So many girls, so little time. I guess from the previous seasons, I have come to expect what this series is going to be about. However no matter how interesting and successful a formula is, it will eventually get old and boring. And though I wouldn’t find the act of Keima trying to conquer more girls to free their Loose Souls to be boring yet, let’s say that this fourth instalment (if you consider the double OVA episodes as the third season) very much shifts away from that formula. The World God Only Knows – Goddesses Arc, as the second title implies, it is more than just Keima trying to conquer girls. Heck, there aren’t any new girls to conquer. Without giving away too much, let’s just say that Keima now needs to re-conquer some of the girls he conquered. Woah. Wait a minute. Is that like trying to revisit and redo the conquest again? In a way, yes. Don’t jump the gun yet thinking that they are ripping us off with this God of Capturing having to revisit old flames again. There is more to it than meets the eye. Hey. The girls he conquered shouldn’t have memories of him so they wouldn’t really remember him, right? Right? Or not. What happens when that girl do retain memories of that conquest that led to their first kiss? It’s something Keima requires and needs all the galge experience to pull off. Because it’s not just them at stake. The world will be in danger if Keima doesn’t have them love him again. Complicated? That’s why we always stick to games when it comes to this, no?

Episode 1
Keima narrates his love for dating games and 2D girls and why 3D can’t be like them. Also the narration of the story so far and some of the girls he has conquered while we were not watching. They include Yui Goidou whom he swapped bodies with and learnt what it’s like to be a girl; Akari Kurakawa the mad scientist who disappeared without a trace; and Tsukiyo Kujou who loves everything beautiful that she turned into the size of a doll just to be beautiful. He has conquered a total of 14 girls. And now that Elsie is calling him for another conquest, he has to save his games and head out for his real life conquest. Meanwhile after a hard day’s work as an idol, Kanon requests some time to study but is shocked to see that alter ego of hers again, Apollo. But lively Apollo claims she is a goddess who could bless her and feels her powers are returning gradually. Kanon of course thinks she is so tired that she is seeing things. When Keima and Elsie go to school, they bump into Tenri who transforms into Diana. Noticing her halo on her head, she explains she is a goddess from Heaven. When there are demons, there are goddesses too, right? What does Diana want? Keima to marry Tenri! As Loose Souls feed on negative energy and goddesses require love to grow, she wants him to make Tenri happy so that her power will return. You think he’ll do that? Kanon returns to school since it’s the test and she is garnering everyone’s attention. However she is only focused on Keima who is pretty much focused on his galge at hand. Yes, he doesn’t give a damn about the test. In the toilet she tries to talk to Apollo about Keima but the latter knows she likes him, causing her to blush. She insists she isn’t in love with Keima. Really? Kanon with tsundere potential? But she seems to be remembering bits of pieces of being with Keima.

Diana waits outside school just to remind Keima to be closer with Tenri. He asks if her presence has something to do with the Loose Soul troubles they’re having. Apparently yes. The soul cycle involves Earth, Heaven and Hell. When people on Earth die, their soul goes to Hell to be purified before being sent to Heaven for restoration. But the ancient demons of Hell known as Weiss tried to corrupt humans to increase their power and rule all 3 worlds by decimating Heaven and turning Earth into a graveyard for souls. Of course the modern demons opposed it. Along with the goddesses, they banished Weiss who were once gods from Heaven. The goddesses who banished them were the Jupiter Sisters which Diana is part of. But the seal has been broken bringing the goddesses and Weiss back to Earth. As she wants to see her other sisters and forces Keima to help find them, she also explains to co-existence of goddesses and Loose Souls and by this logic, her sisters may reside in the girls that he has conquered. Keima doesn’t want to waste time looking for a needle in a haystack but she says there is a clue. If that girl houses a goddess, she will remember everything as their memories can complement the girl’s. Looks like he has to check it out. Meanwhile Apollo warns Kanon that she feels somebody is watching them. Kanon narrowly escapes being attacked and in her fear she thinks it’s only a figment of her imagination. Next day as she is taking the test, she sees her attacker and the first thing she did was to run up to Keima and hug him! She is the only one she can rely on. Imagine the scandal this will cause if this popular idol is seen hanging out with the dweeb. Oh wait, they’re already being seen. This is more interesting than the test, no? Keima confirms that she remembers everything, including the kiss. She then confesses she loves him. See? What did I tell you this is more interesting than the test. Keima takes her hand and run but Apollo materializes. She doesn’t need his help and goes off alone, leaving him stunned that a goddess resides in her. While trying to find a place to hide, she is attacked by the perpetrator whom he believes is an agent of Hell. She is stabbed and the purpose of the attack is because as long as the sisters are around, Hell can never be revived back to its glorious days.

Episode 2
Before Apollo gets trapped, she lets loose an insignia which serves as a warning to her sisters. The perpetrator wants to finish the job but Keima’s teacher, Nikaidou is there watching. Keima and Elsie are shock to see Kanon unconscious. They bring her back as Haqua tries to heal her. Elsie is reduced to a cry-baby and it’s surprising to see Keima very worried. He’s never looked like this before unless it has something to do with his galges. Haqua fails to do anything about the knife stabbed in Kanon as it is laced with forbidden ancient demon magic. There is a Vintage mark on it indicating this cult only knows how to use this strong magic. Thanks to the goddess’ power, Kanon is kept alive otherwise normal humans would have died. But there is a limit. Only a week till Kanon dies. Keima is serious in wanting to save Kanon. Therefore he wants all the information he can get. As Diana’s power alone is insufficient to extract the magic, Keima thinks with the combined help of her other sisters, there is a chance. There are 6 sisters in total. Diana will go into hiding and doesn’t want to be contacted unnecessarily. What is the next step? Idol training for Elsie. Say what? This is to replace Kanon. Thanks to the magic disguise, she fooled everyone. This means Haqua becomes Elsie. I guess Keima needs a competent assistant. He’s serious. Next, Keima makes a prank call to his mom that her husband is in trouble so she leaves immediately for South America. Hey wait. I thought she loathes her husband? Anyway with her out of the house for weeks, Keima will be able to focus better. Thanks to Kanon’s confession, this makes it easier for Keima to search. It is already said the goddesses could be housed in any of the females he conquered. If that girl still remembers him, she will still be mad due to the confession. And here comes Chihiro pouring hot coffee over his head! Her hand slipped? Suspect #1. In class, Ayumi kicks Keima so hard that his mark is left on the wall. See? So fast we’ve got suspect #2. Keima goes around talking to the rest of the conquest and has narrowed down the list. He feels those who are hosting the goddess are closer to him and in the same grade as others like Mio and Kusunoki totally have no recollection. He narrows down the suspects to 5: Chihiro, Ayumi, Tsukiyo, Shiori and Yui. The assumptions he makes might be far-fetched but he has to work on all the information he has right now. He is so serious that he decides to stop being God. Now he will be the devil.

The plan now is to awaken the goddesses’ power and that is to fuel it with love. Since the girls are feeling down after the Kanon rumours, the goddesses’ power lay dormant. He needs to make them fall in love with him again and conquer them all at the same time. Impossible? Remember how he plays his galges simultaneously? First he goes up to Ayumi to apologize and confess he is the only one for her. But she kicks him and runs away. Suspicious? Next, he does the same to Chihiro but she ignores him and walks away, though there is a hint of anger seen in her. At the lab, he encounters Tsukiyo who doesn’t recognize him. Keima is suspicious because this might be her way of being mad. He continues being persistent by being by her side at the rooftop. Suddenly Ayumi walks in so he pushes Tsukiyo to hide. A love triangle at this point will be difficult. But Tsukiyo elbows him and runs away, telling him she doesn’t want to see his face. Instantly Keima knows she remembers everything because that is not what a stranger would say. As for Shiori at the library, the sight of him has her hiding her face behind her book, not wanting to make eye contact. Obviously. The question is whether she still loves him or not. Keima gets a surprised when Yui wants to know him. She is dressed as a boy due to the lingering effects of the last conquest when they swapped bodies. Keima is certain she doesn’t remember but she pulls him to lie on her lap and she wants to know him better. Yui confesses she likes him and doesn’t care about the Kanon rumours! How odd! How does it feel to be confessed now? Haqua didn’t like this unholy act and kicks Keima in the head. Maybe next time, Yui. That night, Chihiro calls Elsie but Keima picks it up. He feigns that Elsie wants to walk with her home after class. This is part of his plan for the next stage as the stage for searching for hosts is done.

Episode 3
Keima explains the basics 101 of walking home with a girl after school. Yeah. Look at that tight schedule. He’s a dating pro, remember? With Haqua keeping her 2B Pencils band mates Chihiro, Ayumi, Yui and Miyako at practice session, Keima tries to deal with Tsukiyo first. She is persistent in not acknowledging him. After playing the fundamental 3Fs (Follow, Fool and Finisher), he manages to get her permission to see her in her astronomy lab on Sunday. I guess Haqua was too good in practice so it ends early. She couldn’t stop Ayumi and Yui from leaving. Keima rushes back but trips. He sees Yui entering her limo. I guess his schedule is screwed up now. Since Ayumi and Miyako are there, he puts her his next priority. However Miyako seems to be like a third wheel, especially bringing up that Kanon rumour which doesn’t sit well with Ayumi. He is about to ignore Miyako and confess to Ayumi but spots Chihiro and Haqua walking nearby. After entering a building and taking recovering steps, Keima finally nails it to Ayumi. He doesn’t care what she says, he will continue to be with her. This left her stunned. Haqua takes over as Keima goes to be with Chihiro now. He accompanies her at the music store. He compliments the song that she wrote but she gets embarrassed and leaves. Next up is Shiori. This should be easy as she is alone in the closed library. Haqua distracts her so that Keima could browse through her notebook. To his surprise, she wrote some sci-fi story and herself as the protagonist so much different than in real life. Is this the real her? Total opposite. Oh, there is this guy in the story that resembles Keima. It’s him.

The story is very much like the conquest they had, only their roles reversed. This confirms Shiori remembers. But when the scene is about to get to the kissing part, several blank pages later, suddenly Keima dies and Shiori didn’t feel sad or anything! Hmm… Must be the Kanon rumour. Shiori is embarrassed to see Keima read her story. He has made some amendments that he lives but Shiori rewrites them again. The story relay goes on with Shiori having him dead and he revives himself. Till Keima finally writes he wants to be with her even more that she gets embarrassed and runs away. That’s it for today. Outside, he spots Yui trying to peek into the library. She saw him when she was in the limo and came back. Because Yui is being proactive in wanting to date Keima, he tries to take control of the situation and be the one who leads. Yui has been observing Keima and knows he puts up the same expression with Chihiro and Ayumi. Trying to be a Playboy? She gives him a present which turns out to be a girl’s school uniform. It’ll be troublesome if people see 2 ‘guys’ dating, right? Yui isn’t going to wear it. She wants to teach him the true meaning of love. Thanks to Shiori’s exit as distraction, Keima makes his escape. He certainly had enough for today. Next day, Keima is about to leave home for his dates but Nora is at the door. She has a message for Elsie. Keima becomes a retard and suck up to Nora so he could squeeze information out from her. Since the bureau of Hell has given new orders to find the goddesses hiding on Earth. Keima wants Haqua to remain here and be on good terms with Nora to extract as much information as possible. Also, don’t let her find out about Kanon. He is going out to the library now. He needs to move fast because the days are counting down and Kanon has not much time left.

Episode 4
Haqua couldn’t stop Nora from leaving. Because the miasma from Kanon is seeping out badly, she goes to check on her. Nora finds out about this. It was just a decoy so that Haqua could lead her to it. She forces Haqua to explain what’s going on. Keima is at the library and seems he has the permission to read Shiori’s story. Now it’s some medieval fantasy? He scores it right when she allows him to read the rest of the story. After she leaves, the library turns dark and the shelves and books attack him. When he prepares to take the attack, it stops. Realizing the culprit doesn’t want him dead, he deduces it can’t be Vintage or a demon. He sees Tsukiyo’s doll, Luna. This confirms that the Jupiter Sister, Vulcanus resides in Tsukiyo. She wants Keima to stop seeing Tsukiyo. She doesn’t want a filthy animal to be with her beautiful Tsukiyo. Not after he is seen trying to two-time her with that librarian. Luna tries to get the paper proof of their fling but it was just a distraction so Keima could run out to the rooftop where he finds Vulcanus. She explains she has a weak body and poor senses but the ability to put her soul into objects and control them. Keima wants to talk to Tsukiyo and he has his chance. He understands she is mad because he never came to see her as promised. She remembered everything from the conquest after all. Keima continues to be persistent and try to worm his way into Tsukiyo’s heart despite all the benches Luna threw at him. Tsukiyo mentions she was happy being alone till he showed up. Keima instantly hugs her but was punched in the face when he mentions that fate crap. But he hasn’t given up yet. He wants to kiss. It will solve everything. After getting pounded even more, he doesn’t care what punishments he will receive. He needs her to love him a little longer so that he could protect her. The world is filled with beautiful things and to find them together. That was enough to convince Tsukiyo to stop Luna from attacking. However Luna lost control of her power and slams a bench on his head. Ouch. Tsukiyo believes in him and kisses his cheek. Angelic sprouts out from her back.

When Haqua mentions that the Loose Souls squad won’t prevent ancient Hell from being revived, Nora mentions that Vintage may have planted agents in the squad. Who do you think the orders came from? Keima and Vulcanus return home. However Diana is bothered. Vulcanus’ wings are proof that her power has returned. This means Keima must have done some special act of love with her, right? You jealous? Plus, Vulcanus has Keima carry her and even tells him not to speak to other woman even if they are her sisters. Can we cut the chatter and save Kanon first? Vulcanus and Diana combine their power take out the knife and remove the curse. However Kanon is not waking up and is seen ‘submerged’ in water. The goddesses note it is a desperation act from Apollo to protect herself. They can’t do it and only Apollo herself must recover her power. They think their other sister Mercurius would know what to do but Keima is not happy because this might lead to a wild goose chase. Like in those RPG games, huh? Nora thinks of reporting this to get a medal but Keima makes a deal with her to hide this information for a week. Later, Haqua apologizes to Keima for being useless. She was the top of her class and she failed. Keima is okay with it but she isn’t. Diana interrupts them and wants Keima to kiss her. Then she hugs him and pushes him away. So want to kiss or not? She feels guilty that she might be the cause why her wings couldn’t spread. Tenri has loved him for 10 years and yet she her powers didn’t recover as fast as Vulcanus. She realizes it’s her fault for thinking Keima as a perverted animal. She will try to be good to him now and wants to engage in the ritual of love. Not so fast. Because now it’s Haqua’s turn to interrupt. Can they argue somewhere else instead of stepping all over him? Keima apologizes to Diana. It is his fault that she hasn’t recovered her power yet. We might not see the act of love they did but we see how satisfied and happy Tenri was and the wings that sprout from her back.

Episode 5
Keima wants Vulcanus to go home first while he finds the other goddesses. This is to minimize the risk of being attacked by Vintage. He gives her a tag made by Haqua. It’s like some sort of distress signal when she tears it off. Vulcanus leaves so Tsukiyo can lead a normal life but she’s still wary of Keima’s womanizing ways. Later Yui is seen outside Keima’s house but he ‘chases’ her away that he doesn’t like persistent people. He now shifts his priority to conquer her. He thinks a goddess is controlling her because her personality is different. Yui used to be an obedient rich girl. He needs a major event that Yui won’t expect. At school, Yui spots a lovely girl and goes after her. Could it be… COULD IT BE!!! OMG! It’s Keima cross-dressed! He really did it, huh? Yui is happy. This is part of Keima’s plan to be the heroine and be conquered as if he tries to be the hero, it won’t go anywhere. He has conquered many 2D girls so he knows all the different routes to play. Keima continues to act like a shy girl hanging out with her. Then he surprises her by asking to go out on a date. This causes Yui to fluster and run away. She’ll think about it. Wasn’t she the one who was bugging him for a date? Keima explains that this is the real Yui and not the goddess. Because in their previous conquest, they switched bodies, he is trying to invoke her memories of the time spent in her body. While Yui is trying to calm herself down in the toilet, suddenly the Jupiter Sister, Mars awakens from her slumber. Think you’re seeing things? Yui can’t be bothered to entertain this goddess of war as she needs to think about the date with Keima. And so she meets Keima at the park and even brings along an appropriate dress for him to wear. A butler and his milady? Keima also cooks for her but it sucks. On purpose. Because she has been accustomed to good rich food and won’t be surprised. She likes his home cooking. As she goes to buy drinks, Mars talks to her and decides to support her in her battle of love. Several punks try to hit on Keima. Seriously. They’ve got such a bad taste. Yui tells them to go away and unwittingly just the slightest touch, she sends one of them flying. Keima thanks her and she hugs him.

Next, they enter a castle attraction where they dress up as a prince and princess and go through floors in some adventure. Along the way they got separated so Yui looks for him. In a room, she sees a hooded character holding unconscious Keima hostage. She wants her to reveal the other goddesses or say goodbye to Keima’s life. Yui tries to push the evil character away but the mere touch repels her. It is then Mars materializes and she shreds the hooded person’s clothes into bits. It’s Haqua! Close to naked! Before she runs away in shame, she beats up Keima and will get back to him for this. Seems this is part of his plan to use a fake crisis to invoke Mars. At least it’s better than a real crisis. Keima continues his act that he doesn’t like being saved by a heroine. Yui replies that it’s a girl’s job to protect weak boys. They kiss and her wings sprout. While Yui is a very happy girl (or guy, depending how you look at it), Mars wants to fight and defeat Weiss. Keima tells her that her powers are not as strong as they used to and to take the tag. Mars agrees to restrain herself and be on their best behaviour. Till then. On their way back, just when Keima is talking about a real attack from Vintage, he almost gets devoured by a giant eel! Look who is back? Elsie! I totally forgot about her. Something about her stage show being cancelled so she’s back to cook dinner. I guess Keima doesn’t even want to taste it. Not even treating her nicely after she’s gone for 5 days? Besides, he tells it to her bluntly that it’s because of her absence that he manages to find 3 more goddesses. True, isn’t? It shows how useless she is…

Episode 6
Shiori recently recognizes this beast that is possessing her: Love. She is confused about Keima. From looks of it, he’s a jerk, pervert and cross-dresser and the worst part is that she shared her first kiss with him. To top that, he broke his promise and never came back to read her work. Shiori thought she saw Minerva (one of the Jupiter Sisters) but this led her to Keima sitting in the library. He’s cross-dressed… How she wishes the god of romantic encounters would just die… She is surprised that he is here to read her story so she lets him stay. He thought he was boring her why he is cross-dressing so she suggests talking and telling more about himself. He wants to do that as they walk home. She hopes he will come tomorrow as she wants to write a story of him being the protagonist. Of course this is part of Keima’s plan. He calculated she has trouble finishing her stories because she lacks confidence in her material. Once she does, her affection level will be maximum. However come next day, she hasn’t even wrote a single word! Thus Keima is forced to stay with her till she writes one as the deadline is tomorrow. This is the only way because she might try to escape otherwise. While Keima waits by her side, Shiori starts thinking what she wants to write. Sci-fi again? Let the universe be in peace. How about Keima? How much does she know about him? She tries to find inspiration from other books but got tempted and wasted time. So much so, the Keima in her imagination starts questioning her if she’s going to write. She is after all the author. She even wonders if everything and that kiss was just a figment of her imagination.

Just when her confidence is low, the real Keima tells her she has to ability to write stories. Stop thinking. Start writing. There are many different stories in the world but he is only interested in hers. Write about yourself. A girl who loves books and lives in a library. That’s the story he wants to read. Shiori thinks that would be boring and slightly got distracted by Minerva. When she turns back, Keima is gone. It made her realize that time when Keima kissed her was real. Then she picks up her pen. She narrates her story. The books she read this week, some fun, some boring, etc. She also talks about her library committee friends and the role of books to others. In the end, she wrote “I love you, Keima”. Of course he read that and for that short period, Shiori transforms into Minerva. The loli sister flusters about talking to stranger. When Shiori is back, she is embarrassed to know he has read it. She tries to take her writings back but Keima grabs hold of her. He says their story isn’t over and pecks her on her cheek. Then he gives her a tag as a ‘present’ to wear. The clincher that has her heart fluster is when he says he wants to see her every day. She is left speechless. After he leaves, she sees Minerva but still couldn’t believe that loli before her eyes. As we see wings sprout from her back, Shiori has found her little confidence today because she has found her voice.

Episode 7
Elsie is doing a fine job impersonating Kanon but in between she just slacks. As for Keima, he has been hit with a flu. It gets worse when Nora sends her buddy Ryou to watch over him. Keima starts his sick event by calling Ayumi so that she would visit him. Not wanting Chihiro to clash at the same time, he tells her reasons not to come. True enough, Ayumi visits him and she sees Keima sprawled on the floor. He really acts sick too so Ayumi has no choice but to put him back in his room. His plan to max her affections for him with some close encounters is working well till Chihiro shows up at the door. It doesn’t help when stupid Ryou ushers her in. Well, he was told to inform him of any girls coming, right? Keima can’t let both friends see each other or else it will be bad ending. He forces Ayumi to hide under the blanket. Ayumi’s only breather is when Chihiro leaves the room to get something but even so, the affection level for her is dropping because despite what Keima says that Chihiro is here for Elsie, her words indicates that she is here for him. Chihiro realizes the thickness of his blanket. Was he that cold? She turns up the temperature. I think Ayumi is dying underneath. Chihiro tells him she has completed the song but without the lyrics yet. Keima wants her to play her song in hopes to increase her affection level despite knowing he’ll lose some of Ayumi’s. He is impressed with it. Happy with his answer, she leaves. By that time, Ayumi is close to passing out and her clothes drench in sweat. She beats him up for being a pervert. Just when Keima is going to nail the clincher with Ayumi, Chihiro returns but stops short outside his door. She confesses she likes him. Keima is taken aback but pretends not to hear. Because he can’t let Ayumi leave so soon, he fakes pain (because she beat him up) to make her stay. Later he excuses himself to the toilet. He has miscalculated Chihiro’s affection level and to further complicated things, they’re both close friends. His only option is to choose one and go all in. He decides to stick with Chihiro and calls her but she isn’t picking up. It’s because Ayumi calls her and heard about rumours she confessed to Keima. She did admit doing that so Ayumi says she has found her true love and will root for her. Keima’s feigning can’t make Ayumi stay anymore. Because if he is still in pain, she’ll get Chihiro for him. Keima couldn’t understand she isn’t angry anymore, what more mentioning Chihiro’s name. He has a bad feeling about this. Chihiro wonders if Ayumi was in the room with Keima.

Episode 8
Haqua and the rest of the Loose Souls squad are in a meeting with their bureau chief. Haqua suddenly asks about Vintage and goddesses rumour in which the chief replies that Heaven have not informed them that those residents in question are goddesses and all those in Loose Souls squad are thoroughly screened. Haqua feels she is thinking too much and puts her faith in the chief. Suddenly the Public Safety squad arrests her. Meanwhile Diana wakes up Keima to gather her sisters because she wants Apollo to perform a divination. First thing, the sisters are glad to reunite with each other but they soon end up fighting over Keima. Sister or not, when it comes to a guy… Keima brings them up to where Kanon lies and is told that they have to be careful because if they’re not, the spell will cause Kanon to become water permanently. The only option is to ask Apollo to stop the spell herself. The sisters combine their powers and Keima suddenly finds himself submerge and into a new world, a world of oracles. He sees Apollo and it seems she is busy praying as the Weiss is gaining ground. However she is fighting a losing a battle since she is only a holy maiden that can change the flow a little and has only 3 days left. Keima tells her off about there is no such thing as luck in true conquest. Kanon appears and believes in him because she was once saved by him. When Keima returns to his own world, the sisters are tired out and couldn’t believe they couldn’t summon Apollo. Keima realizes his illness is gone. Elsewhere, Haqua sits in prison and is furious she is being treated like a prisoner. Nora pays her a visit and mentions the stupid thing she did by asking that in public. She thought she wanted everyone to know and make it hard for Vintage to move around. Nora then lets her think what if Vintage had planted somebody in the higher ups. Only the chief has the authority to move the Public Safety squad, right? Nora leaves to make her own preparations. She won’t help Haqua who has no money or connection. Is Nora part of Vintage too? She lets Haqua hanging…

On the day before the cultural festival, while Ayumi is chosen to be the pageant candidate for the class, Keima thinks deep about the remaining goddess. It is clear Chihiro remembers the conquest but why would Ayumi visit him? He needs to be control in all of the flags as he can’t conquer either of them if flags he can’t anticipate are triggered. Keima puts his plan in motion by bumping into Chihiro. But to his surprise that she is the one who asks him to be her date for the campfire after he thanks her for visiting yesterday. But he needs to really confirm so he talks to Ayumi and wants to show her his move on Chihiro. Walking up to Chihiro, he mentions about something good if 2 people bring the same thing. Chihiro gives him her guitar pick. This is his plan to see how Ayumi reacts one last time. Because if she is mad after seeing Chihiro with him it means she still has some level of affection and hosting a goddess. Keima tells Ayumi he plans on kissing Chihiro today. Ayumi is calm and just tells him to be nice to her. Chihiro and Keima meet up to see the pageant. Ayumi is on stage as she sees Chihiro and Keima leave for somewhere less crowded. Keima needs to kiss Chihiro and bring out her affection level but fears Vintage might attack and thus wants to find a spot without anybody. What’s it with these people because there seems to be everybody everywhere. Even the supposed secluded spot is filled with couples! Keima is about to give up but since Chihiro really wants to find somewhere without others, the duo walk hand in hand away. Lastly, Haqua is to be punished for treason.

Episode 9
Ayumi doesn’t want to attend the after-party of the pageant. She happens to see Keima and Chihiro going up to the rooftop. Keima is acting like the shy guy just to prompt a kissing scene. At first Chihiro is reluctant but relents. She wants him to be gentle because this is her first kiss. Say what? Her first? Does this mean she doesn’t remember the conquest? Looks like she is telling the truth. And so the last goddess, Mercurius resides in Ayumi as we see. Keima thinks she can end this route and switch over to Ayumi but he wonders how he’ll explain it to her since it is Chihiro who was always taking the initiative. When Chihiro says she loves him, Keima expresses shock he didn’t know she likes him. She always made fun of him so how could he believe that she really likes him? And then she kisses him. She asks if he likes her. No. Eh? Keima says he only did this to get back at her because she always made fun of him. And you think this galge lover would fall in love with a real girl? Get real! I can feel Chihiro’s heartbreak. Ayumi who has heard everything confronts the jerk. Keima tries to switch over to Ayumi’s route but before he can say who he truly cares about, her knee reaches his gut. You’re the worst! So Keima soaks in his bathtub pondering what has happened. He doesn’t need another distracting because Diana is here and wants him to love Tenri and bring out her wings. Eh? I thought they did this already? She feels she has really fallen in love with him and that is inexcusable since he’s supposed to be Tenri’s fiancée. She believes her guilt is what’s curtailing the power of Tenri’s love. She gets desperate and undresses herself. Don’t worry, she’s in a swimsuit. However Tenri is too shy so both ladies exchange some cryptic message about being with Keima that pisses him off. He tells them to get out. He’s already feeling lousy after what he did to Chihiro. When he comes out, he sees Tenri sitting at the stairs, she performs a few magic tricks for him. She says the Keima she loves is the one always playing his games. That’s why she doesn’t want him to worry about her. She’ll find a way to bring back Diana’s wings so keep playing his games and smile. Keima smiles and thanks her.

On the day of the festival, Keima goes to see Chihiro’s band practice but nobody is around. Elsie has returned too and I guess all that celebrity treatment has her talking like one. Then it hit Keima. He never realized his school’s emblem was a goddess. He has Elsie take him to the theatre, which is the oldest building in the school. The hole he dug 10 years ago with Tenri is gone. Then he has her take him to the seaside. That hole in the cave is gone too and it looks like somebody sealed it off rather than being covered up naturally. Noticing pointy rocks in the sea, now he has Elsie turn them invisible to go behind it. He notices the strange wave formation and dives in. They are surprise to see an opening inside. Even shocking is something ominous. Like as though a big bad experiment is going on. Elsie’s alarm goes off so Keima tells her to fly and get away from here as far as possible. Unknown to them, Nikaidou and Limuel are watching them. It seems they removed the barrier just for them without letting the occupants inside the rock know. Because if the duo are captured, they’ll be at a disadvantage. Back at school, Elsie mentions that egg-like things are mature Loose Souls and the black figures belong to Vintage. Raising a Loose Soul without a host? Keima then makes the connection. Their goddess emblem. The hexagon shape of the emblem. The sealed passageway. An operation beneath a huge rock. Something big is about to happen here. What does it mean? It means it has nothing to do with him! He wasted time on an empty route?! What if the Loose Souls get out? That’s Elsie’s job, right? I’m sure she can handle it. Because right now all he has to do is proceed with the conquest. Keima confronts Ayumi.

Episode 10
Ayumi acts first. A kick in the gut. This doesn’t deter Keima. Now he becomes the cafe master of his class because Ayumi is the waitress. He tries to sweet talk her and it could have worked if Chihiro had not come into the scene. She sees how close they are. Although Ayumi warns Keima never to talk to her again, he continues so as not to give her time to think. Chihiro swaps shift with Ayumi. She mentions about being rejected by Keima. Although she was serious, I guess things weren’t right. She hopes Ayumi would stop talking about her to Keima. Meanwhile, Lune, a member of Vintage is down at the festival downs preparing to go on a goddess hunt. She tags Ayumi. Keima is looking for Ayumi but bumps into Chihiro. Then he tells her straight. Any route he chooses to conquer Ayumi, Chihiro will be in the way. He wants her to form an alliance and cooperate with him. Slap! Still persistent? Face kick! Chihiro beats Keima to talk to Ayumi. The latter wanted to apologize she was never rooting for her. Because when Keima broke her heart, all she could think of was him. Keima tries to interrupt the conversation when his tag rings. Vintage members surround and capture them. Not only them. All other goddess hosts have been rounded up. Thankfully here comes Haqua to rescue Keima and the girls. She looks more power up and badass. Flashback reveals she was secretly smuggled out from Hell by the chief. Her dismissal and punishment announcement is so that Vintage won’t act and kill her. Chief explains a battle between good and evil in Hell long ago. It made the place uninhabitable. When new Hell was constructed, nothing below the surface changed. It’s time to end it. She gives Haqua the Scythe of Testament that was only given to nobles. Because she is no longer part of Loose Souls squad, she operates outside the law, she is the only one who can save new Hell. Chief wants her to save Earth and protect the goddesses.

Haqua easily dispatches the Vintage minions with her new speed and agility. When things are okay, Keima wants Haqua to play along that they are part of some film club doing some acting and special effects. At least they believed it. Haqua explains that Vintage hacked into her data to obtain information on the goddesses. Keima tries to call the other goddesses but none picks up. Haqua also lets him know that all of the goddesses have been attacked. However they don’t know which one is hosting the goddesses so they capture all the girls Keima has conquered. Ayumi leaves the scene but Keima allows her since this is crucial to her conquest. He wants Haqua to protect her without her noticing. But who will protect Keima? Nora offers to help not because she wants to because she doesn’t like Vintage messing around in her area. Keima has Nora watch Ayumi while Haqua to protect him and drags Chihiro back to his home. They notice Kanon/Apollo has been taken too but not ever goddess has been taken yet. Here comes Diana. She saw strange figures abducting Kanon and lay low. Tenri was spared because Nora was the one who captured her Loose Soul (from the last OVAs) so she isn’t a suspect. Keima makes a quick call to Elsie and seems the airhead is doing fine. Less one thing to worry. Haqua has done her research before returning to Earth. Seems Vintage wants to revive ancient Hell. They are going to use that rock as a portal to open and release all the Weiss here. Beyond that rock also exists a space-time gap that separates Earth and Hell. There also sits East Greda Fortress, the seal the goddesses placed. Vintage intends to abandon that barren world and replace Earth as their Hell. And tomorrow they’ll put their plan in action. Gee, that’s not much time left, isn’t it? Haqua and Diana want to play heroine and stop it but Keima says no. Because nobody will be able to stop it if war breaks out. They can’t let this turn into a war. The only option left is to conquer Ayumi and bring all the goddesses together. Because Vintage would have killed them had they interfere but they did not and tried to capture them. This means they still have a chance. Keima hears Chihiro eavesdropping outside. She wonders what they are going to do with Ayumi. Just in time. Chihiro gets a call from Ayumi. Keima picks it up and says he will confess his love to her. Then he has Diana guard the house, Haqua follow him and Chihiro once more being dragged along.

Episode 11
Lune’s superior doesn’t want the goddesses to be killed but it seems she’s not interested in listening to their order. Keima meets Ayumi when she is bathing. It’s going to be hard to sweet talk her but you won’t know if you don’t try. In addition to being splashed hot water, he gets punched because somehow he got her panties. Don’t ask. He wants her to meet her at the river to tell her something. Please come. If you want your panties back. As he waits, Haqua explains to Chihiro about Vintage and why Keima is targeting Ayumi. Ayumi arrives and there are some close moments. However they have to move because Vintage is heading their way. Wherever they go, Vintage is around. They’ve swarmed the area. Keima does a good job in distracting Ayumi while Haqua fends them off. While resting outside the convenience store, they come into contact with Lune. She is about to follow them but Nora cuts in between to introduce herself. Lune flies away. As being out in the open is too risky, their only way is to take shelter indoors but Keima doesn’t want his confession ruined in a building. Can’t be picky, can’t we? So they end up in Miyako’s home nearby. Keima wants to know what Chihiro is up to because he needs only 5 minutes and a big event to end this. He doesn’t need such detours. Chihiro doesn’t want Keima to treat this like a game. Though she is still sore over her rejection and heard everything from Haqua, she will help him to make it up to him. Chihiro tries to talk in a way to let Ayumi have Keima but it is only making it worse by making her feel guilty. When Miyako suggests trying out their band uniform, Chihiro gets to speak to Ayumi privately. Asking if she really likes Keima, then she replays the recording of what Keima said about the detours and such. She warns Keima is a liar and is playing a game to seduce her by tonight. Keima is not pleased she ruined his plan. Now you can see him try to talk his way out of this. When Chihiro says only idiots like them are only fooled by this scumbag, Ayumi gives Keima a hard slap for the lies and runs away. Miyako forces Keima and Chihiro to clean up before leaving. It is then Chihiro tells him that if he truly wants Ayumi’s heart, he must truly love her because she is an honest person and is confused right now.

Nikaidou talks to Limuel about how they were pretending to guard Elsie as the fake Kanon to draw Vintage’s attention away from the real one. Seems they have realized it last minute and now many of the goddesses have fallen into their hands. It’s all up to Keima now. Haqua wonders why Chihiro ruined everything. Actually she wanted to destroy the love triangle between them. With that, Chihiro is out of the picture and now it boils down to just them. Keima realized it right away because she did not mention about Haqua or Vintage. Suddenly Keima appears before Ayumi on a white horse! Is this a joke? The real world means nothing to him. He lives in the ideal world and refuses to be someone he is not. He will only show her his perfect side. Ayumi throws down the ultimatum. If he is serious about her, he should marry her. Can’t do it? He will but there are certain criteria to fulfil like being childhood friends, proposal and a kiss. Since they don’t have the childhood friends part, Keima accuses her of not being serious. Oh, she’ll show him that she’s serious. She drags him home to introduce him to her parents! Shocking to find your daughter suddenly bring home a man? He’ll have it no other way so Keima gives her a wedding gown and confesses she loves her. However she isn’t convinced since he sounds insincere. He repeats his lines. She beats him up. Her dumbfounded parents decide to go back to sleep. Yeah. Maybe they’ll wake up thinking this is just a dream. This cycle goes on for 10 minutes till Ayumi confesses to him. That is how a sincere confession is done. Then she rushes out because if they’re going to get married, it has to be a romantic place, right? Nora warns Haqua that Vintage is closing in but gets stabbed. However as pointed out by Ryou, it is only a decoy. As instructed by Nora, he has been placing many decoys around the place and the real Nora is closely watching over Ayumi. They are given veils to hide themselves. Suddenly Lune appears before them. Haqua will take care of her so Keima and Chihiro can go to Ayumi.

Episode 12
It’s a close between Haqua and Lune with the latter being a sadistic maniac. Chihiro wonders why Keima doesn’t just tell Ayumi the truth because that’s all it takes. He realizes that this might be what they devised and the reason Ayumi is being aggressive. Keima meets Ayumi on the ship at the seaside park. He says he has given up and will tell her everything. However there is a condition. She can only asks a question and the rest will have to wait. So what’s her first question? Does he love her? No. That was straight up. Does this mean he has been lying to her? That’s a second question. Ayumi beats him up and knows he has a reason to do all this. She’ll do her best to help him but he refuses. He is not doing this so people could love him as he is only trying to reach an ending. He won’t let anyone take responsibility of this gamer’s love. He then tells Ayumi he loves her. They proceed with the wedding but Ayumi doesn’t want to exchange vows because anything he says can’t be trusted. Right? However she trusts his feelings. She decided to do so if he came here. He doesn’t want her to take such conquests lightly so she hits back that she doesn’t want others to manipulate her feelings. She is the one to decide to fall in love with him. As she kisses him, her angelic wings sprout. Just in time. Because Vintage surrounds the area. Diana swoops down and grabs sleepy Mercurius from Keima’s arms to complete their mission. Looks like Tenri told her about the kiss so I suppose that’s why Diana has such large wings now. So it was all just in her head? Limuel and the rest of the Loose Souls squad pop up to fight the Vintage menace and take control of the situation. It’s time to regain their pride. Keima is surprised to see her because she is Akari. Well, the next part feels cheap because it feels fast forwarded. How the Loose Souls squad tear up the place inside the rock, destroy that hideous creature awakening, rescue the unconscious girls, awakened the goddesses who in turn free Apollo before sealing off the entire rock. I guess that part wasn’t so important, huh?

Because the more important pat now is Keima and Chihiro. To them, their part is over. She follows him home because she left her guitar back at his place. She’s got the concert gig for the festival. Seems the both of them have this reserved feelings on what they want to say to each other. Even their goodbye doesn’t sound convincing. Or at least it sounded sad to me. She wonders why he would date her. Was there something inside her too? No there wasn’t. She is ‘relieved’ because she wouldn’t want to end up in such a mess. Doesn’t sound so relief to say that. As for Haqua and Lune’s match, it ended in a draw. Lune senses her Vintage going down so she decides to call it quits and praises Haqua for putting up a good fight. At the band concert, only Chihiro and Miyako turn up. They’re going to go on with the show anyway. But in the last minute, Ayumi, Yui and Elsie turn up. Chihiro asks Ayumi on what she did. Whatever it was, she decided by her herself. When the band is a whole, Chihiro even advises the audience to tell them how they feel if they like someone. From experience, I guess. To her surprise, Kanon comes on stage. As thanks for helping out, she wants to sing with her. The performance goes on. But the most intriguing part is we see Keima moping alone. He regrets saying that heartbreaking line to Chihiro! That was not what he meant to say! OMG!  What does this mean?! His feelings for her were true?! Elsie narrates the aftermath.  All Vintage members are rounded up and their plan to revive ancient Hell is halted. The irony is that Nora is promoted to a section chief for helping defeating Vintage but since Haqua was ‘fired’ from the squad, she didn’t get anything. Not fair! As for Keima, he is back to normal playing his galge. But… Why the gloomy face? Why not happy seeing his 2D girls? He shuts down his games and heads outside…

Everybody Loves Keima!
This has been a very interesting season so far and it was really fascinating to see Keima weave his charming magic to conquer the girls once more. Therefore even if the girls are of those he has conquered (despite Tsukiyo and Yui being ‘new’ additions at least in terms of this anime), it doesn’t feel boring but as fresh as how he performed his conquest the way he does best. As this season is entirely focused on the goddesses’ arc, ironically it is Keima who is the one as the main focus. The first half of this season shows Keima identifying and conquering the goddesses with the remaining half dedicated to conquering the final goddess, Mercurius, who in turn doesn’t feel like anything important due to her lack of appearance and impact in the series. Therefore I find it ironic that the second half of this season to be mainly Keima-Chihiro-Ayumi affair because with Ayumi being the last host of the Jupiter Sisters, she was the first girl in the series that he conquered. And the first shall be the last? I am not sure if Keima has to continue help Elsie free more Loose Souls but the ending left me boggled. The part how Vintage was easily taken down wasn’t the one that felt cheap. I could accept it because after all, this series is about Keima and his conquest, right? You don’t need to see the goddesses doing their job and the rest of modern Hell coming back to kick ass. We all know that is going to happen anyway.

It is the part about Keima’s feelings. I am really curious to know if his true feelings were for Chihiro. From his body reactions in the last few scenes, I would definitely say that he does like her. Considering so, this means he has greatly shifted from his love of his thousands of 2D girls for a single real woman! That is an unbelievable change! And perhaps when Keima rejected Chihiro, maybe he was just putting up an act just for the sake of the conquest. So when his conquest with Ayumi ended, he just realized what he lost. Has he? I don’t know. I need another season to confirm this! Besides, Keima was absolutely different this season. I’m not talking about his suave conquest personality but his general personality as a human. Because you see him worry and take responsibility in something other than his galge. When he first put up such expression when Kanon was in danger, it made me think if this is the same guy I knew from the previous season. He takes on the responsibility to bring back the goddesses with his love. Partly because if ancient Hell takes over Earth, there won’t be time and place for his galges, right? Even if this is some speculated answer I come up with, it doesn’t feel that Keima is doing it for this reason. He genuinely wants to end this. It also got me thinking why he is so serious in taking up this conquest. Was it because when Kanon truly confessed to him, it hit him the impact of what being in true love really means? The clincher was when Chihiro confessed to him outside his door. So that’s why if it’s really Keima x Chihiro, I would never really see it coming. Also, he wasn’t so obsessed with his galges this time round as he is busy trying to re-conquer the girls. So when he started playing them in the end, I just felt it was odd since Keima has been gone so long without stuffing his face with his handheld. See? It proves he can survive without it, no?

It is still fun to watch Keima using her charm and suave lines to conquer the girl and even though sometimes it just feels cheesy and his acting was just pushing it (a nerd who only gives attention to his galges suddenly acts so shy in front of you like as though he wants to tell you something deep from his heart?), it proves that he hasn’t lost his touch. Furthermore, it shows that the girls are just normal high school girls. Every girl in a way wants to hear some guy sweet talk or say those cheesy romantic stuffs despite knowing this guy is a big dweeb. Or in the case for many of the girls in this series, they are just acting tsundere. They want the guy to take the lead. Because deep down inside them, they already know they like Keima in one way or another so it is just up to him to push the right buttons and make it convincing.

I don’t know if this is a good thing to say because with Elsie being out of the picture for the important parts, this allows Keima to do his job more efficiently. I know Elsie is not that useless but my perception from her from the past seasons is that she is some useless moe blob who only knows how to whine a lot to her kami-nii-sama. And he is the one who gets the job done. It’s like she doesn’t matter in this season. So by impersonating as Kanon, at least we see her do a decent job to fool others (hah, true Kanon fans can’t even tell her apart? What a shame to be called so). Therefore there was no love lost for me when Elsie wasn’t in the important parts. With Elsie’s part being replaced by Haqua, at least she shows some competence and a fresh change as Keima’s partner. Hmm… She isn’t as tsundere as I thought she would from her first appearance back in the second season. When the world is at stake, there are more important things to consider than your pride. I also thought that because Kanon got her own spin-off OVA prior to this season, it is the reason why she made limited appearances in this season and only reduced to an unconscious idol covered in water. You can’t have the limelight focus on you all the time, can’t you?

To sum up the romance in short for everyone, they love Keima for sure! Whether they remember the conquest or not but as we see they really have a special place in their heart for him. Sometimes it is hard to reach but with Keima pushing the right buttons and being the experienced and suave charmer he is, in no time it’s like falling in love all over again. For all the girls he conquered, the goddesses and even Loose Souls squad from Hell like Haqua, everyone loves Keima for sure. Okay, almost everyone. Like Nora who she sticks around him because she finds his weird ways fascinating is also an indication that she also likes him, right? A different kind of like. Just like how Elsie’s admiration for Keima is more of big brother than the girlfriend-wannabe type. This dude is so good that he has goddesses and hell girls liking him, a mere human (with god-like qualities perhaps?). Wow. I really need to start playing galges too. Because if powerful goddesses like the Jupiter Sisters start arguing over the right to be with Keima when they first reunite after a long time instead of saving the world or their imprisoned sister, it shows that Keima must be something important, right?

There is this mysterious presence to Nikaidou. From what we see here, she definitely has a connection to Hell and is more than just Keima’s homeroom teacher. Most of her screen time in this season is reduced to some watchdog especially looking out for Elsie while impersonating as Kanon. It’s a reason why Elsie didn’t really fall victim to Vintage’s scheme. Another mysterious character is Lune. She seems like going to be the main antagonist but when Vintage went down, she also went out of the picture. It is not sure if she has been captured like the rest or still at large. If it is the latter, then there is a probability that she might still harbour plans to revive ancient Hell. Still, I feel her character is somewhat under-utilized for this season because if I’m not mistaken, she was the one who set the ball rolling by stabbing Apollo in the beginning. Then you see her brooding and waiting from time to time till her ‘important’ bout with Haqua. Even that wasn’t really much and in a way a tad disappointing.

There are a handful of stuffs that I do not understand while watching the show. Maybe I was thinking too much or not paying enough attention. For starters, how on Earth did the Jupiter Sisters end up in those girls? How long have they been there? Because sealing Weiss was something they had done a long time ago and certainly those girls weren’t born yet, right? Assuming it is before Keima found and conquered them, a time when they had Loose Souls trapped within them, it also boggles me that the dormant goddesses’ power wasn’t enough to fend off those Loose Souls. I figured this is to be because the girls who host the goddesses retain their memory, right? This means the goddesses must have been inside their body when Keima began his first conquest on them. If the goddesses inhabited those girls after Keima’s conquest, then I don’t think they would remember the conquest ending with the kiss in the first place. So when Keima conquered them for the first time, shouldn’t he have awakened the power of those goddesses? Also, what was the connection of the school emblem with the bunch of stuffs that Keima said? I don’t get it. Was it some big clue that this big town was the key to revive ancient Hell? How? Why? Couldn’t they have chosen a less obvious place?

To show the seriousness of this series, the next episode preview is different than what we see from the first 2 seasons. There isn’t a still end card illustration or artwork at the end or some silly galge conquest-like narration (especially about Elsie’s infatuation with fire engine trucks – in which she still is, by the way) though the narration is still enough to be considered comedic. All the episodes are no longer named as Flags because as we know it’s not about Keima releasing Loose Souls but the goddesses’ power. Of course there are still some comedic parts to it but just to break some of the tension. Otherwise there are lots of those love drama and the likes.

All of the seiyuus of casts from the previous seasons are retained. Seiyuus playing the roles of the girls that host the goddesses also double up as both the girl and the goddess. After all, it’s like the same person inside of you, right? They look similar and their personality is also very much alike. Except for Ayumi and Mercurius. Maybe that is why it was hard to detect that goddess. Joining the new line-up include Yuka Iguchi as Tsukiyo/Vulcanus (she sounds a bit like Mako from Girls Und Panzer), Ayahi Takagi as Yui/Mars (Wakana in Tari Tari), Haruka Tomatsu as Lune (she sounds more like her monotonous character like Hitoha in Mitsudomoe) and Ai Shimizu as Akari/Limuel (really couldn’t recognize the voice of Mai-HiME’s Mikoto after haven’t hearing her for so long). Since I didn’t do it the last time in my Tenri-hen’s blog, here’s the roll call for those casts: Kaori Nazuka as Tenri/Diana (Nunnally in Code Geass), Megumi Toyoguchi as Nora (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist) and Takuma Terashima as Ryou (Stone River in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes).

Once more, the opening theme is so Enya-like with the lyrics as usual all in English. God only knows -Secrets of the Goddess- by Oratorio The World God Only Knows sounds like something similar to the opening themes of the first 2 seasons. Same singer, same style. The main ending theme for this season is Kizuna No Yukue sung by the seiyuus of the Jupiter Sisters. Actually there are 7 versions of this song. One song version per goddess and the final one being a group version of all the sisters singing together. The rest are one-episode-only ending songs like With…You… by Haqua’s seiyuu and Hitomi Kara Snow by Kanon’s seiyuu, both of which are slow anime pop ballads. Hajimete Koi Wo Shita Kioku ~Piano Bansou~ by Chihiro’s seiyuu isn’t really an ending theme but feels more like an insert song and is that new song Chihiro created. The duet of 2B Pencils and Kanon, the pop rock-like Hajimete Koi Wo Shita Kioku graces the final episode. So technically you have a different song for each episode (only the first and seventh episodes are without ending themes) and every main/important girl character this season has their share in singing them. And no, Elsie is not main or important this season ;p.

Love and dating both in real life and in games are pretty much similar to each other. Just that in the former you can’t hit a save button and redo when things go wrong. Otherwise if you think about it, trying to conquer/seduce/date a girl in real life in some ways is like a game. But don’t term it like that to your girlfriend because coining that term feels like you are not taking her seriously. Keima’s curious behaviour at the end also proves that a galge nerd can change even if it is just temporary and passing feelings, he is still human despite his god-like behaviour of focusing on his galge and doing other chores simultaneously. It gives him something to think about and that both 2D and 3D girls have their own merits and disadvantages. You can’t have best of both worlds. Or can he? So has Keima reached his premature ending? Or is this his true ending? If it’s so, it’s an ending that I didn’t expect to see so soon. Not even experienced galge gamers can see it coming. Truly indeed, a world that God only knows…

N/B: 2D girls may be flat in general but in certain areas they can be much more rounder and raised than 3D ones!

Magical Star Kanon 100%

September 20, 2013

I suppose Tenri-hen wasn’t enough so they had to release an OVA spin-off of one of the characters. Kanon to be exact. So before we get our next season of The World God Only Knows, we have Magical Star Kanon 100% as our appetizer. And as the name suggests, Kanon takes centre stage for this OVA instead of Keima who only makes a stinking cameo appearance. This is Kanon’s episode for Kanon fans. And how she uses the powers of magical girl to catch a Loose Spirit with that moe blob Elsie. Magical girl? Just watch it.

Who Is Imouto?
Don’t get the wrong idea that since Kanon is a pretty popular idol, this entire OVA will be about her concert. Singing all the way. Wrong. Nothing like that. Elsie loves Kanon so much that she wants to see her (ironically they go to the same school). Then it is like God smacks her with a sign for that chance because today is the day Kanon will be holding an audition to find a ‘little sister’ for her weather forecast programme. Eager beaver Elsie heads over but was only kicked out because she has not registered earlier (I suppose they don’t take final walk-ins) and she is not a little girl. How rude. She is over 300 years old! WTF. Then her sensor starts beeping and she sees a Loose Spirit entering the building. Feeling the need to catch it, she barges through security to look for it. But has the Loose Spirit taken over Kanon? Because when Elsie follows the scream, she sees little Kanon! She has turned into a young girl! However her sensor doesn’t detect she has been possessed by a Loose Spirit. Kanon is of course in a panic as she still has a job to do and can’t go out like this. Don’t worry. Elsie will help her. I think I’m starting to worry. First, she calls Keima for help. That guy isn’t interested because he is playing his video game than to give a sh*t about her problem. Loose Spirit is her specialty, right? So do something about it yourself! Because Elsie took too long talking, Kanon has wandered off herself.

The security finds Kanon and thinks she is a lost girl and one of the audition participants. Even her manager, Okada thinks how similar this little girl is to Kanon and takes her to where the participants are waiting. How ironic. Kanon auditioning to be her own little sister! Kanon meets the other girls and one of them, Kozue seems to have low self confidence if she could win it. A shocking surprise for Kanon: The grownup Kanon walks in onto stage! Who the? What the? That is obviously a fake and Elsie knows because her sensor is ringing like mad. Of course she is kicked out when she points out the fake. The audition begins with the little girls each doing their own talent. The production staffs are puzzled with ‘Kanon’ because she is acting odd and not responding to them. Elsie talks to Kanon outside that she suspects the Loose Spirit is impersonating as her so it could find the girl with the largest gap in her heart. When it is Kozue’s turn, the fake Kanon stands up. Before anything can be done, Elsie barges in with mini Kanon in her hand to claim this is the real one. Seriously. Will anybody believe her? Kanon thinks hard and the only way to prove it is via her singing. She starts singing and this causes the fake Kanon to go berserk. It starts attacking the place and kidnaps all the little girls.

I don’t know how but because this is like some sort of dream, Kanon uses her magical power to transform herself and fly up to the roof. Don’t even ask. The Loose Spirit is sucking the essence out of the little girls when Kanon confronts it. How is she going to deal with it? She’s going to sing of course. It is the only effective way to deal with it. The light in her song weakens the Loose Spirit and reverts herself back to her normal size. I’m sure Elsie can’t screw up now in containing the Loose Spirit, right? Right. Phew. Thank goodness. Kanon collapses but with a smile. When she wakes up, the rest of the production staffs are puzzled that everybody had just dozed off. Was it all a dream? But apparently Kozue is awed with Kanon because she saw her doing her magic. Kanon hopes it would be a secret between them. Elsie goes home, happy with her catch and pondering if she should team up with Kanon instead of stupid Keima. But she feels something amiss. Like her capture was incomplete. A little Loose Spirit then touches her and she shrinks into child size. So this is the culprit. Looks like another chase is on. Lastly, Kozue wins the audition to become Kanon’s little sister.

The Magical Girl Idol God Only Knows
I guess this OVA is fairly okay. Those who are fans of the series and especially Kanon would pretty much like this although there is nothing much to shout about. Elsie is still a klutz but there is promising hope that she can still improve. I’m praying a lot for that to happen. The best point of this spin-off is just the songs and Kanon as your typical idol sings them in her typical cheery and upbeat style. Not to say that I am totally in love with them nor have I become a Kanon convert, but I get this sunshiny feeling when I hear all the songs she sings for this OVA. Especially the ending theme, Kimi Iro Love Song. It’s quite fun to hear it and with cute lyrics like “I need your pika-pika”, you certainly can’t go wrong there. So with Kanon aside, I hope now that I am ready for the next season of the main thing. Maybe Elsie and Keima should try a musical and sing their way to capture those Loose Spirits. Nah! I prefer seeing him being the suave smooth operator.

I had a feeling this was coming. After all, when I last browsed Wikipedia briefly and saw the many other girls Keima has yet to conquer, I felt that the series wasn’t really about to end yet. How can it when all those beautiful girls have not been freed by Keima’s love. Besides, Keima hasn’t finished playing all the galges he wanted. I suppose that will take longer since he is stuck with this job. Thus to whip things up for the ‘big announcement’, they come up with a double episode OVA called The World God Only Knows Tenri-hen. As the name suggests, it is the arc of one of the girls that Keima has to conquer. Oh, I almost forgot. Along with that bumbling Elsie that is more of a moe blob than anything. So as we see Keima strut his stuffs and charms in his usual to free the Loose Soul, we learn a thing or two that may enlighten us about this entire affair.

Episode 1: Reunion
Keima is glad the summer holidays are here. It is 1,000 hours of non-stop galges! I don’t see the difference she he plays them in class as far as I remember. Unfortunately his first step is impeded because mommy is entertaining her guests who were former neighbours. Keima doesn’t remember anything especially the daughter, Tenri Ayukawa. Mother punches him. Oww. Shy girl Tenri too somewhat doesn’t remember him. With Elsie back from hell and giving Keima some weird present, she thought her sensor went off and tracked a Loose Soul for that moment. Well, maybe. It was like Tenri’s personality changed for that second there. Keima has only galges on his mind as he explains to Elsie why Tenri isn’t what he would exactly call a childhood friend. When Keima reaches to the top of the escalator, Tenri pushes him down! OMG! Luckily he didn’t die and demands an explanation (if not an apology). Suddenly Tenri’s personality changes. She becomes bold and tells him to think because it took her a lot of determination to visit his house. It hurt her that he claims he doesn’t remember her. In that case, she doesn’t wish to be helped. Then she jumps off the railing! OMG! But wait… She’s suddenly walking like normal at the ground floor? Nobody saw that? Elsewhere, Nora Floriann Leoria and her buddy, Ryou Asama have sighted Tenri as their target. Later we see Tenri talking to her other personality and she goes by the name of Diana. She pushed Keima so as to give her a talking chance. It wouldn’t have turned out like that if she hadn’t resisted and moved clumsily. She cautions Tenri that they can’t trust Keima. While spacing out at the sea park, Ryou comes to seduce her cheaply with cheesy romantic words. They are going to push out the Loose Soul in her heart as Nora uses her garment to see what Tenri desires. Keima’s face pops up and she asks if she loves or hates him. Since she is unable to answer, Nora concludes she must hate him and will kill him because between love and hate, hate is always stronger.

Elsie is disheartened when she learns Nora is already assigned to Tenri’s case. She heard rumours that she is always fast in driving out Loose Souls but her failure rate is also high and sometimes makes the spirit even worse. Keima gets another jerk reaction when Tenri came pushing him again. Scattered are all his galges!!! Tenri is too soft to warn him and before he knows her, Nora whisks him away and you hands a note (with lots of badly spelt errors) announcing his public execution at the sea park. Tenri heads that right away and though she tries to argue she doesn’t hate him, Nora isn’t convinced. She thinks Keima is the reason for the gap in her heart and thus the Loose Soul. Elsie wants Nora to stop but it makes her want to torture Keima more. Despite Elsie telling her about going against the rules, those rules aren’t really absolute. Nora agrees to spare his life but will give him a fate worse than death. She uses her garment to find out what he loves most. It’s… Yotsuba! Yokkyun!!! He loves that 2D girl! What the?! Nora destroys that dream of his and suddenly…. I don’t know Keima ‘loaded’ because he breaks free from his captivity and pushes Nora together into the sea. He is one freaking f*cking upset guy. He is going to kill the person responsible for killing his heroine for dramas sake!!! Oh sh*t!!! You’ve made this guy mad. Watch out Nora!!! I don’t know how but she manages to get away. She is picking her weapon to kill him but Ryou reminds her if she does, Elsie will suffer the same fate. She doesn’t care. Tenri doesn’t want to cause Keima more trouble and decides to go home but Diana realizes this is the man who will protect her.

Keima brings Tenri back to his school. He wants Elsie to let Nora capture another spirit and pretend it was Tenri’s. It doesn’t matter if she finds out later. Elsie doesn’t have spares so she goes off to see Haqua who might have some. Keima finally sits down and starts playing his game, lamenting he should have brought more batteries if something like would happen. It made Tenri react like as though he said something similar like this before. Diane tries to persuade Tenri to talk to Keima but Keima wants her to get her act together because end of the day, her Loose Soul problem will still be unsolved. Tenri gets the courage to ask him to follow her. Feeling odd she knows the way seeing she does not school here, Tenri in fact mentions she came here before with him. Taking off a couple of loose tiles on the floor, it reveals an underground passage. It is then Keima remembers something similar. He was worried about his batteries.

Episode 2: Chance Meeting
As the duo trek underground, Keima starts to remember what happened 10 years ago. I guess for him nothing much has change. His face is still glued with the handheld. While walking, while at school. Even the teacher is fed up. So to avoid being nagged, Keima ‘relocates’ himself to the deck of an abandoned ship at the sea park. An earthquake shook the land and he finds that the tide has covered the land connecting to the shore. But he is not the only one on board. Tenri is also there since she had no friends to hang out with in class. Not wanting to get his games wet, Keima spots a hold at the bottom of the ship’s front. Tenri follows him through the dark underground as he uses his handhelds as light source. Don’t worry. He has 8 of them! Plus, he has 100 batteries! Extreme! And still he worries he may run out of them! Best part is, he managed to finish a game! The underground is wide and long. They take a rest but Tenri is scared and hungry. Keima is calm as always giving his sweets to her. Despite putting in new batteries, all the handhelds go dead. Another earthquake rocks the place and a rock fell onto Keima’s head. Maybe that’s why he can’t remember the events after that. While he is knocked out, Tenri saw very bright lights coming closer. It turned out to be hordes of Loose Souls searching for gaps. Of course they sensed Tenri when she starts feeling afraid. They attack her. Keima wants to know how they got out alive but Diana wants him to prepare himself if he is to hear the rest. He doesn’t need to. He figures out the next scene is whereby Tenri met Diana. While the Loose Souls are hovering around Tenri, another bright light appears. This is Diana as she mentions that the Weiss are stunned and thus unable to enter her. Tenri wants her to help at least Keima. Touched by her selflessness, she decides to cooperate and bring them out. Diana enters Tenri’s body and with amazing speed, she runs through the underground with Keima in her arms as the Loose Souls gave chase. They emerge out from the school but by that time all the Loose Souls also burst out and caused the building to collapse. Because Diana is unfamiliar with this Loose Soul thing, Keima explains to her (with hideous drawings). Diana says in her time, they were called Weiss. Keima could tell Diana isn’t a Loose Soul and wants to know her real identity. She is one whom they despise above all because she ransacked hell and sealed them.

Nora and Ryou have found the duo but Diana pins a rock on them while they make their getaway. They come out of the cave but looks like the ship has been relocated a little further away. Keima is baffled since they didn’t pass a huge cavern where Tenri supposedly meet those hordes of Loose Souls. Tenri hands him a weak Loose Soul, one that clung to her when she came here. She wants him to use this to pretend it is her while she hides her presence. On the ship, Keima knows this trick isn’t going to fool Nora because it’s not easy to exorcise a Loose Soul. Elsie returns empty handed. Looks like nobody has got a spare. Keima hands her his and wants her to make it look powerful. Keima vows to Tenri that they will protect Diana. On the ship’s mast, though Keima is convincing in his act that he is Tenri’s love, Tenri on the other hand is panicking. Obviously Nora could see through it. Nora insults Keima’s way of using romance to fill the heart’s gap and Keima throws it back at her that she has never experienced true love. Nora is annoyed and pinpoints Keima as the source of Tenri’s troubles. That’s when Tenri tells her to shut up. She makes it clear she has never hated Keima and has always loved him. It’s a cue for Keima to kiss Tenri. It is a signal for Elsie to release that Loose Soul. It fooled Nora and Ryou as they got distracted in trying to catch it. Tenri passes out from the shock. In the aftermath, Keima wants to apologize for the kiss but Diana says Tenri fainted from happiness. He wants her to explain about how she sealed Loose Souls but Diana will leave it for another day. Perhaps that another day may come sooner because Tenri’s family just moved in as his new neighbour when the previous one just moved out. Still shy, but not as shy as before because at least she could greet Keima and his family.

Love Conquers All
As announced at the end, the third season of the series has been given the green light. And yes, the adventure continues. Not only that, Kanon will also be given a spin-off OVA of her own. With new characters and new insights, I can see that this series will be taking an interesting turn. The more girls Keima frees, the deeper he gets into this hell world and its workings. Will he be able to even save the place itself from something more sinister? I shouldn’t think too far and should just anticipate all the other different girls he is going to kiss… Oops, I mean going to save. Despite having some experience with real 3D women, he is still strong holding on to his love for 2D girls. Just like me ;p. How many more girls will it take for Keima to be converted into a 3D lover? I don’t want to know because maybe I too don’t want to end up that way.

So basically the characters are still the same like how we know them. Keima still loves his galges very much when it comes down in getting the job done of freeing Loose Souls, he still does it with style and charm. Calm as always, I guess as an experienced gamer, that is what you call putting his gaming experience into real life use. Elsie as always is useless and clueless. Still having obsession about fire trucks, isn’t she? Too bad Haqua didn’t make her appearance but in place of another demon like Elsie, Nora seems to be the type that will do anything ruthless and what it takes to get the job done. It doesn’t help when Ryou is somewhat an idiot too and Nora doesn’t treat him well and seemingly using him for her own ends. Will Nora and Elsie become friends or intense rivals? We’ll see what comes. As for Tenri, now that the secrets of her heart are unravelled, will she be the first girl to continue loving Keima? All the girls that had Loose Souls and their hearts freed thereafter, they will forget the lovely moments with Keima. Tenri didn’t get hers evicted. Diana isn’t even considered a Loose Soul but a friend. So there is a chance that love might blossom for a girl even after her arc has ended.

Both the ending themes are sung by eyelis, Hikari No Kiseki and Mirai E No Tobira. Seeing the old girls Keima has captured and new ones awaiting the arrival of ‘prince charming’, you could say that I am a little excited to have another go at this series. All that is left to do is wait for the next season and though I won’t have my hands and time occupied with galges, I have lots of anime series to make up for that. Hopefully some bumbling demon won’t take that away from me because I know I can never do two or more things at the same time like Keima. How does he pay attention to his surroundings and at the same time focus on his games? Is he really God? But if there are girls with problems of the heart in dire need of help, we know who to call.

I wonder if Keima is playing his galges properly. I wonder if Keima has even time to play all the galges he wants. I really wonder if Keima do have a life of his own! After successfully conquering 4 real life 3D bishoujos in the first season, let’s just say his conquest isn’t really over yet because with the sequel The World God Only Knows II, this means there are a hell lot more loose souls to capture. You’d be surprised how many more loose souls are to be captured. Let’s say he will have to be an immortal to complete his duty. Hah!

This season more or less follows the same formula as its predecessor. Keima along with the ‘annoying and useless’ Elsie team up to hunt loose souls escaped from hell who are hiding in the gaps of the hearts of young girls. Keima is a galge expert so he uses such experiences from his 2D world to make a successful capture of the 3D girls with his scenarios and suave persuasion. I guess there are many types of parameters and situations for different types of 2D girls so even on the outlook it may look like the same thing but there are many ways and methods to achieve it. In a way, the sequel doesn’t feel repetitive or recycled. Unless you’re not into these kind of things.

Flag 1.0: Flower In Bloom
Keima explains to Elsie his theory the reason why loose souls possess girls. Elsie is more infatuated (and laughing) with his ridiculous drawing to pay attention. This causes them to bump into several bullies. Keima ignores their existence and gets beaten up. Of course it hurts. This isn’t some game where you can just go back and choose a different route. Kusunoki Kasuga happened to pass by and warn the bullies to stop whatever they’re doing. However being the arrogant bullies they are, they even decide to get nasty on her. Kusunoki fights back and gives a lesson those bullies will never forget. They are sent running with tails between their legs. As for Keima, she tells him off to be a real man. Elsie returns to rid of the bullies. Not only she’s late but she ends up hitting Keima. Her uselessness hasn’t gone away it seems. Then Elsie’s alarm goes off and from the looks of it, Kusunoki has a loose spirit inside her. Though Kusunoki may look tough and the inspiration for many other girls, she feels she doesn’t need cute things to achieve her goals. She is pretty sure of that till that hideous drawing from Keima blows right into her face. She finds it cute? Elsie gathers some data on Kusunoki to learn she is the successor to her father’s dojo and also the karate club captain. In fact she is the only member because the rest quit within 2 days when she became captain. Elsie thought it’s going to be tough but Keima suddenly prostrates himself before Kusunoki and wants her to be his master! Not of the S&M type, silly. He wants to be her disciple and teach him the heart of the warrior. This is part of his plan to get inside her guard. Kusunoki feels his overwhelming pressure (worlds of 2D girls he captured?) and after seeing how cute Keima’s expression is, she gives him a chance. As Keima follows Kusunoki around, he observes her abhorrence for weak things and prefers hard rice crackers for snack. Then one evening, he spots her holding up a cute cat with a cute expression. She tries to hide this ‘weakness’ by beating him up. Then she tries to drop the cat off the ledge to cast away those feelings and blames him for seeing her in such an embarrassing state. A voice tells her not to do it. Kusunoki remembers how she needs to become strong and she won’t if she doesn’t cast them aside. She really throws the cat! Cat killer! However it seems a manifestation of her other self appears and saves it. The twin hides back inside Kusunoki’s body when she finds out Keima and Elsie have spotted her. Later when Keima confronts her, Kusunoki lets him know she had a strange feeling for a while. Whenever her heart stirs, her body feels like it’s being torn apart. Keima experiments by giving her the cat. The manifestation appears but disappears shortly when Kusunoki tries to get her. Keima explains her attraction to the cute and weak has manifested itself. Kusunoki denies and that she is a martial artist. But Keima tells her that even strong people have weakness in their heart that can’t be seen. She must confront them and if she defeats it, she’ll conquer her weakness. Wow. A pupil telling this to his master? Keima suggests they need to engage in activities she considers weak. She can’t come up with anything so Elsie suggests they date. The manifestation appears but again disappears when Kusunoki tries to catch it. I guess this settles it. A date it is.

Flag 2.0: Problem Solved By The Fist
Though the duo are on a date, Kusunoki is trying to reason that this embarrassing scene is just part of the plan. I’m sure they are the envy of every other guy. She is further embarrassed that everyone is looking at her and the cute clothes she is donning. Poor Keima bears the brunt of her embarrassment. So as they go from shop to shop, Elsie spies on them and it doesn’t feel like a date since they have trouble connecting. So if holding hands is out of the question, I guess playing games at the arcade will be a great way to connect. So she thinks. Even if Keima is always holding his handheld, he still has time to participate and even beats Kusunoki’s high score. Then they go watch a movie (Kusunoki getting noisy because the main protagonist was too weak) and take photos together. Each time the clone gets out, Kusunoki tries to get it, she goes back in. Same thing. Back to square one. As they hang out at the park, they know this isn’t working but Kusunoki won’t stop till she gets rid of her other self. Spotting a couple eating ice cream together, they decide to do the same. No matter how embarrassed they are, they eventually lick the soft cream, forcing the separation of her manifestation. Kusunoki challenges her so a fist fight begins. Odd seeing fighting yourself? Both sides aren’t giving up. Elsie thought of making an armour for Keima to get in between them to stop the fight. No thanks. He’d rather have them solve it out themselves. So short flashback how Kusunoki was made the dojo’s successor because her father had no male heir. Ever since, she considers herself as a man and trained hard. The clone seems strong enough to overcome the real one. She doesn’t care about martial arts and asserts she will be the real Kusunoki from today. Keima tells Kusunoki a way to defeat her. He puts a flower on her head and wonders if there is a need to fight her. Why not just accept her. Become feminine and strong, a cute martial artist. Reject! Not only Kusunoki beats him up, her clone also does. Because they are adamant that when you devote to only one path, the other is sacrificed. Keima continues his persuasion that humans can be both strong and cute (citing the cat as an example). This is also a cue for also to butt in wearing the armour. See the combination of cute and strong? Finally Keima deals the final blow that a martial artist would never impose limits and should seek greater strength. The clone agrees with Keima and though she feels they are not ready to walk the path of a cute martial artist yet, she admits her defeat. But there is one thing she needs to do before she goes. She possesses Kusunoki’s body and kisses Keima! Well, it’s not like she hates him. In the aftermath, Kusunoki continues to train but also accepts cute things. Elsie blunders again when she brought a recipe book instead of a manual for loose souls squad (they had that?). Her alarm goes off for a short while. Then swooping down from the sky is another loose spirit squad member, Haqua du Lot Herminium.

Flag 3.0: The Section Chief Cometh
Haqua is Elsie’s friend and honour student. Seems she has been promoted to section chief (Far East Division, Section 32 Chief to be more precise) and she has an armband to prove it. Elsie has all praises for Haqua and considers herself a failure. She also introduces Haqua to Keima, whom she finds odd. I mean, he’s just an ordinary human, Elsie calls her God and isn’t it ironic for a demon to have God as her buddy? Plus, Keima is trying to find a signal for his galge. His funny act has Haqua laughing as she notes with him around, no wonder it’s hard collecting loose souls. Haqua may boasts she has captured 10 loose souls but is surprised to hear Elsie has already captured 5. She thought she was joking but Elsie receives a message from Chief Dokuro that a loose soul is heading her way since some idiot failed to properly secure it from another district. Furthermore, this loose soul has become more powerful in hiding. Haqua goes off to search for it while asserting she doesn’t need Elsie’s second-class help. As Haqua searches through the school, she comes into Keima. He knows what is going on. Seems it was Haqua who let that loose spirit escape and promise he won’t tell anyone. Before Dokuro mentioned anything, she was already chasing it and didn’t inform Elsie although it would go smoother if they both cooperate. Haqua is lost for words when Elsie comes tumbling on Keima. Since Haqua continues to act like a top student, Keima ‘threatens’ to offer Elsie juicy information so Haqua agrees to let her help by instructing her to find the loose soul. Haqua admits to Keima that she was responsible for that loose soul so Keima wants some information (Elsie’s can’t be relied) so that he can see the ending.

As the duo continue their search, Haqua couldn’t stand Keima’s arrogance but can’t kill him since this would mean Elsie’s demise too. Haqua imparts this loose soul is too big to fit into the gaps of a person’s heart. If it amasses power, it could get dangerous. As further explained, these loose souls aren’t evil souls from the human world but their world. In short, they are real demons. Long ago, hell was a place where evil was cultivated to provide wicked souls to feed on. But some demons didn’t like this practice and sealed those ancient demons and created a new hell which is ruled by rational order. Seriously? Law and order in new hell? This explains why there are cute demon girls. Before Haqua could finish, Keima already understands the basic premise and finishes her sentence. These loose souls are sealed ancient demons plotting their return. Since they have just escaped and are still weak, they don’t have worldly bodies and feed on negative energy. So it is up to the loose souls squad to track and capture them. So it’s demons vs demons. However there is one more thing that puzzles Keima. Kanon’s transparency, Shiori’s speed reading and Kusunoki’s split manifestation may come from demons inhabiting them. But that is only when demons are weak. What happens when they fully mature? So far they’ve captured every demon before that happens because when that happens, the demon reincarnates as the host’s offspring. So in order to find this loose soul, it comes down to a place with lots of negative energy. They try their school’s losing baseball team or a delinquent’s hideout but to no avail. But there is one place left. An old abandoned theatre that was once a graveyard or battlefield so this place should have ghosts. Haqua seems to be afraid of ghosts? How ironic. As they walk inside, her alarm goes off. Keima thinks this is her jurisdiction and walks away but Haqua tries to make him accompany her, giving excuse that he knows the place. But he shoots back she has already captured 10 loose souls so it should be no problem. That’s when Haqua admitted she has not captured a single loose soul. Then Elsie contacts her that she has found the loose soul in the theatre. There are lots of students unconscious everywhere and the big ugly loose soul is getting bigger by the moment.

Flag 4.0: The Section Chief Regains Her Pride
Inside, Haqua recognizes this loose soul as the one she let escaped. Haqua tries to capture it into her jar but it’s not working. Why is Keima bumming around claiming to be just an innocent by-stander? The loose soul is using the gaps in the students’ heart to control them like puppets. Like zombies, the students try to hold Elsie and Haqua down. Elsie has not mastered the use of her garment yet so the loose soul to escape through the ceiling. Haqua thinks she’ll do this herself but Keima tells her to take Elsie with her since she has captured 5 loose souls and by doing it alone she might screw up again. Haqua remembers how she was awarded the Merit Scythe for excellence. She has always been a model for everyone and thus doesn’t need Elsie’s help. It doesn’t help either when Elsie throws a tantrum upon knowing Keima was with Haqua. Yeah, keep drawing those fire engines… Haqua continues to ponder how everything went wrong for her after leaving the academy. Seems loose souls in reality don’t follow the textbook. Her guard was down so this allowed the loose soul to posses her. With Keima trapped by Haqua’s scythe, it’s up to Elsie to think for herself. Can she? Better think fast, the hordes of ‘zombies’ are coming. Keima hints to Elsie that there is only one target she needs to worry. Haqua is troubled and she must fill the gaps of her heart as it is being controlled by the loose soul. Elsie tries to talk to her but this only makes Haqua think back how everyone regarded her as perfect. Because she needed to live up to their expectations, she worked hard. But it doesn’t matter now because she’s a failure and Elsie is the person she didn’t want to see the most. Haqua attacks her (did she miss slicing her?) but Elsie is okay with everything. Then she hugs Haqua and to her, she’ll always be the amazing top student. With that, Haqua is freed. Haqua admits to her she has not captured a single soul. Her plan is to let Elsie do the capturing while she’ll hold back the humans. Haqua clears a path for Elsie to successfully capture the loose soul. In the aftermath, Haqua shakes Keima’s hand and admits he is a nice guy since he didn’t tell anyone about her secret. She goes off hoping to repay the favour someday. Elsie isn’t happy she always gets left out but the simpleton becomes happy when Keima praises her for being a big help with Haqua today. I wonder how those students will get themselves down from the roof… Lastly, Keima is still surprised to see Haqua around when they go buy bread during recess.

Flag 5.0: It’s Always Raining When We Get There
Keima is calculating the number of galges he missed ever since he contracted with Elsie! What complex formula is that?! The only variable he needs is how many loose souls are left. Oh, not much. About 60,000 left. WHAT THE???!!! FFFFFUUUU???!!! It’s obvious that guy loses motivation and is depressed. He even gives a certain Dragonball example. Where is the motivation if you are supposed collect thousands of items instead of just a small certain number? It doesn’t help when classmate Chihiro Kousaka teases him. Especially the good it will do if Elsie cheers him up and that she doesn’t want to get infected by his otaku disease. Keima tries to cut himself off from reality and that background characters like Chihiro shouldn’t have lines. When Chihiro runs pass them to go confess to a guy she likes, Elsie’s alarm goes off. Yup, their next target. But Keima doesn’t want to have anything to do with this person. Plus, Chihiro is going to be tough because the other girls he captured are easy because they’re difficult to handle (WTF?!). In short, Chihiro has no personality as she is just plain without any unique traits. At least according to his galge experience. Really, Keima doesn’t want to solve this even if it means their decapitation. Close by, they see Chihiro trying to give her confession present to the supposed guy she loves. However she got rejected. It is to be rainy for the next few days as Keima is adamant he will not conquer her no matter how much Elsie persuades him. Then Chihiro comes in and is obviously gloomy. I guess Keima has been thinking too much that a background character like her even has parameters so as he finally gets up and is about to offer his help, Chihiro gets over her depression and decides to move on to her next love. WTF?! She admits whenever she sees a hot guy, she gets excited. You call that falling in love? Yeah, she can’t live without love. Maybe she’s in love with the idea of falling in love. Keima is upset with her shallow love and chides her for never giving her best (another reason for him to be convinced why real girls are in a much lower level). He points out people like her are polluting the real world but Chihiro shoots back that he always insult other people, always playing his galge and now has the nerve to even lecture her. I wonder how she turned him into a cockroach. Ever since then, Keima cut himself from reality. All he does is play his galge locked inside his room. I think they were just exaggerating when they picture the seasons passing through outside his door. Yeah, is it a joke when Elsie noted how Keima has turned from kami-niisama to kami-NEET-sama. If Keima has isolated himself, why the need to go to school? Chihiro thought Keima was being despicable after their argument as he won’t even talk to Elsie. Then Keima collapses outside the corridor. Even if he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the real world, his body can’t totally cut from reality. He has gone without food for days and ironically in order to live in the gaming world, you need energy from the real world. But he is helped out by Ayumi (the first real girl he captured back in the first season).

Flag 6.0: 10% Chance of Rain
Ayumi asks if he had a fight with Chihiro. He denies seeing he doesn’t see her as an equal. Because he is still weak without food, Ayumi shares hers with him. She force feeds him and wants him to quickly make up with Ayumi. She feels that whenever Chihiro badmouths him, she feels uncomfortable. If you remember after every successful conquer, the girl loses her memories. Maybe deep down in Ayumi’s body, that part of her still remembers Keima. He thought conquered girls lose their memory when Elsie explains though they disappear that doesn’t mean they completely return to how they were. Right now Ayumi is shining much brighter than before. As for Chihiro, he still refuses to help out (she turned him into a cockroach, right?). But it seems they end up together cleaning the class (setup by Ayumi). Then Chihiro spots her new love, Yuta. Keima doesn’t give a damn but it seems he gets upset when Chihiro doesn’t know what to get Yuta for his birthday. He chides her for not doing proper analysis about that guy. Unlike her who has never been successful in confessing, he always analyzes his targets to achieve 100% confession rate (must be his galge thingy). Chihiro shoots back that he shouldn’t be the one to say because he never did any dating or kissing in real life. Well, actually he did. All those conquering… Only the girls never retained their memories. They’re being too noisy so Chihiro hides both of them (in an ambiguous lover-like position) to hide their cover from Yuta. Chihiro wants Keima to not only talk but make her confession successful. Keima is motivated to help her because all he needs is to make her fall for Yuta and not necessary him. So he relays his convoluted flowcharts and plan to Chihiro on how to obtain Yuta. Too complicated. Boring. Is this a war campaign? Keima promises she will make her deliver a successful confession in 3 days. He sets her up in accidents that has her bump into Yuta to get her closer to the guy. Then he wants her to memorize a pile of potential story development and corresponding conversation patterns by tomorrow morning! She’s no Einstein. Of course she didn’t even flip a single page. Next day, Chihiro is thrilled when Yuta starts talking to her. Keima and Elsie (in the garment’s stealth mode) help Chihiro out with some lines while talking to Yuta. Chihiro feels satisfied with talking with Yuta for today but Keima doesn’t want her to rest on her laurels yet and continues his tactics-cum-lecture for her successful confession. However Chihiro doesn’t give a damn with all that and starts laughing at his horrible drawing. As time progresses, Chihiro is able to get closer to Yuta whereby striking up a conversation is natural. Keima once again goes over the plan and wants her to confess tomorrow after school. However Chihiro doesn’t seem all too interested. Oh, could it mean…

Flag 7.0: Singing In The Rain
Keima works over time the various scenarios that may happen. It is hard because he’s never done one with a guy before. Elsie isn’t happy Keima still views Chihiro as a video game character and tries to point out her good points. Hard, eh? The big day comes and the expression is obvious on Chihiro’s face. She doesn’t seem too excited. She goes about around town before making her way to school. Meanwhile part of Keima plan is to have Elsie disguised as a man (some moustache that is) so Chihiro could practice her confession. Keima feels odd because the way Chihiro is acting feels like she doesn’t care about the confession and it’s like he’s the only one who cares about it all. Chihiro sees Keima and offers him some meat buns she bought from the store. But all Keima has on his mind is her confession. This has Chihiro saying that maybe they should drop this confession thing because she realized Yuta wasn’t really her type. They could pretend all this never happened. It’s no surprise Keima blows his top because he put so much effort in this and now she wants to call it off?! Chihiro has something to say back to his face too. It’s not like she has anything special so why should it matter if she doesn’t care. She runs away and soon Elsie returns. She learns the confession is off. Keima notes that he ignored Chihiro and probably the gaps in her heart have grown. He realized there were clear hints of it and was too focused on the romance he wanted to see. He searches for her and finds her at a ship. She thought she was going to jump and tackles her. Of course she wasn’t. Keima is worried about her but of course she feels there is no need for an average girl like her. He tries to find out why she chased after guys she don’t even like. Her reply is that she admires people who shine brightly. She thought they were similar and he would be able to understand her feelings. Though it is true he has given up on reality, he has not given up on himself. Whether it is boring, fun or ordinary, the one to make the decision is not reality but himself. He was under the impression she was completely normal but it appears she may have more personality than others. After all, she is the first person to completely knock him down. If she wished it, then she can do it. Chihiro still has low self-esteem so Keima kisses her and in an instant the loose soul is kicked out and into Elsie’s jar. Back in class, Chihiro is back to her normal self and decides to form a band with herself as the vocalist and Elsie the guitarist. Though Chihiro sucks in singing and Elsie can’t play a single instrument, they’ll be just that in her life and all she needs to do is just keep singing (no matter how bad she is). In the end Keima is still unhappy how this experience made it clear that reality defies all logic and is such a crappy ‘game’. But he thinks back while he secludes himself into the gaming world, everyone else continues to struggle with reality.

Flag 8.0: Her First Errand
Ever since, Keima at least has been more accepting of reality, though his passion for galge is burning more than ever. Keima goes to town just to get a game and so Elsie has to come along since she must stay with him. They kill time in a nearby game shop while waiting for that store to open. Because Elsie can’t really tell the difference between the games, Keima gives her a lesson on the spot (so that she could buy the Love Tears game he wanted from that store while he attends a retro game fair). So Keima imparts his lesson of the history of 2D and how they conquer 3D with the missing D as Dreams. Huh? Elsie wants to get subtitles for that? It’s like speaking in a foreign language, eh? Elsie decides to help him out seeing he always does with her loose souls and this is her chance to return the favour. Plus, whenever he talks about these games, he looks so alive. As Elsie starts her operation to buy the Love Tears, she sees 3 similar copies but with different price tags. I don’t blame amateurs like her who can’t tell the difference between the ‘characters who looks so alike’. Using her knowledge she learnt from Keima, she deduces one of them to be boy characters. So now it boils down between 2 versions and she chose the expensive one. As she makes her purchase, she spots and even expensive one behind the counter and decides to take that one instead. She happily presents it to Keima and it seems he realizes this is what happens when she only teaches her about games. The one she bought was actually an anime DVD version. But luckily at the fair, Keima bought one copy just in case this happened. Didn’t trust her, eh? Plus, he says one can never have too many copies of a good game. Huh? Oh, he notes the anime version is boring.

Flag 8.5: Tea For Three
Keima laments due to the loose soul capturing business, he has not much time in playing his galge. But today is the day he can play it all without any interruption. Till Haqua drops by. Keima’s mom, Mari thought she is Elsie’s acquaintance. Till Haqua mentions she is her husband’s illegitimate child! Oh sh*t! Didn’t Elsie use that excuse the last time? See how Mari leaves on her bike in a rage! Didn’t she divorce her husband the last time? Apparently not. Is she going to do it for real now? Even if Haqua was joking, but it’s too late. Damage done. So what brings her here this time, seeing her ‘story’ ended? Well, she has to write a report for that tiny mistake she did. I guess Keima goes free flow with the insults now, eh? And Haqua too with her scythe hitting him. Instead of putting it in words, she used a model to have more impact. With little model dolls, they can recreate the scene that day via orders input to the microphone. I guess the rest can’t resist in making the dolls do stuff that was unrelated on that day. Because Keima refuses to cooperate, Haqua allows him to ask a question in exchange for his help. He wants to know a way to end the contract: By capturing all 60,000 loose souls. How many have they captured: Around 15. SAY WHAT???!!! How many members do they have in the squad: Well, that’s all for today. So as Haqua and Keima recreate the scene, Keima isn’t amused she tried to lie in some parts. Like the part she was afraid of ghosts and cling on to him, she made it as though it was Keima who was the chicken clinging all over her. As they fight over this scene, Haqua destroys the microphone so they can’t make anymore amendments. But Elsie is shocked to see them doing something perverted (that’s how the dolls ended up) and really believes it! Keima gets hit for nothing. Worse, Elsie throws a tantrum that wrecks the report. After managing to salvage what is left, Haqua leaves. She praises Elsie for doing a good job in capturing that loose soul and is no longer a failure. Haqua was about to shake Keima’s hand but he tells her to write her own reports. She hits his hand away and tells him off that she knows how to write them. Then it hit Elsie. Perhaps Haqua was using this report as an excuse to come visit. But not her… Oh my. She locks Keima out of his own house. Even if Elsie is slow, never make a woman mad/jealous…

Flag 9.0: Class 2-B Miss Nagase
Jun Nagase starts her first day as a teacher student in the school she once studied in. I guess she is good in keeping her composure as she tries to advise a bunch of delinquents not to litter but they just ignore her. In the staff room, she introduces herself and her hero as Jumbo Tsuruma, an old fashioned pro-wrestler. I don’t know how she sees pro-wrestling and teaching as similar. Pursuit of hopes, dreams and ideal strength? In class, Keima’s homeroom teacher, Yuri Nikaidou introduces Nagase and starts off her lessons with the latter observing. Nagase notices Keima not paying attention and very occupied with his galge. What is more puzzling is that nobody seems to bring this up. She thought he is a ghost she can only see! But soon Nagase learns from the other teachers that it’s best to leave that problem child alone. He has lots of handhelds with him no matter how many times they take it away. Plus, he scores perfect in every test so does it shows he’s paying attention in class? Even Nikaidou got so pissed off that she just stopped caring. But Nagase feels the need to teach this kid some appropriate behaviour. She approaches him in class and when he looked her in the eyes, she got scared and backs off. While resting outside a tree, she notes his eyes with the looks that he has completely given up on reality. It was like he’s looking at her through a different world and seems lonely. But she gets inspired by her hero to tackle this problem. But a loose spirit suddenly enters her body though Nagase felt something, it didn’t bother her much.

On the second day at school, Keima’s class are glad they got this beautiful babe as their teacher. During Kodama’s class, nobody was interested in greeting him. But when it’s Nagase’s turn, everyone replied with much liveliness! See the difference! Then when she walks pass Elsie, her alarm goes off. Later as Elsie informs Keima the details on Nagase, Keima feels he’d started to relax seeing the lack of loose souls these days. Seeing the alarm didn’t go off on the first day, it must mean she was just recently possessed. Keima feels like going home instead of confronting Nagase. He explains the teacher route as the most difficult one to conquer because a teacher’s job is to be friendly with students. Once they’re stuck on it, it will take a long time to conquer and win. So he needs to start off as her equal. That means he needs to avoid seeing her and wants Elsie to put up a fake clone of him in class. As Keima is about to leave the school gates, he is shocked to see Nagase calling out to him. He can’t believe she has made the first move and can’t let any events occur at school. He tries to run but Nagase keeps pestering to have lunch with her (she thought he was bored with school and tried to leave). So Keima finally relents and as Nagase talks away, Keima wonders why she is targeting him. He doesn’t make contact and avoids talking to her. She shows him her pro-wrestler hero and talks about the sport which is about pursuit of ideal strength. This causes Keima to accidentally reply about ideals over real. Nagase is happy he replied so Keima gets up and leaves. She says he can always talk to her as she is here to help. Keima returns to class since his plan has already failed. Elsie thought he was a genius in making friends! She also thought Nagase was worried of him being a problem child. But Keima is worried he is stuck with the teacher route now.

Flag 10.0: School Wars
Nagase feels motivated to get Keima to open up to her and be the best teacher he’s ever had. Keima on the other hand is trying to think of other plans that will have in running in a new direction or else this won’t even be finish during graduation. That plan is to piss her off. Keima continues to immerse in his games and he has brought a few stack of them to class. Nagase somewhat understands the loneliness he feels so she pats him on his back and vows to find a way to save him. During PE, he ignores her to play ball. She shoots at him but when he shoots back, it hits Nikaidou. She starts kicking like practising for a penalty kick. All other pissing off methods fail. So Nagase feels it’s time to unleash her secret weapon. She bought a handheld too and wishes to challenge him! So, she’s holding it upside-down. I guess Keima has to teach her some of the basic stuff and he’s trying to hold his anger in. Finally Nagase says that though games are fun, there are more important things to this because in the end, games are works of fiction and can’t replace reality. However he tells her off that he doesn’t escape reality by playing games and not to go judging people by her own standards. Before he can scold her further, Elsie knocks him out and takes him away. Later Keima thinks of taking another route. A third party that connects him and Nagase: Nikaidou. The reason is if he establishes a relationship with Nikaidou, he will instantly become Nagase’s equal. So the main problem is how to get close with her. Keima tries to put on his best performance but Nikaidou isn’t even trying to be friendly! Nearby, they see Nagase trying to advice Kodama to not yell at a student and call him a failure as he will be hurt but he dismisses it. Though close to despair, she still carries on.

Keima is working his ass off marking sheets for Nikaidou. He would do anything for any information on Nagase but I don’t think it will come easy or cheap. Yeah, Nikaidou is being a demon here. Later Nagase goes back to class to ask that student who was scolded by Kodama to study together. However he feels that case wasn’t something big and it would be a hassle if they pursue it. Nagase is sad that even though they’re not okay with it, they’re not doing anything about it. They tell her that’s how the real world works. That’s when Nagase snaps and tells them off. Then she runs off but not before hearing criticisms about her being too passionate and no one is going to put up with it. Meanwhile Keima’s hard work didn’t pay off. He got no information. Nothing at all. Maybe Nikaidou is really an S. Then downtrodden Nagase passes them. He wonders if something has happened to her while he wasn’t watching. Elsie tells him about the run-in with some students. He confronts Nikaidou about it and as usual gets nothing. He deduces she refuses to tell him anything for fear she would bring up stuff she doesn’t want to talk about. This has Nikaidou’s attention so she says Nagase has been depressed ever since the court. Another teacher points out a picture in the room whereby Nagase was a basketball champion and their team won the championship. It was the basketball team’s final moment of glory. Keima and Elsie head to the suspended basketball room to see Nagase’s name on the locker. Now he can see the ending.

Flag 11.0: There Is Always A Sun In Your Heart
Though Nagase feels down, she attends a pro-wrestling match to cheer herself up. Keima and Elsie follow her and as part of the plan, Elsie peeps on her ticket seat number. Inside the hall, Nagase is surprised to see someone in her seat, what’s more Keima. The ticket Keima had is fake but thankfully Nagase didn’t find out (she thought it was double booking). The match is starting so she thinks of finding another seat but Keima pulls her hand and makes her sit with him. As the fight starts, Nagase gets into the pace of the action and also drags Keima along. Yeah, she’s doing a little wrestling move on him. When Nagase realizes how close she is to her student, Keima says pro-wrestling is interesting because it unites everyone. Nagase agrees with him and expands his points (while getting real close to him). Then she pinches his cheeks to try and make him understand she did her best to help him out. They need to work together for things to work out. As soon as he mentions about the basketball team being shut down, she gets alerted. He continues she shut it down to be precise. He feels the same thing is going to happen and more people are going to be crushed beneath her ideals. Nagase remembers how her teammates quit because they can’t keep up with her pressure anymore. This left her confused because she thought everyone wanted to get better. Nagase directs her anger to Keima that he understands nothing, attracting the attention of the other audience. Realizing the commotion, she takes her leave. Next day in class, the students are somewhat whining about Nagase when she comes in. She shows them a marathon that she has signed up everyone to participate in. However they are not too happy because some of them are busy and some said it’s too much pressure. This leads Nagase to question why they came to her for help or looked so happy when they were talking to her. She couldn’t take it anymore and runs out from class. While the class ponders about what just happened (still viewing her unfavourably), Keima stands up to say that she probably can’t save a bunch of fools. They confront him but he turns into an inflatable.

Nagase is at the basketball room when Keima suddenly pops up! Was he hiding behind there all along?! She tries to slam the locker shut and was says she was confident she was going to make it work as an ideal teacher. However he begs to differ because she hasn’t changed because she has always forced her own ideals onto others. Now she runs to the basketball court and Keima follows her. Emotional Nagase always wanted to help them but the harder she tries, the further they go away. She’s at a breaking point not knowing what to do anymore. Keima tells her to continue forcing her ideals onto them! She only needs to do what is right in her heart. She has to. She may feel pain and lonely but she must show everyone her ideals. Just like Jumbo Tsuruma! She is taken in by his words but before they could get closer to each other, the class comes looking for her to apologize for being selfish. As the class regrets their actions and Nagase welcomes them back, Keima meets up with Elsie and narrates his plan. After Nagase ran out from class, he will insult them to make them feel guilty. Elsie will then count to 500 before leading everyone to the court. Though Elsie felt it was a little forced making everyone tagged along, Keima feels it isn’t because the real lacks ideals and that’s why they need ideal endings. On the last day, Nagase bids farewell and promises to be a better teacher. Keima however hasn’t been to class ever since that day. On her way out, she sees Keima (still playing his game). She apologizes for viewing him as a solitary and cold person at first. But Keima tells her to make sure she comes back. She promises to and this will be the last time she’ll let him see her as anything else. She runs up to him and kisses him. Uh Elsie, catch that loose spirit will ‘ya?

Flag 12.0: Summer Wars
After completing a satisfying galge sequel, Keima moves on to his next game. It’s already 2 in the morning… He notices the cheap game he bought at the fair, One Leaf and decides to play it though he is not expecting it to be great. But upon meeting the game’s main girl, Yotsuba Sugimoto, he instantly fell in love with her and the game. It’s that time when Mari needs Elsie’s help to go check on Keima. Upon doing so, she is puzzled to see him so happy spouting about his destiny. Keima continues to play the game like leading a parallel life. It’s amazing how he is so focused on his handheld but yet he can still find his way around town when his eyes are never taken off the screen. Yeah, he seems to enjoy his time with Yotsuba. He got so excited in the middle of class that Nikaidou kicked him out. Yes, kicked him in the gut. But this means he can continue with no interruption. Elsie wonders if the game is hard to beat since he’s taking a long time. On the contrary, he says a good game is one whereby you want to spend more time with your heroine. Yeah, he’s spending so much time with Yotsuba that he’s beginning to look like the game’s art itself. Tsundere Haqua pays Elsie a visit only to learn the new game Keima is engrossed with (she’s acting like she’s not interested but wants to know more). Elsie sketches Yotsuba and Haqua thinks her drawing sucks. Well, if you want to compare that kind of art with today’s standard of bishoujo, yeah, it looks horrible. So imagine Haqua’s surprise when she learns such horrible art exist. Oops. Don’t let Keima hear that or he’ll get mad. Keima receives an email from the company who created One Leaf. They are seeking his input to make an ideal galge. Who better than a person who tackles galges every day, right? Keima puts on his thinking cap as we see several inner minds of Keima arguing their ideals among each other! They just can’t agree on one! Tough isn’t it making a galge? How does it feel like now for a person who is always just playing and offering lip service instead of creating it. Keima is confused and of what his ideal game is. The more he thinks, the more he is unsure.

Soon his inner minds evolve from the primitive and simple mountain side to a 30’s-like political party debate. And you thought the sage would settle things of both sides. Till he finds out one party wanted to do away with his favourite part and so the war goes on. Elsie couldn’t sleep that night and sees Keima staring into space and can’t help wonder why he is sad. The evolution of the war takes a drastic turn because it’s now an intergalactic conflict! Oh sh*t! We see a couple of Keima from different sides duking out over their ideals when one of them drops a locket containing a picture of Yotsuba. The other recognizes her because he too has a locket of her picture. Then the spirit of Yotsuba pleads to them to stop fighting and in an instant everyone starts to wonder why they have been fighting in the first place and make peace. They were arguing just about everything from the story to the interfaces and cliches but never once they talk about the girl! So all the Keimas band together and transform into a chibi version that reunite under a tree that pools all their ideals. Who says there can only be 1 ideal? In the end, Keima replies to the company to just make a good game. I guess that’s the best advice. Elsie runs up to Keima and is terrified about the news she received from Haqua. Seems a huge wave of zombies, Santa Clause, loose spirits is coming to town. However Keima ignores her and continues his gaming. Keima narrates reality is just a bad game and the ideal world can only be found within a game. But if an ideal can be found within a bad game, there may be an ideal route in the real world. He is confident he will find it. If you keep your eyes peeled, you can spot all the girls Keima helped in the current and the previous season making their short cameo appearances. We also have a glimpse of girls-cum-troubled-heroines that would appear for the next season. Yes, next season. Five of them. Can’t wait to get your hands on them, can’t you?

OVA: Four Girls and an Idol
Remember Chihiro’s dream of forming a band? Yeah well, at least it materialized. Elsie meets up with Chihiro, Ayumi and Miyako Terada for their first band practice session at the studio. Let’s just say they are far off from being anything close to After School Tea Time. Heck, they even recorded their first gig and think they’re legendary and rock. But to their dismay when they later hear it, how much is sucked. Big time. No talent. Worse, Elsie forgot to plug her amplifier and thus her guitar ‘wasn’t recorded’. Chihiro feels they need more time to practice seriously but the rest are tied down with after school commitments. Elsie suggests forming a Light Music Club. Yes, just like that anime K-ON! They think it’s a good idea to form a club to get that much needed practice together. They went to see Kodama who is also the cultural clubs activities advisor. He instantly rejects them seeing their exams are coming. He doesn’t favour people like them who want to form clubs based on their whims and fancies. Yeah, he must’ve heard lots of people trying to form lots of weird clubs. Chihiro is adamant they are serious so he makes a deal with them. Unless they score 100 marks in their exams, they can forget about it. Plus, failing which will have them under detention. Uhm… It doesn’t look like he’s serious in giving them a chance to form a club, eh? The girls are lamenting their poor English marks when Kanon appears, delighting them. Well, even as an idol she too has to sit for exams, right? Upon seeing Chihiro’s guitar, she is happy that there are other people in her class who play music. Maybe she wants to disregard that horrendous take. Kanon reveals a secret that she will be performing at their school’s festival and invites them to come. In return, Chihiro also wants her to come see their gig at the said festival. Can they? Well, if they want to do this, they have to do it seriously and sparkle, right? But how are they going to get a perfect score in their test? Well, this is where Keima comes into the picture. Elsie drags that reluctant kid to tutor them. Since Miyako is at cram school, I guess Ayumi and Chihiro are left.

Seems both sides aren’t happy that they got each other company. For Keima, he isn’t thrilled that he has to face the conquered targets again. But Elsie manages to convince him that as the Capturing God, he has to help out girls he has conquered! Wow. She really knows her way round now, does she? Well, Keima agrees but will only tutor them for an hour and no more. He starts writing on the blackboard the problems that WILL come out in the test. This is after he has taken into account Kodama’s personality and his lessons covered. That will enable them to score 90 marks. The girls didn’t believe him and thought he made it up till he mentions studying for school involves too much wasted effort. If you reduce it to only necessary portions, the amount of subject matter on a test is less than the number of dating sims on sale this month! I don’t know if they understood that because they instantly start taking down notes. For the remaining 10 marks, he will allocate a specific time to tutor them individually. Suddenly Kanon comes in and notes what they’re doing. Elsie invites her to study with them seeing it’ll be more fun. Keima isn’t happy to add another conquered target but I guess Elsie forces him too. Besides, his 1 hour tutor stays. But they hardly get anything done because Ayumi is complaining she’s not stupid and is trying to get her mom to SMS her a copy of a test she scored perfect before. Chihiro is complaining a better looking guy should’ve tutored her and Kanon has been staring at Keima ever since her entry. Yeah, it’s been bugging Chihiro as she wonders if they have any connections. So finally Kanon asks him if they have met before so Keima dismisses it and says she has the wrong person. And with time up, he leaves. And the rest blamed him for not teaching them anything… Then Kanon asks them if they knew Keima because they keep calling him Otamega. They think it may be just the feel of deja vu of meeting someone before. Kanon agrees and notes that she may be just tired. With Miyako returning, the studies continue. A few days later when the test results come out, everyone except Elsie scored hundred (she scored 45). Well, at least Elsie fared better than before but she felt bad for ruining their chance. As a last ditch attempt to go convince Kodama, he surprisingly approves not only their club, but any other students who come asking. So why the hell is he in a bloody good mood? It seems Keima scored 99 marks on his test! No wonder! He even framed it up properly! Did Keima do this on purpose as insurance? Kanon also scored perfect and her staffs congratulate her. But it’s not the score she is happiest with. It’s the friends she made. So with a new club room of their own, Chihiro and co start practising and call themselves 2B Pencils and are in the midst of recruiting a drummer (Miyako is on keyboards and the rest on guitars). Well, I wanted to really believe that their fabulous performance was not a fluke. If it was horrible, you wouldn’t even want to stay and watch the end credits, right? And I wonder if that drummer is a newbie or someone they just hired part time because much of the focus is pretty much given on the quartet.

The Ending Is Pretty Much Faraway Still…
So far, no word has been said on the third season yet but I get a feeling that there will be another sequel. I mean, Keima has got to capture 60,000 more loose souls, right? Man, there are going to be a lot of troubled girls soon. And our only hope is to depend on a single guy? We’ll cross the bridge when we get to it! I guess for this season, many would feel that it is more or less the same thing with the first season. New girl with own set of problems, Keima must figure out and work his way into her heart, once he’s got her they kissed, Elsie captures loose soul and the girls forget all that has happened. Then in between perhaps a filler episode that doesn’t involve any girls so it won’t seem so ‘tiring’. Because of this, some may find this trend repetitive and not much. There were funny moments, there were dramatic and suspenseful times, there were heart rendering moments and feel good occasions. Ah, all the ingredients you need for a good galge, eh? For me, I guess the series is rather okay because though the general flow is the somewhat same, it is the way it is presented and the different approach and method used is that what makes it interesting. No two girls are alike and though their problems may be generic and similar (problems with love, friendship, etc), you have to approach it from a case to case basis. I mean, everyone has their own troubles, right? Who doesn’t?

Keima pretty much hasn’t lost his touch in capturing and succeeding the targets. So much so you can say his rate is still at 100%. Heck, despite his tally is now just 8 targets. But still, the statistics say for themselves no matter how small it is. But I also feel that he might not be as sharp as we see him in the first season. That’s because at times he may hit a dead end so he struggles to get himself back onto the right path. After all, no matter how perfect he is from his concentration to his studies, he is still human. God is just his nickname. Well, at least living up close to it. Plus, I seem to find his capturing lines to be less charming this season. Maybe we’ve come to expect them from the last season and because of that high expectation, it doesn’t quite live up to it here. We thought he has given up on the real world and only focused on his galges but as mentioned, he doesn’t escape from reality. Perhaps it’s because he’d rather stay in a perfect and ideal world instead of continuously facing the bleak reality which is nothing good for him. Like any human, they would want to continue and enjoy the stuff they love and avoid the bad ones as much as possible. It may seem like a form of escapism but if Keima really has ditched reality, he wouldn’t even be going to school at all, right? Lately too, he has begun to question if the conquered girls really lose their memories for good and that he starts wondering if there is such an ideal world in reality. He doesn’t hate the real world as much as he does than before. Well one thing, you won’t be seeing your favourite 2D girls in the real world. Haha! Though he may still look cold and unfriendly, at least he has a human heart and in a way, a caring person. I’m sure he might give an excuse of finishing his contract with Elsie as a reason why he takes his duty so seriously but really, does it feel that he is just doing his job?

I still find Elsie pretty much a useless blob in this season. Though she is not as annoying as in the previous season (she still whines a lot, though), she still relies a lot on Keima to perform. Her only time to shine was when she released Haqua from her despair. That’s about it. Otherwise, she still is pretty much infatuated with fire engines and just an airhead. Forgive me for being harsh. She may still be an amateur but at least she didn’t lie and prop up her resume like Haqua did just to live up to the expectations of others only to crumble beneath all that pressure. So I guess it’s reality check for Haqua too (and for us) because what you learn in school will ultimately differ very much in the real world. You can’t apply what you have learnt in textbooks anymore. It would have been so convenient if reality follows textbooks, right? Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work that way. I’m just glad Haqua is able to see what is important and put things back into perspective. Besides, she is the only one who retains her memories after Keima’s successful capture. So it’s no surprise that from her body language, her tsundere attitude would very much indicate that she does have feelings for Keima. Even Elsie too. More than just her kami-niisama. Remember that incident whereby she locked him out of the house after thinking the possibility of Haqua’s visit? Yeah, that. So maybe we’ll see that kind of real romance and chemistry in the future. I mean if you talk about the romance part with Keima and his targets, it is all part of an act to just release the loose souls even if the feelings of the girls were sincere. So in that way, you can’t say the romance part for Keima and the girls are real. If they had retained their memories then probably yes.

I went to do a little further research (read: at Wikipedia) about what to expect more from the series and it seems there is a hell lot more girls for him to conquer. A lot. In addition to that, there are other plots that and characters especially from the supernatural and hell side that will make this more than just a simple 2D galge. Yeah, those old hell demons are bent on reviving and stop at nothing to the extent of hurting the girls Keima once conquered. Seems pretty interesting. Especially when you consider that there are strange and unusual phenomenon with some of the targets so this indicates that there is more than meets the eye and something even deeper and darker that has got to do with the old hell demons. Keima is going to need more than just his galge experience to fight off those baddies. He’s going to need all the help he can get. One thing that boggles my mind is how new hell demons end up looking much cuter than their older counterparts. If all the girls here look this cute, ironically it would seem like a cutie and heavenly paradise, doesn’t it? And a hell with law and order too? Isn’t that what heaven is about? Speaking of which, nobody mentions about that and the only closest thing which is heavenly mentioned here is God, which is Keima. On a trivial note, there are lots of game and anime trivia for you to spot but since I’m not a game buff, I wouldn’t really recognize the kind of game shown on the poster. Also maintained at the end of each episode like the first season, Keima narrates and compares his 2D world love to reality and it’s fun to hear the things he has to say. Of course, Elsie trying to end it with a punch line, I think she fails. Also during this section, the various end card illustrations which are amusing as eye candy.

With the main seiyuus from last season retained, we have new ones this season for the new characters. Aki Toyosaki was quite splendid as the gentle Nagase because to me, her typical roles should be airhead girls like Yui in K-ON! or Tomo in Seikon No Qwaser. She sounded like a person trying real hard to correct the wrongs without realizing that she is forcing her ideals onto others. Other casts include Saori Hayami as Haqua (Arashiko in MM!), Ami Koshimizu as Kusunoki (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Kana Asumi as Chihiro (Yuno in Hidamari Sketch) and Sakura Tange as Yotsuba (Suzu in Marmalade Boy). The opening theme, Whole New World God Only Knows by Orotario The World God Only Knows feels like a sequel from the first season. Not only it is sung entirely in English but it had that Enya feel to it although it is of a faster beat. Just odd. For the ending themes, unlike in the first season whereby a girl for that particular arc sings the ending song, we have all of them singing together so there is only one variation of the song. Ai No Yokan is the name of this ending piece. Last season we also had a singing idol which contributes lots of insert songs to the series. So this time round, it lacks many of it and just a handful.

So the next time some demons, monsters or aliens decide to kidnap or lay their hands/claws/tentacles on our women, be prepared to face the wrath of us guys, whether otaku or not. Because as men, it is natural we want to protect (and possibly monopolize) our women. Hmm… It does make it sound like as though women here are like your typical damsels in distress. For all we know, they don’t even need our help and could just take care of it all by themselves. I guess that’s why we guys lock ourselves in our own fantasy world of dating the perfect girl of our dreams. Thus is it a wonder why some would find it tempting to cross over and never to return to reality? It’s The World Guys Only Dream Of.

NB: I still find 2D girls looking way much better than 3D girls… :)

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

October 16, 2011

At first I was going to give Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica the skip since I’m not into magical girl series. However after reading a few brief statements and comments from here and there over the internet, saying how this show is controversial, I decided to have a look have it. You know humans. If it’s something clean and pure, you wouldn’t want it. But if it’s tainted and corrupted that will make heads turn, yeah, you bet there are going to be lots of busybodies. How unfortunate that I have fallen into this category. At least for this series.

This show was controversial enough to even earn the attention of the legislators and even a threatening warning to ban the series! I guess that is what got me intrigued. What could be so controversial that a magical girl series will even be banned from the TV? After watching the series, though in my opinion I won’t consider anything to be controversial, I’d rather say that this series is not your typical magical girl series. If you have seen many magical girl shows, you would know the happy-happy atmosphere even during tense and ‘dangerous’ times. However Puella Magi Madoka Magica (as it is also known as) is dark, grim and depressing. Yes, you have been warned. Hope is only a facade because what lies beneath it are the shocking and untold truth that magical girls will face as their fate. It is truly shocking, I tell you. So if you’re expecting heroines to defeat the villains with a happy ending, you can forget about it as this show is unlike any other magical girl series I know (that might be a premature statement as I do not watch many magical girl shows). Oh, for the record, this show’s final 2 episodes were delayed not because the legislators successful passed a bill to ban the show, but rather the March 22nd tsunami that hit the area which caused many animes airing that time to be postponed. So it may take a month later to air the final double episodes together but they finished it.

Episode 1
Madoka Kaname runs through a maze-like black and white corridors and convoluting stairways till she opens a door at the end and finds herself in a devastated world. She sees Homura Akemi taking on a giant cog but is overwhelmed. Kyuubey tells Madoka that she has the power to change and wants her to make a contract and become a Puella Magi. Madoka wakes up and to her relief thinks everything she saw was just a dream. After waking her mom up, dress up and having breakfast, Madoka goes off to school. She meets her friends, Sayaka Miki and Hitomi Shizuki along the way and they talk on stuff like being popular among boys and love letters. I don’t know but the classes her looked like glass cages! Anyway their homeroom teacher Kazuko Saotome seems to be ranting on fried eggs. Turns out she’s just been rejected by her boyfriend. Then she introduces a new transfer student: Akemi. Madoka is surprised to see her. She becomes quite popular with some of the classmates. Since she isn’t feeling well, she excuses herself to the infirmary and wants Madoka to lead her since she’s the class nurse. Madoka tries to be friendly like praising her name but she gets annoyed and asks her if her life is precious and that if she loves her family and friends. Of course she does. Akemi tells her to be who she is and not somebody she isn’t or else risk losing everything. Akemi continues to excel very well in academics and sports. During lunch, Madoka, Sayaka and Hitomi talk about Akemi. When Madoka mentions that she dreamt about her, Sayaka laughs it off and starts teasing her. But Hitomi thinks she may have met her before but doesn’t remember. Kyuubey is seen been chased by Akemi. Later Madoka and Sayaka are at the music store when Madoka hears a voice in her head pleading for help. Following it to a section under construction, she sees a badly injured Kyuubey. She is surprised to see Akemi, who wants to leave Kyuubey to her. However she can’t do that because she doesn’t want her to do anymore cat abuse since he’s totally injured. Sayaka uses the fire extinguisher as distraction so they can escape. Suddenly the hallway changes into a different creepy environment. The duo are scared because they’re being surrounded by hostiles (cotton balls with moustache?). Thankfully they are saved by Mami Tomoe who is grateful that they saved her important friend Kyuubey. She then transforms and blasts all the hostiles with her awesome magic infinite gun firepower. The scene returns to normal. Akemi confronts Mami. Mami mentions about not wanting to get in her way to catch the witch that fled and won’t kill her. After mentioning that she doesn’t want to get into unnecessary trouble, Akemi leaves. Mami heals Kyuubey who is grateful towards the duo. He knows their names and has a request for them: He wants to make contracts with her to be Puella Magi (magical girl).

Episode 2
Madoka wakes up thinking it’s another dream but this time sees Kyuubey sitting by. So it’s not a dream. She remembers being invited to Mami’s apartment with Sayaka where she lives alone. Mami showed them a Soul Gem, a jewel born when a girl contracts with Kyuubey which is their power source and proof of being a magical girl. Though Kyuubey is able to fulfil any of their wishes. In exchange, they have to become magical girls and fight witches. The explanation continues with witches who are totally opposite from magical girls. They are born from curses and spread despair as opposed to magical girls born from hope and spread wishes. Plus, humans can’t see them and they hide themselves within magical barriers. So if you’re not careful, you might get lost in their labyrinth and never make it out. Mami wants them to think carefully before becoming a magical girl since they’ll be risking their lives. She thinks their wishes have a chance to be granted since Kyuubey chose them. She also invites them to come with her for a witch hunt to see what they’ll be up against with. They ask about Akemi’s case so Kyuubey mentions that he’s being targeted. The reason why she confronted Madoka was to reduce the number of magical girls being born. You see, killing witches have its own rewards but when the competition increases, there are chances of clashes. Madoka and Sayaka head to school the next day with Kyuubey tagging along. However nobody else but them can see the cat and can communicate via telepathy so Hitomi gets suspicious of their acting. She panics when she thinks they advanced a lot in their forbidden love.

In class, Mami assures the girls that Akemi won’t pull any dangerous stunt to hurt Kyuubey since she’s in public. During recess on the rooftop, Sayaka isn’t sure what her wish should be. But she laments that other people should be given this kind of chance instead of them (flashes of a guy in hospital comes to her mind). Then Akemi confronts them. She asks if Madoka has already become one. When Madoka ponders the kind of wish she has to become a magical girl, Akemi walks away and didn’t reply. Madoka and Sayaka meet Mami at the cafe before their witch hunt. Sayaka brought a baseball bat just in case while Madoka a sketch design of her magical girl outfit. Huh? Mami uses her Soul Gem to trace fainting footsteps of the witch that attacked them earlier. She mentions that a witch’s curse have the most impact around crimes, accidents or deserted places for suicide as they suck life force. The Soul Gem gets stronger as they spot a lady jumping to her death off her building. Mami uses her magic to slowly float her down. They see a witch’s kiss mark on her neck. Then they head inside the building and enter the portal to the labyrinth. With the girls sticking close to her, Mami shows them the veteran she is taking out enemies till she reaches the witch (she’s one ugly mother blob!). Mami pulls off flashy gun moves and finishes the witch off with her big mother revolver. Erupt Finale! The scene returns to normal as Mami shows them a Grief Seed, the witch’s egg. One of the rewards using this is that it replenishes the magic of the depleted Soul Gem. Mami then tosses the Grief Seed towards Akemi and intends to share it with her. However she refuses since it’s her win and throws it back to her. In the aftermath, they help the suicide lady back on her feet and Madoka thinks of becoming a helpful person like Mami.

Episode 3
Sayaka is seen visiting Kyousuke Kamijou in hospital and gives him listen to a rare violin CD she got. Madoka and Sayaka follow Mami on another successful witch hunt but this time there is no Grief Seed. As explained, these are familiars of witches but needs to be taken care of or else they’ll turn into one. On the way back, Madoka asks Mami her wish so the latter explains she didn’t have much of a choice then. Seems she was dying in a car accident when Kyuubei popped up. If given a choice, she would’ve liked to think carefully about it. Sayaka asks if wishes can be grant for other people. Though it is possible and there have been cases like that, however it ended in tragedy as the wish wasn’t clear. Mami continues to warn about doing so because she doesn’t want them to regret it later. Back home, Madoka admires Mami so Kyuubei tries to persuade her to be a Puella Magi by saying that she is the most talented girl he’s ever seen. Their conversation is interrupted when Madoka’s dad calls her to help her mom who is drunk and just came back from drinking with her company. She asks daddy why mom works hard so he replies that though the company she works for isn’t her dream company, the satisfaction to overcome her problems makes it as though she’s living her dream lifestyle. Elsewhere Akemi confronts Mami at the park and the former is bent on stopping Madoka from being a magical girl. Mami knows that Akemi has notice Mami’s incredible power and thinks she’s just jealous. They agree that this will be their last amicable ‘talk’ together.

Next day, Madoka and Sayaka spot a Grief Seed that is about to transform, stuck on a building. Sayaka plans to stay and keep watch and wants Madoka to go call Mami. Kyuubey decides to stay by Sayaka. Once Madoka rushes off, the Grief Seed activates and they get absorbed into the labyrinth. Inside, Kyuubey says if she is able to make a wish, she can turn her into a Puella Magi now but Sayaka still wants to think it over. Madoka returns with Mami and they enter the labyrinth. However following close by is Akemi. She wants to take on this want but Mami doesn’t trust her and ties her up in her spell. As they walk along, Madoka tells Mami that she looks up to her because she herself lacks talent in lots of areas. Mami brushes it off and says that she isn’t someone to admire and was just acting cool. Plus, being a magical girl means you’ll get injured and no time for anything else. She adds she is all alone and has no one to turn to and that being one isn’t good. However Madoka says she isn’t alone now. Mami feels happy that Madoka is willing to fight alongside her. With the Grief Seed starting to move, Mami transforms and blasts the little enemies (doughnuts?) along her way to the witch’s lair. She encounters the witch in the form of a doll and plans to finish it quickly with her Trio Finale cannon (one huge revolver mother!). However another creature appears out from the doll’s mouth and comes up too close to Mami for her to make any counter attack, catching her off-guard. Then it bites her head off!!!! OMG!!! NOOO!!! The girls start to shiver in fear. Kyuubey wants them to make a wish now but they’re too scared to even move. With Mami’s demise, Akemi is free from her spell and goes into action, defeating the witch for good and saves the girls. As they return to their world, Akemi warns them that this is what they’ll get if they become one. Akemi takes the Grief Seed while leaving the duo still in shock and paralyzed.

Episode 4
Sayaka goes to see Kamijou but he isn’t in. The nurses say he is taking lots of examinations in the rehabilitation room. The nurses also mention how Kamijou was an accomplished violinist before the accident. Even if he is able to walk, he may never use his fingers again. Sayaka laments why bad luck had to befall on him instead of her and ponders what would he think if she wishes for him to be healthy again. Madoka still couldn’t get over Mami’s death and cries in front of her family during breakfast. Sayaka and Madoka are still depressed about what happened in school. They feel like they’re living in a foreign land though everything else remained the same. Madoka further breaks down when she mentions she can’t become a Puella Magi and each time she thinks about Mami’s death she feels afraid. Kyuubey mentions that this area was long Mami’s territory but it won’t be long before others will take over. He decides to leave to find others who will contract with him since he can’t force them to be one and regrets that he got them involved in this. Madoka pays Mami’s empty apartment a visit and continues to shed tears of regret that she’s weak. She meets Akemi outside. She is glad Madoka took her advice. Akemi explains she has witness countless deaths like this. Since Mami has no close relatives, it’ll take some time before anybody realizes that she’s missing. Even so, since her body died in the other world, her status will always be considered as a missing person. Madoka is sad that nobody realizes how Mami has been fighting for herself. Akemi adds that Puella Magi enter into contracts for their own wishes so it’s normal to not get noticed or remembered. However Madoka is adamant she will remember Mami and even Akemi. Akemi appreciates her kindness but feels that by being kind, she’ll get into bigger troubles.

Sayaka visits Kamijou and she talks about orchestra music that they both like. However he thinks she’s trying to torture him by listening to music that he can’t even play now. He gets so upset that he smashes the CD till his hand bleeds! He is saddened that he can’t use this hand anymore. In fact he can’t even feel anything with it. Since medical science is not that advanced, it’ll take a miracle or magic to heal it. Sayaka gets her resolve and says miracle and magic do exist. Kyuubey is seen sitting by the window. Madoka is on her way home when she spots Hitomi. She is shocked to see a witch’s mark on her neck. Furthermore, there are lots of other depressed people making their way to a warehouse. Hitomi says that they’re going to a ‘better world’. To Madoka’s horror, she sees the people mixing a deadly potion that could kill everyone. She takes action by throwing the pail out of the window. The disgruntled suiciders corner Madoka as she locks herself in a room. Unfortunately she enters the witch’s lair and is absorbed into the labyrinth via familiars (round-faced cupids?). Floating aimlessly inside it, she thinks this is her retribution for her sins for being a liar and coward. She is going to be torn apart by the familiars when they are slashed away. Madoka is surprised to see Sayaka in a cape as she finishes off the witch and brings normalcy back to the world. Then Akemi confronts them. She doesn’t look very happy. Meanwhile Kamijou realizes he could move his hands. Elsewhere, Kyuubey is seen talking to another Puella Magi, Kyouko Sakura. He tells her that a new magical girl he recently contracted has taken this territory. Kyouko isn’t happy about it but isn’t going to let a rookie take this perfect area under her nose and plans on defeating her.

Episode 5
A flashback sees how Sayaka contracted with Kyuubey and receives her own Soul Gem. Hitomi seems to be her normal self in school. She doesn’t have any recollections of what happened except waking up with a bunch of strangers. Later at a slope, Madoka and Sayaka talk about the latter becoming a magical girl. Sayaka mentions she has no regrets being one but should’ve realized and been one earlier because it would be scarier if she lost both Madoka and Hitomi. Sayaka visits Kamijou and he’s surprised that his hand is healed. He’ll be staying a while in hospital since the doctors want to do more tests on his sudden healing. She wheels him up to the roof where the staffs organize a party for him. They give him a violin and he starts playing. He hasn’t lost his touch and the sound of the strings brings tears to Sayaka’s eyes. Madoka meets Akemi and she has a request: She hopes she and Sayaka can be friends and also it’ll be easier and safer to hunt witches together. However Akemi tells her the harsh truth. With kindness comes naivety, courage becomes foolhardiness and dedication has no rewards. That was how Mami lost her life. Madoka gets upset for her talking back about Mami. She further warns about Madoka’s wish for Sayaka to stay safe: Forget about her. Once someone becomes a magical girl, there’s no hope in saving them. It’s like trying to bring back the dead. The contract requires that they sacrifice everything for a single hope. That’s why Akemi has given up on herself and other girls. But no matter how much she has sinned, she must continue fighting. That evening, Sayaka is going on her first witch hunt patrol. Madoka wishes to follow her and promises she won’t be in the way. Using her Soul Gem, they trace a witch’s familiar down an alley. Sayaka transforms and fights the crayon-sketched bratty familiar with her swords. The familiar escapes but they are prevented from chasing it by Kyouko. She doesn’t understand them of wanting to go after it since it doesn’t drop Grief Seeds. Sayaka believes it will kill someone if left alone so Kyouko tells her off to let it be then till it becomes a witch. Or else it’ll be like killing the goose with the golden egg. Kyouko doesn’t seem to care about other lives except but her own interest. She mocks Sayaka’s crappy justice ideal and they both clash. Obviously Kyouko is more powerful and hits Sayaka away. However due to Sayaka’s wish of healing somebody, she too has regenerative abilities. It isn’t long before they clash weapons again. But of course Kyouko being the veteran fares much better. Madoka starts going hysterical that 2 magical girls are fighting each other when they’re supposed to be allies. Kyuubey notes he can’t do anything to interfere but hints the only one who can stop them is another magical girl. Yeah, he wants her to contract with him now. Confused and desperate Madoka is going to take up his offer but Akemi again cuts in, avoiding Madoka from becoming one.

Episode 6
Akemi knocks Sayaka out in episode 6 and faces Kyouko. She makes a wise decision to back off. Akemi isn’t pleased that she has to repeat many times her warning not to get involved. If they insist, she’ll have to use any means necessary. Sayaka back home heals her Soul Gem with a Grief Seed but Kyuubey says she needs to find another one to purify her partially corrupted Soul Gem. A pure Soul Gem will allow her to do anything without worrying too much on using too much magic. Sayaka notes that Mami didn’t have much trouble with this and wonders if she’s a genius. Kyuubey agrees but also mentions that there is another genius who can surpass that: Madoka. He thinks Sayaka can convince her to be one but she doesn’t want to get her friend involved. Kyouko is playing Dance Dance Revolution at the arcade when Akemi comes up to her. She says Kyouko can have this city since Sayaka won’t be able to handle it. Plus, she’ll handle her personally and wants Kyouko to stay out of it. However Kyouko wants to know who Akemi really is.  Her reply is that Walpurgisnacht will arrive in a week’s time. If Kyouko wins, she’ll leave this city. Madoka sees Sayaka trying to trace the familiar that got away. She is worried about her friend but Sayaka’s words are full of anger. She views Akemi and Kyouko as selfish magical girls not caring for the lives of others. Plus, when she became a Puella Magi, it’s not to hunt witches but to protect the one she loves. Madoka is saddened that her friend has change and all Kyuubey can say is that Sayaka has become reckless and in this state, she won’t be able to defeat Akemi or Kyouko. That night, Madoka can’t sleep so she goes to talk to her mom about wanting to help her friend in need. The more she does things right, the worse she becomes. Mom tells her about the harsh facts of reality but there is one way she can help. But it’s going to be messy. That is, to get things like and making the mistakes for her. But she may have regrets or wanting to give up.

Sayaka learns Kamijou has been discharges so she goes to visit him at his home and could hear him practise his violin. Then she spots Kyouko behind her. She knows all about Kamijou and mocks her stupid decision to contract with Kyuubey for another person. She crosses the line by suggesting Sayaka could make him all hers by smashing all his limbs and making him completely useless. And if she can’t do that, she’ll gladly do it on her behalf. Sayaka won’t forgive her and wants to finish their duel. Kyouko agrees but to do it somewhere else. Meanwhile Kyuubey goes to warn Madoka that Sayaka is in trouble. Madoka arrives on the bridge to see them preparing to face off. Akemi is also there. Since this isn’t what they agreed, Akemi plans to settle with Sayaka herself first. Can’t take this any longer, Madoka grabs Sayaka’s Soul Gem and toss it down the bridge. It lands on a moving truck. Akemi quickly goes after it as Sayaka collapses. Kyouko grabs Sayaka and to her shock, realizes she is dead. Madoka starts crying over what she has done and it seems Kyouko is also pretty clueless on what’s going on. Pestering Kyuubey for an answer, the cat explains magical girls can control their bodies within a 100m range. Which means, in Sayaka’s case, the Soul Gem is the real her and that body is just an empty husk. When a girl contracts with him, his job is to extract their soul and turn it into a Soul Gem. During fights with witches, humans’ body are prone to damage (therefore their bodies are just ‘hardware’). For easier use of magic, he turns their soul into a new compact form (which is their body that they know of). Kyouko is upset that they’ve become something like zombies. But Kyuubey thinks it is convenient as they can fight witches better than in fragile human form as they are invincible (the magic repairs their body again and again). So long they have their Soul Gem. Noticing the surprised look on their faces, Kyuubey is puzzled he gets this reaction all the time. He wonders why humans have problems with where their souls end up. Inconsolable Madoka stops crying when Akemi returns and puts Sayaka’s Soul Gem back in her palm. Slowly her life returns but she is oblivious to what happened.

Episode 7
Sayaka expresses disappointment that Kyuubey never told them this but he says they never asked (which is true). Plus, he thinks it is easier if they didn’t know. Just like how Mami never found out. He then proceeds to demonstrate the kind of excruciating pain she would feel by touching her Soul Gem. Sayaka’s stomach starts to hurt so bad that she can’t do anything but squirm on the floor. Because their body and soul are separated, they are able to fight and thus Sayaka able to withstand big blows from Kyouko. See, this is the price you pay in order for your wish to be granted, right? As Sayaka skips school, Madoka talks to Akemi about Kyuubey’s ‘cruelness’. But Akemi doesn’t think Kyuubey thinks what he is doing is cruel because human values don’t mean anything to him. Plus, he regards this as payment for the miracle. Apparently Akemi knew all of this along and past records show that nobody would believe her even if she said a word. She wants Madoka to forget about Sayaka as she is beyond help and not confuse between gratitude and responsibility. How can Akemi be so cold, she asks? Well, she’s no longer human. Kyouko pays Sayaka a visit and wants to talk to her. Walking along, they talk about reaping what they sow. At an abandoned building, Kyouko tosses an apple to Sayaka but she throws it away. This causes Kyouko to be enraged and grabs her by the collar, warning her never to waste food or she’ll kill her. Once she realizes, she puts her down. Kyouko narrates this place is once her father’s church. He’s an honest guy but one day began preaching differently from the main church. Though it wasn’t wrong or bad, people refused to listen to him and slowly left him. Kyouko couldn’t stand it anymore and made a contract with Kyuubey so that people would listen to him. Next day, many flock to her dad’s church and her life as a magical girl against witches began. But when he found out about her secret, he became upset by the fact that the people didn’t came and believed on their own will but via magic. The ironic part was he called her a witch who manipulated people’s mind. Then he got drunk and mad and ended up killing the entire family and Kyouko is the only survivor. Her wish destroyed her family. Her wish without understanding people made everyone suffer. Since then, she vowed that this power is only for herself. She’s telling her this because she reminded of herself doing the same mistakes. She doesn’t want her to live her life with regrets. Sayaka apologizes for her misconception on her but doesn’t regret making a wish to help someone because if she does so, those feelings will become fake. Since Kyouko couldn’t answer how she got those apples, Sayaka can’t appreciate the things she gives her. Plus, she’ll fight in her own way and if she feels she is getting in her way, feel free to kill her. Sayaka returns to school the next day. Her happiness turns to depression when she sees Kamijou limping his way to class in crutches. Later Hitomi talks to Sayaka. It’s about love. Who? Hitomi tells her a secret that she’s been keeping from them a long time: She likes Kamijou. She wants to be honest with her feelings and have no intention of stealing anything from her. Since Sayaka knows him more than she does, she’s giving her a day’s head start to leave no regrets, whether she wants to confess or not. After that, she’ll confess to Kamijou her true feelings. That night as Sayaka goes out on another witch patrol, she sees Madoka waiting for her. But Sayaka breaks down after saying Hitomi is going to take Kamijou away and that there’s nothing she can do. Akemi and Kyouko watches Sayaka in action taking on a witch. She seems like a heartless and cruel zombie, enjoying every beating she gives the witch.

Episode 8
Sayaka could even give the Grief Seed to Kyouko, claiming that she doesn’t owe her anything and that they’re even. Madoka accompanies a weakened Sayaka at a bus stop. She is worried of her condition. But Sayaka despises her current form in which her useless body is just a lump of stone to defeat witches, a walking corpse pretending to be alive. Madoka still wants to make her happy but Sayaka tells her off to fight witches herself since Kyuubey mentioned she has more talent than everyone. She doesn’t want her sympathy or playing innocent with her lectures. Sayaka runs off and even if those words were harsh, deep down in Sayaka’s heart, she knows she crossed the line and hurt her friend. Meanwhile Akemi and Kyouko are seen discussing the possible appearance of Walpurgis when Kyuubey appears. He’s here to tell them that Sayaka is exerting herself faster than expected and her body is exuding a cursed air. If nothing is done, something far worse will happen even before Walpurgisnacht arrives. He knows Akemi knows about this too. That is, Sayaka’s Soul Gem has become too corrupted. Madoka realizes Sayaka never returned home and goes looking for her. Sayaka is seen spying on Hitomi having a nice chat with Kamijou. Each time she thinks about this, her mind starts growing crazy and she just slashes anything in her path due to jealousy. Then Akemi confronts her and wants her to use the Grief Seed to purify her Soul Gem. However Sayaka kicks it away and intends to be a different magical girl than everyone as she’ll help people without rewards or her own benefit. When Akemi says that she is dying, she’s fine with it since she won’t have to kill witches anymore. Sayaka continues to call Akemi a liar with empty words since she knows Akemi isn’t really here to help her. That’s when Akemi snaps at her that she’s hurting Madoka badly. She admits that she isn’t here to help here but simply doesn’t want Madoka to watch her fall. But if she intends to hurt Madoka anymore, she’ll kill her right now. Before she can do that, Kyouko holds on to Akemi to prevent her from doing her secret technique and let Sayaka escape. Akemi drops a grenade so Kyouko has no choice but to let go as she vanishes.

Sayaka is in a train overhearing a couple of jerks planning to dump their girlfriend. She gets upset the kind of world she is trying to save and turns into a corrupted form. Madoka continues to search for Sayaka but meets Kyuubey at the park. Kyuubey once again tries to convince Madoka to contract with her, saying that her powers may even cause greater miracles or rewrite laws of nature. This means that Sayaka could even return back to her human form again. Madoka won’t mind doing it for Sayaka’s sake and even considers that wish worth her soul. Just before Madoka could accept, Kyuubey is suddenly covered with several bullet holes. Gosh! It’s Akemi with a shotgun! But for the first time we see Akemi showing more emotion than usual. She even breaks down in tears! She’s sad that Madoka plans to sacrifice herself or use her life for something meaningless. She’s trying to get the message across that there’ll be people who will be sad if she’s gone. Akemi gets weak on her knees as Madoka ponders if they’ve meet somewhere before. But Madoka apologizes and goes on her way to look for Sayaka. We see Kyuubey in a replacement form as he eats up his old busted one. Since he has been killed twice by her, Kyuubey deduces that her technique is time control magic and isn’t from this timeline. Akemi on the other hand knows his true form and his scheme. She is adamant to change Madoka’s fate and won’t let his plan succeed. She calls Kyuubey’s full name: Incubator. Kyouko finds Sayaka at the train platform and talks to her. Seems Sayaka is already at her limit and has lost it. She laments her fate as a magical girl. Whenever someone becomes happy, she has to suffer.  Her Soul Gem is now corrupted as it bursts, blasting Kyouko away. Kyuubey narrates how growing young women are called girls. Therefore it’s only proper that for those who are turning into witches should be called magical girls. Oh dear.

Episode 9
Sayaka turns into a witch and absorbs them into her labyrinth. Akemi is there to freeze time while she takes Kyouko (who is carrying Sayaka) out. Once Madoka reunites with them, she is shocked to hear when Sayaka’s Soul Gem turned into a Grief Seed, she became a witch and died. Akemi further explains the inevitable fate of magical girls. When their Soul Gem gets tainted and turns black, they become Grief Seeds and then a witch. Kyouko gets upset when Akemi continues to say about carefully handling and ridding Sayaka’s body or else it will cause them trouble. Is she human? Well, none of the magical girls are. Madoka becomes depressed as Kyuubey pays her a visit to explain things. Now this is an eye opener.He explains the word ‘entropy’. In short, the universe is losing energy as some energy is lost when it changes form. They’ve found a way to harness that energy via Puella Magi using the conscious life form’s emotional power. Though Kyuubey’s species discovered this method, they are unable to experience emotions. They search the whole universe high and low and stumble upon humans who are supposed to have great emotional powers and are a good energy source to counter entropy. So teenage girls are the most effective when they’re in their second growth stage (hence the mahou shoujo thingy). When their souls burn out in the Soul Gems and turn to Grief Seeds, they emit great amount of energy and it is thus the incubator’s job to collect that energy. So they’re just expendables who will die for them? Kyuubey explains the vast different cultures in the universe that consumes energy every moment. Madoka finds it hard to believe this stupid reason has caused the death of her pals and now she thinks he is their real enemy. However as Kyuubey noted, they only make a contract when they agree. What about being deceived? Well, Kyuubey can’t understand what it means and deduces humans regret a wrong decision based on a misunderstanding and tend to hate the other party (which is true). Can you understand all this? Well, same reason why their species can’t understand us. Kyuubey crosses the line when he says there are 6 billion humans and growing each second and doesn’t understand why they make a big fuss over a loss of just 1 life. He insists that their sacrifice is for the greater good. He hopes that in the future Madoka will become the strongest Puella Magi and then the strongest witch so that they can get an immense amount of energy. He departs with a reminder “If you feel like dying for the universe, feel free to call me. I’ll be waiting”. LIKE HELL! NO WAY!!!!

Kyuubey then visits Kyouko who is trying to warm Sayaka’s body with her Soul Gem. She asks if there’s any way to get back her Soul Gem and his reply is none as far as he knows. Madoka skips school because Kyouko wants to talk to her. Seems she wants her help to save Sayaka. She doesn’t want to give up till they’re sure they can save her or not. Sayaka has a theory that though Sayaka has turned into a witch, perhaps deep down inside her she’s still human. She hopes talking to her especially her close friend will bring her out to her senses. Then instead of dropping a Grief Seed at the end, maybe a Soul Gem will appear. Madoka agrees with her plan. Walking along, Madoka wonders if Akemi will help but Kyouko wouldn’t place her hope on it. She feels they’re more like making temporary alliance to defeat an enemy they can’t beat alone. That enemy is Walpurgis, an insanely powerful witch and will be in this town in a few days. They enter a construction area and into Sayaka’s labyrinth. Madoka wonders being useless like herself is a coward so Sayaka assures that she doesn’t need to become a magical girl since she’s surrounded by amazing people like her family with a convenient life. She feels only those with no choice should put their lives on the line. To others it’ll be a game and just screwing around. There’ll come a time when she’ll have to fight no matter what and should save her thoughts for that. Sayaka notices their presence and the girls are moved to the core (in the midst of an orchestra?). And Sayaka is a… Knight-cum-conductor-cum-mermaid? Madoka uses her voice to plead to Sayaka to stop and remember as Kyouko fights off the wheels that Sayaka throws at her. Seems everything fell on deaf ears as Sayaka even attacks Madoka while Kyouko takes a beating. Akemi appears to catch Madoka. Kyouko knows what she has to do and entrusts Madoka’s safety to her. After Akemi escapes with unconscious Madoka, Kyouko powers up and vows not to leave Sayaka alone and be by her side. She pierces her own Soul Gem and a huge explosion occurs. Back in Akemi’s place, Kyuubey couldn’t believe Kyouko tried to save Sayaka. So why didn’t Kyuubey save her? He thinks her fall had a greater meaning and wasn’t a meaningless sacrifice. Seeing that Akemi is the only Puella Magi left to face the Walpurgis, she wouldn’t even stand a chance. To ensure this town is safe, Madoka has to become a Puella Magi but Akemi won’t allow that.

Episode 10
This is how it all began. It’s like a different time and universe. Akemi was a very shy bespectacled and braided new transfer student in Madoka’s class. She has returned after a long spell in hospital due to her heart disease. Yeah, Sayaka is still alive too. Friendly Madoka guides Akemi to the infirmary and she gladly makes friends with bashful Akemi. However Akemi doesn’t excel well academically and in sports so much so some students taunt her. On her way home, she ponders that she is useless when a voice tells her to go and die. She unknowingly steps into a labyrinth. Before she gets killed by familiars, Madoka and Mami step in to save her. Kyuubey tells Akemi that they are magical girls who hunt witches. Once that is done, Akemi is invited to Mami’s apartment whereby Madoka tells her she just became a Puella Magi a week ago while Mami is the veteran. Then Walpurgisnacht comes. Mami is dead and Madoka is the only one left who can defeat it. Akemi knows she won’t even survive but Madoka knows that and as a Puella Magi, she must protect everyone. Akemi wants them to run away together but Madoka is happy that they became friends and that it’s worth becoming a Puella Magi. In the aftermath, we see Akemi crying besides Madoka’s lifeless body, wishing that she had lived instead of sacrificing and protecting her. Kyuubey shows up and offers a contract if she would risk her soul for that. Since he is able to grant her wish, Akemi’s wish is to protect Madoka and redo her meeting with her. The contract is form as Akemi gets her Soul Gem and goes back in time when she’s in hospital. When she is discharged and becomes the new transfer student, the first thing she did was go up to Madoka and proudly proclaim that she has become a magical girl and wants to work hard together. Right in front of class! Akemi undergoes training and witch hunting with Mami and Madoka and though she can’t use her time control effectively yet, she does some tweaking here and there. Then Walpurgisnacht came and the same thing happened. Madoka’s Soul Gem becomes a tremendous Grief Seed. Akemi then went back in time again.

This time she tries to tell the rest (including Sayaka) about Kyuubey’s deceit but Sayaka think she’s trying to pull a fast one. Because Akemi has no other weapons than her time control, she starts ‘stealing’ all sorts of firearms and store them in her time-space (I guess that’s why she’s able to whip out weapons from nowhere). Then the scene changes as Mami, Madoka, Kyouko and Akemi fight Sayaka who has turned into the witch. Akemi reluctantly kills Sayaka and throws them out of her labyrinth. Distraught of what just happened, Mami suddenly shoots Kyouko’s Soul Gem and kills her! She panics at the thought of all of them becoming witches so she might as well kill themselves! Before she could kill Akemi, Madoka kills her. Grief-stricken, Akemi tries to cheer her up and save their strength for Walpurgisnacht. That came and this time both girls are lying defeated, close to death. Madoka uses her Grief Seed to heal Akemi’s and wants her to go back in time to save her from her stupidity of being tricked by Kyuubey. Akemi promises to go back in time and do so no matter how many times it takes. Madoka has 1 more wish before she dies. She doesn’t want to become a witch so Akemi with a heavy heart kills her. The next time she goes back in time, Akemi has become hard-bitten. She casts away her old look and adopts a cold outlook since no one is going to believe the future anyway. She is able to kill Kyuubey just before he is able to make contact with Madoka. Akemi even warns Madoka to turn down any offer of anyone promising miracles. Akemi goes on a witch hunting spree and is resolve she will depend on her own and kill all the witches. It’s Walpurgisnacht again. Akemi is close to defeat. Just like that opening dream scene in episode 1, Madoka is distraught so Kyuubey offers her a chance to change fate by becoming a magical girl. Akemi pleads as hard for her not to become one. Seems it fell on deaf ears because in the aftermath of Walpurgisnacht, Kyuubey mentions her transformation was awesome and destroyed Walpurgis in just 1 hit. Akemi knows her fate will still be the same but as Kyuubey mentions, as the strongest Puella Magi, she will also become the strongest witch and bring destruction to this planet! The best part is, Kyuubey thinks this is not his problem since he has gathered enough quota for his energy collection. WTF???!!! So what now? Yeah, go back in time. Again and again and again. Akemi is seen chasing and firing shots at escaping Kyuubey in that under construction section at the music store. Madoka picks up that badly bruised cat and her eyes meet Akemi’s. Akemi doesn’t mind getting lost in this labyrinth as long as it’s for her sake.

Episode 11
Back to where Kyuubey confronted Akemi in her place, Kyuubey deduces that she repeated this feat countless time in several parallel worlds to change the possibilities so that it’ll suit the way she wants. He also has a theory why Madoka is considered to have the greatest Puella Magi power.  In short, due to Akemi’s multiple time travelling, each time linking the different timelines causes the different Madokas to focus on this one here and thus increasing her power. So thanks to Akemi’s intention of saving her friend, she has raised Madoka into a powerful witch. Well done. Oh sh*t. Sayaka’s body has been reported to be found in a hotel as her friends attend her funeral. Shocked Madoka is paid another visit by Kyuubey at home. She thinks he’s cruel. But he relates the same theory if she ever thought about the cattle that are raised for human consumption. Which is true! However Kyuubey thinks they do not treat humans as cattle as they negotiate and accept them as they are. He then proceeds to show Madoka how humans and Incubators have shared this relationship throughout the ages. Countless girls have made contracts and got their wishes fulfilled but it ends with a curse.  It’s just a repeated cycle but because of it, mankind is able to survive and advance through each era. Now we know why witches were burnt at the stake in the olden days! Now we know why Cleopatra managed to seduce 2 greatest men and contribute to their downfall! Madoka thinks that he betrayed the girls’ trust but of course Kyuubey’s version is that if the wish doesn’t fit within their reason, this gives birth to some kind of distortion. Kyuubey continues that the thing called emotion in their culture is called a mental disorder. But they are surprised when they find humans having their own individual feelings and yet managed to coexist. And if they have never came to this planet in the first place? We’d still be living in caves. Oh my. So humans are able to advance due to Incubators’ technology (besides their imagination and wish of course)!

Madoka goes to see Akemi and talks about Walpurgisnacht she learned from Kyouko. Unlike other witches Walpurgis doesn’t need a barrier to conceal herself. Akemi gets emotional and suddenly hugs Madoka, saying she met her countless times and saw her die each time. She wanted to find a way to change her fate but the more she repeats the circle, the more she feels their timelines are drifting apart. Each time she felt lost but she hang on to the hope of saving her and that is the thing which kept her going. She pleads to Madoka that she wants to protect her. A huge storm is brewing as everyone including Madoka’s family takes refuge in a shelter. This storm as expected is Walpurgis as Akemi waltzes right into it and starts her huge epic battle. Whether it’s firing her infinite bazookas or ramming inflammable trucks into it, in the end she still couldn’t beat it. Kyuubey talks to Madoka about Akemi’s futile attempts in this losing battle. Each time she repeats this, it will bring her closer to despair and thus closer to becoming a witch. Madoka wants to go to her but her mom stops her (even slapping her when she remains stubborn). However after lecturing back about doing the right things, etc, I guess mommy had to let her go and believe in her daughter. Akemi is badly injured and pinned down. She thinks of going back in time but the thought of worsening Madoka’s fate has her in doubts. Her Soul Gem is close to being corrupted when she feels Madoka’s hands over hers. To her horror, it looks like Madoka has done the inevitable. Is sorry going to cut it?

Episode 12
Well, not exactly yet. Madoka finally understands and thinks she turned out this way because Akemi always protected and looked over her all this time. Madoka makes her wish to Kyuubey: She wants to erase every witch, past, present and future before they’re born with her own hands! Kyuubey is surprised that this wish of hers is like a treason against the wish itself and it’s as though she wants to become God! Yeah, even surpass Haruhi. But can Kyuubey ever turn a wish down? Yup, he has to fulfil it no matter what. A flashback sees Madoka in Mami’s room with Kyouko. Mami is saying how she has to fight forever locked in every world, past and future, destroying witches for eternity so much so dying seems to be an easier choice. Madoka doesn’t mind it so Mami says that she’s going to become hope herself. A hope for them all. Madoka transforms and with her awesome rose arrow powers, transports to every world and magical girl to free them of their curse, bearing all of the misfortune herself. Even the mighty Walpurgis falls. Akemi wakes up in space and as Kyuubey narrates, Madoka’s magic went beyond time so space is getting reorganized according to Madoka’s new laws. They see a huge comet supposedly all the despair that Madoka is shouldering. Though the amount of hope equal to creating a new universe was reached, it can also mean an equal despair to end the universe. Madoka fights the despair that is engulfing the planet. The great blast (Big Bang?) causes her life to have no beginning or end anymore. Meaning, there’s no proof or memory left of her existence in a world. Her existence shifted to another plane and became a mere concept. Nobody will be aware of her nor will she interact with anyone as she ceases to be a person in this space. Akemi feels sad that Madoka’s fate is worse than death. However Madoka says she can see everything in all worlds, past and present. Because of that, she got to understand how Akemi struggled so hard for her in different timelines. She is glad to have a great friend everywhere. She’s not afraid of being alone because she’ll be with everyone everywhere forever (that’s scary). Akemi fears of forgetting her so Madoka thinks it’s too early to give up and gives her hair ribbons to her in hopes she won’t forget her when she returns to Earth. Since she has to go meet her other friends, she hopes they will meet again.

Kamijou is seen playing his violin to the judges as Madoka and Sayaka watch. Madoka mentions that this future would disappear and probably not how she wanted but it was necessary to save her. Sayaka is okay is that and is just grateful that she is able to hear him play once more. She is glad that Hitomi ended up with him and is sure she’ll make him happy. After that, Madoka and Sayaka disappear. Seems to be an aftermath of Sayaka’s witch labyrinth from Mami, Kyouko and Akemi’s attack. Kyouko is upset that Sayaka’s fate has to end like this when they just became friends. Mami says their hope will bring misfortune to this world and that they must disappear before that happens. Akemi holds Madoka’s ribbons in her palm but the rest do not recall who Madoka is. At the park, Madoka hears Madoka’s little brother saying Madoka’s name. Talking with Madoka’s mom, she learns that it is his imaginary friend and wonders if this Madoka is anime character (are they trying to break the fourth wall?). Then we see Akemi talking to Kyuubey about all the hypothesis about witches, using humans’ emotion to gather energy, a faster way to gather curses and the likes. Kyuubey is fascinated with  her theories and hypothesis (truths as she insisted) and would be delighted if all that were true since it would be easier to harvest energy but mentions since she is the only one with her memories intact, it’ll be hard for her to prove it. Even if there aren’t witches born in this world, it doesn’t mean there are no curses. The distortions of this world change form and attack people from the darkness. So instead of witches, we have towering white demons (digital men in robes?). Akemi narrates that all the sorrow and hatred will continue in this world that can’t be saved. Yet this world was the place Madoka tried to save. That’s why she won’t forget it no matter on and continue to fight on. Akemi takes on the horde of demons while a faint voice from Madoka gives her the strength to kick ass. That is one pair of badass wings she sprouts! Is she using Madoka’s weapon too? The final end screen quote: “Don’t forget. Always, somewhere, someone is fighting for you. As long as you remember her, you are not alone”. Yeah, I’m sure I’ll keep that in mind. So my life is safe because of Madoka? Oh sure, now that makes sense.

Always Read Between The Lines…
The whole affair is such a bittersweet and sad ending. This is definitely the grimmest and the darkest magical series that I have ever watched and I feel even there are many other magical girl shows out there that I have never seen, I bet that none will surpass this one. Basically everything here is just dark and grim. Part of the whole drama deals with depression, suicide, killings, hatred and very much the darkness of the heart. Probably that is what made is controversial in the first place. I must say that the concept and the story flow were pretty much interesting from how the energy is harvested and the inevitable and sad fate of magical girls. The mechanics of how it works was smooth so surprisingly a dumb guy like me could even comprehend how it all works when all the pieces of the puzzle is put together. So now we know why there are so many magical girl series out there. To help sustain the insatiable energy consumption of the otaku universe! Isn’t that why Sailormoon is such a popular classic? Isn’t that why the Pretty Cure series has so many spin-offs and is still currently running? Isn’t it a wonder why we have so many magical girls in the past like Akko, Sammy, Sally, Emi, Minky Momo and even present ones like Nanoha and Sakura and not get tired of them? Oh! This universe runs on the energy of magical girls! How cruel we all are! Thus it goes to show that everything that glitters is not gold.

It’s a sad thing that Madoka had to sacrifice herself to end the looping nightmare for every magical girl. But it is something she finally had the resolve to do. And plus, she isn’t actually quite dead in the end, because she became God and is watching over every one of us. Another reason why otakus will surely love the idea that their god is a magical girl. I have never known of a magical girl who didn’t become one right till the end of the series. Or at least in another timeline. But we weren’t certain about that till the later part. The way they portray Madoka’s dilemma to become one certainly gives off a tense and desperate feel as you have this uncertain feeling if she is going to really accept to become one or not. Besides, Madoka was once a cheerful girl and after Mami’s death, that’s when everything went downhill. She became indecisive, worried and confused. So much so that she’s the most vulnerable character and she could just die anytime! Though she worries about her friends, but I feel that they grew more and more apart even if Hitomi did not have a part in this, it still affects everyone’s morale. Just like Madoka, Sayaka’s cheerful and happy outlook took a devastating turn after she contracted. She became obsessed with her own ideal of justice and eventually snapped after knowing her best friend will take away her only crush in life. Do magical girls have a life? You play with fire, you get burnt. So her worse fears that she’ll never be with Kamijou came true. She’ll never know whether he is grateful for healing him but I’m glad she managed to get over him in the end and leave him to her best friend.

Kyouko may seem like the antagonist at first but I feel that she doesn’t want others to make the same mistake like she did. Eventually she drew closer to Sayaka because she sympathizes with her but obviously it was too late because the latter had succumbed to being a witch. Akemi gives off an enigmatic feel from the start and you can’t help wonder who she is and why she is close to omniscient, knowing details of just about everything. I mean, if you have lived your life like Groundhog Day, only with some alterations, how could you not predict the next thing if everything in the end ends up being the inevitable? That flashback of how she turned from a girl with low confidence and depended on everyone else to somebody independent, kicks ass and hard boiled was a timely catalyst that shows this transformation of hers on why she is so bent on preventing Madoka from becoming a magical girl. With that, everything starts to make sense. But even if her own doing is the one that caused Madoka’s great power to increase, I’m sure even if she hadn’t lift a finger, I think Madoka would still end up being the next powerful witch. Thinking of which, isn’t that how Walpurgis came about? So the next powerful Puella Magi becomes the next greatest witch which will bring an end to all humanity. How ironic could that get?

It is hard to pinpoint Kyuubey as the villain of the series. Sure, he keeps pestering Madoka to become a magical girl and his words may have some rushing in it. But he did not force her as it is ultimately Madoka (and the other girls) who end up agreeing and making the contract. The offer to grant any of your wish come true is indeed tempting. In addition, he already said that he isn’t human to begin with and his species lack what we know and feel as emotions. So how can something not human understand the way humans think and feel? Definitely spot on. Kyuubey looks so creepy that it makes viewers paranoid if this ever-smiling cat has a hidden agenda in turning young women into magical girls. Besides, he could beat Cheshire cat to any smiling award because it’s like his smirk is a permanent fixture on his face. Have you ever seen him put on another expression? It’s like he is wearing a mask. But on and off, you’d see him blink so I guess the creepy part is just his little grin. To make it even creepier, the way Kyuubey stares at ‘you’ makes it feels like he is staring at your soul! Yikes! It’s as though he wants your soul too! Sorry, Kyuubey, I don’t fit your description as a magical girl since I’m a guy. Plus, I don’t really want to die for the universe. EVER! Kyuubey’s explanation and revelation of how everything works is a definite eye opener. It makes you think about your own case because some of those stuffs really do apply in our real lives. For instance, do we feel pity for the chicken that was slaughtered so that we can enjoy our tasty fried chicken meal? What about girls hitting puberty and adolescent age, they sure are an emo lot, aren’t they? So who is the real baddie here, you ask? I would say that everyone is a villain because of our own inner demons. Each one of us have our own selfish wishes and desires. No, don’t blame yourself yet. That’s normal being human. The girls have only themselves to blame if they become magical girls and then slowly into a witch. Of course from this view, I feel that this is a necessary balance to the world like yin and yang. With light there is darkness. With good there is evil. One cannot exist without the other. And since nobody is perfectly in either category, so you become a magical girl at your high point and a witch at your low point. Just like a rising pop idol becoming really popular before fading to obscurity. Makes sense, don’t you think?

There were just certain things that I thought over about but ended up confusing myself because well, I thought too much. For instance if Kyuubey’s species has the ability to grant just about anything, wouldn’t that make them like Gods in the first place? Maybe it’s their sophisticated technology or something but to even grant time travelling abilities? Even if there are multiple alternate universes, couldn’t they just grant the wish themselves for eternal energy to feed the universe instead of using magical girls? Also it’s like they’re disposable but yet indisposable. Each time when one dies, another one is quickly replaced and retains the memories and knowledge of the previous (perhaps by devouring the dead one). How do they know that one of their kind is down and out? Where the heck do they come from? However this replacement thingy doesn’t apply when Akemi does her time travelling since everybody’s memories are reset except hers. And with the absence of witches in the new rewritten world, it goes to show that evil is still a necessary and balancing force for good to exist. So I guess it isn’t possible if one makes a wish for true peace because somehow and somewhere evil still lurks albeit in a different form.

The action scenes especially when the magical girls go witch hunting, I’m not saying that they are outstanding in the sense that they are jaw dropping and will leave you in awe. But those who fight using unlimited firearms are interesting. I like Mami’s cool rifle blasting action. It’s like use-once-and-throw. And she can pick up the rifle from just about anywhere. Whenever she pulls off this technique, she seems to exude lots of confidence in her abilities as a veteran. I just wish that she had more screen time to show us more of those stunts before her untimely and gruesome passing. Akemi’s one is also not bad. The idea of keeping all her firearms in a different space and then whipping them out at any time proves to be quite useful at lots of times even if they may seem absurd and just impossible. Just like Mami, Akemi certainly know how to kick ass and do it in style. I guess that is what happens if you have gone on lots of witch hunting spree and seen too many deaths. Practice makes perfect? Too bad I just didn’t find Sayaka’s sword slashing any appealing, though. Seems generic. Kyouko’s lance that can turn itself something like multiple nunchukus was also interesting but if you ask me, I’d still prefer the gun totting ones.

Since SHAFT produced this anime, you can bet that the drawing and art will not be your conventional style. The designs of some of the buildings, monuments and structures give a feel that we are indeed in some alternate future. I would say that they are quite creative. Though we don’t have mindless words and comments scattered all over the screen like what SHAFT did in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Pani Poni Dash, the art differs when the heroines enter the labyrinth. You can tell with all the messed up montage and cuttings put together like as though it’s one big nightmare. Be it real time pictures or crayon sketches. Some of you may also have notice this. That the characters resemble very closely to those in Hidamari Sketch. That’s because the characters are designed by Ume Aoki, the author of the art-themed Hidamari Sketch series. So if you think you may have seen Yuno in Madoka or a hint of Miyako in Mami, don’t try to rub your eyes too hard. I just thought I could see that little green bug thing from Hidamari Sketch making a cameo appearance as either one of the messy montage or the familiars. Maybe it did, maybe it did not. Wasn’t paying that much attention anyway. On a trivial note, sometimes when the camera zooms up Akemi’s face at an angle, this kind of scene somehow reminds me of similar ones like Senjougahara in Bakemonogatari, another series that SHAFT produced. Heck, I don’t remember this clearly but I think there was one scene in this show whereby it reminded me of another familiar scene in Bakemonogatari. The one at the bridge top where Madoka threw down Sayaka’s Soul Gem, that scene looks nostalgically familiar to the one in Bakemonogatari’s Tsubasa’s scene at the electric poles with Araragi. But correct me if I’m wrong. It could be another scene or not. Coincidentally, Chiwa Saito was the seiyuu for both Akemi and Senjougahara. Is it really coincidence? Just like in previous SHAFT’s animes, the different end card illustrations from various people fills in the next episode preview instead of scenes from the next episode. Well, I would say that some of the sketches make them look pretty cute.

The voice acting is quite good and each character is portrayed to their utmost behaviour. Aoi Yuuki does a fine job in making Madoka sound like an insecure and vulnerable girl who could only helplessly watch her pals suffer the fate of being magical girls. This isn’t her typical goofy role like Ichigo in Yumeiro Patissiere or the commanding Mina in Dance In The Vampire Bund. Chiwa Saito wasn’t recognizable as Akemi at first since she didn’t put on her trademark voice that I would recognize like Rebecca in Pani Poni Dash, Stella in Arakawa Under The Bridge or Kirie in Girls Bravo. Still, she sounds befitting Akemi’s role as a cold and distant girl that has seen too many same deaths of her dearest friend. Surprisingly I could recognize Ai Nanoka as Kyouko. Even if she didn’t put on her antic-like voice like how she did in Fuura in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei or Koyomi in Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou, she is still identifiable. It feels like she has matured. Kaori Mizuhashi as Mami was cool and calm so I didn’t really thought she was the voice behind characters like Miyako in Hidamari Sketch or Lili in La Corda D’oro. Likewise Eri Kitamura as Sayaka but of course I’m not familiar with her voice even after all these years hearing her as Rin in Kodomo No Jikan, Eve in Needless and Ami in Toradora. Emiri Katou as Kyuubey (Kagami in Lucky Star) is definitely one cool cat. There is no hesitation or doubt in Kyuubey’s words nor did he mince his words. They are direct and straight to the point even if it hurts. But like they say, the truth hurts. Can you handle it? Ryouko Shintani (Milfeulle in Galaxy Angel series) and Yuko Goto (Asahina in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu) are instantly recognizable in their respective roles as Hitomi and Madoka’s mom even if they didn’t go into their usual voice. The opening theme song is Connect by ClariS. Though it may sound like your typical lively anime pop, but I feel that there is a hint of sadness in it. I don’t know, half of the time I see Madoka crying. Are they tears of joy or sadness? My guts tell me it’s the latter. The ending song is creepy. If you are familiar with Kalafina’s style of music like the one in Kuroshitsuji II, then you’d be able to guess how Magia would sound like. Coupled in with the eerie shadowy animation and the pace of the song, I prefer to skip this part so as not to have any nightmares. As for the background music, the majority of them sound grim and depressing. Especially the ones with female church choir-like voices. It gives off a sad feel and sometimes a hopeless predicament for the characters. Truly depressing but befits the scene.

So it goes to show that being a magical girl is not all nice and everything spice. Being dressed in fancy clothes, holding a fancy wand with magical powers to save the world along with a cute magical pet all just seems sugar coated now. Hope is just a reason for them to carry out their magical girl duties. You can sure that my perception of magical girls will never be the same again. With each new or old magical girl, I’ll be suspicious if she really had an ulterior motive or will end up becoming a demon herself. And somehow every white cat that crosses my path seems to remind me of Kyuubey… PLEASE DON’T LOOK AT ME WITH THOSE EYES! Sometimes sacrificing yourself for the greater benefit of the universe as a whole may seem like a noble thing to do just like dying for your country. I’m sure many people won’t mind doing that if it wasn’t the fact that they will be facing a grim death. So yeah, you can bet that I won’t be selling my soul even if it’s an exchange to watch animes for eternity. Once again, would I die for the universe? LIKE HELL! NO WAY!!!

The World God Only Knows

August 27, 2011

In the world that we live in, it’s always hard to find the ideal man/woman that we desire. That is why galges with bishoujos were created in the first place to sooth and satisfy lonely hearts of guys who wouldn’t really stand a chance of having one in the real world. Hah! I made that up. So what kind of world is that? Well, it’s only The World God Only Knows (Kami Nomi Zo Shiru Sekai).

Keima Katsuragi is one of those who may fit under the label as otaku. However his only obsession in this area is that he is an avid gamer of galges. He is such a master in these games so much so he is dubbed the God of Capturing over the internet. How masterful he is? He is able to ‘capture’ and ‘conquer’ any 2D girls of any game thrown at him. Wow. I wish I had that skill too. Oh, what am I saying? In other words, he is a 2D lover compared to 3D, eh? I know, unlike 2D girls, 3D can be irrational and incomprehensible. Hey, that’s what he said. But that’s why 2D girls are attractive, aren’t they? Unlike many other otakus, Keima is much different. Instead of being the typical fat and average otakus we are known to, Keima is actually an intelligent person! So much so, he can be so absorbed playing with his handheld PSP right in the middle of class, right in the middle of lessons and right in the middle of when the teacher chides him. It’s amazing that he can achieve high (if not perfect) grades and still concentrate on his game! How many of us can fully concentrate on doing 2 things at a time?

Flag 1.0: Love Makes The World Go Round
His world is literally shaken when he receives an email challenging him to capture a girl in episode 1. Without thinking further, he accepts it. The next thing he knows, a demon girl with a broom (not a witch, mind you) appears before him, calls him kami-sama (God) and says that he has entered into a contract with her. She is Elucis de Lute Ima or Elsie for short. She instantly takes him on a mission to hunt for loose souls. To Keima, this reality must be just a bad dream. Yeah, just keep denying it. But reality just keeps coming back to haunt him. Based on the strict conditions of the contract from Hell, if it is not fulfilled, the collar on his neck (which signifies the contract he entered) will cut his head! Don’t worry, once his contract is fulfilled, it will be removed. Might as well suck it up and get over with the contract. So what are these loose souls? Supposedly evil spirits that got loose and hide themselves inside girls (thus possessing them) who are facing some sort of personal problem. If they aren’t removed, these loose souls will become stronger and will eventually take over the host body. So all Keima has got to do is to get close to the girl, understand their problem, solve it and yes, make them fall in love with her. In that sense, it will be like forcing the evil spirit out of the heart (thus the reason Elsie needs a human ‘accomplice’ for her task). Sounds easy, right? Not if you’re a 2D lover. Now that has got to be a real nightmare and some sort of divine punishment.

So as Elsie’s first detected loose soul is Ayumi Takahara, Keima’s athletic classmate who not only accidentally cause him to break his beloved PSP, but also left him to do all the class chores. Yeah, this is going to be tough. Keima isn’t really going to bother with it so tearful Elsie thinks of dying with him (both will die if the contract is fulfilled). I guess he doesn’t want to mix up reality and fantasy and make it look like he is to blame for the failure so what else to do but to do the job. Just like harsh reality, Keima observes lots of stuff that doesn’t fulfil the ideal of an athletic track girl in 2D games. Firstly, she didn’t tie her hair. Say what? I didn’t know that. Anyway Ayumi soon ties her hair to get serious. Then Keima proceeds to cheer for Ayumi practising for her sports meet by putting up support banners so much so Ayumi becomes embarrassed by this stalker and beats him up each time he comes to support her. Then they see her being admonished by their cocky seniors. Later during another practice, Ayumi trips over a hurdle and collapses. Her foot is injured and the meet is tomorrow. That night, Keima meets her and knows that she is faking her injury. He observed that she didn’t tie her hair that time and thus wasn’t running seriously and thinks she planned her fall. Ayumi comes clean and mentions that she practised hard but can’t improve her time. She thinks her seniors are right when they told her off. Keima just tells her to run as fast as she can because she shouldn’t be worried about the ranking. After all, she is already ranked first in his heart. Gasp! She flusters at first and panics but eventually asks if he would come to support her tomorrow. Keima accidentally falls off the stairs but when he regains his balance, Keima and Ayumi’s lips meet. At that very moment, the loose soul is chased out of Ayumi’s heart as Elsie traps it in her jar. In the aftermath, Ayumi wins first place in the meet and was even praised by her seniors. Keima congratulates her but she doesn’t remember who he is. As narrated, the after effects of every successful capture will result in the host losing the memories of the capture. It’s better for them this way right? And just when Keima thought he would get his easy life back, he gets a surprise when Elsie turns up as not only a transfer student in his class but his sister as well. Ah, now the envy of all guys.

Flag 2.0: Demon Of A Little Sister
Sure everybody is thrilled about Elsie in episode 2 but when she tries to stand up for him by saying that every darn girl in the world will fall for him, everyone bursts into laughter and Keima falls into embarrassment. Hey wait. Isn’t the contract over? Apparently he has to capture all the loose souls in this town. And there are lots of them. Oh boy. That’s why read the fine prints of the contract next time. So being his sister means she has to live in his house, right? How is she going to pull this one off? She meets Keima’s mom, Mari. With a smile, she says that she is her husband’s illegitimate child! OMG! She even has a ‘letter’ from her late ‘mom’ to prove it! Mari calls her husband immediately wanting a divorce. Don’t even think of coming back! Poor guy didn’t know what hit him. Mari is scary when she’s mad. She accepts Elsie into the family. Later Keima takes Elsie to a store selling lots of those kind of games he plays. She tells him the important factors called BMW (not the car but Blood relation, Memories and Wonii-chan moe – WTF?!) that lacks them to be proper siblings. Elsie bites his fingers so in this sense she is related to him by blood. Does this count? Back home, Elsie tries to be a good little sister by cooking. Uhm… It seems the dishes she cooks are weird. Eyes in the meals? Who in their right mind would eat something that disgusting?! Apparently Keima is tied up like a mummy so yeah, this is really hell. But surprisingly it tastes good. Then she also cleans up good. But when she maximizes the power of her broom, it blasts a hole in the wall. Annoyed Keima goes to take a bath but the lights soon go out. He feels something touching him and it turns out to be Elsie who is trying to help him wash his back. Why are these seemed like triggering forced little sisters events? Cliche? Elsie mentions how she has an older sister who is good in everything. All she ever did was cleaning so when she was selected on hunting loose souls, she became happy. Keima rationales that though what she is trying to do won’t make her his real sister, as long as he can’t get loose from this collar, he can’t cut ties with her. And you thought after that nice speech, Keima would have calmed down but it seems Elsie slipped up again when she washed his PSP. With soap. Now that really crosses the line.

Flag 2.5: Baby, You’re A Rich Girl
More embarrassing moments in school when a classmate reads out loud the embarrassing moments Elsie wrote she did with Keima (that bath thingy). Then when they go to buy bread. They see a rich obnoxious girl, Mio Aoyama using her 10,000 bill Yen to buy soba bread. Since she doesn’t believe in using small change for her purchase, she tells the lady to give her to amount of bread worth that amount. WTF?! It’s a sell out! So the other students have nothing to eat lah… That’s the problem of being filthy rich. And yes, she has a loose soul detected inside her. Elsie thinks this is going to be a tough one but veteran Keima has played many games with this sort of character. Tough on the outside, soft on the inside. Yeah, all he needs is just to break down her armour. Then Keima practises his confession lines with Elsie but she flusters too much to have any effective feedback. Next day, Keima boldly confesses to her but she rejects him immediately. Yeah, harsh reality. They tail Mio back to her home and to their surprise, it isn’t a large mansion but a little rundown apartment! What is going on?

Flag 3.0: Drive My Car
As they eavesdrop in episode 3, they learn that her father was the president of Aoyama Central Industries and recently passed away. The chauffeur is begging her to come to her senses but even so, Mio refuses to alter her lifestyle even if mom is working hard to make ends meet. Yeah, all that bread piling up on her table. Can she eat them all? The chauffeur can’t take this anymore and leaves. That’s when Mio spots Keima outside and is devastated somebody else knows her secret. Keima decides to redo his strategy. Next day, he waits outside her home and offers to be her chauffeur. A bicycle? At first she’d rather walk but tripped. Then Elsie changes the bicycle into a rickshaw so that seems rather acceptable for her to ride though she maintains an excuse she hurt her leg. For a gamer like Keima, stamina of cycling is a problem. But he has to suck it up and paddle hard, each time the rickshaw becoming more and more sophisticated looking and attracting the stares of other students. So much so Mio becomes some sort of a slave driver. But wait. She’s laughing. She realizes that and immediately stops before returning to her cold personality. Then Keima spots an invitation to a ball and plans to go in for a kill.

Flag 3.5: I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party
He chauffeurs Mio there and she is upset that he brought her to this place (she didn’t to attend in the first place). Mio is surprised that Keima dresses up and looks a little handsome. He continues to be considerate while she continues to be cocky. Since she doesn’t want to go into the main party hall, Keima suggests that they have their own party here in the yard. Then some of her dad’s colleagues come by and mock Mio before leaving. Keima tells her that she had already live the life that her dad wanted in honour of his memories. But she should live her own life now. Memories of her father flow through her mind but she is still hesitant and thinks Keima is pulling some sort of a trick. He throws her an ultimatum. Either return to that rich life or choose her own way of living. That’s because he wants to be in her heart. He kisses her and that’s when the loose spirit is set free and is captured inside Elsie’s jar. In the aftermath, though Mio is still the same bratty girl, she seems happier and learned to live within her means. Yeah, now she uses coins to buy those breads.

Flag 4.0: On A Crusade
There is this legendary game whereby nobody could capture this girl. Seriously? Nobody? Let Keima do the job. So in episode 4, Keima plays his PSP all day long, 24/7 just to conquer this heroine of the game, Sora Asuka. However he too is nearly on the verge of giving up. You see, he should’ve known better himself when the game was finally released after many delays and the many bugs it has. The glitch involves a scene being repeated or returned to the original scene no matter what kind of answer one chose. Like as though it is looping or restarting again. Though the game is off the shelves, Keima is going to solve it or his reputation will be tarnished. First Keima enlists Elsie’s help to list down all the possible routes by making different sets of pattern and combination that he goes through in hopes that there will be an undiscovered route which will lead them to the real ending. The glitches are so weird that they range from the scene being shown upside-down to even an old man as Sora! Obviously at this point Elsie is worn out but Keima soldiers on. He doesn’t blame her because he believes there are no bad heroines (“They’re always someone waiting to be saved at the end!”). Keima perseveres and finally after many scenes after scenes, could this be the ending that Sora finally shows everyone her picture? Okay, some gibberish words came out. Back to the start! Hundred more hours of gaming! No way! In the end, a short line on Wikipedia reveals about an internet rumour that one person managed to see the real ending of the game. However nobody believed it and it was soon forgotten. Oh man…

Flag 5.0: Idol Bomb!
Elsie is excited that her favourite TV idol, Kanon Nakagawa wins the new artiste award in episode 5. However Keima isn’t because he prefers his 2D idol and gives supporting points why they are much better than 3D idols. Yeah, 2D idols get to improve with time while live idols become old and fade away! News has it that Kanon will be a transfer student in Keima’s school. The entire school is abuzz. Except for Keima who is busy playing his galge. Kanon spots him and tries to hint but he is indifferent. This hurt her feeling as she zaps him with a kitty-like stun gun! She is upset that he doesn’t recognize her, unlike happy-go-lucky Elsie. Kanon signs on Keima’s PSP her autograph (getting back at him?). Because he continues to show no further interest, she constantly zaps him. She has 2 stun guns! How electrifying can this get? And yes, Elsie detects a loose soul in her. Kanon goes about her busy and tight schedule as an idol but she is still upset about that one person who doesn’t recognizes her. She issues Keima a challenge letter up to the school rooftop. She is going to blow him away with her top idol performance. How the heck was the stage erected there in the first place? But you know what? He was playing his PSP all the while. Wasted her breath, eh? She was going to zap him again but she receives an important call of duty and is whisked away in her helicopter. Keima is thankful that his PSP is spared but as Elsie wonders why Keima is unappreciative to the troubles Kanon has gone through, he mentions that it is likely a trap when a girl chases after your love (speaking from his gaming experience) and the irony that idols are supposed to be hard to catch and yet she is chasing after him. Besides, she erased his PSP memories. So that’s why… Kanon continues her personal idol stint for Keima but the same: No reaction. As she sinks into depression, Keima and Elsie are shocked to see her vanishing.

Flag 6.0: I’m Ordinary?
Actually she is somewhat transparent. So in episode 6, Keima changes his attitude and tries to say that he was listening but she isn’t buying it. After evading all her angry stun gun charge (like a reflex by now), she walks away disappointed. Keima reveals that he was acting like a bad guy just to find out what is troubling her. Needing to know more about Kanon, Elsie feeds him details that every Kanon fan should know. But really, does he really need to know about her turtle pet? Kanon on TV announces her concert at Narusawa Seaside Hall with her upcoming single Happy Crescent. During her performance on TV, she notices a fan in the sea of audience not paying attention to her and was texting all the way. She becomes annoyed so much so she messed up her lyrics for a while, puzzling her fans. Elsie decides to head over to the TV station to see what is bugging Kanon but when she arrives, she is whisked away in her car. Elsie meets a group of Kanon’s fans (including an old uncle) waiting in line outside. Elsie learns that Kanon was originally from an all-girl group called Citron that was supposed to promote its leader, Lime. But Kanon outshone her and eventually the group broke up. Keima decides to initiate a plan for her capture and it seems he knows what is troubling her. He starts attending her performance and cheers her on, giving her the much needed strength to continue. As time passes, Kanon relies more and more on Keima as he is being whisked to her side for just about anything. She becomes happier when he praises her song. Then on the night of her performance at Narusawa, she goes missing from the dressing room.

Flag 7.0: Shining Star
A flashback in episode 7 that sees Kanon during her time in Citron when the trio were eagerly excited to debut here. Seems this was what attributed to her ‘disappearance’. She saw a vision of herself telling her that everyone will abandon her if she screws up big time. As all the staff frantically search for Kanon, fans are already streaming into the hall. Keima feels he needs to be the first one to find her. Kanon is her transparent self and her morale at all time low, thinking she can’t do it and needs to go find Keima. Eventually Keima and Elsie find her. They could’ve saved all the trouble and time if Elsie had actually thought of using her loose soul detector in the first place. Duh… Now it’s Keima’s turn to weave his magic. Kanon wants him to give her the courage to impress all those people but Keima tells her that she will have to do it on her own. Hearing the echoing roars of the fans cheering her name, Keima adds that everyone has been drawn to her light and that he can’t keep her for himself. Kanon gets her confidence back and bids farewell. She kisses Keima and the loose soul kicked out and successfully into custody. Kanon returns and apologizes to her manager before going out on stage to wow her fans. As Elsie and Keima leave, she wonders if his perception for live idols has changed. However he notes that Kanon isn’t an idol anymore but a shining star.

Flag 8.0: Coupling With With With With
Episode 8 is a series of snippets and events overlapping. So you need to be patient to see all of it connecting as a big picture. First we see Mari taking a shower and is alerted when she feels a presence of someone and a cake is being thrown out into the bushes. Next, Keima isn’t pleased that Elsie is cooking him more of her strange meals. Who would want to eat a bento that has eyes and tentacles sticking out of the box! She gets hurt when he calls her a bug demon (like in that glitch game). She gets an advice from her friend to bake Keima a cake to get some praise. I think the teacher, Kodama is really blind not to be able to tell that Elsie substituted herself with an inflatable self. She ditches class to borrow the kitchen and try baking a cake. However the ingredients she uses are all weird. Plain weird. Why are those things still living? And why are all those eggs so big like dinosaurs? Then one of the eggs hatch and a menacing mandragon wrecks havoc by chasing her. She temporarily sees Keima but walks away and just says that he will witness her true power. She continues her baking and when she is about to put the finishing touches, the mandragon eats the strawberry. Then the other eggs hatches and the little monsters (like cute Pokemons, eh?) surround her, wanting a piece of her cake. Then the whole room exploded because Elsie was heating the oven over a fire. WTF?! Back home, Mari receives a call from Kodama that he can’t make it for a house visit. Mari is okay with it. Keima with his head bandaged tells Elsie that he knows she was missing for school. She denies it and says to herself that she’ll someday make him a successful cake. However Keima notes that he hates sweet things. Poor Elsie ends up throwing that recipe magazine away.

The next scene is from Keima’s point of view. After that horrible bento from Elsie, he thinks if she hates him. I say he has too much on his mind because he can actually concentrate playing his game and at the same time, Kodama hands him his test sheet back. He scored a perfect 100! Yeah, does being perfect give him the right not to listen in class and do whatever he wants? He’s not listening… Outside, Keima has a short encounter with mandragon flying by and Elsie with that true powers line. Kodama substitutes Keima’s class for PE so he punishes Keima for being cocky with more laps. Keima shows him that he can still run if he puts his mind to it! Wow. Though he drops in the end, Kodama tells him he’s going to pay his house a visit. Keima tells him off so he is going to teach him a lesson when an explosion occurs and the mandragon is seen flying out and chases Kodama. Keima goes back and sees a cake on the bushes and thinks it is what Elsie may be up to. Mari is fixing her bike when she gets a call about Kodama’s visit. Seems she doesn’t like that gay guy but thinks of taking a shower since she is quite dirty. Then she thinks there is a peeping Tom and goes to chase him. But when she realizes that the intruder is a robber and has broken in, she becomes afraid. Holding a flower vase as her weapon, she tiptoes closer to the sound coming from the fridge. Then she whacks the intruder with it. Turns out to be Keima eating the cake. So sorry! Next, we see the mandragon confronting the alien bento on top Keima’s house roof. Kodama is just outside when he witnesses the alien bento swallowing the mandragon whole after a fight! Oh sh*t! Better call it a day.

Flag 9.0: Inside And Outside The Big Wall
Because Elsie continues to be ignorant about the world, Keima tells her to go read up more in episode 9. She visits the school’s extensive library and since the book on obsolete modern words is too much for her, she starts with something simpler: A book on fire engines. She gets so infatuated with it that she tried asking the librarian, Shiori Shimomiya for more books about it. But Shiori is so absorbed in her reading that she seems to be ignoring her. Even if she did manage to get her attention, Shiori seems to be just staring at her, not saying her word. Then her loose soul’s detector goes wild. Aha… She brings Keima to the library when Shiori comes back with a tray full of books from the library relating to fire engines. All 458 of them! The fact is that Shiori has read every darn book in the library but couldn’t say it for fear she may be deemed a weirdo. She sees Keima and is lost for words on what to say to correct her position but returns to her seat and continues to safely read in her world of her own. Shiori narrates about her love for books, what they represent and what they mean to her. Shiori observes a couple flirting in the library but her shyness wouldn’t allow her to stand out and voice her opinion of what they’re doing to desecrate this sacred place. Then the library committee chairperson gives her a list of books to be disposed off this month. Shiori reluctantly goes to pick the selected books. There is one high on the shelf that she can’t reach and when she does, she loses her balance. She falls back on Keima’s body as he catches the book. Shiori’s mind is racing on what to say appropriately. It must seem like an eternity when she finally blurted out a blooper. A word combo of thank you and economics principles: Arigaron. (Arigatou = thank you; Keizaigenron = principles of economics).

Flag 10.0: Inside Of Me…
Shiori becomes flustered over her blooper in episode 10 so she quickly leaves and just forgets that all this happened. However Keima says that he thinks these books aren’t necessary anymore and that they take up space and should be digitalized. Of course this stopped Shiori in her tracks. Though she has her objections, the most it could come out was just in her head. She eventually brushes it off as everyone entitled to their own opinion and that she could never argue with a scary person like him. Then he mentions that a book can be discarded after being scanned, she turned around and let loose a “Baakaaa!” (Stupid) at him. Sounds funny, though. Of course she walks away and as usual it’s part of Keima’s plan to find out her problem. Hey, he can’t tell if she doesn’t speak her mind, right? Since Elsie is obsessed about reading on fire engine, he knows she’s not going to be much help. It’s all down to yourself. When you want to get something done… Shiori remembers since young she had a problem of voicing out. Whether it is not her fault in breaking a vase or even writing pages of book reviews instead of telling her friends by mouth about her opinion (of course they find it weird). That’s why she finds her freedom in books as they don’t rush her and that she can learn in silence and live out her life in books. During the librarian’s meeting, the chairperson indicates that the new media room is approved and that books will be discarded. Shiori stood up but didn’t say anything. The rest didn’t think she has objection to say and the meeting adjourns. I guess Shiori is a little too much when she mentions the need of communication via talking and why didn’t our ancestors learn to speak via telepathy. Hey, we could’ve been advanced life forms if we can ever do that. Then she catches Keima scribbling in a book and snatches it away. However he says he is making corrections. I guess he’s knowledgeable in the game area so I can question his details and the errors that were made. Of course he mentions that giving wrong info is defeats the point so this time Shiori ekes out a funny “Ahoooo~” (Moron) at him. Hey, that’s 2 words now. At least Keima thinks he’s engaging in a conversation with her rather than making her mad. Though she may not show much on the outside, significant changes may be happening beneath the surface. On another time, Shiori instantly snatches another book Keima is scribbling. But it turns out to be his own book. Because of that, some psychological role reversal happen when she speaks her inner mind out about opposing the media room and being thrown off pace with people like him. On another time, Keima mentions how he prefers this quiet place as opposed to the noisy exterior. Shiori agrees about this fortress of paper that keeps the noises out. In her reflex, she introduces herself when he tells his name. Elsie teases Keima that he is relatively making progress with a girl that rarely talks but a more important issues is bugging Keima. He is wondering what the emptiness in her heart is. Then they see her shredding a paper. Putting it back together, it is a notice of book disposal to prepare for the new media room.

Flag 11.0: The Last Day
It’s not a case of action speaking louder than words in episode 11. Shiori singlehandedly barricades herself inside the library, locking out all her committee members. The chairperson knocks for her to open and though Shiori is startled by the incessant knocking, she continues to lock herself inside her own world. She falls asleep and dreams how she never got into opening her mouth to talk. That one time when she was late for class, she thought of staying outside when the class ends but wandered to the library. That’s where she found her sanctuary. It is night time and the chairperson is still knocking. Unbelievable. She didn’t want to call a teacher so as not to jeopardize the media room which she put so much effort in getting approved. Keima comes in from the hole in the ceiling made by Elsie. Like some sort of an angel descending from the sky, eh? Isn’t there any other better way for her to let him enter? They spend the time sitting close to each other. Not saying anything. Shiori’s mind starts getting frantic as usual when the electricity is cut. The committee members finally thought of this and resetting the password, eh? In the darkness, the mountain of books starts collapsing over them. It would be ironic if they got crushed by it, eh? Now it’s Keima time. With his smooth words, he says how he wished the real world would leave him alone so Shiori replies that she just wants to live here in her peace and quiet. Keima refutes that all she wants is to talk to others but is afraid to say something wrong that will piss them off. He asks her if she is trying to protect her books or her sanctuary from the outside world. Shiori starts thinking that it may be too late for her voice to reach others but Keima will give her the courage she needs to do so and kisses her. Her loose souls evicted as Elsie confines them in her jar. When the committee members finally get in and confront Shiori, she apologizes and voices her objection about the book disposal because she feels that every book has its own story to tell. Everyone is surprised that she talked! Yeah, that sentence itself is probably more than what she spewed in her entire life time! The chairperson agrees on holding another meeting for the book disposal though the media room stays. Shiori couldn’t be happier than that. Then Shiori asks if there was someone else besides her here, nobody could recall. Shiori feels she received something in her dream. Keima is on the rooftop continuing to play and finish his galge as Elsie reseals the hole. In the aftermath, Shiori uses her faint memories that there was someone there at that moment as a basis to write a story. When the chairperson catches her writing something, she quickly hides her work to cover a few embarrassing parts.

Flag 12.0: More Than A God, Less Than A Human
Keima is looking like a zombie. Like the undead. Why? Because he has not played enough galges ever since Elsie came into his life! What kind of reasoning is that? And you thought it was the other way round, worn out due to overplaying. How do we know he has not played enough then? Look at all the galges piling up in his dark room! Yikes! What is he going to do about food? To hell with that, playing games to make up for lost time is all that matters. He locks himself in his room as concerned Elsie takes a peek into it for the first time. A shocking scene as we see various game consoles, game pads and monitor screens! In his Capturing God mode, Keima is playing 6 games simultaneously and not losing concentration on each one! Wow!!! Such enhanced speed, foresight, intelligence and stamina! His hands are moving so fast that he resembles like some Hindu God! Then unleashing his secret Synchronicity technique, all the games ended up with a kissing scene onscreen! Superb!!! Elsie, you may want to step out of the room and give that nerd some space. As Keima takes a break and I don’t know how he came up with this equation that each time he uses the Capturing God mode, his lifespan will decrease by 3 years. Then he gets an email from an online Wiki asking if he has beaten the Princess Derby game yet. This one involves movement (swinging the console) so with his lack of stamina, he uses his Capturing God mode to win the game and that post his victory online. Then he takes out all the previous console versions of Princess Derby and starts playing them simultaneously! Wow. The consoles on his hand and body make him look like as though he’s going through some battle. I guess he played too much so much so the consoles overheated. Elsie checks up on him and sees him in some yoga pose. Let’s continue to leave him alone… He’s in some peaceful plains and when he returns, he gets the resolve to continue. But this time as Elsie checks upon him again, though on the verge of collapsing, he is setting up and trying to play 24 games at the same time! Isn’t that going too far?! Elsie asks him if he ever felt lonely playing games in his dark room like a machine unlike other boys his age playing outside. She feels sad for him. However Keima replies he is not suffering and is happy to drown himself playing these galges. He starts his game and now this is just unbelievable. The way his movements now to play all 24 games surpasses those of an orchestra conductor or a DJ! Elsie, you may want to leave him alone some more… Finally Keima completes all the games except for one more. However his vision starts to blur as he realizes he has spent hours using his Capturing God mode. That means he should’ve been dead, eh? He is going to pass out but suddenly sees all the 2D girls giving him the strength and encouragement to go on. He completes the final game and follows the girls into another realm where they happily, well erm, he plays more games, the girls flank him. This must be heaven, right?

Flag 12.99999: The 2D Girls God Only Loves
Well, that isn’t the end yet because right after the final episode, it is announced that there will be a second season. So that’s why they put a pun of changing ‘owari’ (end) to ‘okawari’ (second helpings – which means a sequel in this sense). It debuted back in April 2011 (yeah, already ended its run by the time this blog is out). It’s just like taking a season break before resuming. They even had a cheek to put a new character right at the end saying that a sequel was necessary or else she want get to debut! So I’m expecting more havoc with this new character and definitely more loose souls to capture. That means more girls for our hero to capture. If they were only 2D…

Keima’s love for 2D girls is amazing. I think I could never surpass him or even get this close. It’s frightening to know that he has this incredible multi-tasking job and able to concentrate in both his studies and games and yet achieve perfection. It’s like he is God but at the same time make him so much less a human. What is he, really? To think that he would do well to capture 3D girls is another amazing feat. For a person who only loves 2D girls and couldn’t care less about reality, he sure put his gaming knowledge and experience to good use. Whether or not his feelings to help the girls are sincere or just putting up an act (so that he could complete the contract with Elsie), he is really one smooth talker (especially when he goes in for the kill/capture). He just needs to smile more often. If only I could use those lines in real life. So who says that games have such a bad influence? It depends on how you use your knowledge and experience. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. That is what Keima proved. But did you notice that Keima don’t really hate 3D girls? Even if his act was just to help in capturing the girl, if he really hated them, he wouldn’t have been so effective in the first place. With each capture, he not only becomes more tolerable to girls of reality (at least in my opinion), but learns and discovers his true self, though it is pretty much the obsessed galge player we know.

When the climax or conclusion to the capture the girl is near, Keima’s favourite phrase is “I can see the ending”. Yeah, playing lots of galges really helped him foresee the possible routes and outcomes. It applies in real life too. I mean, how far could it run? Another quirky thing about Keima is his over-dramatic, flowery and poetic explanation to Elsie during certain scenes about what’s going on. Actually, I don’t even understand it myself so much so it would’ve been better if he had gotten to the point straight. As for Elsie, I find her to be somewhat of a useless moe idiot most of the time. At times, it can be annoying. I thought she as the heroine would help aid Keima but to me, it’s that guy who is doing most of the work (in the sense of the planning and strategy he puts forth). I’m not saying that Elsie did nothing throughout the capture but I just wish she was portrayed to be more useful, that’s all. Perhaps she’s naive. In that case, she’s got a long way to go.

It’s a bittersweet feeling for the other conquered girls. It’s good that they have their problems solved and the loose soul vanquished in the end, but it’s somewhat sad to see them lose memories moments during the capture. When they have finally fallen in love with Keima, they lose their memories. He could have amassed his own harem the way things are going and if not for the reset. But I guess he would prefer to have his 2D girls around him anytime. In the end, the ‘freed’ girls to become better persons themselves. Though unrelated, this ‘dating’ of different girls somehow reminded me shades of Amagami SS. In that series, each heroine gets her own little story arc though they date the same guy but their stories do not intertwine. So you could say that in another ‘universe’, he ‘shagged’ them all. Keima’s case is pretty much similar, only difference there isn’t a different setting in the time flow or each arc with another girl starts afresh.

Of all the voice acting in this series, the best one has got to be Kana Hanazawa as Shiori (Tenshi/Kanade in Angel Beats, Kureneko in OreImo). She was damn cute when she tried to tell off Keima in her shaky and unconfident voice. I have to admit that I purposely replayed those parts so that I could hear that kawaii expression over and over again. Other casts include Hiro Shimono as Keima (Akihisa in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Kanae Itou as Elsie (Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Ayana Taketatsu as Ayumi (Azusa in K-ON!), Ao Yuuki as Mio (Murasaki in Kurenai) and Nao Touyama as Kanon (currently her only other role is Tiger in Star Driver Kagayaki No Takuto). The opening theme is all in English. The name is the same title of the series (the English one) and is sung by Oratorio The World God Only Knows. Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the song sound like a faster beat of Enya? Though there are a few ending themes, the main is Koi No Shirushi. Depending on the girl being captured in that arc, the seiyuu of that girl will sing this theme. Other ending themes include Tatta Ichido No Kisei by Tomo Sakurai for Sora’s arc (she’s also the voice of the Sora character here) and Happy Crescent by Nao Touyama (typical J-pop idol song). The final ending theme by Hiro Shimono with Oratorio The World God Only Knows is called Shuuseki Kairo No Yume Tabibito. I think Hiro Shimono is purposely made to sing out of tune so much so it sounded very funny! The cacophony won’t t hurt your ears but tickle your ribs instead. LOL. There was one point he was even screaming like Tarzan running out of energy! AaaaAAAaaaAAaaa~ LOL!!! Then there are lots of other insert songs but these are mainly sung during Kanon’s arc.

If you’re an avid gamer, I’m sure that you can spot many trivia related to galges. Since I’m not one who plays such games (or any other computer or video games in the last few years), I’m not sure if those references are just parodies or real ones. But I think they should be the former. Don’t want to get sued, eh? The next episode preview is another amusing section. With an end card illustrated by various people, we hear Keima narrating based on his references to galges such as game characters will never betray you in real life (because girls on the other side of the monitor have feelings too!), galge characters created by maths are beautiful (what has it got to do with prime numbers?), describing the girl you like that makes up of pixels and data (as opposed to protein and calcium), galges can overcome all barriers to language and culture (so that we can borrow them once somebody is done with that game), unrequited love cannot happen in galge (if true love ever happens, it probably is a bug) and the best one whereby games have stories that will come to an end but however they are made in a way to have sequels (that’s why this series isn’t ending yet – a hint?). I’m not sure if Elsie’s short sentence at the end serves as a rebuttal. Even if it did, it didn’t make sense. At least not to me.

Keima didn’t get ostracized by other people simply because he couldn’t care less about the reality and is careful not to mix it up with fantasy. He didn’t turn into a pervert, molester or stalker, right? Otherwise, I’m sure there are many people out there who have negative remarks and stereotyped views about his obsession. To each his own. As long as you enjoy it without hurting others, I think it’s okay. So it’s alright for me to stay up all night throughout the week watching animes? Time to take out my hidden stash of 2D girls and drool over them and fantasize the paradise. What kind of world is that that I am dreaming of? Well, one that probably God only knows.

NB: If you wonder why 2D girls always look better than 3D girls, here’s my reason: They look much gorgeous in HD and high resolution! You can’t beat that, can you?