using that smile. Eventually she gives in but Eruna beats her flat. Otone warns her that she has to do better or else she cannot best Seisa. The only reason Otone ‘won’ then was because Seisa did not use her Killing Art. The tournament bracket is out and to Eruna’s dismay, she hears the Going Home Club withdrew its participation. Of course this means going to Seisa’s mansion to bug her but Kurumi as ordered by Seisa that she doesn’t want to see that idiot. I know Eruna tries to bribe her with lots of useless stuffs but I can’t believe Kurumi was actually patient to let her do all that instead of slamming the door in her face in the first place. With renewed determination, Eruna goes into her first match and wins it. Seisa is about to lose it and it seems her power is weakening. It is causing those ghostly cracks to appear in parts of the school. Eruna and Otone are on their way to see Shigure and Kuzuryu’s match when they see this and try to follow the source and it leads them to the Photography Club’s room. Eruna takes a bold step into it but the magic soon shuts Otone out of the room. Otone reports to her friends about Eruna vanishing along with the Photography Club. Meanwhile this is the first time Shigure and Kuzuryu fight each other. Despite all the official matches, each time they are to face each other, Kuzuryu withdraws. And so the entire school is anticipating a match with one of the hottest and most powerful guys. This match also settles their past reconciliation, etc. You can tell it’s done since Kuzuryu wins and shakes Shigure’s hand. Also, they needed to finish this fast because they sense something has happened to Eruna and need to go to her aid.

Eruna sees lots of photos of Seisa. Hmm… Happy expression. The kind that she has never seen. Noticing how fake the sunset is (like as though it is like a painting), she hears something ghostly coming from the dark room. It turns out to be Bimii eating his instant noodles. Time for explanation. The Photography Club used to exist at Mikagura. This place is a different dimension that Seisa sealed with her Killing Art. Seisa was betrayed by her senior she loved. She was from this club. It all happened when Seisa was in her first year and in the Art Club. She often used her senior as her model and they became best friends. But in terms of abilities, Seisa was far superior and during the midterm battle, their clubs were fated to face each other off in the first round. Seisa didn’t care about winning or losing and just wanted to enjoy the match. Pretty much like Eruna. However her senior had different ideas. Unable to accept that a senior would lose to her junior, she wants Seisa to throw away the match, something Seisa would not do. Despite against the rules, the girls seriously fight before their match day. It caused this section of the school building to be destroyed when her senior pulled off some super move that greatly injured Seisa, leaving that horrendous scar on her back. Her senior then dropped out and left Mikagura. In order to erase memories of her senior, the reason she used Killing Art to seal off this room. Of course with it being visible from time to time means her power is weakening. The space is becoming unstable. Eruna realizes it wasn’t that Seisa didn’t want to use Killing Art on Otone. She couldn’t. Now her power has worsened. The space crumbles.

Episode 12
With Seisa’s power weakened, the school reverts back to its dilapidated form. Eruna sees a young Seisa, Shigure and herself in a dream before falling out from the sky. Luckily Shigure and Kuzuryu are there to catch the falling lady. But no same treatment for the falling cat. Because 2 things: Shouldn’t cats automatically land on their feet? Shouldn’t Bimii fly???!!! Anyway, Otone is most emotional in reuniting with Eruna. Shigure reveals to Eruna that the academy was created from their ancestors. Ichinomiya, Ninomiya and Mikagura worked together to create this school overnight to help students hone their powers and use them properly. The person who granted Eruna her power then was probably her ancestor. Because Seisa’s heart was closed due to a misunderstanding, Bimii worked hard to find ways to bring her out but to no avail. That is why Shigure invited Eruna to join. He never told her this from the start because he didn’t want her to become her friend out of pity, the same reason Bimii never said anything about this. Eruna is now determined to see Seisa smile as she heads over to her mansion. With Minatogawa’s growing vines, she is able to sneak into her room to invite her to join her club. With that kind of lousy name? Another reason for her to be stubborn. Eruna proposes that if her club wins the midterm battle, please join. And of course, the big assurance that she will never ever betray her.

Before Eruna goes for her match with the Calligraphy Club, she heads to that shrine to thank her ancestors for giving her such power and a promise to make Seisa smile. The match with Himi is a given. Eruna is too powerful for the petite girl to overcome. The finals will pit Eruna against Kuzuryu. But wait! Suddenly the Drama Club members hijack the stage and put up a lame hero kidnapping performance. Even Kuzuryu seems to be playing along as he gets ‘kidnapped’ by them. What is the meaning of this? How will the finals be then? Suddenly somebody else comes into the ring… Seisa! But how? Going Home Club is the super seed of this tournament? Since when? Since now! And so both girls start their power fight. Seisa is having lots of fun that her power has returned enough to use Killing Art. Not only it restored the buildings, it takes the fight to a whole new intergalactic level!!! OMFG!!! THEN THEY DESTROY PART OF THE MOON!!! WRONG ANIME!!! This is not Ansatsu Kyoushitsu!!! Anyway, you can see the smile in Seisa’s face because she’s having fun. In the end, both their last crystals break at the same time. Draw. What does this mean? Because technically Eruna did not lose, Seisa will join her club! Hooray! First order is to change the name. Don’t worry. Eruna just thought of a cool name: After School Paradise Club! What does it do? Anything they want! Can I join this club too?

Super Fight Club! When Supernatural Club Battles Become Commonplace
And so marks the end of yet another feel good happy generic ending. Not to say that it is a bad thing or whatsoever. But the most important thing is despite the lack of any sort of big direction in the plot (it’s just Eruna doing her best as she gets used to her high school life while having fun at it and to a certain degree cheer up Seisa), did you have fun watching it? I certainly did. But not to the extent that I would go and watch this again as a rerun right now. If you didn’t and not even the slightest shred of it, something must be wrong with you. Really. If Eruna can’t get through your heart, you are an even worse case than Seisa. Really. While this anime isn’t overall perfect like every other anime out there, at least it is fun and worth your entertainment time for a dozen episodes.

The colourful characters are the main driving force that makes this series an entertaining watch. Basically it is mainly thanks to Eruna that steals to spotlight with her eternal optimism and confidence even if they are mostly baseless and exaggerated. She might be an airhead and scatterbrain but you can’t find yourself hating her even if being an idiot is what her character role is. As because her optimism might be far-fetched (at least out of a normal person’s thinking), it sometimes catches you off guard. Just when you think that some sort of incident that would normally make a person go depress or shock, then you are surprised with Eruna’s positivism as she doesn’t view it in a bad light but rather taking it in a good stride no matter how twisted it sounds. For example, when Otone scared off potential members, Eruna didn’t lash out or even so much as to scold her for the slightest bit but is instead amazed at her dark personality. It is a very good thing that she won’t be defeated by the setbacks and uses it as a spring to launch herself back into happy cheery world. So I suppose being an idiot in her case brings good to everyone?

In a way, she is like the mood maker among the characters. What good would it do if Eruna didn’t have this positive trait in her? And if she doesn’t and starts to put on that worry face, something is definitely wrong. And it may seem that her perversion for wanting cute girls in her harem may make her annoying or twisted but imagine if her character was male. Views on girls being perverts sometimes can make a difference in one’s perception. What’s with the double standards anyway? I don’t know if her loathing towards Shigure is the reason why she turned into some twisted lesbian as she once admired him a lot. I understand if some guy even though is your cousin starts fantasizing his delusions before you every time you meet. So just take her perverted fantasies in a positive light. Because it will become amusing and funny then. Ah well, nobody is perfect anyway. Now that she has got Seisa under her wing, maybe it will be just a matter of time before more cute girls flock her way. Just hope jealousy won’t brew when the love starts to spread. Don’t worry, I’m sure Eruna has a way to solve that when the time comes. I think.

Bimii’s past feels mysterious especially about him being human before and now some sort of magical cat. Even he himself said his story is a long one. Yeah, we’re not interested since the series is too short for any sort of long flashbacks. But as far as this series is concerned, he feels like the animal mascot for the series and Mikagura. Even so, oddly he hangs out with Eruna like as though he is her pet or sidekick. Maybe he sensed something in Eruna similar to Seisa but must he follow her around for most of the time? In a way it makes it as though Bimii belongs to her.

Seisa could have been a cool beauty if not for her gloominess and depression that starts irritating you as the series progresses. I know there is some sort of trauma in her heart that she wants to hide but being friendly and then gradually cold towards Eruna makes her look nearly like a tsundere character. At first she might have seen shades of herself in Eruna but after Eruna finds Otone as her club member-cum-partner, you can’t help see that obvious look in Seisa’s eyes as she watches from a distance, that look that screams how-I-wished-I-was-the-one-by-Eruna’s-side. At least thanks to Eruna’s efforts, it all pays off in the end. It is definitely much better seeing Seisa in her smile. But the thing that never fails to give me goosebumps always is the scars on her back. Even though it feels like crop circles being embedded to her back, I’d shudder each time I see those round shades even if it is only partial. Feels like horror stuff… Kurumi is the other best character of the series. Despite her monotonous and soft spoken expression, she does not hesitate to get into her honest-in-your-face acid tongue lashing role towards Eruna each time the latter acts like an idiot. In fact, Kurumi always views her as a big idiot! No hard feelings or beating up this joker if she crosses the line with her delusions.

Then there is Otone who might be just creating another dark personality of herself since she is too shy to talk to others. Well, at least she gets to interact with others in that state. Turning into this state also feels like making her tsundere. As though her indifferent side is to hide what she actually wants to say. Shigure might be a hit with the ladies and guys in school but this seems to be immune to Eruna. Is it because they’re cousins? But most of the time, Shigure’s character has been relegated into some comic relief, a punching bag for Eruna to beat him up if his lust for her ever gets the better of him and an annoying cousin lover who can’t stop screaming “ERUNA-CHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!” for almost every time he appears into the scene. Geez. I think I have a subtle feeling why she is disgusted with this guy.

Other supporting characters provide extra variety and spice to the series and even with some of their brief past, sometimes it feels like a side distraction. Because you can’t have this show entirely focused on just Eruna, can you? For instance, Yuuto’s penchant to mask his real personality due to his broken family and the ties between Shigure and Kuzuryu that dates back to their previous high school. Otherwise it feels pretty much lacking. Like Katai who was once Eruna’s clubless comrade but now even though under Himi’s Calligraphy Club, she hangs out often with Eruna whenever there is a gathering. Asuhi feels so girly that I thought his dark secret would be a girl cross-dressed as a boy but good thing or not it didn’t turn out that way. It still bugs me how he is supposedly one of the strongest rookies around although his move looks ‘weak’. Ah, never judge a book by its cover. It is not like we’ve seen him in any real serious matches anyway. I suppose we won’t know why Minatogawa is the only active member in his club. What happened to the rest anyway? Besides, he is hardly noticeable (just like what I feel his character role is for this anime) and even everyone realizes he is around, it will be too late since it feels like he creeps up on you suddenly without notice.

If you were hoping to see this series filled with battles like in those shonen animes, then you’d be disappointed. In fact, you won’t get to see many matches and even those in highlight will be just a few seconds to a few minutes long. Even with the short duration, it is still packed with power punches and moves. It is both good and bad thing since the rapid fights keep things moving and fresh instead of having to drag it out for episodes like how certain long running animes are doing. But on the downside when it ends too fast, you’d be going, “That’s it? That is all to what I just saw?”. Especially fights that end without even us seeing what happened (that rookie battle finals between Asuhi and Otone or the rest of Eruna’s matches with other cultural clubs that we don’t know and couldn’t care about). At least the final fight is shown a bit longer but it feels ‘shorter’ seeing how fast they’re fighting at. Yeah, at lightning speed. How can everyone see what is happening? Anyhow, the battle sequences provides some side entertainment instead of spamming us with Eruna’s idiotic optimism and besides, isn’t what this anime is all about?

The art and drawing for the series looks pretty fine. Especially with me being a sucker for a pretty face, with so many cute looking girls, you can’t go wrong. Yeah, I have to admit that there are lots of cute and pretty looking girls enough for me to want them to be part of my harem. Now I understand why Eruna wants to be surrounded by such cute and pretty girls too. On a trivial note, the first time I looked at Katai, I thought I saw Mirai Nikki’s Yuno Gasai! Yikes! Despite beautiful girls and handsome guys, it is not all that perfect as I have a couple of grouses too in this department. I noticed that the animation quality dips whenever the battle action scenes occur. I won’t say it is very obvious but if you pay attention enough, you will notice that the details of the characters become ‘simpler’. Like as though the producers thought we viewers won’t be catching the details and attention since everything will be moving ‘fast’ and why go through all the excruciating pain and hard work when it will all be over in just a few seconds. Too bad guys, we can see the difference that it is obvious enough.

Another gripe is that in many scenes, the background characters are not usually coloured! I know that it is to make the main characters stand out and easier to spot when you are in a sea of people but sometimes it makes me feel that as though just because they are just background characters, they are not important enough to be coloured! Uh huh. It’s like doing a half-baked job or even a rushed one or worse, being lazy enough just to think that we viewers don’t really care about such details. Well, maybe. I mean, do we really care about them even if they are coloured? Ironically too, sometimes these uncoloured people stand out more because we’re not used to see black and white background characters so your eyes might get a little ‘distracted’.

Voice acting is pretty decent. Juri Kimura as Eruna did a good job in fitting well with her character especially with all that liveliness and optimism. If she sounded somewhat similar to me, that’s because so far her only other role that I have heard her is as Aoi in Shirobako. Come to think of it, just up the delusional and sparkling vigour and voila! You get Eruna! The only other voice that I recognized was Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Bimii. He isn’t like your typical Kirito from Sword Art Online, Yuu in Juuou Mujin No Fafnir, Tooru in Absolute Duo or Bell in DanMachi. Sometimes I get a feeling is trying to sound like a cat but ends up sounding a bit gay ~ryui. Really ~ryui. If not, just sounding tired and weary. Must be from all the times he had to play the refuting role to Eruna, eh? At first I thought it was Mamoru Miyano’s voice behind Shigure thanks to that ‘trademark ‘boyish’ voice but it turns out Nobunaga Shimazaki is the one behind this character. He was the voice of Kaito in Ano Natsu De Matteiru and Livi in Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii.

The rest of the casts include Ari Ozawa as Otone (Sakura in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun), Saori Oonishi as Seisa (Aiz in DanMachi), Natsuki Hanae as Yuuto (Inaho in Aldnoah.Zero), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Kuzuryu (Wave in Akame Ga Kill), Ai Kakuma as Asuhi (Isuzu in Amagi Brilliant Park), Ayaka Suwa as Himi (Tokaku in Akuma No Riddle), Reina Ueda as Katai (Elena in Seiken Tsukai No World Break), Makoto Furukawa as Minatogawa (Banri in Golden Time), Ai Kayano as Kurumi (Inori in Guilty Crown), Daiki Yamashita as Usamaru (Touya in Log Horizon), Takuma Terashima as Tonkyun (Stone River in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) and Minami Takahashi as Rumina (Kuroka in High School DxD BorN).

The opening and several ending themes are quite fun to hear. All are sung by either one of the 3 main heroines of the series (Eruna, Seisa or Otone) or a combination of all of them. Like the opening theme, Houkago Kakumei is a lively rock piece sung by the trio to get you into the pace of the series. The ending themes feel like character songs as they are sung only by that heroine and reflect pretty much what their character outlook is about. The best of the lot goes to Houkago Stride by Eruna. Not only the tune is catchy but you have got to love the way she raps with all those cute lyrics. If I should say, this could be one of those denpa songs. It is just too bad that it isn’t the main ending theme and is only featured for a couple of episodes. Seisa’s one is not too bad too, Esoragoto Spiral. I can’t put my finger on what genre this retro tune is but it does sound jazzy and groovy enough to be catchy with that psychedelic feel. Otone sings Sekirara Candy, another crazy upbeat denpa song. Heck, I think all the songs can be termed under the denpa category. The main ending theme by the trio is Rakuen Fanfare, a rock outfit and compared to the rest this sounds the ‘least denpa’.

Overall, this series may look like this generic plot: New student enrols in high school, discovers about a certain system, possesses some sort of latent power (and possibly close to being the chosen one), starts out at the bottom as a dark horse and works her way up while making friends in the midst, helps solve or remove the biggest thorn in the final arc and happy ending (sort of) for everybody, life goes on. You get the idea. But thanks to Eruna’s amazing robust enthusiasm, you won’t be feeling bored except maybe for the initial episodes where it takes time to build up the characters and setting. Or simply if you’re not into this kind of anime genre then there is nothing to be said. This anime might not be perfect but give it a chance and watch it. Maybe Eruna’s positivism will affect you in some ways and you can go about the rest of your day feeling high and good without the use of drugs. Really. Sounds implausible, you say huh? Hey, I’m trying to be positive and optimistic here.

D-Frag! OVA

January 9, 2015

It is good to play games but playing them indoors all the time isn’t really good and there is a need to have outdoor games to exercise the body so that the body and mind continue to stay sharp. Oh heck. Who the heck am I kidding? Certainly the gang in Game Development Club (Provisional) wouldn’t care much about it. And so D-Frag! OVA is mainly about Kenji getting dragged (as usual) by his crazy club girls to participate in some outdoor race over some ‘normal’ prize. That’s crazy, right?

Sakura challenges Kenji to a fighting game and if she loses, she’ll tell the secret of other girls. He thinks it’s a great idea to learn their weaknesses and use it against them one day. Guess what? Sakura is so weak that Kenji wins perfect! Secret #1: Chitose has a great body. When Noe comes in to remind big brother about doing errands for mom, she is dragged in to play a match with Sakura. I guess Sakura is that weak… Secret #2: Roka’s body is also great. Absolute lie! When Kenji is back home, Sakura surprisingly pops up and requests for his help. There is this spring race competition that offers some special limited spring water Sakura would love to get her hands on. Hey, water is her element, right? But why need Kenji’s help? She’s smart and strong enough to win it on her own, right? Because the rest of the competitors are weak old men. Well, there is this beautiful and busty lady whom she considers her biggest rival. Does she seem familiar? She was a host for that superhero show at the shopping mall rooftop that got on fire. The one where Sean saved Kenji while this lady immediately bailed! Yeah. That’s her. Noe is not happy that Sakura is getting too friendly with her brother. She starts getting upset. Sakura fuels the fire by proclaiming she’ll win the race and become Kenji’s sister! Noe doesn’t want to do this and go home but Kenji says that since they are here, might as well take part. Oh, guess who are also here? Chitose and Roka! Somebody needs water for her earth and the other for her barley tea.

As the race starts, Noe accidentally loses a sandal. Now they are at the back of the pack. Old men beating them in this race? Along the way, they see several ‘defeated’ old men because Chitose and busty lady are engaged in some fearsome rock-scissors-paper duel and I supposed their aura knocked them out. Kenji, Sakura and Noe try to tiptoe pass them but they finish their duel and continue racing. To stop busty lady, Chitose and Roka throw their souvenir hats at them. Two against one, sure to win, right? Till busty lady mentions her hat is no ordinary hat and one that she won last year. The duo lost… I don’t know. Don’t ask. Noe continues to be annoyed at the crazy girls because Kenji is acting weird with them and all. Sakura believes she should join their club and make it more fun but Noe refuses. There is a big ‘traffic jam’ ahead. Because the old men are trying to cross a flimsy wooden suspension bridge! Roka tries to use her secret love jump technique (couples can really ‘fly’ when they are in love, right?) but falls like a rock! Luckily Kenji got her hand but she accuses him of trying to kill her! Noe has had enough and wants to quit. They don’t have to follow through with their antics. But Kenji wants to carry on with this race seeing his stubborn side not to lose. Noe can go home if she wants to. If that’s the case, Noe isn’t going to lose too. She crawls underneath the legs of those old guys to cross over to the other side. The rest? Make one big leap of faith! Kenji falls short and is about to fall into the abyss but Sakura pulls him back but in turn will fall. If not for a rope, she could have fallen to her doom. Kenji scolds her for that reckless move but she wasn’t worried. There is river below and water is her element, remember? But where did the rope come from? It’s Sean! Seems he has something of importance to do.

Sakura has sprained her ankle and Noe shows her concern that she can’t have a fair race if she is injured. Roka threatens for her to go on first or else she will get mad. Little sister takes the bait but it doesn’t work on Kenji since he won’t leave her behind. He carries her with the help of the other girls. But where did busty lady go? She fled the scene and abandoned the race after seeing Sean. The way Chitose talks as though they know who that lady is. They once saw her at a PTA meeting. I suppose it’s a small world after all because that busty lady turns out to be Takao’s mom. Those huge racks… See the resemblance? Eventually the ‘cavalry’ carrying Sakura catches up with Noe. Little sister won’t give in and starts running like hell. Roka and Chitose use their ultimate pushing strength for more speed and it makes it as though Kenji is a slow poke. The sibling won’t give in to each other as they start taunting each other. Since when did the race descended into a sibling showdown? As they make a final push for the finish line, Chitose and Roka usurp them and cross it first. Sakura isn’t sad because she had fun. Let’s try again next year. No way! Keep Kenji out of it next time!

To their surprise, Sean is also there and has tied up the race’s organizer. Seems the spring water is fake and is just ordinary tap water. Sakura goes into extreme shock and collapses. I guess it was that bad for her. In the aftermath, Noe tries to reconcile with Sakura but the latter still can find ways to annoy her. In fact I think everything she says and even her existence annoys the hell out of her. Sakura comments the siblings are close and are both airheads. Noe on the other hand comments the fake water doesn’t taste too bad either. As promised, Sakura must buy her ice cream for not winning the race. She agrees to it but also suggests drinking water to flush out all that sweet sensation. Noe disagrees and would prefer drinking milk after eating ice cream. Sakura would beg to differ… Noe won’t change her mind… Kenji sees them arguing and is somewhat happy that they get along fine. Really? Do they?

Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Despite only a single episode, this OVA is still amusing as ever and brings back memorable memories of the chaotic hilarity that the TV series brought. Kenji is still the loudmouth rebuffing character thanks to the quirkiness of the girls and he looks like he is doing a fine job carrying on this traditional role of his. Another interesting point of this OVA is that the featuring of Noe. I won’t say that it is a very prominent focus but at least it’s better than her single episode appearance back in the TV series. She is still very irritated that her big brother has joined a club filled with weird girls and despite her constant anger (which looks like a permanent feature on her face), at least she is more tolerable. Because if she really hated those girls, she wouldn’t have continued joining the race and wouldn’t have tried to make up with Sakura in the end. So could you say it is like trying to bridge their bond? All because over some water thingy. And I think Sakura has a liking for Noe too because of the way she teases her and that everlasting smile on her face. It’s like she could never get mad. Oh wait. Do you want to see Sakura mad? Well, seeing Kenji mad is already hilarious enough. Care to do it again, girls?


August 1, 2014

I thought they were going to do another season when they announced GJ-Bu was given the green light for another production. And then it turns out, GJ-Bu@ is just a special (it wasn’t even termed as OVA or OAD) that lasts 46 minutes or 2 episodes lump into one, whichever way you want to look at it. After all, what is more to tell when the seniors of the club who happen to be the main characters for the show have graduated? They can always go back in time for some flashbacks but I think it would be too cliché.

New York! New York!
* As usual, the GJ Club members are doing nothing. But wait! Something feels different. Why are there New York skyscrapers suddenly outside their window?! Why the hell are they in the Big Apple?! As explained by Mao, since the club never had any graduating trip, this one is it! Call it their lost time. So Mao and the other graduates of the club just came back just for this? But how the heck did they end up in New York? Did somebody teleport the clubroom here? They say Mori did it. That’s all the explanation you’ll ever get.
* Okay, so why New York? Because like their club, GJ. New York can also be shortened to 2 abbreviations, NY. But Kyolo mentions shouldn’t they pick Los Angeles as in LA? Besides, it would fit their theme of lost time, as in Lost Angeles. Geddit? The girls ignore him…
* Tamaki explains the reason why she wears bells as her hair accessories because she views automatic doors as her enemy. They never open for her. Wearing bells never did too and she thought is she was heavier and stepped on the doormat, the door would. But it never. So she always had to wait for somebody to walk in while she follows the person closely. Same case if she wants to exit.
* Mao gets excited with everything American and tries to Americanized everyone and get them into the American groove. Talking all about American food makes them hungry and it is decided they’ll go for hamburgers. This sets Shion into some hamburger drooling mode. She can’t wait to taste those meat and buns. Mori rides her Harley bike around New York to get those burgers.
* The gang dresses up in so called American outfits. Cowboys, Red Indians… The younger sisters of Kasumi, Jill and Seira too make a stopover.
* When Mori returns, she does the obligatory maid twirl for Kyolo. Ah… Happiness… It comes with a price that has the other girls beat him up.
* Everyone digs into their hamburger. Shion is so excited that she forgot to take the wrapper off as she eats them!
* As for desserts, Mao suggests to do a Halloween event. Is that really a New York culture? It’s not even October… Their plan is to nab all the candies in the city and to do that, they force Kyolo wear some sexy cat outfit. So uninspiring that you can see the dead annoying look in their eyes…
* The girls are happy they got a large haul of candies (I want to eat them!) although Kyolo is the sad one because they didn’t do any sightseeing despite all that.
* Mao notes they can retire in peace and this means Kyolo is now the president of the club.

Grumpy, Grumpy, Gloomy…
* Kyolo stumbles upon Mao at the tea shop. But she ignores him and doesn’t utter a word. What gives? Megumi, Shion and Kirara are closely spying on them.
* Seems Mao and the seniors have graduated. Kyolo wonders if she is still keeping in touch with them. No answer. She calls Shion and is furious she is late. Shion’s handphone rings but the girls go hide in the tree.
* Kyolo still seeks answers to why Mao is avoiding him when Tamaki comes by. She wonders why they still hang out with each other even after graduation. She wants to know and doesn’t want to be left out. This makes Mao mad and blows her top. She tells her this is the last time she’ll ever see her and leaves. Right under Kyolo’s nose, the other girls kidnap Tamaki. Time for change in plans.
* Kyolo gets call from Megumi to meet at the park. There, he sees Mao sulking alone. Trying to be nice didn’t work. She leaves. What’s with the sour face? That is when the other girls show up and say they won’t let her go home tonight.
* GJ Club members are going to have a sleepover at their clubroom. Of course this is illegal as prior permission is needed for this. But Megumi reasons this is Sunday so school rules do not apply. Really? Mao is still sulking in a corner, mentioning graduates cannot come back. The girls talk about nostalgia and the places they usually sit at when they were in the club.
* Kyolo thinks they should tone down a bit or the guard will catch them. This leads them to discuss what might happen if they are caught. They’ll get scolding, be expelled and of course the club will cease to exist. Shion stands up and says doing things by the rules isn’t fun. They’re having fun because they’re breaking the rules (kids, don’t try this anyhow). This is at least what Mao would say. But Mao is still gloomy. Why the heck is she doing this when they are not part of the club anymore?
* Kirara hears the guard passing and they all keep quiet till he passes. Mao starts to cry. She was scared that if they all got caught, the club would have to disband. Kyolo promises the club will never disappear/ because GJ Club lives in their hearts. They are GJ Club. So don’t worry about it. Guess what? Mao bites him!!! Back to normal?
* Mao wants Kyolo to take responsibility for tonight. If they are caught, he must shoulder the blame and die with honour by committing seppuku. Does he need to go that far? She is going to bite him again but the other girls hold her back. They are glad Mao is back to normal since she was depressed lately. This was part of Megumi’s plan that if she met Kyolo, she would think about the GJ Club and be somewhat revitalized. Instead, she was stubborn and won’t talk to him.
* Kyolo says they are free to come here whenever they want. They’ll welcome them with open arms. But Mao reminds that graduates cannot come back. That won’t change. Because from now on, it is they who will be creating a new GJ Club. Even if they are graduates from GJ Club, their bonds are eternal. In that case, Kyolo also encourages them to contact him when not in the clubroom. Keep in touch.
* Mao suggests having fun outside so they get dressed in their school uniform. They run riot throughout the night (where the heck is the guard?) drawing “I-wuz-here” graffiti on the blackboard, running in the hallway, drinking from the vending machine, playing baseball and finally diving into the swimming pool. Who cares, right? Let’s have fun for tonight!

Good-Bye Club?
Well, it was pretty okay especially for those who have watched the TV series, this is just like icing on the cake and a grand farewell to the seniors who would no longer be around. But then again, they can always come by to hang out any time, right? Rules are meant to be broken! There isn’t much to expect from this special since it mostly remains the trademark formula of the series with its type of comedy and interaction between the characters. Even the art style and the calming pace of the story is also as consistent so there is nothing shocking that will jolt you out of your seat. In the end, nothing much really changes because you can still expect them to be what they are as they were back in the TV series. Just that some of them have moved on to another higher institute of learning. Therefore this special may be a bore to some but a pleasure to others especially if you are a big fan of the series. One thing ‘sweet’ about this special is the food. Yum… I would love to get my hands on those American foods and candy bars… Dang, if I was only in that club. So it is all about the bond and special memories that they spend together. Just like in life we have to move on to make new memories and sometimes we think back and cherish on the old sweet ones that we made. Good times may not last forever but as long as you keep it close in your heart, it will never disappear. Always there. Like it was just yesterday.


July 27, 2014

Clubs are usually associated with high schools in many high school themed animes. Some clubs you have members who do look stereotypically like the clubs they join in and others don’t. When it falls into the latter category, it could only mean that everyone is probably an oddball or a weirdo and doing things that aren’t really true in the name of that club. Uh huh. Names can sometimes be misleading. Take the case of D-Frag! Heh. I thought it was an anime going to be about computing. You know, defrag? Speaking of which, when was the last time I defrag my PC? Oh hell, who cares? Although this anime isn’t really about computing, it’s about a game development club whose members aren’t really developing video games. Who knows what they’re actually doing. Yeah. Oddballs. Weirdoes. And when a delinquent is made to join the club, you can tell it gets weirder. It’s like he is the much needed tonic to keep their already bizarre club even livelier than before. Yeah, driving him crazy. So people, be careful of what clubs to choose and join. Or you can simply hand in your resignation if you don’t want in anymore. But would it be so easy?

Episode 1
We are introduced to the Kazama Family that includes shorty cartoonish Yokoshima (I thought he came out from that Old Master Q comic), the tall and tanned Nagayama (I thought he looked like School Rumble’s Harima) and the leader whom nobody remembers, Kenji Kazama. Their goal is to become delinquents and conquer the world. Whatever. Meanwhile the Game Development Club is in risk of being disbanded due to not having many activities and not meeting the minimum member requirements. Think fast. Kenji sees a fire coming out from that club room and rushes in to put it out. Suddenly his buddies are knocked out cold. Yokoshima got zapped by lightning (taser from Minami Oosawa) and Nagayama out by water (Sakura Mizukami chugs the bottle of water down his throat). Roka Shibasaki is going to use her fire elemental on Kenji. If you thought it was burning him down, well, more like some cutie moe words. Moe is like burning which is like fire, right? Didn’t work. She crashed and burn instead. Kenji almost got punched by Chitose Karasuyama. How does her punch qualify to be earth element? She just made a sand castle… When Kenji sees an escape chance, he dashes through. Roka manages to catch up but surprisingly thanks him for putting out the fire since they were playing fireworks in hopes it will attract potential club members. After introducing herself as the club’s president, she proceeds to recruit him and reveals her fire element was a decoy and darkness is her true element. Suddenly everything goes black. Sack over his head. So the girls are threatening him to join the club or else. When you’re in that scary sh*t situation, you’d join for your life, right? He signs the form to join without fuss. His actual plan is to steal it from whoever takes it to the club advisor and shred it. Turns out that Minami is the club’s advisor! Holy cow! Couldn’t have guessed. He snatches the form and runs away.

Again Roka catches up to him and since her ‘fire’ didn’t work on him, it’s back to darkness. She unleashes drapes around the area but since Kenji knows her trick, he darts out. Only thing is he dashed through the wrong side and falls out from the window. Roka catches him and won’t let go. She doesn’t care if she falls down with him and this is the real her not putting up her cutesy act. But her stamina is going to give way and she’s already complaining how the pressure will affect her womb… Luckily her friends help to pull him up. After such drama, Kenji joins the club anyway. He must have got caught up in their pace. He later explains it to his pals but it seems they don’t remember what happened. Then comes in another of their friend, Ataru Kawahara (probably a perverted masochist). He heard Kenji joined the club and warns the danger of Chitose who is also this school’s student council president. She is so dangerous that not only teachers but other delinquent groups (yeah, there are quite a handful here) are keeping away from her. Since they’re talking so loud, Chitose heard them from the floor above and wants to join in. She seems to be mocking Ataru as he lost the presidential election to her before (he is the vice president now). Chitose is going to rid them using her saliva and Ataru wants to catch it?! Seeing this won’t work, she tries to drop a locker on them! Ataru won’t run because it would mean of returning to those days of servitude. He also wants to save Kenji. So they form a human totem pole to push the locker back as Kenji delivers the final kick. In the end, Chitose who was doubtful of them, now acknowledges them and now understands why Roka is fixated on them. But they are in trouble because they just landed inside the girls’ changing room. Just be thankful all they got was just a suspension.

Episode 2
Kenji and Ataru are being lectured by the teacher for trespassing the girls’ changing room. Till Kenji hears Roka calling him a pervert, he wakes up from this dream. At the park, Kenji is surrounded by some cult people in strange mask and robe. Actually they are the real Game Development Club as put by club president Takao. So the club he joined is fake? Takao blames him that the fake club was to be disbanded but thanks to him joining in, he somewhat ‘saved’ it. He doesn’t want to have any part in this but they won’t let him escape. Since he can’t lay a finger on girls, this means Takao and fellow Tsutsumi Inada are out. Hmm… How about Sakuragaoka? As Inada tells us, he is just a pretty guy who looks like a girl and thanks to that, he is saved as he is wearing a girl’s uniform he hated so much underneath. Nose bleeding fanservice for Inada! What about this last huge person, Yamada? As Inada says, despite his large demeanour, he is actually a gentle and nice person. Yamada tries to be convincing wearing makeup but he looks so hideous as Kenji punches him out. Another nose bleeding fanservice for Inada? Takao threatens to call the police just to best him as the conversation takes a turn that Kenji is a leg fetish instead of boobs fetish (a nickname Chitose gave him and now its permanently stuck). The police really come as they got a tip off that a civilian was being assaulted by some cult member. Yamada looks like the part so everybody abandoned him to save their skin. Uh huh. Yamada got taken into custody.

When Kenji returns to school, the first thing he sees in the club room is some random role playing by them. He really didn’t want to get involved but they force him to. As they’re about to discuss what to do for the cultural festival, Takao barges in and confronts Chitose about having them to be disbanded. Of course she can’t stand up to the might of this dangerous woman so she curses them to break up as she runs away. While Roka goes after her, Kenji asks Chitose why there are 2 Game Development Clubs. Seems Takao holds a grudge for almost driving the club into oblivion. Roka was a strange person. Wearing a sack in class? You get a picture. Because of that, she was treated coldly and slowly many left the club and eventually Roka herself left. Although mainly it is Chitose’s fault for burying those people in earth. Chitose being Roka’s friend suggested to form a club with her. Kenji is made to go after them (because the rest will only make things worse) and he sees them, erm, pushing each other but in a stalemate? Kenji thinks Roka wants to apologize but Takao is not amused. It’s too late for that. She wasn’t even in the wrong but quit. Why couldn’t she stay in the club with her? Roka can’t disband her club as she formed it with Chitose. Takao thinks back all their good moments spent together and then throws down a challenge. A duel between their clubs during the festival. The loser club will be absorbed. Isn’t the outcome the same? Roka seeks Kenji’s advice on what to do next but he tells her she already knows the answer. She accepts the challenge. So as they go back to get their brains racking, looks like they’ve got a long way to go… They’re going to lose at this rate…

Episode 3
As explained by Chitose, the real Game Development Club that was on the brink of disbanding made a comeback and even won awards. Because there is no way to beat them fair and square, sabotage is their only answer! Yeah. They know nuts about making games and the most is just know how to play games. Kenji is forced to spy on them (since he lost the game bet anyway) to see what they’re doing. Takao spots him but lets him in to see what they’re doing. He apologizes to Yamada for punching him the other day and barely recognizes Sakuragaoka who runs away just to change. Inada and Yamada talk about Takao’s boobs pressing against Kenji’s head for a soft cushion but his spikey hair may be getting in the way. Cheeky Roka pushes Takao forward and her boobs got pressed in his face. Roka gets kicked out, Kenji gets slapped. Takao tells Kenji to join their club since they are doomed to fail. However after thinking back all those events, he thinks settling via duel would be interesting. When he heads back to his own club room, he sees the rest playing some space porno board game. So Kenji didn’t go and crush the other side? Well, Chitose can use her ‘authority’… Better don’t! Kenji then gets an idea. By the time Sakuragaoka returns dressed as a girl, Kenji has already left. But it gave Inada a great fanservice. Enjoy it while you can.

During the festival, both clubs renew their rivalry. Takao fears the deadly aura from Chitose who would have loved to kill them instead. The penalty for the real Game Development Club remains the same. Win and the fake ones get absorbed. But for those fakes, if they win, Takao boobs will be descended into some vulgar finger play in which Chitose and Inada only understand. They’re looking so forward to it. Kenji visits the real Game Development Club to see how they’re doing. Quite well. Yamada and Sakuragaoka dressed as maids? Kenji then brings Takao to see how his own club is doing. A long queue outside this huge ‘castle’?! And they’re not playing computer games inside but physical games such as basketball and bowling. You could say Chitose used her authority and used all the guys as labour to build this huge thing overnight. Takao calls this is foul play but Chitose argues that the bet was to see which club get more visitors. In terms of originality, technically their ideas are taken from somewhere, right? Made theirs from scratch? So do they. What now Takao? She starts crying… Suddenly Chitose hugs her and starts apologizing (no crocodile tears) and hopes she won’t take this away from Roka as she feels at home here despite how everyone is an oddball. Speaking of Roka, she is acting as a director for people who come in to role play in her games. Takao asks if she is having fun. Since she does, Takao admits defeat. Roka says although she is the club’s president, she can’t join hers but would like to be her friend. But she ruined it when she cockily says she doesn’t mind her joining her club. Smack! At the end of the day, Takao chose not to destroy the fake club because it looks like Roka is doing her best in her own way. And then here comes the penalty… Whatever Chitose is going to do with Takao’s boobs…

Episode 4
The fake Game Development Club now calls itself as the real club, pissing off Takao a lot. And so she participates in their ‘brainstorming’ to suggest a new name for the club. It all sounds too cute and cool for Takao, therefore rejected. Kenji comes up with The Second Game Development Club but because it sounds too plain, they reject it. But Minami finally speaks up that their club does have an official name: Game Development Club (Provisional). WTF. One day, the Kazama Family meets the delinquent group, Evil Orchestra 14. No, they don’t use musical instruments to attack but rather they hog the music game arcades. Arcade freaks… They are going to teach the Kazama Family how fearsome they are. Ataru rushes back to Kenji’s club girls to tell him he has been kidnapped. Actually they don’t care or give silly excuses. Till Takao head butts Roka in the gut to tell her to go save him because she is his club president. No buts about it. And so with this excuse she needs to go to toilet, the rest follow her. Meanwhile Kenji is beaten and tied up (Yokoshima buried and Nagayama hanging). They must have gotten better with their fingers after playing so many music games. Yeah, all to reign supreme over the school one day. When they spot that space porno board game in Kenji’s bag (the girls have got to stop treating his bag as garbage bin), the gang members get so eager to play that they’re quarrelling who should go first!!! However everybody is singling out their leader, Odahara. Even though he gets this idea to split into groups to fight for the right to play, he himself gets left out (though the gang has 14 members, 5 are currently MIA). Then both groups continue to have a showdown by betting their idols, some loli housewife named Funabori and Takao. I guess that girl has some sort of reputation among the delinquents.

Odahara gets desperate enough to form a group with Kazama Family to fight back but Kenji doesn’t want to get involve and tells him off to solve it since he is the leader. Guess what? He takes the board game and breaks it! Yeah. It breaks his heart to see them fighting like this. And suddenly everyone gets emotional and mushy. For some reason, Kenji tries to attack Odahara but before the rest could fight back, the girls have arrived. Odahara thinks Kenji planned all this. It doesn’t help when the girls also accuse him of having a hand in it. Lies of course. The delinquents freak out because they never knew the powerful Chitose is Kenji’s woman. Dare say that again? They think Takao is Kenji’s woman because she’s the only one who is refuting like a tsundere. Odahara doesn’t want to fight but his underlings think this is chance to defeat Chitose and reign supreme. Odahara remembers a fellow member who got injured in battle about cooperating together and rule the school. So you wanna fight? Let’s go! Evil Orchestra 14 versus Girls Who Lost Their Way From The Toilet! Needless to say, those small fries got owned. Everyone thinks of taking out the weakest chick, Roka. But when she sees Kenji all roughed up, she becomes the evil dark master! Kenji had to stop her before she does any harm on Odahara who is sweating in his pants after realizing who this petite girl is. She is the one who brought the battle between the current and former student council president to a halt and is thus the secret ruler of the school, she is The Ultimate Darkness! Say what? Kenji just feels everything is so wrong… Roka is wide open so Odahara goes in for a sneak attack. Kenji swiftly blocks that wood smashing move and punches him out. Don’t you dare raise a hand against his club president! And with the day is saved, what is their next course of action? Play an updated version of that space porno board game! Kenji feels like he has wasted his anger…

Episode 5
The gang demonstrate how to play the space porno game to Kenji. He’s not interested. Here comes Chitose’s foot for him to think about. Takao is also here to keep an eye on them. Or is it she doesn’t have any friends? And no, she doesn’t want to play the game. Roka is disheartened and wants Kenji to force her to play. He thinks that since the game is for 4 players, if she takes his place, he’ll be scot free. In his desperate attempt to make her join, he will do anything for her. So once that is settled, he learns the game has evolved to 5 players. Goddamn it! The duo need to select their characters, some goody Buddha or perverted alien. Of course they scramble to take the Buddha so Roka wants to join in too and will wager her Joe character. It will be decided via rock-scissors- paper. Roka is like being a sore loser because she puts in weird hand signals which are supposed to be house rules. One that freeze the game for 2 minutes just to intimidate them with her swan pecking finger? The duo also do the same thing and Takao seems to be asking Kenji about his likes and dislikes (hint, hint). In the end, Roka does the hand signal that signals the game is postponed till the next time. Roka wants a new character created then but the duo are smart enough to use this hand signal each time so they never actually get to play the game.

Kazama Family’s reputation has gone up as rumours spread they have defeated Evil Orchestra 14. Also, they think they are the dogs for the student council. Speaking of which, here comes Chitose and Roka to come have lunch with him in his class! They strike a fearful presence among the students! Kenji doesn’t want to eat with them and wants to go somewhere but they spot his bento and think his sister made it for him. Checking it out, it seems normal (no heart shapes or anything). Yeah, they even take their time eating it. Noting he isn’t acting like a delinquent like skipping class, it seems the next class which is helmed my Mr Sean Conecone is somewhat his saviour. Many years ago when the Kazama Family are attending a superhero show on the rooftop, the building caught fire and they got trapped. Till Sean came and saved them. However Kenji didn’t want to be indebted with an old fart he didn’t know so Sean told him that if he helps out other people in such situation, they can call it even. Ever since, he has been inspired by him. What is Kenji going to eat now that everyone has finished his lunch? Roka can’t give hers as she ate her own earlier on. Chitose feeds him but the food fell on the floor. Not going to eat that? Till she mentions this Funabori girl whom amazingly is in his class (he didn’t even know it) cleans it every day so clean so you can bet it’s hell of a clean. Everybody starts worshipping her as thanks. After Kenji eats it, Chitose points how the floor is dirty since everyone stepped on it ever since. Lunch time is over and Kenji hasn’t had anything to it. Thanks guys for the company. Funabori wants to share her little lunch with him. Sean enters and sees this. He knows what is going on and gives an excuse he needs to go back to get the papers he forgot so it’s self study for 5 minutes. Everybody admires how cool he is. Later, Takao who has eavesdropped on everything, hands Kenji a bread. She picked the last one from the school store and he can repay her later. Tsundere? Sean spots them and tells them to appreciate their youth while minding his business. They find him cool.

Episode 6
Roka hides behind Kenji as she is running away from an enemy! This girl has somebody superior?! He is Hachi Shiou and is a bit of a school celebrity since his father is from some big company. He was taking time off to work in it so now he’s back. So? Oh, he is the other member of the Game Development Club (Provisional). Shiou narrates the first time he met Roka during the first year of high school. Let’s say he got enveloped by her darkness bag and that’s when he takes a liking for her. Oh God. Not another freak. But when Roka points out Kenji also had this treatment, it makes Shiou break out into some love triangle song. Kenji throws them away and probably too hard that Roka banged the wall. It’s darkness time. Shiou wants to share the darkness… Not just mad, freaky too. Back at the clubroom, Roka wins another tug of war against Shiou. Only thing is, they’re shoving the cabinet. Oh yeah. Roka’s winning streak continues. 82-0. Kenji continues to retort everyone of their misunderstanding about them. Isn’t he tired? When Funabori returns the bag all washed and clean, Shiou throws a challenge to Kenji. Not over Roka, but her bag. Disappointed, Roka? Kenji doesn’t care about it but he can never turn down a good challenge. Roka is upset that they’re fighting over her things that doesn’t involve her and wants in. And so Chitose proposes to invite others to join in this open entry battle. The more the merrier, right? Suddenly Takao who was eavesdropping also wants in.

Chitose and Inada become the commentators of this battle as Inada introduces all 48 competitors. Seems like a bunch of freaks with freakish nicknames if you ask me. Takao is reeling from some emotional pain after she found out they’re fighting over a bag and Kenji wasn’t the slightest interested in it. Chitose and Inada make a detour to condemn Takao’s boobs especially how those over-sized racks causes her not to zip up her jersey. Show off! Takao then forces to zip it up and everybody rejoice. Huh? When Inada introduces the prize, she is even surprised like the other contestants on what the hell this is. Till Chitose adds it was washed and cleaned by Funabori, everybody will die to get it! Yeah, even new contestants want to join in. For the first round, everyone have to push each other out of the ring. Those who manage to stay in after the time is up advances. So we see all the freaks clashing with each other while Roka is intimidating everybody with her Velociraptor hand signal. A freak is going to ‘bully’ Takao but Kenji comes to her rescue but he too almost gets kicked out by her. She doesn’t want him to win. I have a feeling why. Suddenly her jersey’s zip breaks and it becomes a projectile to hit at Kenji’s face. Time is up and Takao couldn’t believe she is still in this game…

Episode 7
When Kenji wakes up, Funabori already treated him. He is currently in the middle of the semi-final finger wrestling match with Shiou! How did he progress so far unconscious? Everyone agreed to seed him since he was out and promised to battle all they’ve got when they reach him. But unfortunately none of those freaks reached the semi-finals. This means the other semi-final is between Roka and Takao. Everyone’s attention is on them. At first it started out as a simple musical chair but they keep provoking each other and now it turns into some sort of showdown. When Funabori asks which of the girls Kenji would love to face in the final, he doesn’t mind since the one who wins means the strongest. He will beat her and become champion. The girls must have really sharp ears to hear this and Roka isn’t too pleased hearing that. She emits deadly aura and is about to release all she’s got at Takao. Then she charges! Suddenly! She grabs the chair and wins it. Disappointed fellow viewers? It wasn’t some kind of deadly move you were expecting, no? Thanks to that distraction, Kenji also wins his match and pins Shiou’s finger under his. The final match will be king’s game. Seriously, you can play that with 2 people? Whoever gets the king wins. Kenji and Roka seem like they’re ready to kill each other. It’s making Yamada the stick holder between them cowering in fear. Worst position to be in. Before the game begins, they start intimidating each other about the luck they have and that they are luckier than the other. Roka asks what he will do with her bag if he wins. He’ll treasure it as much as he can. That answer is enough for Roka to get serious. However Kenji like his badass attitude won’t let this game go down to chance or luck. He snaps off both sticks to send them flying in the air. Now they’re even. He then dashes backwards to escape Roka’s darkness and uses Yamada as a springboard to grab the broken pieces in the air. Everyone is shocked at first but it soon turns into cheers as Kenji is declared the winner. Roka admits defeat and hopes he’ll take care of her bag or he’ll hear from her. It makes him sound like he lost. She hopes to compete on something other than luck next time. She tosses him back her broken stick and it fits the king. She could have won so Kenji personally calls it a draw. Shiou is so thrilled over the events that he starts giving him a handshake and won’t let go. He relishes their eternal rivalry forever fighting over Roka and her bag. Just creepy…

Episode 8
Takao and Kenji are called to the teacher’s room. Seems it wasn’t the battle ruckus that they were summoned. It was the zipper boing incident! Takao even feels sorry that she has grown fat! That’s not the point. Although this brings the issue about the safety of zippers, the thing is, ever since that, many students have tried to emulate it and some got seriously hurt. Uh huh. So hurt that one didn’t turn up for school at all. Doesn’t it mean her zipper is working well? Then they ask Chitose back since she is always wearing a jersey. Story time. She got it from a student whom she can’t even remember her name. Since she was always wearing torn clothes, the student gave her jersey to her since she doesn’t need it after graduation. Takao is so touched that she wants her to take her jersey after graduation. Nobody asks the other teachers but they butt in about it. Kenji ends it that nobody is at fault. The jersey is safe and there is no need to change it as Chitose has proven how durable it is (it’s not torn and dirty). Outside, Takao apologizes to Kenji for causing lots of trouble. To make it up to him, she wants to treat him out this Sunday. So got spare time? Oh, I see where this is getting at. But come Sunday, you’d expect Takao to be treating him to food or the movies, right? So why the heck are they waiting in line for some retro game release???!!! Uh huh. She forgot all about it till this morning and since she summoned her courage to ask him out, she doesn’t want to waste it. WTF.

Kenji wants to leave but Takao uses that promise made during the space porno game to have him do what she wants and that is to accompany her till the game goes on sale. In the mean time, she tells him the history of the game which ranges from boringly stupid to incredible stupid. I don’t know. That’s how I see it. They see a familiar tent at the front on the queue. Their fears come true when it turns out to be Roka! She’s heading this way. Takao is so afraid to see her that they hijacked the clothes of the guy in front who is cosplaying as the game character. So Roka sees Kenji in the robe with Takao hiding behind it. Hot and stuffy. For Roka to get back in line, she wants him to do some character stance. The other guys join in which makes it a real pain for Kenji. Takao had to hug him as so to hide her legs. Something is pushing against his back… Before Roka leaves, she asks about the bag. He’s taking care of it by carrying it around with him. Roka is a happy little girl. Once she’s gone, Takao doesn’t seem happy. Must be Roka’s bag thingy again. So much so she runs away claiming she is sick. How can she run so fast if she is sick? Kenji is left behind and everyone just stares at him. At a distance, Takao feels guilty for abandoning him and regrets not buying the game. Suddenly Kenji returns and gives her the game. After she ran away, the store opened and all the guys in line voluntarily make way for him so he could go after his girl. Takao is very grateful and would like to treat him for real this time. However she has spent all her money on the game that she can’t pay for the meal… Seriously…

Episode 9
Shiou joins the Kazama Family for lunch. He asks about Roka’s bag he is keeping and assures he won’t do anything so low to steal it. He will at least stuff his head inside his bag because he likes tight places. Ataru won’t lose out and will protect his bag! Just great. Two perverts to deal with. Kenji is having a hard time fending the duo off so he requests Funabori to take it away. Why choose her? Such an easy target. With all the panicking, Kenji wants her to move and hide while he holds them off. She unloads the things in his bag and hides her head in it. There. Who looks like the bigger pervert? In the end, Ataru and Shiou give up and declare her the winner. You mad, sis? Meanwhile there is a strange girl outside the Game Development Club (Provisional). They bring her in and when they touch her spikey hair, it brings that familiar sense. Even the way she retorts… Too familiar… She gets pissed off that they are treating her hair like some sort of weapon. Of course you would have guessed she is Noe, Kenji’s little sister who is checking the club out since she finds it strange that her brother joined one. With all the big fish here, is this a place where big shots gather? She gets pulled into their weird pace when they think her element is ice (because she likes ice cream). Sakura thinks they’re sisters. Noe is surprised that Takao is the normal one. Maybe she doesn’t really belong here. When Takao gets a call from Inada, Roka sees her handphone strap. It is a limited edition of the game character that you can only get during that sale. Takao fears she has given herself away that she was there in line on that day but Roka mention that it was Kenji who was waiting. Noe vehemently objects that her brother would do this while Takao feels the need to save Kenji’s reputation and that they won’t get the wrong idea. So she tells them she was ordering him to stand in line to buy that game because of that promise. She just made it worse for Noe. Big bother doesn’t take orders from anybody so for a woman to be pushy with him, it must mean she has to be freaking awesome, right? Yeah, big awesome boobs, that is what she was told about.

She’s freaking out over those huge racks that she accidentally touches them. Takao’s turn to freak out and pushes away. She hits the cabinet. A couple of books fall on her head. Noe turns into a little girl, crying for her big brother and running away, blaming the boobs that sent her flying. Fear the boobs… Later when she meets up with Kenji, when she tells him she visited his club, he didn’t say a single word on their way back and bought her the most expensive ice cream. He knows, he knows… She must have suffered, right? Noe is to deliver Kenji’s forgotten lunch but runs into bad luck because it’s that big tits woman again. Before Takao can say sorry, Noe starts getting down on her knees to apologize! It’s like she fears her! She wants to show she is not scary and hopes they can eat together. Of course, her ulterior motive is to get closer to Kenji f she is close with her. Noe declines and says she has to deliver his lunch. Change of plan. Takao offers to deliver it instead (sounding like a robot. So obvious). Noe fears she will hijack it, change its contents and force feed Kenji! She starts crying and Roka thinks Takao is being a bully. Learning what happened, she offers to take it to Kenji. And so the tussle between them to deliver the lunch begins. None is giving way. Takao pulls too much that the lunch gets pressed into her boobs. Then it launches away like a springboard! Wow! It went 27 metres far!!! Awesome boobs! Oh… Everything is spilled. Feeling guilty, Takao hopes she can deliver the bread she bought. But Roka doesn’t think it will be enough and will use hers. When Kenji finally gets his lunch, he is surprised to see the 3 girls together. But his stomach can’t wait for his brain to think whatever their antics are. Opening up his lunch, he sees words of “I love you big sister” written in the rice. Everyone misinterprets he has a big sister doing that for him. As for the trio, they awkwardly eat their lunch in the clubroom.

Episode 10
Kenji should have figured it by now that if you’re playing poker with those girls, don’t even expect it to be ordinary poker. Uh huh. Everybody has got a flush of some weird character. Since he is the loser, he is made to go buy drinks. Suddenly Kenji is given a judo throw by Tama Sakai. Ataru comes running in to the girls to report Kenji has been kidnapped. Again? What a pain. This confirms it. His nickname shall be Princess Pinch. Kenji is in the hands of the ex-student council members consisting of Tama, Shisen, Azuma Matsubara and Naganuma. He is bait to lure the Game Development Club (Provisional) members. Kenji doesn’t remember about meeting Shisen. It was during that battle for Roka’s bag. Remember that big odd robot in the tournament? Yeah. She was hiding inside it. Don’t even ask. The girls are heard coming so Shisen is going to face them first. In that robot. Those girls pretend to be cleaning the floors so as not to raise suspicion that they are here. Why are they in the seniors’ area in the first place? They talk about Chitose’s bad relationship with them. They just hate each other. They are faced with the robot and Shisen is inside it. Everybody recognizes her as Pukey and she got this nickname when she vomited in front of the stage. Besides, it was Tama who first coined that nickname. The girls start attacking by hitting their broomstick on the robot. It must be ringing like mad inside. The science club president, Tennouzu is fighting with the guys over the controller. He gets mad when his precious robot is taking a beating so he sets the controller for the robot to spin. Poor Shisen… The only to get pass it is to tiptoe at the corner. But can Takao do it? Her boobs are sticking out like mad. When she drops her handphone, she gives the robot a super push to stop it dead in its tracks. Nobody messes with her handphone. That’s the end of the fight. That’s the end of Shisen. She’s vomiting all over inside. It’s going to stink.

So when everybody arrives in the classroom, it has been a long time since Chitose and Tama seen each other. Actually they saw each other at the cafeteria yesterday. The thought of Chitose in front of her at the queue makes her blood boil. And so that’s how this showdown began. Chitose throws dirt at her but Tama evades. This is a combo trick to trap Tama in Roka’s darkness. However Roka spreads her twintails and it effectively prevented her head from being covered by the bag! Shisen is back as she explains how it is thanks to her she developed this move. Back when they were young, Tama used to let her hair down and since she always plays kabuki with it, Shisen always vomited (I guess she’s been prone to puking since then). To seal it, Tama tied it up. But also did double kabuki! Anyway Tama cannot let the club do what they want anymore. Especially how Chitose’s tyranny during the festival used the student council as manual labour. She can’t have people forgetting about them because of her tyranny so she wants the club shut down to be taught a lesson. She tries to persuade Takao to agree with her since she did have a history of wanting to shut them down too. Although Takao is scared about her scary face, she manages to keep calm and reply that she needs a rival club for hers. Good for competition. Kenji doesn’t want her to get those unrelated involved and if there is something she doesn’t like about the club, they’ll face them head on. It is agreed to have a battle. Four on four. Since the Game Development Club (Provisional) has got more people, they have to choose. Initially Shiou wanted to participate but they lock him in a locker and that’s how Kenji made the cut. So as for what game to play, this one is going to be a headache. It’s either to weird or too plain. And can somebody please untie Kenji already?

Episode 11
As Takao suggests, both sides will write a question in their handphone. The opponent will try to snatch it from them and answer it correctly to eliminate them. The last team standing wins. But the thing that motivates them is stealing their handphone… That’s all they need to know. If the Game Development Club (Provisional) loses, they’ll be disbanded. Otherwise, Tama will give them 10,000 Yen. Although the game officially starts in 10 minutes and everybody can hide anywhere in school, Chitose has an early pre-game face off with Tama. Because Roka has been weakened by Tama’s grasp, she wants Kenji to take her to the infirmary where she’ll recover. Oh, he has to carry her princess style for her strength to replenish faster. Sure she’s not making this up? Takao sure wishes that was her. Kenji is obstructed by Evil Orchestra 14 at the hallway. They are siding with Tama because thanks to her, they get to hog the arcades again. However the Kazama Family and their freaky allies get into a brawl with them to let Kenji and co pass. Along the way, Roka explains the other ex-student council members. If you ask me, they sound like goofballs… When the game officially starts, they run into Matsubara. Sakura engages her. They’re both swift with their hands. Meanwhile, things are heating up between Chitose and Tama. Chitose using Ataru as a human shield. She’s not breaking any rules since Ataru is an ‘object’. Yeah. He even likes it. With Naganuma in the picture, however this anime nerd is ‘paralyzed’ and cannot attack back since Roka and Sakura sound like very familiar seiyuus. Roka has healed a lot and she wants him to use his secret attack to head to Chitose (from Takao’s call, it sounded like she’s in real trouble). Kenji puts her down and then jumps out the window to use Yamada’s body as springboard to jump high to the next level. This is his secret move? It attracted the basketball club players as they bug him to join their club. Naganuma is hit by Roka’s darkness. She steals his handphone and can easily answer his anime question since he was too dumb to leave the hint on his wallpaper. He’s out. Kenji calls Takao and puts her handphone on loudspeaker. He has heard that Chitose has never defeated Tama. Speaking of which, she is beaten up quite badly. He apologizes for getting them involve and wants her to hang in there till he arrives. Chitose gets back up and tells him to hurry and become her second human shield or she’ll clean everything up before he arrives. She ties her hair into a ponytail. How is this supposed to beat Tama’s twintail?

Episode 12
Chitose senses a chilling battle taking place and makes a bet with the other teachers whose side will win. But all that is irrelevant as we go back in time to see how Chitose and Tama met. At the park where meek 4 year old Chitose was building a sand castle, Tama came to destroy it. Chitose’s sick sister who is desperate for Chitose to make friends because from the way she sounds it’s like she has not much time left in this world and her little sister is of the loner type, she wanted Tama to be her friend. Unfortunately Tama was cocky and didn’t need her. That’s when Roka came into the picture. Roka taught Chitose how to make a sand castle but jealous Tama destroyed it. Roka punished her with her darkness (pail over her head) and told Chitose about the need to dirty her hands to accomplish something. So that’s how Chitose turned badass. So that’s how they continued their rivalry throughout the years. Yeah. It was sure a nice composition written by Roka with the help of Sakura and Matsubara. I wonder how many of it is pure fiction. Don’t tell me all… And then they got into an argument of which hairstyle is the best. Of course Kenji sides with Chitose since he is not going to let her crush the club and mentions the twintails on Tama makes her look ugly. He’s going to pay for that. Ataru seems to be begging to be used as a shield. Needless to say, he enjoys getting all the sumo slaps and kabuki hair swings from her. Kenji also gets pushed around but Takao so happen to prop up his back. Giving excuse that she just happened to be passing by on her way to the toilet, blah, blah, blah. Plus, it would be troublesome if he loses so if the club gets shut down she won’t let them join hers. That was supposed to sound convincing? Oh heck, it motivated everyone to finish this fight so she can go to the toilet. Speaking of toilet, Matsubara and Sakura just finished using them. Their match ended in a tie and now they’re good friends.

Chitose slams a mud ball into Tama’s face to enable Kenji to get up close with her. He quips she looks better with her hair down and lets them loose. This is his favourite hairstyle? Of course this is a setup so Roka can put the bag of darkness over her head. Chitose takes her handphone and answers the relatively easy question. It’s like as though she never had any intention to fight them all. The Game Development Club (Provisional) is declared the winner and Tama admits her defeat. So let’s play again another time, okay? Makes it look like they’re good friends, eh? Have we forgotten somebody? Shisen is feeling okay now and barges back into the scene. Yeah. One more pipsqueak to finish off. Then her vomit syndrome comes back. Hurry up and end this game! Eventually Tama becomes a habitual visitor to the Game Development Club (Provisional). Because this place got lots of candy? Oh, she sucks in the board game too. Roka suggests Tama join their club in which of course the latter decline with insults. Then here comes the other habitual visitor. This time Takao has her hair down! What’s the occasion? Doing it on a whim doesn’t sound convincing. Minami then comes in to tell them about the staff meeting regarding their recent tag game. They’re all suspended till further notice! Lastly, Minami won the bet and gets the other teacher’s prize. Including Sean’s cursed diamond skull. Noticing the missing eye and that the banana she is eating fits it, she puts it in and suddenly… What the hell is this blinding light?! APOCALYPSE UNLOCKED???!!!

You Have To Be Insane To Have Fun
Well, this was absolutely hilarious! I have to admit that everything was so nonsensical, random and anything goes that even though there is hardly a plot, character development or the story not going anywhere (heck, is there one to begin with?), everything is forgivable since they made me laugh like mad. As long as there is the nonsense no matter how silly or illogical it is, as long as it is funny, this anime passes with flying colours. I suppose these days if you really want to stand out in the comedy genre, you really have to go to extreme lengths and make it look real funny. But not going too far that it looks more stupid and silly than funny. Therefore this anime seems to have hit the right combination and mix of comedy and silliness that if it wasn’t being confined to just a high school theme, I dare say it could have rivalled Gintama.

Oddly the Game Development Club (Provisional) doesn’t make any computer games but nothing in their title ever said a game should be of the video type, right? What we see them create (or improvise madly if you want to term it that way) are games that do not require any programming or inputting of Java commands. They ‘create’ traditional games that can be held or experienced by our own 2 hands. So in that sense, that is why I think 2 types of game clubs exist in this school. They could have easily take the crown of being the most innovating board game creators for many years running if only their rules do not sound so perverted or one-sided. Uh huh. Fair play is literally thrown out and non-existent. Everything goes and is possible as long as you win. Who doesn’t want to win? When there is a winner, there is always a loser. Maybe that’s why they brought Kenji into the club. Somebody has to lose and make the winner feel superior. But of course I doubt that would be the real reason. The important part is not making the game but the time spent together and that’s where the bonds between the members are created. Driving you crazy comes with it. That’s why no matter how much the girls piss Kenji off, he still stays and defends the club.

The best part in being a nonsensical comedy genre is the characters. Every one of them here including those minor extra characters that you wouldn’t really care about are so memorable and some likeable because of their quirkiness. Uh huh. It’s like everyone has this hidden potential to be a clown or joker. Uh huh. Everybody in this anime is just plain crazy. Take for Kenji for instance. He might be your normal delinquent wannabe guy. But at times when it matters, he gets serious and protects those that are important to him. Sounds like a fail delinquent wannabe, right? Sounds like a typical lead male protagonist guy, right? So what is the best part about him? His retorts! It’s like his role in this anime is just to retort all the silly antics everyone around him does. And he says it with so much passion and freaking annoyance that he sounds funny just doing that. Because of that, the comedic effect doubles up and laughing becomes inevitable. Even if you don’t laugh at the silly antics of the rest, his instant retorts will. At least, it had that effect on me. The retorts could be the best dialogues in the series as some are really funny and witty. But mostly funny. This guy is so good that he could be the king of retorts and maybe challenge Gintama’s Shinpachi for the title. If ever one exists. He can’t help it since everybody loves pulling pranks and making dumb statements just to make him retort. Yeah. He is such a fun guy to make fun of too. Being called nicknames and even being kidnapped twice. Which male protagonist gets this kind of treatment? Not unless you’re in this crazy show. Yeah, they drive him crazy.

Then you have Roka who borders between cute and dark (which resembles more like yandere mode). But either way she looks cute. Despite her darkness and ‘fire’ element, I think she has one more element: Chibi mode! Because I see her go into this mode quite often so I think it could be another ability of hers. By now we should already know that Takao hangs out in Roka’s club more often than her own simply because of a guy she has a crush on but can never admit to. Her humongous boobs are supposed to be for fanservice but the way it is made out of a joke in certain scenes, we tend to forget the fanservice part. Then again, maybe not. Because it feels like her boobs are made of jelly… Chitose is badass and Minami uses the clubroom as her personal bedroom. She shouldn’t be a teacher and should get a job as a pillow tester. Then again, she doesn’t need a pillow to just fall asleep anywhere. Sakura I feel gets the least focus among the Game Development Club (Provisional) members so if there is something I need to describe her other than her quirkiness, it would be her cheerfulness. For the real Game Development Club members, seems Sakuragaoka can never get the chance to tell Kenji he is a guy, Inada nose bleeding at the fantasies right before her eyes and Yamada the gentle giant. Shiou and Ataru can be good masochist buddies-cum-rivals but the former seems to prefer tight and dark places. As long as they can feel the pain, they’re alright with everything. In this world, there must always be someone who loves to receive than to give.

Tama has this crazy look in her eyes and sound that it feels if you let your guard down, she can quickly snap your neck before your know it. I take it that Chitose and Tama’s long standing rivalry is just that they want to become friends? Not like they would admit it anyway. Other minor characters are equally memorable too like Noe who only made a single episode appearance. I guess it is enough to give this little sister a lot of trauma after meeting those weird girls. She might even break and turn into a crazy person worthy to be sent to an asylum if she stays with this pack. Other than Roka, Funabori is another character exuding lots of moe charm (or for those who prefer flat chests). Who wouldn’t want to have a good woman with good housewife properties? Sean exudes an aura of coolness since of course he is a mix of Sean Connery and Indiana Jones. What? You don’t find Sean Connery cool? Or you’re not old to know who this first James Bond is. I wonder if this school is some sort of alternate reality for Hollywood actors because besides the Sean Connery look-a-like, there is another teacher that looks very much like Grease’s John Travolta. Even his name is suspiciously close: Boruta Torada. Okay, close enough.

There is a hint of romance in it but don’t get your hopes up too much. You can’t put in a decent romance theme when you have oddballs and slapstick comedy sticking out like a sore thumb. Roka and Takao are mainly seen as the front runners who have a crush on Kenji as we can see their reaction just to get his attention or to impress him. But you know, Roka is just being an oddball and Takao a typical tsundere, a dense guy like Kenji would never get it. And it makes us viewers frustrate that you just want to yell at them to just say it already. But then again, who cares about the development in the romance area when the comedy makes up for the rest of it. It’s either you laugh like mad or swoon your heart out at the swirling romance. You can’t have both. I am not sure but I am having a hunch that Funabori has a crush on Kenji. And probably Tama too. Otherwise, what other reason would she be hanging out in that club especially when there’s a rival she ‘hates’? Am I seeing a trend here? Other people not originally from the club hanging out just to be close to Kenji? So if Funabori gets serious, she too might be making her housewife rounds to the club. Yeah. But I don’t think this anime would currently develop into a harem although technically having the minimum 2 girls liking a guy constitutes a harem. But as with times, the more the merrier to be qualified as a harem. The other girls in the club also do take a liking for Kenji but my guess is that it is just as far as for someone to tease about instead of someone who is seriously gunning for romance.

At the end of most of the episodes, there is an additional short nonsensical footage like how the theme of this manga came about (seriously, it was supposed to be some wrestling themed?) and a short-lived tale of the school’s nocturnal baldies. But the one mainly hogging this section is the Legend of the Masochistic Hero Ataru. Perhaps it’s the only segment he gets to be a ‘star’. See how this masochistic guy goes about in his masochistic ways. On second thought, you might not want to unless you want to laugh at his failing ways. Also amusing is the end card illustrations illustrated by different people for each episode. Some funny, some cute.

Art and animation wise, it isn’t the best there is but it is standard and conventional that casual viewers won’t have any big complaints about it. Things are filled with lots of colours (for example, Shisen’s puke ‘represented’ using colourful flowers) and my guess is to symbolize the vibrant and colourful characters and their insane personality. But I guess we couldn’t care less about that seeing we have the main characters looking like your typical bishonen or bishoujo while the other minor ‘not important small fries’ characters looking very much like freaks to match their freaky behaviour and equally freaky nickname. Brain’s Base is the studio production for this anime. They also made ‘colourful’ animes such as Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru, Mawaru Penguindrum, Akikan, Blood Lad, Kurenai and Kuragehime.

Katsuyuki Konishi as Kenji certainly fits his role as the retorting delinquent well. Maybe it’s because he voiced a leading delinquent as Oga in Beelzebub before. And perhaps other cool badass characters too like Laxus from Fairy Tail and Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Kana Hanazawa is identifiable as Roka since she sounded a bit like Inu x Boku SS’ deadpan Karuta but with more lines unless she is in her ‘fire’ element mode then she sounds like her typical cutie trademark. Other recognizable seiyuus include Shizuka Itou as Takao (sounds like a more emo version of Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Jun Fukuyama as Ataru (just like another pervert he voiced, Toori in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon), Mikako Takahashi as Sakura (Rushuna in Grenadier), Kana Ueda as Tama (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Aki Toyosaki as Funabori (Ai in Kamisama No Inai Nichiyoubi) and Akira Ishida as Naganuma (Gaara in Naruto). Not so recognizable for me is Chiwa Saito as Chitose since she was putting on a lower voice than usual. Heck, not that I could recognize the voice of Rebecca from Pani Poni Dash from time to time. Other casts include Ami Koshimizu as Minami (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Kouki Miyata as Shiou (Fujisaki in Danganronpa), Eri Sendai as Shisen (Touka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Yuko Sanpei as Matsubara (Chizuru in Kimi Ni Todoke), Megumi Toyoguchi as Inada (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist), Ryoko Shiraishi as Sakuragaoka (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), Emiri Katou as Noe (Akatsuki in Log Horizon) and Jouji Nakata as Sean (Kirei in Fate/Stay Night).

In line with the crazy and mad theme of this entire anime, the opening and ending themes are aptly crazy and infectious. You want to find it annoying but can’t help find it amusing at the same time so much so you can’t hate the song. Get what I’m saying? The crazy rock opening song of Stalemate by IOSYS jk Girls, sets the tone and pace of what to expect of this series. If words like high tension and hallelujah in the lyrics should give you an idea on just about everything there is. Despite the ending credits animation having the characters in chibi form, don’t be fooled by their cute looks because the ending song is equally crazy with video game-like synthesizers spamming all over and the seiyuus of Kana Hanazawa, Shizuka Itou, and Aki Toyosaki singing Minna No Namae Wo Irete Kudasai with equally hilarious lyrics to go with.

The only downside to this anime is that while I was having fun watching this anime… It ended! Uh huh. Too short? Maybe they should make another season of this and put more crazy characters and insane activities that will get them suspended. But in a way it is a good thing this series was short because if it stretches to who knows how many episodes, the weariness will set in and unless they can pull it off like Gintama, the fun and insane factor will be gone. It becomes plain, boring and the norm. I guess it is true that only in a mad person’s world, being insane is just like being normal. The reason why the characters in this anime don’t see each other as mad. And they are mostly high school students. Imagine the percussion if they are working adults. I highly recommend this anime to be watched just for laughs. But be warned, you may lose your common sense if you laugh too much because I feel I am a bit influenced by their antics when the series ended. Laziness is my element as I am too lazy to get out of my chair to do anything else but watch animes. And I have created a pass card that stops time just to let me watch all the animes I want while everybody else loses a turn. So far so good… [Insert scathing retort(s) here… If you have a retort pass card. Otherwise go directly to jail, do not pass go and do not collect $200. And watch this anime while you’re doing time :)].

Genshiken Nidaime

April 20, 2014

Well, I didn’t expect they came out with another season of the previous season aired way back in 2007. I guess somehow the summer of 2013 had quite a number of anime sequels, making me think that it is the season of anime sequels. Rozen Maiden, Senki Zesshou Symphogear, High School DxD and Tamayura just to name a few. But Genshiken Nidaime is not to be confused with the second season of the Genshiken series. This is in fact the fourth instalment. Well, if you count the OVAs as another season. Nidaime may be a confusing word to some because it means second generation. Some may take it as a second season but it’s really not. Second generation I feel is quite suitable but yet not as accurate for this season because no doubt there are new members to the Genshiken club, the old ones still make their presence felt as they do return to their university club from time to time. All of them. So it’s like they’ve never left the club in the first place. And when you think of a second generation, you would think entirely new set of casts and the old ones just rolled over somewhere. But still, it is still worth the watch if you’re an otaku and a fan of the series.

Episode 1
Ogiue is worried on how to recruit additional members to Genshiken seeing Oono and Kuchiki are the only ones left. Suddenly here comes crazy foreigner and transfer student, Suzy to the fore! There you go, she’s back and joining the club. But they need to do more than that. Despite dressing up in cosplay outfit, Ogiue is going to do what she does best. She starts drawing on the white board and this attracts everyone’s attention. In the end only 2 members joined. BL enthusiast, Rika Yoshitake and I-thought-this-frumpy-woman-looks-like-a-guy, Mirei Yajima join the bandwagon. Oh, there is a third one, the beautiful Kenjirou Hato. Yoshitake seems like trying to turn this into a BL discussion by handing out her favourite BL works. Ogiue is worried Genshiken will turn into a BL circle at this rate. Cheeky Kuchiki is admiring Hato’s hair and tugs it… It nearly comes off! A wig?! Wait a minute… Hato is a cross-dresser???!!! A guy who loves BL???!!! Why do weird people end up in this club? Oono becomes interested in Hato because she wants to put on some cosplay costumes on him… Or her… Whichever. Later Suzy goes to Madarame’s house just to make him answer a call to meet with the rest. Along with some of the other ex-members of Genshiken, they try to pinpoint which of the 3 new members is a boy. Can’t really tell, huh? The rest can’t either. But when Saki comes in, she immediately could pinpoint Hato as the cross-dresser!

Back in the clubroom, Oono wants Ogiue to ensure that the newbies stay because this club has a history of members joining and then quitting. Maybe she just wants to cosplay Hato. Besides, Ogiue and Kuchiki were from different circles before they joined Genshiken. The topic shifts to Hato and how he dresses up. Where does he change? On the campus? Kuchiki wants to be the first guy to catch Hato in the act of changing and goes to find him. Of course the girls think it will be a big problem if Hato changes on campus so Ogiue is forced to call him and is relieved he is at home (I don’t know about the president’s job to guard Hato’s chastity). Yajima is the only one bothered by Hato’s cross-dressing. The rest aren’t because they had Kousaka who cross-dressed for cosplay as well as Saki. Ogiue leaves the room and to her dismay, sees Hato coming out from the woman’s toilet! Wasn’t she changing at home? Hato runs away and almost bumps into Kuchiki. Don’t worry. Her auto defence mode kicks in and gives him a judo throw. Hato is reprimanded by the rest for changing in the toilet because the police could have gotten involved (I’m not sure about this rule). Hato doesn’t change at home because it takes a long time to put on everything. She doesn’t want to miss the bus. Why not change here in this room? She doesn’t want them to think of her as a man. Yajima couldn’t understand what the fuss is all about because it would be better for everyone if she comes in as a guy. Till Kuchiki tries to be cool about telling her off something about someone this cute couldn’t possibly be a girl but Ogiue steals his line. How did they solve this problem? They have Hato change at Madarame’s place and have him give the keys to his apartment.

Episode 2
Ogiue suggests making a short pamphlet to introduce the club members. She demonstrates and it looks good. However Yajima mentions she isn’t good at drawing so Yoshitake suggests they hang out at her place to help her draw. Call it some sort of bonding between the newbies but as Yajima fears, Yoshitake didn’t really get down to drawing and wants to talk about some BL pairings. It must be a long night of fun because when Yajima wakes up, she realizes nothing got done. Seeing Hato asleep, it makes her wonder if she is truly a guy. One way to find out, right? Touching her smooth skin and remembering the beauty regime Hato did just for the skin to stay beautiful, the dilemma is continuing to tear Yajima apart. Could be a girl. Or could not. All she needs to do is take a quick look underneath her skirt when Yoshitake catches her in the act! Perverts, aren’t they? Yoshitake wants to join in but when Yajima tries to prevent her, the gust of wind blows up Hato’s skirt. What did she see? Let’s say her worst nightmare is confirmed. Everyone hands in their pamphlet and nobody guessed Hato could draw a very hentai BL illustration…

Ogiue receives a call from her editor that her one-shot manga will be published. However it will run in September and October which means it will clash with their ComiFest event. To help Ogiue with her tight schedule, the newbies go to her home to become her assistants. Kuchiki is appalled that his harem is gone and he can’t go either because Oono is there to make him stay put. Yajima is so bad at drawing that she flops at her first go. And that is even drawing a straight line… At school, Yajima laments Hato is like the perfect person and good at everything. Suddenly a guy comes up to her asking about Hato. Luckily Kumiko Yabusaki from the Manga Research Club drove him away. Yajima and Yoshitake head to Ogiue’s house and are surprised to see Hato in a shorter wig. It gets in the way of the drawing. They tell her how she is popular enough that other people are asking for her. Yajima again brings up the topic of cross-dressing. If she stops, the attention to the guys will also stop. She wants to know why she is so obsessed in cross-dressing. Her school didn’t have a manga club so the closest was the art club. She joined and when she wanted to talk BL with those with same interest, I guess you can tell what happened. Yajima felt guilty for probing her. It’s like as though she was jealous. But still, she tells Hato that she doesn’t need to force herself like this because they won’t bully her. Yoshitake tells Yajima she doesn’t understand. The reason why she is cross-dressing is because she loves it. Every guy wants to be a girl at least once. Hato adds it’s not because she was bullied or viewed it as fun. She was able to see herself and her situation from the outside. It’s somewhat interesting. Like when she got the key to Madarame’s house. That situation could lead to Hato x Madarame, right? When Yajima and Yoshitake leave for the night, they see Oono pulling up a van with Tanaka and Kugayama. She is here with loads of boxes of cosplay outfits. She is ready to cosplay. However she is shunt out because Ogiue is busy working. Thank goodness they haven’t unloaded the boxes yet.

Episode 3
Madarame returns home from work as a salary man in a sewer construction company. His place is nicely cleaned up by Hato but is relieved that his secret stash is still safe. It must be nostalgia’s sake that Madarame sits in Genshiken’s room alone. Till Keiko (Sasahara’s sister) pops in. She works in a cabaret but points out it is not a prostitution ring. There’s a big difference. Keiko is upset that Madarame tries to hide his feelings for Saki. He thought nobody knew? It was obvious. He continues to play dumb so she gets rough with him. Suzy walks in and sees them in an ambiguous position. Before Keiko leaves, she tells him to ask somebody out for real for once. Suzy suggests a way to move forward without giving up on his last love: Find yourself a new love. Isn’t that contradicting? Anyway she hands him lots of BL references… Not into that! Madarame goes home to see Hato just finishing and leaving. He almost goes crazy after thinking about something unholy with Hato. Looks like a woman, sounds like a woman, talks like a woman, but… On another day, Hato dressed as a boy is outside Madarame’s apartment. His female alter-ego is excitedly making some Hato x Madarame comments and to go for it. There’s even suggestion of pretending to be asleep and then surprise Madarame with a yaoi attack or really fall asleep and let Madarame attack him with his yaoi move. But Hato fell asleep for real and when Madarame wakes him up normally, he starts panicking. There goes the plan. Madarame cooks for him and so Hato’s mind goes wild thinking this may turn out to be Madarame x Hato flag instead. Madarame speaks normally to him because at least he is a guy (for now) and it’s tough to talk with the rest being girls. Hato mentions the voice training he did from books and internet to make his voice sound like a girl. He also mentions that he is not that a hardcore of BL because if he really was, he would have fallen in love with him by now. As Madarame continues to talk casually with him, Hato feels he isn’t wary or suspicious at all. Madarame falls asleep so Hato puts him to bed. A chance for a goodnight kiss attack? Doesn’t feel like it tonight. As he leaves, he felt something drop behind the shelves. He picks it up to see a secret stash containing photos of Saki in cosplay outfits.

Episode 4
Oono picks up Angela at the airport. Meanwhile Ogiue and the newbies are making a crazy rush to finish their work just before ComiFest begins. I wonder how many crazy nights they have stayed up together. But suddenly Hato can’t work. Because she spots a beard growing. She can’t work like this. Yajima tells her off just change into her man outfit and get it over. But… She didn’t bring any guy clothes. Yoshitake has an idea. Remember those cosplay outfits she dumped here? There has to be one that is for males, right? However… None there are! All female cosplay outfits for the trap! Disappointed? But she hasn’t given up yet. Yajima’s size is XL, right? Yeah. Yajima is forced to wear the cosplay while Hato wears her over-sized clothes. Yoshitake also ‘cosplays’ by wearing a jersey. Because Yajima realize Hato may have to go home in her clothes, she refuses to lend it to him and forces the trap to wear a female outfit instead. Yoshitake then convinces Suzy and Ogiue to dress up too. But when Yabusaki comes over, she is appalled to see them so and thinks they are not serious in making the deadline and lectures for an hour. After that she helps out and they finish. On the first day of ComiFest, our non-staff Genshiken members wait outside for it to open. Angela molests Hato’s ‘boobs’ just to ascertain he is a boy and gets scolding by Oono. As ComiFest opens, the newbies plan their route to buy the doujins they want. Oono and Angela cosplay for photographers. Yabusaki and Suzy help out in Ogiue’s booth but the president isn’t here herself because she ended up having fever. Thanks to those crazy nights…

Yabusaki is surprised that Ogiue’s doujin is well received and feels guilty like as though they are trying to profit off her. She just wanted to work with her? She sounds like a tsundere. Hato is having trouble going to the toilet. She is made clear that it is only the male toilet for her. There’s a long line… Imagine what the other guys will think when they see a girl waiting in queue. Yabusaki meets Ogiue’s middle school friend, Nakajima. When this b*tch finds out Ogiue is a president of a circle, she mocks Ogiue about trying to kill herself over a guy again. She thought something happened to her because she didn’t turn up in the last ComiFest with her boyfriend. Because back in middle school she used her boyfriend, Makita as the source for her BL doujin. He was so embarrassed that he transferred schools. Suzy is about to blow her top but Yabusaki was just cool to say this job is perfect for Ogiue. Suzy adds that Ogiue and her boyfriend are dating and very happy together. Since there is nothing more to b*tch about, Nakajima leaves. She won’t be back here again and hopes she won’t meet Ogiue. It’s better that way. Well, she’s standing right behind you now… Noticing her fever is running high, Yabusaki orders Suzy to take her away. At the end of the day, Ogiue’s doujin was a sell-out. Ogiue is brought back home as Sasahara takes over from the girls. Suzy gets jealous and hopes this boyfriend will explode. Ogiue lets go her emotions. She held up crying because if Suzy saw her so, she would worry. She made her help out a project that has nothing to do with Genshiken and got too sick to come on the day they sold their first doujin. All Sasahara says is that even if her fever subsides, she still shouldn’t go tomorrow either.

Episode 5
Everyone joins in on the third day of ComiFest. Except for Sasahara who is nursing sick Ogiue. Oono loves today because it is group cosplay. Angela still likes Madarame and tries to flirt with him but Oono puts a stop to her before she gets more daring. Hato feels bad for Madarame so he decides to go as a boy and accompany him, breaking Oono’s heart because this means he can’t be in the group cosplay. She was really looking forward to it… By the way, it’s Madoka Magica theme and Suzy is Kyuubey! Fitting or what? Hato talks to Madarame about the fest and the likes. They also talk about Angela but Madarame thinks she is only fooling around and is here for ComiFest. Hato knows he is lying when Madarame says he has no interest in 3D girls. Pics of Saki behind the shelf… Hato is probably trying to boost his confidence saying he can get along with any girl. Madarame almost interpreted this situation as gay. When they continue their ‘tour’, they see Kousaka cross-dressed. He is working to promote a new eroge. They send a picture of Kousaka to Oono and she is fuming with jealousy and frustration. She can’t go to see him because she can’t leave the cosplay area and he can’t go to see her because he is working. And yeah. The cosplay outfit of Madoka she made for Hato was wasted since she didn’t cosplay. Hato notes Kousaka as Madarame’s rival for Saki. But aren’t Kousaka and Saki dating? He doesn’t think Madarame can win since Kousaka is cute even without makeup. Talking about this to Madarame again, that guy even hints he can’t win. So Hato puts on his wig and transforms back into a girl. This is to prove he is as good as Kousaka when it comes to cross-dressing so don’t say he can’t win against him. When they regroup, Angela of course tries to flirt with Madarame but Hato steps in (translation courtesy from Oono). Angela becomes aggressive telling Hato about rights and future thingy to counter her argument of feelings that develop over time is much stronger than one night stand (as suggested by Angela). I suppose Hato panics. She losses it when she says Madarame is more of the uke type. She goes on pairing Madarame with all the Genshiken guys but the one she finds more fitting is Kousaka x Madarame! Her logic that Madarame doesn’t have time to be dating a girl? Angela is going to get serious and let Madarame’s fingers touch her breast. This time Suzy cuts in. She can’t take it anymore and gives that American a butt kick! And it’s butt kick all the way out! Yankee go to hell! Thumbs up for Hato? Hato apologizes for saying those things but Madarame couldn’t be more grateful for being saved from something much worse than death. Then it hit him. He is uke?! Biggest shock he ever had.

Episode 6
Ogiue learns about Hato calling Madarame an uke. Suzy thinks Ogiue should show Hato about her Sasahara x Madarame doujin to cheer her up. Because outside Genshiken, Hato is always alone and she only has Madarame as the only male friend. So Ogiue shows the newbies that doujin and everyone is impressed how good it is! Yoshitake wants to photocopy them! Somehow the plan backfired because it flipped some weird switch in Hato. Now she will draw what she has always fantasized. Madarame suddenly walks in and everybody scrambles to hide the doujin. Suzy called him to come to settle this but didn’t expect him to come so soon. Yajima apologizes to him because when they first saw him, they really think he is the uke type. She hopes they can ignore what they say and write it off as bad experience. But there’s an unwanted problem brewing. Kuchiki has made his decision. Just for his precious Hato, he is willing to be seme and tries to kiss Madarame! Suzy’s foot was fast enough to kick his face. But that’s not enough to put him down. Now he wants to pull down his pants! Show me your ass! Hato chokes him unconscious while Madarame runs out for his life! Kuchiki then develops some fetish for Hato’s choke. Because she won’t do it to him again, he is going to wait for Madarame to show up and attack him. Then the guy who asked for Hato, Harima comes in to show his friend about her. Yajima feels the need to do something about this because all the other members are not around. Kuchiki is being a useless coward. Suddenly there is this hot guy coming in to tell them off they do not belong here. He is Rihito and Yoshitake’s older brother. He is a shotacon. Do we really need to know that? Yajima can’t look at him because it’s turning on her yaoi switch. Rihito compliments Hato and it seems he doesn’t know about the cross-dressing. Yoshitake could tell about Yajima’s flustering and suggests they all go out for a drink.

On their way out, they are stopped by Mikami from the Circle Leadership Committee. He heard complaints and rumours of a student attending circle meeting who is not a student of this university. The description fits Hato and he hopes she could clear this up. Suddenly Harima doesn’t want Mikami to pry further. He told him he would look into it and leave it to him. He never told them about himself because if he did and tried to hit on Hato, Mikami would get angry. As he is about to get Hato’s statement, here comes Kuchiki the raging bull! Before he could attack Harima, Hato chokes him unconscious. He gets his wish… Before he passes out, he touches Rihito’s chest and he lets out a girly scream… Eh… Could Rihito be… And so it is revealed she is actually Yoshitake’s younger sister, Risa. As a basketball player, she is often mistaken to be a guy. Yoshitake brought her here just to test them if they could tell. Yoshitake also reveals her real age (20 years old) but Yajima doesn’t care for that. But because of her prank, she will have to pay for the drinks. Back home, the newbies and Risa talk and Risa expresses her wish to see Hato as a guy. Initially he is reluctant but Yajima accidentally spills her drink on her. Hato goes to take a bath and Yoshitake takes this chance to peep on her. She is going to ascertain ‘that’. With Risa holding down Yajima (because little sister must obey what big sister says), Yoshitake makes her way to the toilet. Yajima uses her fatty power to go on a rampage. Everyone stumbles into the bathroom and I guess it is the second time Yajima sees it. This time very clearly with her eyes. Since Yoshitake was the only one who didn’t see, she pesters Risa to explain further since she is flustering about it being silky smooth. Yajima makes Risa lose her memories with a big chop to her back. Because Hato never came out of the toilet, they are forced to stop for the day. On a little note, Risa decides to enrol in their university next year.

Episode 7
Sasahara is seen encouraging Ogiue. That’s because her manga really got criticized over the internet. But back to club matters, Ogiue wants to discuss what they’ll be doing for the cultural festival. Obviously for Oono, Kuchiki and Suzy, they want to cosplay. That was quickly shot down and it is suggested they write and sell their own doujin. They call Yabusaki for ideas. Little did they know that she and her friend got kicked out by her club because they helped Genshiken during ComiFest. Even so, she won’t join Genshiken. The question now is what kind of story to write. BL? Well… As long as it’s acceptable to all ages. Ogiue notes the mystery of Hato. It’s not her cross-dressing or love for BL. It is her exceptional art. She was able to switch between drawing styles and may be even better than her. Ogiue hints indirectly she wants to read a manga she writes and this shocks everyone. Ogiue can’t come up with anything to draw after she said that to Hato. Yajima-Yoshitake collaboration ended before it could start due to ‘creative differences’. All that’s left is Hato. She then tells the truth. It seems her art style changes depending on her dress style. As a girl, she can only draw extreme BL scenes. As a boy, let’s say the drawing sucks. While she was Ogiue’s assistant, she only drew backgrounds and that was manageable. So when she’s in girl mode, it’s like some sort of hidden switch got flipped and she becomes possessed and starts drawing the extreme. The discussion ends in a deadlock till Suzy suggests that everyone cooperates.

Ogiue then asks the newbies if they have fallen in love before in high school. That’s because she thought of doing a romance genre as their story. Well, Yajima seems to be acting strange. Could it be she had an experience? She explains she sucked in drawing some anime character but this delinquent guy boasted he could do better and he did. Ever since, he called her ‘Sucky’. By the time he calls her by her real name, that was the last time she talked to him. Everyone thinks this sound like a bully case but Yajima says she thought of it too. However the delinquent took back what he said. As for Yoshitake, her high school days are only filled with getting into arguments and discussions with her fellow BL lovers, so there’s nothing much. Hato is left. However she is blushing. Her face is very red. Yoshitake tries to be aggressive in trying to make her spill out the kind of romance she was involved. Yajima tried to help Hato get out of her sticky predicament but backfired. Hato really doesn’t want to talk or remember about it but Yoshitake remains persistent. She guesses Hato must be popular with guys and girls due to her style. But what about Yoshitake? Isn’t she stylish too? She notes that make-up isn’t to attract guys but to keep other girls in place! Hato is out of options when Kuchiki comes in. He is determined to do some trap cosplay with Hato. Symphogear theme? However Oono denies him that. The guys are not going to cross-dress and cosplay. It would be against Hato’s best interest to keep his identity hidden. So just no. Then they ask him about his high school romance. He easily answers yes. Apparently some unknown girl came out to him to confess and ask him out. While he was doing some topless dance at the bonfire… Don’t ask. Everyone suddenly feels gloomy but Kuchiki feels a great aura of disrespect. Hato notes that it was Kuchiki’s who saved her from her predicament. By the way, how long did Kuchiki dated her? Well, the next day, she told him never mind and he only spoke to her for less than 3 minutes. Ah…

Episode 8
Yoshitake complains to Yajima about Ogiue-Hato pairing to draw a manga for the festival. Ogiue will do the storyline and Hato will draw. She is in a dilemma to draw something or not so Yajima tells her to make up her mind. Hato is at Madarame’s place as usual to change into a girl but his female alter ego keeps bugging him with annoying BL fantasies. Especially when Hato sees an eroge. The one whereby Kousaka cross-dressed and promoted. Heck, they even used his name as that character! His thoughts go wild wondering if Madarame had already played this game and finished Kousaka’s route. Madarame is at the door but Hato’s female alter ego tells him to drop everything and show everything off. Not going to happen. Madarame takes a little walk around the block so Hato could finish changing. He’s worried about the state of his company. Will he get a bonus this year? When he returns, Hato has finished changing. Madarame tries hard to remember that Hato is a boy beneath those clothes despite her girly manner. He invites her in to talk. He realizes the eroge on the desk and tries to hide it but Hato mentions she has already noticed it. This leads to a talk about the cost of buying eroge, BL and clothes. Men’s clothes are less expensive because all you need is just a necktie. Madarame offers to lend the game (or any eroge) to her but since she is blushing, he drops the idea because it looked like sexual harassment. But what Hato is interested in is not the game but his thoughts on it. Madarame did play the game but finds it weird that all the routes have those traps getting pregnant. Hato notes to us unfamiliar viewers that in the world of BL, it is common that guys get pregnant.

Hato then asks the important question if he has cleared Kousaka’s route. Pregnancy ending and in a maternity wedding dress! This causes Hato to fluster that they have gone this far. However Madarame notes he didn’t pretty much like Kousaka’s character. When he wonders if Saki knows about this kind of game, Hato begins to wonder if this causes a tension in the relationship between Saki and Kousaka. Perhaps then Madarame will have a comeback chance. She wanted to fantasize a Kousaka x Madarame plot with Saki but in BL, you can’t really include girls. When Madarame also mentions he doesn’t mind being called uke, Hato apologizes to him for that Kuchiki incident. She has already properly told him off and it’s okay for him to come back to the clubroom. Madarame feels it’s not good for a graduate to hang around his old university forever. He feels awkward to stay there and think a change of scene would be a good idea. Part of him tells him to stay away from university. Hato blames herself she started calling him uke and thinking of BL pairings of him that led to this. She mentions about the festival and hopes he could come. Asking what Genshiken will be doing for that, Hato says Ogiue told her to draw a normal non-BL manga but all she has ever drawn was only BL. Madarame says she should draw what she wants because if it gets bad, Ogiue will stop her. She notes despite being called uke, he doesn’t ask people to hold back. Madarame promises to come. Back at Genshiken, Hato will do her best to draw a non-BL manga.

Episode 9
Sasahara compliments Ogiue’s manga. All that is left is to do the art at Hato’s place. Sasahara allows it but Ogiue thought he should’ve said no. Hato may be a cross-dresser but he’s still a guy underneath and should be worried. I suppose Sasahara wanted to get closer with Ogiue but her handphone rings. She has a bad feeling of this. Suzy and Hato are at the door. Interrupted something? In the clubroom, Yoshitake is ranting about her convoluted storyline. Whatever. Once again, Hato’s drawing turns into extreme BL. This time using Ogiue’s characters. Yoshitake is desperate to watch (and learn) how she draws porn BL but Yajima takes her away to finish their own work. Ogiue guides Hato to draw while she is cross-dressed and gives her encouragement that she isn’t copying. From Hato’s words, she could guess she is talking about that person when they were talking about love then. High school senior who is good at drawing and a fujoshi. Harima comes in to give them the rules for their cosplay during the festival. Harima tries to flirt with Mikako Takeya (Hato’s current pen name) but his friend warns he will report his every move to Mikami. After the guys leave, Hato couldn’t control her BL mode and starts drawing it. Oono gets a call from Saki saying that she and Kousaka will come to the festival. Oono is happy that she is able to make her cosplay but she hung up. Yajima’s old friend, Mimasaka turns up at Genshiken and compliments Yajima’s good art. Yoshitake thought of making her see reality but realizes their friendship bond is strong. Then Yoshitake’s old buddies show up and they haven’t lost touch of their eccentricity. A couple of girls, Konno and Fuji just arrive at the festival and they thought they saw their senior, Kaminaga. They are looking for Hato. When Madarame arrives, Hato feels bad about the awkward situation he will be in when Saki and Kousaka turns up. When Keiko arrives, she bluntly teases Madarame about Saki coming. This causes Hato to think that she might be the only one who didn’t know Madarame likes Saki. Keiko teases Madarame might be going out with Hato because the latter was staring at her. Well, we know it’s physically impossible. Hato is surprised when Konno and Fuji turn up in the room. She hopes they won’t recognize her and is confident they will not since her voice sounds much cuter and they’ll never think about the cross-dressing part. Thanks to her pen name, they didn’t see the similarity although they find the drawing as similar to Kaminaga’s. Suddenly Kuchiki blabs about Hato returning to dressing in such a way. However she is not Hato but Kaminaga.

Episode 10
Kaminaga did note that Kuchiki mistaken her for Hato. Which means she is around. Madarame points out to where Hato is. Bad move? Konno takes a closer look but still couldn’t believe. Kaminaga takes off Hato’s wig. Now you believe? Konno starts crying and blames herself. Ogiue takes them outside to talk. Flashback reveals Konno, Fuji and the rest of the girls in the art club used to admire Kaminaga’s extreme BL drawings. Konno teased Hato’s ugly drawing despite his intention to become an artist. Hato’s older brother, Yuichirou used to pick him and Kaminaga back. He didn’t understand about Kaminaga’s BL fantasies and asserts he is not into this gay stuff. Kaminaga loved BL stuffs so much so she even starts having BL fantasies of the brothers. One day Kaminaga forgot to bring her BL drawings back so Hato spotted them and looked through them in the toilet. He is of course amazed. When he returns, he sees Konno looking for them. Realizing it is in his hands, Hato reveals he likes BL stuffs. Konno gets the wrong idea that he looked through those BL drawings in the toilet. Soon the atmosphere in the art club changed. Hato hardly attends it and by the time Kaminaga graduated, rumours spread throughout school that he is gay. Konno is inconsolable and blames herself that it is her fault for telling her club members about Hato looking through BL stuffs in the toilet and thus led him to cross-dress. Hato assures her she is still the same person despite her different outside appearance. Kaminaga says if Hato really wanted to see her pictures, all she had to do was ask. She wonders if she was displaying drawings of hers, why did they mistake Hato for Kaminaga? Ogiue explains that Hato comes as a boy but only dresses so in Genshiken. Hato has switches outfits so people won’t identify her and one of them looked very much like Kaminaga. Kaminaga is impressed and would really like to see it but Konno thinks she’s being rude. She hints a reason why Hato would dress like her. It is because Hato always liked her.

Hato explains she always looked up to her and wanted to be like her (in BL terms). However as noted by Konno, in the end Yuichirou ended up with Kaminaga. What is she trying to imply? As Kaminaga puts it, a macho big brother with a girlfriend while a quiet and delicate little brother cross-dresses to look like his big brother’s girl. So? Hato wants to be like Kaminaga and be loved by Yuichirou! Hats off for her fantastic BL imagination… Even Ogiue and Hato nods in agreement and starts discussing the kind of story they can set for this. With both sides making amends, Kaminaga says they can start over as fellow fujoshi. She informs that she will get married to Yuichirou next spring. This is the reason she came here as Yuichirou wanted her to tell Hato personally. This means Kaminaga would be living in their house and can observe the brothers in their natural activity! Anything can fuel her BL imagination. Kaminaga adds that looking back, she thinks Yuichirou might have known how Hato felt. Kaminaga asks one final question. If Hato cross-dresses and likes BL, won’t her sexuality change? She says she just likes the genre but isn’t into guys. Kaminaga says that is a common line in BL. Especially, “I’m not in guys. I’m into you!”. Wondering if there is anybody who knows Hato’s real identity and yet hangs out with him. Yeah. It might be Madarame. Oh, here he is stumbling out from hiding behind the pillar before hiding back again. He was tasked by the girls to eavesdrop on them (since the cosplayers cannot leave the room). He has been making excuses why he can’t get near. Suzy tried pushing him but he won’t budge. Till she gave the ultimate move: A kiss on his cheek! He almost had a heart attack and reprimands Suzy. Then he has a bad feeling. Yup. Saki saw it and calls him a lolicon.

Episode 11
Hato sees Konno and Fuji off while Saki returns to the rest. Kousaka isn’t with her as he is in some game tournament. From what I hear, seems Tanaka and Oono are dating and the former isn’t sure of starting up a cosplay business. Annoying Keiko is also here to give her business cards to the guys. She had to point out she gave one to Madarame but he didn’t come at all. Saki says he wouldn’t. Because he’s a lolicon and a loser. She also mentions how he rejected Angela. This only proves he is a lolicon, no? Hato tries to vouch for Madarame. She did clean his room and find some eroges lying around. Keiko then discovers Hato is a guy and tries to flip her skirt just for prove! She insists on a proof so Hato whispers in her ear her manly voice. Saki thinks how popular Madarame has become. Suzy, Hato, Angela and even Keiko. She thinks of teasing him and mentions about the S&M game he had. Of course Hato tries to cover for him and mentions she didn’t find anything while cleaning his room. Try searching harder. Madarame is confident they won’t find anything no matter where they search till he realizes something. And then Hato also realizes. Dead giveaway. Something fishy… Remember Saki’s cosplay photos? Yeah. That. When Hato whispers to Madarame about this, he bolts from the room. She goes to find him and Keiko bugs Hato to tell what she exactly said. She can guess it’s something about Madarame liking Saki. Hato wonders if this is an open secret so she tells her. Keiko couldn’t believe her ass. Keiko hatches a devilish plan. Why don’t they make Madarame tell her that himself. Hato is thinking about his feelings and doesn’t want this forced upon him. Keiko blames Hato as the one for starting this and wrecked any chance of Madarame’s wish of wanting things to stay the same. Because it’s tiring to keep a secret that everyone already knows. Madarame is an idiot and can’t deal with it. That’s why he ran away.

Keiko and Hato find Saki and Madarame respectively to let them talk alone in the clubroom. Oh, Sasahara and Kousaka in cosplay are there. Surprise? Oh. Kousaka won the tournament. Kousaka and Sasahara return to the rest. They wonder if Kousaka is okay with Saki and Madarame alone. He is. Because he likes Madarame too. Doesn’t that give off the wrong impression? When the duo are alone, we see Madarame sweating in his pants and nervous while Saki is just cool. He tries to hint but is she playing dumb? Since Madarame is just nervous, Saki starts off talking about old times. Like how he first teased her by putting cat ears on her and probably thought he likes her. There’s the hint. Madarame thinks back wondering if that was the first time he liked her. It couldn’t be. Because it was when he first saw her cosplaying. He is in a dilemma to tell her. What is the use of doing so if you well know you’re going to get rejected? So he says it was her nose hair sticking out back then. He wasn’t brave enough to say it so it was easier to pretend he had forgotten. Is that what he really wanted to say with tears in his eyes? She’s okay with it. She adds she has Kousaka now and can’t be with him. Asking if Kousaka wasn’t around, would it have been him? Saki hints they might have a future together. Madarame felt a huge relief. It’s like the burden was lifted off his shoulders. Saki then suddenly starts crying. It’s like she’s relieved too. Those years she swore she wouldn’t act like she already knew but it just made her feel like she was hurting him. Madarame denies that was so. Now he knows Saki does cry easily and those days were indeed fun.

Episode 12
The duo emerge from the room and Saki admits that Madarame confessed and she rejected him. Keiko pesters Saki for details. Madarame wonders about the cosplay pictures about her. It’s up to him. In that case, he’ll keep it. He wants to leave but Keiko forces him to go back to tell the rest of Genshiken. To Madarame’s dismay, it seems everyone in Genshiken knew about his crush on Saki. Kousaka surprises everyone by saying he thought this would happen. If it did, he hopes Madarame would love him too! Is that a line he took from that eroge’s harem route? Kousaka then has Ogiue, Hato, Oono and Saki cosplay as the girls from that eroge so that Madarame could have a group picture of them. When they part, Saki asks about Madarame’s work. He thinks of quitting. She tells him not to. But she hopes he will drop by the university from time to time. Because it may really unlock his harem route. Meanwhile Oono submits another cosplay request but the teacher warns her about her thesis since she still has not have secured any job after graduation. Oono is in a dilemma because she loves to cosplay and now it’s the peak season. At this rate she won’t be able to find a job till next year. Though Tanaka could pay for her, Oono wants to pay her own way. Even if she ends up being just a housewife. Yoshitake suggests doing a cosplay CD and earn some big money from it. Oono talks to Tanaka about her problems and he is encouraging and supportive of the decisions she will make although the future is still uncertain.

I guess Oono becomes desperate as she couldn’t secure a job so she decides to do a cosplay CD. She starts posing in erotic ways despite it was agreed they were striving for generally accepted atmosphere. Touched by his consideration, Oono starts posing even more erotic. Yajima couldn’t hold it any longer and tells the truth. It was all Yoshitake’s plan. She made Oono drink an entire bottle of sake, though initially it was supposed to be a bit but Oono was tough. Tanaka reminds her the dangers in doing a cosplay CD so she breaks down relating her problems in finding a job. He tries to comfort her but is being told by Yajima how edgy she is lately. He explains he got into cosplay business because of her. He came this far only by making outfits after outfits for her to wear. Whether he will work for a company or starts his own, he was planning to make cosplay his business. Despite the uncertain future, he will think of something and help her cosplay forever. So please wait for him. The rest quickly understood that Tanaka proposed to Oono. Oono is so happy that she decides to go back to school for another year and wait. Hope she isn’t serious in that. When the newbies return to the clubroom, they see Madarame hanging around. He just returned from Akihabara. On a weekday? What about work? He quit. He has decided to live a life of a loser. Hato seems to be feeling responsible so after she changes in his room, she rushes out and hugs him! She hopes he will not stop coming to the club. Madarame is taken aback with the sudden turn of events. Is his really happening? His harem route?

Episode 13
Suzy, Yajima and Yoshitake are at Madarame’s place and blaming him. Something must have happened because Hato stopped coming to the club and even his cross-dressing ways. It felt like Madarame’s job quit was a big deal for Hato. Suzy forces him to call Hato but the ex-cross-dresser did not pick up. Even Yajima spotted Hato (in boy form) at university but he quickly ran away. Clearly he doesn’t want to see them. Suzy then suggests a club trip to Karuizawa. All the Genshiken members (including Hato – they sent a telegram to him since he wasn’t picking up!) turn up and Madarame is the only ex-member. I suppose they have a plan. But Kuchiki can’t be naughty because Suzy is really mad… You don’t want to make her angry… At Karuizawa, seems Yoshitake becomes the tour guide and rants her extensive knowledge about those Sengoku generals she loves so much. Too much history… At the inn, Kuchiki thought he could satiate his anime needs as he has brought his laptop, WiFi, etc. Till Madarame points out there is no internet connection here. Bummer. The conversation between Madarame and Hato is awkward but at least they’re talking. When it is time to go to the hotspring, everyone would love Hato to come as a girl. Because Yajima is the only one who actually saw Hato’s ‘thing’ she has a hard time trying to object to that. She can’t explain it either or else. As usual, Yoshitake’s mind is too small for a big pervert like her. She even admits her fantasy train in her mind is out of control! Everyone takes a dip except for Ogiue who is talking to Hato. She relates how she was very embarrassed when she admitted to Sasahara she used him in her BL works. She had drawn dozens of them. In the end, she felt glad she was able to change. She asks if Hato regrets being here right now. Not really. And that is good enough. Kuchiki still wants to seduce Hato but before he could sneak up on him, Suzy gives the ultimate Street Fighter combo that knocks the daylights out of him. I want to know what buttons to press just to do that!!!

Girls talk in the hotspring. Touching boobs and the likes. Courtesy of Yoshitake. Nobody can control her. Madarame and Hato continue their talk. The latter asks his next plan in life. Find a job. Duh. Hato apologizes for everything and Madarame admitted that he had thoughts Hato stopped coming to his place to dress up for good to stop cross-dressing. Has he? Not sure. He thinks he has to at some point. Why? Because things will change. Everyone too. Like how Madarame did on his job. He dismisses it was related to it this way and that Hato is a genuine otaku. That part of him won’t change. Everyone has their own fetish. It is not important if he cross-dresses or not. If he wants to, go ahead. Otherwise, don’t. Keep it simple. Back in the room, Kuchiki has horrifying thoughts about his blackout. He thinks he has been kidnapped by aliens and being conducted experiments on! Well, Suzy is the alien. And she suggests of continuing the dissection! Everybody votes for Hato to cross-dress as a girl. They prefer him/her that way. Besides, didn’t Hato bring all the necessary stuffs? And so we welcome back female Hato for the first time making her appearance in this episode. Even Yajima approves. Although she is still against cross-dressing but has gotten used to Hato’s ways. Then everyone discusses what to do for next year’s festival and other club activities. Cheeky Suzy prepared a futon side by side for Madarame and Hato. Too bad idiotic Kuchiki had to ruin it when he drops ‘dead’ on it. The club trip continues. Everyone had their fun before heading back. Hato seems happier.

This takes place before the newbies join Genshiken and I suppose it’s to give the older members of Genshiken some screen time. Back to the time when Suzy and Angela visited Japan and meet up with Genshiken for the ComiFest. It somewhat explains why Suzy and Ogiue are close to each other. Seems Suzy stayed at Ogiue’s place and since she speaks nothing but Japanese anime lines, it was hard for Ogiue trying to figure out things. The ‘epic’ things that I remember about Suzy is how she punched Sasahara in the guts, requesting to wear Ogiue’s shima pantsu when she gets out of the bath and finding the hidden stack of Ogiue’s hidden drawings behind the shelf. And the most surprising thing? She can actually understand Japanese! Much to Ogiue’s frustration. The second half sees the gang heading to Naritasan for New Year’s Day. The group splits itself into 2. Ogiue, Sasahara, Madarame, Kugayama and Suzy decide to pay their respects at the shrine while the rest follow Kuchiki via some alley shortcut to some drinking bar. Epic scene: Suzy forcing Madarame to let her ride on his shoulder. Meanwhile the girls are getting drunk at the bar and making fun of Kuchiki who has been out cold. It’s getting out of control. So when Ogiue’s group stops for tea at a rest area, the drinking spree has just gotten worse. Especially with Oono going on a rampage. Madarame excuses himself to go to toilet but gets lost. Tanaka finds Ogiue’s group and brings them to the bar. At that time, Kuchiki has been stripped! Saki excuses herself to the toilet and bumps into Madarame. She collapses but he catches her. Actually she wants to go to the toilet. After that, they walk back to the bar before proceeding to watch the sunrise. When Suzy flies back to America, Ogiue realizes she has stolen something from her: Her panties.

The Society For The Study Of BL And Yaoi Culture
I can’t say I am impressed in any sort of way. For one thing, I don’t seem to understand where this season is leading and can’t make any head or tail of it. I might not remember much about the original Genshiken series but I remember the quirky characters and the otaku parodies that made the club so. But then again, it’s perhaps their way of doing things. So what happens to everyone in the end? Life goes on. Pretty generic. Maybe it is because I am not really a knowledgeable person in the otaku world so I don’t really understand the tiff between Hato and Madarame in the end. Was it that careless uke statement that led up to all this and him quitting his job whatsoever? I can’t seem to connect the dots even if it’s staring at my face so please, somebody tell me what’s going on. Oh, I’m too lazy to even do my own research since like I said, I wasn’t impressed. Therefore I’m not interested. Really. So in the end, everything was like, meh. Hato (or whoever that character we’ve been put in the shoes of as first person view) returns to the club. Yay. Hooray. Happy ending. Good for everyone. Read, sarcasm.

Seems like Genshiken has pretty much changed since I last know them. There is no more that familiarity anymore. At least some of the obvious parts. Last time it was male majority but now it is pretty much female dominated. Not counting the old members, Kuchiki is the only true guy in the club. Hato? Erm… So girly that I am starting to believe he is more of a girl than a guy. Also, the club has somewhat turned into a BL club with almost everyone seemingly having a fair love for that topic. Some are more passionate than others who would prefer to probably be a closet fujoshi. I don’t think Kuchiki is into BL but his initially weird personality towards Hato could mean that he prefers having BL relationship in real life instead of being confined to his imagination. I don’t remember Oono being into BL as she is more into cosplay. Oh yeah. She is into bald old men… To each his/her own. Maybe Genshiken should change its name to something like Ya-Ken-Bu. Hmm… Doesn’t even sound good. There are a good amount of BL scenes (courtesy of Hato’s fantasies of changing in Madarame’s room and those eroges) and drawings (courtesy of female Hato going wild and extreme as an unstoppable BL drawing machine) to make you believe this is a BL themed anime but stops short of showing anything suggestive. If it does, the good ol’ mosaic will perfectly do its job.

A big chunk of this season seems to focus on Hato and Madarame. At least that is how I viewed it. About Hato’s cross-dressing conundrum and possible his/her confused feelings for Madarame. That guy too seems to have lingering feelings all because of Saki and I suppose it is good that he finally gets it out of his system and settled it once and for all. He wasn’t the prankster I knew him and somewhat toned down very much. Maybe life has really got to him. Hato is a bit hard to understand. I know he wants to be accepted for who he is without hurting anyone. So much so I think he has developed some sort of personality disorder. Especially when he is in boy form, his female alter ego can be seen hanging around him like a fairy trying to provoke this guy into embracing yaoi and doing all that lewd stuffs that is only limited as far as her wild imagination can take her. But when his female side takes over in reality, she’s quite shy and so girly that in your wildest dream you would never have thought she was a guy. A nightmare if you find out.

The other new characters are rather okay. At least with enough screen time it makes you feel like they’ve already been long part of the club. Yajima hardly ever smiles so much so I don’t remember she ever did. It’s like that grumpy looks is always part of her face and the only other emotion besides that gruffly moody exterior is when she flusters thinking she might have said the wrong thing or made the wrong decision. But that hardly is any different from that moody look too. Yoshitake can be labelled as the cheeky and mischievous one and even surpassing Suzy. Well, we all already accepted Suzy is kind of weird so no matter what she does, it won’t be a surprise. It’s like that girl has is crazy but not crazy enough to qualify to be put into a mental asylum. And there you have it. Suzy running around free in the campus and saying lines that don’t make sense for half of the time. But for Yoshitake, she is like riot if left alone and uncontrolled. Maybe that’s why Yajima is always with her. I kinda noticed that they’re like a pair in this sense. Could be a potential manzai comedy duo if they ever decide to get into this after graduation. I wonder what happened to Yabusaki after the ComiFest. She got kicked out and then what? It’s like she’s tsundere for Genshiken especially Ogiue but won’t admit it because of her pride and perhaps well, she’s tsundere. From my observation, I think Suzy also has this particular liking for Ogiue because of the way she blatantly says Ogiue belongs to her. Like her panties. Konno, Fuji and Kaminaga’s cameo appearance felt like it was just to push forth Hato’s past and story and let this series go somewhere.

Other old returning characters besides Madarame feel okay too. It’s like they have matured from the last time. Ogiue as the latest Genshiken president doesn’t feel like she had an impact overall in the series since Madarame and Hato hogged the spotlight. I felt her significance took a serious impact ever since she got sick during ComiFest. Oono, she’s still there doing fine and Kuchiki another weirdo but falls into the loser category. I thought he had the potential to be the funny guy even though it would be annoying but like I said, Madarame and Hato hogged everything so this guy is one of those who doesn’t have any important scenes unless it is for comic relief. The fool of the club. Feel free to ignore him as you wish. Other ex-Genshiken members pop up from time to time perhaps just to tell us they’re still attached to the club even after graduating and to make it feel like it was yesterday once more. Because new characters and different people might change our perspectives of the old entirely.

Saki oddly I remember her as the only Genshiken member who hates otaku activities but is forced to hang out in the club because of Kousaka. She’s willing to go this far for love? Don’t blame her. Here, Saki exudes an air of maturity. She even looks matured into a lady instead of that young adult look. She’s still cool and you can’t easily take her for a fool. Of course just like any other girl, also cries and feels insecure. She just doesn’t show it. Kousaka remains cool too and I don’t remember him getting upset ever. It’s like he is a very understanding guy but has no qualms doing cross-dressing. All part of being an otaku? Not much scenes for Sasahara unless it involves Ogiue but their love story may be reserved for another day (or another season). I don’t remember Tanaka being into cosplay because I thought he was into plastic models, though I barely remember he is also a cosplay designer. But then again, I don’t really know him that well. Worse appearance of the old school Genshiken members goes to Kugayama. So unnoticeable that you may think he is just some furniture following the rest. Haha! Oops. I think there was even a time in the next episode preview that Kugayama was worried if he would make more appearances. Not that I noticed. Even if he did, it didn’t make any lasting impact. Oh wait. Remember the first mysterious president of Genshiken? Don’t remember him? Neither do I. And Angela… Her brief return was possibly the flag that led to how the rest of this season is played out. Keiko is a little daring. I wonder if her failure to get her hands on Kousaka causes her to shift to Madarame. Or maybe she just enjoys teasing him. That’s because she likes him, right?

The romance feels on and off and doesn’t amount to anything much. Not at least what I thought it would be. It makes me wonder if Hato really likes Madarame or maybe it is just his BL fantasies. Then of course the season ended with Madarame closing the chapter of his secret crush on Saki. Sasahara and Oguie’s relationship felt like it didn’t go anywhere. Not at least I can see. They’re still the same as before, both pretty much occupied and busy with their own stuffs. I’m not sure if there is any headway in Saki and Kousaka’s relationship but I suppose there should be since they’re still going strong together and Saki learning to accept Kousaka’s odd fetish for cosplaying and even as a trap. I wonder if Kousaka is a bi because from the way he ambiguously put things, it’s like he is okay with either side. Tanaka and Oono seem to be going somewhere though it is just hinting. Just thinking about Ogiue-Suzy got me thinking if this will ever turn into something yuri. Ironic. Yuri in a yaoi club? It also got me thinking at the possibility of Madarame getting a harem. I know it won’t happen but imagine if it did. That won’t feel like Genshiken anymore…

Watching the art and drawing style for this season, it seems there are some changes. Although the obvious is not much but you can tell there is a difference. From what I can see, Nidaime’s art style follows closely of the manga. Something that animes these days are getting pretty much into. Personally, I thought it lacks that ‘refined beauty’ that I saw first in the prequels. Not to say the previous Genshiken’s series had quite excellent art but this season’s one seems simpler than before. For instance, Oono’s hairstyle once reminded me that she popped up from some Japanese ghost horror movie since her bangs are quite messy. Now her black flowing hair looks pretty mild here. Some of the characters look pretty odd especially Konno and Fuji. Look at their eyes. Konno’s eyes are so big like as though she came out from an American comic strip while Fuji has bug eyes. Creepy? Yajima looks so frumpy that I really thought this woman was a guy and thus I was annoyed about the mismatch of her voice to the character. Then she turns out to be female. Yikes. I thought Fuji too looked very manly but the scrawny type. Suzy is already so odd that the crazy looks befit her and it passes without me having to feel weird about her. The bags underneath Kaminaga’s eyes, I thought she looked very much like To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Kiyama.

An aspect that is totally changed is the voice acting department. Every character has been given a new seiyuu to voice! For instance, I remember Ayako Kawasumi was the voice behind Oono. Now she is replaced with Yukana (C.C. In Code Geass). I know it feels odd at first but I got used to it. But the good thing is that despite they sound different, they sound as close as possible to the character. But you can still tell the difference. The replaced casts include Nozomi Yamamoto as Ogiue (Yukimura in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Rina Satou as Saki (Haruka in Minami-ke), Jun Fukuyama as Kuchiki (Grell in Kuroshitsuji), Naomi Oozora as Suzy (Yuragi in Noukome), Ikumi Hayama as Keiko Tatsuya (Shinobu in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun S), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Madarame (Tasuku in Seikon No Qwaser), Momoko Ohara as Kousaka (Miyashita in Mitsudomoe), Kobashi as Sasahara (Jack Roland in Strait Jacket), Takayuki Kondo as Tanaka (Oishi in Prince Of Tennis) and Misa Kobayashi as Angela. As for the new ones, Yumi Uchida as Yajima (Nagisa in A Channel), Sumire Uesaka as Yoshitake (Tamaki in GJ-Bu), Shou Saotome as Risa, Yuri Yamaoka as Konno (Choi in Tamako Market) and Risa Taneda as Fuji (Xenovia in High School DxD New). Hato’s character has been given 2 seiyuus to reflect the gender that character is in. Ai Kakuma (Hikari in Campione) does the female version while Kazutomi Yamamoto (Yoshida in Blood Lad) takes on the male version. Oh, there’s a pleasant cameo by Mamiko Noto as Kaminaga.

The anime rock outfit opening theme, Genshi, Joshi Wa, Taiyou Datta by Sumire Uesaka has cute opening lyrics. The ending theme, Aoku Yureteiru sung by the seiyuus of Ogiue, Hato, Yajima and Yoshitake sounds like a generic anime pop. As usual, there are lots of trivia for you to see. I have spotted a few myself and though it is just a fraction of the anime culture shown, I am proud of my achievement! See if you can tally up some of them here as I did on Anime News Network. Oh, the in-anime show of Kujibiki Unbalance is not seen here. Unless you consider those cameo cosplay pictures like the photos of Saki in Madarame’s hands as one.

The point is everyone is their own otaku in their own way. Nobody has the right to tell you what is good and what is not for you. Although what they say is not really your business anyway. Freedom of speech and expression, I’d say. Then again, you have to consider the laws and moral implications especially about cross-dressing. Sure you’re fine, your close friends are fine but what about everybody else? Can’t say it’s none of their business, right? Only way is to make otaku culture mainstream if you want the people around the world to wholeheartedly accept. So can we start off by saying otaku culture isn’t for geeks, perverts or losers in life. Otaku culture is the new way of life!


August 10, 2013

Is this a club where you can get in all the action? You get to wield cool weapons and call yourself cool nicknames and fight against equally awesome bad guys. Ride cool vehicles, use cool gadgets and experience the fiery explosive battles firsthand. This is the club where you can live out your childhood dream of those American action figures, right? Right???!!! No???!!! Heh… When I first saw the title name GJ-Bu, it resembled so close to GI Joe and thought it was some sort of rip off club for that famous American toy franchise. If you think that there is going to be any sort of similarity between that American cartoon and this Japanese series, then you are wrong because both shows are at total opposite ends of the pole. Besides, how can you think of this of an action genre when the characters here look so cute and kawaii?

This series chronicles about a group of club members in Good Job Club or more popularly known as GJ Club. What exactly is this club’s main purpose is the biggest mystery and anyone’s guess. You see, all we see here are the club members bumming around doing their own fun with their own brand of antics. Over the years of the many animes I’ve watched, there must have been a handful of weird clubs and useless clubs that I’ve come across. So for an anime featuring a club that does nothing sounds kind of amusing. Weird. Interesting? That depends very much on the characters as the setting takes place 95% inside the clubroom. You need the characters to drive the series and make it interesting. Let’s see. We’ve got the petite club president, Mao Amatsuka; her younger sister who is like the tea lady of the club, Megumi; the vice president and ‘genius’ Shion Sumeragi; the meat eater and cat-like Kirara Bernstein that sometimes make me think she is the club’s pet mascot; and Kyouya Shinomiya the only male of the club and newest member. By the way, he was ‘kidnapped’ to join this club. Holy cow! Is that some sort of club tradition?

Episode 1
* Mao tries to change the dead bulb but it’s too high. Even if she’s twice her height I don’t think she would reach it. She insists on doing it herself because of the club president role she’s been entrusted with. Whatever. Kyouya eventually helps her by lifting her up but gets kicked in the gut and then bitten. But Mao is agreeable when she sits on his shoulders to change it.
* Kyouya reads a shoujo manga recommended by Megumi. He finds it good but Mao doesn’t like the genre because it has kissing. She prefers shonen manga because it has none (really?) so Kyouya will bring some next time. So he brings a cupboard worth of it and Mao still has her suspicions and wants to confirm with Kyouya that if most of them do not have any kissing scenes. Does a kiss on a forehead count?
* Kyouya notices Shion playing online chess with the American champion and beats him! Seems she once made a promise with him. If he became a world champion, she would agree to play him one day. Because Kyouya doesn’t know how to play, Shion gives him a book to learn. Did he just get played?
* Learning that Shion comes from a family of genius where every family member is one in their own fields, they are anticipating the great lunch she will bring today. However she brought instant noodles and they are appalled that she tries to eat them raw and without putting hot water! Does she lack such common sense for a genius?
* Everyone freaks out when there is a spider on the table. Mao orders Kyouya to dispose of it. Easier said than done. The only one who isn’t afraid is Megumi as she coolly takes it with her hands and lets it free outside.
* Mao tries to reveal Megumi’s true character behind her back to Kyouya. Because of that, he accidentally breaks a tea cup. Mao tries to make him feel guilty that this is her favourite and got it as birthday present from her late grandpa. She succeeds in that and Kyouya would accept any punishment. Since 30 laps or a thousand squats won’t do, Megumi has him say her name repeatedly a hundred times! After finishing, the rest of the other girls would like to have a go too! His mouth must be getting tired…
* Mao and Kyouya see Kirara eating a meat whose shape that we normally see in mangas or video games. They would like to taste it but they’re too shy to ask. Eventually Mao orders Kyouya to do so. Kirara instantly gives it to him. But when Mao snatches it from him, Kirara takes it back to give it to Kyouya. This process continues till Kyouya suggests Mao be someone Kirara likes. Because he must have insulted her how she looks like an elementary school kid due to her petite size, she bites his hand. So how does this meat taste?
* The girls feel like giving Kyouya a nickname. Something that mix and matches his character. Rice? Plain yoghurt? Tasty rice? Megumi suggest Kyolo, a mix of his name and his personality of always looking around. So do we all agree on that? Kyolo, okay?
* Mao shows off her collections that comprises mainly of cicada skins

Episode 2
* Shion seems stumped. It’s not the chess match she is playing but rather the canned coffee she drinks. It tastes different from the one made by her genius barista brother. Kyolo thought it’s a prank and tastes it. Nothing different. This is how canned coffee is supposed to taste. Shion can’t drink it again because it would seem like an indirect kiss.
* Mao is napping when suddenly she sleep talks in alien language. Based on Shion’s observation, it’s like as though she is changing from a bad dream to a good one. To prove her point, she demonstrates by influencing Mao’s dream. Mao’s cringing in her dream… Shortly, it’s that alien voice again before she calms down. Wow… Speechless…
* Megumi instructs Kyolo how to comb Mao’s tangled hair. He has reservations since he needs to touch it with his hands. Mao likes the way he runs his fingers through her hair but realized that Megumi is watching and becomes ‘hostile’ by biting his hand.
* Megumi points out to Kyolo that Shion is reading his novel, which is of romance genre. Later Shion asks him several questions that she couldn’t understand. Especially those that is related to love. Shion is straight to ask what it is like to be in love because she has never fallen in love before. A sign?
* Shion and Megumi play Twister. Megumi seems to be in a tough position. In a pinch. I wonder how long she can hold out since every inch of her body is twitching. Shion is just cool and is about to do her winning pose on the next move till she realizes how embarrassing it is and gives up, handing the victory to Megumi.
* The girls note Kyolo is a nice guy because he doesn’t get mad when Mao bites him or Shion teases him a lot. Even Kirara seems to be intrigued with him (because he gives her meat). Megumi says she likes it when he’s around because she can brew him tea. But Kyolo has brewed his first tea for them. How does it taste? Terrible! See them vomit back into the cup!
* Mao challenges Kyolo to arm wrestling. Seriously, Mao is so weak that Kyolo didn’t even know that the match has started! Is she even trying?! Without any effort, he easily wins! Pathetic… Next is Shion. Same thing. Weak. Are these girls that feeble? Then he is up against Mao-Megumi combo. May be unfair but at least this one proves to be a little challenging. Kyolo for the first time needs to exert some strength to win this match. Finally it’s their trump card Kirara. Think it will be the same? As soon as the match starts, Kirara’s immense strength not only catches Kyolo off guard but his body is even flung away! He never knew what hit him and even got knocked out with that silly smirk on his face! Maybe it’s thanks to eating all that meat…
* Kirara has eaten the whisky bomb chocolates so she is harassing Megumi by licking all over her. Perhaps even kissing her! Nobody can do anything. After that she pounces on Mao before setting Shion as her target. Total wipe out! Kyolo is the final victim but she fell asleep on his lap. The embarrassed girls want Kyolo to forget this ever happened and such food is banned from the club.

Episode 3
* Mao forces Kyolo to say something interesting. And she’s counting down… Kyolo is taken by surprise though each word he spews seems to be contributing to Mao’s annoyance. In the end, since nothing interesting was said, Mao bites him.
* Mao decides to officially make Kyolo a club member. What was he all the while?! A test member? Well, he never submitted his membership application. Mao gives him a badge and behind there is a button that makes a meow sound. When Megumi points out there is 1% chance it will play a different sound, everyone starts pressing it till Mao’s button ends up with a screaming sound!
* Kyolo praises Shion a genius when she wins another chess match but as pointed out by Mao she doesn’t like to be called that although Shion doesn’t mind. She considers them all her normal friends. Noting about Kyolo’s politeness towards her, Shion says it is because of the misconception of their grade difference.
* It’s so hot in the clubroom. Only Shion is not feeling the heat. Her body has low temperature as she touches Kyolo’s face to prove a point. He likes it… Noticing his stiff shoulders, she massages for him. Then she realizes how close they are and gets embarrassed. Now she’s heating up, eh?
* Talking about Prince Charming, Shion puts it that each girl has their different versions and whether or not true depends on the girl. What about Kirara? Meat Charming?
* Mao ponders if guys believe they are attractive anytime and anywhere. So she starts saying nice things to Kyolo and even hints that she likes him. This causes him to fluster till he realizes he has been tricked. Mao just proved her theory…
* Mao brings up that question again so Kyolo he plays it cool this time. Because he is modest and humble, they think he should be proud of it. As reward, Megumi massages his shoulders and Kirara licks him. Mao joins in the fun while Shion makes it a fivesome. Kyolo thinks this is what it feels like to be loved by many girls. Then he realizes it’s a trick by Mao for that attractive question…
* This causes Kyolo to become depressed sitting alone in the corner. The girls apologize but can he believe them anymore? No answer. This causes Mao to become upset because it’s not like him to become mad. Kyolo gets up from his position and clears himself that he was just sulking and not angry. Mao needs some time to recompose herself. Maybe much longer because she has used the entire box of tissues and it’s still not enough.
* Kyolo sees Kirara talking to a stray cat. Cat language? However he notes she may be good in that instead of Japanese since she is having a tough time stringing her sentence together to explain it to him.
* Mao has Kirara help her bring an old TV to the clubroom since some old guy didn’t want it anymore. At first nothing seems to come up on screen till Mao realizes they cannot move from their weird positions if they want to receive the picture well. Nobody moves! Even if you look silly in that embarrassing pose. Because Kirara wants to watch this baseball match and is a big baseball fan, looks like they won’t be moving until the match ends. How long is a baseball match? 2 hours… That is if they don’t have extra innings…

Episode 4
* Kirara and Kyolo are having a mock marriage. With Mao as the priest, she gives permission for Kirara to carry Kyolo! Apparently this is what the club will be doing for cultural festival: A wedding service.
* The sound of a familiar truck passes by. Mao orders Kirara to get them and she jumps out the window! It’s the second floor, you know. She has bought the baked sweet potatoes that they all love. Then they’re down to the last one. Who is going to eat it? Shion wins since she used the probability of rock-scissors-paper to deduce her victory.
* The gang discuss on how much they can earn for the festival and decide to aim to amass club tickets. Megumi has made a lot of hand knit sweaters but Shion seems interested to sell a new type of cup noodles. Isn’t that just ordinary instant noodles? Never seen one in her life, eh?
* Kyolo is stunned when he sees Megumi dressed as a maid and serving him like one. She borrowed this from Shion since her class did a maid cafe last year. Since Kyolo hints he wants to see Shion in one (and being roundabout about it), Shion tells him to wait for tomorrow. So how beautiful will Shion be in a maid outfit? Actually, she dresses up as a butler! That was her role last year? Disappointed? Mao is a bad girl because she teased Kyolo that she should have measured how long his devastation lasted! Unforgivable! You just broke the heart of a guy who loves maids!
* Mao then dresses up in a hamster outfit. Did Kyolo request her to do it? Just say yes. Seems her class is doing a costume cafe whereby they dress up in animal outfits and eat biscuits like animals to entertain customers. When Mao suggests they get a hamster and Kyolo dismisses they should since they have a ‘big one’ here, Mao gets embarrassed and bites him.
* Mori, the maid of Mao and Megumi comes to the club to give them some tools they forgot for the festival. Wow. Kyolo is amazed. A real maid! He requests her to spin around and she did so. That guy is so happy! Suddenly the girls kick him from the back! He tries to explain that request being a guy’s dream. So which means he can die happy now? Mao is happy to oblige that. Mori amused that Kyolo is the guy the sisters describe him. After she leaves, he is still in awe. I mean, a real maid, right? They tell him to keep his pants on since tomorrow there’ll be lots of maids walking around in the festival. But a real maid…
* At the end of the festival, it seems their wedding service was a hit. Kyolo notes during the dance with each of the girls, he felt how different their hands were. Happy Kirara takes him to dance again but his comments that she is sweaty has her go on the defensive. The rest think he is some wolf in sheep’s clothing because that statement was like sexual harassment.
* Kyolo can’t hold it in anymore and has to excuse himself to toilet. Why? Because he had refills after refills of Megumi’s different teas… Shion kept count the number of cups and types of tea he drank? And Megumi wonders if he still wants another refill…

Episode 5
* Mao suspects something is wrong with Kyolo since he has been staring at Shion. Turns out that her hair is a little frayed. At first Megumi is brushing her hair but after pinpointing Kyolo as a natural, he takes over her. How does it feel? Shion suggests Megumi should get her hair brushed by him too.
* Mao wonders if guys speak in a rowdy manner. But why doesn’t Kyolo? Since he has no reason to do so, they want him to speak rowdy. He has no reason, right? Besides, they think it will be interesting. So Kyolo changes his tone little by little and the girls are excited! They’re squealing in ecstasy the manliness he is. I guess they haven’t seen a real rowdy one, haven’t they?
* Kyolo sees Mao knitting a big Christmas sock. He is about to reveal that Santa is fake but Shion and Megumi try to hint to him to stay quiet. Since he didn’t quite get it, they throw a shoe at him. They tell him Mao really believes in Santa and doesn’t want him to shatter her dream. Mao falls asleep after knitting it so the rest wants Kyolo to carry her to bed. It’s a man’s duty. How does it feel to carry her like a princess?
* Shion joins Kyolo in the kotatsu as the latter notes how she has changed because in the past she was more aloof. She thinks maybe his cognizance has changed. Since Kyolo mentions about her weakness, she hopes he could be more specific. Then the other girls come in and join them. Kyolo can’t stretch his legs since the girls are having some sort of ‘leg war’ underneath and all over the place. Megumi is last to arrive so how can 5 people share a kotatsu with only 4 corners? Kyolo and Megumi become too polite to give way to each other that it annoys Mao. She will not have one to be left out and starts thinking. In the end, Mao sits on Kyolo’s lap. She’s the lightest, right? This will be their positions whenever they want to use the kotatsu.
* Kyolo is acting strange and Mao notices it. Everyone makes a guess but they’re way off. Till he reacts when Megumi mentions about cakes. What special day is today that involves cakes? Mmm… Think harder. Kyolo is saddened that he won’t get any this year except from mom and sister again. Yeah, so it’s Valentine’s Day. The day girls give the guys they love chocolates and confess their love. It has nothing to do with them and they shrug it off! Kyolo is so sad that he is about to cry! Sorry boy, but Shion says they have agreed not to give him chocolates since they thought they must confess to him.
* Kyolo seems to be sulking on their stupid agreement but all is not lost when Mao says they did make one for him. Mori enters and gives hers to him. Wow. From a real maid! He can die happy now. He will definitely return the favour on White Day and asserts he won’t give candies to those who didn’t give him chocolates. Mao views it as discrimination and bites his thigh!!! How does it taste? I bet chocolates are sweeter.

Episode 6
* Mao is bored because Kyolo is not around. Megumi is pushing the panic button since nobody will drink her tea! Mao will drink on Kyolo’s behalf. Seems Kyolo is out doing an errand with his little sister. Speaking of sisters, Kirara notes she has one too. She is Geraldine or Jill for short and is currently making her way from Canada to visit her. Shion loves the thought of having one since she is the only girl in the family. Mao interjects that real little sisters can be scary because they will grow old! Just like how their younger sister, Seira is a millimetre taller than Mao now.
* Once Kyolo is done, Mao forces him to go out with her. Although it is her treat, she acts like a little sister at the restaurant. This is so she can order the Kids Lunch. Well, why not get Megumi or Shion to accompany her? It’s embarrassing says she? So it’s not embarrassing with Kyolo? Because Kyolo is Kyolo. Is that an insult? As for why she likes the Kids Lunch, it hit a nerve so she rants about how sacred this lunch is. Whatever. Then she chows everything down like a monster. Not so little sister-like, eh?
* Since Kyolo has his reservations holding Mao’s hand like a little sister, she argues if he has a problem with it since there are no laws that prevents so and so about little sisters. Then she starts acting like a cute little sister and wants to hug him. Who knows, Kyolo’s real sister, Kasumi sees this and is devastated! What kind of play is this?! Of course she calms down after learning the truth. Well, half truth. Seems Mao wants Kyolo to tell her she is his friend’s little sister. Nobody would believe her height, eh? Kyolo almost let it slip that she is the same grade as him but Kasumi thought she is in fourth grade or something.
* Kyolo bumps into a blonde girl with fairy-like hair (Jill). Seeing she is having trouble with the train ticket counter, he helps her out. Jill then meets up with Kirara. She happily explains how she met a Japanese samurai.
* Kasumi loves hanging out in Kyolo’s room. While admiring Mao’s hair, Kyolo mentions the pain to maintain it. This causes Kasumi to ask if he has brushed her hair. Oops. Kasumi wants him to brush hers. Jealous? Then she makes it his job to brush her hair after she takes a bath.
* Kyolo visits Mao’s home to give candies to Mori for White Day. Mao wants her portion but he isn’t giving any since she did not give him chocolates then. They go through the photo album and see a picture of toddler Mao being carried by Mori. Hey, she looks the same. She never aged! But Mori points out that is her mom who fills her in on weekends. WHAT?! Her mom looks so young and like her exact twin?! Not even the sisters knew about it!!!
* Kyolo is introduced to Seira and he thought he heard some wicked voice scorning him. Must be hearing things. Of course it is obvious that voice seems to come from Seira as Kyolo becomes confused. Mao also can hear that voice. Whether it is ventriloquism or some paranormal activity, she wants Kyolo to keep quiet about it since Megumi can’t hear them.
* Kyolo couldn’t find the manga he wants to rid. Kasumi says she has hid it away because it contains ecchi material. She will return it to him once he becomes a proper brother. It’s her duty to ensure he grows up properly. What now? She’s her mother? But she left a questionable one behind for him to read. Why? Because the heroine is a little sister. She wants him to read it 5 times! I know what she wants to turn him into…

Episode 7
* The new club member, Tamaki Kannadzuki takes a photo of Kyolo sleeping. He hopes she could erase this embarrassing photo that is in demand by the other girls. Only a more embarrassing photo will erase that one. Tamaki then demonstrates how she can hide her camera like a magic trick. Now you see, now you don’t. Like a true magician, it pops up in Megumi’s pocket.
* Tamaki seems to be making this club like her home and conversing casually with her seniors instead of being polite. By the way, she was also ‘kidnapped’ like Kyolo’s case before she joined. Club traditions really die hard. Tamaki demands for her cakes, the reason she joined the club because she was promised that but Megumi had woke up late and no time to do so. She threatens to leave the club if there are none so Mao tells Kyolo to go into that mode. Kyolo acts and speaks like a tough guy (including a badass posing) to put Tamaki in her place. I guess he did well to last this long so it is obvious to see him running out of steam at the end.
* Their snack expenses are increasing ever since Tamaki joined. Yeah, she’s eating nonstop. They try to warn her about fats and calories but it only affects Megumi. The last blow came when Tamaki says that she doesn’t get fat no matter how much she eats. So Megumi treats her to a large serving of cake and ice cream to see if she can stay slim. She gladly eats them… Backfired…
* Mao is light enough to do Thai massage on Kyolo by stepping on his back. Megumi wants to give a try too but she feels more like an ‘elephant’… Sorry. Kyolo’s backbone nearly broke there…
* Kyolo goes to ask Kirara since the meat lover is eating vegetables. Mao and Shion are shocked that he really went to ask her because everyone has been trying to avoid this. Seems Jill got mad she only ate meat and wanted her to eat her vegetables properly. Kirara then offers her big bowl of vegetables to him. Now you know why they don’t ask… Eat your greens!
* Mao decides to have Megumi undergo her grooming punishment. That is, she must let Kyolo brush her hair. Megumi falls into ecstasy when Kyolo weaves his magical fingers. Mao and Shion watch in glee her reaction. I guess everyone seems satisfied.
* When Mao decides to put away the kotatsu, everyone decides to use it for one last time. When Tamaki mocks Mao about her presidency, the latter starts to bite her. But Tamaki won’t take it lying down and also bites back!
* But with Tamaki in the picture, how will their sitting arrangement be like? Since Tamaki is second smallest after Mao, this means she has to sit on somebody’s lap, right? The other girls signal their intention for her to sit on theirs but in the end, it is Shion who got the honours. Is this what it feels to have a little sister? Mao teases Tamaki’s ‘chair’ can only pat her hair unlike hers who can also groom. Tamaki may be regretting it since Shion starts brushing her hair.

Episode 8
* Mao becomes embarrassed when she learns Kyolo has given her a nickname: Maa-chan. Actually, it came from Kasumi. I mean, she gave him that Kyolo nickname, right? She tries to justify his nickname fits him and this leads to her accidentally revealing details of events on that day to the other girls. Though the other girls are fond of little sisters but not Tamaki who views them as annoying. She has got to share her snacks… Kyolo gets bitten when he really thinks Maa-chan fits her.
* So Kasumi is coming to visit to check up on his club. Who wouldn’t be concerned after the bite he got? Kasumi introduces herself and first thing Kirara did was to hug and smell her. Mao dresses up and acts like a little sister. Looks like she has no intention of correcting this misunderstanding. But Kasumi feels odd. Why does Kyolo call her the club president? She likes to be called that. What is an elementary kid doing at high school? To be tutored. Do they teach such hard stuffs in maths these days? Erm… As Kasumi gives it a try, Mao and Kyolo explain to the rest and hope they can play along with this little sister act. Kasumi solves the maths since she is good at it so when Kyolo wonders if Mao can do the same, she bites him! Kasumi also joins in the biting! Double pain! Mao even coaches her how to put all her heart and soul into the bite!
* It is so darn hot and everybody is like a living zombie and yet why doesn’t Mao want to on the fan? To save energy?! Come on… Eventually she can’t stand it and has Kyolo fan her. It doesn’t look like she is going to switch places… But as reward, she’ll invite everyone to the pool tomorrow.
* When Kyolo arrives at the clubroom, he is shocked to see the girls in their swimsuit!!! Why dress in them? Because their uniform will get wet. Duh… Kasumi was also invited and she too invited her friends. Want to guess who they are? It’s a small world after all.
* At first Kyolo couldn’t remember Jill. It boggles me that if Jill is fluent in Japanese, how come she can only write but not speak? He remembers her and to Kasumi’s surprise they are already on good terms. So he’s the ‘handsome samurai’ that Kasumi often hears about. Amazing coincidence, no?
* Then the other friend… Yeah, Seira. Mao forces Seira to shut up and play the big sister part. She’s a smart girl, right? Yup. Kyolo can still hear her sarcastic insults whenever he is too close to Mao.
* Kyolo leaves so the girls could change. Actually Kasumi and her friends changed into their swimsuits. He looks at Mori and she gives him the usual twirl. He loves it! But gets kicked out by Mao.
* The next round of change has the girls in their yukata. After the pools it is always the festivals, right? Did they even go to the pool? As usual, another Mori twirl. Loves it even more. Got kicked out even harder… Tamaki suggests that since he likes spinning, they should spin him too.

Episode 9
* Kyolo is forced to play doctor and he doesn’t look very enthusiastic about it. Mao must be one annoying patient. Seriously, she never played this before? When asked why she is always mad, she turns around the question why he is always calm. He explains he does get mad but doesn’t show it. Otherwise it will lead to an argument. For your information, the last time he got mad when he was forced to play doctor… Mao is worried he might be mad for all those bites but he doesn’t.
* Next patient is Shion and she is seriously depressed. Lack of common sense? Kyolo has his nurse (Tamaki) to assist him. When Tamaki sits on Shion’s lap, she becomes so happy. So it is not common sense deficiency but little sister deficiency.
* Megumi almost gives away her 3 sizes when she is the patient. Asking whether she has been mad, she hints about the time about Tamaki and the fats from the snacks. Is she still mad? Maybe. Scary…
* Kirara’s turn sees her power being measured. So strong that girl is that the dynometer they borrowed breaks!!! Let’s pretend all this never happen.
* Now it’s Kyolo’s turn. The girls tie him up and prepare to remodel him! After putting all the makeup, he looks cute! Now they get excited to take this to the next level. Even suggesting name change and new personality (since it mirrors Mao, she bites him). Introducing… Kyoloko! Dressed up Kyolo fully looks like a cute girl! So cute that he’s scaring the girls. They’ve just created something deadly… Maybe they should forget making him their club idol.
* Mori enters the clubroom as per Mao’s request to face Kyolo in a fight. Eh? Kyolo immediately admits defeat and feels sorry that the girls made her tag along with their antics. Feeling that she should say something too, she twirls for him. I think the kicks he get are much harder this time. And now they won’t let him back out from the match.
* The duel will be brushing Mori’s hair. So that’s why Kyolo is the reigning champion with 3 winning streaks. Kyolo begins his usual as Mori tries to hold it in. The rest are watching with glee and become expert commentators. In the end Mori cannot resist the goodness and lets out a squeal. The girls declare Kyolo as the winner against the boss.
* Kirara seems to be staring up at the corner of the ceiling. Is ‘something’ there? Well, Mao and Kyolo are starting to freak out since a storm is brewing. Any sound would make them jumpy. Everybody else is just cool. Maybe they’re just paranoid. When they refer to Tamaki, she just nonchalantly hints something about it. That means something is really there?! She offers to exorcise since her family runs a shrine. Besides, the duo are being noisy and annoying. But why is Kyolo being tied up?! He is to become to sacrifice?! Mao doesn’t care as long as the club’s peace is preserved! Screw his peace! Kirara then stops staring because it is gone and joins the rest. Frightened Mao still trying to sacrifice Kyolo…

Episode 10
* The girls see Tamaki sleeping soundly in a cardboard box like a cat!
* Mao sees Kyolo drawing and is interested in this cute monster he drew. He even has labelled its anatomy. Wait a minute… This is not a monster… This is Mao!!! WTF???!!! Well, it was her fault to jump to a conclusion it was a monster. Not amused by it, here comes the bite!!!
* Shion takes a look at the next picture and is fascinated with this new species. I’m sure we can tell it is Shion but you know, she lacks common sense. Yeah, even the familiar traits of this ‘species’ is listed down. It took her long enough to realize it is her. For the first time, Shion gets mad and bites him!!!
* Now it’s Megumi’s turn to look. You know who this kind fairy resembles, right? Mao and Shion are interested to see how long it will take for Megumi to realize it is her. Then she starts to realize. Nozzle that forces liquid down her friends’ throat. Depressed fairy on the scale. Megumi accuses this drawing as slanderous and misrepresentative since she is sure her weight isn’t what is written here. Now she is going to bite him! But she’s so cute and her bite lacks any strength. Are you sure she’s really biting him? More like pecking…
* Finally it is Kirara’s turn. You know who this tiger drawing is referring too. Mao and Shion know that Kirara won’t really get it. But then… Kirara gets upset that this is her and not a tiger. Lies! She’s going to bite him and sinks her teeth into his head! OMG! If they don’t do something, Kyolo’s head might come off! Kyolo’s being eaten alive by this carnivorous girl!!! Help!!!
* Kyolo buys a McDonalds’ cheese burger for Shion since she has never tried it out before. Because has never tried autumn foods before, this prompts Tamaki to note that all this food will cause her to go fat. Of course this triggers Megumi’s weight alert and so she challenges Tamaki to eat a huge cake. She must eat it until she gains the same weight as hers. Tamaki is not bothered and continues munching. She finishes the cake and has room for more. This challenge goes on for a week and guess what? Tamaki didn’t gain weight. In fact, she lost weight!!!!! WTF?????!!!!! UNBELIEAVABLE!!!!! Total defeat!
* Despite still early, Kasumi, Seira and Jill enter the clubroom for Trick or Treating. Seems the trio have created their own GJ Club. They hope to get more members next year. Noting the ‘surprise attack’ they did for them, Mao also will ‘surprise attack’ them by bombarding them with tea and cakes. All Tamaki is worried that her portion will be downsized…
* Jill is shy to speak to Kyolo, but when she does (at least she writes it down), the other girls want him to put up his super Japanese male act. And so Kyolo puts on his cool persona and this thrills Jill. Bravo! Till Kyolo hear those insults from Seira that he is gunning other girls in addition to her sisters. He wants to be friends with her and although she seemingly accepts it, her dark voice insults him again that he is now targeting her. Make any funny move and he’ll regret the day he was born!
* Mao then issues a challenge to see which club can get more candy on Halloween. Erm… Isn’t her true cover of her position blown? Who cares. Kasumi can’t believe she is siding with ‘Kyolo’s club’ even though she is ‘younger than her’. She’s their president after all.

Episode 11
* Mao loves eating her mikan after peeling every inch of the white skin off it. Every one of them. Kyolo pesters her to eat some of it and even Shion explains its functions and goodness but Mao remains stubborn.
* Mao has bought a set of cat ears. Tamaki knows what is coming and quickly makes her exit but too late. She isn’t interested in putting them on so Mao forces her to pay her back! Did she ask her to buy it in the first place?! Till Kyolo notes how super cute she will look, so cute that everyone will have a hard time staying alive, that Tamaki decides to try. Did Kyolo’s intention just backfire? However Shion hijacks them. Mao doesn’t think it suits her.
* The girls then decide to cross-dress and dress up as guys. Host club? Delinquents? They even ‘dramatically’ change their name. Noting that Kyolo somewhat enjoyed himself, they are not going to let him go. Oh no. They’re going to dress him up! Quick! Run! Too bad the girls run faster than him. Say hello to his girly side once more.
* Kirara seems to be coughing so Shion does a little checking and thinks she has a little cold. Mao has already informed her sister to come pick her up. Suddenly they feel the ground rumbling. OMG! It’s Jill on her way rushing in! She’s treating this like a life-or-death case and carries her away. I guess excessive strength runs in the family.
* When Kirara is feeling better, it seems now it’s Kyolo’s turn to catch the cold. Kirara feels guilty for passing it to him. Just as he is about to go home, the familiar rumblings from the ground. This time Kasumi and Jill are so worried about him that they want him to pass the cold to them. Seira is even more ‘serious’ because she’s wearing a gas mask and sterilizing the entire room with her whatever gas! Now everybody is coughing. Is she sure that gas is safe on humans?
* Valentine’s Day is near. We remember that incident well, don’t we? So Mao hints to Kyolo if he is interested to know the agreement they had of not giving him any chocolates last year. It is revealed so he won’t get carried away. What? Him? You know what they say about giving an inch and take a yard. So good news, this year they will be voiding that agreement. See how Kyolo’s face lights up.
* So on the much anticipated day, everyone decides to give him chocolates so as not to let sulky boy cry. Haha… Megumi goes first and presents him with a giant chocolate castle cake. Shion gives a high quality chocolate while Mao a tiny chocolate bit. She thinks he got too much from Megumi’s portion. But Tamaki is already eating it and if he doesn’t hurry, it will finish! She’s already eaten half! Oh, Kirara gives him a bone… Does she even know what Valentine’s Day is?
* Mori comes into the clubroom. Her share of chocolates? More precisely, she is here to request for a rematch. Say what? Remember the brushing duel in which he won? That was Mori’s mother he defeated. Say what?! Oh yeah. They look like twins… Seira as the head of the family will not accept losers so if Mori loses this time, she will be fired. Mori will work for Kyolo. Since he isn’t fond of that idea, Seira tells her to commit suicide! Oh sh*t! Not willing to bear the responsibility of this match, Kyolo immediately goes down on his knees, apologizes and forfeits his victory to her. See? Everything solved. Mori thanks him for playing along with Seira’s game. So it was just a prank? But she whispers into his ear the coward he is. He finds her Valentine chocolates in his hands. Could it be that Mori really wanted to experience his brushing?

Episode 12
* Although the gang continue to do what they do, Kyolo seems pretty worried. Why not? Tomorrow is the seniors’ graduation ceremony. So worried that he is the first to arrive at the clubroom at the crack of dawn. And the rest of the girls are acting as though it is no big deal.
* Shion has Kyolo accompany her to the vending machine whereby for the first time she successfully buys a drink. To top it, she became a lucky winner and got a free drink. Shion reveals she always tried to buy drinks from this vending machine but was never successful till Kyolo came along. She thanks him for being her common sense knight. Eh? What?
* Kyolo finds himself alone with Kirara in the clubroom. They’re not sure if this is part of Mao’s plan or not and to show us Kirara isn’t a ditz, she uses her handphone text to effectively communicate with Kyolo! At least she doesn’t stammer this way and her ‘speech’ is more elegant and normal. I know it’s odd seeing 2 people this close texting to each other. Kirara requests that he brushes her hair since she didn’t experience this yet.
* By right, it’s supposed to be Mao’s turn but it seems she’s fine the way she is. Feeling the need to say something, Kyolo gives her a 10 Yen coin he got from the vending machine. She takes it and gives it to him. It’s hers, right? She can do whatever she wants. Besides, it’s no point giving it to her because all goods belong to her. What’s yours is hers!
* Kyolo attends the official graduation ceremony. Back at the clubroom as they hurriedly prepare, Megumi cheers up Kyolo that it’s not that Mao didn’t want to be alone with him. It’s just that she is shy. More of she couldn’t than didn’t want to.
* When the trio seniors return, Kyolo and the rest initiate their own graduating ceremony for them. But first, they would like to change from their hakama into their usual school uniform. Kyolo realizes he has been toyed around when they don’t let him stand outside but turn his back when they start changing. Love seeing his reaction, eh?
* The seniors note that with this high school uniform, it becomes like cosplay as they are no longer high school girls. Kyolo begins handing out their very own high quality graduation certificate they made to them. Then he sums up all his courage to act out his manly version to give his final speech. Though they are stunned, Mao couldn’t hold back and laughed out loud.
* Mao makes Kyolo the next club president. Though she had this in mind since last October, she felt he wasn’t up to it and extended his ‘training’.
* The question that we have all been dying to know: What exactly is GJ Club as asked by Tamaki. Unfortunately no clear answer because the newly elected club president confidently says he too doesn’t know.

A Place Where The Fun Never Ends…
Another nothing much happens ending. Shows like these without any specific plot or goal either tend to be boring or refreshing because of that. It’s like a double edge sword. GJ Club is like those many animes featuring a group of friends hanging out together like Lucky Star to A Channel. You don’t have to worry about any sudden twists in the plot or something sinister brewing or even slapstick laugh-out-loud comedy. That in the case would be good and bad because you can be rest assured that there will be some sort of a ‘good and happy ending’ and at the same time there is nothing really memorable to remember in the long run. So what that the senior trio have graduated? In the end it doesn’t really feel that the club’s existence is being threatened because they have the other half of their younger members to carry on. Kyolo might have been gloomy about his senior’s last day but at least he didn’t really make a big deal like breaking down or cry-mother, cry-father about it. That would be awful seeing the calming pace of the anime only to be ruined with such a scene. So at best this series isn’t that unique nor will it end up as one of the best animes of the year. You just watch this for a little fun, a few chuckles and variety then move on with your life with another anime. In short, it is a very normal show with a dash of moe.

The company of the club members are greatly focused on as we see them bond in unusual ways despite most of the time they will be doing their own thing. Even the name Good Job club is baffling. What are they doing to be considered a good job? Maybe doing what they like in this clubroom is already a good job. You do the things you love or want to do. Isn’t that good enough? They might not be engaging in very physical of activities (I’m not going so far as to suggest that as sex, mind you) but at least their presence in the clubroom feels somewhat like a bonding moment. Don’t you realize that nobody else enters this club? Save for their other sisters and the maid, you don’t even know their club’s advisor! Heck, in almost every animes that I have watched, for a club to continue existing, it always needs a minimum number of members and a teaching staff as an advisor, right? And here we are seeing a bunch of high school kids bumming around without any adult supervision. It makes you feel that this is their second home because we certainly don’t see them going back to their classes.

The characters too are rather okay. Just like any other characters, they have their own quirky and unique personality. Like Kyolo’s kindness may be a good thing but I feel that it makes him a sissy and the source of ‘bullying’ by the other girls especially Mao. Although we learn he too does sulk and get mad, he doesn’t show it and that is also good because we certainly don’t like to see such cute people arguing, right? His best skill is his hair brushing. It’s like sex for the girls, right? Oops! Mao as the spunky girl is ironic she is the most energetic among the lot despite her tiny stature. You could say that she almost fits into the ‘troublemaker’ personality. A little bit crude too, she has make biting Kyolo a habit if he embarrasses or upsets her too much. By the way, I noticed that in the final 2 episodes she has stopped her biting. Because in every other episode Kyolo becomes a biting victim at least once. Has she matured in this sense? Not even Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn’s Kyouya Hibari could have bitten someone like this to death. Haha! Shion the genius is also another amusing one. Because she is a genius, doesn’t necessarily make her street smart. For many things, she lacks common sense in the most simple every day operations whether it is eating instant noodle or operating a vending machine. Even so, do not estimate this cool beauty when it comes to chess. She is truly a genius in this area. I can understand why she wants a sister of her own. She’s the only one in the club without one and the rest of her siblings are all guys. Then there is nice and dreamy girl like Megumi. Her smile could easily melt all the guys’ heart. Just too bad she is averse when it comes to weight issues. That’s something very taboo to her. Kirara may seem like a meat brain and lack anything elegant as a human lady due to her cat-like nature. It’s like you never see her without stuffing her face with meat. She excessively uses full stops in her sentences. One or two words per sentence, I guess. Or try making up a sentence with 10 words and put full stops in between every one of them. But you don’t want to mess with her immense strength which I believe can tear the entire place down! Amazon woman. She is also intellectual but expresses them in a different manner. Finally there is Tamaki, another ‘troublemaker’ and the very big eater. She is every girl’s dream to eat whatever they want and not gain a single gram. Her main concern is how much snacks she can eat. The snack industry will definitely prosper with her around.

The rest of the sisters are okay too and they don’t really make an impact on the overall show or even the GJ Club. Like Kasumi is quite a lively little sister and it is hinted that she may have a big brother complex and obviously that sole manga she left behind is her true intention that she wants him to turn into a siscon. I wonder if she knows about Mao’s true age and identity in the end. Just like how quirky is Kirara in her appearance, Jill too is the same. Her fluency in Japanese is expressed in a different medium instead of her speech as well as that frightening display strength when she easily lifts up her own sister. As for Seira, I wonder if she is tsundere or just two-face. On the outside, she may look like she is nice to Kyolo but her ventriloquism or whatever other reason you call her so called inner voice is her source to vent her displeasure. I sometimes feel that it may not be ventriloquism because if it was so, shouldn’t the other girls hear it instead of just Mao and Kyolo? Or maybe there is really ‘something’ on her… Yikes! Don’t want to even think about it or that episode! Of course there is Mori. Who doesn’t love the maid? Every guys love maids, right? Right!!! So it becomes a natural response for the elegant Mori to twirl whenever she sees Kyolo, much to the ire of the other girls. They think it’s his creepy fetish to make other people’s maid twirl before him. I still can’t believe she and her mother looks very close…

For the romance part, a part of me deep down inside feels that the girls of GJ Club do take a liking for him. The kind where it is more than just being friends. I mean, picking on him and enjoying watching his reaction doesn’t necessarily mean that they have romantic interests in him. But there are a handful of scenes that indicate so. Like when Megumi hints about Mao’s shyness, it’s like she is trying to confess something but stops short of it. Then there is the part whereby Shion wouldn’t want to share the can drink with Kyolo. This shows she is quite conscious of what the implications of an indirect kiss would mean, right? Or what about the time she asks about the meaning of love after reading a novel? But the part whereby she touches his body due to her low body temperature seems bold. Then again, it could be her lack of her common sense. Besides, it would be a bad idea if the girls all start fighting over him. It will turn out to be a bloody harem cat fight. Would we like it if suddenly the final episode has a twist of one of them dramatically blurting out her true feelings? How would that leave the position of the rest? How will it proceed? Where would the peaceful days go then? So that’s why in foresight, the girls even came out with an agreement about the Valentine chocolates part. Sure, it is not to get his hopes up but there is this little issue whereby they might be mistaken for having feelings for him although they can just brush it off as obligatory chocolates.

Hiro Shimono being casted as Kyolo/Kyouya sounds a little odd at first because we are so used to his typical outburst like Keima from The World God Only Knows or Ryousuke from Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai rather than someone who is shy and soft spoken. It feels like he has no energy whatsoever when he talks. He does enter his typical trademark voice but that’s only during his manly act. Recently, I heard him voicing such a similar role of characters. If I’m not mistaken, it would be Tejirof in Aoi Sekai No Chuushin De. The rest of the casts I’m not pretty familiar with and many of them are relatively young unknowns. Some are very different from the roles that I usually hear like Maaya Uchida as Mao doesn’t give the impression she was Rea in Sankarea, Suzuko Mimori as Shion didn’t make me realize this was the voice behind the bratty Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Yume Miyamoto as Megumi was only 16 years old when she took on this role. She had voiced other roles too when she was younger like Ayami Morishita in Ghost Hunt which was way back in 2006/2007. Chika Arakawa makes her debut role as Kirara as well as Wakana Aoi as Jill. Other casts include Sumire Uesaka as Tamaki (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Ibuki Kido as Kasumi (Akiko in OniAi), Sumire Morohoshi as Seira (Clara in Kuragehime) and Ayumi Tsunematsu as Mori (Maiya in Fate/Zero).

The opening theme sounds like typical anime pop. Mousou Koukan Nikki by Otome Shintou (an all-girl J-pop idol group) starts off weirdly because it’s like they are rapping. There is a short skit during the opening anime sequence whereby the GJ Club members are doing a cute little dance of their own. There are several ending themes and they are tailored to the female characters of the club. Starting off as the first one is Tokimeki no Mahou by Maaya Uchida and Yume Miyamoto for the Amakatsu sisters. Sounds like another cheeky lively anime pop. Next is Balance Unbalance Hontou No Watashi by Suzuko Mimori for Shion. The animation for this anime pop ballad piece is quite interesting as it is somewhat abstract (floating furniture like in space and mass balloons) and perhaps reflects the heart of Shion. Then we have Watashi Dake No Sora by Chika Arakawa for Kirara. I thought this pace of this lively piece doesn’t really match Kirara’s character but then again, she might be a totally different character if you get to know her well. After dedicating 2 episodes each for those ending themes, past the halfway mark a ‘permanent’ ending song takes place and features the original quartet of GJ Club females. Hashiridasou probably sounds like another lively anime pop. So no ending theme for Tamaki or the other sisters?

In a club with no particular goals and doing things their pace seems pretty suitable for people who don’t really want to go out there to achieve some target or to proof something that perhaps no one else cares. Here, you can do what you want and at your own pace. Be yourself. Stay true to yourself if that what this club is meant to be. Even if it seems like lazing around and doing nothing productive, I guess in a way it is better than a certain club created to make friends but failed miserably in achieving that goal. Of course they achieved something else more precious than that and that is the bond and friendship among themselves. I suppose I can say the same for this club. At least they seem much better than a certain student council body that has its members chatting away mindlessly about almost everything and get nothing done. If I want to join this club, do I need to wait to be ‘kidnapped’? Hah. Which cute girls would want to whisk away an otaku like me?

Will they still be able to make friends? But more importantly, which of the girls will get to be with the main guy in the end?! I guess this is what we are interested about in the next season of the series called Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai NEXT. After a group of ‘unpopular’ people formed a club called Neighbours Club to make friends, things have been going stagnant in their goal ever since the last season. But heck, they had a great time among themselves so doesn’t that count? So I suppose the ‘NEXT’ is to see where this club will head to or bring to the next level. Or maybe it hints something more about our sole guy, Kodaka. With a bevy of beauties around him in the club, is he going to take this mere ‘friendship’ to the next level or play status quo? Maybe he can’t make such big decision himself. That’s why there are friends around to help him. But that is going to take a little while seeing how quirky everyone is and how everyone is just having fun at the moment. Do we want to spoil that ‘peace’?

Episode 1
Sena is wearing a bald wig. This is her idea of making people laugh so that she could make friends? Oh, here comes Yozora in a blonde wig. See looks like Sena… Acts like her… Isn’t that very insulting? After all, watching Sena get angry and cry makes Yozora very happy! After being made to realize by Kodaka how embarrassing they look, he is going to demonstrate what a true comedian has to make people laugh: Talk. Anyway, they don’t get his joke and find it very lame. Later when Yozora talks about the current hairstyle trend called heaping (you heap and decorate your hair with things), she and Rika are trying to bait Sena in trying out this hairstyle. The simpleton easily gets tricked and wants that hairstyle. And off Rika goes to bring her equipment. Thinking they need a summer theme to it, they even get Yukimura to go buy the stuffs. Let’s say it is an abomination once their work ends. There’s a bikini, watermelon, melon bread and cuttlefish among many other things hanging on her hair. How the heck can she keep balance? Worse part, Sena thinks it’s cool! Kodaka knows this is going to be a disaster but doesn’t have the heart to hurt her. Next day, she comes crying to Kodaka because her father spanked her after seeing such abomination. Rika and Yozora apologize (not sure if it’s genuine) but Sena chides them that the leas they could do is let her laugh it off with them. Eh? What?

Later Kodaka is studying at the library as Sena texts to pester him to come to the club room with him. When he finally relents, she doesn’t need him anymore since Kobato is here. Suddenly Kodaka gets a distress call from Kobato to save her from maniacal Sena!!! The scream… Sounds like a kidnap case! Kodaka agrees to study with Sena at her home and since Kobato is still traumatized over that incident, I guess it is just him. Upon entering her room, Kodaka is shocked to see photos of Yozora paste on her ceiling! Is she a stalker?! It’s part of her plan to revitalize her revenge for Yozora. You know how seeing the person you hate more makes you want to get revenge even more? She got that blonde wig too. As they are studying, Stella comes to bring in refreshments. She hands to Kodaka… Condom!!! Oh no!!! Luckily his iron grip means Sena can’t see what is in his palm. Then she decides to take a break and play a video game. Kurogane No Necromancer is a game based on the anime Kobato loves. Yeah. It’s her ploy to get close to Kobato. She sounds like a pervert. Good thing he didn’t bring Kobato along. They played too long and he realizes it’s already evening. He is forced to stay for dinner and then forced to stay for the night. He takes a bath and is surprised when Pegasus comes to bath with him! We didn’t watch this show for the male skinship! Damn it! Pegasus washes his back because he wants to know if Sena is being bullied. Remember that dreadful hairstyle? He thinks Sena is being bullied so much that she has been convincing herself that she did it herself. Kodaka wanted to tell him his daughter had turned into a perverted stalker (since Pegasus didn’t step in to her daughter room) but I guess he had got no balls. Kodaka assures that if Sena is being bullied, he will protect her. Happy Pegasus leaves it to him. Did he just got himself into trouble? No turning back…

Episode 2
Rika lets loose her hair and tosses away her glasses for an image change. I think she looks pretty. Even Kodaka thinks so. Thing is, he said his passionate metaphor of her beauty out loud! The other girls must be jealous and embarrassed. Rika tries to be elegant but can’t help revert back to her perverted self. Since Kodaka is ignoring her, she decides to console her broken heart with a BL anime called Homo Game Club. Oh… Yozora didn’t like how lewd it sounds but when Kodaka agrees with Rika about judging a book by its cover, Yozora is forced to watch its contents first before commenting. And so everyone begins watching the anime in which Rika says have been re-edited so first time viewers won’t have any problems. As the show progresses, Rika and Sena got emotional and cried!!! Is it that good?! Till the last shocking scene whereby the 2 main guys kiss!!! Yozora feels embarrassed and asks Rika the expert if it’s okay if such a kiss is made by friends. To Rika it doesn’t matter who you kiss. You kiss and go to bed with anyone you like!!! Yozora seems to be happy. I don’t know. It’s hinting towards Kodaka… Anyway Yozora passes this show but Sena is not happy. How can she approve Rika’s taste when she doesn’t do the same for Sena’s galges? Yozora points out the perverted dialogues in it. To prove it, she has no problems reading out loud any scenes from Homo Game Club. She memorizes all the lines and perfectly utters them out loud. It makes her look so cool. Now it’s Sena’s turn. She can’t… Yeah. Too many lewd lines, right? So when she finally gets around to it, after all that stammering and soft voice, I think she really said that ‘P’ word. It causes everyone to go in shock because they didn’t realize how much of a pervert she was. They apologize (not sure genuine or not) and Sena is left running away in tears for the embarrassment she has gotten into.

A drunk nun, Kate Takayama pulls over Kodaka in hopes of solving his problems. I don’t think he has any problems. Then he realizes how familiar she looks. I guess he understands now when Maria comes hugging him. It seems Maria doesn’t like this elder sister of hers and continues to spout vulgarities like nobody’s business!!! Even after that painful noogie, Maria can still insult her! Anyway Kate is grateful to Neighbours Club because Maria has been livelier since. Hasn’t she always been like that? Kate explains before this, all Maria did was study. She became full of herself and looked down on everyone else and this worsened when she skipped grades. So apart from him, she also has Yozora to thank. Because she is the first girl that Maria could never stand up against. Someone who is ‘smarter’ than her. Yeah, she met her match. Remember how she was made to run around school naked? Yeah… Since Kate is only 15 years old, she calls Kodaka her onii-chan too. Later Kodaka and Yozora meet and the latter wants to compare answers from their recent exams. I don’t know. They’re just talking instead of using their test papers to compare? A history question that has Yozora perplexed because she doesn’t remember if she had written the kanji name correctly. Both kanjis are very similar and it is often easy to miswrite them. This even made cock sure Kodaka unsure. Sena wants to join in comparing answers. I don’t know how they’re able to do it by just mentioning the question numbers only. Since Sena’s answers are all correct, sore loser Yozora wants to stop comparing answers with her. And since Sena is being persistent, Yozora mocks her she would rather compare her answers with her air friend. Remember Tomo-chan?

Episode 3
Kobato seems to be shooing someone away from the door. Is it the newspaper? No. It’s Maria! Why is she here? She ran away from home. Why? She didn’t like how Kate made her work and complained Kodaka will never do such a thing and was told if that’s the case to go live with him. And she did. How did she know his place? She had Kate bring her here. Some running away… Of course this means Maria and Kobato would be bickering at just about anything. From saying grace to dinner and playing video games. Man, it’s sure ‘lively’. After every few minutes, Kate will annoying call Kodaka to check up on Maria. Is she that worried? But more importantly, is she a siscon?! Maria has no qualms stripping naked and run to the bath. Treating this like her own home, eh? The final insult for Kobato came when Maria wears her pyjamas but finds the chest area too tight. She blows her top. Maria wears Kodaka’s loose t-shirt and as the lolis continue their video game, Maria dozes off. Kobato decides to tug in too when Kodaka mentions sleep helps in growing up. Wow. Kodaka must be a patient guy because even if Maria is a sleepy head, he still brushes her teeth for her. Next morning, Kate comes to pick Maria up and Kodaka gives her the green light to come back again. I’m sure Kobato isn’t going to like this. So she goes to play her video games as preparation when Maria visits next time. Kodaka is glad because it shows Kobato is expecting her company despite being enemies.

The Neighbours Club throw a party to celebrate the end of their exams. As they drink to a toast, Yukimura can’t handle carbonated drinks well but drinks up anyway so that she could match with Kodaka. Since she can’t finish, Kodaka does it for her and prompts Rika to tease their indirect kiss. Then they decide to play King Game. Because the rivalry between Yozora and Sena are heating up with absolutely humiliating orders, Kodaka proposes a rule change. Everyone is to write their orders and the king picks the order from the box. Sena becomes the first king and gloats-cum-insults the poor victim who will wear a swimsuit. The one who will be doing it is Kobato. Oh no! King’s orders are absolute. No turning back! No nullification. Since they don’t have a swimsuit, Rika has a very revealing cosplay outfit close to that. Kobato… Hates… Sena… I think she ‘levelled ‘up a lot on that ‘point’ there… We have a glimpse of all the sick orders the rest wrote like Rika’s orgasm cry and one that has Sena going to a supermarket to make a Lupin face to the cashier. Yeah. Really WTF. And we have Kodaka showing his chest to everyone! The flattest of them all… When Sena becomes the king for the final game, she notices a paper stuck in the sides and decides to pull this one out, much to Yozora’s dismay. The order is for the king to kiss somebody. That somebody is Kodaka! They’re going to really do it but panicky Yozora stops them. I guess her plan backfired, huh? To solve this, Kodaka drinks from Sena’s cup for an indirect kiss. Aren’t we all relieved or disappointed? Late that night, Kodaka’s dad makes a surprise call. He asks if Kodaka is getting married to Sena. EEEEEHHHH???!!!

Episode 4
It seems Pegasus called him drunk and blab about fixing a date for their wedding. So a drunk man’s talk? Daddy is interested if Kodaka has a girlfriend or two but when Kodaka mentions Kobato has a boyfriend, the overprotective father is going to kill that boyfriend! Gotcha! Just kidding! Sena hopes to get into Kobato’s good books by inviting her to Yokoshima Wonderland whereby there will be a special event for Kurogane No Necromancer. Since Kodaka wanted to go with friends, Yozora decides that everyone should go. Besides, a ticket can admit 6 adults. Who is the kid? Maria. Later Kodaka asks Sena if Pegasus was acting strange. She tells him he was just drunk and rambled about something and gave her tickets to this Wonderland. When they arrive, everyone is so eager to ride the scariest ride: Black Dragon. As the roller coaster ascends, everyone seems pretty confident. But as it inches to the top, they start to panic. Maybe this isn’t what they expect it to be. And when it finally descends at full speed… All hell breaks loose! I tell you this scene is hilarious! Everyone is spouting out vulgarities while dropping! Rika said the ‘F’ word!!! The only calm one is Yukimura who is coolly chanting her meditation lines! Kodaka could have been cool too if not he had to witness the horror of Rika in the midst of breaking down!!! At the end when everyone is recovering from it, Maria had the cheek to say it was fun. Hmm… Did she recover fast? Kodaka and Sena accompany Kobato to the special event. Sena tries to appeal to her with her little knowledge on the show but is scorned by Kobato as she spills out the exact details and episodes of everything! She lost points instead of gaining them. So the typical stuff. Hostess goes on stage. Bad guys come out to take hostage. Sena wants to become to hostage to get the prize at the end but they don’t want the ‘mother’ and will take their ‘daughter’ Kobato. While Sena and Kodaka fluster at becoming Kobato’s parents, I guess Kobato couldn’t be bothered with all that and just went on stage. Kobato gets the director’s autograph and likes it very much. Though reluctant, she thanks Sena and this causes the stalker pervert to be turn on.

As everyone eats lunch, Maria expresses her desire to ride Black Dragon again. What? Serious? This has Yozora and Sena challenging each other to ride again after insulting each other how scared they were previously (Sena wet her pants by the way). So while the duo ride it again, Kodaka and the rest ride the other attractions. When they meet up, they see the duo all messed up! What happened?! It looked like as though they’ve been raped! And turned into a zombie! Apparently since they’re both stubborn and refuse to give up, they ride it 8 times!!! They’re going for a ninth one when they can’t hold it in anymore and vomit on Kodaka. So a good time to take a bath. Since Maria is a little girl, Kodaka and Yukimura allow her to follow them into the men’s section. Yukimura scrubs Kodaka’s back and the latter tries to reason that she’s a boy. Cheeky Maria points out at Kodaka’s dick. She is fascinated with this weird thing. It’s something every guy has, Kodaka explains. Really? So why doesn’t Yukimura have them? Say what? Kodaka accidentally looks back and realizes she doesn’t have one! I guess this really confirms it. YUKIMURA IS A GIRL! When he tells this to the others, Rika uses her molestation skill to ascertain that (doesn’t that look stimulating?). Because Yukimura will not believe Kodaka’s words that she is a girl, Rika is made to do so and I don’t know what she said but Yukimura is convinced. However she is saddened and on the verge of tears she can’t be a great man like Kodaka. Due to family issues, she always thought she was a man. There were people who pointed it out but she just ignored them. Kodaka assures her even if she can’t be a man like him, she can still be his underling. Now that Yukimura is a girl, Sena thinks she is pretty cute… Oh God. Yozora is left to rue her carelessness and laments things don’t go as plan and have the worst luck. Wait a minute. This Yukimura-is-a-boy thingy was a setup-cum-lie by her? Yozora, maybe.

Episode 5
Yukimura is now dressed as a butler. Well, all part of Yozora’s plan as she somehow convinced him that she’ll become a man. A true man transcends the concept of gender. Whatever. Kodaka notices Rika playing her game and not all of them are BL. In fact, this one GirlSuku is an otome game. It is galge for girls. GirlSuku has the characters turned to boys. It’s like a reverse harem thingy. Yozora didn’t like it but as usual, she is told about judging a book by its cover so she agrees to try it out first and then bash it up. At first she is unsure to put in her name so Sena hijacks and inputs a real funny name and laughs her ass off. But this doesn’t sit well with Rika so Sena got scared by her scary looks and returns the controller to Yozora. She decides to put in her own name and starts the game. The dialogue of the protagonist girl has Sena laughing her head off because it doesn’t match Yozora’s personality. Yozora plays the game and is annoyed by the guys that she is supposed to end up sleeping with and the best friend b*tch who is eager to befriend her (she believes she will betray her in the end). And so, Yozora increases all her stats without dating. What a poor soul. Till a character saves her from bullies did Yozora take interest in this badass dude. Maybe it reminds her of a certain person, eh? Since this dude is a charmer too, the girls sidetracked talking about change of hairstyle. It is when Kodaka compliments Rika’s change in hairstyle too. This surprises and upsets Rika because she thought he didn’t notice because he never said a word. Kodaka admits he always pays attention to her but stops short to say it’s to keep up with whatever she’s planning. She throws a tantrum and hints about increasing their love points together but since he is so dense, she falls into some depression and decides to ‘do a quickie by herself’ in her science lab.

Yozora continues the game and even gets emotional when this guy doesn’t want to see her anymore to avoid her reputation being tarnished. She ends her game graduating at the top of her grades but a lonely girl that has never made friends. How did this happen? Rika points out she may have missed an important flag in the game but failure is all part of parcel of such dating games. Yozora resigns to this fate if this is what is in store for her and hints of a particular delinquent with no friends in reality. She feels the game is not bad. Rika has changed her hairstyle and hair colour so I guess Kodaka somewhat learnt his lesson and makes a comment but she hints of something more. When she introduces some hair dye solution, he realizes the inventions she made are boring. Say what? They’re practical but lack some sort of romance. He suggests several big inventions that could only be possible in sci-fi shows. A giant robot? A flashlight that changes one’s size? Or even a time machine. Rika did make a time machine and though it won’t send your physical body back in time but just your consciousness. Don’t believe it? Try it out. Kodaka has to think of the time he wants to go back to and before he knows it, he goes back 10 years ago to that fateful day he had to part with Yozora. This time he breaks his silence and tells her he will be going away and never see each other for a decade but will still be friends. Suddenly Yozora turns into a horse monster and beats him up and won’t forgive him. Kodaka wakes up and Rika apologizes. This isn’t a time machine but a sleep assistant with hypnosis feature. She wanted to play a prank on him but it turned out he had quite a nightmare. Kodaka apologizes for calling her inventions boring and that this one was crazy because he felt he really went back in time. But the rest are not thrilled. Because if he was dreaming something 10 years ago, why is Yozora in his dreams? Remember, the others do not know of Kodaka and Yozora’s past connection.

Episode 6
Yozora explains to everyone Kodaka is he childhood friend. Because they were friends in the past, there is no reason for her to go round spreading it. With the mood of everyone back to normal, Kodaka asks what they are to do about the upcoming school cultural festival. Yozora puts his idea down because it’s a popular event made by popular people for popular people. I guess loners like them don’t need it, right? Sena disagrees because last she was a hit with the students. Whether it’s her participation in sports or play, she aces in them all! Rika remembers her too but points out the boys were totally into her because they enjoyed watching her boobs bounce in sports and during the play, her panties were visible the entire time. Bummer. Yozora’s real intention is to tour the festival grounds with Kodaka alone but since Sena wants Neighbours Club to be in it and Kodaka agrees as part of their plan to make more friends, Yozora has no choice but to join in. Now the question is what to do for the festival. Sena’s suggestion of a maid cafe is shot down quickly because Yozora can’t wait tables. Everyone teases Kodaka if he becomes a waiter, the customer will run away due to his scary looks. Kodaka wonder if Rika can wait so she gives a demonstration by borrowing Yukimura’s maid outfit. She looks great but Kodaka is not having any reaction. She is even disappointed that he didn’t peek at her while she was changing! Then she demonstrates her tsundere maid but she is physically abusive and foul mouthed! I think customers will never want to come back! Yeah, it’s breaking Kodaka’s heart. It’s Sena’s turn to demonstrate and she seems pretty good in it. Not to mention her well-endowed body has the girls green with envy because it makes her look like some western porn flick! When Sena casts her moe magical spell to make Kodaka’s tea better, Yozora becomes suspicious. Her scary stare has Sena run away in tears and in a way she admits something about going to maid cafes on weekends. Maybe that’s why she is a pro. So I guess they’re not doing a maid cafe. When everyone leaves for the day, Kodaka turns back into the club room. He is surprised to see Yozora dressing up as a maid! Not what he thinks? Slowly back out…

Having a fortune telling booth is what Yozora have in mind for the festival. It’s not that she is into fortune telling or believes them (despite doing her own research of reading every horoscope and comparing it with its outcome – which makes her seem like a horoscope freak, right?), she plans to make money by tempting brainless people who believe in them and spew random crap. Evil… To demonstrate, she decides to do fortune telling on Sena. Yozora effectively uses the Barnum Effect to convince Sena what she is saying is true. I mean, she knows her personality, right? And that gullible blonde actually believes what she said! True enough, she waltzes right into her palm. To ‘improve’ her life, she suggests a very embarrassing act. At midnight, stand on the rooftop with a basin of water on your head and shout out loud “Sexy Beam!” three times! Sena really believes her and will do it and I’m sure Yozora is finding it hard to contain her laughter and looks forward to seeing how silly she is. Late that night, Kodaka gets mail from Sena saying she got spanked by her father… Not again. He replies her to Google up on Barnum Effect. Next morning, Sena is really one pissed girl as she confronts Yozora who pretends she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But Sena is really upset. Genuine. It is not the fact she got spanked by her father but rather she felt so happy when Yozora told her about it. Yozora feels guilty and the mood between them becomes awkward. But since Kobato is in the club room, all the gloom from Sena vanishes as she starts hounding that poor girl. Is it true that her fortune came true? Did Yozora’s magic crap really work? Actually Kodaka points out Kobato has finished her remedial classes and is able to come to the club again. Sena forgives Yozora this time. Rika has brought several books on fortune telling just in case and Kodaka picks up one on birthdays. This reminds him that Kobato’s birthday is next week. Happy Sena wants to throw her a birthday party. I think Kobato is starting to freak out.

Episode 7
After Kodaka gets mail from Sena to accompany her to go shopping for Kobato’s present, he gets similar mails but with a twist from the rest. A hidden message in Rika’s very perverted message, Yukimura’s ‘short’ message that turns out to be very long winded and Yozora’s beating-around-the-bush message. So, it’s like a situation when the harem guy agrees to all of them and all his harem girls meet right at the same place. Yeah. Annoyed. Disappointing, no? Kodaka comments Rika putting so much effort in her hairstyle but rarely changes her clothes. Well, because he’d just ignore it, right? Kodaka didn’t realize he said out loud that he would find Rika in cute girls more appealing. Really? Rika thinks of expanding her wardrobe and looks up to Sena. Too bad all her clothes and make-up are taken care of by Stella. As for Yozora, she depends on the internet site and wears what is fashionable. She didn’t realize the meaning of boyish because until she is told it is just a term to up one’s feminine’s charm. Now she feels embarrassed with those exposed belly and thighs. Yozora wants to go shop something else first so Yukimura and Rika accompany her. This leaves Kodaka and Sena to shop together. Sena wants to know what will make Kobato really happy. Don’t even think about giving yourself. Sena became happy for a second when Kodaka mentions meat will make Kobato happy. No, not you. The kind where you eat them, silly. In the end, Kodaka became fascinated with some high end frying pan and buys it. As they rest, Sena asks his opinion about the other girls. Nothing much. Does he want a girlfriend? It’s not that he doesn’t want, how can a boring guy like him have a girlfriend when he doesn’t have friends? Sena doesn’t think he is boring. As for Kodaka’s question about his past with Yozora, Sena panicked at first but realized there is no need to because the present is more important and doesn’t want to lose to her. She hints that if she likes someone, she won’t find them boring. When everyone regroups, Rika looks cute in a girly dress, Yukimura is hot wearing Yozora’s hand-me-downs and Yozora… Don’t even ask how she ended up in a tracksuit.

Kobato’s party gets underway and I think she could have enjoyed it better if not for Sena’s creepy presence. Yeah, there’s a little doll of Sena and Kobato on the cake… Everyone gives their present and guess what is Sena’s present to Kobato? Meat… She really bought it… But Kobato is one happy girl since with this meat, she can eat her favourite sukiyaki tonight. Kodaka spots Kate trying to peek into his home! Well, Maria is here. Siscon… And so, Kobato’s day is ruined with the sisters. When Kate talks to her about calling Kodaka her onii-chan and all, Kobato becomes mad that big brother had to add more sisters!!! Since Maria is dragging her feet, Kate explains they are here because Maria has a present to give to Kobato. It’s a key charm. Charming. But you know how this will end. Little girls’ fight… The girls sure can eat and wallop the entire sukiyaki. Feel bad for Kodaka. He did most of the work and only ate 2 pieces. Kate shows him a locket Maria got for her. There’s a cicada shell encased inside… But that’s her way of showing her love I guess. As they’ll be staying here tonight, Kate takes Maria to bath. Kodaka gets them spare clothes when he sees Kobato running out from the bathroom in tears. She must have been terrified by Kate’s superb proportions. Kodaka accidentally sees this and runs out. He apologizes and she forgives him since it wasn’t on purpose. Kodaka learns Kate and Pegasus are fishing buddies as they love fishing salmon. When Kate and Maria leaves, the former wished he was really their brother. But she doesn’t discount if he was something else it would be nice too. Hint, hint. However she notes he’s already got Sena. Big hint, hint. I’m sure Kodaka may not understand what she means now but he’ll soon find out.

Episode 8
Kodaka thanks the girls from the bottom of his heart because Kobato had a good time. Everyone gets excited to celebrate each other’s birthday but Rika is not amused. Getting back to the discussion for the festival, they wonder what Kobato’s class is doing. She is reluctant to say but after Kodaka ‘threatens’ with meat and games, she relents. She is to play a lead role in a play. So what is the leading lady doing here? Ran away, huh? Kodaka gives her words of encouragement to do her best and it doesn’t take long before she makes her way back to her class. This prompts Yozora to do a movie too but when she nominates herself as the scriptwriter, Sena objects. She has a bad feeling if she’s the one behind the pen. Anyway she has everyone contribute what they want to see in the movie. Kodaka: No rape! Yeah. I remember that relay novel and how terrible it went. I guess everybody else has their weird ideas. Back home, Kodaka receives mail from Yozora to accompany her to get ideas for the movies. This time she was a little prepared because she tells him the company of others are not needed. First, they stop by a cinema to watch what it seems to be a harmless French romance movie. Then… OMG! French porn! C’est si bon! That won’t do for their movie, no? Next, they stop by the cat shop and Yozora loves frolicking with the cats. She can’t have one since she lives in an apartment. Even if she did not, she can’t have one because of Night. Ten years ago, they both found an abandoned cat at a shrine. They used their pocket money to care for it and one day, it vanished. I guess this is where her trauma of somebody vanishing without notice started. If she is going to get hurt again, she doesn’t want to form any bonds. In the club room, Sena can tell this Kobato is fake! Yeah, it’s Rika dressing up as her. Anyway, Yozora has done the script and it looks good. She already has done to casting too. It’s about the main student (Yozora) who is old friends with the new transfer student (Kodaka) and the class boss who is against them till the end (Sena). Then there’ll be a girl who keeps pulling pranks on them (Rika), a boy who secretly admires transfer student from afar (Yukimura) and the transfer student’s sister (Maria). Doesn’t this feel familiar?

Sena objects since she is playing the villain but Yozora manages to put it in a way that she’ll accept it: She gets more screen time and attention. Rika too objects because based on Kodaka’s character, he has qualities that the real Kodaka doesn’t have! And Kodaka himself really thinks he is such a cool guy?! Such shocking truth, eh? Maybe this is what Yozora really wishes in him. She is basing all this based on her relationship with him as childhood friends. Since nobody agrees, everyone decides to vote which character they’ll play. It turns out to be messed up… Yukimura now the leading role and the worst one: Kodaka the little sister! WTF?! Can he play that role? Blame Sena and Maria for that vote. I don’t know why they can’t do a re-vote (probably the results will be the same) so Yozora rewrites the story to change Kodaka’s role as a little brother. However when she rewrites the script, it becomes worse than before. The best friends are no more friends. A friend of a friend is not a best friend? Because Yozora used her childhood friend basis for the change, Sena tells her off ancient history like that isn’t important. This riles Yozora up. She’s scary. For once, Sena isn’t daunted and reminds her that her job is to fix the script. Like a role reversal, this causes Yozora to cry and wish that Sena never existed before running away. When everyone leaves, Yozora returns to the room to get her bag but Kodaka spots her. She asks if the past or present is more important. He can’t choose and asks her the same. She views the past is more important but does that mean the present isn’t as important? Yozora fixes the script and this time it is much better and wins everyone’s approval. Now to start filming on it.

Episode 9
Filming gets underway and since Kodaka’s role doesn’t have much appearance, he is rather free. He goes to see the exam results on the billboard. As usual, Sena is tops. 895 out of 900 points! How the hell does she do it? But a petite girl, Aoi Yusa seems to not like the results. From the way she says things, this student council treasure who is in the same class as Sena is somewhat jealous of her success in every area. To add salt to injury, she thinks Sena has snagged a boyfriend for herself too. That’s you, Kodaka. He dismisses it but she doesn’t believe. But the thing that catches his attention is how she describes him as a cool person. He likes that, doesn’t he? Nobody ever said that to him before. He returns to the club room only to see Sena in. The rest are out scouting for a suitable location for their next scene. He talks to her about Aoi. She doesn’t recognize her. WTF. Doesn’t she even bother to learn her classmates’ name? Remember the previous ‘wise’ words of Sena: 2 types of girls in this world: Those who love her and the rest are all b*tches!!! So why bother to learn names of retarded b*tches? Kodaka is amazed that she barely puts in any effort in studying and yet comes out tops. Their study session together was her first time. Is it a wonder why many girls envy her? After filming, Kodaka passes Pegasus who asks him about his progress with Sena. When Kodaka mentions they’re not dating, this causes Pegasus to panic and flee. WTF moment. Next day, Sena ‘borrows’ Kodaka to talk about this dating incident. Seems Pegasus got the wrong idea. When he gave her tickets to Yokoshima Wonderland, Sena was infatuated that this is her ticket in making Kobato her sister. What is the fastest and legal way of doing that? Get married. Sena agreed to it all without thinking of the consequences. She talked to daddy about this misunderstanding.

Now that’s out of the way, here’s the real bombshell. No, not the blonde. Their engagement. SAY WHAT?! Apparently there is a photo of them playing when they’re toddlers and their arranged marriage was decided by their dads then. They don’t remember but it is claimed there is a document with their thumbprints to seal such agreement. They think they should forget about it since it is long story and Kodaka believes his dad might have forgotten about it (Sena seems to find it regrettable it had to end this way). Sena is worried about Yozora but Kodaka says there is no need to tell her since this doesn’t involve her. When they return to the club room and about to resume filming, Maria’s arrival has Kodaka remembering Kate’s words. Suddenly happy Maria asks Kodaka if he is getting married because she heard all about it from Kate. The secret is out. So Kodaka and Sena explain everything. Man, Yozora must be hard hit and in total shock. Really. So much so this annoys Sena as she takes her fly swatter and swats her face! The past doesn’t matter! All that matters is now! Still no reaction. She is devastated being a fiancée has a deeper relationship than a childhood friend. In Sena’s case, it makes her a childhood friend too. The filming continues and Yozora is in serious depression. No motivation at all… After finishing up, Kodaka passes by Kate and blames her for the tons of trouble. Though she apologizes, she mentions the teachers, nuns and some students already know of this because Pegasus likes to tell people whenever he gets the chance. But Kate feels somewhat relieved that Pegasus was just getting ahead of himself. Learning about the film he made, Kate recommends him to watch an old teen masterpiece movie that resembles closely to theirs. Guess what? Kodaka is absolutely pissed that this show is exactly the same as the one they are doing! The scenes, lines and all! Yozora ripped it off! Plagiarism!!!

Episode 10
Yozora is made to reflect on her actions. Repent! Sena wants to redo everything again but do they have time for an original movie? Thankfully she wrote one in case Yozora screws up. Now it’s Sena’s turn to bully Yozora and the latter can’t fight back! How does it feel to have a taste of your own medicine? She is forced to wear an embarrassing witch outfit as Sena takes over the directing role. This movie has everything cramped in it. School, friendship, singing, magic, super power, samurai, robots, space war, love between men, etc. WTF. I’m thinking how screwed up this is going to get. Kodaka accompanies Rika back to her science lab. Amazing she remembers the number of days it has passed since he last set foot here. 122 days… She shows him the special effects she put in and it’s amazing. She shows him photographs of Neighbours Club that she keeps in several albums. It may look like she’s a stalker taking photos of them secretly but it was as modelling reference when she first made the game for the club. Kodaka notes how she might be the one who is trying hardest to make new friends. Neighbours Club visit Kobato’s school to view her class’ movie. Although it turns out to be a retro silent black and white movie with no special effects and resembles closely to Princess Kaguya story, nevertheless it is amazing. Of course Sena is the one cheering the loudest while Maria fell asleep throughout. Sena adds to Kobato’s trauma after the show by hugging her (almost suffocating her to death with her boobs). Kobato is very embarrassed since they came and goes into hiding. Kodaka learns from her friend that Kobato is very popular and even has her own fan club. However she doesn’t seem interested in making friends despite others trying hard to be friends with her. Rika quips how similar Kodaka and Kobato are. It runs in the blood. Maria suddenly feels depress and it’s like all her excitement as a loudmouth carefree loli just evaporated. Totally different.

When they return to their club, Kobato makes her entry. Suddenly Maria is back to her lively self as the lolis argue. But notice how happy and smiling all the way when they ‘fight’? Sena is going to complete the final scenes and replace Kodaka’s scenes with Kobato. So he’s an extra all the while? After the opening speech by the student council president, Hinata Hidaka, it seems Yozora feels disgusted in hearing her. They don’t even know each other nor have they spoken so why all the hate? Hinata is like Sena who is good at studies, athletics and helping out others. Only difference is that she is a popular girl with friends. She wants her to become like Shakespeare’s King Lear and have a bad end! How deep can her grudge go? Kodaka notices Rika looking forlornly on the rooftop and goes to talk to her. Just wanted fresh air? He notices the bags under her eyes as she stayed awake all night to complete her work. Rika gets embarrassed when Kodaka praises her. Then it’s time she gets serious. She asks about his feelings for Sena. Nothing. Just club mates. She points out that is not how Sena sees it and adds he doesn’t like being lonely but is afraid of people expressing their affection towards him. He pretends not to see or notice and runs away or covers up. Even to the point of lying to himself to convince no one has any feelings for him. No, she is not talking about Kobato you dimwit. If he wants, she can always stay the same but she thinks it is time he takes a step forward. Kodaka tells her to stop it. She says something inaudible about them all for him. Kodaka whether or not really hears it, he somewhat knew the words she said. He had known it for a long time.

Episode 11
Rika isn’t here for the screening so Kodaka goes to see what’s up with her at her science lab. She’s collapsed on the floor! Thankfully it’s just a cold. Yozora will have the screening cancelled since there won’t be any meaning of the 7 of them don’t watch it together. As the gang goes around putting up the cancellation notice, Kodaka bumps into Aoi again. He still likes how she showers him with those cool words. Aoi is surprised that Sena has joined a club and way back in June. Kodaka goes to visit Rika in the infirmary and she’s doing fine. Though saddened the movie is completed, she is touched of what Yozora said. She feels sleepy and wants Kodaka to rape her!!! WTF?! If not, read her a book till she sleeps. Okay. It’s BL… Oh sh*t. Wish you had taken up the rape offer, eh? Just like Sena, he can’t really read it straight. What’s a yaoi hole? Don’t know? Neither do I but I can vaguely guess what it is. Rika is disappointed when Kodaka tells her guys don’t have that! She might want to ascertain if that’s true on him. No way. Can you blame her for never having a friend to tell her? Once Rika recovers and finishes the movie, everyone watches it together. Hmm… Lots of extravagant special effects. Lots of everything. So much so I don’t know what’s going on. One day, Aoi barges into the club room but once again, Sena doesn’t recognize her. Felt insulted, eh? Anyway she is here to chide this club for doing nothing but play around. Because she was interested in what club Kodaka and Sena’s joined, she did a little investigation. Yozora is back to her holier-than-thou attitude as she counters every damn slander or accusation Aoi throws at them. Even if Aoi quotes from her handbook, Yozora coolly counters that with another article. Give it up. You can’t beat her. Besides, everything she sees about them doing nothing is only her opinion, right? She even defends Kobato’s presence as a club member and that this church is on both school and public grounds and thus her membership is valid and not an outsider. Aoi is left retreating like a loser dog she is.

Unfortunately she came back soon and this time she has found something that will render the club illegitimate. Based on a rule that all clubs need some teacher or sister as moderator, the problem is that Maria is not really a sister as her name is not on the register. In other words, just a loli hanging around the chapel. Kodaka calls Kate to confirm and she bluntly admits Maria is not a sister! About calling herself a teacher? She made that up. About wearing the nun outfit? She thinks it’s cute. Damn. Aoi thinks she’s on the winning track when Sena stands up this time. She makes her move to call her father. Everything will be alright if she becomes an official moderator, right? Shortly, Sena returns to relay the good news Maria has become a special part time instructor. It’s something close to being a teacher. Aoi still isn’t happy despite it’s the chairman’s decision. Still got problem? Sena tells her off she could easily destroy the student council and have Aoi expelled from school if she wanted to. Neighbours Club is hers and if she keeps barking up her garden, she will crush her like a bug. See Sena’s scary face? You better give up. Hope you learn your lesson. And don’t come back! And so Neighbours Club is safe as long as Yozora and Sena are around. She may be misusing her power and acting like the villain but if anybody can be rid of by her power, she doesn’t really give a damn about that person. But Sena seems to shoo Aoi away in a hurry because she wants to continue her game? Suddenly Sena just pops the question to Kodaka. He should just marry her. Shocking! Though the engagement promise is a thing of the past, when they found out about it, it sounded they would never going to get married. She really wants to marry him because she loves him. Kodaka pretends he couldn’t hear her and before anything else could develop, Kodaka excuses himself out of the room. So typical of him.

Episode 12
Kodaka bumps into Aoi and helps her out putting away stuffs from the festival. He asks why she was so adamant in disbanding Neighbours Club. Her reply was she didn’t want a talented person like Sena to waste her time doing nothing. Thinking that she was doing it for her sake, Kodaka contemplates that everyone else are popular and smart too and there’s no need for them to be in Neighbours Club. Aoi admits the real reason is that she was jealous because Sena had everything. When Kodaka points out Sena doesn’t have friends, Aoi laughed so hard and thinks it’s a joke to cheer her up. Kodaka meets Hinata and she takes a liking for him (as a person). After finishing their task, Hinata offers him to join the student council since they could use a guy (the student council only have females). Despite Aoi commending Kodaka’s cool traits, he won’t take up the offer since it’s a heavy responsibility. However he agrees to help them out whenever he can. So for 1 week Kodaka helps them out as part of his excuse not to return to Neighbours Club. He thinks he can’t face his mates after running away. One day Yukimura finds him to bring him back since she heard rumours he has been ‘enslaved’. Because Aoi’s words are somewhat pissing Yukimura off, Kodaka tells her to go ahead first. Kodaka talks with Yukimura to find out the latest happenings in the club. Only Sena and Yukimura come in every day. Yozora and Rika stopped doing so while Maria only comes in to sleep (what else?). He asks why she continues to be an underling despite knowing his true face as a weakling. Simply because she wants to. Even if the club gets disbanded, she will still stand by his side and serve him. He feels unworthy of those words. Suddenly Yukimura’s chest tightens and quipped if she was a strong man, she would’ve plunged herself into his yaoi hole!!! Where did she learn this?! Remember how Rika convinced her she was a girl? Sad… Then Kodaka gets mail from Rika telling him to come to the rooftop immediately or else she will play that secret recording of him reading her that BL book over the PA system! Better get moving!

So what does Rika want? She’s upset (despite being cool). She wants to teach a sad delinquent for turning tail and fleeing the club. A lesson to make him realize the coward and hypocrite he is for even mumbling how much treasures the club. Kodaka allows her to beat him up so she uses brain controlled iron balls to toss into him! Yikes! He has to avoid it because it really will break your bones! See the marks it left on the wall! She’s serious. She understands how he feels after Sena’s surprise confession but what he did after that is unforgivable. She thinks he betrayed the club by helping the student council and let himself to be led away by Hinata’s beauty. Kodaka admits he likes her personality but that only means he respects her as a human being. Rika had asked Sena when she fell in love with him. It was when he saved her from delinquents at the pool (from the first season). The things they did seem to be heading towards a direction that they’ll be a couple. It felt like some sort of cheat code when Sena suddenly becomes his fiancée and childhood friend. This caused Yozora to lose all her nerve. She chides him for being a main character of some romantic comedy trying to get all the girls by being nice. Kodaka dismisses that. He loves to be one and give them all a happy ending. However he is not the main character as he doesn’t know what to do now. He has never gone through this and forming this club was a miracle because it’s a place for outcasts like them to be themselves. Rika accuses him of being a thick headed bystander. There is no point of protecting something if he is not going to be there. She doesn’t want this kind of cheap freak. He tells her back she is the one to say. She acts the lively pervert but slaves away behind the scenes for their sake. Even now she is playing the villain for their sake. So what is it that she wants? Rika says out loud that all she wants are friends. After Kodaka takes that final beating, they reconcile. Rika hopes he could rely on her. She is a genius and can make the impossible possible if he wants. Kodaka wants her to be his friend. But she dismisses that because they are all already friends. Kodaka requests for Rika’s help in which she will gladly provide. He records into the club’s logbook that he finally has made friends. Just as he goes back to the club room to make himself clear to Sena, all the Neighbours Club members suddenly get a message from Yozora. She has left on a journey and doesn’t’ want them to come look for her. Trouble is brewing on her side…

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?
Oh my. This series could have been great if not for such an unsatisfied ending. Why are we forced to be left hanging at the end? Feels like there may be a third season but I’m just speculating. Things aren’t really finished yet the way the relationship between Kodaka and Yozora has been going. Don’t you feel that it has been going on a downward trend? I guess there is so much a girl can do and take and when she finally snaps, maybe she needs some time by herself to think and chill out. Overall, this sequel still lives up to its zaniness with the peculiar bunch of characters. It also had some development to go with and it was going great guns in the last episode as well with all that build up. Just sad that it had to end this way. They should have made a thirteenth episode, damn it. Ah well, maybe a single episode is not enough to solve Yozora’s woes because that girl seems to be holding on to her precious past and the thing that prevents her from moving forward.

The main development is of course the romance part. We all want to know which girl Kodaka would choose even though we know he won’t make a decision. Yozora and Sena seem to be leading the scoreboard and they are probably on level with each other as favourites to end up with him. However a series of blunders have caused Yozora to lose confidence and gradually I could feel that she no longer has that oomph anymore and just doesn’t really give a damn. Then suddenly comes Sena’s surprise childhood friend revelation and the shocking confession she wants to marry him. That was a real put off for Sena. Clearly there were many moments that hint the duo really like Kodaka. Especially Yozora mumbling to herself if it should have turned out the other way. I remember one of her mumblings after that French porn movie that she suggests to do that c’est si bon thingy too. If she had only said that louder. But in this romance segment, this season isn’t just about a two-horse race. Rika seems to be creeping up as a formidable contender too with hints thrown at us along the way (there are quite a few scenes that focus solely in Kodaka and Rika alone). Sometimes it feels that she might just come up from behind and snatch Kodaka away. That’s why she isn’t one to be dismissed yet. However if you think the girls interested in him are just confined to Neighbours Club, then take note that there are a couple of ‘outsiders’ that I would consider a worthy challenger to the race for Kodaka. 1) Kate – notice some of her words sound ambiguous like as though she hopes of wanting him as her boyfriend? 2) Hinata – she might say she likes him as a person but notice her body reaction when she said that? Her limited appearance doesn’t do justice but it was enough to tell us that it is more than just liking him as a person. It’s going to be a crowded field if Kodaka doesn’t make up his mind soon.

As for the other girls, I won’t say they won’t really fall in love with Kodaka as a woman but for now they don’t seem to be indicating or doing proactive things to make us believe they are so. Yukimura happens to me utmost admiration despite the last bit there may indicate she really wanted to do in his yaoi hole. Whatever. Same case with Aoi. Her interactions with him feel that she looks up to him as a cool person. Oddly, she is the first person to be considered by Kodaka to think how cool he is. Then what were Yukimura’s praises for? Sure, she never spouted the cool character he is and her speeches are like so samurai-like but they are still worthy admiration, right? As for Maria, this carefree loli nun just views him as a big brother and nothing more. With her around, you don’t feel that she is really interested about the subject of romantic love and is just glad Kodaka is someone she can call her onii-chan. As for Kobato, I know she likes her brother very much but I don’t see it to a point that she has extreme brother complex. The kind whereby she obsessively fawns over him (like Sena does towards Kobato) and worse, the kind of sister who wants to keep her brother all to herself and marry him! Don’t see it in Kobato, do we? So she’s just an ordinary girl living out as her favourite anime character. Besides, she obediently obeys what Kodaka says like a good girl even if she doesn’t want to at first.

One of the reason why this series is funny and it still is because of Yozora’s holier-than-thou attitude and the way she bullies Sena. In the first season, she was invincible and you can predict the outcome each time when the duo get involved in a spat. I know bullying isn’t good but the way she does it is amusing since Sena is partly to be blamed for being gullible. But hey, in a way if you think about it, that is because Sena considers her as a friend and shouldn’t friend trust and believe each other? But after so many times being conned, don’t you think she should have guessed her game by now? Ah well, Sena may be stubborn but in that sense she keeps her faith in Yozora. However this time around, no doubt Yozora dominated in the first half of the show with her bullying tactics, ever since her nerve starts breaking down, she seems to kinda lost that touch and surprisingly Sena could give her a taste of her own medicine. It felt the almighty sadistic queen’s rule has come to an end. And when Sena became assertive about her love with Kodaka, it felt like woah. She’s a totally different person. Like a role reversal. Sena improves while Yozora declines. Rika is still the horny pervert this season but she plays more important roles this time. As seen, she purposely became a villain just to open Kodaka’s eyes. This season, I feel Rika is more foul mouthed, bold and assertive than the last season too. Ah well, genius people are equally crazy. Rika too seems to be having the most changes in terms of appearance because I notice she experiments with different hairstyles and colours in some of the episode. In addition to that, she sometimes cast away her lab coat and wears other clothes. This is my personal opinion even though I feel Rika is cute whether she lets her hair down or ties them up like her usual pony tail, however I can’t say the same for Yozora. Even after a season, I still can’t get used to her short hairstyle although it is her boyish fashion theme. I still prefer Yozora when she had longer hair.

Yukimura is still the soft spoken one. So in this season it is really confirmed that Yukimura is indeed a girl. No more doubts about that. I have always had my reservations about her being a boy and now it all comes true. However I would have preferred her to stay in her maid outfit instead of a butler. You know how much I love maids ;p. If it is true that Yukimura one day can turn into a true man, then we will really be able to see a real yaoi hole! Get what I mean? No kidding! Maria and Kobato’s loli fight is still amusing. Maria the lively foul mouthed sister as always without a care while Kobato and her “Kukuku” trademark laughter. Of course if you realize, their last fight seems to be more amicable than their previous despite the vivacity of the argument is still there. Is it a sign that they have accepted each other as friends? Actually, fighting for a long time like that shows that they are friends in a way but now that they are smiling, it proves that they really enjoy each other’s company. Too bad Kobato is still doesn’t like Sena much. Either she hates her (hear her catty snarl) or she gets traumatized. There is no escape. Lastly about Kodaka, at first he seems like the guy caught in between everything and doesn’t bother to get involve in Yozora and Sena’s spat. So in truth he is just turning a blind eye and pretending everything had not happened so that things can be the same. I know it must be devastating to step out of one’s comfort zone since this club is a dream come true for its members. Since Kodaka has known this problem for a very long time, can I say that each time the girls whisper something about their feelings and he can’t catch what they say, is it he is just pretending not to hear? Seems like it. And he’s good at it. So I assume he clearly hears what they mumble but as Rika pointed out, just coolly pretends and ignores them. I’m guessing he heard Yozora saying about that c’est si bon too… Now everyone is at the crossroads. A decision needs to be made. Gosh. If only the series didn’t end like that…

I’m not sure about that Pegasus guy but although he didn’t seem to make much impact as he did in the previous season, I feel there is something fishy going on in him wanting to wed his daughter off with Kodaka. Maybe he is waiting for the day that they will be married just like how they made a pact in the past. Even that one seems fishy. Maybe there is no such document at all and just made up. I find this Pegasus guy to be somewhat a little gay. Notice the way how he talks and approaches Kodaka? Perhaps Kodaka’s dad has been overseas for too long and doesn’t come back frequently so he lacks the need of a male companionship. I don’t want to imagine the kind of route that will make Rika happy. Yeah, Kodaka ends up with Pegasus instead of one of the pretty girls!!! NO WAY! I don’t even want this to happen! Stella is still as quirky but too bad she just made only one appearance in this season. Who knows what kind of kinky tricks she will pull had Kodaka stayed longer. New characters like Kate provide something extra to the show. Just like how wanting to be friends but avoiding getting close runs in the blood of Kodaka and Kobato, I could think of the same thing between Kate and Maria. Because they are so uncouth and unrefined as ladies. Worse, they are shameful as sisters. Just that Kate is a siscon. Kate isn’t ashamed of drinking in the middle of the day (I’m not sure sitting on the bench outside is the result of some hangover), she also isn’t embarrassed about farting, burping and scratching her butt in public! It’s like being a sister is just a job and not her life’s devotion. Aoi and Hinata are great too but their late appearance in this season doesn’t do much justice.

For the fanservice part, I have a feeling Sena exudes most of the fanservice scenes due to her well-endowed body. I noticed it is usually by the way she sits because it’s like she is close to revealing her butt (oh, those sexy thighs!) but we won’t see anything up further and everything is just a teaser. On a trivial note, this time the mid-intermission doesn’t have any more fanservice. The one whereby a girl in a random sexy pose with the word “Haganai” printed somewhere on their body. This season’s mid-intermission is a little strange. It feels like those marshmallow/paper people skipping across the screen. I suppose they are the Neighbours Club members because each of them had some sort of ornament on their head that identifies them. But I’m baffled, is the one with pudding supposed to be Kodaka? Maybe they’re referring to his delinquent coloured hair. You know how Ten Little Indians song goes? Yeah. Seems like one by one they’re being picked off by something vicious. Whether it is getting chased by bees or getting devoured by sharks or getting snagged by a dog. But after reaching halfway and having only the last one left (guess who?), this restarts again by having a new line of marshmallow/paper people but this time they don’t get taken out but go away after being distracted with something else or help the previous fallen ones. And the last person got a basin dropped over his head…

More trivial notes: I observed that the episode titles parody some animes especially those with long winded names involving sisters. Like one that parodies a certain sister that can’t be cute, a sister among a group of ‘sisters’, one that has too much fighting between a girlfriend and a childhood friend, and the one about a sister who as long as she has love it doesn’t matter if it’s her brother. There’s one that parodies newer animes about a perverted prince and a stoic cat, and that SNAFU love comedy life being screwed up. I’m sure you know what anime titles I’m talking about. Of course there are those parodying short ones like Mayoi Neko Overrun or Mayo Chiki. At the end of each episode, there is the usual end card illustration by different people. I don’t know, the styles of all of them look somewhat the same. This season’s opening and ending theme are sung by the 6 girls of Neighbours Club. The opening theme, Be My Friend sounds very much like last season’s opening theme and of course about wanting to make friends. As usual the opening animation is as crazy but this time you see them dressed in costumes for their movie. And perhaps the craziness can be credited to Rika’s amazing special effects skill, no? This time the ending theme isn’t like last season’s rock outfit sung only by Yozora’s seiyuu, but Bokura No Tsubasa is more of an anime pop group. So no more air guitar this time and replaced with red strings.

A tinsy little bit still bugs me. In the final episode when Kodaka and Rika became friends, it made me wonder had not they been friends since they joined? Even when I briefly browse through Wikipedia, it stated that Rika became Kodaka’s first friend. So all this while what do the Neighbours Club members consider each other? Club mates? Maybe. Well, as far as I can remember, no one really said anything about each other as friends. Even if it seems that they are getting along fine (fighting and arguing are part and parcel of friendship), perhaps it is this perception that I thought that they had been friends since the formation of the club. They even do things and go on many outings together, right? With Rika and Kodaka saying it, I guess it is now official that they are friends. But who will turn out to be his lover is another story and might need to wait excruciatingly for a long time. Even if Neighbours Club has yet to fulfil its original goal of making more friends from outside, I think having close knit members within a club is enough for the time being. I mean, how many friends do you want? Of course as many as possible but there is a limit to how many friends you could actually have. Think Facebook and Twitter. Yeah. How many of them are real friends?

As you can see all those who like or admire Kodaka is because of what is inside him. Yes, the all important lesson of never judging a book by its cover. They know he is a good guy deep down inside despite his delinquent looks that they have all gotten used to. Besides, this season you don’t really see him ‘scaring’ people with his looks except for the opening scene in the first episode. That’s about it. Thus this club isn’t just slacking off doing nothing although it may seem so on the outside. Did you not notice that Yozora doesn’t speak to her air friend anymore? Had she not mention that little bit in one of the episodes, I would have totally forgotten that she had one in the first place. But now another problem has crept up on her and that will be a different story altogether. The bottom line of this story is to treasure your friends because nobody could live all by himself/herself in this world. There are times when you have to rely on others (but don’t do it too often). Then if you’re lucky enough, you can ‘upgrade’ to be more than just friends. Being childhood friends or having arranged marriage prerequisite is an added advantage. Or you could just be friends with benefits. Ooohh lala… That will be c’est si bon!

Tari Tari

March 10, 2013

I couldn’t make out what Tari Tari is when I read the synopsis. All it states in a brief sentence are 5 high school students, describing their personality and their current likes or issues they are facing at the moment. One thing in common that they have is that music brings them together to form a little club of their own. This is one of those summer themed animes in a sleepy town. Something like Natsuiro Kiseki or Uta-Kata but this one lacks any miracle or magic. As you know a group consisting of people with different personalities and goals, it is always the question if they can work together towards their common love for singing and overcome the odds of bigger and more established clubs in the same line.

Episode 1
We begin with a glimpse of the lives of the main characters. Wakana Sakai makes breakfast for his widower dad, Keisuke before leaving for school. Sawa Okita rides her favourite horse, Sabure and has time to stop and smell the flowers. Atsuhiro “Wien” Maeda has just returned from Vienna and makes his first step into Shirahamazaka High School where he will be schooling from now on. Taichi Tanaka practises his badminton while Konatsu Miyamoto is rehearsing with her fellow members of the Vocal Club. In class, the students lavish their homeroom teacher, Tomoko Takahashi with gifts before she leaves for her maternity leave. Before she does, she introduces Wien as their new transfer student and I guess he must be away from Japan so long that he takes it very seriously in learning Japan’s culture. Maybe a little too serious. Does he really need to prostrate himself and speak in olden Japanese? He needs to get a better book to consult. Taichi is tasked to show Wien around school. I’m sure Taichi has a hard time correcting Wien about his misconceptions about Japanese culture. He should really get a new consulting book. At least he is taking down notes. Hope he takes them down right. While Wakana helps out Takahashi with the gifts, Konatsu wants to be part of the singing choir (her current role is to turn pages for the pianist) and goes to see the club’s advisor, Naoko Takakura who is also the school’s vice principal. However she is shot down because of last year’s blooper and being lectured about anybody can love music but it’s a different story whether music can love you. She wants Konatsu to abandon her aspirations to sing on stage. Not happy, Konatsu quits! Remember to submit a formal application then. Konatsu talks to her best friend Sawa about this problem at the latter’s Archery Club. Konatsu is still adamant to sing and wants to start a new club. Guess who has to join her? Despite Sawa thinking she has a terrible voice, Konatsu believes she has a powerful one. But she’s already in a club. Do both then!

Konatsu submits her application for a new club to Takahashi and thinks of inviting Wakana. Takahashi thinks that is a great idea and Konatsu might be a good catalyst for her. After Wakana finishes her supplementary class, Konatsu accompanies her home and talks to her. Wakana can tell she quit the Vocal Club so she can stop beating the around the bush. She tells of her intention to start a new club and if she talks to the principal directly, she might have a chance. Wakana turns her offer down to join since she has already stopped singing. Konatsu continues to persuade her but Wakana is sticking to her guns. She never enjoyed music and can’t condone to Konatsu’s idea to just pretend to sing for fun. Then she questions her back. What does she sing for? For fun? Not the answer she’s looking for. She’s serious. So is Wakana. Goodbye. I guess Konatsu was desperate enough that she goes to ask her little brother, Makoto who is in the midst of taking his bath. She’s not embarrassed. He is. Plus, she forces him to join and sign the application form or else she will tell mom about his secret porn stash. Oh sh*t. Elsewhere, we see Wien writing to his pen-pal friend, Jan and hopes he could show him Japan one day. Well, hope he keeps learning the right stuff. Next day, Konatsu talks to Sawa about her problems. The latter notes she really did screw up last year but Konatsu says it’s not funny and she’s a changed person as she has been training hard. Later Konatsu is listening music via her earphones and the song must be quite good for her to start singing in public. It attracts everyone’s attention. So happen, Sawa, Wakana, Taichi and Wien coincidentally meet at that same spot. Embarrassed?

Episode 2
Well, the girls ignore the guys. Sawa tells Taichi to show Wien around more. Sawa brings Konatsu and Wakana back to her house. She shows Wakana the video clip of the biggest blunder made in last year’s joint recital. Not only is she so nervous that she can’t sing, when she opened her mouth, it was a very odd sound. Nyah? I can see why the teacher doesn’t want any more blunders from her. Sawa still finds it funny all this time but because Konatsu has been training, she wants to support her. They need at least 5 people to form a club. Wakana doesn’t need to participate and just be a ghost member. Okay. Then it is suggested Konatsu gets Makoto and his friends to join and they can attract people to join because some famous dancing violinist Tetsuji Kumagai will be there. So there goes Konatsu blackmailing Makoto into making his friends join her new club (why does she always have to barge when he is bathing?) or else it’s mommy and his secret porn stash. Konatsu sees the principal, Tayoru Ikezaki (Colonel Sanders?) about her application of her new Choir Club. Though he has his reservations, once he sees Wakana’s name on the application list, he feels this may turn into something interesting and approves it. He also becomes their club’s advisor.

Konatsu and Wakana are in their club room and the former needs to choose a song to start practising. She realizes Wakana can play the piano and wants her to demonstrate. Konatsu shows her a piece with scribbles on it, Kokoro No Senritsu but it reminds Wakana about her late mother. But for Konatsu, it reminds her of the Condor Queens. So the Choir Club begins their rehearsal but Konatsu is summoned by Takakura. When she learns Konatsu is picking Kokoro No Senritsu, she wants her to pick another song and can’t sing this song just for fun. Konatsu argues her point of why she wants to sing it so she reluctantly gives her the green light. On a day when the Choir Club is supposed to do a joint recital, the principal is missing and school rules say a club can’t do any activities without their advisor. They also need to appoint somebody who will lead in the rehearsal. Konatsu goes to get Wakana. I suppose she owes a lot of cakes to her by now. Sawa goes to find Takahashi and finds her at the hospital at her usual check-up. Konatsu learns of the principal’s whereabouts and he too is hospitalized after getting into a bicycle accident. Wakana manages to get permission for their club to go last but it seems the rest of their group are stuck in a traffic jam (Takahashi drives Konatsu and Sawa to the auditorium). With time running out and their turn is up next, Konatsu loses hope and wants to go home but Sawa talks some sense into her. So it’s just Konatsu and Sawa going out on stage alone. Konatsu is feeling jittery so Sawa calms her down by telling her to imagine the audience as pumpkin patch. Never seen one? How about watermelon patch? Okay, that worked. With Wakana playing the piano as accompaniment, the duo sing their heart out. The principal will be hospitalized for a while so he leaves the club’s duties to Takakura.

Episode 3
Now it’s Makoto’s turn to barge in while Konatsu is bathing. He tells her he and his friends are quitting her club and he doesn’t care if she tells mom about his porn. Guess what? It was mom that told her about his porn. Oh sh*t. While Wakana’s bicycle breaks down in the middle of the street, an elderly Spanish guy and his pet pig fix it. I guess it must be freaking Wakana out that she couldn’t understand a thing this guy says. Yeah, she reminded him of somebody he knew and he is bloody passionate about it. Better peddle as fast as you can away from this psycho! Konatsu and Taichi are called by Takakura to her office. Both their clubs will be dissolved since it doesn’t meet the minimum requirement of 5 members (Taichi’s the only member of the Badminton Club). Taichi tries to go recruit Wien and brings him back to his place. Wien gets freaked out to see a woman in her underwear in Taichi’s room! Did he enter the wrong room? But why is he doing a bunny hop out of the room?! That woman is Taichi’s sister, Haruka. Elsewhere the committee for the Western Shopping District are in a meeting to brainstorm plans for the summer. Sawa’s mom, Shiho suggests doing a music performance. We see Taichi against Konatsu in a badminton game. Whoever wins gets the losers to join their club. That will be 5 members, right? So it’s guys versus girls. Two versus three. Don’t blame the girls if they don’t know the rules but they’re serving 3 shuttlecocks at the same time?! Taichi returns 2 of them and Wien is supposed to take the last one. He did a smashing return. If only it didn’t hit the net. A lost is a lost and it’s natural Taichi feels disappointed because there goes his dream of continuing badminton in college and turn pro. Konatsu isn’t that bad so she names her new club, Choir And Sometimes Badminton Club (CASBC). Like its name suggests, they’ll do singing most of the time and badminton on occasions. Yeah, she got it all planned this way. In the event if the girls lost, the club will just be renamed Badminton And Sometimes Choir Club.

So the quintet submit their new club application to the principal in his hospital room. Though he approves it, he hopes they don’t embarrass him. That’s because he notes their Choir Club was once famous for winning the national choir competition and Wakana’s mother was one of his students then and in this club. Wakana seems lost as the principal continues meeting her changed his view on music. Takakura enters to give paper work for the principal to review and she isn’t amused that Konatsu has once more come up with something like this. She will not tolerate this nonsense and crumples the paper. But the rest are stubborn and won’t let it go. Wakana hands the application back to the principal whereby he puts his official stamp to officially approve it. Later he asks why Takakura is so against it but she didn’t reply. Konatsu is at the beach house and learns about the World Music Festival whereby each business in the area will pick a country and set up a stage based on that theme next to their establishment. Each business is responsible in finding their own singers and customers will vote for their favourite and the winner will perform on the main stage at the end of the event. Konatsu is fired up and wants to represent the beach house. Since their location is prime, they need to undergo an audition first. Konatsu, Sawa and Taichi being their audition but a pair of old Spanish grandpas add guitar and percussion accompaniment to turn it into a lively piece. Meanwhile Wakana is being harassed by the Spanish dude again. He’s not letting her go. He wants to talk to her but I don’t think she understands Spanish. “I don’t money”. Yeah, bad English. Maybe she should take up supplementary English class too.

Episode 4
Konatsu hopes the Spanish grandpas could quit interfering with their audition but they note they should be thanking them instead because they too enjoyed it. Konatsu realizes they are the Condor Queens she once saw on TV when young (and the reason why she loved music) but it seems they’re missing a member. You can guess who that person is, right? Wien sees Wakana peddling her might away from that Spanish stalker (he too is peddling after her). Don’t try this stunt that Wien is going to pull. He hires a taxi then when he lines up with the dude, he jumps out and tackles him! If not for the sandy beach, the injury could’ve been worse. Wakana learns he knows her mother and could’ve just avoided everything if he told her. In Japanese of course. Konatsu is willing to forfeit her audition for them and even suggests Sawa’s place for them to dwell for the time being (she lives in a temple). The Condor Queens trio camp outside the temple boundary as they note how similar Wakana resembles her mother, Mahiru. They wrote a song together and it became their hit. They consider her their dear friend and benefactor and even joke they love her but quick to dismiss they’re not Wakana’s father! But all that merriment fizzles out when they note how Mahiru is no longer with them so they go pay respect at her grave.

Because Konatsu continues to admire the Condor Queens, Sawa blows her top that she’s not doing any practice for the CASBC. Konatsu thinks deep about this while she continues to hang out with Condor Queens. They wonder if she wants them to give up their slot. Of course not. They’re not going to give up on the things they love. She might have a long way in life and not even graduating yet, but they’re close to graduating from life! This wakes Konatsu up so she goes to see Shiho to see if there are any businesses that still haven’t found any singers. There’s one. Konatsu runs down to the flower shop to ask if they are still available but looks like her run ran out because they have just been taken. She just missed by a whisker. Oh, that taker turns out to be Wakana. She returns to her other members and she picks out a song they’ll sing on stage (sounds like a Hawaiian song). She is fired up to win the event. On the day of the event, Condor Queens is taking the stage by storm. The quintet go to see them at the backstage during their rest. As the leave, the Condor Queens note to Wakana that she has given up on music. They remember Mahiru said she wanted to write songs that always fit, regardless healthy or sick, happy or sad. They didn’t understand what it meant and laughed it off as a crazy dream. Maybe she was talking about her daughter. They don’t want Mahiru to give up music. It’s not something she does or not. Music is a constant companion. They return her a letter that Mahiru wrote to them when Wakana was born. The quintet begin their stage performance. Not much of a stage. Not much of a crowd (maybe just a bunch of eager kids). But they give it all they’ve got. In the end, the Condor Queens win, Konatsu gets their autograph and takes a group photo.

Episode 5
The gang are cheering on Taichi in his badminton preliminaries. If only Konatsu and Wien aren’t that noisy. I know they’re giving him their support but this? Wakana doesn’t feel good so she takes her leave. As Taichi continues his match, the girls even put up am odd but cute cheering dance! Unfortunately Taichi lost in the quarter-finals. He needs to be in the top 4 to advance. Sawa goes to talk to Taichi (he is giving an excuse he is doing visualization training). She asks why he didn’t enter a high school with badminton programme since he has been playing since young. Let’s say that there was somebody in the club he admired when it had more members in it then. Wakana accidentally meets Shiho in the streets and helps her home (since she got slightly injured from her surfing wipe-out). She shows her old pictures when she was a student of Shirahamazaka and the Choir Club. Mahiru is her senior and Takakura was also part of the club. This picture was taken after they won the national competition. Shiho will make a copy of it and wonders if Mahiru ever told her about this. Wakana remembers Mahiru’s illness was never told to her because she was in the midst of an exam. It came too late when she died. She further remembers visiting mom at hospital. She was cheery and wanted to write a song together but Wakana scoffed it off that she doesn’t have time for that due to her exams. Wakana showed her grumpy attitude each time Mahiru fooled around instead of teaching her seriously. What she was trying to say is that music will still be around after exams and will always be her companion. To Wakana, all that doesn’t really matter if she doesn’t ace her exams.

Wakana talks to Keisuke about getting rid of some of the extra stuffs in her room. Especially the piano. It’s not like she has been playing it and thinks it will be of better use in somebody else’s hands. Next morning as Wakana packs her unneeded stuffs, she remembers a little goldfish (or was it a whale) memento Mahiru gave to her. I guess she doesn’t need it too. A sign that she has moved on? Keisuke leaves for his business trip and Wakana continues her daily life. She turns down Wien’s suggestion for the club to celebrate Taichi’s success in the top eight. Not even the girls can convince her. I don’t think it’s the cake problem… Wakana returns home and finds the piano removed. Her room feels so spacious now, eh? But why does it feel so empty? Then she realizes her pet cat Dora is missing and the storm is coming. While searching for the feline, she remembers arguing with mommy from just about anything before her death. Mahiru continued to be understanding and patient. Then during a school interview, the bad news is suddenly delivered to her. Wakana couldn’t accept reality and broke into tears. She regretted that she never said goodbye earlier in the day when she left and that they couldn’t sing together anymore.

Episode 6
When Keisuke comes home, he panics to see Wakana on the floor unconscious. She got a cold while trying to find Dora in the rain. Well, I don’t know where the cat went but it’s back on its own. Though her cold subsides, she skips school to recuperate. Konatsu pays her a visit and she thought Wakana was going to commit suicide when she sees her standing by the cliff. Konatsu bloopers herself and got all wet when she fell into a puddle. As they talk, Wakana remembers about her promise to write a song with Mahiru but was too busy thinking about herself. But for Konatsu, she feels that sometimes it’s a good thing a promise was never fulfilled because it always reminded her of her late grandpa. Later Shiho gives the copy of the photo and also a cassette tape containing the Choir Club’s practice before the national competition. Sawa lets Wakana ride Sabure and tells of her goal to ride it into a mounted archery competition this year. However her dad doesn’t approve her of becoming an equestrian and would prefer her to be in the government sector even if she doesn’t want to succeed him in the temple business. That’s why they’re both not on talking terms. Next morning Wakana leaves early for practice and leaves Keisuke’s breakfast in the microwave oven. It’s a loaf of bread. Not even toasted. What was he expecting? Wakana sees a hilarious scene upon entering her club room. Taichi balancing books on his head while in a horse riding posture and at the same time Wien holding on to Taichi’s feet and doing leg-ups. WTF?! Can’t blame her if she can’t contain her laughter.

Wakana remembers a vocal training with Mahiru. The little girl was making a ‘scary face’ while practising so mother advises her to treat vocal exercise as a song and to relax. Sing as if she’s trying to tell someone she loves in a faraway land that what she’s doing is fun. Wakana demonstrates using emotion in her vocal exercise to the voice and the guys learn something important. Takahashi invites Wakana to her place to catch a glimpse of her newly born baby boy. Then when she comes home, Keisuke has made a feast in hopes that this motivation will mend her lazy ways of breakfast-in-a-microwave-oven. But Wakana knows this is their wedding anniversary and she remembers it since it’s close to her birthday. Keisuke tells Wakana that it was Mahiru who proposed to him. Don’t believe? Wakana changes the subject asking why Mahiru never told her about her illness. If she had, they could’ve kept their promise. Flashback reveals Mahiru didn’t want her daughter to know because she’s facing the entrance exams and knows she’ll get sad easily. Because they promised to write a song together, she didn’t want the song to be a sad one but of kindness and strength. It hit Wakana that Mahiru loved her so much and yet she threw away her feelings and everything associated with her. She feels guilty and breaks down. Keisuke hands over an unfinished song written by Mahiru. She was waiting for Wakana to come to terms with things so she could finish it and holding on to them. Though he knows nothing about music, he would like to hear her finished piece. As for the piano, he never really gave it away. How could he? It was the piano that Mahiru used to propose to him. Even that memento is still around. Mahiru takes a look at the notes and breaks down. Next day in the club room, she listens to the tape and sings along with her friends joining in soon.

Episode 7
With Wakana overcoming her issues, she officially joins the CASBC. She has everyone hold their pitch and finds them all in harmony. They also discuss what they need to do for the school’s White Festival. Wien is still naive because he really believes the girls that the festival is due to a white rhinoceros being kept in school’s basement and once in a while they need to let it out. Nothing conclusive so far but they know they want to go out and sing their best. Members of the Vocal Club come in to take some stuff as Nanae Hirohata chides Konatsu for fooling around because unlike her, there are people in the Vocal Club who are seriously thinking about their future. Konatsu now really wants to upstage them. She goes to see Makoto to fill in application forms for the stage but it seems it won’t be easy because Takakura is running the show. When Sawa returns, her father confronts her about the mail she received about horse jockey. He lectures her about riding as a hobby and the realities of life. Sawa being the rebellious kid isn’t going to listen and she throws a tantrum by stripping herself to make it a point that she will give everything back for the tuition fees he paid for her. Though Shiho was nice enough to let her daughter go, she cautions the world of winning and losing isn’t as nice as she thinks. Before Wakana leaves for school, her father gives her several tickets to a musical he got from the sake shop. Wakana invites Sawa and Konatsu to the concert but Sawa doesn’t feel like it and excuses herself. Konatsu concludes she must be in love. Maybe she should think harder.

Takakura sees the principal about CASBC wanting to use the main stage so he leaves it in her hands to manage everything. Later he is being visited by the school’s chairman. Something fishy is brewing because he mentions he is concerned about something affecting his business plan and the road map has been slightly accelerated. He ‘advises’ if he wants a comfortable retirement, he must work for it. Sawa continues not to be on talking terms with her dad and worse, she goes dieting. So it’s natural that she can’t perform well in practice. Konatsu spies on her and hears her talking to someone over the phone and wanting to be given a second chance. Maybe it’s love. The girls attend the concert and we see each of their different expressions. Sawa is spacing out all the way, Wakana enjoying it and Konatsu, there’s a myriad of expressions. Unhappy, cheerful and even falling asleep! After the concert, Sawa excuses herself to leave early since she needs to practice for a tournament. Wakana and Konatsu are at the bookshop and the former mentions how her mom left her a piece of music she wrote for her to finish. Sawa’s mind is so pre-occupied that she isn’t focusing on her mounted archery competition. Her feet slips and she falls off the horse!

Episode 8
Thankfully there are no serious injuries though the doctor did detect some malnutrition. Sawa’s father picks her up and tells her to give up on the tournament since they can’t be responsible for a minor getting injured. Sawa continues to worry because there is a maximum weight and height if she wants to be a jockey. So her dieting was not only to reduce her weight but to stop growing. She did make a call to the organization but it was discouraging. Daddy gives her that I-told-you-already lecture but Sawa wants to be left alone. The Vocal Club members are using the CASBC room because they’ve got approval and think they are more serious. Sure CASBC can use other rooms but they don’t have a piano. Sawa is still bugged about what happened to her so she lets loose her scathing verbal attack on the Vocal Club girl that they are unfair to take away their only chance. Then Wien suggests they could come to his house because he has a piano. It’s just 30 minutes from school. Taking a train, Konatsu tries to cheer Sawa up. She probably brought up the wrong topic of love. Everyone is surprised to see Wien’s mansion! Is he a millionaire? It used to be his grandpa’s house but for now they’re just renting. Even more surprising is the vast space in his room! Konatsu spots his Gambarisers action figures but Wien tells them not to touch them as they are very important to him. They notice the red figure is missing. It’s away on a very important mission. Anyway Wakana tests the piano and can’t use it because it is out of tune. Sawa needs to leave and Konatsu thought it’s that love thingy again. Sawa explains about her dream to be a jockey dashed. Wakana tries to impart her advice but it didn’t make Sawa feel better because unlike Wakana who can go back to music any time, if she steps back now, it’s all over. Wakana is glad she could do so because it connects with her mother. But if she had a chance to see her again, she would gladly give up music.

Takakura summons Konatsu and Wakana and wants them to withdraw their application. You know they’re not going to give in just like that, right? Wakana explains about feelings connecting and the joy of experiencing stuffs together, blah, blah, blah. That speech reminded Takakura of Mahiru. Those were her exact words. Even Konatsu had her share about potential to move people’s hearts. Takakura gives them a chance to participate in an audition. Today is supposed to be it but Sawa is missing and not picking up her phone. She’s locked herself in her room. Sawa sees an SMS from Wakana, apologizing if they have hurt her feelings but they would feel more confident if she was with them. Sawa then sees her father on the phone trying so hard to convince the officials to let her daughter become a jockey because of her love for it. He even chides for making up such ridiculous rules on diet and height. Well, so desperate that you might find it unbecoming of a monk to curse people. Soon, Konatsu leaves a singing message for Sawa and everyone had their share to sing. If this didn’t give her the motivation, then I don’t know what else will. So Sawa starts making her way to school but can she make it? Maybe if she rides Sabure. I’m sure you don’t often see a high school girl riding a horse through the streets every day. But time is still running out. CASBC need to stall for time. Wien was thinking about pressing the emergency fire button! But Wakana had a devilish ploy. She calls the school so the announcer calls Takakura to come to the office to pick up the call. You know how far it is from the main stage to the office? Once she reaches the office, the call is hanged up and she returns to the main stage. Process repeated. This didn’t happen once but a few times! Sawa finally makes it in the nick of time. Oh, where did she park her horse? In the bicycle shed… That’s one huge ‘bicycle’.

Episode 9
Wien is disheartened that all the letters he sent to Jan have returned. Wakana doesn’t know how to write songs and asks dad for help. He too isn’t sure so she thinks she should ask Shiho since she was Mahiru’s classmate. Konatsu has decided to do a musical drama for the festival and even delegates duties for everyone. Shiho and the store owners of the Western Shopping District are discussing an event for the summer in the shopping area to increase revenue. Shiho suggests local superheroes to put up a show and to hand out flyers. I’m sure they agree on that but regarding who to participate, suddenly everyone starts making excuses they have this back pain or exhaustion. Sawa then calls Shiho regarding Wakana’s request so it’s the perfect time for her to rope them in. Now that the kids have dig in their cake, Shiho proposes that if they would like to make some money this summer. She takes out the superhero costumes from the store and explains what they are required to do. I guess they need money for stuffs for the festival so 30,000 Yen doesn’t sound too bad. We can already see Wien so passionate in the role. Later Wakana asks Shiho about song writing but she isn’t really sure. She suggests asking Takakura because the song on the cassette tape was co-written by her and Mahiru.

Wien has come up with a superhero theme for everyone. He’s got it all figured out as they’ll be West Stop Rangers! The heroes of justice that will ensure you enjoy your visit. As for who is to represent which colour, Sawa liked the red but was warned by Wien that it’s the colour for the leader. He doesn’t mind stepping aside for her if she shows she has what it takes to be a leader. Or maybe he just wants to be red that bad. Better give it to him. So each of the colours represents some food and they even have the pose and lines to go with it. May seem embarrassing but Wien points out that being superheroes for little kids is an important mission. Wien’s serious tone has them think that something has happened so he shows them the returned letters. Flashback reveals when Wien was in Vienna, he made friends with an ill boy who overheard him humming the Gambarisers song. They both shared an interest in it and watched the videos. One day Wien had to leave for Japan so he left his Red Gambariser with Jan and promise to write. It was then the girls felt bad because Wien actually believed wrote everything he heard back to Jan. Yeah, the white rhinoceros too. Now suit up and practice! Meanwhile Takakura is surprised upon seeing a stack of documents. The principal has his hands tied because he too is an employee and can’t defy. Even though he is against it, there is nothing he can do. Takakura certainly isn’t thrilled. CASBC members are trying to traverse the tricky part of getting Takakura’s approval to work part time because school rules prevent them from doing so. They confront her head on and explain their need but since she is too busy spacing out and sighing, she stamps her approval without looking! That was easy.

Episode 10
Wien is really into his role and in the streets in action. The rest might be having second doubts if they can do this. They can still run. But they psycho themselves that they can do it and so out they all go to join Wien in this attention catching event. Shiho has managed to convince some of the guys to play the role of the villains. So it’s vegetables, fruits and curry against the germs. Unfortunately one of the ‘germs’ hurt his back so they have to retreat for now. Being old sucks. But the show is a success. Since one of them is out, Shiho needs a replacement. Desperate times calls for… She herself suits up and becomes the replacement baddie. The show is such a huge success that Shiho hopes they can consider and extend their contract. Though they will be busy for the festival, it’s not like they’ll be practising 24/7, right? In school, Takakura summons Konatsu, Sawa and Wakana to see her. Because Hirohata spotted them during their stint and reported it to her. They remind her that she was the one who approved it though she gave an excuse it was because they didn’t explain it. She wasn’t listening, right? She will let this go if she quits immediately. Wakana thinks she is unprofessional for going back on her word and that they are bent on completing their job. Wien is extremely grateful that they didn’t abandon West Stop Rangers. I think they better stop getting ahead of themselves and fill Wien’s head with more lies because he really wants to take notes of them! Takakura thinks back how she was writing songs with Mahiru when Wakana steps back in to show her the tape with their voice in it. She immediately stops it and admits that they were both in the Chorus Club. It was what the Vocal Club was called then. She did visit Mahiru once at the hospital but that was because Mahiru wanted her to. The reason she never told anybody that they’re acquaintance was because she had to respect the school rules and be fair to everybody.

Asking how they wrote songs, Takakura remembers Mahiru told her not to over think because music is about having fun with the sound. She tells Wakana that you don’t write songs because you have to. It must come naturally from the depths of your heart. Takakura leaves and remembers her only visit to Mahiru whereby she noticed she was writing a song that she hoped she could write with her daughter. She hopes Wakana manages to enrol in the school and join her club but Takakura reminds her the change of name of the club now. Because the club and the song were both essentially her original creations. She is surprised that Mahiru mentions she is glad she could get to see her one last time. Konatsu is so desperate to get funds for the festival that she is willing to sell her precious autographed album of the Condor Queens. Wakana apologizes for lashing out at her then but she is okay with it because the more important thing now is that they carry on. Because if they quit, it will be like Takakura has won. Wakana is confident she can finish her song by then. The West Stop Rangers continue to attract the crowd but at the end of the show, a thief steals Konatsu’s bag. Wien goes after him and the thief must be shocked that this guy can run. The thief is cycling by the way. Wien manages to catch up and tackle this guy though both are almost out of energy. The thief punches and pushes him away but Wien isn’t going to give up because he is the hero of justice. Then he starts singing the Gambarisers theme song and is joined by his fellow comrades. I think it would be easier if the thief just hands himself in. Their valour has earned them an article in the newspaper. Wien continues to write to Jan though he keeps the letters, hoping one day he will deliver them to him. Several conveyors are taking measurements of the school.

Episode 11
Wakana is making progress in finishing the song. We have a glimpse of Konatsu’s extravagant fantasy adventure play for the festival even if this is just her imagination. She’s really fired up to make this a success. Isn’t the play a little too long? Taichi is not happy he has to draw the background so Konatsu uses her convincing powers to persuade him to do it. This also made Wien to do his best to make props. While to trio are debating, Sawa listens to Wakana’s incomplete song and though Wakana feels it is not as grand as Konatsu might have wanted, Sawa is okay as long as she is happy. So everyone works on their part and Wien shows his miniature props much to the delight of everyone. This guy can be a pro. As for Taichi, we might not see what he has sketched but I guess it was so horrible that he was told never to draw again! I guess he can’t take such a defeat so he heads straight to the art club to seek the help of its president, Youko Mizuno. However she is too strict for an amateur like him that he is better off drawing himself. All is not lost yet because his friend Tooru Hamachi who happens to be in the club offers his expertise (he claims he wants to be a mangaka and live off royalties). But in exchange he wants a nice high resolution picture of Sawa. I guess we know why. Taichi goes to find her and sees her alone and sampling Wakana’s music. She starts dancing to the tune. Wow. She can be the next Flash Dance. She’s cool with the somersaults but it is Taichi who is caught off balance because when she flips, he saw what’s underneath her skirt…

The principal is with the chairman. Seems the latter is happy his luxury condominium project is reaching the next phase. All that is left is the consent of parents and students but the principal seems to be dragging his feet in making this announcement. The chairman doesn’t want delays that will be detrimental to his plan. Konatsu goes to see Midori Ueno, seeking her help for accompaniment for their play. I guess they lack manpower in their small club. However Hirohata reminds her they need to practice for their Vocal Club despite their song haven’t been selected yet and not fool around with amateurs. Konatsu chides back that they are even dumber since they can’t pick a song themselves. They also note Takakura acting strange recently. The principal enters the staff room to make his announcement but Takakura knows about it and doesn’t want to stay and listen. She goes to the Vocal Club. I guess when the cat is away, the mouse is out to play. Yeah, everyone is slacking without her presence. Get back to practice! However Takakura is in gloomy mood. Something is clearly not right. She didn’t even mind Konatsu’s presence! Something wrong alright. Then she drops the bombshell. The festival is cancelled. As the principal makes his announcement that they’ll stop taking new student applications from next year because due to the decreasing birth rate, it has led to an annual decline and each year it’s getting harder to secure funding. There will be temporary classrooms setup on the school grounds so classes can be conducted normally there. So the school is like dead now. With most of the parts undergoing construction. The CASBC members coincidentally meet and have a little chat. Then Wakana comes rushing in and is happy she has completed her song. Despite the festival being cancelled and school shutting down, she still wants to sing it with everyone. It’s not over yet and they’ll have their own White Festival.

Episode 12
The CASBC members discuss what’s left to be done and the worst case scenario if nobody turns up. But they having not to sing at all would be the worst. Later Taichi seeks Sawa’s permission to take a photo of her and tells the reason why he is doing so. She agrees and poses for him. As he leaves, he snaps a shot of her back as she was getting back to her practice. He gives this picture to Hamachi and he’ll gladly do the job. Taichi goes back to the club room and he thought he saw a personnel carrying away Wien’s box of props. He tells it to his members and they realize it’s really gone and goes to search for it. How are they going to chase after that truck? Meanwhile Konatsu is in a student council meeting and she wants the festival to remain. She argues her points why it should not be cancelled so everybody takes a vote (including chiding Hirohata for not putting her money where her mouth is). Sadly, majority didn’t approve her suggestion. By the time they’ve got Wien’s props back, they’re damaged beyond use. Taichi and Konatsu’s argument could’ve escalated if not for Wien starting to sing and thanks them instead. He remains positive that they can start over again. Wakana catches Takakura praying at Mahiru’s grave. She laments how Mahiru was the only one who loved music because the school was the only thing that connected her to music and now it’s going.  Wakana has Takakura sample her song and she notices how she could sense Mahiru in it. Wakana is grateful for finishing this song and having all the support that made her come this far. So heartfelt that Takakura starts crying. Wakana thanks her late mom because this song was what enabled them all to be brought together.

Taichi, Sawa and Wakana enter the club room only to realize Wien had stayed up the night before to finish his props. He wanted to finish the costumes too but Taichi says he’ll do it. Does he know how to sew? Well, he starts asking the sewing club for help. Maybe teaching him will take so long that the festival will be over so they all pitch in to help finish the costumes. Just remember to treat them. All of them. This is really going to cost. Sawa begs to some of the shopping district owners to advertise their play. Though they are reluctant due to some higher up directives, Sawa gets down on her knees and pleads that this festival is one of those things she cannot give up. If this doesn’t soften your heart, I don’t know what will so the owners at least agree to put up the posters within their shop. Konatsu hands Ueno the music sheet for Wakana’s song for the accompaniment. She also hopes Hirohata can sing together. After all, they’re from the same club before and knows she loves singing (though she may not like her). Hirohata continues to rubbish Konatsu’s suggestions and thinks she is more serious about music than her. The principal also tries to persuade the chairman to at least provide a stage since he doesn’t want to become someone who tramples on his students’ dreams. But the chairman isn’t budging and reminds him to keep all students off the school grounds by 5pm, Sunday and public holidays. Otherwise, those caught will be suspended. Besides, he spotted that poster in town and doesn’t want any unnecessary discord with the locals seeing that construction is also behind schedule. Everyone continues to work and practice hard but on the day before the big day, it starts raining heavily. Konatsu is praying so hard. Very hard indeed. They try to remain positive that they’ll respect those who come. There might be none at all. Sawa assures her father will be there. Well, one person may seem good but it may make their efforts look pathetic. Who cares? They had fun, right? And things were out of their control. It continues to rain tomorrow too. I guess God didn’t hear Konatsu’s prayers.

Episode 13
But the rain won’t damper their spirits as they make their way to school. However to their dismay the gates are chained and there is security at certain points. Taichi thought of climbing in but the chairman has been watching them and gets down from his car to confront them. Though they give an excuse they forgot items in their class, he knows they are here for the festival and reminds them this place is off limits. Because they remain defiant, he reminds them about being penalized which will affect their future. The principal then tells the kids to carry on their festival for the chairman has no authority to approve the festival or directly penalize students. Though he can fire him. He apologizes to them for never helping them out even though he was their advisor. He argues with the chairman that this place might be his asset but it means much for them. He pleads to let them just sing and in the struggle, he slips and pulls down the chairman’s pants! How did this even happen? I guess he’s fired. Then Takakura shows up and tells them that the Vocal Club and Wind Instrument Club will be their main pillar of support. She gives Konatsu the music sheet for the chorus and accompaniment and hopes she can be the conductor in the play. Of course. She also did some arrangements to send the security away. The chairman doubts anybody would come but he is made to eat his words when the crowd slowly starts showing up at the gates. And there’s nothing he can do about it. Go on and leave. Everyone makes the final preparations and the musical drama went well, much to the delight of the crowd. In the aftermath, we see the school’s construction going on as planned. The CASBC members talk about their plans after graduation. Seems Sawa will be going overseas to study in an equestrian school and be a step closer to be a jockey. Of course her dad still opposes it but what can he do when she’s already made up her mind? She leaves by next month and though she thought of dropping out from school, the teachers agreed to let her graduate. So it’s a tearful farewell for the friends when they see Sawa off at the airport. Wakana returns the music sheet to Takakura. It brings back memories of Mahiru. Whenever she’s with her, she felt talented but couldn’t walk the same path and felt jealous and ashamed. Wakana decides to dedicate herself to studying music. After the graduation ceremony, the gang takes a picture and send it over to Sawa abroad. They record and sing a final song for her. We see Taichi practising his badminton, Takakura tutoring Wakana music, Wien receiving a letter from Jan and goes on a trip to meet up with him and finally Konatsu in college is being suggested by her friends to join a club. Whatever it was, it brought a smile to her face. Perhaps something to do with singing, no?

Life Isn’t Always Pitch Perfect
So life just goes on for our friends. At least they have one final bang together. The entire story may not be anything extraordinary or provide us with something new. A group of friends come together with a common passion, each having their own problems and then overcoming them, a conspiracy from the greedy higher up that threatens to derail their very dream, they persevere and with the support of others they perform their swan song. Happy ending? Well, the school may not have been saved from its ill fate at the end but the final memories made then will always be treasured by all those who participated and watched. So which do you think will have better value in the end? You know the answer. And yes, friendship as usual is the main theme for this series.

As mentioned that the main characters each have their own issues to deal with, though it does provide some plot to the storyline but it sometimes also feel like a side distraction. Although Konatsu and Wakana’s issue were music related whereby the former wanted to prove that she truly loved singing and shouldn’t be singled out just because of a minor mistake, the latter had regrets not bidding farewell to her late mom properly and thus her aversion to music is like a self-defence mechanism whereby she cuts herself off from music. Sawa’s passion for horse riding and being a jockey seems to be rather out of place if you consider that singing has got nothing to do with it. Must it? What about Taichi’s badminton? Well, he was original from the badminton club so that is partly excusable. Wien and his friend Jan? Maybe it is the theme song of Gambarisers that connects them. I don’t know why all this time Jan kept silent without replying. I’m sure Wien has told him of his address before he left for Japan. Maybe Jan has moved that’s why the letters were returned. But all of them at the same time? It got me thinking that Jan may have received them but perhaps felt he wasn’t as strong as some Gambarisers to open and read them so he had them subsequently returned.

Sometimes I feel that Konatsu’s earnest character makes her a little funny. Perhaps a little airhead-like. Oops. Like how she thought Sawa was in love and was really worried over her and gave some advice to cheer her up. Wrong topic, wrong answer. Speaking of love, I thought I may be imagining things but is it true that Taichi did develop feelings for Sawa? There are a few indications like how he glanced over his shoulders just to glimpse her. Who wouldn’t love an athletic girl who easily does back flips and somersaults like dancing in air? Then in the final scene whereby they are seeing off Sawa, though the dialogue is inaudible, from the body actions, it seems like Taichi was confessing to Sawa! See the faint blush on their faces? However she didn’t give an answer that seemed to reject him. Because he didn’t make that gloomy I’ve-been-rejected face but something that made his eyes glimmer with some hope. Speculation time. Will she agree to it when she returns from overseas? How long would that be? My online research (read: lazy and brief browsing) did confirm that Taichi did have a crush on Sawa. Wien’s initial habit of writing everything down to eagerly take down notes blindly and believing it all to learn Japan’s culture is also another funny bit. I do hope that Wien has emerged wiser from his trip to Japan. Sometimes, don’t believe everything you read and hear. Overall, the CASBC quintet may not be the closest knit group in the history of animes focusing on a small group of friends, but at least you can see they treasure each other’s company.

The other minor characters were okay too. The principal was torn into doing what he believes and what is required by his job. So the poor guy got fired eventually and what happened to him in the aftermath? Don’t know. But at least he can now sleep peacefully knowing that he saved the dreams of a handful of dreams rather than his fat retirement plan. Where’s the happiness in all that money if you don’t have the happy memories to share? But to unintentionally pulling down the chairman’s pants feels somewhat comical. That’s the biggest slip. Like being caught with his pants down. Haha. The chairman may look like a typical greedy businessman villain. But when you’re in a corporate world, business is business. You don’t make money from your petty dreams. Can you blame him? It’s not like he really did some illegal moves. Takakura was shown as a strict and cold teacher and my guess she wasn’t just targeting Konatsu. She felt bitter that she couldn’t walk the same path with Mahiru despite being her friend. Her demise only enhances that as she wasn’t able to come to terms with her death just like Wakana. So how does changing the Choir Club name to Vocal Club do any good? It’s like sweeping dirt under the carpet. Ironically it is her students that guided her the way and make her realize that after all this time, she still loves music.

Even Hirohata had a slight change of heart in the end. Always chiding Konatsu for fooling around and comparing her goofing off with her so called serious grand plans for the future in the music industry, perhaps with Konatsu’s recent rebukes for being unable to decide to do something herself and always the need to wait for the teacher’s instruction, has left her to do some soul searching and open her eyes. See, even if they are in different clubs with different names, when it comes to music, their love and passion for it are the same. Sawa and Wakana’s dads may have different approaches but in the end you can see that they care very much for their daughters. The monk just wants Sawa to wake up to reality and not keep dreaming in her rose coloured fantasy so he had to be harsh with her. Keisuke is a total opposite and doesn’t raise his voice towards Wakana (he probably learnt this from Mahiru, who definitely had a sunshiny cheery disposition to turn rainy days into clear skies). He is quite easygoing. If only those heart-shaped bento meals he make for her didn’t embarrass her. That’s how he shows his love for cooking and Wakana. Shiho is pretty nice and sporting too. If she only didn’t have a penchant of smacking girls’ butts as a tease. What happened to Takahashi? After she gave birth, it’s like that’s the end of her role (not too sure about her appearance thereafter since I wasn’t paying attention to look out for her). Haruka? Weird girl who loves chilling out in Taichi’s room in her undies… You don’t see big sisters doing that very often, don’t you? Yeah, you won’t see such a scene ever again. Makoto? It’s funny to see him give in to Konatsu’s blackmail. I guess the blackmailing stopped. Either he stopped getting his porn fix or hid them somewhere else. But be careful. Mommy will always find them… I should also mention that the Condor Queens may be a bunch of old dudes but I think they have the wittiest lines in the series in some of their dialogues. That’s having a positive outlook in love despite knowing they can kick the bucket anytime! Touch wood!

There isn’t anything that stands out in the voice acting department. Except for one that caught my attention. One of the Condor Queen members (the burly guy who kept chasing Wakana on her bicycle and prompted her to say what I believe is the most ‘memorable’ quote of the series, “I don’t money!”), is actually Spanish. No wonder the Spanish sounds impeccable. Jorge Diaz is credited to that role and he seems to handle his Japanese lines quite well too. Now if only Japanese people can do that with English and not make it sound so Engrish… The other 2 Condor Queen members are voiced by Japanese seiyuus, Motomu Kiyokawa and Yutaka Aoyama. The rest of the casts include Asami Seto as Konatsu (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Ayahi Takagi as Wakana (Saki in Natsuiro Kiseki), Saori Hayami as Sawa (Ikaros in Sora No Otoshimono), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Taichi (Kaito in Ano Natsu De Matteru), newbie Natsuki Hanae as Wien, Atsuko Tanaka as Takakura (Caster in Fate/Stay Night), Akiko Kimura as Takahashi (Aoko in Tsukihime), Sayaka Ohara as Mahiru (Erza in Fairy Tail), Katsuhisa Houki as the principal (Jimbei in Once Piece), Chinatsu Akasaki as Hirohata (Yasuna in Kill Me Baby), Mamiko Noto as Shiho (Sawako in Kimi Ni Todoke) and Ayako Kawasumi as Haruka (Nodame in Nodame Cantabile).

I won’t go so far as to say that when the CASBC members sound bad. Actually they sound quite good but because I’m not used to hearing a mini choir group sing, so it sounds a little odd for me. I know it’s not my place to say since I don’t really have a good singing voice. Some of the songs that you’ll hear are sung by them. Like the lively pop ending theme, Shiokaze No Harmony. On an unrelated note, in the ending credits animation, we see Konatsu and Sawa sitting by the school terrace in the early episodes. Once their new club is formed, they are joined by the guys but notice that Wakana seems to be standing in a distance. As their relationship grows, you’ll notice the gap reducing and once her issue was solved and became a member, she sits besides them and CASBC becomes a whole. It’s like inevitable, right? Back to the songs. Of course, Kokoro No Senritsu is also sung by CASBC and is the special ending piece for the second episode (there is also an Asami Seto and Saori Hayami duet version) as well as the theme song sung as the West Stop Rangers, Nettou Hero Gambariser. We also have Asami Seto doing a solo with the insert song, Goin’ My Way and also a rendition from the Vocal Club. The opening theme is Dreamer by Airi and this rock outfit brings back memories of the opening themes for Hanasaku Iroha. Amigo! Amigo! is another of those insert songs sung by the Condor Queens and is in Spanish. One of the oddest insert songs I heard that was sung by the Vocal Club was True Tears’ Reflectia. Imagine trying to turn that pop piece into a choir. Sounds so weird. Sounds awful. Of course the final insert song for the final episode is Radiant Melody by the Vocal Club, a full-fledged choir-like piece with the wind instruments complementing the strong performance.

The drawing and art for this anime is your typical conventional Japanese anime standards. Everyone has that good looks. Girls look pretty and the boys handsome enough to please the eyes of those who love this kind of drawing. Some of the scenery and background are also gorgeous but not to the extent that you’ll lose focus on the story and keep admiring the backdrop, unable to peel your eyes away. Hah. I just exaggerated there a bit. Really. Good but it won’t win any awards. But if the art style of the characters is somewhat familiar especially to Hanasaku Iroha, then do not be surprise that the studio, P.A. Works is the one responsible behind both these animes. On a side note, True Tears was their debut animation production and they also produced other animes like Angel Beats and Another.

It’s odd for me to say this but as long as you like music, don’t let anything stop you from singing. Even if you have a terrible voice (like me). Remember the American Idol reject, William Hung? See, where his tone deaf took him? Even if it’s alone in the bathroom or the sanctuary of your room, it’s still okay to sing. Just that perhaps other people have more pleasant voice in the ears of others. How can you enjoy singing if you don’t believe in yourself first? I admit that recently for a long time I haven’t been singing my anime songs due to my hectic life (read: busy watching animes if I am not working). I wonder if I am losing touch with the harder songs that I took a very long time to practise with. Only one way to find out. Time for me to get a mic and let my voice fill the room. So much so everyone had to leave to make room for it! Haha! I hope one day I won’t turn into someone who loses touch with music forever. Otherwise I would be going, “I don’t music!”.

I guess no progress had been made yet. The Neighbours Club are still having the same old face and members. Don’t get your hopes up for anything new if you watch Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai OVA. Some people call this the 13th episode because it takes place after the TV series ended. One obvious note of that is that Yozora has her hair cut short. So what else is new in the club room? Nothing. Same old, same old. Sena is still playing her galge and since it didn’t end too well for her, she breaks the disc! Oh sh*t! She realizes there are 2 types of girls in this world: Those who love her and the rest are all bi*tches! Haha! I think some may classify her in the latter category. This OVA isn’t anything new except that the club members bum around doing things together. The odd way. So here, Kodaka suggests doing a relay novel (a page each) and has decided the turns for everyone to write one to pass the time. Oh dear. I wonder if they can keep track of everything. Don’t hope. My guess is that everything will fall apart right from the start.

This maid cross-dresser starts off putting Kodaka as the main character. What else. It’s always has to be that guy. He is a great man. A talented guy. A true samurai with charisma loved by all. And a rapist! WHAT THE?! And a repeat offender too?! How can a samurai be a rapist?! Well, Yukimura heard from Yozora that Kodaka raped 100 girls every day. I don’t want to know how she even believed that crap. So the story begins with Kodaka getting angry with his subordinate Yukimura, thinking she has sat on his slippers. However she shows him that she put it on her breasts instead and this made him happy. See, didn’t I tell you this was so screwed up?! There’s more. They swore eternal devotion and made love happily ever after. The end. WTF?! You can’t end it right now on the first page! Rika interjects and feels the need for them to strip and engage in sex. Yeah, the one who is aroused is only Rika. So aroused that her head could explode. Unfortunately it didn’t. She wanted to change places with Yozora but was rejected. So while she waits for her turn, till then she’ll just fantasize the indecency in her head. Creepy…

Continuing the story, Kodaka and his underling Yukimura is walking into town and spot villains raping women in the middle of the street. Guess what? The women she describes have traits that resemble Sena! Including all the badmouthing! Sena blows her top but Yozora points out it wasn’t her and only happened to have her characteristics. So is she admitting she is those raped pigs? Embarrassed… However as she continues, Yozora even adds Sena’s name into it! Now what reason is she going to give? They coincidentally have the same name. Yeah, right… But Sena is glad that she called her by her real name for the first time. Now she’s going to end it. Sena feels relieved that she’ll be saved by a hero but don’t count your chickens yet. Yozora writes Kodaka just let her get raped because he is only interested in little girls! And Sena had to get mad at the real Kodaka for not saving her…

Now it’s this guy’s turn to put things back on track. He turns around and slices the villains with his sword. Apparently his rape fetish was only a facade to deceive the baddies as he gets information of their hideout and heads there to defeat them all and bring peace to the town. Normal… Boring… Yozora thinks he’s projecting himself as the main character to escape the pain of reality. With people like them around him, I can see why.

So it’s this blonde’s turn. Guess what? She’s going to get her revenge. As predicted. She makes Yozora the fat ugly evil final boss. Describing right down to her traits and name. Each time, Sena gets smacked by a fly swatter on her head. It’s because Yozora felt the ‘meat’ is decaying and flies are gathering around it. Sena writes Kodaka gets into a galge trap and is forced to pray for rescue. Then descending from the sky is Sena the goddess who will give the evil Yozora a second chance in life if she begs for her life and goes down licking her feet. After she did that, thankful Kodaka also got a ‘reward’ with Sena stepping on his head. And he likes it. Yozora gives Sena the ultimate swat in the forehead. She is furious she has been insulted that she had to beg and lick feet. That scary look on her face made Sena scared. Yozora wants her to apologize now and since she doesn’t feel her sincerity, get down and lick her feet! Gosh. I didn’t know Sena was that afraid of her to do so. But then again, it’s Sena we’re talking about. Fortunately she won’t bring herself to do it and smacks Yozora with her swatter.

She’s going to let everyone see her infinite genius. I have a feeling that says otherwise. Once Kodaka kisses Sena’s feet, his memories awakened and we are transported back to the past whereby Kodaka and Kobato met in some Transylvania place. Lots of fantasy names and grandiose fantasy drama-cum-crap that I don’t care to remember. Thank God each person had to write only a page because Kobato could’ve continued the story for another thousand more pages! Go read it yourself!

When this nun takes over, she makes Kobato step on poop and the bird just released its droppings on her head. Because she stinks, Kodaka suggests they go to the church to accept God’s blessings. When the priest sprinkles holy water over her, she turns into ashes! Don’t be sad! For the vampire has been accepted into Heaven! The moral of the story is that you mustn’t hold your sh*t in when you really need to go to the toilet. Huh? Anyway the lolis start arguing.

She’s going to end this with a bang. Oh no. A bang indeed because isn’t that Death Star exploding? And how the hell did it turn into some sci-fi mecha thingy? Kodaka’s evil powers have awakened and he is going to destroy Earth only to be stopped by his underling Yukimura. That is just a setting so that she could write her story filled with sexual subtexts between them despite having lots of mecha terms in it. This girl is really on fire writing those mecha sex scenes! The raunchy story ends as they continued to enjoy each other intensely through the night.

It’s All In The Writing…
Kodaka can’t really accept this story. I mean, did we understand what was going on? Heck, I was only laughing at the silliness of it all. But as Rika puts it, you can end it with a sex scene in the BL world. All problems will go away with such scene. Just like in real life, as long you have love, you’ll have a happy ending. How I wish this was really true instead of some delusion. But Rika puts the question that has the girls blushing. Who will receive Kodaka’s love at the end of his story? Yeah girls, dream on…

So it was rather fun to see the gang doing another activity together which doesn’t really amount to anything big in the end. It’s just something silly to pass the time. After all, they’ve got nobody else to hang out with, right? Even if they didn’t make other friends, at least they made lots of progress being friends with each other. Of course the eternal rivalry between Yozora and Sena, and Kobato with Maria. They may hate each other’s guts but in a subtle way they are each other’s good friends too because who would be such a good ‘friend’ for them to let them insult and offense, right? It never ceases to amaze me the kind of slur that Yozora could come up just to tick Sena off. She’s really good at it and if you want somebody to stir displeasure in your enemy camp, she is the right person for the job. Rika still never tires over her BL fantasies while Yukimura is still admiring Kodaka too much that she doesn’t mind ‘doing it’ with him. And the poor guy Kodaka is the one who is caught between all the mess. Some friends they are, huh?

Well, the second season has been given the green light and already starting its run so till I’ll be waiting with glee what further antics that the Neighbours Club will hold in their quest to make more friends. Or more frenemies. I don’t think it will be a good idea to make friends by starting with an insult but you know what they say about keeping your friends close but your enemies closer, right? Hmm… As mentioned, the second season is already starting but it will be some time before I catch the entire series. I prefer to watch it after it finishes and in the mean time, go watch some other finished animes first. At least I’m glad to know that I don’t have to go off fantasizing some sick delusions while waiting for my turn to have a go at the sequel.

Remember the first friend you made? How about ever wondering the best way to make a friend? And I mean a real person in the flesh in the friend instead of just liking somebody over Facebook. As humans, it is natural for us to find a group with similar interests or personalities. And of course there are others who aren’t so ‘lucky’. Being an outcast without friends certainly is no fun and as they say, one is the loneliest number. I’m not saying that Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai (I Don’t Have Many Friends) is an anime teaching us loners how to make friends but this is what usually people with no association do when they get together. Okay, I made that up.

However if you think about it, if a bunch of people with no friends group together, then you can’t call them loners anymore, right? Well, if they can start becoming friends among themselves first. You know what they say about birds with the same feathers? I guess these people need to have their own sense of belonging too. So in this series, we have the motley crew of high school students doing activities in a club that is supposed to help them in making friends. Expect lots of the typical high school antics that involves a group of students somewhat shunned by others. They include a returning ‘foreigner’ with a looks of a delinquent, his little sister with a gothic fashion, a bully with only an imaginary friend, busty Miss Popular, a rocket scientist, a maid and a loli nun supervisor. It doesn’t get any weirder than this…

Episode 0
This 10 minute OVA is somewhat like an appetizer for what to expect of the series. Kodaka Hasegawa is one heck of a popular guy. Look how he spends time with his harem girls, Yozora Mikazuki, Sena Kashiwazaki, Rika Shiguma, Maria Takayama, Yukimura Kusunoki and little sister Kobato Hasegawa. We see them having fun at the beach, playing a co-op handheld game together, singing at a karaoke joint, having a swell time at the festivals, watching the fireworks and playing a card game. Oh yeah, it sure looks like good times aplenty. So if you keep wondering why the stress on “We have many friends” and the flashing of the nabe pot, now it’s time for reality to hit Kodaka. He is rudely awakened by Rika with a taser! OMG! She’s not going to let him drift off to his fantasy land alone. And they’re in this dark sinister room with Yozora and Sena facing off in a yami nabe challenge. Both are at their limits. Flashback reveals Yozora suggested a practice nabe so that they don’t fail at nabe parties. So… What does yami nabe have to do with making friends? Maria is already out cold (she’s seeing demons), same case with Kobato and Yukimura is probably halfway dead even though she’s just scooping whatever horrible food into her mouth. As soon as Rika collapses, Yozora and Sena vomit onto Kodaka. It’s black! He narrates the very unfortunate story for the heroines to puke in the first episode. Well I’ve got sadder news. This isn’t even the first episode! Haha! So Kodaka narrates the Neighbours Club that has them doing fun things, encouraging each other and making memorable memories together so that they can become someone others can trust. Oh yeah. Trust in thy neighbour…

Episode 1
Kodaka could even scare the girls as he walks pass them. He thought he saw Yozora happily talking to someone in class. His thoughts are she is not the kind who mixes around since his observations have him conclude she is a loner. His interest piques as he opens the door. Yozora realizes someone was watching and returns to her quiet and distant self. Since Kodaka did see her talking to someone and there is no one else in the room, could it be that she sees ghost?! Actually, it’s her air friend, Tomo-chan. WTF?! Hey, they have air guitar, right? I guess it’s another way of saying imaginary friend. Kodaka thinks she should get a real friend and not an air friend but Yozora lectures him back he is not the one to say since he too has no friends. They talk about suggesting paying people to become your friends, the basis of what stipulates one as friends and today’s society that views badly on those with no friends. Joining a club in the middle of the school term is out of the question and a new member at this point would be just a stumbling block to the club’s goal. Suddenly Yozora gets an idea and leaves with a happy smile. Kodaka narrates he arrived a month ago due to his dad’s change in jobs. Because he took the wrong bus to Saint Chronica Academy in Tooya City, he ended up late to class. Since he was tired, everyone thought his tripping was him assaulting the teacher. Man, even the teacher got scared. Not only that, when he forgot to bring his textbook, the girl next to him instantly gave hers and by noon, rumours spread that he extorted a textbook. That bad, huh? He hasn’t gotten over that ‘trauma’ since.

Next day, Yozora wants Kodaka to follow her. Seems she has started a new club of her own called Neighbours Club and its aim is to make real friends. Oh, Kodaka is also a member because she submitted his application on his behalf. Just great. Their club room will be the chapel’s lounge seeing their advisor, sister Maria is also somewhat a loner. Birds of the same feathers? Yozora has also created a poster but the words don’t make sense. Ah, but if you read the message in a slanting way, you’ll get the message of its purpose to recruit new members. Who the hell can see that? Plus, she drew a horrible picture in case for those who can’t get the message. What the heck is that too? So off they go putting the posters around school. Yozora wants Kodaka to call her by her first name. He finds it hard and wonders if she has a nickname. She once did but refuses to say since a nickname is only what friends call each other. So they aren’t friends despite in the same club? Seconds after putting up the poster, someone comes knocking on their door. Good response, eh? But upon seeing Sena at the door, Yozora quickly slams the door! Eh? Wasn’t she keen on recruiting new members? She explains Sena is a popular girl with flocks of boys always following her as she’s the only daughter of the board chairman of this academy. She also has good grades, good in sports and the humongous boobs that would make every boy fawn over. Yozora couldn’t tolerate anymore the knocking on the door and tells her off popular people can go die. But Sena is still stubborn and is adamant to join as she knocks on the window this time! She really wants to join because she too wants friends. Those tears enough to convince you? So when the girls sit down and start talking, actually, they’re arguing right off the bat! Starting with those boobs… Kodaka guesses that a popular girl like her would be ostracized by other girls since all the boys who hang around her are just ‘balls carrier’ (ironically she’s a girl). He thinks it’s their perfect chance to be friends. Of course we know they already don’t like each other and continue their arguing. Well, that’s one kind of friendship, right?

Episode 2
Now Sena wants Kodaka to call her by her first name so it won’t seem he is close to Yozora. Women… As the club’s first activity, Yozora suggests to play a game that will foster friendship and wants them to bring their PSP. This game, Monster Hunter allows players to co-op and rely on each other in this fantasy world to hunt monsters. Sounds like a tool to deepen your friendship, eh? Sena seems to have attained the highest rank. Upon closer inspection, she played for 53 straight hours ever since! See those bags under her eyes? So as the trio embark on their quest, Yozora and Sena sabotage each other. Kodaka wants them to help each other seriously. Oh, they’ll help each other alright. Oh no. The girls face off beating up each other as Kodaka notes how the girls are feeling lively when they’re killing someone!!! Freaking scary!!! In the end, they both knocked each other out and they fail the quest seeing time is up. With this failure, the girls start badmouthing that games like this sucks (and they were just praising it initially). Kodaka has no say in it all as usual. In class, Kodaka hears his classmates playing the same game. He goes over to ask for some help. But the way he says it and his scary looks make them willing to oblige his wish. And yeah, rumours already spread he extorted classmates in broad daylight.

Now there’s a big TV screen in the club room. Seems Sena has brought her galge and Yozora agrees this might be a good practice for conversation. But seriously. Girls playing galge meant for boys? It starts off with a hitch. The girls arguing whose name to put (definitely not Kodaka’s). Ultimately Yozora hijacks the controller and gives Semoponume name for Sena. For the first girl they meet, Akari Fujibayashi, the girls are in sync that they should ignore and be cold to her! They don’t think anyone can be this friendly on the first meeting! They continue calling her slutty b*tch and how high school girls these days on the internet are (have they look in the mirror recently?). The next girl they meet, the librarian Yukiko Nagata (I thought she resembled closely to Suzumiya Haruhi’s Nagato. Heck even their name is almost similar), Kodaka thought they were going to reject her too but surprisingly they accept her because they plan to ace the next exam. As they continue to make friends with her, Sena gets obsessed and starts liking her. She gets immersed in the world (Sena cross-dressed as a boy while Kodaka a girl?) but suddenly Yukiko’s route takes a negative turn. She is avoiding her because of her cold treatment to Akari. Bad rumours spread and affect other girls if a girl doesn’t like you. Though everything can return to normal by just apologizing, the girls aren’t going to that but put their faith in Yukiko. Unfortunately Sena finishes with a bad end with Yukiko running away. Sena becomes heartbroken and emotional while Yozora is off to find that Akari slut b*tch and kill her!!! Next day, Sena gives Kodaka the galge and wants him to continue playing finish Akari’s route. Now she’s singing praises about this slutty b*tch? I guess she got taken in by her sad past, eh? Not only that, Sena wants him to complete all the other girls’ routes as well! See the bags under Sena’s eyes? Galge isn’t just a game. It’s life itself! Oh well, at least Sena bagged 7 new friends. All 2D girls…

Episode 3
Kodaka and Yozora enter the club room to find Sena playing an eroge! I think it’s a hentai version of The Sacred Blacksmith. Sena and Yozora enter an argument about their differing views about porn so the latter starts insulting her with lots of porn equivalent nicknames. Seeing that Sena views it as some sort of literature masterpiece, Yozora challenges her to read the lines out loud. Sena stammers and is embarrassed while reading over the lines till the point she can’t take it anymore and runs out crying. Sneaky Yozora had secretly recorded her reading and plans to upload it on the net! Even if she was just joking, that idea was too much. Then Yozora starts reading her own literature aloud from Chuuya Nakahara. Kodaka returns home as Kobato interacts with him like a character from her favourite anime, Kurogane No Necromancer. Kobato wonders which is important to Kodaka, her or his club (because he can’t come back early always). Guess what? He chose the club. At least he isn’t a siscon. Kodaka narrates his dad bought this house 10 years ago and when he was to be transferred to America, Kodaka and Kobato decided to stay back in Japan in this house. Next day in the club room, Sena wants Kodaka to teach her swimming. Why? She has made friends with Natsumi and it would be troublesome if they go to the pool or beach and she can’t swim. Note, Natsumi is a 2D character from the galge she is playing… W…T…F…?! Sena doesn’t want Kodaka to let Yozora know about this. So come the appointed day, Kodaka teaches her all he knows and Sena is quite a fast learner so much so she can challenge him to a simple swimming race (he won, though). Taking a break, Sena panics when Kodaka mentions he should go greet the board chairman since he hasn’t done so. She thought he wanted to go out with her or something but he says that their dads are old friends. Kodaka notes how Sena easily responded to the nickname ‘Meat’ that Yozora always insultingly called her. Well, it’s her first nickname and she’s somewhat happy. After Kodaka relieves himself, he sees a bunch of guys trying to mess with Sena. The guys would have gone away without much fuss when Kodaka returns but Sena had to stir up more trouble by being cocky and wants them to beg for forgiveness. Could you blame them for wanting to punch her? Of course not! Kodaka is fast enough to grab his fist and when he shows his scary delinquent face, they back off for good. Sena is still cocky so Kodaka scolds her that there are bad people worst than this and that he won’t always be around to protect her. So why does he care? Because it’s his business! Sena didn’t talk to him on the way home but when they part, it’s like she’s forgiven him. Back home while Kobato throws a fuss about a conspiracy that the bath turned cold and will never bath again (WTF?! She’s clinging onto him naked!!!), Kodaka remembers who he was always beaten up due to his hair colour. A tomboyish girl helped this weakling but Kodaka didn’t like he was being labelled one. They fight and the bullies didn’t want to be left out and it turned into a free-for-all. In the end, they both become friends as the girl said mommy told her it isn’t necessary to make 100 friends. Just make real friends you care about 100 times. Kodaka wakes up in the club room murmuring those words. It caught Yozora by surprise as she notes how he still remembers. But he didn’t much to it and leaves, wondering if that ‘boy’ (yes, he thought that tomboy was a boy) is still in living this town. Maybe not. It was 10 years ago. Hey, maybe it’s closer than you could think.

Episode 4
Kodaka walks into the club room to see a loli nun sleeping on the couch. He pokes her cheek only to realize Yozora has snapped an ambiguous picture. Blackmail material… When Maria wakes up, she isn’t thrilled to see Yozora. She relates how Yozora came into this room, slapped her twice, and relate something from the Bible that made her force to sign the paperwork to make this her club room. Only thing is, there is no such line from the Bible! She blackmailed a nun?! Furthermore Maria is only 10 years old?! She wants everyone to get out from her room but Yozora plays reverse psychology on her that it might be too hard for an ‘adult’ like her to carry out this task. Maria is fooled into begging her to become the club’s moderator, swear to God that she’ll never quit or else Yozora will have the right to strip and post naked pictures of her on the net and blackmailed into become her slave. All without even her realizing she has been fooled… Later Kodaka relates how he has got this feeling that he is being stalked. Sena laughs it off that it may be his true love but Yozora agrees to help him nail the stalker. It didn’t turn out they way they wanted because everybody is staring at them. A delinquent flanked by a couple of hot beauties. What is there not to stare? So in a simple case of letting the stalker follow and catching the perpetrator in the act, Kodaka finds out it is Yukimura and brings her to the club (Yukimura is actually a boy but I’ll refer to him as a girl because he is so girly).Yukimura wants to join the club because she is being bullied. Yozora explains about the existence of bullying and blows her top (for real) when Kodaka jokingly lumps her as a bully. Yukimura was following Kodaka around because she thought she can be like a strong man by observing him. Kodaka may realize that the case of shunning Yukimura may not be bully (they run away when she starts undressing and no one would throw the dodgeball at her) but Yozora allows her to join and quickly lets her fill up the form. Hey, Sena didn’t get such treatment! With Yukimura as a club member, she can be Kodaka’s underling and follow and observe him wherever he goes. Kodaka’s reputation is on the line yet again when Yukimura brings lunch and gangster comics for him (thanks to ideas from a certain woman). He goes to find her but passes by a lab. The explosion catches his attention and he sees Rika unconscious inside. He brings her to the infirmary. When she comes to, she visits him in his class to thank him. She is grateful for saving her life despite her life wasn’t in danger (she was making some sleeping potion). That’s because if he had not done so, she might have been raped! The way she passionately explains the term has everyone really thinking Kodaka might have violated her! I can’t believe Rika loves this kind of thing… Kodaka takes her outside to avoid his reputation from plummeting further. Still needing to thank him, she thought he got a bad hair dye so he reveals his blonde is natural since his mom is from England. Taking a hair sample, she reveals this is the first time she is interested in a mammal. Is there a hidden meaning to it? In the club room, Yukimura wears a maid outfit and serves Kodaka. It’s Yozora’s twisted idea about specially training her to become a real man. Don’t ask. Then when they talk about Rika, Sena knows her as a genius who has been inventing lots of stuff since elementary. Her dad got her to enrol here and she is allowed not to attend class since a special lab is created for her. VIP treatment? Why the heck need to enrol here for then? Soon, Rika visits the club with intentions to join it. She knows all there is to know about the club and perfectly deciphered the message from the poster. She is confident she can join because she has no friends. Yozora accepts her application so Rika gets attached to Kodaka. Then she shows everyone her favourite dirty magazine that excites and drives her crazy. Uhm, looks like a battle mecha manga. But the words she reads out loud can be dirtily ambiguous. And she’s reading it with full passion! So if you have a wild imagination, it can really get dirty. Yozora calls her weird and Rika admits to it and that no one will understand her. Then she wants to try out sex with Kodaka!!! OMG!!! Of course Yozora won’t allow it but Rika is keen to try out all sorts of stuffs with him. She is so friendly with that guy that the rest are just having that prickly feeling in their heart. How does it feel to have the only guy (or rather someone they love picking on) being hogged?

Episode 5
Since Kodaka is cooking a proper bento for Maria (Yozora only feeds her snacks after doing things for her), Kobato didn’t take this too well. Because of Kodaka’s delicious bento, Maria starts calling him her ‘onii-chan’, a disciple of God and badmouths Yozora’s snacks (say that in front of her face, I dare you). Rika notices Sena into games so she introduces the gang to a prototype game that a company (Largehead?) plans to release in the future. Romancing Saga XIV is an RPG game as they need to put on a headgear to experience the full effects. Choosing their characters, Kodaka settled for a wizard but turns out to be an otaku. Yup, wizard is only a title and he has no skills. In other words, he is useless. Rika is a gunner (who is this Final Fantasy character again?) while Sena is a blacksmith (note the very revealing outfits). Yozora is a rose girl, which is, well, a girl dressed in a rose outfit. Completing the team is Yukimura the samurai and Maria the healer (have we seen this nun somewhere before?). The first enemies turn out to be low-level eel-like creatures called warasubo. Kodaka felt pity for them just because they look ugly, they shouldn’t be taking them out. The girls are touched by his kindness but soon starts blasting and cutting them all down! No mercy! To make things worse, they don’t have any attacking skills since their programming pattern isn’t complete. Don’t worry, their deaths will not be in vain because they will live on as EXP points within them! The gang face off with the final boss (looking so much like warasubo – heck all the enemies look like that. They really recycled it to the max, eh?). Maria went off to sleep, Sena and Yozora sabotage and took out each other and even Yukimura and Rika fall. Just when Kodaka thought Maria has returned and is going to cast a revival spell, she chanted too long and was taken out. Game over. As Kodaka takes off his headgear, he sees Maria still sleeping. Then who? It’s Kobato who is playing in her place! Seems she is suspicious that big brother always come home late so her curiosity led her to come here and find out he is frolicking with worthless humans (she’s in that vampire anime character of hers). Kodaka promises to take her out for the weekend but the word ‘lunch’ prompts a sad look on Kobato’s face. Then Maria wakes up and gets all clingy over Kodaka. When she starts calling him ‘onii-chan’, Kobato blows her top. She returns to her anime character and after all that ranting, all she wants is to join the club. Can she? She’s from middle school, you know. Well, there aren’t any rules that say otherwise and besides, Yozora finds no reason to object. So she really has no friends, eh? But Maria protests and they both initiate a confrontation. Well, do you really want to see lolis fight? Passing cooties? Uhn… Cute or eyes-rolling sight? As the rest put away the games, Sena and Yozora as usual argue but for Rika, she finds it fun because this is the first time she is playing games with others.

Episode 6
When Kodaka’s dad told him they were going to move, he met up with that tomboy wanting to tell her something. She too had something important to say and they promised to meet again here tomorrow. However she never turned up as Kodaka waited the entire day. So he left without properly saying goodbye to his friend. He wakes up from this dream to find Kobato sleeping next to him. In the club room, Yozora notes that summer vacation is starting and ever since Neighbours Club’s inception, none of them manage to make friends. In fact some of them had their reputations worse off (the blondes). Sena wonders if the rest have been to a karaoke joint. She couldn’t believe Yozora did (with Tomo-chan anyway). Sena makes an excuse she never did that because it is considered peasant-like activity. So while the rest make plans to go for karaoke, you can tell from Sena’s face that she really wants to go. But Yozora kicks up her devilish attitude and makes Sena admit that she wants to go. Well, she’s not going to let her in if she did. And after forcing Sena to spill out loud and beg to join them, she still won’t let her. Heck, why does she need her permission to join in the first place. Deceived. What to do? Run away and cry lor. As Sena tells her servant about the ‘appointment’ she’ll have with her club mates, her father remembers Kodaka’s name. Kodaka and Kobato meet up with the girls and the way they say the order of how they arrive make it sound like a quiz. Kodaka has Kobato figure out the order. Okay, I’m not smart so I can’t figure who arrived first (Is it Rika->Yozora->Sena->Yukimura?). Arriving at the karaoke box, Yozora feels something wrong with the pricing. She finds it odd they have to pay per head when they are sharing the same room (well, she never encountered this with Tomo-chan because…). Though this is practically normal, Yozora and Sena scheme together to bypass this scam. They both decide to go in individually instead of paying for a group. But Kodaka gets a room for himself, Kobato, Rika and Yukimura. Screw your scheme. So while the quartet have fun singing together (they sound pretty decent), Yozora and Sena are left to rue their missed chance to be with Kodaka as they start spacing out alone in their respective room. Feeling left out, aren’t they? But I guess they’re somewhat in sync because they chose the same sad song to sing at the same time. Once Kodaka and co finish, they see tired Yozora and Sena waiting outside. They were trying to outdo each other’s high score even though they were in separate rooms. Can you believe how competitive they can get? Yeah, keep arguing about who is the real winner. And once they leave the place, the counter guy must be real relieved. The rest think they won’t see each other again for the summer vacation but Yozora says the club will be in full force and to meet again next Monday to discuss why they weren’t able to make friends up to now. Guess what? Yup. Yozora and Sena start blaming each other. The rest has heard enough of this and just move along… Just keep walking… Because Yozora was nagging to look and attracted onlookers, Sena got embarrassed and run away (in tears of course). Kodaka thanks Yozora for forming the club though it has only been a month, it has been surprisingly fun. This reminds Sena that her father wanted to see him and to come to her place any time. Yozora didn’t like what is going on but Sena wants Kodaka to keep this a secret or it will get complicated (the fact her father used his power to specially transfer Kodaka to this school). Besides, it has nothing to do with Yozora. Now it’s her turn to feel worried.

Episode 7
It’s the hot summer so can Kobato stand the hit in her goth loli dress? According to her, she has conquered the flames of hell. I guess she couldn’t take the heat and return indoors. Because Yukimura continues to serve Kodaka, he thought so as not to make her commit seppuku over her uselessness, she should serve Maria too as she needs the food. But she can’t be serving 2 masters so Kodaka reasons Maria is like her sister so it’s okay. But serve healthy food, okay? And Kodaka may have learnt when Yukimura served just that, she may have forced Maria to swallow all the protein!!! Better add not to give her additives from now on. One day, Kodaka was the only person in the club room (the rest were ‘busy’) and to figure out who is coming and who’s not, he suggests using the message board. Yozora and Sena are against it seeing they both had bad experience using the online feature. One probably did lots of bad things online and the other probably didn’t like the insults she got. On her 2D girls, that is. Kodaka even suggests SNS or nixi but I don’t even know what that is and there are certain requirements so it’s out of the question. Till Rika suggests keeping in touch with their handphone. Why does everyone look so shock? They really never thought about this great idea, huh? I guess Kodaka and Yozora are like ‘dinosaurs’ in using their handphone as compared to Rika and Yukimura who are like pros using infrared technology to exchange detail. So when the duo even manage to type in their address and save it, it was such an accomplishment. Rika and Yukimura felt they ‘lost out’ because the duo seemed so close when they were doing that. Then Sena gets upset. Why? Because she doesn’t have a handphone. Of course she gives her cocky reasons why a high class princess like her doesn’t need it. Yozora calls Kodaka and talks to him (even though they are nearby). This is a prelude to tease Sena and work her up because from now on, club activities will be via handphone. Yozora crosses the line when she whispers too much ‘MEAT’ in her conversation, upsetting that poor Sena once more. She’s really good in pushing this kind of button, eh? Dead in the middle of the night, Kodaka gets a call from Sena through his house phone. She wants to know his handphone model. Next day as Kodaka takes the bus to school, Rika sends him a naughty email, dragging Yozora into the ‘picture’. When Kodaka comes to the club, tired out Yozora warns him the true pervert Rika is. Yeah, Rika is on to yuri now. As long as it’s erotic, she is sure energetic. That evening, Sena comes in to show her newly bought handphone the exact same model as Kodaka’s. She eagerly exchanges mail address with him but as usual she and Yozora try to outdo each other that they don’t need the other’s email and if you want to give, then just give. Of course Yozora is a person who is better in this sort of argument and wins, reducing Sena to tears once more. Sena SMS Kodaka for Yozora’s address so she can spam her. In view of this, Yozora thinks she’ll really give Sena her address after all. See that evil glint in her eyes? Sena soon rushes back and she’s in a frantic. The spamming won’t stop! She seeks Kodaka’s help and Yozora’s prank may have backfired seeing how they are interacting close enough to fix the problem.

Episode 8
The air-cond broke. Starting to feel the heat now Kobato? Yeah, she’s still trying to act like her anime character. Then watching the latest anime episode, she gets an idea from her character when she changes into her true (albeit slightly) scantily form. Kobato starts doing her ‘transformation’ scene right in front of big brother. I guess he has seen it so many times that he isn’t fazed when she strips naked in front of him. So feeling much cooler in this casual form now? Kodaka notes these clothes are from elementary school and wonders if she hasn’t grown. Well, she certainly did shed a tear before giving off that immortality and never-grow-old thingy as her answer. In the club room, Maria hugs Kodaka and gives her thanks because Yukimura is feeding her right now. Kobato didn’t like it and pushes her away. Another round of loli fight. Maria thought she will become a vampire since she was bitten by her. The silly part is that she really believes it especially Yozora’s cure to bath in the sunlight naked. How can she be a nun when she’s so gullible? Maybe that’s why she is one? Sena and Rika start hounding Kobato over their unholy fetishes so Yozora has to swat them with a fly swatter to keep them in line. Is this going to be her trademark ‘weapon’ for tsukkomi? Yozora takes a dig at another galge Sena is playing. She hopes sharks will appear. Suddenly, sharks do appear! Sena thought it was just some cliché thing when suddenly it really turns into a bloody massacre end! Rika realizes the galge she is playing and notes this game is notoriously famous for bloody bad endings. One wrong move and you’ll dive straight into that bloody end. And since all the bad ends are completely incoherent massacres no one would ever seen coming, it earned its reputation as a joke game. I can see why Sena thought this was a funny or comedy game. See her break the disc in half! Then Sena just wishes she wants to go to the pool. Not that she wants to become shark meat or something but the heat is killing her. Seeing Kobato wants to go to the pool too, Yozora feels they can use this club activity as a dry run to make friends. Oh, Maria got reprimanded for actually running around naked on the church grounds. I guess God really is watching… Kodaka and Kobato meet up with the rest only to find a long line of people waiting for the bus. When they manage to get on, the crowd is making Yozora and Rika sick. Yeah, they’re not used in crowded places. Rika fluctuates between getting queasy and aroused. Meanwhile Kobato has got her faced smothered in Sena’s boobs… Not even big brother can help… Upon reaching the pool, they also see a long queue going in. The 50% discount of the entry fee is the cause. Yozora notes that she would rather pay double rather than to crowd with these people. Yukimura goes to chance with Kodaka and the other boys are afraid. She thinks it’s her as a weakling. Kodaka tries to explain but his scary face scares them away. Despite being boys, Kodaka can’t help feel nervy about looking at Yukimura changing. Sp why wear a female’s swimsuit? Yozora’s idea to be manlier, I guess. When done, they meet up with Sena and Kobato. Yozora and Rika are still reeling from the sickness and are sitting this one out. The pool is darn crowded that there is no space to even swim. Only standing room. Kodaka things back how the Neighbours Club was just the 3 of them and now has more members. Though he can’t say they made any friends, they’ve definitely changed. Suddenly he gets message from Yozora and Rika that they can’t take this anymore and are leaving. It’s not joke. They see them board the bus out of the place. Then it hit Kodaka that Yozora has not changed. With the fun spoilt, I guess the rest also pack up and head home.

Episode 9
Kodaka is being told to bring his swimsuit to the club. I guess by now Kobato can sense Sena coming and hides behind Kodaka’s back. It’s now a reflex, eh? They are surprised to see Yozora wearing a horse mask and striped suit. This is to make up for the pool incident. But she feels relieved that Kodaka and co immediately left after them. As Rika tries to seduce Kodaka in her normal swimsuit, Maria comes in and gets spooked by the horse mask. Yeah, she even believes it’s going to eat her (despite horsey being vegetarian). Kobato fuels her fear by siding with Yozora. So when Maria realizes it is Yozora beneath, she thinks the mask is cursed. Yozora puts the mask on her and she panics of not wanting to turn into a demon. Kobato uses this chance to make her stay away from Kodaka but Maria at least didn’t give up on that. Then it descends into a loli quarrel that we won’t be interested to see. Sena suggests for the club to go to her private beach villa like as in a training camp. Yozora is confident they can pick any day to come (because Sena needs to inform her dad). Why? After all, no one here has friends. True. But she’s saying it with confidence! Back home, Kodaka gets a call from Sena to come see her father. Seeing she asked him about the villa, his name cropped up and he wanted to meet him. Thus Kodaka and Kobato will be skipping club activities as well as Sena. So with only Yozora, Rika and Yukimura in the club, one is reading her novel, the other reading it in a perverted way and another just waiting to serve… Kodaka and Kobato arrive at Sena’s mansion and are greeted by the adults. Sena’s dad is a bit quirky because he forgot to introduce himself and even if he did, he preferred not to use his first name of Pegasus but Tenma instead (don’t they both almost mean the same?). His servant, Stella is equally quirky because she notes she’ll get pregnant if Kodaka stares too long at her. Now we know why Sena is like that too. Over dinner, Kodaka thanks him for helping transfer them to his school. As gratitude, he gives them a box of spicy sauce. Then they talk about Hayato (Kodaka’s dad), how he has been running around Japan all his life and always good at finding strange food and spices. And now he has gone overseas, leaving his children behind to go dig up ancient cities. Kodaka is okay Hayato being labelled an idiot but not trash. But of course Pegasus was only joking. Since it’s late, they’ll have to stay over. Sena takes Kobato to bath together (probably she’s still sleepy that’s why she went along). Pegasus and Kodaka have a drink together (it’s grape juice for the underage kid). Pegasus may have gotten drunk on the first round but I’m not sure how many rounds he had before he collapses on the bed. Kodaka goes to find Stella when he sees Kobato traumatically running out from the bath naked! I guess Sena must have violated her this bad, huh? Then comes Sena. Running out naked in her own fantasy world. All that comes crashing down when she realizes Kodaka is there. Yeah, he got the full view of everything. Probably it was too much to handle that Sena ran out into the garden naked! In the outskirts of town, who is going to catch her, right? Stella notes Kobato will sleep with her in the servant’s room while he can sleep together with Pegasus. Rest assured he will not wake up till morning. Kodaka is rather reluctant but would rather choose that because Stella says she sleeps completely naked. As Kodaka properly puts him to bed, he notes how they have been so good friends, the reason Hayato could leave his kids in Japan in his hands while he travelled. Next morning as they leave, Kobato is traumatized by whatever bath time she had with Sena that she runs away screaming, not wanting to bath with her again!!! Kodaka pretends he didn’t remember last night due to the wine to make Sena feel relief. Pegasus hopes Kodaka will take care of his daughter. I think he means it more than just in terms of friendship.

Episode 10
The gang takes the train to Sena’s villa. They are captivated by the beauty of the villa and the sea. Because Kodaka has got his hands full in putting sun lotion on the girls (that scene Kodaka x Yukimura probably just ‘killed’ Rika), Sena requests Yozora to do it on her. Of all people, she should know better. Yozora uses her feet to rub the lotion over her back. So when Sena realizes, she can’t get up because Yozora is pinning down her centre of gravity. Yozora continues to mock Sena and probably try to turn her into a masochist with all that stepping and insulting words. So how does it feel like to be stepped on considering she always stepped on other boys with her ‘goddess feet’? So when Sena is able to overcome Yozora’s violation, she realizes too late that she has shown her front to everyone else. Oh dear. It’s that cry and run away again. And you thought it wouldn’t happen here. Kodaka notices Sena sitting by herself so he cheers her up that he didn’t see anything seeing he was concentrating on putting lotion on Kobato’s back. So while the girls have fun, Kodaka heads to the market to get some ingredients to make paella. Yozora notices his good cooking and it is given seeing he has lived so long with Kobato. But for Yozora, home economics wasn’t memorable. She always stood in the corner and the other girls ignored her. The other girls also piled food onto her out of pity and she would eat it all unhappily. Then it’s the last day of the camp and seeing they haven’t done anything camp-like, Rika suggests an orgy!!! WTF?! Not Yozora would allow that so they settle for telling ghost stories instead. Science girl like Rika believe in the occult? Well, she admits she’s a girl first, scientist second. A perverted girl, that is. And she’s so proud of saying that. So the gang starts telling their ghost stories but it sounded so lame or comical. Except for Yozora’s. Her story of best friends driven to suicide due to betrayal had everyone spooked in the end! So much so they don’t want to go for kimodameshi (test of courage) anymore! I think they’re even scared of the darkness too! That night Kodaka can’t sleep not because of the scary story but rather he can’t help think about the betrayal theme. He wonders if that kid back then thinks she was betrayed. Then Sena wants him to accompany her to the toilet. Not that she’d admit it’s because she’s scared to go alone. At least she learnt her lesson not to ask Yozora. So it’s somewhat ‘annoying’ because while she’s in the toilet, she kept asking if Kodaka is there! “Yes, I’m here”. I think that will be the line he’ll repeat the most in his entire life. That’s because when he returns, it’s Kobato’s turn to ask his company to the toilet. Same thing. “Are you there?”. “Yes, I’m here”. And yeah, before he could settle in his bed, it’s Maria’s turn. Ooohh, it’s a miracle he knows what she wants. And then Rika. But wait. She doesn’t want to go to the toilet but to sleep with him! Kick her out! After all that, Kodaka thinks he needs to use the toilet too and bumps into Yozora on the way out. Yup, she needs to go to the loo. Isn’t it ironic she got spooked by her own ghost story? Yozora wonders if he was scared by the story and he wasn’t. But he feels it’s not good to betray your friends.

Episode 11
Kodaka dreams of his younger days playing with that tomboy. Somehow the name of that kid was always blotted out. Maybe he can’t really remember after all. But we all know who, right? In the club room, Yozora brings up the topic of the festivals tonight but declines to go. Remember her fear of the crowd? Even the perverted girl Rika agrees as she reveals her fear of crowded place when she once tried to attend a doujin convention. Man, it’s bloody packed! Not even her sex power could stave that off. But she found her way around it and got companies to mail her the doujin instead. I guess she can still feed her need in that sense. Sena then brings up the topic of takoyaki stalls and seeing Kobato and Maria (sprung to life from her slumber after hearing that word) wanted to taste them, Kodaka agrees to bring them. Even Yozora and Rika want to tag along. I thought they were afraid of crowds? Well, they really want to eat the takoyaki. It’s all in the mind… As the gang meet up, Sena is unhappy that Kobato is in her goth loli outfit instead of a yukata. Seeing they are in a nearby shop that rents yukata and that this is a special event, Kodaka and Kobato change themselves. All that is left is Yozora and not even Kodaka’s persuasion is going to make her put those traditional clothes on. Sena criticizes Kodaka’s yukata fashion sense and also about his hair colour which makes him look like a delinquent. She thought he should dye it. Kodaka did consider it but reminded her that he once told her that his mom is from England. So by dying it black, it will be like cutting off all links to his mom since his other features resembles Hayato. So meeting up with the rest, Maria is already stuffing more food than she can enter her mouth! Thou shall not be greedy! And Rika is practising to eat the chocolate banana in an erotic way… Yukimura brought back some takoyaki for Kodaka and he finds it not up to mark and rallies the rest to go find better takoyaki stalls. However the girls are already full. Disappointed?

Yozora takes this opportunity to head home but Sena challenges her to stay by playing some activities. Or is she scared to lose? Yozora uses the lesser crowd as a reason to accept her challenge and to teach her a lesson. Maybe she should just be honest that she wants to stay longer. They start off with the goldfish scooping. In short, they both suck. Big time. Sena uses her money to buy lots of scoop so that it won’t break easily. Though it works, the stall owner tells her to take her business elsewhere. Yeah, he’ll be going broke if others use this method. Not satisfied, they continue challenging each other at the other stalls. Rika suggests leaving them alone while they have fun together. Say, that’s a great idea. Why bother sticking around watching them in heated battle? Rika wins a shooting competition (despite the owner playing cheat by sticking the target hard to the plank) and won a video game console. She gives it to Kodaka so that he can play with it every day and treat it like her!!! Well, he decides to use it as club equipment. Disappointed? Status update: Yozora and Sena are still at each other’s neck. So when the duo reunite (I don’t care who is keeping the score), they decide to give up for today after knowing the prize Rika won. While waiting to Stella to pick them up, they have fun playing sparklers and a mini firework of their own. Guess which pair is trying to outdo each other? At the end, they smell something burning. It’s Yozora’s hair catching fire! Quickly Kodaka splashes the bucket of water on her. It’s not pleasant to get wet this way (this is not a sex joke, mind you) but at least the fire is put out. Obviously Yozora is in no mood and leaves. For the rest of the summer vacation, Yozora never turned up for the club. As the semester begins, Yozora comes in late but she sports a brand new hairstyle. She cut it shorter. Then Kodaka remembers who she is. Yes, it is Sora. The nickname he used to call that tomboy girl. So now do you remember? Yozora is so happy he remembered (after 10 bloody long years, that is) that she cried. Good to be back, eh?

Episode 12
The first half is a rerun of certain scenes in the first episode. But this is only putting the puzzle pieces together as we see them from Yozora’s perspective. Yozora recognized Kodaka instantly when he came in late on his first day because of his hair colour and eyes. And yes, his terrible smile and inability to get along with anyone. It just backfires. Yozora was frustrated that attempts to make him recognize her by passing by him many times didn’t yield results. She talks it out with Tomo-chan till Kodaka spotted her talking to her air friend. That’s when she got the idea to create a new club and decided on a chapel as its place because she always went to a quiet place to read a book. She was polite in asking Maria for permission but it seems Maria was bloody cocky, foulmouthed and not even letting Yozora finish explaining her visit. Now why know why she got double slapped and tricked, right? She deserved it! Thus Neighbours Club is a club for her and Kodaka to be friends again. But along the way, others joined and they did lots of activities together. Each time Yozora can only hope Kodaka would realize but we it didn’t. So back in present time, Kodaka wonders why she cut an awful chunk of her hair when only the little bit at the ends were burnt. Well, he dumped that smelly water all over her head, right? It’s going to stink real bad and wouldn’t come out no matter how many times she washed. However the other classmates think Kodaka have done something despicable to her! String this in a sentence: Yozora resisted, dump all over her hair, weird smelling white liquid you can’t wash out. Okay, they may have misheard the white part… But get the picture, you horny pervert? Yozora takes Kodaka away so that he could tell her all that he wants too. Reactions included. He just says she looks pretty good with that hair? That’s it? But good enough.

Walking to the club room, Kodaka learns she knew it was him all along and pretended not to know him because she disliked the idea of her remembering him but not vice versa. Kodaka says he couldn’t have figured it out since she always dressed like a boy and get into fights (girls don’t do that, right?). Well, Yozora never said she was once a boy and on the day he was supposed to leave, the all-important she wanted to tell him was that she was a girl. But she felt too embarrassed to show up in a skirt. As we know, seeing is believing so probably why Yozora wanted to show him as proof she is really a girl instead of just telling him. If she had known he was going to move, she would have found the guts to say it. Yozora hopes that they should keep this between themselves. I can imagine a certain blonde teasing nonstop if this gets out. So what shall Kodaka call her now? (Remember the nickname Yozora once said in the first episode but will not tell him because it is only used between friends?). Well, just maintain and call her Yozora as always. In the classroom, Rika gets totally excited to see this new ‘guy’. She tries guessing who this handsome hunk is (all wrong – I think she’s climaxing just fantasizing about it). Sena instantly recognizes her and wants her to tell her why she cut her hair. Of course she’s not telling. But Sena insists. Back to the same old argument, eh? Sena even teases her she got dumped and rejected, earning her a swat in the face! Rika returns with a white male uniform and bugs Yozora to put it on. When Maria comes by, she gets afraid of this ‘boy’ and thinks will eat her! Yozora continues teasing her so Maria offers Kobato as the sacrifice! But Sena wants to ‘eat’ Kobato instead. Now she throws the swatter in her face. Okay, end of teasing. Sena notes how she is still the same no matter the length of her hair. This has Kodaka to ponder now that they know who each other are, it’s not like they can suddenly go back to being the same friends 10 years ago. Though he doesn’t know what will happen between them now, he’ll stick around in this club to find out. Yeah, lively with all the quarrelling and pervertness.

Ah well. I guess this is how it pretty much ends. But I won’t say that I am sorely disappointed because there wasn’t any much plot to begin with. All we see them doing each time they enter the club room, each doing their own thing. Sena and her galge, Yozora reading a book, Rika typing into her computer, Yukimura waiting to serve, Maria napping and Kodaka just bumming around. So where is the interaction and conversation between them besides the 2 main girls arguing and throwing insults against each other? Heck, they are supposed to make friends with others, right? And right till the end they have made none from the outside. Unless you consider mixing among themselves count as making friends, then I’d say this club is somewhat a successful failure. Though there are interesting bits brought up such as Kodaka and Sena’s dad as best friends, I think you won’t get to know more than what is being told. So if you are the kind who likes flashback storytelling to understand the characters deeper, don’t expect this one. The only flashback and focus we have here is Yozora and Kodaka’s childhood and it is mainly to see if that guy could remember her. Well, it took a dozen of episodes but it’s better than never remembering, right?

The most amusing pair has got to be Yozora and Sena. In addition to Yozora’s reverse psychology sarcasm, their spat never ceases to amuse me even if their insults and b*tchiness get too annoying. It always ends with Yozora being top and Sena reduced to a cry-baby. Though this cycle may get repetitive and predictable, either you’ll shake your head or just smirk. I’m not sure if this is Yozora’s habit all along and the reason why she never made friends but in the final episode it is hinted that this holier-than-thou, high-and-mighty bully attitude may stem from that spontaneous caught-in-the-act scene whereby Kodaka found out she was talking to herself. And I would probably guess that her imaginary air friend is also made up on the spot, seeing her body reactions and all. Although I might be inclined to say she is talking to herself instead of Tomo-chan. Ugh, duh… To put it in other words, it’s like thinking to herself aloud but making as though she’s interacting with someone else instead of herself. Get what I mean? In view of this, does this mean Yozora is like having another personality? Not so far as to say a split personality because she only acts this way when she is with her club members. I mean, she has no friends so there won’t be anybody to confirm if this is how she usually acts. But really, I’d love the way she uses her words to ‘bully’ Sena. It’s like she’s a natural when she comes to this. So if you say that Yozora and Sena can’t get along, you’re only half right. They do get along in a way because they always quarrel. If they really hated each other, they won’t even talk to each other or bother showing up in the club room. That’s why they are a good example of being frenemies. But mostly more towards the enemy side :). So the slightest opening chance, they’ll not hold back and let everything loose. Even in the next episode preview. At least they keep their squabbling to words and don’t get physical. Yozora’s swatter may be a little exception. What I mean was fist fights or pulling hairs.

Kodaka must really have a problem talking to others. It’s like his natural reflex for his face to contort and look like a scary delinquent whenever he talks to others. The only exception is when he talks to the club members. Maybe everybody should be part of this club so he won’t look so scary, eh? Otherwise, he’s just an ordinary guy, who is caught in the middle of just about everything and couldn’t be bothered to really fix it not because he doesn’t care but rather nothing would change. Why waste time and energy? He’s seen it all so it comes to no surprise. That’s why he could only watch on if Yozora and Sena keep bickering. That’s why he didn’t react like any lolicons out there when his sister strips naked in front of him. That’s why he has no qualms when a loli nun comes hugging him like her own daddy. Okay, maybe he may have some reaction to Rika’s horniness if she ever gets bold enough to cross the line. Speaking of which, that genius really is a pervert. And if you think rocket scientists are smart nerds, watching her will definitely change your perspective. Lots of guys would definitely want to experiment with her but I’ll say she’ll only allow Kodaka to do it on her :). Every time she starts going into her horny fantasy, her imagination is so wild that she could even turn you on. Serious. Her heavy breathing and stimulating screams are certainly most convincing. She can almost turn any subject into a something dirty. Is this what you call a genius? She can be the next porn star if she ever gets bored with science. Maria is annoying but because of her gullible character, it makes her funny and cute. No wonder Yozora loves tricking her because it’s easy to fool stupid people. I know Maria is still a kid (though she won’t admit it), but certainly she can’t be believing stuffs easily. Stuffs which are impossible if you have been living in this world. I mean, she’s not that all innocent either. She gets loudmouth and her favourite swear word is ‘poop’, which she will not hesitate to use on Yozora or Kobato. So when she gets tricked, she really deserves it. Aside Yozora and Sena, Maria and Kobato are the other pair of rivalry but seeing lolis quarrelling over a big brother isn’t as fun as the sarcasm and insults the older girls spew. Though Kobato acts like her favourite anime character in most of the time, I feel it’s to cushion to impacts of reality seeing she has to live only with her brother. It’s like running away from reality but I guess that beats having an air friend. Yukimura’s presence felt lagging. It feels like she’s just waiting in the background and not having much lively participation with the rest. Though she really does join in, just that because of her soft spoken nature, it doesn’t make her stand out more as compared to Yozora and Sena. The only thing funny about her is the tendency to take Kodaka’s orders to the extreme. Maria could’ve died being overfed and it was hilarious (in the next episode preview) that she got so traumatized by it that she doesn’t want to eat anymore!

Over to the romance side, you can tell that all the ladies here have a crush on Kodaka. It is not obvious and not stated anywhere in the anime but the way they interact with him surely hints so. So they may not be lovey-dovey or shy-shy when talking to him (some treating him like garbage, one like a sex object, another like a worshipping idol and the other like her total master), but don’t you feel that he is the reason why they are still in the club? If not for him, my guess is that the club could have been disbanded (since the club was created by Yozora with intentions to make Kodaka remember so him quitting won’t be an issue). But that is as far as the romance thingy would go. You don’t really see the girls fighting over him for his attention. Maybe the lolis do but not to an obsessive degree. You can say they have buranko (big brother fetish/love). If you were hoping for a love triangle to brew between Yozora and Sena over Kodaka (like me), you’d be disappointed. There are hints to see them concern when the other gets too close but that is about it. No cat fights pertaining to love that’s for sure. Because of this, one obvious thing that I realized about Sena is that she may be putting friendship first ahead of being in love. For instance when the gang were at the festival, when Yozora wanted to leave, Sena could have just let her go so that she could hog Kodaka. But she didn’t and went on to challenge her in the various stall games, giving the opportunity to Rika instead. Even for the private time she and Kodaka spent at the pool, it never crossed her mind it resembled a lot like a date and got flustered when that thought came up. Maybe she does want to make real friends after all. Being the board chairman’s only daughter isn’t easy when you have lots of guys flocking by your side putting up a facade just to get close to you and the other girls ostracize you due to your status. After all in the Neighbours Club, she gets to be herself. But at the rate she is going, she’s raking up more 2D girlfriends than real life ones… So with the lack of this kind of romance, can this series be considered a harem? Whether it is or not, Kodaka will have his hands full with a bunch of girls. It’s going to be tough with the only boy in the club.

There is something I want to say about the art and drawing. At first I thought the series was made by SHAFT because the characters especially the girls resemble closely to those in another anime series, Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Yes, I thought I am seeing shades of Erio, Meme, Ryuuko, Yashiro and Maekawa in the faces of Yozora, Sena, Rika, Maria and Yukimura. It was very close enough to make me think it was SHAFT but something else was lacking. The messy words and notes and the creative visuals that is this company’s trademark. Upon doing a little research, it isn’t SHAFT who made this series but rather AIC Build, the company who brought us Ore No Imouto Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai (on a trivial note, the characters from that series do make a cameo appearance. If you’re fast enough, you can see their backs during Rika’s flashback at the doujin convention). So maybe it is indeed just a coincidence that the characters from both series have this look. But even if they do, I could feel that I have seen similarities of the characters elsewhere. For example, I thought Yozora looked like Mio from K-ON! Only difference she is a bully and not a timid person. Sena I felt look like a cross between Seitokai No Ichizon’s Mafuyu, Fortune Arterial’s Erika and slightly from OreImo’s Kirino (especially her attitude). Then Kodaka reminded of Jun Satou from Working!! I was shocked and thought Misaki of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun had gone soft from a biri-biri tsundere when she appeared as Yukimura. Kobato’s goth loli fashion style made me remember Sola’s Mayuko while Rika had traces of Sawako of K-ON! And for Maria… She resembles a cross between that glutton sister in To Aru Majutsu No Index and Yashiro of Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Heck, all 3 characters are voiced by the same seiyuu! Coincidence? As for the fanservice, I would consider them mild but Rika’s crazy sex delusions may turn you on. If nobody stopped her, she may have hijacked the show and turned it into hentai :). So the ‘consistent’ place to get your fanservice fix is the mid-intermission in which a female character will be in a pose and a round mark with words “Haganai” (the abbreviated form of this series’ name) will appear somewhere on their body. An excuse to show some skin, I guess.

Marina Inoue as the voice of Yozora fits well as someone with an acid tongue discharging insults without hesitation. She is suitable playing girls-who-are-not-so-sweet like Chiri in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Kyouko in Skip Beat and Tsukimi in Sekirei. Kanae Itou as Sena was recognizable whenever she starts fawning over Kobato. That perverted mode had me thinking she might break out into that squid lover Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume. Okay, if she didn’t enter this mode, I’d still recognize her because I’m just fresh from watching her as Ohana in Hanasaku Iroha. Kana Hanazawa as Kobato isn’t in her full retard modes (sorry) that she usually plays like Shiro in Deadman Wonderland and Nessa in Fractale. But she still sounds convincing as a loli trying to live out her anime character in real life: Cute. And remember how I just said that Maria, Index and Yashiro are voiced by the same seiyuu? Yeah, she’s Yuka Iguchi and she doesn’t disappoint when she starts her loudmouth and screams. I think I’m starting to pigeonhole her for voicing roles like this. Misato Fuken as Rika definitely deserves high marks when she starts fantasizing or gets excited by the mere thoughts of something horny. Those cries of joy are certainly convincing that she’s really enjoying them. A departure from her other roles which are less ‘noisy’ like Utao in Kamisama Dolls, Yami in To Love-Ru and Eve in Black Cat. She was also as that succubus in Rosario To Vampire, Kurumu but she isn’t as horny as this one. Kodaka’s easy going nature must be because Ryohei Kimura used to voice characters of this nature like Eichi in Full Moon Wo Sagashite and Yuuki in Kimi To Boku. Newbie seiyuu Nozomi Yamamoto voices Yukimura (Rie Kaishou in UN-GO). Ayako Kawasumi makes a cameo as Akari but I didn’t recognize her because she was putting on a very girly voice and not the kind that I can identify like her role as Saber in Fate/Stay Night or at least Nodame in Nodame Cantabile. The fast paced opening theme is weird. Don’t ask. I don’t even know if the lyrics are trying to make sense of anything. Heck, even the animation is fluctuating between crazy (falling off the cliff!) and sexy (red ribbons anyone?). Entitled Zannen Kei Rinjinbu (Hoshi Futatsu Han) by the seiyuus of the 6 ladies of Neighbours Club. The ending theme is My Feelings by Marina Inoue and is a rock outfit. The amusing thing here is we see Yozora and Sena putting up a duet rock performance. While Sena is holding a real electric guitar (whether she can play it or not is a different story), we see Yozora playing her air guitar! Does she look convincing? And what’s with that sister getup in some of the scenes? It felt like Yozora was trying to seek forgiveness for her bullying ways from Mother Sena. Haha. That’ll be the day.

While most of us need friends in life to get through bad and testing times, I guess some of us don’t. I’m guilty for being part of that. Sure I don’t have many friends in life and even those in my early childhood days are all forgotten by now. I suppose there are many lonely hearts out there but do be careful the kinds of company you mix in even though there are many organizations that offer their assistance in becoming your friend like Befrienders. It doesn’t matter if you are in some weird club or plain normal organization, the emphasize of this series is to value that beautiful thing called friendship. When you do things together, you’d find more joy than doing it yourself. Have you ever wondered why meals taste good eating with somebody as compared as by yourself? Well, I won’t go as far as to say two is a company and three is a crowd… There are good friends who are always there in times of need and there are bad friends that get you off on the wrong foot. And then there are friends like these… For good or bad, better or worse. At least you can count on them being around. I thought of setting up a club like here to make some friends (partly to get around my nervousness when talking in public) but I discarded the idea because I envision it would turn into a harem. Like how I thought if this show would if it turned into one. Boku Wa Harem Ga Sukunai (I Don’t Have Enough Harems). So really, 2D girls don’t count? Hey, better than an air friend, right?

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