Deadman Wonderland

May 12, 2012

When you get caught for a crime, you get arrested, go to trial, if convicted, you go to prison. End of story? Well, not in Deadman Wonderland. It isn’t as simple as that as there is more than meets the eye for prisoners who are locked up in this prison. They’re not just rotting their sinful lives away in a cell or making car plates, you know.

In a future where a major earthquake has sunk 3/4 of Tokyo, Deadman Wonderland is Japan’s largest and privately owned prison facility built on ground zero itself. It operates like a circus, amusement park and tourist attraction so the public can come in and watch inmates, especially those on death row do embarrassing performances to their amusement. I mean, these are criminals, right? What better way than to shame them by putting up such carnival acts for the pleasure of the common people. Besides, no amount of repent will make this hardcore criminals atone for their sins. But what will human rights activists say about this? What happens an innocent and framed person is put behind these walls? On the outside, it may seem like an ordinary prison but deep down, there are lots of shocking dark secrets that may have you think that this is much worse than modern slavery. One such kid, Ganta Igarashi, is going to find out the hard way, the hard realities of life…

Episode 1
Ganta and his friends, Mimi and Yamakatsu are discussing about their upcoming school trip to Deadman Wonderland. Are we excited to head to the so called amusement park yet? Ganta has been living a pretty normal life though he is one of the many citizens affected by the great earthquake, resulting him in having no memories of the tragedy 10 years ago. As class resumes, Ganta spots a caped person floating outside the window. Before he knows it, the perpetrator unleashes a terrible blast decimating the classroom. Ganta wakes up in the pitch black darkness and to his horror sees the decapitated heads of Mimi. The villain, as Ganta identifies as Red Man, suddenly sticks some red crystal into his chest. Next time Ganta opens his eyes, he is in hospital but the police are arresting him for the massacre of his classmates. He is the only survivor. Of course everything is happening so fast and he is in shock of the developments. Not to worry. Court-appointed attorney, Tsunenaga Tamaki offers to help him out the best he can. The trial goes on but in the end, Ganta is found guilty and is sentenced to death. Ganta goes berserk and claims his innocence but was beaten up by a couple of fathers of his dead classmates. Though restrained by the cops, they show him a footage as evidence whereby cocky Ganta himself was planning his classmates’ massacre. Was that really him? It’s hard to say no. Off he goes to Deadman Wonderland, still shocked at his life turned upside-down. As part of the new inmates at the prison, they are given the low-down on what to expect in this prison by the head security chief, Makina. The first thing the other prisoners ask this strict, no-nonsense prison guard enforcer is how big her tits. “G-cup!” she says with confidence. I guess if you’re going to be on this job, you cannot be embarrassed with anything and expect those scums to ask such things. Another prison, Yoh Takami bumps into Ganta. He apologizes but Makina tells him to return what Yoh stole though the latter denies anything. In an instant, Makina slashes right across his body! Perhaps an example to expect the harsh reality they’ll be facing in this prison?

Later Makina and Tamaki are having a discussion about Ganta’s death sentence today. She thinks the plan is absurd and that they should just let him be and he’ll die before he knows it. But Tamaki asks her about what she would do when receiving presents. Of course, open it. And Tamaki hates waiting and wants his presents. Ganta is having it real hard adjusting to life. Reflecting everything that has happened so fast. His good times with his friends, the sudden trial, people pelting him with eggs and wishing his death. He wish he is dead. Suddenly a girl with white hair and thick mittens jump down and would be more than happy to kill him. Instinctively, Ganta avoids her iron rod swings. This girl, Shiro tells him that his reactions mean he doesn’t want to die. Ganta is dumbfounded she knows his name when a bunch of thugs come to mock Ganta about his massacre. But they are beaten up by Shiro who believes Ganta didn’t kill them. Suddenly there’s an explosion on the top structure. It is going to crash down on them. Ganta’s is determined to live to avenge his friends’ death when suddenly his chest starts glowing red. Using his reflexes, he uses his blood to blast the falling structure. Meanwhile Tamaki, who is also the promoter of Deadman Wonderland is looking through Ganta’s profile and notes he is unfortunate to have met Wretched Egg and lived to tell. He has 2 options for Ganta: Suffer and die or live and become his toy. Elsewhere, Makina and her team corner a death row prisoner taking another prisoner hostage. The hostage taker is in a panic, demanding some candy as he is out of Cast Points (currency used in this prison). What to do? Makina orders to do nothing and stall for time. Shortly, that guy starts bleeding internally and falls dead. Makina notes that is his death sentence. Ganta finds himself in one piece in the aftermath and Shiro is alive and fine too. The airhead girl starts talking about eating snacks together because they are friends. I guess he can’t stay gloomy forever so he agrees.

Episode 2
Tamaki talks to Makina about the failure in Ganta’s death sentence accident. He considers that failure a real success. Makina is not amused and wonders what this promoter sees in that kid. In the infirmary, Ganta is getting treated by the nurse, Rei Takashima. She advises him to eat his candy if he is to survive which was supposed to be in his beg when he first arrived. But Ganta didn’t find any. Ganta sees Yoh recuperating in the infirmary ward. Shiro drops in to invite Ganta to participate in this afternoon’s Dog Race Show, an athletic obstacle course in which the winner received 100,000 Cast Points. Later Yoh is seen informing Tamaki about Ganta’s participation. Ganta, Shiro and Yoh are preparing to enter the race with other participants by warming up at the backstage. Suddenly, Kouzuji Kazumasa and his underlings come in to instil some fear in the prisoners. They are to let this violent ex-Taekwondo guy win or die. Kouzuji gets violent on Yoh when he smiles wrongly. He also overheard Ganta’s crazy comment and also gets rough. No choice, Ganta plays by his rules even if they seem unfair and this earns him the right to live longer. Because Shiro is being an airhead and ignoring him, Kouzuji is ready to punch that whore’s face but is stopped in time by Makina. It’s time for the race. Ganta remembers reading the booklet of the prison rules and finds out the importance of the candy. He has to eat one every 3 days or else the poison in the collar (every inmate has this) will be released and kill him. And each candy costs 100,000 Cast Points. Man, he better win this. As the obstacle race starts, Ganta gets firsthand view of the horror obstacle course. Prisoners can really die on this race! It’s like Death Race but minus the cars! See them get slashed into half, jump to their death, electrocuted and getting shot by arrows. The crowd really loves seeing blood, eh? Shiro and Ganta are lucky to have gotten this far and the former is like having fun all the way, even to a point getting in Ganta’s way. I guess it’s the sweet bread consolation prize that Shiro is motivated to get. Kouzuji plays dirty by using his underlings as shield. In the final stage, Ganta, Kouzuji and Shiro are the final participants. Only one winner will walk away with the Cast Points. The rule of this final is simple. Whoever holds on to the black Deadman ball in this battle royale at the end of time wins. It’s no easy feat since the floors will be collapsing. And there are sharp spikes underneath. So a series of catch begins and Kouzuji starts playing mind games with Ganta hoping he will succumb to his supremacy. Ganta finally has had enough of this and tells him off if he wants to kill him, then do so. Till then he will live by his own rules. In the dying seconds, Kouzuji slides off the floor to his death. Shiro is having the ball and clinging on by her feet. Ganta sees her bruised body and realized that she had been protecting him throughout the course instead of being a nuisance. Shiro falls off and tosses the ball to him but he grabs Shiro’s hand instead, saving her. In the end, there is no winner and the displeased crowd starts booing and throwing their stuffs. Ganta laments his fate that he will be executed soon since he won’t have enough cash to buy the candy.

Episode 3
Tamaki is having a discussion with some committee. They didn’t like how he turned the event into a public massacre. He reminds them he is in charge here and to just cough up enough funds to keep Wretched Egg locked up here. Ganta is in his cell when he finds out Yoh is his cellmate. He gives Ganta his first candy seeing he feels guilty in crashing into him then and making him lose it. Ganta is very grateful and he better be because Yoh went through lots of trouble to get that. Plus, he notes the race’s difficulty and could’ve died if he had entered. You can say that injury by Kouzuji was somewhat a blessing in disguise. Also, he is Tamaki’s lackey in watching over Ganta. Ganta tastes the candy and finds it horrible. Just like reality, eh? Tamaki gets a call that the Mother Goose system is down. The place is in a mess and Wretched Egg has escaped. He wants everyone to do whatever it takes before Wretched Egg cracks a smile. While Ganta is eating ice cream with Yoh, he suddenly sees the Red Man who unleashes a super whirlwind that it could cut off your limbs! Ganta also gets some cuts but revenge is on his mind. Without thinking, he materializes his blood and shoots at him but nothing happens. Then Red Man escapes, Ganta collapses and Yoh couldn’t believe what he just saw. Ganta wakes up in the infirmary feeling okay with Shiro next to him. He overheard the next bed talking about a person whom Ganta thinks is Red Man. They think he is being locked away in G-Block. Makina confers with her team about Ganta’s strange display of powers. Seeing that their pride rests on maintaining peace and order within the walls of this prison, she wants him captured alive and quickly. She authorizes the use of Necro Macro and the lockdown of the prison. Yoh talks to Tamaki about what just happened. Tamaki notes the Red Man has been safely captured and throws him lots of Cast Points cards to shut him up and as reward. Ganta hears the announcement that he is wanted at the security room. But he has not time as he is rushing to G-Block. Does he know where that is? Luckily he bumps into Yoh who tells him there is no G-Block as all blocks are from A to F only. Shiro knows a secret passage so Ganta pesters her to tell. She suddenly starts getting upset and seals her lips. Necro Macro arrives on scene and is targeting Ganta so he pleads for Shiro’s help. She agrees and lets them through a small air passageway. Thank goodness they got away in time before they got fried by the blast! In a dark place, Necro Macro is still after them. They see a sign on the wall that tells them this is G-Block. It really exists, huh? Necro Macro goes out of control and attacks them. Makina and her team lost the machine’s signal and she fears it may have gone to an area which she has no control over. Ganta apologizes for getting them both into trouble. Upset Shiro kicks away the machine while berating Ganta an idiot. She is upset that Ganta continued to mention he killed all his friends. That’s because Shiro is his friend. Now you get it? So that’s why she’s so upset? The Necro Macro revives and grabs Shiro. Ganta wants to save her but it seems he couldn’t call forth his blood powers like before. Plus, he is too weak. Suddenly somebody slices and destroys the machine with ease.

Episode 4
Ganta thinks this guy is the Red Man and charges. But that guy pulls out a sword made out of blood from his arm. He recognizes Ganta as Woodpecker and wants to know when he is going to use his Branch of Sin. He feels disappointed and walks away. Ganta realizes he needs to use his blood power and with his determination, whips up a powerful blood ball and throws it at him, breaking his ribs. Now that guy is pumped up. Introducing himself as Kiyomasa Senji AKA Crow, he wants to have fun with Ganta and lunges at him. Fortunately Shiro stops him dead in his tracks so as not to pick on Ganta. Senji gets embarrassed upon seeing Shiro and tries to cover her up with his shirt. Ganta realizes he is not Red Man. Suddenly guards surround them and shoot tranquilizers. Makina is upset that there is no trace of Necro Macro’s wreckage or the prisoners so she is going to see the director personally. By the rules, she has to go through the promoter but she doesn’t care if she gets disciplined because it’s her job to maintain order, not to follow rules. Yoh and Shiro are taken away separately and detained elsewhere. Yoh asks about G-Block but is confused about Deadman, Branch of Sin and blood manipulation powers. To make things worse for Yoh, the guards confiscate all his Cast Points cards. So much for that. Senji is being examined by Rei and she thinks of cancelling tomorrow’s match due to his broken bones. But he tears up the place and threatens to kill her if she does that. Ganta is strapped down in a lab and is shocked to see Tamaki. He introduces himself as Deadman Wonderland’s promoter and will use any trick in the book to get Branch of Sin users here. So yup. That video of Ganta planning to kill his classmates was made up. Ganta’s blood is boiling but Tamaki continues to mock him. The rest warn Tamaki not to overdo it or else he won’t be able to participate in tomorrow’s experiment, Corpse Carnival. What experiment? Tamaki explains that Ganta, nicknamed Woodpecker will be up against Crow in tomorrow’s battle-to-the-death between Branch of Sin users. Winners get so much Cast Points that Dog Race Shows won’t matter anymore. Ganta isn’t going to follow his wish but Tamaki says if he does, he may just get to meet his classmates’ murderer one day, Wretched Egg or Red Man as he is known to Ganta. Tamaki continues that carriers of the Branch of Sin infection began appearing 10 years ago after the Red Hole incident so this experiment allows them to release their special powers to their limits. Then he forces Ganta to watch the blood curling gory and violent Corpse Carnival promo video (he can’t blink!).

Episode 5
Even if Ganta loses and dies, he’ll still be valuable because parts of his body will become useful as samples. See all the other samples in the room? Freaky lab! Makina tries to see the director but is stopped by a pair of loyal guards outside. She insists so they point their sword at her neck. She backs down. Ganta and Senji meet at the Corpse Carnival birdcage stage with several ‘guests’ (cartoon icons?) watching with glee. Ganta fires several blood projections but Senji slices them away. It is apparent he hasn’t mastered them yet. Then he starts feeling cold. Obviously. He shot out too much blood, didn’t he? He starts feeling scared as Senji moves into serious mode and shows he is serious in killing him by slicing the tree with ease. Ganta gets cut here and there and is lying in shock on the floor. Then he remembers Shiro. She is his childhood friend. Meanwhile Shiro wants to go save Ganta quick because he is weak. Despite that, she notes one thing awesome about him. No matter how bad things are, he gets back up. Senji is totally disappointed that yesterday’s fight may just be a fluke. Ganta gets up staggering. Though he is scared and in pain, he isn’t going down with a fight. He materializes a blood ball and shoots it straight up to drop a structure on Senji. Though Senji easily slices it away, it’s just a distraction so Ganta could get up close to him and fire a blood ball point blank at his chest. Pow! Senji is knocked out. Ganta wins the match and thinks Senji isn’t such a bad guy after all because he was giving him a high-five after the match. In his room, a programme called Corpse Carnival Post Game Show airs on TV. It is a penalty game for the Corpse Carnival loser. Senji is tied to a chair while Rei starts a slot machine. On Senji’s cue to stop, the slots state “Right Eye”. This means Rei and her team are going to extract his right eye now. Oh sh*t! Warning: Watching this scene may make you throw up because it is f*cking gross even though most parts are censored out!!! I can even feel the pain of Senji’s right eye being extracted!!! AAAAAAARGH!!! Meanwhile Yoh manage to get more information about G-Block and returns to the area with Shiro. Yoh uses silly Shiro as a distraction to fight the guards but he gets more than he bargained for when he sees her destroys an entire tower! Is that her blood on fire?!

Episode 6
Yoh makes his getaway while the prison team cleans up the mess. Ganta hears a commotion outside his room. He sees a young girl, Minatsuki pleading to a weird guy, Masu not to eat her flowers. Ganta offers him his food but it’s not enough. He wants more. Minatsuki takes Ganta and hide in her flower filled room. They talk about this sick place especially the recent post game show they saw. Minatsuki gets close to Ganta, making him fluster. Then she undresses herself to show the scars on her back. She tells him about her violent father when she lost mom to the Red Hole incident. One day the beating got out of hand, before she knew it, unknowingly she used her blood powers to kill him. Her brother never believed her blood powers could kill their dad so cruelly and did everything he could to protect her but she ultimately ended up here. Ganta tells her they should escape from this place and will protect her so she doesn’t have to use her Branch of Sin. Their escape ends in failure as the guards round them up and tells them to save it for tomorrow. Ganta doesn’t seem to know yet. Tomorrow’s Corpse Carnival pits Woodpecker against Humming Bird, which is Minatsuki. Meanwhile Tamaki is talking to the director in his dark room. The director isn’t amused of yet another Corpse Carnival taking place and reminds Tamaki that Deadman Wonderland is a birdcage he built for himself and not his dream land. But Tamaki says the show must go on. Ganta and Minatsuki step into the ring. At first he couldn’t fight her but as soon Minatsuki takes off her earrings, Ganta feels a whiplash. Minatsuki suddenly has a change in character and becomes a violent sadistic b*tch. Seems all that goody-two-shoes act was just pretend because she loves to see his depressing face. It makes her climax. The match is interrupted when Yoh, dressed as a guard starts knocking on the glass. Yoh is Minatsuki’s brother. Seeing the audience is giving out a good reaction, Tamaki allows Yoh to enter the stage to add to the drama. Though Yoh couldn’t believe his sister is a Branch of Sin user, he still wants them to escape. He has accumulated lots of Cast Points to buy her freedom.

Minatsuki knows her brother is a fool and tries to pin the blame on Ganta for tricking her. Yoh steps up to protect her. Minatsuki is prepared to whip them both till the bone when Yoh mentions this is how she killed dad. When Yoh came home, he saw concerned dad approaching naked Minatsuki. In his rage, he tried to kill him. He thought he did but realized it was Minatsuki’s Branch of Sin instead. He also realized too late that dad never laid a hand on her. He never believed in such powers till he witnessed it firsthand. He tells her she doesn’t need to lie anymore. But Minatsuki gets upset because she can’t climax without seeing the depression of others. She beats up Yoh while trying to tell Ganta her brother isn’t all that good either (especially the bumping into him part which wasn’t just an accident). Even so, Ganta replies Yoh believed she was innocent, saved up for her release and even protected him. Minatsuki calls him a liar, a hypocrite and attacks him. Ganta can’t fight back because she is using Yoh as a shield. Minatsuki tells about her mom, which in fact isn’t really a mother. When the Red Hole incident happened and shook the place, Minatsuki was pinned down. The first mom did was to take her plants and run, leaving stunned Minatsuki trapped. Ganta continues to fire his shots but they all missed. Actually it’s part of his plan so that one of them ricocheted to hit her. With Yoh out of the way, Minatsuki binds Ganta’s hands. Ganta coolly walks towards her and tells her off that just because she was betrayed and lied to once, she lied and hurt everyone. Isn’t that making her more miserable? He head butts her unconscious. Man, he must have a very hard head. The audience are disappointed because they want to see more blood and death but Ganta shows them his middle finger and to shut the f*ck up because he had already won. Wow. Where did he learn that badass attitude so fast? The director notes Ganta is an interesting boy wonders if Shiro is awake. He wants her to make his wish come true since the lullaby is stopping.

Episode 7
What’s this? The director and Shiro in some blood fight? Killing continuously and dying perpetually? Huh? Yoh and Ganta are at the infirmary. Yoh recounts how he saved his trapped sister and made it a point to protect her. Suddenly a slight tremor rocks the place. Yoh holds up a cabinet from falling on his sister. The siblings talk to each other while Ganta remembers about Shiro. Meanwhile the director is defeated as Shiro notes about the activation of Mother Goose system again. She wants to know the continuation of the lullaby but the director there won’t be any because she is an abandoned egg. Then Shiro dons the mask and cape and she looks like Red Man! Holy sh*t!!! The prison guards are tending to the wounded prisoners. Ganta talks to Senji when they hear a commotion from Minatsuki’s room. She doesn’t like her sister-complex brother following her everywhere and throws a flowerpot at Ganta for peeking. It hit Senji instead. Ganta remembers his childhood days with Shiro. The one whereby Shiro is sick and tired of all those needles and experiments. Ganta cheered her up with some super action hero called Ace Man. She just got to call him and he’ll come save you. Shiro wasn’t amused and breaks the toy. Outside, Ganta is being attacked by a dog. If not for Shiro jumping out from the window and landing on the dog like a gymnast, he could’ve been a goner. Tamaki learns from Rei that the red crystal in his chest is a capsule of femtomachines. An aggregation called Nameless Worm. Though nothing much is known, they at least know those from the Kanto region where the anomaly occurred became infected with the Branch of Sin. She doesn’t have enough technology to generate Nameless Worm materials since she has no way of examining its source: Wretched Egg, who is completely the director’s toy. Ganta remembers the post game show and tries to get Cast Points to free her. However he runs into Karako Koshio and takes a punch in the gut. Yoh runs into Tamaki with a super monk named Azuma Genkaku. Tamaki reminds him that Cast Points work differently in G-Block. This means all the points he saved up are for nothing. He becomes enraged so Genkaku fires his air guitar at him. Ganta wakes up in a lair belonging to a group called Scar Chain, an anti-management society. He meets their leader Nagi Kengamine and is offered to join them. Their goal is to destroy this absurd birdcage and they need as many allies as possible. But Ganta needs to stop the penalty game. Oh, it’s running now. Minatsuki tries to act tough but couldn’t hide her fear. Nagi sends a signal via a transmitter in his tooth. And it seems the slot machine reads “Hair”. WTF?! Why do they have that option? Rei is upset she got a useless piece. Minatsuki is so relieved. Genkaku crashes into the lair and knocks out Karako. He is going to kill them all. Ganta shoots a blood ball but it disappears before it could reach him.

Episode 8
Before Genkaku could kill Ganta, Shiro jumps in, breaking his guitar. He cancels tonight’s performance and goes away. Ganta is brought to meet the other members of Scar Chain. He is also introduced to Bundou Rokuro, the intelligence officer of Scar Chain and the one who saved Minatsuki during the penalty game. Most of the members are puzzled about Shiro in this block because if she’s not a Deadman, how did she end up here? Her answer is that she has always been living here. Meanwhile Makina and her assistant suit up, preparing to sneak in and steal Tamaki’s secret data. Every year they have a week long inspection to show the public that the prison meets the country’s safety standards. They will use this period to do their illegal raid as everything shuts down during inspection week and even that promoter can’t leave sensitive data lying around. Nagi and Karako convey their plan of a mass Deadman breakout during the week but as noted, the Undertakers (special enforcement anti-Deadman troops under Tamaki like Genkaku) will be a real problem. Ganta informs them about Branch of Sin not working on them but Rokuro shows them a video that Ganta simply missed. That wasn’t how Ganta remembered happened. Everyone laughs at Ganta so he gets pissed off that they are pretty slacking for a team wanting to break out. He is not going to join them and leaves with Shiro. Elsewhere, seems Tamaki is playing bowling with the director’s head! So Deadman Wonderland has become his, eh? Ganta talks to Senji and the latter isn’t pleased he fought an Undertaker. He wants in on the action next time. Ganta learns more about Nagi. Seems Nagi was forced to fight his wife in Corpse Carnival. He lost on purpose and in the penalty game lost his voice. However Tamaki went back on his words and wanted to penalize his wife too. They tried to escape but she was killed by Genkaku.

Ganta goes to find Nagi and apologizes for not knowing anything. Ganta understands he wants revenge just like how he wishes one against Red Man. But Nagi corrects him that he isn’t out for revenge. He has no time because he wants to bring down this place and be free. He wants to hold the baby his wife bore before she died. That’s why he has no time for revenge. That night Ganta thinks about Nagi’s words. He asks what Shiro wants to do. What do you think? Eat lots of snacks and ride the Ferris wheel. Genkaku gets a new guitar while couldn’t help think who the hell that Shiro is. Then Rokuro comes up to him and everything is within his calculations. Oh no. A rat? Ganta returns to Scar Chain and seeks to join them. Shiro wants to be by Ganta’s side but he has Shiro wait in the room till everything is over as promised. Karako cheers up Shiro with a little advice on love. Like she understands. As long Shiro loves Ganta, everything is okay. Nagi continues to go over the plan with his members. It’s not a jailbreak that they’re aiming for but a data chip containing evidence of Tamaki’s illegal operations. They need to leak this out to the real world. With Nagi and Rokuro seizing the control room, the rest will be split into 2 groups to create confusion before riding up the freight elevator. Nagi and Rokuro start off well, dispatching the guards in the control room while the rest being to cross the bridge. Seeing it has weight censors, they cross over by walking on one of the member’s blood in which he uses as a walking net. But the weight is too overwhelming and it breaks. Necro Macro is activated and fires some kind of acid that burns right through your bones! Karako stays behind to hold up the falling bridge so that the rest can cross over. She tosses the data to Ganta and places her hopes in him. Now he’s holding a big responsibility.

Episode 9
Karako remembers how she was a loner in this group till Nagi appointed her as his second-in-command because he believes she is more than just a strong fighter, someone who knows there’s a friend by her side each time she hears the bell on her neck ring. Karako isn’t going down yet. She coats her body with blood, which serves as a defensive shield. Then she pummels Necro Macro till it explodes. Ganta and co have reached the elevator but find no resistance. They just need to wait for Nagi and Rokuro to activate it. Speaking of them, Nagi sees a little girl, Hibana Daida. He thinks this nice girl is lost. Seriously, in this place? Nagi wants Rokuro to activate the elevator but the latter shows his true colours that this isn’t going to happen. Undertaker Hibana takes out a big massive sectioned sword and whips Nagi. His Branch of Sin of explosive isn’t working on her. He realizes that Rokuro was the one who edited the video of Ganta’s blood missing Genkaku. Rokuro explains about Worm Eater, which instantly oxidizes the Nameless Worm that lives inside the Branch of Sin users. This means when a Branch of Sin hits an Undertaker’s weapon, it dissipates. Hibana continues to pound Nagi, as far as scrapping his skin off! She thinks it’s just punishment and that pain builds character. However Nagi tells her she is no lady as she proclaims and just a little girl because proper ladies aren’t vulgar, twisted, rotten and pathetic like what she is doing now. This snaps Hibana as she remembers how her mom tortured her with devices for the slightest mistake. So it’s no surprise she punished her own mother by killing her. What landed her here was the massacre of her kindergarten friends, in which she still insisted that she was just punishing them. Hibana randomly swings her sword till it chops off Nagi’s arm! He throws the arm at Hibana as distraction while he shoves Rokuro’s head into the wall (I guess he was bored that’s why he wasn’t paying attention). Hibana wasn’t paying attention to Nagi’s chopped off arm because he uses the explosive blood in it to knock her out. Nagi uses his last ounce of strength to activate the elevator. Everyone had a nice time joking riding it up till they realize Genkaku and the guards are waiting for them and starts shooting them. Rokuro tells Nagi that he has no chance of winning because it’s his job to make it so. Besides, why do you think Tamaki played along with his crap? He could’ve easily wiped them all out a long time ago. Nagi uses the transmitter in his teeth to relay a message back to his lair. Shiro goes to the lair because she can’t sleep but sees a strange boy. Ganta witnesses in horror one by one his comrades getting butchered. He is about to be done in by Genkaku but an Undertaker reminds him it’s time so they leave. Ganta and only 3 Scar Chain members are left. Suddenly Shiro jumps in, takes the data chip from Ganta’s hand, throws it into a burning room with highly inflammable content, shuts the door and BOOM! So big the explosion that it dented the door. Why didn’t she get away from the door? Was she holding it back? Well, it wasn’t broken.

Episode 10
Contrary to Shiro’s question if Ganta he is okay, he is not. In fact, he is so mad that she destroyed their only hope. He punches her for being a nuisance and doesn’t want to see her face again. Regrouping back in the lair with the other members, they are surprised to see Karako returning alive. Karako isn’t going to give up yet though they’ve lost the chip. The inspection isn’t done yet and all they need is 1 of them to get outside and demonstrate their Branch of Sin to the inspectors. They think Karako should be their new leader but she feels Nagi is still alive because Genkaku won’t kill him. Speaking of which, he is tied up and Genkaku is trying to coax him to join the Undertakers. Elsewhere Makina and her assistant are trying to download all they can from Tamaki’s computer. However that guy unexpectedly returns. They hide nearby and see Major Aohi from the Defence Ministry. Aohi wants to know about the production’s developments so Tamaki lets him know they’re still researching on how to synthesize the Nameless Worm. Aohi doesn’t want to end up with copies of uncontrollable monsters but as Tamaki puts it, if you eat the poison, you might as well eat the plate. So they’re way past the point of no return. Makina realizes the list of prisoners she saw in Tamaki’s computer. Scar Chain are discussing if they were being toyed from the start. The think of hiring a strong fighter. Ganta feeling guilty over his failure volunteers but Karako thinks they can’t afford any more slip ups. When Rokuro comes in, he is clearly upset about the leaked plan. The one about the bomb in the data chip. It was supposed to blow them all away so someone must have found out about it that’s why they’re all still standing here. Yeah, there is no data in that chip. Ganta realized Shiro was trying to help them all along and he jumped the gun. As the guards come in, Rokuro lets them know they are all hostages till Nagi changes his mind.

Genkaku continues to inject drugs but Nagi perseveres and not giving in. Genkaku makes him remember how he massacred his troops after he killed his wife (Genkaku was hiding in fear, witnessing everything. And having an erection watching all that). Nagi doesn’t remember so Genkaku knows he has already lost it. Crazy Rokuro is going to execute one by one the Scar Chain members till Nagi gives in and the first one up is Ganta. While admitting he was the one who edited Ganta’s video and framing him at his trial, he introduces a couple of Undertakers and their sick past and heinous criminal activities, they are going to kill him when Senji slices them both in half! Yeah, he’s looking for a piece of Undertaker action. He realized he just killed the strongest ones. So much for some potential Undertaker action. No choice, he makes do with the small fries. The Scar Chain members fight their way out and since the guards have Worm Eater in their weapon, Senji’s blood sword isn’t working. But that’s not a problem because he uses his supersonic blade faster than the speed of sound, blasting through the air pressure to slice and break through the Worm Eater. Rokuro is feeling the pinch because his perfect calculations are now naught. Karako wishes Senji to join them but he refuses because he thinks there is no difference being on the outside either. Both worlds are just as crazy and messed up. And about their stance of banding together their strength, he tells them off that if they aren’t strong enough, they shouldn’t bare their fangs. Shiro trudges her way back to her room, upset that she was just trying to help Ganta. All she did was listened to that strange boy’s advice. He heard over the transmission from Nagi about the bomb in the chip and relayed it to Shiro. She’s eating cookies all alone and crying. When suddenly that strange boy shows up. He has a hard time remembering his own name. He finally remembers. Toto Sakigami AKA Mockingbird. Shiro isn’t thrilled to meet him but he assures he won’t do anything bad to her.

Episode 11
Ganta must be really thinking how weak he is. So weak that he seeks Senji’s help to train him to be strong enough and punch this pathetic self of his. I guess Senji couldn’t refuse after seeing all that pathetic tears. Meanwhile Shiro still feels empty in her heart even though she says she couldn’t care less about Ganta anymore. Really? Toto is like fanning the fire, saying how weak and irresponsible humans are. They like putting the blame on others and let them suffer. Shiro asserts she still hates Ganta and goes off to find and punch him. Karako and the other survivors move out. Seems Karako lied to Ganta about their meeting time and planned on leaving him out. She remembers Nagi showed her a picture of his daughter in his locket. However there is no picture in it but Karako played along that she could see the picture of his child. Senji feels Ganta’s bullets are too weak and needs to break the sound barrier to stand a chance. He takes all his candy and smashes them except for one. He wants him to penetrate his defence and shoot this candy. If he can’t do it faster than the speed of sound, his death sentence will be carried out right here. Ganta shoots but none of them are good. The place is looking like a butchered scene with lots of blood. Toto interrupts their training as he is looking for Shiro. As said by Senji, Toto is supposedly the strongest Deadman around. Toto gets close to Senji, licking his blood and would have done the same to Ganta if Senji didn’t warn him about their training session. Genkaku seems to have a new toy of his own. Nagi like a mad Incredible Hulk, is smashing the skull of a prison guard! Shiro drops in among the guards and it seems she is a little drunk (perhaps from the sweets). Karako disguised as a guard panics seeing this girl here and tries to get her away. However Genkaku recognizes Karako’s kansai accent anywhere, kicks off her mask and restrains her.

Senji tells Ganta to go seeing at this rate he won’t have enough blood to last. Ganta makes a final shot that not only pierces through the candy but destroys the mirror. That is the shot Senji wants Ganta to remember. Suddenly Genkaku appears on the screen to tell everyone he’s got Shiro and Karako in custody. He gives them a choice to either continue with their escape or save them. Either way, they’ll still die. While the rest had no choice but to soldier on, Ganta is on his way to save them. He thought the rest think he is weak that’s why he left them out. He runs into several guards but Minatsuki repays her debt by killing them all. She won’t join them in the jail break (because she has to take care of her brother who is still injured) and points to the direction of the Undertaker’s base. Ganta thanks her and is on his way. When Ganta arrives, he shoots his smaller and sharper blood shot. So fast and powerful that the guards are sent flying away! Shiro still tries to act tough but eventually rushes to Ganta’s side. However Hibana’s sword breaks her leg. Genkaku will have them see the gig of despair and behind the door sits Nagi. Looks calm. Well, that’s not a good thing. Karako goes up to him and tries to remind him about his kid but he tells her there is no picture in the locket and that Genkaku killed his wife and daughter who was still in the womb. Nagi tried to plead with Tamaki but he was shown his baby in a lab tube like an experiment sample instead. That’s when his rage built up. That’s when he started hating everyone who lives. He couldn’t accept the fact his wife and child are dead. In his despair, his blood bombs blow up the place as Genkaku relishes in Nagi becoming his ideal evil.

Episode 12
Aohi is disappointed that with the end of the inspection, everything is back to square one. He thinks Tamaki as the one behind the bloodshed but as he puts it, Deadman Wonderland is a place that is neither good nor bad. Just a microcosm of society. Behind the beautiful music, rages the ugliest people. He is just a facilitator paving a path for those insane people to earn their freedom. Nagi goes on a killing spree. See how he ripped the guts out of the guards!!! Karako laments she couldn’t protect Nagi, a weak person. A totally opposite person Ganta thought as. Nagi is aiming for Shiro so Ganta protects her, using his body and gets beaten to a pulp. Ganta still have the strength to give his heroic speech like he hates seeing his friends getting killed, the irony of Nagi’s words about having no time for revenge and that he still has light because he’s too ashamed to see what’s important in front of him. The sound of Karako’s bell helps him regains his sanity. Ganta stands firm in protecting Shiro when suddenly he collapses. It’s not that he ran out of blood. Rather, he hasn’t eaten his candy. Death sentence is inching closer. Karako slaps Nagi to his senses and hugs him. But it’s not going to be a fairytale ending yet because Genkaku stabs through Karako’s chest but she’s still alive. Ganta fires his best shot at Genkaku but it isn’t working. Genkaku reminds Nagi he is supposed to be a demon who loathes everyone and saves them via death. He purposely missed Karako’s vital organs so that Nagi could kill her himself as salvation. However Nagi feels not the need to do so because his friends are his salvation. Since Nagi isn’t the murderous tool he is, Genkaku fires a blast from his guitar right through Nagi. Man, it’s a big hole through his gut! Not only that, he starts killing all the guards and wounding Hibana. Flashback time. This is why Genkaku is always talking about salvation, saving others. When he was young and lived at a temple (I thought he looked so much like Naruto’s Gaara), he was often beaten up by his temple mates. The master monk thought he always went out to town and picked a fight. Genkaku has always pondered about enlightenment and salvation seeing the irony of human’s suffering. Then during the Red Hole incident that caused great damage to the temple, he saw how peaceful a dead cat was and realized. He killed his bullies and realized that death is the ultimate salvation.

Meanwhile Hibana who is getting away from that mad scene bumps into Toto. She doesn’t know who this boy is and starts attacking him. But it’s a grave mistake because Toto kills her with the supersonic move he copied from Senji. Ganta still feels the weakling he is and his chest is glowing in red. Genkaku continues to rant about the word consisting of nothing but terror and oppression. He will continue his salvation till somebody comes to save him. Shiro’s leg suddenly heals. She stands up and is about to turn into a mad killer but Ganta this time will do the honours. Funny red marks appear all over Ganta (just like with Shiro) as he blasts Genkaku with the most powerful blast he has ever made. So powerful, it blasted a hole right through the ceiling! Nagi quotes that he will be Genkaku’s guide to hell. I guess he’ll be his salvation. Nagi in his dying breath gives Ganta his candy seeing he doesn’t need it anymore. Karako and a couple of Scar Chain members escape the island. Ganta stays back with Shiro seeing he can’t leave his friends behind. He apologizes for hitting her but she doesn’t mind it because it doesn’t hurt anymore. Friends again? You bet. Besides, Shiro is happy she gets to see the Ferris wheel. Ganta cries in her bosoms. It’s not because the candy tastes bitter. Tamaki loathes the uselessness of Genkaku’s team. Makina wonders if a few death row inmates have escaped seeing he doesn’t look so good. He denies and instead says none has ever under her watch. He is just getting used to his new position as the director seeing the previous one died without naming a successor. Makina plans to interrogate Ganta and Yoh on their whereabouts for the past 11 days and will use any means to do so. Tamaki gives the green light for her to do whatever she wishes. Makina meets up with her assistant who has picked a suitable one from the promoter’s list of normal prisoners. On the rooftop, Shiro hums a nostalgic song made by Ganta’s mom. He wants her to stop seeing it was the song the Red Man sang during the massacre. He wonders how he knew the song. Oh Ganta. It’s just right under your nose… So close yet so far…

OVA
The OVA is Senji-focused and takes place 2 years after the devastating effects of the Red Hole incident. Everywhere is much lawless and chaotic. People are confused trying to get their lives back. Some turned to a life of crime. Senji, a policeman is using his Branch of Sin to slice up petty criminals. He would’ve killed if not for his elderly superior telling him not to. Back at the base, Senji gets into a brawl with other cops whom he thinks leaked the info. His other pals try to gently remind him about staying out of trouble but I guess a tough guy like him isn’t going to learn it the easy way. While at the market, Senji spots a kid he knows, Izuru being chased by a pair of ruffians from a local gang called Goreless Peace. They are trying to teach Izuru a lesson for stealing from their turf when Senji uses his Branch of Sin to slice a deep cut over one of their chest. Though the ruffians live, they run away but promise to be back. Senji takes Izuru back to his sister, Hinata. She slaps the kid for trying to steal again. We can see Senji has feelings for Hinata, the way his body language is reacting. Hinata is remaining positive due to the events that have happened and trying to live life normally with the rest. As Senji leaves that evening, he is surrounded by Goreless Peace members. Their leader, Keigo Ugachi wants Senji to join them to tune and rebuild the world from scratch and filled it with beautiful melodies. He wants a peaceful world without bloodshed and even if it means taking out a kid is necessary, he’ll do what it takes. Yeah, the irony. Keigo continues his persuasion about being tied down to his policeman job with a stupid boss and selfish colleagues. But Senji isn’t interested in his crap though Keigo surprises him by coming close to him without him noticing and managing to avoid his slices with ease. Senji spits on his shoe as his final answer but Keigo is sure they’ll meet again. That night, Senji’s superior had a talk. Senji believes this world is full of sh*t no matter how many people they arrest it’ll still be the same. That’s why there is nothing wrong with idiots cleaning it up that sh*t. Keigo contacts his superior, Akatsuki, noting the interesting man Senji is and that he is of their kind.

Next day, Senji sees fire coming from Hinata’s place. When he arrives, he sees everyone massacred. Hinata is dead. Izuru barely holding on to his last breath. But eventually he dies. In his agonizing scream, Senji sees the mark of Goreless Peace on the handkerchief in Izuru’s hands. Somebody is going to pay. Senji calls his superior to say he is going to massacre everyone in Goreless Peace. Not as a policeman but as himself. His superior and his pals need to take action before it’s too late. Senji arrives right in the middle of Keigo’s dinner. He thinks he has accepted his invitation and admits her got rid of the things that are holding him back. After all that ranting, Senji just tells him he is here to kill him. His superior and pals arrive on scene to take out the small fries. Senji chases after Keigo but it’s a trap. Senji gets trapped in his blood of web like a helpless bug. Yes, he is also a Branch of Sin user. Keigo tortures him and couldn’t stand his pathetic cries because he heard so many of them during the massacre. The melodies he intends to fill the world are the ones filled with silence. No matter how angry Senji is or even if he breaks through the web, he finds himself back to square one and trapped again. Senji’s superior comes in only to be caught. Keigo crushes him. Senji is so mad that his knife enlarges big and long enough to stab through Keigo’s shoulder. He is about to kill him when his superior ekes out a voice telling him to stop. He can’t kill because he isn’t that kind of person. Senji further enlarges his sword to scare the sh*t out of Keigo’s pants. Probably he hasn’t learnt to control it yet so he passes out due to lack of blood. In the aftermath, Akatsuki gets news that Keigo has been arrested and notes Senji will be sorry that he chose to rise against him. Deadman Wonderland is in the midst of construction but the police guys aren’t convinced that things will change even if they cover it up with something shiny. So it’s back to work as usual for them.

Deadman Walking…
Oh, that wasn’t really much of an ending. It feels like everything was just at a halfway point. Maybe not. Perhaps not even a tenth of the way there. Of course it feels unsatisfying that everything ended so abruptly without any solution in sight. There are so many developments left unfinished and unexplained so I think if they really give the green light to make a sequel, I’m sure we’ll see lots more of it. The real reason behind the Red Hole incident, the deep and dark secret that Tamaki has been holding, the list of prisoners Makina has obtained from the promoter, the experiments Tamaki has been conducting and selling to the military, the real motive why the director built this prison as his cage and how it turned into a big showcase of prisoners, the mystery of why Branch of Sin users are able to control their blood as weapons, the Corpse Carnival, what happened to Yoh and Minatsuki, what will be of Rokuro’s fate, who the hell is Toto and yes, above all the most tantalizing one would be the mystery behind Shiro as Wretched Egg and Red Man. Why did she massacre Ganta’s classmate. Or is she really the Red Man? The only similarity that confirms it is that creepy smirk. How did she end up in Deadman Wonderland? Is it really her ‘home’?

The story flows quickly from Ganta being framed and earning a spot in Deadman Wonderland, the way things work around the prison, to the thought-to-be-never-existed G-Block to the Corpse Carnival and finally the rebellion by Scar Chain. However a dozen of episodes aren’t enough to do justice to all the plot because running a prison isn’t just as easy like it seems although Tamaki is like a big child who never grows up. Look at all the toys in his room. Behind that eternal sly smile lies something deeper. Something more sinister. Something darker. He has got his own personal and ulterior motive and I doubt that succeeding and becoming the director isn’t the end of his goal. But I guess he has got to be a very busy man because in addition to just running the prison, he has got to go round looking for people who contain Branch of Sin, frame them and put them in as candidates for Corpse Carnival for his amusement as well as the others. Probably he’s got too much time on his hands that he could even create the Undertakers and toy along with Scar Chain’s plot. Why not turn every prisoner into his Undertakers then? Must be some tough sh*t training they have to pass that I didn’t get. Makina is certainly the no nonsense woman guys will never want to mess with. No matter how big her tits are. Think twice before you make a move. Don’t even think about it. She’ll slash you before you even have time to reconsider. She is the kind of person who is fit to take charge and control of a prison ward. It’s a good thing that she strongly upholds her believe in maintaining order in the prison. If she was given more liberty in her control, Deadman Wonderland would be rid of any kind of dirty fanfare. No Corpse Carnival whatsoever. Just plain boring prison. Yeah, where would the fun be? But still, don’t mess with her.

I don’t know about Ganta. From the start he is portrayed to be someone who is weak. Someone who tries very hard to stand up against all that he believes in. In the end, he too realizes how pathetically weak he is and has always relied on the aid of Shiro to rescue his butt. But it’s a good sign for him because it means the only way for him to survive or even have a chance to achieve his goal is to get stronger. With more practice of his blood shots, I’m sure he’ll pull off more devastating and awesome moves. Just hope he just doesn’t get anaemia and shoot out too much blood till he dies. He needs a faster way to regenerate his blood. I can’t wait to see his reaction if he ever finds out Shiro as Red Man. As for Shiro, she is definitely not only the most mysterious character but the most airheaded one as well. There were many signs to indicate that Shiro isn’t just an ordinary prisoner of Deadman Wonderland. For instance, she has no prisoner number. She pops out from just about anywhere. For a moment, I was even thinking that she might be a ghost! But heck, people can actually touch, see and hear her so I guess that isn’t possible. But then again… The only problem with Shiro is that she doesn’t really know how to convey what she wants to say in words. That is what makes her a happy-go-lucky airhead. For example the bomb that was hidden as the data chip. Ganta wouldn’t have gotten so mad and pissed off or even go so far as to slap her if she had just said everything was a trap to kill them. We didn’t hear her say that there was a bomb in the chip. We didn’t hear her say anything about the ruse. She just said she did this all for Ganta because he is weak. Maybe even if she did tell him about it, there is a chance Ganta won’t believe her but at least it should have opened that kid’s eyes.

I’m not sure why Senji wants to stay in G-Block to continue being a fighter for Corpse Carnival. Has he really given up on the outside world even if it’s both the same inside this prison? From my perspective, he is strong enough to slice everyone through if he really wanted to get out. The OVA on him was a good episode featuring his past but it did little to let us know how he ended up in the deepest parts of the prison. Now with an eye-patch over his right eye, sometimes I thought he looked a bit like Bleach’s Zaraki. He nearly has the attitude to match it. Something about the Corpse Carnival bugs me. If the fighters are supposed to fight to the death, wouldn’t that mean that there are lots of dead fighters by now? Even if many do not die and simply lost, does it mean that Rei’s lab is filled with lots of body parts? This means lots of crippled Branch of Sin users, right? Perhaps there are more of such users than shown. Maybe running into hundreds. So that’s why it seems that those especially from Scar Chain just had one or two body parts taken away. Doesn’t seem much, right? Feels like they’ve been through Corpse Carnival just a handful of times. And survived. And why are the contestants named after birds? So if the best Deadman is just a Mockingbird, who is the grand phoenix, if there is any? Speaking of Scar Chain, I find them a really odd bunch of oddballs. Really. It feels like the group came from all walks of life. If you noticed some of its members, it includes a granny with a katana, a pregnant woman and a wheelchair ridden guy. It makes you wonder if they are really hardcore criminals. But then again, everyone here is a Branch of Sin user and it is a big possibility they have been framed for a crime they did not commit just like Ganta.

One of the biggest complaints and grumbles I have for this series is the total darkness of the scenes. No, not the gory action or blood. Some of the scenes are purposely darkened so much so you can’t see a damn thing and it is very annoying. I was trying to strain my eyes real hard trying to glimpse what is going on through the darkness without adjusting the brightness and contrast of my screen because from past experiences, I know it won’t make any difference. So if you’re going to watch this show, just beware that there will be lots and lots of dark scenes in each episode that will really make you want to expand your eyeballs. Oh sh*t. Just saying about eyeballs made me remember about that horrendous right eye extracting scene!!!! Yikes!!! I’m never going to watch that episode ever again!!!

Also be warned that if you’re watching this show, you should have expected lots of gore, violence and blood. You could have even guessed it from the name of the series that this is no walk in the park. I won’t go so far as to say that you will really want to puke by seeing brains get smashed, guts getting pulled out or limbs getting cut off but if you’re a weak-hearted person, it’s best to stay away from this show. Maybe I’m quite numb myself after seeing lots of violence (thanks to the TV news. Yeah, thanks. That helped a lot) so I don’t really feel that it is thaaaaaaaaat violent. Okay, maybe it is. But still it is manageable for me. What do you expect? In nearly every episode, somebody gets killed whether it’s a minor prisoner or the guards. Yeah. Life is really cheap. So cheap that it makes you think why the heck they spend a fortune putting up flashy shows and keeping the prisoners here. Oh yeah, I forgot. It’s like a show business. On a trivial note, the end of each episode is narrated by Makina in a gloomy, bleak and hopeless tone, which is befitting of the series’ setting.

Kana Hanazawa as Shiro here feels like she is the prisoner version of Kobato. Get what I mean? Okay, maybe it’s because I lumped them in as both characters are somewhat airheads. Romi Paku as Ganta, I thought she was like voicing a weaker version of Bleach’s Hitsugaya or Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward. Junichi Suwabe’s cool and calm voice fits Tamaki because the character lacks other emotions in his speech so you are unable to tell what really goes on in his mind. You can recognize his voice from Prince Of Tennis’ Atobe and Kuroshitsuji’s Undertaker. Other casts include Takako Honda as Makina (Hone Onna in Jigoku Shoujo), Masayuki Katou as Senji (Matoma in Shigofumi), Daisuke Ono as Nagi (Koizumi in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu), Kumiko Itou as Karako, Jun Fukuyama as Rokuro (Lelouch in Code Geass), Miyuki Sawashiro as Toto (Shinkurou in Kurenai), Iori Nomizu as Minatsuki (Nymph in Sora No Otoshimono), Yuuki Kaji as Yoh (Subaru in Ro-Kyu-Bu) and Toshiyuki Morikawa as Genkaku (Naraku in Inu Yasha). The opening theme is totally a hard rock piece sung in English, One Reason by Fade. It’s the kind of song that tells you what to expect from this kind of show. But for the ending theme, Shiny Shiny by NIRGILIS left me wondering if this kind of dance pop music should be suitable for this violent and dark genre.

A deeper aspect that this show tries to tell us is who are the real villains. Prisoners may be sent to prison and forced to do acts that are embarrassing and equally inhumane. Our pleasure at their expense. We cry for their blood seeing them in life or death performances. So does it really make us different from the criminals? Ganta sure learn the hard way. Not so fun now being on the prison inside, eh? See how the spectators jeered and booed when there was no clear winner at the end of the Dog Race even if they have seen every other single darn prisoner getting killed. Aren’t we any different than our bloodthirsty ancestral savages, no? The only difference is that they have already done something wrong and convicted by the law. We haven’t. Yet. So what gives us the right to visit the prison like as though it’s one huge theme park attraction just to laugh at the silliness just because they did some bad stuff in their lives. Who hasn’t done something bad in their lives before? Tiny or big, a bad deed is still a bad deed. That’s why Deadman Wonderland is a place full of irony whether you are the prisoners, the staffs working in it or just a visiting visitor. Everyone is just plain sick. And the yearly inspection just to check everything is in accordance with the humans right thingy? Give me a break. You can’t even fool a newborn with that argument. I think if everybody really wants to see blood, Corpse Carnival would be legalized live through your TV channel. Hey, anything with possible with humans. Why? Simple. Because we can!

Just remember that if you are going to do the crime, be prepared to do the time. It is sad that throughout the ages, humans don’t really learn from their lesson. That’s why we continue to fight each other over the centuries over trivial things. In that sense, that is what makes us humans too. If Apocalypse descends on us now and we survive, there is a big chance that humanity will take a big step backwards. Building the biggest prison won’t do because Earth itself is a prison for us human beings. But the saddest case would be those who are framed and forced to do time for a crime they never commit only to be cleared of their name decades later. Or never. Their entire lives wasted in that instant. No money or points could buy you freedom. That would be very much a bitter pill or candy to swallow. I’m glad my chocolate still tastes sugary sweet… :)

Kaibutsu Oujo OVA

February 24, 2012

Fuga. I mean, finally. I actually waited for over a year just to watch 3 episodes of Kaibutsu Oujo OVA instead of watching it right after it released so that the events could stay fresh in my mind when I blog on this. Sheesh. The OVAs are not to be confused with the extra episode that was released on the DVD of the TV series way back in 2007. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this new OVA is a total remake or a retelling but I guess with the fans’ dissatisfaction of the TV series, I guess something has to be done, right?

Apparently the OVAs stay more faithful to the original manga and work. That’s because the first thing fans knew the TV series was going to be deviating from the manga was the way the aristocratic Gothic-wearing Hime revived her Blood Warrior, Hiro using some flame instead of her blood. I didn’t read the manga and I only found that out when the TV series ended. But if you intend to watch the OVAs, be warned that you need to know about the storyline and characters beforehand. Certainly 3 episodes aren’t enough to do lots of backstory telling, right? Plus, the episodes are released along with the newly released manga volume then. Randomly watching this without prior knowledge will only end up having lots of questions instead of answers. Like yours truly. But that is only to research about certain new characters and their roles.

Otherwise everything much else about the series is pretty same. Hime and her siblings are supposed to be in some war to kill each other off in order to claim the throne as the ruler of the monster world. However Hime isn’t really interested in that and prefers enjoying her tea. But just to be safe, she and her ragtag team that consists of a petite loyal gynoid, a half-werewolf, a banished vampire and a high school student human as her latest addition, she has to fend off attacks from her rivals who want her dead. Ah, being a princess is never an easy job. And yes, who wouldn’t love Hime’s trademark chainsaw weapon choice? Cut ’em down baby! Fuga!

Episode 1 – Princess Darkness
This episode feels like an abridged retelling. Hime coolly walks into the hospital’s morgue, drops her blood on dead Hiro’s face and whoosh! White smoke for effect? By the time Hiro wakes up, he is alone and in a daze as he trudges out of the hospital confused. Meanwhile Hime and Flandre are faced with Lobo Wildman and his pack of nasty wolves in front of her mansion. The wolves attack but Hime and Flandre defend themselves. See how Flandre swing a giant tree as weapon! Hiro could sense that his master is in danger and rushes over (they’re literally connected by blood, right?). Lobo lunges at Hime but Hiro uses his body to protect her. Great, now he can experience death again. With the distraction, Hime manages to stick her sword into Lobo’s head, killing him outright. Hime then revives Hiro with her blood, introduces herself and one who controls all monsters and those that cannot be seen. So can Hiro be considered an undead seeing he got resurrected twice in the short span of the night? Well, at least he doesn’t look like an ugly mindless zombie.

As Riza walks her way to the mansion, she smells something odd and follows it. Before she knows it, a hand grabs her by the ankle and drags her deep into the woods. Realizing the hordes of dark army, she prepares to fight. Elsewhere, Flandre has awakened from her recharging slumber to go tell Hime “Fuga~”. What? Yeah, that single word means there are many intruders in the mansion. Hime wants Sawawa (Hiro’s over-busty and airhead elder sister) to retire to her room and not come out. I guess it’s a sign things are going to get bloody. Hime goes to look for Hiro but a hand pulls her into the dark room. When she flips the light switch on, the perpetrator vanishes. She sees a huge pool of blood on the floor. Riza comes in all messed up but alright. Hime feels they need to ask Reiri about something and upon realizing the intruders are that kind of vampires, she wants all the electric lights in the outskirts of the mansion to be lit up. Riza finds Hiro in his own pool of blood outside the garden. Good thing he isn’t dead yet. He claims he was attacked while on his way home for dinner. Meanwhile, Hime and Flandre have cornered a perpetrator. Hime suddenly turning on the spotlight in the total darkness while Flandre nails the ugly vampire with her tree log. Reiri explains they are called True Dark Walkers (TDW). Although they are vampires and consume blood, they cannot enslave others and are the weakest kind of vampires around. How weak? Not only they can’t stand sunlight but electric lights and light bulbs as well. Suddenly the place goes dark again. Hime gets a little scratch from a surprise attack of a TDW but is able to cut it with her chainsaw before Reiri turns on the lights. Hime also realize this TDW has taken the other earlier corpse.

As the gang gather to discuss about their circumstances, Hime has an idea what they are after. Showing them the place where she got attacked, Hime’s blood on the wall. However her blood seems to be smeared. She thinks though it may be vampire instinct that it tried to lick it, she feels they are after her special blood. And outside the mansion, countless hordes of TDW and their boss are just waiting to get in. Then all the lights start to go out. Hime and co make a run. Be careful not to let the darkness engulf you because that’s where all the TDW loom. Their hands sticking out from the darkness is a reminisce of some horror show. Riza and Reiri stay back to fight but eventually couldn’t stall much longer and rejoins the rest in a room. They can’t stay in this little spot with spotlights for the rest of the night because a riot squad may just barge their way in. But one of the TDW steps into the light and is unaffected. This is the one that licked Hime’s blood off the wall. TDW Boss confirms that if they take the royalty’s blood, they too will be able to walk under the sunlight. He discloses that there was one case whereby a royal princess was kidnapped and her blood sucked. He too became close to a perfect being. In short, TDW Boss wants to imprison Hime like what happened to her elder sister, Sylvia.

The TDW charges at Hime but she is confident and not budging, even telling Hiro to stay put. The vampire suddenly stops in his attacks. Hime tells off TDW Boss that he didn’t do his homework on Kinesky’s case. When he became a Blood Warrior, he wasn’t able to physically attack Sylvia. She cuts off the TDW’s hand with her chainsaw and dares them to kidnap her for her blood. Morning comes. The entire room is wrecked, cracks on the floor, fissure on the wall. Again, Hime needs to feed Hiro to keep him alive. Ironically she feels her wound is recovering much better when she is giving her blood. Riza wonders if they’ll come again tonight but Reiri dismisses it because among those TDW, only the leader can see how difficult it is to obtain what they seek. She can’t believe he tried to manipulate Hime this way. Looks like TDW Boss and his army left because he knows too well he’ll never be able to best Hime and her team.

Episode 2 – Princess Express
Hiro’s friend, Buchi seems to have dragged him to do some scoop at a railway station. However they got tempted by a little hooded ghost to board an express train that connects the human world and demon kingdom. In short, a phantom train to the netherworld. So looks like Hime and her team have to go save Hiro. Inside the carriage, the boys see ghost passengers and also a little girl. The hooded ghost is the train master and is thrilled that Emile decided to use his services while Emile’s Blood Warriors, Sledge and Keziah watch on. Seems they are transporting a huge goods: Flanders G (yes, that giant gynoid robot of Emile’s). However hot on their trail is Gilliam, another sibling of Hime and Emile. He is firing a photon cannon in an attempt to destroy Flanders. Hime and co wait at the next train station but the trains zoom pass them. Hime and Reiri jump on board while Riza and Flandre are left behind. They catch up with Flandre driving a truck. I wonder how the shorty’s feet can reach the peddle. Gilliam sees Lilian (Hime’s real name which she despises) and thinks she is in cohorts with Emile but she denies. With Keziah coming into the picture, Gilliam explains Dr Franken has changed everything as he is siding with Emile and turning that thing into an ultimate weapon. Meanwhile Emile talks to Hiro and the girl (she is actually the mermaid whom he made his Blood Warrior back in the TV series). He explains Buchi isn’t dead yet but humans’ life are weak here and will be alright if he gets off. But the train won’t be stopping anytime soon. He also tells Hiro to take care of the girl (let’s call her Ningyou for easier reference) and mentions he can sometimes see things in fragments. He goes off and wants Sledge not to let anyone pass this point.

Gilliam wants Hime to make clear her stand since she’s somewhat ‘interrupting’. Flanders awakens and seemingly is going to attack. Gilliam is confident that robots do not attack royalty but as Reiri says, if the doctor has sided Emile, he may have removed its limiter. The cannon is recharged as Gilliam orders another shot. Flanders uses its hand to deflect the beam (costing it that hand too) and fires back via its eyes. However it’s just a recoil. Gilliam is still around and his cannon is already recharged. Taking another shot, this time Flandre drives her truck in its path!!! Thus another deflection. Gilliam’s gynoid, Fratelus is trying to hold down Flanders while Keziah tries to remove that heavy gynoid but he’s not budging. Then Reiri detaches the coach Flanders is on and switches the rail line to separate it and Gilliam from the main train. Riza and Reiri meet up with Hime as they start their search for Hiro. Gilliam fires his cannon once more but Flanders fires back. Both beams meet and cause both sides to be on fire. Gilliam flees on his motorbike thinking this sacrifice is needed. He catches up to the main train and jumps on board. Then he unleashes a Blood Warrior into the carriage. Doesn’t this monster bug look like the one in Starship Troopers?

Hime meets Hiro but feels the need to talk to Emile. She is stopped by Sledge. She confirms with Hiro that he did greet Emile before he said something about seeing things and went to hide. She takes out of chainsaw and is going to prepare to fight. While Riza and Keziah take on the monster bug, Hime and Hiro face off with Gilliam on the roof of the train. Gilliam is convinced Hime and Emile are in league against him. He charges but Reiri interferes. Because she can transform her body into bats, Gilliam’s sword can reach her. He uses a white ash stake to shoo her away. Gilliam’s sword, Sword Being is also his Blood Warrior. Hime is preoccupied with it and got slightly injured. As Gilliam is about to thrust Sword Being into her, Hiro uses his body as shield. Again? Is that all he is good for? Riza and Keziah get pounded by the bug and though they manage to beat it, the bug resurrects. However it soon turns and walks away. That’s because that photon cannon train is heading towards them. How? Fratelus is carrying it with his hands and intends to throw it at the main train. Gilliam retreats thinking this is turning out better than planned.

When Fratelus throws the cannon, Emile is on top of the coach. He uses the power of telekinesis via his eyes (I think Ningyou also did the same) to stop the train and throw it towards Gilliam. Emile collapses as Sledge brings him in. Hime wonders why Emile would push himself so far. Inside the train coach, Hime reveals Emile can sometimes see fragments of the future since young. This was a reason Hime was saved from a car accident though this incident bore severe injuries on him that left him on the verge of death for several days. So Emile did it to protect normal humans. Riza is puzzled Emile’s action for protecting humans he hardly knows but is sure that Hime never runs and fights is because she stands on the side of justice. Hime didn’t answer. Flandre is looking through the train wreckage and sees Fratelus lying on the ground. He is still moving so this means his master is alive, right?

Episode 3 – Princess Island
I’m not sure if Buchi is part of Sherwood‘s team. I know that little lady has got gynoid Francesca and panda Ryu Ryu and if I remember she has a thing for Hiro. So is Buchi just tagging along to film some mystery? Anyway they land on the mysterious Birdcage Island with rumours that people go mentally unstable after a few days. Following which, they are trapped forever. Sounds scary, right? But there is nothing more they can do as the ground starts trembling and everything seen from Buchi’s video camera goes offline. Yeah, Buchi thought he saw something but he’s such a bad and amateur video cameraman that we don’t see anything.

Shortly, Hime and her team arrive at the island since Sherwood invited them. They are greeted by a little hooded ghost proclaiming himself as the hotel manager. Say, doesn’t he look familiar? Could he be that… Along the way, they discuss Birdcage Island’s nickname as Phantom Island because it isn’t on any map. Plus, no one knows when and where it will show up. Sherwood used her calculations and historical data to predict its appearance thus the reason they are able to see it now. Arriving inside the hotel (looks more like a castle), the see Gilliam and Fratelus. However they have no intention of fighting them because Sherwood also invited them. Same case with Sylvia and her team, gynoid Francette and Micasa. Sylvia mentions something about Hime finally being dragged in. Meanwhile a spider goddess, Nakua who was a stowaway on Hime’s boat gets out and sends her spider underlings to do some recon. Night falls as Reiri wakes up from her coffin and meets Nakua. She isn’t happy that Hime dragged her to an island while she was asleep. She can’t go back since she can’t cross large bodies of water. Most of everyone else is enjoying their dip at the hotspring. I’m sure the first thing you will ask when you see Sylvia is, is her boobs the biggest or Sawawa’s. Look at the monstrosity! They note that they have not met Sherwood and oddly no one has seen her yet. Gilliam and Fratelus are walking around when the former gets alerted upon seeing something.

Hime and her team go in search of Sherwood but sees Nakua (they seem to know her as she resides in the Sasanaki Temple). Nakua shows them Buchi’s camera and its footage of panic. Nakua’s spider subordinates found it deep in the jungles but before they can suggest to go search, the hooded ghost informs them that Gilliam has been killed! No, you’re not hearing things. Gilliam is indeed dead as they inspect his lifeless body at the fountain. Well, if he’s so, then his robot butler should self-destruct too, right? Speaking of which, an explosion occurs nearby and it is Fratelus on fire! I guess this proves Gilliam is indeed dead. Nearby are Sylvia and her team. The rest thought she is the culprit but she denies. She plans on going home because it is getting dangerous seeing the perpetrator is after the throne. She pinpoints Sherwood as Hime and Emile aren’t the type who would do this. Keziah notices he hasn’t seen Sledge so Riza suggests a roll call. Now Sawawa is missing too. She’s not in her room. Hime touches her bed and finds it warm. Riza and Hiro are going to look for her but Nakua tells them that she is right there. However they still want to go search for Sawawa. Soon another explosion rocks the boats at the pier. All the ships are on fire and Hime sees Emile watching. Could he be the one? Well, he says she can think what she wants. Emile walks away and Hime sees Sylvia’s lifeless body on the shore. Hiro limps over to Hime and says that Riza has been killed. She revives and asks who killed him. Unconsciously Hiro said “Gilliam”. Knowing what is happening, she decides to go find Sawawa.

Back in the room, they see Sawawa sleeping soundly. She was here all along. Hime explains they have been deceived. Or rather they have made false assumptions. All the assumptions they made in their heads became real. Take in the case when they were told Sherwood was missing, she disappeared. When they were told Gilliam was killed, he was dead. When the mentioned about Fratelus’ explosion, he soon burst into flames. Thus they were too preoccupied with their own assumptions that they ended up making different stories in their heads. So Sawawa was never missing in the first place and Gilliam wasn’t dead to begin with. Once they try to challenge a defined thought that they formed themselves in their heads, they end up not seeing or hearing anything related to it. If a person is continually provided with false information and other people perceive the same information differently, then such a situation will arise. The assumptions made were clearly to restrict their capacity to reason. At that time those imaginary things were close to them, they couldn’t perceive it and slowly they got isolated one by one. They’ll end up as prisoners on this island that eats people. Oh look. There’s a big eye in the mountain. To cut a long story short, everyone on this island is still alive. But they can’t get close to them anymore since they can’t just rewrite their memories according to the situation.

Morning arrives. Everyone seems dead. Yeah, it’s a bloody place. Everyone accept Hime and Nakua (nobody else met her, right?). Hime walks along towards a bridge to meet Sylvia. Hime believed Sylvia was still alive because she knows she was the one who forced the different assumptions on her and would therefore appear before her. They both draw their swords (what? No chainsaw this time?) and clash. Sylvia suggests settling this before Emile destroys the island. How? Using Flanders to pound the eye! I don’t it looked funny. So the ladies injure each other in their duel but Flanders’ pounding was so awesome that the vibration cracked the bridge. Looks like they’ll have to settle this another time. Sylvia falls off the broken piece she is standing on down into the chasm. Soon everyone wakes up from their illusion and Emile tells them they can go home since the problem has been solved. Just like that? So as everyone leaves, the island disappears from sight. Looks like Sawawa was the only one who thought she had fun. If she only knew… Oh heck, she’d never.

Warrior Princess
Well, I don’t know if there are going to be any more episodes. It’s been a mixed baggage for this OVA. It was fun to watch Hime and the gang take on their adversaries but the short number of episodes is unfair and not enough to flesh the characters out. Like I said, you need to have prior knowledge of the series. Perhaps because of that, I was stumped at a few scenes of how it turned out so and so. Like for instance especially in the third instalment, the reason why Sherwood would want to invite her siblings to the island. After 3 episodes, that is as much appearance she’ll get? Don’t see her trying to win Hiro over.

Somehow I do not find Hime as the aggressive and assertive princess she is in the TV series compared to here. She may still be enigmatic, taciturn and putting on deadpan and emotionless expressions but because of this, I couldn’t feel the impact between her relationship and Hiro. It doesn’t leave any impression that Hiro is being overly used as her servant (sorry, that’s how I see him in the TV series). Besides being a shield to take any convenient attacks, I felt he was just like a minor character and doesn’t stand out. The ‘animosity’ between Reiri and Riza is still there though I felt it is somewhat toned down. Maybe it’s because of the lesser number of episodes and Reiri do not mock and taunt her at each time they see each other. Because Sawawa do not make an often appearance, I didn’t feel so much of her airheadness. It’s nice to see some characters that do not appear in the TV series appearing here like Nakua, Gilliam and Sylvia. But the nature of the OVAs does not allow us to explore beyond what is shown. Like Sylvia’s character. She may look alright but does it hide any ulterior intentions? So if you watched the TV series and then the OVAs without reading the manga, you might wonder who the heck this little Nakua is.

Because of that I got a little piqued in interest and did a little research on some of the plots and characters (read: Brief skimming through Wikipedia). For instance how Micasa ended up as Sylvia’s Blood Warrior after Severin’s death (Micasa was Severin’s Blood Warrior in the TV series and this ambitious candidate died in Hime’s hands then), the mermaid’s real name (Madeleine) and how she subsequently became Sylvia’s Blood Warrior, how almost everyone died (Emile succumbed to some illness and some others in some explosion) and Hime was thrown into the future whereby Sherwood and Sylvia are the only remaining candidates left for the throne. Then there are many other characters too and the eldest sibling of them all, Duken who was part in the last war for the throne and the only survivor but wasn’t crowned. Wow. Looks interesting. Maybe they should make a continuation or more OVAs after all.

One of the major differences between this OVA and the original TV series is obviously the art and drawing. In my opinion, I still prefer the original TV version because everyone looks better (Hime was looking hot!). Though this OVAs’ art and drawing look more simplistic but this is how the original manga work looks like. In a way, I thought everyone just looked cutely odd. Another difference is the blood and gore. We see lots of them splatter here and there. The TV series was very much toned down as compared to the manga. I guess when you’re faced with zombies and other unearthly creatures, talking your way out is never the answer, right? And if you want to kill, might as well go all the way. No love lost. The action doesn’t disappoint though I won’t say that there is anything extraordinary. Of course it’s fun to see Hime wielding her chainsaw as always. I noticed that in each episode whenever Hime fights, she tends to get slightly injured on her shoulder. Is this her favourite spot in getting hit? And when Riza gets into a fight, she always ends up messy and bloodied. Maybe that’s how werewolves fight. Like a brawl.

Speaking of fanservice, there is a tiny bit here. I would never have thought of seeing any form of fanservice on Hime herself (there was none in the TV series) due to the nature of this princess but at certain scenes you do get a short panty shot glimpse. It’s a blink-or-you’ll-miss case so if you’re not paying attention, you’re not going to catch something that Hime and Reiri would never have revealed themselves. Ooo… Replaying that scene again… I would also consider there are some fanservice for Riza because the way she hangs her pants so low, it’s like you can almost see her butt! You can actually see her butt line. So much so, it’s dangerous enough that it might threaten to drop down anytime. No need to say anything more about Sylvia. Her monstrous boobs say it all.

I guess with a lot of things in the OVAs different, the seiyuus for the characters are completely different. In a way, it felt odd because I was so used (at least the way I remembered them) to how they were sound. Yeah something like Hime said, it’s hard to rewrite one’s memories. Instead of Ayako Kawasumi as Hime in the TV series, we have Saori Hayami (Musubi in Sekirei). Maybe that’s why Hime doesn’t sound assertive. Instead of a female voicing Hiro in the TV series (Fuyuka Oura, that is), we have a guy taking over, Miyu Irino (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle). It made Hiro sound a little mature. Besides, Hiro wasn’t really panicky in this OVAs compared to the TV series. Mamiko Noto’s role as Reiri in the original is being replaced by Aki Toyosaki! I’m surprised! I couldn’t really recognize her because she wasn’t an airhead like she did in Yui from K-ON! Then we have Eri Kitamura as Riza (Ami in Toradora), Akira Ishida as Emile (Gaara in Naruto) and Ai Kayano as Sawawa (Menma in Ano Hana). For all the “Fuga~” gynoids, they are voiced by Yuka Iguchi of To Aru Majutsu No Index fame (yes, that annoying Index sister). I guess you can’t tell the different “Fuga~” because they don’t say it as often as they do. I still find it hilarious that a single “Fuga~” can mean so much and everyone can understand what they say. Speaking of which, though there is no opening theme, the ending theme is a slow instrumental rock piece and in certain lines you can hear “Fuga~” throughout the song. Uh huh. Word of the series, I guess. The background music plays to the tune of hard rock and definitely suit the action scenes but they may get too loud especially the bass. Or maybe it’s my hardware.

Going through this much hassle even for an underground being? And you thought humans have it worse or complicated. Perhaps there are dealings in which we mere humans don’t understand. Either way if they intend to make a TV sequel, a remake or a continuation with more OVAs, I’ll still be rooting for Hime and her team facing whatever monster troopers they will come across. I think this entire series pays homage to many of the horror characters, at least from the Western movies. And with such diversity among creatures, only one shall rule over them. Fuga…

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!!!

Vampire Knight

September 17, 2011

After all that hype regarding that teenage vampire series called Twilight, I decided to give a try for Vampire Knight. I may have not seen any of the Twilight movies but from some of the comments that I have read, some anime fans felt that Twilight was somewhat a little ripped off from Vampire Knight. That’s why I have to watch this anime series to check it out myself. Hey wait a minute. How the heck can I do comparison when I didn’t even watch the Hollywood movie?

Well let’s see what both shows have in common (from my perspective of course). They have quite a number of handsome hunks. Even more handsome are the main trio protagonists. The 2 main bishonen guys aren’t only just good looking but have their own dark brooding past as well. The main female protagonist has feelings for both of them and is somewhat caught between it all. And yes, did I mention about the vampires? Yeah, those blood sucking creatures of the night that fear the light, garlic and stakes. Okay, just made up that part from the light bit. Unlike conventional vampires, if they don’t show their fangs, deep crimson eyes and super healing ability, nobody would know that they’re vampires as they blend well within the human society. And yes, unlike in Twilight, there are no werewolves here. Yup. You read that right. No werewolves. Only vampires. At least this saves a controversial area of conflict.

Bella Swan’s counterpart in Vampire Knight is Yuuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of the Cross Academy, Kaien Cross. She has no memories prior to her first 5 years in life and all that she remembers is that vampire Kaname Kuran (the so called Edward Cullen’s counterpart) saved her from a vicious vampire attack that probably killed her family too. Yeah, probably that’s where the love began. She likes him and he protects her. So it goes to show that not all vampires are bad. Coming into this equation of ‘love triangle’ is Zero Kiryuu. I suppose I’m not going to say he is Jacob Black’s counterpart because Zero is human (and from a line of a well-known vampire hunter) and he doesn’t have the biceps to show for. He too just like Yuuki has a tragic encounter with bad vampires in the past. His family killed and he is the only survivor and was subsequently taken under Kaien’s care. You could say this is his adopted son as well.

One major point in Cross Academy is the division of so called Day Class and Night Class. Like their names suggest, normal human students dress in black and attend normal classes in the day while their vampire counterparts don the white uniform and head to class when the sun sets. Yuuki and Zero are the only prefects in this school called Guardians tasked with ‘protecting’ the Day Class students from the Night Class. Actually, it isn’t so much about protecting those innocent humans from vampire fangs because those vampires under the Night Class are well behaved and mannered lot. Kaname is quite a respected leader and also a pure blood vampire so nobody dares go against his orders. Doing so is like making a death wish. So what are these Guardians really are supposed to protect Day Class from? Screaming fan girls who can’t wait to greet the hot handsome Night Class gang each time they depart from their gate to the academy. Oh, if they only knew they were vampires. Maybe that will make them even go wilder. It makes you think if the duo are enough to handle those annoying fan girls (sometimes you just want to strangle them). Well, only Yuuki and Zero know that the Night Class students are vampires and this is a well-kept secret. Holding them back might be a tough job. Yuuki may have a hard time holding back those irritating fan girls but Zero’s cold and menacing look is enough to put off them off. He’s no fun. But he’s effective. I guess that’s why there’s no need for anymore Guardians. It also makes me wonder Kaien’s rational of splitting both classes. I mean, his ideal is to create a world whereby both humans and vampires can coexist in peace (which is supported by Kaname as well) but keeping it a secret from the human’s side? Maybe it’s not time for them to handle the truth yet.

Episode 1
So we are introduced to all the characters (including Night Class students that are part of Kaname’s entourage such as his personal bodyguard Seiren, Hanabusa Aidou, Akatsuki Kain, Takuma Ichijou, Ruka Souen, and the expressionless pair of Senri Shiki and Rima Touya) , the setting, the potential drama and build-up for the series. During a night with their usual rounding, Yuuki spots Hanabusa and Akatsuki threatening to feed on a pair of Day Class girls who secretly sneaked in just to take pictures of their favourite hot guys (they smelt blood when one of them was injured). They were going for Yuuki (who also bruised her hand) when Zero steps in to fire a warning shot from his gun, Bloody Rose. I suppose any smart vampire will learn how to back off because it’s a gun which can hurt them deeply and probably a fatal one. Kaname appears on the scene, reprimands his underlings and has Seiren erase the Day Class girls’ memories. Hey, it’s that easy right to erase people’s memories? So why the need to hide the fact that they’re vampires in the first place?

Episode 2
More woes for our Guardian duo because they are tasked to organize the exchange of gifts between Day Class and Night Class for Valentine’s Day. You know what this means. Lines and rows of infatuating fan girls waiting to give their chocolates to their admired ones. Heck, there’s even special ‘lanes’ set up for them to do so. Yuuki wanted to give hers to Kaname but was too busy preventing those irritating fan girls from stepping out of line and missed her chance. However Zero picked up her dropped present and hand it to Kaname. Yuuki isn’t too happy about this since she thought it would be hard for Kaname to get chocolates from her. I supposed even if Zero has no girlfriend, he has got lots of enemies. Okay, maybe just the Night Class of Hanabusa and the rest. They confront him for that confrontation the other day. Sure, they’re going to duke it out but with Yuuki stepping in between, the vampires back out since they know too well that they’ll incur the wrath of Kaname if they ever fight. Then something odd is happening on Zero. It’s like he has this fit and urge whenever he sees Yuuki’s neck. Oh dear. Please don’t tell me… It’s like he’s trying to control himself hard and his breathing is rather heavy and uncomfortable. Yuuki gives Zero her chocolates but he has that urge again and leaves. Hey what do you know? Vampires have the convenient little blood tablets to put in their drinks instead of sucking humans’ neck. But does it taste as good as humans?

Episode 3
Another assignment for our Guardians to do a spot check on prohibited items in the dorms of both Day Class and Night Class students. Yuuki spots blood tablets in Zero’s pocket but she didn’t any further than that. Because of that, Zero runs away to the nearby town as Yuuki goes in search for him. She encounters a little boy and helps him get his stuck balloon. But he rushes off as she tries to find and return his balloon. When she does at a bell tower, it’s a trap because the kid turns out to be a vampire as it bites Yuuki’s hand! I guess her scream was loud enough to attract Zero, who was in turn attacked by a female vampire. Thankfully he could fight for himself fires his Bloody Rose and kills her outright. Yuuki could’ve been done for if Kaname didn’t appear in time. For hurting his beloved Yuuki, that kid is going to hell. It must be something horrible enough for him to shield Yuuki’s eyes while he vaporizes the vampire kid. Kaname explains these type of vampires are called Level E. Humans that have turned into vampires and their thirst for blood has them spiralling out of control, thus making them very dangerous. We also learn that the vampire that killed Zero’s family is of a pure blood and when a person is bitten by a pure blood, either he/she dies or slowly undergoes a painful transformation into a vampire himself/herself (probably the reason why Yuuki didn’t turn into a vampire after being bitten). Which brings us to this case. Yuuki spots Zero at the school’s stairways. He doesn’t want her to come near but she wants to talk to him. So I guess her smell of blood is too good to refuse so Zero sinks his fangs into Yuuki’s neck! Oh sh*t! He’s a vampire! Now I understand why Kaname told him he did his best to suppress his vampire instincts for 4 years. Wait. Four freaking years?!

Episode 4
Either Yuuki faints because she can’t believe Zero is a vampire or he just sucked too much blood from her, leaving her anaemic. In the infirmary, Kaien puts the bandages on Yuuki’s neck while Kaname goes to calm down his Night Class fellows (the smell blood is too hard to ignore). Yuuki learns that since Zero isn’t a pure blood vampire, she can’t be turned into one although she is bitten. She now understands why Zero hates vampires very much since the pure blood vampire, Shizuka Hiou was the one responsible for killing Zero’s family and turning him into a vampire. She overhears that Zero is to be transferred to the Night Class for his safety as she heads over to Night Class’ dorm to talk to Kaname about her objections. But she meets Hanabusa and he’s really intimidating her especially about her bite marks which he knows isn’t Kaname’s. He backs down when Kaname slaps him for his rudeness. Kaname suggests she leave and never return here. Plus, since Zero has ‘taken’ something from her, he should be some sort of use. In the end, even if it’s Yuuki, he can’t simply turn down her request to stop Zero’s transfer. After all, humans like him will eventually become Level E. Yuuki isn’t convinced with this and goes to see Zero in his room. He is trying to end it all by pointing a gun to his own head, fearing he would turn into an uncontrollable beast the next time. Yuuki stops him so he packs his bags and leave. She goes after him and hugs his back, asserting that she has known him for a long time and is his comrade. Meanwhile Kaien meets the head of the Hunter Association as the latter mentions of putting someone in the academy to watch Zero. If he is deemed dangerous, that person will not hesitate to finish him off.

Episode 5
That person is Touga Yagari and he is the new ethics teacher for both Day Class and Night Class. Zero seems to know who this bugger is and leaves in the middle of class with Yuuki following. The duo go about in town doing errands for Kaien when Zero goes missing. Again Yuuki goes to find him but is being attacked by another Level E vampire. She tries to defend herself with her pole weapon, Artemis but could barely finish the job. Zero pops up in time but he too can’t kill the vampire off. The honours go to Shiki and Ichijou who were passing by as they’re tasked to hunt Level E vampires. Ichijou tells them to come to their dorm tonight if they want answers. Turns out to be Ichijou’s birthday bash. Kaname calls Yuuki and Zero closer and explains about the never-ending war between humans and vampires. During the time when the battle between vampires and vampire hunters were at its greatest, human vampires were created by vampires by dragging humans into the fray, making them soldiers for the war. Since vampire nobles have control over them, they have to kill them sometimes if they step out of line (the vampire hierarchy is strict with pure bloods on top followed by nobles and then ordinary vampires. At the bottom of the pack is of course Level E). Kaname has Yuuki sit next to him as this would be the safest place for her. Zero mentions about a vampire hunter’s job to kill vampires but Kaname answers that he couldn’t finish the kill thinking he pitied the Level E. Angry Zero pulls out his gun at his head, causing the rest to be alerted. When Kaname calms everyone down, Zero leaves and Yuuki tags along. At the pool, Zero can’t control his urge and is about to bite Yuuki’s neck again but she flings them into the pool, subsiding his urge. But Zero experiences another kind of pain when Yagari fires a shot into his shoulders. Zero recognizes his teacher.

Episode 6
Flashback reveals that Yagari lost his eye when he saved Zero from a Level E vampire but didn’t regret it (apparently Zero prevented him from killing this vampire who is his nurse because he still believed she’s a good person but she took this opportunity to attack instead). Yagari prepares to kill Zero but Yuuki protects him. Kaien comes by to take care of things. Next day, Zero is absent from class as Yuuki finds out he is being isolated. After being told by Yagari where Zero is being held, she goes to see him and in the bathroom, she allows him to suck her blood. He couldn’t hold back anymore and sinks his fangs into her neck till he is full. She wants to help him suppress the beast inside of him. Yuuki tries to hide her bitten neck but even so she can’t hide it from sharp Kaname. Later Kaname passes by Yagari as the latter wonders why he didn’t finish off Zero. After Kaname gives a warning shot, his answer is that so he doesn’t lose Yuuki. Next day, Yuuki senses something amiss when Zero and Yagari didn’t come to class. She rushes to Zero’s room and to her horror sees Yagari pointing his gun at Zero. However Zero pushes away the gun. Yagari remembers Zero’s promise of not making him regret losing his right eye. Seeing him in this pitiful state wants to make him kill Zero but he wants him to struggle on and not run away. As Yagari leaves, he tells Zero that ‘that woman’ is still alive. Zero promises to teary Yuuki that he won’t run away anymore so she vows not to regret it.

Episode 7
Yuuki has flashbacks from the time she was taken in by Kaien after a near-vampire attack and meeting Kaname. Though she was first afraid of knowing he is a vampire, gradually, they grew close to each other. Then when Kaien brought Zero back, she saw him clawing his bitten neck till it was bloodied. She assured him that it will be alright because she’ll always be with him. So when Kaname and Zero first met then, Zero tried to kill him with a kitchen knife (seriously, can that even hurt a vampire?). Obviously Kaname doesn’t plan to be killed by him and this causes Zero to lock himself up in his room. Yuuki tried to comfort him but he brushes her off. Soon after, Kaien establishes the Day Class and Night Class, much to Zero’s dismay. Though Kaien assured that the other vampires would behave with Kaname around, Zero believed if Kaname betrays them, everything would be over. One day, Yuuki tried to see Kaname but got tired of waiting and fell asleep on the stairways. Kaname (nearly had the thought of biting her neck but backed off) puts her to bed. When she wakes up, she peeks through the door to shockingly see Kaname sucking on Ruka’s neck. In present time, Kaname talks to Zero about the uneasy peace in school and believes Zero won’t betray Yuuki, thus the reason why he lets him live.

Episode 8
Ichijou’s grandfather who is also part of the Vampire Council, Asato Ichijou AKA Ichiou plans to visit the dorm. The vampire students await his arrival. Ichiou talks to Kaname and when he attempts to drink Kaname’s blood, Hanabusa and Ruka pull them away. Kaname reprimands Hanabusa for being rude so Ichiou kneels before Kaname to show his reverence as he feels assured that his grandson is under his care in this academy. As Ichiou leaves, he tells Ichijou to continue keeping watch over Kaname, the reason he lets him enrol in this academy. However Ichijou asserts he will not betray his friends. Later Kaien tells Zero and Yuuki that he has received orders from the Hunter’s Association that Zero is to hunt down Level E vampires and he has no right to turn it down. Their hunt has them fighting a Level E who is targeting women. But it seems Shiki and Rima too are chasing after the same Level E as they have received orders from the Vampire Council to hunt down Level E. The vampire has Yuuki in his grasps but Zero saves her and kills him. Before he dies, he mentions that he is glad that he doesn’t have to kill anymore. The whole event is being witnessed through the eyes of a raven to a little girl who finds the turn of events interesting and will be enrolling herself at Cross Academy.

Episode 9
I guess it must be tiring affair day in, day out. Yuuki once again is having a hard time keeping out those annoying fan girls because of the upcoming ball event that both the Day Class and Night Class will attend. That night, Kaien introduces Yuuki to a new transfer student to the Night Class, she is Maria Kurenai. Maria fears of being ostracized due to her weak body but Yuuki vows to protect her. But during Night Class, seems like she’s a different story. She’s rather bold with Kaname but excuses herself after sensing the rest giving her hostile stares. As Yuuki talks to Zero, that guy suddenly points his gun at Maria when she appears. Yuuki protects her and upon learning Maria isn’t that woman, he puts away his gun. Maria gets Kaname’s permission to move into an empty dorm away from everyone else as Hanabusa talks to Akatsuki about Shizuka, a pure blood who disappeared after going mad. Next day as Yuuki worries about her exam problems, she spots Ichijou chasing after Maria right through the academy in broad daylight. Imagine all the fan girls. They think this must be some sort of dreaming for their hunks to be running around at this time here. Yuuki wanted to go after her but is stopped by Zero who warns not to get too close to her. Then Hanabusa did the most ‘vile’ thing as he hugs Yuuki to stir up all the hatred and jealousy towards Yuuki. Woah. They’re burning with anger! They give the poor Guardian a good chase for answers. I have one: You’re losers! Yuuki manages to give them the slip and bumps into Ichijou as they talk about pure blood’s ability to get other vampires to totally obey them. Hanabusa’s public hugging was to get Yuuki out of the way so he could talk to Zero. He wants to know if Maria and Shizuka are related as Hanabusa replies that they are distant relatives. However Zero is suspicious that Shizuka may have changed her appearance since she was last heard of 4 years ago. Hanabusa says that Zero should know since she has blood bonds with her. Back in the dorm, Kaname entrusts Ichijou to look after Maria even if she’s going to be hard to handle. Kaname mentions about the pawns of a certain woman wants has gathered in this academy but it is part of Kaname’s plan. Meanwhile Maria is going to take a bite over her manservant’s neck but backs off as though she’s just teasing him.

Episode 10
Yuuki has a hard time focusing on her studies so Kaien suggests Zero to coach her. She notices the spot on his neck whereby he was bitten before. Zero later goes to confront Maria at her dorm (worried Yuuki following behind as usual). He points Bloody Rose at her but can’t kill her as Maria explains he can’t kill the person who made him a vampire, thus his master. Zero realizes that Maria is Shizuka though the body she is using isn’t hers. Maria takes her sword and slashes Zero unconscious but doesn’t kill him. Kaname grabs Yuuki from the back and erases her memories. She wakes up the next day not remembering what happened the night before. Kaname asks her about the ball but Yuuki says she has security duties. Later when Yuuki picks up the stray cat, Maria appears before her and mentions the cruelty of forgetting the person who thinks so much about her. The cat scratches her cheeks and the blood causes her to remember those events. So her memories weren’t completely erased? Maria warns that Zero is closer to become a Level E and suggests the only way to save him. Something which Yuuki can only do. Meanwhile Zero dreams of his twin brother, Ichiru. They were very close to each other though Ichiru had a weaker body and Zero making up what he lacked. One day they saw a vampire woman (Shizuka) crying and wonder if their parents as vampire hunters had anything to do with it. Then one day, Zero was captured and bitten by Shizuka in front of his parents. She then proceeded to kill them. Before Zero collapsed, he saw Ichiru by Shizuka’s side smiling. When Zero wakes up, he sees Maria’s manservant and knows who he is even before taking off his mask. It’s Ichiru. And he thought he had died all the while.

Episode 11
Well, they aren’t the kind of twins that love each other. As Ichiru explains, he hated Zero because of his own weak body (in which he overheard his parents mentioning about the dangers of letting him become a vampire hunter), thus the reason why he aligned with Shizuka and killed the entire family. But he requested Shizuka to keep Zero alive so that he could be tormented and suffer the pain. Shizuka also cured his weak body. Ichiru offers Zero to be Shizuka’s servant but he refuses. Ichiru draws his sword but decides not to kill him and let him suffer more. Then Yagari barges in and helps Zero up. Yagari always considered Ichiru as student and he proves it when he protects him from his own sword (Zero deflected it) and taking the stab in his place. After Zero sends Yagari to the infirmary, he goes look for Yuuki who is helping her class setting up the ball. Seeing he is injured, he calls him to the store room and offers her neck, in which Zero doesn’t hesitate to bite! This reminded Yuuki of her deal to save Zero: Either to kill Kaname or become Maria’s servant. During the night of the ball, Kaname gives Yuuki a dress to wear. She finds him outside the terrace alone as they dance together. She mentions about erasing her memories that night so Kaname explains he only wanted to protect her. Because Yuuki can’t bring herself to kill him (as Maria’s reason is that he lowers his guard when Yuuki is with him), she runs away. Zero spots this and goes after her after confronting Kaname what happened (he says Zero’s supposed to be her shield). Elsewhere, Hanabusa and Akatsuki enter an underground chamber to see Shizuka’s real body in a container. Because Seiren warns them not to get involved further, they back off.

Episode 12
Yuuki heads straight to Maria’s dorm. Seems the only choice is to be her servant. But before Maria could suck her blood, she pushes her away. Ichiru brings Shizuka’s real body as she awakens in it and explains the only way to save Zero is to drink her blood. Then Zero comes in to finish things off but Yuuki protects her, noting this is the only way to save him. While they’re arguing, Shizuka uses her powers to control Zero to hold Yuuki. Shizuka bites Zero’s neck but when she targets Yuuki, Zero manages to break free from her control and grabs her throat. Zero shoots his own leg before pumping several shots into Shizuka. She then leaves the room since she has something else to do as Ichiru takes over. Yuuki learns about Ichiru. As the brothers fight, Ichiru mentions how he was jealous that Shizuka turned Zero into a vampire and ironically didn’t do the same to him. Though he always followed her, Zero was always in her eyes. Shizuka meets Kaname in a dark room. He then pierces his hands through his heart and then biting her neck. He promises not to let her life go to waste and vows to destroy their mutual enemy, that person who has been upsetting the pure bloods (shocked Hanabusa eavesdropping outside). Ichiru senses Shizuka’s dying breath and leaves the fight to rush to her side. Zero wanted to go kill Shizuka but is stopped by Yuuki, thinking that he will end his life after he achieves that. Zero hugs her and says though he has that thought of dying with her, he doesn’t feel that way anymore and promises to return. Devastated Ichiru finds Shizuka’s lifeless body.

Episode 13
Holding dying Shizuka in his arms, she tells him she is the only person she refuses to turn into a vampire even if he offers his blood. Her reason was so that he wouldn’t turn into a complete servant and obey her every word (it’s more fun when there are people who go against you, right?). So turning Zero into a vampire wasn’t boring? Well, he’s an interesting guy because he did resist trying to become one. Shizuka reveals her flashback whereby she had a human vampire servant as her lover. She loved him so much but before he turned into Level E, he was brutally murdered by the Kiryuu parents. She felt great anger and thus targeted them as revenge. By the time Zero comes in, Shizuka had already disappeared. Ichiru felt sad that right till the end, she never acknowledged him because she doesn’t want his blood. Zero says he understands Shizuka’s intention because he too has someone he doesn’t want to become a vampire. Ichiru leaves but Zero collapses due to the pain and all. When Yuuki comes by, Zero is gone and Kaien says he has been taken away for treatment. The next few days, Zero is absent from class. Kaname is acting like as though Zero was the one who killed Shizuka but Hanabusa doesn’t mention anything seeing that he knew what he saw then. Either way, Kaname has to report to the Council seeing that a pure blood was murdered. Afterwards Hanabusa talks to Akatsuki about Shizuka. The latter mentions about Shizuka’s fiancee changed the list of vampires to be executed by the Hunter Association. The puzzling thing was he hasn’t turned into a Level E yet and the fact Shizuka is in hiding from the Council who are badly pursuing her and her appearance in this academy puts her at risk. Hanabusa suspects it might be something she’s after. Kaname sees Zero being chained in a room. He is at his limit of turning into a vicious vampire. Kaname mentions he left Shizuka’s blood for him to drink but it was unfortunate he couldn’t. Seeing how depressed Yuuki is, Kaname offers Zero to drink his blood to alleviate him from his madness and the latter doesn’t resist sinking his fangs into his neck. Kaname mentions that he is only allowing him to live for Yuuki’s sake.

Vampire Knight Guilty

If the ending was kinda abrupt and unsatisfying, don’t worry because after taking a short break, the series resumes with an equal amount of episodes called Vampire Knight Guilty. The drama intensifies and more secrets and revelations will be revealed as it is going to get darker from this point on. And no, there aren’t going to be any werewolves making their appearance. This is purely and exclusively a vampire anime. No room for those hairy canines.

Episode 1
Life seemingly returns to normal. Well, almost. Yuuki is having a hard time keeping those irritating fan girls at bay. If only Zero was here. Speaking of the devil, he’s back! And with that cold attitude too. So nothing changed? It could be more than meets the eye. Now in addition to those urges, Zero has those headache visions of seeing a guy being cut to pieces. Later Maria awakens in her normal self and informs Zero about Shizuka seeking a certain person responsible for changing the execution list that resulted in her lover’s death. Not long, Yuuki is being attacked by several vampires sent by the Council. They are hunting down Zero whom they believed killed Shizuka. Though Zero appears in time to save her skin (this pattern is kinda getting repetitive), Kaname and his Night Class students order the attacking vampires to leave. Well, they can’t disobey a pure blood. So I guess with conflict of orders, I suppose they’re smart to go with the pure blood’s one (must be that hierarchy thingy). However since Kaname still makes it in a way that Zero was the one who killed Shizuka, Yuuki gets upset and will not talk to him anymore till he withdraws his accusations and proclaim Zero innocent. That night when Zero is asleep, he dreams of Shizuka but wakes up from the nightmare calling Yuuki’s name. She’s right next to him, wondering what the hell. She comforts him and he nearly kissed her. Ah well, don’t want to make it seem like he is going after her neck, no?

Episode 2
Yuuki and her friend Sayori “Yori” Wakaba meet a lost boy while walking through town. Yuuki offers to help him find his parents while Yori goes ahead to return to the dorm. When Yuuki and the kid reach an abandoned building, he kisses her and this causes Yuuki to collapse. Seems at this building, there is an underground party hosted by Shiki’s uncle. So it’s a little surprise if the Night Class gang who are attending this party see Yuuki unconscious on the floor. They may be going “Hey, what the heck is she doing here? Am I seeing things?”. Kaname takes her in and when she wakes up, she is being told about the vampire party and strictly not to leave the room. Ironically, Zero is also at the party to keep an eye on things as instructed by the Hunter Association. As they say, curiosity kills the cat. Yuuki spots the lost kid peeking from the door and goes out to follow him but ends up having a view of the party. She also sees how popular Kaname is as every darn parent wants him to consider their daughter’s hand in marriage to him. Can vampires do polygamy? He’s polite enough not to accept or turn them down. He’s just smooth… When Yuuki returns to her room, Kaname is there too. As punishment for not listening to him, he asks if she wants to be a vampire and live forever with him. Yuuki agrees and prepares to bite the bullet. Kaname shows his fangs but before he could take a bite, he pulls back, saying it was just a joke and had gone too far. Should she feel relieved? He apologizes and asserts he will never hurt her.

Episode 3
During the vacation, the Night Class students head over to Hanabusa’s villa for the holidays. Except for Shiki who will be returning to his family’s home (because his uncle said so) and ironically Hanabusa staying back at the dorm. Seems he has requested Akatsuki to do some research on Kaname’s family at his villa. I suppose he has other important things to do seeing that he asked his buddy and not do it himself. Ah, perhaps this is a chance to sneak inside Kaname’s room and check out his secrets. Like he’ll find anything. Like Kaname will be that careless. Then Hanabusa surprisingly pays Yuuki and Zero a visit at their dorm. No choice, they have to treat their ‘guest’ by cooking dinner. Man, he has got a huge appetite. Makes you wonder if all those blood tablets are enough for him. Hanabusa recalls how he first met Kaname when they’re young. Being the rash kid he is, he was honest in telling Kaname straight in the face that he hated him, much to the chagrin of the adults as they lecture him about the hierarchy and pure bloods’ status. Then at a ball soon after Kaname’s parent’s death, he noticed Kaname has turned even colder and unfriendly but that’s when Hanabusa started to take a liking for Kaname and called him his friend. Yuuki accidentally cuts her finger with the knife so Zero got attracted to her blood and sucks it. Hanabusa witnessed it all and soon leaves. He rummages through Kaname’s room and though couldn’t find anything, he knows he is planning something.

Episode 4
Shiki’s uncle takes Shiki underground. He is shown a man in a tube supposedly his father. He awakens and wants Shiki to lend him his powers and ‘possesses’ the poor kid. With Seiren reporting this to Kaname, holiday time is over so the vampire gang return to the dorm. Because Yuuki is having bloody hallucinations and the fact that she remembers nothing prior to her early years in life is bugging her tremendously, Zero advises her to go to the Hunter Association’s library to look for clues about her past. The meet the Association’s head as Yuuki is shocked to learn Kaien was once a vampire hunter. A legendary one, in fact. As they search through the books, the Association’s head confronts Zero in some room that is causing Zero’s urge to go wild, she mentions about drinking the blood of a  pure blood’s to save himself from becoming a Level E (didn’t he do that with Kaname?) or reverse the Curse of the Twins. Then a book that Yuuki is reading, suddenly bursts into flames, destroying all evidence that may lead her to remember her past. This causes her to be upset so Zero comforts her all night long. Perhaps it’s just an excuse so that he could suck more blood from her. Mmm… Does a sad girl’s blood taste any different? When Hanabusa confronts Kaname about his scheme, he just lets out a little secret that his parents didn’t commit suicide, but were murdered. Lastly, Ichijou visits Ichiou who addresses ‘Shiki’ as his lord. Hmm… That can’t be Shiki because of his different eye colour and yeah, he has more expression on his face worth a lifetime.

Episode 5
Yuuki experiences more horrifying bloody hallucinations and hearing malicious voices in her head that would send any normal girl into trauma mode. This causes her to accidentally attack Kaname (but stop short of touching him) before coming to her senses. He hugs her and confesses that he loves her. Later Zero confronts Kaname and the former thinks he is messing with her memories so Kaname throws him against the wall. He can’t kill him because he needs him to protect Yuuki and forces him to drink his blood. Can’t resist the urge, eh? Might as well since it will prevent him from descending further into Level E madness. As for Ichiru, he is back and working for the Council as her returns to Cross Academy. As a transfer student. How can this happen? Well, Kaien says that Zero approved of it. Plus, he feels this is perhaps the best chance for the twins to improve each other’s relation. And man, that Ichiru is such a hit with the girls. Makes them wonder even if they’re twins, how come their personalities are so contrasting. Like day and night. With one in, another goes out. Yagari this time leaves the academy to his own investigation. Yuuki goes to talk to Kaname again and begs him to tell the truth but he is worried that she will hate him if she learns her bloody and tragic past. It’s easy for her in her position now to say she won’t. However Kaname throws in a condition that if she wants to know her past, she must become his lover. And all in good timing, Zero walks by to see their intimacy. Only, Kaname asserts that he will protect Yuuki as her lover from now on. Like rubbing it in his face, no?

Episode 6
Though Yuuki experiences more restless nights and nightmares, Kaname orders his Night Class friends to guard Yuuki seeing that she has become his lover. Oh, the fan girls are going to hate her. Understandably, Yuuki finds it annoying that they’re following here everywhere, attracting unpleasant stares from the rest. But she has to suck it up and live with it because as Hanabusa mentions, their pride as vampires is at stake especially if it’s Kaname. Yuuki rests in the infirmary since she is feeling unwell. Hanabusa notices Ichiru with some weird blood bottle in his hand and confiscates it from him. Ichiru didn’t put up any resistance and leaves. He reports this to Kaname but he mentions Ichiru isn’t the real enemy and that he has his own role to play. Akatsuki reports to Hanabusa about his investigation and it seems that when he is close to finding clues, the page will burst to flames. It must have something to do on why Kaname is going to great lengths to protect Yuuki. So why the heck was there evidence in the first place? Wouldn’t it be easier if it was destroyed and never recorded in the first place? Kaien invites Ichiru to have dinner with him, Zero and Yuuki. Interestingly, even if he didn’t seem interested, he showed up. However it goes downhill when Yuuki brings up the topic about mistaking Ichiru for Zero at the infirmary. Zero blows his top that he might have done something funny on her so Ichiru leaves. Ichijou and Shiki return to the dorm. Rima notices something different in Shiki and realizes he’s not the person she knew.

Episode 7
As ‘Shiki’ meets Kaname, the latter instantly knows that this person is Rido Kuran, his uncle, Shiki’s father and Shizuka’s fiancee (wow, that’s a lot of relationships going on). Kaname attacks but is stopped by Ichijou. He doesn’t want innocent Shiki to be harmed. Later Rido wants to ‘snack’ on Ruka and corners her but she is saved by Akatsuki. Ichijou comes between them and tells them to leave things as they are as they don’t want Kaname to find out about this. Yuuki continues to bug and beg Kaname about her past but he’s not telling. So much so she collapses and Kaname takes her to Kaien’s room. Kaien mentions something about a promise made to Yuuki’s mother to protect her. More nightmare woes for Yuuki so much so she looks like she’s suffering. Zero comes in to check on her but Yuuki starts to strangle him. Yuuki gets upset when he didn’t put up a fight because he feels his life belongs to her (hey, he drank her blood). Yuuki insists that everything is her fault and that she was the one who pushed Zero to where he is now. When Zero mentions she sounded like she needed him, she replied that isn’t true and the person she needed most all the while was in fact Kaname. She pushes him out of her room and continues to cry in pain (still having those hallucinations) when she sees Kaname standing from the window (this is no hallucination). He casts a calming spell on her and takes her away. Then on the rooftop, Kaname sinks his teeth into Yuuki’s neck. She panics upon realizing what he is doing but he holds her down. Like some sort of S&M play, Kaname then kisses Yuuki and makes her drink his blood. When they’re done, they hear a click of a gun. Zero is furious that Kaname has turned his Yuuki into a vampire (yeah, we all the main protagonists as vampires now). However Yuuki protects Kaname and says not to shoot her brother! WTF?! Then she collapses as Kaname says he would be happy if that was true.

Episode 8
So this is where the revelation/confusion (depending on your view. Mine is the latter) starts. As Kaname explains Yuuki is 100% Kuran pure blood. Yuuki dreams of how she spent her happy days with her brother whom she loved dearly. She even promised to marry him, just like how their parents Haruka (yes, a father with a girl’s name) and Juuri did. Are vampires okay with incest? Apparently it’s okay in keeping the pureness of their pure blood lineage. Anyway they kept Yuuki’s birth a secret from the Council as they fear they would use her for their nefarious ends. However they couldn’t keep her hidden for long since Rido (who is part of the Council) comes looking for her and wants them to hand Yuuki over. This was when Juuri uses her powers to seal Yuuki’s memories and vampire powers so that she could live as a normal human being. WTF?! Is this even possible? How can a vampire be a human? Wouldn’t every human turned into a vampire use this method to turn themselves back? So with Yuuki’s blood permeating the academy, why is it that every vampire is shocked to learn Yuuki is a pure blood? Are they saying Juuri’s powers even suppress the vampire blood flowing in Yuuki? Kaname’s friends pledge their loyalty to Kaname not because of his blood but their friendship. Kaname explains Yuuki was born to be his fiancee. When Yuuki wakes up, her body is urging for blood. Being just ‘awakened’, she can’t control her powers as she unleashes a powerful blast enough to shatter the windows just after remembering how her parents were brutally murdered. Then Yuuki and Kaname proceed to lick each other’s blood. Meanwhile Rima confronts Shiki/Rido as they both fight. Rima tries to awaken Shiki by mocking him. Seems to work a little as the body is fighting back and resisting Rido. Yuuki remembers Zero and decides to go see him, disobeying Kaname’s orders to stay put. Akatsuki and Hanabusa are in a bind to protect Yuuki so she has them tag along. Kaname orders Seiren to take care of the Day Class students and then he talks to Ruka as she pledges her loyalty to him. Kaien takes out a sword from a chest he thought he would never have to use again.

Episode 9
Yuuki is outside Zero’s room and from behind the door, Zero points his gun at her direction. He is upset that she has no trace of humanity in her left so she agrees and says that the vampire side ate the Yuuki he knew. Meanwhile Ichiru opens the coffin containing Rido’s real body. Kaname comes in and borrows his sword to stab it. However he didn’t just stab the body, but his own hand as well and letting his blood flow into the body. Ichijou returns with Shiki’s unconscious body. A flashback reveals how Haruka bid Juuri farewell before his final fight with Rido. In the end, Haruka was killed when Rido stabbed his heart with a vampire hunter’s weapon. Young Kaname saw what was happening and rushed to Haruka’s side but it’s too late as he vanished into dust. Kaname was filled with anger but couldn’t kill Rido because he is Kaname’s master. Rido was the one who awakened Kaname, the first ancestor of the Kuran clan by kidnapping and using Haruka and Juuri’s first son but since it wasn’t enough, that’s why he returned to steal Yuuki after being imprisoned and released by the Council for 10 years. Kaname then blasts Rido into thousands of pieces though it won’t kill him. Though it will take time for him to regenerate, Kaname vowed to find a way to kill him then. Yagari returns and meets Kaien. Seems he has received orders from the Hunter Association to rid of Zero. Then Zero comes in, his body in pain and wants Yagari to put him out of his misery, thinking that’s his reason for coming back. The Association’s head is at Ichiou’s mansion. Seems she was the one who ordered Zero’s imprisonment so he can’t interfere with their plans. Ichiou mentions about conspiring with the Council to obtain ultimate power. Yagari throws Zero into prison and lectures him about his actions of wanting to die. He believes that Zero is not a vampire but a vampire hunter. He lays Bloody Rose down next to him and leaves. Zero is having deep thoughts about Yuuki.

Episode 10
Yuuki’s first day as a vampire watching the sun rise. How ironic is that? But no time to enjoy the view as the Night Class students are helping to evacuate the Day Class students from an impending war on the academy. But it’s too late so Kaien has Yagari take them to shelter in the hall. Vampires start creeping in and attacking. If not for the Night Class students, those stowaway girls from the Day Class could have been goners. Here’s another irony: Vampires killing vampires. Yori, who is worried about Yuuki, sneaked out and nearly turned herself into a vampire meal if not for Hanabusa and Yuuki’s actions. Yuuki couldn’t hold her Artemis anymore (that pole has some anti-vampire effect) so she apologizes to Yori for lying to her about being a vampire. But Yori doesn’t care about that trivial stuff because to her she’ll always be her best friend. Yagari encounters his Hunter Association comrades (who are here to kill Zero – hey, why are they dressed like as though they’re some RPG party) and warns them after a little display of power. They decide to listen to him and go away. When Rido awakens in his real body, it’s like every vampire in the academy could feel his awakening. Must be some overwhelming aura, eh? Ichiru greets him while Yuuki wants to go see Rido but is stopped by Hanabusa. I guess her speech was moving enough to make him allow to her the slip. Zero is still in a dilemma when Kaname appears. He tells him the truth that he created Zero to kill Rido. Yeah, everything was part of his plan ever since day one. Look at it, he blood drank from the pure blood. From Shizuka to Kaname and even Yuuki. So he’s got to be one heck of a powerful being with all the bloods of the pure blood inside him. This power is enhanced since he is a twin of a vampire hunter and its powerful half. Kaname is confident that Zero will never betray Yuuki and plays mind games with him that Rido’s target is Yuuki. So if he fails to protect her, Rido will go after Yuuki.

Episode 11
The real Shiki awakens and thanks Rima for waking him up. The Night Class students continue to battle the endless wave of vampires, turning the academy into a mountain of dust. Rido is having some blood orgy fest. Draining the blood of the women till they turn into dust. Kaien faces off with the Association’s Head. She gives him a last chance to hand over Zero but he refuses and unleashes some sword technique (one slash to destroy the entire ground! Oh sh*t!) on her but she retreats. With Zero still having not made up his mind, this time Ichiru pays him a visit and picks up the gun and shoots him. However it isn’t fatal. Then Zero notices that Ichiru is also bleeding profusely (seems when Rido awakened, he tried to kill him as revenge for Shizuka but was dealt with a fatal blow). Then Ichiru mentions about how he hates him and all those jealousy thingy of the past. About the Curse of the Twins, it is believed that vampire hunters can never have twins. Even if they do, the stronger twin will devour the weaker one (like a vampire). But it is strange in Zero and Ichiru’s case for them to even born and survive. So the point is Ichiru wants Zero to drink his blood and ‘devour’ him so that he could fully obtain the true powers of the vampire hunter that rightfully belonged to him. This is the final piece of the puzzle that will power up Zero to kill Rido. I mean, what better way to go against a pure blood and fight on par with him other than another pure blood? And Zero has got several pure bloods inside him. But will Zero do that even if he hates him now? He has too although he hates the thought of losing his twin brother (and any other thing – like Yuuki). Not till Ichiru finally dies did Zero drinks his blood but in tears. As he leaves the prison, we see the fruition of his powers. A single punch destroys a block of wall! Oh sh*t! Don’t mess with a vampire hunter. An angry vampire hunter, that is. Or is it a vampire?

Episode 12
Yuuki continues to accomplish her mission while the other Night Class students protect her. Yagari is running low on ammo after facing hordes of endless vampire waves at the school gates. Feels like Plants vs Zombies, eh? Kaien shows up to strut his stuff and show us why he was once known as the legendary vampire hunter, taking out all the vampires singlehandedly. Meanwhile the Association’s head sees Ichiou. She wants her reward to drink his blood to keep her eternal beauty (her face is obviously cracking up) and admits that she was the one who sent orders to have Zero killed. However Ichiou isn’t interested in such a weakling and breaks her neck. Good riddance. Kaname arrives outside Ichiou’s mansion. He is turning all the bodyguards into mini fireworks display without even twitching his fingers! Holy sh*t!!! Nobody can stop him as he coolly makes his way into the mansion. No fight, man. He sees Ichiou trying to escape and is prepared to kill him. However Ichijou wishes to take care of this himself. Kaname agrees and leaves the mansion. It must be one hell of a rumble inside since we see the entire mansion crumbling to the ground. The rest of the Night Class students and Yuuki confront Rido on the rooftop, sitting on his makeshift throne of bodies. He orders the corpses to attack while he tries to attack Yuuki (the Night Class students are paralyzed from his spell). Before he could bite her neck, she grabs Artemis as it turns into a deadly scythe and manages to injure him. Then Zero shows up and fires his Bloody Rose at him. However he has trouble controlling his powers as he arms turns monstrous. He wants Yuuki to cut it with Artemis, in which clams the raging power down and returns his arm to normal. He prepares to fire another shot with Bloody Rose as it emits a very bright light. And why the heck are there plant vines connecting to his arm?

Episode 13
With Rido now heavily injured, he flees to the forest and tries to feast on more blood to heal himself. However he comes into Kaname and though he attacks, Rido is confident he can never kill him. However it isn’t Kaname who will kill him, remember? Yup, it’s Zero (whom Kaname called as Yuuki’s Vampire Knight) as his powered up Bloody Rose finishes Rido for good, turning him into fragments which I hope won’t be able to regenerate. That is one awesome power! All that building up to power up and the fight just finished within seconds? Shows how powerful he has become, eh? Kaname meets his Night Class friends and mentions how they are his pawns from the start to protect Yuuki. He frees them and tells them to do as they wish from now on. However they insist that they aren’t his pawns, but his friends. Zero meets Yuuki and though he doesn’t believe she is a vampire, he dares her to drink his blood in which she does and realizes his feelings for her. Yuuki plans to leave the academy with Kaname because he is a person whom she wants to protect. Zero says that he is going to hunt down and kill all the pure bloods even if it means killing Yuuki. She agrees to wait and run from him, thus giving him a reason to live. Kaien is saddened over his ‘daughter’s’ departure but I guess as a parent, that they will come when the young ones will soon leave the nest. But he has to clean up the academy with the help of his vampire hunter pals. Yuuki leaves with Kaname and it seems Hanabusa, Akatsuki and Ruka will be joining them on their free will. Shiki and Rima are at Ichiou’s crumbled mansion. Though we don’t see Ichijou, something tells me he is still alive since they spot his sword at the site. However I don’t feel the same for that old bugger. So Zero, how does it feel to be the only Guardian in school now?

Twi-Knight…
I never liked endings that don’t really end. At least for this kind of series. Well, at that time and even as of now, the manga is still on-going so I guess it’s better than putting in mindless fillers and let it run forever like some series that have 3 digits in their number of episodes. From what I briefly skimmed through, it seems the story continues after a 1 year time skip with Yuuki continuing to live in Kaname’s home and Zero making it his mission to find peace between humans and vampires (I thought he wanted to eliminate all pure bloods, which are vampires, right?) and even in the running to be the Hunter Association’s next head. Which is an ironic situation because he’s now a vampire who is also part of the vampire hunter association. However no sequel of this series has been announced ever since the second season ended its run at the end of 2008. I’ve got a feeling that there won’t be any for the foreseeable future seeing that each episode ends with the motto, “I’ll show you a sweet dream the next night” or for the cliff-hanger at the end of the first season, “The sweet dream has not ended”. Really? Which part of it all is a sweet dream? I think everyone will be glad when they wake up from this ‘nightmare’.

For the anime, I guess the entire drama is quite fair. Not to say that I enjoy it but I’m not the kind of guy who enjoys dark vampire dramas. The revelations were a headache to me and I didn’t understand the little twist that was revealed so much so I had to do a little reading up to understand (which was a good thing, right?). Some things I just didn’t understand like Yuuki being a vampire all the while. She is obviously torn between Kaname and Zero both whom she loves dearly but in the end, she had to choose her brother. Fans of Yuuki x Kaname would be please but to be fair to those Yuuki x Zero fans, there were some close moments too. On a cheeky note, yaoi fans of Kaname x Zero are also treated with a few close-up scenes together. Guaranteed to send them screaming and squealing with joy like those annoying fan girls. Another comic relief guy is Yuuki’s classmate who is the class rep. He always sounds like with full of angst and warning Yuuki to do things right. Like he is the one to say because he is an adamant admirer of Ruka. Unfortunately, it’s a one-sided love. Too bad he doesn’t even exist in her eyes. Yuuki may be strong, caring and independent but after retrieving her memories, she became stronger and resolved in her role to protect. She was less indecisive after remembering her past. Kaname and Zero may look good but their troubled past and personal issues are also deeply reflected in their voice. Notice how Kaname never raises his voice and is always sounding the gentle and respected leader he is worthy of. Deeply concern for Yuuki and his friends even if he doesn’t say it upfront. Zero at times may sound like he is full of angst but during other times, his voice sounds frail and delicate mirroring the imperfect being he is. Given his volatile nature, he values his friendship with Yuuki very much even though he severed his ties with her in the end.

I felt the other Night Class students didn’t make a great impact in the series overall. Even if they are playing supporting roles, I felt their presence was a hit and miss, especially Seiren. Her presence as Kaname’s bodyguard is mysterious but the lack of her presence around means viewers like me don’t really see the importance of having her around and it doesn’t matter if she exists or not. All the while I felt she was just like a messenger to Kaname. As even in the final battle, the Night Class vampires strut their stuff just to a minimum. I was hoping to see them unleash some super power combo (maybe I was just expecting too much) but instead see them pounding low-level vampires with their known powers. Same case for Kaien and Yagari. I wanted to see Kaien pull off more legendary moves instead of that one time. Speaking of Kaien, that guy is amusing because of his comical role from time to time (like wanting Yuuki to call him ‘father’ rather than the director of the academy). Otherwise, it’s no fun if he is dead serious all the time like Yagari. The other comic relief being Yuuki herself, going into her slightly chibi version when she is in her naive mode. Rima x Shiki relationship was slightly amusing because of their expressionless and sarcastic lines but that’s all about it. Ruka was like some jealous woman watching from afar and from the way I see it, I thought she would take some drastic action. Instead she resigned to her fate to be Kaname’s second best though her loyalty for him never wavered. Say, what happened to Maria? And Yori? Did Yuuki leave her for good seeing how things went in the end?

The story flow of the first season shifts from the focus of Zero overcoming his inner demons to a much darker and inevitable fate that gathers all the ‘chess pieces’ for a final showdown. So Kaname must be one hell of a good future planner. It’s a good thing his 10 year plan bore fruit in the end. Or else it could’ve been one big problem for him because from what I know, Rido and the Council want to remove Kaname who is occupying to the top of the hierarchy. Even power-hungry vampires are no different than humans. Another mind boggling fact that I found out and from what I understand, Kaname is the founder of the Kuran family and one of the original founders. So how did he become Haruka and Juuri’s son? Unless he is adopted by them. And even so, given the fact that he is an original vampire founder, he must have lived for a long time but how come he looks like a young kid? Does he have some powers to bend his youthful looks? Otherwise his mysterious power to kill of his enemies without lifting a finger is indeed awesome. No wonder he is so revered and yet his position is much coveted by some. Some of the scenes that involve the vampire licking the other’s neck or flesh can be disturbing at times so if you’re not used to this, you may find this unsettling. Another thing that I’m pondering is that after the conclusion of the battle with Rido, now that the students know about the existence of vampires, will they still be able to accept them for who they are? Or will everyone undergo a major memory erasing procedure? Hell, as long as they look good, the fan girls will still be as annoying as before.

The opening themes of both seasons somehow didn’t appeal to me. For the first season, Futatsu No Kodou To Akai Tsumi by On/Off sounds a little drowsy the way the lead male vocal sings the piece while the second season, Rinne Rondo also by that same group has that gothic feel to it. I don’t know, maybe it’s the chorus part that sounds funny the way they sing the lines in a fast manner. For the first season’s ending theme, it is Still Doll by Kanon Wakeshima. It is a very creepy piece and the ending credits animation (doll Yuuki crying blood? Broken mirror? Horror bunny? Creepy…) adds to the very already eerie atmosphere. It made my hair stand on ends so I skip this part each time the ending theme comes about. Though the second season’s ending theme isn’t that scary, nevertheless it still feels like a horror song especially the fast and wild opening play of the cello. Entitled Sunao No Oshiro also by Kanon Wakeshima. Here we see another eerie depiction of Yuuki spouting butterfly wings made with blood and some spider thingy.

Vampire genres aren’t my thingy but it won’t stop me from watching them if they are interesting enough. If you’re fans of the vampire genre or even this series, I’m sure you’ll have lots of good things to say. Just like Twilight fans. Otherwise this series is just enough to get the curiosity off my chest. From the way I look at it, all 3 main characters are in a way vampires. My guess is that things will get more complicated if they throw in werewolves. Good thing we don’t have them here. Less one problem. So if vampires don’t really want to fight with humans, I guess it would be better if they could drink the blood of their own kind, which is proven here that it is possible. Being a vampire isn’t just about being cool (Hollywood versions like Twilight and Buffy are over-rated). It has its own downside too. Though you live a longer life, have heightened senses and can heal any simple wounds, the thought of drinking blood isn’t my cup of tea. And then getting caught in a blood feud, bloody conspiracy, a bloody love triangle… I don’t want such a sweet dream after all.